Let’s nitpick GAME OF THRONES

SPOILER ALERT: This entire post is spoilers.

I enjoyed this episode. By my scoring, it’s a 7/10 and a nice recovery from the episode where the Beloved Character™ dies for apparently no f-ing reason (see below). However, as much as I enjoyed this episode and can’t wait for next week, the Nitpickious the Annoying showed up on my shoulder and started tapping my head asking some gad-dang annoying questions …

Khaleesi dictating policy from the back of a giant-ass dragon? YAAAASSS.  Pumping up her troops for the big march? YAAA …. wait a minute … weren’t they already following her? You know, marching with their leader to get on ships and travel to Westeros? They are already following you, lady, so why the speech? Wouldn’t it have been cooler to have her call Drogon while she was in that big-ass hut with the Khal, and have Drogon fire that shit up and then she walks out all nekked and bad-ass and speech-giving and motivates her bros to get their war on?

Has the Three-Eyed Raven that everyone is so impressed with ever done anything? What power has he shown other than precognition and looking back. What is this dude supposed to do that is so fucking important? Help me out — has the 3IRaven actually done anything to show off power?

  • He did jack shit against the White Walkers
  • He’s stuck in a tree
  • He can project backward in time, but can’t stop Bran from acting the fool when they go there
  • He’s got some elfdwarfs gallivanting about in his roots, but does that point to any kind of power?

My concern here is that we’re going to get exactly the powers that are needed to win at exactly the nick-of-right-time without any setup of what 3IRaven #1 or 3IRaven #2 can do.

This was Hodor’s sacrifice? To buy Bran like 15 more minutes of life? And why did we go from a billion zombies (they are “zombies,” goddamit) to six? Maybe just in time for Uncle We Totally Forgot About to randomly swoop in and save the day. The Raven called Uncle Uncle We Totally Forgot About? Huh? And now Uncle Uncle We Totally Forgot About is 1/2 White Walker? Am I following this right?

• “Build me a thousand ships!” Euron.
• “I need a thousand ships.” Khaleesi.
• Gee … I wonder what’s going to happen here.

They want to take back Riverrun. When did Riverrun get lost? Speaking of lost, I am lost. The Freys are supposed to have it? The Blackfish has it now? Who the frick is on either side of this battle? With Rob Stark gone and Winterfel in the hands of Smiley McFlayerson, who the hell is even tracking these battles? Wait … was there a battle?

Lil’ Blondie’s stones finally drop.

So let me get this straight. Lil’ Blondie can’t do a damn thing to stop his moms from doing the Walk of Attonement. Lil’ Blondie can’t even see her for most of this season, because Asshole Sparrow says “nope.” Lil’ Blondie can’t step up and do what Uncle Daddy Cousin suggests he do, because, again, Asshole Sparrow. Lil’ Blondie can’t step up to save his own hot-as-hell wife. BUT! When Asshole Sparrow runs his game, all the sudden Lil’ Blondie can stand up to Jamie Lannister? All the sudden he has the stones to kick Uncle Daddy Cousin out of the city, and stand up to Moms? Smells a bit like someone cut the Cheese of Convenience. Your thoughts?

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  1. Sean Tadsen

    Finally saw the episode yesterday, so I can share my thoughts/contribute.

    – Yeah, Daenerys’s big speech at the end felt really tacked-on. Maybe if we’d seen some bits about the Dothraki grumbling about her plan, it would have made sense. As is, it’s just another big inspiring speech.

    – I’ve mixed feelings about Benjen being Coldhands. I’m glad they brought him in finally, but as already pointed out, WoM says that Coldhands isn’t Benjen, so it’s yet another pair of characters being mushed together.

    – re: events in the Riverlands, I think the implication is that the Freys are going through the same thing the Boltons are in the North, i.e. they killed their old lords, and now everyone hates them, only here there’s actually someone who can unite the opposition to actually *do* something. I’m happy about this for two reasons: (1) we might get to see Lady Stoneheart, and (2) who doesn’t love seeing Walder Frey berate his idiot kids?

    – I liked that Arya couldn’t go through with killing that actress. If nothing else, she does appear to have a line she won’t cross.

    – I’m actually pretty upset about how Jamie has basically returned to who he was at the beginning of the series. I get that he loves his kids, but Cersei is still manipulating him.

    – I’m *really* upset that Tommen has basically become the High Sparrow’s puppet. I had hoped that the big reveal would be that he managed to out-play everyone and find a solution that didn’t involve violence, but no. I’m sick and tired of seeing this kid get manipulated by everyone around him.

