The Three-Eyed Raven brings another glimpse of Game of Thrones season 5

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It’s an exciting day for Game of Thrones fans. Not only do we have news of the Game of Thrones IMAX experience, the Three-Eyed Raven is sending fans more glimpses of the Sight. As usual, the Sight delivered brief flashes of the past and the future to come in season 5.

WatchersOnTheWall reader Mike has graciously provided screencaps of the Sight vision that he received, including the above photo.

More below the cut!

UPDATE: Videos of both visions have been uploaded to youtube and are embedded below!

Thanks to ColtyHarrison for the videos!

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One reader, Cersei’s Wine Goblet, captured the fleeting clip with another camera.

Sue the Fury: If you receive a different vision than this one, shoot us a message or leave a comment. Usually more than one version of the vision goes out, so that may be the case this time as well. What does everyone makes of these images?

UPDATE: The Raven did bring more than one Vision today.

Our reader, Greatjon of Slumber writes:

This one seems almost exclusively Arya focused.

Begins with the VoiceOver of none other than Syrio Forel (!) saying, “There is only one thing we say to the god of death. Not today.”

Images of:

–the damned raven in close up again
–shots of the water, likely the port in The Children
–Arya, sword out, standing over Polliver
–more damned birds
–Arya standing, back to us, at the doors of the House of Black and White

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132 responses

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    1. davy,

      That’s from season 4, episode 4, “Oathkeeper” —Dany crucified 163 Great Masters in retaliation to their murder and crucifixion of 163 slave children.

      The only new shots I can pinpoint are the rowboat shot (a couple of unexpected people arriving at Dorne; we saw this scene being filmed), the pots being broken, the hand in the snow, and maybe the coin shot… or maybe it’s a shot from 2×10, 3×10 or 4×10. The others are all season 4. If I’m mistaken about any of the supposedly new ones, please say so. I may be missing something.

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    2. The shot of the hand is from 2×10 in the house of the undying. Daenery’s reaches for the Iron Throne’s armrest. Can anyone identify the woman running?

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    3. I just received one. It happened to fast that I will try my best to remember

      I could hear Syrio in the background saying “there’s only one thing that we say to death” and a shot of arya standing in front of the Doors of THOBAW

      Everything else is a blur now. But I’m sure someone has received the same one.

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    4. Mine was much different, Syrio asking Arya “what do we say to death?” Bow being shot, flock of birds flying by and the last a glimpse of Arya in front of the House of Black and White

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    5. Just watched it, the one I had was slightly different. Was more of Arya… She was doing the water dancing from the children episode before Brienne and Pod showed up..

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    6. Yes the one I got was just about all Arya. Included that shot – as others said – of the water dancing, her standing over Polliver, and a wide shot of her in front of the House of B&W, which was new.

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    7. I just had a vision. It appears it is different than the ones above.

      A piece of chicken being grabbed.

      A man with white beard being shown smiling but the camera angle does not show his eyes.

      The next glimpse is a round shadow sitting down

      It appears the man is typing, but only two sentences and gets back up.

      A glimpse of a football game.

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    8. King Stannis:
      I just had a vision. It appears it is different than the ones above.

      A piece of chicken being grabbed.

      A man with white beard being shown smiling but the camera angle does not show his eyes.

      The next glimpse is a round shadow sitting down

      It appears the man is typing, but only two sentences and gets back up.

      A glimpse of a football game.

      For a second there i tought you had seen George RR Martin in your vision but then
      i noticed you saw “two sentences” beeing typed…

      That is 100% over his daily capacity so it cannot be him.

      🙁

      p.s.

      FPM?

      Did you see FPM if you did it could truly be George in your vision!!! ?

      🙂

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    9. I got the message from GoT with the link to TheSight but there’s no point in trying to view it with my handheld because all my prior attemps failed (all i got was a black screen).
      Is there a way to provide the link to someone that can record it? Maybe it’s the Arya video :/

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    10. The first picture shows a coin…

      I am thinking about the coin that Qyburn finds on a secret passage under the black cells that ‘incriminate’ the Tyrells on the escape from Tyrion? (AFFC – Cersei VII)

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    11. I’m having a really hard time getting excited by these videos. What’s new in these visions? A view of the sea and a closed door. Impressive marketing guys..

