Timely Game of Thrones Griping 6: Disappointing Zombie Dragon

By Bob Case
on Aug 21, 2017
Filed under:
Game of Thrones
This series analyzes the show, but sometimes references the books as well. If you read it, expect spoilers for both.

Whenever I review an episode of Game of Thrones, I have consider both my personal reactions and those of a hypothetical “average” viewer. I don’t personally like the show anymore, but most viewers do, and I have to account for the fact that my reactions to any given scene or episode are probably not the same as theirs. Then I have to take into account the fact that I don’t know the reactions of the average viewer yet. I watch the episode on Sunday night and then review it right after, and generally speaking other reviews aren’t up yet.

So honestly, I operate in a fog of guesswork. I know what effect each scene and line had on me, but I don’t know what effect it has on people who still like the show, and/or those who still “trust” the writers, for lack of a better word, or what effect it has on those who watch the show casually, for entertainment, and just don’t really fuss over the small stuff.

I also have to decide what order I’m going to write the review in. Like, do I do it in strict chronological order, scene by scene? Or do I divide it up by location, or by character, or by some other factor, or by some mix of all the above?

Now, at this point some of you may be thinking, “Wow, MrBtongue is even more solipsistic than usual today.” You’re not wrong. Here’s the thing: I have to make the decisions I described above on-the-fly, with very little to guide me, so it’s always a little sloppy. I mention this not because I assume you’re all fascinated with my creative processWhy wouldn’t you be?, but to explain why this review is a little more disjointed than usual.

Order of Operations

I’ve decided to organize this review thusly: first, I’ll cover the mission north of the wall to retrieve a fully functional wight corpse. Then, I’ll cover the extremely obnoxious Arya/Sansa conflict. Then, I’ll provide a recap of the season so far to prepare you for the season finale next week. We start with the mission north of the wall.

This is a cool shot. It reminds me of the shots of the Fellowship traveling in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. The way that the characters are overwhelmed by the landscape does well to set the mood.

This is a cool shot. It reminds me of the shots of the Fellowship traveling in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. The way that the characters are overwhelmed by the landscape does well to set the mood.

I think by now we’re all familiar with why this whole mission was a dumb idea from the get-go, but by now our heroes are committed, so there’s nothing left but to hope they succeed.

There are several walk-and-talks between the various characters. Gendry walk-and-talks with Thoros and Beric, with the Hound butting in at the end. Gendry is understandably upset that they lied to him and sold him as chattel to a woman who wanted to violate his body at best and kill him at worst. The fact that he objects to that is played for comedy, believe it or not. If nothing else, this scene clarified for me whether you’re supposed to pronounce the g in the word “whingeing” or not.Laugh if you like, but I had never been clear on that.

Then Jon walk-and-talks with Jorah, and it ends with Jon keeping Longclaw (which was originally the Mormont family blade). Jon is King of the North and really should be executing Jorah, who is still under sentence of death. But the ways in which this show is ignoring the worldbuilding premises set up in the early seasons are too numerous to enumerate at this point, so let’s just skip that.

Oh no, we can’t, because Jon walk-and-talks with Beric Dondarrion, and recalls his Night’s Watch oath (the one that he really should be considered in violation of by becoming King in the North in the first place). This conversation also reminded me that I’m still not clear on who exactly knows that Jon has risen from the dead and who doesn’t.

At some point, the Hound walks-and-talks with Tormund, and we learn that the Hound hates red-haired people, and that Tormund still wants to make the beast with two backs with Brienne. I’m gonna be honest, I don’t like this whole Tormund-Brienne thing. It seems to treat the idea that someone would be attracted to Brienne as a punchline in and of itself. It also considers the fact that Tormund stares at Brienne to the point of making her visibly uncomfortable to be funny.

Long story short, there are a lot of walk-and-talks. On the one hand, I should like this. These are establishing character moments, and they reference earlier events on the show. They’re a chance for each character to move forward, to grow, and for the audience to deepen our connections to them. On the other hand, I couldn’t enjoy a single one! This show is so shot through with nonsense on every level that they just don’t do anything for me.

Next, there’s a sequence with an undead polar bear, who mauls Thoros before the rest of the squad kills it. I have no idea why this sequence was included. Why would an undead polar bear be wandering around in the middle of nowhere? I don’t know. I don’t know why any of this happens. Thoros gets mauled for an unnecessarily long time, then recovers after a swig of booze and an impromptu cauterization.For anyone who’s seen the movie ‘The Revenant’, I have a sneaking suspicion that this overlong bear-mauling sequence was inspired by that movie.

Later, Jon and company encounter a group of wights and a White Walker, who are separated from the main group and traveling alone for no reason. Jon kills the White Walker, and all the wights disintegrate except one. For no reason.Okay, I get the attempted explanation that each wight is raised by a certain Walker and everything, but that explanation falls apart under the gentlest breeze of scrutiny.

They tie up and capture this final wight, then retreat to an island in the middle of a lake. The wights surround and pursue them, but the ice covering the lake breaks under their weight, and Team Capture-a-Wight is briefly safe on an island in the middle of the lake. Can wights swim, or not? I have no idea. The question of “can wights survive in freezing water” has no clear answer. They either can, or can’t, according to whatever’s convenient for the script in any given moment.

To make things even more confusing, every shot of the lake makes it look like the water is still frozen.

To make things even more confusing, every shot of the lake makes it look like the water is still frozen.

A series of chronologically impossible things happen: Gendry runs from some indeterminate place north of the wall to the wall (either Eastwatch or Castle Black, and this is on foot mind you), then a raven goes from there to Dragonstone, then Dany and three dragons fly from there to the previously-mentioned indeterminate place north of the wall, all in less time than it takes for a giant army of wights to attack a rock in the middle of a lake.

I know, I know. I’m not supposed to think about any of this. But you can’t stop me from reacting to it. And my reaction is this: this is dumb. This is all stupefyingly, irretrievably dumb. That reaction is mine, and you can’t take it away from me.

Now, the dumb comes so thick and fast that mere sentences can barely keep up: Dany rescues team Capture-a-Wight, but the Night’s King kills one dragonNot the one that’s stationary on the ground, mind you, but one of the ones that’s flying around overhead and much harder to hit. with an ice-spear, and it sinks below the now-frozen-again lake. Then Dany and everyone but Jon escapes. Jon is dragged below the frozen lake by wights, who either can or can’t swim, I’m not sure. Then he escapes to the surface, because I guess they can’t? Or something?

The wights notice him, but Benjen Stark(!) rescues him. Benjen Stark has an eastern-orthodox style incense burner, which is on fire. He uses it to kill dozens of wights. He puts Jon Snow on his horse and instructs him to ride for “the pass” (what?). Benjen is overwhelmed and killed by the wights. Jon eventually escapes to the wall.

At this point I have to try and figure out a positive interpretation of all this. To someone who was viewing this for the first time, I guess it might have seemed like a tense, well-paced action-suspense sequence. But to me, it just looked ridiculous.

Okay: final scene. The wights have attached underwater chains to the sunken dragon corpse and dragged it back onto land (I guess they can swim, or else how would they have attached the chains?) The Night’s King turns it into a zombie dragon!

In my elementary school, one day they brought an elephant, and we had a tug-of-war between the entire sixth-grade class and the elephant. On that day, I learned that 100+ sixth graders are not nearly as strong as an elephant. Wondering why I told you this? Here`s the explanation: a bunch of wights are pulling a dragon out of a lake, and sometimes, I have a hard time coming up with clever photo captions.

In my elementary school, one day they brought an elephant, and we had a tug-of-war between the entire sixth-grade class and the elephant. On that day, I learned that 100+ sixth graders are not nearly as strong as an elephant. Wondering why I told you this? Here`s the explanation: a bunch of wights are pulling a dragon out of a lake, and sometimes, I have a hard time coming up with clever photo captions.

If you had told me, at twelve years old, that the phrase “turns it into a zombie dragon” would have elicited a groan of frustration and disgust, I would never have believed you. And yet here we are.

The Obnoxious Arya-Sansa Thing

I`m determined to keep it as positive as possible, so I`ll just say this: Arya`s outfit here is kind of cool.

I`m determined to keep it as positive as possible, so I`ll just say this: Arya`s outfit here is kind of cool.

The obnoxious Arya-Sansa thing continues. I know that I’ve harped before on how nothing Littlefinger has done in the past three seasons has made sense, but today I’m going to try and interpret his actions in the most favorable (to the showrunners) way I can.

  1. Littlefinger, as established at the end of season six, wants to sit the Iron Throne with Sansa by his side (presumably as his Queen).
  2. Littlefinger employs the tactics of an abuser, which include isolating his victim from any kind of support network (including their family and friends, such as Arya and Jon).
  3. Littlefinger doesn’t like prearranged plans, but rather seeks to create political chaos and then maneuver and thrive in its wake.

If we assume all of the above, and assume that the showrunners know what they’re doing and are setting us up for a satisfying conclusion, Littlefinger’s actions (and his existence) still don’t make sense.

  1. By the end of this episode, Arya is threatening to kill Sansa, take her face, and impersonate her. I can’t imagine how this would help Littlefinger. Or anyone else, for that matter.
  2. Arya is behaving like an unhinged violent maniac. Any scheme that includes her is subjecting itself to random chance.
  3. Sansa said earlier this season that Littlefinger was necessary to maintain the loyalty of the Vale Knights. That particular wrinkle seems to have been either forgotten or ignored. Now the Vale Knights are loyal to Sansa. Or Littlefinger. Or maybe Lord Royce. Who knows? It’s been left ambiguous all season.
  4. I’m creating a numbered list, as though this all makes sense and will stand up to analysis, but the truth is I have no idea how this all works.
  5. Littlefinger seems to suggest using Brienne, who is bound to protect both of them, in some kind of manipulation or something. Then, later, Sansa sends Brienne to the parlay with Cersei (who, for inexplicable reasons, is sending out invitations before a wight has been captured. Right? Or is this something else that’s happening out of chronological order?) So did that Brienne thing just go nowhere? What was it supposed to be? Did Littlefinger want her to go to King’s Landing? If so, why?
  6. Am I just straight-up too dumb to understand this? You can go ahead and tell me if I am. From where I’m sitting, it looks like a bunch of nonsense.
  7. Sansa accidentally admitted that she deserves the bulk of the credit for the victory over Ramsay Bolton. Not really directly related to the Arya/Sansa conflict, but I still like to see that I’m not the only one that noticed that Jon lead his army into catastrophic defeat last season.

Brace For Impact

Next week is the season finale. I feel like I should have mentioned this before, but I’ll mention it now: I don’t read leaks. I do occasionally stumble across them by accident (and don’t know if they’re genuine or not), but I don’t seek them out. So I don’t actually know what happens.

However, based on the “next week on Game of Thrones” bit, it looks like there’ll be a meeting, either in King’s Landing or nearby, featuring all of the major players. Cersei will have to decide on whether to agree to a ceasefire or not. Her decision will depend on whether or not she has the Golden Company, near as I can tell. Will that be revealed this season, next season, or will it be a red herring? I don’t know.

I take screenshots from my computer, and over the course of the season I`ve discovered that I have an uncanny knack for taking them just as the actors onscreen are blinking. I couldn`t tell you how many I`ve had to delete over the past several weeks. This isn`t a particularly egregious example, but it should give future historians an idea of how hard it is to find a good screenshot. Did I mention I have a hard time coming up with photo captions?

I take screenshots from my computer, and over the course of the season I`ve discovered that I have an uncanny knack for taking them just as the actors onscreen are blinking. I couldn`t tell you how many I`ve had to delete over the past several weeks. This isn`t a particularly egregious example, but it should give future historians an idea of how hard it is to find a good screenshot. Did I mention I have a hard time coming up with photo captions?

I should briefly mention the Tyrion/Dany scene in Dragonstone. I don’t know what analysis I can pull from it. This show keeps bringing up references to “breaking the wheel,” and “building a better world,” but never spends even an iota of effort on describing what that entails in practical terms. The Tyrion/Dany scene punts on that particular question, for what I suspect will not be the last time.

Later, Jon and Dany have what I guess is supposed to be a romantic scene. I don’t know how I can reconcile how this lands for me with how it lands with a hypothetical average viewer. Is this landing for people? Are there people that get butterflies in their stomach at the thought of having these two hook up? Because I don’t. Jon and Ygritte had actual romantic chemisty. Jon and Dany… no. Though I should mention that Emilia Clarke gets, for the first time in a while, the opportunity to actually emote. She’s pretty good at it! They should let her do it more often.

Example number two of my expert timing.

Example number two of my expert timing.

This week’s review was both more disjointed and probably more negative than usual, I know. But so much of this landed with such an unsatisfying wet thud for me. Maybe next week’s finale will be better. Either way, I’ll see you then.

