A familiar sigil spotted at ‘House of the Dragon’ filming site

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A view of the large stone archway being constructed near Cornwall. (Photo: Greg Martin)

Yes, I technically have to use words like “rumored” and “possibly,” because technically there’s been no confirmation that the busy activity in Cornwall we reported on earlier this week is for the much-anticipated Game of Thrones spinoff House of the Dragon.

Pre-production activity for something being filmed by Warner Bros. — the company that owns HBO — has been taking place in Cornwall this week, including on St. Michael’s Mount, an island that features a 12th century castle. One of the structures being built there is a huge stone archway that looks quite Thrones-esque, and when CornwallLive’s photographer captured the initial shots zoomed in on the top of the arch, something very intriguing was visible:

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Is that what I think it is?… (Photo: Greg Martin)

It doesn’t look like much…until you compare it to known sigils of Houses of Westeros, and then there’s really only one that looks awfully similar: the silver-and-green seahorse of House Velaryon.

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IT IS!! Or at least it might be!!

It’s also worth noting that St. Michael’s Mount is a “tidal island,” which is only accessible during low tide — during high tide, the road or path that leads to the island is under water. And “high tide” sounds familiar when talking about the Velaryons…oh right! It’s because the castle of House Velaryon at the time of the Dance of the Dragons is called High Tide!

*insert Michael-from-The-Office-yelling-“It’s happening!!” gif here*

Again, technically there is no confirmation for any of this, and yes, it could be a horse and not a seahorse. But we know for a fact that we’ll be seeing House Velaryon, who were among House Targaryen’s staunchest supporters for generations, in HoTD, which centers on the Targaryen civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons (a conflict in which the Velaryons were also heavily involved). So this seems a bit too coincidental, especially for us diehard Velaryon fans who have always longed to see them on screen.

Speaking of castles, a different castle in Cornwall is also being prepped for…something, according to CornwallLive who shared photos in the same article as the one above.

Restormel Castle

A local business that specializes in residential building projects tweeted a photo of Restormel Castle stating it was for “fairy tale” filming.

Is “fairy tale” cover story/code for something more Westerosi-inspired? Or is it a totally unrelated project that really is, well, just a fairy tale? At this point, there’s no way to tell, but the timing seems interesting. Stay tuned to see if we hear more about this one.

73 responses

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    1. Wow, thank you so much for your hard work guys!!
      Im so INCREDIBLY EXCITED about House Velaryon, it always saddened me how little we have seen on them in both the books and GOT, Go House Velaryon!!

      Also, I cannot wait to see Corlys in full Velaryon regalia that may be designed by Jany Termine? I love her work so Im more than fine with that pick!

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    2. The Seven help us all…so it begins…well whatever this is going to be. Let’s hope at least worth the trouble…and even a fraction of GOT will be acceptable for now…

      Meanwhile Amazon Studios are apparently spending an astonishing $465 million dollars for the first season on their long-gestating LOTR prequel series…it’s been gestating since 2017…almost half a decade.Yikes! Soon to give THE GRRM a run for his tardiness. Although for now it’s not clear on what exactly they’re spending the money on…

      And Netflix has a pretty solid show on it’s hands with “Shadow And Bone”…HBO better hurry up…

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    3. loco73:
      The Seven help us all…so it begins…well whatever this is going to be. Let’s hope at least worth the trouble…and even a fraction of GOT will be acceptable for now…

      Meanwhile Amazon Studios are apparently spending an astonishing $465 million dollars for the first season on their long-gestating LOTR prequel series…it’s been gestating since 2017…almost half a decade.Yikes! Soon to give THE GRRM a run for his tardiness. Although for now it’s not clear on what exactly they’re spending the money on…

      And Netflix has a pretty solid show on it’s hands with “Shadow And Bone”…HBO better hurry up…

      I just watched the first 5 episodes of Shadow and Bone. It’s interesting to watch, but it’s no Game of Thrones. IMHO I can tell it’s a TV show. GOT felt like a feature film from the very first frame to me. I’ll give some specifics. SAB likes to uses video transitions that feel like a TV show to me. In Adobe Premiere the transition is called a Slide – Push, where they push the current screen across to the right replaced by the new screen coming in from the left. Perhaps movies use this too, but it’s a style choice that seems off to me.

      There is the term mansplaining, but what’s it called when the writers make the characters say things just to explain to the audience the backstory? I’ll call it “Fansplaining”. SAB does this way too much. I remember one of the soldiers starting a monologue about General Kirigan’s battle history. He gives the whole backstory of his battle conquests, when I’m sure all of the soldiers already know who he is, and if they don’t know who his is, they don’t give a crap.

      I’m having trouble connecting to the main character, and they repeat the same flash back scene over and over again. How many times are they going to show the main two characters holding hands in the meadow? I’m still going to watch the rest, because the story is interesting and I want to see what happens. The magical elk is really cool. And I love the ninja assassin lady who is one of the criminals. She doesn’t really remind of Arya (even though she is actually a ninja assassin), but she’s an excellent actress with an amazing knife collection. I think I enjoy watching the those criminal guys the best. SAB has potential and it’s at least different than most things on TV right now. But I hate some of their writing and directing choices.

      In GOT you find out about the characters from what they do rather than continuous fansplaining. With Tyrion they did build up his reputation from what people at Winterfell were saying about him, but those lines felt more realistic. They never met the “Imp” before, and it felt like what curious Starks might say. Arya wanted to meet the Imp.. “Where’s the Imp”

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    4. Tron79: but what’s it called when the writers make the characters say things just to explain to the audience the backstory?

      While not my intent to get too off topic from HotD at this point in the thread, I think the technical term for this would be a form of ‘exposition’ in writing.

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    5. Adrianacandle: While not my intent to get too off topic from HotD at this point in the thread, I think the technical term for this would be a form of ‘exposition’ in writing.

      Sticking to HotD I hope the writers avoid this type of exposition even if it’s a complex backstory. Let the viewers figure it out by what happens on screen. I really like how GOT did It with Tyrion in the first episode. Getting the wine ready because of his reputation was one example.

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    6. Tron79: Sticking to HotD I hope the writers avoid this type of exposition even if it’s a complex backstory.

      I have high hopes that the various backstories of the characters and histories can be introduced in an organic way with HotD for the most part. Sometimes with really complex histories, it can be tricky though — I know this can be a challenge, especially for those first few episodes of a series and especially in regard to intricate histories relevant to the story (ie. The Great Council of 101, why it happened, and why it’s important). Wrt to this kind of show because there is so much history leading up to the events of the series (I’m not sure where they’ll star this story), I’m willing to forgive a few history info dumps here and there.

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    7. Back to Westeros, a land of high drama and low, low culture! (Heraldic devices being too complicated for characters on Westeros to understand, they have get by with simple sigils instead.) Glad to see it’s coming right along. It’s been far too long since I’ve enjoyed well-written dialog between two or three characters in an intimate, “high thread-count” scene, which comes to a tender conclusion via a spear getting hurled through the back of someone’s head. 🙂

      Even in expository writing, where the audience will read the story for themselves, the rule remains, “Show, Don’t Tell.” That goes many, many times over for a visual medium. If the story-teller uses a character’s speech to give a back-story, then use it for more than just that; as Martin does repeatedly in the books, have each character’s version of the story differ, just as real-life accounts from memory always do. This gives the audience insight on each character’s point of view, ability at recall, and possibly level of honesty as well.

