Rattleshirt recast

Ross O'HennessyIt looks like the Lord of Bones will have a new face next time he appears on Game of Thrones, in season 5.

According to the Spotlight CV of actor Ross O’Hennessy, he will be taking over the role of wildling leader Rattleshirt. O’Hennessy is credited with the part for a Miguel Sapochnik episode. Sapochnik is directing episodes 7 and 8 of this coming season.

Rattleshirt was last seen escorting Jon Snow to Mance Rayder’s camp in the premiere of season three, “Valar Dohaeris.”

O’Hennessy most recently played the regular role of Commander Quattrone on Da Vinci’s Demons.

Thanks to Carne for bringing it to our attention.

There is one other casting confirmation, which I’ll tuck beneath a cut for spoiler reasons.

Rumors have long indicated that we’d see the return of the White Walker king spotted in last year’s “Oathkeeper” episode. The website of Shepherd Management (who also represent John Bradley) now confirms that, with a news listing.

John Bradley reprises the role of ‘Samwell Tarly’ in Season 5 of the award-winning series GAME OF THRONES. Richard Brake will also be returning in his masked role…

Sue the Fury: Can’t say I’m surprised to have the king back. Whether he’s the Night’s King for real, or some other White Walker leader, perhaps this year we’ll get more clarification about that crown. Anyway, rumors and spoilers pointed to his return and I’m glad for the consistency and because Brake is wonderfully creepy in many roles, so it’s good to have him on GoT. Rattleshirt’s recasting is something of a surprise. That they didn’t stay with the same actor makes me think we’re less likely to see a significant plot point from A Dance with Dragons. Click for spoiler:

Edward Dogliani resembled Ciaran Hinds far more than O’Hennessy and it would’ve been a smoother transition for the glamour, if it were happening, in my opinion.

126 responses

Jump to (and Always Support) the Bottom

    1. If you’re going to recast any character, it’s hard to find a better candidate than the one who wears a highly distinctive skull mask for the vast majority of his scenes. 😉 I’d honestly be surprised if he even takes it off. I know that Edward Dogliani briefly did so during his one appearance of Season 3 (Mance’s tent in “Valar Dohaeris”), but to be honest, there are going to be a lot of grim-looking bearded dudes North of the Wall. The mask is what makes the Lord of Bones a recognizable character. As long as he’s wearing it, most viewers won’t even notice the change. Hell, when I saw Rattleshirt in the trailer I found no reason to believe it wasn’t the original actor.

      Ross O’Hennesey only being credited for only one episode – Episode 508 – lends further credence to the idea that Rattleshirt will have absolutely nothing to do with any potential fake-death swapping shenanigans involving Mance Raydar. Mance will die on Melisandre’s pyre in “The Wars to Come”. Rattleshirt will almost certainly die at Hardhome, either at the hands of Jon and the Night’s Watch when he refuses to listen to reason or shortly thereafter when the White Walkers attack the camp.

      Thrilled about the official return of Richard Brake as the Night’s King. That had already been pseudo-confirmed for months thanks to that one reliable Reddit poster (RhaegarSchmaegar), but nothing beats an official agency confirmation!

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    2. Why does it matter? I thought we never saw his face in Season 2 anyways? They could have put anyone in that role and most people wouldn’t know it was a different guy. I don’t think this is evidence one way or another for Mance’s fate.

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    3. No biggie. I can barely remember what the original actor who played Rattleshirt looked like. Besides, we’ve had plenty of these re-casts over the years and they worked out by enlarge.

      This guy will have perhaps a larger role, and it does not something necessarily for Mance…

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    4. Xeno,

      Not in season two. We did in season three, though, briefly, in Mance’s tent. Not that it matters. He’ll probably not even unmask in season five, and even if he does, it’s not a big deal.

      It’s great to confirm the return of the Night’s King, though.

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    5. Given how well they can

      CGI “regenerations” these days, the difference in looks will not have any effect on any transition from Rattleshirt -> Mance.

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    6. Good to know the Night King is coming back…seems to confirm the Hardhome rumors, and in any event I’m pleased that they’re keeping things moving on the White Walker plot.

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    7. He had his mask off for his scene in “Valar Dohaeris,” but it’s been two years since then so I think few people would remember the difference. Though they are very different-looking. But the skull mask is the key.

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    8. Why does a recast

      give more evidence to the idea that Mance truly dies in episode 1? If anything the fact that Rattleshirt has an important enough part to play this season that they recast him makes me think that Mance ISN’T dead. Also, whether or not the actor looks like Ciaran Hinds has nothing to do with the way glamors work. Excited for the return of the White Walker king guy though!

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    9. Sue the Fury: ”

      Lol, I just saw this episode half an hour ago! 😛 And I was all about it: “we’re going to see that guy again, we saw him in the trailer!” And then I check in for any new buzz, and BAM! xD

      Good to have the NK back, but what does this mean for Jon in that piece of spoilerage?

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    10. The main piece of evidence to indicate Mance is really dead is that the actor’s CV has him appearing in only 1 episode (E8-Hardhome).

      Mance is burnt at the stake in E1. If you were going through with the glamouring plot, Rattleshirt would at least be a part of the Castle Black scenery in the following episodes, if not interacting a little bit with Jon.

      The fact that he’s just in the 1 episode is probably a good indicator that he’s one of the many Wildlings that don’t make it out of Hardhome alive.

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    11. What is really funny with the Rattleshirt recasting: when there was news of

      Mance being burned and then people assuming the Rattleshirt switcharoo being in the show, I was taking a very close look at the rattleshirt from the trailer to see if it was possibly Ciaran Hinds under the mask. I toyed with the video player settings and made the clip brighter and sharper and all… and well I could have sworn that it was the original Rattleshirt actor under that mask.

      Apparently that mask really does conceal people well if it is a new actor… that means anything would still be possible from that point of view with Mance.
      Although I believe that Mance is dead for good.

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    12. Jared,

      Interesting…

      It might be a rough season for many frontman wildlings this season…Mance going early and Tormund and Rattleshirt possibly not making it out of HH alive, which might allow for a more prominent role for that female wildling leader in the future. Maybe? It’s gonna be a crazy situation at the Wall, for sure….

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    13. Now that we’re talking about casting, does anyone know if Varamyr sixskins is actually in this season??
      I remember he was one of the first castings confirmed along with Maggie the frog and the waif but so far, nothing.

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    14. loco73:
      No biggie. I can barely remember what the original actor who played Rattleshirt looked like. Besides, we’ve had plenty of these re-casts over the years and they worked out by enlarge.

      This guy will have perhaps a larger role, and it does not something necessarily for Mance…

      Sufficive to say, I believe you are right.

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    15. Just another note for those who are holding out hope for Mance’s not dying in E1: every single reviewer who has seen the episode has stated that based on the lead-up, the dialogue, his demeanour, and the way he dies, there is no other explanation present other than that its Mance that burns as opposed to another Wildling being glamoured.

      They obviously knew there would be these suspicions by those who read the books and went out of their way to make sure there was no question about his death.

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    16. King Tommen,

      Or…

      they designed it to shock book readers as well. If glamour can change how someone looks, surely it can change how they talk as well. 🙂 I certainly won’t be surprised to see more of Mance.

