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I said somewhere that Stannis must die early in the next book. What other excuse can there be for the way the show totally downplays that story?

I've felt all along that the reason Stannis is being somewhat downplayed in the show is that, in the long run, his character is not one of the important ones for the ending of the story arc.

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Theres a battle raging when Stannis arrives and its made pretty clear he just saved Castle Black from being overwhelmed in the books. In the show based on this episode and the preview for the next episode it looks like there won't be any fighting going on when Stannis arrives, just Jon and Mance about to team up and head out and all of a sudden Stannis arrives and genocides a bunch of now "good" wildlings.

There is not a battle raging when Stannis arrives. Did you even read the book?

Stannis brings the battle. However there is a cease fire between the NW and the Wildlings.

Edited by Mourneblade

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Oh man, I didn't mean to make you feel left out.

E-RO, CALM DOWN BRAH. STANNIS IS GONNA SAVE JON, THE BOSS OF THE WATCH, AND OF COURSE THE REST OF THE WATCH, FROM DOOM AND GLOOM. HE'S ALSO GOING TO SINGLE-HANDEDLY TURN MANCE FROM HAVING THE UPPER HAND AND NEGOTIATING A PACT TO LEAD HIS OWN MEN SOUTH TO BEING FORCED TO BEND THE KNEE BECAUSE STANNIS JUST SAVED THE M-F'ING DAY.

Damn, I'm a douchebag for typing in caps. Now I feel bad for chastising.

So do you think Mance not being able to negotiate and have the upper is a good or bad thing?

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A great episode, though clearly ½ a step behind the prior two “Episode Nines” (Blackwater; Red Wedding).



What I liked:



The Battle of The Wall (in two parts): The episode continued the tradition of the Balckwater in giving the viewer a deep, personal and extremely raw look at a battle. From the Giants to the wildings to Giantsbane to Ygritte to Jon to Grenn – the episode told us the horror of this Battle and left us wanting for nothing …. (from the battle). There was more than enough action, more than enough destruction and a great deal of plot and plotting so we can infer how horrible it has been for the Night’s Watch – even though they won. I also loved how the episode gave us a glimpse at all these men and how they rose to the occasion (Grenn, Edd, Jon, Sam) and shrunk from it (Slynt). There was a lot of character development and growth here. THe show did its best work in having two separate "fronts" - the Wall proper and Castle Black and integrating them together slowly and, when necessary, going back and forth.



And even a note to the improvement of the fight scenes- yes there were still a few times I could see problems (there was one scene where I think its safe to say the action was way too slow and it LOOKED like they sped up the fim to make the action seem faster, which seems like poor craftsmanship to me). But overall, this was a great action movie-episode with plenty to enjoy.



Sam Tarly, Lord of the Wall: I get tagged with the “book purist” label a bit, and I can live with that, but watching Sam Tarly grow from coward to capable man of the Watch is a dramatic and clear improvement over the books. Sam is more a layered man than a scared child who cowers from everything. The show has turned Sam FROM a sidekick and INTO a real, multi-dimensional character and it showed through from start to finish. IN many ways, this was Sam TArly’s coming out Party, not John Snow’s.




Alister Thorne; 100% Bad Ass: How great was that? From telling great speeches, to calming the men by yelling at them, to fighting like he was the Hound + The Viper rolled together, Allister Thorne gave us the look at the cut of a man facing down his life’s purpose: this was not some outpost to civilization; this was not an Afterthought: Alister Thorne was at the Center of the Battle Between good and Evil and showed us that even complete assholes can rise to the occasion. Even his talk with Jon was half needle, half prep-session. He stayed true to himself AND true to what was going on around him to not be an ass-hat about it all. And that fight with Giantsbane? Fucking styling shit there, huh?



The Men of the Watch: Pyp, John, Grenn, Edd and Sam all had very meaningful roles and held them well. Each one had only a handful of lines, but each one brought import and dimension to everything they did. The writers did a tremendous job of giving each one enough to do and gave the audience enough time to interact with each one.



Ygritte: They were true to her and she was true to the character; the show gave us the duality of Ygritte - both a strong-willed, wildling to the core, but also a very conflicted woman who, when it came time, was more conflicted than even she let on. While I thought the book did a better job of the ending (she dies “off screen”), I think this telling as very true to form.



