WotW Staff weigh in on Season 5 of Game of Thrones

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Watchers on the Wall staff were polled on their perceptions of season 4 and predictions for season 5. Here are their answers to a series of questions leading up to Sunday’s premiere. Consensus may have built on several questions but as usual WotW staff possess diverse points of view.

Looking back to season 4, on a scale from 1-10, how would you rate the season?

Axechucker: 9.5

SuetheFury: 8

HearMarkoRoar: It was a top season. How to translate that to numbers? I give it a 9, because there is always room for improvement. Some moments could have had an even more powerful impact (but I only know that because I’ve read the books). I’m on the record saying S4 was my favourite so far, and I’m staying true to myself with the high grade.

Oz: On a personal level, my problem with attempting to apply a scale to GoT is a qualification issue as it relates to the rest of the TV industry. The truth is, I don’t currently watch much television. So comparing apples to apples wouldn’t be just for this guy since my consumption of apples is limited.

What I can say with certainty is that I have always felt as if I was being treated to a major motion picture rather than a television show when I’ve absorbed GoT, which puts the apple from the GoT Tree on a different level altogether. That has to be worth a 10, or at least a high nine.

When drawing comparisons to previous seasons, my personal grade would be a strong 8.

Dame Pasty: I would rate Season 4 an 8.

Cian: 9/10. For comparison’s sake, season 1 is 9/10, season 2 6/10, and season 3 7/10.

Bex: Starkalypse reviews averaged to a 7.

What were some of the strengths of season 4 that you would like to see continued into season 5?

Axechucker: I’d like to see that same balance between faithfulness to the source material and quality television in cases where things need to be amalgamated. And I want more deaths – early, on-screen deaths if (IF!) they are more impactful on the screen than they were in the books, i.e. Grenn taking Donal Noye’s place. We probably only have 30 episodes of television left to tell George’s story, so I want it told with impact.

SuetheFury: Having exciting moments throughout the season instead of putting most of them off until the big finish in the last two episodes. Also the long-running trend of bath/hot tub scenes.

HearMarkoRoar: Tyrion’s powerhouse performance will be hard to repeat, simply because his best plot moments came last year, but I want more of that. The pacing was tighter with fewer slow patches, and I’d like to see that continued. Combining the plots of AFFC and ADWD gives us all the oportunity for this to happen.

Oz: The production and visual effects continue to progress as the show matures and I fully expect it to maintain if not slightly improve, especially considering the increased budget.

Dame Pasty: The strengths of Season 4 were visual effects, pace of the story, and getting into stuff that wasn’t in the books. I KNOW I will be unsullied about some things in Season 5 so I’m excited about that. And I’m pretty certain that the visual effects will only be better because of the bigger budget (or is that too big of an assumption?). The thing that is up in the air, is how D&D will pace things. Since each season has gotten better and better (IMO) I think it bodes well in this aspect as well.

Jon and Mance 2Cian: The confidence to comfortably settle down and only focus on certain characters for extended periods at the expense of others. This way, everyone gets their due, and we avoid instances like the season 2 premiere.

The stronger focus on Jon Snow – both screentime- and content-wise. Kit really came into his own last season after some lacking material north of the Wall.

There was a certain reflective and pensive nature to a lot of the dialogue-heavy scenes that was quite effective. I’d like to see that contemplative aspect continue into season 5.

Bex: I always appreciate strong visuals and loved what Neil Marshall did with episode 9. It would be great to see more experimentation on that count, especially with new locations.

Anything (plot devices, character arcs, technical elements) that you wouldn’t mind leaving in season 4?

Axechucker: That’s tough to say. Less rape? I know some people have complained about the Missandei/Grey Worm lovestory sideplot, which I personally enjoy (I enjoyed Grey Worm playing “raise the sword” with Daario much less)… but I think a lot of fans don’t understand that actors need to act. If they’re name characters, they need something to do other than standing in the background saying, “Yes, Khaleesi.” Else why are they there? They could be replaced with extras.

SuetheFury: Jon’s occasional poutiness. It was almost gone in season 4, which was great to see.

HearMarkoRoar: Well, the unsuccessful bit was the single scene with Yara Greyjoy. It was probably necessary in the overall scheme of things in terms of moving the pieces around the board, but it stuck out like a sore thumb, and in terms of editing the viewer had to infer a lot of the motivations and off-screen action. I’d be happy to find out the reason behind those decision in S5, and to see that similarly confusing scenes are not part of the new season.

Oz: Overall, GoT hits a hell of a lot more than it misses. And while those misses constitute discussion, a man doesn’t like to dwell on the negative. But since you asked…

YaraThe Botched Theon Rescue: The end of S3 left many of us with an expectation that Yara and 50 of Pyke’s best killers were going to stage quite an offensive in the attempt to retrieve Reek. What we received from the buildup in S4 was less than four minutes of an undertaking that ended with the potential of being attacked by a few dogs. Granted, they were extremely aggravated dogs who were without vaccinations. But still. I do hold out hope that we will see the Greyjoy family in the future, but only if it is a meaningful necessity to the entirety of the story.

My other issue is probably more of a personal preference as it relates to the fantasy genre, so take it with a grain of salt. The blazing fireballs of exploding magic in the S4 finale were a little too capricious for my taste. It was the first time throughout the duration of the series that I actually felt like I was watching something other than Game of Thrones.

Dame Pasty: To answer your question directly–I don’t want to see Jaime continue to be Lena’s lap dog. I want him to move beyond her. Now I’m gonna answer from a slightly different angle. There are some things from the books that didn’t make the screen that I don’t want to see in Season 5.

Examples: LSH — hated that entire storyline. Coldhands — liked it in the books but was not needed for the show IMO

Cian: Ramsay Bolton’s dogs – they’re too OP.

Bex: At this point, I don’t care if they deviate from the source material, but if they do it in a way that is smart, makes sense in the context, and ultimately is a better fit for what the show is doing. That being said, there seemed to be a wealth of gratuitous, original rapey scenes that they can feel free to cease and desist in season 5.

Game of Thrones is known for its strong performances. WITHOUT SPOILERS, who do you think will have compelling arcs in season 5?

Axechucker: I’m going to say Sansa. Not just because I’m #TeamSansa but because we’re in completely unknown territory with her this season. And while I have doubts she will actually DIE (they wouldn’t dare?!), I will be on the edge of my seat every time she’s onscreen. Additionally, I believe this will be Cersei’s season. Lena’s going to knock it out of the park.

SuetheFury: Cersei will have a big year. Arya’s journey should be fascinating. I’m very curious to see what they have in store for Sansa since we last saw her starting a new phase, this should be a big year for her as well.

Alexander Siddig as Doran Martell _photo Macall B. Polay_HBOHearMarkoRoar:
I’m most interested to see what they have done with Dorne. I believe it has a lot of potential to be strong, the changed/expanded plot notwithstanding (or even because of it, with the plot more fleshed out). The most compelling part of the story, I think, will be following the characters that now find themselves at the Wall. So many combinations and personalities that can create some amazing moments just by being in the same room, let alone interacting with one another.

Oz: For obvious reasons, Unsullied expectations are implied for characters like Cersei, Jon, Dany, Arya, Littlefinger and Sansa to have compelling arcs. As an extension of the great character that was Oberyn and the previews heavily teasing Dorne, logic suggests the characters surrounding the new location will be an important aspect of S5 also.

Personally I’m optimistically hoping for more Jorah, and praying to the Seven that the scene in the arena is not his final act.

Dame Pasty: I think Cersei and Jon’s arcs will be the most compelling. The least will be Dany’s but hers has always been the weakest (again IMO) in both the books and the shows (so no fault of D&D).

Cian: Cersei, Jon, Arya, Sansa.

Bex: Cersei

There are many facets to ASOIAF. What from that world would you like to see potentially incorporated from the books? (actual plots and characterizations notwithstanding)

Axechucker: I was hoping to meet Harry the Heir, but I’m not even sure we’ll meet him in the books. Griff/Young Griff doesn’t seem like it’s happening either (which supports a popular fan theory). I think I will be most sad if we don’t see Oldtown. I want to see the Sphynx!

SuetheFury: I’d like to see incorporated from the books the aftereffects of the war. The sense of devastation to Westeros. That’s a major part of A Feast for Crows, understanding just what this war has done to the people that the lords and kings are supposed to serve, and I’d like to see some of that. Sometimes we only get the insulated worlds of castle keeps and you can almost forget there was a war. Hopefully Brienne and Pod’s travels will convey some of this.

HearMarkoRoar: I was really happy to learn Volantis was depicted in S5. That part of the world really stirred up my imagination with strong imagery when reading the latest book. I’m keeping realistic as I know we won’t get it onscreen in the same way – but since you ask: Volantis at night, buzzing with people, with night fires reflecting in the river and elephants in the streets!

Oz: Book club application rejected (until further notice).

Dame Pasty: The one thing I want to see and something I think we will get is the devastation and chaos that war brings to a nation. They really started delving into it last season with The Hound and Arya’s story and if Winter ever finally arrives things should get worse. Speaking of Winter, I want to see more damn snow further south than The Wall.

Cian: I’d like some of the more recent and relevant historical events to be mentioned/expounded e.g. the tourney at Harrenhal, the Tower of Joy. As amazing as the Dragonstone set was, we never got a look at what the castle itself really looks like, e.g. courtyards, corridors, halls. The scope in population terms felt a bit lacking. I’d say the same for Pyke. I’d love some scenes in the Reach. It’s the one Westerosi region (I presume) we won’t have seen by the end of this season, and by all reports it is absolutely gorgeous – a stark contrast to (most of) the rest of the continent.

Bex: I would love to see things we DON’T get to see in the books. What does Highgarden look like? Will we get a glimpse of other places GRRM has never set in his novels? That would be cool. Also, Darkstar please. (Note: Bex is largely Unsullied for season 5 so please do not spoil potential appearances of Darkstar)

For some pure speculation, who will/should see some Emmy noms for this season, and/or who deserves them?

Axechucker: Lena will get a nod and might even win.

Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister and Ian Beattie as Meryn Trant_ photo Macall B. Polay_HBOSuetheFury: Lena Headey just may be walking up to that podium. As for who deserves them, it’s too soon to say, but there are so many actors who deserve recognition for their performances every year with this amazing cast. People like Conleth Hill or Michael McElhatton will never receive Emmy recognition for their work on the show and that’s a shame.

HearMarkoRoar: I consider Alfie Allen the most underrated guy on the show, with some amazingly powerful performances. So Alfie, always Alfie. Not that it will happen :/

Oz: Tough question for Unsullied as it is difficult to speculate which characters will have story arcs that will contain significant screen time and opportunity to shine. To further complicate, there are many who I consider deserving from the previous seasons who never garnered a mere honorable mention. But I think both Lena and NCW would be likely candidates with Lena being more of a favorite due to her overall body of work as an actor and what appears to be an arc where her decisions and the resulting dramatics should surely be a headliner.

Sentimental picks: McElhatton and Conleth Hill.

Dame Pasty: Lena Headey will probably see a nod and will deserve it (at least I hope). Jonathan Pryce might see a guest Emmy nod and will probably deserve it–I think he is going chew up the scenery. Peter Dinklage will get a nod but we’ll have to see if he ends up deserving it. I thought he should have won for last season but Emmy horde does what Emmy horde wants.

Cian: Lena Headey is long overdue, in my opinion. This could be the year she takes it home, and appropriately so considering the material she has to work with. Jonathan Pryce could very well steal the show, just as Diana Rigg did. We’ll soon find out. Kit Harington may be in the running, too, considering his meaty material this season. I’d also love for Sophie Turner to take one home. Fans may balk at where Sansa’s storyline seems to be heading, but that doesn’t mean Sophie won’t knock it out of the park. Stephen Dillane and Michael McElhatton both deserve nominations and perhaps wins. Whether they will ever get them is doubtful, as both performances are very understated and full of nuance in a series chock-full of scene-chewing (not that that’s inherently a bad thing).

Bex: Lena Headey and Lena Headey.

And finally, on a scale from ‘Arya practicing embroidery’ to ‘Podrick in a brothel’ how excited are you for season 5?

Axechucker: Let’s be fair, no one can quite match Podrick in a brothel. But I’m really freaking excited!

SuetheFury: I’m ‘Sansa with a fresh tray of lemoncakes.’ excited. I’m ready to dive in and get messy.

HearMarkoRoar: My excitement has been slowly building up since the beginning of the year – so by now it’s definitely ‘Podrick in a brothel’. With bells on. No one would take my money.

Oz: I am Pycelle wearing dead cat cologne excited.

Dame Pasty: My excitement level is more like ‘Sam’s first kiss’–excited but trepidatious.

Cian: Either of those in isolation doesn’t do my hype justice. How about: “Pycelle is speaking to Podrick in a brothel, when in walks Tyrion with a jackass and a honeycomb…”

Bex: Cersei on a Finger Lakes wine tour.

There you have it! Agree/disagree with any of our esteemed staffers? Thoughts or feelings about seasons 4 or 5? Special thanks to Marc Kleinhenz.

227 responses

Jump to (and Always Support) the Bottom

    1. “extremely aggravated dogs who were without vaccinations”

      Bwaahaahaa. Yup. That and fireballs. Top two stupid things from Season 4…. but… actually, I GUESS that’s not too bad… 😉

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    2. Axechucker: I was hoping to meet Harry the Heir, but I’m not even sure we’ll meet him in the books.

