Game of Thrones: The Watchers on the Wall   Books Included 
June 8, 2014 9:09 PM - Season 4, Episode 9 - Subscribe

Jon Snow and the Night's Watch face a big challenge.
posted by mathowie (273 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
STANNIS WHERE ARE YOU
posted by elizardbits at 9:12 PM on June 8, 2014 [14 favorites]


Stop. Hammer time.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 9:13 PM on June 8, 2014 [5 favorites]


Show Alliser seems better than book Alliser to me. Or maybe I'm mis-remembering.
posted by dness2 at 9:18 PM on June 8, 2014 [3 favorites]


Stannis saving the day would have made a beautiful narrative parallel to "Blackwater," when Tywin stepped in and saved everything. But I guess D&D thought that would make him look too heroic. So instead, he becomes just one more "WTF" moment in a season finale sure to be chock-fulla WTF moments. Dammit.
posted by dhens at 9:19 PM on June 8, 2014 [3 favorites]


Yeah, I don't think book Alliser was even there when the wildlings attacked?
posted by gaspode at 9:19 PM on June 8, 2014


Show Alliser is way less of a megadouche than book Alliser, yes.
posted by elizardbits at 9:19 PM on June 8, 2014 [3 favorites]


The thing with the anchor-like defense mechanism, was that in the books? I don't recall.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:20 PM on June 8, 2014


Show Alliser seems better than book Alliser to me. Or maybe I'm mis-remembering.

Yes and no. Book Alliser was not a rousing speechifier like Show Alliser, but Book Alliser was also a lot better than Book Janos, a comparison which seems to be holding here. Book Alliser, later on, follows Jon's orders when Book Janos does not.
posted by dhens at 9:20 PM on June 8, 2014


I mean the trailer didn't even seem to show anything about any triumphant arrivals of Stannis' army so now I'm wondering if they're even going there or not.
posted by elizardbits at 9:20 PM on June 8, 2014


The wall scythe? I don't remember it from the books either but admittedly they are like minimum 800 fucking pages long and I'm a skimmer.

IT WAS HELLA RAD THOUGH
posted by elizardbits at 9:21 PM on June 8, 2014 [7 favorites]


i want one for the stupid cooing pigeons on my building
posted by elizardbits at 9:22 PM on June 8, 2014 [7 favorites]


Stannis will apparently (hopefully?) be in the season finale. From the teaser blurb: "Circumstances change after an unexpected arrival from north of the Wall." Still, less impactful than if he saved the day in this ep.
posted by dhens at 9:24 PM on June 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


I expect STANNIS will be either the second or third last scene of the finale. With the other two scenes involving Tyrion and, for the last scene, YOU KNOW WHO. YES.
posted by Justinian at 9:25 PM on June 8, 2014 [5 favorites]


Oh, the Potty Incident?
posted by elizardbits at 9:26 PM on June 8, 2014 [5 favorites]


That, I think, will be the second-or-third last scene which isn't STANNIS. The last scene has gotta be unCat.
posted by Justinian at 9:27 PM on June 8, 2014 [4 favorites]


No, Lady Stoneheart.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:28 PM on June 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


for the last scene, YOU KNOW WHO. YES.

Lena Headey posted a heart made of stones on her Instagram account, so I think that will show up in the finale.

Oh, the Potty Incident?


Given D&D's penchant for changing/removing well-loved book phrases ("My giant of Lannister"/"Only Cat") I expect Tywin will say "How should I know?" when Tyrion asks about Tysha.
posted by dhens at 9:28 PM on June 8, 2014 [4 favorites]


holy shit that one take one camera panning shot. that's one of the coolest things that's EVER been in the show.
posted by emptythought at 9:28 PM on June 8, 2014 [5 favorites]


OMG I forgot about that.

Ugh there are too many plot lines to wind up next week. Brienne and Pod, Hound and Arya, Dany and DRACARYS MOTHERFUCKER, etc. Plus the aforementioned potty incident. I wonder if they'll do the whole "tyrion finds her in his dad's bed and kills her" thing.
posted by elizardbits at 9:29 PM on June 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


holy shit that one take one camera panning shot

All I could see was the long shot from Goodfellas and it made it even better.
posted by elizardbits at 9:30 PM on June 8, 2014


I read they had to do the long panning five times to get it right.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:31 PM on June 8, 2014


Siri, why did God allow a Game of Thrones episode set entirely at the Wall?
posted by gerryblog at 9:33 PM on June 8, 2014 [7 favorites]


I wonder if they'll do the whole "tyrion finds her in his dad's bed and kills her" thing.

Don't worry, I know that because D&D love perfect Tyrion, Shae will already be dead, and that will be the reason Tyrion kills Tywin.

I hope not.
posted by dhens at 9:33 PM on June 8, 2014 [2 favorites]


Also where the fuck is Gendry.
posted by elizardbits at 9:34 PM on June 8, 2014 [2 favorites]


we haven't seen him flexing sweatily and shirtlessly for ages now
posted by elizardbits at 9:35 PM on June 8, 2014 [5 favorites]


I mean the trailer didn't even seem to show anything about any triumphant arrivals of Stannis' army so now I'm wondering if they're even going there or not.

The trailer shows people on horseback running down the wildlings.
posted by Jacqueline at 9:41 PM on June 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


Oh, the Potty Incident?

It *is* on Father's Day. :D
posted by Jacqueline at 9:44 PM on June 8, 2014 [26 favorites]


Also where the fuck is Gendry.

I know if I were Gendry I wouldn't have stopped rowing until I was in fuckin' Braavos.
posted by Justinian at 10:16 PM on June 8, 2014 [13 favorites]


Siri, why did God allow a Game of Thrones episode set entirely at the Wall?

Well I was debating staying up late and watching it (after I finish this HOUR AND A HALF MOTHER OF GOD WHY? season 2 finale of OitNB) but I think maybe I'll save it for tomorrow after my dentist appointment when I'll be all hopped up on benzos and then maybe it won't seem as boring.

I mean, I get how important the Wall is and all, but lots of important things are boring and don't have entire episodes dedicated to them.

I assume they're saving Lady Stoneheart for next season? Booo. That is one of the major things (see re: the Red Wedding and the Potty Incident) I have trouble keeping shtum about but I do because I gleefully await the mind blowing of the non-book readers.
posted by elsietheeel at 10:18 PM on June 8, 2014


I'm guessing that Lady Stoneheart will be the final scene of the finale next week, just like it was the epilogue of ASOS.
posted by Jacqueline at 10:19 PM on June 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


If you peeps are bored of half the storylines already what the hell you gonna do when half the plot involves freakos from Dorne or the Iron Islands whom we've never met before and make me want to kill myself and OH GOD HELP ME.
posted by Justinian at 10:19 PM on June 8, 2014 [5 favorites]


After how awesome they made Oberyn Martell (whom I never cared about in the books) I'm actually feeling pretty good about Dorne next season.
posted by Jacqueline at 10:21 PM on June 8, 2014 [13 favorites]


Don't worry, I know that because D&D love perfect Tyrion, Shae will already be dead

Nah, Tyrion will rape Shae and THEN kill her because D&D think rapists make interesting characters who are still quite loveable in their own complicated way.
posted by torticat at 10:25 PM on June 8, 2014 [3 favorites]


Also I've been assuming the finale ends when Tywin does because for me that was so much more a WTF moment than Zombie Cat. I found the whole Lady Stoneheart plot line incredibly boring. In fact I hadn't even remembered until reading this thread that that was how the book ended.
posted by torticat at 10:29 PM on June 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


I admit to skipping more than a few of the Dorne chapters, but yes, Oberyn's relative awesomeness gives me a bit of hope.

I have no hope for anything that will happen at Ten Towers. Boring ol' ironborn. At least they have lots of sexy times in Dorne.
posted by elsietheeel at 10:32 PM on June 8, 2014


The thing with the anchor-like defense mechanism, was that in the books? I don't recall.

Yeah, that wasn't in the books--the wall just did its own self-defense occasionally by shedding sheets of ice.

But it was a nice addition, very cool innovation which the book Crows definitely should have thought of.
posted by torticat at 10:32 PM on June 8, 2014 [2 favorites]


Wall Scythe: Thumbs up.

Ollie, the Orphan of Dramatic Irony: Bit on the nose, but well played.

The Thenns are scary motherfuckers.

I cried when Pyp died.

I have been keeping my mouth fucking stitched shut about the Potty Incident and Lady Stoneheart and it is KILLING. ME. Glad to hear it about Headey's instagram; gives me faith that I only have to keep quiet for another week and not another year.
posted by KathrynT at 10:36 PM on June 8, 2014 [2 favorites]


Yes, watching all the nonreaders lose their shit next week is going to be delicious. :D
posted by Jacqueline at 10:40 PM on June 8, 2014 [2 favorites]


Tyrion & poopy and Lady Stoneheart are fine guesses for the final scene next week but I am going to be disappointed if it is not Arya gaining passage on Titan's Daughter. Valar morghulis.
posted by mlis at 11:11 PM on June 8, 2014 [6 favorites]




Y'know, I'm about as much of a pacifist as it's possible to be, but hot damn if rousing HOLD THE GATE and THE SUN WILL RISE AND THE CASTLE WILL STAND speeches don't get me every and I mean EVERY time.
posted by davidjmcgee at 11:49 PM on June 8, 2014 [9 favorites]


I did expect Stannis to show up this episode, but this isn't a change from the books. Stannis only appears to save the day after Jon goes to treat with Mance. So there's no reason to think he won't appear next ep.

Loved the scythe, loved Alliser, loved everything about the giants (the bow!).
posted by painquale at 1:35 AM on June 9, 2014 [6 favorites]


Yeah, I can't decide if they will keep Tyrion killing Shea after the changes to her character in the show. It would be kinda . . . no longer in character for him.
posted by chainsofreedom at 3:22 AM on June 9, 2014


I did expect Stannis to show up this episode, but this isn't a change from the books. Stannis only appears to save the day after Jon goes to treat with Mance. So there's no reason to think he won't appear next ep.

Yeah, I was expecting it to happen this episode though. I'm surprised they spent a whole episode north of the wall and only got through one night of the battle - not because it was a bad episode, I just thought they'd move things along faster. Next week is going to be intense with all the material they have to cover (although Tyrion's escape is covered in only a few pages in the book, I guess).

Thought it made more sense for Ygritte and the Thenns to attack at the same time as the wildlings from north of the wall, so that was a good change. Jon going out to kill Mance on his own accord makes a lot of narrative sense (except that there's no sense of the two sides fighting for a while, then agreeing to talk - and Thorne and Slynt forcing Jon to parlay was one of my favourite parts of the book).
posted by Pink Frost at 3:55 AM on June 9, 2014


Yeah, I can't decide if they will keep Tyrion killing Shea after the changes to her character in the show. It would be kinda . . . no longer in character for him.

I think his (show) trial scene set it up nicely for him to do something horrible out of anger. Would be such a major change to his character if he didn't.
posted by Pink Frost at 3:57 AM on June 9, 2014 [3 favorites]


If they don't have Tyrion kill Shae I will throw a fucking combat boot through the television.

