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[Poll] How would you rate episode 707?

How would you rate episode 707?  

423 members have voted

  1. 1. What's your rating from 1-10, with 10 being the highest/best?

    • 1
      27
    • 2
      26
    • 3
      25
    • 4
      26
    • 5
      31
    • 6
      24
    • 7
      34
    • 8
      58
    • 9
      67
    • 10
      105


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21 hours ago, StepStark said:

If they don't know how to end this story - as they obviously don't - then Dorne is probably a very big problem, because in the original story (the books) Dorne will most probably play a very important role, which is something show lovers denied all these years, saying that "GRRM told D&D the endgame and they know what is important and what isn't". Lady Stoneheart is potentially another big problem, if she is important for the story, and I'd much sooner have trust in GRRM (who obviously finds her very important) than in D&D (who don't).

That's about importance. About pure stupidity, the wight hunt is certainly up there at the top, but many of their earlier shenanigans aren't much better: blowing up the Sept (without any consequence), Sansa marrying Ramsay, "where are my dragons", death of Mance, burning of Shireen (the last two are also pretty important for the story)...

I'm glad to finally see the criticism of the show, but it should've happened long time ago.

I think in any original three book plan Dorne would have played a minor role at best.

I'm sure we will have a number of chapters about Dorne when WOW is finally released, all part of the meandering of the plot since the start of AFFC. 

"Where are my dragons"  was heavily slated at the time and when we were four seasons in S2 was many people's least favourite season partly as a result. The reason why it mattered so much is it affected the main plot, but in the end the plot diverged and then got back to the same place.

There doesn't seem anyway back from the stupidity of this season to enable them to deliver a satisfying conclusion, that bears some resemblance to GRRM's vision. 

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2 hours ago, JagLover said:

I think in any original three book plan Dorne would have played a minor role at best.

So? The original three book plan doesn't matter. For example Theon was not supposed to have his POV chapters in the original plan, but now he has and he's one of the most important characters.

2 hours ago, JagLover said:

I'm sure we will have a number of chapters about Dorne when WOW is finally released, all part of the meandering of the plot since the start of AFFC.

There is no meandering of the plot. You don't like the plot in AFFC and ADWD - fine. I do like it for the most part. But until it's revealed what is GRRM going to do with it (in TWOW), it's impossible to say was the plot meandering or not.

2 hours ago, JagLover said:

There doesn't seem anyway back from the stupidity of this season to enable them to deliver a satisfying conclusion, that bears some resemblance to GRRM's vision. 

Completely agree. I just think that the point of no return happened earlier, in season 6.

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I like to wait a bit before I rate an episode (unless it was clearly a 10/10 or 1/10) to let it digest and such. So, after having let it sit for almost a week, I'd rate this episode a 6/10. Barely above-average. The reason it's not lower is purely due to Tyrion/Cersei convo, wight demonstration which I liked mostly, and the wall coming down. Oh, and Jaime finally climbing out of Cersei's crotch. Overall it was fairly predictable, but its lows aren't as low as some other episodes this season. 

But if I were to rate the season as a whole, it's definitely getting a 4/10. Probably the 2nd worst season of the show after S5.

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3 hours ago, StepStark said:

So? The original three book plan doesn't matter. For example Theon was not supposed to have his POV chapters in the original plan, but now he has and he's one of the most important characters.

There is no meandering of the plot. You don't like the plot in AFFC and ADWD - fine. I do like it for the most part. But until it's revealed what is GRRM going to do with it (in TWOW), it's impossible to say was the plot meandering or not.

Completely agree. I just think that the point of no return happened earlier, in season 6.

For me, it was season 5.  Once they put Sansa in the North, the Northern storylines (Winterfell and Stannis) from the books were pretty much destroyed as was Sansa's arc (not to mention LF).

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21 hours ago, Cas Stark said:

My criticism of the Umbers has nothing to do with the books.  The show set up that the Boltons married Sansa to secure their hold on the NOrth, therefore, anyone who had a male Stark would be able to usurp the usurping Boltons, because they had the last true born son of Ned Stark.  Therefore, giving Rickon to the Boltons and getting nothing in return is stupid.  It's the basic point of logic that whomever has a Stark son is going to be able to muster support from the rest of the North.  This is what the show set up.  

Let's be completely honest.  Most people don't care.  People on forums like this do because we are a lot more passionate about the books/show than 99.9% of the viewers.  Ironically I think a lot of this passion has come about because of the long waits between books.  It's the speculating of what means what that has kept us going back to the books over and over again.  And by going back over and over again we have minor characters memorised.  We know who the GreatJon is for example.  The average book reader wouldn't.  If you had only ever read the books through once and then he appeared again a lot of readers, unless obviously prompted, wouldn't even remember who he was or who the Umbers are.

