Unsullied Recap, Game of Thrones Season 4, Episode 9 – The Watchers on the Wall
By Oz of Thrones on in Recap.

Spoiler note: The discussion in this post is primarily for non-book readers (book fans can discuss the show here). We ask that all Sullied book-readers refrain from posting spoilers in the comments here, veiled or otherwise. This show is best viewed without knowing all the surprises beforehand or afterwards, so please be respectful of your fellow fans. Thank you!

Oz of Thrones:  When the only impulsive complaint a man can reasonably come up with immediately following an episode of a television series is that it simply wasn’t long enough, it can only mean that someone did something right.

Add in the fact that said episode took place in only one location and involved a grand battle sequence that many weren’t all that excited about only because other stories within the same series seemed more compelling, the accomplishment cannot be overstated.

The Epic 9’s remain solidly intact, and their continuity should obviously have never been in doubt… but I do have questions.

 

For many of the Unsullied, there was doubt about this battle.  Maybe it was the hangover from one of the newest, most intriguing characters ever introduced in this show having his head crushed in by a man-beast.  Maybe it was because elsewhere, there remains so much unfinished business that many feel is more pivotal to the future of the story.  And maybe, it was simply because the buildup to the battle this season has been slightly underwhelming in the opinion of many.

Regardless of the “why”, a battle of epic proportions was served that fans of the series will never forget.

From the onset, the landscape and the visuals of the Wall at night remain breathtaking.  The torches outlining the top of the wall through the mazes of icy walkways look so realistic that I sometimes have to remind myself that this is not a place in which I can buy a plane ticket and book a tour.

For a battle to be convincing, the stage needs to be as believable as the living, breathing personnel swinging the swords and shooting the arrows.  Mission accomplished.

To enhance the setting of the stage, the sound must be strong and dramatic as to emphasize the emotional moments and bring to life the gruesomeness of the accompanying deaths.  The sound effects can make a scene seem harshly realistic or embarrassingly fake.  To put it mildly, the audio here was fantastic including not only the timeliness of the effects but the musical score itself.

And while the sword fighting and the flaming arrows and the explosions and the biggest fire the North had ever seen were well-choreographed and damn near perfectly executed, maybe the major difference in this battle was the emotional attachment magnified by the obvious theme of relationships.  The examples were plentiful and came from some expected characters and some that were not-so expected:

Sam and Jon discussing being with a woman; Sam disclosing that the Wildlings had already done the worst thing they could do to him; Tormund and his Sheila; Ygritte confronting Styr about her Crow boyfriend and threatening anyone else that killed him with an arrow; Aemon and Sam discussing love; the friendship between Pip and Sam, and their last moments together; the admittance of Thorne to Jon that he should have allowed the tunnel to be sealed; and of course, Jon and Ygritte.

wildlingsThe emotions of the episode were high and at times made it difficult to know whom to root for.  When Ygritte didn’t want to talk about fooking a bear, she recalled how wrong it was for a Wall to be built to keep her kind out and then to be hunted.  Who was right?  Who was wrong?  Can either side be classified as either?

A battle also calls for a great motivational speech and as bad as I despise the guy, Alliser pulled it off beautifully (albeit, quickly).  As he came down off the Wall to rally the troops protecting the Castle, there was no doubt as to where his loyalty stood and that he was owed respect for not only being a man of his word, but a man that would stand behind it and would fight at the front gate to uphold his vows.  Thorne was an asshole; but he was the necessary asshole that every great platoon needs to be successful.

On the other hand, Slynt did exactly what I expected him to do.  He pulled a Joffrey.

But we can’t leave without talking battle visuals, and damn, they did not disappoint.  The giant on the mammoth with the glow of the fire behind the forest trees was something to behold.  These were a couple of my favorite battle snippets:

  • The giant shooting the oversized arrows and blowing the Crow completely off of the Wall.
  • The boiling water thrown in the face
  • The mammoth attempting to pull the gate off the tunnel
  • The mammoth’s ass being set on fire
  • Tormund vs. Alliser
  • The giant in the tunnel
  • Jon vs. Styr
  • The dropping of the scythe (especially the dropping of the scythe)

MagAnd then of course there was Ygritte, who stood ready to finally end her relationship permanently with Jon Snow until revenge for a lost relationship between a son and a father was taken.  Olly’s shot was true and struck Ygritte where the pain had struck him giving a quiet ending to she and Jon while surrounded by blood and chaos.

Perhaps they should have stayed in the cave the same way Sam could have stayed in the basement with Gilly.  But then love would have truly been the death of duty.

Episode 409 Personal Awards

Favorite Battle Scene:  Too many to pick, but I’ll never forget the force of arrow from the giant sending the Crow out into the night sky.  And the scythe.

Favorite Dialogue Scene: Aemon and Sam.  If a book were created based only on the wisdom of Aemon alone, I would go pick it up today.

There were so many great one-liners in this ep.  Here are a few, but there were plenty to choose from.
Favorite Quote #1:  “How big were her feet?” -Sam

Favorite Quote #2:  “Right now, I don’t want to think about the bear you never fooked.” -Ygritte

Favorite Quote #3:  “But if he starts second guessing himself, that’s the end.  For him.  For the clever little twats.  For everyone.” –Alliser Thorne

Favorite Quote #4:  “I’m not nothing anymore.” -Sam

Favorite Quote #5:  “I said nock and hold, you cunts!” -Thorne

Favorite Quote #6:  “Jon… come back.” -Sam

Ow, That Shit Hurts Award: The hammer in Styr’s head and the burning mammoth ass

Jackass Award:  Janos Slynt.  Forever.

Final Thoughts: Overall, I thought the episode was outstanding from a battle sequence standpoint.  It rivaled most big budget, full-length films that have tackled battle scenes in the past on a fraction of the budget, and was tremendously executed.  The emotional impact from the relationship portion made it even more dramatic.

However, I do have a few burning questions (no pun, yada yada).

Why did they choose to end the episode with no real outcome?  With an entire episode dedicated to one location, I think many of the Unsullied believed that the outcome of the Crow/Wildling issue would be resolved.  Yes, Mance was testing the defenses, but in the process he used his forces south of the Wall, which may have been his greatest asset in getting the gates open.  There could potentially be some of them left, but wouldn’t it have made more sense to use them when the full court press was on instead of the testing phase?

Furthermore, how are all of the open story lines going to be tied with only one episode to go?  Don’t misunderstand my inquiry here… we know from past seasons that they won’t be.  But in review, there are quite a few loose ends hanging around to be covered in only a slightly extended season finale.  I hope it doesn’t feel rushed.

And what does Jon hope to accomplish by meeting with Mance?  It is true that the Watch most likely has no chance considering what is left of their lot against the Wildling numbers.  And Jon knows it.  But a diplomatic resolution seems highly unlikely at this point.  Then again, I know nothing.  And I love it.

That’s it for me today fellow WiCsters!  Tell me what you thought of the episode, your favorite scenes and quotes, and let’s discuss burning questions.

Look me up in the twittersphere @ozofthrones where we can discuss all things Thrones related (or anything else interesting that might pop).

Only one more to go before hiatus hell sets in, so let’s get it while we can.  I’ll see you Friday or Saturday for the last Looking Forward of the in-season.  Drop on by… this is it for a while!

BUT NO SPOILERS HERE!  NO HINTS! NO BOOK RELATED DISCUSSION! 

Until then, have a great week, and may there always be peace in your realm. –Oz

“Unbowed.  Unbent.  Unsullied.”

PLEASE BE MINDFUL OF THE UNSULLIED… Do not post spoilers in this comment thread!

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135 Comments

  1. Atomix
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

    I think I’m having a stroke. That ended too soon. That was so ridiculously good. So different. But I thought it was going to run until 10:15.

  2. JonSnowWentBergdahl
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

    Hmmm… ok then

  3. ReekReek
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

    HBO did a perfect job of making us care about the Night’s Watch again. People will complain about the long dialogue scenes, but they were absolutely needed. That cliffhanger was a good call as well. Who isn’t tuning in next week? Who?

  4. D'Arcy
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

    I’ll admit I scoffed…

    And I kept looking at the clock as the episode neared it’s end.

    And that white screen fade-out started and I said NO WAY NO WAY NO WAY.

    And it was true. It’s okay. It hurts the episode, IMO, but it makes the next episode even more awesome. But I didn’t need that episode to be awesome, I needed this episode to be awesome. Oh well.

  5. Butterbumps
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

    Did anyone see that looooooooong shot during the battle? How many times did they have to rehearse for that to happen I wonder? Blew my mind. Crazy Neil Marshall is crazy!!

  6. Chaser
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

    I’m speechless. A sole mammoth? I bet it even was the last living one in the north…heartless bastards…Well it is on a TV budget, I suppose

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

    OMG, so pumped for next, i just cant wait, so perfect, loads better than the battle of the blackwaters. A far more human and emotional battle.

  8. Thorns of Brooklyn
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

    This was such a phenomenally executed episode. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time, and I’ve read the books.