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    17. Hodor’s Bastard,

      Yeah, it seems that we’re going to see a major reshuffling of the deck when it comes to recognizable characters among the wildlings this season. Mance will die in 501. Rattleshirt, Varamyr, and Loboda will all likely perish at Hardhome (the stunt video suggests that Loboda will die fighting a White Walker). Murray McArthur’s “wildling elder” isn’t getting a name – it seems likely he’ll be a background character. Zoe Smedberg’s character will likely be a background character as well. That leaves pretty much leaves Tormund and Birgitte Hjort Sørensen’s “wildling chieftainness”. I had started to become a pretty strong believer in that “Tormund will die at Hardhome saving Jon from the wights” theory, but bogden had reliable evidence that he returns to Castle Black alive and Sue was able to confirm it. So he’ll remain a player. As for Sørensen, she’s a fairly notable actress, and apparently Benioff and Weiss (being big fans of her TV show Borgen) specifically approached her for the role. I don’t think that she’ll suddenly become a major character – she may only appear in 508 and that’s it. But if she escapes Hardhome, I could imagine a scenario in which she becomes a recognizable recurring face among the wildling leadership. It’s pretty clear that she’s not meant to be Val, but she could take on a few aspects of that role.

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    18. Michelle Fairley is suddenly talking about Game of Thrones pretty much every day now.

      From her March 17th interview with TheDigitalSpy, she says “It’s an incredible phenomenon. I don’t do any social media – Facebook, Twitter or anything – but you do notice it when you’re out and about. People are still watching and they recognise you”.

      Then two days later, March 19th, for the Northern Ireland Press:

      “Scenes for the North (of Westeros are) all shot in Northern Ireland. It’s got the most incredible scenery – you’ve got this expanse of space with no-one on it but castles and ruins, it looks amazing and so timeless – whether it is coastal or inland it works wonderfully in Game of Thrones. The standard of design and care to detail is amazing. People are always astonished at the hospitality they receive when they arrive in Northern Ireland and how friendly the people are. I have been to many places in the world and it’s the people here who really make it special. One of the most incredible things about the crew is that they are away from home for months as they are constantly based here. Due to warm hospitality they are known locally now and they come back year after year, and all have their favourite places to go, hang out and chill. They are amazed by the friendliness of the people.”

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    19. Jared,

      I guess I fell for that Tormund crap without considering the debunk. Although I must admit that I could see Tormund going out in a blaze of superhuman glory. Even in ADwD, I didn’t think Tormund was coming back from HH. (I was even hoping for a cool Tormund PoV from that dreadful stand at HH)

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    20. Frankly I think not including

      the glamour substitute storyline was the right move. I never did like that feature much in the books and the “Ghost in Winterfell’ doesn’t need to be Mance.

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    21. snuuh,

      Thank you. I watched the whole chat. They should not have switched to internet questions, which are the usual melange of “Which character would you do x with?” and “What is your favorite tree?” I think this is my favorite version of Kit, more than Jon Snow. Incredibly chill dude slowly parsing out what he thinks about things in dulcet tones.

      Spoilerwise he says Jon has to be “brutal” as a leader, learn to be a politician and not follow goodness always. He says the Wall is the only democratic place in Westeros. Besides his interactions with Stannis his interactions with Davos are interesting, he says. “It’s lonely at the top” is the cliche that describes the season.

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    22. Why wouldn’t Birgette be playing someone like Val? I understand the thought that it really makes little sense continuity wise for the show to include book version of Val, but I don’t see how she can’t be the TV version of the “Wildling Princess” in the future. Hell, call her Val for all I care.

      Jared:
      Hodor’s Bastard,

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    23. Suppose many believe that Mance is that one major character who dies on the show, while not being dead yet in the books.
      Jamie, Brienne, Mance, Dario and Jon are good candidates to be that character, because they are all presumed or near dead / or missing by the end of book 5. But I feel that Mance and Jon are less likely to die, because they are likely to have a role in the end-game.

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    24. Kriess911,

      Sure, it would be cool if she was named Val and had a blossoming role that started in HH (especially if other major wildling leaders are being vanquished this season). Most likely, they’ll go the Talisa/Ros/Locke route and name her something unique if she significantly deviates from the book character (or is an amalgamation of book characters). I would applaud an addition like that. Unfortunately, all those renamed/reworked characters don’t end well.

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    25. Winnie:
      Frankly I think not including

      So, would Darth Sansa be an amalgamation of

      Lady Dustin/Manderly and Mance+Spearwives?

      Seems a bit too much..

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    26. Ser Oromis Locke,

      I expect Sansa’s role to be:

      1. Herself, first and foremost. I know she doesn’t go to Winterfell in the books, but story supersedes plot. Sansa’s role in Winterfell will be based on where we left off the character at the end of AFFC and Season 4, maybe with some loose inspiration from TWOW.
      2. Manderly. Though she’s not gonna command an army or serve any Frey pies, she will be apparently in the side of the Boltons, while actually planning to betray them.
      3. Mance & the spearwives. Again, I don’t expect Sansa to kill people left and right, but I do imagine that Sansa will collude with Theon to escape by the end. If they escape while helping some kind of fArya analogue, it can be argued particularly strongly that Sansa is taking the role of the spearwives for that scene. If there is no one resembling the role of Jayne Poole, or if god forbid Sansa takes that role, Sansa would be kind of a mix between the spearwives and fArya in that escape scene.

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    27. I don’t see why people assume Rattleshirt would be the one glamoured to look like Mance and the other way around. He isn’t in custody. If anyone, it would be Tormund or some other schmuck.

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    28. How about our 3rd trailer? Do you guys think we’re still getting another? Honestly I don’t remember how many weeks before we got the last trailer for season 4 last year.

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    29. Luka Nieto,

      I think that you definitely are on the right track there. What people need to remember is that

      fArya is a threat to Sansa’s claim on Winterfell. The Bolton’s claim (as is made clear in the books) is relying on people accepting them as a scion house of Stark now that the sole surviving daughter not destined for execution for regicide. Any Stark Supporter would want fArya removed to weaken Ramsay’s claim: and Sansa has to stand out there!

      As for Sansa needing to escape, I doubt that she will need to do so for her own sake: I just do not see how this will work if people think that she’s Sansa rather than Alayne. If they recognized her as Sansa, then they would send her head to the Lannisters (attached body optional). After all, having Sansa dead leaves “Arya” as the sole claimant (with Bran & Rickon seemingly dead), and gets around the messy details of having to be married to a real Stark.

      But you are right: this has to be about Sansa being Sansa: and being Boudica Sansa, not Barbie Sansa.

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    30. Hodor’s Bastard,

      That depends on what you mean! Yes, they do die (bad ending). However, they all have enhanced the story considerably (good ending).

      One thing that would make her

      a good Val substitute is that any “stuff” between her and Jon now would be in Season 6. That might be long enough after Ygritte for it to work. Oh, I think that any Melisandre & Jon “stuff” will work well enough in that Mel is overpowering, and just the sort of woman a man on the emotional rebound needs to meet: but if there is anything “genuine” happening between Val & Jon (I still half suspect that Val considers herself stolen by Jon!), then the audience needs to feel like appropriate time has passed.

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    31. Wimsey,

      Oh, it’s generally “good” imho.

      Actually, I’m not a big fan of a Jon-Val snogfest. I’d just like to see a strong female leader emerge from the wildling/giant horde who can supplement & challenge Jon’s story effectively. Definitely not Ygritte 2.0….but possibly a voice of reason/escape clause for Jon when faced with Mel’s agenda, the northern rebuke of his “gift” and possible mutiny. And, please, no discussion of weddings as a means to justify Val’s importance…..ugh.

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    32. I think Sansa (Alayne) will be the one to marry Ramsay. I know it makes little sense to have a bastard marry a Bolton, but the show could portray it as an alliance to littlefinger or something, the point is that in this show where Littlefinger leaves Robin behind even when the boy is the source of his power, its not that crazy. The WTF moment Sophie has been talking about would be Sansa killing Ramsay on their wedding night, so if my theory is correct, Ramsay is the character who will die in the show before that in the books. After she kills Ramsay, hell unravels in Winterfell, this would be the perfect setting for the Battle of ice and Sansa should escape Winterfell with Theon that same night.

