Neil Marshall teases season 4′s huge episode
By Ours is the Fury on in Press, Production.

Neil MarshallIn a new interview published today by the Irish Film & Television Network, Neil Marshall, director of season four’s ninth episode, has provided an in-depth look at the episode’s production with a few hints as to what we can expect. From what Marshall has to say, it looks like the penultimate episode will be on a scale greater even than that of “Blackwater,” which he also directed.

For his introduction to the show, Marshall famously took the reins of the season 2 episode with only a week to prepare. This time around, he had four weeks to prep, working with Boardwalk Empire director of photography David Franco. He says GoT‘s writers are open to collaboration, and he typically offers his input on the more physical aspects of the episode, but that the writing itself is so good, “I don’t tamper with the material at all.” He refers to episode 9 as “a huge episode,” filled with “stunts, effects gags and visual effects.”

Since the director is referring to events that occur in the episode, his further remarks do contain spoilers and will be posted under the cut.

According to Marshall:

  • The episode focuses on the battle for Castle Black and there are “three different battles going on at the same time in different places.”
  • Approximately 200 extras were needed, plus a very large stunt crew, “including this amazing bunch of Hungarian stunt guys,” Marshall notes.
  • In addition to the preexisting Castle Black set at Magheramorne Quarry, GoT partially built another within the Paint Hall for the top of the Wall, taking up the entire studio. They needed to use the largest backdrop in Europe for the set.
  • Expect to see “a few beheadings in there,” according to the director. “And yeah, we got to blow some people up, set people on fire and do quite a few high falls.”

The director discusses his style in film, and chats about his work on Michael Bay’s new TV series Black Sails. Visit IFTN for the full article.

Ours is the Fury: I think we really lucked out getting Marshall on “Blackwater,” and having him return for another complicated battle episode is smart. I can’t wait to see what they’ve put together.

 


232 Comments

  1. Onion Knight
    Posted November 27, 2013 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

    First / Hodor. Awesome news, can’t wait for that episode.

  2. Direhound
    Posted November 27, 2013 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

    Knowing the episode is mostly CastleBlack should be a good sign.

  3. Tenesmus
    Posted November 27, 2013 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

    Hodor! Hodor! Awesome, gimme trailer.

  4. Michel
    Posted November 27, 2013 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

    Three differents battles? Anyone can imagine what that means and who will be in witch battle?

  5. Chickenduck
    Posted November 27, 2013 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

    Michel:
    Three differents battles? Anyone can imagine what that means and who will be in witch battle?

    Wildlings from the north attacking the wall, Wildlings launch surprise attack from the south, Stannis shows up and attack Wildlinds from the rear.

    In terms of how you film them, they would be considered three separate battles. Each would have a different shooting location, different character set, different tone etc.

  6. Chickenduck
    Posted November 27, 2013 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

    Manny Lannister:
    Michel,

    Meerreen, Castle Black and Stannis arrival perhaps?

    I doubt it’d be Meereen – he didn’t mention anything at all about shooting anywhere besides Northern Ireland, and all of his soundstage stuff seems Wall-related.

    The ways he’s talking sounds like the episode will be 100% at the Wall, a la Blackwater.

  7. The Flayed Man
    Posted November 27, 2013 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

    Michel:
    Three differents battles? Anyone can imagine what that means and who will be in witch battle?

    I’m guessing he means:

    1. Battle atop the Wall (NW vs. Wildlings)
    2. Battle down at Castle Black (NW vs. Wildlings)
    3. Battle just north of the Wall (Stannis vs. Wildlings)

  8. GG
    Posted November 27, 2013 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

    I love this if for no other reason than it seems like Tywin & Lysa’s deaths will be in episode 10, like I always wanted :D I still think The Purple Wedding will be the event of the season though. But The Battle of Castle Black is a definite close second.

  9. Jordy
    Posted November 27, 2013 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

    Chickenduck: in witch battle?

    Wildlings from the north attacking the wall, Wildlings launch surprise attack from the south, Stannis shows up and attack Wildlinds from the rear.
      

    Yes, that’s what I immediately thought too. It makes the most sense in this context. Once Season 3 ended without a battle for Castle Black, I was hoping it would be combined into one giant battle in episode 9. Glad they did it. Plus they can draw out the character of Ygritte a little longer. Who wants to bet that Jon gets elected Lord Commander BEFORE the battle instead of after and they drop the whole Stannis-locking-them-in-a-room thing? It would allow a lot of the first 8 episodes to be focused on Jon trying to prove his loyalty, contending with Janos Slynt as well as Alliser Thorne (both confirmed returning), and then the election for commander and the buildup to battle.

  10. JamesL
    Posted November 27, 2013 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

    Chickenduck,

    I don’t think the show will have a surprise Stannis arrival at the Wall in ep 9. They set up his journey to the Wall in the season 3 finale so he will most likely arrive earlier in the season before the battle even begins. They are contractually obliged to give certain actors they cast a significant amount of material each season and having Stannis, Davos, and Mel show up at the Wall earlier in the season would allow for that. If they don’t show up at the Wall before episode 9, what would Stannis and co. be doing all season?

  11. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted November 27, 2013 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

    Chickenduck: Wildlings from the north attacking the wall, Wildlings launch surprise attack from the south, Stannis shows up and attack Wildlinds from the rear.
    In terms of how you film them, they would be considered three separate battles.Each would have a different shooting location, different character set, different tone etc.

    The order may indeed be interesting and worth debating. Could Mance’s “biggest fire the north has ever seen” signal be significant to the attack order? My opinion: 0) Signal, then 1) South attack, then 2) North attack, then 3) Stannis saves the day

    [Sometimes I wish we could xfer comments from a previous thread to a more relevant thread!]

  12. Scott Glennon
    Posted November 27, 2013 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

    The Wandering Knight has returned! It was that name-Neil Marshall-that compelled me to show up, comment, and generally hang out in anticipation of the new season. Sounds like the Battle(s) at the Wall are going to rock! I am wondering (alot of things actually, but) specifically what role giants will play in this..just wondering. Go Jon Snow!

    The North Remembers!

  13. Nezzer
    Posted November 27, 2013 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

    Hodor’s Bastard: The order may indeed be interesting and worth debating. Could Mance’s “biggest fire the north has ever seen” signal be significant to the attack order? My opinion: 0) Signal, then 1) South attack, then 2) North attack, then 3) Stannis saves the day

    [Sometimes I wish we could xfer comments from a previous thread to a more relevant thread!]

    Marshall also mentioned catapults and people being blown off the Wall, so I think they are giving Mance some siege equipment too. Maybe his “biggest fire the North has ever seen” is a shitload of catapults targeting the archers at the top of the Wall.

  14. FictionIsntReal
    Posted November 27, 2013 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

    Did we ever find out who the original director of “Blackwater” was going to be before Marshall replaced them?

  15. WildSeed
    Posted November 27, 2013 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

    Chickenduck,

    I see your point. These scenarios would make for some awesome television viewing.
    If the scripted action scenes are paced out well, the books will certainly ” come to
    life “. I’m really looking forward to Stannis making it down to the eastern
    shore ( Deepwood Mott ? Glovers ? ), for that incursion…..but that would be rushing
    things, unnecessarily. Yara would be there, though.

  16. WildSeed
    Posted November 27, 2013 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

    The Flayed Man,

    correct, thanks !

  17. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted November 27, 2013 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

    Nezzer: Marshall also mentioned catapults and people being blown off the Wall, so I think they are giving Mance some siege equipment too. Maybe his “biggest fire the North has ever seen” is a shitload of catapults targeting the archers at the top of the Wall.

    Yeah! I wonder how Mance’s army transported those siege weapons to the wall without Jon knowing, but I’ll suspend my disbelief! They could be weapons provided by the giants (and mammoths!). Who knows?…but I think you’re onto something.

  18. WildSeed
    Posted November 27, 2013 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

    I’m gonna re-watch that end-for -all fort scene, at the end of ” Centurion “. I’m
    in the mood for a lopsided battle win. Bring it on, Fassbender !

  19. WildSeed
    Posted November 27, 2013 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

    Hodor’s Bastard,

    sorcery ?

  20. Nezzer
    Posted November 27, 2013 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

    Hodor’s Bastard: Yeah! I wonder how Mance’s army transported those siege weapons to the wall without Jon knowing, but I’ll suspend my disbelief! They could be weapons provided by the giants (and mammoths!). Who knows?…but I think you’re onto something.

    The Haunted Forest is pretty damn thick. It wouldn’t be too hard to move equipment like that near the Wall without being seen by the Watch.

  21. Jacarb
    Posted November 27, 2013 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

    Maybe there is going to be a battle on top of the wall. It could explain the three different battle places (base of the wall, on top of the wall, Castle Black), would justify the top of the wall requiring the “largest backdrop in Europe,” and would make for lots of people falling off the wall without Mance having to bring siege weapons. It’s hard to believe the wildlings could put together a catapult that reaches 800 feet when windmills awe them. And if he can send a group over the wall, Mance sure as hell could send a group to stay on top and go after the weaponry. Maybe Styr isn’t sent to reinforce Tormund, but to take on a different mission altogether.

  22. Chickenduck
    Posted November 27, 2013 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

    My opinion of the episode will be mainly based on the quality of Giants and Mammoths or lack thereof ;)

  23. Dzerards
    Posted November 27, 2013 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know if it is important to note that Neil never mentions catapults directly, just the interviewer. Plus now we know what the Eyrie set made way for. Epic!

  24. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted November 27, 2013 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

    I’m assuming the catapult will be atop the Wall and be used by the NW against the wildlings and their giants. That’s the way it was in the books, if I recall correctly.

  25. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted November 27, 2013 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

    Chickenduck,

    I don’t think they would have shown one in season 3 if they didn’t intend to use them in the battle. I doubt we’ll see any mammoths, though.

  26. Daniru
    Posted November 27, 2013 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

    I’m curious as to what Stannis will be up to all season. I don’t think that it would work nearly as well if he turned up early for the battle, but he won’t have much to do all season. Maybe they could have an episode or two around the start of the season set on Dragonstone where they make preparations or something, but they’d still need something to do from then until episode 9. And it would be hard to show much of his journey to the North without completely giving his surprise arrival away. Maybe White Harbour?

  27. Jacarb
    Posted November 27, 2013 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

    Daniru,

    The season 3 finale made it clear that Stannis is heading north to help the Watch, so the surprise is already gone. I hope he gets there earlier than the books, just so that the two major battles on TV don’t end the same way.

  28. Nezzer
    Posted November 27, 2013 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

    Daniru:
    I’m curious as to what Stannis will be up to all season. I don’t think that it would work nearly as well if he turned up early for the battle, but he won’t have much to do all season. Maybe they could have an episode or two around the start of the season set on Dragonstone where they make preparations or something, but they’d still need something to do from then until episode 9. And it would be hard to show much of his journey to the North without completely giving his surprise arrival away. Maybe White Harbour?

    Stannis can’t arrive earlier. Without him taking Mance’s rearguard by surprise, there’s no other way they will have the NW capture Mance and thousands of other Wildlings alive.

  29. Hollyoak
    Posted November 27, 2013 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

    I don’t even remember this battle in the books. I guess it’s time to re-read.