      One of my favorite moments in all of Game of Thrones was Bran viewing for himself the moment where his sainted father, the Honorable Lord Eddard Stark of Winterfell, valiantly defeated Ser Arthur Dayne, Sword of the Morning, in single combat. Reality proved to be quite the disappointment for the lad — at least as I recall it. 😉

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    8. Tensor the Mage, Still Loving the Ending: If the story-teller uses a character’s speech to give a back-story, then use it for more than just that; as Martin does repeatedly in the books, have each character’s version of the story differ, just as real-life accounts from memory always do.

      In Martin’s worldbooks, this is a good point because this does happen — there are often multiple accounts of the same event, often contrasting accounts between the septons and maesters writing them down, including the piece of story HotD is adapted from. And because HotD is written so much like a history text, I think it gives this show room to flesh out details and explore what really happened (if we find out at all).

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    9. Adrianacandle,

      …it gives this show room to flesh out details and explore what really happened (if we find out at all).

      I’m hoping they throw in a few really good reveals — for example, the Doom of Valyria was caused by over-use of dragonfire, but the dragonriders liked their power too much to reduce their use of it. (I just made that up.)

      Then again, a bunch of illiterate drunkards, bashing each others’ helmets in with blunt swords, fighting over nothing of any much value, would at least be a really good take on actual European Dark Age history.

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    10. Tensor the Mage, Still Loving the Ending,

      I don’t know that HotD will go that far but there are conflicting reports of the histories HotD is dealing with because accounts on various events in this period can differ quite a bit with maesters and septons disagreeing. I think some mystery with ancient history would reflect the reality of things. With that, I’d prefer some nuance with cause. I believe GRRM is good at setting those kinds of things up. And yes, wars over land and fighting for dominion would be accurate reflections as well.

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    11. Adrianacandle,

      Your original works just fine! “Far” could be both time (ancient past on Westeros), distance (Valyria), or both (Old Valyria).

      I have great hopes for House of the Dragon. This time, the creative team has much more freedom. A Song of Ice and Fire had a sprawling narrative, but one which had just one final outcome. House of The Dragon can build whatever stories it wants, within the vast fictional world Martin has created. Game of Thrones always had the looming existential threat(s) in the background, which kept the squabbling over the Iron Throne from descending into mere soap opera. Hence my suggestion that part of the story in House might focus on the Doom of Valyria, and how efforts to stop it all failed. It might make for a good counterpart to the “saved by the skin of their teeth” storyline which ended in The Long Night.

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    12. Tensor the Mage, Still Loving the Ending,

      From what I know of Fire & Blood, I expect this would be more a political drama and I think it’ll be following the history text dealing with this period from Fire & Blood– it reminds me a bit of The Crown, which is doing really well right now. When I was referring to the writers having more opportunity to flesh out and expand, I admittedly was thinking more of what history books wouldn’t really record since we’ve got a social studies history book version in Fire & Blood (and the relevant short stories) rather the character perspective of events offered ASOIAF or Dunk & Egg — stuff like character nuances, character thoughts, quirks, senses of humour, what happened off-record, perhaps clarifying the contrasting reports of the same event within this period of history, what wasn’t documented. With the nature of the Doom, I believe that is unknown because all known records and knowledge of it were lost in the Doom itself. I don’t imagine it would be down to one cause alone or that its mystery (at least in full) would be revealed in HotD — I kind of think that would be its own story. But that’s just me! I imagine, if GRRM wanted, he could reveal some details somehow in HotD, yes, since he’s now with HBO and I’m hoping he can be consulted. I’d be interested to know what happened then but I have trouble seeing it tie into this story as I know it. Of course, that hardly makes it impossible but I have trouble seeing characters being motivated by the Doom of Valyria since so much of what happened there is lost to history and knowledge.

      (I also need to correct myself! The Doom of Valyria wasn’t really ancient history, it occurred about a century before Aegon’s Conquest so around 200-230 years before the events of HotD. It seems that the invasion of the First Men/the Stark conquest of the North/Nymeria and her 1000 ships coming to Westeros, etc. all happened before the Doom — which seems relatively recent in comparison but still shrouded in mystery).

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    13. Adrianacandle,

      (I also need to correct myself! The Doom of Valyria wasn’t really ancient history, it occurred about a century before Aegon’s Conquest so around 200-230 years before the events of HotD. It seems that the invasion of the First Men/the Stark conquest of the North/Nymeria and her 1000 ships coming to Westeros, etc. all happened before the Doom — which seems relatively recent in comparison but still shrouded in mystery).

      The people on Westeros know very little about the history of Westeros; their knowledge of any place beyond Westeros tends toward the nonexistent. The First Men supposedly came to Westeros before The Wall was raised, and the shared vision of Bran and the Three-Eyed Raven in The Door seems to confirm this. (The weirwood tree and surrounding spiral megalith are in a lush, green area, below “the mountain in the shape of an arrowhead”; in a later episode, when The Hound has his vision of the Army of the Dead marching through that same place, it is covered in thick ice and deep snow.)

      It does not take very long for any event to become “shrouded in mystery.” The British Parliament’s deliberations over war in August 1914 were very well-covered by the press of that time and place, and still accounts do not agree. As Barbara Tuchman notes in The Guns of August, when the British Prime Minister, Asquith, read to the House of Commons the ultimatum the British Empire had just sent to the Kaiser, one reporter there recounted it was received by the Members with “a deep-throated cheer,” whilst another reporter present in the House said the Members received it “in complete silence.” (Tuchman comments dryly, “This illustrates one of the perils of writing history.”)

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    14. Tensor the Mage, Still Loving the Ending: The people on Westeros know very little about the history of Westeros; their knowledge of any place beyond Westeros tends toward the nonexistent. The First Men supposedly came to Westeros before The Wall was raised, and the shared vision of Bran and the Three-Eyed Raven in The Door seems to confirm this. (The weirwood tree and surrounding spiral megalith are in a lush, green area, below “the mountain in the shape of an arrowhead”; in a later episode, when The Hound has his vision of the Army of the Dead marching through that same place, it is covered in thick ice and deep snow.)

      The nobles know the documented history of Westeros and lands beyond Westeros taught to them by their maesters — ie. what’s written down in history books. I wouldn’t say it’s non-existent at all. Characters from noble classes in the books demonstrate knowledge of what countries are across the Narrow Sea and what goes on there, where goods come from, what they can find, etc. What’s documented and what’s the truth can sometimes differ as it does in reality but the nobles receive an education in history from their maesters. However, even per The World of Ice and Fire, all knowledge of what caused the Doom was lost, which is a pretty unique situation for such a relatively recent history (happening a few hundred years prior, not thousands).

      I’m not sure how much the show confirms about GRRM’s Westerosi history but The World of Ice and Fire also documents an invasion by the First Men, for instance, who are said to originate from Essos.

      It does not take very long for any event to become “shrouded in mystery.” The British Parliament’s deliberations over war in August 1914 were very well-covered by the press of that time and place, and still accounts do not agree.

      And accounts about certain events in HotD disagree as well — but not nearly all knowledge is lost like it has been with The Doom. There’s speculation but it’s acknowledged that nobody knows what happened because, in contrast to something like this, all of these records are gone.

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    15. Tron79: I just watched the first 5 episodes of Shadow and Bone.It’s interesting to watch, but it’s no Game of Thrones.IMHO I can tell it’s a TV show. GOT felt like a feature film from the very first frame to me.I’ll give some specifics.SAB likes to uses video transitions that feel like a TV show to me. In Adobe Premiere the transition is called a Slide – Push, where they push the current screen across to the right replaced by the new screen coming in from the left.Perhaps movies use this too, but it’s a style choice that seems off to me.

