Season 4, Episode 9 – The Watchers on the Wall – Recap
By Ours is the Fury on in Recap.

thewatchersonthewall5

Night gathers, and now my watch begins. It shall not end until my death.” The wildlings attacked the Wall, and clashed with the diminished forces of the Night’s Watch. Now that you’ve had a chance to check out “The Watchers on the Wall,” and assess the damage, check out our readers’ recap and share your thoughts in the comments section below!

Spoiler Note: This post is for those who have read the A Song of Ice and Fire series. As such the post itself and the comments will contain spoilers. If you haven’t read the books yet, you can discuss this episode in our non-book-reader recap. Thanks!

After a season-long buildup and an incredibly sparse lineup in the opening credits this week, the time has come for the wildling army of Mance Rayder and the men of the Night’s Watch to battle.

Jon Snow

On the eve of the battle, Jon and Sam converse as they patrol the Wall. Believing he’s lost Gilly in the Mole’s Town raid, Sam quizzes Jon about Ygritte and being in love. The men discuss the possibility of Sam and Gilly having had a relationship. Attempting to justify his feelings, Sam brings up the interesting point that their vows don’t actually forbid sex- only marriage and fathering children. Jon fails at communicating what he knows about love, and sends Sam below.

wildlings
Not far from the Wall, the wildlings wait, with Tormund regaling his companions with the tale of how he became the Husband to Bears, while Ygritte seethes. Styr antagonizes her, believing she still has feelings for Jon because she failed to kill him, but Ygritte asserts that she’ll be the one to kill Jon when it’s time.

At Castle Black, Maester Aemon finds Sam in the library, and the older man offers his thoughts on the subjects troubling Sam this night- love and the one he’s lost. Aemon points out that love is why Sam has left his post atop the Wall to come read below, reinforcing the notion that love is indeed the death of duty. The maester recalls his days as Aemon Targaryen, and how he fell in love with a girl he remembers perfectly to this day.

Sam and Gilly 2

Outside the doors of Castle Black, a very much alive Gilly turns up, to Sam’s incredible relief. He vows to never leave her side again, no matter what.

But the time for fighting has come. The Walls are manned, barrels of oil rolled out, and torches lit while Ser Alliser Thorne oversees the process. He admits to Jon Snow then, as they see the vast wildling army beneath them, that they should have sealed the tunnel when Jon recommended it.

Sam escorts Gilly and the baby to safety inside the castle but she’s reluctant to be parted from him so soon. He remains firm that he has to fight as a man of the Night’s Watch, but he kisses her before they part. Gilly asks for his promise that he won’t die, and he gives it.

Sam rejoins his brothers outside, and finds Pyp shaking as they prepare for the battle. He’s terrified, and doesn’t know how to handle the weapons. When Pyp points out how brave Sam was, killing the White Walker, Sam explains how he felt in that moment when it happened: “When’re you’re nothing at all, there’s no more reason to be afraid.” But he is afraid now, he acknowledges, because he’s “not nothing anymore.”

Archer

The wildlings including Tormund, Ygritte and Styr run for Castle Black. The army north of the Wall advances with giants and a mammoth aiming for the gate. Far above, the men of the Night’s Watch are as ready as they’ll ever be. Arrows notched and lit, they fire. Bodies fall on both sides, wildling and Night’s Watch both, with arrows flying. Thorne heads down to defend the Castle Black gate and leaves Janos Slynt in command atop the Wall where Jon is stationed. Sam and Pyp are situated on the bridge, firing crossbows at the climbing wildlings. Thorne reaches the courtyard and speaks to the Night’s Watch men, rousing them with his call to arms as the front gate falls and chaos breaks out.

On the Wall, Janos Slynt cracks under the pressure, and Grenn sends him below, leaving Jon in command. Wildlings are scaling the Wall now as Jon once did; archers take aim, dangling over the edge, at the climbers, knocking some off with flaming arrows.

Pyp dying

In the courtyard, the wildlings are dominating, with Styr and Ygritte bringing men down left and right- though they miss young Olly hiding underneath the stairs. Slynt escapes down below the castle, into the very room where Gilly and the baby are stashed away.

Pyp and Sam use their crossbows to take out more men around the courtyard but when Pyp stands again, one of Ygritte’s arrows find its way into his throat.

The giants with their mammoth target the gate on the northern side, prying it open. Seeing the danger they’re in, Jon sends Grenn below to defend the entrance with several men. In the center of Castle Black, Alliser Thorne and Tormund Giantsbane go head to head, with Tormund wounding the other man. Thorne falls off the side of the walkway and is dragged to safety by his brothers, while nearby Pyp dies in Sam’s arms.

Mag

Taking up Pyp’s fallen crossbow, Sam kills a Thenn and has the young boy Olly send him to the top of the Wall in the lift. Sam’s last order to the boy is to grab a weapon and fight the wildlings. Olly obeys, picking up a bow.

The Night’s Watch atop the Wall fight off the attack at the gate with arrows and flaming barrels, managing to kill one of the giants- and enrage the other so he’s able to hoist the gate open with brute strength.

Sam relays to Jon just how dire the situation is in the castle, with Thorne fallen. Snow leaves the Wall to Dolorous Edd, and they head below.

In the tunnel beyond the gate beneath the Wall, Grenn and his brothers brace themselves. The young men are frightened but Grenn leads them in repeating the Night’s Watch oath in order to stand strong against the giant Mag the Mighty as he rushes the gate and knocks it down.

Jon and Styr2

Jon jumps into the courtyard fray, while Sam frees Ghost from his cage. The direwolf takes down multiple men, tearing their throats out. Tormund Giantsbane is hit with several arrows, but Ygritte is going strong with her bow and arrow. Across the yard, she spies Styr and Jon engage, with the Magnar of Thenn seeming to get the upper hand on Jon for a while in a fight, Longclaw versus Styr’s longaxe. The cannibal knocks Jon’s sword aside and bashes his head against the blacksmith’s anvil, but quick-thinking Jon grabs the hammer and smashes it into Styr’s skull, killing him.

Ygritte dying

That’s when he sees her. Her bow in hand, Ygritte finds Jon, but he can only smile at her, as their eyes meet. She’s angry but teary-eyed, and she hesitates.

And then she’s pierced from behind with an arrow through the chest. The boy Olly, whose father she killed, driving him to the Night’s Watch, has shot her. Ygritte dies in Jon’s arms, lamenting that they ever left their cave.

Edd and the men on the Wall succeed in knocking the rest of the climbers off with a giant scythe. Mance’s army is huge but the force sent in this first wave has been defeated. In the courtyard, Tormund Giantsbane continues to fight despite the arrows in him. It takes another arrow, courtesy of Jon Snow, for Tormund to be captured.

Sam and Gilly are reunited, though the romance of the moment is somewhat impaired by the presence of Janos Slynt cringing in the corner.
thewatchersonthewall2

The morning after the battle, Jon makes it clear to Sam the battle isn’t really over. Mance has more giants and mammoths and there will be another attack. He needs to kill Mance Rayder and cause the wildling army to scatter since Mance is the only thing uniting them. As they pass through the tunnel, they find the bodies of their friend Grenn and his cohorts. They died, but so did the giant, and so they had successfully protected the gate.

Leaving behind Longclaw with Sam, Jon Snow opens the gate and heads out to find Mance Rayder.

Ygritte

What I Liked

Kit Harington leading the way – Jon isn’t the easiest character to play, given that he’s not much of a talker (something we saw tonight with his love chat with Sam) on a show full of them, but Kit is making the most of his leading man time, and he carried the show tonight. His smile when he encountered Ygritte toward the end was heartbreaking.

The rest of ‘emOwen Teale, Rose Leslie, Mark Stanley, Josef Altin, John Bradley, Dominic Carter, Kristofer Hivju, and pretty much everyone brought their best game tonight.

The music – The music had me properly on edge at all the right times.

The technicalities of the vow and Aemon – Sure, Sam is just looking for an excuse to hook up with Gilly, but really it’s about time someone called them out on that vow.  But then we also have Maester Aemon bringing it home: that marriage or no marriage, love is the real problem when it comes to serving well. The episode was about more than grand-scale slaughter. The center of it was Jon and Ygritte’s struggle, and the conversation brings it home.

Creative horrors – Like giant scythes knocking people off walls, the cook wielding a ridiculously large cleaver, Jon taking out Styr with a hammer, and more. Marshall is really great at this.

Sam & Gilly – We may be a little ahead of schedule, bookwise, as far as kissing, but it doesn’t bother me at all. It was lovely to have something good in all the carnage. I love these two together.

Chekhov’s Archer – For book readers, once Olly joined the Night’s Watch and started talking about what a great archer he was, some guessed this might happen, and it did. It worked for me.

What I Didn’t Like

 The finish – I know that many were expecting the deus ex machina at the end of this week’s episode, and I was too, but it’s not actually a deviation for the show not to do that. It’s simply going to happen next week instead, because the battle did happen in multiple waves in A Storm of Swords. However, I did still feel like the finish was weak. After Ygritte’s death, the episode sputters out. Jon walking out the gate lacked punch as the finish to an episode as huge as this one.

No Ciarán Hinds? – I wonder sometimes if the Unsullied even remember what Mance Rayder looks like, or really believe he’s that important to the wildling cause. Because we haven’t seen him all year.


593 Comments

  1. tchls1
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

    Great episode!

    EDIT: Alliser!!

  2. Dorne tootin
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

    Effing epic!!

  3. Winter Wind
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

    hodor?

  4. mountainDuwe
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

    WHERE THE FUK IS STANNIS

  5. Javi Marcos
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

    If this was a joke episode, I can not find it funny

  6. Sansa's Knight
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

    daim

    1 episode left

  7. Neil
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

    Slynt! Cowardly fuck.

  8. howland reed
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

    Stannis is going to be on Benny Hill speed when he charges.

  9. AStroKreep182
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

    WHERE THE **** IS STANNIS

    AHH GREAT EPISODE BUT NO STANNIS

  10. NewJeffCT
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

    What’s with all the short episodes this season?

    Next week, we have so much going on, don’t we?

    Looks like Stannis offering Winterfell to Jon Stark and Jon being named Lord Commander is next season?

  11. One Realm One King
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

    I know I’m gonna hear a lot of whining from book purists. So.
    The episode was awesome, the battle was intense.
    If book purists don’t like the show, they can keep to reading. Enjoying both as different things is the best course of action.

  12. Victor
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

    Well, I think the episode should have ended with the arrival of f*ing Stannis, but…

  13. Sansa Bird
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

    Saying goodbye to Ygritte was so hard. Bravo Rose Leslie and Kit for bringing that relationship to screen so well. I teared up.

    (Although I did wish it was dragged out a bit, I kinda wanted to hear “You’ll see a hundred castles.”)

  14. gewa76
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

    I called it at the start of the year. Stannis doesn’t arrive until episode 10. Accepting apologies now,

  15. Valyrian Eyes
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

    OMFG DEAD
    ps: it looks like none of you read those sinopses right

  16. Andrew
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

    The first time I’ve really disagreed with something the showrunners did…and then in the fucking preview they show cavalry charging wildlings, wtf. why.

  17. Jen@House Stark
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

    Lots of curtain calls this coming week :( but nicely done episode. Would have liked to have seen Ghost chew more ass, but hey, glad we got him at all.

  18. Josh
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

    Okay now I’m a bit worried.

    Will this season end with Stannis and not UnCat? If so, I’d be REALLY disappointed.

    Also did Pip and Grenn die in the books?

    I was honestly a little disappointed…A bit too much Sam. I felt he was a bit more of a focus in the beginning than Jon.

  19. Turncloak
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

    Awesome episode but I wanted Stannis! That was his heroic moment! =[

  20. howland reed
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

    Fellow Stannis lovers, you seem to forget, Stannis didn’t charge the first night and this battle’s 1st night just ended.

    Just be happy HBO didn’t have some kind of giant love story.

  21. gewa76
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

    Also, since I was right about Stannis, y’all should listen to me this time. Looks like Sandor and Arya are gonna run into Brienne, judging by the preview.

  22. Amanda M
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

    So epic, though super condensed. An amazing battle, loved the giants! Loved the Sam and Gilly stuff too. Had my hopes up for Stannis :( But I guess that’s a good place for both of their storylines to end for the season.

    But what was up with Pyp and Grenn getting killed? No me gusta :(

  23. Yureina
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

    Abrupt ending that was seriously disappointing. They should have ended with Jon seeing Mance, then Stannis, which is what I and doubtless many others expected. Until then, the episode was perfectly fine for me.

    Instead… we have to have that in the finale. One more scene in an already jammed tight episode. This only make me more afraid that they cut something in order to make stuff fit, above all Stoneheart. Please don’t fucking cut that. ;_;

  24. Turncloak
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

    Awesome episode but I wanted Stannis! That was his heroic moment! =[ . Now his pwnage will get lost on all of the climatic events we will get in the finale :’[

  25. Andrew
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

    A 49 minute episode. Were it 20 extra minutes they could have done what they needed to do in this episode.

  26. ReadJunk
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

    I loved the one shot where it was one continuous shot going over the battle. Bummed about Grenn and Pyp but I cheered when Ygritte and Magnar got it.

  27. Sansa's Knight
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:08 pm | Permalink
  28. Jakylla
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

    The episode should have ended with Stannis to have a awesome cliffhanger

  29. Butterbumps
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

    But that long camera-tracking shot though eh? Neil Marshall for 2016!

  30. Turncloak
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

    howland reed:
    Fellow Stannis lovers, you seem to forget, Stannis didn’t charge the first night and this battle’s 1st night just ended.

    Just be happy HBO didn’t have some kind of giant love story.

    I would have been ok with a short time skip at the end of this episode that take us straight to Mance’s tent.

  31. Thoros of Brooklyn
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

    I think those that are turned off from Stannis not appearing really aren’t looking at this episode for what it is.

    I went into this with no expectations for which parts of the Wall plot they would include, and it was a PHENOMENALLY executed episode. One of the best produced episodes of television I have ever seen, and it had me on the edge of my seat the entire time.

    Also, this is now going to lead to possible the most epic season finale of a show ever. Pretty much EVERY character has a huge turn of events coming up.

  32. The shadow lands.
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

    Fucking EPIC!!!!

    One of the best episodes ever. Please stop complaining. Stan is on his way.

  33. Patchy Face
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

    I know I am a hopeless romantic but so sad about Ygritte – poor Jon is crushed. Loved unleashing Ghost! Great episode

  34. Jakylla
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

    I hope the next episode and the next season will bring justice for Stannis.

  35. WeirwoodTreeHugger
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

    Is Alliser dead or injured? Did they make it clear?

    Am I the only still getting logged out every time I post a comment or refresh?

    Am I being punished for not answering those stupid fucking pop up surveys?

  36. JaimeNotJamie
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

    Incredibly disappointed, especially with how it was ended.

  37. Dorne tootin
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

    Am I the only one who thought “Olenna” during Aemon’s monologue?

  38. Ser Tahu
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

    Wait, so there was no “Stannis! Stannis! STANNIS!” this episode?!? I haven’t seen it yet, can someone confirm this? If so, that would pretty much confirm that the election won’t be until season 5.

    Also, there goes my ‘Pyp replaces Dareon in Braavos with Sam‘ theory…

  39. kingthlayer
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

    I am by no means a book purist and I was thoroughly entertained by this episode, but it is a very odd choice to cut out the Stannis charge at leave it for next week. It will just deprive it of momentum, in my opinion. It is especially strange given how they had at least ten minutes left to work with. I know there was a lull in the fighting in the book, but in the visual medium of television it felt strange for the battle to just end without a rescue. Perhaps they didn’t want to end it the same way as Blackwater? Oh well, more to look forward to next week I guess.

  40. Jeff O'Connor
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

    I figured Grenn was going to go down there and die because he was proving such a badass all season. But Pyp. Didn’t see that one coming at all. Either way, RIP, both of you. And Ygritte too. (But not you, other guy. You know who you are.)

    Anyway, um, that’s probably my new favorite episode, personally. Might just top my previous pick, which was 3×04.

  41. C-Cass
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

    Seemed like that episode finished too soon! So much happens at the Wall – I remember how epic it was in the book. The fight with the giant chief at the gate was tragic. AND THE WALL CHAIN was a nice addition ( not for those screaming climbers)…

  42. Huck
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

    Dorne tootin,

    Aemon is at least 25 years older than Olenna, I think. Still possible, but not likely, I’d say.

  43. Tom M
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

    This has gone from “an adaptation” to ” loosely based”. Guess Grenn and Pyp cost too much for Season 5. Who needs ‘em?

  44. Josh
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

    …Weird my post didn’t show.

    I liked the episode though some of the changes were questionable. I liked Ygriette dying randomly, rather than dramatically in Jon’s arms. Did Pip and Grenn die in the books? Jon going off to face Mance without a sword was just sort of arrogant and dumb.

    But overall the fighting was top notch and it was an intense and thrilling episode.

    One more thing I’m VERY worried about.

    Will Stannis’ arrival be the very end of the season and not UnCat? If we don’t get UnCat know I’m not sure when we will.

  45. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

    I loved the episode. Fucking loved it, but it left out the proper ending. I think it was better than ‘Blackwater’, except for the non-ending. Had it been 10 minutes, or so, longer, it would have cracked my top 5 episodes of the series. As it is, I would still put it in my top 10 favorite episodes.

  46. Jeff O'Connor
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

    WeirwoodTreeHugger:
    Is Alliser dead or injured?Did they make it clear?

    Am I the only still getting logged out every time I post a comment or refresh?

    Am I being punished for not answering those stupid fucking pop up surveys?

    1. He’s just injured.
    2. I’m on iPhone so I get a whole ‘nother breed of messed-up here.
    3. It is possible.

  47. Turncloak
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

    Ser Tahu,

    Stannis did not appear. The episode ends with Jon saying hes going to kill Mance as Sam open up the gate for him. Screen fades to white. Next episode :/

  48. dreamlife
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

    Fantastic episode! I teared up when Sam kissed Gilly. I was very sad to see Pyp and Grenn die :( So sad, when Ygritte died.

    The fight sequences were really well executed.

    What can I say?! Jon is finally, finally acting the way I imagined him in the book: kicking ass!

  49. Andrew
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

    That was a great episode; Neil Marshall once again shows why he’s the man for the giant battle episodes. It was really nice that Grenn got to take Donal Noye’s place in the tunnels. I know a lot of people were worried that Ser Alliser would get that honour. Can’t wait for next week! I’m so sad the season is almost over.

  50. Turncloak
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

    Tyrion Pimpslap:
    I loved the episode. Fucking loved it, but it left out the proper ending. I think it was better than ‘Blackwater’, except for the non-ending. Had it been 10 minutes, or so, longer, it would have cracked my top 5 episodes of the series. As it is, I would still put it in my top 10 favorite episodes.

    Yup completely agree it was better than Blackwater. Should have been 10 min longer though

  51. C-Cass
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

    Predicting Stanis won’t arrive till next season…

  52. kingthlayer
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    Sorry all I don’t mean to whine. I was thrilled by the episode on its own, it had amazing production. I’m glad lots of people noticed the long tracking shot, and can’t even imagine how much coordination that took. And the effects were mind-blowing, especially the giants and that gigantic scythe thing. The fighting looked spectacular, I really liked how brutal the Wildlings were when fighting. The Jon v. Magnar fight was just as breathtaking as Oberyn v. the Mountain.

  53. Turncloak
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    WeirwoodTreeHugger,

    I also get logged off every time i refresh and have to re-enter my username and email. Very annoying

  54. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

    Tom M,

    If Pyp and Grenn show up in more than a cameo throughout the remainder of the books, I will be surprised. Jon sent them away in ADWD. I don’t have an issue with them dying. At least Edd is still alive, and he was great in this episode.

  55. Turncloak
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

    C-Cass,

    Wrong, the synopsis states that he will arrive in episode 10 :p

  56. jwal
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

    yeah, knew little no-parents-with-arrows kills Ygritte with Jon watching. Too sad to say “called it!”. He will be Jon’s squire still tho

  57. The Bastard
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

    The long shot of all of the action was fantastic.

    This felt like Helm’s Deep from Lord of the Rings.

  58. Turncloak
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

    Tyrion Pimpslap,

    Fetch me a block!

  59. Tereeza777
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

    disappointing episode – choppy, even some bad editing in places. No Stannis, no Mance, too little Ghost. hopefully next week will be better.

  60. gewa76
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

    Conveniently for the budget, the other giants and mammoths were waiting in the rear.

  61. Gregg Gronewald
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

    Wow! death by ice scythe and chain doesn’t look like good way to die!

  62. WeirwoodTreeHugger
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

    Was any one else afraid they were going to kill Tormund too?

    I called them killing Grenn last year when Donal Noye wasn’t cast, but they went and killed Pyp too so it seemed like everyone but Jon was on the chopping block.

  63. Michel
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

    I can’t believe Pyp and Green died, I really liked their characters in the show and I feel that they D&D are trying (more than they should) to show that heroes die I all the time, come on, these isn’t a Disney show, but they could have been kept. Even GRRM who is a serial killer didn’t kill them. The battle would be still awesome without their deads. It wouldn’t take more than 2 minutes to show a new character called Donal Noye talking in the Castle Black reunions and them him dying defending the gates.

  64. James
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

    Great episode. Bummed that we have to wait a week for Stannis. Still, the giants and mammoth were epic. Grenn was a bad ass, sucks to see him go. Very sad to see Pyp go too. Glad that Slynt didn’t die (book readers know why), Allister and Tormund too. Great to see the 2 fight. Them letting out Ghost was epic, so was Jon coming down and kicking ass. Loved him fighting and killing Styr. The Ygritte scene was appropriately emotional. I knew the kid would kill her, good stuff still! That shot that panned over the battle was awesome. Very awesome fight that I’ve been looking forward to forever. And I’m glad that Slynt and Thorne don’t send Jon out. They’ve already been douches to him. It definitely feels like they’re screwed still, and so to see Jon volunteer to go on this suicide mission is a great call. He is their leader!

  65. Matt N
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

    I’ll start by saying that Iv never been one to diss the show. I think the writers and directors have done a A plus job up to this point. But in my opinion this episode was boring and for the first time ever I’m not watching the episode a second time right after the initial airing. I think that it just did not work like blackwater did. it’s crazy cause I enjoyed reading the wall battle more than reading about blackwater. And don’t even get me started about the lack of you know who at the end. Man, I’m just kinda dazed cause I have always stood by the show when everyone would nitpick changes, rapegate, etc. I have nothing against those who enjoyed it and are writing things like epic and what have you. Honestly I’m jealous, I wish I could have enjoyed and appreciated the episode like you. Hey maybe it will be one of those cases where it grows on me. Maybe it was the overhype. I don’t know. Just bummed to have to admit to myself that I thought a game of thrones episode sucked and it’s one that’s suppose to be considered epic and great. Well I’m sure things will get back to normal for me next week.

  66. Delta1212
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

    Tom M,

    Haha, that’s where you draw the line? Really?

  67. Queenofthorns
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

    Wow that was disappointing. If they are gonna spend the whole episode at the wall they could at least finish the arc. Sad.

  68. Arthur
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

    Come on people, stop worrying about Stannis! If I remember correctly he appeared late in the books as well, right when we all thought The Wall was lost.

    Please get over no Stannis, yet, and look past that and notice everything else… Like how dreaming amazing and action packed this episode was. You guys see all the amazing battles?

    This is as epic as I’ve ever seen TV get. It was basically a fucking movie scene from start to finish.

    Jon Snow just graduated and got his badass diploma, dude is calm under pressure and just a stone cold veteran warrior/leader and he’s still so young.

    So sad Grenn and Pyp died, poor guys….

    But like someone said, D&D have to clear the board to put some new Dornish pieces in the game.

  69. The Bastard
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

    Tom M:
    This has gone from “an adaptation” to ” loosely based”. Guess Grenn and Pyp cost too much for Season 5. Who needs ‘em?

    I laugh when people make comments like this.

    The books are huge with tons and tons of characters. Every single major plot point from the books has been covered in the show so far. Sure they might have different ways of getting from point A to point B, but each major event still takes place.

    This is about as good of an adaption that is humanly possible for a book series of this size.

  70. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

    Tereeza777,

    I thought the editing was perfectly fine, and the scenes flowed from one to the other quite well. I have zero to complain about, other than the non-ending. I thought it was as close to a flawless episode as the show has had.

  71. LordStarkington
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

    I knew a certain subset of fans would overreact to the ending of this (fantastic) episode. I have no idea if spoilers are needed but just in case…

    Inserting Stannis’ arrival would
    (1) Weaken the importance of the Mance/Jon reunion by giving it no time to breathe
    (2) Undermine Stannis’ actual arrival by making it too abrupt
    (3) have been way too similar to Tywin showing up at the end of Blackwater

  72. WeirwoodTreeHugger
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

    If it’s possible, Janos is an even bigger shithead than he is in the books!

    It was weird liking Alliser, but I did. Great performance by Owen Teale.

  73. C-Cass
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

    Three finger Hobb and that CRAZY butchers cleaver – so many epic moments!!! I need to rewatch now!

  74. Michel
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

    Now that Stannis was left for the finale, I can see his arrival been the happy ending scene that Sophie Turner talked about, and not LS.

  75. gewa76
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

    Try to look at it from a non-reader’s point of view. If Stannis showed up at the end to save the day, they might see it as too similar to Blackwater. I think Stannis arriving in ep10 is a better endpoint to the Wall story anyway. No need to rush through the LC election.

  76. ReadJunk
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

    I really, really hope LS shows up next episode. It’s already going to be jammed packed. If not, I guess they will leave it for early on next season but definitely won’t provide the same punch it has at the end of this season/third book.

  77. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

    Sam the Slayer should have fetched a block for Slynt for creepin’ with Gilly.

  78. jwal
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

    did I miss Alliser’s death? I only saw them drag him to safety. But then someone said he was “down” and later Jon snow says no one’s left to command?

  79. TheMannis
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

    People posting crazy spoilers without tags…lol wtf???

  80. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

    Other than the non-ending, what were the episode’s flaws? Seriously, it was fantastic. How can anyone say this episode butchered the books? I thought it was pretty damn faithful.

  81. Jéssica De Freitas Maciel
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

    Turncloak,

    Turncloak:
    Tyrion Pimpslap,

    Fetch me a block!

    I just can’t wait to watch this scene in the show

  82. KG
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

    Well .. Pyp (oh well) and Grenn (dangit) it was nice knowin’ ya.

    And Owen Teale did a super job with his fight; very athletic and believable.

  83. C-Cass
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

    Turncloak,

    Haha really? But so much needs to happen in ep 10! Wow can’t wait!

  84. Tatters
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

    Queenofthorns,

    What do you mean? Arcs never finish they just go on and on…
    Thats just GoT.

  85. Joe
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know if this has been said but to those complaining about the amount of material they need to cover next week I would refrain from fretting. Episode 10′s running time is apparently 66 minutes!

  86. The shadow lands
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

    This episode was the about the coming of age of Jon Show. This episode said to all non book readers watch out for this kid snow. This bastard of House Stark is on the rise.

  87. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

    TheMannis,

    It’s a book reader recap.

  88. KG
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

    Because their tiny lives aren’t complete if they can’t feel superior to those peons like you and I who thought it was great.

    Oh wait … (rummages around) here we go …

    IMO. :D

    Tyrion Pimpslap:
    Other than the non-ending, what were the episode’s flaws? Seriously, it was fantastic. How can anyway say this episode butchered the books? I thought it was pretty damn faithful.

  89. HouseMartellBitches
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

    Man, that was an awesome battle!

    I actually cheered out loud when that badass Giant shot that arrow.

    THAT was a pretty epic fight scene!!!

    And next week “STANNIS”!!!

  90. JamesL
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

    Michel,

    No, actually they killed them off for budgetary reasons. They are adding a lot of new characters next season.

  91. kingthlayer
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

    LordStarkington,

    I agree with all of that. It just felt strange to not have it, just the same. Oh well, can’t wait for next week.

  92. TDubbs
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

    I think it was a blown opportunity and huge misstep not to end with Stannis’ appearance. Not only would it have fit better with the momentum of the episode and stayed closer to the feel of the source material, but it would have offered great thematic symmetry with “Blackwater” to have Stannis show up and save the day two seasons later (to the episode) after having been on the reverse side of that in the Battle of Blackwater. Also, for anyone who still thinks we’re going to see LS in this adaptation (or at least this season), this pretty much guarantees we won’t. There is too much to squeeze into the final episode now, and there wouldn’t be any reason to move Stannis’ arrival to ep10 if they were planning for LS in addition to the few other big moments we KNOW we’re getting. I’m not mad, just disappointed.

  93. falstaff
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

    on a previous post, folks were discussing an interview with Sophie Turner where she remarked upon the season having a very dramatic, but not depressing ending that takes a storyline to a whole new level. I wouldn’t be surprised if the whole season ends with Stannis saving the day

  94. Greatjon of Slumber
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

    It’s important to look at what this episode did, and not what it didn’t do.

    Basically had to make a condensed action film, and it did that. Gave us some great, well-earned character moments (Ok, Sam kissing Gilly? I want to die… :) :) :), that great moment with Maester Aemon and Sam as well, some stirring stuff from Ser Allister Thorne, just great, Grenn urging his men on with the oath of the Night’s Watch, a nice tweaking of the fans with Jon saying, “Edd, the wall is yours,” probably because, well, they sent Grenn below already.

    They kept the tension up nicely, so a really well executed job from Neil Marshall. And while this feels like something of a victory, it’s one that comes with uncertainty – we know the Wildling camp is out there, we know we’ve seen our heroes fall, and the threat hasn’t entirely been vanquished. But it’s something, something big.

    I think the producers and actors did a hell of a job.

    And let’s take all those deaths in turn:

    Pyp – Goddamn it. Just, just, crap.

    The Styr – well, he got what he deserved. And the ‘fookin legend of Gin Alley’ apparently did teach Jon Snow something about fighting dirty. So screw him and he scarred-up people-eatin’ ugly ass.

    Ygritte – To all of you who called Chekhov’s arrow, well, nice call. Good work. It was well handled.

    Grenn – This was a rough one, too. Took Donal Noye’s place as everyone had thought. I liked that they handled that one simply as well – didn’t show anything, just came to Jon and Sam finding the bodies.

    We’ll have to see if Alliser Thorne made it or not; we don’t have a confirmation on him yet, but I did want to see him make it out of there. I imagine he did, but I guess we don’t know, and won’t until next week.

    Great work from all of the actors all around.

    But a big round of applause to Kit Harington. He kicked ass all episode. This was his best episode, without a doubt, and he showed that he could ably carry the show on his shoulders, so in that sense, he becomes the heir to Sean Bean. It’s good to know that other than Dinklage, someone else can carry an episode well among the younger group of actors on the show (Charles Dance could if he was asked to, which would probably involve him reading the phone book and glowering.)

  95. Jack
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

    Stannis fanboys, go F-ing kill yourself.

  96. Polish
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

    Hello? Why are people pissed about Stannis? In the books Stannis doesn’t come until Jok treats with Mance also

  97. nymeria
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

    Yes! I am starting to think they will leave the battle hanging until next season too! They have so much to cover in the finale. That would be very George RR to make the TV folks wait to find out the outcome. At least they have it easier then us book readers! How many years and counting have we been waiting for the resolution to our cliffhanger? I was also very sad to see both Grenn and Pyp killed. Who is going to stand by Jon in the coming intrigues? At least they should have kept Grenn around. I actually liked the Donal version of that scene a bit better. All that being said, I was absolutely on the edge of my seat for the whole episode even though I knew what was coming. I disagree that it would have been good to have Stannis arrive at the end of this episode. It would have somehow made the battle seem too easy. Remember how hard it was for them to hold and how exhausted they all were? I think it really built Jon’s character. Alas, image cannot completely capture imagination.

  98. SillyMammo
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

    jwal:
    yeah, knew little no-parents-with-arrows kills Ygritte with Jon watching. Too sad to say “called it!”. He will be Jon’s squire still tho

    I loved that in any other show, the kid avenging his father would be a fist pumping moment. On GoT’s its tragic and sad.

    The anchor thing on the Wall was awesome!!

  99. Andre
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

    About Lady Stoneheart, just saw one of those quick interviews they air during commercials. This one was given by Gwendoline Christie for HBO Brasil, where she mentions this season she got to work at a proper studio, with calefaction and proper restrooms (instead of being dirty and cold outside as usual). Wonder what scene involving Brienne they chose to secretely shoot indoor…

  100. Croat
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

    I don’t get why everyone’s complaining… Yesy we got that non-ending with no Stannis, but, his episode was ment to (and does) show 1st night of the Battle. It was relatively short, yes, but epic battle scenes redeemed it for me.

  101. Venger
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

    The Bastard,

    Absolutely… it’s pretty amazing how much they have actually put in right from the books. I happen to love the books…. and the show.
    I can’t remember a tv series that kept me looking so forward to the next episode.
    And how bout that blade cleaning off the wall?! Awesome.

  102. TheMannis
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

    Sorry everyone thought spoilers had to be covered in this thread!

  103. The Bastard
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

    If Jon Snow isn’t one of the Top 3 characters from the show after that episode, I just don’t know what to say.

    Kit Harrington is putting Jon Snow in the Aragorn and Obi-Wan Kenobi category of awesome….

  104. fezgod
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

    Tom M:
    This has gone from “an adaptation” to ” loosely based”. Guess Grenn and Pyp cost too much for Season 5. Who needs ‘em?

    Grenn and Pyp probably appear in about 4 or 5 pages in A Dance With Dragons so whether they lived or died during the battle doesn’t change a thing.

  105. Ed
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

    Exactly! FFS People, you whine when they break from the books, then you whine when they follow the books. Jesus Christ.

    howland reed:
    Fellow Stannis lovers, you seem to forget, Stannis didn’t charge the first night and this battle’s 1st night just ended.

    Just be happy HBO didn’t have some kind of giant love story.

  106. LordStarkington
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

    kingthlayer,

    I agree that (as a book reader) it’s easy to anticipate that being what they use to close the episode out but…

    1. It gives more time/room for Mance/Jon to actually talk before you get the Stannis’ charge
    2. It was important to give plenty of time to the Night’s Watch, Sam and (especially) Jon in this episode. They’re one of the major storylines moving forward (Even more so than Stannis, despite what his fans think), and the episode needed to get people invested in them
    3. The whole “too similar to Blackwater” thing
    4. It’s also a bit too similar to Helm’s Deep (which is already aped by both Blackwater and this battle), with Gandalf arriving as morning breaks)

    Yeah, it could have worked out anyway, and I would have been happy, but I think they made a good decision to focus things as they did.

  107. loco73
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

    It truly was a great hour of television! Neil Marshall has been amazing for this show, and I hope he comes back! I think that the fact that they left the episode as is, will play into next week’s extra long a eason finale really great!
    As for the size of the battle, it would have been wrong, speaking for myself, to expect a battle the size of those in LOTR. Whoever has read the novels, they know the numbers out up in the novels about the size of the armies is more realistic…
    Besides, remember this was just the avangarde of Mance’s army! He was just testing the Night’s Watch and their defences. We haven’t seen his entire army, only a fraction of it! This was just one night of bye battle! In a way night time helped the Night’s Watch, they could better hide how few of them there rely were, in daylight that will be impossible…
    That way it makes what Jon is trying to do make even more sense and you-know-who’s arrival even more meaningful!

    Jesus, I’m still shaking…this was outstanding, again! As I said Jon Fucking Snow…and Ghost!

  108. Croat
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

    nymeria,

    Rhey won’t. In preview for episode 10 we see glimpses of battle and we get to se Mance.
    But, I think that the guy who plays Sam said in interview that <Jon’s elction

    won’t happen this season…

  109. Karl Tanner of Gin Alley
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

    Greatjon of Slumber:
    It’s important to look at what this episode did, and not what it didn’t do.

    Basically had to make a condensed action film, and it did that. Gave us some great, well-earned character moments (Ok, Sam kissing Gilly? I want to die… :) :) :), that great moment with Maester Aemon and Sam as well, some stirring stuff from Ser Allister Thorne, just great, Grenn urging his men on with the oath of the Night’s Watch, a nice tweaking of the fans with Jon saying, “Edd, the wall is yours,” probably because, well, they sent Grenn below already.

    They kept the tension up nicely, so a really well executed job from Neil Marshall. And while this feels like something of a victory, it’s one that comes with uncertainty – we know the Wildling camp is out there, we know we’ve seen our heroes fall, and the threat hasn’t entirely been vanquished. But it’s something, something big.