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    12. I love how much Arya there has been in these things so far, makes me excited for her storyline.

      I really like the screencap of Jaime and Bronn on the boat, lets hope this season is at least as pretty to look at as that shot is.

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    13. I reveived the Arya vision , most of it are from S04 ( her killing Poliver – the braavosi ship , ravens..etc ) at the end her standing in front of THOBAW in her old cloths with needle ( looks like she’s knocking on the door) all that while in the background Syrio is saying what do we say to the gods of death and Arya replies not today (from S01)

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    14. Sin,

      Thank you for the vid. Looks like old footage from previous seasons. I wonder why they won’t use some new scenes. I would think that would be more a teaser than anything old, after all.

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    15. Dutch maester,

      Totally agree. I haven’t really bothered to watch them as there isn’t enough new there to relly excite me. I just wish HBO would give us a proper trailer, but I can’t see it being officially released online until after the IMAX screenings.

      In a way, of course, two months before the premiere doesn’t sound so bad, but when we are feeding off scraps of information, it really is unbearable.

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    16. Just say my the sight tease. The final shot for mine was Arya in front of the House of Black and white as we here Syrio’s voice say “not today”.

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    17. Luka Nieto,

      I thought of the door to Tyrion’s little chamber where Cersei visits him at the beginning of Season 3(?), but then I thought, since it followed the girl in the woods image, that it might be the door through which Theon and Ramsey reenter the Dreadfort after his “escape” where they stop and Theon says nice things about Ned.

      Could it be a door to a skycell? Or an icecell?

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    18. These are nice and creepy, but why so much S4 footage? Maybe HBO needs to give the hype train a little nudge after so many people weren’t as crazy about season 4 as they were about 3.

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    19. Turncloak:
      Just say my the sight tease. The final shot for mine was Arya in front of the House of Black and white as we here Syrio’s voice say “not today”.

      But isn’t it Arya who responds “not today” to Syrio as Trant attacks him in “The Pointy End”? Interesting that Syrio says it in the tease (provided by King of the Ashes)…

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    20. Hodor’s Bastard,

      I can 100% confirm that Syrio says “not today” in my tease.

      The tease starts off with him saying “what do we say to the God of death”, then shows images we’ve seen from season 1-4. What I can remember is Arya standing over Polliver’s body, presumably after she stabbed him or right before she was going to stab him.

      I however didn’t see any sign of Melisandre like the other “the sight teases”.

      It ends with “not today” and Arya in front of the black and white doors.

      The doors by the way are *ucking huge and atleast twice the height of Maise Williams in scale.

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    21. Sue the Fury,

      Comicbook have the Arya one if you want to upload it.

      S4 shot of Arya spotting the port in finale
      I think the bow is Anguy trying to get Hot Pie to move in S3 because although Arya shot a bow, it was never to the sky.
      S4 over Polliver
      S1 birds
      S4 water dancing
      S5 House of Black and White

      Apologies, was unaware King of the Ashes posted a better quality version.

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    22. I wonder why they are showing Anguy… He doesn’t really have much to do with Arya’s storyline at this point. I can only hope its for something else….

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    23. The person breaking the pot could be Stannis? I’ve been staring at the paused image for a while and comparing hands and belt and what could be chain mail sleeves to an image of Stannis. There’s probably a fire burning in the background… could be any other similar clad character as well though. What’s in the pot I cannot tell from the blurred split second. My best guess would be

      ballots

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    24. Steven:
      A corpse floating in the water. Perhaps a certain Lady makes an appearance?

      Look a rock! Maybe a lady WILL show up! You lot amuse me to no end. It’s not happening! Move on to other cast members appearing or not.

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    25. The one I got was different. I barely got to see any of it because it had the loading screen for like 30 secs and then i saw an image of Ice being melted and then gone. This raven sight is really starting to get on my nerves bc each time it has f’d up and I can only watch on my phone which normally plays vids just fine but for some reason it never plays these sight videos properly. SEVEN HELLS!

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    26. Dogcheese:
      I wonder why they are showing Anguy… He doesn’t really have much to do with Arya’s storyline at this point. I can only hope its for something else….