Enjoyed this post? Please share!

Footnotes:

[1] Why wouldn’t you be?

[2] Laugh if you like, but I had never been clear on that.

[3] For anyone who’s seen the movie ‘The Revenant’, I have a sneaking suspicion that this overlong bear-mauling sequence was inspired by that movie.

[4] Okay, I get the attempted explanation that each wight is raised by a certain Walker and everything, but that explanation falls apart under the gentlest breeze of scrutiny.

[5] Not the one that’s stationary on the ground, mind you, but one of the ones that’s flying around overhead and much harder to hit.


MrBtongue is the Pele of complaining about videogames and will soon be the Garrincha of complaining about TV shows. You can find his Youtube channel at youtube.com/user/MrBtongue.

A Hundred!A Hundred!7207 COMMENTS? What are you people talking about?!?

From the Archives:

  1. Rivlien says:

    Honestly this episode was the one for me. I am now 100% soured on this show. I’ve not been too fond of the last three or so seasons, but this season is a dumpster fire. That’s spread out to set the rest of the neighborhood on fire and now the septic tank under the orphanage blew up and everything is being doused in flaming excrement.

    But it is not all their fault. I am not sure if it was a contractual thing or just an agreement between coworkers, but GRRM was supposed to be out with a new book by now. That was an agreement (or deal, I am too lazy to look it up) with D&D. They’re not adapting books anymore, they’re adapting post-it-notes and half finished (hopefully) chapters.

    GRRM is as much to blame as this decline of quality as the writers of the show are.

    • Sannom says:

      GRRM isn’t to blame for this decline in quality. If D&D had actually been good show-runners, it wouldn’t have declined this much.

      They say that GRRM told them about Shireen’s fate, but I doubt it was the same mess than what happened in the show. D&D made the decision of white-washing Gendry and demonizing Stannis. D&D made the decision of adapting Dorne into some sort of xenophobic and inconsequential mess.

    • Harper says:

      D&D went off the rails long before they ran out of books to adapt. The fact is there are so many changes to the source material this is what they had to do to make up for it.
      We know the Three-headed dragon Prophecy, Azor Ahai, Euron coming to bring down the wall, we know that’s all happening because Martin’s been telling us its happening in the books.
      So when they changed everything around, when they threw out Aegon they had to make some effort to give Cersei an actual chance of fighting Dany. That meant Euron wasn’t the Three-eyed crow’s ex-apprentice and aspiring god, he was now Cersei’s lap dog, and that meant there wasn’t any way to bring down the Wall without this whole Zombie Dragon crap

      • ehlijen says:

        You’ll have a tough time convincing me that there is no zombie dragon coming in the books, too. Maybe later, hopefully better, but I think it’s still very likely.

        • Harper says:

          Did you not read about the Three heads of the Dragon? There are three riders that take on the Others, they need three dragons to do that
          Martin confirmed that the third Head didn’t have to be a Targaryen( which implied Dany and Jon are the other two) so its probable it will be Tyrion
          And the writers obviously need the Ice Dragon to take down the Wall, because they haven’t established the Horn of Winter which will actually do it in the books.
          Mance pretended to have it in the books, but Sam is actually carrying the real one in Oldtown, which Euron is about to invade.
          There’s a slight possibility that Euron might take control of a dragon through the Dragonbinder, but that’s probably a fake too and you still need three dragons for three riders

          • ehlijen says:

            See below for why i don’t see this prophecy is proof there can’t be a zombie dragon.

            • Harper says:

              Its three heads of the dragon, which implies rather explicitly they’re on the same side.
              The other problem with the Zombie dragon is, who iss going to ride it?
              The Night King in the books is a historical character, who wasn’t even a White Walker, he just helped them. He’s long dead and the likeliest guy to replace him is Euron, who is nowhere near the Wall nor likely to get there with the Tyrells rallying against him

              • ehlijen says:

                The prophecy explicitly says that it’s a three headed dragon. Not three dragons. Obviously, some interpretation is required, and that means we’re dealing in guesses anyway. And that’s assuming the prophecy is true. I agree that your guess is a very likely one, but I also maintain that it is not necessarily the only valid guess.

                And in either case, my other suggestion was that sure, there are three riders on the same side, at first. Then one gets killed and the dragon is raised as a zombie. Nothing in the prophecy hints at whether or not all three survive the war.

                • Harper says:

                  Martin basically confirmed that specific interpretation of the prophecy when he talked about the third head not being a Targaryen, there’s most likely going to be three dragons confronting the White Walkers with three riders. And personally I don’t think any of them( Dany, Jon and probably Tyrion) will survive the Long Night, they’ll probably all die stopping it. And if/when that happens there won’t be anyone or anything to resurrect a Dragon.

                  • ehlijen says:

                    He confirmed the third dragon rider not being a targaryen, ok. Did he confirm the third rider being on the same side, though? Otherwise that doesn’t actually exclude any white walkers from the competition.

                    • Harper says:

                      But the huge leap in logic required to think that prophecy is referring to two dragonriders fighting another dragonrider is too much for me. And who’s it going to be on what side, Jon and Dany against Tyrion? Why would Tyrion want to destroy Westeros?
                      And when other prophecies are mentioned, why are they easier to distinguish between the antagonistic aspects and the beneficial? The Mummers Dragon is clearly an obstacle in Dany’s path, the visions( I can’t recall the exact details of right now) that allude to Euron, etc, they’re all easy to understand in the context of the narrative.
                      If the Zombie Dragon were a thing, Martin would have alluded to it in some way in those prophecies and visions experienced by other characters, who were seeing the Red Wedding and other crappy events in vague details
                      The other problem with the theory is that its called a “Song of Ice and Fire”, dragons are a source of magic, fire made flesh,their very nature is diametrically opposed to the White Walkers and “The Great Other”, if it exists as an actual entity

                    • Grampy_bone says:

                      This is why prophecies are terrible plot devices

                    • Harper says:

                      Why do you think that?
                      Prophecies can be great when they’re used right, and Martin really knows how to deconstruct and then reconstruct the trope in the books.
                      Rhaegar Targaryen read or heard a prophecy that turned him from a book worm to a “knight in shining armor” who courted a woman he thought would fulfill that prophecy which led his country to civil war, his family overthrown and him dead in a river.

                    • ehlijen says:

                      I don’t see much logic in interpreting poetically phrased prophecies at all. All it really says is that dragons, the number three and riders are involved. And any of those could also be metaphors.

                      As to who rides a zombie dragon? A wight. Or Euron. Or Zombie Clegane. Or Benjin.

                      How much more alluding would Martin need to do other than:
                      -There are multiple dragons
                      -The white walkers like to reinforce their armies with their fallen foes
                      -The white walkers can zombifie creatures other than humans
                      -We have yet to see the dead deploy any kind of credible counter threat to dragons
                      To me, this suggests that there will be a fight of dragons against some similar power on the opposing side, and the most likely candidate is a dragon subverted by their ice and death magic, they way they’ve been subverting all living enemies they’ve encountered.

                      It’s a song of Ice and Fire. So how about dragons of fire and light against dragons of ice and death? Sounds more exciting than dragons vs infantry.

                      And you still haven’t really explained why it’s not possible that first your expectation will come true (three riders on one side) only for one to be killed and then the dragon to be raised as a zombie afterwards. This is most likely going to be a war, not just one battle.

                    • Harper says:

                      These prophecies aren’t so vague that you can’t use the clues from the narrative to interpret them. The Red Wedding was foreshadowed early on in prophetic dreams along with a lot of other plot points. There are a lot of people in the fandom who have mapped it all out. Three betrayals, like three dragon riders.
                      And the question you have to answer for your theory is “Why?”
                      To make the Long Night more climactic? We know the show is using that dragon to bring the Wall down, but as we both know the books don’t need that. And the only thing that’s hinted at being able to take away one of Dany’s dragons is the Dragonbinder and if it does work then there’s no guarantee that it will keep working.
                      And you’re really missing the “Magic” element of the series. Dragons are “fire made flesh”, they’re connected to whatever aspect of R’hllor is “real” and opposed to the forces of Winter and there’s no hint that if they are killed the Others can bring them back like they can with non-magical creatures and humans.
                      To address your list of possible riders, Euron could be one, but as I said, he can’t kill and then resurrect it and its probable if he does get it it will be taken back from by Dany. Zombie Clegane is in Kings Landing and pretty attached to Cersei, he’ll be long gone by the time Dany heads north. And Martin has confirmed Benjen’s not Coldhands, he’s not a wight and he’s actually been helping the good guys by burying all that Dragonglass in the Fist.
                      And the fact that the Others haven’t shown what they’re fully capable of is kind of the point. They’re not just an army of zombies wandering aimlessly around the woods for 6 seasons like the show, their magic is contained by the Wall and once its down we’ll see what they can unleash fully. You want Giant Spiders to spice things up or undead Giants? There’s no telling what else we’ll get, but I’m pretty sure we don’t need dragons

  2. Olivier Faure says:

    I wish Sansa had stood her ground better in her scene with Arya.

    She did it before against Littlefinger (her “I don’t mean ‘I can feel it in my heart, it pains me so’, I mean I can feel what he did to me standing right here” speech), and it was honestly one of her best scenes for me.

    She should have said “Fuck you, Arya. You think you had it tough? How many times were you sold and raped in the last few months? Did Joffrey show you our father’s head on a pike and order you to look at it on pain of death? How many royal guards punched you in the face on Joffrey’s orders? How many weeks did you spend in King’s Landing, completely powerless, knowing that you could die at any moment if Joffrey had a bad day?”

    (I did like that that they remembered Arya being there at the execution, and Sansa telling her “Did you go and die a heroic death then, trying to save him?”)

    Also, yes, the whole zombie plot is dumb. Like, at some point, they see the Night King, and someone points out that there’s a chance the whole army will collapse if they kill him. They act like they have a plan, even though there’s clearly no way to reach him since he’s surrounded by an army. Fair. But then, Dany comes with three dragons, and nobody tells her “Hey, stop wasting your time on the zombies, target the blue guys other there and we win!”

    The last time someone took a pot shot at a dragon, the first thing they did was go straight for the guy and try to kill him. But this time, they don’t seem to mind leaving the guy who killed a dragon completely alone, and none of them seems to think “Hey, maybe we should kill him before he kills another one?”

    That’s leaving aside that none of them thought to take an arc or a crossbow plus a few obsidian arrows/bolts, which would have been pretty handy at this point, that sending the King in the North there was a ridiculous idea, etc.

    (also, if Dragon travel is so fast, why are they travelling by boat now? couldn’t Dany teleport Jon to Winterfell, then to King’s Landing?)

    • Droid says:

      Sorry to not go into any of the points you brought up (they are interesting even for people ignoring the show), but an arc is a part of e.g. a circle or parabola (as in “ballistic arc”, the path an arrow takes) or curved element in architecture that can span valleys or just a doorway (like the ones in Roman aqueducts, among others).

      What you were thinking of is a bow.

    • Joe Informatico says:

      I do appreciate that Sansa stood up for herself enough to note she’s pretty much the only person left on this show who hasn’t completely fallen to idiocy. “Jon would have lost the battle until the Knights of the Vale that I summoned carried the day”–right on, sister! That was an even better callout than Dany berating Tyrion for never having any good ideas an episode or two ago.

    • KarmaTheAlligator says:

      As a nitpick, I distinctly remember Joffrey ordering the guards to never hit her in the face, as that would show (unless the show did it differently).

    • Joe Leigh says:

      For me, it’s not so much that Sansa didn’t stand her ground well enough (although you make a good point there), it’s that at some point, with no warning, Arya went from “sworn to avenge her family” to just “sociopathic murderer who’s now threatening to kill her remaining family.” At what point did Arya forget her entire motivation and turn into a generic murder machine? Just last season, she had an opportunity to become a literal faceless assassin and decided instead that she was Arya Stark of Winterfell. That wasn’t even subtext, it was actual dialog she said with her mouth.
      Her rationale is now “if you didn’t also turn into a ninja and run off on a vengeance quest, fuck you.” Is she going to threaten to murder Jon too when he gets back? Because he didn’t become a ninja. Bran got super powers, so I guess he’s cool? What is Arya’s goal here? For the last five seasons she’s had a very concrete goal, and now she’s just hanging out at her parent’s house being angsty. Arya has been one of the major sympathetic point-of-view characters for the entire show, and now suddenly in the last two episodes she’s one of the least sympathetic characters we see. Honestly, I’d rather watch Cersei at this point.
      I guess the point of the Winterfell stuff this season is that all of these characters have become different people while they have been away traveling the world, and now home isn’t the same home they knew. etc. but it’s shown in the most cartoonish way possible, with Bran being a boring robot and Arya being a killer robot.
      (Also, they’re travelling by boat because you can’t have a romantic interlude on top of a dragon. And speed doesn’t matter anymore this season, they’re going to be in King’s landing next episode regardless of how they travel. They could go on foot and still get there before the white walkers make it to the wall.)

