U.K. Premiere Season 5 Game of Thrones Red Carpet Round-up


Our coverage of the U.K. premiere of Season 5 Game of Thrones began last night and since then the news keeps pouring in.  The full Red Carpet interviews have been pulled together in addition to more new reviews, recaps and articles of the first episode.

Let’s start with the Red Carpet interviews after the jump.

This video has all the AP Live interviews, including Sophie Turner, Ian Beattie, Mark Gatiss, Kit Harington, John Bradley, Jonathan Pryce, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, and Aidan Gillen.

The London Evening Standard has a brief but positive episode summary.  It’s not terribly spoilery but if you are trying to avoid such things, be careful.  The Telegraph also has a summary with quotes from various stars like Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Kit Harington and Michael McElhatton, someone who we don’t get to hear from too often.  Heatworld has a review (beware of spoilers here).  However, if you are looking for a spoiler free one, go to the article at CNet.  They seemed to have liked the first episode.

HBO’s fantasy saga is back with a swaggering episode that brings new characters to the fore and something long absent from Westeros — hope.  (Luke Westaway, CNet.com)

RadioTimes also has a positive, spoiler free review for your reading pleasure. GamesRadar also has a review, which admits to mild spoilers.  And lest I leave my fellow nerds out of the list, let me not forget Louisa Mellor at Den of Geeks who says that:

HBO would hardly have tricked out the Tower Of London with all the trappings of last night’s glitzy premiere if the episode was a dud. You could say – to put it in terms that the Iron Bank of Braavos might understand – that Game Of Thrones is simply too big to fail.

Keep it coming HBO.  We’re loving it!

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  1. Love John Bradley. He is such an articulate advocate of the show.

    The interviewers seem to get worse each year.

  2. Can you tell me about the sex and violence? How often did you hear that when a certain blonde reporter thrust her mike forward for comment? Clearly it was on her script.

    What I’d like to know is: what the hell is going on at Sky Television? Sky Atlantic had already issued a statement saying not taking part in simulcast. Sky News coverage of Red Carpet appears to contradict that. During N C-W and A A interviews there was a banner mentioning that 1st episode to be shown as part of ‘Global Simulcast’.

  3. All these spoilers and such. The bit about how the two girls from Broad City show up mid-premiere episode to talk about vaginas with Lady Olenna shouldn’t work, but it does, somehow. Interrupts the flow some, but you gotta expect it. The next scene where Raylan Givens comes in and shoots 3 Lannister soldiers is a bit more anachronistic, but I trust D&D.

  4. I think it’s safe to say the pre-season buzz is exceeding all expectations. We’ve even got Al Swearengen forgetting to be bored and aloof.

  5. Felt Pelt,

    The source is someone who saw 501 in London and heard some things about other eps. in s5 from people that were there. I have pretty strong doubts however about his scoops on eps. 503 and 505 however because one of them is provably false.

    He says one the Sand Snakes isn’t in until ep. 505, when actually via info on this very website from the summer, we know for sure that all 3 Sand Snakes are in ep. 504.

    With that in mind I’d take his claims about 503 with a grain of salt or two.

  6. Jesterr223458,

    Part of the guy’s info was wrong. So I think it makes sense to point that out before people buy too much into some of the things people are taking this to mean. That’s all.

    My motivation is to get people to make claims based on what we know. That requires that I party-poop sometimes and it sometimes means I’m not inclined to go with bolder claims that actually do end up coming true. When I’m wrong I eat crow but that doesn’t mean there’s not a place for skepticism.

  7. Greenjones, if you read the full post from reddit
    It actually doesn’t sound all BS, it sounds like a truthful account and doesn’t really tell us much.

    I’ll post it below:

    Hey guys

    So long time reader, first time poster. I’m a big GOT nerd and work in the media so I got invited to the Tower Of London thing tonight. It’s 1am here, I had a few champagnes etc but wanted to give a big update on what happens in S5.E1 The Wars To Come.

    Edit: I got confused with spoiler tags etc and have been to bed so a lot of this info is out there, but still of some use for some of you.

    First: what isn’t in it. No Arya, no Dorne/Sand Snakes, no Theon/Ramsey/Roose. Winterfell IS on the map, despite no chars being there in the ep, pretty much as it was in S1/S1, but with the flayed man sigil rising up.

    We also get Pentos back, as Varys and Tyrion are there. No Dorne on the map yet, but I read on EW that ‘Dorne’ is on the map as opposed to Sunspear. There is a funny bit in The Wars To Come where Loras and Olyvar (the dude from the brothel) are trying to remember all the places in Dorne and they realise they all have ‘sand’ ‘stone’ ‘sun’ or ‘snake’ in them in some form.

    Anyway in the ep is: Cersei/King’s Landing, Pentos with Tyrion, Meereen with Dany, The Vale with Sansa/LF/Brienne, The Wall, and a nice Maergery/Loras scene too.

    So here we go.

    Ep open with the flashback. Young Cersei mocks a very young looking Maggy, who reveals she will be queen, but a younger queen will come etc etc.

    Present day. Cersei arrives at the sept to see Tywin, shouts at Jaime a bit. Later she sees Lancel, who is now a sparrow, and has a shaved head, old cloak and barefoot look. I didn’t even recognise him. Kevan (!!!) explains that with Tywin gone, the sparrows are more confident to come to the capital.

    Tyrion falls out a crate. Varys and he have a slightly elongated vers of the chat in the trailer. Expanded version includes: Tommen is too meek, Stannis is too cold, and V is off to Meereen whether Tyrion goes with him or not. Varys explains Robert’s rebellion went all wrong, and lays his cards out as a 100% Dany supporter. Whether this is a ruse or not, who knows? But his case for bringing Dany to Westeros is compelling. No sign of Illyrio.

