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  #251  
Old 04-29-2019, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by iamthewalrus(:3= View Post
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?
I actually agree with you here...my statement was directed at the people who thought "How could they have killed the Night King so quickly? He was supposed to be the Big Bad of the series; it should have taken much longer to defeat him." He died so quickly because he was not 'the Big Bad' of the series, just as Ned was not 'the Hero' of the series.

As for the circumstances that let up to the moment of his death, I think you're spot on. Things could have been done in a much more satisfying manner.
  #252  
Old 04-29-2019, 12:40 PM
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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.
They had a bunch of dragon glass but only a handful of Valerian steel weapons. Rare and very expensive. Jon, Jorah, Arya, Brienne and Jaime may have been the only ones. Maybe Iím forgetting a couple.
  #253  
Old 04-29-2019, 12:42 PM
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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.
They only had five Valyrian steel weapons among all of them. And the Night King employed a strategy based on knowing they might have had weapons that could kill Walkers. He also knew they had two dragons. There's no reason to think he didn't know what he was up against.
  #254  
Old 04-29-2019, 12:42 PM
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Counterattacks aren't reversals or plot armor. The top 3 of those bullets are totally fine. 4th is borderline. I mean, Tyrion's squire protected him as he should. 5th is fine as far as turning the battle (Tywin mentions a fast march before he leaves Harrenhall, we just don't know where he's going), the timing wrt Tyrion is iffy, sure.
  #255  
Old 04-29-2019, 12:43 PM
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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.
She was on her list. For taking Genry off to be killed for Stannis.

So was the Hound, though technically, she left him for dead, so not really on there anymore.
  #256  
Old 04-29-2019, 12:44 PM
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Jon, Jorah, Arya, Brienne and Jaime may have been the only ones. Maybe Iím forgetting a couple.
No, that's everyone who had Valyrian steel in the battle. The only weapon that was used to take out a White Walker (the Night King) was Arya's. So much for Checkov's swords.
  #257  
Old 04-29-2019, 12:51 PM
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One thing that bothered me about the crypt scenes was that both Tyrion and Sansa were armed with dragon glass but I don't think we saw either of them trying to take out any wights. Nice that they could share a special moment while women and children were getting ripped apart.
  #258  
Old 04-29-2019, 12:56 PM
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Re: Theon at the end.

When Theon charges the Night King, my immediate thought was 'He's violating the first law of aikido!* You let the opponent charge you!'

* OK, I don't know aikido. Nevertheless.
  #259  
Old 04-29-2019, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Snarky_Kong View Post
4th is borderline. I mean, Tyrion's squire protected him as he should. 5th is fine as far as turning the battle (Tywin mentions a fast march before he leaves Harrenhall, we just don't know where he's going), the timing wrt Tyrion is iffy, sure.
I'm sure I could find plenty of other instances of characters who by all rights should be dead but were saved at the last second in earlier seasons (e.g. Brienne being rescued from the bear by Jaime). And if that was fine at the Blackwater, then the very similar arrival of the Knights of the Vale was fine for the Battle of the Bastards. Sansa had written to Littlefinger for help, and Littlefinger had previously gotten Robin to approve helping Jon. Similarly we were were mostly kept in the dark about whether they were on their way.

Speaking of the Knights of the Vale, Lord Royce was conspicuous by his absence during the last battle. He was certainly an expendable character.

Last edited by Colibri; 04-29-2019 at 12:58 PM.
  #260  
Old 04-29-2019, 12:58 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.
Trebuchets that probably took weeks to build and apparently fired once each. The correct time to start using them being apparently just one second before the cavalry engage the ennemy and it's not possible to use them anymore.

Still, the whole scene was quite good dramatically.
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  #261  
Old 04-29-2019, 12:59 PM
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I think all the lore seems a tad confused over the years now.

Dragonglass killed a White Walker (supernaturally created creature). Not firmly established it's killing Wights (resurrected dead person) in any particular way. Just burning them.

But now everybody has Dragonglass to kill the Wights, maybe it did, maybe it didn't. But it was for WW's.

And now it seemed only Valarian steel seemed to be the only way to kill WWs in that episode.

All a bit of a mess, in that sense.
  #262  
Old 04-29-2019, 01:00 PM
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One thing that this episode proved is that Cersei is definitely the smartest one. She was facing two enemies and they wiped each other out.

Am I the only one hoping the series ends like Monty Pythonís Holy Grail? Instead of the police stopping everything the Iron Bank comes in and forecloses on the Seven Kingdoms. The last scene can be them repossessing the Iron Throne.
  #263  
Old 04-29-2019, 01:02 PM
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I came here this morning really excited to read other's reactions to the episode and I have to say I am shocked that it is so overwhelmingly negative.
I've only glanced around, but the rest of the internet seems to be screaming its praises, so we seem to be in the minority here. But honestly it makes me wonder if people understand the series they're watching, or if they're just kinda watching and waiting for badass fantasy and war stuff to happen and kinda glossing over the rest, or something.