  30. Greenjones
    Posted November 27, 2013 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

    Daniru,

    I imagine he’ll have scenes with Tycho Nestoris, have an epic sacrificing scene a la those leaked pictures, have a reaction to the PW and more. After all Tara Fitzgerald is credited under various directors not just one, so more time for her means more for him.

  31. Mark
    Posted November 27, 2013 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

    Stannis and co. Will have a run in with Yara I’m betting.

  32. JamesL
    Posted November 27, 2013 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

    Daniru,

    As I stated in my previous post, he will most likely be arriving before the battle. I don’t see why they would set up Stannis journey to the Wall in the season 3 finale if he doesn’t show up until episode 9 of season 4. He will probably arrive there early in the season.

  33. JamesL
    Posted November 27, 2013 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

    FictionIsntReal,

    My guess is that the original director was going to be Guillermo Del Toro.

  34. Unbowd UnbentUnhodor
    Posted November 27, 2013 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

    such excite!
    many battles
    wow

  35. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted November 27, 2013 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

    JamesL,

    I hope not. That completely ruins everything Jon does. If Stannis and his men are there then Jon will take a backseat instead of leading the defense. Jon HAS to be built up this season. Stannis has plenty to do before setting sail and during his journey. D&D will not waste an opportunity to write new stuff where there was basically nothing in the books. That is a fairly long journey, and there is talk of sacrifices along the way. Also, Davos spoke of recruiting men to Stannis’ side. Perhaps Tycho Nestoris crosses paths with them? Things will be different from the books, yet stay close enough to where it won’t be jarring. Stannis arriving early would be jarring, and as I said, would completely ruin Jon’s part in the battle.

  36. Giantsbabe
    Posted November 27, 2013 at 11:30 pm | Permalink

    Just read the full article and it sounds amazing! Now I want to go watch Blackwater again. So I assume the three battles will be notch…draw…loose, all through the long night from the top of the Wall, an unexpected attack from the south from Thenns and Stannis and co. I wonder who is going to get beheaded?

  37. Joshua Atreides
    Posted November 28, 2013 at 1:03 am | Permalink

    Tyrion Pimpslap

    I agree. For me the ideal arrival of Stannis should be heralded in the thick of the battle as Wildings begin to overrun Castle Black and we see Jon on the ramparts hacking away furiously and then unbeknownst to him but seen by others, an eagle comes swooping down. It”s Orell of course and Jon is able to turn around and see it dive towards him to knock him off the wall or The Wall, and suddenly the bird bursts into flame and flying embers. Cue close up of Jon’s amazement and the cut to a shot of a red gloved hand reaching towards the sky and lowering gradually followed by a medium shot of Melisandre on horseback and banners of a Stag in a heart of fire billowing past her.
    It would be epic. The Unsullied would go nuts.

  38. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted November 28, 2013 at 2:37 am | Permalink

    Gobble, gobble. Happy Thanksgiving to folks on this side of the pond (and those elsewhere who enjoy any chance to celebrate with family and friends)

  39. Adam Whitehead
    Posted November 28, 2013 at 3:05 am | Permalink

    FictionIsntReal,

    It was probably Jeremy Podeswa. He was announced as a S2 director but later pulled out.

    They are contractually obliged to give certain actors they cast a significant amount of material each season

    Yes, but this is worked out beforehand. If they put it in the contract that they have no scenes until Episode 9, then they would work with that (if the actors agree, of course). And of course if they don’t arrive at the Wall until Episode 9, they can still appear earlier in the season in travelling scenes, maybe having a side-adventure etc.

  40. Khal-A-Bunga
    Posted November 28, 2013 at 3:05 am | Permalink

    Joshua Atreides,

    Agree that that would be an amazing moment, but I’m hoping they decide to end that episode a bit later. Personally, I’d like to see some of the aftermath of the battle.

    So the finale isn’t packed with too much material, I think ending with Stannis offering to legitimize Jon would be more effective.

    Basically..,


    Stannis put a thin, fleshless hand on Jon’s shoulder. “Say nothing of what we’ve discussed here today. To anyone. But when you return, you need only bend your knee, lay your sword at my feet, and pledge yourself to my service, and you shall rise again as Jon Stark, the Lord of Winterfell.”

    …and cue the end credits.

  41. Jentario
    Posted November 28, 2013 at 3:20 am | Permalink

    Khal-A-Bunga,

    But where would you put Ygritte’s death if not at the end of the episode?

  42. Paul
    Posted November 28, 2013 at 4:04 am | Permalink

    Not sure why people think Stannis will arrive early. Theres plenty to work with in short spells over the season while largely concentrating on other areas ie KL. Couple of on ship scenes with Mel, the Davos detour to White Harbour, a possible stop over involving Yaya even. No way will they break the Wall battle order up, you would need to be a special kind of moron to think they would ruin the whole build up and finale to it even after the man responsible has spelt it out to you in the article

  43. Ozymandias
    Posted November 28, 2013 at 4:10 am | Permalink

    Man…..the last two episodes are going to be CRAZY. o.O

  44. Paul
    Posted November 28, 2013 at 4:12 am | Permalink

    Ozymandias,

    Last three episodes more like, ah hell the whole damn season by the looks of it!

  45. Khal-A-Bunga
    Posted November 28, 2013 at 4:17 am | Permalink

    Jentario,

    I don’t think there’s any reason that she has to die at the end of the episode. I could see it happening towards the middle of the episode, or towards the end, really. I don’t think there needs to be a lot of follow-up to the battle, but briefly seeing what happens with Mance and the other characters involved in the battle (Tormund, Sam, etc.), Stannis declaring that he’ll allow the wildlings to stay in the northern part of the kingdoms, and ending with Stannis offering to legitimize Jon after speaking with him would make for a more effective ending than Stannis arriving to save the day. He’s lost Ygritte, but has the possibility to inherit something he could only have dreamed of. That allows for the election (which I think is a lock for this season) to have some breathing room, and would end the ninth episode in a way that isn’t so predictable and simple, in my opinion.

    So basically, I would put it around the 45 minute mark, if we were to assume that the episode was a full 60 minutes in length. But, obviously, that’s just me. I trust that the writers and Marshall will make it work spectacularly however they choose to do it. Just fun to speculate while we wait for… Anything, really.

  46. Jentario
    Posted November 28, 2013 at 4:32 am | Permalink

    Khal-A-Bunga,

    I still don’t understand why they chose to combine the battles. It would have been much better otherwise. Now the episode is overflown with material and the season will begin very slowly instead of very quickly in Jon’s story. Also, Ygritte dying early would help seed Jon’s transformation into a leader in a way that just can’t happen with Ygritte alive IMO. This is a weird choice by D&D.

  47. Ozymandias
    Posted November 28, 2013 at 4:33 am | Permalink

    Paul,

    Episodes 2,8,9,10 will be the highlights of Season 4 I think.

    Last year was 4,5,8 and 9.
    Season 2 was 9 and 10. (Episode 3 and 6 were really good tho)
    Season 1 was the whole second half (5-10, but the first half was slower than every other seasons.)

  48. Valyrian Plastic
    Posted November 28, 2013 at 4:35 am | Permalink

    Paul,

    I don’t think Davo’s will be visiting White Harbour until season 5. For one, Wyman Manderley hasn’t been cast yet (many have recommended Ian McNeice for the role, which I agree would be pretty cool). Another issue would be the amount of storylines that’ve been put into this season alone (not to mention the rising cost of doing so), though season 5 will probably be bogged-down in b-plots if D&D can’t work their way around it. Thirdly, White Harbour’s loyalty to the crown was only brought up during Cersei’s tenure as Queen Regent after Tywin’s death, when they fake the death of the Onion Knight to cover their true motives.

  49. Ludo
    Posted November 28, 2013 at 4:54 am | Permalink

    I want a One Vs One Stannis/Mance fight !

  50. Jentario
    Posted November 28, 2013 at 4:59 am | Permalink

    Ozymandias,

    I agree with everything you said. I am also terrified of what will happen in the midseason. It is either going to be boring and will destroy the pacing of the season (which is something I hated in season 3, with the exception of the mentioned episodes) or we’re going to see a lot of deviations from the book. I’m actually hoping for the latter.

  51. Khal-A-Bunga
    Posted November 28, 2013 at 6:04 am | Permalink

    Jentario,

    What was wrong with the pacing of the season? As with a lot of heavily serialized shows, Game of Thrones is best when you can watch at your leisure. If you haven’t re-watched the season as a whole since it ended, I’d recommend it (though you might as well wait for the season three home video release at this point). If you have, what were some of your issues with the pacing?

  52. Jentario
    Posted November 28, 2013 at 6:09 am | Permalink

    Khal-A-Bunga,

    It climaxed in the middle and went on with slow episodes until episode 9, followed by a lackluster episode 10 (IMO). It never picked up for more than a couple of episodes at a time (4,5 and 8,9). Season 1 and 2 were much better on that front, and season 4 should be as well. Theon’s arc also didn’t help.

    EDIT: Also, the only big things that happened this season were Dany getting an army and the Red Wedding, otherwise it was just character moments- which I love, but when there’s no plot development it’s still an issue. I think they should have included the Royal Wedding in the finale or at least the battle of Castle Black. The season felt really empty to me.

  53. Ser Tahu
    Posted November 28, 2013 at 6:17 am | Permalink

    Ozymandias,
    Jentario,
    I’m not overly worried. King’s Landing may not be as action packed in the mid-season, but we still have Tyrion’s trial, which is relatively interesting. As for the Night’s Watch, I am predicting some sort of filler. My theory is:
    1 – Jon is still recovering
    2 – No Night’s Watch
    3 – Jon and co evacuate Mole’s town (the mole’s town madame is in an Alex Graves episode)
    4 – Grenn and Edd return and update them on the Craster’s situation. They agree that Jon’s defection from Tormund’s group has bought them time, and that the mutineers must be dealt with before they can give Mance detailed post-fist information. A small group (including Jon) ride out)
    5 – A short scene of them riding towards Craster’s Keep (at this point Bran and co would likely be captives of the mutineers, so there would be the suspense of the possibility of a Jon-Bran reunion)
    6 – They arrive at Craster’s to find everyone dead (because of Coldhands), so they turn back south, possibly with the body of Jeor
    7 – No Night’s Watch
    8 – Jon and co are back at Castle Black and make final preparations for the battle
    9 – Everything goes down
    10 – The aftermath. I don’t think we will get the election, I think it will just be Stannis letting the Wildlings who swear him fealty south of the Wall, and the offer to legitimise Jon and name him Lord of Winterfell

    Also, there are many other storylines that will have epic moments in the mid-season, such as (in no particular order):
    between episodes 3-5: Bran and co being captured by the mutineers (it’s a pretty safe assumption that Bran and co will interact with them in some way), Coldhands saving Bran and co, YarAsha’s siege of the Dreadfort and Barristan defeating the champion of Meereen
    between episodes 6-87 Bran and co being attacked by wights at the cave, Bran meeting Bloodraven, Daenerys takes Meereen and Arya’s fight in the Inn (although it could be in episode 6)

  54. Khal-A-Bunga
    Posted November 28, 2013 at 6:28 am | Permalink

    Jentario,

    Hmm, interesting. Hard to argue with an opinion, but suffice it to say, I totally disagree for the most part. The one area we do agree on is that Mhysa was a lackluster finale (compared to the first two seasons, anyway), but that was somewhat expected considering the fact that they were splitting A Storm of Swords into two seasons. Still felt that it was a good episode, though; just not a great finale.

