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Duckface

Rewatch feelings, some numbers

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I make a new post because every other one has too much posts and my post will just be lost.

As many people have asked, I've done the Night's Watch death count.

How did i count:

1. I've watched every sequence at 50% speed

2. I've watched very closely, event the background stuff

3. If i see a person die or get wounded, then i assume he is dead.

4. If i see a person fall, but i don't see the cuts, i assume he is probably dead.

5. I've counted only what I've seen. I haven't counted Ygritte arrows for example.

Night's Watch casualties:
43 dead + 8 probably dead. I might have missed some, but not much, max 5 deaths.

My feelings:
I'm happy that it didn't reach 100. I should say that after a rewatch i'm very grateful to people, who make CGI, direct the scenes, make costumes&sets and music is just awesome (as always, heil Ramin Djawadi).

Now i hate D&D, their writing is just ridiculously stupid. I think they lack education, they lack talent, they don't spend enough time. They could be very good at writing simple stories and you can make a good movie with a simple story, there is no doubt. But if you are not GRRM or i don't know, Martin Scorsese or Wes Anderson, then you shouldn't try to make a scenario out of a book masterpiece (especially if you make changes).

One of the most stupid things is that everyone who is important is a boss, a killing machine, which can be killed only by another boss. The killing spree by Tormund, Styr or Jon Snow is ridicuosly high and don't even get me started with Ygritte. It feels like she is out of this world. She hasn't missed even once! If we would have seen Ygritte shooting arrows for 30 minutes,, then there would be a 1000 dead men.

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I think I counted 38 "dead". I ignored a lot of the background action because I couldn't always tell if the dead was NW or Wildling. I also didn't count all of the arrows that Ygritte shot that they didn't show hitting someone. Considering every shot of hers they showed was a kill, this would have added another half dozen people easily.



I don't understand the reason for there only being 100 in the NW instead of 1000 (and 2 other castles) in the books....


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Thanks for doing the counts! As I watched the episode I was wondering about the numbers. Losing a little less than half of the watch's fighting force feels about right.


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I don't understand the reason for there only being 100 in the NW instead of 1000 (and 2 other castles) in the books....

less than a 1000 is the number Mormont gives to Tyrion, IIRC. THat's altogether the 3 castles, in the beginning.

So let's assume CB has 400, Eastwatch and Shadow tower has 300-300

Mormont took 300 with him. they practically all died. 200 from CB and 100 from ST

So CB had about 200 men, but when MAnce attacked, Bowen took most of them with him. Hardly anyone (less than a 100) stayed at CB, when Jon got back. I think he had about 40 men (and women, kids from Mole's town) after the Thenn attack, and he had to hold the Wall with just them.

In the show, if they had 100 in the beginning, at CB, and about 50-60 died, that leaves them with 40-50 men, just like in the books.

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less than a 1000 is the number Mormont gives to Tyrion, IIRC. THat's altogether the 3 castles, in the beginning.

So let's assume CB has 400, Eastwatch and Shadow tower has 300-300

Mormont took 300 with him. they practically all died. 200 from CB and 100 from ST

So CB had about 200 men, but when MAnce attacked, Bowen took most of them with him. Hardly anyone (less than a 100) stayed at CB, when Jon got back. I think he had about 40 men (and women, kids from Mole's town) after the Thenn attack, and he had to hold the Wall with just them.

In the show, if they had 100 in the beginning, at CB, and about 50-60 died, that leaves them with 40-50 men, just like in the books.

Absolutely correct. I also would like to add that in the books Jon Snow imakes watchmen out of straw and puts them on the wall. So Mance thinks there are a 1000 men in Castle Black!

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On a rewatch I noticed, that the scene with the giant shooting a black brother from the wall down to castle black with his big arrow must have changed his place in the production. It now takes place, as the skirmish in the courtyard of castle black is at his height, but you can already see a glimpse of the impaled body just before Alliser gives his great speech. So it seems the scene with the giant arrow was rearranged to be later in the episode.

