Game of Thrones: The Door   Books Included 
May 22, 2016 7:00 PM - Season 6, Episode 5 - Subscribe

Sansa chastens Littlefinger. King/Queensmoot. Jorah shows Daenerys what's up his sleeve. Tyrion and Varys make a new frenemy. Brienne gets a new assignment, and Sansa and Jon embark on a tour. Bran makes a misstep with massive repercussions. Hodor's namesake revealed.
posted by gatorae (474 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
Oh my god, is this season ....good?
posted by The Whelk at 7:01 PM on May 22, 2016 [25 favorites]


Hodor :(
posted by zarq at 7:02 PM on May 22, 2016 [8 favorites]


HODOR!
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 7:02 PM on May 22, 2016 [3 favorites]


Ya'll, stuff went DOWN.
posted by Windigo at 7:02 PM on May 22, 2016 [1 favorite]


Oh man... that was something.
posted by codacorolla at 7:03 PM on May 22, 2016 [1 favorite]


So we're down to one direwolf then?
posted by Windigo at 7:03 PM on May 22, 2016


The sad quiet music during the credits. :(
posted by zarq at 7:03 PM on May 22, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'm looking forward to all of the interesting characters being dead so that Ramsay and the Sand Snakes can eternally battle back and forth, thereby giving the audience what they truly want: quips.
posted by codacorolla at 7:03 PM on May 22, 2016 [16 favorites]


Show goes off book, show becomes way more straightforward and dramatic
posted by The Whelk at 7:05 PM on May 22, 2016 [10 favorites]


Well, shit.

And well done everyone who called "Bran somehow wargs into Hodor in the past and makes him Hodor".
posted by damayanti at 7:05 PM on May 22, 2016 [6 favorites]


I am deeply unhappy about Brienne leaving Sansa's side, because that's not going to lead to anything good.

Though Sansa's showdown with Littlefinger was pretty perfect.
posted by Windigo at 7:05 PM on May 22, 2016 [3 favorites]


From a friend:

"is bran gonna wreck the magic at the wall that keeps out the white walkers?"
posted by damayanti at 7:06 PM on May 22, 2016 [6 favorites]


Like that VULGAR SATRICAL PLAY RECSPPING SEASON ONE when Arya realizes SHES NOT EVEN INCLUDED IN MEAN PARODIES OF HER FAMILY would've been an episode highlight but no we get SUPER SANSA and Bran in Dragon Age: A big tree and HODOR and SCARY ASS RED PREISTESS and and
posted by The Whelk at 7:06 PM on May 22, 2016 [10 favorites]


"Sansa Slayer of Mansplainers, First of Her Name"
posted by Windigo at 7:07 PM on May 22, 2016 [56 favorites]


So was the Children making the White Walkers a known thing? That was new, right?
posted by leotrotsky at 7:08 PM on May 22, 2016 [3 favorites]


I am deeply unhappy about Brienne leaving Sansa's side, because that's not going to lead to anything good.


She's breaking the first rule of D&D.

I wonder if they got rid of most of the Direwolves to save money.
posted by drezdn at 7:08 PM on May 22, 2016 [1 favorite]


Varys channels his inner-Christopher Hitchens.
posted by drezdn at 7:08 PM on May 22, 2016 [6 favorites]


Prediction: watch Jorah show up at the 11th hour, cured, to then sacrifice himself to save Dany.
posted by Windigo at 7:09 PM on May 22, 2016 [3 favorites]


FYI, watching the HBO extras about the show and according to them, Hodor's origin is from GRR and yes, their mind was blown too.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:10 PM on May 22, 2016 [11 favorites]


Man this really points how wheel skinny last season was cause every episode so far as been BAM BAM BAM BAM

like I enjoyed the Kingsmoot and I have never once liked anything about the Ironborn
posted by The Whelk at 7:11 PM on May 22, 2016 [4 favorites]


SCARY ASS RED PREISTESS

And the look on Varys' face when she spoke about his past....
posted by zarq at 7:11 PM on May 22, 2016 [6 favorites]


At least now we know why Yara and co. have been taking up screentime. They're going to finally get Dany across the sea.
posted by Windigo at 7:11 PM on May 22, 2016 [3 favorites]


I know what I'm going to say when I need to get on an elevator now.
posted by drezdn at 7:13 PM on May 22, 2016 [10 favorites]


I have no words for how much I love Sansa. Now here's to hoping that they let her rule the North and rule it well. Oh, and maybe stab Littlefinger next time. Stab him right in the balls.

The moment Meera said "Hold the door!" I actually gasped as it clicked. ;_; We're totally running out of good guys (and direwolves). And, children of the forest, way to lose control of your WMD.

PS Jon with a manbun is yum.
posted by lydhre at 7:14 PM on May 22, 2016 [4 favorites]


The entire first part of this episode I was going HOLY SHIT SOPHIE TUCKER and it just escalated from there
posted by The Whelk at 7:15 PM on May 22, 2016 [2 favorites]


Starting to buy into the Sansa is pregnant theory.
posted by drezdn at 7:15 PM on May 22, 2016 [3 favorites]


There are two direwolves left; just one's alive but permanently offscreen leading a pack in the Riverlands. Which may be like a nice farm upstate but involves more rending of dudes from limb to limb so ok.
posted by rewil at 7:16 PM on May 22, 2016 [13 favorites]


Also, hi Phryne! I hope Sexy Jesus lets you live.
posted by rewil at 7:17 PM on May 22, 2016 [7 favorites]


So the Children of the forest created the White Walkers from Dragon Glass, to protect them from the invasion of man.

So I assume that means only dragon fire can take 'em down?
posted by Windigo at 7:17 PM on May 22, 2016 [1 favorite]


Oh come on Brienne let yourself want him like you know you want him
posted by yellowbinder at 7:19 PM on May 22, 2016 [22 favorites]


Hodor : saddest ever saul goodman
posted by lalochezia at 7:20 PM on May 22, 2016 [4 favorites]


Tourmond's "I see her did she see me? No she really didn't see me wait let me check" expression was PRICELESS. OH why must you be around wilding in love
posted by The Whelk at 7:21 PM on May 22, 2016 [25 favorites]


wow

children of forest as the whitewalker origin? whoa. LOTS of fan theories felled there.

also, v clunky goddamn dialog with dany and jorah. get better screenwriters dammit.
posted by lalochezia at 7:22 PM on May 22, 2016 [2 favorites]


I'm going to choose to think that if one had the same insider's knowledge of the situations, they would react the way Arya did to Shakespeare plays.
posted by drezdn at 7:22 PM on May 22, 2016 [8 favorites]


I feel like even though the creators of this show definitely don't fully understand all the criticisms about sexual violence and nudity, the complaints have definitely clearly affected this season. Sansa's speech about her rape and her confrontation with Littlefinger (which summed up a lot of the problems that viewers had with the whole Ramsay plot), as well as the fact that they threw in a superfluous dick shot right before the superfluous boob shot in the play scene seems so obviously a response to what people have been saying.

Bran's storyline went from being incredibly boring and repetitive for literally years to suddenly being filled with elves throwing fireballs at zombies. A lot about this season has surprised me and I really like it.
posted by armadillo1224 at 7:25 PM on May 22, 2016 [11 favorites]


I really "enjoyed" this episode, but one thing that is a minor annoyance for me is characters having knowledge they probably wouldn't have been able to get that quickly, For example, even if he received word by raven, how would Varys already know of the Stannis defeat, unless the Mereen storyline is much farther ahead then Winterfell/wall. It takes time for birds to fly.
posted by drezdn at 7:25 PM on May 22, 2016 [1 favorite]


from reddit asoiaf

Hey, can we fucking TALK for a goddamn minute about the godless man on the bullshit "salt" throne
posted by lalochezia at 7:27 PM on May 22, 2016 [3 favorites]


I'm going to choose to think that if one had the same insider's knowledge of the situations, they would react the way Arya did to Shakespeare plays.

Yeah the play was actually the most spellbinding part of the episode for me. We don't see much culture on the show, and it was fascinating how the stories are warped, histories shaped by the winners and jazzed up by the storytellers. Ned isn't a figure bound by honour, truth and duty, merely a fool played out of his life by a power hungry and lustful Imp. At least Joffrey still got smacked a lot.
posted by yellowbinder at 7:27 PM on May 22, 2016 [16 favorites]


I wonder what the Vale army will do now. There's part of me that expects them to save the day, but I wonder if Robin's arrow falling short also foreshadows them being ineffective.
posted by drezdn at 7:27 PM on May 22, 2016 [4 favorites]


Eee I liked it when they hit the Walker with the dragon glass shard and he shattered into ice
posted by The Whelk at 7:28 PM on May 22, 2016 [7 favorites]


On the plus side, Jon's comment pretty much guarantees the wall is going to fall.
posted by drezdn at 7:33 PM on May 22, 2016 [4 favorites]


One thing the show really does not get across is how isolated the Vale is. The books did a good job of evoking what a PITA it is to get there, and that gives context to the Arryn weirdness. In the show, Littlefinger had always gotten around a little too swiftly but never more so than getting from the Vale to the Wall in the blink of an eye.
posted by mama casserole at 7:34 PM on May 22, 2016 [3 favorites]


Just need the people at the end of the play to sing "Who lives, who dies, who tells your story?"
posted by drezdn at 7:34 PM on May 22, 2016 [14 favorites]


I kept thinking it would have been hilarious if Euron just got killed at the Kingsmoot, completely snuffing the story taking that direction from the book.

(And I was half-expecting to Bran to find Benjen among the army).
posted by drezdn at 7:37 PM on May 22, 2016 [11 favorites]


In the show, Littlefinger had always gotten around a little too swiftly but never more so than getting from the Vale to the Wall in the blink of an eye.

Especially considering the tribes that live to attack people along the path to the Vale.
posted by drezdn at 7:38 PM on May 22, 2016 [1 favorite]


HODOR NO
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:38 PM on May 22, 2016 [9 favorites]


Do the White Walkers have themselves a zombie direwolf now?
posted by IanMorr at 7:39 PM on May 22, 2016 [5 favorites]


The Kingsmoot stuff was so poorly shot. Yara has no support at the actual meeting, but then manages to abscond with 50 ships?
posted by codacorolla at 7:39 PM on May 22, 2016 [14 favorites]



Do the White Walkers have themselves a zombie direwolf now?


Just wait until they get zombie twenty good men.
posted by drezdn at 7:40 PM on May 22, 2016 [4 favorites]


Yeah Book Vale is as stable as it is cause it's soooooo damn isolated. It's way beyond fantasy Swissterland, it's fantasy ...the ...moon?

Show Vale just feels kinda out of the way like a part of rural New Hampire?
posted by The Whelk at 7:40 PM on May 22, 2016 [7 favorites]


If this was the Walking Dead, Meera would have just chopped off Bran's walker-touched arm with an ax. Problem solved.
posted by gatorae at 7:43 PM on May 22, 2016 [3 favorites]


like a part of rural New Hampire

New Ham-Pire, ruled over by Hot Pie, lord of Hams.
posted by dis_integration at 7:43 PM on May 22, 2016 [8 favorites]


I watch this show on a nine foot screen. That close-up cock shot ENDED ME.
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:45 PM on May 22, 2016 [27 favorites]


If it was more like Vermont, I'd want a spinoff about a little inn in the Vale run by Ser Newhart.
posted by drezdn at 7:45 PM on May 22, 2016 [5 favorites]


I wonder if they're going to bother with the horn of Jorgamund (or w/e it's called). It seems too late to introduce at this point, but the feeling I get is that the walker army is marching South before Jon can get back there, massacring the remaining brothers (RIP Ed), and moving the apocalypse to warmer climes. The horn would make for a cool set piece, but IDK if they can organically put it into the show at this point.
posted by codacorolla at 7:47 PM on May 22, 2016 [1 favorite]


Just realized: Bran can warg people through time (maybe he needs the tree to do it though).
posted by drezdn at 7:47 PM on May 22, 2016 [2 favorites]


The entire first part of this episode I was going HOLY SHIT SOPHIE TUCKER and it just escalated from there

Sophie... Turner?

Do we think HOld the DoOR is GRRM canonical? It makes sense.
posted by Justinian at 7:48 PM on May 22, 2016 [2 favorites]


They might just have the Walkers have a horn?
posted by drezdn at 7:48 PM on May 22, 2016


Let's just focus on this.
posted by Windigo at 7:50 PM on May 22, 2016 [38 favorites]


Yeah the play was actually the most spellbinding part of the episode for me. We don't see much culture on the show, and it was fascinating how the stories are warped, histories shaped by the winners and jazzed up by the storytellers. Ned isn't a figure bound by honour, truth and duty, merely a fool played out of his life by a power hungry and lustful Imp. At least Joffrey still got smacked a lot.

It should also be noted that this play was being staged in Braavos. So not only is it a distorted version of actual events, it's being put on by people who consider Westeros a backwards, ignorant hinterland where bumpkins fight their little wars. The cities of Essos, being much older, tend to look down on their cousins across the sea.
posted by Sangermaine at 7:51 PM on May 22, 2016 [14 favorites]


Tormund wants to.
posted by drezdn at 7:52 PM on May 22, 2016 [1 favorite]


Can't the White Walkers just go back out the front door of the tree, walk around the long way, and meet up with Meera & Bran in about 5 minutes? He has a Voldemort White Walker dark white mark so they can't exactly run away. The only thing that seems plausible now is that the White Walkers "let" them run back through the Wall so that the magic is similarly undone, making all hell officially break loose.
posted by gatorae at 7:52 PM on May 22, 2016 [5 favorites]


Yeah, I was wondering how "go outside" is a better option because there's an army of a million zombies.
posted by Sangermaine at 7:53 PM on May 22, 2016


Just realized: Bran can warg people through time (maybe he needs the tree to do it though).

Bran should warg into that Child of the Forest with the dragon glass and nip this whole thing in the bud.
posted by leotrotsky at 7:54 PM on May 22, 2016 [8 favorites]


Do we think HOld the DoOR is GRRM canonical? It makes sense

D&D said so in the "Inside the Episode" bit at the end. I think it was earned by the story so far. I think that and the White Walker origin reveal gave me a bit of what it feels like for a non-book reader to see the Red Wedding or something.
posted by LionIndex at 7:54 PM on May 22, 2016 [4 favorites]


Also, the White Walker saw Bran casting back through time and grabbed his arm like a bazillion years before the story's present day, right? Was it just waiting around all these years for this one day to attack? Why didn't it lie in wait for him before Bran even got inside since it knew Bran was coming to the tree?
posted by Sangermaine at 7:54 PM on May 22, 2016 [1 favorite]


They might just have the Walkers have a horn?

Here's a horn that magically destroys a nine hundred foot wall made of solid ice for some reason. We never mentioned it before.

The only thing that seems plausible now is that the White Walkers "let" them run back through the Wall so that the magic is similarly undone, making all hell officially break loose.

That actually seems pretty plausible.
posted by codacorolla at 7:56 PM on May 22, 2016


Because quantum .
posted by The Whelk at 7:57 PM on May 22, 2016 [4 favorites]


Ice King didn't want to tangle the strings of time; if he kills Bran before he tags him.

1.21 jigawatts!
posted by tilde at 7:57 PM on May 22, 2016 [2 favorites]


So the Children of the forest created the White Walkers from Dragon Glass, to protect them from the invasion of man.

So I assume that means only dragon fire can take 'em down?


No, it's been established before, and reaffirmed in this very episode, that dragonglass can kill them.
posted by Sangermaine at 7:57 PM on May 22, 2016 [7 favorites]


Also, the White Walker saw Bran casting back through time and grabbed his arm like a bazillion years before the story's present day, right? Was it just waiting around all these years for this one day to attack? Why didn't it lie in wait for him before Bran even got inside since it knew Bran was coming to the tree?

My read of it was that the Walkers have the same access to tree-Internet that Bran and Bloodraven do, they realized that Bran was out there somewhere, and they preyed on his inexperience to capture his astral projection at just the right time. So the mark was made in the present day.
posted by codacorolla at 7:58 PM on May 22, 2016 [5 favorites]


I didn't see any warts on the penis.

And the news about river run is accurate, I bet; Little Finger didn't go away but is waiting to swoop in.

Tormund, his eyebrows wide.
posted by tilde at 7:59 PM on May 22, 2016 [5 favorites]


Thank god we are finally unshackled from GRRM's writer's block. Things are happening! Dany might move towards Westeros! The Walkers might move towards the South! The Iron Islands plot went somwhere! We haven't had to put up with Dorne bullshit lately!

The show is now the canon and GRRM is a fanficcer!
posted by Justinian at 8:02 PM on May 22, 2016 [12 favorites]


Brienne couldn't even sit and watch that light in the tower for a month, you think the Night's King is going to watch a tree for 8000 years?
posted by gatorae at 8:02 PM on May 22, 2016 [2 favorites]


We know the news about Riverrun is accurate from the books, right? One assumes Jaime will head there now.

In fact... things going to shit for Cersei, Jaime receiving her letter begging for help and then slowly tossing it into the fire would make a great season ending scene.
posted by Justinian at 8:09 PM on May 22, 2016 [2 favorites]


It occurs to me that Daeny and Jon represent a potential schism in the Red Church. Both are magical saviors who have cheated death, and have the backing of a Red Priestess. That's assuming that the most boring plotline (they unite) isn't going to happen.
posted by codacorolla at 8:15 PM on May 22, 2016 [6 favorites]


About "Hold the Door"
posted by ocherdraco at 8:16 PM on May 22, 2016 [34 favorites]


This ep was heavy on religions of real power (i.e. not the seven) - we got the Red Priestess and her unnatural knowledge, Jaqen's talk about the Stranger and the origin of the faceless, we Euron's drowning and crowning, and of course the Children making the Walkers.

How many sources of god-like power are there really in this world? Are they in conflict? Who is on which god's side?
posted by Wulfhere at 8:17 PM on May 22, 2016 [3 favorites]


Why does Sansa believe that Littlefinger is telling the truth about her uncle and Riverrun? She just established that she hates him, considers him utterly untrustworthy, and never wants to see him again, oh except she assumes that this time he's telling the truth?
posted by clockzero at 8:20 PM on May 22, 2016 [14 favorites]


Though Sansa's showdown with Littlefinger was pretty perfect.

I mean, sort of; Sansa more elegantly said basically what I remember saying here at the time, which was that Littlefinger was suddenly either a moron or out to harm Sansa, neither of which gels with the facts as we know them. So...which was it? Are we ever going to find out, or is this just the show hanging a lantern on some shitty plotting it put together just to advance the story, and never mind that it made no sense on a characterization level? I was a little surprised Sansa didn't press for more details. I'm inclined to think the real story is that they came up with a plot twist in the writers room, high-fived, and didn't realize until much later how dumb it was. If only poor Littlefinger could tell Sansa he'd been stuck with a bad script.

This episode was quite good, but one thing that bugs me was alluded to upthread: Scale. It looked like there were a few dozen people at the Kingsmoot, but it appeared in the next scene that Yara was leaving with a small armada of ships; she must have had hundreds of supporters. Were they all just waiting in the ships? If she had that many supporters, why didn't they just kill Euron and be done with it? I don't think Yara's people are supposed to outnumber his so dramatically -- or at all -- but that's the way the scene plays.

Similarly, how many dead guys did the Night's King bring with him, and how many of the Children were there? Because it looks like there's a full army of White Walkers, and it also looks like there are a lot of Children outside the cave -- and where the hell did they come from, exactly? Maybe it doesn't matter, because once we're back in the cave, it looks like there's only three or four...

This was the best episode yet this season, and I don't mean to complain. But this simple storytelling stuff was weirdly murky, and made it hard for me to get what was going on in a few places.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 8:21 PM on May 22, 2016 [10 favorites]


I only saw three or four White Walkers. The rest were zombie wights, I think. Dumb and flesh hungry.
posted by Night_owl at 8:26 PM on May 22, 2016 [4 favorites]


How many sources of god-like power are there really in this world? Are they in conflict? Who is on which god's side?

I thought it was interesting that the Children made the White Walkers (ice) and also displayed fire-based powers. Maybe all these gods were once one, and the ancient Children also control the slime and candy elements...oh, sorry, wrong show.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 8:26 PM on May 22, 2016 [15 favorites]


Littlefinger controls the slime element. Hot Pie the Candy.
posted by drezdn at 8:28 PM on May 22, 2016 [4 favorites]


This ep was heavy on religions of real power (i.e. not the seven) - we got the Red Priestess and her unnatural knowledge, Jaqen's talk about the Stranger and the origin of the faceless, we Euron's drowning and crowning, and of course the Children making the Walkers.

How many sources of god-like power are there really in this world? Are they in conflict? Who is on which god's side?


I'm going to guess that there is only one source of power in the world, a general magic that ebbs and flows. Everyone and everything can tap into to it, to greater (Children of the Forest, dragons) or lesser (humans) degrees. I think all the religions are untrue, they just give their truly faithful practitioners the focus needed to use magic, and they interpret the magical feats they perform through the lens of their faith.

Remember that magic has only recently started coming back into the world, and that belief in magic had basically completely disappeared in Westeros as opposed to the Eastern cultures. I think the Faith of the Seven doesn't produce magical feats because the practitioners don't believe they can, so they can't.
posted by Sangermaine at 8:28 PM on May 22, 2016 [11 favorites]


One thing that disappoints me a little about the show, is when cool stuff from the books gets left out because (at least it seems like) it would be too expensive to do. I really hope they show Euron's ship though, and it follows the book description.
posted by drezdn at 8:31 PM on May 22, 2016 [1 favorite]


Hodor: the warg-ception
posted by toomanycurls at 8:37 PM on May 22, 2016 [1 favorite]


Where do cures go?
posted by Navelgazer at 8:45 PM on May 22, 2016 [14 favorites]


Guys I am WILDLY FUCKING PRESCIENT about how Hodor and how Bran's foolish magic-related choices end in Hodor's death for which Bran feels responsible. WILDLY. FUCKING. PRESCIENT.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:46 PM on May 22, 2016 [10 favorites]


This was awesome, the most excited I've been since season 3 when Dany killed all the slavers and won her army. Really, that play was so awesome if it had been in nearly any episode of last season it would have been all we talked about. Eagerly looking forward to watching it again.
posted by skewed at 8:47 PM on May 22, 2016 [1 favorite]


Where do cures go?

