Matt Shakman chats about season 8 and his directorial approach to the Loot Train Battle in “The Spoils of War”

Macall B. Polay - HBO (Photo 10) (1)

Director, Matt Shakman, talked to Variety and Inverse about filming that extraordinary dragon battle sequence in his directorial debut on Game of Thrones.

In his interview with Variety, Shakman discussed the highly intricate, record-breaking shoot for the fiery massacre dubbed The Loot Train Battle. Production took 18 main-unit days, around five second-unit days and several weeks in Belfast filming Daenerys on dragon back and shots of flamethrowers.

Game of Thrones has featured some pretty spectacular battle sequences so far, from Hardhome to the climactic showdown between Jon and Ramsay last season. According to Shakman one of the factors that he hoped set the Loot Train Battle apart from the others (gigantic dragon notwithstanding) was  the shift in points of view between Tyrion, Daenerys, Jaime and Bronn … particularly since this was a situation in which the audience was intended to be invested in characters on both sides of the conflict.

“We rooted for Daenerys as she burned slavers in Meereen from the sky,” he said.
“We’ve been with her in sort of heroic moments with the dragons. But we’ve never been in a battle between two people that we love and are rooting for, and I wanted to see what it was like for those men on the ground when war changed forever.”

Adding onto that sentiment, in an interview with Inverse, Shakman emphasized the need to expand beyond the wish-fulfillment element of Daenerys’ spreading fire and blood with her dragon.

HBO (Photo 5)

[Daenerys]’s finally doing what she’s come to Westeros to do,” he said. “That point of view was important, but I wanted to keep it focused more on what it was like to be on the receiving end of that fire and blood,” he said.

Shakman drew inspiration from a number of war films, perhaps most notably, Apocalypse Now for its use of smoke.

“I knew it would define the transition from the clean ordered battlefield at the beginning to this Bosch-like horror at the end, and using smoke to increase the claustrophobia of it so that by the end, when we’re running with Bronn through the fire and the smoke, the world feels like it’s closing in on him.”

Unfortunately, it looks like season 7 will feature Shakman’s only directorial gigs on Game of Thrones. Asked if he will be returning for season 8, Shakman says, “I will not be.”

However, it sounds like he really gave it his all. Before starting production, Shakman had lunch with Game of Thrones veteran, David Nutter who told him “You’re about to be given the keys to the best Ferrari in the world; all they want you to do is put the pedal to the metal.”

“I took those words to heart,” Shakman said.

115 responses

Jump to (and Always Support) the Bottom

    1. He did an amazing job! Not just on the battle sequence, but on the whole episode. Sad to hear he won’t be back next season. Hopefully Sapochnik will be, at least.

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    2. “We’ve been with her in sort of heroic moments with the dragons. But we’ve never been in a battle between two people that we love and are rooting for…”

      I honestly didn’t feel this way at all. If Jamie and Bronn had got fried in the battle I’d have been sad to see two great characters go, but they are not characters I love. I find them fun to watch perhaps.

      Besides, they would have gone out in style.

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    3. Seriously, if you have a chance to direct only two episodes of the most epic entertainment series of all time, you might as well do it in grand style.

      Shakman did right by the story and the fans for his first go around, can’t wait for this Sunday to see what else he has up his sleeve!

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    4. David Nutter who told him “You’re about to be given the keys to the best Ferrari in the world; all they want you to do is put the pedal to the metal.”

      “I took those words to heart,” Shakman said

      Okay, that’s one awesome quote! How true. At this point it would be stupid to turn down the opportunity.

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    5. Oh, that’s a shame, I would have loved to have him back. I wouldn’t mind seeing six separate directors next year with each directing just the one episode, so they have even more time to prep the scenes. Sapochnik should definitely be back, but there are several others I’d like to see return too.

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    6. Too bad Shakman won’t be back for Season 8. But at least he directed one of my top episodes in the series (easily in the top 5, but the exact placement I can only do after GoT is over and I start a rewatch from the beginning). Looking forward this Sunday to his second venture.

      Anon:
      Look at Emilia’s face in that picture…lmao.

      Yes, it looks like she has smelled something bad and got mad as a result! 😀 Also look at Jaime’s face in the picture. A very rare instance when he is not looking smug and superior or cynical, especially in a battle sequence. It was good for Jaime to be humbled a bit – too much Lannister pride for seven seasons.

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    7. As much as I love all the directors that have ever graced Game of Thrones with their skills, I can’t help feeling that Miguel Sapochnik is the only person worthy of capping off the series as a whole. Contributions such as Hardhome, Battle of the Bastards and The Winds of Winter are evidence enough of his unprecedented talent for the tumultuous.

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    8. Haha, I remember when directors were announced and there was quite negative response from people on this site, especially due to absence of certain directors (not from me of course). And now Matt Shakman did such a great job overall.

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    9. Shakman turned 42 today. Between the two episodes and all the hype.
      Must have been some glorious celebration.
      Long may he direct!

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    10. So which directors will be back for the final round? With 6 most likely epic 60+ episodes , will there be six directors?