    I think the producers and actors did a hell of a job.

    And let’s take all those deaths in turn:

    Pyp – Goddamn it. Just, just, crap.

    The Styr – well, he got what he deserved. And the ‘fookin legend of Gin Alley’ apparently did teach Jon Snow something about fighting dirty. So screw him and he scarred-up people-eatin’ ugly ass.

    Ygritte – To all of you who called Chekhov’s arrow, well, nice call. Good work. It was well handled.

    Grenn – This was a rough one, too. Took Donal Noye’s place as everyone had thought. I liked that they handled that one simply as well – didn’t show anything, just came to Jon and Sam finding the bodies.

    We’ll have to see if Alliser Thorne made it or not; we don’t have a confirmation on him yet, but I did want to see him make it out of there. I imagine he did, but I guess we don’t know, and won’t until next week.

    Great work from all of the actors all around.

    But a big round of applause to Kit Harington. He kicked ass all episode. This was his best episode, without a doubt, and he showed that he could ably carry the show on his shoulders, so in that sense, he becomes the heir to Sean Bean. It’s good to know that other than Dinklage, someone else can carry an episode well among the younger group of actors on the show (Charles Dance could if he was asked to, which would probably involve him reading the phone book and glowering.)

    Aye, at least the bastard learned something. Looks like he’s on his way to being a Fookin’ legend too mate and he didn’t need a wildling cunt to save him this time.

    Still though I bet the watch wishes they had my legendary skills for this battle…. Fookin’ cunts

  110. Hi-Fi
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

    RIP the hotness that is Grenn

  111. C-Cass
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

    Hodor’s Bastard,

    Slynt’s no good without his goldcloaks doing his baby killing for him back in KL… Gilly would have kicked his ass! Crouched in the corner behind the door… Pathetic

  112. Jéssica De Freitas Maciel
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

    loco73:
    It truly was a great hour of television! Neil Marshall has been amazing for this show, and I hope he comes back! I think that the fact that they left the episode as is, will play into next week’s extra long a eason finale really great!
    As for the size of the battle, it would have been wrong, speaking for myself, to expect a battle the size of those in LOTR. Whoever has read the novels, they know the numbers out up in the novels about the size of the armies is more realistic…
    Besides, remember this was just the avangarde of Mance’s army! He was just testing the Night’s Watch and their defences. We haven’t seen his entire army, only a fraction of it! This was just one night of bye battle! In a way night time helped the Night’s Watch, they could better hide how few of them there rely were, in daylight that will be impossible…
    That way it makes what Jon is trying to do make even more sense and you-know-who’s arrival even more meaningful!

    Jesus, I’m still shaking…this was outstanding, again! As I said Jon Fucking Snow…and Ghost!

    Kit kicked so much ass in those action scenes, i wished we could have seen more of ghost but i’m so happy with what we got!!!

  113. Arthur
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

    The shadow lands,

    Agreed!

    When I read the books after seeing how Jon took charge and just was the main coordinator for The Walls defense, that’s when I started really liking Jon Snow…

    Just like Sansa took a huge step forward last week, so did Jon Snow this week.

    And everything else about this episode was amazing, the battle scenes, giants, one on one fights, Ghost making a cameo, and Sam also became a man this episode along with Jon Snow…

    This episode was really good, IMO, y’all are entitled to your own opinions but I just can’t understand how you could be disappointed…

    I think the problem is you’re just looking to see what you want (and expect) to see instead of what’s in front of your eyes, and because of that you’re missing out on how amazing (what was actually shown) this episode was…

  114. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

    Tatters,

    Stannis didn’t arrive. The episode ended with Jon going out to treat with Mance. The episode is fantastic. Some people are just overreacting to no Stannis. It would have been great to include it in this episode, but it didn’t ruin the episode.

  115. TDubbs
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

    I think it was a blown opportunity and huge misstep not to end with Stannis’ appearance. Not only would it have fit better with the momentum of the episode and stayed closer to the source material, but it would have offered great thematic symmetry with “Blackwater” to have Stannis show up and save the day two seasons later (to the episode) after having been on the reverse side of that in the Battle of Blackwater. Also, for anyone who still thinks we’re going to see LS in this adaptation (or at least this season), this pretty much guarantees we won’t. There is too much to squeeze into the final episode now, and there wouldn’t be any reason to move Stannis’ arrival to ep10 if they were planning for LS in addition to the few other big moments we KNOW we’re getting. I’m not mad, just disappointed. That being said, I still love the show, and understand why changes are made.

  116. Ryan E
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

    Great, great job. Can’t believe the way they brought that to life.

  117. JamesL
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

    Jack,

    It’s not about being a Stannis fanboy, dramatically this episode would have worked better by having him arrive at the end. Saving it for next week will lessen the impact. They could have fit the battle then Jon’s meet with Mance and Stannis’s arrival in under 60mins if they wanted to. They could have had 10mins build up to battle, 35-40mins of battle, and then 6-8mins of Jon’s meet with Mance and Stannis’s arrival.

  118. Dwarf-lover
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

    Can someone answer this ? In season 1 , LC Mormont and Maester Amon were complaining to the visiting Tyrion Lannister about needing more men and resources . Maester Aemon saying that there were less than a thousand men left in the Night Watch . The last few episodes they’ve been harping about having only about a 100 men left . What happened to the others ? I don’t think there were that many members that died at the battle of the first men earlier with the whitewalkers ???

  119. Chaser
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

    I agree with the general consensus. The episode was well done. It just couldn’t have kept the books intact. Think of it as the Battle of the Behind-the-Wall, and let your imagination fill up the action where the real fun was, meaning the mammoths (note the “s”), and the actual 100 000 wildings we were constantly reminded of.

  120. Greatjon of Slumber
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

    House Olivegarden:
    One of the worst episodes of the series, that is a fact, they have absolutely butchered everything i once loved about this series. Time to move on.

    Don’t let the Outer Gate hit you in the ass on the way out.

    Tyrion Pimpslap:
    Other than the non-ending, what were the episode’s flaws? Seriously, it was fantastic. How can anyone say this episode butchered the books? I thought it was pretty damn faithful.

    Amen. This show is not being produced to be your validation.

    HouseMartellBitches: I actually cheered out loud when that badass Giant shot that arrow.

    Yes, and I’ll go DOUBLE on the moment when they managed to fire back and hit him running away (the mammoth was the only smart one there).

  121. gewa76
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

    JamesL,

    I disagree.

  122. Andrew
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

    That scythe was freaking awesome though. Whoever came up with that (Bran the Builder? Or is it more recent?) was a total genius.

  123. WeirwoodTreeHugger
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

    People sure are whiny. The synapsis of episode 10 was a clue that Stannis might not be in the episode.

    I was thinking they would end with an unidentified commotion north of the Wall and would skip the meeting with Mance.

    Holding off on Stannis’ arrival means we get that scene between Mance and Jon. That’s a good thing.

    Seriously, all you whiners. Stick to the flounce. The site will be better without your constant bitching.

    They have yet to cut anything important and they won’t. We’ll get everything we need. Eventually.

  124. Aemonium
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

    Next episode: Stannis and Melisandre, Dany and her dragons, Tyrion & Co. …
    I DO hope the showrunners won’t cut Lady Stoneheart out of the picture!

    Oh, well, let’s not forget the Children of the Forest and the Raven.
    What a packed season finale it will be.

  125. Ryan E
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

    Tom M:
    This has gone from “an adaptation” to ” loosely based”. Guess Grenn and Pyp cost too much for Season 5. Who needs ‘em?

    Cant believe this is what you thought the motivation was. Just think about it. Their characters are gone after this, but their deaths provided great emotional resonance to the battle.

  126. Andrew
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

    Greatjon of Slumber,

    I forgot about that giant arrow cannon they had. That was wild too.

    That bit where the Wildling tried to shoot an arrow to the top of the wall and didn’t even reach halfway, then the Giant steps up and is like “Lemme show ya’ll how it’s dun” made me LOL. That fucker went flying!

  127. TheMannis
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

    In the preview you can see Brienne unsheathing OathKeeper!!!!!

  128. Polish
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

    Ok — so the scythe thing was fucking awesome and all, but wtf were those 10 isolated dudes going to accomplish by climbing the wall? They’d made it near the top and then someone would just kick them down

    AND I’ll say it here but prepare for NO STONEHEART IN FINALE. But she is not cut!!!!!!! Just not in the finale. Next season

    Where can we talk about the preview? Tywin calling Cersei out on Jaime? Cersei Kissing Jaime? Hound and Arya meeting Brienne?????

    Maybe the big CGI shot D&D talked about is a shit ton of Stannis army members charging the scene

  129. Rygar
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

    Props to Ian Whyte who plays a ‘Mountain’ of a giant better than a baby faced boy from The land of Ice.

  130. Tatters
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

    Tyrion Pimpslap,

    Thanks, i am seeing it just now.
    It feels so true to the spirit of the books, like when somebody compared Asoiaf to War and Peace, this episode lived up to that.

  131. loco73
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

    Hats off to D&D and Neil Marshall, Kit Harrington and the entire cast! Outstanding episode, this entire season has been one hit out of the park after another!

    RIP Pyp, Grenn and my sweet kissed by fire Ygritte!!!!

    And huraaaaahhhhh for Jon Fucking Snow and Ghost, the brave souls of the Night’s Watch minus Janos Slynt the foookin coward!

    Bravo to Alysser Thorne!

  132. WeirwoodTreeHugger
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

    I think that anchor-chain killer thing on the Wall was there to make up for the lack of Tyrion’s chain in Blackwater.

    It was awesome.

    Seconding whoever cheered at that giant’s arrow. I don’t remember if that happened in the book. Either way, it was badass. So cool.

  133. Arthur
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

    The Bastard,

    Yup…

    Jon Snow’s balls dropped this episode and Kit is doing an amazing job showing that fact with his acting…

    I can’t wait to watch it again =]

  134. Rygar
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

    Slightly off topic, Julia Louis- Dreyfus’ hair looks ah-may-zing!!

  135. anniej
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

    It is pretty obvious the story line is D R A G G I N G. Many are loosing interest.

  136. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

    House Olivegarden,

    I don’t care about people who were never going to give the episode a chance in the first place. They are prejudiced against the Wall storyline. Judge the episode on it’s own. That was better than Blackwater, in all but the ending.

  137. listen_2_ghost
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

    I’m just gonna say great episode for the most part BUT I AM NOT COOL WITH THEM KILLING PYP AND AND AND!!!!!!!GRENN FOR NO REASON!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Seriously HBO, I normally have your back bur fuck you for those decisions,

  138. Greatjon of Slumber
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

    Tyrion Pimpslap:
    Tatters,

    Stannis didn’t arrive. The episode ended with Jon going out to treat with Mance. The episode is fantastic. Some people are just overreacting to no Stannis. It would have been great to include it in this episode, but it didn’t ruin the episode.

    By no means! More importantly, it makes the episode about *JON SNOW*. Who is, of course, one of the main characters of this whole thing. And all about what he did, how he led, and how he matures. Kit looked awesome, he’s in great shape, clearly, the fight with Styr was truly well done. And it would have been too Blackwater-esque. Even Alliser Thorne, in his own way, imparts great words of wisdom to the guy.

    Dwarf-lover: In season 1 , LC Mormont and Maester Amon were complaining to the visiting Tyrion Lannister about needing more men and resources . Maester Aemon saying that there were less than a thousand men left in the Night Watch .

    Trying to rough this out. 1000 total split between 3 castles. Let’s assume an equal split which is probably not right, so let’s say 400 at Castle Black and 300 at the others. Mormont what, 300 on the ranging? And most of them were killed, leaving a handful to return, so, about 100+ people.

  139. Tatters
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

    anniej,

    Huh?
    What are you watching?

  140. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

    Dwarf-lover,

    Please note that there are about 1000 NW manning ALL the towers along the Wall (only 3 of 19 castles are manned though). They’ll come into play later. A bunch of NW were also lost at the Fist of the First Men battle. Some ranging deaths, defections, falling off the wall, etc…have reduced their number further.

  141. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

    anniej,

    It’s obvious by the climbing ratings. Don’t judge the whole fan base on an occasional complaint on the internet. Season 4 has the highest average episode ratings in the show’s history on imdb.

  142. vysen1
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

    Fantastic episode! Had me cheering several times. Also, the book purists can just suck it and just stick to the books.

  143. Greatjon of Slumber
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 11:06 pm | Permalink

    WeirwoodTreeHugger: I think that anchor-chain killer thing on the Wall was there to make up for the lack of Tyrion’s chain in Blackwater.

    I think that’s a good theory, and it’s another one of those nice ways to throw a wink at the readers, too.

    But seriously it was terrific.

  144. Hartroof
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 11:06 pm | Permalink

    Personally, I don’t really care that they moved Stannis to episode 10. I’m kind of indifferent towards him as a character anyway.

    The action stuff was good. The Jon-Magnar fight was well executed. The special effects were great.

    On the other hand, I thought they paid too much attention to Thorne, the attempts at heartfelt conversations between Sam/Jon and Gilly/Ygritte were a cheese-fest, the battle felt small compared to some depicted on other shows (e.g. The Borgias), and the episode was way too short. (about 48 minutes of actual show)

    I don’t know how I feel about Pyp and Grenn. The inner book-reader in me is fairly annoyed, but since I don’t know what happens to them in the future I can’t get too upset. The direction they’ve gone with Tormund also seems to point towards their cutting Val.

  145. Mrs. H'ghar
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

    That was an AMAZING episode! Yes, it’s sad to see some of our favorites die, but those actors got some epic endings and had not much coming in future seasons if I recall my book lore. More potato peeling or an epic death scene, which would you want on your acting reel? And yeah, Dolorous Edd…he STEPPED UP bro! Of course, the star of this episode was Jon Snooooooow, and he held his own – loved his tumble from the lift and right into kicking ass! Sam also had a stellar episode, and there’s only one complaint I had about his script lines but won’t bother with it as it’s inconsequential. The big surprise was not “no Stannis” (which isn’t supposed to happen until after Jon Snow goes to talk to Mance anyway, not on first day of battle), but MFing Alliser Thorne! That MFer could fight couldn’t he? I agree with those who say “MORE GHOST PLEASE” as that’s awesome to see! All book readers know that this episode followed the MAIN story points as well as anybody could expect for a non “major motion picture” budget. Neil Marshall, we are NOT WORTHY!

  146. House Ray
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

    I’m so concerned no lady stoneheart now. I’m not a bitcher and I love the show but if that doesn’t happen in this I’d be shocked. It could be the ultimate troll – If I had to bet I’d go with yes (cause I’m hopeful) plus the amount of context clues throughout the season have been really high. Cat has been mentioned a lot, Sansa described her being thrown in the river. The truth will be the recap for ep 10 – it has to show her being killed at the red wedding (probably all of the deaths to obfuscate it) then the last 4 min will start with Black Walder getting caught by the brotherhood – but you have no witness! She doesn’t speak but she remembers… I will not be satisfied without it. For the unsullied though who don’t have the expectation, it will be great!

    Lets give our theories on how the last episode will progress!


    1 – King’s Landing recap briefly
    2 – Dany sees what her dragons have wrought. She chains them
    3 – Bran gets to the raven.
    4 – Arya / Hound stuff, Hound dies she boats
    5 – Jamie releases Tyrion
    6 – Jon treats with Mance
    7 – Tywin doesn’t shit gold. Varys ships off Tyrion
    8 – Stannis! Stannis! Stannis!
    9 – Lady Stoneheart

    See how complicated that is? You’re talking 7min average per scene… we’re going to lose something good

  147. DanielHimalia
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

    anniej:
    It is pretty obvious the story line is D R A G G I N G. Many are loosing interest.

    Yes, many are losing interest and the storyline is dragging, that would explain the massive loss of viewers from HBO, and how the ratings are sagging, and everyone’s talking about how this show is going to end after this year.

    Oh wait, none of that’s true.

  148. Rygar
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

    Isn’t e410 almost a hour and a half?

  149. 2awesome4apossum
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 11:10 pm | Permalink

    I’m having a hard time getting any of my comments through … so I’ll try a copy + paste one more time …

    I thought I’d be disappointed with this episode, because of all the hype surrounding it, but it has me wondering what Neil Marshal could have done with “Blackwater” given the proper planning time. Unbelievably cool CGI, and even though I knew what was supposed to happen, I was tense and on the edge of my seat the entire time. Fantastic work. And this is probably the best cliffhanger ending the show has given us yet.

    I understand why some people are disappointed about Stannis, but really, it would have felt cheap to throw that in the end. I agree with the concern about what it does for the finale though … it already feels like there has been so much “filler” this season, and the episodes have been shorter than ever. I hope they pull it off. If we don’t get Lady Stoneheart, I’m going to be very disappointed.

    My only remaining concern is after Oberyn, I’m a bit worried they might try to over-emphasize the “gross-out” factor with Tywin’s death … but I suppose they gave us a censored version of Joffery’s, so who even knows at this point. I’ll probably read the reviews before watching so I know whether or not to avert my eyes.

  150. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 11:11 pm | Permalink

    Hartroof,

    I actually loved the Sam scenes. I didn’t find them cheesy at all. Robb and Talisa was much worse in the cheese factor. I liked Sam more in this episode than at any point in the books or show.

  151. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

    Rygar,

    66 minutes. So, 17 more minutes than this episode. If there are no Sansa or Bolton scenes, then there should be enough time.

  152. Mrs. H'ghar
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

    Rygar:
    I think Slynt banged Gilly.

    I think you might be right you potty-mouthed scoundrel! The look on his face was miiiiiiighty guilty! Or did Gilly keeeeeeeeeel him? Hmmmm guess we’ll see next week!

  153. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

    House Ray:
    7 – Tywin doesn’t shit gold. Varys ships off Tyrion

    Do you think Varys will use the same box he used to transport his wizard torturer? So Tyrion’s last bit of S4 after his Tywin/Shae pleasantries might be him getting in the crate….hmmmm….

  154. jwal
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

    sorry, is Alliser dead? Only saw him getting dragged to safety

  155. Monica
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

    Loved the Jon/Ygritte reunion, glad she didn’t try to kill him & they had their moment.

    Sorry to lose Grenn & Pyp, they died well. Great effects during the battle, just the way I imagined…well done!

    Next week, LS? D&D missed they boat when the scene with Nymeria wasn’t included. There are few enough moments with heart in the books, why can’t they be included for balance? At least I hope we see the BWB, and a hanging Frey or two for Starks’ sake. That has to happen before meeting up with Brienne.

  156. Greatjon of Slumber
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

    Tyrion Pimpslap:
    Hartroof,

    I actually loved the Sam scenes. I didn’t find them cheesy at all. Robb and Talisa was much worse in the cheese factor. I liked Sam more in this episode than at any point in the books or show.

    Thought he was great, and anything involving Maester Aemon is always a delight.

    Also, for the book readers, a bit of a nice tall tale there with Tormund discussing how he fucked a bear once. “Husband to Bears,” indeed. That was some of the great Tormund Giantsbane humor that the show needs a bit more of.

  157. Firannion
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

    Dorne tootin,

    Well, that’s an interesting thought, though I believe that Maester Aemon is supposed to be at least 20 years older than the Queen of Thorns. People who have read the Dunk & Egg stories (myself not among them) can probably clue us in as to who was the love interest of Aemon’s youth.

  158. gewa76
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

    I’m starting to hope there is no Lady Stoneheart next week, just for maximum schadenfreude.

  159. davyJones
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

    blackwater was a better episode, the pacing, score, and visuals all conveyed the scale and importance.

    Todays was really well done and intense but the wildlings beyond the wall needed to have a stronger presence. The lack of Mance and the non ending really hurt the episode.

  160. LordStarkington
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 11:20 pm | Permalink

    House Ray,

    Well

    1. Lena Headey posted a picture of a heart made of stones on her instagram (where she also spoiled the manner of Oberyn’s death) 2. There was a screenshot I saw of a magazine that described a character coming back to life

    3. It doesn’t require much time at all.

  161. Lavignac
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 11:21 pm | Permalink

    Andre:
    About Lady Stoneheart, just saw one of those quick interviews they air during commercials. This one was given by Gwendoline Christie for HBO Brasil, where she mentions this season she got to work at a proper studio, with calefaction and proper restrooms (instead of being dirty and cold outside as usual). Wonder what scene involving Brienne they chose to secretely shoot indoor…

    Unfortunately for your theory, a past episode provides ample explanation: Sword Tower, Jaime presents her with Oathkeeper and an armor after she reads Jaime’s bio off the white book.

  162. Venger
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 11:21 pm | Permalink

    Mrs. H’ghar,

    Well said. Very well said.
    I’m pretty blown away by the quality of production, and talent for a TV Show. Hats off to everyone involved.
    Ladies and Gentlemen….
    John Snow.

  163. C-Cass
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

    Tyrion Pimpslap,

    Sam was amazing in this episode. He’s come a long way since his quivering debut back in season 1. Now he’s inspiring and calming Pyp & the little dude, getting reinforcements down from the Wall, unleashing Ghost, kissing Gilly… Go Sam!!!

  164. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

    Why must Ghost always be in a cage? Get him the hell out of a damn cage and have him help with “the watch”.

    #NODIREWOLFRESPECT

    Kill, Ghost, Kill!

  165. Polish
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 11:24 pm | Permalink

    Sigh, Stoneheart is confirmed, but also confirmed for not this season.

  166. The shadow lands
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

    Jack,

    LMFAO!!!

  167. House Nieder
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

    One Realm One King,

    This is the best view of things IMO.

  168. Ashara D
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 11:30 pm | Permalink

    House Ray,

    I don’t think we’re getting Stoneheart, Arya shipping out, or Tyrion shipping out (prob end at Tywin’s death). we may not even get Stannis other than his name and some fighters charging. BIG cliffhangers for next season.

    Can’t wait to see the Bran and dragon story lines! Cool stuff!

  169. Ragman's Harbor
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 11:32 pm | Permalink

    Alisser Thorne is the man the man to give a speech, I would’ve a followed him. ”I don’t want to end up in a Thenn’s stomach!”

    The Mamoth was, in my opinion, one of the best CGI they’ve aver made. The thing looked real, a lot more than the dragons. Even though the dragons are amazeballs.

    Ygritte: you were a badass, you were hot, but I’m really glad you’re gone. Payback’s a bitch.

    Jon/Kit: I mean, come on! He was the first Molson star of the night, for sure. Killed appro. 6 wildlings and Styr. Which was a well done fight.

    I was frustrated they didn’t put Mance or Stannis in the episode, but I am now glad of it. It let’s the episode breathe much more.

    Neil Marshall, battle of Meereen and Winterfell? Please make room in your schedule.

  170. Eddard Stark II
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 11:38 pm | Permalink

    NewJeffCT,

    Just stop.

  171. Randa
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 11:39 pm | Permalink

    I don’t believe in beating dead horses, so…Can we get some love for Tormund with half a dozen arrows in him still swinging?

    Any theories who Aemon once loved?

    Are we excited for a boat trip now? I’m excited for a boat trip. Every Sam scene tonight delighted me. Did anyone else get chills when he was talking about becoming Nothing when he killed the Walker? I thought it was a nice companion to Arya’s Nothing is Nothing and foreshadows her becoming No One and hopefully a future interaction b/w Sam and Arya. Maybe that was just me.

    AH PYP OPEN THE FUCKING FATE!

  172. gewa76
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 11:40 pm | Permalink

    Ashara D,

    I bet we do get Arya arriving in Braavos. They showed Stannis and Davos sailing under the Titan for a reason: So we’ll recognize it as Braavos when Arya arrives. Also, on IMDB someone is credited in ep10 as Braavosi Captain.

  173. Randa
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 11:40 pm | Permalink

    *GATE. boo.

  174. Dragon Tender
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 11:46 pm | Permalink

    Aemonium:
    Next episode: Stannis and Melisandre, Dany and her dragons, Tyrion & Co. …
    I DO hope the showrunners won’t cut Lady Stoneheart out of the picture!

    Oh, well, let’s not forget the Children of the Forest and the Raven.
    What a packed season finale it will be.

    Not to mention Tywin’s bowel problems.

  175. Ginevra
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 11:48 pm | Permalink

    Dorne tootin:
    Am I the only one who thought “Olenna” during Aemon’s monologue?

    A very cool thought, but the would-be king could hardly be the “some Targaryen or other” that Olenna describes. Such a player as Olenna would never have passed on being *the* queen. And she isn’t that old. Aemon’s supposed to be over a hundred, I believe.

  176. Andrew
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

    Here’s what I am excited about: way more Tormund!

  177. Mariamb
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 11:52 pm | Permalink

    C-Cass,

    Agree; I also loved Sam tonight. John Bradley brings such depth to the role.

    This was Jon’s episode to shine and he did. It was Kit’s best performance. As surprised as I was not to see Stannis, it provided Jon with the opportunity to lead. I’m sure we will see plenty of Stannis next week along with lots of other awesome moments.

    The production values of this show continue to amaze.

    RIP to Grenn, Pyp and Ygritte. You will be missed.

  178. crabber's son
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 11:52 pm | Permalink

    The whole wtf no stannis thing is getting really annoying I was actually hoping there would be no stannis at the end. First we need a proper scene between jon and mance where all hope is truly lost. Unsullied are watching thinking jon is walking to his death. If stannis came all of a sudden the episode loses its focus on jon and shifts it to stannis being the hero and we lose the impact of jons bravery, maturity, and the pain from the loss of ygritte. So far this season has not had a single miss and every episode has been great. Watch the fighting during blackwater and then compare it to some of the things Kit was doing this episode he really did learn a lot doing pompei or whatever. The way he killed the thenn made the whole crasters diversion seem better looking back. The thing im worried about is how they will start next episode. Go straight to the wall or save it for the very end of the episode? I think the best option is maybe split it and do both?

  179. KojjaMo
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 11:52 pm | Permalink

    Still can’t believe Pyp and Grenn are gone. At least they got more respect than Doreah and Irri.

    AND NOW THEIR WATCH HAS ENDED

  180. Firannion
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 11:52 pm | Permalink

    I’m not fussed about Stannis taking his sweet time, but count me among the minority who considered this a ‘meh’ episode, especially positioned as it was at #9. But then I’ve never been one who lives for the action scenes. Seen one hack’n'slash moment and you’ve pretty much seen ‘em all. I always find the one-on-one conversations much juicier – especially if they involve political intrigue.

    I thought that it was weird that any of the Night Watch were left alive by the end, after seeing so many killed out of the tiny garrison. I was sorry to see Pyp and Grenn go, even if they didn’t have much more left to do besides vote. This is one time when people can blame the showrunners instead of sadistic ol’ George for the killing-off of some likable characters.

    I did enjoy the rounding-out of Alliser Thorne’s character; a person can be a jerk but still be brave. And I’m really glad that they gave Maester Aemon a good chunk of screentime.

    I always expected #10 to be a way more satisfying episode than #9 this year, and I’m still holding out for that. Old debts must be paid.

  181. Sunfyre
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 11:53 pm | Permalink

    Awesome episode. I wanted Stannis but I’m interested to see how it plays out in episode 10. Hopefully it won’t get lost among all the other holy shit moments. Can’t wait to see the behind-the-scenes documentary about this episode. Hats off to Neil Marshall for the kickass directing job. Just the continuous moving crane-shot alone sets this episode above most everything you see on television.

  182. Strepsi
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 11:54 pm | Permalink

    I thought the episode was fantastic — better than any genre movie I’ve seen in cinemas this year — it had all the main action of a substantial portion of the book, but condensed, as well as a fitting goodbye to Ygritte… plus amazing GIANTS!

    As a reader and re-reader of the books, to all the folk here who want everything to happen at once, I think the show is smart to parcel it out, and would not be surprised if the end of this book bleeds into next season. Because honestly they have to transition from easily the best and most intense book of the series, to what is easily the weakest and most inert book of the series…. :/

  183. WeirwoodTreeHugger
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 11:54 pm | Permalink

    I know it isn’t book canon, but do the dates match up for Jenny of Oldstones to be Aemon’s love?

    It was she (via a wood’s witch friend) who delivered the prophecy to the Targaryens that the PTWP would come from the line of Aerys and Rhaella.

    I could see Aemon telling Sam about that for next season, to mislead us into thinking it’s Dany even though we know it is Jon.

    ETA: I guess it doesn’t actually matter if the dates add up since the show can change it around.

  184. Porky
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 11:54 pm | Permalink

    Holding off Stannis was the right call. The story was kept to the Night’s Watch and focused on the characters involved in the battle on both sides. I liked that. Plus, the cliffhanger gives Stannis the perfect opportunity to save the day and you can bet viewers will be tuning in. I fully expect Lady Stonehart, Stannis, Twyin and Shae’s death, and maybe Bran having a prophetic vision in next week’s episode. It’s going to be epic next week.

  185. House Nieder
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 11:54 pm | Permalink

    I am so concerned about Lady Stoneheart. And I’ve noticed many others with growing concerns. Will she appear this season? How will they introduce her if not until next season? Am I the only one actively anticipating her reveal? Not even a reveal, just a confirmation. Show the brotherhood being led by a random hooded figure. THAT IS FINE JUST THROW US A BONE.

    The time line is so crazy all over the place.

  186. Brodor
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 11:54 pm | Permalink

    Interview with Qyburn on season 4 and 5!!! Confirms working with the Mountain and having 2 scenes in season 4(we’ve only seen him in 1)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j8Qx10IuKLs

  187. House Nieder
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 11:56 pm | Permalink

    Firannion,

    I totally agree about Thorne! Loved seeing a dislike able character also kick some ass! Not cowering like Joffrey or Janos.

  188. Andy Gavin
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 11:58 pm | Permalink

    The assault on Castle Black is one of the two most complicated battles actually described in the books (the other being Blackwater). I was apprehensive going in, but this episode exceeded all expectations. Possibly, it’s the best extended fight yet put on TV. It a complex multi-theatre battle, and the episode not only pulls it off, but throws in some great fx and emotions too. As always, my detailed thoughts on the episode can be found on my blog.

  189. The Spider
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 11:58 pm | Permalink

    Sansa Bird,

    You do realize that Ygritte was about to fill Jon with arrows Again before she was killed?

  190. Casso
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 11:59 pm | Permalink

    Dwarf-lover:
    Can someone answer this ? In season 1 , LC Mormont and Maester Amon were complaining to the visiting Tyrion Lannister about needing more men and resources . Maester Aemon saying that there were less than a thousand men left in the Night Watch . The last few episodes they’ve been harping about having only about a 100 men left . What happened to the others ? I don’t think there were that many members that died at the battle of the first men earlier with the whitewalkers ???

    I think the “less than 1000″ was for the whole Night’s Watch, split between the three manned castles (Castle Black, East Watch, and Shadow Tower). If they were relatively evenly distributed, that would be a little over 300 in each castle, and I think Mormont took about 200 on his ill-fated ranging to the Fist of the First Men, so about 100 left at Castle Black sounds about right.

  191. Randa
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 11:59 pm | Permalink

    Randa:
    *GATE. boo.
    This will make more sense if my actual first comment shows up…

  192. Shock Me
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 12:01 am | Permalink

    Yeah loved this episode. The only question I had was why there only appears to be one closet in the entire castle. Sam, Grenn, Alliser, and Maester Aemon killed it.

  193. Carol Lang
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 12:02 am | Permalink

    AStroKreep182,

    Staniswasn’t at the first battle.

  194. Tatters
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 12:02 am | Permalink

    davyJones,

    They are splitting the battle, more next week.
    But the ones beyond the wall could have had a greater presence,

  195. Phil
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 12:08 am | Permalink

    There’s no way that Stannis would be in this episode. The battle takes DAYS in the books, there are periods of waiting for the next battle. I actually wish they had spread this out more. Done the prep work last week and maybe the attack from the south, and then picked up this week with Mance’s fire.

    That tracking shot was amazing though. The work that must have gone into that. Plus the guy who got thrown off the wall onto the spike. I wish they would have ended the episode with Jon crying over Ygritte’s body and then Throne’s men drag him away. Then next week would be the plan to kill Mance, and Stannis’ arrival

  196. Dementia
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 12:08 am | Permalink

    THEY KILLED PYP!

    I’m still holding out that Grenn may live…

  197. neo
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 12:08 am | Permalink

    NewJeffCT:
    What’s with all the short episodes this season?

    Next week, we have so much going on, don’t we?

    Looks like Stannis offering Winterfell to Jon Stark and Jon being named Lord Commander is next season?

    </blockquote

  198. Susan
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 12:09 am | Permalink

    RIP Grenn and Pyp. Gone too soon!
    And…has anyone watched Eric the Viking? That Slynt reminds me so much of Loki….

  199. Randa
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 12:11 am | Permalink

    Randa:

    At the risk of a double post…

    –Tormund with half a dozen arrows in him still swinging. Show some love.

    –Everything Sam was delightful. I got chills when he talked about becoming Nothing when he killed the Walker. Made me think of Arya.

    AH, PYP OPEN THE FUCKING GATE!

  200. HARmundGiantsbane
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 12:12 am | Permalink

    Har! Tormund lives!

    https://imgflip.com/i/9fmxe

  201. Polish
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 12:14 am | Permalink

    I am literally telling Stoneheart people that it’s a fact she won’t be in next episode. Read this and heed my warning. BUT she’s not cut. Just use your heads people. Bran — children of the forest — and OH YEAH the fucking three eyed raven // Tyrion – Jaime – Varys // Tyrion – Shae – Tywin // Jon talk with Mance and then STANNIS // Arya – Hound goodbye // Arya by herself getting on boat // Brienne – Pod (though preview makes it seem like this might be combined w/ Hound // Cersei – Tywin and Cersei – Jaime scenes from preview // QYburn and Mountain scene // DAENERYS SHIT …. there is WAY too much for Stoneheart. It’s just logic!

  202. NDC
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 12:15 am | Permalink

    Overall, really great episode. Unleash the Ghost!

    Can’t wait for Episode 10 – “The Book Purists Nightmare” ;)

  203. Phil
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 12:15 am | Permalink

    kinda disappointed they killed off most of the secondary “Jon Snow’s gang” characters.

    quess Jon being elected Lord Commander will be next season, which means they’ll still have stuff from Storm for Jon, plus most of the Dance stuff. Hope they don’t cut Stoneheart, Young Griff, and Greyjoys in order to finish this in 7 seasons.

  204. Zeus
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 12:20 am | Permalink

    As a Stannis supporter I am upset that they didn’t make him the hero but upon further reflection I think they did the right thing. They had Jon do the right thing and have the episode about him. He even learned from Thorne, which I think was key.

    Did they make a mistake by having Slynt be SUCH a coward?. Not sure about that but I can’t wait for Jon to man up and give some Northern justice.

    Loved the episode as a 3x book reader. Liked the changes and the thematic elements as it relates to the series.

    Well Done!

  205. ash
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 12:26 am | Permalink

    But a big round of applause to Kit Harington. He kicked ass all episode. This was his best episode, without a doubt, and he showed that he could ably carry the show on his shoulders, so in that sense, he becomes the heir to Sean Bean. It’s good to know that other than Dinklage, someone else can carry an episode well among the younger group of actors on the show (Charles Dance could if he was asked to, which would probably involve him reading the phone book and glowering.

    Even when I was reading the books I didn’t pay all that much attention to the Wall chapters, so I wasn’t as concerned about the actor playing Jon. But I have seen Kit grow as an actor and tonight he just killed it. Really excellent performance!

    And I have to remind people who are complaining about whats been left out and who was killed off – each of these books were 1000 or so pages If you are going to make a coherent story over a period of limited seasons, you have to cut. It might not be all to our liking, but I think for the most part the writers have done a good job adapting this story and yes changing it so it is a more cohesive product. I for one thought this episode amazing, esp considering I am not a big battle person. I loved the bit with Sam and Gilly, and with Aemon, and Ygrittes death. but I was really impressed by the battle (I practically cheered when I saw the mammoth!) I am sooo looking forward to next Sunday – but Im not looking forward to the ending, because then its going to be a looooong time before next season.

  206. Zeus
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 12:29 am | Permalink

    Can’t wait to see how Elio bashes this one too. Douche

  207. Kevin Lannister
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 12:34 am | Permalink

    Well worth the wait, expectations were met. Some great cgi shots, and that tracking shot WOW.

  208. goldenrod
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 12:35 am | Permalink

    The Bastard:
    The long shot of all of the action was fantastic.

    This felt like Helm’s Deep from Lord of the Rings.

    If only the battle had lasted til sunrise, Stannis and Mel would have shown up a la Eomer and Gandalf leading a downhill charge at first light.

