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Mmmm, Beetles: "Game of Thrones" Book Readers' Edition - 'The Mountain and the Viper'

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | TV Reviews | June 3, 2014 | Comments ()


game-of-thrones-the-mountain-and-the-viper.jpg

Welcome to the book readers’ edition of recapping Game of Thrones! As we’ve established previously, if you haven’t read all of the books (yes, all the way through A Dance of Dragons, it’s been just shy of three years on that count, so it’s fully in play) kindly either depart gracefully or accept that there will be spoilers in what follows.

Welcome to the book reader’s edition of our discussion! As always, I’ll set you with my thoughts, so that you can get to dissecting the episode in the comments.

Let’s begin in the north! Oh we wouldn’t want anyone to think that the redhead Jon Snow shagged is mean or anything, what with all the massacring of women and children and hanging out with cannibals. So let’s add a scene where she let’s a random person live who holds up their baby plot card to the camera. The fact that said person happens to be half of the Sam and Gilly derailed plot train of the next book does little to help matters.

But here’s a question, because my memory of this part of the books is a bit hazy. The wildlings who snuck south of the wall were not being this indelicate of ambassadors, were they? Because at least as I recall, when in the wake of the coming battle and his subsequent election Jon argues to settle the wildlings south of the wall, it makes logical sense to the reader. I’m not exactly sure how they navigate on the show from Captain Cannibal to that point.

How do a hundred men stop a hundred thousand? Apparently by angrily asking each other that question for ten episodes and doing shit all else with their time. I love their half-comforting and half-pissy response to Sam’s self-flagellation. Gods, Sam! Would you quit futilely brooding about that? We as a group have clearly decided to futilely brood about this.

I’m looking forward to the big battle that we presumably get next episode, I just wish that they’d spent the season building up to it instead of just checking in to show that the men at Castle Black are still bitching every week. They’ve spent the screen time on them, they just haven’t spent it well.

Let’s get this straight. Littlefinger, master manipulator of the realms, second only to Varys, came up with the brilliant plan of 101st airborning his wife and then just saying that she jumped and hoping that without consultation Not-Only-Cat would back his play? That is about as good a plan as charging a machine gun nest with your pants around your ankles on the hopes that they accidentally drop one of their grenades at their own feet. And the logic on display in the subsequent scene is just baffling.

“Hello, I’m Sansa Stark.”

“The one who killed the king? Um, guards get in here, much?”

“But who will stand against the Lannisters if not you?”

“Um, no one, exactly. That’s why we’re going to Fedex you to King’s Landing post haste.”

“But you could back Bravely Bold Sir Robin instead!”

*They laugh so hard at this point that the Eyrie falls over and lands on the Hound waiting outside. *

I mean, I appreciate that they’re trying to give Sansa same agency, which is sorely lacking in the novels. I really enjoy the way that they’re casting this as Sansa’s entry into the playing field of the game of thrones. But liking the idea doesn’t change the fact that the implementation is painfully flawed. When the show does political machinations well, it’s like watching a chess game. And then there are sequences like that where it looks less like a chess game and more like an exercise in seeing how far they can get each piece up their nose before sneezing.

Another case in point is the Hound arriving with Arya. The reactions on their face, especially Maise Williams’ uproarious laughter, are just perfectly scripted and acted. But the fact that the Hound just announced that Arya’s alive is a lot trickier. It seems very intentional that in the books Arya’s survival is known by only a few, she is completely and utterly alone in the world. I’m curious where they’re going with this, because now people exist who can at least feed the rumor to Sansa that Arya was alive and just here.

So we come to the final epic fight scene, with far too little time left on the clock. Good thing we didn’t waste any time in the episode on the Adventures of Gilly or conversations about whether Grey Worm still has his trouser snake. It’s not like curiosity could have been sated by staring at him while he was bathing or anything, I mean where would that have organically come up? If there was a question of whether a female character had breasts, this show would get her blouse off so fast that the sonic boom would kill sheep three towns over. But a dude? Sorry Missandei, only Ramsay can say for sure what dwells in the breeches of men.

