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(Slate)   Jon Snow may know nothing, but he sure does brood well   (slate.com) divider line 178
    More: Amusing, Jon Snow, emotional expressions  
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7156 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 09 Jun 2014 at 4:08 PM (18 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-06-09 01:50:25 PM  
Here's my long-ass rant about last night's episode - short version, I was really disappointed.

Lack of Stakes

It's really unclear what would happen if the Night's Watch lost. I mean, it's intellectually clear, but it doesn't really have an emotional impact. In Blackwater, it was really simple - if Tywin wins, we get what happened. If Stannis wins, he's on the throne, and the Lannister are all crucified. And these are people we all know and care about. We don't want to see Davos lose, and we don't want to see Tyrion lose. But one of them has to.

In this case, there's no equal stakes. No one wants the Wildlings to win. Yrgitte's been gone so long, her emotional state didn't really have that big an impact (on me at least). And at the Wall, there just aren't very many characters we care about. John of course, but he's also the single most boring lead character on the show. Sam? I guess we care about him? Maybe we have a soft spot for Edd and Grenn and Pyp, but otherwise who cares.

And on the Wildling side...

Where the fark is Mance

Why - the fark - would you cast Cirian Hinds and not have him in as much as possible. Show him, goddammit? Give us a sense that the Wildling army is coherent and has a plan. Faceless enemies suck, especially when the wall is so damn large, that even thousands of them attacking is really isn't very scary, since they look like ants. They don't seem like a threat.

The battle made no sense

In this way - we are told, over and over, that the battle is 100,000 against 100. Ok - then how the fark did the Night's Watch win? First of all, it looks like about 80 of them died in the battle, so the place should basically be totally empty now. Secondly, they clearly had no strategy, no way to use their numbers efficiently. They just fought. How did they win at all? It made it less compelling for me, since there was no strategy to watch unfold.

Also, not letting Ghost out until the end was just a stupid was to save money.

Nothing happened

Seriously, nothing happened in the plot. They devoted an entire episode to just this one storyline, and it didn't even resolve itself in any meaningful way? The threat neither ended, nor was changed in any serious way. The Night's Watch, the Wildlings and Westeros are int the exact same position before the episode as after, except the odds have moved from 1000:1 to 1500:1 or something. How can you devote an entire episode to something like this and have no plot (or really even character) resolution or momentum at all?

Lastly...

(Spoiler in next post)
 
2014-06-09 01:51:27 PM  

***SPOILERS***



***SPOILERS***



***SPOILERS***



***SPOI LERS***



***SPOILERS***


Where was Stannis?! How do you throw that opportunity away? Bring in Stannis at the end to save the farking day! Doing that solves so many problems.

1) It gives stakes to the battle, since now you're bringing in the rest of Westeros and there's a connection to other characters.
2) It helps us understand how the fark the Night's Watch could actually win. They are outnumbered 1,000 to 1, bringing in Stannis and his army would explain their win.
3) It will make us LOVE Stannis so much more. We need to make his character better.
4) It gives us forward plot momentum and resolution - something is actually DIFFERENT as a result of this battle.
5) It would have been a brilliant "OH HELL YES" moment, similar to when the Elves show up at Helms Deep (which I know purists hate, but whatever). Give us a sense that the Crows are hopeless, about to lose - maybe Jon is about to be killed, when all the sudden a sword goes through the neck of a Thenn, he falls, and behind him is see Davos holding the blade. I mean, come on!

I'm not a book reader, but I'm spoiled, so I know Stannis shows up there very soon. I don't know exactly when he shows up, but I can't imagine much would be lost by having him show up a little bit earlier for this purpose.
 
2014-06-09 02:28:47 PM  
He really is quite dreamy.

I'm reading the books and it is taking me forever.

I hate threads like this where people feel the need to lord their knowledge of what happens next.  We get it, you're a douchenozzle.

Again, he really is quite dreamy.
 
2014-06-09 02:58:18 PM  

DamnYankees: Here's my long-ass rant about last night's episode - short version, I was really disappointed.

Lack of Stakes

It's really unclear what would happen if the Night's Watch lost. I mean, it's intellectually clear, but it doesn't really have an emotional impact. In Blackwater, it was really simple - if Tywin wins, we get what happened. If Stannis wins, he's on the throne, and the Lannister are all crucified. And these are people we all know and care about. We don't want to see Davos lose, and we don't want to see Tyrion lose. But one of them has to.

