Young Ned cast, sources report!

croftFlashbacks are coming!

According to reliable sources, the part of young Ned Stark in Game of Thrones season 6 has been cast. Stepping into the role made famous on the show by Sean Bean will be 13-year-old English actor Sebastian Croft.

An experienced theatre actor, Croft has appeared in London West End productions of Matilda and Les Miserables, and played young Martius in Coriolanus at the Donmar Warehouse. He starred as Oliver in a UK national tour of Oliver! and this year, played the title role in the new musical version of The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 ¾ at the Leicester Curve.

Light spoilers and additional casting news after the break!

Fans first became aware of the possibility of seeing a child Ned in late May, when the casting breakdowns for Game of Thrones season 6 surfaced. The boy would be sparring with an older child in their scene.

Update! 8/10/15: The complete casting for the young boys this season is:

Boy Aged 12 
Brown hair and blue eyes. This is a great part for a 12 year old boy. We need a Northern accent, very grounded and physical and who you can instantly see has great heart and soul. He has scenes where he has to spar with a wooden sword so physical skills are important.
A very good and memorable new part being introduced in this season.

Boy Aged 7 
Aged 7 with dark brown hair, a narrow face and striking green eyes. Northern accent required. Athletic and charismatic. He has scenes where he has to spar with a wooden sword so physical skills are important.
A good new part for a sparky and talented young boy being introduced this season.

Large Boy (10 – 12)
Aged 10-12 but plays as younger – a clever boy who seems too large for his character’s age of 7-8 years old. An unusually big young boy – not fat – but remarkably tall and physically powerful for his age. We need characterful squat features.
This is a terrific part in this new season. It’s a complicated part with great acting demands. A one-off acting opportunity for a very smart and talented boy of an unusual physical type.

It’s unclear if young Ned is the Boy Aged 12 or Boy Aged 7. The eye color on the Boy Aged 12 is incorrect, but it’s possible there was a mix-up at the casting agency when it came time to note Bean’s eye color (which is green, not blue). Previously we assumed based on the details that young Ned was the 7 year old but now with the expanded descriptions think he might be the Boy Aged 12.

The 7 year old sounds more like Benjen (the green-eyed Joseph Mawle), though some speculate he could be Littlefinger. (Yes, Aidan Gillen has blue eyes, but eh.)

The Large Boy is commonly speculated to be Hodor (pre-injury) or Robert.

TL;DR: Sebastian Croft is young Ned- we’re not sure if young Ned is 12 or 7 but I’m learning toward 12. 

/End Update

 

What do you think, readers?
nedcroft


We have one other piece of casting info, though it’s a little more vague.

According to the CV of actor Fergus Leathem, he’s appearing in season 6 of Game of Thrones in an “undisclosed” role.

The Twitter of his management congratulated him on July 30th, noting that filming began that day for him.

There was a similar post on their Tumblr account on July 31st, reporting that he was on set “this week.”

http://m-and-p-artists.tumblr.com/post/125509212884/fergus-leathem-films-for-huge-tv-series-we-are-so

We have no further information at this time about what the role the actor is playing in season 6, or how large. Speculate away!

463 responses

Jump to (and Always Support) the Bottom

    1. Hmm can’t wait to see what brown eyed actress with dark curly hair they’re gonna cast for Lyanna. (I mean they gotta be going there, right?)

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    2. So by process of elimination, the other, bigger child is either Brandon or Robert. For me, this is one of the best pieces of news that WOTW has shown since it started. I’m beyond excited!

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    3. One of the biggest problems with Bran’s character on the show is that the presentation of his powers has been uninteresting both visually and informationally, so what it sounds like we’re getting this season looks to be a big improvement.

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    4. I don’t know why anyone thinks this kid has anything to do with the Tower of Joy. He’s 13 lol. It says right in the casting breakdown that he’s going to be sparring with the other boy with wooden swords.

      This has nothing to do with Tower of Joy, people. Take off your ToJ Goggles.

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    5. Paul,

      We already know they’re casting a young Ned, what appears to be a young Brandon, and a character who is either Robert or Hodor, depending on who you ask, as little kids, as well as a Father character who is probably Lord Rickard.

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    6. Very apt casting for child Ned! Brandon and Ned, I think!

      Fergus Leatham – what was filming on July 30th? He could be a younger Brandon, I believe, in the scene with child Ned. He looks young enough.

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    7. It’s just a guess, but “Young Robert” was the first thing that I thought when I saw Fergus’ picture. I don’t really have a visual association with what Brandon Stark would look like, but Fergus reminds me of a larger Gendry.

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    8. Bott,

      Liv Tyler or we (I) riot

      C’mon; long, brown, and potentially curly hair, long face – just give her the grey eyes via CG or contacts and BAM

      Lyanna Stark

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    9. Why is anyone assuming that Fergus Leathem is also associated with flashbacks?

      From the previous casting call, I think he’d make a great Dickon Tarly.

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    10. Fun news!

      It does make me wonder if they will cast an older 20 or 30-something Ned as well. This young teen Ned is for a flashback long before TOJ. I assumed the Tourney at Harrenhal, but honestly this actor looks too young to play a late-teenage Ned at Harrenhal. Maybe they will just age the characters down a bit for a change of pace…

      As for Fergus Leatham…
      Too young for Euron.. Maybe the right age for Ned at TOJ?
      More likely he is one of the outlaws (like Flynn), the submissive maester, one of the nameless sympathizers, or Hunter from the casting leaks.

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    11. Oskaras,

      To play a child sparring with wooden swords? No he’s actually older than the role described but that’s typical for child actors.

      (Yes, he’s much too young for TOJ. Which is why I’m scratching my head over people bringing it up. It never occurred to me that people would. But hey that’s why it’s good we have the community, to share ideas, get out of our own heads.)

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    12. This is exciting news! Thank you so much.

      More than wondering what we’re going to see, I’m wondering why we’re going to see it. What is it that happens the viewers need to know?

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    13. Fergus Leathum could easily be a young Robert Baratheon. Maybe we are going to get a scene of them while they were at the Vale as wards of Jon Arryn? Do we actually know when or how Robert was betrothed to Lyanna? They were already betrothed to Harrenhal, right?

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    14. McMannis,

      Liv Tyler certainly fits the physical requirements to play Lyanna (or any female Stark, really) but she’s way too old to play her, even if Lyanna was aged up from 16 to her early 20’s.

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    15. We’ll definitely see a younger Ned at ToJ but he’ll be older than this kid. The other kid could very well be a young Robert, I can totally see it.

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    16. Looks just about perfect for the Branwood-Flashback. Now I´m really curious how they will depict Brandon…

      Will they go the Benjen-route and depict him more like a lean but proud warrior or will they choose a approach more similar to the looks of this young Eddard? I´m really curious how this will play out.

      Besides that, I hope they will not depict a young Robert Baratheon as someone who already tends to be fat and brutish, I hope they will cast someone with the approximate stature of Gendry and the facial features of Renly. They would lose a bit of credibility if they wanted us to believe that Stannis can recognize Gendry as Robert´s bastard at first glance yet depict him as a fat little brute instead of the strong and quite pretty lad he really was.

      This is also why I do hope that the other guy who was recently cast for some mysterious role is rather a young Hodor or even a pre-Hodor Walder and not their choice for a young Robert Baratheon.

      But I guess they will handle this quite well, at least I hope so…

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    17. I don’t understand the ToJ suggestions for this kid? He’s prolly gonna take the place of Benjen and Lyanna sparring flashback that Bran has and it’s gonna be him and either Brandon or Robert.

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    18. I think they’ve done a great job here: Sebastian Croft does look like he could be Sean’s son at least. Also, who else just had a major flashback to their childhood with the Adrian Mole reference? Just me? Dammit, showing my age…

      No idea on Fergus. I thought he was Pod at first! But if you look at the CV Sue linked he has some pics with facial hair. Guy does do a good beard.

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    19. Lion of Night,

      I wondered about that too…
      He does feel a little older than John Bradley/ Sam Tarly to me though… Or at least too close in age. Dickon should be around 5 years younger than Sam. Maybe it’s just the picture? He probably could play younger easily enough….

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    20. This could also be possibly be the heretical idea that there is a Stark family secret regarding their connection/history with the Others and that this could be when young Ned is told about it. There’s a lot more to this on the westeros.org boards.

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    21. alexandra cortez: The kid is only 13 years old, it cannot be tower of joy. So, what can it be?

      Hmm, I am beginning to suspect that Tower of Joy is this year’s Deepwood Motte or LSH!

      (No, just this year’s Deepwood Motte: LSH is this year’s LSH….)

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    22. That’s some fine casting, I could totally see young Sean Bean look like that. Now, I’m still curious to see the context of this flashback, makes me wonder if they’ll keep showing flashback of Ned throughout the season culminating with the ToJ flashback, with Sean Bean (hopefully) reprising his role. I can hope…

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    23. McMannis:
      Bott,

      Liv Tyler or we (I) riot

      C’mon; long, brown, and potentially curly hair, long face – just give her the grey eyes via CG or contacts and BAM

      Lyanna Stark

      Dany:
      Bott,

      I imagine Lyanna with straight hair.

      Well I’m just going by what Kit Harington looks like… Doesn’t matter what Lyanna looked like in the books if it makes no sense on the show. Assuming R+L=J is a fact.

      (Can’t tell if it’s sarcasm but Liv Tyler won’t do, Lyanna was a teenager when she died.)

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    24. Dany,

      What?!?!? Do we have a real-live Daynite in our midst?!?

      Seriously, at this point, if one of Jon’s other possible mothers was to be “The Mother,” then the show would have brought up her character in some way a few times. Only one candidate has been mentioned more than once: indeed, the show has gone out of it’s way to mention one candidate more than once.

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    25. Bott: (Can’t tell if it’s sarcasm but Liv Tyler won’t do, Lyanna was a teenager when she died.)

      True, but they also will not cast a teenager for such a role: it will be an 20-something actress. (And, of course, if it is done as most “flashbacks,” then the effects will blur everyone’s age substantially, anyway.)

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    26. I’m still wondering what the use of a flashback featuring Robert/Brandon and Ned could be when they’re THIS young. I can see one at the time the war starts, or at the tourney at Harrenhal, or the ToJ of course, but what would be the information we could get from a 13-year old Ned (and slightly older Robert/Brandon?). Perhaps to introduce Robert’s betrothal to Lyanna?

      I don’t think Fergus Leathem will play a big role. Probably the green recruit, one of the outlaws or one of the sympathizers.

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    27. Ravyn: So will this be a flashback with Young Littlefinger? I forget how old they were when he fought over Catelyn.

      I was under the impression that this happened right before Robert’s Rebellion, so they would want to use older actors.

      Moreover, given that no lead characters are involved in that scene, I would be surprised if it was included.

      Sam the Slayer: I’m still wondering what the use of a flashback featuring Robert/Brandon and Ned could be when they’re THIS young.

      It probably would be much more obvious to us if we had read Winter! (I do recall GRRM stating that past events would become very germane in Winter. This could well be some past event about which we know little or nothing because it was not relevant until now.)

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    28. Balerion The Cat,

      That’s my hope.
      I’ve wondered how they will handle it as well and now I’m starting to suspect it may go down that way.

      Then the question becomes

      if the TOJ flashback is near the end of the season, then will a Jon is alive scene be paired with it? I doubt the Facebook script summaries are true, but if Melisandre does substitute Ollie for Jon like sheburned Lord of Bones for Mance in the books it could all work together quite nicely!

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    29. Sam the Slayer,

      what do we got from Ned sword-fighting Lyanna, in the books?

      we got to see Bran’s powers, and perhaps it will all culminate in a TOJ flashback..that would make sense, if you think about it.
      begin with a young Ned, playing with Lya and Brandon, to show their strong feelings for one another.
      then one where, perhaps Rickard order her to marry Robert.
      (some other FB, perhaps harrenhall, or something similer)
      then you culminate with TOJ

      what this gives us? R+L=J.

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    30. I could definitely see Fergus as Robert, especially with that beard. He’s not the dreamboat described in the books but I can see Mark and Joe in there to make it believable. Mark especially, with the beard.

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    31. We might even be rewarded with multiple flashbacks of Ned, Brandon, Robert, Lyanna, at different ages, possibly even the Laughing Knight, they have to introduce viewers to Howland before the ToJ.
      If that synopsis is remotely true, I wonder who the perfect bride for Walder is…hmmm.
      Actually this appears to be an improvement over the book version.

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    32. Scott,

      Scott:
      Guessing Sean Bean is out, then.

      Finished the transcript of the episode 1 & 2 summaries since the screencaps seem to have been taken down.

      Where did this come from?

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    33. Trystane,

      Summaries are being spread around claiming to be of the first 2 episodes of the upcoming season, similar to last years which ended up being pretty much 100% true. Some stuff about them seems a bit fishy, but personally I buy them.

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    34. Scott,

      Is this fan fiction, is this supposed to be leaked, or what?

      There’s nothing too crazy on them, I guess. The usual LSH hints in fake summaries, though. So who knows.

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    35. Trystane,

      Sue the Fury
      August 9, 2015 at 1:09 pm
      My sources got back to me: “Barristan Selmy”‘s linked summaries are as we suspected 100% fake.

      I’m deleting his posts and any links to his caps, and the transcriptions. That trolling garbage has no place here

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    36. Trystane,

      There were some posts in the previous thread about filming at Castle Black. There were summaries for the first two episodes, but Sue_the_Fury has since heard from her sources they were fanfic fakes.

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    37. Man, when this article/post flashed up on my Facebook page I whooped it up so much my wife came into the room to see what was up.

      I’m such a GoT nerd.

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    38. Wimsey: I was under the impression that this happened right before Robert’s Rebellion, so they would want to use older actors.

      Doesn’t make much sense they would show that flashback since we pretty much already know what happened via sexposition, so showing it is probably redundant.

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    39. I wonder how many flashbacks / visions there will be and if each flashback will be a ‘series’ of flashbacks (i.e. Will we get several scenes involving these three young kids which tells a story in its own right… Or just one flashback per setting).

      Whatever, it does as someone said, give a lot more power and interest to Bran’s storyline and also makes him less isolated as the visions will join the dots elsewhere. Should be great.

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    40. clouddragon,

      There will most likely be a series of flashbacks through Bran. Not just one or two. There may even be a montage of visions from the past. TOJ’s definitely possible. But imo there should be a build-up to it.

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    41. Luka Nieto: The usual LSH hints in fake summaries, though. So who knows.

      LSH is sort of the Great Pumpkin of some GoT fans!

      Seriously, folks, it’s finally Halloween, but there was no pumpkin patch set up in Season 5 (never mind a sincere one), and we have no evidence that there will be one set up in Season 6.

      (I am so tempted to put in a joke about why we are worrying about the autumn when winter is coming: fortunately, I have better taste than to do that. Be thankful.)

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    42. phantomstrife: There will most likely be a series of flashbacks through Bran. Not just one or two. There may even be a montage of visions from the past. TOJ’s definitely possible. But imo there should be a build-up to it.

      They do need to “hang the gun” before they fire it, I agree. However, I suspect that will be done briefly: as one of the directors noted, training montages are dull.

      I am increasingly thinking that they will deviate from the books by letting Bran see things far from weirwood trees: this might substitute from things recounted by otherwise extraneous incidental characters in the book. If only we could read the book and know…..

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    43. Wimsey,

      You are more correct than you think. They already did this in Season 4. The Three-eyed raven, through a weirwood tree, showed Bran visions of things that no weirwood tree could’ve “seen” (Ned in prison, the Night’s King, a dragon shadow over King’s Landing, the ruined and frozen throne room, etc.)

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    44. Uhhh, I’m reading ppls comments stating that tower of joy is confirmed with this aquisition?! This kids balls haven’t dropped yet

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    45. Luka Nieto: You are more correct than you think. They already did this in Season 4.

      Oh, true. And that’s a big reason why they only need to do a little bit of the old “Bruce Lee training montage” bit. They should probably remind the audience of this stuff visually. Of course, they could even do that in the scene where we get the first big vision: Bran sees random flashbacks, Yoda tells him to focus blah-di-blah, and then Bran sees something important to the plot.

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    46. Not many show watchers are going to care if they suddenly see some random girl in some random tower before young Ned finds her. All we’ve gotten so far are like three brief mentions of her. It’d be better to show a relationship between Ned/Lyanna/maybe Brandon and build one between the viewers/Lyanna, so she could be more than a plot device.

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    47. My guess is we will see multiple Bran flashbacks though out the season.

      It will likely start with young Ned sparring with Brandon etc. Maybe we learn some history about Reaghar, the Targs or maybe the North (beyond the wall).

      Then we will get an older version of them (played by Sean Bean). Maybe the Tourny of Harenhal? IDK.

      Then we will get TOJ.

      I think they can easily have Sean Bean play a 20 year old Ned. Make up and VFX should easily be able to make him look younger, and to be honest for the amount of screen time he will have, we probably wont even notice. Especially if we see him at ToJ wearing a helmet.

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    48. Oh boy, ppl keep saying tower of joy, but I’m thinking more towards, considering the age and build of this seasoned actor, that we have a battle at the trident flashback in store! Wait, maybe a 4th recast of the mountain?!

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    49. Eugh. Can’t say the thought of more flashbacks does anything for me especially after the pointlessness of the Cersei one. Not entirely sure how a flashback to Ned’s childhood would have any relevance? Perhaps to highlight Robert’s infatuation with Lyanna although I think that is already very evident from the show. We’ll see but I hope it’s better than the last one and still hope that ToJ doesn’t happen save the Ned/Lyanna bit.

      Onto more solid speculating. I think Fergus could well be our Dickon.

      Ravyn,

      They didn’t. His brother Brandon nearly killed Littlefinger when they were late teens/early 20s I believe.

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    50. Sue the Fury: I’m facepalming.

      Do your benefits include corrective surgery for getting your nose print out of your hand? (And/or for fixing broken noses…) If not, then they should!

      😀

      TheTouchOfFrost: Can’t say the though of more flashbacks does anything for me especially after the pointlessness of the Cersei one.

      You mean the one that only setup Cersei’s entire story for the year and basically set up the first half of a one-line statement of the story? The more “pointlessness” of that sort, the better!

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    51. phantomstrife,

      Yeah, I’m guessing that’s what they’ll do. I don’t know about lots of flashbacks, but at least one to establish the relationship between Ned and Lyanna, before showing the Tower of Joy flashback.

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    52. I guess you have to ask why a flashback? They’ve been able to cover historical facts through dialogue up to this point. One reason to use flashbacks is that something needs to be shown, more than just a few facts.

      Or they are meant to take on a life of their own and create a story on its own terms.

      But likely it’s a way to unload a number of tidbits, not just one thing. And I just feel like it has to directly connect to someone still alive to bother, to resonate. Who knows what Hodor has in his Hodor? And Littlefinger is potentially involved as well. But otherwise all characters in question are deceased. Cat’s the most recent one, too, and that feels like an age ago in the show.

      So, is Hodor the gun himself? Hodor?!

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    53. Balerion The Cat:
      That’s some fine casting, I could totally see young Sean Bean look like that. Now, I’m still curious to see the context of this flashback, makes me wonder if they’ll keep showing flashback of Ned throughout the season culminating with the ToJ flashback, with Sean Bean (hopefully) reprising his role. I can hope…

      This. This so f*ckng much. Make it happen D&D!

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    54. phantomstrife: All we’ve gotten so far are like three brief mentions of her.

      Lyanna has been mentioned in key scenes in every season. Now, telling is not anywhere near equal to showing on TV – ultimately, if a characters is going to be important, then he/she must be shown – but at this point the audience knows that something bad happened to Ned’s sister and the Stark kids’ aunt long ago.

      But, again: in cinema, they have to show if it is really important. Showing Lyanna before would have been pointless: it never was directly important to the story or to one of the plots. This year, she might be. If so, then they have to show her. They have a good tool for that (Bran). Now, obviously there are a lot of other things that could be happening instead: but this is a pretty simple explanation for what we know.

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    55. OK, so I’d be interested in seeing that pile of doodoo on the side of the road with a banner on it that tyrion spoke about, seriously, love all things GoT/ASOIAF. Now can someone that’s interested in the matter pls explain why the ruckus for wanting to see deepwood motte so much?

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    56. Ravyn,

      Ravyn,

      How would a flashback to that benefit the plot? The story has already been told by Littlefinger himself. It would be as unnecessary to have as a flashback to when the Mountain burned Sandor.

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    57. Xanth:
      Trystane,

      Summaries are being spread around claiming to be of the first 2 episodes of the upcoming season, similar to last years which ended up being pretty much 100% true. Some stuff about them seems a bit fishy, but personally I buy them.

      I’m still curious to read them even if they’re fake. If they’re fake I don’t know why anyone would care if they’re posted.

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    58. I hope Lyanna is portrayed sparring in the woods with the boys as well, to show the similarity between her and Arya.

      This is exciting news!!

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    59. Maybe this actor will only be Ned in a flashback and later we will have a TOJ flashback and Sean bean will be back to play him then , this is what I think/hope will happen

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    60. phantomstrife:

      TheTouchOfFrost:
      Eugh. Can’t say the thought of more flashbacks does anything for me especially after the pointlessness of the Cersei one. Not entirely sure howa flashback to Ned’s childhood would have any relevance?

      It doesn’t need to have some big relevance to the plot. It will be interesting, just like Cersei in S5. And it will made story deeper and richer

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    61. Wimsey,

      What did that scene tell us about Cersei that we didn’t already know or hadn’t already been laid out in previous seasons? We know she was jealous of Marge, we know she’s vindictive and we know she’ll go to any length to protect her children. Sure we don’t have detailed development of her whole formaive years but we don’t have that for a lot of characters. I don’t think specific events needed highlighting in such a blatant way in a badly-acted flashback scene. Ask yourself would it really have mattered to the plot if that had been missed out? I don’t think it would have made one jot of a difference!