      There is the term mansplaining, but what’s it called whenthe writers make the characters say things just to explain to the audience the backstory?I’ll call it “Fansplaining”. SAB does this way too much.I remember one of the soldiers starting a monologue about General Kirigan’s battle history.He gives the whole backstory of his battle conquests, when I’m sure all of the soldiers already know who he is, and if they don’t know who his is, they don’t give a crap.

      I’m having trouble connecting to the main character, and they repeat the same flash back scene over and over again. How many times are they going to show the main two characters holding hands in the meadow?I’m still going to watch the rest, because the story is interesting and I want to see what happens. The magical elk is really cool. And I love the ninja assassin lady who is one of the criminals. She doesn’t really remind of Arya (even though she is actually a ninja assassin), but she’s an excellent actress with an amazing knife collection.I think I enjoy watching the those criminal guys the best.SAB has potential and it’s at least different than most things on TV right now.But I hate some of their writing and directing choices.

      In GOT you find out about the characters from what they do rather than continuous fansplaining.With Tyrion they did build up his reputation from what people at Winterfell were saying about him, but those lines felt more realistic. They never met the “Imp” before, and it felt like what curious Starks might say.Arya wanted to meet the Imp.. “Where’s the Imp”

      “Shadow And Bone” is definitely no “Game Of Thrones”, especially since the source material it is based on is basically a trilogy of YA novels, which are just a tad more violent and mature than some of their counterparts…think “The Hunger Games”.

      They’ve also added characters (The Crows) which are not part of the “Shadow And Bone” novels, but part of the “Six Of Crows” duology that takes place in the same universe but years later after the events in the original trilogy. So in the show they’ve kind of introduced these characters but also had to create new background stories and condense some other aspects…because in the books they never meet.

      I also felt it had some pacing issues, in some instances the writing was lagging and some of the subplots and secondary characters were not all that interesting or well developed. Apparently, Eric Heisserer (“Arrival”, “Bird Box”, “Lighs Out”) wanted to do ten episodes, but Netflix told him that he could, but the available budget would remain the same…so no extra money for two extra episodes. So the decision was to apparently preserve the higher production values and sacrifice the extra story and character development opportunity. And it kind of shows.

      But overall for a first season it is not bad at all. It has a lot of introductory work to do in terms of people and places. For someone who went into this basically blind, not having read the novels, the show still felt interesting and worthwhile watching. The world building is pretty good and the environment is pretty immersive. The characters, some I liked at the outset, like Ben Barns’s Darkling, and Sunita Aman’s Inej, others like Jessy Mei Li’s main character Alina, did not hit immediately, but I grew to like them as the show unfolded.

      I think that if you watched the first five episodes, keep on going and stick with it. I found that after episode five the show really came together. All in all while I think this is at the very least a solid show. It has more potential and it is not as good as it could have been, but I think that coming out of the gate it stumbled in the beginning but got better and finished strongly. I am looking forward to see how the story unfolds and how the journey of the characters continues. Apparently as of now, the show was planned for three seasons.

      PS. I think that some of the special effects, CGI and post-production in general were affected by COVID-19. Principal photography ended in February 2020…and most of the post-production was delayed and some work had to be completed remotely etc. I think the original release date was supposed to fall/winter 2020…but it had to be delayed until April 2021…maybe that accounts for some of the unpolished looks and shoddy effects on the show…

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    16. OberonYronwood,

      Your name makes me think of the castle ‘Yronwrath’ in the GoT names. I don’t want to get into ‘spoiler’ territory but by the time I read as far as book Dorne I was having to go back and forth through copious numbers of pages to remind myself just WHO certain minor characters were. There was an Archibald Yronwood who accompanied Prince Quentyn in AFFC/ADWD I recall.

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    17. Not wanting to derail the thread but in the real world I take part in a weekly Spanish class (currently via Zoom). Some recent homework was to compare an adaptation of a film one had seen with its source novel. One member of the class chose ‘The Kite Runner’ (adaptation was by David Benioff). She liked the book better but didn’t say the film was rubbish. I DIDN’T write about differences between ASOIAF/GoT because it would have been too complicated for a short piece of homework.

      The backstory about the land bridge from Essos to Westeros in ASOIAF always reminded me of the theory that way, way back in pre-history people travelled from Siberia to what is now Alaska though that’s very well known.

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    18. Dame of Mercia,

      Okay so Oberon is a character for one of my favourite plays ever, midsummers night dream (also a playfull reference to my real name) and the Yronwoods are the second most important house in Dorne, they kind of represent the arising tensions within the princedom, which mirrors those of medieval Spain, my country of birth (And, funnily enough its also a playful reference to my real name).

      Also, I have a thing for the “baddies” houses, thats why I like Houses Yronwood, Hightower, Lannister, Dustin, Reyne… I cant help mysef!

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    19. OberonYronwood,

      Hazzer and Megzie called their son Archibald – though I don’t suppose they named him after an ASOIAF character. I don’t hold Haz and Megz in contempt the way some readers of the Daily Fail do.

      Amazon are also involved in a dramatisation of ‘The Wheel of Time’ so they have a few irons in the fire vis-a-vis adapting fantasy. I read the first book of WoT and was neutral about it. I certainly didn’t HATE it. I’m wondering whether to hold fire on reading further books in the series. I think I might be too much of a senior citizen to appreciate them and also I might enjoy the series more if the events surprise me. I’m holding off on reading the ‘Targaryen History’ books also. That’s just me, other folk of course are at liberty to read these books if they please.

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    20. Dame of Mercia,

      Yeah, book-to-screen is often discussed stuff on internet. I’m actually one of those people who very much approves of creative freedom when it comes to adaptation, instead of expecting a carbon adaptation. And of course, written text will not always translate to TV well. When it comes to GoT for example, one of my favorite things about adaptation was that it ditched the firm POV storytelling and gave secondary and teritary characters more screentime. For example, Robb and Jaime would appear in total of one scene in entire S2 if the TV series would have been carbon adaptation, Margaery as well, Tywin would have barely appeared as well with very little dialogue…. and then stuff like having Tormund to be the one to lead the climb over the Wall in the TV show instead of Styr… without this change, Tormund would disappear after episode 3 of S3 and re-appear in episode 10 of S4. And so on and so on… all in all, I prefer some creative freedom because for me, it makes an adaptation stand individually, not in a complete shadow of original work.

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    21. Erik, formerly Lord Parramandas,

      And also, one of the last things I bother regarding adaptation are outlook bits. If a character is blonde in the source material and dark-haired in the movie/TV show, I really don’t give a sh*t as long as the actor gives great performance.

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    22. Erik, formerly Lord Parramandas,

      Well it did used to make me chuckle when people said Charleze Theron would have been a better Cersei than Lena Headey because of hair colour when CT is actually a natural brunette.

      I know I said I’m not that struck on the Daily Fail (and that I don’t want to overly derail the thread) but someone pointed out to me (not on this site) that a drama is being planned about Britain’s treatment of the Covid-19 crisis and there is a bit of a tizzwoz about an Italian dog being cast to play Bo-Jo’s dog.
      https://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-9507709/Boris-Johnsons-dog-Dilyn-played-Italian-mongrel-called-Marco.html

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    23. OberonYronwood:
      loco73,

      465 million dollars? isnt that WAY too much for a show? How on earth are they gonna get their money back? :0

      Yep. And that is for the first season only. That is not counting the $250 million dollars Amazon paid to Tolkien’s estate for the rights to the property. No only that, but Tolkien’s estate retains veto rights over certain aspects of the show. If at any point Amazon Studios attempts to change any details or characters that would contradict the books or Peter Jackson’s LOTR and “The Hobbit” trilogies, they have the right to nix them, if not Amazon could see itself dragged in court and facing a massive lawsuit…

      If this series ever sees the light of day…and fails, well let’s just say that they’d lose a lot of money and pretty much end Amazon’s foray into fantasy.