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        No warning?Did you forget her cold stare at a man who risked his life to save her just because he was on the list,and no one escapes the list!She was unhinged practically from the moment her father was beheaded.Why are people surprised by it now?

    • BlueHorus says:

      This Sansa-Arya conflict sounds absolutely terrible. But Bob called it last week:

      The writers want an Arya vs. Sansa conflict, so we’re going to get one, regardless of whether it makes any sense or not.

      I can’t tell if it’s a good or bad thing that the show has butchered Arya’s character so much that threatening to cut off her sister’s face over a letter written while Sansa was a hostage sounds like a thing she would actually do.

      It’s consistent, at least?

      But Littlefinger’s +10 Aura of Plot that saps surrounding character’s INT and WIS to the point they’ll do whatever the hell he wants can go jump in a lake. Him too.

    • Grampy_bone says:

      Sansa’s character only makes sense when you read the original book outline and realize she was meant to go over to the Lannisters completely. She was intended to be a turncoat who becomes Joffery’s faithful wife. After the first book Martin abandoned that idea and the character floundered around ever since. The show make some kind of use out of her but overall she’s pretty pointless.

  3. Sannom says:

    For anyone who’s seen the movie ‘The Revenant’, I have a sneaking suspicion that this overlong bear-mauling sequence was inspired by that movie.

    After their out-of-nowhere reference to Odysseus a few weeks back, I wouldn’t be surprised.

    They tie up and capture this final wight, then retreat to an island in the middle of a lake. The wights surround and pursue them, but the ice covering the lake breaks under their weight, and Team Capture-a-Wight is briefly safe on an island in the middle of the lake.

    So they’re stealing from Stannis’ storyline again hey?

  4. ehlijen says:

    My friend suggested that the point of the undead bear was to remind the audience that animals could be zombified. Of course, in my opinion the zombie dragon has been announced with a neon sign since seasons ago.

    • Lee says:

      Exactly. It was Chekov’s gun for the zombie dragon. Of course, in a story this long, putting the bear in the same episode as the dragon was pointless, really. It let the people who didn’t already expect it get a little bit of warning, that’s it.

    • Vermander says:

      There was actually a zombie bear in the books as well, though it came much earlier (during the attack on Jeor Mormont’s ranging party). I believe there were other zombie animals as well, though it’s been a while since I read that particular book.

    • BlueHorus says:

      Bah.

      And I had money on that dragon being killed by Euron Greyjoy. Dammit.

      I guess it’s good that the show can surprise me?

      For anyone who’s seen the movie ‘The Revenant’, I have a sneaking suspicion that this overlong bear-mauling sequence was inspired by that movie.

      On that note, were there any Jamie-Cersei storylines this week? I remember reading Bob’s comments on her last week and thinking ‘Hey, Cersei sounds uncharacteristically, cleverly manipulative lately. Has someone been watching Gone Girl?’

    • Steve C says:

      It’s based the Hollywood mindset; the audience is dumb. There’s a Hollywood script mindset that reveals have to be obvious or else the audience won’t buy it. Sure we have seen undead animals before in previous seasons. Plus all the horses were dead in this episode, (including the horse Jon rode in on which would have been proof enough of undead).

      We’ve long since got past GRR’s writing for the type of audience that picks up a book and reads it. We are solidly into dumb-downed TV land now where Hollywood scriptwriters believe most of their audience never finished high school.

      • Viktor says:

        Sadly, execs may be partially right. I remember Jon Rogers mentioning that testing showed that 50% of the audience didn’t understand the con by the end of an average episode of Leverage. And that show may have been complex, but they put a lot of effort into explaining exactly what was going on. People aren’t necessarily dumb, but they might be eating or chatting or just tired while they watch. A lot of the audience isnt going to follow your epic web of intrigue, and you either take that into account or you resign yourself to losing a big chunk of the potential audience.

  5. Nick says:

    The hypothermia and outright freezing to death of Jon not happening after being FULLY SUBMERGED IN FREEZING WATER IN A BLIZZARD is the nadir of this episode…

    • Kamica says:

      A friend of mine said it might be because of his Targaryen blood. Not sure if that’s an actual thing though.

      • Reach says:

        Targaryens aren’t known to be immune from cold. Also, even Daenerys’ magical resilience to fire is miraculous, Targaryan blood having such potent supernatural properties is not typical.

        • BlueHorus says:

          So GRRM has specifically denied that Targaryans ar fireproof. Dany’s surviving of the fire in Book/Season 1 was a one-off miracle, flat-out magic.

          That’s the books, though.

          Show Dany has always been fireproof. Mostly because ( I think) the showrunners read a fan theory and thought it was cool.
          And it got Dany out of slavery and caused the Dothraki to worship her with the least amount of effort on their part.

          • KarmaTheAlligator says:

            But even in the books she’s survived another fire (when Drogon crashed the Coliseum party and took her to the Dothraki plains).

            • BlueHorus says:

              Did she?
              I have to admit I can’t remember, so you could well be right.

              Though ‘rescued by a dragon’ is not the same as ‘deliberately walking into a fire & surviving’ or ‘locking yourself in a burning building and surviving’.

              • KarmaTheAlligator says:

                True, but when she woke up in the plains she was sun burnt and hairless, the same as when she spent the night in that bonfire (I think she got hit by Drogon’s flame when he ‘rescued’ her).

          • Ehhhhhhhhhh…. even book!Dany has had a whole, “The heat never bothered me anyway!” schtick going on. There were mentions about how she liked her bathwater ridiculously hot, and bits where she handled things heated by fire without being injured in any way.

    • Lee says:

      And apparently Varys isn’t the only merman in the show. At this point, Bronn, Jamie, and Jon all can hold their breaths way too long for humans.

    • Olivier Faure says:

      At that point, I was like “Okay, so this guy literally cannot die.” Like, in the moment, I thought the intended interpretation that Jon was now a zombie too, and therefore couldn’t be killed by conventional means. Nooooot sure that’s what the show has in mind, now that I think about it.

    • Sjonnar says:

      Jon is dead. What is dead may never die.

    • newplan says:

      The plausible explanation if you’re willing to credit the show (I’m not) is that the water wasn’t near freezing because it was heated by the dragon breath.

    • Jokerman says:

      I was so glad shamus doesn’t watch Game of Thrones while watching that scene :P

    • Grampy_bone says:

      TV/movies do this all the time with cold water exposure, to be fair. Would have been a good excuse to have Dany jump into bed with Jon though, since that’s the best way to warm someone up who’s been exposed like that.

  6. Clive Howlitzer says:

    I really miss season 1-4. It has all gone downhill from there and it has reached a point where nothing makes any sense or has any consistency anymore.

    I feel like if the show started out this way, I would probably still watch it for dumb entertainment and not be bothered by how dumb it all was. However, having it go from what it was to this, it makes it extra infuriating to watch.

    Sad to say, I am still going to ride it out until the bitter end. I can’t help it.

  7. Galad says:

    According to some of the discussions I read, people are hypothesizing that the Night King (NK, not to be confused with North Korea), is probably a green seer. He’s seen all possible outcomes, and that’s why he did not kill the heroes straight away, and did not attack Drogon, that was a large target on land, but instead went for the flying Viserion. Whether or not this makes sense to you, I don’t know, I’ve turned off my brain when it comes to this show a while ago.

    • BlueHorus says:

      Now if you replaced ‘greenseer’ with ‘plot device’ and ‘seen all possible outcomes’ with ‘read the script’, I’d agree with you.

      That theory sounds pretty good, though. The show has established that greenseers just can’t stop themselves from sitting next to a tree in order to see some bit of past trivia, whatever they were doing before (or wheter they were in mortal danger).

      That’s why his army has made so little progress!

  8. Kamica says:

    So, I know this column is a review of Game of thrones and stuff… But I’d personally really appreciate it if the title could be kept spoiler free =/.

  9. Kamica says:

    Also, having now read your review, I believe the reason why Arya threatened Sansa, was because she was probably playing the Game of Faces. Not sure why she’d do that, not sure what that would achieve, maybe the experience of the past while kinda just made her think that this is normal acceptable behaviour?

  10. Vermander says:

    I can’t remember if this ever came up on the show, but in the books valyrian steel and “dragonglass” only kill the White Walkers, not the wights (zombies). Sam learned that when he stabbed one in the eye with an obsidian knife and it had no effect. The wights need to be burned or chopped to bits to really stop them. I was a little surprised when Jorah was able to kill several of them (including the bear) with his obsidian knives.

  11. Adam Field says:

    It’s not just you. Every single scene this episode, we were yelling at the screen, some combination of “that is so dumb”, and “that makes no sense!”. I didn’t notice the teleportation issues the past few episodes until they were pointed out to me later, and still enjoyed them at the time, but this episode, no. It just got *massively* dumb. The entire premise was dumb enough, the implementation was even dumber, the results were mega-dumb, and then there was an impossible deus ex machina on top of another one, on top of, absolutely *yes* the wights can swim (or at least breathe underwater), they did it at Hardhome without any difficulty. I noticed everything you noticed, and am seriously irritated at how dumb this show has gotten.

  12. Rizki Agustian says:

    Huh…
    Why did nobody tell Daenerys to try and kill the Night King?
    He needs to throw one Javelin at a time, so he’s open to an attack once he throws one.
    None of the undead had ranged weapons so there would be nothing stopping a flying dragon from doing so. Could’ve ended the war right then and there.
    Why the hell did the expedition group have no archers? Don’t they know that ranged combat gives you hell of an advantage? Especially against mindless zombies?
    Hell you could even set the arrows on fire, which could possibly help them as well.
    A minor nitpick, but I didn’t see anyone carrying any bags, do they have magic Skyrim inventories? Maybe I just missed them.

    Why didn’t they use the Dragons to help them on this mission in the first place?
    I mean I know its dangerous for Daenerys and all, but couldn’t they haved divised a more efficient plan using the Dragons without putting them in harm’s way? They have some of the brightest minds in Westeros, surely they could have come up with a better plan.
    The plan that they went with just seemed dumb and ill-prepared. Like they knew it was going to work out for them no matter what.

    The plan to show Cersei the zombie is strange as well. What exactly do they expect to achieve here? They expect Cersei to just agree to a ceasefire while they handled the Whitewalkers, and that she wouldn’t take advantage of that situation? I’m confused…

    And people still praise the storytelling for this season… I don’t know anymore… I just want to see how it ends.

    • BlueHorus says:

      The plan to show Cersei the zombie is strange as well. What exactly do they expect to achieve here?

      Cersei knows she just doesn’t have to bother now she’s been elevated to Big Bad status.

      ‘I just have to invite these idiots to Kings Landing – and they turn up! Alone! Surrounded by my troops! They even bring their heirs with them!
      I don’t even need a frickin’ army.”

    • newplan says:

      Why did nobody tell Daenerys to try and kill the Night King?
      He needs to throw one Javelin at a time, so he’s open to an attack once he throws one.
      None of the undead had ranged weapons so there would be nothing stopping a flying dragon from doing so. Could’ve ended the war right then and there.

      Literally the only reason not to do this is because it’s not the end of the series.

      You’re there, you’ve got a safe area in the middle of a lake that the dead can’t cross, the NK is away from the main body of his troops. Drop Jon and Beric off, possibly try dragon fire instead and kill the remaining WWs. Why leave and come back? So you can bring an army? To what end? The only reason an army would be useful would be in holding off the NK’s army but here that’s taken care of. Instead they leave the body of a dragon when they were shown not 10 minutes before to be worried enough to burn a human body. No opportunity in the future will be better than the one they just passed on – and no one in the show will notice.

      Script says NK gets a dragon, NK gets a dragon. So f*cking stupid.

    • Malimar says:

      Why the hell did the expedition group have no archers? Don’t they know that ranged combat gives you hell of an advantage? Especially against mindless zombies?
      Hell you could even set the arrows on fire, which could possibly help them as well.

      Everyone knows skeletons have DR/bludgeoning and zombies have DR/slashing. Arrows are ineffective.

      A minor nitpick, but I didn’t see anyone carrying any bags, do they have magic Skyrim inventories? Maybe I just missed them.

      One of the redshirts was definitely dragging a sledge full of baggage past during at least one of the walk-and-talks. Easy to miss.

    • Grampy_bone says:

      He walked through the fire breath with no problems. Must have high fire resist/immunities.