      Luka Nieto,

      Can easily be done in other ways. To that extent , you’d need to do the same with Rhaegar…and more Robert….and then the Mad King…and when does it stop? Doesn’t need to have that much detail as long as the essence is gotten across. If they want to explore these characters more then do a prequel series where they can be done justice. A couple of flashbacks won’t cut it plus a lot of viewers are put off by them ( see Lost) as they distract from the present.

      mau,

      Which I wouldn’t have as much issue with if they had had the time to do it last season. I would rather have had Dorne done properly. I hope they keep the flashbacks to a minimum. With such a large universe the show is set in then to be distracted by things that can lead onto a much wider picture can be a dangerous route to go down. Do them in full seperately or don’t do them at all I say.

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    62. Fergus definitely looks like he could be a Stark too; maybe he will be Brandon [Ned’s older brother]. Though for all I know he’s a recast Arya.

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    63. Jonathan:
      Ravyn,

      Ravyn,

      How would a flashback to that benefit the plot? The story has already been told by Littlefinger himself. It would be as unnecessary to have as a flashback to when the Mountain burned Sandor.

      Book readers care about the past in this story because they have so much information about the past.

      If D&D want the audience to care who Jon’s parents are, they must become characters in this story, not some random names mentioned every season once or twice.

      S6 is the perfect place for that, and for someone who will watch all seasons at once in 2018, it will make perfect sense. In every season we had some mentions of R+ L, but in s6 we will see that, we will finally see their relevance to this story, they will truly become part of this epic journey.

      It will all feel natural and coherent.

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    64. TheTouchOfFrost:

      mau,

      Which I wouldn’t have as much issue with if they had had the time to do it last season. I would rather have had Dorne done properly.I hope they keep the flashbacks to a minimum. With such a large universe the show is set in then to be distracted by things that can lead onto a much wider picture can be a dangerous route to go down. Do them in full seperately or don’t do them at all I say.

      So, you want spin-off about Cersei’s childhood?

      Don’t be that person, who thinks that 3 or 4 minutes of Misandei and GW “stole” LSH, YG,…

      With another 3 minutes, nothing in Dorne would be better or worse. This universe is rich, but you feel that as a book reader. For show watchers scenes like that, or Valyria, or whatever, make this story rich.

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    65. TheTouchOfFrost:

      Luka Nieto,

      Can easily be done in other ways. To that extent , you’d need to do the same with Rhaegar…and more Robert….and then the Mad King…and when does it stop? Doesn’t need to have that much detail as long as the essence is gotten across. If they want to explore these characters more then doa prequel series where they can be done justice. A couple of flashbacks won’t cut it plus a lot of viewers are put off by them ( see Lost) as they distract from the present.

      They shouldn’t sacrifice this show, for some prequel show, that maybe never happens, or can be written by other people, not D&D.

      When R+L=J is confirmed, the audience needs to feel the importance of that moment, and that can’t be accomplished by only talking about Jon’s parents.

      GRRM didn’t save that scene for some prequel book, because those informations belong here.

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    66. TheTouchOfFrost: What did that scene tell us about Cersei that we didn’t already know or hadn’t already been laid out in previous seasons?

      It had to be done that season. For one thing, most of the audience has not watched prior episodes in many months and even years. So, the big guns for Season 5 have to be hung in Season 5: the hangings in prior seasons do not count for much. But the bigger issue is that the “child” that needs to be killed is half of the story that they are telling this year. So, they needed to show literally and figuratively what the child was like for one of the central characters. Adult Cersei as we know her is basically the same petulant, demanding and heedless person as she was as a child. In her case, failing to kill that girl is why she fails. (Of course, successfully killing the girl leads to different sorts of “fails” by other characters: but this is is not a “good deeds get rewarded” type of story.)

      Moreover, knowing that Cersei was out to undermine Margaery is not the same as knowing why: stories stem from “why,” not “what.” That was very important Cersei: the “why” for Jon, Daeny, Tyrion, Arya, Sansa, Jaime and Theon all were (re)made obvious by the here-and-now plots; only in Cersei’s case was it really based on things on things not happening “now.”

      In this case, we probably are looking at something similar. These flashbacks will provide some important “whys” that are not going to be obvious in the present plot.

      TheTouchOfFrost: A couple of flashbacks won’t cut it plus a lot of viewers are put off by them ( see Lost) as they distract from the present.

      Um, Lost was tremendously popular despite using copious flashbacks in every episode starting with the first season. When it began to lose popularity, it had nothing to do with flashbacks: it was when the showrunners had to stall the over-arching story and plot because the network would not give them permission to start winding down the show.

      At any rate, many of the very popular cable TV series have used lots of flashbacks. Audiences do not mind them at all, and there is no correspondence between series introducing flashbacks and popularity falling off.

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    67. Aaaaah so much looking forward to next season. I am very confident it’s gonna be great.
      Young Ned looks very cute. Wonder how the other actors like Lyanna and Brandon will look like.

      But I do hope they keep Sean Bean for a Tower of Joy flashback

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    68. Chilli,

      Many people say that, but is that a good idea? Sean Bean looks older than he did 6 years ago in season 1, and he’s supposed to look quite young for that flashback scene. A 20-something year old guy, in the show universe. I think I’d rather see another actor than a weird-looking Sean Bean due to iffy make-up, whether it is digital or real.

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    69. Chilli,

      I’m sure we will see Sean Bean again next season, and I think that is very important. The show is now so different, when we compare end of S5 and the beginning of S6 with S1, 2,3…

      Ned, Robert, Cat, Robb, Drogo Joffrey,… are replaced by Stannis, Tommen, Doran, Euron,…

      I think we need Sean Bean for continuity. It will send very clear message, the message that this is the same story, a story that has natural progression, and that everything will matter in the end, that this is not some soap opera, where they kill characters and replace them with another…

      It will close the circle.

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    70. There have been no casting calls for Lyanna, young or old. I don’t know why so many people expect to not only see her in this sparring session, but also get the TOJ flashback. It’s certainly possible that the casting for the character hasn’t been leaked, but I would think she would have appeared on one of the leaked casting calls.

        Quote  Reply

    71. Tyrion Pimpslap,

      I think we’re assuming she will appear because it just makes sense. But you are right that there is no evidence at all. Then again, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Not every role is leaked, not even close, especially not this early.

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    72. Luka Nieto,

      I don’t think it is, unless the show is going to spend enough money to get Ant-Man-quality effects, and that in turn seems like it would be an unnecessarily large allocation of resources given everything else that has to be in this season.

      Tyrion Pimpslap,

      I don’t expect her to be in the sparring session (it sounds like we have a pretty decent description of that), but it feels like there has to be more casting being done for the flashbacks. We have somebody who is clearly Arthur Dayne, with a casting description that makes it sound like he’s going to have a big fight scene, which is really superfluous to the narrative — I don’t see how you can include such a scene on its own, without any sort of meaningful narrative payoff. Moreover, we know Bran will be having several flashbacks this season, per Isaac’s own statements, but apart from the scene with little Ned et al. the only casting that seems like it could be related to a flashback is Dayne.

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    73. mau: When R+L=J is confirmed, the audience needs to feel the importance of that moment, and that can’t be accomplished by only talking about Jon’s parents.

      It needs more than talking: it needs showing. In particular, they really need to find a way to show Jon’s mother, and to show Ned’s reactions and responses. I (like most of us, I would guess) think that GRRM has always meant this to be some “key” to the over-arching story.

      Luka Nieto: Then again, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Not every role is leaked, not even close, especially not this early.

      Yay and nay. Absence of evidence would be no news of casting at all about any of the parts. We do have a bit of that at this point. That does not mean that the role isn’t there, but it becomes increasingly less probable as more time elapses and no more news of it comes out.

      However, this also would be a small role of the sort that need not get much attention. I suppose that it could already have been cast, obviating the need for a casting call, too. (I have no idea how often that is the case.) So, although none of the evidence we have says that the role is cast, there almost certainly is a lot of evidence we do not have that allows for it.

      So, I’m still betting on it being there: but it’s just a bet at this point

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    74. Sean C.,

      Ant-Man’s de-aging of Michael Douglas is the first believable effect of that kind I’ve ever seen. It’s the kind you don’t even think of as an effect while you’re watching it. I didn’t even think about it until the real Michael Douglas appeared, in all his 70 year old glory. Quite impressive. And, indeed, GoT can’t afford that kind of thing.

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    75. People who want Sean Bean want continuity, we don’t care how old he looks.

      I didn’t want to see different actors in the Hobbit. I wanted ian mckellen, orlando bloom, christopher lee, because I care about continuity more that character’s age.

      Sean Bean can play man in his 30s. We don’t know how old Ned was in S1.

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    76. Sean C.,

      Given that there were no other TOJ related characters in the big leaked casting call, and that there was no preference for the race of the actor playing this “legendary warrior with a famous sword”, I think it is quite possible that it is Azor Ahai(or the show’s equivalent) with Lightbringer that the casting call refers to.

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    77. Maybe they already have a Lyanna from previous castings while searching for someone else? There are many actor on the show who did first audition for another role. I don’t think it’s so difficult to find a beautiful dark haired girl.

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    78. Luka Nieto: I think I’d rather see another actor than a weird-looking Sean Bean due to iffy make-up, whether it is digital or real.

      My bet is that it depends largely on how well they can CGI/makeup Bean to look much younger than he is. Given that flashbacks usually have a more surreal “dream-like” production to them (dulled colors, lower focus), it becomes even easier to pull it off: but “easier” ≠ “easy”!

      That written, I suspect that B&W would err on the side of bringing Bean back rather than on the side of making it look more convincing. I mean, he’s Sean Bean!

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    79. Tyrion Pimpslap: I think it is quite possible that it is Azor Ahai(or the show’s equivalent) with Lightbringer that the casting call refers to.

      Wow, you think that they will flashback to that long ago? Well, I suppose that Bran could see that.

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    80. Wimsey,

      That is true. Although it wouldn’t make much sense, I’d want them to bring Sean Bean back because… well, he IS Sean Bean, he IS Ned Stark, even if he is too old to portray a young Ned.

      I’d rather they didn’t try too hard with the make-up, and just make him look a bit fresher. It’s not exactly realistic in terms of the timeline but I prefer that to a weird-looking Sean Bean with no wrinkles but exactly the same 56-year old facial proportions (which is what happens with real makeup, and with shitty CGI.)

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    81. Luka Nieto,

      Thank you. I had responded to someone the other day who said they would not accept anyone other than Sean Bean for a ToJ flashback (if there was one), and tried to point out he was far, far too old to play himself in his 20’s.

      There is still a chance we see him, though. If I remember correctly, there was some scene in the Godswood of Winterfell (I think between Bran and Ned) which didn’t make it into season 1. They may be able to use it this season.

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    82. My lord, so many people are taking leaves of their senses here in the off season. Eric Roberts? Liv Tyler? ToJ Ned being a baby? It’s all very funny to watch 😛

      To the person up there who is only 50/50 on

      R+L=J

      I am legit curious as to what comprises the other 50% of your speculation.

      I really do hope they do some Michael Douglas in Ant-Man style de-aging on Sean Bean for ToJ. I read a bit about the process and it’s really fascinating. It’s also easier to do when you have actual footage of the actor as a young person, as they would for Sean Bean.

      Fun times all around. I am hoping this is the week the dam breaks and we get the major castings for S6. Fingers crossed.

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    83. Dany:
      Trystane,

      Sue the Fury
      August 9, 2015 at 1:09 pm
      My sources got back to me: “Barristan Selmy”‘s linked summaries are as we suspected 100% fake.

      I’m deleting his posts and any links to his caps, and the transcriptions. That trolling garbage has no place here

      Post the link please. I would like to read the fake script.

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    84. Nymeria Warrior Queen:
      Luka Nieto,

      Thank you.I had responded to someone the other day who said they would not accept anyone other than Sean Bean for a ToJ flashback (if there was one), and tried to point out he was far, far too old to play himself in his 20’s.

      Again, why would Ned be in his 20s?

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    85. Luka Nieto,

      Also, it’s got to be an issue of how much younger they want him to look. In the books, he is supposed to be in his late teens. However, there is no reason to do that on TV. (In fact, I think that people would find that ridiculous even if you hopped a TARDIS and got an 18 year old Sean Bean to play the role.) Basically, the important thing is that he look substantially younger than he did in 2011. That should not be too difficult.

      Along these lines, they also could get an older actress to play Lyanna, now that I think of it. After all, she’s on her death bed when Ned finds her: and even if she was just 16 at the time, then she would have looked a lot “older” than that at the time. I think that they would run into less problem trying to “de-age” multiple people rather than having a “de-aged” Bean playing against a 25 year old woman!

      Of course, when we learn that Ashara Dayne really is Jon’s mother, then all of this will go out the window…. 😉

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    86. I doubt they’d want to leak info on Lyanna’s casting (additionally young Ned at ToJ). That’d be giving a lot away. ToJ as well as Jon’s comeback will be safeguarded from being spoiled.

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    87. Regarding TOJ.

      Why are people so hooked on this?

      The book brought the feel of the scene/dream excelently and to remind everyone here GRRM said that Ned`s dream is not an EXACT memory but a feaver dream/nightmare.

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    88. mau,

      In Season 1, it could be said Ned looked about 40 only if we are very charitable, and honestly he looked like the 50 year old man Sean Bean was. Robert’s Rebellion was said to have happened 17 years ago in Season 1. You’re right, he wouldn’t be in his twenties. More like in his early thirties. And no, Sean Bean doesn’t look like a 30 year old man. But I guess makeup can help with that, whether it is digital or real. To be honest, I was imagining a younger Ned for the Tower of Joy scene, but in terms of the show you’re right —he needn’t be that young. In fact, he shouldn’t. So I changed my mind. Sean Bean can still play him. Which makes me excited for his possible return!

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    89. phantomstrife: I doubt they’d want to leak info on Lyanna’s casting (additionally young Ned at ToJ).

      They do not want to “leak” anything! If they want it to get out, then it does not have to be leaked. To an extent, it is a narrow eye that they are trying to thread: they do not want this to become general knowledge on one hand, but they have to advertise their open positions to people unaffiliated with the show on the other hand.

      It seems to be pot-luck (in both directions) on these sorts of series as to how much information gets out in advance.

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    90. Hoyti Von Totiy: The book brought the feel of the scene/dream excelently and to remind everyone here GRRM said that Ned`s dream is not an EXACT memory but a feaver dream/nightmare

      Flashbacks often do that, anyway. Even Mad Men’s copious flashbacks used slightly different production so that you would know you were watching a flashback. Lost is one of the few shows that did not: but, then, it was obvious when it was a flashback because they were not on an Island!

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    91. Hoyti Von Totiy,

      well maybe in book 6 (so also s6) we will get more on ToJ.
      If Jon’s meant to learn about his mother, then how to go about it? A random word from some stranger (Reed) won’t cut it for him, he’ll likely be ‘shown’ by Bran.

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    92. I still feel that the Arthur Dayne casting (as I’m sure the call was meant for) is part of Jaime’s storyline, not TOJ. Could there be both? Maybe…but I do think that more time spent on Jaime’s character, his experience with AD, and how wonderful Ian McShane would be as Aerys, would be fantastic to see.

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    93. Pigeon,

      Flashbacks aren’t going to suddenly be a common part of the show. We’ll get key stuff, probably through Bran’s visions, not Lost-style elongated flashbacks for many characters. This is why it baffles me that people think we could ever see Littlefinger being wounded by Brandon, or Jaime being young in the Kingsguard.

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    94. aabe,

      The name Hodor comes from “Hold-door”. That is the last thing his mother said before the mountain stormed in. Hodor being aegon is basic tinfoil 101.

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    95. Daniel: He’s not Ned, he’s Petyr Baelish, who also matches the description, and has a sword fight with Brandon Stark for the Hand of Cat Tully.

      http://awoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/Petyr_Baelish

      And why should we see this flashback? It would be useless, this story was already told many times (by Cat, Littlefinger and Ned).

      Ned with his sister Lyanna is important, it’s an introduction to the big reveal about Jon’s parentage. And Bran could see that in his visions.

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    96. Luka Nieto:
      Pigeon,

      Flashbacks aren’t going to suddenly be a common part of the show. We’ll get key stuff, probably through Bran’s visions, not Lost-style elongated flashbacks for many characters. This is why it baffles me that people think we could ever see Littlefinger being wounded by Brandon, or Jaime being young in the Kingsguard.

      Or the entire TOJ sequence? Because to me, that’d have to be more than a glimpse as well to involve any of the characters mentioned.

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    97. Pigeon,

      I’m not sure I understood you. Do you mean the TOJ sequence would be as irrelevant as all those other examples? If the theories are correct, the TOJ scene concludes in the enormous revelation that Jon Snow, the closer thing this story has to a hero, is the son of Rhaegar and Lyanna, and maybe Jon Targaryen if they secretly married. Compare that to the other suggestions.

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    98. phantomstrife: he’ll likely be ‘shown’ by Bran.

      There is nothing in either the show or the books to suggest that the Tree Gods have that sort of ability.

      Luka Nieto: We’ll get key stuff, probably through Bran’s visions, not Lost-style elongated flashbacks for many characters.

      Lost was a very different beast. Like many Mad Men or Dexter episodes (just to name a couple of series), nearly all Lost episodes were emphasizing some parallel between what the Lead de la Semaine was doing in that episode and events from his/her past.

      This stuff will be more like what they did with Cersei (setting up a season’s story) or perhaps purely to provide us with important plot.

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    99. Luka Nieto,

      I don’t think any of them are irrelevant, and all have already been hinted at or flat out told by a character (obviously Jaime’s already told his story, LF his, and it’s pretty damn obvious that they wouldn’t keep mentioning Lyanna, Rhaegar, Ned’s personality, Jon’s background etc. without reason). However, the TOJ would have to be a significant flashback/vision in order to tell people even an idea of who Arthur Dayne and other characters and circumstances are. Otherwise there’d be no point to doing it. So I think anything is possible.

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    100. Bran already had a quick succession of visions in season 4. I don’t see why he wouldn’t be able to experiment mutiple short (20 sec each) flashbacks thanks to weirdnet.

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    101. Daniel,

      What would be the point of showing that?

      Pigeon,

      The whole Tower of Joy sequence is a pivotal event in the series’ backstory that the audience as yet knows nothing about. I agree that, had they wanted to, they could have omitted the fight portion, but evidently they aren’t. That’s not at all the same as dramatizing, say, the Brandon/Baelish duel, which we’ve already been told about and which wouldn’t serve any purpose showing at length; we’ve already gotten the basics of Jaime’s dilemma as a young man, too.

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    102. Sue the Fury,

      Sue, I know I’m super late to the party, but do you know for how many episodes are the following characters supposed to appear or any hints of the lenght of their roles?

      Leading Actress, in her early 40’s, she’s an elegant actress with a traveling theatre company. Fun, charismatic, rum-drinking actress in the troupe.

      Priestess. Mid-20’s to early 30’s. Any ethnicity- she’s beautiful, intense, and magnetic.

      Thanks!

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    103. The casting of Lyanna could be a closed audition, hence no casting call. They could announce it when they find the actress or they could (try to) keep it a secret.

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    104. Pigeon:
      . However, the TOJ would have to be a significant flashback/vision in order to tell people even an idea of who Arthur Dayne and other characters and circumstances are.

      I don’t think that Arthur Dayne is that important, but if they want, they can introduce him before ToJ, at the R+L wedding.

      Maybe they will show their wedding, because if they were wed, that means that Jon is not a bastard but legitimate heir to the IT.

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    105. I personally think a lot of the flashbacks fans are hoping for (myself included) are unlikely, but I’m not ruling anything out just yet….

      Depending on how they stylize Bran’s visions he may see bits and pieces of various scenes before he gets a more linear coherent vision. As Bran learns to use the WeirWeb maybe we will see snippets from stories he has been told (and we as viewers already have been told) as confirmation of his abilities. Seeing events viewers are familiar with would confirm the accuracy of Bran’s powers/ visions.

      If all that can be done without taking too much scene time I would be okay with it even if some of the flashbacks alone do not necessarily add anything new to the story.

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    106. phantomstrife,

      The main cast list was only leaked publicly because Sue had a connection with an agency who received the casting call. The characters weren’t even named. So that is why I am skeptical that Lyanna will appear this season. She would have been included, or at least the description of a woman in her twenties with dark hair etc., in the main casting list for s6.

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    107. Sean C.:
      Daniel,

      What would be the point of showing that?

      Pigeon,

      The whole Tower of Joy sequence is a pivotal event in the series’ backstory that the audience as yet knows nothing about.I agree that, had they wanted to, they could have omitted the fight portion, but evidently they aren’t.That’s not at all the same as dramatizing, say, the Brandon/Baelish duel, which we’ve already been told about and which wouldn’t serve any purpose showing at length; we’ve already gotten the basics of Jaime’s dilemma as a young man, too.

      mau: I don’t think that Arthur Dayne is that important, but if they want, they can introduce him before ToJ, at the R+L wedding.

      Maybe they will show their wedding, because if they were wed,that means that Jon is not a bastard but legitimate heir to the IT.

      Both good points.

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    108. aabe:
      This flashback is where we’ll learn why Hodor only ever says ‘Hodor’. GRRM has said we’ll learn more about Hodor, after all.

      Yes, I think so too. After an entire season of Hodor and Bran being absent, a flashback explaining how Hodor came to be Hodor, would be a good reintroduction to both of them and also show us Bran’s growing power to “flashback.” Then the show can slowly introduce past events through flashback in the next 2-3 seasons, and it wouldn’t be jarring.