This is a show that gave us the Red Wedding. And Oberyn's death. This is a show that credibly tells a story where you don't know that the good guys will always win, or that our heroes will always survive. They spent years showing this to us, that anything can happen, that this isn't going to be a fairy tale where everything is easy, the heroes are always right, and the good guys always win.

So what did they do for their big battle to resolve 8 years worth of an existential threat in a huge, story-defining climax? We got exactly what the show hasn't been about all along. We got a story where we know the good guys aren't going to lose, that if any characters die at all, they get to go out heroically exactly like they've always wanted. We didn't even get some sort of clever resolution where everyone's unique skills are brought to the table and they use it to resolve the situation in some sort of clever, personal, or unexpected way.

Instead, we got immortal main characters who were in no danger, almost being comically surrounded by unsurvivible danger, but cut to another scene and come back and they survived anyway. This literally happened dozens of times. We have a mysterious, magical character who has gone through years of buildup building him into this alien entity who takes on a millenium-long rivalry with the main badguy, who obviously is going to have some key role to play in this battle in some clever way we can't see..... do absolutely nothing. The Night King dies and the battle is won because someone jumped on him and stabbed him.

There was never any tension, any danger, any sense that our heroes might lose. There was an expectation that at the very least, our heroes would find some sort of unique or interesting way to win the battle, and that never happened either. The characters that did die got to do it in the most heroic, cliched, they'd-have-wanted-it-that-way sort of way.

We've been waiting 8 years for this resolution, and it's resolved in the most boring, predictable way it could've been resolved, with nothing shocking, no real costs to any of the characters, no heartbreak for the audience. For the first 4 years at least, this show was a challenging show to its viewers with truly unexpected twists, morally ambiguous characters, complex conflicts and storylines, sympathetic characters having to pay real prices for their actions and undergoing growth.... and what we have now is a completely stock fantasy action movie that hits every single trope, has immortal heroes, and the good guys always win.

It seems like the rest of the internet doesn't seem to notice this huge, dramatic shift, which makes me wonder if they even appreciated what the show once was, or if it was always just some sort of simple fantasy story to them like it is now.
  #264  
Old 04-29-2019, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by SmellMyWort View Post
One thing that bothered me about the crypt scenes was that both Tyrion and Sansa were armed with dragon glass but I don't think we saw either of them trying to take out any wights. Nice that they could share a special moment while women and children were getting ripped apart.
Specially after Tyrions "I've fought before" speech last episode.
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Old 04-29-2019, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Smid View Post
I think all the lore seems a tad confused over the years now.

Dragonglass killed a White Walker (supernaturally created creature). Not firmly established it's killing Wights (resurrected dead person) in any particular way. Just burning them.

But now everybody has Dragonglass to kill the Wights, maybe it did, maybe it didn't. But it was for WW's.

And now it seemed only Valarian steel seemed to be the only way to kill WWs in that episode.

All a bit of a mess, in that sense.
I have a hard time parsing this. Not a single white walker was attacked all episode, so I'm not sure anything was contradicted wrt to them. We have seen them killed previously with both dragonglass (Sam and Meera) and Valyrian steel (Jon). Jon has killed wights previously with both dragonglass and Valyrian steel.
  #266  
Old 04-29-2019, 01:09 PM
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I actually agree with you here...my statement was directed at the people who thought "How could they have killed the Night King so quickly? He was supposed to be the Big Bad of the series; it should have taken much longer to defeat him." He died so quickly because he was not 'the Big Bad' of the series, just as Ned was not 'the Hero' of the series.
Ah yes, we do agree. I don't mind that he died in this episode. I wouldn't even say it was easy. He defeated many comers, and it took magic-ninja Arya to barely get the drop on him. I just wish the whole episode hadn't been so unoriginal.
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Old 04-29-2019, 01:10 PM
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I actually agree with you here...my statement was directed at the people who thought "How could they have killed the Night King so quickly? He was supposed to be the Big Bad of the series; it should have taken much longer to defeat him." He died so quickly because he was not 'the Big Bad' of the series, just as Ned was not 'the Hero' of the series.

It has been stated an innumerable number of times in the show that the real threat was the night king, not the petty rivalries about the iron throne. And he's dealt with pretty much as soon as he actually (finally, after 7 years) enters the scene with his army. He's been surrounded by mystery for those same 7 years. And the explanation of the mystery : "he wants to kill everybody".

