Pictures from Game of Thrones Season 4, Episode 8 “The Mountain and the Viper”
By Lightbringer on in Media.

Pictures from this Sunday’s new episode of Game of Thrones, “The Mountain and the Viper,” have been released. This batch is a little larger than usual to tide us over during this two week break, and includes new looks at Ellaria Sand, Sansa Stark, Arya and The Hound, Tywin Lannister, Daenerys and company, and more.

 


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243 Comments

  1. Jambo
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    I am getting excited.

    Also, where is Jorah at? Looks like a ship.

  2. BranSnow
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    The Waif!!!

  3. Clob
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    Jambo,

    I was wondering the same thing. I thought ship at first but it looks more like a structure with rolling curtains that’s just next to the water.

    I’m also curious if that pathway Arya is on is the same Littlefinger and Sansa traveled toward the Eyrie.

  4. Tyrone Lannister
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    These pretzels are making me thirsty!

  5. bristol
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    Jambo:
    I am getting excited.

    Also, where is Jorah at? Looks like a ship.

    I am excited too! It looks like a wooden place in Meereen or something- the sides are not curved enough for it to be a ship. The scene can either be Jorah making military strategies before being asked to confront Dany, or it can be him deciding where to go after the banishment.

  6. Valyrian Plastic
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    Jambo,

    Clob,

    It resembles something from one of the production diary shorts; an open bailey full of scrolls and maps, so maybe it’s a part of the Great Pyramid.

    I’m wondering what Pycelle might be up to in the middle of the TBC arena? Maybe he’s taking the place of thestableboy in the show ;).

  7. Billybob
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    Interesting that Sansa is playing with her wedding ring. Does she miss Tyrion? Is this more future book plot spoilers?

  8. Lord of the Waters
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    I was hoping that the Daenerys crew were going to sit this one out so things don’t get overcrowded but never mind. Looks like this episode is going to feature Kings Landing, Theon and Ramsay, Sansa at the Eyrie, Arya and Hound, Dany and the Wildlings/watch. Hope they give the right amount of time to the main event trial by combat. Also I wonder if Hound and Arya will be getting into a fight with Vale guards in this episode?

  9. Sansa Bird
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    I have no clue what they’re doing with Eyrie storyline, and am anxious about the changes, but can’t wait to see this ep!

    I will hear you say her name!

  10. Harrold Hardyng
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    Lord of the Waters,

    That would be a most unfortunate choice by the writers. The Bran/Jon reunion tease in season 3 episode 9 and the Arya/Robb and Cat reunion tease at the Red Wedding in the same episode were enough. The Craster’s Keep garbage this season already added an unnecessary Bran/Jon reunion tease and the writers added another bit of trash with the Yara/Theon reunion tease. They don’t need to go there with Arya almost getting to Sansa and getting thwarted by Knights of the Vale. That would be cheap and tacky.

  11. subwaywolf
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    No Theon but PYCELLE???!!? This is my worst nightmare. At least Theon is going to be in this episode. But really, a Pycelle promo?

  12. Patchy Face
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    Is Sansa’s hair brown or am I seeing things?

  13. Samantha
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    Lovely that you guys don’t give some props to the site that first posted them, since for these specific photos you likely got them from that place since HBO has yet to release any on their site.

  14. Tatters
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    Harrold Hardyng,

    So the knights of the Vale will let them in? Seems like thats not going to happen.
    Purism wont help you now.

  15. Turri
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    So confirmed storylines: KL, Eyrie, Arya, Wall, Dany, Theon. I imagine everything except Mountain&Viper will be rather short.

  16. jentario
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    Let me quote myself from the other thread:

    Ye’ gods.
    Jorah is given the boot, Arya and the Hound fight off the Knights of the Vale and the Hound is mortally wounded, the Wildlings attack Mole’s Town, Theon and Ramsay take Moat Cailin, Sansa plays the Lords Declarant like a pro and to top it all of- the trial by combat!
    This is probably going to be the best episode yet.

  17. Kevin
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    After plastering Tyrion’s trial and the Mountain vs Viper combat all over every trailer in the actual episode there’s not one picture of any of the people directly related to the combat.

  18. MRR
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    Jambo:
    I am getting excited.

    Also, where is Jorah at? Looks like a ship.

    Meereen is coastal, so I think he’s just somewhere with a view; those look like curtains behind him, not sails, and I don’t think curtains like that would be practical to have around on a boat during a storm.

  19. Dragonslayer
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    Samantha:
    Lovely that you guys don’t give some props to the site that first posted them, since for these specific photos you likely got them from that place since HBO has yet to release any on their site.

    Maybe, WiC got them directly from HBO since these pictures appeared on several sites around the same time?

  20. Nesaia
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Can Sansa finally start to wear another dress?

  21. Declizzy
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    Ellaria Sand looks stunning!

  22. jentario
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 11:56 am | Permalink
  23. cubicz
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    Predictions: (Book changes)

    Meereen: Not sure if Jorah will be exiled for what he did in season 1. At this point, how would Dany not find out? In the book Barristan revealed his betrayl, but in show, Barristan didn’t know… so, i think Jorah deliberately neglects telling Daario to spare the masters in Yunkia to make Ðaario look bad, but Dany finds out Jorah lied, so she kicks his ass out.

    Moat Cailin: Theon is sent there to negotiate, but his real mission is to kill Balon who has arrived to oversee the Northern platoon. SO Theon, NOT a Faceless man kills Balon. Thus taking the castle for Ramsay, and giving Balon’s death more satisfying

    Jaime and Tyrion: No Tysha revelation. tysha hasn’t been brought up in a while, and only muddies an already unexplored aspect of Tyrion’s life.

  24. smitzzz
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    Declizzy: Ellaria Sand looks stunning!

    Definitely , she is so fit .

  25. bristol
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    cubicz:
    Predictions: (Book changes)

    Meereen: Not sure if Jorah will be exiled for what he did in season 1. At this point, how would Dany not find out? In the book Barristan revealed his betrayl, but in show, Barristan didn’t know… so, i think Jorah deliberately neglects telling Daario to spare the masters in Yunkia to make Ðaario look bad, but Dany finds out Jorah lied, so she kicks his ass out.

    Moat Cailin: Theon is sent there to negotiate, but his real mission is to kill Balon who has arrived to oversee the Northern platoon. SO Theon, NOT a Faceless man kills Balon. Thus taking the castle for Ramsay, and giving Balon’s death more satisfying

    Jaime and Tyrion: No Tysha revelation. tysha hasn’t been brought up in a while, and only muddies an already unexplored aspect of Tyrion’s life.

    Tywin was sending a letter in episode 6 to Dany.

  26. Ser Davos Seaworth
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    what’s the runtime of this episode? it seems like it’s trying to cover a lot of story arcs

  27. Jared
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    So at the very least, Arya, the Hound and Dany are all confirmed to appear this episode. It looks like most of the speculation about what might happen with Arya, the Hound, and Dany’s characters this week was correct. The Hound will attempt to gain entrance to the Vale, be denied by the Knight of the Gate, and a skirmish will ensue. Dany will confront Jorah about his past betrayal, and most likely banish him. I had wondered if they might have her learn about both Jorah and Drogon killing the goatherd’s daughter in this episode and save her dealing with both of those setbacks for the finale, but it looks like the Jorah storyline will be dealt with in its entirety this week, and then Dany’s finale plot will primarily focus on her decision to chain up her dragons.

    My initial impression of that picture where Jorah is studying the map was that he was on a boat because the ocean is so clearly visible in the background. I took a second look, however, and the hanging fabrics that I thought were parts of a ship’s sail were revealed to be shades or curtains of some kind. This scene could certainly take place before Dany summons him to the throne room, in which case Jorah could be devising some form of military strategy. Or it could take place after Dany banishes him (but before he departs Meereen), in which case he could be trying to decide where in the hell he should go.

  28. Igor Veloso
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    Hmmm hm, Ellaria Sand looking fine.

  29. Ser Davos Seaworth
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    cubicz,

    wow… theon killing balon… no! no! no! Euron kills balon (or at least orders his death), don’t fuck up the theon/ironborn story HBO! also we can’t have theon killing his father and then tyrion killing his two eps later

  30. Jared
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    Ser Davos Seaworth,

    53 minutes. It will be a busy episode, but the writers have demonstrated an excellent ability to be both thorough and economical when dealing with multiple storylines. It should be fine.

  31. cubicz
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    bristol,

    True! Maybe not to Dany herself… good catch.

  32. Ser Davos Seaworth
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    it’s a dream come true! i’ve always wanted a 3,280×4,928 picture of grand maester pycelle!

  33. Declizzy
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    I hope they will make some progress with Arya’s storyline, it’s becoming boring.

  34. Carne
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    Samantha,

    WiC.net get their stills directly from HBO.

  35. Ours is the Fury
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    Samantha,

    Every week we get our photos directly from HBO several days before the episode airs. HBO doesn’t post their new batch of episode photos on HBO.com until a few minutes after an episode airs and they are often slightly different from these ones. Hope that answers your question. :)

  36. Samantha
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury,

    That may be the case most weeks, this week pretty sure you took them from another fansite. They run their photos through some programs before they post, it changes the file size slightly from original. The ones your site posted match the exact size of theirs. Seems most likely you took them from another fansite without the courtesy of linking back. Or maybe someone else did and you got them from them and didn’t know.

    Oh well, you’ll do what you want, and I’ll be the bad guy no matter since people will believe you even if you aren’t being honest in this case. Just seems wrong not to give props when you get from another fansite.

    The stills HBO sends out and releases to their PR site are now also usually 2100x something, never the 4000+ anymore. So yeah, you can see why this is questionable.

  37. moonlightof1982
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    Billybob,

    She is leaving Tyrion and the Lannisters behind and finding a new “friend!”

  38. Annara Snow
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    Billybob:
    Interesting that Sansa is playing with her . Does she miss Tyrion? Is this more future book plot spoilers?

    That she is gong to miss Tyrion? No. Does that seem in any way likely based on the books?

  39. Abyss
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    Samantha,

    Well, provide a link to that other fansite, let me match the pictures and maybe I believe you. ;-)

  40. John M W
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    Hmmm…I honestly thought they would leave the Jorah reveal for the finale, so as to give Dany’s storyline an emotional end this season. But it looks like it may be happening this week.

  41. Annara Snow
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    cubicz:
    Predictions: (Book changes)

    Meereen: Not sure if Jorah will be exiled for what he did in season 1. At this point, how would Dany not find out? In the book Barristan revealed his betrayl, but in show, Barristan didn’t know… so, i think Jorah deliberately neglects telling Daario to spare the masters in Yunkia to make Ðaario look bad, but Dany finds out Jorah lied, so she kicks his ass out.

    Moat Cailin: Theon is sent there to negotiate, but his real mission is to kill Balon who has arrived to oversee the Northern platoon. SO Theon, NOT a Faceless man kills Balon. Thus taking the castle for Ramsay, and giving Balon’s death more satisfying

    Jaime and Tyrion: No Tysha revelation. tysha hasn’t been brought up in a while, and only muddies an already unexplored aspect of Tyrion’s life.

    LOL at the idea that Theon in his present state would be able to kill anyone, unless three people were holding the intended victim, one was helping him hold the weapon since he is trembling too much, and another was directing it.

  42. Annara Snow
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    John M W:
    Hmmm…I honestly thought they would leave the Jorah reveal for the finale, so as to give Dany’s storyline an emotional end this season. But it looks like it may be happening this week.

    Finding out that Drogon ate a child and having to chain her dragons – and Drogon flying away is surely emotional enough.

  43. sati
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    Abyss,

    I bet she means this – http://www.farfarawaysite.com/section/got/gallery4/gallery8/gallery.htm

    Also, wow really ‘believe her’? Every week this site has pics up before WiC. She says the image size is the same. Unless you took each pic from tumblr which I don’t think you did it is kinda clear what happened here.

  44. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    cubicz,

    Go back and watch the Tyrion and Jaime scene from the last episode. When Jaime chides Tyrion for falling in love with a whore(Shae), Tyrion says he was foolish to think any woman would ever truly love him, and the camera cuts to Jaime’s face and he looks ashamed. The Tysha reveal is going to happen. It’s the reason Tyrion goes to Tywin’s chambers while escaping.

    Also, Theon killing Balon? Really? Not going to happen.

  45. StrokemeMarg
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    bristol,

    I agree with this theory, the scenes with Dany are obviously the confrontation, and with Jorah on that ship, he’s deciding where to go.
    I still can’t believe the stupidity of book Dany in removing Jorah, sure he was spying on the Targs, he really didn’t know Dany or what she was like early on, but when he found out about the assassins, he made his choice to become her protector.
    Any wise ruler would see that Jorah would never be a threat, but a benefit.

  46. Adam Austin
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    Keep the Pictures!!

    Going to Vent… that as a person living outside USA, I resent that fact that HBO makes the rest of the world wait while America has a Holiday!!!

    Are the ratings so Important now that they have to have Every Episode hit the high mark and leave us begging for 2 weeks???

    Oh Well.. least I discovered and enjoyed ‘Penny Dreadful’ during this break.

  47. Samantha
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    Abyss,

    Out of respect to WIC.net I don’t want to post a link to another fansite on their site, seems wrong to give someone else publicity on WIC.net without WIC.net’s permission. Odd I know, considering I’m defending another site. However, in this case it seems a wrong was done to them, if not my apologies. Someone else posted a link anyway, let WIC.net deal with it. Despite what it may seem, I appreciate both sites and what they do.

  48. John M W
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    Annara Snow: Finding out that Drogon ate a child and having to chain her dragons – and Drogon flying away is surely emotional enough.

    Fair point. :)

  49. Koka
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    Maybe Tywin sends a letter to Dany telling her about Jorah so she would kick him and he will tell Jorah to comeback to westeose and learn everything about Dany from him and take advantage

    Or he will send message to Jorah telling him to leave her or he will tell her everything -_-

    I hope its still be the same as it happend in the book Jorah Vs Baresstan

  50. BranSnow
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    Adam Austin,

    Adam Austin: Keep the Pictures!!Going to Vent… that as a person living outside USA, I resent that fact that HBO makes the rest of the world wait while America has a Holiday!!!Are the ratings so Important now that they have to have Every Episode hit the high mark and leave us begging for 2 weeks???Oh Well.. least I discovered and enjoyed ‘Penny Dreadful’ during this break.

    That Holiday is to remember men and women who have died while serving in the country’s armed forces. Whether or not you agree with the wars or are an America hater, this day is meant to remember and honor those who lost their lives while serving their country.
    It’s just a TV show. Sometimes a little perspective helps before you rant about missing a TV show.