    At the Wall, Jon goes to meet Stannis, who asks him to get Mance to bend the knee. Jon tries, but Mance refuses, and talks to Jon about his politics. For him, having the freedom to make a bad decision is empowering. They’re doing a lot here, through dialogue, track shots etc, to really show Jon caught between Mance and Stannis, not just as leaders, but as father figures, and it works really well. Both of them are showing him how men, and leaders, choose to behave. Stannis burns Mance alive, but, seeing him suffer, Jon shoots him in the heart with an arrow, killing him (and presumably ruining Mellisandre’s sacrifice)

    M and Jon have a quick chat where she asks if he is a virgin. He says no. She says ‘good’. !?

    Davos also explains that Stannis wants to utilise the wildlings as an army against Roose. Pretty sure this is a deviation from ADWD, where he wants to recruit the mountain clans, but it’s achieving the same goal I guess?

    Brienne and Pod get mopey in the Vale.

    Meanwhile, Sansa and LF are watching Robin train against a young boy. They’re in a lush green field so I’m guessing they descended the Eyrie etc. Robin gets his ass whupped. It sounds like he gets left here (possibly with Royce) to foster. Sort of weird given that LF/Sansa keep a hold of him IN ORDER TO strengthen their hold on the Vale in the books. LF and Sansa go off on an adventure. LF tells her he’s taking her far away from Cersei. Then they pass Brienne and Pod, which is a bit #derpy.

    After ripping down the Harpy statue, an Unsullied soldier goes to a brothel, gets his throat slit by Sons Of The Harpy. Dany insists on a proper burial for him and sends other Unsullied to patrol the city. She goes to visit her dragons, but they’re incredibly violent (AND ABSOLUTELY HUGE BTW). Whole thing leaves her very traumatised. I think Daario suggested she send the dragons to Yunkai to freak some people out and re-assert her authorit.

    Messandei asks Grey Worm why an Unsullied would go to a brothel if he has no genitals. GW has no idea, which isn’t what M wanted to hear. From the scene though, where the soldier gets cuddled and sung to, I think the freed Unsullied are getting in touch with their emotional side.

    The harpy statue gets pulled down. Kind of surprised that was in Ep1. You see Targaryen banners around the city, which is kind of cool.

    Dany is just bedding Daario, NBD. He gives her bad advice, saying she can’t call herself a dragon queen if she has no dragons.

    Anyway it was a good ep, a bit typical of any E1 in that it sets things up, but it was exciting. Odd re the Sand Snakes being omitted, but the S5.E2 description specifically mentions Cersei fearing for her daughter so I guess that’s when the show goes all Dorney. Someone I spoke to from Sky tonight said one of the SS doesn’t appear til Ep 5, and they had a hard time on the red carpet getting the press to talk to her. Not 100% sure if this is true.

    Also a friend who was presenting on the red carpet, and interviewed most the cast, tells me episode 3 has a MASSIVE wtf ending/something happens that will freak book readers out.

  8. Felt Pelt,

    Maybe the infamous mystery death? Or maybe it’s some more world-building getting ahead of the books, like the end of 4×04 with the White Walkers.



  9. ctid,

    I know they saw ep. 501 at the showing, I’m not denying that for a second given that their report checks out with all the others of the premiere that we’ve seen. I just found some inconsistencies with the info about the eps. they didn’t see and were only told about.

  10. I don’t want to spoil myself further because it’d ruin it, but I just want to say I was front row at the premiere and it was sooooo good definitely worth waiting all day, sad lena wasn’t there though 🙁

  11. Mormont,

    You watched the episode?

    Just a non-spoilery question. Sam and Gilly apparently talk about Stannis? What do they discuss? How do they feel about him?

    I’m just trying to see if it’s based on Sam’s feeling on the subject in “Samwell IV – ASOS”, for the “In the books” section of the episode at the GoT Wiki. It’s a work in progress, but you can take a look.

  12. jentario,

    We should get the title of episode 5 today, actually, on the HBO schedule. The synopsis release is a little more unpredictable.

  13. Dutch maester,

    Great! Place your bets! 😛

    Well, we did it already, and the undisputed winner for episode five is “The Sorrows”, followed by “Sons of the Harpy”, which we now know is the title for episode four —which we guessed correctly as a community, as it had the most votes in that episode. Then, in third place, “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken”, and vying for fourth place “The Ghost of Winterfell”, “Cat of the Canals” and “Queenmaker.”

    Personally, I think the Sorrows won’t feature so prominently as to earn an episode title. My bet goes for “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken”, or at least something related to Dorne. Still hoping for “The Dornishman’s Wife”, mostly because it would point to Bronn singing it within the episode and a cover version for the credits.

  14. Luka Nieto,

    I prefer “The Dornishman’s Wife” to “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken”, but both are great. And the Sorrow will likely be in this episode, but my guess would by U,U&U as well.

    EDIT: Damn. They added the episode, but without a title. It’s another long episode though, 57 minutes!

    EDIT 2: In runtime, the first half of season 5 is two minutes shorter than that of season 4.

  15. cosca,

    I doubt it. They’ve added the correct runtime for the previous four episodes even without adding the titles.

  16. Luka Nieto: Hey cosca, what do Sam and Gilly discuss in the episode, in particular? How does Sam feel about Stannis?

    Sorry; I honestly don’t remember what he says about Stannis. He does say that Thorne (I think) wants Gilly and her baby to leave, and promises to not let that happen. Possible set up for Jon sending Gilly away? Gilly also asks Sam why he isnt training.

    Dutch maester,

    We’ll see. They did that last year with episode 9

  17. cosca,

    Sounds like a set up of that, true. I didn’t expect that plot thread from AFFC to be followed through on the show, to be honest.

  18. cosca,

    One question I had left, cosca. Are Selyse and Shireen at all present in the episode? Or Aemon for that matter?

  19. Luka Nieto,

    Neither did I. I dont think it’ll be


    if it happens though.

