Director Miguel Sapochnik discusses his Emmy nominated episode; George R.R. Martin on the unexpected success of Game of Thrones

Arya-Stark-Night-King-Season-8-803-The-Long-Night~2

The Emmys will be awarded next month, and Game of Thrones is well positioned to take home a considerable number of trophies with its historic 32 nominations. Miguel Sapochnik has an excellent chance at winning in the Outstanding Directing category for “The Long Night,” having previously won in 2016 for “Battle of the Bastards.” In a new interview with The Hollywood ReporterSapochnik shares some of the behind the scenes work involved in bringing the battle of Winterfell to life.

In addition to enduring 55 grueling nights of shooting in adverse weather, Sapochnik admits he “questioned everything, and we worked long and hard to find the right balance of credibility versus wish fulfillment. Then we shot it and reshot it and found that what was really important was rhythm.”

He addresses the decision to have Arya leap from nowhere when attacking the Night King, saying, “At one point there was an elaborate plan to have her fight her way into the weirwood forest, but as we progressed we realized she’d already done that earlier in the episode, so it felt like a repeat. In the end we felt it didn’t matter how she got there — what mattered was setting up that moment when the Night King catches her mid-leap and we think she’s done for, then she pulls her knife switch and takes him out. I loved Maisie’s performance post the takedown as well, sharing a moment with her brother, Bran. That weary smile. ‘Not today.'”

Whether he takes home the Emmy or not, Sapochnik will  forever be grateful for his experience working on Thrones. “It’s been the opportunity of a lifetime. I made a lot of friends. I worked with the best actors, crew, producers and showrunners I’ve ever worked with. I got to know the people of Northern Ireland and learned about their history. I had an experience that I would never have had otherwise, and I can take that with me to every project I do.” Here’s hoping he gets rewarded with a win for his incredibly hard work on “The Long Night.”

George R.R. Martin

Author George R.R. Martin is currently in Ireland for Worldcon, and while he didn’t address his progress on The Winds of Winter (shocking) he did speak to The Irish Times about the phenomenonal popularity of his A Song of Ice and Fire novels and the Game of Thrones television show. Martin admitted there is always an uncertainty about how well a project will be received. “You never know with either books or television. I had a book about 10 years before, The Armageddon Rag, a rock-and-roll book…It was going to be a bestseller, and it died totally. It almost destroyed my career.”

“It’s not a bad book – why did it sell so poorly? Why did Game of Thrones sell so well?…If people knew what would work, they would do it all the time.” He added that no one can anticipate what will succeed, saying, “[Game of Thrones] became the most popular television show in the world. When it started David [Benioff] and Dan [Weiss], the showrunners, I remember them saying, ‘Well, let’s hope we can get three seasons, so we can get to at least the Red Wedding. Obviously, we got more than that.”

Martin also explained that while popularity and success is nice, it’s not what’s most important to him. “When an actor finishes a play they come out for the curtain call and the applause. The check is not enough. I want to know what people think of it. Maybe they’re going to throw fruit, or maybe they’re going to give you a standing ovation. You never know, but you’ve got to get it out before people, right?”

Read the rest – including his thoughts on genre fiction and fandom – here.

173 responses

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    1. #ForTheThrone

      Congrats David and Dan, Sapochnik and everyone else involved on a magical and magnificent final season and finale episode. The entire series was brilliant from start to finish.

        Quote  Reply

    2. A lot of time will pass until someone succeeds in doing what GoT and Miguel did with Hardhome, BoB, TLN and The Bells.

      There will be great drama shows on TV in the future but spectacle on that level not so easily.

        Quote  Reply

    3. He addresses the decision to have Arya leap from nowhere when attacking the Night King, saying, “At one point there was an elaborate plan to have her fight her way into the weirwood forest, but as we progressed we realized she’d already done that earlier in the episode, so it felt like a repeat. In the end we felt it didn’t matter how she got there — what mattered was setting up that moment when the Night King catches her mid-leap and we think she’s done for, then she pulls her knife switch and takes him out. I loved Maisie’s performance post the takedown as well, sharing a moment with her brother, Bran. That weary smile. ‘Not today.’”

      _______

      “[E]laborate plan to have her fight her way into the weirwood forest…”?

      I’d have paid good money to see that.

      ”In the end we felt it didn’t matter how she got there — what mattered was setting up that moment when the Night King catches her mid-leap and we think she’s done for, then she pulls her knife switch and takes him out.”

      Oh Miguel. It DID matter. You went for the Gotcha! moment. 🧐

        Quote  Reply

    4. Ten Bears,

      It wasn’t a “gotcha” moment like Sansa taking down Littlefinget in season 7. There was a lot of set up, from Arya sneaking up on Jon in the godswood, her sneaking around the wights in the library, her scene with Melisandre, not to mention how much the “god of death” played into her storyline. It was no more a “gotcha” moment than Tywin arriving at the Battle of the Blackwatet, Stannis arriving at the Battle of the Wall, the Red Wedding, Cersei blowing up the Sept of Baelor, etc.

        Quote  Reply

    5. Ten Bears: 100% yup.
      None of those other surprises leave you wondering about & wanting to see how they wound up happening. (Except that I do wish Sansa & Arya had referenced talking to Bran about Littlefinger to clarify that in S7.)

        Quote  Reply

    6. I really like Maisie Williams/Arya Stark, but somehow that whole scene felt wrong. People can rationalise it as much as they want, but that doesn’t change my feelings. I didn’t have those feelings with Tywin or Stannis, that all felt right.
      And I also love Sapochnik, he did amazing things with Hardhome, Winds of Winter and in battle Meereen.

        Quote  Reply

    7. “In the end we felt it didn’t matter how she got there — what mattered was setting up that moment when the Night King catches her mid-leap and we think she’s done for, then she pulls her knife switch and takes him out”.

      Wow THATS a nice metaphor of the problem with the last two seasons of GoT: they creators (writers, producers and directors) wanted to get to the ending point without explaining the journey to get there, thinking the audience would not care about it and just clap and cry, as a consequence, the plot felt incredibly rushed and nonsensical. And, honestly, people noticed, a lot of people.

      Don’t get me wrong, I love game of thrones and I will always be grateful to D&D for introducing me to this great universe and fandom, but the last two seasons were, in hindsight, really really messy and straight up bad at moments, at least that’s my opinion.

        Quote  Reply

    8. Young Dragon,

      Yes it was, a “subvert expectations” moment. D&D have told that:

      “She seemed like the best candidate, provided we weren’t thinking about her in the moment” “Jon Snow has always been the hero, the one who’s been the savior, but it just didn’t seem right to us for this moment,”

      Meaning not even them thought it made sense that Arya killed the NK, they picked her because it made no sense. They went of the gotcha moment.

      Just imagine that in Infinity War Thanos never gets to fight, we never even hear him talk, we know nothing of his motivations. Black Widow jumps out of nowhere and stabs him, movie ends. Great storytelling.

        Quote  Reply

    9. Btw, even if I criticise a few things. I will be forever grateful to D&D for creating GOT. They have made the best tv show I have ever seen on tv. And Sapochnik has done the best direction I have ever seen. There are a few things in the last 4 episodes I would have done different, but I loved almost all the other episodes. And even the last 4 episodes had some really impressing visuals. I didn’t like Dany burning so many innocents in The Bells, but the direction, visuals and acting were really extraordinary.

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    10. This moment should have been one of the best in the series. These monsters were set up from Episode 1. We meet Arya as a girl and it was wonderful that an unexpected character (but thematically suitable) would strike the death blow.

      Then for some reason a decision was made to make it happen in the most unsatisfying way possible. There must have been something put in the water in Belfast when they were doing S8 – how could so many talented people make so many mistakes all at the same time? Mistake, mistake, mistake…Geez, dude, you needed to re-think this jump out of nowhere and kill with my little knife. Made it ridiculous.

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    11. Nah, I loved the Gotcha! moment, and so did the person I watched with. I didn’t see it coming, but all the clues were there, just not in-your-face. I think Miguel’s right, if we’d seen Arya making her way step-by-step to the godswood it would have lost some of the impact. Although we’d still have the thrill of the knife drop.

      In my head she jumped down out of a tree, and if I changed anything I would have just made the tree a little more visible to viewers.

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    12. Grandmaester Flash,

      I think (not sure!) they said she did not come from the tree – she jumped up/bounced up off a pile of wights.

      Or something idiotic like that.

      So many different people in the world liking different things.

        Quote  Reply

    13. Ten Bears,

      Agree with you here. I really hoped they would have shown that moment, having her move through the godswood would have felt more like GoT always did, suspense. Is she going to make it, yes or no. For me that would have made the ending more exciting.

      And I disagree with MS that it would be the same as the rest of the episode. Yes Arya fought before. But that was in a different part of the episode and a different kind of feeling why she fought.

      And know we know that D&D plan wasn’t the gotcha moment but that it was decided while filming it.

      Still I hope MS wins the Emmy he deserves it.

      Young Dragon,
      First I say that I’m with you the season was brilliant and the long night too but
      1. Sansa’s taking down LF was indeed a gotcha moment. That’s why many didn’t like it. Maybe the first time watching it feels excited but the second time it doesn’t feel that great. For me it would have been greater if we knew the plan beforehand. Or at leas the set-up could have been better.
      2. Agree there was lot of set-up from Arya. But Arya disappeared for 30 minutes before she ended the NK. That’s a lot for a main-character to end the biggest or second biggest villain the saga. Look for instance at Frodo in LOTR before he destroyed the ring, it build up tension minutes before not half an hour before.
      3. Tywin arriving at blackwater was not that of a gotcha moment then Arya killing the NK why? Because we saw first the man arriving winning the battle, then we saw the moment with Cersei and we knew only then it was Tywin. Second he was a secondary or tertiary character. And third they won the battle not the war. And 4th maybe the most important one. The battle of blackwater was focussed on Tyrion at that moment and Tywin saving the day happened at the back. It was not about the battle being won but about will Tyrion survive, how far will Cersei go etc. As for with episode 3, that gotcha moment happened in the forefront. It was what we focused on, it didn’t happen in the background.
      4. Stannis arriving at the wall, did have a set-up for one whole season. 3×10 we knew that he would go there, and he arrived in 4×10. It was not a gotcha moment. And more over it didn’t need a moment before because the reason for that moment was not ending a bad guy, it was moving the story into a new direction. And another scene couldn’t be implemented to up the tension, in 8×03 a battle in the godswood with Arya could.
      5. The Red wedding had a tension of 10 minutes build with Cat and the plan of Walder. The doors closed and we felt trapped, Cat’s face showed us that. It build up the tension minute by minute. With Arya destroying the NK was a scene of 2 minutes (she was gone for 30 minutes of our screens, the story shifted to another parts of what was happening). So not the same.
      6. Cersei’s blowing up the sept was a scene of 10/15 minutes. With a build-up of seasons. It wasn’t a gotcha moment because in the first couple of minutes of that scene you already knew. Cersei is going to do something horrible. And it build and build every minute till the big final. And everything that happened since season 3 came together for Cersei.

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    14. Grandmaester Flash,

      I disagree, I loved the whole season, but that moment felt like it was missing the build up for the action itself. It made sense as MS stated, if you can think for yourself you knew it would happen. But she was gone for 30 minutes and got back for a 2 minute scene. It didn’t feel right for me. But I loved that Arya was the one destroying the NK.

      I even think a small wight battle 10 a 15 minutes before Arya killed the NK could have helped. We understand there, oh she is going to the NK, she is going to kill him. Go Arya. Scene cut when a second bunch of wight come. Oh no she is not going to make it. Then we saw in the end she did make it, but what? NK is going to kill her? Oh yes she survived NK is dead.

        Quote  Reply

    15. Grandmaester Flash,

      Arya killing the Night King was really popular moment with general audience and it was the only big chatarsis moment of the last season. Everything else was written more like a tragedy.

      Daenerys’ victory was a horror, they didn’t give Cersei comic book villain death people wanted, Jon killed Daenerys, unpopular character became King, Jaime left Brienne,… The second half was completely anti-fan service.

        Quote  Reply

    16. Mango: I think (not sure!) they said she did not come from the tree – she jumped up/bounced up off a pile of wights.

      As I’ve said elsewhere, I don’t always agree with “them”. 😀
      But whatever it was she jumped from, we needed to see it a bit better.

        Quote  Reply

    17. kevin1989,

      Where was build up for Arya killing Walder Frey? People (kinda) forgot to enjoy good “shock value” scene.

      The story doesn’t need to prepare you to every twist. Sometimes it’s just slap in the face. Or finger in the bum.

        Quote  Reply

    18. Chilli,

      Why not? They are the exact same situation. All we see is Tywin leave Harrenhal, then he shows up at King’s Landing. We see Stannis make plans to leave for the Wall, we don’t even see him set sail, and then he arrives in time to save Jon. All we see is Sansa writing a letter, then the Knights of the Vale arrive at Winterfell. We don’t see Olenna poisoning Joffrey’s cup, we don’t see the Freys plan the Red Wedding, we don’t see Cersei set up the wildfire before her trial, we don’t see Tyrion place wildfire in the boat before Battle of the Blackwater, etc. The list goes on and on and on. Arya killing the Night King had the same amount of set up as any of these, and in some cases, even more set up. If you’re upset Arya was the one to do it, fine, but don’t say there wasn’t set up. That’s objectively false.

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    19. The nature of criticism against GoT is really strange when you think about it. No other story was put under such scrutiny. I don’t remember people complaining that we didn’t see Neville approaching Nagini in Harry Potter 8.

      I already experienced this with people who are watching GoT now for the first time, but I think future generation of viewers will appreciate this show more and they will realize what an accomplishment it was, the true masterpiece of television production. They will be free from cynical approach social media had towards GoT since S1.

        Quote  Reply

    20. I mean GoT was a show that caused social media outrage and even comments from director because character didn’t pet a dog lol

      10 years from now future viewers of GoT will be shocked when they look back. It will look like some sort of completely ridiculous mass hysteria.

        Quote  Reply

    21. mau,

      The build up is her revenge arc that has been in play since season 1. And that build up was done in the same episode by showing Arya’s new face to Jaime.

      And there’s nothing wrong with shock value so now and then. But depends how it’s done:
      1. Can there be more scenes build up? With killing Walder the answer is no, that’s how it suppose to go. With Killing the NK it’s yes. They could have implemented that godswood scene.
      2. What kind of episode, scene are we talking about? With Walder’s dead it wasn’t a battle episode. It wasn’t a scene of the defeat of the biggest (or second depends how you look at season 8) villain of the story. Meaning that the defeat of that villain needs to have a bigger build up just before the demise. I give you 2 examples later on and one of GoT that most of the time not going for shock value up the tension.
      3. What’s the best way to go at a certain moment. Shock or tension. They started his dead with tension and ended it with Arya with shock.
      4. More Arya the better right? 😉

      example 1.
      Defeat of Voldemort in Harry Potter. Was his dead shock just out of the blue Harry killed him. Or was it a tension of 10 minutes where they fought? His ending wasn’t build of shock but on tension. Think about how the ending of Harry Potter would feel if out of the blue Harry came and ended Voldemort in just 1 minute. Was that shock the best way to go there?
      example 2. The destroying of the ring in LotR. Once again the moment the ring was going to be destroyed they went with tension. Frodo battled with himself and with Gollum. It was build on tension not on shock.
      example 3. GoT, red wedding. What if they went with Shock here instead of tension and the moment the door closed directly after that Robb was killed. Wouldn’t that be shocking right? Not the tension of the bolts first, not the dead of the Starks outside with Grey wind. Not Cat giving us hope by taking Walders wife. Just shock with Robb dead. Wouldn’t work right? The tension we got was better, because it was an important ending for important characters.
      Example 4. Jaime Dany face-off in 7×04. Once again that moment worked because they build on tension not on shock, if it was on shock people wouldn’t be that tense at that moment when Jaime rode to her.

