The first reviews of Game of Thrones season 5 are in!

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It’s been an exciting day, with the red carpet premiere of Game of Thrones taking over the Tower of London. The cast showed up in style and have headed off to the after-party, and the critics are now dropping the first reviews of season five.

Two of the reviews are very light on spoilers, but those wishing to remain Unsullied may wish to avoid reviews altogether. Each review will be marked for spoiler content (or lack thereof).

  • First off, we have Forbes Magazine, noting that the “strongest stories can be told in whispers.” The review is very light on spoilers- almost free of them- but for confirming the opening scene of the episode, one already known to most savvy fans. According to critic Neil Midgley , there’s a “magnificent set-piece that surely heralds a difficult season ahead” for Daenerys. Hmmm. Just hmmm.
  • The Guardian hales it as a “well-paced, intriguing opening episode.” Sarah Hughes calls the premiere episode a “slow-burner” and says, “All the elements that have made Game of Thrones notorious, from copious nudity to moments of unexpected violence, were present but this was a notably confident series opener, one which mixed humour and pace to demonstrate how secure Benioff and Weiss now are in this world – and how happy they are to take risks.” (Spoiler-free)
  • The Telegraph neatly summarizes the episode, getting more specific about the plot details and containing spoilers, including confirming the return of a minor character. All in all, The Telegraph says the premiere episode “spins a whole new web of political intrigue, meticulously setting the scene, and generally eschewing any of the blood-splattered gore we’ve come to expect from later installments.”
  • The Independent‘s review is in, containing light spoilers such as telling us exactly what that magnificent setpiece in Dany’s storyline is. The Independent says that in the premiere, “There weren’t many new introductions, but several old characters are revealing new sides.”

430 responses

Jump to (and Always Support) the Bottom

    1. The interesting bit from the Telegraph review is the mention of a character called

      Yezza (sic) In a very different role from his book counterpart. It seems like they’re setting him up as a Meereen big bad for the season

      .

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    2. One reviewer says that an Unsullied in Meereen is named “White Rat”, but we know Stalwart Shield is in this season. I suspect he may have misheard and got confused with some other Unsullied also spoken of in the episode.

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    3. I’m annoyed about that one reviewer who said he laughed at the funeral stones over Tywin’s eyes….okay, they’ve had those since Season 1 when Jon Arryn died, and they were VERY prominent when Joffrey’s corpse was laying in state last season….do they really have such poor attention spans that they can’t recall this is a cultural thing they do?

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    4. Well they said that Melisandre burns that pyre in the first episode

      …Spoiler text isn’t working for me, how do I do that again?

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    5. The Daily Telegraph review is ridiculously specific and spoilery and talks about ‘Here’s what we want to discuss’ – when the viewer won’t see it for weeks.

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    6. No mention of Illyrio at all, which further backs up my theory that they completely cut him. Good job setting up something from S1 to abandon it now.

      If he was going to be in ANY episode, it’d have been this one.

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    7. Sounds like the People Magazine version of A Song of Ice and Fire.

      Like Dune, this will be remade.

        Quote  Reply

    8. ctid,

      I think Yezzan is probably taking some of Xaro’s book role as the one to really first declare war on Dany, and maybe some of the Green Grace’s role, as a voice for Meereenese conservative elements.

        Quote  Reply

    9. Renly’s Peach,

      I really don’t want to complain too much about this when we’ve got Lancel and Kevan back, but to go to his house and then to not have him there is just really weird.

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    10. Renly’s Peach,

      S1 is too long ago to be a setup for anything now. The Ilyrio gun was hung and fired then and there on the very first episode: they obviously are free to use him again, but he does not represent some sort of loose end.

      That written, Ilyrio is such a minor character that if they did bring him back, then the reviews would not mention him. Anybody who has not very recently binge-watchef the show will not remember him. (I do not think that he appeared after episode 1, save for Arya’s brief sighting of him.)

        Quote  Reply

    11. Renly’s Peach,

      Season one was years ago, you can’t expect the show to use every detail. This isn’t a 2-3 hour long movie, the show will run the better part of a decade and
      circumstances change alomg the way.

        Quote  Reply

    12. Wimsey,

      The thing is, many reviewers have read the books. Actually if you use last season as an example, most reviewers are book readers. So they would notice

      Illyrio

        Quote  Reply

    13. cosca,

      Well, do tell, then. How does he mention him? Spoil us! Anything particularly interesting and noteworthy from the rest of the episode?

      As long as you spoiler tag it, I’m sure the impatiemts among us would like to hear some juicy spoilers.

        Quote  Reply

    14. Sean C.,

      They could’ve used him for an interior scene shot in Belfast.

      cosca,

      Tell us more! About the entire episode! (Starting with the title sequence: new locations?)

        Quote  Reply

    15. Turncloak,

      Hardly. He is a minor character in the books, too. General readers do not remember incidental characters for long. Again, what fans retain, and what the vast majority of readers/viewers retain are not the same.

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    16. Dutch maester,

      I think if he’s namechecked and they’re at his place, he probably has some larger role to play in future seasons but as this would have just been a cameo, they wrote around him not being there.

      We know that Allam was involved in another project at the time, there was most likely an actor availability issue which is always a risk you run with the actors you don’t have under contract.

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    17. cosca,

      Then there’s really no point in mentioning him at all, is there. His presence there is needed to tie back to season 1 and the Dany connection he and Varys have. Really, what the fuck are these people thinking?

      Eddard Stark II,

      Unless the actor was in an AIR-TIGHT CONTRACT prohibiting him from appearing in five minutes of one episode, nothing else really excuses it. It’s sloppy writing and lack of care, broseph.

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    18. Renly’s Peach: His presence there is needed to tie back to season 1 and the Dany connection he and Varys have.

      Which is why they mentioned him…also, Varys explicitly says that Illyrio was in on the plot.

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    19. cosca,

      What was Yezzan’s role in the episode?

      Is the Sansa scene just them watching Robyn fight poorly or are any future actions discussed?

      Does Kevan say anything or is he just hanging with Lancel?

      Is the shot of Rhaegal firing flames at the camera from the trailer what we see here or is it something different?

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    20. Wimsey,

      It seems like they mention his name though. To me this means that they tried to have

      Illyrio back but it didn’t fit Roger Allam’s schedule. This bodes well for future seasons though for Illyrio/Allam fans :-]

        Quote  Reply

    21. Renly’s Peach,

      You know what let me get D&D on the phone, they should really consider you as a writer for next season, NOT! You obviously have no idea what actually goes into making this show, which is shown by the way you critizise them for such a tiny little detail.

        Quote  Reply

    22. cosca,

      Does Varys bring him up at random? Does he mention where he is? Or does Tyrion ask anything at all about him? (I’m curious how this conversation would go)

        Quote  Reply

    23. cosca,

      Concerning what?

      And what’s Sansa’s scene?

      Where does Tyrion’s appearance end? Just with the “who said anything about him?” Or does it go longer than that?

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    24. Wimsey,

      Are you serious? The entire plot for a major character is about to change completely. To casual show-only viewers, getting the Varys-Dany connection out the blue is kind of a shock, I’d imagine. It’d make SLIGHTLY more sense to have Illyrio be seen again and reestablish that connection. Since, you know.. he was a major part of Dany’s beginning. And a mysterious/powerful figure Arya sees again at King’s Landing, which would have been clarified, uh, now.
      “Hey Tyrion welcome to my friend Illyrio’s place, oh by the way he’s not here.” Casual people are gonna be like, “who???”

      But whatever; it’s not like this is the biggest sin they’ve made thus far.. Nor the last.

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    25. Wimsey:
      Turncloak,

      It does not mean that at all.It dies not mean that they did not, either.It means nothing at all as both ideas allow for what happened.

      Um what? Lol i just found your sentence confusing. I said it “could” mean that. Not that it “does”. From what we know of

      Roger Allam’s schedule he was fully booked so that seems like a very viable explanation as to why he did not return. They could have easily not mentioned Illyrio’s name at all but chose to do so anyway.

      This gives me some hope for the character’s future.

      You cannot rule him out. Especially since we know both

      Kevan and Lancel and even Jaqen’s face are making returns.

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    26. Dutch maester,

      LOL I had to google Anya Waynwood!

      I can hear Wimsey right now. Because this is totally what he’ll say:

      General readers do not remember incidental characters for long. Again, what fans retain, and what the vast majority of readers/viewers retain are not the same.

      And I consider myself a fan.

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    27. King Tommen,

      Yezzan:

      Was not in the episode. In fact, I don’t even recall him being mentioned.

      Sansa and the Vale:

      There are two Sansa scenes. In the first, they watch him fight poorly, then LF mentions that he is leaving Robin in Lord Royce’s care. The second scene, LF and Sansa are in a carriage talking about trust, and LF mentions they’ll be going far away from Cersei Lannister’s grasp

      On Kevan:

      Kevan talks to Cersei for a scene. He talks a bit about Tywin, and complains about his sons fanaticism.

      On Rhaegal:

      I don’t believe that shot is there. Both Rhaegal and Viserion (who are referred to by name by Dany in this episode) shoot flames at Dany and scare her off though

        Quote  Reply

    28. What if next time we see Illyrio its on the

      small council after Aegon takes kingslanding? That would be a good way to bring him back and reveal his motivation at the same time. Sandsnakes, varys, illyrio, qyburn (theres a theory that qyburn is really working for dorne), half the council is already in place lol. Well in the books at least. All we need is Trystane to be Aegon 🙁

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    29. Renly’s Peach,

      The viewers do not remember Ilyrio unless they just binge-watched the show: and as he badically does not reappear after the first episode, many of the binge-watchers will have forgotten him. Thus, he cannot provide a connection for the typical viewer. You are making the classic fan mistake of assuming that your favorite series is an exception to the rules of human memory: but it never is.

      Regardless, Illyrio’s role can be done by Varys alone not simply just as well, but probably better. The viewers know him, they have to wonder what exactly his game is, and many of them will think: “ah, that makes sense: I should have seen it coming!”

        Quote  Reply

    30. Eddard Stark II,

      I’m saying that

      Roger Allam’s schedule was fully booked which is a viable reason as to why he might not be returning in season 5. However, now that we know Varys mentions his name, this leaves the door open for a return by him in a future season.

        Quote  Reply

    31. cosca,

      Thanks!

      Two final questions: are there any other scenes at the Wall besides the ones with Stannis on top of the Wall,

      with Mance and later the burning?

      Are Shireen, Selyse or Aemon in the episode?

        Quote  Reply

    32. cosca,

      At last the three dragons are named on-screen. Drogon in 4×10, and now Rhaegal and Viserion in 5×01. It was always a weird choice for me that they didn’t have a short naming scene im the Red Waste or Qarth.

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    33. Turncloak,

      All of those characters were much more prominent in the narrative than Illyrio, who was in only one episode, really. One of them actually does have a part in the plot that is pretty unique, too.

        Quote  Reply

    34. cosca,

      Can you tell us about the Stannis scenes? What is the dialogue between him and Jon like? Does he offer him Winterfell? Does he talk about the Others?

      Does a certain someone get burned at the end of the episode?

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    35. Eddard Stark II,

      Nobody likes a brown-noser, kid. You don’t have to make up excuses to defend this show blindly. It’s an oversight, whether you agree with me or not — it’s an oversight. If he wasn’t important, then he wouldn’t have been included in the KL scene with Varys or even mentioned by name this season.

      Turncloak,

      This is why the “oh, nobody will remember him” excuse is bullshit. If they’re bringing back KEVAN, who was a super minor background character in the show, they could have brought back Illyrio.

      And if he really was unable to do it because of a play, then it’s a damn shame all the same.

        Quote  Reply

    36. Luka Nieto,

      Yeah, I was baffled at the writers’ saying they could never work that in. Literally any time Dany meets someone new you could bring that subject up. And when they finally did name Drogon, it was dropped in almost as an afterthought.

        Quote  Reply

    37. Renly’s Peach:
      Eddard Stark II,

      Nobody likes a brown-noser, kid. You don’t have to make up excuses to defend this show blindly. It’s an oversight, whether you agree with me or not — it’s an oversight. If he wasn’t important, then he wouldn’t have been included in the KL scene with Varys or even mentioned by now this season.

      Turncloak,

      This is why the “oh, nobody will remember him” excuse is bullshit. If they’re bringing back KEVAN, who was a super minor background character in the show, they could have brought back Illyrio.

      And if he really was unable to do it because of a play, then it’d a damn shame all the same.

      You know when a new season is about to begins when you seee Renly’s Peach whining.

        Quote  Reply

    38. Turncloak,

      It proves that such characters cannot provide plot links, which was my point. The show would be foolish to try to use them in this way without reintroduction. As one of them will play an imprtant role in the plot driving a lead character’s story, he almost will be providing the audience of some reminder of who he was. (He also was in several episodes over 2 seasons, so reminding viewers of who he is will be both simpler and easier than it would be for Illyrio.)

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    39. Wimsey,

      If people do not remember who a character is then those people do not really pay attention to the show. They are such casual viewers that they will most likely not even care who he is and if they really care they can google it. All the real fans will remember him and they are the ones who are bothered by his absence more than the casual viewers are bothered by not remembering who he is. Im pretty sure recasting the mountain or Daario is more confusing than bringing back the guy with the beard from Dany’s wedding.

        Quote  Reply

    40. Sean C.,

      In season two there were two particular scenes which featured Drogon prominently while Dany and Doreah talked about dragons, first in the Red Waste and then in Xaro’s palace; yet even Drogon went unnamed until the latest aired episode. Just weird.

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    41. are we really having an argument over Illyrio…..
      why…..
      this is why GOT discussions just turn to shit…. *sigh*

      I guess I’ll do the smart thing and stop coming to these comment sections as it will ruin another season for me with the constant bitching over nothing

        Quote  Reply

    42. Wimsey:
      Turncloak,

      It proves that such characters cannot provide plot links, which was my point.The show would be foolish to try to use them in this way without reintroduction.As one of them will play an imprtant role in the plot driving a lead character’s story, he almost will be providing the audience of some reminder of who he was.(He also was in several episodes over 2 seasons, so reminding viewers of who he is will be both simpler and easier than it would be for Illyrio.)

