****** Game of Thrones - Season 8 ******

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bobinator
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M.C. Swag said:

My point is; the NK literally and thematically was the big bad. He was ICE. He was WINTER. He was DEATH. They just beat that. Now I'm supposed to buy that Cersei is the last challenge? She's the reason Jon was resurrected amongst smoke and ash?
I'm kind of torn on this a little bit. Certainly there's a big part of me that was like... "that's it?" when Sunday's episode ended. Like... the slow march of death coming all the way just to die in one night at Winterfell?

It doesn't seem to make sense from a time-spent-building-them-up standpoint.

But at the same time, it kind of does make a certain kind of sense.

For one, this was by far the biggest battle we've ever had. One battle for 80 minutes of screen time is crazy. It was almost a whole movie by itself.

And the Night King's plan almost worked. The only reason it didn't is because Bran knew exactly what his opponent was going to do, and he knew the only way to stop it.

He knew they couldn't win a drawn out battle against an enemy that doesn't get tired, but he also knew that the Night King wouldn't be able to resist the urge to come for him. The Night King could have stayed away until everyone else was dead, but he got greedy, just like Bran knew he would.

It had a "defense punching the ball out of bounds through the endzone" feel to it, but Bran knew that was the only way they were going to win.

So I go back and forth a little bit on that. In some ways it makes a lot of sense, but it is definitely kind of a letdown after building up this existential threat for so long.
SpreadsheetAg
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bobinator said:

Episode IV said:


Bonus - a question:
** With the NK gone and his army & magic overcome, will Winter end? Will the realm return to summer? Will it go back to normal annual seasons? I think Cersei will be tipped off that the North & Danaerys won the battle win the snow melts and the lands around KL go back to warm and sunny; so she's definitely prepared. Will we see the snow melting in the next episode as the Northern United Army licks its wounds, heals, and makes plans for the attack on KL?
I don't think so. They've mentioned the seasons before on the show. Winter comes even during times that aren't invasions from beyond the wall.


Yes but the WW and NK we're still alive then; and I think the book implies they do have an effect on the length of winters. I believe there is also mention in the books that "some Maesters theorized there were regular seasons with only mild winters before the age of Heroes..." (ie before the creation of the NK)

That's why I am asking...
bobinator
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She's going to be tipped off by scouts/spies/whoever fairly quickly anyway so from a mechanics standpoint I don't think that will matter.
redline248
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There were other giants. When the wall was melted by the zombie dragon the army of the dead crossed with zombie giants.
bearamedic99
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Finished ep 3 today. It was a really good episode that just didn't live up to its own hype. Not everyone can be the Russo Brothers.

Good- the fear and build up to the Battle then the first 20 minutes or so of the battle
I'm very happy that the NK stayed silent. We saw his purpose in his creation. He is relentless and silent like a tumor or forest fire.

Bad- too dark
Odd joining of scenes as it leaped around between viewpoints

Ugly- Jon Snow is a horrible war leader. Most of them should have been inside the castle but Champ Bailey earlier explained how a field battle is more exciting than a siege
Dragon fights are going to be awkward and I still don't understand why they have riders, especially since Dany seems able to command them without voice or touch
Ghost will ghost. Who knows where he went but he is a victim of hype as well.
Battle of the Bassturds seemed to do a better job of the late battle when they were packed like sardines. Too many of our heroes should have simply been overrun by the Zerg avalanche of dead.
I agree the Zerg swarm approach of the dead and saving the WWs for picking off survivors afterwards was a sensible strategy (though the dead mindless zombie king did better than our heros).
No problem with it being Arya. She is a badass who they have built up. She won't win a fight against the Mountain but that is not her way of fighting.




This episode felt like losing your virginity after saving it for too long. We have been building to this for years and anticipated it. This was supposed to be the main event and had some good foreplay but the actual deed happened so fast. Cersei is a boil in the South that must be lanced for the kingdoms to heal but it's kind of sad to see this show end and not live up to its own hype. A lot like the last season of Battlestar Galatica.

My main beef with this episode was that way too many redshirts died and not enough named characters. I was hoping for some senseless/stupid after the fight like someone surviving the battle only to have a piano fall on them or such. The Dothraki are decimated and who knows if their culture will survive. The Unsullied and knights of the Vale were ripped to shreds.

My second beef is the crypt scene added nothing. It WAS the safest spot, just near the end nowhere was safe. But these are not modern folk who are spoiled. These are mideval folk who kill and dress their food, get dirty, and step in ****. They should have some conviction and self defense ability when confronted by a limited number of Stark zombies. Tyrion has battled, poorly but battled, previously and should have stepped up better.

I agree with an earlier poster that Varys may be a gun on the wall from GRRM that D&D don't know what to do with. He is cunning and knows when to run from a fight so he may simply live without further use.