  209. amadea
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 12:36 am | Permalink

    I’ll admit I wasn’t really excited for this episode to begin with because I agree the Mance/Night’s Watch story is dragging. I thought it dragged a bit in the books and I think the timeline in the show causes this particular storyline to lose the momentum it needs.FFS, we’ve been waiting for Mance to attack the wall for two goddamned years! lol! Episode 9 of season four and he still hasn’t appeared. I was really hoping the ep would get a move on, but it didn’t really do it for me. Sure all the action was great and I did like several of the scenes, but we started with the Night’s Watch waiting fot Mance to attack and we pretty much ended the ep in the same place. That was really my big dissapointment. I’ve been waiting for the Wall storyline to turn the corner but it still hasn’t. This ep was kinda just action-y filler for me.

  210. Meg
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 12:39 am | Permalink

    wow Kit was amazing in this ep! I thought to myself “we’ve got an action hero on our hands right here.”

    got goosebumps hearing the horn and seeing the torches on the wall. Unbelievable visuals. For the first time I finally felt some of that Wall magic that comes through in the books. The Wall is my favorite setting in the entire series. The KL fans have the NIGHTS WATCH to thank for their fancy plots down south ;)

  211. dio
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 12:39 am | Permalink

    Polish,

    SPOILER TAGS THERE BUDDY

  212. dio
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 12:41 am | Permalink

    Why are people going crazy? The preview for next week shows Mance and that the battle is continuing…. Stannis will appear for that battle next week.

  213. goldenrod
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 12:43 am | Permalink

    loco73:

    Bravo to Alysser Thorne!

    Just think how much better this battle could have gone for the Night’s watch if Thorne had decided a few episodes earlier to not be a giant tool.

  214. outdoorcats
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 12:43 am | Permalink

    I think by ending earlier than we expected, they really want to mislead the unsullied, make them think that the climactic thing for Jon this season is an attempted assassination on Mance Rayder. Which is great, a seriously intriguing-sounding cliffhanger for the finale which will raise all sorts of questions in their minds. Too bad the promo ruins it! That must have been a serious miscommunication between D&D and HBO if you ask me.

  215. Koles
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 12:44 am | Permalink

    Lino Faciol who plays Robin Arryn is listed in the credits of episode 10. However there is no Littlefinger and Sansa. The encounter that Arya and Hound are going to have might be with Robin and his bodyguards.

  216. Chriss
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 12:44 am | Permalink

    Don’t get all this hatred because Stannis didn’t show up. Reeks of petulance. They’re actually now moaning that the show DIDN’T deviate from the books. Mental.

    My terror, now, is that they are going to miss up the opportunity to have an incredible season finale with Lady Stoneheart. They don’t have to have MF, they could just have a woman with her hood up, and some red hair. That would be enough. It’s just mad not to have that big WTF moment in the season finale.

  217. strokememarge
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 12:45 am | Permalink

    Thank you Neil Marshall another outstanding directorial showmanship. I absolutely loved your long pan of the entire Castle Black fighting, that was breathlessly gorgeous. I know that was difficult because of choreography, lighting, real effects, I like to know how many takes that took, reminded me of Touch of Evil.
    I can foretell you receiving tons of offers for films, some might think once could be a fluke, but with WotW, you proved it wasn’t, and you are the real thing, an outstanding director. Your episode also brought the heart felt nuances needed for the personal moments that I am sure touched the viewers. Thank you, I hope you will return again, unlike Taylor, even though you will undoubtedly become much sought after.

  218. Randa
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 12:45 am | Permalink

    amadea:
    This ep was kinda just action-y filler for me.

    That fucking f word again. And on this one? I can’t…

  219. Bas
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 12:45 am | Permalink

    OK so who was the cloaked lady carrying something above the wildling camp after Ygritte has her spit with the Magnar of Thenn?

    Also, regarding the person who posted earlier this week about the serious foreshadowing tidbit at the end of the episode, is it regarding Jon Snow leaving Longclaw at the wall?

  220. outdoorcats
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 12:47 am | Permalink

    By the way I just want to say that I totally called that Jon would not only kill the Magnar of Thenn, but he would do it by spitting in his face like Karl taught him to. Called it in my head, that is. XD

  221. gewa76
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 12:48 am | Permalink

    Bas,

    That was Gilly carrying her baby to Castle Black.

  222. Midori
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 12:51 am | Permalink

    Dropping Stannis might be the worst decision that the showrunners have ever made, worse even than that abominable Qarth arc and the butchering of the House of the Undying in S2.

    This was supposed to be Stannis moment, his triumphant return and they killed it. Now it’ll be wedged somewhere in the middle of episode 10 with absolutely no impact, partly due to the fact they spoiled it back at the end of S3 as well. Why would you dedicate an entire episode to the wall and not provide the climax to the wall storyline in that episode, especially when the episode is only 48 minutes long (once the intro and the Previously On segment are removed). There was at least another 6-8 minutes that they could’ve used, but unfortunately didn’t. The argument that “Stannis arrival doesn’t happen until later in the books” doesn’t really hold up as the entire siege in the books takes place over an entire week with Styr’s assault and Mance’s assault occurring on separate days. The decision to put them all on the same day nullifies that, I’m afraid. They cut the episode off at its knees and failed to provide resolution.

    For the people afraid that it would be too much like Tywin at the end of Blackwater, well that’s /kind/ of the point. GRRM is a fantastic writer and creates these little situations that parallel each other throughout the entire book. This is one of them, Stannis saving the watch much alike his defeat at Blackwater.

    Between this and the remainder of Stannis’ treatment throughout the previous three seasons, I’m convinced David Benioff and Dan Weiss completely and utterly HATE Stannis. S2′s portrayal wasn’t bad, but they cut the droll sense of humour out of him (am I the only one who remembers “In your bed she’s like to die that way”?). S3 and S4 have just been cruel to Stannis. The beggar king who goes to Braavos despite Stannis’ insistence in TWOW that a King does not flee across the narrow sea, he remains in Westeros? Burning “infidels” instead of traitors? That abhorrent butchery of Davos’ paper shield?

    I guess all and all I’m just disappointed with this bone the showrunners seem to have for Stannis and how they’ve butchered one of the most intriguing, engaging and conflicting arcs in the entire novel. I couldn’t help but laugh the time I read on PreviouslyTV’s unsullied thread where one user thought Stannis would sell the population of King’s Landing into slavery to the bankers of Braavos in order to gain their support. That’s the character the showrunners are portraying to the show only audience. A slaver.

    At least Stephen Dillane is a good actor.

    I’m also disappointed that they didn’t include “Snow, the wall is yours.” “Mine?” “You are a son of Winterfell, the wall is yours or it is no ones.”

    Other than that, the episode was pretty good, given its budget restrictions.

    (sorry if this goes through a few times, it seems not to be posting the couple of times I’ve tried it)

  223. Ser Davos Seaworth
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 12:53 am | Permalink

    Grenn… Pypar… I wasn’t expecting that… but i understand why they did it, they needed characters we cared about biting the dust for the NW, and having Grenn replace Donal Noye and Pyp replace Deaf Dick Follard makes sense. Also if all of our NW bros survived it would make it seem like the battle wasn’t dangerous with only nameless casualties. Edd can’t die!

  224. goldenrod
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 12:53 am | Permalink

    Bas:
    OK so who was the cloaked lady carrying something above the wildling camp after Ygritte has her spit with the Magnar of Thenn?

    Pretty sure it was Gilly with Baby Sam in her arms slipping by the Wildings to get to Castle Black.

  225. strokememarge
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 12:54 am | Permalink

    Finally the Kit Harrington I have been waiting to see your Jon Snow to break the dawn of the grey northern wastes. Kudos Kit for your best performance yet, don’t let up, deliver better every episode. So sad you lost Ygritte, I will miss you MS. Rose Leslie.
    I was amazed at Owen Teale’s performance, I even cheered, no one can hate that character ever again. He is just a hard man like the Hound, a product of a hard life, and I love the touch of wisdom he gave Jon on the wall, a veteran to a protege.

  226. Ser Davos Seaworth
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 12:55 am | Permalink

    Koles,

    that has a 0.01% chance of happening. Also it doesn’t look like brienne to me, why would she not wear her armour?

  227. WeirwoodTreeHugger
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 12:57 am | Permalink

    The top two complaints about the episodes this season.

    1) The episodes are too short
    2) There’s too much filler

    Anyone else see the irony?

  228. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 12:58 am | Permalink

    I expected this to be a fairly polarizing episode. And it’s understandable. Some people just don’t care about the Wall storyline, which is a shame. But you can’t please everyone.

  229. WestEssos
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 12:58 am | Permalink

    PYP and GRENN!!!! NOOOO!!!! :((((((

  230. Hodor Targaryen
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 12:59 am | Permalink

    Putting Jon’s meeting with Mance and Stannis’ rescue at the end of this episode would have caused several problems.

    One, even though this was a relatively short episode, seven more minutes wouldn’t have been enough to have a decent Mance meeting followed by Stannis’ forces coming in. So, the time wasn’t there.

    But more fundamentally, it would have felt completely separated from the rest of the episode. With Styr and Ygritte dead, and Tormund captured, and the first night over, there was a natural conclusion. The episode wasn’t building up to a meeting with Mance, so it would have felt like an afterthought.

    By waiting until next episode, not only does this episode feel cohesive, but the show now has sufficient build up for when we finally see the King=Beyond-the-Wall again. I was critical of the show keeping him offscreen for so long, but by offering the Tormund band as an appetizer, and by ending on the cliffhanger where Jon promises to go and see Mance, the show has done more to make that upcoming meeting more exciting than any brief cameo by Mance would have done in previous episodes.

  231. Turncloak
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 1:04 am | Permalink

    Tyrion Pimpslap,

    I think most fans enjoyed this. Reviewers however have mixed feelings. Can’t blame them as the writing for Jon Snow’s arc has been subpar from seasons 2-3. Lets hope they keep the dialogue from his meeting with Mance. “The horn of Joramund, used to wake the giants from the earth…”

  232. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 1:05 am | Permalink

    Updated season 4 episode rankings:

    1(tie) – Mockingbird
    1(tie) – Watchers On The Wall
    3 – Two Swords
    4 – The Laws Of Gods And Men
    5 – The Mountain And The Viper
    6 – The Lion And The Rose
    7 – Oathkeeper
    8 – Breaker Of Chains
    9 – First Of His Name

    Mockingbird,Watchers On The Wall, and Two Swords are all in my top 10-12 episodes of the series.

  233. Turncloak
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 1:06 am | Permalink

    Ser Davos Seaworth:
    Koles,

    that has a 0.01% chance of happening. Also it doesn’t look like brienne to me, why would she not wear her armour?


    From the trailer, it looked like Brienne’s blue armor that Jaime gave her. I’m pretty sure it’s her that meets the hound

  234. Hodor Targaryen
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 1:10 am | Permalink

    I was tense during the entire battle. Even when Jon was fighting Styr. I pretty much knew what was going to happen in this entire episode (that French promo even ruined the only death that would have been a surprise…damn Frenchies). That is an incredible feat and I give a lot of credit to Neil Marshall and all of the actors in the episode, particularly Kit, John Bradely, Rose Leslie and Owen Teale.

    I love Blackwater and thought it really excelled in some areas, but I think when you compare the soldier-on-soldier fighting in that episode to the crow-on-wildling fighting in this one, I think “Watchers on the Wall” did a bit better.

    Highlights:
    -Tormund’s a f–king beast
    -Ygritte’s death
    -Jon vs Styr
    -Those mammoths
    -Every scene with Pyp and Sam, so sad
    -Grenn and the other crows shouting the oath as Mag the Mighty came charging in was powerful

  235. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 1:13 am | Permalink

    Dorne tootin:
    Am I the only one who thought “Olenna” during Aemon’s monologue?

    Maybe “Old Nan” as another option? Either way, it looks like we have another equation to resolve A + O = ???

    RIP Grenn, Pip, Ygritte and Styr. Did the Thenn warg (J Gatt) get killed as well?

  236. Turncloak
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 1:13 am | Permalink

    Tyrion Pimpslap,

    Mine are
    1) the laws of gods and men
    2) the watchers on the wall
    3) Mockingbird
    4) The Lion and the Rose
    5) two swords
    6) Oathkeeper
    7) the mountain and the viper (though, seeing the battle a second time this episode is growing on me)
    8) First of his name
    9) Breaker of chains (Jaime/cersei sept editing mistake ruined the experience for me)

  237. Val
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 1:14 am | Permalink

    Great episode! I am really glad about how they handled everything,for all the differences the effect was the same for me, including the heartbreaking deaths. Janos Slynt’s death is gonna be all the more satisfying after this too. I appreciated the change in the way they fought off the wildling from the south. I’m not bothered at all about Stannis, after all, they are kind of sticking to the book way, and it’s more dramatic if Jon’s on the other side at the time anyway.

    I agree there isn’t really a lot of time for Stoneheart, but hey, a two-second glimpse of her face at the very end would be more than enough to make people go nuts (myself included), so I don’t know, could still happen.

    How weird was it to see only five names in the opening credits :)

  238. johnnytata
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 1:17 am | Permalink

    people, don’t blow your wads.

    i was also bummed when the episode ended but not because stannis didn’t show up, it was because jon was done kicking ass.

    this episode always had to be about jon.

    stannis can be a hero next week.

    finally, i just don’t understand the concept of his hero moment getting lost with all the other story lines, are

  239. strokememarge
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 1:19 am | Permalink

    I am glad Stannis wasn’t in this episode, the Battle lasted like three days. I think we will see the true size of the army next week, we only saw maybe 1/20th of it. A great shot of the whole army descending, and the despairing look on all the NW will be perfect, then….
    Next week is gonna be crowded, even with it being almost 70 minutes. Did I see an actual tender loving kiss by everyone’s favorite incestuous pair, and that definitely was Brienne’s armor confronting Sandor, guess LS is next season if at all, no BwB. Concerning Jaime/Cersei, she probably seduces him so he will leave to bring Myrcella back.

  240. Jared
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 1:19 am | Permalink

    From a technical perspective, I thought that this episode surpassed Blackwater. Tonight’s battle looked better than many of the battles featured in movies with $200 million budgets. It made some of the CGI-heavy confrontations from Peter Jackson’s Hobbit films look like cartoons.

    The only thing that tempers my enthusiasm was the knowledge that reaction to the episode is likely to be dominated by people screaming at the top of their Internet voice WHERE THE *BLEEP* IS STANNIS? I WANTED STANNIS! STANNIS STANNIS STANNIS! Look, I was expecting him to show up at the end too, but relax people, he’s coming next week! He didn’t arrive after the first night of the battle in the book either.

    I knew that Ygritte’s death was coming, but it still hit me like a punch in the gut. Even with her relative lack of screentime this season, it lost none of its emotional impact. I remember her and Jon’s scenes from last year clearly enough that her dying recollection of the first time that they consummated their love nearly wrecked me. Great work by Kit Harington and Rose Leslie throughout the episode, and in that scene in particular.

    Speaking of Rose Leslie, she was fantastic in this role. I cared about Ygritte in the show far more than I ever did in the books, and while it’s partially because Benioff and Weiss have done a better job writing for the character, it’s mostly because of Ms. Leslie. I’m very sad that we’re losing such a lovely and talented member of the cast. Looking forward to her Curtain Call.

  241. johnnytata
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 1:23 am | Permalink

    johnnytata:

    finally, i just don’t understand the concept of his hero moment getting lost with all the other story lines, are

    people really unable to appreciate numerous story lines at once, are they so dumb they’ll just miss it? because of something that happened in a different part of the world that has nothing to do with stannis? only way stannis loses his hero moment is if one of those other stories comes and invades his, like fucking dragons north of the wall somehow.

    i mean really. if you don’t like the episode then fine, but to not like it just because it didn’t fit your ridiculous expectations is just dumb.

    go film your own fucking show so some other shithead on the internet can complain about you.

  242. Violentos
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 1:25 am | Permalink

    A lot to cover in the next episode. I hear it’s 65 minutes, but even that seems like too little.

    John going to Mance and Stannis coming to the rescue. Tyrion killing Shae and Tywin and fleeing with the help of Jaime and Varys. Lady Stoneheart reveal. Arya leaving the seven kingdoms. The soundtrack for Season 4 implies that Daenerys has an epic scene as well.

    John being named Lord Commander wont happen. There’s no bloody time! He has to chat with Stannis about being Lord of Winterfell, and the big vote has to happen. Unless they change the way it happens in the books, which is a likely possibility.

  243. Zack
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 1:26 am | Permalink

    Tyrion Pimpslap:
    I expected this to be a fairly polarizing episode. And it’s understandable. Some people just don’t care about the Wall storyline, which is a shame. But you can’t please everyone.

    The wall stuff has never been why I watch the show, but even I quite enjoyed the episode. Will miss Pyp and Grenn. Both had pretty emotional sendoffs.

    I wish it had ended with Stannis and it makes me concerned they’ll have an overstuffed finale, but what was included was mostly pretty great. I’m not a show-Ygritte fan at all, but the rest of it, especially Sam/Gilly, Alliser Thorne being a fucking awesome badass, and fucking Tormund being unstoppable…pretty fantastic stuff.

    Well done once again, Neil Marshall

  244. Ser Haywood of House Jablomie
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 1:29 am | Permalink

    I gotta give it up for Yury Kolokolnikov and his depiction of Styr. The dude was seriously scary and believably threatening, and he had a lot of on-screen presence for the limited time he got. His battle with Jon Snow was downright awesome. I was giggling with excitement as soon as Styr saw Jon and started stomping over to him. Amazing casting as usual.

    Never would have thought he’d be as menacing judging from this picture of Yury looking like a cross between 90s Justin Timberlake and Neil Patrick Harris..

    https://www.blastr.com/sites/blastr/files/styles/blog_post_media/public/YuryKolokolnikov6.jpg?itok=l6TIUGbg

  245. Bgap
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 1:30 am | Permalink

    House Ray,

    Polish,

    I would also start to doubt the appearance of LS, even with all of the dialogue reminders of Cat, EXCEPT for the recent instagram photo shared by Lena Headey…a heart outlined with stones. It’s gotta be the last scene next week.

  246. strokememarge
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 1:31 am | Permalink

    That giant arrow shot is the best bow/arrow shot in the history of television, when he like shot that poor NW dude off the wall, damn, I was shouting and saying f’yea, that’s the way to do it Neil. Man the epic moments of action here were almost too much to keep tabs of. The fight choreography was down right amazing, kudos to stunt men, crew and actors. The flow of the fight through the castle was just…brutal.
    Oh concerning Aliser, he lived, I am sure he was taken to where the wounded were being treated.

  247. Lou Reed
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 1:32 am | Permalink

    Was kinda worried, how they would squeeze everything into one episode, and that it would make the Stannis part seem kinda rushed.

    But now I am worried about, how they will squeeze everything into episode 10 lol.

    Can they find 5 mins at least at the end, for we Michelle Fairley fans.

  248. fire and blood
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 1:36 am | Permalink

    Amazing episode!!!!!!!!…..reminds me alot of the helms deep battle from two towers,….but this is on the small screen…just …wow..bravo Neil Marshall

  249. JoffreyTrueKing
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 1:36 am | Permalink

    Things that will be FOR SURE in episode 10

    - Jon + Mance + Stannis
    - Bran and the children
    - Dany and her dragons
    - Cersei’s convo with Tywin and Jaime
    - Tyrion/Shae/Tywin
    - Arya and the Hound
    - Brienne’s fight where she rips a guy’s ear off

    I think it’s safe to assume that both Sansa and the Boltons have concluded their storylines for this season, so it is a wonder what else are we getting.

    I think we get time for LSH. Brienne’s fight must happen early in the episode, so the reveal can be the last scene. Still, I’m not sure of many things, I hope Arya gets to the boat and we don’t have to wait for next season, a fact I’m wondering (one point in favor is that they’ve been hinting Braavos heavily in her story arc).

  250. BuggerMe
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 1:40 am | Permalink

    JoffreyTrueKing:
    Things that will be FOR SURE in episode 10

    - Jon + Mance + Stannis
    - Bran and the children
    - Dany and her dragons
    - Cersei’s convo with Tywin and Jaime
    - Tyrion/Shae/Tywin
    - Arya and the Hound
    - Brienne’s fight where she rips a guy’s ear off

    I think it’s safe to assume that both Sansa and the Boltons have concluded their storylines for this season, so it is a wonder what else are we getting.

    I think we get time for LSH. Brienne’s fight must happen early in the episode, so the reveal can be the last scene. Still, I’m not sure of many things, I hope Arya gets to the boat and we don’t have to wait for next season, a fact I’m wondering (one point in favor is that they’ve been hinting Braavos heavily in her story arc).

    There is also a scene with Pycelle, Qyburn, and the Mountain apparently. Also, a Braavosi ship captain has been cast and set to appear in the finale, so I don’t think you should worry about that :)

  251. m3shwerks
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 1:43 am | Permalink

    fezgod,

    You’re right Grenn and Pyp do not appear much in later books, while Ed does. However, what Pyp and Grenn provide is much needed loyalty for Jon Snow. Something that was not evident for Robb Stark (no GreatJon or Manderlys or Mormont for that matter) in S2 and S3. Instead, Robb was surrounded by doubters and betrayers in Roose and the Karstarks (the Blackfish wasn’t enough). I hope that Sam and Ed can provide enough needed loyalty for Jon in S5. Overall, still a great episode with great acting and great directing. A couple of people already highlighted strong things about this episode (GreatJonSlumber, Tyrion Pimpslap, etc). This was indeed a good episode. I’m glad the Night’s watch can hold it’s own without the other subplots and Jon Snow’s arc is looking really strong right now (go Kit!). I’m still sad about Pyp and Grenn, though.

  252. Broken Wolf
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 1:52 am | Permalink

    That was not only better than Blackwater, it was a highlight of the whole season. Sam turned into a man, Jon became a leader and that fucking coward Slynt…. Jesus H. Christ, I’m looking forward to his execution And even Thorne managed to become more likable. Aemon, of course, is one of the coolest men in this whole bleeding show. And a whole heap of awesome stuff is going down in the finale. Hopefully all that will make up for my having to see Stannis again.

  253. Devin
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 1:55 am | Permalink

    R.I.P. Ygritte. We will always have the cave… on DVD… where I will rewind you to… over and over again.

    Written recap here:
    http://www.entertainmentautopsy.com/reviews/game-of-thrones-season-4-episode-9-recap1

  254. Wolfman27
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 1:59 am | Permalink

    So some people are complaining because Stannis’s arrival is next week and this somehow means that Stoneheart won’t be in this season? That is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. Yes it would have been great if they could have included Stannis’s rescue in this episode as well, but we’ll still get it next week. And Lady Stoneheart is all but confirmed for this season. People need to relax and stop criticizing things that haven’t even happened yet.

  255. Ser Tahu
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 2:02 am | Permalink

    Now that I’ve seen it, I can honestly say that it didn’t quite live up to my expectations (I was expecting it to be better than Blackwater. It wasn’t), but it was still a fantastic episode. My main problem was that there weren’t as many moments that lived up to the scale of the books as I would have liked, although that probably has something to do with the fact that they are holding the meeting with Mance and “Stannis! Stannis! STANNIS!” for the finale.

    My comments on the deaths:
    Pyp – that was the real surprise of the episode for me. Given his backstory from S1, I was fully expecting him to take the role of Dareon from the books, and get killed by Arya in Braavos
    Joseph Gatt (that was him that Sam shot, right?) – One of my biggest disappointments with the season. Why cast Joseph Gatt and only have him speak two words?!?
    Grenn – Right from the moment they showed the giant charging at the gate in the first trailer (and maybe even earlier) I predicted that he would take the place of Donal Noye. So, I called it.
    Styr – The moment we saw a glimpse of him fighting Jon in the trailers I called this. His dual with Jon was superb though, and, as AngryGOTFan pointed out on twitter, I thought it was nice that they had Jon use some of Karl Tanner’s tactics. I also like to think that his death parallels the death of the soldier in Blackwater who had the top of his head removed by Stannis, as far as gore is concerned :P.
    Ygritte – I agree that it was pretty obvious from the moment he was revealed to be an archer that Olly would be the one to do it. I was pleased with the way it played out, though.

    If Alliser dies, though, I will be greatly disappointed. I really felt that, in his conversation with Jon, they were planting the seeds of him taking Bowen Marsh’s role from book 5.

    Oh, and shout out to the Watchman with the giant meat cleaver, that was hilarious :P.

  256. Lucas Dulmes
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 2:03 am | Permalink

    Anyone notice the creatures at the end of the preview for next weeks episode, didn’t look like Dany’s dragons, what could they be?

  257. Lady Mormont
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 2:06 am | Permalink

    As sad as I was to see Pyp and Grenn go, I get why they did it. The cast is going to keep growing and neither of them have significant roles in the remaining books, and it added a lot of emotional resonance to the battle. As a book reader, I actually don’t mind small changes like that most of the time; my cousin, who’s also a book reader, and I agreed it’s kind of nice to still be surprised now and again and not knowing 100% what’s going to happen. Even though we were both still mourning Pyp and Grenn when the episode ended.

    I’ll be interested to read the Unsullied comments tomorrow and see what they thought. My grandma (who watched with my cousin and I) is Unsullied and while she liked the battle- especially the mammoth and the giants- she is VERY impatient to find out what happens to Tyrion and kept hoping they’d switch over to King’s Landing. Especially since she was still mourning Oberyn’s death.

    Also, I didn’t think it was possible to make me like Alliser Thorne, but I did. For this episode at least. *tips hat to the writers*

  258. Daniellica
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 2:10 am | Permalink

    strokememarge: I can foretell you receiving tons of offers for films, some might think once could be a fluke, but with WotW, you proved it wasn’t, and you are the real thing, an outstanding director.

    Neil Marshall is already an award-winning film director, and I recommend both Dog Soldiers and The Descent to anyone who loves a good horror film.

    But I agree these episodes will raise his profile to the Hollywood types, though I hope he keeps making the type of films that inspire him along with better-paid work.

    As for the episode:

    I love what they’ve done with Sam’s growth–one of the coolest heads during the entire ordeal.

    Thorne is not dead. They show him being dragged off wounded but alive by some of his men. If Thorne was going to die in this episode, they would have shown it.

    Yay Tormund! HARRRRR!

    And calling this episode “filler” is so beyond hilarious. So is saying this episode was bad is a “fact,” then harping on someone who disagrees with you for such a statement that “it’s only your opinion,” I guess unlike their “facts.” Classic! I needed some comedy without Silicon Valley tonight.

    Farewell Pyp and Grenn. You were great sidekicks, and died in worthy fashion!

    Next week is going to be so effing unbelievable. AHHHH IT’S ALMOST OVER!!!

  259. JamesL
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 2:16 am | Permalink

    It was a great episode, it’s a shame people will write it off because of the ending. It was a mistake though not to end with Stannis, it would have made the episode so much better and fulfilling. I am disappointed that Pyp and Grenn died but I think I’m even more disappointed that they killed Styr. I think he dies in the book too but it was such an awesome casting I wish they kept him around for next season. Also, I have to give props to Ramin Djawadi for the score this episode, he always does a great job but the score was expecailly bad ass for this episode.

  260. El Beto
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 2:20 am | Permalink

    I am dissapointed… they promised us the best battle ever.
    The episode was weak.

  261. Liam
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 2:22 am | Permalink

    Josh,

    No they didn’t die in the books. They do fade to the background a bit, but they are alive.

  262. WeirwoodTreeHugger
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 2:28 am | Permalink

    I also want to add that the boy who played Ollie was really great. GoT really does a good job of finding child actors that don’t substitute overly precocious and obnoxious for talent.

  263. Rich Uncle Skeleton
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 2:33 am | Permalink

    Where . Is . Gendry? Wasn’t he in the trailer boating some where?

  264. JamesL
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 2:35 am | Permalink

    It looks like Brienne and Pod will be running into Arya and the Hound in the season finale which makes Lady Stoneheart appearing even less likely. It’s highly unlikely that Brienne will get 2 scenes in the finale where she fights the Hound and then manages to run into the BWB and Lady Stoneheart. So people should prepare to be disappointed if they are expecting her to show up in the finale. I’m not a fan of the character so I don’t care if she shows up or not but I always figured she would get cut because I don’t think Michelle Fairley has any interest in playing a role like that.

  265. Maester Blaster
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 2:35 am | Permalink

    Book readers (me) last week: “you would think the unsullied would have thicker skins by now about their favorite character dieing. Valar Morghulis bitches, Oberyn is roadkill, as is everyone else not vital to the plot going forward (except Hot Pie), get over it.”

    Book readers (me) this week: Pyp and Gren! NOOOOOOOOO!

  266. JoopStroop
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 2:41 am | Permalink

    Regarding ending scenes and musical themes, I think it’s likely we get Stannis as the more “hopeful” way to end the season. However, does anyone else think it’s possible that this may not necessarily exclude LS from being popped in there, along with the eerie “Oathbreaker” theme we heard? One option would be right before the last scene, or even, AFTER the credits. Or is that too crazy? Maybe I just want to get LS so much!

    But daaaamn, we have a lot to cover next week. Finishing Dany’s arc, Bran’s, Arya’s, Tyrion’s, Jon’s and then possibly Brienne’s as well. Happy about the extra 10 minutes! That makes it at least possibly we get everything I hope for.

  267. Winter is not coming
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 2:46 am | Permalink

    if they put brienne vs hound scene next episode i will be pissed off

  268. House de Laguna
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 2:46 am | Permalink

    and shout out to the Watchman with the giant meat cleaver, that was hilarious :P.

    That was Hobb, Ser Allister is gonna have him throw that willing in the stew tonight! also it’d be cool if Hobb took on Bowen Marsh’ role, they did emphasize him a little bit during the kitchen fight

  269. House de Laguna
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 2:50 am | Permalink

    JoopStroop:
    Regarding ending scenes and musical themes, I think it’s likely we get Stannis as the more “hopeful” way to end the season. However, does anyone else think it’s possible that this may not necessarily exclude LS from being popped in there, along with the eerie “Oathbreaker” theme we heard? One option would be right before the last scene, or even, AFTER the credits. Or is that too crazy? Maybe I just want to get LS so much!


    But daaaamn, we have a lot to cover next week. Finishing Dany’s arc, Bran’s, Arya’s, Tyrion’s, Jon’s and then possibly Brienne’s as well. Happy about the extra 10 minutes! That makes it at least possibly we get everything I hope for.

    Yeah I’m hoping for it to be an after credits scene, I love after credits scenes!

  270. JamesL
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 2:50 am | Permalink

    Winter is not coming,

    If that is true then that pretty much confirms that Lady Stoneheart is cut. Brienne won’t be getting 2 scenes in the finale. If she runs into Arya and the Hound she won’t be running into the BWB and Lady Stoneheart too.

  271. Luka Nieto Garay
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 2:57 am | Permalink

    Winter is not coming,

    It’s confirmed in the promo if you pay attention so I suggest you get used to the idea.

  272. House de Laguna
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 3:01 am | Permalink

    Hodor’s Bastard: Maybe “Old Nan” as another option? Either way, it looks like we have another equation to resolve A + O = ???

    RIP Grenn, Pip, Ygritte and Styr. Did the Thenn warg (J Gatt) get killed as well?

    A + O = HODOR!!! We can all stop watching the show now, I solved the shows greatest mystery :p

  273. Arrowtic
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 3:01 am | Permalink

    Normally , I wouldn’t have had a problem with not having Stannis , in fact I would’ve loved it but there is one big problem : Episode 10 is already going to be full of important scenes and I’m afraid Stannis is going to be lost in there . I mean Twyin’s death , Three Eyed Crow , Dany’s dragons going wild , Tyrion’s escaping , The Hound’s death

  274. strokememarge
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 3:01 am | Permalink

    Well the bad news first, one more week and its over for nine months, but the good news is we get my second favorite time of the year……..casting!

    OT: Watch Penny Dreadfull this week, the episode was one of my top 10 for the year, and Eva Green nailed it, her best performance yet which might earn her a Emmy nom. It was a truest since of the word Gothic Horror classic, and to me perhaps one of the 100 best hours of television ever.

  275. Johan Sporre
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 3:02 am | Permalink

    Crying tears of happiness at how good this episode was.

  276. Winter is not coming
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 3:03 am | Permalink

    JamesL,

    i hope they edit preview that way to confuse us.

    But if it is going to happend it will be huge f*ing mistake and change they made for sure

  277. Isabelle
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 3:05 am | Permalink

    Pyp AND Grenn : ( Not going to lie, after that scene between Sam and Gilly at the gate, I thought one of them was going to die tonight as well.

    I thought this episode was really well-done, highly entertaining. Kit really held his own (and bloody hell can he swing a sword), that giant arrow was fab and there were some fun moments of Jon sass, yippee!! The takeaway’s got to be Jon and Ygritte’s goodbye, so exquisitely done–I wish there was a hovercraft to spirit them off to that cave to cuddle forever. : ( I love, love, LOVE that they couldn’t help but smile at each other when they first saw each other. Rose Leslie has done such an extraordinary job portraying Ygritte’s tenderness and toughness all at once and I’m going to sorely miss her. She and Kit made one of the few genuine love stories in Thrones absolutely believable.

    There’s plenty of time for Stannis to have his moment in the next episode and the upcoming season–anything tonight and it would have been overly abrupt and confusing, and frankly downright bizarre without saying hello to Mance first! Can’t wait to see Stephen and Kit go head-to-head.

    *sprints off to re-watch*

    Ser Haywood of House Jablomie: Never would have thought he’d be as menacing judging from this picture of Yury looking like a cross between 90s Justin Timberlake and Neil Patrick Harris..
    https://www.blastr.com/sites/blastr/files/styles/blog_post_media/public/YuryKolokolnikov6.jpg?itok=l6TIUGbg

    Brill : )

  278. BlackTalon
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 3:07 am | Permalink

    First episode I was disappointed with … so much stuff in the beginning that, for the first time, really felt like useless filler. And the battle scenes were disappointing.

    The wildling raiders build a big campfire just a three hundred yards from Castle Black and spring their “surprise attack” from there, really?

    Jon cuddles dying Ygritte while his brothers are still fighting for their lives?

    ONE giant could simply lift the gate? They didn’t think about trying that while there were still two of them? Like, maybe, before risking their mammoth and trying to pull the whole gate out?

    Ser Alliser holding rousing speeches while the wildlings are already pouring over the walls and gathering in the yard? Maybe he should have had his fighters all lined up and ready by then …

    Lots of trained ranger crows fighting with shields and swords, but apparently the most damage can be done by a cook with a midsize kettle…?

    I had no idea that barrels of cold vegetable oil violently explode when you poke a hole in them.

    The giant iron scythe on the chain looked pretty cool, but it could only sweep the area directly above the gate. They could have just climbed the wall, like, 100 yards to the left or right of it…? Mance once was a member of the Night’s Watch, he must have known about it.

    All that stuff put together was so stupid it really took me out of it.

    Most disappointing, the ending.

  279. Neil Marshall
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 3:12 am | Permalink

    I am so glad so many of you enjoyed my episode. We at GoT try hard to bring the books to reality!

    -Neil

  280. Troublesome Birdsong
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 3:13 am | Permalink

    Predictions for the order of events in Episode 10:
    - Jon is brought before Mance and they talk. (Horn of Joramund is mentioned?)
    - Stannis’s army comes in and scatters the wildlings. Captures Mance.
    - Bran and co reach the tree. Fight off White Walkers. Bran meets 3-eyed raven.
    - Bran has a vision of Cat’s body in the river being pulled out by BWB (*maybe)
    - Qyburn and Pycelle tend to the Mountain. Tell Cersei/Tywin about the poison.
    - Cersei picks a fight with Tywin over Tommen and the Tywin/Tyrells’s influence.
    - Daenerys is receiving supplicants. She dismisses a group of shepherds come with more goat bones.
    - One remains and reveals the bones of his daughter.
    - Arya and the Hound leave the Vale. They run into Brienne and Pod.
    - Brienne and the Hound fight and the Hound is badly wounded. (loses an ear)
    - Arya escapes. Brienne goes after her rather than killing the Hound.
    - Stannis and Mel meet with Jon back at the Wall. He offers to legitimize Jon.
    - Arya returns to the Hound, but doesn’t give him mercy. Leaves for Saltpans.
    - Varys brings Jaime to Tyrion. Jaime and Tyrion talk. Jaime lets him escape.
    - Tyrion kills Tywin and Shae.
    - Daenerys has her dragons locked up. (Grey Worm is killed in the process?)