Bunch of Red Priests and Priestesses will be heading towards that part of the world.
posted by drezdn at 8:49 PM on May 22, 2016 [1 favorite]


In which case, Jorah could get part of Victarion's story.
posted by drezdn at 8:51 PM on May 22, 2016 [1 favorite]


Benjen is going to save Bran and Meera. You heard it here first.
posted by Special Agent Dale Cooper at 8:52 PM on May 22, 2016 [16 favorites]


WILDLY. FUCKING. PRESCIENT.

simultaneously in the PAST AND PRESENT
posted by The Whelk at 8:54 PM on May 22, 2016 [6 favorites]


You know, as much as I dislike the Mean Waif and am ready for her to get an asskicking, Arya's been dutifully plodding along in the kung fu training trope for 15 episodes now. I get that you can't make someone an assassin in a montage, but surely this could be sped up a *bit*?

Also: Brienne's comment on Jon's brooding was one of my favorites.

Cock shot: FINALLY I have something to ogle now that Jaime's shaved his beard.
posted by culfinglin at 8:54 PM on May 22, 2016 [6 favorites]


As per usual

REMINDER: IRL Hodor is a delight gay giant DJ who looks like this
posted by The Whelk at 8:56 PM on May 22, 2016 [10 favorites]


Triple down my fucking money on Euron becoming Quentyn, by the way.
posted by Navelgazer at 8:56 PM on May 22, 2016 [8 favorites]


I *think* Arya's story is going to start moving forward. Which, yeah, its been a year and a half. That's still 16 years faster than GRRM.
posted by Justinian at 8:56 PM on May 22, 2016 [3 favorites]


I wonder if Yara and Theon run into Gendry in his rowboat. They'll have their person to back as king. The kingsmoot went by much faster than it did in the book (which I didn't mind).

I'm not sure if I buy the idea that political satire from across the world would really pull an audience (or be such a hit). It was a good test of Arya's resolve to be A Girl and not a Stark.
posted by toomanycurls at 8:56 PM on May 22, 2016 [6 favorites]


I don't think this would happen but what if...

The Battle of Winterfell is happening, and Jon is losing bad. The Vale shows up, but it doesn't help. They are about to be defeated. Then the Iron Born come and turn the tide. Yara and Theon took the ships to get their revenge on Ramsay (and make amends to the Starks).

(I think it's more likely they're going to travel South, like Victarion in the books, or West)
posted by drezdn at 8:57 PM on May 22, 2016


(I weirdly don;t mind the Arya training stuff cause on one hand I know it;s place holding on the other hand...I like that we don't get a montage! It;s HARD learning to be a Magical Murder Person. It takes a long time! It's often repetitive and boring! They stress in this EPISODE that THIS IS FOR LIFE and possibly Undeath. Like seriously you have to be all in)

and occasionally she gets to see vulgar little plays about her family where she doesn't even SHOW UP
posted by The Whelk at 8:57 PM on May 22, 2016 [2 favorites]


You know, as much as I dislike the Mean Waif and am ready for her to get an asskicking, Arya's been dutifully plodding along in the kung fu training trope for 15 episodes now. I get that you can't make someone an assassin in a montage, but surely this could be sped up a *bit*?

Yeah, I thought she was getting to Daredevil-tier status in hand-to-hand combat, but then she got her sight back and she seemed slightly worse?
posted by clockzero at 8:58 PM on May 22, 2016 [1 favorite]


You know the episode was good when for the second week in a row we get no further backstory of the Tower of Joy and no one complains.
posted by skewed at 8:59 PM on May 22, 2016 [11 favorites]


This poor stupid awful Greyjoy bastard and his hilariously doomed "I'll just marry Daenerys and have my way with her" plan.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:08 PM on May 22, 2016 [14 favorites]


You know when you're writing on a (lemon) cake and you're writing all pretty and then realize you're running out of space and all your letters start getting get squashed and tiny? That is how I'm feeling about the show right now.
posted by Requiax at 9:08 PM on May 22, 2016 [26 favorites]


Yes, exactly. Each bite now has way more frosting and is therefore more delicious and superior to the previous ones.
posted by skewed at 9:12 PM on May 22, 2016 [17 favorites]


Oh man, but seriously, what's up with the direwolf deaths? I'm not sure if it's D&D killing them off because they're too expensive, or GRRM killing them off because it's subverting the trope of the Magical Helper Animal, where they're just kind of nice but then die well before the end.
posted by corb at 9:13 PM on May 22, 2016 [6 favorites]


The direwolves are the most honorable characters in this whole damn thing. Damnit... that was sad.
posted by soakimbo at 9:13 PM on May 22, 2016 [5 favorites]


I *think* Arya's story is going to start moving forward. Which, yeah, its been a year and a half. That's still 16 years faster than GRRM.

Okay, fair point, it's been a year-and-a-half and it's still faster.

It;s HARD learning to be a Magical Murder Person. It takes a long time! It's often repetitive and boring! They stress in this EPISODE that THIS IS FOR LIFE and possibly Undeath. Like seriously you have to be all in

Sure, I get that it's an all-encompassing thing. But why must it always be either staff practice or corpse-washing practice? There's got to be something else that's part of the Magical Murder Person training. (Wait, I forgot lying practice, but if lying was all that's needed, then Littlefinger is the King of the Faceless Men.)
posted by culfinglin at 9:14 PM on May 22, 2016 [1 favorite]


she gets to see vulgar little plays about her family where she doesn't even SHOW UP

To crib a mindfuck from reddit, she DID show up, she was reprising her own role herself
posted by yellowbinder at 9:14 PM on May 22, 2016 [62 favorites]


This poor stupid awful Greyjoy bastard and his hilariously doomed "I'll just marry Daenerys and have my way with her" plan.

Maybe Euron will end up as the TV Quentyn Martell and burn down both the lame Iron Islands and Dorne plots in one fell dragonfire swoop?
posted by chimaera at 9:14 PM on May 22, 2016 [1 favorite]


Triple down my fucking money on Euron becoming Quentyn, by the way.

Yup... Dumbass.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 9:16 PM on May 22, 2016 [3 favorites]


I was really not thrilled about Summer dying. I don't know, the loss of the direwolves seems so pointless? Maybe it was GRRMs plan all along, but it feels like the show just didn't know what to do with the direwolves and they were rarely on screen. In the books, there is so much more warging as well, that the show mostly has left out.

:( RIP Summer.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 9:20 PM on May 22, 2016 [9 favorites]


Eh As mentioned previously (POssibly in the other thread?!) The Direwolves represent the future the Stark kids were SUPPOSED to have, as they die, so do their illusions and past roles.
posted by The Whelk at 9:29 PM on May 22, 2016 [12 favorites]


Does that mean Arya's is just temporarily on hiatus?
posted by Justinian at 9:33 PM on May 22, 2016 [2 favorites]


Her future was never really set, so it gets to be in the wilds.
posted by The Whelk at 9:36 PM on May 22, 2016


Hodor's back story kind of seems like a paradox. It was tragically sad though.

I can't be the only one who didn't love that reveal. Basically one of those silly circular Dr. Who time-travel twists. Stuff is happening, though!

I could be irritated but I'm honestly more amused by how they teased Jon Snow revelations via Bran and then dived into a bunch of other exposition instead.
posted by atoxyl at 9:36 PM on May 22, 2016 [5 favorites]


Oh! And Hey! At least in the show Kingsmoot, the only people present are those deemed to have a say, not all of the Iron Islanders. Yara and Theon rushed off to rally their shipmates from Pyke once Euron's coronation began. There's no real discrepancy there.
posted by Navelgazer at 9:36 PM on May 22, 2016 [2 favorites]


Bran probably really regrets signing up for earthlink right now.
posted by drezdn at 9:45 PM on May 22, 2016 [19 favorites]


Also, I have to be honest, I thought the "THE CHILDREN MADE THE WHITE WALKERS!" reveal was kind of dumb (i.e., too out-of-left-field to be really resonant or intriguing); also-er, how did Bran know that that figure was the Night's King? Has anyone called him that to Bran?
posted by clockzero at 9:50 PM on May 22, 2016 [3 favorites]


Just finished watching episode. Said aloud to my empty living room, "well, that was some fucked up shit."

In the books, there is so much more warging as well, that the show mostly has left out.

Everything cool about warging is basically unfilmable. All the senses you get improved in dog form --- scent, hearing --- you can't see. Warging on film is a series of greyscale shots of people's knees.

At least in the show Kingsmoot, the only people present are those deemed to have a say, not all of the Iron Islanders.

Oh, I dunno, about the only thing I actually enjoyed about the whole Iron Islands plot in the books was the gouty old windbag at the Kingsmoot with his polar bear liter. But thank god for no Victarion, he sucked so much.

Also: That red priestess needs to release a management book, I bet she'd outsell Six Sigma. Her meeting prep is on point. "Let's see, 11:15 tomorrow, 'sit down with Tyrion.' The weird eunuch's probably going to be there, better scry my eternal flame beforehand and wrest forth the most jealously guarded secret of his soul, just in case I need to freak him out, he seems shifty."

Also, Brienne made a joke! It was amazing. A little meta, but all the more amazing for that.
posted by Diablevert at 9:53 PM on May 22, 2016 [16 favorites]


Linked (circa 2014) from the AVclub review comments:

Me: I finally figured out why you have a character named “Hodor.”

Martin: Oh?

Me: I was thinking about your comment about wanting to be an elevator operator. It’s clear to me now that “Hodor” is short for “Hold the door.”

Martin: (laughing) You don’t know how close to the truth you are!

posted by permiechickie at 10:03 PM on May 22, 2016 [18 favorites]


AHHHHHHH HODOR

Edit: I hit post too soon because this ep FUCKED MY BRAIN UP
posted by prize bull octorok at 10:20 PM on May 22, 2016


I don't think Arya wants to be a Faceless Men

I think Arya just realized she wants to be a MOTHERFUCKING STARK
posted by prize bull octorok at 10:22 PM on May 22, 2016 [16 favorites]


Wow. So that, as they say, just happened.
posted by Alterscape at 10:28 PM on May 22, 2016


So I'm rewatching the episode… and wondering how exactly Sansa has had time to make Jon a cloak, complete with stamping the Stark direwolf into the straps.
posted by culfinglin at 10:31 PM on May 22, 2016 [3 favorites]


The whole lesson of this episode is that time is but clay in Westeros.
posted by Diablevert at 10:39 PM on May 22, 2016 [7 favorites]


So in the scene where the Children created the Night King - did they do that with dragon glass? Is that how you make a White Walker? (I admit I've never quite understood the difference between WWs and wights, especially in terms of how they are created)

I think Arya just realized she wants to be a MOTHERFUCKING STARK

I've been wondering about this. What would happen if Arya decided to leave the Faceless Men? I guess they would try to kill her, right? Is she going to have to have her own Dany moment?
posted by lunasol at 10:46 PM on May 22, 2016


I AM EMOTIONS
posted by poffin boffin at 10:46 PM on May 22, 2016 [7 favorites]


STOP HURTING PUPPERS
posted by poffin boffin at 10:47 PM on May 22, 2016 [15 favorites]


Tyrion as Don Draper: "we need a good PR narrative" *hires a member of fanatical cult that will do everything it can to impose its faith onto every part of the land*
posted by Apocryphon at 10:47 PM on May 22, 2016 [2 favorites]


This poor stupid awful Greyjoy bastard and his hilariously doomed "I'll just marry Daenerys and have my way with her" plan.

HA HA I CAN'T WAIT FOR THAT DEEP FRIED CALAMARI MOTHERFUCKER TO GET ROASTY
posted by poffin boffin at 10:52 PM on May 22, 2016 [13 favorites]


Also, I have to be honest, I thought the "THE CHILDREN MADE THE WHITE WALKERS!" reveal was kind of dumb (i.e., too out-of-left-field to be really resonant or intriguing); also-er, how did Bran know that that figure was the Night's King? Has anyone called him that to Bran?

Bran is part of weirdwood.net, so I suspect he's got knowledge leaking in from everywhere. Or Bloodraven told him. In terms of the Children of the Forest making the White Walkers, to me that seemed perfectly in keeping with what we know of the Children and what they did to try to stop the First Men: they broke the Arm of Dorne with a ritual, and apparently tried to do the same at what is now Moat Cailin. So creating the Walkers as another attempt to stop them makes some sense and helps to tie them into the efforts to end the Long Night the first time around, along with helping to build the Wall. It really fucks around with the concept of the Night's King in general in book vs. show terms, but there have been so many changes already, what's this one?

Can I just say the Hodor thing is freaking me out? Not just the fact that they killed Hodor, but the time travel implications of what happened to his mind & consciousness when Bran warged him in the past & tied him to the future and what he lived with in his head ever since that moment. Like, there's some serious fridge horror in there for me.

Past that, I guess I'm in the minority in that this episode didn't do a lot for me. Not sure why and I'm too tired to try to unpack that tonight.
posted by nubs at 10:53 PM on May 22, 2016 [11 favorites]


i will not rest until brienne and tormund have slowdanced to how deep is your love
posted by poffin boffin at 10:53 PM on May 22, 2016 [20 favorites]


also i love the new red priestess and her icy blue murder death eyes
posted by poffin boffin at 10:56 PM on May 22, 2016


i will not rest until brienne and tormund have slowdanced to how deep is your love

I dunno, the more I watch the scenes with Tormund and Brienne, her expressions and body language are confused and defensive. She seems pretty creeped out by his staring.
posted by culfinglin at 11:02 PM on May 22, 2016 [3 favorites]


So anyone want to bet Brienne gets offed by Lady Stoneheart?
posted by Start with Dessert at 11:05 PM on May 22, 2016 [1 favorite]


That was a really mixed episode. It had some great parts, and some really bad ones. Once again I loved the scenes with Sansa. Sophie Turner was excellent in the confrontation with Littlefinger. And I love that she's knitting again; that's a nice touch that really shows how she's regained herself.

> I was a little surprised Sansa didn't press for more details. I'm inclined to think the real story is that they came up with a plot twist in the writers room, high-fived, and didn't realize until much later how dumb it was. If only poor Littlefinger could tell Sansa he'd been stuck with a bad script.

Indeed.
posted by homunculus at 11:15 PM on May 22, 2016 [1 favorite]


I also really liked the scene with Varys and the priestess. I think that's the first time we've seen Varys so ruffled. Conleth Hill was great.
posted by homunculus at 11:17 PM on May 22, 2016


I like how Rickard Stark looks like Russell Crowe.
posted by Apocryphon at 11:21 PM on May 22, 2016


WHAT EVEN

HODOR

VARYS

WHAT
posted by KathrynT at 11:21 PM on May 22, 2016 [2 favorites]


Why does Sansa believe that Littlefinger is telling the truth about her uncle and Riverrun? She just established that she hates him, considers him utterly untrustworthy, and never wants to see him again, oh except she assumes that this time he's telling the truth?

otoh this increases the chance of us seeing Brienne kill a bunch of Freys
posted by Apocryphon at 11:27 PM on May 22, 2016 [2 favorites]


They really blew it on the Kingsmoot, imo. Euron is a completely underwhelming character so far. I'm not a big fan of his character in the books, but at least he's distinctive. On the show it looks like he's just going to be Ramsey on a boat. And why did they take out the dragon horn? Euron's case for the Ironborn choosing him over Yara, who they've all been and serving under and fighting alongside with for the last few years, was pretty weak on its own. Without the horn he's just blowing smoke out of his ass. The most irritating part, though, was that Yara needed Theon to plead her case for her. In the books she does a great job arguing for herself on her own, but here she is basically incapable of making her own case and needed Theon to do it for her. FFS. Maybe Theon is actually an agency vampire; last season it was Sansa and now it's his sister. Maybe that's why it didn't occur to her to take her armada of loyalists and just go back and kill Euron.
posted by homunculus at 11:38 PM on May 22, 2016 [9 favorites]


I felt that was some "Swing Away" M. Night Shyamalan bullshit, to be quite honest.

It felt like a "clever" moment make up by a hack in the show's writer's room, but it sounds like it came from GRRM himself, according to that AVClub link posted up there.
posted by sideshow at 11:39 PM on May 22, 2016 [1 favorite]


Also, I have to be honest, I thought the "THE CHILDREN MADE THE WHITE WALKERS!" reveal was kind of dumb (i.e., too out-of-left-field to be really resonant or intriguing)

Yeah, it came out of left field and went nowhere. OTOH, I think it could have worked really well if they'd taken a bit of time to build to it and explore it, but they dropped the ball. I read this idea online as a fan theory after I finally read the books last year, and it made sense and sounded like something Martin would write. I'd hoped this season would explore the history of the Children and the White Walkers, but I guess that was it.

Now that it's done with, I'm really disappointed with the Bloodraven/Children storyline overall. They spent four seasons building up to it with Bran's visions and journey followed by a season on hiatus, and then this season they hardly did anything with it. And they really wasted Sydow. It's frustrating when you think of all the time they wasted on crap like Dorne. All the other arcs share a lot of themes, but the Bran/Bloodraven stroyline really stands apart from everything else, while at the same time it deals with the origins of the underlying story that's going to consume everything else. I really wish they'd made more of an effort with it.
posted by homunculus at 12:10 AM on May 23, 2016 [13 favorites]


I do not weep for Hodor. Hodor will be back, as ol' blue-eyes himself, Zombie-Hodor.

zombie-hodor
posted by a lungful of dragon at 12:11 AM on May 23, 2016 [3 favorites]



i will not rest until brienne and tormund have slowdanced to how deep is your love


For me, it's "Take My Breath Away," but yes.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 12:21 AM on May 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


I do not weep for Hodor. Hodor will be back, as ol' blue-eyes himself, Zombie-Hodor.

Can you imagine the look on Jon's face when a blue-eyed zombie Hodor attacks Castle Black? :(
posted by toomanycurls at 12:24 AM on May 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


I do not weep for Hodor.

Actually, that's a lie. I wept a bit. The other people who die on this show are shits to various degrees. He was a decent fellow. Not really fair to do that to him.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 12:30 AM on May 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


At least he fulfilled his destiny. Really lived up to his name.
posted by Apocryphon at 12:35 AM on May 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


The minute the credits started, I had to snoogle my Chihuahua and promise her that we will never, ever send her out to fight ice zombies, and that if an undead army ever tries to break into our house, we will pick her up and carry her when we run.

She seemed much reassured.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 12:40 AM on May 23, 2016 [21 favorites]


Anybody else say to themselves "you always were an asshole, Gorman" when the Child of the Forest blew herself up with the grenade? 'Cause I totally did. You guys did too, right? I'm not a weirdo.
posted by Justinian at 1:50 AM on May 23, 2016 [20 favorites]


For me, it's "Take My Breath Away," but yes.

"Rains of Castamere"
posted by drezdn at 3:27 AM on May 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


On the HBO extra about the episode, D&D mentioned that the Three Eyed Raven was trying to upload everything that he knee into Bran in those last moments. I take that to mean Bran now has a bunch of information he'll have to sort through.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:45 AM on May 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


"Bear and the Maiden Fair" would probably work better...

So I called that we'd find out where Hodor's name came from, when I realised that this episode was called The Door. I got the rest of it completely wrong though (my money was on something to do with the Winterfell Crypts, and I'd missed 'Hold').

Loved this episode: one of the first in which we've had genuine book spoilers. I mean, we all figured that Jon would come back. We all accept R+L=J, so when that's revealed we won't be surprised. A lot of the other stuff is predictable (or might not happen in the books, given the divergent plots). But Hodor and the COTF making the WW? All new! Great stuff.

Obviously loved Sansa's scenes and her ability to discomfort Littlefinger. We'll gloss over why LF left his army at Moat Cailin about 600 miles away (presumably he's the only one who can teleport. Or Merlins. Or something).

Some interesting elements in the play and in the Meereen scene, I thought. New information for Arya in the play - she wouldn't have known about Tyrion and Sansa's wedding. I wonder how or if that will affect her. As for the play, it was kinda harsh but accurate? Robert's drunk, Ned's a fool, Tyrion wants to sleep with Sansa...I enjoyed it.

In Meereen, is there a prediction for Melisandre? Varys argues that Dany might not be the [One] That Was Promised by reminding us Mel was wrong about Stannis... a warning that Mel might now be wrong about Jon?
posted by Pink Frost at 3:47 AM on May 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


New information for Arya in the play - she wouldn't have known about Tyrion and Sansa's wedding.

And if Sansa is pregnat Arya will assume it's Tyr's.
posted by tilde at 4:27 AM on May 23, 2016 [8 favorites]


The Hodor thing was good but almost everything about the whole setup—the Night King's mark having some magic plot power, them getting there in like five minutes, the Children of the Forest having shitty pyrotechnics and suicide grenade, Bran & Meereen just needing to get a fifty yard head start to make it out okay—was prit-ty lame. The origins of the white walkers turns out to be boring and was not revealed very well either. The world got less interesting.

The play was all right, though again set in silliness. Arya's doubting again? The point of the whole blindness arc was that she passed a test of devotion, and instantly we're back to Arya getting beat by the waif and asking questions that show she's not down. Not stooping to montage advancement is one thing, but being in a holding pattern with no character progression at all is another.

The good bits felt blunted by badness, and most everything else was kind of trash drama, so my overall feeling when this episode was over was: well, that was pretty dumb. Or at least, not my flavor of cake. Reading the comments I think others felt the shift too, though maybe more towards their taste.
posted by nom de poop at 5:05 AM on May 23, 2016 [11 favorites]


The good bits felt blunted by badness, and most everything else was kind of trash drama, so my overall feeling when this episode was over was: well, that was pretty dumb. Or at least, not my flavor of cake. Reading the comments I think others felt the shift too, though maybe more towards their taste.

I've been feeling the same way. I don't mind trashy drama (I love Gotham, for instance), but GOT is way too self-serious to pull it off successfully. And in no way does it earn the ability to be self-serious, especially since we've advanced to magical faeries throwing chestnut grenades at skeletons that are barely a step above Ray Harryhausen in terms of believability. Characters are increasingly just doing stuff to fit a plot, and their characters are mainly held together by the strength of character building in the first three seasons. Like, I know who Arya is from those first seasons (and because Maisey Williams is a good actress), but every choice her character makes since that point is borderline incoherent. I'm not at the "hate watch" level yet, but I definitely care a lot less about this story (both book and show) than I did two years ago. Much like the screenwriters, I feel like I'm ticking off plot data boxes rather than excitedly following a story where I care about the characters.
posted by codacorolla at 5:15 AM on May 23, 2016 [10 favorites]


the Night King's mark having some magic plot power, them getting there in like five minutes

The Night's King has been on his way for some time- he knew exactly when and where Bran would be way back when that scene took place.
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:16 AM on May 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


That would be more interesting but there's no indication it's in the past, and more indications it's in the present like that the place is frozen over and the NK already has a wight army that looks pretty current. And if it was his plan to let Bran get there and get marked, why didn't he call off the guardians that nearly killed them when they tried to get in, why did he need to raise a wight army he already had? Even if it was in the past, how would he even know that Bran was watching on Poop 12th 19XYZ, so better schedule for that.