      By the looks of it “The Wheel Of Time” won’t fare any better (Robert Jordan must be spinning in his grave)…for Amazon.

      But who knows… let’s hope it all turns out for the best and we are pleasantly surprised…🙄

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    24. Adrianacandle,

      The nobles know the documented history of Westeros and lands beyond Westeros taught to them by their maesters — ie. what’s written down in history books. I wouldn’t say it’s non-existent at all.

      The nobles might know some things, yes, but I wrote ‘the people on Westeros,’ and most of them are illiterate. Samwell Tarly, already an educated man, was completely underwhelmed by what he found in the Citadel. Old Nan’s tales ultimately contained more useful information about the White Walkers than did the entire Citadel (!).

      However, even per The World of Ice and Fire, all knowledge of what caused the Doom was lost, which is a pretty unique situation for such a relatively recent history (happening a few hundred years prior, not thousands).

      That same source tells us the Night’s King was once a Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch! Admittedly, that character may have turned out differently in the show than it might have in the books, but since the chance of our ever getting those books seems to have diminished towards nothing, we’re left with Bran’s vision in The Door, confirmed in dialog with Leaf immediately after, as to the official origin of the Night’s King.

      The World of Ice and Fire also documents an invasion by the First Men, for instance, who are said to originate from Essos.

      Leaf confirms the Children of the Forest created the NK and WW to combat this invasion, although she does not give an origin for the First Men. One of the funniest recurring ‘gags’ in the show, at least for my enjoyment, was the greeting, ‘Jorah the Andal’, when he was from Bear Island, in the far North, and Northerners were supposedly all descended from the First Men, not Andals. No one on Essos would know (or care) about this distinction, of course.

      One of my favorite little scenes comes where Jorah and Tyrion approach the ruins of Valyria, and being educated men, recite from a poem about how ‘the Doom still rules Valyria,’ right before the Stone Men literally drop in on them. Another one of those ‘high thread-count scenes’ which ends in sudden violence!

      Characters from noble classes in the books demonstrate knowledge of what countries are across the Narrow Sea and what goes on there, where goods come from, what they can find, etc.

      But even when they know, they don’t seem to care. Robert, Joffrey, Tommen, and Cersei simply don’t care about the larger world, even when each of them was supposedly ruling Westeros. Tywin Lannister, certainly a well-educated man, offers only examples of inter-House conflict on Westeros when he lectures Tommen on kingship. Queen Cersei ignorantly insults Tycho Nestoris, by implying the Iron Bank had profited from the slave trade. No self-respecting institution in Braavos would ever do such a thing.

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    25. Tensor the Mage, Still Loving the Ending,

      The nobles might know some things, yes, but I wrote ‘the people on Westeros,’ and most of them are illiterate. Samwell Tarly, already an educated man, was completely underwhelmed by what he found in the Citadel. Old Nan’s tales ultimately contained more useful information about the White Walkers than did the entire Citadel (!).

      This is why I specified the nobles. The nobility are the ones waging wars and deciding what war they’re going to fight. We were originally talking about the characters in HotD and if/if not they may be motivated by The Doom. I had said I didn’t think so because all reports of The Doom were lost, nobody knows what happened there, and I had trouble seeing a tie-in to the story as written in Fire & Blood/The Princess and the Queen/The Rouge Prince — but it’s not impossible for GRRM (given he’s now working at HBO on ASOIAF-related projects) to perhaps drop some nformaton. The characters in HotD, the ones who’d be waging war, are nobles.

      As for Sam and the Citadel, the books haven’t reached the point where/if Sam gets to research in the Citadel’s library for information on the Others. Jon has sent him to train there as a maester and AFFC leaves off only when Sam has just arrived and interacted with Marwyn. He doesn’t yet access their libraries. In Sam I of AFFC, Sam has already found some info on how to combat the Others.

      That same source tells us the Night’s King was once a Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch! Admittedly, that character may have turned out differently in the show than it might have in the books, but since the chance of our ever getting those books seems to have diminished towards nothing, we’re left with Bran’s vision in The Door, confirmed in dialog with Leaf immediately after, as to the official origin of the Night’s King.

      The Night‘s King and the Night King are two very different characters. In the books, there is no known leader of the Others and The Night‘s King is never mentioned to be it, nor has he been spotted in thousands of years. He was mortal, I believe. During his time, he set up with a corpse queen and ruled from the Nightfort for 13 years during which he committed various atrocities. Yet, because the Night’s King also sacrificed to the Others, records of his tenure were destroyed.

      In the books, there is no Night King. While we may never get the books, that there are these differences still remains and we’re talking about ASOIAF texts and what knowledge ASOIAF nobility would have access to. The figure talked about in ASOIAF world books (in-universe texts akin to Fire & Blood) is not the Night King.

      Leaf confirms the Children of the Forest created the NK and WW to combat this invasion, although she does not give an origin for the First Men. One of the funniest recurring ‘gags’ in the show, at least for my enjoyment, was the greeting, ‘Jorah the Andal’, when he was from Bear Island, in the far North, and Northerners were supposedly all descended from the First Men, not Andals. No one on Essos would know (or care) about this distinction, of course.

      Well, this is the show’s origin. In the books, there is no Night King. The origin of the Others is still unknown. I can’t speak to what those in Essos would or would not care about since we don’t have an Essosi POV.

      But even when they know, they don’t seem to care. Robert, Joffrey, Tommen, and Cersei simply don’t care about the larger world, even when each of them was supposedly ruling Westeros. Tywin Lannister, certainly a well-educated man, offers only examples of inter-House conflict on Westeros when he lectures Tommen on kingship. Queen Cersei ignorantly insults Tycho Nestoris, by implying the Iron Bank had profited from the slave trade. No self-respecting institution in Braavos would ever do such a thing.

      Okay, some may or may not care but I was disputing your previous statement that the Westerosi’s “knowledge of any place beyond Westeros tends toward the nonexistent”. In the books, Cersei has yet to meet with Tycho Nestoris, if she does at all. Nestoris’s first appearance is in ADWD

      when he comes to Eastwatch in order to negotiate repayment with Stannis for his loan. As Stannis is on his Northern campaign, the only POV character Tycho interacts with is Jon, who negotiates for his own loan in order to pay for the sources needed to support all those being sheltered at the Wall. No comments are made about the Iron Bank profiting from slavery.

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    26. Adrianacandle,

      Typos!

      *’nformation’ should be ‘information’

      *

      […]”who negotiates for his own loan in order to pay for the resources needed to support all those being sheltered at the Wall.”

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    27. In the books, there is no Night King.

      Not yet, anyway. 😉 The Night King is clearly where D&D took their idea for a personification/leader of the White Walkers & Army of the Dead. If there ever are books, and the Night‘s King appears in them, then perhaps the legend of the Night King became conflated with the story of an infamous rogue commander of the Night’s Watch. (Martin seems to have started with the idea of the Others as simple murder zombies, then got some other ideas into his head about them, but as we’ve yet to see them again in the books, who knows?)

