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Jabar of House Titan

Rewriting Season 5...or How You Can Make Two Good Seasons out of Feast AND Dance

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38 minutes ago, Count Balerion said:

Tom ... oh, I forget the name, chap in the BWB? He'd have to get to the Eyrie somehow. I forget if he exists in the show or not.

Tom of Sevenstreams. He is busy now at Riverrun, making songs for the Freys. I suppose waiting for Lady Stoneheart visit.

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Ah, have to either get him to the Eyrie, or find someone else. I fear to think what would happen if D&D inserted their own character here ... And we'll need Mance for Winterfell.

Maybe that Shieran chap can do a cameo.

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Posted (edited)

I would definitely stick to events in surrounding the lead up to the fighting pits, as Martin did them. He presented such a subtle hint of Dany's slide there by having her ruin all her work by flying off on Drogon and burning some 200 people with her eyes closed. Have her make gradual but realistic political progress without using her dragons, then have her be unsatisfied with it, to choose violence instead. Then have her brush off the violence with a "if I look back" character flaw. Instead of a simple triumphant moment, there should be a disturbing aspects to her dragon flight. Another Targaryen who is dragon-obsessed and chooses to rule by them is...just more of the same. Instead they made her look "special."

Edited by Rose of Red Lake

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Posted (edited)

I'm so glad you started this thread @Jabar of House Titan!

Kings Landing/Cersei 

I agree that Cersei's storyline could easily be spread over s5 and 6:

Use s5 to show more of her incompetence and how paranoid she is. I'd also keep her plot to have Margaery arrested the same as in the books (the blue bard, accused of adultery etc.) rather than the plot about Loras being arrested for being gay. That also keeps the Sparrows role more about representing the common folk and their grievances against the crown rather than being driven by their homophobia. Like you said, end s5 with her being arrested and save her interrogation, walk of shame etc. for s6. 

Dorne/Jaime

Having a Dorne storyline in season 5 and Riverlands storyline in season 6 makes sense. And I do get that there's some logic in sending a known character to introduce Dorne - if it was done well and the Riverlands plot got more space in season 6. The four way tug of war over Myrcella works, establishing Arianne as a major character who can carry her own plots in future seasons. and keeping Ellaria in-line with her book self. 

Winterfell/Theon/Ramsay's Bride

All the Northern plots are definitely the gnarliest bits (but also the most untapped potential from the books imo). I get that Jeyne Poole is such a minor character that it would have been random for her to pop up in s5.

One idea that’s been discussed before is merging Jeyne Westerling and Jeyne Poole:

For a start, have Jeyne Westerling rather than Talisa. Keep her as a fairly insignificant girl from minor noble house and her marriage to Robb is in-line with their book storyline rather than show. Cast someone who looks similar enough to Jeyne Poole/Arya – skinny, dark-haired etc.

Jeyne isn’t present for the Red Wedding and is taken hostage by the Boltons to be married off to Ramsay as fake!Arya.

Few recognise her because all of Robb’s supporters who were down south to meet were massacred; like Jeyne Poole few would care about her because she’s from a minor house and her family has betrayed her so she’s easy for the Boltons to control. They also feed her lines about the Northeners blaming her for Robb’s downfall (whether true or not) so she believes even revealing her identity as Robb’s wife wouldn’t help.

She’s someone who will know about the North, the Starks and Arya specifically from spending time with Robb – though obviously her knowledge is patchy.

This also gives her a significant relationship with Theon and brings the Theon/Robb relationship to the forefront – Robb slept with her (kicking off his downfall) because he heard about Theon killing Bran and Rickon. She’s sure as hell going to have some words for Theon.

Theon is wracked with guilt and grief over Robb’s death, and Jeyne is someone who also loved Robb and a connection to him. He also has to witness her being abused by Ramsay and knows it’s also indirectly his fault. Theon ultimately saving her, is a way to redeem himself and ‘make up’ to Robb in some way by saving his wife.

Meanwhile, the benefit of her being fake!Arya is you can keep the book plot of Jon angsting over his little sister and wrestling with his vows vs saving her, linking the Northern plots together more. 

 

The real issue is mapping out the Northern timeline with exactly how Winterfell gets retaken and juggling all the plots, with Jon/The Wall; Stannis and his forces; Davos finding Rickon; and whether Sansa and the Vale forces come into play. With extra time there could even be options of Arya hearing about fake!Ayra/Jon trying to save her, returning to Westeros, gathering her wolf pack in the Riverlands and also coming to help. 

Edited by AryaUnderfoot33

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That all sounds good. The Sparrow plot in the show wasn't too bad, compared to some stuff the show has done; but the changes to it from the show (apart from some of the High Sparrow's dialogue) were for the worse. Cersei is actually stupider in the show, because in the books one of her motives for arming the Faith was the crown debt, but in the show it's just "revenge" against Margaery.

Show-Margaery is interesting, but perhaps a little too cynical.

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On 6/29/2019 at 2:59 PM, FictionIsntReal said:

Kudos for mapping all this out, @Jabar of House Titan. My guess is that after their experience with Ser Pounce, D&D don't want to rely on any cats onscreen. I expect they'd also regard many of your season 5 breakpoints as lacking oomph. My recollection is that they had Marillion be the singer Joffrey had mutilated in season 1, but another singer could take his place at the Eyrie.

Okay, so Arya doesn't skinchange into alley cats, she skinchanges into stray dogs. Happy?

Season 5 breakpoints lacking oomph?! What do you mean lol?! My season 5 breakpoints have:

  • Jon: the Battle of Hardhome, the big Mance Rayder reveal
  • Cersei: Cersei's arrest, Margaery's arrest
  • Arya: kills Meryn Trant, blindness
  • Sansa: Sansa's first political victory (however small)
  • Bran: coming face-to-face with the Three-Eyed Raven, finds out that he was a Targaryen
  • Daenerys: agrees to marry a man she doesn't love out of sheer desperation so she can save Meereen
  • Dorne: the big Martell conspiracy reveal, the beginning of Dornish mysteries
  • Jaime: returns to King's Landing with Myrcella and Trystane after the wedding
  • Free Cities: Aegon and co. are in Volantis waiting for Daenerys
  • Tyrion: sold into slavery
  • Iron Islands: Euron Greyjoy becomes king, thereby threatening the Lannisters and Stannis both

And I haven't even done Brienne and the Stannis/Melisandre/Davos/Theon/the Boltons conglomerate yet.

On 6/27/2019 at 5:19 PM, YoungGriff89 said:

My solution for Sansa in season five was to start with continuing the thread Roose Bolton started in season four:  "Tywin Lannister has helped me win the north but he won't lift a finger to help me keep it."  The Bolton family now resides in Winterfell and the northerners aren't playing ball while they know there are at least two surviving Starks.  Roose Bolton discusses this with Ramsay, and Ramsay comes up with the idea to cut Myranda's hair and pass her off as Arya Stark.  Roose Bolton thinks it's the dumbest idea he's ever heard until Theon comes before him and swears to vouch for her.  The plan seemingly works since most of the northern lords don't remember Arya very well.  Ramsay marries F/Arya around the end of episode two.  Sansa finds out about this through Littlefinger and demands to go to Winterfell.  Littlefinger protests because the Boltons might be smart enough to check and see how he has a niece since he has no known siblings, but ultimately goes along with it.

Sansa and F/Arya meet.  Sansa plays along when she meets her to Littlefinger's surprise, but Roose Bolton isn't buying Sansa's act.  Sansa also catches Ramsay's eye.  Around episode six, Littlefinger is called away from Winterfell to ride to King's Landing, Sansa volunteers to stay in Winterfell against Littlefinger's wishes.  Littlefinger gives Sansa a direwolf seal that he claims belonged to Ned.  In this same episode, Smalljon Umber shows up at the wall by invitation of Ser Alliser.  He demands that Jon stop aiding the wildlings or else he won't keep harboring Rickon.  Jon is conflicted but refuses to cave to Smalljon's threat.  Jon publicly threatens Ser Alliser to suffer the same fate as Janos Slynt if he continues to try and undermine his lordship.  Jon sets out for Hardhome shortly after.  In episode seven, Ramsay tries to rape Sansa, but she uses the threat of Littlefinger's influence and the knowledge of the affair getting out to all of the northern's lords against him.  In episode eight Sansa uses Littlefinger's seal to send ravens to all the northern houses and Riverrun, telling them Arya Stark is a fake.  

In episode nine, before Stannis's arrival Roose comes to Sansa and informs her that Littlefinger has returned.  She goes down to the courtyard in Winterfell where Smalljon is waiting with Rickon, and some hounds are eating the dead ravens.  Rickon yells "Sansa!" and Myranda reveals herself behind Sansa, knife in hand, bow on her back.  Ramsay hasn't yet returned from sabotaging Stannis.  Roose orders Myranda to dispose of Sansa.  Roose takes Rickon away.  Followed by Theon, Myranda's plan is to throw Sansa into the courtyard.  Theon intervenes like what happened in the actual show, and he helps Sansa escape.  