      Again Rorge and Biter made returns. I assume you are not referring to them in this post. I think it’s foolish to rule out a possible Illyrio return to the series at some point.

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    43. Tyrion Pimpslap,

      Dorne is a pretty safe place to be. Its insulated from the warring kingdoms. Its definitely safer than roaming the free cities with a couple of bodyguards. And aero hotah moonlights as a stylist.

        Quote  Reply

    44. Wimsey:
      Turncloak,

      Did they?I missed that.Was it supposed to be relevant who they were?(I cannot think so: I would remeber being critical of that.)

      They were killed by Sandor and Arya last season. Biter bit Sandor on the kneck lol.
      That’s why I’m not ruling out Illyrio

        Quote  Reply

    45. cosca,

      Thanks for the information you’re sharing.

      Can you tell us if Cersei

      finds both Shae and Tywin’s bodies? Obviously Tywin is returning, but we’ve heard nothing of Shae.

      Also, does Kevan attend

      Tywin’s funeral? Or is the funeral off screen? Does the show in any way make the connection that he’s Tywin’s brother, or mention where Kevan has been since season 2?

      Thanks again.

        Quote  Reply

    46. Kyle,

      If they bother justifying it at all (a remote possibility; it’s not really necessary, except for us obsessives), I’d say they’ll change it up so that Kevan had gone to be castellan at Casterly Rock after the Blackwater, when Tywin decided to stay in King’s Landing and rule as Hand, and he’s been there ever since, with his son, wounded after the battle.

      Yezza,

      That’s… Extreme. So, you watched it?

        Quote  Reply

    47. Luka Nieto:
      Kyle,

      If they bother justifying it, I’d say they’ll change it up so that Kevan had gone to be castellan at Casterly Rock after the Blackwater, when Tywin decided to stay in King’s Landing and rule as Hand, and he’s been there ever since, with his son, wounded after the battle.

      This is really what I’m hoping for. Since they’ve bothered to bring Kevan back, I doubt it’s for a blink-and-you-miss-him role. I hope they fully explain who he is and what he’s been doing, and why he’s returned to the capital (if it’s not already apparent from the unexpected death in the family.)

        Quote  Reply

    48. Crabber’s Son,

      Simple tests disprove that. How much you pay attention at the time had little to do with long term retention. We retain things only if we go over them constantly (as fans do).

      Here is the classic example. Take three groups of first year university students from this time in 2012. Group A and B are taking a lower level class. Group C is not. Group A are those that go on to major in this topic. Group B are those that go on to major in something else.

      Fast-forward to 2015. Give the final exam to all three groups. Group A does as well or better than they did in 2012. Group B and Group C just as badly as one another: and what grade the Group B students got barely predicts variation in how they do 3 years later.

      If people cannot retain things that they studied 3 years later, then clearly how much you pay attention to anything now has no bearing on what you remember in 2018. What does matter is how often you think about it over the next three years.

      Given that the audience watching this show consists of people who have been doing a lot of other stuff over the last 4 years, we cannot expect them to remember single-episode characters now.

        Quote  Reply

    49. Eddard Stark II,

      I would have liked to see

      Illyrio return this season. Does it ruin the season? Ofcourse not. I’m a fan of Roger Allam and his character and I wanted to see him again. Nothing wrong with that. I do think we will see him come back sometime in the future :-]

        Quote  Reply

    50. Actually re-reading the rather poor telegraph review, no surprises as the DT has gone from a pretty good (albeit very right wing spun) news source to a glorified tabloid over the past few years, Id say that it

      doesn’t say Yezza (sic) is in; it just makes some spurious unsubstantiated connections which are probably based on the authors presumptions rather than any remote evidence whatsoever.

        Quote  Reply

    51. Wimsey,

      The “previously on segment” does a lot to help that situation. If you recall, last season they used the “previously on” to reference Jorah’s betrayal back in season 1.

      I’m not saying you are wrong that it’s hard for people to retain information. But what I am saying is that your argument is a little flawed as the show has found ways to deal with these issues in the past.

        Quote  Reply

    52. Turncloak:
      …explain to me then how Rorge and Biter returned?

      Ugh…don’t remind me how they returned… :/ One of the silliest scenes last season.

        Quote  Reply

    53. Kyle,

      We know for a fact

      Kevan will be in episode 10, as reported by his very fansite through secret but trusted sources. In fact, his appearance in episode 10 was the only one confirmed. The leaked script summary, if we trusted it (which we did after the trailer aired and matched a lot of it), confirmed Kevan would be back in episode 1 as well.

      Will he have any other episodes? I don’t know; is there a need? His role is not much larger in the books. He refuses Cersei, goes away for the whole of AFFC, and comes back in the end. In the compressed terms of the show, that could very well translate to this scene in episode 1, another one in which he goes away in episode 2 or 3, and a final apperance of multiple scenes in episode 10 (or maybe 8 through 10, depending on how quickly they set up and resolve Cersei’s climax.)

        Quote  Reply

    54. Renly’s Peach,

      NEVERMIND THAT TYRION EVEN MENTIONED DORANS OTHER SON IN SEASON 2…

      AND JON TELLING MANCE HES THE FIRST ONE TO UNITE THE WILDLING CLANS DESPITE YGRITTE’S STORIES ABOUT THE OTHER KINGS-BEYOND-THE-WALL

      PLOT CONSISTENCY?? NAH WE JUST NEED CONSISTENT AWESOME BRUH!!!!

      #NOONEUNDERSTAAANDS

        Quote  Reply

    55. Wimsey,

      I am aware of such studies but also feel that watching a show for entertainment impacts memory differently than studying things especially considering how college students will never think about Intro to Geology after they get the credits for it. Im sure people think about the show they choose to watch for entertainment a lot more. I know lots of people who are casual viewers and I asked them if they remember Illyrio 8 out of 10 say no. But when I ask do you remember the guy with he beard at Danys wedding from the mansion most of them remember him. So mentioning him but not having him on screen doesnt make sense.

        Quote  Reply

    56. Hodor’s Bastard: Ugh…don’t remind me how they returned… :/ One of the silliest scenes last season.

      LOL I agree the scene was terrible.

      But they did decide to bring them back when they could have easily cut them. Not ruling out Illyrio returning until I at least see season 6

        Quote  Reply

    57. It’s little things like this that make me dislike the show 🙁 Not including the term valonqar or having Illyrio appear in Pentos just frustrates me. Yeah they’re minor things but they play important parts to the story. Cersei’s hatred for Tyrion is strongly due to the term valonqar and taking that away from the show viewers just seems like a mistake.
      And Illyrio would show the viewers that Varys and him have planned Daenery’s return for years. :/

        Quote  Reply

    58. So, based on the spoilers, in 501 we have:

      1. King’s Landing
      2. The Wall
      3. Meereen
      4. Pentos
      5. The Vale

      I would guess, then, that episode 502 will bring:

      1. King’s Landing (synopsis)
      2. The Wall (synopsis)
      3. Meereen (synopsis)
      4. The Vale (synopsis)
      5. Braavos (synopsis)
      6. Dorne (synopsis)
      7. Winterfell (they’ve never not introduced a major location in one of the first two episodes)

      Wow, 502 looks packed.

        Quote  Reply

    59. Alex Stroup,

      Honestly, I’m kinda relieved they took that out. Cersei’s hatred for Tyrion is much more interesting as originally described (“He killed our mother”, with subsequent growing resentment), instead of that prophesied magical BS.

        Quote  Reply

    60. So, here is my episode summary.

      First Scene: Cersei and girl walk into Maggys hut. (Young Cersei is brilliant btw). After Cersei demands her to, Maggy answers her 3 questions. She says that Cersei will be queen (until one younger and more beautiful replaces her), that she will have no children with the king but that he’ll have 20, and that her children will die (The scene uses the line about shrouds from the books)
      Transition to: Current Cersei. She walks up the steps, after dissing the High Septon. Tywin is laid out in the Sept of Baelor. No mention of Shae. Her and Jaime talk about Tywin. She says Jaime killed him accidentally through his own stupidity, and at least Tyrion did it on purpose.

      Next scene: POV of Tyrion looking through crate. Crate is unloaded, Tyrion and Varys talk. Tyrion is shaken, and starts drinking. Varys speaks about his and Illyrio;s allegiances, since he remarks they are at his home. Tyrion throws up his wine, then drinks some more

      After this the order get’s real hazy for me, can’t quite remember since I didn’t take any notes. I’ll go story line by story line.

      THE WALL. First Scene: Jon practices with Olly in the yard. Sam chats with Gilly about Stannis, then a weakened Thorne comes out complaining about the weakness of the recruits. Melisandre comes down and tells Jon to meet Stannis on the Wall. On the way up, Jon asks Melisandre about the cold. She says she doesn’t feel it. She then asks him if he’s a virgin. When he says no, she says “good”. Cue heroic shot of Stannis and Davos looking out over the Wall. Stannis says he wants the Wildlings to help him take back the North, and that Jon has till nightfall to persuade Mance to bend the knee, or he will be burnt.
      Second Scene. Jon pleads with Mance to consider bending the knee, but Mance refuses on the grounds that none of the Wildlings will respect him, and that it is against all he believes in. Mance says that Stannis would be a good King in this scene.
      Third Scene. Mance is led out. He tells Stannis “good luck in the Wars to Come”. He is burnt. Jon shoots him with an arrow before he starts screaming. I believe this is the final scene of the episode.

      THE VALE. First scene. LF, Sansa and Royce watch Robyn train, remarking how pathetic he is. LF thanks Royce for keeping Robyn.
      Second Scene. Brienne is cleaning her sword. She get’s mad at Pod for his questions, says she isn’t a knight, and that their are no Lords worth protecting anymore.
      Third Scene. A convoy of Vale Knights with a carriage passes Brienne and Pod. Within, Petyr says they are going far away from Cersei Lannister and her grasp.

      MEEREEN. First sequence. The statue of the Harpy is toppled. At the foot, an Unsullied takes of his helmet and smiles. We then see him going into a brothel. He pays a woman, who then lies next to him, caressing him and singing him a lullaby. His throat is then cut, and we see the whore and a man in a golden mask standing over him. Learning of this, Dany tells the Unsullied to patrol the street. Missendei goes to Grey Worm and asks why an Unsullied would go to a brothel. He hesitates and then says that he doesn’t know.
      Second Sequence. Hizdahr and Daario return. Hizdahr tells Dany to reopen the fighting pits, she refuses. He remarks that Yunkai gave into all their demands and installed a sort of democratic council. In bed together. Daario tells her she should open the fighting pits, and talks about how he used to fight in them after being sold to them as a child. He also tells her to reunite with her Children. Dany goes into the vault, but Viserys and Rhaegal snap and shoot fire at her. She runs away.

      KINGS LANDING. Scene 2. Loras tries to give a eulogy for Tywin to Cersei, but she leaves him. She notices Lancel, who now has short hair and is wearing robes. She speaks to Kevan about Tywin, and he apologises for Lancel’s newfound piety. Lancel comes to Cersei later and apologises for tempting her sexually, and offers to pray for Tywins soul. He also pointedly apologises for his role in Robert’s death.

      PENTOS. Scene 2. This is the scene from the trailer. Varys tells Tyrion to join him in his quest to help Daenerys rather then killing himself with drink. Tyrion agrees.

        Quote  Reply

    61. Luka Nieto:
      Alex Stroup,

      Honestly, I’m kinda relieved they took that out. Cersei’s hatred for Tyrion is much more interesting as originally described (“He killed our mother”, with subsequent growing resentment), instead of that prophesied magical BS.

      100% agree. I was never a fan of the Valonqar prophecy. We already know that Cersei hates Tyrion, we don’t need another plot device to tell us.

      Now I just hope that GRRM doesn’t make

      Tyrion a secret Targ. That would completely ruin the dynamic btw him and Tywin

        Quote  Reply

    62. Luka Nieto,

      i can see what you mean and that’s another reason why she hates him in the books, but i feel like everything she’s told in the prophecy is what drives her every move. she drives herself mad thinking about tyrion, and about the “younger and more beautiful queen” and if the show just ignores that i feel like people won’t understand her character enough, unless they show it some other way :/

        Quote  Reply

    63. Turncloak,

      The “previously on” clips would work to remind viewers of someone like, say, Lancel, who was on a lot in Seasons 1 and 2, particularly if they wanted to remind viewers of specific scenes. It would not work for a single episode character like Illyrio, who basically was just this guy. (It might work for someone like Quaithe who was a bit more distinctive than Illyrio.)

      Incidentally, it is not that it is hard for people to remember things: on the contrary, it is pretty easy; all you have to do is think about them frequently. But therein lies the catch: because we have so many demands on our time, most of us cannot mentally revisit many things. The typical Thrones viewer is an early 40’s male in a profession demanding a lot of mental energy. Sure, some of them are “fans”: but most of them are “fans” of something else, and just an appreciative viewer for this show.

      (Just as an example, although I was a big SoI&F fan 10+ years ago, I did not even remember the popular idea abot Jon’s parentage until the 2nd or so episode, when something about Ned’s farewell brought it back! In the six years since I had thought about the series, I had forgotten most of it.)

        Quote  Reply

    64. Arash,

      I read comments above and got the answer, and its disappointing.

      Not to whine but its just inconsistent! Like Umber gone missing after Season 1 , or more importantly entire Riverlands being wiped off the map for the moment being!

        Quote  Reply

    65. Wimsey,

      Sorry but I’m not buying it. The show has clearly used the previously on segment to remind people of much lesser characters than Lancel. Again, Rorge and Biter come to mind. Also very little details that would be impossible to remember such as Lysa’s letter to Cat were used on the previously on segments.

