SPOILER ALERT!

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So there was a THING released today over at SKY Austria.

Many of you know about it and want to talk about it. It’s a rather OBVIOUS hint with regard to the season finale given in the “Previously on…” video.

Y’all may discuss it here. Spoiler code not necessary. Discuss anything you want. (If you don’t want any spoilers to anything at all, well, kindly GTFO. You’ve been warned.)


HERE IS THE LINK.

Any spoiler talk spilling over to other threads will be summarily and cruelly obliterated.

Talk as ye will!

Sincerely,

Your Friendly Neighborhood FaBio

367 responses

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    1. I recall D&D saying at one point that this season was largely spoiler-free for the later books, but between Shireen’s death (though that was a common speculation anyway) and what this Previously suggests, there’s a few big-ticket spoilers.

      There are a few things noticeably absent from this Previously too (particularly for the remaining LS diehards).

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    2. I’m not sure if anyone read the “leak summary,” (its on r/asoiaf) but if Benjen is indeed back, that confirms that the whole summary was total BS as he wasn’t mentioned.

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    3. I do wonder (assuming this isn’t some wonky hoax) if we will finally learn why Benjen was banished to the Wall in the first place.

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    4. Glad you made this post, Axe (apologies to Dame Pasty! Didn’t mean to hijack your comments section).

      I’m not sure if the recap means what we think it means. We might just find out what happened to Benjen and not actually see him… although I’ve suspected for a while that he’s a wight (I thought he might be Coldhands but Senor Jorge shot that theory down), or even a White Walker. Although I dunno what his role in the story now would be if so.

      I do know it’d be really weird for him to just show up alive and well again after disappearing for years so I kinda hope that’s not what happens, or if it does they have a damn good explanation for it.

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    5. Dude I don’t know if I’ve ever been this pumped for an episode. ALL OF THE EXCITE

      Is he back to reveal

      R+L=J eventually? Will he be human? Wight? Will he aid in Jon’s presumed resurrection?

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    6. Axechucker,

      I thought that Benjen was moved by the call of the NW representative at Harrenhall and joined the Watch as a result. Also, didn’t the Starks sort of view “one for the Wall” in the way that Catholic families used to view “one for the Church”?

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    7. Either way, book readers who swore off the show may return to the finale in droves just to catch this little nugget. And it’ll be good to see Joseph Mawle again. (Unless we merely learn about Benjen’s fate, in which case… booooooo.)

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    8. Wimsey,

      That’s been the assumption, but never actually confirmed. It could be that he did something specific… or even possibly had specific knowledge and self-banished. (R+L=J info might do it!)

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    9. You know, IMDb did at one point list Joseph Mawle in the cast for this episode.

      …the cast list also included Michelle Fairley and Patrick Malahide at one point.

      Maybe, just maybe… O_O

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    10. Axechucker: Either way, book readers who swore off the show may return to the finale in droves just to catch this little nugget.

      So are you saying that because of these droves and droves, ratings will actually double? 😀

      No idea whether Benjen is back or he will “guide” Jon into a limbo existence, till they can be “fixed”.
      Arya will assume the face of the little sick girl who she helped to pass on. The “angel eyes” girl. It’ll be good….

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    11. Kay: So are you saying that because of these droves and droves, ratings will actually double?

      Let’s be honest, it’s probably only one drove.

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    12. Axechucker: (Unless we merely learn about Benjen’s fate, in which case… booooooo.)

      Hey, Ghost! What are you and Wun Wun eating over there? Ghost?

      Axechucker: That’s been the assumption, but never actually confirmed. It could be that he did something specific…

      I’m not sure why R+L=J would have driven Benjen to the Wall. It never is stated, but I always guessed that he joined before all of that: after all, a third son is pretty expendable, but after his oldest brother died, the Stark line became a bit thinner on the ground. Still, that is conjecture by me, not any fact.

      At any rate, had Benjen been “sentenced” to the Wall, then I doubt that his relation with Ned would have been so warm. Ned wasn’t quite Stannis: but he was still a hard-ass. (I do wonder if what saved Ned from becomign Stannis is having Robert as a best-friend as a teenager.)

      Still, who knows: maybe there is more to this. We’ll only learn if it’s relevant to what is happening.

      What I found very interesting: nothing about Olly or Jon not being universally loved on the Wall.

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    13. I so hope it’s true, Benjen is a favourite of mine and any clarity would be amazing. IMDB listed Joseph several times but I figured it was trolling. Here’s hoping Jon opens his eyes, and…..

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    14. “This means nothing to me….. Oh, Vienna!” – Sing-a-long-a-Ultravox!

      Happily, UK viewers are not subjected to this infantile practice of ‘Previously on…..’ where GOT is concerned. Maybe others should take a page out of SKY UK’s book, and that applies across the board to other shows too.
      I’d recommend anyone watching GOT to wait until they hear the opening theme music before sitting down to watch the show. Cut a piece of that apple or cherry pie you’ve been avoiding all week.
      More people have access to On-Demand services. If they choose to, they can watch previous episodes in full. Who needs ‘Previously on….’ to prime for a show, planting ideas into minds which some call ‘foreshadowing’? How can it be ‘foreshadowing’ when it’s slammed right in front of your eyes?
      Get rid of ‘Previously on….’ is what I’m saying. It’s completely unnecessary.

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    15. Someone else on reddit theorized that they may have showed Benjen’s horse in the preview to reveal that he was able to warg into the horse. I’m not sure how they’d be able to show that, but it would set up Jon warging into Ghost pretty nicely.

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    16. Moonlight: Benjen’s horse in the preview to reveal that he was able to warg into the horse. I’m not sure how they’d be able to show that, but it would set up Jon warging into Ghost pretty nicely.

      If so, then the next Blue-Eyed Wight on the show will be Anton Chekhov coming after Benioff, Weiss and Martin!

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    17. Pigeon,

      As much as I believe that Mel will heal/resurrect Jon after For the Watch, I honestly do hope Jon wakes up with blue eyes instead. That would be so insane and unexpected to most people. Triple awesome points if Benjen is a White Walker and is the one who brings back Jon.

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    18. ZappaCreed: More people have access to On-Demand services. If they choose to, they can watch previous episodes in full. Who needs ‘Previously on….’ to prime for a show, planting ideas into minds which some call ‘foreshadowing’?

      Most of the viewers have far too little time to rewatch whole episodes. And, again, most of the viewers live in worlds where if they don’t recap important points from prior meetings before a presentation, then they get reamed: and if they are at a presentation where important points from prior meetings are recapped, then they ream the presenter. After all, they’ve had dozens of other things to worry about in the interim. And, no, they don’t treat the TV any differently.

      And anybody who calls those things “foreshadowing” is misusing the word. That is when they tell you what will happen in advance: but you do not realize it at the time.

      For example, if we see not-Val turning up at the Wall in blue eyes, then we can say that was foreshadowed: she did say that she would be right behind them, didn’t she? That would be foreshadowing.

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    19. Robb Snow,

      I would definitely love to see some more Northern magic. I’m really hoping we also learn more about the following of the Drowned God next season; I really enjoyed reading about that.

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    20. My first thought was FTW happening because of unBenjen (wight or White) and Jon refusing to get rid of him – which wouldn’t work at all, but – hey – despite my undying love for GoT I find many things quite illogical. But as the Olly – Wildlings theme has been so very obviously pointed out I can’t really find any other connection between Jon and Benjen. And I mostly have no idea how in R’hllor’s name could they ever cram all the other storylines PLUS Jon PLUS Benjen.
      Anyhow, colour me intrigued!

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    21. BTW with all this excitement, the one moment that spoke to me the most was seeing little Arya and Serio (sp). She looked like such a baby back then!

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    22. Axechucker,

      Far as we know, as a *third son* of a family who deeply respects the Night’s Watch, he just volunteered. I mean, even Waymar Royce volunteered.

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    23. Robb Snow,

      We have no real reason to think that

      Coldhands was really the same person as he was before he died. That would make stories of character development irrelevant: and that would be really bad writing.

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    24. Wimsey,

      I’m just toying with some ideas. I still think Mel is gonna be the one to heal him/bring him back for the reasons I listed in a different post. 😛

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    25. Of the Night,

      Fake? I can see it being a total red herring and maybe only there to prelude Jon reminiscing about Benjen or something, but how could what Sky Australia released intentionally be fake?

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    26. Yellow Snow: This dude kills, this that dude, and that dude is really that dude!

      Benjen, Coldhands, Daario, The Hooded Man, White Walker they’re all just spokes on a wheel. This dudes on top, then that dudes on top and on and on it spins

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    27. What if we learn about what happened to Syrio in this episode? It would be great to finally know if Meryn Fucking Trant killed him or not.

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    28. The Dragon Demands:
      Axechucker,

      Far as we know, as a *third son* of a family who deeply respects the Night’s Watch, he just volunteered.I mean, even Waymar Royce volunteered.

      It’s true, and seems to be a tradition, especially in the North. But the fact that Benjen’s reasons were never specifically stated in the books makes me wonder if George has something up his sleeve.

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    29. Don’t they always begin an episode with the storyline that was featured last on the recap? I guess that means that the opening scene from the finale will be in Stannis’s camp.

      Also, I would laugh if the reason for the Benjen recap was to reintroduce Benjen’s horse.

      Davos: We need resupply. For starters, many of our horses were burned, and many of the rest have frozen to death.
      Jon: OK. Well, I can spare you my Uncle Benjen’s horse, since he won’t be needing it any time soon.

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    30. Robb Snow,

      I’ve always thought blue-eyed Jon would be a pretty wild train, although I don’t see it happening. I was hoping for a ColdHands/Benjen type of reveal but that also is kiboshed. LOL. I hope we actually see him, but a mention would be better than nothing too!

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    31. Moonlight: Someone else on reddit theorized that they may have showed Benjen’s horse in the preview to reveal that he was able to warg into the horse. I’m not sure how they’d be able to show that, but it would set up Jon warging into Ghost pretty nicely.

      Next season: Uncle Benjen-in-a-horse and Nephew Jon-in-a-wolf having adventures together in the North! Hype!

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    32. Can the Hype become greater? GoT season finale,E3 and BENJEN OH MY GOD HELP…..I CAN’T….THE HYPE….THE HYYYYYYYYYYPE

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    33. JTargs: Fake? I can see it being a total red herring and maybe only there to prelude Jon reminiscing about Benjen or something,

      When have any of these shows that do recaps ever done anything like that? The whole point of them is to remind people of scenes that are important to this episode, but that will not be shown in this episode on the assumption that normal people don’t remember every scene.

      Just to provide some perspective on how old the Benjen material is: a viewer that just graduated from college would have last seen that scene when he/she was still a senior in high school (or in their last year of secondary school or whatever it is in their country’s system). By comparison: how well did any of us remember any of our senior year high school class material at the end of our college careers?

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    34. Seriously. For that matter the horror at Hard Home was kind of a spoiler too.

      Sean C.:
      I recall D&D saying at one point that this season was largely spoiler-free for the later books, but between Shireen’s death (though that was a common speculation anyway) and what this Previously suggests, there’s a few big-ticket spoilers.

      There are a few things noticeably absent from this Previously too (particularly for the remaining LS diehards).

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    35. I truly believe LSH is out. If she doesn’t appear in the finale then she’s not in, period… and there hasn’t any indication whatsoever other than a vague episode title and a few Catelyn name-drops in past episodes. Unless it’s the best kept secret in TV history, I don’t think we’ll see her.

      …but I’d still love it if we did.

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    36. JTargs,

      Ok, I somehow missed the source. Even if it’s not fake it still ‘feels’ fake to me. Multiple shots relating to Benjen but not a single mention of Wildlings coming through, Olly or anything at all in recent evens of which there will obviously have an impact on the episode even in the unlikely event FTW doesn’t happen yet. I still don’t trust it. Also Austria is not Australia.

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    37. waiting for bookwankers to say how its out of character for Benjen to return to the wall. Characters Assassination.

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    38. Of the Night,

      Putting in stuff about the Wildlings and Olly might make For the Watch a tad too obvious (as if it wasn’t enough as it is). They’re gonna wanna play that card as close to the chest as possible I think.

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    39. El Witcher:
      waiting for bookwankers to say how its out of character for Benjen to return to the wall. Characters Assassination.

      I can’t wait for Ozzy man to hate on this scene because it is new big scene that hasn’t happened in the books yet.

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    40. Out of all the spoilers and potential spoilers for the finale that I’ve been dancing around over the past few days, this one … damn.

      Living or dead, Benjen pretty much has to appear in the flesh in this episode, doesn’t he? I can’t even fathom what kind of conversation Jon could have about his uncle in this episode that would be so important as to warrant taking up nearly 15 seconds of the Previously On to remind Unsullied viewers who he is. It’s possible, of course – the Previously On that aired before Episode 6 showed Lord Commander Mormont’s death to remind viewers that he was Jorah’s father before Jorah learned about his death from Tyrion. But people on the show talk about long-departed characters all the time without the Previously On feeling the need to remind people who those characters are. Granted, Benjen has been gone longer than pretty much any character on the show (he last appeared in the third episode of the entire series). But it’s still suspicious.

      Also, there’s this photo that WOTW tweeted out a few days ago … http://tumblrofthrones.tumblr.com/image/121277985978

      Some people were speculating that look of shock on Jon’s face might immediately precede his stabbing, but I think we have another candidate for what might be eliciting that reaction from him. He seems to be looking down, as if someone just collapsed in front of him. Someone he wasn’t ever expecting to see again …

      If this leak is legitimate and if Benjen will be returning in the finale and if he’s alive (lot of “if“‘s there, to be sure) … then there has to be a reason that the writers are bringing him back before Jon gets stabbed. The simplest explanation would be that he has a piece of information that they want Jon to know before he shuffles off his mortal coil, however temporarily. Could it be related to the White Walkers? Or potentially Jon’s parentage?

      The books lead us to believe that Howland Reed is the only living character who may be able to reveal the truth about what happened at the Tower of Joy, but if Ned was ever going to confide in anyone about what he promised Lyanna, wouldn’t Benjen have been the person he would tell? After all, Lyanna was Benjen’s sister too – as intent as Ned was on keeping her secret, he may have felt Benjen had a right to know the truth. According to the Wiki (I freely admit that I didn’t remember this off the top of my head), Benjen joined the Night’s Watch shortly after Robert’s Rebellion ended for unknown reasons. Doing that would have removed him from the political landscape of the Seven Kingdoms and put him beyond Robert’s reach. That timing seems odd in retrospect. I could also be reading far too much in to things. Still, even if Benjen knowing about R+L=J is a show-only development, he could definitely serve as an effective vector to impart that knowledge to Jon (and the audience) effectively. It could be oblique (“Ned wasn’t your father”, or something along those lines), but it would still be a highly significant moment.

      Melisandre and the Night’s King – two often theorized agents for facilitating Jon’s possible resurrection – aren’t currently at the Wall, and while warging into Ghost remains a possibility, it hasn’t really been foreshadowed this season. If the show isn’t going to provide the audience with an immediate clue of how Jon will return from his stabbing, allowing him to learn a major piece of mythology before he gets stabbed may serve as a sly nod to viewers that as dire as things look, Jon isn’t done and gone forever.

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    41. El Witcher:
      waiting for bookwankers to say how its out of character for Benjen to return to the wall. Characters Assassination.