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Oh, Oberyn, you went full Inigo. You never go full Inigo, not unless the giant’s the one with your back instead of trying to melon ball your noggin. And while Pedro Pascal was nailing the “say her name” fire (and I liked the decision to make more explicit his blame of Tywin), the whole affair just seemed over before it began. It felt so tense on the page, because it starts with it being unbelievable that Oberyn even has a chance, barely surviving the early fight, and then mounting into hope as the poison begins to fuck up the Mountain, before the catastrophe at the end. And the turn around is even more tragic because the poison had already won the fight for him, all he had to do was stand ten feet back and watch.

On screen the fight itself fell flat, just a couple of quick exchanges with Oberyn seeming completely in control the entire time until the fall, and no hint that his blade was poisoned. That was a missed opportunity. First, because the emotional sequence as written is so much more devastating (and not any less filmable of a version). And second, because Tyrion’s recognition that Oberyn was using poison, would have given Peter Dinklage a bit more to work with on screen, and it’s always advisable to maximize the use of Peter Dinklage.

But we did get this little visual exchange, which was wonderful, and very few non-readers picked up on the implication:

jamie1.jpg

jamie2.jpg

Err, okay, ignore the fact that when frozen it kind of looks like they’re staring in confused horror at Cersei farting.

All in all, not a terrible episode, but yet another one that had exactly one scene that really mattered, held to the end of the episode, by which point it didn’t have enough time to play out as well as it did on the page.

Steven Lloyd Wilson is a hopeless romantic and the last scion of Norse warriors and the forbidden elder gods. His novel, ramblings, and assorted fictions coalesce at www.burningviolin.com. You can email him here and order his novel here.


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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not


  • manting

    Where is Maester Aemon during all this Wall stuff? He is totally awesome and way underutilized by the show.

  • Maddy

    I know. I love Maester Aemon.

  • vic

    I recall him remaining mostly out of sight throughout the entire "the Wall is in danger!" saga, except to treat Jon's wounds and then in the aftermath of the battle at the Wall, IIRC.

  • manting

    I mean on the show

  • Maddy

    I know people are complaining about the Grey Worm/ Missandei stuff as filler but I would rather have a consensual relationship with two previously subsidiary POC than that Crasters Keep rapefest. I appreciate the decision to flesh out the characters surrounding Dany rather than the only focus being White Lady Jesus. I'm probably giving them too much credit though because I predict Grey Worm is going to get fridged but they might pleasantly surprise me.

    Can we actually give Barristan something to do now though?

  • Maddy

    People probably are over all my Sansa talk but the best comment I've seen is that she has been playing the game since book/ season 2 - she's just been playing defence and now she's playing offence. I think that shift was maybe a bit too abrupt but it annoys me when people can't see that and thought before this episode she was dumb and stupid. GAHH. Anyway ...

  • I think an apt analogy would be that for 3.5 seasons she's been swimming in deep dangerous waters, far over her head. But she's been treading water, surviving and is now making the leap to swimming. Soon she'll be one of the deep water's predators.

  • Maddy

    I like that a lot

  • There'll Be Pancakes

    Oh man, I held out to the very bloody end in hope that this would be the one thing that would be a massive diversion from the books. HBO let Lafayette live dammit

  • foolsage

    To be fair, True Blood is quite a different matter. Most of its fans haven't read the books, and the books aren't really known for their tight interlacing plots anyhow. That leaves the showrunners free to change whatever they want, really. Lafayette living didn't ruin anything the way Oberyn living would ruin Tyrion's upcoming storyline.

  • manting

    I cant imagine how the writing on True Blood could be any worse. Its like an 80's Soap Opera but with vampires and nudity. Also Lafayette was the only character I liked on the show, a hustler in every way.

  • Maddy

    You know what I don't understand. Why they haven't mentioned Tysha at all. They had so many opportunities.

  • Sassy Pikachu

    Thank you. Yes they mentioned a "prostitute" in their conversation in the cell but they never mentioned Tysha by name. (At least I interpret the conversation was about Tysha) Especially how big of an impact she has on the relationship between Tyrion and Jamie. COME ON SHOW.