    Quick character sign-off montage
    - Ellaria taking Oberyn’s body back to Dorne. (*maybe/unlikely)
    - Sansa and Littlefinger at the Bloody Gate leaving the Eyrie. (*maybe/unlikely)
    - The Bolton’s arrive at Winterfell to rebuild. (*maybe/unlikely)
    - Yara arrives back at Pyke. Meets with her father? (*maybe/unlikely)
    - Osha with Rickon somewhere. Idk, I’m pretty sure she was supposed to have a brief scene in this season. (*maybe/unlikely)
    - Tyrion escapes with Varys.
    - Arya boards a ship to Braavos.

    - Lady Stoneheart and the BWB killing Freys.

    Now that is obviously a lot and it’s pretty wishful thinking to imagine that we’ll get all of it even with extra time. But if they focus on the Jon, Bran, Arya, and Tyrion scenes for the main content, then they might get it to work.

  281. Lyanna Targaryen
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 3:15 am | Permalink

    Emmy comin’.

  282. Isabelle
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 3:17 am | Permalink

    Neil Marshall,

    Well hi there! : ) If this is really Neil, thanks for such a brilliantly entertaining episode! Can’t wait for future ones! : )

  283. clegane
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 3:19 am | Permalink

    ending the episode with a surprise attack from Stannis would have been a mirror copy of the Blackwater battle. So glad they did not do that.

  284. Koi No Yokan
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 3:19 am | Permalink

    I can’t seem to get onto Westeros.org – does that mean Stannis fans successfully crashed the site in their blind rage?

    Loved the episode. Was a bit surprised that they finished it there, but thinking about it I’m actually glad they did. This was Jon’s episode. And Sam’s, and Grenn and Pyp’s… this was a moment for the Night’s Watch we’ve been waiting years for.

    Although I just wish they could have made this the extended episode, to fit in Episode 10′s Wall scenes as well, I can understand why they chose to have the “climax” in the finale. Completely fine with that.

  285. tiny direwolf
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 3:21 am | Permalink

    I liked where they left it. It very much followed the beat of the books. There is a short pause after the first attack and then Jon goes to try to assassinate Mance. I was worried their meeting would be cut and I also needed a breather after that crazy battle. For me while not exactly the same it hit the right notes and followed the flow I remember from reading it. The only thing that would have made it better would be Grenn and Mag the Mighty locked in a death embrace.

  286. Mimsy
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 3:23 am | Permalink

    Amazing episode! It’s no wonder D&D were so impressed with the footage prior to cgi. Everything was beautifully shot and it literally felt like we were at the Castle.

    Beautiful action sequence started with Jon leaping out of the elevator and the camera panning throughout the castle catching all of the action. Neil Marshall is genius! If this season of GOT doesn’t get all the accolades it deserves.. well.. there is no justice.

    Giants and mammoth were FABULOUS!

    The Unsullied watchers in my house were enthralled. They were shouting commands to the Crows… hating Tormund the “red headed bastard” lol … and tossing all kinds of ideas on how to use the ice against the Wildlings. They were all fantastically entertained and shouting at the tv. :)

    The grumbles of the “crows are screwed and the castle will fall” were making me laugh. My Unsullied friends were getting physically ill with anticipation.

    Thank you D&D.. HBO and all staff involved for an amazing season.

  287. Hodor Targaryen
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 3:23 am | Permalink

    One of the most frustrating kinds of criticisms I read are ones that are founded on concerns for how that will affect future episodes. Look, if next week’s episode is crammed, then criticize the next week’s episode. If Stannis’ rescue doesn’t have as much punch because it is in an episode with pleny of other major events, well, let’s wait and see. You never know, you might be surprised.

    Criticizing the ending of THIS episode because of how it will affect the NEXT episode, which hasn’t even been seen, is amongst the silliest things I see in fandoms, and it can be a little frequent here.

  288. yermum
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 3:25 am | Permalink

    Let me guess, Stannis saves the wall at the start of the episode then for the rest of it it’s bullshit dany arc or some other useless crap?

  289. wizardeyes
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 3:38 am | Permalink

    Fantastic episode overall. Although it lacked a moment as epic as the wildfire explosion I felt overall it offered better action sequences and was more action-packed.

    I loved the moments of creative violence – Jon fighting dirty with the hammer and the giant scythe smashing into the wildlings. That stuff had Neil Marshal written all over it.

    At first I was disappointed Stannis didn’t arrive this episode but then it was an action packed 53 minutes and we’ll just have to wait til next ep for Stan and the gang. (Next ep must be the most highly anticipated episode ever right?)

    I agree it was a bit disappointing we didn’t see Mance. I felt they could have just shown him among his men giving orders like “send in the giants!” especially as the episode ends with Jon heading out to kill Mance – some unsullied must have been thinking ‘who the fuck is mance?’

    But brilliant episode – I can’t wait to watch with my unsullied friends tonight.

  290. jou
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 3:42 am | Permalink

    Huck,

    Aemon mentions in his dialogue that “younger women” tried to allure him.

  291. WeirwoodTreeHugger
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 3:54 am | Permalink

    The mods need to do a sockpuppet sweep.

    This whole thread…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=KgqzMdBg7ig

  292. strokememarge
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 4:00 am | Permalink

    OT: Concerning Arya, I don’t think she heads for Braavos next week, because…

    1. She is still in the area near the Vale per the shots in the preview. Unless she has a Scotty teleporter from ST: Into Darkness, she can’t jump hundreds of miles in one episode. Therefore D&D might have either altered the editing of the story or are pushing it into season five, like they did with the Lysa scene filmed two years ago.

  293. Blood crow
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 4:04 am | Permalink

    HOBB!!!!!!!

  294. RamBam
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 4:04 am | Permalink

    The way the fight was going on was very VERY odd for me!

    1- where were the 100,000 wildlings? that was maybe a 1000? They were not really attacking the wall from the north side! Only 2 giants and a few climbers! WTF! Why would Mance do that??? Makes no sense! Why would he waste his chance with a overly light attack?

    2- The way the fight inside the castle was going on, it seemed the wildlings were winning! they said so many times before that there are only a 100 left of nightswatch , Tormund alone killed a dozen at least, let alone all the arrow shots by Ygrite which we have to assume all were headshots! So HOW DID THEY SUDDENLY LOSE?? Besides at least half of the crows were on the wall and not down there! who ever did the math for writers and came up with idea of keep repeating the number 100 for the crows should be fired!

    The episode was very epic, intense and great but logically didnt add up and also the way the fight went on down below didnt match with how it ended!

  295. darkul
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 4:04 am | Permalink

    One Realm One King,

    Why is it needed to enjoy both as different things?
    I like the books (read them as soon as they are released), I like the series. And I don’t give a shit about all the changes or minor deviations from the books.

    Why is it so difficult for some to enjoy both without lamentation?

  296. jou
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 4:08 am | Permalink

    Andre,

    Oathkeeper, the scene where she got her new armor, valaryian steel sword and new marching orders from Jaime.

  297. jou
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 4:20 am | Permalink

    Aemonium:
    Next episode: Stannis and Melisandre, Dany and her dragons, Tyrion & Co. …
    I DO hope the showrunners won’t cut Lady Stoneheart out of the picture!

    Oh, well, let’s not forget the Children of the Forest and the Raven.
    What a packed season finale it will be.

    Let’s not forget The someone that doesn’t shit gold

  298. Nathanyel
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 4:27 am | Permalink

    The night is dark and full of turnips.

  299. Isabelle
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 4:36 am | Permalink

    Okay, re-watch time:

    –How adorable is that opening scene between Jon and Sam? About time someone analysed those vows, that line about no sex after babies was golden, and Jon’s clearly been reading The Rainbow, all that mutter about transcendental love. Kit and John play off each other so, so well and it’s nice to have a quiet moment between BFFs before the storm starts.

    –”OPEN THE FUCKING GATE!”

    –Alliser and Jon, in the closest thing they’ll have to a heart-to-heart. Great, understated respect and appreciation on Thorne’s part. Owen Teale is fantastic. I hope Thorne survives his wounds (and speaks up for Jon at the LC election!).

    –Nice touch for Ygritte to reference Pyp and Sam by description just after we’d had a scene between the two. Reiterates that this battle is from two different vantage points.

    –Nice aerial shots!

    –You know, I wondered if it would feel like too much Sam, as others have thought. It didn’t the first time round, and it certainly didn’t this time. He’s much more outwardly emotional than Jon, so provided the space for multiple ‘human’ moments with minor characters amidst the hacking and snarling. Kept it grounded in people we care about.

    –Rast?! Whoever the extra is next to the body of the guy skewed by the giant arrow, he looks just like Rast!

    –Giants have a very good working knowledge of mechanics. And can show emotion–watching one lose and mourn the other was quite touching.

    –That Thenn recognised Jon awfully quickly for never meeting him before…and way to use Karl’s dirty spitting technique on the Thenn, Jon!

    –Ygritte’s hair looks really pretty in the firelight. Why did she and Pyp and Grenn have to die with their eyes open? : (

    PYP AND GRENN : ( : ( : ( Worse this time round, knowing it was coming.

    –Nice to start with Jon and Sam and end with Jon and Sam.

    Ygritte’s death remains the–”highlight” seems a crass word for it–of the episode for me, but Jon and Sam finding Grenn was so heart-wrenching. You could see Jon processing and struggling with the idea that it was his order that led to Grenn’s death, however necessary.

    BRING ON EPISODE 10!

  300. Isabelle
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 4:39 am | Permalink

    Neil Marshall:
    I am so glad so many of you enjoyed my episode. We at GoT try hard to bring the books to reality!

    -Neil

    Ah. Oopsie.

    Everything really is clearer the second time round :D

  301. Sunfyre
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 4:43 am | Permalink

    Hodor Targaryen,

    Unfortunately it is bound to happen over and over. Book knowledge turns all of us into little armchair showrunners, spouting off about how we would do it differently. Every single adaptation choice can be second-guessed because we read some books once.

    But I have to admit I’m slightly worried about Ep. 10 being crammed full of too much awesome to even process… Heads will definitely explode.

  302. Sunfyre
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 5:02 am | Permalink

    Honestly the shot of the giant launching the massive fucking arrow from the ground and hitting the fucking Night’s Watchman standing on top of the fucking wall causing him to fly off the fucking wall at a ridiculous fucking rate of speed and then landing 700 fucking feet below invalidates every single fucking criticism that can ever be leveled at this fucking episode.

    Edited to add the relevant fucking gif:
    http://img2.tvtome.com/i/u/dfefd580177847a0c76749e36d37ec4a.gif

  303. Danzo
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 5:07 am | Permalink

    First time posting on here but been reading/following every post for about a year. Just wanted to say on the LS possibility I could still see it potentially happening. I mean it doesn’t have to be a long scene. Assuming it were to happen it would presumably skip the Frey reveal and go straight to Brienne meeting her. In the books we have Brienne and Pod at the inn, the fight with Rorge and Biter and then she’s whisked off and the next we see of her is when she’s taken to LS.

    If we are going to have the Hound and Brienne meet then it would be easy for a brief fight to take place between the two (with a certain ear biting scene that we know was filmed for this season) only for it to be ambushed by BwB. During the commotion Arya manages to escape, The Hound is left for dead (possibly with Arya finding him when it’s all settled down and refusing the gift of mercy) and Brienne and Pod are taken hostage. Cut to the very end of the episode and it would be easily possible for a 1-2 minute scene where Brienne and Pod are dropped at the feet of a mysterious person. Camera pans up for the LS reveal whilst one of the BwB gives us the line about her not talking since they cut her throat at the wedding.

    I’ve no idea if it will happen but I could still see it being a possibility. If LS does make it in it’s only going to be the reveal so it’s not something that should require a great deal of screen time.

  304. Sister Wrister
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 5:10 am | Permalink

    Hodor’s Bastard,

    Hahahahaa yep, this. A worthy adaptation, except it would really steal Jon’s thunder.

    Randyll Tarly name drop!

    Janos is a little bitch! I bet Thorne lives. And he can actually fight, not too shabby.

    Samwise has some balls. Finds power in being “no one”

    Grenn, Pyp…. Rest in peace brothers.

    Jon was pretty good with Longclaw tonight.

    Only weirdness: Wildlings south camped pretty close to Castle Black…made for awkward scouting scene with Ygritte and the Thenn. And shouldn’t the Watch have suspected the southern front?

  305. clegane
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 5:11 am | Permalink

    Sunfyre,

    Do you know what being a showrunner means, Lord Snow?
    It means that the person in charge gets second-guessed by every clever little
    twat with a mouth.

  306. coronaking
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 5:17 am | Permalink

    JamesL:
    Winter is not coming, If that is true then that pretty much confirms that Lady Stoneheart is cut.Brienne won’t be getting 2 scenes in the finale.If she runs into Arya and the Hound she won’t be running into the BWB and Lady Stoneheart too.

    That “confirms” absolutely nothing. :p

    Why do you need Brienne to show LS? The (re)introduction can surely be done in another way and the two can meet next season without a year-long cliffhanger.

  307. KG
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 5:17 am | Permalink

    WeirwoodTreeHugger,

    What gets me is that people do crap like that and no one seems to care – yet everyone piles on me. I can be an abrasive bitch, but at least I’m upfront about it.

  308. Arian
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 5:19 am | Permalink

    what’s up with all the whining forStannis Not showing up? he didn’t show up in 1st night in books either.
    and about LS . they could wrap whole thing up in 2 last minutes of next episode we just see a glimpse of her.

  309. Sunfyre
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 5:20 am | Permalink

    clegane:
    Sunfyre,

    Do you know what being a showrunner means, Lord Snow?
    It means that the person in charge gets second-guessed by every clever little
    twat with a mouth.

    Nice! D&D should have this stenciled on a pillow in their office.

  310. KG
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 5:24 am | Permalink

    KG,

    Marked as Spam? Ok. The mods have lost control of this thread

  311. asdfg
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 5:25 am | Permalink

    Maester Blaster:

    Book readers (me) this week:Pyp and Gren! NOOOOOOOOO!

    Same here. :(

    Those hurt. The actors who played them were amazing. They’ll be missed.

  312. Crozyr
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 5:30 am | Permalink

    Loved the episode!

    For me, that giant with his monstrous bow reminded me of Dark Souls! :P

  313. Sunfyre
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 5:42 am | Permalink

    “Worst episode ever?” “Filler?”

    Really? This was a full-fledged epic battle on television with amazing effects, acting, and production values. A mini-movie rivaling some of the best blockbusters of the last few years.

    At least acknowledge what you saw. Not what you wanted to see. But what you actually saw.

  314. paul
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 5:45 am | Permalink

    At least the Dany/Emilia attack force have been stood down from the comments front for a weeks rest!

  315. SerJacques
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 5:45 am | Permalink

    So one of Grenn’s team sent to the tunnel, not the one who freaked out, the other one who had a speaking part.. is a friend of my partner. So I know one of the men who took down Mag The Mighty. I’m going to tell everyone.

  316. King Stannis
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 5:48 am | Permalink

    My apologies to everybody reading my typical stannis fanboys whine and bitch. I dislike being part of that group and sadly most cry babies are stannis fans.

    Great episode! I loved every minute of it and I’m glad we got to see jon snow’s strength as a character.

    I knew a certain someone was not going to show up this episode but the following one and that works for me.

    Whiners get over yourselves!

  317. iridium
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 5:50 am | Permalink

    Oh my heart. This episode was beautifully done and well balanced, but amid all the fantastic action, CGI and choreography (that Thenn/Jon fight – wow), the quiet moments were the ones that resonated most strongly: Sam telling a dying Pyp he’d be ok; Jon cradling Ygritte as the battle continued around them; Grenn giving courage to his brothers in the tunnel and then Jon and Sam finding his body after the battle; Jon, heartbroken, embarking on his potential suicide mission at the end. I didn’t expect to cry as much as I did during a big-budget, battle-centric episode, but clearly I was wrong. Great writing, direction, production and excellent performances from the whole cast elevated it beyond expectations.

    RIP Grenn, Pyp and Ygritte. Cheers to Mark Stanley, Josef Altin and Rose Leslie for bringing life, warmth and love to these characters; they will all be missed!

  318. Madinga
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 5:51 am | Permalink

    An AMAZING episode!
    One of the best battles on TV, in my opinion even better than the Blackwater Bay battle.

    I love battles, so of course I enjoyed this episode SO MUCH.
    Again the production and the fight choreography have left me speechless.

    But as amazing the episode was, there were still a few things I would have done different:

    1. The buildup.
    Grenn and Pyp died, which makes me very sad, especially the death of Pyp :(
    But I guess not many of the unsullied had a bigger connection to those characters, so a few additional scenes with these characters in the last episodes wouldn’t have harmed. This is also the case for Ygritte.

    2. Southern attack.
    The southern attack was MUCH better than the northern attack, but I didn’t like that there were so many one-to-one fights. If they would have been more “mass fights” where dozens of wildings and watchers fight side by side it would have felt more like a battle.
    + they should never said that there only 100 NW men left. More than 100 watchers died, well it felt so.
    200 or 300 would have been more suitable.

    3. Ghost:
    Ghost ROCKED. The music when he attacked was very good. But I wanted more scenes with him. A little fight where Jon and Ghost fight together against a Wildling would have been amazing. A few more scenes with him would have been better
    .

    4. Northern attack.
    There are supposedly 100.000 wildlings. But I just saw more like 1.000
    I know, it’s was just the first wave, but if we’d have seen the Wildling army in it’s full “glory”, the atmosphere would have been more dangerous. AND WHERE WAS THE BATTERING RAM?
    “Next time” more mammoths and chaos please.

    5. Stannis.
    I know, Stannis didn’t attack on the first day, but in my opinion his appearance was necessary to give the episode a proper conclusion. I think most of the viewers (myself included) don’t care if the battle only lasts 24h and is a little bit illogical as long as it’s epic. D&D should have add an extra 10 minutes for it to work. The episode would have had an amazing beginning and an epic end.
    The episode didn’t feel complete.

    But apart from that I really enjoyed this episode. And I think the production team did an amazing job.

    PS: if I did sth wrong or did write sth wrong it did use the wrong grammar, then forgive me. This is my first post on this site and English isn’t my first language.
    Hopefully the spoiler tag works.

  319. Sunfyre
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 5:55 am | Permalink

    Madinga,

    Great post. Welcome to the site!!!

  320. Andy Street
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 6:04 am | Permalink

    JamesL,

    Why do you think a potential LS introduction would involve Brienne? That’s the last thing that happens to Brienne in the books so far. Do you really think they will just leave her and Pod out of the show until they need her to service Jaimie’s plot again in around ten episodes time?

  321. caoimay
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 6:10 am | Permalink

    Love the show but seriously if I have to see one more scene of a girl telling a guy no don’t go do that brave thing stay here with me and the children, I’m GOING TO FLIP SO MANY TABLES!!!

    I HATE THAT SCENE AND MALE WRITERS PUT IT IN EVERYTHING.

    plus added injury sam saying its what men do???
    as opposed to women who hide in a cupboard with the rest of the cowards!!

  322. JamesL
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 6:14 am | Permalink

    coronaking,

    I’ve always thought she was going to be cut from the show, I went into this season not expecting to see her but once they had Brienne and Pod traveling together it seemed like that’s where their storyline was headed so it made me consider maybe she will show up. It seemed the most logical ending point for their storyline this season and a good way to introduce Lady Stoneheart. But now it seems their storyline is just heading for a showdown with Arya and the Hound and not a meeting with the BWB and Lady Stoneheart. IMO that makes it extremely unlikely that she will be in the season finale. I don’t see them just tacking her on at the end of the episode randomly. I think if they were planning on introducing her they would have used Brienne and Pod to do it.

  323. barak
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 6:15 am | Permalink

    KG: Maybe you should have read the book a few more times in the intervening years and you would realize we AREN’T AT THAT POINT IN THE STORY YET.

    +1

    This entitled whining is just ridiculous. I like Stannis in the show (not so much in the books), but all the whining and complaining from his fans is really testing my patience.

    caoimay: plus added injury sam saying its what men do???
    as opposed to women who hide in a cupboard with the rest of the cowards!!

    Yeah, I mean look at Ygritte, hiding in the closet while the big strong men fight around her… oh wait, she didn’t. BUT LET’S RAGE ANYWAY. And she died, I bet she’s just ~being punished~ for not being ladylike!!1! /Tumblr SJW

  324. Immi
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    So with Tormund being taken captive and no Rattleshirt in sight, does this mean Tormund takes his role from the books and gets burned/is Mance? Probably a little way off yet so there’s time for The Lord o’ Bones yet I suppose, just a thought.

  325. Sunfyre
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 6:17 am | Permalink

    CIA,

    That is a great battle in The Last Samurai. I totally agree. But I don’t see how they could have pulled off such a Braveheart-style battle in this episode simply because there are so few members of the Night’s Watch. Plus it was all close-quarters fighting. There’s no room, no open field for lines of men to charge or face off with one another. And then you have the stuff at the top of the wall which is really more about strategy and spectacle.

    I’m not a complete D&D apologist on this one. I was hoping for something that felt even more claustrophobic and desperate. Don’t know if anyone’s seen the film ZULU with Michael Caine (his first film role I believe). Something with that last-stand hopeless sense of confinement against overwhelming odds would have been awesome.

    But judged purely on what D&D and Neil Marshall gave us: it was a damn good episode and epic as hell. I’m trying to evaluate what they produced, not what I pictured in my head. On those terms they more than delivered. This ranks up there with some of the best episodes of GoT.

  326. Roger König
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 6:18 am | Permalink

    Immi:
    So with Tormund being taken captive and no Rattleshirt in sight, does this mean Tormund takes his role from the books and gets burned/is Mance? Probably a little way off yet so there’s time for The Lord o’ Bones yet I suppose, just a thought.

    I dont think so.

    Since Rattleshirt wasnt captured by the castle black guys in the books either. i think the eastwatch-guys caught him and brought him with him, when they arrive with Stannis.

  327. Chris332
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 6:21 am | Permalink

    WE ARE NOT GETTING STONEHEART IN THE FINALE AND THAT IS NOT A BAD THING (MAJOR BOOK SPOILERS)

    Listen, I am in no way a Stoneheart hater, and I do believe that the show will include her in the next season. HOWEVER, I think it is actually for the best that they do not include that reveal in the finale. Hear me out.

    1) The show has not adequately set up such a major WTF twist yet. We haven’t heard about the Bw/oB all season.
    2) The next episode is already overstuffed with incredible moments (arrival of Stannis, “Wherever Whores Go”, Hound vs. Brienne, Dany locks away the dragons). These are all amazing set-pieces, and it would devalue them if they threw in the ultimate curveball in the series, especially when said curveball has not been properly set-up.
    3) THIS IS THE IMPORTANT POINT: If they reveal Stoneheart next week, it is going to be the talking point for an entire year before the series returns. And where does that revelation lead to for season 5? Basically nowhere in the existing material. So far in the books Stoneheart serves as a plot point in order to force Brienne to betray Jaime, a development that has not yet been followed up in the series. Unless D&D spoil events from Winds of Winter, revealing Stoneheart this season will only make season 5 extremely anticlimactic. Isn’t it a much better strategy to hold off on the reveal, re-establish the Brotherhood in the beginning of next season, reveal Stoneheart in episode 2 or 3, have the Brienne/Stoneheart encounter mid-season, and then end the season with the same cliffhanger from Dance (Brienne meets up with Jaime to presumably lead him into a trap)? That way D&D don’t have to go past the books, and the non-book readers won’t feel like next season has no follow-through on the most insane twist the series has ever included.

    I have had some qualms with the way D&D have adapted the books so far, but I truly believe that it is a much smarter move to wait until season 5 for LS, and I hope you all understand the rationale for holding off on the storyline.

  328. JamesL
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 6:22 am | Permalink

    caoimay,

    plus added injury sam saying its what men do???
    as opposed to women who hide in a cupboard with the rest of the cowards!!

    In general, yes, that’s exactly what happens during war time.

  329. smitzzzz
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 6:29 am | Permalink

    At the end of the episode why did Jon go off through to the other side to see Mance , why didn’t they just collapse the tunnel? there are no Freefolk South of the wall anymore and the only threat is from the other side of that tunnel , plot hole xD other than that and the abrupt ending where I’d rather have seen Stan the man and his army great episode.

  330. Carne
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 6:30 am | Permalink

    They didn’t credit the two guys down in the tunnel with Grenn? They even had several lines :/

  331. Immi
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    Roger König,

    Fair point, I’m just wondering where this leaves Tormund now. Since he’s not on the other side of the Wall, he can’t marshal any survivors, or have any to bring through when the merging starts. So what’s his role gonna be from here? Executed, GlaMance, or something else?

  332. Sunfyre
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 6:35 am | Permalink

    Madinga,

    I agree with your points about Ghost and finding a way to show more of Mance’s massive army. There was that one shot but maybe they could have done more to hammer home just how huge an army of 100,000 really is. Also loved the music in this episode.

  333. Carne
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    Also, I’m pretty sure Neil Marshall had a split second cameo as an archer on top of the Wall.

  334. Dark Sister
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    Hi-Fi,

    I feel the same way : /

  335. caoimay
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    JamesL,

    In the books the whores from Moles town became archers on the Wall.

    Also there are plenty of great writing that avoids turning women into trope obstacles that men have to overcome on their way to being ‘heros’

    It’s overdone, lazy and insulting.

    And in history, no it’s not what happens. Read a book. Go to a warzone.

  336. SerJacques
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    Carne:
    They didn’t credit the two guys down in the tunnel with Grenn? They even had several lines :/

    Well as I mentioned above, I know one of them:

    http://www.imdb.com/name/nm5651858/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1

  337. Felagund
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    Sadly, the worst episode this season (not saying it’s bad altogether, but still worst this season)

    GoT just can’t allow itself the luxury of one whole episode of swordswinging with little drama, when there is a LOT more drama to present and a LOT of character and story-arcs to complete.
    This will mean an overcrowded (therefore subpar) last episode, which is a shame, knowing that how spectacularily most of those storylines should end…

  338. strokememarge
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    CIA,

    Well in regard to your post, The Battle of Rorke’s Drift involved a little over 100 British against 4-5K Zulus, was that a brawl, nope, it is officially designated as a battle by military and academia.

  339. Veltigar
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    50 FUCKING MINUTES? REALLY? HAVE I BEEN WAITING ALL THIS TIME FOR A MEASLY FUCKING 50 MINUTES! 20 OF WHICH DIDN’T EVEN CONTAIN ACTION! WHERE THE FUCK IS STANNIS/end rant

    Now, more seriously. This episode was way to short. Especially, since we get so much time wasted om Sam (I like John Bradley, but Sam isn’t the character we need to be focussing on right now).

    I had hoped for a less stagy feel to the fights, didn’t think it was very convincing as a battle. But, as far as stage fights go, it was pretty good. Although I wished more people would have taken Tormund’s example (can’t spell the actor’s name), his fighting might have been unrealistic but at least he was so in to it that it didn’t feel that way.

    Hated Jon vs. Styr. The only positive about that is that they didn’t have Ygritte save him before getting wasted herself. I swear everytime Jon fights against a named character, he’s a dork who get’s his ass handed to him, but when fighting no names he’s God’s gift to warfare… Just for this once I would have liked to see Jon owning his opponent, without losing his sword or a miraculous save.

    Blondie: You see, in this world there’s two kinds of people, my friend: Those with loaded guns, who cast Mads Mikkelsen as Euron and those who dig. You dig.

  340. Veltigar
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    Wtf is wrong with this site? Sometimes I can post and sometimes my effort just disappears into thin air

  341. Veltigar
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    The hook thing was really dumb and I didn’t get why they did it. They could have picked those wildlings of easily. It was a cool visual though, so I’ll let it pass.

    Jon and Ygritte was another disappointment. The acting was fine but the moment where it was inserted was just off. Jon, unarmed, going to her and speaking to her, while the battle around him was still raging on! Why didn’t any of the Wildlings get after him? I also found the kids “whazz up” moment after he shot Ygritte a bit ridiculous.

  342. Veltigar
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    Another thing that bothered me was the giants at the gate… Really, they were just standing there out in the open. Nobody ordered to fire on them and it took forever to throw something. Also, Gilly passing the wildlings with a baby. Did they really need to show that? It just made the Wildlings into a joke. I also didn’t see the point in Ygritte’s killing mode… she could have taken Castle Black on her own with her kill score.

    Disappointed that Alliser isn’t dead. I think that the show’s rendition of the character is better than it’s in the books, he’s more relatable and understandable (awesome speech and cool convo with Jon btw). It would have been a good end to his arc if he had died in the tunnel. Now, they’ll probably make him the baddie that’s going to stab Jon

    Things I liked:

    1) Tormund: Ygritte deserved to die for interrupting the bear story. The actor is just great.
    2) Gatt’s death: All that speculation, all those teases and in the end he just get’s a bolt in the head by Sam the Slayer.
    3) Giant bow. I wished the hook thing from the NW had been like this. It was awesome and treatening.
    4) Alliser’s speech and conversation with Jon
    5)Killing a lot of people. Making room for the Ironborn :D
    6) Ghost. Although I would not have wasted him on some no name character. Had he killed Styr it would have been better
    7)Janos the coward. Sad, that Jon didn’t get the wall from Alliser. But they’ll fuck up their good work with Alliser anyway so it seems, so it doesn’t matter.
    8) Jon shooting Tormund. Very powerful convo
    9) The cook with the cleaver. They need to bring that guy back as a recurring extra. He was badass + out of all the fighters he was probably the most realistic.
    10) More Maester Aemon. The dialogue they gave him was pretty bad, but the man is awesome so fuck it.
    11) Kit was passable. Not great or good, but decent at the very least.

    Conclusion: Blackwater is still better imo, but this was a valiant efford. I’m worried about Graves take on the conclusion of the battle though, I think Marshall should have shot the whole of the battle, he would certainly do it better than Graves.

  343. Andy Street
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    I think some people need to realise this story is not called ‘A Song of Ice and Stannis’.

    I don’t think he has been particularly hard done by by the adaptation. He is a secondary character who is supposed to a be a unlikeable, inflexible charisma sink, who also happens to have the law on his side.

    This episode was about giving much needed screen time to Jon and the Nights Watch, and allowing them to have their big moment. It’s easy to forget how important they are in the big picture, given all the interesting things happening elsewhere, and given the remaining storyline in the books so far, they will soon be reduced to playing second fiddle again.

    Let Stannis have his own big moment next week. It will be easy to wrap up the rest of the wall plot for the season in 10-15 minutes of screen time:
    1) Jon goes to meet with Mance
    2) They negotiate – perhaps Jon offers to let the wildlings through in exchange for help fighting the real enemy.
    3) Mance won’t buy it – he prefers the original plan of killing everyone in Castle Black, and getring as far south as possible.
    4) Jon starts edging towards a dagger or something, preparing to try to assassinate Mance, or die in the attempt. Tension is built, when….
    5) There is a commotion – horns and shouting. The wildlings are being attacked from the east! Mance orders Jon seized, thinking he has been trying to stall for time.
    6) Cut to organised, heavy cavalry storming through the woods, scattering and riding down wildlings as they try to mount a defence.
    7) Mance is stunned – the wildlings break and their leadership is captured. A figure in full black plate armour reins up in front of Jon and Mance. He pulls off his helmet – well blimey if its not Stannis! AND SCENE.

    Actually, if they were REALLY trying to character assassinate Stannis, they could have Jon and Mance actually come to an agreement that avoids further bloodshed, only to have it ruined by Stannis’s attack. But I am 95% sure they won’t do that…

    Christ, they managed to get us to root for Alister Thorne in around 1 minute of screen time – I would wait until you’ve actually seen how they do it before accusing them of doing it wrong.

  344. Veltigar
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    Come on still nothing?

  345. Hollyoak
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    I’ll have to watch again, of course, but I was underwhelmed. The only time I felt anything was when Grenn and the the black bros quaked before the giant, but stood their ground as it charged. That was the only emotional moment for me.

    I’m not a complainer. I usually love every episode. This one felt the weakest of all the episode nines of all four seasons.

  346. Tatters
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    Felagund,

    Subpar finale? Really?
    It will be the biggest episode of the entire show.

  347. Jeff O'Connor
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    Watched it twice more. Yep, new favorite Ep.

  348. 0KEN0
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    Chris332:
    WE ARE NOT GETTING STONEHEART IN THE FINALE AND THAT IS NOT A BAD THING (MAJOR BOOK SPOILERS)

    Listen, I am in no way a Stoneheart hater, and I do believe that the show will include her in the next season. HOWEVER, I think it is actually for the best that they do not include that reveal in the finale. Hear me out.

    1) The show has not adequately set up such a major WTF twist yet. We haven’t heard about the Bw/oB all season.
    2) The next episode is already overstuffed with incredible moments (arrival of Stannis, “Wherever Whores Go”, Hound vs. Brienne, Dany locks away the dragons). These are all amazing set-pieces, and it would devalue them if they threw in the ultimate curveball in the series, especially when said curveball has not been properly set-up.
    3) THIS IS THE IMPORTANT POINT: If they reveal Stoneheart next week, it is going to be the talking point for an entire year before the series returns. And where does that revelation lead to for season 5? Basically nowhere in the existing material. So far in the books Stoneheart serves as a plot point in order to force Brienne to betray Jaime, a development that has not yet been followed up in the series. Unless D&D spoil events from Winds of Winter, revealing Stoneheart this season will only make season 5 extremely anticlimactic. Isn’t it a much better strategy to hold off on the reveal, re-establish the Brotherhood in the beginning of next season, reveal Stoneheart in episode 2 or 3, have the Brienne/Stoneheart encounter mid-season, and then end the season with the same cliffhanger from Dance (Brienne meets up with Jaime to presumably lead him into a trap)? That way D&D don’t have to go past the books, and the non-book readers won’t feel like next season has no follow-through on the most insane twist the series has ever included.

    I have had some qualms with the way D&D have adapted the books so far, but I truly believe that it is a much smarter move to wait until season 5 for LS, and I hope you all understand the rationale for holding off on the storyline.

  349. Veltigar
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    ggggggggggggggggggeiugeigutgthfzwihhxfzyufbhgryiecru,vvnrielgeheugehgeuthgriulhgetuhgtuhteuehtehtehjuczmzmkczotrgchrugbreuugibeicbgeuigbthbtuhbtuihtuh

    Another thing that bothered me was the giants at the gate… Really, they were just standing there out in the open. Nobody ordered to fire on them and it took forever to throw something. Also, Gilly passing the wildlings with a baby. Did they really need to show that? It just made the Wildlings into a joke. I also didn’t see the point in Ygritte’s killing mode… she could have taken Castle Black on her own with her kill score.

    Disappointed that Alliser isn’t dead. I think that the show’s rendition of the character is better than it’s in the books, he’s more relatable and understandable (awesome speech and cool convo with Jon btw). It would have been a good end to his arc if he had died in the tunnel. Now, they’ll probably make him the baddie that’s going to stab Jon

  350. Hollyoak
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    Matt N:
    I’ll start by saying that Iv never been one to diss the show. I think the writers and directors have done a A plus job up to this point. But in my opinion this episode was boring and for the first time ever I’m not watching the episode a second time right after the initial airing. I think that it just did not work like blackwater did. it’s crazy cause I enjoyed reading the wall battle more than reading about blackwater. And don’t even get me started about the lack of you know who at the end. Man, I’m just kinda dazed cause I have always stood by the show when everyone would nitpick changes, rapegate, etc. I have nothing against those who enjoyed it and are writing things like epic and what have you. Honestly I’m jealous, I wish I could have enjoyed and appreciated the episode like you. Hey maybe it will be one of those cases where it grows on me. Maybe it was the overhype. I don’t know. Just bummed to have to admit to myself that I thought a game of thrones episode sucked and it’s one that’s suppose to be considered epic and great. Well I’m sure things will get back to normal for me next week.

    Wow, Matt kind of summed up my thoughts exactly, especially the part about not being a whiner and really supporting what D&D are doing. I feel the same way. Wish I could have enjoyed this episode more. I guess I’m just not into big battles.

  351. Felagund
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    Tatters,

    Would that it’d be.

    I think it’ll be the most rushed (and therefore not cool) episode of the whole series.

    At least 6-7 storylines, most of which should end rather spectacularily. All this for 66 minutes. Do the maths.