        Quote  Reply

    22. mau,

      Nobody is putting season 8 on scrutiny in this comment section. As you know I’m one that always defend season 8 and still do. It still one of the best shows out there and I think even in 10 years not a show has match it.

      That doesn’t mean I think that that small scene could have made episode 8×03 better and I wish it was there. Was it needed? No. Would I have like to have that scene happen? Yes. and now we know that D&D wrote that scene in their scripts when people were attacking D&D for not including such a scene. Now we know D&D didn’t deserve that backlash.

      mau,

      You know that many just made fun of Jon at that moment there right? And it was fun that just after that Rheagal died. So people made memes about Ghost killing Rheagal because Jon chose Rheagal over him, it was not serious just making jokes. (At least the most)

      There were also many clips on Youtube where people cheered in groups when Jon pet Ghost in the final episode.

      But which director made a comment about Jon not petting ghost in 8×04?

        Quote  Reply

    23. Ten Bears:
      He addresses the decision to have Arya leap from nowhere when attacking the Night King, saying, “At one point there was an elaborate plan to have her fight her way into the weirwood forest, but as we progressed we realized she’d already done that earlier in the episode, so it felt like a repeat. In the end we felt it didn’t matter how she got there — what mattered was setting up that moment when the Night King catches her mid-leap and we think she’s done for, then she pulls her knife switch and takes him out. I loved Maisie’s performance post the takedown as well, sharing a moment with her brother, Bran. That weary smile. ‘Not today.’”

      _______

      “[E]laborate plan to have her fight her way into the weirwood forest…”?

      I’d have paid good money to see that.

      ”In the end we felt it didn’t matter how she got there — what mattered was setting up that moment when the Night King catches her mid-leap and we think she’s done for, then she pulls her knife switch and takes him out.”

      Oh Miguel. It DID matter. You went for the Gotcha! moment. 🧐

      I find it fascinating how much leeway the directors actually get! I was yelling my head off at some of Mark Mylod’s decisions back in season 6! I just never realized they gave the director the power to change the script so much as they do. I did think that Sapo’s decisions to save budget in BOTB was brilliant and made for some of the most memorable scenes (when Jon almost suffocated and comes out of the top re-birthing).
      Mine aren’t complaints about decisions, it’s more wishes about what I really would have enjoyed seeing. I was hoping for a dramatic Valyrian Steel battle with all of our fav’s who survived so far going against the White Walker Generals. Give me a few more scenes of Arya fighting her way over, because she’s just so fricken good at it. I didn’t really need to see it, but as a viewer it’s amazing drama and satisfying to see the WWs taken down by the valyrian steel warriors (and it makes the build up about the valyrian steel come together better for me personally). These aren’t really complaints because I think it works the way Sapo did it and I enjoyed the way he did it. He went for the “we’re f’ked” moment when it really seems like all is lost, and it really did seem like everyone was going to friken die. And then I just felt a sense of relief when Arya did her wolf leap and ended it. I personally would have enjoyed more satisfying action scenes along the way. I know GOT wasn’t an action movie, but a few times i wished they let us enjoy the moment more and see our actors at their best. They only showed a few seconds of Arya’s amazing spear fight on the battlements, and Maisie is just really great at those moves.

        Quote  Reply

    24. mau: Daenerys’ victory was a horror, they didn’t give Cersei comic book villain death people wanted, Jon killed Daenerys, unpopular character became King, Jaime left Brienne,… The second half was completely anti-fan service.

      That’s so true, never thought of it that way

        Quote  Reply

    25. kevin1989,

      Arya’s scene with Jaime works like her scene with Melisandre. It serves as build up only when you know the outcome and rewatch the episode.

      Arya killing the Night King was a surprise moment. Watching her actually come there would ruin that moment. Because the point of surprise is not to see it coming, obviously.

      And the Night King wasn’t killed in a minute. We watched the longest battle ever before that and a very long and slow sequence. And then Arya comes. Feels like a shock but when you look back it works beautifully, just like every great twist should.

      You are arguing against artistic choice to have Night King’s death as surprise.

        Quote  Reply

    26. Imo MS is currently one of the most important directors and I’d like to see him do a movie. Some of the scenes were iconic. Two of my favorites are the dragons suspending over the clouded sky in 8.3, and Jon unsheathing his sword in BotB. (btw that scene was from the books, Dornish story, only that poor guy gets killed).
      No, 8.3 was one of the best eps in GOT in my opinion, not that it wouldn’t take any improvements. I’m not for another scene with Arya, but perhaps an Arya moment close to or at the entrance to the godswood would have made sense, squeezed among this last sequence we saw on screen and would have helped the viewers. Not to mention that I’d like that wonderful music with Arya’s face showing her terror, exhaustion, astonishment seeing another, say ten-twenty undead before her in that place? We didn’t actually have to see her taking them out (ok, I’m fantasizing here, lol, but it would have made a nice combination with desperate Jon). She was indeed gone for a half hour and personally I didn’t understand where she was going, but I’m not thinking very much when I’m watching (I did think of her when Jon was up against the dragon, lol, like, where tf is Arya!????), so… for me it worked, lol, it was a complete gotcha moment.

        Quote  Reply

    27. Tron79,

      “And then I just felt a sense of relief when Arya did her wolf leap and ended it.”

      Yeah, after the “gotcha moment” comes the “thank God” moment, lol. Those are really to appreciate. They’re not many.

        Quote  Reply

    28. kevin1989,

      I wasn’t talking only about this comment section but in general.

      Director of the episode David Nutter made a comment. Maybe for some people it was a joke, but for vast majority of people it was serious problem. And that’s why the behavior of this fan base is ridiculous. We joined Star Wars and Rick and Morty fandom when it comes to sad cringe.

      Some people on different forums that I respected completely lost their mind and even refused to talk about GoT ever since lol. Guy from JustWrite said The Bells made him feel sick for days! If a TV show can make you feel that way you have a serious problem. So we can expect objective reviews from people that have emotional and mental breakdown over creative choices in TV show? They can write objective reviews about Daenerys? Yeah, right.

      The whole reaction to S8 on social media feels like a bad parody of Star Wars fandom. It’s embarrassing. A season of TV show mentally broke them. Those same people that made countless arguments defending The Last Jedi against similar type of criticism we saw with S8, now joined the angry mob, people that criticized the fans who had overreaction to the way Luke Skywalker was written in TLJ and preached about rationality, now lost their mind over Daenerys.

      They became what they criticized. Just like Daenerys.

        Quote  Reply

    29. mau,

      As I said before, I have no problem how it turned out. But for me I don’t like when the big baddie is being killed in a surprise way. It feels Deux Ex Machina for me. I’m more of a tension guy where the tension is build up over 10 minutes. And you’re right we saw a battle. And he was into play. He survived Dany’s roast (and she get roasted by him at that moment he he he). But at the moment itself it felled as I stated before if Harry Potter would just out of the blue killed Voldemort instead of that amazing 10 minute sequence we got. They didn’t decide to go with surprise and neither did D&D their choice in the script was to go with tension not with shock. They wrote a sequence in the Godswood with Arya being attacked by wights. They are brilliant as you stated, so that choice had a reason. They didn’t want a surprise ending, they wanted a tension ending where we would follow Arya to the NK.

      So I have no problem what MS brought to the screen, but I will go with D&D initial plan to have follow Arya to the NK. I think D&D choice would have been better (not that what we got was bad it was still amazing and brilliant)

        Quote  Reply

    30. kevin1989,

      It’s interesting how a lot of people influenced what we have on the screen, not only this season, but in every season, but whenever fandom doesn’t like something it’s always D&D BAD response. It’s childish and toxic and fan base never gave Benioff and Weiss appreciation they deserved.

      When something works it’s because Ramin, directors, actors, GRRM and Jesus Christ did it, but when it doesn’t it’s always D&D BAD.

      Like Benioff and Weiss didn’t make all decisions at the end. They think Ramin can create music the way he wants and put it where he wants. That D&D gave no input there. Or that Clapton can create costums however she wants, that sets are designed completely independently from D&D.

      In The Last Watch documentary we saw that Benioff and Weiss even reviewed costumes for extras.

        Quote  Reply

    31. Efi,

      Agree 8×03 was one of the best moments on TV. And still it had room for improvement.

      And as for the scene itself I would have gone for:
      – A short sequence with Arya and wights in the Godswood, she wins barely, we think how did she survive this. But then a new horde of wights come to her. More double of before. We see horror on Arya’s face. scene cut. A scene of a couple of minutes.
      – Then we got what we got on screen, Arya killing the NK but with more blood on her. We understand that she survived the battle.

      mau,

      I agree with the part you said about fandom overreacting. If a fictional character like “Dany” is more important for you than real life people like D&D, I think that’s a huge problem. And I despise people that insulted them in the fashion some did. You can say you dislike their writing of season 8, and that they could have done better. But the moment they are name-calling them, I won’t take those people serious. (And I think they should get mental help).

      And about Nutter. If he had a problem with that scene. He could have insisted to have such a scene. As we read here, a director can implement their own direction of scenes. He could have shot such scene and let D&D decide which they prefer.

        Quote  Reply

    32. mau:
      Tron79,

      Miguel said he had more freedom the longer he worked on a show, since Benioff and Weiss trusted him more. He was even EP this year.

      Yes. They really did give him freedom.
      I think the more I see “the bells” it’s becoming one of my favs for Sapo. Leaving the gore aside, his artistic decisions (especially following Arya on her journey out of the city) were some of the most memorable for me. He has a real talent with following a character’s POV, and that fits well with GRRM’s POV chapters.

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    33. I am so annoyed that I can’t rewatch S8. The only way is to download it from Amazon which will cost £15, and as I intend to buy the blu-ray when it comes out I resent having to pay twice.

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    34. Young Dragon,

      As I said: “People can rationalise it as much as they want, but that doesn’t change my feelings that somehow it didn’t feel right. ” And it has nothing to do with what I think of Maisie Williams or Miguel Sapochnik, because I really love them. They have made incredible good TV in the past seasons.

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    35. Eeeeyeah…that’s one surprise I would’ve foregone in favor of seeing how she pulled it off. Okay, maybe not the entire path, sure, though I wouldn’t mind seeing what he described as the original plan. But show me her climbing and leaping off the pile of dead wights and we’re good. (Also show me that pile having built up during the previous godswood scenes.) I had been accepting the tree branch, the only seemingly logical explanation.
      She may have “FM skills,” but she’s still no less a detectable human presence than other people, and she was even wearing her own danged face. The library scene was typical horror-movie escape stuff. I’m good at being silent and sneaking up on people too, but does that guarantee I could make it past the Walkers and up to their leader, THE doom of humanity? I mean, maybe. :p But even in her place I wouldn’t ask an audience to buy me just suddenly appearing in the aerial blackness and diving upon that dude.
      Still not big into her being the one to do it (no, I wasn’t looking for it to be Jon; I’d have gone with somebody less obvious than either of them), but whatever, if she was going to be the one delivering the final stab, fine. My bigger issues were how and, primarily, when it happened.
      (And if you weren’t outraged by Jon leaving sadboi Ghost without one pat, well, as a dog nut, I just don’t know what to say…! I absolutely more than understand those who “lost their minds over Daenerys” and whatnot…”The Bells” makes me sick too…bleh D-x)

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    36. mau,

      You’re absolutely right. People judge GOT far more harshly than any other television show. I’ve said this before, but I rewatched Breaking Bad as critically as people watch GOT, and it does not hold up at all. For example, did you know there were several “teleportation” moments in Breaking Bad, two of which were a lot worse than Beyond the Wall?

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    37. Young Dragon:
      Ten Bears,

      It wasn’t a “gotcha” moment like Sansa taking down Littlefinget in season 7. There was a lot of set up, from Arya sneaking up on Jon in the godswood, her sneaking around the wights in the library, her scene with Melisandre, not to mention how much the “god of death” played into her storyline. It was no more a “gotcha” moment than Tywin arriving at the Battle of the Blackwatet, Stannis arriving at the Battle of the Wall, the Red Wedding, Cersei blowing up the Sept of Baelor, etc.

      I never thought Sansa scene was a gotcha moment, it’s been setup since season 4 !
      And if you think he wasn’t on her internal kill list, especially after escaping Winterfell and the Molestown scene; you missed something.

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    38. kevin1989,

      1. I didn’t like it either. The writing of the scene itself was very good, and the acting was superb, but how we got there was much to be desired. It’s one of two storylines I didn’t like in the whole series, and it’s the only one I consider to be rushed.

      2. It was more like 20 minutes, but I don’t see why that matters. Tywin disappeared for an entire episode before showing up. Stannis and Littlefinger disappeared for several episodes. I also don’t know why it matters how big of an antagonist the Night King is. A “gotcha” moment is a “gotcha” moment, regardless of the situation. Now, depending on the situation, you may find some “gotcha” moments more acceptable than others. Maybe that’s what you mean.

      3. There was only a few seconds between Tywin’s forces arriving and then revealing who it is. And I have to disagree, Tywin arriving was definitely the focus of that scene. I mean, the episode ends with him declaring victory. As for them winning a battle and not the war, again, that has no bearing on what constitutes a “gotcha” moment or not.

      4. Stannis was gone for several episodes and then just showed up. We didn’t see him leave for the Wall. Sure, there was build up, but Arya had build up to, ever since the first season and Syrio introduced her to the god of death.

      5 and 6. Oh yes, the music certainly built up the tension of these two scenes, but the music built up the tension to the Night King’s defeat as well. That was one of the most intense ten minutes of my life. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time. In all three of these scenes, you knew something was about to happen, you just didn’t know what, so these scenes had the same amount of build up.

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    39. Grail King,

      Sansa taking down Littlefinger in and of itself wasn’t the “gotcha” moment. It was the way it happened. With most of the truly shocking events, when you rewatch, you can spot subtle clues that indicate what’s about to happen. With Littlefinger’s trial, there nothing. There was no indication that Sansa and Arya had made peace and were working together, not until it happened.

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    40. Young Dragon,

      The whole action sequence at the end of Breaking Bad makes less sense than “kinda forgot” scene, but people didn’t care because it gave them what they wanted.

      Not to mention the whole happy end for Walter White, complete striping him on any consequences of his actions. He got everything he wanted. He didn’t pay price for anything he did. I expected dark ending like Death Note and they gave us fan service and no one cared, apparently.

      So what’s the point of the story?

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    41. mau,

      Exactly!