I'd probably still have Sansa link up with Brienne and head to the wall, that would probably be the season five finale scene. In season six she'd try to convince Jon to take back Winterfell, but he'd refuse.  She'd lie to him and tell him Arya was dead at the hands of the Boltons to get him to act.  Once Winterfell was taken in season six or early season seven, Littlefinger would ask Sansa if she wanted to clear up Arya's fate to Jon, she'd ultimately stay committed to the lie that Arya was dead.  She'd contemplate telling Jon, but before she could Jon would admit Rickon's death (I'd probably still have him die at the hands of the Boltons) was his fault since he helped the wildlings, this would start her on her path against Jon.  When Arya showed back up in season seven, Sansa would use this against Littlefinger and convince everyone he coerced her into lying about Arya's fate because he wanted to marry Sansa and have no contenders for the line of succession in Winterfell.   

Nah.

The whole point of this thread was to address @Caligula_K3 and @FictionIsntReal of whether or not Feast and Dance could be split up into two 10-episodes seasons instead of squeezed into one.

You're trying to fix all of Sansa's season 5 story. Which is fine (it's great actually) but that's not the point. Because if I did it your way and had Sansa in Winterfell all of season 5 and then escaping in the finale, then where is she going to go in season 6? Castle Black? Until Jon is resurrected or roused from his coma or whatever, Castle Black is just as inhospitably hostile as Winterfell is...if not more. She can't spend most of season 6 travelling with Brienne in the North. It's too cold to be wandering around for too long and Brienne is only one person: she can't take on twenty outriders singlehandedly.

On 6/27/2019 at 4:48 PM, Count Balerion said:

Maybe the Ice Battle can be done in season 6? I guess the problem w/ that is that the first episode shouldn't be a Battle, so it would have to be put off. Then, in the actual show they didn't get rid of Rammy until season 6.

(Still just throwing out random thoughts.)

I'll get to that lol

On 6/29/2019 at 11:46 PM, AryaUnderfoot33 said:

I'm so glad you started this thread @Jabar of House Titan!

Kings Landing/Cersei 

I agree that Cersei's storyline could easily be spread over s5 and 6:

Use s5 to show more of her incompetence and how paranoid she is. I'd also keep her plot to have Margaery arrested the same as in the books (the blue bard, accused of adultery etc.) rather than the plot about Loras being arrested for being gay. That also keeps the Sparrows role more about representing the common folk and their grievances against the crown rather than being driven by their homophobia. Like you said, end s5 with her being arrested and save her interrogation, walk of shame etc. for s6. 

Dorne/Jaime

Having a Dorne storyline in season 5 and Riverlands storyline in season 6 makes sense. And I do get that there's some logic in sending a known character to introduce Dorne - if it was done well and the Riverlands plot got more space in season 6. The four way tug of war over Myrcella works, establishing Arianne as a major character who can carry her own plots in future seasons. and keeping Ellaria in-line with her book self. 

Winterfell/Theon/Ramsay's Bride

All the Northern plots are definitely the gnarliest bits (but also the most untapped potential from the books imo). I get that Jeyne Poole is such a minor character that it would have been random for her to pop up in s5.

One idea that’s been discussed before is merging Jeyne Westerling and Jeyne Poole:

For a start, have Jeyne Westerling rather than Talisa. Keep her as a fairly insignificant girl from minor noble house and her marriage to Robb is in-line with their book storyline rather than show. Cast someone who looks similar enough to Jeyne Poole/Arya – skinny, dark-haired etc.

Jeyne isn’t present for the Red Wedding and is taken hostage by the Boltons to be married off to Ramsay as fake!Arya.

Few recognise her because all of Robb’s supporters who were down south to meet were massacred; like Jeyne Poole few would care about her because she’s from a minor house and her family has betrayed her so she’s easy for the Boltons to control. They also feed her lines about the Northeners blaming her for Robb’s downfall (whether true or not) so she believes even revealing her identity as Robb’s wife wouldn’t help.

She’s someone who will know about the North, the Starks and Arya specifically from spending time with Robb – though obviously her knowledge is patchy.

This also gives her a significant relationship with Theon and brings the Theon/Robb relationship to the forefront – Robb slept with her (kicking off his downfall) because he heard about Theon killing Bran and Rickon. She’s sure as hell going to have some words for Theon.

Theon is wracked with guilt and grief over Robb’s death, and Jeyne is someone who also loved Robb and a connection to him. He also has to witness her being abused by Ramsay and knows it’s also indirectly his fault. Theon ultimately saving her, is a way to redeem himself and ‘make up’ to Robb in some way by saving his wife.

Meanwhile, the benefit of her being fake!Arya is you can keep the book plot of Jon angsting over his little sister and wrestling with his vows vs saving her, linking the Northern plots together more. 

The real issue is mapping out the Northern timeline with exactly how Winterfell gets retaken and juggling all the plots, with Jon/The Wall; Stannis and his forces; Davos finding Rickon; and whether Sansa and the Vale forces come into play. With extra time there could even be options of Arya hearing about fake!Ayra/Jon trying to save her, returning to Westeros, gathering her wolf pack in the Riverlands and also coming to help. 

While I do agree it makes more sense for Margaery to be arrested on the accusation of adultery, I don't have a problem with the Faith Militant being homophobic.

Yes, the Sparrows are more about protecting the interests of the common people and holding the nobility accountable. However, the Faith is going to want to police the actions (sexual and otherwise) of everyone, particularly the nobility. They might not care too much about a semi-closeted lesbian seamstress but they are definitely going to go after the sexually active commonly-understood-to-be-lesbian lady-in-waiting. Why? The reason you just said: grievances against the crown.

With Cersei imprisoned and Jaime touring the Riverlands in season 6, I would want to really focus in on how the Faith Militant is both a good and a bad thing. Good thing because it checks the power of the highborn while protecting the rights of the lowborn. Bad thing because no one can really check the power of the Sparrows and the Sparrows are trying to micromanage people's lives under the threat of punishment. Who watches the watchmen?

Describing the Northern plotlines as gnarly is incredible. LOL I love you for that. Yes, they are gnarly. Probably the longest gnarly stretch of the entire book series to date (Dream of Spring will change that though)

The only problem with taking Jeyne Westerling and putting her in the North as Jeyne Poole is the fact that Jeyne Westerling has a family. And a pretty important family. Jaime has a nice back-and-forth with Jeyne's mother, Sybell Westerling. GRRM isn't finished with that story but it is known that Sybell Westerling (maiden name Spicer) is from Essos and the Spicer family has only been part of the nobility for two generations...if that. Since Sybell Westerling was working so closely with Tywin Lannister, Roose Bolton and Walder Frey, it is heavily implied and widely speculated that maybe the nature of Robb and Jeyne's night together and consequent marriage wasn't what we were led to believe in the Catelyn POV.

Some people say that Sybell used Jeyne as a patsy to bewitch Robb with a love potion. Some people say that Robb was raped by Jeyne (whether her mother put her up to it or not) and he was privately blackmailed by the Westerlings into marrying Jeyne. Some say Robb did nothing untoward, has no real memory of the incident and only took action because of what he was told he did. The last one makes sense because Sybell Westerling is completely unconcerned about Jeyne's fertility and marriageability.

Mothers arm-twisting their sons into doing evil isn't very common in modern fiction but it's super rare for a mother involve her daughter into something terrible. For example: the opera The Magic Flute. The most famous aria from that opera (the one with all the crazy Mariah Carey-type high notes) is sung by a female villain, a mother. The song is basically about a mother ordering her daughter to go kill her husband...or else.

GRRM could be bringing back something old and retrofitting it into something new.

On 6/29/2019 at 8:10 PM, Rose of Red Lake said:

I would definitely stick to events in surrounding the lead up to the fighting pits, as Martin did them. He presented such a subtle hint of Dany's slide there by having her ruin all her work by flying off on Drogon and burning some 200 people with her eyes closed. Have her make gradual but realistic political progress without using her dragons, then have her be unsatisfied with it, to choose violence instead. Then have her brush off the violence with a "if I look back" character flaw. Instead of a simple triumphant moment, there should be a disturbing aspects to her dragon flight. Another Targaryen who is dragon-obsessed and chooses to rule by them is...just more of the same. Instead they made her look "special." 

How is flying off on Drogon ruining her work? Do you realize that if Daenerys didn't leave on Drogon right then and there, both Daenerys and Drogon would have died.

When Drogon showed up and people started attacking Drogon, Daenerys was presented with a choice: Meereen or Drogon. She chose Drogon. And she flew off because it was clear that it wasn't safe there. Remember, Daenerys initially tried to go back to Meereen but Drogon wouldn't take her and she couldn't walk back.

Burning some 200 people with her eyes closed? That fits your argument better. But I don't think it's damning. Robb knowingly sent ~2000 people to their deaths at the Battle of the Fords and asked Edmure to basically gamble with the lives of his farm-dwelling smallfolk for the sake of his strategy against Tywin. We know that those were good, wise decisions strategically. Why can't Daenerys' decision be a strategically good decision?