Though I guess it's Bran's fault for logging into weirwood.net as root.
posted by nom de poop at 5:54 AM on May 23, 2016 [12 favorites]


Sansa was wrong in both her thoughts about Littlefinger's reason for giving her to Ramsey. Littlefinger was starting to educate her, she's clearly very smart and a good learner but soft. The visit to Ramsey was to toughen her up. Little finger has plans for her, bad bad evil plans, lucrative but so bad.

Yeah, the Knights of the Vale have been gloriously successful standing at the top of the most fortified mountain dropping rocks on attackers, probably not the most effective force on a barren field against the most brutal army.

As for "teleportation", at the beginning of the book wasn't there an aside that explicitly said the scenes were not an accurate timeline? That there was a rough order but one action was unlikely to be occurring simultaneously?
posted by sammyo at 6:01 AM on May 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


As for "teleportation", at the beginning of the book wasn't there an aside that explicitly said the scenes were not an accurate timeline? That there was a rough order but one action was unlikely to be occurring simultaneously?

Books yes. Show no. Sure you see the map at the start of every episode but there's no decent scale involved. Are we talking a globe our size with pre industrial travel? How are those dragons going to cross the ocean? The only really long journeys were Tyrion in a box and Gendrys row boat and some of Aryas trek with The Hound. And Sam and Gilly headed for his home.
posted by tilde at 6:13 AM on May 23, 2016


Do you think that Hodor remembered for his whole life that Bran had told him to Hold-The-Door? As Bran grew up, did Hodor recognize this infant-then-child-then-man as the same entity that had reached into his mind (before Bran was even born) and told him he must Hold-The-Door?

I mean, I wonder if he went through his entire life in a sort of Owen Meany existence, knowing that eventually there would come the day when he needed to Hold-The-Door for Bran.
posted by 256 at 6:24 AM on May 23, 2016 [17 favorites]


I guess you can explain it as and Cersei having fired every competent person in KL, but it seems odd to me that in the (apparently) months of time between Tyrion's escape and his enstatement as temporary mayor of Meereen that no word has filtered out about that in the West. A disfigured half-man and a bald eunuch ruling one of the most powerful cities in the East seems like the sort of thing that would carry. Especially since the backwards-ass Iron Islanders know about Daeny. From a plot perspective there's not really any time to have that happen, what with the Faith's insurrection, but it's still a little dissonant.
posted by codacorolla at 6:36 AM on May 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


Hodor's send-off felt cheap to me. As one of the few lovely characters I wanted something more resonant for him. Bran was obviously going to create trouble, but its not clear how the Night King marked him. And then Bloodraven decides that'd be a great time to show Ned leaving for the Vale, not because there's any reason for that but in order to set up the Hodor reveal. And the zombies belonged in The Walking Dead instead and the White Walker reveal was rushed. And both Summer's and Hodor's deaths are given the usual gory details to buy Meera and Bran what, 20 meters headstart on several hundred undead?

I've been following this story for over a decade now. I'm okay with death scenes, and violence. But what kept me reading was that those events mattered. They pushed the story forward or helped a character understand the world better. This? This was rushed, and short-changed an interesting character.

Also my god, the PTSD Hodor has been carrying all this time. Maybe he remembers exactly, maybe not. But his reaction to scary noisy events makes me think he remembers the worst of it.
posted by harriet vane at 6:37 AM on May 23, 2016 [12 favorites]


Apart from that, I loved the play Arya saw. I thought perhaps she was finally seeing Sansa with a more understanding point of view. Is it part of the test that the job is at the theatre showing that play, or just D&D retreading old ground in her progress towards what the Faceless Men want?

And Littlefinger still seems pretty good at sowing discord. He's managed to plant the seeds of competition between Jon and Sansa, and separate her from Brienne. Show!Littlefinger doesn't give a shit about her physical pain or virginity, she's just a trophy to him. So it's easy to apologise and swing into the next phase of the plan.

I wasn't impressed by the Red Priestess's knowledge. It's probably more hot reading than cold reading, in that she's familiar with the rituals of her own sect and if you know where Varys is from it wouldn't be hard to figure out how he became a eunuch. I would have thought that kind of manipulation would be obvious to him, since he's used that method himself on other people.
posted by harriet vane at 6:51 AM on May 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


I think Brienne is being sent away mostly to get her in the right place that the books need her at. Which means maybe we will be getting UnCat.
posted by corb at 7:01 AM on May 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


The shot of the white walkers clambering along the floors walls and ceiling in pursuit of our people... That was fantastic, one of those that's where the budget goes kinda moments.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:09 AM on May 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


I think Brienne is being sent away mostly to get her in the right place that the books need her at. Which means maybe we will be getting UnCat.

Yes yes yes. They're bringing back the Riverlands, AND sending Brienne down there, AND they've stuck Jamie in a pointless holding pattern in King's Landing almost as if they are waiting for his long-delayed plot and character development to kick in. I have never been more convinced that we are indeed getting Stoneheart. (Let me dream!)
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:11 AM on May 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


Here is my ideal endgame:

-Team Stark manages to totally sew up Westeros - they take down Ramsay, the Lannisters, Littlefinger, and make peace with the Tyrells and Dorne and maybe the Iron Islands under Asha.
-Meanwhile, Bran figures out how to warg into the White Walkers (maybe with some sort of assist from something Sam learns in Oldtown?). Now they are no longer a threat, but a weapon.
-Meanwhile, Daenerys has totally sewn up the East and is high on power, and totally killifies Euron and steals his ships.
-The ultimate showdown is between a Stark-controlled Westeros with the assistance of an army of ice zombies, vs. a Dany-controlled East with the assistance of dragons.
-Ice and fire bitches
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:16 AM on May 23, 2016 [15 favorites]


They pushed the story forward or helped a character understand the world better. This? This was rushed, and short-changed an interesting character.

I think it's too early to say that Hodor's death was pointless. It's entirely possible that his character will have been wasted, but I think this will be a pivitol moment for Bran in his understanding of time, the world, weirwood.net, etc. If it doesn't have a profound impact on him then the showrunners are shit. I have enough faith in GRRM (yeah, yeah..) that when this happens in the books we will have some interesting insights from Bran's POV. My only question is how it will play out on screen, because internal struggle is harder to get across.
posted by gatorae at 7:19 AM on May 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


They pushed the story forward or helped a character understand the world better. This? This was rushed, and short-changed an interesting character

The whole season feels a little rushed compared to what we got last year, which I'm not really opposed to, personally. But I don't think Hodor's death was meaningless, far from it. Think of what Bran must have learned from it, about the nature of his power, the risks to its use, its scope. What he does when in his trances can effect past and future, ruin a man's mind, draw the Others to him. Hodor paid a terrible price for Bran's sins -- was fated to play it. If that doesn't do a little something to harrow Bran nothing will. Of course, he's now also in a much worse, more dangerous position, which will likely force him to use that power anyway, in his new knowledge.
posted by Diablevert at 7:24 AM on May 23, 2016 [7 favorites]


you always were an asshole, Gorman

My wife said this to me, reaffirming as she does every day, that I married the right woman.
posted by French Fry at 7:28 AM on May 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


you always were an asshole, Gorman

My wife said this to me, reaffirming as she does every day, that I married the right woman.
posted by French Fry at 10:28 AM on May 23 [+] [!]


DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT - you beat me to that by, like, 7 minutes. I said the same thing last night watching the show and was coming here to post it.

The other thought I had with Hodor was.... "M-O-O-N - that spells Hodor!"
posted by Thistledown at 7:36 AM on May 23, 2016 [6 favorites]


Maaaaaaan.... the people asked for peen, the people were given peen.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:37 AM on May 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


-The ultimate showdown is between a Stark-controlled Westeros with the assistance of an army of ice zombies, vs. a Dany-controlled East with the assistance of dragons.

Maybe have those dragons be assisted by lesser dragons- i.e. Grey-scale lizardmen who have control over the plague thanks to the cure that Jorah finds and fire god magic. And also by the serpents- the Dornish, especially the Sand Snakes, have no love for the Starks who allied with Robert. The fire rises north.
posted by Apocryphon at 7:38 AM on May 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


At least he fulfilled his destiny. Really lived up to his name.

Yup, that guy really did hold the fuck out of that door.

I think the reason Sansa lied to Jon about meeting up with Littlefinger was that she thought Jon would be pissed that she turned down a free army.

I am also sad the direwolves keep biting it, but I do think without the all-Starks-are-wargs plotline they have very little narrative purpose. One of my least favorite book-->show changes. But, overall, the show is hemorrhaging extraneous characters at at least the rate GRRM is adding them to the books, and that's not such a bad thing.

Wasn't Bran's namesake, Bran the Builder, one of the original settlers of the North? Is he going to have the horrifying realization that his ancestor was actually part of a horrific genocide against the fantasy Druids children of the forest? Just when we thought we'd loaded him with enough guilt this season...
posted by capricorn at 7:39 AM on May 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


lalochezia: Hey, can we fucking TALK for a goddamn minute about the godless man on the bullshit "salt" throne

But that's politics, innit? Come swaggering in, talk a good game, adopt the local god(s), do what you can/want for a while (or the rest of your life, if you're a king/despot).


drezdn: I wonder what the Vale army will do now. There's part of me that expects them to save the day, but I wonder if Robin's arrow falling short also foreshadows them being ineffective.

And he also shot with his eyes closed, hoped for/believed in the best because hey, he's Lord of the Vale, and he's important. Foreshadows aplenty.


Sangermaine: Why didn't [the White Walker] lie in wait for him before Bran even got inside since it knew Bran was coming to the tree?

In this land, time is not linear, and the world is not spherical (see also: Hodor).


Wulfhere: This ep was heavy on religions of real power (i.e. not the seven) - we got the Red Priestess and her unnatural knowledge, Jaqen's talk about the Stranger and the origin of the faceless, we Euron's drowning and crowning, and of course the Children making the Walkers.

I follow you, but it can also be attributed to *waves hands* magic. Let's say there is no god or gods, but magic in the world, magic of the world. The Children of the Forest could use it well, but they were few and not prone to war, like men are. Men came along, fucked up the natural balance of things, and learned some magic along the way. Some attribute it to The God(s), others to magic. Face swapping/storing could be magic, as is reading of minds. Euron's drowning and crowning is just to show he survived being deprived of oxygen for a few minutes (how many people die in that process? I feel this is like the "drowning a witch" test of yore - if she drowns, she's not a witch, but if she doesn't, she's a witch and gets hung or whatnot).


kittens for breakfast: Littlefinger was suddenly either a moron or out to harm Sansa, neither of which gels with the facts as we know them. So...which was it?

Sadly, I agree with sammyo --

sammyo: The visit to Ramsey was to toughen her up. Little finger has plans for her, bad bad evil plans, lucrative but so bad.


Requiax: You know when you're writing on a (lemon) cake and you're writing all pretty and then realize you're running out of space and all your letters start getting get squashed and tiny? That is how I'm feeling about the show right now.

We only get ten hours of this a year, people! (SNL spoof of the resurrection of Jon Snow)


clockzero: how did Bran know that that figure was the Night's King? Has anyone called him that to Bran?

To quote my father-in-law when anyone complained about plot holes or confusing dialog, "it was in the script."


Justinian: Anybody else say to themselves "you always were an asshole, Gorman" when the Child of the Forest blew herself up with the grenade?

I don't get that reference, but my go-to "zombies tear someone apart" shot, I go with "choke on 'em! CHOKE ON 'EM!"


harriet vane: Hodor's send-off felt cheap to me.

Going back to running out of space on the cake - I feel like GRRM gave D&D a ton of material, and they smooshed it all into these 10 hours, lopping some things off with a hack saw. "Eh, this gets the story told. Now we have more time to wash Jon's dead body!"
posted by filthy light thief at 7:40 AM on May 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


Also re: Bran, I'm still not entirely sure I've grasped the time-travel mechanic involved in the Hodor warg THROUGH TIME AND SPACE, but I think based on the way warging works, Bran also physically/mentally experienced Hodor's horrifying death through Hodor's own eyes and body. As everyone I was watching with pointed out, Bran warging into Hodor is a terrible removal of Hodor's autonomy that's only worse given the reveal that Bran removed Hodor's autonomy since he was 10, but Bran has also now seen some pretty serious shit.
posted by capricorn at 7:43 AM on May 23, 2016 [7 favorites]


I think the reason Sansa lied to Jon about meeting up with Littlefinger was that she thought Jon would be pissed that she turned down a free army.

I think she lied because she's trying to stake out her own space as a badass leader, beholden to no one, with good ideas and strong decisions all her own. Saying she got an idea from Littlefinger, even if it might be a good one, only reinforces the idea of her as a pawn.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:44 AM on May 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


Re: the question of how Bran and Meera get away... could we maybe be getting Coldhands after all?
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:46 AM on May 23, 2016 [6 favorites]


Maybe have those dragons be assisted by lesser dragons- i.e. Grey-scale lizardmen who have control over the plague thanks to the cure that Jorah finds and fire god magic.

Someone remind me - is the Stone Dragon ever mentioned on the show? Or does show!Mel just perform human sacrifice for funsies?
posted by capricorn at 7:48 AM on May 23, 2016


Euron's drowning and crowning is just to show he survived being deprived of oxygen for a few minutes (how many people die in that process?

The Iron Islanders seem to have designed a system which ensures that their monarchs will have brain damage
posted by clockzero at 7:53 AM on May 23, 2016 [22 favorites]


I would assume that some sort of Coldhands / Benjen amalgam is going to be who saves Bran and Meera. Most book readers already suspect that they're one and the same, but I could see the show being more upfront about it to reduce confusion of introducing a "new" character and then springing a reveal in the ~20 minutes of show time that they'll get.
posted by codacorolla at 7:53 AM on May 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


Euron's drowning and crowning is just to show he survived being deprived of oxygen for a few minutes (how many people die in that process?

In the books, it's the process for creating priests of the Drowned God (Drowned Men), not kings, which makes a lot more sense symbolically. i.e., you're offering the would-be priest to the god, who can deem him worthy or unworthy; also, the priest has then "visited" the god and now has some manner of knowledge of the afterlife.

And yes, a lot of people die in the process.

As the group I was watching with pointed out, they likely reserved the drowning ritual for Euron's crowning because it's really cool looking and they wanted to show one on screen, more than because it makes sense for a crowning.
posted by capricorn at 8:01 AM on May 23, 2016 [9 favorites]


Aeron: "Let the old Euron drown. Let his lungs fill with seawater. Let the fish eat the scales off his eyes. What is dead may never die, but rises again harder and stronger."
*Silence, while people awkwardly shift from foot to foot*
[An extra]: *whispers to no one in particular* How often do we lose people to this again? Oh, he's coming back, what a relief, I don't know how Yara would feel about being asked to be queen now.

Aeron: They stole our best ships.
[An extra]: *muttering* I think you mean they stole all our ships.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:04 AM on May 23, 2016 [7 favorites]


Apocryphon: Tyrion as Don Draper: "we need a good PR narrative" *hires a member of fanatical cult that will do everything it can to impose its faith onto every part of the land*

He's seen that they're very persuasive (and he uses people almost as casually as Littlefinger, but not quite - he's nice enough to the people he likes).

Question: how many "First Servants" are there for R'hllor? Or is that like being the First Such-and-such Church in any given town? At least someone supports Dany as another Chosen One for the prophecies of the Lord of Light. And good for Varys to point out that the other chosen one didn't do so well over-all, but the First Servant had a solid threat: "If you are her true friend, you have nothing to fear from me."
posted by filthy light thief at 8:13 AM on May 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


Kristian Nairn: “I had tears in my eyes. I don’t see myself on screen, I see Hodor. I always talk about him in the third person. I just saw the character die and it was very sad,” he said.
posted by zarq at 8:17 AM on May 23, 2016 [7 favorites]


Does anyone else think that Tyrion may be making the same mistake Cersei made with the Faith Militant? That is, vastly overestimating how much people love the ruling class, vastly underestimating the power of religion as a binding force, and being unable to see the intersection of the two?
posted by codacorolla at 8:18 AM on May 23, 2016 [6 favorites]


Does anyone else think that Tyrion may be making the same mistake Cersei made with the Faith Militant?

There are definitely parallels. He's desperately looking for a way out of the hole he's dug for himself and this decision could come back to bite him. On the other hand, his boss literally walks through fire unburnt and is mother to three fire-breathing dragons, so she's a natural emissary for the Lord of Light.
posted by zarq at 8:28 AM on May 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


Also, it seems R'hllor's followers aren't particularly violent or powerful, except for some of the faithful servants, unlike the Faith Militant, who are visibly armed and ready to fight. But I do see the parallels, as well as the contrasts. Cersei looked to use the power of the Faith Militant to restore order, while Tyrion wants to bolster Dany's support in her absence. It looks like military might vs political good will to me.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:34 AM on May 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


It's interesting to me that religions depicted on the show as questionable in their morality and maybe even repellent are nevertheless presented as having some kind of powerful magic behind them.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:36 AM on May 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


Sorry, the full interview with Nairn is here at EW. Also: Gwendoline Christie, "who says she could barely keep a straight face during Tormund actor Kristofer Hivju’s advances." And Isaac Hempstead Wright and showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss on Hodor.
posted by zarq at 8:37 AM on May 23, 2016 [8 favorites]


The Seven were pathetically weak before The Faith Militant. By design, actually. Whoever the last Targ on the throne was neutered them, put a bunch of faithless hedonists in charge, and disbanded the warrior cleric aspect of the religion. Having not one, but TWO actual IRL messiahs amid an approaching apocalypse (assuming the greyscale / red flux plague is on the way in the show) is probably going to swell the ranks a bit on both sides of the ocean.
posted by codacorolla at 8:37 AM on May 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


Does anyone know what Varys heard the voice say back in his youth? Was that in the books? (e.g, what the Meereenese Red Priestess says he heard when he was castrated as a kid)
posted by alleycat01 at 8:46 AM on May 23, 2016


DirtyOldTown: It's interesting to me that religions depicted on the show as questionable in their morality and maybe even repellent are nevertheless presented as having some kind of powerful magic behind them.

I've been thinking on the magic and religion in this world, too. I'm sure it's in GRRM and D&D's best interest to keep the realities of the god(s) and magic vague so they have more potential tools and leeway, but I'd be interested to know if GRRM thinks there are actually any god(s) in this world, or if some people have access to different types and levels of magic. What if there are no gods, and all it really requires to perform magic is some understanding of rituals and faith in the acts working? Prayers of the common people don't seem to mean much of anything, at least from what we've seen, but (religious) people who perform rituals and really believe can pull off some impressive feats. But then there are the First Children, who appear to wield a magic all of their own, without apparent religious beliefs or rituals (but the ways they live could be rituals).
posted by filthy light thief at 8:48 AM on May 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


It's also interesting that out of all of the Gods in the world, the Seven are the ones who are least likely to ever actually produce any sort of supernatural miracle. The Red God has brought Jon back to life and coated Daeny in asbestos, the Drowned God arguably brought Euron back to life, the Weirwoods are obviously manifestly powerful, the sorcerers of Qarth have real power... when you suddenly see the walking dead on your doorstep, I have to imagine that the small folk will flock to the side with real magic on its side. That will set up an interesting conflict as The Seven have to deal with Northern and Eastern invaders.
posted by codacorolla at 8:48 AM on May 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


Does anyone else think that Tyrion may be making the same mistake Cersei made with the Faith Militant?

Yeah, it feels like a mis-step to me, and one that Varys was trying to correct only to have the priestess utterly undercut him with her knowledge. Rulers using faith as a means of conveying to people their right to rule and be accepting of decisions, etc., is an old and time honored tradition, but in both cases they've got fanatical believers rather than members who might be looking at it as a more political deal of quid pro quo - we give you legitimacy, you give us legitimacy, we work to prop each other up.

Euron is a completely underwhelming character so far. I'm not a big fan of his character in the books, but at least he's distinctive. On the show it looks like he's just going to be Ramsey on a boat. And why did they take out the dragon horn? Euron's case for the Ironborn choosing him over Yara, who they've all been and serving under and fighting alongside with for the last few years, was pretty weak on its own. Without the horn he's just blowing smoke out of his ass. The most irritating part, though, was that Yara needed Theon to plead her case for her.

Yeah, the Kingsmoot boiled down to:
Yara: BOATS AND RESPECT
Euron: BOATS AND DRAGONS

Theon, I thought, could have effectively undercut Euron by making the point that Theon had been away, and no one knew him and if he was truly Ironborn. Euron has been away - is he truly Ironborn? (My read on Euron in the books is that Euron doesn't give a crap about Ironborn philosophy, except in so far as he can manipulate it to serve his own ends). Although I guess that would have likely ended with Euron cutting Theon's heart out. Which is maybe not so bad an ending to Theon's arc...he can't even help his sister gain the throne.

On the Sansa front, as much as I liked her telling him off, I am bugged by something: Littlefinger has an army at Moat Cailin, which should represent a huge strategic issue for the North - Moat Cailin effectively denies anyone coming from the south access to the North, and while it is not well defended from the North - he still has an army massed at a strategic choke point. How are you going to get the Tully army (assuming they want to leave Riverrun anyways) past the army sitting there? Why does Sansa expect that Littlefinger will just bugger off and leave?
posted by nubs at 8:48 AM on May 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


alleycat01: Does anyone know what Varys heard the voice say back in his youth? Was that in the books? (e.g, what the Meereenese Red Priestess says he heard when he was castrated as a kid)

Non-answer from Sci-Fi Stack Exchange - "I watched him burn my manly parts in a brazier. The flames turned blue, and I heard a voice answer his call, though I did not understand the words they spoke."