    I couldn’t disagree more about the Purple Wedding being in the finale, however. It’s not a climactic event, but an anti-climax, and its main function is to set the various plots going forward into motion at King’s Landing. It makes a lot more sense to happen early on in a season, and wouldn’t have been serviced well at all by being squeezed into the season three finale.

    As for the season as a whole, I rather enjoyed the more deliberate pace and the increased focus on the characters. Sure, Theon’s story line dragged on a week-to-week basis, but it played fine (though he could have been in one less episode without any problem) when the season was watched in quick succession (over a period of three days), just as every other plot thread did.

  55. Jentario
    Posted November 28, 2013 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    Ser Tahu,

    You are forgetting Slynt and Thorne, but I guess that storyline could be in episode 9. It just seems like that episode is already jam-packed.

  56. Mr Fixit
    Posted November 28, 2013 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    Khal-A-Bunga,

    I think Season 3 had fantastic character work, more than enough to compensate for a somewhat slower pace. Daenerys had very good material, Robb and Catelyn had some great scenes, especially in the first half of the season (though I do agree that the show could have done a better job with their storyline in both Season 2 and 3), Jon’s story picked up thepace in the later half, Jaime and Brienne were everything I could hope for (God bless Bryan Cogman), and even Dragonstone, which didn’t really have much to do, had some very nice character material (especially Stannis-Shireen, Davos-Shireen, Stannis-Davos, though I wasn’t a fan of how they handled Ep10 in this regard). Arya, courtesy of amazing Maisie Williams, was phenomenal in her scenes, especially with BwB (“Could you bring back a man without a head? Just once, not six times”; God bless Bryan Cogman again). Even Theon, and I agree he spent a bit too much time doing same old, was great in his scenes. His “confession” in Ep4 was heartbreaking. And last but not least, I very much enjoyed the King’s Landing stuff, which I thought was great as ever. I know this storyline is often unfairly portrayed as containing filler (another word for not-in-the-books), but the interplay between Tyrion, Tywin, Cersei, Varys, Sansa, Joffrey, Olenna and Margaery was fantastic. Beautifully handled.

    Yeah, a great character-oriented season.

  57. Jentario
    Posted November 28, 2013 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    Khal-A-Bunga,

    I do understand the benefits of PW as an early season 4 event (though episode 2 is way too early in my opinion, considering all the lead up that needs to be done- from introducing the guests to catching up with all the characters to seeing what Brienne and Jaime’s arrivals and pretty much the whole Sansa-Dontos dynamic in one episode seems like a bit of a stretch to me), but I do think it could be a great finale for season 3 too. Just when it seems the worst has come, after RW and a clear Lannister win in the Wo5K, they have a huge celebration of their success by marrying Joff to Marge… And then he chokes and there’s a huge commotion during which Sansa runs away. Credits roll and everyone watching is saying “Yes!!! Wait, what the hell just happened?!” and the question “who killed Joffrey?” would be the center of discussion for a whole year, during which people would analyze the clues. I know it seems impossible to fit, but I would have the RW in episode 8, with a very bloody aftermath alongside Dany taking Yunkai, the Bear Pit and Queenscrown all being episode 9 moments (yes, it would be a lesser episode 9, but episode 10 would make up for it). Keeping Joff’s death in season 3 would also make the season have a clearly defined focus- Mel’s leach prophecy coming true.

    But it really is pointless to discuss what could have been… Let’s discuss season 4 and 5 instead- will there be an Elk?! Please D&D, you gave us a bear, you have to give us an Elk! CGI it, I don’t care.

  58. Ser Tahu
    Posted November 28, 2013 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    Jentario,
    My assumption was that they would show up in episode 9. The battle itself is most definitely not going to take up the entire episode. For example the 50 minutes of the episode ‘Blackwater’ consisted of:
    ~20 minutes of setup before the battle
    ~15-20 minutes of actual fighting
    ~10-15 minutes of drunk Cersei :P

    I think episode 9 will play out roughly like this:
    The Wildlings launch their initial assault on the Wall. The initial assault on the gate is repelled (with Jon in the thick of the action). After the Watchmen move back to Castle Black Aemon tells Jon “The Wall is Yours”. Jon then heads to the top of the Wall to lead the assault from there. While up there Alliser, Janos and Locke show up and arrest Jon (let’s face it, as much as people want to read into Locke’s speech to Jaime and think he will side with Jon, he is almost certainly going to side with Alliser and Janos). They accuse him of being a wildling/oathbreaker/traitor and send him out to treat with Mance. Jon rides out solo and we get his tent scene with Mance (hopefully with the horn, and if we’re lucky also Val/Dall played by an extra, to be recast next season Beric-style). Stannis shows up and all hell breaks loose while Jon is still North of the Wall. The Watchmen ride out to join Stannis in the fight and the wildlings are crushed. Jon finds a dying Ygritte as everyone chants “Stannis!” around him. End episode.

  59. Turncloak
    Posted November 28, 2013 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    Jentario,

    I disagree I thought this was the best season of GoT yet with the most big moments
    1) Jaime loses hand
    2) Dany gets unsullied army
    3) Tyrions wedding
    4) Red Wedding
    5) Beric vs The hound
    6) Jaime in bathtub

  60. Paul
    Posted November 28, 2013 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    Valyrian Plastic,

    Sorry you misunderstood what I meant Stannis could give Davos that task on screen as they pass through and he sets off for it rather than anything is shown. It fills up his screen time. Obviously WM hasnt been cast nor would there be time for the full storyline. Kinda assumed that would be clear given the already busy season.

  61. Selmy
    Posted November 28, 2013 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    This sounds amazing. Can’t wait to see it. Now can we please have a premiere date and a trailer?

  62. Patchy Face
    Posted November 28, 2013 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    So you guys really are in it for the battles and deaths, huh? (not that there’s anything wrong with that) – However, I am more looking forward to the KL scenes; lots going on there this season and some of the quieter moments (i.e. Arya). The Wall is cool but think all of Westeros is going to rock this season!

  63. Head of the Wolf
    Posted November 28, 2013 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    I agree that Locke will side with Throe&Slynt, Stannis will arrive and other parts e.g. Tywin & Lysa’s deaths. But I think Jon will be called oathbreaker in 6/7 after being given control in 5 then show Jon in the ice cells in 8 then all the stuff in Mance’s tent , the battle & Ygritte’s death will be shown in 9

  64. King Tommen
    Posted November 28, 2013 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    Is it safe to say based on Marshall’s complete lack of mention of any other shooting besides the Wall events that E9 will exclusively feature this storyline, Blackwater-style?

    This was certainly suspected leading up to this interview but I have to think that Marshall has more or less confirmed that it’s a standalone episode.

  65. Mursk
    Posted November 28, 2013 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    Anyone own a time machine? I want to jump ahead a few months. But I guess time machine owners are busy going back and making investments and betting on championships and such. It’s alright, I can wait I guess. Stupid financially oriented time machine owners.

  66. House Snow
    Posted November 28, 2013 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    Ser Tahu,

    Here is my off the wall theory Davos will be the one to kill Ygritte, and Jon will witness it. I think it would be a nice way to sully up what has been Davos kind of pristine image , create conflict with Jon, and set up him being sent elsewhere. I never loved the ambiguous way Ygritte died in the book and I would surprised if they kept that element. I don’t like the idea of Jon killing her even accidentally, and I dont like a wildling killing her. Stannis and Mel killing her wouldn’t be a shock. But Davos killing her would be truly tragic.

  67. Paul
    Posted November 28, 2013 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    Patchy Face,

    Totally agree Patchy. Obviously the big moments will be incredible but the whole season will be great. Even the ‘slow’ bits people bleat about are interesting.

  68. Paul
    Posted November 28, 2013 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    House Snow,

    That would involve a sizable plot change though and one that surely wouldnt happen.

  69. Head of the Wolf
    Posted November 28, 2013 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    House Snow,

    Good theory, I always thought Mel would kill Ygritte so it would give Jon good reason to distrust her

  70. Greatjon of Slumber
    Posted November 28, 2013 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    I really don’t get this notion that Season 3 was badly paced. A great mid-season climax in episode 4, the awesome and devastating episode 5, the great Climb of Ep 6 (don’t get the hatred for this one), and then another great quiet and intense Second Sons (8), before the big climax in Ep 9. Only Episode 7, Bear & the Maiden Fair, was lackluster to me.

  71. Greatjon of Slumber
    Posted November 28, 2013 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    The episode will have 3 battles at once? Let’s see:

    1. The awesome first one
    2. The awesome second one
    3. The awesome third one

    YEAHZ.

  72. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted November 28, 2013 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    Head of the Wolf:
    House Snow,
    I always thought Mel would kill Ygritte so it would give Jon good reason to distrust her

    I think the showrunners will have Jon kill Ygritte…hence, he completes the task that Qhorin Halfhand gave him in S2/ACoK. Karma is a bitch.

  73. Al Swearengen
    Posted November 28, 2013 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    I can’t wait.

    Please bring Neil back for a regular episode in season 5, he’s earned it!

  74. Head of the Wolf
    Posted November 28, 2013 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    Hodor’s Bastard,

    Though I see that Jon killing Ygritte would make him feel guilty I doubt they’ll do it as it implies Jon didn’t love her & could take away the sadness & shock out of their last scene together for non book viewers

  75. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted November 28, 2013 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    Head of the Wolf:
    Hodor’s Bastard,
    Though I see that Jon killing Ygritte would make him feel guiltyI doubt they’ll do it as it implies Jon didn’t love her & could take away the sadness & shock out of their last scene together for non book viewers

    I should have clarified….after the melee on the southern side of CB in the books, Jon didn’t know if he had shot her or not…..and he discovered that his arrow didn’t kill her. A similar scene could take place in the show…but with more tragic results (it was his arrow)….or maybe he has to save Sam by killing Ygritte. In any case, it will be devastating to Jon.

  76. Boojam
    Posted November 28, 2013 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    The whole of episode 9.
    This is a very good sign.

  77. Head of the Wolf
    Posted November 28, 2013 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    Hodor’s Bastard,

    I guess that could work

  78. Rygar
    Posted November 28, 2013 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    Neil, Tim, and Alan.

  79. Doug
    Posted November 28, 2013 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    Well looks like an awesome episode. One thing I have been wondering about though…

    For there to a scene where Stannis offers to legitimize Jon, don’t we need a Val? If I remember correctly that entire thing was predicated on the fact that Jon has a wife. I do not believe they have cast a Val. I suppose they can alter the story and have Stannis offer single Jon to be Lord of Winterfell, but that would go against the grain and be bizarre. Obviously, Stannis was interested in seeing the person he was going to make Lord of Winterfell have children and continue the line so not to ever cause heir to Winterfell confusion in the future. He knew if Jon bent the knee and became Lord of Winterfell, his children would be his heir to Winterfell, and Stannis would not have to worry about loyalty problems in the future, because of heir infighting. So, I don’t see how it works to offer it to single Jon.

