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  #201  
Old 04-29-2019, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by DrCube View Post
So did Arya even use her detachable-head spear at all? Or is that for a future battle? Or was it just a Macguffin to get some Arya-Gendry sexy time last episode?
The head didn't detach, but the staff was uncoupled once into two small spears. The weapon doesn't much resemble the drawing she gave Gendry, but I assume that was intentional.
  #202  
Old 04-29-2019, 11:06 AM
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I enjoyed individual bits of it, but overall was disappointed. And it was so damn dark, and there were so many quick cuts - don't they know how much most fans hate battles filmed like that?

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Originally Posted by Dale Sams View Post
...The "Im being overwhelmed and then saved at the last second trope" (Or, Thor arrives In Wakanda-IW spoiler not Endgame) was definitely overused.
Also in LOTR with the destruction of the One Ring and Sauron's death just as Aragorn and his army are being overrun.

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Originally Posted by Exapno Mapcase View Post
Only one question.

Where the hell did Arya drop from?
I wondered that, too. I thought maybe she was hiding in the weirwood tree's branches, but that was in front of the NK and she clearly came from behind.

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Originally Posted by Biggirl View Post
...Read elsewh[e]re-- Bran to Arya: Still only counts as one!
LOL.

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Originally Posted by DrCube View Post
...I didn't expect what happened either, though. I was expecting a "battle of wits" moment like in Princess Bride. Bran would use his three eyed raven powers to, I don't know, trick the NK somehow....
Yeah, very disappointing just how little Bran did other than be bait and buck up Theon at the end.

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Originally Posted by DigitalC View Post
I don't think she killed herself, she just died from overextending. Or because it was her time.
I presumed she was exhausted from lighting up the Dothraki swords and the fire barrier. Maybe she used up all her magic and was just spent. The NK and his undead horde were defeated and she thought her time had come.

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Originally Posted by Fear Itself View Post
Arya's ninja move, dropping the knife to her other hand, then stabbing the Night King, made it all worthwhile....
Yeah, I'll give 'em that. Pretty cool move. "A girl has game."
  #203  
Old 04-29-2019, 11:07 AM
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It was the spear she was using to kick ass at first. Though the design notes made it look detachable I guess it was just showing a dragon glass head inserted into a wooden spear.
Right, there was an entire scene/sequence where she used quite effectively. At one point she lost the entire thing and grabbed the end and detached the spearhead to us as a knife.
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  #204  
Old 04-29-2019, 11:08 AM
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Question: What was the plan Bran?


What was the grand plan, leave Bran with only Theon and a handful of people to protect him, and then what? Of course Theon was going to die. Why is Bran so useless? Why was there no plan whatsoever? Arya was a good twist but that was completely unplanned, apparently.
  #205  
Old 04-29-2019, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by DigitalC View Post
It was the spear she was using to kick ass at first. Though the design notes made it look detachable I guess it was just showing a dragon glass head inserted into a wooden spear.
I'd swear there was a shot where Arya stabbed a wight with the staff and detached the stabbing end so she could keep using the (now one-headed) weapon.
  #206  
Old 04-29-2019, 11:10 AM
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I believe the spear broke after she dispatched a few bad guys and she was left holding only the tip with a short handle. Way to go, Gendry, great smiting!
  #207  
Old 04-29-2019, 11:13 AM
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I'm glad the Night King story is over. t was a cool concept but basically a force of nature more than a character. The human drama was always much more interesting.

Dany is in quite a spot. Most if not all the Doraki are dead. Most of the Unsullied are Dead. The North hates her. She has nothing left to win with but her dragons (which admittedly is a big poker chip).

If she really wants to help make Westeros better at this point maybe her best move is to lean into the news about Jon and let him take the Throne with her as his Queen and they can jointly rule. Not ideal but would keep the North on board.
  #208  
Old 04-29-2019, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Dewey Finn View Post
When Dany blasted the Night King with a long shot of dragonfire, he seemed unaffected and was just standing there, I think smiling, when the fire and smoke cleared. Was that what was expected or was the intention that he has the same invulnerability that she does to fire? Perhaps he's a Targaryen? On the other hand, I really doubt we're going to revisit anything to do with the Night King or the Children of the Forest.
*I* thought it would work because I thought dragonfire had created dragonglass....but then i thought about it and i guess theres no history of dragons or Targaryans being involved with battles with White Walkers.
  #209  
Old 04-29-2019, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Rusalka View Post
What was the grand plan, leave Bran with only Theon and a handful of people to protect him, and then what? Of course Theon was going to die. Why is Bran so useless? Why was there no plan whatsoever? Arya was a good twist but that was completely unplanned, apparently.
Seemed to be wait til NK is in the open and sweep in with a dragon. At one point Jon was even sitting on a wall with one....like the Night King cant see that giant dragon sitting there, if he was vulnerable to dragonfire.
  #210  
Old 04-29-2019, 11:19 AM
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I get people's disappointment, but I don't think the books are going to be any better, even assuming Martin ever actually writes them.
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Originally Posted by Athena View Post
It occurred to me last week that maybe, just maybe, the whole "GRRM doesn't finish the books before the show ends" was on purpose. It definitely would have cut into the excitement of these last few episodes if a significant number of the viewers knew the ending, right? I could totally see there being an agreement that he'd not finish the series, at least not until the show is over.
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Martin gave up on the books and turned it over to the TV people. So what you get is a TV show. Why should anyone expect different?
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Once again, if you want to talk about books, even imaginary books, please keep it to the book thread.