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

    So bummed about Grenn and Pypbut had a feeling they were goners.

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

    I loved the episode, I thought it was better than Blackwater. I don’t understand why John is going one man army beyond the wall though. I know his lady had a bad day, but wow. Drop the Scythe!

  11. Bain
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:05 pm | Permalink
  12. coronaking
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

    Butterbumps:
    Did anyone see that looooooooong shot during the battle? How many times did they have to rehearse for that to happen I wonder? Blew my mind. Crazy Neil Marshall is crazy!!

    I loved that! :D

  13. gbnf
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

    I don’t get what John Snow is doing. He’s basically committing suicide with a very low percentage of succeeding in his mission.

  14. Aphrodite
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

    The episode aired. Are we not allowed to discuss what happened until tomorrow? Keep seeing things blacked out

  15. Lady Cin Baelish
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

    Aye, good ep all around but so short!! I couldntw believe when it was already 45 mins into it. So much to pack in for next one, they better give us an extended final episode! ;)

  16. Lady Cin Baelish
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    My favourite things in this episode: Ghost!!
    And those Giants… dayum!

  17. Soopa Doop
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

    I’m full! I usually revisit episodes to rewatch my favorite seasons, but for this, I’ll have to watch the whole episode. Great battle. Not just the action made it better than Blackwater, but the emotional connection to everyone at the Wall. The only side I was cheering for in Season 2 was Tyrion, but I was rooting for everyone at the Wall. Didn’t expect Jon to make that move so quickly. I thought there was going to be some cleanup first before any moving forward. That one giant totally had a moment when he hulked up to enter the gate. He was totally trying to be the hero. I wonder what his story was.

  18. Deez
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

    Somehow in the blink of an eye allister(think that’s his name) head of nights watch totally changed my opinion of him. I was literally yelling out loud rooting for him against tormund, when going into the episode he was one I wanted to die. Even though janos didn’t die atleast he got exposed for being useless.

  19. Kay
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

    Gilly is safe. Baby is safe. Sam is safe. I’m good! I did expect a bit more from Ghost. Especially when Jon was in danger. I was hoping for Ghost to attack the cannibal from behind and eat a chunk of him.

    Bring on the next episode. The preview looks simply awesome. Very packed!

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

    Lady Cin Baelish,

    Ep 10 is supposedly extended about 10 minutes I believe.

  21. The Watcher
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 12:06 am | Permalink

    Awesome episode.
    but was it just me, or did it seem like most of the Night Watch men died in that fight? They said there were only 102 left, but a whole lot of Crows died. It sure felt like close to 100 casualties.
    Not a complaint, just wondering.

  22. Randa
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 12:31 am | Permalink

    Wow.

    I get readers might be mad, but seriously. Don’t abuse the unsullied thread with you misplaced anger over NNNOOOOTTTHHHIIINNNGGG!

  23. LordSnow
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 12:40 am | Permalink

    This episode was amazing!!! As book reader I tend to be very critical of the show but the last two episodes have been amazing!!! Can’t wait for next week!

  24. Lisa Y.
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 12:45 am | Permalink

    I had no idea what to expect, and I was amazed. I just rewatched Episode 9, and I’m still stunned. I’m sad about who was lost, but glad about who remained. I admit, I also wanted to see more from Ghost. This was just the battle a dire wolf like him was born for. And this ep also felt way too short. It felt like it was only 15 minutes long, and those minutes flew by.

    Right now, the only question I have is why the Season Finale isn’t 3 hours long? There’s no way they can cover every storyline satisfactorily in the time given. The (barely) ten hours alloted to each season of Game of Thrones is not enough to tell this story.

  25. SillyMammo
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 12:49 am | Permalink

    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.

  26. TOIVA
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 1:00 am | Permalink

    Hmm, those giants and the mammoth were wonderful to see. And the Scythe was a surprising twist.

    However there was only two giants and one mammoth. And the Scythe can surprise only once. The wildlings will just climb elsewhere (which they should have done in the first place).

    And the episode brought little if no shock at all. Jon Snow still lives, the Night’s Watch (although decimated) still guards the wall, Mance Rayder still lives… The episode could have not happened and little would have changed.

    But I must praise the technical execution of the episode. The long shots were probably immensely difficult to shoot, the giants and the mammoth looked very believable.

    The only questions that arise from the episode are: How did the six watchmen kill the giant? And what the … is Jon Snow gonna try? (Promise the wildlings to give them land south of the wall if they help against the White walkers or something?)

    I guess I like the drama and the intrigue more than pure action. Last episode had me excited with every other scene. I was awed by the Boltons, by Sansa, of course by the duel. In retrospect, I liked Blackwater much more as well.

  27. Kevin Lannister
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 1:03 am | Permalink

    Thorne was such a badass in this

  28. Valery
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 1:09 am | Permalink

    gbnf,

    I think he’s going to try to join forces with him … one thing we can count on, there will be a twist.

    I doubt it will be settled by the end of next week though. Plus we still have to find out what happens to Tyrion!

  29. Valery
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 1:11 am | Permalink

    I love me some Jon Snow

  30. Varymyr's Foreskin
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 1:16 am | Permalink

    That was the best episode of television I’ve ever witnessed. As a book reader, I couldn’t care less about any deviations. If you can’t appreciate what you just saw, you should be thrown off the top of the Wall (Fact).

  31. John Raynor
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 1:31 am | Permalink

    I don’t understand some of the hate people have. I mean it’s everyone’s own opinion on what they like and don’t like, and that is their right, but this show vastly eclipses anything that’s ever been done or seen on television before in just about every way possible. I thought tonight’s episode was on of the most epic (almost) hours of television ever shown. What D&D, Neil, and HBO have done time and time again on a TV budget is simply amazing to me. You may not like all their decisions, and I don’t always like them either, but to criticize them at every turn like some book readers have done is just simply ridiculous to me. Without these guys dedicating every minute of their lives for the last 5 years to shit show and story, we simply wouldn’t have what is without a doubt, the most incredible series in television history. If you do not like what they are doing, simply stop watching and read the books again, rather than find anything you can to criticize, while throwing out spoilers at every turn to ruin it for others just because you aren’t happy with what you have seen. I am not speaking strictly on only what’s being said in this particular thread, just in a general sense of things.

    Tonight’s episode, was an epic change of pace IMO. I love the decision of dedicating the entire episode to the wall, and doing justice to this big battle that they have been building up all the way since season one. From the second the horn blows, it was non stop action, while at the same time, sneaking in some great story moving moments. I cannot say enough about how amazing of a director that Neil Marshal is when it comes to these battle sequences on a tight budget. This guy really is at the top of his craft. Also, I’ve been slightly critical of Kit Harrington at times throughout the series so far, but tonight he was very very good. He really has stepped up his game as the series has moved forward. Also, how good was Owen Teale tonight? What a performance. Just a great great episode all around in my opinion.

  32. John Raynor
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 1:32 am | Permalink

    Varymyr’s Foreskin,

    I just saw you wrote that after I posted what I did above, we pretty much feel the same way. Haha.

  33. Ours is the Fury
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 1:42 am | Permalink

    Book readers- stay out of this post. There is another post for Book-Readers, go use it. Your comments in this thread will be deleted. Thanks.

  34. Sid
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 2:29 am | Permalink

    Chaser, try to listen to the dialogue to next time. Jon Snow says Mance was just testing their defenses. He has more giants and mammoths.

  35. Ser Hulk
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 2:51 am | Permalink

    NOOOOO…. I won’t accept it. That’s it, I can’t watch anymore.

  36. Bodo Temote
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 3:57 am | Permalink

    At first I was a bit miffed that none of the other story lines were shown tonight but looking back, that was one heck of an episode. The Night’s Watch deserved all of the atrention they got tonight. Ygritte annoyed the heck out of me so I was glad to see that kid get revenge for his father. She managed to get one more “you know nothing” before dying. She won’t be missed as far I’m concerned. Is there like a Mammoth Rental Service in the Northern Region or something? ONE mammoth!? And those giants were hired hands or something? Would like to know what their story is. Sam and Gilly, the two weakest characters in the GOT continue to evade certain death. LOL Gonna have to kick up my feet and watch this episode again.

    Have to send a shoutout to the long battle scene where the camera went across the whole castle with all the fighting going on. DAYUM. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a scene like that on TV OR the movies! The show just continues to raise the bar that is going to be really really hard to top in the future.

  37. Gilly Stark Snow
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 4:27 am | Permalink

    Awesome!
    Favorite parts:
    Sam kissing Gilly
    Ghost going to work
    Jon hammer to the wildings head

    Jon holding his lady love reminded me of Rob doing the same thing at the red wedding before he gets his. I keep saying please not Jon, please not Jon, please not Jon and then he gives Sam his sword and goes on a suicide mission.
    Can’t wait for next week!