      She’s not coming, cry moar

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    27. I prefer the Arya centric version–you either get one or the other. I wish they could have gotten the doors more accurate (the colors should be reversed), but that’s a minor quibble, and an understandable mistake given the breakneck pace of production.

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    28. OT: Regarding the upcoming film, Jupiter Ascending, who wants to bet that Sean Bean’s character doesn’t make it to the end of the film alive?

      Dogcheese,

      Any mention of Shitmouth deserves a toast of fine Fire & Blood Ale. Cheers!

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    29. ReekReek:
      These are nice and creepy, but why so much S4 footage? Maybe HBO needs to give the hype train a little nudge after so many people weren’t as crazy about season 4 as they were about 3.

      They weren’t? I wasn’t aware that there was any difference in the level of how crazy people were about one or the other.

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    30. Maester of Ceremonies:
      I prefer the Arya centric version–you either get one or the other. I wish they could have gotten the doors more accurate (the colors should be reversed), but that’s a minor quibble, and an understandable mistake given the breakneck pace of production.

      I like the look of the doors, but I’m glad I’m not the only one who noticed the reversed colors. The interesting thing is that in most of the fan art I’ve seen (and also in an official map of Braavos) the doors are reversed (as they are in the show), rather than as described in the books.

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    31. Sin,

      It’s been a while, so I hope I do the new spoiler quote correctly. If not … oops.

      I would venture that the breaking crockery

      is the moment Arya is stricken blind.

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    32. No one has predicted the ending of ASOIAF.

      I just tried looking up proof to the claim by news articles stating that GRRM has said that some people have figured out the ending to the series. Each “link” provided by these websites leads to a wild goose chase. There is no source. GRRM never said those words at the Edinburg Festival.

      Holy shit this is some bad journalism.

      I looked this up on reddit and some other people came to the same conclusion.
      http://www.reddit.com/r/asoiaf/comments/2e4nth/spoilers_all_no_one_has_predicted_the_ending_to/

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    33. Hey guys I was able to record both version in HD (with the stupid stuff on top and bottom at the beginning again)
      Check out the videos here:

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    34. Arya has quickly become my second favorite character after Mannis.

      Would be even more compelling, esp if the House of Black and White boss appeared to be Jaqen.

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    35. These are pathetic, They dont have enough new footage for a 5 second teaser that they have to fill it with scenes from old seasons?

      And you cant see it more than once? One chance to look at old footage? This is a bad joke!

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    36. Hodor’s Bastard:
      OT: Regarding the upcoming film, Jupiter Ascending, who wants to bet that Sean Bean’s character doesn’t make it to the end of the film alive?

      Based on the trailers, I suspect Sean Bean may be the best thing about that movie. Maybe the only best thing – even in those short clips Sean is terrific and totally believable. Let’s hope this is an exception and he survives. (Eddie Redmayne looks interesting, but Channing Tatum? No thanks, he’s seems completely miscast. Where’s Chris Pratt when you need him?)

      Back on topic, this whole Sight PR campaign seems pointless. My sympathies to those getting impatient for new footage. Hopefully the IMAX trailer will make up for it.

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    37. Cumsprite,

      “Dandiprat” ??? Is this the same as yelling, “Get off my lawn you whippersnappers!!”

      Just kidding! 🙂 That’s a new word that I will be adding to my insult vocabulary tout suite.

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    38. I really hope we get a trailer before this IMAX stuff. I am not driving an hour to pay around 20 bucks for a trailer.

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    39. Syrio says “not today” when we see Arya standing in front of the black-and-white door. Does that mean that

      Syrio is linked to the House of Black and White? I mean, obviously the house is in Braavos and Syrio was from Braavos, but is there more of a connection? Could the theories that link Syrio with the faceless men be true? Is he maybe even Jaquen? Or the kindly man? Or both?

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    40. dee,

      Yeah, I was implying that connection above as well. I was intrigued that Syrio said “Not today” in the sight tease when Arya actually said it in response to Syrio’s “God of Death” question in the show (S1, “The Pointy End”). It does seem like those “sight” rascals are playing with some old Sullied crackpot theories. 🙂

      Also note that the “Forel” connection is further explored in Arya’s preview “Mercy” chapter from TWoW. Also, the cursed/doomed Trant is in Braavos this season as well. Should be fun! It’s probably nothing but who knows…the ASoI&F/GoT world is collapsing, not expanding, at this point.