        Quote  Reply

    66. cosca,

      Thank you so much!

      So …

      Jon shoots Mance with an arrow after he starts to burn, but before he starts screaming.

      Also, Mance bids Stannis good luck in “The Wars to Come” before Melisandre sets him on fire.

      I think those two pieces of information imply that it’s the real Mance who burns. I have a hard time imagining that an innocent wildling dupe who is being sacrificed in his place would act that way – defiant, yet also courteous.

        Quote  Reply

    67. cosca,

      We’ve been speculating about Yunkai and whether the show was going to wholly condense the war to the Sons of the Harpy. This would seem to lean in that direction, contrary to earlier reports about this conversation.

      The Loras eulogy sounds like another comic relief Loras scene, in which case, sigh.

        Quote  Reply

    68. wizardeyes,

      The summary said Yunkai didn’t accept Dany’s ultimatum; quite the contrary, they intended to march against her, and Hizdahr and Daario urge her to send the dragons to Yunkai because of it. According to the summary, that’s the reason she goes to the catacombs, to see if they can be controlled. What cosca described is quite different. Was the summary mistaken? Did cosca mishear? Did they change the script so much between the summary and the final product? One implies Yunkai will be a threat, the other doesn’t.

      Jared,

      Yeap. It seems it’s the real deal. No Abel the Bard, no Rattleshirt switcheroo. I knew they weren’t doing the glamour in the show, and when we saw the sacrifice pyre… well, it didn’t bode so well for a certain character.

        Quote  Reply

    69. Sean C.,

      Show Loras, yea…
      I wasn’t really a fan of reckless/cocky book Loras. But I do think he was definitely more interesting than his show counterpart. Will have to reserve judgement though until I see his full season play out

        Quote  Reply

    70. Jared,

      Yea… very good point.

      Do we know if Cirian Hinds was a book reader? Maybe the EW interview was about him. As you can see I’m trying to grasp straws to avoid a season 5 Barristan death :-[.

      Shit atleast he’s epic in TWOW

        Quote  Reply

    71. Missandei with Greyworm

      “Why would unsullied go to a brothel?” I cannot roll my eyes any harder at their scenes. Ugh….

        Quote  Reply

    72. Lucy,

      It would be interesting to see if he implicates himself. I mean, obviously he doesn’t confess. But I mean, is his guilt noticeable? He did free the person who killed his own father, even if that person was his dear brother.

      Crabber’s Son,

      I will enjoy them in your stead.

        Quote  Reply

    73. Luka Nieto,

      Ahhh okay thanks. Yeah that is a pretty big difference considering in what it hints at the to the future of that storyline.

      If Yunkai has accepted the terms then that would imply that the battle of Meereen wont happen in the show – Daznak’s Pit will be the finale of the entire Meereen storyline .

        Quote  Reply

    74. Turncloak,

      I don’t know if Ciarin Hinds’ has read the books but I remember him saying that he was looking forward to playing a lute and singing. So he obviously knew the details of Mance’s book storyline.

        Quote  Reply

    75. Cue heroic shot of Stannis and Davos looking out over the Wall.Love that. 😀 Harpy stuff sounds good.Valonqar no? 🙁
      But Jon shoots Mance with an arrow?Mercy from Jon.It’s shame that they wasted actor like Ciaran Hinds.Pissed about Mel/Jon scene(virgin really D&D?).What the heck is this.Not to mention that stuff with uniting clans for the first time.

        Quote  Reply

    76. wizardeyes:
      Luka Nieto,

      Ahhh okay thanks. Yeah that is a pretty big difference considering in what it hints at the to the future of that storyline.

      If Yunkai has accepted the terms then that would imply that the battle of Meereen wont happen in the show – Daznak’s Pit will be the finale of the entire Meereen storyline .

      This also may confirm

      that there will be no need for a Battle of Fire. Hence no Victarion and possibly no Euron. Also makes, Barristan expendable…

        Quote  Reply

    77. wizardeyes,

      Exactly. If that was what the summary said, I’d have accepted the battle was gone. But the summary implied otherwise. If cosca’s report is true, I’m ready to accept the battle is gone, now that there’s actual evidence pointing to it.

      Geralt of Rivia,

      If your issue is not with the concept of the scene but with the use of the word ‘virgin’… I don’t get it. I really don’t know what problem people have with the word ‘virgin’ in the show. It’s been used since season 1 and since book 1 (though, granted, “maid” is more common in the books —but “virgin” is still used in the sexual sense 16 times in the books.)

        Quote  Reply

    78. Wimsey,

      Illyrio was our introduction to Dany, He was hosting her and the ass hole brother, he set up her wedding, for God’s sake HE GAVE the dragon eggs to her! And then later that mysterious scene in the dungeons with Varys! A major mistake not to have him back!

      If people dont remember him even by showing “previously on” then we got a national low IQ epidemy on our hands!

        Quote  Reply

    79. Arash:
      Wimsey,

      Illyrio was our introduction to Dany, He was hosting her and the ass hole brother, he set up her wedding, for God’s sake HE GAVE the dragon eggs to her!And then later that mysterious scene in the dungeons with Varys! A major mistake not to have him back!

      If people dont remember him even by showing “previously on” then we got a national low IQ epidemy on our hands!

      I think Wimsey is just a contrarian by nature. I find it very hard to believe that people would not remember that scene after having their memory jogged by a “previously on” segment. Again I think they did want to have Illyrio back but they couldn’t make it work due to scheduling conflicts. Next season though, we will see :-]

        Quote  Reply

    80. Turncloak,

      Yeah that’s exactly what I meant

      Luka Nieto,

      Maybe that’s for the best – as its shaping up in TWOW preview chapters – sounds like it would be insanely expensive/ pretty much unfilmable for a TV budget (even one as big as Thrones’)

        Quote  Reply

    81. lol,

      can explain Illyrio’s absence via a “Business trip”, after all Tyrion and Varys are there unexpectedly

      Would make sense for Illyrio to be back at some point in the future regardless of whether Aegon is in it or not

        Quote  Reply

    82. Tyrion Pimpslap,

      I thought u were responding to me being bothered with Loras being a comic relief character. Im fine with the unsullied scene Im just bothered with Missandei being so confused by it and their romance in general.

        Quote  Reply

    83. wizardeyes,

      Spoilers for everything we know so far, books and season 5 of show:

      I’m feeling pretty confident that the battle of Meereen is out at this point. I wouldn’t be surprised if in earlier drafts it was in, and in those Yunkai was going to march, but it’s dead now. That also matches up with the Barristan rumors. If, like most people thinks, he dies in the battle, that would explain why they decided to kill him early. He probably can’t be alive for when Dany meets Tyrion or when she gets to Westeros, so they’re knocking him out now.

      My guess is Dany is probably going to have her fire and blood conversion moment in the pit itself, and burn the whole place right there and then. (I know there was the pic of a set with lots of burned bones, but at this point I think they were just trolling and that was a random dragon feeding scene, not the finale in Drogon’s lair) That cuts out the battle and it cuts the whole Dothraki arc from the next book. I bet we’re probably going to get her setting out for Westeros in episode 10 at pretty much the same time we get the conclusion in Dorne, revealing that she has a massive army waiting for her there.

        Quote  Reply

    84. Yung Wolf,

      That takes up 5-7 minutes all season. Cry me a river. It’s not like these characters should be actual people, we all know they are only window dressing for Dany.

        Quote  Reply

    85. Yung Wolf,

      Its like the writers are trying to get to this huge revelation that you dont need sex to have a relationship and its taking Greyworm and Missandei multiple seasons to figure it out. Way too cheesy for Game of thrones.

        Quote  Reply

    86. Turncloak: 100% agree. I was never a fan of the Valonqar prophecy. We already know that Cersei hates Tyrion, we don’t need another plot device to tell us.

      Now I just hope that GRRM doesn’t make

      Agree in the sense if it whitewashes her

      Though if it thematically relates to more than just her dislike/hatred for Tyrion, eg it is relevant to bigger issues such as her relationship with Qyburn, Ser Robert Strong and why she allows magic, eg it is wielded against her so she can wield it back

        Quote  Reply

    87. Ghost’s Lunch: Agree in the sense if it whitewashes her

      The revelation of that prophecy also revealed that Cersei murdered her childhood BFF at age 13, so I don’t know that I’d say that whitewashed her.

        Quote  Reply

    88. The Illyrio thing is such a non-issue. They tie him into Varys’ conspiracy. They have Tyrion and Varys arrive at his home in Pentos and set Tyrion off on his journey. The only thing that’s missing is the actual actor walking out and saying “Yep, I’m the guy my buddy Varys is talking about.” Given Varys’ expanded role in getting Tyrion to Volantis and pointing Tyrion on his path, this little cameo would be the extent of his involvement in the season.

      Would it have been nice to trot him out for the 2 minute scene? Sure. Does it change anything that the actor doesn’t appear? Nope.

      I’m sure they wanted Allam to show up but sometimes, the production doesn’t allow it. Having Varys spell out the relationship and play the role with Tyrion lets them write around his absense. Oh well, not a big deal.

      If you want to get upset over stuff, get upset over real stuff.

        Quote  Reply

    89. Crabber’s Son,

      It’s only a matter of time before a plot twist comes along allowing Greyworm to use an elixir consisting of Drogon’s tears, White Walker baby formula and strands of Dothraki hair to grow himself a new cock.

        Quote  Reply

    90. spoilers

      Personally not surprised now if they have actually burned Mance though if I watched this cold I would have been “oh shit they actually…burned….the…..real….Mance….no glamour, Dalla, Val and baby were out, they never had him playing music and we have never heard of Horn of Joramun so the writing was on the Wall (no pun intended) that they are sidelining his plot

      Giving everything to Tormund it seems, unsurprising given the TV viewer relationship between Tormund and Jon having been visually established and Mance was not

      Depends on whether this is meant to be a strategic mistake by Stannis/Mel, eg Wildlings will splinter under various leaders now so they are impossible to wield or control to any end

      Am rather dissapointed as I’m actually a big fan of his book character, same with Ser Barristan who will probably be killed off too and I don’t think there’s going to be a Battle of Mereen. So they seem to have a habit of butchering the good characters. meanwhile we get 3 Sand Snakes when only 2 are necassary and One Direction Trystane and Barbie Myrcella, ugh. Not to mention Brienne and Pod filler with Jaimie in Dorne, good grief could have given them a hiatus like Bran

      Ultimately I understand they are cutting things substantially

        Quote  Reply

    91. Wow, already all the whining over petty nonsense. I’m debating whether or not this should be my first year where I just watch the show and don’t visit any of the fan sites or forums especially knowing that this season is going to have a lot of changes as D&D try and take the convoluted mess that is AFFC/ADWD and turn it into something remotely entertaining.

        Quote  Reply

    92. JamesL,

      I’m seriously consider it. I’ll listen to the usual podcasts, read reviews —but I may abstain myself from most comment sections. It will get ugly.

        Quote  Reply

    93. it sucks

      they’re really burning Mance, he’s a terrific actor and they could use him up a lot more, make him more layered etc. Also because he really CAN sing and it would be awesome seeing him do that at least in Winterfell. I mean, even the infamous Ros had more screentime than him.

      However, he seems to fit the anonymous actor’s statement about being psyched for having more to do this season only to be disappointed he’d been written out.

        Quote  Reply

    94. I cannot restate this enough. You NEED to cover all your episode spoilers. Instructions on how to do so are at the top of every comments section.

      If you repeatedly refuse to cover your spoilers, I’m going to assume you’re trolling.

        Quote  Reply

    95. Season 5: Episode 1
      Cold Opening: Young Cersei and her friend Melara are walking through the woods after hearing of a fortuneteller called Maggy the Frog. They arrive in Maggy’s hut and Cersei begs Maggy for her fortune. Maggy answers her three questions. Maggy tells Cersei that she will be queen until one younger and more beautiful replaces her, that she will have no children with the king, but he’ll have twenty, and that her children will die. “Gold shall be their crowns, and gold their shrouds,” Maggy says. Melara is pulling at Young Cersei’s arm and urges her to leave. “Cersei, we have to go!” Melara says. Cersei awakes to discover that Tywin is dead.

      King’s Landing
      Cersei is walking to the Sept of Baelor with Meryn Trant as Tywin’s casket being showcased. Cersei walks into the Sept of Baelor where the High Sparrow greets her. Cersei and Jaime are standing over Tywin’s corpse where she asks him if he is the one who freed Tyrion. “The monster is still out there drawing breath,” Cersei says. Jaime denies it, but Cersei knows him too well and knows he’s lying. She leaves him there alone with Jaime feeling very guilty.
      Cersei feels like a lion drowning in a pool if golden roses, watching Margaery comfort Tommen while Loras is offering his condolences. She leaves the place without a look at Loras, walks into Pycelle, but avoids him. Cersei wants to be left alone, but then she walks into Lancel Lannister. She hardly recognizes him. Cersei speaks to her uncle Kevan Lannister about Tywin and he apologizes for his son’s ragged looks. Kevan informs her that Lancel has joined the Sparrows.
      Later on, Cersei sees Lancel again who asks for her forgiveness for sleeping with her and tells her that he’s a changed man now. Lancel also discusses the nasty business with Robert’s “hunting accident”, but Cersei pretends she doesn’t know what he is talking about.