      Nutter for sure, since he was forced to skip this season… Sapochnik for sure. Taylor maybe? Marshall? Seems unlikely they would bring on new directors.

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    11. I just wish it had a better name..

      Line of Fire?
      The Burning Road?
      Trail of Ashes?
      The Screaming Flames?
      The Barbecued Lion?

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    12. Grayven Reyne:
      I just wish it had a better name..

      Line of Fire?
      The Burning Road?
      Trail of Ashes?
      The Screaming Flames?
      The Barbecued Lion?

      Oh, I LOVE, LOVE the name “Loot train.” Makes it crystal clear that what the Lannisters were hauling was loot from the Reach. I’ve seen a few posts already along the lines of …….evol Daenerys burning precious food for the entire country…….. Actually she destroyed food that was going to feed the Lannister soldiers inside King’s Landing, along with a lot of those soldiers (who won’t need the food any more). It’s not as if Cersei was going to feed anyone else. Certainly not the people of the Reach, from whom she looted.

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    13. Interesting that he knows he won’t be back. Do you guys think D & D already know the directors for season 8? When do you think it will be announced?

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    14. Anon:
      Look at Emilia’s face in that picture…lmao.

      Yeah, great job, Shakman.

      She is passed. They killed her allies. They killed Lady Olenna! They sunk some of her battleships! She was losing so she listened to Jon and TYRION by not hitting the Red Keep, but took what L Olenna said and made her enemies fear the sound of the Dragon.

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    15. Violator,

      Complete opposite for me. I’d have been gutted if Bronn/Jaime had been killed (although I do agree that being roasted by Drogon would’ve been a great way to go!).

      Dany/Drogon dying though, whilst obviously it would be massively impactful for the series, I wouldn’t have minded at all.

      Each to their own I guess 🙂 and a wonderful Thrones debut for Mr Shakman!

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    16. The Sybian:

      Shakman turned 42 today. Between the two episodes and all the hype.
      Must have been some glorious celebration.
      Long may he direct!

      Hear, hear! Such a shame he won’t be back for Season 8 – but what an episode he gave us! Looking forward to 7×05!!!

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    17. awesome read, thanks for this guys.
      really sad to hear he won’t be back, he would have been part of my dream team.
      so more great news, they already have the final Directors in mind ?
      that’s what I got out of it, hope they get name dropped soon, we already know who is writing what episodes.

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    18. Question: How is Jaime holding that lance – with his non-existant sword hand – and charging? That’s bothered me since I saw the scene.

      His golden prosthesis would not be able to hold a lance.

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    19. Dutch Maester:
      So which directors will be back for the final round? With 6 most likely epic 60+ episodes , will there be six directors?

      Nutter for sure, since he was forced to skip this season… Sapochnik for sure. Taylor maybe? Marshall? Seems unlikely they would bring on new directors.

      The way they play with time should get Christopher Nolan!

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    20. They need to bring back all of the most acclaimed directors for season 8. I’d imagine the budget will be insane.

      Shakman had a wonderful debut. HE will get an Emmy.

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    21. Kay

      Twitter had “Loot Train Battle! Ultra Dragon Pwnage!” within minutes. Hopefully GRRM will include a similar battle and it will get a name from him.

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    22. Shackman did an excellent job and it was a great surprise. For me the second surprise was Tom Hopper as Dickon Tarly. A wonderful performance with a lot of different nuances when he is talking about being in a real battle for the first time that made his character extremely vivid just before the Lannister holocaust.

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    23. dothrakian raven:
      Shackman did an excellent job and it was a great surprise. For me the second surprise was Tom Hopper as Dickon Tarly. A wonderful performance with a lot of different nuances when he is talking about being in a real battle for the first time that made his character extremely vivid just before the Lannister holocaust.

      I wholeheartedly agree! That was a wonderful, though brief, example of ensemble acting, which the show always excels at.

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    24. Grayven Reyne: Twitter had “Loot Train Battle! Ultra Dragon Pwnage!” within minutes.

      Oh great!! 😀

      alwayswinter: Complete opposite for me. I’d have been gutted if Bronn/Jaime had been killed (although I do agree that being roasted by Drogon would’ve been a great way to go!).

      Dany/Drogon dying though, whilst obviously it would be massively impactful for the series, I wouldn’t have minded at all.

      Aaaand totally opposite for me. My one tiny complaint about this marvelous episode was the triple strength Valyrian plot armor for Bronn, who really should’ve died, and also the double strength plot armor for Jaime Lannister. OTOH, if Drogon had died, this would’ve been my last episode. If Daenerys had died, Drogon would have burnt King’s Landing immediately, collected his siblings from Dragonstone and flown back to Valyria. 😀

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    25. Jack Bauer 24:
      How come Arya didn’t ask about Rickon or Bran hasn’t said anything about him?

      We didn’t see or hear everything they said to each other, so that might have come up off camera. Frankly, I preferred seeing them being positive over being all frowny-faced, and the goddess knows Bran had that covered.

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    26. Lord Parramandas:
      Haha, I remember when directors were announced and there was quite negative response from people on this site, especially due to absence of certain directors (not from me of course). And now Matt Shakman did such a great job overall.