So in the TV show, minor character motives are generally irrelevant and not every action has to be justified with some kind of logic.  The viewers aren't children (and even then I'd question if every motive had to be clearly defined) and I think one of the reasons GRRM has got himself into such a pickle with the books is because he seems determined to justify so many viewpoints and actions that really don't need to be justified to make the story enjoyable.

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19 hours ago, Lyanna<3Rhaegar said:

This is a show based on the books though. The motivation for a characters tv counterparts don't have to be the same but to be a decent show they have to make sense. Besides what other posters have said regarding holding the last male heir to the Winterfell, the show didn't set it up to make any sense. Yes, they could have used the Karstarks instead of the Umbers- it still wouldn't have made it necessarily a smart move but it would have given them a logical motive. There is any number of ways they could have presented a logical motive for the Umbers to hand over Rickon but they didn't , which is what people are complaining about. 

As to the "To appease book readers maybe they should have had a Karstark hand him over but what's in a name really?" 

By that logic why always let Danaerys have dragons? Just call her Arya & then Arya can have dragons. It doesn't make any sense. 

I for one am not upset when the show deviates from the books, especially now when we have no books to deviate from. I get irritated when the show plot makes no sense, is completely out of character for what that character would do, has plot holes, etc. This isn't being overly critical of the show at all IMO. 

I think you're debating apples vs oranges.

Firstly the show is based on the books.  Based is the right word.  It's not an adaptation of the books.

Secondly I'd expect a show that is based on the books to be reasonably faithful to the main plot of the books but I wouldn't expect it to be particularly faithful to minor details.  For example if they had changed the names of all the houses in the North other than Stark?  That would be fine.  The impact on the story is minimal.  If they decided to leave out Dragons when the Dragons are integral to the story?  That wouldn't be fine as the show would no longer be based on the books.

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On ‎31‎/‎08‎/‎2017 at 1:03 PM, StepStark said:

He didn't. It was confirmed that D&D wrote that scene, even though it was Martin's episode.

So we should be okay with any plot hole? LOL!

You do realize that there is a difference between Jorah accidentally seeing Tyrion in a Volantin brothel (the books) and Tyrion being appointed as ruler of Meereen until Dany's back? The former is a convenience authors probably can't avoid completely in epic stories of this scale. The later is just stupid beyond belief.

Oh, and there's this: people do meet each other in unexpected and remote places even in real life, but I've never heard of a town or a city that was handed over to a complete stranger who just came into it. Countless towns and cities throughout history found themselves suddenly without a ruler, but from what I know none of them ever appointed a total stranger like Tyrion to rule. So no, convenient things from the books and the show can't be compared in any reasonable way, mostly because what you call "things that happen conveniently" is actually utter nonsense and absurdity in the show.

Do you have a link of that confirmation?  Because I remember at the time GRRM specifically said he wrote it as lip service to fans who often asked him who'd win a fight between Bronn and the Hound.

There is nothing wrong with Jorah seeing Tyrion on a Brothel in Volantis.  Yes, the odds are pretty high.  But what is "convenient" is how often in the story it happens.  It's funny because, justifiably, people have been annoyed at all the teleporting in the latest season.  The reason people are annoyed is because Westeros is meant to be huge.  And yet despite this huge size the chance meeting that characters keep having is quite absurd.

But I am not even talking about minor things like that.  I'm talking about huge plot holes that to enjoy the story you simply have to ignore.  Most of them occur at the Wall or involve the Others.  The pacing of that part of the story is dreadful as is the convenience that no one seems to give a shit.  And the scrapped five year gap can't even be blamed for that because GRRM was writing ADWD with the 5 year gap for quite some time after ASOS before he decided to scrap it.

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39 minutes ago, Ser Gareth said:

Do you have a link of that confirmation?  Because I remember at the time GRRM specifically said he wrote it as lip service to fans who often asked him who'd win a fight between Bronn and the Hound.

He said it in the Blu-ray commentary of the episode:

http://gameofthrones.wikia.com/wiki/Blackwater

  • According to Martin's Blu-ray commentary, he didn't write the scene at the tavern before the battle between Bronn and Sandor Clegane. He enjoys this scene, but it was written by Benioff and Weiss.
45 minutes ago, Ser Gareth said:

I'm talking about huge plot holes that to enjoy the story you simply have to ignore.  Most of them occur at the Wall or involve the Others.  The pacing of that part of the story is dreadful as is the convenience that no one seems to give a shit.  And the scrapped five year gap can't even be blamed for that because GRRM was writing ADWD with the 5 year gap for quite some time after ASOS before he decided to scrap it.

What huge plot holes? LOL! Again, your sounding like someone who didn't read the books but pretends he did, and he only read summaries on internet where he also found some common complaints of readers and he's now repeating them. Because you see, in the books everything about the Others does make sense, even the timeline. It doesn't in the show, where they changed things for no reason and now they can't explain what did the Night King do all this time.

