Emmys 2019 – The Final Game of Thrones Emmys Roundup

Tyrion Peter DInklage

Emmys season has come and gone, and the long night has finally broken on Game of Thrones.  Yes, it tied its 12 Emmy record, falling one win shy of what would have been its own broken record. But we all know the true fun is the friends it made along the way. While the Emmys are traditionally supposed to celebrate ALL of TV, more often than not the Emmys have increasingly seemed like TV is GOT‘s space, and everyone else is just here to play. 2019 was no exception, with all the nominated cast members getting to make a grand entrance on stage, as a spoiler-filled tribute to the show displayed for the stars in the room and the fans at home. Yes, it was a memorable Emmys indeed, capped only by Michael Douglas’ bemusing smirk as he revealed to the millions of petition-signing whingers that yes, GOT is the king, and if you come at the king, you best not miss. So, what else went down?

On the Red Carpet, Kim Renfro did a deep dive with Liam Cunningham (Ser Davos Seaworth, Lord of Ships, née Onion Knight) and Isaac Hempstead-Wright (King Bran the Broken, née Three-Eyed Raven). Reporting for Insider, she got some good feedback from them, when asked about the worst fan theory they ever heard during filming:

Isaac Hempstead Wright: That f—— Bran is the Night King. [Cunningham looked surprised at the use of a swear word.] This isn’t live! Is it?

Kim Renfro: No, but it is being recorded.

Isaac Hempstead Wright: Well, you can bleep that out.

I really like the way they handled this question about the largely disliked (though not by me) ending:

Kim Renfro: What is one thing you would hope fans take away from the final season of “Game of Thrones”?

Liam Cunningham: That we all collectively did our best to try and tell this gorgeous story, and we took people on a journey with us. I think we achieved that. And hopefully it raised people’s expectations for future shows. If we raised the bar of quality for storytelling, we’ll have done some good.

Isaac Hempstead Wright: I think just a sense of how to finish a story well. We did a very noble thing, which is to end it on a high with only six episodes when we could have dragged it on for 10 more seasons and everyone would have watched it and it would have been fine — but I think it’s a real lesson in quitting while you’re ahead.

Liam Cunningham: “Always leave ’em wanting more” is an old showbiz epithet.

Check out the rest of her interview for some really good soundbites, including the TV shows they’re keeping up with these days.

Meanwhile, Jimmy Kimmel’s right-hand man, Guillermo had a ‘back to back’ with our very own Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Ser Jaime Lannister, Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, one-time right hand-haver). Skip to 4:32 to see his one-on-one:

And lastly, though it isn’t really the Emmys, the transcript from an interview with series creators David Benioff and Dan Weiss on a trip to Japan was just released. While they revisit lots of stuff we already know (Peter Dinklage was the person they imagined from the get go, etc.), there are still some great quotes there, including their thoughts on how characters must be changed in adaptation:

“Movies aren’t television shows, and books aren’t television shows,” Dan says. “They’re different mediums, and there are different… I don’t want to say rules, but different requirements that each one brings to the table and different things a novel can achieve that no television show can achieve. I mean one of this is that you can have a lot more characters in a novel and find ways to keep track of those characters. I think our show was at the absolute limit for how many characters you can have in a show and still have it make sense.”

“[T]hat said, there are far fewer characters in the show than there are in the books, so the show itself kind of represents a compression, a condensation, of the number of characters in the book. So when you pull characters out, the story has to change accordingly because that person that was important to this plotline isn’t there anymore, so you have to figure out a different way to tell that story that stays true to the spirit of the story, minus some of the characters from the book. So I would say that just making it viable and workable on television required a lot of those changes. But we knew that, we’d read the first four books by the time we started and we knew by the time we got to book four you had more story than we could do justice to even in 10 hours a season.”

What other good quotes can you find? It was a pretty long interview, and definitely worth the read. I hope you all enjoyed the Emmys as much as I did!

312 responses

Jump to (and Always Support) the Bottom

    1. Congrats to Peter! Though, I admit that I would’ve preferred to see the accolades spread out more among the cast. Peter isn’t the only one who deserved an Emmy, but such is life.

      Maybe he bribed the Emmy voters by telling them the punchline to the jackass and honeycomb joke?

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    2. I’ve mourned, processed and watched that finale over 10x since it aired. Was it the ending I wanted? No, but admittedly, I wanted Jon and Dany to end up (at least for a time) as Westeros’ #1 powercouple, even though I had prepared myself for a tragic ending. However, I understood the ending even if it broke my heart. It was totally Greek tragedy territory.

      My biggest gripe that still stands true was that it was rushed and the writing was too pedestrian. If the writing had been stronger, most of it would have made better sense to the average viewer. Like:

      At the end of the day Jaime was always going back to Cersei, even though they had a toxic relationship. She was not just the love of his life and mother of his children, but also family and his twin sister. He was not about to stay behind without seeing her one last time before she died. Even family who have fallen out with each other would probably go see someone they knew was about to die one last time and make some kind of amends.

      Bran: The way the script went said that he had the “best story”. What he actually had was the best knowledge on everybody’s stories, aka, history. Knowing history helps not repeating it. That was his strength and also that he would rule with logic and reason over emotion, family legacy, or religious fanaticism, etc

      Dany. Sigh. She wasn’t mad at the end. Just too jaded, cynical and arrogant and no one around to check her worst impulses. They needed to play up her relationship with Jon more. We were cheated out of their more intimate moments between them which would have made him having to kill her even more heart-wrenching, and more of him wrestling with the revelation of his parentage and what it meant.

      Still, the show was the best show on TV. Even that last season, while not being up to par with itself in previous seasons, nothing else came close. I have never been so invested in a show the was I was with GoT. Damn I miss this show and the characters so much!!!

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    3. Mr Derp,

      ”…Maybe he bribed the Emmy voters by telling them the punchline to the jackass and honeycomb joke?”

      ———
      I thought you were going to say Tyrion extorted the Golden Company to withhold the elephants by threatening to delay their gold payment.

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    4. Th writer used the quote from the Wire…you know it, if you come at the king you best not miss.

      The Wire did not receive a single Emmy….ever! It was never rewarded with a Best Drama prize. It was never even nominated for a Best Drama prize.
      Yet it is one of the finest series (maybe the finest) ever seen on TV.

      It tells us to be careful about the meaning of the Emmy, right?

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    5. In contrast, the TV Critics Association nominated the Wire for 4 of its 5 season as Best Drama and Program of the Year. It also won awards from critics, directors and writers associations.

      Emmy? Not a even single nomination as Best Drama. None.

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    6. mau:
      Once Blu rays/DVD are out that would truly feel like it’s over forever.

      That occurred to me too :/ It makes me super sad. I began watching this show in 2011 when I was doing my college internship in the Netherlands and who could believe then what a phenomenon it’d become. Time goes by way, way, way too fast.

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    7. That interview with Benioff and Weiss is really great. And really long lol. You shoud’ve made separate article about it IMO.

      They talk about how they met, their education, family, their first script together, about writing GoT, changes from the books, Emmys, GRRM and so on.

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    8. mau:
      That interview with Benioff and Weiss is really great. And really long lol. You shoud’ve made separate article about it IMO.

      They talk about how they met, their education, family, their first script together, about writing GoT, changes from the books, Emmys, GRRM and so on.

      I think there was an article on WotW about it. I’m pretty sure this was the same Japan interview… This was a pretty active thread too with 376 comments…
      https://watchersonthewall.com/game-thrones-showrunners-benioff-weiss-give-rare-post-season-8-interview/

      Mango:
      In contrast, the TV Critics Association nominated the Wire for 4 of its 5 season as Best Drama and Program of the Year. It also won awards from critics, directors and writers associations.

      Emmy? Not a even single nomination as Best Drama. None.

      David said the same thing as you about the Wire… Here’s a quote from the Japan interview about the Wire… I’m not sure if you read this before posting yours, but you seem to agree with David on this one!
      David says…

      “…So that morning just to wake up and see the news about all the nominations it made us really happy, and there’s a part of it that’s kind of ridiculous because some of the greatest shows of all time have never won an Emmy (The Wire) is maybe the greatest show in history and I don’t think it ever won a single Emmy, so you can’t take it too seriously, but on the other hand it’s hard to deny how happy it made me to see all these people getting honored.”

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    9. mau,

      Thank’s for your post though. I’m not sure if I read the full article the last time, and it really does have lots of interesting quotes. I read the part you mentioned about changes from the books. Without going into specifics, there was one Arya/Hound scene that in the books included a whole town and on the show just had two characters involved, and I thought it was actually stronger and more memorable in the show. D&D really did a great job with the adaptation. The issues all came after the source material was gone, and to me they did the best they could do to make a great TV show with the outline or whatever other guidance they may have been given by GRRM. I probably said this in the other thread too, but I feel this way even stronger now as I continue my book journey… I do wish they would have used LSH though..I’m just into that part now… Part could have been they stayed away from the magical elements….. here’s one short thing that was magical in the books but was done a different way in the show…

      Sam and Gilly help Bran and friends get beyond the wall a different way in the books (and the time line was all different, which I think really was a great D&D change for the drama of the show btw). There is a magical gate at the bottom of the well that was in the Tower where Bran and friends held up. It only opens to someone from the Night’s Watch. It was a magic gate that had to see it was someone from the Nights Watch in front of it (Kind of like face recognition!) and the NW person had to say their vow to enter. The gate spoke and then opened once it knew Sam was a NW brother. The gate let them through to the other side of the wall… That was cool!!! I just like the magic, and D&D not so much. But D&D made some really great decisions to help with the drama of the TV show, such as changing the timing of when Sam and Gilly return to castle black. BTW, I haven’t heard back from the forum folks to activate my account. I sent a request to the contact form too. This is what happened last year and I may have tried the year before too. Until I get activated, I’ll add a few comments here and there when they fit with the thread. I’ll try not to jump off topic too much

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    10. Tron79,

      these are not same inteviews, just on the same day inteviews in Japan on August 15. They came to Tokyo for promoting S8 Blu-ray/DVD box set. This interview was done by web radio station Block FM, and 1st one by satellite TV company Star Channnel which is broadcasting GOT in Japan. And another a copple of interviews were released by Japanese web sight and movie magazine, unfortunately those were in only Japanese language.

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    11. Tron79:
      mau,
      I do wish they would have used LSH though..I’m just into that part now…Part could have been they stayed away from the magical elements….. here’s one short thing that was magical in the books but was done a different way in the show…

      I think omitting LSH was in part because they didn’t want to diminish Jon’s resurrection.

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    12. Shiela B,

      Aha! I guess they were busy in Japan!
      Even though I don’t collect DVDs I may need to think about these. I am wondering how the Blu-ray quality will compare to my amazon prime HD copy of The Long Night (and other episodes too) . I do have a blu Ray player. It gathers dust nowadays but I wonder what it will look like.

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    13. Young Dragon: I think omitting LSH was in part because they didn’t want to diminish Jon’s resurrection.

      That could be.

      Going with your thought the books also get into warging into other people and animals as a way of resurrection. The prologue of Dance of Dragons follows sixskins and how he is thinking about resurrecting himself in various animals and people as he is dying. So maybe d&d decided to only touch on warging and left out that Jon could warg for the reason you mentioned.

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    14. Tron79,

      I’m Japanese in Japan. I heard there are no video rental shop in the U.S. (and UK too?) now, but in Japan there are still many rental shop. And next week on October 2, they start to rent S8 Blu-rays, so I’m really looking for to watching the Long Night on Blu-ray.

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    15. Tron79,

      Yes, I think we can all guess what Jon will be doing in Winds.

      LSH, Sansa and Dorne are the major missteps for me in the show. I really wish they had followed the books. Dorne not so much, it’s a tough one, because it bored me senseless in AFFC, but it was still better than what we got in the show, imagine wasting Jaime on that…. if they could go back in time, I bet they would cut it entirely, it went nowhere without fAegon. I also wonder if, instead of Arya killing the Frey’s, she is the one to kill LSH in the end after Jaime/Brienne escape (or die, who knows).

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    16. Shiela B:
      Tron79,

      I’m Japanese in Japan. I heard there are no video rental shop in the U.S. (and UK too?) now, but in Japan there are still many rental shop. And next week on October 2, they start to rent S8 Blu-rays, so I’m really looking for to watching the Long Night on Blu-ray.

      Yes. I actually used to like browsing through those old video shops (Blockbuster was the big one, but before that there were a ton of little neighborhood shops). I think there are still vending machines (redbox?) around in grocery stores, but I’ve never used one… I’m not an expert on comparing video qualities, but I’m guessing blu ray DVD would still be better than any streaming service, but maybe not with the newer quality options… I have all of the episodes on Amazon Prime, which look great to me, but let me know what you think of the Blu Ray and how different The Long Night looks to you…if any different…

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    17. Tron79,

      I liked that scene in the books. And as you state the changing of the timeline was a smart move on D&D part when it came to this.

      But I think the way the books did the Jaime returning to the capital was much better then the show counterpart. At least for me.It literally
      fucked some scenes up.

      mau,
      He’s going with the boiled Leathers. So he will finish Feast and Dance almost at the same time.

      And I disagree with you on this. Being more true to the story of Dance and Feast would maybe have added 5 episodes and if they wanted to go overboard they could have gone with 10 episodes. And I think in the end it would have helped the show a lot. They still could have added their D&D twist, but we wouldn’t have gotten that boring Sandsnakes of the show, or a much more interesting Euron. It would have helped on all fronts. Don’t forget Griff and why he is important for the endgame, it would have saved the hate that people had for the turn of Dany.

      How many minutes I think roughly was more needed to have a more fateful adaption.
      Dorne+Quentyn: 50 minutes.
      Iron Islands: 30 min.
      Sam: 20 minutes.
      Tyrion/Griff: 30 minutes.
      Dany: 10 minutes.
      Jon/Stannis/Theon: 20 minutes max
      Sansa: If she would have had her book storyline 30 minutes max
      Bran: 30 minutes max
      Arya: 20 minutes extra needed to explain the Faceless Man better
      Davos: 30 minutes max not even a second more. (Still glad the change D&D made with this one)
      Cersei and Jaime: 60 minutes max and I think that’s even an big exaggeration.
      If I’m right I have stated every single storyline from Feast and Dance which characters it concern. That means roughly 330 minutes max that’s around 5/7 episodes.

      Round that up. It’s max 7 episodes more for the story that we saw till 6×10. And stating that the show would never have been finished is so wrong as I have shown above. Let’s say put another 6 episodes in for the complains of season 7 and 8. That would have mean, being more consistent with the books would have mean adding roughly 13 episodes. Meaning that it could have ended with a 10 episode season 7 and 8 and a 6 episode season 9.

      Still I’m very happy with what D&D brought to us. It’s not easy to making decisions like that. especially with a big show like GoT. Questions like: Which characters are we going to give a full storyline this season and which is stretched over 2 seasons, will the fans like a 2 season storyline? Can we have certain characters only in half a season or less? Where do we cut every storyline? Are we going to show that scene this season or the next? This scene needs to end at the end of a season, but that means we need to cut scenes, or do we go with having it in a part of a season that doesn’t make sense. And other decisions. For instance Arya’s season 3 story is bigger in the books but it needed to be cut because the Red Wedding needed to happen in that season.

      So I have all the respect for D&D but still I wish they would have been more true to Feast of Dance. It would maybe feel less exiting at the moment and frustrating when season 5 ends halfway through a storyline or having the feeling that your known heroes wasn’t shown enough, but I think it would helped in the long run for the show when it comes to consistency.

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    18. kevin1989,

      I think I will make an account at the forum this week. I would love to give my thoughts and ideas. That’s not meant for “I know better than D&D” because I don’t. But I always like thinking about stuff like that. And being busy with GoT.

      Young Dragon: I think omitting LSH was in part because they didn’t want to diminish Jon’s resurrection.

      That was not the reason, they already stated the reason why they omitted her.

      Because they didn’t want to bring Michelle Fairly back to only be playing a half-zombie character. And I can see why they did that. And I think the second part was that they didn’t know what the idea behind that whole storyline was, GRRM has probably an amazing idea that he kept for himself, so better omit it and than put a storyline to screen that doesn’t make sense in the end and that they needed to make a deux-ex-machina ending for it

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    19. Young Dragon,

      kevin1989,

      I’m not really sure what the reasoning was, but both of your explanations make sense. The only quibble I have is that Jon’s resurrection was already downplayed as much as possible on the show, so I’d be a bit surprised if the reason why they left out LSH was ultimately to keep Jon’s resurrection more significant.

      In the end, Jon’s resurrection really turned out to be a big nothingburger. It was just a plot device to get him out of the NW and had no lasting impact on anything.

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    20. Here’s Alex Graves’ explanation :

      They [showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss] have such a challenge adapting the books into a really focused television experience. It’s very hard, it’s very complicated, it’s much harder then they’ve been given credit for, I think — and they do a brilliant job. But to bring back Michelle Fairley, one of the greatest actresses around, to be a zombie for a little while — and just kill people? It is really sort of, what are we doing with that? How does it play into the whole story in a way that we’re really going to like? It just didn’t end up being a part of what was going to happen this season. And finally one [more] reason: In case you didn’t notice, a lot happens this season … To add that in is something they opted out of.

      The only problem is that Alex isn’t particularly reliable. He stated in the same article that the Hound was dead and would not be coming back, so ymmv. Perhaps D&D just didn’t want to reveal to anyone that he would be back in season 6 to keep it a secret. Or maybe they just weren’t sure yet themselves.

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    21. mau:
      Tron79,

      I think once you get to AFFC you will really appreciate what D&D did in order to save the story from never being finished.

      I definitely agree on that. While I was able to re-read books 1, 2 and 3 this year, I couldn’t get past a couple book 4 chapters. I have no desire to ever read either of those two again. S5 is such an improvement entertainment-wise for me. I can’t think of any stuff from book 4 and 5 that I would wish was on screen but wasn’t. I really can’t.

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    22. kevin1989,

      And whar would be the climax for S5 then if they “faithfully adapted” AFFC and ADWD? Nothing. That’s the answer. Nothing. What would be some exciting scenes during S5? ALso nothing in my opinion. It would be dreadful in my opinion. I know my already big disdain for books 4 and 5 got multiplied by 10 after watching S5. I started honestly wondering how was I able to tolerate those two books in first place. Sorry, but I really can’t see a faithful adaptation of AFFC and ADWD as anything else but terrible. The only bit I may have liked better is if Kingsmoot was a bit more grand but it pretty much ends there.

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    23. Mr Derp,

      I think the last part. D&D don’t like bringing back dead people. So maybe they were still deciding if they will bring him back. Luckily they did.

      And I think it’s also what you talk about before a new season. Sandor was never into play in season 5 so it make sense that D&D were like in talk about the storylines for season 6 that Sandor was death (probably told Graves in 4×10).but lsh needed to be addressed already in that season.

      Was Graves in season 6 can’t remember? Did he work in that season?

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    24. I loved the way they wove in the gravedigger reference for the Hound (of course it isn’t overtly stated in the book that he is the gravedigger, but heavily implied) and also Septon Meribald in the shape of Brother Ray. I can’t understand why they didn’t give him more of the Broken Man speech though.

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    25. Lord Parramandas,

      I think the question is what’s more important. Having a big climax for every character in season 5 or a season 5 that didn’t really have a climax but did have the best set up for the rest of the seasons. I would go for the later. I didn’t have a single problem with what D&D did with their stories. And I found every episode amazing myself. But storywise season 5 should have been a 15 episode season. (or maybe even lower if they would have had some scenes from feast and dance in season 4 like brienne more like that in season 4). I will tell in a next comment how I would have done it or I wait for the forum still deciding.

      But as for season 5. Season 5 doesn’t have a climax. It has cliffhangers. The climax is in season 6 not 5. Where all those storylines had their climax. I would say that only cersei had her climax in season 5 and Jon. The rest were all cliffhangers that waited for the climax to happen the next season.

      And as for feast and dance. When reading those 2 books seperately I didn’t really like feast but dance. But when I read them combined. I prefer boiled leathers of the first 3 books. The only thing I didn’t like was

      having dorne and iron island told by too many characters. For me those storylines should have been told through Arianne only in dorne. And for iron island only through the eyes of Asha. And after the kingsmood victorion.

      And I really think D&D could have pulled off a masterfully extended season 5 with all those storylines being told to the fullest. They would have transformed those storylines to something that was just perfect. But unfortunately they had to work with 2 things. 1. HBO wouldn’t grant them more time between season back then and more money for more episodes. And 2. George wasn’t open about his plans for every character. He told them bullet points but he didn’t tell his plan to get to those bullet points.
      But what D&D did under those circumstances was brilliant. They puzzled their way to the best possible way those stories could be told with what they got and for me it worked brilliantly.

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    26. Kevin1989,

      Sorry but if I’m given a choice between exciting 10-episode season or two dragging seasons without any thrill, I’ll pick first option over and over again. Entertainment and thrill is my by far most important thing when I watch any TV show. And S5 had it over and over again for me, while books 4 and 5 had absolutely zero for me. I know I regret spending the 80 euros on both books as now they only occupy space here and I know I’ll never read them again. Envisioning anything remotely similar to those two books is just dreadful in my eyes and I realized when I couldn’t get past chapter 5 when I tried to re-read them this year. I was like “I don’t care about this… I don’t care about that…” when I tried to read AFFC recently and then I just closed the book and I don’t think I’ll ever open this book again.

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    27. Mr Derp,

      “I’d be a bit surprised if the reason why they left out LSH was ultimately to keep Jon’s resurrection more significant.”

      Sorry to jump in, Mr Derp.

      I was surprised to see that David and Dan both studied literature in depth. I also found the method they worked with their scripts interesting, effective, and rewarding when they worked on existing material.
      That said, it seems to me that they restriced the thematology of ASOIAF to a bare minimum which focused on power. Without GOT being exactly a study on power and its use (it was much more that in the earlier seasons than the later ones), they turned it to an adventure (for lack of better word), suppressing most of the magical elements and the philosophy of ASOIAF.

      Lady Stoneheart is at the center of a story that figures Robb and Jon as foils to each other. What connects Robb and Jon in this is Catelyn’s distrust of Jon and the relationship they have with their sisters. Catelyn is justly suspicious of Jon, who she fears might rob her children of their inheritance (perfectly legitimate reason in a medieval context), while at the same time there is some bitterness and emotional pain for her husaband’s alleged betrayal.
      Robb doens’t give a [email protected]@@ about his sisters. I’m sorry to say this, I know Robb is treasured by many, but he refuses to trade Jamie with his sisters; the girls are captive in KL and he pursues his revenge (without ending, as taking KL wasn’t his goal) while his mother’s begging him to bring the girls back. When Robb decides to make Jon king in his will, his mother once again begs him to not ovelook the girls rights on WF.
      A little later, Jon is offered WF by Stannis. And Jon wants it; a lot. What does he say? “WF belongs to my sister Sansa”. And he insists on it despite Stannis’ efforts. So while he is despised by Catelyn, he is the most loyal to the Starks. Jon is ambitious in the book; but the choices he makes do not serve his ambitions. This is also in contrast to Theon. Catelyn experienced what a non-loyal almost-a-son could do, so she’s partly alive to see what a loyal but scorned loyal almost-a-son can do.
      In a way, discarding this story, and especially through it, the need of Jon to belong to the Starks, alters the ending to such a degree that even his final turn against Daenerys seems off and Tyrion’s speech was needed in 8.6 to put things in place. Changing it (in reality already seasons 2-3) changed the character of Jon in the show and prepared the road for him to become a plot device in Dany’s story, which was seasons 7 and 8, while all along the story was his (or at least half of it).

      (things like that convince me that the producers rather didn’t want to display the thematology in GOT, they only wanted the adventure and the shock)

      And of course Lady Stoneheart is connected to the Freys and Arya. We’ll see how that will go in the future books.

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    28. Kevin1989,

      I know I really didn’t like Breaking Bad first half of S4 because it was exactly that… pulling some veeeeeery slow set-up for last couple episodes without anything thrilling. So when I read comments “Breaking Bad S4 is perfect”, I was like “Are you serious?”. Having an increasingly long set-up just for a thrilling finale is something I never like.

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    29. Lord Parramandas,

      For me got works best when it does not focus on thrill. But on the build up. That’s always what I loved best. And I loved all seasons because of that. And I can see why every season ended they way it did. But I think season 5 would have benefitted if it would have been a 15 episode season. And I agree with you. 2 season of 10 would be too much. But for me build up is important. Which for me season 5 did short. (still amazing season). And if you look at the complains for instance about season 8 you see that those complains are rooted more from season 5. Not season 8.

      But I know from people around me who were on the side of season 1 till 4 are better then 5 till 8. When I tell them how feast and dance went for certain character they seem interesting when I talk about it. (unfortunately they don’t like reading).

      And I think if you want to know what I really mean with season 5 and onward. Look up David lindelof from lost what he tells about season 5. He had some major issues with season 5 and how those issues could have been avoided. And I’m with him on this.

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    30. Kevin1989,

      I do know that if I calculate rating average regarding my season ratings, S5 surpasses S1, S2 and S3 in my case. And if I check the episodes placements on my ranklist, they’re also generally higher than all those three seasons in my case. And I also know GoT is the only TV show out there where I’m entertained by every episode… exactly because of the thrill and many “big scenes” dispersed through entire seasons. The only two episodes from entire show that I can say don’t have anything memorable for me are “Lord Snow” and “The Prince of Winterfell”. Those are two episodes that are the most dull in my opinion and I feel adapting AFFC and ADWD would give a vibe very similar to these two episodes. I tolerate it as an isolated case, but I don’t tolerate it when more episodes compile like that. It becomes a snoozefest for me.

        Quote  Reply

    31. I wonder if LSH was adapted out because of the complexity this storyline may bring? Has anyone heard of The Grand Northern Conspiracy? Alt Shift X did a run-down on it a few years ago. LSH plays a pretty major part in it and R+L=J comes into play as, in this theory, it changes LSH’s mind about Jon.

      I don’t know if it’ll play out this way or if I really fully subscribe to it, it’s pretty involved, but it’s pretty interesting in any case 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    32. Lord Parramandas,

      Strange question. We both have lost as one of favorite TV shows. And I would have expected you to love build up. Because as lindelof already explained. Lost is a show about build up for a big moment later in the season. The first season plotwise let to the opening of the hatch. They even waited and stretched the opening of the hatch (14 episodes) because we needed to have that build up. That build up was was made that show so brilliant. And that’s also what got made so brilliant. The whole build up to the end of season 1 with Dany and her dragons. Ned’s death. Season 2 had 8 episode of build up to the battle of blackwater. And that build up was done amazingly. And that’s what I meant with build up with season 5. Having the essence what every storyline meant in feast and dance. Let D&D put their magic touch on it and transform that to an amazing build up. For instance my opinion is that the build up and ending of cersei in season 5 was done brilliantly from beginning to end. But Dany I found lacking. Her darkness should already have been more in the open. So I don’t meant build up for build up sake. But choosing necessary build up to make the ending even more worthwhile.

      Sorry for long post. And as I state before. I love all seasons, I found D&D brilliant and I’m happy what they did with it from beginning to end. But I think if D&D got 15 episodes from HBO for season 5 that they had put in every storyline from feast and dance with an amazing beginning middle end that is even better then what we got.

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    33. Kevin1989,

      And first three episodes of LOST S2 were so incredibly frustrating to me that I had to take multi-days break before continuing during my original watch in 2011. Identical thing happening during first couple episodes of S3… I started to get bored. I’m tolerant for build-up when it comes to S1 of some show because it’s a “prologue”, but then stakes need to be upped in my opinion. In LOST, S1 worked as a prologue in my opinion. But when it comes to S2, I only start actually enjoying it from episode 9 onwards.

      LOST is my favorite TV show overall, but compared to GoT, it has much lower scores if I calculate my rating average per seasons. And LOST being my favorite TV show has a lot to do with the period when I watched it and for our community on FB where I got to know my girlfriend and many amazing people. But recently, I started to worry if the show will feel “too tame” on rewatches for me.

        Quote  Reply

    34. Kevin1989,

      And another thing that makes LOST entertaining to watch and rewatch for me is that the show is heavily charged with mystery elements, adding automatic feeling of thrill through episodes.

        Quote  Reply

    35. Kevin1989: Strange question. We both have lost as one of favorite TV shows. And I would have expected you to love build up. Because as lindelof already explained. Lost is a show about build up for a big moment later in the season. The first season plotwise let to the opening of the hatch. They even waited and stretched the opening of the hatch (14 episodes) because we needed to have that build up. That build up was was made that show so brilliant.

      I agree. I remember the very moment Lost sucked me in — they climb that hill to get some reception on the walkie and all they get is this looped recording in French playing over and over and over and then Charlie’s all, “Guys…. WHERE ARE WE?”

      LOST TITLE CARD.

      That was a good time 🙂

      Lsh: gorgle gorgle gorgle.
      Jon: what did she say?
      One from brotherhood of banners: Jon snow, the king in the north.

      “gorgle gorgle gorgle” — that’s a visceral reminder if there ever was one! XD

      Also, Catelyn finding out about Jon’s parentage before he does! I’d kind of love that!

        Quote  Reply

    36. Lord Parramandas,

      Agree with you. But for me those slower episodes tend to work best on re-watch. And make the feeling with the characters stronger. At least for me. I’m currently on my rewatch and how many times I already shad a tear again with certain scenes. And same here got is above lost for me.

      But what I meant with more from feast and dance I don’t mean include penny or sometime. Please not on TV screen. But I wish that instead of the sandsnakes we would have gotten one strong woman Arianne trying to crown king and lose. Having 2 or 3 amazing scenes spread out over 3 episodes. It would have taken less screenrime than what we got in season 5 for them. And having the season end with fire and blood from dorans mouth. And I think season 5 should only have been the set up for those storylines. And what I for instance meant was when I read the stoneman chapter from tyrion in the books I was so into it. The spookyness and I though if this was on screen, people would be horrifying. Having them pass on a river with steam coming from the water. Having a horrorvibe that mirror the white walkers. Having the stonemen feeling like they were a real danger. And also that passing the same part 2 times like some sort of magic was involved. I saw it before me how it would look on screen. And then we got the deal on screen and it was for me a let down when it was only one Stoneman and the scene didn’t even feel horrifying. And I wish those amazing scenes were put on screen. And not the sandsnakes and best pussy line from them.

      It’s not that I blame them for not including it. Or that I think what we got was not good enough. I just wish that certain things was adapted better. But for that grrm should have finished his books already.

        Quote  Reply

    37. Kevin1989,

      Arianne is cartoonish and almost cringey as a character to me. I take anything TV-Dorne over this book story. I see no strong woman in her… just a stereotypical seductress with a princess Jasmine outlook.

      As for stone men, I prefer TV version already because it’s happening in Valyria instead of some god-forsaken city that nobody ever heard of. And I prefer the TV version because it’s Jorah and not Jon Connington that gets infected (another character I never gave a sh*t about in books).

      As for LOST, while the impact generally gets stronger in my case, early S2 and early S3 get even more frustrating to me on rewatches. So not everything translates well on rewatches.

        Quote  Reply

    38. Lord Parramandas,

      Agree with you. I still love that show. But for me what lost made such an amazing show was the emotion behind the characters. Just like with got for me.

      Adrianacandle,

      Agree. I think build up can feel dragged. But sometimes also feel exciting and thrilling and mysterious. And I think lost and got and fringe for me fall under that category.

      That would be something. And I have a feeling she will give her life for Jon in the books. When she finally understands.

        Quote  Reply

    39. Lord Parramandas,

      I have to disagree. The sandsnakes were the most cartoonish on the show. Felt to me as the Charlie’s angles. 3 beautiful woman, who can fight. For me they didn’t have character I still don’t know who they are as a person. And they only cared for revenge and killing somebody. (even when in season 4 was stated that in dorne they wouldn’t kill innocent children). For me the book counterpart is much more interesting. Putting myrcella on the throne to dethrone her brother. Putting that cunning plan into action. It’s even in the name of the show the book plot. Game of thrones. Arianne had the brains. Only her father is smarter.which also I missed in the show. (if I remember correctly it was their plan for season 6 with Doran but they cut it because of time). Having it end all in a man who you think is weak becoming one of the most cunning and patience man in westeros. He can wait 17 years (how much in the books?) to execute his plan. It’s already very connected to the main storyline on many fronts.