  13. Shoeboxjeddy says:

    “Gendry walk-and-talks with Thoros and Beric, with the Hound butting in at the end. Gendry is understandably upset that they lied to him and sold him as chattel to a woman who wanted to violate his body at best and kill him at worst. The fact that he objects to that is played for comedy, believe it or not.”

    The fact that Gendry is angry isn’t played for comedy. He’s a likable enough guy. The comedy comes from asking the least sympathetic person in the world (The Hound) and two religious fanatics, one of whom regularly has died, for sympathy in that situation. They would never give it, the fanatics see that it has all worked out, since Gendry is there to help them now (so that’s what the Lord of Light must have wanted) and The Hound doesn’t give a shit.

    “Then Jon walk-and-talks with Jorah, and it ends with Jon keeping Longclaw (which was originally the Mormont family blade). Jon is King of the North and really should be executing Jorah, who is still under sentence of death. But the ways in which this show is ignoring the worldbuilding premises set up in the early seasons are too numerous to enumerate at this point, so let’s just skip that.”

    This is some dumb shit right here. Pretending like Jon should just act like his dad would NOW at this point is beyond ridiculous. First, Ned wasn’t a role model, his unswerving ideals have gotten thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of people killed. Many other lords AT THE TIME thought allowing Jorah to take the Black would have been okay, so even in a normal time, just killing Jorah out of hand was rather extreme. Now that he’s a sworn sword to a foreign leader who Jon is in an alliance with, Jon demanding to kill him would be insane, pointless, counterproductive, and out of character. There shouldn’t even BE a King in the North if Jon was the kind of rules following robot you describe here. There would be no alliance with the wildlings. He wouldn’t have taken a meeting with Dany. Etc etc etc. What an out of nowhere, out of touch comment this is.

    “Oh no, we can’t, because Jon walk-and-talks with Beric Dondarrion, and recalls his Night’s Watch oath (the one that he really should be considered in violation of by becoming King in the North in the first place).”

    The oath specifically says you are pledged until you are dead. Jon died, oath done. He also knew there was important shit to get done. The purpose of the oath is to protect the world from the White Walkers, if you have to leave the Wall to do that, then you do it. Once again, this rules following robot has never been Jon Snow, and the show would be unwatchable if he was as stupid as the character you insist on thinking he is.

    “I’m gonna be honest, I don’t like this whole Tormund-Brienne thing. It seems to treat the idea that someone would be attracted to Brienne as a punchline in and of itself. It also considers the fact that Tormund stares at Brienne to the point of making her visibly uncomfortable to be funny.”

    Disagree that that’s the point of the joke. The joke is that Tormund is forward to the point where he makes basically ANY person uncomfortable. He openly suggests that while he prefers women, he would have sex with a man in a pinch while the group is walking. He’s said that he made it with a bear in the past. He wants to have “giant monster children” with Brienne. And we’re not meant to think Brienne is horrible, there was that whole bathing scene in Season 3, that hang up is all yours. The joke about staring is that her expression of distaste is recognizable to where the Hound and Tormund know that anyone could recognize her from just that (so you HAVE seen her!).

    • Sannom says:

      First, Ned wasn’t a role model, his unswerving ideals have gotten thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of people killed.

      Oh come on, what killed Ned was his trauma after witnessing the remains of Elia Martell and her children. He couldn’t bear to have Cersei and her children murdered after that.

      Also, do you seriously believe that Stannis wouldn’t have gone to war anyways? He knew the truth about Cersei’s children and he wasn’t about to let that pass.

      See this : http://turtle-paced.tumblr.com/post/131401167312/book-1-vs-season-1-poor-doomed-ned

      • Joshua says:

        Interesting reading. I’d agree with it.

        One other thing that I think worth mentioning is that when Ned confronts Cersei and gives her the chance to flee, he believes that he’s doing it from a position of strength, and there is no reason why he would normally be wrong . Ned doesn’t know that Robert isn’t going to be back in the city soon (unwounded), and he’s astounded that Cersei isn’t making plans to flee.

        Unless I’m forgetting something, the whole reason why she stays is because she expects Robert to be dead due to Lancel feeding him super wine. But was it explicitly mentioned that she has discovered that her attempt was successful before anyone else in King’s Landing had found out? (if so, how?). Her method of trying to kill Robert was circumspect so it would legitimately look like an accident, but the flip side of that coin was it could easily have not have happened. Robert could simply have passed out drunk before encountering a boar. A boar could have avoided being found. Robert may have successfully killed the boar through luck. Etc. Her series of attempts to get him killed through what might look like accident make a lot of sense over the long haul, but not for her to pin her survival on in this one instance. I wish GRRM would have written this a bit differently in the timing of these events.

        Ned would have had a lot less reputation for letting his honor get him killed if Robert would have strolled fully alive back to King’s Landing for Ned to report to him. It’s debatable about whether Renly’s plan to kidnap Joffrey would have successfully avoided war or not, which is a separate case of whether Ned was being foolishly “honorable” or just practical.

    • Joshua says:

      On a tangent, for any who thought about seeing Logan Lucky which just came out this past weekend, there’s a very out of the blue extended joke involving GRRM and ASOIAF.

  14. Daemian Lucifer says:

    They need to rename the show to “Saving private snow”

    Five time.Five fucking times someone saves Jon from his stupidity,and every time someone of great value dies.

    • BlueHorus says:

      1) Stupid catch-a-wight commando mission part 1, saved by Dany.

      2) Stupid catch-a-wight commando mission part 2, saved by Benjen.

      3) Battle of the Bastards, saved by Sansa.

      What are the others?

    • Shoeboxjeddy says:

      I think saying Jon is “stupid” doesn’t really do it. For example, was it stupid for Jon to try to save Rickon? I guess, but it was also literally treason for him to not TRY to do it. Rickon was the Lord of Winterfell over Jon, not even running to save him would be like refusing a request to duel for him because you think the other guy might cheat. And he didn’t even cheat, he just played it out to mess with Jon…

      The Wight mission is certainly risky but if they get Cersei on their side, worth it. I don’t understand why they didn’t take along horses. I completely understand why they didn’t ask for dragons to swing by until it was life or death. Dany didn’t fully believe in the idea of The Army of the Dead, but DID believe in a message that said “I am about to die unless you come rescue me, please come if you can.” The idea that the White Walkers is new (and valuable!) information to have, Jon couldn’t necessarily have just known about this.

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        The fact that he has luck of epic proportions and always manages to stumble upon something does not change the fact that he is a moron. Yet everyone just falls over backwards to be lead by him.

        Yes, they shouldve at least brought horses. But they also couldve brought an army with them. Now that he is king in da norf and all.

        With rick, he wasnt stupid for rushing to save his brother , but he sure is an imbecile for then rushing towards the enemy army alone.

        • Shoeboxjeddy says:

          The army is a really bad idea. Hardhome is what it looks like if you bring the army. The White Walkers super kill you and then all your losses grow their army. The point of a small group was stealth and speed. Which… if they had brought mounts, would have been perfectly doable.

          Jon runs forwards after Rickon’s death for two reasons. 1) Ramsey has his archers fire past Jon and only by running forwards can he dodge that and 2) He can’t outrun Ramsey’s cavalry charge, so he might as well meet it as a fighter than get run over like a peasant.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      Ok,to be fair to jon,he does have targaryen genes.The same ones that were in king “BURN THEM ALL ALIVE!!!” and prince “Ill cut your unborn son from my sisters belly!”.So being stupid is not that unexpected for him.At least he isnt utterly crazy on top of it.

  15. Shoeboxjeddy says:

    “Next, there’s a sequence with an undead polar bear, who mauls Thoros before the rest of the squad kills it. I have no idea why this sequence was included. Why would an undead polar bear be wandering around in the middle of nowhere? I don’t know. I don’t know why any of this happens. Thoros gets mauled for an unnecessarily long time, then recovers after a swig of booze and an impromptu cauterization.”

    The zombie polar bear is a guard dog for the scouting party of White Walkers that Jon and the gang ambush in the very next scene. After they win this battle, the group sees the tracks the bear made, and the gang is clearly going to reverse those tracks. When they do, they find what they’re looking for. So… it makes perfect sense why the scene was there? Also, Thoros gets mauled long enough to get a fatal wound. He later dies of that wound, his “recovery” is just him marshaling his remaining strength for a while longer.

    “Later, Jon and company encounter a group of wights and a White Walker, who are separated from the main group and traveling alone for no reason. Jon kills the White Walker, and all the wights disintegrate except one. For no reason.”

    The group is some kind of scouting party. They encounter the apparent campsite Jon’s group set as a trap, which means the living are around. They’re clearly going to try to find and kill those living people. It’s also cute to say “for no reason” and then describe the stated reason in the footnote. Are you angling for a job writing very obvious misstatements for Cinemasins or something?

    “They tie up and capture this final wight, then retreat to an island in the middle of a lake. The wights surround and pursue them, but the ice covering the lake breaks under their weight, and Team Capture-a-Wight is briefly safe on an island in the middle of the lake. Can wights swim, or not?”

    It sort of doesn’t matter. The dead are impossibly patient. They just stand there and wait while Jon’s party begins to freeze to death (this was lampshaded by the beginning of the episode where it’s noted you need to walk, fight, or fuck to stay alive up this far North). By waiting, Thoros dies without taking another swing at the Walkers. Jon and the group will be joining him, but The Hound somewhat hilariously triggers the attack by tipping everyone off to the fact that the presence of the White Walkers has turned the shallow ice into firm, walkable ice.

    “A series of chronologically impossible things happen: Gendry runs from some indeterminate place north of the wall to the wall (either Eastwatch or Castle Black, and this is on foot mind you), then a raven goes from there to Dragonstone, then Dany and three dragons fly from there to the previously-mentioned indeterminate place north of the wall, all in less time than it takes for a giant army of wights to attack a rock in the middle of a lake.”

    Clearly Gendry ran to Eastwatch. They embarked from Eastwatch, OF COURSE Eastwatch is closer. No idea why you’d even guess that he ran hundreds (thousands?) of miles west rather than the place they just came from and hadn’t walked that far away from. Remember… they walked here. The Dead are very close to the Wall at this point, it wasn’t that far to go. I have no idea how long flying this distance takes… but neither does anyone else. It’s enough time for Thoros to freeze to death. I would imagine broken ice freezing into firm ice takes a while and it’s not like they noticed right away. There’s enough time pictured for the rock team to sleep in shifts and so on. If you just mean “it’s dumb the Dead didn’t attack right away”, eh. They literally have infinite time. Why lose 30 wights when you could maybe lose none and turn Jon’s whole group as they freeze to death? And when reinforcements arrive, they react without panicking and make that situation to their advantage as well.

    “If you had told me, at twelve years old, that the phrase “turns it into a zombie dragon” would have elicited a groan of frustration and disgust, I would never have believed you. And yet here we are.”

    This seems like the reaction of someone who’s going to be making fair minded judgments from here on. Someone who can’t even bring themself to be excited about the bad guys getting a ZOMBIE ICE DRAGON. This would be like if you started complaining at the Eden Prime section of Mass Effect 1. Gee, I bet you’ll be great fun by the time 3 rolls around…

    • Duffy says:

      On the topic of the message getting to Dragonstone and Dany flying back up, some people have done the math using various references for the distance covered and the best estimate I’ve seen is 40 hours from Eastwatch to Dragonstone if the Raven flies non-stop. The dragons don’t have any good speed references, but they should be a lot slower than the ravens, some very favorable estimates put it at double the raven fly time. So your looking at 6-7 days for the whole sequence if everyone can achieve “remarkable” time.

      I can hand wave or forgive a lot of the plot stuff, or at least just groan with a “eh they went that way with it?” and move on, but this teleportation stuff is getting out of hand. They didn’t even hand wave it by having them setup a little camp and casually mention they’re gonna run out of food in another day or two or anything to imply some time is passing while they wait. This is a show where we spent most of a season watching armies march around or people spend time traveling but suddenly anyone who can get on a boat or dragon can be anywhere in Westeros within hours.

      • boz says:

        You don’t get to have your cake and eat it. Do you wanna science the fly speed of a dragon? Ok then lets calculate how much time has passed waiting by icing of the lake.

        At minus 30 degrees celcius (-20 F) it takes around 7 days to reach 40cm thickness (15″).

        You need at least 10 cm ice (and that is clear ice) for a single line of people to be able to walk over it safely before breaking it. When it’s slush ice(snow ice, white ice, ice with air bubbles in it) you need to double that number 20cm (8″). A car or a truck would require 40cm. They attacked with an army.

        So chances are they were stuck on that rock for a long time.