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1 hour ago, Ser Gareth said:

Let's be completely honest.  Most people don't care.  People on forums like this do because we are a lot more passionate about the books/show than 99.9% of the viewers.  Ironically I think a lot of this passion has come about because of the long waits between books.  It's the speculating of what means what that has kept us going back to the books over and over again.  And by going back over and over again we have minor characters memorised.  We know who the GreatJon is for example.  The average book reader wouldn't.  If you had only ever read the books through once and then he appeared again a lot of readers, unless obviously prompted, wouldn't even remember who he was or who the Umbers are.

So in the TV show, minor character motives are generally irrelevant and not every action has to be justified with some kind of logic.  The viewers aren't children (and even then I'd question if every motive had to be clearly defined) and I think one of the reasons GRRM has got himself into such a pickle with the books is because he seems determined to justify so many viewpoints and actions that really don't need to be justified to make the story enjoyable.

Most people don't care, but that doesn't change the fact that even in the show it has been very clearly established that there are two ways to gain power:  by killing, either on small or large scale, or by marriage alliance.  So, whether they are called the Umbers or the Smiths or the Karstarks....it has been clearly established that marriage is a key way of gaining power.  This is why Sansa is valuable.  Her brother would be even more valuable.  So, whomever had Rickon would be the de facto controller of the North, especially since the Boltons were the betrayors of the Starks and the rest of the North at the RW.  Therefore, Rickon would be worth a king's ransom for anyone who for whatever reason didn't want to rule....not a fucking pat on the back from Ramsay Bolton.  It was ridiculous.  

Now, it is my pet peeve that the show has made the Northern lords traitorous assholes, all of them.  But, they could have just had the Boltons catch Osha and Rickon on a boat or throw in a single line about how they were found....rather than set it up so that the Umbers/Smiths/Anyone is doing something that is absolutely stupid in universe.

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40 minutes ago, StepStark said:

He said it in the Blu-ray commentary of the episode:

http://gameofthrones.wikia.com/wiki/Blackwater

  • According to Martin's Blu-ray commentary, he didn't write the scene at the tavern before the battle between Bronn and Sandor Clegane. He enjoys this scene, but it was written by Benioff and Weiss.

What huge plot holes? LOL! Again, your sounding like someone who didn't read the books but pretends he did, and he only read summaries on internet where he also found some common complaints of readers and he's now repeating them. Because you see, in the books everything about the Others does make sense, even the timeline. It doesn't in the show, where they changed things for no reason and now they can't explain what did the Night King do all this time.

Debating with you is pointless because you simply accuse people of being stupid or lying when they disagree with you.  Thanks for the link.  I'll have to try and dig out the interview I saw where he talked about writing it.

As for the plot holes involving the Others?  Some may be explained further down the line but off the top of my head?

Royce, Will and Gared are only a few days ride from the Wall when the Others kill Royce.  There were a few Others that did the butchery and then Will was turned.  All this happens years before the end of ADWD.  So the Others are already that close to the Wall and yet won't launch an attack.  The counter argument to this is they are either waiting for Winter to arrive (although it has been confirmed the seasons are supernatural and therefore the Others may actually be the ones who bring the Winter) or to build up their forces by killing off as many Wildlings as possible.  If it's the former, fine.  If it's the latter then the idea is forced for convenience.

Gared somehow makes it over the Wall.  Only he'll ever know how.  Apparently this veteran of the Watch was terrified by what he saw and had some kind of PTSD.  It's a massive stretch a respected NW veteran wouldn't have gone back to Castle Black to report on what he witnessed.

Uncle Benjen goes missing and conveniently it's the two men that went missing with him that are found dead near the Wall (not surprising considering the Others have been so close to the Wall for a long time but done sweet FA about it, but slightly surprising that no living Rangers have actually spied their Wights up to this point).  But then maybe the Others are doing all they can to keep their presence a secret.  In which case they royally fucked up by allowing the two Wights to roam so close to Castle Black.  Their corpses are brought back to Castle Black where they re-animate and kill people.  At this point you'd think Mormont would be sending ravens throughout the entire world to let people know that he just survived an assassination attempt by an undead assassin.  People would certainly be likely to initially ignore it (except maybe the Mormont family?  Just fucking maybe they might care?!) but I am sure that Mormont would want to impress on everyone the severity of this and would keep sending out Ravens that those that didn't respond.  And also send out Ravens to those that DID respond but refused to help or called him a nutter.  After several Raven communications I am also pretty sure that at some point the recipient Lordling would be of the mind "Oh FFS, not another Raven.  OK already.  I'll send an envoy up to see what the fuck is going on.".  But no.  No one is even talking about it!  And speaking of envoys, surely the NW would at least send riders to the Northern holdfasts to tell them what happened if no one bothered to respond by raven?