  38. RamBam
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 4:51 am | Permalink

    Did NOT like the episode for lack of logic:

    _That was not 100,000 attacking the wall, even if that was not the intent to say here are the entire army and the actual 100,000 are coming later then that makes no sense from Mance’s perspective. Why would risk losing his group on the south by not going in all the way?? The only answer would be he is the world’s biggest moron…

    _That was not a 102 people defending the wall! NO WAY! so a 50 up and a 50 down? Then why do you as a director have the wildlings kill so many in the castle and then have them magically lose anyway??? I dont think the team working on this episode got the memo on the number of nightwatch men from previous episodes…

    Nice fight scenes and great tension building, but logically a very weak story…

  39. Streetad
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 5:18 am | Permalink

    The only real problem I felt was that the Nights Watch should be down to negative membership given the number of casualties taken in this episode.

    I have always taken the 100,000 wildlings figure with a pinch of salt. Given that all the wildling villages were deserted, how many of those are women, children, the elderly etc? Also – we are only taking Mance’s word for it. All we know is that there are ‘a lot more than 100′…

  40. Maester TT
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 5:45 am | Permalink

    Streetad:
    The only real problem I felt was that the Nights Watch should be down to negative membership given the number of casualties taken in this episode.[...]

    I had the same feeling with the fight at Crasters’, more pronounced even. It will be interesting to get a head count next episode.

  41. barak
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 6:02 am | Permalink

    RamBam: _That was not 100,000 attacking the wall, even if that was not the intent to say here are the entire army and the actual 100,000 are coming later then that makes no sense from Mance’s perspective. Why would risk losing his group on the south by not going in all the way?? The only answer would be he is the world’s biggest moron…

    _That was not a 102 people defending the wall! NO WAY! so a 50 up and a 50 down? Then why do you as a director have the wildlings kill so many in the castle and then have them magically lose anyway??? I dont think the team working on this episode got the memo on the number of nightwatch men from previous episodes…

    JFC, are you watching the episode with closed eyes?
    1) That wasn’t 100,000 attacking the wall because that wasn’t supposed to be 100,000 attacking the wall. Mance was testing their defenses, and inflicting some damage while he’s at it. The overwhelming majority of his army is still way back, observing. When they attack the next time they’ll have a lot easier job now that the Nights Watch is decimated and tired, their supplies mostly gone, etc.

    2) “Risk losing his group in the south”? Dude, he’s about to breach the Wall once and for all, what does he care about losing that group?

    3) I’m not sure why people think the NW’s casualties numbered ~100. Fifty at most, but more likely around 30. Which is still pretty bad but it’s not nearly 100.

  42. OldeCrone
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 6:05 am | Permalink

    Lisa Y.: Right now, the only question I have is why the Season Finale isn’t 3 hours long? There’s no way they can cover every storyline satisfactorily in the time given. The (barely) ten hours alloted to each season of Game of Thrones is not enough to tell this story.

    I would guess the length of the episode – or dearth of a long final episode – is down to money issues. It’s a pity they can’t extend it to 13 or 14 episodes, it’s true, though I can’t but feel some of the naysayers would be dissatisfied whatever length the episodes were.

  43. Lloga
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 6:12 am | Permalink

    The episode didn’t work for me. Big budget, sure, well done on that end. But otherwise, it didn’t feel like Game of Thrones.

    There were some nice touches, like Jon sending Grenn to his death in the tunnel (and the reaction of the other friend of them (Ed?) to that), but I really dropped out in the Jon+Igritte scene, you know, the lingering camera and all. That scene was way too long and tacky.

    You other guys already mentioned the weird logical issues, and I think we all agree that there was a lack of an arc of suspense, which is strange, because this episode focused exclusively on the Wall.

  44. Dheep'
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    While last night’s episode was surely costly to mount ,its pretty amazing that the Series was Just Awarded “Most watched Cable Show Ever” ,And somehow ,they can manage only 10 Episodes ?
    The rabid fan base is really getting short Shrift here. But then again ,the Parent company is Comcast -correct? They are now charging for On Demand Episodes of Regular TV Shows on TOP of unbelievable monthly fees.
    Yes ,surely – “Greed is Good”

  45. asfastasican
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    Well the episode was great. After reading this thread though it makes me happy I’m not a book reader. A lot of book readers are jerks.

  46. Paul
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    asfastasican,

    As a long time Book Reader, (I still hate that there is a term for Book Reader and Show Watcher) I can tell you that not all of us are vocal and not all of us are jerks. I thought the episode was just about perfect.

  47. Valyrian Eyes
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    asfastasican,

    asfastasican,

    Well, I’m a book reader too, and not a jerk Xp for me the episode was beyond awesome, I cried a few times just out of sheer joy because it was SO well done T.T

  48. Dragonslayer
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    Dheep’:
    While last night’s episode was surely costly to mount ,its pretty amazing that the Series was Just Awarded “Most watched Cable Show Ever”,And somehow ,they can manage only 10 Episodes ?
    The rabid fan base is really getting short Shrift here. But then again ,the Parent company is Comcast -correct? They are now charging for On Demand Episodes of Regular TV Shows on TOP of unbelievable monthly fees.
    Yes ,surely – “Greed is Good”

    I’ve always heard that the reason for only 10 episodes is a lack of production time not money.

  49. Lloga
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    Paul:
    asfastasican,

    As a long time Book Reader, (I still hate that there is a term for Book Reader and Show Watcher) I can tell you that not all of us are vocal and not all of us are jerks. I thought the episode was just about perfect.

    One rotten apple spoils the barrel, so to speak. There are probably hundreds of thousands of book readers, but it only needs a handful of jerks to destroy the fun of millions of show viewers.
    Not so much by writing ridiculously biased reviews – which I choose not to read – but also but spoiling the **** out of us.

    I used to discuss my GoT expectations on another site, a supposely spoiler-free and monitored board. Until I found out that virtually half of the people writing there were bookwalkers in disguise.

  50. chamush
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    barak,

    # 1 & 2) ok that simply makes no sense, only an idiot would do that!

    #3) have you been watching previous episodes while driving? They said over and over again 100 is how many left of the nightswatch, that just didnt add up with how the wildlings were butchering them on south side and still losing…

  51. Gosensgo
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    Valery,

    You think he will join forces with them?
    He already did once and that didnt work out…

  52. Oz of Thrones
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    Updated with Recap! How the hell is everybody?

  53. HwT
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    Who said anything about a diplomatic resolution? Jon plans to assassinate Mance. Sam: “Without Mance? Are you going to kill him?” Jon: “I am going to try.”

  54. Gosensgo
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    Oz of Thrones,

    Sad that this is ending !!!!

    Also confused… and scared for Jon.
    what do you think he is going to do?
    Talk it out?

  55. Gosensgo
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    HwT,

    With no sword?

  56. HwT
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    Gosensgo,

    Well, he did admit that it was a bad plan, but it’s the only plan they have.

  57. Gosensgo
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    HwT,

    Lol!!!
    he voluntarily went without a sword.

    ugh. stessful

  58. Lou Reed
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    What Mance is doing makes perfect sense. He probably has a warg, so he knows they are only 100. Bleeding them like this a few nights, means he can just walk through the gates on the 3rd night. Charging the wall with a huge force, would be a hell of a monty python moment.

  59. A Man Grown
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    I’m glad you liked the episode Oz! I can’t wait to watch it again. The thrill of a big battle in GoT is that I actually care about the characters involved. Movies may have bigger budgets for CGI and such but it’s rare that I’m ever invested in the characters the way I am with GoT.

  60. Aphrodite
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    I usually hate The Wall storyline. And still there is too much happening in King’s Landing etc to warrant an entire episode for this. But I guess since it took Mance 2 seasons to build the biggest fire the north has ever seen, it deserved it. That aside, I thought it was a great episode. Loved the scene with Jon and Alliser. Sad the Pyp and Grenn (hope I got the names right) had to die. So, so happy to see Ygritte die. I could not stand listening to her talk and was absolutely convinced she would have killed Jon if she was not killed first. Think the episode really showed Jon’s leadership ability. Also thought it was funny that the former Night’s Watch commander was cowering away.

    I know no one can post it here in the unsullied recap, just thinking out loud how I would love to know the history of Maester Aemon. Why did he give up the throne? Afraid to look it up as I am sure I will come across spoilers but this has to be an interesting back story.

  61. HwT
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    I think the thinking was that without a sword (or a direwolf), Jon would be able to get close to Mance since people wouldn’t think of him unarmed as a threat.

  62. Oz of Thrones
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    HwT,

    So, it’s purely a suicide mission? If by chance he even remotely has the opportunity to kill Mance and succeeds, Jon will surely die. Yes, it would serve a purpose, but still seems too predictable.

  63. outdoorcats
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    Is it just me or did I spot Neil Marshall as one of the crows on top of the wall shooting arrows?

  64. johnnytata
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    just flew in from the sullied thread. feel like i just left a jersey quagmire for the bahamas.

    what a breath of fresh air…

  65. HwT
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    Yes, seems like a suicide mission if he indeed succeeds in killing Mance, unless he would somehow be able to fight himself a way back to the gate, convince the remaining wildlings to surrender or, like some speculate, make Jon the new wildling leader.