      Can we cut the unprompted, childish insults please?

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    42. I never thought Benjen was Coldhands…. haven’t reread the books since it was confirmed he wasn’t though.

      Will he resurrect Jon instead of Red velvet, considering she’s not where she should be? Will Benjen take “Ghost” with him to meet the Night’s King?

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    43. El Witcher,

      It’s out of character for Benjen to return to the wall. His entire character arc has focused on him not returning to the wall. I mean sure he returned there at the start of season one but he’s evolved since then. This would completely reverse all his character development over the entire course of the show. Booo, hiss. 🙂 How’s that for book wanking?

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    44. Wasnt this supposed to be the episode that was supposed to break the internet? No matter what they throw of course that aint happenin despite all the passion we show here for the show.

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    45. Anyone find it a little strange that Brienne doesn’t appear in the recap? I mean, we know she’s showing up episode ten, and every recap so far this season has been incredibly heavy handed about the relevant plot points appearing in the next episode.

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    46. So let’s think through this….

      They replay Doran’s “You can swear your allegiance to me, or you can die.” Seems like that’s an obvious hint that Ellaria (or just the Sand Snakes acting on their own) is going to try something new, in defiance of Doran.

      We see mention of the “light a candle in the highest tower”, suggesting that Sansa, or someone on her behalf, is going to turn on the bat signal.

      We also do *NOT* see a recap of Brienne’s “a shadow with the face of Stannis Baratheon”. So does that mean that she’s not going to try to kill him this ep?

      Other things are also interesting by omission. E.g., no Littlefinger in the recap. So I guess we’re not going to see him sending knights of the Vale to Winterfell at this point, or anything like that.

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    47. The more I look into it, the more I believe that Benjen knows R+L=J. Here’s the evidence:

      1. Benjen was extremely close to Lyanna. When Rhaegar sang at the Tourney at Harrenhal it made Lyanna weep and Benjen teased her for it. She poured wine over his head in response – so clearly they’re close and it’s very possible Benjen knew she loved Rhaegar.

      2. Benjen joined the Night’s Watch soon after Ned got back to Winterfell along with baby Jon. He might have forced the secret out of Ned, knowing his brother was too honorable to cheat and knowing that Lyanna loved Rhaegar and probably ran off with him instead of being kidnapped. He then might have felt a duty to protect the secret and joined the NW.

      3. Jon: I’m not your son.
      Benjen: More’s the pity
      http://asoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/topic/103316-how-much-does-benjen-know/

      4. Jon says he’s not interested in fathering children. Benjen replies that he might change his mind if he “knew what it meant”. The obvious point is that he’s referring to how young Jon is and how little he has experienced in life but could it refer instead to his Targaryen lineage?

      5. Benjen coming back to say R+L=J is just so damn convenient. Compared to Howland Reed somehow turning up from nowhere (which would be epic but random), or Melisandre or Bran vision questing somehow, it flows more naturally in a storyline.

      That said, completely shocked we might be seeing Benjen in episode 10!

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    48. Axechucker: But the fact that Benjen’s reasons were never specifically stated in the books makes me wonder if George has something up his sleeve.

      Obviously, that is possibility in the sense that GRRM hasn’t close the door on it. However, “why did Benjen Stark take the black?” is not a big unanswered question of the series. So, if it never comes up, then we cannot complain that GRRM wound us up over nothing.

      I am betting that SoI&F winds up like Harry Potter in that there will be a long list of questions that fans wish got answered that never actually are raised in the books and never addressed by book 7. (JKR was often perplexed by some of these questions, or admitted that she never thought about the question before.)

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    49. Reema,

      As heavy-handed as the Previously Ons can sometimes be about what viewers will see in the episode, they can’t include everything. There’s never been one for Game of Thrones that has run longer than two minutes. It looks like the finale is going to check in with pretty much every single ongoing storyline from this season, so it’s going to be packed. The recap does mention the candle that Sansa is supposed to light, and Brienne is the only one who is in position to answer that call, so they may have felt that was sufficient. And Brienne does appear in the trailer for Episode 10.

      Mr. Morden:

      We also do *NOT* see a recap of Brienne’s “a shadow with the face of Stannis Baratheon”.So does that mean that she’s not going to try to kill him this ep?

      While the Previously Ons can sometimes explicitly reveal the return of long-absent characters and storylines, they’re generally pretty good about not spoiling potential deaths. If Brienne makes an attempt on Stannis’s life in this episode, I expect she will make some kind of statement as to her intentions beforehand. That should be sufficient to remind viewers what she intends to do and why she wants to do it – if, for whatever reason, they don’t remember her monologue about her loyalty to Renly from “High Sparrow”.

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    50. Of the Night,

      I agree with you completely it is out of character for Benjen to return to the wall. My reasoning is different because he is too busy advising Dany in Mereen and being a captain of the storm crows ehe.
      mau,

      Ozzyman is turning into a hipster, soon he will wear fake nerdy glasses and skinny jeans and hate on everything mainstream carrying around his underground ASOIAF book series.

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    51. Family, Duty, Hodor: 1. Benjen was extremely close to Lyanna. …..

      I am not sure that is evidence that they were unusually close! She might have been putting her bratty little brother in his place. Moreover, a closeness between B&L would have little bearing on whether Ned would tell Ben: and it even might discourage Ned from doing so (see below).

      Family, Duty, Hodor: 2. Benjen joined the Night’s Watch soon after Ned got back to Winterfell along with baby Jon. ….. He then might have felt a duty to protect the secret and joined the NW.

      How does joining the NW keep this any more secret than, say, marrying the eldest daughter of some sonless northern lord and just never talking about Jon? Ultimately, keeping the secret means not telling anyone regardless of where he is: if he gets drunk and blabs on the Wall, then word would get out almost as quickly as it would if he got drunk and blabbed in Kings Landing.

      Family, Duty, Hodor: 3. Jon: I’m not your son.
      Benjen: More’s the pity

      That is just as much evidence that Benjen thinks that Jon is Ned’s son as it is that Benjen thinks that Jon is Rhaegar’s son. It is no secret that Catelyn makes Jon’s life hell because she cannot stand having Ned’s bastard around. However, if Jon had been Ben’s bastard, then she probably might have been more lenient. (I suspect that she would not have approved, but there would have been a lot less personal hatred.)

      Family, Duty, Hodor: 4. Jon says he’s not interested in fathering children. Benjen replies that he might change his mind if he “knew what it meant” ….. could it refer instead to his Targaryen lineage?

      Possibly: but, again, it’s not evidence that Benjen thinks R+L=J. Benjen might think it’s a better idea if the Targs never come back because of the strife it would cause. (Another maybe, of course, but just as plausible of one.) And, of course, it might well be evidence that Benjen has a bastard or two out there!

      Family, Duty, Hodor: 5. Benjen coming back to say R+L=J is just so damn convenient. Compared to Howland Reed somehow turning up from nowhere (which would be epic but random), or Melisandre or Bran vision questing somehow, it flows more naturally in a storyline

      Actually, at this point, I would consider HR to flow most naturally from the storyline. Mel’s visions would be 2nd on the list. Bran seems improbable unless there are weirwood trees near the Tower of Joy.

      For my part, I am skeptical that Ned told Ben for one very simple reason: Ned hates lying, and it clearly is a huge strain on his conscious to have to carry some big lie (probably but not definitely R+L=J) in Thrones. I do not think that Ned would ask someone else to compromise his/her honor by asking them to join in lying to the world. Here is the other thing: if Lyanna did elope with Rhaegar (as so many of us suspect), then she dishonored the Stark family, not just herself. Never mind bearing a bastard: she was promised to another man. Given Ned’s character, he might convince himself that he is protecting Lyanna’s honor by keeping this secret: and along these lines, maybe he just does not want Ben to know that Ben’s big sister would be labelled a whore by most of Westerosian society should the truth ever come out.

      So, color me skeptical that Benjen is going to be the device for revealing who Jon’s parents are.

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    52. Jared: The simplest explanation would be that he has a piece of information that they want Jon to know before he shuffles off his mortal coil, however temporarily. Could it be related to the White Walkers? Or potentially Jon’s parentage?

      Hmmm…. thus tying into Mother’s Mercy. 🙂 I like it! That would be cool.

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    53. Wimsey: I am betting that SoI&F winds up like Harry Potter in that there will be a long list of questions that fans wish got answered that never actually are raised in the books and never addressed by book 7. (JKR was often perplexed by some of these questions, or admitted that she never thought about the question before.)

      Same thing happened with Stephen R. Donaldson, who used to hold an “open interview” on his website where he would answer questions from fans (it ran for several years until he finally decided to stop because it took too much of his writing time). Often times he would have to answer some random question about minutia stating, “I only write what I need” – IOW, if there is some detail that was not relevant to the main plot of the story, he didn’t concern himself with explaining it.

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    54. I would belly laugh soooo hard, if they show Benjen in this “Previously On”, and have absolutely nothing about him in the episode- not even a mention.

      I’ve never heard D&D laugh before , but if they did punk us, and they DID laugh, I wonder how weird of a noise they would make.

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    55. Of the Night,

      Fake? It’s the recap that will air before the start of the episode, which always gives away the plot, because they use it to remind people about characters and events from seasons earlier.

      For example, if Lady Stoneheart were going to appear in an episode, I can guarantee the recap would include scenes of Thoros, Beric and Cat.

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    56. ZappaCreed,

      So is having the most tightly clenched buttholes in the world, how condescending Brits like you manage to ward off “infantile” things like “Previously On”? I’d try it, but it has a side effect of coming across as extremely off-putting.

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    57. Jared,

      How would Benjen know Jon’s parentage?

      Only Ned and that King Reed guy knew.

      Ned hasn’t even ever told his wife why would he tell his brother?

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    58. The only reason I can think of for Benji’s return is…

      He knows about warging, Jon’s capability to do it, his possible connection to Ghost, and therefore what to do with both Jon’s inanimate form and Snowghost.

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    59. tyjon,
      What about some sort of emissary from the Night King?

      Simeon: Often times he would have to answer some random question about minutia stating, “I only write what I need” –

      Sort of like Star Trek fans asking William Shatner what the combination of the safe was in the Captain’s quarters. Or Doctor Who actors being asked about details of the Doctor’s thought process on episodes done years before they were playing the Doctor!

      (“Move out of your parents’ basement!”)

        Quote  Reply

    60. tyjon,

      But how would Benjen knowing about

      Jon’s ability to warg help an unconscious/dead Jon warg into an animal? It’s something that Jon has to consciously do.

      I find it more likely that he knows about R+L=J. Granted, I don’t think that would come into play in this episode, so I’m not sure in what context he will appear, but it would certainly be an important role in the future.

        Quote  Reply

    61. Arthur,

      Jumping in but Benjen was closer to Lyanna than Ned. There’s a decent chance he knew Lyanna loved Rhaegar and eloped with him. It’s even possible he was somehow involved with getting armor for her as the Knight of the Laughing Tree.

      When Ned came back to Winterfell with Jon it may have been impossible for him to keep the secret from Benjen, because unlike Cat, Benjen knew too much about Lyanna and Rhaegar.

        Quote  Reply

    62. Holy shit! Please forgive me but this news gives me the urge to speculate wildly. Off the top of my head I see two possible scenarios for how this could play out:

      Benjen shows up at the Wall. One horn blast = rangers returning. He’s been watching over Jon (using Stark greenseer/warging abilities) and knows his nephew is in mortal danger. In the chaos following FTW he carries Jon away. Where does he take him? To Bran and the Three Eyed Raven? To the Night’s King?

      Or…

      We cut to somewhere in the far north where the Night’s King has amassed his army of the dead. They are beginning the march south for the epic final attack on the Wall. Karsi-Wight could be featured in the front ranks. And in this sequence we see Benjen — either watching the White Walker army from afar (recon mission) — or in captivity, as a prisoner of the Night’s King.

      I’ve always felt that was how GRRM might reintroduce Benjen in TWOW — you’d turn the page and see a chapter titled BENJEN out of the fucking blue. He would be the reader’s behind-the-scenes POV onto the White Walkers and the Land of Always Winter.

        Quote  Reply

    63. Of the Night,

      Totally my bad on the Austria/Australia thing. Haha I was too excited to really read it. However, Sky and the watermark at the bottom immediately registered as valid to me, so. As far as Ollie and the NW, this is something we’ve been seeing all season to the point that my Unsullied friends have asked me if Ollie kills Jon. There are 8-10 storylines that will be significantly featured in this episode and they are not all in the previously on because we’ve been watching them all season. Benjen, on the other hand, hasn’t been seen since early season 1. For most viewers who haven’t seen him on their televisions in years, it’s reasonable that they might need more reminding of this.

        Quote  Reply

    64. Okay guys I’m putting my castle forged tinfoil on right now. What if Benjen shows up at winterfell to help Sansa? I have always had a theory that Benjen was the hooded man in winterfell. Go fuck yourself Theon Turncloak

        Quote  Reply

    65. I believe Benjen joined the Nights Watch out of his own free will. However, the reason might also be that he grew so dissillusioned with the realm and its politics after his father’s and brother’s death, that he probably did not want to serve kings anymore. I think he served as Lord of Winterfell while Ned was off serving with Robert in his rebellion / campaign, and then went off to the Wall to serve the Watch. Maybe he also knew that Lyanna was the Knight of the Laughing Tree and felt incredible guilt or remorse if that was how Rhaegar met her (Aerys sent him to go look for the knight). It is just my speculation, though.

      As far as the rule for wights are concerned, maybe Starks are 1) either special, so they don’t lose their consciousness when they are turned, or 2) they are cursed in a sense, so it is acutally a terrbile burden to be both undead and still conscious of who you are.

      This is another possibility for what might happen to Jon, however, I am still a little unsure as to how this will serve his larger purpose in the story

        Quote  Reply

    66. Going back to the casting call for the kids, maybe this episode just gets Benjen back to the Wall, the cliffhanger is just that he desperately needs to speak with Jon (and that’s the last we see of it this episode) and season 6 starts off with another flashback. Then there is time for the red carpet to get to Jon before FTW.

        Quote  Reply

    67. I sometimes wonder if there’s one or more rogue White Walkers who are working against the Night’s King. Perhaps Benjen (and Coldhands) could be a part of that.

      All this wild speculation is fun! Best leaked spoiler ever.

        Quote  Reply

    68. Arthur,

      In my post, I threw out the idea that Ned may have thought he owed Benjen the truth because Benjen was also Lyanna’s brother, and thus knew her better than any living person other than Ned himself. Young as he was at the time, Benjen was also present at Harrenhal when Lyanna met Rhaegar, and even teased her about crying when she listened to one of Rhaegar’s songs (a moment many book readers have cited as a sign she was falling in love with him). He may have suspected things, even if Ned didn’t tell him the full truth.

      By contrast, Catelyn wouldn’t have had that same connection to Lyanna. She didn’t marry Ned until after Lyanna had been abducted, and despite her prior betrothal to Brandon, it’s unclear how well she really knew the Stark family before the rebellion began. In the early days of their marriage, Ned probably thought he couldn’t take even the slightest risk that Catelyn would disclose Jon’s true parentage to Robert, if only to rid herself of his presence. As the years wore on and Ned grew to love and trust Catelyn, he could have saved both Jon and himself a ton of grief if he had told her that Jon wasn’t truly his bastard son. But clearly, he still didn’t see that as sufficient grounds to break Lyanna’s confidence.