    I’m not sure what they’re planning to do with that part of Jon’s story, to be honest. Because from everything I have read there is no Val.

  80. Head of the Wolf
    Posted November 28, 2013 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    Doug,

    Maybe when Jon gets the offer it’s right after the battle & he is offered to marry a wildling woman & when Jon looks for Ygritte she’s dying

    Also saves 10 from getting too cramped

  81. Arthur
    Posted November 28, 2013 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    D&D seem really aware and recognize what people have to bring to the table and use that to the shows advantage.

    Neil did absolutely amazing work and added awesome things to the Blackwater episode. He definitely has earned the “Epic Battle Scene Director” title for the show…

    Hopefully he comes back again in future seasons to give the show his unique direction and input on all future big battle scenes like the ones coming up in the books…

  82. Nezzer
    Posted November 28, 2013 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    Doug,

    Maybe they could have Gilly offered to Jon instead of Val.

  83. House Mormont
    Posted November 28, 2013 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    Just to clarify when people say there was pacing problems in season 3 they mean that episodes 6&7 dragged. Which wasn’t a big problem because they were still really good but you should never get bored watching game of thrones. There were also storylines that dragged. Theon, Bran walking around, Jaime and Brienne walking around early season and Jon walking around late mid season.

    Episode 2 (and therefore 1 if aaaaaall the build up is in it), episode 8 (if that’s when Oberyn v Gregor is), episode 9 and episode 10 (Shae, Lysa, Tywin) will be amaaaaaazing, however there’s still 6hours to fill inbetween and a lot of characters don’t have much material.
    Storylines lacking material: Theon, he has what, teeth and toes as his material for the season? Jon before episode 9 since they removed the Battle of Castle Black from the midseason, Stannis&Davos before episode 9, Arya but her and the hound’s filler will be great, Bran but they fixed that

    And since there’s no Robb & Cat storyline and Jaime & Brienne are in the King’s Landing, each storyline has more time to fill. Would of been a nice time for Greyjoy’s eh…

  84. House Mormont
    Posted November 28, 2013 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    But enough of being negative this battle is gonna be sooooooooooooooooo amazing omg the twitterverse will be going crazy

  85. Arthur
    Posted November 28, 2013 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    House Mormont,

    Your right about each storyline having more to fill since Robb and Cat are dead. I think D&D are going to use that time to flesh out The Mountain a lot more to show the TV audience what an unstoppable brute force he is, along with how grotesque a character he is to his very core…

  86. Head of the Wolf
    Posted November 28, 2013 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    Nezzer,

    How would that work?

  87. Nezzer
    Posted November 28, 2013 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    Head of the Wolf:
    Nezzer,

    How would that work?

    It doesn’t really have to be a “wildling princess”, just a wildling, one of their own. They don’t care about that. To the wildlings Val is just another wildling. In that case, Gilly could take her place.

  88. Rygar
    Posted November 28, 2013 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    Rygar,

    Exactly. Just those three directing and this show will be elite.

  89. Jentario
    Posted November 28, 2013 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    House Mormont,

    And
    House Mormont,

    I agree. Hopefully it will work out, though. And the battle will be amazing, the last three episodes will be crazy.

  90. Jentario
    Posted November 28, 2013 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    Al Swearengen,

    I think they should save him up for battle scenes, and going by the books I think that’ll be season 6, not 5. I’d rather he stay in battles because he’s good where he is (really good) but we don’t really know how he’d handle a normal GoT episode. I’d rather his track record stay untainted and filled with masterpieces, rather than just standard GoT episodes.

  91. Jentario
    Posted November 28, 2013 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    Greatjon of Slumber,

    7 was bad in that absolutely nothing happened except for the bear pit. You had a catch-up here and a catch-up there, a monologue here and a monologue there. It’s as if they gave GRRM nothing to work with and told him: “write as meaningless a script as you can and make sure no part of the plot goes forward”. That episode was a real bummer for the pace of the series because it felt like a redundant 50 minutes plus the bear pit.

    Saying “it’s just one episode” doesn’t really justify it, IMO, since all the episodes except for 4, 5 and 9 were already slow (but some, like 8, 6 and 3) were better than others (1, 2 and the surprisingly disappointing 7 and 10). The season finale wasn’t half as good as the previous two, which ended the season in an unsatisfactory manner- to top it off.

    The main issue with the pacing, though, is that there were way too few big moments in the season. Dany gets an army, Red Wedding… I guess the mutiny qualifies and so does Queenscrown and Yunkai but they shoved those into already action packed episodes, which means season 3 was had a few extremely action packed episodes, and the rest barely took the plot forward. Meanwhile, the whole of seasons 1 & 2 had developing plots. It feels like little has changed in Westeros after a whole season (with the exception of the Red Wedding of course).

    It feels like D&D wrote season 3 with only season 4 in mind. They left all the good stuff from ASOS for season 4, and ending in the middle didn’t help either. That’s my take on it, at least.

  92. Matt
    Posted November 28, 2013 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    im curious if Catelyn’s body will be shown being dumped in the river… and other things…

  93. House Snow
    Posted November 28, 2013 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    Paul:
    House Snow,

    That would involve a sizable plot change though and one that surely wouldnt happen.

    How so? Does it really change anything. Is there some later event that happens that would be irrevocably damaged by Davos willing a wildling he doesn’t know. Is Jon really effected any differently by his GF dying at the hands of a guy he practically has no interaction with. What is different?

  94. Valyrian Plastic
    Posted November 28, 2013 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    Matt,

    Maybe that’s one of the deleted scenes. As far as we’re all concerned, it did happen, just off-screen, and I don’t know why they would leave it out, the episode was already running nearly 10 minutes over the standard length. I’d have rather seen that happen than the whole “sheep-shift” conversation in KL. It’s probably too late now to add it, and it’s also possible that the supposedly-cut scene from Season 3 with Lysa were her dark wings, dark words.

  95. Head of the Wolf
    Posted November 28, 2013 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    Nezzer,

    But how do you think they’ll show that it’s Gilly they’re offering?

  96. Arthur
    Posted November 28, 2013 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

    Matt,

    If you watch the recent Australian panel with GRRM, Lena and Michele, Michele kind of spilt the beans several times…

    I forget the exact words but several times Michele was asked something to the effect of “Would you like to be alive in the show” and Michele responded multiple times saying something like “I would like to play a character who’s heart is still beating”

    I really do believe Cat will be back as Lady Stoneheart because of what Michele said on that panel, but I bet they will use a hooded stand in for the majority of LS scenes and Michele will only have to be present for the reveal and other important LS scenes

    I hope this is the case and all us book readers get to see that character onscreen.

  97. SmallSaul
    Posted November 28, 2013 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    Nezzer,

    Wasn’t weren’t Craster and his wives looked down on, even by the other wildlings?

  98. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted November 28, 2013 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    Nezzer: To the wildlings Val is just another wildling.

    Careful, ser. There are those who believe Val is much more than meets the eye and it is blasphemy to think of her as simply “just another wildling.”

    ;-)

  99. loco73
    Posted November 28, 2013 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    Oh…I can’t wait! We are really lucky to have Neil Marshall on board with the show. But you know what, I would like to see him join the regular roster of show’s directors! While I appreciate the fact that he is the go-to guy for these type of episodes, I think that his directorial skills reach beyond just being “the battle director”!

    Short of that I will be glad for any involvement on his part with the show! I’m still keeping my hope alive, that Jeremy Podeswa will one day direct one episode of “Game Of Thrones” and that Ana Torv wil join the cast!

    Beyond that…hey I think “True Detective” will be a welcome cure for the winter blues…

  100. House Mormont
    Posted November 28, 2013 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    What do people think about having the LS reveal happen in season 5 through Brienne rather than this season with Beric and Thoros?

    Bigger shock value for a longer wait. Also I think s5 needs it a lot more if it’s affc and the first 70%of adwd and all the new unfamiliar characters that there’ll be

  101. A wildling Bastard
    Posted November 28, 2013 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    Hodor’s Bastard: Careful, ser. There are those who believe Val is much more than meets the eye and it is blasphemy to think of her as simply “just another wildling.”

    ;-)

    the wildlings consider her as only a wildling nothing more .. but the night’s watch and Stannis’s men saw something else .. a hot wildling babe

  102. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted November 28, 2013 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

    A wildling Bastard: the wildlings consider her as only a wildling nothing more .. but the night’s watch and Stannis’s men saw something else .. a hot wildling babe

    Yes…she is dreamy….but I will stand my ground. Val serving as Jon’s liaison between the Thenns/wildlings and the northmen is only a glimpse of what she is to become….and just wait until her and warged Ghost reap havoc on the fuckin’ mutineers while Jon’s body heals! Muuuaahhh! :-)

    (Furthermore, imho, her undocumented adventure to travel north from CB to retrieve the Thenns, without casualty, is nothing short of miraculous)

  103. Al Swearengen
    Posted November 28, 2013 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    Jentario,

    Neil can handle an episode that doesn’t feature a battle, he gave us The Descent for christs sake.

    Shame on anyone who wants to keep Neil confined as a “Battle” director.

  104. Arthur
    Posted November 28, 2013 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

    Al Swearengen,

    I don’t think any of us are questioning Neil’s talents and ability to direct any kind of themed episode of GoT, be it battle scenes or KL verbal duels…

    I just think of Neil as more of a “guest director” who did so well coordinating the Blackwater battle scene that it would be a shame going forward to not have D&D offer him any other episodes containing a huge battle scene.

    If D&D offer Neil more episodes besides just battle scenes and Neil isn’t busy and could take their offer that’s fine by me. But for now I’m very happy D&D keep securing him for the big GoT battle scenes.

    Didn’t mean to offed any Neil Marshal fans, I am positive he can handle more then battle scenes but as far as the GoT series goes I think he rightly carved out a spot for himself in the “Battle Scene” department per say.

    All I was saying is I hope D&D keep offering him to direct episodes where there is a huge battle scene because Neil is a proven commodity in the regards to battle scene onscreen results…

  105. Mult
    Posted November 28, 2013 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

    I still don’t think they will combine the battles, it’s not been confirmed, has it? It would make sense for the budget, but Jon being on the wall for 8 more episodes without the first attack and without Ygritte’s death just won’t work imo. Yes he can prepare, yes he can interact with the whole thing at Craster’s, but I still don’t think there will be 8 episodes of waiting. David and Dan are too faithful to push something so major so far back, and change so much. They make some big chances occassionally, but rarely this big. I think they will stick mostly the book, they’ve already pushed several events far back.

  106. Lex
    Posted November 28, 2013 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

    …but will they be wearing helmets?

  107. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted November 28, 2013 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

    Mult,

    Rose Leslie was photographed with Kit Harrington and John Bradley in Belfast while they were filming Neil Marshall’s episode. It is a pretty good bet Ygritte will be in the 9th episode.

  108. Joshua Atreides
    Posted November 28, 2013 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

    Al Swearengen,

    You mean shame on anyone who doesn’t agree with you? Name me a dramatic film that Neil Marshall has directed? Dog Soldiers? The Descent? Both horror films. Centurion is a great actioner but nothing particularly heady. It’s Last of the Mohicans with Picts and Romans. It even has a female Magua.
    Don’t get me wrong I love Marshall’s work and he did do some great dramatic scenes in “Blackwater ” but there’s a reason why he is chosen to direct the big battle episodes. Creating great action from a limited budget is Neil’s forte. But leave the hard hitting drama to Alex Graves, Daniel Minahan, Michelle McClaren and co.