      And for lost for me it’s the other way around. I care more for the smaller scenes then the big ones. The plot I have watched unfold. But the character moment can make me feel again. Laugh, crying, feel loved etc. The moment Bernard ask for rose my eyes were wed again. Or when Desmond read Penny’s letter. Which is even my favorite scene of the whole show. Every time I watch it it gets to me.

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    40. I will write what I wish would have happen with feast and dance tomorrow. Need to have some sleep now.

      Lord Parramandas,

      By the way. I really miss your imput the last couple of months. So I hope we have a lot of talk here with you again 😀

        Quote  Reply

    41. Kevin1989,

      I know I cringed at literally every Arianne chapter… and that was even before I watched S5. I’m actually thankful I didn’t go back to reading book 4 again… who knows to what extent I would cringe now.

        Quote  Reply

    42. Kevin1989,

      Regarding LOST, I generally appreciate smaller scenes of the characters that are dear to me. But sadly, not everyone are and there are some plot elements and storytellings that started to incresingly bother me in LOST, as I watched some more TV shows since then. But overall, LOST rewatches still get more enriching to me.

        Quote  Reply

    43. Lord Parramandas,

      I think it’s also due because we have watched that show so many times. We know it by heart and every scene. That we long for something else.

      But sometimes I miss the good old times with TV shows. Where we had lost and some other great shows and that was it. You had maybe 2 of 3 episodes of TV show per week because more was not airing. And you talked a lot about it. Now with a that bingewatch and having 100 series that are almost the same. And you watch a season per 2 days. I prefer 10 years ago.

      I don’t know if others understand what I mean or even have the same feeling about it.

        Quote  Reply

    44. Kevin1989: Agree. I think build up can feel dragged. But sometimes also feel exciting and thrilling and mysterious. And I think lost and got and fringe for me fall under that category.

      Yup! I remember the theory crafting then too with Lost! It was really fun to try and fit those various puzzle pieces together 🙂 Did we ever get an answer to the polar bear?

      That would be something. And I have a feeling she will give her life for Jon in the books. When she finally understands.

      Something I’ve always wanted was to find out Catelyn’s reaction. LSH isn’t really Catelyn anymore but I am super super curious how that will come about, it if it does. I really hope it happens.

        Quote  Reply

    45. Kevin1989,

      Well in span of 8 years, I watched it three times overall with my 4th journey being on horizon. And I’m very strict on watching every TV show one episode a day (my preferred pace). I’m indeed worried LOST would feel too tame for me now but I hope I’m wrong and that the special feelings will return due to waiting for 2+ years.

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    46. Grandmaester Flash:
      I loved the way they wove in the gravedigger reference for the Hound (of course it isn’t overtly stated in the book that he is the gravedigger, but heavily implied) and also Septon Meribald in the shape of Brother Ray.I can’t understand why they didn’t give him more of the Broken Man speech though.

      I know! The “Broken Man” speech is one of a handful of books passages I’ve read, and I thought it was masterful. I cannot fathom why the show didn’t adapt it verbatim. Brother Ray’s version was nowhere nearly as powerful. Moreover, I am not a fan of the director of S6e7.

      Nevertheless…
      The cold open of that limping villager carrying a log by himself, unloading it, and then turning around to face the camera was nirvana for a Sandorphile like me.
      🐶 🐓
      🐓🐓
      🐓🐓🐓🐓🐓

        Quote  Reply

    47. Efi,

      ”…A little later, Jon is offered WF by Stannis. And Jon wants it; a lot. What does he say? “WF belongs to my sister Sansa”. And he insists on it despite Stannis’ efforts. So while he is despised by Catelyn, he is the most loyal to the Starks.”

      ———
      Interesting… So that’s how Jon’s declination is handled in the books. Because in the show, Jon turned down Stannis’s offer to be legitimized as “Jon Stark, Lord of Winterfell” solely because of his NW vows, i.e., it had nothing to do with Sansa’s rights.

        Quote  Reply

    48. Lord Parramandas,

      ”…The only two episodes from entire show that I can say don’t have anything memorable for me are “Lord Snow” and “The Prince of Winterfell”.”

      _____
      But My Lord! S1e3 Lord Snow has this wonderful scene of Arya meeting Syrio Forel:

        Quote  Reply

    49. Ten Bears: Interesting… So that’s how Jon’s declination is handled in the books. Because in the show, Jon turned down Stannis’s offer to be legitimized as “Jon Stark, Lord of Winterfell” solely because of his NW vows, i.e., it had nothing to do with Sansa’s rights.

      When Stannis makes his offer (the first time) in A Storm of Swords, Jon’s vows are a consideration and at this point, Jon believes he is the only one left of his siblings (“I loved Robb, loved all of them… I never wanted any harm to come to any of them, but it did. And now there’s only me.“) and he feels great guilt and shame over wanting Winterfell at all because of his siblings. Also, one the conditions of his legitimacy is to allow Melisandre to burn down the weirwoods to show devotion to R’hollor as the one true god and Jon finds he can’t abide that. So when Ghost returns, Jon rejects legitimacy as he is reminded of the Old Gods:

      Red eyes, Jon realized, but not like Melisandre’s. He had a weirwood’s eyes. Red eyes, red mouth, white fur. Blood and bone, like a heart tree. He belongs to the old gods, this one. And he alone of all the direwolves was white. Six pups they’d found in the late summer snows, him and Robb; five that were grey and black and brown, for the five Starks, and one white, as white as Snow.

      He had his answer then.

      Later on, toward the end of ASOS, Jon is elected Lord Commander.

      In the interim between ASOS and ADWD, it seems Jon learns Sansa is alive off-page. Stannis tries to make Jon accept his offer again twice but again, Jon turns him down twice — both times, telling Stannis that Winterfell belongs to Sansa and that he is sworn to the Watch.

        Quote  Reply

    50. Ten Bears,

      Right! And I think that follows about the same timeline? (Stannis offers Jon legitimacy pre-election, Jon considers but rejects it due to vows, is elected LC, tells Stannis no) But the reasons are way more concentrated down to only vows, as you said.

      But man, watching that again reminds me of how great a Stannis Stephen Dillane was.

        Quote  Reply

    51. Kevin1989,

      Feast and Dance spoilers:

      I agree that Dorne was better in the books than the show, which isn’t saying much, but I liked how D&D figured out the storyline wasn’t working and axed it. Martin seems to be heading in the other direction and is digging in deeper. I don’t think the Dorne storyline is working. Arianne’s Queenmaker plot went nowhere, and I don’t consider her to be intelligent. Nor Doran, for that matter. He had two plans over the course of the series, which were basically the same plan, only involving different people, and they were very simplistic. I could have come up with them. Considering that Martin characterized Doran as a “master planner,” I can’t help but feel disappointed that his plan was simply marry one of his children to the Targaryen heir. To make matters a lot worse, his simplistic plan blew up in his face, twice.

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    52. Tron79,

      I was about to ask how you’re on Dance already, but then I saw a comment that reminded me you’re reading the combined version.

      Anyway, I hope some of the comments you’re seeing won’t discourage you. Personally, I didn’t like Dance or Feast, but I hope you have a better experience. They were definitely more divisive than the three previous books, but I tentatively say that more people liked it than didn’t.

        Quote  Reply

    53. Young Dragon,

      I actually haven’t had a chance to read all the comments yet today. I’m a choir director at a synagogue, and it’s a super busy time of year with Rosh Hashana almost here. I am looking forward to hopefully a couple quiet hours tomorrow to continue reading. It’s been the best part of my day to relieve the stress of the holidays. I just got home from a long rehearsal. I’m a few chapters into my boiled leather journey. It’s not going to be the same experience as those dedicated fans who had to wait so long in between books and had to wait for Jon’s story to continue for how many years was it?? Oh my. I couldn’t believe that GRRM divided it up geographically and left out Jon for so many years!! I can’t imagine how that would have felt for Jon fans. I feel guilty just reading it all as one book actually. Mine will be a different experience for sure. I did read the comments here this morning and I can see there are lots of feelings about what was used from the book and what wasn’t. I was at a dinner last night telling someone about the Tolkien movie and how great it was, and he asked me how they handled his relationship with C.S. Lewis. I said they didn’t include anything about CS Lewis in the movie! He was shocked they left that out (like GOT fans are upset or thought they should include other characters). After some research I found that the director said the movie would have had to have been extended by at least 45 minutes or more and they couldn’t justify it. So, I guess these types of decisions are made all the time in media that has to fit into certain time restraints. HBO’s budget wasn’t bottomless. And their luck with actors not leaving the show or getting ill (like Emilia) or getting too old may not have held if they went more episodes or more seasons, so I understand why D&D had to cut where they did. I’ll catch up on the thread later tonight…

        Quote  Reply

    54. Ten Bears,

      Jon doesn’t know that Bran and Rickon are still alive. Following the rules of succession, Sansa comes first if all the boys are dead (otherwise male heirs come first). His commitment at the NW weighs heavily on his decision. What I feel from the text is that he doesn’t want to leave them and fall back on his obligation to the Watch and the Freefolk especially because of the Others. But it’s not just that, it’s deeper, as with Stannis comes a full rejection of his own values and northern identity. He fears that if he accepts he’ll have to burn down the heart tree of WF. In the end, WF belongs to the old gods and he can’t deliver it to the god of fire (Adriana’s extract).
      I must say it’s rather exciting to be inside Jon’s head at this point. His reasoning is complex and I suppose Sansa somehow represents those values in connection with WF, family and identity, pretty much like Ghost, hence this dialog with Stannis and his effort to remind him that she’s married to a Lannister (which also represents the same thing, rejection of tradition, family, values). Perhaps Lannisters and Baratheons are for the Starks “temptation” to walk away from what they know. (which I just made it up, lol)

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    55. Lord Parramandas,

      I wasn’t that taken with the Griffs in the books. Somebody I know in real life who very much prefers the books gave up on ADWD because the telling of the story became so very convoluted. I didn’t mind book Dorne so much and the idea that the oldest child of the ruler if female could inherit the principality – that it didn’t follow the Salic law was interesting to me. I liked Arianne’s speech to the older of her two brothers (i.e. the brother who was cut from the show) expressing that she intended to keep her inheritance. I could have done without Mr M’s descriptions of Arianne’s nipples though – or in ADWD the description of the septa who goes skinny-dipping though I guess there is some significance in the fact she has stretch marks. I know there is a fan theory that she might be the mother of one of the book Sandsnakes. Some people accuse the show of having “sexploitation” but some of the sexual descriptions in the books are cringeworthy. I didn’t read the books for those.

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    56. Adrianacandle,

      Yes, they were kept in the cages that they were prison in in season 3. Their use was told in season 4 and 5.

      Lord Parramandas,

      I’ve waited 4 years something like that. And I’m happy I waited, now I really enjoyed it. With me it’s around 2. Depends how I feel.

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    57. Dame of Mercia,

      I should have said “who very much prefers the book to the show” (actually she gave up after watching episode 1 of season 1).

      I’ve mentioned this before but I’ve been very much disappointed in the released chapters from TWoW that I’ve read online. The Arya one wasn’t too bad and was in part adapted into the show (the one about the players) but the one about Sansa (and Sansa is a character I like) bored me silly as did the one about Aeron. I’m not saying this to be contentious and if anyone liked those chapters I’m not having a go at anyone’s opinions or likes, I’m just how they appeared to me.*

      It’s been mentioned before that the Elder Brother in the books gives a rousing speech explaining how the war has hurt the poor people. Some people think book Littlefinger is more subtle than in the show. I wasn’t so sure.

      *Then I didn’t like “Mad Men” or the “Sopranos” or “Penny Dreadful” and lots of people really liked those shows.

        Quote  Reply

    58. Ten Bears,

      Amazing scene.

      Young Dragon,

      Still in the books, we know that Dorne will come into fruition at the end. Especially in winds. And even more if we know that they will combine it with the Targ/Aegon plotline. That story make sense in the books. The reason why it was cut in season 6 and wasn’t working was because season 5 fucked up hugely with the Dorne plot. They destroyed Elaria (in my opinion) from one of the best characters to a murderous zealot who only things about vengeance, compare that to the book version of her. With 3 cartoonish daughters that felt like charlies angels from the 90s with bad action. The whole plot was standing on no ground to the plot at all. While in the books it was interwoven. I love the show but I admit that the story was fucked up there. Arianne’s Queenmaker plot went everywhere even if you don’t see it. It killed Myrcella or wounded her badly (better than poisoning her for vengange that was out of character for Elaria). It is also a set up for later storylines, it shows us the laws of Dorne. And it ended big time, that Doran had a plan to work with the Targaryens, how bigger can it get to get revenge with Cersei. Surely poisoning a daughter is better? No it’s not. The book version had a very huge endgoal. And martin is doing something the show didn’t do. Integrate it in the main storyline. And even Doran and Arianne are one of the fan-favorites in the books because of it.
      If you don’t consider Doran intelligent, you don’t seem to understand his character. He even kept his plan secret to LF that say something. And probably even Varys doesn’t know. He is smarter than them.

      I made a account on the forum. Will post there when activated.

        Quote  Reply

    59. kevin1989,

      If you get activated let me know. I haven’t heard back yet. This happened to me over the years. I’ve registered a few times and never heard back. I registered under a slightly different user id a couple days ago. I just replied to the registration email
      [email protected] and I also sent something through their contact form a couple days ago. Hopefully we’ll get activated and can go into more details. We can always include a link to the discussion here for those interested…

        Quote  Reply

    60. Had they been wiser with their submissions and bet on the right horses, they could have swept more awards. Especially this year. Miguel should have chosen “The Bells” for directing. And I still don’t get why Ramin did not choose “Light of the Seven” at the 2016 Emmys. Thankfully, Peter always made the right choice with his submissions.

        Quote  Reply

    61. kevin1989,

      Ellaria is a nobody in the books. I knew as soon as Indira Varma was cast in the role, her role will be much bigger than in the books and putting Ellaria in centre of Dorne story instead of Arianne (who is a cringey character in my opinion) was one of my favorite changes regarding Dorne. And as I said above, “huge endgoal” doesn’t justify a 2000 page snoozefest that books 4 and 5 were in my opinion for 99% of the time.

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    62. Ten Bears:
      Lord Parramandas,

      ”…The only two episodes from entire show that I can say don’t have anything memorable for me are “Lord Snow” and “The Prince of Winterfell”.”

      _____
      But My Lord! S1e3 Lord Snow has this wonderful scene of Arya meeting Syrio Forel:

      For me, this is just a casual scene. I get no feelings or thrill of any kind in this scene.

        Quote  Reply

    63. Lord Parramandas,

      I agree that making Ellaria the focus of Dornish storyline was wise. It personalized that storyline in a way, making it more about relationship between Cersei and Ellaria than about world building.

      At the beginning of S4, when Dorne was introduced, Ellaria and Cersei met and that storyline ended in S7 with their final confrontation. It was a full circle.

        Quote  Reply

    64. Lord Parramandas,

      I don’t think there is anything cringey about Arianne, I say this as someone who doesn’t actually like her very much. Dorne had that frustrating plot device of person X keeping a secret from person Y, which causes problems for everybody. If Doran had let her in on the plan, Arianne wouldn’t have plotted on her own. Something terrible had to happen before he finally opened his mouth, so annoying. I actually get the impression that I will like Arianne more in WoW, now that she is actually working towards something worthwhile and cooperating with everyone else.

      I did not enjoy it in the book, so I am praying that it has some point in the end. It was a complete disaster in the show imo, they should have cut it entirely. This was the only problem I had with AFFC, and then Quentyn in ADWD was a snooze. Make it mean something George!

      I am possibly alone in this, but I love AFFC, I much prefer it to ADWD. The Cersei chapters were great fun in a horribly disturbing way. Watching her orchestrate her own downfall while thinking she is Tywin reborn was comedy to me. I also enjoyed Brienne wandering about the Riverlands, she see’s the effects of the war first hand, and gets that incredible broken man speech. The House of B&W was far better in the book as well, there is actually a sense of mystery without that tiresome antagonism. Christ that was dull on the show. The only thing I liked more in the show was Hardhome I think. I also wish they had let Tyrion go dark, his final punishment would have more weight, as I think he will be quite on board with Dany’s fire and Blood approach in Westeros, and then he will have to clean it up. S5 for me was good, not great and not terrible, but they had a really difficult job to do with it so it’s fine. I maintain that cutting LSH was a mistake though.

        Quote  Reply

    65. Lord Parramandas,

      I agree, the choice to make Ellaria bigger was a wise one. She should have gotten the Arianne storyline. Look at season 4, that Ellaria was never about “Vengeance”, she was the opposite. She was one of my favorites in season 1 till 4. She showed that Dorne was progressed further as a kingdom. Would she have given some sort of storyline like Arianne in the books, simply made season 5 Dorne about putting Myrcella on the Iron Throne as a plan, would have been 1. More interesting as a story-line. It would have been what GoT is, the game of Thrones. 2. And it would also be more in character for Ellaria. Ellaria transformed into a wonderfull character too a cartoonish character in season 5 in my opinion. she changed completely like it was another character I was watching, it was not consistent with her season 4 story. And it felt like a 90s show I was watching with her, charlies angels or Xena. Only in 7×03 I once again felt compelled to her character again.
      Her whole Vengeance storyline was utterly and badly written and put together. It was done for one purpose: Jaime. He needed to do something in season 5. And you can say all about the books that maybe Feast and Dance was a snoozefest for some or too stretched. But still the story was consistent, the characters don’t act out of character. The story make sense and is moving to a point. (I only wish martin would get his books ready sooner). He doesn’t choose plot over character development. (Sansa season 5?)

      And you call that they would go with a bigger role for Ellaria because of Varma, why wasn’t she happy with the direction her character went? Or Alexander Siddiq, which is even a bigger actor. He was very interesting into playing Doran when he heard about the book counterpart. He said yes because of that. His disappointment was big when it turned out who show-Doran would be. And after season 6 he didn’t have a single nice word to say about how they handled the Dorne plot, and even he admitted the book story was superior with Dorne. Pilou also stated he wished he got his book counter part. Same as Ian McElhinney who was disappointed when they cut his Dance storyline.

      Was season 5 still brilliant? yes.
      Could it have been approved if the storylines were less action based and more character/politic based? 100% yes. No doubt about it. Even the reactions of the actors is prove of that. If those actors could be made interesting with a character that they only know from the books and that they want to play that, even when it means that they wouldn’t be paid much (season 5 and 6 was not highly paid and especially Siddiq could got more money with other projects), and after they’re done they felt betrayed and used you know something is wrong with how they handled that character.

      And I disagree completely. Dance is my favorite of all the books. So much interesting things happening there. Where many stories came together. Bran, Davos, Theon (best theon book), Cersei and Jaime (even Feast I found Jaime’s ending very good). And many more were just brilliant. I would say that only in Feast the problem was the many different characters with the Dorne and II plot that could have been better with just one character. And 2. Too many Dany chapters that didn’t serve no purpose and could have been conceived with half the chapters.

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    66. Jenny,

      Agree almost. For me Dorne was not that interesting at first. Until the chapter where

      Myrcella got attacked and after that Doran revealing his plan. Which is a shame because if they had cut that annoying Arys or something chapter and just had given that to make a build-up for Arianne that would have made it much much better, Same with Areo, how much I like him he should have stayed a side character, not a POV. As for Doran not telling, I think it make sense. He needed to make his plan quietly, even a single outing of his plan would have made his plan falter, what if somebody overheard etc. And I think it was also because Doran is a character who has patience. Arianne has not. And in Dance I started to like Arianne, and I was happy he had cut the chapters of some. As for Quentyn I agree, I hope his death will serve something in winds. And he was only there because of Doran’s plan and 2 because we needed to see the horror that happened under Dany’s rule in Astapor etc.

      Same I really liked Cersei’s chapters, how everything unfolded. It was even better then how it happened in the show. Which I think was one of the storylines in season 5 that they got right from beginning to end.
      Brienne was I think my favorite part of Feast. I liked the contrast she had with the rest. We saw how the story effected the common folk. The thing Varys Dany and others fight for, but only in her chapters we saw it.
      And true, I was so excited to see Arya’s storyline play out in season 5 because I liked her House of Black and White storyline in the books. It was so mysterious and the connection with other faiths and maybe even the WW or the bank of Braavos was just brilliant. The show for me only helped that Maissie was in it. But I think Maissie deserved her book storyline.
      And agree hardhome was just brilliant addition. Just a chapter in the book (not even just mentioning), but was a nice adding to the show. But still it gave some problems, the WW were in hardhome next to eastwatch in season 5, then they went to the cave which is much much much more west, and back again east in season 7. It didn’t make sense for me.

      As for season 5 It was still great. They had a difficult job. How to convert all that was those 2 books into just 10 episodes. It was a difficult job. But I think if HBO said, D&D season 5 can air 6 months later (like they did with season 7) and you can have 5 episodes more. I think they would have taken it.

      I’m going to make a word doc now with what I was planning to add to the forum. If my activation will not be activated then I will post it here. It can take a couple of days because I’m a perfectionist so it can that I even think I’m having fun with it, I just put more energy in it and switch thing or look things up instead of pulling it out of my mind.

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    67. kevin1989:
      Lord Parramandas,

      I agree, the choice to make Ellaria bigger was a wise one. She should have gotten the Arianne storyline. Look at season 4, that Ellaria was never about “Vengeance”, she was the opposite. She was one of my favorites in season 1 till 4. She showed that Dorne was progressed further as a kingdom. Would she have given some sort of storyline like Arianne in the books, simply made season 5 Dorne about putting Myrcella on the Iron Throne as a plan, would have been 1. More interesting as a story-line. It would have been what GoT is, the game of Thrones. 2. And it would also be more in character for Ellaria. Ellaria transformed into a wonderfull character too a cartoonish character in season 5 in my opinion.

      I wanted to add much the same to my post but ran out of time. It’s easy to say in hindsight, but if we could go back in time to redo that plot, giving Ellaria a political plot would have been better than what we got. D&D probably thought that Jaime would be enough to get us invested in Dorne but it didn’t work, they would probably be the first to admit that. At least they cut their losses and got rid in S6, the conclusion was good in S7 as well.

      kevin1989,

      Are you sure about that? I thought the plan went wrong and Arianne got chucked in a tower for days until Doran finally let her rant at him. Maybe I’m getting mixed up, either way the plan was in motion because he kept her in the dark. That type of thing is a pet peeve of mine at the best of times.

      Yeah Brienne also got this line, ‘Seven, Brienne thought again, despairing. She had no chance against seven, she knew. No chance, and no choice. She stepped out into the rain, Oathkeeper in hand “Leave her be. If you want to rape someone, try me.”

      I love her so much! lol She’s the only one out there defending the weak and innocent and she may well die for it. When she eventually breaks down and cries about her continued failure my heart breaks for her.

      There is a lot I really like about S5, but Dorne is the main problem, luckily it didn’t dominate the season or anything. I didn’t like Sansa’s plot but I understand why they did it. I would have preferred to see her grow as a character without the brutal treatment from Ramsey. I also miss clever, political Jon, hopefully he sticks around in the books.

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    68. Jenny,

      Agree of course. For us is thinking of it in hindsight. As I stated before I only say this could have made it better, not even know if it would have. And I have major respect for D&D but I like to think about thinks like that, what if etc.

      And yes Arianne’s plan went wrong. I was refering to Doran’s plan. I think he was too cautious, when he had that plan for more then a decade. Doran had patience. And I think he was afraid that if he told too many even his daughter the plan could fall apart. People could have hear him talking about it, or something else could have happened. It could even put his daughter in danger etc.
      So you’re not mixing anything up. 😀 But for me I liked revenge by putting another forward as queen is more interesting then killing an innocent child.

      Brienne is amazing in Feast. One of my favorite characters. I also liked that in the books she kills only at the end of Feast with a reason, she always look at the least bloodshedded way.

      And I also would have wished they stayed with her book storyline, getting more power. But overall I liked season 5 a lot. And it’s not that I disliked many parts just I wished it went differently. And I enjoy the show from beginning till end.

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    69. Jenny,

      The only and I really mean only thing I liked about AFFC/ADWD better compared to TV show is that Kingsmoot is a bit more grand in the books. Everything else, I prefer S5 by a mile.

      And I honestly don’t remember a word of this so praised “Broken men” speech, despite reading AFFC multiple times in 2012-2014. Says a lot about how “meaningful” it seemed to me…

      I’m going behind the scenes again. There’s nothing left for me here.

        Quote  Reply

    70. Lord Parramandas,

      I know a lot of people who don’t like them either, I think it’s quite common to struggle with the last 2, and D&D were in a tough spot and did what they thought best. I like a lot about them but I think GRRM was in desperate need of a tough editor, he could have put out two shorter books at least. Have you ever tried the audiobooks? I did ADWD that way and enjoyed it more. I have listened to the whole series now and that’s actually how I remember them, it seems to sink in better for me.

        Quote  Reply

    71. Jenny,

      I find them kind of tolerating before I went re-reading books 1-3 (which I didn’t own and had to always borrow from the library). But when I started re-reading books 1-3 and continued into books 4 and 5, my disdain started to grow. And after S5 aired, my disdain for those two books amplified by 10 and I couldn’t bear to open them again. And this year, I was re-reading all books after not doing so for 5 years… I managed to re-read books 1-3 and be entertained, but I gave up after like 5 chapters of AFFC because I was literally like “I don’t care about 90% of what’s happening”.

        Quote  Reply

    72. Lord Parramandas,

      Lol, that’s fair enough, and that’s when the show comes in handy, you pretty much know how it all ends anyway. I know some people who can’t even get through ASOS, which is crazy to me, that’s the pay off book! I remember reading it for the first time and chuckling to myself at how action packed it was. It’s my favourite in the series, plus it has the Jaime/Brienne trip to KL and I love that.

        Quote  Reply

    73. kevin1989,

      I preferred Ellaria in the books too, but I think you’re exaggerating when you call her one of the best characters. As I said, I preferred Dorne in the books, but it’s still my least favorite storyline. I don’t find their connection to Aegon all that interesting and will absolutely hate it if he is the one who takes down Cersei and the Lannisters. He’s so bland and I can’t name a single characteristic about him other than he’s a sore loser.

      I disagree completely about Doran, and it has nothing to do with misunderstanding the character. He’s not smarter than Varys and Littlefinger, as their plans actually succeed. That’s how you measure intelligence. Both of Doran’s plans failed spectacularly without even coming close to success. Martin may consider Doran to be a “master planner” but he hasn’t proven it, not a bit.

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    74. Breaking News!
      Whistleblower discloses Tywin Lannister’s ravengram to Walder Frey promising Riverlands in exchange for Red Wedding Massacre.

        Quote  Reply

    75. Jenny,

      I enjoy re-reading books 1-3 because they’re still a similar version of a TV show story with a couple differences. And they’re a thrilling and very entertaining story, with big moments, twists and main character deaths being spread through entire story. And then almost everything that made me love books 1-3 is gone in books 4 and 5 and I realize I don’t care about 90% of that story as it never saw light of the day and lacks all the points I love books 1-3 and the TV show for. I just stop caring about the story alltogether.

        Quote  Reply

    76. Young Dragon,

      You’re right I reread my comment and it was a bit exaggerating. But I liked her how she was in the books. She was at least consistent. In the show she turned into another character once season 5 aired. And personally I like Griff don’t know why, when I read those chapters I saw it before me how that character would look on screen. And the problem is we didn’t see him that much in dance because his ending was cut and put in Winds. So I hope that character will blossom there. And what his character is, I think Varys explained. He is kind and good for the people. He is tied with Varys in the books.
      As for failing plans. We know that LF plan is going to fail like in the show. Sansa will outsmart him. His plan is “Getting on the Iron Throne” which he never will get. So his plan is failing and will fail.
      As for Varys his plan is tied with Aegon. And in winds that means tied with Doran. But Doran’s plan can win but Varys plan can fail. Simply. If Aegon wins over the Lannisters, Doran’s plan has succeed. But for Varys his plan to succeed (Which is peace and protecting the common folk), Aegon need to stay there. And we already know something will go down in KL with Dany, where the common folk will be the victims, meaning that Varys plan will ultimate fail. While Doran’s plan of the 3 will be the only one that succeeds. So that Varys and LF plan succeed is not sure because their plans are still in motion.
      As for Doran. Which plan failed? To get a Targ to Westeros and destroy the Lannisters, did the Lannisters win agains the Targs? No they didn’t. His plan is not failed because it’s still in motion. Yes his son is a casualty of his plan. But in the end his plan succeeds when he works with Aegon and take down the Lannisters.
      And for me Doran already has proven to be smarter than LF and Varys. Why? Because in more than a decade, Doran knew who Varys was and LF and that they had schemes, he even knew parts of what those 2 wanted. But on the other hand, Varys and LF don’t know a single bit that Doran is making plans against the capitol for over a decade, they all though he was their good friend. Even when his son moved to Essos they didn’t knew anything about it.
      So let’s wait till the books are done till we see who is the smartest of the 3. I bet it’s Doran and only his plan succeeds in the end. The Lannisters will be gone, but Varys couldn’t save the horror that will befall on the common folk and LF will die by being outsmarted by Sansa. Which the show already somehow spoiled that that’s where it’s heading.

        Quote  Reply

    77. Lord Parramandas,

      I still think the biggest problem Martin put himself in, is his dividing chronically. (And of course what I said the many POV’s that should be told by just one). Book 4 is the smallest one. Book 5 the biggest. By dividing them he put a big restrained on book 5.
      But if you put those 2 books together 1769 pages. Dance was 1016 pages just a bit above 1000 pages so we know that that’s around the max pagecount that his publisher will go. Meaning if Feast was the first 1000 pages of the story that he told in Feast and Dance, which he could have made perfect with maybe cutting some stuff a bit but even if he didn’t that would made what was published, 769 pages in Dance of the published stuff. Meaning that he could added around 200/250 pages of the storyline he pushed to winds. The battle of Winterfell and the battle of Merreen and probably all the pay-off’s that we are waiting for would be there in the fifth book. And we know he wanted to have that in Dance but that his book was too big too put it in. And I think that would also have avoided the Merreen’s knot.

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    78. kevin1989,

      HPNN reports that its uncorroborated sources -consistent with rampant speculation – is that the anonymous whistleblower who disclosed the explosive Tywin Lannister – Walder Frey ravengram is someone operating under the pseudonym “Demon Monkey.”

      More tonight at 9:00 pm by Chief HPNN Bureau reporter Hot Pie, who first broke this story.

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    79. kevin1989:
      Ten Bears,

      XDXDXD The north starts an impeachment investigation.

      Quite right. Speaker Sansa Stark is prepared to file formal charges against the as-yet unnamed conspirators:
      You stand accused of murder. You stand accused of treason. How do you answer these charges?

      Any accused found culpable by a 2/3 majority vote of the Northern Lords faces execution by ASNAWP aka The Hero of Winterfell. Or trial by combat against her. (Same thing. “Only death is certain.”)

      👸🏻 🔪

      [Editor’s note: Bran the Useless has recused himself from these proceedings. He’s too spaced out to participate.]

        Quote  Reply

    80. Ten Bears,

      HPNN is now reporting that SJW’s on Twitter are offended by the term “Demon Monkey” and they have also dug up old tweets related to an insensitive joke about a jackass and honeycomb from the whistleblower himself.

      Needless to say this is a setback that will almost guarantee that Tywin will continue on as Hand of the King until our reporter on the scene Hot Pie can search through all of Tywin’s tweeting history to see what he can come up with.

      Stay tuned…

        Quote  Reply

    81. kevin1989,

      From your description, it sounds like GRRM the Gardener let his originally well-tended garden grow wildly out of control, with weeds invading the root system and detritus crowding out the foliage. And now he’s too exhausted, overwhelmed, or just plain uninterested in pruning the overgrowth to allow the fruit to ripen properly for harvesting.

      Seriously, from what I’ve been reading, it seems that after the third book he went off on meandering detours and tangents, instead of focusing on the characters and stories that captivated the readers.

      If and when I get around to reading the books, I wonder if I should stop after the third book, and from then on only read Jon and Arya chapters. And whatever portions allude to “the gravedigger.”

      P.S./Question: I get the impression that Book! Jon was a lot smarter than his Show! counterpart. Is that so?

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    82. Mr Derp:
      Ten Bears,

      It really is a shame that they had to cut Tywin’s “Make Westeros Great Again” campaign from the show.Could’ve been a juicy storyline.