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  #211  
Old 04-29-2019, 11:20 AM
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https://gizmodo.com/a-theory-about-w...too-1834379081

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Last nightís Game of Thrones supposedly showcased the largest battle ever shot for TV. I say supposedly because I couldnít see most of the actionónor could a lot of other people, who complained all over Twitter that the episode was too dark.
.
.
.
The makers of Game of Thrones almost certainly blew it here. They did not take into account two big factors. First, that people would watch streams which could downgrade thanks to the demands on the servers of HBO and other services, and second, that people would watch the episode on uncalibrated displays in rooms that werenít lit like a movie house.
  #212  
Old 04-29-2019, 11:20 AM
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I think there were two major problems with the episode, one of which is forgivable but the other isn't. One, the tactics sucked but then the tactics always suck, so.....whatever. But worse, the story contradicted itself. The entire Dothraki force was wiped out in seconds. The formed-up phalanxes of the Unsullied were ground up to nothing in a matter of minutes. But apparently 3 hero characters can hold out indefinitely. What? The? Fuck?

The regular units needed to be way more effective, and the named characters needed to be way more vulnerable.

My re-write, using the same basic script:

1) You don't fight in front of your fixed defenses. That's stupid stupid stupid, and the whole point of having a castle is that a man on the walls is worth 10 outside (do you hear that, Ramsay?) However, maybe there's not enough room to fit all the Unsullied inside, and the Dothraki would be completely wasted, so you establish these reasons for fighting outside in the strategy meeting in episode 2. However, you don't form up with the Dothraki in front, siege engines next, then Unsullied, then the trench. WTF? Dothraki should be in reserve off to the south of the castle out of the path of the dead entirely. Then the trench (always fight behind your fixed defenses, not in front), then the Unsullied, then the siege engines just below the walls.

2) Now the dead roll up, swarm the trench in places, the Unsullied mostly hold at least to start. In places their formation gets overwhelmed, and Brienne's northern infantry in reserve surges into these spots. The trebuchets launch flaming projectile after flaming projectile, not just one volley before being overrun. Archers on the walls fire volley after volley. Dragon strafing runs. The Dothraki charge in on the flanks in wedge formations relieving pressure here and there, but it isn't enough. Things get worse and worse. Slowly (!) the lines begin to collapse, and the dead reach the walls in a few places. Things are getting desperate.

3) Bran wargs into the ravens, but instead of doing nothing he flies down to some of the Dothraki (or maybe some similarly positioned Westerosi cavalry, there are still a bunch of knights from the Vale around) and points them at the line of white walkers at the rear. The cavalry charges, some of the white walkers fall. Large groups of wights collapse, lines steady, tired troops cheer.

4) Night king shows up on dragon, destroys the cavalry attacking the white walkers. They do a mass raising of new wights. Remaining troops retreat into castle to man walls in face of seemingly overwhelming threat. Wights do not swarm walls very effectively. Things look grim, but the castle is an effective defense. Night king's dragon breaches the wall, desperate defense in the courtyard. Defensive troops mostly hold but slowly die to the unending numbers of wights. White walkers occasionally shown raising new wights. At some point here the dead in the crypts can be raised.

5) Dragons fight, ending with a couple of them crashing into the wall around the Godswood and breaching it. Wights stream in, Ironborn defend, but are overwhelmed. Night king shows up with white walkers. Ending plays much the same, but with at least one scene establishing that Arya is heading to the Godswood, preferably with some reference to how Bran used to climb his way everywhere so that the final jump at the Night King is a little less out of the blue.

At no point should we see Jaime, Brienne, and Pod fighting desperately all alone against overwhelming numbers of wights, and then 10 minutes later see them in the same situation but still alive. If their units are wiped out, they're wiped out with them. We should end with a lot more unnamed soldiers alive, and 2 or 3 more big names snuffed out, preferably at least one of whom everyone thought would live because of unfinished business. The Hound, maybe, or Jaime, or even Sansa or Tyrion.
  #213  
Old 04-29-2019, 11:21 AM
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Why did Arya and the Red Witch look at each other so meaningfully when RW first arrived at Winterfell? Remind me of their past dealings, please.

