Game of Thrones: Dragonstone   Show Only 
July 16, 2017 7:01 PM - Season 7, Episode 1 - Subscribe

SHOW ONLY THREAD. Jon Snow organizes the defense of the North. Cersei tries to even the odds. Samwell discovers crucial information. Daenerys comes home.

Directed by Jeremy Podeswa
Written by David Benioff & D. B. Weiss
Full cast and crew credits
posted by Brandon Blatcher (334 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
 
TEAM SANSA FOREVER.
posted by lydhre at 7:01 PM on July 16 [5 favorites]


TEAM ARYA FOREVER

Seriously, how good was that opening?!
posted by zarq at 7:02 PM on July 16 [31 favorites]


Arya as Walder killing all the Freys was so goddamn satisfying.
posted by gatorae at 7:03 PM on July 16 [19 favorites]


Who was the burned guy in the cell who tried to grab Sam?
posted by kira at 7:05 PM on July 16 [1 favorite]


All the Frey's dead and the credits hadn't even rolled.

Deeply disappointed that Arya is heading South, because her and Sansa need to get together for the sarcasm fun.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:06 PM on July 16 [2 favorites]


Who was the burned guy in the cell who tried to grab Sam?

I believe that was supposed to be Jorah Mormont. Guess he went to the Citadel to get his greyscale cured.

Although, maybe he should be more careful with that arm, given the nature of how greyscale is spread (direct contact).
posted by litera scripta manet at 7:07 PM on July 16 [6 favorites]


Yeah, subtitles said that was Jorah in the cell.

TEAM ARYA FOREVER
posted by Night_owl at 7:08 PM on July 16 [4 favorites]


Who was the burned guy in the cell who tried to grab Sam?

That was definitely Jorah Mormont. I recognized his voice.
posted by zarq at 7:09 PM on July 16 [1 favorite]


Team Lady Mormont, forever.
posted by Zonker at 7:09 PM on July 16 [41 favorites]


This episode whatever. Is it kosher to talk about the NEXT WEEK ON?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:10 PM on July 16


All kidding aside, I know nobody has the budget for unlimited battles but I can't quite accept that the entirety of Westeros would leave a strategic stronghold such as Dragonstone empty just for funsies.

Also also, Arya, please don't murder those nice Lannister boys.
posted by lydhre at 7:11 PM on July 16 [3 favorites]


Interesting that everyone seems to be at or near the top of their game. They've all been through and learned a lot and each is ready and willing to kill for their goals.

Well except for Sam.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:11 PM on July 16 [2 favorites]


I've been waiting 21 goddamn years for Daenerys to return to the Seven Kingdoms. 21. Years. Hooray!
posted by Justinian at 7:14 PM on July 16 [32 favorites]


"Is it kosher to talk about the NEXT WEEK ON?"

No.

As for the cold open, as Arya was walking out of the dining hall I turned to my wife and said, "She's a damn force of nature." I loved it so much.
posted by komara at 7:14 PM on July 16 [4 favorites]


Arya! My girl gettin' it done! What a great opening.

After that, though, I laughed hardest at Yuron Greyjoy's "with two hands" crack. Jamie's facial expression in that moment was priceless.

And it also makes me so happy that Tormund is still so in love with Brienne (as we all should be).
posted by TwoStride at 7:14 PM on July 16 [14 favorites]


I'm pretty sure she turned him down in the courtyard, though. As the camera cut away, it looked like she was shaking her head. But she was clearly trying so hard to impress him.
posted by Night_owl at 7:15 PM on July 16 [1 favorite]


Also, seriousy: Lady Mormont for the Iron Throne!
posted by TwoStride at 7:16 PM on July 16 [7 favorites]


No.

Okay but if I asplode before next Sunday night you have to help biscotti clean up the goop okay?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:17 PM on July 16 [1 favorite]


Also also, Arya, please don't murder those nice Lannister boys.

That scene was such a tense fake-out! The whole time I was all, "are they poisoning her? Is she poisoning them? Why so much eating and drinking, augh!"
posted by TwoStride at 7:17 PM on July 16 [5 favorites]


"No need to get a last word in, I'll assume it was witty!"

Holy shit is Sansa a dragon? 'CAUSE YOU JUST GOT BURNT SON.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:19 PM on July 16 [61 favorites]


Sansa's prolonged smacking down of Baelish was sweet.

I cringed all the way through Ed Sheeran's bit though.
posted by soren_lorensen at 7:19 PM on July 16 [10 favorites]


I think in the past we have avoided mentioning the previews for next week, as some people (me, for one) avoid them as they sometimes spoil a lot of the drama. I don't know how it is on GoT, but on a lot of shows, the show's normal creative staff don't even have control over what the teasers do and don't give away.

I took Arya's scene with the Lannisters as suggesting that she decided not to kill them because of their hospitality, and that they were trying to get an early start on her conflict over vengeance vs. letting go. They had her eyes linger on their swords to suggest that she could have taken them, to make clear that when she doesn't, it's only because she decided not to.

Overall, this was good but not enough is happening considering there's ALREADY ONLY SIX EPISODES LEFT IN THE SEASON. Oh, and the montage of bowls full of shit was just juvenile.
posted by skewed at 7:19 PM on July 16 [4 favorites]


That was a lot of fun. That first scene though, powerful. I mean I knew what was happening the entire time and that just made it even more tense.

Some stray thoughts and observations:
• I feel like this season is very much going to be about women and power. Get on board, or get the fuck out. Team Sansa & Team Arya 4 Life!
• I predict that Arya is totally going to be murdering people left and right. I'm ok with this.
• Jon Snow....there's no I in TEAM.
• I love that Sansa is playing the game like a pro, but I worry about Littlefinger. WE SHOULD ALL BE WORRIED ABOUT LITTLE FINGER!
• The Greyjoys are boring. Yeah, I said it. Whatever.
• #CleganeBowl is still something that could happen. I want to believe.
• I like that Sam Tarley is basically a literal GoogleWesteros (This week's Wikipedia entry: Dragon-glass)
• Arch Maester Jim Broadbent, more please.
• My eyes could not roll any further into the back of my head when Sheerhan showed up on screen.
• The Hound Has A Heart, a lesser known Dr. Seuss book.
• Not enough Bran. I know a lot of people don't like his story-line for some reason, but I want more.
posted by Fizz at 7:20 PM on July 16 [8 favorites]


Also, it strikes me as important that Jon called up a girl from the Karstark family.
posted by Night_owl at 7:20 PM on July 16 [6 favorites]


One thing I really liked about this episode, even though there was there was the usual first-episode place setting, is that it didn't feel like we were doing a rushed quick check in with everyone. I liked that we got the time to get a feel for Sam's life down at the Citadel, and I really loved the BwB scenes. I might have teared up a little bit seeing him dig those graves for that man and his daughter.

Also, on preview: YES Sansa's brush off of Lord Baelish was so freaking satisfying.
posted by litera scripta manet at 7:20 PM on July 16 [8 favorites]


Euron was delightful, but I wish there would have been at least one sentence hinting at where they got the wood to build their ships from.

The Hound's bit was great.
posted by drezdn at 7:21 PM on July 16 [4 favorites]


Also, on preview: YES Sansa's brush off of Lord Baelish was so freaking satisfying.

Yeah...that's totally not going to cause problems. Because, we all know that Lord Baelish is really good at letting things slide.

It's going to be fun watching Sans and Littlefinger play chess all season long.
posted by Fizz at 7:22 PM on July 16


Littlefinger still wants to hit that, tho (gross)
posted by soren_lorensen at 7:22 PM on July 16


And can I just say how much I loved Jon Snow being like, "Not just boy's, girls get trained with weapons too." And then when Lord Glover (or whichever one that was) was all, "Not my women!" Lady Mormont smacked him down so hard. It was great.
posted by litera scripta manet at 7:23 PM on July 16 [19 favorites]


Sansa's putting Littlefinger in his place was satisfying because that character gets really tiresome when they just have him standing in a corning smiring schemingly, as he was all through Sansa and Jon's disagreement about castle allocation. In general, I could do with less of Littlefinger.

Bran's credentials at the Wall did nothing to prove he was a Stark... except for maybe how his vision was a total fucking downer?
posted by TwoStride at 7:23 PM on July 16 [2 favorites]


Eh...
posted by codacorolla at 7:24 PM on July 16


Wait, that was Ed Sheeran? No wonder I found that soldier vaguely familiar yet annoying. Boo to that kind of stuntcasting, GoT.
posted by TwoStride at 7:25 PM on July 16 [12 favorites]


Very interesting to see Sansa bring up the points about who to give the castles too. They both had really good points, which should have been hashed out in private. But Jon's final decision was a good and fair one, but Sansa will still feel undermined and ignored, which broods discontent. 'Cause clearly Sansa is smart enough and willing enough to go do...something else. Just a question of will she?

I don't think so, Jon will probably come around to accepting and seeking her counsel more. The big issue is that they both have legitimate reasons for their different focuses, but neither understands where the other is coming from and dismisses the other as naive on some level. Sansa's correct that Cersei is dangerous to them, but she has not concept of what the real and final battle will be. Jon does.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:26 PM on July 16 [5 favorites]


Littlefinger still wants to hit that, tho (gross)

Not only that, although that's a big part of it, it seems like he's pretty clearly hitched his wagon (aka the Vale) to the Stark/Northern cause. I mean, he promised Cersei that he would put Sansa's head on a spike, and since I don't see that happening any time soon, it seems like his best shot is to try to win Sansa over.

With that being said, it may still be in Sansa's interest to string him along for awhile, as much as I hate the idea of that, while she works on getting the Vale more firmly on her side.
posted by litera scripta manet at 7:26 PM on July 16


Boo to that kind of stuntcasting, GoT.

I think I read somewhere that this was basically a present to Maise Williams (aka Arya Stark) who is apparently a huge fan of his. It didn't really bother me, although that may have been because I spent the whole scene wondering who was going to kill whom first and how they would do it.
posted by litera scripta manet at 7:28 PM on July 16 [9 favorites]


Jon will probably come around to accepting and seeking her counsel more

Have you been watching the same show I have? Starks can rarely be counted on to do the smart thing.
posted by empath at 7:29 PM on July 16 [3 favorites]


Burn Sheeran at the stake.
posted by gatorae at 7:30 PM on July 16 [2 favorites]


Dragonstone being empty doesn't make sense. It seems like it should either be setting or a trap, or the writers could have had the garrison welcome Dany.
posted by drezdn at 7:32 PM on July 16 [8 favorites]


Have you been watching the same show I have? Starks can rarely be counted on to do the smart thing.

By that rationale, Sansa and Arya are in trouble too. Jon at least has a chance, being half Stark (ahem).

But seriously, Jon seems a bit wiser than Ned and Robb, able to make decisions that keep the troops loyal to him.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:33 PM on July 16 [1 favorite]


Except for that time his own troops killed him. (Sansa is clearly the brains of this operation.)
posted by soren_lorensen at 7:34 PM on July 16 [9 favorites]


The closed-captioning identified the arm that sticks out as Jorah.
posted by drezdn at 7:34 PM on July 16


Jon's half a Stark in exactly the same way that Robb, Bran, Sansa, and Arya are half a Stark though! They were half Stark and half Tully while he's half a Stark and half Targaryen. OH THANK GOD WE CAN SAY THAT OUT LOUD NOW.
posted by Justinian at 7:35 PM on July 16 [10 favorites]


Aw Wun Wun sniff.
posted by soakimbo at 7:39 PM on July 16 [20 favorites]


Euron's ships seem like they wouldn't be especially effective against someone with air support.
posted by drezdn at 7:39 PM on July 16 [2 favorites]


"Aw Wun Wun sniff."

I don't think that was Wun Wun. Didn't he die in the big battle at the end of last season? I believe that was just Random Non-Wun Wun Giant.
posted by komara at 7:42 PM on July 16 [2 favorites]


Except for that time his own troops killed him. (Sansa is clearly the brains of this operation.)

Meh, he made a bold move. Sansa hasn't quite reached that in terms commanding troops and having to make difficult decisions that will said troops to hate her.

If she was as wise as she thinks she is she wouldn't have challenged Jon like that or made the comparison to Geoffery. She has some shit she needs to work out, just like Jon.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:45 PM on July 16


Random Non-Wun Wun Giant
I hope to see that in the credits someday.
posted by TwoStride at 7:45 PM on July 16 [7 favorites]


But seriously, Jon seems a bit wiser than Ned and Robb, able to make decisions that keep the troops loyal to him.

I definitely agree with this. Jon can be impulsive at times, and he has Ned's honor and duty thing, but I don't think he has quite the same rigidity that Ned had, and I really don't think he's likely to go down the way Robb did (breaking that marriage oath, which really seemed to be where things took a turn for the worse).

One of the things that I think is interesting about seeing Jon in power that he wasn't born to this and he didn't seem to particularly want it. He may have longed for it as a kid in a way, but he clearly resigned himself to a different life quite awhile ago. And he has shown some small bit of political acumen during his tenure at the Night's Watch, like how he boxed Janos Slynt into that corner after being made Lord Commander. He also seems pretty good at getting people to like/follow him (that whole Night's Watch mutiny aside).

I also think he's shown an ability to learn and grow and be open to what other people have to say. Like in the very first season, when he befriends his future brother's after Tyrion's little speech about how rough those other guys have it. Or even how he took a lesson from Karl Tanner, the "fookin' legend of King's Landing." He totally used what he learned from that fight in his fight with that Thenn during the Watchers on the Wall battle.
posted by litera scripta manet at 7:45 PM on July 16 [1 favorite]


Also, can I just say how super excited I am to be watching and discussing this show in real time? (In case it's not obvious from the volume and length of my comments thus far.) I binge watched the whole show back in May, and read all the old fanfare threads, and watched it again, and then read the books, and so on, and it's fun to actually be able to participate.

Oh, and speaking of the books, are we even bothering with a separate books only thread at this point? Or is it just not worth it now that the show has completely outpaced the books?
posted by litera scripta manet at 7:49 PM on July 16 [3 favorites]


One thing I'd really like to see more of this season is Sansa actually putting all the lessons she learned from Grade A schemers like Cersei and Margaery and Littlefinger into practice. I get why she's frustrated with Jon for not seeming to listen to her, but just like in the Battle of the Bastards post-war council scene, I feel like we're hearing more about how much she has to offer strategy wise but we're not actually being shown it.

This isn't a beef with the character so much as with the writers. I loved when Sansa put on that brilliant performance in Littlefinger's trial, and I want to see more of it.

I do hope they don't play up the Sansa/Jon tension too much, no matter how much they want to milk the potential drama there. They could be such a great team, and they need to be a team to make all of this work.
posted by litera scripta manet at 7:54 PM on July 16 [4 favorites]


Even though I knew that had to be Arya as Frey, the whole setup was just so great. She is so badass, I love it. Very happy with how many strong women there are in this show.
posted by gemmy at 7:57 PM on July 16 [2 favorites]


There was something just so incredibly satisfying about this episode for me. With arya killing Frey but saving the daughters, to lady Mormont, to Brienne, to the daughter of the karstark, to Dany coming home and ascending the throne by herself, to Sansa shutting down littlefinger - just so many strong and powerful girls and women... I really appreciated every scene so very very much.
posted by umwhat at 7:58 PM on July 16 [17 favorites]


Argh, one last thing and then I'll take a break from posting endless comments:

I absolutely love Tormund Giantsbane, and I'm sad to see him and the rest of the freefolk getting sent off to man the wall. It makes sense strategically, but couldn't Tormund hang around so that he can continue his awkward flirtation with Brienne and just his general awesomeness?

I'm actually a little surprised there wasn't more grumbling from the other Northerners when Jon made that decision, but maybe it was a better them than us kind of thing?

Even though I knew that had to be Arya as Frey, the whole setup was just so great.

Yes, that was such a great opener! And I also loved how she stopped Walder Frey's wife from drinking the wine, thereby sparing her life, but also doing it in the most Walder Frey way possible.
posted by litera scripta manet at 8:01 PM on July 16 [14 favorites]


Metafilter: Ed Sheerhan, therefore your argument is invalid. 🙄
posted by Barack Spinoza at 8:12 PM on July 16 [1 favorite]


More like Arch Measter "I like to call to myself a climate skeptic!" Am I right?

I did like the drudgery of the Citadel, nice little subversion there, a,though it did go on a bit too long but I did notice this episode seems to really recentering on the "wow the life of the small folk is ...crap" theme.

I did half expect someone to jump-grab Tyrion at the end there
posted by The Whelk at 8:15 PM on July 16 [3 favorites]


Boo to that kind of stuntcasting, GoT.

Ehhhhh it's far from the first time
.
posted by elsietheeel at 8:19 PM on July 16 [6 favorites]


I hope Euron isn't a sadistic Joffrey Ramsey replacement lol who am I kidding of course he is.
posted by gatorae at 8:35 PM on July 16 [3 favorites]


I don't think it's that crazy for Dragonstone to be undefended. It was a Targaryen stronghold for centuries, given over to Stannis, who likely mustered every loyal able-bodied man from that area to his cause. Stannis had no love for the castle, and didn't necessarily plan on returning to it.