      It’s also a shame that one of the recurring themes of S1-S7, “fake news” masquerading as historical fact, kind of fizzled out at the end.

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    83. Ten Bears,

      Just read it. book 4 and 5 are his garden books. (Like every story the middle books tend to be the garden books). Read them boiled leathers. Hope that he finish winds next year so you can read further. It’s already stated by the man himself that Winds will not gain more povs. And that the shrinking will begin there. Probably some pov’s will die while not a single extra will emerge.
      And just decide for yourself what you think of those books. Maybe you dislike them, maybe like me you like them very much.

      As for Jon, yes, his book counterpart is smarter.

      As for my little side project. I’ve done the beginning. I written a bit what happened in those books with Dorne and the Iron Islands. Tomorrow I will do the same for some other characters. And if all is done I’m going to have some fun and doing my own restructuring. It’s all for good fun and not “This is better”. But I would like to post it when I’m done.

        Quote  Reply

    84. kevin1989,

      ”Just read it. book 4 and 5 are his garden books. (Like every story the middle books tend to be the garden books). Read them boiled leathers. Hope that he finish winds next year so you can read further. It’s already stated by the man himself that Winds will not gain more povs. And that the shrinking will begin there. Probably some pov’s will die while not a single extra will emerge.
      And just decide for yourself what you think of those books. Maybe you dislike them, maybe like me you like them very much.”

      ______
      To be frank, I’ve been reluctant to start reading the books if the Big Kahuna doesn’t get around to finishing them. At first, I figured I’d wait until the show was over, on the assumption he’d be done by then.

      Please don’t get me wrong. I am NOT bashing him. I couldn’t blame him for losing interest, or losing his muse, after a quarter century.

      (My attention span is measured in hours, rather than years. Whether it’s hobbies or home improvements, all too often I abandon half-finished projects and move on to the next one.) I don’t know how he was able to stay focused for as long as he did. It’s quite an achievement that he was able to craft a fictional world that hooked in millions of readers, and created the substrate for the most successful TV series of all time.

      Still, I remain reluctant to start reading the books without any prospect of getting an ending.
      I’m afraid I will really enjoy them – and then feel disappointed when the stories abruptly stop in the middle without payoffs.

      Like I’ve mentioned on other occasions, the few snippets I’ve read I really liked, e.g., the TWOW “Mercy” sample chapter. I thought it was masterful writing.

      I enjoyed the way he narrated that chapter, first in the voice of Mercedane – showing how the character had really inhabited that alter ego – before Arya’s personna emerged.

      * The “Needle was Jon Snow’s smile” passage from one of the books was emotionally evocative, and fortunately Maisie Williams was able to translate that internal monologue to the screen without saying a word.

      * It’s my understanding he wrote that chapter over 6-7 years ago. With all I’ve read about missed deadlines, I just have to wonder at this point if it’s unrealistic to expect that he’s got it in him to finish two more books. I get the impression he’s more interested in Targaryean histories than concluding the ASOIAF saga. Not that I blame him.

      (*TB looks at all of the unfinished projects lining his shelves.*)

        Quote  Reply

    85. Edit/Clarification to 4:59 Comment: The asterisk refers to the TWOW “Mercy” chapter, not the “Needle was Jon Snow’s smile” passage, i.e., it’s my understanding that GRRM wrote the TWOW “Mercy” sample chapter several years ago.

        Quote  Reply

    86. Ten Bears,

      Oh I understand that completely. And maybe it’s better to wait till winds is on the shelves. I think his last book he will write faster. At least many writers write the last book faster because less storylines and characters are left hanging. And most of the time the story becomes more straightforward. We also know he knows clearly his endgame and where it’s heading. Only the road to it it’s not completely clear to him. So it’s even possible he has written version 1.0 of the last 200 pages. And only need to convert them to version 2.0 once he arrives there. But he already stated is is pretty far with Winds already and except to finish it in the first half of 2020. That say something when he first stated that he will not tell any reference to a date until arriving there. I hope we get more news before the end of this year even if he just states I’m 80% done with winds or something.

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    87. Mr Derp:
      Ten Bears,

      I replied to your breaking news comment, but shockingly, it’s under moderation purgatory….yet again.

      That sucks. It’s happened to me too often.
      My new hypothesis: The site algorithms are often triggered by proper nouns, e.g., names of movies.

      Or more likely, it’s just that wily rascal The Lord of Light up to his old tricks.

        Quote  Reply

    88. kevin1989,

      ”…So it’s even possible he has written version 1.0 of the last 200 pages. And only need to convert them to version 2.0 once he arrives there. But he already stated is is pretty far with Winds already and except to finish it in the first half of 2020…”

      _____
      I hate to be pessimistic: I don’t think he’s made much headway over the last 6+ years. I’ll bet the first couple of books flowed from his brain to the page as if they were writing themselves. That’s when his muse was inspiring him. Now I fear writing the books is a slog – like trying to crank out an overdue term paper. Plus, he’s undoubtedly putting enormous pressure on himself, which doesn’t help.

      I kind of wish he’d just throw in the towel and enjoy his fame and fortune. He’s deserved it. And if somehow, someday he gets inspired, he can surprise the world with The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring.

        Quote  Reply

    89. Hey Mr. D!
      My 5:08 pm reply to your 4:35 pm reply about your actual reply being stuck in moderation purgatory… is itself stuck in moderation purgatory too!
      🤢

        Quote  Reply

    90. Ten Bears,

      “Seriously, from what I’ve been reading, it seems that after the third book he went off on meandering detours and tangents, instead of focusing on the characters and stories that captivated the readers.

      P.S./Question: I get the impression that Book! Jon was a lot smarter than his Show! counterpart. Is that so?”

      Book Jon is astute and crafty as lord commander of the Night’s Watch. He’s unscrupulous, perceptive and ruthless for achieving what he wants. Honestly, he’s probably the smartest politician right now, playing the 7Ks in his fingers.
      The first time I read his chapters in ADWD I wanted to slap him and shake him, “wtf are you doing”?
      Much of it is lost because the show altered Stannis’ story and the Iron Islands and completely suppressed the Northern conspiracy. He’s as sparing with words as he is in the show, but the reader is in his head and his head is exciting.

      I suggest you might want to start reading the books because WoW is the book where everything will happen. ADWD set the stage and everything’s in place or nearly so. Some of the things that are expected to happen:

      – Jon’s resurrection
      – Stannis’ defeat and the burning of Shireen
      – Hardhome; perhaps we’ll find out if there’s a NK in the books
      – Sansa and Jon reuniting and taking WF back
      – Jon being proclaimed king
      – Bran becoming the three-eyed raven
      – Dany winning over the Dothraki khalasar and setting sail for Westeros
      – Tyrion meeting Daenerys
      – FAegon clashes with Cersei for KL
      – Dorne choosing sides
      – LSH extinguishing the Freys with the help of Ser Jamie

      I have no idea what’s going to happen with the Iron Islands because they’re split in three. So far Yara and Theon are in the North and perhaps they’ll end up with Jon too (or they’ll return to Pyke). There’s a high probability that the Iron Islands messing with magic and stuff will bring the Wall down.
      Also, perhaps Jon and Dany meet too, or Jon setting off to meet her. There’s a high probability that he’ll know who he is before that. (my own personal estimation)

      Just saying you might not want to miss all that no matter if there’ll be another book after WoW or not (I believe there will be, I’m an optimist).

        Quote  Reply

    91. Ten Bears,

      I agree, but he already stated himself that he is pretty far with winds. And that he expects to be finished with the book before juli 2020. So who knows. I just wait patiently.

      Efi,

      Same here, I think the stress that George had with the books is gone. I mean if every day you wake up and you are, I hope the show doesn’t take over the books, it takes it toll. Now that is gone and he can be free once again every morning with writing his own version of the story.

      And I agree lots will happen in winds. Everything that Dance and Feast build up will come to fruition there. And Iron Island and Dorne will be finally in the main storyline.

        Quote  Reply

    92. Efi: Book Jon is astute and crafty as lord commander of the Night’s Watch. He’s unscrupulous, perceptive and ruthless for achieving what he wants. Honestly, he’s probably the smartest politician right now, playing the 7Ks in his fingers.

      I’d disagree with this somewhat. He’s definitely smarter and more strategic in the books, but BookJon definitely has a strong moral compass too and I feel the broad strokes are about the same in characterization between book and show. Part of his downfall in ADWD is due to his morality (trying to uphold his duty to protect the realms of men while, at the same time, being unable to turn his back on helping those who need help, which come into conflict with one another as the latter interferes with the Night’s Watch neutrality). Jon definitely is smarter and better able to strategize, but it’s not been for political power — and his actions lead directly into getting him shanked by his dissenters because of the Pink Letter.

      How Jon’s actions do culminate in the Pink Letter is pretty fascinating, I think, because although it’s still partly due to Jon helping the wildlings and he’s resolved on a hugely dangerous rescue mission to Hardhome, it’s also because Jon has really screwed the Watch’s neutrality such as by aiding Stannis against the Boltons and sending Mance to save fArya from Ramsay, unintentionally invited the Bolton wrath.

        Quote  Reply

    93. Efi: Honestly, he’s probably the smartest politician right now, playing the 7Ks in his fingers.
      The first time I read his chapters in ADWD I wanted to slap him and shake him, “wtf are you doing”?

      I remember Jon giving Stannis crucial advice so Stannis isn’t slaughtered by the Bolton forces and openly arranges the Sigorn-Alys marriage which — in one fell swoop — saves Alys from Cregan and Arnolf, gives her an army to take back the Karhold, while settling the wildlings into Westeros by creating a new house with this marriage (House Thenn), but what else do you mean when you say Jon is playing the 7K in his fingers? I could seriously be blanking on something (re:polar bears from LOST, totally forgot about the cages) 🙂

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    94. Ten Bears,

      kevin1989,

      The sinking feeling in my gut leads me to agree with Ten Bears, I think GRRM has hit a slog and now it’s work rather than inspiration. He’s got so many threads up in the air that I can’t imagine what a task it is to connect them all together and he works without a plot map.

      But I really, really, really, really, really, really, really hope I am wrong. I know he’s been working hard on the book but I wonder if he’s hit a block.

        Quote  Reply

    95. Adrianacandle,

      Typos!

      * How Jon’s actions do culminate in the Pink Letter is pretty fascinating, I think, because although *him getting stabbed is still partly due to Jon helping the wildlings and *he’s resolved to go through with this hugely dangerous rescue mission to Hardhome, it’s also because Jon has really screwed the Watch’s neutrality *by doing things such as aiding Stannis against the Boltons and sending Mance to save fArya from Ramsay, unintentionally *inviting the Bolton wrath.

      It’s early in the morn — makes me forget my words…

        Quote  Reply

    96. Adrianacandle,

      I agree with this, I think he is very intelligent, and before hearing about Arya, he had a clear plan, but then his feelings got in the way. It’s tough for us to read because we know it’s not really her, and he is making a massive mistake. Seriously, when Jon and Arya reunite in the book I will cry my eyes out.

      What Jon lacks politically speaking, is the ability to explain his decisions, and get his men on side. Perhaps it’s due to lack of trust, or perhaps he thinks it’s beneath him because he knows best. Pretty much everything he does is correct, it is done for the greater good, he knows his brothers are a threat and sends his allies away to keep them safe, but that leaves him exposed to the resentment of his brothers. It’s fascinating, I love book Jon.

        Quote  Reply

    97. Jenny: I agree with this, I think he is very intelligent, and before hearing about Arya, he had a clear plan, but then his feelings got in the way. It’s tough for us to read because we know it’s not really her, and he is making a massive mistake. Seriously, when Jon and Arya reunite in the book I will cry my eyes out.

      What Jon lacks politically speaking, is the ability to explain his decisions, and get his men on side. Perhaps it’s due to lack of trust, or perhaps he thinks it’s beneath him because he knows best. Pretty much everything he does is correct, it is done for the greater good, he knows his brothers are a threat and sends his allies away to keep them safe, but that leaves him exposed to the resentment of his brothers. It’s fascinating, I love book Jon.

      I agree with all of this. I think Jon starts out trusting Bowen but when Bowen & co. really start rallying against the wildlings and turning it into an us vs. them, not recognizing the greater stakes and that the wildlings are people, I think Jon starts to lose his regard for Bowen & co.

      Yeah, the Arya stuff is pretty tragic. Jon tries to stay neutral but he just can’t — especially when Melisandre offers him a clear way to save her:

      “I told you that the Lord of Light would hear your prayers. You wanted a way to save your little sister and still hold fast to the honor that means so much to you, to the vows you swore before your wooden god.” She pointed with a pale finger. “There he stands, Lord Snow. Arya’s deliverance. A gift from the Lord of Light… and me.”

      Even though he’s deeply wary of Melisandre, there’s no way Jon was going to say no to this ;0; And it turns out not even to be the real Arya…

      Their reunion in the books will be amazing! ;;

        Quote  Reply

    98. Efi,

      ”I suggest you might want to start reading the books because WoW is the book where everything will happen. ADWD set the stage and everything’s in place or nearly so.”

      ______
      That’s exactly why I’m reluctant to start reading the books: I’ll find myself all wound up anticipating “the book where everything will happen”, only to be left hanging when there’s no Winds of Winter to read.
      If the whole saga is complete, I could see myself taking a solitary vacation to binge-read all of the books all at once.
      That happened many years ago when a friend gave me “King Rat” by James Clavell – and I devoured that [the book, not the rat], and immediately tore into “Shogun”, “Noble House”, and the rest of his books.

        Quote  Reply

    99. kevin1989,

      ”I agree, but he already stated himself that he is pretty far with winds. And that he expects to be finished with the book before juli 2020. So who knows. I just wait patiently.”

      ———
      Again, I am NOT George-bashing…But has he not periodically announced how he’s progressing with TWOW and how he’s hunkered down at his keyboard — only to miss another self-imposed deadline and emerge to reveal the publication of some new Targaryean history or new TV projects?

        Quote  Reply

    100. Adrianacandle,

      Pure speculation on my part, from the comments above:
      Perhaps the difficulty of translating books! internal monologues into teleplays affected Jon Snow’s books-to-show transition the most?

        Quote  Reply

    101. Adrianacandle,

      Yeah, the Arya stuff is pretty tragic. Jon tries to stay neutral but he just can’t — especially when Melisandre offers him a clear way to save her:

      “I told you that the Lord of Light would hear your prayers. You wanted a way to save your little sister and still hold fast to the honor that means so much to you, to the vows you swore before your wooden god.” She pointed with a pale finger. “There he stands, Lord Snow. Arya’s deliverance. A gift from the Lord of Light… and me.”

      ———-
      Ackkkk!
      So… Book! Melisandre inadvertently misleads Jon?
      PS: What was “Arya’s [supposed] deliverance” gifted from the Lord of Light and Mel?

        Quote  Reply

    102. Ten Bears:
      Adrianacandle,
      Pure speculation on my part, from the comments above:
      Perhaps the difficulty of translating books! internal monologues into teleplays affected Jon Snow’s books-to-show transition the most?

      Yes, that was always going to be a major obstacle for the screenwriters, and not just in Jon’s case. There are a number of other important point-of-view characters.

        Quote  Reply

    103. Adrianacandle,

      He sends Stannis away with advice to win over the mountain clans; gives him advice to win the North via the Manderlys. What he does with the Karstarks overturns the situation in the North, which will become obvious in Winds.
      You’re forgetting, Stannis is also a politician, and Jon deals with him quite well; he resists his offers and his demands and stands by his own principles, working for the Watch with the war in his mind. He takes in a few of Stannis’ men to serve at the Wall.
      He notifies Stannis about the murder attack of the Karstarks and saves his life.

      He finds the Freefolk of Tormund; has them accepted at the other side of the Wall by taking hostages and all their valuable belongings; has them settled as guards of the Wall at the various forts, separating men from women (and thus weakening them). Then uses the valuables to get a loan from the Iron Bank because “winter is coming” and he needs to find food for all of them.
      He manages to find a modest fleet to get those people back from Hardhome and he’s bound to get more ships because a fleet from KL is heading his way (he’s somehow indirectly implicated in it? I don’t quite remember, feel free to fill in).
      He’s a master negotiator, I’d say. That’s already a political trait.

      Jon does have a moral compass. He wants to do good for the people. He wants to do the right thing. But in his effort he crossed over many lines, moral and political (“the Night’s Watch takes no part” is a political motto). He’s not a saint and I never claimed that he is; I never claimed that he’s immoral either.
      That’s the point of entire book. No matter what’s your goal, how far are you willing to go to achieve it?

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    104. Yeah! My spoiler code worked this time. I’m over the moon
      (see what happens if you’re no English native with understanding the language, lol)

        Quote  Reply

    105. Ten Bears,

      “What was “Arya’s [supposed] deliverance” gifted from the Lord of Light and Mel?”

      Read if you want, in a nutshell.

      Melissandre saves Mance from Stannis by magically changing his face; Jon then sends him to WF to save F!Arya with some wildling spearwives.
      It all fails and yet it somehow does not -Theon intervenes, pretty much like Theon in the show with Sansa. They jump from the walls of WF and are found by the Umbers beneath, and are taken to Stannis’ camp. Mance is captive (or dead), F!Arya and Theon safe from Ramsay. Ramsay’s “I want my wife back, bastard” letter comes from the books.

        Quote  Reply

    106. Ten Bears,

      I think that may be part of it, yeah, as a lot of this comes from Jon’s inner monologue, which gives us insight into what he’s thinking, feeling, what he’s weighing in his decisions, his intentions/what he’s trying to avoid, etc. In ADWD, I feel Jon does let emotion get the better of him more than once when making decisions (trying to save Arya, the Hardhome rescue mission, reaction to the Pink Letter, etc.), even when we know it’s a mistake (as Jenny said) and he doesn’t anticipate the consequences — but we know how Jon comes to these decisions. I definitely think Jon thinks things through way better and more often than his show counterpart and he can be more strategic at times, but not always — and the internal monologues let us know how he comes to these decisions.

      What you’ve said reminds me of what GRRM stated why Jon was a challenging part to transition from book to screen:

      “Snow is a challenging part,” Martin told me. “In the books, what’s going on with Jon is internal. I can tell you what he’s thinking, but you can’t do that on TV.”

        Quote  Reply

    107. Ten Bears:
      So… Book! Melisandre inadvertently misleads Jon?PS: What was “Arya’s [supposed] deliverance” gifted from the Lord of Light and Mel?

      Yeah, Efi explained how Melisandre put a glamor on Rattleshirt to make it look like Stannis was burning Mance, so everyone — including Jon — believed Mance was dead. Then, part-way through the book, Melisandre reveals Mance is alive and offers Jon the chance to save Arya, who is actually Jeyne Poole posing as Arya, by sending Mance to rescue her. Melisandre truly believes this girl is Arya, as does Jon, and it’s revealed later on that Jon did allow Melisandre to send Mance to rescue fArya. And Stannis writes to Jon too promising to save Arya if he can. So (nearly) everyone seems to believe this girl is really Arya. And then yeah, as Efi said, Ramsay sends a letter demanding Jon send fArya to him, as well as several other individuals — which Jon won’t do as Jon views Ramsay as a depraved, inhumane monster.

        Quote  Reply

    108. Ten Bears,

      I think that’s understandable. I’m kind of in a funk about it because I have low hopes for the next book coming out and even lower hopes for ADOS coming out. I think GRRM is stuck.

      If you ever find yourself wanting a sort of a run-down and analysis of the book arcs for Jon, Dany, and Tyrion in ADWD, Adam Feldman of the Meereenese Knot did some essays on these arcs. Elio Garcia, who (with Linda Antonsson) co-wrote The Word of Ice and Fire with GRRM, reported that GRRM had read the Dany essays and said Feldman got it right. I think all of the essays are excellent regardless and do explain the arcs nicely 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    109. Ten Bears,

      True, that’s why I’m just hopeful, but not naive, I hope he has the books ready next year, and maybe he has not. And I just wait till he say: I’m in the last stage of winds. draft 1 is complete, now making my final draft.

      Adrianacandle,

      Same with Cat. She was very internal. Luckily we had Michelle Fairley to portait her.

        Quote  Reply

    110. kevin1989: Same with Cat. She was very internal. Luckily we had Michelle Fairley to portait her.

      That’s true (and I love Michelle Fairley as Catelyn) — and same with Ned. We get so much from his inner monologue.

      I wish we had Robb’s.

        Quote  Reply

    111. Adrianacandle,

      Attempted repost #3 – Part 1

      1:47 attempted post > ether

      Adrianacandle,

      ”Their [Jon & Arya] reunion in the books will be amazing!”

      ______
      Well I certainly hope so. To be honest, I thought their reunion on the show was underwhelming. All I had wanted was for the Jon & Arya reunion to have the same emotional punch as the wonderful Jon & Sansa reunion at Castle Black in S6 – followed by a fully developed Jon & Sansa plot line from mid-S6 through S7.

      By contrast, Jon & Arya’s reunion on the show was kind of abbreviated, and (for me) was diluted by Jon’s quip about Arya defending Sansa, and Arya’s perplexing response that Sansa was “the smartest person I’ve ever met.” (Where did that come from? What did Sansa say or do that made Arya arrive at that conclusion? Sansa got snookered by LF, and we were never shown how either of the Stark sisters [belatedly] figured out LF was playing them. Did I miss something?)

      I understand that in the books Jon and Arya think of each other often, and were very close – while Sansa was somewhat estranged from Jon and treated him as if she were a mini-Catelyn.
      That iconic “Needle was Jon Snow’s smile” internal monologue from the books [= S5 scene on Braavos dock when Arya tears up and cannot bear to toss Needle into the water] packed such an emotional punch because of their bond.

      I know the show did not or could not portray their inner emotions to the extent the books apparently did.

      Still. when I watched the wonderful scene in S1e2, when Jon gives Needle to Arya and says goodbye – which turned me into a die hard ASNAWP superfan (see below*), I was anticipating an equally poignant scene when they saw each other again after 6-7 years apart.

      *S1e2, Jon gives Arya Needle (at 1:40 – 3:57):

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m8hpYpqkmgQ

      to be cont.

        Quote  Reply

    112. Part 2

      Even after their brief reunion in the Godswood, there really weren’t any “high thread count” Jon & Arya interactions, except the very short scene in the last episode when Jon wipes the tear from Arya’s cheek before she goes off exploring the uncharted waters and he heads back to Castle Black.

      I thought to myself: “WTF? They supposedly missed each other so much…and after they didn’t get to spend any time together because of the battle of WF and then Dany’s Inferno in KL, she blew off his invitation to come visit him at Castle Black because… she wanted to go sailing??? What was the urgency?

      Sorry. I just felt…shortchanged.

      to be cont

        Quote  Reply

    113. Ten Bears,

      I personally enjoyed when Arya told Jon “I know a killer when I see one” as if she was the only one to have seen Dany obliterate King’s Landing and thousands of people just prior.

      Gee thanks Arya, the powers of perception are strong in this one.

      Sorry, just had to add that 🙂

      I would’ve liked to have seen more between those two as well, but alas, it was not to be.

      And you’re right. I’m not sure what the hurry was to go sailing. Besides, couldn’t Bran just tell Arya what’s West of Westeros? I guess he didn’t want to spoil it for her?

        Quote  Reply

    114. Ten Bears,
      The Lord of Light can be fickle to us commentators 🙁 maybe if we burn down some sacred trees, we’ll get better results…

      Yeah — I was hoping for more too. They didn’t get much time to reconnect or come to know who the other is now. I feel much of season 8 was more plot-driven than character-driven and lacked that kind of exploration, which is the exact thing I wanted!! But it felt like a Cliff’s Notes version of a season.

      I think Jon and Sansa’s reunion had that extra emotional punch because it was the first time in six years any of that family had seen each other and I think it was kind of cathartic for the audience too at that point. However, the Stark reunions following were a bit lacklustre, I felt :/ I liked the Jon-Arya reunion but they really should have had some catch up time. Does Jon even know Arya can change faces?

      In the books, I believe Sansa thinks of Jon three times and Jon thinks of Sansa as many times as he does Bran (half of those times in conjunction with Arya as “my sisters”), but not as much as Robb or Arya. He thinks of Arya the most. Sansa wasn’t terrible or mean to Jon but Catelyn’s treatment of Jon influenced Sansa so she was more distant. However, she does pray for him in book 2 along with the rest of her family and wishes to see him again in book 4 as she believes he’s her only brother left.

      I’m not sure when any of these characters will reunite if more books come out, Sansa’s story was merged with Jeyne Poole’s in the books and she’s still in the Vale set to marry Harry the Heir. Meanwhile, Jon’s currently dead or dying, Arya’s still running all about, Bran is learning how to be a tree, and Rickon is on an island of cannibals and unicorns. I think Davos is looking for him.

      I’m typing this on my phone during a long bus ride or I’d pull up my fave Jon-Arya quotes!

        Quote  Reply

    115. Adrianacandle:
      Ten Bears,
      I feel much of season 8 was more plot-driven than character-driven and lacked that kind of exploration, which is the exact thing I wanted!! But it felt like a Cliff’s Notes version of a season.

      And by this, I meant I wanted more character exploration — I just reread and realized how that might have come off!

      I have more thoughts but I think I’ll save those for when I return home tonight if today doesn’t kill me 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    116. Ten Bears,

      That’s a classic case of ‘if a character says it, it must be true’ much like Varys’ dismissal of Jon/Dany ruling together, he says that she will bend him to her will…. based on what mate? Oh and Tyrion declaring that Bran has the best story lol, can we vote on that?

      I was slightly underwhelmed by the Jon/Arya reunion, but to be fair, I don’t know how it could have lived up to my expectations. I was desperate for them to be together again. Her choosing to leave and probably never return was strange to me. But it was strange from all of them, they actively chose to be apart and I thought that was sad.

        Quote  Reply

    117. Ten Bears,

      “By contrast, Jon & Arya’s reunion on the show was kind of abbreviated, and (for me) was diluted by Jon’s quip about Arya defending Sansa, and Arya’s perplexing response that Sansa was “the smartest person I’ve ever met.” (Where did that come from? What did Sansa say or do that made Arya arrive at that conclusion? Sansa got snookered by LF, and we were never shown how either of the Stark sisters [belatedly] figured out LF was playing them. Did I miss something?)”

      The entire WF plot of s7 (if there was any) was designed to take LF out. No one has any idea what they intended to do with it as it played out on screen. They had a scene where Sansa knocks on Bran’s door seeking information about LF, which they filmed but cut in the edit. This was wise, because it’d make Sansa seem like she really was thinking of turning against her sister, like she believed LF.
      Instead, the way it was shown left doubts about what the true intentions of Sansa were, to hype the suspense; she could go either way, which explains the scene in the great hall where she calls LF in the last moment while Arya is so cool as if she knows what’s going on.
      Some overanalyze the thing and say that Sansa was acting in unison with Arya all along with the intention to frame LF. This happened. Sansa took action only after LF insinuated that Arya would be her rival, after she learned that Jon was returning home (so she didn’t need LF to hold the Vale army) and he specifically said that Jon should be unnamed as king.
      Frankly, I don’t really see it. It was weak, pretty much like the entire season 8 which followed and was made on the same pattern. If they meant for Sansa and Arya to work together to take down LF, why not show it?
      Instead, they made it look like Sansa used her sister’s distrust (which doesn’t make sense) to frame LF, dropping lines now and then until he finally showed his true colors against Arya and Jon. That was her excuse for having his throat cut, lol (but why would she need that much no one has explained).
      As for the “smartest person” line, well, all of the above, blurred as it is.

      But Sansa and LF have given me my favorite lines ever:

      “Chaos is a ladder” (top of the top, I’m dying, especially with AG’s mean style)
      “You’re going to die tomorrow lord Bolton. Sleep well”.
      “No need to have the last word, lord Baelish. I’ll assume it was something clever”. (I keep this one for anyone who’s annoying me)

        Quote  Reply

    118. Efi,

      I think it’s a shame that the smartness was going up and down with Sansa. They have Arya the upperhand in season 7. But Arya has streetsmart for better word. With Baelish you need something else.

      I wish that they had made it that Sansa knew all along about Baelish plan, that she played him. That was the feeling I had in season 6 and 7×01 that she became that person who could outsmart LF. But in the end I didn’t feel it. The whole season 5 messed with that. Because I really think in the books she will become the smartest or one of the smartest. I think she will outsmart LF in winds and he dies there. I think she gain the Vale after that. And I think in the end she will outsmart Dany. Maybe outsmart with Dany is not the right word, but I think like the show she will know who Dany is. And I think that makes more sense in the books because LF didn’t gain back the upperhand.

        Quote  Reply

    119. Efi,

      Yes, there is an interview with Isaac Hempstead Wright disproving that theory, unfortunately, when he revealed this cut scene :/

      We actually did a scene that clearly got cut, a short scene with Sansa where she knocks on Bran’s door and says, “I need your help,” or something along those lines. So basically, as far as I know, the story was that it suddenly occurred to Sansa that she had a huge CCTV department at her discretion and it might be a good idea to check with him first before she guts her own sister. So she goes to Bran, and Bran tells her everything she needs to know, and she’s like, “Oh, s—.”

        Quote  Reply

    120. Mr Derp,

      ”And you’re right. I’m not sure what the hurry was to go sailing. Besides, couldn’t Bran just tell Arya what’s West of Westeros? I guess he didn’t want to spoil it for her?”

      ——-
      I have to confess: While watching that final scene of Arya asking Jon what’s west of Westeros; Jon answering he didn’t know; and Arya saying nobody does and that’s where she’s going…
      I couldn’t help but hear The Hound’s voice turning the tables on her:

      Sandor: “Don’t you have a map?”
      Arya: “No I don’t have a map.”
      Sandor: “Don’t you think you should get one?”
      Arya: “Uh…maybe…”
      Sandor: “Well just point out the nearest map shop and I’ll buy you one.”

      In all seriousness, it wouldn’t have detracted from the ending if Arya had hung out with Jon at CB or Wildlingville for a couple of months before disappearing again for who knows how many years exploring the great unknown.

      It was bad enough Bran the Useless and Sansa agreed to Jon’s banishment without his input.* It would’ve taken some of the sting out if Arya accompanied him on the trip up and stayed with him for a while. As he assured her, nobody would dare tell her she couldn’t.

      * Arguably, Jon never would’ve been placed in a position of having to euthanize Dany if Sansa hadn’t started yapping five minutes after promising to keep her mouth shut; or if Bran hadn’t been in such a rush to divulge the secret that Ned had wisely kept his entire adult life.

      And what was the urgency anyway? Why tell Jon he was “the heir to the Iron Throne” if, as it appeared, Bran knew in advance he himself was going to be the king?

      Jon sure got treated shabbily by his “siblings.” Bran the Bubblehead became King of the Six Kingdoms and Sansa became Queen of the seventh – at Jon’s expense.

        Quote  Reply

    121. Ten Bears:

      And what was the urgency anyway? Why tell Jon he was “the heir to the Iron Throne” if, as it appeared, Bran knew in advance he himself was going to be the king?

      He needed Jon to end things with Dany so that she would ‘go mad’, all part of his cunning plan to become King himself. There is no other explanation that I can think of. Or it’s more likely that D&D had an end point and had to reverse engineer it.

        Quote  Reply

    122. Adrianacandle,

      One of these days I’m going to total up the S8 screen time of Arya & Sandor together vs. Arya & Jon together. I have no doubt Arya & Sandor had more (and better) scenes together than Arya & Jon.

      Which…is kind of odd, based on book readers’ descriptions of the bond between Jon and Arya in the books, and the less developed Sandor & Arya relationship in the books.

      Maybe after S3 + S4 the showrunners realized they had struck gold with the chemistry between Maisie Williams/Arya and Rory McCann/Sandor?

        Quote  Reply

    123. Jenny,

      Yeah. I think you’re right: Reverse engineering. Because I could not and still cannot make sense out of Bran and Sam being so insistent that “we have to tell him [Jon].” Why? Just to piss off Dany so she’d have a psychotic break?

      [Excuse the cliche political exprsssion]: After all that setup of the “R+L = J” and Tower of Joy flashback story, Jon’s parentage kind of turned out to be one big nothingburger.