Pardon me for having expected much more than that and being unimpressed and disappointed.
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  #268  
Old 04-29-2019, 01:15 PM
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One thing that this episode proved is that Cersei is definitely the smartest one. She was facing two enemies and they wiped each other out.

Am I the only one hoping the series ends like Monty Pythonís Holy Grail? Instead of the police stopping everything the Iron Bank comes in and forecloses on the Seven Kingdoms. The last scene can be them repossessing the Iron Throne.
That would be subverting tropes.
  #269  
Old 04-29-2019, 01:17 PM
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Trebuchets that probably took weeks to build and apparently fired once each. The correct time to start using them being apparently just one second before the cavalry engage the ennemy and it's not possible to use them anymore.

Still, the whole scene was quite good dramatically.

Hey, tactics on the whole are so bad, we take what we can. At least they supported cavalry with artillery.

(Plus why would you build a siege engine, when you are not the seiger ).
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Old 04-29-2019, 01:25 PM
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I still want to hear "Shoot to Thrill" as Iron Man comes in to save the day. They took our Ned, but there's still a Stark for the Iron Throne.....
  #271  
Old 04-29-2019, 01:26 PM
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Hey, tactics on the whole are so bad, we take what we can. At least they supported cavalry with artillery.

(Plus why would you build a siege engine, when you are not the seiger ).
Defensive trebuchets are a real historical thing. Usually they were small traction trebuchets (bunch of guys pulling on ropes rather than giant counterweight) shooting from the walls, not regular trebuchets outside your walls. The idea would have been counter-battery fire, because the sieging arming would have set up outside of bow/crossbow range. A traction trebuchet would allow you to try to counter the enemy bombardment. You didn't need the capability of firing huge projectiles, because you're not trying to bust down thick stone walls, just harass the enemy siege crews, or maybe light their stuff on fire.
  #272  
Old 04-29-2019, 01:33 PM
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You know... This series costs millions of dollars. You'd think they would allocate a couple/few hundred for a good light meter. It reminded me of the scene in And God Spoke where the cinematographer said that he has a light meter from a great cinematographer. The latter gave it to him saying, 'You need this more than I do.'
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Conversation at our house:

"Uh, Two Towers had the Helm's Deep battle. It was at Night. It was raining. We understood all of it perfectly well and could see everything happening."

This was a foggy, smoky, dark mess. Only the last 30-40 minutes worked.
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Hot garbage stinks more.

I can't get over how bad that was after the wonderful episode last week. It was hard to watch because it was so dark and the artifacts from the streaming compression dominated every shot.
So I was hype for this episode. I have a high-end massive OLED and I killed the lights for this episode which I almost never do for anything. I was pretty seriously bummed out at the results. I then did a bunch of research and did a bunch of testing on other devices and came to the following understanding.

It's probably not the showrunners' or DPs' fault. First, GoT is not shot in HDR. This is a problem that they had control over but HDR wasn't really an option when the series started and they are basically being consistent. More importantly, HBO and our TV provider are seriously downgrading the quality of the picture when they send it over the wires. Low bitrate, tons of compression, etc. This will vary a little bit depending on if you're watching on cable, satellite or streaming, but in order to save bandwidth they are all affected. When this comes out on BluRay it'll almost certainly look much much better.

The net effect of this problem is that there's no contrast across those blacks. If you're on a mid-range LCD you're seeing everything in a somewhat uniform mush of grays which makes it hard to see any detail. If you're on a high-end OLED like me, you probably got an even worse experience. Since the OLED can actually go really black, it highlights every flaw from the compression mostly revealed as some seriously severe gradients and banding on the dark sky/fog/shadows.

It's a total bummer, but we should be attacking the ISPs here for their cheap-ass behaviors and the government for not setting standards that forced fiber and dropped support for SD to free up bandwidth. Personally, I don't want the producers gimping their product to work around these limitations since that will be with us forever.

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I thought I would like this more than I actually did. My complaints about the show has mostly been able the story structure and the lack of good character scenes that the show was so amazing at doing for the first 4 seasons (and occasionally after that). They really lost the ball on subtle, well written, amazing character scenes recently. But they've been good at spectacle. Even as the character and politics and overall story of the slow declined, the big spectacular moments improved. The battle at the wall, hardhome, the battle of the bastards, the Sept of Baelor sequence, the wagon train battle - all the big events were better than ever. So when I heard that they shot one of the biggest battle sequences of all time, and it took like 90 days to shoot, I figured they were going to get that one right, that whatever was missing this season, that was going to be amazing.

But...... meh. I feel bad that I don't like it that much because I know they put a shitload of effort into it. But for a well-made, very expensive, very difficult battle scene, there were surprisingly few iconic moments or great shots or interesting battle tactics or any surprises of any sort.