      Obviously hasn’t read the new Sansa sample chapter.

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    3. The ‘Yara vs the dogs’ thing could have worked if all the other Ironborn had been killed, so that Yara was outnumbered and captured/disarmed. Then Ramsay decides to march her out into the forest and have a night hunt to mirror the one in episode 2. But Yara manages to escape (maybe even killing Myranda in the process, if the writers felt like it). What makes even less sense is the fact that despite Roose rebuking Ramsay for destroying Theon (because Roose wanted to use him as a bargaining chip in exchange for Moat Cailin), Ramsay basically lets Yara go. Yara is clearly a more useful bargaining chip than Theon and I’m pretty sure Roose would have knocked Ramsay on his arse for that.

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    4. In the commentary Bryan Cogman says that Yara did not leave because of the dogs.
      That is the way I saw it too.

      I still think the whole sequence was badly edited , for some reason that is not acknowledged.

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    5. If you watch the commentary, you can see that Yara vs Dog scene was just a result of running out of time and money to shoot the scene. It was kinda slapped together at the last minute and the script actually had a much longer sequence.

      Such is the way of filming, its not all going to pan out as planned

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    6. I’d have given Season 4 a 10, but I’m generous in my grading. Season 3 would be a 9.5, Season 1 a 9 and Season 2 an 8.5. I thought Season 4 had the best pacing, the production values were exceptional, and for the first time it didn’t feel like any of the story lines dragged. If a character didn’t have material they generally didn’t appear.

      Good article. “A wealth of gratuitous, original rapey scenes” though? There were only 2 as far as I remember, as much as Season 1, and one of them was in the books. The books are far more rapey. Not that I think the rape scenes in season 4 were particularly well handled.

      As far as Season 5 goes I’m very optimistic. I hate Feast and Dance, and they’ve taken a hacksaw to it and seem to have managed to make something compelling. The Wall story line is what I’m most looking forward to this year, which is a first.

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    7. I think I need to have different scales.
      As a TV show
      Season 1 – 10
      Season 2 – 8
      Season 3 – 9.5
      Season 4 – 9

      Now judging it on a harsher GOT scale
      Season 1 – 9
      Season 2 – 7
      Season 3 – 8
      Season 4 – 8.5

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    8. “I’m poderick in a brothel excited “- I like that . Good job wotw . I don’t use face book hate twitter – boycotted social media and I’m still in this room every day from a broke ass cell
      Phone . Youse all do
      A great job ; keeping this website fresh and fun . So far from all the leaks and everything , when I imagine what the shows gonna do this season . its breathtaking I’m really looking forward to the wall , which in season 1-3 I wasn’t as intrested in as other story’s . Kit did an awesome job last year ,binge watchin all the previous seasons , you can see his growth each season by episode 9 last year , he was my favorite charector of the story , I was unsullied after the 4th season and after it aired I read every Jon chapter in a row skipping everyone else’s just to read Jon’s and it was awesome . And some parts did get a bit confusing reading it that way but it excited me to read other chapters of charectors close to Jon and after this season is done . Everyone’s gonna wanna know what happens with him , and no one knows nothing . This seasons gonna end on some great cliffhangers and i can’t wait to olly fetchs him a block . Show Slynt is a pretty good example of a person being tuff without repercussion . I’m in Philadelphia , you see a lot of that here , and I hate people like that ! I think stannis might even crack a smile for it .

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    9. It’s great to hear from everyone!

      Sue, you made me laugh with the tub comment. A man can only hope B-Cog will continue the tradition.

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    10. Lady Wolfsbane,

      I agree fully with that assessment , the yara scene would have been way better if her men just yelled he’s gone he’s not Theon and than the group collectively agrees it’s not worth it to fight for nothing and leaves , Does an unvaccinated dog mean the milk of the puppy is more potent ???

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    11. I agree strongly about the effects of war, that many of the wotw crew mentioned. A Feast for Crows is in my opinion (and I know its an unpopular opinion) the best of the five published books. Not in the context of the whole story (that would be Storm of Swords), because I realise that its structure and flow fit very poorly into the series. But as a single book. And the main reason is that Feast is a brilliant reflection on the aftereffects of war.

      In this regard, Clash of Kings, is my second favorite, because that one focused on the direct effects of war, while the war itself was raging. Feast and Clash both stopped and let the story breathe and i love them for that.

      And the show actually gave us some of that reflection on the effects of war. Aryas arc in season two had a constant sence of doom hanging over it, and the brutality of soldiers really got highlighted there. We saw some effects of battle brutality too, in Robbs S2 arc and of course that season ended with The Blackwater and rounded the a season about warfare well of, so that season 2, in my opinion is almost as strong as the book.

      The Brotherhood in season three kinda continued that theme and showed us other types of men of war. and Jamies travels with brienne, like Aryas S2 arc, had that same sence of doom, as if war is circling in on them, until finally it emerges in the form of Locke, an equally brilliant study of a ruthless soldier.

      Then in season 4 they rightfully followed a trend of showing the effects of war, a trend they had always followed a little bit, but now it was beefed up. It was still not a big theme, but it was there, especially in aryas arc, which was basically about that. Starting with her and the hound finding a bunch of soldiers who is brutalising an inn, until stubling upon a farmer and his daughter who are struggling to survive in the mists of war and of course moving on to the dying man scene.

      I too, hope they follow this trend and give us more in S5. I guess Brienne and Pod are the best chance, since they are the only ones who might actually be wandering westeros. and I am of the opinion that LS is an essential part of this theme, but admittedly it can easily be done without.

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    12. Damphairintheshowplease!,

      of course Danys Slavers Bay arc, which comes to a climax in S5, is about the effects of conquring and the whole Wall-storyline in S5 is also heavily about the aftereffects of a battle. In KL we will se religion rise up in the imediate aftermath of the recent war.

      I was talking about the was in westeros and its effect on the country itself, mostly the smallfolk. Thats what I want in season 5.

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    13. HearMarkoRoar: I consider Alfie Allen the most underrated guy on the show, with some amazingly powerful performances. So Alfie, always Alfie. Not that it will happen :/

      ^ THIS! 100000 x this!
      I couldn’t agree more!

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    14. The Yara scene is an example of how a decision in a previous season harms the subsequent season. This is by and large why I believe GOT hasn’t done prophesies until this season. Failure to deliver on something that was setup can be challenging given the unknowns of the future season.

      Another example of a failure of this nature was the White Walker scene at the end of season 2. This lead to the battle at the fist of the first men that was shown via a black screen.

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    15. ” …..I want more deaths – early, on-screen deaths if (IF!) they are more impactful on the screen than they were in the books, i.e. Grenn taking Donal Noye’s place. We probably only have 30 episodes of television left to tell George’s story, so I want it told with impact.”

      I am not a fan of this buzz-tag about death that GOT has gotten saddled with, it’s thoughtlessly faddish. Even D&D just mention they didn’t want to do it when it was expected. Tho they did say they offed Green and Pyp in S4 to inject pathos, which I consider a cliche in itself.

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    16. Also, I’m having trouble understanding why the writers felt they needed Yara to physically see Theon’s lost identity. What is the narrative purpose behind that?

      Would it have not been more impactful if Balon hid the letter and box from Yara and that she just assumed he was dead? That way if she by chance

      ran into him in season 5 she would see her little brother who she thought was dead. Not only that but she would see his broken appearance.

      I believe the purpose behind the season 4 failed rescue is to

      set up a re-reunion with Theon and Yara in which Theon is finally back to being Theon and not reek. But I feel going about it this

      way was clumsily handled and in the larger scheme of things, not at all necessary

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    17. “I have always felt as if I was being treated to a major motion picture rather than a television show” – is that necessarily a good thing? Because of the nature of primetime drama and cinematic storytelling, there is huge emotional gaps in character development. We see a character go from A to C and never get to see B usually. At its best, television is theatre, not cinema – a medium to explore character driven drama. That’s Thrones at its best, but the cinematic angle is threatening this sensibility.

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    18. wow. the dany hate is real.

      anyway, personally I would rate the seasons:

      season 1- 9.0
      season 3- 8.5
      season 4- 7.0
      season 2- 5.9

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    19. Yivo,

      Good article. “A wealth of gratuitous, original rapey scenes” though? There were only 2 as far as I remember, as much as Season 1, and one of them was in the books. The books are far more rapey. Not that I think the rape scenes in season 4 were particularly well handled.

      Thank you, I say this all the time. First of all, there is a real exaggeration about the amount of sexual violence in the show, there was Dany in S1 , those 2 scenes in S4, and a scene of sexual violence with Joff and prostitutes in S2 but some act as if the show has been filled with them. Second, why do people act like this stuff isn’t rampant all over the books. For every sexually violent scene that the show has added I can list many more that were in GRRMs books but removed for the show.
      People will criticize by saying “rape scenes not from the books”, but what if they were from the books? Would they suddenly be acceptable? Is rape only acceptable when GRRM writes it?

      I understand if people want to make the argument that because TV is a visual medium the show should be more sensitive with this type of content but most are not making that argument. They act as if this is unique to the show and D&D have taken some wholesome fantasy story and added rape to it.

      I also understand the criticism over the mishandling of the Jaime Cersei scene but some people took that scene as an excuse to start labeling GoT as if was some rape fest of a show and it is nonsense and especially hypocritical coming from ASOIAF fans who take no qualms about the rape and sexual violence in books.

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    20. Boojam,

      From their interview, D&D killed Grenn and Pyp so the battle at the Wall can have consequences. And they succeeded, the battle had a bigger emotional impact with their deaths. Remember their is no Donal Noye in the show

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    21. Provided she gets good material this season, I think Carice Van Houten deserves consideration for the Best Supporting Actress Emmy. She plays an ambiguous character so beautifully and is so superbly understated. I hope to see Lena winning Lead Actress too.

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    22. JamesL:
      Yivo,

      For every sexually violent scene that the show has added I can list many more that were in GRRMs books but removed for the show.

      I actually don’t remember reading many rape scenes in the books. There are a lot of offhand remarks about people getting raped but how often do you see it unfold on the page? All that comes to mind is Brienne’s almost rape that Jaime saved her from that was also in the show.

      Some other rape was told via story from Gregor’s men but it wasn’t in real time. Another example of this is Cersei’s marital rape.

      But it’s totally different hearing 2nd hand accounts of this than actually reading it happen. Double goes for SEEING it happen on screen.

      That’s why people have a problem with it in the show.

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    23. Yivo,

      But it’s not currently happening. If a character on the show told that story ofcourse it would be disgusting. However if they showed it, that would be turning up the notch 10 fold

      That’s the difference

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    24. Season One – 10
      Season Two – 8.5
      Season Three – 8
      Season Four – 9.5

      Lena has the best chance to take the Emmy this year, but I’m secretly hoping Sophie Turner can sneak in as a surprise nomination. I think the Sansa storyline will be talked about a lot and Sophie will do a great job with it.

      As for Pryce’s chances, I’m not so sure – last year I was sure Pedro Pascal was a shoo-in for a nomination, and we got zero. Besides Pryce, Alexander Siddig also has a chance to get nominated.

      I just want Ramin Djawadi and Nina Gold to get their Emmys already.

      Only 4 days now, so excited, like crows in a field of flayed men.

      (Also, got my Funko Pop Brienne figure in the mail yesterday. Thanks again!)

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    25. I am most looking forward to the small character exchanges which give development and fill in back story; i.e., Sam and Maester Aemon conversation in Ep9. Also, Peter Vaughn should be recognized in some way (but that will never happen).

      And of course, Lena. Always Lena.

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    26. I hope emilia gets a nom this yr.
      btw….incase you guys didn’t know,
      it is more likely for a n actor to get nominated if they have meaty stuff in the first 5 episodes.
      this is because emmy voters dont have time to watch everything.

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    27. JamesL:
      People will criticize by saying “rape scenes not from the books”, but what if they were from the books? Would they suddenly be acceptable? Is rape only acceptable when GRRM writes it?

      I for one have liked it when the show has left out some of the rape GRRM wrote into the books – it bothers me regardless, particularly when it doesn’t drive the plot. I know there’s been more than enough back-and-forth about how they intended the scene between Jaime and Cersei to come across, but that was added sexual assault that had no impact on the plot, in my opinion.

      I agree with everyone who said that it’ll be good to see the pacing stay at more eventful rate this year, as they started doing with season four. The biggest thing I want to see less of is the “plot cul-de-sacs” that we got last year with the aforementioned Yara scenes at the Dreadfort, and Bran & co.’s trip to Craster’s. I had figured it was just a result of stretching Storm over two seasons so some characters were left without much to do, but I’d rather just not see characters at all than going in a circle like that.

      Looking forward to Jon, Cersei, and Arya especially!

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    28. Turncloak,

      The narrative purpose was simple: if even your own sibling cannot get you to reconnect with yourself, then you probably are quite lost. That showed the audience that Reek is in control and Theon is quite gone. The series needed to show that to convince audience members that this is the case.

      This sort of thing cannot be spoken: not only is that bad cinematic presentation where “show, don’t tell” is the rule, but words are wind; many people would suspect that Theon is just biding his time until shown that he is not.