      Tyrion Pimpslap: Given that there were no other TOJ related characters in the big leaked casting call, and that there was no preference for the race of the actor playing this “legendary warrior with a famous sword”, I think it is quite possible that it is Azor Ahai(or the show’s equivalent) with Lightbringer that the casting call refers to.

      That is a super interesting idea! Hope this is true. Tells us a lot of the backstory myth.

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    109. I think its going to be pretty simple.
      They’re going to start introducing the Robert/Rhagaer conflict with Lyanna from the beginning via Flashbacks from Bran.
      It will be almost like a prequel, set within the confines of the show.
      The final flashback will be the TOJ where we will FINALLY find out if Lyanna died from childbirth and if R+L=J is legit.
      Jon Snow will come back in the final scene of the season as either AA reborn, or a White Walker, or even The Night’s King and blow everyones minds.

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    110. mau: Proven to be fake.

      Ok, where’s the proof? And if it’s just your “sources”, then forget about it. Give me something tangible.

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    111. Jax:
      McMannis,

      Liv Tyler certainly fits the physical requirements to play Lyanna (or any female Stark, really) but she’s way too old to play her, even if Lyanna was aged up from 16 to her early 20’s.

      This makes me sad because I will probably continue crushing on that wonderful lady until she’s 90, but yeah, Liv Tyler wouldn’t work for Lyanna unless she were her early 2000s self, haha.

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    112. How bout Clive Standen as Ned Stark in the Tower of Joy? I know he’s 34 and Ned was supposed to be 20, but Sean Bean was 51 when he was supposed to be 38, so…

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    113. Tyrion Pimpslap,

      They may not put out casting calls for characters if the producers already know the actor in mind, and it isn’t an “open role”. Ian McShane might even fit into that category.

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    114. Kay: flashback explaining how Hodor came to be Hodor,

      I doubt these kinds of flashbacks are in store. First, Hodor is not a major character, how much of a fan favorite he might be. Secondly, I think the flashbacks will only occur when they deepen an A list character’s current story (i.e., Maggy the frog flashback for Cersei), or push the narrative forward.

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    115. Shawn Milloy,

      TV characters (Oberyn, Stannis, the Night’s Watch…) seem to be allergic to helmets. Apparently basic protection isn’t “cool” enough for them.

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    116. Kay,

      Azor ahai probably never existed anyway. The whole point of having POVs and a shady organization (maesters) as the only “reliable” source of info for past events is to relate to historical fiction and all the misguiding that entails, a genre grrm loves btw.

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    117. Wimsey: knowing that Cersei was out to undermine Margaery is not the same as knowing why: stories stem from “why,” not “what.”

      I agree. It drives me nuts when people say the Maggy the Frog flashback was a waste of time. It definitely showed that Cersei wasn’t just the world’s most dangerous helicopter mom, but that she actually feared for her existence and her children’s existence if she didn’t act that way. If anything, it put a pall of inevitable tragedy over her entire arc: as much as she fights against it, she’s likely to lose her battle with destiny.

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    118. Fergus = Rhaegar ?

      If a lavender eyed male and a grey/green eyed female produce a child, it can’t have brown eyes. This is my argument against either R+L=J, or the casting of Jon Snow.

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    119. Luka Nieto,

      In the books he’s 20 when Lyanna dies, but given they aged him up for the show, you’re right, he wouldn’t have to be in his 20’s, but he would have to look as many years younger as Kit looks old. So, if we go with Kit looking 20ish, Bean would have to look 20 years younger than he did in season 1. I don’t know about this back-aging effect, or whatever it’s called, which sounds like it was used in a recent film, so can’t really speak to whether that makes it a viable option, but without that, I still think there’s no way he pulls off 20 years younger than he appeared in season 1.

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    120. Ore: Azor ahai probably never existed anyway.

      Alternatively, Azor Ahai was just a man who (due to circumstance and ability) did great things in great times. His deification would have been posthumous. It is no different from what non-Christians (or Unitarian Christians) say distinguishes Jesus of Nazareth from Christ. (And given GRRM’s views about Christianity, the parallel would not surprise me!)

      I expect that the Three Heads of the Dragon will be the same thing: great people but not supermen.

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    121. bon:
      Mark my words it must be Rickon!!!

      Literally what sense does this make?
      Art Parkinson has been consistently acting since GOT. He has more experience than this guy. In his flicks and the city interview he refused to talk about game of thrones season six. I personally could not take a Stark recast.

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    122. Fergus looks like a younger Robert. Nose, eyes, hair. Robert was strong and handsome in his youth.

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    123. KitD: This is my argument against either R+L=J, or the casting of Jon Snow.

      Showrunners won’t cast based on eye-color. They can just cast a brown-eyed Lyanna, make her eyes brown with contacts or CGI, or simply not worry about it. I do agree that a lot of people would catch this: but it’s not a plot point the way that, say, immolating frozen corpses with nothing but a torch would be!

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    124. dummypants:
      My lord, so many people are taking leaves of their senses here in the off season. Eric Roberts? Liv Tyler? ToJ Ned being a baby? It’s all very funny to watch ????

      I winced a bit when I read the Liv Tyler suggestion. XD Personally I always kind of pictured Rachel Weisz when I think of how Lyanna looks. /shrug

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    125. As to what they should show in flashback, Stark family closeness, lyanna being a bit of a tomboy like Arya, Lyanna’s misgivings about Robert. The actor Fergus has to be a young Robert he has the look.

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    126. Hodoreo: In his flicks and the city interview he refused to talk about game of thrones season six. I personally could not take a Stark recast.

      Well, chances are decent that the general audience would not notice the shift. Moreover, given how much Art Parkinson’s features have “hardened” (as so often happens at that age), most of the audience won’t recognize him if/when Parkinson returns to the role!

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    127. Pigeon,

      They wanted the best swordsman they could get for Arthur Dayne which points to fact that we will be a major part of an action sequence but not a fleshed out character. TOJ would fit all those requirements.

      Although, we can’t be exactly sure this character will be AD even if he is the only character from the books who matches this casting call but we are off book now.

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    128. KitD,

      Actually, Rhaegar is said to have had dark indigo eyes, not lavender, and Lyanna’s eye-color is never specified. In the books, Jon’s eyes are said to be a grey so dark they almost appear black, although Kit’s are brown.

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    129. Io Johnny: Ok, where’s the proof? And if it’s just your “sources”, then forget about it. Give me something tangible.

      If an ordinary user claims to have inside sources than they are usually fake (like this Patchface guy last year). When Sue (or other WotW mods) cite their inside sources we can believe them with 98% certainty.

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    130. Wimsey,

      Oh come on…I was dragged to see San Andreas when it came out, and recognized him immediately. One of the few good actors in the movie, too. 😉

        Quote  Reply

    131. Wimsey: If you are such a nerd, then how did you get a wife?

      There are lots of lovely ladies out there that like nerds just fine.

        Quote  Reply

    132. Dragonslayer,

      I would love it if they do a TOJ flashback/vision/whatever. I am playing devil’s advocate with the Jaime storyline simply to not get my hopes up too much. 😉 You’re right in that the character may not be ‘Arthur Dayne’, per se, but it would be great is they keep the general idea of him.

        Quote  Reply

    133. Ore,

      On the contrary, one of the recurring points of this series is that the myths are true and the people trying to find a “rational” explanation for all the magic that supposedly existed in the past are kidding themselves (The World of Ice and Fire is perhaps the most blatant statement on this point). Now, misinformation undoubtedly exists as well, but Azor Ahai was real, no doubt.

      KitD,

      As GRRM says when asked about genetics, it’s not science fiction that he’s writing, it’s fantasy.

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    134. Moka:
      When I saw the picture of Fergus Leathem, I thought “ROBERT BARATHEON!!”.

      Me too. That’s the first thing that popped into my mind when I saw the pic.

        Quote  Reply

    135. mau,

      Just out of curiosity I googled “young Sean Bean” and good grief, he looks like Jamie Lannister here!

      http://www.cageyfilms.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/shopping5.jpg

      And aw, look, here he is with baby Jon

      http://jccassels.files.wordpress.com/2014/09/tumblr_n9ojikabnl1reij4fo1_500-copy.jpg

      Jeff O’Connor (JeffZero on some sites),

      Liv still looks pretty bloody amazing! I’m suddenly desperate to know her skin care regime.

      http://www.glamour.com/images/beauty/2013/10/liv-tyler-smoky-eye-makeup-fade-main.jpg

        Quote  Reply

    136. KitD,

      Nerdy pompous explanation: eye colour (and everything else) isn’t the simple binary inheritance we were taught in high school. Multiple alleles are involved, and then individual gene expression is affected by DNA methylation etc.

      TV logic explanation – well, Dany doesn’t have purple eyes, so *shrug*

        Quote  Reply

    137. Sean C.,

      I doubt that we’ll get answers concerning the black oily stones, garth greenhand and all the fantasy goodies that we’ve read, the point of the saga is not to build a detailed myhical past like we are used to, but to share the clueness of the povs. That is why we’ll never get a pov from varys for example (ass grrm said). Visions and prophecies follow the same rule, ultimately to see the ramifications of actions taken based on false knowledge of past and future events is the essence of the saga. Misinformation and falsehood is key in asoaif.

        Quote  Reply

    138. mau,

      Come on. You honestly feel as though that scene added anything to Cersei’s character that wasn’t already there? Her personality and her motivations had already been perfectly established before that flashback.
      Not on it’s own but if your trimmed some of the other silly bits from the season ( the Breinne chase, some of Arya’s floor scrubbing, etc) then they could have done that part of the story a lot less rushed.
      But why sacrifice elements of the show for irrelevant detail? Cersei’s story for this season would have worked perfectly well without that flashback. I maintain that it added nothing that wasn’t already there.
      I honeslty don’t see how a couple of flashbacks are going to make the average viewer give more of a crap about Lyanna…especially as we don’t seem to be having Rhaegar ones. If you want to really interest them you need to tell the whole story. It’s too late for half-hearted flashbacks they should have done more already to familiarise the viewers with the events that led to the Rebellion. The only flashback they need is Ned talking to Lyanna at the ToJ (no need for the fight outside as it has no relevance whatsoever). The rest they can easily build through characters talking about it ( although a shame Barristan has gone as he was pretty much the only character left with first hand experience of what happened). If they’re wise they will leave it slightly mysterious as then they’d have a hook for a prequel if they wanted to go that way ( why stop a cash cow having a calf?).

      Wimsey,

      The viewer is already very familiar with Cersei’s character they don’t need a specific reason for her doing things as they’s already built her character very well. Again, if you took the flashback out no one would be wondering why she was doing what she was doing.
      Lost got poo when the flashbacks were no longer useful for building the characters. On a lower level Arrow has suffered from a similar thing. The flashbacks are nearly always the weakest part of a show and should be kept to a bare minumim. It smells of bad planning in a lot of cases. Or if we must use the Chekov analogy that always comes up around here: It’s as if someone comes and hangs a gun up whilst someone is already looking for it!

      The amount of flashbacks people seem to be keen on or suggesting this season is immense. If they all come to fruition , it’s a worry that the show is going to spend more time backdating than actually moving the story forward.

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    139. Ore,

      No, that stuff is just background detail, but the point is that the maesters who are offering “rational” explanations are simply wrong. The myths are true, and magic is back as a great force in the land.

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    140. TheTouchOfFrost: The amount of flashbacks people seem to be keen on or suggesting this season is immense. If they all come to fruition , it’s a worry that the show is going to spend more time backdating than actually moving the story forward.

      I disagree about value of the Cersei flashback, but I’m in entire agreement with you here. But I just dismiss most the flashback talk as wishful thinking by the fandom when there isn’t much else to talk about. Whatever back dating the show does will have relevance to the current drama and where its going.

        Quote  Reply

    141. Ravyn: Secondly, I think the flashbacks will only occur when they deepen an A list character’s current story (i.e., Maggy the frog flashback for Cersei), or push the narrative forward.

      I consider Bran to be one of the “A list” characters, despite his Season 5 absence. A Hodor flashback would add to Bran’s current abilities; in my opinion, it’s natural that Bran would be interested in glimpsing a moment in the past in which someone who has a current, important connection to himself, was changed. In any case, I am not fixated on the idea, it’s just one possible scenario.

      Ore: Azor ahai probably never existed anyway.

      I thought this legend was pretty pervasive all across the world, though not known “Azor Ahai” in all parts of the world?

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    142. Wimsey: Dolorous Methuselah: I whooped it up so much my wife came into the room to see what was up.
      I’m such a GoT nerd.
      If you are such a nerd, then how did you get a wife?

      Wimsey, come on, I completely understand this. He said he is a GoT nerd. This show makes people do and feel strange things. I, too, am of this ilk. On the surface, totally ordinary and functioning, unless, on certain days, you get close enough to hear me muttering “They’d better bring Jon back. They’d better finish this story right.” Don’t worry, Dolorous, you are not alone. I imagine there are any number of concerned spouses out there.

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    143. Ravyn,

      See although I think the Cersei flashback could have been time and energy ( not on it’s own but they could have trimmed other stuff this season too) spent better elsewhere it didn’t effect the quality of the show too much. If they start making them regular things then I do worry as it’s going off on a tangent.
      The only flashback I really see a need for is Ned and Lyanna’s conversation. Everything else can be established in other ways.
      I’m really hoping for more verbal jousting this season as I think other than the High Sparrow/QoT convo and Tyrion/Hizdaar at the pit stuff it was very below par this season.

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    144. Luka Nieto,

      That’s the thing. I’d rather have Sean Bean back, and instead make-up the fuck out of him to make him look younger, have them instead make him up for his previous endeavours.

      He’s in DORNE, and he’s been HUNTING for Lyanna. He’s gonna have a tired and dirty face. He might have a few scabs where he’s been slashed at. He doesn’t need to look young, just appropriate.

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    145. Also, after seeing Liv Tyler as she looks like this year, that was a terrible suggestion. LotR time, fuck yeah; today, no.

      Emma Watson or I riot

        Quote  Reply

    146. If TOJ ends up happenening.. They need a young looking girl .. I like kaya scodelario as Lyanna, she in her twenties and she from the movie maze runner if you’ve seen it

        Quote  Reply

    147. Sean C.,

      Actually we barely know anything concerning the maesters and house hightower, are they suppressing or hiding knowledge ? Oldtown looks like it’s going to be a very important location moving forward.
      Kay,

      Yes and no, the way “the hero” saves the day differs in every situation and the descriptions don’t match up.

        Quote  Reply

    148. The actor looks pretty similar to sean bean, I like it. I think the other guy will be Sam’s younger brother, he looks like he could pass for John Bradley’s relative, IMO.
      On a sidenote: Sue, do you guys have any info on wheather they will go back to the alcazár for filming? I think wheather or not they go back there could give us some sort of hint to where they will take the dornish plot (even thogh this season we are almost as in the dark as the unsullied). Crossing my fingers for a well written arch for my lovely dornish, and for the other new characters/locations as well.

      And about new plots: I’ll be really surprised if they can keep Euron’s and Randyl’s casting under wraps for much longer. We must know!!

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    149. I think it would be odd to just have a scene with young Ned, if that’s the only flashback.
      Although perhaps they could do a later one next season.
      That seems like stretching it out too much for the audience though.

      It makes more sense that we would have multiple flashbacks…possibly with different actors playing Ned if we’re going to see different points in his life. And following around one character (or two if we get Lyanna in multiple visions as well) like this in a linear fashion would make it easier for the audience to follow what was going on, then if they just suddenly showed the TOJ or some other random sequence. Hopefully the visions won’t be just brief flashes like we’ve had in the past with Bran.

      As for Cersei’s flashback…I thought that was pretty well received and helped set the tone for the season both with her and her children (especially considering Myrcella’s fate at the end of the season).

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    150. Leo,

      Thanks. Since they are most likely fake I don’t know why anyone on here would bother censoring them. It only heightens curiosity when that happens.

        Quote  Reply

    151. Tywin of the Hill,

      It’s got nothing ro do with being cool,they just aren’t practical,and at the end of a day it’s a fictional story with dragons and all sorts beings in it,i wish people would stop bringing such silly stuff like this up, Martin included .

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    152. KitD:
      Fergus = Rhaegar ?

      If a lavender eyed male and a grey/green eyed female produce a child, it can’t have brown eyes. This is my argument against either R+L=J, or the casting of Jon Snow.

      Egads! This changes everything.

        Quote  Reply

    153. phantomstrife:
      Not many show watchers are going to care if they suddenly see some random girl in some random tower before young Ned finds her. All we’ve gotten so far are like three brief mentions of her.It’d be better to show a relationship between Ned/Lyanna/maybe Brandonand build one between the viewers/Lyanna, so she could be more than a plot device.

      They don’t have time to do any more than show deeply and quickly, I think. The tale of Brandon, Rickard, and Aerys can be told by Tyrion, maybe to Dany, along with a reprise of Rhaegar and Lyanna’s disappearance. That would kill a few birds with one stone. Then we might get visions: Lyanna and a brother playing with swords, which is from the book; Ned and his men, fighting before the ToJ; Lyanna, in her Tower, assuming r+l=j. I hope they don’t mess up the Tower sequence, as it’s a gorgeous acid trip in the novels.

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    154. iridium:
      KitD,

      Nerdy pompous explanation: eye colour (and everything else) isn’t the simple binary inheritance we were taught in high school. Multiple alleles are involved, and then individual gene expression is affected by DNA methylation etc.

      TV logic explanation – well, Dany doesn’t have purple eyes, so *shrug*

      Shame, sir. In one, flippant post you dismiss all of Thomas Hunt Morgan’s work in the field. How can you be so dismissive? IT’S SCIENCE, dammit.

        Quote  Reply

    155. I can’t post anything. It said that my post are spam??

      What is happening?

      TheTouchOfFrost:
      mau,

      Come on. You honestly feel as though that scene added anything to Cersei’s character that wasn’t already there?

      I don’t think that every scene needs to add something to this story. Otherwise, I wouldn’t never like the books or the show, or any other show, because there are so many things that are pointless from the perspective of the plot, but they are just interesting.

      It was interesting to see young Cersei.

      Not on it’s own but if your trimmed some of the other silly bits from the season ( the Breinne chase, some of Arya’s floor scrubbing, etc) then they could have done that part of the story a lot less rushed.

      First of all, Brienne has her own plotline in the books. If they followed that, you would see much more of her in this season, doing nothing.

      Brienne scene was important to get her to the North. You can say that her chase could be trimmed, but IMO than it would be rushed. My big concern for that scene, when I heard that Sansa and Brienne will meet, was that scene will feel rushed and pointless, but I really liked that scene more than anything in Brienne’s book plot.

      But why sacrifice elements of the show for irrelevant detail?

      But what was sacrificed? Dorne? Please. Don’t sound like those fanatics at Reddit or westeros.org, who fell that every scene they didn’t like could bring us LSH, YG, Riverlands,…

      Dorne had enough time, but SS are just bad characters in both medium and Dorne plot id bad in both mediums, but for different reasons.

      I think that almost every chapter from Dorne is just bad writing, and almost every scene that had Dorne characters, except Doran was bad writing. GRRM failed, D&D failed.

      I honeslty don’t see how a couple of flashbacks are going to make the average viewer give more of a crap about Lyanna…

      If you don’t see that, I can’t help you, but it is logical for me. Just like audience cared for Snape in HP because they saw his past, not because someone told them.

      If you want to really interest them you need to tell the whole story. It’s too late for half-hearted flashbacks they should have done more already to familiarise the viewers with the events that led to the Rebellion.

      I think S6 is the right place, because it will have payoff in that season. I’m sure that GRRM wouldn’t give so my hints about R+L=J in AGOT, if he had known that ASOIAF won’t be a trilogy.

      The only flashback they need is Ned talking to Lyanna at the ToJ (no need for the fight outside as it has no relevance whatsoever).

      I disagree. The audience mus understand the relationship between Ned and Lyanna, and L and R.

      If they’re wise they will leave it slightly mysterious as then they’d have a hook for a prequel if they wanted to go that way ( why stop a cash cow having a calf?).

      because it makes no sense to leave all that from the main story just for more money? I hope D&D have more respect for their audience.

      I want complete story. I don’t want anything to be left for some future project that everyone will hate like every prequel.

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    156. K Noelle,

      Because it induces people in error and misinformation starts to spread, this wouldn’t be the first time that happened in this fandom where some people were still thinking some fake leaks were going to happen as the show was airing .

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    157. Feel like this casting could be a good indicator that Sam Coleman will be playin a young hoder and that was the larger boy. I think hodor will just be added in to it to give a sense of a character who’s still around

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    158. mau,

      You submitted the same long post multiple times, which is spam. That’s why your posts went to the spam folder. When that happens, don’t keep submitting the same post, that makes it worse. Someone has to go manually take it out of Spam in that case if you’ve double (or quadruple) posted.

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    159. I wonder how it would be if they let Maisie play Lyanna in her youngest flashback, made up to look slightly different from Arya but close enough to show why people say that Arya looks like her late aunt. If there’s to be a sparring scene with young Ned, it needs to have Lyanna participating in it as well, to establish her tomboy persona. It’s an important part of her character that she was never the ladylike Sansa type who sits and does needlework while the boys play rough.

      If they had it in mind to shoot it with Maisie all along, it would explain why no casting call went out for a young adolescent girl for the sparring scene (though not why we have not seen one for Lyanna at Harrenhal/ToJ, of course).

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    160. K Noelle: Thanks. Since they are most likely fake I don’t know why anyone on here would bother censoring them. It only heightens curiosity when that happens.

      The person who keeps trying to post them IS the troll who made up the fake spoilers. They aren’t being helpful. It’s not censorship, it’s enforcing the policy of not allowing people to post deliberately fake info here to mess with people. And I’ve already confirmed and stated that the post IS fake.