    Edit: Last time Mance saw Jon, he was still undercover in the team wildling, I wonder if Jon would try to play that card (though I doubt Mance would buy that act the second time).

  66. Soopa Doop
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    I fear for Jon. ALONE in the North and didn’t even take Ghost with him. Not sure if many Unsullied want preview discussions so I won’t go into it but I wonder how the Mance/Jon confrontation will go down especially on a season finale where the Tyrion story has to wrap up, Dany always gets the last scene, Bran hasn’t been seen in a while, Arya and the Hound has to wrap, and we don’t know where Stannis is going with his army and the backing of the Ironbank.

    This episode brought the Jon story to the forefront after the abrupt ending, so in a PACKED finale, will Mance and Jon have a lasting effect or will it suffer from being on an episode with stories that viewers are more invested in? I care, and I hope the interest carries over to next week and others don’t overlook it, so they can get to other story resolutions.

  67. Asfastasican
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    Lloga,

    Some of you are sweethearts. I said most. I could go through several examples of Booksguard nonsense but It’s not worth the time. The non-stop complaining about the best show on TV really blows my mind though. The hate on GRRM I can understand.

  68. johnnytata
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    can i just mention how much i love the terms “bookwalkers” and “booksguard.”

    absolute gems.

  69. Ricko
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    SEIGE WARFARE IN WESTEROS

    After a thousand years you’d think the Night’s Watch would have properly fortified the wall. Many common defensive measures known as far back as Greek and Roman times were not used (or were only marginally used) by the Crows last night. Here are a few:
    Catapults on the Wall
    There was only one catapult used by the Crows, the scorpion that killed the giant at the gate. A catapult 700 feet in the air would have extended range and impact. It would do wonders to back the Wildings further from the wall and thin out any force trying to reach the gate.
    Hurdles Over the Gate to Castle Black
    A hurdle is a covered wooden shed with narrow openings in the front and floor which is built to overhang the outside of a castle wall. The defenders can shoot arrows out or down while under cover. The defenders can drop rocks or boiling liquids (remember the cook with the pan of hot water)such as water or oil on the heads of those attacking the gate. That would have quickly thinned out Tormun’s band of merry boys and girls
    Murder Holes in the Passage Under the Wall
    A murder hole is a small opening from an upper chamber into a passageway below the chamber. Defenders in the upper chamber can use spears, arrows, rocks, and boiling liquids to engage those attacking through the passage from above and behind. One or two murder holes and the giant would have had to worry about his back as well as Gren’s squad behind the inner gate. (And why didn’t Gren’s squad grab some spears? With spears they could stand away from the Mag the Mighty-or anyone on the far side of the gate-and spear him as he tried to smash the gate. They didn’t have to get so close; they all paid the iron price when some of them might not have needed to.)
    The defenders of a castle under attack are almost always greatly outnumbered by their attackers. Anything that will lessen the defenders’ vulnerability while increasing the attackers’ exposure to the defenders’ weapons is force multiplier for the defense. When you are forced to fight a desperate defense you need (and deserve) any advantage you can find. The Lord Commanders and Builders of the Night’s Watch neglected their defenses for a hundreds of years; the current garrison of Castle Black paid that debt in blood.

  70. barak
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    chamush: barak,
    # 1 & 2) ok that simply makes no sense, only an idiot would do that!
    #3) have you been watching previous episodes while driving? They said over and over again 100 is how many left of the nightswatch, that just didnt add up with how the wildlings were butchering them on south side and still losing…

    1) This wasn’t supposed to be a huge decisive battle. This served as a skirmish, not a very big deal for Mance, but a much bigger deal for the NW because there’s so few of them manning the castle.

    2) Let me reiterate: he’s about to breach the Wall once and for all. When that happens (and for Mance it’s “when” not “if”) there won’t be any need for a southern group (especially one so tiny). The southern group was needed to serve as a distraction in this particular battle – it did its job, decimated the NW, got pretty much annihilated anyway, the end.

    3) I said the CASUALTIES. Meaning, the number of NW brothers who died in this episode. There can’t have been more than 30-35 dead brothers.

  71. CZ
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    You missed one key quote – a hilarious display of sarcasm from Samwell:

    Pyp: I killed one!
    Sam: Oh, is it over then?

  72. Ludo
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    Ricko,

    Well, if you look back to Season 1, it is said that the Night’s Watch is only the shadow of what its former glory. They seriously lack in man power. Catapults exist on the top of the wall but they do not work. There are 19 castles along the Wall but only three are occupied.

    But that’s true that the south of Castle Black is not well protected, because the threat should not come from the south. Back to the ancient times, the houses of the North would have attacked the Wilding party south of the Wall, but they are now too busy playing their game of thrones.

  73. Bookill
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    Sam setting Ghost loose. That has to be up there with the episode highlights.

  74. Lili
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    As much as I loved Drunk Cersei and Tyrion’s speech in Blackwater, this episode is way better. The men of the Night’s Watch are the ultimate underdogs on a show full of them. What an episode! The battles were bad ass and every other scene was so full of heart… and the sense of danger was palpable. But there was also a lot of moments where I was laughing out loud. For an epic, devastanting battle to be at times really funny… what an achievement! WELL DONE.

    Having said that, can’t wait to watch next week’s episode. Everything can happen… and guess what? I think everything will happen indeed.

  75. Kay
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    Soopa Doop: I wonder how the Mance/Jon confrontation will go down especially on a season finale where the Tyrion story has to wrap up, Dany always gets the last scene, Bran hasn’t been seen in a while, Arya and the Hound has to wrap, and we don’t know where Stannis is going with his army and the backing of the Ironbank

    This is my worry too. That the storylines left to wrap up this season will feel very rushed this coming Sunday. I would have liked at least the Wall story to have wrapped up this episode. I definitely would have wanted the Arya and Hound endless journey to have wrapped up before this.

    I liked the episode very much; it clearly exceeded my expectations of it, but the ending left me very puzzled as to why it was left somewhat open-ended.

  76. Seriano
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    outdoorcats,

    Yeah, I think I saw him pulling an arrow when Jon commanded.

  77. mariamb
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    Once again, Oz, thanks for your insights. Sometimes I wish that I was an Unsullied. This thread is a much happier place to be.

    Am I the only one that felt bad for the mammoth and his fiery ass?

  78. Greatjon of Slumber
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    Oz – nice nice recap.

    I’m a longtime Sullied, but I’ll take your questions one at a time in a non-spoilery way.

    Why did they choose to end the episode with no real outcome?

    A change of pace? All the other 9s were pretty definitive – Ned’s death, the Red Wedding, and the only real cliffhanger out of Blackwater is whether Tyrion survives. I think to add more would take away from A) Jon’s heroics and B) to heighten the tension into next week. To me in a lot of ways this episode is about Jon Snow becoming a leader.

    Yes, Mance was testing the defenses, but in the process he used his forces south of the Wall, which may have been his greatest asset in getting the gates open. There could potentially be some of them left, but wouldn’t it have made more sense to use them when the full court press was on instead of the testing phase?

    You got me there. Because, well, yeah. It doesn’t seem like the smartest move. Because if the Night’s Watch can repair that gate or continuously drop oil on anyone trying to get it open, and nobody’s attacking from the south, your options are basically A) climb the wall (total nonstarter) or B) hope your giants are good enough marksmen to take out everyone at the top (a long-shot plan).

    Furthermore, how are all of the open story lines going to be tied with only one episode to go?

    It will be challenging. I would venture a guess that the Boltons may be done for the year. Sansa *could* be as well. Yes, there’s a lot. But it’s supposed to be 60-65 minutes.

    And what does Jon hope to accomplish by meeting with Mance?

    Well, he said he wants to try to kill him. It is, as he said, a bad plan. What’s your plan?

  79. Thronetender
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    Hey, Oz. Everything is ok here, where I am, doing the usual concentrated Monday morning search for GoT reviews and comments to extend the pleasure I get from every episode. Reading the reviews has become a non-negotiable and favorite part of experiencing the show. Your site is bookmarked. It’s fun to get further insight into every episode – find out the things you missed on the first watching so you can catch them the second and third times you watch. Yeah, I do that, doesn’t everybody watch it at least 3 times?

    … There are scenes you take in, like the panning shot of the battlefield, that you instinctively know are interesting shots, but reading just how difficult they are to shoot and how much skill it takes to coordinate them, makes for a whole new dimension in watching the show. I love when reviewers or commenters add that kind of info – so much more fulfilling than having some creepazoid comment on how they are bored and not gonna watch anymore. Zoids, if you are bored with this show, you just got bad attitudes, that’s all there is to it.

    My apologies to Alliser Thorne. I have bad-mouthed him in prior reviews – I’d say he redeemed himself here. He’s still annoying, but damn, he did concede to Jon that maybe Jon’s suggestion of blocking the tunnel should have been met with more than sarcasm. (thought Jon’s reply was noble and diplomatic, as well.) Plus, he proved to have the ability to inspire and command, and a very notable ability and willingness to fight.

