Jump to content
GandalfOhWaitWrongSeries

People are hating this episode for the wrong reasons

Recommended Posts

On 5/9/2019 at 2:45 PM, GandalfOhWaitWrongSeries said:

Long time lurker, first time poster. I actually created an account to post this.

This episode has been getting a lot of hate. Some criticisms were certainly justified, especially about the bad writing in places. But the writing has been bad for several seasons now, so what sets S08E04 apart?

Here's my opinion: I think people are not angry about the bad writing, they're angry about the story not going in the direction they wanted:

  • Some people were hoping WW to be some kind of climate change allegory, they aren't happy about them not being the last big bad. Instead it turns out the game of thrones is the final stake.
  • Some people wanted R+L=J to have some significance in either the fight against the WW, or the fight for the IT, or both: instead, it may very well be that the only purpose of this reveal is to drive a wedge between Jon and Dany.
  • Some people wanted Jon and Dany to end up together, they're not happy about the conflict that is shaping up between them.
  • Some people hated Dany's "mad queen" theory, now it looks like we're headed in that direction.
  • etc, etc, etc

As we approach the end, many predictions/theories will be proven wrong and many hopes will be crushed. In this regard, Ep4 was pivotal (confirmation that the WW are done, mad queen Dany). I think people are disguising their anger at their own wishes/predictions not coming true as criticism of the writing. Yes, the writing is bad. But was this episode really worse than the past two or three seasons?

Great post, I strongly agree with nearly all of it.

It will be very interesting to see how much of this season will be canon in the books, but we might not know the answer to that for many years, if in fact we ever get that answer from GRRM himself..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
21 hours ago, Hodor's Dragon said:

No, it's not what has happened, it's that it has consistently been done poorly. Things are never explained.

A good symbol of the way things have gone the last two seasons is the beginning of epi 3, the battle episode. In a war movie, you always get that scene where two commanders are looking at a map, talking about what's going on, what the plan is, etc. But here, is there even a plan?

ZIP. NADA.

We open on a castle with thousands of soldiers around it. Nobody even tells us why those soldiers are out there. We already know it's something about "night king," but is he approaching Winterfell? Do we know? Do we know what direction his army is in? What have the outposts and patrols reported? Do we even have outposts and patrols?

ZIP. NADA.

The Dothraki go charging out into the darkness. What are they charging after? Has somebody reported the Night King army out there? Do they know where it is? Outposts? Patrols? Bueller? Did somebody order them to charge? WHO? Who is in command here, anyway?

ZIP. NADA.

And this kind of crucial stuff just gets left out routinely and regularly. Could George R.R. Martin have carried us smoothly from where we left off to Mad Queen Daenerys? No doubt he could have (although it would've been a fairly long journey). Have D&D done that? No they have not. Have they given us convincing reasons why J&D don't just solve everything in one of the numerous ways they could easily solve it by agreement? No they have not. Did they solve the NK with a sudden, unforeshadowed, unforeseen plot device--and I'm not talking about Arya getting the kill, that was foreshadowed fine, I'm talking about the whole army shattering and the insta-removal of the entire threat--that took 2 seconds to execute? YES THEY DID.

All the ZIP. NADA. things were mentioned in episode two:

- We had commanders discussing the battle plan over a map (this scene).

- We are also told what they're fighting against, which explains why the soldiers are outside the gates (your 2nd zip nada) and who the Dothraki are charging after (your 3rd zip nada). This is how the episode ended. And we were also told in the same episode the Night King and the undead army will be in Winterfell by the end of the day. Tormund and Edd arrive at Winterfell and tell Jon that Last Hearth and House Umber were destroyed and the dead will be at Winterfell's gates before the sun rises the next day. 

Were you actually paying attention to the episodes?

Edited by adiman83

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, adiman83 said:

All the ZIP. NADA. things were mentioned in episode two:

- We had commanders discussing the battle plan over a map (this scene).

- We are also told what they're fighting against, which explains why the soldiers are outside the gates (your 2nd zip nada) and who the Dothraki are charging after (your 3rd zip nada). This is how the episode ended. And we were also told in the same episode the Night King and the undead army will be in Winterfell by the end of the day. Tormund and Edd arrive at Winterfell and tell Jon that Last Hearth and House Umber were destroyed and the dead will be at Winterfell's gates before the sun rises the next day. 

Were you actually paying attention to the episodes?

Get outta here, nobody ever told us the tactical position of the Night King in relation to Winterfell. Of course we knew they were coming, we didn't know if they had arrived or if they had arrived where they were, what they were doing, anything like that. That was no set-up for a battle, and you wouldn't do it in the previous episode, anyway. You'd do it right before the action.

No idea what was directly in front of the castle or why the Dothraki charged in that direction, why they charged when they charged, or as I previously mentioned, who if anyone ordered them to do so and why. No idea whether anything was approaching from the sides or rear. No discussion of the disposition of forces, whether there was anybody posted anywhere other than the small area the camera covered, or why the main defenses were posted at the particular spot where they were.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/9/2019 at 12:45 PM, GandalfOhWaitWrongSeries said:

Long time lurker, first time poster. I actually created an account to post this.

This episode has been getting a lot of hate. Some criticisms were certainly justified, especially about the bad writing in places. But the writing has been bad for several seasons now, so what sets S08E04 apart?

Here's my opinion: I think people are not angry about the bad writing, they're angry about the story not going in the direction they wanted:

  • Some people were hoping WW to be some kind of climate change allegory, they aren't happy about them not being the last big bad. Instead it turns out the game of thrones is the final stake.
  • Some people wanted R+L=J to have some significance in either the fight against the WW, or the fight for the IT, or both: instead, it may very well be that the only purpose of this reveal is to drive a wedge between Jon and Dany.
  • Some people wanted Jon and Dany to end up together, they're not happy about the conflict that is shaping up between them.
  • Some people hated Dany's "mad queen" theory, now it looks like we're headed in that direction.
  • etc, etc, etc

As we approach the end, many predictions/theories will be proven wrong and many hopes will be crushed. In this regard, Ep4 was pivotal (confirmation that the WW are done, mad queen Dany). I think people are disguising their anger at their own wishes/predictions not coming true as criticism of the writing. Yes, the writing is bad. But was this episode really worse than the past two or three seasons?

