Well, they’re certainly not wasting time on exposition before the action gets going this season. Yay! No more travel scenes! So here are my thoughts about the episode:
1: Daenerys’ council at Dragonstone was an important scene. On one side, we have the women advocating for an aggressive strategy. On the other side, we have Tyrion with his much more sensible advice. I think Daenerys was smart to take the middle route offered later on in the episode: Take Casterly Rock with the foreign army but beseige King’s Landing with a Westerosi army. It avoids the bad PR that Cersei could use to whip up support for her cause.
2: Randyll Tarly is going to be an interesting dark horse for at least another episode. I think he may be leaning toward Daenerys at this point but if he hears of the destruction of the Greyjoy and Dornish fleet, he may play things safe and go for Cersei. However, it’s really hard to tell. He’s the only one who ever beat Robert Baratheon in battle, which shows he has a real head for strategy and tactics (not so much for parenting!). Even with the Greyjoy fleet destroyed by Euron Greyjoy, I think Tarly may end up with Daenerys as she still has three dragons, an army of Dothraki and her Unsullied.
3: Now I’m really justified in my most repeated saying in Game of Thrones: Poor Ser Jorah! I was so glad that Sam decided to help him despite Archmaester Marwyn’s objections. I really, really hope that all of that pain was worth it and he’s cured like Shireen. (And that Sam also doesn’t get greyscale in the process.) For the sake of adding some hope to the penultimate season, please let this work.
4: I told you so! I knew Arya wasn’t going to end up going to King’s Landing and I’m so glad she’s heading back north. She needs to be with Jon, Sansa and Bran (who will be arriving shortly I assume). The few remaining Starks and the secret Targaryen-Stark need to be with family, now more than ever.
5: I’m not sure how I feel about Melisandre’s reappearance. I knew that after Jon banished her she would of course go to Daenerys but I really do wonder what role she’s going to play in the season. Will she act as an advisor to Daenerys? Or is she going to do something else? My money would be on something else because her character has never really been that simple.
6: Also: yay Nymeria! Now that we’ve found Nymeria again, all we need is for Arya to run into Gendry, who is presumably somewhere in Westeros. Unless he rowed all the way to Essos, seeing as he has apparently been rowing for years. /s
7: Shit is going to go down at Winterfell with Jon gone, Sansa in charge and Littlefinger still skulking about. I’m not sure what’s going to happen with Littlefinger’s storyline, but going off past experience he’s going to counsel Jon to side with Daenerys. Littlefinger is a survivor most of all. If Jon doesn’t side with Daenerys, he’ll try to pack up the army of the Vale along with Sansa and side with the Mother of Dragons himself.
8: Speaking of dragons, I knew Qyburn was up to something as soon as Cersei knew that Daenerys was sailing for Westeros. A weapon that can wound dragons was pretty obviously going to come up sooner or later. I just hope that for Daenerys’ sake, it doesn’t work quite as efficiently as Qyburn hopes. Although I do suspect she may lose at least one dragon this season. Having three dragons and a massive intact army would be way too easy for Daenerys. Characters in Game of Thrones never just get things handed to them, as we’ve seen over the previous six seasons.
9: Hey, Hot Pie is still around. Now there’s a survivor!
10: Okay, so we know Ellaria, one of the daughters and Yara have been all captured by Euron. Lovely. The other two Dornish women are dead and frankly I can’t bring myself to care. I wasn’t all that invested in their characters in the books anyway but I really didn’t like them in the show (too much bland acting and B-movie fight scenes). So on that front, my reaction is kind of ‘meh’.
11: So now we know that Ellaria and Yara are Euron’s wedding present to Cersei. I think we can all agree that these two women are in for horrific deaths at best.
12: And…brave Sir Theon ran away. When the fighting was pretty much over and he saw Yara captured, I think it brought out the Reek in him again and he fled. I really can’t blame him from a psychological standpoint but it still feels like a betrayal of his sister yet again. But, I suppose he still has a role in the show or he wouldn’t have gotten away alive. Maybe to tell Daenerys her plan to beseige King’s Landing with a Westerosi army has failed? And then what? I’m really not sure where his character is realistically heading. Maybe for death, like Jaime is.