  109. JamesL
    Posted November 28, 2013 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

    Mult,

    They might not combine both battles but I can pretty much guarantee that Ygritte won’t die until ep 9.

  110. btbrian
    Posted November 28, 2013 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

    Chickenduck,

    I highly doubt The Wildling “surprise attack from the rear” will be in the same episode. That needs to happen early in the season to give the Night’s Watch (and an emotional Jon) time to recover. Plus, the overall battle itself would GREATLY overshadow Ygritte’s death and the impact it has on Jon. The logistics of fighting this battle on the ground and then Jon taking command atop the wall just doesn’t make much sense and it would make for a messy, cluttered episode that rushes through important character development.

    I think it’s much more likely that the third battle being discussed is the incredibly epic Donal Noye vs. Mag the Mighty fight. Obviously the episode could work without it, but it feels like it would be such a shame to leave this out.

  111. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted November 28, 2013 at 11:06 pm | Permalink

    Lex:
    …but will they be wearing helmets?

    Hah! That must drive GRRM crazy.

    I recall some passages describing helms used by the wilding army/Thenns and Stannis’s army but are there any references to the NW using helms in the books?

    [Side thought...if the various armies did use metal helms in that cold weather, I wonder if they were continuously distracted by their wet skin and tongues sticking to their helmets? Perhaps they had some cloth lining the inside of their helms to prevent this issue?]

    Post-turkey musings…. :)

  112. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted November 28, 2013 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

    btbrian:
    Chickenduck,
    … the incredibly epic Donal Noye vs. Mag the Mighty fight.Obviously the episode could work without it, but it feels like it would be such a shame to leave this out.

    What a suicide mission! Will they introduce a “one-armed” Donal Noye character early in the season, who then, like the RV, dies at the end of the season? Then again, who else could it be (if they do it)? When I originally read the scene, I was amazed that DN could be so effective (against a giant!) with one arm. I guess it could be a group of unknown NWs (maybe led by Grenn or Thorne?) who make that suicide stand.

    NW vs giants (and maybe mammoths) and wildlings, burning oil and siege weapons! Crazy!

  113. Greenjones
    Posted November 29, 2013 at 12:56 am | Permalink

    Neil Marshall does seem to be fixated with Hadrian’s Wall, doesn’t he? First Doomsday, then Centurion and now this.

  114. Jentario
    Posted November 29, 2013 at 1:14 am | Permalink

    btbrian,

    Rumors suggest otherwise, sadly.

  115. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted November 29, 2013 at 1:24 am | Permalink

    Is the wildling attack debate this season’s PW debate? Will they have 2 separate battles that take place episodes apart or not? I was right last year about the PW being in S4, but I think the battle/battles will be different from the ones in the book. My biggest remaining hope is that Jon is still sent to kill Mance and Stannis’ arrival is as it was in the books, but I am doubting it more and more. I hope this doesn’t turn into ‘Blackwater 2: It’s Freezing’, with basically the same ending(Tywin saves the day/Stannis saves the day).

  116. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted November 29, 2013 at 1:53 am | Permalink

    Tyrion Pimpslap:
    1) Is the wildling attack debate this season’s PW debate?

    2) I hope this doesn’t turn into ‘Blackwater 2: It’s Freezing’, with basically the same ending(Tywin saves the day/Stannis saves the day).

    1) We will energetically debate the anticipated details of the CB attacks endlessly (just like the ride to the RW…) before and after the episode.

    2) Save that thought about Blackwater 2. It will be very significant how it plays out. Imagine if Cersei had fed Tommen the poison or Ilyn Payne started killing the noble women before Tywin’s arrival….the juxtaposition of Ygritte’s and Styr’s death with Stannis’s arrival, along with giants, Mance and baby, the “Mel effect”, etc. in the mix, could bring much more to emotion the table than BW did.

  117. Giantsbabe
    Posted November 29, 2013 at 1:54 am | Permalink

    The speculation over when the battle from the “rear” will happen is very interesting. I remember Kit saying either at the Emmys (and this was around September) or a little later, that he was doing night shoots and he was joking that it was turning him into a noctunal creature. And this was a while before it was announced by Elio and Linda on their twitter that Neil Marshall had arrived in Belfast to shoot an “important episode”. Someone also said on twitter that their friend was a female stunt double and had worked with Kit for a while, also around September. So something’s going on… :) (the tweet was posted on a Kit Harington tumblr)

    Taking this into account together with the revelation that Jon sends a rescue mission (that fails) to Craster’s Keep, the impression is created that at least for a while, Jon takes on a semi-leadership role in the absence of Mormont, meaning Slynt and co haven’t shown up yet. Kit also said Jon finds out about Robb’s death, the destruction of Winterfell en Mormont’s death at the beginning of the season. That’s already a lot of death to deal with, besides Ygritte’s death. which is possibly way they would keep it for later.

    Another possibility with the rescue mission is that later in his confrontation with Throne, it is something else to be held against Jon if it is a failure.

    In terms of the pacing for Jon’s storyline for season four, he is usually only in eight of ten episodes, with screetime limited to one to two scenes per episode (hopefully there will be more though this time around). But assuming he will be in 8, 9 and 10 for instance, he will then only be in five episodes form one to seven. Then there will be more events happening at KL and other stroy lines early, and then the emphasis will shift to the Wall in the latter half of the season. This is at least my speculation.

  118. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted November 29, 2013 at 2:12 am | Permalink

    Giantsbabe,
    I totally agree that there will be more than enough material for Jon’s storyline in S4, ep1 thru ep10. This season is Kit’s to ascend or plunder. The tension within CB, Crasters, mutineers, Sam secrets, Ghost reunion!, and the buildup to the battle will rival the KL tension and storyline.

  119. Jentario
    Posted November 29, 2013 at 2:15 am | Permalink

    Tyrion Pimpslap,

    I actually think it’s a little ironic in the good way- in Blackwater, Tywin saves the day at the last minute, defeating Stannis but at Castle Black it will be Stannis who saves the day.

    I think that as long as it doesn’t end exactly the same (Stannis saving the day should not be the final shot or the final scene of the episode), it won’t be too repetitive. Especially if it ends on a sad note, Ygritte’s death.

  120. Tourist
    Posted November 29, 2013 at 2:33 am | Permalink

    Someone posted on twitter that she saw kit filming and Ciarán Hinds was there too. According to her there was a tent. So I think there will be a scene between the two of them. No mention of Val. This was posted a long time ago. No idea if Neil Marshall was there.

  121. Greenjones
    Posted November 29, 2013 at 3:15 am | Permalink

    Tourist,

    If you could find the link for that that would be awesome.

  122. Greenjones
    Posted November 29, 2013 at 3:23 am | Permalink

    At first I was iffy about the idea of all of the battles being made into one, but I’ve come up with a few reasons as to why it will work.

    Firstly, Ygritte is a character the audience cares about and giving people someone to care about on both sides gets us into GrrM’s headspace of questioning war itself and not really rooting for one side wholeheartedly.

    Secondly, if the episode were just to be the attack from the north, the stakes might seem low. Especially if they never touch on the Horn of Winter, then there would be no reason to question that the Watch would win. However if there was the chance of CB being overrun and that winch gate opening, well then there’d be real doubts about how the battle would end up. Add on top of that some big ass giants and something atop the Wall and we’re good for creating real tension about how things will go.

    Thirdly, if they set up a certain someone’s death as the ep. nine moment, people won’t expect shit to go down in ep. ten. They’ll be sad enough and shocked enough and resign themselves to “oh well, another episode ten where we just check up on everyone and set a bunch of shit up”. But then ep. ten turns out to be the best ever and everyone’s in goddamn shock!

    It’ll all work out dandy really.

  123. Tourist
    Posted November 29, 2013 at 4:13 am | Permalink

    Greenjones,

    Looking

  124. Paul
    Posted November 29, 2013 at 4:15 am | Permalink

    House Snow,

    Whats the difference? I have no idea why you are talking about Davos killing someone as my objection because thats massively missing the point(and a large part of the book too). You are deleting the entire Davos to White Harbour/sowing the seeds of WM to turn against Bolton arc by suggesting a meaningless killing just to show Davos isnt all wonderful. Its pretty daft.

  125. Paul
    Posted November 29, 2013 at 4:37 am | Permalink

    JamesL:
    Mult,

    They might not combine both battles but I can pretty much guarantee that Ygritte won’t die until ep 9.

    I agree with that. For me i wouldnt mind saving that scene til the opening moments of Ep10. Jon searching through the devastation of the battle for Ygritte and finding her mortally wounded and having that scene open the ep. As it at least it breaks the battle and that moment up istead of it being lost in the chaos. As long as its done well i dont care though

  126. Jentario
    Posted November 29, 2013 at 5:06 am | Permalink

    Mursk,

    Put yourself in a freezer and ask someone to wake you when the first trailer is out.

  127. Giantsbabe
    Posted November 29, 2013 at 5:32 am | Permalink

    I also remember reading something about a tent scene, although I’m not sure if it was from this year or last year. They were both in costume and giving autographs but people were not allowed to take pictures because of the costumes.

    That’s also what I had in mind Hodor’s Bastard. I’m just a little concerned that people’s expectations will be so high that they will see Jon’s story as an epic failure if the first two or three episodes don’t immediately have explosive action or long intense dialogue scenes.

  128. Ozymandias
    Posted November 29, 2013 at 5:39 am | Permalink

    The real huge episode has to be the finale, It’s almost locked with this news.
    People will be sooo surprised, twitter will go INSANE. It’s like the complete opposite of “Mhysa” this year.

    I mean : Jon becomes Lord Commander (Maybe in episode 8, maybe Season 5) Tyrion’s escape, Only Cat, Lady Stoneheart reveal and some other great stuff with YarAsha (Balon’s death ?), Daenerys (Chain her Dragons ?) and Bran (Bloodraven ?)

    I just can’t wait…..hope it doesn’t turn like a major disappointment.
    And I think this episode should be 75-85 minutes (90 minutes in my dreams) because it’ll be really dense with a lot of storyline.

  129. Tourist
    Posted November 29, 2013 at 6:11 am | Permalink

    Giantsbabe,

    That is the one i am talking about. It was posted this year very early around aug. or sep. I coudn’t find the tweet though. Will keep on looking just to make sure.

  130. Head of the Wolf
    Posted November 29, 2013 at 6:15 am | Permalink

    Greenjones,

    I understand your point. I actually think CB will be attacked from the south when the army in the north start attacking, that way the NW is distracted and CB is almost overrun & captured as it is lightly defended until Stannis arrives.

  131. Giantsbabe
    Posted November 29, 2013 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    Tourist

    Then it’s this year’s :) it’s possible that Jon could enter the tent and then we see Dalla already dead and Mance is sitting with his newborn child, with ensuing conversation and even maybe a reference to Val. She doesn’t have to be there, but she can be talked about, like Stannis in season 1, if she’s important

  132. Ser Tahu
    Posted November 29, 2013 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    Giantsbabe,

    Alternatively the can just have Val/Dalla played by an extra, and recast for season 5 (like Beric in season 1).