I suppose some small lord could have deigned to conquer it in Stannis's absence, but that's asking to get your ass kicked.

Especially with rumors of Danaerys being alive, I can imagine folks in that area being ready to cheer her return, and offer no resistance to her entrance, especially after Stannis has been absent for a year or longer.
posted by explosion at 8:54 PM on July 16


Anyone have any thoughts about the elliptical diagram that the book is open to when Sam's looking through the bars towards the restricted section of the library? Theories on inconsistent seasons, perhaps?
posted by Alterscape at 8:58 PM on July 16 [3 favorites]


Yeah Stannis wanted Storm's End but that went to Renly.
posted by elsietheeel at 8:58 PM on July 16


Ship-related complaints: You're not getting a thousand fucking ships Euron! Also nobody dyes ships' sails black and, if they do, they don't freaking stay black. (Also Euron's accent wanders a bit during the scene with Cersei.)

Took me just the right amount of time to figure out Walder was Arya. Like for just a moment I thought we were in flashback or something. With "Winter came for House Frey," was that just a good line or symbolic of Arya crossing over to evil in a permanent fashion? Soooooooo disappointed Arya's going south instead of north!

I suddenly have some important questions about why zombies need horses.

With Lyanna Mormont, and the Karstark and Umber children, I think they're setting up a theme for this season of how total this war is that it has to encompass children acting as adults and fighting, not just pawns and victims of circumstances as they have mostly been in the past. It seems qualitatively different. Lyanna remains awesome but that scene made me afraid she won't make it out alive.

I liked the Sam scene with the poop/food/poop/food montage, I thought it was funny and well-done. HOWEVER. What is with all the chained books that are not actually chained to anything? Do the chains just hang there decoratively?

This episode featured adequate quantities of Podrick but could do better.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:20 PM on July 16 [19 favorites]


What is with all the chained books that are not actually chained to anything? Do the chains just hang there decoratively?
I was wondering if it's significant that the Maesters are too complacent/slipping in their ways? Like, it used to be important to lock up the books... that aren't important enough to be the special cage, but now there's been all kinds of uprisings and the books are still there, so...
posted by TwoStride at 9:25 PM on July 16 [1 favorite]


The thing is, even if Dragonstone required a lot of support to maintain, so much so that the powers that be decide it's not worth garrisoning/fighting for, the entire population of a holding that size wouldn't just vanish. Even if there was no military support, where the hell did all the smallfolk go? Why were the castle gates just ... unlocked? I agree the producers wanted a wordless scene and probably needed something streamlined, but they could've shown a few of Danny's Unsullied already inside the castle as a nod to the idea that part of the invading force had come ahead of the queen and already taken the castle.

Hated Ed Sheerhan and the weird-ass singalong moment, though I always enjoy when the in-book song lyrics get translated into real music.

Euron was such a cocky little prick who seems totally out of his league ... until the 2 hands comment. I admit I ooooo-ed.

I hope they don't go the obvious route of Sansa giving into Baelish's non-too-subtle attempts to sow discord and re-allying with him. I'd like her to have learned better by now. I did really, really like when she told Jon that he had to be smarter than Ned and Robb. FINALLY. Someone save the Stark men from their own righteous nobility.
posted by alleycat01 at 9:30 PM on July 16 [3 favorites]


Ship-related complaints: You're not getting a thousand fucking ships Euron! Also nobody dyes ships' sails black and, if they do, they don't freaking stay black.

Eyebrows: I want you to know that I thought of you during that scene. Particularly when the camera panned over all the unnecessary, fancy gilt work and decorative figureheads. Guess the Iron Isles had wayyyy more workers (and trees) than we previously realized.
posted by alleycat01 at 9:34 PM on July 16 [19 favorites]


I yelped right as those sails hit the screen. Damned expensive sails, man. Rusty nails and alum. dye
posted by tilde at 10:15 PM on July 16 [7 favorites]


I am super-delighted we now have a convocation of ship truthers!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:41 PM on July 16 [21 favorites]


I'm sad to hear that the Wailing Turnip somehow ended up in this.
posted by turbid dahlia at 10:42 PM on July 16 [1 favorite]


I figured they dyed the sails with squid ink.
posted by jamaro at 10:55 PM on July 16 [23 favorites]


My husband and I both "WOOOOOOOWWWW"ed at the "two hands" line, and had to go back and watch it again.

I'm pretty sure that was Wun Wun. I'm pretty sure those were all the folks from Hardhome. But I am very intrigued at the OTHER two wight!giants.
posted by KathrynT at 10:56 PM on July 16 [2 favorites]


Great opening. We were confused at first, like, is this a re-cap? Then "is this the same scene but from Arya's perspective?" I thought maybe she was one of the girls pouring the wine. Then it hit me OH SHIT SHE'S WALDER and I couldn't stop smiling. But a bit downhill from there, I thought.
Giant groan from me at the Ed Sheeran scene; just absolutely gross.
Don't miss Game of Thrones with Next Week's Extra Special Guest Star™ Shawn Mendes! *screams*
The shit/soup/books edit with Samwell was great.
I thought it was Wun Wun also but my son reminded me that he died inside the wall.
Was Euron a different guy? He looked different to me. Also how the hell did he build all those ships so fast.
Then I wanted more to happen and was sad when it ended.
So a yay and a boo from me.
posted by chococat at 11:30 PM on July 16 [2 favorites]


Walder Frey/Stark forever. But I hope she doesn't kill Cersei - I want actual Jaime to make that decision.
posted by corb at 12:28 AM on July 17 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I'm puzzled about Wun Wun. He didn't die at Hardhome, remember. He ends up dying at Winterfell, when Ramsay Bolton puts an arrow in his eye (though he had about 500 arrows in him already, poor guy).

So... if Wun Wun dies in Winterfell, well south of the wall, and not so much time has passed since the Battle of Winterfell (Jon and Sansa and everybody are still hanging out there),and since he died among friends and was presumably given a burial with honor somewhere near Winterfell... how would Wun Wun's body possibly get both a) re-animated and b) well north of the wall to join the Night King's army? I want to say, no, this didn't happen, and the three giants we see among the wight army are other giants.

But then, we get a close-up of the one wight-giant, and after all it does look like he's missing an eye -- one is blue, and the other is dark and looks like it might (possibly?) have something like a splinter of an arrow sticking out of it. So... despite all odds, maybe this is Wun Wun?

But then, if you're obsessive enough to actually go back and look closely at Wun Wun's death scene from last season, you see that the arrow de grace actually enters Wun Wun's right eye (his right, our left). The wight-giant's right eye is fine, bright blue, it's his left eye (and nose, and, well the rest of his face generally) that's ruined.

What to believe, then? It's true that the showrunners are moving fast now with only 15 hours left to wrap up the whole story; is it possible that they just threw continuity to the wind and put Wun Wun Wight in the Night King's army, even to the point of mixing up which eye he lost at Winterfell? (Maybe Jon buried him too deeply and he fell through into an underground river that runs north?)

Hard to say what D&D intended, but my instinct / headcanon says, Wun Wun is continuing to R.I.P. in peace beneath Winterfell, and the wight-giant we saw today is someone else entirely.

this episode of Obsessive GoT Geek brought to you by too much coffee today
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 1:13 AM on July 17 [39 favorites]


Yeah, Euron telegraphs "trash person" - I wonder if his accent fail is actually the actor trying to convey that the character is trying to "class it up for the Queen" and failing?

GoT has never been great about logistics, but Euron's fleet feels a little off. Is Yara/Theon's fleet about the same numbers as Eurons? Yara/Theon's is implied to be the higher quality, but what are their relative numbers?

Sam's bedpan montage felt right.

Those "nice" Lannister boys - so conflicted.

Clegane calling out wosname's manbun =D With The Hound hanging out again, I feel that the show's divergence with the books put us in the timeline where neither Clinton nor Trump were even the candidates.

The show really knocked it out of the park casting-wise; the ages of almost all of the actors really worked out well. Jamie is looking like a pro-athlete at the very tail end of competitive (like a Ray Bourque/Jarome Jagr/Teemu Selanne, NHLers who had pro contracts into their 40s) , the Stark kids are starting to look like stressed out adults. Sansa in particular is (made up?) to look haggard beyond her (actress) youth.

Gillie looks like city life has been good for her.

The Prisoner is definitely Jorah, from the voice and silhouette profile.

Dany arriving at... Dragonstone (?) - love the geography of the cliffs. Anyone know where those scenes were shot?

Missandei, Varys, Grey Worm are a tight little knot, no?
posted by porpoise at 1:40 AM on July 17 [3 favorites]


The "big reveal" about dragonglass being found at Dragonstone was pretty ham-fisted but I am very pleased with the pace of this episode. Everybody got a look-in and it was done very efficiently and effectively. Seems this show has always needed more condensed seasons than we've been subjected to in the past, but we'll see how it pans out.

Who was it that The Hound buried? Had we seen them in the past? I haven't rewatched any of the seasons in a long while, but my memory fancies Clegane running into a father and daughter at some point.
posted by turbid dahlia at 3:49 AM on July 17


Who was it that The Hound buried? Had we seen them in the past? I haven't rewatched any of the seasons in a long while, but my memory fancies Clegane running into a father and daughter at some point.

Yeah, the Father and daughter took them in, offered work, treated them very while the Hound acted like a shit. In the end, he wound up stealing money from them and leaving. When Arya protested, he said they didn't matter because come winter they'd be dead anyway.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:53 AM on July 17 [22 favorites]


Also, perhaps Dragonstone was "abandoned" to let Dany's crowd get all comfy and offload their troops before the Squidwards attack? As in, it's a trap? I mean the Lannister siblings were literally talking about Dragonstone being the place Dany would land, and it's not that far from King's Landing. But who knows how time works in Westeros, this could all be happening on the same day.
posted by turbid dahlia at 3:54 AM on July 17 [5 favorites]


Brandon, that's it! Thanks for the reminder.
posted by turbid dahlia at 3:56 AM on July 17


Also, perhaps Dragonstone was "abandoned" to let Dany's crowd get all comfy and offload their troops before the Squidwards attack?

Perhaps, but we saw the terrain and passage to the main castle and it would be incredibly difficult to take. Especially against someone with dragons, Dothraki, and the Unsullied.

Of course Euron is crazy and smart enough to attempt that! Especially if it means he can capture Tyrion and bring that gift back to Cersei.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:08 AM on July 17


Ship-related complaints: You're not getting a thousand fucking ships Euron!

Yes, that was my first reaction too! I had previously decided that any time someone mentions "1000 ships" that it's done in a figurative way rather than a literal way. So like when Daario 2.0 tells Dany she'll need 1000 ships to get all of her people across the Narrow Sea he's just saying they need a ridiculous number of ships.

And I mean, can the Iron Islands even find enough people to sail 1000 ships? I have no idea how many people it takes to sail one ship, but even if it's 10 people in the crew, that would be 10,000 people, and of course the whole point of the ship is to fight. Does the Iron Islands even come close to having a population that size? I guess they hope to get more fighting men from an alliance with the Lannisters, but still. And where the hell did they get trees for that many ships?

While we're on questions of credibility, one other thing I was wonder about:

I know the Faceless Men can put on different faces, but isn't it just the face? Like, I didn't think we were talking about Polyjuice potion here. I guess maybe a lot of robes could disguise any differences in size, but do the Faceless Men also train you how to perfectly imitate someone else's voice? It certainly is a useful skill to have. Incredibly useful.
posted by litera scripta manet at 4:17 AM on July 17 [3 favorites]


True enough. I'm thinking mainly of the Squidwards smashing the dragonfleet, thereby leaving Dany stranded and powerless. The Ironborn ships, or at least the mothership we saw, come equipped with battering rams, after all.
posted by turbid dahlia at 4:17 AM on July 17


It seemed to me that Arya's "winter came for house Frey" was a callback to Robb's long-ago "tell Tywin Lannister that winter is coming for him". I don't know if Arya heard that line or would have heard of it, but it made her revenge all the more perfect for me.

But I can't imagine that Arya's going to kill Cersei any time soon. Maybe she'll infiltrate the court and have some conversations like the ones she had with Tywin.
posted by Zonker at 4:37 AM on July 17 [1 favorite]


Going back to that Ed Sheeran scene, setting aside the stunt casting, one thing I did like about the scene was how refreshing it was to see some soldiers who weren't being total dicks. There were friendly and very respectful to Arya.

I also think it could be a good reminder to Arya that even if the people these soldiers are fighting for are evil (aka the Lannisters), most of these armies are made up of small folk who are just doing what they're ordered too. Something to keep in mind as she continues on her little murdering spree.

In a certain way it kind of ties in thematically to the Jon vs Sansa argument. And speaking of that argument, one interesting point in the AV club review for this episode (not linking to it because it's the one for book readers), is that one of Robb's mistakes was beheading Lord Karstark, so Jon is sort of taking the opposite approach here.

Sansa's argument did have merit, but I definitely see why Jon would be more focused on unifying the North at this point. I also might have felt a little bit differently about this if it weren't for the fact that Alys Karstark and the Umber boy weren't so young. It seems highly unlikely that either of them were involved in their family's betrayal.

It's still a good point that they should reward people who were loyal to them, so maybe Jon can find another way to reward Lyanna Mormont. After all, she did basically make him king. I guess someone will get the Dreadfort now that there are more Boltons.

I know Sansa also made the argument about not ignoring the threat of Cersei, which is always good advice, but doesn't it seem exceedingly unlikely that she would be able to mount an attack against the North now that winter is actually here? I know the Ironborn attacked the North back in S1 and S2, but that was before winter finally came. I have to imagine the Northern seas are not going to be very easy places to navigate even for Ironborn. Also Winterfell is pretty far inland, so you still would have to march quite a ways which is not an easy thing based on what happened to Stannis. (I know he was marching from the North, but still.)
posted by litera scripta manet at 4:53 AM on July 17 [4 favorites]


Aren't the Lannisters broke/almost broke?
posted by drezdn at 5:22 AM on July 17


"And where the hell did they get trees for that many ships? "

I have a long-time beef with the realism of the Iron Islands fleet and the short answer is THERE IS NOT THAT MUCH WOOD, they could not make the sails, they could do neither thing that fast, and, no, definitely not enough people -- welcome to our convocation of ship truthers!

(It's fine, it's fine! Things seeming realistic enough to nitpick is a mark of good worldbuilding.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 5:55 AM on July 17 [26 favorites]


Also, with Jon mentioning his time in the Nights Watch, it was a little strange that no one was asking if he shouldn't be killed for desertion, like that poor sap way back in episode 1. I mean, it's one thing for the audience to understand that his vows don't apply anymore since he was (mostly) dead and got better, but wouldn't someone in-universe have a problem getting their head around that?
posted by Zonker at 6:15 AM on July 17 [3 favorites]


Mr. Carmicha, my personal shiptruther, also had plenty to say about the rigging on the lead boat.
posted by carmicha at 6:18 AM on July 17 [4 favorites]


The Ironborn ships, or at least the mothership we saw, come equipped with battering rams, after all.

I HAVE SOME POINTED QUESTIONS, OKAY, ABOUT WHAT THE FUCK GOOD A FUCKING BATTERING RAM IS ON A SHIP WITHOUT BANKS OF OARS

That was only the second-biggest leap-of-faith for me in the episode, though. The biggest was that after the hard, brutal political education she has received, Sansa would just, y'know. Contradict Jon in open session in front of his lords.

Yes, she's the true-born daughter of Ned, and her worry about Jon is that he's too cuddly, so she isn't worried about him putting her head on a spike for it -- this is a Sansa who got through Joffrey and Ramsay Bolton. How the fuck did she not know to work on Jon beforehand? In fact, when it started, it felt so weird that I was half-convinced that it was an intentional strategem they set up, either so that:

1. People who disagreed with Jon would find themselves nodding along to Sansa, and then when she reversed course and agreed with him, they'd be cut off at the knees, or

2. She'd act as a lightning rod to draw discontent, and make sure that all plots to put her in Jon's place were appropriate focused on her, so that she and Jon could stay in control.

Alas, neither was the case, so it was just weird. But I did appreciate her pointed discussion with Jon about how DAD AND ROBB WERE STUPID YOU CANNOT BE STUPID.
posted by joyceanmachine at 6:39 AM on July 17 [13 favorites]


Also, with Jon mentioning his time in the Nights Watch, it was a little strange that no one was asking if he shouldn't be killed for desertion, like that poor sap way back in episode 1.