I am disappointed because there was a chance here. A real chance that once we had surpassed the book material, that the writing would at least honor the spirit of the books and their characters. While I feel like this is always the case when it comes to book vs show, the difference is that this time we didn't have the books to lean on. There was a chance to do something great. Every show version is going to have differences to allow for book to tv differences. I just feel like they let the characters down. The characters that so many of us have spent so many years becoming attached too. When I read those books, I feel what they are feeling. He is such a descriptive writer that when I'm watching a bit in the show that does reflect the books, I find myself seeing the words describing the feelings of whomever is on screen. I think we were hoping for that kind of connection on the show. Is it completely fair? Maybe not. But its how I feel and why I'm so sad about the show. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, Hodor's Dragon said:

No, it's not what has happened, it's that it has consistently been done poorly. Things are never explained.

A good symbol of the way things have gone the last two seasons is the beginning of epi 3, the battle episode. In a war movie, you always get that scene where two commanders are looking at a map, talking about what's going on, what the plan is, etc. But here, is there even a plan?

ZIP. NADA.

We open on a castle with thousands of soldiers around it. Nobody even tells us why those soldiers are out there. We already know it's something about "night king," but is he approaching Winterfell? Do we know? Do we know what direction his army is in? What have the outposts and patrols reported? Do we even have outposts and patrols?

ZIP. NADA.

The Dothraki go charging out into the darkness. What are they charging after? Has somebody reported the Night King army out there? Do they know where it is? Outposts? Patrols? Bueller? Did somebody order them to charge? WHO? Who is in command here, anyway?

ZIP. NADA.

And this kind of crucial stuff just gets left out routinely and regularly. Could George R.R. Martin have carried us smoothly from where we left off to Mad Queen Daenerys? No doubt he could have (although it would've been a fairly long journey). Have D&D done that? No they have not. Have they given us convincing reasons why J&D don't just solve everything in one of the numerous ways they could easily solve it by agreement? No they have not. Did they solve the NK with a sudden, unforeshadowed, unforeseen plot device--and I'm not talking about Arya getting the kill, that was foreshadowed fine, I'm talking about the whole army shattering and the insta-removal of the entire threat--that took 2 seconds to execute? YES THEY DID.

 

 

I've seen and heard a LOT of criticism of the "tactics" and "strategy" employed by the Army of the Living at the Battle of Winterfell, but I think a few things are worth very seriously considering:

(1) WHO is the great military commander they had?  Nobody.  Jon?  Nope (not only is Jon not trained in such matters, he wasn't even a ranger, and we've seen him commit huge military blunders repeatedly before).  Dany?  Nope, no way (no training either, and without her dragons she would be pretty much nobody on "Planetos").  Tyrion?  Nope (no training, little to no experience, pulled a few tricks at the Battle of Blackwater, and that's pretty much the end of his military resume).  Grey Worm?  Nope (he's had some good moment,s but I don't recall any information that he's been trained in military tactics or strategy).  Jorah?  Nope (same as Grey Worm).   Jaime, Brienne, Tormund, Sandor, Arya?  All "Nope" (all great fighters but we have no reason to believe they have significant (if any) training or experience in tactics or strategy, even including Jaime, who spent the vast bulk of his career as a knight as a glorified bodyguard for 2 kings).  Davos???  Nope (he's not even really a knight, so far as I know.  HIs claim to fame is that he smuggled food to a city under siege, and to my knowledge has NO training or experience in military tactics or strategy).  So, who does that leave?  Quite possibly the person who maybe DID "plan" the tactics and strategy, to wit...

(2) BRAN.  It is quite possible (I said "possible") that the tactics and strategy were dictated primarily by Bran, because that's the way it had to be for the the Army of the Living to win.  Indeed, we've  been given information that Bran did in fact tell them in the broadest terms what they had to do, which was for him to be in the Godswood as bait, which caused the rest of the Army of the Living to have to fight in the open and in many ways that were clearly contrary to what would have been far better strategy (most notably, such as by heavily fortifying the exterior of Winterfell with trenches of burning wood, etc., and then holing up in Winterfell and defending that heavily fortified position).  So, we know Bran told them at least some of what had to be done,and it's also possible that he also told them more specifically what needed to be done.

Also worth noting is that Jon telling Arya (presumably) to "Go, go!" can be consistent with a belief that actually the characters were following some kind of general plan which we were not privy to.

Now, assuming for the sake of discussion that this is correct, and Bran orchestrated it all in much greater detail than we've been told, would it have been better if they had spelled all of that out for us?  Maybe, maybe not, but either way it does not prove that what we saw was rampant idiocy by the Army of the Living, but rather, might possibly have been decreed by Bran, in great detail, as being "the way it has to be."

(By the way, would it even have been possible for Bran to orchestrate it all in such great detail?  Yes, that is possible (I said "possible")  We do know that Bran's powers allow him to obtain information from the future. This was confirmed, minimally, long ago when he foresaw "the ocean" coming to Winterfell, which turned out to be the Ironborn, and way back then Bran was not nearly as powerful and experienced as he clearly is now as a  full fledged 3 Eyed Raven.) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Come on.  These people have been leading entire regions and countries for years. Varys has been part of the ruling council for all of Westeros. Tyrion and Varys planned the defense against Stannis in KL. The idea that Ned Stark's 'son' isn't trained in any battle strategy is absurd, and nevermind he's the veteran of several battles by now.  Jamie Lannister has been commanding the Lannister armies whenever we see them, and is also a renowned fighter and veteran of the previous wars .  Mormont has been part of Dany's council which has been invading and conquering the slave cities for years.  Grey Worm is a military general.  The Dothraki entire mode of existence is beating their enemies in battle. 