So Mormont sends Thorne down to King's Landing with the Wight hand.  Did Thorne show this to anyone on the way?  Or anyone else at King's Landing?  Or for the sake of the plot was he just too fucking stupid and determined to show it to no one but the King?  Wouldn't Varys and/or Littlefinger find out about the hand?  Between them they seem to know everything else no matter how unlikely (that's another massive plot convenience but let's not go there!).  Tyrion acts like an idiot and his intrigue as to why Thorne would have been sent down to KL isn't there (how convenient!) so predictably the hand rots.  Tyrion chooses to ignore all of Thorne says (convenient!).  Maybe he thinks that fabled big joke Mormont has sent Thorne to KL as a lark.

Anyway, back on to Benjen's wights.  Where the fuck is Benjen anyway?  Very convenient that it's his two companions that show up dead, thus preserving the mystery of what happened to poor old Benjen (my personal hope is that he has been turned into an Other!).  But how did the two companions end up there?  I've heard several theories over the years.  Benjen planted them there to be found by his Brothers.  Obviously nonsense of course because if he had done that why not just walk up to Castle Black and tell them rather than play clue.  The Others put them there to be found and be assassins.  Again highly unlikely as if the plan was to kill the Lord Commander all that would happen is a new one would be chosen and now the realms of men know about the undead.  So the most simple explanation is the obvious one.  It's good for the story and nothing more than that.

So, dumb old Mormont decides not to heckle the realm into submission.  He'd much rather lead the already under strength watch on a ranging to find out what the Wildlings are up to and what else is out there.  And yes, he is going to lead them himself.  Interestingly he talks about wishing he'd asked the Wildlings why they burned their dead.  Which is a bit daft because I am 100% sure that the NW would already know the superstitions behind such things.  Especially as we know there is "traffic" between the NW and the Wildlings.  Maybe everyone else knew but just declined to tell Mormont.

Speaking of declining to tell anyone.  Mance Rayder, the King beyond the Wall who united the Wildlings BECAUSE of the threat of the Others (and because Eddard knew who he was, this had presumably started happening a good few years before the start of AGOT) didn't once think to himself "hang on, maybe we should send envoys to the Wall to see if they'll let us pass?!".  Or maybe form a truce?  Nope, despite apparently being a bit savvy he decides that's not the best course of action at all and does everything secret squirrel so he can approach the Wall en masse and bust through it (thus losing his protection against the Others) instead.

Anyway, Mormont's ranging does not go according to plan.  But now the NW knows the Others do exist!  Do they repeatedly send Ravens begging for help and taking no for an answer?  Do they send riders to the northern holdfasts warning all and sundry?  Do the smallfolk relentlessly talk about what they heard what is going on at the Wall (they seem to bloody know an awful lot about everything else, even if it's a bit warped through Chinese whispers!)?

Thanks to the NW sending out hundreds of ravens the realm is awash with rumour and gossip about the Wall.  The smallfolk, the lords, the ladies are all talking about it!  Oh hang on.  No.  No one gives a shit.  Not even remotely curious.  Not a single person in the entire realm.  Except for some poor sap that's learning to read.......

Which leads us to Stannis's ninjas.  No one knows the haunted forest like the free folk!  They even have an eye in the sky, presumably patrolling for miles around to ensure they don't get flanked by another Night's Watch force coming from one of the other castles.  Except they fail to spot or hear about a heavily armoured army that spends a few days marching from Eastwatch along the Wall.  As it happens the Others seem to ignore this army as well.  How lucky is that?!

 

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I almost forgot to add!  Nice of someone in Eastwatch to send a raven to Castle Black to tell them to hang on in there because Stannis has just arrived with an army!  But then that would have spoiled the surprise....

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3 hours ago, Ser Gareth said:

I think you're debating apples vs oranges.

Firstly the show is based on the books.  Based is the right word.  It's not an adaptation of the books.

Secondly I'd expect a show that is based on the books to be reasonably faithful to the main plot of the books but I wouldn't expect it to be particularly faithful to minor details.  For example if they had changed the names of all the houses in the North other than Stark?  That would be fine.  The impact on the story is minimal.  If they decided to leave out Dragons when the Dragons are integral to the story?  That wouldn't be fine as the show would no longer be based on the books.

I completely agree & maybe my example wasn't the best one. My point was it's ok to deviate from the books as long as it fits within the context of the show. 

In the show the Umbers had no motivation to had over Rickon to the Boltons, in fact they had much more motivation to keep Rickon. If the show had the Karstarks hand over Rickon as revenge that would have made more sense. Or if they would have given the Umbers reason for handing over Rickon. 

