A (Mini) Murder of Crows: The year in review

The holidays always mean hectic schedules and compressed timetables – well, not to mention merriment, time with families, and copious amounts of food and drink, but of course – so the crows on the Wall weren’t able to fully devote themselves to the conversation at hand.

But that’s all right, since we have a bite-sized morsel to chew over, anyway, and we all still wanted to deliver one last murder for everyone to sit back with and enjoy as the holiday season – and the year that was 2014 – finally recedes into the oblivion that is called the past.

Thank you for joining us with these (still) somewhat experimental roundtables, specifically, and the entire Watchers on the Wall site, generally. It’s been a great ride so far… but you haven’t seen anything yet.


MNK

Marc N. Kleinhenz:

I’d like to do a retrospective on the year that was, particularly since this was the single biggest year for Game of Thrones yet. What do you think the most important development has been – the fourth season episodes themselves? Casting announcements/leaks for season five?

Iron from Ice

Telltale’s Iron from Ice? Or something else entirely?

Sue

Sue the Fury:

I think the fact that Bran and his crew are skipping a year was huge news on the season five/filming front. That and the news that proved Arya’s story was well into her Winds of Winter material – so the show is clearly passing the books and is heading deep into TWOW territory, blowing George R.R. Martin’s wishful thinking out of the water.

Bex

Bex:

For me, it was the show surpassing the published material of the novels for several characters by the end of season four, thus ushering in unpublished/original material for season five.

Lannisters lol

Season four had truly gripping moments because some of what we saw was new, giving novel readers the first taste of the uncertainty, dread, and excitement for what is to come that is always with the Unsullied.

Axe

Axechucker:

The fourth season actually being – in my personal view – better than the third season was actually the biggest thing for me, because I didn’t expect that at all. (If season five is better than four, I’ll eat Bex’s cardigan collection.) The Sand Snake casting was exciting; Myrcella’s re-casting was not. I really enjoyed Telltale’s Iron from Ice, and finished episode one in one sitting.

Marko

Hear Marko Roar:

A few of my thoughts:

In the meta-verse, the biggest event was, of course, launching WatchersontheWall.com. But that goes without saying.

In show news, what others have already mentioned is all important. I add to that the unprecedented simultaneous pickup of the next two seasons. This planning ahead helped the re-negotiation of contracts with the principal cast and demonstrated once more the commitment of HBO to see the whole project through and done properly (not that there were many doubts, but still).

DS9 lol

On a personal level, I liked the juicy video announcement of new characters and cast best – Alexander Siddig and Dorne for the win!

Shylah

Shylah:

The one memory from this past season that really sticks out to me is the end of the fourth episode, “Oathkeeper,” where we saw what happens to all of those babies Craster’s been leaving in the woods. Traveling to the Land of Always Winter and watching some kind of royal While Walker change a human baby into an Other was a game-changer for me.

It was the moment that finally solidified that the show was really going to start passing the books – something that I hadn’t anticipated happening as early as it will be.

Previous Murders

Casting the recastings in a new light

Westerosi immersion

The best – and worst – season of Game of Thrones

43 responses

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    1. Yeah the end of “Oathkeeper” was mind-blowing-it also helped *goose* the White Walker storyline. It was a cold splash of water to everyone obsessed with the Game that somewhere over the Wall something BIG is coming.

      And for the purposes of the show it really did signify that yeah they were ready to start surpassing the books. I for one am panting for Sansa’s story arc next season in great part because I have no idea what’s going to happen!

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    2. Still not over that ridiculously gorgeous 360 degres shot at Castle Black !!!!

      The foundation of WatchersontheWall is of course and definitly one of the highlight of this Throne year !

      (And a little mention to that Doctor Who’s reference to GoT in the latest Christmas Special, didnt expect that ! Nor the Alien one for that matter ! ^^)

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    3. My favorite part of the year was Tyrion’s trial!!! IT WAS EXCELLENT!
      I saw the episode while on vacation in Japan. I’m a freaking fanatic!

      And also the Purple Wedding!

      I’m also happy that I’ve found a new resolve to separate the TV show from the Books. Can’t wait to see how it affects my enjoyment of season 5. It will probably be the best season yet! And I agree with Axechucker that season 4 was the best season so far despite my book purist criticisms of it.

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    4. Wonder what people make of HBO upping and locking in the ‘cast’ for season 7?
      HBO has not even green lighted a season 7.
      Tho that seems a default position by now.

      What happens if GOT doubles it’s audience , or even pumps it up above last year?
      Remembering GOT now has the biggest audience HBO has ever had.
      That have effect on a season 8?
      A movie?

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    5. Boojam,

      If viewership expands that much then I hope we atleast have a 16 episode season 7. Timeline would work since they wont have to worry about pre-production for season 8 if it ends on season 7.

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    6. Winnie,

      Season 7 will test the writing mettle of Benioff, Weiss, and Cogman.
      If they manage to deliver just by knowing the “broad strokes” of what happens then it will be an amazing achievement. Hope they bring some of the female directors back for season 6 and 7 too!