  133. Joshua Atreides
    Posted November 29, 2013 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    Jentario,

    Stannis’ arrival will be different from Blackwater because it will be heralded by Orell’s fiery end courtesy of Melisandre. Or at least it should be in my humble opinion.

  134. GreatJon of Slumber
    Posted November 29, 2013 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    Jentario:
    Greatjon of Slumber,

    7 was bad in that absolutely nothing happened except for the bear pit. You had a catch-up here and a catch-up there, a monologue here and a monologue there. It’s as if they gave GRRM nothing to work with and told him: “write as meaningless a script as you can and make sure no part of the plot goes forward”. That episode was a real bummer for the pace of the series because it felt like a redundant 50 minutes plus the bear pit.

    Saying “it’s just one episode” doesn’t really justify it, IMO, since all the episodes except for 4, 5 and 9 were already slow (but some, like 8, 6 and 3) were better than others (1, 2 and the surprisingly disappointing 7 and 10). The season finale wasn’t half as good as the previous two, which ended the season in an unsatisfactory manner- to top it off.

    The main issue with the pacing, though, is that there were way too few big moments in the season. Dany gets an army, Red Wedding… I guess the mutiny qualifies and so does Queenscrown and Yunkai but they shoved those into already action packed episodes, which means season 3 was had a few extremely action packed episodes, and the rest barely took the plot forward. Meanwhile, the whole of seasons 1 & 2 had developing plots. It feels like little has changed in Westeros after a whole season (with the exception of the Red Wedding of course).

    It feels like D&D wrote season 3 with only season 4 in mind. They left all the good stuff from ASOS for season 4, and ending in the middle didn’t help either. That’s my take on it, at least.

    I just myself don’t agree. 1 and 2 were, as you might expect, set-up type episodes. Thought 3 worked very well, 4 and 5 of course amazing. I just don’t see 6 as slow at all, given great conversations with Jon/Ygritte before the climb, the climb itself, the great stuff between Tyrion and Cersei (per usual), the great Arya/Melisandre standoff and the taking away of Gendry, and of course Baelish’s awesome “Chaos is a ladda…” thing that ends the episode. Then Second Sons is a great, tension filled piece, 9 is of course an explosion, and 10 is good all the way through save the last scene, which is a bit of a slow one.

  135. Lord Of The Waters
    Posted November 29, 2013 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    Im a bit biased here but I really hope that the episode doesn’t end with Stannis saving the day mainly because I want to see him feature pretty heavily in the battle kicking some wildling ass haha. A big kill scene for him would be appreciated too. Stannis vs Joseph Gatt anyone?

  136. A Jackson
    Posted November 29, 2013 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    Hodor’s Bastard: Hah! That must drive GRRM crazy.

    I recall some passages describing helms used by the wilding army/Thennsand Stannis’s army but are there any references to the NW using helms in the books?

    [Side thought...if the various armies did use metal helms in that cold weather, I wonder if they were continuously distracted by their wet skin and tongues sticking to their helmets? Perhaps they had some cloth lining the inside of their helms to prevent this issue?]

    Post-turkey musings….:)

    I don’t think so.
    In medieval times paintings of battle usually show everyone wearing a helm… but from my reading of history nobles had them , or if you aristocratic commander could afford it a foot soldier had a uniform and a helm… but there were lower class types and near serfs who did not.
    Maybe the NW did at one time but so resource neglected in the books maybe couldn’t afford them anymore.

    Of course why the hell couldn’t Stannis afford to have a helm?

  137. Joshua Atreides
    Posted November 29, 2013 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    I actually loved “Mhysa”. I thought it was a well written episode and had some fantastic scenes. I think its important that it was an episode of reflection rather than retribution. It showed the audience that the world still goes on yet it has been altered as well. It’s a subtle setup for what is to come. I also think the racist claims of the final scene are overdone. I understand that people have legit issues with the scene, but I simply wasnt thinking that when I watched it and therefore any controversy occuring because of it doesn’t change my opinion. Could it have been a little less ham fisted? Absolutely. But with the Bolton/Frey exchange, RobbWind, Arya’s kill, Tywin vs Joffrey, the Jon and Ygritte breakup scene (did you notice that both Jon and Dany are lifted up by the people in the same episode? Parallels anyone?) the nuanced Jaime return to KL scene and the Davos stuff (with minor nitpicks at Stannis’ decision making) I thought it was a stellar episode. Maybe not the season finale that people were expecting, but I feel that the season four finale will be the climatic event everyone has been yearning for.

    And “The Climb” is a favourite all time episode for me. The Bolton/Jaime/Brienne scene is one of the best scenes of the series in my opinion. And Baelish’s “Chaos speech”? Epic.

  138. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted November 29, 2013 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    A Jackson:
    Of course why the hell couldn’t Stannis afford to have a helm?

    :)
    Helmet wearing (or lack thereof) in GoT is an ongoing debate in various forums and GRRM has been quite critical of it in past seasons. Now it has become an ongoing joke (as Lex jested previously). I believe at some point the showrunners responded with the obvious “you need to see the character’s face to relate to the action” so that is why the helms have been suspiciously missing in GoT. History buffs be damned.

    Of course Stannis and Stannis’s army should have helms…but they might not if GoT’s past treatment takes precedence. Anyone want to see Mel in a helm?

    However, if the RV & Mountain duel is without helms, then there will be a furious debate afterwards…guaranteed!

  139. Lord Of The Waters
    Posted November 29, 2013 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    Hodor’s Bastard,

    If I had to place a bet I would guess that during the trial by combat The Mountain will wear his helm but RV will fight without one. Just a gut feeling I have but I can picture them going with the Viper fighting without a helmet.

  140. Sam's pink mast
    Posted November 29, 2013 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    Nezzer,
    The wildlings didn’t sneak siege equipment to the wall. They showed up and built stuff like mantlets and the turtle. They’ll probly do catapults for the show to increase the danger level for the NW. In the book, the wildlings could barely touch them up there.

  141. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted November 29, 2013 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    Lord Of The Waters:
    Hodor’s Bastard,
    If I had to place a bet I would guess that during the trial by combat The Mountain will wear his helm but RV will fight without one. Just a gut feeling I have but I can picture them going with the Viper fighting without a helmet.

    As I recall, that is how it plays out in the books….but if they consider having the Mountain not wear a helmet, due to awkward cinematography or whatever, there may be a disturbance in the force. Remember back in S1, with the dual between Bronn (no helm) and Lysa’s champion (with helm)? That had decent choreography as well….but will it serve as an example for the RV-Mountain duel?

  142. Penguini
    Posted November 29, 2013 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

    Ser Tahu,

    Why do we need Val? She’s completely superfluous.

  143. Jentario
    Posted November 29, 2013 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

    Penguini,

    Oh no, they will kill you for this :3

    To be honest, though, Val’s role seems to be one that will become important later in the story. Also, with no Dalla Mance has no baby, which means the baby switcheroo buisness doesn’t happen and that was a big moment for Jon as a character IMO. Also, the baby switching is bound to become important at some point.

  144. Joshua Atreides
    Posted November 29, 2013 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

    Penguini,

    Holy shit where did you get the advanced
    copies of The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring?

  145. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted November 29, 2013 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

    Jentario:
    Penguini,
    Oh no, they will kill you for this :3

    To be honest, though, Val’s role seems to be one that will become important later in the story. Also, with no Dalla Mance has no baby, which means the baby switcheroo buisness doesn’t happen and that was a big moment for Jon as a character IMO. Also, the baby switching is bound to become important at some point.

    I think I’m being goaded into another pro-Val rant. I’ll resist.

    Regarding your comment, I’m interested in how the show handles the “baby” details, from the discovery during/after the battle, to the “mother” details, the Val factor, to the sacrifice switcheroo. Heck, they may even forego those details until S5, as some have suggested.

  146. Greenjones
    Posted November 29, 2013 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

    I rewatched Centurion yesterday and its funny how much of that movie prefigures what he will be doing in this episode. The two attacks by Picts on Roman forts, with them scaling short walls and massacring hapless guards, really resembles how I picture the attack on Castle Black playing out.

    The Descent remains his best movie though, and I hope we see him doing a horror-inflected Thrones episode in the future with wights or white walkers. He’d really nail that. Maybe if they show Hardome on the show.

  147. Joshua Atreides
    Posted November 29, 2013 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

    Hodor’s Bastard,

    Cast Yvonne Strahovski, Anna Torv, Imogen Poots or Charlize Theron in the role and many people would become “Pro-Val”.

  148. Greenjones
    Posted November 29, 2013 at 11:11 pm | Permalink

    Joshua Atreides,

    May I suggest Dominique McElligott?

  149. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted November 29, 2013 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

    Joshua Atreides:
    Hodor’s Bastard,
    Cast Yvonne Strahovski, Anna Torv, Imogen Poots or Charlize Theron in the role and many people would become “Pro-Val”.

    Greenjones: Dominique McElligott

    Great choices….had to spend some time on those google image searches. There is also some amazing online art concerning “Val the wildling princess” that is quite distracting. Honestly, it’s the “resourceful, brave and capable” (quoting the wiki) part of her character that truly has me smitten. ;-)

  150. Giantsbabe
    Posted November 29, 2013 at 11:39 pm | Permalink

    Lolz. This is why I learned that you add tentative statements like “if character A is important” if you post on these threads.

    If Val is important (either for book reasons or tv plot reasons), they will set up the character and introduce her later. If she’s not, they’ll change up some of Jon’s aDwD story and focus on Jon’s interaction with Mel after Stannis leaves.

  151. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted November 29, 2013 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

    Giantsbabe:
    This is why I learned that you add tentative statements like “if character A is important” if you post on these threads.

    If Val is important…..

    Oh, you gotta commit and face the wrath of the naysayers! :)

  152. GeekFurious
    Posted November 30, 2013 at 1:43 am | Permalink

    I like the idea of combining all the northern battles into one. That way you have lots of amazing moments in one insane episode. Audiences who don’t know what is coming will be blown away.

    As for the helmet debate… sorry, but this is the film/TV making biz. If the character is important, he will lose his helmet early in a fight.

  153. Jentario
    Posted November 30, 2013 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    GeekFurious:
    I like the idea of combining all the northern battles into one. That way you have lots of amazing moments in one insane episode. Audiences who don’t know what is coming will be blown away.

    As for the helmet debate… sorry, but this is the film/TV making biz. If the character is important, he will lose his helmet early in a fight.

    I’d rather have an insane season rather than a good season with an insane episode, but I do agree on the helmet matter. People should just give up on that.

  154. adense
    Posted November 30, 2013 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

    What exactly is a “backdrop” in movie studio context? I know what it is in real-life and in theatres, but in a movie studio? What exactly is it? :P

  155. Varamyr 4 skins
    Posted November 30, 2013 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

    I just can’t wait for the bran warg scene. Gonna blow ppl away when he wargs into ygrette and bangs Jon I bet its the last thing ppl r expecting

  156. Kracken
    Posted November 30, 2013 at 9:26 pm | Permalink
  157. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted November 30, 2013 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

    Varamyr 4 skins:
    I just can’t wait for the bran warg scene. Gonna blow ppl away when he wargs into ygrette and bangs Jon I bet its the last thing ppl r expecting

    You just gave away ep 9, dude. Spoiler tags! Moderators, please adjust soon. Not cool.