My example about the dragons just meant that a name isn't just a name. If the show had the Umbers play the same role the Umbers played but called them Karstarks that still wouldn't have made sense. Any more than having Danaerys be called Arya. In order for it to make sense whether they are called the Umbers, Karstarks, or whatever they needed a motivation for handing over Rickon. As it stands the show had the Umbers hand over Rickon for shock value. Maybe that doesn't bother some people & that is absolutely fine, but it does bother others. Pointing that out doesn't mean the person is being overly critical of the show, at least in my opinion. 

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I loved how my favorite character was paid tribute to over and over in this episode.  This episode paid homage to Ned Stark so many times.  

Cersei saying she knows Ned Stark's son will be true to his word.  

Jon saying he knows that telling the truth got his father killed but that he stayed true to himself. 

Jon and Theon's talk was partially about Ned and how he was a part of both of them.  

LF's trial, he was found guilty of betraying Ned, and then the talk between the girls on the Wall, they miss their father and they quoted him.  Sansa passed the sentence Arya swung the sword and no one diverted their eyes.  Father will know if you don't look.  

And then Bran learning his father made that sacrifice for Jon.  Betraying Robert, keeping his word to Lyanna, lying to his wife, publicly dishonoring himself when in fact what he did was the most honorable thing he could do.  

That's what I liked about this episode.  

Edited by SerJeremiahLouistark

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5 hours ago, SerJeremiahLouistark said:

I loved how my favorite character was paid tribute to over and over in this episode.  This episode paid homage to Ned Stark so many times.

Jon saying he knows that telling the truth got his father killed but that he stayed true to himself. 

Except Ned often didn't tell the truth, because he recognized it was sometimes more honorable to lie.

He didn't tell Robert about Jon being a Targaryen (hell, he didn't even tell Jon, or any of the other Starks), because it would have gotten Jon killed.

He said he was a traitor before he was executed, as he knew this was the only way to save his daughters.

The parallel the writers want to draw between Jon and Ned is based on a complete misunderstanding of Ned as a character. He knew how to play the game, he just didn't care to.
Jon, on the other hand, is incapable of playing the game, because he's an idiot.

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35 minutes ago, Vibalist said:

Except Ned often didn't tell the truth, because he recognized it was sometimes more honorable to lie.

He didn't tell Robert about Jon being a Targaryen (hell, he didn't even tell Jon, or any of the other Starks), because it would have gotten Jon killed.

He said he was a traitor before he was executed, as he knew this was the only way to save his daughters.

The parallel the writers want to draw between Jon and Ned is based on a complete misunderstanding of Ned as a character. He knew how to play the game, he just didn't care to.
Jon, on the other hand, is incapable of playing the game, because he's an idiot.

You're not wrong about Ned's willingness to tell an honourable lie or keep an important secret if needed but Ned would undoubtedly have agreed with Jon's decision not to lie to Cersei in that moment. That would not have been an honourable lie. The parallel between Jon and Ned in this situation is perfectly reasonable.

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28 minutes ago, Vibalist said:

It would have been an honourable lie. You're trying to save the world.

Not to Ned Stark it wouldn't. He would have a big problem with telling such a bald-faced lie.

It's nothing like anything Ned lied about.

"Promise me, Ned"

If he gives his word on something, he keeps to it even if it haunts him.

Edited by Dolorous Gabe

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23 hours ago, Ser Gareth said:

Debating with you is pointless because you simply accuse people of being stupid or lying when they disagree with you.  Thanks for the link.  I'll have to try and dig out the interview I saw where he talked about writing it.

As for the plot holes involving the Others?  Some may be explained further down the line but off the top of my head?

Royce, Will and Gared are only a few days ride from the Wall when the Others kill Royce.  There were a few Others that did the butchery and then Will was turned.  All this happens years before the end of ADWD.  So the Others are already that close to the Wall and yet won't launch an attack.  The counter argument to this is they are either waiting for Winter to arrive (although it has been confirmed the seasons are supernatural and therefore the Others may actually be the ones who bring the Winter) or to build up their forces by killing off as many Wildlings as possible.  If it's the former, fine.  If it's the latter then the idea is forced for convenience.

Gared somehow makes it over the Wall.  Only he'll ever know how.  Apparently this veteran of the Watch was terrified by what he saw and had some kind of PTSD.  It's a massive stretch a respected NW veteran wouldn't have gone back to Castle Black to report on what he witnessed.