Can't we just admit that the 'battle strategy' of racing the Dothraki to certain death on their horses was done for the visual and not the story?  That the idea of luring the NK to the godswood wasn't effectively portrayed as part of anyone's strategy.  And the show certainly seems to be showing that Arya randomly gets the idea after she talks to Mel, not that there is any type of action plan of coordination between Bran, Jon, Arya and Theon, or anyone.

 

Edited by Cas Stark

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/9/2019 at 1:45 PM, GandalfOhWaitWrongSeries said:

Long time lurker, first time poster. I actually created an account to post this.

This episode has been getting a lot of hate. Some criticisms were certainly justified, especially about the bad writing in places. But the writing has been bad for several seasons now, so what sets S08E04 apart?

Here's my opinion: I think people are not angry about the bad writing, they're angry about the story not going in the direction they wanted:

  • Some people were hoping WW to be some kind of climate change allegory, they aren't happy about them not being the last big bad. Instead it turns out the game of thrones is the final stake.
  • Some people wanted R+L=J to have some significance in either the fight against the WW, or the fight for the IT, or both: instead, it may very well be that the only purpose of this reveal is to drive a wedge between Jon and Dany.
  • Some people wanted Jon and Dany to end up together, they're not happy about the conflict that is shaping up between them.
  • Some people hated Dany's "mad queen" theory, now it looks like we're headed in that direction.
  • etc, etc, etc

As we approach the end, many predictions/theories will be proven wrong and many hopes will be crushed. In this regard, Ep4 was pivotal (confirmation that the WW are done, mad queen Dany). I think people are disguising their anger at their own wishes/predictions not coming true as criticism of the writing. Yes, the writing is bad. But was this episode really worse than the past two or three seasons?

What made people want these things? Bad writing. 

Whole seasons were capped off by ominous shots of White Walkers or revelations about Jon's parentage. If these things weren't that important, why were they teasing us?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
On 5/9/2019 at 1:45 PM, GandalfOhWaitWrongSeries said:

 

  • Some people were hoping WW to be some kind of climate change allegory, they aren't happy about them not being the last big bad. Instead it turns out the game of thrones is the final stake.

I never thought much about it allegorically. I did think White Walkers were half of what this show is "about," fantasy-wise. Why did we start with the storyline of Ned Stark losing his head and Danny Stormborn coming into her own in Essos , as opposed to any other time in the history of planetos? I thought because magic was waking up.

White Walkers awoke and dragons were reborn around the same time. No coincidence. A hero and heroine reach maturity in parallel storylines on separate continents, destined to come together to fight the Army of the Dead. Each of them possessing an ability to ride dragons and other special characteristics. (Danny is mother of dragons and unburnt, Jon is immortal.)

Then poof! Arya falls from the sky and it's over. 

Edited by darmody

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Cron said:

I've seen and heard a LOT of criticism of the "tactics" and "strategy" employed by the Army of the Living at the Battle of Winterfell, but I think a few things are worth very seriously considering:

(1) WHO is the great military commander they had?  Nobody.  Jon?  Nope (not only is Jon not trained in such matters, he wasn't even a ranger, and we've seen him commit huge military blunders repeatedly before).  Dany?  Nope, no way (no training either, and without her dragons she would be pretty much nobody on "Planetos").  Tyrion?  Nope (no training, little to no experience, pulled a few tricks at the Battle of Blackwater, and that's pretty much the end of his military resume).  Grey Worm?  Nope (he's had some good moment,s but I don't recall any information that he's been trained in military tactics or strategy).  Jorah?  Nope (same as Grey Worm).   Jaime, Brienne, Tormund, Sandor, Arya?  All "Nope" (all great fighters but we have no reason to believe they have significant (if any) training or experience in tactics or strategy, even including Jaime, who spent the vast bulk of his career as a knight as a glorified bodyguard for 2 kings).  Davos???  Nope (he's not even really a knight, so far as I know.  HIs claim to fame is that he smuggled food to a city under siege, and to my knowledge has NO training or experience in military tactics or strategy).  So, who does that leave?  Quite possibly the person who maybe DID "plan" the tactics and strategy, to wit...

(2) BRAN.  It is quite possible (I said "possible") that the tactics and strategy were dictated primarily by Bran, because that's the way it had to be for the the Army of the Living to win.  Indeed, we've  been given information that Bran did in fact tell them in the broadest terms what they had to do, which was for him to be in the Godswood as bait, which caused the rest of the Army of the Living to have to fight in the open and in many ways that were clearly contrary to what would have been far better strategy (most notably, such as by heavily fortifying the exterior of Winterfell with trenches of burning wood, etc., and then holing up in Winterfell and defending that heavily fortified position).  So, we know Bran told them at least some of what had to be done,and it's also possible that he also told them more specifically what needed to be done.

Also worth noting is that Jon telling Arya (presumably) to "Go, go!" can be consistent with a belief that actually the characters were following some kind of general plan which we were not privy to.

Now, assuming for the sake of discussion that this is correct, and Bran orchestrated it all in much greater detail than we've been told, would it have been better if they had spelled all of that out for us?  Maybe, maybe not, but either way it does not prove that what we saw was rampant idiocy by the Army of the Living, but rather, might possibly have been decreed by Bran, in great detail, as being "the way it has to be."

(By the way, would it even have been possible for Bran to orchestrate it all in such great detail?  Yes, that is possible (I said "possible")  We do know that Bran's powers allow him to obtain information from the future. This was confirmed, minimally, long ago when he foresaw "the ocean" coming to Winterfell, which turned out to be the Ironborn, and way back then Bran was not nearly as powerful and experienced as he clearly is now as a  full fledged 3 Eyed Raven.) 