Everyone knows if they brought it up Lady Mormont would shut them the hell down and they're tired of looking like damn cowards in because of 13 year old girl.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:41 AM on July 17 [11 favorites]


Euron magically building 1,000 extremely fancy and evil looking ships, and then Jack Sparrowing into King's Landing is giving me real bad flashbacks to Ramsay, who was easily one of the worst parts of the storyline.
posted by codacorolla at 6:43 AM on July 17 [10 favorites]


Seriously, has there ever been a character on the show who is so on point and right all the time? Maybe Varys? Ooooh, I'd love to see those two interact.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:43 AM on July 17 [4 favorites]


You've guessed the ending, Brandon: Lady Mormont is Queen of the World, with Varys as Hand.
posted by Zonker at 6:46 AM on July 17 [13 favorites]


The biggest was that after the hard, brutal political education she has received, Sansa would just, y'know. Contradict Jon in open session in front of his lords.

I talked about this a bit in the Books thread, but essentially, I really think they're trying really hard to get through what has to be a lot of material in a very short amount of time, and it means they're having to do things more obviously and in some ways there are giant gaping holes you can drive a Phantom Wood Ship through.

A Dance With Dragons came in at 1,040 pages. Presuming GRRM stays the same, that means that The Winds Of Winter, wherever it may be, is probably also about 1,000 pages of incredibly dense interactions.

So maybe in the book-that-may-never-happen, GRRM has this complicated Political Rube Goldberg device where Sansa plots A to get B to get C to get D to get E to get F, because that's how he likes to do things. But the show doesn't have time to wait between those two, so maybe it's shortcutting "Hey guys, remember that Sansa still has reasons to not be thrilled with Jon's rule?"
posted by corb at 6:47 AM on July 17 [3 favorites]


"Of course Euron is crazy and smart enough to attempt that!"

Sure Euron's crazy, but I haven't seen a thing yet to convince me he's smart.
posted by komara at 6:50 AM on July 17 [8 favorites]


That was only the second-biggest leap-of-faith for me in the episode, though. The biggest was that after the hard, brutal political education she has received, Sansa would just, y'know. Contradict Jon in open session in front of his lords.

Yes, agreed. I def think that's just the writers taking shortcuts to show us/increase the tension between the pair of them due to the short time we have left.

Also, I think Jon orchestrated that scene to some degree, in terms of having the argument in front of everyone and then revealing that Alys Karstark and Ned Umber were actually already there, and so young. It's much easier to talk a big game about rewarding traitors with death and taking away family holdings if you're not looking at a scared 11-y/o boy and a mid-teens girl, both of whom obviously had nothing to do with their parents' treachery.

Jon had to know that his proclamation would be unpopular -- but also that his lords might be shamed into acquiescence when actually faced with the children they've been clamoring to execute. In that way, Sansa & her reactions are a proxy for his audience (the northern lords, not us) and it would have undercut the impact of the scene if J & S had acted realistically, eg developing a strategy in private and presenting a united front, had actually been followed.

... ooor on preview, what corb said.
posted by alleycat01 at 6:57 AM on July 17 [3 favorites]


All my complaints abou the HOW U GALLEY W/OUT OARS???? and the way the show wrote Sansa, I did fucking love the episode -- like, I adore Arya as Walder and how, in a very Walder way, she kept the poor, tyrannized wife from drinking the wine. And of course, I love Sansa knowing exactly what Littlefinger wants. And how she still can't stop herself sniping at him now that she has a shred of safety.

And unlike everyone else, apparently, I loved the Sheeran cameo. I mean, I didn't recognize him, but I loved the way you heard the music first. When was the last time Arya had a chance to appreciate beauty? And how that's the hook to her seeing them as human? Like, she is trying to figure out if she can take them, but they disarm her by being deeply, profoundly human -- they can tell she's a girl, but they don't threaten to hurt or rape her. They share their food with her. On talking to them, she realizes that they basically kids like her, who are also caught in this war.

Mr. Machine did his degree in European conflict, and he pointed out how young they all looked. At this point, the Lannister lands are drained of fighting men, like they're being drained of money. And while these kids might all be kitted out in super-fancy armor (cf their gear as Lannister meat grinder material with what the lords of the North have), they're the children of fishermen and tradespeople who want to go home, rather than the children of the petty nobility trained since nobility to prioritize their liege's political interests above all else.

In particular, I want to highlight the dude who talks about his wife and child. And the only-semi-conceled surprise in Arya's voice when she asks why he wants a daughter -- to her, the child of nobility, society thinks of women as breeding mares and chess pieces. And she's been foced to think the worst of people for so long. For season after season, she has been forced to value them only for what they can do to advance or hinder her cause. And here this guy pushes back against the conventional wisdom in front of all his friends, saying he wants to have a daughter, because he wants to be loved when he is old.

Sure, it's still gendered, but I love having Arya getting to come face to face with that. Girl has basically been embroiled in death cult, for, like how many seasons now? How many times has she thought that the world is dead for her, and there will be nothing to live for once she has killed her murder list? And now she has to confront the fact that there are all these people in the world who want to live. Who love. Who share their food with strangers. Who still have families that they can lose.

That sets her up beautifully for meeting Sansa and Jon this season.
posted by joyceanmachine at 7:02 AM on July 17 [47 favorites]


It's true that it would be logistically nearly impossible for Cersei to pay for & provision an army to move North during winter, as folks have said said here and both Jon and Jaime said in the show. But I think* Jon is (and perhaps we are) supposed to think that Sansa's been so brutalized by Cersei that she's incapable of thinking rationally about the threat the queen poses.

*SORRY GUYS I HAVE SO MANY THOUGHTS I'VE BEEN WAITING SO LONG FOR THIS
posted by alleycat01 at 7:05 AM on July 17 [2 favorites]


But I think* Jon is (and perhaps we are) supposed to think that Sansa's been so brutalized by Cersei that she's incapable of thinking rationally about the threat the queen poses.

There's some truth to that, Sansa definitely has some issues, perhaps the number being that she learned so much from Cersei, who was never as smart or as cunning as she thought.

Jon's totally correct that the White Walkers are the big issue and the Cersei poses little threat to them up North. But if he were a bit wiser, he'd be asking Sansa about trying to forge some alliance with the Cersei because they could really use her army against the White Walkers.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:09 AM on July 17


HEY I HAVE A NAVAL QUESTION since we're apparently all here for this.

Cersei seems to think that Euron's fleet is her ticket to pacifying the North. Why? Winterfell is landlocked. Most of the North is landlocked. Highgarden is mostly landlocked. Like, why does she want One Meeeeeelion Boats? What good does that do her at all?
posted by soren_lorensen at 7:11 AM on July 17 [7 favorites]


(Also, Euron is clearly The Worst and those of you hoping he's not going to be this season's Ramsay, I think there's going to be some bad news in your future.)
posted by soren_lorensen at 7:13 AM on July 17 [2 favorites]


To combat the other Iron Fleet, which has House Tyrell and Dorne ships too. Cersei needs all the allies she can get at this point.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:14 AM on July 17


Yeah, Euron telegraphs "trash person"

LOL even the cut of his clothing telegraphed that. Like both Jaime and Cersei are in Responsible Adult clothing (J in the traditional Kingsguard plate armor and C in a beautifully-tailored, severely-cut gown) and Euron's in hip-slung leather pants with extraneous thongs & grommets and a shirt/jacket with too many buttons undone. Straight from the Rebellious Teen line at Westerosi Hot Topic.
posted by alleycat01 at 7:17 AM on July 17 [39 favorites]


Just wait until Euron starts wearing the "Make Westeros Great Again" hat.
posted by drezdn at 7:21 AM on July 17 [16 favorites]


Who is left on Arya's kill list?

* Cersei
* The Mountain
* Melisandre
* Beric Dondarrion
* Thoros of Myr
* Ilyn Payne
and
* The Hound (She left him for dead. Doesn't know he's still alive.)
posted by zarq at 7:32 AM on July 17 [1 favorite]


Straight from the Rebellious Teen line at Westerosi Hot Topic.

You know the Sand Snakes were all over that shit when they were like 14.

The cold open was quite satisfying, but I think that was the Scooby-Dooest mask reveal in the history of television.

Also,
Robb = Fred
Sansa = Daphne
Arya - Velma
Jon = Shaggy
Ghost = Scooby
posted by Rock Steady at 7:35 AM on July 17 [9 favorites]


...other good stuff and... That sets her up beautifully for meeting Sansa and Jon this season.

And a good set up for a Hound reunion (hopefully) while he has also been gaining some "humanity points" of late.
posted by Golem XIV at 7:38 AM on July 17


I really, really hope Arya meets the changed Hound. That would be hella interesting.

That sets her up beautifully for meeting Sansa and Jon this season.

Will she though? I had thought she would, but with Arya heading south and that being the last place Jon, Sansa or the Hound are headed, it looks doubtful.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:40 AM on July 17 [1 favorite]


EW: Game of Thrones: Maisie Williams on that season premiere surprise:
With Arya back in Westeros and able to impersonate anybody she kills, the actress also has a clever idea about how the series’ final moment could play out in season 8.

“I’ve always had this fantasy in the back of my head — I don’t think it’s a good ending and fans might not like it — but that somebody would sit on the Iron Throne at the end and then they whip their face off and it’s Arya instead,” she says. “I’ve always had that dream.”
--
Also, there's not much meat to this article, but the title was good: Iain Glen on Jorah’s Arm: ‘No Doubt About It, I’m in Trouble’
posted by zarq at 7:45 AM on July 17 [5 favorites]


Randomness: Sky TV (UK) had an hour+ recap of the show*, with a random assortment of journalists, actors, and show production folks (including GRRM) talking about the show, including Kate Dickie (Lysa Arryn) talking about the incestuous dysfunction of Cersi and Jaime: [raspberries] "I have never ... talk about dysfunctional" - I like to think she was going to say "I have never seen a more dysfunctional family," but realized just who she was.

* Warning: if you look this show up, it's super explicit, almost condensing the worst moments.

Also random: I look forward to CSI: Westeros, with Thoros, Beric and the Hound going around to solve mysterious deaths (often caused by the Hound).

Thoros: What do you think, Beric?
Beric: Looks like they were starving, and the father killed his daughter, then himself, to end their misery.
Hound: Yeah, yeah, something like that. Let's bury 'em and mumble through some prayers.

Also also: kudos to the show runners for finding a beautifully simple shortcut for quicker editing: it's easy to color match and patch together some cheap CGI by making everything shades of black.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:50 AM on July 17 [5 favorites]


Quotes

Arya: [disguised as Walder Frey] "Maybe I'm not the most pleasant man. I'll admit it. But I'm proud of you lot. You're my family, the men who helped me slaughter the Starks at the Red Wedding. Yes, yes. Cheer. Brave men, all of you. Butchered a woman pregnant with her babe. Cut the throat of a mother of five. Slaughtered your guests after inviting them into your home. But you didn't slaughter every one of the Starks. No, no, that was your mistake. You should have ripped them all out, root and stem. Leave one wolf alive and the sheep are never safe."
[Arya reveals herself]
Arya: "When people ask you what happened here, tell them the North remembers. Tell them winter came for House Frey."
--
Sansa: "So there’s no punishment for treason and no reward for loyalty”
--
Lyanna Mormont: "I don't plan on knitting by the fire while men fight for me. I might be small, Lord Glover, and I might be a girl, but I am every bit as much a Northerner as you."
Robett Glover: "Indeed you are, my lady. No one has questioned--"
Lyanna Mormont: "And I don't need your permission to defend the North."
--
Jon: "What did father used to say? 'Everything before the word "but" is horseshit.'"
--
Sansa: "You have to be smarter than father. You need to be smarter than Robb. I loved them, I miss them, but they made stupid mistakes and they both lost their heads for it."
--
Jon: "There's a thousand miles between us and Cersei. Winter is here. The Lannisters are a southern army. They've never ranged this far north."
Sansa: "You're the military man, but I know her. If you're her enemy, she'll never stop until she's destroyed you. Everyone who's ever crossed her, she's found a way to murder."
Jon: "You almost sound as if you admire her."
Sansa: "I learned a great deal from her."
--
Cersei: "Daenerys Targaryen has chosen Tyrion to be her Hand. Right now, they're sailing across the Narrow Sea, hoping to take back her father's throne. Our little brother, the one you love so much, the one you set free, the one who murdered our father and our first-born son, now he stands beside our enemies and gives them counsel. He's out there somewhere at the head of an armada. Where will they land?"
Jamie: "Dragonstone."
--
Cersei: "Enemies to the east. Enemies to the south. Ellaria Sand and her brood of bitches. Enemies to the west--Olenna, the old cunt. Another traitor. Enemies to the north. Ned Stark's bastard has been named King in the North and that murdering whore Sansa stands beside him. Enemies everywhere. We're surrounded by traitors."
--
Cersei: "I'm the Queen of the Seven Kingdoms."
Jamie: "Three kingdoms, at best. I'm not sure you understand how much danger we're in."
--
Cersei: “Should we spend all our days mourning the dead? Mother, father, and all our children? I loved them, I did. But they’re ashes now, and we’re still flesh and blood. We’re the last Lannisters, the last ones who count.”
--
Euron Greyjoy: “Ever since I was a little boy, I wanted to grow up and marry the most beautiful woman in the world. So here I am, with a thousand ships... and two good hands.”
--
Arya: "I’m going to kill the queen."
--
Tormund: [To Pod] “You’re a lucky man.”
--
Daenerys: "Shall we begin?"
posted by zarq at 8:07 AM on July 17 [6 favorites]


Dragonstone being empty doesn't make sense. It seems like it should either be setting or a trap, or the writers could have had the garrison welcome Dany.

After watching The Magicians (FanFare show page), that's what I expected, especially with all the glances.


I hope Euron isn't a sadistic Joffrey Ramsey replacement lol who am I kidding of course he is.

Except Euron-Ramsey isn't paired with another young Sansa, but Cersi, who has her own army -- it's small, but it includes a zombie Mountain.


HEY I HAVE A NAVAL QUESTION since we're apparently all here for this.

Cersei seems to think that Euron's fleet is her ticket to pacifying the North. Why? Winterfell is landlocked. Most of the North is landlocked. Highgarden is mostly landlocked. Like, why does she want One Meeeeeelion Boats? What good does that do her at all?


Oh my gosh, so much this!

Euron: "With the Iron Fleet, you own the seas. You can defeat the invaders of the east and the pretenders of the north and south."
... "Assuming everyone tries to get into the Boat Battle game, at which point we'll pwn them all! After all, I'm the greatest captain on the 14 seas.... Just don't ask to see my land legs."
posted by filthy light thief at 8:07 AM on July 17 [2 favorites]


I don't really have an opinion on Ed Sheeran one way or the other but seeing Thomas Turgoose from This Is England in that same scene was a nice surprise.
posted by cazoo at 8:20 AM on July 17 [5 favorites]


Tormund's massive crush on Brienne has been fun for the two or three scenes we've seen of it, but I was sort of glad that he's trying sent off to man a castle somewhere, because I was worried that it would soon get creepy and stalker-ish.
posted by Zonker at 8:21 AM on July 17 [3 favorites]


zarq: Arya: "I’m going to kill the queen."
... beat
... beat
... beat
[All laugh, Ayra smiles]
posted by filthy light thief at 8:24 AM on July 17 [4 favorites]


Another really nice moment was the look of relief/pride on Alys Karstark's face after she and Ned Umber take the loyalty oath.
posted by TwoStride at 8:29 AM on July 17 [7 favorites]


At first, I thought the cold open was some kind of flashback but then I realized what was going on and it was glorious. ARYA, FUCK YES. Sansa is definitely a pro, now. And we still have Lady Mormont verbally beating up all the adults. If we get the defeat of the White Walkers, it should be followed by Lady Mormont smiling. Once. Only once.
posted by rmd1023 at 8:31 AM on July 17 [3 favorites]


Cersei seems to think that Euron's fleet is her ticket to pacifying the North. Why? Winterfell is landlocked. Most of the North is landlocked. Highgarden is mostly landlocked. Like, why does she want One Meeeeeelion Boats? What good does that do her at all?

It could theoretically weaken the North by forcing them to fight armies on two fronts. In actuality, the North would be fighting on three fronts: Against the White Walkers from the North, the Lannisters from the South and the Ironborn from the West. But iirc, Cersei doesn't believe the White Walkers exist, so she wouldn't factor them into her assessment.

Also, the Ironborn are used to fighting in Northern climes. The Lannister army is not.

When Balon declared himself King and sent out Theon and Yara in a fleet to the North a few seasons ago, it was to raid and pillage coastal settlements, and slowly take over lands. Theon tried to prove himself by taking Winterfell against Yara's warnings and that turned out to be disastrous. But this is part of the Ironborn philosophy, which was described by Daenerys last season as "reaving, roving, raiding or raping." That's what the "Iron price" is: killing people and taking their possessions. (As opposed, presumably, to the "gold price": paying currency for goods.)

The Ironborn seem to believe they can conquer the North if they want to. At least, Balon did and Euron apparently does.
posted by zarq at 8:31 AM on July 17 [1 favorite]


At least, Balon did and Euron apparently does.

I mean, like, have at it, dudes, but it has not gone that well for them thus far. And pretty soon all those ports are going to be ice hazards anyway.