It was pretty much paint by numbers, exactly what you'd expect, even fewer twists and turns that you would expect. I thought we'd get a cool scene of someone we know being a part of the army of the dead, or significant character deaths that weren't heroically perfect and telegraphed, or some sort of surprise, or something interesting, or someone coming up with a unique and interesting way to kill the night king, or Bran contributing in some unexpected way, or... something more than we got.

Bran, with all his pivotal importance as the three eyed raven, millenia long rival of the night king, didn't actually do anything at any point besides be bait, did he? He didn't warg into a dragon or a person or show us some sort of unexpected three eyed raven power or even serve some pivotal reconnaissance role.

The whole first hour had our heroes feeling like, safe, immortals surrounded by red shirts. They would absolutely swarm them over and over again with danger, situations they couldn't possibly survive... and then we'd go to another scene, and then back, and oh look, all our important characters survived. It made the battle feel safe and boring. Nothing was at stake. You knew how this was going to go. There was no chance of a big surprise, like the Night King winning, or having one of our important characters die when even the smaller ones are immune to danger.

But only a couple of our heroes die. They die in the most heroic, relevant, telegraphed, predictable, perfect ways. The Night King loses because of a predictable case of being stabbed to death. Nothing really changes or shakes up the game or unexpected happens. There was no mass slaughter of beloved characters. No one even got an ugly, unheroic, unexpected death.

To give a counter-example, in the movie Serenity:
SPOILER:
Wash was killed suddenly, without fanfare. Book had already died. Kaylee appeared to be fatally wounded. I'm sure the doctor would save her, except woops, the doctor just got poisoned and probably fatally wounded too. Firefly was only around for 13 episodes, and yet created some of the most memorable, beloved characters of all time. We loved those characters. When I sincerely thought that they were all going to die here, that this was the end of our beloved characters, I felt sick to my stomach, just watching their final moments, and possibly the failure of their mission. It was one of my most memorable movie experiences. The stakes felt real. It didn't feel like the day would be saved. We were just going to lose characters we loved, and they might fail.


... On the contrary, it never felt like the characters in this episode were ever in danger, or that the outcome was ever in doubt. The dramatic tension wasn't there. The feeling of being punched in the gut wasn't there. I wasn't invested, I was bored for most of it. Even though it had been created by an obviously huge amount of work, and it *should've* been really compelling, it just wasn't.
I think most of the haters are being a little too critical here. I agree that the show's storytelling and pacing has really suffered a bit since it diverged from the books. D&D's inexperience shows here I think, but this episode probably isn't the worst example of it and it actually did a lot of really impressive things.

First I'll point out that some of the "good" examples you highlighted had some serious flaws. The last minute rescue of the Knights of the Vale (and Sansa's secrecy) in TBotB was a pretty ham-fisted bit of story telling. Jon's solo charge was silly. The tall center pile of bodies on the battlefield made no logical sense. Each did set up some pretty sexy visuals, especially the suffocation scare in the mass of bodies, but they required a serious suspension of disbelief. Loot Train with Bron's last minute save of Jamie and them growing gills and swim bladders to make it out the other side of the lake unseen made my eyes roll. There's plenty more, it's par for the course with this show lately.

The flaws in this episode that really bothered me where the constant stream of close calls for every character. The fact that at the final moments it was basically our heroes and no one else left standing. They deployed the cavalry (and Ghost!) and the phalanx in a kind of a dumb way. All valid critiques, but there were great parts.

The scene with the flaming arakhs going out one by one was a hell of a good set up for everything to follow. The video compression sort of undermined it, but it was a great mood setter.

The utter chaos of the first charge was kind of amazing. I don't know why we needed all our heroes literally on the front line of it and why they'd have them all survive, but from a tone perspective the chaos put you off balance for the rest of the episode. The complaints about the shaky cam and quick cuts are valid, but I bet if our heroes hadn't all been in the middle of it people wouldn't have cared as much above noting every sword thrust and grasping hand. It did absolutely crystallize the "we're fucked" mood they wanted to set though.

The mid-air dragon battles were amazing to watch, especially when the breached the storm. The strafing runs were cool and I wasn't expecting the NK to deploy that blizzard, that was fun. Then Jon and Dany crashing into each other in the storm and them basically being lost in it was tense. When Viserion struck at Drogon from below it was pretty intense and again when he struck at Jon on Rhaegal in that clawing dragon fight was a totally new experience. This was fantastic. If the picture quality was better I doubt anyone would complain about it.

When the wights topped the walls, the battle basically switched from the choas of the initial change into a horror movie. This was a great idea. Arya having her Jurassic Park moment in the library and the Hound and Beric basically stalking the halls like Aliens were both totally iconic.