        Quote  Reply

    124. Mr Derp:
      Ten Bears,

      I personally enjoyed when Arya told Jon “I know a killer when I see one” as if she was the only one to have seen Dany obliterate King’s Landing and thousands of people just prior.

      Gee thanks Arya, the powers of perception are strong in this one.

      Sorry, just had to add that 🙂

      And you’re right.I’m not sure what the hurry was to go sailing.Besides, couldn’t Bran just tell Arya what’s West of Westeros?I guess he didn’t want to spoil it for her?

      That is a very practical assessment of Arya’s line. But some fans say that Arya wasn’t referring to Dany’s Inferno, but to her assessment of her after her Hitlerian oration.

      SCRIPT: Arya watches from afar, cool and hooded, APPRAISING Dany and her forces. Arya hated Cersei as much as anyone. That doesn’t mean she likes the new boss. To her it looks like the Seven Kingdoms just traded one tyrant for another.

      And when she talks to JOn, before they part she grabs his arm and says “Jon”:

      SCRIPT: No one else is close enough to hear their words.
      ARYA: “She knows who you are. Who you REALLY are. You’ll always be a threat to her.”

      Arya looks to Dany, walking away with her Dothraki bodyguard.
      ARYA: “And I know a killer when I see one.”

      There’s no hint that Arya was thinking of the annihilation she had barely survived. Jon did, Tyrion, too. But Arya has had to be a cold-blooded killer (no longer, thank the gods and Sandor), and she knows that Dany is capable of killing Jon.

      About sailing–she realised she wanted to do it in Series 6 Ep 8. Now that her Pack is safe and Jon unfortunately out of reach–why not go? Why do Brits go the States and Yanks go the UK? And for that matter, why does anyone opt for the expense and challenges of travel when we have videos, films, telly even VR to take us places? Because they want to experience and see it for themselves. The travel documentaries of Sir Michael Edward Palin are transporting….but wouldn’t it be nice to go to some of those places? For Arya Stark, surely a cold, dry summation by Data-Bran would never suffice. He’d be like Mr Spock explaining love.

      Incidentally, the last line in the script about Arya is “She has been No One. She has been Arya Stark of Winterfell. Who will she be next?” A Discoverer seems apt.
      .

        Quote  Reply

    125. Efi:
      Ten Bears,

      Jon was done dirty by the producers in the first place.

      I enjoy very much Bran’s nicknames. Do you have more?

      Well, I think Mango has the best Bran nickname so far: “Bran the Useless.”

      Let’s keep going though. I

      I’’m partial to alliteration, hence, “Bran the Bubblehead.” I’ve also referred to him as “Bran the Bystander” because oftentimes he really just sat back and watched, and contributed very little other than repeat other characters’ catchphrases like an annoying parrot.

      Honestly, I’ve got to think the Big Kahuna has a more interesting story line planned for him other than accidental monarch. I also refuse to believe that the test for the new monarch is going to be “who has the best story?”, and that the answer to that question is “Bran the Broken” who rolled his eyes back and went tree tripping at the most inopportune times.

      Oh. One other thing: I’m still a little ticked off that he “saw” his missing little sister when she was at the Crossroads Inn (w/ Hot Pie in S7e2), but didn’t bother to tell Jon before he left WF, and didn’t tell Sansa until two episodes later after Arya had already returned home.

        Quote  Reply

    126. Slightly Off-Topic – Game of Thrones Alumni News –
      Bella Ramsey (aka, in the teeth-gritting words of King Stannis, “the Lady of Bear Island and a child of ten”):

      I read a glowing 3 1/2 stars review of the movie “Judy” starring Renée Zellweger as Judy Garland.

      It’s set in 1969, when “a destitute Judy Garland reluctantly takes a gig at London’s Talk of the Town dinner club in hopes of earning enough money to regain custody of her children” from her ex-husband Sid Luft, including her daughter Lorna Luft played by Bella Ramsey.

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    127. Adrianacandle,

      “Yes, there is an interview with Isaac Hempstead Wright disproving that theory, unfortunately, when he revealed this cut scene :/

      We actually did a scene that clearly got cut, a short scene with Sansa where she knocks on Bran’s door and says, “I need your help,” or something along those lines. So basically, as far as I know, the story was that it suddenly occurred to Sansa that she had a huge CCTV department at her discretion and it might be a good idea to check with him first before she guts her own sister. So she goes to Bran, and Bran tells her everything she needs to know, and she’s like, “Oh, s—.”

      ______
      • … And that is the smartest person Arya has ever met??? C’mon ASNAWP!
      • And Bran didn’t volunteer any of this information until he was specifically asked, i.e., right before Sansa was going to gut her own sister?

        Quote  Reply

    128. Efi,

      [About Sansa vs Arya vs LF, you wrote]:
      ”Frankly, I don’t really see it. It was weak, pretty much like the entire season 8 which followed and was made on the same pattern. If they meant for Sansa and Arya to work together to take down LF, why not show it?”

      ____
      Agree 100%. I would’ve much rather enjoyed watching the sisters laying the trap and then springing it on LF, rather than that “surprise” moment when it appears Arya is being accused of murder and treason, and then Sansa says “How do you answer these charges…Lord Baelish?”

      (BTW, those “charges” couldn’t have applied to Arya anyway. She didn’t murder anyone.
      And as I’ve whinged about before, I was disappointed that Mr. Master Gameplayer Littlefinger folded like a cheap suit and admitted his guilt instead of easily talking his way out of the flimsy, unsubstantiated “charges.”)

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    129. Ten Bears,

      Edit: Arya didn’t murder anyone … as far as Sansa knew. Or at least nobody who wasn’t on the House Stark Top Ten Most Wanted List, eg Walder Frey and his damn moron sons.

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    130. Ten Bears,

      Yeah, and this is why I feel elements of the latter seasons, but especially season 8, seemed more like a grocery-store checklist to get characters into their final positions without the development they needed. Which hurts 🙁 And all the more so because I am so pessimistic about a release date for the books that I think I’m going to die of old age before they ever get released.

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    131. Ten Bears,

      One of these days I’m going to total up the S8 screen time of Arya & Sandor together vs. Arya & Jon together. I have no doubt Arya & Sandor had more (and better) scenes together than Arya & Jon.

      I don’t even think you need to do the math, I think you’re 100% right about that.

      I feel kind of robbed of that Arya-Jon re-exploration of their relationship after they’ve been apart for so long. Jon has no idea just how far Arya took her first “stick ’em pointy end” lesson and how insanely good she is at it (why didn’t they use Arya to infiltrate KL and kill Cersei? Could anybody have a better weapon than an Arya? Dany stays north, lets Rhaegal heal, Missandei retains an intact neck, Arya & Sandor go on a road trip, Arya slips in, gets the job done, nobody goes nuts or creatively seeks to redefine what liberation means! :D)

      Which…is kind of odd, based on book readers’ descriptions of the bond between Jon and Arya in the books, and the less developed Sandor & Arya relationship in the books.

      Yeah, I mean, there is some good stuff in the books with Sandor but I’m going to pull up some of my fave Jon-Arya quotes off the top of my head 😉

      Suddenly Arya remembered the crypts at Winterfell. They were a lot scarier than this place, she told herself. She’d been just a little girl the first time she saw them. Her brother Robb had taken them down, her and Sansa and baby Bran, who’d been no bigger than Rickon was now. They’d only had one candle between them, and Bran’s eyes had gotten as big as saucers as he stared at the stone faces of the Kings of Winter, with their wolves at their feet and their iron swords across their laps.

      Robb took them all the way down to the end, past Grandfather and Brandon and Lyanna, to show them their own tombs. Sansa kept looking at the stubby little candle, anxious that it might go out. Old Nan had told her there were spiders down here, and rats as big as dogs. Robb smiled when she said that. “There are worse things than spiders and rats,” he whispered. “This is where the dead walk.” That was when they heard the sound, low and deep and shivery. Baby Bran had clutched at Arya’s hand.

      When the spirit stepped out of the open tomb, pale white and moaning for blood, Sansa ran shrieking for the stairs, and Bran wrapped himself around Robb’s leg, sobbing. Arya stood her ground and gave the spirit a punch. It was only Jon, covered with flour. “You stupid,” she told him, “you scared the baby,” but Jon and Robb just laughed and laughed, and pretty soon Bran and Arya were laughing too.

      The memory made Arya smile, and after that the darkness held no more terrors for her.

      And Arya… he missed her even more than Robb, skinny little thing that she was, all scraped knees and tangled hair and torn clothes, so fierce and willful. Arya never seemed to fit, no more than he had… yet she could always make Jon smile. He would give anything to be with her now, to muss up her hair once more and watch her make a face, to hear her finish a sentence with him.

      So there is magic beyond the Wall after all. He found himself thinking of his sisters, perhaps because he’d dreamed of them last night. Sansa would call this an enchantment, and tears would fill her eyes at the wonder of it, but Arya would run out laughing and shouting, wanting to touch it all.

      The girl smiled in a way that reminded Jon so much of his little sister that it almost broke his heart.

      And of course…

      Needle was Robb and Bran and Rickon, her mother and her father, even Sansa. Needle was Winterfell’s grey walls, and the laughter of its people. Needle was the summer snows, Old Nan’s stories, the heart tree with its red leaves and scary face, the warm earthy smell of the glass gardens, the sound of the north wind rattling the shutters of her room. Needle was Jon Snow’s smile. He used to mess my hair and call me “little sister,” she remembered, and suddenly there were tears in her eyes.

      Oh god, I hope this post passes the post length detector… Dear Lord of Light, I singed my hair on the curling iron in sacrifice to you today.

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    132. Efi,

      Jon is good at negotiating in the books but I’d disagree he’s a master at this point. For every gain Jon makes, there’s a downside Jon doesn’t really account for.

      Yes, Jon negotiates with Stannis quite well and does a good job holding his ground. Jon is why Stannis is still alive (and, well, the Watch is still up and running because Stannis came to the rescue).

      However, the trouble comes when Jon finds himself supporting Stannis, despite urging himself to stay neutral because Stannis fights for the realm:

      Jon realized that his words were wasted. Stannis would take the Dreadfort or die in the attempt. The Night’s Watch takes no part, a voice said, but another replied, Stannis fights for the realm, the ironmen for thralls and plunder.

      And some of Jon’s men recognize Jon is supporting Stannis beyond the acceptable confines of neutrality before Jon recognizes it himself. Jon’s officers dislike the aid Jon gives Stannis because Stannis is far from a sure bet and it could incur the wrath of the Iron Throne — which is a more than a reasonable concern to have. And it puts the start of dissent among Jon’s ranks into momentum.

      How Jon managed the situation with Alys was definitely brilliant: he manages to save Alys from her evil relatives, she gets an army to retake her home, and this createa a new house with the Alys-Sigorn marriage to help establish the wildlings in Westeros.

      However, again, the downside is Jon was acting far beyond his capacity as Lord Commander and this was far from a discreet act and definitely not neutral — helping to invite retaliation from the Boltons, who Alys’s evil relatives are aligned with and who Jon foiled.

      With the free folk, Jon and Tormund do agree on a fair alliance. Tormund wants his people safe behind the Wall and Jon wants that too — and Jon is also very aware that he needs to find a way to stop the free folk from raiding southern lands, needs to address the concerns of his men about such, and knows they need to somehow pay for the supplies needed to feed the free folk. The 100 boy-hostages are given light errands to do for the Watch, the free folk give what gold they have to help pay for supplies to feed and house them, while wildling fighters agree to help man forts along the Wall against their common enemy. It seems good.

      Still, the valuables aren’t enough to pay for the needed food so Jon must get a loan — and he doesn’t tell Bowen Marsh about it. I think because Bowen will freak out as the Iron Bank is not kind to those who default.

      And the other downside is, as Jenny said above, Jon isn’t a great communicator and completely fails to win his men over in this regard. Jon explains the situation to them a few times (wildlings are people too, we must unite against the dead) — but uses primarily humanitarian arguments with Bowen Marsh, Yarwyck, and co. when these guys do not see the wildlings as people as Jon does. Frustratingly, Jon only uses the dead wildling = wight argument once or twice, the one argument that may actually work with his dissenters.

      While Jon is really successful at building a peace with the wildlings, he barely tries with the dissenting faction of his own men. Those among his men who supported Jon, Jon sent to perform other jobs in other areas as Ned told him, “A lord may love the men that he commands, but he cannot be a friend to them. One day he may need to sit in judgment on them, or send them forth to die.”

      So Jon, the 16-year old boy commander he is and in an effort to fulfill his duty, sends his friends away to other jobs — and finds himself isolated, miserable, alone, and losing patience with his officers.

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    133. Efi,

      As I remember it, the Cotter Pyke-Hardome home missions are a point of contention between Jon and his men. And I can see why: from what I can remember, they’re not going well, nobody’s been rescued yet, but Jon is still absolutely determined to rescue those people. His men are wholly opposed to it but Jon refuses to let those stranded wildlings die (as Bowen, Selyse, and his advisors council).

      Jon does have a moral compass. He wants to do good for the people. He wants to do the right thing. But in his effort he crossed over many lines, moral and political (“the Night’s Watch takes no part” is a political motto). He’s not a saint and I never claimed that he is; I never claimed that he’s immoral either.

      I’m sorry if I misunderstood you! That’s what I took ‘unscrupulous’ to mean (‘having or showing no moral principles’). I apologizing for misunderstanding 🙂

      It’s true that Jon has crossed many a political line in ADWD but I’m not sure if Jon has truly crossed a moral line yet at this point. The closest I can think of is the baby switch, which is brutal and harsh and Gilly will suffer forever for it. At the same time, the motivation behind that was a moral one: to prevent Melisandre from burning any babies, per Aemon’s warning (I think the theory kevin read might be right: Gilly’s kid will be fine as Val knows who he is and apparently, Melisandre does as well so she’s going to use Shireen instead because Melisandre has no other access to king’s blood since Jon got Aemon and Mance’s son away). However, Gilly will still suffer because of this for the rest of her life and it weighs heavily on Jon, as it should.

      If Melisandre does use Shireen, there’d be a terrible irony that Jon did the baby switch to stop Melisandre from burning any babies — but it leads to her burning Shireen because she doesn’t have Mance’s son and Gilly’s kid is king’s-blood-free.

      I do think Jon still has much to learn before the 7K are putty in his hands. Jon’s actions in ADWD lead directly to the Pink Letter, which leads to Jon’s stabbing and downfall.

      I think Feldman put it best when he summarized:

      The Pink Letter cuts off Jon’s arc before these new gambles of Jon’s fully play out. But I believe Martin has included them for a reason — to show how Jon is still driven by the hero’s instinct — his “noble heart” — to take great risks, and that this is very much his Achilles’ heel as a leader. When an innocent is in danger, and Jon thinks he might have the power to save that person, he will use it, even if doing so could be very dangerous for the Watch. And, as he piles risk upon risk, he makes his eventual demise and failure more and more certain.

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    134. Efi: separating men from women (and thus weakening them)

      This wasn’t meant to weaken the wildlings. It was to prevent rapes and abuse of wildling women from men in the Night’s Watch, something Bowen Marsh warned Jon about. The spearwives and women are given their own castle so if any guy tries anything, the spearwives will take care of that issue right quick.

      Of the sixty-three who had come back with him from Mole’s Town, nineteen had been women and girls. Jon had housed them in the same abandoned tower where he had once slept when he had been new to the Wall. Twelve were spearwives, more than capable of defending both themselves and the younger girls from the unwanted attentions of black brothers. It was some of the men they’d turned away who’d given Hardin’s Tower its new, inflammatory name. Jon was not about to condone the mockery. “Three drunken fools mistook Hardin’s for a brothel, that’s all. They are in the ice cells now, contemplating their mistake.”

      And then, because men in the Night’s Watch keep harassing Hardin’s Tower (which they nicknamed ‘Harlot’s Tower’ in-universe, the inflammatory name Jon refers to here), Jon relocates this population to the women-only Long Barrow farther away to keep the Night’s Watchmen from going there.

      This situation is reflected again when two girls try to pose as boys and Jon sends them to Long Barrow, not wanting the story of Brave Danny Flint to repeat again. She was a girl who posed as a boy to join the Night’s Watch and was raped and killed once she was discovered by her Watch brothers. Jon tells this story to Tormund, explaining this is why he’s sending the girls to Long Barrow:

      “Did Mance ever sing of Brave Danny Flint?”

      “Not as I recall. Who was he?”

      “A girl who dressed up like a boy to take the black. Her song is sad and pretty. What happened to her wasn’t.” In some versions of the song, her ghost still walked the Nightfort. “I’ll send the girls to Long Barrow.” The only men there were Iron Emmett and Dolorous Edd, both of whom he trusted. That was not something he could say of all his brothers.

      Meanwhile, men with families, orphaned children, and non-combatants are housed in another set of castles. It seems the aim is to prevent rape, assault, and harassment rather than weaken the wildlings.

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    135. Efi,

      I had forgotten to add — wildling females and males aren’t all separated because families and couples are still housed together in other castles. Wilding men and women aren’t forbidden from intermingling or anything like that 😉 Long Barrow is a women-only fort but the women who are housed there aren’t forbidden from getting with men if they wish.

      When the first wildlings arrive to help defend the Wall at Castle Black, Bowen Marsh is concerned about fights and rapes breaking out when Jon reveals he will accept women who wish to fight as well:

      The Lord Steward glanced back. “Women too? Our brothers are not accustomed to having women amongst them, my lord. Their vows… there will be fights, rapes…”

      “These women have knives and know how to use them.”

      “And the first time one of these spearwives slits the throat of one of our brothers, what then?”

      “We will have lost a man,” said Jon, “but we have just gained sixty-three. You’re good at counting, my lord. Correct me if I’m wrong, but my reckoning leaves us sixty-two ahead.”

      Then the trouble with Hardin’s Tower starts as more and more Night’s Watchmen start approaching it and Jon realizes Bowen is right, this situation can get much worse, and he opens Long Barrow, which is a fort much farther away, so Night’s Watchmen stop going there.

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    136. Adrianacandle,

      Oh thank you! This book quote by Jon was so nice; I had never read it before:

      “And Arya… he missed her even more than Robb, skinny little thing that she was, all scraped knees and tangled hair and torn clothes, so fierce and willful. Arya never seemed to fit, no more than he had… yet she could always make Jon smile. He would give anything to be with her now, to muss up her hair once more and watch her make a face, to hear her finish a sentence with him.”

      It dovetails perfectly with Arya’s own internal monologue that you also quoted (excerpted below):

      “…Needle was Jon Snow’s smile. He used to mess my hair and call me “little sister,” she remembered, and suddenly there were tears in her eyes.”

      I shouldn’t whinge after the fact, and yet, I wish the show had excised that cackling clown Euron, and given us some quality Jon & Arya scenes instead.

      (*Prays to Lord of Light before pressing “Post Comment”*)

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    137. Adrianacandle,

      ”I feel kind of robbed of that Arya-Jon re-exploration of their relationship after they’ve been apart for so long. Jon has no idea just how far Arya took her first “stick ’em pointy end” lesson and how insanely good she is at it…”

      ——-
      • No kidding! In their S8e1 reunion, I’m not sure why Arya downplayed her skills:

      [Except from S8e1; Godswood. After Arya and Jon run towards each other and embrace, Jon looks down to see Needle.]

      Jon: “You still have it.”
      (Arya unsheathes it, shows it to him)
      Arya: “Needle.”
      Jon: “Have you ever used it?”
      Arya: “Once or twice.”
      Me to TV: “Excuse me?”

      (Arya puts Needle away. Jon pulls out Longclaw, and hands it to Arya).
      Arya: “Valyrian steel.”
      Jon: “Jealous?”
      Arya: “Too heavy for me.”
      Syrio’s Voice in My Head: “It is heavy as it needs to be to make you strong!”
      ______

      To be cont.

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    138. • By my reckoning, by the time Arya reunited with Jon in S8e1 she had at least 62 kills. (That includes 51 Frey doofuses in the opening scene of S7e1, i.e. Arya’s Arbor Gold Wine Tasting Party, aka Winter Came for House Frey.)

      Arya Kill Count through S7

      Decedents … # … Running total

      S1
      Stable Boy S1e9 1 🗡 … 1
      S3
      Frey campfire weenie 1 🔪 … 2
      S4
      e1 Lannister soldier 1 ⚔️ … 3
      + Polliver 1 🗡 … 4
      Rorge 1 🗡 … 5
      S5
      Meryn F*cking Trant 1 🔪 … 6
      S6
      The Waif 1 🗡 … 7
      Walder, Lothar 3 🔪🔪🔪? … 10
      + Black Walder Frey
      S7
      House Frey 51 🍷 …. 61
      Littlefinger 1 🔪 … 62

      Legend:
      🗡 = Death by Needle
      🍷= Death by Poison
      🔪 = Death by Dagger
      or Shucking Knife
      ⚔️= Death by Misc. Sword

      • So when Jon asks about Needle in S8e1….

      Jon: “Have you ever used it?”
      Arya: “Once or twice.”

      … She’d already killed 4 people with it.

      #ASNAWP 👸🏻

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    139. Ten Bears,

      “One other thing: I’m still a little ticked off that he “saw” his missing little sister when she was at the Crossroads Inn (w/ Hot Pie in S7e2), but didn’t bother to tell Jon before he left WF, and didn’t tell Sansa until two episodes later after Arya had already returned home.”

      Of course he didn’t tell anybody anything. There’s a policy of not intervening, sth like the UN (and NATO when its own allies are fighting). Modern day politics has given a lot of examples to the script authors, I guess.
      Of course that doesn’t apply to what he remembers of the past. He reminded Arya that she was at the Crossroads, also he reminded Sansa the abuse she suffered in her own home, but he didn’t have a single thing to remind Jon, did he? We’re lucky that we got the “the things we do for love” moment.
      Ok, poison alert, I should stop.

      (btw Jon had already left when Bran returned to WF)

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    140. Ten Bears,

      THAT is an impressive list and your emoji legend!!

      It dovetails perfectly with Arya’s own internal monologue that you also quoted (excerpted below)

      It does! What really gets me is Arya’s, “He used to mess my hair and call me “little sister,” she remembered, and suddenly there were tears in her eyes.” That line has left me suddenly with tears in my eyes more than a few times 😅😅😅😅

      I shouldn’t whinge after the fact, and yet, I wish the show had excised that cackling clown Euron, and given us some quality Jon & Arya scenes instead.

      Oh, me too. And I really wanted Jon to be able to witness what Arya could do — but I feel we barely got anything (only two one-on-one sessions, one of which was ‘I know a killer when I see one’) and definitely no real catch up session. I think a full 10 episodes for seasons 7 and 8 could have done so much, especially the final season.

      I’m not sure why Arya downplayed her skills

      I had wondered about that too but the way she said it, the way Jon looked when she said it, that she’s had to kill — I wonder if it was meant to be sort of sad, denoting a shift from the “skinny little thing that she was, all scraped knees and tangled hair and torn clothes, so fierce and willful” girl she was, who Jon knew as his little sister, to the deadly, silent assassin who could take out an entire room of enemies in one go and who was forced to survive a war-torn Westeros on the run.

      It sort of reminds me of this quote when Jon is angsting about Arya:

      He’d had Mikken make a sword for Arya once, a bravo’s blade, made small to fit her hand. Needle. He wondered if she still had it. Stick them with the pointy end, he’d told her, but if she tried to stick [Ramsay], it could mean her life.

      Jon: “Have you ever used it?”
      Arya: “Once or twice.”
      … She’d already killed 4 people with it.

      🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

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    141. Jenny:
      Tron79,

      Yes, I think we can all guess what Jon will be doing in Winds.

      LSH, Sansa and Dorne are the major missteps for me in the show.I really wish they had followed the books.Dorne not so much, it’s a tough one, because it bored me senseless in AFFC, but it was still better than what we got in the show, imagine wasting Jaime on that…. if they could go back in time, I bet they would cut it entirely, it went nowhere without fAegon.I also wonder if, instead of Arya killing the Frey’s, she is the one to kill LSH in the end after Jaime/Brienne escape (or die, who knows).

      A few others talked about AFFC problems too, but I’m only half reading them, since some seem like spoilers… Now that I’ve started my boiled leather journey through AFFC and ADOD (reading both books as one), I am extremely happy I get to switch over to ADOD. The differences between the start of the two books is pretty striking to me…I’ll put the rest under spoilers for those who haven’t read the books yet..

      ADOD captured me right away with the prologue of Sixskins and the aftermath of the defeat of the wildlings at castle black. In contrast, the beginning of AFFC went through a zillion Greyjoy’s who were in line for king and then Dorne… It took almost 70 pages before GRRM started on a familiar POV character with Cersei. If I wasn’t fully committed to reading these and also an obsessed fan, I don’t think the beginning of AFFC would have kept my interest. I would say the best part of Dorne for me in the show was the visual beauty of the sand snakes. I know that may sound shallow, but for me, that kept me watching even though the story wasn’t going anywhere. In the book, I can sort of imagine what they look like, but I believe there are 8 of them, and GRRM spent alot more time on describing Doran’s gout than on describing the beauty and kick ass nature of the sand snakes (at least so far… I’m not that many chapters in yet). It’s also amazing that Tyrion is in ADOD and not in AFFC. With the boiled leather chapter order I’m able to go from Cersei finding out about Tywin’s murder and fuming about Tyrion (the dwarf as she calls him) right over to Tyrion in ADOD, and it makes alot more sense than not hearing from Tyrion’s POV at all. I know technically Tyrion was not in KL and the books were divided up geographically.

      So, I continue my journey today… I already know I get excited when the next chapter is in ADOD.

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    142. Tron79,
      Put it in spoilertags for the ones not reading Feast and Dance. No spoilers for you Tron.

      Agree with you ADOD starts much better and more interesting than AFFC. But I found the prologue of AFFC also very interesting. About the Greyjoy’s, I wish they just went with 1 or 2 grey joys. And with the beginning where you are just with Asha. I don’t like Damphair that much, he is not interesting. But Asha/Yara is. As for Dorne the same, which Dorne chapter are you? Did you already got Arianne which for me all Dorne chapters should have been, I don’t like the other 2 as POV. As side characters not a problem with.

      Tyrion is in AdWD because of the place he is, Essos and more precisely which I can say without spoiling you, he is going to Dany which is a Dance character. And with boiled leathers the beauty is that Tyrion and Cersei are many times put next to each other which for me makes the story better.

      And are you happy you went with the Boiled leather journey? I know Dorne and II seems boring at first, which they are, but trust me, you probably (And I hope I’m right) are going to enjoy it when it comes to its conclusion of Feast. The ending is brilliant. And I hope you will like Brienne’s journey in Feast. What did you think about Lady Stoneheart? And where are you with both Dance and Feast, then I can look up a bit where you are. Have fun reading.

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    143. kevin1989,

      Can’t write much now. I’ll report back tomorrow. I should have another 100 pages read today since it’s a lazy day for me. And I should have more to say. I’m not quite 100 pages in on both books as of now.

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    144. Easy for you to say, BRAN. And Mr. Shipmaster over there. ;p
      Fr though, I’m glad the series has been recognized for its unparalleled contributions to and elevation of TV. That’s only right. I can’t wait for final-season behind-the-scenes fun on the DVDs.

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    145. kevin1989,

      Hmmm. Sounds to me like a good editor should’ve advised George: “Why not deep six all of the Greyjoy and Dorne stuff, and replace it with all Arya all the time?”

        Quote  Reply

    146. Adrianacandle,

      ”…What really gets me is Arya’s, “He used to mess my hair and call me “little sister,” she remembered, and suddenly there were tears in her eyes.” That line has left me suddenly with tears in my eyes more than a few times 😅😅😅😅”

      ——
      One of the other handful of passages I’ve read and liked (don’t know which book it’s from) is when Arya is with the Brotherhood Without Banners, sees a group of their ragtag fighters walk in, and recognizes one as “Harwin” from WF, who doesn’t recognize her at first.

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    147. shelle:
      Easy for you to say, BRAN. And Mr. Shipmaster over there. ;p
      Fr though, I’m glad the series has been recognized for its unparalleled contributions to and elevation of TV. That’s only right. I can’t wait for final-season behind-the-scenes fun on the DVDs.

      …if’n I can figure out which copy includes all the bonus material. ;p

        Quote  Reply

    148. shelle: …if’n I can figure out which copy includes all the bonus material. ;p

      …aaannd, I wrote way more than that…so on top of the reply emails being gone for some time, it’s just generally all screwed up…ah well. Glad I save everything.

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    149. ash,

      oh never mind just figured it out. Only read those last two books a few times, one when they came out, and when the show was underway. Much better the second time, but yeah, Martin sure could have used a few armies of editors

      Agree with not being happy with missed opportunities, and about Bran the Useless. There was so much more that could have been done to make this character even a possibility as an heir to the throne. Like not keep him away all season? Not show him helping Sansa with the truth about LF? Knowing he’d be king, and so making jon tell Dany the truth, leading to her deciding to nuke a few hundred thousand people? oh and perhaps some snippet from Tyrion about his conversation with Bran during the Knight scene (tho he sort of does when he says ‘you know, we may just live, I think we might’ but needed to be more) ah well, so it goes.

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    150. Ten Bears,

      Are you talking about this passage? I love this passage 🙂

      “Harwin?” Arya whispered. It was! Under the beard and the tangled hair was the face of Hullen’s son, who used to lead her pony around the yard, ride at quintain with Jon and Robb, and drink too much on feast days. He was thinner, harder somehow, and at Winterfell he had never worn a beard, but it was him-her father’s man. “Harwin!” Squirming, she threw herself forward, trying to wrench free of Lem’s iron grip. “It’s me,” she shouted, “Harwin, it’s me, don’t you know me, don’t you?” The tears came, and she found herself weeping like a baby, just like some stupid little girl. “Harwin, it’s me!”

      Harwin’s eyes went from her face to the flayed man on her doublet. “How do you know me?” he said, frowning suspiciously. “The flayed man… who are you, some serving boy to Lord Leech?”

      For a moment she did not know how to answer. She’d had so many names. Had she only dreamed Arya Stark? “I’m a girl,” she sniffed. “I was Lord Bolton’s cupbearer but he was going to leave me for the goat, so I ran off with Gendry and Hot Pie. You have to know me! You used to lead my pony, when I was little.”

      His eyes went wide. “Gods be good,” he said in a choked voice. “Arya Underfoot? Lem, let go of her.”

      “She broke my nose.” Lem dumped her unceremoniously to the floor. “Who in seven hells is she supposed to be?”

      “The Hand’s daughter.” Harwin went to one knee before her. “Arya Stark, of Winterfell.”

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    151. About Bran. Is there any indication that he can see the future? I thought that he could only look into the past, and by warging see what’s happening elsewhere in the present.

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    152. Grandmaester Flash,

      I found these quotes from Isaac Hempstead Wright that may kind or sort of answer this — but it’s not very clear. It seems all over the map to me — from Bran’s 402 vision depicting a shadow of a dragon flying over King’s Landing (which could mean anything from Drogon going for casual flight to what we saw in 805), to Bran’s “Why do you think I came all this way?” to “You were exactly where you were suppose to be.”

      “I don’t think Bran knows exactly what will happen in the future,” the actor said at San Diego Comic Con 2019 months after the finale. “His vision of the future is slightly cloudier.”

      “The very purpose of the Three-Eyed Raven is to be the one who is wise, and still, and careful enough to handle this information and not just go blabbering it about, because that would affect the outcome,” Hempstead-Wright added. “He’s very cautious with what he reveals to people, because he’s aware that time has to unfold naturally.”

      Re: telling Sam to tell Jon the truth about his parentage when Sam has just found out Dany executed Sam’s father and brother (from The New York Times, ‘Game of Thrones’: Bran on His Future and the Night King’s Ultimate Fate, May 5 2019):

      That might just be for dramatic tension. But yeah, good point. [Laughs] This is all conjecture on my part. I’ve never actually gone through a very detailed analysis of what exactly Bran’s powers are with [the showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss]. To be honest, I don’t think they really want to do that. It would become like a superhero movie, if we knew every way that Bran’s powers worked and what exactly he can do. It’s best to keep that sense of mystery and an unknown to it.