Well, that’s all for this week. I can’t wait for next week’s meeting between Daenerys and Jon, Euron’s presentation to Cersei and some Winterfell intrigue.
Yay, Game of Thrones is back! Finally! I’ve been ridiculously excited for the new season so let’s get to it. Here are my thoughts about this episode, in no particular order:
1: Okay, so much for the Freys. I was suspicious when I saw the scene start with a feast but as ‘Walder’ kept talking I figured out who it was. That scene was just the perfect revenge for Arya. Go Arya!
2: Samwell, you’re awesome. Finally, the boy who desperately didn’t want to break the rules or do anything to cause a stir has found some steel in him. It started when Sam rescued Gilly and killed a white walker (and stole his father’s sword last season) but now I think we’re nearing the end of his sort of coming-of-age character arc. He used to be a boy, but experience and love have made him into a man. A man who has to empty bedpans and eat soup that looks like it came out of a bedpan, sure. But a man nevertheless.
3: NO!!! Poor Ser Jorah. sigh I know he’s going to die so I really, really hope he waits until Daenerys gets there. The writers are keeping him alive and putting him in Oldtown for a reason. But at the same time, I’m still holding out hope beyond hope that Sam will somehow find him a cure and he goes back to Daenerys. What can I say? Maybe I’m a hopeless romantic after all.
4: The Sansa and Jon tension will only heat up this season. With Littlefinger plotting as usual and Jon being an honourable Stark (despite actually being a Targaryen) I think she may become frustrated with both of them and forge her own path. Whether that’s alongside Jon or Littlefinger remains to be seen. Not only did she learn a lot from Cersei, she also learned what not to do when playing the game of thrones by watching what happened to her father and older brother.
5: So I hope Bran and Meera finally get to Winterfell. I want Jon to finally know his actual origin story. Preferably before he meets with Daenerys, his aunt.
6: Hmm…you guys, I think Jaime is going to die this season. His children are dead and his lover/twin is distant and drowning herself in wine. I honestly just don’t see much of a future for his character. Perhaps he’ll die fighting in the Reach, trying to claim Highgarden? I’m not sure, but I really do think he’s going to die this season. He’s lost all motivation to live.
7: On a side note, can I just commend Euron Greyjoy’s actor for finding the perfect blend of smart alec and crazy? He’s got the crazy eyes like Theon when he was Reek but you still get the feeling he’s more clever than he’s letting on. I wonder what present he’s going to give Cersei (besides his two working hands)?
8: And Arya’s travelling along the road and happens across a band of Lannister men with an apparently famous singer doing a cameo. Huh. She says she’s going to kill the Queen but I really think she won’t. Not because Arya doesn’t want to but because I just can’t see Cersei dying that easily. That would be a real cop-out.
9: After six seasons, Daenerys is finally in Westeros! And Dragonstone, where she was born. And it’s completely empty despite the fact that I’m pretty sure Stannis would have left some force behind to guard his home castle. Oh well, as far as plot holes go this one isn’t bad.
10: Tyrion needs to shave. Badly.
11: So now that, thanks to Sam, Jon knows there’s dragonglass (obsidian) on Dragonstone, I’m pretty sure he’s going to meet with Daenerys somehow to try to forge an alliance. He needs to if he’s going to fight the White Walkers.
12: I thought the part with the Hound was going to be boring, but man was I wrong. I think that whole part where he stumbles on the hut he robbed, sees a vision in the fire and then buries the bodies is a real turning point for him. Maybe the Lord of Light isn’t so bad after all. Maybe the Hound is alive for a purpose, just like Beric Dondarrion.
13: Where’s Gendry? Is he still rowing that damn boat? Or is Arya going to stumble upon him in or on her way to King’s Landing? Who knows? I guess we’ll eventually find out.