Yara's fleet seems mainly in service to Getting Dany And the Unsullied and the Dothraki Who BTW Hate Water To Westeros. I don't think Daenarys is really planning on a naval campaign here. I'm sure Yara will be happy to harry the coastline and perhaps shoot things at King's Landing or blockade Blackwater Bay, but the bulk of Dany's power is land-based. That was always her problem. A quadrillion horses don't get you squat if the thing you want to invade is across an ocean.

So, I am skeptical that, in a sense-making universe, Euron's Boats of Improbable Provenance are any kind of major advantage in this war.
posted by soren_lorensen at 8:50 AM on July 17 [1 favorite]


It kind of depends on whether Dany's fleet has unloaded the unsullied and Dothraki yet. If Euron can get to them before they are unloaded, Dany could suffer a major blow. Afterwards, he might take out her ships, but she doesn't need them that much anymore.
posted by drezdn at 8:54 AM on July 17


Even though it's poorly conveyed, I think the idea is that Euron is supposed to be the first Ironborn king in ages who has actual ambitions beyond day-to-day survival. Theon had those ambitions, but didn't have the political or military capital to back it up. The Ironborn, multiple times throughout the episode, are referred to as shitty tacticians and fighters, so it seems like they're setting up an ironic reversal where (in the right hands) the Ironborn fleet is actually a super weapon.

And the writers LOVE giving skeezy, rapey idiots superpowers, so I guess Euron will be those right hands. Also, that's the only way that they can possibly make the plot interesting. Cersei is clearly out-manned and out-maneuvered if Dorne and Highgarden ally, much less if they bend a knee to Daeny. The magical squid fleet seems to be the way that they've chosen to manufacture a villain for this season, and... eh.
posted by codacorolla at 8:56 AM on July 17 [3 favorites]


"Assuming everyone tries to get into the Boat Battle game, at which point we'll pwn them all! After all, I'm the greatest captain on the 14 seas.... Just don't ask to see my land legs."

Doesn't have to, because Cersei has land forces, but seemingly not a fleet to move them quickly around. Or at least not one to counter the Tully ships and the OTHER Iron Fleet.

but the bulk of Dany's power is land-based.

No, it's air based, :), which can deal massive damage to navies and ground troops. The foot soldiers are just for finishing up and establishing guards/police force. Seriously, this is Danny's fight to lose and it's annoying that she's taken her sweet time to get to Westeros and longer still to deploy the dragons.

Cersei is clearly out-manned and out-maneuvered if Dorne and Highgarden ally...

But not out-crazied. Danny would like to conquer without killing everyone and burning cities to the ground. Cersei has no such restrictions and that'll get her a certain distance further in the game, but yeah, she's on life support. The really smart play would be for her to bend the knee and wait several years to plot and plan, but that's not how crazy rolls.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:04 AM on July 17 [5 favorites]


I think the idea is that Euron is supposed to be the first Ironborn king in ages who has actual ambitions beyond day-to-day survival.

Balon declared himself King twice and each time tried to secede the Iron Islands from the Seven Kingdoms. First instance was during Robert's Rebellion. Robert Baratheon and Ned Stark defeated the Ironborn. Two of Balon's sons died in the conflict, and his youngest son, Theon, became Ned's hostage, to keep Balon in line. Second instance was after Robb Stark declared himself King in the North and sent Theon home. Balon promptly declared himself King again.... and we all know what happened next.
posted by zarq at 9:04 AM on July 17


Ed Sheeran is the Worst Person in Westeros for Slate this week. It's also interesting to note that they assumed Wun Wun was part of the White Walker army now, too--and there's a lot of debate in the comments on the FB post of this article, as well as a Romper article that is very confident that we did see Wun Wun (though with no explanation about how he was transported so far away from Winterfell is such little time...)
posted by TwoStride at 9:05 AM on July 17 [1 favorite]


I did like how Jaime was all WHERE ARE OUR ALLIES?? and there's a ominous, cinematic camera pan over this vast fleet of kraken-branded ships coming into harbor at KL, which would normally be treated as one of those "oh sh*t!" moments in GOT ... and then we flip back to Jaime and he's like "... the Ironborn? That's your big plan? I know the Ironborn, man, they're the worst." <cue audience groan in agreement>
posted by alleycat01 at 9:13 AM on July 17 [3 favorites]


Wouldn't Jon have burned Wun-Wun, knowing all that he knows now? If not, I think it's very poor storytelling.
posted by Night_owl at 9:13 AM on July 17 [10 favorites]


Balon declared himself King twice and each time tried to secede the Iron Islands from the Seven Kingdoms. First instance was during Robert's Rebellion. Robert Baratheon and Ned Stark defeated the Ironborn. Two of Balon's sons died in the conflict, and his youngest son, Theon, became Ned's hostage, to keep Balon in line. Second instance was after Robb Stark declared himself King in the North and sent Theon home. Balon promptly declared himself King again.... and we all know what happened next.

There's a difference between saying something and doing it. In fact, the whole Kingsmoot plotline is about that. Balon pretends to want to conquer, but really he's just slightly expanding the pillaging that's defined the Ironborn for centuries. In fact, when Theon actually does try to put the concept of conquest into practice, he has to do it covertly and is roundly defeated.
posted by codacorolla at 9:15 AM on July 17 [1 favorite]


So I guess I can put it differently: Euron is the first Ironborn king in ages who has the capability of being anything more than a petty thief with a boat.
posted by codacorolla at 9:16 AM on July 17 [1 favorite]


I didn't finish last season so I started over after this episode. I thought it was interesting that In S6.E1, Jamie (returning with the dead Myrcella) gives Cersei the "fuck everyone who is not us" speech and this time its the other way around.
posted by shothotbot at 9:31 AM on July 17


So I guess I can put it differently: Euron is the first Ironborn king in ages who has the capability of being anything more than a petty thief with a boat.

That's fair. There's definitely a difference between ambition and capability between them.
posted by zarq at 9:31 AM on July 17




I'm shocked how many people online are convinced Littlefinger is firmly Team Sansa at this point.
posted by drezdn at 9:37 AM on July 17 [2 favorites]


Oh good point. I'm not thinking Baelish as much of a threat at this point, but it's totally possible he'll flip flop somehow, especially if Sansa keeps giving him the cold shoulder. 'Cause he wants the Iron Throne really bad and if Sansa doesn't want to be his queen, then he might make other plans.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:41 AM on July 17 [1 favorite]


I just figured Brandon was looking into the future, which makes that last shot pretty ominous.
posted by eagle-bear at 9:42 AM on July 17 [4 favorites]


Littlefinger's always Team Littlefinger; it's just that this episode's 'fingering involved a lot of leaning against walls and smirking.

And yes, I suspect that Sansa becoming overconfident about her ability to manage Littlefinger -- "I know exactly what he wants" -- is going to become A Problem.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 9:43 AM on July 17 [11 favorites]


codacorolla: So I guess I can put it differently: Euron is the first Ironborn king in ages who has the capability of being anything more than a petty thief with a boat.

I think you mean more than vicious thugs with a boat. They're not sneaking up and taking livestock from their pens and clothes from clotheslines in the night, they're raping and pillaging - the iron price. The problem is that their reach is limited by their boats, because they suck at managing forces from behind castle walls. A big part is probably because castle life is shit for morale of pillagers, and to range out, pillage around the castle and come back in to feast only works for so long, unlike ranging up and down the coasts. Theon and Yara found out what a pain in the ass managing a castle is, especially without supportive people in the countryside.


drezdn: I'm shocked how many people online are convinced Littlefinger is firmly Team Sansa at this point.

In the Sky TV recap, GRRM said something like Littlefinger is an agent of chaos. I agree that he's only on Team Littlefinger, and if Team Littlefinger can bed Sansa, he would like that, but that's not his only goal, because he never has only one goal.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:07 AM on July 17 [4 favorites]


As apparently the only person in the world who has no idea who Ed Sheeran is, I thought the soldiers/singing scenes fit really nicely with the rest of the show. But it was probably jarring if his face is really familiar.

Overall I loved that they devoted plenty of time to the various characters' important scenes. Having grown up in the 70s and being a fan of old movies, constant back-and-forth intercuts stress my out. The length of, say, the Hound's scenes at the farmhouse felt just right to me.
posted by freecellwizard at 10:12 AM on July 17 [4 favorites]


The song Ed Sheeran was singing was from the book 'A Storm of Swords.'

Is it okay to discuss the meaning behind it in a show-only thread? I don't think it includes any spoilers.
posted by zarq at 10:20 AM on July 17


I have a long-time beef with the realism of the Iron Islands fleet and the short answer is THERE IS NOT THAT MUCH WOOD, they could not make the sails, they could do neither thing that fast, and, no, definitely not enough people -- welcome to our convocation of ship truthers!

They have used the wisdom of the two finger mouse. Ctrl-c Ctrl-v.
posted by srboisvert at 10:26 AM on July 17 [4 favorites]


Wouldn't Jon have burned Wun-Wun, knowing all that he knows now? If not, I think it's very poor storytelling.

I thought this about the Hound's burial scene as well (though he is unaware of white walkers he does know about dead coming back to life). Then I started thinking about what the time range of the dead rising was. Do they have to be recently dead? How recent? Will the cemeteries rise and walk? That will give them infinite numbers.
posted by srboisvert at 10:35 AM on July 17 [1 favorite]


I posted a comment about the song and its symbolism in the Books Included thread. If it's okay to discuss it here, I'll copy it over.
posted by zarq at 10:35 AM on July 17


Ed Sheeran is the Worst Person in Westeros

I do not understand this at all. I'm ambivalent about his music, but what's the problem here? He looks the part, he sang a little song, said a couple lines. So what?
posted by dnash at 10:38 AM on July 17 [16 favorites]


Wun-Wun

Y'all are a bunch of giant racists. Ahem. Although giants do all apparently look basically the same, I am chalking it up to costume/CGI budget limitations.

1. Wun-Wun was our giant but clearly not the only giant since there were 2-3 in that shot with the Nights King. Those giants could have died who knows how long ago if they are undead.
2. Winterfell is way south of the wall. Wun-wun died at Winterfell. The Night's King has not gotten south of the wall (yet). There is no way on Planetos that they would or could have drug Wun-Wun's gigantic dead body to the other side of the wall. Ergo, that was not Wun-Wun.
posted by gatorae at 10:46 AM on July 17 [14 favorites]


::dying::

Sue Perkins interview: 'I tried to get Mary Berry into Game of Thrones but it was the castration episode.'
“I really tried. But unfortunately the episode where I tried to get her involved was the Theon castration episode,” she says. “It was sort of accidental and she vaguely watched a couple of minutes and just sort of said 'Oh dear' and that was it."

posted by zarq at 10:51 AM on July 17 [17 favorites]


"But it was probably jarring if his face is really familiar."

NBC aired a rerun of SNL the day before GoT and we idly watched it (as we had seen it when it first aired). The musical guest was Ed Sheeran. We didn't make it through the whole episode a second time but we did make it to the first musical performance which neither my wife nor I liked. Okay, that's being kind - we actively disliked the song and may have participated in some hate-watching and/or directing commentary directly at the screen.

so to see his dumb face crop up less than 24 hours after we had decided that his song couldn't possibly end soon enough ... yeah, it was jarring. As I said to a co-worker this morning, "Couldn't they have done something - anything - to disguise him a bit? Give him some weird scars or a burn on his face or cover him with mud or even put a hat or a rag on his head or ANYTHING? At all?" because most of my frustration was not that Ed Sheeran appeared, but that he appeared in the role of Ed Sheeran Wearing Armor and still had his same dumb hair and dumb face intact. One of us (okay probably me) said, "Really? Him?" the instant his face was revealed.

Honestly I would have totally forgotten (again) that he ever played on SNL but this one single GoT appearance has me on Team Not-Ed forever, I'm afraid. Because clearly it's all his fault how it played out, not the fault of the producers or Maisie or anything. I'm placing blame where it's deserved.
posted by komara at 10:55 AM on July 17 [5 favorites]


the Ed Sheeran appearance would have been 200% less offensive if they'd just insisted on not letting him keep his hair clean and swept forward

also if they'd let Arya murder his character. COME ON MAISIE THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN FUN FOR YOU
posted by prize bull octorok at 11:01 AM on July 17 [11 favorites]


Why is Dragonstone empty? Well say you're a hopped up local lord living the good life in an abandoned castle. People keep telling that somewhere over the ocean the rightful ruler has a few armies, a navy, and some dragons. You don't attention to them because you're leading the good life after scratching for a living for years and who wants to go back to a life of robbing people, hiring your men out as mercenaries, and starving. Then one day you look out the window and there's a fleet coming your way. If you look closely you can see dragons above the fleet. I think even the dumbest warlord would bug out of that castle.

I think Arya lecturing the Freys on leaving pups alive may come back to haunt her. She left the Frey women and children alive.
posted by rdr at 11:03 AM on July 17 [5 favorites]


Why is Dragonstone empty? Well say you're a hopped up local lord living the good life in an abandoned castle. People keep telling that somewhere over the ocean the rightful ruler has a few armies, a navy, and some dragons. You don't attention to them because you're leading the good life after scratching for a living for years and who wants to go back to a life of robbing people, hiring your men out as mercenaries, and starving. Then one day you look out the window and there's a fleet coming your way. If you look you see dragons above the fleet. I think even the dumbest warlord would bug out of that castle

I mean yes but then there would be signs of recent habitation and hurried flight, debris and trash everywhere, broken furniture, etc. (Have you seen any of those interior images of some of the houses in foreclosure, where people just decided F THE BANKS and walked away? When you're being chased out of your home by authority or a conquering army you don't stop and tidy up on the way out.)

... why yes this is my hill and i will die on it
posted by alleycat01 at 11:09 AM on July 17 [3 favorites]


I seem to be Sheeran-face-blind. Like, I'd seen the guy before, I think, but didn't recognise him in this episode. I think I still wouldn't recognise him. I guess for people without this affliction, it would have been as distracting as seeing (MeFi's own) asavage turn up in The Expanse...
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 11:13 AM on July 17 [2 favorites]


Uh, am I the only one who caught that the scene with the army of the dead was a vision Bran was having? So yeah, that was Wun Wun, and it was happening in the future after the dead breach the Wall. Likely because Bran has crossed it and now the Night King can follow him anywhere because he's marked Bran.
posted by elsietheeel at 11:14 AM on July 17 [22 favorites]


Dragon Stone is an Island with no agriculture you can't just leave like 50 dudes there with a case of wheat-thins and be like "good luck in case an army shows up! off to the north forever BYE!!"

Not that this show/books gives one shit about logistics. How are there still large armies left? how boats? how food? how massive fields of flax for sails?!?!
posted by French Fry at 11:15 AM on July 17 [10 favorites]


Chryswatchesgot: Isn't this still wet?
posted by rewil at 11:19 AM on July 17 [6 favorites]


elsietheeel: Not burning Wun-Wun's body would still require Jon to be carrying the idiot ball. Oh wait...
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 11:19 AM on July 17 [1 favorite]


Nah, I formally award the Idiot Ball in this episode to Bran. Just casually rolling into the Wall when he fucking KNOWS he has the zombie equivalent of permanently inviting the vampire into every house you own as soon as you walk in????????????????????????
posted by joyceanmachine at 11:24 AM on July 17 [6 favorites]


Then one day you look out the window and there's a fleet coming your way. If you look closely you can see dragons above the fleet.

Sure, but the castle didn't look recently abandoned. Mostly likely people split after they found out Stanis was dead, because Dragonstone has no natural resources for sustaining human life.

Which is the real problem here, who the fuck builds a castle that can't sustain the royal family for a short siege? Christ, Winterfell supposedly sits on hot springs, so people can maintain greenhouses during Winter. But Dragonstone makes not a lick of sense as a refuge for the royal family.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:25 AM on July 17 [1 favorite]


Which is the real problem here, who the fuck builds a castle that can't sustain the royal family for a short siege?

It makes a lot of sense if it's where you're keeping your dragons. At that point it is essentially unsiegable/unblockadable and you have undisturbed access to whatever supplies you can ferry in from the air.
posted by Copronymus at 11:36 AM on July 17 [9 favorites]


Huh, hadn't thought of that, interesting take!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:44 AM on July 17


OK i promise this is my last comment on the matter, but ... Dragonstone has tactical significance! It guards the entrance to Blackwater Bay and thus the approach to King's Landing. And it's clearly depicted as being easy to defend with a small force -- imagine trying to get an invading force up those steps from the beach if there was ANY resistance.

Given that & the fact that Cersei is expecting Dany to arrive via armada, I can't image the Lannisters could afford not to at least leave 50 dudes with a box of wheat-thins there.

(Although now that I think about it, I guess that means Euron's fleet just sailed past Dragonstone on its way to KL? Pity he couldn't have left a couple of ships and some soldiers there to hold down the fort. Sort of a pre-engagement gift to Cersei.)
posted by alleycat01 at 11:46 AM on July 17 [2 favorites]


It makes a lot of sense if it's where you're keeping your dragons. At that point it is essentially unsiegable/unblockadable and you have undisturbed access to whatever supplies you can ferry in from the air.