And frankly, Daenerys is special. GRRM all but says that in the writing. Daenerys has special magical visions and dreams. And then every character who hears of or meets Daenerys sees that she is special. She's special.

 

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On 6/27/2019 at 4:28 PM, Stannis is the man....nis said:

Yeah I didn’t include Lady Dustin because I’m trying to be realistic with the budget retrains the show has. Also for the same reason and I probably didn’t make this clear but the Battle of Ice wasn’t included because the Hardhome battle was to serve as the battle for the season.

The show has no budget restraints.

On 6/27/2019 at 9:09 AM, Beardy the Wildling said:

*Insert feasible, faithful plots that while imperfect are still leagues above two alleged professionals*

Unfortunately for you, I have D&D on the line right now, and they have their rebuttals ready.

Imperfect? Excuse me. What's imperfect about them? I think I did pretty damn good. Maybe not an A+ but an A is what I did.

I'll be back later tonight to finish the Brienne arc and the Northern conglomerate with Stannis, Davos, Theon and the Boltons.

Then I'll do a quick summary post that will point to the places that all these plotlines will go in season 7.

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I appreciate and applaud the effort of this thread and the time spent thinking these things through, but I still think that this reconstruction would have led to deeply unsatisfying, lethargically paced seasons that would have completely killed the show's momentum. An entire season leading to Tyrion becoming a slave or Sansa touring the Eyrie or Dany deciding to marry Hizdar would not make good TV; imo, it did not make good reading. It also doesn't deal with some of the major problems I think a literal adaptation of Feast/Dance would bring up; how do you devote time to all these disparate plotlines and character arcs in a way that doesn't just make your show into a sprawling mess, where either every character gets two minutes of screen time an episode or you drop characters for multiple episodes on end? To give a comparison, season 2 of Game of Thrones suffered from this problem: once all the characters spread out, the writers had trouble crafting individual episodes, and many episodes devolved into watching 10 seperate plotlines play out without thematic unity, two to four minutes at a time.  This was a problem they learned how to deal with in seasons 3-6, but which would have exploded again with a faithful adaptation of Feast and Dance.

It also doesn't deal with the problem that you now have to still wrap up the show and write the end of act 2/all of act 3 of the series, except now you have twenty more balls to juggle of minor characters and plotlines that you have to figure out in 2-3 years. If people think the ending of the series was a mess and rushed as it stands now, I guarantee that a version following a faithful adaption of Feast and Dance would be much, much, worse.

Also, to say that this show had no budget restraints is just... not true. They got the largest budget in television history., approximately 90-100 million per season from season 6 onwards. That does not mean it was unlimited, whether in season 5 or season 8. Actors are expensive. Every new named character who appears in an episode is a lot of money; this is -probably one of the reasons why Seasons 7-8 are fewer episodes, allowing the budget to be concentrated. Beyond that, it's another logistical hurdle to figure out in what is already the most complex TV production there is. There's a reason that every TV/movie adaptation of novels combines characters, including TV adaptations that the author(s) themselves write for and plot out (like the Expanse TV show).    

Again, I appreciate the effort you put into this, but one thing I think fans trying to do rewrites of the TV series don't understand is that producing a  TV show is a completely different game than writing a novel; I'm not saying one is easier or harder, but every decision on a TV show involves many logistical variables and people that a decision in a novel does not. There's a reason GRRM says he partially started writing Game of Thrones because he wanted to do something that was unfilmable. The fact that we got as faithful an adaptation as we did is pretty miraculous.

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Jabar of House Titan said:

How is flying off on Drogon ruining her work? Do you realize that if Daenerys didn't leave on Drogon right then and there, both Daenerys and Drogon would have died.

Because she had achieved peace, albeit tenuous, before that. Now it looks like she brought them all there to kill them, like Daario suggested. I know that's not true but she played a game of poor public perception and ruined her ability to win people to her side. Think about how it looks to them. She's sitting there, dragon shows up, then she's on his back, burning people alive. 

Quote

Do you realize that if Daenerys didn't leave on Drogon right then and there, both Daenerys and Drogon would have died.

Drogon should have died for her sake and everyone else's. Dragons are the downfall of House Targaryen. They had too much power. 

Quote

When Drogon showed up and people started attacking Drogon, Daenerys was presented with a choice: Meereen or Drogon. She chose Drogon. 

Precisely. She chose her dragons over her people. She chose dragons when the whole time she was able to rule without them (and doing relatively well). The author is sending the message that ruling with nuclear weapons is bad. 

Quote

And she flew off because it was clear that it wasn't safe there. 

She decided to jump on his back because she had the delusional thought that she is fire made flesh, thinking she is fireproof. There's really no evidence that she flew off to protect the people or anything like that. She screamed when Drogon got hurt; she sympathizes with him more.

Quote

Remember, Daenerys initially tried to go back to Meereen but Drogon wouldn't take her and she couldn't walk back.

This was the first step toward her downfall. A Targaryen riding dragons again is a bad sign because, to put it bluntly, this House sucks. The show's ending is clear about that. 

Quote

Burning some 200 people with her eyes closed? That fits your argument better. But I don't think it's damning. Robb knowingly sent ~2000 people to their deaths at the Battle of the Fords and asked Edmure to basically gamble with the lives of his farm-dwelling smallfolk for the sake of his strategy against Tywin. We know that those were good, wise decisions strategically. Why can't Daenerys' decision be a strategically good decision?

You're missing what's disturbing about it. She remembers seeing people being trampled and burned alive, but she pushes it out of her mind. Robb didn't think, "oh it was all worth it because of the glory of war, which is really fun" She thinks it was all worth it and that she would do it all again because flying dragons was really amazing. This was an important dark turn in her character. 

Quote

And frankly, Daenerys is special. GRRM all but says that in the writing. Daenerys has special magical visions and dreams. And then every character who hears of or meets Daenerys sees that she is special. She's special.

She thinks she's special but the author is always ready to undercut that as I argue in this post. Bran is special too but he doesn't let that get to him. Her ability to hatch dragons (which is mostly the result of luck because she has no idea what she's doing with that magic) only feeds her ego and creates the classic Targaryen haughty attitude that makes most of them assholes. Dany may think she's special but that won't stop a knife in the heart. Valar morghulis.

Edited by Rose of Red Lake

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18 hours ago, Jabar of House Titan said:

The show has no budget restraints.

Imperfect? Excuse me. What's imperfect about them? I think I did pretty damn good. Maybe not an A+ but an A is what I did.

I'll be back later tonight to finish the Brienne arc and the Northern conglomerate with Stannis, Davos, Theon and the Boltons.

Then I'll do a quick summary post that will point to the places that all these plotlines will go in season 7.

Well, I think that even if it's a better-handled, politically-nuanced variant, a rape-revenge plot (in this case, the search for not-Marillion the serial rapist - Marillion inexplicably teleported to King's Landing to mock Bobby B's death and lost his tongue in the show!) is somewhat trite. Infinitely better than the shit we got, and it would still be good, just I think rape-revenge is a tired old trope. Audiences may bite though, so I would say imperfect, but still better than D&D.

Also, having Jon be killed for trying to defend the Watch kinda undermines what makes the coup of the books sympathetic; Jon was stabbed in the books for overtly getting the Night's Watch involved in politics (responding to Ramsay's Pink Letter by declaring he'll march south with a wildling army to save his sister) after already getting covertly involved as-is (using Mance Rayder as a spy in Winterfell to kidnap 'Arya' and take her to the Watch). He'd broken his vows of neutrality tons of times over, and the Watch stabbed him for that. Not racism, not after the let-through and subsequent damage was done, but legitimately for the neutrality of the Watch. I would argue a more politically savvy Jon would be a better adaptation of the books (which would work well for later adaptations of him outnavigating Dany politically).

I still think Jaime going to Dorne ain't ideal. I understand it from an audience retention perspective, but being honest, the early seasons didn't succeed by being conventional and talking down to the audience. In fact, the worst parts of the early seasons (sexposition) are the result of exactly that (AUDIENCES AREN'T PATIENT ENOUGH TO LISTEN TO WORLDBUILDING ON ITS OWN, WE NEED SEX GUYS).

I still think it's a good proposition, and a million times better than D&D's 'creative vision' (creativity may vary). I just think there are still at times considerable deviation from the themes of the originals that don't work so well. I'm not saying my suggestions are perfect either, fuck it, your suggestions may be perfect to many people, just not everyone.

Still, I give it an A+ and a merit for obvious thought having been put in, something the version that made it to TV screens somehow failed.

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Posted (edited)
On 7/2/2019 at 11:48 AM, Jabar of House Titan said:

Nah.

The whole point of this thread was to address @Caligula_K3 and @FictionIsntReal of whether or not Feast and Dance could be split up into two 10-episodes seasons instead of squeezed into one.

