Watchers on the Wall Awards Season 8: The Best Quotes of Season 8

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Welcome back for another round of Watchers on the Wall Awards finals round voting! In between your last-minute holiday shopping runs and family gatherings, spare a moment to celebrate the words of Game of Thrones. This week, we’re choosing our favorites of season 8, from the quotes that made you giggle, to the speeches that made you weep, to the serious bits that made you think. When it comes to our awards, we break it down into multiple categories: Funniest Quote, Best Speech, and All-Around Best Quote! There are three polls in this post, so make sure to vote in all three to make your final choice known in this year’s awards ceremony.

We narrowed down two of the categories in our prelims. You can see the results from the prelims here:

All three polls are found below, so debate, consider and vote!


Final round rules: To choose winners, cast your vote in each category in the polls below. In the finals, unlike the preliminaries, fans have one vote to cast in each category. At the end of one week (Friday 12/30/19 at 5PM ET), the quote/speech in each category with the most votes will be the winner! The results of the polls will be revealed during the live Watchers on the Wall Awards ceremony, specific date to be announced soon!

Best All-Around Quotes of Season 8

Funniest Quote of Season 8:

Best Speech of Season 8

Thank you for voting, and happy holidays!

45 responses

Jump to (and Always Support) the Bottom

    1. They were all brilliant. Mr. Benioff and Mr. Weiss did a really good job with the Dialogues. I will go with Dany’s victory speech.

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    2. Best all-round quote: In the name of the Warrior, I charge you to be brave. In the name of the Father, I charge you to be just. In the name of the Mother, I charge you to defend the innocent. Arise, Brienne of Tarth. A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms. – Jaime Lannister

      Funniest quote: I killed a giant when I was 10. Then I climbed right into bed with his wife. When she woke up, you know what she did? Suckled me at her teat for three months. Thought I was her baby. That’s how I got so strong: giant’s milk. – Tormund Giantsbane

      But the I always got blue eyes, is the second one. But the other one of Thormund just won over this one.

      Best speech: Jaime recites the oath while knighting Brienne (“A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms”)

      seems episode 2 win in all categories for me.

      KG,

      Which one did you vote? 😀

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    3. All-Around Best Quote of Season 8:
      In the name of the Warrior, I charge you to be brave. In the name of the Father, I charge you to be just. In the name of the Mother, I charge you to defend the innocent. Arise, Brienne of Tarth. A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms. – Jaime Lannister

      Funniest Quote of Season 8:
      Tyrion: The last time we spoke was at Joffrey’s wedding. A miserable affair. Sansa: It had its moments.

      Best Speech of Season 8:
      Jaime recites the oath while knighting Brienne (“A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms”

      I was going to go with “blue eyes” for funniest quote, but I really enjoyed the callback to the Purple Wedding, which might be my favorite episode of the series. It was the first time that Sansa and Tyrion had a chance to converse since Joffrey’s murder way back in season 4.

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    4. Dany’s speech was the best, simply because of how well B&W paid homage to Riefenstahl’s propaganda imagery in Triumph of the Will, and for Emilia Clarke nailing it in a single take (!). You can just see the inhabitants of Volantis, Pentos, Lis, Asshai, Ibben, Winterfell, Dorne, and every other place in the world with their necks fully under the jackboots of The Unsullied. It was the most terrifying scene in a series full of them.

      A true story: during the first watch of The Iron Throne, I actually said “Love is the death of duty,” before Kit Harrington read the line. I then answered Tyrion’s question with “Maester Aemon Targ’,” again before Kit read the line; my spouse immediately stopped the playback, asking what the heck was going on. It was in that moment the brilliance of the story fully hit me: love vs. duty was always going to be Jon Snow’s final conflict, because it was the conflict which had defined his life: Ned had chosen his love of Lyanna (and Lyanna’s child) over Ned’s duty to this friend and liege, King Robert. Jon ultimately chooses the other path. (That it was a Targ’ who laid out this conflict to Jon just ices the cake.)

      Sansa’s rejoinder to Tyrion gets my vote, as a rare moment of humor and warmth from Sansa, who never got many reasons to be warm or funny over eight very long seasons.

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    5. Melisandre: What do we say to the god of death? Arya: Not today.
      (I predicted in a WotW poll that episode 3 would be titled “Not Today”. Perhaps they thought it was too much of a spoiler and went with “The Long Night” instead..

      Funniest…yep…definitely…Giant’s Milk… I had some good chuckles on the Blue Eyes line though…

      Best speech…I was thinking of giving it to Jon for his Shakespearean Eulogy, but had to give it to Sandor…

      Happy Holidays everyone! I’m really hoping for the giant coffee table Photo book!!

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    6. As usual, I’ll probably end up in a minority (giant’s milk didn’t make me laugh, so I *am* in a minority). I voted for Bran’s quote, because , besides its emotional load, I find it emblematic of the story (it’s not blood or name that matter most in the end, but nurture, choices and acts). For “it had its moments” (I love wry humour !)-second would be either blue eyes or Ed. And for Jon’s eulogy because I found it perfectly written and acted.

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    7. “I wanted those elephants” – Cersei, was my favorite, but it came in ninth in the preliminary round.

      Darn.

      🐘🐘🐘🐘🐘🐘

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    8. a little confusing because the Brienne knighted one is in two categories. But I felt it was the best all around quote, and thought Jon’s eulogy was the best. Im assuming Tormunds quote will be voted as the funniest, but like AnnOther, I really didn’t think it funny. Going for the Sam Tarley one – it sounds just like Edd, and he manages to bring lightness to the end of the world, just as was needed

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    9. Best All-Around: “What do we say to the god of death?” The knighting was lovely, but I just loved Mel’s callback to Syrio.

      Funniest: Tormund’s lactic tale…since it’s up for two, may as well pick it in this category. The Edd ones are also great though. xD

      Best Speech: Absolutely Jon delivering the eulogy. That’s such a significant, emotional scene. Honorable Mentions to Bronn’s and again, Brie’s knighting.

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    10. Best all-around: “What do we say to the god of death? Not today.” Summed up that whole episode well, along with the white walker conflict in general.

      Funniest: “Samwell Tarly, slayer of White Walkers, lover of ladies, as if we needed any more signs the world was ending.” If you’d told me when we first met Sam that he’d be doing all that stuff, I’d have slapped you.

      Best: Tyrion’s speech recommending the new king at the Dragonpit. It’s as if the whole series led up to that speech, that one shining moment for Tyrion, when finally after years of arrogance and failure, he finally got to be 100% wise and correct.

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    11. Best all-around: Jaime’s speech knighting Brienne

      Funniest: The Edd’s quote about Samwell Tarly had me smiling. It was accurate to the character and the context.

      Speech: As I had already voted for Jaime and Brienne for all-around, I think Sandor’s speech deserved it. It was a meaningful end to his story with Arya.

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    12. Best all around – What do we say to the god of death? Not today. — That was an easy pick once I read all the choices. Still gives me chills just reading it.

      Funniest – He has blue eyes! I’ve always had blue eyes. — I thought this would be a harder pick, but this one was the only one that literally had me laughing out loud all over again when reading these, so, another really easy pick.

      Speech – Tyrion remarks on Dany’s killing of evil men wherever she goes. — This is the only one that was a tough choice for me. I kept going back and forth between this one and Sandor says goodbye to Arya, but ultimately went for this one because I never had a problem with Dany’s turn. It was all there along the way, and Tyrion’s speech to Jon showed us why… and *why* we still loved her in spite of it. It also showed us exactly why Jon had to kill her because he gave her every reason to prove Tyrion wrong, but she, instead, proved him right with her every word.

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    13. AnnOther: As usual, I’ll probably end up in a minority (giant’s milk didn’t make me laugh, so I *am* in a minority).

      Nor me. It felt a bit contrived, and it sounded like something we’d heard before.