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    7. Turncloak:
      Winnie,

      Season 7 will test the writing mettle of Benioff, Weiss, and Cogman.
      If they manage to deliver just by knowing the “broad strokes” of what happens then it will be an amazing achievement. Hope they bring some of the female directors back for season 6 and 7 too!

      Hey they might not have to do it by knowing the broad strokes! The books might be out by then.

      Attempting to keep straight face…

      BWA HA HA HA HA HA HA!

      Seriously. At this point, I’m not sure we’ll ever even get TWOW much less book Seven. (Or book Eight going on some recent rather disturbing interviews.)

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    8. Turncloak: If viewership expands that much then I hope we atleast have a 16 episode season 7. Timeline would work since they wont have to worry about pre-production for season 8 if it ends on season 7.

      I like this idea, well they could also do season 7 with two hour episodes, that would be most unusual tho it would probably have to be a 1080 min. season.
      A 7th ending season is weird to think about, it would comprise Dream of Spring, which , as far as we know, George has little of, except those ‘broad strokes’.
      George has implied a great Ragnarök with the Others … tho Winds of Winter sounds like the place for that not some book that has Dream in the title!
      Lord! Dave, Dan, Bryan and now Dave Hill will be taxed , one hell of thing to have to write.

      One odd thing to note , what will Time-Warner , HBO’s parent , think if GOT keeps climbing? Already , last year, it was HBO that came to TW’s rescue and drove off a takeover by Rupert Murdoch. More ASoIaF ?
      Strange territory.

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    9. Boojam,

      I think the show in some respects might be at an advantage over Martin in finishing the series since they can remove a lot of extraneous details/subplots like the Citadel Conspiracy, Faegon/Arianne and just concentrate on those storylines that ARE necessary.

      I suspect one reason Martin’s having trouble finishing the series is that he put in so many different storylines that he wrote himself into a corner. The show’s in a position to be more flexible.

      What I do regret is we might not get those particular stand-out scenes and tone set by such moments as Jaime’s confession to Brienne at the baths, the death of the Red Viper, etc.

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    10. Yes! That WW scene gave me the chills (yeah yeah yeah) and I finally got to feel the awesome WTF that the Unsullied have enjoyed. I still have hope for a 2015 WoW release, but even my optimism has been trampled by GRRM. 🙁
      I am hopeful that the writers are up to the challenge! Bring on the teasers and trailers!
      Happy New Year, Watchers on the Wall-ies! 😀

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    11. Wow I just noticed an obvious end game pairing that I always rolled my eyes at previously.

      The Hound and Sansa.

      So I just googled GRRM and Beauty and the Beast. It turns out he wrote 14 episode for Beauty and The Beast in 1987, 9 years before A Game of Thrones. Don’t think that’s a coincidence.
      Source: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0092319/combined?mode=desktop

      It’s pretty obvious that The Hound is The Beast and Sansa is Belle.

      Well I guess those shipping fans might have actually been on to something.

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    12. Winnie:
      Turncloak,

      Sadly as much as we’re all in denial about it, he’s dead.

      It *does* make me wonder though, if Sansa and Tyrion may have a REAL marriage someday…

      So I take it

      you don’t believe in The Gravedigger theory?

      Edit: crap I wasn’t even considering Tyrion as “the beast”. The plot thickens

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    13. Turncloak,

      Thx for the interview. I’d like to know if George S read the books. While he is a great interviewer, the questions have been asked millions of times before. GRRM’s answers are like reading “words are wind” and “wherever whores go” over and over again in ADwD. I wish they would have eaten their meals and had a passionate philosophical debate about the books, with spittle flying about as they described their positions, and drinking dornish red instead of diet coke. That would be a great interview (especially with George S’s theological background) but they didn’t go there.

      Regarding your Hound/Sansa eye-opener…..????? We’ve been shipping SanSan for years in this community primarily because of the GRRM BatB connection . 🙂 I would cheer for another meeting between the two, but..alas…it is probably too predictable for a GRRM thread. It would be like Sansa meeting Gandalf the White after having known Gandalf the Grey….or not.

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    14. Besides season 4 and the season 5 news I think the most amazing think to happen for me this yeat is probably Telltale’s GoT game. I was a huge fan of Telltale’s work well before they announced they were gonna make a GoT game and I had great expectations. Fortunetely, those expectations were met and I can honestly tell that I enjoy the game just as much as I enjoy the show. The game is in no way as good as the show (in terms of quality and story), but being a Telltale game, it just feels more personal and I love it.

      Thank you for an amazing 2014 and for all the work you’ve put into WotW guys! Looking forward to 2015 🙂

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    15. Hopefully spring will bring some news and fresh excitement. It’s been a bit of a barren wasteland of scraps over winter!

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    16. Rygar: Wrong.Maggie the Frog says that Dog =s Rowlf.Hi-Ho.

      Such foreshadowing!


      “Does your dog bite?”
      “No.”
      He pets dog and dog bites him.
      “Ow! I thought you said your dog didn’t bite!”
      “That is not my dog.”

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    17. House Ray would like to offer a unique thought.