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    41. So either they took unused audio of Forel or the actor has returned, and Forel will greet her inside the H of B&W. I hope it’s left vague. Maybe it’s old dialogue, we see a face like his on the wall, and that’s all.

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    42. A good idea in theory these “Sight” videos, but perhaps not the best executed promotion that’s ever been done. All it did when I clicked the link was cause my phone to freeze up.

      (Are people still holding out for LSH? I agree it’s a shame, and the Beric storyline a bit of a waste in consequence, but the time for “that” was at the end of last season. It’s been so spoiled now it wouldn’t have the impact.)

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    43. Felt Pelt:
      So either they took unused audio of Forel or the actor has returned

      Syrio said “Not Today” in the show when he first tells Arya of the God of Death so not unused audio,

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    44. Fall_Of_Byzantium,

      Yes, i still have hope for LSH, and i think the time for that was not last season,

      LSH was not meant to appear at the beginning of Brienne quest, but at the end of it. She was just beginning her trip in season 4!|| A good time for it would be the end of season 5 or the beginning of season 6

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    45. Hoyti Von Totiy:
      OMG major spoilers ahead.
      I found epic hidden content in one of the screenshots HBO left for us:

      http://s18.postimg.org/75q7o09uh/fpm.jpg

      Let someone say now they don´t care about the fans!

      Discuss!

      Ahahahahahahahahahahahahaha…

      I’ve missed this place.

      Has anyone suggested that small door at the end of one of those clips could be a door at…

      Wait for it.
      Wait.
      For.
      It.

      DEEPWOOD MOTTE? 😉

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    46. Fall_Of_Byzantium,

      I doubt that very much: the vast majority of the viewers pay no attention to the sources that would spoil things.

      At any rate, the time to bring in a character is when he/she/it is going to affect the story, or at least the plot in some unique way. The earliest that will happen is WoW: and it is even possible it won’t happen at all.

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    47. Turncloak,

      Your conclusion in no way follows from the rest of your post. Even if the quotes from GRRM were fabricated, then it does not mean that nobody has worked out how some of the general plots are going to culminate, or what the final story will be like. Indeed, after so much speculation, it seems pretty improbable that nobody has gotten the jist of the ending. Just because one of posts something somewhere that is badically correct, GRRM is mot obliged to say: “the gig is up! FanBoy0100110 figured it out! It’s back to watching football all day….”

      (Of course, one can quibble about how “right” is right; for example, I think that a lot of people had worked out that Harry Potter was carrying a piece of Voldemort’s soul, and that Harry would ultimately destroy that and defeat Voldemort through some act of self-sacrifice. However, Rowling could have done that in dozens or even hundreds of different ways: and no doubt Rowling fans would illogically claim that the above description is wrong because of that.)

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    48. Laurence,

      I would really like to believe that….but Trant is still alive. Playing devil’s advocate, if Forel was faceless then I doubt Trant would still be alive. And if Forel escaped, Trant would have told Cersei/Tywin, which would have also led to Trant not being alive. So….

      Syrio is dead and Arya will have her true revenge for her mentor.

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    49. Dame Pasty:
      Cumsprite,

      “Dandiprat” ???Is this the same as yelling, “Get off my lawn you whippersnappers!!”

      Just kidding!That’s a new word that I will be adding to my insult vocabulary tout suite.

      “Dandiprat” deserves to be included into “WatchersOnTheWall Game of Thrones Lexicon” !

      p.s.

      It shows how much these HBO “previews” in witch they are previewing Seasosn 5 by showing us season 4 videos are intresting when the fun of commeting has nothing to do with the video material … and little we get from s5 its Aryas boring storyline.