  2. Chel

    Laughing hysterically at your summary. Joffery != Tommen. 😉

    Euron isn’t going to get the ships there before Yara and Theon. /fingers crossed they’re smart enough to go partner with her before he can.

  3. Doug Kress

    The Speech: The Dothraki are freaked out about sailing. She had a bit of trouble about this previously – I think she just wanted to let them know that she really is a bad ass. Oh, and I got this big dragon-shaped stick to go along with the carrot.

    Bran: I think that being able to see anything in the past and potentially being able to communicate with anyone in the present is pretty damn powerful in and of itself. I think that 3IRaven 1.0 missed the boat there entirely, and 3IRaven 2.0 just hasn’t really figured it out yet.

    Hold-The-Door HODOR: Yeah, it could have been done better, but here’s how I see it: From the time Hold-The-Door woke up to the time he died, I (want to) think he was fully cognizant (with Bran acting as an unaware conduit), and in a way, he chose to sacrifice his entire life for those precious few moments fleeing and then holding the door. But yeah, he died as a doorstop because Meera couldn’t be bothered to find a rock to wedge under the door. Or, perhaps, part of that useless damn sled (well, useless only while Hodor lives, I guess). I also think killing off all of the Old Ones kinda sucked.

    Ships: Duh.

    Riverrun: Some things happen off-screen, but most of it was in S1 & 2, I think.

    Tommen wouldn’t be the first person to change his religion for the lust of a girl. This is him switching from being controlled by mom to being controlled by Hottie Queen Thrice Over. He’s seen his mother do some pretty evil shit, but he hasn’t seen any chinks in the perceived innocence of his lovely wife. He’s being manipulated for sure, but I think this will blow up in Hottie Queen Thrice Over’s face. Tommen has always wanted to be GOOD. I think he just moved Uncle Daddy Cousin (and his mom) firmly over to the “BAD” category. Hittie Queen Thrice Over is still GOOD, but if she does much BAD, she may not be able to control him anymore. Either way, when Sparrow is taken out, I think Tommen may become the new leader of the church. As well as king. Move over, Henry VIII.

    1. scottsigler

      The Speech: I still would have liked to have seen this Boat Fear™ from the riders. We saw them all fall on their knees for her, next thing we see is they are marching, following her. Seemed like everything was jake. A small thing, probably cut in script or edits.

      Bran: The All-Powerful Power That Has Yet To Be Defined.

      Hodor: He had no choice. None at all. He wouldn’t have been at that door if his brain hadn’t been addled, his brain wouldn’t have been addled if he hadn’t been at that door. Everything in-between connects the two. No choice of any kind, all pre-destined.

      Tomen: That’s a damn good point. She is a hottie and he is smitten with her.

      1. Doug Kress

        Here’s Hodor’s choice: Imagine the first time through – alternate time line – where Hodor has his wits about him and for some reason is still in the same place at the same time (destiny and all that crap). That time through, he would make the then-and-there sacrifice. However, the subsequent times through, he has a moment of clarity that holding that door will cost him his entire adult life, essentially, and still accepts the fate. Similar (but different) to the Gunslinger’s fate in the Dark Tower series, but with the twist that he knows his mind will be trashed in the process of holding up the paradox.

  4. Katie Steele

    I mean, I agree with everything you said, but let’s just appreciate the lack of Ramsay in this episode. Also, Arya Stick-um-with-the-pointy-end Stark.

  5. Abby Goldsmith

    It was nice to see Daenerys kick ass without her dragons, so I disagree about bringing Drogon in earlier. He could have made a better entrance, though. It is sort of stupid to have him lurking in the badlands when he was close enough to save his momma.

    Bran, aka the Three-Eyed Raven, seems to have the power to fuck up the past and the future. That’s seriously a lot of power. Maybe he was the one who made the Mad King mad, by showing up in his past like a creepy little boy ghost.

    Hodor is not the most mentally stimulating of characters, so I didn’t expect him to last the whole series. He could have died for a better reason, but it was still interesting.

    I agree about Tommen. WTF is wrong with that kid? He seems really eager to please the High Sparrow, not so eager to please his mommy and uncle-daddy. And I don’t believe that Margery Tyrell is a holy believer now. I’m guessing that she’s trying to buy her brother’s life by doing whatever the High Sparrow wants. It would be nice to see how that works behind the scenes, though.