Which is maybe a problem since I'm going to a finale watching party at someone else's house.
posted by corb at 4:02 AM on June 9, 2014 [9 favorites]


Next episode is going to have to be so full! My predictions: Tyrion will escape with Jaime's and Varys's help, kill Shae, then kill his dad in slow motion, Jon will treat with Mance who will then be routed by Stannis, Bran will arrive at a huge weirwood and meet a Child of the Forest and Bloodraven (who was cast this season), Brienne and the Hound will fight and she'll bite off his ear while Arya and Pod casually watch the battle and munch on Hot Pie's wolf pastry, Pod will develop an adorable crush on Arya but Arya has no time for that shit, the Hound will ask Arya to do him a kindness and kill him but she'll turn away and get on a ship to Braavos, Dany will discover that Drogon's been eating kids and she'll lock up her dragons, and Lady Stoneheart will be revealed, sewing little dreamcatchers and hanging Freys. Aaaaah so much stuff!

(I have checked five times now that I'm posting this in the Books Included thread. What a horrible bomb to accidentally drop in the other thread.)
posted by painquale at 4:29 AM on June 9, 2014 [3 favorites]


Ygritte died doing what she loved: saying her catch-phrase.
posted by codacorolla at 5:00 AM on June 9, 2014 [47 favorites]


Last night I was drinking while watching it with non-bookreaders. I was so paranoid about accidentally saying a spoiler (in part because those MeTa threads have put the fear in me!!) that I just didn't talk. At all.

Meanwhile, a non-bookreader who knows the spoilers decided to say before the episode that over the next two weeks, some major drama was going to happen. That set the other show watchers into a horrible tizzy of wondering what could possibly be worse than The Mountain and the Viper. When Ygritte died, my friend started crying, but she now feels comforted that that was the plot twist we mentioned.

I do not know how I will get through this next week.
posted by tofu_crouton at 5:09 AM on June 9, 2014 [7 favorites]


SO DISAPPOINTED that they didn't end the episode with Stannis' army arriving like the cavalry. It's one of the most unexpected and uplifting scenes in the entire series and I agree with others that it probably won't be as exciting coming in the next episode.

That said, I thought this episode was very well done and way more entertaining than I expected an episode solely at the Wall and solely about one battle to be. I totally skimmed the battle in the book, to the extent that I didn't even remember Jon going out to treat with Mance and thought the show had added it.

I was not very moved by Ygritte's death scene in the books - I saw it coming and thought it was cheesy. But damn if I didn't tear up watching it last night. Rose Leslie was so excellent in that role, and Kit Harrington is so much better now that they've given him something to do besides smolder and whine.
posted by lunasol at 5:15 AM on June 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


Oh, and question: do y'all think they will introduce Fake Arya next week? I remember at the end of ASoS, Jaime (I think) gets a glimpse of a sad-looking girl in a coach and is told it's Arya Stark, heading north to be married to Ramsey. Jaime knows it's not her, but it sets up an interesting mystery: who's the girl in the coach pretending to be Arya?

Of course, in the books it's poor Jeyne Poole, but she was barely a character in the show (I think she had one line in the first season). I wonder if they will still show her this episode, or if they'll wait for next season.
posted by lunasol at 5:30 AM on June 9, 2014


My thoughts:

1. The giant with the bow was SO FUCKING BADASS.

2. I noticed how Sam promised he wasn't gonna die one week after Oberyn did the same thing, except this time he wasn't lying. It seems clear D&D want to throw the audience a bone after a pretty good run of seemingly only awful stuff happening.

3. Speaking of that, I realized when Jon finally came down from the wall and started kicking ass that hey, Robb is dead and most of the Stark bannermen are too and yet here we are with a bona fide main character with a wolf unabashedly doing heroic shit. I think they recognize that many in the audience have been undervaluing the Castle Black storyline and they wanted to remind people that here is an actual alive main character, so enjoy it, assholes.

4. I was not surprised that Stannis the Mannis was not in this episode. I think it would have felt rushed if they had put him in. They really do have a lot to cover in the next episode, though. We have to also get Arya off to Braavos, the Hound to retirement or death, Tyrion sprung with all the gore that entails, something to do for Brienne and Pod (I do suspect the Hound and Brienne will meet), and UnCat, who is going to make the showonliers crap. Fortunately, the finale will have extra time. I think I heard it was 65 minutes or thereabouts.

5. With as much time as they showed the wildling warg's (I forget his name) owl I am pretty sure that thing is going up in flames next episode.
posted by norm at 5:57 AM on June 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


I wonder if we won't see Arya heading to Braavos until next season? Maybe just a bit of wrap up with the Hound's infection. Arya leaves him at the tree, and that's it for her story for this season.

One of the perks of being a book reader is getting to watch the show-people lose their minds. I look forward to it every episode.
posted by royalsong at 6:03 AM on June 9, 2014


I was not very moved by Ygritte's death scene in the books - I saw it coming and thought it was cheesy.

I just reread this part and I was surprised by how un-cheesy it was in the books (unlike this episode--blegh.) Jon just fights his battle, and at the end he looks through the bodies to find her, just to see. He takes a little comfort in that it doesn't look like he personally killed her.

Oh, and question: do y'all think they will introduce Fake Arya next week? I remember at the end of ASoS, Jaime (I think) gets a glimpse of a sad-looking girl in a coach and is told it's Arya Stark

When he is in Harrenhal after losing his hand, Roose mentions that his son is going to marry Arya and Jaime's like, "hahahahaha yeah right."
posted by tofu_crouton at 6:04 AM on June 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


Was the guy who died down at the inner gate Grenn? I can't really remember which BB is which since they are all grimy and wearing black.
posted by elizardbits at 6:04 AM on June 9, 2014


I loved this episode, and didn't start it til after it had finished thanks to the NBA Finals (so I got the no Stannis ending told by a friend texting me). I was pretty sure I would've been annoyed that they didn't stick Stannis at the end but it felt right when I was watching it.

One thing I've said and heard said a lot was how crazy it is that they're "squeezing" X amount of story into 10 episodes (in this season's case almost a full books worth), and this episode kinda made me feel like it was from a universe where there are 12 or 15 episodes a season and they can just spend an episode going real deep on one huge event in a smaller storyline. I liked it a lot.
posted by DynamiteToast at 6:06 AM on June 9, 2014


Was the guy who died down at the inner gate Grenn?

Pretty sure, yep.
posted by gaspode at 6:07 AM on June 9, 2014


Oh I almost forgot one of my favorite parts of the whole episode... when Janos is in command at the top of the wall. Grenn takes like two steps to the side and then walks back and is like, "Dude, I totally just went down the wall and Ser Alliser asked for you." They could not have tried less to make it a convincing lie.

Unfortunately, when Janos then hid in the meat locker, I had to spend half an episode in fear that he was going to rape Gillie, just because HBO didn't get their rape and boob quota in for the episode.
posted by tofu_crouton at 6:08 AM on June 9, 2014 [8 favorites]


I was hoping he would try so she could beat him to death with a frozen ham hock.
posted by elizardbits at 6:10 AM on June 9, 2014 [11 favorites]


Yeah, that was Grenn who died leading the defense of the gate against the giant. It was Pyp who was using the crossbow, later killed by Ygritte.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:14 AM on June 9, 2014


I got worried when Sam showed up that coward Slynt would stab him in the back with a meat hook, thinking he was a wildling. I mean I knew it wasn't gonna happen but I still got nervous.
posted by DynamiteToast at 6:14 AM on June 9, 2014


Yes, I had a moment of hope that he was hunkering in the corner because of his fear of the ham.
posted by tofu_crouton at 6:14 AM on June 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


The most impressive thing about this episode was the sense of geography. I never really understood the layout of the battle while reading the books, but now I get it. And the tricks they use to convey the geography were exciting, like following the giant's arrow from the Northern side to the top of the wall and back down into Castle Black, or seeing Tormund barrel down a hall and then panning over to see Sam and Pyp popping out the other side. Neil Marshall is really good at his job.
posted by painquale at 6:18 AM on June 9, 2014 [9 favorites]


Also I know it's just a trope at this point that we get mad about something being omitted, but damn do I love Donal Noye. Why kill off Grenn when the show watchers barely recognize him, when you could've had a one armed blacksmith pounding away an episode ago to introduce him and then done everything else the same. And I don't want to hear that "they don't want to confuse people" shit, they put Hobb in this episode for no other reason than a guy killing with a cleaver is awesome and everyone's getting involved.
posted by DynamiteToast at 6:21 AM on June 9, 2014 [5 favorites]


Because you can't include everything, so something has to...(puts sunglasses on...get cut.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:27 AM on June 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


Something I didn't realize until now: Ollie, the little kid who killed Ygritte, was the kid from the village that was ransacked by the wildlings. Ygritte killed his dad while they were having a conversation about potatoes. Ollie got his revenge. No wonder he looked so pleased.
posted by painquale at 6:31 AM on June 9, 2014 [13 favorites]


I was happy to see Dolorous Edd get a few excellent lines.
posted by A dead Quaker at 6:48 AM on June 9, 2014 [7 favorites]


Yeah, I liked that scene for many reasons. Ollie was just a kid a few weeks ago, but no he's soldier and killer (echoing the Hound's comments to Sansa about killers) and it was due to Ygritte and her people.

To say Jon and Ygritte's relationship was complicated is an understatement. Just like Jon, she was who she was and wasn't going to change. But she changed Ollie.

Jon may be the most heroic figure the story has at the moment. But his heroism comes from breaking vows, lying through his teeth, breaking trust and betraying love. All of it for very good reasons, sure, but the stuff of legends.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:52 AM on June 9, 2014 [3 favorites]


I just reread this part and I was surprised by how un-cheesy it was in the books (unlike this episode--blegh.) Jon just fights his battle, and at the end he looks through the bodies to find her, just to see. He takes a little comfort in that it doesn't look like he personally killed her.

Yeah, the book scene worked. The show scene gave me terrible, terrible flashbacks to the third Matrix movie.

Ollie killing Ygritte was a little pat, but not inherently unforgivable. But she was granted a pretty death, complete with catchphrase and without any signs of pain, shock or blood gushing from her mouth. Her dainty passing and all the embroidery around it -- the slo-mo, dear God! -- seemed like a betrayal of her character.
posted by maudlin at 7:04 AM on June 9, 2014 [4 favorites]


The giants were apparently actually giants:
You had giants and mammoths. Was that all CG?
The only thing that’s not real is the mammoth itself, which is 100 percent CGI. The giants are both played by actors. One guy is like 7’5” and the other is maybe eight foot — he’s, like, the tallest man in Europe. They came in to the green-screen studio, we filmed them, and what we do is double them in size, basically. They’re 100 percent real, just bigger than normal.
Neil Marshall talks about the episode.
posted by norm at 7:10 AM on June 9, 2014 [3 favorites]


So the Mountain dude wasn't even the biggest dude they had wandering around hugely? Or did they repurpose him as a giant as well?
posted by elizardbits at 7:13 AM on June 9, 2014


Well done episode, even my wife (a non-reader) was impressed. She looked a little down when I told her the whole episode would be at the wall.