      Hmm, the only negative comment on Shakman I could find was Hot Pink Lipstick saying that his name sounded like a frat boy’s name, which is not at all a criticism of his actual directorial abilities. Most of the complaints were Mylod, although some loved him, too.

      http://watchersonthewall.com/game-thrones-directors-episode-line-season-7/#comments

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    27. Alex Graves – The Lion and the Rose – The Mountain and Viper – the Children – And now his watch has ended – Kissed by Fire

      Alik Sakharov – The Laws of Gods and Men – Mockingbird – The Climb – What is Dead may never die

      Neil Marshall – The Watchers on the Wall – Blackwater

      these guys would all be good season 8 directors

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    28. Southern Khaleesi:
      Question: How is Jaime holding that lance – with his non-existant sword hand – and charging? That’s bothered me since I saw the scene.

      His golden prosthesis would not be able to hold a lance.

      He’s holding the spear in his left hand which he still has. That’s the same hand he now holds his sword in so he can certainly hold a spear. During the charge he appears to have the reins wrapped around his right (golden) hand.

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    29. Edward,

      I hope you’re right about some of those. For whatever reason, D&D seem to really like Mylod and Podeswa, despite the fact that none of their episodes have been great. I’d rather see David Nutter, Michelle McLaren, Jack Bender, Matt Shakman or even Alex Graves (who was unfairly pilloried for one unfortunate scene and then blackballed from the show) back than either of them, to be honest.

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    30. David Nutter has to come back for Season 8.

      Jack Bauer 24:
      How come Arya didn’t ask about Rickon or Bran hasn’t said anything about him?

      Sadly, no one seems to talk about lil Rickon.

      I wondered why Jon didn’t mention Maester Aemon to Daenerys at all!

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    31. RBloodworth:
      Edward,

      I hope you’re right about some of those.For whatever reason, D&D seem to really like Mylod and Podeswa, despite the fact that none of their episodes have been great.I’d rather see David Nutter, Michelle McLaren, Jack Bender, Matt Shakman or even Alex Graves (who was unfairly pilloried for one unfortunate scene and then blackballed from the show) back than either of them, to be honest.

      I really don’t want Podeswa or Mylod back. Two episodes each for three seasons in a row is way more than enough.

      My dream line-up would include Sapochnik, Neil Marshall, Alex Graves, Jack Bender, Alan Taylor, and Michelle MacLaren.

      Not interested in seeing David Nutter again, he’s already had a lot of crucial episodes, and I don’t really like his style.

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    32. Shame that Matt Shakman won’t be back, his style is excellent in my opinion.

      The episode looked gorgeous, and the battle was very well put together from a directorial standpoint.

      What he’s saying in this interview also shows that he understands the story and the themes, and used that understanding wisely. The decision to focus on the horror that came from Dany’s dragons, the receiving end of the fire and blood as he says, instead of glorifying the death and destruction, was absolutely the right one in my opinion.

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    33. I think the choices they made in this episode in a way justify what we’ve seen in the season so far… and as always I’m obsessed by what they mean for the future…

      Thing about Jaime as PoV here… the thing that’s frustrating when the audience has a global view… is that there is NO REASON for this carnage. If Cersei hadn’t brazenly decided she should be queen despite her having no claim and no real chance of keeping it, if Jaime hadn’t decided to BACK that decision with his (now apparently quite keen) military intelligence and leadership skills & despite quite clearly thinking she is absolutely BONKERS back in Ep 1… then there would have been no Highgarden massacre, no loot train, and no dragon battle.

      Not that I’m not frustrated at the writing – I see why he Jaime did what he did and it was SO worth it to have the three main-PoV drama with Tyrion (and us) just hoping no one dies… But in the end he’s got no one to blame but himself. I hope in addition to being woke up as to what dragons can do that he’s guilty about his part in prolonging this nonsense. Fact is there are other decisions he could have made. And I’m looking forward to Tyrion (and others) pointing that out to him. Repeatedly and with emphasis.

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    34. Markus Stark: I really don’t want Podeswa or Mylod back. Two episodes each for three seasons in a row is way more than enough.

      My dream line-up would include Sapochnik, Neil Marshall, Alex Graves, Jack Bender, Alan Taylor, and Michelle MacLaren.

      Not interested in seeing David Nutter again, he’s already had a lot of crucial episodes, and I don’t really like his style.

      Really worried Podeswa directed the S7 finale.

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    35. AT this point, the negativity of the fandom is definitely outweighing my enjoyment of the show.
      I need to stop reading the reviews and reactions, because at this point, I really cannot wait for this season to get over.

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    36. It’s great to see Matt Shakman getting such widespread acclaim from everyone. He deserves every bit of it. He directed an absolutely masterful episode, one of the very best of this brilliant show, and now, he gets to reap the rewards!