Prediction- Tyrion will die to save Jamie or Cersei, likely by Cersei's command or hand. He has always wanted to be a Lannister even if he long ago quit bleaching his hair.

M.C. Swag
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bobinator said:

M.C. Swag said:

My point is; the NK literally and thematically was the big bad. He was ICE. He was WINTER. He was DEATH. They just beat that. Now I'm supposed to buy that Cersei is the last challenge? She's the reason Jon was resurrected amongst smoke and ash?
I'm kind of torn on this a little bit. Certainly there's a big part of me that was like... "that's it?" when Sunday's episode ended. Like... the slow march of death coming all the way just to die in one night at Winterfell?

It doesn't seem to make sense from a time-spent-building-them-up standpoint.

But at the same time, it kind of does make a certain kind of sense.

For one, this was by far the biggest battle we've ever had. One battle for 80 minutes of screen time is crazy. It was almost a whole movie by itself.

And the Night King's plan almost worked. The only reason it didn't is because Bran knew exactly what his opponent was going to do, and he knew the only way to stop it.

He knew they couldn't win a drawn out battle against an enemy that doesn't get tired, but he also knew that the Night King wouldn't be able to resist the urge to come for him. The Night King could have stayed away until everyone else was dead, but he got greedy, just like Bran knew he would.

It had a "defense punching the ball out of bounds through the endzone" feel to it, but Bran knew that was the only way they were going to win.

So I go back and forth a little bit on that. In some ways it makes a lot of sense, but it is definitely kind of a letdown after building up this existential threat for so long.
haha i really like that simile. But yea, I feel ya. I can see the appeal for those who find the political/human aspects to be the most intriguing thing, but that was my stance. I was always more interested in the bigger picture/mythology ("fantasy" if you will) part of it. I just find Cersei to be such an insignificant villain in the face of an immortal 'god' that the NK embodied.
SpreadsheetAg
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By they way someone earlier (in the many sour critiques of the episode) mentioned that it was poor story-telling consistency that the Night King re-raised his wights. I don't think he did.

Every time a wight is killed with dragon glass, fire, or Valerian Steel you can hear a "ice / glass breaking / tinkling" sound. When the NK raised his arms when Jon was pursuing him; I think only those recently dead men who were killed by the wights were the ones raised. So the NK certainly replenished his army with his dead foes, but I don't think he re-raised any wights.
bearamedic99
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More ugly about the episode- no budget was saved for ice spiders or more wight animals. A wight mammoth blowing through defender lines would have fueled some Cersei elephant memes.
CapCityAg89
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bangobango said:

It gets hard for me to keep what is said in the books and what is said in the show separate, so the following is definitely in the books, not sure if in the show:

Winter is an event that reoccurs in westeros, but it's not seasonal. The summers a long, spanning years and sometimes even decades, but winter always comes.

Many, many years before the events of GOT, there was a great threat that almost ended the world. The assumption is that it was something like the apocalyptic threat we just witnessed in the last episode. Azor Ahai is the hero that prevented the end of the world of man.

Now, the big difference between the show and the book is that there is no night king in the books and I doubt that there ever will be, as I think the books will treat this more as almost a natural disaster than just setting up a big bad antagonist like the show went with.

I cannot remember if the show talked about previous battles against the Night or the winter, but I am pretty sure it did. How did those battles resolve without killing the night king? We saw how he was created. It doesn't make sense that the children of the forest would make another night king after the first one was stopped, so if the show did reference previous battles against winter, which I am positive that it has, (otherwise how do you explain the wall?) then how do they explain winning those battles without killing the night king?
Good post and it's been a couple years now since my last read through (I read the series first after season 4 which I binge watched; then again for season 7), so take the following with a grain of salt.

Show has the single magical big bad (Night King); books have the white walkers as a collective.

The "long night" is what you referenced with winter lasting lifetimes, ice spiders, mothers killing babies before they could starve and death walking (WWs). It was ended by AA and the Wall was built by Bran the Builder (Brandon Stark) to keep the evil north, but the specifics have been lost - that was 2000 years before Aegon's invasion. Current magic is obviously nowhere near as strong or at least understood as then.

So the primary difference between then and now is dragons which at the time of AA and Bran were only in Valyria and I'm not sure if they were "domesticated" yet. My assumption is the first dragons Aegon brought kick-started the magic in the north and the white walkers have been rising since then. As the dragons died out, the magic dwindled, but the red-tailed comet and Dany's dragons being born really got them going. Mance felt it before the rest of the NW and went north to save the living, but thought the only way to get them south was militarily.

I'm guessing that Jon's resurrection and after-life will be more magical in the books (he was a warg with Ghost there too). He'll likely kill Ramsey and free Mance in some version of the BOTB uniting the wildlings and north. I do think Dany defeats the slavers (we're close to that in the books) and leaves Slaver's Bay. I also think Jon convinces her of the threat and she comes north.