        Quote  Reply

    161. Sue the Fury:
      mau,

      You submitted the same long post multiple times, which is spam. That’s why your posts went to the spam folder

      I know, but my post just didn’t appear, so I thought I need to post it again. Now, everything is fine.

        Quote  Reply

    162. Firannion,

      No,i hate when shows or movies do that,i can indulge many things but that has always seemed so tacky to me,like an actor who is already playing a character,playing her relative in the past,it’s just stupid and it doesn’t even make sense,fantasy or not .

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    163. Tyrion Pimpslap:

      The main cast list was only leaked publicly because Sue had a connection with an agency who received the casting call. The characters weren’t even named. So that is why I am skeptical that Lyanna will appear this season. She would have been included, or at least the description of a woman in her twenties with dark hair etc., in the main casting list for s6.

      You shouldn’t assume that there are casting calls for all roles. Some actors would have been approached directly. And sometimes roles are offered to actors who have previously auditioned for other parts.

        Quote  Reply

    164. It is interesting how every little detail matters. I’m always amazed how information we learned seasons ago comes into play, the details in the costuming, the script (the actors have to stick to the script…no improve, because every word matters), the sets, the scenery, the interactions. So, if D&D choose to do one flashback or one hundred flashbacks, whatever they have to tell you is important to the end game. And I think it has to be that way since they are squeezing such a massive amount of story into 10 hours a season.

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    165. Grandmaester Flash,

      There are some actors union regulations (though I can’t claim to understand them all). But I think most roles have to at least be advertised through agencies or casting sites, even if they intend to ultimately offer it to someone they have in mind.

        Quote  Reply

    166. mau,

      It was doing it to me the other day too. Said I’d double posted then accused me of spamming yet nothing had gone up in the forum! Quite annoying when you’ve typed out a lot!

      Well, that’s your opinion but I found nothing interesting about that flashback scene. All the other prohpecies in the show have largely been ignored so not sure why this ( one of the weaker ones) made it in.

      To be honest, I would have given Brienne the season off like Bran. Her story was dull (although her book counterpart was pretty dull too yet she remained a lot more likeable). They could have had her meet Sansa at the inn get rejected and that be the end of it. The horse chase around the woods didn’t have a purpose and was pretty poor. If they had to do something they could have had her take charge of Sansa and take her north to the wall (and Jon) only to be captured by the Boltons on the way. Certainly would have been a more plausible way for her to get there than LF’s ridiculous plan!

      Dorne could have been much better with a little more time committed to bedding in the characters. The Rion Islands and Riverlands will, I reckon, feature this season so they had plenty of oppurtunity to do Dorne better than the books but fluffed it.
      Dorne’s major problem was no familiar character to ease people in and also too many pointless minor characters ( to this day I still can’t name any of Arianne’s coconspiriters besides Darkstar). I thought the show was heading in the right direction with Jaime and Bronn going there but they didn’t adapt the plot effectively. Particulary disappointed in Doran as he had huge potential especially with Siddig in the role.
      The majority of Potter fans have read the book though. As a non Potter reader I found the last three films the poorest as they over-complicated the plot and spent too much time setting up things that should have been done much earlier in the series. The flashbacks of Snape did nothing to make me care about him any more than I did already.
      For the audience to understand the relationship of Ned, Lyanna,Rhaegar, etc you need much more than a few flashbacks, The tourney at Harrenahal would need to feature as would Rheagar’s complicated relationship with his father, the whole Brandon and Rickon going down to KL, The Trident etc ,etc. Plus if you do Ned outside the ToJ you need to explain who the KG are and that leads to Jaime and the Mad King and his long complicated relationship with Tywin…. You open the door to a beast that is unmanageable in this show. Only take the very essential stuff and leave the rest untold or to be told in full.
      But it’s stuff that isn’t relevant to the characters who feature in this story. Rather than try and cram the whole history of Westeros in just concentrate on the main characters that are featured hree. Any links to other stories can be left loose to be revisited or as a curio.
      If you want the complete story you’ll never get it from the show. It’s too unwieldly. You need to get reading or hope they make half a dozen more shows to cover everything that is linked to this one!

      But yeah, no one else in my Fergus is Dickon camp?!

        Quote  Reply

    167. Firannion:
      I wonder how it would be if they let Maisie play Lyanna in her youngest flashback, made up to look slightly different from Arya but close enough to show why people say that Arya looks like her late aunt.If there’s to be a sparring scene with young Ned, it needs to have Lyanna participating in it as well, to establish her tomboy persona.It’s an important part of her character that she was never the ladylike Sansa type who sits and does needlework while the boys play rough.

      If they had it in mind to shoot it with Maisie all along, it would explain why no casting call went out for a young adolescent girl for the sparring scene (though not why we have not seen one for Lyanna at Harrenhal/ToJ, of course).

      That’s been my thought. Maisie as Arya (even as Lana/Cat) is dressed down and not even remotely as a lady. We don’t see her with the fancy hair, dresses, make-up, etc. that it would be a different look for her. She certainly looks different on the red carpet, in photo-shoots than she does on the show. And in one of his visions, Bran DID mistake Lyanna for Arya at first they look so similar. Plus, even though Lyanna is spirited, she still is a well-bred lady who’s lived a lady’s life, unlike Arya so it would be a completely different type of role.

      I could even see them bringing back Joe Dempsie (PLEASE!) for young Robert–and you know as Gendry too! But I think that would be pretty cool.

        Quote  Reply

    168. JenniferH,

      There’s no way that casting Maisie as Lyanna wouldn’t be cheesy. That’s something shows like Smallville do when they want to tell a ‘historical’ episode and still center the episode around their regular cast.

      Joe Dempsie as the young Robert would work even less, given that he’s clearly much taller than Mark Addy, among other things.

        Quote  Reply

    169. mau,

      They announced Max von Sydow right when he started filming in Belfast. So I’m thinking Euron will be announced once he is due to start filming, or start filming in a location where he’ll be spotted so they’d want to head that off and make the announcement first.

      But I don’t know when that is.

        Quote  Reply

    170. Sean C.:
      JenniferH,

      There’s no way that casting Maisie as Lyanna wouldn’t be cheesy.That’s something shows like Smallville do when they want to tell a ‘historical’ episode and still center the episode around their regular cast.

      Joe Dempsie as the young Robert would work even less, given that he’s clearly much taller than Mark Addy, among other things.

      I don’t think it’d be cheesy at all considering that Arya is supposed to look like Lyanna and I think it would create this pretty awesome connection for viewers.

      As for the heights, nope.

      Mark Addy is 5’11”
      Joe Dempsie is 5’10”

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    171. Sean C.:
      JenniferH,

      Joe Dempsie as the young Robert would work even less, given that he’s clearly much taller than Mark Addy, among other things.

      While I agree I wouldn’t want Joe Dempsie as young Robert, Mark Addy is actually listed as being an inch taller than Dempsie.

      Pretty please, can we have Gendry back?!?

        Quote  Reply

    172. Sue the Fury,

      Hm… Ballintoy Harbour was previously Pyke, among other stuff, and they’re filming there. If it is Pyke again, Euron would be there. The WOTW news item quoted @IrishThrones, which claimed production would move there in “upcoming weeks.” That was about a week ago.

      So… if it is going to represent Pyke yet again, maybe that’s when Euron’s actor will be revealed. The question is: when is that?

        Quote  Reply

    173. TheTouchOfFrost:
      mau,

      To be honest, I would have given Brienne the season off like Bran. Her story was dull (although her book counterpart was pretty dull too yet she remained a lot more likeable).

      Leaving Bran from S5 makes no sense from television storytelling perspective. Give me one example of a character who ended his storyline in one season with cliffhangers, and he just disappears from another season.

      You just can’t give half of your characters a season off. I was against that with Bran, but I suppose it makes some sense, but they will continue his storyline with his latest chapter in ADWD, so I really can’t see, from a book perspective, what this pause achieved.

      But it really shows, all the problems with AFFC and ADWD, because many suggested that giving Sansa, Jaime,… a season off is a season off is a good idea.

      And how it would work with Brienne? After S4 and her fight with the Hound we just wouldn’t see her for the rest of this show? And when she appears, she will do what? What is her plot purpose? Maybe she will kill Stanniss in the books also, maybe she will end up with Sansa at some point, maybe she will go to the North… We don’t know. It all depends from S6. If she returns to Rivrelands, then, yes S5, was just “create-something-to-do” for Brienne, but even if that’s true, what was alternative?

      Critics don’t care about the books, and I think that those parts are weak in the books, also, but you put Sansa, Bran, Brienne, Jaime in the show, and you make them important, in one way or another, and you just leave them out?

      I know that is what GRRM has done, but I don’t like that.

      They could have had her meet Sansa at the inn get rejected and that be the end of it. The horse chase around the woods didn’t have a purpose and was pretty poor.

      The problem is, the scene you want to trim, is already very trimmed version of her book plot.

      If they had to do something they could have had her take charge of Sansa and take her northto the wall (and Jon) only to be captured by the Boltons on the way. Certainly would have been a more plausible way for her to get there than LF’s ridiculous plan!

      And you have another problem from television point of view. What would LF do? Search for Sansa? And I don’t think that LF’s plan was more ridiculous than every other plan he created in the books. Or plans from Varys, Doran, Cersei, Tywin,… All those plans can seem ridiculous if you approach them in the “right manner”.

      Dorne could have been much better with a little more time committed to bedding in the characters.

      So, we will waste time on SS and Dorne, instead of Jon, Dany, Tyrion, Cersei,..?

      Mistake GRRM already made and it didn’t pay off. The only character of potential from Dorne is Doran. The rest of the cast from the books and the show are lost causes. D&D can’t do anything with them.

      .Dorne’s major problem was no familiar character to ease people in and also too many pointless minor characters ( to this day I still can’t name any of Arianne’s coconspiriters besides Darkstar). I thought the show was heading in the right direction with Jaime and Bronn going there but they didn’t adapt the plot effectively. Particulary disappointed in Doran as he had huge potential especially with Siddig in the role.

      Doran’s role is not over with S5.

      I think them main problem with Dorne from the books is that we can’t see what is the point of that place. Yes, Doran has some ridiculous plan, but everything falls apart, and at the end of ADWD it seems that Dorne will make an allegiance with YG, who is also a pointless character IMO, and who exists only because of even more ridiculous planby Varys.

      The flashbacks of Snape did nothing to make me care about him any more than I did already.

      I think that you are exception.

      For the audience to understand the relationship of Ned, Lyanna,Rhaegar, etc you need much more than a few flashbacks, The tourney at Harrenahal would need to feature as would Rheagar’s complicated relationship with his father, the whole Brandon and Rickon going down to KL, The Trident etc ,etc. Plus if you do Ned outside the ToJ you need to explain who the KG are and that leads to Jaime and the Mad King and his long complicated relationship with Tywin….

      I don’t think that you need a history of Westeros, if you want to give audiences some context for R+L, which is one of the most important things in this story, so the audience needs to know who Jon’s parents are. You don’t need Rheagar’s complicated
      relationship with his father, the whole Brandon and Rickon going down to KL, The Trident etc

      You just need to avoid situation where your audience will say “Who?” when you reveal R+L=J.

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    174. Firannion,

      I’ve had that thought before, and I think it’s a great idea, tbh. With such a small age difference (a few years for the characters, even less between Maisie’s real age and Lyanna), it’s not unbelievable like a 30 year gap. I think it could be done very well. Especially as it’s noted how much they look alike.

      Otherwise, I still think Lily Collins would have the look. Someone else mentioned my favourite actress, Rachel Weisz, who could probably be aged down fairly easily (40s aren’t exactly seniors, guys!)

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    175. I asked this in another thread a while back but I’ll try it again. Sue, do you ever hear of a casting and then for some reason or another can’t/won’t post it? Like, say, it’s going to be an ew.com exclusive or something like that and so you hold back so that your source(s) will continue to give and confirm info for you? Just one of those things I am curious about… thx 🙂

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    176. iridium:
      KitD,

      Nerdy pompous explanation: eye colour (and everything else) isn’t the simple binary inheritance we were taught in high school. Multiple alleles are involved, and then individual gene expression is affected by DNA methylation etc.

      Exactly this! My eyes are dark blue and my wife’s eyes are so dark brown that they are almost black. Our son was born with bright blue eyes that changed to light green a few years later and are now a pale grey with a tiny inner ring of green.

      It is definitely not as simple as “dominant/recessive.”

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    177. TheTouchOfFrost:

      But yeah, no one else in my Fergus is Dickon camp?!

      I think there’s a fair chance that Fergus Leathem could be Dickon Tarly as well. The casting call for the “Brother” specified that the character would be in his early-to-mid 20’s – Leathem’s CV specifies his playing age as 16-25. He also bears enough a resemblance to John Bradley that I could easily buy him as Sam’s younger, more athletic brother.

      If he’s not playing Dickon, I think he’s more likely to be a minor character – maybe one of the outlaws or recruits that we’ve heard about. I have a harder time seeing him as young Robert Baratheon or any other flashback/vision character – partly because we don’t know what characters (if any) we’ll see in the flashbacks aside from the ones that have been confirmed from the casting calls. The fact that he’s playing an “Undisclosed Role” does add a semblance of mystery – if he were simply playing a nameless outlaw, there would be little need for secrecy. But then again, everything relating to casting is more secretive this year.

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    178. I dearly want Sean Bean back as much and as often as practicable. Moreover, he’s expressed a desire to come back and give some needed closure to Ned. So, I am on that bandwagon. But to play ToJ-aged Ned? Not even the mighty Bean can pull that off. A few days ago I suggested Philip Winchester, who played Bean’s son in Crusoe, a telly series shortly before GoT started. Winchester resembles Bean and in his 30s can probably achieve the right look.

      As to Sebastian Croft, he can pass for adolescent Ned, especially if he can master the Yorkshire accent, especially Bean’s familiar Sheffield intonations. And with his musical theatre experience, Croft can at least do Game of Thrones, the Musical. (A parody of that name is currently playing on the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. For a review, see http://www.telegraph.co.uk/theatre/what-to-see/edinburgh-2015-thrones-the-musical-review/ ).

      Like many of you, I hope this will be a scene with Lyanna more than Brandon. If flashbacks/weirnet/dream sequences don’t establish a deep, abiding, and mutual BOND between Ned and Lyanna, then Ned’s willingness to sacrifice his honour and his life (which is really what he did) to keep his promise makes no sense. When casting calls were summarised here several weeks back and Lyanna was NOT mentioned, I found it quite disappointing, even disturbing. Unfortunately, no appropriate actress comes to mind. Maybe Florence Pugh, who co-stars with Maisie in The Falling. With a brunette wig, she might do nicely. Should Lyanna, Ned, et al be aged-up, Alicia Vikander (mid-20s) would be splendid. But it’s unlikely she’d do it as her star is on a meteoric rise (she’s approaching A-list status), and she’d probably have neither the interest nor the time.

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    179. TheTouchOfFrost: I’m really hoping for more verbal jousting this season as I think other than the High Sparrow/QoT convo and Tyrion/Hizdaar at the pit stuff it was very below par this season.

      The time for verbal jousting has come and gone. That is a great storytelling device for the immediate development of characters. (That is why we saw so much of it in the first three seasons, but largely only with new characters such as the High Sparrow, Doran and Oberyn since then.) However, at this point, the primary characters all are developed. Moreover, last year’s story was all about how those primary characters were evolving: and verbal sparring is a terrible way to communicate that. After all, the true “sparring partner” for Jon, Daeny, Tyrion, Arya, etc., was Jon, Daeny, Tyrion, Arya, etc.

      Now that they have run all the major characters through their different shredders in Season 5, it will be time to do something with the changes that we saw last year. However, verbal sparring again will not be a good way to show that: the best way to show it will be making their Season 6 actions be somehow “perpendicular” to their actions in Seasons 1-4. We know who they are, we know what they’ve done, we’ve watched them get broken down and rebuilt, and now we see…. well, whatever we see is probably going to encapsulate whatever the overarching story is.

      However, the time for relying of verbal sparring has gone: at this point, it would be just gratuitous witty dialogue. It’s show not tell time!

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    180. The delicious irony in casting Liv Tyler would be that she herself was the subject of a bit of a paternity mystery; she grew up believing that Todd Rundgren was her father, but eventually S+B=L was confirmed(get hype!).

      She is waaaaaayyy too old, though.

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    181. Stark Raven’ Rad: Maybe Florence Pugh, who co-stars with Maisie in The Falling. With a brunette wig, she might do nicely.

      She’s also Toby Sebastian’s sister. That would be funny if she turned up on the show in another family.

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    182. TheTouchOfFrost: The majority of Potter fans have read the book though. As a non Potter reader I found the last three films the poorest as they over-complicated the plot and spent too much time setting up things that should have been done much earlier in the series. The flashbacks of Snape did nothing to make me care about him any more than I did already.

      Well, pretty much all Harry Potter fans have read the books! I do not think that the HP fandom had anywhere near the “movie only” crowd that GoT has of the “series only” crowd. As such, most of the movie viewers had not, or had only read them once. (I think that surveys showed that something crazy like over half of the overall audience did, which is ridiculously high; of course, by the end, they were selling a quarter of the tickets in the opening weekend, and everyone seeing it then was a fan, not a viewer.)

      Moreover, the bigger problem those films had was relying too much on people having seen prior films: most of the viewers watched an HP movie once in the theater, remembered that they liked/disliked it, and if they liked it, then they saw the next film. However, as it was just another film to them, they didn’t waste their memory cells on small details: if it was not in that film, then they didn’t know about it.

      That written, all of the films after the first two got pretty strong audience marks, and all of them after the first two had big return audiences: although the first two films averaged only an 80% return, the remaining films averaged a 95% return with two of them (Prisoner and the first Deathly Hallows) sufficiently popular that home viewing caused an increase in attendance for the next film.

      One does wonder what the HP franchise could have been if people like B&W or PJ et al. had been running it from the start instead of Chris “What’s a story?” Columbus…..

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    183. They cast him really young, so it can’t be a ToJ flashback… which just leaves me wondering what kind of a flashback it will be… I have no idea anyway.

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    184. Sue the Fury:
      Gravemaster,

      Where is the picture from though? Whose Facebook? Do you have a link to the actual photo page with comments so we can verify the date?

      https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1135158373178737&set=a.260592923968624.78338.100000537553480&type=1&theater

      Here. It’s august 5th. In the comments he says he saw Iwan Rheon too.
      On his timeline he has photos from the last few days with Carice, Owen and Isaac.

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    185. Balerion The Cat,

      I beleive there gonna do flashbacks for the tourney at harrenhal . For when lyanna leaves with rhaegor than Sean bean will have maybe 7 minutes of the tower of joy flashback , I’m almost starting to believe ned and cat will be back !!!! So excited

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    186. Wimsey: One does wonder what the HP franchise could have been if people like B&W or PJ et al. had been running it from the start instead of Chris “What’s a story?” Columbus…..

      I don’t think there’s any coincidence that the 3rd HP movie was the first one I really thought was a great story… and also the first not directed by CC.

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    187. Wimsey: The time for verbal jousting has come and gone.

      People keep complaining about this with S5 and, while I don’t agree that its time has come and gone, I will say that the best verbal jousting from S1-4 was in King’s Landing. However, most of the characters doing said jousting have fled or died (Tyrion, Tywin, Bronn, Varys, Littlefinger). Really, only Cersei remains (even if Jamie returns next season, I don’t see him as someone they’ve really given great dialogue to). S5 had its share of clunker dialogue scenes (looking at you, Dorne!), but also some really good ones (notably High Sparrow v. Cersei, and Olenna v. Littlefinger). Mostly, I think it suffered a bit because as the show has gotten bigger and bigger, D&D have had less time to write, so a few places felt rushed.

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    188. Simeon: I don’t think there’s any coincidence that the 3rd HP movie was the first one I really thought was a great story… and also the first not directed by CC.

      I’ll give Chris Columbus credit for this: He did a beautiful job casting those three leads, as good as what D&D did casting GoT with regards to Maisie and Sophie. Other than that, dude cannot direct his way out of a bag.

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    189. Wimsey: the time for relying of verbal sparring has gone: at this point, it would be just gratuitous witty dialogue.

      In that case, I’d happily watch a season’s worth of “gratuitous” witty dialogue!

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    190. Chimeny:
      Cumsprite,

      I’ve been wondering for a while now… your username “cumsprite”… what on earth does it mean?

      A sprite. Of cum. Visit Oglaf.com and go to the archives of the strip and start from the beginning. NSFW like you wouldn’t believe. Since I stole the persona from that wonderful strip, I feel obligated to pimp it.

      If anyone is wondering what my avatar depicts, well, that’s there too. lol

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    191. Knowing how many actors have appeared on GoT who have also appeared at some point with the RSC, I decided to play a game. I looked through some recent cast lists to see if there were any young women who looked enough like Maise to pull off Lyanna (if we end up getting the ToJ). I ran across a woman named Joanna Vanderham. In addition to playing Desdemona for the RSC, she has some television credits, and is in her early 20’s. While, yes, she’d need to go with dark hair, I think there’s definitely a resemblance. It also seems she appeared in something called What Maise Knew. 🙂

      https://pbs.twimg.com/profile_images/606146450523832320/24RykkQU.png

      http://assets-s3.usmagazine.com/uploads/assets/article_photos/maisie-williams-dazed-inline.jpg

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    192. My guess is that he was cast for a Bran scene flashback of Lyanna and her brothers sparring in the Godswood.

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    193. Liv Tyler hasn’t aged terribly well, like her father (I always put that down to drugs, but genetics has some influence). I saw her in a movie with Kevin Bacon recently and barely recognized her. Still, she is too young to be having cosmetic surgery yet. No doubt she will soon.