      This is all purely theoretical, of course. I’ll be honest – before this potential (can’t stress that enough) spoiler about Benjen’s possible return in the finale materialized, it had never even occurred to me to consider what Benjen might or might not know. Truth be told, I thought Benjen had died during his ranging beyond the Wall, and he was never going to reappear in either the show or the books (no, I never believed he was Coldhands). Any knowledge he may have possessed seemed immaterial, because it presumably died with him. That may still be the case. I guess we’ll see on Sunday.

        Quote  Reply

    69. Man, as much as I’d like to think this is legit, I have a funny feeling that it’s fake. Doesn’t anyone find it odd that just about the ONLY storyline from this season that isn’t referenced in this reel is what is happening at the Wall? No references to Hardhome, Sam/Gilly being in danger, the growing tension between Jon and the NW, etc, etc? Instead, we get a fairly random flashback to a storyline that hasn’t been alluded to since Season 1?! Doesn’t anyone else think that HBO may have deliberately leaked this reel with the Benjen scenes put in place of this season’s highlights to throw people off the scent of

      For the Watch

      – which will be a legitimately shocking event for non-book readers? Or, more likely, perhaps some enterprising troll got a hold of the reel in advance and edited in the Benjen scenes to screw with all of us? Either way, this is more than a bit fishy.

        Quote  Reply

    70. Jared,

      I think that it also is very possible that Catelyn would not have wanted Ned harboring someone who would get her children labelled traitors living with them: or that Ned feared this. Besides, her hatred of Jon for being Ned’s bastard worked in Ned’s favor: it put all the attention on women with whom had been (or might have been) sleeping, which in turn took the attention as far from Lyanna as possible.

        Quote  Reply

    71. RBloodworth:
      Man, as much as I’d like to think this is legit, I have a funny feeling that it’s fake.Doesn’t anyone find it odd that just about the ONLY storyline from this season that isn’t referenced in this reel is what is happening at the Wall?No references to Hardhome, Sam/Gilly being in danger, the growing tension between Jon and the NW, etc, etc?Instead, we get a fairly random flashback to a storyline that hasn’t been alluded to since Season 1?!Doesn’t anyone else think that HBO may have deliberately leaked this reel with the Benjen scenes put in place of this season’s highlights to throw people off the scent of

      For the Watch[\spoiler]- which will be a legitimately shocking event for non-book readers?Or, more likely, perhaps some enterprising troll got a hold of the reel in advance and edited in the Benjen scenes to screw with all of us?Either way, this is more than a bit fishy.

      No, that’s a kind of three-dimensional chess that fans often speculate about but which networks would never bother actually playing. It’s an official release from SKY Austria. It’s 100% legitimate.

        Quote  Reply

    72. Robb Snow,

      If LSH was happening, this blatantly spoilerific preview would include some footage of the characters involved. Some LSH believes may say they wouldn’t, as it would be too obvious… But isn’t showing Benjen, of all people, obvious?

      LSH ain’t happening. Get with the programme.

        Quote  Reply

    73. Wimsey,

      Now two children danced across the godswood, hooting at one another as they dueled with broken branches. The girl was the older and taller of the two. Arya! Bran thought eagerly, as he watched her leap up onto a rock and cut at the boy. But that couldn’t be right. If the girl was Arya, the boy was Bran himself, and he had never worn his hair so long. And Arya never beat me playing swords, the way that girl is beating him. She slashed the boy across his thigh, so hard that his leg went out from under him and he fell into the pool and began to splash and shout.

      —ADWD, Bran III

      Seems like Benjen and Lyanna played a lot together growing up in Winterfell. Ned grew up at the Eyrie so presumably spent less time with Lyanna. So although it’s not explicitly stated, it seems fair to assume Benjen was closer to Lyanna than Ned.

        Quote  Reply

    74. Luka Nieto,

      Way ahead of you there. The odds of LSH appearing are slim to none.

      But for the sake of argument, if they really wanted to keep this a huge surprise it would be best to play that card super close to the chest just like they’re doing with

      For the Watch.

      Especially since it’d already be all over the internet the minute Catelyn appeared in the preview. There would be no surprise.

        Quote  Reply

    75. All the talk of Benjen returning…what about the Syrio love?

      Arya lies to Jacen about killing MF Trant instead of the thin man…then smack! A girl lies…cause I know who MFT is…face reveal to Syrio!

      Epic!

        Quote  Reply

    76. Luka Nieto: LSH ain’t happening. Get with the programme.

      I still think that if they did bring back LSH, then they would keep her as a mystery woman for some time. Sure, the book readers would know who she is: but most of the audience does not read the books and (as events have demonstrated repeatedly) most of the audience does not find out what is going to happen from book readers.

      That written, I am increasingly skeptical that LSH is ever going to be important enough to the story or even to the plot to be included in the show.

        Quote  Reply

    77. Wimsey,

      Only just saw this comment now. I don’t have time to go through one by one but I hope that quote from ADWD emphasised how close Benjen and Lyanna were (most likely).

      Also, it’s been pointed out that guilt could have been a strong driving force for Benjen to join the NW. It’s never really been clarified why he joined at such an unstable time for House Stark, but this could be a possible explanation.

      The other arguments you make are all reasonable, but on balance I think the Benjen knows R+L=J theory is a good one.

        Quote  Reply

    78. You know what would break the Internet? FTW not happening at all. 😛 Here we are practically gagging for it….That’d screw with our heads!

        Quote  Reply

    79. Wimsey,

      I doubt it. There’s been too much foreshadowing of it this season and there’s no better moment for it narratively and dramatically speaking than the season finale. It wouldn’t carry as much weight if it happened any other time IMHO.

        Quote  Reply

    80. After reading more comments, I agree with Benjen taking the black to keep a secret. I think Benjen and Lyanna were super close, and Benjen probably easily saw through Ned’s ruse when he brought baby Jon back home. I also immediately thought of the “More’s the pity quote”, but never noticed how much “You would, if you knew what it meant (fathering children).” actually means in this context!

        Quote  Reply

    81. Family, Duty, Hodor: Also, it’s been pointed out that guilt could have been a strong driving force for Benjen to join the NW.

      I guess I do not see why Benjen would have felt guilty about anything. I would bet that Benjen had his heart set on joining the NW for a while.

      Maybe the best way to put it is that I could see Ned doing either: it’s not like withholding the truth or asking someone else to lie is something Ned would ordinarily do, but he has to do one or the other. I lean towards the former because I could see Ned reasoning that the most honorable thing to do would be to do all of the dishonorable things himself and not ask anyone else to participate in dishonorable behavior. Indeed, perhaps part of what tears Ned up so much about these secrets that he keeps and these lies that he’s told is that he had to deceive his brother who was also close to Lyanna. Again, that is speculation: but it’s consistent with what we read.

      You also raise a completely separate issue: did Benjen guess? And that might be where the two views dovetail. If Benjen guessed and asked Ned directly, then I bet that Ned would have admitted the truth to Benjen.

        Quote  Reply

    82. Robb Snow,

      Joffery’s death carried plenty of weight in episode 2. And it’s not like it will be kept secret that Harrington is filming GoT this summer, so any “who shot JR?” mystery will get quickly resolved.

        Quote  Reply

    83. Pigeon: You know what would break the Internet? FTW not happening at all.

      Actually if FTW does not happen, but Jon’s true parents are revealed by Benjen, it WILL break the internet. 😀 For a good long time. Book readers will probably go mad. Show watchers will be astonished. This time tomorrow night, it will be madness and chaos everywhere. 😉

        Quote  Reply

    84. Sansa, quickly light the beacon of Gondor! Summon the Rohirrim before Ramsay violates you again! Escape to the crypts and find your (or Jon’s) density…er…destiny!

      Benjen (like Drogon) takes wounded Jon away after FTW.

        Quote  Reply

    85. Kay: Actually if FTW does not happen, but Jon’s true parents are revealed by Benjen, it WILL break the internet. For a good long time. Book readers will probably go mad. Show watchers will be astonished. This time tomorrow night, it will be madness and chaos everywhere.

      As a book lover and a show lover, I would actually find it pretty fantastic if they pulled out the rug like that. (although I accept that it is unkind of me to want to watch heads explode on twitter) 😛 There are just so many reasons that I really love not knowing what the hell will be going on in the show now! 😀

        Quote  Reply

    86. Kay,

      I can’t wait! I had the same feeling the night before the Red Wedding. I’m sure that whatever happens tomorrow will have everyone talking for months.

        Quote  Reply

    87. Bongo,

      Seeing little Arya and little Jon again, albeit in separate scenes, made me recall the scene where he gave her Needle to begin with, and kind of ties in nicely to where she’s at this season.

      I don’t really think anyone expects a return of ‘Syrio’, but it was nice to see his ‘face’ again!

        Quote  Reply

    88. I suppose some of you would call me a book wanker ( but I am a bit of a show wanker too). I watch the show faithfully but don’t always like everything about it.. still, I must like more than I dislike, because I’m still here.

      For years now , at Westeros , I’ve been touting

      Benjen as the hooded man and the real glue keeping the northern resistance cohesive. Understandably , this has me feeling a bit giddy..and I like to imagine he may be the cause of Sansa’s look of surprise and awe. I’d like to take this as confirmation of one of my theories , but…

      …then I have to remind myself that the show is the show and the books are the books. I mean, look where Sansa is.. all the same, there will be key points where the two have to match up… not just at the end.

        Quote  Reply

    89. Pigeon:
      You know what would break the Internet?FTW not happening at all. Here we are practically gagging for it….That’dscrew with our heads!

      No please don’t delay it any longer. I can’t take any more of Olly’s glaring, even if it turns out to be a double bluff and he has no involvement/possibly goes for help 🙁

      Or perhaps Jon gets so sick of it he stabs Olly himself. Hmmmm…reverse FTW? Jon yells “fuck the watch” and stabs everyone else. No one sees it coming, sullied or not, internet breaks 😉

        Quote  Reply

    90. Off-Topic Otto: maybe this episode just gets Benjen back to the Wall, the cliffhanger is just that he desperately needs to speak with Jon (and that’s the last we see of it this episode)

      Oh, god. That’s so awful, you know it’s going to happen.

        Quote  Reply

    91. Lulu’s Mum,

      I think it’d be kind of fantastic if Olly gave the bitchface to Wun Wun, and Wun Wun glanced at Edd, got a nod, looks at Olly and says, “THE F*CK YOU LOOKING AT?” *squish*

        Quote  Reply

    92. Benjen Stark died in his crib long ago. The man was in fact an agent sent by the Three-Eyed Raven, who is in fact both Rh’llor and the Great Other, to inspect the Stark kids and grant them the gift of wargness. He saw Robb and Sansa and said “nah, not gonna make it!”, Arya “too cool to warg” and thus injected the skill to Bran and Jon. He joined the Watch and often went back-and-forth to Winterfell to secretly replenish his mana. When Jon joined the Watch, he finished his job and retreat to his sweet mancave until Jon f*cked things up.

        Quote  Reply

    93. RhymesWithWeak: Arya lies to Jacen about killing MF Trant instead of the thin man…then smack! A girl lies…cause I know who MFT is…face reveal to Syrio!

      I would enjoy a scene where Arya reminds/shows Trant the Syrio face, then Trant said “I’killed you”, then Arya follows with “What is the one thing we say to death?” …then removes the face, back to Arya…“We say… Not today!” and kills a freaked-out, wide-eyed Trant.

      But seriously, the girl that Arya helped euthanize was “young enough” (uggh) for Trant so she will be the face Arya uses before the “Mercy” kill.

        Quote  Reply

    94. Pigeon,
      It’s bad; we ought to feel really sorry for Olly after all he’s been through, but all I can think is “oh god it’s that annoying kid again”. I feel mean 🙁 Still Wun Wun stomping on anything is always funny. Maybe he squashes Jon by accident and there’s no stabby stabby after all? Realises his mistake and hides him in a cupboard/under the carpet or something 😉

        Quote  Reply

    95. Lulu’s Mum,

      I felt bad that his parents were killed.

      Then Jon killed the Thenn who traumatized him.

      Then he killed Ygritte, and saw that she meant a lot to Jon.

      Then Jon made him his little assistant.

      I no longer feel sorry for him. He can bugger off.

      Lol, poor Wun Wun.

        Quote  Reply

    96. People are really gonna wish for Wun Wun to stomp on Olly after tomorrow night most likely. The poor kid never stood a chance.

        Quote  Reply

    97. I think the Syrio part serves to remind viewers of that original thing Meryn Trant did to put him on Arya’s list, and so that they’ll know what she’s thinking when she really decides to plan out his murder. (If Jaqen reveals himself as Syrio, though, you won’t hear me complaining.)

      The Benjen stuff, on the other hand, can only mean we find out his fate. What that is will remain to be seen, of course, but if he’s back in the flesh I’d like to think that he simply figured out Ned’s lie without determining Jon’s actual parents. So a line like, “Ned wasn’t your father,” would still leave plenty up in the air without being dishonest, as Benjen is relaying what he knows. As well, if Jon learns that and the viewers are given enough time to digest it before the mutiny, that’s a knockout combo. Can’t wait to find out Benjen’s fate, though, whatever it was!

        Quote  Reply

    98. Pigeon, Robb Snow
      Maybe he just has poor eyesight and isn’t glaring at all? Back in the 1840s when I was at college we had just started a new class and were still getting know each other. There was a girl who everyone thought was giving them bitchy looks, but it turned out she was having her glasses repaired and was actually just subconsciously pulling faces while trying to recognise fellow students whose features were now just a blur. Whoops 🙁

        Quote  Reply

    99. Wimsey..

      There’s at least one clue that I’ve come across in the books that would suggest that Benjen didn’t join the watch at least until Jon and Robb were about 4..

      I think he knows, or can at least guess Jon’s parentage

      but I don’t think he’s in WF merely to tell Jon. He’s there to be “a Stark in WF” and to lead an attack on the Boltons from within. That way Stannis cannot take WF even if he wins against the Boltons. WF will be in northern hands, not for Stannis to award to anyone.. and Mel won’t be able to come near the godswood.

      … at least as far as the books are concerned.

      My bet is FTW will not happen this episode, or

      Jon will survive “relatively unscathed”.. after his berserker tendencies come to the fore ( at least that’s my projection for the books)

      … FTW may unfold early next season.

        Quote  Reply

    100. I didn’t read all the comments, but after reading all the Benjin hype at the start of the thread. I think it’s important to note that this very well could be a diversion tactic.

      What the preview is doing is reminding you of Benjin, it’s mostly for TV Viewers who don’t know what’s coming this episode. That’s how D&D will “troll” it. So when the Jon Snow scenes show up, we’re suddenly thinking hey Benjin Benjin Benjin, as the Jon scenes gets more intense and the situation starts becoming dangerous it puts the viewers minds into the “here comes drogon mode”… Basically last episode they got everyone thinking about dragons and when the main character got in trouble (your mind thinks here comes the dragon)… This episode when the main character gets in trouble your mind is going to think (here comes Benjin)..

      But as we know in the books:

      Jon gets stabbed multiple times

      it’s to make you wait for something that isn’t going to happen. It adds shock value to the scene. Typical D&D trolling, that’s all this is… That’s my opinion anyway.

