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Season 5 Casting, News and Speculation V 8 [show spoilers, book spoilers past OP]

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Is this the latest they've gone without a trailer?

Yes.

:agree:

I think it will also help that, in contrast to its corresponding source material, Season 5 has the potential to be the most focused that the show has been in a while. We essentially have eight major storylines this year, which is the fewest that we've had in a while, and each of them will be centered more or less on a specific protagonist:

1. King's Landing (Cersei, supported by Margaery, Tommen, and the High Sparrow)

2. Dorne (Jaime, supported by Bronn, Doran, and the Sandsnakes)

3. The Wall (Jon, supported by Stannis, Melisandre, Davos, Sam, Tormund, Gilly, Mance, Alliser, etc.)

4. Winterfell (Theon/Reek, supported by Ramsay and Roose Bolton)

5. The Vale (Sansa, supported by Baelish and possibly Brienne)

6. Braavos (Arya, supported by Jaqen/The Kindly Man)

7. The Free Cities (Tyrion, supported by Varys and Jorah)

8. Meereen (Daenerys, supported by Daario, Barristan, Missandei, Grey Worm, and Hizdahr)

[9]. The Vale and the Riverlands (Brienne, if you think that she and Podrick will be on their own for most of the season)

While abundant concern has been expressed about the characters who most likely won't be appearing, many established characters who have long been off on their own interesting but relatively isolated narrative islands have started to come together. In doing so, they provide a fresh jolt of energy and exert a more direct impact not only one another but also on the larger story.

The Night's Watch, Stannis, and Theon/Reek have all received criticism in the past few seasons for being too separate from the "main plot", and the latter two have had consistent issues with screentime (either too much of it or too little, depending on who you ask). This season, all of those characters will be part of one larger interweaving plot that should receive a lot of attention. Daenerys is another character who has been almost completely isolated for several seasons. By the end of Season 5, her storyline and Tyrion's will have more or less merged, which should be an exciting development for everyone watching. Jaime and Arya are popular characters who will be introducing us to new locations that people are eager to learn more about. Sansa has reached a new stage in her character's journey, and will be entering more or less uncharted waters which should be interesting (if frightening for some). And while King's Landing is certainly diminished from previous seasons in terms of the sheer density of interesting characters, the power struggle between the Lannisters, the Tyrells, and the Faith is generally considered to be one of the stronger plot threads from AFFC/ADWD, and should provide plenty of intrigue to sustain those characters and that corner of the story.

One of the areas in which I think Game of Thrones took a significant step forward during Season 3 and especially Season 4 was in tying the numerous geographically disparate storylines together - either thematically or by having characters in one location talk openly about characters in another (e.g. Tywin's numerous references to Daenerys last season). That should continue this season, but it won't be quite as necessary (or feel quite as perfunctory) because so many major established characters who were previously stranded on an isolated corner of the map with the same few sparring partners will actually be meeting, talking with, and directly influencing one another for the first time. It should be a pleasure to watch - much as it was on the page.

Overall Season 5 should be the best season for non-King's Landing locations so far. King's Landing itself should have a storyline that's on the same level as the one it had in Season 2 IMO.

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I agree, and there are even interview comments of theirs to back it up. They basically said (somewhere) they were terrified of season 5... ie. because it was going to be very hard to adapt to screen. Then they said they started to feel better once they had done some work on it and realized it ws going to be great. I am paraphrasing of course.

The problem with adapting ADWD and AFFC was how GRRM has written them. Their structure is massively different than the first three books. As much as people loathe AFFC/ADWD, they're probably GRRM's best work. Had TWOW been released by now, the showrunners might have opted for a different route, placing many major things from TWOW in Season 5, but they opted to preserve TWOW for readers and maintain the overall books' structures.

Books have certain tools, and film has its own, but a straight adaptation of AFFC/ADWD to film would totally wreck havoc and create a totally different perception of the material. Show watchers would munch on unripened fruit and book readers would be flipped on their heads in spitefulness and confusion. That's the beauty of the past two books, and I look forward to seeing how they've transformed the material.

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Overall Season 5 should be the best season for non-King's Landing locations so far. King's Landing itself should have a storyline that's on the same level as the one it had in Season 2 IMO.