      #cutBravos
      #cutPyke
      #cutDorne
      #cutRiverlands

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    50. Hoyti Von Totiy:

      #cutBravos

      Hah! Better not! Seems you’ve already #cutBraavos enough 😛

      I confess I am intrigued but Ayra’s storyline. Doesn’t seem like they’ll stay on it too long, and

      the show will spice it up a bit for the Unsullied and bookwalkers alike with what it looks like Syrio’s death revenge. In truth, I think Ayra’s chapters would translate rather difficult and slowish on screen going at the same pace as the books did.

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    51. Wimsey,

      It was all over Twitter, most of the internet, and most of the newspapers here in the UK had a feature about the LSH no-show. I think you’d have to make a determined effort not to at least have seen something about it, even if it’s just the name.
      Which is why I think it would have been perfect for the end of last season as a surprise viewers wouldn’t have seen coming (and to be honest, I was one of those convinced it was going to happen, after the numerous references to CS last season). Now? Not so much. Obviously purely my opinion and worth no more than that.

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    52. Fall_Of_Byzantium,

      So? Most of the people who watch pay no attention to the places where this was posted. The vast majority of the viewers are not getting Tweets from Thrones sites or whatever sends them. Most of them are mot reading the entertainment sites where such details are discussed. The Unsullied are, for the greater part, unaware of this. As we have learned from Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter, when fans scream in the woods, there is no sound. (For myself, I only saw it mentioned on Thrones specific coverage. It got absolutely nothing like the Red Wedding coverage.)

      Here is the big question, though: if B&W had brought her back, then what would they have done with her? A cliffhanger like that must get a huge payoff the next season. So, how could they have modified the plot heavily enough to provide the payoff without disrupting the story?

      (I would add that GRRM screwed up here: the unveiling should have been at the end of Dragons, not Swords.)

      At this point, they could still bring her back as a mystery character and unveil her if (and really only if) she somehow makes a unique and important contribution to the WoW story, or at least to one of its plots. When they unveil her, people will be surprised. Even the small number that heard something about it last June will be surprised, because they will have forgotten by then.

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    53. Maester of Ceremonies:
      I prefer the Arya centric version–you either get one or the other. I wish they could have gotten the doors more accurate (the colors should be reversed), but that’s a minor quibble, and an understandable mistake given the breakneck pace of production.

      You are kidding me right? They got the colors right….

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    54. bluegoldrose,

      Speaking of the Ides of Marsh(es)….good one. 🙂
      GRRM had to get his inspiration for the 600-yr-old massacre at HH from somewhere…maybe HH (or the Sorrows) is an homage to Tolkien. We will (hopefully) see.

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    55. Hodor’s Bastard,

      Well, we will see one way or the other! The “homage” part is tough: it’s such a fine line between “tip of the cap” and “plagiarism.” It gets particularly tough with Lord of the Rings, given that SoI&F is partially inspired by LotR, but also very much antithetical to LotR.

      As to what inspired the 600 year old mystery, well, there are numerous examples in history of settlements being eradicated without the rest of the world every learning for certain what happened.

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    56. Wimsey,

      Sources of inspiration are the most fascinating aspects of fantasy/SF for me. I enjoy how GRRM often refers to the War of the Roses and Hadrian’s Wall, among many others, as inspiration for parts of ASoI&F. He has borrowed from (expanded upon) Tolkien, who in turn borrowed from Wagner, who borrowed heavily from Germanic/Nordic mythology….it’s all part of the great expanding circle/cycle of creativity throughout history. Some of the fandom/academic discussions of it are fascinating as well.

      Atlantis & Valyria, anyone?

      I wonder if the HH “attack” will be done in realtime (as opposed to ADwD referencing it as an historic event that is being revisited with vigor)? If they show it at all, it may provide justification for Jon to actively support the wildling cause. Or will they treat it like a reconnaissance effort, as implied in ADwD? Regardless, any depiction of HH would be interesting. I could see it being an “active” attack,…whereas, alternatively, they will use the Sorrows as a “something bad happened long ago” situation.

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    57. Hodor’s Bastard: Tolkien, who in turn borrowed from Wagner,

      heh, Tolkien denied that most vehemently! He was not a fan of Wagner or of Norse mythology: in fact, Tolkien loathed Wagner’s works and he found Norse mythology disturbing morally. In response to a comparison between Lord of the Rings and the Nibelung, Tolkien replied: “Both rings were round, and there the resemblance ceases.”