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    101. By this time tomorrow night, in one form or another, the ladder that is chaos will plague our realm.

      Much love to all.

      For the night will soon be dark, and we know what that means.

        Quote  Reply

    102. Obsidian,

      For The Watch will happen 100% surea of that.Too many things pointing at that.If Benjen is about to make a return, it’s something in Jon’s storyline White Walker,Wildlings,Bran and Bloodraven whatever it is.Not Winterfell.Still think it’s some master trolling from D&D.

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    103. Scenes from Dorne confirm what I called after last episode.Last attack and Ellaria is as good as dead.1 or 2 other deaths are possible too.Maybe Myrcella injured.Or not.We shall see.

        Quote  Reply

    104. Ser Gerold Dayne,

      Same. I’ve had a hunch that’s what was gonna happen ever since Jessica Henwick spilled the beans the other day about the Sand Snakes doing something “extreme” in the finale, and giving your namesake’s part from the books to Ellaria and the Sand Snakes definitely fits the bill.

        Quote  Reply

    105. Here is what I think. And it may be out of left field.

      Benjen may just appear in flashbacks.

      If he actually shows up, he knows Jon's lineage and has spent the last how many ever years with The Children. FTW happens, he shows up to resurrection Jon and we'll all know he is AA.

        Quote  Reply

    106. Brando:
      Arthur,
      Because Benjen probably covered for her when she took off with Rhaegar

      That’s actually brilliant, because it would explain a few things:
      1. He knows about Jon’s parentage and thus can tell Jon about it. (= Howland Reed not necessary)
      2. He went against his father’s orders by helping Lyanna elope. Lyanna told Ned about it to convince him that she wasn’t raped. Ned is very strict about rules and honor, so, brother or no, as the Lord of Winterfell he would have to punish his own brother for going against their fathers orders/the law. Either Benjen at the wall is is punishment or he went there to avoid said punishment.

        Quote  Reply

    107. What if Benjen…shows up at Winterfell instead? That surprised expression on Sansa’s face in that ep 10 still could imply she runs into someone she knows.
      What if Benjen is the hooded man that Theon spoke to in ADWD?
      Could we be getting a Bolton bloodbath care of Benjen?

        Quote  Reply

    108. As for FTW, it MUST happen. Otherwise the whole wall arc would be pretty inconsistent, since it’s been set up for so long.
      The big question is

      how Jon survives. I see 3 otions here:
      1. Jon survives. He is wounded and someone (Benjen, the wildlings) gets him out of harm’s way so he can heal.
      2. Jon is killed and they put im in the ice chambers until they can burn him. (This reminds me of Bran’s dream of Jon lying in a bed of ice turning ashen as all warmth of life fades.) That’s where Melisandre finds him and revives him. His soul remains in Ghost for the time.
      3. Jon is killed/nearly killed, taken away by someone north of the Wall and being revived as/turned into a white walker. I don’t think they’ll make him a wight, but then who knows. Coldhands is not a walker, and yet not a mindless zombie either.

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    109. Geralt of Rivia,

      Can’t agree.. at least not as far as the books are concerned… but who knows what streamlining D&D may do.

      oh, I’m sure he will have info in the “white walkers” and no doubt the CoTF and perhaps he may reveal Jon’s parentage (if it’s not too soon)… but Winterfell is part of Jon’s story line, past and future, IMO. He’ll be no less a Stark as far as any magic is concerned , even when his parentage is revealed.

        Quote  Reply

    110. Family, Duty, Hodor,
      Wimsey,
      OMG OMG OMG BENJEN!!!!!!!!!
      Ok, so I agree with you, FDH, that Benjen was very close to Lyanna and would have helped her escape with Rheagar, especially if he knew and liked Rheagar. But I also agree with Wimsey that Ned would never have dumped the responsibility of carrying such a powerful secret on Benjen if he could avoid it. The Benjen and Jon show!scene when Benjen says that Jon would regret the children thing if he knew what he was missing made me think of another book!passage about Harrenhall: the story about the shy Stark dancing with Ashara Dayne and falling in love with her. What if that was not about Ned, but about Benjen? And through his association with Ashara he got to know Rheagar and his unhappiness with Elia and his obsession about the prophecy and helped Lyanna and Rheagar hide their association? He may have taken the black because his love, Ashara, killed herself and their baby daughter? Then he would of course be able to guess at Jon’s origins. Then, Ned and Benjen made the pact that Benjen would tell Jon about his parents once he had taken the oath. It’s convoluted, I know, but soooo romantic. OR, Benjen and Ned just discussed what would be best for the family once Jon appeared, and Benjen did his duty, joined the Watch, and was supposed to tell Jon about his parents when Ned sent him to the Wall and he took the oath. But, obviously, I prefer the Ashara Dayne explanation. 😉

      I love the theory someone posited about Benjen being our entry into the Land of Always Winter. Can’t wait to see where he’s been all this time. One of my favorite mystery characters–after Ashara, of course!

      Also, Wimsey: I share your feeling that FTW may be delayed until next season. I think this episode will be very crowded already.

      Boy, it is going to be hard to sleep tonight, and a long wait until 8pm Central time tomorrow! ‘Night, all!

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    111. I don’t know what the hell is going on with Benjen. There’s been no real indication about where he went or what happened to him, except his horse returned to the Wall and the bodies of some of his men were found and later became wights. That’s it.

      If he is still alive I don’t know why he wouldn’t return to Castle Black and instead wander around in the North doing nothing. He’s either dead (we might just find out how this episode and nothing more), been surviving somehow north of the Wall for years, is a wight or a White Walker… or another possibility I considered: he could be a prisoner of the Night’s King.

      But I’m positive he’s not anywhere south of the Wall as it really just isn’t in his character to abandon his brothers and his nephew like that, and I’d personally find it objectionable if that ends up being the case.

        Quote  Reply

    112. Moonlight:
      Someone else on reddit theorized that they may have showed Benjen’s horse in the preview to reveal that he was able to warg into the horse. I’m not sure how they’d be able to show that, but it would set up Jon warging into Ghost pretty nicely.

      Stupid theory is stupid and you are also stupid for even mentioning it.

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    113. I never wanted FTW to happen this season personally… but as this season has gone on and the dreadful beating us over the head with Olly grumping… I think we all gravitated to the idea that it’s GOT to happen this season.

      Maybe Olly attempts it, but fails, and oh I dunno Ghost eats him? We actually get the full FTW deal next season, which gives Red Velvet time to get back to the Wall?

      Maybe Benjen becomes a Pink Letter event, something to cause FTW? Or Jon sees a Benjen WW in his first Warg trip… I mean, if he ever does Warg on the show, they’d better start having some prelude to it….

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    114. Benjen: Jon….I have to tell you something. It’s about your real parents.
      You see— Oh…hello, youngster.

      Jon: “Olly, not now, my uncle has important news for me.”

      Olly: That’s ok, this won’t take long.
      [Stabs Jon and Benjen to death]

      People would be so pissed. lol

      Although I half think we may see Thorne step in and cleave Olly in half just as he’s about to make an attempt on Jon.

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    115. Maybe Benjen will meet Dany and tell her to go to Westeros and fight the White Walkers. Then they meet the Dothraki, and the storyline stalls again.

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    116. One last comment on my left field theory.
      Last scene: Jon rising out of the funeral pyre like Dany did in season 1. I know, I know, it really is way out there. But thanks for humoring me.

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    117. Of the Night: You are looking sensational for your age (and I have no idea what you look like).

      Thanks 🙂 Like a lot of people, my look depends on when you catch me – sometimes a beautiful glamorous leading lady (yeah, right! well, my best attempt at one anyway), at others a white walker would look at me in horror and say “bloody hell, what happened to you?” It’s all compliments round here lately, I got proposed to in another thread yesterday. Once the series is over (boo!) and it’s quietened down again, this place could be like a specialist interest site for meeting new friends and/or dating: Do you spend waaaaay too much time thinking about a completely fictional story and everything to do with it? Then come on over the the Wall and meet like minded nerds, er enthusiasts.* 😉

      EDIT: JonSnowHairProducts no idea what happens, but whatever it is, we can guarantee that thanks to you his hair will still look amazing! 😉

      EDIT EDIT: * specialists, that sounds much more impressive 🙂

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    118. I’m not entirely sure what we’re doing with book spoilers in this thread so I’ll tag this just in case:

      Olly is not gonna be alone. They cast Bowen Marsh this season and they probably introduced those rapists who attacked Sam and Gilly for a reason too. Add all the other Night’s Watch giving Jon the stink eye in the last episode and we’re probably talking about a full blown mutiny like in the books. It’s gonna get real ugly at Castle Black tomorrow night.

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    119. Obsidian,

      Winterfell is important for Jon’s past and future.I agree on that.Maybe we will find some clues in the crypts,as it’s speculated by some fans.It was his home for many years and one day he’ll return to WF.My personal theory is that he’ll lead Widlings+rest of the NW and North to war.He would be the best possible option to lead them(he’s a half Stark…r+l,b+a or n+a whatever theory you support),but Rickon will be KitN, or Warden of the North in the future.At least in my mind,but we’ll see.

      I feel this news about Benjen is tied somehow into Jon’s arc.The timing is a curious thing in all of it,because FTW is about to happen(foreshadowing is strong with this one), and all of a sudden Benjen is about to make a return?Very interesting coincidence.

      Something tells me Bran and Bloodraven are another key factor in this.Just a guess.

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    120. I don’t agree with those saying “Previously on GoT” before each ep should be taken down because it tells you whats going to happen…no, more like it reminds you of a story line or character you might have enjoyed in some previous season, and now something regarding it will be seen in the episode that is just about to air. so it’s not like you’ve got a lot of time to mull it over and think “oh this is what will go down” and be spoiled too much. I’m suspicious of this one, it’s not like the one for episode 5 where it was inside the episode and you can’t fake that. Someone could have easily cut and edited that sequence and included Benjen to troll on everyone. I just don’t see how they could ever present him in a meaningful way.

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    121. An alternative, less excitable but no less probable, interpretation:

      The clip of Benjen explains he was the First Ranger, he had a sworn duty – scout beyond the Wall, he stuck to his duty and paid for it with his life.

      Jon will be tested with his duty when he receives the Pink Letter and also pay for it with his life.


      Another thought: HBO ran out of money before they were done making season 1, hence all the 1 on 1 talk scenes. They wouldn’t have wasted resources casting a minor character like Benjen (with a credible actor nonetheless) unless he was absolutely necessary for later.

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    122. Hmm the idea that Benjen is a prisoner of the Night’s King is starting to grow on me. I don’t know what game the Night’s King is playing, but since Benjen is both a Stark and a high ranking member of the Night’s Watch he might find Benjen more valuable as a prisoner than as another mindless wight.

      Since the Night’s King seemed to take a peculiar interest in Jon at Hardhome, he might ask his prisoner a few questions upon returning to the Land of Always Winter (I like the suggestion Ashara D made about that)… and maybe Benjen will tell the NK something very interesting.

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    123. Somewhere right now Linda is brainwashing Ozzy man to be upset about Benjen

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    124. Wimsey: Hey, Ghost!What are you and Wun Wun eating over there?Ghost?

      I’m not sure why R+L=J would have driven Benjen to the Wall.It never is stated, but I always guessed that he joined before all of that: after all, a third son is pretty expendable, but after his oldest brother died, the Stark line became a bit thinner on the ground.Still, that is conjecture by me, not any fact.

      Benjen couldnt been gone to the watch before Jon, because there has always to be a Stark in Winterfell. Or did Newborn Robb count in that matter?

      I always thought he went, because it was his choice.

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    125. What if it’s just something Jon sees in his vision when he passes out? Like something in the past?

      On the show at least, something traumatic has to happen, Bran falling, Jojen getting sick etc, for some of these visions to happen.

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    126. Ashara D,

      There is a huge problem with your Benjen+Ashara idea, at Harrenhall, Lyanna was 14, Benjen is younger, so around 11-12, way too young for Ashara who was not only much older, but so beautiful that she would have had her pick of MEN, and never would have wasted time on someone so young.

      I always felt that Benjen joined the NW voluntarily, but the idea that he joined to keep a secret is silly, but out of quilt is interesting… think about this… say he did know about Lyanna wanting to escape her impending marriage and decided to help/cover for her. I could see that act as a real burden to a kid of 13-14 (Lyanna left when she was 15-16?) considering how events unfolded in the aftermath: his father and oldest brother are killed, his other brother is basically forced to go to war or submit to execution (a preemptive strike by the mad king) … and in the end even his sister ends up dead.

      None of it is directly his fault, but I could see how a young kid would take on some of the guilt and feel like he needed to do something big to show his penance, especially since he probably didn’t even get to fight in the war alongside Ned, but had to stay the ‘Stark at Winterfell’.

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    127. Darjan,

      I watched it on the Sky Austria site using a proxy, like a lot of people did. It was the exact same video as the one posted on youtube. So if it’s someone trolling, it’s someone who works for Sky Austria or HBO….

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    128. anca,

      It’d be hilarious though… Maybe the horse would whisper into Jon’s ear… OMG Benjen?? You’re a horse!? Sweet, I guess that means I can be a wolf if I get stabbed.

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    129. Robb Snow:

      Since the Night’s King seemed to take a peculiar interest in Jon at Hardhome, he might ask his prisoner a few questions upon returning to the Land of Always Winter (I like the suggestion Ashara D made about that)… and maybe Benjen will tell the NK something very interesting.

      LOL what? You should already stop with your absurd remarks. There was NOTHIHG, I mean NOTHING/ZERO that tell us night’s king took a “peculiar interest” in jon snow. I mean he saw one of his fellow white walker killed by Jon and than of course was watching jon and the last survivors fleeing away. What did you want him to do, to look away at what? mountains?

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    130. Jared: While the Previously Ons can sometimes explicitly reveal the return of long-absent characters and storylines, they’re generally pretty good about not spoiling potential deaths. If Brienne makes an attempt on Stannis’s life in this episode, I expect she will make some kind of statement as to her intentions beforehand. That should be sufficient to remind viewers what she intends to do and why she wants to do it – if, for whatever reason, they don’t remember her monologue about her loyalty to Renly from “High Sparrow”.

      I must admit I am a bit baffled by this Brienne-kills-Stannis idea, not that it is inconsistent with what’s been shown on TV, but because it seems like it is a million miles from any potential early TWOW plot. The book’s Battle of the North will resolve itself long before any plausible meeting between the two, given than Brienne is not nearby nor heading towards Stannis or even actively concerned with him. If she were to kill him tonight, it seems like it would almost have to result in radical differences between the book and the screen. Butterfly wings of that size would whip a real hurricane, it seems.

      Also, it doesn’t make much sense from a Stannis storyline. He makes an Ultimate Sacrifice to the Gods in E09, and dies in E10? That’s not even ironic, just lame. Also, it reaches into the same timeline problem as above. Shireen’s sacrifice isn’t even on the table yet in the books and won’t happen for some time. If Stannis is to do this, he has to live for quite a while yet, again implying that Stannis cannot (completely) die very early in TWOW.

      Also, I don’t think it is a good storyline for Brienne, either. Her story in the books (and to a slightly lesser extent on TV) is about her conflicting oaths. It is more consistent with the book story for her to pass on a chance to kill Stannis in order to protect Sansa, not get her revenge.