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    33. Hodor’s Bastard,

      Val is barely a character.There is some weird obsession with her and Jon.She is basically Ygritte 2.0.Some strong female wildling leader would be nice,but without any romance with Jon.Other than that prepare yourself for Jon/Dany snogfest.It’s coming like Winter.

      🙂

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    34. I believe Abel the Bard is being played by Ciaran Hinds this season. He did an interview at some point and said his Storyline in season 5 ends “hanging by the skin.” If any of this is at all spoilers then please let me know and I will edit this immediately.

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    35. Geralt of Rivia,

      Nah…I’ll stand firm that she isn’t Ygritte 2.0. Yeah, I do get distracted by minor characters but I enjoy their effect on the major storylines. The beauty of ASoI&F is that within these great major story arcs are these many interesting sidebars that are worth exploring (at least in my head!). Val is one of those interesting sidebars.

      As for a possible J-V snogfest, I’ll will sigh but I will not change the channel or burn the book. 🙂

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    36. Luka Nieto:
      Mallister being in episode 3 points to the Choosing scene being in episode three:

      http://www.irishexaminer.com/lifestyle/artsfilmtv/kit-harington-has-his-sword-at-the-ready-for-new-game-of-thrones-season-320435.html

      That would also lend credence to the E2 summary posted here. The choosing was something everyone assumed was in E2 but could have easily been bumped to the following episode later in the process. The poster stating that this scene wasn’t in E2 gives them far more credibility because it goes against the consensus but appears now to be true.

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    37. Fred,

      I like this theory… tho I’m not totally sold,

      in season 6, the pink letter could come from Roose himself instead of Ramsay- unless of course Jon’s HH detour in the show keeps him from returning to the wall and FTW happens elsewhere (HH?) for other reasons entirely, and the pink letter is cut from the show.

      Also, I agree that Sansa’s presence in WF removes the need for the spearwives and Mance altogether- unfortunately for Mance, it appears he’s grillin out with R’hollor in ep1.

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    38. The glamor was never going to happen, but I still think there’s a chance Mance will survive his burning using some Mel magic.

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    39. Jofrey’s Cunt,

      We got our 4th and last trailer with the season 4 red carpet premiere on March 18th 2014 (the date could be wrong, but it was around that time). I don’t think we’ll get any new trailer but we should still expect some tv spots with new footage.

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    40. Hodor’s Bastard,

      Don’t be a “minor character apologist!” There is no need to justify your admiration for such characters. For those of us who actually enjoy the show AND the books, the minor characters are a major part of what makes this story believable and engrossing. Fully with you on that. And Val is great- she reminds me of Septa Lemore- mysterious, seductive, and in some way has knowledge or insight into some of the as-of-yet untold stories.
      Many people hold the argument- “well, they didn’t do anything, didn’t serve any purpose, didn’t move the plot forward any. Therefore, they were useless filler and they suck.”
      That there is so much left unsaid is precisely why I find myself enamored with them, wanting more. I’m excited to see what Val’s role becomes in the next book.
      As for the

      songfest, the only way I see it happening with Val, in the books, is if Jon becomes the NK and needs a princess, and this is a stretch, but who knows? This willing “chieftainesse” character DnD have created is not likely gonna have any tension with Jon at all. To develop that would be a disservice to Jon’s character and undermine all his history with Ygritte and the NW, to the point of character assassination.
      I also don’t think we’ll see any Dany/Jon love story happening. Indeed, they may never even meet.

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    41. Sister Kisser,

      Is that what I’ve become? 🙂

      Blame Wimsey…I tried to defend my Blackfish/riverlands admiration as well a few threads back, but was beaten senseless by the virtual hammer.

      Cheers! I share your enthusiasm for the bottom, SK! Long live Benjen!

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    42. Also, new interview with D&D from the NY Daily’s GoT Advent Calendar ( http://interactive.nydailynews.com/2015/03/game-of-thrones-calendar/index.html )

      “Thrones” executive producer David Benioff warns that the show will soon break from the world of the popular, complex, novels written by George R.R. Martin (who also serves as an executive producer).
      “There’s no way to retain everything from the books and we’re making choices that we think are necessary for the series. And if that means keeping faith with certain aspects of the book, that’s great,” Benioff tells The News. “If that means deviating from the books because it’s in the best interest of the series, than we’ll do that too — whatever is best for the series.”
      That the makers of “Thrones” would dare to eliminate characters or change the story has caused consternation in some fans; fantasy readers are known to be a rather possessive and vocal bunch.
      Benioff is camped out on a beach chair, in a cold, dark room on the “Thrones” set. Surrounded by glowing monitors displaying an epic scene as it is filmed nearby, Benioff says he doesn’t have the stamina to argue with fanatics.
      “I don’t go online to read about us anymore,” he says. “I did our first year and it drove me crazy because you can’t win an argument. I’ve found it safest for my mental health to avoid the debate — I’m very happy for other people to have the argument and complain about what they want.”

      I know there’s nothing new, but maybe someone is interested.

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    43. Hodor’s Bastard,

      Benjen?……… Who??

      There are some threads in this series that will be forever left alone, I believe this is not one of them……………………………

      Virtual hammer, lol! Every fandom needs one worthy of Mjolnir.

      Also, I believe the riverlands will see the brotherhood, as well as the blackfish once again. Still hoping for murmurs of that fearless pack of wolves said to be led by that mighty bitch.

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    44. Tormund’s Woman,

      Stop, my beating heart! I may have to sabotage Tormund’s intentions and steal you away to the Frostfangs! Very funny. 🙂

      Gravemaster,

      I can’t wait to see Bollywood’s musical interpretation of Blackwater and the RW/Rains of Castamere. “The Lannisters send their regards!” [*jazz hands*]

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    45. Hodor’s Bastard,

      Well, mind you, I’m not positive of it: but it did read like

      Val was basically encouraging Jon to claim her.

      I have no idea if it will amount to anything in the books: I am inclined to doubt it.

      Sister Kisser: Many people hold the argument- “well, they didn’t do anything, didn’t serve any purpose, didn’t move the plot forward any. Therefore, they were useless filler and they suck.”

      Those are not the only two views. My view is that incidental characters like Val are necessary in the written medium in order to get the main characters to develop in the ways necessary to tell the story. Books cannot show and therefore must only tell: and the way to make up for not being able to show is to tell a lot of stuff to fill up the backdrop.

      However, my view is that incidental characters like Val can actually interfere with storytelling on screen. One big issue is that character presence will always mean something similar: and given that you can put one Xth of the pages on screen, often times giving characters enough time to develop them at all over represents them in a tale. If you are going to do that (and the show has with many of the incidental and secondary characters that it has retained), then it is best to expand the roles of the ones that you do keep to include the roles of ones that you exclude. That keeps the ratio of “supporting actions” to “lead decisions” on par with the original story.

      To overuse my constant analogy, this is just a dorsal fin vs. no dorsal fin issue: what is necessary in books & water often is unnecessary and even a hindrance on screen & land.

      Hodor’s Bastard: Blame Wimsey…I tried to defend my Blackfish/riverlands admiration as well a few threads back, but was beaten senseless by the virtual hammer.

      Hmm, Wimsey’s Virtual Hammer doesn’t have the same ring as Maxwell’s Silver Hammer! (doo do doo dooo do).