      Bran doesn’t care. It’s totally irrelevant to Bran that Samwell Tarly’s family has died, unfortunately. The Three-Eyed Raven doesn’t see things in terms of personal sadness. He just sees things in terms of the way things must unfold, or the way time goes. He’s not going to go, “Oh, I’m sorry, Sam. I hope you feel better in a minute.” He just sees things that have to happen next, and the importance of those things far outweighs any personal tragedies that might occur. It sounds brutal! But that’s been the role of the Three-Eyed Raven for millennia. To sit there, watching, carefully. He doesn’t sit there judging. He doesn’t sit there advising. He just sits there keeping an eye on history and time.

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    153. Ten Bears,

      Sounds nice. But I think that is the biggest mistake of Feast. If he just focused on just one of them and only when the story would split adding a second one.

      Adrianacandle,

      I think he can only see the past himself. Maybe the weirwood network can look in the future. But I think that’s where the books are more consistent. In the books you can only see where the weirwood tree’s are. (or in Bran’s case the warging into an animal.

        Quote  Reply

    154. Adrianacandle,

      Thanks! Yes, I see those comments about “being where you were supposed to be” et al as hindsight, rather than an indication that he knew in advance how things would unfold. There’s also the fact that Bran’s training was cut short, so things aren’t as clear-cut as they might have been. I got the impression that his mind is like a library – everything is there but he needs to open the right book to see what’s in there. He doesn’t just automatically know everything, he has to do a mental Google search 😀

      The 3ER made a point of showing Bran the circumstances of Jon’s birth at the Tower Of Joy, so I guess that’s why he knew that it was important that it be revealed.

      I suppose this is one of the things that GRRM left unexplained to D&D. He really did leave them with too much to do IMO. I don’t get the impression that he gave them much help in the later stages.

      I

        Quote  Reply

    155. kevin1989,

      Grandmaester Flash,

      Right. And I agree with Grandmaester Flash’s Google search comparison 😉

      I don’t think Bran has a crystal clear view of the future but I do wonder if, in the books, this might be something Bran can acquire to a limited degree. I’m not sure.

      I think he has inklings of the future, per the Hempstead-Wright quote below (episode 402 was written by GRRM) and I think he puts certain pieces into place to make things happen to a limited (unclear) extent but I don’t think Bran (or anyone) had a plan to make [Bran] king as that’s not so much the purpose of the Three-Eyed Raven.

      [Hempstead-Wright] also told the New York Times in an interview about Season 8, “As I understand it, Bran can’t exactly see the future. I think he can have inklings.”

      Grandmaester Flash: I suppose this is one of the things that GRRM left unexplained to D&D. He really did leave them with too much to do IMO. I don’t get the impression that he gave them much help in the later stages.

      Yeah, I have that feeling too. I think GRRM was able to give them the bare of what he intended to do but not a detailed road map on how to get there because I don’t know if GRRM himself even has that figured out. Because there’s so much to figure out.

        Quote  Reply

    156. Adrianacandle: Yeah, I have that feeling too. I think GRRM was able to give them the bare of what he intended to do but not a detailed road map on how to get there because I don’t know if GRRM himself even has that figured out. Because there’s so much to figure out.

      Yes, there’s that of course. But I also have the feeling that he pretty much stopped co-operating because he was pissed off that Lady Stoneheart wasn’t included.
      Now I have no idea where he’s going with that character (or whether he does himself) but personally I found that part quite sickening in the book. So if I’d been the adapter, he would have had to make a really convincing argument to get me to keep her in.
      I would hate to think the series ended up as it did because of that character, but it wouldn’t surprise me if that had been the turning point.

        Quote  Reply

    157. Grandmaester Flash: Yes, there’s that of course.But I also have the feeling that he pretty much stopped co-operating because he was pissed off that Lady Stoneheart wasn’t included.
      Now I have no idea where he’s going with that character (or whether he does himself) but personally I found that part quite sickening in the book.So if I’d been the adapter, he would have had to make a really convincing argument to get me to keep her in.
      I would hate to think the series ended up as it did because of that character, but it wouldn’t surprise me if that had been the turning point.

      Yeah. I’m not a big fan of the LSH character either — I know many people are but for me, LSH is the elimination of everything good and human about Catelyn, leaving behind her hate, rage, and vengeance. To me, that’s pretty gutting.

      I know disliking the idea of LSH is an unpopular opinion though so if others disagree, I totally understand.

      As for GRRM, I’m not sure what went on there but from what I’ve read, I think it was a big point of divide because he really pushed for D&D to include LSH in the adaptation. But I’m not sure if the time allotted to each season of GoT would be enough to adequately include her and her storyline — I think it’d get quite complex and D&D were already merging storylines together (Sansa and Jeyne Poole’s, for instance).

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    158. Adrianacandle,

      Yes, he would have to have had a clear plotline for LSH. I’m not squeamish and had no problem with anything in the show, but LSH just seems too schlock horror for me.

        Quote  Reply

    159. Grandmaester Flash:
      Yes, he would have to have had a clear plotline for LSH.I’m not squeamish and had no problem with anything in the show, but LSH just seems too schlock horror for me.

      Yeah, those are my same feelings as well. As LSH, I felt Catelyn was gone and in her place, there was this dead thing wearing her mangled face.

      I think the idea is interesting, this exploration, but it wasn’t something I could invest in personally.

      She does have a part to play in this theory entitled The Grand Northern Conspiracy but while I enjoy it, I’m doubtful it’ll come to fruition. It’s pretty involved and intricate but who knows? Maybe — or maybe parts of it will come into play 🙂

      But you’re right — GRRM would need to have had a clear plan for LSH to make it work.

        Quote  Reply

    160. Adrianacandle,

      I think even when D&D didn’t want LSH to be a part of their show. I still think they could have had a substitute for it. We already know that LSH is the leader of the brotherhood without Banners in Feast and Dance. Meaning that you just need a leader for it not Perse

      a dead character coming back from the death.

      And they didn’t have problems with changing their storylines a bit, and I don’t have a problem with that. Here some ideas I would have how they could have gone with it.
      1. Just let Beric die another time, and as he states the more he die the less he become. He could have become a more darker Beric and take on the role of Mister Stoneheart. Not my choice but it could have worked.
      2. What about having the blackfish as the leader. That could have worked. And at least he would have done more than what we got.
      3. I can see why they didn’t want Michelle Fairly back for that role, as one that is long in the buisness. But what about Talisa. She could have taken on the role of LSH. Her child died because of the Lannisters so it could have worked.
      4. Just another nameless character that died at the twins in 3×09.
      5. Just take another actor who resembles Michelle Fairly with her looks. The make-up could hide that it’s not Michelle Fairly because the character doesn’t talk. They could even had made a mask of Michelle Fairly (something like they used with Arya’s storyline and put that on the other actor. I mean LSH needs to look death, like a wight or something so a mask could add to that.
      6. And what if GRRM just told the plan about LSH, and if it was connected to Jon, I’m absolutely sure that Michelle Fairley wouldn’t mind playing LSH if that meant that her ending then would be worthwhile for her as an actress. And LSH could also be a great cliffhanger for season 5 if they had decided to split Feast and Dance in 2 season instead of just one.

      And I’m still busy with my little side project. I think I will take a couple of weeks with it and just make my own little version of what happens in every episode. I know it’s meaningless but I enjoy it very much when doing it. And I think I will keep it till winds is over and maybe changes somethings then.

        Quote  Reply

    161. kevin1989,

      Thanks for your ideas, I enjoyed reading them! And I look forward to your project! 🙂

      I don’t think it was the actress who was the problem — I love Michelle Fairley as Catelyn, I think she added so, so much and she’s partly the reason I’m bummed that Catelyn never found out the truth about Jon before she died. I love Michelle Fairley period though 😉

      After Arya and Sandor departed the Brotherhood without Banners storyline, it didn’t feature much in the show afterward (only bits in seasons 6 and 7 after season 4) and I suspect it was because of a time issue. The show only has ten hours per season and in seasons 7 & 8, it was even less (for reasons unknown). Meanwhile, the books have so much more flexibility in that regard — there aren’t any limitations such as time/actor availability/etc.

      Personally, I think if they did go through with the LSH story, it should have been Catelyn over Talisa. While I’m not a fan of LSH for the reasons I said above, I think the idea is an interesting exploration of a resurrected character but in a completely dark, nihilistic and devasting way that doesn’t leave me much to invest in (but rather, any investment I would personally would be in how other characters would react to her). She’s not Catelyn anymore. But she’s still wearing the face of a character who had strong connections to so many characters.

      And this is the reason I opt for Catelyn over Talisa: because Catelyn was a fully realized character who had meaningful connections to way more characters all across the board, who inspired strong feelings from these characters — from love (Sansa, Arya, Bran, Rickon, her uncle, Edmure), to anxiety/fear (Tyrion, Theon, Jon), to It’s Complicated (Lysa, Jon) to obsession (Littlefinger).

      However, that’s all just personal opinion and I know mine is in the minority 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    162. Adrianacandle,

      Yes! That’s the “Harwin” passage. I had seen it online when I first started watching GoT around mid-S3, and came across a readers’ poll asking:
      “What is the most emotional passage/scene in asoiaf in your opinion?”

      The runner-up to “Needle was Jon Snow’s smile” internal monologue was the “Harwin” passage, which I had cut and pasted and just found. It’s the same as your excerpt but a little longer, with some of the text at the beginning.

      Of course, the Lord of Light isn’t letting me post my cut and pasted text from my phone.
      😡

      In the words of one eminent theologian:
      All Lords are c*nts. Can’t see why the Lord of Light should be any different.”

      – S. Clegane

        Quote  Reply

    163. Ten Bears: Of course, the Lord of Light isn’t letting me post my cut and pasted text from my phone.
      😡

      In the words of one eminent theologian:
      “All Lords are c*nts. Can’t see why the Lord of Light should be any different.”

      – S. Clegane

      YES. When you said you prayed everytime you pressed ‘Post Comment,’ I wanted to say I do that too but I forgot to add that XD The time between ‘Waiting for…’ and the site reappearing with its (hopefully) updated post count brings about in me in the same kind of pleas I make when praying my train hasn’t left yet — the most heartfelt and desperate I can make 😉 I gotta find more stuff to burn…

      I wanted to add the full “Needle is Jon Snow’s smile” quote but I was afraid the site’s spam filter would length-check me but I’m going to try this time because I love the beginning of the passage too:

      “Her floppy hat went next, then the gloves. They were Salty’s too. She emptied her pouch into her palm; five silver stags, nine copper stars, some pennies and halfpennies and groats. She scattered them across the water. Next her boots. They made the loudest splashes. Her dagger followed, the one she’d gotten off the archer who had begged the Hound for mercy. Her swordbelt went into the canal. Her cloak, tunic, breeches, smallclothes, all of it. All but Needle.

      She stood on the end of the dock, pale and goosefleshed and shivering in the fog. In her hand, Needle seemed to whisper to her. Stick them with the pointy end, it said, and, don’t tell Sansa! Mikken’s mark was on the blade. It’s just a sword. If she needed a sword, there were a hundred under the temple. Needle was too small to be a proper sword, it was hardly more than a toy. She’d been a stupid little girl when Jon had it made for her. “It’s just a sword,” she said, aloud this time . . .

      . . . but it wasn’t.

      Needle was Robb and Bran and Rickon, her mother and her father, even Sansa. Needle was Winterfell’s grey walls, and the laughter of its people. Needle was the summer snows, Old Nan’s stories, the heart tree with its red leaves and scary face, the warm earthy smell of the glass gardens, the sound of the north wind rattling the shutters of her room. Needle was Jon Snow’s smile. He used to mess my hair and call me “little sister,” she remembered, and suddenly there were tears in her eyes.”

      Sometimes, I think GRRM can meander and go on tangents a bit but there are times like these when he really hits it out of the ballpark.

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    164. Ten Bears,

      That is an incredible scene (and it’s really testing the limits of my Marc Jacobs fineliner 😉😭) — she was really perfect as Arya, wasn’t she? Even when reading the books, I pictured MW.

        Quote  Reply

    165. Adrianacandle,

      Oh I meant given a

      zombie-like-role to Michelle Fairley. That that’s beneath her, it was one of the reasons why they didn’t want LSH so that MF doesn’t need to come back only for shooting such scenes. But I think she would have come back if it meant that the ending of LSH would be worthwhile.

      Agree George can get away when a character stay away for 30 chapters, but D&D not if a character stay away for more then 2 episodes. But still I think they could have done it, look at how many storylines season 2 and 3 had. More than 5. But then they didn’t mind some characters had only a build-up season, after 4 every character needed to have a big season every season.

      And I agree of course if somebody was coming back it should be like the books, LSH, with the many connections. And it make storywise more sense, which I’m not going to going to talk about because of Thron, but because of a certain storyline in Feast.

        Quote  Reply

    166. kevin1989,

      Really? I had no idea that was one of the reasons why they wouldn’t have LSH because they didn’t want MF to play a

      zombie character

      . Do you have a link by any chance? I think she would have been great if they decided to go forward with it!

      I see what you’re saying but I still think LSH would have been too crammed in there — other storylines were suffering from simplification from their more intricate book counterparts, like Dorne. I’m not so sure LSH would have worked out within the time confines of the show. I feel they would have had to compress other storylines even further and those storylines were already getting some flack for their simplification in season 5-beyond.

      I think LSH would have required the show to have stretched beyond season 8 to accommodate her story appropriately. And, really, the existing stories of other characters that suffered due to increased pacing of the final season would have benefitted from more time as well. I know GRRM wanted the show to last seasons and seasons beyond season 8 and I would have loved that too! But I don’t know if it would have been physically possible for the cast and crew. While I’d die of happiness if I were involved with a show like GoT, it sounds like an incredibly intense production to be a part of. Even my nine years of college and university had me looking for the nearest psych ward because I was just that tired 😉

        Quote  Reply

    167. Adrianacandle,

      About Bran…
      ⚠️ Warning! Tinfoil Theory Ahead!

      We may never know for sure, yet I am convinced that GRRM – whether because of petulance or an understandable desire to reserve for himself the clever twists and resolutions of mysteries he’d set up involving Bran and the WWs – withheld details from the showrunners after the events in S6e5, i.e., the demonstration of Bran’s time travel powers and revelation that the CotF had created the WWs.

      Too much of the post-S6 Bran storyline felt like retcons, and too many of the “hung guns” throughout S1 – S6 never got fired or were simply ignored.

      (to be cont…)

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    168. Cont from 7:33 pm

      • I refuse to believe that GRRM would resort to the tired old “mothership” device used ad nauseous in movies like Independence Day, Starship Troopers, and Edge of Tomorrow.
      In the show, the “kill the leader, and those he created will be deactivated” device came from out of nowhere in “Beyond the Wall” in S7. No wights or WWs had dropped dead when Jon pulverized the WW in Hardhome in S5 or when Meera zapped a WW in S6.
      And if a well-placed VS spear or dragonglass-tipped projectile could extinguish the entire AotD, there is no way the NK would ever come within range of a lucky shot from a fired arrow – or a dragonglass-spiked ball flail thrown by precision long-range pitcher Sandor Clegane.

      NK certainly wouldn’t be showboating on the end of a dock with a boatful of warriors a few yards away. He would never set foot in the Godswood just to hack down a paralyzed kid in a wheelchair when any of his lieutenants or wights could’ve done the job. For that matter, at the Frozen Lake he wouldn’t have come anywhere near the band of desperate hunters who – as Beric suggested – had nothing to lose by making a kamikaze dash to try to take out the NK and thereby exterminate every single one of the zombies surrounding them.

      NK was no dummy. He would not have come anywhere near WF. He would’ve been ensconced in a bunker far away, perched high on a mountain watching the sh*tstorm enfolding from a safe distance, or cruising on his ice dragon at high altitude.

      (to be cont… )

        Quote  Reply

    169. Cont. from 8:10 pm

      • It made no logical sense that Leaf, Summer, Hodor, or anyone else would have to sacrifice themselves to ensure Bran’s survival… for what? None of his “powers” were ever deployed to help defeat the AotD. His contribution to the war effort consisted of hanging out, rolling back his eyes and announcing to his confounded defenders: “I’m. going to go now.”

      • Similarly, Sam’s intellectual prowess and book smarts – stressed throughout the first six seasons (and the supposed reason for going to the Citadel) – amounted to zippo.
      All the books he stole from the Citadel library? Nope, nothing useful in them apparently. Skipping out of his maestro training after the first semester on the pretext that Jon needed his help? Nope.
      I thought maybe Sam’s intellect might help focus or contextualize Bran’s scatterbrained, fragmented visions. Nope. That didn’t happen either. And certainly, Sam’s middling martial skills were more of a battlefield liability than a benefit.
      It was sweet that Sam gave Heartsbane to Jorah – though Jorah didn’t use that VS sword against any WWs as far as I could see.

      When Stannis had advised Sam: “Keep reading, Samwell Tarly”, I really thought Sam would uncover some esoteric yet critical information somewhere in some ancient book – demonstrating that brainpower was just as if not more essential than brute force. I had hoped Sam would be the egghead hero who came up with the brilliant brainstorm that turned the tide when all seemed lost. Nope. That required the stealth and courage of a Super Ninja Assassin Warrior Princess. 👸🏻

      I had assumed Samwell Tarly was GRRM’s “avatar.” And I wouldn’t doubt that in the books, if they’re ever finished, Sam’s intellect will play a critical role.
      In the show? Not so much… (Well, he did knock up Gilly. I’ll give him credit for that.)

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    170. Ten Bears,

      I agree with a lot of what you said — and much of it feels like they wanted a quick end to the White Walker threat, especially with “kill the Night King, kill them all.” That’s the exact plot device utilized by at least two vampire shows (True Blood and Vampire Diaries) — kill a vampire, kill all vampires who descended from them. But here, it wasn’t used for the sake of drama because the Night King is the only distinguishable character from this group.

      He would never set foot in the Godswood just to hack down a paralyzed kid in a wheelchair when any of his lieutenants or wights could’ve done the job.

      Yes, and wasn’t that the point Jaime made when they discussed battle plans in 802? “If that’s true, he’ll never expose himself,” but apparently, he will, because the Night King hates memories.

      Why? It’s too bad we never found out!

      But I think it’s more that the Night King had to be put away in order for the story to get on with the business of driving Dany batty, getting her out of the way, and Bran being made king “because he had the best story.” Even though he had been written out of that same story for an entire season.

      In the books, there’s actually no Night King. They’re just known as ‘the Others’ (like in Lost!) — inhumanly beautiful, deadly creatures who reanimate the dead into frozen ice zombies.

      Here’s what GRRM has said of The Others:

      The Others are not dead. They are strange, beautiful… think, oh… the Sidhe made of ice, something like that… a different sort of life… inhuman, elegant, dangerous.

      So I don’t know how that’ll play out, if the WW threat will be handled differently, or if we will find out what they want, why they’re trying to annihilate the human race, and if they can be negotiated with.

      Maybe they’re just environmental extremists and don’t like all the smog people are producing and want to preserve the world with cold until they can think of a way to fix the environment after all the troublesome people are dead.

        Quote  Reply

    171. Ten Bears,

      Similarly, Sam’s intellectual prowess and book smarts – stressed throughout the first six seasons (and the supposed reason for going to the Citadel) – amounted to zippo.
      All the books he stole from the Citadel library? Nope, nothing useful in them apparently. Skipping out of his maestro training after the first semester on the pretext that Jon needed his help? Nope.
      I thought maybe Sam’s intellect might help focus or contextualize Bran’s scatterbrained, fragmented visions. Nope. That didn’t happen either. And certainly, Sam’s middling martial skills were more of a battlefield liability than a benefit.
      […]
      When Stannis had advised Sam: “Keep reading, Samwell Tarly”, I really thought Sam would uncover some esoteric yet critical information somewhere in some ancient book – demonstrating that brainpower was just as if not more essential than brute force.

      YES.

      I felt so much of the White Walker threat seemed to amount to … not much. It was over in less time than it took me to finish a paper I was putting off until the last minute. And now, it’s just another one of those crazy Northern stories I doubt few will believe because no wight or White Walker or the Night King made it past Winterfell. It’s kind of like, “Picture or it didn’t happen!”

      It was sweet that Sam gave Heartsbane to Jorah – though Jorah didn’t use that VS sword against any WWs as far as I could see.

      Yes. And to that end, we didn’t even get any one-on-one between one of our characters and a White Walker. They cut a bunch of wights up but the White Walkers just kind of stormed Winterfell like they were that night’s band entering Winterfell all backlit with a smoke machine.

      The episode itself was gorgeous and the production was so well done but I was so let down by the conclusion of this arc.

      Alt Shift X had a theory I kind of didn’t love at the time but now I do love: Jon arranging a peace deal with the White Walkers by trading himself and becoming the new Night King to put an end to the Great War and save the human race.

      I think that’d be on-brand for Jon’s arc and it would fulfill the bittersweet quotient, I suppose, and I think I’d prefer it to the NK and the WW just going away in a six-hour battle after, as you pointed out, they discover that suddenly, all WWs and wights can die if the NK is killed.

        Quote  Reply

    172. Cont. from 8:42 pm

      • The Bran Bait Plan? Wight Hunt-level silly. The best that can be said is that both turned into a complete clusterf*ck that precipitated a Heroine ex machina to rescue shortsighted morons from certain death. (Yay! Mother of Dragons for the win! Yay! ASNAWP saves the world! Nice visual shock and awe moments for the casual TV audience… but I cannot fathom GRRM’s intricate plotting relying on such out of the blue, made-for-TV moments for the climax of his stories.)

      • And last but not least (for now)…

      to be cont. …

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    173. (cont. from 9:04 pm)

      • And last but not least (for now)…
      [With my real-time reactions and those of Mango or Mr. D – Sorry, I forget who]

      Setting aside the unlikelihood of GRRM foreshadowing a prophesied multi-generational “Long Night” that turns out to last just a single evening (or turning Bran/3ER 2.0 into a catchphrase repeating, Zen aphorism-spewing analog of books! Patchface, and having a lobotomized Samwell Tarly joining in by spouting nonsensical psychobabble)…

      I simply refuse to accept that GRRM intends for the Brandon Stark/3ER vs. Wight Walkers mystery, e.g., the WWs’ animating motives, to be explained by the following mumbo jumbo:

      (S8e2 Excerpt: battle planning council; discussing the premise of the Bran Bait Plan)
      ***
      Bran: “He’ll come for me. He’s tried before, many times, with many Three-Eyed Ravens.”
      Sam: “Why? What does he want?”
      Bran: “An endless night. He wants to erase this world, and I am its memory.”
      Sam: “That’s what death is, isn’t it? Forgetting. Being forgotten. If we forget where we’ve been and what we’ve done, we’re not men anymore. Just animals. Your memories don’t come from books. Your stories aren’t just stories. If I wanted to erase the world of men, I’d start with you.”
      TB to TV: “Wait, what??? That’s it?”
      Mango or Mr. D: “WTF??

      GRRM must have a resolution in mind that masterfully ties up all of the embedded clues and sprinkled details. Otherwise (as Wimsey, William of Occam, or Chekhov could probably better explain), all of those clues, details and storylines will amount to a big fat glop of irrelevant narrative sewage.

      From the handful of beautifully written books passages I’ve read (some of which we’ve been discussing upthread); plus all of the intelligent speculation and analysis I’ve been reading here on watchersonthewall for the past several years,
      I just can’t envision a talented writer like George Martin creating a race of homicidal bogeymen hibernating for thousands of years, just waiting until the time is right to launch an apocalyptic war against humanity with the primary objective of…erasing some historical database of “memories” in the mind of a psychic kid ?

      (After all, in the real world humankind did get by without the internet. Historical “memories” could be accessed by … going to a library maybe? Even if, as Sam said, we “forget where we’ve been and what we’ve done,” we may become ill-informed idiots – but it doesn’t mean “we’re not men anymore; just animals.”)

      So, so sorry for the unintended long rant! Unless and until we learn otherwise, I’ll stick by my (unsupported) theory that GRRM may have provided the showrunners with the ultimate destination(s) but withheld “the road map” to get there from where he left them midway through S6,

      At the same time, I’m flummoxed that the showrunners couldn’t come up with more plausible narrative routes to reach the destination(s) based on the canon established over 6 1/2 seasons.

      I’ve heard they purposely stayed off the internet. Admittedly, much of the “information highway” has devolved into a cesspool of toxic hate. Still, I can’t help but believe that if they had read some of the intelligent commentary on this site, they probably would have been able to come up with some pretty good ideas how to bridge the gap between the incomplete source material and the predetermined conclusion – even with the “rush” to finish up the show in thirteen episodes.

      Final word: Don’t get me wrong. All in all, they did a fabulous job. I’m not suggesting otherwise.

        Quote  Reply

    174. Adrianacandle,

      ”So I don’t know how that’ll play out, if the WW threat will be handled differently, or if we will find out what they want, why they’re trying to annihilate the human race, and if they can be negotiated with….”

      —-
      Well, I’ve got a tinfoil theory for that based solely on what we saw and heard on the show from S1 through S6. I’ve already surpassed my word count quota for the weekend, so maybe some other time if I can lay it out succinctly, I’ll post it so everyone can tear it apart. 😉

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    175. Night King is an invented show character. There is no known leader of The Others at this time in the books. “The Great Other” is the only reference to what could be a leader and it seems doubtful this is actually a physical being rather than a manifestation of all the tales of The Others from the many different cultures.

      Taking that into account as well as taking into account the fact that GRRM describes them as vastly different than what they did on the show it seems doubtful that he will resolve that part of the story with a single kill of the leader, which again doesn’t even exist at this point.

      Rather much more foreshadowing is in place that during the last Long Night some sort of deal and/or pact was made with them to result in a cease fire and that something has happened in the present time of the story(in the books) that violated the deal leading to The Others returning at this precise moment in Westerosi history.

      I remain unconvinced that what we witnessed in the show as their origin is even remotely close to what GRRM is planning or intends. In fact I doubt it highly and think that was pure show creation.

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    176. Adrianacandle,

      …the White Walkers just kind of stormed Winterfell like they were that night’s band entering Winterfell all backlit with a smoke machine.”

      Ha ha ha! Thanks for the belly laugh! 😅😂😂😀

      (Now you’ve got me picturing a remake of the mockumentary “This is Spinal Tap” starring White Walkers.)

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    177. orange,

      Hold those thoughts…
      I had been trying to rely on show-only canon on the assumption that the showrunners had streamlined GRRM’s story, jettisoning some details while keeping the key points intact to set up the resolution intended by GRRM. (I’ve also been reluctant to start reading the books until I know they’ve been completed.)

      Anyway…

      ”… it seems doubtful that he {GRRM]will resolve that part of the story with a single kill of the leader, which again doesn’t even exist at this point.”

      Right. No way does G resort to the “mothership” sci-fi cliche.

      ”Rather much more foreshadowing is in place that during the last Long Night some sort of deal and/or pact was made with them to result in a cease fire and that something has happened in the present time of the story(in the books) that violated the deal leading to The Others returning at this precise moment in Westerosi history.”

      My tinfoil theory? Yes, a cease fire deal was made long ago… but it was between the CotF and First Men.

      ”I remain unconvinced that what we witnessed in the show as their origin is even remotely close to what GRRM is planning or intends. In fact I doubt it highly and think that was pure show creation.”

      Respectfully, here’s where we diverge. I believe the show’s WW origin story was one of the last major reveals G shared with the showrunners before he clammed up.

      Like I wrote above, if and when I can lay out my farfetched tinfoil theory succinctly, I’ll try to post it so everyone can shred it to pieces.🙂

      Quick question though: A recurring theme on the show was what I call the “inversion” of victim and villain – and generally speaking, the ways in which accepted historical “fact” is often the opposite of what really happened. One example that I think is common to the books and show was Rhaegar’s supposed “kidnap and rape” of Lyanna Stark vs. their actual mutual love and elopement.

      Did anything else like that happen in the books?

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    178. Adrianacandle,

      ”… theory I kind of didn’t love at the time but now I do love: Jon arranging a peace deal with the White Walkers by trading himself and becoming the new Night King to put an end to the Great War and save the human race.

      I think that’d be on-brand for Jon’s arc and it would fulfill the bittersweet quotient, I suppose, and I think I’d prefer it to the NK and the WW just going away in a six-hour battle after, as you pointed out, they discover that suddenly, all WWs and wights can die if the NK is killed.“

      ____
      I thought Jon might voluntarily undergo the Uncle Benjen shard-to-the-heart treatment and become a hybrid human-wight or hybrid human-WW, as a means of achieving conciliation between the warring races. (Or else.. why bother showing us the half-dead half alive, still-sentient Benjen?)

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    179. Ten Bears,

      Correction (Damn Auto Correct!)

      “… I refuse to believe that GRRM would resort to the tired old “mothership” device used ad nauseum…”, NOT “ad nauseous.”

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    180. Adrianacandle,

      ”… And, really, the existing stories of other characters that suffered due to increased pacing of the final season would have benefitted from more time as well. I know GRRM wanted the show to last seasons and seasons beyond season 8 and I would have loved that too! But I don’t know if it would have been physically possible for the cast and crew. While I’d die of happiness if I were involved with a show like GoT, it sounds like an incredibly intense production to be a part of….”
      ———-
      I think it was Maisie Williams who said she was so grateful for the opportunity to be in GoT, though after close to ten straight years she was looking forward to time to herself and wasn’t anxious to jump right into the commitment of another grueling multi-year shooting schedule. Many of the veteran cast members are looking forward to now having the flexibility to be able to take on new roles in other TV and film projects.
      I’m happy for our favorite stars that because of the show’s success, they now have financial security, and they sure look glamorous when they walk the red carpet in beautiful clothes. And yet, when I read about the insane 55-night shooting schedule for S8e3, with long hours in the cold and mud, it probably didn’t feel very glamorous when they were in the middle of it.

      However, aside from the physical limitations of retaining a large cast and crew for so many years, I think in many ways the show was the victim of its own success: Each year, they tried to outdo themselves: More spectacular battles! Many more horsies! Bigger dragons!

      For many of us here, the best scenes and the best episodes were comprised of well-written, well-acted character moments, rather than the big budget, wall-to-wall spectacles geared towards the mass market audience. Personally, I would’ve been tickled if they had just filmed 20 hours of Sandor and Arya riding from WF to KL trying to outsnark each other, and made the footage into twenty standalone episodes. I know many Theon fans would’ve loved more and longer Alfie Allen scenes. F*ck, I’d watch five hours of Ian Glen just sitting in a boat going in circles, while reading poems in that mellifluous voice of his.

      You wrote: ”…GRRM wanted the show to last seasons and seasons beyond season 8 and I would have loved that too…”
      In hindsight maybe it would’ve been a good idea to expand the writing team and film more dialogue-rich, lower budget episodes. It also might’ve been better if GRRM himself had continued contributing scripts, since he didn’t wind up using his freed-up time to complete the books. 🤢

      You know what though? They say lightning doesn’t strike twice, but I’m cautiously optimistic about the prequel. Naomi Watts is amazing. (She was fabulous in “King Kong” – she made a CGI gorilla seem real.)

      And if that show takes off and has let’s say a five- or six-year run, by that time Maisie Williams may be ready for her spinoff show. 😇

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    181. Ten Bears,

      “ ‘Ello Winterfell. Rock ‘n Roll!”

      LOL

      and that’s how they got world peace.

      I thought Jon might voluntarily undergo the Uncle Benjen shard-to-the-heart treatment and become a hybrid human-wight or hybrid human-WW, as a means of achieving conciliation between the warring races. (Or else.. why bother showing us the half-dead half alive, still-sentient Benjen?)

      Your theory sounds nearly identical to the Jon becomes Night King theory! I think I would have preferred this because I think it’d attribute some greater significance to the White Walkers/Night King, namely a lasting sacrifice. As it was, defeating the NK/WW felt too easy. It was over and done with in a single episode after seven years of build-up.

      I’m happy for our favorite stars that because of the show’s success, they now have financial security, and they sure look glamorous when they walk the red carpet in beautiful clothes. And yet, when I read about the insane 55-night shooting schedule for S8e3, with long hours in the cold and mud, it probably didn’t feel very glamorous when they were in the middle of it.

      Oh yeah, I agree with everything you’ve said (and I agree with your 7:33 – 10:39 posts) I don’t think it’d be possible to go on for as long as GRRM would have liked. Those hours sound intense, too intense to keep it up for much longer and especially after ten years. I can barely remember what I was doing ten years ago. And yeah, good point about the 55-night shoot: I don’t even like having to wait on a train platform on winter nights in the dark (but I like waiting in the sun even less — UVA!) so I can’t imagine 55 nights in the cold, dark muck, having to shoot and shoot and shoot. And the crew too. The Last Watch documentary reminded me of how much the crew puts in too. I think Game of Thrones had such a great cast and crew.