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    131. Someone over on asoiaf.westeros.org posted this INSANE crack-pot theory that I actually truly believe would “break the internet” if it was revealed to be true…

      That BENJEN is Jon Snow’s father and Lyanna is his mother. Hence, Jon Snow is born of incest!

      And her full conversation before she died was “Promise me, Ned… that you won’t tell anyone that Benjen is the baby’s father…. Also the Targs have been marrying brother and sister for centuries so…”

      hahahaha amazing

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    132. Chad Brick

      Agreed. Her views on Stannis were surely raised to add drama and conflict to her storyline because she’s in the vicinity of Stannis. It’s hard to see her not choosing to protect Sansa over having a shot at Stannis.

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    133. Wimsey,

      I think this too. But purely for logistical reasons more than anything. Let’s face it, Jon Snow is not finished in the books, he’s far too important for that. The whole is he or isn’t he cliffhanger that us bookreaders have been debating for years will be well and truly ruined for show viewers when Kit Harrington is spotted in Belfast during the filming for next season.

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    134. This is what I think about the Northern storyline for the finale

      I think that maybe Sansa and Theon escape early on in the episode and are found by Brienne after Ramsay sends his dogs to find them. Brienne and Pod defeat the dogs en they go south buth Sansa can’t stand to be around Theon and they abondom him. Later when Stannis reaches Winterfell they find Theon and take him captive. Then we get a siege but I don’t think any significant deaths will occur here. I think however that Myranda who will be knocked down during Sansa’s escape and will be flayed by Ramsay who holds her responsible.

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    135. I’m going to go ahead and call this:

      Jon will warg into Ghost to save himself, and through Ghost he will see Benjen Stark as a White Walker.

      For a while I’ve believed that perhaps the Others/WWs were building their army of knights using Craster’s children because Craster has Stark blood. From book canon, we know that Craster was the son of an unknown member of the Night’s Watch – and also that pretty much every generation of Starks sent someone into the NW, so it’s definitely possible. Nan also tells us that the original Night’s King was a Stark.

      Just as Targ’s have an affinity with fire and dragons, Starks have an affinity with ice and WWs/Others. What do you think – too much of a crackpot?

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    136. Sean C.:
      I recall D&D saying at one point that this season was largely spoiler-free for the later books, but between Shireen’s death (though that was a common speculation anyway) and what this Previously suggests, there’s a few big-ticket spoilers.

      There are a few things noticeably absent from this Previously too (particularly for the remaining LS diehards).

      I don’t think they said it would be spoiler-free but they said the first and last scenes of the season would still be from the books so the season won’t be completely plunging into the unknown just because they’re adapting things.

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    137. There’s been so much Rhaegar build up this season. I can’t help but wonder what Benjen knows…

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    138. MissMatchedEyes:
      There’s been so much Rhaegar build up this season.

      Only two scenes.Pretty sums up two views on him good,romantic guy vs raper,killer.Non-book readers will probably need more than that.

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    139. If Benjen truly is back, dead or alive – it actually makes sense for Night King’s POV. Jon would only let down his guard to grieve over family or someone he loved, so NK giving the watch Benjen’s body is a nice breach of their defences and to be rid of Jon who he see’s as a threat (as evidenced in ‘Hardhome’)

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    140. Benjen cannot return after 3-4 years (?) North of the wall alive and well. He’ll be either a flashback or someone with the White Walkers.

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    141. The Free Folk,

      How about less of the stereotyping, eh? All they did was mention that we don’t get ‘Previously On’ and that they find it “infanitile”. Nothing was said against anybody in another country that should be taken personally. I tend to agree with them that ‘Previously On’ is a bit condescending as if the audience can’t follow or remember basic plotlines…also preps you for what is going to happen in the episode which ruins the surprise.

      Think everyone needs to calm down a bit with everything , especially the Maisie hate (where on earth has that come from and why?).
      If Benjen is indeed alive and in it then I assume he may know about John’s parentage or will be involved with Rickon in some way or perhaps get involved with the event that happens at the wall.
      Syrio being mentioned isn’t a massive reveal of any sort. It reminds us of Meryn Trant and Arya’s history. The only way it may be more than that is if

      after she kills Trant the Faceless man reveals his Syrion face to show Arya he didn’t die after all and show that her inability to control her emotions means she’s not ready to be a Faceless Man

      Must admit, I’m a bit worried they’re going to try and jam too much into this finale. Hope it doesn’t cheapen any of the more significant events that do happen.

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    142. BIG, I mean really big SPOILER ahead – I’m pretty sure that at least 3 pics are for real:

      http://www.melty.it/game-of-thrones-5x10-leak-svelato-il-season-finale-spoiler-a162716.html

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    143. I don’t know if I’m more excited about learning what happened to Benjen or drooling over Joseph Mawle summore! Wheeeeeee!

      I’ve also noticed that non-readers have no idea why readers love Benjen so much. Whenever I mention him, they’re like, “Who?” And when I remind them, they say, “OK, who?”

      I want FTW to happen tonight if for no other reason than to vindictively inflict the end of ADWD on the non-reading viewership. We’ve lived with it for 5 years; they can damn well live with it for 10 months.

      Though I think it would be more awesome if the final shot was not Jon going down a la “E tu Brute?” but instead lying in an ice cell, his eyes snapping open, brightest blue. But I never get what I want. And I’m never right. Yay! Bring it!

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    144. LordMorley,

      Them Lady Stoneheart ‘screenshots’ are sooooo badly fake. I dont remember Cat scratching her face?

      The hooded one is interesting, but judging by the fact its from the same source I’m willing to bet its fake too.

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    145. viki,

      Yeah. I was afraid of that. I couldn’t remember how old they all were at the tourney. But my mind skips to Ashara whenever the tourney events are brought up. 😉

      Could the NK be Benjen? Wasn’t a Stark the NK in the past? Maybe he recognized Jon at Hardhome.

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    146. Wow, can you see the patern?

      Jon back with Benjen (or finding what he became),
      Dany back with the dothrakis,
      Arya back with Syrio (or avenging him).

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    147. I didn’t read all the posts but I wanted to say that another possible connection between Jon and Benjen could be Ghost, at least in the books. Ghost disappears a number of times where Jon sometimes chaulked it up to him hunting. It never sat well with me. I imagined that he was being controlled by 3EC/BRaven and preparing him for Snow’s ‘situation’ and next steps…maybe Ghost was with another Stark during those absences and not 3EC… The question in my mind, like so many minds, whatever happens tonight, is this GRRM’S invention or hackneyed piecings from Team D&D?
      Eos,

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    148. Luke Fielding,

      Possibly, but I’m a proponent of the Syrio=Jaqen theory! Makes sense him being flung in the dungeons or putting himself there, changing his face (which is why all the other prisoners were afraid of him) and being put in the cage to be taken to the Wall. Not the wildest of conspiracy theories in the grand scale of things.

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    149. TheTouchOfFrost,

      Yeah I am all for that theory too. I just think in the context of the show and plot, if Arya does kill Meryn – Jaqen revealing that Meryn did not actually kill Syrio will chastise her and show her that her thirst for revenge drove her to take a life needlessly. It could be a major turning point for Arya, though I suppose she will justify killing him as a good thing because he really was a creepy prick.

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    150. In relation to Jon’s storyline, I was under the impression that they had cast a wildling warg for this season? Is that incorrect? I may well be getting my casting calls mixed up. I presumed we’d have someone going into more detail about warging with him before FTW happens. Seems like that would be too much to fit into this episode though.

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    151. Daniellica:
      Though I think it would be more awesome if the final shot was not Jon going down a la “E tu Brute?” but instead lying in an ice cell, his eyes snapping open, brightest blue. But I never get what I want. And I’m never right. Yay! Bring it!

      Haha, yes. I want what you want! Let us both want — and not get — together!

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    152. Luke Fielding,

      I’m in agreement! They’ve skipped the book bit where she kills Daeron (was that his name?) out of revenge so I think they’ll somewhat merge that with the Mercy proxy that the show seems to be doing.

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    153. Them Lady Stoneheart ‘screenshots’ are sooooo badly fake. I dont remember Cat scratching her face?

      The hooded one is interesting, but judging by the fact its from the same source I’m willing to bet its fake too.

      Sure they are. But the other pics are interesting, too… Though I think that the second pic of JS is fake, too.

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    154. Ashara D:
      Luke Fielding,
      And don’t forget that he beat up Sansa, though Arya is unaware of that. Karma is a bee-atch.

      Oh don’t get me wrong, I really want him to be shanked or die some horrible death, but from Arya’s point of view it’s just a clear cut revenge instinct for killing Syrio. I think all the unpleasant ‘desires’ and actions of Meryn only serve to make his death more justified – from the audiences perspective anyway.

      TheTouchOfFrost:
      Luke Fielding,

      I’m in agreement! They’ve skipped the book bit where she kills Daeron (was that his name?) out of revenge so I think they’ll somewhat merge that with the Mercy proxy that the show seems to be doing.

      I have always wondered if it was coincidence that GRRM released that ‘Mercy’ chapter from ‘The Winds of Winter’ to have it correlate with the events from the show.

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    155. Luke Fielding,

      Don’t get me wrong, I think the pic is a bad shoop, but didn’t Catelyn scream and scratch her face ripping off curls of skin or something like that?

      “Catelyn Stark raised her hands and watched the blood run down her long fingers, over her wrists, beneath the sleeves of her gown.”

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    156. Jeff O’Connor: Haha, yes. I want what you want! Let us both want — and not get — together!

      I’ll drink your tears if you drink mine.

      Do you really think they’d have Jon warg into Ghost without setting up that he can warg at all? They’ve had plenty of opportunity to set that up, demonstrate it, hint at it, but the relationship between Jon and Ghost in the show is much less intense as it is.

      I could see the shock of something related to Benjen distracting Jon to give the FTW dudes the perfect opportunity to attack, but again–I’m never right. Tears for everyone!

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    157. Kissed by Glasgow,

      A casting call for Varamyr Sixskins did indeed leak prior to Season 5 – however, he hasn’t appeared on the show yet and we have heard nothing about any actor being chosen for the role. It’s possible that the news slipped through the cracks and Varamyr will appear in the finale. However, it’s also been reported that the character of Karsi – the female wildling leader played by Birgitte Hjort Sørensen in “Hardhome” – was a late addition to the proceedings (which is consistent with the production timeline, as Sørensen was one of the final pieces of casting news to break). The equivalent character in the early drafts of the script was supposedly male. Some people have speculated that this may have been the role that Varamyr was originally supposed to fill. If Varamyr doesn’t appear in the finale, then maybe that theory gains even more credence.

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    158. Darquemode: Don’t get me wrong, I think the pic is a bad shoop, but didn’t Catelyn scream and scratch her face ripping off curls of skin or something like that?

      Not on the show, to some chagrin.

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    159. Crazy theory : what if Benjen is the excuse used by the traitors to isolate Jon?

      Thorne is First Ranger. He could say to Jon “One of my rangers came back from North of the Wall and he has found your oncle Benjen!! But he’s injured in the forest, quick, we must find him!”. Jon would run to see him, and then the team of traitors could stab him in the forest, abandon him and go back to the Wall “OMG our Lord commander was attacked by wildlings/wights, he’s dead”.

      And then (crazy theory #2), maybe Bran could take care of him?

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    160. JonSnowHairProducts,

      I had a similar thought for a while as well…
      I don’t think it is very likely at all and dismissed it in the end, but since we are theorizing for fun….

      If Melisandre is no where near the Wall and Jon does not warg into Ghost like most assume, maybe Jon does appear to die. If he dies, the NW would burn him to stop him from becoming a wight.

      We don’t know what Ghost does after, but I assume he will not be happy that Jon is stabbed, maybe he lashes out causing someone to put him down… or he places himself on the pyre. Adding him to the funeral pyre could in theory be similar to a blood sacrifice. The pyre is lit, the flames and smoke build, and Jon walks out reborn…

      Feels more like FanFic to me, but it would be a huge WTF moment and connect Jon to Dany and prophecy.

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    161. Jared,

      Cheers. That makes sense. I’m expecting that FTW will happen in the final episode but I had always presumed it would be preceded by a more in depth discussion of warging. Introducing Sixskins for that purpose immediately before FTW would seem a bit rushed and hence unlikely. I’m intrigued to see how they are going to work it!

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    162. There was a screen shot of Kevan Lannister in a situation identical to his final scene from the book, which, thankfully turned out to be fake!

      He’s meant to start getting everything back to normal and fixing all the mess Cersei has made, and writing him out of the show immediately just for shock value would suck.

      I vote for Varys’ return and Kevan and Pycelles final moments to happen in episode 2 or 3 of season 6.

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    163. Wait, so let’s imagine that in both the books and the series we get the R+L=J reveal through Benjen Stark. Would that mean that GRRM put Howland Reed in for hoots and giggles?

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    164. Moka,

      I think you’re on to something. That’s probably how they’ll do it, rather than

      stab Jon right in front of everyone at Castle Black- particularly the mob of Wildlings that PROBABLY wouldn’t be too happy with the guy who just saved them being whacked.

      All of this speculation is just going to end up getting us disappointed.

      That being said, it would be absolutely hilarious if the show had Benjen

      confirm R+L=J before the books

      tonight just to see the OTT reaction from the Lindas of the world. That would be Internet gold.

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    165. I … don’t care in the least. Benjen was in the book for what … ten pages?

      Dead, not dead, risen, whatever. You teased me so brutally – I was hoping for some Catelyn footage ;D

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    166. If Mel isn’t involved in the events at Castle Black I don’t really get why they bothered with the Brotherhood without Banners and her visiting them and talking with Thoros though?

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    167. Moka:
      Crazy theory : what if Benjen is the excuse used by the traitors to isolate Jon?

      Thorne is First Ranger. He could say to Jon “One of my rangers came back from North of the Wall and he has found your oncle Benjen!! But he’s injured in the forest, quick, we must find him!”. Jon would run to see him, and then the team of traitors could stab him in the forest, abandon him and go back to the Wall “OMG our Lord commander was attacked by wildlings/wights, he’s dead”.

      And then (crazy theory #2), maybe Bran could take care of him?

      If this is true I will not be happy at all. I think this is likely true in so much as Night’s King using Benjen (or his body) as bait to attract Jon’s attention so Benjen can rise as a wight to kill Jon – as NW obviously sees Jon as a threat.

      This is probably more a wish than a speculation, but I think it’ll be poetic for Jon to be killed by Ice (the Others) and resurrected by Fire (Mel)

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    168. RBloodworth,

      I think that shit’s going down after FTW and that there will be a big confrontation at The Wall in which many members of the Night’s Watch will die. I can’t imagine everyone (both Crows and Wildlngs) being fine with FTW. I think this will happen in both the books and the series.

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    169. KG,

      People aren’t excited about Benjen.. they’re excited because of the mystery that surrounds him. He’s been beyond the Wall for what? 3-4 years now? Surely, when he’ll come back he’ll have some interesting things to say.

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    170. Benjen showing up could be very interesting or it could simply explain what happened to Benjen.

      One of the Wildling could perhaps tell Jon what happened to Benjen or that he died. But it would be interesting if Benjen were somehow connected to the White Walkers, I ve always liked the idea that there should be someone who would be able to communicate with the White Walkers. It would be interesting if Benjen was a prisoner of the White Walkers and he escaped or they let him go. If that is the case then Benjen might be able to tell people more about their motives and what they want, and it could also lead to them being able to negotiate.

