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Well... my reactions to this episode were a very mixed bag.



Firstly, might as well get the obvious out of the way, I was not happy with a lack of Stannis in this episode. I assumed (apparently wrongly) that this episode would end with Stannis "riding to the rescue", so to speak, as all seemed lost- a kind of "positive cliffhanger" to end the episode with. As it is, it felt like the ending really trailed off a bit. The next episode is going to be really packed in now to finish all the arcs for the season, even if we assume that some characters are already done (I'm assuming Darth Sansa and Petyr won't show up again this season, and that we won't see any more of Ramsay and Reek, but I could be wrong on both counts), there's now another battle scene, and Jon and Mance's meeting, and Jon's election, we know there's still quite a lot of KL stuff to go too, plus tying up storylines for Bran, Arya and Dany. It seems like episode 10 could be very overstuffed, when a big part of the wall storyline could have fitted into this episode.



It was a shame to see Grenn and Pyp go, and the Ygritte death scene was done pretty well, but since this is probably the area of the show/ books I have the least interest in overall, it was a bit of a distant sadness for me. That's definitely a very subjective thing, though. I really, really enjoyed seeing Alliser Thorne get a chance to shine- he's a distinctly unpleasant person, and not well liked for a damn good reason, but he's also a brave, skilled fighter who'll do what he believes needs to be done, which is held up in stark contrast to Janos Slynt. Any scene with Dolorous Edd in it is a good scene for me, and his face when he was told he had the wall did not disappoint. If there's one thing to be said for an episode with so few "main" characters in it (you've got Jon, Sam, Ygritte, Tormund and Gilly in terms of characters who made it to the credits), then it's that it gave the supporting characters a chance to stand out more, and allowed the action to develop more than if it had been cutting away to other characters.



All that said... I still found it a bit anticlimactic. And that's possibly because of an overfocus on the Wall. I admit, as I said before, it's one of my least favourite plotlines and I find Jon Snow dull as dishwater, so I'm definitely biased. But I'm not sure it merited a full episode in the way that Blackwater did. Blackwater takes place at the end of S2, where King's Landing is basically THE main location, and Stannis is a major subplot. We saw Tyrion, Bronn and the Hound on the frontlines, we saw Cersei, Sansa and Shae in the palace waiting for the outcome, we saw Stannis and Davos in the oncoming ships, not to mention Joffrey, Varys, etc. There were a lot of major characters there, and it felt a bit more like it merited the focus of the whole episode. S4 has been a lot more spread out than S2, and the focus is certainly not as strongly on KL as it used to be, but it hasn't really been on the Wall this series, either, and there aren't nearly as many major characters there. Particularly for show only viewers, I'm wondering how popular this episode will prove.



To sum up:



- The episode was well done, but I feel they could have fitted more into it.


- Enjoyed the expansion of the role of supporting characters like Alliser Thorne and Edd.


- Given how many "big moments" remain in the series to tie up next episode, I worry that it's going to feel rushed.


- Think that Stannis's arrival when all seemed lost would have provided more of a "positive cliffhanger" kind of ending, as it was it fell a bit flat for me.


- Dramatic though it was, I'm not sure the battle at the Wall merited it's own "sole focus" episode.


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I just saw the ep and I am so fucking angry and disapointet !! the first time in my life when I watch an episode from got and not go and rewatched quickly !!

not just because of Stannis let me tell you what did I saw worng and let me know if you agree

first I thought this episode will finlly show us Jon snow the commander ! the leader !! instead they gave all the awasom scenes and speaches for Aliser thorne !!!!!!!

in the book there was that fucking perfect speach from Jon snow !! we didnt see enough of Jon leading and commanding this episode he was lost same as everyone esle !!