      This wasn’t the best season for memorable quotes, as so much of it was call-backs.

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    14. Jaime’s knighting speech to Brienne/Tormund’s story (namely for the reactions of everyone around him, quite the diverse group of people who have all come together in a collective WTF??)/Jon’s eulogy 🙂

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    15. “Theon, you’re a good man.”

      Brienne’s knighting was a speech. A very impactful one.

      Also, most of my favourites didn’t make it into finals…

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    16. All around quote – Jaime knighting Brienne
      Funniest – Tormund / giants milk
      Best speech – Sandor to Arya

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    17. Best quote: In the name of the warrior… Jaime Lannister

      Funniest quote: I killed a giant when I was 10… Tormund Giantsbane

      Best speech: Daenerys’s victory speech in King’s Landing

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    18. The LightKing:
      They were all brilliant. Mr. Benioff and Mr. Weiss did a really good job with the Dialogues. I will go with Dany’s victory speech.

      What’s with all this “Mr Benioff and Mr Weiss” stuff? Does the sun shine out of their asses for you? For most of us we simply refer to the show runners as D&D or B&W .
      Now stop jerking us off and admit you are really Jack Bauer 24 incognito (who started all this “Mr. Benioff and Mr Weiss” formal addressing crap and using “The Lightking” as another username… LOL 😀

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    19. Grandmaester Flash: Nor me.It felt a bit contrived, and it sounded like something we’d heard before.

      This wasn’t the best season for memorable quotes, as so much of it was call-backs.

      • Yeah, I too thought the “giant’s milk” story felt like something we’d heard before. Was it Tormund’s “baby seal” sex advice from S2 or S3?

      • Question though: Cogman scripted S8e2; it’s my understanding he was more likely to draw on ASOIAF history and lore than Benioff and Weiss.
      Was Tormund’s tale about the origin of his surname “Giantsbane” something that came from the books? Or was that something about mating with a bear? (I’m a “pre-books” fan, so I wouldn’t know the answer.)
      I’m all for a bit of comic relief – if it’s something witty or funny. Perhaps the “giant’s milk” story just didn’t appeal to my sense of humor, though it’s position as finalist in this category means that I, like you and AnnOther, am in the minority:

      AnnOther wrote: ”I’ll probably end up in a minority (giant’s milk didn’t make me laugh, so I *am* in a minority).”

      • I’d have to agree that this “wasn’t the best season for memorable quotes, as so much of it was call-backs.”
      Part of the reason could have been the abridged season (i.e., only six episodes) and the many scenes that consisted of people walking around, running around or looking around without saying anything.
      Nevertheless, the recycling or permutations of quotes from prior seasons (i.e., call-backs) did start to become conspicuous:
      – Mel & Arya repeating Syrio & Arya: “What do we say to the god of death?”… “Not today.
      – Tyrion & Jon inverting Maester Aemon’s adage “Love is the death of duty” into “duty is the death of love.”
      – Tyrion’s punchline-less jackass and honeycomb joke. (*Groan.* It was funny the first time Tyrion used it in S1 during his “confessions” during his trial in the Vale when an exasperated Lysa abruptly shut him up. It had some residual mirth in S5? when Tyrion started telling the “joke” to Grey Worm and Missandei but was again interrupted before he delivered the punchline. Dredging it up a third time in the series finale – again, without delivering the punchline – felt more like filler.
      – Bran parroting back to Jaime, “The things we do for love,” was effective in unnerving Jaime I suppose. Still, a fresh zinger in response to Jaime’s apology would’ve been nice.
      – I guess I should give a pass to Arya giving Sansa a dragonglass dagger in S8e3 and when Sansa said she didn’t know how to use it, Arya telling her “stick them with the pointy end” – though that “first lesson” from Jon to Arya in S1e2 had already been repeated by Arya to Ned in S1e2 or e3.

      Let me emphasize that I am NOT criticizing the show writers:
      – It’d be unrealistic to expect them to come up with iconic quotes and witty rejoinders in the few months they had to compose the scripts.
      – Much of the blame for over-reliance on call-backs has to be laid at the feet of the Big Kahuna himself. Without source material to rely on due to GRRM’s inactivity for close to a decade,
      it’s difficult to fault the showrunners.
      – At the same time, the showrunners’ decision to write the scripts themselves (along with Cogman and Hill?) might have deprived them of fresh voices and more scintillating dialogue. In retrospect, they might have benefitted by delegating or sharing some of the scriptwriting duties with an expanded team of writers. After ten or so years of overseeing so many facets of producing 73 episodes of what had arguably become the greatest show on earth, they must’ve been creatively and mentally exhausted.
      – Unlike the legion of anonymous, name-calling armchair screenwriters bashing Benioff and Weiss (e.g., “D&D are hacks”; “Dumb and Dumberer are amateurs,”; or “D&D butchered [insert book character name]”), I believe they demonstrated they were talented screenwriters from what I understand were many show-only scenes, especially in Season 4. It’s not fair to expect them to be Shakespeare 2.0 every time they put pen to paper.

      I’ve said this before: Even if they whiffed on some scenes and episodes in the last two seasons, there are still at least 60 hours out of ~ 73 total hours of television of unprecedented quality that kept me entertained, and at least 20 hours [=10 feature films] that I’ll keep on a perpetual rewatch loop.*

      * E.g., fillet out High Sparrow, Ramsay torture porn, Euron, S5-S7 LF-WF, and other fast-forwardable stuff.

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    20. Ten Bears: Yeah, I too thought the “giant’s milk” story felt like something we’d heard before.

      Agreed. It was a bit…I dunno, corny. And yes, it sounded like something we’ve already heard before from Tormund. Like, ok dude, we get it. You like to have sex with giants. Got it.

      I also agree about D&D. They made some mistakes, but who doesn’t, and they also made some terrific scenes that even GRRM didn’t think of, such as the conversation between Robert and Cersei in season 1. Terrific scene.

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    21. Ten Bears, Mr Derp
      I agree with most of that. They did come up with some excellent scripts for original scenes, so their writing ability is not in question. Perhaps they did take on too much. And yes, whatever shortcomings there were, most of it can firmly be laid at GRRM’s door. At the very least he should have contributed more in the later stages.

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    22. Grandmaester Flash,

      Addendum to 10:18 am comment:

      There were a few call-backs I was hoping for, and was kind of disappointed weren’t used or alluded to, e.g.:

      (1) • More Maester Aemon words of wisdom and advice, such as:
      – Counseling Jon (in “Kill the Boy” ?) to do what is right even if it was unpopular;
      – Commenting to Sam during Sam’s scroll-reading about Dany’s exploits that “a Targaryean alone in the world is a terrible thing”;
      • Some kind of allusion or parallels to Aemon’s decision to forego his claim to the throne and take the black for the good of the realm (e.g., to avoid internecine disputes and preempt attempts by faction(s) to exploit his claim for their own agendas). After all, Jon Snow aka Aegon Targaryean, like Aemon Targaryean, was an “heir to the Iron Throne” who renounced his claim and royal lineage to live out his life in relative anonymity at the Wall;
      • Since Sam had become close to Aemon, I had expected Sam to bring up Jon’s kinship with Aemon once Sam had discovered Jon was a Targ;
      • For that matter, especially since Aemon had become a mentor and “surrogate grandfather” to Jon, I had expected Jon to mention something about his familial tie to Aemon;
      • Aemon’s reveal of his identity to Jon, including Aemon’s recital of the deaths of his family – including Rhaegar and his “little children” – warranted (in my expectation), a call-back in S8.
      • Plus, after the irreconcilably disparate accounts of Rhaegar (by Barristan and Jorah vs. Robert and Sansa), and the eventual debunking in S7e7 and S8 of the “official” story that Rhaegar had kidnapped and raped Lyanna, I had thought Jon would have some kind of reaction to the reveal of the identities of his real father. Aside from Jon’s brief synopsis of his parentage in the crypts with Dany, I had expected some kind of emotional response – or even some curiosity -about his real father. (In addition, Jon’s self-image had been defined by his second-class status as “bastard.” The show had spent seven seasons and lots of screen time to how just about everyone in his orbit related to Jon as “the Bastard of Winterfell.” I really thought there would be some kind of reckoning, but instead, the realization that he never was a bastard didn’t seem to have any relevance. It was reduced to just another reason out of many for Dany to go nuts.)
      • Beyond the Aunt Dany incest angle, I would’ve thought Jon and Dany would at least say something in passing about Aemon, their only surviving (albeit recently deceased) common relative.
      • If nothing else, Aemon’s heartfelt recital to Jon how the gods were cruel when they had tested his NW vows when he was an old, blind man marooned at the Wall and unable to do anything when he’d learned his family had been slaughtered in KL – “even the little children” of Rhaegar – warranted a bookend scene or “flip side of the story”: that in fact the gods had been magnanimous in ensuring that Aemon Targaryean would be in the right place to serve as mentor/grandfather figure to Rhaegar’s surviving son.
      (They could’ve tacked on some brief exposition about Aemon to Bran’s Zen mumbo jumbo, e.g. in S8e6 when Jon “apologized” to Bran that he wasn’t there when Bran needed him, and Bran responded to Jon that “you were exactly where you were supposed to be.” The same held true for Aemon: he was exactly where he was supposed to be, though he never knew it.)
      • I guess it’s just my subjective impression or wishful thinking that in a season rife with call-backs in which Jon Snow learned he was really Aegon Targaryean, Jon’s tutelage under Aemon Targaryean from Seasons 1-5 merited at least a name-dropping of Aemon and a few lines of dialogue. I felt that the time devoted to developing their relationship – and Aemon’s positive influence over Jon – during the first five seasons, made them ripe for revisiting in S8.

      (2) With the acknowledgment that I’m an unabashed Sandorista (I think Death by Chickenfire coined this term) and die-hard Arya fanboy, and that many of us had discussed this during the long post-S7 hiatus…
      • I was sure – or fervently hoped – that Sandor’s memorable line to Arya, “Remember where the heart is”, would be included in their final scene in the show.
      • That line was rich in potential for dual meanings. Of course, Sandor first used a variation of it when euthanizing the dying farmer in S4e7, telling Arya (not verbatim): “That’s where the heart is. That’s how you kill a man.”
      Soon after, Arya impaled Rorge in the heart with Needle, prompting Sensei Sandor to observe: “You’re learning.
      • In S4e10, a gravely injured Sandor told Arya he was going to die, said “F*ck it. I’m ready”, and asked Arya: ”Remember where the heart is?” (She nodded yes, but refused his request to kill him.)
      • Along with many other commenters, I foresaw that Sandor – not Jon – would be the one to ultimately convince Arya to veer off from her vengeance trail and embrace life. We were right about that: S8e5 delivered that scene.
      • I/we had speculated that:
      (a) Sandor would be mortally wounded defending Arya and Sansa (e.g., gravely burned after conquering his fear of fire to save one or both of the sisters), and again implore Arya to put him out of his misery with the same or similar line: “Remember where the heart is.
      – or –
      (b) Sandor would implore Arya, in the figurative sense, “Remember where the heart is”, i.e. to urge her to embrace her compassionate, human side and forego her vengeance quest.
      That’s essentially what happened in their farewell scene in S8e5. He convinced her that revenge is a self-destructive, dead-end path.
      I just wish he had used that line, “Remember where the heart is.” It would’ve been a resonant call-back.

      P.S. Sorry so verbose. I “updated” my IOS and now can’t cut, paste or edit text like I used to.

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    23. Grandmaester Flash,

      In terms of the Forum, I think sometimes random comments aren’t really made with the express intent of starting an entire conversation. It’s just a comment that ends up picking up steam all on it’s own. It’s hard to make that work in the Forum section or predict which comments will gain steam and which ones won’t.

      I have a lot of respect for D&D for what they’ve done with GoT and always will. IMO, the expedited manner in which they chose to end the last couple of seasons was not a good choice, though. Everyone has different opinions, but I don’t think the dots really joined up in the end. The most obvious problem for me was the dragonpit scene. Sansa asked for independence and it was instantly granted while the other lords just blindly go along with being ruled again. IMO, this is where an extra episode could’ve benefited the narrative.

      Also, allow Dany’s actions to sink in and create some fallout. But instead Dany was dead five minutes after she destroyed King’s Landing, we never got to see any fallout from her actions around the Seven Kingdoms, and five minutes after that everyone was eagerly rejoining the Realm while The North was granted unconditional freedom and self-determination.

      I’ve made my peace with the ending. I don’t think it was that bad, but much of it felt strange to me and would’ve benefited with more time to flesh things out.

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    24. Ten Bears: That’s essentially what happened in their farewell scene in S8e5. He convinced her that revenge is a self-destructive, dead-end path.

      This is one of the scenes in “The Bells” that I didn’t really know what to make of. Sandor is telling Arya that revenge is a dead end path all while he’s seeking revenge on his brother and knows he’s going to die doing it. It just felt a bit hypocritical. Sandor seemed to forget about seeking revenge for a time when he joined that small band of villagers in season 6, but went back to it after the villagers were killed.

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    25. Grandmaester Flash:
      Ten Bears, Mr Derp
      I agree with most of that.They did come up with some excellent scripts for original scenes, so their writing ability is not in question.Perhaps they did take on too much.And yes, whatever shortcomings there were, most of it can firmly be laid at GRRM’s door.At the very least he should have contributed more in the later stages.

      I wonder if George would have been better off continuing to write a couple of scripts per season for the show. I really enjoyed the early episodes he wrote. Hindsight is 20-20. Yet, since his reason/excuse for foregoing writing scripts was to devote his time exclusively to finishing the books, and it appears that he hasn’t been able to make much headway during that time, perhaps he would have been better off keeping his head* in his fictional universe by contributing to the show. While I have not read the books, from book readers on this site I’m generally familiar with the nuances and complexity of his characters and storylines, and the differences in the show after he “divorced” himself from it and let the showrunners take over the crafting and completion of the adaptation.

      * (In interviews, he has described his difficulties in getting back into the mindset of his characters and re-immersing himself in the ASOIAF world.)

      I’ve read lots of his old live journal and blog posts from circa 2009 – 2010, eg while casting for the show. Back then, his excitement was palpable. Likewise, his Episode Commentaries during the early seasons reflect his enthusiasm for the show.
      I do not sense that same excitement in his comments over the past few years, i.e., when the show passed the books. I get the impression writing has become sheer drudgery – like trying to finish an overdue term paper. What used to be a labor of love is now just… labor. And after a quarter century since he started ASOIAF, it’s hard to blame him if he can’t simply lock himself away and crank out the books.

      So yeah, he should’ve stayed involved with the show. I’d bet he would’ve found it easier to commune with his “muse” and had more incentive to write the books, if he had contributed to the scripts, or at least the story lines, of the latter seasons. Without his input (and with fixed time and budget constraints), I suspect the showrunners had to resort to spectacle and cliched solutions rather than develop and complete the intricate story lines GRRM had set up.