    Mostly unrelated, but I think that

    Sam will be sent to Braavos to speak to the Iron Bank and get a loan for the watch, and that will be Mark Gatiss’ scene for the season. And that will be when he meets Arya. Jon bradley did say in an interview that he’ll be meeting new major characters, and I cant imagine he means just the Stannis crew. Perhaps a stretch, but there you go
  20. cosca,

    We know for a fact Tycho Nestoris will have a scene with Mace Tyrell, the crown envoy instead of Harys Swift. It’s adapted from the published “Mercy” chapter from TWOW, with Arya killing Meryn Trant instead of Raff the Sweatling. There were filming pictures of Tycho receiving Mace and Meryn and a few lannister soldiers at a port in Braavos; then all of them at the gates of the Iron Bank; and Arya, disguised as Cat of the Canals, noticing Ser Meryn. So, If Mark Gatiss only had one scene this season, it’s with Mace, not Sam.

    However, I’ve also thought for a while that Sam may be sent to Braavos to negotiate with the Bank, since Tycho won’t go to the Wall, as he has already come to an agreement with Stannis. Sam can find Arya there, Aemon can die there, etc. If something magical is to be discovered at Oldtown, Sam can discover it at the Castle Black library. They bothered to build the set just for him, so why not.

  21. cosca,

    Anyway, I only expected this theory of ours to be set up in season five (sailing away), not to actually be resolved. Jon needs people at the Wall to interact with, especially his best friend.

  22. Luka Nieto,

    Gatiss has said he’s in one episode this season which could consist of one scene or a handful of scenes. And since the “Mercy” chapter stuff must be close to the end of the season, it would at least coincide with the hypothetical arrival of Sam if he does indeed get sent to Braavos.

    I’m not saying this is necessarily what I think what will happen but the possibility still exists.

  23. Luka Nieto,

    My guess is they

    part ways at Eastwatch when Jon sets off to Hardhome and he sends Sam and Gilly to Braavos/Oldtown. I think Aemon will die at Castle Black, though.
  24. Dutch maester,

    That’s my guess as well. It’d be great, as we’d get to see Eastwatch.

    As for Aemon, you’re right. I forgot the clue in the first trailer.

  25. Spec:
    I’ve been thinking that Sam’s trip to Braavos is postponed but not totally cut? I’m thinking Massey surely is cut, Jon could entrust Sam to take fake Arya who he thinks is real to Braavos (he gets stabbed before he sees she is fake). If Massey is Arya’s trip home that now becomes Sam.

  26. H. Stark:
    Episode 5×05 runtime is 57 mins Title still unknown

    I hope the title for 5×05 is Unknown, Unheard and Unspoken! 😀

  27. Remember to cover spoilers and that includes any and all references to

    Jon’s death and terms like “for the watch”

    Instructions for how to do so are at the top of every single post.

  28. Luka Nieto:

    Just a non-spoilery question. Sam and Gilly apparently talk about Stannis? What do they discuss? How do they feel about him?

    They don’t talk about Stannis. Gilly says that Ser Alliser hates her. Sam replies that he hates all the wildlings but it’s not a sure thing that he’ll be chosen as LC as Ser Mallister is running against him. Then Gilly says “don’t let them send us away” and Sam says “whereever you go, I go”. Gilly ends by saying “you can’t leave, they’ll execute you”.
  29. Bogden,

    Hey, thanks!

    So, they are setting up the Choosing and Sam going away. I didn’t believe Sam and Gilly were going away this season but… that just sounds like set up, doesn’t it?
  30. Nikki,
    Given that Massey is essentially equivalent to a no-name one-line incidental character played by a member of the crew, I doubt that they’ll even worry about who does any transporting.

  31. Luka Nieto:

    Hey, thanks!

    Circumstances would change for Sam if Thorne isn’t elected LC though (which is obviously the case). Jon’s not going to be sending away Wildlings or women from Castle Black so that particular threat shouldn’t be an issue.

    However, Sam knowing that if Thorne gets elected, it means Gilly is gone certainly gives him the motivation in playing a part in finding a new LC, right?

  32. Bogden,

    Thanks for the clarification!

    Interesting (if ultimately minor) note about the election there: there’s no mention of Cotter Pyke as a candidate for LC – just Mallister and Thorne (who we always knew would be up for the permanent post). Bowen Marsh and Janos Slynt aren’t mentioned either, though it’s safe to say that the latter was never going to realistically be able to put his name forward after his open display of cowardice in the Battle at the Wall. Of course, we never discovered whether or not Pyke had been cast, but once it was confirmed that Denys Mallister was in (news that broke only after J.J. Murphy’s unfortunate death) a number of fans speculated that he may have been cast and we just never heard of it. That quote doesn’t necessarily mean that Pyke is cut – maybe he’ll just be an off-screen presence or he and Bowen Marsh will be mentioned as minor candidates. But to me it sounds like Mallister and Alliser Thorne will be the two major candidates running against one another for the post of LC, with Jon emerging as the compromise choice and eventual winner.
  33. Luka Nieto,

    Yes, but it was clear in season 4 that they plan to do it in some form. Sam said something along the lines of “I’ll never leave you again, wherever I go you go”.

    All that was IMO so there’ll be a reason why Gilly joins Sam on the trip to Oldtown (or wherever) since there is no baby switch. The fact that Aemon seems to be dead in the first trailer, his body burning in a funeral pyre, might actually mean Oldtown can still happen in season 6. That and the fact that D&D included all 8 Sand Snakes in the show’s canon, with Sarella being probably the most hyped/interesting of the lot in the books.

    Then there’s John Bradley saying he meets a character no one will expect (was that how he phrased it?) which can’t be anyone from Team Dragonstone since that cat is already out of the bag. So what I hope happens is that Aemon dies around the midseason, and Jon needs to fill the Maester hole- que sending Sam away. Then near the end of the season, Sam stops in Braavos, sexes up Gilly and meets Arya before heading to Oldtown (but he only gets there in season 6, after a bunch of storylines will have collided and where there’ll be more room for that storyline. The big counter to this theory is if Sam is in Hardhome, which we’re not sure about yet.