And now I can’t wait for next Sunday! Like Daenerys, I’m definitely ready to begin. This season is going to be great!!!
Okay, wow, let’s get into this, shall we?
1. Yay Sansa and Theon for probably escaping! Theon finally stood up to Ramsay’s authority and Sansa was working on a plan to get out anyway. Now that the two are together on the run I really hope they’ll make it to safety.
2. The Meryn Trant scene was very, very disturbing I must admit. There’s something about a teenage girl killing a man slowly (and clearly enjoying it) that is disturbing, no matter how horrible a person the man in question was. I think Arya will never truly be a Faceless Man because she’s so attached to her identity as a Stark but she could be a pretty fearsome assassin one day.
3. And Stannis is dead! I never really liked Stannis in the books and I really, really didn’t like him in the show. After killing Shireen I had no doubt he’d die but I didn’t think it would be that soon. With Selyse and Shireen dead and Melisandre abandoning the cause, Stannis had nothing to live for.
4. Hmm…Brienne choosing revenge over duty to Sansa? I wonder what consequences that could have in the future…
5. That was quite the pity party with Daario, Jorah and Tyrion. I think it’s awesome that Daario and Jorah are going on a road trip despite the bad blood between them (“She’s in a good mood”, anyone?).
6. Two eunuchs, a dwarf and a woman ruling a city like Meereen that’s not known to be all that progressive? That will be very, very interesting next season. I really can’t wait to see Tyrion back in power.
7. And Daenerys got captured by a khalasar just like in the books. It does not bode well for her but at least she had the sense to drop her ring in case anyone is tracking her.
8. I can’t believe Myrcella died! Well, actually I was sort of wary after that moment between her and Jaime but I just didn’t expect the Sand Snakes to kill her. In the books they wanted to crown her, not kill her.
9. Cersei’s walk of shame was just as brutal as it was in the books and I think Lena Headey did such an amazing job with it. She didn’t overdo the emotion but you could clearly see her degrading mental status as the brutality of the mob got to her. I was so relieved when she finally made it to the Red Keep. At the same time, after she gets out of the streets there’s almost a look of determination in her face. Will she go completely soft like in the books or go on a murder spree and make sure she keeps her promise to that awful septa.
10. Ah, so we finally see Zombie Mountain. I wonder what role he’ll play in the future?
11. Poor Jon Snow; I think we all saw that coming (except for some people on Twitter, who were just totally shocked). But is he really dead? Sure, he was bleeding out and sure Kit Harington has said he’s truly dead but there has to be a reason for Melisandre coming back to Castle Black. Could she revive him in true Thoros of Myr style, believing him to be the new saviour instead of Stannis?
So what did you guys think of the finale? Are you as anxious as me for season 6?
I can’t believe we only have two more episodes left in the season, but ‘Hardhome’ was definitely a doozy this week. Let’s get into it!
1. Ooh, Sansa! I think we’re going to see her snap and take care of Ramsay personally at some point. She stole that corkscrew from the construction and I think at this point she’s willing to use it, especially after Theon/Reek’s confession that he really didn’t kill her brothers.
2. Gah, poor Ser Jorah once again. Tyrion was totally right in a logical way (especially when you consider his greyscale) but his eyes when Daenerys told him to leave again were heartbreaking.
3. Sam and Gilly are so cute together. I think their relationship will end badly for both of them but I’m just enjoying it now.
4. Cersei is being set up to confess; we’re seeing her at an entirely new low. I think the season’s finale, Mother’s Mercy will have her carry out the High Sparrow’s special punishment.
5. Okay, I absolutely loved the battle at Hardhome. It was a well shot scene, not too terribly corny with the wildling council and the action was amazing. I loved seeing Night’s King stare at Jon Snow and just raise his hands, adding the dead wildlings to his army at the very end. It was incredibly chilling and the whole scene was just perfect. It definitely makes up for the really horrible Sand Snake fight scene.