And later on in the same chapter:

"Yet I still dream of that night, my lord. Not of the sorcerer, nor his blade, nor even the way my manhood shriveled as it burned. I dream of that voice. The voice from the flames. Was it a god, a demon, some conjurer's trick?"
posted by filthy light thief at 8:49 AM on May 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


Yeah, the Kingsmoot boiled down to:
Yara: BOATS AND RESPECT
Euron: BOATS AND DRAGONS


My take:
Yara: Boats and True Ironborn
Euron: Boats and a dick (which could get them dragons)

If anyone there really knew of Dany, they'd know she would probably side with Yara, especially after the khal-b-que. Which is part of the irony (we get as viewers), I get it.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:51 AM on May 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


Oooh, thanks, filthy light thief. Hmm. I'd thought the MRP's offer to tell Varys what the voice was saying was in the way of proving she Knows Things (which her knowledge of the scene does in general, of course), but I guess it was also a lure/threat via an offer of translation. I can see how that would be a temptation for Varys, whose power has always been through his ability to know more than anybody else about what's happening ...
posted by alleycat01 at 8:54 AM on May 23, 2016


From the EW recap (emphasis is mine because daaaaamn):
Suddenly Theon’s evil uncle Euron enters. You’ll recall he secretly killed King Balon on that rainy bridge a couple episodes back. Euron appeals to the Iron Born by slamming the Balon’s failed wars, promising to build the largest fleet of ships ever, and repeatedly mocks Theon’s lack of genitals. I guess we should all be grateful our political system would never support a candidate who uses a election debate to bully his opponents and brag about his junk.
and
Meereen: The insurgency has paused. Tyrion is still in the spin zone and looking for a way for Dany to get the credit. So he summons a Red Priestess named Kinvara to help spread the word of the Dragon Queen’s greatness. This seems risky. The last leader to try to enlist the church for political muscle was Cersei and that didn’t work out too well.

Kinvara could be Melisandre’s cousin. She’s just as creepy, and likewise has a red dress, distracting boobs, and an ultra-confident fanatical glaze. She’s even wearing one of those black chokers and we wonder how old she really is.

She declares Dany is “the one who was promised.” Okay, so this refers to the Lord of Light’s prophesied figure in human form, the reincarnation of a guy named Azor Ahai — a warrior who long ago defeated an army of the White Walkers. Melisandre thought Stannis Baratheon was the one who was promised, and that seems even sillier now than it did in season 2. With Jon resurrected, Melisandre’s now thinking Jon is the Chosen One. But now here comes along this other cocky Red Priestess who says it’s Dany. Personally I’d bet on the girl with the dragons.
and
Either way, as fans pointed out on Twitter: We now realize that every time Hodor has said his name he was describing his own eventual death. Recently I rewatched the Thrones pilot and there’s so much sadness now in those early moments, knowing the tragedies that will befall so many characters. With Hodor, our knowledge changes our perspective on the character rather radically without changing the positive things we feel about him.

posted by zarq at 8:54 AM on May 23, 2016 [8 favorites]


Oh, my poor, sweet Hodor. :-(

I've been thinking about how Bran is supposed to get around now without the big fella to carry him. Maybe Meera can drag him to some city where someone can make him a sort of wheeled chair. Then, as he continues to explore the knowledge the raven gave him and develop his powers, maybe he'll be able to create a group that patrols the Seven Kingdoms, fighting the walkers and wights, saving the common folk from doom.

Or maybe he'll decide that the old guard must give way to a new generation, and he'll build a group of adolescents who are just as strange as he is -- maybe even the strangest young people in all of Westeros and Essos -- to save the world from itself, despite being hated and feared by the very people they're saving.

Then again...nah, those kinds of stories would never work.
posted by lord_wolf at 8:58 AM on May 23, 2016 [9 favorites]


Boats and a dick

Not one of The Lonely Island's better songs
posted by prize bull octorok at 9:01 AM on May 23, 2016 [18 favorites]


I'm kinda of bummed about everything about the Ironborn's portrayal TBH. Not that they were so amazing in the books, either, but at least there they seemed potentially scary in a super grim and hardcore way. In the show they seem grim and ... unwashed, but also kinda weak and dumb.

The kingsmoot was like 30 seconds long and the attendees were soooo easily swayed by whatever'd just been said. Euron swaggers up, kind of bro-y and douchey, and Yara/Asha was at a loss as soon as he showed up. Neither of them had any kind of convincing or rousing arguments, unlike in the books. And ... why are there only like 30 people left at the kingsmoot? Where did Theon/Asha get the personnel backing to steal the Ironborn fleet? Where is Euron going to get the trees to construct 1000 ships, or the people to crew them? (It's not that you can't work around these questions -- add a quick panning shot of the islands from overheard, so you can see the size of the fleet and the extent of holdings/buildings/folk; etc -- but it's annoying and poor visual storytelling that we as viewers have to do so. Instead of engaging with the story, when the Ironborn are on-screen my mind ends up picking at plotholes.)

Also ... sorry but the Driftwood Crown was a dumb design. It was like the crown equivalent of macaroni art.
posted by alleycat01 at 9:06 AM on May 23, 2016 [23 favorites]


Wasn't Bran's namesake, Bran the Builder, one of the original settlers of the North? Is he going to have the horrifying realization that his ancestor was actually part of a horrific genocide against the fantasy Druids children of the forest?

Bran the Builder wasn't one of the original settlers of the North; his story comes from the time of the Age of Heroes, which comes after the signing of the Pact with the Children of the Forest, which ended the war between the First Men and the Children. The Wall was built to help keep the Others out, so if anything, Bran the Builder likely worked with the Children of the Forest to have the magic to help build the Wall and Winterfell.
posted by nubs at 9:06 AM on May 23, 2016 [5 favorites]


The kingsmoot was like 30 seconds long and the attendees were soooo easily swayed by whatever'd just been said.

Yeah. It's not that I wasn't grateful for a much-shortened Kingsmoot, but I would have liked it to be juuuuuuust a little bit longer if they could have found a way to not have Euron actually say "Where are my niece and nephew? Let's go murder them."
posted by davidjmcgee at 9:14 AM on May 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


Also ... sorry but the Driftwood Crown was a dumb design. It was like the crown equivalent of macaroni art.

DAMPHAIR: BEHOLD THE SACRED BREASTPLATE OF YOUR TRUE KING

IRONBORN: are those pinto beans?

DAMPHAIR: SHUT UP
posted by prize bull octorok at 9:14 AM on May 23, 2016 [22 favorites]


the Driftwood Crown was a dumb design. It was like the crown equivalent of macaroni art.

I kinda took it as Damphair had been really, really hoping Euron wouldn't come back from the Drowned God's embrace, so he'd just kinda thrown some driftwood scraps together that morning, just in case.
posted by nubs at 9:18 AM on May 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


for a high fantasy sea king it should've been a horribly mandibled fishy jawbone, something with lots of serrated teeths, but since their sigil is a squishy kraken it's gonna fucking end up being tentacles. laying limp and smelly against his unwashed head. great.
posted by poffin boffin at 9:19 AM on May 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


Next on Syfy: DAMPHAIRPOCALYPSE: DRAGON v KRAKEN
posted by zarq at 9:20 AM on May 23, 2016


In the books, don't they moot inside of a giant, beached whale corpse? That would've been a lot more dramatic (and presumably expensive) than generic cliff #3.
posted by codacorolla at 9:21 AM on May 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


I'm not a reader of the books, but I've been reading the "Books-Included" threads on fanfare since last year. I read many comments obliquely anticipating a mysterious thing called a "kingsmoot" that people seemed pretty invested in. I was imaging something like a huge battle or tournament, or at least something including several of the various monarchs of Westeros.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 9:22 AM on May 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


I read many comments obliquely anticipating a mysterious thing called a "kingsmoot" that people seemed pretty invested in. I was imaging something like a huge battle or tournament, or at least something including several of the various monarchs or Westeros.

And it just boils down to some vague promises and dick jokes, kinda like a presidential campaign.
posted by nubs at 9:24 AM on May 23, 2016 [6 favorites]


the highly qualified woman with an entirely reasonable claim to the throne getting upstaged by the asshole strolling in with a bunch of bullshit about how awesome he is and how he's going to make the Iron Islands great again seemed rather on the nose
posted by prize bull octorok at 9:28 AM on May 23, 2016 [55 favorites]


He wasn't orange enough.
posted by nubs at 9:31 AM on May 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


Did you notice how small his hands were though? Just sayin'...
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:35 AM on May 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


prize bull octorok: the highly qualified woman with an entirely reasonable claim to the throne getting upstaged by the asshole strolling in with a bunch of bullshit about how awesome he is and how he's going to make the Iron Islands great again seemed rather on the nose

Bonus points for him going along with the local people's sky sea wizard nonsense, including the Kraken Kubs arts 'n' crafts crown. See, he's totally not an opportunist, he really is of his people. (In the books, he was painted more strongly as an outsider who had to bluster and buy his way into the crown - was there even a crown in the books?)
posted by filthy light thief at 9:38 AM on May 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


There is a driftwood crown in the books, but it never really gets described. In a couple of places it is mentioned that so-and-so had "a driftwood crown" placed on them after the Kingsmoot, so I suspect it might be something that gets remade every so often. An arts & crafts project, maybe, for Kraken Kindergarten.
posted by nubs at 9:42 AM on May 23, 2016


Ah, thanks.

On the aftermath of the kingsmoot, in the show-only thread, octothorpe pointed out how silly it was that no one noticed them stealing the ships, at which point I realized Yara has a lot of supporters. They didn't set the ships afloat (or aflame), but sailed them all off. She couldn't do that with Theon alone.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:45 AM on May 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


You know what happens when summer is dead? WINTER! (Well, fall but you get the idea)
posted by drezdn at 9:51 AM on May 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


The show better include the white raven.
posted by drezdn at 9:52 AM on May 23, 2016


so Yara commands the loyalty of about a thousand experienced seafarers and Euron's base is the thirty-odd guys who remembered to set their alarms for the kingsmoot

what happened at Pike makes lots of sense
posted by prize bull octorok at 9:55 AM on May 23, 2016 [10 favorites]


what happened at Pike makes lots of sense

Don't make them go back to Dorne!
posted by nubs at 9:57 AM on May 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


If Braun crossing through the wall would let the white walkers through, why don't the walkers just let him go?
posted by drezdn at 10:03 AM on May 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


EXCITEMENT! (And to make him run, er get carried, faster)
posted by filthy light thief at 10:15 AM on May 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


drezdn: You know what happens when summer is dead? WINTER! (Well, fall but you get the idea)

Yeah, I got that late, too. Following Uncle Ira's great synopsis of the surviving dire wolves and the fates of the others as parallels for their child masters, and others reminding me that Bran's dire wolf's name was Summer, it all clicked.

WINTER KILLED SUMMER. CHILDREN OF THE SUMMER, MOURN YOUR FATE.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:19 AM on May 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


Where is Yara/Asha actually sailing TO? I mean, I know she and Theon had to escape the MURDER, but...where are they going? I'd love for her to show up in Vaes Dothrak and join forces with Dany, but from what Euron was saying, I gather they still think she's in Meereen? Also, Euron, how are you building 1000 ships FROM TREES (not even from cured lumber) fast enough to go after your niece and nephew? Also, y'alls soil is going to erode pretty quick now without all those trees, does the Drowned God protect against landslides that dump your settlements into the water? SO MANY QUESTIONS.
posted by Ragini at 10:21 AM on May 23, 2016 [7 favorites]


Yeah, I would imagine the Others are pretty smart. They likely know (via accessing the splinternet) that he's related to Jon, and that Jon is stationed at the wall. Killing Bloodraven and chasing him southwards is a good way to get the Trojan horse through the gate.
posted by codacorolla at 10:24 AM on May 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


I appreciate all of the careful analysis of sail weaving, lumber availability, etc. But my question about the shipbuilding was altogether more fundamental: if you were perpetual also-rans in the quest for world power and had the material and human resources to quickly build and staff a thousand ships, why didn't you do that already, you knuckleheads?
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:32 AM on May 23, 2016 [9 favorites]


Where did this idea that Bran going back through the Wall would undo the Wall-magic come from?
posted by prize bull octorok at 10:32 AM on May 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


yeah i was just reading back over the thread to find that as well, why would he somehow be a magic ruiner now?
posted by poffin boffin at 10:34 AM on May 23, 2016


I mean, he was already south of the Wall, Bloodraven called him up to weirwood central station. Is he working for the Walkers? Did the Walkers turn on the CotF and that's why they fight them with hand grenades now? I have literally no clue as to the motivations of anyone or anything anything that came from beyond the Wall at this point
posted by prize bull octorok at 10:37 AM on May 23, 2016


Cause the night king touched him, giving him the mark of gurm.
posted by drezdn at 10:37 AM on May 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


(Or the same reason the WW were able to pass the circle of protection.
posted by drezdn at 10:38 AM on May 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


Also, Euron, how are you building 1000 ships FROM TREES (not even from cured lumber) fast enough to go after your niece and nephew? Also, y'alls soil is going to erode pretty quick now without all those trees, does the Drowned God protect against landslides that dump your settlements into the water? SO MANY QUESTIONS.

You wait until he starts erecting those giant stone heads. It's all downhill from there.

I don't think King Euron and his fleet of green-wood leaky ships would pose much of a threat. That said, there's no better way for Yara to establish her right to rule than by killing the last king. It's a tradition, see?
posted by leotrotsky at 10:43 AM on May 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


He ruined the magic at the cave that kept the Others out. So, if, since he bears their mark, the Others are able to cross magical boundaries to reach him, one can reasonably assume that they'd be able to cross the magical barrier of the Wall as well. Both the barriers at the Wall and the cave were apparently put in place by the Children, so it's hard to see how there'd be a real difference. It'll be interesting to see if Bran can make it through the Wall while bearing the Other's mark?

That resolution seems way too pat to me as well, but there's some logic to it.
posted by LionIndex at 10:43 AM on May 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


Yeah, the idea is that whatever magical force acts as a ward against White Walkers surmounting the wall is the same sort of force that kept them out of BR's cave. Bran, being marked, acts as their wedge to break whatever magic that is (probably something devised by the Children). Of course, that's speculation. In the book it seems as though the Horn is going to be the thing that lets them past. However, the show hasn't established that as a plot device, but it has introduced and explained the mark. Economical storytelling would indicate that Bran is going to be their key to the south, but as we all know D&D haven't always been the best storytellers.
posted by codacorolla at 10:44 AM on May 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


Guys I am WILDLY FUCKING PRESCIENT about how Hodor and how Bran's foolish magic-related choices end in Hodor's death for which Bran feels responsible.

Three-eyebrowed raven?
posted by freecellwizard at 10:44 AM on May 23, 2016 [6 favorites]


Also, Euron, how are you building 1000 ships FROM TREES (not even from cured lumber) fast enough to go after your niece and nephew?

"They won't get far."

(4-5 years later, after 1000 ships are built)

"Now then! They must be close by!"
posted by clockzero at 10:44 AM on May 23, 2016 [14 favorites]


I really, really hope that the show's plan for Euron is for him to never show up again until the epilogue at the end of the series, where we see him shouting in frustration at his underlings because the Iron Islanders, having devoted their entire economy (*cough*) to shipbuilding and working flat out for two years, have only managed to build about 60 ships.
posted by The Tensor at 10:45 AM on May 23, 2016 [21 favorites]


Wasn't there a thing in the books where Cold hands couldn't go though a door? Sam had to? I don't even really remember this well enough to look it up without spending ages, does anyone else know what I'm on about?

Not that the book explanation necessarily bears on the show, but.
posted by Diablevert at 10:46 AM on May 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


Too much "it works that way because the story requires it to" really ruins a story, and between Bran getting the protection-magic-dispelling Mark of the Freezer on his wrist and time-travel-warging, this is all getting rather unhinged. Magic can make sense dramaturgically when it has internal logic; I don't think anybody wants A Game of Calvinball*.

I felt like although this episode was interesting and enjoyable in some ways, this world and its story are starting to show their seams, and it's becoming less fun, less surprising, less interesting.

*Well, we do, but probably not quite like this
posted by clockzero at 10:56 AM on May 23, 2016 [6 favorites]


Coldhands couldn't enter the cave after guiding Bran there, but probably also couldn't use the magic gate that Sam and Gill used at one of the Nights Watch castles.
posted by LionIndex at 10:57 AM on May 23, 2016


Euron: "You are, without a doubt, the worst pirate I've ever heard of."

Yara: "Ah, but you have heard of me." *steals ship*
posted by arto at 10:58 AM on May 23, 2016 [16 favorites]


Hodor's send-off felt cheap to me. As one of the few lovely characters I wanted something more resonant for him. Bran was obviously going to create trouble, but its not clear how the Night King marked him. And then Bloodraven decides that'd be a great time to show Ned leaving for the Vale, not because there's any reason for that but in order to set up the Hodor reveal. And the zombies belonged in The Walking Dead instead and the White Walker reveal was rushed. And both Summer's and Hodor's deaths are given the usual gory details to buy Meera and Bran what, 20 meters headstart on several hundred undead?

Yes, exactly. The whole ending really fell apart for me. We're expecting Bloodraven to upload a bunch of knowledge into Bran, and instead we're back at the courtyard to set up Hodor. Weak writing. And I thought the fast wights just made the whole thing ridiculous. It worked okay at Hardhome because that was a battle, but watching zombies clambering along the walls of the cave like orcs in LotR just made it all so absurd that it robbed Hodor's and Summer's deaths of any real poignancy. *Sigh*
posted by homunculus at 10:59 AM on May 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


Coldhands couldn't enter the cave after guiding Bran there, but probably also couldn't use the magic gate that Sam and Gill used at one of the Nights Watch castles.

Yeah, he couldn't go into the Nightfort's secret passage because of the magic of the wall. That's why he helped Sam and Gilly, so they'd go through and find Bran, Jojen and Meera for him.
posted by homunculus at 11:03 AM on May 23, 2016


Wasn't there a thing in the books where Cold hands couldn't go though a door? Sam had to? I don't even really remember this well enough to look it up without spending ages, does anyone else know what I'm on about?

There is a door under the Nightfort that is closed to all but Brothers of the Watch. The Black Gate; Coldhands knew about it but couldn't pass through because of the spells woven into the Wall.

The real question is if Bran is able to wipe the cookies the Walkers have installed on his browser and get some anti-virus protection up and running before he is used to breach the (fire)Wall.
posted by nubs at 11:04 AM on May 23, 2016 [6 favorites]


We're expecting Bloodraven to upload a bunch of knowledge into Bran, and instead we're back at the courtyard to set up Hodor

I think the setup is that Bloodraven was running a normal sim in the foreground for Bran while he's using a backdoor to upload a bunch of other stuff, maybe even himself. Bran's just malware for both sides, maybe.
posted by nubs at 11:06 AM on May 23, 2016 [5 favorites]


This really brings a whole new meaning to the Gibsonian term of "ICE".
posted by codacorolla at 11:16 AM on May 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


The final reveal will be that the whole thing is a computer simulation. The Children created a vulnerability in the OS, and the system has been trying keep hackers at bay ever since.
posted by nubs at 11:20 AM on May 23, 2016 [6 favorites]


I would not have predicted that the army of undead that slumber along in the wake of the Others would have vastly improved mobility when hanging upside down from ceilings.

Tunnels, the bases of tall cliffs and large hand shaped pieces of rock. These are the places where you're ill advised to take these guys on.
posted by vbfg at 11:38 AM on May 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


It's neat to see how other languages translated that Hodor scene. In French, it's:

"Ne les laisse pas aller au-dehors!"

"Au-dehors! Au-dehors!"

Which works perfectly.
posted by painquale at 11:38 AM on May 23, 2016 [18 favorites]


This is a week late, but Khal Osha.
posted by leotrotsky at 11:43 AM on May 23, 2016 [7 favorites]



The final reveal will be that the whole thing is a computer simulation.


Holy Shit! It's one of Riker's holodeck programs.
posted by drezdn at 11:43 AM on May 23, 2016 [6 favorites]


It's also interesting that out of all of the Gods in the world, the Seven are the ones who are least likely to ever actually produce any sort of supernatural miracle.

In the book, as I recall, Davos receives what he believes to be visions from the Seven while marooned after the Battle of the Blackwater. But I don't recall if it is ever resolved to be real visions or just starving/dehydrated guy hallucinating on a rock. You have to remember, though, that Martin indicates repeatedly throughout the books that magic is just now coming back to life, so to speak. It's possible that the Seven (who were supposedly performing miracles back in the days before the Andals came to Westeros) are just taking a bit longer to wake up than the Red God and the Drowned God (who hasn't been doing much of a much, either) or the Walkers.
posted by AdamCSnider at 11:46 AM on May 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


sammyo: The visit to Ramsey was to toughen her up. Little finger has plans for her, bad bad evil plans, lucrative but so bad.

I really hope this isn't the case. I always hate when rape is used as a character development device that makes a previously weak or unlikable female character suddenly strong and interesting. I've overlooked it in Sansa's case (even though it seems to be this trope played very straight) because I've wanted Sansa to be assertive for so long. Still, torture and sexual abuse isn't a failsafe recipe for toughening people up--it didn't do that for Theon. It would have been a really crazy gamble, on Littlefinger's part.

Honestly, everything about the Sansa-Ramsay plot *still* makes no sense and Sansa's whole speech seemed to sort of handwave that by acknowledging it. It requires Littlefinger to either be an idiot or someone who wanted to hurt her. He claimed idiot but that seems wildly out-of-character.
posted by armadillo1224 at 12:24 PM on May 23, 2016 [9 favorites]


I do think it's interesting reading through comments of non-book viewers vs book readers, both on metafilter and elsewhere that this season is presenting a bit of a schism between the groups. I'm seeing lots of praise from show-only viewers as the shows move past the books and a lot of dissatisfaction from book readers.

Perhaps it's because folks who haven't read the books have really been watching this show the whole time, and book readers have been watching some mental hybrid of GRRM and D&D. Now everyone is forced to watch the same show and some book readers don't like it anymore. Were the show viewers who share those feelings gave up long ago because there was no built in affection keeping them watching.

This episode alone is a fairly extreme example.
posted by French Fry at 12:29 PM on May 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


sammyo: The visit to Ramsey was to toughen her up. Little finger has plans for her, bad bad evil plans, lucrative but so bad.

armadillo1224: I really hope this isn't the case.

Alternatively, Sansa was just a pawn to be used by all parties, but she learned/ survived, and Little Finger still sees her (and everyone else, TBH) as a pawn to move.