Berlin Dragonstone airlift
posted by drezdn at 11:52 AM on July 17


Forgive me if this has been mentioned before, but if the Wall repels the dead/undead then what about Jon? I guess maybe the lord of light's resurrection magic is different than the children's magic that brought back Benjen?
posted by elsietheeel at 11:56 AM on July 17


Dragonstone is historically and psychologically significant as it was Dany's ancestors' staging point for conquering the Westeros. It may not be the best stronghold in terms of real world logistics but it works for GoT.
posted by Ashwagandha at 12:01 PM on July 17 [1 favorite]


Forgive me if this has been mentioned before, but if the Wall repels the dead/undead then what about Jon? I guess maybe the lord of light's resurrection magic is different than the children's magic that brought back Benjen?

There's a least a small chance that the reason the books fell behind the show is that George RR Martin realized that he has, like, 5 different religions going on, each with its own apparently effective system of magic including some form of raising the dead and has spent years trying and failing to sort it all out.

"But what if the Warlocks of Qarth tricked Bran into possessing Gregor Clegane and having him cross the Wall?" he wails from deep within his bunker. "Could the priests of the Drowned God revive him?"
posted by Copronymus at 12:20 PM on July 17 [20 favorites]


I HAVE SOME POINTED QUESTIONS, OKAY, ABOUT WHAT THE FUCK GOOD A FUCKING BATTERING RAM IS ON A SHIP WITHOUT BANKS OF OARS

Ha! You're right of course. I checked the scene again and the lead ship doesn't even have any oarholes, and the ram seems a bit nubbin-y.
posted by turbid dahlia at 12:21 PM on July 17


a Romper article that is very confident that we did see Wun Wun (though with no explanation about how he was transported so far away from Winterfell is such little time.

It's a vision of the future. The ground the Wight Army is advancing over is green grass which turns to frost as they pass over it. The implication is that the Night King has made it south of the wall and has resurrected poor Wun Wun.
posted by KathrynT at 12:30 PM on July 17 [12 favorites]


"Could the priests of the Drowned God revive him?"

No, because the Drowned God is clearly one of the actual bullshit gods in Westeros. So, you take a dude, hold him under water till he passes out, then haul his ass out and let him come to again. If he does, yay, and if he doesn't? You probably didn't deserve to live anyway. Win/win, no supernatural intervention necessary. (I also maintain that the Drowned God's little mantra sounds like something a particularly precociously assholic 12-year-old would say after losing a fight. "Yeah, well, you'd better hope you don't run into me again, cuz I'm gonna be harder and stronger, bruh!" Who talks like that?!)
posted by soren_lorensen at 12:31 PM on July 17 [3 favorites]


I was impressed that Sandor Clegane, kissed by fire against his will as a child, apparently has a strong connection to the Lord of Light. He divined truths about the world by gazing into the flames. This seemed interesting/possibly significant to me.
posted by clockzero at 12:40 PM on July 17 [7 favorites]


It isn't a new theory but I wonder if all that was setting the groundwork for Sandor Clegane becoming the Azor Ahai or at the very least a priest of Rh'llor.
posted by Ashwagandha at 12:54 PM on July 17 [6 favorites]


Given what we've seen last night, that seems like a strong possibility. Sandor is now well versed in how absolutely weak the faith of The Seven is, while also possessing definitive proof of the power of Rh'llor - that seems like a conversion in the making. You could likely abstract that out to Westeros as a whole. The humiliating defeat of The Faith Millitant and The High Sparrow at the hands of one of the most hated monarchs (in a long line contending for that position!) coupled with the miraculous appearance of dragons, and a Christ-figure resurrected by Rh'llor, would do a lot to make the Red Religion appealing. Especially in the face of a literal apocalypse. I'm actually really curious if Jon will have to make a choice about forsaking the religion of his forefathers, given his unique position to be the standard bearer for Rh'llor (like, y'know, a successful Stannis).

This is all super interesting to me, but I'm worried that the show doesn't have the time or the desire to flesh it out.
posted by codacorolla at 1:08 PM on July 17 [8 favorites]


"am I the only one who caught that the scene with the army of the dead was a vision Bran was having?"

No.

"So yeah, that was Wun Wun, and it was happening in the future after the dead breach the Wall."

Oh my god okay so A.) there was nothing there that showed it was the future but more importantly

B.) I swear, there is more than one giant in the world in which Game of Thrones is set and if you see a giant it is not necessarily Wun Wun. In fact, in that scene you can see more than one giant. Does everyone think that the other giants were Wun Wun as well? Does he teleport to the background of scenes now before he's even out of the foreground?

NOT TO MENTION why aren't we worried about every single person that's died on this side of the wall? Why weren't people pointing at J. Random Zombie and being like OH MY GOD THAT'S RAMSAY HE'S BACK FROM THE DEAD

man. i swear.

it is not Wun Wun. Let it go.
posted by komara at 1:25 PM on July 17 [22 favorites]


Bigger question: For this point on, will every person that dies come back as a Wight?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:29 PM on July 17


I plan to. If you haven't got a living will, this is a good excuse to set one up.
posted by asperity at 1:34 PM on July 17 [16 favorites]


Does everyone think that the other giants were Wun Wun as well?

yes! THEY'RE HIS CLONES. the one we saw marching was Wun Two, the one in the background was Wun Three, and the one they sent to Tatooine, of course, was Obi-Wun Kenobi
posted by prize bull octorok at 1:36 PM on July 17 [52 favorites]


As apparently the only person in the world who has no idea who Ed Sheeran is

Two, had to google'm, I was disturbed by the large amount of trust on both sides in that scene, a young woman alone on the road with a group of solders, either a potential victim or bait for following bandits.
posted by sammyo at 1:36 PM on July 17 [3 favorites]


At some point, wouldn't it make sense for Sandor Clegane to end up a follower of Daenerys Targaryen?

How could a person deathly afraid of fire possibly resist the mojo of She Who Cannot Be Burned?
posted by DirtyOldTown at 1:48 PM on July 17 [5 favorites]


Sansa had kind-of a Cersei hairdo going on, and didn't Sophie Turner talk about how Sansa's hair often reflects who she's learning from/admiring/mimicking? Like she had Cersei hair at first at King's Landing, and then Margaery hair ...
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 1:50 PM on July 17 [4 favorites]


Also on the will-Clegane-convert front; he forgot the words to the 7's last rites during the burial scene.
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 1:52 PM on July 17 [1 favorite]


As apparently the only person in the world who has no idea who Ed Sheeran is

Not the only. I have no idea who this Ed Sheeran is and I gather I shouldn't Google him though I take it he's some sort of mainstream musician.

And the writers LOVE giving skeezy, rapey idiots superpowers

Just like some Americans love giving skeezy, rapey idiots the Presidency.

Yeah, well, you'd better hope you don't run into me again, cuz I'm gonna be harder and stronger, bruh!" Who talks like that?

Quite a few people, unfortunately.

I didn't mind the episode but found the music and direction a little over the top. Last season in particular was inconsistent. I hope this show doesn't suffer the fate of other shows and deginerate into awful, mediocre absurdity like Battlestar Galactica or Doctor Who.

It's interesting to see talk of Bran's vision and Arya as Walder and the confusion over timing (Bran's vision is of the present or future or Walder was a flashback then not). It reminds me of how often I had no idea how much time had passed at certain points last season. I have no idea if Bran's vision was of the present or set in the future. We'll see I suppose. I thought Arya as Walder was obvious because it seemed to me his head was slightly offset in regard to his body but perhaps since I instantly assumed it was Arya completing her visit to the Freys I made up this slight displacement in my mind.
posted by juiceCake at 1:59 PM on July 17 [1 favorite]


why aren't we worried about every single person that's died on this side of the wall

Well I dunno about everyone else, but I am.

But I'll just take myself to the Books Included posts. There's some hostile Free Folk up in here.
posted by elsietheeel at 1:59 PM on July 17


You gotta figure the whole thousand ships thing is because they don't think most people know much about the logistics of wooden ship building and transport. Like... I imagine a scene with Euron being all "It will be the largest armada the world has ever seen, and we will give you the world! All you must do is build me... TWENTY SEVEN SHIPS!" *CUE BLARING INCEPTION HORN*.

*audience looks around in surprise* 27 ships? That's it?
posted by Justinian at 2:00 PM on July 17 [15 favorites]


To give folks an idea of just how ridiculous the idea of the dirt-poor, largely-covered-by-rocks-and-barnacles Iron Islands turning out 1,000 ships is, let alone building them in the time it took Dany to get her shit together and come across the Narrow Sea -- Spain in the 1500's was one of the richest nations in the world, and certainly the richest in Europe, thanks to decades of looting the shit out of the New World, including the Ransom of Atahualpa and exploition of the silver mines of Zacatecas.

The Spanish Armada was 130 ships.
posted by joyceanmachine at 2:26 PM on July 17 [23 favorites]


Maybe they are counting all the little whaleboats and dinghies that they'd use for boarding parties in an actual sea battle?
posted by janell at 2:29 PM on July 17 [1 favorite]


yeah im picturing like a dozen hastily-assembled galleons and the rest are basically all canoes and coracles.
posted by mrjohnmuller at 2:33 PM on July 17 [1 favorite]




Perhaps they find that Dragonstone is full of the green goo? I mean there are so many ways you could mess up a fleet anchored off Dragonstone and the army that has offloaded at Dragonstone, if you've got a bit of prep time. I want Dany and Jon to win too but c'mon.

Also the zombie giant is NOT Nub-Nub. The CGI folks needed to make it apparent that giants can be zombified, and since their bodies are covered in mammoth pelts, and since we'd already panned up above the crowd of zombie normals, all we were going to get a good look at is the zombie giant's face, so it makes sense to have it all messed up.
posted by turbid dahlia at 3:17 PM on July 17


And if you're going to kill a giant it seems like stabbing it through the eyeball with some kind of implement is a productive way forward. I submit that most giants are killed that way.
posted by turbid dahlia at 3:19 PM on July 17 [6 favorites]




If the Iron Islands had the resources lying around to rapidly build and staff 1000 extra ships and the untapped manpower to capably staff them, they were some stone cold dumbasses for struggling to any degree militarily. Why the hell didn't they build them before?
posted by DirtyOldTown at 3:29 PM on July 17 [7 favorites]


Nub-Nub <> Wun Wun
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 3:32 PM on July 17


it is not Wun Wun. Let it go.

I … ok, apparently I can't let it go. The actor who plays Wun Wun was credited in this episode. As Giant Wight #1, mind you, which is not definitive -- but I say that if you have the same actor play a one eyed zombie giant as you have play a giant who gets killed with an arrow through one eye, it's at least moderately reasonable to assert that they're the same character.
posted by KathrynT at 4:10 PM on July 17 [7 favorites]


I think it wasn't wun-wun but it's an objectively reasonable interpretation given the context clues noted. I don't think telling someone engaged in pretty mild speculation to 'let it go' is in the spirit of fanfare.
posted by skewed at 4:40 PM on July 17 [9 favorites]


So the whole Blackfish-done-over business was for naught? Gah, what a waste! So who will take Riverrun now? Who is even left in that area?

Great opener though. The BwB + Hound I could watch for days. Isn't Paul Kaye just the absolute best?
posted by freya_lamb at 5:06 PM on July 17 [1 favorite]


So who will take Riverrun now?

Littlefinger? One of the Stark girls?
posted by Ashwagandha at 5:10 PM on July 17


"Like... I imagine a scene with Euron being all "It will be the largest armada the world has ever seen, and we will give you the world! All you must do is build me... TWENTY SEVEN SHIPS!" *CUE BLARING INCEPTION HORN*."

Hey, you stole my bit!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 5:14 PM on July 17 [4 favorites]


I think Maisie Williams deserves a special shoutout for her amazing impression of Walder Frey during that opening scene. She was basically indistinguishable from the actual actor David Bradley.
posted by dfan at 5:22 PM on July 17 [21 favorites]


I thought this about the Hound's burial scene as well (though he is unaware of white walkers he does know about dead coming back to life). Then I started thinking about what the time range of the dead rising was. Do they have to be recently dead? How recent? Will the cemeteries rise and walk? That will give them infinite numbers.

The Hound would never burn the bodies. He hates fire thanks to his brother burning his face like that.
posted by adept256 at 5:40 PM on July 17


Sansa better be the Queen in the North before this is all over. Ideally not over Jon's dead body but... well, either way.
posted by Justinian at 5:41 PM on July 17 [4 favorites]


Hey, you stole my bit!

I only steal from the best.
posted by Justinian at 5:41 PM on July 17 [2 favorites]


For the record, I:

- didn't know who Shereen (sp?) was and thought that scene delightful. "Oh god don't stop Arya, it's a bunch of soldiers, they'll just try to rape and kill you! ... oh they are nicely sharing food and drink and are very reasonable."
- didn't think zombie giant was any particular giant just there to tell us that yes indeed the white walkers can zombify giants too which is terrifying. But also makes me wonder how far from "normal" human can a creature be and still be raised? They have zombie horses so can they zombify ... dragons?

Also I find Arya's arc horrifying but that opening scene was satisfying (and then I immediately felt horror at my own satisfaction.)
posted by R343L at 5:42 PM on July 17 [4 favorites]


A quick googling that the largest (reliable) numbers for fleets in all of history were in the mid-hundreds. So call it 500. And they were built over decades by entire empires controlling not insignificant fractions of the total world population. But I'm sure a few thousand sheep-stealers living hardscrabble lives on a bunch of small rocky, woodless islands could come up with 1000 ships no problem.

I wish to join the Ship Truthers. Is there a membership fee?
posted by Justinian at 5:46 PM on July 17 [7 favorites]


So who will take Riverrun now?

Littlefinger? One of the Stark girls?


Littlefinger makes the most sense. the north is behind the Starks, but they fear an attack from the south and need the soldiers from the Vale. Those soldiers will feel much more at home on Tully lands and will be a firebreak against any Lannister incursions to the North.
posted by OHenryPacey at 5:48 PM on July 17


yeah im picturing like a dozen hastily-assembled galleons and the rest are basically all canoes and coracles

Y'all just wait until Gendry leads a fleet of paddleboats to take King's (Queen's) Landing!
posted by TwoStride at 5:52 PM on July 17 [12 favorites]


"I wish to join the Ship Truthers. Is there a membership fee?"

ALL WHO KNOW THE SHIP-TRUTH ARE MEMBERS.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:00 PM on July 17 [16 favorites]


My friend pointed out, where's Edmure Tully? Last we heard, he was imprisoned at Riverrun, but I guess Arya had a kill list, not a get out of prison list.
posted by RobotHero at 6:08 PM on July 17 [3 favorites]


I liked the choice to not show us what the Hound saw in the flames. It made it feel like a vision rather than an apparition: that the Lord of Light is acting not on the fire itself, but on his perception of the fire.

Have we seen the throne room at Dragonstone before? I don't remember it; the Stannis scenes were all in the map room or in various dungeon-ey chambers.

Along the same line as Euron's ships: how do Dany's logistics work? She's arriving at Dragonstone with the Unsullied army and the Dothraki horde, but we already know from Stannis's arc that Dragonstone doesn't produce any food itself. How does she feed her invasion forces? Running convoys of provisions from Essos? Or simply hoping to hit the ground running and locust her way across Westeros seizing provisions as she goes?

I like also how their arrival suggested that Dany, Tyrion, and Varys -- was Yara there too? -- have held their heroic figureheads-at-the-prow pose for the entire voyage.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 6:09 PM on July 17 [16 favorites]


Thoughts on books and chains:

Let's say you have approximately eleventeen shit-tons of Ancient Tomes in your gigantic library. Some you sequester behind locked gates, as one does, but others require more frequent perusal by a wider group of scholars so you just chain them to the shelf so they don't get misplaced. Well, that's great in the short term but time passes and your collection of Ancient Tomes grows and the needed knowledge spreads and stuff gets moved and re-moved and now you've just got a bunch of dangling chains over your shelves. Why not take them down?

Two reasons. Let's say you have an interest in monitoring who reads what, and your card catalogue system isn't exactly error-free. The chains are going to alert you ever time someone moves a book. You hear it echoing in the stillness of the great reading room. But which book? Well, look for the chain that isn't dusty. That'll tell you which book got moved recently.

Leave it to the Maesters to turn tradition and poor housekeeping into an ad hoc surveillance system.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 6:43 PM on July 17 [10 favorites]


rhamphorhynchus: "I seem to be Sheeran-face-blind. Like, I'd seen the guy before, I think, but didn't recognise him in this episode. I think I still wouldn't recognise him. I guess for people without this affliction, it would have been as distracting as seeing (MeFi's own) asavage turn up in The Expanse..."

I had no idea who people here were talking about. Not up on my UK pop stars I guess.
posted by octothorpe at 7:17 PM on July 17 [1 favorite]


I can't quite accept that the entirety of Westeros would leave a strategic stronghold such as Dragonstone empty just for funsies.