You're trying to fix all of Sansa's season 5 story. Which is fine (it's great actually) but that's not the point. Because if I did it your way and had Sansa in Winterfell all of season 5 and then escaping in the finale, then where is she going to go in season 6? Castle Black? Until Jon is resurrected or roused from his coma or whatever, Castle Black is just as inhospitably hostile as Winterfell is...if not more. She can't spend most of season 6 travelling with Brienne in the North. It's too cold to be wandering around for too long and Brienne is only one person: she can't take on twenty outriders singlehandedly.

I was going to go more in depth in adapting Feast and Dance eventually.  I need to actually re-read them first.  Sansa was an easy one to start with.  What I described is certainly what I would do with her, meeting Brienne in the finale and all.  She’d probably wind up sitting the first episode or two of season 6 out.  Not like she did anything overly useful in the first few episodes anyway.  I’m pretty sure she got to the wall in episode four.  The way I would adapt the two books would probably begin with season 4 really, in this theoretical re-write can I stipulate that seasons 1-3 happened and adapt season 4 onward? 

 

Edited by YoungGriff89
Going to repost the reworked Season Four separately.

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On 7/2/2019 at 11:48 AM, Jabar of House Titan said:

Okay, so Arya doesn't skinchange into alley cats, she skinchanges into stray dogs. Happy?

Happier :)

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Season 5 breakpoints lacking oomph?! What do you mean lol?! My season 5 breakpoints have:

  • Jon: the Battle of Hardhome, the big Mance Rayder reveal

Hardhome was visually impressive, but it's not a place we'd been to before or cared about. Mance Rayder also wasn't quite important enough for us to care much about him being alive.

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  • Cersei: Cersei's arrest, Margaery's arrest
  • Arya: kills Meryn Trant, blindness

Those work better, and are also closer to the approach the show took.

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  • Bran: coming face-to-face with the Three-Eyed Raven, finds out that he was a Targaryen

Bran met the Three Eyed Raven at the end of season 4. Delaying that meeting means a lot of time over which Bran doesn't get to do much (which is partly why the show invented the season 4 subplot with the mutineers at Craster's). Discovering that he's a Targaryen wouldn't have much oomph, as Bran has little personal connection to them, particularly going back to Bloodraven's era. Maybe if he made some reference to being aware of Daenerys that audience would get a flicker of his connection to a main character, but I still don't know what Daenerys' relevance would be to Bloodraven's plans.

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  • Daenerys: agrees to marry a man she doesn't love out of sheer desperation so she can save Meereen

An unwanted marriage for political reasons sounds like Tyrion marrying Sansa in season 3. That had two of our main characters, but still was way lower in oomph than the Red Wedding (which is why the latter served as climax for the season).

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  • Dorne: the big Martell conspiracy reveal, the beginning of Dornish mysteries

Again since we've only just met Doran, we don't care as much about him as the original main characters. And the conspiracy to marry Arianne to Viserys Targaryen is irrelevant since he died in season 1. Quentyn Martell, who wasn't in the show, isn't as interesting as other Dornish characters and we have little reason to think he'll succeed in marrying Dany since you've got her marrying Hizdahr as her season 5 breakpoint (plus she's already got Daario has her preferred man).

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  • Jaime: returns to King's Landing with Myrcella and Trystane after the wedding

Practically no oomph at all. Although you can't expect it for every plotline, so the occassional gimme is allowed.

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  • Free Cities: Aegon and co. are in Volantis waiting for Daenerys

The audience had never met him before, so they're not going to be nearly invested in him as the main characters. He's disconnected from the main cast, and "waiting" is boring.

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  • Tyrion: sold into slavery

That could potentially work, although I suppose it's the being captured and made a slave in the first place that has the impact rather than being sold.

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  • Iron Islands: Euron Greyjoy becomes king, thereby threatening the Lannisters and Stannis both

So far the ironborn had only really been able to cause problems for Robb because he left Winterfell mostly undefended, and even they were rather quickly defeated in a siege by remaining northern forces. Euron is another new character the audience is less invested in.

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And I haven't even done Brienne and the Stannis/Melisandre/Davos/Theon/the Boltons conglomerate yet.

The more characters and the more plotlines, the more divided the audience's attention.

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While I do agree it makes more sense for Margaery to be arrested on the accusation of adultery, I don't have a problem with the Faith Militant being homophobic.

Being homophobic is one thing, claiming such jurisdiction is another. The Faith went after Margaery & Cersei because marriage vows are sworn under the Seven, and breaking them is treasonous for a queen. Perhaps if Loras had been in a purely political marriage, or accepted the kingsguard oath of celibacy, he could be punished for that.

On 7/2/2019 at 1:33 PM, Rose of Red Lake said:

Drogon should have died for her sake and everyone else's. Dragons are the downfall of House Targaryen. They had too much power.

Their house's downfall came some time AFTER they lost all their dragons.

Edited by FictionIsntReal

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Posted (edited)

 

On 7/4/2019 at 12:36 AM, Beardy the Wildling said:

I just think there are still at times considerable deviation from the themes of the originals that don't work so well. I'm not saying my suggestions are perfect either, fuck it, your suggestions may be perfect to many people, just not everyone.

 

On 7/3/2019 at 6:31 AM, Caligula_K3 said:

I appreciate and applaud the effort of this thread and the time spent thinking these things through, but I still think that this reconstruction would have led to deeply unsatisfying, lethargically paced seasons that would have completely killed the show's momentum. An entire season leading to Tyrion becoming a slave or Sansa touring the Eyrie or Dany deciding to marry Hizdar would not make good TV; imo, it did not make good reading. 

 

Agree that AFFC and ADoD doesn't easily lend itself to good TV. GRRM could merrily put aside half the characters for a whole book and return to them - GoT couldn't just ditch half the cast and storylines for a year. Some stuff definitely had to be cut and streamlined. 

So I get D&D's difficulties - they did a bad job at choosing what to adapt (I'll never know why they cut the resistance against the Boltons/Freys in the North/Riverlands etc.) 

I wonder if an alternative to making Feast & Dance into two seasons, is making s5 and s6 slightly say 12 episodes each and reducing book plotlines. 

Imo on stuff to cut:

  • "Aegon" and Jon C - comes so out of the blue and is such a sprawling mess - plus it reduces the impact of Jon's identity. (and per a lot of @FictionIsntReal's points about lack of investment in Aegon & the Martells).
  •  In connection to that, the Dornish plot could be streamlined, though not ditched completely. 
  • Reduce the Iron Islands cast - you could cut Aeron and Victorian, and make Yara/Asha the main viewpoint character. 

There's some capacity to introduce new plots/characters, but not to the extent the books did. What the show did right imo, was introduce Dorne in s5 and then Euron/The Iron Islands plot in s6, so it was paced out. (The problem was the writing itself). 

For s6 Iron Islands:

Yara, we'd know well enough to bump up to a main character by this point - spend time establishing Euron as a proper threat through her eyes. In the first half of the season, him taking over rule of the Iron Islands, raiding/attacking the Reach and hints of his more mystical connections to Valyria, warging etc.

If you merge him with Victorian, he could head off to Essos in the second half of the season to court Daenerys or possibly steal her dragons.

Note: I know it hasn't been confirmed to happen in the books, but Euron managing to steal Viserion and/or Rhaegal, before Dany makes it back to Meereen would be a hell of a cliffhanger to s6. Also solves the problem of Dany being way so powerful when she arrives in Westeros and they had to bend over backwards to justify why she didn't defeat Cersei in like, one day. She'd come chasing Euron to get dragons back, as well as to take Westeros. 

For s5 Dorne:

This one is hard. But if you've cut Aegon, then you could streamline the Dornish plot and characters. 

Best move would be remove Quentyn & Arya Oakheart and make Arianne the show's main Dornish character - taking on aspects of book!Quentyn's role and show!Ellaria/Sand Snakes; but reduce her Queenmaker plot.   

The real issue is whether you send an existing main character to join that story. Jaime's character would is much better served heading off to the Riverlands for his book plot - could he go to Dorne for the first half of the season and the Riverlands for the second?

  • Arianne could be introduced with Oberyn & Ellaria visiting KL in s4 so audiences know who she is earlier. 
  • In s5,  Doran sends Arianne to accompany Myrcella back to KL against Arianne's protests and suggestions to make Myrcella queen. (And Sand Snakes wanting to kill her).
  • Myrcella is killed due a bungled rescue attempt from Cersei who doesn't believe the Dornish won't kill her. Arianne escpaes but sees Myrcella killed.
  • End s5 with Arianne confronting Doran about not standing up to the Lannisters (and suspicions he's putting her aside for Trystane in this version) and Doran reveals his 'fire, blood' plan, and says he was going to marry Arianne to Viserys, but now wants to ally with Daenerys.
  • Arianne heads off to Meereen to meet Dany  

But make sure that plot doesn't take up too much screentime & sets. E.g. Don't need the Water Gardens or much of a Dornish set. Cersei's bungled rescue attempt could be in say, an inn on-route while Arianne and Myrcella are travelling to KL. Ellaria & Sand Snakes are only needed in one episode near the beginning when everyone argues about what to do with Myrcella. Idk, still not totally sure it works though.