  158. Penguini
    Posted November 30, 2013 at 11:54 pm | Permalink

    Joshua Atreides,

    Yeah man, I’m sure she’ll totally be important. Never mind that so far she’s just been furniture, and that her influence is minimal. I’m confident that her role will never be significant enough that she can’t be written around, and considering how much the show will have diverted from the books at that stage, it shouldn’t be too difficult.

  159. Joshua Atreides
    Posted December 1, 2013 at 12:01 am | Permalink

    Penguini,

    Fair enough. It could go either way actually. I like the character so I hope otherwise. Deal with it.

  160. Jentario
    Posted December 1, 2013 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    Joshua Atreides,

    Great catch!!! I think so, I really do.

  161. King DBC
    Posted December 1, 2013 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    Joshua Atreides,

    Maybe, but the chick sitting in the boat sure as hell looks like Myrcella…

  162. Patchy Face
    Posted December 1, 2013 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    Joshua Atreides,

    Where did you get pic? More? Also – think it looks more like Pod from behind.

  163. Ours is the Fury
    Posted December 1, 2013 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    Impossible to say who it is from behind for sure. Could be the RV- I think it’s more likely to be him than Pod with that costume, personally.
    As for the pic of Myrcella in the boat, that’s an old pic, not from season 4 filming.

  164. Ozymandias
    Posted December 1, 2013 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    In Production/Teaser video for tonight’s Treme Final Season Premiere ?

  165. Joshua Atreides
    Posted December 1, 2013 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    Patchy Face,

    Some Facebook page that ended up on my news link. When I saw the Myrcella one I knew they were old. But they also had posted the Natalie Emmanuel NSFW pic and this one. It could be Pedro Pascal but I concede it might very well be Daniel Portman(Pod)

    If it is the RV than I approve of the formal wear. Very Medieval Spain. Castilian even with a touch of Renaissance Italy.

  166. Patchy Face
    Posted December 1, 2013 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    Joshua Atreides,

    About actor walking next to Peter D.; one thing for certain – that costume is very RED.

  167. Jentario
    Posted December 1, 2013 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    Ozymandias,

    Maybe, but my mojo isn’t tingling on this one.

  168. Patchy Face
    Posted December 1, 2013 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    Ozymandias,

    Fingers crossed – but… really don’t expect anything until after the holidays. More likely during premiere of Girls.

  169. Ozymandias
    Posted December 1, 2013 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    Jentario,

    I’m starting to think they will release it in JANUARY for the series premiere of True Detective…..hope I’m wrong.

  170. Steve
    Posted December 1, 2013 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    Probably Pod. I think that’s the same reddish brown leather armour thingy that he’s usually been wearing in basically every single scene he’s been in and the red cloak that we have seen him with on occasion.

  171. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted December 1, 2013 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    Steve,

    At first I thought it was the RV, but it does look like it could be Pod. I’m not sure Pascal’s shoulders are that broad.

  172. Jentario
    Posted December 1, 2013 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    Tyrion Pimpslap,

    Yeah, I’m on the fence. When have we seen Pod with a cape, though?

  173. Steve
    Posted December 1, 2013 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    Jentario,

    http://i.imgur.com/mQsGOLy.png

    Listen, I’m not saying it’s him, but… it’s quite possibly him.

  174. Joshua Atreides
    Posted December 1, 2013 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    Steve,

    It could be Pod in formal wear. It could be a damn extra. It could be the Dornish Marcher Lord that was cast. It could be the Red Viper given the noble attire (the white kerchief around his neck)…
    Either that or the King’s Landing Butler has returned. Snazzier than ever! Remember him? Well he’s back. In Pod form.

  175. Steve
    Posted December 1, 2013 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    Yeah. ’tis hard to say for sure.

  176. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted December 1, 2013 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    During one of the college football games yesterday (Aub vs Ala…awesome game) there was an HBO commercial that consisted of GoT highlights. The voice said “The emmy-award winning show, loved by millions….” My heart raced…I thought this might be a teaser for S4. Then I realized that the scenes displayed in the ad were only of S1 & S2. After about 15 seconds of fanfare, the ad displayed the blu-ray sets of GoT S1 & S2 and said “…get it this christmas!”.

    That was a damn teaser….arrrgh!

  177. Jentario
    Posted December 1, 2013 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    Steve,

    Alright, I agree now.

  178. Ashara D
    Posted December 1, 2013 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    Penguini,
    Joshua Atreides,

    She may not have done much herself so far (other than being a strong female), but Val is a vital character in that she illustrates the “Southerners” mindless adherence to their narrow, feudal view of the world–the blinders that keep them from seeing the real threat to humanity. It is Stannis’ stubborn insistence that Jon can gain legitimacy for his rule of the north by marrying a “Wildling princess,” despite being told and shown that such a concept has no meaning to the Wildings, that drives the tension in the northern storylines going forward. Granted, there are many such moments (Stannis’ continuing stupidity in hanging on to Val as a bargaining chip, Bowen Marsh and his counting, Slynt’s scheming, the ridiculous knight that ends DwD in pieces, etc.) but Val also provides a connection to the larger plot in the south with the baby switcheroo (proof that it CAN be done successfully) and serves to tie that northern threat to the possible southern solution. The suggestion that she can be replaced with Gilly shows a complete disregard for this part of the overarching plot. Casting Val is vital and provides another opportunity for D&D to continue the focus on the strength of the female characters despite a society geared to marginalize them.

    I believe (as someone suggested above–can’t find it right now) that the show can introduce us to the baby with Mance and a dead Dalla extra, then bring the baby back at the opening of Season 5 in the arms of his beautiful aunt Val as the Wildlings make their way south of the Wall. Jon’s LC moment will NOT be in season 4, but the set-up for the opposition will be. Just my opinions/predictions.

    Hope I tagged sufficiently…

    Also, just because NM directed three battles doesn’t mean that all will be in the same episode, right? They’ve moved stuff around before. Perhaps the one battle (from the south) will be a couple of episodes before the other two. Or am I grasping at straws?

  179. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted December 1, 2013 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    Ashara D,
    Three cheers for your description of Val’s relevance! Enjoyed your writeup.

    I want to slightly disagree with your assertion that Val “hasn’t done much herself.” Obviously, she’s not a PoV so we can’t fully appreciate or analyze her but her actions speak for themselves:

    –Jon trusted Val enough to have her travel hundreds of leagues through the frostfangs, haunted forest, etc, to retrieve the Thenn army, which she succeeded in accomplishing without casualty…fucking miraculous, imo.

    –As you mentioned, Val is critical to the handling of the baby-Mance switcheroo

    –Val has established herself as a respected and strong liaison between the northern leaders and the wildlings….an ambassador of sorts.

    –Val’s reaction to Shireen’s “dormant” greyscale is quite telling. I believe Val realizes that Shireen is still a passive vector for the disease (and its morbid ramifications). She has more information than what she has shared (thus far), perhaps only wildling or Valyrian lore, but maybe something else.

    –Val is much more than a bargaining chip for Stannis and Jon. Perhaps she may be politically used as a “promise” during the war to gather northern armies around the Stannis cause but that is probably a facade of the real intent.

    –If Jon survives, Val may be a factor in his dagger/Ygritte recovery (love interest or confidante)…in fact, as has been discussed elsewhere, she may be in a position to test his NW vows.

    In any case, I hope the books and show use her demonstrated “strengths” as another solid supporting storyline. If not, it’s not the end of the world, but it would be a wasted opportunity, imho.

  180. Rain
    Posted December 1, 2013 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    I kind of hope Melisande is involved in the battle. I think the Red on White would be a nice contrast. I just see her raising her hand to the massive fire Mance could build, and sweeping it across the Wildlings.

    Y’know, ’cause I think the casual viewer wants some magic to happen.

  181. Jentario
    Posted December 1, 2013 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    Rain,

    Davos will be there, so it’s not a stretch.

  182. House Snow
    Posted December 1, 2013 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    That Pic looks like Pod to me. I know there has been conroversy about pedro being to white, but he isn’t as white as the guy in that picture. Even from behind you can tell the guy is super pale

  183. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted December 1, 2013 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    Jentario:
    Rain,
    Davos will be there, so it’s not a stretch.

    May I ask where this Davos at CB GoT projection is coming from?

  184. Jentario
    Posted December 1, 2013 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    Hodor’s Bastard,

    A tweet Liam Cunningham wrote very recently, in line with the shooting of episode 9. He said season 4 will blow our minds, or something like that. So I made the assumption he will feature during the episode.

  185. Greenjones
    Posted December 1, 2013 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    Jentario,

    He said that around when Kerry Ingram was shooting too. That may not point to the battle necessarily, given that I don’t imagine Shireen taking part in it. But I think it’s likely we’ll see Davos fighting because he came across as a good commander during the Blackwater and he and Neil Marshall are good friends. He has a sword after all, he ought to get a chance to use it.

  186. Jentario
    Posted December 1, 2013 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    Greenjones,

    Hmm. We might see a camp scene, then.

  187. Greenjones
    Posted December 1, 2013 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    Joshua Atreides,

    http://imgur.com/a/2K75U#b6JUFT6

    Let’s all remember as well that many many people at the PW are wearing red, so it’s by no means an indicator of being that colour of Viper. If I were taking bets, given the red leather armour, I would say Pod.

  188. Jentario
    Posted December 1, 2013 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    Greenjones,

    It’s Pod, I am sure of it. It’s all in the shape of the head.

  189. House Mormont
    Posted December 1, 2013 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    Hodor’s Bastard,

    If Jon still has NW vows to test… vows break upon death, and I don’t think he’ll be very fond of the people who murdered him, even if they let him back.
    Plus he might be Melisandre’s new loyal/royal servant now that her predictions came true.. or maybe he’ll be completely dehumanised by his potential time in Ghost? Either way… I don’t see him donning his blacks again

  190. House Mormont
    Posted December 1, 2013 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    maybe I am one of those people who just repeats Meereeneseblot essay points as their own opinion… but hey it’s a great evaluation and insight, and I do atleast think about each bit before inhaling it

  191. Greenjones
    Posted December 1, 2013 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    Jentario,

    http://wicnet.tumblr.com/image/57634786081

    And isn’t that chap drinking coffee (you need to really zoom in) Pedro? Looks like the same forehead to me. That would imply a darker palette for him.

  192. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted December 1, 2013 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    House Mormont:
    Hodor’s Bastard,
    If Jon still has NW vows to test… vows break upon death, and I don’t think he’ll be very fond of the people who murdered him, even if they let him back.
    Plus he might be Melisandre’s new loyal/royal servant now that her predictions came true.. or maybe he’ll be completely dehumanised by his potential time in Ghost? Either way… I don’t see him donning his blacks again

    The whole “vow debate” will spread to here, I’m sure. So I take it that you are on the Jon = Azor Ahai side? I’m still on the fence with that but I do hope that Jon wargs Ghost for a while (after Ghost destroys the mutineers) as his body heals. The balance between Mel and Val during that time will be very interesting.

    Of course, all this speculation is years in the future (for TWoW and mid-S6).