      As for the known influences, Numenor was based (at least partially) on Atlantis: one of the names for Numenor was Atalante. Tolkien and some other Inklings actually had an idea for writing some classic old myths into their works, and that’s as far as Tolkien took it.

      Similarly, Valinor was influenced heavily by Avalon: the magical “other world” that faded further and further from the mortal lands as time passed. (Tolkien was big on stories about immortality in the same way that GRRM is big on stories about internal conflict.)

      (In addition to Wagner, Tolkien would have hated SoI&F. Tolkien was very emphatic that modern stories focusing on characters trying to figure out their place in the world were depressing and fundamentally false: he seemed to truly believe that people should just accept that they are their father’s sons and mother’s daughters and that it was foolishness to try to be different from that.)

      As for HH, one thing that I can see the show doing is

      making the parallels between Jon’s aiding the Wildlings and Daeny’s aiding the slaves more front and center. Hardhome could be used in the same way that, say, the Harpy killings of freed slaves are used. Then with the assassination attempts by people opposed to helping Wildling/Slaves and the subsequent “catharsis” for both leads (well, certainly for Daeny and probably for Jon) will really tie together nicely for showing “true” leadership in both characters.

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    58. Wimsey,

      It is quite a debatable topic why Tolkien “publicly” distanced himself from Wagner, even though they shared themes of power, responsibility, “ramifications of power,” and aftermath of genocide/war, all of which I explored when writing my theses for a minor in Lit a few years back. Journalists wanted (and continue to desire) to make the “influence” and “inspiration” connection between him and Wagner (and even Oscar Wilde).

      “Ride to ruin and the world’s ending!” — Brünnhilde’s philosophy and arias condensed to seven words. (as mentioned in the New Yorker, Dec 2003)

      My greatly summarized “ye olde” point is that Tolkien started distancing himself publicly from Wagner (a purported Nazi sympathizer) during and after the WWs (especially after WW2). It was politics and not too much else, no matter JRRT’s so-called “vehemence.” I think he made more of a believable argument during his highly touted “public” religion/metaphor debates with CS Lewis during the same period.

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    59. Hodor’s Bastard: Wagner (a purported Nazi sympathizer) during and after the WWs (especially after WW2)

      Given that Wagner was long dead by then, it’s better to state that the Nazi’s were Wagner sympathizers! Hitler did say something along the lines that you could not understand German nationalism unless you understood Wagner; Wagner was one of the proto-nationalists, after all, half a century before then. Indeed, it was Wagner & Norse mythology that Tolkien cited as reasons why people should really fear German nationalists: Tolkien firmly held that “fairy tales” held moral truths, and that these German truths were very dangerous ones. Tolkien had no idea how right he was (having written that in the mid-late 1930’s), but he certainly called that one correctly.

      Of course, on the flip-side, Tolkien was very sympathetic towards Spanish nationalists. That might have had to do with the fact that the fascists and Catholics were a coalition against the anarchists and communists in Spain, and Tolkien was an ardent Catholic as well. (I seem to recall that the anarchists killed one or more of Tolkien’s friends, which leant a personal touch: and the enemy of my enemy, etc…) So, it was not so much “nationalism” as the type of nationalism, it seems.

      At any rate, Nationalism was not a big issue for Tolkien after WWI. He blamed Republicanism (and thus the French) for that war. Most of Tolkien’s boyhood friends were killed in the war, and he himself was invalided out from the trenches, so it was fairly personal to him.

      On a side note, have you ever read Tolkien’s very amusing and ironic letter from 1938 or so attesting that he had no Jewish ancestry so that The Hobbit could get published in Germany. Tolkien’s publishers (being good capitalist pigs) insisted that he do it, and he did so quite admirably.

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    60. Wimsey,

      Thanks for your response, W.

      I guess I was trying to state (not very well) that Wagner was often misquoted and misinterpreted, and hence used by the “Nationalists” to emphasize their cause (much like Reagan used the often-misinterpreted “Born in the USA” as a rallying voter theme song – ridiculous and insulting). This was the same bunch of antisemitic fools who used a Hindu symbol of “well-being” as their symbol of indigenous elitism. Sadly, Tolkien seemed to exploit that misinterpretation to distance himself from Wagner’s unfortunately stigmatized work.