I agree about the non-KL locations, but disagree about KL itself. Season 2 was primarily focused on KL, and the story centered on it because we had most our action and characters there (or coming there). I don't see any way that KL reaches that level of importance in Season 5 when it's lost most of its most important characters, and all of the action is focused elsewhere.

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The problem with adapting ADWD and AFFC was how GRRM has written them. Their structure is massively different than the first three books. As much as people loathe AFFC/ADWD, they're probably GRRM's best work.

I agree with the former, disagree with the latter. They aren't his best work. They wander too much and aren't as focused as they should be. Expansion is okay, as is world building, but Martin opted to focus on those instead of his main characters and main story, and that's problematic.

Had TWOW been released by now, the showrunners might have opted for a different route, placing many major things from TWOW in Season 5, but they opted to preserve TWOW for readers and maintain the overall books' structures.

I don't think the showrunners care much about what they are or aren't spoiling for the book readers. That's not their job. Their job is to make a good show that appeals to everyone- whether they have read the books or not. We already know they have incorporated elements of TWOW into season 5, so I don't see how they have preserved anything for the book readers.

Books have certain tools, and film has its own, but a straight adaptation of AFFC/ADWD to film would totally wreck havoc and create a totally different perception of the material. Show watchers would munch on unripened fruit and book readers would be flipped on their heads in spitefulness and confusion. That's the beauty of the past two books, and I look forward to seeing how they've transformed the material.

I agree. The last two books are impossible to adapt faithfully to screen without significant problems.

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I agree about the non-KL locations, but disagree about KL itself. Season 2 was primarily focused on KL, and the story centered on it because we had most our action and characters there (or coming there). I don't see any way that KL reaches that level of importance in Season 5 when it's lost most of its most important characters, and all of the action is focused elsewhere.

Cersei, Margery, Tommen, Mace, Qyburn and Loras are still there.

Littlefinger is apparently going to show up at some point. Lancel will probably return. Bronn will have at least one appearance with Lollys most likely before taking off to Dorne with Jamie, who will also spend the first third of the season in KL.

Then there is the Sparrow movement which is a very significant part of the season and involves several new characters.

I don't see how you imagine the KL scene lacks characters or content?

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I agree about the non-KL locations, but disagree about KL itself. Season 2 was primarily focused on KL, and the story centered on it because we had most our action and characters there (or coming there). I don't see any way that KL reaches that level of importance in Season 5 when it's lost most of its most important characters, and all of the action is focused elsewhere.

I might have exaggerated a bit. But I do think that KL in Season 5 should be better than in Season 3. Somewhere between Season 3 and Season 2 might be a good way to put it.

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Cersei, Margery, Tommen, Mace, Qyburn and Loras are still there.

Littlefinger is apparently going to show up at some point. Lancel will probably return. Bronn will have at least one appearance with Lollys most likely before taking off to Dorne with Jamie, who will also spend the first third of the season in KL.

Then there is the Sparrow movement which is a very significant part of the season and involves several new characters.

I don't see how you imagine the KL scene lacks characters or content?

I never said it lacked characters or content.

But the big draw for KL was Tyrion. I'm not even a fan of Tyrion and I can easily admit that the show centered on him, and therefore, KL. Without Tyrion, KL loses a lot of its luster- books AND show. Plus season 2 had Blackwater and the build-up to that all season long. What made KL season 2 so great was Tyrion being HotK and bossing Joffrey around. When he was stripped of that, it lost a bit of its luster.

I just don't see how it can reach Season 2 standards. It can't. It hasn't been able to do that in the seasons since, even with Oberyn Martell in the mix.

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Unpopular opinion: KL is most interesting to me in Cersei's POV in AFFC/ADWD.

I share that one.

Though I am also a massive supporter of Feast. Minus most of Brienne's chapters (and some other bits), it's full of great moments !

And it contains the scene that surprised me most of the entire saga (so far) : Cersei's arrest. I definitly didnt see that one coming !

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1. King's Landing (Cersei, supported by Margaery, Tommen, and the High Sparrow)

2. Dorne (Jaime, supported by Bronn, Doran, and the Sand Snakes)

3. The Wall (Jon, supported by Stannis, Melisandre, Davos, Sam, Tormund, Gilly, Mance, Alliser, etc.)

4. Winterfell (Theon/Reek, supported by Ramsay and Roose Bolton)

5. The Vale (Sansa, supported by Baelish and possibly Brienne)

6. Braavos (Arya, supported by Jaqen/The Kindly Man)

7. The Free Cities (Tyrion, supported by Varys and Jorah)

8. Meereen (Daenerys, supported by Daario, Barristan, Missandei, Grey Worm, and Hizdahr)

[9]. The Vale and the Riverlands (Brienne, if you think that she and Podrick will be on their own for most of the season)

This is a great post!