        I did find “Littlefingers Jetpack” funny when they were fresh but these teleportation complaints are ridiculous at this point. Nobody would watch Jon and suicide squad 4 weeks waiting on that rock. We know this because AMC did that in walking dead and farm episodes. It’s going to be boring, I don’t want to watch that you don’t want to watch that.

        • ehlijen says:

          Then they should stop writing plots that require wilful ignorance of the distances involved.

          7 days at -30C at night without shelter means you’re dead.

        • Rymdsmurfen says:

          Well, suppose we were to accept that they could survive for more than a couple of days in that climate without shelter. Let’s say that they actually do stay alive for the minimum realistic time it would take for the Gendry-raven-dragon relay to finish. Say a week. Even then the show must provide some clue that this time has actually passed. It doesn’t takes much real screentime to depict passage of time, and the tricks to do so are so old an numerous that when the directors decides to omit them my only take from this is that no large amount of time has passed. A few hours — a day at most. It’s really confusing, for no good reason.

    • Rymdsmurfen says:

      Why lose 30 wights when you could maybe lose none and turn Jon’s whole group as they freeze to death?

      That’s very rational thinking. Which is not what you would expect from the hyper-aggressive zombie horde we have seen in the past seasons.

  16. Shoeboxjeddy says:

    “Littlefinger seems to suggest using Brienne, who is bound to protect both of them, in some kind of manipulation or something. Then, later, Sansa sends Brienne to the parlay with Cersei (who, for inexplicable reasons, is sending out invitations before a wight has been captured. Right? Or is this something else that’s happening out of chronological order?) So did that Brienne thing just go nowhere? What was it supposed to be? Did Littlefinger want her to go to King’s Landing? If so, why?”

    I think the implication is that Sansa is scared Brienne would stop HER from getting at Arya? Littlefinger is phrasing it as if Brienne would protect her, but Sansa took it the other way, which probably Littlefinger wanted her to do. It’s certainly a bad thing for the Starks that Sansa sent the only levelheaded person away. And Cersei agreed to negotiations in the episode where Jaime and Tyrion met, guess you missed that. The whole point of the Wight is that she would refuse to listen without proof.

    “Sansa accidentally admitted that she deserves the bulk of the credit for the victory over Ramsay Bolton. Not really directly related to the Arya/Sansa conflict, but I still like to see that I’m not the only one that noticed that Jon lead his army into catastrophic defeat last season.”

    This is like your whole “Jon is Dead” rant, where you assume the show is stupid and ignoring its own plot so that you can sound smart, and then refuse to acknowledge that the show is fully aware of those plot points and is just handling things in its own way. The show is fully aware of how the Battle against the Boltons turned out and it’s informing Sansa’s character. You’re not more clever than the writers here.

    “Am I just straight-up too dumb to understand this? You can go ahead and tell me if I am. From where I’m sitting, it looks like a bunch of nonsense.”

    I don’t think you’re dumb, I think at some point you’ve decided you don’t like this and now you’re refusing to apply yourself in your criticisms. NEVER write a criticism that is literally spelled out and explained away in dialogue, that is the territory of the Cinemasins of the world.

    • Amarsir says:

      > I think the implication is that Sansa is scared Brienne would stop HER from getting at Arya?

      I got the same impression on second watch. Littlefinger’s statement was very deliberately “If one were planning to harm the other.” This could be “I learned everything from Cersei” Sansa planning a pre-emptive strike. Except that doesn’t really make sense with anything they’ve shown for her character.

      • Chris Davies says:

        This is very clearly Littlefinger’s plan. He’s systematically alienating everyone who would support Sansa except for himself, first by planning for Arya to find the note and then to plant suspicion of Brienne in her mind.

        The one infuriating aspect of this plan is that Sansa has another sibling who basically knows everything and could ruin this plot with a word if the he wasn’t busy being enigmatic. It would also have been derailed by Sansa asking sensible questions of Arya like “where did you get this note?”

        • BlueHorus says:

          Or if Sansa was a bit less trusting of the man who sold her to a monster. And murdered her aunt, in front of her, then lied about it. And other things I’ve forgotten about that she’s seen him do.

          How many seasons has she had as a hostage, being jerked around by other people’s plots? It’d be nice if she had learned something after all that time.

          Mind you, it’s not like Arya ‘Imma cut your face off’ Stark is helping the situation.

          • Daemian Lucifer says:

            Indeed,sansa learning something during all her time in captivity wouldve been great.But alas.

            And I dont think she saw him murder her aunt.As I remember,no one was in that room at the time.

  17. Risven says:

    Jon would not want to execute Jorah at all – or, if he wants to, he certainly is wise enough not to. Jorah at this point serves Dany, whose help Jon very much needs. He wouldn’t go “oh, you sold slaves a while back in the North, and I’ll go ahead and execute you now, even though that would cause no end of problems with the newly arrived and definitely ruthless Mother of Dragons.”

    I really don’t think this is an example of them ignoring worldbuilding premises from earlier seasons. They don’t address it, which might have been nice, but it makes sense to me.

  18. sheer_falacy says:

    I think you’re being overly generous to the ridiculous plotline in the north.

    The fact that exactly one zombie survived is ridiculous.

    When they hear the army of the dead coming, they tell Gendry to run to eastwatch, then they and Gendry run in opposite directions. Why? Don’t they also want to go there, since they managed to retrieve the zombie that they needed? I can understand sending someone ahead, but going directly away from your destination is a bad plan.

    Then, after they went in two opposite directions while in a ravine that only has two directions to go, the giant undead army comes from behind them. Which is the direction Gendry went. Whoops.

    Then they’re running from the army, in a straight line, and going faster than them. Despite this, the undead army surrounds them by the time they reach the middle of the lake, having run thrice as far as the living characters. I guess zombies who aren’t nearby are way faster than ones that are.

    And then, yes, the absurdity that a raven got to Daenerys and Daenerys got to them instantly. I guess it’s lucky that they picked the same day delivery option. It really seems like Westeros is a couple of miles across.

    Also, the way they used redshirts was kind of a joke. It was never obvious how many there were – I thought there were 2 based on the previous episode, but at least 4 died in this one. Basically whenever they wanted a dramatic moment, they spawned in a redshirt and killed them. And then in the end none su

    Oh, and in their dramatic last stand on their island, they’re putting a lot of effort into protecting the dead guy they captured. After all, if they lose that one, where would they get another one? It’s not like they’re surrounded by a literal army of them or something.

    • Shoeboxjeddy says:

      Exactly one zombie survived, but maybe it would have been a couple. And they had already bashed in the other survivor zombies heads. It wouldn’t have improved the scene if say, three survived, they discussed which one they wanted, and then dispatched the other two. Would have just made it longer without improving the content at all.

      They are running in generally the same direction as Gendry (South) but split the party to ensure the fastest wouldn’t be visibly obviously on his own and weaponless. The reason they did this is to get backup from Dany if they couldn’t just outrun the dead, which they strongly suspected they could not do. Correctly.

      How do you figure they’re going faster than the zombies? The shot where Jon is running full tilt, you can see zombies overtaking his sprint on the edge of the lake. He also realizes eventually, there’s more already on the other side of the lake, initially not visible.

      It wasn’t “instantly”. Gendry gets to Eastwatch about the time the stalemate begins. There’s enough time for Thoros to freeze to death and for characters to go to sleep and then wake up again before combat restarts.

      Yeah, redshirts gonna redshirt. I’m a bit surprised there weren’t more named character deaths.

      The dead guy who’s tied up and has a bag over his head you mean? The only one that can’t easily kill them if they try to take him with? Can’t imagine why they’d focus on him rather than the fully armed ones rushing over to kill them…

      • sheer_falacy says:

        They didn’t need to have a big discussion about it, just having 2 other surviving zombies that get stabbed instantly would have been fine.

        They pretty clearly didn’t run in the same direction as Gendry.

        I figure they aren’t going faster than the zombies because they were running away from the zombies and the zombies didn’t catch them, except the redshirt that tripped.

        No, it wasn’t instantly, it took a whole one day. This is a continent.

        Redshirts are going to redshirt, but it should feel like they have a fixed number of redshirts. If you think to yourself “ok, that was the last redshirt”, and then someone gets devoured by zombies and you realize they’re not a named character, then they messed up.

        • boz says:

          it took a whole one day

          We don’t know that. And I already made the calculation up to answer someone else. That amount of ice needs 5-6 days to carry an army. You can’t speed that up* and keep the distance realistic.

          *: -30C (-20F) is max you can go. Any colder and exposed skin will start freezing. We are talking frostbite and chopping fingers off.

  19. Kian says:

    Did Jon call Daenerys “Dany” at the end there? When did they get so chummy? Almost sounded like “darling”, I thought Jon might have been delirious for a second.

    I’m confused why the show wants to fake us with killing Jon so much. I mean, someone wrote “Jon gets trapped in an island surrounded by the army of the dead,” which a couple seasons back would have been a death sentence, but they survive the day or two it takes for Daenerys to arrive. Then with the dragon there and all ready to leave, he goes off to kill more zombies, for no clear reason. I mean, the first couple I could understand as him “making time for the others to climb aboard”, but he was clearly going further and further away despite it making no sense. That was death sentence number two, and they do in fact leave him behind when he goes under the water. So I thought “ok, they had to make him do something incredibly dumb to justify separating him from the group and dying”, but then he climbs out of the lake.

    Then I thought “ok, they just wanted him to miraculously walk his way back alone, to split him from Daenerys until a dramatic reveal next episode or season”? But the army that was still milling around see him, death sentence number three IN THIS ONE EPISODE. And out of nowhere Benjen comes up, gives him his horse (two people can ride a single horse, you know?) and saves him. And of course, Dany was waiting for him, hoping against all reason that someone they saw fall under the water in a lake surrounded by the entire zombie army could somehow make it back. Who gave her the script?

    The thing that confuses me is that this isn’t just a chronicle of things that happened. This is a work of fiction, with a supposedly thinking person behind it trying to tell a story. So everything that happens happens because a thinking person thought “I want this to happen”. So when a character does something dumb in service to the plot, I imagine it’s because the writer wanted something in particular to happen and couldn’t accomplish it if the character didn’t play along. Batman will distrust Superman in a comic because the writer wanted a Batman vs Superman fight scene. Fine, if we get something cool out of it, I can forgive it. But why would you make the characters do dumb things in service of dumb plot?

    The things that happened in the episode were: Dany saw the army, and is now motivated (clearly she wasn’t completely convinced before, which was understandable). A dragon died and is now a zombie dragon. This stresses that the enemy isn’t something she can take on by herself, her dragons are powerful against the army but they’re vulnerable to the white walkers. They got their zombie. Benjen died. The priest dude died.

    Given those constraints, a much better episode that accomplished all of that could have been made without making Jon’s plot armor so terribly obvious, or making him behave in a way that is specially dumb but not commented on. I mean, something dumb was needed to get the dragons north of the wall, but as I said above, I don’t mind dumb set ups for cool payoffs, and “Dragon rains fire on zombie army” is a cool payoff. But you don’t need to make the absolute dumbest possible setup. Having Benjen join up with the expeditionary party before they found the army would have allowed for Benjen to die without the whole “Jon goes off to fight zombies instead of climbing aboard the dragon, drowns, comes back from drowning, is about to be swarmed and Benjen comes from nowhere just to die in his place” interlude.

    • Malimar says:

      And of course, Dany was waiting for him, hoping against all reason that someone they saw fall under the water in a lake surrounded by the entire zombie army could somehow make it back. Who gave her the script?

      I assumed she was waiting for the fallen dragon, who had a slightly better chance of survival than Jon and whom she cared much more about than Jon.

      • Risven says:

        I don’t think she was waiting for Jon or the dragon, I think she was just mourning their loss. It is maybe supposed to be coincidence that Jon shows up just in time for Jorah to see him.

  20. DungeonHamster says:

    Unless you had subtitles on, how do you know whether they were saying whinge or whine? They’re more or less interchangeable these days, but the convergence is fairly recent, and they’ve actually got somewhat different histories; roughly, whine comes from a word for an annoying sound like buzzing or humming or something along those lines, while whinge comes from a word for wailing and moaning.

    • Nessus says:

      This threw me for a loop as well. I’ve never heard of “whinging” being pronounced without the “g” before, but when I tried to sound it out myself, I found that it sounds pretty similar to “whining” (it actually sounds like “winning”, but context could skew ones interpretation of sounds heard).

      So to me it read like Mr. Btongue somehow does not know that “whine” and “whinge” are two different words (albeit synonyms). And not having seen the episode, the only way I can deduce that his comment makes any sense is that + if he was watching it with the subs on, and the actor said “whining”, but the subs said “whinging”.

      Also: when a word ending in an “e” gets suffixed with “ing”, the “i” replaces the “e”. So: “whinging”, not “whingeing”. The latter reads back as “winj-EH-ing” or winj-EE-ing” rather than “WINJ-ing”.