I didnt like sam running away after everyone I felt they didnt know what to do with him !!

all the episoede was fighting without any point I am not saying that I didnt like these scenes I enjoyded but they could have let half the episode with sam going to Manc and show us something about ( Jourman horn - his pregnant wife and her sister ) then stannis arrivil ! we waited along time for this episode then they just gonna split it like this !! I just dont see the rest of the wall events that still to come is fitt to the finale !!

now the finale is going to include the rest of ( Bran - Arya and the hound - tyrion with jaime and varys and tyrion and shea - dany - brinne and pod - LSH ? - the rest of the wall sotry - Jon to be LC )

someone explain this please :bowdown: :bowdown: :bowdown:

I am not usually one to overly nitpick, but this has to be the single worst post I have ever seen on these boards. I don't think one single sentence managed to make it into a spell check, much less display any attempt at proper grammar. I couldn't even read it enough to formulate an opinion on what you wrote. I might disagree with you, or I might think you're a genius, but we'll never know because I can't decipher it enough to understand a single thought.

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I am not usually one to overly nitpick, but this has to be the single worst post I have ever seen on these boards. I don't think one single sentence managed to make it into a spell check, much less display any attempt at proper grammar. I couldn't even read it enough to formulate an opinion on what you wrote. I might disagree with you, or I might think you're a genius, but we'll never know because I can't decipher it enough to understand a single thought.

C'mon man. Easy. English might be his second language.

I had a little trouble reading it too, but I was able to understand and agree with a lot of what was said.

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Well... my reactions to this episode were a very mixed bag.

Firstly, might as well get the obvious out of the way, I was not happy with a lack of Stannis in this episode. I assumed (apparently wrongly) that this episode would end with Stannis "riding to the rescue", so to speak, as all seemed lost- a kind of "positive cliffhanger" to end the episode with. As it is, it felt like the ending really trailed off a bit. The next episode is going to be really packed in now to finish all the arcs for the season, even if we assume that some characters are already done (I'm assuming Darth Sansa and Petyr won't show up again this season, and that we won't see any more of Ramsay and Reek, but I could be wrong on both counts), there's now another battle scene, and Jon and Mance's meeting, and Jon's election, we know there's still quite a lot of KL stuff to go too, plus tying up storylines for Bran, Arya and Dany. It seems like episode 10 could be very overstuffed, when a big part of the wall storyline could have fitted into this episode.

It was a shame to see Grenn and Pyp go, and the Ygritte death scene was done pretty well, but since this is probably the area of the show/ books I have the least interest in overall, it was a bit of a distant sadness for me. That's definitely a very subjective thing, though. I really, really enjoyed seeing Alliser Thorne get a chance to shine- he's a distinctly unpleasant person, and not well liked for a damn good reason, but he's also a brave, skilled fighter who'll do what he believes needs to be done, which is held up in stark contrast to Janos Slynt. Any scene with Dolorous Edd in it is a good scene for me, and his face when he was told he had the wall did not disappoint. If there's one thing to be said for an episode with so few "main" characters in it (you've got Jon, Sam, Ygritte, Tormund and Gilly in terms of characters who made it to the credits), then it's that it gave the supporting characters a chance to stand out more, and allowed the action to develop more than if it had been cutting away to other characters.

All that said... I still found it a bit anticlimactic. And that's possibly because of an overfocus on the Wall. I admit, as I said before, it's one of my least favourite plotlines and I find Jon Snow dull as dishwater, so I'm definitely biased. But I'm not sure it merited a full episode in the way that Blackwater did. Blackwater takes place at the end of S2, where King's Landing is basically THE main location, and Stannis is a major subplot. We saw Tyrion, Bronn and the Hound on the frontlines, we saw Cersei, Sansa and Shae in the palace waiting for the outcome, we saw Stannis and Davos in the oncoming ships, not to mention Joffrey, Varys, etc. There were a lot of major characters there, and it felt a bit more like it merited the focus of the whole episode. S4 has been a lot more spread out than S2, and the focus is certainly not as strongly on KL as it used to be, but it hasn't really been on the Wall this series, either, and there aren't nearly as many major characters there. Particularly for show only viewers, I'm wondering how popular this episode will prove.