      I’m sad to hear that he won’t be back for Season 8, but it makes sense, given the reports that he was a last-minute substitute for David Nutter. I expect that Benioff and Weiss already have the directors for all 6 episodes of the final season in mind, with Miguel Sapochnik obviously at the top of their list. But if for whatever reason one of them needs to drop out, perhaps Shakman will get the call again. With “The Spoils of War” and the Loot Train Battle* on his resume, his bona fides are established, and his Game of Thrones legacy is secure. And we still have this week’s episode, “Eastwatch”, to look forward to, with him at the helm! I can’t wait to see it!

      *I know that some people are giving the “official” name of the Loot Train Battle flack, but I think it’s perfectly fine, even if it’s most likely a production name that happened to stick. Mentally, I’d been referring to it formally as the Battle of Blackwater Rush, and informally as the Field of Fire, version 2.0. But I understand why those names weren’t officially selected. The former sounds too similar to the Battle of the Blackwater, and the latter moniker probably mimics its historical counterpart too directly.

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    37. I know it’s a common trope in visual arts to place the sun prominently in the background or peeking behind the subject in the foreground, but does anyone else find it strange that they would use a large spotlight specifically to stand in for the sun?
      That is, on a tv show where the sun is included most prominently in the opening titles sequence.
      Cinematographer Robert MacLachlan (of this season’s episodes 4 & 5) has used this trope several times in previous seasons and he was not the only one.
      If it had been included only in the shot of Bronn trying to aim the ballista, then perhaps it could have meant that the sun is making it harder by blocking his view.
      Do you think it’s purely an aesthetic choice that enhances (pardon the callback) the epicness?
      Would you remotely connect it to the dragonglass cave symbols?

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    38. Jack Bauer 24:
      How come Arya didn’t ask about Rickon or Bran hasn’t said anything about him?

      You may as well ask – “How long is a piece of string?” – Because it wasn’t in the script!

      In the UK we have an expression, ‘Engage brain before opening mouth’ which could equally be applied to ‘Engage brain before posting to WotW’ – a simple skill which you seem to lack!

      Jack Bauer 24: Really worried Podeswa directed the S7 finale.

      Why? – I don’t give a flying fuck who directs what and which episodes. Can’t you simply enjoy whatever is presented when the show airs? I enjoy GoT for what it is – A FANTASY drama and really great TV.

      All this crap about directors really gets on my tits! I’ve yet to see an episode where I considered the direction was bad. So chill out, stop posting all this negative shit and enjoy the show along with the other 10 million plus viewers who do…

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    39. Black Raven,

      Don’t you have anything better to do than ankle-biting Jack Bauer? I find you doing the same in every thread. Try looking in the mirror once and ask yourself how you are any better than these moaners that you continuously moan about.

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    40. Jack Bauer 24: Tyrion was still there when Theon arrived.

      He was not.

      Rickon and Robb’s deaths may be referenced in one of the upcoming episodes.

      Remember Shireen’s death or Varys hiring the assassin on Daenerys.

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    41. BranTheBlessed:
      Black Raven,

      Don’t you have anything better to do than ankle-biting Jack Bauer? I find you doing the same in every thread. Try looking in the mirror once and ask yourself how you are any better than these moaners that you continuously moan about.

      Because Jack Bauer 24 is a troll and many others here agree also! Perhaps you don’t notice this? Now he’s posted –

      Jack Bauer 24:
      How did Tyrion get to the battle when Dany left before he did on Drogon?

      As if he expects to get an answer to that! I don’t see anyone else posting questions like this – Only him. The time travel issue has been ‘done to death’ on this website and most posters simply accept it.

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    42. Ginevra,

      I was speaking in general, not for Shakman specifically. I don’t know if it was the first or the second thread about the directors when I basically stopped following WotW for months because I was so disappointed by this negative attitude.

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    43. Jack Bauer 24,

      They waited before charging?
      Tyrion is not there when Theon arrived..
      man, your questions..
      you probably didn’t even watch the episode at least twice

      my only question is why Old Tarly is missing in action

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    44. HelloThere:
      AT this point, the negativity of the fandom is definitely outweighing my enjoyment of the show.
      I need to stop reading the reviews and reactions, because at this point, I really cannot wait for this season to get over.

      I think there are some folk who were disappointed that as the TV show went on longer it divulged more from GRRM’s books. Now, I agree that the writing style has changed now that there are no books to fall back on (well there are a few preview chapters from TWoW) and the two Ds have streamlined the number of characters by killing many of them off when they haven’t died in the books. I’ve said before a medium such as radio might be able to do a more book-faithful adaptation (though it would still have to be abridged I suspect). I avoid the “rant” and “bashing” videos; I don’t deny a person a point of view but I don’t have to share an opinion.

      The “loot train” took me out of myself in that I was really worried about Drogon (bid bad boy dragon that he is) after he was shot and I thought to myself how daft, because it’s a CGI dragon, but that’s one thing GoT has always done, managed to get me as a viewer to care.

      For the people wondering about lack of reference to Rickon, I presume Arya would have seen his tomb when she went into the crypts.

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    45. Black Raven,

      All the talk of directors and such…the only one that stands out to me, that I recognize for a specific ep is Sapochnik other than that I don’t care who is going to be the director of whatever episode.