    I know D&D are good, but there are some rules of building dramatic tension, and one of the first is giving _time_ to the tension to unfold…

  352. 0KEN0
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    Man, the “fans” on this website never disappoint. Yes, it was different from the book it parts, yes it didn’t have Stannis, but holy crap. People talking about how it was one of the worst episodes ever? LOL

    Either you’re the type that was never going to be pleased (a few of them going around here), or you already had this episode constructed in your head and you were disappointed when D&D didn’t do exactly what you had planned.

    This was an amazing episode, and an amazing feat for TV. Great performances, some heart-felt moments, great action and visual effects, great music. Believe me, I’m not the “we should appreciate whatever we’re given” kind of guy at all, but calling this episode to the dirt is just plain silly.

    Just reminds me why I usually skim the comments here (at best). Ever since “bark gate” way back, I realized that a lot of the people who hang out here are petty, contrarian, purists.

  353. Cindy
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    I watch every week with an unsullied and every week he asks me “who is Mance Rayder again?” We have heard about him constantly for three seasons, and he has a HUGE storyline in later books. I really wish we saw more of him but am super excited to see him next episode.

  354. Madinga
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    I know this is a bit random, but what do you!
    How high (or low) will the ratings will be?

    I guess 7.4m-7.5m because of the buzz from Oberyn’s death.

  355. Troublesome Birdsong
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    Immi:
    Roger König,

    Fair point, I’m just wondering where this leaves Tormund now. Since he’s not on the other side of the Wall, he can’t marshal any survivors, or have any to bring through when the merging starts. So what’s his role gonna be from here? Executed, GlaMance, or something else?

    I daresay, Jon will release him to rally the other wildlings and bring them peacefully south of the wall, after convincing Tormund that’s what needs to happen. As you can imagine, this won’t go down well with some of Jon’s brothers.

  356. Ian
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    Bleat bleat bleat! Where’s Stannis, Stannis should be there to save the day! Call yourselves book readers? Stannis appears when Jon is with Mance, not during the fight for the wall!
    I thought the episode was the best yet, and I’m a book reader, but I don’t bust a gut if someone’s hair is parted the wrong way or their shoes are a different colour than in the books! It’s a TV production, enjoy it for what it is!

  357. Red Helm
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    I hope they won’t burn Tormund in place of Rattleshirt. He’s far too cool to go down like this and Kristofer Hivju is such a delight to watch. I think they’re going to give him something to do next season. Maybe he’ll take Val’s part and go on a mission to seek out remaining wildling chieftains – rumored casting of Varamy suggests they still pose a threat. If Karstark storyline isn’t left out, he might take Sigorn’s part. And if showrunners decide they need someone in place of Leathers, it’s probably gonna be Tormund.

  358. mariamb
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    http://insidetv.ew.com/2014/06/09/game-of-thrones-neil-marhsall-interview/

    Interview with Neil Marshall. He says that he will not be back next year. If there is a big battle sequence next year – the battle at Winterfell and/or Meereen – someone else will be directing it.

  359. Lady Wolfsbane
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    Cindy,

    My unsullied husband said the same thing last night. Who’s Mance? I showed him a photo online. Didn’t help much, but I got a confused nod. Poor unsullied…

  360. Hollyoak
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    I think that we nerds have seen so many big battles in films–from sci-fi to fantasy to action–that it leaves little impact, to me at least. There always seems to be so much more at stake in one-on-one duels. Like Beric and the Hound, Red Viper & the Mountain, etc.

    The giants were cool. I liked that.

  361. Yellow Dog
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    Neil,

    So glad they exposed him that way. Not glad at all that Thorne is coming off as a hero.

  362. Stephen
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    Why were they just watching the giants break down the outer gate? Throw something down at them…anything.
    Why is Ghost locked up? He should be out and ready to fight. Ghost should have also gone with Jon at the end. Jon seems to forget about Ghost all the time.

  363. Yellow Dog
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    Dorne tootin,

    Love it!

  364. jentario
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    mariamb,

    No big battle next year! Good, good. They’re not taking it too fast. I still think there should be a smaller battle in there (Winterfell), but it’s more like a ten-to-twenty minute one than a full episode, and David Nutter handled the battle of Yunkai nicely so it could work.

  365. Dheep'
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    Great Episode till You Know Who did not arrive. My wife kept asking why it ended in such a Stupid fashion. John Snow leaving ,when he was in command. And THEN – leaving his Sword ! Please…
    In fact -enough of the Wall. We have many other things yet to cover in only ONE Episode left.

  366. Eos
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    I’m far from being a battle scenes fan per se, but this was goddamn epic. I thought the Sam and Gilly romance was nicely done, even tho I’m not that sure what I think of Sam’s promises to never leave her side again.

    I missed Mance; I feel he’s been too far removed from the TV viewers’ eyes. They didn’t put much effort into making him a prominent figure so far, which I think is a shame.

    I LOVED Ser Alliser Thorne. He hates Jon, but that’s no news and he was really badass during the battle. If they insist on making Slynt as dislikable as possible, I’m pleased they at least leave Thorne decently grey. I loved the scene between him and Jon atop of the Wall.

    I, too, feel Ygritte’s death would’ve been much more impactful if it wasn’t that far removed from her goodbye from Jon last season. I mean, theoretically you know he loves her and as viewers we do as well (or at least I do), but the scene would’ve been much more emotional if a whole season wouldn’t have passed. I actually prefered the TV version to GRRM’s description of her death.

    I seem to be very unfortunate with my sympathies for minor characters that remain alive in the books. I was a huge fan of Irri – and we all know how that ended. And now Pyp and particularly Grenn … Such a waste … I do understand leaving Jon more friendless in the series than in the books makes his rise to Lord Commander position more profound, but still – killing off some familiar faces at the Wall seems quite a shame. And man, did I like those two.

    All in all – I thought this was a great episode. I think Stannis’ absence is perfectly understandable, he will surely show up next week. I’m kinda scared of how they’ll manage to include all those things into one episode … but I hope they have a good plan. And one that doesn’t exclude Stoneheart’s appearance.

  367. Chysko
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    Episode #40: “The Children”
    Circumstances change after an unexpected arrival from north of the Wall; Dany must face harsh realities; Bran learns more about his destiny; Tyrion sees the truth about his situation.

    It’s always in order so I’m afraid Stannis arrival will be at the beginning which will cut momentum. Too bad, Stannis deserves his OOOOOH moment

  368. Lyn
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    What an amazing episode. Much better than Blackwater and I don’t even like the Wall storyline. The soundtrack was amazing, the CGI was great, everything was perfect. Seeing Pyp, Grenn and Ygritte go was devastating but at least Alliser survived. What a badass. 10/10.

  369. Raluca
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    Epic episode, one of my favorites in the entire 4 seasons.

    Sam, Pyp, Grenn and Dolorus Edd totally stole the show. Two of them will be severely missed. :(

  370. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    House de Laguna: A + O = HODOR!!! We can all stop watching the show now, I solved the shows greatest mystery :p

    Well done, ser!

  371. barak
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    JFC people.

    For those dissing the battle because it wasn’t like [insert huge battle from popular movie] – have you considered that perhaps this is because this is a TV show and can’t blow two-thirds of its budget on a single huge battle? Wanna see bigger battles, go and donate a couple million dollars to the producers.

    And as for Stannis, do I remember wrong or did he NOT show up after the very first battle in the book either? Also, if he showed up in this episode i) it would’ve been a deus ex machina, ii) it would’ve rendered the episode a replay of Blackwater except with giants instead of wildfire, iii) the episode would’ve lost focus (which is Jon and the Night’s Watch).

    It made all the sense in the world not to end the episode with Stannis, it was a good decision, and no amount of whining from entitled stans can change that.

  372. Strepsi
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    To everyone thinking that everything in A Storm of Swords will happen next week, I totally disagree. I am a huge fan of the book series, and Swords is one of my favorite books ever, but the next book is… how can I put this gently…. not a good book. So they can put whatever they like in it. Also, actors are contracted by season so they have to do some housecleaning (i.e. by the 3rd book, Dany has a posse of at least 8 companions at all times – simply impossible on TV budget, why they got rid of the Khalasar riders and handmaidens), so farewell Green and Pyp, loved you both!

    My $2 bet:
    - LS will NOT appear this season
    - Coldhands will be in next season as a 1 season character
    - The last scene will be between Tyrion and Shae and Twyin, because THAT is the OMFG scene to end on

    and all the rest can be early next season to counter that book’s lack of momentum

    In any case, this was one of the most ambitious and best-directed hours of TV I have ever seen!

    - The aerial shots of all of Castle Black
    - The 2 minute long single shot of the entire courtyard was spectacular
    - WE SAW GIANTS RUNNING!!!

  373. Turncloak
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    Elio’s review. http://www.westeros.org/GoT/Episodes/Entry/The_Watchers_on_the_Wall/Book_Spoilers/#Analysis

    Very positive review and he calls it the best of the season. Mostly agree with him but I would put this one at #2 because if the lack of resolution at the end. Better than Blackwater I say

  374. Frank
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    anniej,

    Ratings prove otherwise.

  375. Turncloak
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    Plots to cover next week:

    1) Jon Snow’s meeting with Mance and Stannis arrival
    2) Bran and co meeting BloodRaven and the CotF
    3) Arya and The Hound run into trouble
    4) Brienne and Pod resolution
    5) Tyrion resolution
    6) Dany chaining her dragons
    7) Lady Stoneheart arrival

  376. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    American Tolkien:
    LotR = Epic Battles
    GoT= Sleep Pills

    I think you’re being quite unfair to what was accomplished for Blackwater and TWotW.

    Investment in LotR: Approx $250-300 million per 3hr film ($90 million/hr)…2-3 yrs shooting and post-prod

    Investment in GoT: Approx $60 million per season ($6-10 million/hr)….4-5 months shooting and post-prod.

    The #s may not be totally accurate but you get the idea…

  377. Turncloak
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    Excellent unsullied review by Andy Greenwald. He never disappoints

    http://grantland.com/hollywood-prospectus/game-of-thrones-recap-up-against-the-wall/

  378. Daniru
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    I know its a bit late in the comments thread, and I doubt anyone really cares, but wow. Just wow.
    That was easily one of my favourite episodes in the entire series. Everything was just so perfectly handled. Apart from the non-ending some have complained about (which, if included, easily would have placed this ep at number 1), this was just so, so perfect. I kept thinking to myself “this can’t beat Blackwater, there just aren’t enough interesting characters at the Wall” but boy did this episode show me. Jon and Sam and Pyp and Grenn and Edd and Ygritte and Gilly and Tormund and Alliser and Styr and even Slynt (seriously they were all perfect). I teared up no less than 4 times: Sam and Gilly’s kiss, Pyp’s death, Ygritte’s death, and Grenn’s (aftermath of) death. The action scenes and the camerawork was phenomenal, too.
    Just… Wow. In fact, just going through all this, after my slight disappointment at the ending wears off this will probably become my absolute favourite. Until next episode that is.
    SERIOUSLY HAS EVERYONE SEEN THE PREVIEW
    I AM NOT READY FOR NEXT WEEKS LEVEL OF BRILLIANCE
    EVEN POSSIBLY WITHOUT LS.
    DAT CROSSBOW SHOT

  379. Ewan
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    I loved it!
    So sad to see Grenn and Pyp go, but it made sense to kill characters we care about, though it means they will have to introduce us to a lot more characters at the wall next season as there are not many left!!

    As for Stannis – the less Stannis the better in my opinion , easily my least favourite character! Come at me Stannis fangirls ;)!!!

  380. Freya
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    I did not have particularly high expectations for this episode as I did not find the fight scenes in the books that entertaining. But I actually LOVED the episode!! There were soo much more to it than just the fighting IMO – this was about Jon becoming a leader!
    I was slightly disappointed that the episode didn’t end with Stannis but it would be too much like the ending of Blackwater so I can see why they chose to end it differently :)
    I did tear up when Pyp and Grenn died but I can’t believe people are so upset that the show decided to cut them? Honestly I’m fine with the change because next season will have a ton of new characters from both Dorne and the Iron Islands – I loved both Pyp and Grenn but they are minor characters and I would prefer to have them die off in order to leave more room for the Sand Snakes and Greyjoy-brothers!

    I’m soo excited about next weeks episode!!! I can’t believe people being so upset about the story so far – its pretty damn close to the books even though the timelines have shifted slightly. And why are people thinking that LS has been cut?? There is no way in hell that they will cut that storyline!! Its going to be the ultimate cliffhanger for this season – I mean come on its just TOO good of a twist to not include in the story! I never once thought they would bring her in earlier, it was a major surprise in the books and it will be a major surprise for the unsullied next episode!

    I can’t believe that the season ends on sunday and we have to wait almost a year for season 5! :(

  381. Beric D
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    Great episode all around. It is amazing how good TV can be.

    Anyone mention that Jon Snow, while fighting Styr, went right through that fire and nothing happened? Not a wince or a groan or a grimace? I think D&D are messing with us.

  382. Saar
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    Polish:
    I am literally telling Stoneheart people that it’s a fact she won’t be in next episode.Read this and heed my warning.BUT she’s not cut.Just use your heads people.Bran — children of the forest —and OH YEAH the fucking three eyed raven // Tyrion – Jaime – Varys // Tyrion – Shae – Tywin // Jon talk with Mance and then STANNIS // Arya – Hound goodbye // Arya by herself getting on boat // Brienne – Pod (though preview makes it seem like this might be combined w/ Hound // Cersei – Tywin and Cersei – Jaime scenes from preview // QYburn and Mountain scene // DAENERYS SHIT …. there is WAY too much for Stoneheart.It’s just logic!

    a Stoneheart reveal would take like 2 minutes if it’s just her hanging Freys I am still pretty sure that they’re gonna end this season with her reveal, because it’s just too much of a perfect ending and cliffhanger. I really don’t see them just randomly using her in some scene in the middle of next season, that would be so lame.
    They have the chance to end this season with the biggest shocker ever, they are going to use it

  383. johnnytata
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    hmm, now that you mention it i did think it stood out but more because acrion scene hero doesn’t get hurt by pesky flames. did not think of it in the context you are implying. hmmm indeed…

    Beric D:
    Great episode all around.It is amazing how good TV can be.

    Anyone mention that Jon Snow, while fighting Styr, went right through that fire and nothing happened?Not a wince or a groan or a grimace?I think D&D are messing with us.

  384. Ronin
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    As are many others, I’m concerned they left too much stuff for the season finale

  385. johnnytata
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    actually what is ironic here is that given the importance of the character and the constant complaining that the producers have shortchanged jon snows character in the show, an entire episode dedicated to him should be celebrated, yet here we have more constant complaining.

    just can’t win.

  386. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    Ewan:
    As for Stannis – the less Stannis the better in my opinion , easily my least favourite character! Come at me Stannis fangirls ;)!!!

    Chrisss,

    The barbie is gonna be busy today! One juicy leech for you, and another for you, and another for her, and another for him, …and another….and another….naysayers all!!!

    In his defense, Stannis is still going through customs at Eastwatch and will be slightly delayed…

  387. Johnny Camp
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    Koles,

    They also have Ralf Kenning listed, and I dont think hes walking around with an axe in his head.

  388. Lexyvil
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    JD,
    That’s the only thing that bothers me as a whole. The episodes this season fall short; I hope they increase the runtime again.

  389. msd
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    The lesson from this episode is that book readers should never assume they know what’s going to be in an episode.

  390. the other guy
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    What a mind blowing episode. Only thing that brings it down is the underwhelming ending. I wish they had chosen to extend the battle a bit more and end with Stannis’ arrival. Episode 10 will be even more jam-packed than anticipated, which isn’t a good sign.

  391. Paul Meyer
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    Having read the books I was surprised they left the ending with Stannis out till next week. However it was still a phenomenal episode either way. My favorite scene by far was the one between Jon/Ygritte, it just sucked to see Ygritte finally die even though I knew it was coming. I was also pleasantly surprised by the Thorne/Tormund fight, who would have ever thought we’d have cheered for Thorne. All in all this was an amazing episode and one of my all time favorites of GOT.

  392. Blood crow
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    Can anyone figure out who says “the dead can’t hear us” in the preview for the finale. It’s right before we see a shot of Mance.

  393. Ned's Head
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    I’m worried about the Stoneheart reveal. The preview shows Oathkeeper being unsheathed, just before the clip of the Hound and Arya. I think Brienne and the Hound are going to mix it up, with Arya escaping Brienne. This will be Brienne/Pods conclusion, and Stoneheart will be cut.

  394. Kate
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    My first serious post here, so please bear with me… I am a huge fan of the books and I love the show just as much. Earlier today, I felt like the negative voices were much louder and I was prepared to come here and rant (for the first time ever) about all the naysayers, unrealistic expectations, silly comparisons to LOTR and other blockbusters, and lack of reading comprehension from some of the book fans.
    Then I read last night’s reviews and comments of reasonable fans, just noticed that #JonSnow is still trending (U.S. and worldwide) and all is right with the world (more or less). So instead of focusing on the negative let me say that last night’s episode was freaking awesome! I had no idea TV could be like this! I enjoyed the focus on the NW and the fight scenes were amazing. I did not expect to be so sad about Pyp and Grenn. I love me some rousing battle speeches but the scene with Grenn and the boys in the tunnel reciting the vows was so moving. There were some great quieter moments too – Sam and Aemon, Sam and Jon, Jon and Ygritte…
    Did I imagine the battle to be bigger, louder, more epic while reading the book? Maybe, but my imagination costs nothing. Hats off to D&D and the whole team for pulling off an episode like this while dealing with budget, schedules, actors’ availability, fans’ expectations and god knows what else. IMO, they really succeeded. Much like Sansa last week, Jon Snow finally showed his full potential.
    All in all, I really enjoyed this episode and I can’t wait for the finale. Looks like all the storylines may end on a high note!

    *sorry for the long post and inevitable mistakes, English is not my first language

  395. bristol
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    Kate:
    My first serious post here, so please bear with me… I am a huge fan of the books and I love the show just as much. Earlier today, I felt like the negative voices were much louder and I was prepared to come here and rant (for the first time ever) about all the naysayers, unrealistic expectations, silly comparisons to LOTR and other blockbusters, and lack of reading comprehension from some of the book fans.
    Then I read last night’s reviews and comments of reasonable fans,just noticed that #JonSnow is still trending (U.S. and worldwide) and all is right with the world (more or less). So instead of focusing on the negative let me say that last night’s episode was freaking awesome! I had no idea TV could be like this! I enjoyed the focus on the NW and the fight scenes were amazing. I did not expect to be so sad about Pyp and Grenn. I love me some rousing battle speeches but the scene with Grenn and the boys in the tunnel reciting the vows was so moving. There were some great quieter moments too – Sam and Aemon, Sam and Jon, Jon and Ygritte…
    Did I imagine the battle to be bigger, louder, more epic while reading the book? Maybe, but my imagination costs nothing. Hats off to D&D and the whole team for pulling off an episode like this while dealing with budget, schedules, actors’ availability, fans’ expectations and god knows what else. IMO, they really succeeded. Much like Sansa last week, Jon Snow finally showed his full potential.
    All in all, I really enjoyed this episode and I can’t wait for the finale. Looks like all the storylines may end on a high note!

    *sorry for the long post and inevitable mistakes, English is not my first language

    Wow, what an amazing first post!

    I completely agree with everything you said. That battle, in my opinion, was the shining moment for D&D as show-runners, something that transcended the boundaries of TV. I was so pumped ater watching it that, coming here, I was stunned by the amount of negativity it was receiving. Glad that there are people who liked it as much as me :)

  396. ArgonathofBraavos
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    Solid episode. Some amazing imagery. A few more thoughts:

    The ending: I think not having Stannis was a good idea, but that final fade to white seemed amateurish compared to the rest of the episode. Visually and emotionally, IMO, it would have been more powerful to have Jon make a long slow walk out of the gate and to the tree line. As Jon approaches, we see the full enormity of Mance’s army, revealing that what we just saw is just a tiny fraction of his power. Cut to black.

    Ygritte: Do people really hate her for killing people in a battle? Is she supposed to have known that Pyp was a fan favorite and spared him? In any event, I loved Ygritte. Rose Leslie is gorgeous and her fiery attitude and wicked sense of humor, coupled with a soft heart underneath, makes her irresistible to me. Her death was a hard one to take.

    In any event, a great moment in television. It’s easy to forget how unprecedented this show is in TV history. At the turn of the century, could anyone have guessed that we would ever see a fantasy battle like that on he small screen? It’s good to be alive!

  397. Cheese Souffle
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    For me the difference between Blackwater and TWotW is one of production vs. performance. TWotW looked stupendous; as far as FX goes, I would say that it was money well spent. The giants, the mammoth, and the chain were all “WHOA DAMN” moments for me in ways that only the wildfire explosion in Blackwater really delivered. Cinematography here was perhaps a little better, for reasons others have noted.

    The performances in Blackwater though were heads and shoulders above TWotW, though. It’s not even close. Dinklage, Headey, Gleeson, McCann, Turner, plus Conleth Hill and Jerome Flynn vs. Kit Harrington, John Bradley, Owen Teale, and Kit Harrington’s hair – how is this even close? To their credit, Teale knocked it out of the park, and so did Bradley. I was struck more by Samwell becoming a man more than Jon, and at this point I am much more invested in ShowSam than ShowJon.

    As far as the non-ending goes, it didn’t bother me. In a way, it sets up the season finale to be a true season finale, rather than “here’s some stuff that happened after the EPIC EPISODE NINE YOU JUST WATCHED.”

  398. Turncloak
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    Kate,

    I thought the episode was phenomenal. I’m only complaining because I’m an obvious Stannis fanboy. Oh well, guess u have to wait a week to quench my thirst :). Should be a good one. Just really worried The Hound fights Brienne. Seriously don’t want to see it end that way. So much stuff happening!!! Can’t wait!

  399. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    Veltigar,

    I noticed that you left off your traditional signature for a few comments upthread. I got worried. Are you ok? :)

    I’m actually looking forward to Jon’s treat with Mance. What do you think we’ll see when we get inside the tent? Maybe two women? Maybe a baby? Maybe Styr’s son? Maybe a horn? Maybe a lute?

    I bet things get out of hand during the meeting and Jon is threatened, most likely fighting, before eagles and owls start falling from the skies.

  400. Kate
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    bristol,

    thank you! I liked the episode very much and I agree that it was a great moment in the TV history. I bet that when the dust settles, more fans will realise how awesome it actually is.

  401. Chris
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    caoimay:
    Love the show but seriously if I have to see one more scene of a girl telling a guy no don’t go do that brave thing stay here with me and the children, I’m GOING TO FLIP SO MANY TABLES!!!

    I HATE THAT SCENE AND MALE WRITERS PUT IT IN EVERYTHING.

    plus added injury sam saying its what men do???
    as opposed to women who hide in a cupboard with the rest of the cowards!!

    OMG! Do you think Westeros is – gasp – a bit sexist!?

    I mean talk about literally just ignoring everything that invalidates your point. For the sake of your agenda, you apparently want the writers to have this, effectively, little girl run up to the wall, leave her baby, and turn into Wonder Woman, killing wildings right, left, and centre. Fuck making sense, equality for the win.

    You also completely ignore that Ygritte is slaying like a boss, much more so than our other named dead character, Pyp. Who the TV show killed even although he lives in the books. Talk about misandry AMIRITE?

  402. YeOldGods
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    WeirwoodTreeHugger,

    I think they left it unclear. I hope he sticks around, though I’d understand if he was killed off by the showrunners, because his arc has been pretty good. The show has done a great job of showing some duality in Thorne (he fights pretty heroically, he admits he was wrong and expounds on what being a leader means); whereas Janos Slynt is really being built perfectly in the show for some future conflict with Jon.

  403. johnnytata
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    msd:
    The lesson from this episode is that book readers should never assume they know what’s going to be in an episode.

    ppft, good luck teaching that class and be prepared to fail most of your students.

    Veltigar: Lol, first of all keep on sticking your head in the sands to avoid the glaring flaws. Fanboys like you is what stops the spreading of quality fiction. And Secondly, the part where I listed what I liked about the episode was what I couldn’t get online. So, no not all my comments are like the following.

    i keep trying to put my finger on what pisses me off most about the people who complain. i am certainly no fanboy or apologist for the show creators, i do recognize i am easy to please, i believe that genuine criticism is crucial to any useful discussion and that the book purist voice is necessary, and finally i don’t care enough about anyone else’s opinion for it to change my enjoyment of the show.

    so why do i get pissed off?

    i think kate nailed it above. “my imagination doesn’t cost anything.”

    i think what angers me is the sense of entitlement and sanctimonious “i know better than the18million” attitude of people who have nothing invested in this beyond their opinions, not the time, not the effort, not the finances, and definitely not the risk of sticking their heads out to be chopped off, people who can’t be balanced because their bloated opinion is more important than the art itself.

    your opinion is duly noted but please don’t play like it is any more important than anyone else’s opinion.

  404. Kate
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    Turncloak,

    Hey, I don’t mind complaints as long as the fans are realistic about their expectations. I imagine it must be tough for Stannis fans, many expected him to save the day in this episode. I think that having him appear in the finale, while all the other wtf moments happen, might give his storyline more weight. After all, it looks like we are getting a proper epic finale instead of the usual aftermath episode

  405. Ours is the Fury
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    People need to remain civil in their disagreements. Any posts with name-calling or personal attacks will be deleted. Got it? Thanks.

  406. Veltigar
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    Hodor’s Bastard:
    Veltigar,

    I noticed that you left off your traditional signature for a few comments upthread. I got worried. Are you ok?:)

    I’m actually looking forward to Jon’s treat with Mance. What do you think we’ll see when we get inside the tent? Maybe two women? Maybe a baby? Maybe Styr’s son? Maybe a horn? Maybe a lute?

    I bet things get out of hand during the meeting and Jon is threatened, most likely fighting, before eagles and owls start falling from the skies.

    I left it of out of frustration, since the site didn’t allow me to post my full post. My lists of positive parts of the episode still hasn’t appeared yet :’(

    I think we’ll see Mance and that’s about it. Perhaps some random guards to put a knife at Jon’s throat. The bird will be cut, Varamyr is cut and Sam shot Joe Gatt in the face so no warg present. The two women as well I’d say.

    Rita Vrataski: Come find me when you wake up! And then we’ll cast Mads Mikkelsen as Euron

  407. YeOldGods
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    Veltigar,

    Fanboy, eh? Well, considering I’ve read and watched both, and I love both, and I’m open-minded enough to enjoy both for what they are, maybe it’s not me that’s the fan boy. Maybe, I don’t know, real fanboys are those that can’t let go of the fact that what they read in the BOOK is X, and therefore if the SHOW does Xy it must be awful! Because GRRM’S text is the living scripture and it SAID so! If Jon kills Styr instead of stairs falling on Styr, IT’S SACRILEGE. OMG I’m gonna rant about the show on a fansite because it’s RUINING THE SPREAD OF QUALITY FICTION! INFIDELS! Seriously, listen to yourself. It sounds obsessive. Now go cover up with your Mads blankey and re-read Jon’s chapters in Storm to calm your nerves.

  408. GreatJon of Slumber
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    Veltigar: 2) Gatt’s death: All that speculation, all those teases and in the end he just get’s a bolt in the head by Sam the Slayer.

    I think that was mostly on all of us. After all, he’s a cool looking bald dude, but it’s not as if we’re talking about Matthew McConnaghey here.

    0KEN0: Just reminds me why I usually skim the comments here (at best). Ever since “bark gate” way back, I realized that a lot of the people who hang out here are petty, contrarian, purists.

    Sigh, yeah. It does feel that way at times.

    Red Helm:
    I hope they won’t burn Tormund in place of Rattleshirt. He’s far too cool to go down like this and Kristofer Hivju is such a delight to watch. I think they’re going to give him something to do next season. Maybe he’ll take Val’s part and go on a mission to seek out remaining wildling chieftains – rumored casting of Varamy suggests they still pose a threat. If Karstark storyline isn’t left out, he might take Sigorn’s part. And if showrunners decide they need someone in place of Leathers, it’s probably gonna be Tormund.

    I think he’ll likely take the role he has, slowly becoming a frosty ally to Jon. I think they’ll still have a drink over the deaths of Mag the Mighty and in this case, Grenn.

    Stephen: Why is Ghost locked up? He should be out and ready to fight. Ghost should have also gone with Jon at the end. Jon seems to forget about Ghost all the time.

    Yeah, I’ll give you that one. Gigantic bad-ass wolf. Moves at mega speed. Kills with impunity. Sure, let’s lock him up. *Sigh*

  409. Kate
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    Veltigar,

    This is totally OT but let me tell you how much I love your Mads Mikkelsen casting suggestions! I am a huge fan of his (currently geeking out over Hannibal) and I enjoy your end-of-post tags. He’d be an amazing Euron.

  410. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    Kate,

    Yes, it was another memorable episode.

    To address your point, for me, it’s not about Stannis “saving the day” it’s about continuity. I would have liked to see NM direct the CB battle(s) from start to finish – a solid line of thought – and let Alex Graves do the other stuff in ep10. As we mentioned over the past several days, having the fight last all night, then having the dawn come with a Jon-Mance treat and more chaos, then suddenly holy shit!.

    But…oh well… that is what online speculation is about…

    (…and yes I understand that the battle was a multi-day affair…but that is beside the point)

    Crowding ep10 moments is a concern and will be a wild ride (in Alex Graves I trust), but as others mentioned, we may be overthinking what can happen in ep10 this year. In any case, I’m sitting back and enjoying the ride, with a few comments here and there. Positive or negative, ya gotta love the fandom.

  411. GreatJon of Slumber
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    YeOldGods:
    Veltigar,

    Fanboy, eh? Well, considering I’ve read and watched both, and I love both, and I’mopen-minded enough to enjoy both for what they are, maybe it’s not me that’s the fan boy. Maybe, I don’t know, real fanboys are those that can’t let go of what they read in the book is X and therefore if the show does xy it must be awful because GRRM said so OMG I’m gonna rant about the show because it’s RUINING THE SPREAD OF QUALITY FICTION. Seriously, listen to yourself. It sounds obsessive. Now go cover up with your Mads blankey and re-read Jon’s chapters in Storm to calm your nerves.

    Agreed, well said. Because the show is the show, and the books are the books. To me the only thing that matters is that they hit the same beats and keep people – major characters – more or less in the same location. So if at the Red Wedding, Cat yelled “Rob, walk out of here,” and Walder Frey said, “Yes, I’m good with that. I’ll kill everyone but the King in the North,” well, that would be a cheat.

    If after he started choking, Joff suddenly swallowed and said, “Woo, ok. That was a tough piece of pie,” and sat down and started being an asshole again and went on like nothing happened, yes, that’s a complete violation. But the rest of this is really really whiny stuff.

  412. Veltigar
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    johnnytata: snip

    He started it, can’t help but reprimand him. Don’t act like that guy didn’t berate my opinion first.

    Lt. Col. Bill Cage: What I am about to tell you sounds crazy. But you have to listen to me. Your very lives depend on it. You see, this isn’t the first time I told you to cast Mads Mikkelsen as Euron.

  413. matt v.
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    what a bunch of babys you are… that was better than most of high budget action movies i saw… the story was great, the acting superb, the visuals is the best i ever saw… comparing everything to the books is really weak… so they changed few things so what? its not like they killed jon snow, its just minor changes… D&D know the endgame and know who matters and who not… go to westeros.org and complain, this is a site of the show not the books…to me its in my top 5 episodes of got.

  414. strokememarge
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    I asked my family members what they thought about the episode, the women didn’t watch because they are mad about Oberyn and Jon doesn’t interest them, they like him but they don’t like his story, they would love it if he would interact with a girl, and they liked it briefly when he was involved with Ygritte.
    BTW, they are pissed about Jorah too. My niece said the author must hate relationships with women.
    There you have it D&D, get Jon a love interest and the girls will tune in, period. Don’t wait till the damn last minute. I just realized, there are no truly romantic relationships in ASoIaF and KL. in Feast and Dances.

  415. Hoyti Von Totiy
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    Allister Thorne >>>> Jon “the emo” Snow

    D&D have started trolling us like GRRM.
    Instead of a resolution they leave it unsolved only to burden the final episode with even more things to deal with. :-/

    Looks like the producers have decided to expand SOS into season 5.
    Next episode will end with Stannis showing up, and everything after that will be in the next season.

  416. YeOldGods
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    GreatJon of Slumber,

    It’s maybe on me, because I keep coming back to read the comments. I enjoy discussion on strong and weak points. But for some folks, it’s a week in and week out thing to bash the show…even when it’s a landmark episode (for television, not just the series). Maybe that’s just the fanaticism GRRM’s books engender, but it’s really irrational.

    The show is fantastic, as are the books. You shouldn’t have to bash one to exult the other…or hang out on a fansite to do so.

  417. GRRMlin
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    I liked this episode.
    But Grenn dying was too much. Pyp, OK, I got the point. Grenn? Too much.

  418. YeOldGods
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    strokememarge,

    the women didn’t watch because they are mad about Oberyn…

    My brother was the same way last week. He said, “I seriously have to reconsider this show. It can’t keep doing this to us.” And last night he texted me right after: “that was f*cking cool, man. Wow.”

  419. WeirwoodTreeHugger
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    johnnytata:
    actually what is ironic here is that given the importance of the character and the constant complaining that the producers have shortchanged jon snows character in the show, an entire episode dedicated to him should be celebrated, yet here we have more constant complaining.

    just can’t win.

    Another thing that is hilarious is that every scene that didn’t contain lots of action or a plot twist or deviated from the books in some way was derided as filler all season long.

    Now people are bitching that the finale is going to be too full of plot.

    Do people need to have how television works explained to them? The early and middle part of the season is for build up and character development. The end of the season pays off that build up. That’s how TV works!

    Nothing wrong with reasonable criticism, but it’s clear some people are deliberately seeking out things to get upset about. Why people bother watching and commenting here if they hate the show so much is beyond me. Don’t they have anything better to do?

  420. DanielHimalia
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    It’s pretty amazing how many people are talking about Stannis not showing up, when he clearly doesn’t show up until after Jon reaches Mance Rayder.

    Him showing up at the end and saving the day would have been “Blackwater” all over again. We’re obviously getting the latter half of the story (Jon’s on his way to Mance now) next episode, so why are all of you so frustrated?

  421. Kate
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    Hodor’s Bastard:
    Kate,

    Yes, it was another memorable episode.

    To address your point, for me, it’s not about Stannis “saving the day” it’s about continuity. I would have liked to see NM direct the CB battle(s) from start to finish – a solid line of thought – and let Alex Graves do the other stuff in ep10. As we mentioned over the past several days, having the fight last all night, then having the dawn come with a Jon-Mance treat and more chaos, then suddenly holy shit!.

    But…oh well… that is what online speculation is about…

    (…and yes I understand that the battle was a multi-day affair…but that is beside the point)

    Crowding ep10 moments is a concern and will be a wild ride (in Alex Graves I trust), but as others mentioned, we may be overthinking what can happen in ep10 this year. In any case, I’m sitting back and enjoying the ride, with a few comments here and there. Positive or negative, ya gotta love the fandom.

    I agree about the continuity issue. Anyway, I tried to judge the episode for what it was (an epic battle) and what actually went down – I think that all the major things from the books were in and the timeline is correct. Ep10 may be overcrowded but I say let’s wait and see.

  422. Veltigar
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    GreatJon of Slumber: Agreed, well said. Because the show is the show, and the books are the books. To me the only thing that matters is that they hit the same beats and keep people – major characters – more or less in the same location. So if at the Red Wedding, Cat yelled “Rob, walk out of here,” and Walder Frey said, “Yes, I’m good with that. I’ll kill everyone but the King in the North,” well, that would be a cheat.

    If after he started choking, Joff suddenly swallowed and said, “Woo, ok. That was a tough piece of pie,” and sat down and started being an asshole again and went on like nothing happened, yes, that’s a complete violation. But the rest of this is really really whiny stuff.

    Yeah, one problem though… I did not refer to the books at all. The fact that the guy spins me off as a book purist pisses me off. I have written a large post about it. It hasn’t appeared yet, still lost somewhere in the dark corners of WiC.net, but you’ll see my response

  423. Veltigar
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    YeOldGods:
    Veltigar,

    Fanboy, eh? Well, considering I’ve read and watched both, and I love both, and I’mopen-minded enough to enjoy both for what they are, maybe it’s not me that’s the fan boy. Maybe, I don’t know, real fanboys are those that can’t let go of the fact that what they read in the BOOK is X, and therefore if the SHOW does Xy it must be awful! Because GRRM’S text is the living scripture and it SAID so! If Jon kills Styr instead of stairs falling on Styr, IT’S SACRILEGE. OMG I’m gonna rant about the show on a fansite because it’s RUINING THE SPREAD OF QUALITY FICTION! INFIDELS! Seriously, listen to yourself. It sounds obsessive. Now go cover up with your Mads blankey and re-read Jon’s chapters in Storm to calm your nerves.