  • Maddy

    They're probably just going to do the previously on to when he told the story in season 1. I don't understand why they haven't even mentioned it at all in all those Jaime/ Tyrion conversations. I thought it was a bit of a dick move for Jaime to be all 'you fell in love with a whore?' to Tyrion given that history.

  • URnotright

    The Boltons are the new focus for the show since Winterfell is where the writers want to get back to. Look how much time we spent with Theon at Winterfell. Arya being announced at the gate is the spark for Roose to create Fake Arya after hearing the rumor of her appearance. "Dear Gods I can't let my hold on the north weaken." Or some such maneuver. Shortcut - check.

    Darth Sansa is a welcome alteration for the show. I give the writers some forgiveness for getting around the dreadfully dull political maneuvering of Littlefinger (post Lysa) and the never-ending departure of Sansa from the Erie.

    What the writers need to do is make sure Tyrion faces off with Jamie, faces off with Shae, and the final "fuck you" to Tywin.

    I hope they tie off Kings Landing so they can use the Cersie meltdown as just a side piece for the Wall (and Winterfell, don't forget we gonna be back there soon) next season. Same could be said for Danarys too for a while. Dorne will not be given it's due treatment in this show no matter how well Pedro sold the culture.

  • Protoguy

    Bravely Bold Sir Robin

    Love it

  • "If there was a question of whether a female character had breasts, this show would get her blouse off so fast that the sonic boom would kill sheep three towns over. "

    Truth.

  • SottoVoce

    And that sentence alone makes me so glad SLW is still writing the recap for book readers.

  • stryker1121

    Late to the party and this may have been mentioned, but...when in the book is it described how the Viper's poison is working on Gregor? Mountain is lumbering around, getting tired trying to catch Oberyn, and getting a spear point stuck through the joints of his armor before he's finally brought down. Basically how it played out on screen. Only thing missing was the stable boy getting hacked up. I thought it was a perfectly fine scene

  • foolsage

    There was no mention of the poison. I thought, from the pre-release stills, that the Mountain was stabbed in his right arm and thus fought one-handed due to the poison, but no. He just fought one-handed because he could, I guess.

  • meh

    Show Littlefinger; "People die squatting on the toilet"

    Book readers: "Yes, yes they do."

    Show Tyrion: "You should wear a helmet"

    Book readers: "YES. YES YOU SHOULD."

  • foolsage

    I liked the foreshadowing there. Two episodes to go, until someone dies squatting on the toilet, is my guess.

  • Scorptilicus

    "But here’s a question, because my memory of this part of the books is a bit hazy. The wildlings who snuck south of the wall were not being this indelicate of ambassadors, were they? Because at least as I recall, when in the wake of the coming battle and his subsequent election Jon argues to settle the wildlings south of the wall, it makes logical sense to the reader. I’m not exactly sure how they navigate on the show from Captain Cannibal to that point."

    The wildlings south of the Wall were still pretty brutal, in large part because Styr, the Magnar of Thenn, was leading them and was kind of an a-hole. Though, IIRC, didn't they just go straight to Castle Black after Jon rides off? I don't recall there being THAT much time between his return and the first attack.

    The problem you get is that Styr was more of an aberration, the Thenns are actually rather well organized and Styr's son turns out to be much more reasonable when he becomes Magnar. Tormund, too, isn't part of the southern wildling attack, having stayed with Mance (I think). In spite of Jon's betrayal, he and Jon continue to get along and he becomes one of Jon's biggest wildling allies. It's hard to see how they would make that happen on the show, though.

  • Maddy

    I've been trying really hard to forget that image of Ramsay with the sausage. So thanks for that. VOMIT.

  • Figure here is as good a place as any to ask this: we're not going to see Kevin Lannister are we? Which is interesting in that he has a relatively important role to play even if it's via death.

  • I don't think so. He's scattered through all the books, though never majorly until after Tywin's death, so I assume that since he hasn't shown up yet, they're just cutting him. I don't know who they're going to keep in that role. Maybe Jaime to keep him in King's Landing?

