Renowned Scottish actor Graham McTavish joins House of the Dragon cast!

Graham McTavish

A mere week after we got our first official look at some of the House of the Dragon cast in-character, another actor has been spotted joining them: Graham McTavish!

As reported by Adam Whitehead’s Wertzone, Scottish actor Graham McTavish was recently photographed in Cornwall at the House of the Dragon set, and the man himself helpfully shared on Instagram that he was indeed in the city.

As you can see, he appears to be in costume under that black robe:

McTavish HOTD

McTavish is perhaps best known for his roles as Dwalin in The Hobbit trilogy and Dougal Mackenzie in the Starz series Outlander. That said, if you haven’t watched those but his face still rings a bell, you might have seen McTavish in his many, many other films and TV roles; and video games! He’ll be in the second season of The Witcher, too. So yes, the man keeps busy. And now House of the Dragon is what will keep him busy for a while, tho, unfortunately, we have no idea who he’s playing as of yet. But never fear — as soon as we know who he’ll be portraying in this story, we’ll let you know!

Meanwhile, there is no harm in a little speculation: what role do you think McTavish is likely to play in this Targaryen civil war? Share your best guess in the comments below!

142 responses

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    1. As an Outlander and Men in Kilts fan, this is great news! I think Graham will play the part of a ruthless warrior who is not a Targaryen.

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    2. I’ve seen speculation over Lyonel Strong or Harrold Westerling being the character McTavish could be playing. With the latter, I think that would possibly tie into speculation over a possible funeral and whose funeral that is

      as it may determine whether or not Westerling is the character McTavish is playing and how long his character will be in the story.

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    3. Shy Lady Dragon:
      As an Outlander and Men in Kilts fan, this is great news! I think Graham will play the part of a ruthless warrior who is not a Targaryen.

      I honestly thought the “Men in Kilts” thing was kinda dumb, but as an Outlander fan I agree this is great news!

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    4. I gotta say, despite having certain misgivings about this project, this is an awesome casting choice and a win for this would-be series!

      Excellent! 👍👍👏

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    5. Mr Derp,

      I can understand that, but imo it was done with a lot of self-irony and a continuous play around what’s typical for Scottish culture and what things are really like. I must admit I have never been to Scotland although it’s something I have wanted for many years, so I may be partial…

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    6. Why cant HBO say who has been cast as Aegon ll. I was hoping they would cast Toby Regbo, he would be the perfect Aegon with his diverse acting skills. Plus he is eye candy for us ladies and he has a huge fan base.

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    7. Ginaflynn,

      I don’t know the actor you mention, but I never got the impression – from reading the available material – that Aegon II was ever any eye-candy,

      especially not after he got dragonfire burned early on in the civil war, after which he must’ve been a hideous invalid.

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    8. Adrianacandle,

      Thank you, Adriana, for broadening my horizons on who Graham McTavish might be playing. [goes to re-read and refresh memory on who excactly were Lyonel Strong and Harrold Westerling were…]

      I love this pre-season excitement, the anticipation, the speculation! My first comment was probably too hurried but I was on my way for my first Covid-19 jag, they’re down to my age group now, and I didn’t want to miss my allotted time.

      (It’s been hours now, no sign of swelling or itching on the arm or any adverse effects. The funny thing was that we were all asked to stay in a separate room for 15 minutes after the jag – apparently any really bad adverse effects would manifest themselves in that time – and I sat in this big room with 15 others, all of us safely distanced 2m apart. Doing stuff on our phones… But I sneaked a peek at all the others, my age group. What do people in my age group look like? Still youthful or starting to show their age? [smug face here] I think I am rather well preserved, ha ha!)

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    9. talvikorppi: I love this pre-season excitement, the anticipation, the speculation! My first comment was probably too hurried but I was on my way for my first Covid-19 jag, they’re down to my age group now, and I didn’t want to miss my allotted time.

      I like it too!!! 🙂

      I think maybe Lyonel Strong may be a good fit based on this:

      Not long after Ser Criston donned his white cloak, King Viserys invited Lyonel Strong, Lord of Harrenhal, to join the small council as master of laws. A big man, burly and balding, Lord Strong enjoyed a formidable reputation as a battler. Those who did not know him oft took him for a brute, mistaking his silences and slowness of speech for stupidity. This was far from the truth. Lord Lyonel had studied at the Citadel as a youth, earning six links of his chain before deciding that a maester’s life was not for him. He was literate and learned, his knowledge of the laws of the Seven Kingdoms exhaustive. Thrice-wed and thrice a widower, the Lord of Harrenhal brought two maiden daughters and two sons to court with him.

      And while I’ve seen Harrold Westerling speculated as a possibility, not much is known about him :/ Just that:

      In 112 AC, Ser Harrold Westerling passed away and Ser Criston Cole was made the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard in his place.

      And on an off-topic note:

      I finally get a covid shot tomorrow too! I was also told about the 15 min protocol to observe for any adverse effects.

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    10. talvikorppi,

      I am glad you are feeling well! I have experienced some pains in my arm, a slight fever and fatigue, nothing serious. I’ll have my second shot on the 19th.
      About the 15 minutes after, I must admit I took a selfie with my brightly coloured mask on and sent it to my friends.

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    11. Shy Lady Dragon,

      Thanks! I think it’ll all be a-okay and I’m happy eligibility has finally opened up! I’m glad you didn’t experience anything serious but the arm soreness/slight fever/fatigue sound like a pain :/ I expect the same for myself but I’ve tried to plan around as best I could for that 🙂 ie. no week-end deadlines

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    12. It’s good to have some actors with presence even if they aren’t stars of the show.

      Sorry you had some adverse effects to your first Covid jab, Adriana. I think I already mentioned that I had fatigue after the first one and a bit of local soreness after the second but I’m back to ‘normal’ now. In the UK we’ve had some quite shameless conspiracy theory types trying to bump up traffic to their websites/channels/twitter feeds etc. I won’t mention any names because you have be careful what you say online even if what you say is true but I saw a question on the internet about whether healthy children should get the Covid vaccine. I’m not on that social media platform but if I had been I would have said healthy children get vaccines for polio and for other illnesses which used to be dangerous (well they still are dangerous but are less so now because of vaccination/inoculation. Sorry I do not mean to be Dame of Derailed Threads.

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    13. Dame of Mercia,

      Thanks!

      I haven’t had the shot yet, that’s later today — I’m only anticipating the possibility of side effects, which are probably likely but remain to be seen 🙂

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    14. Adrianacandle:
      Dame of Mercia,

      Thanks!

      I have a totally different feeling now after being vaccinated. I feel less anxious, I don’t worry about how close I get to someone, and I’ve actually been back at the synagogue seeing people in person. I had Moderna. For the first shot, my arm muscle was sore but that was about it. The second shot as they say I had more, but it only lasted about 2 days. I just felt muscle soreness and a headache mostly. I had maybe a 1 degree fever, but it was very slight. After about 2 days or so the muscle pains and headache went away. It doesn’t help my sinuses, since I can get headaches just from the allergies that are out. I may keep wearing the mask just to help with seasonal allergies.

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    15. I hope you are fine, Adriana!
      I forgot to tell that I had Astra Zeneca. I would have wanted Pfizer, but as the opportunity for Astra Zeneca came first, I took advantage on it, as I didn’t want to postpone. My second shot will be on the 19th and I’m looking forward to it!
      I’m so happy that theatres has just reopened in my town, I watched a play on Sunday and I’ll go to another one on Wednesday. I can’t wait to be able to go swimming!

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    16. Love this guy. He’s also apparently the only actor to ever star alongside Sylvester Stallone in both a Rambo movie and a Rocky movie (technically Creed but still). Agree that Lyonel Strong seems like a “strong” possibility, but who knows?

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    17. Adam: He’s also apparently the only actor to ever star alongside Sylvester Stallone in both a Rambo movie and a Rocky movie

      …and the award for most random post in the world goes to…

      j/k 🙂

      Never saw either of those movies, but I’ve loved Graham in everything I’ve seen him in…except for the Hobbit movies, but that wasn’t his fault.

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    18. Whoever Graham McTavish is playing, he’ll be an asset to the show.

      Looking at pictures, there’s a definite “Sean Connery” vibe about Graham. Sexy older guy type of thing.

      It’ll be interesting to see if his casting is just for some brief appearances in an episode or two, or whether it’s a more substantial role.

      It’ll be interesting to see how the producers handle the whole timeline and Dance of Dragons thing – based on photos, they might squeeze the timeline, which is probably the right choice for a TV show. (I’ve read the books but I’m no book purist.)

      O/T, since people have been talking about their Covid vaccinations. I had my first jag yesterday. The only effect I’ve noticed is that an area of the upper arm is a bit tender to touch, like a bruise would be, but no visible bruising. It was the Phizer mRNA vaccine that I got. Second dose in July, time already booked. Only then I can properly relax . Ten – fourteen days after the first jag you’re fairly protected but you have to have the second booster jag to be in the safe zone.

      I don’t understand anti-vaxxers. I’m old enough to not have had the MMR vaccine. I had mumps and rubella so young I can’t remember. I can remember having chicken pox and measels. The itch, feeling hot all over. Thisty all the time. High fever and even weird dreams/hallucinations. Weird and scary.

      I was a well-fed, healthy kid in a rich country, so unlikely to die of measels etc. But it wasn’t a pleaseant experience. At the time, people thought it was par for course, kids had to go through these “childhood diseases”.

      The MMR (mumps, measels, rubella) vaccine was opposed by some anti-vaxxers just because most kids get those diseases and survive. Nary a thought to kids who do get them and don’t survive.

      Also, chicken pox and measels I can remember and it’s is no fun. Sore throat, hot, uncomfortable, itchy for days, even weeks. If a vaccine can prevent that, I’m all for it.

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    19. Shy Lady Dragon: I hope you are fine, Adriana!
      I forgot to tell that I had Astra Zeneca. I would have wanted Pfizer, but as the opportunity for Astra Zeneca came first, I took advantage on it, as I didn’t want to postpone. My second shot will be on the 19th and I’m looking forward to it!
      I’m so happy that theatres has just reopened in my town, I watched a play on Sunday and I’ll go to another one on Wednesday. I can’t wait to be able to go swimming!

      That sounds amazing!! 😀

      I’m about to get my first shot in a few hours — I’m glad the time has finally arrived 🙂 I believe I’ll be getting Moderna, one of the mRNA vaccines. Canada ran out of AstraZeneca.

      Also, thank you to you, Tron, Dame, and talvikorppi for sharing your covid vaccination experiences!

      talvikorppi: Whoever Graham McTavish is playing, he’ll be an asset to the show.

      Absolutely!

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    20. Great casting news. Probably the casting I was most familiar with so far.. either he or Paddy Constadine (sp?).
      Reminds me of them casting James Cosmo as the Old Bear in GOT.

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    21. talvikorppi,

      Yes I know he got burned on his face but that doesnt happen for a while. You need to look up all the art work people have done as to what Aegon ll is supposed to look like. Eye candy means good looking, I do not want to be looking at at a bunch of ugly old men during the whole series, Fabian Frankel looks good though, Too bad you do not know who Toby Regbo is, REALLY, he was cast in the other GOT prequel that was canceled, hes an awesome actor. He starred in the series REIGN as King Francis, He played a king in The last Kingdom for a few seasons , Medici also, he just finished filming season 3 of A Discovery of Witches, look up his IMBD, now you have been educated.

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    22. Ginaflynn,

      talvikorppi,

      That’s GRRM’s description of him:

      “According to a semi-canon source, Aegon resembled his father, Viserys I Targaryen, in appearance. He was a handsome young man, though he had a sullen look to his eyes and a pouty mouth. Aegon had a wispy mustache instead of a beard. Overall, he did not look like a warrior.”

      If my memory serves me right, he’s in his early 20s in the novel when the civil war breaks out and so far, it doesn’t seem they’re aging characters up regarding to the novels (the actor for Viserys being in his late 40s, Daemon’s in late 30s, Rhaenyra’s in late 20s etc.) so I imagine Aegon will indeed be somewhere in early 20s when the civil war breaks out. I kind of doubt those injuries would be as severe as in source material because that would require a lot of CGI and makeup which may as well present an obstacle to actor’s performance range (the reason they toned down Tyrion’s injury after Blackwater, Sandor’s face burn was also less severe and such).