In this case, there's no equal stakes. No one wants the Wildlings to win. Yrgitte's been gone so long, her emotional state didn't really have that big an impact (on me at least). And at the Wall, there just aren't very many characters we care about. John of course, but he's also the single most boring lead character on the show. Sam? I guess we care about him? Maybe we have a soft spot for Edd and Grenn and Pyp, but otherwise who cares.

And on the Wildling side...

Where the fark is Mance

Why - the fark - would you cast Cirian Hinds and not have him in as much as possible. Show him, goddammit? Give us a sense that the Wildling army is coherent and has a plan. Faceless enemies suck, especially when the wall is so damn large, that even thousands of them attacking is really isn't very scary, since they look like ants. They don't seem like a threat.

The battle made no sense

In this way - we are told, over and over, that the battle is 100,000 against 100. Ok - then how the fark did the Night's Watch win? First of all, it looks like about 80 of them died in the battle, so the place should basically be totally empty now. Secondly, they clearly had no strategy, no way to use their numbers efficiently. They just fought. How did they win at all? It made it less compelling for me, since there was no strategy to watch unfold.

Also, not letting Ghost out until the end was just a stupid was to save money.

Nothing happened

Seriously, nothing happened in the plot. They devoted an entire episode to just this one storyline, and it didn't even resolve itself in any meaningful way? The threat neither ended, nor was changed in any serious way. The Night's Watch, the Wildlings and Westeros are int the exact same position before the episode as after, except the odds have moved from 1000:1 to 1500:1 or something. How can you devote an entire episode to something like this and have no plot (or really even character) resolution or momentum at all?

Lastly...

(Spoiler in next post)


I'm really trying not to give stuff away, but

The real battle before the Wall hasn't happened. Also, you have to remember, most of the wildlings aren't fighting men or women. They've got lots of mothers, wives, children and the elderly. Basically, everybody who could or would come. They've got, maybe, 5 or 6 thousand actual fighters; the rest are refugees. (That's how it's portrayed in the books, at least)

You also have to remember; the wall is hundreds of feet tall. The wildlings couldn't really shoot arrows effectively at the black brothers on top of the Wall. The arrows that did hit were lucky shots or from Ygrette's party of raiders.
 
2014-06-09 03:01:25 PM  

iheartscotch: The real battle before the Wall hasn't happened. Also, you have to remember, most of the wildlings aren't fighting men or women. They've got lots of mothers, wives, children and the elderly. Basically, everybody who could or would come. They've got, maybe, 5 or 6 thousand actual fighters; the rest are refugees. (That's how it's portrayed in the books, at least)

You also have to remember; the wall is hundreds of feet tall. The wildlings couldn't really shoot arrows effectively at the black brothers on top of the Wall. The arrows that did hit were lucky shots or from Ygrette's party of raiders.


This is all true, and explains why the episode was disappointing. If you want to devote an entire episode to a single event, it better be farking important. This wasn't.
 
2014-06-09 03:16:56 PM  

DamnYankees: iheartscotch: The real battle before the Wall hasn't happened. Also, you have to remember, most of the wildlings aren't fighting men or women. They've got lots of mothers, wives, children and the elderly. Basically, everybody who could or would come. They've got, maybe, 5 or 6 thousand actual fighters; the rest are refugees. (That's how it's portrayed in the books, at least)

You also have to remember; the wall is hundreds of feet tall. The wildlings couldn't really shoot arrows effectively at the black brothers on top of the Wall. The arrows that did hit were lucky shots or from Ygrette's party of raiders.

This is all true, and explains why the episode was disappointing. If you want to devote an entire episode to a single event, it better be farking important. This wasn't.


Again, I'm reeeallly trying not to give away stuff.

Actually, this episode is very important for Jon Snow's future. This, holding Castle Black against the Wildlings, changes a lot of things in the Wall's political situation.

As you may remember, Jon Snow went over to the Wildlings at the orders of Qhorin Half-hand; but, Jon Snow had to kill the Half-hand to make it convincing. That comes back to bite Jon Snow in the ass. His actions during the assault on Castle Black go a long way in helping Jon Snow's case.
 
2014-06-09 03:23:10 PM  

iheartscotch: Again, I'm reeeallly trying not to give away stuff.


