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We needed Stannis at the end of the episode. It's my favourite moment of the entire series because it's the sole heroic climax, sometimes thought of as a fantasy trope. The reality is it's the anti-cliche of the series, given that the depressing shock climax is far more prevalent. And now it will be shoved in as episode 10 filler. Why is it the anti-cliche and not unrealistic? Because it does happen in real history, and it's awesome! The Battle of Tours, where Charles Martel smashes the Muslims and saves Europe, and the Battle of Vienna, where the Polish hussars lead the largest cavalry charge in history and smash the Ottomans saving Europe again. We were robbed of our climax! ROBBED.


Edited by Jorah the Explorer

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I adored the entire episode on the first viewing up until it became clear that Stannis would not be making an appearance, thus cramming up the finale and also slightly diminishing the impact of his arrival altogether. Although that might turn out to not be the case.

However on the second viewing, this is a truly fantastic episode. I can wax lyrical about the direction, the choreography, the editing and all the incredible effects to no end. i also remember being constantly in suspense from the first time we saw Joe Gatt's owl. Although that might have been down to some lingering PTSD from last week.

But it was the character moments that really stuck out for me. Sam guiding Pyp and Olly through the battle and death in the case of the former, whilst Janos Slynt cowered in that room where Sam downright refused to stay. Love is the death of duty.

I can't say enough about Grenn. You constantly see interviews with cast members being asked how they would like to die on the show. "The way Grenn died" is probably the correct answer now. A heroic, blaze of glory death for the greater good is not something we've seen a lot of on this show.

Then there's Jon and Ygritte. A little cheesy perhaps. But the infrequency of this sort of thing on this show make it feel somehow more real and incredibly emotional. I've always been a huge fan of Rose but this has been Kit's season in terms of acting and he absolutely nailed it again here and throughout the remainder of the episode.

Even feckin Tormund! You can hear the self-loathing and blame in his voice when he calls out at Jon.

Amidst all of it though, the character that I've grown to like the most is Ser Alliser. We talk about how Jorah, Tywin, Bronn etc are all improvements on their book counterparts. With Ser Alliser, the TV version is so far ahead it's unreal. Without going into too much detail, he encapsulates this 'grey' aspect as much as any character on the show or book. My own favourite character, Theon, included. So much props to Owen Teale.

Anyway I still just wish we had Stannis arriving to round it off and probably confirm it in my own mind as the best episode in the show's history. I hope they have something special up their sleeve for next week.

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

Yes, this. Comparing apples and, um... peaches.

However, if truth be told, when I think of the Wall action in the book, there were separate attacks. If I'm playing critic here, what exactly was the point of the simultaneous attacks? If Mance is feeling out the NW with a couple giants, a mammoth, and a few scalers, why waste good men attacking from the South? Why start the fire and signal a coordinated attack, if you aren't willing to devote major resources?

I'll call that a small beef. In the end, his resources are sufficient enough that Hodor could plan the strategy.

Also, the no Stannis thing: I won't comment on a bloated tenth episode until I see it and can judge it for myself.

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I'll never feel the same way about a ball peen hammer again.



EVER!!!!



John improvising and killing that fucking maggoty thenn with a lowly blacksmith's tool was too perfect!



Talk about instant death!



"If I had a hammer, I'hammer in the morning, I'd hammer in the evening all over this land...."


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I saw the episode for the 3rd time and it gets better with each viewing. This was Kit's coming out episode and he did it with a blast. Contrary to what I thought up until now, the man has acting chops. And he's a master with the sword. Everyone's talking about the Thorne/Tormund fight but look at the choreography on the Jon/Styr fight and Kit's footwork. It's amazing. I just saw Weiss talking on Inside the Ep (or whatever that's called) and they really are amazed by Kit's swordplay. Another thing Weiss said was Jon 'assuming the mantle of authority without wanting it,' which really sounds like the reluctant hero trope 😉

Edited by teej6

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Yes, this. Comparing apples and, um... peaches.

However, if truth be told, when I think of the Wall action in the book, there were separate attacks. If I'm playing critic here, what exactly was the point of the simultaneous attacks? If Mance is feeling out the NW with a couple giants, a mammoth, and a few scalers, why waste good men attacking from the South? Why start the fire and signal a coordinated attack, if you aren't willing to devote major resources?

I'll call that a small beef. In the end, his resources are sufficient enough that Hodor could plan the strategy.

Also, the no Stannis thing: I won't comment on a bloated tenth episode until I see it and can judge it for myself.

Honestly, a simultaneous attack makes more sense than one at a time. Castle Black is weak from the South, strong to the North. Divide up the Night's Watch and you make them weaker than if you just attack one at a time where they can devote their full resources to it. Strategically, what happens in the books doesn't make as much sense as what happens in the show.

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

Separating the third act while the other two go together is bad plotting IMHO. Either they are presented separate from each other or all together. Also most of the audience is casual and sees episode at a time. The story flow momentum is broken by the pause. I could bet good money that Tyrion scenes will outshine anything else in episode 10.

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We needed Stannis at the end of the episode. It's my favourite moment of the entire series because it's the sole heroic climax, sometimes thought of as a fantasy trope. The reality is it's the anti-cliche of the series, given that the depressing shock climax is far more prevalent. And now it will be shoved in as episode 10 filler. Why is it the anti-cliche and not unrealistic? Because it does happen in real history, and it's awesome! The Battle of Tours, where Charles Martel smashes the Muslims and saves Europe, and the Battle of Vienna, where the Polish hussars lead the largest cavalry charge in history and smash the Ottomans saving Europe again. We were robbed of our climax! ROBBED.