      Breaking Bad spoilers:

      Also, there’s Jesse killing Gale. Walter was going to kill him, but is picked up by Mike and Victor, who take him to the lab to kill Walt. Walt convinces Mike to let him call Jesse, and quickly warns Jesse that he’s been captured. Jesse then runs out of the laser tag place to kill Gale and Walt tells Mike that he couldn’t kill him yet, because Gus is going to need him when Gale is dead. Mike takes out his phone and calls Gale to warn him. The scene switches to Gale, when his phone starts ringing. Gale doesn’t notice because he’s playing loud music so he doesn’t hear it (if this was GOT, people would criticize that for being too convenient). There’s a knock on the door and it’s Jesse. So, Jesse somehow runs out of the laser tag place, gets in his car, and drives to Gale’s house in the time it takes Mike to make one phone call.

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    42. mau,

      Breaking Bad? I watched one and a half seasons waiting to find out what was so good about it. It bored me shi(r)tless.

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    43. mau,

      Agree here. That’s why I only said I wish they did it, not what we got was bad. It was still amazing.

      mau,

      That makes more sense.

      Shelle,

      This. Just a small bit would have been amazing.
      And I also had that reaction with Jon and Ghost, I was: Go pet your dog.
      But I understand the reasoning why it wasn’t there. Making those scenes with wolves is lot of work. And we maybe want more Ghost scenes, but we also need to think about the wonderful wolf-actor doing those scenes. We can’t use that dog for our amusement and it need to stay fun for the dog.

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    44. Young Dragon,

      Which teleportation moments? I’ve watch the show 3 times already and haven’t found a single teleportation moment.

      Young Dragon,

      2. Yes some gotcha moment’s are more acceptable then others. Gotcha moment is still a deux ex machina, and put there because there couldn’t be a better way of telling it. For GoT we know they know better ways. It need to be a last resort a gotcha moment. Because in reruns we don’t care if something is a surprise but we care if a character we liked survives/ struggle etc at a certain moment. Seeing Arya struggle to go to the NK would have been an amazing add to the NK demise. And for Arya’s character.
      And the timing also is important. Where in half-way into a story you can always give a gotcha moment just so the story can move further and not giving to much time to a certain moment. It is also does it help the story if it is in it or not. Now we are at the end, meaning this is what everything is working towards, meaning that everything needs to be fleshed out more.
      And as for the Tywin saving the day, it was important that that was a gotcha moment, because we need to see things through Tyrion’s POV, how he perceived it. Same with Stannis, we we’re in Jon’s POV. But here is the question is having that scene in Bran’s POV more important then Arya’s POV. Or maybe both is needed in the last part. Now it was through Bran’s POV only, and I wished it was a part in Arya’s POV. It would also have been amazing if we saw a raven looking at Arya when she was attacked by wights.
      5/6. Agree that music was perfect. But that’s also what many mean. Why having a tension music when the clue of the scene was Gotcha? It contradicts itself.

      But still episode 3 was a master piece. 9.5 for me.

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    45. Mordred,

      No, D&D did not say that Arya killing the Night King didn’t make sense, only that Jon was the obvious candidate. It’s right there in the quote. It’s not every day someone completely misunderstands the very quote he provided.

      Arya killing the Night King makes perfect sense and it was a fantastic way to end her character arc, killing the literal embodiment of death. D&D simply used the gardener style of writing Martin is famous for when writing her storyline.

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    46. mau,

      I agree that Walter White had some sort of happy ending himself. But don’t forget how his wife, Son, sister in law, and brother in law ended up.
      Walter was a pitiful man that wanted to play god, to feel like a “man”. He was somebody then. It wasn’t about the money, it was about his ego. His had many times to step out, even Fring was giving him money if he wanted out. But his ego got the best of him. And in the end it destroyed his family. His wife and Son, depressed for life. His son probably never being able to have a meaningful relationship, all because of Walter White.
      So what was Breaking bad about, it was about the consequences in dealing drugs. How it will effect your family, the ones you love. Even how easy it sounds to get money etc stay away from it.

      Young Dragon,

      You remember that scene wrong. Jesse wasn’t with Walter. He was close to Gale’s home already. And if I’m remember correctly Jesse was already stationed in a car before Gale’s home. So it’s not out of the question that somebody can walk 2 floors up in 2 minutes.

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    47. kevin1989,

      Breaking Bad spoilers:

      I know that Jesse wasn’t with Walt. I said that Walt convinced Mike to let him call Jesse. And no, Jesse was at the laser tag place. Walt volunteered to be the one to kill Gale, but he was picked up by Mike and Victor before he could do it. The reason he called Jesse was to tell him he needed to do it. That was the first teleportation moment. Then, there were the Neo Nazis, who somehow took ten minutes to save Walt out in the middle of the desert from Hank. Thirdly, Walt made it in time to save Jesse from the drug dealers who killed Andrea’s brother. This one is very, very minor, but Hank’s partner, who had been assigned to a case in El Paso, Texas, makes it to the hospital to visit Hank before Walt does.

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    48. kevin1989,

      But that’s the problem, I don’t really feel like he destroyed his family. They are safe, they got money and he was going to die from cancer anyway. Yesterday I watched “Boy in striped pajamas”. That’s how you show consequences of morally wrong actions. Death of his family, or at least his son, would be great. But it didn’t happen.

      For Walt all his crimes payed off in a way.

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    49. Young Dragon,

      I see I remembered wrong. You’re right he was there. But I need to watch that scene again to know how they placed the timeline. And I need to look up how much time is needed to travel between those points. Maybe it’s just couple of minutes.

      As for the second, true.
      The third, wasn’t Walt waiting a bit longer to not being noticed that he was involved?

      But for me I never had any problems with the time problems of GoT and BB.

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    50. Young Dragon,

      And they had only one storyline and like 10 characters so it was much easier to write Breaking Bad, than GoT. I’m not annoyed by plot contrivances, but with hypocrisy.

      In GoT these things were treated like war crimes. In Breaking Bad no one cared.

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    51. Miguel should win best directing for the long night. That’s a no brainier. My complaints with the episode are the dumb tactics, Jon and Bran’s insignificant involvement, a static NK, crypts stupidity (concrete is not strong…), Dany should have tried to take Jon to the Godswood on Drogon. It would have failed because the wights would have climed on Drogon aswell. And of course, the direwolfs should have “packed” the Godswood and protect Bran with Ghost and Nymeria leading.

      I also liked what David did in episode 2.

      Regarding George’s books, the question that bugs me is why was Daenerys among the initial 5 survivors of the novels together with Jon, Arya, Tyrion and Bran ? What did he have in mind the meaning of Dany’s story would be ? It should not have been a tragic one ? Or it should have been a tragic story, but also a fantasy; and in a fantasy anything can happen.

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    52. Young Dragon:
      Mordred,

      Arya killing the Night King makes perfect sense and it was a fantastic way to end her character arc, killing the literal embodiment of death. D&D simply used the gardener style of writing Martin is famous for when writing her storyline.

      It made total sense to out household for the same reasons.
      Arya disappearing for that length of time heightened the tension. It was made obvious that she was going to be battling her way to wards the Godswood, the same place Arya was given the same Valyrian steel dagger that was used in the assassination attempt on Bran. We see the dead Ironborn and Alys Karstark laying on the ground with only Theon protecting Bran, then Theon dies. Just as the NK is drawing his ice blade, Arya suddenly appears. I , for one , truly didn’t give a rat’s patootie how she got there , just that she did. I didn’t realize how tense I was until she stabbed him. To me, it was the perfect completion of her story, just as Jon killing Danerys was his.

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    53. kevin1989,

      But Miguel Sapochnik said they were trying to balance reality with wish fulfillment. There were a lot of wights and White Walkers surrounding Bran. Would it have been realistic for Arya to fight through all of them? Wouldn’t her sneaking past be a much more intelligent plan and put her assassin training to more use?

      I don’t think it matters who’s POV we’re seeing the scene through. A “gotcha” moment is a “gotcha” moment regardless. To be clear, I don’t consider any of these scenes “gotcha” moments. To me, a “gotcha” moment is something where there isn’t even the tiniest hint, like when Sansa turned the tables on Littlefinger. But Arya going after the Night King was set up, maybe not as much as you wanted, but set up nonetheless. This makes it so it’s not a “gotcha” moment.

      I’m not sure what you mean by the music. I thought the music was used for the same purpose in all these scenes, to build tension.

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    54. kevin1989,

      mau,

      Breaking Bad is my third favorite television show, so I wasn’t concerned with timeline inconsistencies or plot contrivances either. It was only after seeing the same people who called GOT the worst written show call Breaking Bad the best written show that got me thinking. I was curious to see if GOT really was that bad and I simply had blinders on, or if people were being too critical. The results made me happy and sad, happy for GOT but sad for BB. I hope I never have to watch a show like that again.

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    55. Young Dragon,

      I’ll make it easier to understand:

      “Jon Snow has always been the hero, the one who’s been the savior, but it just didn’t seem right to us for this moment,”

      Translation: Jon’s story is all about the WW threat, all these years we’ve made it clear that he and the NK are nemesis. But we needed a big gotcha moment to please the casuals that comprise most of our audience in the last years. We also think that shock value is great storytelling.

      “She seemed like the best candidate, provided we weren’t thinking about her in the moment”

      Translation: We never thought of Arya as the one to kill the NK, her story had nothing to do with the WWs. But we needed someone other than Jon, because that made too much sense.

      Also, the gardener style that Martin talks about is to let your characters story grow by itself so it looks natural, contrary to force the characters from one bullet point to another, as D&D did. You may argue that they did so to cut some corners and be able to finish the story, but a gardener approach certainly it is not.

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    56. mau,

      Having more characters is still a choice and should not be an excuse if mistakes occur. And I don’t see the point of talking about other shows mistakes when we are on a GoT blog. And other’s mistakes doesn’t make GoT’s mistakes ok. Only that making mistakes is human. Nobody and nothing is perfect.

      And only a small portion as you stated before is that extreme negative about GoT season 8 so why bother about that. They didn’t like it, we did. We can watch the show again and again and keep enjoying it. For me more important what others think.

      And about scrutiny, you are doing the same now with Breaking Bad, so I don’t see the point you making because you’re doing the same to another well praised show. I agree that the pressure for D&D were higher, and that it took more work, and probably more difficult to write. (Difficulty doesn’t correlate with quality).

      But for me at the end of the day. Breaking bad is better than GoT for me, but just a little bit. less then 0,1. I would both give a rating of 9,9/10 only BB little bit higher.
      As for the final itself I found the final of GoT better than the final of Breaking Bad. But I found Ozymandias (5×14) (Also the best rated episode on imdb of all time if I remember correctly, it has a rating of 10.0 and only a few shows did that and the only one with that many voted) still the best episode ever made for a TV show, and that one was from Breaking bad. For me it was even better drama then winds.

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    57. Young Dragon,

      I agree with you, as I sad before I had no problems with episode 8×03. And for the scene what I was refering to was at the entrance of the Godswood. The Godswood is big. So it could have happen 200 meter away from Bran. Just a small scene towards Bran. That for me would made the episode even more amazing than it already was.

      As for the music what I meant was. The music stated: Tension. Arya taking down the NK was: Shockvallue/ Gotcha. It contradicted itself.

      Young Dragon,

      Don’t be too concern what other’s think. At the end of the day, what matters to Young Dragon is what Young Dragon thinks of it. That’s at least how I look at it. Somebody can hate what I love, I don’t care, as long as I liked it I’m happy.

      Which is your third in your top 3? BB GoT and?

      And what I think with GoT is the following, it has mystery that kind of shows always get the most critic when it didn’t go as they wanted. Look at LOST.
      And also it had a wider audience than it was target for. Many people watch GoT for other reasons. One for the fantasy. Other’s for the drama. Other’s for a certain character, others for the action etc. And some only watch for that small side of the story and if that doesn’t come to fruition the ending sucked for them.
      Breaking bad was more a show for people who only wanted character based story. People who liked action etc were not into it, so they couldn’t complain in the end.

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    58. Mordred,

      Not the “Arya took Jon’s destiny” argument again. She didn’t. Take out Jon in the battle and preparation of the attack and they would have lost the battle. Jon was and still is the biggest player that helped defeat the WW. Maybe not the last blow, but he was with Dany the most important one.
      Not everything is about who ends the big baddie with the final blow. GoT was about teamwork. They worked together to destroy the NK. If even one player wasn’t there. King Popsicle would have won the Iron Throne. And if everyone need to work together to defeat him, who is the most important one? The one that brought them together. Who brought them together? Jon Snow. So who is in the end the one that did the most with defeating the WW. Yes Jon.

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    59. Off topic:
      Birgit Nutter, the wife of David Nutter, has passed away. My thoughts and prayers to David and their friends and family.

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    60. Young Dragon:
      Grail King,

      Sansa taking down Littlefinger in and of itself wasn’t the “gotcha” moment. It was the way it happened. With most of the truly shocking events, when you rewatch, you can spot subtle clues that indicate what’s about to happen. With Littlefinger’s trial, there nothing. There was no indication that Sansa and Arya had made peace and were working together, not until it happened.

      I never seen it that way, the second Arya handed the dagger to Sansa I knew what her action would be, and it wasn’t to confide to LF, she’s been snarking and using him since S 4 ( a set back in S 5 ) and she was hearing all his lessons, she do what I would or you seek out someone she trust and could tell her what she didn’t know.
      I didn’t need that cut scene , but for some I guess it would help them.
      if Sansa is any thing like the books, her on the wall of Winterfell was it, she was conflicted, and she had to do something that could backfire on them.
      I never saw it or the girls arguing as a gotcha.

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    61. They could have had the best of both worlds – have Jon arrive at the Godswood, fighting the White Walkers; one of the White Walkers knocks Longclaw out of his hands. Suspense! Suddenly the Night King shatters (and with him the rest of the White Walkers), to reveal that Aya killed him with Catspaw dagger. Surprise! It would also be a callback to how Howland Reed saved Ned Stark by helping kill Arthur Dayne.

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    62. Seriously, I wouldn’t bother trying to analyse D&D quotes. They don’t seem to be very articulate. Not great at getting their meaning across, it often seems to come out wrong and not make sense.

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    63. kevin1989:
      mau,

      We can watch the show again and again and keep enjoying it. For me more important what others think.

      This right here. I can and I will rewatch this show forever and love it from 101 to 806. From start to finish. Don’t care what anyone thinks and for the people that loathe the ending and David and Dan. Well, they’re the ones who lose in the end and will forever be disappointed. Can’t wait to start my rewatch. Somehow they took this juggernaut and were able to wrap it all up neatly and give me an ending. For that i’ll always be thankful to Benioff the Brilliant and Dan the Wise ™️

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    64. Young Dragon:

      It wasn’t a “gotcha” moment like Sansa taking down Littlefinget in season 7. There was a lot of set up, from Arya sneaking up on Jon in the godswood, her sneaking around the wights in the library, her scene with Melisandre, not to mention how much the “god of death” played into her storyline. It was no more a “gotcha” moment than Tywin arriving at the Battle of the Blackwatet, Stannis arriving at the Battle of the Wall,… etc.