  51. Abyss
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    sati,

    Of curse “believe her”. What’s wrong with wanting some evidence? I was aware of the site, I was not aware that it has the pictures every week let alone before WiC.
    And yes, as far as I can tell from the meta info, the website you linked had the pictures before WiC. Whether or not they were allowed to upload them by HBO and should therefore get credit for it, that’s a different matter.

  52. sati
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    Abyss,

    Now you are aware.

  53. Valyrian Plastic
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    Flicks & the City uploaded 2 more interviews today, one with Nonso Anozie and another with Noah Taylor. ‘Thought I might as well add a link for the latter.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2xAPQjboBE

  54. Samantha
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    BranSnow,

    I didn’t take it as them being disrespectful. They make a valid point, though I think it goes for us here in the states too. Why not air a new episode last weekend?

    As it stands, HBO aired an original movie in place of GOT on Sunday. It’s not like they couldn’t have aired the new episode Sunday here in the states, plenty of people would have watched it. I don’t believe the holiday weekend is good reason to delay an episode a week. If anything, air the marathon leading up to the new episode, bring in viewers.

    The whole idea behind the typical American family not watching television on holidays is 10-20 years ago. If anything, people tend to watch more when they got a 3 day weekend. Starz did the same with Da Vinci’s Demons on Saturday, took a week off, with only 1 episode left at that. Showtime was smart enough not to skip PD, though it airs the hour after GOT, so would not matter ratings wise.

  55. Sid
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    Game of Thrones is a US show. HBO as the network took the week off. I know you’re all bummed out you can’t get your fix and want to blame America, but put on your big boy pants and wait it out.

    I love lots of UK based shows and you don’t see me spamming fan sites with “omg they took a week off whats with those silly brits”.

    Derp.

  56. Lyn
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    This episode is going to be amazing. It seems like Barristan will learn from a little bird that Jorah was a spy, because there is an image of him in the same place as Jorah, so he will probably tell Jorah he knows he is a traitor and I think he will be the one to tell Dany. So in the end this whole scene will be pretty similar to the books. I’m really excited for this ep!

  57. Abyss
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    sati,

    No need to be snappish. If you took offence with my initial post, that wasn’t my intend. The internet just has a very long tradition when it comes to unsupported allegations, so I’m naturally a bit wary, when someone posts something like that.

  58. GeekFurious
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    Harrold Hardyng:
    Lord of the Waters,

    That would be a most unfortunate choice by the writers. The Bran/Jon reunion tease in season 3 episode 9 and the Arya/Robb and Cat reunion tease at the Red Wedding in the same episode were enough. The Craster’s Keep garbage this season already added an unnecessary Bran/Jon reunion tease and the writers added another bit of trash with the Yara/Theon reunion tease. They don’t need to go there with Arya almost getting to Sansa and getting thwarted by Knights of the Vale. That would be cheap and tacky.

    Yep. It’s slowly working its way to becoming just another cheesily plotted TV show. I don’t know why they feel the need to do it. The show is massive without this bullshit.

  59. Ed
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    That’s so weird, cause I haven’t.

    Ser Davos Seaworth:
    it’s a dream come true! i’ve always wanted a 3,280×4,928 picture of grand maester pycelle!

  60. oracle86
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    What is a “derp”?

  61. freoduwebbe
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    Samantha: The whole idea behind the typical American family not watching television on holidays is 10-20 years ago

    except that the first two years of GOT they did have the show on Memorial Day weekend, and the ratings suffered significantly. HBO wants GOT to have out of the park ratings… and a slow week stops that. It wasn’t 20 years, it was two.

    its not that americans don’t cluster around the tv… many of us were watching the various Memorial Day programs out of respect and in thanks.. of course many aren’t, but are on the beach instead.

    So HBO uses the day for a one shot HBO movie, about which they wont care what the ratings are. I’ll bet they think its a win.

    and lastly, – a lot of us Yankees miss it too.

  62. Adam Austin
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    I’m am certainly NOT an Anti-American, but since you’ve brought this reason into the fold …

    Are you Honestly trying to argue that HBO have bipassed this weeks showing of GoT out of respect for US Soldiers that have lost their lives in service to their country???

    They certainly weren’t thinking that with the first 2 series. Nor does Hollywood seem to have such empathies, when they jossle to see who can open their movie that weekend.

    This is about ratings and the fact that for the last 2 years now they don’t want a drop in their ratings on Memorial Weekend
    Don’t dare try and use ‘our dead countrymen’ as a guilt-trip!
    It’s simply not the case nor why I vented!

    and I vented simply because I reorganized my work roster with Monday nights off so I could watch Game of Thrones as soon as it aired here in NZ!

  63. Sanna
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    This episode is so going to break my heart not once but twice!

    First Dany sending Jorah away , the photos from someone’s link (thanks for that btw) showed him looking so sad! In the books that was so emotional and since Iain is such a grear actor, it’ll be emotional!

    And then of course the trial by combat! I remember it was quite epic in the books, so my expectations are high now. I was rooting for Alexander Siddig to be cast as Oberyn, byt Pedro Pascal has been perfect so far! It will be a huge loss, the way the duel ends, I hope the producers will pull all the approriate stops here!

    (Mind you, I do love a good reason to use exclamation marks)

  64. BranSnow
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    Samantha,

    True, I didn’t find them being disrespectful either.

  65. Ser Pounce
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    GeekFurious,

    I don’t really mind the new sub plots they make up, it makes really good tv. There is nothing wrong with giving the characters something to do.

  66. Adam Austin
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    Sid,

    I can’t think of One ‘UK-made” show that took a hiatus break during their season so the ratings don’t suffer! ???

    Generally they just get cancelled before they can gain a decent fan following :o(

    …and is “Derp” an insult? try tightening your own ‘big boy’ pants then!!!

  67. Locke Reborn
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    Who the fuck’s this guy?

  68. Ser Pounce
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    Locke Reborn,

    that is Vale Guard #4

  69. Greenjones
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    Igor Veloso,

    Indira is beautiful!

  70. BranSnow
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    Adam Austin,

    I am not saying that HBO moved the show out of respect of Memorial Day. I was just explaining what that holiday is about, and it seems silly to vent about missing a tv show.

  71. RadoLukacs
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    Locke Reborn,

    It is Ser Donnel Waynwood, the Knight of the Gate. He guards the Bloody Gate and it was him who let Littlefinger and Sansa pass through it in “First of His Name”.

  72. Locke Reborn
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    RadoLukacs:
    Locke Reborn,

    It is Ser Donnel Waynwood, the Knight of the Gate. He guards the Bloody Gate and it was him who let Littlefinger and Sansa pass through it in “First of His Name”.

    Oh, someone at the fleabottom suggested it was Merritt Frey. I thought that was a bit early for that…

  73. Greenjones
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    Locke Reborn,

    It’s the Knight of the Gate played by Alisdair Simpson. We already saw him in “First of His Name”.

  74. jentario
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    Ser Pounce,

    Yeah but the nearly meeting characters are getting old. They should have had Jon meet Bran IMO (seriously, them missing eachother twice is too much). I’m okay with whatever they do with Arya and Sansa.

  75. cosca
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    GeekFurious,

    Well, if it’s happening slowly then there’s nothing to worry about.

  76. Sid
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    *tightens his big boy pants*
    *drinks the eurotears*

    MY BODY IS READY

  77. Josla
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    Sanna,

    I would have agreed with you on this because while reading the books I was an absolute shipper of Dany/Jorah… (I am still, although somehow disappointed at how they developed their relationship). I remember reading the subtlety in which he expressed his love for her : “I brought you a peach…” I was totally enamored by these two.

    In season one and two Jorah was a very prominent character with great moments of his own. In the third season and specially this season, he has been relegated to almost a featured extra. They even skipped the KISS between them two, which would have been a great moment for his personal arc. They should have given him more important moments with Daenerys, and moments in which he demonstrated his feelings towards her more, I feel.

  78. Jen@House Stark
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    Lame Lothar?

  79. Abyss
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 2:27 pm | Permalink
  80. KG
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    The ratings would take a tremendous hit if they wasted a new episode on an “outdoor” holiday like Memorial Day.

    And execs don’t care WHY ratings were low, they just care that they were low. Therefore – no episode, no low ratings.

    Adam Austin: oks ashamed. The Tysha reveal is going to happen. It’s the reason Tyrion goes to Tywin’s chambers while escaping.
    Also, Theon killing Balon? Really? Not going to happen.

  81. SerCountryFriedSteak
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 2:33 pm | Permalink
  82. Clob
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    Memorial Day is “different” than most holidays in my part of the US. It is essentially the start of Summer in most minds. The kids are getting done with school, the weather is (hopefully) warmer and everybody is heading to their cabins, lakes, going camping, etc. <– With those things and a Monday off, Memorial Day weekend Sunday is a night of sitting by campfires, cooking out and drinking. ZERO of my closest friends were watching any television at all that night.

  83. Ser Pounce
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    jentario,

    Well I really like all the Arya and the Hound scenes so I don’t mind what crazy non-book scenes they come up with.

  84. Sean C.
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    Sansa finally ditching that huge gold ring she was inexplicably still wearing. Though she also appears to have brought her King’s Landing wardrobe with her somehow, despite not having prepared to leave.

  85. Ashara D
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    Clob,

    Same. Note that they did not remove the Easter episode. Memorial Day is unique (perhaps add Labor Day to that) in that it is a celebration of the outdoors, warm weather, sunshine, family and friends, end of school responsibilities. It is also the traditional opening of Summer Blockbusters at the movies. It is an American cultural thing, and as long as HBO remains an American company, they will skip this weekend ’cause it is death to TV ratings. Very few-if any-shows this weekend were “new.” Not gonna change.

    Kinda like trying to do business with a German company in August…

  86. BranSnow
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    Adam Austin,

    My appologies. I should have kept my thoughts to myself because my response was taking this thread away from the topic of the post. I knew you weren’t being disrespectful. I don’t know what derp means either.

  87. BlackTalon
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    WTF, it seems like Arya and the Hound have made it to the path leading to the Eyrie!? And the Hound doesn’t look sick at all, either …

  88. Lady
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    Ser Davos Seaworth,

    LOL

    Changing the desktop wallpaper…

  89. StrokemeMarg
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    BlackTalon,

    My sentiments exactly, which means something bad happens at the Bloody Gate.

  90. Joshua Atreides
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    If D & D have another near miss with the Starks…ye Gods enough is enough! Sometimes I think the success of the show is just emboldening them. They mildly Troll the book readers ie “Only Cat” and now with the near misses. The previouslytv UnSullied are going to bitch about this one. If this is the case of course.

  91. chamush
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    Considering how busy all the story lines are and how neglected so many of them feel like im surprised that most episodes this season have been 51-53 minutes long only. Ive never been a Dany story line fan so i dont mind her lack of onscreen time at all but this year it feels like her story hasnt even started yet! She went to a new city and …..? What happened in 7 episodes? She gave it to Daario good apparently…

  92. wargsareawesome
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    Billybob,

    I doubt it, she used to fiddle with her rings whenever she was nervous even before she married Tyrion. Also, I doubt it is a wedding ring, because she is not (publicly) known to be Sansa Stark. Also she can’t very well marry Harry the Heir if it is known that she is already married. My guess is she’s testifying about Lysa’s death.

  93. Delta1212
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    wargsareawesome,

    Revealing that she’s actually Sansa Stark and thus married to Tyrion, is the only Way she marries Harry. The heir to the Vale isn’t going to marry Littlefinger’s niece/bastard daughter.

  94. cosca
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    Joshua Atreides,

    the previously tv unsullied bitch about everything.

  95. Hodor H'ghar
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    Daenerys doing what she does best, staring off into the distance.

  96. King Stannis
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    Joshua Atreides:
    If D & D have another near miss with the Starks…ye Gods enough is enough!Sometimes I think the success of the show is just emboldening them. They mildly Troll the book readers ie “Only Cat” and now with the near misses. The previouslytv UnSullied are going to bitch about this one. If this is the case of course.

    If you believe Arya and Sansa will meet I have a bridge to sell you in SF. Since the beginning after the red wedding we knew where the Hound and Arya were going. Do you really think these two will make it inside the castle considering the place is on high alert now since Lysa Tully is dead? Don’t act surprised just think.

  97. gianoshoes
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    for some reason, the pictures won’t load for me, but I see a ton of plot points in photos from http://imgur.com/a/5hmvp The images are pretty SPOILERY, but definitely if you’re a book reader, you’ll know almost exactly what’s gonna happen ! and Oh My God, it’s gonna be all the tears!

  98. gianoshoes
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    Lord of the Waters,

    I strongly think so, because I read somewhere there’s going to be another big fight for the Hound coming up. But I’m wondering what Arya’s gonnna do? I mean, run from the Vale? How far into the Vale will the two go into before the fight? Does he die then or do they get away? So many questions.

  99. Dragonslayer
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    Joshua Atreides:
    If D & D have another near miss with the Starks…ye Gods enough is enough!Sometimes I think the success of the show is just emboldening them. They mildly Troll the book readers ie “Only Cat” and now with the near misses. The previouslytv UnSullied are going to bitch about this one. If this is the case of course.

    Though it will be the last one (at least in the published books)…

  100. Sansa Bird
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    At this point, the alterations to Sansa’s storyline appear to be pointless and just, quite honestly, make more of a mess for the writers. I don’t understand what their motivations are for making so many book changes.

    Presenting Alayne Stone correctly would have been a much more intriguing plotline, changing Sansa Stark would have been more exciting. It’d be good tv! The masquerade is a major development in her storyline and the politics in the Eyrie involve her alias. I don’t understand, why did D&D make those changes?

    I sincerely hope it’s cleared up in the next episode and the changes better pay off tenfold considering how many (seemingly) pointless deviations have been made! I’m hoping for the best, but am pessimistic.

  101. Mike Bolton
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    You’ll have a lightly attended funeral.

    Samantha:
    BranSnow,

    I didn’t take it as them being disrespectful. They make a valid point, though I think it goes for us here in the states too. Why not air a new episode last weekend?

    As it stands, HBO aired an original movie in place of GOT on Sunday. It’s not like they couldn’t have aired the new episode Sunday here in the states, plenty of people would have watched it. I don’t believe the holiday weekend is good reason to delay an episode a week. If anything, air the marathon leading up to the new episode, bring in viewers.

    The whole idea behind the typical American family not watching television on holidays is 10-20 years ago. If anything, people tend to watch more when they got a 3 day weekend. Starz did the same with Da Vinci’s Demons on Saturday, took a week off, with only 1 episode left at that. Showtime was smart enough not to skip PD, though it airs the hour after GOT, so would not matter ratings wise.