    Unlike that hapless, useless Janos Slynt. Someone, somewhere questioned whether or not he had messed with Gilly in that storeroom. Did you see how fast she picked up that bone to defend herself when Sam came back to find them? Slynt would have been beaten to a pulp if he had tried anything with her. He was too busy messing his pants to think about that, anyway.

    I loved the Sam and Gilly scenes. Sam is so coming into his own as a person and as a man. He finds courage when he needs it, and is smart enough to check the written histories to see if he can find answers. Which he has, on more than one occasion. “Open the fucking gate!” indeed. How big were her feet? LOL. I don’t think love is the death of duty, per Master Aemon. For Sam, love is the inspiration of duty.

    Jon, oh Jon. So glad they devoted an entire episode to him. To all the haters out there, kiss my shadow, his parts in the show are great. And his parts parts are pretty cool, as well. He’s a cutie, and an asset to the NW big time. The smile he gave Ygritte was so bittersweet – hiya babe, please don’t kill me. My gosh, how the hell does he think he’s gonna survive seeking out Mance, without a sword? OMG he’d better survive. I guess he’s just so numb from losing Ygritte AND Pyp AND Grenn, he doesn’t much care.

    The haters can also do some shadow kissing where Ygritte is concerned, as well. I liked her and am sorry she’s gone. Ginger minge. OMG.

    Good luck, Jon. Hope we see you next week.

  80. Greatjon of Slumber
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    johnnytata:
    just flew in from the sullied thread.feel like i just left a jersey quagmire for the bahamas.

    what a breath of fresh air…

    Hey, let’s watch it on the Jersey insults! (But yeah, as a Sullied, I can’t disagree, it’s nicer to be here.)

  81. Eric
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    gbnf, It makes perfect sense considering he knows they have zero chance of stopping the Wildling army. Small chance > no chance.

  82. Gosensgo
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    Thronetender,

    I feel like this is me writing that comment.
    I agree with everything you said about the episode.

    I love Jon

    And i do exactly what you do on Mondays.
    Monday is GoT day.
    I only stick to this website though because I am unsullied and wouldnt dare going else where.

  83. NateSMZ
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    Not sure why people are confused about Jon’s motivation, he spelled it out to Sam.

    Mance sent his commandos and almost won… when he brings his full force to bear he’ll take many more casualties, but victory is inevitable. The only chance to defend the Wall is to kill Mance, so the Wildlings scatter without leadership… which Jon is going to try to get close enough to do.

    He knows the assassination attempt is unlikely to succeed… but as he says to Sam, what other plan is there? Unlikely plan is still better than no plan.

  84. Zack
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    Well done again, Oz. You made me laugh remembering “How big were her feet?”

    <3 Sam

  85. Rafael
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    I pretty much agree on everything you said Oz :D !

  86. Insomnia333
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    Asfastasican,

    Actually it makes total sense that the most popular show would have the most complaints. If people were indifferent about it then they wouldn’t have anything to say, and the show wouldn’t be as popular as it is. Passions bring out both the good and bad in people.

    And in defense of book readers, I think it just seems like we are always complaining about the show. It’s inevitable as a book reader that there is going to be something changed/omitted that you don’t like. I like, or at least understand the reasoning behind, 90-95% of the changes they’ve made to the show. But there is that 5-10% I don’t like as much. And my 5-10% is going to be different than the next readers 5-10%. So each change is going to have its detractors no matter what, it’s just a small segment of us each time.

    Granted there are a few that complain all the time, but those people are crazy and should be ignored.

  87. Oz of Thrones
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    johnnytata,

    Hang out a while! We are a lively bunch… not as educated as the Sullied, but lively nonetheless. Plus, we can’t judge adaptation so we are more likely to remain positive.

    We have but one requirement, and you must reply and type the words, damn ya: I, (insert name here), SHALL NOT SPOIL.

  88. TOIVA
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    barak,

    I counted 28 Night’s Watchmen casualties only in the forefront and only counted clear deaths (axe in the head and the like).

    There’s plenty more that were at the very least badly injured (Alliser Thorne might also count here, although seemingly only lightly injured) and then those that died in the background (I’d have to study the episode frame per frame for those).

    And Oz, your favourite ‘battle snippets’ were basically my most exciting moments, most importantly anything to do with the giants and Alliser Thorne. Sadly the rest of the episode didn’t thrill me much.

  89. Udi Assaf
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    Paul,

    This. Jeez! As a book reader I am torn between who I hate more: book-readers who spoil the show for non-readers, or non-readers who label every book-reader as a jerk. I read the books years ago, I love the books and the show. I have my criticism same as everyone. I never spoil anything. I have great respect for non-readers who manage to grasp the many plotlines without previous knowledge (doubt I could manage that).
    So am I still a jerk just because I picked up the books several years ago? Well, boohoo!

  90. barak
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    TOIVA: barak,
    I counted 28 Night’s Watchmen casualties only in the forefront and only counted clear deaths (axe in the head and the like).
    There’s plenty more that were at the very least badly injured (Alliser Thorne might also count here, although seemingly only lightly injured) and then those that died in the background (I’d have to study the episode frame per frame for those).

    There you have it, then. 28 clear on-screen deaths, ~10 more possible deaths. A lot of injuries. Yes, it’s a lot, but it doesn’t exactly warrant the snark and accusations of the production team screwing up, because more than 100 NW brothers died.

  91. Bayard
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    I thought Jon said he was going out there to kill Mance and hope the wildling army breaks apart. Am I wrong? Damn I need to rewatch the episode. That’s what I understood, that’s why they talked about boiling and skinning…. although, why didn’t he take a sword with him???

  92. johan
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    NOOOOOOOO YGRITTE died. I really liked her and i felt sorry for her. Her true love abandoned her and she would not have killed him. She still loved him. It would be so much better she and Jon could do some great Manis hunting together!

  93. ArgonathofBraavos
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

    Janos Slynt is a coward and a bully. That is clear. But not because of his actions at the Wall.

    If you have never faced the possibility of your imminent, violent death, then you have little ground to stand on in terms of calling someone a coward. Some of the bravest soldiers I have known, who participated in a number of battles, would occasionally break down in the face of live fire.

    We like to believe we know how we would act in the face of such violence directed at us. I convince myself that I would not only fight – but go to where the fighting is most concentrated – where I would be needed the most. But we really do not know if we could stand the pressure.

    Slynt is a coward because of who he is. Not because he broke down at the Wall. Though his breakdown at the Wall was consistent with what we already thought of him, such breakdowns do not necessarily imply a cowardly nature.

  94. ArgonathofBraavos
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    Lloga:
    The episode didn’t work for me. Big budget, sure, well done on that end. But otherwise, it didn’t feel like Game of Thrones.

    There were some nice touches, like Jon sending Grenn to his death in the tunnel (and the reaction of the other friend of them (Ed?) to that), but I really dropped out in the Jon+Igritte scene, you know, the lingering camera and all. That scene was way too long and tacky.

    You other guys already mentioned the weird logical issues, and I think we all agree that there was a lack of an arc of suspense, which is strange, because this episode focused exclusively on the Wall.

    Why does “Game of Thrones” have to be defined only by its negative commentary on human nature? Why is a display of love “not Game of Thrones?”

    Are two people that are enamored of each other somehow “unrealistic?” Strange. Love (or at least the perception of love) is one of the most common and realistic human attributes.

    Why do some feel that it has no place in GoT?

    If you are just talking about the camera methods, however, I apologize (and withdraw this criticism). But I seem to remember similar reactions to Jon and Ygritte kissing on the Wall.

    I mean, if I am on a height with my significant other overlooking a beautiful landscape, a kiss is a very normal thing to do! And if the camera lingers, and the music soars a bit, that doesn’t necessarily imply the physical reality of the situation. It just helps convey how the characters might be feeling.

    Personally, I would have dispensed with the slow-mo and had the camera linger a little less, but it otherwise worked quite well, IMO.

  95. ArgonathofBraavos
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    Ricko,

    The Greeks and the Romans had some money. The Night’s Watch has been criminally underfunded and understaffed by King’s Landing. That’s probably a big reason why the Wall is so poorly defended. I feel that has been made quite clear since Season 1…

    Think of it as Hadrian’s Wall as the Roman Emperors lost the ability (and the will) to defend their gains in Britannia.

  96. I love this show
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    My only criticism is that Jon should have set Janos Slynt on fire and thrown his flaming body onto the giants. Seriously this is one of the best episodes I’ve ever seen on television, it was like a mini movie. Nice to see Sam standing up for himself too. And the scythe was about the coolest war weapon I’ve ever seen.

  97. Check it out
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

    Ygritte’s death to Bon Jovi’s Shot Through the Heart lol
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A4oQzTGTc_g

  98. Thronetender
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

    GOSENGO

    Gosensgo:
    Thronetender,

    I feel like this is me writing that comment.
    I agree with everything you said about the episode.