  21. Harper says:

    I can’t figure it out whether it was intentional or not, but when the writers came up with the whole Zombie Dragon idea, they threw out Prince Rhaegar’s entire motivation and characterization. So basically the whole of Robert’s Rebellion, overthrow of the Targaryens, conception of Jon Snow was because of what I can only imagine to be Rhaegar’s infatuation of an underage girl

    • Malimar says:

      I don’t follow what the zombie dragon has to do with Rhaegar and the prophecy. As far as Rhaegar knew, dragons were extinct, and he had no reason to believe in anything beyond the Wall other than wildlings.

      • Harper says:

        There’s a prophecy within the series about the Three-headed Dragon and the Prince that was Promised all point to three riders on three dragons that will stop the Long Night
        Rhaegar believed in the prophecies, he believed his son Aegon was that Prince, but when he saw Lyanna he believed their coupling would be the “Song of Ice and Fire” needed to make the real Prince.
        Those two prophecies are linked, because Jon is going to be one of those riders

        • Malimar says:

          The Prince that was Promised/Song of Ice and Fire prophecy doesn’t really have anything to do with dragons, though. Are you confusing it with the various other prophecies and things people say that pertain to the dragon having three heads?

        • ehlijen says:

          Does the prophecy explicitly say that all 3 riders and dragons are on the same side? Because lich king + multiple dragons hints at at least 1 zombie dragon rider, even in the books. You can’t deny that dragons fighting each other would potentially be far more climactic than just one side having dragons.

          A ‘three headed dragon’ could be a fight between three dragons, for example.

          • ehlijen says:

            Or does it say all three riders and dragons will survive the war? One could die after the ‘three headed dragon’ is assembled.

          • KarmaTheAlligator says:

            Don’t know about you, but to me to even be a ‘three headed anything’ means they’re on the same side. Otherwise it’s just ‘three somethings’

            • ehlijen says:

              It could also mean they’ll be in the same battle. Your interpretation sounds more likely, I’ll admit, but that doesn’t mean it must be the correct one. Prophecies, especially poetic ones, sometimes defy straight forward readings.

  22. Daemian Lucifer says:

    The fact that he objects to that is played for comedy, believe it or not.

    No,its played for comedy because he is in a company of very different people.Very unhinged people.

    Jon is King of the North and really should be executing Jorah, who is still under sentence of death

    Why?He is in service of a …ally?… of sorts.His appeal for alliance to dany trumps some deserters faith.

    the one that he really should be considered in violation of by becoming King in the North in the first place

    We have been over this already.His oath expired when he died.

    It seems to treat the idea that someone would be attracted to Brienne as a punchline in and of itself. It also considers the fact that Tormund stares at Brienne to the point of making her visibly uncomfortable to be funny.

    No,it treats the fact that tormund is deluded into thinking that brienne has something for him as a joke.Because such a delusion is a joke.

    This show is so shot through with nonsense on every level that they just don’t do anything for me.

    From what you wrote so far,you dont like it just because you have grown angry with the episode.It has nothing to do with the quality of the conversations.Which were good.

    Why would an undead polar bear be wandering around in the middle of nowhere?

    What else is an undead polar bear to do?Why shouldnt undead wild animals patrol the wast stretches of north,known to still have some people roaming here and there?

    but that explanation falls apart under the gentlest breeze of scrutiny.

    No,it doesnt.Unless you are going to scrutinize every bit of magic in this world with “Thats not how the real world operates”.

    Can wights swim, or not?

    They cant.Which was shown numerous times by them sinking when they fall in.The only few that manage to get to the surface are the ones who just fell in and managed to grasp at the person near the hole.

    If you had told me, at twelve years old, that the phrase “turns it into a zombie dragon” would have elicited a groan of frustration and disgust, I would never have believed you. And yet here we are.

    As mentioned above,you are just too jaded at this point and simply want to hate everything.Even the good things.Which this is.

    The Obnoxious Arya-Sansa Thing

    Can you,and everyone who was sharing your point of view,now please go back and admit that arya is a psycho?That the show is portraying her as a psycho as I have been saying for ages?Thank you.

    If we assume all of the above

    Why should we?Why should we assume that just because he is a pervert and lusts for sansa he wants her to be her queen and is not treating her as just another pawn?Why should we assume that his plan is for sansa to grow distant from arya,and not to split the family apart for some other reason?Or to undermine sansas authority and grasp the whole north for himself now that jon is away?

    Is this landing for people? Are there people that get butterflies in their stomach at the thought of having these two hook up?

    Yes.Practically since their first meeting Ive heard friends cheering for the two to hook up.The only one who does not want that is me,because I really dont like jon.But Im the minority here.

    • BlueHorus says:

      Well this feels like a waste of time, but sure, why not try.

      Can you,and everyone who was sharing your point of view,now please go back and admit that arya is a psycho?That the show is portraying her as a psycho as I have been saying for ages?Thank you.

      Can you please go back and understand that a lot of the complaints (including Bobs) weren’t about the fact that Arya is an unlikeable, psychotic character, but that the show seemed to think we were supposed to like her?
      The way a character is depicted in a story is more than just the things that the story shows them to do.

      It may well be that the show has caught onto the fact that her show incarnation has so little redeeming value, which is good. But that’s another issue.

      Why should we assume that just because [Littlefinger] is a pervert and lusts for sansa he wants her to be her queen and is not treating her as just another pawn?

      I don’t think we should assume anything about Littlefinger. Like Euron Greyjoy, he’s an inscrutable force of nature that can do anything the writer wants, because his actions and their consequences fill screen time.

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        but that the show seemed to think we were supposed to like her

        You mean how we were supposed to like tywin?How is that a bad thing?From the very beginning when Bob brought it up,I kept pointing out that just because people root for arya does not make her a good person,a sane person.Yet Bob(and many others,and you here) keeps saying that because the show revels in her revenge,it somehow means that the show presents her as one of the good guys.

        • BlueHorus says:

          the show revels in her revenge

          There. Right there. The show does. Not Arya, while we watch her; we as an audience are invited to revel in it with her, and her murders are framed as good.

          But as I said before, if you can’t see it after what’s been said in previous threads, you just won’t now.

        • Malimar says:

          Wait, we’re supposed to like Tywin? I mean, I did like Tywin, but I never got the sense the show agreed with me.

          • BlueHorus says:

            What did you like about him?

            I liked him too – specifically, how intelligent he was, how his character made sense, how Charles Dance played him really well. He was awesome on-screen.

            But I didn’t like that he was also horrible character, who was directly responsible for a lot of his children’s problems (and thus the realms’). He engineered for himself an utterly fitting death.

            This character is awesome! They make sense and enhance the story.
            vs
            This character is awesome! They’re so great and I want to root for them.

        • Amarsir says:

          I think the show made it’s call when Arya killed Meryn Trant. He’d been on her list for a long time, and her killing him would only have spoken to her character. However, the show made sure we knew he was a pedophile so we’d hate him extra; thus making Arya’s kill all the more justified. It was pretty clear they wanted us to be rooting for her.

          Now it’s possible they are finally starting to add some depth for her here. Or it’s possible this drama was all just her acting to flush out Littlefinger and she’ll continue to be a superhero. But if we’re supposed to think that she’s unstable and has been acting unjustly, the show hasn’t tried to set it up at all.

          • Daemian Lucifer says:

            All the times she had a dead eyed stare while killing someone,all her interactions with the hound,her crazy laughter upon hearing that everyone in the vale is dead,that was not setup to show how broken and unhinged she was?

            • ehlijen says:

              And yet the show kept trying sell her actions as awesome to the audience. She was unhinged, but still presented as someone to root for, with all the problems that combination brings.

              • Daemian Lucifer says:

                But the two arent mutually exclusive.There are problems with that,sure,but they arent insurmountable.Saying that because the show presents characters bad actions as something to be hyped for must make the character good is false.

                • ehlijen says:

                  They are not insurmountable, no. Starship Troopers is a fine example of showing bad people do bad things heroically. But at this point, the GoT team lacks the writing chops to deliver that kind of juxtaposition. Too many setting rules get broken (distance, time, motivation, allegiance etc) to still convince many people that there is indeed a deeper meaning in Arya’s flip flopping on the sanity scale.

                  Throwing in that pointless scene with the singer didn’t help, as it just muddled the waters further.

                  • Daemian Lucifer says:

                    It is not a recent thing though.It was something set up and shown practically in all her scenes with the hound.This is just the conclusion of that arc.

                    • ehlijen says:

                      No, it’s the arc continuing to flail about not going anywhere. She joined up with the hound in what was that, season 3? Where has that arc gone since then?

                      What we’ve seen this season:
                      -She kills all the frey men (yay! dead assholes!)
                      -She doesn’t kill the lannister soldiers she meets (they’re nice!)
                      -She abandons her quest to kill cersei after hearing some of her siblings are alive
                      -Nymeria refuses to join with her*
                      -She comes back to winterfell and is generally creepy, including threatening to kill her own sister

                      We’ve been told that she obsesses over her family and their murders but otherwise seems to have a modicum of compassion. She didn’t like when the hound stole from a farmer. She didn’t kill the actress she was sent to kill. She refused to give up being a stark. She didn’t kill the Lannister soldiers she met this season who were rather nice to her.
                      When she does kill, the show goes out of its way to establish that her foes are evil. The waif attacked first. The freys are shown to be villainous (and she leaves all the abused women alive!). The knight she murders was a pedophile.

                      So yes, Arya threatening Sansa came out of the blue and was out of what little we know of her character at this point. Sansa is family to her. And not on the kill list.

                      It doesn’t help that her arc is now crushing into the WTF is littlefinger up to arc, which also had severe clarity issues for several seasons now.

                      *In that scene Arya says “That’s not you anymore.”
                      Who is she talking about, and what isn’t that someone anymore?
                      -Is she not a stark anymore, thus not deserving of a dire wolf?
                      -Is she not a killer anymore, hence her abandoning the plan to kill cersei?
                      -Is Nymeria not a pet anymore?
                      -Is she not a stark anymore, thus abandoning her intent to return to winterfell (at that point in the show, we didn’t know that wasn’t what she meant.)
                      This is what I mean when I say I have no idea what her arc is doing. I literally had no idea what she was talking about here.

                      Her arc needs clarity, badly. Some sign of where it’s going, if it’s not just her being a leet avenger of the night.

                    • Daemian Lucifer says:

                      It doesnt matter how good or bad people who she kills are*,it matters HOW she is doing it.Compare her kills to those of jon,or better yet to her father.Her father executed men in cold blood,not out of revenge,but because of his sense of duty.He took no joy in it,and he did it personally because it was his burden,not something to be put on the shoulders of another.He did it as quickly and painlessly as he could,with no drawing out of the inevitability.Thats how a good person kills,out of necessity**,and carrying it as a burden.

                      Meanwhile,arya takes immense pleasure in her revenge,enjoying every second of it.Its not her duty,its not her obligation,its her lust for revenge,its the only thing that brings her joy in life.Check out the scene when she gets the needle back,how lovingly she ogles the blade,how she is making sure that the fear and realization are etched into her victim before she kills him.Thats how an evil person kills,taking joy in the act,and never reflecting on it as a bad thing.

                      Her talk to sansa is just an extension of that.She is merely putting her emotions into words.

                      *Again,Ill invoke dexter.Dexter made it his code to not kill those he felt dont deserve it.But dexter is a clear psychopath.Just because someone is a psychopath does not mean they cannot show mercy,or that they must kill chaotically with no rhyme or reason.
                      **What they believe is necessity,at least.But lets not go into the morality of executions.

                    • ehlijen says:

                      It matters absolutely if she kills good or bad people, because as the only events of tangible progress in her arc, framing means everything as to how the audience sees her. Every kill Arya has made has been preceded by a setup to make sure the victim is seen as more evil than her. Where that wasn’t the case, she doesn’t kill (actress, lannister soldiers).

                      Her actions are framed as heroic*, by the standards of this world (especially compared to Sansa who’s only just started being an active character in the story).

                      *Certainly more in the classical ‘make your own fate’ meaning than in the goody-two-shoes’ meaning, but even in that category she is explicitly shown as being among the ‘better’ people of the story.

                      I haven’t seen dexter (don’t want to), but I’d compare Arya to Batman, or Batman as he would be in this world of limited law. For all the dark edgy interpretations out there, the majority of stories still cast him as the hero. And Arya’s plots work hard to cast her in the best light possible.

                      If she was as evil as you say, why’d she give up on killing cersei and instead returned to winterfell?

                    • Daemian Lucifer says:

                      She is more like the punisher than batman.And punisher is more an antihero.Audiences can still root for antiheroes,but they arent really good guys.