      Some of this is spoilery for those who don’t watch next ep promo:

      We felt for Mance Rayder when Stannis burned him alive at the stake for not bending the knee right? Well, we know Jon did. If Daenerys does the same thing to those innocents, think those Lannister soldiers who picnicked with Arya, is she much better than Stannis? I get that owning something as spectacular as dragons would be tempting to use conquering whatever one wants, but this is a true test of character. I don’t think she was bestowed with them to overtake Westeros as she thinks, but to utililize in the great war to come. If she becomes one of the saviors of the people against WW’s as is her probable destiny then she deserves a crown, as it stands now they owe her no fealty imo. That includes Jon. Once she saw he was a good man, traveling all that way to warn her of a threat, to ally with her, and was chosen king by his people, none of whom she knows anything about, she shouldn’t still be pressing for him to bend the knee. He already acknowledges her as queen of Essos/Dragonstone, why should he give up the north and his own people to a foreign queen after all he went through? Dany would care nothing about Jon’s people right now but he does, a lot. Of course he should remain their leader/ruler. I prefer Dany over Cercei (duh of course) but I want Jamie to live as I think he’s still redeemable. Actually, I rooted more so for Jamie and I didn’t even know I cared until this past Sunday lol. Maybe it’s just NWC’s facial expressions I like 🙂

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    46. Some One:
      Jack Bauer 24,

      yep, they should discuss everything on screen.. /s

      Important things like the death of a Stark should get a reaction from Arya. Bran is emotionless and probably already knew thanks to his visions, but we should have seen Arya finding out.

      Nobody said we need to see everything. Exaggerations of other people’s opinions just show bad faith on your part, honestly.

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    47. Watching the battle really did get me excited for the possibility of a Dance of Dragons spin off.

      Then I thought, ‘Wow, it’ll be too expensive’.

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    48. Black Raven: You may as well ask – “How long is a piece of string?”– Because it wasn’t in the script!

      In the UK we have an expression, ‘Engage brain before opening mouth’which could equally be applied to ‘Engage brain before posting to WotW’– a simple skill which you seem to lack!

      Why? –I don’t give a flying fuck who directs what and which episodes. Can’t you simply enjoy whatever is presented when the show airs?I enjoy GoT for what it is – A FANTASY drama and really great TV.

      All this crap about directors really gets on my tits! I’ve yet to see an episode where I considered the direction was bad. So chill out, stop posting all this negative shit and enjoy the show along with the other 10 million plus viewers who do…

      I’ll never understand why people like you are so insecure that you feel the need to insult people who don’t think the show is perfect.

      “Can’t you simply enjoy whatever is presented when the show airs?” This is one of the silliest things I’ve ever seen. Why does anyone have an obligation to enjoy “whatever is presented” ?

      Are we not allowed an opinion ? You don’t choose what you enjoy anyway, sorry to break it to you. If you don’t like a scene, or an episode, or a director, it’s a matter of personal taste. You’ve got some nerve dictating what people can or cannot enjoy.

      It’s perfectly legitimate to wonder why the writers didn’t have Arya address Rickon at all. Asking that question doesn’t mean you’re not using your brain, as you claimed, it’s just the opposite actually.

      Some people possess critical thinking, and therefore they don’t just accept whatever the show does.

      If you think people should just blindly accept everything the show presents, then you’re the one advocating we shut off our brains and just enjoy what they give us.

      If you want to shut your brain off, be my guest, but there’s no reason why others can’t have complaints about the death of a Stark not being addressed by other Starks.

      Insulting people for that is childish.

      Either disagree politely or don’t reply.

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    49. Jack Bauer 24:
      How did Tyrion get to the battlewhen Dany left before he did on Drogon?

      She didn’t. We didn’t see her leave, and in the second set of Dragonstone scenes neither Tyrion nor Dany were present.

      I’m assuming he was transported by a ship, with the Dothraki.

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    50. Some One,

      man, your questions..
      you probably didn’t even watch the episode at least twice

      Touché! 🙂 There are a few usernames with troll tendencies, who repeatedly stop by to compensate for personal real-life shortcomings or whatever their inexplicable motivation may be! …Ever wonder how they seemingly have so much sparetime?! 😉

      I think most regular WotW-followers are aware of who they are by now… Prescription against them: Ignore their negative “ooze” and engage with the many GoT-loving fans, who challenge each other by bringing constructive (and hilarious) comments to the table!

      Generally WotW is from my personal experience still the “cleanest” and friendliest site out there! Especially in regards to the respect between sullied and unsullied 🙂

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    51. ygritte,

      I think Jon will offer to bend the knee at the moment Dany doesn’t want him to anymore.

      She said “I’ll fight for you”, not ‘with you’.

      That’s in itself an admittance that she’s falling for him in a big way. Her desire in the end to join forces with Jon will be as much a desire to fight for him as it is to fight for the North.

      And after a few meetings too. Jesus, they’re randy bastards. Must be something in the water on Dragonstone.

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    52. I don’t get why all the criticism against Mylod!
      I think he’s been doing great!
      The only thing i didn’t liked in his episodes this season, was the bad cgi flying above John Snow and Davos, and that wasn’t his fault!
      Even for “No One”, people are blaming him because of all the non sense around Arya’s wound, when they should blame the writers!