      Pentos
      POV of Tyrion looking through the crate. Varys opens the Crate and reveals that Tyrion is in Pentos. Tyrion is shaken, drinks 8 cups of wine, and then vomits on Illyrio’s expensive carpet. Varys tells him that he and Illyrio have bet on the wrong Targaryen, but Tyrion is not interested in the Game of Thrones anymore. Tyrion and Varys enter Illyrio’s palace to change their clothes.
      Tyrion and Varys speak outside on the balcony where Varys urges him to join him on his journey to Meereen. “You never told me why you set me free,” Tyrion says. “Your brother asked me to,” Varys says. “Could’ve said no,” Tyrion says. “Refuse the Kingslayer, a dangerous proposition,” Varys says. “Not as dangerous as releasing me. You risked your life, your position, everything…why? You’re not family, You owe me nothing,” Tyrion says. “I didn’t do it for you. I did it for the Seven Kingdoms,” Varys says. “A drunken dwarf will never be a savior of the Seven Kingdoms,” Tyrion says. “I don’t believe in saviors. I believe men of talent have a part to play in the war to come,” Varys says. “I will never sit on the Iron Throne,” Tyrion says. “You could help another climb those steps and take that seat. You have your father’s instincts for politics and you have compassion,” Varys says. “Compassion? I killed my lover with my bare hands and I shot my own father with a crossbow,” Tyrion says. “I never said you were perfect,” Varys says. “What is it you want, exactly?” Tyrion says. “Peace, prosperity, A land where the powerful do not prey on the powerless. The seven kingdoms needs a ruler loved by millions with a powerful army and the right family name,” Varys says. Tyrion tells Varys, “Good lucking finding him.” Varys answers “Who said anything about him?” Tyrion agrees to join Varys on his journey to Dany as long as he can keep drinking.

      Meereen
      The statue of the Harpy is torn down from the Pyramid. At the foot, Stalwart Shield, known as “White Rat”, takes off his helmet and smiles. He walks into a brothel looking a whore to cuddle with. He pays the woman and she sings to him while he rests his head on her breast, but then a man masked with the face of the Harpy slits his throat. The whore and the man in a golden mask stand over him.
      Learning of this, Dany orders the Unsullied to patrol the streets. Missandei goes to Grey Worm to ask why an Unsullied would go to the brothel. He hesitates and then says that he doesn’t know. Daario and Hizdahr return to Meereen. Hizdahr tells Dany to reopen the fighting pits, but she refuses. Dany and her council of Daario, Missandei, Barristan, and Grey Worm discuss how she must deal with this major problem threatening her rule. Hizdahr explains that Yunkai gave into all their demands and installed a democratic council.
      In bed together, Daario tells Dany that she should open the fighting pits and talks about how he used to fight in them after being sold to them as a child. He also says that she needs to reunite with her children. Dany is afraid she can’t control her dragons and doesn’t want another child to die, but she seeks out the dragons in the catacombs.
      When Dany arrives, her dragons Viserion and Rhaegal are not happy to see her. They have grown huge and angry and they attack Dany. All that keeps them from eating her are the chains. Dany, scared and horrified, escapes the catacombs and realizes that she has lost control of them completely.

      The Vale
      Sansa and Littlefinger are on a tour of the Vale. Sansa sits with Littlefinger and Yohn Royce as they watch Robin train, remarking how pathetic he is. Littlefinger seems to be the only one entertained, while Sansa looks bored and Royce looks concerned. Littlefinger mentions that he is leaving Robin in Lord Royce’s care.
      Brienne is cleaning her sword. She gets mad at Pod for his questions and says, “I don’t want anyone following me. I’m not a leader. All I ever wanted was to fight for a lord I believed in. All the good lords are dead and the rest are monsters.”
      A convoy of Vale Knights with a carriage passes Brienne and Pod. Sansa and Littlefinger are inside the carriage talking about trust. Littlefinger tells Sansa that they will be going far away from Cersei Lannister’s grasp.

      The Wall
      Jon practices with Olly in the yard. Sam converses with Gilly about Stannis and then a weakened Alliser comes out complaining about the weakness of the recruits. Melisandre comes down and tells Jon to meet Stannis on the Wall. Jon takes the winch elevator to the top of the wall and on the ride up, Jon asks Melisandre about the cold. She says she doesn’t feel it. She then asks him if he’s a virgin. When Jon says no, she says “good.” Jon meets Stannis with Melisandre and Davos following close behind. Stannis reminds Jon that the man who put a dagger into Robb’s heart is now ruling over Winterfell and asks if Jon doesn’t want to avenge his brother. Jon informs him that he wants a great many things but his loyalty belongs to the Watch. Stannis tells Jon that many love him (Jon), and some don’t, and then goes on that he doesn’t want to kill the Wildlings, he needs men to fight Roose Bolton after all. He wants them to kneel to him. He wants their king Mance to kneel to him. He gives Jon until nightfall to convince Mance to kneel.
      Jon hurries off to Mance and tries to convince him. Jon meets with Mance attempts to negotiate by saying, “You told me you weren’t here to conquer, you told me you had bled enough.” Mance replies, “That’s right, but I don’t want them bleeding for Stannis Baratheon either.” “For the first time in history, Thenns and Hornfoots, the Ice River Clans, even the Giants, a life’s work uniting them. You didn’t do it for power; you didn’t do it for glory…you brought them together to save them because none of them will survive the winter not if they’re north of the wall. Isn’t their survival more important than your pride?” Jon says. “Pride…Fuck my pride,” Mance says.
      In the yard of Castle Black, Mance is led out and tells Stannis, “Good luck in the Wars to Come.” Melisandre then burns Mance and Jon shoots him with an arrow before he starts screaming.

        Quote  Reply

    96. Kaiser,

      I’m kinda hoping that’s the case.

      I like Mance, but if it’s Mance who’s dying instead of Barristan, I’ll take that. I like Barristan more. Do we know if Ciarán Hinds has read the books? It’d only fit then. It’s gotta be someone who’s been in the show for a while but hasn’t had much to do, but if they were faithful to the books would have a lot more to do this season, yet they killed him off early. So… either Barristan or Mance, right? So, has Hinds read the books? Does he know his storyline at least?

        Quote  Reply

    97. Luka Nieto:
      JamesL,

      I’m seriously consider it. I’ll listen to the usual podcasts, read reviews —but I may abstain myself from most comment sections. It will get ugly.

      For years we been told that stories will be condensed, streamlined and changed to make it to work for TV adaptation. Everyone has been advised to learn to separate the tv show with the books, but when the actual situation the episode aired, it seems a lot of people still having trouble separating books with the tv show.

        Quote  Reply

    98. If they did kill off Mance I wouldn’t be surprised if Ciaran Hinds had something to do with it.

      He’s never seemed very enthusiastic about the role and may have had second thoughts about taking it. I’m sure the lack of screen time and interesting material didn’t help. I can’t say I will complain if he is killed off because he’s been one of my least favorite castings.

        Quote  Reply

    99. I hope that battle of meereen is cut…

      shame that Illyrio could not return but it is not a decision made by D&D, but the actor’s schedule was full….

        Quote  Reply

    100. Maybe once D&D realised

      Roger Allam wasn’t going to be available to come back as Illyrio, they should have had a painted portrait of him hanging in his house for Varys to refer to. Just mentioning his name will go over the top of a lot of casual viewers’ heads, but a visual reminder of the character would have made up for him not being there.

        Quote  Reply

    101. Kaiser,

      If those anonymous quotes are from Ciaran than I guess I would be completely wrong about him uninterested in the role and asking to be written out. Those quotes don’t seem like anything Ciaran would say though imo and it said the quotes were from an actor who has been around since the beginning or for several seasons which also makes Ciaran unlikely.

        Quote  Reply

    102. cosca,

      When you say

      “Loras gives a eulogy”, you mean a *formal* one to an entire crowd, or just personally?

      Is Arya in the episode?

        Quote  Reply

    103. Turncloak,

      B

      Ghost’s Lunch:
      spoilers

      Ultimately I understand they are cutting things substantially

      YOUR characters. No mine! I honestly will say I give two flying fucks about some of those characters “few” people whine about. Purist will complain about anything these days even if Lord Fat-Shit had a few lines in the books, and the show cut them for obvious reason.

        Quote  Reply

    104. Crabber’s Son:
      Yung Wolf,

      Its like the writers are trying to get to this huge revelation that you dont need sex to have a relationship and its taking Greyworm and Missandei multiple seasons to figure it out. Way too cheesy for Game of thrones.

      Cheesy?? Have you read the books? There’s plenty if cheesy shit GRRM have written in the books that didn’t make it on the screen.
      Oh… I get it. Because it was not written by GRRM so it becomes something to whine and bitch about.

        Quote  Reply

    105. Eddard Stark II:
      How come Illyrio is suddenly the most important character in A Song Of Ice and Fire?!

      The Purist will make anything important as long as they feel special. Sadly, they haven’t noticed the difference of book is book and show is show.

        Quote  Reply

    106. BTW folks, just a correction to the talk about

      when Roger Allam was busy etc. The play he was in did not actually last through the whole shoot (running from July to December would be a bit long for that), it’s just that it meant he was busy in particular when they filmed scenes in the villa in Dubrovnik standing in for Illyrio’s manse.

      Since Illyrio’s namedropped but doesn’t actually show up in the premiere it’s possible that he and Varys have a scene together later in the season (Varys has to get up to something after Tyrion’s capture after all), so long as its one they could’ve filmed in Belfast (meaning an interior scene) once his play was done with. Remember that Tyrion and Varys head to Volantis for ep. 503 instead of heading straight to Meereen. If indeed the Golden Company are with Stannis and not in Volantis in the show, it could be that they head to Volantis to meet with Illyrio (where he could be on business or something).

        Quote  Reply

    107. Greenjones,

      Yeah that could work, but I thought the Volantis scenes were just Tyrion and Varys walking the Long bridge and then going to the brothel where Jorah eventually captures Tyrion.

        Quote  Reply

    108. King Stannis,

      You can’t reason with these morons man. They don’t understand actors get paid to act so thats why they aren’t giving Missendei and Greyworm a free ride just to stand around Dany without doing some work.

        Quote  Reply

    109. alcasinoroyale,

      I mean that’s what they’d be there to meet him but Tyrion would insist on going to the brothel first. Varys would then only have a scene with him after Tyrion’s captured.

      This is konradsmith btw, alcasinoroyale.

        Quote  Reply

    110. Renly’s Peach,

      What if Illyrio is a Faceless Man? That would also imply that Varys could well be too. Perhaps even high ranking officials within FM…. maybe…. Or not.
      If Illyrio is FM, that’d easily explain him not being seen, probably off bending ears somewhere else….. like in Oldtown, or anywhere. Who would know?

        Quote  Reply

    111. Greenjones,

      Yeah haha I know, but the forum crashed once again. Meeting Illyrio in Volantis would give Varys another scene so that he has more screen time. I could also see that in 504 so that Varys isn’t missing for a majority of the season. It would be a good time to reveal something to Illyrio and hint at going back to the capital to end the Lannister regime by killing Kevan and Pycelle so that they can make room for Dany (or if Aegon is still in the show) to take the Throne.

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    112. i cant read all of this as it is too long…but in regards to illyrio…im confused as to why people are so annoyed that people want him in…hes been a mystery since season one to show watcher…with him and varys in the scene with arya leaves a lot of loose ends open…he gave dany the effing eggs! i dont mind if hes not in..but id like them to somehow keep him present in some way…and so what if he was in a play…they recast daario and kevan and the mountain…why not illyrio?

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    113. alcasinoroyale,

      The forum’s really inconsistent these days. I’d say it crashes at least once a day now.

      If I were able to post on it now, I’d say that I’ve figured out why Mel asks Jon if he’s a virgin. Out of context that sounds like awkward writing (if it had come off as awkward though in the moment I think the reviewers would have noted this) but as cosca said, this comes right after she tells him how she doesn’t fell the cold. In ASOS she proves this by touching him to prove her hand is warm and saying that this is how “life should feel”. I imagine he’ll react to this awkwardly and that will prompt her to ask if he’s a virgin.

      And yeah, if Illyrio’s back, your above spec. is how I expect it to play out.

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    114. As far as the Yunkai stuff, it of course makes sense that Battle of Meereen is getting cut given how they were depicting the internal Sons of the Harpy attack throughout this season. It was unnecessary and obviously D&D feel the need to get Dany the hell out of Meereen ASAP which is something people who have read the books have been saying for years.

      However, I still maintain that the leaked script conversation in E1 exists in the episode, it’s just that some people (including the Facebook poster who is relaying the gist of the script scene as opposed to quoting it) misread the intentions. I would also say that the recalling of the scene by Cosca is probably leaving out some of the lines that would reveal why the script leak relayer misinterpreted the notion.

      In reality, the scene probably plays out as a mixture of the two accounts. Hizdahr and Daario state that Yunkai have more or less agreed to the terms of peace but both feel that this peace is tenuous and at the first sign of weakness, they would be eager to attack. This does not make the attack imminent but just a background threat to let the audience know that Dany is in a tough spot unless she really shows power in Meereen. The suggestion by Daario for Dany to bring the dragons out of hiding and into the open would be to remind the people of Meereen as well as get the word to other cities like Yunkai and Astapor that opposing her would be an awful idea on account of her having the nukes.

      So, no I don’t think the script was changed, I just think the conversation was not relayed accurately and it caused some people to jump to conclusions (like OMG, Yunkai is going to attack!)

      Cosca is free to comment on whether or not this sounds like how the scene went down or not.

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    115. Greenjones,

      Yeah you make a valid point. He recently just lost Ygritte and probably doesn’t want to enter the same place again. Mel touching Jon and him responding awkwardly would make sense in that case since he doesn’t want that type of relationship with someone at the moment. Life obviously doesn’t feel warm for him when he just lost someone that he was in love with. Considering it is just a small exchange between Jon and Mel, the dialogue isn’t a huge deal. Based off of the summary Cosca has, it seems they are staying more faithful to the source material than I expected. At least for Jon’s first scene, it’s very similar to ASOS Jon XI.

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    116. Greenjones,

      Hopefully. That seems like a line that would be included in the show.

      I’m really not sure why Mel would care if Jon is a virgin, as it didn’t seem to bother her with Gendry.

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    117. AngryGoTFan,

      Penny? That gorgeous girl in BigBangTheory? She’s in GOT? WOO-HOO!!

      Uh-oh! It’s not THAT Penny? Are you sure? DAMN! Ah, well. Such is whatever it is….. At least I can dream.