So what did you guys think about this Sunday’s episode?
As always, spoilers!
1. Poor Jon. I personally think he’s making the right choice in enlisting the help of the Free Folk but it sure doesn’t seem very popular with the rest of the Night’s Watch.
2. Sansa, just get out of there! There are warning bells going off left, right and centre: Theon turned into Reek, Ramsay’s clear enjoyment of mind games, etc.
3. I hope Brienne and Podrick do manage to rescue Sansa, but realistically they’re not going to. Still, it will be interesting to see them try.
4. Oh Daenerys…first you almost kill a man then you say he was right and tell him you’re going to get married. Are you always this romantic?
5. And wow, that Missandei-Grey Worm scene was amazing. Those two actors have such great chemistry together that they make every scene together so emotional.
6. No, Ser Jorah! Why, oh why, did you have to take Jon Connington’s storyline? Gah!
What did you guys think of tonight’s episode?
(Cover picture courtesy of Goodreads.)
In the aftermath of a colossal battle, the future of the Seven Kingdoms hangs in the balance — beset by newly emerging threats from every direction. In the east, Daenerys Targaryen, the last scion of House Targaryen, rules with her three dragons as queen of a city built on dust and death. But Daenerys has thousands of enemies, and many have set out to find her. As they gather, one young man embarks upon his own quest for the queen, with an entirely different goal in mind.
Fleeing from Westeros with a price on his head, Tyrion Lannister, too, is making his way to Daenerys. But his newest allies in this quest are not the rag-tag band they seem, and at their heart lies one who could undo Daenerys’s claim to Westeros forever.
Meanwhile, to the north lies the mammoth Wall of ice and stone — a structure only as strong as those guarding it. There, Jon Snow, 998th Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, will face his greatest challenge. For he has powerful foes not only within the Watch but also beyond, in the land of the creatures of ice.
From all corners, bitter conflicts reignite, intimate betrayals are perpetrated, and a grand cast of outlaws and priests, soldiers and skinchangers, nobles and slaves, will face seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Some will fail, others will grow in the strength of darkness. But in a time of rising restlessness, the tides of destiny and politics will lead inevitably to the greatest dance of all.
After loving the first four books, I’ll admit that I really wanted to love A Dance with Dragons. I really, really tried. But it was such slow-going. It took me over a month to finish this book which should be a warning sign right there.
The problem, I think, at this point in the series is a little something called character bloat. There are too many characters. There are so many different houses and players entering into the war for Westeros that it’s simply become ridiculous. I can hardly keep track of them all and I’m not bragging when I say I have a good memory when it comes to books. Some points of view could have been cut from the book entirely. Did Quentyn Martell really have to have his say? Arya’s story barely went anywhere.
If it was just a slow plot I could handle it but it feels like the characters are going in totally different directions. Daenerys is an indecisive, idealistic moron compared to the strong, sure young woman she was in previous books. Jon Snow keeps swinging between rigidly sticking to his oath as a man of the Night’s Watch and totally violating it by siding with a king. Tyrion…well I don’t know what to think of him anymore. It’s okay that characters change and explore themselves. That’s what makes a story good! But it’s not okay that they randomly go in a whole different direction with pretty much zero explanation.
Despite all this, when I actually sat down to read A Dance with Dragons I didn’t mind it all that much. Some parts were pretty darn good. Although George R. R. Martin lost some of the things that made his series great in the beginning (his ability to kill off main characters ruthlessly, for one) he still has that amazing world-building. We learn so much about Westeros and the rest of Martin’s world that it almost makes up for everything else. The history of all Seven Kingdoms and the impact on people and other places was fascinating. I loved learning more about the world’s history! It added more depth to Martin’s world.
Yes, I will read The Winds of Winter when it finally does get published. Will I be looking forward to it as much as I did this book? Probably not. I’m just hoping that the next book will be better and that we’ll go back to that magical spark George R. R. Martin had in A Game of Thrones.
I give this book 3/5 stars.