      If he ever finishes the books, I’d bet there’s going to be more to Bran’s “powers” than functioning as a memory repository; there won’t be a silly wight hunt “plan;” he won’t rely on the tired old “mothership” device to defeat the WWs; there will be more of a payoff to the WWs’ origins and explanation of their objectives; Nymeria and her pack will do more than make a cameo appearance and then disappear; Tyrion will remain smart and one step ahead of everyone instead of being outsmarted and outmaneuvered by everyone; there will be a defensible reason why so many people sacrificed their lives for Bran, ie not so he could be “bait” for the WWs or be elected king at the end based on his “story;” the reveal of the secret of Jon’s parentage will be more than an excuse for him to stop boinking Dany and one of the many reasons for her to freak out;
      greyscale will presumably become an epidemic threatening the entire population, rather truncated into “Jorah got sick. Jorah got better. The End”; characters won’t suddenly become clueless to service plot points; LF’s demise will be well-plotted and well-deserved; and there will surely be twisty resolutions to the various prophecies the show kind of jettisoned.
      (As for Dorne? I don’t know what to say. After Oberyn’s death, it didn’t seem like book readers were overly enamored with the Martells and Sand Snakes, and the showrunners apparently realized their Dorne detour was a dud and prematurely euthanized it. Euron? On the show, his late addition unnecessarily chewed up screen time; I don’t know if he’s better in the books. Nor do I know if fAegon is fake or real.)

      I also have to wonder if part of GRRM wanted to wash his hands of the show when he saw how far it had diverged from his vision. Looking at his bank statements surely eased some of the sting…

      He could’ve written scripts and guided the show through its conclusion – since he apparently didn’t spend his freed-up time writing the books, notwithstanding his professed intentions and missed deadlines. Maybe with his input the show would’ve had a few more episodes or another season, and avoided the criticism (whether deserved or not) that the last couple of seasons felt rushed.

      Oh well. Too late now. I’ll be content with my “filleted” version of Game of Thrones.

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    26. Grandmaester Flash,

      I think it’s just the opposite, he was too involved with the show. With writing, producing etc. He shouldn’t have done that (even how much I loved his episodes). His focus should be the books then, then he would probably have gotten winds out on time. I understand he wants to be a part of his creation. But I wished he just stayed more in the background. Adviser/ revising the finished script. Luckily with the prequels he knew that was a problem of him, he grand Condell (that’s his name right?) more freedom.

      I also think GRRM should have sold the books per book to HBO, that way he would have had more to say about: I want that part in it. Or I want that book at least to be XX seasons. He gave away his bargain chip. And after that he was a sourpuss when they didn’t do what he advice them to do. If he would have done it this way, he could have urged D&D to put in the characters he seem to be missing.

      D&D are brilliant with adapting the source material. They knew which part or character can be skipped, which part could be start later or which character could start later (like Oberyn starting a bit later or Selyse and Shireen). The changing of some dialogue also make much sense, like the little changes Peter Jackson made with the movie.

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    27. Mr Derp: This is one of the scenes in “The Bells” that I didn’t really know what to make of. Sandor is telling Arya that revenge is a dead end path all while he’s seeking revenge on his brother and knows he’s going to die doing it. It just felt a bit hypocritical. Sandor seemed to forget about seeking revenge for a time when he joined that small band of villagers in season 6, but went back to it after the villagers were killed.

      • I interpreted Sandor’s words – and actions – to mean that he was already too far gone and so consumed with revenge that it eclipsed everything else in life.
      • He told Arya that revenge is all he cared about, and knew it had irrevocably ruined him.
      (Jeez, in the post-Long Night party he even turned down a roll in the hay with a more than willing, comely waitress, because – as I think he admitted to Sansa – only one thing would make him happy. Rule of Thumb: If you’re a single guy invited to partake in a no strings attached romp and flatly turn it down…that’s a pretty good indication you’ve lost any capacity for the enjoyment of life.)

      • So, in “The Bells” I think he was confessing to Arya that it was too late for him – but not for her.
      (He had to bark at her – twice – “look at me! look at me!” just to get her attention before showing her that he was the embodiment of the corrosive effects of prioritizing the pursuit of revenge over life itself; and she really didn’t want to be like him. Sandor wrote himself off as a lost cause; he must have accepted that he was unable to get past his all-consuming desire for revenge to embrace life instead.

      • Based on his own logic, he could’ve just walked away with Arya and let the fires, the dragon, or the Dothraki take out Gregor even if Gregor somehow survived the collapsing Keep. I guess Sandor’s permanent physical disfigurement and emotional trauma deprived him of any hope that he could enjoy living more than dying in the process of exacting vengeance.

      • Yes, Sandor did forget about revenge for a while when he was in Brother Ray’s hippie commune. But the senseless slaughter of Ray and everyone else only reinforced his worldview that good people get butchered for no reason, life is cruel, and the “weak” are prey for killers… or, if you’ll excuse the pun, that it’s a dog eat dog world.

      • Brother Ray espoused a lovey dovey, peace, love and Frisbees philosophy that violence is a disease and you don’t cure it by spreading it; I think Sandor’s retort was that you don’t cure it by dying either. Sandor was right. Turning the other cheek in the face of violence didn’t work.
      I guess the sight of Ray’s corpse strung up on the sept beam, and all of the murdered villagers’ dead bodies on the ground, reinforced Sandor’s worldview.
      • His reaction – reverting back to his “killer” persona – was to grab an axe, search out the perpetrators, and chop them up. I suppose that in Sandor’s mind the senseless murder of his only friend(s) proved that pacifism is for suckers and vindicated his old cynical worldview that people suck and kindness can get you killed (as he warned Arya when she pleaded for the life of the unconscious pork merchant in S3.)

      • Also, I think Sandor’s theological discussion. with Beric in S7e1 (when Beric had no explanation why the Lord of Light kept resurrecting him when Sandor had seen better men hanged, sh*t themselves to death, or beheaded for no good reason – and Sandor observed that if there were any “divine justice” Rabbit Stew Sally would be alive and Beric would be dead) demonstrated that Sandor had not renounced his misanthropic view of humanity, and was not undergoing some kind of Disneyfied metamorphoses from savage brute to redeemed white knight. That may have been impossible. While his innate, obscured “good side” did emerge in his actions (e.g., saving Sansa, fighting for Arya, defending WF), it did not erase the “dark side” produced by the physical and psychological traumas he had suffered. (As he divulged to Arya when he let his guard down in their S4e7 scene: “The pain was bad. The smell was worse. But the worst thing was that it was my brother who did it – and my father, who told everyone my bedding had caught fire… You think you’re on your own?” 😥)

      • What I did find a bit hypocritical or inconsistent was that Sandor apparently took it to heart that Ray and Beric, in virtually identical language, assured Sandor that he was still alive because the god or gods had plans for Sandor Clegane; and Beric (echoing Ray’s sermon that it’s never too late to stop killing people and start helping them), successfully recruited Sandor with the pitch: “You can still help a lot more than you’ve harmed, Clegane. It’s not too late for you.

      • From his decision to join with the Brotherhood to serve “a greater purpose,” and going beyond the Wall with Jon on his silly wight hunt, and then helping to defend WF, I thought Sandor might find some noble purpose in life that would eclipse his lifelong desire to even the score with Gregor.
      (On the other hand, Beric’s pitch did include the
      the acknowledgment: “You’re a fighter. You were born a fighter.”)

      • Another way I’ve tried to reconcile the apparent contradiction in Sandor’s own death wish versus urging Arya to save herself because killing Cersei would mean sacrificing her own life, is to accept that like other characters (e.g., Jaime), doing “good” or even helping more than they’ve harmed in the past doesn’t constitute complete absolution, and does not wash away ingrained hatred or self-loathing.
      Like a relapsing addict, the “honorable” Ser Jaime abandoned Brienne and reverted back to his self-hating, wicked sister-loving self.
      On the other end of the spectrum, Jon Snow could not help but abide by his avowed purpose to “guard the realms of men” even though it meant killing his girlfriend (and assassinating his Queen), sacrificing his honor, and (once again) risking his likely execution. Like Jaime, he could not escape his nature.

      • Similarly, for all his efforts to repudiate “the Hound,” acknowledge his guilt and “help more than he’d harmed,” Sandor Clegane could not get past the pain that had made him the vengeance-obsessed Hound in the first place.