I know what comes next - I'm 100% spoiled. I don't think it really matters to whether the episode works.
 
2014-06-09 03:49:30 PM  

DamnYankees: This is all true, and explains why the episode was disappointing. If you want to devote an entire episode to a single event, it better be farking important. This wasn't.


And it felt like a rehash of the far more high-stakes and exciting war when Stannis invaded King's Landing.  It was pretty much "look, people flinging flaming arrows...and more people flinging flaming arrows... and more people flinging flaming arrows."  It was the first episode I found boring from top to bottom. Then again, I've been suffering major insomnia lately and I did sleep last night.

I grasp it moves the Jon Snow storyline along a lot, but did we need a whole hour of flaming arrows, without finding out what is going on anywhere else? ESPECIALLY after how they left us last week?
 
2014-06-09 04:00:30 PM  

DamnYankees: If you want to devote an entire episode to a single event, it better be farking important. This wasn't.


Yes it was. It changes the characters of Jon Snow and Sam Tarly forever. It changes the entire power structure of the Wall. It also demonstrated for the first time the proper strength of the Wall and the wildling army.

And it was riveting television. If you were sitting there thinking of all that stuff during the battle scenes, that's a shame because you were missing some absolutely stunning TV.
 
2014-06-09 04:02:35 PM  
Reading about it today, I think most people were just mad they spent the whole hour on the wall when 80% of the audience wanted to see what happens next with Tyrion.

Big deal. It was still excellent, excellent television. Don't think the battle strategy of the Wildings? Ask George R.R. Martin. He's the guy who wrote it.
 
2014-06-09 04:04:56 PM  
And that giant knocking that guy through the roof with his arrow? Awesome.

The mammoth's ass catching on fire so he runs away dragging wildlings while the giant chases him? Awesome.

The continuous battle scene that filled every corner of the screen with choreographed fights? Awesome.

All in all, this was easily one of my favorite episodes of the season. Just well done all around. I don't need to visit King's Landing every week.
 
2014-06-09 04:15:46 PM  

Confabulat: Yes it was. It changes the characters of Jon Snow and Sam Tarly forever. It changes the entire power structure of the Wall. It also demonstrated for the first time the proper strength of the Wall and the wildling army.


In fairness, did anyone NOT know the wall was never that strong? Most of the people there are there out of desperation, as a last ditch effort to not be killed or lose their balls or whatever... as a punishment.  Most of them, despite training, are poor fighters.  The legend of the Night's Watch far, far surpasses anything they could ever be capable of doing, given how the men are recruited.  They're fighting insane Wildings and cannibals from hell, giants, mammoths, and I have to assume White Walkers figure in here, too.  I didn't really need an hour to know that the wall wasn't being defended by the best and brightest, for the most part.  Not that the Wildings and cannibals are the best and brightest, but they have absolute savagery and disregard for honor on their side in a battle.

I guess that's my problem, the wall held better than it even should have, by all rights.  And as someone else said, I really did want to know what happens to Tyrion, because I am really not okay with them killing him.

/Not one who has read the books, so everything is new to me, aside from the fact that it appears major characters die every damned episode.
 
2014-06-09 04:16:09 PM  
I was somewhat upset that after they figured out that not blocking the tunnel was a fark up, that they didn't Plan B that and as part of battle preparations they didn't just cover the floor and walls with oil. Then all they had to do was wait until it was full and have a wildlings and giants BBQ. If Tyrion had joined the watch, that would have happened. Btw... How many giants does mance have? I'm betting next time he sees Jon snow, Mance is gonna make a big deal about how hard it is to get one of those!!!!

Was also thinking that Janos Slynt would try to get a last minute something from Gilly before they all died and she'd kill him.
 
2014-06-09 04:18:01 PM  

DamnYankees: iheartscotch: The real battle before the Wall hasn't happened. Also, you have to remember, most of the wildlings aren't fighting men or women. They've got lots of mothers, wives, children and the elderly. Basically, everybody who could or would come. They've got, maybe, 5 or 6 thousand actual fighters; the rest are refugees. (That's how it's portrayed in the books, at least)

You also have to remember; the wall is hundreds of feet tall. The wildlings couldn't really shoot arrows effectively at the black brothers on top of the Wall. The arrows that did hit were lucky shots or from Ygrette's party of raiders.