    1. scottsigler

      1) Good point about Daenerys kick ass without the dragon. However, being fucking fireproof is kind of a big advantage, so what’s the difference?


      3) Hodor was fun. No question there.

      4) Margo just wanted out of that keep. She’s going to be the one to backstab Asshole Sparrow, I’m sure of it. And please stop marginalizing Daddy Uncle Cousin! Can that dude have just a moment of ass-kicking? Please?

      1. Abby Goldsmith

        1) Porn star queen on a giant dragon trumps naked fireproof Barbie. I think. I’m just saying, if she killed the khals with her dragon, it would have been too much.

        2) I’m hoping (probably foolishly) that the rules of powers get revealed in a way that makes sense. Ya got the red Priestesses of the Lord of Light. Ya got White Walker zombie-masters. Ya got random sorcerers who castrate little boys. Ya got the Faceless assassins. In the books, ya got magic returning to the Citadel of Maesters. Ya got wargs. And Bran. Somehow, it must all fit together in a way that makes sense. IT MUST. PLEASE. MAKE SENSE.

        4) I don’t think Uncle Daddy Cousins get to have glory. The dude threw an innocent child out of a tower. His morality is too sketchy for him to get hero status.

  6. BobSF

    Bran’s vision that interspersed Mad Aerys, wildfire, and the walkers pretty much gives away the battle climax of the series. Remember Jaime told Brienne about all the wildfire depots Aerys planted throughout King’s Landing, which he intended to use to “Burn Them All”, which Jaime thought meant the human population of the city..? Those were the giant casks Bran saw. He will use his powers to lure the hundreds of thousands of dead to a secretly evacuated King’s Landing, trap them all inside, and then Burn Them All. Then it comes down to our heroes wielding valyrian steel against the walkers. Remember the destroyed Red Keep from Dany’s vision..?

    1. Chris Heathcote

      I don’t think that was a future vision. I think that was more of a way of showing that Bran now has the access of all these past events. They had to use images of events that we knew have happened for him to see. If they just showed images of people having sex under weirwood trees over the last 1000 years, while it wouldn’t be unusual for the story, it wouldn’t let us know it was looking into the past. Looking at a map of Westeros and where Kings landing is it would be a bad plan to drive them there. They would convert everyone along the way and even kings landing wouldn’t be large enough to hold them all.

  7. Semperdrunk

    I thought that the original manuscript for ADWD already confirmed that Coldhands was NOT Benjen, but I guess the show can do whatever it wants to really, and since this is a discussion about the show, fuck it.


    The only thing I’m excited about for the Riverlands 2.0 is that Brienne is now traveling towards Tully land again, which could mean a “Quiet Isle” encounter to forshadow the return of Sandor Clegane/Undertaker. CLEGANEBOWL FUCKING CONFIRMED. GET HYPE!

    Or maybe a Lady Stoneheart introduction, since they name dropped the Brotherhood, and she’s their leader now.

    Also, I try to not mix details between the show and the book, just their general intent. When Jamel went to Dorne last season, I thought they was going to skip River lands 2.0….the intent having Jamie just being gone and away from the Red Keep, when Cerci would needed him the most. Now that he’s leaving again , I wander if he will be away and unable to help at the beheading party after CLEGANEBOWL (get fucking hype).

  8. LaFawn Sweeten

    SPOILER ALERT: This entire post is spoilers.

    Horse + Dothraki + Sea = big bag-o-newp? I got the impression that the speech on top of Drogon was just to solidify that she’s a bad ass. Only the khals saw her touch the brazier that would have severely burned any other so this scene could be for those that had questions of loyalty. “Why do I have to cross the Narrow Sea?” Big fuck-off dragon and a promise made by Khal Drogo is why!

    The 3IRaven has shown, via Hodor’s death and dream sequences with Bran, the power of his influence. To me, this isn’t a small thing. To have influence over time and men – not a bad trick even if Bran has no control of it, yet. My fear is the whole time machine conundrum. If Bran’s powers are limited to being a psychic link between all the armies against the white walkers then I’m o’kay with that.

    I’ve gotta agree on the billion zombies thing. When one of the nymphs used her magic grenade in the tunnel that should have caused a cave in to slow down the zombies to the few that we saw catching up to them. Hodor holding the door against a few zombies would have bought Meera enough time to get a decent distance away considering her slow pace.