Either way, I look forward to Little Finger's death by moon bay door. Or Brienne cutting him down. Whatevs.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:30 PM on May 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


I think unfortunately Sansa /is/ pregnant, with that "I can feel it, physically, in my body" stuff.
posted by corb at 12:32 PM on May 23, 2016 [9 favorites]


as a book reader i LOVE having the show finally free of the tedious constraints of GRRM's writer's block and constantly metastasizing character list and crippling inability to ever wrap up so much as a single plotline into something worthwhile
posted by poffin boffin at 12:35 PM on May 23, 2016 [7 favorites]


It's weird because watching last night I had a random thought of "Hm, is Sophie Turner pregnant? If so, they're doing a good job hiding it."
posted by General Malaise at 12:37 PM on May 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


French Fry: I do think it's interesting reading through comments of non-book viewers vs book readers, both on metafilter and elsewhere that this season is presenting a bit of a schism between the groups.

I can see book readers being pissed that 1) some good build-up from the books has been cut down to fit in the show, and 2) a ton of pointless fluff slashed from the book to make a more streamlined story. We read so very much to get here, and the show is catching up and moving beyond, while we're still waiting for the next book (which won't even be the last one!). But GRRM is taunting readers and viewers with book-only twists. No one can win.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:38 PM on May 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


corb: I think unfortunately Sansa /is/ pregnant, with that "I can feel it, physically, in my body" stuff.

So, what's the status of abortion in this universe? Sansa wouldn't want to "authenticate" Ramsay by giving him an heir with some Stark blood.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:39 PM on May 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


Abortion does exist and is kind of frequently discussed "moon tea" in the books. Not yet mentioned in the show to date... I don't think.

It'd be just super if that's not where they are going tho. Because gosh am I tired of anything Ramsay related.
posted by French Fry at 12:43 PM on May 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


Ah, right - thanks of the reminder of moon tea. And ditto on your feelings regarding that possible story line.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:49 PM on May 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


H-O-D-O-R that spells Hodor.
posted by PenDevil at 12:51 PM on May 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


Also a thing that probably answers some questions. The actor who portray's the Night King is the man strapped shirtless to the tree getting all heart-stabbed by the COTF. So they seem to be saying that it's been the same guy this whole time.
posted by French Fry at 12:58 PM on May 23, 2016 [6 favorites]


Parallels.
posted by homunculus at 1:04 PM on May 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


There's probably an important distinction to make between the legendary Night's King of the books and the so-called Night's King of the show. Book guy didn't come along until well after the walkers were an established presence and the wall had been built.
posted by LionIndex at 1:06 PM on May 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


Some thoughts I had after this episode:

The only character we've seen who was cured of greyscale was Shireen. I predict that Jorah's path will take him back to Westeros, homeward to Bear Island (possibly by way of Dragonstone), as the Mormonts were explicitly mentioned in this episode as a loyal house. Could his greyscale, which originates in Valyria, be a weapon against the White Walkers?

Bran's recurring theme seems to be that he does things people tell him not to do, then he sees something he's not supposed to see, someone touches him violently, tragedy strikes, setting a bunch of bad stuff into motion. Also, we have yet to see Bran "fly"; I'm hoping we will see him warg into a dragon by the end of the series (GRRM chuckled once when someone asked him about that, but refused to answer). Of course, he would need a special saddle made to fit like in season one (Gendry could make it!).

I wish that when Bran was taking his trips with Bloodraven, they had made it more clear that he was able to see only what the weirwoods had seen. I've been waiting for them to reveal more weirwoods in weird places, like Braavos, as I believe was the case in one of the books.

It seems late to introduce a superpowerful horn, but I'm still holding out hope that we'll get to see Coldhands and Lady Stoneheart. In the former case, I'm eager to see the giant reindeer or whatever it is he rides. In the latter case, I'm worried that it will be Brienne's undoing. Perhaps she'll run into the Hound on the journey.

When Yara/Asha tried to rescue Theon a few seasons ago, I think someone suggested that they should have put a Yakety Sax track over the top, instead of whatever dramatic music they used. Now every time I see Iron Islanders, I hear that music. It's very hard to take them seriously. Also, how many trees could there possibly be left on Pyke? The Greyjoy motto is, "We Do Not Sow," so it's not like they've been doing any managed tree farming.

I figured they've been killing off wolves to save CGI budget money. I know they've complained that it's a pain for them to make the wolves larger. Hopefully at least Ghost and Nymeria will stick around 'til the end.

Where are the ice spiders?
posted by tempestuoso at 1:08 PM on May 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


OMG do not visit the IMDB page for the next episode. It contains a SPOILER.
posted by The Tensor at 1:15 PM on May 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


Where are the ice spiders?

Gendry found them, and he was very surprised!
posted by clockzero at 1:16 PM on May 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


OMG do not visit the IMDB page for the next episode. It contains a SPOILER.

Several, I think.
posted by clockzero at 1:19 PM on May 23, 2016


Yeah, it's generally a good practice to avoid IMDb when looking at any current show, unless you want hints or outright spoilers for future episodes (and that includes looking at profiles for actors).
posted by filthy light thief at 1:20 PM on May 23, 2016


I do think it's interesting reading through comments of non-book viewers vs book readers, both on metafilter and elsewhere that this season is presenting a bit of a schism between the groups. I'm seeing lots of praise from show-only viewers as the shows move past the books and a lot of dissatisfaction from book readers.

I think it's partly that book readers have had so long to convince themselves that whatever bit they liked best from the books was clearly very very important because of Tinfoil Theory X, and looking ever so forward to seeing this cherished theory confirmed and their favourite bit brought to life by great actors, only to have it mercilessly hacked off by the grim necessity of limited screen time, because it wasn't really important after all.
posted by Diablevert at 1:23 PM on May 23, 2016 [5 favorites]


Heh. Inversely the show has made me like the books a lot less because as they cut or downsize side plots I feel like it confirmed my suspicion that, yes that side plot was a huge waste of time.
posted by French Fry at 1:30 PM on May 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


I think unfortunately Sansa /is/ pregnant, with that "I can feel it, physically, in my body" stuff.

For some reason the thought of pregnancy didn't even cross my mind when she said that. But my stomach lurched because I thought she was referring to some kind of permanent damage, possibly caused by mutilation (which we know is one of Ramsay's hobbies). And the reason she didn't elaborate was because it was something intimate, unspeakable and/or degrading. I hope I'm wrong, though.
posted by sively at 1:36 PM on May 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


I had this awful sense during that scene that she was going to open her robe up and show Littlefinger some sort of horrible scarring or mutilation and I was literally like wipe-my-brow-off-and-say-"whew!" relieved when she didn't and that kind of pushed out any thoughts of picking up hints about pregnancies
posted by prize bull octorok at 1:40 PM on May 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


Is it possible that the biggest trope that GRRM will break in this story is that the humans will prevail? Now that it's been revealed that the COTF created the WW to stop man's destruction of the natural world, and with Winter having a certain metaphorical antagonism to global warming, and with 6 seasons of showing just how shitty people can be to other people, perhaps the resolution is that no matter who's in charge, there ain't no beat'n the zombies, man's time in Westeros in over..
posted by OHenryPacey at 1:53 PM on May 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


Though I hate that it happened through What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stronger (Rape Edition), I've been waiting for Actualized Sansa for YEARS. No one has ever understood when I say that she is my favorite main character, bar none. (Brienne owns my heart in the best supporting character category.) I don't love that Sansa was all "by injuries I don't mean in my sensitive lady-heart" because yo, PTSD and mental trauma are obviously real things. But I did understand her point, that Ramsay caused physical pain and damage and fuck you Littlefinger (and uff y'all are sadly probably right about the pregnancy).

I miss the INTRIGUE in this series. It's just ALL brute force now. But I'm enjoying this season way more than last season. Book world has more subtlety and nuance than TV world, but they are two separate beasts, and I'm liking the whirlwind pacing of this season. Shit is happening, and it's fun to watch, especially now that they've dialed down the sexual violence and Unnecessary Boobs.
posted by Ragini at 1:56 PM on May 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


HOLLYWOOD AGENT: I've got great news for you, sport!
YOUNG ACTOR: I could use some great news. What's up?
HOLLYWOOD AGENT: They've cast you on Game of Thrones!
YOUNG ACTOR: Oh my gosh, that's amazing!
HOLLYWOOD AGENT: Fantastic, right? There's just some costume fittings we've gotta do, a contract to sign, check to make sure you're not circumcised, you'll need a haircut of course--
YOUNG ACTOR: Yeah, that's all totally fine. That's... Wait. What was the second-to-last thing?
posted by DirtyOldTown at 2:02 PM on May 23, 2016 [13 favorites]


man's time in Westeros in over..

Yep, and now it's WOMAN'S TIME. Daenerys, Yara, Sansa, Arya, Brienne, Missandei, and Margaery (with guest appearances by Ladies Olenna and Stoneheart) will run the goddamn world.
posted by Ragini at 2:02 PM on May 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


I miss the INTRIGUE in this series. It's just ALL brute force now.

Me too. I also miss the dialogue. Characters used to chat with each other more. I could happily spend a whole episode listening to Brienne, Jon, Pod and Sansa just talking, catching up and comparing notes on everything that's happened.
posted by homunculus at 2:03 PM on May 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


Don't forget the Sand Snakes!
posted by prize bull octorok at 2:04 PM on May 23, 2016


I'm trying to forget the Sand Snakes, dagnabit!
posted by homunculus at 2:06 PM on May 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


Blech, no Sand Snakes allowed in my fantasy world.
posted by Ragini at 2:06 PM on May 23, 2016


also-er, how did Bran know that that figure was the Night's King? Has anyone called him that to Bran?

With all the time Bran and Meera spent in the cave, I imagine that they must have actually talked with Bloodraven and the Children about everything that's going on. We just didn't get to see any of it. :(
posted by homunculus at 2:07 PM on May 23, 2016


If Arianne shows up and is Not The Worst, she's allowed though.
posted by Ragini at 2:08 PM on May 23, 2016 [2 favorites]




"I don't mean in my tender heart it pains me still..."

Love the snear that Turner evinces here. That scene should land her on some TV show awards shortlists.
posted by porpoise at 2:17 PM on May 23, 2016 [6 favorites]


. I'm seeing lots of praise from show-only viewers as the shows move past the books and a lot of dissatisfaction from book readers.

I think that's confirmation bias. If you look at the reviews/recappers the book-only types are giving it roughly the same grades as the show-only types, and generally consider this season a great improvement over last season.

We get a skewed view here because there are some people who have never been all that warm on the show and continue not to be all that warm on the show. Which is fine! But I don't think it reflects a wider trend in any way.
posted by Justinian at 2:18 PM on May 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


The play was all right, though again set in silliness. Arya's doubting again? The point of the whole blindness arc was that she passed a test of devotion, and instantly we're back to Arya getting beat by the waif and asking questions that show she's not down. Not stooping to montage advancement is one thing, but being in a holding pattern with no character progression at all is another.

Yeah, that didn't make sense. It was like the blindess arc had never happened. And it was unnecessary since the play sowed doubt back into her in a way that made perfect sense. Honestly, it felt like they just wanted to continue the never ending teenage catfight between the Waif and Arya, and have Arya get beaten up again.

I did like the play, though, and Arya's reaction to it.
posted by homunculus at 2:30 PM on May 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


Play Recap.
posted by homunculus at 2:31 PM on May 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


Sansa: 'You knew what was up. The punishment is death, of course. Unless you join the Night's Watch. So what's it going to be Little little little tiny almost no finger? Brienne and Oathkeeper right now, or the wall and a million zombies?'

That would have been good.
posted by adept256 at 2:54 PM on May 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


What is the spoiler on the IMDB page about? I didn't see anything.
posted by armadillo1224 at 2:57 PM on May 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


Ooh, over at the Newbies section on the AV club site, apparently it was clear to the reviewer that when the weirwood trees were used for sacrifice, the faces went in them. What if you have to cut down the weirwood trees to kill the white walkers? That could be why there are so few now, too.
posted by frecklefaerie at 3:05 PM on May 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


she gets to see vulgar little plays about her family where she doesn't even SHOW UP

To crib a mindfuck from reddit, she DID show up, she was reprising her own role herself


!!
posted by curious nu at 3:09 PM on May 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


I am so here for the Torienne/Brimund squeeing (and nice to hear that Christie's having a laugh with it), oh god the Glances, and the Awkward, and the Casual Mentionitis! Brienne has NO patience with a brooder, SO not her type!

I was wondering if the Hodor name thing had to come from GRRM. Great to see that confirmed here.

Re direwolves: So are we just down to Ghost and Nymeria (whose owner is nobody) now? Do you need to be / can you be a head of the dragon while you've still got your direwolf?

Agree that the Kingsmoot was totally punted, plus the actor was.... not good. He wasn't even like broey and douchey ENOUGH
...and yeah glad other people are puzzled the Ironborn don't use seasoned timber? And need telling how their sails are made? At least it's true to the books, where somewhere a pig is slaughtered to make „ham“ for THAT SAME EVENING

Turner (is „Tucker“ a play on Malcolm Tucker w/r/t her new political savvy, Whelk?) knocked it out of the park again. (and I like how even Sansa's embroidery/sewing is all about POWER these days...) (I think it's also her (first) superpower so she can churn it out QUICKLIKE)

I thought Baelish vs Sansa and Jorah vs Khaleesi were both creepy in the same way - she's ostensibly got the upper hand but he's the one being written for?
posted by runincircles at 3:15 PM on May 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


Euron: "You are, without a doubt, the worst pirate I've ever heard of."
Yara: "Ah, but you have heard of me." *steals ship*


BLESS YOU Arto, flagged as fantastic
posted by runincircles at 3:17 PM on May 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


And the French translation thing is inspired, and I also hope Sansa isn't preggers, that would be horrible and take things in a really tedious direction
posted by runincircles at 3:18 PM on May 23, 2016


I am actually incoherent I don't know where to start
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 3:26 PM on May 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


Oh, oh, I almost forgot my most important quibble with this episode: when Sansa has to send Brienne in person to Riverrun because Ramsay might "intercept" a raven. Do what now? Does he have a specially trained (*shudder*) squadron of attack pigeons? RavenNet has always been <understatement>somewhat improbable</understatement>—mostly because it's a plot convenience that doesn't bear too much thinking about. But if ravens have been vulnerable to interception all along, you'd think people would stop sending so many very important messages using them...
posted by The Tensor at 3:27 PM on May 23, 2016 [10 favorites]


how did Bran know that that figure was the Night's King? Has anyone called him that to Bran?

I'd assume that it would be from the Stark nanny/granny telling him the old stories (was that book or show? I can't recall?)
posted by srboisvert at 3:52 PM on May 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


Theon is taking over Quentyn's role, if he and Yara are sailing East. It'll be his redemption moment ack ptui

Varys got played.

Leaving Littlefinger alive was a stupid rookie mistake, but holy shit her acting in that scene. Legit terrifying. I can't wait for Littlefinger's I HAVE MADE A TERRIBLE MISTAKE moment.

I mean like yay penis? but it wasn't just gratuitous, it was weirdly so. And I like penises! dat ass doe

Hodor. jfc that was a punch in the gut. Branch is going to spend the rest of his life atoning for that and beating himself up and it's going to lead him to very stupid mistakes.

Actually as much as I loved this episode, everyone had a Dornish Lobotomy at some point.

Branch is going to arrive at Castle Black and be all WTF WHERE IS JON SANSA WAS HERE? And Winterfell being the big E9 battle is seeming more and more solid. The Walkers are definitely coming through the Wall this season, next season will be everyone converging somewhere.

But mostly wow this was just wow.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 4:01 PM on May 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


from the show only thread

"I have a kind of crazy theory about Bran. Way back in season one, Ned told Bran about his namesake, Brandon the Builder, who built The Wall and infused it with magic to keep the White Walkers out the first time they threatened Westeros. Summer is dead. Winter has come. And Bran must accept the loss of his connection to everything he has known, because he is Brandon the Builder. At some point he is going to travel back in time and build the Wall. Which is why the Walkers are looking for him. If they can kill Bran, the enchantments keeping them from crossing the Wall will be broken."

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 4:08 PM on May 23, 2016 [19 favorites]


Varys got played.

Varys got spayed. I think I'd hear all kinds of things if as a child someone cut off my junk and threw it in a fire.
posted by adept256 at 4:09 PM on May 23, 2016


what if Bran is still warged into Hodor

like, Bloodraven wanted him to save the world with weirwood.net (VC pitch: We're disrupting the human sacrifice space. It's like Uber for zombies) but he was warging into Hodor at the moment he died now and ended up in Hodor then and Hodor's entire life is actually Bran screaming and trying to get out
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 4:30 PM on May 23, 2016 [11 favorites]


> Gwendoline Christie, "who says she could barely keep a straight face during Tormund actor Kristofer Hivju’s advances."

I'm really looking forward to the blooper reel.
posted by homunculus at 4:34 PM on May 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


Sansa: 'You knew what was up. The punishment is death, of course. Unless you join the Night's Watch. So what's it going to be Little little little tiny almost no finger? Brienne and Oathkeeper right now, or the wall and a million zombies?'

I can buy her having Brienne cut him down in the ruins of the brothel and nobody caring that much, but the erstwhile fugitive Lady of Winterfell forcing the Warden of the East to take the black while he's got the soldiers of the Vale lined up behind him (theoretically) seems tougher. And the Wall doesn't need that kind of sabotage. That's all provided that there's anyone with enough authority and desire to uphold the feudal code in Westeros at this point, which is a big fat "if."

Would have been nice though.
posted by Navelgazer at 5:09 PM on May 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


At some point he is going to travel back in time and build the Wall.

This has been my guess too. Supporting (barely) the theory: in the first book, it's said that Old Nan keeps confusing Bran for past Brans, and much of what she's said has turned out to be true; maybe her "mistake" isn't one.
posted by davidjmcgee at 6:07 PM on May 23, 2016 [7 favorites]


I wonder if Arya's destiny is to come to understand that she isn't no one.
posted by humanfont at 6:47 PM on May 23, 2016 [8 favorites]


I knew it wasn't going to happen, but I was so hoping that drowning scene would need with Euron staying dead, and Aeron going "Welp, that's him finally taken care of. Fucker never thought anything through. Let's go get our Queen."
posted by arha at 7:07 PM on May 23, 2016 [17 favorites]


humanfont: I wonder if Arya's destiny is to come to understand that she isn't no one.

I think her destiny might be getting sent to kill a family member, like then Queen Sansa or maybe Jon Snow, which could be especially hard since he gave her Needle. I fear she might be too far gone at that point and will go through with it.
posted by bluecore at 7:08 PM on May 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


I do think it's interesting reading through comments of non-book viewers vs book readers, both on metafilter and elsewhere that this season is presenting a bit of a schism between the groups. I'm seeing lots of praise from show-only viewers as the shows move past the books and a lot of dissatisfaction from book readers.

This season is better than last, which is perhaps damning with faint praise? I don't know. I loved the first 3-4 seasons, really, though I suspect I'm one of the people considered as never being "all that warm" on the show in these threads - like a great many things in fandom, we complain about what we don't like far more than we praise what we do (I have to admit bafflement at what appears to be rampant delight for some in imagining that this season is some kind of raised middle finger to GRRM, who is involved in the production of the show and provided D&D with the outline and is one of the few people aware of how far they've changed things). This show has exceeded expectations and given us great moments - Tywin Lannister's face and voice will belong to Charles Dance now and forever; Lena Hedley has given us a Cersei that has transcended the page version; and I appreciate that much of the cruft has been torn away. I sometimes think that there's a bit tossed with the cruft that maybe shouldn't have been, especially since the show seems to feel duty bound to not only include every bit of gory violence & sexual violence it can, but also make new moments to stick in. I'm enjoying seeing theories confirmed or shredded (goodbye Bolt-on!).

What I feel is missing is that some of the big plot moments happening are getting rushed past. There's no time to stop and look, because we have to get to the next big important thing. Nuance and subtlety are largely gone, and there's no time to savour anything.

I watch with "show-only" people...and I remember, way back in S4, the episode where Joffrey finally got poisoned. And Joffrey dies. Suddenly and unexpectedly. And we sat there and talked about it for 10 minutes before they started rewinding the scene to try and figure out who poisoned him, piecing it together. And I catch a wonderful, amazing moment going on in the background, of Tywin Lannister walking over to Tommen and hugging him so that Tommen - who is watching his brother choke out his last breaths while Mommy and Secret Daddy hover over him - doesn't have to see that and to give him comfort at a moment when Tommen is forgotten and to start planting the seeds of the relationship between King and Hand. It's a wonderfully awesome background detail that does something the books do now and again - rewarding close inspection and attention - and I'm still thrilled that it is there. But those moments seem gone now in the show, and we are certainly well past the place that the people I watch with ask to rewatch certain scenes. Instead there are questions about the important moments, a desire for some deeper context and understanding.

So yeah, anecdotal and all that, but that is what is going on at my place on Sunday nights.
posted by nubs at 7:26 PM on May 23, 2016 [12 favorites]


"I think her destiny might be getting sent to kill a family member, like then Queen Sansa or maybe Jon Snow, which could be especially hard since he gave her Needle. "

I have thought this since about 30% of the way through the first book, because Ned wouldn't have gone to such lengths warning Arya not to stab Sansa (or at least GRRM wouldn't have gone to such lengths to include it in the narrative) if Arya wasn't going to stab Sansa at some point later on. THE STABBING SWORD WAS PUT ON THE MANTLEPIECE IN THE FIRST ACT, CHEKOV.

At this point I assume she stabs Sansa to prove her loyalty to the faceless men or something but doesn't kill her. But totally open to Arya killing Sansa.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:41 PM on May 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


I'm watching with someone who only started watching the show this season and hasn't read the books. It's sort of a fun game to try to figure out how to succinctly explain things to her (for example, who the hell Littlefinger is).

And I realized that this week, a huge amount of dialogue was devoted to simply explaining facts that we have been told before but might need to get caught up on. John points at a map and lists the names of Northern houses. The knockoff Red Woman recounts the story of how Varys got castrated. Sansa reminds Littlefinger of what Ramsay did to her. The entire Kingsmoot is Iron Islands people explaining what they've been up to recently. Dany reminds us of Jorah's two banishments. We see an entire play to remind us of the events of the first three seasons. That's not even everything - once I started looking for it, it was in practically every plotline if not every scene.