This is all true, and explains why the episode was disappointing. If you want to devote an entire episode to a single event, it better be farking important. This wasn't.


Half the damn Nights Watch died due to a raiding party and there's still +90K barbarians w/ more giants and mammoths outside the gates

They're f-ed in the next attack wave if Jon doesn't talk Mance down
 
2014-06-09 04:18:44 PM  
DamnYankees:

This is all true, and explains why the episode was disappointing. If you want to devote an entire episode to a single event, it better be farking important. This wasn't.

Yes, yes, you're too cool to like the popular show, and were into GoT before any of us heard about it. We get it.
 
2014-06-09 04:20:37 PM  

Confabulat: And that giant knocking that guy through the roof with his arrow? Awesome.

The mammoth's ass catching on fire so he runs away dragging wildlings while the giant chases him? Awesome.

The continuous battle scene that filled every corner of the screen with choreographed fights? Awesome.

All in all, this was easily one of my favorite episodes of the season. Just well done all around. I don't need to visit King's Landing every week.


Yup this.

It was an incredible spectacle of an episode. And I think Jon Snow is a very interesting character, but that's prob because I've read the books. The show just needs to get better at making him more interesting, which it should have no problem doing over the next few seasons.
 
2014-06-09 04:21:44 PM  

Confabulat: And that giant knocking that guy through the roof with his arrow? Awesome.

The mammoth's ass catching on fire so he runs away dragging wildlings while the giant chases him? Awesome.

The continuous battle scene that filled every corner of the screen with choreographed fights? Awesome.

All in all, this was easily one of my favorite episodes of the season. Just well done all around. I don't need to visit King's Landing every week.


Let us not forget the wall wiping super mace and that it isn't a just one shot weapon.  "Winch it back up...."  awesome
 
2014-06-09 04:22:03 PM  

serpent_sky: and I have to assume White Walkers figure in here, too.


My only gripe. Wouldn't they see the big fire and think "oh look more recruits"?
 
2014-06-09 04:22:35 PM  
I don't get the complaints about the stakes? The defenders 'won' because mance didn't send in his full force. A siege is supposed to last a few days and a few battles and skirmishes. Committing his full force could lead to a trap and destroy his forces... And the stakes where explained a few episodes ago... There is no army between Mance and the Twins that can even slow down Mance. If the wall doesn't hold, he's conquered the North.

The part I don't get is his next move. White walkers are coming so it can't be to stay in the north. Idk why calling a truce with the nights watch to fight the white walkers at the wall wasn't a thing.
 
2014-06-09 04:23:37 PM  

kbronsito: I was somewhat upset that after they figured out that not blocking the tunnel was a fark up, that they didn't Plan B that and as part of battle preparations they didn't just cover the floor and walls with oil. Then all they had to do was wait until it was full and have a wildlings and giants BBQ. If Tyrion had joined the watch, that would have happened. Btw... How many giants does mance have? I'm betting next time he sees Jon snow, Mance is gonna make a big deal about how hard it is to get one of those!!!!

Was also thinking that Janos Slynt would try to get a last minute something from Gilly before they all died and she'd kill him.


I would wonder what an intense fire, running the full width, would do to the structural integrity of an ice wall.
 
2014-06-09 04:24:57 PM  
Also, I rock climb. I've only done 100 ... 110 feet in one go- tops. That thing is 656 feet high. I don't care if you are the best climber, you are going to be exhausted and useless against the well rested defenders on top. All they'd have to do is nudge them with their feet as the invaders got to the top, and they'd go toppling.

Other than that, awesome episode.
 
2014-06-09 04:25:59 PM  

kbronsito: The part I don't get is his next move. White walkers are coming so it can't be to stay in the north. Idk why calling a truce with the nights watch to fight the white walkers at the wall wasn't a thing.


Because they all seem to oddly ignore the White Walkers.
Most people on the watch don't believe Sam - they think the White Walkers are made up.
But Mance DOES know they're real, and they're terrifying, so I don't get why everyone seems to just shrug at the idea of thousands of ice zombies who seem to do nothing but kill and make more of their own.
 
2014-06-09 04:26:48 PM  
I have to agree with everything DamnYankees has to say.  I'll add one other thing I found frustrating:  visually, the fights were a mess.  I couldn't tell who was who; it was a bunch of men in furs hacking at other men in furs in the dark.