That gives you magical, resurrected, warging Jon; magical 3 eyed crow; dire wolves; Valyrian steel swords, dragons and the horn of winter on one side (not sure about Arya here) and a bunch of walkers with minions on the other. There's also some story going on at the Citadel with the faceless men and Sam about to arrive which I think plays more dramatically in the end game (maybe he answers your question and they find another big magic).

I do think that based on episode 3, that the end game is a world without the Wall (that evil addressed), but the path will obviously be much different.
bobinator
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I agree with a lot of this.

In the end, the Army of the Dead didn't exist as the 'Big bad,' of the plot. They appear to only have existed to level the playing field between Dany and everyone else.

I do think Varys still has something to say about the events to come. He's my #1 pick as a wildcard that's going to do something down the stretch here.
redline248
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Episode IV said:

By they way someone earlier (in the many sour critiques of the episode) mentioned that it was poor story-telling consistency that the Night King re-raised his wights. I don't think he did.

Every time a wight is killed with dragon glass, fire, or Valerian Steel you can hear a "ice / glass breaking / tinkling" sound. When the NK raised his arms when Jon was pursuing him; I think only those recently dead men who were killed by the wights were the ones raised. So the NK certainly replenished his army with his dead foes, but I don't think he re-raised any wights.
People that say he re-raised his previous zombies are just flat wrong. You are correct, he raises the recently deceased. The Valyrian steel and dragonglass completely destroys the magic that animates the corpses.

I suppose it gets confusing to track in the episodes, but that's why in the 2 instances we've seen it (Hardhome and Long Night) they've focused on a previously living character with speaking parts to show the eyes open and be blue (that wildling woman at Hardhome, and Lyanna Mormont)
M.C. Swag
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Great write up. Only thing I'd like to as is to remind everyone how far behind the books actually are (Stannis is still alive at Castle Black if that gives you a good reminder haha). My point is, it's hard to know precisely how much of this HBO created on their own (ie - the Night King) vs what GRRM is planning to write. Maybe instead of the NK, he somehow weaves the Great Other into the conflict and THAT becomes the pentultimant battle? or hell, maybe there actually is a NK and GRRM just hasn't gotten to it yet. After five 1,000+ page books, the story has a long way to go still if it can be believed.
bobinator
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I also think there may be more to the crypts than we've seen so far.

That could actually be a good moment in the next episode that makes sense. As they're combing through the aftermath in the crypts they could find something significant.

I've seen a lot of theories that Rhaegar's harp could be in Lyanna's tomb
Seabreeze
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So the NK himself only killed one defenseless old 3ER in 8000 yrs, never got into hand to hand combat. Dude seems like ***** to me lol.
redline248
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I know most people, readers and some characters in the books, think Azor Ahai is the same person as the "last hero," but they are still two separate legends. In the faith of R'hllor it is Azor Ahai. In Westeros lore he has no known name (that Martin has provided, anyway).

They are probably the same.

addition: looking at the Song of Ice and Fire wiki...apparenlty the Long Night has multiple stories, with unique origin and how it was ended, but much of that seems to come from sources other than the 5 novels.
redline248
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Seabreeze said:

So the NK himself only killed one defenseless old 3ER in 8000 yrs, never got into hand to hand combat. Dude seems like ***** to me lol.
Bran did say there had been a bunch of 3ER, maybe the one we saw wasn't the only one killed by the NK. Although, maybe they were always hiding out in that cave for 8000 years passing on how to be a 3ER, and not actually doing anything.
G Martin 87
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bobinator said:

I also think there may be more to the crypts than we've seen so far.

That could actually be a good moment in the next episode that makes sense. As they're combing through the aftermath in the crypts they could find something significant.

I've seen a lot of theories that Rhaegar's harp could be in Lyanna's tomb
This would make absolutely no sense. Everyone believed Rhaegar kidnapped and raped Lyanna. Ned had to maintain that story as well, even though he knew differently. No way that a personal memento of Lyanna's rapist gets buried with her in her tomb.
CapCityAg89
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Thanks. I put stock into the book titles. I think Winds of Winter resurrects Jon, kills Ramsey, unifies the north and gets Dany the **** out of Slaver's Bay. I think it also resolves the Citadel story and probably also resolves the stupid Young Griff and Arianne Martell boondoggles. It may include the final face-off with the white walkers, but that seems like a ton.

Song of Spring then is the resolution of the game of thrones - I'm guessing THIS is when we get the R+L=J reveal in the books. It may or may not be tied to the Citadel (doubt it) and likely will involve he who will not be named here.
Body By Fisher
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Quote:

Zerg
I keep seeing this word on other boards too, and I have no idea what it means.
bobinator
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he could have put it there afterward or something, it's not like a huge stretch that he could have done that.