      I agree. Previous seasons and, as you point out, especially S8 set it up . Most of us had obsessively re-watched the only trailer; her saying she wanted to see this face of Death, made it inevitable. The whole Melisandre chat underlined that she was MEANT to encounter the Night King. (I thought that when Mel prompted her to say “Not today”, she might even survive.) Cumulatively, this prepared us for it to happen…so it was not a “gotcha”! But for about 30 minutes they DIVERTED our attention with the Crypt scene (I think), and heroics by Jorah, Dany, Theon, others and especially Jon. So as Benioff said, we were not thinking of HER in the moment.

      Mordred,


      D&D: “She seemed like the best candidate, provided we weren’t thinking about her in the moment” “Jon Snow has always been the hero, the one who’s been the savior, but it just didn’t seem right to us for this moment,”

      Meaning not even them thought it made sense that Arya killed the NK, they picked her because it made no sense. They went of the gotcha moment.

      IMO, it made plenty of sense…when you thought about it. Winterfell, Stark blood, etc meant only three people were ever qualified by lore to kill the NK–Jon, Bran and Arya. Bran had said the Dagger was wasted on a cripple, so he could not physically do it. Jon was indeed cliché but we all expected him to do it anyway., mainly because he was the hero and previously had tantalising confrontations with the NK. But also previously, she was known for surprises, stealth, accuracy, knowing where the heart was. Also she was an assassin like the man who had previously wielded the Dagger. But most of all she ALWAYS fiercely protected her family. Since Bran’s life was at stake, she would naturally defend him.

      So when D&D had to decide between Jon and Arya, they sidestepped the cliché and chose Arya. One symbolic consolation is that Jon himself made her what she is and she is a Sword. So like he had set everything in place to win the WAR, all the way back in season 1 he had also made it possible for her to do what was needed. He still won the war. A key supernatural reason was that she’d been recruited and trained by the Many Faced God’s adherents. And a Being that stole death from the Dead and made them his slaves was surely the MFG’s enemy. So there was good rationale for the God of Death to choose her. IMO, probably the surprise element was just D&D’s final reason. And then they set it up in many ways, most important being Bran himself choosing to give her the (likely) destined weapon. They even set up the dagger trick. So if we didn’t anticipate her killing the NK (I did not), it’s because they diverted us and we forgot that she was on her way.

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    65. I don’t like Sapochnik. Guy always comes across like a surly ass. I also really don’t like how he bullied Ramin Djawadi into using certain instruments for his score. And I’ve seen his work outside of GoT, particularly on True Detective S2 and it was just awful. He was just a cog in an already well oiled machine. When you’re surrounded by the best producers, DPs, production designers, costume designers, VFX, it’s hard to screw up. They could’ve inserted me in there to direct those big episodes and you guys would be singing my praises too.

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    66. I just finished watching every episode, and now my watch has ended.

      And I’ll do it all over and over and over again, because this is the best tv show ever.

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    67. The NK is not in the book. It is a D&D creation. The WW were established as dangerous to Westeros as death itself to all humanity with the NK as their leader and weak spot. I am surprised that the writers did not craft detailed steps to the NK’s defeat and death. I know that the interaction between the director and writer/showrunner can be dynamic and based on mutual confidence. GOT used rotation of directors so the vision of the D&D was generally guiding the process. The death of the NK and fall of the WW were such majors event that I am surprised that it sounds as if D&D did not have a very specific detailed clear vision of how it was to go down. Many things are left to a director but I thought this particular moment would need to D&D’s.

      They have imposed themselves on directors on other less important points so please do not say it is their style. Saponik said they told him not to off Jorah when he went with the Dothraki into the darkness. Maybe because the Dotharki can regenerate and Jorah cannot!

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    68. LatrineDiggerBrian,

      True detective season 2 was amazing when it came to directing. Also the music was great in GoT so that means his ideas were great. Especially in his episodes.
      I also saw MS in fringe where he directed an episode brilliantly, it was a filler episode but it was one of the best. Horror-like with lots of emotion.

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    69. Mango:
      The NK is not in the book. It is a D&D creation. The WW were established as dangerous to Westeros as death itself to all humanity with the NK as their leader and weak spot. I am surprised that the writers did not craft detailed steps to the NK’s defeat and death. I know that the interaction between the director and writer/showrunner can be dynamic and based on mutual confidence. GOT used rotation of directors so the vision of the D&D was generally guiding the process. The death of the NK and fall of the WW were such majors event that I am surprised that it sounds as if D&D did not have a very specific detailed clear vision of how it was to go down. Many things are left to a director but I thought this particular moment would need to D&D’s.

      They have imposed themselves on directors on other less important points so please do not say it is their style. Saponik said they told him not to off Jorah when he went with the Dothraki into the darkness. Maybe because the Dotharki can regenerate and Jorah cannot!

      Yes, I was quite surprised how well the Dothraki regenerated!
      I thought when all of their flames had gone out that we had seen the last of the Dothraki. I was actually surprised Jorah and Ghost survived. How awful is it that my reaction after seeing thousands of Dothraki killed was yelling.. “Oh no, not Ghost!!”

      Perhaps D&D’s decision to let Jorah survive was some fan service. It was a much more satisfying end for Jorah to see him battle to save Dany. It was also good to see Dany defend herself with the sword she picked up.

      At some point D&D must have thought they needed a tangible villain, so they went for the NK character. This obviously will be very different in the books. The threat of the Others is always looming in the books. I’m still working on finishing book 2. I’m almost at page 700, but I’ve got 300 pages to go… I am enjoying getting all of the extra details, and I hope as many others do that GRRM eventually is able to finish.

      I don’t really agree that D&D didn’t establish rules of the NK’s death. It was established early on that the WW’s and the NK’s vulnerability was dragonglass and Valyrian Steel. Just like werewolves can be killed by a silver bullet in the heart, the NK could be killed by Valyrian Steel in the heart, so I didn’t have a problem with this.
      I thought the importance of the Catspaw’s dagger was setup many times. It would have been nice to have some additional prophesies about the dagger brought up along the way, I’ll give you that. They definitely had Arya as the princess who was promised, but it just wasn’t emphasized as much in the show. Mel was really the only one who brought it up occasionally. D&D decided not to focus on prophesies and the magical elements.

      I think if GRRM would have had a NK character, he may have written an extra book all about the NK’s backstory (even if it wasn’t for the public to read). D&D didn’t have that luxury of time. I think they went with a few basic ideas using similar tropes to werewolves and vampires on how you kill him.

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    70. About the importance of Jon and the Night King’s demise….

      Remember that, ultimately, the Night King WASN’T the ultimate enemy. Dany was. The final climax of the whole story was Jon killing Dany (which was obviously George’s intention from the very beginning). So, Jon IS the ultimate hero, only not in the way we expected.
      And therefore, who kills the Night King is not such an important element that had to be known from the begining. It’s totally fine that the showrunners “found out” along the way. It was beautifully set up. (and it COULDN’T be Jon, because Jon would kill Dany in the end).

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    71. Tron79: Yes, I was quite surprised how well the Dothraki regenerated!
      I thought when all of their flames had gone out that we had seen the last of the Dothraki.

      In the moment I did too, but then it made sense that not all of them would have gone to Winterfell. Dragonstone would not have been left undefended.

      “They definitely had Arya as the princess who was promised, but it just wasn’t emphasized as much in the show. Mel was really the only one who brought it up occasionally. D&D decided not to focus on prophesies and the magical elements. ”

      On the other hand, although they didn’t go into the Azor Ahai and Nissa Nissa legend, the death of Daenerys at Jon’s hands does reflect it nicely.

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    72. Stark Raven’ Rad: I agree.Previous seasons and, as you point out, especially S8 set it up . Most of us had obsessively re-watched the only trailer; her saying she wanted to see this face of Death, made it inevitable.The whole Melisandre chat underlined that she was MEANT to encounter the Night King. (I thought that when Mel prompted her to say “Not today”, she might even survive.)Cumulatively, this prepared us for it to happen…so it was not a “gotcha”!But for about 30 minutes they DIVERTED our attention with the Crypt scene (I think), and heroics by Jorah, Dany, Theon, others and especially Jon.So as Benioff said, we were not thinking of HER in the moment.

      Mordred,


      D&D: “She seemed like the best candidate, provided we weren’t thinking about her in the moment” “Jon Snow has always been the hero, the one who’s been the savior, but it just didn’t seem right to us for this moment,”


      Meaning not even them thought it made sense that Arya killed the NK, they picked her because it made no sense. They went of the gotcha moment.

      IMO, it made plenty of sense…when you thought about it.Winterfell, Stark blood, etcmeant only three people were ever qualified by lore to kill the NK–Jon, Bran and Arya.Bran had said the Dagger was wasted on a cripple, so he could not physically do it.Jon was indeed cliché but we all expected him to do it anyway., mainly because he was the hero andpreviously had tantalising confrontations with the NK. But alsopreviously, she was known for surprises, stealth, accuracy, knowing where the heart was.Also she was an assassin like the man who had previously wielded the Dagger.But most of all she ALWAYS fiercely protected her family.Since Bran’s life was at stake, she would naturally defend him.

      So when D&D had to decide between Jon and Arya,they sidestepped the cliché and chose Arya. One symbolic consolation is that Jon himself made her what she is and she is a Sword.So like he had set everything in place to win the WAR, all the way back in season 1 he had also made it possible for her to do what was needed.He still won the war.A key supernatural reason was that she’d been recruited and trained by the Many Faced God’s adherents.And a Being that stole death from the Dead and made them his slaves was surely the MFG’s enemy. So there was good rationale for the God of Death to choose her.IMO, probably the surprise element was just D&D’s final reason.And then they set it up in many ways, most important being Bran himselfchoosing to give her the (likely) destined weapon. They even set up the dagger trick.So if we didn’t anticipate her killing the NK (I did not), it’s because they diverted us and we forgot that she was on her way.

      Couldn’t agree more. I love your thought that Jon set her on the path to be the one to end the threat of permanent, icy walking death. Jon’s destiny was elsewhere. Neither Jon or Arya wanted to be called a hero.

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    73. Grandmaester Flash: In the moment I did too, but then it made sense that not all of them would have gone to Winterfell.Dragonstone would not have been left undefended.

      “They definitely had Arya as the princess who was promised, but it just wasn’t emphasized as much in the show. Mel was really the only one who brought it up occasionally. D&D decided not to focus on prophesies and the magical elements. ”

      On the other hand, although they didn’t go into the Azor Ahai and Nissa Nissa legend, the death of Daenerys at Jon’s hands does reflect it nicely.

      Humm… I didn’t think that Dany kept any of the Dothraki back at Dragonstone, but perhaps you are right. I suppose they had to at least defend Dragonstone with someone in case Cersei attacked, but I honestly didn’t get the idea that she left anyone behind at all.

      And yes, I agree that you could draw the reference to Nissa Nissa with Jon stabbing his love through the heart. But the idea of making a special sword wasn’t mentioned in the show.

      The Azor Ahai prophesy seemed to really only be used in the show as part of Mel’s personal arc. It showed how horribly wrong she read the flames when she decided Stannis was the PTWP. She followed Stannis with no doubts leading her to make her fatal mistake of getting him to burn Shireen. I think her arc demonstrated the dangers of having no doubts about what her god was telling her to do. There is a difference between having strong faith and deciding to start killing because you think your god tells you to do it. I think it’s a good illustration of the dangers of fanaticism and where it can lead. So how does someone come back from that kind of mistake? Well, you don’t really. You end up walking off into the distance and becoming dust. But Mel at least found the true princess who was promised and gave her the pep talk she needed to get the job done. Getting back to the thread, I thought Sapochnik did an amazing job with the final montage as we watched Mel litteraly fade away in the distance. The whole final montage in “The Long Night” with “The Night King” soundtrack in the background was really a masterpiece, and I’ve said that before in other posts.

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    74. Young Dragon,

      🙁
      oierem,

      R

      emember that, ultimately, the Night King WASN’T the ultimate enemy. Dany was. The final climax of the whole story was Jon killing Dany (which was obviously George’s intention from the very beginning). So, Jon IS the ultimate hero, only not in the way we expected.

      I didn’t have a problem with Arya, but I was surpried it wasnt jon. This is an excellent point tho

      Re Jorah and Ghost with the Dothrakis – I was worried when I firsr saw them there; how in hell did they not die? Oh wait, plot armor. Guess the Doth didn’t need it. The only thing that would have explined the Doth resurrgence was that Dany had a bunch of them waiting in the winds, other wise like the jet packs in the show, its a mystery….

      ETA sorry GM didn’t see you said the same. Great minds and all that

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    75. kevin1989,

      C’mon, you’re telling me you liked the direction in that episode that Sap directed in TDS2 with that awful sequence in the brothel where he was trying to rip off Bryan DePalma and failing miserably. Thank god D & D shut him down when he wanted to put in that awful, on the nose symbolism to Maester Aemon’s funeral (or whatever it is he wanted to do). He couldn’t even properly light the battle in S3!

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    76. LatrineDiggerBrian: He couldn’t even properly light the battle in S3!

      I’ve heard that a lot of people had trouble with the lighting in The Long Night, but I’m not one of them. I thought it was fine, although, the one time I had trouble was when the dragons were fighting. It was nearly impossible to tell them apart for a period of time.

      Were you watching the episode on an HDTV, or were you watching it on a cellphone, tablet, etc? It seems like a lot of the people who complained were actually watching the episode on cell phones and other devices that couldn’t possibly complete with an HDTV for quality.

      Also, anytime I watch a show/movie that has a lot of night scenes I make a point to turn off the lights in my house for proper effect. I don’t think you can really watch The Long Night during the day or when it’s bright inside.

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    77. Mr Derp: I’ve heard that a lot of people had trouble with the lighting in The Long Night, but I’m not one of them.I thought it was fine, although, the one time I had trouble was when the dragons were fighting.It was nearly impossible to tell them apart for a period of time.

      Were you watching the episode on an HDTV, or were you watching it on a cellphone, tablet, etc?It seems like a lot of the people who complained were actually watching the episode on cell phones and other devices that couldn’t possibly complete with an HDTV for quality.

      Also, anytime I watch a show/movie that has a lot of night scenes I make a point to turn off the lights in my house for proper effect.I don’t think you can really watch The Long Night during the day or when it’s bright inside.

      I agree. I watched in the dark with the shades down on a half way decent TV. It looked great for me. However I can see with the compression on HBO it hurt some of the resolution. I own them on amazon and I’m not sure if they are compressed or if I will need to get the dvd to get the ultimate version? I can understand though with all the different platforms how people could have trouble. It wasn’t viewable at all for me on my computer. I don’t use a tablet for movies but it was probably similar to computer. It was after all at night. So I did expect it to be dark to a point while still being able to see my favs in the action.

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    78. LatrineDiggerBrian,

      What do you mean with on the nose symbol of Maester Aemon?
      And s3? You mean 8×03? That lightning problem was already explained to be the fault of the cable companies so why keep on talking about that? Too much data needed to be transfer to your tv, (simple put mbs they need to transfer 1 mb per second but only got room for 800kbs as an example) and the cable companies weren’t prepared for that (probably because HBO didn’t warn them). Normally what cable companies do is focus on the light parts of their streaming that enough constrast is there. But not the darker parts. Meaning that different kind of black will become one kind of black. Where as for instance a DVD or BD version show those different kind of black. I saw the version you’re talking about but that was not HBO’s fault. the version that our streaming service provided (Ziggo in the Netherlands has HBO) had the normal colors, and that’s probably because the providers in my country is very much advanced compared to others.