      I find it amusing we’re talking about something written over the past 25 years, and we already have three ‘canonical’ sources: the books, the show, and the official (yet fan-fic’ in origin) book of lore. And even these do not always agree! Imagine how it goes with actual history!

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    28. Tensor the Mage, Still Loving the Ending,

      Not yet, anyway. 😉 The Night King is clearly where D&D took their idea for a personification/leader of the White Walkers & Army of the Dead. If there ever are books, and the Night‘s King appears in them, then perhaps the legend of the Night King became conflated with the story of an infamous rogue commander of the Night’s Watch. (Martin seems to have started with the idea of the Others as simple murder zombies, then got some other ideas into his head about them, but as we’ve yet to see them again in the books, who knows?)

      I would disagree this is the case because I don’t see that the two characters (The Night’s King and the Night King) share much, if anything, in common — not even their backstories. I’ve seen speculation that the Night King drew inspiration from book Euron though — but this is only speculation.

      I’m going to try and tread carefully because I don’t want this to become a books vs. show argument. Essentially, I think the Night King was primarily created to provide a physical avatar of the White Walkers and make this storyline more action-based — reasonable and understandable for a television medium. In the books, the Others are elusive, mysterious, unseen, and only act at night. I get more of a psychological horror genre from the Others in the books. They pick people off one by one at night and their presence is only felt because the “air becomes so cold, it hurts to breathe.” You know they’re there but… you can’t see them.

      As for how GRRM envisions the Others, I don’t think he had them as murder zombies. Instead, he says they are, “strange, beautiful… think, oh… the Sidhe made of ice, something like that… a different sort of life… inhuman, elegant, dangerous.”

      I find it amusing we’re talking about something written over the past 25 years, and we already have three ‘canonical’ sources: the books, the show, and the official (yet fan-fic’ in origin) book of lore. And even these do not always agree! Imagine how it goes with actual history!

      I think we’re dealing with two different versions (book and show) and I try to separate the two because there are significant differences. To be clear, I’m not taking any digs at all — differences are to be expected and anticipated with source material and its adaptation. For one, they’re two different mediums. Yet, that’s not really the same thing as when septons and maesters in-universe disagree over accounts of history in the world book. The differences between the books and the show adaptation happen because of a variety of real-world practical factors, including different mediums, limitations, etc. and television/movie adaptations almost always have differences from their source material, as GRRM has talked about. However, the world books are in-universe texts dealing with Westerosi history based on has been found, documented, and reported. The world books are clear when something is being speculated though and from where the documented information originates. Because the world books are meant to resemble real-world history books, when there’s a disagreement over accounts of the same event, I’d say that’s deliberate — and is part of ASOIAF’s world-building.

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    29. Farimer123:
      loco73,

      $250 million? $465 million? Please, Jeff Bezos makes that much in a week or two.

      Sure, but that is not his money he is investing in the project. That is Amazon Studios (which believe it or not does have limits on its budget), other partners and investors with which they are collaborating, people who will want a return for their investment.

      While it may appear that an entity like Amazon Studios may have larger pockets than the other streaming competitors (and traditional studios…well whatever is left of them) on account of it’s parent company Amazon Inc. being valued at more than a trillion dollars, there are limits on how much and what they can spend money on. Besides a few staple series which are being produced directly by Amazon Studios, aka Prime originals, most of their programming are collaborations or co-productions with other companies, studios etc.

      Just because they slap a Prime or Amazon Studios logo on something doesn’t mean the programing actually belongs to them….just ask Netflix…Besides as time passes, this supposed LOTR series seems to resemble more of a vanity project. Specifically Bezos’s vanity. He really seems to crave the attention that comes with being affiliated/associated with and having a prestige project on your hands, something like a “Game Of Thrones”. Bezos seems to think that just throwing huge amounts of money around will deliver him that very success. He and the people in charge of this project up to now, don’t seem to pay too much attention to and be concerned with talent, imagination, good storytelling and character development…

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    30. Cornwall is a 3-4 hour drive from my house, if this show takes off I could potentially drive down and get some scoops in future!

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    31. In the books, the Others are elusive, mysterious, unseen, and only act at night. I get more of a psychological horror genre from the Others in the books. They pick people off one by one at night and their presence is only felt because the “air becomes so cold, it hurts to breathe.” You know they’re there but… you can’t see them.

      As for how GRRM envisions the Others, I don’t think he had them as murder zombies. Instead, he says they are, “strange, beautiful… think, oh… the Sidhe made of ice, something like that… a different sort of life… inhuman, elegant, dangerous.”

      GRRM is really into sci-fi as well as (obviously) fantasy, so it’s possible the Others in the books are based on alleged alien abductions.

      I’ve wondered if the spiral megalith and the similar cave painting also have a “space” connection. Specifically, they may have originally represented a spiral galaxy — with the possibly deliberate implication that “Planetos” is a world somewhere out there in our galaxy (ie. despite how it seems, it’s not an “alternative universe Earth”) and the humans on GoT/ASOIAF are actually far-future descendants of colonists originally from Earth. A reverse Battlestar Galactica, in a way. We didn’t see anything come of this on GoT, but maybe GRRM will provide more hints in future books or the prequel shows.

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    32. Jai,

      That’s an interesting thought and reminds me that there is quite a bit of otherworldly strangeness going on in ASOIAF — like the mysteries of Asshai, the creatures and odd happenings going on there, as well as Patchface’s own tales of “under the sea”. Alt Shift X did a video about that here. Creepy, strange, and interesting stuff:

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    33. Tensor the Mage, Still Loving the Ending:
      In the books, there is no Night King.

      Not yet, anyway. The Night King is clearly where D&D took their idea for a personification/leader of the White Walkers & Army of the Dead. If there ever are books, and the Night‘s King appears in them, then perhaps the legend of the Night King became conflated with the story of an infamous rogue commander of the Night’s Watch. (Martin seems to have started with the idea of the Others as simple murder zombies, then got some other ideas into his head about them, but as we’ve yet to see them again in the books, who knows?)

      I agree about White Walkers and Night King and I doubt the TV show just completely re-invented their concept. When the S4 episode with Night KIng aired, there was actually a huge controversy when the figure was initially referenced from sources as Night King and they soon corrected it to “White Walker Master”. It was much later when they officially went public with “Night King”, I think shortly before S5 or even during S5. This made me think that him being referenced as Night KIng in S4 was deemed too spoiler-ish in terms of novels but with S5, it became obvious the show will firmly overtake it. If Night King was just a namesake of novel version of Night King, why the secrecy in S4? While it’s obvious it’s not exactly the same character (TV Night King is original White Walker while novel Night King is a lord commander of the Night’s Watch which was established only after the initial defeat of White Walkers), I kind of feel there is a connection between novel Night KIng and White Walkers re-emerging. Also, I wouldn’t rule out White Walkers being originally human in the novels either… we do have explicit speculation from Craster’s wives there that the babies Craster is sacrificing to White Walkers are actually White Walkers themselves and that would also explain how the White Walkers firmly re-emerged thousands of years later. Apart from that, there’s this part in ASOS where Ygritte is talking about the search of Horn of Joramun and says something in the manner “We’ve opened many tombs and let those things out…” – so what if that’s also what happened? Wildlings accidently releasing surviving White Walkers while searching for the Horn of Joramun? When I connect these dots, the novel White Walkers don’t seem that different from show White Walkers to me… and let’s not forget that the Massacre at the Fist of the First Men happened in the novels as well. I really don’t know what GRRM has planned for WW or if he even knows where he wants to go with them but I’m sure there’s a big war on horizon with the world’s existence at stake. I just don’t see the TV show completely remaking White Walkers.