Minor quibbles: there's also Yara. Also, Stannis will almost certainly branch out from Jon's story at some point, and possibly Sam and/or Davos also will.

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I never said it lacked characters or content.But the big draw for KL was Tyrion. I'm not even a fan of Tyrion and I can easily admit that the show centered on him, and therefore, KL. Without Tyrion, KL loses a lot of its luster- books AND show. Plus season 2 had Blackwater and the build-up to that all season long. What made KL season 2 so great was Tyrion being HotK and bossing Joffrey around. When he was stripped of that, it lost a bit of its luster.I just don't see how it can reach Season 2 standards. It can't. It hasn't been able to do that in the seasons since, even with Oberyn Martell in the mix.

Well I see what you are saying about Tyrion and Joffrey dynamics, but I think the Cersei-Margery rivalry heating up will be just as tense and interesting. The show has already worked to make Margery a more detailed character than in the books and this is the season where that is going to pay off big time.

At the same time, an exceptionally good actor was cast for High Sparrow and scenes between him and Cersei should be really very rich.

I really think KL will actually be very good.

It looks from leaked filming pics that there will also be some kind of religious fanatics versus known gay character thing that happens, making Loras's story more exciting than ever as well.

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Well I see what you are saying about Tyrion and Joffrey dynamics, but I think the Cersei-Margery rivalry heating up will be just as tense and interesting. The show has already worked to make Margery a more detailed character than in the books and this is the season where that is going to pay off big time.

At the same time, an exceptionally good actor was cast for High Sparrow and scenes between him and Cersei should be really very rich.

I really think KL will actually be very good.

It looks from leaked filming pics that there will also be some kind of religious fanatics versus known gay character thing that happens, making Loras's story more exciting than ever as well.

I think it will be really good. But I don't think it will hold the same prominence it has held for the past 5 seasons. The story has spread out and the main characters are moving around. Really, I see KL taking a backseat to the Northern storylines this season, since they are incredibly important and interconnected in a way they haven't been before. And of course, Dany and Tyrion's storylines coming together will be a huge one for the tv audience (and book readers, as well). So as important and interesting as the KL storyline is, I don't see it as the number one storyline this season.

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I share that one.

Though I am also a massive supporter of Feast. Minus most of Brienne's chapters (and some other bits), it's full of great moments !

And it contains the scene that surprised me most of the entire saga (so far) : Cersei's arrest. I definitly didnt see that one coming !

Hmmmmm I enjoyed Feast too even though its not a favorite of mine. But yeah I defintitely prefer Cersei's POV of KL over Sansa and Tyrion's POV of KL. She's much funnier and entertaining IMO.

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Hmmmmm I enjoyed Feast too even though its not a favorite of mine. But yeah I defintitely prefer Cersei's POV of KL over Sansa and Tyrion's POV of KL. She's much funnier and entertaining IMO.

Cersei's POV is probably my favourite in the books. She's just thinking the worst of everyone and everything most of the time and I found that most entertaining.

And then on the flipside I found her imprisonment and Walk of Shame really powerful to read because she's had so much stripped away (in all senses of the word)... And then even after all that she still comes out of it thinking of all the havoc she's going to wreak on those who wronged her...

Can't wait to see Cersei's S5 storyline :)

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I agree with the former, disagree with the latter. They aren't his best work. They wander too much and aren't as focused as they should be. Expansion is okay, as is world building, but Martin opted to focus on those instead of his main characters and main story, and that's problematic.


I'll give you the world building is out of control. The writing as far as itself is concerned is somewhat disorganized on a chapter level, but I adore the overarching structure.



I don't think the showrunners care much about what they are or aren't spoiling for the book readers. That's not their job. Their job is to make a good show that appeals to everyone- whether they have read the books or not. We already know they have incorporated elements of TWOW into season 5, so I don't see how they have preserved anything for the book readers.