They've had a bunch of wars; the main problem with fighting off the White Walkers at this point may be just scraping together enough people (especially after whatever happens with the big three-or-four-or-however-many-way fight that seems to be shaping up) to bend bows or hold spears tipped with dragonglass once they square up with The Real Enemy. One of the side benefits is that, with winter coming basically already there and just moving south, there will be fewer mouths to feed.

Very satisfactory episode, with lots to chew on, especially since I've been introduced to ship truthism.
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:31 PM on July 17 [2 favorites]


My husband is trying to explain why the ships are reasonable and I am making my MOST UNIMPRESSED FACE.
posted by KathrynT at 7:32 PM on July 17 [16 favorites]


I feel like "BUILD ME A THOUSAND SHIPS" is kind of like "EAT ALL THE THINGS" or "COMPLETED BOOK IS GOING TO BE AT THE PUBLISHER'S IN AUGUST 2015!" and was exaggeration for effect, or just a kind of rough insight into the communicator's mental state. So not literally "a thousand ships", but just lots of ships. "Build me lots of ships!" is not an order worthy of a king, after all.

We also saw that there were at least two different types of ship in the fleet, and his command was not "Build me 999 normal ships and also one really nice one!", so obviously there has been some negotiation and give-and-take. There's a clue about this when Grandmaester Autopsy is talking to Samwise Gamjee - (paraphrasing) "People worry about stuff happening but it doesn't even happen and they just move on to the next thing." So probably Lord Squidward got the update that 200 ships had been built and figured that if that construction trend continued he would easily have 1000 ships by the time he got his jacket tailored, and didn't think much more of it.

Really, who can count to 1000 anyway? Certainly not a bunch of rock-scrabbling, mercury-poisoned illiterates and inbreds.
posted by turbid dahlia at 7:44 PM on July 17 [1 favorite]


Did someone already rant about the Greyjoy ships not being able to sail that fast downwind when the next scene clearly shows tiny waves lapping gently at the shore of Kings Landing? I cannot stand terrible fake sailing on screen. At least the breath of wind was from the right direction for their terrible fake sailing, but there's no way those ships could do 10 knots downwind in 5 knots of wind, c'mon!

Dany's sailing scene was better. At least the Dragon queen can fake sail.
posted by danapiper at 7:52 PM on July 17 [1 favorite]


I had no idea who people here were talking about. Not up on my UK pop stars I guess.

Let me introduce you to early Bronn. Number 1 on the British pop sales chart for 1995!
posted by srboisvert at 7:57 PM on July 17 [7 favorites]


I cannot stand terrible fake sailing on screen

Did you even see all those sails? That boat had so many sails that the sails had sails! The sails were spilling over the edges port and starboard! It had like twice as many sails as any other sailing ship I ever saw, so could easily be going twice as fast with the same amount of wind. That's why it was so far in front.
posted by turbid dahlia at 7:59 PM on July 17 [4 favorites]


oh god y'all, is that what this season is gonna be about, the problem with boat?! BOAT FINE, consider it magic.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:00 PM on July 17 [2 favorites]


Not just the ships, I also want to see how the direwolves are treated. The Warbling Carrot got more screen time in this episode than the direwolves have for the last ten seasons.
posted by turbid dahlia at 8:01 PM on July 17 [2 favorites]


I'm in the middle of re-watching the episode, and I have some more thoughts:

- I enjoyed the Arya as Walder massacre even more the second time around. Any time I need a pick me up, I'm just going to re-play that scene + Jon punching Ramsay in the face + Sansa watching Ramsay being eaten by his dogs.

- I really, really love the BwB scenes. I know I said this before, but I can't emphasize it enough. I also love how the Hound tries to say the prayer to the seven, since he got so annoyed with that man for trying to do the full prayer at that dinner. Also, I appreciate Thoros not being all "But we worship the Red God, not the seven!"

- I know there's probably no real symbolism in this, but when Arya was on her adventures with the Hound, she rode an all white pony. In this episode, she's on a dapple grey, and it looks like it's actually a horse (although she's still pretty short so I can't be 100% sure on the height). And canonically, the Hound's horse was an ill tempered black horse named Stranger. Now it looks like he's riding some nondescript bay or chestnut. (Lots of snow, bad lighting, hard to tell.) Symbolism? Bean plating? Probably the latter. What can I say, I like horses.

- It sounds like in the fire, the Hound sees the army of the dead marching on Eastwatch by the Sea. Which is exactly where Jon is sending Tormund and the rest of the free folk. I'M NOT OKAY WITH THAT. Protect Tormund at all costs.

- On that note, I love how Tormund and Brienne were sparring, and then Tormund walks up, and Brienne just throws Pod face first in the snow. And Tormund's response is, "You're a lucky man." And Pod just sort of rolls with it. Good ol' Pod. And Tormund. And I <3333 Brienne. So much.

Now what I really want is a scene of Brienne training Lyanna Mormont and a bunch of other young girls how to kick ass. Please make this happen.

And while I'm putting in requests...

I want another scene with Davos and Lyanna. I'm on board with him just adopting her. So is chrysreviews, apparently.

Also, a Nymeria/Arya reunion. And a Stark reunion.

And for nothing bad to happen to my precious Tormund. Protect the ginger at all costs!

That's not too much to ask for is it?
posted by litera scripta manet at 8:03 PM on July 17 [4 favorites]


"Also, a Nymeria/Arya reunion. And a Stark reunion."

That really needs to happen and she's somewhere around there. If they don't do this, I will be upset.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 8:43 PM on July 17 [3 favorites]


That boat had so many sails that the sails had sails!

That part was somewhat realistic (in a stylized imaginary multicultural way), The big ships used a lot of different sails and running a staysail between others if it'll catch some wind on a certain point of sail is just done. Well not actually to go faster, there's a specific limit, but to just keep moving in lighter airs.
posted by sammyo at 9:43 PM on July 17


More than 16 million people watched the premiere on Sunday, which is the biggest premiere in HBO history. So I guess it isn't surprising they're filming a pilot for a potential prequel series.

I do find it a little surprising that they're are filing FIVE pilots for potential prequel series, but that's what GRRM says. I'm sure this would not interfere with him writing the books in any way!
posted by Justinian at 10:01 PM on July 17 [2 favorites]


Dany arriving at... Dragonstone (?) - love the geography of the cliffs. Anyone know where those scenes were shot?

Agreed, so beautiful. Looked to me like San Juan de Gaztelugatxe in the basque country.
posted by So You're Saying These Are Pants? at 10:05 PM on July 17 [2 favorites]


A quick googling that the largest (reliable) numbers for fleets in all of history were in the mid-hundreds.

It doesn't make the fleet on the show any more realistic, but the US fleet at the end of the second world war was in excess of 6,000 ships. D-Day alone involved 1000+ combat ships.

Admittedly, relatively few of those ships were wooden sailing vessels armed with onager-ish dinguses.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:56 PM on July 17


Yes, I meant somewhat tech-appropriate fleets of wooden ships. Sorry! Certainly we can and have pumped out many more ships than that in the modern era.
posted by Justinian at 11:12 PM on July 17


The only available streaming service in Australia crashed. #foxtelfail on twitter. A lot of people got this service solely for this show are they're super mad about it. Game of thrones parties were ruined, paid subscribers turned to piracy, and everyone thinks Foxtel are incompetent assholes. Who knew so many people would want to watch the most popular show in the world at the same time? They've only been promoting it for months.
posted by adept256 at 11:54 PM on July 17 [5 favorites]


Yep, everyone I spoke to at work this morning was pissed to the max. If only there was a "catastrophic fuckup" clause in Foxtel's contract with HBO. Probably their infrastructure was set up by the same useless losers who did the Census (that is, IBM).
posted by turbid dahlia at 1:16 AM on July 18


Look, clearly the Ironborn ships were carved out of stone and the sails were woven from lichen. I mean, it just stands to reason.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 4:01 AM on July 18 [3 favorites]


I don't really care about the Ironborn ships thing --- i mean the show has giants, dragons, undead, and time travel, and so I suspended disbelief long ago. But I'll point this out since I haven't seen it mentioned: the Ironborn are theives. Cersai points this out herself in this episode. It would have been better if Euron had said "steal me 1,000 ships" but I think that's one explanation for what happened.
posted by about_time at 4:10 AM on July 18


Perhaps Euron knows the name of the wind?
posted by drezdn at 5:55 AM on July 18 [1 favorite]


I'm sure this would not interfere with him writing the books in any way!

What is dead may never die.
posted by ersatz at 6:58 AM on July 18 [2 favorites]


I wonder if GRRM hasn't at least considered declaring the HBO show a canonical ending to ASOIAF. I mean he's been struggling under the burden of completing this thing for years and it's not like he hasn't been involved in writing the show, maybe he'll just throw up his hands and say, "Here's the rest of the story." They could pay somebody to novelize it and be done with it, and he can go back to writing Wild Cards or the prequel scripts or whatever without this Sword of Damocles Danaerys hanging over his head.
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 7:04 AM on July 18


I'd be tempted to do that if I were him, but the hardcore book fans would be pissed.
posted by drezdn at 7:17 AM on July 18


They could pay somebody to novelize it and be done with it, and he can go back to writing Wild Cards or the prequel scripts or whatever without this Sword of Damocles Danaerys hanging over his head.

Given the snitfits he has already thrown about the show getting ahead of the books, this strikes me as deeply, deeply, deeply unlikely.
posted by joyceanmachine at 7:18 AM on July 18 [1 favorite]


Ask A Maester is up. Note, as usual it contains relevant back story from the books but no spoilers for future storylines. As a non-book reader I appreciate the additional detail.
posted by toamouse at 7:20 AM on July 18 [3 favorites]


On talking to them, she realizes that they basically kids like her, who are also caught in this war.

I thought the Ed Sheeran scene was interesting, because it showed that the Lannister army is getting desperate, pressing bards, wine makers, and soon-to-be fathers into service.
posted by zsazsa at 7:51 AM on July 18 [7 favorites]


And Cersei is bonkers enough to send them to fight dragons. I hope nothing bad happens to Sheeran.
posted by adept256 at 7:59 AM on July 18


I thought the Ed Sheeran scene was interesting, because it showed that the Lannister army is getting desperate, pressing bards, wine makers, and soon-to-be fathers into service.

That's a good observation, and ties in with what I said above; something that struck me was how new and unmarked their armor is.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:15 AM on July 18


Has there ever been a human society like the Ironborn, aka lives mostly by stealing from others?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:46 AM on July 18


Has there ever been a human society like the Ironborn, aka lives mostly by stealing from others?

Nassau in the early 1700s? Didn't last very long.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 8:49 AM on July 18


Has there ever been a human society like the Ironborn, aka lives mostly by stealing from others?

I mean, the Ironborn are basically re-skinned Vikings, so..yes? But likewise, despite talk of the "iron price" and all, it seems pretty clear that the Ironborn act like actual Vikings and do engage in trade when necessary - they just can't /celebrate/ it and take /glory/ from it.
posted by corb at 8:59 AM on July 18


I'm curious: are people rooting for Daenerys to 'win' the throne?
posted by codacorolla at 9:24 AM on July 18


Daenerys: Lord of the Ringlets.
posted by freecellwizard at 9:27 AM on July 18


I'm rooting for Daenerys and Jon to 'win' the war over Night's King. After that, I want Arya and Gendry to ascend the throne.
posted by corb at 9:28 AM on July 18


I'm rooting for Arya to meet the Hound again, Arya to see her family again and the Hound to get some redemption and be seen as hero or at least a good man.

I'm rooting for Sansa to not end up like Cersei

I'm rooting for Jon to win against the White Walkers. Not necessarily be King of the North, though I'm fine with that.

I'm rooting for the North and for the Starks to be one of the larger noble families there, because they always seem to strive for fairness.

I'm rooting for Lady Mormont to become equal to the Starks, because damnit, she's completely badass.

I'm rooting for Theon to find some redemption (though I think he has or is on the way).

I'm rooting for Cersei to be put down like the mad dog she is.

I'm rooting for Tyrion to be valued for his worth and luckily he's gotten that.

I'm rooting for Baelish to be soundly defeated by Sansa.

I'm rooting for Tyrion and Sansa to meet again, not necessarily marry, but I would enjoy seeing how they interact after all this time.

I'm rooting for Hot Pie to come through all this ok.

I'm rooting for Brienen and Tormound.

I'm rooting for Daenerys to not go insane, like her father. If that happens, it's ok if she wins the throne, she seems like she would be a just and fair ruler.

I'm rooting for the humanity to prevail against the White Walkers and for the Iron Throne to be smashed and a, um, United Kingdom to take it's place.

I'm rooting for Oberon to come back and be reunited with Ellaria, and both to be introduced to Pod and for the orgies that would follow.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:54 AM on July 18 [4 favorites]


I'm rooting for GRRM to let Brandon Sanderson finish the books for him.
posted by OHenryPacey at 9:59 AM on July 18 [4 favorites]


HELLO IS THIS WHERE I SCREAM ABOUT THE BOATS BC I AM HERE TO SCREAM ABOUT BOATS

YES THE SAILS MADE SENSE, HAS NO ONE EVER SEEN A FULL RIGGED SHIP BEFORE, GOOD LORD

NO THE BATTERING RAMS DID NOT, WHERE ARE THE SWEEPS THERE AREN'T EVEN OARPORTS

THERE ARE NOT ENOUGH PEOPLE ON THOSE SHIPS TO SAIL THEM LET ALONE SAIL AND FIGHT THEM SIMULTANEOUSLY, THIS IS AN OUTRAGE

i seriously missed the next 10 minutes of the show bc i was rewinding and pausing again and again looking for the hundreds of sailors who should've been clambering all over the rigging of every ship SPOILER ALERT THERE WERE NONE

good day
posted by poffin boffin at 11:37 AM on July 18 [30 favorites]


also why are there still two threads if the show has passed the books

it's 2017 read the books the books can drink legally
posted by poffin boffin at 11:39 AM on July 18 [3 favorites]


also why are there still two threads if the show has passed the books

The actual content of the episode needs to be discussed somewhere.

Perhaps a third, "BOATS ONLY" thread?
posted by absalom at 11:41 AM on July 18 [16 favorites]


THERE ARE NOT ENOUGH PEOPLE ON THOSE SHIPS TO SAIL THEM LET ALONE SAIL AND FIGHT THEM SIMULTANEOUSLY, THIS IS AN OUTRAGE

They're carrying Dothraki.

The ships run on horsepower.

I'll just see myself out.
posted by zarq at 12:02 PM on July 18 [7 favorites]


Surely Dani is not going to land the Dothraki on Dragonstone, it's an island (with no pastureland) ffs.
posted by OHenryPacey at 12:09 PM on July 18


I'm rooting for Daenarys because it seems like she's actually trying to be decent. However, it seems like that goes against the entire theme of the show from the beginning. It would make much more sense thematically if everyone argued and betrayed each other until they died. It's not cheery, but I can't think of any pleasant ending that would look right.

But hey, that's probably why I don't get paid to write.
posted by heatvision at 12:20 PM on July 18


I want another scene with Davos and Lyanna. I'm on board with him just adopting her.

He could adopt Alys Karstark and Ned Umber. I take it that they've been recently orphaned.
posted by cazoo at 12:20 PM on July 18


i was rewinding and pausing again and again looking for the hundreds of sailors who should've been clambering all over the rigging of every ship SPOILER ALERT THERE WERE NONE

One question I'd had all along: What did the dragons eat during the sea voyage?
Answer: See question, "Where are all the sailors at?"
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:22 PM on July 18 [6 favorites]


I'm still rooting for total insanity in whatever form Martin & Co and come up with. The Titan of Bravos needs to come to life at a minimum. Sea monsters, asteroids, and UFOs are stretch goals.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 12:30 PM on July 18 [6 favorites]


The Dragon Queen doesn't need to fake sail. SHE BRINGS HER OWN WIND. See also: three wing-pumping, wind-changing dragons.

Not that this show/books gives one shit about logistics. How are there still large armies left? how boats? how food? how massive fields of flax for sails?!?!
Hemp requires no herbicides and few or no pesticides and it grows in all 50 states. Hemp produces 250 percent more fiber that cotton and 600 percent more fiber than flax using the same amount of land.