      The fact that GoT TV only has the broad strokes leading to the ending makes it more likely the TV show ending will be more brief. Without the detail of the book they will write glorified but engaging fan fiction – yet frankly they won’t have enough to work with so two more seasons makes sense. Two more 10 episode one hour episode seasons. Get in, finish it, be done.

      Still, it’ll be good. But Storm of Swords made 2 seasons. They won’t have the books so, they’ll just wrap it up.

      House Ray would even wager certain characters are cut because GRRM doesn’t know what he’s going to do with them (LS)

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    18. House Ray,

      Given the quality of most of D&;Ds ‘outside the books’ scenes, I suspect they won’t have trouble coming up with some other scenes that will blow us all away. Im also thinking that George has given more than just a blueprint for what happens and suspect he has shown D&;D what he has written so far. So while we book readers may not know it, we may very well be seeing some fantastic work from the material that George has written

      Or not…

      My favorite parts of this season is how Tyrion’s scene was played, as well as the Viper/Mountain fight., as well as the incredible way Sansa has developed passed the books. Im also very glad that this website exists. Even if news is slow, being able to still ponder and wonder about the show is still fun!

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    19. ash:

      Given the quality of most of D&;Ds ‘outside the books’ scenes, I suspect they won’t have trouble coming up with some other scenes that will blow us all away.Im also thinking that George has given more than just a blueprint for what happens and suspect he has shown D&;D what he has written so far. So while we book readers may not know it, we may very well be seeing some fantastic work from the material that George has written.

      I disagree. The quality of the adhoc material presented is relatively weak and somewhat “forced/sensational” when compared to material directly adapted. Perhaps D&D have the “broad strokes” on how to get to the endgame but I don’t believe GRRM is sharing chapters with D&D as he finalizes them. Based on the interviews and leaked footage, D&D believe S5 is the last season with direct relevance to published tales…and if GRRM doesn’t give them a draft of TWoW soon, the divergence of the plot details in S6 will be tremendous. That will be a huge challenge for D&D.

      Also, even the WW babysitting/converting scene in S4 wasn’t that much of a stretch. The NK, the Other’s council and the LoAW are known entities via bedtime stories and lore. What did folks think happened to the sacrificed babies? That the WWs ate them? That they sacrificed them? The WWs are in this for the long haul (literally “The Long Night”) and they are building their army any way they can.

      But what drives the WWs & NK? Has a multi-millenia-old treaty been compromised by recent actions in Westeros? Is the “Stark in Winterfell” mandate more than just an old-Nan tale? How will the WWs get help getting past the magically-preventative Wall? We shall see!

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    20. Turncloak,

      There are a half dozen beauty and the beast homages in asoiaf.

      My favorite is the gender inversion, Jaime and Brienne (although who’s the beast here depends on whether you’re talking about inside or out).

      IMO the fact that GRRM is making a homage doesn’t neccesarily imply that any characters are gonna end up together. I personally think with the Hound-Sansa example he is trying to show that in reality this B&tB idea is pretty messed up and unrealistic. You can’t actually “cure” a monster with love, and true beauty is not always within.

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    21. Turncloak,

      I haven’t seen the show, but based on the synopsis and reviews it sounds like Beauty and The Beast was a borderline-cheesy, borderline-platonic romance between two really good people, one of whom was wearing a lot of beast makeup. Good dialog and acting, but what little darkness existed in the show was purely external to the two leads. Also, the two leads apparently didn’t “get together” in the normally understood sense. It’s actually hard to imagine a show more different than GoT, so I don’t think we can reliably use it to make predictions.

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    22. Blind Beth,

      Spoiler for those who haven’t seen BatB S2:

      The beast kills the beauty (GRRM’s idea). So, it isn’t really a Disney fantasy. It is quite relevant, imho.

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    23. Hodor’s Bastard,

      I’ve wondered about that myself…I’m increasingly of the opinion that the Stark bloodline and rule of the North had some kind of mystical significance-which makes the make near extinguishment of their line all the more tragic and infuriating. It also raises some questions about what happens if/when that link becomes known…how does the rest of Westeros (including those persons most responsible for driving the Starks into the ground) react?!?

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    24. Winnie,

      🙂 I personally think Benjen was sent “ranging” far north for a secret reason, possibly to reconnect the Stark line with those that are prepared to violate the “magical” 5000+ year treaty established by Brandon the Builder, CotF, First Men and WWs…(but I doubt that we’ll see anything like that…if we see Benjen again).

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    25. I’ve been so incredibly busy and missed so much over the last month. I just wanted to take a moment to stop by and wish all my Brothers and Sisters on the Wall a very Happy New Year!

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    26. Hodor’s Bastard,

      I wouldn’t call the added scenes “ad hoc”: if that term can be applied to storytelling, then it should describe scenes that do not further the story. All of the scenes of which I can think did further the story in some way. (The majority actually distill multiple book scenes’ contributions to the tale). And, of course, others are necessitated by elevating characters like Robb and Margaery to protagonists.

      As for what people thought the WW were doing with Craster’s sons, fans had a lot of different ideas. It wasn’t up there with “who is Jon’s Mother” or “Is Aegon still alive?” But I seem to recall it being good for one ongoing thread years ago.

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