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    23. Ginaflynn,

      You are entitled to an opinion on a vaccination as is anyone but I don’t think this is the place to belittle people. My cousin’s daughter recovered as did a doctor from the local hospital but the brother-in-law of the man who runs a launderette (laundromat) in my hometown died from it.

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    24. Thinking of GoT/HoD fan art, some of it is excellent but some of it is sucktastic (thinking of those Asha in ringmail bikini things).

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    25. “According to a semi-canon source, Aegon resembled his father, Viserys I Targaryen, in appearance. He was a handsome young man, though he had a sullen look to his eyes and a pouty mouth. Aegon had a wispy mustache instead of a beard. Overall, he did not look like a warrior.”

      Joe Cole — formerly of “Peaky Blinders”, more recently one of the leads on “Gangs of London” — could absolutely nail this. This pretty much describes him exactly, and he’s a very good actor too. Based on Gangs of London he’d be able to do the “assertive and posh/aristocratic” English accent perfectly as well.

      Joe is 32, but looks younger, so I guess that may not necessarily be a deal-breaker if Aegon is meant to be in his 20s.

      (By the way, Gangs of London has a number of GoT actors in major roles, including “Catelyn” and “Sallador Saan” playing very different characters to their GoT counterparts. You may recognise “Walder” in a smaller role too. I think AMC are distributing the show in the US, so I recommend checking it out. Fantastic stuff from the third episode onwards. Apparently a second season has already been commissioned).

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    26. I may have misunderstood Gina as I thought she was having a pop at people who had had the vaccination and if I was wrong I apologise. As for what characters look like, I don’t think Graham Mctavish is being cast to be a leading man.

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    27. My post of 11 May to Adriana was to Tron and talvikorppi and anyone who is being vaccinated as well. We didn’t have a lot of time for fan-casting before announcements of people actually cast came out. Fan-casting can be “fun”. I don’t have anything against young Mr Regbo though I didn’t watch Reign because it didn’t seem historically accurate though I’m not criticising people who did watch it.

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    28. I don’t think you misunderstood anything! I felt tempted to reply as well, but I didn’t want to start a fight and I thought ignoring violent words is better. Congrats for being able to reply in such a calm way!

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    29. talvikorppi cc everyone sharing their vaccine experiences,

      i’m happy for you. i’m happy for everyone who can at least protect themselves after more than a year of feeling uncomfortable. with uncomfortable, i mean the feeling you have when you discover that the asshole behind you on the bus has been screaming into his phone for twenty minutes with his mask protecting his chin… of course there’s even worse to it than feeling uncomfortable. being sad for example, because you lost loved ones. or having gone through it and being back from it as a shadow.

      the disease has caused few cases of harm in my social environment, but this is just because i’m the sort of lone wolf with a one-digit social environment… and even there, it left cases of depression caused by isolation in a nursing home. or people with good and well fed bellies leaving the hospital on their knees, looking like white walkers. it’s so sad!

      who understands anti-vaxxers, talvikorppi? fellow anti-vaxxers. they are a plague. their influence on insecure people has caused so many avoidable deaths since that paid piece of shit Wakefield came around the corner with his infamous “study” on MMR shots and autism with 12 participants in 1998. school-mates of me lost their kid effing three weeks before it would have been old enough to get the planned (!) MMR shot to an environment of happily egoistic morons educated by the internet. i can’t say how much i hate anti-vaxxers.

      of course, they all have their tetanus shot. and their dogs have the rabies shot. i bet.

      they are stupid all over, end of! when the shit-movie “Vaxed” was shown in a cinema in Zürich, some dumbass defended the cinema’s choice on facebook claiming “this is a good cinema where i’ve been watching a lot of nice movies as a child.”
      believe me, the laughter got stuck in every reader’s throat, as this cinema has ALWAYS been a porn cinema. that’s how dumb they are, that’s how shameless they lie! oh, and that’s the kind of cinema supporting them…

      i tell these nutjobs straight into the face that i don’t want to see them again when they come out with their stupid shit. like that woman i met sometimes when i was walking dogs. she told me that half of the children who get vaccinated don’t survive the shot. yeah! with a diploma from the university for studies in two-digit numbers, i suppose… that’s how dumb they are.

      and as they are so dumb, they keep putting other people’s lives at risk. and coming here and calling us “SHEEP”. i hate them, and for hating them, i hate them even more, because i hate it when i hate. i’m not fine then.

      my personal vaccination progress is: 52y, unimportant and healthy, i’m allowed to get the shot now. just booking is pretty much a lottery as long as there are not enough doses delivered… meanwhile, one of the local vaccination centres has dropped the priority list and works “first come first served”. with the result of people standing in line for hours. this, while dates there are still listed bookable on the local vaccination portal.

      i stay optimistic.

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    30. Dame of Mercia:
      I may have misunderstood Gina as I thought she was having a pop at people who had had the vaccination and if I was wrong I apologise.As for what characters look like, I don’t think Graham Mctavish is being cast to be a leading man.

      when you see “SHEEP”, you can be sure you did not misunderstand anything. at least, this contributor “educated” us.

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    31. Shy Lady Dragon:
      death by chickenfire,

      Good luck, I hope you’ll have your vaccine soon! Stay healthy!

      by the end of may, some 200k doses of moderna should arrive here. so i think i might get my first shot early in june, the second around mid of july, and two weeks after that i should be in the safe zone.

      which means that i can downgrade from ffp2 to surgery masks. i’m wearing the more expensive ones now because i really want to protect myself too. being vaxed but not sure if i could carry and pass the virus, i will continue wearing a mask as long as the virus is not declared extinct.

      simply because there will still be many people who have to wear a mask. and if they do, i will also.

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    32. Ginaflynn:
      Adrianacandle,

      So many of you are SHEEP !

      I’ve seen a lot of uninformed people regurgitating this line.

      In the real world, people are getting the vaccine because they either don’t want to die from Covid or they don’t want others to die from Covid. It’s not complicated, conspiratorial, or sheepish in any way whatsoever.

      However, the people who refuse to get the vaccine are only doing so because they blindly obey the nut jobs who believe in conspiracy theories without any evidence whatsoever. It’s all just a bunch of excuses to be selfish human beings.

      So, I ask you, who’s the sheep here?

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    33. Ya know, people in the WWII generation had to sacrifice a lot for the war effort. The federal government imposed rations on such things as butter, sugar, coffee, canned fruits and vegetables, meat and canned milk, using a point system imposed on all grocery stores.

      People today can barely even bring themselves to wear a damn mask to avoid killing someone else. It’s incredible how selfish some people have become.

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    34. Dame of Mercia,

      The same people who claim that we are “sheep” for getting the vaccine and wearing a mask don’t seem to realize that they have health/car insurance, a driver’s license, social security #, etc., all because the big bad government told them they had to do it.

      The anti-vaccers don’t seem to realize just how conformist they actually are. It would be funny if it wasn’t so pathetic.

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    35. Meh I wish I could be positive about all this, but I just can’t. I think the big reason is, just like in college sports where the skill level of the head coach is proportional to the success of the team, the same goes for a TV series and the people in charge of it. What you’re going to get is reflective of the showrunners talent level. Both Ryan Condal and (the overrated) Miguel Sapochnik haven’t done anything in their careers to indicate that they’ll be able to reach the heights of the previous series or even close. Ryan Condal has mainly done run of the mill, big budget popcorn fare. And I don’t know why they would make a TV director a co show-runner, Sapochnik’s specialty is in the visuals not the writing. Very bizarre choice.

      Benioff was far more accomplished than Condal before being hired to show run the original series. He was one of the hottest screenwriters in Hollywood and had already adapted his successful novel into a movie that some consider is one of the best of the decade. He had also done a nice job adapting the Illiad and had numerous other successful screenplay credits (The Kite Runner, etc), making him much more accomplished as a drama writer than Condal (which is crucial for GoT).

      I also feel the decision to green light the series was rushed. After Jane Goldman’s pilot got rejected, the execs at AT & T were in full panic mode and were desperate to cash in on their golden goose ASAP. Add to this, we live in a time where there’s outrage over nearly everything that occurs in TV and film. This will effectively neuter the series and rob it of the edge that got people hooked on the original series. When you look at the production stills, I can’t help but think, it’s just so obvious who has a chance of dying and who doesn’t due to character protectionism (I say this knowing nothing of the source material).

      I wish I could be positive and excited, but I just can’t. If they had a more accomplished showrunner, I think I would be.

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    36. LatrineDiggerBrian,

      Well, Ryan Condal did the TV series “Colony”, which was a science fiction drama, ran for several seasons, and received a positive response while featuring some well-known actors. It also appears to be something George R. R. Martin was engaged enough in to show two episodes of the series at his theatre and then host a conversation with Condal afterward. I don’t know if that’s a factor but it may speak to draws Martin found in Condal’s own work while Condal is now adapting Martin’s material.

      I think the big reason is, just like in college sports where the skill level of the head coach is proportional to the success of the team, the same goes for a TV series and the people in charge of it.

      I’m not familiar with Ryan Condal so I can’t assess anything from my view but it appears he has been successful in the past. There’s also that there are multiple examples of very short-lived series that were cancelled mid (first) season (Firefly and Wonderfalls for example) and those series did come from proven writers/showrunners. There have also been hits from new/relatively new writers and showrunners. I think there are multiple factors in what ultimately makes a series successful and from what I’ve seen, one aspect involves coming in at the right time and being what an audience wants. The Crown is very popular now and HotD would (I imagine, based on Fire & Blood and GRRM’s short stories covering this story) also involve familial political drama itself. I think it’s too early to forecast HoTD’s success/lack of success at this moment. It appears to me that the success of a series is based on multiple factors and they all have to create a kind of magical synergy — some of those factors are in the hands of those involved in the show but others, not so much.

      This isn’t trying to change your disinterest at all though! Especially on paper, some stories may not be appealing.

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    37. Shy Lady Dragon: I don’t think you misunderstood anything! I felt tempted to reply as well, but I didn’t want to start a fight and I thought ignoring violent words is better. Congrats for being able to reply in such a calm way!

      These are my thoughts too 🙂 For me,

      the vaccine is important to get because an immunized population is crucial to achieve herd immunity, which protects vulnerable individuals in the population who can’t get the vaccine and remain unprotected. They have to rely on herd immunity for protection.

      The less the chance the vaccine has to incubate, spread, and develop into even more dangerous variants, the more at risk everyone is — especially the most vulnerable among us. That’s why I feel it’s important for me to get because I live in a society, among other people, I’m another warm body who could potentially spread the virus and I feel I need to do my part, and…. I want COVID gone 🙂

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    38. Adrianacandle,

      A terrible typo of mine that needs correcting XD;;

      *The *more the chance the vaccine has to incubate, spread, and develop into even more dangerous variants, the more at risk everyone is.

      Not ‘less’!!

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    39. Adrianacandle,

      Colony appears to be the best thing he’s done. I haven’t watched it, have you? Were you the person a while ago who told me it was solid? It got a high RT% in its first season, but its overall numerical rating was only 6.4. Then S2 and S3 only got 4-5 reviews, but they were all positive. Seems like he did an alright job with a SyFy level show. You couple that with the previous features he wrote, Hercules and Rampage, which seem like your run of the mill forgettable blockbusters and this is why my expectations are low.

      You bring up a good point that Condal is George’s guy otherwise he probably never would’ve been in the mix. But I don’t think that’s necessarily a good thing. Sure, George chose Benioff and Weiss, but they were brought to him by other people and Benioff was one of the hottest screenwriters in Hollywood at the time. But when you look at all the other people George has hired to adapt his other properties, has even one of them panned out? I don’t think many of these properties have even made it to screen and the ones that did (like the werewolf thing) have been forgettable. So it doesn’t make me any less skeptical just because George chose the guy.

      In all likelihood, Condal is a likable, confident guy with good leadership skills who can churn out decent enough material quickly. Perfect kind of guy to hire when the mother company is bleeding money and in need of a big hit and fast. But doesn’t seem dynamic enough for GoT. I hope he proves me wrong, but in all likelihood House of Dragon is going to be along the lines of all the Marvel stuff, just good enough to not be bad which will be enough to satisfy the massive hordes of fans that jumped on the bandwagon after GoT blew up. Sadly though, I don’t think it’s going to even come close though to capturing the magic of the first 5.5 seasons of the original series.

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    40. LatrineDiggerBrian,

      Colony appears to be the best thing he’s done. I haven’t watched it, have you? Were you the person a while ago who told me it was solid?