Hemp is ready to harvest quickly. Within four months of being planted, hemp grows 10 to 20 feet tall.
posted by tilde at 1:04 PM on July 18


I'm rooting for Jamie to kill Cersei, Sansa to kill Little Finger, Bran as Drogon to kill the Night King, the Hound to kill the Mountain, Jorah Mormont to kill Daenerys, Lady Mormont to kill Jorah Mormont, Melisandre to almost bring Daenerys back from the dead when Melisandre is instead killed by Davos who is then killed by Tyrion, but Daenerys is brought back instead by Clegane who is then killed by Arya, and meanwhile Jamie hooks up with Brienne, so then naturally Tormund kills Jamie and Brienne kills Tormund and the dragons eat all of the Greyjoys and Jon pretty much just stands around watching it all go down, so Sam and Lady Karstark try to kill him, but eventually Lady Mormont finishes him off. At some point, somebody remembers that Ellaria and the Sand Snakes used to be a thing, but it's too late to write them in, so Olenna Tyrell kills them off-screen, and then Missandei, Varys, and Grey Worm walk into a bar. The bartender says, "What'll you have?" And Varys says, "Milk of the Poppy, all around."
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:06 PM on July 18 [25 favorites]


also why are there still two threads if the show has passed the books

Because there's a bunch of stuff in the books that's totally irrelevant or orthogonal to the show's pacing and canon.

Like (having not read the books) I assume there's some kind of, like, Dragon-Nip substance that's a throwaway line in book 2 or something that with a little bit of luck they won't include in the show such that Cersei can't eventually pull a thousand gallons of out of her ass, to like magically nullify Danaerys's dragons or make them too stoned to fly or whatever. And discussion of same belongs in the book thread where I don't have to stress out about it.
posted by Sokka shot first at 1:12 PM on July 18 [2 favorites]


Sokka nails why there are still two threads.

Also this way we can keep Dornish and other nobody-cares-about-any-of-these-people bullshit out of this thread.
posted by Justinian at 1:19 PM on July 18


Also, where the heck is Gendry?
posted by tilde at 1:30 PM on July 18


SHE BRINGS HER OWN WIND
Talk about a plate of beans...
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 1:31 PM on July 18 [3 favorites]


why are there still two threads if the show has passed the books

There are also loose chapters floating about, which GRRM finally said he'd stop reading at cons, but that article also links the chapters he has posted online, and those that are found at the end of various paperback editions or in a GoT app.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:34 PM on July 18 [1 favorite]


Gendry is totally on a farm upstate.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:47 PM on July 18 [6 favorites]


We all know Gendry is rowing...
posted by Ashwagandha at 4:18 PM on July 18 [1 favorite]


I know most fans probably realize this already, but it occurred to me that Jaime will eventually realize that Cersei actually did (part of) the thing that caused Jaime to kill Aerys II for threatening to do.
posted by clockzero at 6:07 PM on July 18 [1 favorite]


If *I* was running the show, the last scene, after all the battles, would be Gendry rowing up to a beach. FADE TO BLACK
posted by pjern at 9:47 PM on July 18 [9 favorites]


Rating characters' shoulder game
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:09 PM on July 18 [5 favorites]


“YES THE SAILS MADE SENSE, HAS NO ONE EVER SEEN A FULL RIGGED SHIP BEFORE, GOOD LORD”

Yes. And admittedly my sailing experience is much smaller and more limited, but I've never seen a—I don't even know what to call it—lateen-rigged studsails hooked to opposite ends of two different yardarms? It just looks like an animator's idea of a ship being shippy.
posted by traveler_ at 10:15 PM on July 18 [3 favorites]


I don't normally pay much attention to the costumes that aren't full suits of armor beyond recognising that they look good, but yeah, Eyebrows, I was instantly attracted to the awesome textured dragon-scale shoulders on Dany's outfit. Outstanding!
posted by turbid dahlia at 10:32 PM on July 18


Boo to that kind of stuntcasting, GoT.

Ehhhhh it's far from the first time.


Nor the last: look out for Noah Syndergaard pitching for House Lannister.
posted by unliteral at 10:35 PM on July 18 [1 favorite]


San Juan de Gaztelugatxe - thanks So You're Saying These Are Pants?!

Excellent casting location, really evokes salt scrub and lack of/resistance to humus (leaf litter) soil development (for example, because of extra hard stone, sometimes secondary to volcanic activity [providing medieval tech mining capability to reach obsidian deposits]), and the inability of Dragonstone to support productive agriculture.
posted by porpoise at 10:39 PM on July 18




For me, it boils down to the point made in that write-up (and by others here): unlike the other musician cameos, they made absolutely no effort to disguise that it was Ed Sheeran, and gave him a couple of loving close-ups so we could all see him... ugh. If they'd dyed his hair and given him a hound-like scar, or something, as a gesture towards non-celebrity identity, I'd've been happier.
posted by TwoStride at 10:15 AM on July 19 [2 favorites]


Glad I didn't know who Ed Sheeran was.

I loved that scene. Tense and awkward, playing on the tropes the show has developed that nothing nice ever happens. We the viewer and Arya the girl should always be ready for horrible... Then something nice happens.
posted by French Fry at 10:26 AM on July 19 [5 favorites]


I also liked that he and the others, looked like cute likable British kids (guess it's more british in lannisport?) it's one of the only parts of the show recently that points out that these massive standing armies from season 1-3 are mostly gone and have been replaced with farmers and fishermen's sons.

I assume from this thread that Ed Sheeran is in someway unlikable to people too old to be his fans but yet not old enough to not know who he is? googling has failed to make this clear to me.
posted by French Fry at 10:34 AM on July 19 [4 favorites]


this way we can keep Dornish and other nobody-cares-about-any-of-these-people bullshit out of this thread.

SO MANY DUELS JUSTINIAN.
posted by corb at 10:47 AM on July 19 [2 favorites]


googling has failed to make this clear to me.

try searching specifically for "shape of you" and enjoy living with an unkillable earworm about how horned up Ed Sheeran is for sexy lady bodies for the rest of your natural existence

the next time you see the architect of your misery pop up without warning on the season premiere of a prestige drama you've been waiting a year to watch, you'll understand where all this is coming from
posted by prize bull octorok at 11:01 AM on July 19


Ok. I wasn't sure if we were in like Selena Gomez distracting cameo area, or like R Kelly problematic cameo area. Thank you.
posted by French Fry at 11:04 AM on July 19


I hope, but doubt, that the Lannister's are out of power really fast. Like episode 3. I doubt it because they have new powerful allies (magic boats). But I hope this because I find the other ideas AFTER Cersei has been disposed much more interesting. And there are so few episodes left.

The sand snakes murdered the person Tyrion loved most in the world. Varys spent literal years trying to assassinate Dany (and they've never even had a scene together). The Tyrels and Dorne are ancestral enemies and the sand snakes just committed the same kind of violent coup that lady Olena is trying to avenge. What is little finger gonna do? the thing he wants most is both closer, but also further than ever before. Who in the seven kingdoms wants a dragon queen? Who in the Seven kingdoms wants to feed and be neighbors with a dothraki horde, a bunch of geryjoys (albeit the cuter ones), some mercenaries and an army of silent nameless killer unsullied?

I want more than 1 or 2 episodes of ALL that before the living vs the dead battle wraps up this whole shin dig. My worry is this whole season is gonna end with the war for kings landing which should really not be a war at this point.
posted by French Fry at 11:41 AM on July 19 [2 favorites]


try searching specifically for "shape of you" and enjoy living with an unkillable earworm about how horned up Ed Sheeran is for sexy lady bodies for the rest of your natural existence

Isn't the lyric "Boy, let's not talk too much. Grab on my waist and put that body on me"?

I thought it was about how horned up he is for sexy guys.
posted by zarq at 11:55 AM on July 19


Huh. Lyrics.

Apparently I have been misinterpreting the song ever since it began playing incessantly on the radio.
posted by zarq at 11:58 AM on July 19


If only he was singing about a 1,000 ships, it would be perfect.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:15 PM on July 19 [2 favorites]


I'm in love with your navy
posted by French Fry at 12:20 PM on July 19 [6 favorites]


(also I had forgotten that song existed. this is worse than the red wedding)
posted by French Fry at 12:21 PM on July 19 [1 favorite]


Open my sails and get up to ramming speed.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:22 PM on July 19 [2 favorites]


OK, I just listened to that song for the first time and it's annoying but also pretty much instantly forgettable. Still not getting the outrage of the guy's cameo.
posted by octothorpe at 12:23 PM on July 19 [1 favorite]


OK, I just listened to that song for the first time and it's annoying but also pretty much instantly forgettable. Still not getting the outrage of the guy's cameo.

Not familiar with the guy or song. But it's lame. Are the producers telling a story deconstructing Lord of the Rings type cliches are or are they appeasing the cast for kicks? Maybe both, but why?

The song fit with the story, but they could have gotten any number of talented singers for the part. Putting Ed Sheeran clearly distracted a number of people, while offering no obvious benefit to the story, so no reason to do it.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:32 PM on July 19 [1 favorite]


Apparently I have been misinterpreting the song ever since it began playing incessantly on the radio.

It was originally written for a woman - Rihanna, IIRC - singing to a man (presumably, though not necessarily) so that pre-chorus does end up a little fuzzy with regards to gender. I think it's fair to interpret it whichever way you want, tbh.
posted by Rock Steady at 12:39 PM on July 19 [1 favorite]


... i hate myself so much right now but:

Cersei to Euron:

Family’s not the best place to find a lover
So the Iron Isles is where I’ll go
Me and my brother in the map room making plans
Drinking wine and lamenting my woes
You come over and promise a thousand ships to just me
And trust me I’ll give it a chance
But don’t demand, ha, like hell I’ll give you my hand
Before you give me back control of the land
(Singing)

Boy, you know I want your ships
Your ships were handmade, bow to stern, for me
Come on now, I’m the real queen
I may be crazy, don't mind me [perfect as-is]
Say, boy, let's not talk too much
Open your sails and get up to ramming speed
Come on now, kill all my foes
Come, come on now, smite my enemies

I'm in love with your ships, it’s true
I assume that they’ll let me do
Whatever the hell I want to
When it comes to crushing Da-a-a-any
And last night you were in the throne room
And now the tapestries smell like poo*
Every day discovering something brand new
To make me loathe a pretender like you
Oh—I—oh—I—oh—I—oh—I
I'm in love with your ships, it’s true
Oh—I—oh—I—oh—I—oh—I
I'm in love with your ships, it’s true
Oh—I—oh—I—oh—I—oh—I
I'm in love with your ships, it’s true
Every day discovering something brand new
I'm in love with your navy


*sorry, there's only so many rhyming words with that "ooo" sound
also for the ed sheeran earworm
and just sorry for this entire post

posted by alleycat01 at 2:33 PM on July 19 [10 favorites]


"Putting Ed Sheeran clearly distracted a number of people, while offering no obvious benefit to the story, so no reason to do it."

I think they did it because Maisie Williams is 20 and has been on the show for 7 years at this point and filming a TV show, especially one with so many special effects, is a bit of a slog, and producers are often looking for ways to delight their stars in later seasons and keep them engaged and fresh and enjoying being on set rather than dreading it. When it's a very young actor who is one of your major roles, doubly so!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 3:12 PM on July 19 [4 favorites]


honestly if there wasn't obviously a MR. SHEERAN'S HAIR MUST APPEAR PERFECTLY CLEAN AND INSOUCIANTLY SWEPT FORWARD AT ALL TIMES WHILE BEING FILMED rider in his contract I probably would not have spat and cursed God and the GoT producers as I did. Maisie Williams deserves...I don't know, several Ed Sheerans for the work she's put in on this show. I submit that she would have been just as happy with something that didn't stand out like a Special Guest Star on The Love Boat cameo.
posted by prize bull octorok at 3:16 PM on July 19 [5 favorites]


Varys spent literal years trying to assassinate Dany

Varys with Illyrio (the guy who Dany & her brother were staying with way back in season 1) actually had been in secret doing their best preserve the remaining Targaryeans. In the show, there was a scene where Arya over hears Varys talking with someone, presumably Illyrio. I might be misremembering but I think it is kind of unclear who is behind the assassination attempts or it was designed as a ruse and was meant to be foiled by Jorah (who was being paid by the Council in Westeros) to gain her confidence. At least that's how I remember it.

sand snakes murdered the person Tyrion loved most in the world

Are you talking about Myrcella? I wouldn't have described her as such to Tyrion unless there is someone else you mean?
posted by Ashwagandha at 4:15 PM on July 19


I'm pretty sure that Tyrion murdered the person he loved most in the world.
posted by rdr at 6:59 PM on July 19 [7 favorites]


honestly if there wasn't obviously a MR. SHEERAN'S HAIR MUST APPEAR PERFECTLY CLEAN AND INSOUCIANTLY SWEPT FORWARD AT ALL TIMES WHILE BEING FILMED rider in his contract I thought Jennifer Anniston had some kind of thing where she wouldn't do a magazine cover smiling ... so I can see the "unmussed" contract obligation.
posted by tilde at 7:50 PM on July 19


The person who tried to have Dany killed was Robert Baratheon, who thought that she was a danger to him and the Seven Kingdoms. Varys did relay the information from Jorah (who was angling for a royal pardon) that Dany was pregnant, but the assassination attempt, when it came, was kind of pathetic. (The attempt in S3 by manticore was apparently by a warlock like Pyat Pree, whom Dany killed in S2.) My guess is that Varys was the one who arranged the attempted assassination by poisoned wine, both as something that would be easily spotted and averted and as a sort of warning to Dany that people were gunning for her.
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:45 PM on July 19




The Spanish Armada was 130 ships.

Those were galleons, the precursor to ships of the line, with cannons and crews of scores of sailor, carrying hundreds of soldiers. The Ironborn --- coastal raiders who can take their ships far up river --- are a much closer analogue to the Vikings. The Anglo-Saxon chronical claims Viking fleets of several hundred ships. The ships were lightweight --- they could be carried overland by the crew if need be --- and held 40-80 crew/warriors. So a fleet of 300 ships might give you a raiding crew of 2,000-2,500. Tripling those numbers doesn't seem so wild to me in the context of GRRM.
posted by Diablevert at 1:59 AM on July 20 [3 favorites]


Never mind, I can't math good.
posted by Diablevert at 2:59 AM on July 20 [1 favorite]


Game of Thrones set design architectural inspirations

The Medieval Times at the mall?
posted by codacorolla at 7:20 AM on July 20 [1 favorite]


I watched Sunday's episode with one of my teenaged daughters, after spending a two hour car ride summing up the previous six seasons (she's involved in several overlapping fandoms so already had some tangential knowledge of the plot and some of the main players thanks to Tumblr).

When the singing started she turned to me and said "You didn't tell me there'd be Ed Sheeran singing dwarf songs!".

I wonder if there's any correlation between people's feelings about dwarf songs and their feelings about Ed Sheeran in this episode.
posted by padraigin at 8:16 AM on July 20 [1 favorite]


"I wonder if there's any correlation between people's feelings about dwarf songs and their feelings about Ed Sheeran in this episode."

If you want a sample size of one: I am anti- both of those things. From this data we can extrapolate that there's a strong positive correlation.
posted by komara at 10:26 AM on July 20 [1 favorite]


The Medieval Times at the mall?

In all fairness, the books themselves are Martin's LET ME TELL YOU WHAT AN ACTUALLY COOL STORY WOULD BE!!!!! nerdrage about Renfaire skits.
posted by joyceanmachine at 10:37 AM on July 20 [1 favorite]


FWIW, I also don't really subscribe to the "that was zombie Wun-Wun" theory. At Hardhome the Night King raised the wildlings and watchmen who fell in that battle. My assumption is that there has to be some time limit on how freshly-dead bodies have to be for the Night King to re-animate them: if nothing else, as a plot contrivance to prevent him from being too hugely overpowered in the end-game.

Like, if the Night King got to Winterfell and re-animated Wun-Wun: doesn't he also get to raise everyone who died fighting in the Battle of the Bastards? And then as he marches south does he detour to visit every graveyard and battleground on the way?

I'll also throw in two thoughts I had on the drive into work today:

1. I miss Hodor.
2. Oh shit: zombie Hodor?
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 11:24 AM on July 20 [1 favorite]


Game of Thrones set design architectural inspirations

This image reminded me of something I was wondering: is the throne at Dragonstone carved into the tip of its mountain of dragonglass?
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 11:28 AM on July 20 [3 favorites]


Please don't take this as criticism, buy why do the ships in particular bother everyone so? I mean, even if we all just give an auto-pass to explicitly magical things like dragons and ice zombies, is the iron fleet any more implausible than a medieval society living through an 5-10 year long winter?
posted by skewed at 11:33 AM on July 20 [2 favorites]


There's the "where did they get all the materials from?" question. But I think also the ships are bothersome because the show's repeatedly reinforced to us that the Iron Islands are barren rocks; that the Ironborn acquire by pillaging and raiding rather than by production; that they're unruly and clinging onto their position in the world by little more than grim determination. Everything we've been told of their character argues against them uniting behind a massive construction project.

OTOH, maybe boats, as the ultimate expression of sea power, are the one exception to the "we do not sow" words.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 11:44 AM on July 20 [2 favorites]


Because having a character constantly talking about 1,000 ships is inane, because lots of people know that's not gonna happen. Had the character said "I'll build you a fleet of ships that'll stretch to the horizon," that would have been fine, the nerds among us would have argued about how many ships that would be.