If they were going for the Bran Bait plan, why would there need to be any living humans besides Bran and Arya at Winterfell at all? It should have been those two alone in the godswood. Their strategy actually made no sense with an omniscient Bran. I

Far as battle planning experience, obvious Jon is a proven idiot. But his defense of Castle Black and his plan for the Battle of the Bastards were strong. And I have to assume he received the sort of training at Winterfell that allowed Robb to win every battle he fought with no previous experience, and for Theon to capture Winterfell on his first mission. More importantly, he has experience fighting White Walkers, at Hardhome and the Frozen Lake. 

Jorah and Jaime had battlefield experience, Jorah experience with higher-level strategy during Danny's string of victories over slave cities. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, darmody said:

Far as battle planning experience, obvious Jon is a proven idiot. But his defense of Castle Black and his plan for the Battle of the Bastards were strong. And I have to assume he received the sort of training at Winterfell that allowed Robb to win every battle he fought with no previous experience, and for Theon to capture Winterfell on his first mission. More importantly, he has experience fighting White Walkers, at Hardhome and the Frozen Lake. 

I’m confused. You start by claiming “Jon is a proven idiot.”, then proceed to explain why he’s not....:dunno:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, ShadowKitteh said:

I’m confused. You start by claiming “Jon is a proven idiot.”, then proceed to explain why he’s not....:dunno:

He's an idiot, but that's in the moment. There wasn't anything wrong with the plan for Battle of the Bastards, so long as he maintained discipline. Which he didn't, because he's dumb. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, darmody said:

If they were going for the Bran Bait plan, why would there need to be any living humans besides Bran and Arya at Winterfell at all? It should have been those two alone in the godswood. Their strategy actually made no sense with an omniscient Bran. I

Because, my speculative theory holds, "that's the way it had to be.   Under this theory, Bran SAW the future, and Episode 803 is basically what he learned needed to be done in order for the Army of the Living to win. 

Here, let's say you're Bran, you use your green-seeing power, and what you SEE is, basically, Episode 803, including the victory by the Army of the Living, including Arya crossing off the Night King with the catspaw dagger.  Okay, so you're Bran, and that's what you just greensaw, so what do you do next?  Uhh, give the dagger to Arya (which he did), tell everyone Bran has to be bait out in the Godswood, which he did, then tell everyone else, as best you can, what roles THEY all have to play, too, in general terms.

In general terms, such as "Jon and Dany have to stay by their dragons and do everything they can to counter Viserion.  Jon and Dany can make a few strafing runs over the Army of the Dead, but mostly they have to focus on Viserion to counter Viserion."  Next:  "The Dothraki need to start the battle with a headlong charge into darkness accompanied by Ghost and Jorah.  What's that, you say, Dany?  You don't think that's a good idea?  Well, maybe not, but that's the way it HAS to be, cuz that's what I saw in my vision where we won.  So, Dany, if you insist on deviating from that, don't blame me if we all get crossed off.  Any more questions?"  And so on, generally telling everyone what they had to do, even if it seemingly made little sense to us or them (as it made little sense to us and them when Bran told them he was going to use himself as bait in the Godswood.)

Oh, and this is also consistent with Theon's pointless death.  WHY did Theon die?  Why did Theon have to die?  Because "that's the way it had to be" in order for the Army of the Living to win.  Presumably, Bran KNEW Arya was about to cross off the Night King, so why didn't he just say to Theon "Hey, Theon, go hide behind that tree for about 30 seconds and this will all be over, you'll be fine, and we'll win, I guarantee it"?  Because, under this theory, Bran SAW how, where and when Theon HAD to be crossed off in order for the victory he greensaw to come to pass.

Again, if you're Bran, and you SAW Episode 803, would you dare to tell anyone to deviate from that, even if it could mean saving their life (e.g., Theon)?  For Bran to do that would have been taking an enormous risk, so he DIDN'T warn Theon and DIDN'T tell Theon to just hide behind a tree for 30 seconds, and so Theon HAD to die a pointless and meaningless death (which, in fact, Theon did; Theon's death was utterly pointless, and yet Bran LET it happen, even though it seemed very clear to me that Bran knew exactly what was about the happen to Theon)

5 hours ago, darmody said:

Far as battle planning experience, obvious Jon is a proven idiot. But his defense of Castle Black and his plan for the Battle of the Bastards were strong. And I have to assume he received the sort of training at Winterfell that allowed Robb to win every battle he fought with no previous experience, and for Theon to capture Winterfell on his first mission. More importantly, he has experience fighting White Walkers, at Hardhome and the Frozen Lake. 

Jon did okay at the Wall, but his plan for the Battle of the Bastards was a train wreck.  It's a freaking miracle he won at all, and the only reason he DID win was because the Knights of the Vale showed up at the last minute to save his bacon.

In my view, Jon's "full frontal assault in broad daylight" "strategy" for the Battle of the Bastards was simply terrible.  As i  recall, Jon's forces were heavily outnumbered and he knew it   I think he should have used his extensive knowledge of Winterfell to sneak in, open the gates, and then attack during the night, preferably taking them by surprise as much as possible. 

Or get ready to lay heavy siege, with many siege weapons.  (Oh, and some armor and a weapon for Wun Wun probably would have been a good idea, too., but that's a slightly different matter.)

There are many other possibilities as well; indeed, there are, as I recall, entire threads devoted to numerous strategies, tactics and plans that could have been used far more effectively by Jon at the BotB, but what we got instead was BotB because, as you mentioned, when it comes to military matters Jon "is a proven idiot" (your words, and I agree).

Regarding Robb, Theon and Jon possibly getting some military training growing up at Winterfell:  Maybe, I guess, a little. Certainly we've not been given that information, and if so it does not seem to have taken too well in Jon, since he has made so many blunders. 

And I don't think it was some great military training that allowed Theon to take Winterfell.  As I strongly recall, Theon was simply opportunistic, and took advantage of the fact that Winterfell was VERY underdefended, because the men had nearly all gone south with Robb. That's all.