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    118. In D&D we trust! And given the changes they’ve made for this season its been validated! Thanks guys, keep up the excellent work.

        Quote  Reply

    119. Thanks, cosca!

      I don’t give a flying fart if people think Illyrio is irrelevant – of course people remember him. Roger Allam is a popular and well-respected actor with a following, and Illyrio likely has a bigger role to play down the line. No Illyrio, no dragons for Dany.

      I strongly suspect that Mance isn’t even mostly dead. I think he just went for a walk.

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    120. matt:
      i cant read all of this as it is too long…but in regards to illyrio…im confused as to why people are so annoyed that people want him in…hes been a mystery since season one to show watcher…with him and varys in the scene with arya leaves a lot of loose ends open…he gave dany the effing eggs! i dont mind if hes not in..but id like them to somehow keep him present in some way…and so what if he was in a play…they recast daario and kevan and the mountain…why not illyrio?

      Because he served his purpose already. Anything else coming out of his mouth at this point Varys can replace.
      1. The Mountain needed to be Recast regardless because of the fight between the Red Viper and the chain of event of Tyrion and the Dorne Plot.

      2. Daario, well we could do without him, am sure some whiners woulda cried claiming him as their favorite character. Perhaps there’s more to Daario further down the story.

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    121. cosca,

      In bed together. Daario tells her she should open the fighting pits,

      Okay, as a proud member of the perv side of the audience I’ll ask the important questions… any Emilia Clarke nudity?

      Yea, I have heard the “no nudity clause” rumor but people said the same thing after season 2 and it wasn’t true then and I doubt it is true now.

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    122. So in the same day Daniel Portman says LS is part of the show’s “future” and Richard Dormer pops up in the premiere (his first appearance since the season 3 events)….. and they want to make us believe LS is cut? Right.

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    123. Probably should have commented earlier (when the comments were actually discussing it), but I’m thinking the show didn’t include the Valonqar part of the prophesy because it’s too “spoilery”. I think the show purposely avoids outright spoilers. So much so, that instead of working around them, they simply cut them all together (the Red Wedding in Dany’s House of the Undying visions, comes to mind for this argument).

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    124. Val,

      Richard Dormer probably went because he lives in the UK and was once part of the show. A few other previous cast members were there too. He also did an interview some time ago where he said the show runners haven’t contacted him and he thinks he has been written out of the show.

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    125. If the biggest problem some people have is Illyrio being absent, I think this means that it is an excellent season premiere. It seems a little more muted, but really this is required after many characters have gone off on different journeys, however I haven’t read anything that suggests it hasn’t lived up to its high reputation.

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    126. JamesL,

      There was only one other previous cast member at the premiere.. Mark Addy, who is always going to these things every year. As far as I know, Dormer hadn’t made a GOT-related appearance since 2013.

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    127. Turncloak,

      My Unsullied parents didn’t recognize Illyrio 5 episodes after he was introduced in Season 1, when Arya spots him walking with Varys. You’d ve amazed at what people forget when they don’t already know who or what is important to the larger story beforehand.

      He is really an unimportant character in the show. [Spoiler] In the books there’s a decent chance he is the actual father of fAegon (not super familiar with the details of this theory as I give less than two shits about Young Griff but whatever). Since the Griffs are almost certainly cut though,[/spoiler] Illyrio’s only importance is a degree of separation between Varys and Daenerys. Why involve a nothing character that no one remembers or cares about when all the information he can give can also be given by Varys, a great character who has great chemistry with Tyrion? Absolutely nothing is lost in cutting Illyrio from the scene.

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    128. Melisandre’s making Jon Snow uncomfortable already? Not unexpected. I’m looking forward to that adversarial relationship getting translated from the books this season.

      I’m concerned that Shireen’s in danger from her, though as Stannis’ sole heiress, it does seem strange to consider that she could be sacrificed. Melisandre’s conversation with Selyse in episode 4×07 notwithstanding:

      “Your daughter must be with us. The Lord [of Light] needs her.”

      According to IMDB (so take it with a grain of salt), Stannis (Stephen Dillane) is slated to appear in 6 episodes this season, the most he’s had since Season 1.

      Yara (Gemma Whelan), is listed as appearing in episodes 5×07, x09 & x10. Nothing listed for any other Greyjoys except for Theon. Alfie Allen’s only listed in 5×01 and 5×10 at the moment. Anything happening with Balon will likely happen offscreen.

      I’d rather avoid speculating about Arya’s storyline until she appears. Show watchers, brace yourselves: Maisie Williams has a lot to do this season.

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    129. I’m sad about Mance. I maintain that Hinds himself was a giid pick for the character, but they didn’t give him any particularly interesting or revealing dialogue in Season 3. No matter how good his S4 scene was (which was very good), and no matter how good his material was in this episode, he always will feel like an underdeveloped character. I was hoping that they’d stretch out some time before his death in S5, but knew that was unlikely. Still, killing him right out of the gate? Makes Jon saving his neck in S4E10 seem kind of pointless. I’ll wait and see how well they handle it before judging it but not feeling great about it.

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    130. alcasinoroyale,

      I guess I should be honoured that someone went to the trouble of re-arranging my summary. One thing though. This episode does not have a cold open. That scene is after the opening credits.

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    131. Hodor Targaryen,

      My guess is that D&D weren’t sure if they might need Manc alive, but when they actually planned out season 5 they realised he wasn’t needed, and other, perhaps more recognisable characters (Tormund)

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    132. Hu Hodor Targaryen,

      My guess is that D&D weren’t sure if they might need Mance alive, but when they actually planned out season 5 they realised he wasn’t needed, and other, perhaps more recognisable characters (Tormund) could fill the role. I don’t completely blame them for this, it’s a shame, and a bit annoying, but these things happen in TV.

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    133. At least Illyrio is mentioned. If you want to complain about continuity, complain about the probably permanent absence of the Brotherhood.

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    134. A quick fact: the premiere is now online. This post should not be construed as encouraging piracy in any way, it is only intended as a newsworthy fact. This is truly my last post until May!

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    135. Luka Nieto,

      ^THIS

      The prophecy from the books turned Cersei intro a traditional evil queen stereotype. I’m glad at least on the show her complex relationship with Tyrion won’t be retconned by that lousy valonqar reference…

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    136. Cosca,

      first of all, thank you for your review.

      Secondly, can you detail a little bit the scene with Jaime and Cercei? What does he say? How is their interaction? I guess it doesn’t play at all like in the books.

      Also, any other Jaime scene?

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    137. King Tommen,

      You more or less said everything on the topic that I was going to say. But in addition:

      Most of the people complaining about the lack of Illyrio seem to have little, if any, grasp of how television shows work. The actor who played Illyrio was not contracted, he had another job at the time of filming and was not available. Therefore, if they wanted Illyrio in the scene they would have had to re-cast him. Re-casting requires casting calls to be sent out to agents, and a casting director to be paid to find a halfway decent replacement for a character that would only appear in two minutes of one episode. It was a financial decision, end of story. The character’s involvement, as well as his absence, could easily be explained and his appearance made in a later season (if at all). They don’t have to pay the casting director for however much time it takes to find a new Illyrio, and they don’t have to pay an actor. That money can now go to things like sets, and costumes, and CGI dragons. It was a business decision made by the producers and it doesn’t really matter whether you like it or not because that’s just how the business works. They’re running on a limited budget and if you want special effects, things have to be sacrificed. End of discussion.

      In before “But they re-cast so many other characters!” Yeah, characters that were actually crucial to the show. Illyrio really isn’t crucial. Would it have been nice to have him? Sure, that would have been cool. But it doesn’t work like that. Just doesn’t.

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    138. I can’t believe that one character not showing up is such a big area of discussion. They do so many things so right, but people on forums instead tend to focus on that one little thing they omitted or adapted in a slightly unconvincing way. Frankly, for a show that many regard as one of the greatest ever, it has the most critical fanbase I’ve ever seen.

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    139. Alex Stroup,

      In the books GRRM quickly has writes a line about how Cersei later asked her teacher what Valonqar meant. GRRM HAD to tell you what it meant. How do you do that with the show? I guess you could have Cersei ask Maggy what it means, but then what’s the point of that? Total waste of time, just say brother. The word Valonqar isn’t important, what it means is important.

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    140. Fat Manderly left out. Fat Illyrio left out. Is this a coincidence? Who’ s next?

      You know it. A fattie will be left out, a fat man will be left behind in 2016, left to write fanfiction after a successful TV show, decades after its end.

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    141. Charles M: The word Valonqar isn’t important, what it means is important.

      This is another common factor to fandoms that perplexes me, despite the fact that I’ve been a “fanboy” of various things for 30+ years. The only thing that is important is communicating concepts, and communicating that the main characters understand, misunderstand or do not understand the concepts. Novels need to use multiple terms for entities for the same reason that good writers mix in synonyms whenever possible: it gets tedious to read the same word/phrase repeatedly. TV/Stage has the opposite constraint: they must use fewer words, and therefore they do not get to use statements that consistently link Synonym I with Synonym II.

      But “valanqar” is not going to be any more important than the color of Harry Potter’s eyes; what will be important is the other way to phrase it.

      lucy: yeah but they haven’t replaced valonqar with brother in the show they’ve cut the last part of the prophecy.

      That actually might be sensible. The show has done a very good job of developing Cersei’s hatred for Tyrion as being based on Tyrion having killed their mother. Adding this might seem to confound that development.

      Besides, given that so many GRRM fans seem to have convinced themselves that the prophecy could refer to any male with an older sibling, what does it really matter? 😀

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    142. alcasinoroyale,

      BTW, alcasinoroyale, the mods on AFOIAF shut down the thread just now for some fucking reason I can’t fathom.

      EDIT: Among other threads. It’s a veritable Red Wedding of show-thread shutting down over there.

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    143. Phew. Done! Since we already got a pretty complete synopsis of the premiere, thanks to cosca and alcasinoroyale, I wrote the “In the books” section for the Game of Thrones wiki. Here is an example. It’s a great way to see what’s been adapted and from which chapters, especially nowadays that chapters are rarely adapted as a single unit; now it’s more common for scenes from the book to be mixed in different scenes in the show.

      I just wanted to get ahead of it, because there are many details which are often only added months later, since scenes often have dialogue and events from many different chapters. For example, Cersei’s scenes in this episode are taken from Cersei I (she awakes to discover that Tywin is dead), Cersei II (Tywin’s wake, meeting Lancel), Cersei VI (meeting the High Sparrow for the first time) and Cersei VIII (the Maggy flashback is recounted in full first in this chapter, even if it was alluded to earlier.)

      This section is not for differences, but for what’s been adapted. There’s a whole page dedicated to differences. So, the differences are avoided in this text; for example, if a conversation between Tyrion and Varys was between him and Illyrio in the books, the name is avoided, and there will be a link to Varys’s page, specifically the “In the books” section, where it will be noted that Varys takes some of Illyrio’s role.

      Here it goes, if anyone’s interested to see it. I’ll welcome any notes, especially from those who have watched the episode already!

      In the books

      The episode is adapted from the following chapters of “A Storm of Swords”:
      *Chapter 71, Daenerys VI: Daenerys Targaryen orders the Harpy statue at the top of the Great Pyramid of Meereen to be pulled down.
      *Chapter 76, Jon XI: Jon Snow is training a young black brother in the yard of Castle Black. Melisandre comes down and tells Jon to meet Stannis at the top of the Wall. On the elevator, Jon feels strangely attracted to the Red Woman. He asks her if she is not cold, and she says she never is. They find Stannis on the edge of the Wall, where the King asks Jon for his help to regain the North from Roose Bolton, the new Warden of the North, who betrayed Jon’s brother. However, Jon says his loyalty is pledged to the Night’s Watch. Then, Stannis says he needs the wildlings to pledge their fealty to him, and if their King Mance Rayder does not bend the knee, he will be burnt.

      The episode is adapted from the following chapters of “A Feast for Crows”:
      *Chapter 3, Cersei I: Cersei awakes from her dream to discover that his father is dead. She learns that Tyrion escaped from his cell and is responsible for Tywin’s murder.
      *Chapter 7, Cersei II: Cersei arrives at the Great Sept of Baelor, escorted by Ser Meryn Trant, for Tywin’s wake. Cersei feels surrounded by Tyrells. She talks to Kevan, Tywin’s brother, and encounters Kevan’s son Lancel, who looks unrecognizably plain. He has become a religious fanatic. Cersei fears what Lancel may tell the High Septon about King Robert’s death in an apparent hunting accident, which Lancel had helped stage.
      *Chapter 28, Cersei VI: Cersei meets the High Sparrow.
      *Chapter 36, Cersei VIII: a young Cersei and her friend visit a fortuneteller called Maggy in the woods. Cersei begs Maggy for her fortune, and Maggy answers her questions: yes, she will be queen, until one younger and more beautiful replaces her; no, she will not have children with the king, but he will have many; and her own children will die. Scared, Melara urges Cersei to flee.
      *Chapter 41, Alayne III: Littlefinger discusses Cersei’s reign with Sansa Stark, who is disguised as Alayne.

      The episode is adapted from the following chapters of “A Dance with Dragons”:
      *Chapter 1, Tyrion I: Tyrion arrives at Pentos, drunk. They are at Illyrio’s manse, an ally of Varys. Tyrion’s new benefactor convinces him not to drown himself in wine and instead go on to to serve the only one who he claims can save the Seven Kingdoms.
      *Chapter 2, Daenerys I: an Unsullied soldier visits a brothel alone to cuddle with a prostitute, but is then killed by a Son of the Harpy. Daenerys is enraged by this. Hizdahr zo Loraq asks Daenerys to reopen the fighting pits. The current state of Yunkai is discussed.
      *Chapter 5, Tyrion II: Tyrion is now headed to Meereen, in order to serve Daenerys Targaryen and help her win the throne. Tyrion is told that Varys and Illyrio are old friends.
      *Chapter 10, Jon III: in the yard of Castle Black, Mance Rayder is sacrificed in a pyre by Melisandre. As Mance burns, Jon has him shot with arrows to end him mercifuly.
      *Chapter 11, Daenerys II: Daenerys visits Viserion and Rhaegal in the catacombs of the Great Pyramid, but they are growing more savage every day and are out of control.
      *Chapter 23, Daenerys IV: Daario returns to Meereen from his mission. Daario urges Dany to attack her enemies before they attack her, to loose the dragons on them.