And why would you use fire arrows against men at night?  If you hit, it's probably going to take the man out of the fight whether it's on fire or not.  All is does is let them see the arrow coming.
 
2014-06-09 04:28:11 PM  
Btw... Did anyone notice how Jon is acting like killing mance to get the wildling army to disperse was his idea? That was the half-hand's idea! What a credit stealing dick.
 
2014-06-09 04:28:41 PM  

kbronsito: I don't get the complaints about the stakes? The defenders 'won' because mance didn't send in his full force. A siege is supposed to last a few days and a few battles and skirmishes. Committing his full force could lead to a trap and destroy his forces... And the stakes where explained a few episodes ago... There is no army between Mance and the Twins that can even slow down Mance. If the wall doesn't hold, he's conquered the North.

The part I don't get is his next move. White walkers are coming so it can't be to stay in the north. Idk why calling a truce with the nights watch to fight the white walkers at the wall wasn't a thing.


White walkers can't cross the wall while its still standing, only their zombie minions can.  And there's a whole lot of wall for the zombies to try and break down for their masters

Basically think of it as the same as the Governor in Walking Dead wanting the prison
 
2014-06-09 04:29:06 PM  

Cymbal: Confabulat: And that giant knocking that guy through the roof with his arrow? Awesome.

The mammoth's ass catching on fire so he runs away dragging wildlings while the giant chases him? Awesome.

The continuous battle scene that filled every corner of the screen with choreographed fights? Awesome.

All in all, this was easily one of my favorite episodes of the season. Just well done all around. I don't need to visit King's Landing every week.

Yup this.

It was an incredible spectacle of an episode. And I think Jon Snow is a very interesting character, but that's prob because I've read the books. The show just needs to get better at making him more interesting, which it should have no problem doing over the next few seasons.


I loved it from start to finish...it's easily the best paced episode of the entire season, which is should be with 30 minutes of straight action that keeps climbing in scale.  And yet they still took time to properly show the deaths of those characters we cared about without it feeling like an interruption.

And that long track shock where Jon kicks some ass, looks around and then the music changes to badass mode as the camera swings around 360 to see everything that was happening in Castle Black was absolutely amazing camerawork.

This episode lends a much needed boost of action and fighting to this season, imo.  And I like it better than Blackwater.
 
2014-06-09 04:29:11 PM  
I can't wait to see how he gets them out of that rail car.
 
2014-06-09 04:29:54 PM  

Nadie_AZ: serpent_sky: and I have to assume White Walkers figure in here, too.

My only gripe. Wouldn't they see the big fire and think "oh look more recruits"?


Fire keeps them away at night.
 
2014-06-09 04:30:03 PM  
The true hero of the episode was Sam for figuring out how he can uphold his vows whilst laying the pipe to Gilly.
 
2014-06-09 04:30:21 PM  

serpent_sky: But Mance DOES know they're real, and they're terrifying, so I don't get why everyone seems to just shrug at the idea of thousands of ice zombies who seem to do nothing but kill and make more of their own.


The whole point of Mance's invasion is to get on the other side of the wall before they do come.
 
2014-06-09 04:32:24 PM  

serpent_sky: kbronsito: The part I don't get is his next move. White walkers are coming so it can't be to stay in the north. Idk why calling a truce with the nights watch to fight the white walkers at the wall wasn't a thing.

Because they all seem to oddly ignore the White Walkers.
Most people on the watch don't believe Sam - they think the White Walkers are made up.
But Mance DOES know they're real, and they're terrifying, so I don't get why everyone seems to just shrug at the idea of thousands of ice zombies who seem to do nothing but kill and make more of their own.


They've seen the 'zombies' though. I just think there's too much distrust for a truce. My take is that either mance plans to take over the wall fortifications and do the job of holding off the undead army himself or he is leading the wildlings all the way to Dorne to escape (which wouldn't be so much of a plan and more of a desperate move)
 
2014-06-09 04:33:47 PM  

Fish in a Barrel: I have to agree with everything DamnYankees has to say.  I'll add one other thing I found frustrating:  visually, the fights were a mess.  I couldn't tell who was who; it was a bunch of men in furs hacking at other men in furs in the dark.

And why would you use fire arrows against men at night?  If you hit, it's probably going to take the man out of the fight whether it's on fire or not.  All is does is let them see the arrow coming.