  • Jamie would make sense from an adaptation standpoint, although the series would then need another way to reveal Varys' role in the overarching Aegon II/Griff plot. Maybe he kills Pycelle instead?

  • We met him (someone who stood in place of him) back in Season 1. Wouldn't be surprised if the role is recast for next season.

  • manting

    When did Gregor Clegane go from the most feared warrior in all of the 7 kingdoms to a lumbering oaf who couldnt hit the broadside of a plate of mashed neeps with butter with a Hot Pie? I enjoyed the end of the fight but not the lackluster depiction of Gregor's martial ability.

  • foolsage

    Mmmm, bashed neeps and champit tatties.

    Sorry, tangent.

    I don't think they underplayed the Mountain's prowess; just one episode before he was slaughtering smallfolk quite readily. Oberyn though was one of the most feared duelists in the seven kingdoms.

  • manting

    yes but the mountain was THE most feared. The fight was too one-sided for my taste though I did enjoy their depiction of the end of the fight. What does the show have against shields by the way? Since Gregor fights with a two-handed sword one-handed than what is he doing with his off hand?

  • foolsage

    Both warriors were arrogant about their own skills and didn't take the fight seriously enough, in their own ways.

  • Fabius_Maximus

    Well, the actor is still smaller and weaker than the Mountain in the books. No human being alive can swing a 2 meter great sword with one hand like a standard arming sword.

  • vic

    He still killed Oberyn, though. Very nastily. He wasn't able to hit him earlier because Oberyn was being all agile and shit. Halfthor seems cuddly off-camera, but he still unnerves me on the show, over-the-top as that first scene with him just killing random dudes was.

  • manting

    you know he tried out for the colts last year right? As an offensive tackle I think.

  • vic

    I did hear that. They must be crazy not sign up a massive dude named *Halfthor* of all things. Maybe he's just not that good at football. Inexplicably.

  • manting

    seriously, he's like at least threequarterthor.

  • Ozioma

    I still maintain that the best Gregor was the first one we had. That scowl and that shout of 'SWORD!' before he fucking beheaded his own horse. The second was the right height but the wrong build. This guy's tall enough and big enough...but he looks like a teddy bear. I'd have bought the fight being close/Oberyn only having a chance due to his poisoned spear if it had been the first Clegane.

  • Maddy

    I mean it doesn't matter now really but I totally agree. The season 1 Mountain was terrifying.

  • luthien26

    And looked like he could be Rory McCann's older brother. He had a menacing look about him though, that I think everyone else had lacked. He just LOOKED mean.

  • manting

    I have a theory that B&W are burning through the books so fast for purely financial reasons. If HBO outpaces the books than the show will steal the thunder from GRRM and will force more people to watch the show. If this occurs the show will supplant the books in the cultural zeitgeist as cannon thus making the books a secondary source. I really cant think of any other good reason why they have cut out so much plot and added so many shitty plot points of their own other than to outpace GRRM and the books.

  • Nick3

    Yes, they should have spent the season counting pennies. Ellaria Sand wore the same outfit in the duel and the Purple Wedding and Obery wore the same outfit almost the entire season.

  • manting

    they also added a fair amount not in the books and cut a large amount out. This season they greatly accelerated numerous plot lines, cutting large swaths of characters, dialogue and some decent storytelling. In its/their place were got a completely illogical Craster's keep storyline and secret Starks telling everyone who they were. They cut Donnal Noye but add a whole plot line about Sam. Gilly, and her baby. I love the show but some of their choices seem crazy.

  • Maddy

    Agreed.

  • Well, they split the second book into two seasons. Had their main goal been to outpace the book they could have very easily cut corners and turned SoS into one season.

    This isn't HBO's fault. Martin signed over the rights in 2007. Martin released all of one book in the seven subsequent years. HBO has every right to protect their investment and finish the series after seven seasons should they choose.

  • Debra Kessing

    exactly !!

  • manting

    They cut one GIANT book into two seasons. They also essentially cut most of two Giant books into one season. Some of the story lines are almost to the end of ADwD already.

  • foolsage

    True. The books generally get longer as the series progresses though, with AFFC being slightly behind the curve.