  102. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    Sansa Bird,

    Yes, because she is the only person in the world with red hair, and pretending to be Littlefinger’s niece instead of daughter alters everything. Sansa would rank about 7th or 8th on a list of POV characters whose stories were altered the most. Jon is arguably the closest thing the books have to a main protagonist, and his story has been altered the most. He’s my favorite character in the books, but you don’t see me complaining. I wish D&D were as loyal to his book storyline as they are to Sansa’s.

  103. King Stannis
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

    Tyrion Pimpslap:
    Sansa Bird,

    Yes, because she is the only person in the world with red hair, and pretending to be Littlefinger’s niece instead of daughter alters everything.

    I laughed at this. Yea some people complain about pointless and minor things. The whole changing the hair is not necessary because if anybody would recognize Sansa they will regardless of hair. Luckily she’s at the Eyrie where nobody recognizes her because Sansa have never been there before.

  104. Harrold Hardyng
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    Tatters,

    No kidding the knights of the Vale won’t let them in….unless D&D are worse butchers than I thought. I have no idea how the Hound going to get wounded and left for dead in the Vale. He is too smart to battle with twenty plus knights. I bet D&D have him do something uncharacteristic and foolish. It’s this season’s theme. Smh.

  105. Strider
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    cosca,

    Now you’ve got a problem with the PreviouslyTV Unsullied?! Dammit Cosca! LOL
    I love their speculation thread.

  106. Harrold Hardyng
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    GeekFurious,

    The writers aren’t happy to adapt a brilliant book series. They have to put their greasy fingerprints all over it and butcher it over and over again. At least I know I can take a piss break during this Arya/Hound nonsense. So far this season the writers have made Jaime, Brienne, Bran, Meera, Jojen, Yara and Ramsay look stupid with needless divergences. Divergences that don’t assassinate characters is fine but this season is one big mess. Yikes,

  107. Sansa Bird
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    Tyrion Pimpslap,

    I’m bummed out they’re making changes to my favorite character, I wish I had your restraint to stop complaining (seriously, I wish I wasn’t so invested, it is agony), but I was pointing out it would be a lot easier for D&D, imo, to follow the books in this regard. I’m just confused as to what they’re doing. Confusion in any fanbase inevitably leads to complaining.

    (I feel awful for you if Jon’s your favorite character with the way they’ve handled him. My apologies. I really loved Jon in the books. I hope more time is invested in him next season to flesh him out more!)

    But also, I was under the impression it wouldn’t be difficult for anyone to recognize Sansa undisguised. Even Littlefinger mentions that her hair’s a “memorable shade” as they walk by the guards of the Vale… and Cersei has people looking for her. People are aware LF was interested in Sansa… he made his affections kinda blatant around court, if I remember correctly.

  108. Luka Nieto
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    cubicz,

    They already set up in the Small Council scene that Tywin will write some sort of letter that will reveal Jorah’s betrayal. Maybe a direct letter with evidence to Daenerys, or a fake letter to Jorah with fake instructions implying he’s still a spy. Eitherway, Tywin’s gonna be Jorah’s undoing, quite clearly.

    About Tysha… I was 100% sure it wouldn’t be adapted into the show, truly: they haven’t mentioned her in a while, and she hasn’t been the focus of a dialogue scene since Tyrion first told the story. Yet… Jaime looks at Tyrion meaningfully, shamefully, when his brother mentions that he has fallen in love with a whore and was stupid enough to think she had fallen in love with him. Now I’m really not so sure. I honestly would like that plot thread to be excised, since it doesn’t seem relevant to the show version of Tyrion. But that close-up wasn’t random.

  109. Harrold Hardyng
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

    Ser Pounce,

    There are thousands of pages of characters having things to do. There is absolutely no reason to add gutter trash to the existing material.

  110. cosca
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

    Harrold Hardyng,

    Yawn. Book purists are so tedious.

  111. Harrold Hardyng
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    Jeb,

    Winter is Coming – A Game of Thrones news source. If reading criticism upsets you, here’s a suggestion, don’t read the comments. I, just like anyone else, am entitled to my opinion. If I feel the urge to complain about the writers then I am free to do so. Carry on.

  112. Harrold Hardyng
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    cosca,

    Book purists often give great insight and criticism and help to balance out easily amused fans who blindly praise everything the show runners do.

  113. mal
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

    I’m not a fan of all the book changes, but purists can be frustrating because they pick on things that I don’t consider that important. I mean, that “only Cat” line…those that went ape-shit are kind of frustrating. I would like D & D to at least consider some of the criticism, but if they get like this on something that little, it’s harder to take criticism and unhappiness seriously.

  114. cosca
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

    Harrold Hardyng,

    “It was better in the books”

    What brilliant insight!

  115. Easteros bunny
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    Great, more scenes with dany sitting on the throne.

  116. Harrold Hardyng
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

    mal,

    Agreed. Little things like “only Cat” don’t matter. That didn’t change Littlefinger as a character.

  117. Mike
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

    Wow, this looks like it’ll be stacked with action. Theon taking Moat Cailin, wildlings in Mole’s Town, The Hound vs. the Vale guard, and to top that all off: the Mountain and the Viper. They’re really going all out for these last three episodes.

  118. bristol
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

    Harrold Hardyng:
    Ser Pounce,

    There are thousands of pages of characters having things to do. There is absolutely no reason to add gutter trash to the existing material.

    It’s usually better than the things GRRM wrote for them. Why don’t you give the Arya material a chance before complaining?

  119. mal
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

    One change that I did like was changing Oberyn’s flashback story to after the trial. So powerful, and Pedro Pascal’s voice and Dinklage’s acting made the scene. One of my favorite scenes of the series.

    Also, Jorah’s definitely leaving on a boat at the end of the season! ALong with Arya and Tyrion…new destinations. I’m so excited. I can’t wait for the trial by combat…too bad about the ending

  120. Kells
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

    Harrold Hardyng,

    RE: Arya/Sandor
    Just my two cents, and I am going to tag this even though I don’t know if I have to. I feel that Arya and The Hound are going to find out about Lysa’s death once they arrive at the gate and are turned away. They will wander aimlessly but since the Hound is highly recognizable, and there is a large bounty on his head, a few of those guards might just follow them. I don’t think the final fight will happen at the gate because I feel it would need to happen someplace where Arya could escape from. Standing at the gate, surrounded by guards, and she is a sitting duck. Away from the gate, with a few guards tailing them, I could see Sandor fighting them off as she runs. Though this would eliminate the need for “mercy” (“You remember where the heart is?”) and any Sandor waxing on about Sansa. Though, I would miss that moment. I could see Arya hiding and coming back once the guards are gone to try and help…who knows!

  121. Summer
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    Ser Davos Seaworth:
    it’s a dream come true! i’ve always wanted a 3,280×4,928 picture of grand maester pycelle!

    LOL, you made me laugh.

  122. Hodor Targaryen
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

    Harrold Hardyng,

    What else would you have had Bran do this season besides what he did in Episode 2 and what he will probably do in Episode 10?

    There are plenty of criticisms that you can level at the execution of Craster’s Keep, but at least the least interesting major character who is the most isolated from other major characters was involved in something that you can call “dramatic,” unlike most of last season. To say that characters like Arya, Sansa and Bran have thousands of pages of material to fill up this part of the season is just not true. Some characters can be adapted very faithfully and it makes compelling television (Tyrion, for example). Some have only a handful of chapters per book so they need to add some material.

    If you want to add something to the discussion, maybe say something about why Craster’s Keep wasn’t executed well, instead of referring to how D&D get their greasy fingers on a fantastic book series yadda yadda yadda. That kind of criticism isn’t constructive and pretty insulting. Would you say that to D&D’s face? Then don’t say it here.

  123. StrokemeMarg
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

    gianoshoes,

    Thanks for the pics, well that is confirmation of Arya/Hound at the Bloody Gate, what happens, my new theory…
    LF is told of A/H at the gate, this creates a complication, his plan hinges on Sansa being the only surviving Stark, therefore he orders the guards to turn them away and then has some follow the two to dispose of them at a more convenient locale.

    Looks like Ser Barristan will have a conversation with Jorah at the docks.

    DwD Dany is so stupid and it looks like D&D have decided to adhere to GRRM’s worst part of Dances…Dany digressing to the naive and idiotic teenage girl from season one, easily manipulated by others, preoccupied with Daario and abandoning her children. Which is counter to the Dany that matured in Storm, it’s like GRRM totally threw out Storm Dany like she never existed, almost has if the problem with the Meerenese knot was Storm Dany; that Dany wouldn’t do the things needed to create the plots he wanted, so he ignored the maturing, bold, intelligent and awesome Clash/Storm Dany and created a alternate blue-eyed giant verse Dany.

  124. StrokemeMarg
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

    Harrold Hardyng,

    The Arya/Hound scenes this season are among the series best, just read the critics and notice the rising viewership, which speak for themselves. The tavern and eat more chicken scene was better than the books and Arya’s kills at the end of that scene were far more brutal, cold and chlling than book Arya screaming and repeatedly stabbing the dude.

  125. Harrold Hardyng
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

    Hodor Targaryen,

    I have detailed in previous posts how the Craster’s Keep scene was a mess. I didn’t realize my criticism was causing so many hurt feelings.

    When Bran is headed north to find the three-eyed crow he could have had more visions and they could have had him Warging as Summer more. Also, if they hadn’t cut Coldhands, they could have had more compelling scenes for Bran including him. When Bran wargs into Summer and sees Ghost locked up at Craster’s I cringed right away because the mutineers wouldn’t be able to subdue and capture a direwolf. Bran and the Reeds getting captured by the mutineers was uncharacteristic. Meera is known for her hunting abilities and Jojen has proven that he is beyond clairvoyant and intelligent. They wouldn’t be stupid enough to get caught by a band of drunk rapists. It did nothing in terms of moving the story forward. We already knew Bran could warg into Hodor. It was filler. The problem is that it made Bran and the Reeds look foolish and spent too much time on characters who mean very little to the overall story- Rast, Karl and Locke.

    Now we are on episode 8 of the season and have had a total of about three minutes of build up for the impending Wildling attack. Instead of adding filler that made Bran and co. look foolish, they could have maybe had Bran see a vision or two of Mance and his army gathering. The one series of visions Bran had by Warging into the Weirwood tree was great.

    I could write a book on the missteps of the show runners from this season alone. I always enjoy watching the episodes on demand the next day so I can fast forward through the scenes that diminish major characters’ story lines. I still think the show is great despite a handful of major blunders.

  126. King Stannis
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

    Harrold Hardyng,

    Add it next to your waste of tears collection

  127. Harrold Hardyng
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

    Kells,

    That wouldn’t be so bad. I just hope the Hound doesn’t do anything foolish and out of character. He has proven himself in the books and show to be a survivor so to speak. Starting a fight against a couple dozen Knights of the Vale would not be wise or prudent. We shall see what happens.

  128. Kells
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

    Harrold Hardyng,

    Oh I agree! I think the writers have sort of put Sandor in a box and are just now, the past few episodes, trying to get him out of it by humanizing him. We might not have had a POV in the books but his motivations in King’s Landing and his role in both Sansa and Arya’s arc have diminished more than I think needed to be. I can’t see him taking on a group of Vale guards willingly but I didn’t think he would strike Arya with a backhand or steal silver from the farmer who offered him work. Reluctantly, he came to actually give a shit for Arya in the book (much like he did Sansa in KL). I can see the writers having him perform some type of heroic gesture to get her away from danger (the guards) as kind of a final act to show that he really is one of the “good” (or, not so bad) guys.

  129. King Stannis
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

    Harrold Hardyng:
    Hodor Targaryen,

    I have detailed in previous posts how the Craster’s Keep scene was a mess. I didn’t realize my criticism was causing so many hurt feelings.

    When Bran is headed north to find the three-eyed crow he could have had more visions and they could have had him Warging as Summer more. Also, if they hadn’t cut Coldhands, they could have had more compelling scenes for Bran including him. When Bran wargs into Summer and sees Ghost locked up at Craster’s I cringed right away because the mutineers wouldn’t be able to subdue and capture a direwolf. Bran and the Reeds getting captured by the mutineers wasuncharacteristic. Meera is known for her hunting abilities and Jojen has proven that he is beyond clairvoyant and intelligent. They wouldn’t be stupid enough to get caught by a band of drunk rapists. It did nothing in terms of moving the story forward. We already knew Bran could warg into Hodor. It was filler. The problem is that it made Bran and the Reeds look foolish and spent too much time on characters who mean very little to the overall story- Rast, Karl and Locke.

    Now we are on episode 8 of the season and have had a total of about three minutes of build up for the impending Wildling attack. Instead of adding filler that made Bran and co. look foolish, they could have maybe had Bran see a vision or two of Mance and his army gathering. The one series of visions Bran had by Warging into the Weirwood tree was great.

    I could write a book on the missteps of the show runners from this season alone. I always enjoy watching the episodes on demand the next day so I can fast forward through the scenes that diminish major characters’ story lines. I still think the show is great despite a handful of major blunders.

    #1. Warg and do what with summer, walk around? Sounds fun. Plus… You said “We already knew Bran could warg into Hodor” so let me say the same for you. We already knew Bran could warfare into summer.

    #2. Too bad the Direwolf was not really the Direwolf but Bran warged so…. Being captured made sense.

    #3. As much as I love coldhands on the book. It will come out looking cheesy on the show. (Go watch Marvel for those type of heroes)

    #4. Meera didn’t look like she was hunting but instead on recon with the rest of the group so yes any hunter could be captured if distracted.

    #5. How do you know they were drunk? I saw Karl drinking the night before but not the following morning.

    #6. Why Vision to see Mance group when we will get to see them on episode 9 and 10.

    So far GoT fillers>>>> your fillers

  130. Storm of S-Words
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

    Harrold Hardyng wrote:

    I have detailed in previous posts how the Craster’s Keep scene was a mess. I didn’t realize my criticism was causing so many hurt feelings.

    I could write a book on the missteps of the show runners from this season alone. I always enjoy watching the episodes on demand the next day so I can fast forward through the scenes that diminish major characters’ story lines. I still think the show is great despite a handful of major blunders.