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    46. Balerion The Cat,

      4th trailer?? I can’t believe I missed that. On hbo’s youtube page there’s only 2 officials, and yeah I remember that last one from asian hbo but I took it more like a tv spot because it was really small, but anyway that makes 3 to my memory, maybe I’m missing something… could you post the links here? I would really appreciate that man.

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    47. Sister Kisser,
      Hodor’s Bastard,

      Hurrah! Count me among those who enjoy the “minor characters.” And I won’t apologize for it!

      Also, I believe the riverlands will see the brotherhood, as well as the blackfish once again. Still hoping for murmurs of that fearless pack of wolves said to be led by that mighty bitch.

      I still have my hopes for this, too. (And now to run and hide from that ever-present virtual hammer…)

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    48. Balerion The Cat,

      Oooh yes you’re right! It was my fault, in my mind I must have switched the “4” for “5” 😛
      Anyway it would be cool to get a new trailer by the end of this week or at least like you said, some Tv spots.

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    49. mariamb:
      Sister Kisser,
      Hodor’s Bastard,

      Hurrah! Count me among those who enjoy the “minor characters.” And I won’t apologize for it!

      I still have my hopes for this, too. (And now to run and hide from that ever-present virtual hammer…)

      I love the minor characters too.

      However, as we’ve been discussing, the show itself *also* has a plethora of minor characters, people who fill up the screen for a few minutes and then disappear, too. The show has managed to work in a ton of memorable names in that time. I do miss some of the favorites that were in the books that didn’t make it into the show, but I can enjoy those in the books, and the ones in the show, too.

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    50. Wimsey,

      I hear ya.
      I do think the show runners have done a decent job shaping but not overusing the incidental characters they have chosen to introduce (or create, in some cases). Some exceptions that come to mind- Ross, the spy who shagged loras, and maybe even Karl Tanner.
      My issues primarily on this front have to do with screen time allocated (S2!) to such “new material” when the source material provides plenty of “filler” characters and discussion that could be useful in illustrating further the world of westeros, which I believe casual fans would enjoy, and the megafans would really appreciate.
      You don’t have to give a backstory, even a name, to every incidental character for them to contribute to a primary’s story, and the casual viewer need not remember a character for their part to be valued. Arya overhearing some random inn patrons spreading word of a pack of wolves need not be any more than that. Instant lore and intrigue, regardless of future outcomes. What is tough to understand is why they would introduce certain secondary characters (quaithe, benjen, greatjon, blackfish,Elmore) only to abandon them altogether.
      My point is, you can introduce a character for the purpose of flushing out details, advancing plot, or even just enriching the world, without investing too much into the character- names, family ties, etc… And in this way please the fans and casual viewers alike, maybe even dodge some hammers. Greatjon’s of slumbers strong Belwas cameo plea comes to mind…
      If a little more “westerosi history” makes it’s way into a scene in conversation- I think both fans and casual viewers alike could get down on that. It need not include beetle allegories. (Beatle references definitely ok)
      I have some faith in the casual viewer’s level of appreciation, or capacity for being stoked, if even just for that moment. (Retention not a necessary condition for stokedness)
      Ok, babbling on. Gonna go sit in seclusion in the west wing, waiting for the hammer to drop!

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    51. Greatjon of Slumber: However, as we’ve been discussing, the show itself *also* has a plethora of minor characters, people who fill up the screen for a few minutes and then disappear, too.

      I would go so far as to state that in the lamenting of cut characters, fans have lost sight of what a remarkably good job this show has done of juggling so many characters. It has expanded several secondary characters (Robb Stark, Stannis, Margaery, Littlefinger, Varys), and accelerated the expansion of some of the “late-comer” leads (Cersei, Brienne). Moreover, it did so without undermining the “original” leads.

      This show is demanding that the audiences recognize and remember a LOT of different people. The fact that the show is so popular indicates that they are doing this successfully: a big turn-off for audiences is having characters that are vaguely familiar but not-quite-remembered; as this show is not turning off audiences, this suggests that people are following along well enough.

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    52. Wimsey:
      I have no idea if it [V+J] will amount to anything in the books…

      You only got that out of Val? For me, she is a minor character bursting at the seams to become quite relevant….(if only)

      — Her Thenn/Tormund retrieval mission is nothing short of miraculous given the conditions. I cheered when she returned with Tormund and his army
      — Her reaction to Shireen is intriguing. How would she know about “sleeping greyscale”?
      — She seems fairly skeptical regarding Jon & the NW, but her wildling concerns drive her to serve as a wildling liaison.
      — I believe Mance kept her close for a reason (other than the obvious)…she may have some key knowledge about the north not shared yet.

      I really hope they make this “blond wildling princess” a bit more than an homage on the show.

      Greatjon of Slumber,

      I actually totally concur with you and Wimsey regarding minor characters. Many are best left on the page, but each of us have our favorites, even if they do interfere with the major story arcs! I’ll always hope certain minor characters will be referenced, but I’m more than thankful for the depictions (and subsequent debates) that we have got thus far.

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    53. Sister Kisser: If a little more “westerosi history” makes it’s way into a scene in conversation- I think both fans and casual viewers alike could get down on that. It need not include beetle allegories. (Beatle references definitely ok)

      I think that “history lessons” need to be done very much with Chekhov’s Gun in mind. One of the best history lessons that we got was Jaime telling his distant cousin about how he had squired for Barristan Selmy during a battle with outlaws. The character development that it provided for Jaime made this scene worth it even if it accomplished nothing else: for all of Jaime’s smugness and callowness, he genuinely admires and respects people who he can view as peers, and he genuinely reveres the ability “paint in red.”

      A second and very ancillary thing that it did was reinforce information about Selmy. Now, I know that some “purists” might complain: “but it was supposed to be about Dayne“: but Dayne isn’t a character in the story, and the audience therefore does not need to know stuff about him. Of course, whether the audience made the connection or not, I do not know: Selmy is a minor character, after all, and I do not remember how this coincided with his dismissal from the Kingsguard.

      Other “history” lessons can happen, but only with this in mind. For example, we could see Daeny getting “history lessons” about the Targaryens: but these will work only if they serve to develop her. Many people suspect that the history behind Lyanna’s “abduction” will be very relevant to the development of a key character: and if so, then that history can be included.

      But to a big extent, this is another literary fin that is a cinematic useless appendage: books really need to tell us this sort of thing to create a backdrop because they cannot show anything; as TV and film can show, they do not need the backdrop to anywhere near this extent. After all, the purpose of both the book and TV show is to have people walk away understanding GRRM’s story: it is not to have them walk away able to pass a History of Westeros exam!

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    54. Greatjon of Slumber,
      Hodor’s Bastard,

      For the most part, I agree. The show has done a fine job of working in minor characters, whether they are in the books or exclusive to the show. Every reader/viewer has their favorite minor characters and our judgement can often be clouded by what we want to see rather than what makes for better story telling. However, “the heart wants what the heart wants” and I want to see the BWB/Blackfish make life miserable for a few Freys.

      Wimsey:
      I would go so far as to state that in the lamenting of cut characters, fans have lost sight of what a remarkably good job this show has done of juggling so many characters.It has expanded several secondary characters (Robb Stark, Stannis, Margaery, Littlefinger, Varys), and accelerated the expansion of some of the “late-comer” leads (Cersei, Brienne).Moreover, it did so without undermining the “original” leads.

      This show is demanding that the audiences recognize and remember a LOT of different people.The fact that the show is so popular indicates that they are doing this successfully: a big turn-off for audiences is having characters that are vaguely familiar but not-quite-remembered; as this show is not turning off audiences, this suggests that people are following along well enough.