    I love Jon

    And i do exactly what you do on Mondays.
    Monday is GoT day.
    I only stick to this website though because I am unsullied and wouldnt dare going else where.

    Thanks for the thumbs up. Glad to have found a kindred spirit. Your entries are always good, too, thoughtful and readable. There are a number of “unsullied” sites around that are pretty good. OZ’s is one of the more fun ones, because of his insights and because of his fans. We are a pretty nice group, aren’t we? The whole site here in general is a stop for me at least 4 or 5 times a day, to see what new GoT stories appear and to keep track of the comments. I don’t know what we are all going to do after next week – walk around dazed on Sunday nights and Monday mornings, bumping into walls and mumbling under our breaths in public, I guess.

    ArgonathofBraavos:
    Janos Slynt is a coward and a bully. That is clear. But not because of his actions at the Wall.

    If you have never faced the possibility of your imminent, violent death, then you have little ground to stand on in terms of calling someone a coward. Some of the bravest soldiers I have known, who participated in a number of battles, would occasionally break down in the face of live fire.

    We like to believe we know how we would act in the face of such violence directed at us. I convince myself that I would not only fight – but go to where the fighting is most concentrated – where I would be needed the most. But we really do not know if we could stand the pressure.

    Slynt is a coward because of who he is. Not because he broke down at the Wall. Though his breakdown at the Wall was consistent with what we already thought of him, such breakdowns do not necessarily imply a cowardly nature.

    Argonath …. OMG I’m sorry, this wasn’t personal regarding my opinions of real warriors in real situations. It was only a comment on what has been shown of a fictional character who was staring down at giants and said giants don’t exist. You are right, of course, we all have to distinguish possible real emotions and realistic takes as opposed to fictional ones. Apologies if you were offended, it wasn’t intentional.

  99. ArgonathofBraavos
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

    Thronetender,

    Hi there. I wasn’t offended at all, really (have a much thicker skin than that!) I just thought it was a good general point to make to everyone as I consistently heard that scene being described as the final evidence that Slynt was a coward.

    To clarify, I hate Slynt as a character. He’s essentially a petty bully. But I don’t think his meltdown at the Wall should be held up as the main evidence of his cowardice. The main evidence of his cowardice is the nonchalance with which he slaughters children, ridicules those with less power than him, scoffs at those who he sees as his lessers, betrays Ned Stark, and supports only the winning horse!

    In this sense, his meltdown actually made me feel more sympathetic towards him. At least he didn’t deliberately betray Jon Snow, or something, during the battle.

  100. GhostRider
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

    I have read the books and agree to not spoil. I hate reading their thread anyway too many complaints. Overall the greatest episode of the season. People tend to forget that this story originated at the wall with the first episode and opening scene going over the wall into the most real and unimagined threat fo Westeros…the White Walkers. Too many viewers forget that this small army is the only thing that protects the country from eminent death. I enjoyed this episode for what it was. Maye this will help everyone recall where the real threat lies while everyone else plays the “Game of Thrones”.

  101. Nobody
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

    There is actually a historical precedent for what Jon is trying to do. A lone warrior supposedly entered the tent of a king under the guise of betraying his comrades. Instead he used a (I believe) hidden blade to brutally murder the king and demoralize his army. The plan worked (sort of), but he was executed for the act. Doesn’t look promising for Jon if that’s what they’re referencing.

  102. Valery
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

    serious question guys:

    Why would the Wall have a major portion on the bottom with a wooden door/balcony area guarded by 20 guys leading to the courtyard. I’m talking about what they called the “southern gate” where Sam and others were fighting, that Ygritte’s band of wildling’s charged and infiltrated. Militarily, just doesn’t make sense to construct a wall thousands of feet high made of ice and then have holes with wooden slots at the bottom that get you inside the ranks. It takes away the advantage of having the wall. Why need to scale it at all?

    Someone please illuminate. Thanks!

  103. Ours is the Fury
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

    Book readers: no explaining things! Seriously. You know the rules. No commentary in Oz posts. The book reader recap is that-a-way.

  104. Valyrian Eyes
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

    Valery,

    Do you mean the same gate Gilly came trough? If that’s so it’s because they’re a neutral force, so they don’t need protection from the “south”. But I don’t think that’s what you mean…

  105. Reynardd the Fox
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

    This was a good episide, but I watched on a “smallish” hotel TV set while on the road. Somehow, the battle sequences didn’t have the presence and I found ithem not as compelling as the “smaller” scenes like the library. It made me wonder, how many people who like the big action scenes more than the smaller, more intimate scenes are watching the show on a larger screen? It was great to see Snow (go Direwolves!). The mamoths looked like something out of Lord of the Rings, but I suppose it fits with the North (I think it would have been more compelling without them.)

    I don’t have a lot of expectations regarding plot lines “being wrapped up” next week. This is only season four! I am rooting for great writing that works at mutliple levels (as we’ve gotten consistently this season.)

  106. johnnytata
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

    Oz of Thrones:
    johnnytata,

    Hang out a while!We are a lively bunch… not as educated as the Sullied, but lively nonetheless.Plus, we can’t judge adaptation so we are more likely to remain positive.

    We have but one requirement, and you must reply and type the words, damn ya: I, (insert name here), SHALL NOT SPOIL.

    thanks for the welcome, love your recaps and your sense of humor is such a nice changE of pace from some of the pinched buttcheeks around here.

    i have actually been coming to these threads since you started and have made some comments here and there. try to limit myself since i have read the books and don’t want to risk spoiling anything, though i will say this for myself, most of my friends who watch are unsullied and are always looking to me for some hint of what’s to come or to validate their theories, somehow i have managed to infuriate them with my cone of silence, so i shall continue to endeavor to do so here.

    i love being on the other thread but just find it a complete downer at times. this thread is full of wonder and hope and genuine emotion about the characters and story, as opposed to emotion about what favorite minor detail got left out, and the criticisms here are just more honest, without the underlying preconceived agendas.

    anyway, sorry about the jersey comment, i was thinking about that wasteland near newark airport, kind of reminds of some of the terminator battle scenes, where old machines go to die…

  107. AGirlHasSaid
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

    Welp. It finally happened. A Game of Thrones character actually followed my suggestion :O
    This has never happened before , for instance:

    Tyrion: I didn’t kill Joffrey, but I wish I had!!
    Me: Shut up. Shut UP.

    Oberyn: Confess!
    Me: He can’t , he’s unconscious. Finish him off.

    But last night, when Samwell Tarley was about to leave Gilly to go fight, I said Kiss Her!
    AND HE DID :)
    And that scythe—which, before reading the recap, I kept referring to as the ‘anchor thingy that scooped the Wildings off the Wall’——that was brilliant.

    Great ninth. May the Red God spare you, brave Jon Snow!

  108. thupple
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 12:06 am | Permalink

    Man, is it ugly out there. Thank the gods for Oz and his band of happy warriors. Else there’d be no fun place to go for post show appreciation.

    One word of warning to Unsullied. I popped in right after the ep hoping for some joy and found some nasty trolls instead. Their spoiling, malevolent posts were deleted by the time I came back today, but wuf. Look out.

  109. gbnf
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 12:59 am | Permalink

    Hey Oz

    Great recap as always, except for that week when you didn’t post one. Sorry if this gets a little long, believe it or not I edited this down a bit.

    Perhaps I judged Allister too harshly. He’s right about not doubting yourself. Props to him admitting that he might have been wrong about flooding the tunnel. To John Snow of all people, that had to hurt. John Snow handled it magnanimously as expected. Props to Allister for rallying the troops, fighting side by side, & most importantly seeking out the greatest threat. He fought well, frankly much better than I expected. Even when seriously wounded he was still give out orders just like a leader should. I’m not sure if he survived, but I hope he does.

    Some people have said that this was a John episode, I say it’s a Sam episode. He gets words of wisdom from the Maester. He uses profanity for the first time to protect Gilly. He is so overjoyed that she is alive & now has a reason to fight & survive. It reminds me of a quote I read “imagine how happy you would be if you lost everything of value to you then got it all back.” This is Sam. It’s why he has a clear enough head to put a bolt in the crossbow before shooting a Thenn in the head. He convinced John that he was needed down below. He kissed Gilly. Boom he is so in, if he survives the ordeal.

    As for John, he came into his own as well. Giving out orders on the top of the wall when that sissy Slynt proved incompetent. Giving final instructions to the wall when he went below to get into the fight (including using the freaking scythe). He got Sam to set loose Ghost, which I thought was a game changer. He convinced Grenn that the inner gate had to be held at all costs. If it’s breached then it’s all over for everyone. He takes down the main Thenn, then it happens. We knew it was inevitable. Ygritte has already killed multiple crows & she has John lined up. But she hesitates & in combat hesitation is death. Then the one part of the episode that pissed me off. John is holding her body while the battle rages all around. It was like he called a timeout & nobody was allowed to attack him. Finally John goes on what I think is a suicidal mission because Mance has to know that he is still a crow by now. However like Sam, I am unable to come up with a better plan. The wall/Nightwatch won’t survive another assault & there WILL be another one, probably that night.