      So please stop blaming MS or D&D for the lighting, it was not their fault. Blame your provider which you gave money for not providing what your provider needed to give.

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    79. Tron79,

      Yea, I think the compression on HBO didn’t help either. I actually find that tv compression is responsible for most of the image/audio issues that I have on my tv.

      I don’t know if this happens to anyone else, but I find that the music on certain channels speeds up like crazy out of nowhere as if it’s racing and doesn’t sound right. It doesn’t really happen to me on HBO, but it happens a lot with cable channels like Comedy Central, etc… It’s strange. Most visual issues I can fix on my tv, but the audio is a bit of a different matter. I think it might be due to the fact that I have a 4KHD TV. I don’t think most tv channels are formatted for 4K.

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    80. Mr Derp,

      kevin1989,

      tbh i had no issue with it, but it seems like a lot of people did so it was a fair point to bring up in an argument.

      with Sapochnik, I haven’t really been in love with any of the episodes he’s directed storywise and that’s not his fault. but i also feel like he gets way too much credit when people barely mention David Nutter, Alan Taylor, Tim Van Patten, and my personal favorite Alex Graves who directed many of the biggest moments of the series and knocked them all out of the park. Sapochnik’s episodes have some nice cinematography, but so do all of the other GoT directors. I dunno, he hasn’t really stood out to me in the same way he has to everyone else (though I did like the calm before the storm sequence in the last episode he directed). Plus he really comes across as an arrogant asshole in all of the interviews I see him give.

      And I hated Light of the Seven, as a musical piece it’s all right by itself, but to me it didn’t fit in with the series and I really detest Sapochnik for having the audacity to tell a genius like Ramin how to do his job.

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    81. Little bit more information. Not always is the problem with bad video the fault of the DVD/BD/provider etc but your tv. And most of the time it’s the fault with newer tv. why? stupid extra functions that change the video (so change the original version with a horrible edited version). I will post a link at the end with extra information. And short what you should change on your tv. Or somebody who you know that knows a lot about technology.

      First why is most of the time the settings wrong? simple it’s done on purpose by manufactures. The demo version is the perfect settings version that you see in store, and the home version is a slightly different so you will buy a newer TV sooner. If you set up your TV right you can do more then 10 years with your tv and have better tv experience then the ones just buying a newer tv over 10 years. I found this problem out myself when I found my older tv better then my newer one when watching LOST again, something was not right.

      1. picture mode: never choose dynamic for series or movies (only for gaming), never choose standard, or sport mode. Best is to start with cinema mode for TV/movies. This settings is almost perfect but most of the time not 100% and small changes need to be made.
      2. Backlight: around 60/80% of the max. Personally I go for 80%.
      3. Brightness: this is the problem with most with GoT episode 3. Everything is black. Brightness is set low. To see more shades of black put this in higher. If it’s too grey set it lower.
      4. Contrast: Not black but white. Best seen when looking at clouds. If there are no difference in white-shades. Set it lower. Is it too boring higher.
      5. Sharpness: The lower it is, the more realistic it is. If you want more realistic picture, put lower, else higher.
      6. Color: Difference between different colors. Most of the time this is right as it is. Sometimes 1 or 2 points higher or lower.
      7. Rest ignore except things like: Motion plus, digital clean view, Dynamic contrast, soap opera mode etc. Put those off, they are settings that will give you horrible viewing experience and make the pictures more fake. And put HDR only on when you are gaming, always off with TV and movies.
      8. Colortone: something like warmth. No standard of dynamic. My tv has 2 warmth settings, I choose the lowest because the higher feels to warm for me and too yellow.

      If somebody has questions ask away.

      https://www.consumerreports.org/lcd-led-oled-tvs/tv-settings-for-the-ultimate-picture-quality/

      https://www.cnet.com/how-to/game-of-thrones-season-8-how-to-adjust-your-tv-for-a-cinematic-picture/

      First is the best, and for my dutch commenters I recommened the coolblue explanation on their site.

      Mr Derp,

      That speeding up is done on purpose. More room for advertisement. make a 43 minute episode a 42 minute episode and you have 1 extra minute of income.

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    82. LatrineDiggerBrian,

      I agree other’s were amazing as well. Not a single GoT director was bad.

      And the second. That’s his job as a director. To make sure everything is in place. That means also the music. And then the last say is the producers once the directors give them the episodes. Every movie or TV show the director give instructions for the music.

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    83. kevin1989,

      Who’s up for a season 8 re-watch in a theater. It would be cool to have someone show it at an Envision theater (or some other really nice theater). I think it could be an all day marathon. The snack bar would make a fortune, especially if they came to your seat like Envision…

      I agree though with the settings you detailed. I did go through my own TV settings to make sure I had it the way I liked it. They are similar to how you suggested.

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    84. kevin1989: That speeding up is done on purpose. More room for advertisement. make a 43 minute episode a 42 minute episode and you have 1 extra minute of income.

      I know what you mean, but that’s different from what’s happening to me. I probably could’ve articulated more.

      The music doesn’t just speed up and stay sped up. It changes pace at random. A song will play slow, then it’ll speed up, then it’ll slow down, all in the same song. It’s inconsistent.

      And yea, the first thing I did when I got my 4ktv was turn off the “motion plus” thing. I don’t recall if it’s called the same thing on my tv or not, but I agree, it provides a really strange visual. It makes most shows/movies look terrible, but there are occasional exceptions. I recall that Mad Max: Fury Road is kind of awesome with the motion on.

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    85. LatrineDiggerBrian,

      I remember when you said on WOTW right after “The Winds of Winter” that you didn’t like “Light of the Seven”. I think that might go down as the most unpopular comment in the history of WOTW, but you are certainly welcome to your opinion.

      I know what you mean when you say it felt out of place for GoT, but it worked quite well for me. I don’t require every instrument heard on GoT to be beholden to history unless the instruments are being played onscreen. Besides, GoT isn’t really supposed to be historically accurate, seeing as though it’s a work of fantasy and fiction.

      I don’t really know the details of how the Light of Seven came to be, but if Sapochnik told Ramin to do the Light of Seven the way it eventually played out onscreen then I’d say that Ramin owes Sapochnik a debt of gratitude. It’s gotta be Ramin’s most popular and requested song to date.

      As far as Sapochnik being an arrogant asshole or whatever, I don’t know enough about the man to say one way or the other, but there’s a reason why the phrase “never meet your heroes, because they’re sure to disappoint” exists. I think a lot of our favorite musicians/heroes/athletes/whatever might not be the perfect people that we wish they would be.

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    86. Ten Bears,

      When I first saw Arya fall onto the Night King’s neck I thought she had dropped out of the tree. That would have been a smart ambush. (Maybe she did?)

      Although in the making of that scene, Arya is pulled through the air on a cable run.

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    87. kevin1989,

      Don’t be too concern what other’s think. At the end of the day, what matters to Young Dragon is what Young Dragon thinks of it. That’s at least how I look at it. Somebody can hate what I love, I don’t care, as long as I liked it I’m happy.

      Strongly agree! Your own viewing or taking in of a work of art, is part of that work of art. What use is a creation that no-one sees? Your reaction to a work is yours alone and one should let others’ reactions cause you to revise or disrespect one’s own reaction. Respect other views of course – but no less your own.

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    88. Dire guineapig:
      Ten Bears,

      When I first saw Arya fall onto the Night King’s neck I thought she had dropped out of the tree. That would have been a smart ambush. (Maybe she did?)

      Although in the making of that scene, Arya is pulled through the air on a cable run.

      I had some issues with the giant leap until I realized that’s how a wolf attacks. You see wolves leaping on their prey exactly like Arya did. It was a very athletic leap, but Arya with her inner wolf probably has at least a 38″ vertical jump 🙂

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    89. Tron79,

      I’m all in for that. I wish they would do that. Or better a 8 day marathon where everyday 1 season would be shown.

      Mr Derp,

      Oh that. I’ve had that problem but I can remember what the problem was, my tv, provider or something else.

      Motion plus is more for gaming, where the pictures are already artificial (right word I hope for what I’m looking for). So that’s why just like gaming that movie was perfect for it.

      Dire guineapig,

      I will look at it when I have the time. I’m wondering what kind of music it is. But don’t forget that GoT went for a original soundtrack. Or do you mean that the people of spire would help Ramin?

      Dire guineapig,

      Agree fully. I also have a couple of TV shows that aren’t really that great but I love to watch it. Or old tv shows where many think, why do you watch old tv-shows? Well I just love it. I love old comedies like seinfeld, Golden girls etc and some think I’m crazy that I don’t watch newer shows instead of the old ones, well if I like it I watch it. And I don’t care how old it is.

      And also the other way, I know people who love to watch and talk about every kind of sport that is on tv, soccer, darts, that race car stuff etc. Well I don’t care for that, if I would watch 20 seconds of it I have enough. But as long as they enjoy it and having a good time, I will let them enjoy it.

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    90. LatrineDiggerBrian,

      I partly agree with you here: I like Sapochnik/Wagner a lot, but people tend to forget other great directors . Alex Graves/ Annette Haellmigk did a great job, I 100% agree. I also love many things Podeswa/Middleton did. And many others. And, yes, I add the directors of photography, because I think the result depends a lot on how they get along.
      As for the music, the 1st time I watched WoW, I had the same reaction as you (the piano seemed so off!), and I remember discussing it with my son, who had loved it : as a consequence, we rewatched it the next day: now that the surprise was gone, I did enjoy it a lot and found it great.

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    91. Mordred,

      Oh, now I see. You wanted Jon to be the one who ended the White Walker threat and refused to accept anything else, even though how it happened perfectly made sense.

      D&D did apply the gardener style to Arya. There was the eye prophecy, for one, not to mention her relationship with the god of death and joining a death cult. D&D realized she was the perfect candidate to take out the Night King and applied the gardener style to make it happen.

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    92. kevin1989,

      Oh, I agree that in the end, my opinion is the only one that matters to me, but I was just curious. You’re right when you said BB’s flaws don’t excuse GOT’s, but I think it’s important to point out the hypocrisy of some people’s criticisms. If they criticize GOT, but give BB a pass if they do something similar, I feel this bias invalidates their argument.

      My top 3 shows are GOT, The Shield, and Breaking Bad.

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    93. Iul,

      Regarding George’s books, the question that bugs me is why was Daenerys among the initial 5 survivors of the novels together with Jon, Arya, Tyrion and Bran ? What did he have in mind the meaning of Dany’s story would be ? It should not have been a tragic one ? Or it should have been a tragic story, but also a fantasy; and in a fantasy anything can happen.

      She wasn’t one of the survivors, because there was no ending to that story. The initial 5 refers to the first outline that Martin gave to his publisher. The story was quite different (ie Arya going beyond the Wall with Catelyn to live with Jon, Jon-Tyrion being in love with Arya, Sansa supporting Joffrey who loses a hand in battle, etc), but there was no ending. What is the same is the core: a struggle for power while two threats arise, one in the North (others), another in the East (Daenerys). The story changed very much in its making and most of the details were altered (ie Arya leaves Westeros, Catelyn dies, it’s Jamie who lost his hand, Sansa escapes, etc.

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    94. Tron79,

      It was a very athletic leap, but Arya with her inner wolf probably has at least a 38″ vertical jump

      She leapt out of nowhere to save Bran, in exactly the way that Summer leapt out of nowhere to save Bran inS1E2. And with the same Dagger. Only by now it was a Stark Dagger, anointed in Catelyn’s (and the defeated Littlefinger’s) blood. I don’t think she was the PTWP–that’s still Jon because the entire War had been led by him in every respect. But Arya was doing her longtime duty–protecting her family. If she took a running jump onto a pile of wights and leapt down at the Nk…that makes sense too. I rewatched the scene on the large-screen telly yesterday and noticed that Theon seemed to be straining to see something as he died. Did he see her coming?

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    95. Tron79,

      And in the Inside video, I understand (heard from the more informed) that Beinoff did take the time to say that we have seen the last of the Dothraki after they disappeared in Epi 3.

      Yet they still reappaered later. You woul think he did not even know what was coming in his own show.

      And no, they were not left to guard Dragonstone. Plus they continued increasing in number even during the time in KL.

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    96. Mango,

      No, that’s not correct. The Dothraki at King’s Landing is a much smaller number than the Dothraki that rode against the dead at Winterfell or that attacked the Lannisters in season 7. Also, we see a lot of the Dothraki retreat after the initial charge against the dead, so there was definitely survivors.

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    97. Stark Raven’ Rad:
      Tron79,

      It was a very athletic leap, but Arya with her inner wolf probably has at least a 38″ vertical jump

      She leapt out of nowhere to save Bran, in exactly the way that Summer leapt out of nowhere to save Bran inS1E2.And with the same Dagger.Only by now it was a Stark Dagger, anointed in Catelyn’s (and the defeated Littlefinger’s) blood.I don’t think she was the PTWP–that’s still Jon because the entire War had been led by him in every respect.But Arya was doing her longtime duty–protecting her family.If she took a running jump onto a pile of wights and leapt down at the Nk…that makes sense too. I rewatched the scene on the large-screen telly yesterday and noticed that Theon seemed to be straining to see something as he died.Did he see her coming?

      I remember Theon looking around right before he died. That’s an interesting thought that he could have seen her but I’ll have to rewatch to see the timing.

      I don’t think anyone in the show exactly matches the Azar Ahai prophesy. I get what you’re saying about anointing the blade with the blood. I just don’t think it really matches up well. Yes Jon was the driving force to bring everyone together to defeat the AOTD so he could be seen as the savior prince that was promised but Arya was definitely and literally the one who brought the dawn!!. So if I had to choose I still say Arya was the PTWP. I do get that Jon had to make the ultimate sacrifice to bring down Dany. I will give you that it at least has some elements of the Nissa Nissa prophesy. But I still vote for Arya as the closest character who brings the dawn and she uses a Valyrian.steel dagger which at least has come magical elements.

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    98. While bearing witness to the race between the books and the show toward resolution, the two things that will stand out many years from now is #1 the time I left a flaming bag of dogshit on Lulumom’s front porch and #2 that moment when George Martin totally ate my balls and asked for seconds. Seriously, that fella really likes eating balls.

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    99. Young Dragon,

      I remember the shield, amazing show. You like shows with great characters I see. Sons of Anarchy I would recommend. First couple of episodes are ok. But the further you are into the story the better it gets. The last 2 seasons were one of the best I ever saw on TV. And the ending was very Shield, GoT, BB like. Bittersweet.

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    100. Mango:
      And in the Inside video, I understand (heard from the more informed) that Beinoff did take the time to say that we have seen the last of the Dothraki after they disappeared in Epi 3.

      Yet they still reappaered later. You woul think he did not even know what was coming in his own show.

      And no, they were not left to guard Dragonstone. Plus they continued increasing in number even during the time in KL.