      It’s too bad that Tolkien couldn’t credit Wagner more…rather than dismissing the thematic similarities, he should have seen his work as an evolution of mythology that had been matured (in turn) by Wagner.

      I maintain that “Ride of the Valkyries” and the Gotterdamerung “Siegfried’s Funeral March” and their themes are the most relevant pieces ever written for fantasy, and can be applied to moments within any fantasy series, including LotR and ASoI&F.

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    61. Wimsey,

      Hodor’s Bastard,

      That was a fascinating discussion. I don’t have much to add, just… woah. Really, that was an unusually deep discussion for a fansite.

      I learnt a lot, and ended up in an article defending Tolkien’s stance as a Franco supporter, trying to explain it with supposed nuance… the nuance being that he only supported the Nationalists because of his Catholicism and his fear of the “Red menace”, which in my eyes only makes him more of an asshole; he was a hypocrite.

      Despite hating Totalitarianism in all forms (Communism, Fascism), he defended Franco… *despite* the “small” Fascism issue, only because he was a supporter of his bloody religion. It’s probably easier to be less incensed about this if you are not Spaniard yourself, I guess, but for myself… supporting Franco was bad enough —doing it hypocritically, ignoring evidence of his crimes (“Nothing is a greater tribute to Red propaganda than the fact that [C.S. Lewis] believes all that is said against Franco, and nothing that is said for him.”) just because of their shared religion… disgraceful.

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    62. Ah, two very different issues!

      Hodor’s Bastard: Sadly, Tolkien seemed to exploit that misinterpretation to distance himself from Wagner’s unfortunately stigmatized work.

      Right, but my point was that we do not have evidence Tolkien was much of a fan. He was not particularly fond of operas, and he didn’t much care for Norse mythology. Moreover, he never had a need to distance himself from Wagner: Tolkien did not become anything like a public figure until fairly late in his life. What we know on his views are based on his letters written during the 1930’s and 1940’s when he was just some Oxford professor, with one popular kids books.

      It’s also a case that it is now a very different world: when GRRM or JK Rowling make some sociopolitical comment, it becomes news. (We just saw that last week!) Even if Tolkien had pro- or anti-Wagner statements or letters from the 1930’s, nobody would have paid them any mind: Tolkien was a nobody!

      Now, I am not being one of those Tolkienites who believes that Tolkien invented it all himself. He was heavily influenced by the old mythologies, but Norse mythology was not the primary influence. His scholarly work was based on the linguistic, narrative and thematic evolution of old Saxon mythologies. (His Anti-French attitudes fed this: those tales did not have influences from the Normans, after all.) Tolkien’s elves were much more similar to the Elves of Saxon myth (beautiful, powerful but detached from human affairs) than Norse myth and his Maia were very similar to the Nicor of old Saxon mythologies (powerful spirits of nature that could take human or other forms as it suited them). Hobbits were certainly influenced by the “little people” of Gaelic and Saxon mythologies (“hob” is an old English diminutive). Tolkien’s dragons were like Norse dragons: but also like Saxon, Celtic, Arab and lots of other dragons! (Dinosaur bones turn up everywhere, after all.) Old Finnish mythologies also influenced Tolkien: the Turin Turambur story in the Silmarillion is basically a total rip off of the Kullervo story of the Kalevala tales. The one place where Norse/Germanic influence seems apparent is Tolkien’s dwarves: however, by that point this had permeated pretty thoroughly into our culture because of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves and other Grimms’ brother stories. However, Tolkien himself read the original works and often in the original languages. (He was obsessed with old languages.) The Grimms Brothers were, of course, retelling the same tales: but that just means that they, Tolkien and Wagner (and Walt Disney) all being influenced by the same source!

      And issue #2:

      Hodor’s Bastard: I guess I was trying to state (not very well) that Wagner was often misquoted and misinterpreted, and hence used by the “Nationalists” to emphasize their cause (much like Reagan used the often-misinterpreted “Born in the USA” as a rallying voter theme song – ridiculous and insulting).