      However, aside from the physical limitations of retaining a large cast and crew for so many years, I think in many ways the show was the victim of its own success: Each year, they tried to outdo themselves: More spectacular battles! Many more horsies! Bigger dragons!

      Yes, in some ways, it felt like it was competing with itself.

      And while those big action scenes are beautiful and I can hardly believe this was a television show due to how high those production values were and how well done they are, I think I would have also preferred the types of character moments you talked about — lower budget but more intimate with development of relationships, characters, stuff like that.

      It also might’ve been better if GRRM himself had continued contributing scripts, since he didn’t wind up using his freed-up time to complete the books.

      I think so too. I think GRRM is stuck. He has got so many threads to start bringing together, so many characters, so many plots, so many mysteries/prophecies/questions to bring together, that I suspect GRRM is stuck.

      I think he knows where he wants to go but I don’t know if he has figured out how to get there in a way he feels is right.

      However, an upside to this is that as long as we’re still waiting for GRRM, the longer we can keep theorizing 😉

      You know what though? They say lightning doesn’t strike twice, but I’m cautiously optimistic about the prequel. Naomi Watts is amazing. (She was fabulous in “King Kong” – she made a CGI gorilla seem real.)

      I like Naomi Watts and I hope the prequel goes well. I’ll be checking it out, definitely, but some elements of the way GoT ended still bums me out. I hope it starts to feel better eventually because I really, really loved GoT, maybe more than any other show.

      Maybe even more than… Buffy.

      I never thought that was possible!

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    182. shelle,

      You know what I’m thinking? If a Comment transmission vanishes into the ether; is misrouted to “That Page Not Found;” or gets marooned in Moderation Purgatory, maybe it’s not because of intervention by the Lord of Light.
      It could very well be fragmentation by burned-out Birdbrain Bran.

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    183. Ten Bears,

      I really enjoyed those long posts. Of course you’re right in pretty much everything.

      I’m not sure about the NK. Hardhome hasn’t yet happened in the books, so there’s still a chance that there is such a creature. If GRRM is going for sth similar to LotR because Tolkien is his model then perhaps we’ll see someone leading the Others at some point in the books too.
      Before GOT ended, I thought that GRRM’s “bittersweet” ending would be truer to the characters and that the survivors, apart from the world in-universe never being the same again, would be blemished by what they’d have to do to get there. Meaning, that not only Dany would turn out to be the final villain, but also Jon would be much more questioned than what he is now for what he did, and we’d have a bitter taste because after all no one’s truly good, no one’s truly bad in GOT universe.
      Instead they went for the classic “hero” trope, a basically good guy that only turns bad at the final moment -and that feels empty and hollow to me, much more so because it’s combined with that senseless punishment. If anybody had managed to kill Hitler, chances are he wouldn’t be punished by imprisonment, he’d be hailed as liberator.
      It feels like: “so that’s it? he kills his mass-murderer girlfriend and he goes to the Wall for it? And the death of hundreds of thousands isn’t even enough to push him to do it? Are the lives of people so meaningless in GOT universe?”

      I think that in season 8 the showrunners retconned their own story that had been building up till season 6 and went for sth much more simplistic (not just simple). Up to a point this was perhaps dictated by their earlier choice to leave out of it a significant part of the magic and lore of the North and Westeros in general but the rest was decided probably during shooting season 7 or a little later.
      I don’t really believe that Martin didn’t explain everything to them; I think they just decided not to go there. They failed (or rather didn’t want) to show how Bran is connected to the earth, regeneration, growth and peace; they failed to show the eternal battle of the three, the great Other-the god of fire-the old gods. If the Others and the NK represent the great Other, and Daenerys is the champion of the god of fire (bride of fire in the books) then Bran represents the old gods and Jon is their champion, because he belongs to them and he’ll have lived in Ghost enough to come closer to the elements of the earth.

      Also what makes an impression on me, but I have no idea how it’ll go in the books. Book-wise Jon’s burn of his right hand, which was a memoir of his first encounter with an Other at Castle Black (when he saved Mormont’s life) is a very bad burn. So Jon is literally marked by fire; I suppose fire can find him, pretty much like Ice can find Bran, because Bran is also marked by the NK in the show (we’ll have to wait WoW to see if it’ll happen in the books). Jamie’s another one. He has his hand severed, which is symbolic of his bonds with Cersei. It is said that Jamie was holding Cersei’s foot when they were born. By losing it, his bonds with her are severed and in the books he left her, and he’ll probably end up at WF before he sees Cersei again. These things are bound to have some significance in the books. Did Jamie come to WF just for bedding Brienne? I doubt it. (and imo if someone had to defend Bran, it was Jamie).

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    184. Ten Bears,

      You’ve also said this:
      “Quick question though: A recurring theme on the show was what I call the “inversion” of victim and villain – and generally speaking, the ways in which accepted historical “fact” is often the opposite of what really happened. One example that I think is common to the books and show was Rhaegar’s supposed “kidnap and rape” of Lyanna Stark vs. their actual mutual love and elopement.
      Did anything else like that happen in the books?”

      Like that, no, I don’t think there is anything, but perhaps Adriana knows best.

      Victim and villain as you mean it is very narrow.
      If you open up the perspective a number of relationships may belong to this category, i.e. Cersei and Robert. Cercei tolerated Robert’s violence, and in the end she kills him. Lysa and LF; LF is in love with Catelyn, but he’s in a years long relationship with Lysa, while Lysa was forced by her father to get rid of her baby by LF and marry Jon Arryn, to whom she was never faithful and whose children she also got rid of (there’s a good chance that Robin is LF’s child). In the end Lysa also kills her husband and lies to Catelyn about it, which sets the events to motion; in a way, she’s as much responsible for the war as LF is. These women’s trauma define their relationship with their husbands and in the end they become villains.
      Tyrion is also another example, but his story is not yet complete in the books and we don’t know if he’ll end up as villain (he’s also POV and so more complex, while Lysa and LF are not). Tyrion has been victim to years-long verbal abuse by his father and Cersei. He always wanted to be loved and in this only his brother was his recourse. Tyrion in the end learns that his brother set up the ending of his first marriage to Tysha on his father’s orders (in a very disgusting manner and with Tyrion’s own complicity), which is a major reason why he kills Tywin and Shae (it all piles up in one major moment). He travels through Essos asking “where do whores go”, which is an expression of his trauma (this works pretty much like Sansa’s “unkiss” and Jon’s “you know nothing Jon Snow”, a frozen memory in time that they cannot get past) because Tysha ultimately was no whore, she truly did love him and his father destroyed his chance at love.

      Likewise with Rhaegar and Lyanna we don’t have all the facts yet. Ned doesn’t ever think that Rhaegar kidnapped Lyanna, or that he raped her, but he also consciously avoids thinking that they eloped. This was done on purpose so that we don’t know the truth about this affair straight away. Did they marry, as per the show? We don’t know. There’s still a good chance that Jon is a Targaryen bastard and that he has no legitimate claim on the throne of Westeros after all (even though he’d still be higher than Daenerys in the line of succession). We also don’t know why was Rhaegar stalling at the Tower of Joy, or what is the prophecy he deciphered and why he was obsessed with it, but we know -or we suspect- that this is why he went after Lyanna.

      The ‘“inversion” of victim and villain’ as you call it may work for all our protagonists. They all start as victims, even Jon. The Starks are almost decimated and they scatter all over, while Daenerys is a clear-cut victim. By the end of ADWD they’re all on top of their situations, one way or the other.
      But the books are meant to make us doubt everything. Are they clear victims, or are they not? Are they clear villains, or is there something else at play here? Even Sansa has started to unfold her “villain” traits; she has one of the slower arcs in the books but she started to play the game in her last chapters. The others are –ugh! to love and to hate is a very mild expression really.

      And all this is masterfully done in the books because they are all POVs.

      So, we’ll wait and see.

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    185. Efi,

      Like that, no, I don’t think there is anything, but perhaps Adriana knows best.

      I think you bring up some good examples (re: Cersei and Lysa) and personally, I think it depends on how the various unknown pieces of history unfold. I also think the wildlings might be an applicable example of this too. The Westerosi view them as savage barbarians who raid southern lands. However, as Jon lives with the wildlings, they’re humanized and their motives are revealed: they’re running for their lives from the Others, they’re trying to survive a cold and unforgiving land, they’re attacking the Wall to find safety for their people.

      There is also speculation about what the Others want. I think they certainly want to annihilate the human race (they’re raising a bunch of ice zombies to take us out) — but it might be for a not-totally-villainous reason.

      With Rhaegar and Lyanna, I’ve seen speculations that Rhaegar may have taken two wives (Elia and Lyanna) because pologamy is a thing with Targaryens, rather than an annullment. For instance, Linda Antonsson (who has worked with GRRM) tweeted, “I think it is very likely Rhaegar & Lyanna married, but not that he annulled his marriage to Elia.” (Aug 14, 2017)

      I don’t recall Ned consciously avoiding specific thoughts that Lyanna and Rhaegar eloped, but rather, it seems like he’s trying to avoid thinking about a certain mysterious aspect to her end (that I believe we all know what that is now ;D):

      He dreamt an old dream, of three knights in white cloaks, and a tower long fallen, and Lyanna in her bed of blood.

      “[Barra] looks so like [Robert], does she not, milord? She has his nose, and his hair …”

      “She does.” Eddard Stark had touched the baby’s fine, dark hair. It flowed through his fingers like black silk. Robert’s firstborn had had the same fine hair, he seemed to recall.

      “Tell him that when you see him, milord, as it … as it please you. Tell him how beautiful she is.”

      “I will,” Ned had promised [Barra’s mother]. That was his curse. Robert would swear undying love and forget them before evenfall, but Ned Stark kept his vows. He thought of the promises he’d made Lyanna as she lay dying, and the price he’d paid to keep them.”

      Ned’s fever dream:

      He was walking through the crypts beneath Winterfell, as he had walked a thousand times before. The Kings of Winter watched him pass with eyes of ice, and the direwolves at their feet turned their great stone heads and snarled. Last of all, he came to the tomb where his father slept, with Brandon and Lyanna beside him. “Promise me, Ned,” Lyanna’s statue whispered. She wore a garland of pale blue roses, and her eyes wept blood.

      Eddard Stark jerked upright, his heart racing, the blankets tangled around him. The room was black as pitch, and someone was hammering on the door. “Lord Eddard,” a voice called loudly.

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    186. Adrianacandle,

      Yes it was one of the reasons.

      https://www.quora.com/Why-is-Lady-Stoneheart-not-in-the-Game-of-Thrones-TV-show

      Here it’s explained.

      And about the psychically difficult for the cast. That’s only true because they decided to go with a lot of action packed scenes in the end. But if they would have divided the story more even, the action would also have divided more even. Because the scenes that they cut was more character moments together. Another thing is that I think happened after season 4 (5-8) was that they wanted every character to have a fully fleshed out storyline for a whole season. But that’s not what’s needed. Look back at the first seasons, for instance Jon season 2. He had 2 smaller storylines there. First one in the first 4 episodes. Then one For the last 6. Same with Bran. His storyline didn’t start until 2×06. They should not have made every character a storyline for the whole season but merely a part of the season. I mean if they would have fleshed out Dorne and Iron Island in season 5. They could just have had Dorne start around episode 5×04

      With only the Arianne part devided in 3 episodes, first episode the introduction of her character, the second the execution of her plan and third her being in prison and hearing Doran’s plan. That whole storyline would have been just a mere 20 minute of screentime tops which is less what season 5 gave us. And having Quentyn just start in the sixth season. Same with Iron Island. Having season 5 having the introduction of the characters of Euron, Victorion and Yara reestablish. Having the kingsmoot. Hearing Euron’s plan. Would just have been mere 20/25 minutes of screentime. And having Lady stoneheart as a big final moment of the season of about 8 minutes max.

      Those 3 storylines would have roughly be an hour for season 5. Look at how much storylines we got in season 2 or 3. And something else, look at for instance Sansa. In season 2 she was barely shown, but her character was consistent. Having her book counterstory would result in ca her season 2 storytime. Which for me would be enough, but they made her character bigger but not better. More screentime doesn’t mean more interesting time. Sometimes smaller storylines fell more fleshed out than bigger storylines. And if you want to know what I mean. Just look at how much screentime Varys and LF got in season 1. And how big their impact was there. Not much screentime, a lot of impact. Or maybe Karsi in 5×08. We all remember her with a little screentime.

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    187. Efi,

      The Starks are almost decimated and they scatter all over, while Daenerys is a clear-cut victim. By the end of ADWD they’re all on top of their situations, one way or the other.
      But the books are meant to make us doubt everything. Are they clear victims, or are they not? Are they clear villains, or is there something else at play here?

      I’m not sure if we’re meant to doubt the former: we know what happened with the Starks and Daenerys but I think we’re supposed to examine what they do with this because all of these characters make different choices.
      ie. just because somebody is trying to do right and makes efforts to that end, it doesn’t mean things will go well or others will fall in line. And what’s more, perhaps maybe the moral thing isn’t entirely right and might even prove disastrous in some contexts.

      For instance, Jon’s fighting an uphill battle with his men, they refuse to recognize the wildlings as people, and his own actions result in his stabbing. As the reader, we can see how Jon is trying to do the right thing (trying to save the wildlings, trying to help people who need help) but from Bowen Marsh’s perspective, Jon is absolutely not. And Bowen’s got a point: Jon openly breaking neutrality has incurred the wrath of the Boltons in the south against the Watch. Ramsay threatens the Night’s Watch because of Jon’s interference (namely, trying to save fArya), which is exactly why the Night’s Watch has a neutrality stance and a demand to put blood kin aside because these are no longer the wars of Night’s Watchmen. And this could ruin everything Jon has done to defend against the Others, putting the entire realm at risk.

      This quote from Jeor Mormont:

      “Craster is his own man. He has sworn us no vows. Nor is he subject to our laws. Your heart is noble, Jon, but learn a lesson here. We cannot set the world to rights. That is not our purpose. The Night’s Watch has other wars to fight.”

      And Jon fails this during his tenure as LC in book five, possibly bringing ruin upon the realm. He’s the bridge in a fragile peace between the wildling and the Watch but his actions lead to his own assassination; he’s announced he’ll march against Ramsay Bolton — appalled by Ramsay’s depravity — and publicly throws his neutrality out the window; his actions lead to the Bolton wrath when he interfered in the realm to “set the world to rights”.

      As for the villains, my tinfoil is theory is the Others are more than what they seem 😉

      He travels through Essos asking “where do whores go”, which is an expression of his trauma (this works pretty much like Sansa’s “unkiss” and Jon’s “you know nothing Jon Snow”, a frozen memory in time that they cannot get past)

      I agree with Tyrion’s “where do whores go” being sourced from devastation but I think “You know nothing, Jon Snow” — while it is a reminder of personal grief for Jon — the context in which Jon reflects on this quote also serves as a source of doubt. That things may not be what they seem, that he’s been wrong, and he might be wrong again.

      I’m not sure about the NK. Hardhome hasn’t yet happened in the books, so there’s still a chance that there is such a creature.

      Hardhome has happened in the books but not in one fell swoop as it did in the show because it’s happening all throughout book 5. Cotter Pyke is sending very distressing messages to Jon about “dead things in the water” and the people having to resort to eating their own dead. The message Jon receives from Cotter Pyke:

      At Hardhome, with six ships. Wild seas. Blackbird lost with all hands, two Lyseni ships driven aground on Skane, Talon taking water. Very bad here. Wildlings eating their own dead. Dead things in the woods. Braavosi captains will only take women, children on their ships. Witch women call us slavers. Attempt to take Storm Crow defeated, six crew dead, many wildlings. Eight ravens left. Dead things in the water. Send help by land, seas wracked by storms. From Talon, by hand of Maester Harmune.

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    188. Efi,

      Instead they went for the classic “hero” trope, a basically good guy that only turns bad at the final moment -and that feels empty and hollow to me, much more so because it’s combined with that senseless punishment. If anybody had managed to kill Hitler, chances are he wouldn’t be punished by imprisonment, he’d be hailed as liberator.
      It feels like: “so that’s it? he kills his mass-murderer girlfriend and he goes to the Wall for it? And the death of hundreds of thousands isn’t even enough to push him to do it? Are the lives of people so meaningless in GOT universe?

      I don’t know how this will all go down in the books but I think it will have more nuance and room for questioning than it did in the show.

      I don’t think Jon would be universally hailed as a liberator, even if something did happen like this in the books. I think Daenerys would likely have ride-or-die supporters and Jon committed the three most grievous sins you can in Westeros in order to stop her carnage: he’s become an oathbreaker, a queenslayer, and a kinslayer. If an oathbreaker and a queenslayer isn’t enough to condemn you in society’s eyes (see Jaime), a kinslayer is pretty much the worst thing you can be in their world, no matter the reason, but all three things together would be beyond bad.

      I don’t think “Are the lives of people so meaningless in GOT universe” is the message though. It’s a conflict — the human heart in conflict. Dany suddenly went off on King’s Landing and it’s going to take some time to come to grips with this transition, especially when Jon has seen the Dany who saved them, the Dany who fought for the realm against the NK, the Dany who put off taking the throne right away when she was reminded of the civilian deaths attacking the Red Keep would incur. To Jon, Dany isn’t Ramsay or Joffrey or the Night King and he’s going to want to talk to her first before he makes such a huge decision. And I think Jon, especially if he loves Dany in the books too, is going to struggle with the idea of assassination. Even with Mance, Jon did not want to kill him and was hoping he’d be spared from having to commit the task — despite knowing Mance was wanting to attack the Wall.

      I don’t really believe that Martin didn’t explain everything to them; I think they just decided not to go there.

      GRRM has said a few times that he doesn’t plan the plots of his stories in advance, he’s a “gardener” type of writer — he figures it out as he writes. I don’t think D&D just decided not to go there. The adaptations are definitely streamlined and some of the writing in seasons 7 and 8 is sloppy but I don’t think GRRM explained everything to them. I don’t think GRRM himself has figured out everything or the books would be out by now. I think this is the reason he’s stuck: because GRRM still must figure out how these pieces fit together.

      This quote from GRRM:

      I think there are two types of writers, the architects and the gardeners. The architects plan everything ahead of time, like an architect building a house. They know how many rooms are going to be in the house, what kind of roof they’re going to have, where the wires are going to run, what kind of plumbing there’s going to be. They have the whole thing designed and blueprinted out before they even nail the first board up. The gardeners dig a hole, drop in a seed and water it. They kind of know what seed it is, they know if planted a fantasy seed or mystery seed or whatever. But as the plant comes up and they water it, they don’t know how many branches it’s going to have, they find out as it grows. And I’m much more a gardener than an architect.

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    189. kevin1989,

      Thanks for the link!

      Even in earlier seasons, my understanding (from interviews) is that the work was still intense for the cast — even if they weren’t on screen as much, they’re still needing to prepare for scenes (even including smaller fight scenes), learn the skills needed for scenes, and they still needed to be present and on location, which takes up a pretty significant portion of their lives. If they’re in Belfast, Iceland, Croatia, Seville, etc. they can’t agree to other roles, they’re not available for other opportunities (personal or professional), they don’t have that free time. And ten years is a long time for that.

      More screentime doesn’t mean more interesting time. Sometimes smaller storylines fell more fleshed out than bigger storylines.

      While this is true, more screentime does allow for more time to develop these plots, characters, and relationships and that’s something that suffered in the latter seasons. We didn’t get as many character moments as we needed to develop relationships, revisit relationships, build up certain plots or conclude other plots. You reference Varys and Littlefinger in earlier seasons and Karsi in 508 — but those scenes had a different purpose. Varys and Littlefinger weren’t intended to be exploring relationships or transitioning into a whole other side of themselves, it was early days and they were dropping little pots of intrigue by making references to their individual agendas that we’d learn more about later on in the series — for which they needed additional screentime. Meanwhile, Karsi was a one-off character who was intended to humanize the wildlings who would be killed in that episode, rather than a character who’d be going in for the long-haul where she would be needing screentime to explore and develop various relationships and develop her own character.

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    190. Ten Bears,

      I agree. I think season 5-8 are brilliant on their own, in their own way. I love season 8 for it is. But I think GRRM would have make it more interesting.

      I also think if D&D had listen to him, with don’t cut that. Take your time. It would have resolved into two things. 1. GRRM wouldn’t be pressured with finishing the books soon, so he would be less stressed and I think that Winds would have come out sooner. He already stated that that stress was one of the reasons he couldn’t write that often. And maybe when they would have finished their story of dance they would have gotten winds on the shelves.
      2. I think if they would have listen to the advice of GRRM, and before I say what, I think GRRM don’t only give that advice for himself so that he could finish the books before the series, but I really think GRRM wants D&D show of his books to be masterful as well, he also gave them advice for them. But I think if they would have listen more I think he would have been more open with his unfinished books. I think he would have granted them the story he has written but not published, the parts of winds and Dream and probably granted them his roadmap he have already.

      And for me it’s already a bullshit argument that the ending of season 5 needed to be climatic for everyone. Because that’s not what’s needed. Season 1 till 4 didn’t have a climatic ending for every character, and season 5 didn’t need that. Just make sure you have 1 climatic events ready to show in the final and having an exciting moment for the rest in the season but doesn’t need to be the last episode. And the rest can be build up for next season. I mean take season 1.
      Jon: Build up ending. His ending was not climatic but “What is in store next season for him”
      Kingslanding/ Tyrion/ Sansa/ Arya: The climax was an episode before the big moment. The final itself didn’t contain such climatic ending. It was setting up the table for next season. Build up ending for season 2.
      Cat: Same as above. It was a build up ending for season 2. It set the table ready for the war of 5 kings. It did in fact contain an exciting moment with the king in the north.
      Winterfell: Like above it focussed on the climax of episode 9. And part build up for season 2.
      And now the only real climax the final got was: Dany. Dragons are here.

      And that’s where season 5 and beyond make a huge mistake. They wanted to have every character to have a big moment in the final. Instead of having a moment in the season. Storylines are sometimes devided into multiple seasons and that’s not a problem. Just give every character moments in a season. And it became even worse in season 7 and 8 because then it was not: Having a big moment in the final. It became. Every episode every character needs a big moment. And it become plotbased the storyline.

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    191. orange,

      I think it’s highly likely that it was show-only. Because it’s connected to Bran’s storyline. And he only told D&D 2 things about Bran’s story. Hodor and he will be king.

      Ten Bears,

      I think that’s what will happen in the books. That they were in love. GRRM asked who Jon’s mother was. And I think they needed more about that. And it’s not in Rheagar to rape somebody. But it’s in book Roberts personality to lie about such a thing.

      Ten Bears,

      Low budget episodes are most of the time better. I really loved for instance 3×05. And only a small skirmish sword fight at the beginning.

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    192. kevin1989: I think that’s what will happen in the books. That they were in love. GRRM asked who Jon’s mother was. And I think they needed more about that. And it’s not in Rheagar to rape somebody. But it’s in book Roberts personality to lie about such a thing.

      Yeah, I think Robert was in a sort of denial about who Lyanna was. When looking up quotes in my response to Efi, I came across this:

      “The talk is you and the queen had angry words last night.”

      The mirth curdled on Robert’s face. “The woman tried to forbid me to fight in the melee. She’s sulking in the castle now, damn her. Your sister would never have shamed me like that.”

      “You never knew Lyanna as I did, Robert,” Ned told him. “You saw her beauty, but not the iron underneath. She would have told you that you have no business in the melee.”

      I think Robert loved the idea of Lyanna but I don’t think he knew who Lyanna really was and “You never knew Lyanna as I did, Robert,” might be an indication that Robert didn’t get (or want to get) what went on between Lyanna and Rhaegar (but that could be a stretch on my part, it’s hard to say what Ned actually knew of that whole thing. I don’t think he knew much). He wanted to believe Lyanna belonged with [Robert], choosing to believe Rhaegar took off with her against her will. Meanwhile, Lyanna wasn’t so sure of Robert:

      “Robert will never keep to one bed,” Lyanna had told [Ned] at Winterfell, on the night long ago when their father had promised her hand to the young Lord of Storm’s End. “I hear he has gotten a child on some girl in the Vale.” Ned had held the babe in his arms; he could scarcely deny her, nor would he lie to his sister, but he had assured her that what Robert did before their betrothal was of no matter, that he was a good man and true who would love her with all his heart. Lyanna had only smiled. “Love is sweet, dearest Ned, but it cannot change a man’s nature.”

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    193. Adrianacandle,

      I think Roberts love for Lyanna was a bit like some in this time when they chat a couple of minutes online with somebody, and they are in love. It’s not real love, it’s a longing for being in love. And with Robert it was also about his ego.

        Quote  Reply

    194. kevin1989,

      I think it was as Ned said: “You saw her beauty, but not the iron underneath.” Which makes sense. Robert and Lyanna were betrothed but I don’t think they had spent time together, even in conflict or disagreement. Otherwise, Robert would know Lyanna wasn’t a doormat, she’d speak up as Ned said (although, she apparently fell for dreamy Rhaegar Targaryen when he sang a song so… layers, I guess ;D). I wonder how Robert would have felt about Lyanna as they did get to spend more time together. Ned had told Arya in regard to Lyanna:

      “[The sword] has a name, does it?” Her father sighed. “Ah, Arya. You have a wildness in you, child. ‘The wolf blood,’ my father used to call it. Lyanna had a touch of it, and my brother Brandon more than a touch. It brought them both to an early grave.” Arya heard sadness in his voice; he did not often speak of his father, or of the brother and sister who had died before she was born. “Lyanna might have carried a sword, if my lord father had allowed it. You remind me of her sometimes. You even look like her.”

        Quote  Reply

    195. Efi,

      I wasn’t clear. By “inversion” of victims and villains, I was referring to “official” historical accounts vs. what actually happened, for example, legendary heroes who in reality were cowardly or corrupt – and vica versa.

        Quote  Reply

    196. Ten Bears,

      No-no, it was clear. I’m trying to think of examples, but nothing comes to mind and I don’t think that “inversion” of historical perception (bc that’s what you’re talking about) can be applied here as such. I’m not sure Martin is interested exactly in that, which is subject he explores in Fire and Blood.
      His method in ASOIAF is the POVs which are subjective, and this is why the truth escapes us, bc each of the implicated parties has a version of the truth, but not the entirety of it.
      For example, Ned, Cat, Cersei, Jamie, Barristan and Connington, all POVs, have their own pieces of the truth, but not all of it.
      We still don’t know for example if there was treason in Rhaegar’s case; if he tried to contact, say, Ned for explaining things, and his message never got through to him, is sth that still needs to be out in the open so that it becomes a fact. In the end, like the show said, “Robert’s rebellion was based on a lie”, but whose lie was it? Rhaegar’s, Robert’s or someone else’s and why? The show didn’t answer this, because among others this thread remained unaddressed, but perhaps we’ll find out in the books.

        Quote  Reply

    197. Adrianacandle,

      Yeah, considering that there’s thousands of people stuck at Hardhome I tend to believe that Jon will take up an expedition himself with this KL fleet that’s heading his way. I don’t know why all this had to happen before this final expedition, perhaps it’s only GRRM’s stalling the developments for bringing things and heroes to the spot he wants them to be at the right time, or perhaps there’s a better explanation that will be revealed to us in WoW.

        Quote  Reply

    198. Efi: Yeah, considering that there’s thousands of people stuck at Hardhome I tend to believe that Jon will take up an expedition himself with this KL fleet that’s heading his way. I don’t know why all this had to happen before this final expedition, perhaps it’s only GRRM’s stalling the developments for bringing things and heroes to the spot he wants them to be at the right time, or perhaps there’s a better explanation that will be revealed to us in WoW.

      Jon had intended to go to Hardhome (against the advice of his officers, Selyse, and Melisandre) and was actually on his way with Tormund but then the Pink Letter hit, Jon flipped out, they decided for Tormund to head the mission to Hardhome while Jon dealt with Ramsay, and then Jon got stabbed.

      I have no idea what’s going to happen next. I think everything will erupt into chaos — within the Night’s Watch, between the wildlings and the Night’s Watch, it’ll just be a mess.

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    199. kevin1989,

      Ok, now I’m covered! He’s a Virgo, for heaven’s sake! He’s a perfectionist by definition.
      Also ASOIAF is apparently his ticket to eternity; so long as he’s stalling, he’ll always be here.
      Face it, folks. Now we’ll never know the true ending; it’ll always be D&D’s ending.

        Quote  Reply

    200. Efi: Also ASOIAF is apparently his ticket to eternity; so long as he’s stalling, he’ll always be here.

      Knock on wood, Efi, or the wood spirits won’t protect against jinxes!! T___T

      See, astrology is bogus but wood spirits are totally real 😉

        Quote  Reply

    201. Adrianacandle,

      Efi,

      XDXDXD

      It’s not many times that a site (who is most of the time not that great but still serious) takes a joke like that. Well I hope virgo’s have a good year in 2020 where work is being finished.

        Quote  Reply

    202. kevin1989,

      Whenever I hear Virgo, I get Jenna Marbles flashbacks:

      “I’m a VIRGO!!!”

      (Well, I’m not a Virgo, I’m the worst sign, but I’d like to be a scorpion).

        Quote  Reply

    203. kevin1989:
      Tron79,
      Put it in spoilertags for the ones not reading Feast and Dance. No spoilers for you Tron.

      So just reporting back. I have to go to synagogue soon, so won’t be able to check in much the next couple of days, but I took a break reading. I see lots and lots of discussion! I will take time to read it all later this week.

      I wasn’t quite as far along as I thought in ADWD last I wrote…but now I’ve made it through the first 14 chapters of my boiled leather journey. I stopped after finally finishing the first Arya chapter! That was like a prize. It was awesome though. For show watchers, it’s the first time she gets to the house of black and white and it’s quite a bit different than the show.

      I love that she rattles off all of her various names throughout the books when the man asks her name…. Of course, she’s having trouble having an identity now that she’s lost her family.. Is she Weasel, Salty, Lumpyhead, Arry, .. she goes through about 10 names she’s used on her journey so far… For those who haven’t read the book and who are reading the spoilers anyway, I’m not going to give away what she does when the man reveals himself from under his hood… I thought it was awesome that she was the first that tried that… And the Waif is already there… It was interesting that she didn’t get locked out and they let her in right away. That was very different than the show, and my guess is they needed to stretch things in the show to give Arya more to do.

      I haven’t reached an Arianne POV chapter. I don’t think there is one. Are you thinking about Alayne? I haven’t reached that chapter yet either. So far no more Dorne since the earlier chapters. Right now, the sand snakes are supposed to be locked away…
      The one weird thing with boiled leather was that the Samwell and Jon chapters in opposite books confused me, because they cover the same scene almost word for word (Just from a different POV). I read Samwell’s chapter and then switched books to read Jon’s and I thought…wait a minute…I thought Gilly was already gone…why is this repeating! So it got a little disorienting, but I then I understood what was happening…

      overall it’s great going back and forth using my little notes at the end of each chapter. I just have to remember to keep my current book on the top, so when I go back later I remember where I was!

      My next prize for the next Arya chapter I believe is 28 chapters away! OMG. But it will motivate me to press on…

      One major difference is that the show likes traveling companions more than the books. So far Tyrion wasn’t traveling with Jorah…. Brienne wasn’t traveling with Pod… I missed those relationships… It’s possible they will pop up at some point…

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    204. Tron79,

      Nice to read that you got to your first Arya chapter. I like her book story better.

      As for Sam/Jon chapter I agree. When I do a reread I just only read the thoughts with the Jon chapters.

      As for companions, I’m not going to say anything.

      have fun reading

        Quote  Reply

    205. Adrianacandle,

      Was this passage from the books you quoted …..

      ”“[The sword] has a name, does it?” Her father sighed. “Ah, Arya. You have a wildness in you, child. ‘The wolf blood,’ my father used to call it. Lyanna had a touch of it, and my brother Brandon more than a touch. It brought them both to an early grave.” Arya heard sadness in his voice; he did not often speak of his father, or of the brother and sister who had died before she was born. “Lyanna might have carried a sword, if my lord father had allowed it. You remind me of her sometimes. You even look like her.”