  34. If season 3 ends with a “big WTF moment that will freak out book-readers”, and if it DOES end with Jorah abducting Tyrion as I suspect it will, I’m a little worried about Varys…
  35. Re: Episode 3

    Calling it now, Lord Manderly shows up, he’s the skinniest guy at the meeting, and declares that he’s never really cared for pie. Many tables are flipped, riots in the streets, boycotts, etc.
  36. OT (my posts usually are, I should change my name to Lulu’s Random Mum): I’ve been keeping an eye out for the Sky Atlantic greatest moments, story so far and red carpet premieres to post links but there’s nothing to be found. I can’t upload them and it looks like no-one else is going to so…..I feel a project coming on. A few people said they’d like to see the shows as they feature lots of mini-interviews with GRRM, Bryan Cogman, David Nutter and quite a few cast members. The only name I can remember is Balerion the cat (Lulu’s a cat so it stuck in my mind). I could do some transcripts with screen shots and stuff as the next-best-thing if people are still interested? If anyone’s keen let me know and I’ll give it a go (mmm poetry). Also, it’d be a fairly large pdf file so where could I upload it to so it’s accessible? There isn’t a part of this site for that sort of thing is there?

    EDIT: Ep 3 wtf moment – giant penguins, I knew that artwork was a clue! ;O)

  37. jentario,

    That does not make it clear at all: there are lots of places where that line could go! Personally, I doubt that

    they will bother with Oldtown at all. The narrative needs to start consolidating characters, not diverging them. Unless Sam’s presence in Oldtown somehow leads to Daeny connecting to Jon in some way that simplifies the plot enough to justify this complication, they are best off leaving Sam at the Wall.
  38. They have uploaded the Oxford Union Q&A and there is an interesting bit at 22:30 minute.

    Kit talks about being a warg and Weiss answers him “season 6”
  39. Wimsey,

    Except you don’t know how important Sam’s being in Oldtown and interacting with the Maesters and the Sand Snake really is. I have a feeling that, in the books at least, it’ll be incredibly important to the endgame (probably relating to Azor Ahai, the prince that was promised, Jon’s real parents, a way to defeat the White Walkers or god knows what).

    Yes, the show has been starting to overlap it’s characters, but it’s still introducing new elements and world building every season. I remember a lot if people thought Arya won’t go to Braavos “because it’s too complicated, and they can just have her train with Jaqen in Westeros or something”. Well, here you go.

    Yes, it’s very possible the show can do without all of this- but we really can’t know. I think that, from a character standpoint, keeping Sam as a sidekick after all his development in season 3 and 4 would make a lot of his scenes pointless. He got some agency, but staying under Jon’s shadow won’t really make use of it.

  40. Peter Vaughan is still unconfirmed to be in season 5, right? And he doesn’t feature in episode 1 either.

  41. In that Oxford interview in the second half D&D discuss fan anger at differences from the books, and the reaction to the rape scene. They’re philosophical (people will have differences of opinion about adaptation, about character arcs) but defend their choices. They’re sorry that it messes up Jaime’s redemption arc, but he’s not simply good or bad. Nice to see them asked so directly about something that’s so often discussed here.

    Also they’re very aware that the NYT has not given them good reviews. It’s funny but understandable that that would bug them.

  42. Also at the end they say the actor who was upset at being killed this year also wrote a long letter to them explaining why he shouldn’t die.

  43. Felt Pelt,

    Now that we know about Mance possibly dying for good instead of having a whole arc, could that be him? That would definitely qualify for someone who expected to get a lot of screentime and ended up with a surprisingly small amount (in this case, 1 episode). Maybe there’s still some hope for Barristan?
  44. Felt Pelt,

    Which makes me think it maybe wasn’t Ian McElhinney. He just doesn’t seem like the kind of person that would do that. Feels like a diva moment to me. But I could be totally wrong of course…
  45. Greenjones,

    Maybe… I just can’t think of someone who fits the bill…

    Mods: All my posts go into moderation today, any idea why that is? Am I doing something wrong? IP problems maybe?

  46. Felt Pelt: In that Oxford interview in the second half D&D discuss fan anger at differences from the books, and the reaction to the rape scene.

    I loved the answer. I especially loved that he started off with an answer to the last part of the question, that is, some book fans’ furor over that scene would not influence their own writing choices in the future. Very direct addressing of many issues surrounding that scene, and explaining why that scene was written that way, and what that meant for Jamie’s character arc.
    That was an excellent interview.

  47. Abyss,

    It’s not you, it’s Akismet, the spam filter. It’s gone a bit haywire on our server’s end. Technical problem, Oz and Dame are working on it. It’s either turn the filter off (which would run the site over with loads of spam posts) or be patient as we free the real posts that wind up in moderation. I’m sorry, we’re approving comments as fast as we can.

  48. Greenjones,


    Hmmm… I agree that that doesn’t sound like something Ian would do… If we CAN believe Patchface, or at least if he has a solid prediction, I could see this being Tommen. Keep in mind that actor managed to wyrm himself into a huge role in season 4 after already having played a different, dead character. Also, the whole flashback prophecy being the opening sequence of the season kind of demands something to happen by the end, and it looks like Myrcella is going to make it back to King’s Landing unscratched.

    Either way, I’m still worried for Selmy. Him not being at the Pit has to mean something.

  49. jentario,

    Ah, but I really doubt that it will be that important!

    I think it very much more probable that Howand Reed will be the one to tell us (and Jon) who his parents are. I doubt that the Maesters will do much regarding Azor Azai or the White Walkers: to the contrary, given the things that Maester Luwin tells Bran, I expect that the Maesters will be “denialists” insisting that AA is a myth and that the White Walkers are long extinct if they ever existed.

    The only hint that the Maesters might offer anything for the overarching plot is the suggestion in Crows that they have been trying to rid the world of magic, and that they were responsible for the elimination of dragons. However, I am betting that this will be a Jordanesque tangent that will be snuffed out nearly as soon as we learn of it.

  50. H. Stark,

    I think it was a joke. Kit funnily worded it as “I’d like to be inside a wolf” and the audience laughed, which led Weiss to quip “Two words, season 6.”