    Harrold Hardyng,

    While I don’t disagree with some of your critiques of the show, the problem is that here you are on a fan site spending most of your time complaining about everything you don’t like about the show. You even fast-forward through parts of the show… not what I call fan behavior. Critiquing is fine, but someone who goes on a fan site and complains relentlessly about the product is going to annoy a lot of people who come to learn and chat, not hear their favorite writers, scenes, and characters disparaged in unfriendly language. That’s why you get the response your getting. I used to post occasional complaints here but I quickly realized I was venting for my own benefit, not anyone else’s, so I resist the urge and I’m happier for it. The show is flat out amazing, and nothing is perfect.

  131. UnbowdUnbentedUnhodor
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

    Recap is out!

  132. UnbowdUnbentedUnhodor
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

    jorah the explorer is definately getting the boot

  133. Hodor Targaryen
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

    Harrold Hardyng,

    The points on Jojen and Meera are fair enough.

    I don’t think that a series of visions and warging really makes for a compelling storyline. Visions are cool on their own, like the one in Episode 2, but if the only scenes Bran has until Episode 10 are visions and looking through summer, the magic would get dull pretty fast.

    Not sure how you can criticize the show for featuring characters that didn’t contribute to the major plot (Karl, Locke, Rast) and still advocate that they should have had scenes with Coldhands instead.

    Your criticisms are constantly just comparisons with what they could have put in from the books, instead of looking at how it stood on its own, absent whatever may have happened within the source material. It brings up a double standard that is too easy to apply from a book-reader perspective. It’s okay for Dany to free slaves in Season 3 and rule Meereen in Season 4 (instead of going to Westeros), but Jon Snow killing the people who killed the Lord Commander last year so that they don’t give info to Mance is considered “filler.” Arya can be passed around between the Night’s Watch, the Lannisters, the BWB and the Hound but once Bran has non-cannon kidnapping it’s a waste of time.

    No hurt feelings here, just tired of criticism being framed in the form of insults aimed at D&D, I just think it is rude and all to common in the fandom.

  134. Harrold Hardyng
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

    Storm of S-Words,

    Well put. I absolutely vent my frustrations for my own benefit too. I am a little taken aback at how upset people get about wic.net forum posts. After all it is a television show and I am not insulting anyone’s mother, am I? I would of course praise D&D if I met them in person but I would have to ask them about some of the dubious scenes from this season especially. I have a love/hate relationship with the show. Here’s hoping they do the book justice in the last three episodes because we Sullied know there will be some major scenes

  135. Kells
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

    Harrold Hardyng,

    Love/Hate is the perfect way to describe it! I get so fed up with D&D and the writers but do love the show, love the cast and, for the most part, really appreciate how TPTB have run things. There is shit I could do without and a lack of development for some characters that I feel could provide a wealth of material but if given a choice, I would take the show how it is, than not at all.
    When the source material is as massive as ASoIaF, we all know somethings are going to suffer. It sucks because GRRM has written some memorable characters that do contribute a lot to multiple POV character arcs. But what really sucks is HBO doesn’t have a blank check and 1000 episodes to give the showrunners, so they can give the Sullied their story too.

  136. Kidney Pie
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

    I think the problem really lies in the fact that book readers see all source material as gospel, and exaggerate how bad all the changes are.

  137. Jeb
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

    Kells,

    Hear hear. Finally a more balanced view. We sullied sullied want everything to be the same, but there are so many things that prevent a word for word adaptation , many outside D&D’s control.

  138. ArgonathofBraavos
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

    Good Lord, books purists are acting as if the showrunners are adapting a classic like Lord of the Rings. The books are fun, but they are essentially glorified soap operas. The show has elevated the source material to high drama, and they should be applauded for that. Peter Jackson took masterpieces and turned them into ho-hum action flicks with little depth. Benioff and Weiss have taken “high trash” fantasy and breathed sophisticated artistry into them. One of the best shows on TV in history, made from some engaging, yet ultimately mediocre books. We should all be grateful!

  139. Harrold Hardyng
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

    Jeb,

    Jeb, by lashing out, using the c word and insulting my personality I think it’s reasonable to infer that you are upset. If this is so, I take back everything I said about your mom. Errr, wait, I never said anything about your mom. I was criticizing Game of Thrones. I think you should count slowly to ten and take a deep breath. Whatever it is that is upsetting you, whether it be my posts or something personal, it will all be okay buddy. Don’t let anger get the best of you. We’re all pulling for you to cheer up.

  140. ArgonathofBraavos
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

    I do have to stand up for Bran, though. His storyline is one of the more lyrically wonderful ones in both the books and the show, which gives the story a nice air of secondary reality without seeming like more “War of the Roses with dragons,” which characterizes most of the rest of the books. Apart from Tyrion, who I also love in both books and TV.

  141. Kidney Pie
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

    Harrold Hardyng,

    Oh for heavens sake. That is not on. You can’t throw the sort of stuff you were at D&D, and then chastise someone when someone acts on their defence.

    Book purists.like you ought to take a long hard look at themselves. Grrm is far from a literary god, believe you me, and if you think he is I genuinely pity you.

  142. Patchy Face
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

    ArgonathofBraavos,

    Really? Could not disagree more – the thing I like abou GoT. ( book and show) is that it smashes genres. I would say it is much more like a political thriller than a soap opera. Guess you haven’t watched Downton Abbey. There is a soap!

  143. Luka Nieto
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

    StrokemeMarg,

    In my opinion, Dany’s characterization is remarkably better in the show. This season she started as a very authoritarian leader, but she is now learning to hear the counsel of her advisers and discovering that ruling is not the same as conquering and that morality is not so black and white. Also, instead of being all lovey-dovie for Daario in a very childish way, we saw Dany using his body as a kind of power play.

    I may be alone on this, but I think Dany’s storyline has great potential next season. The reason people find it boring is because it’s all seen from Dany’s perspective, which is much more teenager-y in the books; the plot itself allows plenty of opportunity for fascinating stories and interactions. Contrast this with Bran; many people find it boring because not much happens… and indeed, not much happens in the show either, even if they tried to remedy that. In this case, there is plenty of material, and shifting the focus to the more elaborate King’s Landing style of storytelling would make the Meereneese plot great.

    What I mean by this is that, even in the books, the politics and machinations in her story before Meereen are much less complex than those of King’s Landing or, hell, even the Wall. Until now, she has been a more straight-forward fantasy conqueror. However, as we saw in the last couple episodes, the real life consequences are starting to materialize. That’s why I think season five will be great for her story: we will get a whole new plot of court intrigue and war strategy, very much like what we’ve seen in King’s Landing. Native characters will have time to be fleshed out again, like Drogo and to a lesser extent Xaro Xhoan Daxos were, instead of the almost interchangeable representatives from Astapor and Yunkai of Season 3. Also, with Dany settled in one place, it means we will get the kind of scenes the show has slowly become famous for: two characters strolling around court talking about politics and machinations. This means they will be able to adapt her ruling of Meereen, not betraying the major events, yet changing the specifics. Win-win.

  144. ArgonathofBraavos
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

    Patchy Face,

    Oh, I enjoy the books very much. And perhaps I should amend my description and say that they are a political thriller/ soap opera/ fantasy. I could not put them down!

    But they are nowhere near the same league as, say, the Lord of the Rings.

    In that context, I think Benioff and Weiss have performed a near miracle. They have taken enjoyable, yet far from very high-quality books and turned them into one of the most critically-acclaimed shows on TV. No small feat, to say the least.

  145. Ser Ice
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 11:50 pm | Permalink

    Ser Davos Seaworth,

    hold up there smuggler…thats speculation

  146. King in the North Carolina
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 12:28 am | Permalink

    Tyrion Pimpslap,

    Just what I was going to say. Last week’s Tyrion-Jaime exchange was by far the biggest indication so far that it WILL be in the show.

  147. Luka Nieto
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 12:40 am | Permalink

    King in the North Carolina,

    Yes. I thought so too. I don’t actually like it, because it’ll probably come out of nowhere and go nowhere, but it seems they are going to do Jaime’s revelation about Tysha. Before that meaningful close-up of Jaime, I was 100% sure they would simply ignore it. Now I’m confused, because it feels so irrelevant for Tyrion in the show, yet I don’t see any other reason for Jaime’s look.

  148. Abyss
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 12:57 am | Permalink

    ArgonathofBraavos,

    I have to side with Patchy Face here. Calling ASoIaF ““high trash” fantasy” couldn’t be more off from the truth in my opinion (yes, I know you qualified that later :))

    While I love LotR, it established the tropes that later were and are used in formula fiction in the fantasy genre (the evil overlord, the powerful magical artefact, etc.). Needless to say that these tropes had been used before, but they are specifically dominant in the fantasy genre, and at least part of the reason for that is the success of LotR. That is of curse not Tolkiens fault, but from a standpoint of literary criticism ASoIaF does something of importance by braking these tropes, as Patchy Face pointed out. By doing that ASoIaF is more rooted in reality than LotR and is therefore a better work of literature in my opinion.

  149. Broken Wolf
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 1:08 am | Permalink

    Luka Nieto,

    Luka Nieto:
    King in the North Carolina,

    Jaime’s revelation about Tysha. feels so irrelevant for Tyrion in the show.

    Dude, irrelevant? seriously?

    That event has haunted both of those men all their lives, and for different reasons. Tyrion, because it makes him doubt whether he ever love a woman again, and Jaime, because he had to tell a huge lie to his brother, when he’s the only one who hasn’t criminalised Tyrion for his birth as a dwarf and the death of their mother.

    I don’t know how much more relevant you can get.

    Especially since Tyrion has just been betrayed by a woman he loves.

  150. Tatters
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 1:21 am | Permalink

    ArgonathofBraavos,

    Just because GoT is classic fantasy doesnt make it below ‘Tolkienesque’.
    Besides that, soon Grrm will be more accomplished, the way he pumps out history books. And they are good too.
    Just because Tolkien is god for some of you, grrm is coming and he play for the keeps. See what happens when you put a proffesor against maybe the most acclaimed fantasy author.

  151. Tatters
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 1:28 am | Permalink

    ArgonathofBraavos,

    Lord of the rings have little depth on screen, cause the book is ridicolusly written.
    Any adaption is bound to be the same.

  152. ArgonathofBraavos
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 1:30 am | Permalink

    Abyss,

    This is a common statement made about LOTR, and it usually betrays a very superficial understanding of very complex material (the story isn’t so much about good vs. evil as it is about death, deathlessness, the modern vs. the primordial human spirit, and the dehumanizing influence of modern sources and instruments of power, for example).

    But to the point, people often bring up the Dark Lord “Sauron,” vs the infallible King “Aragorn” as proof positive that the story is painted in simplistic black and white brushstrokes.

    But this ignores the thrust of the story. Frodo Baggins, the sacrificial lamb of the books, ultimately fails in his quest and claims the Ring as his own. The character of Gollum is as morally grey as anyone in ASoiF, as is Saruman, Boromir, Denethor, Theoden, and on occasion – Gimli, Legolas and Gandalf, who perform some morally questionable actions (such as counting their slain victims). Also think of the Rohirrim “singing as they slew” their enemies, or the Dunlendings and Southrons who fought for Saruman and Sauron, respectively, being pardoned by the men of Gondor, and recognized as not “evil,” but deluded by their former masters.

    There are “symbols” of evil in the story, such as Sauron and orcs. But these are symbols. Most of the actual characters in the story struggle with their flawed natures as humans, dwarves or elves.

    In the end, LOTR is both a far richer world in terms of thematic material and world-building. There’s an unsurpassed depth there.

    GoT sketches characters in perhaps a more modern fashion, but it is so very far from being “literature.” I loved reading them, but they do not offer the profundity that Tolkien offered.

    GoT, the show, however, comes closer. Which is why I believe the show is a superior work of art to the books.

  153. Tatters
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 1:30 am | Permalink

    ArgonathofBraavos,

    Sophisticated artistry? You need to read ADWD.

  154. ArgonathofBraavos
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 1:33 am | Permalink

    Tatters,

    The films are such pale imitations of the books that they are, IMO, not even worth comparing.

    Ridiculously written? Sounds like you’ve never read them.

    I enjoy GRRM’s writing, but he would be the first to tell you that he doesn’t even come close to the literary quality of the Lord of the Rings.

  155. ArgonathofBraavos
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 1:38 am | Permalink

    Tatters,

    I’ve read all five books, the Dunk and Egg stories, plus the snatches from Winds of Winter. I enjoyed them all immensely.

    But the show, through a combination of dialogue and characters that are written in a more authentic fashion than in the books, and inventive direction and cinematography, occasionally capture a glimpse of the “sublime” that GRRM never really does.

    Tolkien was able to capture both the sublime and the truly horrifying. Hope and despair are painted so vividly that they are seared into our minds. GRRM’s work doesn’t ever do that for me. But Benioff and Weiss occasionally take me there.

    I like George. I really do. But he would never, ever claim to be the great writer so many label him as. He’s a good TV-conscious writer, and that’s that.

  156. Abyss
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 2:04 am | Permalink

    ArgonathofBraavos,

    What you just did there is a personal analyse of the material. That’s not what I did. I only pointed out that LotR established the tropes of modern ( formula fiction) Fantasy. You would have a hard time finding a literature professor who says otherwise. Even if I had a “superficial understanding” of LotR (which I don’t) it wouldn’t matter. I talked about tropes, meaning the main structure of the narrative, which are by definition superficial. – And please let not get in the whole debate what is “literature” and what is not, we both know that it leads nowhere, unless you are willing to say that (in the wide sense) it is everything written. ;-)
    I never said the story of LotR has no depth, btw.

  157. oracle86
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 2:07 am | Permalink
  158. ArgonathofBraavos
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 2:15 am | Permalink

    Two more quick points:

    1. Realism does not equal literary quality. Franz Kafka and Kurt Vonnegut are two 20th century literary greats, and there’s little that’s “realistic” about their stories. The same goes for the fine arts. Is that guy at the mall who paints really realistic portraits a better artist than Picasso, because the latter’s paintings are less technically “realistic?” I sure don’t think so. In this sense, even if the events of LoTR seem “less realistic” than those of ASOIAF, that certainly does not reduce their literary quality. Tolkien does indeed deal more directly in “abstracts” than GRRM, but then again, so does Matisse!

    2. There’s a difference between “realism” and “truth.” For me, GRRT captures some compelling realism in terms of the inner monologues of characters and the consequences of their actions in an unstable and insecure world. However, for me Tolkien captures far more “truth” about fundamental human desires (such as the desire to survey the depths of space and time and to ‘commune’ with other living beings) and the human condition in relation his his/ her environment. In this context, “realism” in and of itself is of limited value.