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Now i hate D&D, their writing is just ridiculously stupid. I think they lack education, they lack talent, they don't spend enough time. They could be very good at writing simple stories and you can make a good movie with a simple story, there is no doubt. But if you are not GRRM or i don't know, Martin Scorsese or Wes Anderson, then you shouldn't try to make a scenario out of a book masterpiece (especially if you make changes).

One of the most stupid things is that everyone who is important is a boss, a killing machine, which can be killed only by another boss. The killing spree by Tormund, Styr or Jon Snow is ridicuosly high and don't even get me started with Ygritte. It feels like she is out of this world. She hasn't missed even once! If we would have seen Ygritte shooting arrows for 30 minutes,, then there would be a 1000 dead men.

First, anyone doing an adaptation of any story (wehther it's book to screen, book to stage, or stage to screen) is going to neccesitate changes, largely for practical reasons. I certainly don't agree with every change D&D have made or didn't make when they could have improved a storyline. But calling their writing ridiculously stupid seems a bit excessive, especially since their writing was good enough to convince Martin himself to sign over the rights.

Regarding the "bosses" issue, let's take a look at the people you mentioned, shall we?

Tormund: Incredibly experienced raider who's climbed the Wall numerous times and is mentioned in both media to be a very skilled fighter. Additionally, he's a large man who seems uncommonly quick and is in very good shape, who was fighting a force made up largely of leftovers and stewards.

Styr: Pretty much the same as Tormund, though he obviously changed a lot in adaptation. In the show, he's insanely viscous (givng him a psychological edge), big/strong to wield a giant axe easily, and seemed to fight other wildlings regularly before Mance came along.

Jon: Aside from having had a great education in combat as a kid (which 99% of the participants in the battle did not), Jon has at this point a good deal of practical experience against wildlings, professional assassins, (Karl), and other NW members. Combine that with the fact he was wielding the best sword at the castle and clearly learns from his experiences (he spit in Styr's face the way Karl spit in his), it's really not that unbelievable he would do so well.

Ygritte: Is it so hard to believe someone could be that good on an archer when they come from a militant society where archery is a valuable hunting tool? Almost all of Ygritte's kills throughout the season have been her sniping from a safe distance, and top archers can fire 15-20 arrows a minute. She would need to be in the top class of archers present in the series to do as well as she did, but is that really so hard to fathom?

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First, anyone doing an adaptation of any story (wehther it's book to screen, book to stage, or stage to screen) is going to neccesitate changes, largely for practical reasons. I certainly don't agree with every change D&D have made or didn't make when they could have improved a storyline. But calling their writing ridiculously stupid seems a bit excessive, especially since their writing was good enough to convince Martin himself to sign over the rights.

Is a bit excessive, I agree, but S1 was awesome, the budget was big, HBO has a good reputation and Martin got a big bag of cash out of the deal, so no wonder he agreed. I am happy there is an adaptation, it would be such a pity if there was none.

Regarding the "bosses" issue, let's take a look at the people you mentioned, shall we?

Tormund: Incredibly experienced raider who's climbed the Wall numerous times and is mentioned in both media to be a very skilled fighter. Additionally, he's a large man who seems uncommonly quick and is in very good shape, who was fighting a force made up largely of leftovers and stewards.

Styr: Pretty much the same as Tormund, though he obviously changed a lot in adaptation. In the show, he's insanely viscous (givng him a psychological edge), big/strong to wield a giant axe easily, and seemed to fight other wildlings regularly before Mance came along.

Jon: Aside from having had a great education in combat as a kid (which 99% of the participants in the battle did not), Jon has at this point a good deal of practical experience against wildlings, professional assassins, (Karl), and other NW members. Combine that with the fact he was wielding the best sword at the castle and clearly learns from his experiences (he spit in Styr's face the way Karl spit in his), it's really not that unbelievable he would do so well.

Ygritte: Is it so hard to believe someone could be that good on an archer when they come from a militant society where archery is a valuable hunting tool? Almost all of Ygritte's kills throughout the season have been her sniping from a safe distance, and top archers can fire 15-20 arrows a minute. She would need to be in the top class of archers present in the series to do as well as she did, but is that really so hard to fathom?