...And yet I really liked this episode? But that's weird, right?
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:54 PM on May 23, 2016 [6 favorites]


I actually really liked the play; it served as both a quick refresher of the first three seasons and also a wonderful example of how a tale gets distorted in the telling and over time...which is somewhat of a touchpoint for the saga, how the stories characters have taken as true are being undermined and changed as new information and perspectives come in.
posted by nubs at 8:06 PM on May 23, 2016 [6 favorites]


When Yara/Asha tried to rescue Theon a few seasons ago, I think someone suggested that they should have put a Yakety Sax track over the top, instead of whatever dramatic music they used. Now every time I see Iron Islanders, I hear that music

That explains it! My recollection of Yara and Theon escaping to the ships was being overlaid by yakety sax, and I couldn't figure out why. I'm sure I read the same thing and it buried itself in my subconscious.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 8:11 PM on May 23, 2016


I also think Arya's ultimate triumph will be to recapture her identity as Arya and reject the batshit-crazy asceticism and pretentious nihilism of the faceless men. And I think she'll end up being symbolically rewarded by reuniting with Nymeria.

I do think it's interesting reading through comments of non-book viewers vs book readers, both on metafilter and elsewhere that this season is presenting a bit of a schism between the groups. I'm seeing lots of praise from show-only viewers as the shows move past the books and a lot of dissatisfaction from book readers.

I think fans of every book-turned-movie/show have a tendency to judge the show for not being as good as the visual movie their minds created from the books. But GoT/ASOIAF has taken it to another level because ASOIAF is incomplete and really may never be completed. So everything some ASOIAF viewers dislike about GoT gets blamed on D&D, everything still good is because of GRRM. Literally every single episode recap involves complaints about D&D's failure to understand GRRM's vision. Meanwhile, they have been able to turn what I would have dismissed as a completely unfilmable fantasy epic into a cultural touchstone, and GRRM has shown no particular reason for us to believe that he'll ever be able to complete what he started. I mean, if it was just "GoT sucks!" I would get it. Not everyone's cup of tea, some serious flaws that can reasonably cause a person to not be interested. But the relentless complaints about D&D not living up to GRRM, or ruining things, not getting it, etc. This all just reads to me as frustration with not getting the books that they've been waiting for for 20-plus years.

I've personally been very satisfied. Sure the show peaked in the third season and has been extremely uneven since, with bizarre choices and dead-ends that would have best been deleted. That in itself has made it extraordinarily faithful to the books.
posted by skewed at 8:17 PM on May 23, 2016 [7 favorites]


nubs: I actually really liked the play; it served as both a quick refresher of the first three seasons and also a wonderful example of how a tale gets distorted in the telling and over time..

I really enjoyed the play too, but had a different read on it.. possibly derived from some vague memory I have* of bookCersei trying to get the word out to the world at large the One True Story, and counter the whole twincest angle.

So, as a propaganda tool, the reframing of Ned as a conniving fool teaming up with the Imp to steal the throne is deliberate choice to cast him as a plausible villain (cos everyone already hates the Imp!) who the Good King triumphs over in the end.

An alternative theory a friend shared was that it's a Braavosi production of their favourite Reality TV show Those Crazy Westerosi



* It's entirely possible I imagined this

posted by coriolisdave at 8:57 PM on May 23, 2016 [7 favorites]


...And yet I really liked this episode? But that's weird, right?

Having it all listed out like that, it does seem very weird. In some ways, that's the structure of a soap opera - each scene is recounting of something that has already happened, so that other characters get the story. And that spins off another twist or conflict.

A lot of the repetition in this episode is recounting stuff from seasons ago, though. Reminding the audience of things that most will have forgotten, probably. Recounting pertinent information before it's paid off, possibly soon.
posted by crossoverman at 10:03 PM on May 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


I've watched this episode twice now and am wondering, can anyone give me an ELI5 on what actually happened with Bran and his hodoring of Hodor? That whole sequence felt so ...I don't know, retconned isn't exactly the right word, but something like that.

Like, why does Bloodraven decide that one more check on the past is the best thing to do while the cave is under attack? Why would he choose Ned's being sent off to the Vale (?!) as a crucial moment to revisit? Why doesn't he pull Bran back into the present to warg into Hodor, instead of telling him "listen to your friend" and having Bran warg into Hodor in the past? I felt like Sansa's "either you're an idiot, or you're my enemy" line applied here equally to BR, from Bran's perspective.

Why does it take young Hodor like 15 minutes to respond to the warging, i.e. what triggers the seizure? How is Bran's consciousness simultaneously with old Hodor (carrying him out of the cave) and in the past with young Hodor, observing what happened when he warged into young-hodor/old-hodor? Doesn't he have to be one place or the other, isn't that what the whole "wake up wake up" stuff is about?

I don't know, for a scene that was supposed to explain something so momentous about a beloved character, and serve as a send-off for him, I couldn't make heads or tails of it. I know this is some weird timey wimey stuff, but could they not have put the effort in to make it coherent at least? What am I missing?
posted by torticat at 11:34 PM on May 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


I wonder if they're going to bother with the horn of Jorgamund (or w/e it's called). It seems too late to introduce at this point, but the feeling I get is that the walker army is marching South before Jon can get back there, massacring the remaining brothers (RIP Ed), and moving the apocalypse to warmer climes. The horn would make for a cool set piece, but IDK if they can organically put it into the show at this point.

Well, they did find a horn when they found the dragonglass, but I don't think the show indicated anything special about it. I think they left it at the Fist anyway.

Poor Edd. Brienne and Jon are both leaving the Wall and they're taking the only two Valyrian steel swords in the North with them (since Dark Sister doesn't seem to be in play.) How is Edd supposed to defend the Wall without any weapons which can hurt the Walkers (since they lost the dragonglass at Hardhome)? It seems uncharacteristic of Jon not to offer Longclaw to Edd under the circumstances.

I wonder if Brienne even knows that the Walkers are vulnerable to Valyrian steel. I assume that she and Sansa know about the Walkers, since Jon talked about them at the war table and neither of them reacted, but we have no idea how much they know. It would have been good to see the scene in which Jon explained to Brienne and Sansa that the Walkers are real and have returned, and to see their reactions. I wouldn't expect Brienne to leave Oathkeeper with the Watch, but if nothing else a conversation about Valyrian steel and the Walkers would have been a great opportunity to reveal to Jon and Sansa that Oathkeeper was reforged from Ice, their family sword, and it could have been a great scene. Those are the kind of details which the screenwriters would have done something great with in earlier seasons, but now they seem to be in too much of a hurry to do anymore.
posted by homunculus at 12:17 AM on May 24, 2016 [8 favorites]


Shout out to the Richard E. Grant cameo in the theater troupe in Braavos.
posted by PenDevil at 12:39 AM on May 24, 2016 [8 favorites]


> What I feel is missing is that some of the big plot moments happening are getting rushed past. There's no time to stop and look, because we have to get to the next big important thing. Nuance and subtlety are largely gone, and there's no time to savour anything.

Exactly. So far this season is a big improvement over the last one, and it's had some great moments, but overall it feels like the showrunners are simply burnt out. It isn't inspired like it was in the early seasons (which is natural) and the shortcuts they're taking add up and drag down the quality of the show.
posted by homunculus at 12:55 AM on May 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


I wouldn't expect Brienne to leave Oathkeeper with the Watch, but if nothing else a conversation about Valyrian steel and the Walkers would have been a great opportunity to reveal to Jon and Sansa that Oathkeeper was reforged from Ice, their family sword

Jesus, yes. Why has this not come up?

I assume from Brienne's (hilarious) comment that it's expected that Jon would be brooding, all things considered, that she and Sansa do know that Jon is undead. Why on earth would the origin of Oathkeeper not have been discussed in the scene where they are talking about defending against the walkers to the north and Ramsey to the south?

Why would Brienne keep this information from Sansa? She is presumably utterly loyal to Sansa, and she questions why Sansa is not forthright with Jon about LIttlefinger. It doesn't make any sense.
posted by torticat at 2:59 AM on May 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


I've watched this episode twice now and am wondering, can anyone give me an ELI5 on what actually happened with Bran and his hodoring of Hodor

As far as I can tell, BR is meant to have foreseen the future, at least partially. He tells Bran he won't be in the cave forever, that he'll fly again, etc. In the final attack, he acts to close the loop, or accepts that he ought to close the loop. Bran must be in the yard at Winterfell in the trance because Hodor has had his mind blown. If Bran isn't there, maybe Hodor is never damaged and never around to help Bran/can't be warged into post-Bran's fall.

We don't have a precise understanding of exactly how hard it is or what the mechanism is to wake up from the trance, whether it can vary. There's been some suggestion that BR's trying to show him a bunch of stuff at once, all the knowledge he can cram in --- "you must become me." So I think Bran is meant to be deeper in the trance than usual. So deep he has difficulty waking himself up. So in a sort- of half trance state, he tries to warg, and does so in both past and future simultaneously, and this is what causes Hodor's seizure. So, I guess he doesn't have to be in one or the other, like a sleep-walker, he can be both, in the sense of 80% of his consciousness is still in the dream-state but the other 20% still aware of stuff in the physical world and capable of acting in it. "I dreamt I was eating a marshmallow, woke up chewing the pillow," sort of thing.

Come to think of it --- am not at liberty to rewatch the scene myself right now --- that may explain "why go to the seemingly innocuous yard at Winterfell memory in the first place" problem. Bran in his deep trance hears Meera begging him to warg into Hodor; instead of simply waking up and doing so in the present, he goes to the place where he has seen Hodor previously in the trance, the yard at Winterfell.
posted by Diablevert at 4:40 AM on May 24, 2016 [3 favorites]


Bran is already at the yard in Winterfell before Meera notices everyone's humid breath in the cold and runs to see the Night's King outside the cave.

Like, why does Bloodraven decide that one more check on the past is the best thing to do while the cave is under attack? Why would he choose Ned's being sent off to the Vale (?!) as a crucial moment to revisit? Why doesn't he pull Bran back into the present to warg into Hodor, instead of telling him "listen to your friend" and having Bran warg into Hodor in the past?

I'd add, "After 1000 years and knowledge that the zombies are on the way, why don't the Children have a way to alert Bloodraven to danger when he's in his trance?" But yeah all of your questions came to me, too. Nothing about that scene made sense as I watched it.
posted by mediareport at 5:13 AM on May 24, 2016


I'd add, "After 1000 years and knowledge that the zombies are on the way, why don't the Children have a way to alert Bloodraven to danger when he's in his trance?" But yeah all of your questions came to me, too. Nothing about that scene made sense as I watched it.

There were a lot of things about this scene that were just: zombies and death-king on the way! right at the door! bran still in a trance! OH NO. TENSION RISES. Like I think the simplest explanation for some of the illogical parts is: it makes the scene more dramatic.

But I also think that the BR had to show Bran something in particular: that he couldn't just see into the past but affect it somehow, and that it was a double edged sword but a powerful one. Clearly the Walkers think Bran is a great danger to them and poses a threat, otherwise they wouldn't have basically time-travelled their way (like seriously I thought that they would end the episode with the Walkers on the horizon, but they showed up basically instantly). to his door after he saw them in the trance. Bran had to come to realize what his power was exactly, not just knowledge, but time-banditry, through the Hodor Event.
posted by dis_integration at 5:31 AM on May 24, 2016 [8 favorites]


And of course, Hodor had already had the stroke and become Hodor, so BR had to make sure Bran warged into Hodor into the past and made him hold the door because it had already happened and who wants time paradoxes? Nobody, that's who.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 5:53 AM on May 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


There's some element of Terminator time travel rules at play too : because it happens in the past, Night's King knows that he'll see Bran at some point and need to touch him to find the BR nest, but until he does and places his mark on him he doesn't know where the BR nest is.

Same goes for Hodor, I believe.
posted by stratastar at 6:16 AM on May 24, 2016 [4 favorites]


(since Dark Sister doesn't seem to be in play.)

Yeah, I know it's not confirmed even in the books that Dark Sister is in Bloodraven's cave, but I spent that whole sequence hoping Meera would find it on the way out. They gave her that moment with the dragonglass-tipped spear (which, after reading this thread, seems like another reminding-the-audience thing, since the last time we saw a Walker being killed was Jon using Longclaw during Hardhome), but that was about it. I wonder if Blackfyre will turn up on the show; speculation in the books tends to center around that showing up in the Young Griff plotline, and since that seems to have been cut from the show, that avenue is closed.

I'm really curious to see where they pick up next week, since, as others have pointed out, Meera dragging Bran's entranced body into a blizzard doesn't exactly seem like it would lead to a good outcome.
posted by Kosh at 6:18 AM on May 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


Meera dragging Bran's entranced body into a blizzard doesn't exactly seem like it would lead to a good outcome

She also has maybe a 100 yard lead on a horde of quick-moving ice zombies.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:40 AM on May 24, 2016 [3 favorites]


I see another unplated bean, I think. The trance where Bran met the NK was disjoint from the prior (making of the first WWapNK) and the following (hodor), right?

1. He was (untrancedly) sitting there, among the roots, looking bored...
2. he picks up a stone and idly tosses it at Bloodthreewhatever,
3. and then he starts crawling, and slips and has to grasp $SOMEPARTICULARROOT for support,
4. and BLAMMO he's grabbed a trunk line and crammed it right into his pineal gland KZACK the megadatas of treeknowledge are coursing through him?

Was that the whole point, that it was just some dumb momentary stumble and it turns into the critical moment that gives the game away?
posted by Rat Spatula at 6:51 AM on May 24, 2016


She also has maybe a 100 yard lead on a horde of quick-moving ice zombies.

Really makes that Hodor thing meaningful, ya know?
posted by mediareport at 6:53 AM on May 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


I took It as Bran being bored; BR asleep and Bran figures he'll get on the splinternet for some unsupervised browsing, check out some sites without the parental filter. And he gets hit with a Trojan Horse.
posted by nubs at 7:09 AM on May 24, 2016 [12 favorites]


Since Dark Sister doesn't seem to be in play.

They've even mentioned Dark Sister on the show, so this is particularly frustrating.
posted by Navelgazer at 7:23 AM on May 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


White Walker cocktail (a bit on the sweet side for my tastes, i was more thinking something like a milk-and-johnnie walker approach)
posted by mwhybark at 7:46 AM on May 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


ah, here's a scotch-based flip.
posted by mwhybark at 7:48 AM on May 24, 2016


My own interpretation of Hodor's stroke was that Bran knew he couldn't wake up fast enough to warg in to present Hodor, but he could do it if he passed through past Hodor, and that by passing through him in the past, he damaged his brain. I didn't think that young Wylis experienced much of what present Hodor was going through - but the sound of Meera shouting "Hold the door" imprinted itself somehow upon him and he repeats it without knowing anything about what it means.
posted by Rock Steady at 7:58 AM on May 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


They've even mentioned Dark Sister on the show, so this is particularly frustrating.

The answer for this frustration is simple: Anything that you wish was on the show, or that was mentioned on the show, only to never be brought up again; it's all in the rowboat with Gendry.
posted by nubs at 8:13 AM on May 24, 2016 [16 favorites]


I thought it went:

-Bran is looking into the past and can't (?) leave yet, yet he knows he needs to warg into Hodor.
-He manages to warg into present-day Hodor while still remaining mentally in the past.
-Whatever connection there is between a warg and a possessed body is thus established, but it's unstable and stretched out over decades.
-Regardless, it's working correctly.

And then:

-Bran is still warged into Hodor as Hodor begins to be attacked by the zombies.
-At that moment, Bran looks at past Hodor and accidentally creates a psychic link between present-day Hodor and past Hodor, with himself as the conduit.
-Past Hodor experiences the moment of his own death, and possibly also the entirety of his life up to that point, which overloads his brain.

And why were they there in the first place?

-The Raven 100% knew this would happen and deliberately brought Bran into that moment so that it would happen, because Hodor must become Hodor in order for Bran's life up to this point to occur.
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:19 AM on May 24, 2016 [8 favorites]


The answer for this frustration is simple: Anything that you wish was on the show, or that was mentioned on the show, only to never be brought up again; it's all in the rowboat with Gendry.

I kind of hope Jorah never shows up again, Gendry-style. He goes off on his quest and that's the last we see of him.
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:19 AM on May 24, 2016 [5 favorites]


I kind of hope Jorah never shows up again, Gendry-style. He goes off on his quest and that's the last we see of him.

row, row, row, row
rowboat Gendry-style

eh, red lady
row, row, row, row
rowboat Gendry-style

/bad song parody

I did find Daario's facial tics during Dany's send off of Jorah the Andal rather amusing.
posted by nubs at 8:27 AM on May 24, 2016


I really hope Sansa isn't pregnant. I didn't read the line about feeling pain in her body as anything as mundane as pregnancy, and indeed I think it's a subtly chilling line that only works if we never know what exactly happened. GoT doesn't do subtlety, though. Hence, I'm afraid all the pregnancy theorists are correct. That would really be unfortunate, because everything about giving Sansa the Jeyne Poole plot has been a bit of a faceplant on the part of the show, and it's something best navigated away from and fast. Tie Ramsay to the back end of that boat and just have Gendry paddle it away forever. What a waste of a good villain. In the books, he seems much more complex than just a second-rate backwoods Joffrey, but the show is barely able to keep its tongue in its mouth and its dick in its pants every time there's a new opportunity to engage him in a bit of the ultraviolence, preferably with a side of titties. It's served him very poorly.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 8:38 AM on May 24, 2016 [8 favorites]


The Raven 100% knew this would happen and deliberately brought Bran into that moment so that it would happen, because Hodor must become Hodor in order for Bran's life up to this point to occur.

Which strongly suggests Bran = Bloodraven, no?
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:59 AM on May 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


Also if a large boy lay seizing on the ground senselessly screaming the name "Bloodraven" over and over, it would probably get shortened to "Bran".
posted by paper chromatographologist at 9:26 AM on May 24, 2016 [7 favorites]


Is anyone else trying to use the show to kind of figure out where the books are going?

Like - okay, they gave the Jeyne Pool plotline to Sansa. But where Jeyne Pool can be pregnant with Ramsay's baby, it's a much bigger deal if Sansa is - so either Sansa isn't pregnant, or she's pregnant with Harry the Heir's baby, in which case Littlefinger manufacturing a big war in which it's pretty easy to kill someone without it being obvious you're killing someone means a lot more. What if the plan is actually to get Sansa pregnant to create a much more controllable pawn to rule the Vale?
posted by corb at 9:54 AM on May 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


or she's pregnant with Harry the Heir's baby

If she is in the show, I Imagine this is what's happening in the book. Either way I hope neither is happening.
posted by French Fry at 9:57 AM on May 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


Is anyone else trying to use the show to kind of figure out where the books are going?

I'm not a bettin' man, but I'm having a hard time trying to see any motivation, at this point, for GRRM to finish the story in book form. He's well positioned to still get credit for the plot points that unfold on HBO, but considering the amount of time he's spent on the 6th book, and the fact that the story itself will be done and dusted by the end of the next tv season, so, perhaps winter of 2017? how will he ever, ever, sit down to write all the words?
posted by OHenryPacey at 10:20 AM on May 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


Which strongly suggests Bran = Bloodraven, no?

Sorry, I'm maybe not following this. Is the emerging theory that Bran will time travel into the past and do the things the other Brandons have done, ending with him becoming Bloodraven and thereby closing the circle by teaching Bran? Gah. I hope not. The point now is to have Bran the Broken help the CotF and humanity try to overcome the existential threat of the Others, not time travel to make happen the various things that have been tried over the past 8,000 years to contain the threat. Having Bran show up at important/influential moments and give them a nudge - since we know he can affect the past to some degree - might be ok.

It does make me wonder about the Long Night though. So the CotF and the First Men sign the Pact, and then about 4,000 years later, the Others rise during the Long Night, which requires the CotF and the First Men working together to end - the Last Hero found the CotF, gained their aid, and the Night's Watch formed and the Wall gets built.

So if I'm piecing things together correctly, the CotF created the Others as a weapon against the First Men, and then they must have tried to dispose of/store that weapon in the far North (the Land of Always Winter), only to have it come back with vengeance in its heart, and that so far the best that people have been able to do is contain the threat, not end it. Perhaps Bran's purpose is to be able to collate all the knowledge from across the millennia and figure out how to end the threat once and for all?

Also, does this explain the imbalance of the seasons? Whatever magic the CotF tapped into to create (or attempt to contain the Others in the Land of Always Winter), did that throw everything off? Or did the re-emergence of the Others at the Long Night start that problem?
posted by nubs at 10:27 AM on May 24, 2016 [4 favorites]


it would be great if the next book was just screenshots of the show plus humorous captions
posted by poffin boffin at 10:27 AM on May 24, 2016 [17 favorites]


I think once the show is over, GRRM will have a lot more motivation - people will want to know the "true" story and how things got there and what happened to their favorite bit character that HBO killed off early or what have you.
posted by corb at 10:28 AM on May 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'm not a bettin' man, but I'm having a hard time trying to see any motivation, at this point, for GRRM to finish the story in book form.

I maintain that he sold off the TV rights specifically so he could avoid having to ever finish the books.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:40 AM on May 24, 2016 [4 favorites]


I'm sad about all the great Dolorous Edd dialogue that was probably left on the cutting room floor:

Random Crow: "Shall we shut the gate Lord Commander"

Edd: "No, I'd rather be murdered in my sleep than have the others wake me up by smashing down the gate"
posted by LegallyBread at 10:43 AM on May 24, 2016 [3 favorites]


I think once the show is over, GRRM will have a lot more motivation - people will want to know the "true" story and how things got there and what happened to their favorite bit character that HBO killed off early or what have you.

I think a fairly small group of book purists will be interested in that but the excitement level and anticipation for the book will be much lower if people already know the major plot points and the ending. I think once the final book comes out in ten years, if it ever does, the culture will have mostly moved on. Hardcore fans will still be excited but it won't be this culturally central, zeitgeist thing anymore.

The show surpassing the books is such a perfect punishment for GRRM. This is a guy who doesn't even like fanfiction--and now a big-budget fanfiction of his series is going to be the version of the story that lives on in the public imagination.
posted by armadillo1224 at 10:44 AM on May 24, 2016 [7 favorites]


I'm curious, fellow readers—given how the show has been going so far, when it ends, will you be more or less motivated to read the remaining books?

If someone in HBO decides there should be a prequel or a spin-off show, or even a movie, will you be more or less motivated to see them?
posted by pleasebekind at 10:45 AM on May 24, 2016


is the spinoff show called 2 Years Behind The Oars: Gendry's Seafaring Adventures
posted by poffin boffin at 10:47 AM on May 24, 2016 [12 favorites]


corb: "I think once the show is over, GRRM will have a lot more motivation"

He will have a lot of motivation, but that TV money doesn't spend itself. I have a lot of motivation to keep doing my job, but if someone was throwing money at me as fast as they could, I really can't imagine doing much work.