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    53. Markus Stark,

      I don’t think anybody ever said no-one should have an opinion. I do get a vibe that you are not happy about what the show is doing at present, Markus. Yes, of course you have a right to feel that way but as this is (mostly) a fansite possibly the forums might be a more apt place for such a discussion. You could start a thread about your concerns and by all means mention your thread in the main area of the fansite and invite people to look at it (though if it would contain book spoilers put it in the “Sullied” part of the forums). Of course, this is just a suggestion, it’s not for me to tell anyone what to do. For my part I’m not watching the show as an intellectual exercise but to be taken out of myself for approximately an hour per episode and to find out what happens to the characters.

      I have read (or listened to audio versions) of the books and in all honesty I thought there were some things that were a bit incongruous in the books; I still (mostly) liked them but I wouldn’t put them up there will the works of Willie Wobbleweapon (and no, that name is not original). I went to the books after series 3 of the show so I already knew how much of that part of the story played out but did anybody who read the books first really think that Chekov’s dragon eggs weren’t going to hatch at some point?

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    54. The best line-up possible would be Miguel Sapochnik, Neil Marshall, Alex Graves, David Nutter and Alan Taylor as musts, and either Jack Bender or Michelle MacLaren.
      Podeswa did a very good job with the premiere, so I’m not expecting he ruins the finale, although that might be to much for him, but I really hope he can pull it off. As for Mark Mylod, his episodes this season were amazing, but he shouldn’t think that’s because of him… some of his decisions were really poor, such as Cersei vs. Ellaria, a scene which had no directorial vision at all, and only worked because of the greatness of the actresses, or the Sea Night Battle which is visually striking, but didn’t had much more to it because he didn´t know what he was doing – kudos to the visual effects guys, the cinematographer, the sound designers, they did a great job, not Mylod. Had episodes 702 and 703 been directed by someone else we would already had the best season of GoT by episode 4. He CANNOT be back for season 8.

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    55. ygritte,

      The problem with your comments is you are speaking with the benefit of having knowledge of everything that’s happened in the story. What you need to realize is these characters don’t have access to the whole story. You have to put yourself in the shoes of a character, then you’d find that some of their decisions and actions make sense.

      Try thinking exclusively from Dany’s pov for a minute:

      1. Just as the Mad King killed Jon’s grandfather, Ned Stark had a hand in killing Dany’s father, her brother, her brother’s children. These people, in Dany’s eyes, were cause for much of her painful childhood.

      So, in the same way Jon and the rest mistrust a Targaryen, Dany mistrusts the Northerners.

      2. For Dany, the usurpers of Westeros have been seen as the main enemies all her life. Destroying them and winning back what she believes was taken from the Targaryens has been her major aim throughout the story.

      Now suddenly this bastard son of an usurper shows up, brazenly announces that her great dreams are all ‘childish squabbles’, demands that she drop what she’s doing and join hands to fight some enemy in the North that she has difficulty believing even exists.

      Why should she believe him? Why should she accept to his demands without demanding something in return?

      3. The Whitewalkers, their insane army, their ruthless killing spree, the danger they pose to humanity. Yes, we know Cersei pales in comparison to these monsters. But that’s because we’ve seen them.

      Did Jon or any of his brothers at Nightswatch believe when they were first told about this threat from wildlings or deserters? Did Ned Stark or any Southern ruler believe when the Nightswatch later begged for support?

      But you expect Dany to trust the words of a man she barely knows? For all she knows, it could be a trap which is why she wants to hear some sort of promise or fealty from Jon before she rides up her armies and dragons towards the North.

      Lets go back to Jon and the way he handles relaying his message. If you take Dany as arrogant, this guy should be even worse. Atleast Dany promises to help Jon. What did Jon have to say when Sansa implored him to think about the threat that Cersei posed? What did Jon have to say when Dany and Tryion talked about their own ongoing war against Cersei?

      ‘I don’t give a shit. These childish squabbles don’t matter. What I saw matters the most’.

      Utterly condescending words when you think about it. But we don’t take them as such because we see it from Jon’s pov. The Jon Snow fangirls should try doing the same with Dany too, think for a moment from her pov, instead of hating the character.

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    56. Kay: I wondered why Jon didn’t mention Maester Aemon to Daenerys at all!

      O yeah, forgot Aemon Targaryen, she would have liked to hear about him.
      Her uncle was quite a contrast to her father, she would have like to know about a Good Targ.

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    57. “We’ve been with her in sort of heroic moments with the dragons. But we’ve never been in a battle between two people that we love and are rooting for…”

      Blackwater

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    58. Violator,

      I know that for myself, it was not one-sided at all. On one hand, I know Dany has better intentions for Seven Kingdoms but on the other hand, I enjoy Jaime and Bronn a lot more than Dany. I considered a possibility of one or both of them dying but on the other hand, I also considered a possibility of Drogon dying.

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    59. Dead Dane Walking:
      Some One,

      Touché! There are a few usernames with troll tendencies, who repeatedly stop byto compensate for personal real-life shortcomings or whatever their inexplicable motivation may be! …Ever wonder how they seemingly have so much sparetime?!