You do have a point here also, but it still was a little bit unbelievable to me.

Tormund might be the most skilled compared to other regular wildlings, but aren't they all skilled? Only the best went with Tormund. Others seemed very regular compared to the Nights Watch, but Tormund could kill 10 men in a row without getting a single cut.

Styr is a thenn. Why does every single thenn fights like a regular person, but Styr is this awesome unkillable fighter?

Night's watch have (should have had) discipline. Thenns have discipline. Night's Watch has better weapons, wildlings are more fearsome though. The fight should have been more or less even. I don't mind showing Tormund killing three men in a row, but doing that three times and not getting even a scar?

Yes, Ygritte might be a good archer, but why she is supposed to be Legolas 2.0 ? She fired arrows at small windows three times, haven't missed once. She fired arrows multiple times later, haven't missed once. Pyp was shooting from a crossbow at a massive congestion of people running towards him and he missed. Wtf. Also, Ygritte is perfectly sitting in one place, shooting. I just can't believe someone didn't took a shield and just run at her if she is that dangerous. Show her miss one time, show her struggle another, show her run somewhere. Show Tormund killing five men, but getting a small wound. Why does it supposed to be Jon Snow who manages to kill Styr and why does a skilled warrior Jon Snow (on that i agree) become totally hopeless against Styr?

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I think the numbers counted vs. the numbers they state they have in the show are fairly accurate and I appreciate both show fans counting and the show creators making sure they didn't overdo it and kill off too many to leave it unbelievable.



My problem is that they've given little to no focus on the other keeps along the wall so it appears like, in the show, there are 50 or so men left, which is not very believable. Non book readers won't remember or know there are other NW at the other keeps (albeit not many) and might be calling BS right now on how they managed to defend the wall when it seemed like a helluva lot more wildlings came into the keep from the other side. It's not a huge nitpick of mine and counting the actual numbers doesn't change much - we're left hanging much where we were in the book... without knowing how they will survive more nights of attack before Stannis shows up magically. I'm actually glad they didn't show him there in the end - it will make next episode, the finale, much better.


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Is a bit excessive, I agree, but S1 was awesome, the budget was big, HBO has a good reputation and Martin got a big bag of cash out of the deal, so no wonder he agreed. I am happy there is an adaptation, it would be such a pity if there was none.

You do have a point here also, but it still was a little bit unbelievable to me.

Tormund might be the most skilled compared to other regular wildlings, but aren't they all skilled? Only the best went with Tormund. Others seemed very regular compared to the Nights Watch, but Tormund could kill 10 men in a row without getting a single cut.

Styr is a thenn. Why does every single thenn fights like a regular person, but Styr is this awesome unkillable fighter?

Night's watch have (should have had) discipline. Thenns have discipline. Night's Watch has better weapons, wildlings are more fearsome though. The fight should have been more or less even. I don't mind showing Tormund killing three men in a row, but doing that three times and not getting even a scar?

Yes, Ygritte might be a good archer, but why she is supposed to be Legolas 2.0 ? She fired arrows at small windows three times, haven't missed once. She fired arrows multiple times later, haven't missed once. Pyp was shooting from a crossbow at a massive congestion of people running towards him and he missed. Wtf. Also, Ygritte is perfectly sitting in one place, shooting. I just can't believe someone didn't took a shield and just run at her if she is that dangerous. Show her miss one time, show her struggle another, show her run somewhere. Show Tormund killing five men, but getting a small wound. Why does it supposed to be Jon Snow who manages to kill Styr and why does a skilled warrior Jon Snow (on that i agree) become totally hopeless against Styr?

Season 1 was definitely the closets to the book, and the changes have grown steadily with each season since. It's a pity, especially since minor changes tend to spiral out of control, but I suppose it's a the price to be paid.

Regarding Styr/the Thenn, it's important to remember that the Thenn in the show are very different, and likely don't have the same discipline or style of fighting their book counterparts do. Show Styr likely had to win his leadership through combat, meaning he would be the best of them. And Jon was doing well against him until Styr knocked away Longclaw, at which point it became a hand-to-hand fight between one very big man and one regular sized man.