  193. Jentario
    Posted December 1, 2013 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    Greenjones,

    There is no way to know. It could easily be a random extra, or it’s the Red Viper.

  194. Jentario
    Posted December 1, 2013 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    Hodor’s Bastard,

    Hopefully just one year. Give or take.

  195. Greenjones
    Posted December 1, 2013 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    Jentario,

    Until they release a promo pic.

  196. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted December 1, 2013 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    Greenjones:
    Jentario,
    Until they release a promo pic.

    Yes! We need promo pix of RV, Ellaria, Leaf, Nestoris, Mace, Styr and the Mountain!

  197. House Mormont
    Posted December 1, 2013 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

    Hodor’s Bastard,

    Yes, just because Martin says he has a definite plan for Jon’s future storyline, and his parenting reveal/Robb’s will/Howland Reed all point towards him being tPtwP. Although I think GRRM will not make it the typical “hero” type.
    I’d rather he was really dead though. His meer survival kind of undermines the point he made with Ned and Robb’s death.

  198. Greenjones
    Posted December 1, 2013 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    Hodor’s Bastard,

    Leaf I think should be left as a surprise given that she’s appearing in either ep. eight or the finale. All those others though, ought to be fair game.
    Greenjones,

    Look at this pic I posted above and we have a glimpse at Mace, dressed similarly to his son.

    BTW. Do we think that the Mountain’s lines will be dubbed, since his new actor is Icelandic and a non-actor? If so, I hope Rory McCann dubs his lines so that the brothers have that much in common.

  199. Jentario
    Posted December 1, 2013 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    Greenjones,

    Finding a good voice actor should be easy. Especially since they can do it post-production. It would be especially easy if he wears a helmet whenever he has actual lines.

  200. Eren
    Posted December 1, 2013 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    Season 5 script had need been written yay.

  201. Jentario
    Posted December 1, 2013 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

    Eren:
    Season 5 script had need been written yay.

    What? No way. They are probably only just beginning to plan the groundwork for season 5 (in terms of character arcs). I hope they read Greatjon of Slumber’d guest post and the following fan debates. It could help them with what will probably be far from an easy job.

  202. Abyss
    Posted December 1, 2013 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

    Greenjones,

    I don’t think so. The clothes are not fancy enough for the RV imo.

  203. Patchy Face
    Posted December 1, 2013 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

    Jentario,

    Wow- where did I read recently that S5 scripts are complete? Was it in Iain Glen interview?

  204. Greenjones
    Posted December 1, 2013 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

    Abyss,

    But compare the hairline and brow to any of these pictures.

    http://wicnet.tumblr.com/search/pedro+pascal

    I’m by no means certain its him, but its more likely him than that red-caped fellow posted earlier.

  205. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted December 1, 2013 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

    Patchy Face:
    Jentario,
    Wow- where did I read recently that S5 scripts are complete?Was it in Iain Glen interview?

    Yeah…I refuse to believe that statement from Mr. Glen. Not that it is impossible, but GRRM has been pretty open in previous seasons about the scripts being completed in Feb/Mar timeframe of each year. He’s probably seen an outline of S5 though.

  206. Abyss
    Posted December 1, 2013 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

    Greenjones,

    While I agree that the guy looks similar to Pedro Pascal the picture is just to blurry to be sure about such nuanced things as hairline and brow. If he were to wear better clothes I would say that it’s most likely him, but why would they put a prince of Dorne into clothes that doesn’t look much better than the ones of a commoner? – Whatever, we will see.^^
    And the red-caped guy is Pod, I am pretty sure of it.

  207. Greenjones
    Posted December 1, 2013 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think the guys in this picture are in full costume. Roger Ashton Griffiths is wearing his glasses and Jack Gleeson (in another picture taken on August 6 at the same location https://twitter.com/dd29/status/364716288657993728/photo/1/large ) doesn’t have his crown which he has from other PW sequence photos. And his cloak.

    That leads me to think that (if the this is Pedro/Oberyn) that there is an outer fabricy bit to his costume which during the coffee/ciggy break, he had shed.

  208. Patchy Face
    Posted December 1, 2013 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

    Hodor’s Bastard,

    Thanks – thought that was pretty strange when I read it.

  209. Abyss
    Posted December 1, 2013 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

    Greenjones,

    Good point. As I said, time will tell. ;-)

  210. WildSeed
    Posted December 1, 2013 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

    Joshua Atreides: “Mhysa”. I thought it was a well written episode and had some fantastic scenes. I think its important that it was an episode of reflection rather than retribution.

    Truly was a well written episode, I agree. There was much to reflect on, and your
    comments reminded me, just now. I was impressed , at first,
    with the jubilant ending. Danerys’s character representing a champion of hope, a mother to once an enslaved kingdom of
    people. That ending, coupled with other significant moments, bode well for the series. As many viewers drew parallels to real life events, was also duly noted. These perhaps
    forced needed dialogue , if questioned the writer’s influence of biased historical events.Even so, a debate took place, with some drawing extreme perspectives on both sides
    of the spectrum, which included unnecessary accusation ( isn’t that alway’s the way of extremists ? ). The imbalance, you spoke of , referred to racist claims, however many
    challenged this with comparative, if constructive discussion. I hope the extreme leanings were rather silenced or diminished
    by that, except by those that wish to continue to (push) that agenda.

    Joshua Atreides: Baelish’s “Chaos speech”? Epic.

    This was very succinct. Littlefinger delivered an eloquent summation that spoke to the
    true nature of ASOIAF, and the current regime in particular. I couldn’t remember whether this was a profound script, or verbatim from the books. Either way, it was awesome !

  211. WildSeed
    Posted December 1, 2013 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury,

    …..Probably right on that one. And that boat pic with Myrcella appears the same, too.

  212. WildSeed
    Posted December 1, 2013 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

    Hodor’s Bastard,

    that’s my take on it…. and he’s most def seen the outline….
    Even if he allowed himself to speculate a bit more than usual , he ‘d likely rein himself
    in, by offering something cryptic, to throw us off.

  213. Arthur
    Posted December 1, 2013 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

    There’s an article in Musclemag about Thor “The Mountain”. Apparently he was contacted at first via Facebook but thought it was a joke.

    But when GoT was filming in Iceland he went there and met with the show makers and auditioned for The Mountain and quickly impressed coaches and crew alike with his look, strength and abilities to swing the sword around.

    The article states Thor worked 4 consecutive filming days, 12 hours each day and the first few we’re extremely taxing because of the sun heating up his armor…

    Hmmm only four days?

    I hope they got enough shoots to make the big duel awesome

  214. Greenjones
    Posted December 1, 2013 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

    Arthur,

    That’s awesome, if anyone could get a link it would be even more so. Four is enough I would think. I’m pretty sure the Hound and Beric duel took only two. And 12 hour days.

  215. Arthur
    Posted December 1, 2013 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

    Greenjones,

    I looked online and couldn’t find it. I actually subscribe to Muclemag and was flipping through the pages and its a small two page article in the back…

    Thor basically talked about how the experience was a lot harder then he thought with the armor on and swinging around a very heavy sword for hours under the sun that would heat up his armor.

    He also stated he explained to the show runners he has a strict diet and has to eat every three hours and it had to be certain foods/calories and that the show runners were very accommodating and got home whatever foods he asked for.

    He also said he had three beautiful women waving hand held fans to keep him cool and feeding him fruit and that he felt like a real medieval king…

    That’s about all…

  216. House Mormont
    Posted December 1, 2013 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

    Arthur,

    does that mean he didn’t do anything other than the duel? Does that mean the innkeep’s daughter scene is ruled out? *crazed speculation face*

  217. Arthur
    Posted December 1, 2013 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

    House Mormont,

    No, he said the first few days were the hardest because he was in full armor.

    So I’m guessing that means the rest of his time shooting he wasn’t in full armor. But I’m just speculating over the sentences in the article.

  218. Arthur
    Posted December 1, 2013 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

    House Mormont,

    Next time you pass a bookstore stop in and grab Musclemag from the magazine stand and flip to the back, it’s a small two page article…

    I got to admit when I was flipping through and found it my eyes turned to paper plates and I turned the light to full blast, sat-up and read through it with a huge smile…

    Wish D&D thought of this guy once Conan bailedout… Thor looks perfect for the role.

  219. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted December 1, 2013 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

    Patchy Face:
    Hodor’s Bastard,
    Thanks – thought that was pretty strange when I read it.

    This past March/Apr GRRM finished his S4 episode (he reveals the delivery in the comments section): http://grrm.livejournal.com/318880.html?thread=17543584#t17543584

    I guess this doesn’t mean that all the other GoT writers were on the same schedule (see Werthead’s post in the comments section), but I estimate (for planning and logistical reasons) that the writers start seriously writing S5 in Jan 2014, turn in a draft by early March, then final edits by late March/early April. I assume casting, set-building and script production for the following season is already in motion by the premiere of the current season.

    In any case, I defer to anyone who has more accurate info on this process.

  220. Patchy Face
    Posted December 1, 2013 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

    Hodor’s Bastard,

    Saw an interview with D&D (in the Writers Room I believe) where they stated that they get about a two day break of work between seasons – very possible they are doing several things simultaneously. They could be writing S5 during shooting of S4 but can’t imagine everything would be complete by now.

  221. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted December 1, 2013 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

    Patchy Face:
    Hodor’s Bastard,
    Saw an interview with D&D (in the Writers Room I believe) where they stated that they get about a two day break of work between seasons – very possible they are doing several things simultaneously.They could be writing S5 during shooting of S4 but can’t imagine everything would be complete by now.

    Maybe Cogman and some assistants are currently thinking about S5 but I can’t imagine that D&D have been been doing anything but prod/post-prod of S4 since Aug. The true post-prod phase (since mid-Nov) has got to take a while, to include reshoots and filler….and that teaser/trailer we want to see!

  222. Arthur
    Posted December 2, 2013 at 12:44 am | Permalink
  223. Jentario
    Posted December 2, 2013 at 4:51 am | Permalink

    I think Iain Glen just meant they are starting to map out and work on season 5, and that’s the actors’ next project. There is absolutely no way they are done by now, nor is it practical to do such intensive work on the hardest season yet (from a writing/planning standpoint) and finish up in one month when easier seasons took over 4 months to write. Makes no sense at all, IMO.

  224. The Maester
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

    Could Mance’s “biggest fire the north has ever seen” refer to Mance attempting to melt the wall down with a huge fire.

  225. Abyss
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

    The Maester,

    Um, I wish him good luck with that… :D

  226. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

    The Maester:
    Could Mance’s “biggest fire the north has ever seen” refer to Mance attempting to melt the wall down with a huge fire.

    It is on my mind as well. You know…if Mance has access to wildfire and trebuchets, then his army could fling barrels of wildfire to the wall, then light it via fire arrows. It wouldn’t destroy the wall but it would make a strong statement to parties on both sides of the wall.

    Someone else mentioned that another party could climb the wall and attack from on top (or light a fire)…although I honestly don’t know how effective that would be. Not much stuff could be hauled up to the top without the NW’s CB elevator.

  227. Steve
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 2:46 am | Permalink

    Yeah, he’ll be using wildfire to thaw that shit. And then David Hasselhoff’s gonna turn up to claim that victory all for himself. Get a grip, dudes.

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