        Quote  Reply

    29. Regarding this season, I am as excited as a fat pink mast in a myrish swamp!

      Thanks for the thoughts, WotW. It should be an amazing and thought-provoking season. I’m sure we’ll be loudly cheering and dissing the choices made as we see this second Act unfold in familiar and unfamiliar territory. This season could have many of the most memorable moments of the series….and probably the most intense reactions… 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    30. Turncloak,

      Well the show has never had any graphic depictions of rape either, though since it is the visual medium some may label any depiction as graphic. That’s the thing, they are 2 different mediums and while the books don’t have a lot of vivid descriptions of rape occurring in real time during the story it doesn’t change the fact that rape is regularly being written about and mentioned throughout the story.

      And like I said in my previous post, I don’t have an issue with people making the argument that because TV is a visual medium this content can be more shocking and offensive therefore the show should avoid showing rape and sexual violence. My issue is when people act like this stuff comes out of nowhere- “how dare they add rape to Game of Thrones”. You say most people are making the former criticism but what I see is most people making the latter.

        Quote  Reply

    31. Yivo,

      I disagree, there is a difference when u a reading something heat is a occurring in real time. If you’ve read the dunk and egg novellas you would be horrified by what happens as to the Dornish puppeteer thanks to

      Aerion Brightflame in which you read her fingers snap.

      However reading about it in the world book after the fact has way less of an impact.

      Not even close to being the same.

        Quote  Reply

    32. Wimsey:
      Turncloak,

      The narrative purpose was simple: if even your own sibling cannot get you to reconnect with yourself, then you probably are quite lost.That showed the audience that Reek is in control and Theon is quite gone.The series needed to

      Except this was already quite obvious to even the unsullied fans. Thus emphasizing this was unnecessary.

      What did the Ironborn rescue attempt tell us about Theon that the Moat Cailin scene did not?

        Quote  Reply

    33. Yivo:
      Turncloak,

      I think that’s a very, very convenient way to absolve GRRM that’s pretty much nonsense. But whatever.

      Absolving GRRM? I’m merely stating why people have a stronger reaction to disgusting scenes in real time rather than occurring in monologues. GRRM writes plenty of disgusting stuff such as

      Brienne’s face getting bitten off.

      However, that doesn’t change the fact that seeing a rape scene unfold in real time TV is grosser than hearing about it 2nd hand.

      Especially when the scene has questionable motivations (such as rape being used as background dressing in the show)

        Quote  Reply

    34. dob,

      I’d like that just so the rabid haters can shut up, lol
      But in all seriousness, I don’t think there will be a “Dracarys” moment for Dany this season.

      Its all about Lena and Cersei…
      Lena needs it this season and D&D write marvelously for Cersei

        Quote  Reply

    35. I just subtitled my show ur write here the whole time I thought it was milk Of the puppy that’s retarted of the poppy, does make more sense but how do you pasteurize it ???!

        Quote  Reply

    36. HelloThere,

      That’s funny I listened to the audio book watched the show a hundred times , read all the john chapters and every episode I watch again with my dad and he needs the subtitles so he can catch everything there saying and I still thought it was milk of the puppy I thought it was poppy for maybe a few days but than thought milk
      Must be puppy . I feel like
      Changing my name to kitchen wench giz for speaking about it so
      Much

        Quote  Reply

    37. And finally, on a scale from ‘Arya practicing embroidery’ to ‘Podrick in a brothel’ how excited are you for season 5?

      I am not “Podrick in a brothel” excited…… I am “The brothel hears Podrick is on his way” excited!!!

        Quote  Reply

    38. My list:

      Season One – 9
      Season Two – 8
      Season Three – 8,5
      Season Four – 5 (just saved by some actors, FX and some scenes):

      We had Tyrion “ohhh Poor Hero” and his beetles vs Oberyn and Ellaria.
      We had Jaime raping Cersei vs Jaime and Cersei are overall interesting characters.
      We had Jon Stone Face vs Stannis arriving.
      We had Daenerys Dead Eyes vs that random father peasant.
      We had Myranda and Yara vs Arya and the Hound.
      We had Dornish culture butchered vs short travel Brienne+Pod.
      We had stupid Littlefinger vs Lysa the crazy and Alayne the Player.
      We had boobs vs Olenna and Margaery in the Purple Wedding.

      To me, season 4 sucked. Unfaithful to the books, but also, boring TV. 4X04 is the worst episode ever in GOT history.

      I’m scared what they’re doing with Dorne and Sansa. It seems they’re gonna do Hollywood crap again, like they did last season.

        Quote  Reply

    39. Season 4 was awful. If I was being generous I’d give it a 6.5/10

      Nothing will ever top the flawless season that was S1.

        Quote  Reply

    40. For me season 4 was definitely the worst of the batch. Probably a 6/10. Season 1 – 10/10 season 2 – 8/10 season 3 9/10. Something about season 4 just felt off. Nothing was quite there and the best parts of the season were basically 4-5 minute highlights like Tyrions trial, the trial by combat, Theon/Ramsey’s relationship, etc. Also Dany really brought this season down, liked her season 1, hated her season 2, liked her season 3, but man was she god-awful in season 4. Poorly written and Emilia Clarke was poorly directed.

        Quote  Reply

    41. I am “Tommen waiting for Margaery next nightly visit” excited. Excited and looking forward to it but a bit nervous what will transpire.

        Quote  Reply

    42. Season 1 – simply the best

      Season 2 – probaly the weakest (Jon storyline what the hell D&D?Dany’s storyline was already kinda meh in the books,but D&D managed to screwed it up even more on the show,Theon storyline was good and Alfie was phenomenal…that’s about it).

      Season 3 – really good,but not better than season 1

      Season 4 – ehm ok.I loved Arya/Hound Tarantino stuff,Pedro as Oberyn was 100% spot on,Kit finally shines etc.But there are some really weak part like that Craster’s fiasco,Yara’s rescue mission,Dany’s arc(poor writing and as result of that equally poor acting from Emilia)…well apart from last scene with Dragons and that High Valyrian speech in the epsiode “Breaker of Chains”.

      Damn D&D,bring back that awesome Dany.Emilia suffered big time last season.Just like Kit,she needs good writing and material to work with.Hopefully this season will be better for her.

        Quote  Reply

    43. JamesL,

      What about that scene with Karl Tanner in Craster’s Keep? Quite a lot of rape going on in the background.
      Funny that we never heard anything about that, considering those girls got it a lot worse than Cersei did.

        Quote  Reply

    44. CastPeter Dinklage, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau,Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke, Aidan Gillen, Kit Harington, Diana Rigg, Natalie Dormer, Maisie Williams, Sophie Turner, Alfie Allen, John Bradley, Dean-Charles Chapman, LiamCunningham, Stephen Dillane, Nathalie Emmanuel, Jerome Flynn, IainGlen, Conleth Hill, Kristofer Hivju, Michiel Huisman, Michael McElhatton, Iwan Rheon, Carice van Houten, Indira Varma, Jonathan Pryce, Alexander Siddig, DeObia Oparei, Keisha Castle-Hughes, Rosabell Laurenti Sellers, Jessica Henwick, Nell Tiger Free, Toby Sebastian

      looks like dorbe is in the main cast!CastPeter Dinklage, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau,Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke, Aidan Gillen, Kit Harington, Diana Rigg, Natalie Dormer, Maisie Williams, Sophie Turner, Alfie Allen, John Bradley, Dean-Charles Chapman, LiamCunningham, Stephen Dillane, Nathalie Emmanuel, Jerome Flynn, IainGlen, Conleth Hill, Kristofer Hivju, Michiel Huisman, Michael McElhatton, Iwan Rheon, Carice van Houten, Indira Varma, Jonathan Pryce, Alexander Siddig, DeObia Oparei, Keisha Castle-Hughes, Rosabell Laurenti Sellers, Jessica Henwick, Nell Tiger Free, Toby Sebastian

        Quote  Reply

    45. I’m most excited for Sansa, Cersei, and Hardhome.

      I’m hoping that a POV character slated for death in TWOW has his or her expiration date moved up. AFFC and ADWD have a lot of good stuff but nothing that shook me to my core. I’m ready to be thunderstruck again. Like when I read ASOS for the first time.

        Quote  Reply

    46. My other issue is probably more of a personal preference as it relates to the fantasy genre, so take it with a grain of salt. The blazing fireballs of exploding magic in the S4 finale were a little too capricious for my taste. It was the first time throughout the duration of the series that I actually felt like I was watching something other than Game of Thrones.

      And people still complain about the lack of fantasy in the series. This is the main reason why D&D have cut Coldhands, magic horns and Mance-Rattleshirt plot. The fantasy elements, even rightly done, add cheeseness (don’t know if that word exists) to the story and can make an Unsullied to stop viewing the series. I didn’t start GoT until summer of 2012 because i thought it was too fantastical, and I know a lot of Unsullied that didn’t like the fireballs scene, the Nights King scene, and even the dragons scenes. Simply because of fantasy-phobia.

      That being said, there seemed to be a wealth of gratuitous, original rapey scenes that they can feel free to cease and desist in season 5.

      I will never understand how so many people (GoT/ASoIaF fans, that have read/seen tons of sex, violence and gruesome deaths) think the Craster’s Keep rape scene was gratuitous. I admit I don’t remember the scene very well, though. But what did people expect them to be doing there? Snowcastles? They were rapers and the place was full of women, so… This series is not for people who can’t stand seeing brutal violence (which is perfectly acceptable, thankfully we are not used to these situations).

        Quote  Reply

    47. Chriss:
      I hope to see some more of D&D’s exquisite writing. Maybe Yara can save Theon from Winterfell.

      But the previous Yara scene was written by Bryan Cogman….

        Quote  Reply

    48. I think Dany’s story suffers in the show for the same reason as in the books: she does some pretty awe inspiring stuff early on before here story stagnates to an extent in Meereen.

      Now I know there is a reason, that we have to see that Dany is not ready to rule a kingdom, that sudden change in the socio-political structure can have severe unintended consequences, that she has to know when to heed and when to overrule counsel, that she has to be seen making mistakes and learning from them, that the dragons are no magic bullet if she can’t control them but let’s be fair it wasn’t exactly thrilling fare until after a few of her ADWD chapters.

      I really enjoyed season 4 despite the occasional mis-step. Season 5 will be tricky as so many stories reached an (often grisly) apex in S4 and it’s all about new beginnings for many characters with so much to be established.

      And I hope none of you has given up on the gravy.

        Quote  Reply

    49. High Sparrow,

      It’s not that the Craster’s Keep scene included rape, it’s that it was filmed in a dehumanizing way. In other words, rape in Game of Thrones isn’t filmed in a way that considers the victim’s viewpoint or the psychological consequences of rape, it’s filmed in a way that purely emphasizes the spectacle of it. A couple times, the show even comes close to eroticizing the violence. Why is the rape of a woman treated as a background noise or an excuse to show boobs? That’s the question.

        Quote  Reply

    50. So book readers hate season 4 and non book readers felt it was a great season.

      This reminds me of what Robert Frost once said about writing poetry. He said writing poetry without meter was like playing tennis without a net. Danand Dave have to create a TV show, not some bullshit freestyle narrative that mirrors the books. I think most book readers would have no idea how to even construct a 10 hour season of game of thrones without making a product that’s far worse then what HBO is putting out.

      It’s very easy to judge when you don’t have very serious time and content constraints put on you.

        Quote  Reply

    51. dob,
      HelloThere,
      I hope you’re not including me in the Dany haters club. I really like Dany and want very much for her to succeed (for a number of reasons) and I think Emilia Clarke is doing a good job with what she has been given. And by that I mean, Dany is the one character who I think GRRM can least relate to personally. I vaguely recall him saying that she was one of the hardest for him to write actually but don’t quote me on that 🙂 IMHO it’s hard to hold it against GRRM (and thus D&D) when his books are chock full of hundreds of interesting characters and a ton of different storylines. No one can write in that many voices and hit it out of the park ever time. Heck even Tolstoy’s tomes had some weaker/weakish characters in them. But none of that means I don’t like her. Just for the record….

        Quote  Reply

    52. Geralt of Rivia,

      D&D are by far the most inconsistent w/ their writing for Dany
      Unless its the big moments, or scenes pulled directly from the book, her dialogue is not always done well by them (and I love their off book dialogue for practically every other character).

      Which is why Dany/Emilia was great in S1 and S3, because her scenes were pulled directly from the books. I mean… Emilia got a damn Emmy nomination when the material gave her the scope.

        Quote  Reply

    53. asfastasican,

      So book readers hate season 4 and non book readers felt it was a great season

      Make broad declarative and patently false statements much? I couldn’t disagree with you more. I’m a book reader and LOVED Season 4. The Wotw crew pointed out, what? Two weak scenes out of 100 hours of a television? How does that mean we hated it?! Also the WotW crew and the book readers on this site by no means statistically represent GRRM’s and GoT’s massive audience.

        Quote  Reply

    54. looking at the picture for this post reminded me how DARK those interior scenes are! God dammit GOT producers, get some lighting people on set! So much for being realistic! I cant see a damn thing!!!

      Season 1 looked the BEST! Smooth and bright.

        Quote  Reply

    55. I think you can almost regard seasons 1 – 4 as one complete act, this seems more apparent when you watch them all over a short period. Season 5 may be the second of a three act structure* but by necessity I think it’ll be a short transition into the final act with more of the separate stories converging, you’d definitely expect a crisis point or two at the end of the season with S6 launching towards resolution.

      *”They must not only learn new skills but arrive at a higher sense of awareness of who they are and what they are capable of, in order to deal with their predicament, which in turn changes who they are.”

        Quote  Reply

    56. Maybe I should have pointed out that everyone wrote their responses independent of each other… any similarities are unintentional but certainly interesting!