      • I had held out hope that his expressions of guilt and shame for the “things” he’d done in his confession to Brother Ray would be a first step in his salvation. Then when Sandor asked: “If the gods are real, why haven’t they punished me?” and Ray replied “They have”, I thought he was ready to turn over a new leaf. His genuine remorse for assaulting and robbing Rabbit Stew Sally’s father and callously leaving them to perish because they were “weak,” seemed to suggest that his conscience had awakened. His begrudging camaraderie with Thoros and Beric, and joining with them in their quest to defend against an existential threat, appeared to signal that he was ready to rejoin humanity, and may have found a lofty, noble purpose for his life instead of his single-minded pursuit of ale, wine, chicken, and Gregor’s demise.

      • In my wishful thinking fanfic head canon, I wanted Sandor to sail off into the sunset with Arya, or serve as Lord Commander of Sansa’s Queensguard. At the very least, since he was already living on borrowed time after being left for dead, I hoped he’d go out in a literal and figurative blaze of glory, braving his fear of fire and sacrificing himself to save the lives of his sobbing surrogate daughter(s) – a tragic and melodramatic weepfest of an ending (though admittedly cliched).

      • I have to concede that the ending we got was probably more faithful to the spirit of the show. (Only a handful of characters got a truly “heroic” death. Off the top of my head, Lyanna Mormont, Theon, Barristan and Jorah come to mind. I’d include Beric too, except he already had a half-dozen previous deaths.)

      • For the mean-spirited, foul-mouthed character who started out as Joffrey’s homicidal attack dog, carved up patsies for sport, boasted that “killing is the sweetest thing there is,” earned the title of “The Worst Sh*t in the Seven Kingdoms”, and provoked Arya to scream “burn in hell!” and promise that someday she was going to put a sword through his eye and out the back of his skull, to conclude Sandor’s story with his affectionate words to Arya while gently cradling her head, and then Arya calling out to him as he walked away: “Sandor! … Thank you.” was probably the best kind of ending I could hope for without degenerating into sappy sentimentality.

      • Sure, a glorious hero’s death would have pleased me but wouldn’t really be faithful to the shades of grey of Sandor’s character. Nor would a
      complete transformation of reformed bad guy turned lovable good guy (who already cheated death) who lives happily ever after

      •. Going off to meet his unalterable fate while convincing his young protege that unlike him, she could still choose life over vengeance; with both of them accepting that while he was doomed it wasn’t too late for her, and she should not and need not follow in his footsteps, was the most I could reasonably hope for.

      • Both actors did a great job. He went from barking at her to affectionately touching her head and looking in her eyes while speaking tenderly to her. She went from angry and laser-focused on “I’m going to kill her!” until he physically pulled her back and his words softened her snarling face, and she looked up at him with puppy dog eyes – the hardened killer turned back into the sweet girl she used to be.

      • I tell myself it was fitting that Sandor Clegane, a warrior afflicted with incapacitating PTSD from his childhood, couldn’t just walk away without taking care of “unfinished business.” Though he did overcome his paralyzing fear of fire when he saw Arya in peril during S8e3, the ineradicable, permanent aftereffects of the gruesome torture and disfigurement inflicted on him at the hands of his brother and the betrayal by his father, had turned him into an antisocial monster for most of his life. That he simply couldn’t undo the damage despite his thwarted attempts to live a peaceful life, while Arya could still turn back and regain some measure of her innocence, was kind of jarring at first. However, the show did set up Sandor for his date with doom. (I suppose that was one of the purposes of showing his inability to join in the celebration of surviving the Long Night, and then leaving in the middle of the festivities to head to KL knowing he’d never come back. Not sure what his initial reaction upon seeing Arya riding up to him – For f*ck’s sake!” – was supposed to mean, though it did make me chuckle.)

      • Sandor’s resignation to his fate reminded of a line from my favorite movie of all time. At the outset of the story, the protagonist had been left for dead with a scarred face after he futilely attempted to save his family from paramilitary marauders who burned his home with his family inside. He joined a band of other victims seeking vengeance against the marauders.
      After years of bloody guerrilla warfare, all of his compatriots eventually surrendered – but he did not. He was branded an outlaw and a hefty price was put on his head. Soldiers, posses, and bounty hunters hounded him. He just wanted to be left alone, but everywhere he went he had to fend off mercenaries, soldiers and opportunists who recognized the distinctive scar on his face from Wanted posters, and looked to to cash in on the reward money. After a few years and several hundreds of miles of eluding his pursuers, it finally looked like he might have some respite, and a chance to start a new life in the remote frontier.
      Still, he was haunted by flashbacks and nightmares of his burning cabin, the screams of his family, and the image of the sword crashing into his face right right before blacked out.
      A friend he’d made during his odyssey tried to assuage him, suggesting that since so much time had passed maybe his pursuers had already given up and forgotten about him.

      His response: Sometimes there ain’t no forgettin’.”

      Same with Sandor…He just could not put his anger behind him and forget about retribution. Sad and tragic, yet not without an exchange of genuine affection right before the very end.

      • There’s also a line from my third all-time favorite movie that kind of applies: that people can’t escape their nature.
      Without giving away too much of the plot: Two people unexpectedly fall in love: A paramedic blackmailing a tycoon who had hired a hit man to murder her mother twenty years before, and the private investigator hired by the tycoon to track down the blackmailer.

      The lady blackmailer joined the same gym as the tycoon to study his habits and idiosyncrasies in order to draw up elaborate, detailed instructions for him to make cash drops she can retrieve without being tailed or discovered. The P.I., posing as an accountant in town for a convention, surveils his secretive client. He casually exchanges pleasantries one morning with the young woman and before long, deduces that she is the blackmailer – but doesn’t rat her out because he’s enamored with her, and besides, even though his tycoon client refused to tell him why he was being blackmailed, the P.I. soon discovered the secret, and therefore was aware that his client was an evil dirtbag who’s likely going to kill whoever is blackmailing him as soon as he finds out who it is.

      During a final cash drop in a darkened, crowded theater, the tycoon suddenly suffers a heart attack. The blackmailer is in the audience incognito, but immediately gets up and rushes over to resuscitate him – because that’s her nature.

      However, now that he’s seen her face and would likely recognize her from the gym and kill her too,

      she has to abruptly leave the country and disappear. She calls the “accountant” from the airport, tells him she’s leaving town forever, and asks him to join her – while also revealing that she had already figured out he was really a P.I. (They’re both smart cookies – a perfect match.) It pains him to say that he can’t go with her.
      He can’t escape his nature either. (Solving complex cases is a therapeutic way for him to deal with a trauma he suffered as a boy.)

      P.S. I think this movie was loosely based on a Sherlock Holmes story, “A Scandal in Bohemia.” I’m not sure about that. The movie is

      ”Zero Effect” starring Bill Pullman and Kim Dickens, co-starring Ryan O’Neal and Ben Stiller, and written and directed by Jake Kasdan. It’s one of those under-the-radar gems I sought out because Roger Ebert raves about it.

      So sorry it took so long to get to the point. (I still haven’t figured out how to cut, paste, condense, and edit text with the “upgraded” IOS I stupidly downloaded.)
      I was trying to convey that in real life as in fiction, sometimes people just can’t escape their nature – even when they know it’ll lead to their ruin or another, better option is readily available. (A qualified shrink might also say that traumas early in life can affect a person’s “hardwiring” and shape behavior into adulthood.)

      That’s my completely speculative, totally unqualified reasoning for Sandor continuing on a dead-end path to certain death while at the same time urging Arya to abandon her hit on Cersei, and turn around and save herself.