      …. adapted into this S1e3 scene with Ned & Arya?

      S1e3 Ned & Arya (at 1:15 “A blade with a name?”)

        Quote  Reply

    206. Ten Bears,

      That’s the one! It’s from A Game of Thrones, Arya II/Chapter 22 and followed up with this:

      “Lyanna was beautiful,” Arya said, startled. Everybody said so. It was not a thing that was ever said of Arya.

      “She was,” Eddard Stark agreed, “beautiful, and willful, and dead before her time.” He lifted the sword, held it out between them. “Arya, what did you think to do with this … Needle? Who did you hope to skewer? Your sister? Septa Mordane? Do you know the first thing about sword fighting?”

      All she could think of was the lesson Jon had given her. “Stick them with the pointy end,” she blurted out.

      Her father snorted back laughter. “That is the essence of it, I suppose.”

      I’d quote the whole rest of the chapter as this is followed by some really sweet moments of Arya talking to Ned about Mycah and Nymeria, but the Lord of Light strives for me to be brief (though I do not often succeed…)

        Quote  Reply

    207. Adrianacandle,

      Aw, thanks! It looks like the show did a good job of adapting that Ned & Arya book scene!

      As long as we’re on the subject of S1 Arya…

      I just rewatched the Maisie Williams segment of “The Cast Remembers” (about 4 1/2 minutes long). I may have seen already some time ago, but now that the show is over it was interesting to revisit it.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8mgTJMqhHY

      I especially enjoyed Maisie Williams reminiscing about her first day on the set filming the food flinging scene in S1e1 (at 2:17 – 2:50).
      Whoever edited the video did a great job. It intersperses snippets of present day adult Maisie and little Maisie talking about the same experience.

      (Once again, I’m reminded that were it not for Maisie Williams and the character of Arya, I never would have watched the show. I would’ve clicked the remote and channel surfed away from HBO after five minutes: Patience is not one of my virtues. I had never heard of GRRM or his books, and had no reason to tune in to that odd new show called “Game of Thrones.”)

        Quote  Reply

    208. Ten Bears,

      Those were great segments! And I LOVE that food flinging scene — I love Sansa’s horror and indignation, Arya celebrating her well-placed aim, Robb laughing (until Catelyn gives him The Look) and removing a pouting Arya to put her to bed XD MW was just perfect as Arya. And she kind of reminds me of my youngest sister (in a good way!)

      And it’s crazy what draws us into shows! I got into it because I happened upon my best friend’s boyfriend watching the pilot when it first aired — I was staying with them to do my overseas internship for school. When he passed me the water bong, I was compelled to sit down and watch because I really love me a water bong — so weed is really what got me started on GoT ;D And then the next day, I Wikipedia’d it, found out it was based on a series of books, I immediately got the digital versions of books 1-4 for my phone because I really needed something to read on the trains, I read them all in a month, and book 5 was released that summer!

        Quote  Reply

    209. Ten Bears: It looks like the show did a good job of adapting that Ned & Arya book scene!

      They really did. Ned/Arya is such an endearing relationship in general. Ned loved all his kids but I suspect Arya might have been his fave 😉 Even though this story is situated in medieval times, I think their father-daughter relationship is so relatable. Especially the ‘Who did you hope to skewer? Your sister?’ bit 🤣

      Ah, I’ve been there. And my sisters too no doubt (we were TERRIBLE to each other! When I was forced to babysit those jerks, I’d go to my computer in my room and they’d close my door, tie a skipping rope between my doorknob and the doorknob belonging to the door across the hallway from mine so I couldn’t get out, and they’d taunt me from outside while I screamed bloody murder. JERKS.)

      So, er, Sansa-Arya was relatable too XD

      Sansa: Who cares about your stupid dancing teacher? I can’t go! I’m supposed to marry Prince Joffrey! I love him and I’m meant to be his queen and have his babies!
      Arya: Seven hells.

      🤣🤣🤣🤣

        Quote  Reply

    210. Ten Bears,

      TB, On the Sept 28th you posted a series of long and wonderful posts on why the ending of GOT was “flummoxing.” For me GOT fell below expectations and I agree with a great deal of your post.

      Well done, thank you.

      (Sorry for the late read and comment …. I am reading what I can as opportunity allows. I have a tough schedule at the moment with lots of changes in my time-zones)

        Quote  Reply

    211. Ten Bears,

      “In hindsight maybe it would’ve been a good idea to expand the writing team and film more dialogue-rich, lower budget episodes. It also might’ve been better if GRRM himself had continued contributing scripts, since he didn’t wind up using his freed-up time to complete the book”

      Fully agreed, fully! I agree with this the most!

      One exception, I think I may be more agreed with Efi on what GRRM told them.

      My “tinfoil” is that GRRM would have told the story in a very, very different way but was overruled. Maybe his way would be too long but it would have made sense. There must be many reasons he left the team besides working on his book. (He is working on other teams now even though the books have not appeared.) My ‘tinfoil” is that if they had stayed with a concise version of GRRM story we may have enjoyed a series with a sensible and great end.

      I do not see the Emmys but I did realise that GRRM chose not to come to the mike. I wondered why.

        Quote  Reply

    212. Adrianacandle,

      I thought scorpio was the worst sign? (I’m a cancer and scorpio, ugh! doomed for life)
      Wenever I think of Virgo one of my last bosses comes to mind (one whom I’ve cursed a lot lately, lol)
      It’s good for men though. Good professionals, like GRRM.

        Quote  Reply

    213. Tron79,

      You are so going to enjoy ADWD especially the way you’re reading it. It’s a meditation on power; a pause before the storm. Arya’s chapters are incredibly sensitive, and some Theon’s chapters are among the most wonderful of the books. His scene before the heart tree of Winterfell is crushing.

        Quote  Reply

    214. Efi:
      Tron79,

      You are so going to enjoy ADWD especially the way you’re reading it. It’s a meditation on power; a pause before the storm. Arya’s chapters are incredibly sensitive, and some Theon’s chapters are among the most wonderful of the books. His scene before the heart tree of Winterfell is crushing.

      Thanks Efi
      I hope to get back to it later this afternoon. I do really feel guilty because so many had to wait 5+ years in between books. But that being said, it’s nice to think I’m on the last one (of the current 5)…it’s just a giant one! I hope GRRM doesn’t dwell on Theon’s torture. If he does, perhaps it won’t be as hard to read as it was for me to watch in the show. That’s one of the only parts of the show that I speed up on re-watch (and Sansa’s rape is another). But I’m looking forward to the scenes you describe for Theon. The books really do use the weirwoods more, which I love. Their is a closeness for the Northern characters who were raised with the old gods. Since Theon was raised a Stark, I can only imagine he probably feels some attachment. It’s part of the magic or mystical elements that I think D&D shied away from in the show.

      The meditation on power probably has much to teach us in today’s world. I won’t get into to today’s politics since it will turn folks off and I’m not a political poster, but just like Lord of the Rings, you can learn alot that can be applied to our own world.

      Getting to the next Arya chapter will be my reward. They are few and far between, but a great goal to look forward to what happens to her next…

        Quote  Reply

    215. Efi:
      Tron79,

      You are so going to enjoy ADWD especially the way you’re reading it. It’s a meditation on power; a pause before the storm. Arya’s chapters are incredibly sensitive, and some Theon’s chapters are among the most wonderful of the books. His scene before the heart tree of Winterfell is crushing.

      You make me wonder if I should look for a Boiled ASNAWP version of the books, i.e., only Arya chapters. Meanwhile…

      I’m tempted to just order all five existing books in paperback from Amazon, and forget about waiting for the illusory sixth and seventh.

        Quote  Reply

    216. Efi,

      I always thought scorpio’s the best because the scorpion gets a handy stinger at the end of its tail — you know, for revenge 😉

      But they look terrifying. The camel spider is really a type of scorpion, I believe.* It’s the large creature that chases you to be in your shade 😨😨😨😨😨

      I’m a Cancer too! But the crabby, crying, mood-swing-y kind.

      As for GRRM, I hope whatever forces are out there — astrological, inspirational, motivational, or otherwise — turn the 6th and 7th book from an elusive hope to reality ;0;

      (* I was wrong, it’s not a spider, but it’s not a scorpion either! “The camel spider is of the order Solifugae, which is Latin for ‘those who flee from the sun,’ according to the National Science Foundation (NSF).” So it’s the creepy-crawly version of me! :D)

        Quote  Reply

    217. Mango:
      Ten Bears,

      TB, On the Sept 28th you posted a series of long and wonderful posts on why the ending of GOT was “flummoxing.”For me GOT fell below expectationsand I agree with a great deal of your post.

      Well done, thank you.

      (Sorry for the late read and comment …. I am reading what I can asopportunityallows. I have a tough schedule at the moment with lots of changes in my time-zones)

      9:59 am Third attempted reply to Mango*

      I understand the time schedule demands. I’m going to have to disappear myself soon to address real world responsibilities. (Ugh…)

      * I had typed out a longer reply. It kept getting shunted to “That Page Not Found” Oblivion.

        Quote  Reply

    218. Testing. 11:11 AM

      Attempted Re-Post Reply to Adrianacandle 9/30/19, 12:21 am Comment:
      ”And it’s crazy what draws us into shows!”

        Quote  Reply

    219. • I have a distinct recollection of the moment I was drawn into the show: While watching (a rebroadcast* of) S1e1, when Arya took a bow after zinging her arrow past Bran into the bullseye.

      * I had not watched any Game of Thrones episodes at all until right before the start of S4. In fact, I didn’t know anything about Game of Thrones. I was laid up sick and homebound for a week, and was looking for something to keep me distracted. HBO was running a GoT marathon of S1 – S3.

      Before then, I remember at some point skimming through a TV Guide, and reading an episode synopsis that said: “Jon climbs the wall.” I thought to myself sarcastically: “Oh. Gee. Sounds exciting. Like ‘Jon watches paint dry.’ Pffft.”

      At around that time, while channel surfing one day, I paused on HBO for five seconds, and saw two guys in ragged clothes sitting around some rocks in a field. Without bothering to turn up the volume and listen, I thought “well that looks f*cking dumb”, and clicked the remote. (I’d learn much later that those two guys were Jaime and Qyburn in “The Bear and the Maiden Fair” when Jaime resolves to return to Harrenhal to rescue Brienne.)

      So when I started watching episode 1 of Season 1 during the S1-S3 marathon, it was with no (or low) expectations. The alarm on my Internal Short Attention Span Timer was just about to go off – and then that little girl showed up her brother in archery, took a bow (with that mischievous smile), and ran off as her family erupted in laughter.
      That drew me in. For the next thirty waking hours, I consumed the first 30 episodes – just in time for the S4 premier, “Two Chickens” … I mean, “Two Swords.”

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    220. Adrianacandle,

      Reply finally went through at 11:19 am today on the seventh try. I deleted a link to the S1e1 scene I was referring to. I guess that’s what triggered the site algorithms. Or pissed off the Lord of Light.

        Quote  Reply

    221. Ten Bears,

      Your post made it! I hope your parakeet is unscathed 😉

      The alarm on my Internal Short Attention Span Timer was just about to go off – and then that little girl showed up her brother in archery, took a bow (with that mischievous smile), and ran off as her family erupted in laughter.

      Then I suppose you could say Arya saved the day here too — for she lept up with arrow making Bran’s mark for him at the exact right second before you were about to disengage 😉

      And now, when I come across any reference to the Wall, I’ll be thinking of watching paint dry… 😉

      The first episode — I remember that first scene of Dany so clearly because she looked exactly like what I imagined Fleur Delacour from Harry Potter to look like. She practically glowed. Like, I recognized Boromir, and Robb and Jon were hot (that’s all my best friend remembers from this show when her boyfriend and I were watching), and puppies (!!!), but I couldn’t believe the prettiness of GoT Fleur Delacour 😅😅😅(I have the depth of 1 cm…)

      Oh, and twincest. Twincest. I couldn’t believe they had twins doing each other, it made no sense, how could they do that, why is this happening, I must know more. I loved it. I was sold.

      And now it seems so normal…

        Quote  Reply

    222. Adrianacandle,

      ”The first episode — I remember that first scene of Dany so clearly because she looked exactly like what I imagined Fleur Delacour from Harry Potter to look like. She practically glowed….”

      ———-
      Well, I confess I don’t know who Fleur Delacour is or what she’s supposed to look like.
      I never made it past the first fifty or so pages of the first Harry Potter book, and didn’t really get into the movies either. (While reading, my Internal Short Attention Span Timer went off sometime during Harry’s visit to the wand shop in an alley.)

      Re: Emilia Clarke “practically glow[ing]” in her first scene: I’m going to try to post the link to Emilia Clarke’s “The Cast Remembers” video. Emilia Clarke’s video, as well as Lena Headey’s, demonstrate how very different these actresses are in real life from their show counterparts.

        Quote  Reply

    223. Adrianacandle,

      I was going to post links to “The Cast Remembers” videos for Iain Glen, Nikoloj Coster Waldau, Sophie Turner, and six or seven other cast members. However, the Lord of Light started blocking me again.

      I think there are 13 total “The Cast Remembers” videos.

      If anyone’s curious, the videos should come up on YouTube by plugging in the search “The Cast Remembers Game of Thrones.”

        Quote  Reply

    224. Ten Bears,

      Thank you for posting those! The Cast Remembers videos are great, I loved seeing all that behind the scenes footage and hearing the actors talk about their characters’ journeys so I’m going to give them another watch tonight! Thanks for reminding me of them! I think HBO was really generous in giving us all of these extras. In season 7, I really enjoyed ‘The Game Revealed’ segments!

      Okay! So! Fleur Delacour is a Veela and here is the description!

      “Veela are semi-human magical beings; beautiful women with white-gold hair and skin that appears to shine moon-bright. When angry, Veela take on a less pleasant appearance; their faces elongate into sharp, cruel-beaked bird heads, and long scaly wings burst from their shoulders.”

      While the second part doesn’t apply to Dany because she never shape-shifted when angry, I thought the first part was pretty dead on. The actress they had play Fleur in the movies is gorgeous but of a more “of this earth” type, rather than the ethereal beauty I thought Dany had in that first scene especially.

      Fair enough about Harry Potter! I was the target demo at the time but I also love stories about orphans with magical destinies because I always hoped I was secretly that too 😉

        Quote  Reply

    225. Ten Bears: Emilia Clarke’s video, as well as Lena Headey’s, demonstrate how very different these actresses are in real life from their show counterparts.

      YES! I’ve listened to Lena Headey on episode commentaries and she’s hilarious. She’s part of the reason I love Cersei. Emilia Clarke too. Emilia Clarke comes across to me as sunshine in human form 💖

        Quote  Reply

    226. Ten Bears,

      Emilia Clarke “practically glow[ing]” in her first scene: I’m going to try to post the link to Emilia Clarke’s “The Cast Remembers” video. Emilia Clarke’s video, as well as Lena Headey’s, demonstrate how very different these actresses are in real life from their show counterparts.

      I didn’t see her as glowing; I saw her as terrified; her abusive brother is trading her for an army,a culture totally foreign to her. However I did see her growing in to it, and thought her as an amazing actress in that role (just read an interview with her, how devastated she was when she read the script……)

      For me the lock was the very first look at winterfell, and seeing all of the characters who were in my mind from reading. Most of all seeing little Arya hiding in a wagon with a helmet on her head! I was hooked since

        Quote  Reply

    227. ash: I didn’t see her as glowing; I saw her as terrified; her abusive brother is trading her for an army,a culture totally foreign to her. However I did see her growing in to it, and thought her as an amazing actress in that role

      I’m sorry for misspeaking (Ten Bears was quoting me so I’m totally responsible for that statement). When I had said ‘glowing’, I was talking solely to aesthetic skin luminosity (which some people can have, even when they are at their lowest), not anything emotionally. I’d agree with your assessment there.

        Quote  Reply

    228. I can’t post in the forum yet, so I post here. I found some interesting theories on Littlefinger what he really wants and is (in the book) and I found it very interesting. I post somethings in spoiler and others not.
      – The whole story is about LF in the end, he even is in control of Dany in some way. Is he the harpy?

      he talks that he needs to take care of 3 queens at the end of dance and

      Back in book 1 he was the one that didn’t really talk when they discussed the death of Dany. What if Dany is part of his plan. That the harpy are send by him there to stall her and get her to westeros in time.
      – He doesn’t want to be king, but he wants to be in control in the shadows. In every kingdom one person who is Warden under his control. Which comes to my next part.
      – He doesn’t want the throne but diminish the power of the one sitting on the throne. If he controls all the 7 kingdoms by proxy, the one who sits on the Iron Throne only has the crownlands.
      – He wants to do that because he sees how power is divided now, not by what somebody can do, but how he is born. He always had to work twice as hard as somebody who’s father was lord. He wants to overthrown the feudal system in Westeros. And maybe install the beginning of capitalism (the first step after feudal systems fall) in Westeros. Which make sense when he is the richest man in Westeros but not the one with the most power.
      – He works secretly for the Iron bank. He didn’t have a problem with emptying their vaults for unnecessary things.
      – connection to Braavos is his greatgrandfather’s shield that is stored at the fingers which could be a symbol of the titans bastard. And his sword that is broken

      could be a sword that was broken on purpose by the golden company, which could mean that the greatgrandfather of LF is in fact a blackfyre and what if Varys is in fact a blacksteel.

      – LF was a ward at house Tully. But wait, only somebody from a noblehouse are made wards in this story. But he was not of noblehouse right? But what if he was? What if GRRM once again put a secret marriage done by Hoster Tully to overthrown the mad king but Roberts rebellion came in the way and put that plan on hold. And that make sense why cat couldn’t marry LF. It also would make a ironic ending for LF when in the end he fails but is revealed that he already had a big claim if Roberts rebellion didn’t start. Which would also make it more ironic if we found out that LF helped Robert with his rebellion.
      – Another one that I personally liked and makes a lot of sense is that at first LF was Varys bird. He helped Varys with his plan to restore order and put a Targ on the throne

      or probably more a bittersteel or blackfyre

      but once he had power he made his own plan. And turned against Varys plan, what that plan is is still a big question. But why this is a theory is the sigil of LF “Mockingbird”.

      My theory is that in the end LF wins what he wants. And that he is still alive after the defeat of the WW. And I think his ending will be around Dany’s downfall in the end. But I’m not sure if it is that Dany will put a stop to LF when she attacks KL, and that he lost then. Or that he even wins after Dany is taken down. But that after Dany is taken down the Starks put him on trial because Bran knows everything, Sansa has a huge power so she can execute that power. But I think this all will happen after everything. I think that LF and Sansa won’t be at winterfell in the books with the battle of the WW but in the south. But how that all play’s out I have no idea. And I can see the big problem that D&D got themselves in with unfinished books.

      For instance when I was busy with my project and I came with Bran’s chapters. And I though what can happen in winds and dance with him, I had not a single clue what make sense storywise. I could think of what make sense when looking at Bran’s own story, but his part in the bigger story when everything comes together. It’s a very difficult storyline without the book material.

        Quote  Reply

    229. Adrianacandle,

      ”… and here is the description!

      “Veela are semi-human magical beings; beautiful women with white-gold hair and skin that appears to shine moon-bright. When angry, Veela take on a less pleasant appearance; their faces elongate into sharp, cruel-beaked bird heads, and long scaly wings burst from their shoulders.”

      _____
      OMG! I dated a Veela in high school!
      And all these years I thought it was the vodka that turned her into an angry bird.

        Quote  Reply

    230. Ten Bears: OMG! I dated a Veela in high school!
      And all these years I thought it was the vodka that turned her into an angry bird.

      LOL!!

      And this is why Harry Potter is so educational! 😉

        Quote  Reply

    231. kevin1989: I can’t post in the forum yet, so I post here. I found some interesting theories on Littlefinger what he really wants and is (in the book) and I found it very interesting. I post somethings in spoiler and others not.

      I can’t either, I’m still waiting for my forum activation. I think trying to make the forums more active for discussions would be a great idea.

      Thanks for sharing your theories, Kevin! I’ll read them over tonight 🙂

      I was thinking — a nominal upside of books 6&7 still not being out yet is that we can still speculate like this 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    232. Adrianacandle: I can’t either, I’m still waiting for my forum activation. I think trying to make the forums more active for discussions would be a great idea…

      Can I ask a small favor or make a small suggestion?
      If anyone decides to initiate discussions in the forum section, perhaps a “heads up” in the Comment Sections of the current watchersonthewall posts can alert folks (like me) who may be interested in reading or contributing to the forum discussion topic(s).

        Quote  Reply

    233. Ten Bears: Can I ask a small favor or make a small suggestion?If anyone decides to initiate discussions in the forum section, perhaps a “heads up” in the Comment Sections of the current watchersonthewall posts can alert folks (like me) who may be interested in reading or contributing to the forum discussion topic(s).

      I haven’t had any luck getting activated in the forum over the last 2+ years. I have registered multiple times and then never hear back to get activated. A moderator has to do it. I sent emails to their contact and never hear back. I tried again recently as we were having more book discussions.
      I would rather discuss certain topics in a forum when it doesn’t really fit in a general article. Yes I would include a link over though if I can get activated.

        Quote  Reply

    234. Adrianacandle,

      You’re right. That’s the upside of it. And even when somethings are different that makes it amazing.

      I just read these 2 days the released chapters of winds for the first time. Only one chapter left. And I have to say that I’m very excited about it. I loved every chapter of it. And the writing is much better than season 5 till 8 of the show in my opinion. And I like where the show is going with certain storylines.

      Ten Bears,

      Good idea.

      Tron79,

      Agree. Some discussions would be nice in the forum. And also if we for instance want to talk about other shows is much easier to make a topic there about it.

      Or other things like some games. I remember when we had the lost forum that we started with every character of the show. (Which is for GoT a bit much). And gave every character 5 points. Then you can comment and add one point to a certain character you like, and substract from your least favorite of the list. And if a character had zero points it would be erased from the list. And in the end we made some sort of top 10 of favorite characters with it. We had a rule that you can only make a change if 2 others were between your post or something. We did that after every season. And it was fun.

      Or we made some sort of quiz topic. The one started asked a question about lost. And if you knew it you gave the answer and another question. We did that also with personal questions like: What’s your favorite food?

      I think topics like that would be fun for the select group of watchers goers.

        Quote  Reply

    235. Tron79,

      Speaking for myself, I really don’t mind when a thread in the Comments Section under a Post detours into a different subject. If I’m not interested, I skip the subthread, but usually I am – and throw in my two cents if I want.

      Lord knows I’ve been guilty of more than my fair share of Arya Thread Derailments (⚠️🚂 👸🏻🗡) in the past.

      Very few of us ever go to the Forum Section to see if there are any active discussions. Perhaps “heads-ups” can change that? I’m not sure…

        Quote  Reply

    236. kevin1989,

      Well, if we’re going to propose dedicated Forum Sections topics, you know what the titles of mine will look like:

      • “All Arya All the Time”
      • “A Deep Dive into the Complexities of GoT’s Best Character: The Hound”
      • “Sandor & Ned: Flip Sides of the Same Coin”
      • “Arya & Sandor 4 Eva”
      • The Wisdom of Extending the Lifespan of Beric Dondarrion on the Show”
      • Show-Only Scripted Scenes and Story Lines: Hits and Misses”

        Quote  Reply

    237. kevin1989,

      Oh, and I’d enjoy reading about others’ experiences such as those in the recent sub-thread above (from 9/30/19 from around 12:21 am – 5:41 pm) prompted by Adrianacandle’s 9/30/19, 12:21 am comment that “it’s crazy what draws us into the show.”

      While book readers constituted a pre-built audience, there are lots of folks, including latecomers like yours truly, who had never heard of ASOIAF and stumbled onto the show – and kept watching it.

        Quote  Reply

    238. About the chapters of winds of winter, that chapter of damphair.

      How Euron is described. That Euron is in all sorts of rituals and other scary things. His vision about Euron in the end, on the Iron throne. Controlling somebody, which is probably Dany. His plans which is more than just plunder because he doesn’t keep a single thing himself. Euron is scary because of that in the books, he is dangerous, and endgame in a scary way. And I’m wonder if Dany turning bloody in 8×05 is in fact in the books connected to Euron’s magic rituals. And if he takes down the wall. It’s such a shame they rushed to the story in season 5 till 8 because I think if they would have establish Euron like his book counter part, he could have been very interesting, and Pilou would probably be a good choice to showing that side.

      I will say that I’m very interesting in winds of winter and I hope GRRM will drop the books next year.

        Quote  Reply

    239. Ten Bears,

      “Stick them with the pointy end”
      A topic where we discuss good burns.

      Ten Bears,

      Same here, I started with season 1 and I though, I have a feeling the books are brilliant. And I read them all before season 2 aired. And they were. And since then I’m waiting and waiting for dear George.

        Quote  Reply

    240. About winds of winter, the chapter of

      Sansa

      made me smile through many parts of the chapter, amazing ending. Perfect character build up.

      Her being happy when she run through the yard, and thinking of the past when she was running through the yards of winterfell with Jeyne and Arya made me smile, not only because she though of it but also because that was something Arya would normally do. And her ending where she could be what she always wanted to be, a lady and that she is good at it was just perfect.

        Quote  Reply

    241. Ten Bears:
      Tron79,

      Speaking for myself, I really don’t mind when a thread in the Comments Section under a Post detours into a different subject. If I’m not interested, I skip the subthread, but usually I am – and throw in my two cents if I want.

      Lord knows I’ve been guilty of more than my fair share of Arya Thread Derailments ( ) in the past.

      Very few of us ever go to the Forum Section to see if there are any active discussions. Perhaps “heads-ups” can change that? I’m not sure…

      I like your idea of an All Arya all the time forum…

      So, on your first live watch of the series, did you sweat through the opening credits to see if Maisie showed up on there? And then when she did, did you shout a big YES, like me? I still watched anyway when she wasn’t in the episode, but I would get really anxious watching those opening credits until I saw she was in there….

        Quote  Reply

    242. kevin1989,

      I heard that the repetitious mention of “tummy flutters” made the Sansa TWOW sample chapter cringeworthy for some readers. I wouldn’t know. I haven’t felt the urge to read it.

      On the other hand, I stumbled upon the “Mercy” chapter on G’s website, read it and loved it.

      I’m not sure why the show made Arya/Mercy a spectator of the theater troupe rather than a member of it; no big deal I guess. Perhaps it wasn’t feasible to translate the internal monologues in the voice of the Mercedane personna, which gradually reverted back to the voice of Arya.

      I can’t complain. I really liked Essie Davis as Lady Crane, particularly her stage performances first as anguished Cersei, and then as angry Cersei after she took Arya’s suggestion how she’d change the scene. And I guess the show “borrowed”

      the assassination scene from the “Mercy” chapter and adapted it into the Arya vs. Polliver encounter in S4e1; the Arya va. Meryn F*cking Trant scene in S5; or a combination of both???

      .

        Quote  Reply

    243. Ten Bears: Can I ask a small favor or make a small suggestion?
      If anyone decides to initiate discussions in the forum section, perhaps a “heads up” in the Comment Sections of the current watchersonthewall posts can alert folks (like me) who may be interested in reading or contributing to the forum discussion topic(s).

      Definitely! If I ever get activated, I’d certainly leave a referral link to the forum post! (So basically, what Tron79 said ;D)

        Quote  Reply

    244. kevin1989: You’re right. That’s the upside of it. And even when somethings are different that makes it amazing.

      I just read these 2 days the released chapters of winds for the first time. Only one chapter left. And I have to say that I’m very excited about it. I loved every chapter of it. And the writing is much better than season 5 till 8 of the show in my opinion. And I like where the show is going with certain storylines.

      Yeah! I was really quite pleased with the show until a specific point early in season 8 when I felt my heart drop. I’m one of the book readers who loved season 6 and really enjoyed season 7! I mean, there are aspects in the writing that could have been improved but for the most part, I was a happy camper.

      I think Alt Shift X made a good point in one of his livestream Q&As that D&D signed up to adapt books, not write the conclusion, and I can be understanding of that. I can also be sympathetic to GRRM being under enormous pressure and struggling to bring all of these disparate threads together. It’s a big, big story. And even bigger in the books.

        Quote  Reply

    245. Ten Bears: Oh, and I’d enjoy reading about others’ experiences such as those in the recent sub-thread above (from 9/30/19 from around 12:21 am – 5:41 pm) prompted by Adrianacandle’s 9/30/19, 12:21 am comment that “it’s crazy what draws us into the show.”

      While book readers constituted a pre-built audience, there are lots of folks, including latecomers like yours truly, who had never heard of ASOIAF and stumbled onto the show – and kept watching it.

      I really enjoy reading these experiences too! I love learning how various people get into the same fandom! 🙂

      I got into the show and the books at nearly the exact same time (the books just a day after I learned about the show ;D). My internship was a great experience but some parts of it were hard because it kind of felt like my friends (who were hosting me for three months, which is a pretty long time) just wanted to be alone without a third wheel hanging around them — and that’s where the books came in. In addition to making train rides something I looked forward to, they really helped me when I’d “disappear” after school and I’d go to a cafe to get WAR FRIES (the best!!) and read. So war fries and ASOIAF go together like spicy peanut sauce and mayo (that’s what the war is between on the battleground that is the french fry!) ;D

      Poutine has nothing on war fries.

      (Also, there was a student from my class who I was crushing on and he also went to that cafe………………………..)

        Quote  Reply

    246. Tron79,

      ”…. So, on your first live watch of the series, did you sweat through the opening credits to see if Maisie showed up on there? And then when she did, did you shout a big YES, like me? I still watched anyway when she wasn’t in the episode, but I would get really anxious watching those opening credits until I saw she was in there….

      _____
      I’m not sure what you mean.
      I unintentionally binge-watched S1 – S3 during a pre-Season 4 HBO marathon. I had never heard of ASOIAF, Arya, or Maisie Williams before. As I related above, while watching S1e1 I was a few seconds away from clicking the remote to change channels…when that little girl from the sewing class zinged the arrow into the bullseye and took a bow.
      Besides, I have to confess that when watching episodes I really didn’t pay attention to the opening credits. Or the theme song. Or the animated graphic map. I would relish the sense of anticipation during the ten-minute period beginning five minutes before 9:00 pm, through the end of the introductory stuff + “Previously On” segment.

        Quote  Reply

    247. Adrianacandle,

      ”… I’m one of the book readers who loved season 6 and really enjoyed season 7!…”
      ——-
      I really thought S6 built up perfectly to a climax in Episode 10, e.g., with the ToJ flashback reveal followed by the rousing “King in the North!” coronation of Jon Snow; and Dany’s fleet setting sail, with the dragons skimming their wings on the ocean’s surface. That was the way to finish a season. 😋 Grafting Books! Lord Manderly’s Frey Pies side story onto face-changing Arya wasn’t too shabby either.

        Quote  Reply

    248. Ten Bears: I really thought S6 built up perfectly to a climax in Episode 10, e.g., with the ToJ flashback reveal followed by the rousing “King in the North!” coronation of Jon Snow; and Dany’s fleet setting sail, with the dragons skimming their wings on the ocean’s surface. That was the way to finish a season. 😋 Grafting Books! Lord Manderly’s Frey Pies side story onto face-changing Arya wasn’t too shabby either.

      YES. To all!! Oh my god, that was such a sweet sweet time. I was on such a Game of Thrones high from all that, I believe that was my favourite season ender ever.

      And the music accompanying it all… goosebumps!

        Quote  Reply

    249. Adrianacandle: YES. To all!! Oh my god, that was such a sweet sweet time. I was on such a Game of Thrones high from all that, I believe that was my favourite season ender ever.

      And the music accompanying it all… goosebumps!

      While Season 4 is my all-around favorite, Season 6 ended on such a high note for all of the major story lines:

      • Jon Snow began S6 as a corpse, and ended up a King twice over: KitN by popular vote. and rightful heir to the Iron Throne by birth.
      • Sansa Stark began S6 as an abuse victim hunted by bloodhounds, and ended it by feeding her abuser to his own hounds.
      • The Stark family began S6 in exile threatened by traitors in power, and ended it by wiping out the traitors and retaking their ancestral home. (Unfurling the direwolf banners over the walls of WF = fist-pump moment.)
      • Arya began S6 as a blind beggar, almost died from a gut wound by a hit woman… and ended up turning the tables on her hit woman, reclaiming her identity, and avenging the deaths of her family at the Red Wedding. (Though Jon inexplicably got credit for avenging the Red Wedding.)
      • Cersei started S6 as a defanged, accused defendant, and wound up incinerating that smug High Hypocrite (thank god) and his forehead-carving morons, and reclaiming the throne in her own right. (Too bad Margaery was collateral damage…)
      • After dawdling for years in foreign lands, a triumphant Daenerys Targaryen finally set sail for home.