      There is also the chance that Benjen knows who Jon’s parents really are, since he and Lyanna was close, it isn’t unreasonable to think that he knew about her and Rheagar. There are so many interesting possibilities surrounding Benjen.

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    171. Wimsey,

      Benjen and Lyanna grew up together in Winterfell throughout their childhood. Brandon was with the Ryswell’s in the north but Ned was thousands of miles away – in the Vale. There is no way Lyanna and Ned COULD have been as close as Lyanna and Benjen. She was his big sister. Bran also saw them play flighting together in the Godswood.

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    172. Alix the Direwolf,

      That is not necessarily true: one, proximity can breed hostility or indifference between siblings; teo, distance can make hearts grow fonder for more than just lovers.

      But, again, the issue is moot. We are not debating whether Lyanna would have told Ned or Benjen first. We are debating whether Ned would have volunteered the information to Ben. I do jot think that he would have considered “closeness” an issue, at least in favor of telling Benjen. After all, if Ben was particularly close to Lyanna, then would Ned want to poison Ben’s memory of her by letting him know that she had acted dishonorably?

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    173. TheTouchOfFrost,

      Even if nothing else comes of that scene, then it did a lot to develop both the motives and the powers of the Red Church. We do jot need to see the specific power replicated: they showed us that there is an armory, so we should not be surprised to see (say) a big break in the weather. It also made the point that some of these powers had been lost and now are back.

      So the scene already has served a purpose. This does not mean it will not serve more purposes, only that it is too late to call it purposeless.

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    174. Assuming we see FTW tonight, and I think it’s fairly obvious, I don’t see Jon warging himself (it seems they left it out of the show) or being brought back by Mel (not at the wall). I think Bran has been watching over him this entire time and will warg into Jon. I’m. It sure how this saves Jon but it’s something they could explain in the beginning of next season.

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    175. Luke Fielding
      I have always wondered if it was coincidence that GRRM released that ‘Mercy’ chapter from ‘The Winds of Winter’ to have it correlate with the events from the show.

      It’s not a coincidence at all, D&D have access to unpublished stuff by GRRM and the exchange from the Mercy chapter was heard last season in an episode that aired just a few days after the chapter was put out. They’re most likely coordinating those things.

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    176. Enough about Brother B. What about Syrio?

      How did a Faceless Man end up in the Black Cells in the first place? It was Syrio who fought for time to let Arya go, then allowed himself to be captured so he would be sent to the Black Cells. How could a man with various faces and multiple skills of evasion have been captured in the first place? A Man had done it quite deliberately. A Man had insinuated himself into the Hand’s Chambers for purposes of information gathering. Let’s face it, Ned was a trusting soul. He found out about everything – impending danger, Yoren & giving the prisoners to him for the NW, Cersei’s plot, the incest and also that Ned was a good guy but out of his depth.

      He probably intended to befriend Ned on the way north but recognised Arya instead after it went wrong (a whisper from rival Littlefinger in Joffrey’s ear?).

      So Arya avenges Syrio, a Man knows a Girl is lying and makes her tell the truth, he reveals Syrio’s face, and blinds her for disobeying orders/false revenge for someone who is not dead.

      Remember the Hound being so scornful that Meryn Fucking Trant could have killed the ‘greatest swordsman’? The Hound was right again, MFT couldn’t. He was a Man all along

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    177. hodor: It’s not a coincidence at all, D&D have access to unpublished stuff by GRRM and the exchange from the Mercy chapter was heard last season in an episode that aired just a few days after the chapter was put out. They’re most likely coordinating those things.

      Except, wasn’t Mercy released a year or two ago? I guess I take the more jaundiced view that GRRM is just trying to show people that there has been some writing! (Of course, the latest chapter was one that was withheld from Dragons, so that one had been written by 2010 at the latest, and probably much earlier.)

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    178. Daniellica: Not on the show, to some chagrin.

      In the midst of all that was happening, I’ll bet that the vast majority of book readers didn’t even notice that. (Of course, the fact that most of the people who had read the books had not read that chapter in many years would have helped: I, myself, had completely forgotten that until I read these posts.)

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    179. Interesting. Of course Benjen has had time to go to Asshai and back, the long way round by now, so he could show up anywhere. I like the idea of him being at Winterfell. If, though, he does show up at the Wall then the most plausible route is perhaps as a wildling, him having been undercover all that time. Given that FTW happens right at the end of ADWD, GRRM could always have been intending to have Benjen appear just a few minutes afterwards (in book time) at the start of TWOW for the purpose of passing on the truth of Jon’s lineage. He will have told D&D. It then makes sense for the finale to include this.

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    180. Chad Brick,

      I think that Briene is gonna meet stoneheart in the north , I can’t imagine her running into stannis the boltons Sansa and Theon , that’s to many charectors in one spot . I could see yara greyjoy running into stannis and roose Bolton , than Theon and Sansa running into the winning side of that battle . For me there’s no way Briene kills stannis this episode , The Lord of lights owes him one , stannis is gonna be the victor not the defeated , than maybe as Briene goes to engage stannis , something gets in her way . Ive been saying that lsh is the best kept secret in television , but realistically I’d say it has about a twenty percent chance of happening this episode , but in a way we’re they’re would be no berric or no thoros

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    181. thremnir,

      Again, solving a major major mystery in both book and show will be such a strange move for the writers to take. Telling Jon about his parents and then killing him is such nonsense. Though I hope with all my heart that Benjen turns up, I got a horrible feeling all this hype is for nothing. I hope I’m wrong though!

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    182. Grand maester giz,

      Even if LSH turns up, what possible role could she play in the Game of Thrones? Cat’s death served its purpose but what purpose could her dead counterpart serve? More importantly WHO would she help, and HOW would she help? I think we need to face the fact that LSH is never coming to the show.

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    183. Chekhov’sOlly: Would that mean that GRRM put Howland Reed in for hoots and giggles?

      Not entirely. After all, in a story like this, you need names on incidental characters. However, Howland has gotten just a little too much emphasis. He’s not a Manderly or an Umber or some other that is just a name put on a human plot point. Reed has come up again and again: he was with Ned when Ned found Lyanna, Ned emphasized to Robb (who emphasized to us) the great worth of Reed, Reed sent his two kids to Winterfell (who in turn get Bran to the Tree Gods at much personal sacrifice). At this point, he’s really a full-fledged….

      (wait for it)….

      ((this will shock you coming from me!)) ….

      (((and especially to you!!!)))….

      Chekhovian gun.

      Now, it could be that this gun will be used on a different target. However, I’m still betting it is for R+L=J. (Sorry, Daynites!) To this end, I think that Benjen is going to be unBenjen and probably an emissary of some sorts from the White Walkers. We’ve heard the R’Hllorites give us the anti-Other propaganda: maybe we will hear a Walkerite give us some anti-R’Hllor propaganda for once.

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    184. Hey, here is a question for some of the “old-timers”: what ever happened to the Dayneites? That is, the readers convinced that Jon was Ned’s son by Ashara Dayne. 15 years ago, we could not have had this discussion without dozens and dozens of N+A=J junkies bombarding this thread with comments about how our parents committed incest with unintelligent baboons in order to get progeny as dumb as anyone who believed R+L=J.

      Like a lot of people, I sort of stopped paying attention in the long break between Swords and Crows, and the the only thing I remember about the discussion after Crows involved the relative “merits” of the Dorne and Iron Throne segments. And I sort of quit the fandom then until the show arrived 6 years later. However, given that years from Swords to now has provided almost no new evidence on Jon’s parents, all the old arguments from 2001 could be made today.

      So, what happened? Did the lack of any Ashara Dayne on the show make them give up? (I would have expected them to blame that on B&W’s incompetence.) Did they all shift their attentions to arguing that Hermione was in love with Harry, not Ron, and commit mass suicide in 2005? Or was there Usenet presence highly disproportionate to their actual numbers?

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    185. Grand maester giz,

      Oh, so they only would introduce Lady Stoneheart because Brienne and Jaime need something to do for two more seasons?

      Jaime’s and Brienne’s story has drastically changed for the show. Whatever has happened in the book does not necessarily mean its going to happen in the show, and tbh I would be surprised if they ever met again in the show.

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    186. Grand maester giz,

      They have plenty to do otherwise. Jaime in particular still has a lot of unfinished business regarding both his sister and his brother: and in case you didn’t notice, his family is bordering upon war with both the Faith and the Tyrells, and there is the Goddess with Dragons coming over. If that doesn’t occupy him, then the regularly scheduled Ragnarok between the White Walkers and the followers of R’Hllor just might give him something to do. Brienne has a ton of unfinished business upholding her vows to both Catelyn and Renley. Whatever business they have with LSH in the books will be over very soon to deal with those things.

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    187. Wimsey:

      So, what happened?Did the lack of any Ashara Dayne on the show make them give up?(I would have expected them to blame that on B&W’s incompetence.)Did they all shift their attentions to arguing that Hermione was in love with Harry, not Ron, and commit mass suicide in 2005?Or was there Usenet presence highly disproportionate to their actual numbers?

      I was not aware of any of that (unsullied and all), but my guess is that in general such things come down to your last option. And they change. That behavior sounds like a bunch of (say, a few) 14-year-olds. Probably they got older and somewhere along the line got laid!

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    188. Wimsey,

      To me it seems like they created storylines for Jaime and Briene to slow that part of the story down . Everyone’s got this idea of 7 seasons and from what I understand the shortest the story will be is 7 bein split into two seasons . They’ll still have some feast/dance story to tell next year and I don’t think it’ll be all twow untill maybe season 6 episode 4 , than they have to finish winds and cover ados . I personally think we’re gonna get more like 8-9 seasons

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    189. Luke Fielding: Whatever has happened in the book does not necessarily mean its going to happen in the show, and tbh I would be surprised if they ever met again in the show.

      I would still expect them to meet on the show because of the “Chekhovian” mention of Tarth, the Sapphire Isle, on Jaime’s journey southward. But I don’t expect it to happen in any way remotely like it did in the books. The butterfly wings are already hurricane force for those storylines.

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    190. And lsh is important to arya and Sansa storyline , do you think none of her kids will ever meet her in the upcoming novels

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    191. In the preview for tonight’s episode, Sansa is commenting that if she’s going to die, “let me die while there’s still some of me left.” I’m wondering if she’ll try and kill herself. Would someone be nearby to bring her back? If so, who?? Would Sansa then become the vehicle through which the Starks are avenged for the killing of Robb, Caitlyn, et al?

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    192. Wimsey,
      Though I was not involved in the fandom back then, I would have been a “Daynite” until DWD came out and further clarified the timeline. I still think that the Daynes are the most interesting mystery in the books along with Howland Reed. Hence my obsession with Ashara.

      Btw, just finished rewatching last week’s episode and noticed that Tristane, Ellaria and Jon all have the same hair. Any significance? Discuss! 😉

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    193. Grand maester giz: To me it seems like they created storylines for Jaime and Briene to slow that part of the story down .

      It’s the other way around. They jettisoned the Riverlands plot because it is almost certainly slowing down the over-arching plot. Instead, they transferred Jaime’s story to Dorne because Dorne is going to be relevant to the plot in Seasons 6 and 7. Similarly, they transferred Brienne’s story to the North because the North will be relevant in Seasons 6 & 7. I doubt that the Riverlands ever will be relevant again (on TV or in the books, although I fear that will we get more exposition set there.)

      And, no, I do not necessarily expect LSH to meet her kids in the future. Sansa, perhaps: but I expect the three “at large” Stark kids to wind up on three different sides in Winter, so really only one of them might.

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    194. Ashara D: Btw, just finished rewatching last week’s episode and noticed that Tristane, Ellaria and Jon all have the same hair. Any significance? Discuss

      I have the same hair, too, as did Frodo Baggins! Wait… are Frodo and I the other two kids born from Rhaegar & Lyanna’s shagfest?!?!? OMG! OMG!!! I…. am…. ONE OF THE THREE HEADS!!!!!

      *does happy dance*

      😀

      Hey, I’ve seen fan theories based on less…..

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    195. Doran: LOL what? You should already stop with your absurd remarks. There was NOTHIHG, I mean NOTHING/ZERO that tell us night’s king took a “peculiar interest” in jon snow. I mean he saw one of his fellow white walker killed by Jon and than of course was watching jon and the last survivors fleeing away.What did you want him to do, to look away at what?mountains?

      Wow, who took a piss in your cereal this morning? Nothing I’ve said is any more absurd than any other remarks here, and in fact is probably less absurd than a lot of others. So calm yourself.

      As for the Night’s King, he most certainly did take an interest in Jon. Why wouldn’t he take a peculiar interest in a man who killed one of his lieutenants, which happens almost never? That’s not to say he knows who Jon is specifically or will go back to the Land of Always Winter and question a prisoner he may or may not have about it. It’s just wild, fun speculation.

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    196. Rory,

      No, no, no, no, no. In the preview pics, she is less than 20 feet from the gates when she gets startled. In the previews, looks like she’s in the courtyard. Her heart will go on for her little brothers. She ain’t done yet.

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    197. Here’s another crackpot theory. Benjen was born a girl called Benita, Lyanna’s twin sister. She was in love with Rhaegar. Rhaegar accidentally abducted the wrong Stark girl and had a child with Benita, thinking it was Lyanna. Lyanna got a hunch and went to their hiding spot. Benita, an envious creature she was, mortally wounded her sister, but realizing what she did, left her baby with her. Ned found out and got real upset with Benita. He made her change sex and go to the wall.

      PS: I will eat my shoes if this one turns out to be true.

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    198. Ok. Just rewatched the Austrian clip. The first shot of Benjen looking up with a cliff/mountain range behind him is NEW (unless I am mistaken). Perhaps he IS working for the 3EC and was the one who buried the dragonglass on the Fist. It IS Ep 10, after all, and they need to reintroduce Bran into the collective consiousness.

      OR, could it just be Benjen showing up at Bran’s cave, independent of Jon? Are we assuming that Benjen will be in Jon’s storyline just because he has interacted with him in the past? Maybe it will be a short scene just centered on Benjen!

      Gosh, this has been a long day already, and it’s not even noon!

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    199. I’m still wondering if we are going to see the Iron Throne this season. If not it would be the first season not to feature him

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    200. Darquemode

      Still theorizing for fun and maybe out of left field.

      If Jon is of dragon’s blood and AA (must be both), he won’t need anyone to resurrect him. I can’t remember how it is worded but it doesn’t say he will be resurrected but that “He will be born out of fire” and sand, I believe. What if the directors change it from “sand” to “snow”?

      The directors have made some changes from the books so no telling. They say that the last scene is one from the books but do not state whether it is one of the released books or one that hasn’t. They also usually end the season with a ray of hope.

      Whether Jon wargs or not, I truly think my scenario of the final scene of Jon rising from the ashes is the only thing that would “break the internet”.

      But then again, I’m just theorizing for fun. I’ll be shocked if I am right. LOL!

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    201. Ashara D: Though I was not involved in the fandom back then, I would have been a “Daynite” until DWD came out and further clarified the timeline.

      Did DwD clarify the timeline enough to rule out Ashara? I was unaware of that. (I would have bet that some people took a certain line or two in DwD to “confirm” N+A=J.)

      That is one of the weird things about coming back to a fandom after so long: it’s like the old neighborhood in which so much is the same on one hand, and yet so much is different on the other.