    You really are something aren’t you. Perhaps, you should re-evaluate your reading skills. Look back at my criticisms, in the whole post I refered to the books once and it was actually positive for the show:

  424. WeirwoodTreeHugger
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury:
    People need to remain civil in their disagreements. Any posts with name-calling or personal attacks will be deleted. Got it? Thanks.

    Great. Can you ban or at least delete the person upthread who named him/herself Lick My Ass WeirwoodTreeHugger?

    So creepy.

  425. Veltigar
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    YeOldGods:
    Veltigar,

    Fanboy, eh? Well, considering I’ve read and watched both, and I love both, and I’mopen-minded enough to enjoy both for what they are, maybe it’s not me that’s the fan boy. Maybe, I don’t know, real fanboys are those that can’t let go of the fact that what they read in the BOOK is X, and therefore if the SHOW does Xy it must be awful! Because GRRM’S text is the living scripture and it SAID so! If Jon kills Styr instead of stairs falling on Styr, IT’S SACRILEGE. OMG I’m gonna rant about the show on a fansite because it’s RUINING THE SPREAD OF QUALITY FICTION! INFIDELS! Seriously, listen to yourself. It sounds obsessive. Now go cover up with your Mads blankey and re-read Jon’s chapters in Storm to calm your nerves.

    You really are something aren’t you. Perhaps, you should re-evaluate your reading skills. Look back at my criticisms, in the whole post I refered to the books once and it was actually positive for the show:

    Disappointed that Alliser isn’t dead. I think that the show’s rendition of the character is better than it’s in the books, he’s more relatable and understandable (awesome speech and cool convo with Jon btw)It would have been a good end to his arc if he had died in the tunnel.

    All the other criticism I had wasn’t about the show as an adaptation but the show as a work on it’s own. The fact that you immediatly try to set me away as an inane purist who’s out for blood, just because I had some (valid) criticism about pacing, placement, logic and staging of the fights, tells me exactly what type of poster I’m dealing with. And there’s one word for them: fanboys. And when such a fanboy unjustly attacks me, I’ll lash out to cut them down a peg.

  426. Veltigar
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    Disappointed that Alliser isn’t dead. I think that the show’s rendition of the character is better than it’s in the books, he’s more relatable and understandable (awesome speech and cool convo with Jon btw)It would have been a good end to his arc if he had died in the tunnel.

    All the other criticism I had wasn’t about the show as an adaptation but the show as a work on it’s own. The fact that you immediatly try to set me away as an inane purist who’s out for blood, just because I had some (valid) criticism about pacing, placement, logic and staging of the fights, tells me exactly what type of poster I’m dealing with. And there’s one word for them: fanboys. And when such a fanboy unjustly attacks me, I’ll lash out to cut them down a peg.

    Lt. Col. Bill Cage: I’m not a soldier.
    Rita Vrataski: Of course not. You’re a casting director who’ll cast Mads Mikkelsen as Euron.

    dauefofieafzhfueawarafxaf

  427. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    WeirwoodTreeHugger: Another thing that is hilarious is that every scene that didn’t contain lots of action or a plot twist or deviated from the books in some way was derided as filler all season long.

    Now people are bitching that the finale is going to be too full of plot.

    :)

    Just for you…I hope we get the continued story of “The Beetles” in ep10, in which Morpheus, the evil Lannister bastard expands upon his relative’s beetle-smashing and delves into beekeeping, worm-pulling and spider pranks. About 10 minutes on that should be enough.

    (Just want you to know that I greatly respect your re-read thoughts on your blog….but Malbec…really?? Stick with the Cab, woman!)

  428. GreatJon of Slumber
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    So on to Episode 10? Yes, I think we are going to see a lot of story lines, but I don’t care. At 66 minutes, which of course will include a 3-minute recap (sigh), we’ve got a lot of room to handle stories. Let’s see now. I’ll put most of this in spoilers, but one at a time, from lesser to more significance:

    The Boltons. I think we’re probably done with them. That shot of them headed toward Winterfell has a valedictory feel (well, since it’s the Boltons, it has a “swallow the vomit in your mouth feel” but you get my point.)

    Sansa. If anything, I think she’s done for the year. We may see a brief appearance. But again, “Shall we go down” has a very “end of season” feel to it after a GREAT season for Sophie Turner.

    Yara Greyjoy. I doubt we see her at all.

    Brienne and Pod. I imagine we’ll check in with them one way or another. I can’t imagine they’re more than a few minutes of screentime.

    Bran/Reeds/Hodor. All in the preview. I wonder if the thing Sophie Turner supposedly said about a season-ending scene might be Bran finding the 3-Eyed Raven.

    Arya and the Hound. The preview does show *some* kind of confrontation. If it is as people are suspecting, that the Hound and Brienne end up fighting, it has to do 3 things: 1) worsen the Hound’s condition, 2) allow Arya to escape, and 3) throw Brienne off the scent of the Eyrie.

    Mance, Jon, and the Wall. All in the preview. Obviously we get them.

    Danaerys. We’ll obviously have a check-in here. I doubt we see Jorah Mormont – his riding away on his horse felt like a season-ender.

    Stannis? Leaving this vague, for the Unsullied, but we haven’t seen his grim visage for a few episodes.

    The Lannisters. A lot of room for a conclusion here.

    –And finally, LS. I think it’s happening. Lena Headey’s no fool when she does things like this. No way they’re leaving it out. NO WAY.

    Adding it all up.
    Sansa 1 min
    Mance/Jon 7 min
    Other characters at the Wall 3-4 min
    Lannisters 14 min
    Bran et al 6 min
    Dany 8 min
    Arya/Hound 7 min
    Brienne/Pod 4 min
    Hot Pie! 0 min
    Random surprise check-ins 4 min
    Anything I’m missing 3 min
    Recap from last million years 2 min
    Closing credits 2 min

    That’s 62 minutes. There’s plenty of room.

  429. Veltigar
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    hdhfzh

    Disappointed that Alliser isn’t dead. I think that the show’s rendition of the character is better than it’s in the books, he’s more relatable and understandable (awesome speech and cool convo with Jon btw)It would have been a good end to his arc if he had died in the tunnel.

    All the other criticism I had wasn’t about the show as an adaptation but the show as a work on it’s own. The fact that you immediatly try to set me away as an inane purist who’s out for blood, just because I had some (valid) criticism about pacing, placement, logic and staging of the fights, tells me exactly what type of poster I’m dealing with. And there’s one word for them: fanboys. And when such a fanboy unjustly attacks me, I’ll lash out to cut them down a peg.

    Lt. Col. Bill Cage: I’m not a soldier.
    Rita Vrataski: Of course not. You’re a casting director who’ll cast Mads Mikkelsen as Euron.

  430. GreatJon of Slumber
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    For those too worried about too many things happening next week, I recall the end of Fire and Blood, which is just insane:

    –”First, we get the girls back. Then we kill them all.”
    –”There are no men like me. There’s only me.”
    –”The King in the North!” (chills)
    –Jon’s midnight ride.
    –Mormont’s amazing “And I mean to find Benjen Stark…” speech.
    –Ends on the dragons.

    BANG. BANG. BANG. BANG. It’ll be like that. Chill moment after chill moment after chill moment. The end of the third season pointed forward to some extent, but in many ways was a cleaning up: the Red Wedding, Jon coming home, Dany liberating Yunkai, but a bit of looking forward (Shae, Ceresi). The end of this season will be pointing forward to many, many further storylines.

  431. Ours is the Fury
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    WeirwoodTreeHugger: Great.Can you ban or at least delete the person upthread who named him/herself Lick My Ass WeirwoodTreeHugger?

    So creepy.

    Yeah I’m getting to work on cleaning things up.

    Which reminds me:

    People who use multiple screenames to troll? Don’t. Your posts will be deleted.

  432. WeirwoodTreeHugger
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    Hodor’s Bastard: :)

    Just for you…I hope we get the continued story of “The Beetles” in ep10, in which Morpheus, the evil Lannister bastard expands upon his relative’s beetle-smashing and delves into beekeeping, worm-pulling and spider pranks. About 10 minutes on that should be enough.

    (Just want you to know that I greatly respect your re-read thoughts on your blog….but Malbec…really?? Stick with the Cab, woman!)

    Oh noes! My malbec ruined the books for you didn’t it? Why am I such a dreadful hack? :)

  433. johnnytata
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    Veltigar: johnny

    not meant to be a dig at you directly, so i apologize for quoting you, and for the record, i think that attacking people who like the books and pigeonholing them as book purists is not fair either, and it just further goes to serve he antagonism (though i will admit i fall into this trap as well when i get uber frustrated).

    in a perfect world, book purists and show lovers can have smart, civilized discussions and actually appreciate each other’s opinions.

    if only…

  434. Doug
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    I have no issue with killing Pyp and Grenn. You have to remember this is a TV show, meaning you have to pay these people whether they appear or not. It’s not the books where they can only appear once or twice and it’s not a big deal. And, in season 5, Jon will be interacting with Stannis, Mel, Shireen, Val, etc. There would be no time to interact with Pyp or Grenn for more than a limited scene, and yet the budget would still have to pay them a salary. Things like this are often forgot. You have to remember them. It’s a budgeted TV show and they need every penny they have.

  435. Ed
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    LOLOLOLOL Amen, brother.

    DanielHimalia: Yes, many are losing interest and the storyline is dragging, that would explain the massive loss of viewers from HBO, and how the ratings are sagging, and everyone’s talking about how this show is going to end after this year.

    Oh wait, none of that’s true.

  436. Hoyti Von Totiy
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    anniej:
    It is pretty obvious the story line is D R A G G I N G. Many are loosing interest.

    Thank God im not the only one noticing this.

    If they maanaged to f**k up this season just imagine what torture season 5 will be.

  437. Chris
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    As a reader of the books, I’ve always found The Wall the most interesting and important part of the entire story and the TV series has definitely given it short shrift.
    All those silly internecine games around King’s Landing and across the sea (and don’t get me started on the infuriating soap opera in Dorne) pale in comparison to the threat of … Hello! There’s an army of icy monsters from the frozen wastes capable of reanimating the dead swooping down on the realms of men! That Wall is there for a reason and it’s not just those axe wielding thugs in bearskins! And Winter Is Coming!
    My favorite scene out of all five books so far, The Battle of the Fist, was bumped offstage in the show. Big loss.
    After all that, it was thrilling to finally see the real front line of the entire saga get its due.
    One amazing innovation in the show. I don’t think there was anything in the books remotely like that monstrous anchor/scythe/ice scraper thing that went savaging across the Wall at the finale.
    Yow!

  438. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    WeirwoodTreeHugger: Oh noes!My malbec ruined the books for you didn’t it?Why am I such a dreadful hack?:)

    “A dreadful hack”? Hardly….but it was a sin to start ACoK with Malbec. Cab to the rescue! Save the vodka for ASoS. :)

    It’s all a matter of grape refinement and integrity…sort of like the difference between Septa Lemore and Val. :)

  439. GRRMlin
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    Wow a season 4 episode without boring filler? That’s new.
    Solid stuff, for once, from D&D. Then again, there wasn’t much writing there.

  440. RT
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    Greatjon of Slumber,

    I agree Kit did a great job — loved the episode!

  441. Ed
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    That’s very true, agree 100% I’m not gonna claim D&D are idiots and are ruining the show or anything, but I definitely wish Ghost had more screen time. (shrug) Whatayagonnado?

    Yeah, I’ll give you that one. Gigantic bad-ass wolf. Moves at mega speed. Kills with impunity. Sure, let’s lock him up. *Sigh*

  442. Ms. D. Ranged in AZ
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    Cockman,

    You realize you’re comparing a major motion picture with a budget probably 10-20 more times the budget of the entire GOT series, right? These comparisons to Helms Deep and how they didn’t show enough wildlings it not only illogical, it’s just plain silly.

    RamBam,

    Well from a military standpoint it makes no sense to bring the entire wildling army out of the forest and into arrow range. Particularly since the only real vulnerability to the wall is the tunnel. To bring up thousands of troops to the base of the Wall would be to expose them to all the weapons the Night’s Watch had prepared and were freshly stocked…plus the Night’s Watch men were ready and rested. This would have given the Night’s Watch too many targets and would have made their weapons more effective. However, by sending out small parties to try to enter the tunnel, he wears down the men of the Night’s Watch and forces them to use up their weapons. He also tests their readiness AND defenses. AND the attack from the South forced them to split their forces. Mance probably never thought the attack from the South would work (particularly after so few made it over the Wall) but there was a chance they could win through and open up the tunnel for them. It was a gamble that didn’t work out. But even without an immediate payoff, there are long term benefits. Mance has killed at least 1/3 to 1/2 of the men at Castle Black, made them use up a good portion of their defensive weapons AND weakened the tunnel defenses. And in doing so he only lost two giants and a couple hundred wildings. If he has 100,000…and we know he does….that’s a drop in the bucket. It’s just like a siege…sit back, harass the enclosed enemy and wait until they are exhausted, starving and out of weapons. Jon knows it and it’s why he has to go out and try to kill Mance quickly before the Night’s Watch gets too worn down.

  443. Ed
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    Best. Post. Ever.

    Kate:
    My first serious post here, so please bear with me… I am a huge fan of the books and I love the show just as much. Earlier today, I felt like the negative voices were much louder and I was prepared to come here and rant (for the first time ever) about all the naysayers, unrealistic expectations, silly comparisons to LOTR and other blockbusters, and lack of reading comprehension from some of the book fans.
    Then I read last night’s reviews and comments of reasonable fans,just noticed that #JonSnow is still trending (U.S. and worldwide) and all is right with the world (more or less). So instead of focusing on the negative let me say that last night’s episode was freaking awesome! I had no idea TV could be like this! I enjoyed the focus on the NW and the fight scenes were amazing. I did not expect to be so sad about Pyp and Grenn. I love me some rousing battle speeches but the scene with Grenn and the boys in the tunnel reciting the vows was so moving. There were some great quieter moments too – Sam and Aemon, Sam and Jon, Jon and Ygritte…
    Did I imagine the battle to be bigger, louder, more epic while reading the book? Maybe, but my imagination costs nothing. Hats off to D&D and the whole team for pulling off an episode like this while dealing with budget, schedules, actors’ availability, fans’ expectations and god knows what else. IMO, they really succeeded. Much like Sansa last week, Jon Snow finally showed his full potential.
    All in all, I really enjoyed this episode and I can’t wait for the finale. Looks like all the storylines may end on a high note!

    *sorry for the long post and inevitable mistakes, English is not my first language

  444. Steve
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    So, I always figured that when the story is over Sam will become a Maester. But now that we all know D&D know the ending, yesterday’s episode threw me for a loop in regards to Sam. Let’s talk a hypothetical. Let’s relook at this episode and imagine Jon Snow is the King. Okay? Given Sam’s dialogue and story in this episode, if Jon Snow was the King in this episode, does Sam come off as a Maester to you, or as a Hand of the King to you? Because that’s the way he came off to me. Giving orders that were consistent with what Jon wanted, ensuring people did what Jon wanted, giving advice to Jon, following Jon around, refusing to leave Jon alone, I can go on…

    I’m not suggesting any of these things happen by the conclusion of the story. I’m just suggesting it made me think, that if both these characters are alive in the conclusion of the entire story…I may have to rethink where I think they might be. Because Sam wasn’t even at the wall in the books for this battle. So they drastically changed and added these type of traits to his character and story.

  445. Ms. D. Ranged in AZ
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    Isabelle,

    I really enjoyed that opening convo too. It reminds us of just how young and inexperienced many of the Night’s Watch are…makes it all that much sadder when they die. And when Sam raised his voice at Pyp to open the gate, I exclaimed, “Finally, you discovered your big boy pants!” :)

  446. Ms. D. Ranged in AZ
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    Steve,

    Well, is there any reason/rule that says a Maester can’t become the Hand of the King? I don’t recall anything like that except perhaps for tradition, but whoever ends up in charge (IF anyone even does) a lot of traditions will probably change. Nothing is constant in life except change.

  447. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    Batman:
    A 50-minute long fight scene with terrible lightning, to the point where it’s barely legible.

    You saw lightning? I don’t believe there were any weather-related storms in this episode.

    I thought there was great lighting for a moonless night, and especially down below CB in the dark cellars. They seem to keep hidden lamps everywhere, intertwined with the ductwork.

    (*couldn’t resist*)

  448. Kate
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    OT: when trying to quote someone while responding, my posts don’t go through. Any idea why? It’s difficult to discuss things without proper context :)

  449. Greatjon of Slumber
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    Veltigar: Yeah, one problem though… I did not refer to the books at all. The fact that the guy spins me off as a book purist pisses me off. I have written a large post about it. It hasn’t appeared yet, still lost somewhere in the dark corners of WiC.net, but you’ll see my response

    Fair enough and apologies, then. But as time goes by on this site I find more people who don’t really seem like show enthusiasts and instead want to birch about things not happening the way they wanted. So if I called you out mistakenly that’s my fault.

  450. johnnytata
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    one of the things i loved about true detective was that it so drew me into the character drama that i didn’t care so much about solving the mystery. yes solving a mystery before the storyteller gives it up is a central part of the genre, drawing on the validation that we all crave regarding our own smartness. but what happens when you free yourself up from the need to predict is that you actually enjoy the moment for what it is, not for what clue you’re looking for that will help you solve the mystery

    agenda-free viewing is a beautiful thing.

    when applied to game of thrones, even more so. there are too many things that are beautiful here to get bogged down in minor issues like “continuity,” or “faithfulness to the source” or “logic.”

    i am serious. real beauty is rarely logical and can’t be figured out or predicted. it just has to be experienced.

  451. GRRMlin
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    D&D’s butchery of Stannis continues.
    At this point I get the feeling that D&D just dont like Stannis.

  452. KG
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    I dunno. Less is more for the direwolves as far as I’m concerned. I’d rather see real people really moving the plot forward than Ooh puppy!

    But I realize I’m in the minority :D

    Ed:
    That’s very true, agree 100%I’m not gonna claim D&D are idiots and are ruining the show or anything, but I definitely wish Ghost had more screen time.(shrug)Whatayagonnado?

  453. outdoorcats
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    OT – Did we all listen to the full track that was released from the soundtrack? It’s ‘Breaker of Chains,’ and surprisingly, it’s clearly not from the episode with the same title, is very emotional, and doesn’t appear to have been used yet.

    http://www.vulture.com/2014/06/game-of-thrones-season-4-soundtrack-sneak-peek.html?mid=imdb

    If I had to guess, it appears to be the soundtrack for Dany learning that her dragons have been eating children, which will probably be her final scene of the season. The big hint? When we hear the Dany theme mix with the ‘Main Titles’ theme, which Djawadi has always traditionally done with the final Dany scene of any given season. I think this is going to be a really powerful scene (and WAY different from her triumphant endings of past seasons) and I’m pretty eagerly looking forward to it.

  454. The King in the North
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    I don’t understand why people think you know who won’t show up next episode. The synopsis clearly gives it away. He can’t have his shining moment just when the Watch had theirs. It wouldn’t be fair to the characters. He’s going to show up when Jon is in the tent with Mance and prove why he’s the rightful heir to the throne.

    Lena posted on her Instagram a huge possible give away for this season and I hope that’s how they end next week.

  455. Kate
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    strokememarge:
    I asked my family members what they thought about the episode, the women didn’t watch because they are mad about Oberyn and Jon doesn’t interest them, they like him but they don’t like his story, they would love it if he would interact with a girl, and they liked it briefly when he was involved with Ygritte.
    BTW, they are pissed about Jorah too. My niece said the author must hate relationships with women.
    There you have it D&D, get Jon a love interest and the girls will tune in, period. Don’t wait till the damn last minute. I just realized, there are no truly romantic relationships in ASoIaF and KL. in Feast and Dances.

    Girls do tune in even without romantic relationships on the show. I, for one, love the character of Jon Snow no matter his relationship status. Maybe it’s because I’ve read the books and theories, but I am excited about the potential of the character in the world of ASoIaF. Oh and I also don’t need a confirmed romantic relationship, a hint of one works just as well, e.g. the will they/won’t they (really sorry for the term, it doesn’t go well with the genre, lol) of Jaime and Brienne is very intriguing to watch. Of course I do not represent all the girls, so to each his own, I guess…

  456. Ours is the Fury
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    I would appreciate it if everyone stopped feeding the trolls. Thanks.

  457. Hoyti Von Totiy
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    GRRMlin:
    D&D’s butchery of Stannis continues.
    At this point I get the feeling that D&D just dont like Stannis.

    They hate him because he´s a real man and this show favors curly haired emos.

    Jon Snow in the books is NOT a curly haired emo with a half beard!!!!

  458. NYI
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    Rygar,

    Except that White DID play the Mountain in season two and absolutely everyone hated it.

  459. Kate
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    KG:
    I dunno. Less is more for the direwolves as far as I’m concerned. I’d rather see real people really moving the plot forward than Ooh puppy!

    But I realize I’m in the minority :D

    I’ve always assumed that the direwolves are quite expensive to have in any given episode because of all the CG that goes into the closeups. I would have loved more Ghost but I don’t hold it against D&D, they had other CG issues to worry about.

  460. Dweezil
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    anniej,

    A few whiners on this site are.

    “Oh dear, the story isn’t going exactly as I envisioned. That means that the massive increase in ratings is meaningless; only my hurt feelings are relevant.”

    Yes, over 7 million people a week are watching this live and the show is losing interest.

    Congratulations on being so dim and self absorbed that you can’t see beyond your own inflated expectations. You’re quite the adult!

  461. Kate
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    Ed,

    thank you!

  462. Veltigar
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    So, my full post still hasn’t appeared yet. Eventhough I submitted it quite a few times, in several parts, with some tweaks to avoid double comment etc.

    So, is this just the site being to busy to handle everything or are my posts to long? If so is there a length that allows your comments to get through?

  463. Tatters
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    Strepsi,

    Well, i think they are just cutting some parts of SoS.
    Unless you have noticed from the casting, prepare for a massive dissapointment. They are going all out with Feast.

  464. Kate
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    Veltigar,

    I have a similar problem, I posted a comment (with a quote) four times, none of it went through and when I tried to just reply (instead of quote) I got a warning about double posting… no idea what’s wrong with it

    EDIT: one of the four comments just appeared as posted half an hour ago…

  465. Veltigar
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    Kate: I’ve always assumed that the direwolves are quite expensive to have in any given episode because of all the CG that goes into the closeups. I would have loved more Ghost but I don’t hold it against D&D, they had other CG issues to worry about.

    What I find odd is, that they chose to include a mammoth and two giants over more Ghost action. The mammoth could easily be left out and one giant would be enough, since Mance was only testing the defences apparantly (silly explanation really, tactically that does not make sense).

    Kate:
    Veltigar,

    This is totally OT but let me tell you how much I love your Mads Mikkelsen casting suggestions! I am a huge fan of his (currently geeking out over Hannibal) and I enjoy your end-of-post tags. He’d be an amazing Euron.

    Thanks, Mads is great in Hannibal :D It’s a long shot, but I hope we get him for this small but significant part :D

  466. Greatjon of Slumber
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    NYI:
    Rygar,

    Except that White DID play the Mountain in season two and absolutely everyone hated it.

    Ian Whyte doesn’t look to be any larger – at best – than Shaquille O’Neal, and that may even be a stretch. And Shaq at his heaviest was in the 325 lbs range.

    Hafthor Bjornnsen is a little shorter, at 6’9″, but he’s enormously muscled, like the Mountain, weighing in at about 420, and Gregor wasn’t just about size, but being freakish strong. Recasting was the right move.

  467. ArgonathofBraavos
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    Brienne has been tasked with keeping Sansa (and Arya, if she is alive) safe. So Brienne will encounter the Hound, and somehow will gain possession of Arya. She determines that the best way to keep Arya safe, now that Lysa is dead and the Lannisters control most of Westeros, is to send her on a ship to Braavos. My question is: Will Brienne possibly go to Braavos with Arya? If so, why wouldn’t she, if she is sworn to protect her? Is it possible that she tries, and Arya gives her the slip, jumps on a departing boat, and high tails it out of there?

    And in this scenario, how will the Hound be dispatched? Will Brienne kill him, or will he somehow die of his wound?

  468. Tatters
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    Hoyti Von Totiy,

    Lol, Jon in the books is a silly 16 year old.

    GRRMlin,

    *Grenn and Pyp.
    Stannis are coming buddy, he is coming with the pizzas.
    All will be fine.

  469. johnnytata
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    Hoyti Von Totiy: They hate him because he´s a real man and this show favors curly haired emos.Jon Snow in the books is NOT a curly haired emo with a half beard!!!!

    this is rather comical.

    i actually think the show should be all cgi, like avatar.

    and let the fans be in charge of how it all looks and how the story is told.

    they should have a contest at the beginning of each season. fans write in essay form how crazy they are about the books, and the ten craziest people get to do each episode, casting, writing, producing, directing, location scouting, fundraising, the whole thing.

    would be effing epic.

  470. Kate
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    Veltigar,

    True but can you imagine the fury of some of the book fans if they left the mammoth out? I guess they went for a bit of everything instead of a more logical but probably as expensive Ghost scenes.

    And I am all for Mads on the show, whatever role or cameo that might be.

  471. ArgonathofBraavos
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    Veltigar,

    But the mammoth (and the giant drama) were some of the coolest things about the episode. Why leave it out?

  472. zerowolf
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    A lot of you are missing the point – the show has a limited budget allocated to each episode and production hours. If would be simply too expensive to show Stannis arriving as well as the extra shooting days involved. A shame but if they had they would have been forced to cut corners elsewhere within the battle.
    That’s just the way it works.

  473. Veltigar
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    ArgonathofBraavos:
    Veltigar,

    But the mammoth (and the giant drama) were some of the coolest things about the episode. Why leave it out?

    Because seeing Ghost ripping apart a couple of Thenns would be a lot cooler? so using CGI money for that would be better (plus and this time I’ll use the books, Ghost action is more relevant than a mammoth and a spare giant?)

    Just keap one giant (shooting the bow and getting inside the gate) and use the remaining money to let Ghost kick some ass :D

  474. Ms. D. Ranged in AZ
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    Veltigar,
    since Mance was only testing the defences apparantly (silly explanation really, tactically that does not make sense)

    I beg to differ, I posted just recently about why it makes perfect sense militarily. I have both military and paramilitary experience so I’m not talking out of my bunghole here.

    Hodor’s Bastard,

    Interesting that you mention lighting…the BF said, “who is who? I can’t tell” and in truth neither could I, most of the time. If the choice is to have all the scenes lit up like a Christmas tree, which is completely unrealistic, I’ll take the darkness. Can you imagine being in a battle in that kind of darkness, how frightening and how difficult it would be to tell friend from foe. /shudders

  475. Ours is the Fury
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    Kate,

    When a post goes into moderation, you just have to wait for it to be moderated. If you keep trying to post it five times, it’s going to go into Spam.

  476. Kate
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury,

    Ok, got it. Thanks!

  477. Turncloak
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    Veltigar,

    I disagree, we got enough ghost action and it was awesome. Seeing him rip multiple wildling knecks would be very repetitive. What more do you want to see Ghost do?

  478. Nate
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    Didn’t anyone think the lack of Edd one liners was weird. There was at least 3 spots where it was just close ups of him and he could have delivered some epic Dolorous Edd one liners, but nothing.
    weird.

  479. KG
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    Then a “Your post is waiting moderation” notification would be good. People don’t know if their posts are getting through or not.

    …. and this “Oh whoops we logged you out please enter your information again” BS is intolerable.

  480. KG
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    It was to show how seriously he was taking the dire situation.

    Nate:
    Didn’t anyone think the lack of Edd one liners was weird. There was at least 3 spots where it was just close ups of him and he could have delivered some epic Dolorous Edd one liners, but nothing.
    weird.

  481. Nate
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    ack no, he’s never serious. That’s why he’s dolorous Edd.
    “Edd you have the wall”
    Insert perfect Edd response here.

    KG,

  482. Turncloak
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    KG:
    Then a “Your post is waiting moderation” notification would be good. People don’t know if their posts are getting through or not.

    …. and this “Oh whoops we logged you out please enter your information again” BS is intolerable.

    Yes this. I get logged out after every single post -_-

  483. Veltigar
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    KG:
    Then a “Your post is waiting moderation” notification would be good. People don’t know if their posts are getting through or not.

    …. and this “Oh whoops we logged you out please enter your information again” BS is intolerable.

    Agreed on both accounts!

    Turncloak:
    Veltigar,

    I disagree, we got enough ghost action and it was awesome. Seeing him rip multiple wildling knecks would be very repetitive. What more do you want to see Ghost do?

    We barely saw him jump one guy… I’d like to see him fight, see how a direwolf would do in a battle.

    Ms. D. Ranged in AZ:
    Veltigar,
    since Mance was only testing the defences apparantly (silly explanation really, tactically that does not make sense)

    I beg to differ, I posted just recently about why it makes perfect sense militarily.I have both military and paramilitary experience so I’m not talking out of my bunghole here.

    No, it doesn’t make sense tactically. Probing the Walls defences in an of itself is a good idea, but he did that at the wrong time. His best shot at getting through that gate was an assault from the south by the Thenns. If he wanted to probe the NW defenses he should have started earlier, but when the attack from the south occured he should have gone all in and tried to push through, tieing up as much of the NW resources on top of the wall as possible. That would have increased the chance of the Thenns winning.

  484. FalloutBoy89
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    WE NEED MORE GHOST!!!!!!!

  485. Vin Sidious
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    Whoever posted last week that this week’s ending would subtly foreshadow the conclusion of the whole damn story….. of course had my wheels turning, troll or no troll.

    All I can come up with: Jon walks off, Fade to WHITE = Jon must foresake his humanity and become King White Walker, The Great Other, in order to save the Realm. Maybe to defeat Dany Gone Mad. Who knows, maybe that makes him the true King of Winter.

  486. Bard
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    If there were about 100 men left at Castle Black, how many of them are still alive right now? 40? 50? Even fewer? Can we have a death toll?

  487. Delta1212
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    The best part of the episode for me was Tormund vs Thorne. I could easily see the show killing off either of those two characters in that moment which means I had no idea who was going to live through that fight, and I found myself caring more about both of them in that moment than I would have expected.

    The rest was a great spectacle of an episode. I feel like it didn’t advance the plot as much as the “big episodes” of previous seasons did, but I can certainly admire it for what it was. That was one of the best battles I’ve ever seen in terms of staging. The tracking shots were fantastic, and unlike the annoyingly nonsensical editing in most action movies these days, there was a clear sense of exactly where everyone was in relation to each other during pretty much the whole battle. It’s rare to see a fight, especially one that essentially went non-stop for half an hour with dozens of actors that makes that much sense in terms of space.

  488. Delta1212
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    Bard,

    I do think I’m going to fast forward through the episode and try to tally up all of the dead crows on screen. I was thinking during the episode that they were killing an awful lot for having only 102 left at the start. I want to see if it was really as many as it looked like.

  489. fuelpagan
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    Veltigar,

    Hopefully the next episode will talk about the White Walker attacks the wildlings are suffering, which would explain why Mance didn’t commit the full force of his army into attacking the wall.

    Had Mance known how weak the Night’s Watch defenses actually were, he probably would have attacked harder.

  490. Sireas
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    Javi Marcos,
    This episode was the worst of entire series. So far I even liked it (without few moments like going outside to fight traitors or Bran “the savior” motive) but this episode, killing 2 important characters (Pyp and Grenn, u serious?) was just stupid. Also watching episode I noticed that nearly half of Black Castle defenders was killed by Tormund, some Thenn’s and Ygritte. And there were more of them. Where is logic in this?!

  491. Sireas
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    Delta1212,

    I counted around 30 but there are always some fighting in the background. I’m curious what the outcome will be.

  492. Bui Huu Duyet
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    I would be disappointed if Stannis arrived this episode. An reluctant hero commanded his ragged band against the enemies en masse while some VIJackass tucking his tail, and the day was saved by the cavalry just in time. That would be simply too Blackwater, say.

  493. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    Turncloak:
    Veltigar,
    I disagree, we got enough ghost action and it was awesome. Seeing him rip multiple wildling knecks would be very repetitive. What more do you want to see Ghost do?

    I would like to see him respond to Jon’s moves, as if they were connected on another level. He would scout for Jon, defend him, serve as a warning mechanism, etc…one Ghost kill in an episode is fine…just don’t cage him, which is all I really care about.

    Ms. D. Ranged in AZ,

    Can you imagine what the torch/lantern shadows would do to the fighting mayhem? It would be awful…who the hell am I fighting or shooting at? I thought they did the southern attack justice though.

  494. Jon Blackfyre
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    I didnt think the lighting was bad at all. I think that must be your television. It was dark enough for an omnimous feel but I could see everything.

    Tormund Vs Thorne was really good. I think that is going to payoff well in the future if they keep Thorne Alive and give him Bowen Marsh’s role.

    They are seriously fucking up a book fan favorite character in Dolorus Edd and I’m not sure why. They have NOT given him barelly anything comical. Hes Im afraid we will never get his witty one liners in the show and I feel that is a HUGE mistake on the shows part.

    So what are they going to do now that HALF of Jon Snows entorage is dead. SERIOUSLY how do you kill Pyp AND Grenn. Maybe Pyp but not Grenn. C’mon man.

  495. Josla
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    Best effing GOT episode ever!!!! OMG I was blown away!!!! So sad about Pyp and Grenn but at least they didn’t show the giant crushing him or something. * Cuddles and sobs in mourning for my boys* :’(

  496. Veltigar
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    Overtone: Thanks for the spoiler asshole.

    … This is the bookreaders recap ;)

    Jon Blackfyre:
    So what are they going to do now that HALF of Jon Snows entorage is dead. SERIOUSLY how do you kill Pyp AND Grenn. Maybe Pyp but not Grenn. C’mon man.

    Let’s see, I’ll go out on a limb and say:

    1) Alliser Marsh or Bowen Thorne. Ally received his wound by Tormund, like Bowen got his on the bridge of skulls. I dearly hope I’m wrong about this, since Alliser right now is a good character (better than in the books), but I see them giving him Bowen’s role. I just wished Alliser had been given Grenn’s role and Pyp had been spared to take on Bowen’s place.

    2) More Edd and little boy

    3) Hopefully more interaction with certain other persons

    In a lands of myths and a time of magic, the destiny of one kingdom rests upon the shoulders of an actor cast as Euron. His name… is Mads Mikkelsen

  497. Greatjon of Slumber
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    Jon Blackfyre: They are seriously fucking up a book fan favorite character in Dolorus Edd and I’m not sure why. They have NOT given him barelly anything comical. Hes Im afraid we will never get his witty one liners in the show and I feel that is a HUGE mistake on the shows part.

    “I was born in a place like this. Later I fell on hard times.”

    “Please, before I die, stop talking.”

    “We were having a serious conversation.”

    “Never knew Bannen could smell so good.”

    “The first men here were…”
    “Stupid. Smart people don’t find themselves in places like this.”

    They could include a few more zingers. But he isn’t devoid of ‘em.

  498. Tatters
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    Why are people saying this is the worst episode of the series, it makes no sense.
    Seriously, the bear and the maiden fair, the climb, the nightlands, the prince of winterfell, all those “filler” episodes are better than the most well produced tv episode ever?
    I guess people are people.

  499. YeOldGods
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    Jon Blackfyre,

    Well, since this is a spoilers room, I’ll just remind you that Grenn is sent to another Nightswatch Castle in the books. He’s all but written out. So, yeah, I’m not sure how you’re surprised that he was killed in the show. And Pyp, again, a fairly minor character. Jon’s story features other NWmen going forward.

  500. Abyss
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 3:28 pm | Permalink
  501. Veltigar
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    Greatjon of Slumber: “I was born in a place like this. Later I fell on hard times.”

    “Please, before I die, stop talking.”

    “We were having a serious conversation.”

    “Never knew Bannen could smell so good.”

    “The first men here were…”
    “Stupid. Smart people don’t find themselves in places like this.”

    They could include a few more zingers. But he isn’t devoid of ‘em.

    Have to say that some of them aren’t really what I would call “Dolorous Edd”. The Bannen one was really good (don’t know if it was original or not)and so was the “I was born in a place like this…”

    The others though (apart from “a serious conversation” which I don’t recollect) are pretty mean and very unlike Edd imo.