A few stray thoughts:

-Stannis saves the motherfuckin day (Stannis! Fuck yeah!) when Jon is with Mance. So look for him next week. Jon going out on his own hook will mean more questions about his loyalty.

-I knew this show had me when I realized I was counting the horn blasts. Two! Two for wildlings!

-loved what they did with Thorne - he's an asshole but he's still a man of the Watch. Was worried they were going to kill Slynt and deprive us of one of the more satisfying book moments - Edd, fetch the block.

-Ollie getting the killing shot was so totally telegraphed when he gets to the Wall - he's the best archer in his village!

-I expect next week will be at least 70 plus minutes worth of episode. Lots and lots to cover.
posted by nubs at 7:24 AM on June 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


Neither Pyp nor Grenn are dead in the books, right?
posted by gaspode at 7:34 AM on June 9, 2014


But his heroism comes from breaking vows, lying through his teeth, breaking trust and betraying love.

Which is a repeated theme of the series; that no one can manage both their duty and love (which Maester Aemon reminds us all of - btw, does anyone know who his love was? I seem to recall some hints in the books about who it might have been); that the vows men of honour swear become inherently the source of conflict and that there is no way to meet them all (I think Jaime has the best speech with regards to this), and hence - no way to honour both your vows and fulfill your duty.

And yeah, I much preferred how the books deal with Ygritte and Jon - she dies in the battle, and it's never clear who inflicted the final blow.
posted by nubs at 7:35 AM on June 9, 2014


I seem to remember coming away with the idea that Jon had unknowingly killed Ygritte in the books. It's been a long time since I read them though, so my memory is terrible.
posted by MsVader at 7:41 AM on June 9, 2014


I wonder if we won't see Arya heading to Braavos until next season?

NO FUCK NO A THOUSAND TIMES NO FIRE DEATH DOOM.

Seriously, I know everyone likes watching her kick around with the Hound, but we really fucking need to see Arya on the way to becoming a Faceless Man. There is so much that happens there, and I really want it to be spread out and awesome and not rushed. It is all awesome and would be great visually.
posted by corb at 7:51 AM on June 9, 2014 [8 favorites]


I thought it was a pretty good episode as long as you don't think too hard about the tactics that either side employed. They definitely had enough time to wrap up the wall in this episode, if they'd spent less time with worthless shots of faceless extras fighting that didn't contribute in any way to the plot. I also rolled my eyes hard at Ygritte's death and the super cheap cut-away for the giant fight.

That being said, all things considered including their budgetary constraints, it was entertaining and stuck close enough to the source while also adding in a few nice touches of its own (the scythe and the giant archer, obviously).

I have no idea how they're going to fit in everything they have to fit in for the finale, though. My guess is that they'll just leave show watchers hanging on a few things.

Things that HAVE to be in there:

-Stannis to the rescue
-Bran meeting the forest elves
-Tywin's last crap
-Arya leaving The Hound for dead and heading for Bravos

Things that might get shifted around

-Stoneheart (although I'd put money on this being the stinger that closes stuff out)
-The dragons eating a kid
-Sansa and Littlefinger having some sort of major moment together (it's uncharted territory, so who knows)
-Jon being made lord commander

I seem to remember coming away with the idea that Jon had unknowingly killed Ygritte in the books. It's been a long time since I read them though, so my memory is terrible.

I think that he takes solace in the fact she's been killed by an arrow, which means it wasn't him. I can't quite remember though.

Neither Pyp nor Grenn are dead in the books, right?

Nope, both are alive.
posted by codacorolla at 7:52 AM on June 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


I have no idea how they're going to fit in everything they have to fit in for the finale, though.

Yeah, is there extended time for it?

I really wanted Stannis this week but it's setting up for such a mind blowing finale that I'm okay with it.
posted by Drinky Die at 7:56 AM on June 9, 2014


They absolutely, 100%, will not have time for Jon to be made Lord Commander this season. Because remember, it was such a big deal, and it comes after Stannis has been tempting Jon with ideas of being Lord of Winterfell. Definitely next season.
posted by corb at 8:00 AM on June 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


Yeah, is there extended time for it?

It's going to have an extra 15 minutes.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:00 AM on June 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


The next episode is called "The Children" so I'm guessing we are going to get:

-Tyrion, Tywin and Shae;
-Bran meeting a Child of the Forest;
-Dany's dragons eating a child and her decision to pen them;
-Arya and the Hound's final moments and her boarding a boat;

I figure Lady Stoneheart will be the final few moments.
posted by nubs at 8:12 AM on June 9, 2014 [3 favorites]


They probably have to have the dragon eat the kid in the finale, because otherwise they don't really have a way to end Dany's arc.

I feel like they were implying that Maester Aemon's youthful love was Olleyna Tyrell.

Stannis, Jon and Dany's stories all sort of intersect thematically around this point, on the idea of ruling being not about winning the game, but about taking responsibility and actually doing something with it. I'd like to see that theme played with (especially as it contrasts so well with Cersei, who can only win power and has not the first idea of what to actually do with it, and whose story next season will probably be the most interesting.)

All in all, this episode was striking as hell but also felt off for me, a bit. Part of that was the single location, though Blackwater is maybe my favorite episode. Part of it was the tracking shots, which aren't really in the show's style, but they have been doing them more often, so that's fine.

Then I realized, with the tragic love/death, Sam kissing Gilly and standing up for something, Thorne proving his value (and valor!) to his men after all this time, Grenn et al facing death in the eye, shouting their vows as they hold the gate...

In a show about deconstructing the fantasy genre, this was absolutely the most romantic, least cynical episode we've seen. And now that I realize that, I love it, but it's still an odd duck for this series.
posted by Navelgazer at 8:15 AM on June 9, 2014 [7 favorites]


OK, having thought about it some more, I can see the benefit of waiting until next week for the appearance of Stannis' cavalry. The way they ended the show last night, Jon was the hero - it was his victory as a leader. If they'd had Stannis show up at the end, it would have stolen Jon's narrative thunder.
posted by lunasol at 8:21 AM on June 9, 2014


Also I don't remember from the books that Aemon was actually ever in line to be a Targaryen king. Wasn't he the fifth son of the king's younger brother or something? Don't make me check the terrible timesucking wiki.
posted by elizardbits at 8:22 AM on June 9, 2014


I feel like they were implying that Maester Aemon's youthful love was Olleyna Tyrell.

You mean Margaery's grandmother? I think she'd be way too young for Aemon. He's supposed to be 100+ years old, and she can't be older than 70 (her son is the same generation as Ned and Catelyn).
posted by lunasol at 8:28 AM on June 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


He was, and stepped aside. His brother (Aegon V the Unlikely) became king instead.
posted by chainsofreedom at 8:28 AM on June 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


Sort of. Aemon was initially a third son, but his two older brothers died, and so people asked him to come back and be king.
posted by corb at 8:29 AM on June 9, 2014


NO FUCK NO A THOUSAND TIMES NO FIRE DEATH DOOM.

Seriously, I know everyone likes watching her kick around with the Hound, but we really fucking need to see Arya on the way to becoming a Faceless Man. There is so much that happens there, and I really want it to be spread out and awesome and not rushed. It is all awesome and would be great visually.


This. Arya's character has gone through SIGNIFICANT changes in the last part of the season. We have got to get a shot of her heading for the Temple. It'd be AWESOME if they opened next season with her doing the temporarily-blind thing, a little older, a little more skilled.
posted by Thistledown at 8:29 AM on June 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


Also, man, god it feels good to just be talking about this.
posted by corb at 8:29 AM on June 9, 2014 [11 favorites]


Don't make me check the terrible timesucking wiki.

Don't worry, it appears to be down. (I tried to "fact check" my claim that Aemon is 100 years old)
posted by lunasol at 8:29 AM on June 9, 2014


Also, sending her to the FM will help solve the problem of how Maisie Williams is getting far older than Arya is.
posted by corb at 8:30 AM on June 9, 2014


Tower of the Hand has him as a 102 as of AFFC.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 8:32 AM on June 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


Aemon was the Third son of Maekor. Elder brother of Aegon (Egg) the Unlikely. He was already at the Citadel when he would have been in line to succeed. Joined the Watch so that he wouldn't be used in a plot against Aegon.
posted by IanMorr at 8:32 AM on June 9, 2014


Aemon's background:
Aemon Targaryen was the second of his name, and the third son of Maekar I Targaryen. Aemon and was named after his great-great uncle, Prince Aemon Targaryen (the former Lord Commander of the Kingsguard), by his grandfather King Daeron II Targaryen. At this time, King Daeron II had four grown sons, three with sons of their own, and so felt that having too many potential Targaryen heirs was dangerous. He forged his chain, and earned the title of Maester Aemon. He served an unidentified lord until his father, now King Maekar I, summoned him to court to serve the Iron Throne. Not wanting to displace the Grand Maester, Aemon chose instead to serve at the keep of his eldest brother, Prince Daeron. After Daeron's death, Maester Aemon's whereabouts are unknown until the death of King Maekar I, when Aemon was summoned to court in the year of the Great Council. He was offered the crown, quietly, but refused, ceding rule to his younger brother, Aegon. He then decided to serve as a black brother of the Night's Watch for fear that he may be used in a plot to usurp his brother.
posted by nubs at 8:32 AM on June 9, 2014


Yeah, what this episode established, narratively, is:

1) Jon is a tremendous badass on the battlefield
2) The NW sort of accepts him as a natural leader, in the absence of a chain of command he's the one they look to
3) Sam continues to be the bravest motherfucker around, although starting at a disadvantage
4) Janos Slynt is such a terrible leader and coward that when offered the slimmest possible out, he's like "yeah I as commander of the Wall will definitely be used to best advantage locked in a storeroom with a mother and her nurseling infant" and even the greenest member of the Night's Watch is all "yep that seems about right"
5) Jon and Ygritte both compromised things they believed in for each other, and they were both still held by that tension -- Jon's dedication to the NW no longer keeps him from identifying the wildlings as people, which is going to affect how he treats with Mance
posted by KathrynT at 8:44 AM on June 9, 2014 [5 favorites]


Ok so he's the third son of a fourth son but then everyone died. WHY MUST THEY ALL HAVE SIMILAR NAMES WHERE IS KING GARY FIRST OF HIS NAME.
posted by elizardbits at 8:45 AM on June 9, 2014 [3 favorites]


Right here.
posted by nubs at 8:49 AM on June 9, 2014 [4 favorites]


Oh! Also, my frustration with the Stannis storyline isn't that they didn't have it pay off last night, but that I feel like they haven't set it up at all. IIRC from the books, they've been sending ravens from the wall to anybody with any claim to power for a while now and being just ignored by everybody, and Stannis's decision is based largely on how at least one of the people saying they're the king needs to act like it.

If he had shown up last night, it would have been out of nowhere.