  • Maddy

    I think I'm going to have to stop watching after this or next season. And somehow avoid spoilers. DAMN YOU GRRM.

  • Ozioma

    "People die all the time. They die at their tables, they die in their beds. They die...squatting over their chamber pots!"

    Pajibans, I cackled. I cackled so hard.

  • manting

    forebode much?

  • JustOP

    I wouldn't normally post something like this, but I feel it's pretty good. Some guy who runs a bar shows episodes of GOT as they come out. And films the reaction. I love watching GOT with people who havn't read the books, especially on episodes like this.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?...

  • Sassy Pikachu

    I thought about filiming my bf, because he hasn't read the books. After the scene he was quiet for a bit, followed by: "FUCK!...... FUCK FUCK FUCK! ARE YOU SERIOUS?"

    Now he said he will never trust again.

  • foolsage

    I love watching people's reactions to scenes like that.

  • janeite1900

    This is great!

  • My wife (the non-book reader) was riveted by the episode and fight in particular. As soon as the fight ended, she turned to me with a manic look and said, "SO HELP ME, YOU TELL ME TYRION MAKES IT OUT OF THIS!"

  • foolsage

    Did you tell her? Tyrion remains one of the top four heroes in the series, and looks likely to live through it all.

  • I told her that Jaime rescues him and Tyrion flees to Essos. No more details than that...have to keep some surprises.

  • vic

    It's funny, the closer we get to books four and five, the more the show unravels when it comes to keeping consistently with the books. We're now moving into book six territory with Sansa, Theon's quite a ways into his book five stuff (and that started in season three!), and people are scaring me with their "Brienne's gonna meet Lady Stoneheart in the finale and everything in book four won't happen" talk.

    I still want them to hurry up and finish off the Hound, because I also really liked Arya solo in the books, but it's lucky the two of them are so good together. No hate at all for saving Arya in Braavos entirely for season five. I did feel like announcing her at the Bloody Gate should have had more of a response, but I'm theorizing that guard was skeptical or lazy or both. The fact that it was the Hound should have raised some alarm bells, though...

    Someone raised the question of Bran earlier and I had to laugh. I completely forgot about him. I think we see him meet the three-eyed raven in the finale, since they cast that actor...otherwise, I think that whole plotline will work better next season...

    Nothing to add about the fight. I was annoyed that they saved it until so far at the end with only a few minutes instead of 20+ like with Joffrey, but I thought it worked out pretty well. I liked the way it was shot and it said what it needed to. I agree it worked better in the book, with Oberyn initially doing very badly so it's a triple bluff, but I get the time constraints. And boy, what a way to show Oberyn's death. Way worse than the Red Wedding. Holy cow.

  • Just dealing with the asynchronous timelines inherent with multiple viewpoints necessitates the changes.

  • ghisent

    It's funny, the closer we get to books four and five, the more the show unravels when it comes to keeping consistently with the books.

    This is not a bad thing.

  • foolsage

    Not really, no. The books wander far from a synchronous timeline, and viewers want events to happen in order.

  • vic

    Oh no, not at all. Those books work better as books anyway, and even then...obviously I hope what B&W do with it works out.

  • Lanaaaaaaaaaaa!

    Is no one going to talk about poor friendzoned/shitzoned Jorah??

  • vic

    Not much to say, really, other than Emilia Clarke's weird acting. I can't imagine this Jorah visiting a whorehouse when he meets Tyrion. Maybe drinking himself stupid, but not whoring. I hope Iain Glen and Dinklage have a fun rapport.

  • Maddy

    I kind of need more pathetic Jorah though. Iain Glenn is great but he's way too honourable in the show.

  • Art3mis

    That fight was perfection. In the books, I really only cared about Oberyn because him losing put Tyrion in danger. Here, Pedro Pascal has been a total MVP all season and it was legitimately moving to see him so tragically self-destruct because of his obsessive hatred for those who killed his sister. I think a longer fight would have dragged, while this gave us everything we needed: he was unexpectedly great, then he was driven back, then he won, and then he oh-so-terribly lost. I knew what was coming and I was still shaking a little when it cut to black. Just beautifully played.