There are some things they wouldn't want to get into yet, both from the standpoint as fruit not being ripe for show watchers to create "OMG" moments, but also out of respect for the fifteen years of what George wrote in the last two and half books. The good thing for everyone is that these two points don't conflict with each other. If they did, then hard decisions would have to be made.



I'm not talking about something like the Night's King, or forging ahead with the Sansa/LF arc, or Jojen's death. These aren't huge-huge. I'm talking about something akin to a Red Wedding moment, something built for years and years in the long game that suddenly makes your brain squirm. It's supposed to hit you like a freight train to the side. A S5 strict adaptation of AFFC/ADWD to film would not build that for show watchers or preserve that for book readers. This is one of the reasons why S5 will be so divergent from the material in several aspects.


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I hope you are right, while I do fully expect a pieces from early Winds to appear in S5 it would be great if there were never any major spoilers.


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Cersei's POV is probably my favourite in the books. She's just thinking the worst of everyone and everything most of the time and I found that most entertaining.

And then on the flipside I found her imprisonment and Walk of Shame really powerful to read because she's had so much stripped away (in all senses of the word)... And then even after all that she still comes out of it thinking of all the havoc she's going to wreak on those who wronged her...

Can't wait to see Cersei's S5 storyline :)

Yeah I love her two ADWD chapters, her first couple of feast chapters and her last feast chapter a lot. I do have some trouble re-reading her mid feast chapters though because thats when she's at her worst IMO and she tends to really get under my skin then.

Idk I don't have high hopes for her Season 5 storyline though, IMO Cersei's Feast storyline isn't an easy one to translate on screen and there's a danger that she might come across as so annoying onscreen to the point where she's unwatchable.

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There are some things they wouldn't want to get into yet, both from the standpoint as fruit not being ripe for show watchers to create "OMG" moments, but also out of respect for the fifteen years of what George wrote in the last two and half books. The good thing for everyone is that these two points don't conflict with each other. If they did, then hard decisions would have to be made.

I'm not talking about something like the Night's King, or forging ahead with the Sansa/LF arc, or Jojen's death. These aren't huge-huge. I'm talking about something akin to a Red Wedding moment, something built for years and years in the long game that suddenly makes your brain squirm. It's supposed to hit you like a freight train to the side. A S5 strict adaptation of AFFC/ADWD to film would not build that for show watchers or preserve that for book readers. This is one of the reasons why S5 will be so divergent from the material in several aspects.

I just disagree that they are doing anything to 'preserve' the story out of respect. I don't see anything of the kind.

If they do something, it's going to be because it's in the best interest of the show- not the books, the readers or the author. That's their concern, and it should be. If they decide to end the season on Jon's stabbing with nothing afterwards, then that's because it's a good cliffhanger that will have people talking until next season- not because they don't want to 'give anything away'.

Season 5 will diverge because it has to. The current structure is unfilmable. But it seems that they are going to keep all of the important things, the big moments, that matter to the overall story. So in that respect, they are not changing anything, but simply streamlining it. But if a book 6 moment works better in season 5, I have no doubt they will put it there.

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Cersei, Margery, Tommen, Mace, Qyburn and Loras are still there.

I don't remember Margery, Tommen, Mace, Qyburn and Loras's stories being particullary interesting in KL after most the main characters leave.

That why I like the new Margery , they could play this up into something interesting.

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The problem with adapting ADWD and AFFC was how GRRM has written them. Their structure is massively different than the first three books. As much as people loathe AFFC/ADWD, they're probably GRRM's best work. Had TWOW been released by now, the showrunners might have opted for a different route, placing many major things from TWOW in Season 5, but they opted to preserve TWOW for readers and maintain the overall books' structures.

Books have certain tools, and film has its own, but a straight adaptation of AFFC/ADWD to film would totally wreck havoc and create a totally different perception of the material. Show watchers would munch on unripened fruit and book readers would be flipped on their heads in spitefulness and confusion. That's the beauty of the past two books, and I look forward to seeing how they've transformed the material.

We have no evidence what-so-ever that the show runners are trying save the book readers grief. If they know the final narrative via their meetings with GRRM, and their primary concern is providing a "good" flowing television series...I doubt they really care about spoiling a book that could very well never come out due to any number of circumstances.

Their choices for the narrative for this season could very well spoil a great number of storylines.

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