Regarding Robb: Yes, he was a natural leader, had great instincts, and was, we are basically led to believe, a great tactician and strategist, but I don't recall ever hearing it was because of his training.  I always had the impression that Robb was just naturally good at such things, which is very plausible in some people.

5 hours ago, darmody said:

Jorah and Jaime had battlefield experience, Jorah experience with higher-level strategy during Danny's string of victories over slave cities. 

Hmmm.  No, sorry, but I really don't think so.

Jaime:  Fought in some skirmishes before Robert's Rebellion, then didn't even fight in any battles in Robert's Rebellion, but rather, spent that time...as a glorified bodyguard for the Mad King.  And then Jaime..spent about another 14 to 17 years as...a glorified bodyguard for the Drunk King.  And that's really about the extent of it.  As Jaime himself admitted (just 2 episodes ago), Robb defeated HIM at Whispering Woods, although Jaime WAS truly, ferociously, monstrous as a warrior in that battle, cuz that's what Jaime Lannister was:  An AWESOME knight, fantastic in personal combat, arguably the baddest man in Westeros before he lost his right hand, but really, militarily, he's not shown much (if anything) beyond that.  (Indeed, much as I like Jaime as a character, and I DO like his character a lot, he's really not portrayed as being all that bright.  I would say Jaime is about of average intelligence, that's all.) 

Jorah:  Sorry, I'm not seeing it.  To me, Jorah is another GREAT warrior, with little or no background, training or experience in tactics or strategy. You say he helped Dany, I believe  Can you be more specific?  Cuz really, I don't recall that.  When and where in Essos did Dany win some battle because of Jorah's planning or strategy?  Far as I recall, Dany rose to power in Essos based on deceiving people and breaking her word (most notably when she obtained the Unsullied by falsely pretending to trade one of her dragons for them, and then used the Unsullied to slaughter the people she had bought them from, leaving Jorah in shock and surprise).   

How about the 2nd (I think) city she took?  What credit does Jorah get for that? None, really, so far as I recall, that was Daario's plan to sneak in at night and open the city gates, and Jorah was just along for the ride.

And beyond that, Dany played her trump card (3 dragons) a few times, and won battles that way (such as at Meereen).

Notably, there have been good military minds in the show, but they weren't at Winterfell for 803. Tywin comes to mind, also Roose Bolton, Kevan Lannister (likely), Barristan Selmy (I have no doubt), Khal Drogo (VERY experienced), probably Jeor Mormont, probably even Robb Stark, maybe even Ned (not clear, though), plus probably some others, but they weren't available for the Battle of Winterfell.

Now, having said all that, I'm going to choose to believe that what we saw in 803 is what Bran told them HAD to happen, unless I'm given direct reason to believe otherwise.  I do this not only because I think it makes for a better story, but also because it allows me to believe 803 was not chock full of some of the worst strategy and tactics ever written or filmed..

So, to me, Bran planned and orchestrated it all.

It is known.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I'm gonna disagree with the OP hard. I will admit that a part of my initial reaction was confusion at how I felt things should be handled. But I'm over that. I can see the bullet points of the show happening in the books, but this was after I took the time to consider it and think it through, listen to other fans, etc. My problem is that I shouldn't have to fill in the blanks in my head instead of seeing it on screen.

The example I'll use is Jaime ditching Brienne. I don't ship them, but I didn't hate that they got together. I hated HOW they got together. (I mean really, that was a super lame scene and the knighting was 1000 times better because it's rooted in character interactions.) I hated how abrupt Jaime left her and that he hurt her. I'm taking what the show depicted, what D&D said, what Nikolaj said and thinking that he's going back to Cersei to be with her, not kill her (I could be wrong). That hurts somewhere deep in my soul. We left Jaime in the books having burned Cersei's letter and leaving with Brienne. I've been living with that for many, many years. Of course I have expectations. I now have a single episode to absorb this new twist. If this were the books, we'd be seeing in Jaime and Brienne's head and how they are reacting to this. Why Jaime isn't happy, why he's leaving, what he's feeling about himself. Right now all I've got is 'she's hateful and so am I'. GRRM can get to this point and have me fully on board, but D&D threw it at me and expected me to pick up the ball and run with it. 

So yeah, perhaps people are latching onto surface things to vent their anger. I'd guess it's more displacement than truly being upset at battle tactics (as an example). I couldn't have told you exactly why I hated the Jaime scene a week ago, but now I can tell you why and it's not rooted in what happened, but how. In the battle episode, I didn't feel the cost and felt robbed. I was looking for things to vent about to express how robbed I felt.

Edited by Gertrude

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/9/2019 at 9:45 PM, GandalfOhWaitWrongSeries said:

I think people are not angry about the bad writing, they're angry about the story not going in the direction they wanted

There is probably a little bit of that too, but I think there is a better explanation. In the past, casual viewers were more willing to accept bad writing because they kept thinking it was moving the plot along towards something cool.

  • "Sansa marrying Ramsay is awful and doesn't seem smart at all, but at least she's coming north, so whatever."
  • "Tyrion and Dany earning each other's trust felt rushed, but he had to become her hand for the plot, so whatever."
  • "Stannis's ending was hilariously bad, but they had to wrap up his arc to let the Starks take center stage, so whatever."
  • "Cersei being crowned queen after she blew up the Great Sept doesn't make any sense, but surely they have an epic plot line in store for her, so whatever."
  • "Arya being allowed to leave the Faceless Men after she killed the Waif was illogical, but it's cool that she's coming home, so whatever."
  • "Dany's departure from Meereen felt rushed, but at least she's finally coming to Westeros, so whatever."
  • "Jon being named King in the North when he almost lose the battle didn't make any sense, but the Long Night story is about him, he has to be in charge, so whatever."
  • "Dorne was pointless and stupid, but at least we don't have to worry about it anymore, so whatever."
  • "Jaime's redemption arc took forever to begin, but at least he's on the right track now, so whatever."
  • "Dany and Jon don't have any chemistry, I can't buy that they're in love, but they are basically the main characters, this has to happen, so whatever."
  • "Littlefinger's arc had a pathetic ending, but it's not like the character had anywhere else to go, they had to wrap his story up, so whatever."
  • "The Wight Hunt was probably the most retarded plan in the history of big budget television, but now the Night King has a dragon and broke through the Wall, so whatever... the battles are gonna be so awesome!"