    That said, I believe Benioff and Weiss have explored fundamental truths in a way that GRRM could only dream of. IMO, this is the result of their academic training at Trinity College, Cambridge, where they studies literary greats Beckett and Joyce. I don’t believe GRRM could even fathom the kind of depth that those authors bring, but Benioff and Weiss understand it intimately.

    Great show based on decent books, basically.

  159. Sister Wrister
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 2:21 am | Permalink

    Ashara D,

    Zing!

    And who the fuck are the ” previously TV unsullied”?

  160. ArgonathofBraavos
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 2:27 am | Permalink

    Abyss,

    Understood. But the word “tropes” carries with it a negative connotation, and I reject its use in relation to LOTR (particularly given the degree to which LOTR doesn’t quite follow the “tropes” you describe, such as ending the books with a small-scale and arguably anti-climatic local conflict in the Shire, followed by the mysterious departure/ death of its main character, Frodo).

    LoTR is often accused of sharing the same “tropes” as its imitators, when it in fact contains some highly unique narrative structures.

    Also, just because a work of art or literature ignores (or upends) “tropes,” it does not follow that said work is of high quality. I find GRRM’s approach refreshing, but far too monotonous in its “attack” on those tropes. GRRM can be, especially in the later books, a sort of parody of his own style. Yes, GRRM, we get it. People who you think are main characters in a story can get killed off. Now, what was the point of all this again? :-)

    In short, LoTR and GoT are two very different kinds of stories. But in their respective attempts to capture truths about the human condition, I find Tolkien far more compelling, despite the “tropes” LOTR follows.

    And Benioff and Weiss, IMO, are far closer to Tolkien than they are to GRRM in terms of literary skill and story-telling sophistication.

  161. Abyss
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 2:55 am | Permalink

    ArgonathofBraavos,

    Look, we could debate that forever. Let me just say this:

    1. At least in my book the term “trope” defines nothing more than a specific structure in a narrative (notice that I didn’t wrote “cliche”, which would indeed have a negative connotation.)

    2. The fact that LoTR has “highly unique narrative structures”, whether or not that can be proven, doesn’t mean it can’t have tropes in it.

    3. The claim that LotR has more truth than ASoIaF in it and that that is somehow better than realism is only that, a claim. Whether or not it is true or not I can not say, mainly because you have not made clear what this “truth” is. ;-)

    4. In my opinion if a work of literature brakes classic fantasy tropes, it is, as I wrote, more rooted in reality and that makes it better, not using or not using tropes in general. (Nothing wrong with a few tropes, btw. You can’t avoid then anyway, there are simply too many.)

  162. Valyrian Plastic
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 4:04 am | Permalink

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-v7DP7t4uw

    The recap for Mockingbird is up now, and Jorah’s betrayal is DEFINITELY in!!!

  163. Tatters
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 5:04 am | Permalink

    ArgonathofBraavos,

    Its clear you havent given fair chance to both stories. Tolkien is a better and more sophisticated storyteller? Please, Tolkien is hardly a good storyteller. He is a historian. Grrm is widely embraced as the best storyteller today, alongside Steven Spielberg, Vince Gilligan etc. He is certainly the underdog, with unstoppable narrative and momentum. Telling stories within narrative and outside of narrative momentum. Capable of crafting character without featuring them in several arcs pointed to serve that specific character; making the pages belonging in the phycosphere of a more important character than the one featured.
    Stannis, Doran, Dany and Jaime most of all. These have subsidiary arcs.
    Fancy words, but i say Grrm is the best storyteller and crafter of narrative today, without regrets. This is art, its purposefully written. Grrm is a perfectionist, which is why editors wont edit more. He wont let them. Lets just see what he has in store.

  164. Lannistergal
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    Billybob:
    Interesting that Sansa is playing with her wedding ring. Does she miss Tyrion? Is this more future book plot spoilers?

    I sure hope so (yes Im a shipper!:P)

  165. Annara Snow
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    Lannistergal: I sure hope so (yes Im a shipper!:P)

    I wouldn’t hold my breath if I were you.

    It could happen on the show only if they decide to completely diverge from the books. In the books, it couldn’t be clearer that it ain’t gonna happen.

  166. Annara Snow
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    ArgonathofBraavos:
    Good Lord, books purists are acting as if the showrunners are adapting a classic like Lord of the Rings. The books are fun, but they are essentially glorified soap operas. The show has elevated the source material to high drama, and they should be applauded for that.

    This statement is so hilarious that I can’t even honor it with treating it seriously.

  167. Annara Snow
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    StrokemeMarg:
    Harrold Hardyng,

    The Arya/Hound scenes this season are among the series best, just read the critics and notice the rising viewership, which speak for themselves. The tavern and eat more chicken scene was better than the books and Arya’s kills at the end of that scene were far more brutal, cold and chlling than book Arya screaming and repeatedly stabbing the dude.

    Probably because of the lines they took from the “Mercy” chapter from The Winds of Winter.

  168. Mormegil
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    ArgonathofBraavos:

    That said, I believe Benioff and Weiss have explored fundamental truths in a way that GRRM could only dream of. IMO, this is the result of their academic training at Trinity College, Cambridge, where they studies literary greats Beckett and Joyce.

    D+D were never at Cambridge. They met and studied at Trinity College Dublin.

  169. Mormegil
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    So is Craster’s Keep really so famous that it will be written in Big Letters on a Map of Westeros that may well have been produced in Essos?

  170. Turncloak
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    HBO’s episode 8 foreshadowing is up on YouTube. Looks like Jorah getting banished is pretty much confirmed now.

  171. Turncloak
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    Valyrian Plastic,

    Yup also noticed that

  172. Valaquen
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    Mormegil:
    So is Craster’s Keep really so famous that it will be written in Big Letters on a Map of Westeros that may well have been produced in Essos?

    Could be a Westerosi map (nothing to say otherwise) and Craster’s has been of utmost strategic value to the Watch for years. So, aye. I’ve seen less important places highlighted on maps.

  173. queenofthorns
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    I’m excited but wary of Dany banishing Jorah. It’s absolutely one of my favorite scenes in the book because (IMO) it is two DEAR FRIENDS parting because of a misunderstanding but where both of them have a leg to stand on morally.

    Dany knows that not only was Jorah a liar from the first moment he met her, he KEPT spying long after he swore his sword, life, and basically his soul to her, and even worse, he never had the courage to admit what he did could have led to Dany’s death (and it very well might have, had he not decided to change his colors). Yet, she intends to forgive him if he will only admit that he was wrong.

    Meanwhile Jorah knows that above all he will in the future be loyal and steadfast to her, because he basically worships her, and shouldn’t that be what matters? Who cares about the past, etc etc.

    So I love both characters, I both their actions are understandable, it’s a classic tragedy…

    However the charcterization of Jorah especially has me worried for how this will play out in the show. In the book he’s quick to anger, stubborn, and never admits he’s wrong even when clearly he is (e.g. slaving, spying, whatever). In the show he’s nothing like that – he comes across as quiet, patient, and calm most of the time – quite the opposite of the book character. Meanwhile, we won’t get any of Dany’s inner thoughts about how much she cherishes Jorah as an adviser and how difficult this decision is for her (based on the fact that they have ignored this side of Dany’s characterization entirely). So, either D&D are going to suddenly reverse course on Jorah’s character or Dany is going to look like a monster when he admits he did wrong and begs for forgiveness and she refuses.

  174. Ayrakills
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    Jorah getting banished this episode makes sense. Dany has dragons to lock up in ep 10. Plus Jorah needs time to travel to where he meets Tyrion. He’ll be off screen for 4 episodes, 5 at the most. My guess is they meet up in 5×03 or x04. Even with the new characters I think the show is gonna zip right thru AFFC/ADWD. Boil those bloated behemouths down to the barest of essentials

  175. Guy
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    Agree with those above me who would enjoy a speculation thread as to whether or not the tysha reveal will occur.

    I also was beginning to doubt it happening until the scene in mockingbird. However, I’m still not completely sold and wish i could provide more intellectual insight but as of now, I believe it to be a 50/50 chance

    Any more thoughts from either side??

  176. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    queenofthorns,

    Yes indeed…Jorah is painted differently in the books than in the show. Nice summary. My guess behind the Jorah photo is that Jorah is planning strategy when the “Tywin letter” arrives and is verified. I guess it all depends on its content, which I am sure is intended to violate any integrity that Jorah (and maybe Selmy) has built with Dany. It may even be a letter of “Thanks” for their service to the King! In any case, I think both will be accused and Jorah chooses to be banished. I’m looking forward to how this plays out.

  177. Thoros of Brooklyn
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    Levi Agee: http://www.farfarawaysite.com/section/got/gallery4/gallery8/gallery.htm

    The Dany photos definitely look like they could be doing Jorah’s exile this episode…

  178. Taylor Swift
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    Arya and The Hound is heeeeeere! <3 <3 <3

  179. Mark Wulf
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    Hodor Targaryen,

    I absolutely agree, D&D do a fantastic job. Do I like all the cvhanges they made? No, but they have to juggle so many characters and plots and streamline them into the structure of a weekly TV-series. I think, they are doing a tremendous job. I remember the fan-outcry over the ommission of Strong Belwas. But his part was very easily given to Daario Nahaaris and it worked. Edric Storm? Replaced with Gendry, and it worked well. Pairing Briene with Pod from the beginning? Nice idea.

    Many favorite characters, like Jon, Daenerys, Theon disappear in the books or have storylines going nowwhere for a while, so we get the “Where are my dragons?” in season 2, Bran getting caught at Crasters, Theon gets tortured, Arya learning hard truths from the Hound. Sometimes it works, sometime it’s a little grating, but I understand, that they need to make 10 hourlong episode scripts from the source material and integrate favorite characters.

  180. Luka Nieto
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    Broken Wolf,

    With Tyrion’s inner monologue in the book, it is of course very relevant to his character. In the show, however, most viewers won’t see is as such. In the show, it was explained once, three seasons ago. Then it has been referenced a couple times at most.

  181. Luka Nieto
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    Broken Wolf,

    I’m talking about ShowTyrion, while you are obviously basing all of what you said in BookTyrion. With Tyrion’s inner monologue in the book, it is of course very relevant to his character. In the show, however, most viewers won’t see is as such, since Tysha’ story was explained once, three seasons ago. We didn’t even get her name; narratively, it was a way for Tyrion to get to know Shae, with whom she has had a much more relevant relationship in the show. After telling the story that one time four years ago, it has only been referenced a couple times at most. Casual fans will not remember it. Avid unsullied fans will get it, but they won’t be able to find it as dramatic as book readers, because they haven’t had the same build-up. That’s why it’s irrelevant for Tyrion in the show.

    If they do it, I just hope they do it right and focus on the breach of trust that it entails from Jaime; they shouldn’t treat it as a “great revelation”. If they make it a purely character-driven scene, it could work.

  182. ArgonathofBraavos
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    Mormegil,

    Apologies! I meant to say Dublin.

    In any event, Benioff and Weiss are better writers than GRRM by a long shot, and I believe their respective academic backgrounds is a large part of that.

    I can appreciate if people enjoy ASOIAF more than LOTR. But claiming that they approach anywhere near the literary quality of LOTR? Very, very questionable.

    But this is a little outside the point. The main thing is that Benioff and Weiss have taken popular “pretty good” fantasy books and made critically-acclaimed shows out of them. Jackson took some of the most beloved books of the twentieth century and turned them into a turd salad.

  183. Roekest
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    Tyrone Lannister:
    These pretzels are making me thirsty!

    You are awesome. I needed that

  184. Maester Lauren
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    I don’t see how Tysha reveal by Jaime could be left out. Bringing in Shae, and having her tell so many intimate details of their relationships has wounded Tyrion at his most essential spot– his sexuality. It’s what breaks him. And THAT storyline is that much more gutting when the truth of it finally comes out.

    I can’t imagine another reason for the detour in his escape, other than to confront Tywin about Tysha

    Plenty of other conversations from S1 are being brought back this season…

  185. Ours is the Fury
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    Some of you need to cut it out with the insults; personal attacks on one another will be deleted.

  186. Tatters
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    ArgonathofBraavos,

    Do you know anything about Grrm really?

  187. Tatters
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    ArgonathofBraavos,

    Also- also a tagline for showpurists
    WHERE ARE MY DRAGONS!

  188. Mrs. D. Ranged in AZ
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    jentario,

    the Hound is mortally wounded

    With a uncleaned bite wound, the Hound is already mortally wounded. Humans have tons of bacteria so he’s already screwed. He might get wounded again, but technically speaking they don’t have to do anything more to him but wait until the infection starts. Blech!

    Samantha,

    Even if they received the pics at 2100+, any self-respecting web site admin would reduce the size for posting. That kind of size/quality isn’t necessary. Odds are they did get them from HBO, since they normally do, and they modified them before posting them. Nothing weird about that.

  189. ArgonathofBraavos
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

    Tatters,

    Sure do. Have read everything he has written, read his commentary on his website, and watch most interviews where he’s featured.

    Do you know him personally?

  190. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

    Mrs. D. Ranged in AZ:

    With a uncleaned bite wound, the Hound is already mortally wounded.Humans have tons of bacteria so he’s already screwed.He might get wounded again, but technically speaking they don’t have to do anything more to him but wait until the infection starts.Blech!

    The Hound should have let Arya cauterize the wound with the firestick first, not simply wash it out and sew it up. Do you really think he will succumb to gangrene though?

  191. Mrs. D. Ranged in AZ
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

    FINALLY have my recap/review of Ep 7 Mockingbird up….hope you enjoy it!

    http://drangedinaz.wordpress.com/2014/05/28/20-things-about-mockingbird/

  192. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

    Greenjones:
    Igor Veloso,
    Indira is beautiful!

    I am not ready for Ellaria’s anguish!

  193. Ashara D
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 11:31 pm | Permalink

    ArgonathofBraavos,

    Hmmm…GRRM attended Northwestern University in Chicago. I believe that qualifies as a VERY high quality education.

  194. ArgonathofBraavos
    Posted May 29, 2014 at 12:05 am | Permalink

    Ashara D,

    Sure, though a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in journalism (which to me makes sense, as there’s a rather dry literalism to his writing that reminds me of journalistic writing).

    Benioff and Weiss both have PhDs in literature.

  195. Sister Wrister
    Posted May 29, 2014 at 1:07 am | Permalink

    Hodor’s Bastard,

    . I think he will be severely out of shape for a fight, due to the bite wound. I like this adaptation, because this handicap will make his fall more believable…

    Ashara D,

    Speaking of Chi-town……. DAMN! What a game!

    And speaking of this Podunk town I’m currently passing thru for work related travel…. Today I saw “Stark’s Vacuum”. AND “Doran Automotive”

    Who knew??!