To sum up:

- The episode was well done, but I feel they could have fitted more into it.

- Enjoyed the expansion of the role of supporting characters like Alliser Thorne and Edd.

- Given how many "big moments" remain in the series to tie up next episode, I worry that it's going to feel rushed.

- Think that Stannis's arrival when all seemed lost would have provided more of a "positive cliffhanger" kind of ending, as it was it fell a bit flat for me.

- Dramatic though it was, I'm not sure the battle at the Wall merited it's own "sole focus" episode.

I mostly agree with what you wrote here and feel the same about Jon, both in the book and the show. If anything, I actually like the show version just a bit better, as he has evolved a little faster than the book version had at this point. I will disagree with you in regards to Stannis' arrival, though. In fact, I had to skip over 50 or so pages due to the same lame complaint of no Stannis. The Stannis fans want it all. They want him to be portrayed as he is in the books, yet fail to see any of his faults. They want the store to be like the books, yet complaint when he doesn't come to the rescue before he did in the books. As neither a Stannis fan, nor a Stannis hater, I want to see him get his due, which in my opinion the wall scene was perhaps his only shining moment in the series. To throw in a quick five minute rush job of him coming to the rescue would not have the effect that I hope the finale will have of him really saving the wall and shining a bright light on him. We'll see, but I think it will turn out better this way.

Edited by Wunhopkuendo

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ANd I gald the book really as not moved into book 4 at all outside of Theon.

Brienne too. Maybe a little bit of Dany iirc.

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As neither a Stannis fan, nor a Stannis hater, I want to see him get his due, which in my opinion the wall scene was perhaps his only shining moment in the series. To throw in a quick five minute rush job of him coming to the rescue would not have the effect that I hope the finale will have of him really saving the wall and shining a bright light on him. We'll see, but I think it will turn out better this way.

Brace yourselves. D & D hate Stannis threads are coming next week.

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Brace yourselves. D & D hate Stannis threads are coming next week.

Nah, they are already here XD

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So I 100% understand the complaints about no Stannis at the end. Count me amongst the people that think it was a bad idea and will take away from the impact of Stannis's arrival. Having said that, I don't get why so many people are claiming Stannis will be breaking up some peaceful negotiation. In the preview Mance specifically says he will kill everyone in Castle Black. Jon also leaves Castle Black thinking there is a good chance he will not return. Yes I do think Stannis's moment may get overshadowed by Tyrion, but I don't believe Stannis will be made to look any less heroic in his actions. The show may have made the watch look a little too victorious, but Jon still made it clear that they are totally screwed. Letting Mance pass through the wall will be just as problematic as it was in the book and therefore, Stannis's arrival will still be very important.


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Well, thats what happens, when adaptatations try to prepare own story lines, or try to mess with the timeline. And once timeline is fucked (season 3) you try to streamline it to bring all strands of story on a even scale by creating fillers. You ignore certain storyline and it comes back to bite you in the ass.

Till last episode all filler scenes or so called character development was looking good on screen. Greyworm/Missendei is a prime example. In those two scenes it looked cute,but now in hindsight it looks unnecessary. Ditto Beetle speech.

Regarding storylines. D& D have always treated Wall story as second class citizen in comparison to other stories.KL, Wherever Dany, Tyrion are, get preferantial treatment,maybe some degree of tweaking to keep them in good graces of Unsullied. We get it D&D, this show was your concept and you have every right to do with it as you please,but it shouldnt be forgotten that it was the popularity of books that enabled the show's initial success, so sometimes you should consider how a certain event has repurcussions for a certain character, in terms of their popularity in audience. You shouldnt always fuck it up, like you did with this episode.

Regarding character treatment. D& D have left no doubt that they truly hate Stannis' character in books and it looks like they will continue butchering his tv poryrayal.