Well, this is the final season and everyone was waiting for those big, juicy, strong pay-offs. The carrot on the stick of moving the plot forward doesn't work anymore... there's nowhere else for the plot to go, this is fucking it. It's a lot harder for viewers to find excuses for the bad writing, and at least for some of them I suspect those dumb plot points they swallowed in the past are coming back up like vomit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Cron said:

 

Jon did okay at the Wall, but his plan for the Battle of the Bastards was a train wreck.  It's a freaking miracle he won at all, and the only reason he DID win was because the Knights of the Vale showed up at the last minute to save his bacon.

In my view, Jon's "full frontal assault in broad daylight" "strategy" for the Battle of the Bastards was simply terrible.  As i  recall, Jon's forces were heavily outnumbered and he knew it   I think he should have used his extensive knowledge of Winterfell to sneak in, open the gates, and then attack during the night, preferably taking them by surprise as much as possible. 

Or get ready to lay heavy siege, with many siege weapons.  (Oh, and some armor and a weapon for Wun Wun probably would have been a good idea, too., but that's a slightly different matter.)

There are many other possibilities as well; indeed, there are, as I recall, entire threads devoted to numerous strategies, tactics and plans that could have been used far more effectively by Jon at the BotB, but what we got instead was BotB because, as you mentioned, when it comes to military matters Jon "is a proven idiot" (your words, and I agree).

Regarding Robb, Theon and Jon possibly getting some military training growing up at Winterfell:  Maybe, I guess, a little. Certainly we've not been given that information, and if so it does not seem to have taken too well in Jon, since he has made so many blunders. 

And I don't think it was some great military training that allowed Theon to take Winterfell.  As I strongly recall, Theon was simply opportunistic, and took advantage of the fact that Winterfell was VERY underdefended, because the men had nearly all gone south with Robb. That's all.

Regarding Robb: Yes, he was a natural leader, had great instincts, and was, we are basically led to believe, a great tactician and strategist, but I don't recall ever hearing it was because of his training.  I always had the impression that Robb was just naturally good at such things, which is very plausible in some people.

Full-frontal suicide charge was not the plan at the Battle of the Bastards. The plan was to lure Ramsay's forces into attacking their center and hitting them with a double-envelopment. Which is actually what happened, except in reverse. Jon ran into his own trap (thanks to a giant wall of corpses appearing out of thin air) because Rickon's death made him even dumber than usual.

Sneaking into Winterfell and assassinating Ramsay could've worked; I dunno. But Jon and the Wildlings were greatly outnumbered. They thought their only chance was to bring them out in the open and annihilate them. 

 

We've not been given specific information about training young males in the Stark household. But we know generally how it worked in Medieval times. Robb was raised to be Lord of Winterfell. There's no way Ned, who fought in two wars, would've kept him ignorant. And it shows, because he was a brilliant strategist and tactician, up against a formidable enemy in Tywin Lannister. Never lost a battle. 

Robb must have been a natural-born warrior, but I'm sure he was taught as well. 

Theon didn't just get lucky. The only reason Winterfell was undefended was because Theon made it that way. He staged a decoy siege at a nearby castle and drew hundreds of Stark men towards it. Otherwise, his 20 would've been slaughtered. That was entirely Theon's idea. Balon Greyjoy sent him to kill some fishermen. 

 

As for Jaime, he fought in three wars (Kingswood Rebellion, War of Five Kings, Dragon Queen Invasion) and laid siege to Riverrun, against the fearsome Blackfish. Before being captured by Robb--due to a trick that left him greatly outnumbered--Tywin said Jaime was covering himself in glory smashing the river lords. Under Randall Tarly's command, he sacked Highgarden and fought at Field of Fire II. 

Jaime hasn't acted very smart lately, but at one point his wit was sharp as a tack. Perhaps because he was always keeping up his Kingslayer persona. 

I don't know what Jorah did or said or thought, exactly. But he was the number 2 advisor to the Dragon Queen when she captured several major ancient eastern cities in a row. That has to be considered military experience. He also fought at Pike. 

Edited by darmody

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, darmody said:

Full-frontal suicide charge was not the plan at the Battle of the Bastards. The plan was to lure Ramsay's forces into attacking their center and hitting them with a double-envelopment. Which is actually what happened, except in reverse. Jon ran into his own trap (thanks to a giant wall of corpses appearing out of thin air) because Rickon's death made him even dumber than usual.

Sneaking into Winterfell and assassinating Ramsay could've worked; I dunno. But Jon and the Wildlings were greatly outnumbered. They thought their only chance was to bring them out in the open and annihilate them. 

Jon benefited enormously at the BotB from Ramsay's enormous blunder of attacking outside of Winterfell in the first place.  What did Jon do to "lure" (your word) him out?  Full frontal assault?   Tell me this, if Ramsay had NOT foolishly come out of Winterfell, what would JOn have done THEN?

Regarding the double envelopment stuff:  It doesn't matter how clever one side in a battle may be if the other side outnumbers the first side past a certain point.  What were the numbers at the BotB?  I don't recall offhand, but as I do recall Jon was very badly outnumbered, and in my opinion once that "outnumbering" reaches a certain point, trying to fight in the open field is a huge mistake (assuming the weapons technology is about equal on both sides, which I'd say it was at the BotB).

It's kind of like sports that have weight classes:  Ever wonder why they have weight classes?  Well, there's a reason, believe me, and it goes like this:  Once the difference in size and strength reaches a certain point, the little guy has no chance, no matter how skilled he is, and that's why we don't see boxing matches between a guy who weighs 135 pounds and a guy who weighs 235 pounds. 

