Payne by name

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  1. I must confess that I really like The Night King. The fact that he doesn't talk and is relentless in pursuing his goals, is what makes him so magnetic. When Dany turned up to rescue Jon and his forces were being creamed by the Dragon, there was no panic, no failing of confidence, just took everything in his stride, pulled out a spear and took down one of the dragons. In Hardhome (my favourite GoT episode) he wasn't in a rush, just calmly walked to the edge, stared at Jon and raised up all the dead. It was epic and so impressive because it wasn't overplayed with a silly gimmick or a cheesy line. Silence followed by a show of real, unhurried power. The fear (for me) of the Night King is that he is coming. No big announcements, just the knowledge that he is coming and sooner or later he's going to arrive, just like his army slowly sauntered out of the forest by the wall. There's no rush, no political scheming required, just an ever present overwhelming solid force that's coming. A fascinating bad guy that I hope isn't diminished or compromised to provide a cool WTF moment.
  2. What I find frustrating with Jon are the showmakers desire to have him go one step forward/one step backwards. He was great at Hardhome (the ending of which is still my favourite scene/moment from the entire series) but he then had to be rescued in the Battle of the Bastards and was thoroughly out-manouvered without nothing to offer. And then in the mission behind the wall, he didn't seem to lead or take charge of the fight on the lake until they were all ready to leave. So when the zombies are pouring across the lake, he's seemingly having a crisis of confidence contemplating the futility of their situation, yet when Dany arrives and they are ready to leave suddenly he can't get enough of killing the zombies, showing off to Dany and feeling that he needs to clear a 10 metre circle of walkers before they can leave. I just wish they could show him as being more switched on in fights - having him recognise the Bolton trap before lamely getting comprised and having to be embarrassingly rescued, having him suggest breaking the ice on the lake before the second assault or him being the one to see Tormund in trouble and pull him from the hordes. I just wish they would SHOW us him being cool in battle rather than TELLING us how cool he is.
  3. I'm late to the party having only just watched Season 7 over the Christmas. I enjoyed it immensely and loved how it set up the final season. Yes, there were some issues with the logic behind the mission North of the wall and I'm continually frustrated by the makers regular efforts to push Jon one step forwards/one step backwards. For instance in the fight against the whites he has a moment where he is doing nothing and then just when Dany is there and everyone is ready to go, he suddenly launches into an unnecessary flurry of activity - like a boxer who does nothing for 3 minutes and throws some punches in the last 10 seconds. However, my only real concern is the whole 'kill' the thing that re-animated the dead bodies and everyone crumbles. It smacks of a possible really cheesy, up against impossible odds, thousands of zombies climbing the walls and the Night King dies and suddenly everything stops like switching off a computer. I can just see four or five important characters having swords looming over their heads and then 'snap' the bad guys are gone like an old school essay where the author gets bored and says 'I then woke up and it was all a dream'. Now granted, killing the Night King would be a tricky task but fostering a threat for almost seven series that can be immediately nullified by cutting off the head of the leader will feel a little empty and prompt questions that if this is all it took then why not assemble a determined suicide mission to simply take out the Night King rather than consigning thousands of people to their deaths on a battlefield when all you have to do is kill the leader and we can all stop for dinner. Now I appreciate that logic doesn't always lend itself to visual spectacle but if Jon and co can realise that killing the 'turner' destroys all those that have been turned, surely it's worth a single minded suicide mission to target the Night King with the two remaining dragons and their elite fighters.
  4. Thanks for your response Meera and apologies for the delay in coming back to you. It's reassuring that at least someone read and digested my rambles, particularly when I've come to the party so late! I have to agree that it doesn't feel the same. You probably felt the rot sooner but I felt that it really lost something in Series 6. I just seem to become aware of this 'agenda' coming through in what was happening on screen. I'm intrigued for the final two series but they need to offer more character fleshing (and in the case of Jon Snow, not so much diminishing him) and less Sansa. Granted she might be integral to the books but her sullen Resting Bitch Face is just too much.