  51. jentario,

    What I find amusing is that some posters here seem to think that

    they are deviating markedly from the books by not making it clear that Mance survived. Now, it might be that he is dying right away. However, people reading the books should all think that Mance is dead before learning to the contrary. Thus, the viewers should get the same shock.

    Of course, it might just be that we are all in for a shock! Still, it would not alter things too much:

    unless, of course, you believe that Mance is behind the whole “pink letter” and not soon to die in Ramsay’s cage! 😀
  52. Wimsey,

    I think the Maesters are (unknowingly) sitting on something big. I also think that the involvement of Jaqen and a Sand Snake (both of which are introduced in season 5) makes it about much more than just the Maesters. There is some knowledge in the Citadel, that’s my bet.
  53. Wimsey,

    Not sure if Oldtown itself is as important as Sam being initiated into the “greater mysteries” frowned upon by most Maesters but studied by the rag-tag group that he meets there led by Maester Marwyn (I think that was his name–it’s been while). The obsidian candle, Mirri Maz Dur, etc. The whole scene with that group and Sam screams Marvel Comics to me. Misfits save the world and all that. I don’t think we can discount their importance yet.
  54. I hate to piss on peoples bonfire regarding Sam meeting new characters.

    If you listen to the interview with JB that is not what he says. He talks about major characters who are big fishes in their own ponds interacting. Strikes me as a specific reference to Stannis and Mance. Nowhere does he say Sam will meet people you don;t expect him to.

    Unless there is another interview I missed I think we’re reading into misinformation.

  55. It’s probably still McElhinney. He seems to have been really excited to be in the series, and maybe really looked forward to getting to do things as cool as the “carving a cake” speech in S1. He knows it’s one of his biggest roles ever and he’s expecting from the source material a lot more to come. And then he dies.

    Makes me feel sorry for whoever it is. They joke “it made us want to kill them more.” I think it’s understandable an actor might get attached to good material and very visible role, and feel heartbroken at being written off. The actor’s comment in EW about the GoT production being lovely people might be an olive branch in a rift.

    Also, they need to work on the quality control of their bad news phone calls. He refers to having to call people to tell them but so many actors even in their promotional videos talk about learning the news by reading the scripts.

  56. As far as Sam and

    Oldtown… I feel strongly that he needs to go. Braavos alone can substitute as Oldtown, anywhere he goes will do – but he needs to journey away from Jon, and learn new Maestery things. It’s one of the most admirable moves Jon as a leader makes, training an ally at the expense of his desire to keep his friend close, getting the baby away (even if the baby storyline is dropped) It’s good for Sam too. Serious disappointment if he rots at the Wall..
  57. H. Stark,

    Very nice – thanks for posting. Intelligent questions (for the most part) and entertaining responses. Love John Bradley – witty and thoughtful. And David Benioff is incredibly handsome.

  58. Guys I seen a photo of Zoe Grizdale with Iwan Rheon (Ramsay Bolton) at the premiere and she looks really like the girl he was kissing in the trailer.. as in the suspected girl he’s going to marry. Can anyone tell me if she was just a guest or whether that definitely is Charlotte Hope (Myranda) he kisses in the trailer because it really doesn’t look like her and everyone said it was. I’d love if Wotw could do a speculative article on Jeyne Poole and the possibilities of her on the show.

  59. jhhjkhkjh,

    She actually does look a lot like Zoe, but I believe the actress who plays Myranda already said that it was her in the trailer. I could be wrong though.

  60. ace,

    He also has a ton of screen time in season 5. Kit has said he spent more days filming this season than ever before. The actor in question was surprised to see how few dates he was scheduled to film.
  61. ace,

    People really aren’t getting it, right?

    Here’s what we know of the character who is going to die:

    1. They have been in the show for quite a while.
    2. They have had a relatively small role until now.
    3. If the show followed the books, they would have a much larger role in season five. Instead, they will die prematurely.
    4. The actor has read the books or at least is aware of their storyline.

    How does that fit Jon in any way? Jon’s role has never been small; he will be alive at least until episode 8, at Hardhome; and the actor has said he has worked more than ever before. Also, if he has read the books… he knows he dies in the end, or apparently dies anyway! If they kill him, that wouldn’t be a surprise. It’s what’s expected.
  62. jentario,
    Ashara D,

    The thing to remember is that

    this isn’t Marvel comics! Sam is the only protagonist there; and although GRRM does have a bad habit of putting too many narratives into a story, all of the narratives have the lead character doing something in parallel with the other protagonists. Given the preview chapters that we’ve gotten, I would bet that Winds of Winter is going to be a story about choosing between sides: and knowing GRRM, it will hinge a lot on cases where people really don’t like the choice; either they are rooting for both sides and cannot get them to consolidate, or they are forced to choose which of two enemies with whom to ally.

    Regardless of whether this is correct, Sam will be doing whatever it is that Jon, Daeny, Arya, Tyrion, etc. are doing in some general way just as he did in Crows/Dragons and Swords.

    What this probably will revolve around is whatever conspiracies the Maesters are hatching. However, if the show simply never bothers to introduce those conspiracies, then the story will be not the worse for not having Sam solve the issues that arise from them: and they can just cut to the chase, whatever that chase might be.

  63. Has anyone seen the interview where d & d say that this season there was one actor who didn’t want his character to die and sent them a long letter explaining why he thought it was a bad idea to kill him off?

  64. Lucy:
    Has anyone seen the interview where d & d say that this season there was one actor who didn’t want his character to die and sent them a long letter explaining why he thought it was a bad idea to kill him off?

    It is at the end part of the video posted just above, just search for “H. Stark” post

  65. ctid,

    There actually was an interview where he said something like Sam meets people you wouldnt expect him to meet. Those were almost the exact words.

  66. Crabber’s Son,

    Yeap, he did. Specifically, he said:

    “Characters you’d never expect [Sam] to meet actually meet him.”

    For me, that does point to Sam travelling away this season. His possible interactions with Team Dragonstone will indeed be new, but they won’t unexpected. It’s gotta be someone else… and there is no “someone else” for Sam to meet while stuck at the Wall, is there?