The scene where the folks in the crypt are listening to the battle above and they hear the desperate pounding on the doors and the cries for help only to hear them go silent shortly after was creepy as hell. The hopelessness was palpable.

So yeah, there were a lot of scenes that were simply too convenient. The plot armor was a bit too thick. But the thematic storytelling was really effective.

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I bought into the theory that Bran was being set up to warg into the past and possibly possess the Mad King and, similar to Hodor, somehow break his mind and have him think he was ordering all the white walkers to be burnt, not the people of King's landing. It felt like they laid the groundwork for some sort of clever reveal that way, and that Bran would play a critical role in doing some sort of three eyed raven shit to set up the defeat of the Night King that way.

So it was even more surprising that Bran's contribution to the battle was looking through some Raven eyes and not telling anyone anything or doing anything.

It really felt like we were going to have some sort of clever solution, or to see things we knew in a different light, or something. But what we got was jumpy stabby. That is anticlimactic as fuck.
I was in the same camp. When things were looking really bleak, I was getting the sense that "these guys are totally gonna lose" and that it was going to come down to Bran travelling back in time and giving someone a heads up so that they'd change what happened. As I was thinking it hated it because fucking time travel is almost always a lame solution.

In retrospect I think that sense of impending doom and Bran's warging or greenseeing or whatever was just a huge misdirect to make you forget about Arya. And for me it worked. I wasn't expecting the leap even though it now seems totally obvious. I honestly prefer this to just about any other outcome I can think of. If Jon had fought his way through the castle and concluded things with a Skywalker-esque duel with the NK would have been dumb. A arrow in the back from the wall would have been anticlimactic. Bran somehow using his magic to mind-fuck the NK would have be way too out of left field and kinda would have made the entire battle pointless.

I agree that they really copped out by not sprinkling in a few more key deaths throughout the episode. I hate when the heroes are literally the only ones left standing and they are nigh one invincible compared to the cannon fodder. But I still really enjoyed the spectacle of this episode every bit as much as I did Hardhome and the Battle of the Bastards.

I sincerely think that if everyone got to watch this in BluRay quality on a OLED TV in a dark room, they wouldn't have 10% of the criticisms. They were too often yanked out of the moment by some crappy compression artifact or were having to look too hard to tell what was happening. When you're not totally immersed it's easy to start nitpicking the details.

Last edited by Omniscient; 04-29-2019 at 01:36 PM.
  #273  
Old 04-29-2019, 01:33 PM
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She did tell her. That was the entire point of the scene of them talking.
That scene took place much earlier in the show. Melisandre told Arya of her destiny and she took off running. The weirwood tree is inside Winterfell. She should have reached it long before the NK. To have her fall from the sky at the last second was more of the contrived plot armor everybody has been talking about. Had she been stalking him?; lying in wait?; floating in a hot-air balloon? I would have been much happier if she died in the process just as Lyanna Mormont did.

Destiny is very tidy, but tactics aren't. Either Bran could be killed by the wights or else the NK himself had to do so. If the former, then why didn't the wights go after Bran in one giant swarm as soon as they breached the walls? If the latter, then what difference did Theon's defense make? Are the wights mindless or are they controllable and directable? They seem to be both or either as the script requires.

The battle tactics bothered me as well, for reasons well-laid out here. I finally realized the reason for idiocy of throwing away thousands of the best fighters in Westeros for the sake of a pretty image. They won't be mouths to feed in the full year it will take to regroup and get everybody to King's Landing. (Did I say a year? I meant a fortnight.)

GoT didn't used to be a comic book movie. This episode was, and not even a well-done imitation. The story was built around deeds and their moral consequences. It has to return to those in the last three episodes, and not do video game battles against faceless multitudes who can be killed without moral weight because they are EEEE-VIL.

Parting thought: did you see Sansa and Tyrion in that literal touching moment in the crypt? They're getting back together. Told ya.
  #274  
Old 04-29-2019, 01:38 PM
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If the Night King is so easily killed by Valyrian Steel, why didn't they prepare lots of arrows with Valyrian Steel arrowheads? Since NK was casually strolling around most of the time, he could have been easily picked off by archers without any ninja moves.
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Old 04-29-2019, 01:42 PM
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Dragonglass killed a White Walker (supernaturally created creature). Not firmly established it's killing Wights (resurrected dead person) in any particular way. Just burning them.