        Quote  Reply

    57. Here are my thoughts on the seasons
      Season 1: 8.5
      Season 2: 8.5 (Thanks to Blackwater)
      Season 3: 9
      Season 4: 9.5

        Quote  Reply

    58. My Ratings
      Season 1: 9.5
      Season 2: 8.0
      Season 3: 9.0
      Season 4: 9.25

      Doubtful that any season will reach 10 for me, because that for me means it is flawless, but all four seasons are up there. Superb!

        Quote  Reply

    59. Arya havin’ a larf?,

      I think the whole acts thing is more accurate to the books than it is to the show. The show kind of muddied up the line between the books’ first and second act (by changing the chronology for characters like Dany, Sansa, and Theon and adding stuff that hasn’t happened in the books- at least not yet) and it’s also looking like act two and three are mashed together rather than clearly separated like they are in the books with AFFC and ADWD feeling like their own thing.

        Quote  Reply

    60. As far as the seasons go:

      Season 1 – in many respects the best season, but to be completely fair to the writers, AGOT is by far the most-suited of the books to a TV adaptation. Fewer characters, few locations, the plots interact far more than they do in any subsequent book. The main negative is that it looks a bit cheap, which is exacerbated by the obviously-higher-budget later seasons, but there’s not much that could have been done about that.

      Season 2 – the weakest season, as the writers are still figuring out how to juggle GRRM’s branching plots. Tyrion and to a lesser extent Theon carry this season. “Blackwater” remains the best episode of the show. On the negative side, Jon and Dany’s stories just don’t work at all, and the whole Robb & Catelyn plot starts to wander dangerously off track.

      Season 3 – the biggest problem with this season is way too much King’s Landing at the expense of the places where the main story events are actually occurring this season. We don’t need a bunch of scenes with the Queen of Thorns sitting down one-on-one with every other castmember; we do need to see Jon’s integration with the Wildlings in greater detail, and we need Catelyn to actually be a character on the show, because the climactic tragedy of the season is her tragedy. And, for that matter, the ways they expand the KL story completely undercut Sansa, one of the POV characters, whose story this season is just godawful and insulting (and rather hilariously out of step with where the show takes her the following season).

      Season 4 – this season balances plots better than previous ones, which is good — the writers seem to be more and more willing to not force characters onscreen, perhaps having learned from the negative reception of Theon’s season 3 material (and, to a lesser extent, Bran’s painfully stretched-out season 3 appearances). It was a mistake to drag out the Battle of Castle Black until the ninth episode, though, and the writers refusal to let characters like Tyrion be anything other than heroic really starts taking a toll on my enjoyment of those characters.

        Quote  Reply

    61. Season 1: 9.5
      Season 2: 7
      Season 3: 8.5
      Season 4: 9

      I am most looking forward to Jon/Stannis/Mel at the Wall. As for potential award nominations, Peter will get his usual nom, and I expect Lena to get the female nom. Pryce has a chance as guest actor, if he doesn’t have too much material.

        Quote  Reply

    62. jentario:
      Arya havin’ a larf?,
      I think the whole acts thing is more accurate to the books than it is to the show. The show kind of muddied up the line between the books’ first and second act (by changing the chronology for characters like Dany, Sansa, and Theon and adding stuff that hasn’t happened in the books- at least not yet) and it’s also looking like act two and three are mashed together rather than clearly separated like they are in the books with AFFC and ADWD feeling like their own thing.

      I know what you mean – it’s not easy to compare the books though as the timelines overlap so much that they are very non linear, whereas in the show it’s by necessity more linear or contemporaneous. Some AFFC chapters take place during the events of ASoS for example (at least according to the dedicated fans who work out such things). Yes I’d say acts 2 &3 will merge somewhat rather than being clear cut.

      If you simply look at the characters that have survived at the end of S4, they have almost all reached a major turning point (some like Cersei and Jaime reached it a bit earlier in the season/series I’d agree), and that’ll likely be emphasized in the first half of S5. Dany hasn’t yet quite reached that point I suppose until we see

      the Sons of the Harpy wreaking havoc, and the siege of Meeren giving her serious doubts

        Quote  Reply

    63. My 2 cents on the seasons so far:

      – season one: 10/10 I loved it to pieces. Episode 9 is what incited me to readthe books.
      – season two: 9/10 I really liked this season as well. Loved powerfull tyrion and (yes, I loved them) Robb and Talisa, as well as Arya’s arc (Gendry, Hotpie, Tywin, Jaquen!), Theon and even Dany’s (although much weaker than first season I still enjoyed because Jorah had very good moments with her and I ship them :3) Jon story was awful this season though.
      Season three : 8/10 for some reason this season didn’t excited me as much as the previous two but I still liked it.
      Season 4 : 8/10 ( same reasons as season 4)

        Quote  Reply

    64. Tyrion Pimpslap:

      I am most looking forward to Jon/Stannis/Mel at the Wall. As for potential award nominations, Peter will get his usual nom, and I expect Lena to get the female nom. Pryce has a chance as guest actor, if he doesn’t have too much material.

      I think that Pryce will be close to a lock for an Emmy nomination … if he doesn’t appear in too many episodes. The TV Academy made a new rule this season specifying that only actors who appear in 50% or less of a show’s episodes during a given season are eligible to be submitted in the Guest Acting categories. If they exceed that threshold, the actor or actress in question must submit in the Supporting categories, regardless of whether or not they’re part of the show’s regular cast. So if Pryce appears in more than 5 episodes this season, he’s likely out of luck.

      Dinklage will easily get his fifth straight nomination – the material will determine whether or not he can win (Jonathan Banks from Better Call Saul is probably his most viable competition at this point). I was thrilled when Lena Headey got nominated last year – mainly because she’s great, but also because I thought that nomination would make it easier for her to return to the field next year. Unfortunately, thanks to the massive influx of Orange is the New Black actresses who now must compete in her category, that return is no longer a sure thing. But I think that she will make the cut. If she does, she should have no shortage of strong episodes to choose from.

      I would say that Diana Rigg was a lock to earn her third straight nomination for Guest Actress. But if she has indeed been promoted to the main cast this year, then she may no longer be eligible in that category.

      The rest of the cast will likely go unrewarded, unfortunately, although many of them will have strong material that should garner them consideration on merit. Kit Harington, especially. Benioff and Weiss have expressed their desire to see him recognized in the past, and this will be Jon’s best season yet. He’ll have a chance, at least.

        Quote  Reply

    65. asfastasican: So book readers hate season 4 and non book readers felt it was a great season.

      No generalizations, please. As a non-book reader, I liked Season 4 overall, but on rewatches, tend to only focus on the Tyrion entire arc and Oberyn. Other standout moments are Joffrey’s death and chaining up of the dragons and the deaths in Episode 4.09. So Season 4 is in no way the greatest for me. Far from it. All seasons have their great and weak moments.
      I will always wonder: if David and Dan knew from the very beginning that (a) this show would be a massive success and (b) Martin would not finish the story before the series ended and they would have to write a lot of it themselves, how would they have paced the overall series? Would they have kept everything in that they did?

        Quote  Reply

    66. HelloThere,

      Excellent review. Definitely one that any book reader who is feeling anxious about the new season should read. One part in particular stood out to me …

      The slimmer, streamlined series is wholly captivating: smart and suspenseful, clever and sad. Game of Thrones the show has never been as good as Martin’s books are at conjuring up the past—the novels are rife with shivery old stories, recalled histories, long buried secrets—and because of that the series has always been a little less emotionally engaging or evocative than it maybe could have been. But when, in one lovely scene in this new season, two characters find themselves in an old, old crypt and one of them shares a faraway memory with the other, one that has grander implications than they can likely imagine (but we can!) the series whispers with Martin’s same melancholy magic.
      Could it be that Littlefinger tells Sansa about the Tournament at Harrenhal when they’re standing in the crypts of Winterfell? In front of Lyanna’s statue? Damn, that would be perfect.

        Quote  Reply

    67. mau,

      Essentially agree with you. However, I’m on a rewatch of the whole show, and having just watched most of season two, I must say it’s better than I remember.

        Quote  Reply

    68. HelloThere,

      I think someone posted it here already.

      I was hoping for Joanna Robinson since it’s VF, but this guy was really insightful. Cant wait to read more of his reviews.

        Quote  Reply

    69. Jared,

      It sounds like LF and Sansa in the crypts.We’re getting there(R+L=J) step by step.I am really glad,they’ve decided to finally introduce the Tourney of Harrenhal and maybe next season ToJ.

        Quote  Reply

    70. Luka Nieto:
      mau,

      Essentially agree with you. However, I’m on a rewatch of the whole show, and having just watched most of season two, I must say it’s better than I remember.

      I agree wholeheartedly. When thinking about Season 2 in isolation, I can understand many of the criticisms aimed at it. But rewatching it (as I do the whole show every year), I always come away with the impression that it was in fact a pretty damn good season. Weaker than 1, 3, and 4, sure (though that could also be said of ACoK compared to AGoT and ASoS), but still very good.

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    71. HelloThere, thanks for the link to that review.

      But now, in the first four episodes of the fifth season, it’s clear that the show has made its decision, and is asserting itself fully as its own entity, keeping Martin’s intricate framework intact, of course, but now unafraid to tell new stories.

      This sounds excellent. 🙂 I am happily anticipating the new season starting Sunday!

        Quote  Reply

    72. Luka Nieto,

      Not bad at all, but other seasons are better.

      Second season needed “a climax that would change everything”. After Battle everything remained the same. Nothing game-changing happened.

      But I’m watching this story as a whole and second season was what it was supposed to be.

        Quote  Reply

    73. mau,

      In fact, I’d say the only disappointing thing about the two big battles featured on the show is that the side on the defense wins, so the status quo remains, more or less.

      The same goes, probably, for the Battle of Meereen, in the books.

        Quote  Reply

    74. What makes everybody hate season two, it’s been a long time since I’ve rewatched past seasons of the show and the only bad aspect of season two that I can remember was Dany’s storyline.

        Quote  Reply

    75. RandomGoTfan,

      Jon’s was worse. He is my favorite character in the books, but I just hated what they did in s2. They made him into a dumb fuckup, with Quorin mocking his intelligence the entirety of their time together.

        Quote  Reply

    76. RandomGoTfan,

      I don’t “hate” it, but: Dany’s Qarth story (i.e., “Dany is a petulant idiot who walks around demanding stuff from people”), Jon’s story (i.e., Jon is a big idiot who gets his entire team killed and doesn’t learn anything), the dumb Robb/Talisa romance and the botching of everything relating to the deaths of Bran and Rickon and Catelyn setting Jaime free, Sansa’s non-existent story arc (auguring worse things to come the following year), and the way Theon’s otherwise-excellent story ends in a confusing and anticlimactic manner.

        Quote  Reply

    77. Kay:

      I will always wonder: if David and Dan knew from the very beginning that (a) this show would be a massive success and (b) Martin would not finish the story before the series ended and they would have to write a lot of it themselves, how would they have paced the overall series? Would they have kept everything in that they did?

      No to both questions. D & D just wanted to make it to the Red Wedding, they weren’t sure if the show would find a niche audience, never mind become a major hit. As for Martin, they (and many others) probably thought he would finish most of the book saga by the end.

      Of course, Martin probably thought the series’s success meant it bought him more time to finish the saga later. . . 😉

        Quote  Reply

    78. Tyrion Pimpslap,

      I always thought Qhorin Halfhand was a very smart man. It is hard to kill someone you instinctively like. The Halfhand knew they might be caught and I believe he was thinking ahead, working through strategies that would ensure the NW learned what it needed to know in order to survive and to protect the realm. Qhorin’s interactions with Jon Snow become more confrontational and his demeanor more dismissive of the younger man as their brief time comes to an end. By the time they must fight, Jon Snow has been pushed into a corner. Qhorin gets what he wanted. Smart man. Dead man, true, but smart.

        Quote  Reply

    79. >
      SuetheFury: Having exciting moments throughout the season instead of putting most of them off until the big finish in the last two episodes. Also the long-running trend of bath/hot tub scenes.
      Agree ~ agree ~ agree – given the way that Dave & Dan went on and on about how good a show Breaking Bad was, you would think they would put some over-the-top, deadly, exciting, crazy, scary, hilarious moments into each episode, instead of waiting till the end of the season.
      And I want bath scenes too ~ I need to see Jaqen H’ghar bathing nude in the Baths of Braavos …….. there can be some steam, but not too much ~ I pay a lot for my HBO subscription and I deserve this!

      And to Grand Maester Giz your confusion over “puppies” and “poppies” is so funny! Here in Florida at least, “puppies” is another term for “bewbs”. I want a tee shirt that says: “Milk of the Puppies” – how classic!

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    80. I see a lot of people complaining about Yara running away from the hunting dogs. Some of you guys probably don’t own hunting dogs. My Dogo Argentino killed a mountain lion and fought a pack of coyotes killed three of them, awesome dog breed. I’d like to see ironborn go up against my dog Diego.

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    81. You guys are hilarious, thanks for the entertaining predictions 🙂
      Dame Pasty I’m with you on Jaime’s arc! 100%
      and yes, less rape would be appreciated.
      LENA FOR THE EMMY! (I hope she deserves it!)

      I’m Robert/Robin getting ready to throw something out the moon door excited!

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    82. mau,

      And? It’s obviously relevant that the show has botched or dumbed down many aspects of the story. Maybe if you were unaware of the existence of the superior version this wouldn’t bother a person (though if you look at some of the more sophisticated Unsullied viewing threads, they arrive at many of the same criticisms about gaps in story logic), but I am.