Also, I know this is open to interpretation, but I never got the idea that Tywin saved the day at Blackwater (unless you're seeing things through Cersei's eyes, of course) but rather that Tyrion won the day, Meryn Trant tried to kill him, and then Tywin (and Loras) rode in once the outcome was pretty much decided, stealing all of Tyrion's glory.

It makes for an interesting parallel to this episode which wasn't really explored. In both episodes they do a good job of putting you in the heads of both parties, but siding with the defending group. In Blackwater, after all the death and horror, the only winners are the Tyrells, who were barely involved. With this one, there are no winners, but in treating with Mance we can recognize that there's no reason for this war on the wall to be happening.
posted by Navelgazer at 8:57 AM on June 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


But we saw Davos receive the raven letter, didn't we? He knows that the Watch is in need of aid, at least.
posted by elizardbits at 8:59 AM on June 9, 2014


Yah I might be misremembering but we got the scene with Davos taking the letter to Stannis and then I thought nothing else really happens with them til all of the sudden he's destroying the wildlings out of the blue. It may be foreshadowed a bit, but I don't remember him spending a chapter arguing about whether he should go do it, he just does it.
posted by DynamiteToast at 9:01 AM on June 9, 2014


We did, and maybe I'm forgetting about Tywin and others ignoring their ravens, but I just know this was one through-line in the book that felt much more pressing and desperate than they have made it in the show.
posted by Navelgazer at 9:02 AM on June 9, 2014


If he had shown up last night, it would have been out of nowhere.

I felt that way about his arrival in the books. I wasn't expecting it at all. And it was awesome for that reason.

There were breadcrumbs in the books, but there were also breadcrumbs in the show. Davos pretty much told Stannis that they should sail for the Wall, and then a few episodes later they sailed away. Actually, the show-only threads, both here and elsewhere, are full of people predicting Stannis to show up, so I'm worried that it was maybe a little bit too unsubtle.
posted by painquale at 9:02 AM on June 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


I think there's some setup problems in general with this season's storylines - my wife has felt completely unengaged with the Wall this season, and Stannis has just been hanging out there like an untied shoelace all year. So I think there will be a lot of confusion/upset next week when Stannis arrives because those who haven't read the books are going to feel like it all came out of nowhere.

Peeking into the other thread, I'm seeing some upset about things like the giants (which we really haven't seen since early season 3) and my wife was confused about the fact that Ygritte's group was on the other side of the Wall (the climb over happened mid-season 3); Davos and the letter was the end of Season 3 - people have forgotten. So I don't know how it will play out.
posted by nubs at 9:05 AM on June 9, 2014


oh no im reading the wiki

send halp
posted by elizardbits at 9:06 AM on June 9, 2014 [12 favorites]


elizardbits do you want me to link to TVTropes?
posted by KathrynT at 9:10 AM on June 9, 2014 [6 favorites]


In Blackwater, after all the death and horror, the only winners are the Tyrells, who were barely involved.

Wait, in the show did they leave out that "ghost of Renly" stuff? The episode blurs a bit into the book for me.
posted by corb at 9:19 AM on June 9, 2014


elizardbits: Oh crud a flaming arrow set my sleeve on fire.

KathrynT: I'll save you! *drops barrel of burning oil*
posted by Lemurrhea at 9:21 AM on June 9, 2014 [15 favorites]


Wait, in the show did they leave out that "ghost of Renly" stuff?

Yeah, I believe they did. They didn't ever show Renly's cool armor with the antlers, so they weren't able to pull a bait-and-switch by showing someone riding around in Renly's armor and then revealing it to be Loras.
posted by painquale at 9:24 AM on June 9, 2014 [3 favorites]


Wait, in the show did they leave out that "ghost of Renly" stuff?

Not exactly -- they had Loras (and not Garlan, who doesn't exist in the show apparently) wearing Renly's stag-themed armor -- but it wasn't really played up or explained. I only noticed it after I read about it on the (show, not book) wiki.
posted by dhens at 9:25 AM on June 9, 2014


Ah, that's right, it was Garlan in the books and they changed it to Loras in the show. But I don't think anyone ever mentioned anything about a ghost.
posted by painquale at 9:29 AM on June 9, 2014


this was absolutely the most romantic, least cynical episode we've seen.

I think they had to go for this tone; my wife was very bitter after last week's episode, and was saying things like "I really like Sam. I guess I shouldn't care because everyone I like dies." So, having an episode that has a bit more of that heroic/romantic uplift was needed.

In fact, the whole Wall storyline - up to the end of ADWD - kinda is the only place in the entire series where that heroic fantasy storyline lives.
posted by nubs at 9:30 AM on June 9, 2014


OH MAN SHOW HOW COULD YOU. That's half the reason the city fucking loves the Tyrells! ..muttermuttermutter.
posted by corb at 9:33 AM on June 9, 2014


As pretty much the only person on earth who really enjoyed the Jon Snow chapters, I was feeling disappointed in this season. The really slowed the pace of the attack on the wall, and viewers didn't get to experience the exhausting relentlessness of it all. So I'm afraid that Stannis's arrival is going to feel a little anticlimactic now. But lunasol is completely right that ending the episode with Jon as hero was probably necessary to set him up as Lord Commander.
posted by twoporedomain at 9:57 AM on June 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


I always enjoyed jon's chapters. The only time I got frustrated when reading the books was that we'd take a detour to find out what Jon was up to while THINGS WERE HAPPENING IN KING'S LANDING.

I felt a little meh about this episode. I don't remember a great many of the wildlings or who a lot of the night's watch were. If it weren't for this thread, I wouldn't have remembered that the commander was Alliser. And I still don't know/remember who the red head wildling with the beard is.

I feel like we've sent just a little too much time in King's Landing this season. It's impacted the story at the wall too greatly.
posted by royalsong at 10:08 AM on June 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


Tormund Giantsbane is the bearded wildling taken prisoner at the end. He's important later on.
posted by nubs at 10:10 AM on June 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


I keep forgetting that Mance Rayder is the awesome scenery-devouring Ciaran Hinds
posted by elizardbits at 10:12 AM on June 9, 2014 [5 favorites]


I haven't read the books in a few years, so while I am gleefully awaiting Tyrion's escape, I had forgotten a lot about this battle. When Jon strode out to treat with Mance I had a moment of "Wait a second, did that even happen in the books?"

To be honest, this was not my favorite episode. But that's because I get bored of battle scenes pretty quickly, especially when it's dark and everyone is kind of indistinguishable. I like what it did narratively in terms of establishing Jon's leadership and Sam's bravery, but I wouldn't have minded streamlining the battle a bit more.

Also, I was ambivalent about Gillie in the books, but I find her sort of horribly annoying in the show. Am I a mean, heartless person?
posted by chatongriffes at 10:31 AM on June 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


This will sound silly, but can someone educate me on the superhuman grandeur that apparently is Ciaran Hinds? Because every time Mance shows up, or doesn't show up, this dude is spoken of in hushed tones, and nothing on the googles or imdb can give any reason as to why he's apparently the hottest shit in Hotshitsberg.
posted by Navelgazer at 10:33 AM on June 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


In the books where does Stannis' force come from that he attacks the wall with? Is it just the leftovers of his Blackwater army, and that's enough cavalry to rout a undisciplined wildling army who were surprised and had no anti-cavalry forces? Because it kinda seems like the show is setting up that he's using the Iron Bank money to buy forces and I couldn't remember if that's in the books.
posted by DynamiteToast at 10:37 AM on June 9, 2014


Yeah, he basically heads up with the leftovers of his forces: mostly people from Dragonstone, some Stormlanders and Florents who stayed loyal after the Blackwater, and Salladhor Saan's ships. In fact, the latter will leave Stannis shortly afterward because they are not getting paid.

I personally don't think the show's chronology regarding the Iron Bank is as compelling as the books':

Cersei basically tells the Iron Bank to go fuck itself.

The Iron Bank literally sends an envoy to the Wall to find someone who is fighting with a ragtag group of forces in the middle of the snowbound forest as a better alternative to Queen Regent Cersei.

But of course, that makes Stannis look too awesome for the show's taste, I suppose.
posted by dhens at 10:44 AM on June 9, 2014 [5 favorites]


But of course, that makes Stannis look too awesome for the show's taste, I suppose.

Yeah, I think there's a looming problem - King's Landing is about to implode in terms of being an interesting location with interesting characters and the other characters who start picking up the narrative drive are just not well developed.
posted by nubs at 10:54 AM on June 9, 2014


Tycho Nestoris doesn't show up to treat with Stannis until after the battle for The Wall, so it must be his leftovers.

It's a fairly significant force still, I think, and of course, steel armored and riding heavy horse - the arrival in ASoS is from Jon's PoV:

"Three great columns of heavy horse, all dark glinting steel and wool surcoats"

"more and more men were pouring from the trees, not only knights now, but freeriders and mounted bowmen and men at arms in jacks and kettle helms, hundreds of men."
posted by IanMorr at 10:59 AM on June 9, 2014


I'm rereading only the last two books (I can't seem to get past the beginning of AGOT every time I try)

I've found this chapter reading order that is a way to read both books as if they were one (which they kind of are). It's really very enjoyable.
http://boiledleather.com/post/25902554148/a-new-reader-friendly-combined-reading-order-for-a

And I had a thought about the fact that the show is about two books behind, but it's really more like one book's worth of plot (with two book's worth of characters). I don't know if I see enough book content to fill out two seasons unless they move at a glacial pace... of course my memory is very hazy on the content of these books past what I've reread.
posted by xorry at 11:03 AM on June 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I'm going to be mad if we don't get some variation of Cersei blowing off the Iron Bank, because that's such a huge, huge moment for her. Same with allowing the Septons to re-arm, but thankfully they can't really get around showing that decision.
posted by Navelgazer at 11:05 AM on June 9, 2014 [3 favorites]


There's a lot of major stuff. Well more than enough plot, if they want to do it, but that is a question. They've been rushing some things and slowing others.
posted by corb at 11:29 AM on June 9, 2014


I was happy to see Dolorous Edd get a few excellent lines.

Hell yes. I admit to cheering aloud at

"We might as well enjoy our last night, right boys? LIGHT THE FUCKERS UP!"
posted by davidjmcgee at 11:35 AM on June 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


In my bookreading fancast he was Mackenzie Crook so I think they did an excellent job
posted by elizardbits at 11:42 AM on June 9, 2014


xorry, that's the reading order commonly referred to as "FeastDance" and it's fairly well regarded amongst re-readers including myself (it helps, a lot, to treat the 4th and 5th books as one huge novel as they were originally intended to be, ahem.)

Even better is the Ball of Beasts e-book version which streamlines the whole process of alternately bookmarking / picking up / putting down 2 already-immense physical books.
posted by lonefrontranger at 11:44 AM on June 9, 2014 [7 favorites]


Neil Marshall is really good at his job

It is known.
posted by davidjmcgee at 11:52 AM on June 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I think there's a looming problem - King's Landing is about to implode in terms of being an interesting location with interesting characters and the other characters who start picking up the narrative drive are just not well developed.