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    34. Erik, formerly Lord Parramandas,

      ANd something that I’m also very much sure now, especially since the TV show ended, is that White Walkers and dragons will “cease to exist” at the end of the novel story as well. I think these are too powerful creatures to be “allowed to exist” in the world if there’s any hope for peaceful ending there.

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    35. Erik, formerly Lord Parramandas,

      IMO, the white walkers were heavily simplified for tv. I have to assume there will be more to them in the books.

      In the show, they exist merely to “erase memory” and they can all be killed simply by killing the leader.

      I have to assume the books will make them a little more nuanced. If we ever get another book, that is.

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    36. Erik, formerly Lord Parramandas: ANd something that I’m also very much sure now, especially since the TV show ended, is that White Walkers and dragons will “cease to exist” at the end of the novel story as well. I think these are too powerful creatures to be “allowed to exist” in the world if there’s any hope for peaceful ending there.

      Drogon is still alive in the show though. Why so convinced all dragons will be gone in the books?

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    37. Erik, formerly Lord Parramandas,

      When the S4 episode with Night KIng aired, there was actually a huge controversy when the figure was initially referenced from sources as Night King and they soon corrected it to “White Walker Master”. It was much later when they officially went public with “Night King”, I think shortly before S5 or even during S5. This made me think that him being referenced as Night KIng in S4 was deemed too spoiler-ish in terms of novels but with S5, it became obvious the show will firmly overtake it. If Night King was just a namesake of novel version of Night King, why the secrecy in S4?

      I admit I’m vague on the details but if you have a source, please link me? 🙂 As far as I recall, I believe the controversy was over the discrepancy between the character of the Night’s King in the books and what they were presenting as the Night King in the show. In season 5, they were still adapting from the books with elements of book 6 being brought in. One such unpublished detail from the books, which does not happen in book 5 but in an unpublished novel, was confirmed in May 2016 by D&D as one of GRRM’s twists (Shireen’s death) when Hodor’s origin was also confirmed to be one of those twists. However, GRRM explains even with Hodor, there will be differences:

      GRRM: I thought they executed it very well, but there are going to be differences in the book. They did it very phyical — “hold the doo” with Hodor’s strength. In the book, Hodor has stolen one of the old swords from the crypt. Bran has been warging into Hodor and practicing with his body, because Bran has been trained in swordplay. So telling Hodor to “hold the door” is more like “hold this pass” — defend it when enemies are coming — and Hodor is fighting and killing them. A little different, but the same idea.

      As for the naming of the Night King, we don’t know if they were trying for secrecy and if they were, the purpose of said secrecy, or if they had not decided on what to call this figure yet. Still, I see no similarity between the Night’s King and the Night King other than the name. I don’t think the Night’s King is meant to be the novel’s Night King. The Night’s King is a hazy piece of history due to records being destroyed of his tenure upon learning he was making sacrifices of Night’s Watch brothers to the Others. And while the Others may have a form of leadership in the books as well (and I think they do), I think the Night King was largely a physical avatar to make this story more corporeal and action based for the television series, something to see and root against, rather than the ghostly mystery with unseen, sinister beings they are in the books.

      We don’t much of anything about the Others in the books but even with GRRM’s description above, they are presented differently from the White Walkers on the show so I’m inclined to believe there will be differences with this as well.

      we do have explicit speculation from Craster’s wives there that the babies Craster is sacrificing to White Walkers are actually White Walkers themselves and that would also explain how the White Walkers firmly re-emerged thousands of years later.

      

Via Gilly, we are only aware Craster’s wives fear Craster is making sacrifices to the Others and may start sacrificing the male children to the Others… but, from what I remember, they don’t believe their babies are becoming Others:

      “But Nella says it’s to be a boy, and she’s had six and knows these things. He gives the boys to the gods. Come the white cold, he does, and of late it comes more often. That’s why he started giving them sheep, even though he has a taste for mutton. Only now the sheep’s gone too. Next it will be dogs, till . . .” She lowered her eyes and stroked her belly.”

      Jon mentions tales (“At Winterfell one of the serving women told us stories,” Jon went on. “She used to say that there were wildlings who would lay with the Others to birth half-human children.”) but these don’t really constitute Craster’s sacrificed children becoming Others.

      Apart from that, there’s this part in ASOS where Ygritte is talking about the search of Horn of Joramun and says something in the manner “We’ve opened many tombs and let those things out…” – so what if that’s also what happened? Wildlings accidently releasing surviving White Walkers while searching for the Horn of Joramun?

      I think you’re referencing this quote from ASOS?

      “I’m crying because we never found the Horn of Winter. We opened half a hundred graves and let all those shades loose in the world, and never found the Horn of Joramun to bring this cold thing down!”

      Seems she’s talking about exhuming bodies and disturbing their spirits.

      I think the White Walkers, as well as their features and motivations, seemed adapted for the television series and I think there will be differences in the books. There already are. I’m not knocking it for that, streamlining (especially within the limitations of television) is practical and something adaptations often do and have to do for a variety of reasons (time limits, different/broader audience being sought, simplification of complex details, practical considerations, etc.)

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    38. Mr Derp,

      That’s why I put “cease to exist” in ” ” because Drogon is technically still alive, but he’s gone and likely the only dragon alive so after he dies, dragons will be extinct. There were theories that Dany’s dragons would re-populate the dragonkind but as far as show canon goes, it’s not the case and I have a feeling that GRRM is going there as well. The dragons were reborn when they were needed (White Walkers) and I believe they’ll be gone when White Walkers are gone… there won’t be a dragon population in Westeros, not how it used to be under Targaryen rule. That’s my theory.

      As for White Walkers, if GRRM wants to make them more complex, he needs to hurry the hell up because in 5 novels, White Walkers appeared in total of two times and all we know about them in novel continuity is that dragonglass kills them and that they have the ability to reanimate the dead. And it pretty much ends there.

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    39. Adrianacandle,

      Paragraph in my post starting with “we do have explicit speculation[…]” should have been quoted as being from Erik’s post. I’m sorry about that 🙁 My response to that is the next paragraph underneath.

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    40. Erik, formerly Lord Parramandas: As for White Walkers, if GRRM wants to make them more complex, he needs to hurry the hell up because in 5 novels, White Walkers appeared in total of two times and all we know about them in novel continuity is that dragonglass kills them and that they have the ability to reanimate the dead. And it pretty much ends there.

      We also know a few other things about them too — they are only active at night, they pick off those lagging behind or at the outskirts one by one and quietly, their presence can be felt when it’s too cold to breathe. GRRM has talked about how he envisions them (“strange, beautiful… think, oh… the Sidhe made of ice, something like that… a different sort of life… inhuman, elegant, dangerous.”) So far, GRRM has established the Others as mysterious, unknown, lurking, and something that causes great fear. I think GRRM has also said he intends to explore more of the Others in book 6.

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    41. Erik, formerly Lord Parramandas,

      We didn’t find out about the “mothership” method of killing the NK in the show until season 7, when D&D were way past GRRM. That’s why I’m not entirely sure GRRM will go the same route, but we’ll probably never know at this rate.

      It all felt to me like D&D made this up because they were on their own at that point and had to come up with an expedient way to kill off the WW within 1 season. The “mothership” method seemed to be what they came up with.

      Also, the fact that GRRM hasn’t said much about them yet in the books makes me believe that there will be more to them in the coming books….if they ever come out of course.