But now everybody has Dragonglass to kill the Wights, maybe it did, maybe it didn't. But it was for WW's.
Dragonglass is specifically shown to kill wights at the dragon pit during the demonstration for Cersei.
  #276  
Old 04-29-2019, 01:43 PM
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So any bets on who dies next week? You know they are going to sucker-punch everybody after the light body count here. I wouldn't put it past them to have Arya trip over a rock or catch a random arrow in the throat fired by a brigand in the woods somewhere. "Today you are The Hero; tomorrow you are worm food" is just the sort of "bittersweet" D&D would do.
  #277  
Old 04-29-2019, 01:44 PM
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One thing that bothered me about the crypt scenes was that both Tyrion and Sansa were armed with dragon glass but I don't think we saw either of them trying to take out any wights. Nice that they could share a special moment while women and children were getting ripped apart.
My first reading of that scene was that they were about to commit suicide together.
  #278  
Old 04-29-2019, 01:45 PM
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... is just the sort of "bittersweet" D&D would do.
D&D don't do bittersweet. They do fan service. George does bittersweet.
  #279  
Old 04-29-2019, 01:49 PM
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If the Night King is so easily killed by Valyrian Steel, why didn't they prepare lots of arrows with Valyrian Steel arrowheads? Since NK was casually strolling around most of the time, he could have been easily picked off by archers without any ninja moves.
As was pointed out above, there were only five swords that were made of Valyrian Steel, plus Arya's dagger. None of those who wielded those weapons were going to give them up to be made into arrowheads.

Plus, the NK was riding a dragon most of the time. Once he left the dragon, he headed straight for the weirwood. After raising the dead, of course.

Last edited by Railer13; 04-29-2019 at 01:50 PM.
  #280  
Old 04-29-2019, 01:50 PM
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If the Night King is so easily killed by Valyrian Steel, why didn't they prepare lots of arrows with Valyrian Steel arrowheads? Since NK was casually strolling around most of the time, he could have been easily picked off by archers without any ninja moves.
There is no more Valyrian steel to make arrows with. The entire world supply is maybe 4 swords and a dagger.

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Dany is in quite a spot. [...] The North hates her.
Not anymore, surely. Dany rained down hellfire on the North's enemy, right in front of them. I would be surprised if the North feels anything but undying love for her. They could even add "Savior of the North" as one of her titles now.

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Originally Posted by Elendil's Heir View Post
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?
Neither.

He can raise any dead body regardless how long ago they died (thus the crypts) and those risen stay risen until permanently killed by dragonglass, Valyrian steel or fire. We saw the demonstration one in King's Landing keep fighting even after being cut in half. (Both halves!)

Meaning once a wight is actually killed, it's dead forever and can't be raised again.

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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.
Theon, along with most Ironborne, has consistently been shown to be an excellent bowman, perhaps unrivaled in all of the seven kingdoms. With a sword he's mediocre, but with a bow and arrow he's as deadly a combatant as you could face.

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Dragonglass killed a White Walker (supernaturally created creature). Not firmly established it's killing Wights (resurrected dead person) in any particular way. Just burning them.

But now everybody has Dragonglass to kill the Wights, maybe it did, maybe it didn't. But it was for WW's.

And now it seemed only Valarian steel seemed to be the only way to kill WWs in that episode.

All a bit of a mess, in that sense.
Jon demonstrated to Cersei (and us) that dragonglass kills wights when they brought one to King's Landing.

Also, it appears they were going for the idea that the Night King was special, since he was created by the ritual of the Children while the other WWs were made by him. So Valyrian steel / dragonglass / fire to kill wights, Valyrian steel / dragonglass to kill regular WWs (who seemed immune to fire at Hardhome), and only Valyrian steel for the Night King himself.

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He **did** sense her coming, that cartoonish leap.
Turned around and caught her by the neck. Her dagger fell. She caught it and stabbed.
It didn't fall, she dropped it as part of a move.
  #281  
Old 04-29-2019, 01:50 PM
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If the Night King is so easily killed by Valyrian Steel, why didn't they prepare lots of arrows with Valyrian Steel arrowheads? Since NK was casually strolling around most of the time, he could have been easily picked off by archers without any ninja moves.
I though Valyrian Steel wasn't around anymore? The arrows had dragonglass arrowheads, but everyone was pretty much dead by the time the NK strolled up.

gah! Ninja'd

Last edited by manson1972; 04-29-2019 at 01:50 PM.
  #282  
Old 04-29-2019, 01:52 PM
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There is no more Valyrian steel to make arrows with. The entire world supply is maybe 4 swords and a dagger.
Plus as I understand, very few people in this world know how to even work with Valyrian steel. I think Tywin Lannister had to bring in specialists from a distance to rework Ned Stark's sword into two new ones.
  #283  
Old 04-29-2019, 01:52 PM
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If the Night King is so easily killed by Valyrian Steel, why didn't they prepare lots of arrows with Valyrian Steel arrowheads? Since NK was casually strolling around most of the time, he could have been easily picked off by archers without any ninja moves.
They don’t have lots of Valyrian steel. They have 4 swords and a knife. The process to make Valyrian steel was lost centuries ago.