Could the NK re-raise wights who'd just been killed (again) in the battle? Or could he only raise the freshly-dead defenders of Winterfell?

Just dumb for the Dothraki to go charging off into the dark. Scouting, or some kind of illumination of what lay ahead of them, would've been smart. On the other hand, anyone worried that the Dothraki would be a problem for Dany, burning, raping and pillaging their way across Westeros, can now breathe a sigh of relief.

Glad Jorah died defending his beloved Khaleesi.

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Originally Posted by dasmoocher View Post
...The showrunners also said Arya stabbed the NK in the same location where the Children of the Forest stabbed him with dragonglass to create him, using the Valryian steel to uncreate him.
A nice completion of the circle, but I thought the Children stabbed him in the upper chest and Arya stabbed him in the lower gut.

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Originally Posted by SenorBeef View Post
...I thought we'd get a cool scene of someone we know being a part of the army of the dead....
Yes! That, to me, was the biggest missed opportunity of this episode - showing Tormund having to kill an undead Brienne, or Ser Jorah an undead Lady Lyanna, or Sam an undead Edd, or even Jon an undead direwolf Ghost, would've been powerful stuff.

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Originally Posted by Biggirl View Post
If Tormund is among the living then everyone in the room when Tyrion said, "I think we'll live" actually lived.
Now there's a subverted trope for you!

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Originally Posted by AK84 View Post
Anyone else thbought for a second that Theon was going to get up and charge the Night King again?
Yes, or at least jab him as he walked by.

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Originally Posted by MeanJoe View Post
...I do suspect we will see one or two twists or at the least some satisfying ends to certain character's story - Mountain vs. The Hound anyone?
Yes, please! Gotta have a CleganeBowl before it all wraps up.
  #214  
Old 04-29-2019, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Elendil's Heir View Post
A nice completion of the circle, but I thought the Children stabbed him in the upper chest and Arya stabbed him in the lower gut.
I assume what is meant is that he was turned into the Night King at that tree, not that she stabbed him at the same point in his body.
  #215  
Old 04-29-2019, 11:24 AM
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Why is Bran so useless?
I am hoping Jamie throws him out a window again with the full support of Winterfell this time.
  #216  
Old 04-29-2019, 11:26 AM
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I don't think the Iron islands sent people did they? If not they could be in the next battle.
Theon had most of his crew with him to defend Bran, and they were all killed before he was. Yara went back to the Iron Islands with three ships, and maybe just enough crew to man them.

It's a bit of a mystery how she plans to take the Iron Islands with such a small force, especially since most of the remaining Ironborn gave their allegiance to Euron. Also, she's now on the exact opposite side of the continent from where the next battles are likely to take place.
  #217  
Old 04-29-2019, 11:30 AM
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I assume what is meant is that he was turned into the Night King at that tree, not that she stabbed him at the same point in his body.
No, it was a different tree. The landscape around the tree where the Night King was created was hilly, and the tree was surrounded by menhirs in a spiral pattern.

They meant she stabbed him at the point the Children had stabbed him.
  #218  
Old 04-29-2019, 11:30 AM
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Theon had most of his crew with him to defend Bran, and they were all killed before he was. Yara went back to the Iron Islands with three ships, and maybe just enough crew to man them.

It's a bit of a mystery how she plans to take the Iron Islands with such a small force, especially since most of the remaining Ironborn gave their allegiance to Euron. Also, she's now on the exact opposite side of the continent from where the next battles are likely to take place.
1) Most of the Ironborn are on the opposite side of the continent.
2) Last season completely did away with the idea that logistics or travel times matter. If the writers want to see Yara in King's Landing she'll be there.
  #219  
Old 04-29-2019, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Elendil's Heir View Post
Why did Arya and the Red Witch look at each other so meaningfully when RW first arrived at Winterfell? Remind me of their past dealings, please.

Could the NK re-raise wights who'd just been killed (again) in the battle? Or could he only raise the freshly-dead defenders of Winterfell?

Just dumb for the Dothraki to go charging off into the dark. Scouting, or some kind of illumination of what lay ahead of them, would've been smart. On the other hand, anyone worried that the Dothraki would be a problem for Dany, burning, raping and pillaging their way across Westeros, can now breathe a sigh of relief.

Glad Jorah died defending his beloved Khaleesi.


A nice completion of the circle, but I thought the Children stabbed him in the upper chest and Arya stabbed him in the lower gut.


Yes! That, to me, was the biggest missed opportunity of this episode - showing Tormund having to kill an undead Brienne, or Ser Jorah an undead Lady Lyanna, or Sam an undead Edd, or even Jon an undead direwolf Ghost, would've been powerful stuff.