For Ygritte, she should have been behind cover more, but seeing as she's of a smaller build and wouldn't have been drawing attention to herself, I could see her no getting picked off too easily. You mentioned Pyp not hitting much, but he was scarred shitless the entire time (like most of the NW present), which would have been throwing off his aim. Ygritte, meanwhile, has nerves of steel, and psychology counts for a lot in a battle.

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Part of the explanation for any action sequence ever filmed is that "it looks cool this way". Movies and TV are supposed to look good. It is part of the art form, just the wordcraft of a book should feel good.



Given that the wildlings are meritocratic and the Night's Watchmen experienced in combat are mostly dead; it is entirely plausible that Tormond, Styr, Jon, and Allister would be significantly better than their comrades on the battlefield. The Night's Watch could have better utilized their defenses and the Wildlings could have used better tactics; but the battle was fun to watch and the battle outcome was largely consistent with the book. If the universe of ASOIAF were real, that battle would probably have as little resemblance to the book description as it had with the show version. They're both stylized by people trying to make entertaining art.


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I make a new post because every other one has too much posts and my post will just be lost.

As many people have asked, I've done the Night's Watch death count.

How did i count:

1. I've watched every sequence at 50% speed

2. I've watched very closely, event the background stuff

3. If i see a person die or get wounded, then i assume he is dead.

4. If i see a person fall, but i don't see the cuts, i assume he is probably dead.

5. I've counted only what I've seen. I haven't counted Ygritte arrows for example.

Night's Watch casualties:

43 dead + 8 probably dead. I might have missed some, but not much, max 5 deaths.

My feelings:

I'm happy that it didn't reach 100. I should say that after a rewatch i'm very grateful to people, who make CGI, direct the scenes, make costumes&sets and music is just awesome (as always, heil Ramin Djawadi).

Now i hate D&D, their writing is just ridiculously stupid. I think they lack education, they lack talent, they don't spend enough time. They could be very good at writing simple stories and you can make a good movie with a simple story, there is no doubt. But if you are not GRRM or i don't know, Martin Scorsese or Wes Anderson, then you shouldn't try to make a scenario out of a book masterpiece (especially if you make changes).

One of the most stupid things is that everyone who is important is a boss, a killing machine, which can be killed only by another boss. The killing spree by Tormund, Styr or Jon Snow is ridicuosly high and don't even get me started with Ygritte. It feels like she is out of this world. She hasn't missed even once! If we would have seen Ygritte shooting arrows for 30 minutes,, then there would be a 1000 dead men.

O well that has been a movie cliché forever.

I found it hard to count because since they were using rubber axes and aluminum swords , for the 'spear carriers , looked like many people where struck a disabling blow and not a death one.

Rough number I remember about medieval battles is that there are about 30% killed, some fraction of the other 70% were wounded probably greater than 30%.

Problem was , and it depended on the time and the warring parties, many prisoners and the prisoner wounded were just flat killed and only the nobles , who where worth something were spared.

Read Barbara Tuchman's A DISTANT MIRROR sometime about the 14th century.The Battle of Crécy starts the novel, and other battles are included up too, tho most is about the life and times between 1332–1382 , the best history book on the middle ages I ever read.

Episode 9 didn't have Maester Aemon doing his triage work , as in the book, but's that's the kind of detail nobody cares about.

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As far as the small numbers of NW at the time of battle: in the show, how many departed with LC Mormont when he wanted to see if they could ascertain what happened to the party led by Benjen? How many were killed during the search, and then how many were murdered at Craster's? I don't recall but that obviously contributed to such anemic numbers since Tyrion departed, correct?

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Things being they way they are, I still have some "reality" issues with the outcome of the battle in this episode. Considering that the wall is about 200 metres high, you don't need a large garrison to fend off even an attacking force the size of Mance's wildling army. The top of the wall is unreachable for archers (with the exception of the giant's bow we saw in action), and any attempt to climb it gives the defenders on the top plenty of time to have you fall to a certain death by dropping stones, shooting arrows - or releasing a big MF-ing anchor on a chain that sweeps you away like flies :cool4:. So presenting even the slightest target on the top of the wall for a giant's bow to aim at is sheer stupidity, and the rest should be a piece of cake as far as defending "the wall" comes.