      I’m not familiar with anything by Ryan Condal so that wouldn’t be me who told you that. “Colony” isn’t really my thing. I typically don’t choose to watch a show based on who’s running it but on the premise. However, I don’t think a writer’s past success directly correlates to whether or not a new TV series will be successful because that itself doesn’t seem to be a solid guarantee or even a near guarantee.

      Hits can come from new writers, failed series can be experienced by proven successes. Plus, there are so many factors involved in whether a TV series becomes a success or not — and some beyond the control of those involved with the series. Additionally, this isn’t GoT but HotD, a different show with new material, new characters, and new stories that I’m ready to discuss 🙂 I welcome the injection of fresh material into this fandom 🙂

      I hope he proves me wrong, but in all likelihood House of Dragon is going to be along the lines of all the Marvel stuff, just good enough to not be bad which will be enough to satisfy the massive hordes of fans that jumped on the bandwagon after GoT blew up.

      Respectfully, I don’t think this indicates a likelihood because I think some of this is subjective assessment — which you have every right to express but it’s an opinion which may not be shared by everyone or be negatively indicative itself of if Condal can do well by HotD. I know many people who love the Marvel stuff and the Marvel stories are hugely popular right now — and reaching a broader audience would be to HBO and HotD’s benefit. If Condal can do that, I think that’s great. But to say Ryan Condal is only capable of decent stuff at best and can’t do a good job with HotD… I think that’s pretty subjective and too early to call now. Maybe HotD is something that bring out a new side of this writer. Although an actor, Bryan Cranston was known for the sitcom ‘Malcolm in the Middle’ before he became Walter White on Breaking Bad.

      It’s a wait-and-see situation. I think HotD will be its own show and be its own experience though. Perhaps it may appeal to a different crowd.

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    41. LatrineDiggerBrian: But when you look at all the other people George has hired to adapt his other properties, has even one of them panned out?

      I don’t know how much say GRRM had in this and I don’t think GRRM, himself, was doing the hiring. My point was that GRRM seems to be a fan of Condal’s own work well before HotD was even a thing. That’s not me saying that there’s any kind of guarantee in this — there’s not and there’s a lot of hit and miss — but I don’t think it indicates the opposite either. I think what it does show is that GRRM was drawn in by Condal’s series, which had a positive critical response.

      Also, not a lot of GRRM’s work has been adapted. I think Wild Cards is still a WIP, Nightflyers didn’t do that well, and the prequels are yet to be seen. If they were cancelled before airing (like Blood Moon), I think that was for unknown factors but not for audience reception.

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    42. I have not seen this actor, although I recognize the face/name (but then I actively avoid Outlander and haven’t yet watched The Hobbit movies (!) He has a marvelous face.

      I got Pfizer last week, no issues even though I have an autoimmune disorder and chronic migraines. I was pleasantly surprised. 😁

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    43. Pigeon: I have not seen this actor, although I recognize the face/name (but then I actively avoid Outlander and haven’t yet watched The Hobbit movies (!) He has a marvelous face.

      He really does and I think it’s really expressive! Also, I’d like to support what others have said in this thread: he’s a great addition and I love his work too 😀

      I got Pfizer last week, no issues even though I have an autoimmune disorder and chronic migraines. I was pleasantly surprised. 😁

      That’s great! (And I got the same one!) But I’m…. having some yucky side effects 🙁

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    44. LatrineDiggerBrian,

      Also, I’m sorry if I misunderstood you at all! When I said, “I typically don’t choose to watch a show based on who’s running it but on the premise,” and looking forward to new material to discuss, that’s not to say anything about your preferences or desires! I was just explaining my way of thinking 🙂

      Secondly, when I said, “I don’t know how much say GRRM had in this and I don’t think GRRM, himself, was doing the hiring,” I was referring to HotD after GRRM allowed HBO the rights. I am unaware of how much say GRRM had in the process at that time and Condal may not have been GRRM’s guy. I don’t know either way but I wanted to clarify that’s not what I was trying to say 🙂

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    45. Pigeon,

      I am glad for your pleasant surprise regarding the vaccine!
      I get that you don’t like Outlander, but there are some very good actors in it – Tobias Menzies comes to mind! Graham is not only very expressive, he has an intensity which makes him suitable for playing the warrior and he is also versatile.

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    46. Shy Lady Dragon: Tobias Menzies comes to mind! Graham is not only very expressive, he has an intensity which makes him suitable for playing the warrior and he is also versatile.

      +1 this 😀

      And thanks for the well wishes!

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    47. Shy Lady Dragon:
      Pigeon,

      I am glad for your pleasant surprise regarding the vaccine!
      I get that you don’t like Outlander, but there are some very good actors in it – Tobias Menzies comes to mind! Graham is not only very expressive, he has an intensity which makes him suitable for playing the warrior and he is also versatile.

      I see that intensity just from the main photo on this thread! I’ll definitely poke around to see if I have seen him in anything…surely I must have at some point with all the films and (mostly UK based) television I watch. 😊

      I love Tobias Menzies, and he certainly has a range, doesn’t he? From despicable in “that” show (hee) to hapless in Game of Thrones, to The Crown.

      Thanks about the vaccine, I’m glad your aftereffects were mild-ish! I am more concerned about the second one as I hear more people complaining of side effects from that one. But I would get it regardless, like I do the flu shot, and it’s not only myself I have to think about protecting. 😊 I did the selfie too, I felt like it was almost required. LOL.

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    48. Adrianacandle: He really does and I think it’s really expressive! Also, I’d like to support what others have said in this thread: he’s a great addition and I love his work too 😀

      That’s great! (And I got the same one!) But I’m…. having some yucky side effects 🙁

      Oh dangit, I’m sorry. I hope they are very brief…bodies are both awesome and jerks at the same time. To be fair, I had just attempted to destroy my opposite shoulder by being a hero and repeatedly lifting way too much weight by myself to help around the acreage. So I was distracted by the feeling of being an idiot to my joints. 🤪

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    49. Adrianacandle,

      We’ll just have to agree to disagree. This is just how I feel this is going to turn out. The guy up until this point has written seemingly passable but forgettable stuff, why would that change all of a sudden? I think George’s plot outline, Condal’s steady if unspectacular steering of the ship and people’s obsession with GoT will make the show a success, but I don’t think it’s going to be memorable like the original series.

      Adrianacandle:
      LatrineDiggerBrian,

      Also, I’m sorry if I misunderstood you at all! When I said, “I typically don’t choose to watch a show based on who’s running it but on the premise,” and looking forward to new material to discuss, that’s not to say anything about your preferences or desires! I was just explaining my way of thinking 🙂

      Secondly, when I said, “I don’t know how much say GRRM had in this and I don’t think GRRM, himself, was doing the hiring,” I was referring to HotD after GRRM allowed HBO the rights. I am unaware of how much say GRRM had in the process at that time and Condal may not have been GRRM’s guy. I don’t know either way but I wanted to clarify that’s not what I was trying to say 🙂

      No worries, I know what you meant. Also, re: Condal, I don’t think he would’ve ever been in the mix if not for his relationship with George who had mentioned Colony and Condal on his blog repeatedly before he was ever hired to write a spinoff. Doubt HBO would’ve gone after him with his track record. That’s why, in my opinion, Condal is George’s guy through and through.

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    50. LatrineDiggerBrian,

      We’ll just have to agree to disagree. This is just how I feel this is going to turn out. The guy up until this point has written seemingly passable but forgettable stuff, why would that change all of a sudden? I think George’s plot outline, Condal’s steady if unspectacular steering of the ship and people’s obsession with GoT will make the show a success, but I don’t think it’s going to be memorable like the original series.

      I think it’s absolutely fine for you to feel this way! For me, though, I think this assessment is subjective and I’d like to give Condal a chance. Others (who are familiar with his work) may not think Condal’s abilities are only passable.

      As I kind of said before, but not in so many words, sometimes a writer (or any creative) can just hit the right mark if they come upon the right project. I also hope for HotD to establish itself as its own show and stand on its own merit with its own audience who are there for this particular story — which I think it will need to do if it does become a success (like other shows with an association with predecessor shows). I think HotD has the advantage that it’s starting with all new characters, new story, and its basic narrative is all written down. But I think the success of HotD is of a wait-and-see situation dependent on several factors.

      Also, re: Condal, I don’t think he would’ve ever been in the mix if not for his relationship with George who had mentioned Colony and Condal on his blog repeatedly before he was ever hired to write a spinoff. Doubt HBO would’ve gone after him with his track record. That’s why, in my opinion, Condal is George’s guy through and through.

      Good, I’m glad you know what I meant! 🙂

      As for the rest, I don’t think we know what was involved in the hiring process. From GRRM’s blog, they are fans of each other’s work and Condal seems to have a good knowledge of GRRM’s books. However, I also don’t think there’s anything terribly out-of-place in Condal’s writing history. I think he may be a good choice but again, I think it’s a wait-and-see situation.

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    51. Pigeon: Oh dangit, I’m sorry. I hope they are very brief…bodies are both awesome and jerks at the same time. To be fair, I had just attempted to destroy my opposite shoulder by being a hero and repeatedly lifting way too much weight by myself to help around the acreage. So I was distracted by the feeling of being an idiot to my joints. 🤪

      But an acreage! 🙂 I think of apples! Oh, but that sucks about the joints — joints acting up can make things so much harder 🙁

      I twisted my leg on the bus back in January — five clear and significant snaps — and it took like two months for it to stop feeling weird when I straightened it. Walking those first few days though was hell. But working on an acreage with joint issues… yikes 🙁

      Yes, bodies are both awesome and jerks at the same time! Much like the sun. It is a burning ball of hell in the sky which will give us cancer, mutate our DNA replication with its UVA resulting in photoaging, burn our skin… but is responsible for life on earth and is a big help with vitamin D 🙁 I hate the sun 🙁

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    52. Pigeon,

      I hope everything will go fine with the second shot!
      Tobias is amazing, with him it’s more than a new persona for every film… ’cause Outlander! And the Prince Philip character he played was so nuanced and interesting!
      I don’t want to spoil tough Graham for you, but I found Men in Kilts funny and I think it might appeal to your black humour – it certainly did to mine! A tongue in cheek culture and civilization documentary 🙂

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    53. (Off-topic comment)

      Everybody talking about CoVID vaccines, I signed up for it but being 25 years old with no chronic health conditions, I’m way back in the line. But I’m glad my grandparents are already vaccinated because any of them contracting the virus was by far my major worry in terms of virus itself, especially my maternal grandfather who has lung cancer. I have no idea if I contracted the virus in past year… I have strong suspicion I did but as I wasn’t tested, I can’t know for sure. But I can admit this whole thing has really worsened my mental health (which wasn’t good to begin with) and it’s ironic because people would think that a nerdy introvert person like me wouldn’t have problems but it’s been bad, especially in last year’s spring and November. I experienced several panic attacks, something that almost never happened to me before, one happening in the middle of the office in September and that one gave me PTSD that I can still feel. For the first time in my life, I’ve been considering seeing a therapist because I’m straight not okay anxiety-wise and I doubt I will be even when this is over. I can say though that being able to visit my girlfriend in Bosnia this February after not being able to see her for almost a year (thanks to lockdowns) did help me to some extent and I have a full-time job in chemistry lab now for last two months (I’m contracted for three months but there’s possibility of extending it) which despite being very draining for most of the time, at least makes me feel productive and keeps my mind away from anxiety-inducing thoughts (and also, lockdowns thankfully can’t affect it). Just thought of sharing my two cents on this off-topic manner.

      (End of off-topic comment)

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    54. Erik, formerly Lord Parramandas,

      Thanks for sharing, Erik! 🙂

      I also had to wait a long time until my age group became eligible, which happened late last week. Now it’s anyone 12+ 🙂 But I also know what you mean about the anxiety though — I think there’s a difference between choosing to keep your own company, which can be nice and necessary, and having that enforced. Having it enforced is very difficult. I didn’t realize how much I valued going downtown to see my friends at cafes, going out for ramen, or just doing errands together until COVID hit.

      Congratulations about your job!

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    55. Adrianacandle: But an acreage! 🙂 I think of apples! Oh, but that sucks about the joints — joints acting up can make things so much harder 🙁

      It was my own fault, I was loading/unloading/lifting a bunch of bags of critter supplies and things, and was too impatient to get it done to pay attention to HOW I was doing it. Hubris and all that. 🤪 As I’m sure you found with your leg injury, when you mess something up, you realize how you use that joint or muscle or nerve or whatever for EVERYTHING. Hope you’re all good now!