Yeah, this is one of my substantive problems with the series as a whole. At around the end of 3 you have a bunch of awesome deaths, come-uppances and shifts, and then Martin fumbles with what to do after that. That leads to a bunch of meandering and sighing and moping, but not a lot of doing. He's putting all of his pieces in order, which is understandable, but not terribly interesting to watch. I mean, it's telling that Sansa's entire 2-book arc was wrapped up in approximately 10 minutes on the show.

I'm hoping that the shift in time present in the show, and the fact that it's getting into original territory with S5, is going to offer Martin a firm deadline that will then lead to actual production. The foolish, optimistic part of me feels that it's possible we see Winds of Winter before the start of the next season.
posted by codacorolla at 11:57 AM on June 9, 2014


I assume we will never see another completed book in the series and I am getting more and more okay with that as the show progresses.
posted by elizardbits at 12:04 PM on June 9, 2014 [8 favorites]


My latest crackpot theory is that after next season they'll put the show on hiatus for a year so that TWOW can get published. I have quite literally no evidence for this, but the extended between-seasons break is somewhat common these days.
posted by norm at 12:07 PM on June 9, 2014


Going from my own experience as a life-long procrastinator, I tend to procrastinate the worse the more vague a deadline is. As soon as the deadline is clear and looming I get to work. I'm hoping that projects onto Martin.
posted by codacorolla at 12:15 PM on June 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


There's a lot of major stuff. Well more than enough plot, if they want to do it

Yes, that's true. I'm mostly trying to imagine them spending two seasons on D piddlyfarting around Meereen.
posted by xorry at 12:17 PM on June 9, 2014


I think that, worst case scenario, is that they could do a prologue season that covers previous history around Robert's Rebellion. That would allow them to bring back some fan favorites, and also to cover stuff that Martin has actually seemed compelled to write about recently.
posted by codacorolla at 12:26 PM on June 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


My latest crackpot theory is that after next season they'll put the show on hiatus for a year so that TWOW can get published. I have quite literally no evidence for this, but the extended between-seasons break is somewhat common these days.

The eagerness with which they accelerated the Theon timeline made me feel like they're worried that if they give season long breaks to certain semi-important actors they'll lose them to other shows/movies. I can't imagine them taking a whole year off for that reason.
posted by DynamiteToast at 12:27 PM on June 9, 2014 [4 favorites]


Keep in mind also that less compelling storylines, if they contain sex, can become more visually compelling storylines. Which may be the Show Mereenese Knot.
posted by corb at 12:29 PM on June 9, 2014


Anyone else think that they'll replace Rattleshirt with Tormund? He's a recognizable face at this point and he's played by a good actor and it'll mean more to make him become a glamor for Mance than some random tough guy we've hardly seen. Also, I don't think the character of Tormund in the show could conceivably become buddy-buddy with Jon like he does in the books.

My guess for the show is: the next season will be mostly stuff from books 4 and 5 with a little bit of invented stuff. Season 6 will have some leftovers, but mostly be composed of stories from The Winds of Winter. George will have written enough of it at that point for it to be useable for filming, even if the book isn't out by then. And then they will try heartily to have the book be released nearly simultaneously with the first episode of season 6. I think the deadline means he'll get it done.

But as for season 7: I have no idea. Maybe WoW will take two seasons to cover, like a Storm of Swords did. But even if that is so, and even if they also throw in a prologue season covering Robert's Rebellion, there's no way George will finish yet another book by the time they are ready to advance the story.
posted by painquale at 12:37 PM on June 9, 2014 [3 favorites]


viewers didn't get to experience the exhausting relentlessness of it all

I dunno -- spending the entire episode on that one long battle did make it feel longer than if they'd covered the same events in a much shorter time.
posted by asperity at 12:39 PM on June 9, 2014


But even if that is so, and even if they also throw in a prologue season covering Robert's Rebellion

That's a complete non-starter and has a 0% of happening for practical Hollywoodesque reasons.
posted by Justinian at 12:53 PM on June 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


Anyone else think that they'll replace Rattleshirt with Tormund? He's a recognizable face at this point and he's played by a good actor and it'll mean more to make him become a glamor for Mance than some random tough guy we've hardly seen. Also, I don't think the character of Tormund in the show could conceivably become buddy-buddy with Jon like he does in the books.

Maybe, though Tormund plays a further part in the books right? Isn't he the ruler of the wildlings as they transition to the South? What about just having Mance play himself as Rattleshirt and be a bit more open about it?
posted by DynamiteToast at 12:56 PM on June 9, 2014


The eagerness with which they accelerated the Theon timeline made me feel like they're worried that if they give season long breaks to certain semi-important actors they'll lose them to other shows/movies. I can't imagine them taking a whole year off for that reason.

I believe that the actors important enough to have their names displayed during opening credits have signed onto multi-season-long contracts, so there's no worry about losing them (Daario wasn't important enough, I guess, and the original Mountain was let go for some reason even though he wanted to return).

On the other hand, I think I read that the contracts are for seven seasons, which gives the showrunners a really strong incentive to finish the series in seven.
posted by painquale at 12:56 PM on June 9, 2014


Yeah, prologue seasons are for shows where the main character's actor dies of cancer.

sob
posted by elizardbits at 1:03 PM on June 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


painquale: there's no way George will finish yet another book by the time they are ready to advance the story.

My understanding is that GRRM has already given D&D the high notes of the end of the series, and he will allow them to find their own way there if the show passes him by.
posted by Rock Steady at 1:11 PM on June 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


Yeah, those prologue seasons also involved many of the same actors and so didn't involve negotiating brand new contracts and so forth.
posted by Justinian at 1:12 PM on June 9, 2014


oh god i have been reading the wiki for 4 hours

why didnt anyone stop me
posted by elizardbits at 1:16 PM on June 9, 2014 [6 favorites]


Correct me if I'm wrong, people, but won't Sansa's arc next season be advanced past her development in the books? So we're already at the point of new material?
posted by Justinian at 1:17 PM on June 9, 2014


oh god i have been reading the wiki for 4 hours

why didnt anyone stop me


You knew what you were doing.
posted by DynamiteToast at 1:20 PM on June 9, 2014


Correct me if I'm wrong, people, but won't Sansa's arc next season be advanced past her development in the books? So we're already at the point of new material?

Arguably they've already broken new ground with her revealing her identity, but in book 4 or 5 there is some stuff about them going down the mountain and touring a little, and littlefinger reveals his plan to have her wed to someone else in the Vale and announce her as Sansa to all of Westeros. (I think I've got all that right but it's been a while for me too)
posted by DynamiteToast at 1:21 PM on June 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


elizardbits can you look into that too while you're on the wiki? Should only take another hour or two.
posted by DynamiteToast at 1:22 PM on June 9, 2014 [8 favorites]


I think so Justinian. I mean the Wiki has this:

Meanwhile, after Lysa's death Sansa, still in the guise of "Alayne Stone", becomes the de facto Lady of the Eyrie, comforting her sickly young cousin Lord Robert while being tutored by Lord Baelish in some of the finer points of courtly intrigue.
When Lyn Corbray draws his sword during a parlay between Petyr and the Lords Declarant, and Baelish leverages the breach of etiquette to demand a trial period of regency over the little Lord Robert, Sansa correctly surmises that Corbray is under Baelish's employ, which Baelish confirms. Petyr then reveals his plans to Sansa for eventual marriage to the Arryn heir after Robert, Harrold Hardyng, and an eventual plan to reveal her true identity and to reclaim Winterfell in her name.


Which doesn't really seem much beyond the show (if at all considering the changes.)
posted by xorry at 1:22 PM on June 9, 2014


NO it's almost time for the ubisoft e3 livestream, i have priorities
posted by elizardbits at 1:40 PM on June 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


But she was granted a pretty death, complete with catchphrase

Y: Jon Snow …You Remember that cave? We should have stayed in that cave.
JS: We'll go back there...
Y: Don't have a cow, man!
posted by Justinian at 1:49 PM on June 9, 2014 [11 favorites]


He's too busy never meeting a promotional opportunity or licensing agreement he didnt like.
posted by Justinian at 1:52 PM on June 9, 2014


The sad thing is he's got all of the action written out but is blocked on what varieties of Lamprey everyone is having.
posted by Navelgazer at 1:54 PM on June 9, 2014 [9 favorites]


FINISH THE BOOKS GEORGE FINISH THE BOOKS GEORGE

My personal guess is that he won't do so before 2020. So it's good that HBO has essentially said "No, we're finishing this puppy on a time table, you do what you want George."
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:05 PM on June 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


2020 is very optimistic as far as I can tell. I'm starting to think "never" is about a 50/50 chance.
posted by Justinian at 2:08 PM on June 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


Ok, we have more information on one of the giants from last night's episode. He's a former UNC basketball recruit named Neil Fingleton. And he's 7 foot 7.
posted by norm at 2:10 PM on June 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


2020 is very optimistic as far as I can tell. I'm starting to think "never" is about a 50/50 chance.

I pretty much came here to say that, yeah. The bigger and more sprawling a story gets, the harder it is to wrap it, and he was going for both those things from the get-go.
posted by mordax at 2:11 PM on June 9, 2014


From Grantland: Though the Wall is essential to the survival of the Seven Kingdoms, it’s nowhere near as interesting as King’s Landing. A half dozen of Jon and Sam’s doomed brothers had been introduced over the preceding weeks with remarkable economy and skill — I’m talking about you, Axey, Budget Robert Carlyle, Arrow Neck, and That Kid — but they’re still no match for the Lannisters in terms of drama or pathos.

Between that, and my wife's comments going into last night (The Wall just isn't interesting) and the AV Club reviews...boy, there's a problem. I haven't been overly impressed with how Jon & the Wall have been handled for most of the series (all 4 years), but I figured that was me being a griping book reader. But if the viewers feel that way...well, I think it's just really too bad. The Wall should be an interesting place to see on the show, and I guess everyone's just been too enthralled with the incredible casting and writing of King's Landing to give the time needed to get people caring about the Wall and the people there.

Sam seems to be the only one my wife cares about, and she figured he would die last night because that's the world of ASOIAF. Which has me worried for next week - because all she will be is delighted at the outcome of Tyrion's problems, and possibly miss the emotional gut punch of the Tywin/Shae betrayal.
posted by nubs at 2:13 PM on June 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


This is total blind optimism, but I'm actively choosing to believe the theory that GRRM is clearing his con schedule for the next year to finish TWOW and it will therefore come out in late 2015 or early 2016. I have no optimism for the last one.
posted by norm at 2:18 PM on June 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


I've really disliked show Jon for the past 3 years or so, and never even really liked book Jon, but last night's episode actually made him feel like a more competent character. At first I was sort of iffy about him going off to meet Mance on his own volition, but I think it's a good step, since it makes him much less passive. If DWD's ending happens and people shrug (or even worse) say "finally!" then you have some real narrative problems.