        Quote  Reply

    28. kevin1989:
      Grandmaester Flash,

      I think it’s just the opposite, he was too involved with the show. With writing, producing etc. He shouldn’t have done that (even how much I loved his episodes). His focus should be the books then, then he would probably have gotten winds out on time. I understand he wants to be a part of his creation. But I wished he just stayed more in the background. Adviser/ revising the finished script. Luckily with the prequels he knew that was a problem of him, he grand Condell (that’s his name right?) more freedom……

      Interesting. I came to the contrary conclusion: If G had stayed involved with the show, he would have had his head in the ASOIAF universe and “heard” his characters’ voices in his head.
      At the risk of being redundant, it’s not as if divorcing himself from the show helped him focus on the books and enabled him to get TWOW out “on time.”
      I’m not bashing him when I say that by distancing himself from the production of the show, he’s been more easily distracted by Targaryean history books, the prequel(s), and other projects.
      I’d think his characters would re-populate his head and he’d hear their “voices” again if he had stayed involved with the scripting and production of the show. I would think staying “in the background” and limiting his involvement with the show only allowed his imagination to latch onto other stories and new, different ideas.
      But what do I know? I don’t have any insight into the creative process. I’m just extrapolating from the numbers:
      • The years that have passed since the last book was published;
      • The numerous extended and missed deadlines;
      • The volume (and tenor) of his ASOISF-centric blog postings while he was involved with the show, compared to the scarcity and tone of his infrequent updates since he divorced himself from the show.

      I’m not challenging you. I’d like to know your thoughts: Wouldn’t it be just human nature for an author’s imagination to be kick started by what’s in front of him? Conversely, as the saying goes, “out of sight, out of mind.”
      It’s not as if limiting his involvement with the show helped him “focus” on the books and hastened the completion of TWOW.

      (Bad analogy, but here goes: I used to build model rockets when I was a kid. I still do when I have free time. When I’m engrossed in rocket building, my mind gets spontaneously filled with ideas for new designs, wicked color schemes, improved construction techniques. and methods of sculpting my own custom-made components from balsa wood. (Cheapskate manufacturers now use crappy pre-cast snap-together plastic parts. As Polliver would say if he still had an unperforated voice box: “Drains the fun right out of it.”)
      Anyway, when I’m forced to set aside my hobby and attend to real world responsibilities or commence home improvement projects, thoughts about designing and finishing rockets don’t readily flow into my head.

      What I’m suggesting is that the relatively nominal time George would have had to spend writing a couple of scripts and assisting the showrunners in filling in narrative gaps (e.g., from where his books left off to the “final destinations” he’d previously imparted), would have have kept his characters and story lines in the forefront of his brain, thereby accelerating rather than impeding his writing.

      It’s nice to read about the Big Kahuna’s visits to the Hollywood set of “The Orville.” I’m sure there are fans who love his Targ history encyclopedias. His involvement in creating the (“House of the Dragon” ??) prequel is probably gratifying to its producers. If that’s what he feels like doing, more power to him.

      Let me ask you (and anyone else who cares to weigh in) a few questions if you don’t mind. I’m a “pre-books”, show only fan. I know you’re well-versed in the books’ storylines. I’d like your perspectives….

      – Q: How do impatient ASOIAF book readers feel about Big G multi-tasking with all these new projects? (I’m not being snide. I’m just curious.)

      – Q: Why don’t you think he would have made more progress in finishing TWOW had he stayed immersed in the TV show? (After all, ceasing his active involvement after the first couple of seasons hasn’t yielded any new books, or even a projected publication date.)

      Q: I know he’s said the TV show “isn’t the books.” Still, those were his characters on the screen and his stories that were being adapted. Wouldn’t seeing them in visual form have jump-started his creative process?

      Q: Wouldn’t staying involved in the direction of the show have at least prompted him to try to ensure it was consistent with his vision, and didn’t go off the rails?
      Or do you think he found it easier to just wash his hands of the whole thing after the show passed the books, and the showrunners made up their own storylines and character arcs? (Sure it was his “baby,” but it was raised by “adoptive parents.” Selling the rights meant forfeiting the right to micromanage the adaptation.)

      Q: Wouldn’t you agree that locking himself away in seclusion – as I think he said he he was going to do in order to finish the books – has not jump-started his writing process? (I don’t know if he actually followed through on this. Do you?)

      Q: I’ve read comments from fans here that the the first two or three books were tightly written and enjoyable to read, while the last two books were unwieldy and got stuffed with too many characters taking all kinds of detours. Was that your impression? And did that present a challenge in the adaptation?

      Q: You also wrote:
      “D&D are brilliant with adapting the source material. They knew which part or character can be skipped, which part could be start later or which character could start later (like Oberyn starting a bit later or Selyse and Shireen). The changing of some dialogue also make much sense… “

      Q: How does their skill in adapting existing material compare with their “show-only” creations? I’ve said that I really liked some of the scenes in S1-S4 that they scripted that were not in the books. (Like Arya & Tywin for example, and I believe the 9 1/2 minute conclusion to S4e1 from Little Lady wants a pony to Little Lady gets a pony (aka “every f*cking chicken in this room.”)

      Q: So why do you think is it that a vocal segment of the fandom was disappointed with the
      last two seasons? (I have my own theories – including the showrunners’ sheer exhaustion after ten years, and trying to keep cranking out scripts on their own without delegating tasks to a team of writers with “fresh blood” who could’ve energized the process.)
      Q: I’ve read a few snippets and passages online, including “The Broken Man” speech; Arya’s “Needle was Jon Snow’s smile” internal monologue, and Arya’s “Harwin you have to know me!” scene. I’ve also read the TWOW“Mercy” sample chapter. I thought they were all fabulous writing. I also believe the “Mercy” chapter was actually written several years ago.
      Are these anomalies in the “overstuffed,” meandering later books? Has the overall quality dropped off in the last two books?
      Q: I am reluctant to start reading the books if I’m going to be left dangling in mid-cliffhanger. I do not want to find myself embroiled in the “George is not your bitch” vs. “Finish the goddam books already, fat man” debate.
      Is it worth reading the existing books even if George never releases TWOW and ADOS?

      Q: I’ve said that GRRM should just announce he’s throwing in the towel, and stop putting pressure on himself to satiate fans. Then, if he’s somehow able to find his muse again, he can surprise the world. Otherwise, at his age he ought to be able to kick back and enjoy his life and his money.
      (No expectations means no disappointment.) Would you be okay with that?

      Q: I’ve come to realize that there are more books on my shelf and in my Amazon shopping cart than I can possibly read in my lifetime. I’m wary about investing time on an unfinished book series that draws me in – and then abruptly stops, leaving me high and dry.
      Having read the five existing books, would you be satisfied if GRRM never publishes another page of the ASOIAF series?

      -End Rambling Questionnaire – 🤥

        Quote  Reply

    29. Ten Bears,

      True, we don’t know of course. But he told us couple of weeks/months ago that working on the show and his projects made it that he couldn’t zone into Westeros. He also stated the books and show are different, I though he stated Dany was the one that was the biggest change of the main characters. And he gave D&D many advices like not cut Lady Stoneheart and Young Griff, but they still skipped those. (I still wonder if the break was about that that he didn’t want to work on season 5 and beyond again.)

      I watched first season 1. Then I read all the 5 books between season 1 and 2. So for me the wait is shorter (for Dance till winds maybe half year shorter, but I didn’t have to wait between the rest.)

      How do impatient ASOIAF book readers feel about Big G multi-tasking with all these new projects?
      Well for me it changed many times in a year. When I’m busy with work, another tv show, gaming etc, I really don’t care how long he will take, then I’m more: Better waiting for a better version of the books, no rushing etc And I understand that creative work is not something that you can force. But when I’m bored and no games or work etc I tend to feel a bit annoyed with him, I still have respect for him of course and I understand it. But now I wait 8 years for a book, the amount of time some other writers pump out a whole saga. And especially when the discussing becomes a bit stale after a while, I mean we have discussed everything about the books already here in a year. We’re ready for the answers and new discussion points and views. And about the projects, personally I wish he would have stayed with his main story first, I mean I want to finish the main saga first before reading the rest. But I understand that that’s not how creative minds work. So I don’t mind the whole Dunk & Egg story and Fire & Blood. What I do mind is the following: The Tyrion quote book. Why does that have priority?