    Troll in the dungeons! troll in the dungeons! I thought, you’d all like to know and cast Mads Mikkelsen as Euron to get rid of it

  502. Chriss
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    Jon Blackfyre:
    I didnt think the lighting was bad at all. I think that must be your television. It was dark enough for an omnimous feel but I could see everything.

    Tormund Vs Thorne was really good. I think that is going to payoff well in the future if they keep Thorne Alive and give him Bowen Marsh’s role.

    They are seriously fucking up a book fan favorite character in Dolorus Edd and I’m not sure why. They have NOT given him barelly anything comical. Hes Im afraid we will never get his witty one liners in the show and I feel that is a HUGE mistake on the shows part.

    So what are they going to do now that HALF of Jon Snows entorage is dead. SERIOUSLY how do you kill Pyp AND Grenn. Maybe Pyp but not Grenn. C’mon man.

    The lighting is always poor. I mean since, like, the second season. I’m guessing they do it either for style (which is really annoying!) or for budget. If the lighting is poor, they have a bit of leeway with stuff. I figured that’s why all the fight scenes are always in the dark.

  503. Jon Blackfyre
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    YeOldGods,

    This is a spoilers section so why are you using spoiler tags? Jon doesn’s send them away til for a while in the books. I would think that they would want to use two established charcters to show the rise of Jon to LC and then show Jon ignoring his friends when he decides that he can not be there friends and LC at the same time. He then sends Grenn off and its a hard decision because its during he enternal struggle of how to be a good LC. Which IMO is a huge mistake. He should of never alienated his friends and he needed to communicate way better the the rest of his subordinates.

  504. mariamb
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    http://insidetv.ew.com/2014/06/09/game-of-thrones-ratings-battle-castle/

    Ratings for last night’s episode down slightly from last week – 6.9 for first showing and 8.1 over two plays. Let the overwrought analysis begin.

  505. Veltigar
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    Chriss: The lighting is always poor. I mean since, like, the second season. I’m guessing they do it either for style (which is really annoying!) or for budget. If the lighting is poor, they have a bit of leeway with stuff. I figured that’s why all the fight scenes are always in the dark.

    CGI is apparently easier in the dark. Just look at Pacific Rim and Godzilla, you always see the big CGI battles in the dark.

    Little Rock: Who’s Bill Murray?
    Tallahassee: I’ve never hit a kid before. I mean, that’s like asking who’s the best casting choice for Euron.
    Little Rock: Who is?
    Tallahasse: [slaps LR]MADS MIKKELSEN OF COURSE

  506. Chriss
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    mariamb:
    http://insidetv.ew.com/2014/06/09/game-of-thrones-ratings-battle-castle/

    Ratings for last night’s episode down slightly from last week – 6.9 for first showing and 8.1 over two plays. Let the overwrought analysis begin.

    Wasn’t it already predicted the ratings would go down because some big sports game was on or something?

  507. Greatjon of Slumber
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    Veltigar: The others though (apart from “a serious conversation” which I don’t recollect) are pretty mean and very unlike Edd imo.

    The serious conversation one was in response to Sam interrupting Edd and Grenn when Edd’s recalling how his mother farted loudly when she died.

  508. Overtone
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    smitzzzz:
    At the end of the episode why did Jon go off through to the other side to see Mance , why didn’t they just collapse the tunnel? there are no Freefolk South of the wall anymore and the only threat is from the other side of that tunnel , plot hole xD other than that and the abrupt ending where I’d rather have seen Stan the man and his army great episode.

    Not to be overly critical, but I had similar thoughts. The giants almost broke through the gate. The Night’s Watch should be counting their lucky stars at this point and collapse the thing. Sir Alliser even admitted to Jon before fighting began that leaving it open was a mistake.

    I also think Ghost should have went with Jon, but that’s just me being nitpicky.

    0KEN0:
    Man, the “fans” on this website never disappoint. Yes, it was different from the book it parts, yes it didn’t have Stannis, but holy crap. People talking about how it was one of the worst episodes ever? LOL

    Truly, these peeps are clowns of the highest order. They are clearly qualified to take Ser Dontos’ place as jester in King Tommen’s court. Absolute buffoons.

  509. Polish
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    Overtone: Thanks for the spoiler asshole.

    Ummm this is a spoiler / sullied thread my friend!!

  510. zerowolf
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    RE: Pyp and Grenn

    Looking at the “Inside Episode #9″ video – Mr.Benioff clearly states that he wanted to kill off some well known characters so as to get an emotional response from the viewer rather than just dispose of some extras that nobody gives a damn about.
    By the outrage expressed by some of the commenteers here I’d say that he succeeded.
    In the grand scheme of things their demise is not important.”They don’t die in the books!” is not a valid argument.

  511. Chriss
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    zerowolf:
    RE: Pyp and Grenn

    Looking at the “Inside Episode #9″ video – Mr.Benioff clearly states that he wanted to kill off some well known characters so as to get an emotional response from the viewer rather than just dispose of some extras that nobody gives a damn about.
    By the outrage expressed by some of the commenteers here I’d say that he succeeded.
    In the grand scheme of things their demise is not important.”They don’t die in the books!” is not a valid argument.

    Although I reluctantly agree – I really, really liked Grenn and Pyp in the TV show – I don’t agree with your reasoning. If we cut everything that isn’t important to the ‘grand scheme of things’, then we’d be cutting a lot of brilliant stuff, which really makes the series special, just because they’re unnecessary (or replaceable) for the end game. That’s a failed adaptation, and a trilogy of films could have easily done that.

    PS – Why do I need to keep reentering my details every time I want to leave a comment?

  512. Carne
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    The death of Pyp and Grenn hopefully means there will be more focus on Edd, Olly, Slynt and Thorne next season. Yarwyck too I guess. Might even introduce Hobb or someone else.

  513. Winter grows strong
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    Josh,

    I was wondering that also, as I am sure they help out with his election as lord commander.

  514. Sister Wrister
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    Vin Sidious:
    Whoever posted last week that this week’s ending would subtly foreshadow the conclusion of the whole damn story….. of course had my wheels turning, troll or no troll.

    All I can come up with: Jon walks off, Fade to WHITE = Jon must foresake his humanity and become King White Walker, The Great Other, in order to save the Realm. Maybe to defeat Dany Gone Mad. Who knows, maybe that makes him the true King of Winter.

    That’s fucking interesting, man.

    Delta1212:
    The best part of the episode for me was Tormund vs Thorne. I could easily see the show killing off either of those two characters in that moment which means I had no idea who was going to live through that fight, and I found myself caring more about both of them in that moment than I would have expected.

    I was also thinking this…. It could go either way, tho I suspected Tormund would live… Too good a character with too many future possibilities. But yeah, I was gripped during that fight thinking “who’s gonna win??”
    Interesting they both lived…

  515. sherry
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    So, that means that the finale is going to have a heck of a lot of ground to cover, right? Like, what is going to happen to Tyrion, and how is all that going to end? I read in Entertainment Weekly there is supposed to be a cliffhanger, a huge twist, and several confrontations in the finale. So, it looks like it is going to be a great finale coming up. Something to keep us wondering for another year. :) There is going to be a lot of casting going on for Season 5. Not only the Dornish, but probably the remaining Greyjoys as well!

  516. Delta1212
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    Sireas,

    I went through and tried to count them all including background as best as I could. I got 47 dead crows on screen plus close to 10 arrows that we saw Ygritte let fly but didn’t see what they hit. Knowing a Ygritte, that’s at least a few more.

    If I’m being realistic, based on what we saw on screen, they lost at least half their number, but even if we stick with just on screen deaths that I counted, that’s a maximum of 55 Night’s Watchmen they have left. Of those, one is Aemon, one is an incapacitated Thorne, and one is a useless Janos Slynt.

  517. Salweb Gnotrs
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    I liked it! Marshall rules! The action was intense and build up was great. I do admit, i was a bit surprised by the Stannis delay. But hey, more to look forward too in the final one for this season. I guess they have to tie a lot of storylines into that. Nice to see Neil Marshall doing a cameo as an archer on the wall as well.

  518. House Mormont
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    I JUST WATCHED IT AND I WAS SO CONFUSED WHEN THE END CREDITS CAME UP I THOUGHT MY TV HAD SKIPPED TWENTY MINUTES FORWARD

    IT WAS GREAT I JUST THOUGHT THERE’D BE THE ENTIRE BATTLE OF CASTLE BLACK, I MEAN THE WILDINGS HAVEN’T BEEN IN SINCE EPISODE THREE THEY COULD HAVE SET THIS UP IN EPISODE EIGHT

    Jon’s smile at Ygritte made me cry though, and I didn’t know Pyp would die :(

  519. Sister Wrister
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    sherry,

    Careful now, you prolly shouldn’t be hangin around here if you don’t know what’s up. And I say this because there are spoilers everywhere and you don’t wanna go through that. Trust me, getting spoiled like that would suck, because the choices made are nothin if not your own………

  520. David The grey
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

    Last night I searched for Larry William’s video review and couldn’t find it, but it is on youtube today – all 4 and half minutes of it. Seems he’s so not interested that he could barey bring himself to talk about it.
    Geez, I’m almost interested enough to check out the other shows he reviews, if he gets this despondent over GoT, to see what kind of shows he actually likes.

  521. arden
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    Haha one of my favorite scene from the books is now reduced to episode 10 filler. Cut the retarded sex talk and make the episode 10 minutes longer and it would actually make sense.

    My expectation is Stannis arrives when Mance and Jon are reaching a peace agreement turning Stannis into the villain D&D seem to think he is

    Otherwise thrilling episode. Pyp dying affected me morseso than Ygritte lmao

  522. Ms. D. Ranged in AZ
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

    Veltigar,
    Except you’re ignoring some very important pieces of information.

    1) Remember when Ygritte and Jon climbed the wall, they lost a lot of people…that would have doubled the number they had for the assault from the south. He sent the Thenns to bolster their numbers but we don’t know if Mance knew how many actually made it over. He knows that Tormund lost a bunch, but we don’t know if he knew that the Thenns made it. AND even if they did, they would still be outnumbered 2 to 1 even if the Night’s Watch was split into two. Count the number of wildlings standing around the fire when Ygritte challenges the Magnar about who gets to kill Jon. I can only make out 14 standing around the fire, two or three in the distance, but let’s be generous and say there are 20 to 25. Half the men at CB would be about 50…plus a dire wolf, if I was in the Night’s Watch, I’d take those odds big bald scary guys notwithstanding. Basically the southern attack was a suicide mission…regardless of what Mance believed or knew the Castle Black numbers to be.

    2) Mance may have 100,000 but he may only have a certain number of giants and mammoths (according to awoiaf wiki there were several hundred left when Mance became king, and that was years before they actually got to the Wall). So how many of those are warriors? And since the giants and the mammoths were the ONLY ones capable of breaking through the tunnel gate without assistance from the south side (see #1) he’d be risking specifically their hides. It’s never prudent to risk your best assets when you’re simply testing the other’s defenses. He only sent two and one mammoth and many more men. Men are more disposable (but not entirely see #3), the giants aren’t. Witness the men trying to climb the Wall. It took Jon and Ygritte all day long. Even if those men did it twice as fast, there was still plenty of time for the NW to send men down to fight off the southern attempt and defend the tunnel gate and then get back up to the top and knock off the climbers. Also, men will stand and fight against men, but giants also have a scare factor that is invaluable (witness the fear that Grenn’s group had and they were behind steel bars!) If the giants were to get south of the wall the common people would flee in terror…there won’t be a whole lot of fighting back until they get pretty far south. Again, long term, the giants are one of, if not THE best weapons, Mance has. Why risk them unnecessarily when all he has to do is harass the NW and wait?

    3) Mance is in no rush. He knows the NW numbers are dwindling, he has plenty of food (he’s been preparing a lot longer than the NW for this assault) and he has the opportunity to get more. He knows that KL has been ignoring the needs of the NW and he knows the Starks have been removed from power in the North and that leaves a power vacuum so that there will be no Northern Lords or any Southern Lords for that matter to save the day. He obviously doesn’t know about Stannis and that’s why Stannis’ arrival is so successful. It isn’t just the mounted troops and organized military (which is important of course but the element of surprise is key there. He’s in no rush…he’s got plenty of time to take “siege” of Castle Black.

    4) Mance will need as much of that massive army as possible once he gets into Southern Westeros because even though they won’t meet a lot of resistance, they will meet a unified resistance once he gets far enough south. And then, like Jon said, the training, calvary, better weapons of the Westerosi will be substantial (as we’ll see with Stannis charge). In addition, the odds of him holding all those disparate tribes together once they get South of the Wall and they start to feel safer is not good. Plus such a large army would experience an attrition rate. So he can’t just blow his whole army on the assault of the Wall. Getting over the Wall is crucial but Mance is very smart and he is one of those that plays the loooooongggg game.

    All of this is CLASSIC military strategy. No decent commander turns down the opportunity to lay siege when they have all of these advantages. A military officer who would charge in to such a situation and risk losing too many of his best assets and killing hundreds if not thousands of soldiers instead of letting time do most of the work for him would not be an officer for very long. And like I said, I know what I’m talking about here. Have you ever been in the military? Are you a military historian? Ever ordered troops to do anything? Ever put together an OPORD? Just curious.

  523. Ms. D. Ranged in AZ
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

    Hodor’s Bastard,

    Agreed! I’ve seen some complaints about Jon’s fight with Styr but I’m pretty sure that was shot at full speed….most fight scenes are shot much slower and sped up for production in order to avoid injury and to get the choreography correct. But Kit really was fantastic in that scene…and credit to the guy who played Styr too. And let’s not forget Alliser Thorne…it was excellent stuff.

    PS: Regarding your comment about Ghost, I was thinking the same thing while watching. Why aren’t they fighting together….as connected as they are? And if they fought coordinated, they’d be unstoppable really.

  524. Ms. D. Ranged in AZ
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

    Abyss,

    LMFAO, indeed!!!!

  525. Ms. D. Ranged in AZ
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

    Overtone,

    Not to be overly critical, but I had similar thoughts. The giants almost broke through the gate. The Night’s Watch should be counting their lucky stars at this point and collapse the thing. Sir Alliser even admitted to Jon before fighting began that leaving it open was a mistake.

    I also think Ghost should have went with Jon, but that’s just me being nitpicky.

    I thought it was pretty obvious that Mance would be back with tens of thousands more men and hundreds of giants. As far as Mance knows, he has time to attack Jon every night for a month and wear them out, run their resources down to nothing….and they’d never have enough time to repair the tunnel gate sufficiently. It’s not like they had welding torches or anything. Jon knows this and he knows it’s only a matter of time. He thought if he could take Mance out, they’d be leaderless and he’s right.

    Also, Jon is at the point where he just doesn’t care what happens to him. That was the impression that I got from the ep and Kit in an interview (see the post with his comments and Leslie’s) confirms this. I won’t go so far a to say that he’s suicidal but he has no f*cks to give and he’s willing to do whatever it takes to save CB and the NW. It’s not a lack of fear but a numbness after all that he’s been through and lost. I’ve been there and felt that. So his decision seems pretty reasonable to me.

    PS: Mance wouldn’t let Jon anywhere near him if Ghost came along. That would make Mance the dumbest man ever, which he is not.

  526. Shan
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

    Im not sure if this has already been discussed (500 comments srsly) but do you guys think theyll still for sure do LS as the last scene w/ Brienne and Pod? Ive been completely convinced of this forever and I cant see them ending the season another way, and they definitely confirmed to me at least that they were gonna skip to Brienne/Pod and not do Freys when they sent them off on their journey so early. However….. Gwendoline did say that she had to bite off somebodys ear this season and we havent seen that yet, and theres just so much left that I dont see how they can introduce them to the Brotherhood in that time. Plus, the description that Sophie gave for the last episode just doesnt fit with LS. is it at all possible that theyll save this for NEXT seasons finale!??? What are brienne and pod going to do for an entire season? Ugh. Im worried

  527. house mormont
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

    Now that I think about it I’m glad they’re keeping the Battle of Castle Black as the Seige of Castle Black, the Stannis saves the day ending would have been so cliche

    And can we talk about the amazing fighting styles of Tormund and Styr? I think the Styr and Jon fight is up there with Jon and Karl as my favourite fights in the show. I thought Ygritte was gonna kill Styr so I was amazed when Jon hammered him

    And the barrels of oil were a lot crazier than I had imagined

    I wouldn’t mind if the season ends with Stannis so that it can lead directly into wildlings escaping to hardhome and the return of the White Walker storyline next season

  528. Berndlmeister
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

    Did anyone else feel as though the presence of an anvil and Jon’s use of a Blacksmith’s hammer were a deliberate tribute to the character, Donal Noye?

  529. ArgonathofBraavos
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

    Chriss: Argon

    What do you mean the “lighting was poor.” Do you mean it was too dark?

    And if darkness is done for “style,” why is that a bad thing?

    I have found the cinematography and the lighting to be exceptional in this show, including this week. The deep, dark scenes in prison, and the fiery scenes on the beach at Dragonstone, are some of my favorites.

    I hate over-lit night scenes. A pet peeve of mine.

  530. Tereeza777
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

    Rygar,

    I think you look like Edd in real life and you’re funny like him too …so that’s cool. Anyway, on to something that matters, you like the NY Rangers – right? So, would you say a prayer to the Gods of Hockey that the Rangers win tonite? I love the Rangers because Marty St Louis, Brad Richards, Dominic Moore, and Benoit Pouliot all used to play for us (TB Lightning) and King Henrik Lundqvist is almost as hot as Jaqen H’ghar, and these guys deserve to win the damn Cup! So pray …..ok?

  531. ArgonathofBraavos
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

    Ms. D. Ranged in AZ:
    Veltigar,
    Except you’re ignoring some very important pieces of information.

    1) Remember when Ygritte and Jon climbed the wall, they lost a lot of people…that would have doubled the number they had for the assault from the south. He sent the Thenns to bolster their numbers but we don’t know if Mance knew how many actually made it over.He knows that Tormund lost a bunch, but we don’t know if he knew that the Thenns made it.AND even if they did, they would still be outnumbered 2 to 1 even if the Night’s Watch was split into two.Count the number of wildlings standing around the fire when Ygritte challenges the Magnar about who gets to kill Jon.I can only make out 14 standing around the fire, two or three in the distance, but let’s be generous and say there are 20 to 25.Half the men at CB would be about 50…plus a dire wolf, if I was in the Night’s Watch, I’d take those odds big bald scary guys notwithstanding.Basically the southern attack was a suicide mission…regardless of what Mance believed or knew the Castle Black numbers to be.

    2) Mance may have 100,000 but he may only have a certain number of giants and mammoths (according to awoiaf wiki there were several hundred left when Mance became king, and that was years before they actually got to the Wall).So how many of those are warriors?And since the giants and the mammoths were the ONLY ones capable of breaking through the tunnel gate without assistance from the south side (see #1) he’d be risking specifically their hides.It’s never prudent to risk your best assets when you’re simply testing the other’s defenses.He only sent two and one mammoth and many more men.Men are more disposable (but not entirely see #3), the giants aren’t. Witness the men trying to climb the Wall.It took Jon and Ygritte all day long.Even if those men did it twice as fast, there was still plenty of time for the NW to send men down to fight off the southern attempt and defend the tunnel gate and then get back up to the top and knock off the climbers.Also, men will stand and fight against men, but giants also have a scare factor that is invaluable (witness the fear that Grenn’s group had and they were behind steel bars!)If the giants were to get south of the wall the common people would flee in terror…there won’t be a whole lot of fighting back until they get pretty far south.Again, long term, the giants are one of, if not THE best weapons, Mance has.Why risk them unnecessarily when all he has to do is harass the NW and wait?

    3)Mance is in no rush.He knows the NW numbers are dwindling, he has plenty of food (he’s been preparing a lot longer than the NW for this assault) and he has the opportunity to get more.He knows that KL has been ignoring the needs of the NW and he knows the Starks have been removed from power in the North and that leaves a power vacuum so that there will be no Northern Lords or any Southern Lords for that matter to save the day.He obviously doesn’t know about Stannis and that’s why Stannis’ arrival is so successful.It isn’t just the mounted troops and organized military (which is important of course but the element of surprise is key there.He’s in no rush…he’s got plenty of time to take “siege” of Castle Black.

    4) Mance will need as much of that massive army as possible once he gets into Southern Westeros because even though they won’t meet a lot of resistance, they will meet a unified resistance once he gets far enough south. And then, like Jon said, the training, calvary, better weapons of the Westerosi will be substantial (as we’ll see with Stannis charge).In addition, the odds of him holding all those disparate tribes together once they get South of the Wall and they start to feel safer is not good.Plus such a large army would experience an attrition rate.So he can’t just blow his whole army on the assault of the Wall. Getting over the Wall is crucial but Mance is very smart and he is one of those that plays the loooooongggg game.

    All of this is CLASSIC military strategy. No decent commander turns down the opportunity to lay siege when they have all of these advantages.A military officer who would charge in to such a situation and risk losing too many of his best assets and killing hundreds if not thousands of soldiers instead of letting time do most of the work for him would not be an officer for very long.And like I said, I know what I’m talking about here.Have you ever been in the military?Are you a military historian?Ever ordered troops to do anything?Ever put together an OPORD?Just curious.

    This. A thousand times this.

  532. Ours is the Fury
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

    It’s worth noting that like twenty of the people screaming about how it was the worst episode ever were actually only two people, and I deleted their posts, so…yeah. People’s reactions were not as bad as this thread may have led some of you to think earlier.

  533. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

    Shan,

    I don’t know what to think after seeing the preview for the next episode. It is pretty clear that Brienne and Pod will run into The Hound and Arya. From the casting call for season 5, we know Arya will still make it to Braavos. So what will happen in the finale? There’s no way Brienne would let Arya go if she found out it was her, which she would, since she would recognize The Hound. Does Arya escape during a big fight between Brienne and The Hound? Will she not have an intimate final moment with him? I don’t know. And I’m even more uncertain of how they could make it so LS appears, especially in a scene with Brienne. I was so sure the soundtrack ‘Oathkeeper’ was for the LS reveal, but now I don’t know what to think. If LS isn’t included at the end of this season, then she likely has been cut from the series altogether. IMO. I hope she is included, or else there will be a lot of book readers complaining about the finale, just like last year, even if it is really good.

  534. Patty
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

    house mormont,

    This..and this I just watched the episode. All I keep thinking about is, ‘you know nothing jon snow’ made me sad.

  535. Greatjon of Slumber
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

    Tyrion Pimpslap,

    If as you believe Brienne does meet the Hound, Arya could run off and Brienne could in Season 5 concentrate her search on Sansa. They would have to finesse it – something that allows for a confrontation that simultaneously worsens the Hound’s condition and lets Arya slip from Brienne’s grasp. It’s doable.

    And I know this sounds nuts, but maybe – just maybe – we will have the Freys meeting LS after all. Sure, they are minor characters but the shock of LS will overwhelm that anyway and send people into the off season with a sufficiently flabbergasted OMG WTF AAAAAAA reaction that closed seasons 1 and 2. It is certainly how I reacted at the end of ASoS.

    I seriously don’t think they would lose something like that. It’s going to be epic. Have faith.

  536. Von of the 3rivers
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

    Really disappointed with this episode. Especially with all the hype I was really looking forward to an epic battle and it was ‘eh. Now don’t get me wrong the acting was terrific, Kit and Rose really delivered and their scene broke my heart. I personally do not believe that Stannis is going to make an appearance in next weeks finale. Really bummed that Pyp ang Grenn did not survive. This season is fizzing out like a dud firecracker. Hope next week’s finale bring it’s game.

  537. iridium
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury,

    Thanks for cleaning the place up Fury. I was wondering what the hell was going on. I do understand that opinions will vary, and some people have made justifiable criticisms, but some of the posts seemed histrionically negative. I was a bit confused because my own response was the complete opposite, when it’s usually in line with the general consensus. Also, I know of at least one extreme-unsullied who loved it: I rewatched the episode at my parents’ house just now as I’m staying with them on a trip home. My father has never seen the show before and despite the constant questions of “who’s that?” and “is that a bad guy or a good one?”, he was absolutely enthralled. Now I have to give him my S1-3 DVDs so he can catch up on the series before next week (lucky he’s retired). A new fan is born! It’s only a few days before I fly back to my country of residence but it’s going to be fun rewatching S1 and 2 with him at least.

  538. GeoffreytnotJoffrey
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

    Steve:
    So, I always figured that when the story is over Sam will become a Maester. But now that we all know D&D know the ending, yesterday’s episode threw me for a loop in regards to Sam. Let’s talk a hypothetical. Let’s relook at this episode and imagine Jon Snow is the King. Okay? Given Sam’sdialogue and story in this episode, if Jon Snow was the King in this episode, does Sam come off as a Maester to you, or as a Hand of the King to you? Because that’s the way he came off to me. Giving orders that were consistent with what Jon wanted, ensuring people did what Jon wanted, giving advice to Jon, following Jon around, refusing to leave Jon alone, I can go on…


    I’m not suggesting any of these things happen by the conclusion of the story. I’m just suggesting it made me think, that if both these characters are alive in the conclusion of the entire story…I may have to rethink where I think they might be. Because Sam wasn’t even at the wall in the books for this battle. So they drastically changed and added these type of traits to his character and story.

    Exactly, you hit the nail on the head bud. IMO Next week is going to blow some minds of the non reading groupies. So much is going to happen and yet for book readers the story goes sour. Blah, blah blah Brienne, blah blah arya, blah blah wtf littlefinger where did you go. besides the fight for winterfell what is to look forward in season 5. Book 4 was a total waste of time so fast forward to book 5 and I was still put to sleep till the end.

  539. JamesL
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

    Tyrion the Pimp,

    Most of Blackwater was rewritten by D&D so you should thank them and Neil Marshall for how awesome it was. Stannis wasn’t even in the battle in GRRMs script.

  540. House Ray
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

    So I stepped through The Children preview… anyone else have screens of scenes? What I noticed:


    - Hound and Arya meet Brienne (see her Armor)
    - Hound falling down a hill in a heap of body
    - Tyrion with a crossbow in front of a small door (bathroom…)
    - Tyrion looking through a hole in a wall (Varys trap doors)
    - Stannis fucking up the Wildling army
    - Varys either in the tunnels or seeing off Tyrion on a boat
    - Mance talking to Jon about White Walkers
    - Dragons pissed off (being chained?)

  541. Josla
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 11:20 pm | Permalink

    100 thousand times better than Blackwater. Let’s go get all the awards GOT. This episode deserves them all!!!! My favorite episode ever! Had to watch it like Four times lol

  542. Sister Wrister
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

    Greatjon of Slumber,

    I share this faith, and I think it’s the opposite of nuts. It’s tits, as in, tits on. I think this is far more likely than Brienne meetin LS so early. As for the hound and Arya and Brienne and Pod and all that….. Well. I’m not sure about a Brienne/hound fight…. But it could be a cool departure, and foreshadow the gravedigger stuff…. but really I’m thinking we may see some mountain clans…
    One week!

    And ps. Do we have an explanation as to why trying to post here is sucking so much ass?

  543. Greatjon of Slumber
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 11:38 pm | Permalink

    Sister Wrister,

    Yeah, beats me. But yes, I feel like we’re going to get, in the words of Robert Shaw, ‘The head, the tail…the whole damn thing.’

  544. Greatjon of Slumber
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 11:41 pm | Permalink

    Sister Wrister,

    Also, I think a lot of the assumption of Brienne meeting LS early really just was in part the assumption that we wouldn’t see the Freys at all as they’re such minor characters. I get that, as D&D have been pretty economical, but when they need minor characters, they bring them in: they brought back Ser Dontos when they needed him, they cast the Styr when they probably could have not bothered with the character, so on those fronts they’ve been pretty faithful.

  545. Mariamb
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

    Greatjon of Slumber:
    Sister Wrister,

    Yeah, beats me. But yes, I feel like we’re going to get, in the words of Robert Shaw, ‘The head, the tail…the whole damn thing.’

    Agree. Believe that we will get it. Thematically, it fits perfectly into the show right now.

    And I too am having all sorts of issues with posts.

  546. Chriss
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 12:08 am | Permalink

    ArgonathofBraavos: What do you mean the “lighting was poor.” Do you mean it was too dark?

    And if darkness is done for “style,” why is that a bad thing?

    I have found the cinematography and the lighting to be exceptional in this show, including this week. The deep, dark scenes in prison, and the fiery scenes on the beach at Dragonstone, are some of my favorites.

    I hate over-lit night scenes. A pet peeve of mine.

    I mean the lighting was poor in the way that everyone else who has said the lighting is poor means it. Too many scenes are far too dark. Just because scenes are set at night doesn’t mean the viewer has to not be able to see anything. I think it’s more likely done for budget reasons. As someone said, CGI maybe easier done in the dark, or the choreography doesn’t have to be so tight. One of the worst I can think of, or at least the most annoying for me, is The Hound and Beric Dondarion’s fight. That may as well have been performanced in pitch black. I get that maybe they wanted the fire to be the light for effect, but it didn’t work.

    But yes. Maybe it is done for style. Having everything just dark all the time certainly gives the show a sombre tone. And avoiding dramatic lighting gives it a more gritty, less theatrical feel, too. But I do wish the battle scenes were better lit.

    I will say, though, the way Kit Harrington, Alliser’s actor, and Tormund’s actor, as well as the Thenn’s, used their weapons was stunning. Particularly Kit. It was some of the best we’ve ever seen.

  547. Sista Wrista
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 12:11 am | Permalink

    Greatjon of Slumber,

    That’s funny. Yeah, I have a feeling the LS reveal will be quick, dark, and to the point. Maybe the scene has no dialog at all. And this is a much better way to end than THRUM to black.

    Mariamb,

    Yeah, I guess I understand the filter. I dont understand the login every frackin time. I already can’t take my name seriously, now i am forced to remind myself of how juvenile i really am…….
    Maybe they don’t want people to participate??? I doubt that…. But it has been one issue after another.

  548. John M W
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 12:20 am | Permalink

    For the love of god, people, listen to the track “The Children” on iTunes…

    Right now.

    :D :D :D

  549. Dorian
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 12:46 am | Permalink

    David The grey:
    Last night I searched for Larry William’s video review and couldn’t find it, but it is on youtube today – all 4 and half minutes of it.Seems he’s so not interested that he could barey bring himself to talk about it.
    Geez, I’m almost interested enough to check out the other shows he reviews, if he gets this despondent over GoT, to see what kind of shows he actually likes.

    Are you really surprised? Larry is an immature brat and a terrible reviwer, and frankly I’m insulted that WiC linked his reviews this year after his epic tantrum last year, where he didn’t even bother reviewing one episode at all.

  550. Chriss
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 12:49 am | Permalink

    Dorian: Are you really surprised? Larry is an immature brat and a terrible reviwer, and frankly I’m insulted that WiC linked his reviews this year after his epic tantrum last year, where he didn’t even bother reviewing one episode at all.

    AND he gave spoilers in his petulant rant last week. Frankly, I found the whole thing too embarrassing to watch. I couldn’t watch another of his reviews even if I did enjoy them. He seems to come at the show from a point of ‘Did my preferred storyline take place? No? Hate it. It’s rubbish.’

    What a big baby. It’s like he’s always got his own way in life or something, doesn’t understand he should mould himself to other ways of seeing things, rather than reject anything that doesn’t fit his big fat ego.

  551. Dorian
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 12:54 am | Permalink

    Chriss: AND he gave spoilers in his petulant rant last week. Frankly, I found the whole thing too embarrassing to watch. I couldn’t watch another of his reviews even if I did enjoy them. He seems to come at the show from a point of ‘Did my preferred storyline take place? No? Hate it. It’s rubbish.’

    What a big baby. It’s like he’s always got his own way in life or something, doesn’t understand he should mould himself to other ways of seeing things, rather than reject anything that doesn’t fit his big fat ego.

    Indeed. I didn’t know he dropped spoilers last week. That’s just perfect – so on top of his “wah the plot didn’t turn out the way I wanted to” attitude, he can now claim to not be interested in developments coming up because he already knows about them.

  552. ArgonathofBraavos
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 1:54 am | Permalink

    Chriss: Argonath

    Fair enough, but I have to disagree. The Dondarrion fight had some of the best cinematography I have ever seen. The darkness/ fire scenes almost have a Rembrandt quality to them (such as Tyrion’s conversations with Oberyn and Jaime in prison) which is fantastic.

    I am of the opinion that artificial lights need to be kept to a minimum in scenes of darkness. Many such scenes in LOTR were ruined for me because of the obvious (and stagey) stadium lighting used.

    I think “poor lighting” is too value-laden a term. Simply state that you found it “too dark” and keep it at that. Yes, darkness can help obscure flaws in the CGI. But the aesthetic of the show all the way from season 1 is to use naturalistic lighting, so I do not believe that was the primary motivation.

    Here’s to the darkness being dark (and full of terrors). Artificial lights outdoors drives those terrors away!

  553. Michael Kehoe
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 3:52 am | Permalink

    Pyp and Grenn, PYP AND GRENN???? We went from one of my favorite episodes ever in episode 8, to one of the worst episodes ever in episode 9. It was a steaming pile of crap. Bad writing, bad directing, bad acting. The bad writing goes extends beyond the single episode to crap decisions made in much earlier episodes. To me, they are intentionally killing off extra characters simply for the shock value, and not in the interest of good writing.

    They leave out Donal Noye, a character that only needed a couple episodes of exposure, yet they give us the stupid kid who does not exist. Even with Thorne and Slynt showing up way earlier than they should, they could have still given us Donal Noye. Then he could have gone and died defending the tunnel like he was supposed to instead of Grenn and officially left Jon in charge like was supposed to happen.

    Instead, Thorne gets wounded, Slynt hides like a coward, Jon is never officially left in charge and Ygritte get’s killed by some little kid who should not exist. Jon’s decision to send Pyp and Grenn away after being named Lord Commander is an important part of Jon’s growth. It helps demonstrate his maturity by sending away his friend’s because he knows ho much those friend’s can influence his decisions, and potentially undermine his authority.

    They also didn’t give us Lady Stoneheart, which by this point means they shouldn’t ever introduce her. Episode 10 will be the absolute limit, past that it means another important character will be cut for no valid reason. I know this episode was supposed to be all about the fight, but they could have added 90 seconds to the end of the episode to show Lord Beric passing his fire to Catelyn Stark’s corpse and show her eyes fly open as Lord Beric falls to the ground dead. You don’t even need any dialogue.

  554. Dorian
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 4:36 am | Permalink

    Michael Kehoe:
    Pyp and Grenn, PYP AND GRENN???? We went from one of my favorite episodes ever in episode 8, to one of the worst episodes ever in episode 9. It was a steaming pile of crap. Bad writing, bad directing, bad acting. The bad writing goes extends beyond the single episode to crap decisions made in much earlier episodes. To me, they are intentionally killing off extra characters simply for the shock value, and not in the interest of good writing.

    They leave out Donal Noye, a character that only needed a couple episodes of exposure, yet they give us the stupid kid who does not exist. Even with Thorne and Slynt showing up way earlier than they should, they could have still given us Donal Noye. Then he could have gone and died defending the tunnel like he was supposed to instead of Grenn and officially left Jon in charge like was supposed to happen.

    Instead, Thorne gets wounded, Slynt hides like a coward, Jon is never officially left in charge and Ygritte get’s killed by some little kid who should not exist. Jon’s decision to send Pyp and Grenn away after being named Lord Commander is an important part of Jon’s growth. It helps demonstrate his maturity by sending away his friend’s because he knows ho much those friend’s can influence his decisions, and potentially undermine his authority.

    They also didn’t give us Lady Stoneheart, which by this point means they shouldn’t ever introduce her. Episode 10 will be the absolute limit, past that it means another important character will be cut for no valid reason. I know this episode was supposed to be all about the fight, but they could have added 90 seconds to the end of the episode to show Lord Beric passing his fire to Catelyn Stark’s corpse and show her eyes fly open as Lord Beric falls to the ground dead. You don’t even need any dialogue.

    What nonsense. Who would care about Donal Noye? Nobody, even if they did introduce him this season and waste valuable budget on a totally unnecessary character. Pyp and Grenn’s death is necessary because the audience knows their faces and is more invested in their fate than some random guy. This is just book purist whining of the worst sort .

    Same goes for “a kid who shouldn’t exist”. Oh yeah, its far more effective to have Ygritte just dead somewhere by a random we never see? No – it isn’t. But its in the book, so you dogmatically insist on it for no real reason.