As far as tactics go, if you fire enough of them you would be able to see future targets in the vicinity more easily. Plus fire hurts more, if you get hit and live, you have to spend time putting it out.
 
2014-06-09 04:34:27 PM  

Confabulat: The whole point of Mance's invasion is to get on the other side of the wall before they do come.


So we come back around to "you'd think everyone would really want to work together since nobody really knows what to do about the White Walkers."  I guess it really is like "Walking Dead" - people can't stop fighting even when it is in their best interests.
 
2014-06-09 04:36:44 PM  

ShadowKamui: kbronsito: I don't get the complaints about the stakes? The defenders 'won' because mance didn't send in his full force. A siege is supposed to last a few days and a few battles and skirmishes. Committing his full force could lead to a trap and destroy his forces... And the stakes where explained a few episodes ago... There is no army between Mance and the Twins that can even slow down Mance. If the wall doesn't hold, he's conquered the North.

The part I don't get is his next move. White walkers are coming so it can't be to stay in the north. Idk why calling a truce with the nights watch to fight the white walkers at the wall wasn't a thing.

White walkers can't cross the wall while its still standing, only their zombie minions can.  And there's a whole lot of wall for the zombies to try and break down for their masters

Basically think of it as the same as the Governor in Walking Dead wanting the prison


I didn't know about the walls anti white walker magic. I thought it was just a physical barrier. (I take it that's from books? I didn't remember that on the series). By moving 100,000 wildlings past it, he's denying troops to the walkers. and getting himself the walking dead prison. Now I can make sense of his plan.
 
2014-06-09 04:37:34 PM  

Wellon Dowd: The true hero of the episode was Sam for figuring out how he can uphold his vows whilst laying the pipe to Gilly.


HBO should air that part of the episode as part of a "SEE, THIS IS WHY READING IS IMPORTANT" campaign.
 
2014-06-09 04:38:28 PM  

SirDigbyChickenCaesar: kbronsito: I was somewhat upset that after they figured out that not blocking the tunnel was a fark up, that they didn't Plan B that and as part of battle preparations they didn't just cover the floor and walls with oil. Then all they had to do was wait until it was full and have a wildlings and giants BBQ. If Tyrion had joined the watch, that would have happened. Btw... How many giants does mance have? I'm betting next time he sees Jon snow, Mance is gonna make a big deal about how hard it is to get one of those!!!!

Was also thinking that Janos Slynt would try to get a last minute something from Gilly before they all died and she'd kill him.

I would wonder what an intense fire, running the full width, would do to the structural integrity of an ice wall.


They should start flooding the tunnel now.
 
2014-06-09 04:41:56 PM  

Nadie_AZ: serpent_sky: and I have to assume White Walkers figure in here, too.

My only gripe. Wouldn't they see the big fire and think "oh look more recruits"?




I'm pretty sure this isn't a spoiler, I'm not even 100% sure it's stated clearly in huge show or books. But. I think the white walkers want humans out of their lands. They aren't blindly killing people. They target the Night's Watch, but I'm not sure they've ever been shown to target wildlings as aggressively. It seems more like they're herding them out of their territory. So having a big mass of wildlings at the wall would be ideal for the white walkers, since it means they're attempting to gtfo.
 
2014-06-09 04:45:04 PM  

kbronsito: ShadowKamui: kbronsito: I don't get the complaints about the stakes? The defenders 'won' because mance didn't send in his full force. A siege is supposed to last a few days and a few battles and skirmishes. Committing his full force could lead to a trap and destroy his forces... And the stakes where explained a few episodes ago... There is no army between Mance and the Twins that can even slow down Mance. If the wall doesn't hold, he's conquered the North.

The part I don't get is his next move. White walkers are coming so it can't be to stay in the north. Idk why calling a truce with the nights watch to fight the white walkers at the wall wasn't a thing.

White walkers can't cross the wall while its still standing, only their zombie minions can.  And there's a whole lot of wall for the zombies to try and break down for their masters

Basically think of it as the same as the Governor in Walking Dead wanting the prison

I didn't know about the walls anti white walker magic. I thought it was just a physical barrier. (I take it that's from books? I didn't remember that on the series). By moving 100,000 wildlings past it, he's denying troops to the walkers. and getting himself the walking dead prison. Now I can make sense of his plan.