Last edited by Loach; 04-29-2019 at 01:53 PM.
  #284  
Old 04-29-2019, 01:53 PM
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[QUOTE=Exapno Mapcase;21615324]That scene took place much earlier in the show. Melisandre told Arya of her destiny and she took off running. The weirwood tree is inside Winterfell. She should have reached it long before the NK. To have her fall from the sky at the last second was more of the contrived plot armor everybody has been talking about. Had she been stalking him?; lying in wait?; floating in a hot-air balloon? /QUOTE]

It happened much earlier in screen time, but we don't really know if it was that long chronologically. Much of that action for the different characters may be happening simultaneously in spite of the way they were portrayed. More practically, they had to space it out so you're forget about it while Jon's mad charge and Theon's stand takes place.

I prefer to think about it not as a "nick of time" thing but instead Arya employing the assassin tactics she learned. She stalked him, waited for the opening, waiting for him to focus on Bran. The Red Witch gave her a name. Valar Morgulis.
  #285  
Old 04-29-2019, 01:57 PM
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I've seen a few people mention Arya "falling from the sky" or dropping out of a window or something. She didn't.

She ran at full sprint past the white walkers and jumped at the Night King. They show us the breeze from her running blowing the hair of one of the white walkers as she ran past them. Then when we see her she's maybe 5 feet in the air, which is reasonable if she attacked similar to a long jumper.
  #286  
Old 04-29-2019, 01:58 PM
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Also, it appears they were going for the idea that the Night King was special, since he was created by the ritual of the Children while the other WWs were made by him. So Valyrian steel / dragonglass / fire to kill wights, Valyrian steel / dragonglass to kill regular WWs (who seemed immune to fire at Hardhome), and only Valyrian steel for the Night King himself.
Where are you getting that last bit? Where did we ever see anything to indicate that the NK is special in that regard?
  #287  
Old 04-29-2019, 02:03 PM
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Where are you getting that last bit? Where did we ever see anything to indicate that the NK is special in that regard?
Someone upthread said the producers said it had to be Valyrian steel to kill the Night King; dragonglass wouldn't do the job.

EDIT: Found it:

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Originally Posted by dasmoocher View Post
I just watched a YouTube clip with the showrunners and they said they've had Arya killing the NK worked out 3 years ago.



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.
I may have misinterpreted, as this is more ambiguous on re-read.

Last edited by Ellis Dee; 04-29-2019 at 02:07 PM.
  #288  
Old 04-29-2019, 02:08 PM
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Someone upthread said the producers said it had to be Valyrian steel to kill the Night King; dragonglass wouldn't do the job.
I watched those extras and don't recall them saying anything definitive, perhaps it was taken out of context. I recall them discussing the importance and symbolism of the dagger throughout the story and the fact that it has a dragonglass handle and a Valyrian steel blade, but not that the NK was somehow impervious to dragonglass.

I'd take that with a big grain of salt.
  #289  
Old 04-29-2019, 02:12 PM
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The whole significance of Valyrian steel is weird because it wasn't made until long after the White Walkers were created, and was made in Essos where the White Walkers weren't a threat. Unlike special Tolkein weapons, it wasn't made to kill Walkers, it just happens to do so fortuitously, perhaps due to its connection to dragonfire. Which itself would be weird, because dragonfire itself doesn't kill White Walkers (or at least the Night King.)

Now with the Walkers gone those weapons are just exceptionally sharp light swords.
  #290  
Old 04-29-2019, 02:12 PM
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I've seen a few people mention Arya "falling from the sky" or dropping out of a window or something. She didn't.

She ran at full sprint past the white walkers and jumped at the Night King. They show us the breeze from her running blowing the hair of one of the white walkers as she ran past them. Then when we see her she's maybe 5 feet in the air, which is reasonable if she attacked similar to a long jumper.
She is a trained assassin. Getting the drop on unsuspecting people is something she was taught by the best*. She learnt from the best. Waited until they were distracted.
*There must have been a class on it, in between the caning and washing of bodies.
  #291  
Old 04-29-2019, 02:17 PM
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D&D don't do bittersweet. They do fan service. George does bittersweet.
Al Things Must Pass IS fairly bittersweet.
  #292  
Old 04-29-2019, 02:22 PM
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I'm wondering how many hookups are going down next episode. Will Arya and Gendry reconnect, or will this be the equivalent of an awkward morning after a one night stand? Will Sansa throw Tyrion a pity fuck? Will Tormund finally get to snog Brienne?