    Unless there are surprise arrivals at the Wall not based on the books at all, which may be a possibility, Sam simply has to go somewhere if he is to meet anyone unexpected. Braavos, Oldtown, whatever.

  67. Wimsey,

    I realize it isn’t Marvel; the scene gave me that vibe though. Last we saw that group, they were heading down to the harbor. Are they going somewhere? Will they meet other characters? It is already a crossing of the already-consolidated northern storyline and the Dorne storyline (Alleras), as well as a southern appearance of obsidian, and that obsidian BURNS. Will they also encounter Iron Islanders with Dany in tow? Jent is right: the Maesters have some information that is important to the end game. The location is immaterial, but the crossing of Sam with the Maesters’ accumulated knowledge is crucial to the final conflict between Ice and Fire. He can’t get that staying at the Wall. And I enjoy seeing the Westerosi equivalent of the academic establishment brought low. 😉

  68. Ashara D,

    I mean… he could get all that while staying at the Wall. Granted, getting that knowledge at the Castle Black library is kind of lame, especially comparing it to the epic journey to Oldtown and the ensuing conspiracy; but it’s not impossible or unlikely. It would be disappointing, but it’d be one of those cases in which Unsullied wouldn’t know what they’re missing.

  69. H. Stark,

    Just catching up with things…Wow, I really enjoyed that Oxford Union session. Thx for the link. Actually decent questions from the audience….heck of a lot better than many of the con questions.

    “Season 6” had me pumped. It wasn’t just a joke.

    Given all the insights and second by second recollections for ep1, I can’t believe the HBO season opener is still over 3 weeks away.

  70. Ashara D,

    My thought is that the information (if it exists) will not be worth including in the show. But my other point is that it cannot be plot for the sake of plot. Whatever failings GRRM has as a writer, storyless plot is not one of them. To that end, there will have to be something that raises some serious contradictory thoughts/feelings in Sam. However, whatever the internal conflict d’jour of Winter is, chances are pretty good that Sam can have his version at the Wall.

  71. Wimsey,

    Agreed that Sam doesn’t have to leave the Wall to have his story told, but, what about the actor’s claims what Sam will meet someone we won’t expect this season? Doesn’t that necessitate Sam leaving the Wall?

  72. Luka Nieto,

    If it’s the one where he tells Kit to get out of his interview then he doesn’t say it about Sam meeting people. It’s a missquote.

    I’m convinced he doesn’t say Sam will meet unexpected people. He says that people you wouldn’t expect to interact with each other end up interacting.

  73. Luka Nieto,


    Luka made my point. Sam can get information at CB, but is it good for the story for Sam to get that info in such a static way? Can Sam have thoughts and feelings that will develop his character at CB? Sure, but not without a lot of original writing on D&D’s part to showhis development (because you are talking about character development there). My original point had less to do with Sam and more to do with the importance of the Maesters’ info on frozen fire. The endgame involves the magical elements, and there is information that can only come from Maesters with that knowledge (or, granted, their books), so that knowledge needs to be communicated in an entertaining way for the show. Given that, I don’t think that, as a viewer of the show and reader of the books to this point, that you can irrefutably say that Oldtown, or at least a journey by Sam that would have him cross paths with a Maester with the forbidden knowledge of the supernatural elements (Qyburn perhaps?), is cut. It makes for a better visual story. I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree. Call me stubborn (you wouldn’t be the first), but I still think it likely.

    The Oxford panel was great! Thanks for posting it, H. Stark!

  74. Personally I don’t care that.much if a certain someone dies. He is an ok character in the books but he does not blow my mind. And he didn’t tell me anything in the movies. And to be honest I don’t care much about anyone in that story line either…

    Why do you guys like him that much??

  75. The more I hear about the actor being upset about his death, the more I’m sure

    that actor is ‎Ian McElhinney, I remember watching interviews with him and how excited he was about playing Barristan, he was also a big fan of the books. If I were playing Barristan and they would kill me off, as a big fan of the books I think I would have reacted the same. If true, I think this will be the first time I’m gonna get really upset about a change the tv show made. I really like Barristan (and the actor) and I was pissed by how little screentime he got in both season 3 and 4, and I was really expecting that with Jorah gone, we would see more of him in season 5. Of course, there’s the possibility that he is not who D&D are talking about, but thats really unlikely, so far he’s the only one that really fits the bill.

    Oh well… 🙁

  76. Ashara D,

    I’m totally fascinated by Sam’s Oldtown/Citadel adventure and how the supposed maester conspiracy, Euron’s/faceless/Dornish interests and horns, candles, and magical items are handled. I absolutely love how “Pate” provided the eerie bookends for AFfC. Sam has ventured into another variant of the troubling maelstrom building in Westeros. But will any of this be adapted? I think it best to remain on the page and within the reader’s imaginations, but I’ll be pleasantly surprised if they bring some of the Oldtown intrigue closer to the Wall.

  77. Narbo: Funny, when i listened to it I’m sure Dan said they respected book readers’ opinions,

    Those also are two different statements. Only a small proportion of the book readers are fans, and only a small proportion of the fans are purists. What the general readers want and what many fans want from the future books are often different, and what the general readers want from the future books is almost definitely different from what the purists want from the future books.

    On the other hand, what the general viewership of the show want from upcoming seasons and what general readers of the series want from upcoming books will overlap highly.

  78. Jesterr223458: ut Sam’s AFFC arc is not character developement,is just the usual bullshit travalogue filler that we’ve come to expect of Martin post ASOS .

    That is incorrect. If you were given a Lit 101 (or 201 or whatever) exam with Game of Thrones questions, you would be expected to identify Sam’s arc, and how the dynamic development in that arc parallels the dynamic development in the arcs of other characters. In particular, there are strong parallels between Sam & Quentyn and Sam & Jaime. In all cases, there is the conflict between what the world and their fathers in particular expected them to be, and the people that they really are. There are somewhat different directions that the arcs take, but they are very similar.