  196. ArgonathofBraavos
    Posted May 29, 2014 at 1:16 am | Permalink

    Turncloak,

    Link? Don’t see it anywhere.

  197. Daniellica
    Posted May 29, 2014 at 1:21 am | Permalink

    ArgonathofBraavos: Sure, though a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in journalism (which to me makes sense, as there’s a rather dry literalism to his writing that reminds me of journalistic writing).
    Benioff and Weiss both have PhDs in literature.

    Are you implying that the quality of a writer is obvious by his or her education? Degrees are not what make writers great. Reading and writing and experience and empathy and intuition and all those other bizarre, alchemic ingredients that go into one’s mind are what makes good writers, painters, musicians, artists in general. Quality of writing and especially enjoyment of an author are both very subjective. I happen to find a lot within GRRM that speaks to essential human truth, even in very small character moments.

    I agree that D&D have done a phenomenal job, but to me the books and the show are separate, if related, experiences. Something doesn’t have to be Joyce to be great writing; sometimes plain, upfront language is what a story requires. It doesn’t always have to be about parsing metaphors and digging for symbolism. There is a place for that, but it is not what makes a great writer. Plenty of obtuse, bloated, insufferable tomes are full of that stuff, as are many pieces of exquisite work.

    The argument is a matter of taste, which is a poor foundation indeed.

  198. Poor Ned's Head
    Posted May 29, 2014 at 1:40 am | Permalink

    Nice photo of Indira Varma. Surprised to find out that she will be playing Calpurnia in the film (pre-production) Caesar alongside Sean Bean (Caesar), and three other GOT stars: Isaac Hempstead Wright (Octavius), Mackenzie Crook (Cassius), and John Bradley (Casca).

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3185182/?ref_=nv_sr_1

  199. jentario
    Posted May 29, 2014 at 4:20 am | Permalink

    Poor Ned’s Head,

    Wow that’d probably be a cool production. It’s a GoT get together!

  200. Tatters
    Posted May 29, 2014 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    ArgonathofBraavos,

    You seem to be so stuck up about D&D, but not Grrms immense background.
    Winning Hugos for thirty years.
    He is better at writing tv than D&D, look how the episodes written by Grrm, Cogman and others are better more often than D&D. The pointy end, What is dead may never die, The old gods and the new, Blackwater, Dark wings dark words were better than the premiere even with juggling more characters, Kissed by fire, The Bear and the maiden fair singlehandedly elevated Jons ruined storyline, The lion and the rose, The laws of gods and men. You may notice that these are the very best of Game of Thrones.
    Baelor and The rains of castamere is two of the best episodes, with how they stay faithful to the books iconic scenes. The rest of those episodes are pretty average.
    Notice how the episodes by Grrm is more tightly written.

  201. Annara Snow
    Posted May 29, 2014 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    Daniellica: Are you implying that the quality of a writer is obvious by his or her education? Degrees are not what make writers great.

    Oh, you know they are. Look at that hack William Shakespeare, he was called out by his peers, “university minds” for having no university education, and Ben Johnson said in a eulogy he knew no Greek and little Latin, obviously his grammar school education couldn’t have taken him far…

  202. Annara Snow
    Posted May 29, 2014 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    Poor Ned’s Head:
    Nice photo of Indira Varma.Surprised to find out that she will be playing Calpurnia in the film (pre-production) Caesar alongside Sean Bean (Caesar), and three other GOT stars: Isaac Hempstead Wright (Octavius), Mackenzie Crook (Cassius), and John Bradley (Casca).

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3185182/?ref_=nv_sr_1

    Wow, this is interesting! And I was just talking about Shakespeare…

    Is this real? Lots of GoT actors in the cast. Ned and Bran Stark as grandfather & grandson/adoptive son. It’s a very young cast, aren’t some of them too young for their roles? Mark Antony was around 40 when Caesar was assassinated, ditto for Brutus, and they’ve got 20-somethings in those roles. Though at least they’ve got a skinny guy playing Cassius for once…
    Is anyone familiar with Tom Weston-Jones? I wonder if he’s strong enough for such a big role as Brutus, who’s practically the lead in the play.

  203. Annara Snow
    Posted May 29, 2014 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    Luka Nieto:
    Broken Wolf,

    I’m talking about ShowTyrion, while you are obviously basing all of what you said in BookTyrion. With Tyrion’s inner monologue in the book, it is of course very relevant to his character. In the show, however, most viewers won’t see is as such, since Tysha’ story was explained once, three seasons ago. We didn’t even get her name; narratively, it was a way for Tyrion to get to know Shae, with whom she has had a much more relevant relationship in the show. After telling the story that one time four years ago, it has only been referenced a couple times at most. Casual fans will not remember it. Avid unsullied fans will get it, but they won’t be able to find it as dramatic as book readers, because they haven’t had the same build-up. That’s why it’s irrelevant for Tyrion in the show.

    If they do it, I just hope they do it right and focus on the breach of trust that it entails from Jaime; they shouldn’t treat it as a “great revelation”. If they make it a purely character-driven scene, it could work.

    Yes, we did get her name. It particularly stuck in my mind because I was surprised that Peter Dinklage pronounced it as “TA-I-sha” rather than “Tee-sha”, which would make more sense since Tysha said in the book that their names went together, “Tysha and Tyrion, Tyrion and Tysha”.

    Casual fans won’t remember it? Like they didn’t remember who Jon Arryn was? That’s why recaps are for; they put a scene from season 1 where Ned and Cat were talking about Lysa’s letter, and problem solved.

    The show is generally bad with showing what people are thinking. Going by what we see, Arya doesn’t even think about Jon. One more reason why the books are much better and richer.

  204. Ashara D
    Posted May 29, 2014 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    Sister Wrister,

    Ikr?! That’s my ‘Hawks!

    Daniellica,
    I knew I liked you. You go, girl! :-)

  205. queenofthorns
    Posted May 29, 2014 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    ArgonathofBraavos: Benioff and Weiss both have PhDs in literature.

    lolwut? Most Lit PhD’s are people who realized they might not make it as (fiction) writers so they might as well become college profs… Or, they are people who are more interested in reading and analyzing literature than in being writers.

  206. cosca
    Posted May 29, 2014 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    Tatters,

    Dark Wings, Dark Words and The Bear and the Maiden Fair are two of the worst episodes the show has done.

  207. cosca
    Posted May 29, 2014 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    Tatters,

    Also, I find it baffling that you could say that they’ve only written two great episodes. The Wolf and the Lion, A Golden Crown, Fire and Blood, Walk of Punishment, And Now His Watch Is Ended, Second Sons, Two Swords and Mockingbird were all far better than average.

  208. Sister Wrister
    Posted May 29, 2014 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    Annara Snow,

    This was my first thought as well…. Very young cast. almost everybody seems aged down…..
    Do you think Sean Bean’s character will die?!!!

    Ashara D,

    I didn’t have a dog in the fight until now. :)

    Daniellica,

    I think your mic just fell through the floor. Well said!

  209. ArgonathofBraavos
    Posted May 29, 2014 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    Daniellica,

    No, that’s not what I am implying. I am judging Benioff and Weiss primarily based on their writing for GoT, and I find it to be more nuanced and accomplished than GRRM’s writing. I also find them to be infinitely more interesting than GRRM when discussing the story and characters during interviews.

    Their writing, and their commentary, makes it clear to me that they really understand how to convey truths about the human condition in a nuanced way. I attribute that to their intelligence and their experience, but I don’t know enough about them to qualify that. The only thing I do know about them is thay have PhDs from Trinity College, Dublin, and that they studied Beckett and Joyce. That learning, IMO, comes through significantly in their writing.

    On the other hand, I find GRRM’s writing to be “pretty good” in the context of most fantasy, but not exceptional. I find it to be a bit formulaic (eg. his stock descriptions of food, use of “faux-medieval” terms like “jape” and soap-operaesque “conflicts” and “dramatic reversals”), and I find his “world” to be rather thin – just stage-dressing for his characters to romp around in. And there’s nothing lyrical in his use of language. He uses words simplly to drive plot forward, not to illuminate greater depths, as Tolkien or Joyce or Rushdie might. But there’s a pace and an urgency in GRRM’s style that causes one to turn the page for hours and hours without letting up. This style reminds me of some journalistic writing – hard-driving narratives with scant details tacked on to serve the narrative the journalist has constructed. He doesn’t let his words marinate in a reader’s mind.

    There’s nothing inherently wrong with that, but I think it’s certainly less “literary” than either Benioff or Weiss’ writing, or Tolkien for that matter (though the latter is more interested in “lingusitic” depth than “literary” depth).

    That’s all I mean to say.

    Again, I love GRRM’s stories. I re-read them almost every summer on my trips to the coast. But I believe the showrunners have topped him, and wish that these showrunners, rather than Peter Jackson, had adapted LOTR and the Hobbit!

  210. Mrs. D. Ranged in AZ
    Posted May 29, 2014 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    Hodor’s Bastard,

    I’m foggy on what happened in the books, but I vaguely recall that he was succumbing to an infection and not bleeding to death from a wound…So an infection from a bite wound would work just as well on the show. But they might wound him in an altercation at the Bloody Gate…so it will be moot.

    Since there is a theory out there that the Hound lives after Arya leaves him and is actually alive on the Quiet Isle (was that the name?), if the show has him die, then that theory will be disproven or at least we’ll know that he isn’t important to the outcome of the series. That would be a HUGE spoiler for book readers.

    I can’t wait for this Sunday!!!! :)

  211. Mrs. D. Ranged in AZ
    Posted May 29, 2014 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    Hodor’s Bastard,

    I know me too…I dread seeing her grieve.

  212. Mrs. D. Ranged in AZ
    Posted May 29, 2014 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    ArgonathofBraavos,
    Daniellica,

    Argonatho…you completely missed her point about your opinion being a matter of taste. If you are comparing writing styles, which does seem to be your major bone of contention with GRRM, again it’s a matter of taste. Would you say Hemingway was not an outstanding writer? Even though his prose is very clean and modern? Would you compare Cervantes or Joyce to Hemingway and then say Hemingway pales in comparison because of style differences? Thankfully great literature is not judged by such things.

    While it makes sense to compare Tolkien and GRRM because they are in the same genre, in many other ways they are worlds apart (pun intended). You say that LOTR is great literature because it explores:

    death, deathlessness, the modern vs. the primordial human spirit, and the dehumanizing influence of modern sources and instruments of power

    Yet you are purposely ignoring the presence of all those elements in GRRM’s writing. He has before ASOIAF written about a dying society and those themes continue in these books. He certainly explores death (who can possibly deny this?!) and deathlessness (zombies, wights, Drogo, Stoneheart, Beric, etc) and the consequences of such things. Furthermore, he purposely dwells on those things that distinguish our modern society from medieval society not only as a means of description and world building but also to challenge the underlying ideas of power, influence, social change, etc. The differences in the modern world and the fictional medieval society is precisely why many things in the books and show offend so many people today (what was acceptable back then, isn’t now–child brides, women’s subservient status, the notion of inherent social status and what that means about an individuals value, etc)–and it’s on purpose according to GRRM.

    He explores socioeconomic issues like the role of banks in fomenting social change, slavery and it’s cruelty, what happens when a society or social order fails–all things that LOTR doesn’t address. He addresses the nature of power and how it affects people on all levels of society–arguably the central theme and most explored topic throughout ASOIAF. Where in Tolkien do you see the plight of the downtrodden poor? Conflict between the social classes? Many of the things that GRRM explores, Tolkien doesn’t. That doesn’t mean we can say that GRRM is a better writer than Tolkien.

    Furthermore, while Tolkien explores some similar themes in a grand, majestic manner, reminiscent of the tales he studied and wrote about as a professor (most notably Beowulf), GRRM takes the opposite approach. He burrows into the head of his characters…the detail of personality, individual history and impressions, interaction between the characters…all the small moments and thoughts that add up to tell, in the end, a very sweeping story. With Tolkien the characters serve the story, but with GRRM the characters ARE the story. Tolkien’s characters are archetypal and pre-ordained to be who they are, where they are–they are destined. The characters are often aware of their destinies and act accordingly (Aragorn is the perfect example of this). GRRM instead shows that while destiny is definitely discussed and considered, one’s expected destiny often doesn’t play out. Most of GRRM’s characters of are ignorant of any destiny at all and take the more modern view that destiny is made not granted by the gods.

    I could write an entire thesis discussing how wrong your conclusion is based on the evidence you have presented but there are only so many hours in the day. In the end, to compare Tolkien and GRRM based on style is pointless and is certainly no basis to declare that ASOIAF is not great literature. Just preface your statements with IMHO and leave it at that. It might save you the hassle of annoying and too-long replies such as this.

  213. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted May 29, 2014 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    Mrs. D. Ranged in AZ,

    The Hound shall live to fill many more graves, I tell you!

    Yes, you are correct. Even though I believe the Hound received a wound that would have killed any other man during his drunken altercation at the Inn at the Crossroads, he lasted several more days with Arya until infection took its toll. I am interested in how this plays out onscreen, with Arya denying him the “gift of mercy” like he requested. Could be a very powerful scene.

    Btw, thx for the recap, especially the comments on being “alone”….quite insightful.

  214. ArgonathofBraavos
    Posted May 29, 2014 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    Of course this is all IMO. We are discussing literature and television, not physics!

    GRRM does indeed explore many of the same themes that JRRT does. IMO, however, GRRM explores them in a way that I find less rich than JRRT.

    I am puzzled by what GRRM focuses on, to be honest. If you’re going to mirror a secondary world so very closely to our own primary world (with, for example, an exploration of banks and tax policy, etc), why not simply write historical fiction?

    To me, ASOIAF is essentially the War of the Roses plus dragons, zombies and an Alexander the Great-esque figure in the form of Daenerys. Personally, I’d rather read stories set in those actual places than in GRRM’s thinly-drawn world.

    Tolkien’s world, on the other hand, while familiar, gives us a refreshing escape into a place that contains the beauties and horrors of a pre-modern world that still stirs in our hearts, but has been largely lost in our managed modern existence. I go to Tolkien’s world to clear my head, and see things (like the sun and the trees) as if for the first time.

    Why go into GRRM’s world, if it is essentially the one we live in now?