      Without question, the show has done a fantastic job of juggling all of these characters. And it clearly has elevated characters like Robb and Margaery. Most shows cannot write convincingly for a multitude of characters. (I can think of numerous examples.) I think that minor characters like Alliser Thorne, Grenn and Pyp have been made particularly memorable.

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    55. Turncloak,

      Agreed on the pointlessness of dick crab, and I don’t even remember cheswick. As for Brienne’s minor character mashups- I am still pulling for Randyll Tarly at some point…

      Wimsey,

      Yes, yes, no complaints here. I do have a serious question for you though.
      Why do you hate the Daynes so much?!!!

        Quote  Reply

    56. Sister Kisser,

      This has always frustrated me why not have a convo about the blackfyre rebellion or more detail about rhaegar. There is so much they could include through just conversations. Why did they not have the prophecies in the house of the undying but chose to have the cersei prophecy.

        Quote  Reply

    57. Hodor’s Bastard,

      Is that “all” I got out of Val? No. However,

      1. I don’t think that it’s miraculous that she found Tormund. I think that she had very good ideas about where to look for him. She was, after all, in Mance’s tent a lot of the time, and there must have been contingency plans. If nothing else, then she probably would have been aware of what signs Wildlings would leave to say “find us here”: after all, it seems that a lot of Wildlings managed to find Tormund. (Of course, maybe they can just sense Giant Members from kilometers away, particularly ones that still smell of She-Bear…. :D)

      2. That the Wildlings know about Greyscale is not too surprising: it only means that they get it. However, I suspect that most of their knowledge is like that of the Dothraki: whenever “it is known,” you can bet that they don’t have a clue! GRRM has, after all, said that he does not like the Noble Savage paradigm, and the “earthy wisdom” is part of that. It seems that a lot of the Wildlings “Earthy Wisdom” is pretty foolish in the end. At any rate, I would consider it to be a Knightesque first-order Idiot Plot if the Wildlings somehow know things about Greyscale that the much more advanced, learned and experienced people in Volantis or the Maesters know!

      If anything, then I think that this is a subtle comment of the basis of belief systems: the Wildlings cannot afford to let the weak survive or to take the chance that they will (directly or indirectly) hurt others; if they convince themselves that Greyscale is worse than it is, then they will not feel quite as bad about euthanizing those who have it.

      3. Yes, Val is willing to work for the good of her people. However, she’s hardly alone in that. Moreover, she does help exemplify the stiff-neckedness (or stiff-kneedness) of the Wildlings: Val actually could have done a bit more for her people if she had been willing to play along with Selyse’s game. However, Val wants her cake and eating it, too, in that she wants to emigrate to Westeros but remain a Wildling. This is a big problem for the Wildlings: they actually are not that willing to compromise.

      4. I doubt that Mance kept her close because of knowledge about the North given that Mance, Val and the others are hellbent on getting as far South as South will go. That Val was midwife to Dalla is perfectly sufficient a reason to explain her presence.

      As I think I’ve mentioned, this is the “minor character cut” that I most rue: I really liked Val’s character. Her exchanges with Stannis’ wife are priceless: two people with cultural superiority complexes from cultures with some antithetical values are always worth the price of admission! (I wish that Val had interacted with Melisandre some: that would have been interesting, too.) However, I completely understand it: for every Wimsey that liked her, there would be more than multiple viewers that liked the show a little less for her presence, I suspect.

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    58. Sister Kisser: Why do you hate the Daynes so much?!!!

      I don’t hate them. I just do not view them as very relevant to the story told so far. If you have a choice between developing an existing incidental character or a Dayne, then go with developing the existing character. Now, I doubt that everybody connected the person in Jaime’s story to the enacted Selmy: but some people might have; on the other hand, there is nobody to whom viewers can connect Arthur Dayne.

      If the Daynes do actually become important in Winter, then by all means introduce them next season.

      Crabber’s Son: This has always frustrated me why not have a convo about the blackfyre rebellion or more detail about rhaegar.

      Actually, they have let quite a bit slip about Rhaegar over the course of the show. Ultimately, however, they really are going to have to show him if he is to have any impact. Just talking about him will not suffice.

      As for the Blackfyres, it is not clear that this bit of history will ever be very important to the story. Yes, I know that

      some people believe that Aegon actually is a Blackfyre. However, this neglects the fact that the hypothesis that he is Rhaegar’s son explains:
      1) why he looks so much like Rhaegar;
      2) how old he is;
      3) how Varys had access to him;
      4) what his role in the story will be because Daeny’s nephew will present her with a real crisis about whether she should submit to him (primogeniture) or take what she has earned.
      The hypothesis that he’s a Blackfyre has the problems that:
      1) we have no evidence of living Blackfyres;
      2) it is improbable that a scion of the house would be the right age to pass as Aegon if they are so scarce that they are thought to be extinct;
      3) it is really improbable that he would look so much like Rhaegar that Tyrion would be able to recognize him as Rhaegar’s son even after Connington and others have tried to disguise Aegon;
      4) we do not know how Varys would have had such access to this supposedly extinct, improbably aged, and even more improbably featured child;
      5) there would be no “conflict” in the story because Daeny will not be at all conflicted about asserting herself over a pretender.

      Now, you can invent “maybe” stories, and perhaps they are true: but you do not have to invent any “maybe” stories to explain Aegon if he is Rhaegar’s son!

      I would add one caveat: if the reason why some people think that the Blackfyres are important is true, then this might explain a possible character cut: I doubt that B&W would keep an Anastasia plot line. (But, then, I doubt that GRRM would include one, too!)

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    59. Crabber’s Son,

      I agree about more details about Rhaegar, maybe a mention of the Blackfyre Rebellions too(similar to Joffrey mentioning Aerion Brightflame and Rhaenyra Targaryan). However, I understand why they excluded most of the prophecies in the House of The Undying. It would have painted them into a corner, to where they would have to fulfill every prophecy in some way, and in some cases(The Red Wedding) would have spoiled a future event. The visions they did include were prophetic, perhaps even to the eventual king(Snow on the Iron Throne).

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    60. Wimsey,

      Your counterpoints are taken well. I seem to have lit a fire. The only statement I would have issue with is

      At any rate, I would consider it to be a Knightesque first-order Idiot Plot if the Wildlings somehow know things about Greyscale that the much more advanced, learned and experienced people in Volantis or the Maesters know!

      I expect the wildlings to know many things about Westeros that the maesters and other learned folk do not fully comprehend. Heck, the maesters even deny the existence of giants! (from TWoI&F) Although the wildlings may not be as sophisticated as many of their southern counterparts, to quote Roy Batty from Bladerunner, they “have seen things” and their stories and techniques will expand the overall knowledge of life-as-we-know-it in Westeros….just you wait!

        Quote  Reply

    61. Wimsey:
      I would go so far as to state that in the lamenting of cut characters, fans have lost sight of what a remarkably good job this show has done of juggling so many characters.It has expanded several secondary characters (Robb Stark, Stannis, Margaery, Littlefinger, Varys), and accelerated the expansion of some of the “late-comer” leads (Cersei, Brienne).Moreover, it did so without undermining the “original” leads.

      That’s absolutely not true. Most obviously, the elevation of Robb had enormous consequences for Catelyn, who rapidly went from a protagonist to a supporting character to an extra, while Robb got virtually all the POV and even some of Catelyn’s actions. Likewise, one of the many problems with Sansa’s Season 3 story is that the writers told virtually the entire thing from the POV of the people acting on her when it’s important that she be the audience POV for that, otherwise she just come across as an object.