Quote

 

We've not been given specific information about training young males in the Stark household. But we know generally how it worked in Medieval times. Robb was raised to be Lord of Winterfell. There's no way Ned, who fought in two wars, would've kept him ignorant. And it shows, because he was a brilliant strategist and tactician, up against a formidable enemy in Tywin Lannister. Never lost a battle. 

These are all good points by you, and make for good conversation (seriously), but I've never denied Robb was good at tactics and strategy.  You make a strong persuasive case that he did receive a lot of training, but I'm not sure all that would have applied to "Jon Snow," and even if it did, my points remain that (a) Whatever Jon may have been taught, it sure didn't seem to take too well, in him, and (b) Robb wasn't at the Battle of Winterfell in Episode 803 (which goes all the way back up to my point way above when I was asking WHO the great military leader in 803 was supposed to be, or who could we have expected to fill that role?  I still say, "nobody who was there"

Quote

Robb must have been a natural-born warrior, but I'm sure he was taught as well. 

Agreed.  Robb was the product of nature and nurture.

Quote

Theon didn't just get lucky. The only reason Winterfell was undefended was because Theon made it that way. He staged a decoy siege at a nearby castle and drew hundreds of Stark men towards it. Otherwise, his 20 would've been slaughtered. That was entirely Theon's idea. Balon Greyjoy sent him to kill some fishermen. 

My understanding is that even what Theon did do (as you describe) was ONLY possible because the VAST majority of fighting men in the north had gone south with Robb, which is why I called Theon opportunistic.

But hey, let me give Theon credit for what you mention.  Okay...now what?  We know he pulled one stunt, and it worked.  Well, so di Tyrion at the Battle of Blackwater, did that magically transform Tyrion into a brilliant military tactician and strategist?  No.

And even beyond that, Theon WAS extremely foolish regarding that very same issue (the taking of Winterfell), as Yara pointed out immediately when she arrived, basically telling Theon he was a fool because he had committed a very common blunder in warfare:  He took too much, too fast, and was in NO position to hold it, which is why Yara wisely DEPARTED (after which we saw how Theon's story went for him as a result of his actions, which was not pleasant).

So, no, I don't have much regard for Theon as a deep military thinker. 

Quote

 

As for Jaime, he fought in three wars (Kingswood Rebellion, War of Five Kings, Dragon Queen Invasion) and laid siege to Riverrun, against the fearsome Blackfish. Before being captured by Robb--due to a trick that left him greatly outnumbered--Tywin said Jaime was covering himself in glory smashing the river lords. Under Randall Tarly's command, he sacked Highgarden and fought at Field of Fire II. 

I believe you are conflating the concept of "great warrior" with "great military leader," but in my view Jaime was a great warrior, that's it, that's all.

You mention a number of matters in which Jaime had some involvement, but I think Jaime's activities in them were very limited and/or brief, and I'm not sure what we should be crediting Jaime for in what remains. 

Kingswood Rebellion? Far as I know, we have no reason to believe Jaime was involved in any planning, tactics or strategy there, and in fact I think it's highly unlikely that he was , since he was so young and not even a knight (for most or all of it).   

War of 5 Kings?  What did he DO regarding planning, tactics, strategy?  Far as I know, Tywin did all of that, Jaime took orders, and fought like a ferocious beast, that's all, far as I recall

Dragonqueen Invasion, you say? What credit should we giving Jaime for that, as regards planning, tactics, strategy?  None, so far as I recall.  I believe the Lannister army was returning from Highgarden, they were attacked by Dany and her armies, tried to defend themselves, and got destroyed.  What tactics, strategy or planning should we be crediting Jaime for regarding any of that?

The Siege of Riverrun?  Really?  The siege was already fully on before Jaime even arrived (not that laying siege is rocket science anyway).  Then Jaime DID do something great (taking Riverrun without bloodshed), but it was NOT because of his military tactics, strategy or planning at all.  Oh no, quite the contrary, Jaime used guile and deception:  He tricked Edmure into believing Jaime WOULD have done all the terrible things Jaime said he would do if Edmure didn't surrender Riverrun, and Edmure believed Jaime, so he gave in.  (I maintain that Jaime was bluffing Edmure, and Edmure fell for it.  I also maintain that when Jaime referenced that incident just last week to Brienne in episode 804, Jaime was lying to Brienne when he claimed that he would have done such terrible things.  Time may tell if my belief is correct, but it's also possible that we will never know for sure whether Jaime was bluffing Edmure and lied to Brienne, or not.)

Quote

Jaime hasn't acted very smart lately, but at one point his wit was sharp as a tack. Perhaps because he was always keeping up his Kingslayer persona. 

Yeah, that's another good point by you, and don't get me wrong, I do like his character (especially in the books, since he is a better man there than he has been made out to be in the show)

Quote

I don't know what Jorah did or said or thought, exactly. But he was the number 2 advisor to the Dragon Queen when she captured several major ancient eastern cities in a row. That has to be considered military experience. He also fought at Pike. 

I think you're giving Jorah WAY too much credit for being along for the ride in Essos, and i have to ask "What did Jorah actually DO to contribute to those victories?"  To my knowledge and memory, the answer is "not much."   I can't think of any military planning, tactics or strategy that Jorah contributed to the taking of those 3 cities.

And what did he learn from those experiences in Essos?  Not much that's applicable elsewhere, I think (because the things Dany did were so highly specific to those specific situations, including the fact that she had access to 3 dragons, which was nice for her, and Jorah).

But hey, even though I find these things fun to discuss, ultimately my theory is that Bran orchestrated the events of 803 anyway, and if that's true then the discussion about who was there who had what military talents for tactics and strategy becomes moot anyway.