I think Old Nan mentions it in passing in season 1

But yeah, the proof of the magic barrier is from Coldhands who was cut from the show.   Though they'll probably explain how the magic works next episode when Bran gets to the tree.
 
2014-06-09 04:45:52 PM  

doloresonthedottedline: Nadie_AZ: serpent_sky: and I have to assume White Walkers figure in here, too.

My only gripe. Wouldn't they see the big fire and think "oh look more recruits"?



I'm pretty sure this isn't a spoiler, I'm not even 100% sure it's stated clearly in huge show or books. But. I think the white walkers want humans out of their lands. They aren't blindly killing people. They target the Night's Watch, but I'm not sure they've ever been shown to target wildlings as aggressively. It seems more like they're herding them out of their territory. So having a big mass of wildlings at the wall would be ideal for the white walkers, since it means they're attempting to gtfo.


Don't agree. They target wildlings far more than the Nights Watch. The books aren't very clear on their ultimate intentions though, but I'd prob guess they'd like to take over the world eventually.
 
2014-06-09 04:46:21 PM  
That guy can brood all day with my face between his legs.
 
2014-06-09 04:46:40 PM  
I haven't watched it yet. I take it this episode is all stabby stabby and no booby?
 
2014-06-09 04:47:01 PM  

Fish in a Barrel: I have to agree with everything DamnYankees has to say.  I'll add one other thing I found frustrating:  visually, the fights were a mess.  I couldn't tell who was who; it was a bunch of men in furs hacking at other men in furs in the dark.

And why would you use fire arrows against men at night?  If you hit, it's probably going to take the man out of the fight whether it's on fire or not.  All is does is let them see the arrow coming.


If you can burn them as they die, you don't have to fight them again...
 
2014-06-09 04:48:13 PM  

doloresonthedottedline: Nadie_AZ: serpent_sky: and I have to assume White Walkers figure in here, too.

My only gripe. Wouldn't they see the big fire and think "oh look more recruits"?

I'm pretty sure this isn't a spoiler, I'm not even 100% sure it's stated clearly in huge show or books. But. I think the white walkers want humans out of their lands. They aren't blindly killing people. They target the Night's Watch, but I'm not sure they've ever been shown to target wildlings as aggressively. It seems more like they're herding them out of their territory. So having a big mass of wildlings at the wall would be ideal for the white walkers, since it means they're attempting to gtfo.


I don't agree.  They target the Wildlings just as much as they target the Night's Watch.  The very first scene in the entire show we see a group of Wildlings who have been horrifically slaughtered (before coming back as Wights), including a child.  In the books, Tormund talks about how they set fires around the perimeter of their camp, but they keep getting them (and he had to kill his own dead son after he became a Wight).  It looks like they are preparing to go South, gathering as many 'soldiers' as they can to destroy humanity.
 
2014-06-09 04:50:59 PM  

ShadowKamui: Half the damn Nights Watch died due to a raiding party and there's still +90K barbarians w/ more giants and mammoths outside the gates


That's exactly my point. Nothing really changed. The threat is still out there and insurmountable. The battle just made the odds 1,500 to 1 instead of 1,000 to one.

Pretty much everyone who died was inconsequential. I mean, we like Grenn and Pyp, but they are hardly critical to the story.
 
2014-06-09 04:52:16 PM  

serpent_sky: Confabulat: The whole point of Mance's invasion is to get on the other side of the wall before they do come.

So we come back around to "you'd think everyone would really want to work together since nobody really knows what to do about the White Walkers."  I guess it really is like "Walking Dead" - people can't stop fighting even when it is in their best interests.




Wildlings have been raiding and killing south of the wall for a very long time, and "winter is coming" and foods in short supply. The top priority of the wildlings is to get south of the wall and the north just can't afford to let them do that. And all they'd gain is an untrustworthy army to fight a superhuman enemy that can't be properly killed (dragon glass is scarce, and most don't even know about it working), with unknown numbers or motives.

Versus Mance hanging on for a few more days and whittling away at the small group of Night's Watch survivors.

Also, to anyone saying the infighting with the humans just creates more zombies, the wildlings know the importance of burning the dead and seem to be very careful about it. I don't think its a huge issue. It seems to take a little while for the zombie thing to kick in, and they have time up round up the bodies. And a rather large fire to toss em in.
 