      I am not a fan of the sun. I like cool weather, fall is the best, and heat just does me in completely. I always wondered how Emilia et al could take the heat during filming, with those heavy wigs and costumes. I’d be flat out in the hotel room with (hopefully) air conditioning cranked. And also be fired, LOL.

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    56. Shy Lady Dragon:
      Pigeon,

      I hope everything will go fine with the second shot!
      Tobias is amazing, with him it’s more than a new persona for every film… ’cause Outlander! And the Prince Philip character he played was so nuanced and interesting!
      I don’t want to spoil tough Graham for you, but I found Men in Kilts funny and I think it might appeal to your black humour – it certainly did to mine! A tongue in cheek culture and civilization documentary 🙂

      I think I will check it out. Thank you! 😊 It sounds about my speed for sure. I can’t help but think of Rory McCann and his porridge commercials when I see the words “Men in Kilts”, though. 😄

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    57. Pigeon,

      Yes! Most notably, when you wake up, and it’s so painfully stiff. I was still able to walk on it — and I had to walk on it for three hours yet before I could rest it but damn. I just remember thinking, on January 17, “Before January 16, I could walk so pain-free… I should have appreciated that.” It’s all good now! I hope you shoulder is healing too!

      And yes about summer and heat. I’ve always preferred spring, winter, and fall is my favourite! I think it’s fortunate we live in Canada where we get a break from summer 😉 When it gets warm out, I can’t stand to wear my own hair down my back. It’s always gathered up into a clip.

      Also…. critter supplies….

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    58. Erik, formerly Lord Parramandas,

      Routine and structure is really important for me in dealing with my anxiety, and with so much of that pulled out from under us this past year, I can definitely relate. Not knowing the whens/hows/whats about pretty much everything made being at loose ends pretty stressful to say the least! Good news about the job at the lab, too! I’m glad your grandparents are vaccinated now, it’s definitely some relief knowing your loved ones have more defenses against this Covid jerk.

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    59. Adrianacandle,

      Adriana, as always, you always give us amazing theories that completely make sense, nice catch! However, I have doubts because….

      We pretty much know that the scene that’s taking place is Laena Velaryons funeral, but that happened in 120 ac and yet, Harrold Westerling died 8 years before that as you stated, Do you think they’ll change the timeline?

      So maybe, it could be that character and they change the timeline for some reason, but I have another theory, Borros Baratheon, and that would make sense because….

      We already know and love House Baratheon so it will be nice to have familiar house names in the show, and, most importantly, he is a cousin of Rhaenys Targaryen, whose mother was Jocelyn Baratheon, so it would make sense that he went to pay his respects

      And not only that but it would give much more layers to the character and as an Outander ocassional viewer I can tell the actor clearly has the chops for it

      [/spoiler] As I’m sure you know, the Baratheons (Borros’ father) supported Rhaenys’ claim to the throne and it was assumed Borros would support Rhaenyra, however, Aemond One Eye convinced him to turn cloaks and support the greens instead and telling Lucerys Velaryon to “Go home, pup, and tell the bitch your mother that the Lord of Storm’s End is not a dog that she can whistle up at need to set against her foes”, and of course, that night Lucerys was brutally murdered by Aemond and Vaghar, which officaly ended the diplomatic side of the conflict and started the actual brutal war that masacred both Westeros and the Targaryens in the process [/spoiler]

      Also, Im glad you are feeling well!!

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    60. Adrianacandle,

      (Off topic comment continues)

      You’re welcome¨! And thank you! I forgot to mention above that last year summer was some temporary release for me… I can’t describe how pleased I was when I was summoned back to pharmaceutical company in mid-May last year where I worked as a student since January after being stuck at home for 9 weeks without a word from my superiors if I still even have a job… people were wonderful there and with epidemics being in semi-remission over summer which reflected on measures too (only some minimal ones being in place), that place literally became my escape from epidemics… at least till mid-September (hence the panic attack). That work literally saved me mentally-wise then even though I still wasn’t really “okay” because I couldn’t visit my girlfriend over summer (now the border regime is firmly defined so it’s easier). At the end of September, my student status expired so I was stuck at home again and had to put my full focus on finishing my master’s degree thesis… thankfully, I wrapped up the experimental work over summer for it because in fall, it would be impossible again thanks to our government’s complete lack of plan for anti-epidemics measures, resulting in them going from 0 to a 100 in less than a week and shutting things that never needed to be shut down. AGainst all odds, I still managed to graduate on master’s level in late January, about a month before the deadline and that was a HUGE relief for me because I was extremely worried about that since the whole thing began.

      The worst thing was that when it comes to my family, nobody took seriously that I’m dealing with increased anxiety. “You’ll get used to it.” was the usual response but I see now that I’m simply not okay mentally-wise. I lash out way more easily and I can’t get rid of some passive stress feeling and I straight have PTSD to certain months last year…

      But to focus on something more positive, despite not being able to see each other for almost a year, me and my girlfriend got even closer in this past year. She was the only one who truly understood me and emotionally supported me and I supported her back because she was dealing with anxiety herself… it really brought us even closer and solidified our relationship even more. I really believe epidemics put our long-distance-relationship to a big test and we passed it with full score.

      (End of off-topic comment)

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    61. OberonYronwood,

      Ah, you’re right!

      Especially with the timeline catch. I don’t expect they will change the timeline because then that’d mess up the sequence of events and motivations for the various attacks. Well, I hope they don’t fuss with the timeline 🙂 I think the various battles work well as they’re laid out in Fire & Blood and the mini-novels.

      Borros Baratheon is a great suggestion!

      And as you explained, Borros plays a significant part too — Luke’s death is caused because both Aegon and Rhaenyra try to win Borros over, each sending an envoy via Aegon’s brother Aemon and Rhaenyra’s son Luke. Rhaenyra thought Luke would be relatively safe because the flight was shorter and she thought she was sending her son to an ally but Borros angrily rebuffs Rhaenyra’s entreaty because Luke is not free to be betrothed to one of his daughters. Aemond demands Luke’s life, Luke’s like, “Uh, see you later, guys, Mum told me not to fight,” beats it out of there. Borros is like, “No fighting under my roof! But you can take it outside…” and yeah 🙁 Aemond is terrible but Luke seemed like a sweetie. Luke’s death results in his brothers, especially Joff, swearing revenge against Aemond and Borros both.

      And thank-you!! 🙂

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    62. Erik, formerly Lord Parramandas,

      I’m glad your job helped you so much during this pandemic. But I get what you mean that even though something helps, it doesn’t make you really okay. I also relate to the master’s stress 🙂

      The worst thing was that when it comes to my family, nobody took seriously that I’m dealing with increased anxiety. “You’ll get used to it.” was the usual response but I see now that I’m simply not okay mentally-wise. I lash out way more easily and I can’t get rid of some passive stress feeling and I straight have PTSD to certain months last year…

      I relate to this so much as well and face this myself with well-meaning family and friends. Sadly, unless people experience this kind of anxiety, they really don’t get it and say things like this — things that don’t help but instead, feels very dismissive. I have a friend who’s never had anxiety say of depression, “This too will pass.” Well… no… it doesn’t. Ever. It’s always there. Or people who say, “But you were fine on Friday!” No. I can seem fine but it’s always always there. That doesn’t change, please hear me. Sigh :/

      I’m also glad you and your girlfriend were able to become closer due to this. Sometimes, it can tear people apart (for instance, me and my sister can’t deal with each others’ OCD and need to give the other a wide berth) but fortunately, it can bring some together too 🙂

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    63. OberonYronwood,

      It also could be that they’re filming out of order and may cover some of the earlier stuff in a few episodes at the beginning of season 1. Either way, Borros is a great suggestion and McTavish would be a great fit, I think, if they reach 129 AC in season 1 and they might — depending on how they structure things. Or feature some scenes with Viserys and Borros or something earlier on.

      I do doubt he’ll be playing Harrold Westerling — mostly because we know next to nothing about that character and he doesn’t seem to serve a significant role I recall?

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    64. Now one on-topic comment because I’ve realized that despite coming to this post every day to read comments, I haven’t shared my thoughts yet. Well, I’m very excited for this casting. I loved Graham McTavish as Dwalin in Hobbit trilogy, I also know him from Rambo 4, the voice of Dante in “Dante’s INferno” animated movie and he also had a cameo in LOST (S04E05 – The Constant). As for who he would play, I imagine quite imposing character. Borros Baratheon would be a great fit.

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    65. Pigeon,

      I do miss Rory as well! I’d watch anything if there’s Rory around! I’m going to watch Irregulars just for him. Not that I’m implying it’s a bad show, point is I had no idea whatsoever about it, but Rory’s presence convinced me it’s a must 🙂

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    66. Mr Derp:
      Ya know, people in the WWII generation had to sacrifice a lot for the war effort.The federal government imposed rations on such things as butter, sugar, coffee, canned fruits and vegetables, meat and canned milk, using a point system imposed on all grocery stores.

      People today can barely even bring themselves to wear a damn mask to avoid killing someone else.It’s incredible how selfish some people have become.

      right? i went through some sort of resignation process. when masks were declared mandatory here about a year ago, i used to confront every person not wearing one on the bus or in the store. i got dumb answers like “jesus told me i’m healthy”, superdumb answers like “are you some sort of police?” (to which i used to reply “protecting others voluntarily seems to be too much asked from you, assburger? need police surveillance for not being a dick?”).

      and of course i got cry-baby answers like “i can’t breathe with this.”

      holy shit, i mean the two situations that kept people from breathing then were a) you just got turned on your belly in the hospital and got a tube shoved down your throat, and b) you’re a person of color and get in contact with some asshole in a cop uniform in the usa.

      but yeah, these sissies can’t breathe so they risk the breath of others around them…

      i used to confront these idiots a lot of times. and this place here is not known for people who speak out straight, so i was mostly the only one who opened his mouth.

      after a while and lots of demonstrations of denialists, i got tired. you can’t hammer reasonability into the skulls of selfish idiots who believe rich people feed on babies. when i realized that i had no more power to ask my fellow human beings for solidarity: that moment broke me harder than the first weeks of the pandemic with the seemingly neverending spiral of horror and suffering.

      you nailed it: it’s incredible what a bunch of selfish dicks is populating the planet.

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    67. Erik, formerly Lord Parramandas,

      I am sorry for all the things which were so hard to bear, I imagine. I’m glad your new job helps you feel better. A therapist would be very helpful, I hope you can find the right one for you. Speaking from my experience, it takes several unsuitable ones til you find the one who can really relate to your personality and find the best tools to help. But when you find that therapist, they can improve your life a lot.
      I am glad your family is protected and that you could see your girlfriend again. You guys must have the real thing, congratulations! Hopefully the time will come soon for you two to see each other as much as you want.

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    68. Pigeon:
      Erik, formerly Lord Parramandas,

      Routine and structure is really important for me in dealing with my anxiety, and with so much of that pulled out from under us this past year, I can definitely relate. Not knowing the whens/hows/whats about pretty much everything made being at loose ends pretty stressful to say the least! Good news about the job at the lab, too!I’m glad your grandparents are vaccinated now, it’s definitely some relief knowing your loved ones have more defenses against this Covid jerk.

      (Off topic again)

      This… I so agree. Especially that part about not knowing how long… that was mentally killing me during lockdowns and even when they were over, I simply couldn’t relax because I was outright dreading another one and my by far most troubling thought was that I couldn’t go visit my girlfriend… the thought that I was UNABLE to go visit her actually. No matter how much of a gap there was between our meetings, knowing that I could board the bus/get in my car any day and travel to her was always the comforting thought. But when this sh*t started, there was no guarantee anymore, even less with this government in charge here. And yes, routines… routines were saving me. Any moments that resembled my pre-COVID life with as little epidemics trace as possible. I’ve been trying to adjust but I’ve been struggling a lot at the same time and the longer this last, the more I realize I’m not adjusting, just doing the “grin and bear” thing which I obviously can’t do forever. Arrival of vaccine actually gave me some hope that things can normalize in future and that the lockdown-spinning record can finally stop one day.

      (End of off-topic)

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    69. Fireblood87,

      Miguel’s a good director, but then again GoT was loaded with good directors. I don’t get why the fanbase put him on such a pedestal above the others. I’m fine with him directing some episodes, but making him a showrunner and giving him creative control? That seems a bit much. I think he has a big movie coming out with Tom Hanks and some other famous actors, so we’ll see how he does with that when he has full creative control.