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    144. For the life of me I can’t understand why people are raging against the lack of a certain Varys friend. We all have our preferences, of course, but people seem to focus sometimes on such insignificant things…

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    145. Wimsey,

      I just don’t get the point of including the flashback though. I mean, the margaery rivalry has been established in s3 and s4 and the fact that cersei fears for her children’s safety has been established in every single scene she’s had ever.

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    146. Hodor Targaryen,

      oh i 100% agree. People seem to be thinking I’m upset that Illyrio was cut which is not true. Im merely stating that I can see him return in the shows future. Especially since his name was mentioned this episode.

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    147. Turncloak,

      I had forgotten all about it too.

      This required a lot of re-acquainting myself with the text. The ASOAIF wiki summaries are sorely insufficient too often, so I had to look things up in the books. Things like Jon having bowmen shoot the sacrifice victim, which I didn’t remember at all. The show will simply make it more personal and direct, with Jon being the shooter.

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    148. Jared,

      The glamor was never going to happen in the show. But that doesn’t mean Melisandre didn’t use some magic to save Mance in the last minute. Ciaran Hinds said he has more to do this season, and Liam Cunningham (I think?) said that Melisandre gets to show off her magic again. I think he’ll reappear.

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    149. Thank you Greenjones for all the reviews.

      jentario,

      This gives me hope. I remember this vaguely… do you have a link to him saying he has more to do? I just like the actor, felt he came into his own in the scenes in and around his tent in 4×09, and would like them to continue using him.

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    150. jentario,

      Did he say that?

      If you’re right, if you can source that claim, Mance is definitely not dead. He seems to have a single scene before dying, which is not “having more to do.” If the actor truly, unequivocally, said that, Mance Rayder is still alive, as he was in the books.

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    151. Trystane,

      Cosca, who was there, said

      Pentos and The Eyrie re-appear (alongside KL, winterfell (with Bolton sigil), the wall and meereen). Dorne will likely be added in episode 2.

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    152. By the way, a couple of reviews mention

      a scene with Loras in bed with Olyvar, which hasn’t been mentioned by cosca.

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    153. Luka Nieto,

      I can’t recall seeing a Ciarin Hinds interview of that sort anywhere. The only one I saw sounded like he was going back to shoot his death scene and little else.

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    154. Luka Nieto,

      Nice work! Shows that the “show is really different now” thing is gravely exaggerated (at least for this episode)

      I didn’t remember Dany ordering the harpy be brought down! Nice little detail to include!

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    155. I am very pleased with the adaptation choices they made.

      1. No Valonqar – i always prefered Brienne and her conflicting vows and ideals being responsible for Jaime´s death. And even if Jaime will become valonqar, it is much better to not have it spoiled by the prophecy. I also did not like it as the motivation for Cersei hatred towards Tyrion.

      2. Mance death – increasing number of ressurections and fake deaths annoyed me in the books, so i am glad this is out.

      3. Prospect of Mereen arc being finished at the end of this season and Dany invading Westeros in season 6. I was always a supporter of this theory, so i am very happy.

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    156. They have to at least give Loras a LITTLE bit of his book personality besides the cliche’ BS he is doing now. Not a big fan of what they are currently doing with the character.

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    157. Luka Nieto,

      Haha is it possible that we’ve been tricked again by a fake-out Mance death !?
      If anyone can find a source of Ciarin Hinds saying that then it could well be true – Or he could be flat out lying!?
      If he died screaming and begging for mercy like in the books then that would suggest its the fake-out but as reports are saying – he goes out with dignity – even wishing Stannis luck in the Wars to Come – that seems very Mance like.

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    158. Luka Nieto,

      All I could find is this (granted, I didn’t look very hard):
      http://watchersonthewall.com/maisie-williams-teases-season-5-cast-share-awkward-fan-encounters-ciaran-hinds-confirms-return/

      Kind of funny in retrospect. Anyway, I remember that there was another Hinds interview that someone linked in the comments (some time before this one IIRC), where he said he had more stuff this season. I might be misremembering things, though.

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    159. JamesL,

      Not as such:

      Dany is tastefully lying down on the bed and you don’t see much of her. The focus of the scene is on Daario, who is totally starkers and walking around in the buff. There are strategically-placed props so you don’t see everything. Went a bit AUSTIN POWERS for a moment there.

      Yara (Gemma Whelan), is listed as appearing in episodes 5×07, x09 & x10. Nothing listed for any other Greyjoys except for Theon. Alfie Allen’s only listed in 5×01 and 5×10 at the moment

      Theon is not in 501. He preview for 502 has him in it.

      Which places appear in the opening credits? Is Pentos back? And do they show Sunspear already?

      The locations are King’s Landing – The Eyrie – Winterfell (with Bolton sigils) – The Wall – Pentos – Meereen.

      One amendment to the second synopsis:

      The High Sparrow isn’t in the episode. It’s the High SEPTON that Cersei meets on the steps of the Great Sept. Also, the transition is straight from the flashback to Cersei in her palanquin being taken to the funeral as the bells toll. It looks like a few days to a week or two pass between 410 and 501: Brienne is also bearing the bruises from her fight with the Hound but they have healed somewhat.

      There’s also one scene missing from both synopsis:

      Olyvar and Loras are in bed. Olyvar identifies a birthmark on Loras’s leg as looking like Dorne. He points out the locations of Sunspear and Sandstone, and that there are mountains on the border. They start getting jiggy with it but Margaery interrupts them, saying that Loras is expected at dinner. She sits down and politely suggests that Olyvar should leave. She advises Loras to be more circumspect but Loras points out that “everyone knows” and no-one cares. Foreshadowing alert?

      Another point:

      Lancel has seriously been working out since the end of Season 2. Combined with his new haircut he was almost unrecognisable, which Cersei remarks on.

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    160. jentario,

      I agree that the “glamour” was never going to be used in the show (and good riddance – I loathed that particular development in ADWD). The Rattleshirt aspect of the fake-out is also gone because Rattleshirt is at Hardhome, and I think that the chances of Mance going there, in disguise or otherwise, are exceedingly remote. I certainly wouldn’t be surprised if Mance survived the burning thanks to some form of Melisandre’s magic. But for what purpose he was spared? That’s where I have some questions.

      Ultimately, the primary reason that I think Mance may burn for real is that Sansa is going to Winterfell, and she will take over the ‘sleeper agent’ role inside the Castle. Given her prior history with Theon, she will likely be the one who moves him to rebel against Ramsay – whether or not that involves fArya and facilitating their escape. Mance could participate in that dynamic as well, but he might be a bit redundant. I think that the spearwives are gone, and the Bard angle likely is as well, as Mance’s singing proficiency has never been established (not saying that it couldn’t be, of course). Then there’s the Pink Letter to consider, which claims that Mance has been captured and is being flayed piece by piece. The Pink Letter could be total BS or based on faulty information, but if it’s accurate, then Mance could already be dead in TWOW anyway. If so, it’s not that much of a divergence to kill him early, given the adaptive choices that have been made in adjacent storylines.

      Again, Mance may very well turn up alive later in the season. I wouldn’t be shocked. I just thought that the way that cosca described the scene could at least support the theory that he’ll die. It was Mance’s attitude towards being burned than anything – accepting of his fate, displaying no fear. I seem to recall Rattleshirt broke before he was burned. I do remember that Mance/Rattleshirt gets shot with an arrow to end his suffering.

      I’m not explicitly rooting for Mance to die, but I do think that it would be a sensible adaptive choice (relative underuse of Ciaran Hinds aside) to cut down on the number of fake-deaths/resurrections in the show. If Mance’s future plot can be written around, I’m fine with him dying early. And as I already mentioned, I was not a fan of the “glamour”. Regardless of whether or not Mance survives, I won’t be sorry to see that concept burn.

        Quote  Reply

    161. Greenjones,

      Maybe they’re getting ready to open the Season 5 section? Or maybe they just got tired of all the irrelevant personal sniping that was going on in there. They certainly gave people enough chances to cut that behavior out.

      I’m not all that fussed, to be honest. It was fun following the Casting, News, and Speculation thread in the offseason – it was a good place for catch-all Season 5 discussion, and usually kept on track by a number of diligent, reasonable, posters such as yourself, alcasinoroyale, Seneti, Arkash, and others. But it had taken a very sharp dive in recent weeks as there was less casting and filming news to discuss and certain posters with their own personal agendas started to spam the thread (the Dany vs. Stannis BS – good God). As fate would have it, that downturn coincided with the annual influx of people who love to mock and whine about the show, frequently displaying an unfortunate lack of perspective on the intricacies of the adaptive process. Those posters had mostly stayed away in the offseason, but hooo boy, are they back now. I can tolerate or ignore a handful of those people, but once they begin to represent a significant percentage of posters and start gleefully supporting each other in a vicious cycle of negativity, it’s time to get the hell out of there.

      This is usually around the time of year that I ditch AFOIAF completely. Think I’ll take this as my cue to do it a bit earlier this year. The good people here at WOTW are more than enough to sustain me for these final few weeks before Season 5 premieres. Once the usual bevy of recaps and reviews returns, I’ll have plenty of ways to get my Game of Thrones discussion fix. 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    162. Luka Nieto,

      It was hard to make out because there was supposed to be a trailer just for 502 but then it opened up and looked like a trailer for the whole season. But assuming the start of the trailer was for 502 it looks like that episode will focus more on:

      Arya, Theon/Ramsay and Dorne. Which I think we already knew anyway.

        Quote  Reply

    163. Werthead,

      Thanks! Any other scene you can remember?

      What do Hizdahr and Daario discuss with Dany, particularly in regards to Yunkai? There have been conflicting reports. Basically, how does that whole scene (or scenes?) play out?

        Quote  Reply

    164. Werthead,

      ಠ╭╮ಠ
      Remember when Loras was supposed to be faithful to Renly? Remember, D&D? God, when are the white walkers gonna come and just kill everyone already

        Quote  Reply

    165. Well, Renly’s Peach, I’m for one am in awe at D&D again:

      Explaining the geography of Dorne via m/m sexposition… They really must have some good stuff to smoke over at HBO.

        Quote  Reply

    166. zambi76,

      Hehe, I was alerted to the news only cause I saw your Tumblr post about it.

      mau,
      Season 2, 1 and even a scene in 3, back when he was somewhat less of a caricature.

      dee,

      Doubtful at this point.

        Quote  Reply

    167. dee,

      It is questionable which version is better. Both are not very good. I would love if HBO would try to adapt Dune after GoT is over. But better not talk about Dune, the briliant series of books that was left unfinished because of the author´s death.

        Quote  Reply

    168. Renly’s Peach:
      Werthead,

      ಠ╭╮ಠ
      Remember when Loras was supposed to be faithful to Renly? Remember, D&D?

      Oh the legendary Ranly-Loras romance. Most of the book readers didnt even know it is existed before the show’s first gay scene.

        Quote  Reply

    169. I just wish George would hurry up. Many of the things wholly cut are my favorite things in the entire book series. The show is entertaining but ultimately a disappointment when I compare it to how riveting the books are.

        Quote  Reply

    170. Each one with their interests 🙂

      I second the question about Jaime 🙂

      Werthead,
      is the scene with Cercei his only scene in episode 1?

      And how does that play exactly? Is she bitching him? How is he reacting? etc..

      Thanks a lot ina dvance

        Quote  Reply

    171. Balon01: Most of the book readers didnt even know it is existed before the show’s first gay scene.

      This is when good reading comprehension comes in handy. Don’t use your lack of it as an excuse.

        Quote  Reply

    172. Andrew,

      Yes, the books are more detailed and complex but I enjoy the show so much more. The funny thing is that I am an avid reader and I still enjoy the show more and more as it goes on and changes more things. It is quite unique, while I don’t judge adaptions for what they change I usually prefer the source material.

        Quote  Reply

    173. Two new very positive reviews!

      http://www.heatworld.com/2015/03/game-of-thrones-season-5-episode-1-the-wars-to-come-s05e01-recap-preview-review-and-spoilers#image-7

      “All in all it’s a superb opener, cunningly advancing the story of most of the major characters, while providing us with enough macabre humour, touches of gore, sex and swearing to keep all devotees happy, and ending on a powerful moment of…

      death

      http://www.cnet.com/news/game-of-thrones-season-5-episode-1-spoiler-free-review/

      “Game of Thrones’ season 5 makes a confident, bloody debut”
      “HBO’s fantasy saga is back with a swaggering episode that brings new characters to the fore and something long absent from Westeros — hope.”

        Quote  Reply

    174. Andrew,

      Yes, because having 100.000 characters out of which you may recognize maybe only 20%, reading hundreds of pages about people just wandering around and never getting anywhere, characters almost seeing each other again and again, characters being introduced and seeming important only to die several hundreds pages later without achieving anything, is highly entertaining.

      Of course the books are fun because you get to spend much more time with the characters, to get inside their head, to see more properly their evolution and their different shades of personality etc, but in terms of entertainment, the movies are much better. Much more alert, things actually happen, characters actually meet each other etc.

        Quote  Reply

    175. Luka Nieto,

      Hizdahr and Daario ride through the gates and Hizdahr asks why the Unsullied are patrolling the streets of Meereen. Daario gives some sarcastic answer and they report in to Dany. Hizdahr says (not verbatim): “Our diplomatic mission to Yunkai was a complete success. They have set up a council consisting of freemen and former slaves. In return we have agreed to some concessions.”