  5. Again, it's great to have this thread. As I've said in the episode 9 thread, I've been digesting all six seasons over the last couple of months and I have enjoyed the show. I thought the beginning was going to be a real slog with having to remember that Barthar of Darthar was going to marry Hubej from Lubej but thankfully it eased me into the show. One of my favourite box set shows, that I watched as it came out, was Spartacus and I always compared GoT unfavourably to Spartacus. After six seasons I have to say that I still think Spartacus is better. It had a definable end and they didn't shy away from the big battles that I felt GoT did before it realised that they could be sold as spectacle. As the end of season six got closer, I did begin to worry how I'd cope as I don't have Sky and how would I get my fix. But after peaking (in my mind) with Hardhome, season 6 began to lose me a little. The female agenda was becoming ever more present and some of the deaths just sat really uncomfortable. I've not read the books, so I can't comment on how they compare to them but I felt after episode 9 there was even more really convenient 'reasons' just to give the drooling audience their shocks but without an explanation or recognition for the audience that was invested in these characters. I wish they'd do more with the smaller characters like the giant or Hodor. Yes, his story was nice and he had a strong death but he was treated as insignificant up to that point. Likewise, the giant was wasted in episode 9. As for this episode, letting the red witch off the hook for burning Stannis' daughter was a cause of real annoyance. That was a horrible scene and that bitch needed to pay. Likewise the jumping around of Ayra was just ridiculous and an example of putting something nonsensical in to look cool. How she got all the way to the North in such a short space of time and then killed the two brothers and cooked them up and then used the tedious Mission Impossible face mask trick (that somehow also manages to conceal body shape) was flat out idiotic. She did all that but Brianne couldn't make it back to the battle of the bastards! I concede that the scene with the wildfire and destruction of the sept was really well done but by the end of the show, I just didn't feel anything. Dany is standing on the ship with Varys (the guy who paid Jora to spy on her and she was cross with Jora but not his 'master'?), Cercei is on her throne and the annoying, miserable Sansa is up in the North ready to be a willing player in some devious, lying nonsense. And the male equivalent of Dany in Jon Snow, is still being creatively hobbled to ensure that his flame doesn't burn as bright as the stronger female leads. Yes, I'll watch the next two seasons but I wasn't left with a pressing hole that needed to urgently be filled. The thing with GoT that put me off watching it for so long was that it was so popular. It worked against it that so many sheep (I know that accusation is unfair particularly when I lapped it up) were losing their shit about it and I thought that it meant it probably was quite empty and vacuous. Hence when I started it really surprised and impressed me. The writing was good, the characters were interesting and the production well put together. Maybe the masses could be right and all this time I was wrong but as the show has gone on I've felt, as others have said, that's it descended in a spectacle show. Apologies in advance if I've misspelt names or attributed actions or events to the wrong people.
  6. I think what I also found frustrating is how you feel that the writers want you to be invested but then having characters acting foolishly even though the audience (the ones that think) know that they wouldn't act like that. They also do it in The Walking Dead. Regularly show characters acting with sense and practicality and then having them doing something utterly stupid to create a fabricated perilous situation. I mean look at the giant. He is so goddam useful, why didn't anyone put like a 10 man giant guard squad with him. The giant is a MOAB in a battle and hence is hugely important, especially for the big battle coming against the undead. Such a waste to just kill him off like that. And where did the huge mounds come from? Yes bodies will pile up but when you are battling on a field with melee weapons but it's natural that combatants would find places that offered their feet a stable setting. Yes they might have to fight in between bodies but actually fighting on a noticeably growing mound of bodies is moronic. And again, when they are being hemmed in why not concentrate all of your forces in one point. Scattering them all around to make little jabs is silly. It's bad enough that the giant didn't have a weapon but you could always have had him just jump in the air and land on the three deep 'ring' to punch a hole through for Jon's crew to pour out. But no, of course, we have to make Jon a brave but tactical fool who has to be saved by Sansa because this series is all about the women. Another poster made the point that the show seems to be all about the massive battles (publicised as the most expensive as if this is a guarantee of quality) and creating plenty of moments for viewers to discuss the next day at work by the coffee machine. I have to say that watching it progress over six seasons that this has been noticeable to me.
  7. Wow, what a relief to find this thread, even if I am about 8 months too late! I've just been box setting GoT and ploughed through all six seasons which have been really entertaining. For me they highpointed at Hardhome where the play of the Night King put all the silly political machinations that we've been watching into context when there is such a bigger, more dangerous threat coming over the horizon. By the time I hit season 6, the vibe on Battle of the Bastards had slipped through and I was expecting it to be a great episode. Technically it was but I couldn't help but be frustrated with Sansa. I know she's had a tough time but she never smiles and her whining at the pre battle meeting and then not offering anything constructive (like her secret army) was so annoying. I really like Jon but I get the feeling that the writers always have to hamper him because it seems we can't have a man that's a complete hero. So he can be: Brave but he has to be naive Bold but he has to be brooding Courageous but a little foolish It's like every time he does something great, the writers have to bring him down a notch or two to remind everyone that he's still a silly, fallible man. Look at the Battle of the Bastards. Brave in charging at the enemy on his own but tactically stupid in allowing himself to be corralled. A great fighter but allows himself to be trampled with no quick thinking to get himself out of the closing loop. And then what do you know, Sansa (the latest empowered female) has to come along and save the day with her secret army that she deliberately didn't mention to Jon. it just stuck in my craw that so many men died, including the giant, because she wanted to keep that up her sleeve. I'm all for strong female characters like Brianne (why wasn't she on the battlefield) or Dany but does Jon really have to be hobbled to continue the slightly feminist agenda that all men are weak in some way or another. Surely as we enter the final throes of the show, some characters are going to have to pull away from the field and be truly heroic or admirable for the audience to get behind?