 

Edited by AryaUnderfoot33

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On 7/6/2019 at 12:55 PM, FictionIsntReal said:

Their house's downfall came some time AFTER they lost all their dragons

They lost their dragons because they almost blew up their own dynasty with a civil war that was hundreds of times more destructive because of said dragons. Having all those weapons and firepower made them volatile and uncreative. They just threw threats around and smashed shit because they had superior war machines. 

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On 7/29/2019 at 11:16 AM, Rose of Red Lake said:

They lost their dragons because they almost blew up their own dynasty with a civil war that was hundreds of times more destructive because of said dragons. Having all those weapons and firepower made them volatile and uncreative. They just threw threats around and smashed shit because they had superior war machines. 

You mean like the United States of America?

On 7/28/2019 at 1:34 AM, AryaUnderfoot33 said:

 

 

Agree that AFFC and ADoD doesn't easily lend itself to good TV. GRRM could merrily put aside half the characters for a whole book and return to them - GoT couldn't just ditch half the cast and storylines for a year. Some stuff definitely had to be cut and streamlined. 

So I get D&D's difficulties - they did a bad job at choosing what to adapt (I'll never know why they cut the resistance against the Boltons/Freys in the North/Riverlands etc.) 

I wonder if an alternative to making Feast & Dance into two seasons, is making s5 and s6 slightly say 12 episodes each and reducing book plotlines. 

Imo on stuff to cut:

  • "Aegon" and Jon C - comes so out of the blue and is such a sprawling mess - plus it reduces the impact of Jon's identity. (and per a lot of @FictionIsntReal's points about lack of investment in Aegon & the Martells).
  •  In connection to that, the Dornish plot could be streamlined, though not ditched completely. 
  • Reduce the Iron Islands cast - you could cut Aeron and Victorian, and make Yara/Asha the main viewpoint character. 

There's some capacity to introduce new plots/characters, but not to the extent the books did. What the show did right imo, was introduce Dorne in s5 and then Euron/The Iron Islands plot in s6, so it was paced out. (The problem was the writing itself). 

For s6 Iron Islands:

Yara, we'd know well enough to bump up to a main character by this point - spend time establishing Euron as a proper threat through her eyes. In the first half of the season, him taking over rule of the Iron Islands, raiding/attacking the Reach and hints of his more mystical connections to Valyria, warging etc.

If you merge him with Victorian, he could head off to Essos in the second half of the season to court Daenerys or possibly steal her dragons.

Note: I know it hasn't been confirmed to happen in the books, but Euron managing to steal Viserion and/or Rhaegal, before Dany makes it back to Meereen would be a hell of a cliffhanger to s6. Also solves the problem of Dany being way so powerful when she arrives in Westeros and they had to bend over backwards to justify why she didn't defeat Cersei in like, one day. She'd come chasing Euron to get dragons back, as well as to take Westeros. 

For s5 Dorne:

This one is hard. But if you've cut Aegon, then you could streamline the Dornish plot and characters. 

Best move would be remove Quentyn & Arya Oakheart and make Arianne the show's main Dornish character - taking on aspects of book!Quentyn's role and show!Ellaria/Sand Snakes; but reduce her Queenmaker plot.   

The real issue is whether you send an existing main character to join that story. Jaime's character would is much better served heading off to the Riverlands for his book plot - could he go to Dorne for the first half of the season and the Riverlands for the second?

  • Arianne could be introduced with Oberyn & Ellaria visiting KL in s4 so audiences know who she is earlier. 
  • In s5,  Doran sends Arianne to accompany Myrcella back to KL against Arianne's protests and suggestions to make Myrcella queen. (And Sand Snakes wanting to kill her).
  • Myrcella is killed due a bungled rescue attempt from Cersei who doesn't believe the Dornish won't kill her. Arianne escpaes but sees Myrcella killed.
  • End s5 with Arianne confronting Doran about not standing up to the Lannisters (and suspicions he's putting her aside for Trystane in this version) and Doran reveals his 'fire, blood' plan, and says he was going to marry Arianne to Viserys, but now wants to ally with Daenerys.
  • Arianne heads off to Meereen to meet Dany  

But make sure that plot doesn't take up too much screentime & sets. E.g. Don't need the Water Gardens or much of a Dornish set. Cersei's bungled rescue attempt could be in say, an inn on-route while Arianne and Myrcella are travelling to KL. Ellaria & Sand Snakes are only needed in one episode near the beginning when everyone argues about what to do with Myrcella. Idk, still not totally sure it works though.

 

I disagree completely.

Cutting Aegon was a massive mistake that the show never recovered from.

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After thinking about it for a few weeks and for the most part re-reading AFFC and ADWD, here's how I would approach season five.  I'm also now taking the ending and certain plot points we got into consideration because if I knew as much as D&D did when they adapted it, I'd have to.  I think the northern lords siding with the Boltons in the end against Stannis is going to happen in Winds of Winter and I think the Sand Snakes being up to something behind Doran's back is also an interpretation of the way the plot will work in one of the next two books.  The pacing is based on seven 10 episode seasons.  I think to properly adapt A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons into one-ish season, changes would have to be made to season four.  D&D didn't make adapting those two books any easier with some of the decisions they made in season four.  In this thought experiment, seasons 1-3 would have already happened but season four would have happened differently in the following ways:

The biggest change would be the pacing, Season four would be much faster paced.  With the exception of the battle at the wall and Daenerys taking Meereen, all of the material from A Storm of Swords would be wrapped up by the end of episode seven.  Changes to season four's plot points:

Spoiler

 

The Eyrie

Ser Dontos would live through sneaking Sansa out of King’s Landing, and he’d accompany her to The Eyrie.  He survives because Sansa begs Littlefinger not to kill him.  When Littlefinger kills Lysa, he would pin it on Dontos.  Littlefinger would convince Sansa to side with him and rat Dontos out for a murder he didn’t commit.  Littlefinger and Sansa would leave the Eyrie pretty much the same as what happened in the show.

King’s Landing

Loras would join the kingsguard to get out of marrying Cersei, he and Tommen would become good friends while Margaery was also seducing Tommen.  After Tywin’s death in episode seven, Tommen would try to name Mace Tyrell hand of the king.  Cersei would refuse and demand he name Kevan Lannister as Hand instead.  Jaime would tell Tyrion about Tysha so they still leave each other on bad terms.  Cersei and Jaime’s relationship would also fall to pieces, the finale moment for Jaime would be telling his squire what to write in the Book of the Kingsguard (taken from Jaime’s last chapter in the book “Saved by Brienne of Tarth”) and Cersei’s finale moment would be burning down the old tower of the hand.

Arianne Martell would accompany Oberyn and Ellaria to King’s Landing.  Ellaria and Oberyn would be established as married.  Arianne would seduce Ser Merryn Trant, and after Oberyn’s death he’d accompany her back to Dorne to relieve Ser Arys.  Cersei receives a threatening letter from Oberyn’s bastard daughters, Obara and Nymeria.  Cersei has Ellaria write a letter back informing them that she’ll remain in King’s Landing as a “guest” of the royal family.  She’d more or less take on Taena Merryweather’s role.

Dragonstone

The iron bank would come to Stannis offering him support against the Lannisters if he took on the realm’s debts and expedited payment after overthrowing them.  Davos convinces him to take the offer because they’ll need all the help they can get heading north.

The Riverlands

Brienne would still fight and mortally wound the Hound.  Arya’s content would be more or less the same just sped up a little bit.  She’d get on the boat to Braavos in episode seven, she’d sit episodes eight and nine out, and then she’d arrive in Braavos in the finale.  The coin would get her into the House of the Black and White with minimal challenge.

The North

The Boltons would be having a hard time with the Iron Born in the north.  I would make it a point to have Roose Bolton tell Ramsey that Yara is a much smarter and much more strategic opponent than the other Greyjoys (Victarion, Balon, and Euron).  She’d still have a failed rescue attempt, much earlier than in episode six and she’d be presumed dead by Ramsey Bolton afterward.  Ramsey would use Theon to get the Iron Born out of the North.  Balon would be waiting for Theon at Moat Cailin, and Theon would push him out of a window, killing him.  Roose Bolton would legitimize Ramsey, but leave him to rule the Dreadfort while Roose moved into Winterfell as punishment for letting Yara Greyjoy escape.

The Iron Islands

Euron and Victarion would play minor roles in episodes eight, nine, and ten.  The Kingsmoot would take place in episode ten, Yara would be crowned Queen of the Iron Islands.

The Wall

The mutineer story would never happen.  Locke would still be sent by Roose Bolton to find information about Bran and Rickon.  He’d win Jon Snow’s trust by saying he was a Bolton Bannerman who was stripped of his lands and titles for standing up to Roose Bolton after the Stark betrayal.  The wall would be under wildling siege for most of the season.  Ygritte would still die during the biggest battle between the watch and the wildlings.  In the finale, the lord commander elections would be held, Jon would win fair and square the way he did in the show.  He’d offer Stannis an opportunity to set up camp at the wall so long as he provides men to help rebuild the castles along the wall, and Jon offers the wildlings peace if they help rebuild the villages they destroyed in the Gift.