Uncle Benjen goes missing and conveniently it's the two men that went missing with him that are found dead near the Wall (not surprising considering the Others have been so close to the Wall for a long time but done sweet FA about it, but slightly surprising that no living Rangers have actually spied their Wights up to this point).  But then maybe the Others are doing all they can to keep their presence a secret.  In which case they royally fucked up by allowing the two Wights to roam so close to Castle Black.  Their corpses are brought back to Castle Black where they re-animate and kill people.  At this point you'd think Mormont would be sending ravens throughout the entire world to let people know that he just survived an assassination attempt by an undead assassin.  People would certainly be likely to initially ignore it (except maybe the Mormont family?  Just fucking maybe they might care?!) but I am sure that Mormont would want to impress on everyone the severity of this and would keep sending out Ravens that those that didn't respond.  And also send out Ravens to those that DID respond but refused to help or called him a nutter.  After several Raven communications I am also pretty sure that at some point the recipient Lordling would be of the mind "Oh FFS, not another Raven.  OK already.  I'll send an envoy up to see what the fuck is going on.".  But no.  No one is even talking about it!  And speaking of envoys, surely the NW would at least send riders to the Northern holdfasts to tell them what happened if no one bothered to respond by raven?

So Mormont sends Thorne down to King's Landing with the Wight hand.  Did Thorne show this to anyone on the way?  Or anyone else at King's Landing?  Or for the sake of the plot was he just too fucking stupid and determined to show it to no one but the King?  Wouldn't Varys and/or Littlefinger find out about the hand?  Between them they seem to know everything else no matter how unlikely (that's another massive plot convenience but let's not go there!).  Tyrion acts like an idiot and his intrigue as to why Thorne would have been sent down to KL isn't there (how convenient!) so predictably the hand rots.  Tyrion chooses to ignore all of Thorne says (convenient!).  Maybe he thinks that fabled big joke Mormont has sent Thorne to KL as a lark.

Anyway, back on to Benjen's wights.  Where the fuck is Benjen anyway?  Very convenient that it's his two companions that show up dead, thus preserving the mystery of what happened to poor old Benjen (my personal hope is that he has been turned into an Other!).  But how did the two companions end up there?  I've heard several theories over the years.  Benjen planted them there to be found by his Brothers.  Obviously nonsense of course because if he had done that why not just walk up to Castle Black and tell them rather than play clue.  The Others put them there to be found and be assassins.  Again highly unlikely as if the plan was to kill the Lord Commander all that would happen is a new one would be chosen and now the realms of men know about the undead.  So the most simple explanation is the obvious one.  It's good for the story and nothing more than that.

So, dumb old Mormont decides not to heckle the realm into submission.  He'd much rather lead the already under strength watch on a ranging to find out what the Wildlings are up to and what else is out there.  And yes, he is going to lead them himself.  Interestingly he talks about wishing he'd asked the Wildlings why they burned their dead.  Which is a bit daft because I am 100% sure that the NW would already know the superstitions behind such things.  Especially as we know there is "traffic" between the NW and the Wildlings.  Maybe everyone else knew but just declined to tell Mormont.

Speaking of declining to tell anyone.  Mance Rayder, the King beyond the Wall who united the Wildlings BECAUSE of the threat of the Others (and because Eddard knew who he was, this had presumably started happening a good few years before the start of AGOT) didn't once think to himself "hang on, maybe we should send envoys to the Wall to see if they'll let us pass?!".  Or maybe form a truce?  Nope, despite apparently being a bit savvy he decides that's not the best course of action at all and does everything secret squirrel so he can approach the Wall en masse and bust through it (thus losing his protection against the Others) instead.

Anyway, Mormont's ranging does not go according to plan.  But now the NW knows the Others do exist!  Do they repeatedly send Ravens begging for help and taking no for an answer?  Do they send riders to the northern holdfasts warning all and sundry?  Do the smallfolk relentlessly talk about what they heard what is going on at the Wall (they seem to bloody know an awful lot about everything else, even if it's a bit warped through Chinese whispers!)?

Thanks to the NW sending out hundreds of ravens the realm is awash with rumour and gossip about the Wall.  The smallfolk, the lords, the ladies are all talking about it!  Oh hang on.  No.  No one gives a shit.  Not even remotely curious.  Not a single person in the entire realm.  Except for some poor sap that's learning to read.......

Which leads us to Stannis's ninjas.  No one knows the haunted forest like the free folk!  They even have an eye in the sky, presumably patrolling for miles around to ensure they don't get flanked by another Night's Watch force coming from one of the other castles.  Except they fail to spot or hear about a heavily armoured army that spends a few days marching from Eastwatch along the Wall.  As it happens the Others seem to ignore this army as well.  How lucky is that?!

 

this is pure gold.

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23 hours ago, Ser Gareth said:

As for the plot holes involving the Others?  Some may be explained further down the line but off the top of my head?

None of your points is actually a plot hole. Some are examples of GRRM's flaws (relying on surprises too much), some are just your nitpicking, some are subjective preferences, but not a single plot hole. And it's funny, because after all those comments from you that people can't separate the show from the books, it is you who doesn't seem capable of separating the two when discussing the books (maybe because you didnt actually read them?)