    Slynt is a gutless coward. Everyone else was fighting because to do otherwise is to die. I was hoping Gilly was kicking his ass in that storage room on principle. Her man was out there fighting & this pussy hides below?!?

    Why couldn’t we have seen the fight between the giant & Grenn/backup? That had to have been some epic shit. John: I want you to defend the inner gate. Grenn: ok. John: By the way there might be a giant in there. Grenn: wait what?

    Final questions/thoughts:
    Where is Mance?
    Where is Stannis, didn’t he get the funds needed to get an army so he can get his ass up to the wall?
    Did the mountain die & if so how can Tyrion still be executed?
    If Tyrion is somehow spared how batshit crazy will Cersei going to go?
    What will Arya do now?

  110. ArgonathofBraavos
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 1:18 am | Permalink

    Reynardd the Fox: 9

    I’ve heard this a few times now. Why would it have been more compelling without the mammoth, and what’s wrong with it looking like something out of Lord of the Rings? GoT is essentially LOTR in reverse. In GoT, the world of myth and legend is starting to bleed from the periphery of the world (from the North and from Essos) into the center (Westeros). Essentially, myths and legends are returning to the world in GoT, as opposed to leaving the world, as in LOTR (elves fading away, etc). This gives GoT a resonance that it wouldn’t have if it was just straight faux-history.

    So the mammoth is basically the world of Tolkien starting to invade the world of GRRM. And that’s exactly how ASOIAF plays out.

    It’s almost a parallel of GRRM’s life. He grew up in a mundane Jersey setting, and slowly but surely, the world of fantasy invaded his life.

  111. AK
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 1:25 am | Permalink

    Best episode ever!!!!!!!

    For once, an episode didn’t end with me being completely angry at some good deed going punished/bad deed going rewarded, as what always happens in this show.

    Us Unsullied finally get an episode where we can cheer, and enjoy every minute of it!

    Other great thing about this episode – I am now emotionally invested into the Wall story line.

    Sad about Pyp and Grenn. Cannot say enough about how well executed this episode was.

  112. ArgonathofBraavos
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 1:25 am | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury:
    Book readers: no explaining things! Seriously. You know the rules. No commentary in Oz posts. The book reader recap is that-a-way.

    Sorry, but the answer I gave to the poster in question is contained WITHIN the show. The poster was under the impression that the “southern gate” that Gilly came through (and that Sam and Pyp, etc, were defending) was on the north side of the wall! The show makes clear that this isn’t the case, and that the Night’s Watch are fighting wildlings both to the south and north of the Wall. This is very basic information that can be gleaned from the show itself, but not understanding it can seriously impair enjoyment of the episode. I mean, if you were under the impression that all Mance’s army had to do was penetrate a lightly-guarded wooden structure north of the Wall, you would likely find the whole episode to be a ridiculous absurdity!

    In that context, I would certainly appreciate it if you could re-post my previous explanation. I was answering a question, and did so within the boundaries of the show.

  113. ArgonathofBraavos
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 1:34 am | Permalink

    Valery:
    serious question guys:

    Why would the Wall have a major portion on the bottom with a wooden door/balcony areaguarded by 20 guys leading to the courtyard.I’m talking about what they called the “southern gate” where Sam and others were fighting, that Ygritte’s band of wildling’s charged and infiltrated.Militarily, just doesn’t make sense to construct a wall thousands of feet high made of ice and then have holes with wooden slots at the bottom that get you inside the ranks.It takes away the advantage of having the wall.Why need to scale it at all?

    Someone please illuminate.Thanks!

    Hey there. You may have somehow missed it in the show, but the “southern gate” that Sam and Pyp are defending is SOUTH of the Wall, and they are defending it against a small group of wildlings who scaled the Wall in season 3 and are attacking the Night’s Watch from behind. The army of 100,000 wildlings, on the other had (you know, the army with the mammoths and giants), is NORTH of the Wall. The only way for that army to get past the Wall is to either scale it, or get through that thick gate that the giant opened with rage-infused adrenaline coursing through his veins.

  114. Lloga
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 2:50 am | Permalink

    ArgonathofBraavos: Why does “Game of Thrones” have to be defined only by its negative commentary on human nature? Why is a display of love “not Game of Thrones?”

    I never said that.

    Are two people that are enamored of each other somehow “unrealistic?” Strange. Love (or at least the perception of love) is one of the most common and realistic human attributes.

    Why do some feel that it has no place in GoT?

    First of all, Jon+Igritte is NOT a love story within GoT. If it was, I’d be totally fine with giving it some kind of love story closure.

    Usually, the GoT people know exactly what they do, and that’s why GoT works so well, in my opinion. Here, it seems like they don’t realize that they used Igritte only as a plot device for the Jon arc in the first place. I’ve yet to hear a voice who bought into the Jon+Igritte love story. You know, if you do a tacky scene like that one, you need to have foundation for it in the show. It falls flat because, as a part of the audience, you don’t feel committed to it, because it wasn’t a serious part of the story in the first place. I’ve read many comments so far, and the baseline was something like “well, if I cared, that might have been a heartbreaking scene” – which is about as bad as it gets in terms of failed scenes.

    If you are just talking about the camera methods, however, I apologize (and withdraw this criticism). But I seem to remember similar reactions to Jon and Ygritte kissing on the Wall.

    No, it’s not just about the camera. And yes, I also complained a tiny little bit about the kiss.

    I mean, if I am on a height with my significant other overlooking a beautiful landscape, a kiss is a very normal thing to do! And if the camera lingers, and the music soars a bit, that doesn’t necessarily imply the physical reality of the situation. It just helps convey how the characters might be feeling.

    I’m sure all kinds of fictional people feel all kinds of things, but if that’s not part of the story, it’s not supposed to be part of the show. If they include it anyway, people in the audience will notice it as incongruous and complain. I was okay with them kissing, but not the way they displayed it and tried to make something happen that they themselves, as show-makers, didn’t take serious in the first place. It’s just fake, and of course the scene in this episode was much, much worse.

    Now, Jon+Igritte is only one little gripe I have about this episode (it just happened to be the scene that I watched when I realized that the epsiode was going to “fail”). That one scene would have been okay if the rest of the episode was GoT-ish enough, but it wasn’t.

    The whole episode could have been cut from the series and nobody would even notice. The only thing that actually mattered was the fake cliffhanger (the first one within the series and not a good one either). But even within the episode, it simply didn’t work. Too many illogical or confusing issues with the battle itself and a general lack of suspense due to the structure. It’s not enough to kill the red shirts to create that, especially not when you are a GoT episode.

    First, it’s been years of waiting for the wildlings to finally attack castle black, and when they do, the audience is not prepared for the attack. We have no idea why they only send a few dozen people and two giants to the Wall. We have no idea what that little south gate attack is supposed to achieve (diversion?, serious attempt to take over the castle?, coordinated attack with the giant attack on the gate?), how likely it is to succeed whatever goal it has and why it ultimately fails.

    Now, one can restrict the PoV of the audience to one of the sides, the Night’s Watch. But if you do that, you HAVE to give them enough information and structure to follow the action and stay invested in the impacts of the overall story. They failed to do that to, IMHO. There is no explanation given why the NW didn’t expect the attack on the south gate. It is obvious that the battle commander is NOT needed on top of the Wall, because anyone can scream “nock, draw, loose”. I’ve yet to understand why Allister is waiting in the yard for the attackers to get over the defenses instead of stopping them there. And so on.

    Now, there are some vignettes that DID work for me. When Jon orders Gren to get himself killed in the tunnel, that is well done (if not typically GoT) IMHO because:
    (a) we understand immediately what the goal is and why it is necessary
    (b) we see the different characters and how they respond to that situation (Jon suppressing his emo-ness), Ed realizing what Jon does, Gren accepting his fate, the other guy to freak out when he realizes he is about to die
    (c) the situation in the tunnel is very clear and doesn’t need much of explanation, so the show can focus on the characters without becoming unrealistic
    (d) the resolution of the conflict is not shown, but it is very clear that they are all going to die, the only question is whether they can stop the giant
    (e) we see the aftermath of the conflict, but the show doesn’t try to be overly tear-jerking about a bunch of heroic red shirts (which would have been dishonest – they are clearly marked as red shirts), instead we focus on Jon facing the consequences of his decisions (which matters for the overall story arc), but the impact of the herioc sacrifice is not at all lost on the viewers, on the opposite.

  115. ArgonathofBraavos
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 3:31 am | Permalink

    First of all, Jon+Igritte is NOT a love story within GoT.

    Er…huh? The two characters love each other. So it’s a story of love. I watched this episode with a large group of reasonably intelligent people, and the majority of them were teary-eyed during the Ygritte-Jon moment.

    So what if their love serves a broader narrative and character arc for Jon? Nearly everything in this story serves a broader narrative or character arc.