      I want to see lots of flashbacks, explaining Dawn and Hodor and whether there is a connection to Brienne/Hodor and Duncan. So many mysteries, will they all be answered?

      As for nerds marrying, give me a nerd over a sports/business-obsessed man any day. Ugh. Most just lack confidence, not attractiveness (if that’s a word); although the prettiest girls in school will always go for the coolest guys, if only to look cool themselves. Peer pressure at that age sucks. And the plainer girls are as ignored as the nerds are.

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    194. Ashara Dayne: Still, she is too young to be having cosmetic surgery yet. No doubt she will soon.

      I so wish the whole culture of having “work done,” whether botox injections, lip injections, or full-on plastic surgery would go the way of the dodo bird. These days, it’s so prevalent, and not just in Hollywood, and I, personally, find it so sad. Not only does it make many women who were quite beautiful look, well, no longer beautiful, imo, some people actually believe they “need” it. Call me old-fashioned, but I’d so much rather see people age naturally.

      Sorry for going so completely off-topic.

      /rant

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    195. McMannis:
      Also, after seeing Liv Tyler as she looks like this year, that was a terrible suggestion. LotR time, fuck yeah; today, no.

      Emma Watson or I riot

      Emma Watson looks more Andals then First Men…

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    196. Ashara Dayne: lots of flashbacks, explaining Dawn and Hodor and whether there is a connection to Brienne/Hodor and Duncan.

      Yes. This. I love the “Duncan the Tall was Old Nan’s lover/Hodor’s ancestor” theory! And it seems pretty clear, based on the shield that she found, that Brienne is also a Duncan descendant, so she and Hodor may be some degree of cousins.

      I wonder what their meeting would be like. She, being herself a woman of few words, might find ways to communicate with him more easily than many other people.

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    197. Nymeria Warrior Queen: I so wish the whole culture of having “work done,” whether botox injections, lip injections, or full-on plastic surgery would go the way of the dodo bird.These days, it’s so prevalent, and not just in Hollywood, and I, personally, find it so sad.Not only does it make many women who were quite beautiful look, well, no longer beautiful, imo, some people actually believe they “need” it.Call me old-fashioned, but I’d so much rather see people age naturally.

      Sorry for going so completely off-topic.

      /rant

      Haha! I completely agree. It’s just so shallow. And it just gets worse and worse. So many women in their forties and fifties now look so much younger that it’s expected.

      I also could rant at length about this. I’m 50 but look far older compared with most actresses the same age. Friends of mine have Botox etc. I’m convinced my husband’s gf has had numerous surgeries at his expense because she eats unhealthily and smokes and tans and yet looks younger than she is and she also complained to me about having ‘no boobs’ five years ago. In fb photos now she is definitely not flat-chested. I’ll never get the truth from them, though. I found a receipt for her teeth-whitening and they look silly white. But everything about her is fake. Hair extensions, nails, tan, etc. I’m not even convinced it’s for my husband, she’s moaned to me about his flabby body and ugly face and his behaviour. She only wants him for the money and LFC tickets. She’s really after a footballer/ex-player. But no-one can say a word against her cos she mothers him.

      Sorry way too OT.

      Sad thing is it IS necessary to get a decent partner. I’ve plenty of fat, ugly 60+ men interested in me, but younger ones aren’t. I know if I made more effort it’d make a difference, but right now I’m not bothered. I’m extremely cynical about men when it comes to relationships. The internet exposes their true nature to their detriment. Leave sex out of it and they’re great, though!

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    198. Nymeria Warrior Queen,

      I just don’t get it. The vast majority of people don’t look younger or better – just weirder! That stretched or bloated face/lips, narrowed eyes…Yeah, just age, people! Unless it’s something minor done extremely carefully, it looks disconcerting.

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    199. Nymeria Warrior Queen,

      Oh, one more thing I forgot (too late to edit now): antibiotics. Some say we’re at the tail end of a ‘golden age’ of antibiotics. Bacteria are becoming increasingly resistant, and if we don’t find an alternative (phage viruses are one possibility), surgery will become as risky as it used to be, so unnecessary surgery will probably reduce. Then again, advances in medicine may yet find an elixir of youth. It truly is wasted on the young! Apparently haemorrhoid cream helps tighten wrinkles but I’ve not tried it! So glad I don’t depend on my looks for money. It must be depressing.

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    200. Pigeon,

      That’s because you only notice the ones that went wrong or are badly done. I don’t believe all those actresses in their 40s/50s with no sagging jowls are just lucky.

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    201. Sean C.:
      JenniferH,

      Joe Dempsie as the young Robert would work even less, given that he’s clearly much taller than Mark Addy, among other things.

      As people said, he’s not, actually. Mark Addy is 1.79m or a bit shorter (actors lie), while Joe Dempsie is 1.77m. He just seemed so tall because he was acting against Maisie the whole time, while Mark Addy was surrounded by people like Sean Bean, NCW and Rory McCann.
      Granted, Robert should have been much taller, but that’s another matter.

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    202. Sean C.,

      Looks like a Winterfell Weir Tree flashback IMO

      IMO it is going to be Ned, Brandon and Lyanna all playing in the lake

      Good idea, as it gives visual context to the people who died

      Personally I wonder if one of them northern lords may even be Rickard making an appearance in the Weir Tree flashback

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    203. dee: As people said, he’s not, actually. Mark Addy is 1.79m or a bit shorter (actors lie), while Joe Dempsie is 1.77m. He just seemed so tall because he was acting against Maisie the whole time, while Mark Addy was surrounded by people like Sean Bean, NCW and Rory McCann.
      Granted, Robert should have been much taller, but that’s another matter.

      On GOT Mark Addy looked at best 1.75m. I mean look at the scenes with sean bean and you will see that bean is at least 4 cms taller than him. Anyway maybe bean had footwear advantage on got.

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    204. alexandra cortez,

      Maybe. 🙂
      And his girth didn’t help things; he was the kind of rotund that make people look even shorter. Mind you, Robert was supposed to have let himself go, but he still should have been a bear of a man – and I don’t mean panda.
      Nothing against Mark Addy, though. He is a terrific actor. Just a bit on the short side.

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    205. Wimsey: It probably would be much more obvious to us if we had read Winter!

      Oh I do wish GRRM wrote faster though I wouldn’t troll him about it. Sebastian has an impressive resume for one so young. If I recall correctly Kerry Ingram (the late Shireen) played Matilda at one stage though given the age difference [not that 3 years is so very great] she may have not have been in the play at the same time as Sebastian.

      Nymeria Warrior Queen,

      If Lyanna is shown in season 6 we don’t know how much she’ll have to do. Will she just be lying in a bed dying in the ToJ or will they also show a flashback of Harranhal? A blonde actress could play her too if they stuck a wig on her – it seems to be easier to make a fair person look darker than to make a fair person look darker (Joseph Mawle [Benjen] and Natalie Dormer [Margery] are both lighter haired in real life than the characters they play/ed on GoT). If it is a fairly small part they could choose someone relatively unknown so your suggestion might be “on”. As for “work” being done on ladies it bothers me that there are some teenage girls (I’m not saying all teenage lasses) want to have boob jobs done, especially when they are at an age when their boobs might still increase naturally.

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    206. Awesome about Young Ned. Now we need Teen Ned for the ToJ and Sean Bean just because. Now who’ll the other character be? Brandon??

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    207. Why would Brandon, a character that was barely even hinted at in the show, suddenly become important enough to spar with Ned in a flashback? Why not Lyanna, for instance?

      Maybe this is an indication that we’ll see the Aerys flashback as well. Maybe we’ll be seeing a LOT more than we thought we will of Robert’s Rebellion… Fingers crossed.

      There’s also the possibility that Brandon is somehow important to the endgame, or that Brandon just happened to be the right character to play off of Ned for this particular scene.

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    208. Off-Topic Otto:
      I guess you have to ask why a flashback? They’ve been able to cover historical facts through dialogue up to this point. One reason to use flashbacks is that something needs to be shown, more than just a few facts.

      Or they are meant to take on a life of their own and create a story on its own terms.

      But likely it’s a way to unload a number of tidbits, not just one thing. And I just feel like it has to directly connect to someone still alive to bother, to resonate. Who knows what Hodor has in his Hodor? And Littlefinger is potentially involved as well. But otherwise all characters in question are deceased. Cat’s the most recent one, too, and that feels like an age ago in the show.

      So, is Hodor the gun himself? Hodor?!

      In your opinion these are flashbacks to set-up storylines. But that is not the case with next season’s flashbacks These are flashbacks to show the power that Bran has. They will just choose to show us scenes that are more relevant to the story’s history.

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    209. Stargaryen,

      No,he isn’t,they never say his age on the show or any other character for that matter .

      Edit: Actually i did remember Joffrey saying last season that Jaime is 40,so considering that Ned is older or the same age,i don’t remember,than Jaime,i don’t know where you got the idea that Ned is in his 30’s,the books ? Remember that ALL the characters have been aged in the show,not just the Stark kids and Dany,ALL,the age of the characters in the books doesn’t matter .

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    210. Ashara Dayne,

      If I recall botox didn’t do Lesley Ash who is an otherwise attractive actress (even if she’s not a twenty-something anymore) any favours – though the trout pout has now gone. A friend (no longer with us sadly) and I were discussing a female celebrity who is roughly in the same age bracket as we were. I said “So and so person looks very good for her age”. My pal said – “Oh she’s had work done – I’ve got jowls, you’ve got jowls and she hasn’t got jowls”. I probably have got jowls – more than when I was younger anyway – but I didn’t need it rubbed in.

      Now – and this isn’t specifically for you Lady Dayne, would an actress cast as Lyanna need to be able to pull off a northern English accent? Though not all the Stark children spoke with one – Robb and Jon Snow seemed to be the only ones who spoke like Ned.

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    211. All of you think Jon is destined for greatness, it will be the greatest hero, the savior, the King. Sometimes I think he is only a bastard, a bastard with a big role in the end, but just a struggling bastard. My opinion.

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    212. TheTouchOfFrost:
      mau,

      Come on. You honestly feel as though that scene added anything to Cersei’s character that wasn’t already there? Her personality and her motivations had already been perfectly established before that flashback.Not on it’s own but if your trimmed some of the other silly bits from the season ( the Breinne chase, some of Arya’s floor scrubbing, etc) then they could have done that part of the story a lot less rushed.But why sacrifice elements of the show for irrelevant detail? Cersei’s story for this season would have worked perfectly well without that flashback. I maintain that it added nothing that wasn’t already there.I honeslty don’t see how a couple of flashbacks are going to make the average viewer give more of a crap about Lyanna…especially as we don’t seem to be having Rhaegar ones. If you want to really interest them you need to tell the whole story. It’s too late for half-hearted flashbacks they should have done more already to familiarise the viewers with the events that led to the Rebellion. The only flashback they need is Ned talking to Lyanna at the ToJ (no need for the fight outside as it has no relevance whatsoever). The rest they can easily build through characters talking about it ( although a shame Barristan has gone as he was pretty much the only character left with first hand experience of what happened). If they’re wise they will leave it slightly mysterious as then they’d have a hook for a prequel if they wanted to go that way ( why stop a cash cow having a calf?).

      Wimsey,

      The viewer is already very familiar with Cersei’s character they don’t need a specific reason for her doing things as they’s already built her character very well. Again, if you took the flashback out no one would be wondering why she was doing what she was doing.Lost got poo when the flashbacks were no longer useful for building the characters. On a lower level Arrow has suffered from a similar thing. The flashbacks are nearly always the weakest part of a show and should be kept to a bare minumim. It smells of bad planning in a lot of cases. Or if we must use the Chekov analogy that always comes up around here: It’s as if someone comes and hangs a gun up whilst someone is already looking for it!

      The amount of flashbacks people seem to be keen on or suggesting this season is immense. If they all come to fruition , it’s a worry that the show is going to spend more time backdating than actually moving the story forward.

      Well, I’m afraid everybody else disagrees with you.

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    213. Concerning the casting of Lyanna, Nina will approach it one of two ways.

      1. Cast a young upcoming actor to help the role launch her career, or at the least get her noticed, of course this approach would require 3-5 scenes minimum, mainly so the audience is connected to her.
      2. Cast a notable in a cameo, this would only require a couple scenes.

      Wimsey

      The amount of flashbacks people seem to be keen on or suggesting this season is immense. If they all come to fruition , it’s a worry that the show is going to spend more time backdating than actually moving the story forward.

      Could be the reason they have stretched to eight seasons minimum.

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    214. TL,

      Nooooo!, I like Margaery and Loras, and they haven’t done anything wrong but make Cersei jealous…well come to think of it, a lot of medieval families fell from grace or were outright destroyed because they got on the bad side of a King or Queen.

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    215. There are two parts to Ned’s growing up. One is at Winterfell, growing up with Brandon, Benjen and Lyanna. The other is at The Eyrie, where his life-long friendship with Robert begins.
      At Winterfell, Ned learns how to play at stick-sword fighting, because it’s the kind of things young boys do. (I can recall doing it myself, when I was very young. Pretending to be a knight, or Robin Hood, or William Tell.)
      At The Eyrie, Ned learns all there is to know about being a squire. That leads through to actually becoming a knight, when you’ve proven yourself.
      It’d be great if we get to see both of these ‘ages’ of Ned. Basically, it’d stay with the same actor, simply interchanging other actors for the appropriate roles.

      I’d be happy if Fergus was Robert, as he has the look. But, I’d not be unhappy if he’s to become Brandon. He fits either role. As Sam’s brother, not really. (I could be wrong.)
      I think it’ll make more sense when the whole of Sam’s family can be revealed. Would the show begin shooting before announcing Sam’s family? I think that’s possible, and that would make a great group still, of the whole Tarly family, with Gilly and Little Sam too.

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    216. TL,

      It’ll probably just be Tarly family drama, with Sam and Gilly. Going after Oldtown could involve Randyl, too, as the Reach would need to protect the place.

      Then you could be right: Mace is at Braavos, Olenna is at KL, and Loras and Marg are in prison. Who is minding Highgarden?

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    217. My page a day calendar quote for 10-august

      That great waddling sack of suet? His own people mock him as Lord Lamprey, I’ve heard. The man can scarce walk. If you stuck a sword in his belly, ten thousand eels would wringgle out.
      -Mors Umber – A Clash of Kings

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    218. TL,

      Well, I don’t know what the situation will be in the TV series, but in the books

      they have relatives coming out the wazoo. So I don’t expect them to go extinct anytime soon.

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    219. Happy Hodor: Well, I’m afraid everybody else disagrees with you.

      I don’t. I find flashbacks to slow down the pace and at times to be a cheap tactic, sort of like providing a voice over for a characters thoughts or an industrial fan blowing on an actors mane combined with slow motion to emphasize drama.

      The writers have been able to give us clues about Jon’s parentage hitherto without the use of flashbacks.

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    220. Rygar,

      Voice over is a perfectly legitimate storytelling device that many stories would be much poorer for (imagine Veronica Mars without Veronica’s narration). Like any device, it can be used poorly.

      While the show might provide the R+L=J raw details via other devices, there is really no alternative to doing flashbacks of the show really wants the audience to care about the events in question. There’s no major character alive who could invest the story with the appropriate weight, even if they knew it (Ned could have, if he was alive).

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    221. Rygar: I don’t.I find flashbacks to slow down the pace and at times to be a cheap tactic, sort of like providing a voice over for a characters thoughts or an industrial fan blowing on an actors mane combined with slow motion to emphasize drama.

      The writers have been able to give us clues about Jon’s parentage hitherto without the use of flashbacks.

      flashbacks are Bran’s story. You can’t do Bran’s storyline without them.

      It like Dany without dragons.

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    222. TheTouchOfFrost: Come on. You honestly feel as though that scene added anything to Cersei’s character that wasn’t already there? Her personality and her motivations had already been perfectly established before that flashback.
      Not on it’s own but if your trimmed some of the other silly bits from the season ( the Breinne chase, some of Arya’s floor scrubbing, etc) then they could have done that part of the story a lot less rushed.
      But why sacrifice elements of the show for irrelevant detail? Cersei’s story for this season would have worked perfectly well without that flashback. I maintain that it added nothing that wasn’t already there.
      I honeslty don’t see how a couple of flashbacks are going to make the average viewer give more of a crap about Lyanna…especially as we don’t seem to be having Rhaegar ones. If you want to really interest them you need to tell the whole story. It’s too late for half-hearted flashbacks they should have done more already to familiarise the viewers with the events that led to the Rebellion. The only flashback they need is Ned talking to Lyanna at the ToJ (no need for the fight outside as it has no relevance whatsoever). The rest they can easily build through characters talking about it ( although a shame Barristan has gone as he was pretty much the only character left with first hand experience of what happened). If they’re wise they will leave it slightly mysterious as then they’d have a hook for a prequel if they wanted to go that way ( why stop a cash cow having a calf?).

      I do agree I dont think the Cercei flashback added anything new or more insightful to her character. I think if they had actually added the Valonqar part of the prophesy then it would have provided much more insight into Cercei’s motivations when it comes to Tyrion.

      I am wondering if the same situation might not occur with this flashback between Ned and Brandon. A flashback of Ned and Brandon does not really seem very important to the overall story, if Lyanna is included then it would be more meaningful, but having a flashback of just Ned and Brandon as boys or even Ned and Robert as boys does not seem that important.

      If they wanted to include a flashback of two boys sparring then the scene of Jon and Robb fighting with sticks pretending to be different lords or warriors would properly have been a much better one.

      Flashbacks could be something that is really interesting, I hope they dont use to many flashbacks to tells stories that is not important to the overall narrative. Or something like the Cercei flashback were they basically leave out the important part.

      A prequel of Robert’s rebellion might not actually work that well. One problem is that we already know the broad strokes of what happened during the rebellion. We also know the end to the story. It basically has a miserable ending, since everyone who took part in the rebellion ends up being dead, murdered or betrayed.
      Of course historical fiction also tells us stories that we might already know, but it would alter the way the story is told. ASOIAF and GoT are told thought interesting twists, the story would have to be told in a different manner if people already knew the twists.

      Pigeon: I’ve had that thought before, and I think it’s a great idea, tbh. With such a small age difference (a few years for the characters, even less between Maisie’s real age and Lyanna), it’s not unbelievable like a 30 year gap. I think it could be done very well. Especially as it’s noted how much they look alike.

      Lyanna and Arya looking alike seems more like a book thing. It is obviously a clever device to use in the books because the reader dont literately see pictures of the characters. Telling us that Arya looks a lot like Lyanna and that Jon and Arya are the only siblings who looks alike builds a connection between Lyanna and Jon, and Arya’s personality.

      But I dont think it has ever been mentioned in the show that Arya and Lyanna is suppose to look alike. In the show we actually see the characters literately, so if Lyanna is suppose to be Jon’s mother then I think it is much more important that the Lyanna who is cast looks more like Kit Harington.
      It is perhaps especially important since Jon has practically no Targaryen traits, if he doesn’t resemble his father then he should strongly resemble his mother.

      Lyanna’s part in the story is quite important even though we never actually meet her, but it will properly only be a small role on the show. It seems quite likely that they will use someone who is not well known.

      Fergus Leathem looks like a good choice for Dickon Tarly to me, I think he could work as brother for Sam.

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    223. Honestly, I do not care about who are the parents of Jon. I’m more interested for example in what happens to Dany, when she will land in Westeros, or Arya, a very important character, one of my favourites, and that is alive at this point in history, unlike other.

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    224. mau: flashbacks are Bran’s story. You can’t do Bran’s storyline without them.

      It like Dany withoutdragons.

      Not sure I understand. Why would Bran’s story arc be flashbacks?

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    225. I have a question. With over 300 posts to this topic, I don’t think I can add anything new…but reading all the comments did bring me to a place where I feel it would be legitimate to ask the question.

      What is Bran’s purpose now. He is a cripple, he can warg and he is destined to be what….the next tree God? But what is his purpose. Seems most every character has a reason for what they do, misguided or not. The chatter is that he is going to use the Weirwood Hiway way to Hell-o – who are you and what does this mean? sort of future for Bran.

      Is Bran’s purpose to give us the reader/viewer a glimpse into the past? What would be most relevant from the past – is what I think is most likely to be the D & D vehicle. IF R+L=J then I think we do have the young Starks/Robert; ToJ fight; Lyanna-Ned last scene, but Aegon has to be in there somewhere as well or that doesn’t make sense. Okay…done. So what else is Bran supposed to be showing us that has any relevance?

      Is he just to spend two + seasons in that cave with Max von Sydow learning to be the new Weirtree God? Is he part of the three headed dragon and will warg into it? I am being honest here, what is the point, the big picture and how does that affect the last three seasons?

      I have to think that the book nor show has spent the time and energy on Bran that they have already for no really large end pay off or as a vehicle to really move the books/show along. Am I really off here?

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    226. I hope that the flashback with Ned and Robert will add something other than demonstrating Bran’s ability to see glimpses of the past. On the other hand, Book Bran’s vision of Lyanna playing with Benjen didn’t really add anything other than confirming that Arya really does resemble Lyanna (both in looks and in personality), something we already figured.

      Rygar, Sean C. is flat-out wrong about voiceovers. Voiceovers are hideously lazy as a storytelling device. Flashbacks tend to be lazy, too.

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    227. jentario,

      Maybe they’ll use that deleted S1 scene for one of the flashbacks:

      Brandon’s death on the orders of Aerys

      Or maybe that’s just wishful thinking!

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    228. KitD,
      Almost everyone I know says my eyes are green and some even think they’re blue, but they aren’t. They’re hazel. I have dark green eyes with little specks of yellowish brown in them. My mother has very bright light green eyes and my father ice blue eyes. So where did the brown come from? My maternal grandmother. What we are taught in school about eye color was vastly simplified. In reality our eye colors mix–as someone else put it, it is not as simple as dominant/recessive as we were originally taught.