      This is entirely possible, and I certainly do not disagree with it. Many people have suggested that Hitler took Wagner out of context as much as Stalin took Marx out of context or religious fundamentalists take Jesus of Nazareth or Mohammed out of context.

      Still, we should be careful to not whitewash Wagner (which sounds like a horrible pun!): in a time where anti-Semitism was the norm, he was still considered to be unusually anti-Semitic. And Wagner’s idea of recasting Christianity with Germans as the new “chosen people” was probably the biggest one: the Nazi’s obviously loved that and they ran with it. (Your mention of Reagan misusing Springsteen is very apt here: Reagan’s disciples like to recast Christianity with Americans [or a limited subset thereof] as the new chosen people in the same way.)

      All of that written, I do agree that Wagner had an undeniable effect on fantasy as we know it. However, I would argue that the biggest effect might have been on how movies and TV portray it cinematically: Wagner’s operas were grandiose productions, relying on lots of effects and pageantry. And movie soundtracks (particularly for a lot of “epics”) certainly have a very Wagnerian feel to them in the arrangement if not in the actual compositional style.

      In many ways, I would say that this has run its course with literary fantasy: in many ways, writers like GRRM, Donaldson, Rowling, Fallon, etc., are much more influenced by Dickens, Tolstoy and Faulkner than they are by Tolkien or Wagner.

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    63. Luka Nieto: Despite hating Totalitarianism in all forms (Communism, Fascism), he defended Franco… *despite* the “small” Fascism issue, only because he was a supporter of his bloody religion. It’s probably easier to be less incensed about this if you are not Spaniard yourself, I guess, but for myself… supporting Franco was bad enough —doing it hypocritically, ignoring evidence of his crimes

      Ah, yes: this hypocrisy really is a universal truth to religion, it seems. Tolkien was a Catholic in the UK, where being Catholic was only marginally better than being Jewish. It was, after all, perfectly legal and socially acceptable to discriminate against Catholics during his time. Thus, anybody who seemed to be defending Catholicism against Marxists, heretics, pagans, etc., was heroic. After all, “religious freedom” means being allowed to practice your faith only if their religion is being oppressed: when you are in charge, then that means the freedom to oppress the unenlightened: because that is, after all, part of the practice of most faiths!

      The other factor here is that Franco’s coalition had not just one but two monarchist factions. (The Spanish Civil War was a convoluted mess: both the Right and Left Wings had competing factions, and what might have decided the War was the Stalinists deciding to eradicate the Anarchists and Marxists before completely finishing off the Right.) Tolkien was a firm believer in Monarchy, so Franco was fighting for two causes in which Tolkien believed.

      And on that topic……

      The Spanish Civil War is another place where we might look for parallels in what is coming. It’s always portrayed as Fascists vs. Communists (which must confuse the hell out of Fox News! 😉 ), but in truth it was a complicated morass of different sides that hated each other to different degrees and for different reasons. SoI&F has some interesting parallels. For example, the Spanish Right had two monarchist factions seeking to be restored to the throne: the Carlists (who won) and the Alfonsists (who didn’t). They were on the same side until they were not: as we might see with Daeny and Aegon. The Spanish Left had Anarchists, Socialists, Marxists and Communists. (The Marxists thought that Stalin’s Communism was no longer Marxism; the Communists thought that the Marxists didn’t understand Marx.) Like the Lannisters and Tyrells, they were united only by common enemies, not by common goals. And, of course, there were lots of extrinsic factors affecting both sides.

      It seems to me that GRRM is setting up a similar scenario for his final tales, both for the stories and the plots. I can see the issue of deciding which enemies to make Target #1 and which enemies to befriend (for the time being), as well as when to stop pretending that an enemy is an ally, being huge issues for the characters in the final two tales. Fail to do #1 properly, or do #3 too soon (as we might be seeing a certain Queen do), and it can all unravel for you in a hurry. This could even take an ecclessiastic level, as deciding which religion/supernatural figure to follow could parallel which faction to support.

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    64. Wimsey,

      You deserve a beer for that one, ser! I think we have stumbled on a thread of thought that is both recursive and immersive! Like I mentioned at the start of this distraction, sources of inspired creativity are truly intriguing.

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