I mean if they can flesh out Cersei's character so much, despite having no pov till now, if they can flesh out Tywin despite having mimimal page presence, if they can create stuff to show how Varys/littlefinger work their intrigues , how come they decided to butcher Stannis's portrayal on screen. It clearly shows character bias on their part. If he wasnt doing some major shit in TWOW they might as well have killed him by now, just to save some dollars.

As for this episode, it was beautiful telivison,when seen as stand alone project. But when viewed in entirty of this season, it feels disjointed from whole series. There is no smooth cohession with overall plot. Blackwater was also one-site episode but was miles better then Watchers on the Wall, because of proper build up whole season and a satisfying ending.

For people who hate the viewers who they call purists.

How would you have felt if Blackwater went like this. Mandon Moore is killed by Pod, Tyrion falls after being sliced across the face by Mandon Moore and then credits roll. Next episode opens with Tyrell/ Lannister cavalory charge and Stannis is forced to retreat after three minutes of screen time? You get the idea, why some people are pissed about No Stannis this weak.

Disclaimer; Not a Stannis fan, didnt like him till Wall story. So no need to throw vitriol at me. PEACE OUT. :) :) :)

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I really liked the episode, even though I'm not a fan of the fighting scenes in general, it just kept me at the edge of my seat the whole time. I actually screamed at the thing when Pyp died.


I spected Stannis to show up, because it felt like something that would work for the show, and possibly because I'd been reading about it here in the forums and I'm influentiable (?)


But I absolutely can't complain when they for once stayed true to the books, it'll be really good to see the parley with Mance (if they don't screw it up, of course). It is going to be one heavy loaded episode though.



I liked Kit's acting this time (don't throw things at me), and Ygritte's stuff, and Sam. More Ghost would have been great, and it did seemed like they killed every black brother there, wtf.



I don't understand something, what made people think the LC choosing was happening this season? I can't make any sense of it.


Edited by Milady May

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What would anyone think of The Two Towers if it ended when Aragorn and Theoden being inside the last keep defending the door? It seems like the third act of the Wall story is been postponed for a week.


With Tyrion's escape/murders, Daenerys locking down the dragons, Sandor's ''death'' and Arya's departure and Bran getting to the three eyed raven, the victory at the Wall will be overshadowed i think. And it didn't had to be at all.



Just like season 2 was terrible for Daenerys story, i feel the same is true for Jon's and Stannis stories this season.


Edited by new djinn

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What would anyone think of The Two Towers if it ended when Aragorn and Theoden being inside the last keep defending the door? It seems like the third act of the Wall story is been postponed for a week.

With Tyrion's escape/murders, Daenerys locking down the dragons, Sandor's ''death'' and Arya's departure and Bran getting to the three eyed raven, the victory at the Wall will be overshadowed i think. And it didn't had to be at all.

Just like season 2 was terrible for Daenerys story, i feel the same is true for Jon's and Stannis stories this season.

The Helms Deep example is 100% the reason a lot of people are livid. The problem is more episodic TV. Guaranteed binge watching this will result in a much better result. But that's not how it's meant to be viewed so that's why people are pissed. This battle has been talked up for three seasons and we got 30 minutes of battle and 20 minutes of fluff.

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This episode was as far closer to the book than Blackwater. Ending wasn't epic enough and should have ended with Stannis IMO.

True

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Mance specifically didn't send anything like his full strength in attack. He's trying to get an idea of the Watch's strength, he does it in the books too...

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What would anyone think of The Two Towers if it ended when Aragorn and Theoden being inside the last keep defending the door? It seems like the third act of the Wall story is been postponed for a week.

With Tyrion's escape/murders, Daenerys locking down the dragons, Sandor's ''death'' and Arya's departure and Bran getting to the three eyed raven, the victory at the Wall will be overshadowed i think. And it didn't had to be at all.