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    83. Flora Linden: No to both questions. D & D just wanted to make it to the Red Wedding, they weren’t sure if the show would find a niche audience, never mind become a major hit.

      You obviously misunderstood my wonderings. I am aware that D&D weren’t sure if the show would be a success, etc. What I am wondering about is: IF D&D could TODAY time-travel back to 2010, knowing what they do NOW (about the show’s success and that Martin would not finish the books in time), how would they have made each season? In my opinion, some of the places they have faltered is because of trying to straddle two boats: hoping that Martin would finish his story and make all his points in time, and adapt those into successful TV. This would make for a fascinating interview with them once the series is completed. Hopefully late 2017.
      This is why I am anticipating Seasons 5-7 very much indeed. Now David and Dan know.

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    84. Lady Wolfsbane:
      “extremely aggravated dogs who were without vaccinations”

      Bwaahaahaa. Yup. That and fireballs. Top two stupid things from Season 4…. but… actually, I GUESS that’s not too bad…

      I really don’t understand why everyone started crying when Leaf threw a fireball. In the actual chapter in the book, she saves the crew by setting the wights on fire. Or at least its one of the Children of the forest. Idk why you would then cry when fireballs were shown on the show.

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    85. Unpopular opinion here: I think season 2 is at least as good as 3. Yes, RW was awesome, but Craster’s Keep was really diminished by having Dracarys right after imo, and the storyline in general got too dull. Ep1: No fight at the fist? No fight at the fist. Ep2: We’re walking. And we’re tired. Ep3: We’re still tired, but now we’re at Crasters. Ep4: Oh, crap. But Sam escaped. So not seeing anymore of that until S4 ep3. And there was really little action in general, except for ep9. So many long, talky scenes (even by GoT standards). S2 on the other hand:

      -S2 highlighted each storyline better, imo.
      -Awesome Dinklage (in S3 he mainly just talked)
      -Pretty much every episode after 2 had much going on. Blackwater was amazing enough to match RW, and Valar Morghulis beats Mhysa out of the park. Especially the ending scene.
      -No Theon torture, Bran did something else than travel, and we didn’t see pointless LF plots.

      By all means, I think S1 and S4 is better, but I think S3 is a bit overrated compared to S3. In theory, Storms is better material, but S4 got most of the good parts, and I think they messed up some of the key moments S3 had.

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    86. Sean C.:
      mau,

      And?

      And it is completely wrong approach to one adaptation. The show should be judged as the show. It should be compared with other shows, not with the books.

      Because, you know, GRRM have 1000 pages for each book and he writes them for a very long time. And regardless of all this, the show has improved many aspects of the story.

      I can not agree that the books are “superior version”. Some scenes and some characters are better in the books, but overall for me show is much stronger because it avoids all the weaknesses of the books.

      Fake deaths, too many fake identities, lack of focus, generally uninteresting and underdeveloped minor characters, slow pace, plot disaster in AFFC and ADWD, too many irrelevant characters and plots, too smart LF and too stupid Cersei, children are too young,…

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    87. mau: And it is completely wrong approach to one adaptation. The show should be judged as the show. It should be compared with other shows, not with the books.

      Adaptation choices are obviously relevant in assessing a program. And as for judging it in comparison with other shows, this show can’t compare at all to the best shows on TV in terms of character development, plot, etc.

      [I was going to post a litany of plot and character issues that don’t make any sense if you approach the series without any knowledge of the books, e.g., Sansa and the necklace, but I won’t go down that road]

      And for that matter, quite a few of the stories that book readers have criticized (Qarth, Theon’s season 3 story, Jon) were also criticized by the Unsullied as being uninteresting.

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    88. Sean C.: Adaptation choices are obviously relevant in assessing a program.And as for judging it in comparison with other shows, this show can’t compare at all to the best shows on TV in terms of character development, plot, etc.

      Of course it can. Without any problems. “Normal” series have 10 characters in 65 episodes and it is natural that each character has a lot more time for breathing. It is extrodinary what D&D have achieved with this screen time in terms of plots and characters.

      Why is the central tragedy centered on Catelyn, a character who by that point has effectively vanished from the narrative and has fewer lines than Shae?

      This is not true. Tragedy is centered on Robb and Talisa also, not only Catelyn. And she didn’t have fewer lines than Shae

      Likewise, Robb goes from winning the war to losing the war between seasons with no explanation.


      This is also not true. Robb’s army has lost a motive, purpose, too long without a battle. Relations became bad because of Jaime’s release and all this culminated with executions of Karstark.

      How exactly did the Tyrells and Littlefinger know that Sansa would wear that necklace to the wedding?

      And how did they know this in the books? He gave her a necklace just before the wedding. It was expected.

      When exactly did Littlefinger and the Tyrells plan this, since we saw them working against each other last season, and why did the Tyrells suddenly side with him after working to thwart him?

      When Varys told Ollena that LF is one of the most dangerous men in Westeros. And they didn’t work against each other in S3. Tyrells wanted Sansa because of Varys’s insistence. They didn’t know that LF wants her also.

      When they find out, they gave Sansa to him and he helped them to kill Joffrey.

      How does Sansa go from being a moron who thinks her family is coming to her wedding to a “player” with no obvious in-between?

      It is much much worse in this new chapter. And she didn’t become player.

      Why do we spend a season watching Theon being tortured to lead up to a reveal that isn’t at all interesting?

      For you, maybe.

      Why has nobody noticed that Arya Stark walked up to the Eyrie and announced herself?

      Because she was laughing like a maniac and it was obvious that the Hound was lying

      How does, well, pretty much anything Shae does in season 4 at all with the character we knew in the preceding seasons?

      Because she is jealous and Tyrion abandoned and humiliated her

      How does Tyrion know how to get into Tywin’s quarters, and why does he go there?

      Because Tyrion was HoC. Why he killed Tywin? OMG! I don’t know. What do you think?

      And so on, and so on.

      If those are your best arguments… Well, they aren’t strong…

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    89. Sean C.,

      Perhaps immodestly I consider myself a fairly sophisticated unsullied viewer. I’m curious about what gaps in story logic you are referring to. I find little nits to pick here and there, as I’m sure all do, but I am having a hard time recalling things that I’d consider to be significant gaps in logic. Honest question. Interested in hearing.

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    90. Tereeza777,

      I should change my name from
      Grand maester giz to kitchen wench giz after that stupid ass comment , it wouldn’t of been that stupid if I didn’t spend so much time on the story. You gotta cook the poppy milk with dragon fire and it’ll crystalize and turn into a crazy super westerosi drug where you trip out and have tree visions . The blood ravens prolly got a stash

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    91. mau,

      I agree with mostly everything u said . A lot Of details and it makes you think people are diffrent people or two people at once . It’s fun but overall the show is gonna go down as one if the best fantasy stories of our generation ( Star Wars . Lord of the rings , Harry potter , game of thrones ) so many people that just watch the show will tell me comments like I watched game of thrones did you catch this and Rewatching it I came up with te Tyrion being Danny’s sister and him
      Dany and Jon all being tArgaryoins in the line of succession just from Tyrion and Tywin scenes on the show than after I went threw the books the fact that Jon
      Tyrion and Danys moms all died during birth cemented my theory

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    92. Grand maester giz,

      Only show you can watch twice in a row and get two diffrent things from or catch something that’s important that u missed . And no one hates season 2 I just think the majority who watches and reads the stories will agree that it’s the worst of the 4 but it gave us key charectors ( team dragon stone , Briene of tarth, Margery , ygritte ) that made the last two seasons , the epic story that we all know and love

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    93. Loved the Variety review, nice to read a review without the predictable snark, you can tell their invested but still objective enough to be honest.

      The Stark sisters better slay! Now I’m realllyyy excited for their arcs.

      The crypt scene will be immense, that description sounds insane, hopefully lots of foreshadowing for Sansa in that one.

      I honestly feel this season as a whole will be a spectacle, the reviews are pretty much unanimous in their support for the show. Early days sure but still!

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    94. TorbofThrones,

      You know, that is an unpopular opinion, but I almost agree with you. I did a ranking of Game of Thrones episodes recently, and I was surprised at how low so many S3 episodes were when re-evaluating them. There was some stuff in S3 that was fantastic, but it was inconsistent, kinda like S2.

      I still like S3 more, though. Whole storylines in S2 were frustrating, and the impact on the larger plot was a lot less significant. I mean, who even died in S2? What is different at the end of S2 compared to the beginning? So little changed for characters like Dany and Jon, waiting for the Lannjsters to beat Stannis, basically, before every storyline climaxes in S3/4

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    95. Kay,

      Oh, I’m sorry. I did misunderstand, never mind my post then! The what-if question would be an interesting one for D & D when the series is over.

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    96. Tereeza777:
      >
      SuetheFury:Having exciting moments throughout the season instead of putting most of them off until the big finish in the last two episodes. Also the long-running trend of bath/hot tub scenes.
      Agree ~ agree ~ agree – given the way that Dave & Dan went on and on about how good a show Breaking Bad was, you would think they would put some over-the-top, deadly, exciting, crazy, scary, hilarious moments into each episode, instead of waiting till the end of the season.

      And that’s exactly what they did in season 4. Much more spread out than Season 2 and 3 was, at least, since they put everything in episode 9.

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    97. mau,

      That’s not all of them, just some of the ones I could think of off the top of my head.

      Catelyn did have fewer lines than Shae in the third season. She basically had only two scenes, period, prior to the Red Wedding.

      None of the things you list have anything to do with him losing the war militarily, which he suddenly is at the start of season 3.

      They knew in the books because Sansa wearing the hairnet was something Dontos told her to do as part of their plan. In the show there is no plan, and thus no reason to be able to predict she’ll wear it. For that matter, no purpose is ever even given to the necklace in the show, compared to the books.

      The Tyrells did know that Littlefinger wanted Sansa in season 3. Varys explicitly tells them that as part of why he wants them to take Sansa instead.

      Yes, Sansa did become a “player”. That’s what everyone associated with the show has said. And Sansa’s development in the books is meticulous, whereas the show excised virtually all of her character development in KL in favour of making her an object that people fight over and occasionally make fun of.

      Why was it obvious the Hound was lying, exactly?

      I didn’t ask why he killed Tywin. I asked why he went to Tywin’s quarters. This is objectively a very stupid thing to do, which Tyrion did in the books because he was in a complete mental breakdown as a result of learning about the fate of Tysha and that Jaime was lying to him all those years. None of this happens in the show. If anything, Tyrion should be thrilled that Jaime has come to his rescue. Instead he wanders up to Tywin’s quarters for no explicable reason, and Dinklage plays him as not remotely murderous, so that’s not what he intends. So why?

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    98. HelloThere,

      Excellent article, I definitely agree with this last paragraph:

      The storytelling also gets stronger and more assured, pushing “Game of Thrones” to greater and grander heights. Martin says he knows how it will end, and reportedly, he’s told the HBO team how it will end. Just one question: Who wants it to end?

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    99. Sean C.: And Sansa’s development in the books is meticulous, whereas the show excised virtually all of her character development in KL in favour of making her an object that people fight over and occasionally make fun of.

      This is backwards. BookSansa is an almost entirely static character in KL. In Swords, Sansa is developed not so much as different from how she is developed in Thrones, but diminished: Thrones Sansa uses fairy tales as her moral truths; Swords Sansa has finally caught on that all the songs are lies, but she has (as of yet) replaced it with anything. Indeed, as of late in Storms, she is still sitting there amidst all of the devastation and wondering: “what have the gods done this to me???”

      Sansa also stood out in that she was by far the most passive protagonist I ever have read. Sure, all protagonists have foils to put them into place to do things: but all Sansa did was get put into place. And then, unlike every other protagonist I ever have read, she just stayed Sansa.

      The first hint we get of any dynamic development that represents growth (as opposed to just subtraction) of Sansa’s character is in Crows where

      she decides that she’s left the foolish, cowardly Sansa up in the Eyrie, and only the brave and clever Alayne is coming down to the Vale

      : and even that happens only in the third of her three chapters. The show actually has jumped the gun on this: the literary equivalent of Sansa descending the stairs a la Maleficent actually does not happen until the chapter that GRRM just released last week.

      Now, GRRM kept promising us that she would become a player: but we just read her doing so for the first time a few days ago.

      Sean C.: I asked why he went to Tywin’s quarters. This is objectively a very stupid thing to do, which Tyrion did in the books because he was in a complete mental breakdown as a result of learning about the fate of Tysha and that Jaime was lying to him all those years.

      It was objectively stupid in the book, too, as it would be under any circumstance: Tyrion diminished his chances of escape in order to reap vengence upon the father he hated. However, the reason was screamingly obvious to everyone watching the show: Tyrion believed that Tywin had been party to framing him (Tyrion) with the intent of having Tyrion executed and removing the family of Tyrion once and for all. This was very well developed on the show.

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    100. Concerning the Emmies I feel like almost everybody on the show would deserve at least a nomination – maybe with the exception of Emilia but that is just my opinion.
      Lena clearly deserves to win and if she plays at least half as good as so far with the great story line she will have this season I think she has a good chance.
      So to speak crowning her walk

      of atonement

      .
      #EmmyforLena

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    101. top kek 420: I really don’t understand why everyone started crying when Leaf threw a fireball. In the actual chapter in the book, she saves the crew by setting the wights on fire. Or at least its one of the Children of the forest. Idk why you would then cry when fireballs were shown on the show.