Personally, I'm really eager to read the final books, but I think there is slim hope of them ever coming out. I probably would watch a spinoff series, but it was the worldbuilding that got me turned on to ASoIaF, so I think it would have to have a strong component of that in there and not retread the same Westerosi stuff as Game of Thrones. Maybe something set in Valyria before the Doom?
posted by Rock Steady at 10:52 AM on May 24, 2016



I'm curious, fellow readers—given how the show has been going so far, when it ends, will you be more or less motivated to read the remaining books?


Martin has squandered any chance of getting my money for whatever he churns out as a conclusion to the story. it's not just the endless delay, it's the fact that all of his wonderful worldbuilding got mired in his need for minutia, for dead-end characters, for ridiculous red-herring plotlines. Tell us a fucking story -- beginning, middle and END. artists have been doing it for centuries. he knows the ending, he should have told it. no one story is so important that it can't be concluded.
posted by OHenryPacey at 10:56 AM on May 24, 2016 [4 favorites]


I'm curious, fellow readers—given how the show has been going so far, when it ends, will you be more or less motivated to read the remaining books?

No. I read all the books and I'm never buying/reading another. I would watch the hell out of more content in this world as long as it remains on-par quality wise.
posted by French Fry at 11:05 AM on May 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


More eager to read the books. I desperately want to piece together all the threads.
posted by corb at 11:21 AM on May 24, 2016 [3 favorites]


I hope the last chapter introduces a new POV character who really helps explain everything :)
posted by French Fry at 11:22 AM on May 24, 2016 [12 favorites]


will you be more or less motivated to read the remaining books?

About the same, I think. I still want to see how that version of the story plays out; even if it's more meandering than it should be, I love getting lost in the level of detail that's there. There are also characters the show has killed who survive in the books, and I want to see how that turns out.

Mostly Barristan, really--the show gave him a particularly stupid end, I think, and his POV chapters in ADWD were one of my favorite things about it. Admittedly, I'm a sucker for the "old master" stock character type. (Also for paladins, and Barristan is one of the few characters who fits that mold and still lives... Brienne is the only other one I can think of off the top of my head.) He may still die, and it may be as stupid as, if not more stupid than, the show treatment, but I'm still curious to see how it works out.
posted by Kosh at 11:43 AM on May 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


So is no one placing any blame on Meera for Hodor's death? She basically ordered Bran to suicide Hodor so that they could get away.
posted by PenDevil at 12:35 PM on May 24, 2016 [3 favorites]


That's how she passes the Bridge Officer's Test.
posted by French Fry at 12:37 PM on May 24, 2016 [30 favorites]


I absolutely will be reading the rest of ASoIaF as soon as it comes out.

I do love me some minutia and red herring soup. Sign me up for two more trenchers full of it.
posted by tempestuoso at 1:12 PM on May 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


If Bran was receiving all the root.net data in chronological order, he only got as far as young Ned being sent to the Vale, so maybe he was...90% finished uploading?
posted by tracicle at 1:34 PM on May 24, 2016


Oh ugh is that how they're going to keep pushing ToJ further away? Bleeeeaaaaaargh.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 1:36 PM on May 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


Okay, so I've been thinking about what people were saying up thread about being so disappointed in the show for losing nuance, and I've been trying to figure out a way to explain my thoughts on this, and, well, this is dumb, but I present to you a brief except from my imaginary AP Westerosi history exam:
...Robert proved to be a weak King, unwilling to constrain the ambitions of his nobles; civil war (the "War of the Five Kings") erupted upon his death, drawing in several of the most powerful houses in the Kingdom. While Robert's heirs were able to retain control of the Iron Throne, the war itself fatally weakened all who had participated, leading to a period of anarchy. In countryside, angry peasants eagerly looked to religious figures for leadership, eventually inspiring a powerful peasant's revolt (the Sparrow's rebellion) that briefly took control of the capitol, requiring an army of some 20,000 men to put down. The Princedom of Dorne, never closely allied to the mainland, broke away from the seven kingdoms and leant its support to pretender uprising. The Pretender won several initial key battles; historians debate whether he would have succeeded in taking the throne if his army had not been accompanied, and devastated by, a virulent strain of greyscale. In the north, the Wall was largely abandoned while a rump Stark army led an uprising against the Warden of the North. Ironborn and wilding raids also increased at this time.

It was at this moment of crisis that Longest Winter and with it, The Others descended upon the land. Historical consensus is that had it not been for the Reconquista, it is likely that the human population of Westeros, already weakened by war and plague, would have been wiped out. It is therefore perhaps not surprising that Stormborn was able to unify the remaining lords under her banner so rapidly; more so, that she was able to deploy sufficient armed strength to contest The Others at all. Her strategies were threefold...
The good bits, the nuanced bits, the tightly written, deeply character driven and developed bits, took up three books, four seasons, and ...two sentences. The next two books got us part way through sentences 3-6. In a two paragraph summary of the plot, all the epic high points of the series so far --- Blackwater, The Red Wedding, Castle Black Tyriin's trial, don't even rate a mention.

Granted that I am speculating about the rest of the plot, but for GRRM to tell the rest of the story with the same level of nuance and depth as the first three books, even trimming a lot of the goddam descriptions of lunch and banners, would take another 6 books? 8? 9? The show's going to try and do it in two seasons. Maybe three. It has to; lavish the rest of the tale with the same attention that the War of the Five Kings got and not only would poor old Isaac Hempsted Wright be a man grown, he'd be grey and stooped before he ever got out of the tree.

So in that sense I don't blame the show for not being quite as nuanced as the first three seasons; it's trying quite hard in my opinion to still give the actors some meat to chew on. The fault is in the story as GRRM has structured it: part of what made the show great was that in the beginning it kept subverting your expectations of what the story was about --- that we were watching Ned's story or Robb's story. GRRM was the one who wiped them off the map and said no, really, this is much bigger than that, than one hero, than one family --- this is about the commonfolk and the string-pullers and the foreign mercenaries and religion and and and and. So I see the lack of nuance and I agree with it to some extent, but I don't mourn it, because I think it's impossible to tell the rest of the story with live actors in that level of detail, given the scope GRRM has laid out.
posted by Diablevert at 2:15 PM on May 24, 2016 [22 favorites]


I agree completely. Except I'd go farther; it's also impossible to tell the rest of the story with written characters in that level of detail, given the scope GRRM has laid out. Which is why GRRM has proven he can't do it.
posted by Justinian at 2:17 PM on May 24, 2016 [3 favorites]


ARMS OF HOUSE DIABLEVERT

vert, a roundel argent erased sable bearing nine beans proper

MOTTO

We have the tastiest beans
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 2:19 PM on May 24, 2016 [10 favorites]


On the Sansa front, as much as I liked her telling him off, I am bugged by something: Littlefinger has an army at Moat Cailin, which should represent a huge strategic issue for the North - Moat Cailin effectively denies anyone coming from the south access to the North, and while it is not well defended from the North - he still has an army massed at a strategic choke point. How are you going to get the Tully army (assuming they want to leave Riverrun anyways) past the army sitting there? Why does Sansa expect that Littlefinger will just bugger off and leave?

I'm unclear if Littlefinger meant that his army is just camped outside Moat Cailin or that they'd actually taken the fort. Taking Moat Cailin back from the Ironborn was a big deal for the Boltons in season 4, and it seems unlikely that Roose didn't station a fresh contingent of Bolton soldiers there after if got it back. The Knights of the Vale wouldn't be able to get by the fort if Bolton soldiers are stationed there, and they'd have a very hard time taking from them by force. Of course, Littlefinger probably just teleported the entire army north of the fort since there's no other way they could have gotten there that fast.

And it's odd that it didn't occur to anyone that maybe the Blackfish isn't going to want to abandon Riverrun in order to take his army North. He's a Tully and he has a duty to the Riverlands, which were devastated by the war, are being oppressed by the Freys and are badly unprepared for Winter. I doubt he'd be enthusiastic about abandoning his recent gains at home to go fight in the North, especially after the Boltons proved themselves capable of defeating a renowned commander like Stannis?

As for the meeting with LF, it seems like Jon was either unaware or unconcerned that Sansa and Brienne had left Castle Black to go on a day trip, which doesn't make sense. There's no way he wouldn't have noticed that. In the last episode he was talking about how he'd watch over Sansa from now on, and then he let's them go to the ruins of Mole's Town on their own after Ramsey promised to hunt Sansa down? That jaunt was a huge risk with the likelihood of Ramsey's scouts lurking in the area, and Jon would at least have insisted on knowing where they were going, or he'd have followed them if they'd already slipped out without his knowledge. Maybe he's not really worried about Ned's ghost since he now knows that there's no afterlife.
posted by homunculus at 2:52 PM on May 24, 2016 [3 favorites]


will you be more or less motivated to read the remaining books?

Pretty much the same. They're very different now, so even where they overlap events will play out differently in the books. I'm especially curious to see how the Bran/Bloodraven/Children arc plays out it the book since the show gave it such short shrift.
posted by homunculus at 2:54 PM on May 24, 2016


As for the meeting with LF, it seems like Jon was either unaware or unconcerned that Sansa and Brienne had left Castle Black to go on a day trip, which doesn't make sense. There's no way he wouldn't have noticed that.

Maybe Sansa told him she needed more embroidery thread and had to make a run to the Westerosi version of Jo-Ann's Fabric.
posted by culfinglin at 3:02 PM on May 24, 2016 [6 favorites]


Is anybody slaughtering Freys (the way Stoneheart and the BWB did in the books) in the show? I feel like they've been complete nonentities since the Red Wedding.
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:37 PM on May 24, 2016


Well the Manderleys did get mentioned in the Mapsposition.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 5:02 PM on May 24, 2016 [1 favorite]






There are also characters the show has killed who survive in the books so far, anyway.

Can't help but feel that most of those deaths are just TK...
posted by alleycat01 at 6:45 PM on May 24, 2016


... teamkills?
posted by Justinian at 7:31 PM on May 24, 2016


There are also characters the show has killed who survive in the books

This just reminds me how pissed I am that Mance Rayder got killed off, right when now would be a perfect time to bring him back on the show, since we've had the Pink Letter and everything.
posted by culfinglin at 7:56 PM on May 24, 2016 [5 favorites]


Oh sorry. TK = "to come" in publishing. I always forget and use it in casual conversations and no amount of wierd looks can ever seem to break me of the habit.

teamkills = way better tho. TEAM NYMERIA ftw
posted by alleycat01 at 8:05 PM on May 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


will you be more or less motivated to read the remaining books?


I will definitely be waiting to see if the general reactions are positive. If he puts out 1600 pages and announces there will be an eighth book, I am out. I'll just wait the ten years or so until they're all out and see whether the concensus is that they're worth reading or not. Not gonna let another Dark Tower happen to me. Not that I think GRRM would ever sink that low, but once bitten, twice shy.
posted by skewed at 8:23 PM on May 24, 2016


the ten years or so until they're all out

[starts coughing from holding in a derisive snicker too hard]
posted by DoctorFedora at 8:36 PM on May 24, 2016 [3 favorites]


yeah, I guess that timeline would be even more unlikely than getting the books all out before the show is finished.
posted by skewed at 8:43 PM on May 24, 2016


So is no one placing any blame on Meera for Hodor's death? She basically ordered Bran to suicide Hodor so that they could get away.

Agreed, but I can't really fault her because I don't think that she had a choice: if Hodor hadn't sacrificed himself they would all be dead/undead. I actually feel really sorry for Meera at this point. She followed her brother and then Bran on their quest and now look where she is. At this point I think she has drawn the saddest lot of anyone on the show.
posted by homunculus at 8:48 PM on May 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


I have a sad feeling at this point that GRRM is going to Robert Jordan us all.
posted by corb at 9:09 PM on May 24, 2016 [6 favorites]


I have resigned myself to the notion that the TV adaptation is the only complete version of this story I'll ever get to see. Which is probably why I'm so invested in wanting it to be done well.
posted by culfinglin at 9:23 PM on May 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


The suggestion in this interview is that the books and show will diverge quite a bit before the end, but they will hit some similar points. Including a WTF ending.
posted by crossoverman at 9:45 PM on May 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


corb: I have a sad feeling at this point that GRRM is going to Robert Jordan us all.
Why sad, corb? I found the Sanderson WoT novels much more enjoyable than the majority of Jordan's - sure, it felt at times like he was working his way through A LIST OF THINGS that had to be resolved, checking them off one-by-one... But they were WAY less annoying (NO MORE BRAID TUGGING! NO MORE TEENAGE WANGST!) and much more readable.

I don't wish any ill to befall GRRM, but it's clear that he's written himself into any number of dead ends and doesn't know how to get out of them. Maybe handing off the framework of resolution to a known-finisher would, at the very least, get it all done before the heat death of the universe.
posted by coriolisdave at 12:43 AM on May 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


It's my understanding that GRRM won't let anyone else finish the books in the event of his death.
posted by drezdn at 3:46 AM on May 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


Tell us a fucking story -- beginning, middle and END. artists have been doing it for centuries.

I dunno. In my household we often sing "...endings are haaaaaard" at the end of songs that just kind of fade out like the band is backing slowly out of the room. And we sang it a lot during the last season of Lost. Lord of the Rings had, like, a dozen endings or something in the movie version plus more in the books. Doctor Who often has ridiculous endings and although I haven't seen it, I heard the wailing and gnashing of teeth over the ending of Battlestar Galactica. I've lost count of the number of genre stories that are really great but end unsatisfyingly. Does Macbeth count as genre? It has witches and ghosts, and dribbles to a close after Macbeth's last speech. As far as I can tell, comics avoid this by never ending. I don't actually think it's that easy to write an ending that ties up the right loose ends for enough of the intelligent part of your audience.

maybe there's always been general dissatisfaction with endings, it's just that now we have the internet so we can all get together and complain, so authors of a certain disposition are starting to fear the reaction. Especially if they're not desperate for money that will only get paid on completion.

I'll probably read the rest of ASOIAF if GRRM puts it out, but I'm a completionist who loves to compare and contrast different versions. And if it's not great, it'll at least be in good company.
posted by harriet vane at 3:57 AM on May 25, 2016 [5 favorites]


There are also characters the show has killed who survive in the books

At this point the show must kill characters because there are too many of them: the last episode spent 3 minutes with Danearys, 6 minutes with Tyrion etc. The show can't afford more storylines and more secondary characters in it otherwise the last episodes will consist of 10-second vignettes, including one about Baby Sam. The ice vs fire storylines will converge at some point, and this is going to require some heavy pruning.
posted by elgilito at 7:26 AM on May 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


The discussion here about pacing is interesting. Lots of folks complaining how the show is rushing too much, cutting the stories short and robbing them of punch. OTOH we also complain the books take way too long, making the stories way too long and robbing them of punch. I agree with Diablevert's analysis; the show can't help but rush on because there's just not a lot of time left. You don't want the show to go on another 10 years do you? And so we have this incredibly abbreviated version of Euron and the Kingsmoot. (And no horn, guess that's a red herring in the books?). And the unsatisfying thing about The Children creating the White Walkers, totally demolishing what we had hoped would be an important bit of GRRM world building.
posted by Nelson at 7:42 AM on May 25, 2016


Bran is a monster, what he did to Hodor. He fucks up browsing the splinternet unsafely and basically gets everyone killed. So his big solution is to grab Hodor's mind and force him to suicide so Bran can get 100 yards away. And in the process, Bran also goes back in time and wrecks young Hodor's mind. Thereby binding him to mindless servitude, a life of nothing but carrying cripple-Bran around until the time Bran can get Hodor hilled. And all the while inside Hodor's imprisoned mind he knows "this is the nobleman who is going to get me killed, and all I can say is Hodor". It's hideous.

In penis news, the Dothraki big dumb horse sculpture is two mares fighting! At least, the horse on the right is clearly lacking sculpted stallion parts. Given the Dothraki emphasis on masculine bravado along with the show's obsession with portraying penises, that's an odd oversight. Also I'll note that makeup didn't bother to sculpt any warts on actor-Joffrey, despite the closeup shot.

Back to seriousness, I really liked Sansa's speech to Littlefinger. She's totally taken agency of her own life and situation. It also felt like the bit where she insisted Littlefinger speculate on what Ramsey did to her was the show writers acknowledging the Sansa rape plot was just too much. The moment could have been pornographic, but instead it was a proper explication on the hideousness of what Sansa has suffered. And yeah, she's totally pregnant, ugh. There's even a line where she says "He did what he liked with the rest of me, as long as I could still give him an heir".
posted by Nelson at 7:59 AM on May 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


Why is Edd leaving for the Vale in Bran's vision?
posted by bdc34 at 8:18 AM on May 25, 2016


Why is Edd leaving for the Vale in Bran's vision?

Doesn't he go to the Vale for a while, as part of his getting-to-know-the-world-because-he's-a-little-lord. And that's where he meets Catelyn and Baelish?
posted by dis_integration at 8:21 AM on May 25, 2016


Or, no, I'm mixing all kinds of things up.
posted by dis_integration at 8:22 AM on May 25, 2016


It's the practice amongst nobility of fostering their children at each others' courts. The Vale is where Ned meets Robert Baratheon and Jon Arryn. Betrothal to Catelyn came later, I believe.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:24 AM on May 25, 2016 [7 favorites]


Thinking about this, and bear with me for a sec, since people are talking about the books and show and how they are going to diverge:

What if the plan is for the story to NOT end.

GRRM has said he won't let anyone FINISH the books. That does not mean he won't have someone continue writing more stories and histories set in the world, just that there won't be any END.

Look at another of GRRM's works: Wildcards. While this was a much more collaborative work from the start, it is still being added to (a new book in the series is due this year).

And look at how he is allowing D&D to add to / alter the story line for the show version, but how it is going to try and keep many of the same plot points / story beats.

What if GRRM isn't rushing to write more of the books because he is busy writing the framework for future authors to continue writing the history of the GoT world, ad infinitum.

For some reason, I think GRRM, with his love of busting tropes (sort of, I guess) would love to create a story that has no ending and just keeps going and going and going.
posted by daq at 8:28 AM on May 25, 2016 [5 favorites]


If he had said so from the beginning, I'd believe it. He's banged on many times about the series being seven books, and he knows what the ending is.

The problem is that he's written himself into a mess since the third book, and has no idea how to get there from here in the three books yet to come (AFFC/ADWD was originally book 4, was split).

1 A Game of Thrones August 1996
2 A Clash of Kings February 1999
3 A Storm of Swords November 2000
4 A Feast for Crows November 2005
5 A Dance with Dragons July 2011

The gaps keep increasing, and at this rate there's another 15 years to go if the original 7 (now 8) book plan is preserved. These novels are not being finished in his lifetime.

I've said it before, the smartest thing for his publisher to do is sit him down with a ghostwriter and say "this person is silenced by an NDA that allows us to go Bolton on them if they talk. Nobody will know it's not you. Hand over your notes, you have a week to infodump into their brain, and we are publishing on the following schedule."
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:49 AM on May 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


Honestly, I think part of the problem is the internet, and us.

I think he intended to sprinkle clues throughout his books, but he never counted on millions of fans obsessively picking through to make sure the eye color is right on each and every one of thousands of characters.
posted by corb at 9:00 AM on May 25, 2016 [7 favorites]


The other thing too - now that the books are so popular, secrets from them are like nuclear secrets. Gone are the days he could just grab a couple of interns, give them some chapters, and be like "sort through and add the right eye color and hair in there."
posted by corb at 9:06 AM on May 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


The only character we've seen who was cured of greyscale was Shireen

In the books, at least, she wasn't cured. She had a mild form which apparently targets kids. The upside is she was immune to the deadly variety.

Given the Dothraki emphasis on masculine bravado along with the show's obsession with portraying penises, that's an odd oversight.

The Dothraki steal the idols of the conquered. The mountain Vaes Dothrak is their holy object.

Gone are the days he could just grab a couple of interns, give them some chapters, and be like "sort through and add the right eye color and hair in there."

The couple that run Westeros.org provide this service.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 9:21 AM on May 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


Everyone dies in the end, in ironic or banal or just plain heartbreaking ways, TA-DAAH THE END
posted by clockzero at 9:37 AM on May 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


There is no possible ending that won't piss off at least a million people. Literally none; literally a million. Martin and HBO should find that liberating.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 9:44 AM on May 25, 2016


They could do it like the ending to Clue! Show different endings in different markets.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 9:46 AM on May 25, 2016 [5 favorites]


"the lord of light was just a red herring"
posted by poffin boffin at 9:49 AM on May 25, 2016 [4 favorites]


I strongly suspect that the show ending(s) will diverge from the planned book ending(s). On paper, you can kill off anyone. The exigencies of TV are different.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:00 AM on May 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


the lord of light was just a red herring

The Drowned God, surely.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 10:05 AM on May 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


There is no possible ending that won't piss off at least a million people. Literally none; literally a million.

Why stop at a million?

The Sand Snakes stand triumphant on a mountain of dead ice zombies and dragons. They high five each other and enter the keep, then take turns sitting on the Iron Throne and taking their tops off. Standing in the doorway, Ramsay gives them the thumbs up. FADE OUT. THE END.
posted by prize bull octorok at 10:07 AM on May 25, 2016 [25 favorites]


WHITE HOT INCHOATE RAGE
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:08 AM on May 25, 2016


They high five each other and enter the keep, then take turns sitting on the Iron Throne and taking their tops off.

Could be the most watched and most complained about scene in the history of television.
posted by zarq at 10:53 AM on May 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


The Sand Snakes stand triumphant on a mountain of dead ice zombies and dragons. They high five each other and enter the keep, then take turns sitting on the Iron Throne and taking their tops off. Standing in the doorway, Ramsay gives them the thumbs up. FADE OUT. THE END.

Don't forget the last words spoken on the show will be "Bad Puseeeeh!"
posted by homunculus at 12:06 PM on May 25, 2016 [6 favorites]


Elementary Penguin: "They could do it like the ending to Clue! Show different endings in different markets."

Melisandre is a natural for the "flames, flames..." speech.
posted by Rock Steady at 12:06 PM on May 25, 2016 [5 favorites]


Don't forget the last words spoken on the show will be "Bad Puseeeeh!"