    I liked the new material between Missandei and Grey Worm. We all know that the Dany stuff bogs down and I welcome whatever the show can do to add some interesting material to that storyline. Giving some agency and personality to characters of color--which, in general, this show is sorely lacking--is better than watching Dany endlessly moon over Daario. And it helps that they have two compelling actors in those roles, which makes me happy to see either of them get more screen time.

    Lastly, I thought the Sansa scene was excellent. Yes, it's a little ridic that Littlefinger thought he could keep her out of things entirely, but I'm willing to roll with that (maybe he did in fact say "she jumped, okay?" after pushing Lysa and then figured no one would be all that interested in what his nobody niece had to say) because it let us have that absolutely phenomenal play by Sansa. She simultaneously made the (correct) decision to protect the creepy dude who has at least shown a vested interest in keeping her safe while ALSO disobeying his command to keep her identity secret because revealing who she is to the lords of the Vale gives her a measure of protection against Littlefinger quietly offing her if he decides she's inconvenient. And that staircase entrance gave me a tiny bit of chills. I'm so psyched for badass Sansa!

    (It wasn't all good, obviously. The wall stuff is dragging as badly as it did in the books, except spread out over more time, and I don't have a whole lot of interest in the Boltons and Reek, though at least this episode we got some forward movement in a way that connected "oh good, more Theon torture" to the larger power struggles in Westeros.)

  • foolsage

    Very well put. Agreed on all counts.

    I confess the show Boltons are far more interesting to me than the book Boltons due to the quality of acting, VERY much like Davos and Stannis. The first two times I read the series, I skipped most of the Davos stuff because nothing seemed to ever happen. Later, I appreciated it for all the backstory it filled in.

    The Wall is a problem much like Dany's storyline to come. Martin is trying to build suspense with a slow burn but sometimes I just want some plot developments, as above.

  • Maddy

    Can we all just appreciate Indira Varma's amazing reaction shots? They better give her more to do in Dorne next season. She has been criminally under utilised.

  • foolsage

    I really, really want to see more of Ellaria. Here's hoping she's central to the Dorne storylines to come, onscreen. There are eight Sand Snakes, four of them her daughters; there's good cause to keep her around anyhow.

    She's a marvelous actress.

  • Maddy

    Absolutely. I need this next season:

    "Oberyn wanted vengeance for Elia. Now the three of you want vengeance for him. I have four daughters, I remind you. Your sisters. My Elia is fourteen, almost a woman. Obella is twelve, on the brink of maidenhood. They worship you, as Dorea and Loreza worship them. If you should die, must El and Obella seek vengeance for you, then Dorea and Loree for them? Is that how it goes, round and round forever? I ask again, where does it end? I saw your father die. Here is his killer. Can I take a skull to bed with me, to give me comfort in the night? Will it make me laugh, write me songs, care for me when I am old and sick?"

    They have such good dialogue to work with from the books that I don't understand sometimes why they mess with it so much.

  • vic

    Maybe she and Doran will hang out together as they visit the Sand Snakes or something. I totally agree; criminally not enough Varma this season.

  • Maddy

    She's present in the books. I just hope they expand her role which would make sense as the only character we know to introduce the audience to Dorne.

  • Lanaaaaaaaaaaa!

    I think they will. Some of the casting leaked and all the Sand Snakes will be in the next season, so hopefully much more Dorne action.

  • John W

    I'm expecting a Spartacus like scene where all the Starks just start popping out of the woodwork and start yelling, "I'm a Stark, I'm a Stark, I'm a Stark!"

  • Maddy

    No big deal. People are only trying to hunt down Bran, accuse Sansa of regicide, would probably try and capture Arya as a hostage knowing she was alive. Just come right out with it and tell everyone though.

  • Slim

    Regicide, indeed. There is no "cide" for cousin murder, as you know.

  • Maddy

    I wasn't paying attention to any of that speech I just wanted to watch the fight. Although mentioning patricide and knowing what is coming up for Tyrion is pretty awesome.

  • OK, so predictions. We know Ep 9 is The Wall. But where does Ep 10 leave us?