Now there's a subverted trope for you!


Yes, or at least jab him as he walked by.


Yes, please! Gotta have a CleganeBowl before it all wraps up.
When Arya was protesting the brotherhood giving Gendry to her, she told Arya that she saw death in her eyes and she would kill many people. The look was Arya letting her know that the person she saw in the vision was the person she became.

I got the idea that only the newly dead can be reanimated.

They knew what lied ahead, a huge horde of the undead walking towards them. Attacking hordes of massed infantry is what Dothraki do best.

He seemed to get stabbed around the solar plexus both times, though it was hard to see exactly where Arya stabbed him.
  #220  
Old 04-29-2019, 11:37 AM
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And the writers could have had the battle make sense and eliminate the Army of the Dead pretty easily. The AoD just marches forward because he White King is not going to know about the Valyrian Steel and dragonglass. Setup your army as follows


Sir Brienne, Doth Cav, Fire Trench

Unsullied <- AoD

Lady Bear, Doth Cav, Fire Trench

The AoD is focused on the Unsullied and your Cavalry hits then from the flanks. Eventually you have the unsullied pulled back and The AoD is enveloped. There are breakouts and those inside the walls deal with it.
  #221  
Old 04-29-2019, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Snarky_Kong View Post
1) Most of the Ironborn are on the opposite side of the continent.
Right. Most of the fighting men and ships went with Euron.

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2) Last season completely did away with the idea that logistics or travel times matter. If the writers want to see Yara in King's Landing she'll be there.
I'm pretty sure she has to have another confrontation with Euron. (And from what we have seen in this episode, such expectations are likely to come true.) But realistically it would take Jon/Danaeys remaining forces (what's left of them) months to regroup and reach King's Landing, so there are similar time travel considerations for them as Yara.
  #222  
Old 04-29-2019, 11:40 AM
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Why was Ghost running with the Dothraki and Ser Jorah? AFAIR, neither Ghost nor Jon had any close ties to them.

He would have been more useful inside the walls. I imagine that the producers wanted to show him and then get rid of him. But maybe he was scouting or Bran was warged into him for a bit.
  #223  
Old 04-29-2019, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by GreysonCarlisle View Post
The head didn't detach, but the staff was uncoupled once into two small spears. The weapon doesn't much resemble the drawing she gave Gendry, but I assume that was intentional.
I predicted a week or so ago that Arya was going to use it to kill either the zombie dragon or Night King. Turns out I was wrong. Sorta. If she was going to kill the Night King it should have been wirth that spear. Says I!
  #224  
Old 04-29-2019, 11:45 AM
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And the writers could have had the battle make sense and eliminate the Army of the Dead pretty easily. The AoD just marches forward because he White King is not going to know about the Valyrian Steel and dragonglass.
The Night King knows perfectly well about Valyrian steel and dragonglass. He saw Jon kill a White Walker at Hardhome, so he knows he has such a sword. He knows Meera killed a Walker with dragonglass.

As has been said, the Night King's strategy to hold the Walkers back and let the wights serve as cannon fodder made perfect sense if he know they were vulnerable. And it would have worked, too, if it hadn't been for that pesky girl!

Last edited by Colibri; 04-29-2019 at 11:46 AM.
  #225  
Old 04-29-2019, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by GreysonCarlisle View Post
Why was Ghost running with the Dothraki and Ser Jorah? AFAIR, neither Ghost nor Jon had any close ties to them.

He would have been more useful inside the walls. I imagine that the producers wanted to show him and then get rid of him. But maybe he was scouting or Bran was warged into him for a bit.
We were only shown Bran warging into the ravens, so I think we can assume he didn't warg into Ghost.
  #226  
Old 04-29-2019, 11:54 AM
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Meant to write earlier, I would like to've seen the Hound using his dragonglass axe to much better advantage, laying waste to any wights who came near.

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Originally Posted by steronz View Post
...Consider this alternate episode. Winterfell is set up like we saw it, except the Dothraki are kept off to the side like an actual cavalry would be...

I'll stop there, but I think this is all much more satisfying than whatever they have cooked up now....
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Originally Posted by Gorsnak View Post
I think there were two major problems with the episode, one of which is forgivable but the other isn't. One, the tactics sucked but then the tactics always suck, so.....whatever. But worse, the story contradicted itself.

...My re-write, using the same basic script....
Those were pretty awesome, you two! Wish they'd hired you.

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Originally Posted by Inigo Montoya View Post
...I was disappointed Tyrion didn't develop any useful tricks from his fireside chat with The Guy Who Knows Literally Everything....
Strongly agreed.

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Originally Posted by Bijou Drains View Post
Cersei does not have a dragon or wights so that battle will be very different. A dragon can wipe out a lot of soldiers quickly as we already saw.
Yup - and those were even Lannister troops!