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    70. Ginaflynn,

      I’m sorry that wanting to protect my family and friends makes me a sheep. I’m sorry that not wanting to spread a disease to others who haven’t asked for it makes me a sheep. And finally, I’m sorry that as a sheep, I want to also be alright myself and for looking forward to getting back to some normalcy.

      There is nothing wrong with being hesitant about the vaccines and for having questions. Whenever some new medication, vaccines or what have you are introduced, there should always be discussions and information available. Nothing wrong with debating the COVID-19 vaccines. I’ll even go as far to say that I definitely don’t think people should be forced to. And personally I don’t look down at those who chose not to.

      Yet this pandemic is that kind of generational event that goes beyond just ourselves as individuals, it affects everyone else around us. But willfully spreading misinformation, actively trying to dissuade and even stop people from having a chance to get these vaccines is something else. It is I think irresponsible and dangerous…and quite selfish as well.

      I’ll get my second dose in a few weeks and I’ll take it from there. I hope looking back on this we can learn lessons, from what we did right and what we did wrong. But until the dust settles and we have a better idea what the hell we went through, I’ll be a vaccinated sheep…

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    71. Adrianacandle:
      Adrianacandle,

      A terrible typo of mine that needs correcting XD;;

      *The *more the chance the vaccine has to incubate, spread, and develop into even more dangerous variants, the more at risk everyone is.

      Not ‘less’!!

      Even worse now – surely you meant

      “the more chance the VIRUS has to incubate, spread, and develop into even more dangerous variants, the more at risk everyone is.”

      Anyway add me to the list of people fully vaccinated now, I had the Oxford/Astra Zeneca jab about one mile from where it’s being made in Oxford. Very grateful and proud of our scientists.

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    72. death by chickenfire,

      There was a ‘freedom’ march in London on Saturday (15th May 2021) – I call it a freedom to spread Covid march (no, I didn’t come up with that concept but I thought the expression was apt and thought I’d recycle it). There was even someone on the march shouting about the powers that be running child trafficking rings – not just common or garden ones but ‘satanic’ ones*. There were always a few cuckoo for cocoa puffs conspiracists but it seems to have worsened during the Covid quarantines – in the UK at least. I just hope things improve with restrictions easing.

      Unless it leaks I’ll wait to see who Graham McTavish is playing. As I haven’t read the Targaryen history books so can’t speculate as to what his role might be) I’ll give HoD a watch when it starts airing – it’s pretty easy to stop watching something if it doesn’t turn out to be to my taste.

      * For the avoidance of doubt I’m not denying that child trafficking goes on and it’s something absolutely horrible. It’s the people who push the ‘out there’ theories that annoy me.

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    73. LatrineDiggerBrian:
      Fireblood87,

      Miguel’s a good director, but then again GoT was loaded with good directors. I don’t get why the fanbase put him on such a pedestal above the others. I’m fine with him directing some episodes, but making him a showrunner and giving him creative control?That seems a bit much. I think he has a big movie coming out with Tom Hanks and some other famous actors, so we’ll see how he does with that when he has full creative control.

      Not having ever put him “on a pedestal,” I can’t speak to that point. Here is his IMDB profile, with his directing and producing credits: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0764601/

      It seems pretty solid to me.

      And he didn’t just direct any six episodes of Game of Thrones, impressive though that definitely is. He directed these six episodes:

      The Bells
      The Long Night
      The Winds of Winter
      Battle of the Bastards
      Hardhome
      The Gift

      Those episodes contain everything from the biggest action sequences to the smallest “high-thread count” scenes. He was also credited as executive producer on The Bells, The Long Night, and four other episodes:

      The Iron Throne
      The Last of the Starks
      A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms
      Winterfell

      Again, those episodes contain everything from the biggest action sequences, to the smallest intimate scenes. (For my money, Brianne’s knighting by Jaime, and the scene that surrounds it, was the best dialog scene of the entire series. I never wanted to leave!)

      So, I think House of the Dragon is in capable hands. 🙂

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    74. LatrineDiggerBrian,

      4 out of my top 5 GoT episodes (“The Long Night”, “Battle of the Bastards”, “The Winds of Winter” and “The Bells”) were directed by Miguel Sapochnik, with another one (“Hardhome) being my no.9 episode and the remaining one (“The Gift”) my no.29 episode out of 73. If I went to explain why I love these episodes, it would take me several multi-page essays but what I do know is that several of these episodes are not just my golden GoT episodes, but serious candidates for my favorite TV episodes of all time (outside GoT episodes, I consider only two LOST episodes among these candidates of mine). And I somehow feel Miguel Sapochnik’s name is not just a coincidence there in terms of my immense enjoyment of these episodes.

      Tensor the Mage, Enjoying All The New Material,

      This!

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    75. Thank you kindly, Erik, and I’d like to add:

      The Bells contains the most important “dialog scene” of the entire series, although it has no words. It’s Dany’s internal debate, atop Drogon and the city wall of King’s Landing, as she silently decides what to do. At that moment, Team Dany has won it all: the Iron Fleet burns at anchor, the Scorpions are rubble, the Lannister Army has thrown down their weapons. (Unlike every real Dark Age conflict in European history, the murder and mayhem have been tightly confined to military forces: soldiers and naval sailors. No civilians have been harmed.) Bells ring for surrender and maybe — just maybe — victory?

      She sits and thinks about it for a looooooooooong moment, decides victory alone isn’t enough, both for her and for her coming rule, and then orders Drogon to lay waste to King’s Landing, slaughtering the entire civilian population in an afternoon of sadistically cruel violence. Emilia Clarke just nails her brief performance, directed by Miguel Sapochnik. It was just the two of them in that scene, actor and director. After watching her internal debate play out on her face, nothing in the rest of the episode surprised me in the least. That is how great a job he did in directing her.

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    76. Tensor the Mage, Enjoying All The New Material,

      Completely agree! I was recently searching for something in “The Bells” and I ended up rewatching this part when the city surrenders and Daenerys eventually goes “full dragon” on the city. The handling of this transition is absolutely incredible in my eyes and I think Sapochnik definitely has a big credit there. Instead of a triumphant feeling after Dany beats the Golden Company, scorpions and Greyjoy fleet, the soundtrack and atmosphere becomes tense, we find ourselves in quite prolonged quiet scene as everyone is waiting for the bells to ring and when they finally ring, the camera switches to Dany’s face and we audience realize the true horror is about to get unleashed. And to bring the episode into really dark territory, we then fully switch to people’s POV and don’t actually see Dany anymore except for few glimpses. It’s straight awesome directing for me.

      Interesting thing for me is… imagine that the whole scene would be filmed differently. Instead of prolonged scenes of the massacre, we would just see the shot of Dany’s angry face, then she would fly on Drogon and Drogon would eventually breathe fire “into the camera” and the screen would go black… in next scene, we see scorched ruins of King’s Landing. I’m sure if the scene was handled that way, it would be waaaay easier to stomach for the audience and I imagine it would be easier to “justify” Dany’s act.

      (found this fan edit on Youtube with “Mhysa” implemented into the Bells XD https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UAB3vIb0Lfc )

      “The Rains of Castamere” was often considered the most brutal GoT episode and among the TV shows I watched, I long considered it one of the darkest TV episodes I watched (the other one being S7 premiere of The Walking Dead). But now I think “THe Bells” is the darkest GoT episode. The whole episode is very gloomy, very tense, very unsettling… it doesn’t give us any relief feeling, the characters that we love are at odds with each other and there’s this feeling of impending doom that indeed happens and when it does, it’s absolutely horrifying – but that’s actually very much a reason why I love it so much. And liking it or not liking it storywise (I love it btw), I believe it’s also the most visually refined GoT episode, with some of the best acting and directing in the entire series. Not to mention its length of almost 80 minutes which is almost a half an hour more than usual GoT episode. I love to say this is the biggest GoT could get in terms of scale.

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    77. Tensor the Mage, Enjoying All The New Material:

      She sits and thinks about it for a looooooooooong moment, decides victory alone isn’t enough, both for her and for her coming rule, and then orders Drogon to lay waste to King’s Landing, slaughtering the entire civilian population in an afternoon of sadistically cruel violence. Emilia Clarke just nails her brief performance, directed by Miguel Sapochnik. It was just the two of them in that scene, actor and director. After watching her internal debate play out on her face, nothing in the rest of the episode surprised me in the least. That is how great a job he did in directing her.

      I’m not sure about the “sadistically cruel”, but I’d say Emilia Clarke acted the hell out of that scene. Dany’s (mad) motivation was forshadowed in previous seasons and especially S8 episodes, in that very episode itself.

      Go watch it, Dany said, when they were planning the attack, something like, if the slaves … oops, smallfolk, citizens of King’s landing didn’t rise for her (like the slaves in Yunkai and Mereen), they were against her. Enemies.

      They didn’t rise for her. They were poor but free people, not looking for this slave liberator – it’s very insulting, they weren’t slaves, why should they be “liberated” by some foreign dragon queen? Queen Cersei isn’t much good but at least she’s not taking us for slaves. We’re free and we’ll stick with the devil we know, Queen Cersei, however horrible she is.

      To drive the point home, afterwards, Dany reiterated her policy in her “Nuremberg” speech to the faithful (Unsullied and Dothraki… very few Westerosi there). The ultimate social justice warrior had become an authoritarian tyrant.

      It didn’t come out of nowhere, small hints were there all along the way. Like so many others, I started out cheering for Dany, the underdog. How she asserted herself from being oppressed by her brother, Khal Drogo… I cheered when she burned Astapor and took the Unsullied… But afterwards it gave me pause. Am I really celebrating this, burning of people, a massacre?

      Dany is still one of my absolute favourite characters in GOT. She’s a study of how a well-meaning person, an underdog in the beginning, given overwhelming power uses that power. How a person in a position of power starts to believe their own hype. Starts to believe they hold the one truth, and all who disagree are enemies. That’s authoritarianism.

      It seems there are a lot of “Dany fans” who cannot accept the end of her story arc. There might be many who saw her as the ultimate social justice warrior, and cannot accept that authoritarian pursuit of social justice is just as bad as… dare I say it… nah.

      Let’s just say, any authoritarian regime that prescribes certain views and opinions and proscribes others, stifling plurality of opinions, debate and free speech are anathema to democracy.

      I’m sure if GRRM ever gets around to finishing his ASoIaF book series, Dany’s and everybody else’s end will be slightly different from the show. As in, how they got there. The end point will be the same.

      A lot of the fandom seem to be treating GOT and now the new spin-off series like a sporting contest. “Team so-and-so”.

      Hmph. This is film/book. It’s art. It’s not about teams. It’s bigger, it’s about the human condition. Bad people do good things, good people do bad things. Human heart in conflict, as GRRM is wont to say.

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    78. talvikorppi: I cheered when she burned Astapor and took the Unsullied… But afterwards it gave me pause. Am I really celebrating this, burning of people, a massacre?

      To be fair, the show whitewashed that scene to the point where she only killed slavers. There were no innocents killed at all. There really wasn’t any reason to feel conflicted there.

      GoT was great at making things very “grey”, not black and white, but the burning of Astapor on the show was portrayed as very black and white, good guys vs. bad guys…

      There were a lot of other scenes that gave me pause though. Burning the one slaver at random, the killing of the Tarly’s, Sansa smiling while Ramsey was eaten alive, Arya getting pleasure out of repeatedly torturing Trant, etc…

      Almost everyone in GoT did something completely f*cked up, but none of them had the “Targaryen madness” label that Dany was beholden to

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    79. talvikorppi,

      Good points. I agree!

      Regarding Astapor, I was reading the third novel during S1 air and reading about the Sack of Astapor was the moment for me when I first had seriously worrying thoughts about Dany…. I actually did absolutely no cheering at all and found it overly brutal. The TV show toned it down a bit (removed the part from the novels when Dany pretty much orders a genocide of entire non-slave population aged over 12) but still, I must have been one of the very few people to not cheer at all there. And seeing majority of audience cheering for her, it actually started to alienate me further from the character and I firmly realized I don’t want her to win Iron Throne and I don’t want her to be the character I should “root” for… I actually started wondering if I’m doing something wrong because no matter how I tried, I couldn’t really genuinely warm up to her. Now with the story, I realize why I felt the way I did and I’m fully at peace regarding my feelings about Dany through entire story.