The thing that confuses you is that in the books The Others are never as near the Wall as in the show, and there's nothing to suggest that they're moving towards the Wall at this point. Are they waiting for something, or still gathering troops, or something else entirely, we have no idea. Because in the books we didn't get to see the Night King as in the show. What was he doing between Hardhome and the Wight Hunt is anyone's guess, but that's another problem the show created on its own.

And since you love to bring the GRRM's initial "five years gap" plan, with that in mind it's even more obvious that the Others in the books obviously aren't even near the point of invasion the Seven Kingdoms.

23 hours ago, Ser Gareth said:

Royce, Will and Gared are only a few days ride from the Wall when the Others kill Royce.

They're more than a week riding from the Wall. Not a small destination by any measure. And anyways, there's no indication that they are an army or something. For all we know, that could've been just a ranging party.

23 hours ago, Ser Gareth said:

Gared somehow makes it over the Wall.  Only he'll ever know how.  Apparently this veteran of the Watch was terrified by what he saw and had some kind of PTSD.  It's a massive stretch a respected NW veteran wouldn't have gone back to Castle Black to report on what he witnessed.

Considering how horrified and terrified everyone in the story is when seeing the undead or resurrected or similar phenomenons (Stannis' shadow babies), it's not really a stretch.

23 hours ago, Ser Gareth said:

Uncle Benjen goes missing and conveniently it's the two men that went missing with him that are found dead near the Wall (not surprising considering the Others have been so close to the Wall for a long time but done sweet FA about it, but slightly surprising that no living Rangers have actually spied their Wights up to this point).

Again, this is just your speculation, probably based on the show more than on the books. In the books we absolutely have no idea what happened with Benjen and how the two other rangers got turned.

23 hours ago, Ser Gareth said:

Their corpses are brought back to Castle Black where they re-animate and kill people.  At this point you'd think Mormont would be sending ravens throughout the entire world to let people know that he just survived an assassination attempt by an undead assassin.  People would certainly be likely to initially ignore it (except maybe the Mormont family?  Just fucking maybe they might care?!) but I am sure that Mormont would want to impress on everyone the severity of this and would keep sending out Ravens that those that didn't respond.  And also send out Ravens to those that DID respond but refused to help or called him a nutter.  After several Raven communications I am also pretty sure that at some point the recipient Lordling would be of the mind "Oh FFS, not another Raven.  OK already.  I'll send an envoy up to see what the fuck is going on.".  But no.  No one is even talking about it!

Seems like a lot of raven activity for a very dubious and vague results. Which is how Mormont was thinking, so he decided to investigate further. In hindsight it's easy to say what he should've done, but at the time he had no idea what the hell is going on and he did make one of the logical choices. Maybe not the best or the safest, but certainly not illogical or unrealistic choice. He's a commander of an armed force, not of a raven squad. And he's a proud old man. Of course he's going to try to do his job before falling into panic mode and alarming the hell out of the Seven Kingdoms.

On 9/1/2017 at 4:56 PM, Ser Gareth said:

So Mormont sends Thorne down to King's Landing with the Wight hand.  Did Thorne show this to anyone on the way?  Or anyone else at King's Landing?  Or for the sake of the plot was he just too fucking stupid and determined to show it to no one but the King?

Yeah, right. Because special envoys usually go around and show their special cargo to civilians. Are you kidding? Or you're just trying really hard to complain about everything, regardless of how legitimate the complaint may be?

On 9/1/2017 at 4:56 PM, Ser Gareth said:

Wouldn't Varys and/or Littlefinger find out about the hand?  Between them they seem to know everything else no matter how unlikely (that's another massive plot convenience but let's not go there!).

And why would they know? Once again, you're greatly misinterpreting the books, possibly because of the show confusion.

On 9/1/2017 at 4:56 PM, Ser Gareth said:

Tyrion acts like an idiot and his intrigue as to why Thorne would have been sent down to KL isn't there (how convenient!) so predictably the hand rots.  Tyrion chooses to ignore all of Thorne says (convenient!).  Maybe he thinks that fabled big joke Mormont has sent Thorne to KL as a lark.

You really didn't read the books, did you? Because that's not at all how it happens. And it's definitely not what Tyrion thinks and how he feels in that chapter.

On 9/1/2017 at 4:56 PM, Ser Gareth said:

So, dumb old Mormont decides not to heckle the realm into submission.  He'd much rather lead the already under strength watch on a ranging to find out what the Wildlings are up to and what else is out there.  And yes, he is going to lead them himself.  Interestingly he talks about wishing he'd asked the Wildlings why they burned their dead.  Which is a bit daft because I am 100% sure that the NW would already know the superstitions behind such things.  Especially as we know there is "traffic" between the NW and the Wildlings.  Maybe everyone else knew but just declined to tell Mormont.