Good conversation, far as I'm concerned, and I hope you and everyone else reading this loves 805 tonight (odds are good that I'll enjoy it, I'm a pretty easy grader when it comes to GoT, I admit)

Edited by Cron

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/9/2019 at 8:45 PM, GandalfOhWaitWrongSeries said:

Long time lurker, first time poster. I actually created an account to post this.

This episode has been getting a lot of hate. Some criticisms were certainly justified, especially about the bad writing in places. But the writing has been bad for several seasons now, so what sets S08E04 apart?

Here's my opinion: I think people are not angry about the bad writing, they're angry about the story not going in the direction they wanted:

  • Some people were hoping WW to be some kind of climate change allegory, they aren't happy about them not being the last big bad. Instead it turns out the game of thrones is the final stake.
  • Some people wanted R+L=J to have some significance in either the fight against the WW, or the fight for the IT, or both: instead, it may very well be that the only purpose of this reveal is to drive a wedge between Jon and Dany.
  • Some people wanted Jon and Dany to end up together, they're not happy about the conflict that is shaping up between them.
  • Some people hated Dany's "mad queen" theory, now it looks like we're headed in that direction.
  • etc, etc, etc

As we approach the end, many predictions/theories will be proven wrong and many hopes will be crushed. In this regard, Ep4 was pivotal (confirmation that the WW are done, mad queen Dany). I think people are disguising their anger at their own wishes/predictions not coming true as criticism of the writing. Yes, the writing is bad. But was this episode really worse than the past two or three seasons?

Good points especially on peoples disappointment being the source of criticism.

Martin actually said in an interview that the whole weather system and night king is an allegory for climate change. What fans think that should look like in conclusion may not line up with Martin's ideal. It was caused and cured by the people in the story, which is why the nk is gone.

While there are some instances of questionable writing, the core of the stories holds together well, thus far. We will see how it ends. Writing something like this is not easy. People blame bad writing when they don't like something or understand the layers of details that keep getting heaped on. It is complex in places so it is easy to lose track of and not understand. The writing is quite good except where it caves in to super simplicity or deviates from building the actual story.

Jon fits to a T a very traditional reluctant hero/king allegory that is found in literature since it began finding its way into writing. Some aspects of it are: the king is born on a hill, dies on a hill, is raised by foster parents, true birth/ identity is hidden, father was king, father dead, is natural leader that people instinctively follow, the people lift him up, wins honors, sometimes comes back from the dead, gets along with animals or mythical creatures, saved by animals, fights mythical creatures, lives in foriegn land, mother is a virgin princess, has mysterious death,  ... blah blah, the list goes on. there are other characteristics but so far Jon has fulfilled most of these qualities as did Hercules, Jesus, Moses, King Arthur, Beowulf and many others. Martin wrote Jon to fit this to the letter.

So no, Jon is not done. He will not finish in second place. It is in his character arc to become king. If he doesn't then they decided to detour from the formula. If he follows through on the formula, he will marry a princess/queen. If not Dany then his option remain dangerously limited.

As for Dany, I don't know very many detailed theories to help with her. Madness is one of the limited fates of women in power in fiction, death in childbirth is another which is overwhelingly the most popular way for a woman to die in Game of Thrones. It has been foreshadowed that Dany might be able to have a child. I think this will present a resolution to the conflict between Jon and Dany. I think it has all been set up in what we know and the conclusion has very limited possibilities.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/9/2019 at 7:45 PM, GandalfOhWaitWrongSeries said:

Long time lurker, first time poster. I actually created an account to post this.

This episode has been getting a lot of hate. Some criticisms were certainly justified, especially about the bad writing in places. But the writing has been bad for several seasons now, so what sets S08E04 apart?

Here's my opinion: I think people are not angry about the bad writing, they're angry about the story not going in the direction they wanted:

  • Some people were hoping WW to be some kind of climate change allegory, they aren't happy about them not being the last big bad. Instead it turns out the game of thrones is the final stake.
  • Some people wanted R+L=J to have some significance in either the fight against the WW, or the fight for the IT, or both: instead, it may very well be that the only purpose of this reveal is to drive a wedge between Jon and Dany.
  • Some people wanted Jon and Dany to end up together, they're not happy about the conflict that is shaping up between them.
  • Some people hated Dany's "mad queen" theory, now it looks like we're headed in that direction.
  • etc, etc, etc

As we approach the end, many predictions/theories will be proven wrong and many hopes will be crushed. In this regard, Ep4 was pivotal (confirmation that the WW are done, mad queen Dany). I think people are disguising their anger at their own wishes/predictions not coming true as criticism of the writing. Yes, the writing is bad. But was this episode really worse than the past two or three seasons?

It hasn't been any worse than the past few seasons, it's just that because your average hooting idiot used in the Game of Thrones bar reaction vines were actually looking forward to a big battle where the Night King did something cool and got beaten in a cool way. These idiots were fine saying that they loved the Emperor's New Clothes, but finally, for completely shallow reasons, they've finally woken up and said.

Oi D&D, you're naked.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, darmody said:

If they were going for the Bran Bait plan, why would there need to be any living humans besides Bran and Arya at Winterfell at all? It should have been those two alone in the godswood. Their strategy actually made no sense with an omniscient Bran. I

Far as battle planning experience, obvious Jon is a proven idiot. But his defense of Castle Black and his plan for the Battle of the Bastards were strong. And I have to assume he received the sort of training at Winterfell that allowed Robb to win every battle he fought with no previous experience, and for Theon to capture Winterfell on his first mission. More importantly, he has experience fighting White Walkers, at Hardhome and the Frozen Lake. 

Jorah and Jaime had battlefield experience, Jorah experience with higher-level strategy during Danny's string of victories over slave cities. 

That is a very good point. All I can think of is the entire north can't outrun the army of the dead. The survivors of Hard home barely made it to Craster's keep the only safe place from the dead north of the wall. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Beardy the Wildling said:

It hasn't been any worse than the past few seasons,...

That may be true, but it's setting the bar awfully low.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×