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    80. Erik, formerly Lord Parramandas,

      And the final thought, when I look at the story now, I think Dany sailing to Westeros is the beginning of her downfall. While there were several moments I couldn’t approve during this, liberating Slaver’s Bay was a good thing and I believe those cities are properly functioning now. “Wars are ugly but some are necessary” – something written in an article I read about Dany’s downfall. Slaver’s Bay was necessary, but bringing war to Westeros was not… the war for HER to conquer the Throne was not. Well, ironically, her actions in Westeros indirectly did lead to abolishment of hereditary monarchy which in my eyes indeed is a chance for a better future… something that probably “should” have happened after Robert’s Rebellion but sadly, it didn’t and the Kingdoms bled again 17 years later.

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    81. talvikorppi: A lot of the fandom seem to be treating GOT and now the new spin-off series like a sporting contest. “Team so-and-so”.

      With HotD, I think this comes from the Greens vs. Blacks vibe, which the story itself asserts. Both sides in this conflict are awful and do atrocious things but even knowing that, I find myself going more in one direction over the other. And I think, perhaps sometimes depending on what individual readers/viewers relate to, I’ve observed there is a tendency to pick sides in just about every fandom I’ve been a part of and seen.

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    82. Mr Derp,

      Well one man’s meat is another man’s poison as the old saying goes – should it be ‘person’s meat’ and ‘person’s poison’ these days? It was the seance scene in ‘Penny Dreadful’ which decided me that PD wasn’t the sort of show I wanted to watch but many people considered it a good, if not an outstanding scene. I didn’t mind Jaime knighting Brienne – it made for a tiny glimmer of hope in the build up to the White Walkers (Others in the books) arriving.

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    83. Adrianacandle: With HotD, I think this comes from the Greens vs. Blacks vibe, which the story itself asserts. Both sides in this conflict are awful and do atrocious things but even knowing that, I find myself going more in one direction over the other.And I think, perhaps sometimes depending on what individual readers/viewers relate to, I’ve observed there is a tendency to pick sides in just about every fandom I’ve been a part of and seen.

      Yes, I notice “picking sides” myself in various TV shows, probably the most in LOST among those that I watched and yes, GoT is definitely one of them too when it comes to fandom. I’m trying to think if I rooted specifically for some house in GoT… maybe the Starks, but mainly for them to reclaim the North and live in peace there, not so much for exacting revenge on antagonists. And I was kind of “Team No-Iron-Throne”… I wished that the kingdoms become independent again and not submitted under some ultimate monarch, but in a way that they function in peace. The ending kind of gave me hope for that by abolishing hereditary monarchy and thus removing the “divine right to rule” element. But more than often, my “team (…)” really depends on character actions and I end up switching from one to another.

      And some off-topic stuff considering the upper talk: I got the invite for CoVID vaccination today… happening next Thursday.

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    84. Tensor the Mage, Enjoying All The New Material,

      That’s great, but look at Alex Graves work on the series and no one ever mentions him. He directed the trial by combat between Oberyn and The Mountain, Dany’s scene where she takes Astapor, The Purple Wedding, the fight between Sandor and Beric in the cave (one of the more underrated fight scenes in the series) and many more huge scenes. Sapochnik came in and directed a bunch of big mindless battle scenes, usually involving zombies. He did a good job, but there were so many other good directors on GoT. It seems bizarre that he’s pretty much the only director that ever gets mentioned.

      Erik, formerly Lord Parramandas,

      And I hated most of these episodes because they were S6 or greater. Plus Hardhome wasn’t that big of a deal to me, it was just a big mindless zombie battle. I liked the smaller action scenes that usually involved more character moments and had more nuance. I got tired of huge battle scenes between armies a long time ago because there’s only so much nuance those scenes can have. That said, fair enough, Sapochnik does a good job with the visuals, but past a certain point it feels like the GoT fan base really isn’t thinking and is just repeating what everyone else is saying. It’s ridiculous how no other directors get mentioned.

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    85. LatrineDiggerBrian,

      I very well remember you hated them because I very well remember how your comments during S6 were just a bunch of rants how you hated this and that and if my memory serves me right, other members were getting fed up on that stuff. But fine, you hated them and that’s your thing. But me and likely many more others loved them and I don’t get why the hell you need to be hostile towards us who loved them, pretty much lecturing us that we only love him because we love “mindless actions”. Well, newsflash, I see these episodes as waaaaaaay more than just mindless action and for Battle of the Bastards, THe Winds of Winter and The Long NIght, I have three huge reviews written where I explain every single bit why I loved them so much. You don’t like Sapochnik? Fine. But apparently the fact that many people love his episodes is a threat to you.

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    86. Erik, formerly Lord Parramandas,

      No, it’s not a threat to me. I even acknowledged he’s a good director. The obsession over him is just a bit much. To the point where they decided to make him a showrunner which is silly (and it’s one reason why I think the show will be subpar, because they didn’t find one dynamic creative with a singular vision and instead they brought on a couple of guys who could get it to screen as quickly as possible). And I wasn’t even being hostile, just stating my opinion.

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    87. I enjoyed the work of pretty much all the directors who ever worked on the show. Amongst them Tim Van Patten for starting it all, but also Michelle McLaren, Jeremy Podeswa (he has a special connection to Stephen Dillane) and Neil Marshall (whom I briefly met when he introduced a special HBO cinematic screening of Episodes 9 (“The Watchers On The Wall” which Marshall directed) and 10 (“The Children” directed by Alex Graves) of Season Four.

      In terms of showrunners and executive producers… maybe they should bring back Bryan Cogman. I’m not sure if he is still engaged over at Amazon Prime on that LOTR prequel series. Otherwise it couldn’t hurt to have him back on board. They may want to consider Michelle McLaren as well.

      Another director whose work I’ve enjoyed over the past few years that they could bring on board is Deborah Chow. She is currently busy with “Star Wars” (she is directing all the episodes of the “Obi-Wan Kenobi” miniseries for Disney Plus)

      There’s quite a bit of known but also possibly untapped talent outhere. If you know where to look…and for whom…

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    88. loco73,

      Tim Van Patten gets absolutely no love from anyone. Pretty much all the directors from the early seasons are forgotten.

      Bryan Cogman was hired to write a spin off series and they rejected his pilot. He’s really a writer, so they wouldn’t bring him back as a producer on a show that he’s not showrunning.

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    89. LatrineDiggerBrian:
      Erik, formerly Lord Parramandas,

      No, it’s not a threat to me. I even acknowledged he’s a good director. The obsession over him is just a bit much. To the point where they decided to make him a showrunner which is silly (and it’s one reason why I think the show will be subpar, because they didn’t find one dynamic creative with a singular vision and instead they brought on a couple of guys who could get it to screen as quickly as possible). And I wasn’t even being hostile, just stating my opinion.

      Regardless of the company you work for, you’re going to put the best guys on your most important cases/episodes/surgeries/trials, etc.

      The fact that Sapochnik was selected to direct the most pivotal episodes in the entirety of GoT shows, at least to me, that Sapochnik won over the trust of D&D and was very highly regarded. I think that’s why Sapochnik gets talked about so much. Plus the fact that he’s still involved with HOTD.

      You may not personally enjoy the larger set pieces and battles, which many others feel similarly, but there’s no denying he did a very good job with what he was asked to do.

      I think it’s also important to note that, even though Sap directed most of the big battle episodes, there was still a ton of “high thread count” scenes within those episodes. Hell, the entire first half of “Hardhome” had nothing to do with battles at all. The scene where Sansa finds out that her brothers are still alive is one of my favorite scenes in the show.

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    90. loco73,

      loco73:
      I enjoyed the work of pretty much all the directors who ever worked on the show. Amongst them Tim Van Patten for starting it all, but also Michelle McLaren, Jeremy Podeswa (he has a special connection to Stephen Dillane) and Neil Marshall (whom I briefly met when he introduced a special HBO cinematic screening of Episodes 9 (“The Watchers On The Wall” which Marshall directed) and 10 (“The Children” directed by Alex Graves) of Season Four.

      I definitely agree GoT had a lineup of amazing directors. I don’t think I can think of anyone that I would feel did a poor job. I’ll admit I started paying attention to the directors more in later seasons when the show became more cinematic. Visual- and cinematic-wise and even soundtrack-wise for me, I find S1 a bit “plain” when I rewatch it in comparison with other seasons but I know it has a lot to do with low budget and as it’s the first season, I really don’t mind it as I know the show will get bigger (it would bother me more if the TV series started in cinematic way and then later seasons would be toned down). I would be lying if I said the cinematic scale of the episode plays no part in my enjoyment so I love how the following seasons become “bigger” and by knowing characters for longer time, the interactions between them become more and more impactful for me. But all in all, I think the directors did a great job in general.

      Among directors we have:
      Tim Van Patten (1.1 – Winter is Coming, 1.2 – The Kingsroad)
      Brian Kirk (1.3 – Lord Snow, 1.4 – Cripples, Bastards and Broken Things, 1.5 – The Wolf and the Lion)
      Daniel Minahan (1.6 – A Golden Crown, 1.7 – You Win or You Die, 1.8 – The Pointy End, 3.1 – Valar Dohaeris, 3.2 – Dark Wings, Dark Words)
      Alan Taylor (1.9 – Baelor, 1.10 – Fire and Blood, 2.1 – The North Remembers, 2.2 – The Night Lands, 2.8 – The Prince of Winterfell, 2.10 – Valar Morghulis, 7.6 – Beyond the Wall)
      Alik Sakharov (2.3 – What Is Dead May Never Die, 3.6 – The Climb, 4.6 – The Laws of Gods and Men, 4.7 – Mockingbird)
      David Petrarca (2.4 – Garden of Bones, 2.5 – The Ghost of Harrenhal)
      David Nutter (2.6 – The Old Gods and the New, 2.7 – A Man Without Honor, 3.9 – The Rains of Castamere, 3.10 – Mhysa, 5.9 – The Dance of Dragons, 5.10 – Mother’s Mercy, 8.1 – Winterfell, 8.2 – THe Knight of the Seven Kingdoms, 8.4 – The Last of the Starks)
      Neil Marshall (2.9 – Blackwater, 4.9 – The Watchers on the Wall)
      David Benioff & D. B. Weiss (3.3 – Walk of Punishment, 4.1 – Two Swords, 8.6 – The Iron Throne)
      Alex Graves (3.4 – And Now His Watch Is Ended, 3.5 – Kissed by Fire, 4.2 – The Lion and the Rose, 4.3 – Breaker of Chains, 4.8 – The Mountain and the Viper, 4.10 – The Children)
      Michelle MacLaren (3.7 – The Bear and the Maiden Fair, 3.8 – Second Sons, 4.4 – Oathkeeper, 4.5 – First of His Name)
      Michael Slovis (5.1 – The Wars to Come, 5.2 – The House of Black and White)
      Mark Mylod (5.3 – High Sparrow, 5.4 – Sons of the Harpy, 6.7 – THe Broken Man, 6.8 – No One, 7.2 – Stormborn, 7.3 – Queen’s Justice)
      Jeremy Podeswa (5.5 – Kill the Boy, 5.6 – Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken, 6.1 – The Red Woman, 6.2 – Home, 7.1 – Dragonstone, 7.7 – The Dragon and the Wolf)
      Miguel Sapochnik (5.7 – THe Gift, 5.8 – Hardhome, 6.9 – Battle of the Bastards, 6.10 – THe Winds of Winter, 8.3 – The Long Night, 8.5 – The Bells)
      Daniel Sackheim (6.3 – Oathbreaker, 6.4 – Book of a Stranger)
      Jack Bender (6.5 – The Door, 6.6 – Blood of my Blood)
      Matt Shakman (7.4 – The Spoils of War, 7.5 – Eastwatch)

      If I point out some of those that were most memorable to me… as I already said above, I absolutely love Sapochnik’s episodes for multiple reasons. They’re some of the biggest TV episodes out there and they even contain many of my favorite interaction scenes. “The Winds of Winter” is a prime example of a “whole package” episode in my case as this episode gives me sooo many special feelings, from Cersei’s montage at the beginning, to Dany making Tyrion her Hand to Jon being crowned. Sansa/Theon talk in Hardhome being another one of my beloved interaction scenes, same with Aemon’s death scene in The Gift and High Sparrow arresting Cersei. And of course, there are “Battle of the Bastards” and “The Long Night” and “The Bells” which give me straight thrill when watching.