      Indeed, the book might have committed one of the great sins of fantasy: you can just set any object ablaze with a torch! Suppose a frozen corpse jumped out of the snow at you. Fire destroys zombies (according to all of the songs), so you ram your torch into the undead scum and….

      …. the torch gets snuffed out almost instantly as the frozen, water-logged corpse cools and dowses the corpse. 5 minutes later, zombie sits down to a nice meal of braaaaaainn…….

      Without some sort of accelerant (very flammable oil, very potent alcohol), hitting one of the wights with a torch or even a flaming arrow would do nothing. And guess what: most of the people watching the show know that. Jon tossing an oil lamp on a zombie in the first season was just good enough: it actually would not have worked quite that well, but at least there was something there. After all, everyone knows how difficult it is to actually cremate a corpse: and that’s after corpses are drained of fluids and are at room temperature.

      However, magic is, well, !magic! Flaming fireballs are the stuff of swords and sorcery, and although GoT emphasizes the swords over the sorcery, the sorcery is there. The show was wise to take advantage of that: the audience simply will take this as knowledge that this strange tree-elf represents a magical people (ah, the Children: weren’t they mentioned as a mythical race a couple of times?), and nobody groans at the old torching torch trope.

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    102. Wimsey,

      I haven’t read the novels but I am familiar with the circumstances of how the Tyrion/Tywin confrontation played out. It makes perfect sense and is compelling. But I agree that the approach in the show works quite well.

      The way I interpreted the scene was that Tyrion was about to leave and basically had a moment… How can I just leave? How can I run without confronting my father, the man who has tormented me my whole life, who has belittled me, disowned me time and again, who in the end would have me killed? I don’t think he even had intentions of killing him. I think he simply couldn’t leave without that confrontation, without saying something.

      And then, in his effort to do so, he sees the woman he loves, that in his mind had recently betrayed him, lying in his father’s bed. At that moment he snaps (much as he did I presume when he hears of the truth of Tysha), kills her, and then, enraged, goes to kill Tywin. In my opinion, this worked extremely well, and better than the book version would have because you’re invested in the Tyrion/Shae relationship in a way you never could be with the Tysha story (because Tysha is a character from Tyrion’s past, not the show’s present, and for her to have any significance they would have had to resort to endless exposition over and over again).

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    103. Raoul_Duke,

      Kit has never displayed Emmy worthy acting in the entire show. The fact that many non-book reader critics respond indifferently to Jon Snow speaks to that.

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    104. slimchicken,

      Hmm, I don’t think any of that needs to be in spoilers!

      And, yes, I think that your interpretation is what the showrunners (and GRRM) want you to understand about Tyrion. In particular, the show worked hard to establish that Tyrion wanted to be accepted by his family from the 2nd episode onward: but he gets nothing for it but scorn when he fails and ignored when he succeeds. One almost feels bitter on his behalf!

      The other thing that I think works well about this is that all of us have had issues with our parents at one point or another, or we know people who have. This just took it up a notch. And in a season telling a story about complex love-hate relationships, it fit in perfectly.

      A Mean Potato: The fact that many non-book reader critics respond indifferently to Jon Snow speaks to that.

      If it were a fact, then maybe it would mean something: but I seriously doubt that it is a fact.

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    105. Sean C.,

      Season 3 she had like 3 scenes
      With just rob , scene with talisa , scene with the blackfish , scene with all of them in tent ,the red wedding , a scene in brans dream a scene with rob blackfish edmure and her pops funeral . She had like 10 scenes

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    106. Wimsey:
      Now, GRRM kept promising us that she would become a player: but we just read her doing so for the first time a few days ago.

      “Alayne” isn’t really a player yet either. She’s building up to it. And she was building up to it in King’s Landing, too, as we follow her attempts to navigate life in the Red Keep and escape. Sansa in the books’ main achievement in King’s Landing was escaping, which Sansa in the show was completely uninvolved in. All she does in KL in the show is sit around waiting to be rescued. There’s virtually no skills development at all, and indeed, season 3 is dedicated entirely to undermining her and painting her as an idiot. They also cut her training story, suggesting she was apparently learning to be a player in KL, even though they never showed that.

      It was objectively stupid in the book, too, as it would be under any circumstance: Tyrion diminished his chances of escape in order to reap vengence upon the father he hated.However, the reason was screamingly obvious to everyone watching the show: Tyrion believed that Tywin had been party to framing him (Tyrion) with the intent of having Tyrion executed and removing the family of Tyrion once and for all.This was very well developed on the show.

      No, it wasn’t well-developed, but Dinklage’s Tyrion isn’t remotely vengeful, and he doesn’t even look vengeful when going up there. He looks in a daze.

      Grand maester giz:
      Season 3 she had like 3 scenes
      With just rob , scene with talisa , scene with the blackfish , scene with all of them in tent ,the red wedding , a scene in brans dream a scene with rob blackfish edmure and her pops funeral . She had like 10 scenes

      First, I said prior to the Red Wedding. Second, “a scene in Bran’s dream” is not a scene, seeing as that’s not Catelyn. Third, the scenes with Talisa and the Blackfish are the ones I was referring to. The others feature her as nothing more than a background character.

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    107. Sean C.: “Alayne” isn’t really a player yet either.She’s building up to it.And she was building up to it in King’s Landing, too, as we follow her attempts to navigate life in the Red Keep and escape.Sansa in the books’ main achievement in King’s Landing was escaping, which Sansa in the show was completely uninvolved in.All she does in KL in the show is sit around waiting to be rescued.There’s virtually no skills development at all, and indeed, season 3 is dedicated entirely to undermining her and painting her as an idiot.They also cut her training story, suggesting she was apparently learning to be a player in KL, even though they never showed that.

      Sean C.:
      mau,

      Yes, Sansa did become a “player”.That’s what everyone associated with the show has said.And Sansa’s development in the books is meticulous, whereas the show excised virtually all of her character development in KL in favour of making her an object that people fight over and occasionally make fun of.

      In the show, Sansa waits around to be rescued, and they cut her main achievement which was…being successfully rescued? Don’t tell me that her bringing a hairnet to a wedding (clueless as to the reason why she was) was an “achievement” that elevates her so much in the books. She spent a book an a half doing nothing externally but waiting to be rescued. I would actually argue she affected her circumstances more on the show. In Season 3, she has a chance to escape with Littlefinger and go home, but she turns it down to marry Loras. That was an actual choice she made, I don’t remember her making one like that in the books.

      “Treated her as an object for people to fight over…” whereas in the books, she’s not fought over at all? Are you kidding me? The Tyrells wanted to get Sansa married to their heir, Tywin spoiled the plan by marrying her to Tyrion. She is an object fought for same as book and show. All they did was extend the storyline and provide scenes with non-POV characters.

      Most defenders of Sansa’s storyline readily admit she’s done very little in the books, they don’t pretend that cluelessly following a specific instruction about a hairnet was an achievement for her character. They emphasize how much she develops internally…which, based on my reading of the Alayne chapter just recently released, is pretty darn slow.

      But that doesn’t mean that Sansa’s character development on the show was abrupt. It was just subtle. There was no training montage in how to become a better liar, no one openly said “Boy, Sansa, you’re a lot better at lying now, aren’t you?” They let the performance speak for itself. If you see her in Season 2, she’s an awful liar. She’s better by Season 3, but characters like Olenna can tell she’s lying. In S4E5 she is forced into a situation where she has to lie convincingly when her Aunt Lysa goes batshit on her. She does the same thing in S4E8, except instead of doing it under duress, she consciously makes the decision to lie and protect Littlefinger. I think it’s a testament to Sophie Turner’s acting that everyone recognized the transformation, and they bought it. The only ones I’ve seen calling it abrupt are those comparing it to her glacially slow progression in the books.

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    108. Sean C.,

      You’re really trying at making these arguments, are you? These are not plot holes or anything out of character. They are simply different from the books, as mau and Wimsey have explained.

      I’m always particularly confused about people asking “Why did the Knights of the Bloody Gate let the Hound leave with the Lord of the Vale’s cousin?”. Man, did you see Arya’s manic laugh? And the angry, horrified look on Donnel Waynwood? You’re the Knight of the Bloody Gates, and before you appears a suspicious looking fellow who turns out to be the Hound (a fugitive from the Crown if you support the Crown, still a Lannister lackey if you don’t), claiming to have the daughter of Eddard Stark with him. Fine. You inform him that Lady Arryn is dead, and the bloody kid explodes in laughter. Yes, this supposed “Arya Stark” has just heard her aunt is dead, and she started convulsing in uncontrolled laughter. And you wonder why the Knight assumed the Hound was carrying a fake Arya?

      I grant you, maybe the scene could’ve had a line from the Knight clarifying that he disbelieves the Hound, for people like you who apparently didn’t get it, but still, this wasn’t confusing at all.

      As for “Why did Tyrion kill Tywin”, I will not even bother giving an answer, but this: literally no Unsullied ever had a problem understanding his motivations. Only book readers argued otherwise, simply because they missed the Tysha revelation.

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    109. This is from 2 days ago but I guess we all missed it…

      What’s most interesting to me is a glimpse of some Knights from the Reach with Olenna at 0:38. I think besides Loras they’re the first we’ve seen.

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    110. Look closely again at the Children of The Forest fireballs and it seems to me that she is throwing an incendiary grenade, this would make sense that some sort of contained viscous substance like wildfire or napalm would stick to the target and burn.

      On slo-mo Leaf is definitely throwing something not alight ( see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=83EPdpfIYwU at 5:15 ) which is unlike a fireball cast from the hands as per “traditional” dungeons and dragons sorcery such as here http://oyster.ignimgs.com/mediawiki/apis.ign.com/the-witcher-3/thumb/5/56/The_witcher_3_wild_hunt_igni.png/468px-The_witcher_3_wild_hunt_igni.png.

      It’s still a bit iffy as to how she is conjuring these up or picking objects up from a stack, and how it ignites spectacularly just prior to contact. It’s a bit of a fudge but then so it was in the book where we had to take it on faith too (it’s magic goddamit!).

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    111. You guys find Season 1 the best and don’t like Season 4? 😮

      I have rarely encountered that opinion before, but maybe it’s because of Season 1 sticking closer to the books (adaptations straying from the books never bothered me, so I don’t care about that personally). Personally, I believe that Season 1 had far too much exposition dumping to be considered the best season, and the first 5 episodes were almost 50% exposition.

      If I had to rate them:

      Season 1 9/10
      Season 2 9.5/10
      Season 3 9.5/10
      Season 4 10/10

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    112. Just thought I shoulds share this. Rotten Tomatoes has a more elaborate summary for ep 3 on their site:

      Cersei meets the High Sparrow after learning of a clergyman’s embarrassing tale. Meanwhile, Davos talks to Jon about the future of Winterfell, where Ramsay Snow has just learned the identity of his future bride; Arya grows impatient doing menial tasks in the House of Black and White; and Tyrion searches for more comfortable surroundings on a long trip with Varys.

      http://www.rottentomatoes.com/tv/game-of-thrones/s05/e03/

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    113. Sean C.:
      mau,

      Catelyn did have fewer lines than Shae in the third season.She basically had only two scenes, period, prior to the Red Wedding.

      Catelyn didn’t appear in S3 for the first time, you know.

      She had enough scenes. Robb was older in the show and because of that she didn’t have so much influence on him. What did she suppose to do in S3? She was responsible for Jaime’s release. That is why her reputation was poor in Stark’s ranks.

      Watching her sad and desperate for entire season wouldn’t be interesting. She had two great and important scenes with Talisa and BF and many other non important scenes. Anything more than that would be overmuch.

      None of the things you list have anything to do with him losing the war militarily, which he suddenly is at the start of season 3.

      He did’t loose war militarily.

      They knew in the books because Sansa wearing the hairnet was something Dontos told her to do as part of their plan.

      It was not a guarantee that she will wear the hairnet. It depended on persuading by Dontos, just like in the show.

      The Tyrells did know that Littlefinger wanted Sansa in season 3.Varys explicitly tells them that as part of why he wants them to take Sansa instead.
      Yes, I forgot that. Well, then everything is even more clear.

      LF and Olenna have formed an alliance after the failure of the marriage between Sansa and Loras. Olenna needed accomplice and Varys told her that LF in dangerous man and that he wants Sansa. They have become natural allies.

      LF and Olenna will have a scene in S5, so I belive they will discuss their partnership.

      Yes, Sansa did become a “player”.That’s what everyone associated with the show has said.And Sansa’s development in the books is meticulous, whereas the show excised virtually all of her character development in KL in favour of making her an object that people fight over and occasionally make fun of.


      No, everyone associated with the show said that she is becoming a player. Big difference. And she proved that she is capable of lying since S2. She was getting better and better , until the culmination in S4.

      The show replaced Dontos with LF. That is all. Everything else remained almost the same. She wanted to leave KL with him and then she refused LF because of Tyrells. Just like with Dontos.

      LF and Dontos are different characters , hence all the differences.

      Why was it obvious the Hound was lying, exactly?

      For somone who is claiming that the show is dumbed down, you ask for too much explanations. Luka answered you.

      I didn’t ask why he killed Tywin.I asked why he went to Tywin’s quarters.

      Many others answered you on this question as well.

      …..