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    62. mariamb,

      Yes to all three NW you mentioned! Fantastic actors well written. Grenn and Pyp’s deaths were more heartbreaking for me than Y’gritte (probably because in Pyp’s case, they were surprises, and certainly in Grenn’s case, quite heroic, and in taking the role of another favorite minor character who was cut)

      Crabber’s Son,

      I tend to agree, but will defer to Wimsey’s argument. The inclusion of blackfyre rebellion history in the show is gonna hinge on whether there is to be

      a second Dance, and whether the element of bastard targ blood will really be important to the endgame. We’ve seen “bloodraven” but will we get any real information on him? He doesn’t have the distinct appearance we came to know in the books. This has me worried. Will it even be the same guy?? Perhaps the show runners thought this was too much of a historical clusterfuck to dig into. The history and lore segment on the S4 bluerays gives me some hope, but I’m not gonna put much weight on that until S6 rolls through. We’ll see if Aemon gives us any on this. To me, he will be the vessel, and that would have to happen this season.

      As for Rhaegar- Barriston may provide us with some more insight. Maybe Varys. Either way, I’m sure we will begin hearing more on him.
      I’m thinking when they wrote the house of the undying, they had no fuckin clue what was gonna be included, what was gonna matter, as far as Dany’s future storyline was concerned. Another rabbit hole dug up and left deserted is my guess. Doesn’t surprise me they left this one out.

        Quote  Reply

    63. Wimsey,
      Tyrion Pimpslap,

      Do you think the primary reason for the Blackfyre Pretender theories is because of the direct involvement of the Golden Company?

      Beneath the gold, the bitter steel!

      Oh, how Bloodraven’s nightmare scenario unfolds!

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    64. Maybe someone already said this but they could have recast him to find someone with more stunt experience if Rattleshirt will be a major player in upcoming battle which could easily be in Episode 8…

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    65. Wimsey,

      The belief, which I am a proponent of, is that ‘Aegon’ is Illyrio’s son by his second wife Serra, a Blackfyre descendant, who is described as having had the silver-gold hair that is prominent in those with Valyrian ancestry, which the Targaryens and Blackfyres possess.

      Illyrio thrust his right hand up his left sleeve and drew out a silver locket. Inside was a painted likeness of a woman with big blue eyes and pale golden hair streaked by silver. “Serra. I found her in a Lysene pillow house and brought her home to warm my bed, but in the end I wed her. Me, whose first wife had been a cousin of the Prince of Pentos. The palace gates were closed to me thereafter, but I did not care. The price was small enough, for Serra.”

      “Good fortune,” Illyrio called after them. “Tell the boy I am sorry that I will not be with him for his wedding. I will rejoin you in Westeros. That I swear, by my sweet Serra’s hands.”

      Now, the strongest evidence is tied to the Golden Company’s support of ‘Aegon’. This same company refused Viserys and has spent most of their history fighting against the Targaryens.

      “I had heard the Golden Company was under contract with one of the Free Cities.”
      “Myr.” Illyrio smirked. “Contracts can be broken.”
      “There is more coin in cheese than I knew,” said Tyrion. “How did you accomplish that?”
      The magister waggled his fat fingers. “Some contracts are writ in ink, and some in blood. I say no more.”
      … [Tyrion gives a history of the Golden Company and it’s Blackfyre past] …
      “I admire your powers of persuasion,” Tyrion told Illyrio. “How did you convince the Golden Company to take up the cause of our sweet queen when they have spent so much of their history fighting against the Targaryens?”
      Illyrio brushed away the objection as if it were a fly. “Black or red, a dragon is still a dragon. When Maelys the Monstrous died upon the Stepstones, it was the end of the male line of House Blackfyre.” The cheesemonger smiled through his forked beard. “And Daenerys will give the exiles what Bittersteel and the Blackfyres never could. She will take them home.”

      ADWD 5: TYRION II

      http://www.reddit.com/r/asoiaf/comments/156odh/spoilers_all_complete_analysis_of_the_blackfyre

      It should also be noted that Tyrion places Young Griff’s age at 15, maybe 16. Rhaegar’s son Aegon would have been 18 at that point, if he was alive. I am as dead set on this theory being true as I am with R+L=J. And it is my belief that if it isn’t, then it takes a lot away from Jon, mainly that he is not the last remaining child of Rhaegar, or even potentially the true heir to the Targaryen throne.

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    66. snuuh,

      Hear, hear!

      The only democracy in the entire kingdom is at the Wall. Jon would/will never accept to sit on the Iron Throne. At the end, no one should be on it (not even Daenerys). Apparently Jon gives a crap about Daenerys. The Freemen should chase off feudal lords, break their wheel of power, and expand democracy all over Westeros together with the Crows.

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    67. I’m not exactly sure why I did this (probably boredom) but I have calculated a running total of the cast members from season to season to see if there has been a trend at all when taking into account both the departures and the additions from season to season. For the purposes of this, I had a castmember as anyone who has appeared on (or who is set to appear on) 3 or more episodes of the show. It’s pure insanity to count anyone else.

      At the end of the day, the show ballooned a bit in Season 2, held steady for the next few years and has now dropped down to Season 1 levels for this upcoming season. However, not knowing exactly who may be appearing this season, the “additions” number could go up a little bit when it’s all said and done.

      Season 1 : 70

      Add 70- Tyrion, Cersei, Dany, Jon, Arya, Jorah, Sansa, Jaime, Sam, Theon, Tywin, Hound, Joffrey, LF, Varys, Catelyn, Bran, Bronn, Pycelle, Barristan, Grenn, Robb, Hodor, Shae, Loras, Gendry, Janos, Luwin, Osha, Ros, Meryn, Rodrik, Pyp, Irri, Jeor, Rast, Thorne, Rickon, Ned, Doreah, Hot Pie, Drogo, Lancel, Tommen, Myrcella, Aemon, Renly, Robert, Yoren, Rakharo, Robin, Viserys, Mordane, Qotho, Bowen, Kevan, Othell, Jory, Lysa, Ilyn, Marillion, Lommy, Timett, Walder, Benjen, Syrio, Greatjon, Mirri Maz Duur, Mountain, Illyrio

      Season 2: (70 + 33 – 22) = 81

      Subtract 22- Barristan, Pyp, Thorne, Ned, Drogo, Aemon, Robert, Robin, Viserys, Mordane, Qotho, Bowen, Othell, Jory, Lysa, Marillion, Walder, Benjen, Syrio, Greatjon, Mirri, Illyrio

      Add 33- Stannis, Brienne, Davos, Edd, Roose, Pod, Margaery, Ygritte, Melisandre, Gilly, Talisa, Yara, Kovarro, Jaqen, Dontos, Craster, Xaro, Rickard Karstark, Dagmer, Pyat, Qhorin, Rorge, Biter, Matthos, Lorren, Amory Lorch, Rattleshirt, Spice King, Balon, Salladahor Saan, Polliver, Alton, Daisy

      Season 3: (81-32+ 29) = 78

      Subtract 32- Janos, Luwin, Rodrik, Irri, Doreah, Lancel, Tommen, Myrcella, Renly, Yoren, Rakharo, Kevan, Ilyn, Lommy, Timmet, Mountain, Kovarro, Jaqen, Dontos, Xaro, Dagmer, Pyat, Qhorin, Rorge, Biter, Matthos, Lorren, Amory, Spice King, Polliver, Alton, Daisy

      Add 29- Barristan, Pyp, Aemon, Walder, Missandei, Tormund, Ramsay, Grey Worm, Jojen, Olenna, Meera, Locke, Qyburn, Daario, Orell, Thoros, Anguy, Shireen, Blackfish, Edmure, Mance, Steelshanks, Beric, Karl, Selyse, High Septon, Myranda, Olyvar, Kraznys