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Originally Posted by Bijou Drains View Post
I don't think the Iron islands sent people did they? If not they could be in the next battle.
Theon had his small group of archers, from the ship he came in, guarding Bran, but otherwise not. I've said it before and I'll say it again: we're sure to see Yara and an Iron Islands fleet "unexpectedly" sail to the rescue sometime before the show wraps up.

Last edited by Elendil's Heir; 04-29-2019 at 11:56 AM.
  #227  
Old 04-29-2019, 11:55 AM
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The main difference is that it seemed evident that the the two armies were not evenly matched up in numbers at the beginning of the battle. Instead, the living were apparently outnumbered by the undead, possibly by several orders of magnitude. On that note, it seems like a better battle plan would have been to take on a defensive posture against the attacking forces behind the walls instead of taking them on head-on in the field, especially if the size of the attacking force was unknown.
I don't think Winterfell could usefully hold all the soldiers that they had assembled. It's just not that big. They were camped in tents outside the walls.

Clearly they should have reserved more people on the walls, though. The dead should have eventually broken through somewhere, but there shouldn't have been 20-foot sections of wall with like two people guarding them.

Quote:
On another note, how pathetic is it that two live dragons were unable to stop one undead dragon? At the climax, the one undead dragon was rampaging through the castle and about to flambe Jon with blue fire, and the other two dragons were nowhere to be seen.
I think the live dragons did the right thing there and got the fuck out of dodge. Can they even kill a wight dragon? Their fire didn't do it. They ripped a chunk of its neck out and that didn't do it. The longer they fight the more chance that there are two dead dragons.

I think the issue with viewing is less the televisions (modern televisions do have a pretty good picture), and more the compression. Video compression does not handle dark scenes well at all. Even if you adjust the contrast and brightness, the compression algorithm has already decided that one shade of dark is about as good as any, so let's fill 3/4 of the screen with three bands of slightly different dark bluish.

There were definitely moments in the episode that I liked. The dwindling fire of the Dothraki charge was great, for example. But I largely agree with the criticisms.

The whole thing was way too by the numbers. Nothing interesting happened. No one did anything clever. None of the major characters felt like they were really in danger. And for all the time and money and special effects they spent on this, you couldn't see it! Did we really need 90 minutes for this? They should have had one of the named characters go down in the first ten minutes, be raised as a wight, and take down another of the named characters. That would have given the whole thing some urgency. Instead it was just piles of dimly-lit redshirts and heroic death scenes.

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Originally Posted by Suburban Plankton
As far as the Night King getting killed so "easily": I think that was fine. Look back to Season 1. Ned Stark was the main character, the 'hero'...and then he was dead. Just like that, with no fanfare, no heroic end...he just got his head chopped off.
But the Night King's death wasn't anything like Ned Stark's death. There was so much fanfare. There was literally a slow-motion, just-in-time, climax-of-multiple-fights-in-multiple-locations action-movie death. We don't need to have Arya kill the Night King just as he is about to kill Bran and just as Jon Snow is exposed to the dragon wight and just as all the other named characters are on the brink of being overwhelmed (for like the eighth time). A much much better and more early-season GoT death would be that she just drops on him as he's walking through the courtyard. Death when you least expect it. Death in GoT doesn't have to be heroic and scenic. It's nasty and brutal and quick. Similarly, Theon shouldn't get to make his heroic charge all the way down a row of wights. They should just close in and overwhelm him.

The reason Ned Stark's death was surprising is that it contradicts all the normal tropes of storytelling. Like, how many times have we seen the main character rescued from what looked like a certain execution? Our lead character sure seems to be on the down and out, but don't worry, he's got an ace up his sleeve. Maybe the executioner will take of his mask to reveal the trusty sidekick. Maybe he's already secretly untied his bindings. However it goes, surely his wits and his allies will get him out of---oh my god is that his head?!

The good guys barely hanging on and dealing a critical infrastructure blow to an overwhelming enemy in just the nick of time is just a normal underdog storytelling trope. Boring.

Even if they wanted that last scene, they could have upended expectations at other points. I was really hoping that instead of Melisandre managing to light the trench barricade just in time, the dead would just swarm and overwhelm her and her unsullied phalanx. That would have been great! And nothing else meaningfully changes. The Arya/Melisandre encounter could just have been earlier in the episode if you need it at all.

One (maybe?) redeeming possibility will be that it turned out that Bran was actually doing something when he was warging away during the battle. Did I miss something? He went into a flock of ravens, they flew through and around the battle, and then... he sat there all white-eyes for the next 30 minutes and nothing at all came of it?
  #228  
Old 04-29-2019, 11:55 AM
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For a minute there at the end I thought something was going to happen that REALLY would have been unprecedented and unique. As the Night King walked up to Bran, I thought that the two of them were actually going to have dialog. I was like, "holy shit, this is awesome, Bran is the only one who has the capability to speak to the NK and he's the only one who the NK would deem worthy of actually speaking to."