      Also, too, what would you rather have, a crappy actor who looks the perfect part or a good or even great actor who doesn’t? /rhetorical

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    229. Rygar,

      Do you really think GRRM gave one of his leads the ability to see backwards in time for no reason?

      M,

      Not a fan of film noir, I take it? Voiceover when used properly is both economical and adds a lot to the characters. I gave you one really good TV example already.

      Flashbacks are likewise a great dramatic device, as long as you know how to integrate them. In this case, you’ve got a character who can literally see the past.

      Karan Parekh,

      The casting notice just said Father, from what I recall, and the description didn’t sound much like what we’ve been told about Jon Arryn.

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    230. JCDavis,

      I think his purpose is twofold:

      1. Storyteller – I think it is largely as you said: Bran is used to give us as readers/audiences insights into things that we otherwise wouldn’t get to know. GRRM is killing characters left and right, so many stories that may be important for characters from the next generation are lost because no-one alive remembers them. Things that are meant to be will still come to pass, and the characters involved do not necessarily have to understand them fully, but we as readers/show watchers need to understand (everything else would be bad storytelling), so we get Bran’s visions.

      2. Connector – I think, however, that his function is not limited to that. Some of the knowledge that is lost and can only be retrieved via visions is necessary and needs to be communicated to living characters. Also, it may be necessary for some characters to know what happens at far away places. This is, I think, where Bran comes in. We know from the books that he can speak through the weirwood trees. We also know that a long time ago greenseers used to use ravens or crows to speak through them. The crow mail service wasn’t a letter carrying service initially; the birds used to speak messages. Bran can learn to do that, too, and thus communicate things he sees to people even if he can’t move. He will thus connect people all over Westeros as well as past and present.

      Bonus: He may also warg into all kinds of animals in order to interfere with the upcoming second war for the dawn. He may even possess one of the dragons, but I am as of yet unsure if that would make any sense.

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    231. JCDavis: I have a question. With over 300 posts to this topic, I don’t think I can add anything new…but reading all the comments did bring me to a place where I feel it would be legitimate to ask the question.

      What is Bran’s purpose now. He is a cripple, he can warg and he is destined to be what….the next tree God? But what is his purpose. Seems most every character has a reason for what they do, misguided or not. The chatter is that he is going to use the Weirwood Hiway way to Hell-o – who are you and what does this mean? sort of future for Bran.

      Is Bran’s purpose to give us the reader/viewer a glimpse into the past? What would be most relevant from the past – is what I think is most likely to be the D & D vehicle. IF R+L=J then I think we do have the young Starks/Robert; ToJ fight; Lyanna-Ned last scene, but Aegon has to be in there somewhere as well or that doesn’t make sense. Okay…done. So what else is Bran supposed to be showing us that has any relevance?

      Is he just to spend two + seasons in that cave with Max von Sydow learning to be the new Weirtree God? Is he part of the three headed dragon and will warg into it? I am being honest here, what is the point, the big picture and how does that affect the last three seasons?

      I have to think that the book nor show has spent the time and energy on Bran that they have already for no really large end pay off or as a vehicle to really move the books/show along. Am I really off here?

      These are some good questions to ask. I think Arya’s situation is somewhat similar, in that she is removed from rest and that it is sometimes difficult to think what exactly her part will be.

      Bran is an interesting one, he is obviously quite important he has the first chapter in the books. It seems like his story is very heavily connected with the Others. Being a seer he might be able to see what actually happened during the last Long Night. He would be able to see or understand what the real purpose of the Others are, perhaps he could even somehow communicate with them.

      One of the most interesting parts of Melisandre’s chapter in ADWD is when she thinks she sees the Great Other looking at her. She describes it as one thousand and one eyes staring at her through the dark. Now that actually sounds exactly like Bloodraven, which makes you wonder. I dont know I might be wrong, but I could perhaps actually see Bran “working” for the Great Other. The descriptions between what Bloodraven tells Bran and the Lord of Light also sounds like opposites. Bloodraven tells Bran to embrace the darkness, and that he is always safe in the dark, whereas the Lord of Light is obviously more concerned with light and shadows. It also seems as if there is some kind of a connection between the Starks, Winterfell and The Others.
      If Bran does somehow end up “working” for the Great Other then I can see the end resolution involving communication, negotiation and comprise rather then one big battle.
      But who knows perhaps Melisandre just thought she was looks at the Great Other while it actually wasn’t the Great Other.

      Perhaps Bran is just there to provide help and insight to the human side of the war. He could learn a lot through the weirwood network and he would be able to communicate with members of his family like Jon, which he already did in the books and Arya in the future. He could warg into a dragon perhaps, that would be quite useful. Or he could warg into a lot of animals and they could form an army against wights. (The direwolfs were able to fight the wights quite effectively). After this is all over he might leave the weirwood tree and he might become a similar figure to Bran the Builder.
      There is certainly a lot that Bran could do in the story, it will be interesting to see what happens with him in season 6. Whatever he will be doing it seems like he would have access to important information, he would have to use this information or carry the informtion over to the right person who can use it.

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    232. Mihnea,

      I don’t think anybody was suggesting that GOT use voiceover. It wouldn’t be a good fit for the format of the series (too many characters, none of them featured enough in any given episode).

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    233. M,

      Not a fan of film noir, I take it?Voiceover when used properly is both economical and adds a lot to the characters.I gave you one really good TV example already.

      Flashbacks are likewise a great dramatic device, as long as you know how to integrate them.In this case, you’ve got a character who can literally see the past.

      Veronica Mars is not a really good TV example or even a good TV example as you claim, and I should know, because I suffered through that show no matter how grating the voiceover got. Voiceover is cheap and lazy, and it was cheap and lazy in Veronica Mars. Noir and in particular modern noir is a pretty lazy genre as well, substituting an easy reliance on recognizable tropes for solid storytelling and interesting characterization. (See also Sin City.)

      Flashbacks are also a lazy dramatic device–right up there with the “montage set to music” trope that plagues TV and film nowadays–unless they truly add something. LOST is a good example of the limits of the flashback, since the show was structured to have flashbacks incorporated into every episode. There was the odd LOST episode where the writers did something truly interesting and creative with the flashback structure, but those episodes were the exception; most writers floundered.

      The jury’s out on how further GOT flashbacks will fare in terms of enhancing the narrative, beyond assuring us that yes, Bran can see into the past. I’m not convinced in retrospect that the Maggi prophecy flashback added that much to the story, although it was worth it for Young Cersei’s acting alone (and I quite enjoyed Show Maggi).

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    234. Boudica,

      Grrm already explained that “R’hllor” has nothing to do with visions and the others, he may not even exist.

      Sean C.,

      The three-eyed crow doing voice over during brans’s visions is not far fetched.

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    235. M,

      Veronica Mars was one of the most lauded shows on TV when it aired, and Veronica’s voiceover was vital to the tone. In any event, the use of the device is by no means confined to the classics of the noir genre. Scorsese makes brilliant use of it in many of his films, for instance. Jane the Virgin, one of the best shows on TV right now (and my personal favourite, now that Mad Men is gone) , has a fantastic use of voiceover from a narrator as a separate character).

      ore,

      Yeah, I thought about that as a possibility, depending on how they decide to handle the visions and how much information they need to convey.

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    236. Sean C.,

      I guess it depends on whether winds comes out before season 6 as george intends to. But anyhow. I don’t expect them ever to talk about numerous events that seems to be of great importance (summerhall, knight of the laughing tree…).

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    237. Sean C.:
      M,

      Veronica Mars was one of the most lauded shows on TV when it aired, and Veronica’s voiceover was vital to the tone.In any event, the use of the device is by no means confined to the classics of the noir genre. Scorsese makes brilliant use of it in many of his films, for instance.Jane the Virgin, one of the best shows on TV right now (and my personal favourite, now that Mad Men is gone) , has a fantastic use of voiceover from a narrator as a separate character).

      Sorry, voiceover is cheap and lazy, and it was cheap and lazy in Veronica Mars. Furthermore, the critics’ supposed love for Veronica Mars was never that strong to begin with (not a drop of Emmy or Golden Globe love, not even a single nomination), and it dropped off significantly as the show declined in quality, particularly after the misguided and offensive Season 3 rape storyline, so your statement about Veronica Mars is inaccurate. One of the most lauded TV shows when it aired? Please.

      If you need dumb gimmicks like voiceover, flashbacks and musical montages to tell your story, you’re a shitty storyteller. GOT has mostly steered clear of such dumb gimmicks with the exception of the Cersei flashback, and I applaud that choice.

      My hope for Season 6 is that now that D&D are no longer barreling to the finish line, we’ll get some more room for character moments and the show to breathe a little more, without the need for each scene to march the plot forward.

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    238. I don’t think the flashback device is of itself inherently bad – it’s just been used so often over the years that people are weary of it. Flashback has been used in earlier days both in literature and on the screen or stage. If handled effectively I think it could be positive.

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    239. Boudica,

      JCDavis,
      Good thinking about Bran, I think he will have an enormous part in the next 2 seasons. I think: 1. Thay he will fly, on a dragon, or warg into one since he can do that, maybe to help Jon?
      2. He’s their biggest storytelling device. He always has been.
      What I really hope is that not only do we get a Tower of Joy,but maybe a story of the Night’s King, told by Bran, or to Bran by Max Von Sydow. I don’t think he’s just going to stay in the tree, he’s already been there for 2 seasons! He could’ve now learned the entire history of the First Men and the CotF. And of Bran the Builder, that the Night’s King’s lineage is Stark lineage. Hopefully he’ll tell us the story or he’ll go back without flashbacks and watch the story as its being told to relay back? Way farfetched…but he has to be a key to these stories and learning how to properly fly a dragon.

      JCDavis,

      dee,

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    240. M: If you need dumb gimmicks like voiceover, flashbacks and musical montages to tell your story, you’re a shitty storyteller.

      You are coming perilously close to personal attack mode here; how’s about toning it down a notch? We get that you don’t like voiceover, ever.

      Presumably all of us have seen/heard plenty of examples where the technique was poorly executed. The narration under the first couple of episodes of Outlander, for example, almost turned me off to the series, making it sound like a bodice-ripper romance. Thankfully, they let that drop as they delved further into the story and started letting it tell itself.

      But that doesn’t necessarily mean that voiceover narration is always an aesthetically bogus, lazy or ineffective technique. I think that most of us have also seen/heard examples where it was used admirably well, and perfectly suited to the tone and style of the vehicle. For example, a movie told in memoir format, such as Meryl Streep as writer Isak Dinesen looking back at her youth in Out of Africa, can use it in a way that is pleasing and appropriate to the material, as a framing device. Or to do a film version of A Tale of Two Cities that does not start with a voiceover saying, “It was the best of times; it was the worst of times” would be…just wrong.

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    241. M,
      Do you understand that visions/flashbacks happen in the books to only one character in order to shed some light on past and relevant events? And in fact, the own nature of those visions/flashbacks it’s part of the plot.

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    242. I agree. If you need voice-over, flashbacks and musical montages to tell your story, you’re a bad storyteller. You admit that you are not able to tell your own story with dialogue.

      But Bran’s story is connected to flashbacks, so they have to use them in some capacity.

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    243. ore: Grrm already explained that “R’hllor” has nothing to do with visions and the others, he may not even exist.

      We still dont completely understand the “gods” or the magic in this world. Melisandre obviously sees something in her flames, but I thought it was interesting that Melisandre could perhaps see Bloodraven as an opposing force. It isn’t always a matter of what magic or the gods actually can do, but it is important what people believe these powers can do. It would be interesting if Melisandre believed that someone like Bran was fighting for the other or opposing side.

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    244. mau,

      Video montage’s can be effective if used sparingly. I thought they did a fairly good job with “The Climb” video montage a few seasons back. I was hoping (still hope) that Doran’s Fire & Blood speech would make a great montage as well. We had a good discussion of that at one point several months back.

      I agree that Bran’s story should be laced with effective visuals from events past, present and possibly future. I would enjoy some BR backstory too.

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    245. mau: You admit that you are not able to tell your own story with dialogue.

      Not necessarily. Could just be an artistic choice. The filmmaker’s palette has many colors, and the storyteller’s art has many techniques. Why assume that dialogue is always the superior way to convey information? When I read a novel, I like lots of vivid, detailed description, not just to witness interactions between characters, and I don’t have a problem with exposition in moderation. Same with visual media: A balanced mix works better for some viewers. Let’s not dig in our heels and be absolutists here!

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    246. Voice-overs aren’t always bad. It comes down to the execution. There are many examples of good voice-overs in films: Taxi Driver, Badlands, Apocalypse Now, A Clockwork Orange, Goodfellas… the list goes on and on. Not to mention Film Noir classics like Sunset Boulevard and Double Indemnity.

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    247. Firannion: Not necessarily.Could just be an artistic choice.The filmmaker’s palette has many colors, and the storyteller’s art has many techniques.Why assume that dialogue is always the superior way to convey information?When I read a novel, I like lots of vivid, detailed description, not just to witness interactions between characters, and I don’t have a problem with exposition in moderation.Same with visual media:A balanced mix works better for some viewers.Let’s not dig in our heels and be absolutists here!

      Why not? Novel =/= film and TV. You’re conflating two very different media, and saying that because something works well for a novel–where there is no visual element–it is just as effective for film/TV. Of course “voiceovers” are fine for novels. Novels are voiceovers. TV is a visual medium. That’s the point. If you can’t translate what a narrative tells you in the novel to a visual medium without resorting to the use of verbatim voiceovers, you have no business adapting it. There’s also a difference between storytelling techniques and dumb gimmicks like voiceovers, flashbacks, and musical montages. Mau is absolutely right on this one: resorting to a film/TV voiceover shows that the writer cannot tell their own story with dialogue. It’s an admission of failure and shows that a writer does not trust their own material to convey what they want it to convey. Musical montages are the same; the writer is acknowledging that the material is not effective or resonant enough without some music to lend it meaning or effectiveness (i.e. every sad montage set to a cover of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah ever made), so they throw in a sad/uplifting/romantic song to make the viewer feel what they won’t feel from the material on its own. It’s not only lazy, it’s also cowardly.

      Thanks to Hodor’s Bastard for reminding me of The Climb montage. I’d forgotten about it. It’s another classic example of storytelling laziness. The writers didn’t trust the monologue to stand on its own, and that was hardly surprising, because it was a shitty monologue, so they set it to a montage to attempt to dress it up. When Dany did her little “wheel” speech in Season 5, without the benefit of cutaways or voiceover, Emilia Clarke’s poor acting and the poor writing were all that much more obvious.

      I think the reason flashbacks, voiceovers, etc. are appealing to a lot of TV/film writers is that they can’t write material that stands alone without such flashy gimmicks to cover up their own writerly shortcomings, and they know it.

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    248. I don’t know what flashbacks people are referring to, as I have not read the books.. which is fine, ill keep it as a surprise. But I do think Fergus Leathem looks like Gendry lol.

      I would love to see a bunch of flashbacks. I am sooooo down for that idea.

      As for Bran… I also think his story will be heavily connected to the Night King and the WWs (theyre not referred to as the Others in the show)… especially that we see the Night King as we saw him in Hardhome in Bran’s season 4 Episode 10 vision (I only noticed this recently thanks to a fellow poster who pointed it out). I also think that Bran will warg into a dragon. In his vision, he saw Kings Landing from above, and we see a shadow of a dragon… and he was told he will fly.

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    249. Thank you for all your great comments:

      Boudica – dee – Alysanne

      If Bran is an “end game player”, then I think any and all are possibilities. Which I think that he IS. Not necessarily for the “throne” as in “game of thrones”, but to the overall big picture storytelling that still needs to happen.

      While he has been in that cave for a long time, we don’t really know what he has been learning. He could know the whole history of Westeros and Essos combined. Or not. If he has been learning all this time “off show” when he is seen again there is going to have to be some sort of update as to his status, if you will.

      I think that Bran is going to be one of the most interesting characters for the next three seasons. It has the potential to be very exciting and processing the forward line of the whole story.

      OT: I saw on another website that someone referred to LSH as a Pez Dispenser. I swear I just about fell out of my chair laughing.

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    250. Is it just me (possibly) or is anyone else starting to feel absolutely duped and ripped off by D&D? I mean, AFFC and ADWD run mostly chronologically together, however, D&D did some major skipping over the storylines in AFFC, went straight to ADWD for S5 because of “not enough story” to tell therefore had to jump ahead to tWoW. I call bullshit because it is apparent now that D&D are ego driven.
      Now they seem to be going back to tell the storylines in AFFC after “killing” off Snow Wight just for ratings. I know it happens in the books and I have no doubt JS will be back, but not until season 7 and this is all a fantastically devised trick to fool viewers into watching= mo’ monay $$$$$ as this will assure atleast one more solid year of viewers and income.
      D&D most certainly had enough story fodder to tell (and NO need for that washed out, unnecessary Missendai/Grey Worm B.S.).
      The TV show is starting to turn me waaayyy off because I smell the greed and NOT a need to tell a fantastic story. Going past season 7… come on! Now quit possibly developing a spin-off back story… jeesh! Follow the gr$$n-eyed monster.
      GRRM has his own issues with getting the books out at a decent rate, but at least he has been consistent and you can tell from certain interviews that things have changed between GRRM, D&D and HBO.

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    251. Dame Pasty: Also, too, what would you rather have, a crappy actor who looks the perfect part or a good or even great actor who doesn’t? /rhetorical

      An example: Star Wars Ep. 1: Phantom Menace. Lucas cast Jake Lloyd (over Haley Joel Osmet) because he looked more like a young Mark Hamill. This casting put the “look” of the actor over his acting ability – and we see how that turned out. Not saying that the changing the choice of actor alone could have saved that movie (only physically removing Lucas could have done that), but it underscores Dame’s point.

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    252. Judibatt,

      Seriously, Missandei and Grey Worm had less than 10 minutes of screen time in the 10 episodes. Other than that, you’re entitled to your own opinion about how you feel regarding the show.

      JCDavis,
      I am super excited for Brans Story

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    253. Criminy a lot to respond to!

      mau,

      They were padding out Bran’s story as it was. Quite happy he took the season off as he was at a spot where it made sense to pause and they seemed pushed for time last season already.
      Why not? Jaime was barely in Season 2 for such an important character. Walder Frey, Yara, Rickon, Gendry, The Hound (most likely) and I’m sure some I’ve forgotton some more. It’s fine. If they’ve not got anything to do then don’t make stuff up. Spend the time and energy on other aspects of the story that need it.
      I think they incorporatd Sansa’s story into the show well (besides the ridiculous means of getting her up north). Jaime’s adaption was a good idea but DOrne was just terribly executed. They could have included her just used her more sparingly. I don’t think even her biggest fans can claim she had a good season last one. They should have put her further on the backseat. Personally I would have recreated the events at Maidenpool to make her character more sympathetic (perhaps introducing Randyll Tarly sooner too). What she did weren’t exactly season highlights.
      So you think slavishly putting the bigger characters in even if they have nothing to do is a good idea? To me it’s a fine way to overexpose them. USe them when they’re needed . I don’t need a character to be in every other scene to care about them.
      She has yet to meet Sansa in the book (or Arya for that matter). The horse chase was one of the dullest action moment I’ve seen in the season and her and Pod have no chemistry whatsoever. The Renly love exposition was corny as well IMO.
      Littlefinger works best as a shady character not knowing where he is builds his character. He could just have easily turned up in the Vale to stir shit there or KL like he did in the show.
      Nope. AS I said before trim th fat off other stories. Dorne needed a couple of changes and some more time and it would have been fine. I think the SS would have been fine as a goon squad if so much emphasis hadn’t been put on them before the season. Some of their dialogue was brutal though. But has the damage to Doran already been done? If all they are going to do is ally with Dany then Dorne is dull as hell. They need something to make them more unique.
      Not really a Potter fan so it was a struggle to care about any of the characters to be honest!
      The thing is if you start to try and explore characters from the past you open up that door. To really make the viewer care you need more than a couple of flashbacks. I don’t want the whole of next season to be going over stuff from the past. Just have the characters talk more about the event and those characters involved.
      In all honesty, there will still be viewers who say that regardless of how clearly laid out it is! The show shouldn’t get too wrapped up in catering to them. Give it a reasonable set up ( as they have started to do) and if it’s lost on them then so be it. I’d rather the show not suffer for the minority.

      Wimsey,

      I still think there’s plenty of room left for it…especially with 3 seasons left! I’d rather watch one HS/QoT conversation than 10 dragons flying into an arena! Guess I’m just hoping the show doesn’t sacrifice everything else for action as it felt that way sometimes last season.
      I liked the first three Potter films as they were romps. Simplistic stories set in a well-crafted world. I didn’t care much for the characters but enjoyed soaking up the world they inhabited. I guess that started to wear thin and when it turned serious , I think it lost the charm that I found appealing in the first place.
      I think the later films got larger attendances because it had become a juggernaut by that point so people jumped on the hype train and watched it because it had become a phenomenon. To be fair to Chris Columbus , Order of the Phoenix hadn’t even come out by the point he was filming the first film! Don’t think it would have been possible to plan for teh end game at that point. Rowling seemed to just drop a lot of stuff into the mix in the last couple of books that hadn’t evolved naturally.

      Happy Hodor,

      And that is an issue why?