      Of course he knew. It’s as I said earlier, D&D are not good commentators. They don’t always express their meaning very well. It was the last we would see of the Dothraki in that episode.

      How do you know there were no Dothraki left to guard Dragonstone? For me, it’s the kind of thing that goes without saying. Of course there would be a garrison left to defend it. We don’t need to be shown that. And you can’t assume that all we see is all there is.

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    101. And I also had that reaction with Jon and Ghost, I was: Go pet your dog.
      But I understand the reasoning why it wasn’t there. Making those scenes with wolves is lot of work. And we maybe want more Ghost scenes, but we also need to think about the wonderful wolf-actor doing those scenes. We can’t use that dog for our amusement and it need to stay fun for the dog.

      Understand the concern, but doubt that one quick bit of petting or, indeed, a little more direwolf action in general (Nymeriaaaaaa, where tf were you…or any of the other characters I was waiting for who never turned up…) would’ve required abuse. xD

      Until the script revealed that Arya had vaulted from a pile of dead wights, I was going with the tree-branch idea as the only explanation that held any water. Because I’m sorry, no matter how much wolf-spirit you’ve got, a short stack like her doesn’t get that kind of air from the ground. And it’d look downright ridiculous. Stealth is a good skill to be sure, but it’s not magical or unique to her. I wanted to see the bloody pile in a shot because you shouldn’t have to read the script. I want to know why the other Walkers were such worthless lookouts and why the NK didn’t simply snap Arya’s neck.

      Re: the darkness of the third ep, yeah, I watched in the dark on a toppa-the-line telly and much of it was…murky to say the least. Sometimes intentionally so, but probably overall darker than it ought to have been, especially considering that not everyone would have the luxury of watching as I did. I rewatched on my own TV to catch some of what I might’ve missed. I never mess with settings and don’t expect to ever need to (which is why I never figured out how. xp) My brother effs with that stuff all the time…but mostly just to annoy us and waste time.

      The ability of the Dothraki and Unsullied to respawn as needed has been duly noted time and again. O_o (The dramatic “effectively seeing the end of the Dothraki” commentary was plainly erroneous…)

      I’m not going to look at Daenerys as “the ultimate villain” and Jon a hero for killing her; that was just a godawful tragedy, and she was a hero right up until the designated ending demanded a justification for her murder. Which she was forced to suddenly provide against all logic and established characterization. So, yeah. Jon or almost anyone else could have somehow become the NK-slayer; having to put Dany out of her mad misery was irrelevant to that. Of course I didn’t want it to be him– it would’ve just been too obvious and cliche. I definitely did want to see more of the NK and some actual dueling with him before he got cubed, which shouldn’t have been too much to ask. The “eye prophecy” was retconned to apply to him; “blue” would’ve come last had it originally been intended to relate to the endgame. Arya was destined to kill many people of all eye colors as well as many blue-eyed dead, yes. The prophecy didn’t need to pertain to the NK himself. When it was restated I was trying to think of which blue-eyed person Arya might need to kill for some reason, thought it was probably just restoring her spirit to go take out more wights or whatever…didn’t occur to me that she was going to just stab the NK, although that could’ve ended poorly. Fortunately it clicked that “Whoa, gotta go tell the God of Death ‘Not today!'” I just couldn’t have imagined that after all the hype and buildup, the entire final-season battle against the dead could be encompassed in one episode and location.

      I’m also not comfortable thinking of either Arya or Jon as the Prince(ss) Who Was Promised. Neither feels just right. I’d actually be more inclined to go with Mel herself, who ironically was so fanatical in her pursuit of this individual and his/her prophecy fulfillment…but wound up helping to ensure the crucial union of ice & fire (Jon’s side, the gathering of necessary forces) and later sicced the NK’s killer on him (Arya’s side of it.)

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    102. Cumsprite,

      So, you’re the one who’s responsible for TWOW being delayed? Perhaps seconds could be offered as a reward for finishing. I’m sure the WOTW community would appreciate your altruistic sacrifice in this troubled time.

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    103. Mr Derp,

      Yes, I do remember. I was so disturbed that I paused the episode to come on here to complain and ended up having to fend off multi-pronged attack from a vicious horde of trolls.

      The end of S6 was where the series really fell off a cliff for me. I was devastated. I had been like you guys before then (even more so) and I had just come over to WoTW from Westeros.org because it was so negative there and got tired of being in the dissenting minority. Then I came here and look what happened!

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    104. AnnOther,

      This was right where the show went off a cliff for me, so part of it was I was pretty annoyed to begin with. But even going back and watching it, I still stand by my opinion. It just didn’t click for me, it felt wrong.

      Yeah, Podeswa and others had really good moments in the much smaller scenes. Did Podeswa do the shot of Brienne and Pod looking over Moat Caitlin as Sansa and Little Finger crossed via horse carriage? Might have been Mark Mylod. “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken” is much vilified (not by me) but the silhouette shot of the Sand Snakes as they left the tunnel was also very cool. Lot of the directors in the earlier scenes like Daniel Minehan (just directed the Deadwood movie), Tim Van Patten, Michelle MacClaren and so many others are just forgotten about. All I hear is Sapochnik this, Sapochnik that, blablablablabla.

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    105. kevin1989,

      Maybe in a feature, but not on a show where the composer has been there for 5 seasons already and is a mainstay. Really it’s on the show runners. Total blow hard move by Sapochnik and frankly he got lucky it turned out so well. You should see his musical direction in the TD S2 whore house montage where he tried to use the same trick and failed just as miserably.

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    106. LatrineDiggerBrian,

      Yes, I remember it all. That was a bizarre time in the annals of GoT discussion. You were here complaining all the time about the show and Jack Bauer was complaining all the time about there being no red carpet premiere date.

      Now, it’s a couple of years later. You’re still here complaining, and Jack is still here posting the same thing almost every day, though at least it’s not about the red carpet premiere date anymore 🙂

      It’s interesting how opinions can change so drastically from one person to another. I think you said recently that “The Broken Man” was actually one of your favorite GoT episodes, but you didn’t like season 6 as a whole. I have to say, that’s strange. For me, “The Broken Man” was ok, but was probably my least or second least favorite episode of that season. I do think that the show started to feel a bit more like a “blockbuster” during season 6, which I didn’t really like, but I found season 6 overall to be one of the most entertaining seasons they did.

      Personally, I didn’t care for the way the show ended and it wasn’t because I had some set of personal expectations that weren’t met. I just thought the vast majority of the characters turned into complete morons in order for the necessary boxes to be checked off. Very little of it felt organic to me. Also ,as a show that prided itself of subverting expectations, I honestly thought the last episode was pretty dull and predictable. I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t care for it either. I’ve made my peace with it.

      I hated the Sopranos ending when it first aired too, but I’ve come to appreciate it now, and I don’t think the show could’ve ended any other way. We’ll see “in 10 years” how I feel about the GoT finale.

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    107. shelle,

      ”Until the script revealed that Arya had vaulted from a pile of dead wights, I was going with the tree-branch idea as the only explanation that held any water. Because I’m sorry, no matter how much wolf-spirit you’ve got, a short stack like her doesn’t get that kind of air from the ground….”

      ______
      I was going with the idea that Arya was beamed down from the Enterprise’s transporter room with the precise coordinates to materialize midair next to NK.
      Seriously, I would’ve preferred the “elaborate” fight through the Godswood or at least the leap from the wight pile, to the surprise! appearance out of thin air.
      Oh well. That was a directorial decision. Some fans liked the Arya ex machina. I didn’t think showing Arya leaping over rooftops, fighting her way through wights*, or stealthily creeping up on NK, would’ve been repetitious: Arya’s blink-and-you-missed-it fighting scenes (with her custom-made spear) lasted maybe a few seconds total.

      * Sapochnik’s justification.

      I thought one of the fundamental principles of effective directing is “You can never have enough ASNAWP.” 👸🏻🗡

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    108. kevin1989,

      Hey, thanks for these tips! I got a “pre-owned” new TV to replace the crappy old dinosaur in my room. I haven’t hooked up the new TV yet.* I’ll be sure to consult your checklist when I do.

      * I have this fear that once I disconnect my old TV I’ll need a special cable or flux capacitor to hook up the new one. That’s what happens every time I get a new computer.

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    109. Young Dragon,

      Also, we see a lot of the Dothraki retreat after the initial charge against the dead, so there was definitely survivors.

      That chilling moment when all the flaming Dothraki swords in the distance flicker out makes it seem like their annihilation. But you are right that this is not the case – the impression is deceptive. For instance, Jorah rode out with the Dothraki in that first charge against the dead. But he reappears later to defend Dany.

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    110. Ten Bears:
      shelle,

      ”Until the script revealed that Arya had vaulted from a pile of dead wights, I was going with the tree-branch idea as the only explanation that held any water. Because I’m sorry, no matter how much wolf-spirit you’ve got, a short stack like her doesn’t get that kind of air from the ground….”

      ______ I was going with the idea that Arya was beamed down from the Enterprise’s transporter room with the precise coordinates to materialize midair next to NK.Seriously, I would’ve preferred the “elaborate” fight through the Godswood or at least the leap from the wight pile, to the surprise! appearance out of thin air.Oh well. That was a directorial decision. Some fans liked the Arya ex machina. I didn’t think showing Arya leaping over rooftops, fighting her way through wights*, or stealthily creeping up on NK,would’ve been repetitious: Arya’s blink-and-you-missed-it fighting scenes (with her custom-made spear) lasted maybe a few seconds total.

      * Sapochnik’s justification.

      I thought one of the fundamental principles of effective directing is “You can never have enough ASNAWP.” 👸🏻🗡

      Lmao!! Yeah, tbh I wouldn’t have hated watching her make her way over there either. But the choice to make you forget about her for a while–okay, fine, not bad. But it’s baffling me that not one person working on the scene apparently pointed out, “Hey, we should probably show what she’s jumping off in the background, so you can go ‘Ohh, all right, that’s where she was coming from.'” Like…just…how?

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    111. Shelle: Lmao!! Yeah, tbh I wouldn’t have hated watching her make her way over there either. But the choice to make you forget about her for a while–okay, fine, not bad. But it’s baffling me that not one person working on the scene apparently pointed out, “Hey, we should probably show what she’s jumping off in the background, so you can go ‘Ohh, all right, that’s where she was coming from.’” Like…just…how?

      Since that scene aired until now, I never once thought about where she came from. Couldn’t care less. That scene was brilliant and exhilarating the first time I watched it and just watching it a couple days ago, it’s still just as brilliant. Where she jumped or fell from really has no bearing and changes nothing. Imo of course. Brilliance is brilliance.

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    112. …Wow that was a hot one, tell me another…
      I just can’t imagine watching so mindlessly as not to ponder what she sprang from, and what it was should have been clear. She didn’t materialize. Making it look as if somebody struck “out of nowhere” to dispatch your villain in seconds…”exhilarating brilliance?” Hardly the words I’m looking for.

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    113. shelle,

      Are you serious? You didn’t know where she came from? We see a wisp of hair of one of the White Walkers move as Arya ran by, so where she came from is rather obvious.

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    114. Mr Derp,

      Perfectly put.

      Ten Bears,

      It’s connected to you’re PC? Is it a very old pc?

      Maybe a tip. If you download series or movies. Use the program “Plex” Then you don’t need to connect the pc to your TV.

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    115. Mr Derp,

      For me, your 4th paragraph describes how I felt about the last 2.5 seasons. They were in such a rush to finish that they just consolidated all the characters into one big group, robbing almost all of them of any conflict in their storylines. Sansa was far more interesting when she was struggling to survive. Arya lost her purpose and became a Marvel hero. Tyrion faded into the background. Some of the most epic relationships of the show (i.e. Jorah / Dany, Tyrion / Cersei , The Hound / Arya), which seemed destined to be resolved in the finale were snuffed out over time. It really felt like D & D just wanted to be over and done with the series so they could move on to greener pastures.

      As for S6, I really hated the story in the north. The whole thing between Jon and Sansa felt so manufactured, and in the end it played out so predictably (re: your point on subverting expectations). Cersei blowing up the Sept wasn’t really well built to or surprising either.

      I actually started to doze off at the very end of the finale. This was more a product of me being on very little sleep, but when I look back to the offseason between S3-4, when I was literally counting down the days till the season started to find out what would happen, hard to imagine that the series would fall off that much.

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    116. Young Dragon:
      shelle,

      Are you serious? You didn’t know where she came from? We see a wisp of hair of one of the White Walkers move as Arya ran by, so where she came from is rather obvious.

      No ship, Sherlock. XD I wanted to see what she climbed and leapt off, why she appeared to be above the NK when attacking.

      I feel you for sure, LDB, though it was honestly just the latter half of S8 that bothered me. The difference between my joyous excitement going into “The Long Night” vs. what came afterward was absolutely night and day. I could not believe it. Perhaps I’d been willfully ignoring some things earlier, but I hadn’t truly considered that the end could be a letdown.

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    117. Miguel Sapochnik and Neil Marshall are two of my favourite directors from the GOT roster. While I realize that they directed the “action” episodes and are more commonly classified as the “battle directors”, I am still in awe and mightily impressed with what they managed to achieve with their episodes, in terms of sheer scale, scope, overall quality and technical achievements. They deserve every bit of success and I wish them well in the future.

      I must say that I definitely would have liked to see Michelle McLaren return to GOT and direct at least one more episode. I also wish that Deborah Chow had been included as a director, because she is awesome as well.

      If D&D get their “Star Wars” trilogy off the ground, they may well consider hiring Sapochnik or McLaren to direct!

      PS Also two thumbs up for Jeremy Podeswa, soo glad he got to be involved on GOT!

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    118. Grandmaester Flash: Of course he knew.It’s as I said earlier, D&D are not good commentators.They don’t always express their meaning very well.It was the last we would see of the Dothraki in that episode.

      How do you know there were no Dothraki left to guard Dragonstone?For me, it’s the kind of thing that goes without saying.Of course there would be a garrison left to defend it.We don’t need to be shown that.And you can’t assume that all we see is all there is.

      Nope. I am not making up GOT myself.

      That is not what Benioff said. – he said we have seen the last of the Dothraki. Unless qualified, it means end forever. And in context, he was speaking that’s how it was taken.

      I am not making up parts of GOT. There was no indication in what was shown/said that any Dothraki was left on Dragonstone. (If we are to think they left Dothraki there, I would need details on when that was said/seen on the TV.)

      Deanerys said she was taking her army north – at no time did she say anything else. I do not recall any plan to leave Dothraki behind. I do not remember any scenes of Dothraki left behind on Dragonstone after Deanerys went north. While leaving North and heading South, I did not hear any military plans to have the Dothraki leave Dragstone and join the rest of the KL. We heard plans for one group by ship and one group overland with Jon, nothing about forces from Dragonstone. Sansa said the army was tired after fighting the dead, that was an opportunity to say we had fresh soldiers sitting on Dragonstone – there was no mention of that. There were no scenes of summoning any Dothraki from Dragonstone. There were no scenes of new teams of Dothraki getting on ships at Dragonstone or arriving at KL. No-one mentioned reinforcement coming in. (I am unsure where they washed up when Euron blew the ships out of the water but there were no Dothraki nearby helping poor Varys out of the water.)