      I answer the other questions in another comment before this one is too big.

        Quote  Reply

    30. Mr Derp,

      … ”I also agree about D&D. They made some mistakes, but who doesn’t, and they also made some terrific scenes that even GRRM didn’t think of, such as the conversation between Robert and Cersei in season 1. Terrific scene.”

      Oh yeah! I should’ve mentioned that scene in the “show-only” scenes listed in my earlier, long-winded comment.

      So…. What happened in the last couple of seasons? I speculated that the two showrunners’ sheer exhaustion after ten years + continuing to write the scripts by themselves without delegating to a team of writers, diluted the “freshness” of the dialogue and washed out the show’s trademark wit and humor in several scenes.

      Some might say the two showrunners were victims of their own success and the public’s adulation: I’d expect that after helming the most popular show on the planet for six years and racking up so many Emmys, they may have figured, why mess with the proven formula? A possible downside was that by staying in a two-man echo chamber, there was no one around* to alert them if the dialogue got stale or repetitive; if they’d overlooked logical deficiencies in plot lines; or if they had resorted to tired cliches and suddenly clueless characters to advance the plot points.
      (* A story editor? Script supervisor? I don’t know the titles.)

      I’d also suggest that trying to outdo themselves each year with bigger and flashier spectacles and more fist-pump moments to please the masses, may have come at the expense of intelligent dialogue and “organic“ character interactions.

      (Yes, I’m referring to episodes like “Beyond the Wall” aka the Silly Wight Hunt; the equally ridiculous Bran Bait Plan; the PsychoArya vs. Gullible Sansa vs. Lobotomized LF nonsense in S7, etc.. I won’t beat a dead horse by bringing up Sansa’s concealment of KotV in S6. And I won’t mock Benioff for his offhanded comment that Rhaegal got shot out of the sky because Dany “kind of forgot” about Euron and his fleet.)

      Apologies in advance for going off on a tangent here. I am still ticked off at the director who unilaterally decided to tweak S6 scripts for “dramatic” effect by:
      (a) turning vigilant Arya into an oblivious sightseer;
      (b) exacerbating her gut stab wounds to manipulate the audience into believing she could actually die (spawning a sh*tload of fan tinfoil theories to try to explain how an unarmed Arya would be casually strolling around Braavos in broad daylight knowing full well the FM had put a hit on her); and
      (c) then, while she’s laid up after being stitched up by an actress – having her leap off a second story balcony and hit the ground running like a f*cking decathlete, all so the director could stage (what he thought was) the greatest foot chase ever filmed.
      (Can’t blame D&D for this. They can’t be everywhere and do everything, especially when different units are filming in different parts of the world.)

      • You’re absolutely right that the showrunners were certainly capable of crafting terrific scenes that weren’t in the books, and that while they made some “mistakes” they were far outnumbered by the stellar scenes they wrote.

      Since they demonstrated they can create terrific scenes from scratch, it’s made me wonder how the infrequent and benign glitches in the early seasons somehow multiplied in number and severity in the later 2-3 seasons.

      My working hypothesis is that if the last couple of seasons were wonky and the ending underwhelming, Big G has got to shoulder most of the blame. He kind of blindsided the showrunners: They had signed up to adapt his books for TV, not to finish the story themselves.
      Unlike the dilatory author, they didn’t have the luxury of taking as long as they wanted to write scripts, revise them, fine tune them, and film them – and start all over if they were dissatisfied with the episodes they’d scripted and filmed. (Not to mention that with a huge cast and crew under contract (and who knows how many peripheral technicians, designers and crafts departments lined up in advance), they couldn’t just blow a deadline and post an contrite apology online.)

      If I were in D&D’s shoes, I’d be plenty pissed at GRRM – not just for saddling me with extra work I never anticipated, but because all of the “haters” and re-make petition signers were directing their ire and insults at me. While the showrunners and GRRM have been mutually complimentary and diplomatic in public, I’ll bet someday we’ll get the real behind the scenes scoop.

      -End –

        Quote  Reply

    31. Ten Bears,
      Why don’t you think he would have made more progress in finishing TWOW had he stayed immersed in the TV show? (After all, ceasing his active involvement after the first couple of seasons hasn’t yielded any new books, or even a projected publication date.)
      I think working on the show gave him a different kind of stress (as he admitted in the interview a while back), when he wants to zone into Westeros all he could think of was the sets, actors, changes etc. Another thing is when working on the show his mind is in the past, when working on the show he thinks about for instance about Daenerys meeting Mirri Maz Duur (he wrote 1×08) instead of what will happen when she meet the Dothraki again (end of dance and 5×10). The focus on the character is different. The thing is he is still working on prequels, other sagas (he helps other writers) his charity (which I praise), now he has open a book store next to his cinema (again thinking about logistics instead of his books)

      I know he’s said the TV show “isn’t the books.” Still, those were his characters on the screen and his stories that were being adapted. Wouldn’t seeing them in visual form have jump-started his creative process?
      Well GRRM state that he sees both book and show different and that the show won’t effect his view on his characters or changed what he wants to do with it.

      Wouldn’t staying involved in the direction of the show have at least prompted him to try to ensure it was consistent with his vision, and didn’t go off the rails?
      Or do you think he found it easier to just wash his hands of the whole thing after the show passed the books, and the showrunners made up their own storylines and character arcs? (Sure it was his “baby,” but it was raised by “adoptive parents.” Selling the rights meant forfeiting the right to micromanage the adaptation.)
      Well he tried of course, he urged D&D to put in Lady stoneheart, Arianne and Young Griff. All 3 we’re cut even when he urged them to include them. So I don’t think in the end it would matter what GRRM wanted, D&D had a vision of how they would do it, and they went with it.

      Q: Wouldn’t you agree that locking himself away in seclusion – as I think he said he he was going to do in order to finish the books – has not jump-started his writing process? (I don’t know if he actually followed through on this. Do you?)
      Well I think he states he was going to do that, but the truth is, he hasn’t. Even his blog and twitter shows he is busy all the time with everything except the books. But there’s hope. He changed his website, and it seems not far in the future he will announce a new book. Personally I think he is already finished with winds (at least he got the amount of manuscript pages that he can put in max in a book), but the problem is that he wonders if there’s not needed a 8th book of maybe 500 pages (I don’t think it will succeed more than that). And that he is busy puzzling things together. Or he is stuck with his last character, which I think is Bran. It was always the most different to write for him.

      Q: I’ve read comments from fans here that the the first two or three books were tightly written and enjoyable to read, while the last two books were unwieldy and got stuffed with too many characters taking all kinds of detours. Was that your impression? And did that present a challenge in the adaptation?
      I agree half, first 3 books are easier to read. But I still stay with my opinion that feast and dance combined is my favorite of all 4 (I count them as one big book). I think those 2 books has some brilliance in it, it has many hidden things beneath the page (if you understand what I mean). He writes his story with many clues in between. It’s a puzzle the last 2 big books. What I found better in the first 3 books was indeed to many new characters, I like them all and I’m glad he wrote them, but I wished he would have written not all in the same book. He could have added some in Feast some in dance and some in winds (which now doesn’t have a new character). The other big problem is that I don’t agree with his splitting of the characters he did in Feast and Dance. Yes it would result into having Feast nog ended perfectly for every character and with many open endings, but now we have that in Dance. It would have resolved that the ending of Dance would have spilled into winds. Feast is merely 700 pages, which means he could have added 300 pages more. If he would have split the new characters over the books he could have done this better.
      Next in other comment.

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    32. kevin1989,

      ”… But he [GRRM] told us couple of weeks/months ago that working on the show and his projects made it that he couldn’t zone into Westeros.”

      Excuse #238. 😬

      ———
      ”What I do mind is the following: The Tyrion quote book. Why does that have priority?”