After building him up as this voiceless, soulless, totally malevolent entity, I thought he and Bran were going to, like, negotiate some kind of truce. And I thought, "damn, I certainly didn't see this coming."

And then, of course, it became abundantly clear that I did NOT, in fact, see it coming, because it didn't happen.
  #229  
Old 04-29-2019, 11:55 AM
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The only salvation might be if she told Arya to get out to the grove. Because otherwise Arya's going there at that time from the middle of a castle in a battle was the most ridiculously contrived moment in a ridiculously contrived episode.
She did tell her. That was the entire point of the scene of them talking.

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I don't think the tactics were that bad. The Dothraki fight by charging across the steppe on their horses and mowing down infantry. So that is how they were used. The battle plan was designed to get the Night King in the open where Dany could kill him with dragon fire. So they had the Unsullied and the rest of the infantry make a stand while they strafed the wights with two dragons. The night king then used his dragon to fight the other two so they fell back behind the wall and trench since they didn't have anymore dragons to help.

If the night king had not been immune to dragon fire it would have worked. With the Dothraki, the Unsullied, the archers, the trebuchets, and the dragons it looked like they had killed most of the night kings original army. They successfully lured the night king to Bran as well.
The tactics were awful. Cavalry only does that in movies. Charging straight at massed prepared infantry is suicide. See: Charge of the Light Brigade, extra credit see: Agincourt. Cavalry is used to hit the flanks and rear or exploit a break in a formation. Or you use them in guard, screen or cover missions. That was the case when it was horses and it’s still the case when it’s mechanized. A frontal charge into massed infantry in the dark had the obvious conclusion. Everybody dies.

They wanted the Night King drawn into the open. They didn’t want everyone to die. Obstacles in depth to slow and funnel the enemy. Long range weapons zeroed in on where the enemy is funneled. Cavalry harassing the flanks. Infantry behind barricades. Air attacks as needed but hold back until the other dragon is in play. Maybe all your troops don’t die. The battle would take longer but there is room for exposition to cover time jumps.

The tactics only work if the commanders wanted to sacrifice the lives of all their troops.

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I don't think the Iron islands sent people did they? If not they could be in the next battle.
Theon had a small group of Iron Born with him. They were who “protected” Bran.

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*I* thought it would work because I thought dragonfire had created dragonglass....but then i thought about it and i guess theres no history of dragons or Targaryans being involved with battles with White Walkers.
Am I misremembering or is dragonglass just another word for obsidian? I got the feeling that it’s primal nature is what made it effective as opposed to man-made steel. Not that it literally had a connection to dragons.

Last edited by Loach; 04-29-2019 at 11:57 AM.
  #230  
Old 04-29-2019, 12:00 PM
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When Arya was protesting the brotherhood giving Gendry to her, she told Arya that she saw death in her eyes and she would kill many people. The look was Arya letting her know that the person she saw in the vision was the person she became.

I got the idea that only the newly dead can be reanimated.

They knew what lied ahead, a huge horde of the undead walking towards them. Attacking hordes of massed infantry is what Dothraki do best.

He seemed to get stabbed around the solar plexus both times, though it was hard to see exactly where Arya stabbed him.
Thanks. I disagree with you about #3, though - seemed to me they were riding into dark, unseen terrain and had no idea of the wights' dispositions.
  #231  
Old 04-29-2019, 12:01 PM
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The night was possibly full of terror, but mostly very, very dark.

I liked how the overall battle was impressive and well conducted. For instance the charge of the Dothrakis (even though it made mostly no sense) and their flames being extinguished so quickly, giving a sense of dread and doom, for instance. I should probably mention that the scenes were quite dark, and I generally couldn't tell what was happening (for instance, I was completely wrong about the outcome of the fight between dragons)

Except when the main characters were involved, at which point it was becoming ridiculously cliche. The undead mob can overwhelm whole regiments in a matter of minutes, but three surrounded and exhausted characters, on of them already down will get through, no problem. Not mentioning that those main characters were pretty much the only survivors of all fights. Obviously cowards who fled while the men they commanded heroically died holding their ground. If they wanted them to survive, they could at least have spared us the half a dozen "doomed and about to die but somehow surviving because another main character jumps in at the last moment" scenes each of them had and make their survival a bit more credible. It would also have been nice if the scenes had been a bit less dark and I could tell which character was involved.

