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Ignorant Bog Woman

[Book/Show Spoilers] Synopsis, Promo, Recap and Speculation

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Title: The Watchers on the Wall


Runtime: 51 minutes


Written by: David Benioff and Dan Weiss


Directed by: Neil Marshall


TVMA: Adult Content, Adult Language, Graphic Content


Official Synopsis: Jon Snow and the Night's Watch face a big challenge.


Official Promo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mo9AmIbob1c, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KrpEkYcc3_s&feature=youtu.be


Official Recap: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FmQuzhNlyl4



NOTES: I will update this post throughout the week as I learn new information. The following is my own personal speculation based on what I've seen from the trailers and promos, what I have heard from other sources and read from the source material.



---


This will go a little different than the usual speculation threads, since only one storyline is featured in this episode. Yes, the entire hour is centered around the events at the Wall. No Tyrion awaiting his execution, no Arya or Dany or Brienne - just Jon Snow, Sam, Ygritte, Gilly, Mance Rayder and Stannis fucking Baratheon entangled in one huge spectacle.



The battle will be comprised of three smaller battles, according to director Neil Marshall. I assume they are: 1) Tormund's group and the Thenns assaulting Castle Black from the south, 2) Mance's army besieging the Wall from the North, and 3) Stannis' forces charging down and routing the wildling host.



The first two parts will apparently take place entirely over one night (and the third part the following morning), though in the book they occurred over several nights and days. I get it: the darkness is easy on the budget (that's why they had the Battle of Blackwater take place at night as well), but I would really like to see a daytime battle at SOME point in the series' run. Anyway...



Pre-fight: We'll get some scenes of the various parties preparing for the battle. Definitely one with Ygritte and company at a camp fire, in which the Thenn warg uses his owl to witness Mance's signal and lets the group know that "it's time." Apparently, a scene between Jon and Sam on top of the Wall while they're on patrol. A scene where a Night's Watchman blows the horn for wildlings. Another one with Ser Alliser Thorne giving a grand speech to rouse the Night's Watch. Hopefully, we'll get something with Mance.



Attack from the South: During the night, Tormund, Ygritte, Styr and the Thenns will raid Castle Black. There's shots in the trailers of them running down a trail towards the gates while taking arrow fire, shots of them climbing over the front gate, and several shots of them fighting the Night's Watchmen throughout the castle, in the yard and on the catwalks, including a fight between Jon and Styr. It looks like there will also be some fighting on the elevator platform. In the books, Ygritte dies while storming the castle, so naturally I'm going to assume she meets a similar fate on screen. It's pretty likely that the orphan boy Olly will be the one to kill her. Apparently, Pyp will get an arrow through the neck himself (and probably die from it), and apparently it comes from Ygritte. A new addition (not from the books) is a battle between Tormund and Alliser. I say Tormund will win, because I can't believe he was upgraded to regular status only to be quickly killed off, but I wonder if Alliser survives (I doubt it; his leadership during the battle would make it really hard for Jon to win the following election fairly). At some point, there will be a scene in the tunnel under the Wall, in which some black brothers fight off a giant who is trying to break down the inner gate. I expect Grenn will take over Donal Noye's role in the novel by slaying, and being slayed by, the mighty giant.



Attack from the North: In the book, this part follows the failed attack from the south, but I believe the two battles will take place simultaneously on the show, and will be intercut. This would mean Jon won't be up on top of the Wall to lead the men, unfortunately. Jon IS up on top at some point, though (and in that shot, there is a scarecrow behind him - it looks like those are in!). He sees Mance's signal (the Haunted Forest on fire, or a sea of torches?) from the parapets, but I assume he eventually goes down to fight in the yard after giving some orders. There are several shots in the trailers of wildlings and even a mammoth marching through the trees and grouping up for a mass battle cry in front of the Haunted Forest. We haven't seen a lot of footage from the actual attack in the promotional videos, though. A few shots of archers loosing arrows down at the approaching horde, some leaning too far out and some falling, while the battlements around them explode into splinters. Down below, we see some wildlings running towards the Wall and the ones reaching it being thrown back by a blast, apparently from barrels thrown down from up above. Also, some sort of explosion near the gate causing the mammoth to turn around and start trampling some wildlings (I knew Neil couldn't resist!).