Even if that's how it is in the books, this is just nitpicking.

On 9/1/2017 at 4:56 PM, Ser Gareth said:

Speaking of declining to tell anyone.  Mance Rayder, the King beyond the Wall who united the Wildlings BECAUSE of the threat of the Others (and because Eddard knew who he was, this had presumably started happening a good few years before the start of AGOT) didn't once think to himself "hang on, maybe we should send envoys to the Wall to see if they'll let us pass?!".  Or maybe form a truce?  Nope, despite apparently being a bit savvy he decides that's not the best course of action at all and does everything secret squirrel so he can approach the Wall en masse and bust through it (thus losing his protection against the Others) instead.

Given how strong is the animosity between the Night's Watch and the wildlings, to the point that they still hate each others' guts even at the end of ADWD and after the wildlings were allowed to enter 7K, it's hardly surprising that Mance didn't opt for the totally diplomatic way. Yeah, in hindsight he probably should have, though his plan could've worked if Stannis didn't show up with his army, which Mance couldn't predict.

And so on. The only legitimate complain is this:

On 9/1/2017 at 5:08 PM, Ser Gareth said:

I almost forgot to add!  Nice of someone in Eastwatch to send a raven to Castle Black to tell them to hang on in there because Stannis has just arrived with an army!  But then that would have spoiled the surprise....

It is silly, but on the other hand it didn't affect the plot in any way.

On the other hand, stupidities from the show are on another level. Just remember how this discussion started: by comparing the plot holes from the two mediums. And you didn't find a single plot hole, just one silliness, while on the other hand in the show wights run around carrying big chains.

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Ep. 7: I end up with an 8, although there was, as usual, some very stupid stuff in this.

KL: Watching the opening scene, my comment was: "Is this Highgarden? Looks more like Nebraska." Both turned out to be wrong.

We get a lot of reunions, which is nice enough. There are problems with this whole section, from a narrative point of view. It's a stupid idea to persuade Cersei: they don't (or shouldn't) need her, and should just be able to drac her, Qyburn, and Frankengregor, and take what there is of her army. Or just ignore her. Oh, I forgot Euron. Drac him, too, perhaps. So they don't really need a truce.

As I've commented more than once this season: everyone forgets the Sept. Odd: it still matters that the High Septon annulled Rhaegar's marriage (more on that, later), but doesn't much matter that Cersei blew up the Sept, although admittedly someone does call her "the most murderous woman in the world".

The scene is well acted; KH is generally better when warning people about undead monsters, but also decent when defending the not very wise decision to tell the truth. Some other OK dialogue such as the Hound and Franken.

Query: Didn't wights swim at Hardhome?

Tyrion's decision to see C alone is also rather stupid, although it did make for a good scene.

Final C/J scene: It's good J finally left her, but still weird that J is OK with the Sept-burning. Also, why is the IB for C? Well acted, again.

Dragonstone/Narrow Sea: (Saving final scene for last): I must confess I was moved during the scene between Jon and Theon. As for the fight between Theon and Random Obnoxious Chap (ROC), I'm not sure what the point is.

Winterfell: The courtroom scene looked impressive enough and as usual well acted. It did have a bit of the feel of being short on due process even by Westerosi standards. LF is rather sad this season and was not able be much of an evil mastermind; he could easily have put up more of a legal fight. I'd kind of hoped Hound testify on LF's betrayal rather than Bran ex machina (it does give Bran something to do, though, and he hasn't been used as much as he could have been). Sansa and Arya did succeed fooling me; I had not expected this much subtlety.(*) Shouldn't Sansa have struck the blow per Northern law? I was also moved by the Arya/Sansa final scene (forget first scene of the season, everyone else has).

Rhaegar rhevelation: Sam/Bran: It was cool when Bran announced R+L=J. But there were multiple problems:

1.Annulment. Others said much more about this; my issue is the effect on Rhaegar's character from his making his children by Elia illegitimate.
2. Going back and forth between the revelation and the D&J lovemaking is rather squick (as Anna Russell might point out, "she's his aunt, you know"), leaving aside the fact that although certainly cordial, I would hardly have called their relationship theretofore as being torrid.
3."Aegon Targaryen"? It reminds me of a poem by Dr. Seuss: "23 children and named them all Aegon". It isn't as though there were not plenty of other Targ names.

Final scene: looked pretty impressive and scary. The dragon-wight could give nightmares.

Hmmm. This was a more critical review than expected. I did enjoy watching it enormously, and found it the best this season. But issues of plot and characterisation won't go away. The effects are better than the causes.

(*)Just found out a few hours ago what almost everyone else probably already knew: Sansa and Arya weren't faking it. They cut a scene where Sansa asks Bran what's going on. So clumsy editing.

Edited by Count Balerion
Sansa and Arya weren't faking it.

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