As many have said, not enough deaths (of main characters), a lot of cliche and not a single surprise except whom killed the night king. So, this episode was underwhelming despite being very well directed (apart from the lack of light that I should point out). And...the night king, the long winter, the army of the wights...that's all there was to it after 7-8 years of building this threat? Just a supervillain who wants to kill everybody and is defeated in one episode in a perfectly predicable way?

As someone said, this show could have been one of the greatest of all times, and they let the narrative go down to the level of your average predictable and cliched TV show. Very disappointing.

And very dark.
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  #232  
Old 04-29-2019, 12:02 PM
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My TV is only a couple of years old and I think itís pretty good. The episode looked like shit on my tv. I was able to see everything and tell what was going on but it didnít look good. I was going to scramble and try and change the contrast settings but then I just said screw it and watched it as is.
  #233  
Old 04-29-2019, 12:06 PM
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Thanks. I disagree with you about #3, though - seemed to me they were riding into dark, unseen terrain and had no idea of the wights' dispositions.
Even in the daytime itís suicide.
  #234  
Old 04-29-2019, 12:06 PM
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...Am I misremembering or is dragonglass just another word for obsidian? I got the feeling that itís primal nature is what made it effective as opposed to man-made steel. Not that it literally had a connection to dragons.
Yes, Sam said obsidian = dragonglass both when they found the stash at the Fist of the First Men, and in talking to Stannis.
  #235  
Old 04-29-2019, 12:06 PM
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The tactics that bothered me the most is that the Dothraki and dragons weren't making strafing runs on the army of the dead for the weeks since they broke through the wall.
  #236  
Old 04-29-2019, 12:07 PM
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For a minute there at the end I thought something was going to happen that REALLY would have been unprecedented and unique. As the Night King walked up to Bran, I thought that the two of them were actually going to have dialog. I was like, "holy shit, this is awesome, Bran is the only one who has the capability to speak to the NK and he's the only one who the NK would deem worthy of actually speaking to."
I vaguely hoped for it too. But I already had lost any illusion that the show would include anything truly original and unique, something I had believed for years watching it. So, it would have been very happily surprised if something like that (or anything really special or surprising) had happened.

Unfortunately, it didn't.
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  #237  
Old 04-29-2019, 12:13 PM
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Am I misremembering or is dragonglass just another word for obsidian? I got the feeling that itís primal nature is what made it effective as opposed to man-made steel. Not that it literally had a connection to dragons.
It is obsidian...but can be made into weapons that arnt brittle somehow.

Well ultimately he was vulnerable cause it was Obsidian that made him.
  #238  
Old 04-29-2019, 12:14 PM
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One (maybe?) redeeming possibility will be that it turned out that Bran was actually doing something when he was warging away during the battle. Did I miss something? He went into a flock of ravens, they flew through and around the battle, and then... he sat there all white-eyes for the next 30 minutes and nothing at all came of it?
He was looking through the 14 million possible outcomes of the battle to see if this was the one where they win.
  #239  
Old 04-29-2019, 12:14 PM
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...
I also thought the moment with Sansa and Tyrion hiding behind the crypt was just full of emotion. So much was said by their faces without a word being spoken.
"Not today".
...
I was thinking:
"I love you."
"I know."
  #240  
Old 04-29-2019, 12:15 PM
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Loach, the Cavalry was at least initially supported by a bombardment from the trebuchets, which makes it better tactics that 99% of fiction.
  #241  
Old 04-29-2019, 12:17 PM
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Loach, the Cavalry was at least initially supported by a bombardment from the trebuchets, which makes it better tactics that 99% of fiction.
A couple of volleys fired blindly into the darkness.
  #242  
Old 04-29-2019, 12:28 PM
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The wights would have attacked even if the Dothraki hadn't charged into battle with swords aflame. Perhaps this way the battle takes place far from the castle? Also the Dohthraki had no idea what they were up against, and riding into battle is their thing.
Who chose the tactical order of battle? Davos? Jon? Melisandre?
Maybe getting Melisandre to light their swords on fire and send them in first was a political calculation to get rid of "Dany's people", and reduce her bargaining power in the end?
Just a thought.
  #243  
Old 04-29-2019, 12:30 PM
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What was the grand plan, leave Bran with only Theon and a handful of people to protect him, and then what? Of course Theon was going to die. Why is Bran so useless? Why was there no plan whatsoever? Arya was a good twist but that was completely unplanned, apparently.
Probably the same strategic mastermind that had their cavalry make a suicidal charge instead of using them for flanking, and placed the siege engines in front of the infantry line.
  #244  
Old 04-29-2019, 12:32 PM
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The Night King knows perfectly well about Valyrian steel and dragonglass. He saw Jon kill a White Walker at Hardhome, so he knows he has such a sword. He knows Meera killed a Walker with dragonglass.
Sorry poorly written. I meant that the NK didn't know they had a ton of VS and DG weapons. As far as he knew it was just a few.
  #245  
Old 04-29-2019, 12:32 PM
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Highly disappointing overall. I have been saying that while the show has been going downhill for a long time, it could still pull off big set-pieces but now they have failed at that too. Many of the scenes were too dark to be exciting and while the the last 20 minutes or so seemed to gather some real momentum it was all undone by the death of the Night King which felt cheap and unearned.