      Season 4: (78 +22 – 23) = 77

      Subtract 23 – Catelyn, Robb, Gendry, Osha, Rickon, Ros, Jeor, Walder, Talisa, Craster, Karstark, Rorge, Biter, Rattleshirt, Balon, Orell, Thoros, Anguy, Blackfish, Edmure, Steelshanks, Beric, Kraznys

      Add 22 – Janos, Aemon, Othell, Thorne, Tommen, Mountain, Dontos, Rorge, Biter, Polliver, Robin, Lysa, Ellaria, Oberyn, Olly, Mace, Styr, Mossandar, Thenn Warg, Hizdahr, Yohn Royce

      Season 5: (77 -23+15) = 69

      Subtract 23- Pyp, Dontos, Rorge, Biter, Polliver, Lysa, Oberyn, Styr, Thenn Warg, Jojen, Meera, Locke, Karl, Ygritte, Tywin, Hound, Joffrey, Bran, Hodor, Grenn, Shae, Rast, Hot Pie

      Add 15- Rattleshirt, Balon(?), Lancel, Kevan, Myrcella, Jaqen, Bowen, Obara, Tyene, Nymeria, Doran, Areo, Trystane, High Sparrow, Yezzan

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    68. Tyrion Pimpslap,

      None of that really qualifies as evidence supporting the idea.

      There is no evidence that Illyrio’s wife is a Blackfyre. That she had silver-blonde hair means next to nothing: Essos is filled with people of Valyrian descent who have that sort of hair. It is very common in Lys, if I recall.

      Aegon was an infant when Daeny was born, which makes him about a year or so older: and that means that 15-16 would be the right age for him. Tyrion never thinks: “wait, he’s too young!”: that would be the tipoff.

      The fact that Illyrio makes note that it ended the male line might seem suggestive of something, I will grant. However, the fact that he also says: “red or black, a dragon is still a dragon” is equally suggestive: Blackfyre supporters might fight against Targaryens for familial supremacy, but they will unite with Targaryens when the family has a common enemy. Moreover:
      1) the line still is not evidence that the boy on the boat is a Blackfyre descendant;
      2) there is no evidence that Illyrio had a son;
      3) there is no compelling evidence that his wife descended from Blackfyres;
      4) even if 2 & 3 are true (two ifs!), then:
      a) it is improbable that this son would be the same age as Aegon;
      b) it is even more improbable that he would look so much like Rhaegar that even blue hair-dye would make it hard to have him not look like Rhaegar! It is one thing that the Valyrians have a distinctive look: it is quite another to state that they all look alike!

      So, what we have is one hypothesis that predicts everything we’ve seen: age, looks, access, and another hypothesis that does not predict these things well at all.

      My thought regarding the payoff is the opposite: if this idea is true, then it takes away any story from Young Griff. GRRM likes stories about internal conflicts: an angel on the left shoulder arguing with the angel on the right shoulder, or a devil on the right shoulder arguing with a devil on the left shoulder. Daeny facing a legitimate son of Rhaegar creates a huge moral dilemma for her: does she follow the rules of primogeniture and submit to him, or does she take what she has earned through fire and blood? Daeny facing an imposter is just plot-for-the-sake-of-plot.

      Moreover, it does not undermine Jon’s role in the story at all. He is never going to be accepted as Rhaegar’s legitimate son, and he probably is never going to renounce his vows to the Night’s Watch. Jon’s role can still be a strong one in choosing among relatives in two dances: a Dragon one between Daeny & Aegon, and a Wolf one between Rickon, Sansa and (possibly) Arya. Moreover, Jon’s biggest role might well be in brokering some solution between humanity and the White Walkers: GRRM is not going to have the WW just be “evil”: they have some reason for doing what they are doing that (once we learn it) will cast them in a different light.

      At any rate, if this really is what GRRM is doing, then, well: I would cut this from the show! It will be a lot of plot with no story payoff.

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    69. Wimsey,

      I will say, that while I believe ‘Aegon’ is an impostor, and in my opinion, a Blackfyre, I do not think it will make a difference in the story. ‘Aegon’ will take the throne for a time, and die in a battle against Dany and her dragons.

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    70. Wimsey,

      Also, while you can pick holes in the ‘Aegon’/Blackfyre hypothesis, I feel you can do the same with the claims by Varys and Illyrio that he really is Rhaegar’s son. How could Varys know the Mountain would smash the baby’s face enough to make him unrecognizable? Why would Elia allow Aegon to be whisked away, while her daughter was left to be slaughtered? Or are we to believe Elia could not tell that her real baby had been switched for another(she was holding the baby when Gregor and his men arrived). But as I said, none of this will matter for the end game, it’s just fun discuss. I believe enough clues are there to suggest ‘Aegon’ is a fake. Only time will tell if I am correct.

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    71. Tyrion Pimpslap,

      Why couldnt they just include the scene with Rhaegar saying his is the song of ice and fire. That would instantly attach a face to rhaegar make it be some super well known actor for the one minute scene so then whenever they mention rhaegar in the show casual fans will go oh ya the guy who was played by brad pitt (joking but someone memorable) in that one scene. I feel like the house of the undying and brans visions are the perfect way to give the backstory that people are still confused about. Have him call his son Aegon thus setting up possible future plots. Idk seems like a big missed opportunity. Instead we got Drogo cuz D&D like to drink with Jason Momoa and wanted him back on the show…

        Quote  Reply

    72. Tyrion Pimpslap,

      So, having piqued my curiousity, I found another big strike against ABF hypothesis:

      Tyrion actually sees a picture of Illyrio’s wife. Yes, she has silver-blonde hair. However, she has blue eyes, not violet eyes! (Something subtle in the books is that Aegon’s eyes are more like Rhaegar’s than they are Viserys, albeit not quiet the same).

      The other big strike: Tyrion does not look at her and think: “Geez, she could pass for a Targaryen.” If GRRM was planning along these lines, and given that Tyrion’s ability to recognize Aegon (correctly or incorrectly) was so key to Tyrion unmasking Aegon. Moreover, Tyrion should also have associated Aegon with the woman in the picture: but he didn’t. He also saw the very detailed statue of Illyrio at the same age. So, now we are left wondering why Tyrion associates Aegon with Rhaegar rather than with either of the hypothesized parents when Tyrion has seen their likenesses much more recently. Maybe the association would not have been immediate: but it should have dawned on him at some point as he pondered the “Pretty Prince” later.

      Crabber’s Son: Why couldnt they just include the scene with Rhaegar saying his is the song of ice and fire. That would instantly attach a face to rhaegar make it be some super well known actor for the one minute scene so then whenever they mention rhaegar in the show casual fans will go oh ya the guy who was played by brad pitt (joking but someone memorable) in that one scene.

      How would that have attached the face to Rhaegar? How do they communicate to the audience that this is Rhaegar that Daeny and we are seeing? What is the Song of Ice and Fire? Who is the “he” that owns it?

      Also, how do you ever “instantly” attach a face to a name on TV? Just like everything else, people learn these associations from constant repetition reinforcing the memory. (Well, excepting people with eidetic memories: but only a tiny fraction of the population is so gifted/cursed.)

      This is another mistake that fans always make: that non-fans will instantly learn things with just the briefest of introductions. Yet fans themselves know so much usually because they read and re-read the books. Tyrion Pimpslap and I have been discussing the relevance of the Blackfyres. However, given how scantly developed they are in the narrative, the vast majority of readers almost certainly have no idea who they are. The only people who do are those that essentially “study” the books.