      I think most regular WotW-followers are aware of who they are by now… Prescription against them: Ignore their negative “ooze” and engage with the many GoT-loving fans, who challenge each other by bringing constructive (and hilarious) comments to the table!

      Generally WotW is from my personal experience still the “cleanest” and friendliest site out there! Especially in regards to the respect between sullied and unsullied

      Agree. I’m starting to realize it. I may not be on site as much as I used to be last year, but my purpose on this site will always be that I share my love for the show and find people who think the same, discussing the show with them. I really don’t see any enjoyment in being negative and I try to scroll over those comments because all they do is make me feel frustrated.

      But yes, WotW is surely the cleanest site out there and I realized it when I joined myself in September 2015.

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    60. I also don’t understand why so much negative attitude to Podeswa. I think all his episodes were great so far.

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    61. BranTheBlessed,

      I don’t “hate” Dany Targ. I find it hard to work up that level of emotion for any fictional character tbh. At least for any but the most vile. I find it easier to fall in love with one if certain boxes are checked. Bottom line is, while I understand the points you made, once these two characters are thrown together, the one I have been rooting for, more interested in from the beginning, and is more relatable to me, that is the one whose POV I will naturally see things from. It’s emotions coming into play, and isn’t that what dramatic entertainment is all about? I say yes. But that could partially be due to the fact I’m too tired to intellectually counterpoint a couple things effectively right now 🙂

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    62. Violator,

      Lol at “randy bastards.” I did love the way she said I’ll fight for you. It was like Aw… oh get in there girl… fook the knees again?! They both really do have one track minds eh?

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    63. Sou,

      Yup. Jon clearly had an enormous bulge – could of took your eye out with it.

      And it wasn’t over the crude drawings of the Whitewalkers either – who, by the way, apparently look a bit like Eddie the Head, the mascot for Iron Maiden.

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    64. Sou,

      I don’t see any sexual tension yet. Just subtle hints of romantic interest. Also not seeing the amazing chemistry these two are supposed to have. I’m sure it will probably be apparent to me after a few more scenes together.

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    65. ygritte,

      I wouldn’t worry too much. I am 99% sure that Jaime and Dany will be on the same side before the end… No way she (successfully) executes him if she captures him (which to me would be a stretch if she did not). However I would be very surprised – and it would be unrealistic – for her not to threaten to do so. Jaime is the main general for Cersei and he is the reason for all of her military losses so far. Dany has every reason in the world to consider him an enemy, just like Robb in S2.

      The only person you should legitimately worry will actually kill Jaime is Cersei…

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    66. I really loved this episode, but overall, The Queen’s Justice was better written. Some of the best dialogue and spot-on humor in that one.

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    67. ygritte:
      BranTheBlessed,

      I don’t “hate” Dany Targ. I find it hard to work up that level of emotion for any fictional character tbh. At least for any but the most vile. I find it easier to fall in love with one if certain boxes are checked. Bottom line is, while I understand the points you made, once these two characters are thrown together, the one I have been rooting for, more interested in from the beginning, and is more relatable to me, that is the one whose POV I will naturally see things from. It’s emotions coming into play, and isn’t that what dramatic entertainment is all about? I say yes. But that could partially be due to the fact I’m too tired to intellectually counterpoint a couple things effectively right now

      Haha, yes. “Ticking the boxes”. I know very well what you mean and it’s similar case with me when it comes to Jon & Dany. On the other hand, putting ourselves in characters’ POV is the usual recipe for warming up to certain characters. But in my case, it all depends on how their low moments appear in the series. For example, there is a character who I generally really like but that character also has low moments which are equally spread through the series. And then on other hand, we have a character who is portrayed in unlikable way for entire season… all low moments at the same place with very little likable moments. And then in next seasons, character gets better with little low moments. In my case, there is a big possibility I will like the first character more.

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    68. I thought this was one of the most amazing sequences that the show has ever produced, definitely in my top 5 episodes for this series. What I particularly loved was the way that the camera shots added suspense and grim surrealism, it just seemed to be how you would imagine hell, or living hell on the battlefield, it shows you how horrible war is. The battle wasn’t just about spectacle but there was a lot of raw emotion on full display. I felt so heart broken for Jamie when he looked back and saw his army in Ashes. This really shows you what kind of force the Dothraki can be on the battlefield.

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    69. Lord Parramandas,

      Pretty much the same time I found WotW in 2015 and been a regular reader since after S6E10 (withdrawals in between seasons I guess 🙂 ). Had to find something else after finally growing tired of Youtube and other unnamed sites, where the comment sections can be REALLY hateful and spoilery of late!!!