    Same with Jon being “officially in charge”. Everyone and their dog in the Watch knows that Jon is in charge. He’s clearly in a position of authority and everyone is deferring to him by the end of the episode. Someone not officially handing it to him is irrelevant to that fact.

    I won’t get into the spoiler comments at all, suffice to say that can be left for next week, or next season, and effect nothing at all.

  555. Michael Kehoe
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 4:53 am | Permalink

    Dorian: What nonsense. Who would care about Donal Noye? Nobody, even if they did introduce him this season and waste valuable budget on a totally unnecessary character. Pyp and Grenn’s death is necessary because the audience knows their faces and is more invested in their fate than some random guy. This is just book purist whining of the worst sort .

    Same goes for “a kid who shouldn’t exist”. Oh yeah, its far more effective to have Ygritte just dead somewhere by a random we never see? No – it isn’t. But its in the book, so you dogmatically insist on it for no real reason.

    Same with Jon being “officially in charge”. Everyone and their dog in the Watch knows that Jon is in charge. He’s clearly in a position of authority and everyone is deferring to him by the end of the episode. Someone not officially handing it to him is irrelevant to that fact.

    I won’t get into the spoiler comments at all, suffice to say that can be left for next week, or next season, and effect nothing at all.

    No, what’s nonsense is your obviously uneducated opinion of the matter at hand. Jon not seeing the arrow that kills Ygritte in the book is important. It weighs on him heavily because he keeps thinking he is the one that shoots her. He sees that the fletching on the arrow is the wrong color, and deep down he knows it wasn’t his arrow that killed her, but the fact that he comes across her after the battle, and that she stays alive long enough to still die in his arms is huge from an emotional standpoint.

    But the crap writing in this episode has Ygritte get shot right in front of Jon, by some punk kid who has spent the last 45 minutes pissing his pants, barely able to move. The only thing that would have made sense at that point would be for Jon to cut the kids head off in a blind rage.

    Donal Noye’s death is not supposed to be one that people care about. He isn’t around in the books long enough either for people to form sort of bond with him. That reinforces my point that the showrunners are killing off more important people than they need to in order to fluff up their ratings numbers. Both Grenn and Pyp did not have to die. I can accept one of them dieing, but not both. Killing both of them is pointless and the product of lazy writing, period.

    So get a clue before you attempt to dispute my very valid points. This episode was a steaming pile of crap, and Weiss and Benoff should be ashamed of themselves.

  556. Tergaryen
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 5:20 am | Permalink

    are some of you book readers stupid ? it would have fucked the episode seing stannis show up early , if you remember correctly jon goes to ‘treat’ with mance then stannis saves the day during their conversation . if you want stannis’s epic defining moment to last five mins squeezed into the end of the episode then you are a silly cunt

  557. Galway Gooner
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 5:24 am | Permalink

    Cannot understand what all the book readers expect to be honest?
    This is a TV showed based on the books and there are always going to be calls made on what will work on TV versus what works in the books.
    You need to learn to enjoy it as a TV show first and foremost.
    That was a simply exceptional piece of television, really was first class. Was moved almost to tears when Grenn was saying the words.
    Beautifully shot, flawless direction and first class special effects. Really don’t know what more people could be looking for????

  558. Harry
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 5:32 am | Permalink

    Michael Kehoe: No, what’s nonsense is your obviously uneducated opinion of the matter at hand. Jon not seeing the arrow that kills Ygritte in the book is important. It weighs on him heavily because he keeps thinking he is the one that shoots her. He sees that the fletching on the arrow is the wrong color, and deep down he knows it wasn’t his arrow that killed her, but the fact that he comes across her after the battle, and that she stays alive long enough to still die in his arms is huge from an emotional standpoint.

    But the crap writing in this episode has Ygritte get shot right in front of Jon, by some punk kid who has spent the last 45 minutes pissing his pants, barely able to move. The only thing that would have made sense at that point would be for Jon to cut the kids head off in a blind rage.

    Donal Noye’s death is not supposed to be one that people care about. He isn’t around in the books long enough either for people to form sort of bond with him. That reinforces my point that the showrunners are killing off more important people than they need to in order to fluff up their ratings numbers. Both Grenn and Pyp did not have to die. I can accept one of them dieing, but not both. Killing both of them is pointless and the product of lazy writing, period.

    So get a clue before you attempt to dispute my very valid points. This episode was a steaming pile of crap, and Weiss and Benoff should be ashamed of themselves.

    Defending your book purism with more book purism.

    The books are the books and the show is the show. Period.

  559. Abyss
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 6:21 am | Permalink

    Ms. D. Ranged in AZ,

    Given your military background, I always wondered about one thing, I would be interested in hearing your thoughts on it.
    We all know that there are three castles on the Wall that have functional gates (IIRC the the tunnels of the others were closed up with ice forever). Given that Castle Black is the strongest of these three castles, why didn’t Mance go for one of the weaker castles or indeed for all the castles at once? (With a siege or what have you.) Mance even says to to Jon in the books, that he could do exactly that. So why didn’t he do it? Is it, because Castle Black is a symbol and the heart of the NW and it is therefore good for moral and tactic wise to take this castle?

  560. TorbofThrones
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 6:30 am | Permalink

    Fantastic ep! One of the best so far.
    1. Felt much bigger than blackwater, looked much better too, several 1 on 1 fights (none of which blackwater had), and it was just better in terms of the military strategies as well (Mance doesn’t charge up the wall like some idiot, and he doesn’t almost get blown up). The way they used the camera too on those establishing shots are just amazing. Best fight I’ve ever seen on television, period. Also the shifting between the different fights were perfect. In blackwater you were waiting for the dialogue to end inbetween the fighting, that didn’t happen here.

    As for Stannis, I really do agree he’s best saved for the next ep. That way it doesn’t steal thunder from the NW, and it focused on the night of the battle, which had a nice whole feeling to it. The ending was also very emotional, and well done. Really, don’t see what people are complaining about. There’s always things that you could add or remove. More Ghost, more Jon, less Sam, less Alliser, some shots you can imagine here and there, but all in all it was done in a spectacular way. The violence didn’t seem cartoonish, they made us more invested in the characters, the viuals were amazing…Still can’t get those big shots of the wall out of my head, so freaking epic. It really showed what Game of Thrones is capable of, and what the wall storyline is.

    One more thing about the ending, think about it. Unsullied cliffhanger 1: Jon is about to go unarmed into an army of 100.000 wildlings, to assassinate their leader. How the heck is that going to work out? (Same feeling I had in the books). It’s just amazing seeing the resolution of Jon, and the hopelessness in the NW.
    Unsullied cliffhanger 2: Stannis has arrived and the day is saved. The focus is taken away from the battle and people won’t really appreciate the work of the NW as much, and they won’t be as hooked.

  561. Dorian
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    Michael Kehoe: No, what’s nonsense is your obviously uneducated opinion

    This isn’t a matter of education, so check the pompous tone.

    Jon not seeing the arrow that kills Ygritte in the book is important. It weighs on him heavily because he keeps thinking he is the one that shoots her. He sees that the fletching on the arrow is the wrong color, and deep down he knows it wasn’t his arrow that killed her, but the fact that he comes across her after the battle, and that she stays alive long enough to still die in his arms is huge from an emotional standpoint.

    No, it isn’t that important at all. The manner of Ygritte’s death is a minor consideration compared to the fact that it occurs. There are other, more important considerations that you’ve ignored. Your fixation on one single beat in the battle would serve to undermine the entire season – it would have Jon still wounded from the arrows and limping around Castle Black for the entire season, or else having Jon up on a tower using a bow and arrow would be unjustifiable.

    And what compelling television that would be! Have your star protagonist, with his valyrian steel sword and excellent physicality, stuck in one place firing arrows in the dark, purely so he can wonder if he’s the one who killed Ygritte.

    This is why unreasonable book purists are kept well away from writing episodes. Because they’re terrible at it.

    But the crap writing in this episode has Ygritte get shot right in front of Jon, by some punk kid who has spent the last 45 minutes pissing his pants, barely able to move. The only thing that would have made sense at that point would be for Jon to cut the kids head off in a blind rage.

    Jon Snow, murderer of children? You know the character so well.

    Donal Noye’s death is not supposed to be one that people care about. He isn’t around in the books long enough either for people to form sort of bond with him. That reinforces my point that the showrunners are killing off more important people than they need to in order to fluff up their ratings numbers. Both Grenn and Pyp did not have to die. I can accept one of them dieing, but not both. Killing both of them is pointless and the product of lazy writing, period.

    How is it “lazy” to write two deaths instead of one? Or any at all?

    So get a clue before you attempt to dispute my very valid points. This episode was a steaming pile of crap, and Weiss and Benoff should be ashamed of themselves.

    Your points are the furthest thing from valid imaginable mate.

  562. Shock Me
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    The primary reason many people care less for those on the wall is that we have spent most of our screen time getting to know all the people in King’s Landing.

    If Jon and Sam’s (and Daeny’s for that matter) season 2 had gone on as in the books, we would almost hate to leave the wall to check in somewhere other than Arya. People would love the wall so much they would be begging all the other characters to take the black.

    But, much like Westeros everyone is focused on that damned uncomfortable chair in the Red Keep.

  563. Veltigar
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    Ms. D. Ranged in AZ:
    Veltigar,
    Except you’re ignoring some very important pieces of information.
    1) Remember when Ygritte and Jon climbed the wall, they lost a lot of people…that would have doubled the number they had for the assault from the south. He sent the Thenns to bolster their numbers but we don’t know if Mance knew how many actually made it over.He knows that Tormund lost a bunch, but we don’t know if he knew that the Thenns made it.AND even if they did, they would still be outnumbered 2 to 1 even if the Night’s Watch was split into two.Count the number of wildlings standing around the fire when Ygritte challenges the Magnar about who gets to kill Jon.I can only make out 14 standing around the fire, two or three in the distance, but let’s be generous and say there are 20 to 25.Half the men at CB would be about 50…plus a dire wolf, if I was in the Night’s Watch, I’d take those odds big bald scary guys notwithstanding.Basically the southern attack was a suicide mission…regardless of what Mance believed or knew the Castle Black numbers to be.

    Of course Mance knew. Remember the Thenns had a warg, all he needed to do was sent his bird over to crap on Mance’ head and give the signal that they were there.

    As to the Wildlings number, you can’t look at the campfire to decide their number, simply because the show isn’t consistent enough. At the fire they appear to be only a couple, but that shot from above when they charge combined with the ridiculous kill rate (seriously, Jon cuts down two or three of them when he first comes down) says that there are more.

    And the attack was specifically designed to take place when the Mance attacked from the North that would tie up many NW-up at the top. Furthermore, what’s left in CB isn’t the top of the barrel. There’s cooks, cowards, child soldiers and blind guys down there (precisely because many NW-veterans died during the great ranging). Their experienced soldiers would be busy maning the siege equipment.

    The Thenns and the raiders are all highly experienced soldiers (you wouldn’t guess it when you see them die though). They never discuss a battle plan (which is ridiculous really, leaving room for Sam’s sex talk), but it’s quite simple. All they have to do to win is get inside and open the gates (and perhaps take the elevator). A small group of men could easily defend that tunnel against a far greater number and the gates can be opened from there. Once the gate is open, they win. Simple as that.

  564. Veltigar
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    Ms. D. Ranged in AZ:
    Veltigar,
    2) Mance may have 100,000 but he may only have a certain number of giants and mammoths (according to awoiaf wiki there were several hundred left when Mance became king, and that was years before they actually got to the Wall).So how many of those are warriors?And since the giants and the mammoths were the ONLY ones capable of breaking through the tunnel gate without assistance from the south side (see #1) he’d be risking specifically their hides.It’s never prudent to risk your best assets when you’re simply testing the other’s defenses.He only sent two and one mammoth and many more men.Men are more disposable (but not entirely see #3), the giants aren’t. Witness the men trying to climb the Wall.It took Jon and Ygritte all day long.Even if those men did it twice as fast, there was still plenty of time for the NW to send men down to fight off the southern attempt and defend the tunnel gate and then get back up to the top and knock off the climbers.Also, men will stand and fight against men, but giants also have a scare factor that is invaluable (witness the fear that Grenn’s group had and they were behind steel bars!)If the giants were to get south of the wall the common people would flee in terror…there won’t be a whole lot of fighting back until they get pretty far south.Again, long term, the giants are one of, if not THE best weapons, Mance has.Why risk them unnecessarily when all he has to do is harass the NW and wait?

    In the show version, the giants aren’t just capable of lifting gates (they don’t even need the mammoths), they also have giant bows that can reach the top of the wall. Now, Mance was an idiot for lighting a humongous fire that made it all too easy for NW-men to aim their ballistae. What he should have done instead of going around being a pyromaniac, was:

    1) Sent climbers to scale the wall further away, out of sight of the part of the men that were on the wall. It’s always good to have a plan B.

    2) Instead of lighting a bonfire, he should have his men construct a battering ram. To make a first go on the gate

    3) Use those giant bows. If there isn’t a ridiculously big fire that makes it easy to shoot them, than giant bowmen are a great way of destroying the well-lit manned parts of the wall. If the NW can’t throw those barrels, they are screwed.

    In fact the giants mane use is as bowmen. If 5 random guys with wholly unsuitable weaponry (really Grenn, an axe to go against a giant?) can take down one giant, than imagine what guys armed with polearms could do to them. As artillery though, the giants are much more valuable

    4) Use more Wildling warriors. You do realize that this whole battle would have been over if only one or two wildling warriors had made it in with the giant? The giant destroyed the steel gate, and the main gate can apparently be operated easily by one guy (glaring mistake, but it’s there). Even if it isn’t, than a couple of wildlings could have covered the giant while he held the outer gate open lng enough for it to be supported (they would have to have some siege equipment, things like beams to keep the gates up.

  565. Veltigar
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    Ms. D. Ranged in AZ:
    Veltigar,
    3)Mance is in no rush.He knows the NW numbers are dwindling, he has plenty of food (he’s been preparing a lot longer than the NW for this assault) and he has the opportunity to get more.He knows that KL has been ignoring the needs of the NW and he knows the Starks have been removed from power in the North and that leaves a power vacuum so that there will be no Northern Lords or any Southern Lords for that matter to save the day.He obviously doesn’t know about Stannis and that’s why Stannis’ arrival is so successful.It isn’t just the mounted troops and organized military (which is important of course but the element of surprise is key there.He’s in no rush…he’s got plenty of time to take “siege” of Castle Black.

    This is a major point that you have forgotten. White Walkers. Everyday Mance stays on this side of the wall, is a day a giant army of ice zombies can attack his encampment. He’s been lucky so far, but if Mance is wise, he’ll want to get the hell out of dodge the fast he can.

  566. Veltigar
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    Ms. D. Ranged in AZ:
    Veltigar,
    4) Mance will need as much of that massive army as possible once he gets into Southern Westeros because even though they won’t meet a lot of resistance, they will meet a unified resistance once he gets far enough south. And then, like Jon said, the training, calvary, better weapons of the Westerosi will be substantial (as we’ll see with Stannis charge).In addition, the odds of him holding all those disparate tribes together once they get South of the Wall and they start to feel safer is not good.Plus such a large army would experience an attrition rate.So he can’t just blow his whole army on the assault of the Wall. Getting over the Wall is crucial but Mance is very smart and he is one of those that plays the loooooongggg game

    If he were smart, he would have adapted to the rules of the 7 Kingdoms and entered it on their terms. Mance is delusional to think he has a chance against any army south of the wall.

    Even with the Starks gone there are many, many more Northern warriors than there are wildling people. And these Northerners know the land, have better equipment, strongholds, discipline, and tactics and in the field they aren’t hindered by a trail of women and children following them.

    If he truly wants to get past on his own terms, than his only chance is to conquer the Wall and offer a deal to whoever is in charge of the North (cede the gift to us and all will be well). Every other way ends at a version of the battle of long lake.

    Captain Miller: [weakly mutters something]
    Private Ryan: [leans in closer] What, sir?
    Captain Miller: James, earn this casting of Mads Mikkelsen as Euron… earn it.

  567. Chriss
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    Jon not seeing the arrow that kills Ygritte in the book is important. It weighs on him heavily because he keeps thinking he is the one that shoots her.

    Affected him so much he’s always literally a wink away from a three way with Val and Mellisandre.

  568. Udi
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    C-Cass,

    Disagree. I don’t see how he doesn’t show up last episode, but that’s just my opinion.

  569. Isabelle
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    Berndlmeister:
    Did anyone else feel as though the presence of an anvil and Jon’s use of a Blacksmith’s hammer were a deliberate tribute to the character, Donal Noye?

    That’s a great catch! My takeaway was that Jon had learned his lesson from the fight with Karl and wasn’t afraid of fighting dirty (spit in face, hammer to the head vs a nice, tidy sword fight) and that he was making use of whatever happened to be around him, but it may very well be a nod!

  570. Udi
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    Andrew,

    It was probably Neil Marshall – 1st of his name, that came up with that!

  571. Isabelle
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    Ms. D. Ranged in AZ:

    I really enjoyed that opening convo too. It reminds us of just how young and inexperienced many of the Night’s Watch are…makes it all that much sadder when they die.And when Sam raised his voice at Pyp to open the gate, I exclaimed, “Finally, you discovered your big boy pants!”:)

    Indeed : )

    It’s a rotten lot they’ve all been given, being forcing into or volunteering for the NW and yet they’ve still managed to make friends (and jokes) and find moments of semi-normality. Pyp’s death has really gotten to me–here’s this kid who was forced to join the Watch because some lordling tried to assault him, who wants nothing but a normal life–friends, girls, what most of Westeros can enjoy freely–who just like anyone at that age is terrified of dying and who still tries his best. He doesn’t cower in a closet and gets off a few good shots that he’s so, so proud of, like a kid making a slam dunk on the basketball court. And then he dies. It’s just really tragic all around, even if his side won that round.

  572. Podrick Poonslayer
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    Any chance we get a curtain call for Yuri Kolokolnikov? I thought he killed it all season, clearly had a lot of fun playing what amounts to the most over the top villain on the show- and he made it work, bringing just the right amount of crazy to the role. Plus, he was absolutely vicious with that axe, especially in his fight with Jon.

  573. Kingmob
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    Maybe it’s a bit off-topic, but I’ve been reading a lot of comments and speculation about the finale, and I’d like to give you all a bit of info on the subject that might not have reached you: I live in France, and there’s recently been a small piece about GoT on local TV (specifically in a magazine about TV shows and TV in general on “Canal+” channel). It was mainly about the tourists tours around set locations in Ireland, but it seems that one of the guides had also a job in the filming crew. So naturally, the journalist asked him (begged him, actually) for juicy spoilers about the end of season 4.

    I guess it’s time to move to spoiler mode… It’s my first post here after sulking in the shadows for many months (I felt compelled to try and bring some peace to some of the troubled minds here!) and btw thanks to everyone for a great site! But I never used the spoiler tag, so I hope I’ll get it right.

    Here goes : the guy said “well, some character everyone’s forgotten about comes back again”. Definitely looks like LS to me. It could arguably refer to
    Stannis, or some unforeseen deviation from the books (Jaqen H’ghar ferrying Arya to Braavos?) but it’s really reaching, and I’d rather go for the simplest interpretation : I’m confident (and delighted!) LS will be there.

    Btw the guide/crewmember’s name is Phillip Mc Comb, and the interview was broadcast on the show “Le Tube”, May 24th. It might be on replay on the site of “Canal+” but I really don’t know if you can access the videos from outside of France. And of course, it’s all in French… :)

  574. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    If Ygritte hadn’t hesitated for that one second, both Jon and her would be dead now. Oh, how the tale twists along in those micro-moments of hesitation!

  575. BRAN THE BUILDER
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    Is anyone else worried that we may see a shift in the “After the Wall Battle” storyline regarding the wildlings? We have seen A LOT of Tormund even him being captured and not a lot of Mance or the Lord of Bones… could they possibly be switching their story lines up to keep the popular characters/actors?

  576. Lex
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

    Hmm… posted my review, but it didn’t show up.
    Anyway, I basically said it’s a 5/5 for me… but probably slightly below Blackwater. I think it might due to less characters I really care about. But I love the storyline at the Wall.
    Highlights:
    -Maester Aemon’s speech about love
    -Sam being a man
    -Ser Alliser being badass (damn you GoT, you made me like him!)
    -Ygritte’s death (I got a little choked up. Really sad).
    -GIANTS AND MAMMOTHS, holy crap!
    Low lights:
    -I wish Pyp and Grenn didn’t die. I saw a spoiler about them, so I wasn’t surprised… but I think I’d have felt the same either way. Mildly disappointed. I will miss their friendship with Jon, going forward.

  577. Really Really Old Nan
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

    I just checked cast list on IMDB for episode 10 and it has listed two characters I did not expect to see.
    Osha
    Ralf Kenning
    Are cast list on the site to be trusted? I am new to all of this including posting anything. Hope I did it right.

  578. Ours is the Fury
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

    House Ray,

    Those are fan-made.

    Really Really Old Nan,

    IMDB is fan-updated, it doesn’t mean anything. Kenning appeared on 8 and there’s no real reason to think Osha is appearing.

  579. House Ray
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

    I assumed so but it was cool :)

  580. Fiona
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

    Really Really Old Nan,

    Ralf Kenning got an axe in his head in ep. 8, so IMDb must be incorrect. No-one’s expecting Osha, so that would be awesome if she & Rickon showed up on the ep. called “The Children.” But it’s a long-shot. As others said, IMDb can be updated by anyone, so you can’t read too much into what you find there.

  581. por
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

    Can someone explain to me how the elevator at the Wall works? It ascends 700 feet without an obvious power source, unless Olly was doing the heavy lifting.

  582. Abyss
    Posted June 11, 2014 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    por,

    We don’t know exactly how it works, but I belief it could work with some clever counter weights system. I think it could also follow the principle of the Trispastos which is basically a block and tackle system. Maybe someone with advanced knowledge in the field of mechanics can step in here?

  583. Ms. D. Ranged in AZ
    Posted June 11, 2014 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    Abyss,

    So why didn’t he do it? Is it, because Castle Black is a symbol and the heart of the NW and it is therefore good for moral and tactic wise to take this castle?

    Excellent question! Yeah, I’ve always wondered that myself (in the books and the show). From a purely military standpoint, Mance should have tried one of the smaller, less manned castles. I’m not an expert on the geography around those castles so perhaps there are geographical considerations? Moving 100,000 people (children, livestock, etc) would be a logistical nightmare. Perhaps CB was the closest one from where they came out of the mountains? On second thought, looked at a map and it looks like Westwatch would have been the closest to the Mountains. Maybe CB provided the closest and largest forest to a castle that would offer enough cover and concealment for his FOB? He would need significant flat land to put the non-combatants and the MOB. OR once they’ve made it out, they’d need a place to stay to regroup and reconnoiter from (their next FOB basically) and Castle Black was more suitable for this purpose. OR what about the tunnel size? He had to get the Giants through–no way they’d climb the wall–at least I don’t think they’d be able to–maybe the CB tunnel was the biggest? I honestly don’t know.

    As far as the symbol, I don’t think he gives a Tinker’s damn about that. If someone wants a symbol, they hit a soft target and go for an easy win. On the other hand, we know they wanted revenge for what the NW had done over the years but that’s not enough reason to attack the hardest target before trying the softer ones.

    I also know that if they had broken through either of the other two castles they would have had to take out CB immediately afterward. In that situation, CB would have advance notice of their coming and could have had time to ask for troops from the other castle, as well as send notice to any remaining northern lords (although as I said before, I think there was no help there to give). No way would he want CB troops behind him where they could harry them and cause significant trouble using guerrilla tactics as the entire force moves southward.

    Ultimately though, I don’t know. Anyone else know the answer?

  584. Greatjon of Slumber
    Posted June 11, 2014 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    Ms. D. Ranged in AZ,

    Ultimately because if you need to move 100,000 people, you go through a tunnel. Every other castle’s tunnel is completely blocked, and they don’t have dynamite or any other explosives.

    That just leaves Shadow Tower, and Eastwatch by the Sea. And in both instances, an approaching army already has a disadvantage by being hemmed in by the water on one side.

  585. Ms. D. Ranged in AZ
    Posted June 11, 2014 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    Veltigar,

    Of course Mance knew. Remember the Thenns had a warg, all he needed to do was sent his bird over to crap on Mance’ head and give the signal that they were there.

    Duly noted, but I don’t think he had his own warg and you’re assuming the owl could find Mance that vast wilderness in the middle of 100,000 people. But okay.

    As to the Wildlings number, you can’t look at the campfire to decide their number, simply because the show isn’t consistent enough.

    True.

    And the attack was specifically designed to take place when the Mance attacked from the North that would tie up many NW-up at the top

    I said that myself.

    Their experienced soldiers would be busy maning the siege equipment

    Actually they would need a good commander up top but so long as the men up top could physically handle the jobs, the rest is following orders (some archery skills would be required). However, down on the ground, they would need their experienced soldier. You’d never leave old men and the least experienced to go toe to toe in an edged weapon melee with Tormund and the Thenns. No way.

    All they have to do to win is get inside and open the gates (and perhaps take the elevator).

    I disagree, they’d have to win and secure the way out through CB for long enough that a decent sized force could get through and reinforce them. Since Mance and his army were way back behind the treeline, how do they notify Mance quickly that they’ve made it…even an owl flying over there would take a bit. And yes the tunnel is easily defended against a far superior force but that is also true for the NW. The tunnel could also be a death trap. Let’s say they’ve beaten all of the enemy below and they go into the tunnel. The number of men they could leave outside to protect their only egress (until the gate is opened) would be small. Men from the top of the wall could come down, defeat that guard and seal up the men inside the tunnel. We know from the books they had stuff ready to plug up the tunnel…not the best obstacle, but something to delay and narrow the field of attack even more.

    1) Sent climbers to scale the wall further away, out of sight of the part of the men that were on the wall. It’s always good to have a plan B.

    I think he did in the books but too difficult for the show to accomplish and show adequately. And didn’t he have some go the sea route around the wall too?

    2) Instead of lighting a bonfire, he should have his men construct a battering ram. To make a first go on the gate

    Again, he may have had a ram or he was in the process of constructing one. But why risk more lives because for a large enough ram you’d need quite a few people and why go to the effort when you can harry them with far fewer and see what they had available as weapons first. Now he knows the worst weapons CB has are the anchor chain, which wouldn’t reach a ram at the tunnel gate, and barrels of oil? His second go round he could safely assume that a ram and crew could be sent out with some good odds of success. For D&D perhaps the Ram was too much like Blackwater? In any case, I’m not sure a ram would have been sufficient against the tunnel gate UNLESS giants would be helping too (which they would).

    Use those giant bows.

    Again, he probably lost two giants…imagine how many would get hurt and injured standing in range of the humans’ arrows. Yes, those large arrows are effective but once they see the first giant arrow coming, the NW would be ready for subsequent shots from them. Plus, they had their own large arrows that could come off the wall.

    You do realize that this whole battle would have been over if only one or two wildling warriors had made it in with the giant?

    Ummmm, no, the giant’s wingspan went from wall to wall, every time he swung his weapon whoever was with him would be in the way. Even if they held back…once Grenn & Co went down, they’d still have to go out the other side where the Wildings had been subdued. The battle for the southern opening to the tunnel would favor the NW UNTIL another giant managed to get into the Tunnel. No small feat considering how far the tree line was back and that the men on the Wall were doing an excellent job of defense and there weren’t any more giants out there with giant arrows.

    You still aren’t acknowledging that he needs his giants and his army to continue southward…their objective isn’t just CB. A commander never wastes troops needlessly.

    Everyday Mance stays on this side of the wall, is a day a giant army of ice zombies can attack his encampment.

    I didn’t forget about it. However, they aren’t getting attacked by ice zombies every day (I don’t think)…the attacks seem to be random. Plus they have defenses against the WW—fire and light keeps them away. He can take a few days and that’s all it would take. CB men lost about 1/2, if they lost another 1/2 of that and none of those men got any rest for 48 to 72 hours, it’s all over. Humans can’t go that long and fight that hard without rest. Mance can afford to rotate fresh troops in for months if he had to. But I do agree, he didn’t have months or weeks. But he did have a few days and that’s all he needed.

    Even with the Starks gone there are many, many more Northern warriors than there are wildling people.

    Actually according to GOT wiki, the north had BEFORE the war of the five kings a total of 20,000. Let’s be generous and say 40,000. After the war of the five kings, they’d be luck to have 1/4 of that number and they were all away South when they were defeated. The only one’s who returned north with any great numbers (we’re talking less than 10,000 each probably) were the Karstarks, the Boltons and the Manderly’s. Again, they’re scattered across the vast north and they aren’t coordinating. Mance’s army advance parties could be into the next sourthern kingdom before the North could attack IF they would, which they wouldn’t. Individual houses like the Boltons would probably make a deal with Mance. Their only loyalty is to themselves.

    if he truly wants to get past on his own terms, than his only chance is to conquer the Wall and offer a deal to whoever is in charge of the North (cede the gift to us and all will be well).

    I wholeheartedly agree with you here. Why didn’t he try to negotiate? Sometimes negotiations take longer than wars, too long, and the Wildings would have to have leverage…saying there was a 100,000 strong on the other side of the wall that had been heretofore unseen, would not be leverage. Now that they’ve proven they can break through and take “The Gift” by force, Mance can negotiate if he is so inclined. This is where their thirst for revenge will get in the way and the fact that the NW is so beaten down, doesn’t give Jon much leverage either. Only when Stannis arrives does that balance shift yet again.

    No military plan of attack is perfect and no plan ever plays out exactly how one envisioned it would. A good soldier adapts and overcomes–and that’s the best military strategy. In the end, I think there are some very rational explanations for Mance’s strategy. If it were me, I’d have done it differently, but I know that Mance knows more about the NW and the Wall than you and I combined ever will. Let’s agree to disagree?

  586. Ms. D. Ranged in AZ
    Posted June 11, 2014 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    Greatjon of Slumber,

    I looked at the maps more closely. Like you said, they’d be hemmed in by the sea on the one side and the other is right next to a big gorge….so yes, the geography was/is a major factor. But CB has a tunnel that is only one giant wide, that’s one hell of chokepoint. It makes sense now for a force that large, it was the only way.

    Mance might have split his forces…hit a softer target with smaller force (25,000?) where the sea would not hamper them as much, win through, and then have a force go to CB to fight from the South. But it would be a long march, with lots of attrition and a large enough force would attract attention. They’d also have to move fast, not carry much in the way of supplies, so they’d have to live off the land IF that were possible. He had to hit it from both sides but he just didn’t have enough men to attack from the South. If he had, Mance would have won the first day and he still has ALL the advantages of being able to wage a siege like battle with CB.

  587. Greatjon of Slumber
    Posted June 11, 2014 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    Ms. D. Ranged in AZ:
    Greatjon of Slumber,

    I looked at the maps more closely.Like you said, they’d be hemmed in by the sea on the one side and the other is right next to a big gorge….so yes, the geography was/is a major factor.But CB has a tunnel that is only one giant wide, that’s one hell of chokepoint.It makes sense now for a force that large, it was the only way.

    Mance might have split his forces…hit a softer target with smaller force (25,000?) where the sea would not hamper them as much, win through, and then have a force go to CB to fight from the South.But it would be a long march, with lots of attrition and a large enough force would attract attention.They’d also have to move fast, not carry much in the way of supplies, so they’d have to live off the land IF that were possible.He had to hit it from both sides but he just didn’t have enough men to attack from the South.If he had, Mance would have won the first day and he still has ALL the advantages of being able to wage a siege like battle with CB.

    Yeah, that’s pretty much true. That tunnel is a hell of a chokepoint but even if we assume the 100,000 figure is right (and did Mance ever say it, or were these estimates from the NW?) you’re talking about 15 percent too young to fight and 15 percent too old to fight, and then drop out any very pregnant women too (the rest of the women would fight, these are the Free Folk we’re talking about here). So you’ve got to sufficiently split a force between 3 castles with no guarantee of success getting through any of them, and no real measure of what kind of tunnels the other 2 castles have for the purposes of ranging, and then as you say, set yourself up for attention as you’d be marching 10,000 to 20,000 people to CB and sure to attract attention of the Umbers and Glovers, et al.

    The logical move is Mance’s play – hit CB over and over again with the most overwhelming force you have. Take a few hundred climbers to send over the Wall at a point east and west to have another skirmish from the south, if possible. But you gotta get that gate open, really.

  588. Dorian
    Posted June 11, 2014 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

    Ms. D. Ranged in AZ: Actually according to GOT wiki, the north had BEFORE the war of the five kings a total of 20,000. Let’s be generous and say 40,000. After the war of the five kings, they’d be luck to have 1/4 of that number and they were all away South when they were defeated. The only one’s who returned north with any great numbers (we’re talking less than 10,000 each probably) were the Karstarks, the Boltons and the Manderly’s. Again, they’re scattered across the vast north and they aren’t coordinating. Mance’s army advance parties could be into the next sourthern kingdom before the North could attack IF they would, which they wouldn’t. Individual houses like the Boltons would probably make a deal with Mance. Their only loyalty is to themselves.

    I wouldn’t put too much faith in the GOT wiki, but we can tease out some relevant facts from episodes.

    1. Robb says he had 18,000 men. The figure of 20,000 was often cited because that’s the number the Lannister scout told Tywin. Balon Greyjoy says Robb went south with “the entirety of the Northern army” when planning his assault on the North.

    2. Robb lost approximately 2,000 men at the Battle of the Green Fork, leaving him with a force of roughly 16,000 men. This force was swelled by an unspecified number of men courtesy of the Riverlands lords (Robb was treated as Edmure Tully’s King, recall, and the Greatjon says as much when they’re planning the relief of Riverrun in Season 1) in the course of the war – the amount would not have been large however, since Jaime Lannister smashed the Riverlords at the Golden Tooth at the start of the war.

    3. We can assume that losses in the war up to its end continued to take a toll on Robb’s army, but we know that he never lost a battle. His force leading into Season 3 could have been anything from say 14,000 – 16,000 men, roughly. Most casualties in ancient and medieval battles are not sustained during fighting, but during the rout when one army breaks and flees.

    4. Half of his force was made up of House Karstark men, who abandoned him. Maybe this means that there were say, 7,000 – 8,000 Karstark soldiers, but we don’t know – for example, do his forces include those of the Riverlands at the time he makes this estimation? We do know that Robb looked to the Freys to make up the numbers. We know from Season 1 when Robb was outside the Twins that he had five times their numbers – meaning the Freys had roughly 3,6000 men in Season 1.

    5. In any event, the Karstarks abandoned Robb, but they can’t have returned North, being blocked by Moat Cailin. We don’t know where they are. The army may have simply evaporated (with the nobles/ petty lords/landed knights returning to the Karstark lands via ship), or joined Roose Bolton’s force (we didn’t see any Karstark banners amongst Roose’s force this season though).

    6. We have no evidence that the Manderlys returned home in any great numbers.

    7. On balance, the North is probably depleted of fighting men with the exception of the return of Bolton forces. We don’t know their number, but they can’t be more than say, a few thousand, accounting for the slaughter of loyal Stark forces (Stark soldiers, Cerwyns, Tallharts, Hornwoods, Manderlys, Lockes, Flints, etc etc). However, this could simply be a matter of Robb not having the time to raise more men. 18,000 men could simply reflect the army Robb could call upon at short notice.

    8. Proviso: We know from the writers that the Greatjon is one of the few bannermen of House Stark not present at the Red Wedding with his forces. He is therefore free. Are they in the same situation as the Karstark men? Who knows. The figures are therefore even more iffy.

  589. Lady Dandelion
    Posted June 12, 2014 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    Hodor’s Bastard,

    Judging by the wiki Olenna is at least 32 years younger than Aemon(aged 102!). So their romance seems unlikely. Maybe Olennas mother? Maybe she was as clever.
    I doubt that Old Nan was so important, since she worked as a servant most of her life, though who knows what she was up to in her youth. Maybe that’s why it didn’t work out. She at least seems to have the right age.
    But it probably was just someone who’s long dead.

    That part in the episode was so sad… poor Aemon.

  590. Lex
    Posted June 13, 2014 at 4:14 am | Permalink

    Hi guys, after this episode, I made this design for a T-Shirt starting Ygritte. Check it out! and if you would like to wear it, score it so it gets printed. Only if you care about like geeky GOT things and stuff.

    https://www.threadless.com/designs/kissed-by-fire

  591. Lex
    Posted June 13, 2014 at 4:30 am | Permalink

    Lex,

    You are not me.

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