      Plus, they kept multiplying well AFTER Deanerys took KL.

      Let us examine the possibility that men were left behind in Dragonstone: There was no strong reason for valuable fighting men to be left on Dragonstone to protect nothing – an empty rock. It is emotionally important to Deaneryrs, but from the numbers that regenerated in KL we would need to conclude that more than 50% of the Dothraki was left behind at Dragonstone. What would that indicate Deanerys commitment to help Jon?

      Anyway, whatever you believe, it is a storytelling mess. If Daenerys left so MANY of the Dothraki behind, we needed to SEE or HEAR it for it be in the story. (I am not making it up myself) And if she did, it raises questions on her commitment to helping Jon fight the dead. Or she was OK dying with him in North by being unneccsarily underpowered.

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    119. Mango,

      Please yourself.

      I don’t get why you set so much store in D&D’s comments. I say again, they are not the most articulate people and often express themselves poorly in those interviews or commentaries, whatever they are. They seem to ad lib instead of preparing a script, which leads to omissions and poor choices of words.

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    120. So sick of all the whining and griping on here. Same people, always whingeing.
      Think I’ll join the rest of the people who loved GoT, and not come here any more.

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    121. Mango,

      As I stated previously, we see Dothraki retreat from the initial charge against the army of the dead, so there were survivors of that battle. You rely to much on those videos, especially since they seem to leave you more confused. I never once watched one of them and I managed to follow the show just fine. I have no idea where you’re getting that the Dothraki somehow multiplied. There were far, far less Dothraki at King’s Landing than there were at Winterfell and at the Loot Train Battle. There couldn’t be more than a thousand at Dany’s victory speech.

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    122. Mango,

      You’re right that she didn’t left any Dothraki on Dragonstone. Else Euron couldn’t attack. (Or else they would have died by Euron’s hand before Dany arived back)

      But if you look at episode 3. You can see when the Dothraki attacked around 40% survived they were fleeing. Ghost and Jorah were 2 of them.

      That still leaves a big amount of Dothraki left that survived. But if more or less survived then we saw in episode 5 and 6. I don’t know. I read that Dany took around 100.000 Dothraki north and 20.000 Unsullied. That means that around 40.000 survived the battle of Winterfell, Unsullied were also halved so that means 10.000 Unsullied. And then they fought in the battle of Kings Landing. Where not that much Dothraki and Unsullied died. Let’s say that still 10% died. That means that around 36.000 Dothraki suppose to be in episode 6 and around 9.000 Unsullied Meaning a Army of 45.000. Hmm to think about it that’s around the amount that we saw in episode 6.

      I think the biggest problem was that we didn’t fell a sense how many there were in her army in episode 3. And that not everyone saw Dothraki survived when fleeing with Jorah.

      But I still wonder why you stated that armies multiplied, when you saw in episode 7×07 how big her army was. And in episode 8×04 it was stated that her army was cut in half. In episode 5 not really people died So take what you saw in 7×07. Take a third/40% of it and that’s her army in 8×06.

      About D&D stating their facts. They somethimes “lie” in their segments. They stated that Jon was dead and not coming back. They stated in season 3 that Dany was the hero, even when Emilia already got noted to act certain scenes different and much darker, they even knew there that Dany was going dark in the end. They stated Sandor died. Etc They tell the segments how we suppose to think after a certain episode so that we stay surprised when a new episode airs.

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    123. Grandmaester Flash,

      Just stay. Not everyone has the same opinion or view. That’s why we are here on this site. To talk about that. Everyone has the right to state their opinion, even if it’s positive or negative.

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    124. kevin1989,

      This Dothraki issue is not a major issue with me as far as the end of GOT goes. The declaration of D&D not even a major issue,esp since I am only quoting some-one else on what they said.

      The unworkable narrative and character arc are a bigger issue.

      The poster asserted that the Dothraki were at Dragonstone. Then directly addressed me and asked how I knew that they were not at Dragonstone. I responded that I had no evidence given to me in GOT. Simply laid it out. Politely.

      That is all.

      Nothing much to see here.

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    125. Young Dragon: Tron79: Y

      Hmm……

      Please see this exchange on August 15, 2019 at 8;49am when both Tron and Grandmaster Flash seemed to be agreed that they thought Epi 3 was the end of the Dothraki. Flash then goes on to assert that the Dothraki increased in numbers because some Dothraki were on Dragonstone.

      “Tron79: Yes, I was quite surprised how well the Dothraki regenerated!
      I thought when all of their flames had gone out that we had seen the last of the Dothraki.

      GM: In the moment I did too, but then it made sense that not all of them would have gone to Winterfell. Dragonstone would not have been left undefended….”

      See. Keep up.

      This is where the conversation at the moment! Well, until GM picked the toys and went home.

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    126. oierem:
      About the importance of Jon and the Night King’s demise….

      Remember that, ultimately, the Night King WASN’T the ultimate enemy. Dany was. The final climax of the whole story was Jon killing Dany (which was obviously George’s intention from the very beginning). So, Jon IS the ultimate hero, only not in the way we expected.
      And therefore, who kills the Night King is not such an important element that had to be known from the begining. It’s totally fine that the showrunners “found out” along the way. It was beautifully set up. (and it COULDN’T be Jon, because Jon would kill Dany in the end).

      Yes, the story’s end was that Deanerys was the “Big Bad”.

      Well set up?? Just a few points;

      (i)It required a late switcheroo. Too late a switch, not enough time to build tension. It was clear for Cersei as a “Bad” as this was well built. I wonder if this is why in the book there is no NK and the Others remain a more diffuse threat. So the writer can really convincingly build Deanerys as the final “Big Bad”. It also seems that Cersei will not be an endgame threat – Cersei is not as formidable in the book as she is in the GOT. The NK &WW was built as the Big Bad.

      (ii) In GOT the NK and WW were built as the “Big Bad” for 71 hours. Deaneryrs was the Big Bad for 2 hours. It just did not have the weight it needed to have and the audience never had time to really feel it. It was a bad choice to be one of the big shocking moments. There is a scene at the post-war WF party that a distorted image of Deanerys face was shown. This distorted facial image or other such should seen as far back as Season 1.

      (iii) The NK and WW were death and the supernatural combined. These two standard horrors/fear builders for human audiences. These are the biggest fears for the average person. It is a hard thing to write a convincing story that there is anything or anyone that can be a “bigger bad” than death and the supernatural. GOT tried this hard path – making a tiny blond and her puppies to be bigger baddie than Death itself.

      (iv) made Jon look like Orson. Spent years yelling about a great threat that was killed with a little knife. Fell in love with the Big Bad.

      So Arya killed Death itself. Jon killed a tiny pretty blond girl who he was kissing.

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    127. Mango: Yes, the story’s end was that Deanerys was the “Big Bad”.

      Well set up??Just a few points;

      (i)It required a late switcheroo. Too late a switch, not enough time to build tension. It was clear for Cersei as a “Bad” as this was well built. I wonder if this is why in the book there is no NK and the Others remain a more diffuse threat. So the writer can really convincingly build Deanerys as the final “Big Bad”. It also seems that Cersei will not be an endgame threat – Cersei is not as formidable in the book as she is in the GOT. The NK &WW was built as the Big Bad.

      (ii) In GOT the NK and WW were built as the “Big Bad” for 71 hours. Deaneryrs was the Big Bad for 2 hours. It just did not have the weight it needed to have and the audience never had time to really feel it. It was a bad choice to be one of the big shocking moments. There is a scene at the post-war WF party that a distorted image of Deanerys face was shown. This distorted facial image or other such should seen as far back as Season 1.

      (iii) The NK and WW were death and the supernatural combined. These two standard horrors/fear builders for human audiences.These are the biggest fears for the average person. It is a hard thing to write a convincing story that there is anything or anyone that can be a “bigger bad” than death and the supernatural. GOT tried this hard path – making a tiny blond and her puppies to be bigger baddie than Death itself.

      (iv) made Jon look like Orson. Spent years yelling about a great threat that was killed with a little knife. Fell in love with the Big Bad.

      So Arya killed Death itself. Jon killed a tiny pretty blond girl who he was kissing.

      No, not really. Seeds were planted from the beginning about Dany being mad. And regardless of that, it was really when she learned about the Aegon bombshell that really set things into motion. The Aegon reveal couldn’t have come much earlier and had to happen at the end. She thought finally amassing her armies and making it to Westeros was really the last hurdle in taking the throne and then it started to crash and burn when she realized AeJon was the true heir. There was also the fact that AeJon couldn’t reciprocate the same romantic love towards her after he learned the truth about his heritage that started to unravel her as well. Then you throw in the fact that the North and Westeros weren’t accepting of her even after she stalled her conquest of the IT to help them all the while losing Jorah and Missandei in doing so AND having Varys betray her. There was a lot there that unsettled and unraveled her and all of that was endgame stuff and couldn’t have happened 30 or 40 or whatever episodes ago. It had to be Season 8 stuff. But really it was the AeJon reveal like I said that set everything in motion, so her being the main villain and destroying KL was beautifully executed and in fact was not rushed. David and Dan wrote it exquisitely and it played out magically on screen.

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    128. Stepping for a minute to the remark by GRRM that “SciFi has conquered the world” with GOT. There is truth in this and of course GRRM is to be applauded for his monumental achievement in ASOIAF / GOT.

      Is GOT SciFi? It’s a big medieval period drama with magical elements like dragons and a zombie apocalypse tagged on. Don’t get me wrong – it rules and I love it. But can we really call it SciFi?

      Let’s say GOT is SciFi. If so, then it is a massive gift to the genre and might even rescue it from a very bad hole that SciFi was busy getting sucked down, mid-spiral. The bad hole is dystopian politics. Nearly all SciFi is dystopian anti-technology and Luddite.

      https://ptolemy2.wordpress.com/2019/08/18/why-is-nearly-all-sci-fi-dystopian/

      Think of Jurassic Park. This is the Michael Crighton template of 99% of SciFi. Technology arrives, technology goes evil, hero destroys technology. Whether it’s James Cameron, Steven Soderburg or the James Bond franchise SciFi is actually betrayed and co-opted as an anti-science anti-technology tract. Again and again. When SciFi was supposed to thrill and excite with the possibility of other worlds made accessible through science and discovery.

      This is why GOT as SciFi is so refreshingly different. It’s not a tract. It doesn’t end with a homily inviting us to invite Greta Thunberg into our hearts. (I see that hand – hallelujah!) No – amazingly GOT is SciFi without the global warming homily, almost unimaginable. I guess only it’s massive commercial success has shielded it from criticism as insufficiently left-eco-political. For me that’s hugely refreshing, even exhilarating. Pure imaginative storytelling about the dire truth of human nature but with a hopeful silver lining. Not political but universal.

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    129. Mango,

      None of that has anything to do with my post. Yes, they, like you, thought all the Dothraki were defeated, but that in no way changes the fact the fact that you’re wrong. I’ll say it once more. After the initial charge, we see Dothraki retreating, meaning that the Dothraki weren’t completely defeated. Also, as I mentioned, there was a much smaller number of Dothraki at King’s Landing than there were at Winterfell, meaning they didn’t regenerate. Try to keep up.

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    130. Young Dragon:
      Mango,

      None of that has anything to do with my post. Yes, they, like you, thought all the Dothraki were defeated, but that in no way changes the fact the fact that you’re wrong. I’ll say it once more. After the initial charge, we see Dothraki retreating, meaning that the Dothraki weren’t completely defeated. Also, as I mentioned, there was a much smaller number of Dothraki at King’s Landing than there were at Winterfell, meaning they didn’t regenerate. Try to keep up.

      I thought the Dothraki were handled great. They led the initial charge, but yes, they weren’t all defeated and were fewer in numbers in 805/806. They even mentioned it in the post Long Night/Pre KL war meeting.

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    131. Jack Bauer 24: I thought the Dothraki were handled great. They led the initial charge, but yes, they weren’t all defeated and were fewer in numbers in 805/806. They even mentioned it in the post Long Night/Pre KL war meeting.

      Let me respond to you both at once.

      1) There was a charge of the Dothraki with lit weapons. All their lights went out. Jorah and a few Dothraki returned (on foot running) and a few horses as well. Everyone saw that. It was spectacular. It worked to communicate the overwhelming enemy and was one of the best scenes in GOT. I loved it. Huge impact. Beautifully done except that Jorah should have been lost then.

      2) When this happens the camera then shows the impact of this event on the faces of the others. We saw them react with shocked faces. It was very well done. If there was another mass of Dothraki gathered for battle they did NOT show the reactions on their faces when such a large number of their brethren disappeared. This would be good storytelling, would it not?

      3) Then the battle started. At no point further in the battle did we see Dothraki fighting. Are we to believe there were thousands of Dothraki fighting in the Battle of Winterfell yet there was no scene with them in battle. We saw lots of scenes on the Unsullied – actually GW did very well in the battle. We saw every other characters including even non-combatants like Sam and Tyrion. We saw Jorah defend Daeneyrs. Did the Dothraki fail to defend their Khal? Can you really believe many thousands of Dothraki were in the battle and we did not even get one scene with them our even see them in the background of frame with other fighting?

      4) Also, at some point, a call was made to retreat into Winterfell….the Unsullied were asked to protect the retreat and shown doing that. You saw Pod, Jaime and Brienne herding fighters inside. Did you see any Dothraki fleeing inside the Castle or even helping to protect the retreat? I did not.

      Anyway, this is not that big a deal as far as failures of the story go. If thousands of a particular group of fighters are not show on screen during a major battle then it is a story telling problem. If they are thousands present, then show them. It does not help when the storyteller says we have seen the last of them and that is exactly what was shown.

      I see what I see.

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    132. Jack Bauer 24: No, not really. Seeds were planted from the beginning about Dany being mad. And regardless of that, it was really when she learned about the Aegon bombshell that really set things into motion. The Aegon reveal couldn’t have come much earlier and had to happen at the end. She thought finally amassing her armies and making it to Westeros was really the last hurdle in taking the throne and then it started to crash and burn when she realized AeJon was the true heir. There was also the fact that AeJon couldn’t reciprocate the same romantic love towards her after he learned the truth about his heritage that started to unravel her as well. Then you throw in the fact that the North and Westeros weren’t accepting of her even after she stalled her conquest of the IT to help them all the while losing Jorah and Missandei in doing so AND having Varys betray her. There was a lot there that unsettled and unraveled her and all of that was endgame stuff and couldn’t have happened 30 or 40 or whatever episodes ago. It had to be Season 8 stuff. But really it was the AeJon reveal like I said that set everything in motion, so her being the main villain and destroying KL was beautifully executed and in fact was not rushed. David and Dan wrote it exquisitely and it played out magically on screen.

      1) Regardless of how well or badly Daenerys character was built over the Seasons is hard to make a human audience believe that a tiny pretty girl is more fearsome that Death itself. That is the main point I want to make. They had an uphill battle in making her the “Big Bad”.