    - Tyrion escapes, kills Tywin and Shae and flees.
    - Arya leaves The Hound to die, boards her ship for Braavos and "Valar Morghulis"
    - Stannis offers Jon the chance to become Lord of Winterfell (I think they leave the whole selection of a new Lord Commander for next season).
    - The farmer from earlier in the season returns to Dany's court and shows her the remains of her son, killed by the dragons.
    - Brienne and Pod meet Lady Stoneheart (where it ends)

    Any others?

  • Barrie Williams

    The episode is called "The Children'. I'm a fan of Bran's storyline, so as well as all the family things they will no doubt cover, I'm hoping to get a glimpse of the Children of the Forest. LEAF PEOPLE!

  • I think the last we'll see of the Wall this year is Stannis' army blowing their horns and coming to the rescue. I don't think we'll see much if anything of Jon and Stannis' machinations. Remember that the offering of the North comes along much later.

    It'll probably end with a view of Lady Stoneheart, but not with Brienne. Just with that one random Frey. I feel like the show can't cut out the rest of Brienne's journey. PLUS, she doesn't meet Lady Stoneheart until after Jaime leaves to fix up the Riverlands, and that won't happen til next season.

  • Also, based on the previews it looks like the Wall battle takes place in one night. Think the Mance offer is still gonna happen? Can't imagine the whole "Jon is imprisoned, Jon is released" plot appears either.

  • JJ

    I'd wager the very last scene of the season will have the Lady Stoneheart reveal, but I don't think Brienne and Pod will be there.

  • Ozioma

    I hope they're not there when we get the reveal. Brienne and Pod's journey has a way to go before they meet Lady Stoneheart.

  • foolsage

    I don't want them to shortchange Lady Stoneheart by only having her appear to interact with Brienne. Playing Devil's Advocate though, it'd be shocking indeed to have Brienne and Pod captured by the Brotherhood Without Banners, and have zombie Cat show up at the season's end.

  • Maddy

    I hope so too but I'm starting to doubt that they're not going to hang Brienne at the end of the season.

  • mzbitca

    Bran meeting the children of the forest and maybe Balon although if they stick to the books that will happen off screen although I would he so happy if we see Balon fall and cut to Euron in a ship

  • We really haven't spent any time with the ironborn. I'd hope that happens in Ep 1 of next season.

  • foolsage

    Yeah, that's part of the bigger picture and wouldn't really resonate with viewers at this point. We haven't seen Balon in some time and I don't think anyone cares about him now. It's best left to storybuilding and not to a cliffhanger.

  • I need Aeron. NEED.

  • Maddy

    Really? They could easily cut him and I wouldn't care.

  • He's my spirit...uh, guy.

  • Maddy

    OK. I honestly cannot even deal with the Ironborn stuff AT ALL outside of Asha. Go away Victarion.

    The only OK guy at the Iron Islands is Rodrik the Reader.

  • vic

    God, I hope they have Rodrik on the show. He's such a nice counterpoint to everyone else on the islands, and Asha could use someone sane to talk to.

  • Maddy

    Definitely. I'm always going to like people into reading (also why I like Sam). It made me laugh that the Ironborn were all like 'you are so lame, real men don't read'. I can't even deal with the Ironborn and their stupid shit. And nuncle is my least favourite word ever.

  • manting

    but the Ironborn have the coolest house mottos by far. House Greyjoy "We do not sow!" The Codds "though all men do despise us." The Codd's motto is my favorite.

  • vic

    OH! You just reminded me: I think Balon dies at the beginning of next season in time for us to meet Euron and Victarion. I don't think there's any more Iron Islands stuff for the rest of this season.

  • Barrie Williams

    Did they not cover Balons death, however briefly and obscurely, with Joff's wedding reenactment of the battle of the 5 kings? Maybe I just saw what I wanted to see

  • vic

    Don't think so. I don't remember exactly, but I think Joffrey was just making fun of the Ironborn and saying he'd defeat them also or something.

  • foolsage

    Nobody mentioned it. We haven't had any Balon updates since the season 3 finale.

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