Stannis! Stannis! STANNIS!: I'm guessing Janos sends Jon to treat with Mance. There is a trailer shot of a distressed Mance running around his camp and many of Stannis' cavalry running down the confused and disorganized wildlings. There are shots in the trailers of Jon riding inside the ice tunnel of the Wall; this could be him going to see Mance, but it could just as easily be something else cut from earlier in the season. There is an extra shot of Jon in the tunnel, with Sam holding a torch and looking morose. This could be Sam accompanying Jon on his way to Mance, briefly looking at the remains of Grenn and the giant, or it could be them welcoming Stannis to Castle Black, although I think that will happen in episode ten.



Loose Ends: Will we see Stannis during his charge? I hope so. I want a brave, heroic Stannis moment. Will we see Davos during the battle or not until the finale? Melisandre lighting Orell's eagle on fire? I assume the eagle will come back into play during the battle (why else have it get away alive last season?). What does Sam do during the battle? He WILL reunite with Gilly, but I'm not sure if this happens in episode nine or ten. We see him in the promo running around with a crossbow. Maybe he kills somebody? According to an interview, one of the major deaths this season was filmed to be in slow-motion. It wasn't Lysa or Oberyn, and I hope it isn't Tywin, so I'm going to assume it will be Ygritte or Pyp. In the trailers, there are several more shots I didn't discuss above. There was a scene in the Foreshadowing video of Sam and Jon discussing Ygritte; this could be a scene from the pre-battle section of this episode, or it could have been cut from an earlier episode or be from the season finale. Finally, there is a shot of a bunch of burning men around a burning man getting dragged through the snow by a rope. If it wasn't for the snow, I would think this was the dragons getting chained up. It still could be, if their intention was to replace the snow with sand in post-production. If not, what could it be? Some sort of trap or the mammoth dragging them?



---



In summation: should be awesome... very, very awesome. Ygritte's death, Alliser v. Tormund, giants and mammoths and STANNIS!



What do you guys think? Anything to add?


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Great work. Only thing I've got to add is that Jon will obviously kick ass, kill Styr and probably their warg. Don't think he's going out to Mance at all, that was mostly a GRRM diversion to use him as POV camera for Stannis' attack.


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Great work, Ignorant Bow Woman, a shame this was only approved now because the other 409 thread is way too fucking long.



They list the ep. as being 51 minutes and the recap is 1 minute and 45 seconds. That leads me to believe the episode will only really be 49 minutes or so.


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Is that the horn of joramun in the French promo? Didn't think we'd see that. Really excited for this one.

I think it's just some random horn that signals the battle

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Probably a fairly good chance the Joseph Gatt!Thenn!Owl will take the place of the eagle?



I know IMDB is not very reliable but Carice is not listed as a cast member for this ep (at least not the last time I checked) and Stephen and Liam are. But I really hope we see Melisandre AND Davos at Stannis' side. I know a lot of people in this fandom get the vapours over Melisandre's role in Stannis' storyline but she is really important and I think it would be great to see her have some part in the battle.

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I hope Melisandre is in this battle. She belongs there more than Davos does; she's a powerful sorcerer, he's more of a diplomat-ninja-pirate, and I want to see that owl burn.



Really hope they include the parley. They haven't done anything much with Mance and this is a good chapter for him. Though I don't know why on earth they wouldn't and we've seen Jon riding through the tunnel, so this looks good.

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I hope Melisandre is in this battle. She belongs there more than Davos does; she's a powerful sorcerer, he's more of a diplomat-ninja-pirate, and I want to see that owl burn.

Really hope they include the parley. They haven't done anything much with Mance and this is a good chapter for him. Though I don't know why on earth they wouldn't and we've seen Jon riding through the tunnel, so this looks good.

I haven't been impressed with Mance in the show - though to be fair I didn't think much of him in the books - but an actual scene between Stannis and Mance has the potential to be great.

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Well summarized, Ignorant Bog Woman! The only thing I'd add is that due to the voice-over on the promo, there'll be at least one scene with my favourite Maester :thumbsup:

My speculation is that it occurs after Ygritte's death, but it could be used as foreshadowing, too. Aemon says that, and then boom! Buh bye Gritte-zy!

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One of the people in charge (the director, IIRC) said this episode features three battles in one. Two are obviously the southern attack by Tormund, Ygritte and ThennGuy, and Mance's attack from the North. The third would have to be Stannis' attack from the east.