      (Now, what would have been cooler is a “5 Cylon” scene, where Daeny, Jon and the third party all perceive each other in the dream; however, given that it is only speculation that Jon is one of the three heads, and given that it is very debatable who the third head is, this would have been pretty risky!)

      If they do cast him, then I would actually recommend going with Harry Lloyd, made up slightly differently too look like brothers often do: i.e., someone who is a “distorted” version of the other.

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    73. Tyrion Pimpslap,
      Varys was not

      relying relying on the fact that infants look a hell of a lot alike. Two blonde infants would be tough to distinguish unless someone knew them well. After all, distinguishing facial characteristics, eye color, etc., do not kick in until after infancy: and facial features in particular do not kick in until well after infancy.

      Varys also probably assumed that Elia would survive – after all, it was total idiocy to kill her – and Elia would have confirmed that it was her murdered son. As nobody left alive could have gainsayed that, that would have been fine. The Mountain made it easier: but the truth is that nobody involved would have been able to tell that this was not Rhaegar’s son if they got a changeling with the right hair color.

      That is also why they could not do this for the daughter: as she was 7, she would have had distinctive features already.

      For what it is worth, that is something I very much noticed when my son was a few years younger. Basically, up until the time he was about 2, a lot of his classmates basically looked the same to me. And when they were 1 and younger, then it was really tough to tell a lot of them apart: I relied more on clothes than anything else. Even as late as 3 or so, I was confusing my own son with other boys who had similar hair when I saw them from afar!

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    74. Xeno:
      Why does it matter?I thought we never saw his face in Season 2 anyways?They could have put anyone in that role and most people wouldn’t know it was a different guy.I don’t think this is evidence one way or another for Mance’s fate.

      RIGHT! ORIGINALLY DOLLY PARTON WAS CAST AS The Lord of Bones…her boobs were constantly giving his COSTUME BONERS…cuz they’re too big-Dolly’s Boobs

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    75. Did everyone see these two things? Mostly gossamer, but might be interesting if they led to anything. Also mentions getting UFC people on the show and quantifies the number of deaths relative to 100:

      http://www.avclub.com/article/game-thrones-showrunners-want-bring-its-always-sun-217154

      Spoilers for ADWD in this link:

      http://www.reddit.com/r/asoiaf/comments/30fusw/spoilers_allnikolaj_costerwaldau_shows_a_spoiler/

      It explains the content of a promo video Coster-Waldau recorded for HBO Nordic:
      http://nikolajfangirlteam.tumblr.com/post/114673732527/hbo-nordic-q-a-with-nikolaj-coster-waldau-thanks

      If you watch the video, skip to the end and, Coster-Waldau holds up a duck, and says it’s a book spoiler.

      I assume it’s just Coster-Waldau’s sense of humor, maybe. Or maybe the character is in… by his lonesome?

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    76. Wimsey,

      For the rhaegar scene just have dany open a door in house of undying and see rhaegar in kings landing with Elia as she is holding her newborn son and dany would whisper rhaegar? But he could not hear her than elia looks at the child and says aegon you will be king one day. Then rhaegar says no he will be more for his is the song of ice and fire and then he would play his harp and look at dany as if he sees her. This would make the audience go oh so that’s who rhaegar is the guy they are always talking about. And later when oberyn shows up the audience would go who’s elia? then oh ya remember the woman in season 2. Then if you have an aegon reveal u don’t have to explain as much who he is because of this scene.

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    77. Luka Nieto,

      This interview confirms Peter Vaughan’s back btw. http://www.irishexaminer.com/lifestyle/artsfilmtv/kit-harington-has-his-sword-at-the-ready-for-new-game-of-thrones-season-320435.html

      I know ep. 505 being called “Kill the Boy” already did this really and it could be assumed given the content most of us expected to see but this passage:

      ” It was a day that Peter Vaughan [Maester Aemon Targaryen] was also on set — two legends of the acting world — and they sat and traded stories.”

      means that Aemon can be added for s5 on the wiki.

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    78. Greenjones,

      Oh, true. Didn’t even know he wasn’t on the Season 5 cast page yet. I guess he hadn’t been confirmed until now? Anyway, you’re right, it’s not like we weren’t expecting him back (especially after we learnt episode five’s title), but it’s good to know. Added.

        Quote  Reply

    79. Greenjones,

      Thanks for the link. This quote from Kit worries me a bit though.

      “What’s interesting about Jon this season, is that he has yet another older male figure come in his life — Stannis Baratheon [Stephen Dillane],” says Harington. “I thought it would tell me I was special and he could see something in me, because that’s what he’s had the whole time.

      “But what’s interesting is this season is that he refuses to listen to him, becomes his own person and makes his own decisions.”

      Ugh. I know there should be a bit of that to show Jon growing into an independent leader, but I hope they show Jon at least showing Stannis SOME respect. If he really does just “refuse to listen” then he’ll still come across as the grumpy EMO teen he’s been so far. It’s time for him to grow up a bit in the show and be a bit more politically sensitive.

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    80. Ross,

      don’t worry, I believe David and Dan said in the EW interview that Jon respects both Stannis and Mance, but finds dealing with both frustrating as neither are willing to compromise. The above quote and other Kit interviews actually made me look forward even more to Kit’s Jon this year. hoping for the bro nod from Stannis after a certain event happens.

        Quote  Reply

    81. crabbers son: For the rhaegar scene just have dany open a door in house of undying and see rhaegar in kings landing with Elia as she is holding her newborn son and dany would whisper rhaegar?

      That would not work well: the reinforcement would need to be much stronger. Daeny would have to actually state very shortly afterwards that she saw her older brother, and then ponder openly why he was there. For example, see how the Doctor discusses the Silence at the end of The Pandorica. However, that example shows what has to happen next: the Silence was the major focus of the next season of Doctor Who, whereas Rhaegar has not been a major focus. Doctor Who hung the gun at the end of Season 5 and then fired the gun throughout Seasons 6 and 7.

      This is the part that people keep missing with this seen, LSH, etc. If you are going to hang a gun like this in a season-ending sequence, then it must be a cannon in the next season. However, Rhaegar was no cannon in the next year: and by the time he ever does become a fired gun, Season 2 will be ancient history and the general audience will have long forgotten particular details of that scene. Moreover, it would not have helped the audience understand Elia or Oberyn any better: Oberyn stated his feud succinctly and clearly in his opening scenes, re-iterated it multiple times, and went down screaming it.

      So, if Daeny is to see this, then it has to be done shortly before the stuff she saw becomes relevant. Quite frankly, GRRM probably thought that it would be relevant much more quickly when he wrote it: not only did he not anticipate how long it took him to write, but he initially planned to move the story ahead in time more quickly at a per-volume rate.

      Indeed, as things stand, would the audience understand anything about the show up to this point any better had that scene been included? (That is rhetorical: the answer is “no.”) And it’s not going to be useful for anything this year, either. So, do it or some substitute for it in Season 6 when (if!) it is relevant.

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    82. Ross: Ugh. I know there should be a bit of that to show Jon growing into an independent leader, but I hope they show Jon at least showing Stannis SOME respect.

      Harrington’s lines in no way indicate that Jon is not going to show Stannis any respect.

        Quote  Reply

    83. Wimsey: he refuses to listen to him

      When he says “he refuses to listen to him” – to me suggests an element of lacking respect. But possibly reading too much into it.

        Quote  Reply

    84. Ross,

      That is, indeed, reading too much into it. There are other reasons to refuse to listen to someone. (In the books, Jon essentially refuses to listen to Stannis, too: and the reasons for refusing Stannis are key to Jon’s contribution to the stories.)

        Quote  Reply

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