                      If she was as evil as you say, why’d she give up on killing cersei and instead returned to winterfell?

                      Because,unlike with some other characters,theres still some nuance to her.She isnt a mustache twirling villain,but she is an unhinged assassin.And while she spared sansa (this time),I doubt she would stay her hand if any of them tried to interfere with her plans.Perhaps by promising cersei that she will live.That would be a nice source of conflict between arya and jon.Though I doubt thats going to happen in the show.

  23. Preciousgollum says:

    There might have been ONE possible way to redeem this episode:

    Make the entire episode about BEYOND THE WALL and have it be a continuous journey of the assembled cast, instead of cutting the action on favour of the meandering sub-plots.

    That way, at least a couple of the issues could have been solved by adding scenes which could have better set up the scenario.

    Then, wouldn’t it have been much better if the expedition characters were being CHASED all the way to the Wall, and then the dragons turn up, rather than the whole nonsense of being surrounded for ‘drama’.

    Imagine being followed through the forest by an assailant that HAS BEEN SHOWN TO INHABIT THE FORESTS SINCE THE FIRST EVER EPISODE… OOH SPOOKY!!!

  24. Eckley says:

    I just can’t deal with it at this point. It’s become The Walking Dead. It’s become Lost. It was supposed to be The Sopranos. I’m just waiting for it to be over so *the discourse* surrounding it can fade from the public consciousness.

  25. Daemian Lucifer says:

    I don’t know what analysis I can pull from it. This show keeps bringing up references to “breaking the wheel,” and “building a better world,” but never spends even an iota of effort on describing what that entails in practical terms. The Tyrion/Dany scene punts on that particular question, for what I suspect will not be the first time.

    How?By showing us that tyrion is precisely thinking of ways how this could be done while dany is too impulsive to think long term?Thats precisely why she made him her hand.Again,what makes dany great is that she is aware of her flaws and surrounds herself with people who are willing to challenge her and advise her to do better,even though she doesnt always listen to them.

  26. Kamfrenchie says:

    I don’t get why they didn’t just ask Dany to fly over the northso she could see the army herself and have a much easier time finding and bringing back a wight. Going on foot means covering ground slower, and being susceptile to encirclement

    • Shoeboxjeddy says:

      They asked Dany for various kinds of help, which she refused. Just because “use the dragons for everything” is easy, doesn’t mean that the person with dragons will agree to do it. Kind of like the Eagles arguments in Lotr all over again.

  27. Thecheerfulpessimist says:

    My main takeaway from this has been: what the heck sort of elementary school did you attend where they would bring in an elephant?!

  28. Geebs says:

    Wights can’t swim. However, the number of wights that fell in the lake was exactly enough to mean that there was precisely one Jon Snow’s distance between the ice and the layer-o-wights (wights don’t displace water because of all of the holes). All appearances of wights through the ice are just wights standing on the shoulders of other wights.

    Question of whether wights can swim or not: SOLVED

  29. Kian says:

    Wondering, maybe all the Jon death fakeouts were intended to make us complacent, so that when they kill him for real in the season finale it will come as a surprise?

    • Eckley says:

      What an ingenious idea. Oh wait, no, it sucks.

      The show’s events function primarily as a means to “wow” the audience each week, meaning the main characters must continue to get themselves into deeper and deeper shit as the plot demands of them before being miraculously saved at the last minute.

      That being said, when they try a meandering slow-moving mystery we get things like the abortion of a Winterfell plotline this season. So many sticking with the Michael Bay shit is what’s best.

    • guy says:

      I move that Jon Snow inherit Rory Pond’s title of “The man who dies and dies again.”

      (I think Rory only actually died like five times)

    • Rack says:

      Except Jon dying in the season finale would elicit zero reaction because we’d all expect him to get resurrected again.

  30. methermeneus says:

    For anyone who’s seen the movie ‘The Revenant’, I have a sneaking suspicion that this overlong bear-mauling sequence was inspired by that movie.

    Or maybe Swiss Army Man? Pretty good bear-mailing scene there, too.

    • BlueHorus says:

      So I assume you meant ‘mauling’, but from what little I saw of Swiss Army Man it could well have had a bear-mailing scene…

      Regardless, that gives me a great idea.

      Scene: Queen Cersei is sat on the Iron Throne. Enter messenger.

      Messenger: Your Grace, you have been sent a parcel.
      Cersei: Oh? Bring it in.

      A very large crate is dragged in. Occasionally, it rocks from side to side.

      M: holds up piece of paper It says here that it is a gift from the Winter King.
      C: From Jon Snow, then?
      M: No, Your Grace, he’s the King in the North. Cringes as Cersei glares at him. Um, so-called.
      C: That’s right. Looks at crate. Hmmm. Alright, open it up. Let us see what this Winter King has sent us.

      Guards holding crowbars approach the crate, however, before they reach it, the crate bursts open! BOOM, Surprise Zombie Bear Attack!

      Now THAT’S an end-of-season twist. And a surprise character death no-one saw coming.

  31. Wraith says:

    The Gendry/Beric/Sandor scene is actually pretty fucked up, and I didn’t quite realize it until later. Gendry was literally raped by Melisandre. They are pretty much telling him to quit whining about it because someone else has had it worse.

    • Shoeboxjeddy says:

      Think of the people speaking. An unrepentant murderer and two guys who SOLD HIM to get some money for their cause. Do you… think they’d be likely to feel sorry for him?

      • Wraith says:

        I’m not saying it’s fucked up in-character, I mean it’s fucked up in a meta sense.

        Throughout the show’s run, D&D have consistently had an extremely problematic relationship with rape, and with gender identity/roles in general. Gendry was raped and, from the audience’s perspective, his predicament was played for laughs. And not only that, it is played for laughs with a male character where it has never been played for laughs with a female character.

  32. shadr says:

    One major issue this season is suffering from, which is very clear now, is that the main conflict has no real stake in the narrative. The underlying conflict of this season is that Jon Snow must convince people to help him fight the White Walkers before they breach the Wall. But, as evident by this episode, the stakes at hand aren’t very clear.

    Gendry was able to run from where the wights and White Walkers were about to attack all the way back to the wall, just before dark. This must have taken a couple hours at most, so at worst-case scenario, the White Walkers and the wights would need maybe a couple days march to reach the Wall.

    The question then, is, what’s at stake here? Benjen established last season that the Wall has magical properties that don’t allow the WW to pass, so what’s the real tension here? Another way to put this is simply; how has the threat of the White Walkers changed from the previous seasons? Back in the Season 2 finale, we saw a shot of them marching towards the Wall, and they had a pretty huge army back then even. Five seasons later, what exactly has changed? Why are they such a huge threat now? Sure there’s more of them, but we as the audience know they have no way of breaching the Wall.

    Perhaps they have some other plan at hand, given that they could have reached the Wall a long time ago (again, Gendry managed to get there rather quickly). Are they looking for some sort of magical device that will help them breach the Wall? Perhaps that was what that lone White Walker was doing with his wights; looking for something.

    Anyway, the point is is that it’s not clear what the stakes at hand are, and as a result, the central narrative conflict of this season loses all gravity.

    One popular theory that’s circulating forums is that the Night King is actually a greenseer like Bran, and could see that Daenerys would have brought her dragon past the Wall. This is supported by the fact that he brought dozens of huge chains and javelins in advance, suggesting he was expecting them.

    But this theory doesn’t really hold under scrutiny. If the Night King knew Daenerys would bring her dragon to save Jon, why would he send the wights to attack Jon and company? If Daenerys was even 10 seconds late they would have been killed, and Daenerys would have just retreated.

    The only explanation is that the Night King is very omniscient, down to the exact time at which Daenerys will come to the rescue, but this doesn’t really make sense either. If he were that omniscient, why didn’t he just throw the javelin at the stationary dragon? How did he even miss his second shot at the other dragon? Apparently he’s omniscient enough to send hundreds of wights to attack Jon, and know he will be saved at the last second, but he’s not omniscient enough to know the trajectory of a dragon. On top of that, if he were omniscient, why would he let Jon Snow live when he made his way out of the water? Whatever.

    One massive issue I haven’t seen mentioned yet occurs during Tyrion and Daenerys’ conversation. Daenerys asks Tyrion whether they are “laying any traps” for Cersei. Tyrion is against any traps as he’s against “deceit and mass-murder”. This is honestly a scene I just don’t understand. Why in the world does Daenerys all of a sudden want to start laying “traps”? Just a few episodes ago she heeded Tyrion and Jon’s advice when it came to not storming King’s Landing, as it’d lead to the mass murder of innocents. Jon explicitly said she could be a different kind of ruler, not a tyrannical one. Did she change her mind? Does she not care anymore, and that’s why she’s willing to commit mass murder by “laying a trap”? And if so, why not just storm King’s Landing instead of “laying a trap”?

    Tyrion has made traps before, like the wildfire during the Blackwater, so “trap” can’t be referring to that, as Tyrion wouldn’t have issue with tactical traps of the such. By “trap” then, I can only assume that they’re talking about slaughtering Cersei along with her guards, possible innocents, etc. which, again, doesn’t really make sense for Daenerys to want.

    None of this makes much sense, to me atleast. I don’t know if I’m just misinterpreting the scene, as I haven’t seen anyone else point this out.

    Daenerys also mentions that Tyrion has lost her “Highgarden and Dorne”, but doesn’t mention Casterly Rock. This implies its still under siege, yet we as the audience still haven’t really gotten any information as to what the status of the siege is. The Lannisters cleaned out the food stocks, and it’s been presumably 1-2 months (I’m guessing, once again the timeline of the show is so messed up it’s hard to guess) since the siege started, so the Unsullied should probably be starved out by now. Why hasn’t Daenerys taken her dragons to destroy Euron’s ships yet? She’s willing to put her dragons in much more dangerous circumstances by riding it out North and the Reach from before. Burning ships would be far less dangerous than either of those tasks.

    Once again, just like last episode, the episode’s semblance of time is laughably bad. Jon and co. get stranded, and Gendry makes it back to Eastwatch to send a raven. By the time the wights come to attack Jon and co. the lake had frozen strong enough to support the weight of hundreds of wights. I think it’s safe to assume it’s been, at the least, a couple of days. Despite this, Jon and co. are relatively unharmed (except for Thoros, due to his wounds). None of them have frostbite, despite having minimal clothing and no shelter. They didn’t take horses inexplicably, so I guess they thought this mission wouldn’t take long, so I’m assuming they didn’t take any water or food. They should be in no condition to fight, but they manage to hold off an entire horde of wights. Adrenaline can only go so far.

    Sansa even mentions at Winterfell that it’s been “weeks” since she’s seen Jon. Keep in mind that since Jon has left he has traveled from Winterfell to Dragonstone, held at Dragonstone while Tyrion and Davos traveled to King’s Landing and back, and finally traveled to Eastwatch. During the time Jon has been at Dragonstone; Euron traveled to Casterly Rock where he’s currently in a siege, which, by estimate, has been going on for at least a month.

    Are we really expected to believe all this travel really only took “weeks”? This may seem like a minor complaint, and it sort of is, but I think the writers included this one-off line of dialogue to give the viewers a rough span of where the timeline is. Apparently, it’s only been weeks.

    As a brief side note, a couple episodes ago Davos explicitly mentions that dragon fire is one of the hottest substances in the world, and suggests to Jon that he should go visit Daenerys for her dragons, as they would help take down the White Walkers. Yet, in this episode, there’s a brief shot where the Night King just walks right through the dragon flames and they extinguish themselves. This is a nitpick, but I thought it was kind of funny.

    The Arya and Sansa “conflict” is even more contrived when you remember that Arya served as Tywin’s cupbearer back in Season 2. Even if she was scared to attack Tywin herself, she could have easily had Jaqen H’gar kill him as part of her ‘three names’. Gendry even explicitly calls her out on this when they escape Harrenhal. Despite this, she still blames Sansa for writing the letter even though it was clearly written under duress. I’m not sure if the writers want us to think Arya’s a massive hypocrite all of a sudden, or if this is their way of showing how ‘far’ she’s fallen as a psychopath or something, or if they just simply forgot. It’s contrived either way.

    We also had the pleasure of experiencing probably the worst dialogue of the entire series; The Hound and Tormund.

    H: You want to suck my dick, is that it?
    T: Dick?
    H: Cock.
    T: Ahh, dick. I like it.
    H: Bet you do.
    T: Nope. It’s pussy for me.

    I don’t have much to say about this. I get the impression that the writers just threw this in here because the Hound and Tormund are fan favorites. This is probably the worst case of fan-service in the show so far. It does absolutely nothing to add to the scene, develop the characters, etc. and it barely functions as comedic relief. The writers idea of humor is “Oh wow! The Hound said a bad word again!”