      A Tyrion quote book? First I’m hearing about that. Is it just a compilation of excerpts from the already published books? Is that really what GRRM is working on?

      I would imagine the publisher could just hire a few typists to do word searches for Tyrion’s lines in the books, slap on a pretty cover, and gouge fans $99 for the deluxe coffee table edition.

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    33. kevin1989,

      “I think working on the show gave him a different kind of stress (as he admitted in the interview a while back), when he wants to zone into Westeros all he could think of was the sets, actors, changes etc. Another thing is when working on the show his mind is in the past, when working on the show he thinks about for instance about Daenerys meeting Mirri Maz Duur (he wrote 1×08) instead of what will happen when she meet the Dothraki again (end of dance and 5×10). The focus on the character is different. The thing is he is still working on prequels, other sagas (he helps other writers) his charity (which I praise), now he has open a book store next to his cinema (again thinking about logistics instead of his books.”
      ————-
      Instead of “The Winds of Winter” he should issue “Excuses for Not Finishing The Winds of Winter.”

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    34. kevin1989,
      I forgot to add about the adaption. I think the adaption could have worked, but it would result into having a season 5 that is about the set-up of every storyline mostly, and not all main characters would have had a long storyline, I think that would not have been a problem. Sansa in season 2 only had 20 minute of screentime, while some exceeded an hour. I think it could have worked and we could have liked those new storylines if they would have show them in the D&D version (I think they are great with expending characters, they did with Osha, Oberyn, Shae and more). And I don’t see the problem with having 3 new storylines. I mean season 2 did the same. We had Stannis in episode 1, the Iron born in episode 2, and the Tyrells in episode 3.

      Ten Bears,
      Q: How does their skill in adapting existing material compare with their “show-only” creations? I’ve said that I really liked some of the scenes in S1-S4 that they scripted that were not in the books. (Like Arya & Tywin for example, and I believe the 9 1/2 minute conclusion to S4e1 from Little Lady wants a pony to Little Lady gets a pony (aka “every f*cking chicken in this room.”)
      I think the biggest change is that when using Georges book they had 1. The template of how to tell the story is in the books, the way of speaking and they implement some great show only scenes that serve greatly for the show. 2 comes to mind. Cersei jaime in episode 1×01. And Cersei and Robert in episode 1×05. The second thing is that George has a brilliant way of showing side stories which we like. D&D adapt those brilliantly, without it they only have the plotpoints and they need to fill in George’s roads which I think is almost impossible to do. And that’s where the problem lies, because where does George want those new characters to go? Also I think D&D are more into action than George, while George is more into character moments. Even the battles in the books are filled with thoughts, dialogue etc.

      Q: So why do you think is it that a vocal segment of the fandom was disappointed with the
      last two seasons? (I have my own theories – including the showrunners’ sheer exhaustion after ten years, and trying to keep cranking out scripts on their own without delegating tasks to a team of writers with “fresh blood” who could’ve energized the process.)
      Different reasons, a big bunch just want to complain of course and show they know better, they come up with some big ways how it should have been (I’ve talked with some) and then I am, yes that is brilliant but you forget one thing: Budget, now cut it so you only have a quarter left of the budget. Well they can’t do that.
      But I think many things are the reason, 1. GoT works better when there is chaos in the storyline, every storyline is busy on their own and some things come together out of nowhere. Season 7 and 8 was too neat. It focussed only on the big storyline, not the side (they were skipped over like Theon rescue his sister, just 2 minutes and be over with). Another thing is that they changed from unique to general. Everything revolved around big battle moments that everything was leading to, like every fantasy story does. I think we wanted a story that was less about battles but more about “A new smart way” to end the villain. It was all about “We show we can do the best visual there is”. If I want that I watch marvel (Which I don’t like because it focus only on the visuals). So that’s also a point that I think was the problem: To general. And the last, some things really don’t make sense, even the writers don’t seem to agree on the answer. So how can we understand what’s happening when they don’t? Because there was no logical answer in some things that happen in the last 2 seasons, it was there for shock, flashing etc. And I think those inconsistencies really showed more in the last 2 seasons.

      Q: I’ve read a few snippets and passages online, including “The Broken Man” speech; Arya’s “Needle was Jon Snow’s smile” internal monologue, and Arya’s “Harwin you have to know me!” scene. I’ve also read the TWOW“Mercy” sample chapter. I thought they were all fabulous writing. I also believe the “Mercy” chapter was actually written several years ago.
      Are these anomalies in the “overstuffed,” meandering later books? Has the overall quality dropped off in the last two books?
      Depends, if you like the new characters than there was no drop in quality, personally I say that the winds chapters that are released are the best till now. It also depends, if you like stories that show a lot of plot and action, you maybe not like those last books. But I think that the big problem is that it’s climax is cut in 2, and a part in winds. Also if you dislike fantasy element the further you are in the saga, the less you like it.

      Q: I am reluctant to start reading the books if I’m going to be left dangling in mid-cliffhanger. I do not want to find myself embroiled in the “George is not your bitch” vs. “Finish the goddam books already, fat man” debate.
      Is it worth reading the existing books even if George never releases TWOW and ADOS?
      I would say yes. It can be annoying at times, but in the end I’m happy I read them.

      Q: I’ve said that GRRM should just announce he’s throwing in the towel, and stop putting pressure on himself to satiate fans. Then, if he’s somehow able to find his muse again, he can surprise the world. Otherwise, at his age he ought to be able to kick back and enjoy his life and his money.
      (No expectations means no disappointment.) Would you be okay with that?
      Yes and no, yes if it’s harmful for him, I don’t want him to suffer mentally or physically. But I’m also a type that thinks you should finish what you started. But I still think George’s wants to finish the books, but he also wants some other things to do, which is his right. And also he is a writer. Writers always are writers, that’s who they are.
      The bigger question is: How do his publisher look at it?

      Q: I’ve come to realize that there are more books on my shelf and in my Amazon shopping cart than I can possibly read in my lifetime. I’m wary about investing time on an unfinished book series that draws me in – and then abruptly stops, leaving me high and dry.
      Having read the five existing books, would you be satisfied if GRRM never publishes another page of the ASOIAF series?
      Yes I would. I rather want him to finish but I still like what we got.
      But then I would advice, just read another saga, and come back how far GRRM is with his books.

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    35. Ten Bears,

      Maybe that happened that the publish did that. The books called: The Wit and Wisdom of Tyrion Lannister. But for me it felled like: Well you don’t get the book you want, here is a expensive quote book.

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    36. The LightKing,

      I don’t think you are necessarily JackBauer24. I sometimes refer to George R R Martin as Mr Martin because I’ve never met him in real life so I don’t feel comfortable calling him “George” as in just his first name.

      If Jack Bauer does come here I found out today that the actor who plays his namesake in “24” was born in the UK although his parents were Canadian – and said actor is Canadian. Probably one of his parents was working in the UK at the time because they went back to Canada when he was fairly young. (at about 3.00 mins on the video mentioned here). https://youtu.be/4S2cmAbjbZY

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    37. Some tough choices here and hard to pick a clear winner, ultimately I went with some Tyrion and Edd quotes but potentially influenced by how well the respective actors deliver them.

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    38. All-Around Quote: Jon: “Love is the death of duty.” Tyrion Lannister: “You just came up with that? Jon Snow: “Maester Aemon said it, a long time ago. Tyrion Lannister: “Sometimes, duty is the death of love.”

      Funniest Quote: “Uncle, please sit.” – Sansa Stark

      Speech: Daenerys’s victory speech in King’s Landing

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    39. kevin1989,

      BTW – Thanks for your responses to my questions. I know I was long-winded. Just wanted you to know I did read through all of your answers.
      I’m still on the fence about reading the books. I do not think GRRM will ever finish them. I’m trying to decide if reading the unfinished, five-books series would be worthwhile.

        Quote  Reply

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