I don't see why it has to be filler just because it's not the final scene. That would be like calling it filler in the books, or calling the RW filler. Something is filler when it's just extending the timeline with ultimately pointless plots until the major plots are ready to be set (See the majority of AFFC and ADWD).

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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.

What about Bran and Theon? They are also very solitary figures(in relation to everybody else). Stannis had 2 scenes this season, with the finale it will be 3 scenes. Why would any show viewer care about a storyline that barely appears and is clearly sub-par when it does? Think about the mission to Caster's keep, Mel's bath, Locke's & Ramsay scene. Do you think that was the best use of allocatted time?

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What about Bran and Theon? They are also very solitary figures (in relation to everybody else). Stannis had 2 scenes this season, with the finale it will be 3 scenes. Why would any show viewer care about a storyline that barely appears and is clearly sub-par when it does? Think about the mission to Caster's keep, Mel's bath, Locke's & Ramsay scene. Do you think that was the best use of allocatted time?

I am agreeing about the abundance of useless Wall crap, which includes the awful (arguably worst ever, Craster's crap), as well as argue that Bran has gotten the same shaft (see Meera's almost rape). Theon, on the other hand, since his future storyline is so tied up with Roose and the North's storyline in general, has received an abundance, which just serves my points.

Mel's, as I have said, was also awful, but a way to keep the Stannis 'people' going with storyline...for the record, I do hate how they have made Stannis' storyline more about Mel than Stannis, but Stannis does keep disappearing for chunks at a time and she is the POV character in DwD so ....maybe they have a plan? i didn't say a good one.

ETA x 2

Edited by thepooperthatwaspromised

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I love this show. I am ridiculously addicted to this show and this narrative as a whole. D&D constantly waste screen time with unnecessary embroidery, which might be nice if they had the time and budget, but they do not.



Every single episode this season wasted time on fluff or boobs or whatever when so many critical elements need time to be developed. I don't care if next week is 65 minutes, it will feel like 15 and we won't even have time to respond emotionally.



Jaime confesses to Tyrion, Tyrion climbs through the walls and kills Shae and Tywin


Jaime and Cersei have some private time. Why?


Tyrion escapes; Varys disappears


Arya and the Hound do something critical AND Arya gets on a boat to Bravos


Bran gets to the tree and learns his destiny (that is a movie in itself)


Jon treats with Mance and Stannis comes to the rescue. Sam and Gilly do something significant.


Dany discovers Drogon is eating little girls. Dragons are locked up except for the worst perpetrator.



I am sure there is a lot more that I have left out.



Why kill most of Jon's supporters before he becomes commander? Pip and Grenn were nicely developed characters. Now, Jon is alone at the wall except for Sam.



Adding stuff while not giving us a full hour is inexcusable. I am sure there is stuff on the cutting room floor that would help satisfy some of this.



Very frustrating. In one week, I will be in withdrawal again.


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I am agreeing about the abundance of useless Wall crap, which includes the awful (arguably worst ever, Craster's crap). I would argue that Bran has gotten the same shaft (see Meera's almost rape). Theon, on the other hand, since his future storyline is so tied up with Roose and the North, has received an abundance.

Mel's, as I have said, was also awful, but a way to keep the Stannis 'people' going with storyline...for the record, I do hate how they have made Stannis' storyline more about Mel than Stannis, but Stannis does keep disappearing for chunks at a time and she is the POV character in SoS so ....maybe they have a plan?

Actually, Davos is the POV character in Stannis's story in ACOK and ASOS. Melisandre only has one POV chapter and it's at the Wall after Stannis leaves to go after the Boltons in ADWD.

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Stannis will be coming next week but it won't be as impressive. Too many other climatic/exciting scenes are happening in the finale so "Stannis Stannis STANNIS!" won't get the spotlight it deserves.

Really, did you feel that way about the book, that the scene with Stannis was overshadowed because the book also featured Tyrion killing Tywin and the Lady Stoneheart reveal? Get a grip on yourselves.

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There's a lot to be done in the finale. But I think they can get it done provided they allocate more time than they have to most of the episodes this season. They also need to be disciplined with relatively minor arcs. Dany and crew, Cersei, Tommen, and Marg can't be allowed to occupy undue amounts of time.



I'm also pretty apprehensive about how much of a time pit Arya, the Hound and Brienne and Pod will be. It would seem that it will require at least a few scenes to get an intersection plus Arya leaving the Hound plus getting on a ship in one episode. I'm skeptical that Arya will be seabound by the end of the episode because of this Brienne development. However, the last song on the soundtrack seems far too upbeat for any other story arc except for Arya sailing off for a new start, unless the song is not to appear in the show at all.


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Common guys! I'm pretty sure D&D are not going to let us down, being fans themselves. We're going to get exactly what we want and in retrospect we'll be as pleased as we now are confused. Keep in mind that D&D are fans, that's why they're doing this show, so why on earth would they be doing anything that wouldn't make sense to us (fellow) fans!?

We're going to see Stannis kick ass; Tyrion kick ass; Danerys kick (dragon)ass; Bran see ass(ess); and Brienne biting the Hounds ass...sorry ear! So lets just enjoy the upcoming show and focus on WoW that'll come out 12/14!(?)!(?)!

xD sigged

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