No, the only vulnerable point - as we also see in the episode - is the tunnel. It's pretty incomprehensible to me why more wildlings didn't follow the giant into the tunnel once he managed to pry the gate open out of sheer rage. Sure, they might have been keeping a distance to be out of bow range but had they used any ability of thinking the would have stormed forward as soon as they noticed there was a chance to get through. Furtheremore this would be the reason Mance leads his army to one single spot like this - considering their numbers they could have had people climb the wall spread out over tens of miles if they thought that was really going to do any good.



And finally - the defence of Castle Black on the ground was planned and carried out in a totally amateurish manner! If you have walls even as "low" as the ones CB has in the show (compared to The Wall that is) you still have a tremendous advantage over attackers and neither here should it take a large force to fend off a band of at most a few dozen wildlings. Instead it seemed that only a minority of the force was deployed to the walls while the rest were waiting in the yard for the wildlings to break through the gate - completely giving up the advantage of the walls. Now, I do realise that in the books CB isn't (as far as I understand) really fortified at all to the South, since the threat is considered to come from the North - where The Wall is. But then why not acknowledge this in the show instead of adding walls that the defenders then fail to utilize?!

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One of the most stupid things is that everyone who is important is a boss, a killing machine, which can be killed only by another boss. The killing spree by Tormund, Styr or Jon Snow is ridicuosly high and don't even get me started with Ygritte. It feels like she is out of this world. She hasn't missed even once! If we would have seen Ygritte shooting arrows for 30 minutes,, then there would be a 1000 dead men.

I agree with you but this trope has been there since time immemorial.

And I'm not talking about Aragorn or Legolas or Jedi cutting down hundreds of battle droids. Even if you go back to the epics of various sorts, you'll see these 'super-human' boss characters that simply can't be killed, except by another boss.

In real life this practically never happened. Richard the Lionharted was slain by a random crossbow bolt. One of the Teutonic kings died to a halberd. But when you have literally thousands of years of fiction bearing on you the other way, it is very hard to go down that route. Would you have your favourite character die to a nameless extra? I can not think of any fiction where it has happened, like ever.

And again in movies if you don't see a character cut down 3 extras in two seconds, you wouldn't believe they are any good at fighting.

GRRM is clever with this trope. He has stuff like Rhaegar getting killed by Robert , Lewyn Martell and Lyn Corbray, Lord Karstark kills Steffon Lannister and so on. But if you examine it carefully it mostly occurs in the past or off screen. AND he has inverted the trope on occasions - like Ygritte dies to a random arrow.

One of the best examples is the Hound fight at the inn in the books. Unlike the show where there are dozens of men that the Hound effortlessly dispatches one by one, there are only two, and - just like in real life -, it is extremely difficult for him, simply because of the fact that one of your opponents will be facing your back. He doesn't make the Hound a killing machine that is simply invulnerable to normal opponents.

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I would also like to point out that the boss trope has been on the show since day 1.



Dany's 3 bosses manage to conquer Yunkai on their own, because Yunkai has no boss to send against them, No amount of normal soldiers would help.


And that's just one example.


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On a rewatch I noticed, that the scene with the giant shooting a black brother from the wall down to castle black with his big arrow must have changed his place in the production. It now takes place, as the skirmish in the courtyard of castle black is at his height, but you can already see a glimpse of the impaled body just before Alliser gives his great speech. So it seems the scene with the giant arrow was rearranged to be later in the episode.

Oh, I'm definitely going to have to look for that. I've done one rewatch, and still, the darkness that permeates the episode does contribute to viewing problems. I'll be looking for that dude now, and I'm wondering......if it seems the Gigantor Bow and Arrow was only used that one time? Hmmmmmmmm, something new to look for.

I also just wanted to thank the OP for the count.

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