Across the Narrow Sea

Daenerys’s conquest of Meereen would be complicated by rebellious behavior from the dragons.  She’d also be worried because the Masters of Meereen know things about her and her advisors that they shouldn’t know.  She wrestles with having a spy in her midst and dragons that she’s losing control of.  Ben Plumm and a gang of mercenaries he commands would help Dany take Meereen.  Ben Plumm would help them in exchange for being named leader of Yunkai.  She’d still crucify the masters and have a change of heart after Hizdar Zo Loraq tells her what a colossally bad message that sent to the entire region.  Once the dragons start to obey her more, Daario suggests she put a leash on them as an act of goodwill but she would decide against it.

Tyrion would arrive in Pentos in the finale, Varys and Illyrio would introduce him to Aegon VI.

 

Now onto season five:

Episode one -

Spoiler

 

Cold open:  Cersei’s Valonqar prophecy.  This is later revealed to have been something Bran saw.

Cersei receives a raven from Dorne.  It’s an update from Merryn Trant about how Myrcella is doing.  Cersei discusses bringing her back to King’s Landing with Kevan.  Ellaria is present.

Loras is in a secret relationship with a kingsguard brother named Arys.  There’s a little exposition about Loras’s birthmark being shaped like Dorne because it’s where Arys just came from.

In Dorne, Merryn Trant is having an affair with Arianne Martell against his kings guard vows.  She’s got him wrapped around her finger.  The two of them go to the Water Gardens where Myrcella is spending time with Trystane.  Areo Hotah and Doran know something is up between Trant and Arianne but they don’t say anything.  Arianne receives a letter from a mysterious child.

Jaime is stripped of his white cloak and sent by Cersei to the Riverlands to end the siege.  Jaime tries to take Bronn, Cersei makes him the new royal executioner.  Jaime takes the newly demoted Ser Ilyn instead.

Stannis returns to the wall after unsuccessfully rallying the northern lords to his cause.  The northern lords won’t stop him from passing through to go to king’s landing, but they won’t give him any aid in launching an attack on King’s Landing either.  Stannis offers Jon legitimization and release from his night’s watch vows in exchange for just asking the northern lords himself.

Stannis sends Davos beyond the wall to look for Bran Stark before he marches his army forward.  Davos is wary of leaving but Melisandre convinces Stannis it’s for the best.  Tormund volunteers to go with Davos.  Locke overhears this conversation before leaving the wall and joins them as well.

Roose Bolton surprises Ramsey at the Dreadfort.  Tells him about the threat Stannis poses if the Bolton’s can’t win northern lords over.  As long as he’s been at the wall he’s no doubt allied with Jon Snow.  If he finds the missing Starks before they do the northerners might rebel.  Ramsey really wants to please Roose Bolton.

The sons of the Harpy start causing trouble in Meereen after Daenerys has the unsullied tear down the bronze harpy.  An unsullied is killed in a brothel and his body is delivered to Dany along with the Harpy vandalism.  Hizdar is still trying to convince Dany to open the fighting pits.

Sansa and Baelish are in the Vale meeting some potential suitor for Sansa while she’s posing as Baelish’s legitimized bastard, Alayne.  None of the suitors are being seriously considered.

Arya works in the House of the Black and White cleaning bodies.  She still whispers the names of the people on her list.  The Kindly man takes her possessions from her, but she finds a way to hide Needle.

Maester Aemon’s health declines, Sam sees this and is troubled by it.  Stannis’s maester fills in for Maester Aemon but Sam knows he won’t be filling in too much longer.

Tyrion plays Cyvasse with Aegon and discusses what their plans might be.  He suggests Aegon not go to meet Daenerys as a beggar.  With Tywin Lannister gone, King’s Landing is ripe for any competent leader with a large enough army to take right out from under her and he has a better claim than Dany.  Jorah Mormont arrives in Pentos.

 

Episode Two -

Spoiler

 

Jaime trains with Ilyn Payne on the road to Riverrun.

Jon refuses Stannis’s offer.  Stannis prepares ravens to send to the other castles to get all of his men back.  Sam asks Jon to go to the Citadel and train to be a maester.  Jon allows it, Sam departs along with Maester Aemon who’s too sick to perform his duties.  Before Sam leaves, he tells Jon about the mountain of dragon glass under Dragonstone.

In Meereen, protests in the street are criticizing Dany’s dragons and the trouble they’re causing around the city.  A man comes to Daenerys with the charred bones of his child.  Dany chains up Viserion and Rhaegal.

Arya receives more exposition from the Kindly man, he tells her about the blind boy and how his other senses compensate for his lack of sight.

Tyrion, Jorah, Aegon, set out for Meereen.  Varys leaves Pentos as well but doesn’t tell Tyrion where he’s going.

Bran goes to Winterfell in the past and sees that Hodor used to be able to talk.

Ramsey introduces “Arya” Stark to Roose Bolton (Myranda with her hair cut).  He tells him about the plan to marry her to win over the northern lords.  Roose Bolton thinks it’s a stupid plan that will never work but Ramsey makes Theon beg Roose to go along with it so he can pretend to be Theon Greyjoy one more time.

Cersei is taunted by Margaery before she marries Tommen.  Cersei wants to cause problems for her.

A raven arrives in Dorne, Cersei has asked that Trystane and Myrcella be brought to King’s Landing due to Trystane’s new spot on the small council.  Arianne plots with Ser Merryn about crowning Myrcella in accordance with Dornish law.  He reluctantly agrees to support the plot.  Arianne sends a raven to the Sand Snakes.

Euron and Victarion arrive in Volantis accompanied by a red priestess.

 

Episode Three-

Spoiler

 

Arya begins playing the liar’s game with the Waif.

Ramsey weds Myranda in a small ceremony.  The northern lords in attendance believe it is really Arya after Theon vouches for her.  Half of the northern lords didn’t make it.

Brienne and Podrick arrive…where ever in the Vale Sansa was staying to meet with a suitor and she refuses to go along with them.  The lord there receives a raven from Winterfell.  Littlefinger tells Sansa about Ramsey’s marriage to Arya and Sansa demands to go see for herself.  Littlefinger advises against it but they set off for Winterfell anyway.

Sam stops in Molestown to say goodbye to Gilly, but seeing how shitty of a time she’s having there he takes her with him.  Maester Aemon approves.

Melisandre tries to seduce Jon, he refuses her.

The three eyed Raven shows Bran the Tower of Joy fight.  Bran calls for Ned and Ned looks around as if he heard them, the three eyed raven is obviously worried.

Daenerys is hooking up with Daario.  A man from Yunkai named Cleon comes to Meereen to announce to Daenerys that he’s taken over Yunkai and killed Ben Plumm.  He has reinstated the slave trade.  If she wishes to stop him she can bring her dragons and stop him.  This angers her.

Cersei hears about problems the High Sparrow is causing and goes to meet him.  It’s clear she has ideas about how he could be useful.

Tyrion, Jorah, Aegon, arrive in Volantis.  The Iron Born recognize Jorah and Tyrion and a fight breaks out in a tavern.  The Iron Born take Tyrion and Aegon prisoner.  Jorah is wounded and left in Volantis.

Cersei is drunk when she meets with the Iron Bank.  She disrespects their representative and gives him no good answers on what the crown will do about its debts.  She goes to Kevan after this meeting and asks him to send word to the mines.  She wants the miners to double their mining efforts, they can skim some off the top if they like.  Kevan informs her that the mines ran dry six months earlier.

Oberyn’s oldest two daughters, Obara and Nymeria arrive at Sunspear.  For simplicity sake they’re both Ellaria’s daughters.  They try to convince Doran to support the plot to press Myrcella’s claim to the iron throne, making Trystane king of the seven kingdoms once they wed but he considers it to be foolish.  As far as Doran lets on, he sees this as only a plot by the sand snakes but he suspects Arianne’s involvement.

Jaime arrives in the Riverlands and sees how incompetent the Frey’s are.  They’ve done nothing to rebuild the Riverlands after the war of the five kings.

 

Episode Four -

Spoiler

 

Arya learns about the Black Cup.  She asks a lot of questions about what the Acolytes do in the vaults.   The kindly man has her follow them down into the Hall of Faces where we as the audience see it for the first time.

Cersei’s alcoholism gets worse.  She rapes Ellaria.  The second time it happens Ellaria begins to treat Cersei as if she wants it.  Cersei drunkenly wants to know why Arys wanted to leave Dorne so bad and Ellaria says it’s because Arianne took a liking to him that he was unable to reciprocate.  Ellaria sends ravens to someone.

The iron born reveal to Tyrion and Aegon that they’re heading to see Queen Daenerys to propose that she marry Victarion.  Aegon pretty much repeats what Tyrion told him and tries to convince Victarion to back him and help him take King’s Landing out from under Cersei.  Victarion doesn’t bite, but Euron does.  Euron Greyjoy doesn’t care about ruling the seven kingdoms, he just wants to raid and pillage with impunity.  And possibly a dragon.