If I'm not too badly wounded after that fight, I'm fucking anything that would have me.
  #293  
Old 04-29-2019, 02:38 PM
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As was pointed out above, there were only five swords that were made of Valyrian Steel, plus Arya's dagger.
Why not meltdown one sword and turn it into lots of arrowheads? This would increase the chances of killing the NK significantly. We saw how effective Theon was with arrows and Theon is a bit of a wimp.

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None of those who wielded those weapons were going to give them up to be made into arrowheads.
If the Queen or King of the North tells you to give up your sword, you give it up. It's mandatory.

It would have been a sensible plan instead of relying on Arya to randomly pop out of nowhere with superhero ninja moves.
  #294  
Old 04-29-2019, 02:39 PM
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I have to say I'm simultaneously relieved and disappointed by the elimination of the Night King and his army. He wasn't as interesting an adversary as Cersei, but he was a much much scarier one. It was difficult to believe that he could be eliminated without tying in more directly to the Game of Thrones. Really, the only effect he had, after seven seasons of build up, was to greatly weaken the forces facing Cersei.

In the end, magical forces were pretty much ineffective against the most magical opponent in the show. Melisandre's fire and dragons did nothing much but cut down the number of wights somewhat. Bran's supposedly great powers were barely invoked. It all boiled down to one magical dagger.
  #295  
Old 04-29-2019, 02:42 PM
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Why not meltdown one sword and turn it into lots of arrowheads? This would increase the chances of killing the NK significantly. We saw how effective Theon was with arrows and Theon is a bit of a wimp.
Lots of reasons. The only person we're aware of who knows how to work Valyrian steel is in Kingslanding. Swords are reusable, arrows generally are not, at least in the thick of a battle. Most importantly, dragonglass is equally useful and way more plentiful.

This whole line of thought is silly.
  #296  
Old 04-29-2019, 02:43 PM
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Why not meltdown one sword and turn it into lots of arrowheads? This would increase the chances of killing the NK significantly. We saw how effective Theon was with arrows and Theon is a bit of a wimp.
Because the art of working Valyrian steel has mostly been lost. When Ned Stark's Ice was remade into two swords, they had to bring in a special smith from Essos. There wasn't anyone available at Winterfell who could have reworked Valyrian steel.
  #297  
Old 04-29-2019, 02:45 PM
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The whole significance of Valyrian steel is weird because it wasn't made until long after the White Walkers were created, and was made in Essos where the White Walkers weren't a threat. Unlike special Tolkein weapons, it wasn't made to kill Walkers, it just happens to do so fortuitously, perhaps due to its connection to dragonfire. Which itself would be weird, because dragonfire itself doesn't kill White Walkers (or at least the Night King.)

Now with the Walkers gone those weapons are just exceptionally sharp light swords.
Thatís all they ever were. No one really believed in White Walkers but Valyrian steel was prized.


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Why not meltdown one sword and turn it into lots of arrowheads? This would increase the chances of killing the NK significantly. We saw how effective Theon was with arrows and Theon is a bit of a wimp.



If the Queen or King of the North tells you to give up your sword, you give it up. It's mandatory.

It would have been a sensible plan instead of relying on Arya to randomly pop out of nowhere with superhero ninja moves.
How many do you think are ďlots?Ē The Night King didnít exactly expose himself. Sure the writers had to contrive a way for them to win but we are talking about the tactics of the characters. The characters didnít know for sure what would work on the night king. They donít know where heís going to be to place those 10 arrowheads. Their tactic was to use the dragon on him. It didnít work. Everything after that was just winging it.
  #298  
Old 04-29-2019, 02:55 PM
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Why not meltdown one sword and turn it into lots of arrowheads? This would increase the chances of killing the NK significantly. We saw how effective Theon was with arrows and Theon is a bit of a wimp.



If the Queen or King of the North tells you to give up your sword, you give it up. It's mandatory.

It would have been a sensible plan instead of relying on Arya to randomly pop out of nowhere with superhero ninja moves.
This would be a much more interesting plot than what happened. The discussion and decision to melt a sword could be a good episode by itself and then there would have been tough decisions on using up those precious arrows during the actual battle.
  #299  
Old 04-29-2019, 03:00 PM
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Because the art of working Valyrian steel has mostly been lost. When Ned Stark's Ice was remade into two swords, they had to bring in a special smith from Essos. There wasn't anyone available at Winterfell who could have reworked Valyrian steel.
I didn't realize this. I am only a casual fan. Thanks.
  #300  
Old 04-29-2019, 03:02 PM
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I've only glanced around, but the rest of the internet seems to be screaming its praises, so we seem to be in the minority here.
Though I will point out there are a number of critics who have said it was a disappointing episode (for similar reasons spelled out here), only to get swarmed on social media by fans like wights storming the gates of Winterfell (who I do think wanted to see the badass fantasy and war stuff you referenced).
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