2014-06-09 04:52:57 PM  

serpent_sky: Confabulat: Yes it was. It changes the characters of Jon Snow and Sam Tarly forever. It changes the entire power structure of the Wall. It also demonstrated for the first time the proper strength of the Wall and the wildling army.

In fairness, did anyone NOT know the wall was never that strong?


It has never been attack by 100,000 people before.  This was a first.  Also, there's a key speech by Sam last season as to the whole purpose of the Night's Watch and The Wall in the first place.  Something important has been lost and forgotten.


Most of the people there are there out of desperation, as a last ditch effort to not be killed or lose their balls or whatever... as a punishment.  Most of them, despite training, are poor fighters.  The legend of the Night's Watch far, far surpasses anything they could ever be capable of doing, given how the men are recruited.

The NW has dwindled over the centuries until it has become the joke that it is - a dumping ground for criminals and a gulag for political prisoners.  Recall Tyrion's initial scorn of the NW and he's an educated man.  Their original purpose has been lost.


They're fighting insane Wildings and cannibals from hell, giants, mammoths, and I have to assume White Walkers figure in here, too.

No one has seen the White Walkers in many many centuries.   They've passed into legend.


I didn't really need an hour to know that the wall wasn't being defended by the best and brightest, for the most part.  Not that the Wildings and cannibals are the best and brightest, but they have absolute savagery and disregard for honor on their side in a battle.

Actually, the main thing they have on their side is numbers.  Most of the Wilding clans have long standing feuds.


I guess that's my problem, the wall held better than it even should have, by all rights.

Jon addressed this.  Mance is testing the defenses, probing for weak spots.  He's also trying to get the NW to commit a significant number of men to guard the southern gate, meaning fewer men to defend the Wall.  He showed the NW that he has climbers and the attack by Tormund and Ygritte proved they can be devastatingly effective..  Most importantly, Mance is fighting a war of attrition.  He has both numbers and time on his side.  The NW will eventually run out of oil barrels and men and they can't stop the climbers since the Wall is so long.  Mance has wargs at The Wall so he knows that Castle Black is not getting reinforcements.   Jon knows that Mance is the only thing holding the Wildings together so his plan is one of desperation since both sides now know the inevitable way this is going to end if things keep going as is.


 And as someone else said, I really did want to know what happens to Tyrion, because I am really not okay with them killing him.

/Not one who has read the books, so everything is new to me, aside from the fact that it appears major characters die every damned episode.


A lot of death this episode.  They're saving Tyrion's fate for the finale.
 
2014-06-09 04:53:26 PM  

DamnYankees: Pretty much everyone who died was inconsequential.


I'd argue that Sam NOT dying was far more consequential than just another random character death. Besides, it's a rare happy reunion at the end. You almost never see that on this show.
 
2014-06-09 04:54:12 PM  

bborchar: And I like it better than Blackwater.


I don't understand this at all. Blackwater was so much more emotional, and the battle made so much more sense. I seriously get emotional just thinking about Stannis' men pulling him away at the end of the battle and him yelling "STAND AND FIGHT!" And Tyrion's great line "There are brave men knocking at our door - let's go kill them."

The shiat meant something. The players involved were emotional about it, because the threat was imminent and the consequences obvious and important.

This episode just didn't have that. The closest you got was Grenn and his men fighting off the giant in the tunnel, but again, at the end of the day, what's the result? 6 dead crows, 1 dead giant, and the battle continues as none of it really mattered.
 
2014-06-09 04:55:37 PM  

Wellon Dowd: The true hero of the episode was Sam for figuring out how he can uphold his vows whilst laying the pipe to Gilly.


He discovered God's Loophole.
 
2014-06-09 04:56:07 PM  

Confabulat: DamnYankees: Pretty much everyone who died was inconsequential.

I'd argue that Sam NOT dying was far more consequential than just another random character death. Besides, it's a rare happy reunion at the end. You almost never see that on this show.


This is true. I would be 100% fine with this if this whole event took half of an episode and was episode 4 of the season. But it took up all of episode 9. That's usually the climax of each season.

Ned's execution
Blackwater
The Red Wedding

Episode 9 is where GoT usually puts it best foot forward. It's an incredibly high bar. Fair or not, I just didn't feel like Watchers on the Wall came close - The Mountain and the Viper would have been more suited, IMO.
 
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