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    202. FreyJoy: Jon: wow, so after all these years it turns out you’re my mom!
      Benjen: I’d prefer it if you’d call me dad.

      NW Septon: “That is sinful and disgusting to the gods!”
      Nearby Tree: “Actually, I really don’t care much about what animals of any species do. Now, would somebody please pee on me, I’m thirsty and hungry all at once.”

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    203. One thing i DONT understand is: How are they going to fit all this in 55 minutes???

      -Dorne
      -Stannis
      -Jon at wall
      -Kings Landing
      -Arya
      -Sansa/Brienne
      -Dany

      7 story lines in 55 minutes? It will be rushed!!!

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    204. maybe Jon will awake at King’s Cross with Benjen there, explaining he can take the red or the blue pill…

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    205. Have to say the idea of a small Benjen-only scene up beyond the Wall is the best idea anyone has put forward yet. Maybe he finds the white walker altar place :O

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    206. chamush: 7 story lines in 55 minutes? It will be rushed!!!

      Some people will call it rushed. Other people will call it intense and breathtaking.

      This is, it seems, an almost universal difference separating some hardcore fans from the rest of the audience. Some hardcore Tolkien fans criticized the LotR films for being “rushed”: but general audiences compared the pacing to watching an intense sports games (or, more rarely) criticized the films for being too long and dragging. Conversely, some hardcore Harry Potter fans loved the first two films that were widely panned as being lethargic and much, much too long: and then saw this flip-flop for the third film, where the general audience (and critics) thought that the pacing was good while many hardcore HP fans complained about it being rushed and cutting too much.

      Given what we have had recently, I am betting that this will be non-stop punch-punch-punch that will leave most of the audience feeling like they’ve just watched an overtime sports match that never let up over the last half of the game.

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    207. Geralt of Rivia,

      To spoiler tag, or not to spoiler tag ? I’ll err on the side of caution, I guess.. In the books, it’s my best assessment that Benjen (off page)..

      was rescued from wights and WW by CoTF and Bloodraven, and convinced to Winterfell (because there really must be a Stark in WF) , and to “rally the north” (as Qhorin put it). I think this was simultaneous to Bran being guided north to become a greenseer…all necessary to keep the Wall / Winterfell / Stark magical bond from deteriorating. In the books, I think it’s almost as important (magically speaking )that Stannis not take WF, as it is to drive the Boltons out. – in order to have a hope of withstanding the Others (WW).

      In this way, Benjen can actually provide our first look at the Land of Always Winter , in both books and show. In the books, I think it’s too soon for Jon to find out about a potential Targaryen heritage ,when he hasn’t fully developed the power of his “Starkness”..yet… But who knows what D&D will do for the show?

      I agree Rickon may well be The future Stark, but he’ll need a protector or regent, and one who understands warfare. So I’d rule Sansa out.

      As for FTW.. I think George has left us on an even bigger cliff hanger than most people think , but I don’t think it’s one that can be duplicated on the show.

      I think Jon is neither dead, nor unconscious where we left him, but in the stunned instant before his “wolf blood” kicks in and he goes into a berserker-like frenzy, with Ghost at his side. In the books, I think this is most strongly foreshadowed in his bout with Iron Emmett, who didn’t make it into the show.

      But if this is, as I suspect, an important facet of Jon’s character (and would be so thoroughly entertaining to see on screen) I don’t see how D&D could leave it out entirely ..and what better place to use it ? So ,I don’t know.. they could resolve it here and let Jon leave the season on a high (without completely resolving the fallout at the Wall).. or put FTW forward to next season and continue to build for it in some way.

      Can I be wrong? Oh. Lordy … Yes!.. but for the books, I remain convinced until TWoW is released. For the show, I leave it to D&D to entertain me as they will.

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    208. Doran: LOL what? You should already stop with your absurd remarks. There was NOTHIHG, I mean NOTHING/ZERO that tell us night’s king took a “peculiar interest” in jon snow. I mean he saw one of his fellow white walker killed by Jon and than of course was watching jon and the last survivors fleeing away.What did you want him to do, to look away at what?mountains?

      Robb Snow: Wow, who took a piss in your cereal this morning? Nothing I’ve said is any more absurd than any other remarks here, and in fact is probably less absurd than a lot of others. So calm yourself.

      As for the Night’s King, he most certainly did take an interest in Jon. Why wouldn’t he take a peculiar interest in a man who killed one of his lieutenants, which happensalmost never? That’s not to say he knows who Jon is specifically or will go back to the Land of Always Winter and question a prisoner he may or may not have about it. It’s just wild, fun speculation.

      Well Doran, if you watch ‘Inside the Episode’ D&D actually did say NK took an interest in Jon. So unless you are suggesting their are wrong, withdraw your own remarks.

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    209. Lady Wolfsbane

      Thanks for the correction, didn’t feel like going and checking it. LOL!

      Salt is used to put fires out… Have we ever seen how they put the funeral pyres out at Castle Black? I think they just let them burn out but what if???

      Really stretching… LOL! I guess I’ll call it a day and see what happens tonight.

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    210. What I’d like to see: Cersei’s walk of shame then trial by combat. Her champion: Robert Strong, who goes up against… the Hound! Who was rescued and nursed back to health by the Sparrows. The Hound vs. the Mountain! That might ding the internet!

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    211. Obsidian: But if this is, as I suspect, an important facet of Jon’s character (and would be so thoroughly entertaining to see on screen) I don’t see how D&D could leave it out entirely ..and what better place to use it ? …. Can I be wrong? Oh. Lordy … Yes!.. but for the books, I remain convinced until TWoW is released.

      I am one who is really skeptical about this. The books really have not set this up to be a major facet of Jon’s character. It has for Bran (and that now has become huge for Bran). The books have set it up much more for Arya than for Jon. However, in the books

      Jon never does more than have “wolf dreams”: unlike Bran and even (once) Arya, Jon never consciously jumps into the mind of another animal.

      Really, I think that the big point of the Varamyr chapter had little to do with Jon: I really think that it was mostly (if not all) about Bran.

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    212. Belladonna,

      As much as I adore Rory McCann and Sandor, I could never quite grasp the ‘Sandor at peace, Hound is dead’ vs ‘KILL FRANKENGREGOR!!!’ theory. But how awesome it would be.

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    213. chamush:
      One thing i DONT understand is: How are they going to fit all this in 55 minutes???

      -Dorne
      -Stannis
      -Jon at wall
      -Kings Landing
      -Arya
      -Sansa/Brienne
      -Dany

      7 story lines in 55 minutes? It will be rushed!!!

      You forgot the most important storyline of them all : the Benjen storyline! He has to explain Jon’s parentage, his mission North of the wall and the negociations with the Night King, his guidance of Bran as Coldhands, his secret life as a faceless man, his undercover mission in Mereen as Daario Naharis, his spying mission in Winterfell as a hooded man, and his undercover mission in Pyke as Euron. It’s a bit complex but I’m confident D&D will handle this in 35-40 minutes, which leaves 15 minutes for the other storylines. All will be fine!

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    214. On redit there is an intresting theory …

      They promised us an unexpected character to appear in Dorne and somehow this could be Benjen.

      But it makes no sense since there is no Arianne in the show and if Benjen told Doran about Jon it changes nothing since he has no daughter.

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    215. Hỡýţì Voñ Tơťíỵ: But it makes no sense since there is no Arianne in the show and if Benjen told Doran about Jon it changes nothing since he has no daughter.

      Why would Doran having a daughter have any bearing on any of this?

      At any rate, I think that the model that we (probably) should be thinking about for Benjen is that of Sheridan’s wife at the end of Season 3 of Babylon 5.

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    216. Wimsey: Why would Doran having a daughter have any bearing on any of this?

      Well the logic seems to be that B goes there to inform Doran about a hidden Targ.

      But why would Doran care if he cant marry him to anyone in his family?

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    217. Hỡýţì Voñ Tơťíỵ,

      Hmmm…
      Could the unexpected Dorne guest be Varys or Illyrio?
      Without Aegon Doran’s schemes should be pro-Dany… Since we know both Varys and Illyrio are plotting to get Dany on the Iron Throne it could make sense to be in Dorne.

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    218. Darquemode:
      Hỡýţì Voñ Tơťíỵ,

      Hmmm…
      Could the unexpected Dorne guest be Varys or Illyrio?
      Without Aegon Doran’s schemes should be pro-Dany… Since we know both Varys and Illyrio are plotting to get Dany on the Iron Throne it could make sense to be in Dorne.

      If Doran is team Dany why is he marrying his son and heir into Baratheon/Lannister family?

      How is he going to explain his actions to her when she arrives?

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    219. Hoyti Voñ Totiy,

      I don’t think he actually wants Trystane to marry Myrcella.

      I think that is a temporary alliance of convenience and hedging his bets as he waits for Dany to arrive. I think his ultimate plan is marrying Trystane to Dany, Martell to Targaryen like once before.

      ETA:
      I don’t pretend to know the details of his plan, but marrying Tryst to Dany makes more sense to me than marrying him to Myrcella. Plus it somewhat parallels attempting to marry Quentyn to Dany or for that matter Arianne to Aegon. It seems he wants a Martell Targ marriage on the Iron Throne.

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    220. Jared: Varamyr Sixskins…..we have heard nothing about any actor being chosen for the role. It’s possible that the news slipped through the cracks and Varamyr will appear in the finale. However, it’s also been reported that the character of Karsi was a late addition…

      I am intrigued by the possible reappearance of Karsi/wight in this episode. I had speculated earlier about a possible Karsi-warg event before her demise but as others pointed out, no gun was hung on the wall regarding any more wildling warging ability. Still, I would love it….but there is so much to cram into this episode!!!! Ahhh!

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    221. TheTouchOfFrost,

      It was the pie-eating, thinly veiled ‘fat Americans’ remark…

      There’s been several comments like that, by more than few over the months.
      If I misinterpreted it, I do apologize.

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    222. I’m not 100% sure what Doran’s plan with Trystane and Myrcella is. On the surface it looks like a plot to put his son on the Throne since he’d become king by law if he married Myrcella, and Tommen met with a terrible “accident.” But if he’s anything like Doran in the books he’s playing a much longer game and is, or will become a Targaryen supporter.

      Also, Tommen and Myrcella’s days are numbered anyway (both might even bite the dust tonight). “Gold will be their crowns, and gold their shrouds.”

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    223. Moonlight:
      Someone else on reddit theorized that they may have showed Benjen’s horse in the preview to reveal that he was able to warg into the horse. I’m not sure how they’d be able to show that, but it would set up Jon warging into Ghost pretty nicely.

      I had a theory last year after rereading a chapter in ACOK. Here goes:

      Benjen warged into Ghost, and that’s why Ghost entered the ringwall at the Fist to lead Jon to the dragonglass daggers. Then, when Jon is stabbed, he’ll warg into Ghost and say “Hey Benjen! Fancy seeing you in here.”

      I like that theory better than Benjen warging into his horse.

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    224. If Jaqen takes off his face and reveals himself to be Syrio, i will take off my pants and dance around the lounge, which will be unfortunate for the 8 or so people watching with me but entirely necessary.

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    225. Monica:
      Only the return of LS will break the Internet.

      Or Jon’s death, or Jaime’s or Sansa killing Ramsey, or Arya’s sudden blindness, or a reveal that Jaqen = Syrio. LS’s resurrection would certainly do it, especially because so many ASOIF fans wish for it (including this one).

      Benjen was never OFFICIALLY dead, so his re-appearance wouldn’t be quite as sensational. He could play a major role in the finale, and we book readers realize he might well know about the ToJ. Perhaps that verbal “Winter is Coming ” exchange between Ned and his brother in Episode 101 was code for “go do what you must to anonymously protect Jon during his Nights Watch stint.” Not that I think Jon needed much protecting.

      But here is a prediction. Benjen could turn into Lord Stoneheart and become the leader of the Riverlands revenge against the Freys and Boltons; he could even replace Wyman Manderley and organize the Great Northern Conspiracy. But such a change will be proof that D&D are irredeemably tone-deaf about gender. Arianne is gone, LS is gone, Arya doesn’t even have wolf dreams, there’s no mention of Nymeria’s wolfpack leadership, Sansa is worse than a pawn, the Sand Snakes are jokes (literally). Where is Sarella? Where are the Mormonts, other than a 10-year old’s message? The only women stronger on the show are Brienne, Dany, Olenna, and maybe Asha/Yara. Karsi was badass till her weak, motherly reactions paralyzed her. If Benjen usurps LS’s leadership the next two seasons, it will be more deliberate watering-down of a factor that made George’s saga THE fantasy series for a large segment of readers.

      D&D could be playing Hollywood safe. Disney won’t do a Black Widow action figure, and even had the gall to replace one of her iconic Avengers scenes with Captain America in some merchandising. These days most girls want active, successful role models. If GoT doesn’t wise up on the subject, maybe our daughters should stick to the books.

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    226. If I were the show runners, I’d end on “Ghost,” eyes going white, then cutting to black and hearing the howling of a wolf.

      You end the season that way and the Internet will explode… but people will also have an entire year to argue.

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    227. Here’s something that would break some brains on the internet, for sure: Mel’s sacrifice works. Stannis takes Winterfell, and Mel stands on the rafters. But Roose and Ramsay have escaped, AND…they have killed Sansa before fleeing!
      Not to worry, though.

      Mel will revive her, and we are introduced to Sansa Stoneheart, who will exist to get revenge on the Boltons and Littlefinger.

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    228. Perhaps Sansa wargs into Ramsay to rape Roose, but at that moment Stannis attacks and Sansa/Ramsay is killed, but just before she wargs into Benjen’s horse and resurrects her half-brother, Jon! OMG MINDS WOULD EXPLODE.

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    229. Hodor’s Bastard: I had speculated earlier about a possible Karsi-warg event before her demise but as others pointed out, no gun was hung on the wall regarding any more wildling warging ability

      It was sort of foreshadowed by the “I will be right behind you,” too. That could go either way: either it was the classic “anti-foreshadowing” (nope, you really won’t) or it was foreshadowing her following the Wildlings to the Wall.

      (Is there a term for “anti-foreshadowing” where “presumptive” statements basically scream “oh no you won’t?” I could swear that there is, but I do not remember it…..)

      Hey: what is your over/under on Tyrion getting a flying lesson tonight? 😀

      gewa76,
      If Benjen was a warg, then GRRM should have shown us this by having him in constant company with a wolf, dog or something else, and with other people observing what an unusual bond the two had. Chekhov’s Gun works both ways: if you want to fire it late, then you had better hang it early!

      Again: think Sheridan’s wife.

      GeekFurious: but people will also have an entire year to argue.

      Well, the people who would argue would have a couple of weeks: then they would learn about Harrington filming Season 6, and there would not be too much left about which to argue! One thing that we forget is that you could do “Who Shot J.R.?” in 1980, but you could not do it in 2015.

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    230. Wimsey: I am one who is really skeptical about this.The books really have not set this up to be a major facet of Jon’s character.It has for Bran (and that now has become huge for Bran).The books have set it up much more for Arya than for Jon.However, in the books

      I beg to differ. The books have been more up front about it with Arya (Polliver) ..and she’s aware of what she’s doing the whole time.