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    42. Adrianacandle,

      Samwell II – ASOS

      “Gilly was crying: ‘Me and the babe. Please. I’ll be your wife, like I was Craster’s. Please, ser Crow. He’s just a boy, just like Nella said he’d be. If you don’t take him, they will .

      ‘They?’ said Sam, and the raven cocked its black head and echoed. ‘They, they they’

      ‘The boy’s brothers’ said the old woman on the left. ‘Craster’s sons . The white cold’s rising out there, crow. I can feel it in my bones. Those poor old bones don’t lie. They’ll be here soon, the sons.’

      Kind of interesting that Craster’s wives are refering to White Walkers as “boy’s brothers” and then S4 shows us exactly that – that Craster’s sons get turned into White Walkers.

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    43. Adrianacandle,

      But if they pick them “one by one”, why did they launch full scale attack on Fist of the First men? That happened in the novels too and it was everything else but stealthy. It was a massacre. This is why I don’t fall behind the idea that White Walkers are supposed to be something that’s only “lurking”.

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    44. Erik, formerly Lord Parramandas,

      I did forget that passage so thanks for reminding me 🙂

      Here, they are specified as Craster’s sons — not as “the Others”, “the cold ones”, or “the cold gods”. They could be very well the same thing but I don’t know. This seems to be a fear based on Craster making sacrifices and from this passage, in contrast to the ACOK ones, it appears Craster has started sacrificing his male children.

      Also, season 4 is still trying to adapt some of book 4. There are a few rumors in the books of how the Others come to be (including that tale I referenced from Jon’s childhood recollections above) and this is another. As far as the books go, we don’t know who exactly “Craster’s sons” are. They could be the Others but I don’t know. They could also represent another level in whatever hierarchy the Others have — the wights seem to be at the lowest level, the thralls of the Others.

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    45. Erik, formerly Lord Parramandas: But if they pick them “one by one”, why did they launch full scale attack on Fist of the First men? That happened in the novels too and it was everything else but stealthy. It was a massacre. This is why I don’t fall behind the idea that White Walkers are supposed to be something that’s only “lurking”.

      The one referenced in ACOK and ASOS? I think this is where the fort was located in which LC Mormont tried to set up a base of operations from for two purposes: to work on combatting the attack he suspects the wildlings of launching against the Wall and to find Benjen. However, they are attacked by wights.

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    46. Adrianacandle,

      Well, it’s not explicitly specified but for me, this was a big hint on White Walkers’ nature and when S4 depicted that on screen… I doubt they were just making stuff up. Too much of a coincidence for me, even more with all the secrecy surrounding Night King’s first appearance. I even remember statements that there were more actually Night King scenes filmed for S4 but they ended up keeping him at minimal screentime in order to make his character more of a secret.

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    47. Adrianacandle,

      But aren’t wights pretty much the soldiers for White Walkers? Or is that just a TV thing? I’ve always assumed White Walkers are in command of the undead army, not a “separate faction” to them.

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    48. Mr Derp:
      Erik, formerly Lord Parramandas,

      We didn’t find out about the “mothership” method of killing the NK in the show until season 7, when D&D were way past GRRM.That’s why I’m not entirely sure GRRM will go the same route, but we’ll probably never know at this rate.

      It all felt to me like D&D made this up because they were on their own at that point and had to come up with an expedient way to kill off the WW within 1 season.The “mothership” method seemed to be what they came up with.

      Also, the fact that GRRM hasn’t said much about them yet in the books makes me believe that there will be more to them in the coming books….if they ever come out of course.

      I do believe that the “mothership” part was a TV thing because without that, White Walkers would be pretty much impossible to defeat. I do wonder if TV version of White Walkers actually ended up being “more powerful” than their novel depiction. They have superhuman strength, swords shatter when in contact with them , Night King is able to ressurect tens of thousands corpses at once just by raising hands and turn babies into new White Walkers with a simple touch, they’re immune to any sort of fire, dragonfire included… majority of this stuff wasn’t specified yet with book White Walkers so there remains a possibility they’re actually not THAT powerful there.

      But for me, there’s still an enigma how would GRRM be able to wrap everything up in two novels with more than 20 POV characters without at least something feeling “abrupt”. For me, the fact that White Walkers had in total of two scenes in 4700+ pages of the story so far is not encouraging.

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    49. Erik, formerly Lord Parramandas,

      Well, it’s not explicitly specified but for me, this was a big hint on White Walkers’ nature and when S4 depicted that on screen… I doubt they were just making stuff up. Too much of a coincidence for me, even more with all the secrecy surrounding Night King’s first appearance. I even remember statements that there were more actually Night King scenes filmed for S4 but they ended up keeping him at minimal screentime in order to make his character more of a secret.

      Well, season 4 is an adaptation of book 4 — and the show has gone their own way with certain details and plots, which is fine. D&D have decided to go this way wrt to how new White Walkers are made for whatever reason. As for the books, we still don’t know and while I don’t think D&D made everything up, I think there will be differences and nuances. There are a few stories in-universe of how the Others may come to be and this is one of them.

      But aren’t wights pretty much the soldiers for White Walkers? Or is that just a TV thing? I’ve always assumed White Walkers are in command of the undead army, not a “separate faction” to them.

      These aren’t the Others themselves attacking. The purpose of my initial description was to illustrate the elusive, unknown nature of how Others appear… but unseen. They, themselves, pick off stragglers and their presence is felt by an otherwordly cold. I’m not commenting on their methods as a whole or whatever they have the wights do. That (and their reasons for doing so) are largely unknown.

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    50. Erik, formerly Lord Parramandas: But for me, there’s still an enigma how would GRRM be able to wrap everything up in two novels with more than 20 POV characters without at least something feeling “abrupt”. For me, the fact that White Walkers had in total of two scenes in 4700+ pages of the story so far is not encouraging.

      The advantage of books (while proving to be a disadvantage to GRRM ever getting these out) is that there are fewer limitations. GRRM doesn’t have to be limited to two novels and those novels can appear quite lengthy. He originally envisioned ASOIAF as a trilogy and is now planning for seven books. His plans… change.

      Based on the average word count for a GoT script page, it contains 150-200 words and approx. 45 pages to a script. 10 scripts for seasons 1-6 and 13 for the final two seasons.

      In ASOIAF, books are getting bigger and bigger as they go on. A page contains approx. 500-600 words. If a novel is 2,000 pages, that’s a lot of page space.

      I think GRRM can have the page space that he needs to tell the story he wants. However, I don’t think limitations are holding GRRM back — I think it’s GRRM being too unfettered that’s holding him back and stalling on how to tie all this together.

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    51. Adrianacandle,

      Well, it kept confusing me where should I spot this “difference” between TV White Walkers and novel White Walkers becuase I didn’t and still don’t spot any, except the fact that novel White Walkers barely appear… but I’ve never imagined them to be any different in terms of what they do and anytime I was reading about the attack on Fist of the First Men, I imagined it pretty much exactly as it was shown in S2 finale.

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    52. Erik, formerly Lord Parramandas: Well, it kept confusing me where should I spot this “difference” between TV White Walkers and novel White Walkers becuase I didn’t and still don’t spot any, except the fact that novel White Walkers barely appear… but I’ve never imagined them to be any different in terms of what they do and anytime I was reading about the attack on Fist of the First Men, I imagined it pretty much exactly as it was shown in S2 finale.