      Among others, I think Jeremy Podeswa is particularly great in directing quiet atmospheric scenes. From Valyria in Kill the Boy, to the wedding in the godswood, to the moments before Jon’s ressurection, to the cabin in the snow where the Brotherhood takes shelter… I feel there’s his signature written all over those episodes. I think he’s really great when it comes to including such scenes. Then there’s Neil Marshall, the original battle director and his two episodes have always been among my favorites. David Nutter directed all sorts of episodes… I think he’s great in directing those more “traditional” TV episodes that don’t aim to push to epic proportions in terms of cinematography. Alex Graves is another one who directed many of my high rated episodes… The Children being my favorite gem among his episodes, another one of those “whole package” ones for me and one of my top 10s, and there’s also And Now His Watch is Ended and THe Mountain and the Viper… both in my top 20 episodes.

      I would also point out Jack Bender, who directed majority of my favorite LOST episodes and he directed “The Door” here which I absolutely love and is also in my top 10 episodes. And last but not least, I think Benioff and Weiss were great directors too. “Two Swords” is my favorite season premiere episode of GoT… a “whole package” premiere episode, breaking my traditional GoT season ranking where premiere episodes were usually among my less favorite… and there’s “The Iron Throne” which I loved and a big reason why I really enjoyed watching that episode were all those atmospheric scenes that didn’t need dialogue, but said so much on their own, such as Tyrion walking through the ruins of King’s Landing and eventually discovering Jaime’s and Cersei’s corpses, Jon confronting Dany in the Throne room and eventually killing her and the entire last sequence which pulled at my heartstrings and left me in (positive) tears at the end of the episode. These

      These would be my summarized thoughts about GoT directors. As I said above, I think the lineup was really great and we encountered all sorts of episodes through GoT, from peaceful atmospheric ones to most cinematic ones.

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    91. Mr Derp,

      I’m not denying that he’s a good director. Even though I didn’t connect on a story level with the material he had to direct, I can see that he did a good job. I just don’t really see him hands and above any of the other top-notch GoT directors like Nutter, Graves, Taylor etc. yet the amount of praise he gets is ridiculous. Add to this he’s rubbed me the wrong way with some of his comments (he seems like an arrogant ass), and I did not like his musical influence on that one episode. Then gets made a co-showrunner?!

      TV directors are TV directors and not feature directors for a reason, they’re not good with story and character, they’re good at bringing to life the already polished script of the showrunner which has the nuts and bolts ironed out. It’s pretty rare for a TV director to be made co-show runner. So I don’t get what he’s done to earn this distinction, maybe Condal is handling all the writing while Sapochnik is handling all the directing, who knows? But, as I said in another comment, Sapochnik just wrapped a feature he directed starring Tom Hanks (maybe more evidence he’ll only be directing since he was shooting it during the GoT writers room), this should be a good indicator of if he has any storytelling chops himself because the director is in full creative control of everything in features (including the script).

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    92. Mr Derp:

      I think it’s also important to note that, even though Sap directed most of the big battle episodes, there was still a ton of “high thread count” scenes within those episodes. Hell, the entire first half of “Hardhome” had nothing to do with battles at all. The scene where Sansa finds out that her brothers are still alive is one of my favorite scenes in the show.

      Well, at least something we can agree on.

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    93. Erik, formerly Lord Parramandas,

      In terms of the “special connection” between Jeremy Podeswa and Stephen Dillane, that comes in the form of a movie they both worked on called “Fugitive Pieces”, a favourite of mine, based on the same-titled (and quite powerful) novel. I’ve attached the trailer below.

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    94. LatrineDiggerBrian: I did not like his musical influence on that one episode.

      I know you hated the “Light of the Seven” in “The Winds of Winter”. That’s your personal choice and that’s fine, but please keep in mind that 99% of everyone else thought it was “brilliant” as Jack Bauer would put it.

      You’ve previously made a number of comments stating that you love to have expectations subverted. Well, using a piano in GoT would certainly qualify, no? Most people thought incorporating a piano was a terrific idea too. I guess it just didn’t work for you? Was it because piano supposedly wasn’t around during this time period in Got? Keep in mind this is a fantasy story with dragons, white walkers, etc., so it’s not like GoT was beholden to stick to the “Dark Ages”. It was a creative decision that 99% of fans liked.

      They had to use a new piece of music in that scene. They couldn’t use the “Rains of Castamere” because that would give everything away. Everyone would know what Cersei was up to, so they came up with something entirely new.

      LatrineDiggerBrian: I just don’t really see him hands and above any of the other top-notch GoT directors like Nutter, Graves, Taylor etc.

      It might have to do with availability and/or their desire to continue working on another Game of Thrones project. I honestly don’t know, but Nutter is directing HBO’s “The Time Traveler’s Wife”, so that’s keeping him busy. Not sure about Graves.

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    95. Erik, formerly Lord Parramandas: Well, at least something we can agree on.

      We probably agree on more than you think. I simply think you have a difficult time conversing with people who don’t think exactly the way you do and that tends to get in the way of civil discourse. You have a way of taking opinions that don’t match up with yours very personally.

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    96. LatrineDiggerBrian: The obsession over him is just a bit much. To the point where they decided to make him a showrunner which is silly (and it’s one reason why I think the show will be subpar, because they didn’t find one dynamic creative with a singular vision and instead they brought on a couple of guys who could get it to screen as quickly as possible). And I wasn’t even being hostile, just stating my opinion.

      Again, I can’t speak to your claim about any “obsession” with any one person. Game of Thrones was very much an ensemble piece; see Erik’s comment where he lists all of the great directors.

      I agree heartily with you about Tim Van Patten, who set everything up with Winter Is Coming. (He did great work on The Sopranos as well; even though that is nominally a crime drama, it has many scenes where the audience sees dreams, fantasies, and hallucinations which various characters have.) Especially with the re-do of Winter Is Coming, Van Patten not only had to set up the sprawling fantasy epic (and thus obtain HBO’s money for the first season), he also had to redeem the failed pilot episode. As we saw, he did all of that very well indeed.

      I did get a chuckle out of this: …they didn’t find one dynamic creative with a singular vision and instead they brought on a couple of guys who could get it to screen…

      I believe the “one dynamic creative with a singular vision” is named George, who is still very much there, and “a couple of guys who could get it to screen” were B&W. It seems to have worked out well enough… 😉

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    97. Mr Derp,

      Yes, it didn’t work at all for me, not just the music but how it played in with the montage. There’s no piece of art that 99% of like and I don’t care who or how many people liked it anyway, it doesn’t influence my opinion. And I don’t really see it so much as subverting expectation as him trying to imitate something another successful artist had done (Bryan DePalma) and force feeding it into GoT (he tried the same kind of sequence in his True Detective S2 and it was god awful). What annoyed me most was how he had the audacity to go to a musical genius like Ramin and tell him very specifically how to conduct the score, when he has absolutely no musical background himself.

      Anyway, like I said, we’ll see how well he does with his upcoming feature that he just directed. I think he’ll end up proving my point though, that TV directors are not feature directors for a reason, they such at identifying good material and what they do find it they’re not good at shaping the script into a good movie.

      Graves sort of got ousted from GoT for his comments so I don’t see them going to him. I wonder though if going forward they will go with the director / writer approach, to me it’s a bad sign because then they haven’t really hired a showrunner that their confident in or the execs want to have more control (like in Marvel).

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    98. Tensor the Mage, Enjoying All The New Material: I believe the “one dynamic creative with a singular vision” is named George, who is still very much there, and “a couple of guys who could get it to screen” were B&W. It seems to have worked out well enough… 😉

      To say this is to completely make light of the job that D & D did to adapt the material, as if George’s material just flies off the page onto the screen and anyone can adapt him. In truth, D & D made thousands upon thousands of decisions to bring the books successfully to the screen. Probably close to 100% of the dialogue and scenes weren’t in the book after the first season. They could’ve hired a 100 other showrunners and they might not have done even close to as good of a job as D & D.

      And no two creatives are created equally. As I said previously, Benioff had a much better track record than Condal. He was one of the hottest screenwriters in Hollywood and also had a lot of great success in the drama space, whereas Condal has only worked in genre. Benioff adapted his novel The 25th Hour for Spike Lee into one of the better movies of the decade. He did a nice job adapting Troy. Had done some good work for Marc Forster. Compare this with Condal who has written a couple of big dumb blockbusters and a SyFi show barely anyone remembers.

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    99. To say this is to completely make light of the job that D & D did to adapt the material, as if George’s material just flies off the page onto the screen and anyone can adapt him. In truth, D & D made thousands upon thousands of decisions to bring the books successfully to the screen. Probably close to 100% of the dialogue and scenes weren’t in the book after the first season. They could’ve hired a 100 other showrunners and they might not have done even close to as good of a job as D & D.

      Obviously, my attempt at humor did not succeed. I apologize for that.

      Anyone who has read my comments here since (at least) release of The Bells knows I staunchly defended B&W against all manner of complaints, and I’ve repeatedly noted that Martin made their jobs no easier by failing to complete his work. They actually adapted a story the author himself wrote with conscious disregard to possible adaptation! For that alone they deserve all of the money, fame, accolades, and anything else they value that they received in return. That they did it at all was amazing; that they did it so well was nothing short of miraculous.

      What annoyed me most was how he had the audacity to go to a musical genius like Ramin and tell him very specifically how to conduct the score, when he has absolutely no musical background himself.

      You are aware that the composer was very proud of the result, correct? In the interview I saw (can’t recall where) he specifically cited his use of the piano as a means of subtly informing the audience that something was wrong, that the characters are about to have a day far different than the one for which most of them are dressing. He also mentioned incorporating the title theme into the background music for the first time, appropriate as many storylines end when the music does. The director is responsible for the entire finished product, and there’s nothing wrong with the director giving detailed instructions to the photographer, set decorator, costumer, actors, music composer, writer(s), and anyone else working on the production; indeed, the very title, “Director,” implies this.

      Many of the great works of classical music were actually written to specifications (often very detailed) given to the composer by the patron (rich and/or powerful guy) who commissioned them. J. S. Bach’s Musical Offering began as a theme Frederick ‘the Great’ personally played for ‘the Old Bach’, and which his gay highness then ordered that immortal composer to complete. (The film with the English title “Jagged Harmonies” depicts this scene, and the female director has great fun with the resultant Clash Of The Titanic Male Egos.)

      Finally, I think you’re making much of a false dichotomy between movie and television directors. If anything, your comparison disfavors directors working for serial television, who (generally) must deliver more product on tighter schedules and budgets than feature directors. To pick an example, Steve Buscemi has directed many television episodes, and several features. His first episode directed for The Sopranos is considered one of the best in that amazing series, and he directed the episode In Camelot, which is one of my personal favorites of the series. In the latter, his original version of approximately 80 minutes was ruthlessly cut down to ~50 minutes by the producer — and yet included a scene Buscemi didn’t direct! These productions are far more complicated than your simple dichotomy allows.

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    100. Tensor the Mage, Enjoying All The New Material,

      Steve Buscemi is not a great example imo because he’s an actor, not a professional TV director. Can you think of many other TV directors that made the jump into being a consistent, successful feature directors? Alan Taylor has been decent, that’s the only one I can think of recently. Most TV directors couldn’t cut it as feature directors hence why they’re in TV but they still make a pretty great living, but there’s just less prestige since they’re usually not calling the shots creatively and are more hired guns. The writers are king in TV.

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    101. Tensor the Mage, Enjoying All The New Material:

      You are aware that the composer was very proud of the result, correct? In the interview I saw (can’t recall where) he specifically cited his use of the piano as a means of subtly informing the audience that something was wrong, that the characters are about to have a day far different than the one for which most of them are dressing.

      Yes, let’s not forget that Djawadi listening to Sapochnik resulted in everyone hating the Winds of Winter and Djawadi made sure to never incorporate a piano track in GoT episode… oh wait, “The Winds of WInter” is actually one of the highest rated episodes of the series, reaching the heights of 9.9 on IMDB and I’m sure majority of people would list Cersei’s sequence as one of the highlights of this episode, if not for S6 in general. Furthermore, I would even go as far to agree with Mr Derp regarding how popular “Light of the Seven” was among audience. It’s very likely one of the most loved soundtracks from the TV series and I know it has very high number of views on Youtube. Even more, Djawadi incorporated piano soundtrack AGAIN in “The Long Night” and I’ll be damned if this doesn’t have something to do with massive popularity of “Light of the Seven”. But I guess it makes Sapochnik a horrible person that he dared to suggest a soundtrack in his scene.