But by giving an exact number that's completely ludicrous and impossible, yet the story treats as completely serious is just annoying as fuck. So we take to the internet, to discuss our annoyances, so that the world will know how right we are!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:47 AM on July 20 [2 favorites]


OTOH, maybe boats, as the ultimate expression of sea power, are the one exception to the "we do not sow" words.

I always cracked up at the saying, because it points to sheer stupidity. Like farming can be learned! Go somewhere it can be done and you won't have such a hard life.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:48 AM on July 20


the show's repeatedly reinforced to us that the Iron Islands are barren rocks; that the Ironborn acquire by pillaging and raiding rather than by production; that they're unruly and clinging onto their position in the world by little more than grim determination.

But by giving an exact number that's completely ludicrous and impossible, yet the story treats as completely serious is just annoying as fuck.

Yeah, I guess this makes sense. I was just curious because when I saw the ships I was like "hmm.. how could they make all of those? Eh, whatever." But every single time we see Winterfell, and even this early into winter the entire north is a frozen hellscape, and that's supposed to go on for literally years, my head just explodes. What exactly are people eating in that 7th year without a harvest? How is anything supposed to make it through that alive? Okay, maybe winterfel has this miraculous greenhouse, what's that feed, 100 people? (answer: no, much less) They have horses? Lolololol, so am I supposed to believe you have 10 years of hay stored away somewhere? And they have enough of a population to support stone masons, iron smiths, scholars, etc.

So I can't get over this, for virtually every scene in the North (and if I think about it too much, for every scene where it's supposed to get cold at all, which is like 90% of the show). I wonder why some things bother some people, and not others.
posted by skewed at 12:06 PM on July 20 [1 favorite]


It's true that in many ways the ship nitpick is totally random, but on the other hand, since we don't have dragons or 7-year winters here, I'm personally far more willing to handwave that kind of stuff. We do have nations with long histories of seafaring, however, and so that's something that I have higher expectations of and/or slightly more knowledge to bring to bear. How does a dragon fly and make fire? Eh, who knows. But I've been to my fair share of maritime museums that have had huge displays set up about the power of sails, boat construction materials, etc.
posted by TwoStride at 12:13 PM on July 20


At one point I wanted to make a single-subject Tumblr titled Put On A Hat Jon Snow, which would be photoshops of Jon Snow wearing various warm hats, because it is cold, you'd freeze your ears off if you went around not wearing a hat all the damn time.
posted by RobotHero at 12:14 PM on July 20 [11 favorites]


At one point I wanted to make a single-subject Tumblr titled Put On A Hat Jon Snow, which would be photoshops of Jon Snow wearing various warm hats, because it is cold, you'd freeze your ears off if you went around not wearing a hat all the damn time.

Yeah, I think this all the time too, and part of me realizes that they don't wear headgear (generally even not in battle!) because it just makes for bad tv. And I could leave that there, if they didn't make getting stabbed in the back of the neck such a common way for people to die. That's just rubbing our noses in the ridiculousness of not wearing head/neck protection.
posted by skewed at 12:22 PM on July 20 [3 favorites]


What exactly are people eating in that 7th year without a harvest?

The North must be very good at preserving food: drying, pickling, fermenting; root cellaring, if you handwave it to preserve across a winter that lasts years instead of months; canning's probably a bit of stretch for their level of indigenous technology. It makes me think that really the true strategic value of Winterfell is its food stores.

Also hunting, fishing, foraging: which presumably is how the wildlings survive, as they don't seem to have agriculture.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 12:33 PM on July 20 [1 favorite]


I don't think hunting or foraging really can account for much. What do they hunt, and how does their prey live through the winter? All the deer, elk, bears, etc. should be dead by year two.
posted by skewed at 12:40 PM on July 20


Winterfell works for me because it's built on hot springs, was common for people to gather there during winter and the Starks entire motto is to be prepared for Winter. Plus, when the story begins it's been a long summer and people are clearly worried about an equally long winter.

Clearly it probably couldn't work in real life, but there's no major roadblocks to buying that piece of fictional pie.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:45 PM on July 20 [1 favorite]


Plus at one point, Baelish mentioned have enough stored grain for five years, so they're clearly not ignorant of storage methods or preparing for Winter.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:50 PM on July 20 [1 favorite]


Please don't take this as criticism, buy why do the ships in particular bother everyone so?

this is metafilter, you may as well ask the sun not to shine
posted by poffin boffin at 3:58 PM on July 20 [8 favorites]


During the long winters, lots of people die, especially in strongholds where the leaders don't save up enough stores to last through the winter - or ignores the Maester's prediction of how long a given winter will last (or the Maesters get it wrong).

Dried grains and legumes (beans) can remain good, when stored properly, for very long times. Like, urns from the pyramid days. A seed from 32,000 years ago was successfully germinated.

Honey and molasses also store really well.

A major issue would be vitamin deficiency, especially B and C vitamins (primarily from green leafy vegetables/degrades very quickly in stored foods, respectively).

Also, aren't winter's not actual year round frozen wasteland time but just years with vastly shorter growing seasons? There's stuff like "winter rye" and the such and farms (depending on longitude) historically have several crops each year on the same plot.

--

Another reason the "1000 ships" galls is that didn't Yara/Theon, like, steal most of the ships (and the best ones at that, and there really weren't all that many of them anyway)? It's just really absurd that Euron could get his hands on so many in such a short time.

OTOH, if we ignore our lying eyes, it's possible - likely even - that Euron is talking out of his arse and vastly inflating the number of ships he has access to.

--

Zombie giants (it wasn't Wun Wun!) - cross-race effect, guise.
posted by porpoise at 4:13 PM on July 20 [1 favorite]


I have just watched the episode today, so a bit late to the party, but here are my thoughts:

- The giant we see is not the reanimated Wun Wun; yes, the giant was played by Ian White, but he has played several roles in the series: the first White Walker we see in the series premiere, the giant whose mighty bow fires an arrow which carries an impaled Night's Watch brother off the wall and into the courtyard of Castle Black, and even The Mountain back in season 2.

- And even though it is not Wun Wun, can we please use the fantastic term from two unicycles and some duct tape upthread: Wun Wun Wight? I love this name, partly because it sounds like something Jonathan Ross would blurt in excitement and I would have to decipher.

- The "thousand ships" thing is likely hyperbole. If it is not, we can just assume that GoT is set in a world run under D&D mechanics, where sufficient GP can buy you whatever you need. A show governed by GURPS mechanics would be very different.

- I was vaguely aware of the Ed Sheeran thing ahead of time but am only vaguely aware of the existence of Ed Sheeran in general, so I had no quibbles. Pleasant enough voice for his little song. I also noted how pristine their armour was and recalled the wry observation that Ned Stark made to Jamie Lannister years earlier:
Eddard Stark: Handsome armor. Not a scratch on it.
Very different reasons, of course.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 4:47 PM on July 20 [4 favorites]


"why do the ships in particular bother everyone so?"

I may have contributed by complaining about it bitterly and at length for the last couple years whenever the Iron Islands and their damn fleet show up.

I'm not totally sure why that in particular jumps out at me as so irritatingly wrong it throws me out of suspension of disbelief, but it does. The other thing about Westeros that makes me CRAZY is that you can't grow apples without a winter so they're not gonna be freaking eating fresh apples in "year 7" of summer or whatever. (Now, I'm 100% sure that there are tons of other impossible crops in Westeros, but my grandfather was an apple farmer so I notice the apples.) I can actually rationalize away the apples -- they're just apple-like, they evolved to work differently, etc. -- but I can't rationalize away the the fact that ships require time and materials and Euron had neither of those things!

Anyway, there's no rhyme or reason to why that bothers me but I'm willing to handwave away a 600-foot ice wall or the unreasonable size/population of Westeros or the travel times or whatever else. That's just the thing that bothers me.

However, I do think it's a sign of good worldbuilding when the world is vivid enough, and real enough, that something jumps out at you as being illogical within the logic of the well-built world -- I mean, it's well-built enough that you can understand the internal logic of a place that doesn't exist, and spot a hole in that internal logic, and that's quite an achievement! So my nitpicking about the ships is by way of admiring and enjoying the world GRRM built, not a form of being all "grar this sucks and everything is stupid!" I only like complaining about the ships and being a ship truther because I enjoy the show. If I didn't enjoy the show, there'd be no fun in nitpicking it. (Although I totally understand that not everyone enjoys recreational nitpicking!)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:12 PM on July 20 [2 favorites]


This is technically book knowledge, but it's not spoilery? So uh.

My local Maester (i.e, Mr. Machine, who has been a book fan for 20 years and once entertained me, a lowly show watcher, by declaiming facts about Westerosi history for several hours straight during a long driving trip when the only radio stations we could get were shitty talk radio), that the books make clear that a Winter year in Westeros isn't a year that's 100% knee deep snow or whatever.

Instead, it's a year with a dramatically shorter growing season. Think 1816, rather than Narnia under the White Witch.
posted by joyceanmachine at 6:38 PM on July 20 [2 favorites]


Yeah, the show is totally separate and hasn't given that impression at all. It's clear that this particular winter is promising to be harsh, with lots of snow.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:55 PM on July 20


a Winter year in Westeros isn't a year that's 100% knee deep snow or whatever. Instead, it's a year with a dramatically shorter growing season.

Er, this is not a well supported interpretation of the text. But anyway, I'll drop this rather than continue with people trying to convince me that a medieval society surviving a 7 year winter is toootally realistic. Suspension of disbelief is a weird and idiosyncratic thing.
posted by skewed at 8:27 PM on July 20


RobotHero: "My friend pointed out, where's Edmure Tully? Last we heard, he was imprisoned at Riverrun, but I guess Arya had a kill list, not a get out of prison list."

This is an excellent point.
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 9:07 PM on July 20 [2 favorites]


I think the important distinction for suspension of disbelief is that we're asked to suspend our disbelief for things that are part of the premise, but that doesn't extend to things that are not part of the premise.

So magic, and the wonky seasons, and the 600 foot ice wall, giants, dragons, etc: these are all part of the premise of the show. We accept them because we know going in that that's what it is. Once there, we expect the show to be consistent within the rules it has set for itself.

The iron islands pulling 1000 ships out of nowhere is not part of the premise. If the iron islands magic'd themselves 1000 ships out of nowhere no one would be complaining about it. But that's not what we've been given.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 10:37 PM on July 20 [3 favorites]


I'd probably complain about magicking 1000 ships out of nowhere. Once you've got that kind of power there's not really much of a story left. Might as well magic yourself a set of Iron Man armor and just fly around killing everyone, then land on the Iron Throne, kick back, and enjoy a refreshing Pepsi Blue while magicking yourself whatever else you want.
posted by Justinian at 11:11 PM on July 20


(1) Mr. Palmcorder and I have officially christened Euron "Cokedealer Greyjoy."

(2) It's absolutely not Wun Wun. There's a lingering shot of his intact-and-glowing right eye, which is the one that Ramsay shot out.

(3) I really, really, really could have done without the poop-soup montage. But at least it wasn't another freaking rape scene.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 11:27 PM on July 20 [8 favorites]


palmcorder_yajna: I really, really, really could have done without the poop-soup montage.

It's a lead-up to this mini-speech from the Archmaester:
In the Citadel, we lead different lives for different reasons. We are this world's memory, Samwell Tarly. Without us, men would be little better than dogs. Don't remember any meal but the last, can't see forward to any but the next. And every time you leave the house and shut the door, they howl like you're gone forever. When Robert's Rebellion was raging, people thought the end was near. The end of the Targaryen dynasty. "How will we survive?" When Aegon Targaryen turned his eye westward and flew his dragons to Blackwater Rush "The end is near! How will we survive?" And thousands of years before that, during the Long Night, we can forgive them for thinking it truly was the end.

But it wasn't. None of it was. The Wall has stood through it all. And every winter that ever came has ended.

Be a good lad. Clean this up.
While the montage was silly (montages are a generally silly "time passes" trope in cinematography, rarely used well), I can see that it was used to put us in Samwell's shoes: his life is about day-to-day repetition, his focus is set on the present and near future. But as a Maester-in-training, he could look beyond the day-to-day, even beyond the next season.

Except I think that, like others in this thread, by the Archmaester proclaiming "the Wall has stood through it all" likely implies that the Wall will fall. As illustrated in XKCD's Electoral Precedent, the problem with statements like "this thing has always been true" is accurate until the day it is not. There was a time when there was no Wall, but now there is, and it has survived, but it will also crumble in time.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:26 PM on July 21 [1 favorite]


Well that and according to Sandor's vision, the White Walkers are walking around the wall at the one end by the sea, so it may become moot.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:35 PM on July 21


They stole the ships, OK? Stole them from Ed Sheeran. Duh.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:37 PM on July 21 [1 favorite]


Anyway, there's no rhyme or reason to why that bothers me but I'm willing to handwave away a 600-foot ice wall or the unreasonable size/population of Westeros or the travel times or whatever else. That's just the thing that bothers me.

yes, exactly. magic made the wall? fine, good, why not. but now you better have a specific explanation that magic is sailing those ships without a crew or it will distract me from the next 20 minutes of the episode to an immense degree.
posted by poffin boffin at 2:43 PM on July 21 [2 favorites]


Anyone else wondering if what the Hound saw in the fire wasn't "a mountain", but actually "a Mountain"? Prophesying the return of Gregor?
posted by hanov3r at 3:29 PM on July 21


More Quotes

ArchMaester Marwyn: "We're not lie the people south of the Twins. And we're not like the people north of the Twins. In the Citadel, we lead different lives for different reasons. We are this world's memory, Samwell Tarly. Without us, men would be little better than dogs. Don't remember any meal but the last, can't see forward to any but the next. And every time you leave the house and shut the door, they howl like you're gone forever. When Robert's Rebellion was raging, people that the end was near. The end of the Targaryen dynasty. "How will we survive?" When Aegon Targaryen turned his eye westward and flew his dragons to Blackwater Rush--"The end is near! How will we survive?" And thousands of year before that, during the Long Night, we can forgive them for thinking it truly was the end. But it wasn't. None of it was. The Wall has stood through it all. And every winter that ever came has ended."
--
Thoros of Myr: "Why are you always in such a foul mood?"
The Hound: "Experience."
--
The Hound: "It's my fucking luck I end up with a band of fire worshippers."
--
Jorah Mormont: "Has she come yet?"
Samwell: "Who?"
Jorah: "The Dragon Queen. Daenerys Stormborn."
Sam: "Haven't heard anything."
--
Thoros of Myr: "What do you see?"
The Hound: "Logs burning."
Thoros of Myr: "Keep looking. What do you see?"
The Hound: "Ice. A wall of ice. The Wall."
Thoros of Myr: "What else?"
The Hound: "It's where the Wall meets the sea. There's a castle there. There's a mountain. Looks like an arrowhead. The dead are marching past."
The Hound: "Thousands of them."
Beric: "Do you believe me now, Clegane? Do you believe we're here for a reason?"
--
Unnamed Lannister Soldier: "So. Why is a nice girl on her own heading to King's Landing?"
Arya: "I'm going to kill the queen."
posted by zarq at 3:34 PM on July 21 [1 favorite]


Thoros of Myr: "Why are you always in such a foul mood?"
The Hound: "Experience."


I loved this, it's such a perfect line for Clegane. Cynical, misanthropist, laconic. It puts me in mind of the Ted Cruz joke: "Why do people take such an instant dislike to Cruz? It just saves time."
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 4:39 PM on July 21 [5 favorites]


Yeah - I laughed hard at that line.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:44 PM on July 21


Comic-Con season preview -- spoilers! (In both the linked article and the YouTube video!)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:57 PM on July 21


I'm pretty sure that Tyrion murdered the person he loved most in the world.

by destroying his own liver.
posted by srboisvert at 6:51 PM on July 22 [4 favorites]


The "Experience" line from the Hound reminded me of Jacques from Candide.
posted by miss-lapin at 4:49 PM on July 23


Walder Frey's young wife is now wondering if all the unpleasant marital sex she's had was actually with a girl wearing an old man's face.
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED at 6:03 PM on July 26 [9 favorites]


Eyebrows McGee: I suddenly have some important questions about why zombies need horses.

Sorry I missed this question earlier, but here's a brief summary of zombie theory:

There are a few different camps of zombie style/ design/ theory, besides the major Slow (Romero) vs Fast (28 Days Later/Boyle/Garland). The next division in theories is why do zombies do anything (after all, they're dead, so they're free from prior obligations and contracts). The source of the drive for living [human] flesh (or specifically brains) varies from story to story, but beyond that, zombies may just sit around, waiting for something or someone to draw their attention, or in other stories, they keep doing the things they did while alive. I think George A. Romero (RIP) had the most fun with this, from Bub, the telephone and the salute in Day of the Dead, to Land of the Dead, where undisturbed by humans, zombies pump gas, play instruments in a marching band, and otherwise mind their own business (Google books preview).

In short, if these zombies are anything like Romero's zombies, they might just keep doing what they did when they were alive. Or maybe the Night King appreciates the added speed and maneuverability of mounted soldiers.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:14 AM on August 2


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