Just like season 2 was terrible for Daenerys story, i feel the same is true for Jon's and Stannis stories this season.

It's not quite the same with an episode that will be followed 1 week later, and a movie followed a year later...

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For people who hate the viewers who they call purists.

How would you have felt if Blackwater went like this. Mandon Moore is killed by Pod, Tyrion falls after being sliced across the face by Mandon Moore and then credits roll. Next episode opens with Tyrell/ Lannister cavalory charge and Stannis is forced to retreat after three minutes of screen time? You get the idea, why some people are pissed about No Stannis this weak.

Material for Battle (Seige) of the Wall = Jon VII, VIII, IX, and X (All 4 chapters chock full of action)

vs.

Material for Blackwater = Sansa V and VI (nothing but girly jabberjawing), Tyrion XIII and XIV (Only XIV has any real action) and Davos III (Plenty of action)

So, yes I would have felt that the already spread thin Blackwater (2 real action chapters) was spread thinner. However, plenty of material to work with at the Wall (4).

When I think of Blackwater from the books I think of one cohesive engagement. When I think of the Wall I don't.

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Without getting into the D&D likes/hates debate, or even whether or not Stannis should have showed up in this episode or not, there are some very practical, logistic reasons why certain characters get more TVtime than others, which has to do with set locations and cast bloat.



I think most book lovers agree that the 1st season is the most faithful season. It also had the smallest, most focused cast, and aside from Dany and the Wall, most of the action and character convening took place in either Winterfell or King's Landing. It was much easier to give everyone their due. Much of Dany's arc could be filmed on location but full sets with castles and interiors (which are expensive and time consuming) were largely absent.



As the seasons progressed and the cast bloated, characters became greater and more dispersed. To spend time on new sets with new characters, or even on already established sets with characters who have very little interaction with new and important characters becomes completely unfeasible in a show this expensive with already arguably the largest crew in TV history.



This is why Brienne and Pod are together as soon as they leave Kings' Landing. To have Brienne on her own would have been a waste. This is also arguably why Jeyne Westerling turned into Talisa. Talisa had no family, no castle - No need for new sets or characters.



Which brings me to Stannis. He is such a solitary figure in the books, who after Blackwater and then 'Gendry (Edric)', has no real interaction with any of the other players. He's got Davos, Shireen, Melisandre and Selyse, but no contact with any of the other main characters. So realistically, how many times can we see him with those same characters doing the same thing? This isn't a criticism of his character, it's just a fact.



Sure, they can flesh out Tywin and Cersei, the Hound, Sam, (even Greyworm and Missandei because who else does Dany have other than Barristan and Jorah) because King's Landing and the Wall ARE focal sets (even though I think they've underdeveloped characters at the Wall horribly) and because Dany, like Arya ,is one of the MAIN characters through which other characters pass through and are introduced. Little time has been spent on the Iron Islands because no one else goes there so until it is absolutely necessary to go there, it's expendable. Likewise with Stannis, unfortunately. So, until he gets to the Wall and has something to do that involves other players, like it or not, little screentime is going to be devoted to him.



Again, this is not to argue that what they have done with his charcter during the screentime they have allotted him is fair (I also feel that way about several other characters but I rarely see people complain about them as vehemently). I would have loved to hear about Proudwing already. I would have loved a lot of things. But in terms of screentime, and why they haven't fleshed out his character more yet, I totally get it.



And just to weigh in on why he didn't get there in this episode -- like so many have said, this was the 1st and only episode just dedicated to the NW, and their 1 small victory, plus a breath to be taken (literally, as this was the 1st slow motion shot I think GOT has ever done) for Ygritte's death. Her death concluded a chapter in the book, it deserved a beat.



Stannis' heoric arrival does too, but the last several chapters of SoS were Tyrion, Jon as LC, Sansa, and then LS. If anyone got screwed out of not "ending" season 4 before the LS reveal, it's actually Sansa.


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