Jorah finds a ship heading to Meereen, the Windblown.  After he joins the crew he befriends a Westerosi crew member called Frog.

Jon appoints Janos Slynt as the new commander of one of the castles along the wall.  He refuses and Jon beheads him.

Jaime sees how not threatened the Blackfish is by the prospect of them killing Edmure.

Daenerys sends Barristan, Grey Worm, and a small army of mercenaries to Yunkai to kill Cleon in secret and reclaim Yunkai.  They’re ambushed by the Sons of the Harpy on the road, Barristan and Grey Worm are both seriously wounded but survive.

Lancel joins the faith militant after Cersei reinstates it.

Brienne and Podrick follow Sansa and Littlefinger north.

Arianne meets one on one with Myrcella about not forgetting Dorne when she goes back to King’s Landing.  She plants the seed in her mind that if she’d only been Dornish she would have been made queen when Joffrey died.  Trystane would have been her king.

The Boltons host several of the northern lords who weren’t at the wedding at Winterfell.  Roose Bolton promises them something they’ve always wanted but the Starks were unable to deliver:  Northern independence from the seven kingdoms.  The Manderly’s, the Glover’s, and the Mormonts are the only families not cheering this idea on.

 

Episode Five -

Spoiler

 

Sansa and Baelish arrive in Winterfell.  Sansa knows Myranda isn’t Arya but plays along.  Ramsey has eyes for Sansa, Roose Bolton also doesn’t seem convinced by the charade.

Stannis receives a raven from the Bolton’s telling him the northern houses will not allow him to march his army through the north for King’s Landing.  Stannis tells Jon he’s marching to take Winterfell back from the traitorous Boltons and it’s his last chance to take the Stark name and join him.  Jon refuses a second time.

Davos, Tormund, and Locke return to the wall and tell Jon that the Wildlings at Hardhome want to come south of the wall but don’t believe the claim that Jon will let them through.  They also need boats because traveling through the haunted forest is more dangerous and they have children.  Jon announces that he’s going to go as Lord Commander and tell them himself, Alliser opposes the move.

Daenerys threatens the masters of Meereen with the dragons.  She wants to know who set Barristan and Grey Worm up, she doesn’t find out.  Hizdahr Zo Loraq comes to Daenerys asking her hand in marriage and she, to his surprise accepts.

The three eyed Raven shows Bran Rhaegar and Robert’s fight at the Ruby Ford.  Bran wants to know why he’s being shown so many specific things:  Cersei as a child, Winterfell in the past, Ser Arthur Dayne’s death, Rhaegar’s death, etc.  The Three eyed Raven gives no real answers.

Littlefinger meets with Roose Bolton one on one:  He justifies the visit to Winterfell by saying it’s part of a scheme to plead a case for Northern Independence to King Tommen.  Roose Bolton is skeptical, but if he succeeds then he’ll be king of a kingdom as big as the rest of the seven kingdoms.  Roose Bolton tells Baelish that if he succeeds then Fat Walda will have an unfortunate accident while out riding and Littlefinger will not only be allied with a king as powerful as the one who sits the iron throne, he’d also have that king as suitor for his bastard.

The Silence arrives in Valyria.  The red priestess has them cut Aegon’s hand and let the blood drip into the water to mark the path to what it is they’re looking for.  His blood is also needed to make it work.

The Windblown catches up to the Silence in the ruins of Valyria.  The iron born are scouring the ruins looking for something.  Jorah sneaks aboard the ship and frees Tyrion.  Tyrion warns Jorah about Aegon’s cunning and shaky alliance that he’s formed with Euron.  A fight breaks out between Jorah and Victorian, Jorah and Tyrion escape in the confusion once stonemen attack.  After Jorah saves Tyrion by pulling him out of the water, the two of them slip away.  Euron tells Victorian not to pursue because they’ve found what they need:  the Dragon horn.

Loras and Arys are imprisoned by the Faith Militant due to their violation of the Kingsguard vows.  Cersei loans Bronn to the faith militant to torture a confession about Margaery’s infidelities out of Loras.  Bronn gets the confession, Margaery is arrested.

Varys arrives in Dorne.  He walks through streets of Sunspear and it’s obvious the Dornish have a lot of hostility for outsiders.  Varys meets with Arianne Martell about Myrcella’s future.  He gives her the idea to simply have one of the sand snakes poison Tommen.  The throne will pass to Myrcella, once she marries she’ll be queen and her husband will be king.

Jaime meets with the Blackfish and can’t convince him to lift the siege.  Jaime considers accepting Tully’s offer of settling this with single combat.

Arya continues to train with the Waif.  It’s obvious the Waif is toying with Arya and lying to her about various things.

 

Episode Six -

Spoiler

 

The Kindly man sends Arya out into Braavos to pose as Cat of the Canals.

Lady Olenna arrives in King’s Landing for Loras and Margaery’s shams of trials.  She threatens Cersei and the high sparrow but neither threat lands.

The Umbers send a small raiding party to the village in the Gift where Mance Rayder lives.  Smalljon demands that the wildlings go back, but Mance refuses because the Gift belongs to the wall and they live there under the authority of the Lord Commander of the Night’s watch.

Sansa tells Littlefinger she wishes to stay in Winterfell when he goes to the capital.  Littlefinger would make it clear to Sansa that petitioning Cersei is a waste of time and that he has no intention of coming back to the north once he goes south.  He gives in to her demands and allows her to stay despite this.

Littlefinger finds Brienne and Podrick on the road.  He tells them he knew they followed them and thanks them for being so loyal to Catelyn.  He tells them Sansa has gone to the Riverlands to stay with her uncle Edmure now that the Blackfish has surrendered the castle.  Brienne says she hadn’t heard this news but believes it.

Jorah and Tyrion get away from the ruins of Valyria.  Jorah discovers he has the greyscale, Tyrion tells Jorah what happened to his father.

Jaime trains with Ilyn Payne and decides he can’t face the Blackfish.  He goes back to Riverrun to tell him personally he’s declining the offer.  The blackfish laughs at him.

Tyrion is taken by a group of slave traders led by Ben Plumm.  He’s not dead after all.  He refuses to take Ser Jorah due to the greyscale.  He also won’t take Tyrion anywhere near Meereen because Daenerys thinks he’s dead and he wants it to stay that way.

Doran sits down with Trystane and tells him it’s precedent for princes and princesses of Dorne to relinquish their place in the Dornish line of succession when they sit in the small council of the seven kingdoms or are appointed master of something.  If something were to happen to his brother and sister he wouldn’t be able to claim Sunspear and Dominion over Dorn.  Trystane tells him he loves Myrcella and will do it for her.

Ben Plumm figures out Tyrion is Tyrion Lannister and reveals he’s also Westerosi.  From the Westerlands in fact.  A poor lowborn lad who learned to fight and made his way across the narrow sea to join the Golden Company, maybe even become a lord one day.  He got his wish thanks to Daenerys, and hated ruling Yunkai so much he jumped on the first opportunity to get away from it.  He’d only reconsider staying off of Dany’s radar if the fighting pits in Meereen reopened.

Daenerys agrees to reopen the fighting pits unofficially for tax revenue.  But the official reason is to garner more goodwill with the Meereenese.

 

Episode Seven -

Spoiler

 

Cersei is imprisoned by the faith over her affair with Lancel.

Ben Plumm tells Tyrion that Daenerys has reopened the fighting pits and he will get his wish to see the queen after all.

The three eyed Raven shows Bran the creation of the Night King.  The three eyed Raven identifies him specifically as the Night’s King.  Bran wants to know what he wants, and the Three eyed raven tells him it isn’t what he wants but “who” he wants.

Smalljon Umber shows up at the wall and demands Jon stop allowing wildlings into the north or he’ll stop harboring Rickon.  Jon asks why the lands belonging to the watch are any concern of the Umbers and Smalljon reveals that he knew about it from a raven Ser Alliser sent.  Jon refuses to comply and Smalljon leaves angry.

Jon publicly threatens Ser Alliser about going behind his back.  Before Jon leaves the wall for Hardhome, he asks Locke to stay and keep an eye on Ser Alliser.  He wants Locke to make sure he honors his word to open the gates when they return.

Myrcella’s carriage is intercepted on the road by Areo Hotah and his best men.  They know about the plot to murder Tommen.  Myrcella questions Arianne about the accusation and Obara stabs Myrcella.  She’s wounded but it isn’t fatal.  Merryn Trant dies at the hands of Areo Hotah and the queenmakers are all arrested.

While selling seafood as Cat of the Canals, Arya interacts with a man who is identical to Jaqen H’Gar.  He asks her what she’s learned.  He isn’t pleased with her answer.

Ramsey tries to force himself on Sansa.  She keeps him at bay by making him understand what infidelity could do to the Bolton’s reputation.  The northern lords didn’t even like to acknowledge that Ned Stark cheated on Catelyn and they loved him, what would they think of a Bolton bastard who they barely tolerate?  Ramsey ultimately leaves Sansa alone but brutalizes Myranda in front of Theon later.