      I personally think Cersei’s sequence in The Winds of WInter is one of the greatest montages in GoT and I wouldn’t want to hear a different soundtrack playing through it. I literally get chills anytime I’m watching it and it kind of reminds me of the ending montage from “The Godfather” where Michael has the dons of other 4 mafia families assassinated while he himself is attending the baptism of his first child.

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    102. Tensor the Mage, Enjoying All The New Material: His first episode directed for The Sopranos is considered one of the best in that amazing series, and he directed the episode In Camelot, which is one of my personal favorites of the series.

      The Sopranos was arguably my favorite tv show of all time, but I have to say, the “In Camelot” episode was probably the worst episode in the entire series, IMO.

      I agree that the “Pine Barrens” was a terrific episode though. I still wonder if that Russian got away or not.

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    103. LatrineDiggerBrian:
      Tensor the Mage, Enjoying All The New Material,

      Steve Buscemi is not a great example imo because he’s an actor, not a professional TV director. Can you think of many other TV directors that made the jump into being a consistent, successful feature directors? Alan Taylor has been decent, that’s the only one I can think of recently. Most TV directors couldn’t cut it as feature directors hence why they’re in TV but they still make a pretty great living, but there’s just less prestige since they’re usually not calling the shots creatively and are more hired guns. The writers are king in TV.

      Aren’t we talking about Sap going from t.v. to t.v. (GoT to HOTD)? Not going from t.v. to the big screen?

      And I think it’s fair to say that directors are far more interested in doing t.v. these days rather than film. It’s not really a “jump” anymore to go from t.v. to film.

      T.V. allows for so much more creativity and freedom now, whereas movies are horrifically formulaic, repetitive, and stale.

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    104. LatrineDiggerBrian: Can you think of many other TV directors that made the jump into being a consistent, successful feature directors?

      I’ll play. Here are just a few examples…

      Steven Spielberg – He Got His Start…directing an episode of ‘Marcus Welby, MD,’ a longrunning but most forgotten series starring Robert Young as a doctor who, along with James Brolin as his hip young partner, take on mysterious maladies and save lives every week. Spielberg’s episode, titled “The Daredevil Gesture,” is notable for not being anything particularly special at all, lacking the flair Spielberg would bring to his later television projects (including episodes of ‘Night Gallery’ and the TV movie ‘Duel’). Of course, Spielberg would be directing ‘Jaws’ and changing the film industry forever less than five years later.

      Ridley Scott – He Got His Start…in 1965, directing an episode of the BBC series ‘Z-Cars’ in his native England.

      Brad Bird – got his start on “Amazing Stories”, but then got an Oscar for “The Incredibles” and “Ratatouille”.

      The list goes on…

      Mel Brooks
      Robert Altman
      Edgar Wright

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    105. Erik, formerly Lord Parramandas,

      Mr. Derp: “…I think it’s also important to note that, even though Sap directed most of the big battle episodes, there was still a ton of “high thread count” scenes within those episodes. Hell, the entire first half of “Hardhome” had nothing to do with battles at all. The scene where Sansa finds out that her brothers are still alive is one of my favorite scenes in the show.

      Erik, formerly Lord Parramandas replied: ”Well, at least something we can agree on.”
      ———————————
      Now that’s the spirit of bipartisanship!

      “Hardhome” is probably my second favorite episode. Its first half was chock full of high thread count scenes, and even King Crow’s sit-down with the Wildling chieftains qualified as a high thread count scene – right before the sh*tstorm began.

      For those who haven’t seen Ozzy Man’s review of S5e8 “Hardhome,” I recommend it. It’s only about 7 1/2 minutes long, and it touches on some of the points you raised, e.g., about the first half of the episode:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MRKFD0rbZBQ

      I think I enjoyed watching and rewatching this review almost as much as the episode itself.

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    106. Mr Derp,

      ⚠️ 🎶Musical Interlude

      Dedicated to…
      Cersei &. Septa Unella 🔔 🔔🔔

      •“Shame, Shame, Shame” (1975)
      Shirley & Company

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VEJnK8nvlk4

      • “Shame, Shame, Shame” was used in this dance scene in movie “Pride” (2014)

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pBn3gTMD-yg

      Six Degrees of GoT +
      Six Degrees of HotD:
      Appearing in “Pride” (2014):
      – Faye Marsay (GoT’s The Waif);
      – Paddy Considine (HotD’s Viserys Targaryen)

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    107. Mr Derp,

      You’re bringing up examples of guys from 50-60 years ago when things were completely different. Brad Bird was an animator that produced, wrote and directed one episode on Steven Spielberg’s episodic anthology series, hardly counts as a career TV director. Edgar Wright was a feature director who got hired to do some TV based on the strength of his feature work.

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    108. LatrineDiggerBrian: Steve Buscemi is not a great example imo because he’s an actor, not a professional TV director.

      Buscemi has many more acting credits than directing credits, true, but his career path from acting to directing is not exactly new or unusual. Between television and movies, he still has dozens (!) of directing credits.

      (Between your hand-waving away of this example, and your similar hand-waving away of Mr. Derp’s examples, I’ve come to the conclusion you’re simply going to ignore all data which contradicts your belief. You are entitled to your opinion, of course, but if you’re not ever going to change it, not for any reason, I will likewise not further engage you on it.)

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    109. Tensor the Mage, Enjoying All The New Material,

      Nah it’s not hand waving, you guys are just enforcing my point by bringing up all these nutty outlier cases, guys from the 1800s, animators who directed one episode of an episodic anthology. You’re really reaching here. But even still, I’ll give you some of them but it’s still a rare occurrence, and hard to think of any examples recently except for Alan Taylor and he hasn’t exactly lit the world on fire. Sapochnik actually had a shot at directing a feature with a good cast (Jude Law, Forest Whitaker, Liev Schrieber) and it got absolutely shredded by the critics (22% on RT), then where did he go after that? TV. Honestly though, feature directors that have terrible debuts usually get more opportunities. I wouldn’t be surprised if the case with Sapochnik (based on what little I’ve seen of his personality from interviews) is that not only was it bad, but he was extremely difficult to work with. I predict that his latest feature is not going to be very good, but we’ll see.

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    110. LatrineDiggerBrian,

      I guess it’s hard to stomach the fact that majority of the people love Sapochnik’s episodes and you don’t… and regardless what you said above, you are bothered by it. Otherwise I don’t get what would be the point of constant downer-ism from you here.

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    111. Erik, formerly Lord Parramandas,

      What’s your point? My opinion is out of line with the majority so I should just keep quiet so as not to upset them? Why are you so threatened by what I think if everyone loves Sapochnik? Even I’m admitting he’s a good visual director, but my point is the fanbase’s love affair with him goes overboard. I don’t really care how everyone feels about what, and if my opinions annoy you, just ignore them. It’s far from unreasonable to question why someone who came on board a well-oiled machine and did work comparable to the other top GoT directors but doesn’t have a track record as a writer or feature director is getting enormous creative control in House of the Dragon. Especially when it’s underheard of for a TV director to ever be named co-showrunner.

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    112. LatrineDiggerBrian:
      Erik, formerly Lord Parramandas,

      Even I’m admitting he’s a good visual director, but my point is the fanbase’s love affair with him goes overboard.

      And here we go again… because YOU didn’t like Sapochnik’s episodes, apparently something is wrong with the fandom for loving them. Same with your awful accusation above that the only reason to love Sapochnik’s episodes is because it’s mindless action. Tensor is right that you’re just hand-waving everything away and at same time I wonder what the hell is your point of being a downer all over again if you supposedly really don’t care about other people’s opinion… it’s just being bitter for the sake of being bitter then. Well, at least I have this big advantage over you that I can go back and rewatch entirety of GoT and love every single episode of it.

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    113. Ten Bears,

      Not for me, except for maybe the knife scene where if I remember right, he himself admitted it wasn’t scripted that way but he filmed it more severely because he wanted audience to worry more. But as for my ranking of Mylod’s episodes, they’re my no.37, no.50, no.46, no.33, no.32 and no. 19 episodes so definitely not the episodes I would not be fond of.

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    114. Erik, formerly Lord Parramandas,

      On a positive note, thanks for highlighting the stellar work of Jack Bender on S6e5 “The Door.”
      That last 15-minute segment was mind-blowing.
      I, and just about everyone I know, was stunned, whimpering, or sobbing by the conclusion of the alternating Past Wyllis/Present Hodor clusterf*ck.

      Even the rowdy fans at the Burlington Bar were left speechless:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6BQ29FNQfXo

      And so, “The Door” comes in at #3 of 72 in my final rankings. “Hardhome” is #2. Coming in at #1,

      an episode with wall-to-wall high-thread count scenes, is S4e7, “Mockingbird.”

        Quote  Reply

    115. Ten Bears:
      Erik, formerly Lord Parramandas,

      On a positive note, thanks for highlighting the stellar work of Jack Bender on S6e5 “The Door.”
      That last 15-minute segment was mind-blowing.
      I, and just about everyone I know, was stunned, whimpering, or sobbing by the conclusion of the alternating Past Wyllis/Present Hodor clusterf*ck.

      Even the rowdy fans at the Burlington Bar were left speechless:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6BQ29FNQfXo

      And so, “The Door” comes in at #3 of 72 in my final rankings. “Hardhome” is #2.Coming in at #1,

      I know you didn’t watch LOST but Jack Bender was a major director there, being heavily involved from first to last season. He directed many of my favorite episodes there, from my no.1 “The Incident” to the 105-minutes long series finale “The End” which up to this day remains unrivaled among all TV episodes I watched how much of an emotional reaction it causes me any time I watch it. And this comes from a person who is often emotional when watching TV shows. So when I saw him on directors’ list for GoT I was obviously hyped and “The Door” was absolutely amazing for me.

      I actually have The Door rated higher than Hardhome. Hardhome is my no.9, I can’t firmly remember where I put The Door but it’s one of ranks 6-8. Mockingbird on other hand is somewhere in the middle for me (but “somewhere in the middle” is a “being very great” category for me).

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    116. LatrineDiggerBrian,

      Can you think of many other TV directors that made the jump into being a consistent, successful feature directors?

      Michael Mann is probably the best example of this.

      Ridley Scott too; he started his career as a designer and director for TV shows.

      Also JJ Abrams (although the quality of his movies has obviously varied).

        Quote  Reply

    117. LatrineDiggerBrian,

      And it’s not merely your hand-waving, you’ve moved the goalposts as well. As Mr. Derp noted, “Aren’t we talking about Sap going from t.v. to t.v. (GoT to HOTD)? Not going from t.v. to the big screen?” Why did you even ask about directors going from television to feature films? Of what relevance is that to your original point, about television directors moving into producing television shows?

      I’ll play one last time: David Chase. He was a television director and producer prior to creating The Sopranos, a series which is still watched today. He reinvented the crime drama/gangster epic, in reverse of the way Game of Thrones reinvented the fantasy saga. His gangsters had dreams, hallucinations, crises of confidence, and other traits not previously seen in organized crime stories. Game of Thrones removed most of the stock elements of fantasy, leaving gritty human drama. (Note that D&D had *no* prior experience in producing television programs, rendering your original question meaningless — and ironic for that.)

      I’m done playing. I hope you can watch House of The Dragon with an open mind, and enjoy it. That is what it exists to do: entertain. If you find yourself not liking it, that’s fine too; just don’t expect to expect any fans of that story to accept with enthusiasm your endless complaining about it.

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    118. Although I have seen the Hobbit I’ve honestly no recollection who this guy is, but interesting that he’s Scottish, first one since Rory McCann on GOT/HotD?

        Quote  Reply

    119. LatrineDiggerBrian:
      loco73,

      Tim Van Patten gets absolutely no love from anyone. Pretty much all the directors from the early seasons are forgotten.

      Bryan Cogman was hired to write a spin off series and they rejected his pilot. He’s really a writer, so they wouldn’t bring him back as a producer on a show that he’s not showrunning.

      Cogman wrote my favourite episode of the final season and is widely positively viewed still in the fan base, oddly he’s excluded from all the D&D criticism which some give. I was genuinely gutted his show didn’t get off the ground though as I believe he’d have done a great job.

        Quote  Reply

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