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    114. Greenjones,

      Wait… is that snow in King’s Landing at 0:17-0:19? o.O

      It is, isn’t it? Those are the steps they are using this season leading to the Great Sept. There’re unmistakably Crownlands peasants and City Watch men, too. Maybe it isn’t snow, though, somehow? Maybe… flowers or something? For Tywin’s wake, I assume?

      And yeah, at 0:38 those are the first Reach Knights we’ve ever seen, that I can remember —aside from Loras, of course. Olenna is at the steps leading to the Sept of Baelor, a scene reported during filming.

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    115. s4 & 2 are the worst …very uneven.
      season 4 was salvaged by oh shit moments.
      s1 & 3 are better as cohesive wholes
      in season 1 ep5-10 is just glorious. no other season has such a run.
      in season 3 ep3-6 is amazing, not to mention seventh son and rains of castamere.
      I really didn’t like season 4…except for ep8 and 9…plus episode 2.

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    116. dob,

      I think seasons three and four had the best pacing. We had more time with each character per episode —that’s an easily verifiable fact—, and especially in season four D&D finally became unafraid of not having characters at all for a few episodes, so that they actually had new things to do when they appeared. The first two seasons for most characters, and Theon’s and Bran’s storyline in season three, had their storylines spread too thin among most episodes. They were afraid to not feature characters for a while, so sometimes we had a couple of minutes with Bran almost each episode. In season four they learnt a better way, and that’s why I believe it’s the best paced season yet, followed by season three, then maybe season one and finally season two. And that’s my order of favorites, too; four, three, one and then two.

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    117. bristolcity,

      I agree, some people forgot the how weak much of the first half of season 1 was. I consider it great because of the second half of the season but the first half after the pilot was probably the weakest run of episodes the show has done. However 6-10 was arguably the strongest run of episodes the show has done. Because it had such a strong finish it feels overall the most satisfying season. But the early episodes had some of the most boring and dull writing this show has done, lots clunky exposition and meandering monologues.

      I would rate season 1 and 4 the best but season 4 didn’t have the same greatness that season 1 had in it’s finale episodes so season 1 is overall a more satisfying season. It is better to end with a bang than to start with one.

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    118. FWIW My ratings

      S1: 7.6
      S2: 7.5
      S3: 7.7
      S4: 7.6

      If these look low it’s because I rate by each episode and don’t give out 9s and 10s lightly. ‘Blackwater’ and ‘The Rains of Castamere’ both are highest rated at 9 for me. Part of GoTs problems is the large number of ongoing storylines per episode or every other episode and if you are less invested in some stories or characters then interest is bound to flag on certain epis.

      As for S1, ‘Winter is Coming’ – ‘The Pilot’ was never actually shown 😉 – and ‘The Kingsroad’ are amongst my favourites, it was the most even season for quality IMO. I can’t really pick out a single least favourite or worst episode, I give a few a 7/10 over seasons 2,3 &4.

      Different people enjoy the shows in very different ways so it’s not surprising that we have a range of opinions on strongest/weakest epis. So yes I really did find S3 my favourite.

      The highest rating I have ever given any TV season is 8.6 for S4 of ‘The Wire’.

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    119. Wimsey,

      Ha. I don’t know how spoilers work in this day and age. Isn’t everything a spoiler to someone!

      And completely agree on your points. I think it also makes things more complicated for Tyrion going forward, in a way. His murder isn’t “justified” in the same sense as might have been in the books (don’t know). Perhaps he has more guilt? And what of Jamie? How happy is he going to be that he let his brother out — only for his brother to turnabout and kill his father? I know a lot of people were disappointed that they didn’t have their falling out at the end of last season, that they left on loving terms. Well, isn’t this a bit more nuanced? I have to assume Jaime will be at least a bit conflicted in his feelings for Tyrion.

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    120. I’ve noticed a bit of back and forth related to certain logic in the story (book vs. show), particularly related to the Arya-Hound-Vale scene and the necklace situation at Joffrey’s wedding. I sometimes think logic is overrated in terms of drama. I mean, one of my favorite movies (and books!), The Big Sleep, doesn’t make a lick of logical sense, but it’s helluvalot of fun.

      Take the poisoning of Joffrey at the wedding. What logic is there in doing some big elaborate murder in full public view like this, rather than, say, poisoning him at any other time when there would likely be far less chance of getting caught? There are plenty of other ways to implicate Tyrion. But it wouldn’t be as dramatic! It doesn’t really matter if it’s shown to be carefully planned or not.

      And for the Arya scene at the Vale, from my perspective, it really doesn’t matter that nothing comes of it (whether you think the guards believe or disbelieve the Hound). It’s a great scene meant to underscore the futility of the whole Hound-Arya endeavor. It’s about them, not the Vale soldiers or the broader plot.

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    121. slimchicken,

      I think that both book and show do a great job of justifying why Tyrion kills his father. That is different from justifying the deed, of course. However, that also is secondary to developing Tyrion’s character: it is supposed to be “why” not “right/wrong” that we understand. This is not Tolkien, after all!

      The show did forego further development of Tyrion’s and Jaime’s relationship that the book pursued. However, a lot of book-readers at that time (circa 2000) felt that did not work in the book. B&W seem to have been among them!

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    122. slimchicken:

      Take the poisoning of Joffrey at the wedding. What logic is there in doing some big elaborate murder in full public view like this, rather than, say, poisoning him at any other time when there would likely be far less chance of getting caught?

      Maybe poisoning Joffrey at the wedding was a better choice for his killers. A public gathering like this, Joffrey was literally surrounded by his enemies. There would be so many plausible suspects. Things can be done under the cover of crowds, it would be tough to watch everyone.

      If the poisoning was done in private, there would be more scrutiny on particular people. Although knowing Cersei, she’d accuse Tyrion either way. :p

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    123. Wimsey,

      He doesn’t mean their last scene. slimchicken was replying to Sean C., who was arguing that, when the Hound arrives at the Bloody Gate with Arya, it doesn’t make sense that they let them go, considering Arya is the cousin of their Lord. As I explained, however, it does make sense; when this supposed “Arya” is told that her aunt is dead, she laughs maniacally, something that the real niece of Lady Arryn probably wouldn’t do… of course, she would; she happens to be the real Arya —but the Knights at the Bloody Gate cannot know that, and they have no reason to believe that this poor-looking child who laughs at their Lady’s death is any more than what she appears to be.

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    124. JamesL,

      Season 4 episode 8-9-10 didn’t end in a bang ? Almost every scene in all three episodes except for khaleesi chaining up
      Her dragons at the end ,( her weakest finale , but vital for the set up of season 5) I get so confused when people act like the moutain and the vipor fight wasn’t good for tv , at that point I was still mostly unsullied , I stopped reading after the trial because I knew Tyrion lived and I didn’t spoil myself , I thought Oberyn would win the fight . And not reading untill after the season was done made that fight extra special for me. Than after last season I finished the chapters. And the pacing of season 4 was great , every episode had great dialogue , good pacing , set up the backstory and delivered . I get it some people wanna hate season 4 because they didn’t get stoneheart and it didn’t mirror the books like season 1. But for
      The purpose of telling the story to people that didn’t read the books , season 4 was the best . I have it 4-3-1-2 but if I think about it as someone who wants to watch every scene and get mad when it misses something for the book than I would have a negative view of it to. But show in a lot of
      Ways are better than the books , and no one wants to hear that. If youse all hated the changes so much you would not be in this website every day. Than don’t watch season 5 if your gonna be like that. But everyone knows that’s not happening so in the words of Bambi’s belated mother if you got nothing nice to say don’t say nothing. Use come of like pompous spoiled crybabies , the shows changes have been fine so far , Theon torture , Briene vs the hound , jon at crasters ( learns to fight without honor) hodor vs Locke . Even the worst episode in the series which I would say is night lands season 2 episode 2. That episode in my mind is still better than the best episode of walking dead for all it’s seasons . D and D have taking a story that was said to be unfilnable and are doing a great job . Wait to Sunday night and the show breaks tv records . Use all know changes r coming if use hate it watch outlander or something. But no one will do that , but why ? Close minded book purists make me sick : youse think your more intelligent cause you stared at markings on a paper , and you slander the show but every other day youse are still in here talking about it.

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    125. Arya havin’ a larf?: t’s a bit of a fudge but then so it was in the book where we had to take it on faith too (it’s magic goddamit!).

      Yes, the book never explains how Leaf managed to ignite the wights, either. Simply sticking torches on them would not have done it. Maybe Bran was too distracted to notice that Leaf was brandishing a Pyromancer 2000 Flamethrower.

      At any rate, we are supposed to accept that the Children had the magic to build the Wall (or at least help build the Wall) in the books: a little incendiary grenade should be easy for them.

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    126. Luka Nieto:
      Sean C.,

      As for “Why did Tyrion kill Tywin”, I will not even bother giving an answer, but this: literally no Unsullied ever had a problem understanding his motivations. Only book readers argued otherwise, simply because they missed the Tysha revelation.

      Not quite. Dino and Byron 2 of the very best unsullied reviewers felt that scene with Tyrion was rushed and didn’t understand what caused Tyrion to go from point A to point B in their episode 10 review.

      Granted these guys are by far the most analytical unsullied reviewers around. It’s a shame it looks like they won’t be back for season 5. Looks like life might be getting in the way for them to do further reviews.

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    127. Luka Nieto,

      Oh, got it. And, yes, I agree: none of them would have paid this any mind.

      Grand maester giz: Almost every scene in all three episodes except for khaleesi chaining up
      Her dragons at the end ,( her weakest finale , but vital for the set up of season 5

      Actually, that was emotionally very powerful. It also very much paralleled Jon walking away from Ygritte’s burning corpse. (One thing that the show has retained from the books is heavy paralleling of Jon & Daeny: gee, think that might be important?) Both Daeny & Jon were basically walking away from loved ones. Now, it didn’t have the visual grandeur of the Season 1 or Season 3 endings (but, then, nothing is going to top the visual drama of Goddess Arising with Dragons): but it had big “oomph.”

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    128. Turncloak,

      Well, you may call me cheeky, but this is my only possible answer to that. 😛

      Relevant portion: 00:46 – 00:10:

      “I have one million results that say they don’t, and one result that says they do.”

      Is it fair to that most people got what was happening? And I’d be very interest to take a look at that review you mention, if you don’t mind. I have seen criticisms what the scene is rushed (and I agree), but not in terms of Tyrion’s motivations. The scene simply begins too quickly, with Jaime getting Tyrion out of jail in a matter of a few seconds, and then they immediately say goodbye. The scene needed more time to breath at the beginning, but mostly for the sake of Jaime and the event of the prison break itself, not for Tyrion.

      If they didn’t understand why Tyrion did what he did, they didn’t pay attention for four seasons of development of their relationship.

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    129. Luka Nieto,

      Given that Lady Lysa was known to be somewhat loony tunes in the first place, I would not be surprised that her “niece” would cackle at news of her demise. Although unimportant to the show story, I would have at least expected the Vale guards to express some skepticism at her cackling….especially if they recognize the Hound. But the guards probably weren’t that bright….and there definitely wasn’t a raven-based “Amber-alert” system in place in Westeros at that time.

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    130. Turncloak: didn’t understand what caused Tyrion to go from point A to point B in their episode 10 review

      They were being pretty obtuse, then, if they missed 4 seasons of development of Tyrion & Tywin’s relationship. Tyrion made it very clear in Season 4 that he was convinced that Tywin knew that Tyrion was innocent. The show made it very clear in Season 4 that Tywin wished Tyrion dead. The show cannot “understand” a thing for viewers, but the can explain a thing for them: and it did explain why Tyrion would go out of his way to kill his father.

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    131. Wimsey,

      I’m not saying it wasn’t powerful the way she put them big chains she never should of been able to lift around her dragons necks was the only thing that Had me question anything . The Tyrion thing , made sense to me . His father had him in charge of the plumbing way back when and he knew a lot of hidden passages (see episode. 9 black water ) his father knew he was innocent and wanted him dead , isn’t that enough . If my powerful father wanted me dead and I was fleeing and I had a chance to kill him
      And make my chances of survival double or triple by killing him I wouldn’t even have talked about it , with him . But that conversation further sets up the popular theory of Tyrion being a surprise targaryen , so that is kinda important

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    132. Grand maester giz,

      Tyrion was put in charge of the plumbing in Casterly Rock, not King’s Landing. But it’s irrelevant; we are not privy to everything Tyrion knows or doesn’t know. Apparently he was aware of secret passageways. That’s it. There’s no more complication to this. There doesn’t need to be.

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    133. There will allways be someone who didn’t like something. In the books or the show. And in any other show. The good thing here is that they are minority.

      I have many ideas for almost every scene in this show and how I would done that. Even for RW, Ned’s death, ….

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    134. And after I watched the very first season my initial thought was somehow jon
      Might be king someday , tyrions father tells Tyrion
      Your not my son in the show or if I could prove you weren’t my son like 3-4 times . I had most of these thoughts before I even got into the books , the books helped cement certain ideas and thoughts I had on certain theory’s and just gave me more and more by the end . That’s the best thing about the books . Reading imbetween the lines and getting something deeper out of it .

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    135. Hodor’s Bastard:
      Luka Nieto,

      Given that Lady Lysa was known to be somewhat loony tunes in the first place, I would not be surprised that her “niece” would cackle at news of her demise. Although unimportant to the show story, I would have at least expected the Vale guards to express some skepticism at her cackling….especially if they recognize the Hound. But the guards probably weren’t that bright….and there definitely wasn’t a raven-based “Amber-alert” system in place in Westeros at that time.