    The way I see it, GRRM’s world is very similar to Tolkien’s abandoned conception of his 4th Age Middle Earth, where magic and wonder had disappeared (along with monstrous evil) only to be replaced with petty evil and low cunning. Only in GRRM’s world, the “Middle Earthian” world is on the rise in the form of dragons, white walkers and the children of the forest. That’s very interesting to me, and I hope to see more of this process in the remaining books. As it stands, intrigue in King’s Landing has grown very, very stale…

  215. Maxwell James
    Posted May 29, 2014 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    ArgonathofBraavos,
    Mrs. D. Ranged in AZ,

    This is a strange conversation that I’m only just jumping into, but I was struck by this statement:

    Why go into GRRM’s world, if it is essentially the one we live in now?

    I would counter that there is no value in creating a world that does not in some way reflect our own. The enduring value of Tolkien’s work (which I do like, despite having serious issues with his prose), is that Middle Earth resonates with a common, romanticized image of the past. And its decline/transformation stirs our own thinking about what modernity has cost us. As Tolkien himself observed, it’s an alternate mythology, at least for people of Anglo-Saxon descent (and men – lots of men).

    You’re right that Martin’s world feels more like history than myth, which to me is what makes it more engrossing than Tolkien’s. It’s a fantasy work with psychological realism. Whereas Tolkien imagines a past where we were free of the scars that modernity has brought us, Martin is asking: what if we were this fucked up all along? That alone makes his world more building more effective, in my opinion, because a world with real people in it is more compelling than a world without. In other words, characterization is an essential part of world building.

    I’ll add that Martin also made a major innovation for fantasy literature, and perhaps literature in general, with his limited-POV approach for telling the story. That approach has both allowed him to build a powerful theme throughout his work about the costs of war and the limits of human understanding, as well as heightening the drama because no character can be assumed safe. Finally I’ll note that while definitely imperfect, there’s a strong feminist thread throughout ASOIAF that the show has in some ways improved upon, and in other ways degraded.

    As for his prose? It’s okay. He writes excellent dialogue (it’s no accident IMO that many of the show’s best scenes are drawn almost verbatim from the books), but certainly repeats himself too often, and can go on too long. His sex scenes are consistently terrible. I’m not so bothered by the faux-medieval language, but your view is probably the more common one.

  216. Abyss
    Posted May 29, 2014 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    ArgonathofBraavos: Why go into GRRM’s world, if it is essentially the one we live in now?

    It isn’t. If anything it’s essentially a medieval world, but there are still differences. As for your actual question, Mrs. D. Ranged in AZ made some excellent points about that. Basically because ASoIAF explores the Human condition in a very detailed and interesting way.

  217. ArgonathofBraavos
    Posted May 29, 2014 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think we’re disagreeing in any significant way. GRRM writes primarily in a “low mimetic” style, while Tolkien shifts from low mimetic (the hobbits – note, for example, Tolkien’s description of hobbit postal practices and birthday gift-giving traditions) to high mimetic (Aragorn, etc, who is a character that leaps straight out of the pages of legend).

    I appreciate the extraordinary ability of Tolkien to shift between those styles while creating a seamless secondary world full of sublime beauties and bone-chilling horror – that is familiar, yet different enough to strike at our primordial yearnings as humans that are shackled in a sedentary modern civilization. I also appreciate GRRM’s ability to create such a familiar reality with his stories, and to develop such psychologically complicated characters.

    I just prefer Tolkien’s kind of story, and believe that he is also the greater talent. My guess is that GRRM would agree with that.

  218. Abyss
    Posted May 29, 2014 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    ArgonathofBraavos: I just prefer Tolkien’s kind of story, and believe that he is also the greater talent. My guess is that GRRM would agree with that.

    Maybe he would, maybe he wouldn’t. Who knows? And more importantly, who cares? An author might have the authority when it comes to judging the meaning of his or her work. This is not true about judging his or her talent.

  219. ArgonathofBraavos
    Posted May 29, 2014 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

    Fair enough. But could GRRM ever write a sentence like this?

    Eastward the Barrow-downs rose, ridge behind ridge into the morning, and vanished out of eyesight into a guess: it was no more than a guess of blue and a remote white glimmer blending with the hem of the sky, but it spoke to them, out of memory and old tales, of the high and distant mountains.

  220. Mrs. D. Ranged in AZ
    Posted May 29, 2014 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

    ArgonathofBraavos,

    Why go into GRRM’s world, if it is essentially the one we live in now?

    When I was young (first read LOTR at age 14) I loved it. Rereading it over the years as I aged, I liked it less and less. Not because of repetition (because I’ve read other series many times and my appreciation of those series has grown). Instead I think it is because I now value (and understand) the limited POV that is GRRM’s bailiwick. I can relate to people who have screwed up and seek redemption. It’s an adult story written for adults. Tolkien was and is a fairy tale–a fairy tale that can be appreciated by both children and adults, but still a fairy tale. IMHO, I prefer the gritty reality of GRRM. I think it is MUCH harder to write about the gradations of good and evil and the minutiae of character without falling into stereotypes and archetypes than it is to write a tale where good and evil are almost perfect (note I said almost, Tolkien does make clear that that the ring calls to the Evil within people and therefore everyone has evil inside of them, but it’s nothing compared to GRRM’s exploration of it).

    Maxwell James,

    Martin is asking: what if we were this fucked up all along?

    Yes, that’s it in a nutshell…absolutely perfect!

    Hodor’s Bastard,

    the comments on being “alone”….quite insightful.

    Thx…the concept of being on one’s own really sunk in when I read a GRRM interview (Rolling Stone maybe) where he talks about his Father being an alcoholic and how distant he felt from him. Add that to my own life experiences and then in this last episode the Hound’s talk with Arya–it all clicked into place. :)

  221. Daniellica
    Posted May 29, 2014 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

    Annara Snow: Oh, you know they are. Look at that hack William Shakespeare, he was called out by his peers, “university minds” for having no university education, and Ben Johnson said in a eulogy he knew no Greek and little Latin, obviously his grammar school education couldn’t have taken him far…

    Some people think this for true. I’ve never understood decrying an author one does not like as a “hack” simply because the writing doesn’t agree with you. I knew this guy who decided halfway through Lolita that Nabokov was an overrated swill artist who did nothing but throw fancy words at people. If I wasn’t such a lady I would have punched him in the face.

    I knew I liked you. You go, girl! :-)

    Likewise, madam :D

    Sister Wrister: I think your mic just fell through the floor.

    So bend over…and pick it up. Slowly, now. *objectifies*

    Mrs. D. Ranged in AZ: While it makes sense to compare Tolkien and GRRM because they are in the same genre, in many other ways they are worlds apart (pun intended).

    Totally agree with all you said. I often argue that ASOIAF isn’t in the fantasy genre at all, but is more of a quasi-historical/political/familial/character drama that just happens to have dragons in it. Genres are, for the most part, defined by their tropes, and the fantasy genre has thematic/dramatic tropes that are the very things GRRM is supposedly breaking. Or maybe it’s the new genre of anti-fantasy. :P

    As far as GRRM’s world, it is similar to our own in that there are human beings who get into complex and messy relationships, and I know what a castle is, and a sword and a pie and gravy (especially gravy!), but it is still very different from our own. GRRM has said he didn’t want to write it as historical fiction because then you are obliged to follow history…and there would also be no dragons or White Walkers or this underlying tension of mystery and danger brought about by the unknown becoming known again, aleithia, bringing into light that which was once in darkness.

    But the books and the show both do an amazing job of stitching together this Other world with layers of history and religion and custom and fashion and morality and the interactions of all these things with one another as various individuals from varying lands come crashing together. Finding how each of us reflects in the facets of these diverse and divergent aspects is the substance of this series, at least for me.

    Will shut up now. wheeee!

  222. Abyss
    Posted May 29, 2014 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

    ArgonathofBraavos,

    Again something nobody here can answer (I know that it was a rhetorical question ;-)). If I had to guess, I would say yes. GRRM has been a professional writer for decades, switching stiles is not that difficult. And that’s the crux of the matter: Stiles of writing do not define talent. They are just a tool to achieve specific affects within the readers, and the tool might fail to work. Some might find the words you quoted poetic and profound, others gassed and corny. I’m not saying that it is impossible to judge an authors talent from reading his or her work, but it is much more complicated and complex than just looking at the stile of writing.

  223. ArgonathofBraavos
    Posted May 29, 2014 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

    I can’t agree. Words are not just tools for writers. Words are the foundation of stories, and the fabric of writing. Every word written on the page is important. Tolkien probably understood that better than any writer in the 20th century. GRRM probably gets that, but is certainly not as adept at using them. IMO, of course.

    And IMO, those stories that only appeal to “adults” are fundamentally lesser stories than those that appeal to both children and adults (such as Tolkien’s). Children have a wisdom that many of us lose as we graduate into the mundane world of modern “adulthood,” whatever that means.

    Tolkien speaks to those fundamental and promordial human desires that are beyond the sensory, and his words are a fundamental means of fulfilling those desires for a reader (namely, the desire to survey the depths of time and space, and to commune with other living beings outside the human). GRRM speaks to those more superficial (yet just as real) human desires that are mostly sensory and less profound – the sexual, the familial, short-term power, etc.

    They are both very valuable kinds of stories, but I’ll never accept the misguided notion that one is for children, while the other is for adults.

    GRRM is not a more “adult” storyteller than JRRT. He just writes in a way that “conventional wisdom” has determined is “adult.” That’s a boring wisdom that I do not ascribe to.

    That said, I enjoy both their worlds immensely!

  224. ArgonathofBraavos
    Posted May 29, 2014 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

    Not to mention that LOTR and the Hobbit are not just about “good and evil.” More profoundly, they are about the push and pull between humanity’s primordial desires, and the demands of modernity (both the positive demands, such as those that stress “humility” over “pride,” “mercy” over “vengeance,” and the negative demands, such as those that de-personalize and de-humanize daily existence, and stress the “prosaic” over the “poetic” and the “heroic”). And it’s also about the push and pull between hope and despair. In this context, the greatest moments in Tolkien’s works are those “good catastrophes,” or “eucatastrophes” as he called them, when hope emerges at moments of the deepest despair.

    It is these pervasive underlying dynamics that, IMO, give Tolkien his extraordinary staying power with both young people and adults.

    The problem arises when Tolkien is pitted against GRRM in the realm of “realistic portrayals of the spectrum of good and evil,” which is often followed by the assertion that GRRM is better at it.

    Perhaps he is! But who decided that Tolkien was primarily concerned with portraying the fight between good and evil? That’s what most uninformed commentators assume, but it’s simply not the case.

    There are far greater depths beneath the flesh and bones of Tolkien’s narratives.

  225. Abyss
    Posted May 29, 2014 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

    ArgonathofBraavos: Words are not just tools for writers.

    I never sad that. I talked about writing style (which is far more than just the use of words). But there is nothing wrong with calling the words a writer uses tools. It’s not a dirty word.

    ArgonathofBraavos: And IMO, those stories that only appeal to “adults” are fundamentally lesser stories than those that appeal to both children and adults (such as Tolkien’s).

    Debatable, but even if I would agree, are you seriously going to tell me that “The Silmarillion” can be enjoyed by the average child?

    ArgonathofBraavos: Tolkien speaks to those fundamental and promordial human desires that are beyond the sensory, and his words are a fundamental means of fulfilling those desires for a reader (namely, the desire to survey the depths of time and space, and to commune with other living beings outside the human). GRRM speaks to those more superficial (yet just as real) human desires that are mostly sensory and less profound – the sexual, the familial, short-term power, etc.

    I quoted this, because it’s characteristic of your entire line of argumentation during the discussion. Don’t let that rub you the wrong way, but presenting opinions as facts doesn’t get us anywhere. Can you proof that “GRRM speaks to those more superficial (yet just as real) human desires that are mostly sensory and less profound [than Tolkiens]“?

    ArgonathofBraavos: They are both very valuable kinds of stories, but I’ll never accept the misguided notion that one is for children, while the other is for adults.

    ASoIaF is written for adults. And that not an opinion, that’s a fact. It deals with topics like war, sex, rape murder and politics in a much more direct manner than LotR does. Teenager might enjoy it and maybe some precocious children, but it is clearly not written for them.

    ArgonathofBraavos: GRRM is not a more “adult” storyteller than JRRT. He just writes in a way that “conventional wisdom” has determined is “adult.” That’s a boring wisdom that I do not ascribe to.

    I don’t remember anybody saying that GRRM is the more “adult” storyteller than JRRT (as in the more matured writer). And sorry, if you simply not accept the definition of “adult”, there is no ground we can discuss adult storytelling on.

    ArgonathofBraavos: But who decided that Tolkien was primarily concerned with portraying the fight between good and evil? That’s what most uninformed commentators assume, but it’s simply not the case.

    I don’t assume that. But there are always two things to a text. The text and the subtext. On the surface LotR is “just” a story about the fight between good and evil, I don’t see a way to deny that. In the subtext however there is much more, I agree (but I think you give Tolkien a little too much credit…).
    But here is the punchline: ASoIaF too has subtext, which you seem to ignore.

  226. ArgonathofBraavos
    Posted May 29, 2014 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

    I don’t ignore the subtext in GRRM’s stories at all. I just find it to be comparatively shallow (not to mention not very realistic in its incessant nihilism). But I appreciate it nonetheless, which is why I’m here (though I believe the show is superior).

    And if anything, I give Tolkien far too little credit. But he can certainly speak for himself, and has done so, better than I can in his essay “On Fairy Stories” which quite compellingly describes what he achieved in his work: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/On_Fairy-Stories

    I know you enjoy my unanswerable questions, so here goes another one:

    One hundred years from now, which authors’ works are likely to still be read by millions of people? IMO, ASOIAF will be characterized by historians as part of a passing fad for “gritty nihilism” in fantasy, while Tolkien’s work will remain timeless (while also reflecting truths about the 20th century). It’s like the difference between the movie “Road Trip” and “the Odyssey.”

    For GRRM, I feel like the “harsh reality” of his works is a bit of a fetish. It’s almost cartoonishly horrible. For Tolkien, who endured the trenches in WWI and lost every single one of his best friends, the harshness of the world was real. The sorrow that comes from those experiences, as well as the joys that followed survival of those experiences, resonate sharply in Tolkien’s works – especially LOTR. Thus far, real sorrow (and real joy) seems absent in GRRM’s books.

    But I haven’t decided yet. There are still 2-3 books to come, and I suspect that there may be a hopeful outcome.

  227. Abyss
    Posted May 30, 2014 at 12:48 am | Permalink

    ArgonathofBraavos,

    This will most likely be my last respond, many people have tried to explain to you, why your point of view is problematic, and frankly, I feel you will never give us a fair chance.

    What every the case, here goes one last try.

    ArgonathofBraavos: I don’t ignore the subtext in GRRM’s stories at all. I just find it to be comparatively shallow (not to mention not very realistic in its incessant nihilism).