    I don’t see what was so “fake” about Jon and Ygritte’s relationship. All of season 3 was spent on the development of their relationship, and many of the Jon and Ygritte scenes throughout season 4 focused on their lingering love for each other. This was a fine resolution to that thread.

  116. Otto J
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 4:37 am | Permalink

    Hullo, about that Alliser surprisingly good fighter thing. As this is a fake-medieval world, anybody with a “ser” is a knight, (and anybody with a surname is highborn/nobility), it means that they have had training to become an elite soldier (=knight) since childhood. Starting very young, then squiring, and so on. As per season one with Jon beating all those other recruits handily. Same with the opening, the highborn young man was still the leader of the rangers (wasn’t his father in last episode?). In that sense it is completely realistic that people like Alliser and Jon should be pretty good at killing wildlings. Janos Slynt, on the other hand, is a “new man”/self-made man (a buthcer’s son or something?) and thus does not have these fighting skills. Of course some highborn boys don’t have the aptitude to be a warrior, such as Sam (which then led to him being kicked out of the very war-like Tarly family).

  117. Faceless
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 6:39 am | Permalink

    gbnf,

    For you and the other doubters. What I believe as an unsullied, that Jon will do. Jon will return to Mance, claiming to still be apart of Tormund’s group and say that Tormund was captured, ally himself with Mance and when he least expects it, kill him and try to escape.

  118. Jimbo
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    Fantastic episode! I am a fan of The Wall Story and think they did it perfectly.

    I am just so glad they got N.Marsh back for this episode because, man that guy knows how to execute a battle scene! Awesome work – Giant shooting a Spear-Arrow and sending a Crow literally flying has got to be one of the best shots of the episode. Can’t wait for the finales – Can’t think about another year till Season 5! :(

  119. Gosensgo
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    Thronetender,

    Well thank you, its nice to see that people read my comments and enjoy them.
    We are great!
    The first month after GOT is done is really really hard.
    I have withdrawl issues.
    I will probably re-watch this season.

  120. Gosensgo
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    GhostRider,

    THIS!

  121. MaesterJay
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    So I guess that’s all we’ll see of John until next season, huh?. Too many storylines to go over in the next episode, I think. I bet we’ll get a 10 second bird’s eye view of him walking in the snow

  122. MaesterJay
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    MaesterJay,

    Jon* (whoa)

  123. GhostRider
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    thupple,

    I KNOW!!! I thought this episode was SOOOOO good! I watch this with a group of adults and the children in the other room (who were playing an indepth XBOX game) ran into the room and stayed because of how much we were yelling and cheering. It was intense….then on Monday, I go to view the news results from the show and a lot of the critics were brutal in their assessment of the episode.

    I must admit, I was offended as if I had some hand in producing and directing this…I was sad no one in critic land appreciated it as much as I did…

    Then I came here and realized I had a home :)

  124. BRAN THE BUILDER
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    Oz of Thrones,

    Oz, I am wondering if you will outline the story lines that you see need to be sewed up in this last episode in your looking forward post later?

  125. gbnf
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    Faceless,

    Stating unpleasant facts isn’t hating. Mance won’t buy his story.

  126. Koen Stark
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    This episode was awesome!!! On the edge of my seat the entire time. Got teary eyed by Sam+Gilly and Jon+Ygritte. Jumped up and down when Ghost was set loose. Also very pleased with that long shot.

    The Wall deserved this episode. They have been building this up since season 1.

  127. Oz of Thrones
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    gbnf,

    I agree with you 100% on Sam. Out of everyone at the Wall, he has made the biggest transformation. In some sort of weird fatherly way, I’m proud of him.

    And like you, I don’t necessarily think this was all Jon’s episode. But I’ll say this: after rewatching it I have to give credit to Kit. There were some scenes that could have been brutally bad if the acting had not been solid. And he was solid. After all the flack he has taken, it deserves to be recognized.

    I have a theory about what he is going to pull with Mance, but it could be so off base it could destroy what little credibility I have left. :)

    I also think we will see Stannis. It probably won’t be much, but it should be enough to give us a direction on his future endeavors.

    Did the mountain die? I have no idea. But the way I see it, the sentence has been passed, and Tyrion is going to have find one more rabbit to pull out of his ass to survive.

    My apologies for my limited participation in the discussion!

    BRAN THE BUILDER,

    You know it. :)

  128. Marty
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

    Did Maester Aemon make it? Was he with Gilly? I need to re-watch it

  129. Reynardd the Fox
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

    ArgonathofBraavos: I’ve heard this a few times now. Why would it have been more compelling without the mammoth, and what’s wrong with it looking like something out of Lord of the Rings? GoT is essentially LOTR in reverse. In GoT, the world of myth and legend is starting to bleed from the periphery of the world (from the North and from Essos) into the center (Westeros). Essentially, myths and legends are returning to the world in GoT, as opposed to leaving the world, as in LOTR (elves fading away, etc). This gives GoT a resonance that it wouldn’t have if it was just straight faux-history.

    So the mammoth is basically the world of Tolkien starting to invade the world of GRRM. And that’s exactly how ASOIAF plays out.

    It’s almost a parallel of GRRM’s life. He grew up in a mundane Jersey setting, and slowly but surely, the world of fantasy invaded his life.

    There is such a build up in LOTR to seeing the “Oliphants” that they are an important part of the battle. Likewise, there was an important build up to the appearance of “giants” in GOT and this episode. I was excited to see what the giants were going to do. I guess I just saw the mammoths as a bit gratuitous. This is a quibble and not a big deal to me, just an offhand remark (had to think about my answer to you since I wasn’t sure myself). I am generally a big fan of the direwolves and the dragons (I like my animals aggressive, big, and one-dimensional apparently.)

    You have an interesting idea about GOT being LOTR in reverse. Makes sense. I often describe GOT as a blend of The Sopranos and LOTR (I know I’m not the first to do so, but it helps get across some of the complexity.)

  130. Bruce Tyrell
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

    Ah, your burning question is shared by Sullied and Unsullied alike. How the hell do they wrap up(or sort of wrap up) the various character journeys? Being very sullied, I won’t get spoilerish in my comments, but it seems like they can leave Sansa’s story alone. It’s already entered a new phase. We know from previews that they will touch on Arya, Bran and our favorite Khaleesi and they CAN’T leave the Tyrion story where they left it. I am guessing that they will not move as far in the Night’s Watch saga as the books. So much to do – so little time!

  131. Richard
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

    Chaser,

    There was more than one mammoth!

  132. I Know Of Fear
    Posted June 11, 2014 at 2:03 am | Permalink

    I’ve spent this season lurking in threads instead of posting, but this time there is a ton of stuff the other unsullied have not mentioned.

    First: giants! We finally got a sense of scale, and my jaw dropped when we did. Who would guess they rude mammoths like dothraki ride horses? And I don’t know the state of embalming in Westeros, but they need to cut off a hand and send it to KL to convince the Janos Slynts there that giants are real. And did nobody question why that hallway was just the right size for a giant?

    Next: the battle down below. Assuming half the crows were there, the should have almost outnumbered the attacked 2 to 1 it seemed. Didn’t help much though, but that’s because they didn’t realize a pot of water isn’t as potent as a pot of grits. But out of the hundred or so crows, were the all at this castle, or does the count not include the skeleton crews elsewhere?

    And finally: the next wave. Does anybody think Jon stop an army of refugees trying to flee the WhiteWalkers just confronting Mance? What good can come from interrogating Giantsbane? Will Sam be recognized as an intelligent leader who has devised was to defeat wildlings, zombies, and even stranger enemies? To bad Tyrion lost his chance to take the Black, because he would be a great tactician to go with Sam and Aemon

  133. Dame of Mercia
    Posted June 11, 2014 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    Reynardd the Fox: You have an interesting idea about GOT being LOTR in reverse. Makes sense. I often describe GOT as a blend of The Sopranos and LOTR (I know I’m not the first to do so, but it helps get across some of the complexity.)

    Although it was recommended to me, I just couldn’t come to like The Sopranos. I agree that it was very well acted but there seemed such a shortage of even half-way likable characters I gave up on it (unless the nicer characters were introduced after I gave up watching). I appreciate that one of the points often made about ASOIAF is that it has a myriad of grey characters, rather than people who are wholly good or wholly bad, but at least there are a few decent characters (for example, Brienne and Ser Davos come across to me at least as decent, though other people may have a different view). By the way, this isn’t me “having a go”, just because I failed to appreciate a show doesn’t mean other people shouldn’t be thankful for it, it’s just me making an observation.

  134. Don Snow
    Posted June 12, 2014 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    (Even as a sullied) your recap is always the first thing I read, post-show, as I really enjoy it.

    Totally agree on the Crow being sent flying being the best moment of an excellent episode (much better than ‘Blackwater’ IMO). Brought out the 8 year old in me!

  135. Don Snow
    Posted June 12, 2014 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    I Know Of Fear:
    rude mammoths

    It’s OK, I think that their long hair covered up their dangly bits