I wonder if part of it is because The Wall (and especially the battle) is so directly sword and sorcery? King's Landing, outside a few details, could just be a period drama about court intrigue. The direction that the books are heading is much more fantastical, so I do wonder if viewers will maintain the same dedication.
posted by codacorolla at 2:20 PM on June 9, 2014


I wonder if part of it is because The Wall (and especially the battle) is so directly sword and sorcery?

I think it is mostly because of the passivity of the Wall; they basically sit there and wait for things to happen, which has left the characters with nothing to make them interesting. Blackwater - which this episode most directly compares with - rates much higher because characters we know much better are directly involved.
posted by nubs at 2:35 PM on June 9, 2014


Yeah, they gotta have Dany's last scene be "it was the bones of a child," just because what else is going on there? (We finally see what Grey Worm's junk looks like?)

I'm wondering if next season they're going to include what's-his-face from wherever and his quest to marry Dany and his eventual frying. It was pretty funny, but seems like a waste of time, especially since we'll have the Sand Snakes AND the Iron Island shit to deal with. And also the fake Targ kid, right? Man, book 5...

I'm also wondering if they will have Dany do what she did in the books and just chain up her dragons without attempting to, like, train them or anything. Because that was mad dumb.
posted by showbiz_liz at 5:10 PM on June 9, 2014


Quentyn Martell
posted by elizardbits at 5:30 PM on June 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


I predict that both the Dornish and the Greyjoy storylines are going to be really fun and really popular. Bloodthirsty pirates! Oberyn's daughters teeming out across Westeros as the desert kingdom joins the Game! What's not to like? All of this is visually interesting and will translate well to the screen. And the showrunners know about the unpopularity of those plots and so will try to correct mistakes. And the audience will be more forgiving of new plots when they haven't had to wait ten years to catch up with their favorite characters.

I'm certainly looking forward to Quentyn getting fried. They'd better not cut that.
posted by painquale at 5:47 PM on June 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


I keep forgetting that Mance Rayder is the awesome scenery-devouring Ciaran Hinds

I can't wait for Mance-as-Abel. They haven't really touched Mance's Robin Hood-esque romantic adventurer side yet in the show.


As for the show beating the book - I would laugh and laugh if next season opened with "Five Years Later..." after GRRM decided against doing the five year gap. Suddenly the child actors' ages aren't a problem, and we are off into "let the showmakers do whatever" alternate tellings, so the book people aren't totally spoiled.
posted by jason_steakums at 5:50 PM on June 9, 2014


A cast list has leaked for Season 5 - no Quentyn listed yet, though that doesn't mean he won't be there (though IIRC he doesn't appear until ADWD anyway, so *possibly* he might not appear until Season 6).
posted by Pink Frost at 5:51 PM on June 9, 2014


painquale: I think so too. One of the big problems with the Greyjoy and Martell storylines is the sheer amount of new names and history we're supposed to grok all at once, but visually that shouldn't be nearly as much of a problem.
posted by Navelgazer at 5:51 PM on June 9, 2014


Rewatching the episode... Tormund's bear story makes me wish (yet again!) that we could somehow make Brian Blessed decades younger because he was always the Tormund I pictured in my head. Not that show Tormund is bad, but when you're expecting GORDON'S ALIVE!?!? it's a bit disappointing.
posted by jason_steakums at 6:14 PM on June 9, 2014 [5 favorites]




(April Fools)
posted by Drinky Die at 6:30 PM on June 9, 2014


Aw, crap, I originally saw that long after April Fools was over and totally thought it was real. :(
posted by Jacqueline at 6:32 PM on June 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


Areo Hotah.. Idris Elbah?
posted by coriolisdave at 6:43 PM on June 9, 2014 [4 favorites]


I assume we will never see another completed book in the series and I am getting more and more okay with that as the show progresses.

I personally viewed the giant opening up the outer gate with great effort and perseverance, only to be killed at the inner gate, as a metaphor for Martin trying to finish the next damn book.
posted by A dead Quaker at 7:30 PM on June 9, 2014 [6 favorites]


(though IIRC he doesn't appear until ADWD anyway, so *possibly* he might not appear until Season 6)

Well, that's no indication, since they're definitely combining the books. But I guess that particular plot could be put off for a season?
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:48 PM on June 9, 2014


I hope they take a hatchet to all the bloated plot threads in the next couple of books. So much we don't need to see.
posted by Justinian at 7:58 PM on June 9, 2014


Quick request: can some people who have favorited this comment of mine please unfavorite it? At least for a week. I'm suddenly conscious of the fact that it's appearing in my contacts' sidebars, and as soon as one of them clicks on it they get face full of hot spoilers for the finale.
posted by painquale at 3:21 AM on June 10, 2014 [4 favorites]


My latest crackpot theory is that after next season they'll put the show on hiatus for a year so that TWOW can get published. I have quite literally no evidence for this, but the extended between-seasons break is somewhat common these days.

I'm 99.999% sure that this show is, in volume of viewers and such, the #1 thing on HBO right now by an enormous margin. Like, nothing else is even remotely close. True blood is pretty damn popular, and that gets maybe 4 million viewers an episode. GoT has gone well past 7 mil more than once, and builds every season.

I can't find historical data on like, the sopranos and stuff(i only found stuff like this which won't drop a number, but they did say the premiere was second only to it. The premiere had 6.6, "mockingbird" had 7.2. I think it probably won)... but i feel pretty confident saying that this show is essentially double the popularity of anything else they air. I just can't imagine anyone there having the balls to say "You know, lets park it for a year lol".

And no, i'm not one of the "this is one of the greatest works in the history of humanity!" people from reddit. This is just blatantly obviously HBOs biggest cash cow right now, their golden goose. They're not gonna put that on ice.
posted by emptythought at 3:40 AM on June 10, 2014 [4 favorites]


i re-read the battles sequence in the books and I gotta say, the tv show was so. much. better.

in that, it was more interesting than "And then a battle happened."

One change between the two, however, was that in the books, castle black had no walls. Or rather, it had 1 wall, and that wall was The Wall. I'm not sure why they felt the need to change that, but I think it turned out OK.
posted by rebent at 5:43 AM on June 10, 2014


FanFare: Face Full Of Hot Spoilers
posted by norm at 6:32 AM on June 10, 2014 [6 favorites]


Also, this thread is totally winning versus the ShowOnly thread.
posted by norm at 6:35 AM on June 10, 2014 [5 favorites]


Oh man, I hope they do the Frey Pie plotline
posted by xorry at 6:42 AM on June 10, 2014 [3 favorites]


yes i feel obnoxiously pleased about that
posted by elizardbits at 6:42 AM on June 10, 2014 [5 favorites]


The thing about Castle Black and walls is interesting. If I recall correctly, Castle Black specifically has no southward-facing walls because it is forbidden from taking part in any wars south of the wall, something which is going to be pretty important starting in an episode or so. This is specifically why the wildlings made the climb - Castle Black is super vulnerable from the south. DOn't know why they would change that.
posted by Navelgazer at 7:15 AM on June 10, 2014


I'll tell you why: because Tormund looked like a badass scaling that wall, that's why.
posted by norm at 7:16 AM on June 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


in the books, castle black had no walls. Or rather, it had 1 wall, and that wall was The Wall. I'm not sure why they felt the need to change that, but I think it turned out OK.

I think there's a few, very practical reasons:

-they've never established the particular aspects of history that explain why the castles of the Night's Watch have no southern walls. Viewers would be going "well, it's a castle, so why aren't there walls?"
-The show did a great job conveying the geography/relative locations during the fight - if Castle Black has no walls, and the defenders are all over the place - a tower here, a rooftop there - the battle becomes completely chaotic for the viewer.
-the show's timing of the attack from both sides was great and made more sense that the books, where the raiding party attempts the takeover well before Mance's army arrives. Making it a two front assault makes far more sense - and in the books, it likely would have succeeded. But that does mean we miss one of the scenes I recall vividly from the book - letting the wildlings onto the stairs, trapping them there, and then burning the stairs out from under them.
posted by nubs at 7:35 AM on June 10, 2014 [3 favorites]


painquale: the irony is that I favorited it because of your realization at the end that it was the most spoilerific spoiler bomb.
posted by tofu_crouton at 7:52 AM on June 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


Areo Hotah.. Idris Elbah?

Santa I have been a very good girl this year just saying.
posted by corb at 8:37 AM on June 10, 2014 [3 favorites]


Idris Elba in every role, but that would be a great one.
posted by Navelgazer at 8:40 AM on June 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


Also, this thread is totally winning versus the ShowOnly thread.

Well, yuh. MetaFilter is disproportionately frequented by book-reading freaks. I have this season on my hard drive but haven't watched yet since I like to do it in one exhausting binge, so hooray for next Monday. But Twitter on Sun pm is going to be even more hilarious than it was after "The Grove" on The Walking Dead, between the WTFFFFFFFFFFF and "Shut up about that goddamn show I don't care about!" contingents.
posted by FelliniBlank at 10:32 AM on June 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


Yeah, the Tyrion accepts his destiny moment on its own will be big, but there should be a few other beats that drop that leave an impression.
posted by nubs at 11:34 AM on June 10, 2014


This is just blatantly obviously HBOs biggest cash cow right now, their golden goose.

Actually, they don't get paid more when people watch a show, they only get paid when people subscribe to HBO or rent the DVD's. In fact, they probably make LESS money because so many people are using HBOGo nowadays. The model is very different from commercial TV (more viewers, more money for commercials) or movies (more tickets more money). It's super complicated and I don't claim to have a full grasp on how viewership affects their ability to charge cable providers for access, or if home video distribution rights have already been sold off to another entity. But it's more convoluted than regular tv, and not as obvious that it matters when a show airs. So long as people expect it will air eventually and in the meantime there is still something they want to watch on HBO and they don't cancel service. A year break would be pretty odd (and probably not supportable for contractual considerations with the above the line talent), but they've had long breaks between seasons for other of their flagship shows.
posted by mzurer at 1:37 PM on June 10, 2014


Can we agree that Facebook is the most annoying place to discuss the show?
posted by norm at 2:23 PM on June 10, 2014 [3 favorites]


One change between the two, however, was that in the books, castle black had no walls. Or rather, it had 1 wall, and that wall was The Wall. I'm not sure why they felt the need to change that, but I think it turned out OK.

It's not like it really did in the show either. It wasn't winterfell or anything. Hell, they even made a point of saying "we'll be up and over them before they even see what happened". It basically had an unshielded hallway for a night watchman to walk across, and some gates. It seemed like most of the walls they showed existed because they were you know, walls, like there were rooms on the other side of them and stuff. That main gate to the south especially looked like basically a garage door and was what, 8 feet high?

I think they sold the point that it wasn't really meant to defend against anything but one or two randomly meandering jackasses to the south, because it looked like even if all ~100 of them had just been at that side a lot of the wildlings would have still made it through. it's more "courtyard between townhouses" than "castle square" compared to EVERY other fort, much less castle they've shown. That little fort that ramsay fucked up with reek a couple episodes ago that was falling down was way more defensible looking.

One change between the two, however, was that in the books, castle black had no walls. Or rather, it had 1 wall, and that wall was The Wall. I'm not sure why they felt the need to change that, but I think it turned out OK.