    I wouldn’t necessarily say that ASoIaF promotes nihilism (I assume you mean of life). The characters in the story want to live (Jaime wants to get back to Cersei despite all odds, Tyrion clearly enjoys some aspect of life, despite of his handicap, ect.) But you are right, large parts of ASoIaF are about hardship. You know why? Because that’s realistic (yes, there is that word again), life isn’t all puppies and rainbows. And trust me, reality is much harsher than a book ever could be. There is nothing “cartoonishly horrible” about the narrative in ASoIaF. Just turn on the TV and watch a bit of news…

    ArgonathofBraavos: And if anything, I give Tolkien far too little credit. But he can certainly speak for himself, and has done so, better than I can in his essay “On Fairy Stories” which quite compellingly describes what he achieved in his work

    Interesting, maybe I will read it at some point. But do you really think an essay by Tolkien himself is a good source for judging his very own achievements?

    ArgonathofBraavos: I know you enjoy my unanswerable questions, so here goes another one:

    One hundred years from now, which authors’ works are likely to still be read by millions of people?

    You know my answer to that. Even though I have a pretty okay education in literature I will not make any prophecy about which work of literature will be more popular in a 100 fucking years and everybody who is worth their salt shouldn’t either.

    ArgonathofBraavos: Thus far, real sorrow (and real joy) seems absent in GRRM’s books.

    Once again just a claim, and a very vague at that. Seriously, what is “real sorrow” and “real joy”?

  228. ArgonathofBraavos
    Posted May 30, 2014 at 1:08 am | Permalink

    You’re actually telling me to watch the news in order to determine what reality is? I have lived in 12 countries, developed and undeveloped. I have seen unimaginable horrors in warfare, and often in the same locations and situations, unimaginable selflessness and courage. The world contains multitudes, not just hatefulness and suffering.

    In life, there is joy and sorrow. And in the world of power and governance, there are leaders who get there by being visionaries, there are leaders who get there by being fair and respectful to their peers, and there are leaders who get there by being ruthless.

    For some reason or another, GRRM’s apologists insist that the only “reality” is the cynical kind, where only the ruthless survive. Perhaps that is true of certain societies, but it does not reflect some universal reality. But again, I am hopeful that the last two-three books will redeem some of the honorable characters.

    And who the heck said anything about puppies and rainbows? Are you familiar with the melancholy pervasive throughout the Lord of the Rings, and the horrors that exist there? This either/or mentality (either its dark or Disney) is getting tiresome. Life can be harsh and joyful, boring and exciting. Reality is not just darkness.

    Lastly, “nihilism” has nothing to do with hardship – its a philosophy that essentially devalues “life.” Wonder, curiosity and joy are generally absent in the nihilist’s playground.

    And just as an FYI, that essay by Tolkien is not about his own work. It is about the value and purpose of the “faery story” in general. But I find that it essentially explains the success of the Lord of the Rings, and encourage everyone who enjoys myth and fantasy to read it.

  229. ArgonathofBraavos
    Posted May 30, 2014 at 1:20 am | Permalink

    And to D-Ranged in AZ, who said:

    Tolkien’s characters are archetypal and pre-ordained to be who they are, where they are–they are destined.

    This misses the main characters of LOTR – the hobbits, who are not archetypal at all. They are, in many ways, us. They are the modern characters through which we see the heroic and archetype-infused world of Middle Earth.

  230. Abyss
    Posted May 30, 2014 at 1:54 am | Permalink

    ArgonathofBraavos,

    Look, no offence, but could you please stop putting words in my mouth? I didn’t tell you to watch the news to determine what reality is. We both know that the news are not the goblet of truth. I told you to watch the news to see horrible things (whether they are true or not) and then compare them to the ones in aSoIaF.
    I also never sad that nihilism is hardship. I pointed out that Jaime and Tyrion want to live and therefore do not devalue life. And I disagree that nihilism has nothing to do with hardship (admittedly it doesn’t have to, but it can, because hardship can lead to nihilism) and given that hardship is such a prominent topic in aSoIaF, I thought that was were you came from. Apparently you didn’t. My bad. The puppies and rainbow thing was obviously an overstatement, I would never say that LoTR is about puppies and rainbows. :D

    Thanks for the info about the essay.

    One last point. I would be the last to claim that life has no joy, I love life. The problem I have with a lot of fantasy stores (not necessarily with Tolkiens) is that in the end the good guys are always victories, and the bad guys get defeated, which is of cause not true and therefore paints a problematic picture of the world.

    Okay, I hope we are good now, and things are a little bit settled.

  231. Greysorrow
    Posted May 30, 2014 at 2:09 am | Permalink

    Someone earlier asked “where are the downtrodden poor in Tolkien?”

    I think this sort of misses the point. In Lord of the Rings, Tolkien is giving us a pre-Norman invasion-era myth. Before 1066, Anglo-Saxon England has not a feudal society. It was the Norman French who brought that system into England via the conquest by William and his successors.

    Pre-invasion England was essentially made up of a loose collection of tribes, chieftains and a chosen king (Bretwalda), wherein most of the “small folk” were left to mind their own affairs, usually through the manorial, shire and hundred courts systems.

    Was there injustice in this system? Almost certainly. But it was very different, not to mention more sparsely populated, than the “late medieval” setting of GRRM’s Westeros.

    Essentially, Tolkien’s Middle Earth is a myth arising from a post-Roman (note all the ruins of the once great civilization, Arnor) and pre-feudal, time. Hence, there is far less of an urban or feudal “downtrodden poor.”

    Tolkien was, in some ways, implying that pre-Norman Britain was a better place than post-Norman, and perhaps in some ways, a better place than modern Britain. In some respects – particularly as it regards the freedom of peoples to govern their own affairs – he was probably right. He may have romanticized that past a tad, but it is rooted in historical reality.

    But if your understanding of pre-Renassiance history is simply “everything was horrible back then,” I suppose you could be forgiven for seeing GRRM’s world as the ultimate “reality” of those times. And in terms of the late medieval period, he is mostly right. Those were some difficult times in Europe, where the ruthless tended to win.

    But Tolkien’s mythology centered on a dark age, pre-feudal Northern Europe, which was far less stratified, less populated, more simply organized politically, and more egalitarian because of it.

    Apples and oranges, really.

  232. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted May 30, 2014 at 2:15 am | Permalink

    ArgonathofBraavos:
    For GRRM, I feel like the “harsh reality” of his works is a bit of a fetish. It’s almost cartoonishly horrible. For Tolkien, who endured the trenches in WWI and lost every single one of his best friends, the harshness of the world was real. The sorrow that comes from those experiences, as well as the joys that followed survival of those experiences, resonate sharply in Tolkien’s works – especially LOTR. Thus far, real sorrow (and real joy) seems absent in GRRM’s books.

    I find this discussion quite fascinating and your enthusiasm for JRRT commendable.

    Like GRRM has stood on JRRT’s shoulders and leaped off into his own niche with ASoI&F, JRRT also stood on several shoulders of giants to complete his Middle Earth works. As you know, themes from Beowolf and Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen figured prominently in LOTR. I believe the value of the works by each successive/derivative author is not how they emulate their “giant” but how they extend their “giant’s ambitions” to their respective era. In that respect, GRRM has done JRRT a great service. A hundred years from now, the literary historians will mark the progression from Beowolf to Wagner to Tolkien to McCaffery to Donaldson to Jordan to Martin to ??? and they will note the cumulative contributions of each up to when and where the literary fantasy spectrum resides at that point in time.

    Since JRRT was a WW1 vet and WW2 observer, I was surprised that he did not take the grittiness of LOTR further. Can you imagine the “harsh realities” behind the pillaging of the Rohan and Gondor villages, the scouring of the shire, the battle at Helm’s Gate and Pelennor Fields, the actual physical depravity behind the orcs and Uruk-hai, and the brutal insanity of Gollum? JRRT chose to describe those scenes from a 10,000-ft level instead of the reckless atrocities that they were, as derived from his wartime experiences. JRRT’s escape from his harsh reality was well-described and sometimes startling but almost bloodless, almost romanticized…as was typical for the times.

    Yes, there was moving emotion throughout LOTR, sorrow and glee throughout, even a dose of deus ex machina (with the eagles)…but that is where GRRM leaps off and moves the genre forward. JRRT was wonderful at lore, friendship, teamwork and linguistics (he was even a John Muir-like environmentalist!) but he cared little about the mechanics of the society he created, like economic structure, class hierarchies, religious fervor, zealotry, and disillusion, family and social dysfunctions, and layered political shenanigans. GRRM lives in those details and the vivid darkness that accompanies the fantasy structure while JRRT forcibly managed to keep the shadows to a minimum (even covering wartime acts of genocide running rampant in his novels with sweeping descriptions of battle prep, battles, and the aftermath).

    But I must argue that even JRRT wanted the dark side of fantasy to be known. Power was cursed and men (and mankind) were inherently weak and susceptible to its evil tendencies. The genocide was obvious and many of his dark characters (and denizens of the deep) could be associated with despicable wartime leaders. A dying Frodo could not truly enjoy his accomplishments, he had stared death in the face several times more than he should have been able to tolerate. Bilbo was borderline insane. Saruman did more damage to the land and indigenous villages than many generations could undo. The elves realized their time was coming to an end. Just to name a few….

    GRRM takes those ideas, extends them and warps them, sometimes obviously, sometimes enticingly, sometimes passively, and often disturbingly.

    This conversation can go on indefinitely. Luckily, we are limiting the discussion to just JRRT and GRRM, who occupy only a portion of the massive Venn diagram that we could create that would describe the overlapping themes and ambitions of the many giants who have initiated and expanded the fantasy genre.

  233. Greysorrow
    Posted May 30, 2014 at 2:17 am | Permalink

    Abyss,

    Understood! (This is still ArgonathofBraavos, by the way – I post as a guest, and sometimes change names)!

    Your “puppies and rainbows” statement threw me off, and I do apologize if I gave any offense. I think we generally understand each other, though I do think it’s important to ask “why is a story being told?” If awful people win in the end, does that mean the storyteller is implying that we should be awful? If so, that’s deeply cynical and nihilistic. But I suspect that GRRM will, in the end, give the honorable survivors of the story their due. If Baelish wins, then I will write these stories off. But if the Stark children play a role in bringing justice to the world, I will apologize to GRRM for any offense I have given him!

  234. Greysorrow
    Posted May 30, 2014 at 2:29 am | Permalink

    Hodor’s Bastard,

    Good points! See my last post on Tolkien’s pre-Norman Britain/ pre-feudal-inspired world, vs. Martin’s late medieval world. These were very different places. The former was far simpler politically than the latter. It was largely a pastoral and agrarian society, where affairs were primarily decided locally through quite egalitarian (though not forcibly egalitarian) systems, such as the shire courts and the hundred courts systems. There was certainly some injustice in those times, and Tolkien shows some of that, but there was less “palace intrigue” in that more de-centralized and sparsely-populated world.

    The Shire, of course, is an Edwardian/ Victorian anomaly that is meant to ease us into that more ancient and unfamiliar world.

  235. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted May 30, 2014 at 2:44 am | Permalink

    Greysorrow,

    It’s funny that you were posting that when I was writing my response. It’s absolutely fascinating to me where and how these “broad-scope” authors derive their ideas and worlds from. Thx for your references.

  236. Abyss
    Posted May 30, 2014 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    Greysorrow: I do think it’s important to ask “why is a story being told?” If awful people win in the end, does that mean the storyteller is implying that we should be awful?

    I agree. That’s an important question. It’s basically the old question from school “What does the author want to tell us with this?” (I’m translating from German, no clue what your teachers asked you. :D)
    I would be very cautious with the second part, though. It gets in the dangerous territory of psychoanalytic literary criticism.

    P.S. You shouldn’t switch names here, btw. It confuses the hell out of people. ;-)

  237. ArgonathofBraavos
    Posted May 30, 2014 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    Abyss,

    Will do. I am going back to ArgonathofBraavos, and sticking to it! And I agree with your assessment of the second question. I would never “go there” as a literary critic, but as a reader, I cannot help but feel that if a 7 volume-long story ends with the most ruthless and morally repugnant characters on the top of the heap, that I am preached to about how I should view (and act) in my world.

    Hodor’s Bastard,

    I am also fascinated by the historical sources of an author’s secondary world, and am glad to see someone else as enthusiastic as I am!

    I tend to gravitate towards those worlds that are inspired by the “blank spaces” in history and mythology, where not much knowledge has survived. This is indeed something Tolkien attempted to remedy with his works, which were (only in part) designed to “color in” the blank spaces of pre-Norman Anglo-Saxon culture (whose myths, traditions and practices were largely erased by the invaders). I fond these largely empty “frontiers” of history to be fascinating, just as I find the “frontier” of space to be fascinating. Someone once expressed surprise at my interest in both space exploration and Dark Age history and culture, but I’m very consistent. I like exploring the unknown!

    In the case of Martin’s world, which seems to be based on both late medieval Europe (Westeros) and elements of ancient Persia, Greece, etc (Essos) we know a lot more, historically, about both those periods of time. So when fantasists like Martin use those eras and locales as inspiration for their stories, I can’t help but feel that they are more artificial than Dark Age-centric fantasy. Which is why I prefer to read historical fiction (and nonfiction) about those time periods, than fantasy inspired by them.

    That said, I think you make great points about the “evolution” of fantasy through time. Perhaps Tolkien’s LOTR would have been a difficult sell for modern publishers, and GoT strikes at the zeitgeist of our times, which is a bit more cynical about moral virtue? Though despite that possibility (which we can never validate or invalidate), it seems that LOTR remains the second-most popular book in the world (next to the Bible), based on purchase numbers, and is the subject of a growing number of university courses. So maybe it really did strike the “timeless” chord that so new works of literature do…

    In any case, let’s keep these discussions up!

  238. Ice & Fire Walk with Me
    Posted May 31, 2014 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

    Man, that photo of Indira Varma is simply stunning.

  239. militant marker
    Posted June 1, 2014 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    I think in the episode when Tywin and the council were discussing Dany/Jorah and Tywin asked Mace to fetch him some paper and a quill at that moment, he was sending a Raven to Mereen telling Dany of Jorahs “assignment”. In turn it ends up causing internal deterioration, distrust and conflict and Tywin manages to start it with only a flick of the wrist!

  1. […] and directed by Alex Graves. This is the third of four episodes Graves is helming this season. Photos from this week’s episode have been released, with new images of Ellaria, Sansa, Arya and more. The highlight of the new […]


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