But that's just one theory, could be anything. I just think it would be cool if that scene ended up having more meaning than it did last episode.
chase128
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It's a reference to a video game called StarCraft. Zerg basically means to overwhelm with numbers in battle
M.C. Swag
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redline248 said:

I know most people, readers and some characters in the books, think Azor Ahai is the same person as the "last hero," but they are still two separate legends. In the faith of R'hllor it is Azor Ahai. In Westeros lore he has no known name (that Martin has provided, anyway).

They are probably the same.

addition: looking at the Song of Ice and Fire wiki...apparenlty the Long Night has multiple stories, with unique origin and how it was ended, but much of that seems to come from sources other than the 5 novels.
Yea, I knew that. Did I accidentally mix them up somewhere? Azor Ahai and the Prince Who Is Promised are the same though. Those are interchangeable names for the same prophesized hero.
213 Grove
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Brian Earl Spilner said:

I'd be curious to hear if there were any complaints from people watching directly on HBO / Now / Go?


I watched on HBO NOW and didn't have any problems with darkness
HHH 95
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I watched on a 3-year old OLED screen using HBO Now in a dark room. I was able to follow it reasonably well enough.
213 Grove
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It would be cool if the opening scene next week shows Arya sneaking around the WWs and getting to the Night King again from her perspective before the intro
bangobango
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I agree.
bangobango
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M.C. Swag said:

Great write up. Only thing I'd like to as is to remind everyone how far behind the books actually are (Stannis is still alive at Castle Black if that gives you a good reminder haha). My point is, it's hard to know precisely how much of this HBO created on their own (ie - the Night King) vs what GRRM is planning to write. Maybe instead of the NK, he somehow weaves the Great Other into the conflict and THAT becomes the pentultimant battle? or hell, maybe there actually is a NK and GRRM just hasn't gotten to it yet. After five 1,000+ page books, the story has a long way to go still if it can be believed.


I believe he has stated in interviews that he disdains a big bad singular antagonist.
M.C. Swag
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He has but my point is just highlight the infancy stage the WWs are still in. We, as readers, still don't know much about them.
gigemJTH12
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213 Grove said:

It would be cool if the opening scene next week shows Arya sneaking around the WWs and getting to the Night King again from her perspective before the intro


At a bare minimum I HOPE the episode picks up from the second we left off. Everyone realizing they are safe and wonder how the **** whatever happened just happened.

I'll be so disappointed if it goes straight to the next day or something.
Vernada
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Musical montage to get us from Winterfell to Kings Landing.
annie88
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gigemJTH12
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They can't show up in KL till episode 6.

(Y'all don't post if you know when that battle is. That's a spoiler IMO.)

I think they collect their thoughts and troops this episode and head out at the end. Then we get episode 6 a month later as they show up to KL.
redline248
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M.C. Swag said:

redline248 said:

I know most people, readers and some characters in the books, think Azor Ahai is the same person as the "last hero," but they are still two separate legends. In the faith of R'hllor it is Azor Ahai. In Westeros lore he has no known name (that Martin has provided, anyway).

They are probably the same.

addition: looking at the Song of Ice and Fire wiki...apparenlty the Long Night has multiple stories, with unique origin and how it was ended, but much of that seems to come from sources other than the 5 novels.
Yea, I knew that. Did I accidentally mix them up somewhere? Azor Ahai and the Prince Who Is Promised are the same though. Those are interchangeable names for the same prophesized hero.



Yeah, I was confusing myself on this. Prince that was promised prophesy is specifically about the second coming of Azor Ahai.

Oops
aTmAg
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I think arguing the intricacies of the prophecies in the books is a waste of time at this point. If it's true that GRRM did not have a NK and never intended to have one then there couldn't have been an Arya moment where she single handedly saved the entire (living) world with a single stab. Even if the vampire rule still applied to the WWs in the books, you'd still need to kill all of them to win the war. So in the book, no one person could have done something like that. So at best, the AA would be some sort of general who leads an army to kill the zombie army. (Unless some Merlin dude appeared out of nowhere with some super spell that killed them.. which would be super lame and a big copout on GRRM's part)

So to me, Jon Snow is still the closest thing to that that we've got to a general capable of being credited to defeating the winter. It just so happened that he has a sister that pulled off something more amazing than anybody in the books was supposed to. But somebody had to do it. And I think that having Jon Snow do it would have been laughably predictable and stupid.
SpreadsheetAg
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Only one I couldn't find was Gendry - I think; but he was smooching Arya in the previous scene in the preview, so he's there:

(Click to enlarge)


Note: That could also be Jamie on the far right next to Tyrion - I can't get my iPad version to load which has a MUCH better resolution.
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