Locke sends a raven to Roose Bolton informing him that he found Rickon.

The episode ends with Jaime receiving word that Cersei has been imprisoned.

 

Episode Eight -

Spoiler

 

Trystane sits by Myrcella’s bedside while she recovers.  Doran questions Arianne, and tells her about the plot to marry Quentyn to Daenerys.  Arianne and the sand snakes will remain imprisoned until Myrcella arrives safely in King’s Landing.  Then they’ll be released.

Frog makes it to Meereen and introduces himself as Quentyn Martell to Daenerys.  She refuses his marriage offer because she is already betrothed to Hizdar.  She offers to let him stay as a guest for the wedding.

Littlefinger arrives in King’s Landing.  He speaks to Tommen and Kevan about northern independence.  He spins it in a way that makes it clearly more advantageous for Littlefinger than anyone else:  Littlefinger lets the Bolton’s and the Baratheons kill each other, swoops in with the knights of the Vale, retakes Winterfell, he instills Sansa Stark as a puppet queen in the north compelling the northern lords to let King Tommen loot their treasury with impunity.  Kevan Lannister obviously wants to know why Littlefinger has been harboring Joffrey’s killer, and Littlefinger gives Kevan the necklace.  He claims he found it on Dontos Holland after he came to the Vale seeking payment for the delivery of Sansa Stark.  Lady Lysa took a liking to him and kept him around, such a move turned out to be her downfall.  Although Kevan Lannister clearly doesn’t believe him when he said Dontos acted alone, he isn’t as concerned with finding Sansa Stark the as Cersei was since the Bolton’s rule the north and it’s already sealed with a Stark alliance.  He tells Tommen it’s a stupid idea and Littlefinger is always only looking out for Littlefinger.  Tommen ultimately refuses.  Littlefinger forges a document with the Hand of the King seal and sends it north anyway.

The subtext of this conversation is “your queen, queen regent, and two members of your kingsguard just got arrested by a fanatical religious group that you don’t have the first clue how to deal with and you’ve got the iron bank on your back.  TF you gonna do about any kind of rebellion at this point?  Especially one by a region as large as the other six kingdoms combined?  The fact that this benefits Littlefinger most is purely coincidental.”

Cersei is tortured by the faith and asked to confess.

Myrcella and Trystane depart Sunspear for real this time.

Stannis departs from the wall, taking Shireen and Selyse with him.

Noticing Myranda’s bruises, Sansa tries to convince her to flee Winterfell to get away from Ramsey.  Myranda refuses and says she loves Ramsey and gets off on the pain he causes her.  Sansa confesses that she knows she’s not really Arya and Myranda makes Sansa think she’ll leave Ramsey.

Jaime threatens Edmure and convinces him to end the siege for the Lannister’s once he’s let go.  The Blackfish is killed when the Lannister soldiers take Riverrun.

Ben Plumm arrives in Meereen and gives Dany a tall tale about being viciously overthrown by Cleon and barely escaping with his life.  Nobody really believes him but she’s more focused on Tyrion.  She has dinner with him and they talk about their mutual interest in seeing Cersei and Jaime die.  Dany promises not to harm Tommen or Myrcella so long as they surrender the throne.

 

Episode Nine -

Spoiler

 

Ellaria returns to Dorne by ship.  She reveals to Arianne she had found a way to send information on Cersei’s plots back to Doran.  She’s the one who told the faith about Cersei’s affair with Lancel.  She and Varys talk about something privately.

The Baratheon army is completely snowed in and unable to move on Winterfell.  Melisandre convinces Stannis to allow her to burn King’s blood for the lord’s power.  Stannis allows her to burn Shireen.

Doran Martell tells Arianne that Quentin was refused by queen Daenerys.  He holds no ill will against Myrcella and that she is innocent, but he would never lay a crown on a Lannister.  The only queen he would bow to is queen Arianne Targaryen.  He tells Arianne that Varys is going to arrange a marriage with Aegon VI.

Arya hustles seafood at places around the boardwalk.  She winds up in a brothel where she hears about the different girls, including the Sailor’s Wife.  Some customers are being too rough with the whores, Arya is obviously displeased.  Arya retrieves Needle from its hiding place.

Sansa uses a direwolf seal Littlefinger gave her and sends ravens to every lord she can think of telling them Arya Stark is a fake.

Jaime receives the raven from Cersei and burns it.

Ramsey sets out to ambush Stannis’s forces.

Myrcella arrives in King’s Landing.  Tommen is surprised to see her, he tells her that Trystane’s seat must be something Cersei arranged without telling him.

Tyrion is a guest at the wedding, as well as Ben Plumm.

Jon arrives at Hardhome and convinces their lady chieftain Val, that they can trust him to let them all pass.  They begin to evacuate and are attacked by the wights.  Bran watches from a raven and wargs into Wun Wun to help fight off the dead.  The three eyed Raven scolds Bran for interfering.

The fighting pits are reopened, the sons of the Harpy attack.  Hizdahr is killed, Drogon helps Daenerys escape.  Ben Plumm gains Barristan’s trust by killing Cleon and helping Danny’s advisors escape.  After he and the captain of the Windblown agree not to leave empty handed, Quentyn manages to free Viserion.  He’s cooked by Rhaegal along with sons of the harpy who came into the chamber to kill the dragons.

 

Episode Ten -  1:20 minute runtime.

Spoiler

 

Bran looks into the Night King on his own and is grabbed by him.  A version of Hold the Door kicks off the episode, but unlike what we got, the three eyed Raven isn’t done with Bran once the NK kills his body.  

Roose Bolton calls Sansa down to the courtyard because Littlefinger has returned.  Sansa finds Smalljon Umber and Rickon in the courtyard.  There are dogs eating dead ravens.  Rickon sees Sansa and yells “Sansa!”  Myranda takes Sansa hostage and threatens to throw her off the battlements.  Theon intervenes and saves her.  They escape.

Varys and Arianne depart Sunspear for Storm’s End where Aegon is set to land in a few days.  Back at Sunspear Ellaria poisons Doran.  She reveals that there is no small council seat for Trystane, she sent the raven from Cersei, but he left the line of succession anyway.  On the road, Varys kills Arianne with a crossbow.  This move makes Ellaria queen regent of Dorne as Oberyn’s wife and the Sand Snakes are the heirs once Quentyn returns and they finish him off.  She tells the Sand Snakes she plans to offer them both to Aegon since Aegon the conqueror had two wives.

Jon arrives back at the wall and the wildlings are allowed through.  Tormund takes them to the village where Mance Rayder was to find it’s been completely destroyed.  He turns them around and heads back for the wall.

Brienne arrives at Riverrun looking for Sansa and is surprised to find Jaime instead.  Jaime informs her Sansa hasn’t been seen since Joffrey’s wedding.  Brienne apologizes to Jaime for falling for Littlefinger’s lie.  He offers to help her look for Sansa since he’s not going back to King’s Landing anytime soon.  They leave Riverrun.

She waits outside the brothel for the rough man.  He leaves chasing after a whore.  Arya thinks the girl is in danger and follows them, she sneaks through the alleyways and surprises the man.  She runs him through with Needle.  The man takes off his face and reveals he’s Jaqen H’Gar, the whore takes off her face and reveals she is the Waif.  They force Arya to drink the potion that blinds her and tell her not to return to the House of the Black and White.

Drogon flies Daenerys all the way to the ruin of Valyria.  Jorah Mormont saves her from some stone men but he’s also eaten up with the greyscale.  He warns her about Aegon and his campaign that has probably already reached Westeros.  Daenerys can only focus on the fact that her claim to the throne is being challenged.

Cersei’s walk of shame.  Myrcella is horrified by what her mother has gone through.  She’s obviously not happy with Tommen’s reign.

The Iron Born spot Viserion flying out of Meereen and chase him.  Aegon uses the dragon horn and manages to take control of Viserion.

Ser Barristan, still recovering from his wounds pieces together that Daario is the one who has betrayed Daenerys.  He challenges him to single combat and kills him.  Barristan asks that Tyrion stay in Meereen and use some of what he learned as hand of the king to help finish what Dany started.  Ben Plumm sets out to find Dany.

Jorah gets Daenerys out of the ruins and they’re both taken by Dothraki.

Stannis marches on Winterfell.  His entire army is wiped out.  He survives long enough to be filled with crossbow bolts while charging directly at Ramsey.  Stannis falls to his knees before Ramsey’s horse, Ramsey thinks it’s over, but then Stannis cuts his horses front legs out from under him.  Ramsey falls off the horse and Stannis is dead before he can retaliate.

Melisandre returns to the wall.

Jon is betrayed by the Night’s watch brothers.  Bran sees what’s happening and tries to warg Wun Wun again to stop it.  The three eyed Raven pulls Bran out of Wun Wun and places him inside Locke, who winds up the final man stabbing Jon.  Locke/ Bran lets out a single tear before uttering the words “Goodbye Brother” and stabbing him.

 

 

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