      Per my above responses, I’ve explained the differences between the books’ Others and the show’s White Walkers as I see them as best I can but you can take it or leave it, I suppose 🙂

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    53. Erik, formerly Lord Parramandas,

      There’s still so much information in the books that hasn’t been revealed. We just don’t know enough about the WW in the books to be able to say what is and isn’t true about them yet.

      All we have is the t.v. version right now. The mothership method that D&D went with felt like a shortcut that was tailor-made for the medium of television.

      I’m not saying GRRM WON’T go that route in the books, but I do think it would be pretty lazy.

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    54. Adrianacandle,

      Yes but I don’t actually “see” differences. All I see is that regarding novel White Walkers, we know less about them while the TV show gave us more direct answers and more scenes. But the only “actual” differences that I see is that novel White Walkers melt when stabbed with dragonglass while TV White Walkers shatter, and that dragonglass doesn’t kill the undead in the novels, unlike the TV show. Everything else, it’s just “wait and see”.

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    55. Erik, formerly Lord Parramandas,

      And in terms of White Walkers barely appearing in the novels while having bigger screen presence on screen, I always assumed it’s the same reason as for why Robb and Jaime appeared in only one scene in entire book 2 but 6 and 4 episodes each in S2… because the novels can afford that and the TV show can’t. I’ve never thought it would have anything to do with White Walkers having a different nature in novels or anything… I ‘ve just assumed it’s a novel stuff.

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    56. Erik, formerly Lord Parramandas:
      Erik, formerly Lord Parramandas,

      And in terms of White Walkers barely appearing in the novels while having bigger screen presence on screen, I always assumed it’s the same reason as for why Robb and Jaime appeared in only one scene in entire book 2 but 6 and 4 episodes each in S2… because the novels can afford that and the TV show can’t. I’ve never thought it would have anything to do with White Walkers having a different nature in novels or anything… I ‘ve just assumed it’s a novel stuff.

      I just assumed it was because the show was way ahead of the books. They outpaced the books, therefore, more needed to be revealed on the show than the books…

      We didn’t meet the Night King on the show until season 4, which, to my understanding, is about where GRRM left off in his last novel. I could be wrong about that though.

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    57. loco73: And Netflix has a pretty solid show on it’s hands with “Shadow And Bone”…HBO better hurry up…

      I just laughed out loud, thank you. Very funny joke.

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    58. Erik, formerly Lord Parramandas,

      Here are some differences that I see, copy and pasted from my previous responses:

      The Others are elusive, mysterious, unseen, and only come at night.

      They quietly pick off stragglers, who rise as wights in the morning.

      Their presence is only felt because the “air becomes so cold, it hurts to breathe” and of a white mist that emerges. You know they’re there but… you can’t see them.

      GRRM envisions them as “strange, beautiful… think, oh… the Sidhe made of ice, something like that… a different sort of life… inhuman, elegant, dangerous.” He’s also stated they are not dead.

      I always assumed it’s the same reason as for why Robb and Jaime appeared in only one scene in entire book 2 but 6 and 4 episodes each in S2… because the novels can afford that and the TV show can’t.

      Robb is seen quite a bit in Catelyn I and is very present for Catelyn II in ACOK. He’s also heavily mentioned throughout book 2. However, we only have Catelyn’s view on Robb so when she leaves Robb, we don’t see Robb on-page, only through third-party mentions. Meanwhile, Jaime does kind of go missing because he is imprisoned but is still mentioned, although not as much as Robb. Until Catelyn’s chapter where she interacts with Jaime, we only know what the characters know. Because Jaime doesn’t have a POV in this book, we’re limited in seeing his on-page activities because the only POV character who interactions with Jaime in this book is Catelyn.

      Yet, I’d say this is different from what GRRM is trying to do with the Others, who he is establishing as unknown, mysterious, and a lurking danger they need to find out more about — developing that urgency and sense of foreboding, what’s driving the wildlings south — by limiting knowledge about them and increasing that anxiety by doing so. We only know as much as the characters do (apart from how GRRM envisions their appearance and that they aren’t dead).

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    59. Mr Derp: I just assumed it was because the show was way ahead of the books.They outpaced the books, therefore, more needed to be revealed on the show than the books…

      We didn’t meet the Night King on the show until season 4, which, to my understanding, is about where GRRM left off in his last novel.I could be wrong about that though.

      Actually, S4 wasn’t ahead of the books. It was adapting the final third of third novel while incorporating some material from 4th and 5th novel and also some original material (Raid on Craster’s Keep – has no book counterpart). This White Walkers’ scene was original material that has no book counterpart in ASOS or even in AFFC/ADWD. And I think it was actually the first time the show diverted into the unknown territory and it was very controversial at that time, especially with the name “Night King” appearing on web after this episode aired. I believe the producers simply decided to feature White Walkers more regularly because I’m sure they knew they’re a big part in the story’s climax.

      S4 was definitely the season where firm changes started to happen in terms of the story though.

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    60. Adrianacandle,

      Well, I disagree about the White Walkers… I never got an impression they’re any different than their TV counterparts, they’re just not on screen much because the novels are limited to POV characters and the TV show is not (Ditching the POV is actually one of my favorite things TV show did). But whatever…

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    61. Erik, formerly Lord Parramandas:
      Adrianacandle,

      Well, I disagree about the White Walkers… I never got an impression they’re any different than their TV counterparts, they’re just not on screen much because the novels are limited to POV characters and the TV show is not (Ditching the POV is actually one of my favorite things TV show did). But whatever…

      Well, I’m referring to behaviors described about the Others by multiple characters, multiple different characters, many of them not POVs (I think Sam is the only POV so far to have encountered an Other). Per the book’s text, they are unseen. Nobody’s seen them. I don’t think that’s because only POV characters haven’t encountered the Others or seen them — all of the encounters have them unseen.

      Conversely, we only see or not see Robb on-page depending on where Catelyn/Bran/Jon/Arya/Theon are but we know other non-POV characters have seen him too.

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    62. Adrianacandle,

      GRRM envisions them as “strange, beautiful… think, oh… the Sidhe made of ice, something like that… a different sort of life… inhuman, elegant, dangerous.” He’s also stated they are not dead.

      Well, he can ramble on all he wants, but it means nothing to me unless he publishes it in a book. 🙂

      The NK and WW attacking during daylight in the show may just have shown how strong a force they had become. (It’s not as if Game of Thrones was ever in any way averse to staging large action sequences at night!) In the books, I seem to recall there was some kind of fight at Hardhome, reported in a letter by Bowen Marsh. Whether it was at night or not, I can’t say.

      From what we’ve seen in the books, the Others don’t go past the description of murder zombies, and the television scenes portray them as scarily invincible to an unprepared opponent. That’s close enough agreement for me!

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    63. Tensor the Mage, Still Loving the Ending,

      The NK and WW attacking during daylight in the show may just have shown how strong a force they had become. (It’s not as if Game of Thrones was ever in any way averse to staging large action sequences at night!) In the books, I seem to recall there was some kind of fight at Hardhome, reported in a letter by Bowen Marsh. Whether it was at night or not, I can’t say.

      There’s no mass massacre yet but reports sent by Cotter Pyke of wildlings resorting to cannibalizing their dead and “dead things in the water”. He requests for help by land.

      From what we’ve seen in the books, the Others don’t go past the description of murder zombies, and the television scenes portray them as scarily invincible to an unprepared opponent. That’s close enough agreement for me!

      I don’t know if my saying the Others are not dead in the books will matter much at this point, or listing the differences between the book and show counterparts, but for these reasons, I don’t think “murder zombies” is apt. I think the Others are unknown.

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