Which you can only use if you have a subscription, and which only allows one stream per login. There's also no way to view HBO without paying for a subscription. So if they record 7.2 million viewers on an episode, that's 7.2 million people paying their subscription fee.

You can sort of double dip with HBO go by watching it on your normal TV service and a pc/ipad/whatever at the same time, but i don't think that's super common. I also don't think hbogo costs them all that much to run, since it's basically just amazon AWS or something as the hosting backend and likely an off the shelf streaming platform+client with their graphics pasted on.

My point wasn't so much that they make money per viewer, but that it's pretty obvious to look at that many viewers and go "this is a major reason people subscribe".
posted by emptythought at 2:45 PM on June 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


I don't have any idea how much running HBOGO costs them, but I don't think you do either. It's pretty well documented that a lot of people are sharing logins and HBO isn't super concerned about it at this point. This show is also really, really, really expensive to make. I'm not saying it's not good for them that it's popular, but it's not at all obvious that they will make more money by airing the seasons sooner rather than later.
posted by mzurer at 5:17 PM on June 10, 2014


I don't think they have to get to the exact end of book 3 in the next episode. It might be better if they left a little bit to cover next season along with the beginning of each character's book 4/5 plot lines. I'd like to see Arya leave the Hound, but seeing her set off for Braavos would be a cool way to start the next season. Stannis tempting Jon with Winterfell, then Jon becoming Lord Commander, would be better over 2 episodes than crammed into a finale. It'd be madness to leave Tyrion any longer obviously, and the episode title indicates we'll see Bran reach the tree. But I feel like Dany's storyline ending this season with Jorah leaving isn't a bad decision.
posted by harriet vane at 4:13 AM on June 11, 2014


My predicted lineup for the finale:

-Jaime helps Tyrion escape
-Jon meets with Mance, he shows off the Horn of Winter
-Tyrion kills Tywin and accidentally kills Shae (a stabbing through the arras situation)
-Stannis arrives and decimates the Wildling horde
-Arya leaves the Hound for dead and sets off for Braavos
-Bran meets Coldhands and the three-eyed crow, talks to Reek/Theon in Winterfell via Treenet
-Lady Stoneheart
posted by Rock Steady at 6:08 AM on June 11, 2014 [3 favorites]


This will sound silly, but can someone educate me on the superhuman grandeur that apparently is Ciaran Hinds?


I think it has to do with starring in a movie or miniseries adaptation of one of the Jane Austen books.

I always every time get him confused with Randolph Mantooth.
posted by vitabellosi at 7:16 AM on June 11, 2014


-Tyrion kills Tywin and accidentally kills Shae (a stabbing through the arras situation)

I'd be so pissed. He had BETTER strangle Shae to death with a fancy necklace or I will revolt.
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:44 AM on June 11, 2014 [6 favorites]


Yeah, I think the emotional fallout for Tyrion (and the audience) is much less if Shae's death is accidental.

It's that realization of the final betrayal - Shae, who he loved (even if she did not love in return) in his father's bed, the father who has threatened him over whores throughout his life - that makes that scene work for me. It's the full realization of Tywin's hypocrisy and Shae's true nature that fuels Tyrion's hatred to the full boil; had she not been there - had he not just strangled her in his fathers bed; I'm not sure he pulls the trigger. If it's an accident, it loses that emotional weight.

And the other great thing to me about that moment - it's a great representation of how Tyrion is truly his father's son. He has the intelligence and wit, along with the same taste in women.
posted by nubs at 8:52 AM on June 11, 2014 [5 favorites]


I think it has to do with starring in a movie or miniseries adaptation of one of the Jane Austen books.

My first exposure to him was in the 1997 ITV/A&E adaptation of Jane Eyre.
posted by norm at 9:33 AM on June 11, 2014


Yeah, I think the emotional fallout for Tyrion (and the audience) is much less if Shae's death is accidental.

I agree, but I'm not sure the show is ready to take Tyrion to such a dark place, and an accidental death allows them to get right up to the line without crossing it. It's total speculation on my part, but I will be pleasantly surprised if Tyrion kills her intentionally. That's an... uncomfortable sentence to type.
posted by Rock Steady at 9:33 AM on June 11, 2014


I think though Shae's death needs to be intentional for us to fully understand that Tyrion is not just the jolly dwarfish hero. There are no heroes, not even Tyrion, not even the guy we've spent so long loving and sympathizing with despite himself. When he is betrayed - not just abused, but betrayed - he kills.

But then, they've already fucked with his Tysha story by not having him rape her himself after the guards, and just having the guards do it. (I really missed the "Because a Lannister is worth more" line not being in the show, damn.) So maybe they will. Or maybe they'll have her try to stop Tyrion from killing Tywin and then he kills her. But really, I think the show needs to slap him in the face. Nothing else thus far really has.
posted by corb at 9:43 AM on June 11, 2014 [5 favorites]


This will sound silly, but can someone educate me on the superhuman grandeur that apparently is Ciaran Hinds

I'm familiar with him from Rome, where he was awesome.
posted by mordax at 9:43 AM on June 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


Predictions:
  • Arya will get free of the Hound via Brienne's intervention, but will not go to Braavos until next season.
  • Bran will arrive at the node of Weirwood dot net, but we won't meet Coldhands yet, if at all.
  • Stannis will show up in style, but the Wall storyline for the season will end with that battle. No Lord Commander election or anything like that until well into next season.
  • Tyrion will intentionally kill Shae.
  • Dany will chain some dragons.
  • LSH will be the last shot of the season.
  • The showonliers will lose their goddamn minds when that happens.

posted by norm at 9:58 AM on June 11, 2014 [2 favorites]


I agree, but I'm not sure the show is ready to take Tyrion to such a dark place

Look at Arya, though. Adorable little girl turned cold-blooded killer, and everyone is in love with her.
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:08 AM on June 11, 2014 [3 favorites]


Game of Thrones in one picture

But really, I think the show needs to slap him in the face. Nothing else thus far really has.

I think that's it - and it's part of the reason the next book (I consider 4+5 one book) feels so...bad. Everyone we like is either dead, or has suffered an epic smackdown - are there any heroes left? The Wall was where our heroic storyline was living, but it falls apart too as Jon makes mistakes in leadership. The closest thing we have to a hero is Reek/Theon - who we celebrate for recovering some of his identity and agency, forgetting that this is the man who took Winterfell and allowed two innocents to be murdered in order to try to keep it.

So yeah.
posted by nubs at 10:13 AM on June 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


LSH will be the last shot of the season.
The showonliers will lose their goddamn minds when that happens.


I'm worried about this actually - there hasn't been the "wolf dream" to establish this, and the fact that Thoros is out breathing life back into people is now over a season ago. It's going to come out of the blue. Or else the previously on will give the whole fucking thing away (Shot of LSH (using these initials in case anyone not aware is skimming the thread) getting killed; cut to Thoros and Beric or Thoros and Melisandre chatting about his power).


Look at Arya, though. Adorable little girl turned cold-blooded killer, and everyone is in love with her.

I have a theory that Martin is very deliberately moving towards having some character arcs pull a reverse of the Jaime/Theon (where they become somewhat sympathetic & redeemed) and have characters who started that way who go from being favorites to despised. Arya and Bran are my current contenders.
posted by nubs at 11:58 AM on June 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


Or else the previously on will give the whole fucking thing away (Shot of LSH (using these initials in case anyone not aware is skimming the thread) getting killed; cut to Thoros and Beric or Thoros and Melisandre chatting about his power).

It would be sufficient to just show the latter scene, though, and that wouldn't give anything away. (Casual viewers may have forgotten Beric and his powers, but they sure won't have forgotten about the Red Wedding.)
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:03 PM on June 11, 2014 [2 favorites]


I've been wondering at how they would portray Tyrion's turn toward the dark side in a way that viewers could stomach. Viewers want to identify strongly with Tyrion and would feel that his doing something blatantly evil, such as murder, is a betrayal of his character. If his killing of Shae appears to be simply an act of petty jealousy or in spite of her having testified against him, I don't think those would be strong enough motivators to get buy-in from the audience.

So, I think Tyrion will find Tywin and Shae mid-act, with her calling him "my lion of Lannister" or something she used to call Tyrion. That would put him over the edge. A lot will hinge on Peter Dinklage's acting, but I think he's up to the task.

There's no way they'll end on that note, though. It's too dark to end the series on, and isn't really a cliff-hanger so much as a WTF.

I think they'll end one of two ways: either with LSH, because people will be curious about the return of a beloved character from bygone days and will tune in the following season just to see what the hell is going on.

Or, they'll end with someone meeting a Child of the Forest.

They might start the episode with a flashback to the Red Wedding to introduce the Blackfish's storyline, leading up to the introduction of LSH near the end of the episode. They don't usually do flashbacks, but it might work in this case.
posted by tempestuoso at 12:11 PM on June 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'll bet you 100 Fake Internet Dollars that the last shot is the reveal of LSH.
posted by Rock Steady at 12:39 PM on June 11, 2014 [6 favorites]


Oh, here's how they do it.

Open with wolf dreams of Arya with Nymeria pulling up Cat, or Arya talking about wolf dreams, waking up, and then leaving the Hound.

Close with LSH.
posted by corb at 12:46 PM on June 11, 2014


I think you can give the showonliers enough credit that they can figure out who the hell LSH is.
posted by norm at 12:48 PM on June 11, 2014


This article posted on Monday had pictures of GoT prosthetics work, including one of Catelyn with a giant neck wound. Yet today all of the pictures were taken down. Hmmmmm.
posted by norm at 12:52 PM on June 11, 2014


I think they will just show her as the last scene, and then the first episode of next season will have some random character dryly explain it all (like the reveal of who killed Jon Arryn).
posted by tofu_crouton at 12:56 PM on June 11, 2014


and then the first episode of next season will have some random character dryly explain it all (like the reveal of who killed Jon Arryn).

S5E1
                      BAELISH
            (has a foghorn leghorn 
             accent this season)

        Now look a here at this here crow 
        letter I say. Says (etc. etc.)



posted by xorry at 1:21 PM on June 11, 2014 [10 favorites]


norm: one of Catelyn with a giant neck wound

I've been assuming for some time that this is going to be the look we are going for.
posted by Rock Steady at 1:37 PM on June 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


This will sound silly, but can someone educate me on the superhuman grandeur that apparently is Ciaran Hinds?

Think Alan Rickman. Accomplished stage actor, also has disappeared into a number of villainy or otherwise offbeat movie roles, and makes an excellent gruff, reserved Austen hero, c.f. Persuasion with Amanda Root (also an accomplished stage actress; it's a great movie all around).
posted by a fair but frozen maid at 1:40 PM on June 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


This will sound silly, but can someone educate me on the superhuman grandeur that apparently is Ciaran Hinds?

I always get his name mixed up with Cillian Murphy.
posted by Rock Steady at 2:03 PM on June 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


I think you can give the showonliers enough credit that they can figure out who the hell LSH is.