      Like I said, I found WotW to be the most informative site without being spoiled to death (thx a million Sue, Luka, Oz and..well, you know are) AND frendliest (thx awesome fans)However it’s not until you risk getting involved with comments of your own (which I didn’t do until late winter of this year), that you really notice sad personalities are found everywhere (Littlefinger just die already, will you! 😉 )…

      Be nice, if a semi-troll actually decide to write something coherent and reasonable…we may still save a few by showing good behavior. And as long as the handful of them in here don’t, just scroll past them and engage with some serious/interesting contributers (count yourself in, Lord P. 😉 ) you can actually reason with or let your mood be boosted by some hyper-spirited fans (Yeees I know “DEE”, that would include you 🙂 ). Drogons can have the trolls for breakfast…if he fancies that foul, sour taste at all 🙂

      And THAT good people will be my last two cents on the troll-matter for quite a while – now let’s just appreciate the best tv-show and fansite in town 🙂 And finally:

      Lord Parramandas,

      I also don’t understand why so much negative attitude to Podeswa. I think all his episodes were great so far.

      Me neither. Since Matt Shakman apparently won’t direct any further episodes, he went out blazing and we can’t thank him enough for providing us with such a stellar S7E4, but we will never know, what of his “off-days” looks like. Podeswa has done just fine so far and maybe that even included an off-episodes of his?! We just don’t know yet, but I’m sure he will still have a few tricks up his sleeve!

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    70. Sou:
      Guys, I really don’t get all this sexual tension you talk about. Am I blind?

      Sou:
      I don’t see any sexual tension yet. Just subtle hints of romantic interest. Also not seeing the amazing chemistry these two are supposed to have. I’m sure it will probably be apparent to me after a few more scenes together.

      Thank you, Sou! 🙂 To be honest, I haven’t asked this question in here and risk sounding like a brainless wight, but I would be VERY interested to hear from someone with an answer – but no giant spoilers, though!!

      I’ve watched each episode 2-5 times…incl. this seasons episodes! And yet I feel like I’ve missed some essential Jon&Dany-event/clue, since everyone talk so casually about this apparently romantic/sexual thing between them… Sure I guess it could happen, but I’ve noticed absolutely no such indication in the scenes, nor do I find a historic reason known to either us or J&D … I mean shouldn’t they pretty much dislike eachother at this point given their family backgrounds and opposite priorities at the moment?!

      Please let me know – even if it’s a book-thing (remember grayscale if needs be). Then I’ll happily be spoiled a little bit, since this is actually starting to inhibit me from enjoying their shared scenes..

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    71. Markus Stark,

      Seems like you have lost the plot also! Of course, everyone has the right to criticize the show and I have no problem with that. Its just the endless stream of comments from certain posters on this group who expect to be ‘spoon fed’ with irrelevant information that makes no difference to the majority of people who watch and enjoy the show. It is what it is… A great TV drama show set in a fictional world with fictional characters.

      On a previous thread Wimsey sums this up this up perfectly.

      Markus Stark: As it is, the show just does whatever it wants with no regard for logistics or logic, and it can often get away with it by hand-waiving problems away and leaving it out details

      Wimsey: This is a story, not a documentary. If it is not relevant to this year’s story (i.e., choosing among possible battles), then it’s just plot-for-the-sake-of-plot: and that is bad storytelling. We were told that Daeny had more than enough ships to get the Dothraki to Westeros. Fine: what the story demanded was, which battle was Daeny going to fight? Then we saw: one that hurt the enemy without hurting the common people and without bringing Daeny to the level of someone who nukes a church full of hundreds of people in order to take out a dozen.

      If you want plot-for-the-sake-of-plot, then watch the History channel: after all, history is nothing but plot without story.

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    72. Dead Dane Walking,

      I haven’t seen any “sexual tension” or chemistry between Jon and Daenerys either. People seem to be saying that the two of them getting together in that way is a done deal, and I find that disappointing. It would be predictable and cheesy.

      Now if D fell for Jaime, that would be interesting ….

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    73. QueenofThrones:
      ygritte,

      The only person you should legitimately worry will actually kill Jaime is Cersei…

      S05E010″Witch: You’ll be queen. For a time. Then comes another, younger, more beautiful, to cast you down and take all you hold dear.”

      One reason Jamie could survive Dany is TYRION. One reason he could end up dead is Cersi if she thought she was losing everything including Jamie’s loyalty to Dany.

      PS: I can’t rule out Drogon trying to make a crispy snack out of the guy who tried to kill his mum.

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    74. He did a amazing job! For sure 7×04 puts his name in the big spot as director. The emmys will remember this masterpice!!

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    75. Manny K,

      Those are my sentiments as well. I knew the “battle” was coming and thought oh nice some action with dragons, and Jamie seeing them that’ll be cool. But I wasn’t prepared for how gritty it would be and what an emotional impact it would have. They did a fabulous job.

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    76. Lord Parramandas,

      The one person I can’t figure out as he’s a bit of a mystery now and has been there from the very beginning, is Varys. Not having much book knowledge I always took as face value what he says on the show, being just wanting good for the realm, but lately especially after convo with melisandre I’m starting to suspect he’s not as selfless as all that and may be undercover something else entirely.

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    77. Grandmaester Flash,

      I always thought there was a big possibility they’d end up together somehow because of the prophecy of a younger more beautiful queen taking what Cercei holds dear, which after her kids deaths, I’d guess would be Jamie’s love. Although, him simply changing sides during the queens war would also fit I guess.

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