      Dany isn’t happy about that. “Concessions?”

      “Politics is about the art of compromise.”

      “But I’m not a compromise. I’m a queen.” (cue wry smile from Barristan)

      “Indeed, but they ask only for one thing, that the fighting pits are re-opened.”

      There’s then a lengthy discussion about the fighting pits being open or not. Hizdahr argues about it being part of the cultural heritage of Slaver’s Bay and so on, how the former slave-fighters are keen on it etc. Dany gets annoyed and asks him how many times he has to hear the word “No.” It then cuts to the bedroom scene where Daario, more diplomatically and privately, talks about how it might be a good idea. We also find out that TV-Daario is from Tolos and grew up in the fighting pits there. He made his master so much money that his master freed him when he died.

      The tone of the scene is that Yunkai is going to roll over for all of Dany’s demands (and agree to keep slavery outlawed) if the fighting pits can stay open. Dany says no. It’s unclear if Hizdahr is supposed to be asking Dany’s permission and go back to Yunkai or if he has already told the Wise Masters yes and Dany is now contradicting him. Daario’s later discussion basically says the discussion is not over. So at the end of 501 Meereen and Yunkai are still engaged in diplomacy and open hostilities have not broken out. From this episode, it could go either way. The tone of the dragon scene – that Daario indicates that Dany needs to talk and be diplomatic if she can’t control her dragons, and she then tests it and discovers she can’t – suggests that she will agree to re-open the pits pretty sharpish.

      Can you describe the scene with jaime and cersei? Does he in some measure admit to freeing tyrion?

      Cersei asks, “Did you free Tyrion?” and Jaime says nothing but looks a bit guilty. Cersei is furious and says, “At least Tyrion killed him on purpose, you killed him by accident,” and talks about how Jaime acts without thought for the consequences. So Jaime doesn’t outright admit it, but they both know.

      It’s not Jaime’s only scene, as I believe he’s at the wake/reception. However, he doesn’t say anything in that scene. The tone of the scene is that Cersei is furious with Tyrion and with Jaime. Jaime warns Cersei that too many of the lords lived in fear of Tywin and now he’s gone they will turn on the Lannisters, but Cersei seems oblivious to that and thinks it will be business as usual.

        Quote  Reply

    176. Jeb,

      Right, keeping their options open, that’s the way they do things, makes sense.

      And based on the description of his material, he had a pretty good farewell. Much better to dp it in 5.1 than just kill him in 4.10, that would have felt VERY abrupt. I think my sadness is more about how unimpressive his very few scenes were in S3, that’s when they really missed their opportunity to develop him, I don’t think I realistically expected them to handle it much differently than they did here. Oh well.

        Quote  Reply

    177. Werthead,

      Was there anyone new who appeared in the opening credits besides Nathalie Emmanuel and Michiel Huisman? Kind of gives you an insight of who they focus on in Season 5.

        Quote  Reply

    178. Turncloak,

      Oh okay sorry about that. That was really a response to a lot of what I was reading, seems your post wasn’t very representative what I was really arguing against.

        Quote  Reply

    179. The way the Yunkai concession scene is described, you have to think that this will end up in Hizdahr being revealed as the Harpy. He’s the one who negotiated this particular arrangement with Yunkai and it seems an odd one for them to demand unless re-opening the pits is the plan to get Dany out in the open and vulnerable to a Harpy large scale attack.

        Quote  Reply

    180. I can not believe the amount of whining about

      Mance Rayder dying. People saying it’s a waste of character and actor.

      How come no one felt that way about most of the other deaths in the show like Pedro Pascal and Oberyn? It’s ridiculous. The show and books are praised for the fact that no character is safe, then they complain when they found out a character is dying…

        Quote  Reply

    181. Thank you so much, Werthead. I am so glad that he warns her about that. At least they show a little bit that he is much more politically intelligent than her. And speaking about the same storyline, any discussion about the next Hand of the King?

        Quote  Reply

    182. Charles M,

      Because the character you’re referring to is portrayed by a very well-known actor, at least relative to the other cast members. He was slated for a very interesting S5 plotline, based on the information in Dance with Dragons. People were generally disappointed in the show’s portrayal of the character, and now he’s being robbed of his chance to redeem himself.

        Quote  Reply

    183. Werthead,

      Thank you very much. That clears it up.

      The Yunkai’i prompt Dany to reopen the fighting pits through Hizdahr, instead of Hizdahr doing it independently. By the end of the season the fighting pits are open, so the agreement holds, at least until 5×09 (the Harpy attack will break it up). So, no prolonged Yunkish siege. Either the Yellow City attacks directly in season six or there is no Battle of Fire at all (which seems more likely now.)

      BTW, are you sure Daario said he’s from Tolos, not Tyrosh?

        Quote  Reply

    184. Andrew,
      I do too. The meandering (which only ONE character does in ONE book, btw) was very pleasing to read. It’s world building and a character journey.
      Honestly, the only reason some people are up in arms about it is because of their frustration with the series not being finished already. I have a feeling once everything’s done, and we can look back in hindsight and see where everything fits, it won’t be a problem.

      Charles M,

      Because one of those characters is supposed to die and the other one not? Not sure what you’re asking here.

        Quote  Reply

    185. HBO’s “Game of Thrones”

      George RR Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire”

      There shouldn’t be any “this was supposed to happen” or “why is this happening”

      Two different entities!

        Quote  Reply

    186. Cersei said in Season 1 that her first child, with Robert, died of fever. Regarding the prophecy, wouldn’t that then make Joffrey Number 2?

      She could have been lying of course…

        Quote  Reply

    187. Did anyone that watch it think that maybe the glamour trick was goin on and it would be revealed later

        Quote  Reply

    188. Big Mac,

      I always thought she was lying.

      Apparently show-Maggy says to young Cersei that she will have no children with the king, so if you believe the prophecy, Cersei was lying.

        Quote  Reply

    189. Grand maester giz,

      Nope. As I said, what we know of this character is that it’s someone who’s been in the show for a while but hasn’t had much to do until now, but if they were faithful to the books would have a lot more to do this season, yet they killed him off early.

      Bronn essentially disappears after Tyrion is imprisoned, in the books. We only hear of him and his scheming in Stokeworth. In the show, he has been elevated to a protagonist and will travel to Dorne with Jaime. He has more material than in the books, not less. The same goes for Tormund, who is guaranteed more screen-time than in the books, since he’s at the Wall from the very beginning, and will travel with Jon to Hardhome. Littlefinger is at the end of his published material, so the actor literally couldn’t expect to have a greater role based on the books… because there’s no more published material for his character. Hizdahr is not someone who has been in the show for a while, and even if he was, he will survive at least until 5×09 at Daznak’s Pit, and we know he will be a permanent fixture in Dany’s council, so he’ll appear at least as much as in the books. Loras didn’t appear more in AFFC than in previous novels; and he will have on-screen troubles in King’s Landing instead of off-page in Dragonstone. So, again, it can’t be him.

      It’s either Mance or Barristan, unless someone has a better suggestion that fits what we know of this doomed character?

      1. A long-standing Game of Thrones character.
      2. A small role until now.
      3. Their role increases considerably in AFFC and/or ADWD.
      4. The actor has read the books (or is aware of his storyline.)

        Quote  Reply

    190. Is it possible that in the books,

      the Boltons kill Mance? The Pink letter says they found him out, and we know the spearwives were caught. If this is the case, and his only role in the books was a failed rescue mission at Winterfell, and that plotline was cut, then it makes sense to just have Mance die for good this way. It does not change the story.

        Quote  Reply

    191. Werthead,

      I know this is a long shot as most people don’t read the end credits, but did you catch who played White Rat (or any other guest roles for that matter)?

        Quote  Reply

    192. clk,

      It doesn’t fit. I repeat:

      1. A long-standing Game of Thrones character.
      2. A small role until now.
      3. Their role increases considerably in AFFC and/or ADWD.
      4. The actor has read the books (or is aware of their storyline.)

      Ser Maryn will die instead of Raff at the hands of Arya. It will be in episode 5×09 or 5×10, so Meryn Trant will be alive for the whole season. Also, if anything, I’m sure they’ll amp up his role so that everyone is aware why Arya is killing him. And the character doesn’t have a greater role in AFFC and ADWD than he does in the previous three novels. His greatest “accomplishments” are killing Syrio, beating Sansa and testifying against Tyrion, which come from the first three books. After that, he doesn’t do much; the opposite of what’s been described of this mysterious doomed character.

        Quote  Reply

    193. Luka Nieto,

      Ian McElhinney has previously stated that he has read the books. While we have no definitive answer, his interviews wrt GoT don’t indicate that Ciarian Hinds is the type of person who would read the books. I would be highly skeptical of anyone who claimed that was the case.

        Quote  Reply

    194. King Tommen,

      Wasn’t there a fan photo taken with Hinds in New York, around the time of the season 3 take the black promotion, that showed him holding one of the ASOIAF books?

        Quote  Reply

    195. Flora Linden,

      But in Cersei’s story, the child was alive, for however short a time. Maggy’s prophecy specifically states that she will have no children with the king.

        Quote  Reply

    196. Luka Nieto,

      Yeah, I can’t remember the exact wording Hibbard used, but I got the impression it was an actor who had been on the show from the beginning as well.

        Quote  Reply

    197. cosca,

      Cosa, while you’re at explaining every absolute nano-second of the episode, could you give me some solid financial advice?

      And then, could you tell me how they get the caramilk into the caramilk bar?

      And could you explain how much wood could a woodchuck chuck, if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

      Thanks.

        Quote  Reply

    198. It is Barristan. In the books he will die during Battle of Meereen. That battle is cut from the show and now he must to die earlier.

        Quote  Reply

    199. I’m actually leaning towards the actor that EW was referring to being Ciarin Hinds/Mance, after previously believing it was Barristan. I am almost positive Hinds read the books, or at least knew the character’s role in them.

        Quote  Reply

    200. Tyrion Pimpslap,

      Hmm, I haven’t watched S1 in a while. In the Cersei – Robert conversation, did they not mention their child who died? I can’t quite remember.

      Maybe this is another case of inconsistency – things like Greyjoy uncles plural, or Trystane being the younger son of House Martell, and later on it doesn’t match with later details.

      A possible loophole is since Robert is called the Usurper, he’s not the true king, so therefore Cersei didn’t have children with the king? I don’t know, now I’m splitting hairs, lol.

        Quote  Reply

    201. Tyrion Pimpslap,

      I WANT TO BELIEVE.

      But I’m not sure I do…

      Flora Linden,

      Those are not inconsistencies.

      Tyrion mentioned that Theon’s unnamed uncles had burnt Lannisport years ago. Their existence has not been contradicted since then. Simply, we haven’t heard anything more about them. Maybe they died, maybe they are not as relevant as in the books. At any rate, it’s not a continuity issue. There has been no contradiction.

      As for Trystane being the “youngest son”, I thought it was a continuity issue as well, but recently someone successfully argued that it wasn’t. And it technically isn’t! Tyrion doesn’t say Trystane is “Doran Martell’s youngest son”, which would imply he has other kids, contrary to what we’ll see in season five. Tyrion says he’ll marry Myrcella to the youngest son of House Martell. In other words, the youngest member of House Martell. There’s a difference.

        Quote  Reply

    202. Alex Stroup,

      Illyrio seems to be something that the show tried to do, but the schedules just didn’t match up. I don’t see how we can say that’s a reason for not liking the show: it doesn’t matter if Stanley Kubrick was showrunner: they wouldn’t have gotten Allem no matter what.

      Although I’ll bet Allem wishes he’d been available now.

      As for Volonquar, there might be a good reason they didn’t include it: they know how that’s going to turn out, so they don’t even want non-book watchers speculating on that part of the prophecy to retain the surprise.

        Quote  Reply

    203. Luka Nieto,

      Oh, OK. You could tell I don’t pay enough attention to detail, lol! 🙂

      About Cersei, I think

      “have no children with the king” doesn’t mean she never had children with him at all. Their child died, they had no more children after that, so, ultimately, no children. That’s my take.

        Quote  Reply

    204. About Cersei’s child…. Well it is a mistake…. There is no way to explain it differently….

      But, it is not irreparable… They simply can explain that child died and that Maggy it is not omnipotent, so she thought child would be born dead….

      In reality, the child lived for several days or weeks…..

        Quote  Reply

    205. Luka Nieto,

      I think it’s Hinds. First off, the actor in question mentioned being surprised by his low number of shooting dates for the season. Barristan will definitely be in a number of scenes, both indoors in NI and on location in Croatia, whereas we now know Mance will only be in two scenes. And the shooting dates for those must have been a certain indication of not having any real storyline for the season.

      But didn’t the actor in question also say the producers called him to inform him his character was being killed off? If so, I think that also points in Hinds direction. In last seasons “Fallen Roundtable”, or whatever it was called, both Mark Stanley and Thomas Sangster talked about learning of their deaths from reading the scripts. Same thing apparently happened to whatever actor Jonathan Pryce was talking about a while back. Meaning the producers usually don’t inform their actors they’re being written out of the show. It’s probably more likely they’ll make an exception for a relatively well known actor such as Ciarán Hinds, rather than someone like Ian McElhinney, sad to say.

      Thing is though, even if Hinds is the actor in question, doesn’t necessarily mean Barristan will live…

        Quote  Reply

    206. Tyrion Pimpslap,

      S1E5

      Cersei Lannister: I felt something for you once, you know?
      Robert Baratheon: [lowers his gaze] I know.
      Cersei Lannister: Even after we lost our first boy. For quite a while, actually. Was it ever possible for us? Was there ever a time, ever a moment

        Quote  Reply

    207. Turncloak,

      I could see him being annoyed at being killed off. If that’s the case, he’s not nearly as prominent as he is in the books, and it would mean, all told, he has almost NO scenes:

      Mance is introduced in Season 3 Episode 1. Has one scene.
      Mance is featured in Season 3 Episode 2. Has two scenes back-to-back.