      Boudica,

      Cersei doesn’t seem to have the same venom for Tyrion in the show as she does in the book. I mean after Joff died yes but she seems to have let it go a bit after Tywin’s death. At this point in the book she was borderline paranoid delusional about him thinking he was pulling the strings of everything that went against her.
      I’m really struggling to see how relevant a scene featuring a young Ned, Brandon and/or Robert would be. I think the show has already shown very well how much Robert obsessed over her so there’s no need for it for that purpose. Maybe to show the relationship between Ned and Lyanna and have her use the “promise me, Ned” line so it can be pulled out again at the ToJ so people get the connection? I honestly don’t know.
      I dunno. Everyone knew what happened with the Titanic but went to watch the film! I think there’s enough intrugue there around the characters that people care about in the show now and how they featured as well as Lyanna,Rhaegar and the Mad King (and to a lesser extent Arthur Dayne) spoken about but not fully explored. Plus there’s some very strong plot points to build it around. I’d love to see them have a crack at it. Better to try and not succeed than to not have tried at all!

      Delta1212,

      I watched it for 2-3 seasons. The flashbacks had a place in that show but then it appeared they wouldn’t change the structure even though the flashbacks were becoming less relevant. I honestly don’t think they knew what they were doing with that show. The plot got really random and they appeared to write character in and out on a whim. Great promise that fizzled out for me.

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    254. Ore:
      M,
      Do you understand that visions/flashbacks happen in the books to only one character in order to shed some light on past and relevant events? And in fact, the own nature of those visions/flashbacks it’s part of the plot.

      That’s the thing, though. I don’t recall any of Bran’s visions in ADWD through the weirnet “shedding any light” on past and relevant events. There was no insight gained from Bran seeing Lyanna and Benjen playing. We knew Arya resembles Lyanna. We knew Lyanna had a feisty personality. What is added? The visions shedding light may happen–and I think the hope is that it will happen–but it hasn’t happened yet. All his visions in ADWD have done is demonstrate that he can see the past. So if the writers faithfully adapted the ADWD visions to the show–which doesn’t look like the case, since it doesn’t sound like we’re getting young Lyanna and young Benjen playing–then it’s questionable whether they would be adding anything to the story.

      A flashback with young Robert, Brandon and Ned would have to have something to do with R+L=J to add something of worth to the narrative, I think, but I can’t think how that would work.

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    255. Judibatt:
      Is it just me (possibly) or is anyone else starting to feel absolutely duped and ripped off by D&D?

      You and everyone else on wetseros.org and other sites for book purists and fanatics.

      I call bullshit because it is apparent now that D&D are ego driven.

      I can’t see how.

      Now they seem to be going back to tell the storylines in AFFC after “killing” off Snow Wight just for ratings. I know it happens in the books and I have no doubt JS will be back, but not until season 7 and this is all a fantastically devised trick to fool viewers into watching= mo’ monay $$$$$ as this will assure atleast one more solid year of viewers and income.

      You are wrong. Jon Snow will be in S6. And they won’t do storylines from AFFC. They will just intrpduce Euron and do his storyline from TWOW.

      The TV show is starting to turn me waaayyy off because I smell the greed and NOT a need to tell a fantastic story.Going past season 7… come on!

      8 seasons for 8 books. Or you really think that GRRM can finish this story with just 7 books?

      GRRM has his own issues with getting the books out at a decent rate, but at least he has been consistent and you can tell from certain interviews that things have changed between GRRM, D&D and HBO.

      He has been consistent with what?

      Nothing has changed between HBO and GRRM.

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    256. Dame of Mercia,

      I like to imagine Charlotte Riley as grown-up Lyanna. She might be too old, being in her 30s, but if characters are being aged up a bit it could work, and to my eyes she has the perfect look. Also, she’s from northern England (my home town, as it happens) so would imagine the accent wouldn’t be a problem for her. She was great in Wuthering Heights and in the BBC’s Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell recently.

      http://40.media.tumblr.com/928a34e54dedebf3878b789de1d115d5/tumblr_muragvZtH21rol3c4o1_1280.jpg

      Realistically, though, I think it’s more likely they’ll cast a young, relatively unknown actress.

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    257. M: If you can’t translate what a narrative tells you in the novel to a visual medium without resorting to the use of verbatim voiceovers, you have no business adapting it….resorting to a film/TV voiceover shows that the writer cannot tell their own story with dialogue. It’s an admission of failure and shows that a writer does not trust their own material to convey what they want it to convey.

      We’re just going to have to agree to disagree here. Condemning the use of a variety of visual storytelling approaches as “an admission of failure” in every case across the board constitutes imposing your personal tastes and opinions on all the rest of us, or else just falling back on academic platitudes. For one thing, not every member of the TV or movie audience is a “visual learner”; some of us thrive on more use of words (and not just in dialogue).

      When an artist reaches a certain point in their career where they have found their own voice and are confident in it, they can start feeling free to flout some of the “conventional wisdom” rules (judiciously, of course) that were drilled into them in Filmmaking 101 (or in my case, Journalism 101). Sometimes taking liberties works, sometimes it doesn’t. But you learn as you go, and in some instances those rigid rules like “show, don’t tell” can actually suppress the creative imagination.

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    258. I think Luke Skywalkers parentage reveal will still be the best in cinema and storytelling history. No hints, flashbacks and foreshadowing, just one line and it makes sense when you piece it together in your imagination. I really want the show to use Bran as a way to look into the white walkers and COTF past, we don’t need to see younger versions of dead characters.

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    259. M: Thanks to Hodor’s Bastard for reminding me of The Climb montage. I’d forgotten about it. It’s another classic example of storytelling laziness.

      Lol! That’s a back-handed compliment if I ever read one. 🙂 I’m rather intrigued by what you may consider a solid montage (if any). What about the original Mad Max? Wizards? Just wondering….

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    260. Salty Dornishman: An example: Star Wars Ep. 1: Phantom Menace.Lucas cast Jake Lloyd (over Haley Joel Osmet) because he looked more like a young Mark Hamill. This casting put the “look” of the actor over his acting ability – and we see how that turned out.Not saying that the changing the choice of actor alone could have saved that movie (only physically removing Lucas could have done that), but it underscores Dame’s point.

      No need to go that far. There are plenty of examples of the perils of casting for looks (either for physical beauty or a specific look) over acting ability across GOT: Emilia Clarke, for starters. By and large, GOT’s strongest showings in the acting department seem to be from those who didn’t fit “the look” but were cast anyway: Iain Glen’s Jorah is the best example of this, but there’s also Peter Dinklage’s Tyrion (too attractive), Sean Bean’s Ned (too blonde), Tobias Menzies’ Edmure (not handsome enough, not ginger), Michelle Fairley’s Cat (not stunningly beautiful), Paul Kaye’s Thoros (completely off from the book description), Kerry Ingram’s Shireen (fair-haired), Jack Gleeson’s Joffrey (not incredibly handsome, pouty-lipped or curly-haired), Maisie Williams’ Arya (not long-faced), etc. Casting primarily for beauty or for a specific look isn’t necessarily doomed to failure, but it’s a crapshoot: you can get a Gwendoline Christie, or you can get an Emilia Clarke.

      As for Lyanna, if and when they do cast her, the actress will have to have TV Jon’s trademark luscious black curls (or they’ll have to slap a wig on her). That would be the strongest way in the show of signifying the connection.

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    261. Ciel,

      Really? You didn’t have it already figured out that Vader was Anakin by that point? I thought it was pretty obvious that the story was trending that way, back when I first saw it (when it first came out, on the big screen, not subjected to any spoilers).

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    262. TheTouchOfFrost:

      mau,

      They were padding out Bran’s story as it was. Quite happy he took the season off as he was at a spot where it made sense to pause and they seemed pushed for time last season already.

      made sense how? Audience didn’t know who that man was, they didn’t know why he summoned Bran, and they ended that storyline on a cliffhanger.

      Why not? Jaime was barely in Season 2 for such an important character. Walder Frey, Yara, Rickon, Gendry, The Hound (most likely) and I’m sure some I’ve forgotton some more.

      He was barely in Season 2, but he was part of S2. They didn’t exclude him.

      And you can’t compare Brienne, Jaime and Sansa with Walder Frey, Yara or Rickon.

      The Hound is left to die. It makes sense to give him a season off to recover. But Brienne and Sansa were very much alive at the end of S4.

      They could have included her just used her more sparingly. I don’t think even her biggest fans can claim she had a good season last one

      I’m not Brienne’s fan. After Sam, she has the wort chapters in the books, and I don’t care for her in the show either, but she was used sparingly. She had what, 10 minutes of screen time? 12? That is nothing.

      Personally I would have recreated the events at Maidenpool to make her character more sympathetic (perhaps introducing Randyll Tarly sooner too).

      I don’t care for Brienne and I don’t care if she is sympathetic or not, but putting Maidenpool would be a complete waste of time. She wouldn’t accomplish anything in a whole season and you will make another separate storyline. In the show she had a clear direction, and maybe in S6 she will reunite with Sansa. If that happens, it means that her storyline from S5 was changed storyline from TWOW, where she will meet Sansa.

      The next logical step for her is meeting with Sansa. If that happens, her storyline from the show would have a really clear path.

      What she did weren’t exactly season highlights.So you think slavishly putting the bigger characters ineven if they have nothing to do is a good idea?

      The problems are, why those characters are big if they have nothing to do for a season or two? That is the greatest storytelling weakness of GoT, and it comes from the books. Can you give me an example of some other show where characters are excluded in that way?

      She has yet to meet Sansa in the book (or Arya for that matter).The horse chase was one of the dullest action moment I’ve seen in the season and her and Pod have no chemistry whatsoever. The Renly love exposition was corny as well IMO.

      I disagree.

      Littlefinger works best as a shady character not knowing where he is builds his character. He could just have easily turned up in the Vale to stir shit there or KL like he did in the show.

      So, Brienne would kidnap Sansa, and LF would go to KL?

      He would return to Vale? And how that makes sense?

      They cut Vale because that was filler, and because the show has too many storylines. You would just add another that serves no purpose than to be LF’s tool for taking the North.

      Dorne needed a couple of changes and some more time and it would have been fine.

      It would’t be fine. Critics don’t care about SS fight, they criticized Dorne because they saw that storyline like a waste of time.

      But has the damage to Doran already been done? If all they are going to do is ally with Dany then Dorne is dull as hell. T

      Allegiance with Dany makes perfect sense. His allegiance with YG makes no sense from a storytelling perspective.

      GRRM put two groups of minor characters together, and he thinks that we will buy them as some great threat to Dany?

      Lame YG and Dorne instead Tywin, Stannis, Cersei. even Starks,… He had so many great antagonist for Dany, and he created YG. For me that is just bad writing and makes no sense.

      Characters from Dorne are minor characters, and they must serve bigger character’s story.

      The thing is if you start to try and explore characters from the past you open up that door. To really make the viewer care you need more than a couple of flashbacks. I don’t want the whole of next season to be going over stuff from the past. Just have the characters talk more about the event and those characters involved.

      Again, flashbacks are part of Bran’s story. You can’t have Bran without them.

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    263. M: Sorry, voiceover is cheap and lazy, and it was cheap and lazy in Veronica Mars. Furthermore, the critics’ supposed love for Veronica Mars was never that strong to begin with (not a drop of Emmy or Golden Globe love, not even a single nomination), and it dropped off significantly as the show declined in quality, particularly after the misguided and offensive Season 3 rape storyline, so your statement about Veronica Mars is inaccurate. One of the most lauded TV shows when it aired? Please.

      Yes, most definitely (mainly for Season 1, but I’m not sure what that has to do with voiceover). I have no idea why you equate the Emmys and the Golden Globes with the critics; the Emmys, in particular, have a long history of passing over critical favourites. By your measure, The Americans is not one of the most lauded shows on TV right now, which is clearly false. I also pointed out Jane the Virgin, which makes extensive use of voiceover and it is considered a key part of the show’s appeal. Dialogue is not the only appropriate mechanism for voicing a character’s thoughts, particularly if it doesn’t make sense for the character to be speaking those thoughts to anybody (hence, the ages-old theatrical convention of the soliloquy). And I wouldn’t want to live in a world with a version of Goodfellas that didn’t open with “As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster.”

      M:
      Musical montages are the same; the writer is acknowledging that the material is not effective or resonant enough without some music to lend it meaning or effectiveness (i.e. every sad montage set to a cover of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah ever made), so they throw in a sad/uplifting/romantic song to make the viewer feel what they won’t feel from the material on its own. It’s not only lazy, it’s also cowardly.

      Now you just keep broadening your attack on classic filmmaking techniques. I guess you’re not a fan of Tarantino, either. Music is an integral part of a film, if used properly, so I have no clue why you think using music to boost the emotional resonance of a scene is cheating; that’s why the music is there in the first place. Likewise, montages are an essential cinematic technique to keep the pace moving and convey information quickly and efficiently. Django and Schultz’s adventuring in the mountains set to “I Got A Name” is just magical.

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    264. mau,

      I guess it’s kinda funny but I have never been to westeros.org. Maybe if I googled something and it popped up on the list, but I honestly stay away from any super fandom sites (I don’t even own an R+L+J t-shirt! haha). I do have all the Ice & Fire books, but not the “backstory” books. Wait, that’s a lie, I did get the World of Ice and Fire book for free on Audible and listened to it in the car while running errands and I do have the Ice Dragon but that is from a long time ago (and not directly related anyway).

      My frustration is coming from the TV side. I am cool with streamlining for the sake of some filming restrictions. We are now going on 6 seasons and there are very few questions answered and loose-ends ties up and then to hear how the top exec’s only want to expand or drag it all out is getting ridiculous.

      Even small changes like the order and style of Arya’s training added nothing to her development this past season, and why did D&D feel the need to change it besides they can? I know for a fact that many on this site had the same complaint.

      Each episode, with the rare exception, is 55-58 minutes and that includes the titles and “previously on…” clips. With SO MUCH story to tell (and the amount of characters and story lines already cut) having a disney-esque, made up story like Missendai and Grey Worm added is a frustrating misuse of time.

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    265. Judibatt,

      Well, if nothing else, Missandei and Grey Worm need screen time and some minor character development, given that they cast actors in the parts and want to keep them around long-term (the show always tries to give every semi-important character a few scenes of their own). Their solution to that, putting them in an angsty romantic connection, was a simple way to do that and develop them separately from the leads. I imagine there were other ways, but the show went with that one (in Missandei’s case, aging her up made most of her character scenes from the books unsuited, since the surrogate child relationship to Dany isn’t there anymore).

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    266. Sean C.: Yes, most definitely (mainly for Season 1, but I’m not sure what that has to do with voiceover).I have no idea why you equate the Emmys and the Golden Globes with the critics; the Emmys, in particular, have a long history of passing over critical favourites.By your measure, The Americans is not one of the most lauded shows on TV right now, which is clearly false.I also pointed out Jane the Virgin, which makes extensive use of voiceover and it is considered a key part of the show’s appeal.Dialogue is not the only appropriate mechanism for voicing a character’s thoughts, particularly if it doesn’t make sense for the character to be speaking those thoughts to anybody (hence, the ages-old theatrical convention of the soliloquy).And I wouldn’t want to live in a world with a version of Goodfellas that didn’t open with “As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster.”

      Now you just keep broadening your attack on classic filmmaking techniques.I guess you’re not a fan of Tarantino, either.Music is an integral part of a film, if used properly, so I have no clue why you think using music to boost the emotional resonance of a scene is cheating; that’s why the music is there in the first place.Likewise, montages are an essential cinematic technique to keep the pace moving and convey information quickly and efficiently.Django and Schultz’s adventuring in the mountains set to “I Got A Name” is just magical.

      Don’t even get me started on Tarantino. Attempting to invoke Tarantino as an example of great storytelling does your argument no favours.

      I mentioned the lack of Emmy/Golden Globe love to counter your incorrect claim that Veronica Mars was one of the most lauded TV shows when it aired. It wasn’t.

      If you must resort to voiceovers in a visual medium to tell your story, you’re a lousy storyteller, as I said. It’s a failure of imagination. If you cannot convey that information effectively by other means in film/TV, you have no business working in that medium. Likewise for montages. It’s a cheap substitute for actual storytelling to get a poor writer from point A to point B.

      I see a lot of critical praise for the acting and chemistry of the leads on The Americans, not so much for the storytelling. It fell into the horrible pattern of so much modern North American TV:

      1. Come up with intriguing premise.
      2. Produce a great first season that works well as a self-contained narrative.
      3. Show is renewed. Crap! What now? Intriguing premise only sustained one good season. Frantically attempt to come up with new ideas.
      4. Paper together new season. Cross fingers.
      5. Watch original creators get bored and lose interest, shift interest to other projects or bail out altogether. Promote incompetent junior writers to take over.
      6. Repeat steps 3 through 5 until inevitable cancellation.

      …although to be fair, I haven’t seen #5 yet for The Americans.

      I don’t think it’s any coincidence that miniseries and adaptations seem to be getting so much attention. Self-contained narratives, as opposed to starting with a good premise and hoping it sticks for 11 seasons without planning anything out, are vastly preferable.

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    267. Just because someone has a different view/opinion, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re trolling. Sure, some come here and express something similar to what Judibatt expressed solely for the purposes of starting an argument. However, that’s not always the case. I find when that is the case, the language tends to be much more aggressive. Some really are just sincerely voicing their opinions/concerns.

      Judibatt: The TV show is starting to turn me waaayyy off because I smell the greed and NOT a need to tell a fantastic story.

      I certainly smell the greed on that part of HBO. This is the greatest cash-cow they’ve ever had, and as a business, of course they are going to try and capitalize on it as much as possible and for as long as possible.

      As far and D&D go, while some of their choices have mystified me, and I haven’t always liked them, by and large I think they have done a fantastic job. I believe they are absolutely committed to telling a fantastic story. I think some of the choices they’ve made, especially recently, have more to do with trying to make something more linear on the screen than it was on the page. Yes, if you go back and splice together AFFC and ADWD, they do run mostly parallel, but I think they had to decide what you emphasize when. For instance, with Arya’s story, they may have had her go blind later than she did in the books to better parallel Bran’s story. I like to try and figure out why they made certain decisions, and while sometimes I can’t figure it out, I tend to go into it giving them the benefit of the doubt. That’s just my approach.

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    268. Judibatt,

      Sometimes there just isn’t enough alcohol in the world. No worries. Thanks for having a good attitude about it. Life is short to take things TOO seriously, right? Not that any of us here aren’t GoT’s total FANatics or anything…. 🙂

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    269. mau,

      And it’s still a cliffhanger. If Bran keeps burning through his story then he’s completely out of sync with other events. Skipping a season in a natural restpoint was a sensible decision.
      I can and I did! Don’t care how big a character is, if you’re gonna give them pointless stuff to do just leave them on the bench for a while.
      And it was too much time. She was more annoying that entertaining. It wouldn’t have been a waste of time if it made you care more about the character though would it?
      Pretty sure they just tagged her onto the northern storyline to kill time as they did with Jaime in Dorne. I predict that the two will meet up in the Riverlands this season to carry out a delayed SH-like plot (only without the Lady herself).
      Because they all have stories that move at different paces. Because as big as characters are , if you have an ensemble cast (and GoT has a huge one) you need to share the screentime around. I know you’re not a fan of the books but it really isn’t the root of all evil! Sure. Buffy did it regularly with main characters. As did Lost and indeed X Files (with Mulder no less!)
      And why does him giving Sansa to the Bolton’s then stirring shit in KL make any sense?! If he returned to the Vale he’s pretty much in control there. To KL he can do exactly as he did do and accuse the Bolton’s of treachery.
      As it was in the books but they could have made it more relevant here although it would involve teh Trystane is YG change.
      MAkes sense but is also dull as ditchwater. Dany needs obstacles to her taking of Westeros. If she’s got Unsullied, numerous sellsword companies, Dothraki and Dorne on her side and all the other factions are fighting amongst themselves we get a pretty dull takeover. She needs to work for it or the vieweers won’t get the sense she deserves it.
      The point is to make Dany question herself as she wouldn’t be the legit Targ heir then. Plus having Dorne is a big deal as they are a foothold in Westeros and are the only faction (besides the Vale) unscathed from the War of the Five Kings. Again, I fear your prejudice towards the books is surfacing.
      We’ve had him so far without them! I’m more interested in BRan than watching him have a vision every time he’s on screen.

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    270. The other argument against musical montages is that it completely relieves the writer of the need to do any work: they just pipe a song over the scene that conveys the effect that they want.

      You know the song “Yakety Sax”? The joke about Yakety Sax is that you can set pretty much anything to it, no matter what, and it will automatically become funny. Likewise for songs like Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah. You can set pretty much any scene to it, no matter what, and it will automatically seem more profound. You could set a Youtube video of a cat riding a Roomba to Hallelujah and there wouldn’t be a dry eye in the house.

      So these songs have the effect of relieving the writer of responsibility for creating their own resonant, powerful material. They’ll just set some banal shots of various characters looking vaguely upset to Hallelujah to make ’em cry and call it a day. It’s poor writing and it’s utter bullshit. Snyder was rightly jeered at for using Hallelujah in a particularly dumb sequence in The Watchmen, but I wish more writers would get called out on it. It’s appalling how many writers do this and get away with it.

      So when I see film and TV writers being lazy and relying on cheap gimmicks like musical montages and voiceovers, I’m going to mention it. Fortunately, D&D have mostly avoided the temptation to resort to flashbacks, voiceovers and montages, but are bringing the flashbacks in now that Bran’s coming in, so I’m a little apprehensive that they’re going to start using other gimmicks as well.

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    271. Dany,

      Ok, it seems like you hate Jon and love Dany. It’s a shame,because they’re both very similiar characters (many paralells between them).

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    272. I think Marvel’s Daredevil is a good example of flashbacks being used effectively, as they’re paralleled with what is going on in the present.
      They also used a musical montage at the end of episode one, which I thought worked very well.

      So, I definitely think there is a place for these things.

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    273. M: Don’t even get me started on Tarantino. Attempting to invoke Tarantino as an example of great storytelling does your argument no favours.