    If anything, then Sam’s stuff subjects GRRM to a different criticism: he has a penchant for over telling the story. We do not need three arcs like this in one story. Moreover, given that Jaime and Sam are second tier protagonists (I don’t know what the “official” term for that is off the top of my head) and given that Quentyn is a 3rd tier one, that is a lot to invest in characters that probably will not be important for the climax of the whole series. (The “Big Six” will be the critical ones there.)

    But that is why I also suspect that the Maesters “schemes” probably will not be worth including in the show. This plot probably exists for the primary purpose of making story for Sam. The show definitely doesn’t need that: they can communicate Sam’s “killing Randyl’s failed boy and letting Samwell’s true man be born” arc at the Wall just as effectively.

  79. Ashara D: Luka made my point. Sam can get information at CB, but is it good for the story for Sam to get that info in such a static way?

    Yes, it is. Brevity is the soul of wit, after all. Introducing separate plot line to tell one minor protagonists story makes for bad storytelling because it makes the narrative needlessly complicated.

    Ashara D: My original point had less to do with Sam and more to do with the importance of the Maesters’ info on frozen fire. The endgame involves the magical elements, and there is information that can only come from Maesters with that knowledge (or, granted, their books), so that knowledge needs to be communicated in an entertaining way for the show.

    The endgame will not involve magical elements. The endgame will be purely driven by some collective and probably contradictory set of choices from Jon, Daeny, Tyrion, Arya and Sansa (and possibly Bran). This is not Tolkien, after all!

    (Indeed, the Lord of the Rings films withstood the same thing quite well. Despite what Tolkien fans told themselves, nobody was confused about why the Witch King died without the films providing the specific information that only particular swords such as the one that Merry had could make him susceptible to damage.)

    At any rate, I think that people are hoping to find krugerrands instead of spare change under the sofa cushions where the Maesters are concerned! There will be something there: but it won’t add up to much, and in the end I suspect that many people will think that it was not worth the effort involved.

  80. Ashara D,
    Hodor’s Bastard,

    I loved reading about Oldtown, the Citadel and Pate and the gang. Sam’s presence there promises to provide a few surprises.

    I agree that the Maesters have information that is important to the end game. Sam will get access to that information. Unfortunately, with the contraction of story lines, I doubt that we will see Oldtown/the Citadel in the show. Little time has been devoted to establishing either Oldtown or the Citadel as a place of interest. Nor have we gotten the full sense of the role that the Maesters play in the great houses or that they may be in possession of crucial information. I think that Sam will need to come upon this intell in a different way than the books…perhaps at CB. We know that he loves the library there. Personally, I would love to see Sam in Oldtown and agree that it is important to his character development. (He needs to do more than shuffle around behind Jon.) I just don’t think that it will happen.
  81. H. Stark,

    That was an absolutely fantastic panel. Both the moderators and the audience asked good questions and all of the participants – David, Dan, Kit, and John – all gave some extremely insightful, eloquent, and thoughtful answers to some strong questions. Thank you for sharing!

  82. mariamb,

    Ah, but Sam does not need to do more than shuffle around behind Jon! Sam would if he were a major protagonist, but he is not. Unlike Jon, Sam is not going to be important at the crux of the over-arching story. Jon might be standing on Sam’s and other’s shoulders, so to speak: but it will be about Jon, Daeny, Tyrion, Arya & Sansa (and maybe Bran) doing what they do while standing on the shoulders of lesser protagonists, secondary characters and incidental characters.

    There are two important concepts here: necessary vs. unnecessary, and relevant vs. irrelevant. Things can be relevant but unnecessary: and what we are talking about here almost certainly will fall in that department. The “solutions” are not going to be analogs of tossing a Ring into a fire: they are going to be analogs of walking to the forest alone. What Sam does might be relevant to why Jon does his “walk to the forest” (in whatever form that comes), but it will not be the sole reason why.

  83. Luka Nieto,

    I think D&D are refering to

    the f**cking Meryn Trant

    character. He has been there since season 1, but he seens to have more participation this coming season. I don’t know if the actor has read the books or not, but it seems to fit doesn’t it?

  84. OT: This has already been posted in the comments of a different article on this website, but for those who are interested, here goes: GeeklyInc, the same website that posted the first few episode titles for Season 5 (which latter turned out to be accurate) claims that a trusted source has revealed to them the titles of Episodes 5, 6, and 7. http://geeklyinc.com/game-of-thrones-season-5-ep-5-7-titles-revealed/

    For those who are interested, the proposed titles are …

    Episode 5: Kill The Boy

    Episode 6: Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken

    Episode 7: The Gift

    Again, these titles isn’t confirmed, but they at least sound plausible. Personally, I think that they would be great titles, especially the one for Episode 5.

  85. Jared,

    Awesome titles! My guesses:

    Kill the Boy- Jon executes Janos Slynt after a conversation with Aemon in his deathbed
    Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken- Doran diffuses the Sand Snakes and starts politicking the shit out of the situation (which is pretty bad- a raging battle between a Lannister and some Martells)
    The Gift- Arya’s first contract- that thin insurance man that was being cast. Hopefully she gets to change her face!
  86. Mance’s fuckable pride,

    It probably has multiple meanings. I can think of three.

    The two that spring to mind for me are ‘the gift of mercy’, i.e. the term that the Faceless Men use for granting a quick, humane death. Arya learns to administer the gift once she starts her training, both with respect to the parishioners who come to the House of Black and White seeking it and with respect to various assassination contracts, such as her assigned mission to kill the ship insurance salesman. Other characters across Westeros use the term as as well.

    The Gift could also refer to the land adjacent to the Wall that’s under the direct control of the Night’s Watch. Jon and Stannis allow the wildlings who have passed through the Wall to settle there, causing conflict among various factions present in the North.

    At the end of AFFC, Littlefinger also claims that he has several gifts for Sansa – namely a proposed marriage to Harry the Heir that will eventually allow her to become the Lady of the Vale and give her the military strength to reclaim Winterfell once she reveals herself as Sansa Stark. Harry the Heir is almost certainly cut, but Sansa will be going to Winterfell this season, so perhaps her reclaimation of her birthright could be considered The Gift as well.