      Mance is not seen again until Season 4 Episode 10. Has two scenes back-to-back.

      And now he’s just in Season 5, Episode 1, has probably two scenes… and that’s it.

      Wow. Talk about a lighter than expected workload.

        Quote  Reply

    208. I don’t see non Illyrio as a problem, who knows maybe he had a dodgy vindaloo for dinner the night before, and was hammering his chamber pot while the Varys/Tyrion conversation was happening.

        Quote  Reply

    209. To the moderators: I forgot to spoiler tag my last post and am to late to edit it. Very sorry about that. I hope you can fix it soon.

        Quote  Reply

    210. I’m glad to see this opener is markedly entertaining. Usually people are frustrated with opening episodes, as they are usually focused on reintroducing everyone.

        Quote  Reply

    211. Charles M:
      I can not believe the amount of whining about

      How come no one felt that way about most of the other deaths in the show like Pedro Pascal and Oberyn? It’s ridiculous. The show and books are praised for the fact that no character is safe, then they complain when they found out a character is dying…

      I think you are misreading complaints.

      I complained about how poorly Mance was used previously. To say that Cirian Hinds talent was wasted is a valid complaint.

      For Oberyn, this did not happen. Oberyn had great material and they used Pedro Pascal’s talents to the fullest.

      I would have had no complaints if Mance was killed off if he actually contributed something meaningful to the story. But he barely appeared. He had less screentime in his 3 seasons than Oberyn did in his 1. Thus yes, they completely botched Mance from day 1. I think it was a miss-cast as they didn’t know how to use Cirian’s talents.

        Quote  Reply

    212. Turncloak,

      I think he was great in 4×10, but was very surprised they didn’t show us Mance’s perspective in 4×09. Very surprised, and disappointed. The episode would’ve been better if the wildlings North of the Wall had a human face during the battle, for starters. Also, it was a great opportunity to showcase Mance as a commander. We hear a lot about Mance uniting 90 clans… I wanted to see it in action.

      His introduction was rather lackluster, too. I agree.

        Quote  Reply

    213. A question about some of the death speculation…

      I am trying to get up to speed on the speculation about Mance’s death. From the episode descriptions posted above, it appears that Show Mance dies in a very similar way as Book Mance (fire and arrows). As readers know, Book Mance’s death is faked and Mance survives because of Mel’s use of a glamour. Won’t we need to get some “confirmation” on screen that it really is Mance that is dead and not an unfortunate wildling? Book readers may be a minority of the total viewing audience but they will expect that the plot follows with the book and that Mance is actually alive. It seems that this could get confusing to a portion of the audience because of what they expect to see. Regardless, I’m sorry to lose Mance so soon. However, with changes to his story line to date and the expected changes to his WF story line, it isn’t a surprise.

        Quote  Reply

    214. mariamb,

      The confirmation may be what leads us to believe they’re killing Mance for real in the first place: that instead of kicking and screaming and saying he isn’t Mance Rayder, he goes out with dignity and says “good luck in the wars to come” to Stannis, which I don’t think Rattleshirt or any other wildling would say. I imagine book readers will notice the change and what it probably entails.

        Quote  Reply

    215. cosca,

      Oh ok. I really thought it would be a cold open. Anyway so it’s opening credits, then the prophecy, and then Cersei hearing the bells ring.

        Quote  Reply

    216. Luka Nieto,

      I don’t disagree with your logic. I think that it may be a little subtle for some readers. Some will miss the signs, if it happens as you describe, and will spend the next 9 episodes waiting for Mance to show up. Has there been any discussion about it over at westeros.org?

        Quote  Reply

    217. Refresh my memory: Why does book-Melisandre bother to glamour Mance in the first place as opposed to just letting him burn?

      The glamour plot was always way too Saturday morning cartoon for me and I don’t think I ever grasped the motivations everyone had in doing it. I really have a hard time envisioning the show bothering with any aspect of it.

        Quote  Reply

    218. King Tommen,

      I never liked it either.

      There doesn’t seem to be any proper motivation. Sure, she sends the real Mance to save “Arya”, but why did it have to be Mance Rayder and not anyone else? I never got that. He couldn’t feel indebted to Mel for saving his life since… well, she was the one who was going to burn him in the first place. It just doesn’t make any sense to me. It’s too convoluted. Why go to all the trouble of the glamour?

        Quote  Reply

    219. GeekFurious,

      Nope, by episode 9, Arya’s Mercy chapter, therefore Winds for her, but Sansa’s is so far removed and altered from the books, there is no way to tell. Same goes for Jaime, his story has been so heavily altered this season, no telling where it will lead him. The remaining arcs will conclude season 5 with their end of Dances stories.

        Quote  Reply

    220. mariamb,

      the only way I can see

      Mance surviving is if a glamour wasn’t used. Instead Mel created an outright allusion. Mance’s calmness/acceptance could be explained by the fact that he made a deal with Mel before hand and thus knew that he would survive.

      I doubt this is the case as I think there is a plot purpose for killing Mance. It will leave the wildlings leaderless which is why Jon will rely on Tormund for their mission to Hardhome.

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    221. King Tommen,

      Didn’t it have something to do with wanting to gain Jon’s trust, or something to that effect? Either way it was pretty stupid and unnecessary.

        Quote  Reply

    222. Luka Nieto,

      No the Mance in the

      pyre is an allusion. The arrow that Jon shoots looks like it pierces Mance but in reality it just pierced a branch as there’s no one on the pyre.

      A few episodes later they can make a “Prestige” like reveal of how the magic trick actually worked.

      Again this is highly unlikely but we are dealing with a world with shadow magic

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    223. Turncloak,

      Isn’t that even cornier? A glamour at least uses a body. This is an opaque hologram we’re talking about. They did something similar with Prat Pree in season two, and it was quite cheesy.

        Quote  Reply

    224. Luka Nieto,

      I agree it would be really corny. However, if D&D were on a mission to fake out both book readers and show watchers alike this would be a way to make it work.

        Quote  Reply

    225. Luka Nieto,

      No, I thought it much more effective to have the massive willing army, with fire behind it and Giants and mammoths before it, scare the living guys out of crows and audience alike. Sometimed sticking with one POV gives an air of mystery and fear and uncertainty that works wonderfully. The show runners made the right choice on this, even though I desperately wanted to see more of the inimitable Hinds!

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    226. There are some things that I cringe for when I hear they’ve been omitted from the show but Mance/Rattleshirt glamour, Gilly baby swap, Val as wetnurse/wetdream Wildling and Alys Karstark hooking up with a Thenn are just no-brainer cuts IMO.

      In fact, Mance sent on super secret undercover mission to Winterfell with his Charlie’s Angels of washerwomen is pretty f’n stupid if you step back and think about it for more than 2 minutes.

        Quote  Reply

    227. ArgonathofBraavos,

      Auto correct is the devil. Just the other day I asked my flat mate to bring home some glorious naughty penis when he went shopping, I of course meant glorious nashi pears, still not sure how that happened

        Quote  Reply

    228. King Stannis:
      Turncloak,

      B

      YOUR characters. No mine! I honestly will say I give two flying fucks about some of those characters “few” people whine about.Purist will complain about anything these days even if Lord Fat-Shit had a few lines in the books, and the show cut them for obvious reason.

      ???

      Ultimately I am saying I wish they could have expanded on book characters I like, but given they have made a strategic decision to go for 7 seasons and 8 seasons tops it means a lot of things having to be cut

      If they were going for 10 seasons we could probably get Battle of Mereen with Ser Barristan, singing Mance with Horn of Joramun and all the rest like Kingsmoot and Aegon

      But given the 7 seasons timeframe I accept they are cutting significant chunks out.

      Frankly I don’t reckon GRRM can tie everything up in just two more books, he’ll expand and we’ll end up with enough spillover to cover 8 books

        Quote  Reply

    229. GRRM is a very enthusuastic user of the fake-out death. Bran, Arya, Mance, Davos (twice), Sandor, Jon, that Pink Letter is probably a red herring too…the only fake out D&D have used was Bran’s in S2. I think in general they avoid them if possible, and the whole glamour thing was perhaps the most contrived and unsatisfying fake out in the books, so I think they definitely want to avoid this particular fake out. In their minds (and many others), a solid death scene would be better than a contrived, groan inducing shock. Especially since his most important contribution to the immediate story is being one factor out of seceral in how the Battle of Ice concludes

      .

        Quote  Reply

    230. Ghost’s Lunch,

      With ten seasons (or even nine) we’d also get seasons chock full of meandering filler for those characters who simply don’t have as much material (or much material left) as others —Brienne, Bran, Sansa, Jaime, those from the Iron Islands and Dorne subplots, etc. Or even worse, these characters wouldn’t appear for long periods of time, maybe even being absent for whole seasons. That already happened with Bran, and it only works with him because of where they left his character, but it wouldn’t work for most others.

      Eight seasons I could see, certainly, or an extended seventh. But nine or ten? That’d be horrible for most characters and storylines, and the show’s overall quality would greatly suffer because of it.

      Hodor Targaryen,

      Many show watchers also believed Tyrion was dead at the end of “Blackwater.” But your argument still holds true. D&D tend to avoid GRRM’s numerous fake-outs. And thank the god for that!

        Quote  Reply

    231. JamesL: Richard Dormer probably went because he lives in the UK and was once part of the show. He also did an interview some time ago where he said the show runners haven’t contacted him and he thinks he has been written out of the show.

      Maybe he showed up to try to get his job back.

        Quote  Reply

    232. I think Cersei also mentioned something about a stillborn (or died soon after) dark-haired baby she had with Robert in 0101 or 0102 to Catelyn

        Quote  Reply

    233. Re an apparent scene in E1

      I reckon they have decided to cut Mance down altogether

      The fake out is overdone in the books

      The Glamour in particular will seem odd to TV viewers. There is a point to it in the books I’m sure (morale break the wildings without killing the one man who has real authority over them or perhaps to keep Val onside?) but I simply don’t think they have time to go into whatever the point of it is and then the Abel and Horn of Joramun stuff so I reckon they have really killed him

      Stannis’s rationale is divide and conquer, eg Wildlings will be easier to manage as a splintered force. Jon perspective will be it’s not a good idea to have them as a Wight army and we get TV tension etc and Jon going to hardhome with Tormund, and Rattleshirt being opposed to Tormund moderate wildlings as a show version of the Weeper

      Given I think Mance wrote Pink letter as a way to tell the Wildlings it was fake I don’t think we will have the Pink Letter in the show.

      I am looking at Selyse in the snow in a different light, I reckon the captured Wildlings will revolt and trash Castle Black and kill the Queens Men.

      Ironically there’s something about Hardhome in which I actually think Jon Snow might slowly start moving into a leadership position with many Wildlings, eg they follow him out of respect, same as NW so he ends up as an ironic unifying force. They seem to think it’s important to show on a limited budget while other battles are getting cut, so can tie in with furthering Jon leadership development arc (bigger version of Crasters) + further build the impending threat of the White Walkers (build on Fist of First Men, Crasters Sons etc)

      It seems to be built as NW fighting WW’s at Hardhome but something about that shot of the lone Wildling listening to pounding on the Gate and everyone just gawking, that’s a Horror film thing and perhaps points to it being Wights/WW’s pounding on the door as it doesen’t seem to make sense to be acting like that if it is merely “Crows”. My 2 cents anyway

        Quote  Reply

    234. I’m crushing my hopes here and assuming that that’s it for

      Mance

      , as disheartening as it is.

      Are we sure that the person the EW article talks about is a male, however? I’m not so sure. Although I do think we’re more likely to lose 4-5 ‘regulars’ when it’s all said and done, so pointing out one doesn’t make the others any safer.

      What I find rather perplexing is that the use of magic is sometimes out of left field and pretty weird (shadow baby???), and yet no one has just done something common like step on a rusty nail and die of tetanus. Wouldn’t that be a kick in the pants.

      “That Ser Whatshisname was daring and bold, fought hundreds of battles and conquered the dreaded Black Beast of Aaaaaaugh, but ate a bad mushroom and perished.”

        Quote  Reply

    235. Tibatonk,
      The quotes don’t seem like something Ciaran Hinds would say, like how he is emotional about it and how he is going to miss it, he’s barely even been in the show. I think it is most likely Barristan or Grey Worm. It also said the actor has been on the show for several years which makes me think it is a character that has had significant screen time unlike Mance. Even though Grey Worm was introduced the same season he has spent far more time on set and has had more material than Mance.

        Quote  Reply

    236. Luka Nieto:
      Ghost’s Lunch,

      With ten seasons (or even nine) we’d also get seasons chock full of meandering filler for those characters who simply don’t have as much material (or much material left) as others —Brienne, Bran, Sansa, Jaime, those from the Iron Islands and Dorne subplots, etc. Or even worse, these characters wouldn’t appear for long periods of time, maybe even being absent for whole seasons. That already happened with Bran, and it only works with him because of where they left his character, but it wouldn’t work for most others.

      Eight seasons I could see, certainly, or an extended seventh. But nine or ten? That’d be horrible for most characters and storylines, and the show’s overall quality would greatly suffer because of it.

      Hodor Targaryen,

      Many show watchers also believed Tyrion was dead at the end of “Blackwater.” But your argument still holds true. D&D tend to avoid GRRM’s numerous fake-outs. And thank the god for that!

      Luka Nieto,

      How do you know that Jaime, Brienne, Sansa do not much book material left?? For all we know the last two books may be full of them!@

        Quote  Reply

    237. Pigeon,

      Khal Drogo died (or was going to die, before magic and later a cushion got in the way) of an infection due to a relatively small wound.

        Quote  Reply

    238. Matt,

      It’s beyond confirmed 🙂

      This very fansite confirmed that he would feature at least in 5×10, the leaked script summary mentioned he’d be at Tywin’s funeral, and many reports from the premiere mention him and detail his conversation with Cersei about his son Lancel and the Sparrows.

        Quote  Reply

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