      And yet, he is one of the most lauded directors of the modern era. You don’t have to like his work, but flatly asserting that all these devices are undeniably accepted as signs of bad writing is clearly wrong in light of his success. Pretty much all of the great directors use them, going back to the start of Hollywood, and use them well.

      Also, I find your arguments around why these disparate devices are inappropriate to be rather contradictory as a group. Voiceover is apparently inappropriate “in a visual medium”, but you also think montages and flashbacks are inappropriate even though they are inherently suited to a visual medium, much moreso than dialogue in many instances.

      While we could just, for instance, have Jed Bartlet talk to his wife (or whoever) about his history with Mrs. Landingham in a five-minute monologue, in a visual medium it’s clearly far more effective to actually show the young Jed meeting Mrs. Landingham and being inspired to take his first political stance in a series of beautifully intercut flashbacks that set up visual cues for Jed’s present-day storyline and let the viewer really get to know the young Mrs. Landingham. And it culminates in a beautiful musical montage set to “Brothers in Arms”, regularly cited as the best moment in “Two Cathedrals”, itself regularly cited as one of the best episodes (if not the best) of The West Wing, one of the most critically-praised and awarded dramas of the late 1990s/early 2000s.

      More generally, songs (and montages using them) can perfectly convey a sense of a moment, better than any dialogue.

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    274. TheTouchOfFrost:
      mau,

      And it’s still a cliffhanger. If Bran keeps burning through his story then he’s completely out of sync with other events. Skipping a season in a natural restpoint was a sensible decision.

      His last chapter from ADWD give some explanations and some sense of direction, that S4E10 didn’t. You can’t compare that.

      I can and I did! Don’t care how big a character is, if you’re gonna give them pointless stuff to do just leave them on the bench for a while.And it was too much time. She was more annoying that entertaining.

      Your problem is that you don’t like Brienne, and it’s fine, but giving her her book storyline wouldn’t make things work.

      It wouldn’t have been a waste of time if it made you care more about the character though would it?

      Their attempt in E3 to make you care for that character failed (for you), so I really can’t see what Maidenpool would achieve.

      Pretty sure they just tagged her onto the northern storyline to kill time as they did with Jaime in Dorne. I predict that the two will meet up in the Riverlands this season to carry out a delayed SH-like plot (only without the Lady herself).

      We will see.

      And why does him giving Sansa to the Bolton’s then stirring shit in KL make any sense?!

      It makes sense because he was summoned to KL after he arrived in WF, he didn’t go there after Brienne took Sansa from him.

      If he returned to the Vale he’s pretty much in control there.

      And? He will use the Vale to take the North in S6.

      MAkes sense but is also dull as ditchwater. Dany needs obstaclesto her taking of Westeros.

      You repeat this so many times, but she has many enemies in Westeros. Lannisters, Euron, Tyrells, WW,… Jon?

      YG is not a great antagonist for her, and if 6 books/seasons has lead her to war with YG/Trystane, then it is bad storytelling. So, he is her “ultimate enemy”?

      She needs to work for it or the vieweers won’t get the sense she deserves it.

      Viewers won’t get the sense she deserves it, if she takes IT from YG/Trystane.

      The point is to make Dany question herself as she wouldn’t be the legit Targ heir then. Plus having Dorne is a big deal as they are a foothold in Westeros and are the only faction (besides the Vale) unscathed from the War of the Five Kings. Again,

      Dany questioning herself is just some fan theory, and I don’t find that story compelling if we speak about YG, She can question herself about Jon, not YG, who is after LSH, the worts plot twist of the books. I just stop my reading of ADWD for 2 weeks after that Tyrion’s chapter.

      I fear your prejudice towards the books is surfacing.We’ve had him so far without them! I’m more interested in BRan than watching him have a vision every time he’s on screen.

      And we had Arys so far without tHoBaW but now Bran and Arya are at that stage of the story. Flashbacks and learning of the past are the main purpose of his training.

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    275. Sean C.: And yet, he is one of the most lauded directors of the modern era.You don’t have to like his work, but flatly asserting that all these devices are undeniably accepted as signs of bad writing is clearly wrong in light of his success.Pretty much all of the great directors use them, going back to the start of Hollywood, and use them well.

      Also, I find your arguments around why these disparate devices are inappropriate to be rather contradictory as a group.Voiceover is apparently inappropriate “in a visual medium”, but you also think montages and flashbacks are inappropriate even though they are inherently suited to a visual medium, much moreso than dialogue in many instances.

      While we could just, for instance, have Jed Bartlet talk to his wife (or whoever) about his history with Mrs. Landingham in a five-minute monologue, in a visual medium it’s clearly far more effective to actually show the young Jed meeting Mrs. Landingham and being inspired to take his first political stance in a series of beautifully intercut flashbacks that set up visual cues for Jed’s present-day storyline and let the viewer really get to know the young Mrs. Landingham.And it culminates in a beautiful musical montage set to “Brothers in Arms”, regularly cited as the best moment in “Two Cathedrals”, itself regularly cited as one of the best episodes (if not the best) of The West Wing, one of the most critically-praised and awarded dramas of the late 1990s/early 2000s.

      ” title=”” rel=”nofollow”>

      More generally, songs (and montages using them) can perfectly convey a sense of a moment, better than any dialogue.

      We’re going to have to agree to disagree, as this is getting off-topic, but I will say that Aaron Sorkin has come to rely more and more on musical montages as the quality of his work has declined–he even set a montage in the Season 3 finale to Hallelujah–and not coincidentally critics are less and less impressed with him these days.

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    276. Sean C.:
      M,

      So I take it you don’t like “Two Cathedrals”, then?

      1. Post-death flashbacks to a character’s younger days to make us feel bad for that character or to establish a relationship between that character and the character mourning them is extraordinarily poor writing. If you wanted us to feel bad about the character’s death, they should have built up the relationship before, while the character was still alive; the “either Jed makes a speech to his wife about his memories of Ms. Landingham OR flashbacks” dichotomy you present is a false one. Instead of doing the work to provide that information and build up that backstory and rapport while the character was alive, Sorkin crammed it all into flashbacks after her death and put a few choice words into that character’s mouth to be relevant to the present episode. Bad writing. Emotion from those relationships needs to be earned.
      2. Musical montages are the canary in the coal mine for creative death, for the reasons I mentioned, and Sorkin’s are no exception. His increasing reliance on musical montages coincided with the decline in quality of his work over the course of TWW’s first four seasons. He’s finally having his “the emperor has no clothes” moment after the failure of Studio 60 and The Newsroom, even though critical enthusiasm towards TWW cooled considerably after his tone-deaf TWW 9/11 episode and his uneven showing in Season 3.
      3. Bartlet’s monologue where he curses God was embarrassing.
      4. The bar has risen so much for quality television in the last 15 years that TWW’s critical success at the time means little in the grand scheme of things. TWW would never get a look-in now except for acting awards, much like The Newsroom, which is more of the same (musical montages, poor writing, sexism, forced attempts at sentiment, etc.) being soundly mocked and largely ignored.

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    277. TheTouchOfFrost: Cersei doesn’t seem to have the same venom for Tyrion in the show as she does in the book. I mean after Joff died yes but she seems to have let it go a bit after Tywin’s death. At this point in the book she was borderline paranoid delusional about him thinking he was pulling the strings of everything that went against her.
      I’m really struggling to see how relevant a scene featuring a young Ned, Brandon and/or Robert would be. I think the show has already shown very well how much Robert obsessed over her so there’s no need for it for that purpose. Maybe to show the relationship between Ned and Lyanna and have her use the “promise me, Ned” line so it can be pulled out again at the ToJ so people get the connection? I honestly don’t know.
      I dunno. Everyone knew what happened with the Titanic but went to watch the film! I think there’s enough intrugue there around the characters that people care about in the show now and how they featured as well as Lyanna,Rhaegar and the Mad King (and to a lesser extent Arthur Dayne) spoken about but not fully explored. Plus there’s some very strong plot points to build it around. I’d love to see them have a crack at it. Better to try and not succeed than to not have tried at all!

      Cercei has always treated Tyrion with a certain amount of contempt. It basically start from the first episode when she tells Jaime to find Tyrion. Oberyn also tells Tyrion that story from when he was a baby, so she has basically always been against Tyrion. If the flashback that was shown included the Valonqar part of the prophesy it would have told us something about two, or even three if we include Jaime, major characters.
      Overall I honestly dont believe that the prophesy was necessary for the show at all.
      If they really wanted to include that prophesy then I think it would have better with the Valorqar part, but it really could have been even better if they had just left the prophesy out of the show. So I am actually agreeing. 🙂

      I do think that certain scenes can work well flashbacks, the TOJ would properly work well as a flashback. Or scenes that would really tell us more about a character. Or something that would be important to the overall story. Like some history on the White Walkers and the Children Of The Forrest, or perhaps the real story behind the Nights King. Or information about the Long Night and the Prince That Was Promised/ Azor Ahai.
      That is also why I give the example of Jon and Robb sparring or playing as boys (when Jon says he is the Lord of Winterfell and Robb tells him that he can never be the Lord of Winterfell because he is a bastard), now I think that would have been a much better flashback for season 5, when Stannis wanted to legitimize Jon.
      It would have been better because we have been told that it might not always be fun to be a bastard, but at the same time we have bastards such as Ramsay and the Sand Snakes who are running around having a ball of a time. So I think something like that might have added to Jon as a character.

      I agree that I find it hard to imagine what exactly would be so important or drive someone’s character development by having Ned and Brandon sparring as boys. I guess they can show Brandon’s more wolfish nature, but that would not really add much to the story. They could show Robert talking to Ned about liking his sister, but again that is something we know really well already.
      I do think showing Lyanna in a flashback might actually be more useful, because we dont really know that much about Lyanna in the show. From the show we basically only know that was a great beauty, on the show she sounds more like Sansa then Arya. To my knowledge they have never said that Lyanna looks like Arya, and they have never stated that her personality was a lot like Arya’s.
      So I think if they actually showed Lyanna and Ned sparring against each other with wooden swords it would really add something to the story.

      There are a lot of flashback scenes that they could do, that would add something to the story and the characters. But as with the Cercei example they shouldn’t do it in half measures. If they tell the TOJ story we shouldn’t for example wonder who the characters was after scenes are done. I guess this only shows how difficult it could be to add something like flashbacks productively.

      There are certainly a lot of interesting characters from Robert’s Rebellion. I would really love to know more about House Dayne, they are a really interesting House. I would also love to see some interactions between someone like Tywin and the Mad King, when Tywin was the hand of the King. And then of course Rheagar, Lyanna, Ned, Robert, Jon Arryn, Benjin ext. ext.
      I ve always liked the idea of a prequel for Robert’s Rebellion, but then when I really thought about it, I realized that it would be an incredibly tragic story.
      Robert wins and becomes the King, but he hates it, he and Cercei hate being married to each other, and he dies. All of the heroic figures like Arthur Dayne or Gerold Hightower dies. Lyanna and Rheagar dies. King Aerys dies and Rhaella is killed in childbirth, the Targaryen line is almost extinguished. Rheagar’s wife is raped and his small children brutally murdered. Ashara Dayne kills herself (according to what we know).
      Brandon and Richard Stark dies. Ned at least finds some happiness for a while but even so, he is always consumed with guilt, and still dies a traitors death.

      I can go on and on, it would really be a very tragic story to tell, which is fine, but I think the best stories has elements of both happiness and tragedy. But it would actually be really interesting to learn more about Rebellion. If they made it I would certainly watch it.

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    278. M: …

      The jury’s out on how further GOT flashbacks will fare in terms of enhancing the narrative, beyond assuring us that yes, Bran can see into the past. I’m not convinced in retrospect that the Maggi prophecy flashback added that much to the story, although it was worth it for Young Cersei’s acting alone (and I quite enjoyed Show Maggi).

      Bran’s story can’t be limited to the present, as he sees the past (and the present, and probably the future, too). He’s become a minor god, and is no longer limited by time. They’ll use him the way he is used in the novels, as a vehicle for freeing the narrative from the present.

      I don’t expect a lot of flashbacks, as they need to move on to Winter. However, I think they need an acid trip of a ToJ flashback, as it’s obviously important and could be a gorgeous visual, and possibly a short flashback to Lyanna and Ned playing with swords as children, to involve us in the family dynamic and Lyanna’s story. Rhaegar, Harrenhal are all (imo) unnecessary, if the point is to divulge, slowly, that r+l=j.

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    279. Okay something funny happened. I kept looking at the casting breakdowns and trying to figure out the deal with the boys, which was which etc and something was off. I’m 100% positive Sebastian Croft is our young Sean Bean, the source is fantastic. But I think the casting breakdown itself was flawed and that’s why I made an incorrect assumption. So I went back and asked for the complete casting breakdowns again with all the little details, just in case we missed something.

      I think I know what happened. Ned is the TWELVE-year-old on the list, not the 7 year old. The show’s casting people just fucked up and thought Sean Bean had blue eyes instead of green.

      You know who else has striking green eyes, a narrow face and on GoT, had dark brown hair? Joseph Mawle. Benjen is about four years younger than Ned. Some have guessed Littlefinger, the age is right, but then Aidan Gillen’s eyes are very blue. Of course…the casting people probably aren’t great at distinguishing between blue and green eyes and it’s not that big a deal onscreen.

      Anyway, I’m sorry for the confusion! Here’s the complete unedited writeup for all three boys.

      Large Boy (Male, 10 – 12)
      Aged 10-12 but plays as younger – a clever boy who seems too large for his character’s age of 7-8 years old. An unusually big young boy – not fat – but remarkably tall and physically powerful for his age. We need characterful squat features.
      This is a terrific part in this new season. It’s a complicated part with great acting demands. A one-off acting opportunity for a very smart and talented boy of an unusual physical type.
      ———-
      Boy Aged 12 (Male, 12)
      Brown hair and blue eyes. This is a great part for a 12 year old boy. We need a Northern accent, very grounded and physical and who you can instantly see has great heart and soul. He has scenes where he has to spar with a wooden sword so physical skills are important.
      A very good and memorable new part being introduced in this season.
      ——————-
      Boy Aged 7 (Male, 7)
      Aged 7 with dark brown hair, a narrow face and striking green eyes. Northern accent required. Athletic and charismatic. He has scenes where he has to spar with a wooden sword so physical skills are important.
      A good new part for a sparky and talented young boy being introduced this season

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    280. I admit I am not a book expert, I just heavily invested in the wiki and youtube videos because it keeps my attention more. But I dont understand how 13 year old Ned would lead to a tower of joy scene or a scene revealing who Jons parents are. Ned was much older during the war and when he made the promise to Lyanna, right? Wouldnt we want a mid 20s Ned, going to the Tower of Joy and fighting Arthur Dayne?

      Please someone help me understand why 13 year old Ned is important and what that could mean lolol

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    281. M,

      You must not enjoy many films or TV shows if you don’t like voiceover, montages or use of music, or flashbacks. I can’t think of many works that don’t use one or more of those. And I still don’t see how, if voiceover is a no-no because it’s a visual medium, montages and flashbacks, which are an innovation especially suited to visual storytelling, are not allowed.

      Stephen,

      It has nothing to do with the Tower of Joy. It’s unclear what the point of this separate scene will be (it may be a comparatively mundane moment to establish how Bran’s powers work, though given that the role of Ned is described as “a very good and memorable new part”, there’s probably something notable happening).

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    282. Sue the Fury,

      The way I read them is the last two are being introduced and will carry over to future seasons, the first is a one time role for this season only. If true we might not have ToJ this season after all and they will build slowly to it, if the boys will also film scenes in seven.

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    283. Boudica: If the flashback that was shown included the Valonqar part of the prophesy it would have told us something about two, or even three if we include Jaime, major characters.

      Ah, but it was too early to do that, as nothing comes of that part of the Prophecy this year. The part that was shown provided us with two key things about Cersei. One, it was her motivation for going after Margaery: she wasn’t just Pink’s Mother, she had a personal warning that someone like Margaery was going to be her downfall and take away everything that Cersei loved. At this point, that is her son and her crown. Two, it showed us that Child-Cersei and Adult-Cersei are largely one and the same. Like all of the other lead characters, she is in a position where she needs to evolve to keep up with what is happening around her: but because she does not do so, she fails spectacularly. (Of course, those characters that do evolve to keep up with what is around them – Jon, Daeny, Arya, Theon, Sansa, Jaime, Tyrion – also all fail to varying degrees; they, however, might have much more salvageable wreckage than Cersei has!)

      So, here is the big question to which none of us have the answer: when is Cersei’s Little Brother going to snuff her? My bet is that Cersei will snuff it in Season 7: it might be very difficult to get Lena Headey back for an 8th season, and Cersei’s fall will probably precede the big climax. Regardless of whether it is this year or next (or the year after), the time to show that part of the Prophecy is early in that season. Showing it this year would have been bad TV (gun hung early but not fired late!) and relying heavily on something shown in prior seasons would be bad TV (gun fired late that wasn’t hung in recent memory: and, yes, most of the viewers do have better things to do with their memory than story GoT trivia!).

      This does not mean that they will ever show it: but it does mean that we never should have expected to see it last year.

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    284. ToJ has nothing to do with these boys, anyway you cut it.

      This is like the scene with the

      kids sparring in the godswood that Bran sees in ADWD.

      The Legendary Fighter description on the casting breakdown list that is pretty blatantly Arthur Dayne does point to ToJ, I would guess. Not a guarantee, of course.

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    285. Rebecca,

      Those were fake.

      Wimsey,

      The valonqar is actually important in AFFC. It’s a huge part of Cersei’s escalating paranoia (something the show largely cut). But regardless, given the way the show handled that flashback, I don’t expect it will ever be shown, but the reason is, I expect, because the answer is so obvious that the writers don’t want to give it away, given the premium they generally place on shock twists.

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    286. Not to worry, Sue. I could happen to anyone. Casting so many children at once and fans’ inevitable guessing as to scene and characters is, well, confusing. I must admit that “heart and soul” sounds like Ned. After a quick look at some Season 1 scenes, IMHO Ned’s eyes are grey. Thank you for clearing this up.

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    287. mau,

      Why does it need to? The mystery around it is what’s keeping it fresh in people’s minds. If they explained what was happening then left it then people would care less than if they left it as a cliffhanger. It makes people keener to return to BRan’s story as they want to know what exactly was happening.

      I liked the book version of Brienne just fine. She was naive but stubborn and I like how meeting Jaime made her think about the concept of honour. All that has been abandoned by the show to make superwoman. Maidenpool would have explored her upbringing and the stuff she had to face growing up…much better than the crappy Renly was kind to me so I followed him like a puppy rubbish.
      And if Sansa was taken from Brienne by the Boltons he could go to KL to use the incident as a way to play the two sides off against eachother…exactly what he’s doing now. Again, if he is to do that with the Vale then it makes sense him going back to the Vale. Not sure what you’re arguing here?
      The Lannisters are a spent force. They’ve not got any gold left in their mines, Tywin is dead, Cersei is inept and on trial, Jaime is disillusioned and Tyrion is gone

      (Kevan…well I won’t say). The Tyrells are pretty useless in wars and only provide resources. Euron is a loose cannon, The WW won’t factor into the tussle for the throne as that’s not their goal. Dorne would be much better as an antagonist than an ally. Why is it bad storytelling when it’s a continuation of a theme running through everything about the books. The Dance of Dragons. Ultimate Enemy is too comic booky. Things aren’t that black and white in GoT.
      Why not!? Also, at this point YG deserves it more, mainly because he’s actually going for it instead of fannying about in Slaver’s Bay or Vale Dothrak now…Dany’s development actually appears to be regresing at this point.
      Well, not really seeing as Jon is not legitamised (or even confirmed to be of the same bloodline at this point!) and even if he was he’s younger than Aegon.
      How on earth do we know the main purpose of his training?!

      Boudica,

      Have to see with the flashbacks. Must say the Arhtur Dayne one worries me more. Honestly don’t see the relevance of him being in a flashback. The fighting outside the ToJ serves no purpose as the viewers don’t know who any but 1 of the characters are. A scene that epics needs to be done justice with the viewer caring who’s fighting and why. Personally hope that he’s been cast for a Jaime flashback where he’s knighted after the battle with the Kingswood Brotherhood. Could be scene setter for the subject of his honour that may be explored after his distancing from Cersei. We shall see.
      When has GoT ever been that uplifting?! 😛 Depending on how they play it some more rousing moments could be Robert winning battles and defeating Rhaegar, Jaime killing the Mad King (And then hunting down the pyromancers), Ned returning home, Dany and Viserys escaping Stannis. Davos getting supplies through to Storm’s End, Barrsiten being spared at the Trident, the wins in battle, Ned and Cat’s wedding, the tourney at Harrenhal ( Rhaegar making Lyanna queen, Lyanna stopping Howland Reed being bullied ), a possible romance between Rhegar and Lyanna? Plus sprinkle the dark humour of the show over it and you’re golden! 😛

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    288. Sue the Fury,

      I dunno. Surely another Ned Stark and other members of the KG would have to be cast? Plus I’m not sure why the fight outside would have any relevance to the story in the show?
      Could be Arthur Dayne during the Kingswood Brotherhood incident after which he knighted Jaime? Would explain why they need an expert swordsman as opposed to an actor although I guess they’d need to cast a young Jaime too. It’s all very mysterious.

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    289. TheTouchOfFrost,

      He could be some other legendary fighter, it’s true. It’s just the stuff about being “a legendary swordsman and a paragon of knighthood,” “a hugely famous sword on his back” and being a fighting legend. it’s all very specific. It’s like big flashing lights Arthur Dayne fight scene and what other one matters but the Tower of Joy? The other KG there could just be regular stuntmen.

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