On the Fence About



First Time For Everything But Did You Have To Kill Everyone? I know its odd to have THIS complaint in AGoT, but the Wall is now DECIDEDLY... sparce... as of now. For starters, you killed almost everyone we knew and liked- only Edd, JOn and Sam escaped the wrath of HBO- even Thorne's fate is up in the air. Pyp, Grenn, maybe Thorne - leaving JOn with PAINFULLY Few allies to... well... you know... vote.... And fewer still who we may be interested in. KInd of leaving us with Sam and JOn and not much else. Though, I DID like that their deaths made that fight seem a HELL of a lot more horrifying.



What I did not Like:



If You Are Going to Make The Season Ten Episodes, Don’t Give us a 52 Minute Episode and a Shitty Cliffhanger:



Did not Like the construction of the episode. It was too short and had far too much dead time.



So, most cable series are 12-13 episodes; GoT is 10 and we should be luky to get that as its one of the most expensive series in the history of TV. But, if you are going to give us 10 episodes, make then ten FULL episodes; don’t give us shitty filler and don’t cut them off short; this episode did both. For starters, there was a tremendous amount of dead-time in the episode; a very “meh” discussion between Jon and Sam about Women (been there, done ALL of that); it then continues with a terrible, awful, totally unnecessary discussion between Sam and Maester Aemon (Still, technically, on the payroll) – that discussion was 3 minutes, 30 seconds (Yes, went back and watched it). It neither sets the stage for the upcoming battle nor builds up the tension; it is a completely wasted scene. You then have the Gilly-Sam reunited Scene which was… fine… but took 1:30 and then Sam locks her away, a few more minutes there. We get more long shots of the wiildings and the scene with Ygritte et all… kinda redundant but I get it.



All in all, the Battle does not actually start until 20 minutes in; it ends at around the 45 min mark with the capture of Giantsbane. BY CONTRAST Blackwater has NO dead time- the battle starts at around the 12 minute mark and does not end until the final shot at the 53 min mark- a wall-to-wall episode of battle, tension, struggle and conflict. Oh, and that conflict is resolved….



Here, we have plenty of filler and a lot of dead time which culminates in…. oh, wait, no… it didn't actually culminate in anything. The episode ENDS at the 52 min mark, but nothing substantive happens AT ALL after GB is captured; we learn that GRenn died, but that whole thing could have been recut with Jon just in the tunnel; at Grenn when he starts talking. You could have EASILY gotten to Mance within the confines of a legit episode. And yes, you could have nabbed Stannis time too.



Instead? We got a long-winded speech, a bullshit cliffhanger (which does NOT BODE WELL for the future of the show, mind you), zero closure and THE RESULT of the battle and its significance will be LOST - COMPLETELY AND TOTALLY LOST –with the other events of next week’s episode



Tyrion escapes, Tywin dies, Cat, possibly, returns



IN OTHER WORDS, Stannis’ gigantic rescue mission will be dulled-down and muted by the other events of the show.



Thanks again, D&D, for screwing the character, yet again.



But EVEN IF that was not the case… to end that on a cliffhanger like that is an insult to the viewers, most notably in the light of Blackwater and other battles where we KNOW what happens and can gain some level of satisfaction for our time and effort. The show decided to leak that to the finale, which is … fine…



But it also makes me think that they are going to “Water Down” the next season by extending Jon’s very redundant story-line into the next season and that will bore me to tears as well.



All of that is a very long way of saying this: You could have done everything you needed to do in this episode and still have time to spare for Stannis and Mance if you ran a tighter ship. Cut the fat, give us what we needed and wanted, tighten your focus, give us a few more minutes on the back end and you could have done it all. Instead? Wait Until Next Week…



And that … bothers me….



Overall, exceptional episode, one of the better ones of the series with much to discuss and enjoy. But also, with a glaring flaw which has be concerned.


Edited by Rockroi

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They didn't get as far as I thought they would in this episode...



Does this mean no Lady Stoneheart at the end of the final episode? I'll be so disappointed.


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Oh really? I don't mind spoilers, I had scene the series before I read the books. Doesn't bother me much. Honestly, I appreciate GRRM but he writes to slow and I really want to know what happens. :P

it cuts both ways at least he doesn't churn out like a hack writer wanting to keep his audience but at the same time you want it NOW.