This is a show which became rightly famous for not being afraid to kill its major characters but it's striking how almost all of them have survived what was supposed to be an apocalyptic ordeal.

I will probably watch till the end out of inertia but I think I am done caring about the show. I still think the first three books and the corresponding episodes are some of the best storytelling I have ever seen. In the first couple of seasons I sometimes felt that the TV show was even better than the books and I had high expectations that it would perhaps become the definitive version of the story but clearly it was not to be.

What it shows is that it's really hard to sustain the quality of storytelling of the early books and show. I guess we should be grateful for what we got and move on.
  #246  
Old 04-29-2019, 12:34 PM
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The waste of the Dothraki cavalry really destroyed the episode for me. I can think of no reason to use cavalry like that. They are raiders, suitable for harrying the oncoming army--and then flanking. That said, even if it was a military blunder, it did make for a great visual with the flaming swords being snuffed out like that.

I think maybe Bran warged into Theon for a bit. Theon was never all that great of a warrior--it even took him multiple swings to behead somebody when he occupied Winterfell. Now, all of a sudden, he's Horatio at the bridge? I think Bran guided his weapons--thus the exchange where Bran thanked him before the suicide charge.

Hated the darkness. A film that can't be seen isn't much of a film.
  #247  
Old 04-29-2019, 12:35 PM
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I have always equated the Dothraki with the Mongols. The Mongols did not blindly charge massed infantry. If they did we never wouldíve heard of them.
  #248  
Old 04-29-2019, 12:37 PM
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I think that people are exaggerating the extent to which earlier seasons avoided cliches. Yes, there have been a couple of instances where individuals who would typically have plot armor die, but throughout there have been dramatic-rescues-at-the-last-minute-of-apparently-doomed-characters, unexpected reversals of fortune, and a lot of other typical tropes of the genre.

Take for example the Battle of the Blackwater. People have been unfavorably comparing this battle to that one. But we have the following incidents:

-A magical or semi-magical strategy, wildfire, that apparently gives the victory to Joffrey's forces by destroying most of Stannis's fleet.

-A reversal when Stannis's forces land and almost succeed in taking the city anyway.

-Another reversal when Tyrion organizes a sortie and appears to be winning.

-Another reversal when Tyrion is nearly killed and appears on the brink of death, but is saved in the nick of time by Pod.

-A final reversal by the unexpected deus-ex-machina arrival of Tywin and the Lannister-Tyrell forces to win the day. There was a slight suggestion that Tywin might be going there in a previous episode, but it was kept hidden for dramatic purposes. It's pretty much the same cavalry comes to the rescue at the last minute scenario that we saw at the Battle of the Bastards with the Knights of the Vale.
  #249  
Old 04-29-2019, 12:40 PM
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As someone said, this show could have been one of the greatest of all times, and they let the narrative go down to the level of your average predictable and cliched TV show. Very disappointing.
I have all the same complaints everyone else does, but nevertheless it's still one of the greatest TV shows of all time.
  #250  
Old 04-29-2019, 12:40 PM
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I liked it.

I had no problem telling what was going on, although I have a good TV with great blacks (<3 my plasma), properly calibrated, in a properly dark room, with a good streaming connection through HBO GO.

I'm also not sad that they didn't kill more characters. They still gotta take on Cirsei, and are probably going to kill off a few more in that one. If you're going to create a new good world, some good people need to be left.

My criticism is they set that up to not be believable. When they snuff out thousands of Dothraki, on horseback, in a matter of seconds, then nobody's going to survive a pile of them coming after them in a sustained manner for a half hour. No one. By the time the wights made it to the Winterfell wall they should have been GREATLY pared down (and they COULD have done that with better Dragon management), but nope they were still piling and crawling all over each other. NO WAY anyone survives that. They could have easily made it more believable but didn't.

I LOVED Arya taking out the NK. Fistpumped that part.

For people complaining she shouldn't have been able to do that, of course she should. Why? BECAUSE SHE'S A FUCKING NINJA. In fact, she puts real world ninjas to shame.

Do I think GoT is gonna have a happy ending? Yeah, I do. A bittersweet one at least. And you know what? THAT would actually be subverting expectations, not killing everybody off.

Plus I think I know why they're doing it. Benioff and Weiss are going to be doing the next batch of Star Wars films. They're not going to want to be known as the guys that left GoT on a bummer note.
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