    However, the title is vague enough that it could have other potential meanings as well. I’m eager to find out (if it is indeed the correct title – which again, is not confirmed).

  87. Sue the Fury,

    Thanks, I really appreciate you looking into it! It’s not my intention to clutter up the comment section or create extra work for you – I only posted that information here because that particular website has been correct about such things in the past. I intend to treat the titles with a healthy degree of skepticism until you and your sources can confirm (or debunk) them independently. 🙂

  88. Wimsey,

    Yeah, when I was responding to the potential titles in the comments of the TellTale game article, I gave you a little shoutout. You’ve been a strong advocate for the idea that the phrase in question (or a variation on it) concisely summarizes every character’s storyline in AFFC and ADWD. If the potential title in question is indeed accurate, it would seem that Benioff and Weiss agree (it’s almost as if they read the same books that you did). 😉

  89. Wimsey,
    Let me rephrase: I don’t think that it makes for compelling TV to have Sam shuffle around behind Jon for three more seasons. With D&D’s comment about their enjoyment of writing for Sam/John Bradley, I hope that we see more of his “personal journey.”

    they can communicate Sam’s “killing Randyl’s failed boy and letting Samwell’s true man be born” arc at the Wall just as effectively.

    Love this statement! Of course, Sam’s true man can be born at the Wall.

    However, I prefer the suggestion made by another poster that Sam could travel to Braavos to meet with Tycho Nestoris on behalf of the NW. Honestly, I don’t much care where it happens as long as it does.
  90. I don’t doubt that they’ll find a way to get Sam away from the Wall. However, I think they’ll find a better use for him then creating an entire new setting in Oldtown.

    Has the show even namechecked Oldtown once? I know we’ve heard the Citadel mentioned but for all show-watchers know, it’s in King’s Landing.

    The show has taken great pains in contracting the story at this point, not expanding it. They don’t like to have characters going off on their own isolated journeys and storylines if they can absolutely help it.

    Could Sam go to Braavos? Sure. Could he end up going to Winterfell with Stannis or linking up with Theon/Sansa? Maybe. Would there be some reason for Brienne and him to cross paths if she comes North (perhaps with a Rickon-mission)? I’ll buy it.

    But sending him on a ship to a brand new city where no other major character is so he can talk to some brand new characters and read some books? I don’t see it.

  91. King Tommen,

    The show likes new locations though and they have the budget to do it. What new locations will we have next season? If not Oldtown?

  92. Crabber’s Son:
    King Tommen,

    The show likes new locations though and they have the budget to do it. What new locations will we have next season? If not Oldtown?

    They like new locations if they’re important. They weren’t even sure whether they could introduce Dorne or not until late in the process.

    And it’s not so much the location as the isolation of characters. They aren’t going to send Sam and Gilly somewhere all by themselves for a season or more. The characters are all condensing and running into each other, not splitting up and going somewhere new on their own.

  93. This is in regards to the actor who wrote the letter to D&D, mentioned at the very end of the Oxford Union interview. I’m just putting a spoiler tag on the whole thing because I’m lazy.

    Tommen/Chapman and Selmy/McElhinney both seemed too chipper, optimistic, and polite in their very recent interviews (the latter has a video interview and a magazine interview which is also featured on WotW) for me to consider either of them to be the actor who wrote the letter to D&D resisting the death of their character. Both actors either suggested or said outright that they basically were excited or hopeful to work with GoT in the future—why would an actor who was killed off AND resentful of it be that hopeful or expectant after such a falling out?

    For me it seems more obvious that it’s Mance/Hinds—though I will also admit that it could be Loras/Finn (with greater reservations about the latter).

    While of course a sizeable chunk of the main cast was MIA at this premiere, consider also that neither Hinds nor Jones were at the premiere. Doesn’t seem McElhinney was there either, but like I said he was interviewed recently and seemed very content with himself. If D&D really had bad blood with this letter-writing actor (and it seems pretty bad, considering what they said about wanting to kill the character off more after receiving the letter), I wonder if they’d be at premieres or promotional events so gladly speaking with the press. One thing that makes me doubt it’s Loras is the interview with Finn Jones from late(r) 2014 where he talked up Season 5 very excitedly—he was practically gushing about it and this doesn’t strike me as being in line with someone who has been resentfully killed off. Of course, he could still be killed off! But possibly he’s not the guy who wrote the letter.

    Mance/Hinds seems to just fit the bill more than the others, and if he was truly killed off in the first episode, well……….even if Selmy, Loras, and Tommen all die they’ve obviously been given more to do than Mance! Selmy apparently has big fight scenes this season (which the actor proudly boasts about) and Loras’ and Tommen’s storylines seem much more active also—at least by comparison to Mance’s which it would seem ended abruptly in Ep1. I would think it’s more insulting to be killed off in the very first episode than the second or third or fourth. Agree that Hinds could have been used better but also agree that the glamour storyline is exhaustive and probably unnecessary. Mance definitely had more to do according to the books, and to have him die in the very first episode of the season seems like a better reason for the actor to be upset enough to write a letter.

    But also, admittedly, while Hinds seems to be a big enough actor outside of GoT, was he actually a big enough character to have his own trailer since he didn’t even have that much screen time? Who knows, maybe the letter-writer and the actor mentioned in EW are two different people. The actor in the EW interview says that they’re “just nice people” which doesn’t strike me as resentful, just sad.

    (Also re: whether the letter-writer is young or old—I don’t think age matters so much, to be honest. From my experience, it only takes a person who believes themselves intellectual, eloquent, persuasive, or superior enough to write a long-winded letter to do so.)

    Just my two cents?

  94. I could also be totally wrong, of course. Is there a new or recent enough interview with

    Ciaran Hinds

    that might contradict this? I feel like I haven’t seen any so far…but if there is one of him happily plugging Season 5… That could be very telling.

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