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Agreed. I liked the Jon volunteering bit as well. And also this is Jon's moment to shine but as another poster said earlier they could have build this over a few episodes prior. (We really didn't need Missandei/Greyworm luv scenes and such pointless fillers.) And in this episode they could have ended the whole Wall story with Stannis riding in at the end. Too many things happening next week. It will be another episode where they hop from scene to scene and ultimately Stannis most rewarding scene in books will not have the impact it had in the books.

I agree. I have felt underwhelmed with the entire watch arc all season. Mostly because they had to slow it down and add in the Craster filler in order for the rest of the arcs to catch up. I could have preferred Stannis showing up this episode, but I'm also glad that the timeline isn't so wonky when the season ends.

Theres a battle raging when Stannis arrives and its made pretty clear he just saved Castle Black from being overwhelmed in the books. In the show based on this episode and the preview for the next episode it looks like there won't be any fighting going on when Stannis arrives, just Jon and Mance about to team up and head out and all of a sudden Stannis arrives and genocides a bunch of now "good" wildlings.

What? There's no battle raging. Jon is parlaying with Mance at the moment. There's no battle at all going on until Stannis shows up.

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Oh don't worry Dany will get full 10-15 mins. Stannis probs 2 mins if lucky.

I don't see Dany needing even 10 minutes. She should probably get two scenes (one of her learning about the child, the other with the caging). I see 6-7. Maybe 8, depending on how long the first scene takes. Dany doesn't need a sweeping, slowed-down walk out of the cage where she chains her dragons to sad-yet-epic music.

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Absurd, The Watchers on the Wall blew Blackwater out of the... well water, as far as I'm concerned. This was one the best episodes of the series, but everybody is up in arms because of preconceived notions, as usual.

it's so true. It's ls all over again from last year. Everyone convinced themselves something was going to happen, even though there ate perfectly legitimate logistical reasons it couldn't happen. I feel bad for the show watchers since book readers are now deciding to retaliate by spoiling them.

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I didn't think they were suggesting that Jon is suddenly fireproof, especially after he burned his hand. I mean, they went out of their way to make dany fireproof, but that's not actually how it works. However, the scene was just a cute little wink. Just more Jon fire connection.

Oh, it likely was just a cute wink of the eye which is why I ended fit. I just tend to see red when I see any Targ=fireproof asbestos eating gods. Rolling across fire in Jon's armor is not impressive.

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Oh don't worry Dany will get full 10-15 mins. Stannis probs 2 mins if lucky.

They may just end up showing him riding in with his banners 😞

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Favourite part of the episode was Jon horrified at seeing Ygritte with an arrow sticking out of her and looking over to see Ollie nodding at him proudly, like "You're welcome." It was weirdly hilarious.



The sword fighting with Kit looked awesome.


Edited by Newstar

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Like someone mentioned, why is Stannis being downplayed? The episode didn't live up to the week long hype. Some cool CGI shit, but way too much soap opera filler. One funny part was the "wud up" look Ollie gave John after killing his girl. Priceless. Alot leading up to this episode could of been excluded to better reflect how epic this fight was. At one point the watch is fucked, then 6 guys and John show up and tormund is alone and surrounded.? Felt for sure we would at least get a glimpse of 'Stannis, stannis, stannis' in some way.

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Oh man, I didn't mean to make you feel left out.

E-RO, CALM DOWN BRAH. STANNIS IS GONNA SAVE JON, THE BOSS OF THE WATCH, AND OF COURSE THE REST OF THE WATCH, FROM DOOM AND GLOOM. HE'S ALSO GOING TO SINGLE-HANDEDLY TURN MANCE FROM HAVING THE UPPER HAND AND NEGOTIATING A PACT TO LEAD HIS OWN MEN SOUTH TO BEING FORCED TO BEND THE KNEE BECAUSE STANNIS JUST SAVED THE M-F'ING DAY.

Damn, I'm a douchebag for typing in caps. Now I feel bad for chastising.

your capslock has such a calming affect though. All of a sudden I feel safe and warm. tho to be fair that might just be the stannis selfie I just saw doing this to me.

Edited by E-Ro

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Totally agree with Alliser Thorne being awesome. I am assuming he lives which is great news. He came across as a true LC this episode. So badass. Loved every second he was in the episode.

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