I know they will know LSH when LSH shows up, I'm just trying to prevent someone from figuring it out early is all.
posted by nubs at 3:24 PM on June 11, 2014


I keep thinking of LSP and wondering who Lumpy Space Ham? Hanky? Hippo? is

(i know who you mean)
posted by elizardbits at 4:14 PM on June 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


Large Scything Hook
posted by nubs at 5:01 PM on June 11, 2014 [2 favorites]


Legendary Samwell: Hero
posted by jason_steakums at 5:59 PM on June 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


Look! Sexy Hodor!
posted by Rock Steady at 6:26 PM on June 11, 2014 [6 favorites]


Littlefinger's Secret Hideaway

Lommy Should've Hidden
posted by nubs at 6:32 PM on June 11, 2014 [2 favorites]


Legolas Shouldn't be Here!
posted by jason_steakums at 6:40 PM on June 11, 2014 [2 favorites]


Lancel's Schtupping Her
posted by norm at 6:49 PM on June 11, 2014 [3 favorites]


Loras' Schtupping Him
posted by nubs at 7:08 PM on June 11, 2014 [4 favorites]


Locality-sensitive hashing.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 7:18 PM on June 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


Littlefinger's Sansa Hopes
posted by nubs at 7:23 PM on June 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


Lannister's Severed Hand
posted by painquale at 7:30 PM on June 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


Lady Stoneheart -> Stoneheart Lady -> SHL -> Some Like it Hot!
posted by Green With You at 8:06 PM on June 11, 2014


Wait... Ok I did it wrong. Darn.
posted by Green With You at 8:29 PM on June 11, 2014 [2 favorites]


I'll bet you 100 Fake Internet Dollars that the last shot is the reveal of LSH.

Or but what if it is the reveal that the dragons are eating children? Great contrast to the 'white saviour crowd surfing' scene at the end of the last series.

For the episode as a whole I'm guessing (in order of likelihood):

Tyrion talks to Jaime, escapes, kills Shae and Tywin. No doubt Shae will be naked at some point.
Jon talks to Mance. Naked wildlings in the background.
Dragons eat children. Someone will be naked.
LSH
The Hound dies
Stannis arrives and attacks the wildlings
Arya goes to Braavos

And that still doesn't cover Brienne/Pod, Sansa/Baelish, or Bran/annoying Reeds, who we probably need to check in with. Or Jaime, Cersei, the Tyrells etc. Or Sam/Gilly.
posted by Pink Frost at 9:40 PM on June 11, 2014


I don't think we'll see Sansa/Baelish or Brienne/Pod again this season. I think their last shots were reasonable pauses in their stories.

I think we will see the Hound and Arya splitting up, but not him dying (we hear about his death quite a bit later in the books, right? It's been so long.)

Maybe... Tyrion killing Shae and Tywin in the middle of the ep, making his escape. Most of last half Stannis showing up for the NW, then quickly, Dragons eating kids, Arya to Braavos, end with LSH.

Yep, that's my call.
posted by gaspode at 5:23 AM on June 12, 2014


Look, I may or may not have gone through the "next week on Game of Thrones" trailer frame-by-frame, and the sword that is drawn just before Arya says "people are coming" is Oathbreaker. So I think we'll be seeing Brienne this week.
posted by norm at 5:26 AM on June 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


oh well, look at you with your fancy trailer watching and all :)

I *hope* we see Brienne.
posted by gaspode at 5:34 AM on June 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


A lot will hinge on Peter Dinklage's acting, but I think he's up to the task.

After his episodes this season, especially the trial, there is no question that he is.
posted by The Michael The at 7:25 AM on June 12, 2014 [3 favorites]


I think we will see the Hound and Arya splitting up, but not him dying (we hear about his death quite a bit later in the books, right? It's been so long.)

We HEAR about his death later in the books, yes. Whether or not we actually see the Hound die will actually be a major point a lot of the more obsessive among us are watching for. (My money is on no death)

But if we are seeing Brienne's sword, then I think Arya is definitely getting on the boat for Braavos. They don't explicitly hit us over the head with it, but in one of Brienne's chapters, while she's looking for Sansa, they tell her that there are only a few ships in the harbor, including the name of the one that Arya gets on, so they are in the same city as the same time.
posted by corb at 8:12 AM on June 12, 2014 [2 favorites]


Whether or not we actually see the Hound die will actually be a major point a lot of the more obsessive among us are watching for. (My money is on no death) Have you GOTTEN HYPE!?
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:19 AM on June 12, 2014 [3 favorites]


but in one of Brienne's chapters, while she's looking for Sansa, they tell her that there are only a few ships in the harbor, including the name of the one that Arya gets on, so they are in the same city as the same time.

I think - in what would be a funny/ironic twist - that they might actually go for Brienne/Pod and Hound/Arya (or perhaps just Arya) having a chance meeting or actually passing each other by on the road.

After all Brienne/Pod have never met Arya; they would have no clue who she is - just another peasant/low born girl on the road. Brienne might recognize the Hound - by reputation - and Pod would certainly know him; but he has nothing to do with her quest, so I envision the Hound/Arya riding down from the Vale as Brienne/Pod ride towards it, they pass on the road, grunt hellos, and keep moving.
posted by nubs at 8:23 AM on June 12, 2014 [5 favorites]


Have you GOTTEN HYPE!?

Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee I have been the very very BEST girl and totally deserve for this to happen.
posted by corb at 8:28 AM on June 12, 2014


nubs, you are so right. I think Brienne is going to take Pod's advice and not mention she is looking for the Starks. And she is going to let Arya slip through her fingers.
posted by Night_owl at 8:34 AM on June 12, 2014


I just watched the preview and Yay! more time spent at the Wall! /hamburger
posted by mlis at 9:06 AM on June 12, 2014


I think Brienne is going to take Pod's advice and not mention she is looking for the Starks

Not to mention that I don't think she would go out of her way to tangle with the Hound.
posted by nubs at 9:09 AM on June 12, 2014


OMG I just realized when I came back in here that I mistyped "Oathkeeper" as "Oathbreaker."

I am sore ashamed.
posted by norm at 10:01 AM on June 12, 2014 [3 favorites]


Have you GOTTEN HYPE!?

I wish I could play this video on repeat all day, e'ery day.
posted by lord_wolf at 10:28 AM on June 12, 2014 [1 favorite]




I thought the hound almost definitely shows up later at a monastery under another guise? Am I wrong about that?
posted by codacorolla at 10:33 AM on June 12, 2014


I don't think you are wrong. The Golem and the Gravedigger.
posted by mlis at 10:54 AM on June 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


The clues that hint it are decisive enough, but it might be that this is the end of the Hound's story and GRR has no future plans for him. If so, D&D might feel free to change his story by having Arya actually kill the Hound. I don't think that would be a bad change, conditional on the Hound not having another role to play in the story.

Then again, a monastery would have been a good place to tuck the Hound for five years during GRR's originally-planned time skip. The fact that Arya didn't kill him might mean GRR has another purpose for him in mind.
posted by painquale at 12:56 PM on June 12, 2014 [3 favorites]


I thought the reveal of LSH's identity came when Brienne and Pod had been captured and they were going to be hanged. If the show sticks with that, and want to have LSH as a Big Moment in the season, then we'll have to have a decent amount of Brienne / Pod in the last episode.
posted by Bunny Boneyology at 3:35 PM on June 12, 2014


That was later, in Brienne's final scene of A Feast for Crows. Lady Stoneheart was first revealed hanging Freys at the end of A Storm of Swords; Brienne and Pod hadn't met each other yet.
posted by painquale at 3:54 PM on June 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


Oh yeah, that's right. I really just want some more Brienne storyline.
posted by Bunny Boneyology at 5:51 PM on June 12, 2014




I'm worried about this actually - there hasn't been the "wolf dream" to establish this, and the fact that Thoros is out breathing life back into people is now over a season ago. It's going to come out of the blue.

I just rewatched the last two episodes with someone who hadn't seen them yet and there are THREE references to burning bodies so they don't get "back up again", which is both a White Walker zombie thing and reminding people that resurrection magic TOTALLY EXISTS soooooo
posted by The Whelk at 9:57 PM on June 13, 2014 [2 favorites]


Hi guys, I'm sliiightly late, but no love for the hammy acting when Aemon gives the Talk to Sam? I was half-expecting Sam to steal dad's convertible and go meet his girl at the prom.

I'd so watch a teen flick starring Sam.
posted by ersatz at 4:37 AM on June 14, 2014 [2 favorites]


The whole 'burn me so I don't come back as a white walker' thing is I think viewed differently by a lot of showonliers. A lot of weird shit happens at the wall that doesn't really fly elsewhere, like giants casually rocking up in a battle.

I think they're going to have to do a flashback scene, personally, probably showing Thoros and Dondarrion in the process of doing the deed, then cutting sharply to LHS on horseback, perhaps bumping into Brienne. Without a strong visual clue as to clothing and identity people could easily just think it's yet more freaky shit they don't have context for.
posted by jaffacakerhubarb at 6:27 PM on June 14, 2014


RIP Pyp and Grenn. I wish they weren't gone, but at least this will mean that Jon only has to be a jerk to one of his original mates when he becomes Lord Commander. Show Pyp and Show Grenn won't have to see their friend become Lord Jerkface.

Also: kudos for making Dolorous Edd simultaneously inspiring and pessimistic.
posted by ocherdraco at 6:42 PM on June 14, 2014


Show Grenn was actually one of my favorite show characters, really sad to see him go. Minor role, but he balanced Jon well because it wasn't "good, honorable guy with the weight of heroic destiny on his shoulders", he was just a solid good dude, breath of fresh air in the Night's Watch plot. But, well, the poor guy made the mistake of being a straight up good guy in a crapsack universe, and this is what happens...
posted by jason_steakums at 11:52 PM on June 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


Hey, is there a particular symbolism behind the broken sword of the Titan of Braavos.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:28 AM on June 15, 2014


<4 hours to go! GET HYPED
posted by Jacqueline at 2:17 PM on June 15, 2014


GET MILK OF THE POPPY
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:49 PM on June 15, 2014


Oh boy oh boy oh boy, I should get a Cersi sized glass of wine and some kind of whole turkey leg yes?
posted by The Whelk at 3:50 PM on June 15, 2014


And lemon cakes.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:54 PM on June 15, 2014


Whatever you eat, make sure it's in a trencher.
posted by painquale at 4:21 PM on June 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


And that you spend at least a page describing it.
posted by Pink Frost at 4:28 PM on June 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


The food or the trencher?
posted by Night_owl at 4:56 PM on June 15, 2014


There are going to be so many great scenes tonight. I'm pumped.
posted by codacorolla at 5:02 PM on June 15, 2014


We had two types of cheese on crackers, preserved meat, a rough mushroom pate and some fresh fruit

Which ....actually seems pretty peroid accurate.
posted by The Whelk at 5:35 PM on June 15, 2014


Not without some Eel.
posted by codacorolla at 7:11 PM on June 15, 2014


We had cheese, grapes, little sausages and olives and toothpicks and created figures out of of everything.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:20 PM on June 15, 2014


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