      There’s been a much more subtle build for Jon (attacks 1&2 on Thorne, yanking spear from frozen ground) culminating in his bout with Emmett,which he is not conscious of while it’s happening.. He only sees the result of his ferocious attack as he comes back to himself. GRRM downplays it, by setting it in a friendly match in the practice yard, with Jon and Emmett using blunted swords…but it is part of Jon’s character. When it’s revealed in the books, it will be very dramatic, and I feel sure it is a matter of when , not if. Jon and his “siblings” show the individual ways that the ‘wolf blood” can be manifested, uniquely suited to each of their roles

      As a war leader, it will be very suitable for Jon. Now, I don’t know if this is where GRRM will bring it to the fore, but he’s laid considerable groundwork for it (I would argue even in Jon’s “flaming sword’ dream) .. and having said that I don’t know where D&D will introduce it, if they ever do. It is A THING about Jon, though, and I don’t see how show runners could resist using it (at some point).

      I see a difference between Jon and Arya. Yes her anger and thirst for revenge overtake her but she remains aware..Jon goes into an altered state of consciousness, goes into automatic killing mode and “wakes” to see the destruction he’s wrought.

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    231. Robb Snow:
      Pigeon,

      I always thought it would go that way! It’s the best way to show the culture of the White Walkers and what goes on in the farthest north. I’m all for blue-eyed Snow!

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    232. For the sake of what the show has previously shown, I only see two ways they will revive Jon: Bran warging into him or Mel reviving Jon. I think Mel doing it makes the most sense since she previously witnessed revival when taking Gendry from the Brotherhood of Banners. I think warging is a long shot since the show has kept that strictly to Bran.

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    233. Stark Ravin’ Rad: The only women stronger on the show are Brienne, Dany, Olenna, and maybe Asha/Yara.

      Actually, Sansa is definitely stronger than Book!Sansa (aka, Medieval Barbie), at least through this far in the books. After all, she doesn’t achieve sentience until the Alayne chapter that GRRM just put on line. Now, Sansa has been brought to deeper lows: but she has shown more spine and more brains (which is to say “any”) in the last 1.5 seasons than we ever see from her in the books. (The recently released Alayne chapter suggests that this will end in Winter, fortunately: but it should have ended in Crows.)

      Show Cersei is also a bit better than her book counterpart. Show Cersei has basically set a rabid lion loose in hopes that it would take down her enemy. Book Cerse drags her foes into a rabid lion’s cage and then locks them all (including herself) into the cage.

      As for Arya’s warging, this is the first that I’ve ever heard that warging is a strong feminist character’s trait. Also, as Arya’s warging has had nothing to do with the story so far, it has had no place on the show: remember, TV audiences are far less accepting of material setting up future stories than are book audiences.

      Arianne is the epitome of the anti-feminist character. She’s a spoiled brat who manages to make a socially progressive system look like self-entitlement. She concocts an absolutely hairbrained scheme to set up a new queen that fails miserable not because sexist men won’t let her (which is why feminist characters fail when they do fail), but because the plan was dumb from the word go. Also, Gilda Radner died 25 years ago, and nobody else could do Rhonda Weiss well enough to play Arianne….. Seriously, a big source of the criticism of Crows was that instead of a variety of female characters, GRRM gave us nothing but women failing miserably: and generally doing it from being lackwits rather than because the system was stacked against them.

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    234. Wimsey: Is there a term for “anti-foreshadowing” where “presumptive” statements basically scream “oh no you won’t?” I could swear that there is, but I do not remember it…..)

      I don’t know if there is a generic term for this, but in the specific case of Karsi, it was absolutely setting a “Death Flag.” It was one of those generic statements that indicate the character is about to meet his/her demise. “I’ll be right behind you,” “This is my last mission before I retire,” “I’ll tell you everything when this is over,” and stuff like that.

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    235. Wimsey: Hey: what is your over/under on Tyrion getting a flying lesson tonight?

      Hah! Great idea but I think Tyrion is still in jaw-agape mode. I think it is high prob that we get some interest in the angry chain gang. Perhaps another barbeque tonight? Get your marshmallows-on-sticks ready! Who wants to get fried?

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    236. (Is there a term for “anti-foreshadowing” where “presumptive” statements basically scream “oh no you won’t?”I could swear that there is, but I do not remember it…..)

      I think it’s called “McBaining”.

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    237. Roose On The Loose,

      If Jaqen takes off his face and reveals himself to be Syrio, i will take off my pants and dance around the lounge, which will be unfortunate for the 8 or so people watching with me but entirely necessary.

      Aah but are you from a country where “pants” are trousers, or from one like mine where they are underwear? It could be the crucial difference that determines whether anyone wants to watch the show with you again! 😉

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    238. Brando:
      Arthur,

      Because Benjen probably covered for her when she took off with Rhaegar

      I had the same thought. Maybe part of Benjen’s reason for the joining the NW was in penance for helping Lyanna elope, or at least turning a blind eye to it and not alerting anyone. He could have blamed himself for what befell his family as a result of that elopement. He would have been at Winterfell when Ned arrived back with Jon and could have taken the secret of Jon’s parentage with him to the Wall.

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    239. Wimsey,

      Well, for me, I think it was uneeded if nothing else comes of it. The leeches was enough for that. With no LS and if Mel isn’t at the Wall for THAT then I’m really quite unsure as to why it wasn’t streamlined out as it was pretty disposable. They cast and introduced three named characters with dialogue only to let them have no purpose which isn’t like D n D.

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    240. Hodor’s Bastard,

      *sniff* anybody else smell pork?

      TheTouchOfFrost: Well, for me, I think it was uneeded if nothing else comes of it. The leeches was enough for that.

      The leeches did nothing to establish that the Red Church is actively trying to become a power in Westeros or that Melissandre is one of many priests/priestesses in that Church. Also, having people die from leeches is evidence that she is invoking some higher or magical power, but not proof: it’s not like half the world doesn’t want these guys dead for their own purposes. But raising from the dead? That is evidence so strong that it really is proof.

      But the other point from that set of scenes matched one made in Qarth and by the Wildfire: magical power has gotten stronger lately. You cannot just say that: it has to be shown in the context of magic being done. Showing that in three ways really cemented home that something funny is happening in the world. (And, no, talking about it would not have worked: on TV and screen, if it’s not shown, then it isn’t told.)

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    241. I’m quite sure we’ll be going to see Sansa Stoneheart tonight. Exactly played out like her equivalent in the books…

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    242. Pigeon:
      I…I don’t actually care if they never show LSH.

      Thank you for saying that. I’ve always been to afraid to admit publicly that I don’t give two f*cks about LSH… Regardless of GRRM’s reasoning for her importance as a character. I was never impressed with Catelyn Tully, and I definitely found the LSH pieces unimpressive. #TeamBenjen

      Ok…Go on and throw stones, now that I’ve said my piece….. Valar Morghulis.

        Quote  Reply

    243. Robb Snow,

      Oh wow, that would be amazing. Odds are it won’t happen but I’m glad I peeked into this thread to see some of this fun speculation!

      I wonder if a potential FTW-warg scenario could be on the cards, with Mel then resurrecting him sometime next season? A cold open with Varymyr could establish the precedent.

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    244. I’m Just Sayin’: Thank you for saying that. I’ve always been to afraid to admit publicly that I don’t give two f*cks about LSH… Regardless of GRRM’s reasoning for her importance as a character. I was never impressed with Catelyn Tully, and I definitely found the LSH pieces unimpressive. #TeamBenjen

      Ok…Go on and throw stones, now that I’ve said my piece….. Valar Morghulis.

      I’ve always been open about not caring for that mute. It did not interest me at all.

      TeamBenjen tho! I doubt he will show up bit if he does oh what a treat that will be.

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    245. Wimsey:
      Lulu’s Mum,

      $5 says that whichever it is, Roose on the Loose doesn’t wear anything under it, anyway….

      Well people from all over the world post on here, so we are overlooking the fact that RotL might live somewhere really, really cold and be wearing about 18 layers of clothes while viewing. So taking one off might be daring without actually showing anything 😉

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    246. Not sure if anyone pointed this out already, but I just rewatched Dance of the Dragons and noticed a quote I had missed before by Doran. When speaking to Ellaria, Doran says “You are mother to 4 of my nieces…” Since we’ve only been introduced to three of the Sand Snakes, do we think a 4th one may be hiding out in Oldtown next season??

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    247. Bo,

      Ellaria is only mother to one of the Sand Snakes we’ve met (Tyene). Oberyn said last season that he has 8 daughters. So we still haven’t seen 3 of Ellaria’s daughters and 2 daughters from other women.

      It’s possible one of those five is hiding out in Oldtown, but I think most likely they would use one of the current Sand Snakes for that storyline rather than introduce another new character (unless they all die in this upcoming episode…lol).

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    248. Lord Gendry of The Rowboat,

      I’m not a big Catelyn fan, and as much as the LSH was a great creep factor bit, they’ve gone so far with other plots now that I don’t think a return to it would work terribly well. Assigning it to S is even worse. The best part of it for me was

      Arya’s ‘dream’ as Nym finding Cat in the water

      and obviously that’s past the point of return as well. And to be honest – what a terrible existence.

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    249. Pigeon,

      For me the best thing about LS was getting revenge on the Freys. I can’t believe all this has been completely left out. There are no Freys in the show at WF or KL yet they are supposed to be allied with the people in power there. It’s just not very realistic on the show.

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    250. Pigeon: And to be honest – what a terrible existence.

      This.
      I’ve never understood how some think of LS as hope in the series.
      Such a tragic figure.

      JennyofOldstones,

      Very true.
      LS just does not have a place on the show as much as she did in the books (although I think even her place in the books is arguable). The concept of StoneSansa has the same problem too. Without named characters Freys introduced who would she be after? I don’t see the point of it personally.

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    251. Lulu’s Mum: Wimsey:
      Lulu’s Mum,

      $5 says that whichever it is, Roose on the Loose doesn’t wear anything under it, anyway….

      Well people from all over the world post on here, so we are overlooking the fact that RotL might live somewhere really, really cold and be wearing about 18 layers of clothes while viewing. So taking one off might be daring without actually showing anything

      From New Zealand just for refernce, cold but not overly so, for this episode i may have to go free willy, so if i do part with the trousers and do much vigorous thrusting i may well be alone watching season 6 🙂

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    252. Well, there you have it! I think they really lost a bit of the mystery as to whether or not Jon is dead. Maybe if they had keep Ghost in the picture more?? At least they got Mel back to the wall so that gives book readers some hope. Can’t believe we are basically even with the show now!! Anybody hear an update as to when WofW will be finished. Even hungrier than before.

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    253. I love the bleakness of the series but at least there were some things in Feast for Crows and A Dance With Dragons that the reader could get behind. The Manderlys, Jaime growing into a leader, etc. they gave us none of that this season. I mean I still enjoyed the season and the finale greatly but dear Zeus throw the audience a bone at least when you’re going to “kill” Jon Snow.

      Interesting fan fiction at this point. Still love the show but am more excited for the next book than the next season.

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    254. Lol I didn’t read the “spoiler” until now and wow am I glad I Didn’t. You guys got punkd.

      Welcome to book reader ville, unsullied.

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    255. Zeus,

      How is it fan-fiction? It was the same story, and in many ways told that story much more clearly than the book did. the only important protagonist who’s part of the story got lost was Jaime’s: but having Sansa actually get a part of the story balances that. Character after character showed us kill the boy/girl and let the man/woman be born. The Top 5 (Daeny, Jon, Tyrion, Arya and Sansa) all combined to do so very well. And this was nicely complimented by the collosal belly-flop of Cersei. (Having only one woman fail spectacularly while also having a man fail collosally was a nice antidote to the Crows book, which should have been called the Failure of Chicks.)

      The apocalyptic nature of the finale was fairly breath-taking. They certainly have cleared the slate quite a bit for next year. It has also made me second guess my predictions about some basic plot elements of Winter, while cementing my suspicion of what the story will be.

      And I will confess a visceral satisfaction with what happened to Stannis. I always found him contemptible (last week did nothing to lower my opinion of him, which should tell you something). I also got a visceral satisfaction from Arya’s offing of Trant.

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    256. An amazing season came to a great close, and as a fan looking back at the fact that this show has been on for half a decade is still unbelievable. It is pretty clear that we are now reaching the home stretch here…and something tells me that a certain book will drop sooner than later. D&D came to the brink, revealed some stuff but did not go past a point of no return, and Martin has ample space to breathe.

      “Game Of Thrones” has really changed the face of television, and what a fan could and should expect in terms of quality, scope and production values.

      Season Five joins yet the previous four in just pure excellence and enjoyment.

      Episode Ten hit all the right notes and concluded as it was supposed to, where it was supposed to.

      Now things to ponder:
      - The fact the Night's King has a sigil/sign on his breastplate...I'd kill to know what it stands for. I am guessing that only 3 or 4 people know that...
      -That Aemon Targaryen was literal in his meaning to Jon Snow "kill the boy and become the man"...since I think that that is what had to happen for Jon to assume his L+R=J heritage as well as the role as Az. Ah. reb. for the long night that may yet come aka the Stark "Winter Is Coming".
      -The fact that the Night's King, Melissandre, Thoros Of Myr and Qyurn (after a fashion) can bring people back from the dead...in different ways and in different states but still...maybe actually serving the one and same power or power source...hmm me thinks that the Faceless Men and the Warlocks also feature somehow in this...
      -That Stannis may yet have a purpose...if Brienne didn't part his melon...
      -That I am guessing since the Green Seer aka Brandon The Builder aka the Three Stump Man told Bran that he won't walk but he would fly...on a dragon maybe?!
      -That the newest member of the Kingsguard has more in common with the Night's King, the While Walkers and the army of the Dead than we probably realize...

      Well that is that...Looking forward to next season! Let the countdown begin!

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    257. Starry:
      Why did Mel escape? She should have died with her king for the atrocity she commited.

      Well, tsk tsk…guess…oh why would a red priestess of Rhlor escape and be at Castle Black just at that moment…hmmmm…

        Quote  Reply

    258. Starry:
      Why did Mel escape? She should have died with her king for the atrocity she commited.

      What – stay there and get slaughtered with Stannis and the rest of his outnumbered army? Somehow, I never saw Melisandre as having that sort of bravery.

      And for the first time, I think she has real doubts about herself, the visions she has and her interpretation of them. She was a defeated woman when she rode into Castle Black and couldn’t even speak to Davos. Kudos to her acting though because her body language and eyes said it all.

      Wimsey
      “How is it fan-fiction? It was the same story, and in many ways told that story much more clearly than the book did. the only important protagonist who’s part of the story got lost was Jaime’s: but having Sansa actually get a part of the story balances that.”

      Exactly. She could have just sat safely in the Vale and basically done nothing all season except nursemaid young Robin, but that would have really made for a boring season. It was much better for her story arc and also Theon’s to bring her to Winterfell and have her marry Ramsey. Having Book Reek rediscover part of himself with Jeyne was fine, but it was so much more thematically powerful in the show to have him do that with Sansa. And I loved the way they held hands before they jumped – a perfect little gesture that said so much about possible reconciliation.

      Lots of kudos and applause for Steven Dillane as Stannis this season. You may not like Stannis, but Dillane has absolutely nailed it, and the Stannis in this episode was a sad and lonely man who was defeated from the inside even before he lost the physical battle. His face and eyes said it all.

        Quote  Reply

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