      2) The conversation on Deaneyrs’ character building I can go in circles. Personally I was not fond of Deanerys and considered her a major threat to Westeros and without a valid claim to the throne. I found her volatile and with meglomaniac tendencies. I had quite a few arguments on that with few posters before S8. However, I think many opportunities to clearly build her as the “Big Bad” were missed.

      3) The TV critic from Globe and Mail (Canada’s big newspaper) wrote an article about the Daeneryrs and character building in story writing. If you have time, read it. The NYT critic also had some feedback about the difference between clues and characterization in why Daeneryrs’ storyline was a failure. Again if you have time….

      3) The difference in the building of Cersei and Daeneyrs is also worth noting. You see clarity in building Cersei from a vulnerable person to some-one using her worse side by end of Season 7. For me, Daeneryrs’ building was too late and too short to work. If it worked for you then it worked for you.

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    133. Mango,

      The battle during the Long Night focused mostly on the main characters. That is who we were following. We witnessed Greyworm leading the Unsullied, Brienne, Jaime, Gendry, Beric, the Hound, Arya, etc. The problem is that there were no major Dothraki characters, so I didn’t find it the least bit odd that we weren’t following them. I much preferred that the episode paid more attention to characters that I was interested in than extras. Also, the last we saw of the Dothraki in The Long Night, quite a few escaped the initial charge alive and I had absolutely no reason to believe that there status had changed.

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    134. Mango: 1) Regardless of how well or badly Daenerys character was built over the Seasons is hard to make a human audience believe that a tiny pretty girl is more fearsome that Death itself.That is the main point I want to make. They had an uphill battle in making her the “Big Bad”.

      2) The conversation on Deaneyrs’ character building I can go in circles. Personally I was not fond of Deanerys and considered her a major threat to Westeros and without a valid claim to the throne. I found her volatile and with meglomaniac tendencies. I had quite a few arguments on that with few posters before S8. However, I think many opportunities to clearly build her as the “Big Bad” were missed.

      3) The TV critic from Globe and Mail (Canada’s big newspaper) wrote an article about the Daeneryrs and character building in story writing. If you have time, read it. The NYT critic also had some feedback about the difference between clues and characterization in why Daeneryrs’ storyline was a failure. Again if you have time….

      3) The difference in the building of Cersei and Daeneyrs is also worth noting. You see clarity in building Cersei from a vulnerable person to some-one using her worse side by end of Season 7. For me, Daeneryrs’ building was too late and too short to work. If it worked for you then it worked for you.

      But like you said, you already felt she was volatile and had megalomaniac tendencies. So couple that with everything crashing and burning so quickly for her in S8, her perceived quick heel turn should make sense. Even when you go back a few episodes to the end of S7, she lost Viserion, one of her children. Shortly after that she lost another child in Rhaegal, along with all of the other stuff.

      But going back to your first point about Dany being a “tiny pretty girl” and shouldn’t have been more feared then Death itself. Well it doesn’t matter what her appearance was really. Like you said she was volatile. I would be terrified of a volatile person who controlled 3 massive fire breathing dragons and a massive army of Dothraki screamers and Unsullied soldiers who all had one unified goal. To take the IT. And she had Targaryen blood to boot and you know what they say about Targaryen’s…

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    135. Young Dragon:
      Mango,

      The battle during the Long Night focused mostly on the main characters. That is who we were following. We witnessed Greyworm leading the Unsullied, Brienne, Jaime, Gendry, Beric, the Hound, Arya, etc. The problem is that there were no major Dothraki characters, so I didn’t find it the least bit odd that we weren’t following them. I much preferred that the episode paid more attention to characters that I was interested in than extras. Also, the last we saw of the Dothraki in The Long Night, quite a few escaped the initial charge aliveand I had absolutely no reason to believe that there status had changed.

      Now you have just dissed Qhono. He get a name credit and is not an extra. Maybe he died?

      We saw many many many extras in the battle. Lots of Unsullied were shown besides Grey Worm. Actually many many many Unsullied and north men that were extras were shown in Battle of Winterfell….no Dothraki. The Dothraki are fearsome fighters, even the very few that survived the”Great LightsOut” should have been shown in battle (again bad storytelling!), but if there were thousands and thousands and thousands as we saw later at KL, they definitely would have been seen in the WF war even in the background of shots.

      But none, none……You can see that something went wrong with the story telling. It could simply be that they could not fit in any horsemen in the fight plan for filming. Or that they used the Dothraki as extras in the army of the dead. Or they decided that to be spectacular all the Dothraki had to disappear for one episode. I am just speculating at this point.

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    136. M

      Mango: Now you have just dissed Qhono. He get a name credit and is not an extra. Maybe he died?

      He did die. When NK raised the dead, Qhono was shown being turned into a wight along with Edd and Lyanna.

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    137. Mango: Now you have just dissed Qhono. He get a name credit and is not an extra. Maybe he died?

      We saw many many many extras in the battle. Lots of Unsullied were shown besides Grey Worm. Actually many many many Unsullied and north men that were extras were shown in Battle of Winterfell….no Dothraki. The Dothraki are fearsome fighters, even the very few that survived the”Great LightsOut” should have been shown in battle (again bad storytelling!), but if there were thousands and thousands and thousands as we saw later at KL, they definitely would have been seen in the WF war even in the background of shots.

      But none, none……You can see that something went wrong with the story telling. It could simply be that they could not fit in any horsemen in the fight plan for filming. Or that they used the Dothraki as extras in the army of the dead. Or they decided that to be spectacular all the Dothraki had to disappear for one episode. I am just speculating at this point.

      I just rewatched the war council scene in 804 and Grey Worm says “half are gone” and removes half of the Unsullied pieces from the map and Jon says “the Northmen as well” and proceeds to remove half of their pieces. Royce doesn’t say anything, but removes half of the Vale pieces and then a Dothraki removes some of their pieces, but not all of them.

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    138. Jack Bauer 24: I just rewatched the war council scene in 804 and Grey Worm says “half are gone” and removes half of the Unsullied pieces from the map and Jon says “the Northmen as well” and proceeds to remove half of their pieces. Royce doesn’t say anything, but removes half of the Vale pieces and then a Dothraki removes some of their pieces, but not all of them.

      So they were regenerated/resurrected by one sentence said by Grey Worm. Just teasing!

      Yes, I know the scene you are mentioning. Part of the reason that I was pretty sure that they were not joining from Dragonstone.

      But their disappearance scene was striking and they were absent from rest of the WF battle. Then regenerated and kept doing so. Very odd storytelling, you can see the discontinuity.

      And after GW’s declaration they continued to grow in number. Maybe GW is making them in the basement like Qyburn and Mountain.

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    139. Mango,

      Nothing was regenerated. You saw at the beginning of episode 3 around 100.000 Dothraki screamers. You saw after their attack 50% retreat with jorah. That’s 50.000 Dothraki screamers. (yes 50.000 died in one blow). Meaning 50.000 are still alive. lets say another 10.000 died in the battle. That’s 40.000. Then we got episode 5 where not much died let’s say 10% died. Still remains 36.000 Dothraki screamers. The amount we saw in episode 6.

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    140. kevin1989:
      Mango,

      Nothing was regenerated. You saw at the beginning of episode 3 around 100.000 Dothraki screamers. You saw after their attack 50% retreat with jorah. That’s 50.000 Dothraki screamers. (yes 50.000 died in one blow). Meaning 50.000 are still alive. lets say another 10.000 died in the battle. That’s 40.000. Then we got episode 5 where not much died let’s say 10% died. Still remains 36.000 Dothraki screamers. The amount we saw in episode 6.

      I am done here.

      In earlier posts, I have pointed out that none of the Dothraki were seen fighting in WF in Episode 3 after the lights went off. Yes some returned on foot, we should have seen those fighting too. If you think 50,000 Dothraki were at WF battle and not a single scene with any…even when their Khal was in danger, not even when the Unsullied were protecting the retreat.

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    141. Young Dragon:
      shelle,

      Oh, well that’s easy. Her leap at the Night King was symbolic of a wolf pouncing on its prey.

      “Symbolic of a wolf pouncing on its prey” is fine, but I still shouldn’t have had to read the script to find out what she actually pounced from.
      The Dothraki question is kind of bizarre. It looked like only a handful that returned with Jorah from that initial group, and then you never did see them again during the BoW, did you? Yeah, that’s whack.
      And I’m just scrubbing the last two or three episodes from memory…^u^

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    142. Mango,

      Qhono is not a major character. Besides, he died in the initial charge so the point is moot. We see Greyworm leading the Unsullied where he is the focus. We see Brienne and Jaime leading the Knights of the Vale where they are the focus. We see people fighting in the background, but the focus is always on the characters we know. That is good storytelling, so nothing went wrong. Besides all that, my point still stands. We saw a lot of Dothraki retreat, and we didn’t see any of them die, so we had absolutely no reason to believe they didn’t survive.

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    143. shelle,

      Well, this wouldn’t be the first time a director/writer went with what’s “cool” than what was practical. Personally, I’m fine with it, so long as it’s not overdone.

      When I was watching The Long Night, seeing all my favorite characters kicking ass despite impossible odds, dying to protect one another, “Where are the Dothraki?” didn’t once cross my mind. It simply was not important to me. We saw Dothraki retreat, we knew some had survived, and that was enough.

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    144. Mango,

      Their Khal died so there was no need to protect him. And seeing them flee is enough in my book. In the background when Jorah retreated you saw half of them escaping. And you do see them fighting later. Not all. But they were in the background.

      And if you didn’t saw them fighting best to do is think what you saw last with them. 50% surviving. And go with that. And at the end of the battle (episode 4) we learned that around half of them survived. So we can subtract from that that not much died after we saw them last. (the beginning of episode 3).

      For instance we didn’t saw Blackfish survive the Red Wedding, he somehow escaped. But we all believed it when Walder said they lost him. And we didn’t see him until season 6. Did we need to see his escape back then? or was the notion that we got from another character enough? If that was ok and brilliantly written and executed. So is Grey Worm telling half of them survived without showing it happen.

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    145. Young Dragon,

      This. The main characters are more important. And if we want everything to be fleshed out in the the long night. The episode would have been longer then the time it need to be. And it would feel like Dragonball Z. Where 6 hours can be stretched to 12 hours of screentime.

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    146. Yeah, it’s okay to make it look “cool,” as long as the explanation is subtly visible in the background at some point…I had been going with “the tree” ’til I saw the script’s direction. Just can’t fathom why we didn’t see the pile (or that killing the NK was a simple run-up-and-stab-him, or how more named characters weren’t lost before he died…)

      I didn’t think of the Dothraki during the battle either, because there were too many other characters to focus on, but now that I think about it I do have to wonder why we didn’t see the other/surviving ones again. At least, I thought we didn’t…? It was pretty darn dark. ;p And fast-paced. I did notice the remnants coming back with Jorah. And prior to that I hadn’t honestly thought, “Oh yep, that’s it, that’s the end of the Dothraki right there.” So it is weird not to have noticed them throughout the rest of the battle, since there were apparently significant numbers left.

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    147. Mango,

      The only think I agree on is that I felt D&D was in a rush with their Inside the episode part. Like they told it because they watch it 1 time instead of them having written it. They made statements that contradict what we saw, like the Dothraki statement. It was not well spoken.

      Shelle,

      Agree, but I think that MS just went with his own version. Pile in script, no pile in the execution. He changed a lot of things. So did Nutter. D&D wrote a cold opening with the attack on Last Hearth. Nutter changed it and we didn’t get one. And I think those changes were more the problem. I think what D&D envisioned and wrote got changed and that the problem lies there. Thinks were changed to be cool instead of consistent.

      And I have to agree with that we could have been shown a second scene with the Dothraki. It could be simple as in the background when Dany and Jon are on dragon.

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    148. ^ Yeah, could be…I wish he’d gone with what was written, but maybe he was thinking of the tree like me? Who knows… And sure, I can believe the Dothraki were in the mix fighting alongside everybody else; I just don’t remember seeing them after their opening scene, and could’ve done with just a few more clear shots giving a more accurate idea of how many survived the battle. There were definitely mistakes in the Inside the Episodes, yep.

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    149. Shelle,

      I think what they want was too costly. LotR was big but only had 3 sides to it with the big battle in part 3. Gondor. Rohan and Aragorn and co. GoT episode 3 was much bigger. It had the Dothraki and Unsullied. It had the northern lords. It had Arya. (Already 3 parts that needed to be filled in). It had Dany and Jon. It had Bran and Theon. It had Sansa (already double of locations that needed to be filled in). And Jaime/Brienne etc. Many armies etc. I think they needed a budget that we got from episode 3 and 5 for just one big battle.

      As great as I found season 8 and the story was great. I think D&D made it themselves to difficult. If they had given themselves 2 seasons of 5 a 6 episodes they could have double the budget (or maybe even 50% more) then they got. And I think all their wildest dreams could have been told. All that HBO said, there is no money for that could have been implemented. It would also have made sure there was no backlash. If they had for instance 3 episode build up to the WW winterfell battle with every episode 1 skirmish WW battle of max 5 minutes. 2 Episode battle (shorter episodes combined maybe 100/120 minutes) and one last episode that started off with the afterparty of episode 4 which I though was amazing part of episode 4. Then second part a big cliffhanger where Dany went to far and maybe Petra’s idea. Burn the Iron Islands. And have a big cliffhanger with Dark Dany conquoring the Iron Islands. People would have bought it because it made sense, and storywise we needed that stop halfway through Dany’s fall. Season 1 is Dany being admired at the end, season 2 shows her that she can use hard punishment. Season 3 shows her that she had strength in conquoring and that she goes all the way. Season 4 and shows her her first glimpses of ruling and that she make mistakes that she learn from. Season 6 going west with a feeling, she is going to destroy Cersei. Season 7 we get our doubts with the burning of the Tarly’s. Season 8 we could have been scared who she becomes. We feel she will be a bigger treat then the NK.
      Then season 9 we could see a 5 a 6 episode season where wee see that conflict resolved. And more Cersei who pushes her further to that dark path (like she did in episode 4) and once the people of KL chooses Cersei over her and Varys betrays her, it would have made much more sense storywise. And I think it made also much more sense storywise if Jon’s parentage would be revealed after the WW would have been defeated.
      9×01 Setting everything in motion going south. 9×02 Missandei death. 9×03 Preparing for battle. 9×04 Battle of KL (maybe even one like the show), 9×05 Dany being a ruler and being killed in the end of the episode. 9×06 What comes after.

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    150. ^ That might well be. I think an outline such as that sample could have been a terrific idea and ultimately saved a lot of trouble. More room for things to breathe, for the details and conversations and interstitial scenes that would’ve made it feel more like the show we know and love so much, something that probably would’ve been unanimously acclaimed…that would’ve been worth striving for if at all possible.
      (Although I still think Dany was pretty generous with the Tarlys. x-p 😉

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    151. Young Dragon,

      D&D literally said this was the end of the Dothraki.

      Look up the scene on youtube, barely anybody retreated, I saw only a couple of them fall back. And that was before the entire army of other groups outside and inside Winterfell was also destroyed.

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    152. kevin1989,

      Where were 50000 Dothraki when the wights breached all the way to the entrance of the crpyts and killed all the soldiers there? When all the wights fell the entire courtyard was filled with bodies except for the main characters.

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