    Anyway, that’s most of what I have to say for this episode. I disagree with your characterization of the Brienne/Tormund scenes though. The humor seems to arise from the fact that Brienne is a stoic warrior and Tormund is more of a bumbling moron, than it does from Brienne being a punchline in and of itself. The whole “ugliness” aspect of her character is downplayed in the show.

    • newplan says:

      The only explanation is that the Night King is very omniscient, down to the exact time at which Daenerys will come to the rescue, but this doesn’t really make sense either. If he were that omniscient, why didn’t he just throw the javelin at the stationary dragon? How did he even miss his second shot at the other dragon? Apparently he’s omniscient enough to send hundreds of wights to attack Jon, and know he will be saved at the last second, but he’s not omniscient enough to know the trajectory of a dragon.

      It’s a very specific level of omniscience.

  33. Chris Davies says:

    Ice zombies very clearly follow the same rules as terminators as far as their interaction with water goes. They aren’t coordinated enough to swim, but neither do they die when immersed in water on account of not needing the breathe. They just walk along the bottom until they get to the lake’s edge. I don’t really see a problem with ordering your zombie servitors to wander down in to the lake to hook up some chains to a dragon corpse.

  34. Sabrdance (MatthewH) says:

    I’m just glad Tyrion is converted to my pet theory: Varys is a closet Republican planning a 1688 style Glorious Revolution to turn Westeros into a parliamentary democratic republic.

    I mean, once they start electing the monarch, you have no idea where this is going to end.

  35. General Karthos says:

    My only major gripe with the episode was “where did they get those chains from?” They clearly haven’t been carrying them during their march….

    One thing though. Your wraiths don’t need to be able to swim to attach those chains. You’re controlling mindless undead. It’s not like they’d refuse to go into the water, even if they could never come out again. And what general wouldn’t sacrifice a few zombie humans to make a zombie dragon?

    I just wonder where the chains came from (are there forges capable of building chains like that that far north?), and even if we give them a pass on that, I wonder why they have them in the first place. I don’t buy the “green sight” thing.

  36. Steve C says:

    I’m confused about the two swords that can burst into fire. Are they magic or what? I thought the burning sword* was set on fire using wildfire or alcohol. Making it more of a ‘magic trick’ than ‘magic.’ From this episode it appeared that rub the sword the right way and presto, flames. Looked like it was an actual magic sword.

    So why are they all standing around freezing to death when they have a couple of magical firebrand swords?!?

    (*Previously thought there was just 1 sword. Guess they bought another after they gained a few xp levels.)

    • General Karthos says:

      In the show at least, originally it was a trick, but now it’s real somehow thanks to the Lord of Light or something. There’s a whole big theory (among fans, not the characters in the show itself) about how now that dragons have come back to the world, magic is coming back.

      There’s no indication of this in the novels, but the show and the novels are two separate entities at this point.

  37. DavidJCobb says:

    the Night’s King kills one dragon[5] with an ice-spear

    It’s super effective!

    (I don’t have anything intelligent to add.)

  38. Thomas says:

    I lot of my friends who were enjoying the series are beginning to dislike it now. The ones who are still enjoying it are very ‘there was a zombie dragon, this is brilliant’

    They’re living off the moments and the feelings created in earlier seasons.

  39. “Jon is King of the North and really should be executing Jorah, who is still under sentence of death”

    No he wouldn’t. not at this point as that would just give another body to death Jon fights “for” life (or “the breathing”).

    Tormund staring at Brienne in a bad way, that seems to fit wit his character. He’s not a “good” person. Most main characters in the show are anti-heroes (Jon Snow being one of few exceptions by being a “good” hero?).

    The walk and talk is a setup that will probably pay off in the final season where this group is shown to have bonded due to this adventure.

    “Why would an undead polar bear be wandering around in the middle of nowhere?”
    It’s a scout!
    Also they wanted to include a undead polar bear for may seasons so…

    “who are separated from the main group and traveling alone for no reason”
    I’m guessing they came due to the polar bear “reporting back”, please note that the bear was not killed, it ran off while they where tending to Thoros.

    “and all the wights disintegrate except one”
    Gotta agree that was a tad silly. They could have let two remain and then just kill the leftover (and end up confirming Jon’s sword being “special”).

    Also note that the the White Walkers seems to be able to send command/instructions mentally to the Wights. I’m not sure if the communication is bi-directional though. Hence why the bear ran off to “report”.
    Also, the Wight that didn’t collapse was probably added to the squad by the Knight King, Im’ guessing he has at least one “spy” in each squad or something.

    “Can wights swim, or not?”
    Probably, but I doubt they can float or stay buoyant on their own.

    “can wights survive in freezing water”
    I doubt the cold hiders them, it rather seems like they travel with the cold front/storm (they get their energy from it?)

    “A series of chronologically impossible things happen”
    That was kinda bad. Here’s what happen…
    They get surrounded, the wights don’t attack as the ice is broken. Gendry runs to the wall. The weather seems clear (no bears near?) and they are probably just “a valley or two” away from the wall.
    Raven speed though I’m iffy on. Danerys takes flight wit the dragons, and I assume they fly at “raven speed”.
    Now the gang of dumb heroes north of the wall probably was stuck on that rock island for at least a day, I’m guessing maybe two days or more.
    This guy takes on the raven speed issue.
    It’s cold around the heroes, but I got no idea how many Celsius the air is or the temp of the water (could be underground heat), so I would not be surprised if it took days for it to freeze solid enough to handle the weight of several dozen wights on it again.

    “but the Night’s King kills one dragon” that spear was magical (just like the dragon breath fire), that created an explosion as it hit (opposing magic?).

    Jon getting dragged down was a tad silly. But the Wights was probably “standing” on the shoulders of others. What I don’t like is that they seem to act as a hive mind sometimes, but other times now.
    I’m pretty sure the communication from the White Walkers are only one way otherwise they’d know Jon crawled up again before they “heard him”.

    I’m also pondering if the Knight King did not want to prevent them from leaving, but he did wish to take down one or two dragons. Whether the reason is his own or the showrunners I’ve got no idea.
    I’d like to think that the Knight King is plotting something. Perhaps that Wight they took (which did not collapse into pieces) is under direct control of the Knight King, perhaps that one “can” communicate back?
    The Knight King will then get intel on the south.

    “the pass” that’s probably the are near the wall door I never looked to closely but it’s possible that area is the mouth of a mountain pass.

    “how would they have attached the chains” Pirates of Caribbean style. they jumped/got pushed in.
    My guess is there are still hundreds of Wights stuck at the bottom of that lake.

    “turns it into a zombie dragon” I got no issues with this. I always wondered if only higher intelligent beings could become Wights. The ice bear showed it can be animals too; so the dragon was kinda expected.
    I just wish hey had cut to black a moment before the eye opened. Just left it there, make “some” people question if it worked or not and instead keep it a “surprise” when it shows up later in combat.
    But I guess it was obvious enough from the moment the Knight King started aiming that spear an they realized it wouldn’t be a surprise.

    “Arya-Sansa Thing” I was ok wit the first part (reminiscing about the bow etc). The “knife scene” was silly. Also, was that “the knife” ?

    “Now the Vale Knights are loyal to Sansa” Arya pointed out they tend to change sides a lot and questioned their loyalty.

    “Did Littlefinger want her to go to King’s Landing” Probably as she’s a threat to him.
    As to why Sansa commanded her to go, she feared that Brienne would side with Arya over her if she was forced to choose.
    This should all probably have been telegraphed better that it was.

    “breaking the wheel” is the campaign slogan, one that Tyrion fully believes in. To use a metaphore, to him Dany is Jesus and he is one of her disciples.

    “Jon and Dany have what I guess is supposed to be a romantic scene”
    I’m not sure if it’s romantic or not, and even if it is that’s not an issue as it would still be in character (Tyrion pointed this out earlier even).
    But it was affectionate, what for of love they have for each other I have no idea. The showrunners may just subverts everyone’s assumptions and go with a non-sexual but very close relationship.

    And yeah I agree that Emilia Clarke go to show her subtle acting chops. When Jon said that they’ll see her true self you could see Dany loose her coldness and almost start crying?

    I kinda feel like this episode should have been half an hour longer. Some stuff felt very compressed (I wonder how much was left on the cutting room floor?).

  40. I just realized something tat I can’t forgive myself for not seeing earlier.

    The Knight King now has a dragon.

    Which means he can fly over the wall.

    Which means he can kill/turn whomever he meets on the other side of the wall.

    Which means he can attack the wall/gate from the inside.

    Which means he can open the gate to let his army through.

    Why didn’t I realize this sooner; the wall is basically down at this point already. I always pondered how the army would get south.

    would they attack the wall, would they walk on the ice at the coast as the sea freeze? Nope, he’ll now just fly over and “unlock” the gate.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      Thats all assuming that the magic in the wall stops at its peak.If it extends far above,he still cannot fly over it.

      Besides,seeing the dragon blast the war with fire is a better looking shot than just having the gates open.

  41. Bunkerfox says:

    “on kills the White Walker, and all the wights disintegrate except one. For no reason.”

    Well, we now know how they will defeat them in the final part. They are just doing a “Kill the Alien queen/Mothership and all the Aliens/Planes will deactivate. They are actually going to do it. Christ on a stick..

  42. Oddly, the moment that really broke me was when Team Catch-A-Wight were being swarmed on the rock and Jon(?) shouts “Fall back!” and I angrily shouted “Fall back WHERE?!” at the TV. This was particularly painful because the very next shot was (iirc) an aerial view of them being lol!surrounded on all sides by wights and with absolutely nowhere to go. That wasn’t a line that meant _anything_, it was a line thrown in because “Oh, that’s the kind of thing people say in battles.” I am now entirely convinced that the writers are just screwballing around here. The whole thing reminded me of the bit in Labyrinth where Sir Didymus and Ambrosius are fighting in the goblin city. They are backed up against a wall and ringed by goblin knights riding drago-lizard-ponies, and Sir Didymus says something like, “Well done Ambrosius, we have them surrounded! Very well, I accept your surrender. Lay down your weapons, and I shall see that you’re well treated!” (Or something like that – I can’t seem to find a clip on YT.) And then they charge and he beats them, but it’s done with loads of charm and a huge knowing wink at just how ridiculous this all is because Jim Henson. Congrats GoT writers – your battle scenes make less sense than one from an ’80s film that featured an anthro-fox-critter muppet riding a cowardly Old English Sheepdog.

    There were plenty of other teeth-grittingly annoying bits, mind, most of which have already been brought up. The Tyrion/Dany conversation was maddening because he was _finally_ raising some really feckin’ good points about What Happens After and Dany had NOTHING. And then she got pissy over being asked such questions. Sweetie, if you win a throne you don’t know what to do with, HOW does that make you ANY better than Robert or most of the other pretenders? HOW is that breaking any wheel? And I’m glad she emoted a bit at the end of the episode, but I honestly wasn’t sure what she was more upset about – the dragon or Jon. Supposedly she just lost an animal that she considers, without any trace of irony, to be literally a child to her, that is one of only THREE such creatures known to exist, that EVERYone assumed was effectively invulnerable, and was 1/3 of her “Win battle NAO” button. Personally, I’d be _distraught_, and probably in no small amount of shock.

    RE wights and water – I was expecting them to behave like World War Z zombies and just walk into the water, walk along the bottom and then walk out the other side. Or possibly just walk into the water until it was so full of undead that the later ones could just walk over their submerged comrades. An army of undead is never short of “volunteers”, after all. So what if a few get stuck in ice? So I was *super* puzzled as to why they were stopped by the edge of the lake, until it was revealed as a Plot Device. Bleh. I’ve stopped believing that Westeros is a continent – it appears to be about the size of the Isle of Wight (ha!).

  43. Alpakka says:

    I just watched this episode. I would have enjoyed it a lot more if I hadn’t scrolled through this blog earlier. I watch the episodes as one bunch after the season is over. Otherwise I was able to avoid spoilers (keeping away from Imgur etc.), but I didn’t think to avoid Shamus’s blog.

    I didn’t read the posts themselves but I couldn’t avoid the title. Now I then knew for sure in the episode that the dragons would be needed in the north, that one of them would be killed, and then raised as a zombie.

    I really hate being spoiled. I hope I don’t need to stop reading Shamus’s blog during the last season of Game of Thrones to avoid spoilers. =(

  44. Gorwath says:

    If I had had any remaining doubts then after this episode the series has went off the rails. And I find Shoeboxjeddy’s attempts at rationalizing (note I do not use the term reasoning) completely baffling.

    This episode is all but indefensible. Even the director pretty much admitted such.

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