Plus, 50 minutes on what was something like two or three chapters is a bit much already. Not even getting through those chapters would be such a drag.


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Well done as always, Ignorant Bog Woman.

What makes you sure that Stannis will strike in this episode


Well, as the OP said,

There is a trailer shot of a distressed Mance running around his camp and many of Stannis' cavalry running down the confused and disorganized wildlings.

But moreover, if Stannis doesn't come, then how the heck is this episode going to last an hour? And what would be the point of it.

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What makes you sure that Stannis will strike in this episode

Common sense? What use of whole battle episode if they don't show the outcome in it?

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What makes you sure that Stannis will strike in this episode

Why would he not? How would the episode even end if not for Stannis saving the day?

They confirmed Stannis going to the Wall in S3, so it's not like the NW somehow beats 100k wildlings and then Stannis will show up next year saying hey good job guys can I have your castles?

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Why would he not? How would the episode even end if not for Stannis saving the day?

They confirmed Stannis going to the Wall in S3, so it's not like the NW somehow beats 100k wildlings and then Stannis will show up next year saying hey good job guys can I have your castles?

And the actual promo footage, a bunch of footage really - his knights charging, Mace running, scared Giant in the morning light...if Stannis is gonna kill a giant I'm gonna explode.

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two things popped in my head after the official recap -



1) seems like very obvious set up for Janos Slynt's beheading. the scene where Jon tells him he was obviously not good at his job and his rage at that...no reason to throw that specifically in if no beheading



2) any chance ygritte might be carrying jon's child? just the sequence of their interaction in the recap...the cave scene, to show they had sex, then her saying you'll be loyal to your woman, then jon saying he has to go back and her in tears saying you know nothing, then just a few clips later showing her sparing gilly and child...



seemed suspicious to me, cant rmr it from the books if she was actually pregnant...but if its an addition in the show...not sure yet how i feel about that...


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And the actual promo footage, a bunch of footage really - his knights charging, Mace running, scared Giant in the morning light...if Stannis is gonna kill a giant I'm gonna explode.

stannis killing a giant himself would earn him HUUUUGE points with the unsullied! i'm hoping for some redemption for his character after this

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two things popped in my head after the official recap -

1) seems like very obvious set up for Janos Slynt's beheading. the scene where Jon tells him he was obviously not good at his job and his rage at that...no reason to throw that specifically in if no beheading

2) any chance ygritte might be carrying jon's child? just the sequence of their interaction in the recap...the cave scene, to show they had sex, then her saying you'll be loyal to your woman, then jon saying he has to go back and her in tears saying you know nothing, then just a few clips later showing her sparing gilly and child...

seemed suspicious to me, cant rmr it from the books if she was actually pregnant...but if its an addition in the show...not sure yet how i feel about that...

1. No, I think he will just be a dick to him again :)

2. I don't think they will make dead woman walking pregnant the second time

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two things popped in my head after the official recap -

1) seems like very obvious set up for Janos Slynt's beheading. the scene where Jon tells him he was obviously not good at his job and his rage at that...no reason to throw that specifically in if no beheading

2) any chance ygritte might be carrying jon's child? just the sequence of their interaction in the recap...the cave scene, to show they had sex, then her saying you'll be loyal to your woman, then jon saying he has to go back and her in tears saying you know nothing, then just a few clips later showing her sparing gilly and child...

seemed suspicious to me, cant rmr it from the books if she was actually pregnant...but if its an addition in the show...not sure yet how i feel about that...

1) It's likely that if Thorne dies during the battle, that Slynt is the one (as acting senior NW leadership group) who sends Jon to treat with Mance. That's why they need to show their previous antagonistic interactions so that it's clear why Slynt is doing this. There wouldn't be time for Jon to be elected or for him to behead someone from the NW in the middle of this battle.

2) I think they highlighted the previous Ygritte/Jon stuff (including the cave sex) to remind the audience of their relationship for their conversation as she's dying in his arms. In the books, she says "We should have stayed in the cave" and I'd bet they use that line on the show. Gilly was shown being spared because she'll find her way back to Castle Black this episode somehow.

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stannis killing a giant himself would earn him HUUUUGE points with the unsullied! i'm hoping for some redemption for his character after this

A giant? I will not suffer such abominations here. This is not King's Landing.

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