"...And one day they look around and realize that all their friends and other fans have gone, that they are reading about strangers in a saga they hardly recognize. They don't know where they are or how to get away from the bookstore and the author they are reading doesn't know their names, yet here he comes, shouting for them to line up, to make a queue with their cash and their credit cards, to buy the final release. And the book comes down on them, doorstopper tomes clad in hardcovers, and the rasp of page turning fills the world.

And the fan breaks.

He turns and he runs, or crawls off afterwards over the cosplayers, or steals away in the black of night, and he finds someplace to hide. All thought of home is gone by then, and authors and theories and characters mean less to him than a haunch of spoiled plots that will let him live another day, or a retcon of bad tinfoil that might drown his fears for a few hours. The broken fan lives from day to day, from spoiler to spoiler, more beast than man. Lady Brienne is not wrong. In times like these, the trufan must beware the broken fan and fear them...but he should pity them as well."

"The ending of A Song of Ice and Fire?"

"So they called it, though I never heard a song, nor froze or burnt. There was an ending though. That there was."
posted by nubs at 12:11 PM on May 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


The discussion here about pacing is interesting. Lots of folks complaining how the show is rushing too much, cutting the stories short and robbing them of punch. OTOH we also complain the books take way too long, making the stories way too long and robbing them of punch.

But both of these are fair criticisms of GRRM. He had a story to tell, but somewhere along the way he became much too enamored with his ability to make up cool names and begin dead-end storylines. he became so famous for being an iconoclast that perhaps in his mind never finishing the story might be the greatest twist evah!!!
posted by OHenryPacey at 1:41 PM on May 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


As long as we don't wind up with the Night King throwing grenades at Sansa from a balcony in the Tower of Joy, I think I can live with just about any ending.
posted by lord_wolf at 2:14 PM on May 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


What if he's riding an ice spider?
posted by nubs at 2:19 PM on May 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


It should be easy for Gurm to finish the series. Now, he can just watch the show and describe what happens in it.
posted by drezdn at 2:40 PM on May 25, 2016 [6 favorites]


It wouldn't even need to be GRRM. I think Alan Dean Foster would do a bang-up job with the Game of Thrones novelizations.
posted by The Tensor at 3:17 PM on May 25, 2016 [5 favorites]


I just want to say - I am actually GRRM's target fucking audience. I don't think there's a single side storyline or side character I don't enjoy. The thing I love best of all is the way all of these stories weave together, how you get the sense of a rich tapestry of real, rich humans, all acting both alongside and at cross purposes to each other, each with their own legitimate motivations that prevent them from doing things as conveniently as we might like.

So with that - any ending that eliminates the 'dead end storylines' I know I'll at least find unsatisfying.
posted by corb at 3:27 PM on May 25, 2016 [11 favorites]



Everyone dies in the end, in ironic or banal or just plain heartbreaking ways, TA-DAAH THE END


Rocks fall ....
posted by tilde at 4:59 PM on May 25, 2016




I think I can live with just about any ending.

I pretty much agree, but I'm going to be real annoyed if there's any sense that it was Earth all along, or there's a technological/sf explanation for everything.

More generally: I'm definitely looking forward to more books, and hopeful that I might actually see them (the Words of House Frost: No, really, The Winds of Winter is coming). I enjoy the show, but the books are doing something different, and I'm pleased to have both. I'm a bit sad to be getting some of the reveals through the show first, but we know that the formats have diverged enough that the books will have new content too. Two versions of the story! Yay!

Do we know if Martin can legally block someone else from finishing the books in the event of his death (may he live forever)? Alternatively, I can't help hoping that he might change his mind. In terms of someone to ghost/finish them:

Stephen Baxter: has already worked with ultimate grandmasters like Clarke and Pratchett. Writes fast. But not really a fantasy writer.
Robin Hobb: my pick. Writes interesting characters who evolve over time. Has male protagonists but represents female perspectives less problematically than Martin. Lots of political intrigue and competing magical systems. Will also get the job done.
Seanan Maguire: the only problem would be getting her to slow down enough so that A Dream of Spring would be ready for Christmas 2017.
posted by Pink Frost at 5:43 PM on May 25, 2016 [1 favorite]




To me that reads like GRRM pleading with his audience to read the books, pleading to remain relevant as his hold on the story slips away. C'mon guys my stuff will be better...i promise....someday....some....day....
posted by OHenryPacey at 8:23 PM on May 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


Do we know if Martin can legally block someone else from finishing the books in the event of his death (may he live forever)

Yes. The rights will go to his estate, which may or may not honor his wish on this matter, but there's ample examples of estates sitting on an author's works and controlling any development/adaptation of those to proceed (e.g Tolkien). Robert Jordan's widow, as the representative of his estate, is the person who approached Sanderson to complete Wheel of Time. Anyone attempting to do anything without the estate's permission is likely in for a long legal fight.
posted by nubs at 8:27 PM on May 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


C'mon guys my stuff will be better...i promise....someday....some....day....

I'm as frustrated with GRRM as anyone, but I can't take any pleasure in the situation he's in now. He created this beautifully imagined world with all this rich story and backstory and plot. The TV show would not exist without him. It's shitty that he can't finish books in a timely fashion, or control his tendency to spin more and more ridiculously tangential yarns. And it's stupid his publisher doesn't insist on an editor, maybe a helper writer. But as a creative person myself I sympathize with how hard it is to be creative and productive on a schedule. And to have a TV show outpacing you, oh man, that's like a total nightmare. Part of me hopes he takes enough pleasure in the success and riches of the TV show it removes the sting of people mocking his writing process.

I'll stick by what I said earlier about the show pacing. This episode felt too fast; seeing the whole "Children created the Walkers!" without 2.5 books of laborious setup robbed that moment of meaning. And I can't see how the Euron story made any fucking sense at all to TV-only people. I kinda mis all the long exposition of the books.
posted by Nelson at 8:42 PM on May 25, 2016 [5 favorites]


his writing process...
which seems to this fan as : endless press junkets and enjoying the hell out of his success, moreso than, you know, actual writing.
there's not a thing wrong with it, but he's getting well past any sympathy for not being able to keep pace with a tv show in its 6th season.
posted by OHenryPacey at 9:17 PM on May 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


I think I can live with just about any ending.

For me, the only way the books or series can end is with social upheaval such that something else takes the place of feudalism. Otherwise, looking at all of the deconstruction of fantasy mores, what the hell is the point?
posted by Navelgazer at 11:06 PM on May 25, 2016 [6 favorites]


It's neat to see how other languages translated that Hodor scene. In French, it's:

"Ne les laisse pas aller au-dehors!"
"Au-dehors! Au-dehors!"


Here's a nice little article on the apparent shortcomings of the Hodor translation in the Spanish version. As it notes, a more elegant solution was found for the Turkish subtitles, with "orada dur" (stay/stand there)-->orda dur-->ordur--> Hodor.

What it doesn't mention is that's the work of @esekherif_, profiled here--the brilliant fan-subtitler who basically translates every episode on the fly for the bootleg versions that many people watch instead of waiting for the official dubbed broadcast.
posted by karayel at 2:55 AM on May 26, 2016 [4 favorites]


I think some of the difference between the books and the show is that the books are plot-driven and the show (like the vast majority of TV) is character-driven. The show-runners want the character moments, and will sacrifice common sense and running time to get them. And that's how TV is done. You create a reason for a disparate group of people to spend time together, and you come up with plots which shuffle them around into different pairings so we can see the true-love couple deal with their feelings then next week the most opposite characters are thrown together for laughs. It's fun and works well. Varys and Tyrion have no reason to be near each other, but geez isn't it great watching their verbal sparring? Tormund and Brienne should be at opposite ends of the country but they are now my One True Pairing and I am dying to see him waggle his eyebrows at her some more. I still wish Arya and Tywin could have spent more time together. These have been some of my favourite parts of the show, and its still a pleasure to watch.

But I was reading the books for something different. I think GRRM had a point to make with his deconstruction, and the characters are there in service of that. If he hadn't done each chapter from a different character's point of view I'm not sure I'd care as much as I do about any of them. I want to know if science can be developed while there's magic in the world, or if proto-democracy can be wrestled out of world-shaking events. I want to understand the history of Planetos so I can see how it got to where it is now.

So now that we're getting beyond the books, I miss the plot details that (to me) were the foundation of my enjoyment. I think I've just been filling them in for the show until now. I'm going to try to separate the show from the books in my mind and treat it more like a police procedural adventure show with more gore than usual. Because I like TV structure, I'm just not used to it in Westeros. Show-only people love Hodor just as much as I do, but I want more than the emotional farewell they found (generally, with caveats) satisfying. I want it to mean something. And that's pretty rare in TV land.
posted by harriet vane at 6:03 AM on May 26, 2016 [10 favorites]


I kind of hope Jorah never shows up again, Gendry-style. He goes off on his quest and that's the last we see of him.

We already know what happens to him.

He somehow ends up in Scotland and becomes a tortured former ranger who routinely drinks himself into oblivion but is still a good man deep down.

This the show, book and BBC thread isn't it?
posted by srboisvert at 10:43 AM on May 26, 2016 [6 favorites]


GRRM is 67 years old. I just pray that he's got outlines and outlines of this stuff, and all the little notes, and everything has a backup. Other than death, what if he gets dementia? Ugh I wish he has his own Bran and their own weirwood.net where they can sync files.
posted by pleasebekind at 11:00 AM on May 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


(erroneously posted in the "Oathbreaker" thread)

we just rewatched the episode tonite and have a thought or two that seem to either be unexpressed or to follow on to this thread:

1. Why didn't Jon know about Sansa and Brienne taking a day trip to Moat Cailin? Because he's dead! Same reason Samsa convinced the entire suite of protagonists at Castle Black save Edd to ride south.

2. Hodor may have actually regained adult self-consciousness as he fully invested himself in his destiny as The Doorman. Branch is shown warging, but he is warging into young pre-Hodor. We are shown Greybeard Hodor in a warged state, but there are some subtle things that I read to indicate the possibility that Branch is not available to fully run a warged Hodor. It's surely possible I misinterpret. But Meera was addressing Hodor, not Branch, and Branch was already deeply engaged in some sort of thrown-consciousness state. So I suspect that there may be clues intended to guide us to the view that Old Hodor may not have been simply acting as a warged puppet of Branch.

A powerful argument against this is Gurm, trope breaker. Hodor is an exploited and disabled servant, albeit valued and we are implictly informed, beloved. This also reflects Jora's narrative beats. Jora's acceptance of feudal and even chivalrous loyalty and love is depicted as both self-knowing and self-dramatizing. Why shouldn't a son of the north who carries giants' blood in his veins have the same privilege?
posted by mwhybark at 5:43 AM on May 27, 2016


1. Why didn't Jon know about Sansa and Brienne taking a day trip to Moat Cailin?

Maybe I'm misreading your question, but Littlefinger came to Mole Town to meet with Sansa and Brienne, just south of Castle Black. The Army from the Vale is at Moat Cailin.
posted by nubs at 5:56 AM on May 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


Yup. Sansa reads the note, asks where Mole Town is.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:33 AM on May 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


Hold the door.
posted by homunculus at 10:59 AM on May 27, 2016 [4 favorites]


Woops, yes, my mistake. I was responding to a question upthread about why was Jon unaware of the jaunt. I believe I see a character who has a lessened sense of drive and more limited awareness of his environment than before his state changes, reflecting what we'd heard previously about resurrectees.
posted by mwhybark at 2:08 PM on May 27, 2016 [3 favorites]


Is it possible that the biggest trope that GRRM will break in this story is that the humans will prevail?

Remember Daenarys's vision of the Iron Throne?
posted by Jacqueline at 3:14 PM on May 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


I hope Sansa is pregnant and has a moon tea abortion. No one ever actually has abortions on television. As long as Game of Thrones is going for shock value, how about breaking that taboo too? Help normalize abortion as something that women sometimes genuinely want and never regret.
posted by Jacqueline at 3:37 PM on May 27, 2016 [13 favorites]


ooh but if she has the bad guy's Tragic Baby, there would be so much potential for drama that we've never seen roughly a billion times before
posted by prize bull octorok at 3:47 PM on May 27, 2016 [3 favorites]


Remember Daenarys's vision of the Iron Throne?

On Game of Thrones, it's time to cheer for the White Walkers
posted by nubs at 11:17 AM on May 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


My favorite fan theory is the one about Littlefinger passionately hating the feudal system and working to ensure that the entirety of Westeros will be unable to weather the storm, killing the system in one fell stroke.
posted by Pope Guilty at 12:20 PM on May 28, 2016 [3 favorites]


Yup. I'm like 90% convinced that his agenda is to burn it all down.
posted by Jacqueline at 1:15 PM on May 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


So long as he can rule the ashes. He's trying to ensure he's the last one with a seat in a murderous game of musical chairs.
posted by nubs at 1:28 PM on May 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


I can't tell if he actually wants power for power's sake or just because of how useful it is to achieve his goal.
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:29 PM on May 28, 2016


Pope Guilty: "My favorite fan theory is the one about Littlefinger passionately hating the feudal system and working to ensure that the entirety of Westeros will be unable to weather the storm, killing the system in one fell stroke."

Not sure about Littlefinger, but this is definitely Varys's deal. They should team up!
posted by capricorn at 3:57 PM on May 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


Nope. Varys is 100% a Targaryen loyalist.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 4:17 PM on May 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


I was responding to a question upthread about why was Jon unaware of the jaunt. I believe I see a character who has a lessened sense of drive and more limited awareness of his environment than before his state changes, reflecting what we'd heard previously about resurrectees.

That's plausible. He certainly has less drive for the Watch and whatever duty he still has to it (poor Edd,) but that's at least partly from being demoralized after being betrayed and murdered (that can be a real bummer.) And I think he's more ambivalent about Sansa than he's let on, but I haven't noticed his general awareness being handicapped. Beric Dondarrion said that every time he was brought back he was "a bit less," with pieces being chipped away, yet after 5 resurrections (before he fought Clegane) it didn't seem to slow him down: he was diligently leading the Brotherhood Without Banners, he didn't hesitate to duel the Hound, and he was totally gung-ho for R'hllor (I imagine Melisandre is going to try to convert Jon soon.) It weighed on him, but having been resurrected 6 times didn't seem to make Beric less functional (on the show, that is. BookBeric had a harder time of it, as I recall.) Jon was only brought back one time (noob!) and I can't tell yet how much the resurrection itself altered him (his having been dead longer than Beric ever was might be a factor.) I'm curious to see what they do with it. As for his not noticing Sansa's and Brienne's excursion, I think the writers simply glossed over it because they didn't have time for it with everything they wanted to get through in this episode, understandably. If they were trying to say something about Jon's state, I think they would have taken 5 seconds to show him watching them leave and just shrug or turn away or something, rather than just omit it.
posted by homunculus at 6:04 PM on May 28, 2016


I think Littlefinger definitely gets off on power for its own sake. I think his agenda is to get as much of it for himself as he can and destroy anything that's denied him.
posted by homunculus at 6:05 PM on May 28, 2016


Is it possible that the biggest trope that GRRM will break in this story is that the humans will prevail?

Remember Daenarys's vision of the Iron Throne?


George R.R. Martin Says ‘Game of Thrones’ Ending Will Be ‘Bittersweet’
posted by homunculus at 6:10 PM on May 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


Nope. Varys is 100% a Targaryen loyalist.


I don't see that at all. I think he's a ruthless pragmatist who sees his duty as service to the realm, but that principally means the 'smallfolk', rather than the great houses. He supports Dany only because he believes she is the only person potentially powerful enough to bring stability (and therefore minimize suffering among innocents) to Westeros.

His ruthlessness comes into play when he fucks over/refuses to support people like Ned, whom he rightfully believes would have been a terrible regent, and gotten the realm embroiled in all sorts of terrible shit. Dany has dragons, and so she might be able to recreate the peace of the Aegon-era Targaryans. I don't think his support is out of loyalty to them, just a calculation that they are the best chance for peace.

Which leads me to believe that at some point, some better option for the people of Westeros will present himself and Varys will betray Dany.
posted by skewed at 7:23 AM on May 29, 2016 [2 favorites]


I was listening to a podcast the other day and one of the hosts said something in passing that actually made me dead curious to see how the books will handle something I doubt the show has time for.

To wit: So far, I think all of us fans have simple assumed that any true son of the North would be happy to join us aboard the Righteous Stark Vengeance Train, choo-choo, motherfucker.

But imagine you're lord of a minor Northern House, and Jon comes knocking asking for your banners. You're being asked to sign on to follow a dude who is

a) a bastard
b) a zombie
c) beholden to an evil witch and her blood-mad cult
d) a wilding-lover
e) an oathbreaker

If Ramsay Bolton had a press secretary, they'd be wetting themselves with glee. The ads write themselves. The show has sort of alluded to this a bit and suggested that Sansa (possibly also Rickon) can be the balm that heals all wounds, but really getting anyone to agree to follow him should be a fairly huge problem for Jon in the circs and it'd be interesting to have a bit of depth on how they'll end up solving it.

Now, maybe in book form Melisandre isn't involved in the resurrection and it's some warging/Old Gods-y stuff, but the rest stands. And wargs v Cult of Rhllor seems like a six of one, half dozen of the other situation as far as freaking out the norms.
posted by Diablevert at 11:21 AM on May 29, 2016 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I dont' really buy the idea that Jon would ever be accepted by the North. Even setting aside the bastard thing, you can't just explain to everyone who thinks that you're supposed to be sworn to the Night's Watch for life "Oh, no problem, I died and then came back to life, so now I'm free for whatever."
posted by skewed at 12:48 PM on May 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


No really, I'm not like the bad guy zombies!
posted by Nelson at 1:24 PM on May 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


I think the way to get Jon out of that one is arguing that he was not free to give his oath, because he gave it as bastard Jon Snow, rather than Aegon Targaryen.
posted by corb at 1:27 PM on May 29, 2016


The North is going to follow a bastard-born zombie before they'll follow a Targaryen.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 1:31 PM on May 29, 2016 [2 favorites]


The North is going to follow a bastard-born zombie before they'll follow a Targaryen.

Ugh, American political commentary.
posted by crossoverman at 4:31 PM on May 29, 2016 [8 favorites]


#NeverSnow
posted by drezdn at 6:39 PM on May 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


I remember kind of wondering if Sansa could legitimize Jon, if she's the recognized eldest surviving child of Ned and Catelyn. Given that doing so would create a kind of tension around the idea that Jon and Sansa could hook up if Jon is proved Targaryen makes me think at some point this is going to be discussed on screen, presumably with Sansa in favor of a conjugal relationship and Jon not so down with it. Or maybe with them both not enthused but also feeling like they don't have liberty of action in the matter.
posted by mwhybark at 7:18 PM on May 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


I remember kind of wondering if Sansa could legitimize Jon

Only if she's Queen of the North. Roose Bolton legitimized Ramsay as his father; Jon's parents are dead and cannot do so.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:50 AM on May 30, 2016 [1 favorite]


I might be missing something here, but there's no reason Jon has to rally the North, is there? Sansa and Rickon are both around in the show (and either or both of them could potentially turn up in the books). So you've got legitimate Stark heirs that any true northman would be glad to follow.

Alternatively, Robb quite possibly legitimised Jon already and Howland Reed will turn up to explain so.
posted by Pink Frost at 2:22 AM on May 30, 2016 [1 favorite]


Roose Bolton legitimized Ramsay as his father; Jon's parents are dead and cannot do so.

In the books, it requires a royal decree for legitimacy; fathers can acknowledge their bastards or not, but they don't get the family name until the king says so. Maybe the show handles it differently? I recall Roose having a piece of paper when he legitimized Ramsay, but was that from the Throne or just something Roose did?

I might be missing something here, but there's no reason Jon has to rally the North, is there? Sansa and Rickon are both around in the show (and either or both of them could potentially turn up in the books). So you've got legitimate Stark heirs that any true northman would be glad to follow.

Alternatively, Robb quite possibly legitimised Jon already and Howland Reed will turn up to explain so.


No; in the books it seems to be moving in a couple of directions - Jon being legitimized before Robb's death, and the Northern Houses coalescing around that fact and the fact that they can use Stannis as a bit of a stalking horse to kill off Bolton men. If my book theories are right, Jon gets raised, has a large portion of the wildlings behind him - the Thenns, Tormund's crew, etc, and he will lead them to Winterfell to join with the other Northern houses - Mormont, Glover, Manderly, etc., and finish off the Boltons and either send Stannis packing or bury his corpse. (What if Stannis isn't the Prince who was Promised, but Lightbringer instead - Jon will draw him forth from the fire of his collapsing war and use him against the Others)

At that point, Robb's decree becomes public, which complicates the succession somewhat as Robb believed Rickon and Bran to be dead...but if it also coincides with the reveal of Jon's heritage as a Targ/Prince who was Promised, then it might be the start of elevating Jon above King of the North (or Jon uses this fact to turn everybody against the Others, because he don't give a shit about anything else)...in which case Rickon becomes King of the North.
posted by nubs at 8:24 AM on May 30, 2016 [1 favorite]


In the books, don't they moot inside of a giant, beached whale corpse? That would've been a lot more dramatic (and presumably expensive) than generic cliff #3.

They had the Kingsmoot at Nagga's hill. Nagga was a supposedly a sea dragon.

Game of Nonsense: A Moot Point
posted by homunculus at 11:09 AM on May 30, 2016 [2 favorites]


I recall Roose having a piece of paper when he legitimized Ramsay, but was that from the Throne or just something Roose did?

It was a royal decree, signed by Tommen ("another bastard" as Sansa pointed out later.)
posted by homunculus at 11:10 AM on May 30, 2016 [2 favorites]


Sample chapter summary: Aeron. “The Greyjoys have it, you sick motherfuckers.”
posted by homunculus at 11:11 AM on May 30, 2016 [2 favorites]


Spoiler for book readers (but not necessarily a surprise):

George R.R. Martin Just Gave Brienne a New Badass Backstory
posted by homunculus at 5:38 PM on May 30, 2016 [2 favorites]


Ha! I thought so when Brienne found that shield in AFFC, but I never thought we'd get confirmation.
posted by nubs at 6:23 PM on May 30, 2016 [1 favorite]


Agh that chapter! It has like a million things that will be useful when not in summary.
posted by corb at 6:53 PM on May 30, 2016


Here's the transcript: The Forsaken (Aeron I TWOW)
posted by homunculus at 9:29 PM on June 1, 2016




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