      There was part of me that would have been content if the show had ended when the credits rolled at the conclusion of S6e10…

        Quote  Reply

    250. Ten Bears,

      I think the Meryn trant assasination. The other one was also done in the books but in a different way. And I liked the Mercy chapter a lot. And her being a spectator is maybe because in the show we could get a reminder for Arya who her own family was and what they endured. Also a reminder for the fans.

      As for the Sansa chapter. She said/though that one time in the whole chapter. So I think those people overreacted. For me it was beautiful chapter. Especially compared to her show counter journey. And her connection to Arya I found perfect. She missed Arya.

        Quote  Reply

    251. Adrianacandle,

      I see I made a mistake, the books are going with I meant to say.

      And I also loved season 5 till 8, no mistake in that. When compared to other television shows even season 8 was at least a 8+ but we should have gotten a 10+ season where even other shows dropped in rating because the whole of GoT was history making storywise. And I think season 6 is better than 2 and 3. But I think that’s the huge problem, trying to make every season better than the previous one results in bumping into a wall. And most of the time it has a negative effect with storytelling. that’s why I didn’t have a problem with Feast and Dance because it was the way to go with the story. And it moves into the place it should.

      And where are you know with reading?

        Quote  Reply

    252. About the winds chapters so only read if you read it or don’t read the books at all.

      Theon chapter, this was I think my least favorite of them all. Still loved it. It’s better that Asha and Theon meet there than how the show did it. Even when I loved the Theon and Sansa bounding in the show. I love that Stannis is still into play, and I think he will have a bigger role in the books and only die once the WW treat is busy.
      Victarion: Not so much happening but the premise of the battle of fire is amazing.
      Damphair: Already stated Euron is scary in the books and hopefully endgame.
      Samsa: also already stated. Amazing chapter.
      2 Arianne chapters: I really loved those. The set up for future parts with Myrcella back in KL (not seen but told). Arianne exciting into meeting Aegon but wonder if he is the real deal. Her finding a old place of the children of the forest, having information about the WW a bit. And her hearing about Aegon once she got to Griffin’s Roost and her meeting Aegon the next chapter was amazing. Also hearing about Aegon taking on the strongest castle of whole Westeros was done well.
      Tyrion/ Barristan: This one was the best of all. I really disliked the battle of Fire in the show. It was merely done in 10 minutes. While it could have been the biggest battle of the show. Having it stretched for 3 or 4 episodes. With one about the battle only. And the other ones multiple storylines with 10 minutes of the battle. It’s so exciting to see the multiple angles and that it takes weeks the battle. They have done Merreen story a disservice in the show and a shame that Dany’s storyline concluded in a Dragon battle instead of one of the most interesting battles of the whole saga (I think nothing can top this in the books)

      Ten Bears,

      6×10 was the finest hour of GoT for me. Everything came together perfectly.

      Ten Bears,

      This.

        Quote  Reply

    253. Ten Bears: There was part of me that would have been content if the show had ended when the credits rolled at the conclusion of S6e10…

      I agree. I would have missed some of the stuff that happened between episodes 701 to 802 (reunions, meetings) and I would have mourned a certain revelation never being known but considering what happened with that……….. oh, 610. That was such a high note, for all the reasons you listed. I think the Cersei blowing up the sept montage with that gorgeous music (‘The Light of the Seven’) and the ToJ/R+L=J reveal (I think R+L=J has been speculated since 1996? 20 years!) to the KiTN coronation are SO well done and Arya taking off the servant’s face: “My name is Arya Stark. I want you to know that. The last thing you see is a Stark smiling down at you as you die.” — LOVE. There were so many cheering moments!

        Quote  Reply

    254. kevin1989: And where are you know with reading?

      I finished years ago! I read books 1-4 in April-June 2011 and then I read A Dance With Dragons that following July when it came out.

      I like what you said about GoT and I agree they were trying to outdo themselves each season (particularly in battles, as I think Ten Bears said). In later seasons, I wish they could have put more focus on intimate character moments and relationship development rather than big battles, I think that would have helped a lot.

      (But I would have loved a one-on-one NK vs. Jon fight, even if he lost, or even just a Jon vs. White Walker fight — again, even if he lost!)

        Quote  Reply

    255. Adrianacandle,

      I see I asked you that question, damn I mistook you for Tron haha I’m so exited to read about his journey, as many here 😀 It’s always nice to see a rookie read it 😀

      Did you read the winds of winter chapters?

      And agree, the fans have patience, they went through season 3 and 4 which are 2 of the slowest seasons, but very deep with every plotpoint and scene. Tyrion for instance his whole season 4 arc was: Purple wedding and his trial days and escape. But mostly his trial who took 7 episodes (I count 9 too because we still had the Tyrion lost feeling). That means almost a whole season was about one thing but stretched. Compare that to season 5 where his journey was: Pentos, getting captured, stoneman, getting become a slave but freed the next episode, meeting Dany and appoint ruler of the queen. That’s 7 plotbased parts compared to the merely 3 of season 4. And that’s with many the same. As long as we get something worthwhile we don’t care that it’s stretched.

      Same with, not every characters need his moment in a season. Look at season 2, Sansa didn’t got her moment there. Bran only got a part in the second half of the season, his first 5 episodes was not plotbased. Season 3 didn’t focus a lot for instance for Tyrion who was fan favorite. Still we loved that season for him, even when only episode 3×08 and 3×10 were episodes where he had a moment. We knew season 4 was his year.

      Same could have been down with season 5. Give some the moments in season 5 and the other half in season 6.

      But still easy to talk for me, I have much praise and respect for D&D. They had a very difficult choice to adapt this amazing show with only 10 episodes a season. More could not be done with the amount of time working on it every year and the budget. But I think if HBO would have doubled their budget and gave 5 episodes more each season. They would have taken it first chance they got. They worked with the tools they got and got the best outcome with it.

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    256. kevin1989,

      ”I have much praise and respect for D&D. They had a very difficult choice to adapt this amazing show with only 10 episodes a season. More could not be done with the amount of time working on it every year and the budget.”

      Me too. Overall, their adaptation of ASOIAF became the most successful TV show in history: A cultural phenomenon.

      Here’s what I can’t quite figure out (and correct me if I’m wrong since I have not yet read the books, though I’m aware of some of their contents from discussions here):

      It’s my understanding that many of the scenes I really enjoyed in the first four or five seasons were purely show-only creations. I’m referring to, for example:
      • Robert and Cersei in S1 candidly talking about their sham marriage and the ghost that haunted it.
      • Tywin and Arya in S2 (“You remind me of my daughter”); the only time Tywin ever laughed.
      • Brienne trying to forcefully wrest custody of Arya from her guardian, Sandor, in S4e10.

      I’m sure there are other examples of extended scenes with well-written dialogue.

      So why did it seem that some of the scripted dialogue in S7 and S8 fell flat compared to these earlier successes? The showrunners demonstrates they were capable of writing compelling scenes independent of any source material. How come they couldn’t consistently duplicate the consistent quality of those early season they had crafted?

      I’m NOT saying the final two seasons sucked. It’s just that… sometimes it almost felt like a different set of writers had taken over constructing the story lines and scripting the dialogue. I don’t know. It’s hard to explain. 🤯

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    257. Ten Bears:
      kevin1989,

      ”I have much praise and respect for D&D. They had a very difficult choice to adapt this amazing show with only 10 episodes a season. More could not be done with the amount of time working on it every year and the budget.”

      Me too. Overall, their adaptation of ASOIAF became the most successful TV show in history: A cultural phenomenon.

      Here’s what I can’t quite figure out (and correct me if I’m wrong since I have not yet read the books, though I’m aware of some of their contents from discussions here):

      It’s my understanding that many of the scenes I really enjoyed in the first four or five seasons were purely show-only creations. I’m referring to, for example:
      • Robert and Cersei in S1 candidly talking about their sham marriage and the ghost that haunted it.• Tywin and Arya in S2 (“You remind me of my daughter”); the only time Tywin ever laughed.• Brienne trying to forcefully wrest custody of Arya from her guardian, Sandor, in S4e10.

      I’m sure there are other examples of extended scenes with well-written dialogue.

      So why did it seem that some of the scripted dialogue in S7 and S8 fell flat compared to these earlier successes? The showrunners demonstrates they were capable of writing compelling scenes independent of any source material. How come they couldn’t consistently duplicate the consistent quality of those early season they had crafted?

      I’m NOT saying the final two seasons sucked. It’s just that… sometimes it almost felt like a different set of writers had taken over constructing the story lines and scripting the dialogue.I don’t know. It’s hard to explain. 🤯

      you are correct about those scenes being show creations…

      I felt that in the last two seasons the show became more plot driven where D&D needed to hit their outline plot points and earlier seasons they took more time with the characters. But there are exceptions. I think Tyrion’s scene with Jaime in the tent (saying goodbye during The Bells episode) was extremely well written. The scenes with Arya and Sandor that you love were also well written even if they didn’t have a ton of dialogue. I enjoyed the dialogue and scenes with Arya and Sansa in season 7 (where others hated the part, but I loved that part!) D&D gave themselves less time to develop the characters with limiting the number of episodes and they just had to hit their plot points. I know they said they needed to end it. But I know HBO would have paid for more episodes. I’m guessing D&D thought their luck my run out with keeping their core actors all together for so long. They also were probably ready to work on new projects. I’m not sure their exact reasons, but just as I’m reading two books as one, I see season 7 and 8 as one season really. But they really needed at least another season to take their time and develop the characters to get to the same plot points. For some reason D&D thought they needed to end it now. My best argument to end it is they may have lost cast members if they went on much longer, and it definitely wouldn’t have been the same show with any of the main cast needing a re-cast

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    258. kevin1989,

      Same with, not every characters need his moment in a season. Look at season 2, Sansa didn’t got her moment there. Bran only got a part in the second half of the season, his first 5 episodes was not plotbased. Season 3 didn’t focus a lot for instance for Tyrion who was fan favorite. Still we loved that season for him, even when only episode 3×08 and 3×10 were episodes where he had a moment. We knew season 4 was his year.

      I think one of the factors affecting seasons 2 and 3 was that the cast was still pretty large and some of the most important characters in seasons 2 and 3 are no longer around in seasons 4, 5, and beyond (ie. Robb, Catelyn, Joffrey and Tywin from seasons 5-onward). For instance, Sansa was important in seasons 2 and 3, but I’d say she wasn’t as important as she was in seasons 5-beyond. In the earlier seasons, I’d say Robb, Catelyn, Jaime, Cersei, Joffrey, and Tywin may have been the most important force of the story then because the War of the Five Kings took up so much of the plot and seemed to be the main story (a story Jon, Dany, and Arya aren’t really involved in and while Sansa is, it’s as a hostage/pawn and to a limited extent with virtually no agency). Meanwhile, Dany, Jon, Arya, Sansa, etc. were more secondary stories still building to a climax.

      So I think there’s an idea of shifting importance. The early important characters are dead by season 4/5 while the more secondary ones start becoming more prominent starting around seasons 4/5.

      There’s this 2017 quote from Alan Taylor that sort of illustrates this in a way:

      “[Martin] just sort of mentioned in passing, ‘Oh well it’s all about Dany and Jon Snow,'” Taylor said. “And at the time I thought, ‘Really? I thought it was about Sean Bean and Robb Stark? […] But [Martin] knew from the very beginning where he was driving and now we’re starting to see that come to fruition,” Taylor said. “We know that it’s circling tighter and tighter on Dany and Jon and their partnership is starting to form, you know, ‘fire and ice.'”

      In seasons 1, 2, 3, and perhaps 4 (and books 1-4), Jon and Dany are side stories to the main one Ned, Robb, Catelyn, Cersei, Joffrey, even Tyrion etc. are involved in. Then Tyrion’s story eventually diverges while Ned, Robb, Catelyn, and Joffrey all end up dead by book 4. Then, in book 5, Jon and Dany start rising to prominence — both become leaders, are learning how to lead, and their respective conflicts begin gaining importance. Meanwhile things are being set up for Sansa’s rising role in book 6, where I think she’ll have more agency.

      But I think if HBO would have doubled their budget and gave 5 episodes more each season. They would have taken it first chance they got. They worked with the tools they got and got the best outcome with it.

      I don’t know. I’m not sure where the 73 episode count came from or why it had to be 73 episodes but I can’t imagine HBO not wanting to give its biggest show more airtime. That’s only my non-professional, uneducated opinion though! I have no sources for this!

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    259. Ten Bears: So why did it seem that some of the scripted dialogue in S7 and S8 fell flat compared to these earlier successes? The showrunners demonstrates they were capable of writing compelling scenes independent of any source material. How come they couldn’t consistently duplicate the consistent quality of those early season they had crafted?

      I think because the books provided such a strong base and so much material to mine from: what the characters are thinking, feeling, what other characters think of them, how they feel about each other, and I think this all really demonstrates each character’s development (especially changing perspectives and realizations). So original dialogue and scenes in earlier seasons had that to draw upon.

      In later seasons, D&D only had to go on whatever GRRM told them rather than entire tomes — so they were working without the richness they had before because it doesn’t yet exist and they had to go freeform. Which I think requires a different skillset. They were no longer adapting ASOIAF, they were having to write the conclusion to GoT with a bare-bones source(s) for later seasons.

      Plus, GRRM was no longer actively working with the show past season 4 and that may have been part of it.

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    260. kevin1989: Did you read the winds of winter chapters?

      I forgot to answer this! Yes, I did! But some time ago, I probably need to refresh myself on them XD

      I also enjoy reading your speculations!

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    261. Ten Bears,

      I think they are great with putting scenes in between to give the product a finishing touch. But maybe they have difficulty with dividing the story overall. And I think the biggest problem lies still with one thing: Putting dance feast in one season. They let go of the breathing room so their amazing scenes they normally add were lost.

      Adrianacandle,

      True, but what I meant was more, season 5 didn’t need for every character to have that big role and moment. They could just have told the story like season 3 and 4. Gave season 5 to for instance the new characters, Arya, Samwell and Brienne, Cersei and Tyrion, and season 6 less of them but more about Jon, Dany, Bran etc.

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    262. kevin1989: True, but what I meant was more, season 5 didn’t need for every character to have that big role and moment. They could just have told the story like season 3 and 4. Gave season 5 to for instance the new characters, Arya, Samwell and Brienne, Cersei and Tyrion, and season 6 less of them but more about Jon, Dany, Bran etc.

      I’m not really sure if I’m understanding you, I’m sorry! Please feel free to correct me! If season 5 was going to be an adaptation of book 5, which had featured so much of Dany (10 chapters), Jon (13 chapters), and Tyrion (12 chapters), I think they also needed those important moments in that season but again, maybe I’m misunderstanding what you’re saying?

      It seems Arya has her most chapters in books 2 and 3 while book 4 was Cersei’s (at 10 chapters) Brienne’s (8 chapters) and Sam’s (5 chapters). However, they have no chapters in book 5.

      Unless you’re suggesting to split book 4/5 between seasons 5/6? I think they had tried to do that with seasons 4 and 5 but because Tyrion, Jon, and Dany are barely in book 4 (no POV chapters for them in book 4), they came up with some original material not in the books (ie. avenging LC Mormont’s death, mutineers kidnapping Bran/Meera/Jojen/Hodor). So perhaps what you’re saying could have been done in season 4? However, I wonder if HBO would go for an entire season without giving Dany/Jon/Tyrion/Arya a big moment due to issues of marketability as they were (I think) the most popular. Bran, on the other hand, has never been a mainstream favourite so I don’t think the same issue would apply.

      However, this is all speculation of HBO on my part 🙂

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    263. Adrianacandle,

      Well look at season Dany season 3 and 4. That covers 6 chapters only. With her season 3 her important storyline where she does a lot, and season 4 she doesn’t do a lot. She takes Merreen and she rules it. Her conclusion was her locking up her dragons. Which is important of course. But she didn’t have her big moment in the season like she did in season 3. Season 4 just build further on that. But in season 5 she once again had her big epic moment in the fighting pits. And that season covered 10 chapters of her.
      Tyrion story in season 3 was only “Marrying Sansa”, nothing big. That was it, it didn’t cover that much chapters of his. He had amazing character moments with his father for instance that made up for it. But his plot didn’t move that fast. They made a choice between characters. Some got their big moments in season 3 and some in season 4. And some for instance Stannis didn’t really got a big moment in those 2 seasons except burning the leeches that led in the end to him going to the wall. But if they did what they did in season 5. He would have been at the wall at the end of season 3.
      so what I meant was that in previous seasons many characters had a build up season that came to fruition in the next.

      Now back to what I try to say with this and I think that’s also what many people tried to say when they say season 5 till 8 was rushed. Instead of giving all the 7 main storylines that are busy at the beginning of season 5 a big conclusion in the end. Jon dying, Arya blind, Sansa/Theon jumping from the winterfell tower, Stannis death, Myrcella dead and giving Dorne a big conclusion. Dany fighting pit scene and getting back to the dothraki, Cersei’s walk of punishment did I miss a storyline? why not just give 3 or 4 that big ending, and for the others a build up ending for the next season and just give that character a characterdevelopment season instead of a plotseason.

      for instance when I’m thinking of season 5 and 6 deviding in 3 season, I think for Jon it wouldn’t have mind if his season 5 arc was just about him being lord commander and dealing with it. Learning from it. Maybe learning that Ramsay would marry his sister. Having that storyline also build up with the notion that Stannis is going to take back the north. And having the next season be about the expedition to hardhome and his death and maybe even his resurrection. Not saying that that’s the best way to go but it should have been on the table.
      As for Dany I think the same. Her season 5 storyline could have been about keeping the peace in Merreen with comes with a price. Marriage with Hizdahr and making compromises with your enemies. Ending the season with that those compromises kept the peace in Mereen, while in the background a group of people is going towards her. Having her 6th season Start with the dragonpit scene around the fourth episode (Would mirror her season 3 arc), and her season ending with getting back the dothraki (mirror season 1), while at the same time in Merreen itself the war broke lose in which season 7 would begin with the battle of Fire with 2 episodes having a 10/15 minute scene about it, and the 3th the big episode of a whole episode. In which Dany arrives at the end of season 7 in Westeros. Season 6 would have been going back to the roots. And season 7 about going home.
      I think Arya should have ended season 5 where she ended. Theon, I’m not saying Sansa because I’m not a fan of her show storyline, could also be a build up season for season 5 and coming to fruition in season 6. But that depends on Stannis storyline which I think should have ended in season 5 with him going south towards war. And season 6 could have Started with him taking deepwood motte.
      Cersei I would have ended her season like Feast ended. With her being imprisoned and sending Jaime a letter of help which he declines. Giving Jaime a big ending in season 5. Cersei a big ending and a feeling for the fans that they have gotten Cersei where she suppose to be for a whole season. And having season 6 start with the walk of punishment. Why I would have chosen that is that then the theme of the walk of punishment was not the punishment but Cersei taking back her power.

      So short: In season 1 till 4, what concerned with every character arc was that there was character development, not perse plot development. in season 5 till 8 it was the other way arround, every season needed to have a plotdevelopment not perse a character development.

      ps. I see you asked about adaption of season 5 about Dance. true but I wish they have done with dance and feast the same as SoS. dividing in 2 seasons.

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    264. kevin1989,

      I want to add that for Dany it could have been even more about character if it was combined with her darkness. Letting season 5 end with her

      working a deal out with the slavers and just let the slave auction outside of her city happen

      and season 6 end with a more darker Dany where she is fire and blood in spirit. And build it more in the 7th until she arrives in Westeros as a character that westeros needs to fear and look out for.

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    265. kevin1989,

      Her conclusion was her locking up her dragons. Which is important of course.

      I’d argue this was also a big moment for Dany because she’s now sacrificing the thing that means so much to her to protect the people, which is clear to the audience. In season 3, Jon gives up his first love to defend the realm. I feel this is a similar character moment for Dany — giving up her beloved dragons for the people’s safety.

      Tyrion story in season 3 was only “Marrying Sansa”, nothing big. That was it, it didn’t cover that much chapters of his.

      I’d argue this was also a pretty major thing for Tyrion because Tyrion had now also become a pawn alongside Sansa and it was clear how little Tyrion meant to his father and sister. He was no longer Hand, he was a pawn, and was suffering public humiliation (ie. being forced to ask Sansa to kneel in order to cloak her at his wedding).

      Likewise, he could no longer find comfort in whores — which is also a big thing for Tyrion, particularly since the devastating events of his first marriage.

      And it’s the joining of two main characters in one storyline in which they’re forced to find a way to live together.

      To play devil’s advocate a bit, some of what you’re describing sounds quite similar to what happened in books 4 and 5, which weren’t terribly well-received. They were useful explorations! But perhaps not engaging to a wider audience. Some complaints found that these storylines were slow, drawn-out, convoluted, and not engaging.

      Again, I think these storylines would be useful but I think each character would have to have a “moment” to keep the audience’s interest, especially in TV. This is almost like an anchor or lure to keep the audience watching, which TV depends on as it doesn’t have the same freedom as books (TV is dependent on ratings, books aren’t). I remember during seasons 4-5, I encountered complaints the story was moving along too slowly and there was a sense of frustration from these people (will the Starks ever reunite? Will Dany ever make it to Westeros? Will Jon ever get out of the North? Will the mains ever meet up?) and I felt a lot of that frustration too (I was over the moon when Tyrion and Dany met!). This was some of the same frustration I had felt at the end of ADWD. Jon dead, Dany stuck, Tyrion going on a Start of Darkness story but then turning back to the light(?), the Stark kids no closer to each other (Ramsay’s bride was never Arya, the girl in Melisandre’s visions was not Arya), the mains still not meeting up. I was unhappy (the Meereenese Blog essays actually helped me out with that).

      And then, in seasons 7 and 8, things became too rushed: plot devices giving quick ends to stories (Night King, Dark Dany), gaping plot holes (why not send Arya in to assassinate Cersei? Why didn’t Dany and Jon marry to join claims, per Dany’s intention for a marital alliance in 610? Why didn’t Dany burn up Euron after he shot Rhaegal when Dany was on Drogon?), relationships weren’t given the development they needed (I think all of the relationships needed better focus in seasons 7-8), and it felt like a rush to the end.

      I think the show needed to strike a balance, which is hard to do. And in hindsight, I definitely prefer the slower paces of earlier season to the breakneck pace in seasons 7 and especially 8.

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    266. Adrianacandle,

      but that’s what I meant. Those were all character based big moments. How those characters feel and changed from those moments. The focus was on the character driven moments not the plotbased with “character X does action Y this week” which happens a lot in season 5. For instance Tyrion. Episode 1 he hears the plan. Episode 3 he is captured by Jorah. Him not getting in bed with the whore was already developed in season 3 and 4. Episode 5 another big plotdriven moment with the stoneman. Episode 6 big plotmoment with him getting captured by slaves. And Episode 7 he is already free once again, which I would have liked that the story would delve again into the characterdriven storytelling and show us how Tyrion reacts to be in that situation. Episode 10 he is already the man who leads Merreen in Dany’s absent. It’s change to change and change. It didn’t breath in those small moments Tyrion had in his journey to Dany.

      And I agree with you that it was a difficult job they did. There were people who wanted Dany going to Westeros, or the Starks coming together etc to happen very fast. Becoming unpatient. But I think in the end those people wouldn’t have had a problem if it happened later, because once it happened they would be over the moon.

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    267. kevin1989: And I agree with you that it was a difficult job they did. There were people who wanted Dany going to Westeros, or the Starks coming together etc to happen very fast. Becoming unpatient. But I think in the end those people wouldn’t have had a problem if it happened later, because once it happened they would be over the moon.

      I’m fearful of saying this but I almost quit at the end of season 5. Well, I did quit and didn’t watch the first three episodes of season 6. I was totally devoid of hope. It was a friend’s text updating me on what happened in episode 4 that brought me back in.

      I think we’re getting into really subjective area here but I felt the story stalled in season 5. I didn’t feel there was much significant progression going on in that season. I could be content with season 3 (when many main characters were still involved in joint storylines together but moreso, because it was still relatively early days with story progression. For example, it made sense the Stark kids were still scattered and Dany was still working her way up). However, season 5 felt different because it didn’t feel like we had gone much further to these ends.

      Personally, I was at the end of my rope at this time. I had given up hope for the books and didn’t even tune in for the season 6 premiere. I again re-experienced those feelings of “over it” when Jon was lying dead in the snow, Dany was captured and still far from Westeros, Arya was blinded and far away from Westeros, Sansa/Theon jumped to an unknown fate that I could no longer be invested in (I had zero hopes she was actually going to meet up with Jon considering the the story already pulled a “sike!” on us three times: the non-reunions between Robb/Arya/Catelyn and Jon/Bran twice), while Tyrion/Missandei/Grey Worm/Daario were left to wait in Meereen.

      I can’t speak for everyone, of course. I had two friends who dropped out at that point too so I’m not sure if people wouldn’t have a problem with going as slow or more slow. It was only when another friend texted me and told me, “Oh my god, Sansa actually made it to Jon!” that I tuned in. I was so devoid of excitement that I didn’t even wring my hands over Jon’s resurrection. I just thought — even if it happened — the story would be more of the same and it’d take forever and a day to get anywhere. Season 6 really brought me back.

      It’s not that I wanted this stuff to happen quickly but six years is a long time to go without significant progression to these ends (it wasn’t until the end of season 6 that Dany started making her way to Westeros and season 7 that so many primary characters even met up, many of those meetings were for the first time). Plus, I came to distrust the story quite a bit too because every time I thought something would happen… it wouldn’t. By the end of season 5, storylines were still pretty disparate. I felt Season 6 changed a lot and I was grateful for the sped pace. Then I felt the pace was too fast in Season 7 and way way WAY too much in Season 8.

      It’s a fine balance between a slow burn and “omg get it done already”. I feel the show veered too much in both directions at different points in the story. I almost want to say Season 6 was the sweet spot, even though I know there were plot issues with that too but I felt that was an exciting time.

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    268. Adrianacandle,

      I see, I know some that also had that problem. But I think you’re like me. You like character drive storylines. Because plotbased season 5 is much faster than season 6. But character based season 6 wins the cake. For me what I disliked about season 5 was that we got all these plot points but it didn’t show much more than that. No reaction of characters, or a feeling of danger, no reflection, just a feeling that it was written as: Just be done with it.
      One scene that frustrated me was the scene in 5×05. The stoneman. It was just put in to just put it in. I was hoping to have a fully fleshed out scene where we were pulled in that scene in a horror-like way, that not just one but a couple of stoneman would enter that scene, where really are afraid of if they would survive and are happy they survived that horror. when it was done in the show I was like, this is it? And I had that with a couple of scenes in season 5 that felt for me as just ok and not what I expected of those scenes.

      And I think as you stated a huge problem with the show is the years. When bingewatching a show you look at it as how many episodes did I watch. And with the scope of what GoT is for me 2 seasons of GoT feels like 1 season. Every other big show like that has at least 13 episodes but most of the time 16/20 episodes per season. So with bingewatching it would probably not have matter. But when it comes to actual years if you watch it from the beginning like us, 6 years is a lot. And you just want that it progress faster. That’s why I now decide to just wait with watching big shows until they are almost finished, because I don’t need to worry too long about getting to certain moments.

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    269. kevin1989,

      But I think you’re like me. You like character drive storylines. Because plotbased season 5 is much faster than season 6. But character based season 6 wins the cake.

      You’re right about me, I do love character-based storylines! And I share a lot of what you like about storylines! However, I still feel season 5 was much slower than season 6 in both regard to character and plot — just because I felt we weren’t getting any closer to anything or a ton of development in season 5 whereas, in season 6, characters were starting to meet up again in big ways (Jon/Sansa/Brienne/Davos/Littlefinger; Theon/Yara/Dany/Tyrion), progressing from places of stagnancy (ie. the Wall to Winterfell for Jon & Sansa; Theon & Yara finding help, Theon rediscovering himself, Brienne being accepted by one of Catelyn’s daughters after three seasons, Tyrion and Dany learning each other) and they started getting places (at the end of the season, Dany, Tyrion, and Arya depart for Westeros while Cersei resets the chessboard with exploding the sept filled with so many characters, some of whom I loved — Margaery) with new alliances being formed (Yara/Theon/Dany/Tyrell/Dorne; wildlings/the North).

      There was a bit of progression wrt reunions and info sharing in some stories during season 5 (Sansa reuniting with Reek/Theon, learning Bran and Rickon are alive, that Jon’s LC; Jorah/Dany/Tyrion) but not… much, IMO. But, again, at that point, I was totally devoid of hope that if anybody separated, they’d ever reunite again.

      And maybe it’s because I wasn’t invested in things like the stonemen or even the House of Black and White? I love Arya but I felt that story just dragged — namely because she was isolated even further from other mains (I loved her road trip with Sandor and coming across Brienne and Melisandre!) and didn’t have those interactions I loved. I did enjoy Hardhome and the development of Jon & Tormund in season 5. I thought that was a great way to raise and humanize the stakes re:the White Walkers. But I was bored with the Wall at that point.

      For me what I disliked about season 5 was that we got all these plot points but it didn’t show much more than that.

      Yeah, that was a problem for me too.

      And I think as you stated a huge problem with the show is the years. When bingewatching a show you look at it as how many episodes did I watch. And with the scope of what GoT is for me 2 seasons of GoT feels like 1 season. Every other big show like that has at least 13 episodes but most of the time 16/20 episodes per season. So with bingewatching it would probably not have matter. But when it comes to actual years if you watch it from the beginning like us, 6 years is a lot.

      I think that’s a good point. When watching 6 years of TV in two months, it doesn’t feel like 6 years because it’s not, it’s 2 months. But when watching the show in real time, it’s definitely 6 years and you feel it.

      It looks like the trend with big shows is that they are going for fewer (but longer and better produced) episodes of 10/season (Handmaid’s Tale, Outlander, Netflix series, Amazon series) rather than the 16/20 season run. Judging by your username, I think you were born in 1989, right? I’m 1987 so the shows we had as kids in the 90s-early 00s had those season runs of 20 episodes (Buffy, Gilmore Girls, X-Files, etc.) whereas now, even with network sitcoms (The Good Place), it’s like 7-13 episodes.

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    270. Adrianacandle,

      Agree. But I wish that those big stories would even up their episode count to 15 to give more breathing room. And I mean stories like got that are huge. Not stories like stranger things that just focus on one thing per season. For me got is like lost. It’s huge in scale of characters with all their own storylines. And that needs breathing room. Lost worked better when it was 20+ episodes per season. Not so much with the shorter seasons. Got also seem to have that problem. And I think storywise it would have benefitted from it. But logistical it couldn’t be done.
      But I wonder what D&D would have said if HBO offered them double the budget and 15 episodes a season since season 3. If they would have taken it.

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    271. Kevin1989,

      I’m not sure if 15 episodes/season would be feasible because from what I’ve seen in interviews with cast/crew and released documentaries, it was already really intense. It’s a different kind of production than Lost for a variety of reasons.

      I think a full 10-episode season 7 and 8 would have helped immensely, and perhaps a season 9, but I don’t know if the show would have agreed to another year. Ten years is already such a long time and at the intensity GoT was produced, I don’t know if they’d agree to do one more year. I don’t even know why seasons 7 and 8 had the odd episode counts of 7 episodes and 6 episodes respectively but even just 7 more episodes (bringing seasons 7 and 8 up to 10 each) would have helped a lot. That’d be 7 more episodes to develop characters, relationships, and build up to the various culminations of each arc.

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    272. Adrianacandle,

      True but I meant more storywise it would have been better, but logistical not. But with double the budget they could have maybe added more people who would have helped behind the scenes and another filming crew. I think that if HBO gave them those options that they would have taken it. Even 13 episodes would have helped a lot. And that’s just 3 episodes more. And I’m not talking about more action scenes, but more dialogue scenes. Season 7 and 8 was very hard on cast and crew because it was heavily action-based.

      And agree. Or just having 2 seasons of 5/6 for what season 8 became.

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