      Oh had they known Sansa was there and not just “Alayne” …

      Maybe after Lysa’s death they were running at heightened security and under strict instructions not to let in unknown quantities in order to protect Robin from any possible threat. As for Sandor they’ve long had little if any interest what was going on outside the Vale, so perhaps the risk in trying to capture him wasn’t worth while for the reward.

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    136. Grand maester giz,

      I didn’t think The Mountain and Viper episode was very good, even the fight I felt was just tacked on at the end without proper build up. I wish Oberyn got another scene before the fight. The Wall battle was good but didn’t have much dramatic weight behind it, again, I didn’t feel it was built up to properly and I didn’t care for the finale at all.

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    137. Grand maester giz,

      Oh, I forgot about that. You reminded me: this was set up perfectly in season two —Varys gives him a map with all the secret passageways in the whole of King’s Landing, and suggests he may escape before the Battle of Blackwater, though Tyrion refuses. I’d forgotten about that, thank you.

      So, there you go. There you have the explanation, if you really want one. But the point remains: a explicit explanation was completely unnecessary.

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    138. Luka Nieto,

      It’s a video review on Youtube; I watched them last season and they were pretty great, very smart, articulate, and opinionated. Yes, they did have a problem with that scene and, IIRC, Tyrion’s motivations. BUT, and it’s a very big but, on that particular scene (and more and more on the show in general as the time passed) they weren’t Unsullied. They had some kind of conversation with some fans explaining “how much better in the books it” was, etc. Of course, that doesn’t invalidate their opinion nor does it necessarily mean it would’ve been different if not for the Sullied interference, but there it is.

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    139. The idea that Tyrion didn’t have motivation to go to his father’s quarters to kill him is out of this world. Have you been watching the show?

      All else said is very smart by the WOTW folk: the show has continued to improve as a “show” on its own, especially as it is going to need to advance beyond the books. It’s become more assured in its storytelling and judicious in its use of the characters: Theon had a fully-realized story in Season 4 and appeared in 3 episodes. Arya and Sansa each in 6 episodes. Very smart. The rape scenes still grate, and with “Oathkeeper,” it’s because, as someone else said, the way it is shot, not through the viewpoint of empathizing with the one being assaulted, but in a much more sexualized manner, with one woman’s boobs bouncing around as she’s raped. That’s where I found it problematic.

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    140. Another thing the show did perfectly was put a face on everyone in the books now I watched before I audio booked the rest of the story but does anyone else put a diffrent face on any charectors when they picture it in there mind . Like even tormonds appearance Is diff in books but when you read about tormond do you think of him as kristover hivgu or the way they picture him in the book. That’s one thing I loved about reading it , hbo put a perfect face
      On every charector in te show all of em from Harry loyd to Diana rig are perfect . Let’s highlight that cause no other adaption
      Hits the nail on the head quite like they did – as far as the casting goes

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    141. Luka Nieto:
      Grand maester giz,

      Tyrion was put in charge of the plumbing in Casterly Rock, not King’s Landing. But it’s irrelevant; we are not privy to everything Tyrion knows or doesn’t know. Apparently he was aware of secret passageways. That’s it. There’s no more complication to this. There doesn’t need to be.

      If someone really needs to have all the T’s crossed and I’s dotted, Varys did show Tyrion a map of secret passages under the city back in 2×09 Blackwater.

      EDIT: ninja’d.

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    142. Luka Nieto,

      Exactly my friend exactly . Every lil piece of the t v show forshadows something down the line. That’s the way writing a show should be . And there doing that . Now if we never see gendry or the brotherhood again I’ll change my Opionion but so far so good . Rory McCann is the perfect hound , does anyone picture stannis in there mind differently than Stephen Dilane ??? All the lil things start addin up and you look at it in full and it’s fucking awesome, epic amazing shit.

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    143. Arya havin’ a larf?,

      What a turn that would have been if they had heard if LF and his “niece” were at the Eyrie! As an aside, I was deliriously hoping that show!Blackfish might have shown up at the Vale as well…but maybe someday.

      I always took Arya’s brilliant cackle as a spontaneous release in reaction to the cumulative insanity surrounding her. She was laughing at all those unkind gods. Orson was smashing all of her beloved beetles. I loved the scene.

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    144. mau,

      Yes. Also, I would have loved to see Jaime wrestle alone with the issue (looking conflicted for a few seconds, after that scene with Cersei), and then having him threaten Varys. And then the scene we saw, but with a few more seconds alone with Tyrion at the beginning. Just a minute more of setup to let us breathe.

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    145. Sean C.:
      mau,

      None of the things you list have anything to do with him losing the war militarily, which he suddenly is at the start of season 3.

      I would disagree pretty strongly with this particular assertion. I thought that the showprovided a very clear set of explanations as to why Robb’s military fortunes changed throughout Season 2, setting him up for his ultimate fall in Season 3. Furthermore, this shift in his fortunes did not rely on book knowledge to fill in the gaps – it’s all on screen. A timeline:

      1. “The North Remembers” – Fresh off his coronation as King in the North, Robb is riding high. He has won three battles against the Lannisters and has Jaime firmly in his custody. Tywin now fears and respects him and the Lannisters understand that they are losing the war. With a possible path to victory in sight, Robb sends Theon and Catelyn as envoys to, respectively, the Greyjoys (with their 200 ships) and Renly (with his army of 100,000 men). If they are successful, then the North will have sufficient naval forces and military manpower to take King’s Landing and end the war. The Young Wolf is a burgeoning legend, and morale among the Northern forces is sky-high.

      2. “Garden of Bones”: Robb routs Stafford Lannister’s army at Oxcross – a crushing and total victory (“Five Lannisters dead for every one of ours.”). Joffrey is furious and Tywin holes up in Harrenhal, engaging in several episodes of war councils in an attempt to devise a strategy that can stop the Young Wolf. Robb is in a great position at this point. Unfortunately, this represents the high point of his campaign because after this, everything starts to go wrong. Robb takes a few minor castles like the Crag after this point, but he never gets to fight another major battle for the rest of the war.

      3. “The Ghost of Harrenhal”. Catelyn secures a tentative alliance with Renly – only for Renly to be assassinated minutes later. The Tyrells – who comprise a significant portion of Renly’s army – flee, and the rest of Renly’s bannerman flock to Stannis. One of the major alliances Robb hoped for is dead.

      4. “The Old Gods and the New”: Theon betrays Robb and sides with his family, seizing Winterfell and holding Bran and Rickon hostage. The second alliance that Robb hoped for is dead. Following Roose Bolton’s counsel, Robb decides to continue the fight against the Lannisters rather than return home to retake the North. Roose dispatches Ramsay to retake Winterfell.

      5. “A Man Without Honor”. While Robb is off negotiating the surrender of the Crag, Jaime Lannister kills Torrhen Karstark. Rickard Karstark is consumed with rage and demands his head. Morale falls and discord among the Northern army grows. Without Robb’s consent, Catelyn releases Jaime – a massive blow for numerous reasons.

      6. “The Prince of Winterfell”. News of Jaime’s release spreads throughout the Northern army, further lowering morale and angering Karstark even more. Robb and Talisa fall in love, and Robb decides that he doesn’t want to marry Walder Frey’s daughter.

      7. “Blackwater”. Rather than engaging Robb, Tywin leaves Harrenhal and marches to King’s Landing to defend the capital against Stannis. The Tyrells join forces with the Lannisters to rout Stannis at the Battle of the Blackwater.

      Robb doesn’t take part in the battle, but Stannis losing at Blackwater is the turning point in the war, and the most significant blow to the Northern campaign so far. The Lannisters, who had been in a weak position for most of Season 2, are suddenly operating from a position of great strength. Their capital is secure, and the other major military force that could have conceivably defeated them is broken. With the Tyrells having declared for the Iron Throne, the Crown’s forces now outnumber Robb’s army significantly. Without the Tyrells and with no naval power to speak of, Robb has no hope of taking the capital, which means Joffrey is safe. Lysa Arryn has refused to pledge the Vale to their cause, and the Martells are at least nominally beholden to the Iron Throne because they accepted the betrothal between Trystane and Myrcella. The show doesn’t point a signpost at any of this, but it was all mentioned at least once.

      Robb is now outnumbered and has no options left for allies. He has the Tullys and the Northern forces, but the Karstarks are disgruntled and at this point, Roose Bolton is reevaluating his options. (Yes, the Bolton’s burgeoning treachery is not explicitly made clear at this time in order to preserve the “shock” of the Red Wedding. But throughout Season 3, numerous hints would be dropped to support this development, and they all fit together in retrospect. It doesn’t just come out of nowhere).

      8. “Valar Morghulis”: Ramsay Snow burns Winterfell – offscreen – and Bran and Rickon disappear (I’ll concede that this could have been handled better, but I understand why the show did it the way that they did. And they do explain it later). Robb marries Talisa, breaking his oath to the Freys. The fact that the Frey forces abandon him after this is not explicitly stated, but it is foreshadowed by Catelyn in this episode (“Walder Frey is a dangerous man to cross”) and the fact that they left is made implicitly clear in Season 3 when Robb forced to re-recruit them to his cause.

      Between Seasons: Robb’s army marches towards Harrenhal looking to engage the Lannisters – but they refuse to meet him on the field (“The Lannisters have been running from us since Oxcross”. I’d love a fight. The men would love a fight. I don’t think we’re going to get one.”). The Greyjoys remain in the North, with no opportunity for the Northern Lords to liberate their homes. The Northern army, aware of the change in their fortunes, has to march for weeks across hundreds of miles of god-awful, war-torn country with no opportunity to test themselves and no end in sight. Morale is presumably quite low – and with damn good reason. Cue Season 3.

      TL;DR – Robb is already in a bad position militarily by the end of Season 2, thanks to a combination of his own mistakes and a few things that were beyond his control. He does not suddenly, inexplicably, go from winning the war to losing the war between Season 2 and Season 3. The show did its due diligence and showed us a very plausible set of circumstances under which Robb’s military fortunes would plummet after Oxcross, even without him losing a battle. I thought it was well-handled. Maybe the implications of every single adverse event weren’t explained in full detail, but there’s more than enough there to piece it together.

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    146. Wimsey,

      Oh? I wonder why Watcher on the Walls, the episode in which Jon has to carry the story, is the lowest rated episode of Season 4 by far? Read through enough reviews, and you’ll see some common complaints about Kit’s Jon Snow: he’s mopey, pouty, not emotionally compelling , etc.

      I think book fans tend to project the depth of ASOIAF Jon Snow onto his Game of Thrones incarnation, but he’s known to many casual viewers as the “emo” bastard. I think Kit improved in Season 4 and will continue to be more interesting in Season 5, but he hasn’t displayed anything Emmy-worthy so far. He’s not like Peter Dinklage, who lights up the screen and instantly commands the audience’s attention as soon as he shows up, and he’s not a thespian like Charles Dance, who can make every line drip with gravitas. He’s decent. That’s all.

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    147. A Mean Potato,

      It is the highest rated by this particular community.

      I don’t think it’s the best episode in season four, but certainly not the worst either. As for Kit, I think he was actually great in season four, and considering the recent reviews it seems he will be even better.

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    148. Luka Nieto,

      That’s what I mean, though. I think book readers and huge fans of the show have a higher opinion of Jon Snow’s character/arc than people who are coming at it from a less familiar perspective. Watcher on the Walls has a 91% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, which is lower than all the other episodes of Season 4 by a noticeable margin.

      I mean, do you think all those memes about Jon’s unchanging expression are coming out of nowhere? That being said, I do agree he will improve in Season 5; he’ll be more of a commanding character with a discernible arc instead of stumbling from one plot point to the next.

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    149. Luka Nieto:
      A Mean Potato,

      It is the highest rated by this particular community.

      I don’t think it’s the best episode in season four, but certainly not the worst either. As for Kit, I think he was actually great in season four, and considering the recent reviews it seems he will be even better.

      I think Kit has developed over time into a fine actor, and is getting better as the series progresses. And he carried “Watchers on the Wall” on his back, too. it’s true that his strengths aren’t in the delicate, subtle moments as much (but that said, his scene with Kristofer Hivju in “The Children” is great work, and does a hell of a lot for both characters), and he doesn’t succeed as well as finding the pathos in his character that Rory McCann or Lena Headey do. But if he’s the show’s weakest cast member – and he might be – that’s saying something. In addition, other than Rory McCann, he’s one of the most adept on the show when it comes to action sequences.

      Meanwhile, Salon has a review out, and it looks like they like it too:
      http://www.salon.com/2015/04/09/%E2%80%9Cgame_of_thrones%E2%80%9D_hbo_throws_out_george_r_r_martins_books_and_saves_the_show/

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    150. Flora Linden,

      Also killing Joff in public makes the Lannister’s look weaker which makes their need for allies greater.

      By the way since people are debating screen time for Cat in season 3 I must say I’ve never understood this complain. I mean I agree that it would have been good for her to have more scenes but I don’t know which books scenes people have in mind when they complain about D&D not giving her more dialogue. She had very little in the books too.
      Two of her longest scenes of season 3 (blackfish and Talisa) are invented scenes by the show. Sure they could have invented more scenes when she gets to verbalize her inner thoughts but they already have so much actual book material to get through without invented scenes.

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    151. Looking at all the reviews, it seems as if the character thought to be dead who is “literally kicking” is:

      Lancel Lannister

        Quote  Reply

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