    Hodor’s death, was a demonstration of 3IRaven’s influence over time and men. I accept it and had no problem with it. George RR Martin, you sadistic man!

    The fact that UWTFA (a.k.a Benjen) pops in out of nowhere is a tiny bit irksome but could be just a casualty of cramming 7000 pages of lore and story into a series. I have to admit I am not surprised that UWTFA is back. There was never a body found, just the horse. And a hand? The fact that UWTFA is ½ zombie could be the reason he found the kids in the first place. Ya know, he feels the pull of the Lich King.

    I’d have to say I wondered why the Summer died a seemingly senseless death. This death was a kick in the crotch – senseless. Even more so because Summer bought so very little time for Bran and could have been better used to drag Bran away.

    I’m with ya on that one. Deforestation leads to global warming which leads to colder winters which leads to white walkers eating your lunch. Man! Are we getting the hint yet? Stop chopping down forests already! /wink /nudge.

    Riverrun was where the Stark children’s mom (Catlyn Stark) was born. She was a Tully. When she was murdered at the red wedding Walter Frey took Riverrun. The Blackfish (Catlyn’s uncler) took it back.

    This kid is approximately 16ish, naive, and sweet. I can see him being passive because of his nature. The kid feels helpless for not helping his mom or wife. He even says as much when talking to Uncle Daddy Cousin at his sister’s funeral. The character just got to the point where he was made to feel that he had to take action to help his hot-as-hell wife. I get the impression he has no idea what the bigger implication of his actions. He just wants to help his wife and make everyone happy.

    Margery is a chameleon. She can play the hit-me-love-me-elmo-doll for Joffrey or the innocent bride for Tommen. That she and the Sparrow can manipulate the boy (each for their own reasons) is not impossible. In fact, I have the impression that Margery understands the implications of being detained by the faith and that she is acting accordingly.

    1. scottsigler

      1) Sure, she’s a bad-ass, but hey, how about showing us the discontent among the troops that required such a speech? Feels like scenes were cut. She had no reason for that speech as far as we’ve been shown. a) Nuke Khals b) walk naked and proclaim herself Masta Khal c) they all march together.

      2) They have already fucked themselves with the Time Travel Paradox(TTP). This show is basically THE FLASH now. Multiverses and shit. Either that, or everything is pre-ordained (Hodor couldn’t have been at that door unless he’d been changed, and he couldn’t have been changed unless he’d been at that door, which means everything between those two points was fixed in time and could not be altered).

      3) I got no idea what’s going on with UTWFA. He’s as bland and useless to me as that Brand New Iron Island King Brother That We Never Heard About And Didn’t Need At All. Convenient things will happen with both.


      5) To me, the timing of Tomen suddenly growing a pair and using said pair to directly contradict the two people who have been there for him every freakin’ moment of his life rings hella false. Yeah, Margo is a chameleon and she’s going to put the dagger into Asshole Sparrow, for sure.

      1. Chris Heathcote

        Hey as far as the Tommen thing goes, everyone remembers their first time. He got to bang his wife who was the queen for his first time when he was like 10. And now it has been months since he has gotten any. He will do whatever she says to hit that again.

  9. Ben

    I’m under the impression that the Three Eyed Raven and the Children of the Forest are the bad guys. We’ve seen them create the Walkers. We know they were at war with men.

    What if the entire point of the Three-Eyed Raven was to get Bran out there, get him tagged with the mark of the Night King, and now Uncle Benjen is going to bring Bran back beyond the wall, immediately nullifying the magic that holds the walkers back. Benjen has to be tapped into the White Walker network, otherwise how would he have found Bran so easily?

    Def. more going on here than what’s on the surface.

    1. scottsigler

      Ben: Wait, there’s magic that holds the Walkers back? I thought that was the point of that giant fucking wall (yes, Wildlings, too, but still, mostly Walkers).

      1. LaFawn Sweeten

        There is a clip where the white walkers break to pieces upon entering the hollow in the tree. I want to say it is one of the clips introducing the next episode.

        1. Doug Downunder

          The tree protection magic was nullified the moment that Bran was ‘marked’by the the white king.
          It is akin to inviting a vampire into your house – protections no longer apply.

          1. scottsigler

            Doug: Right. Sure. Got it. So 3iRaven teaches Bran to time travel and shit, doesn’t bother to say, “hey, don’t let the White Walker Bro high-five you, ’cause then our magic is shit and they can walk right on in. Hmmm-kay?”

  10. Paul E

    Stay tuned next week for…

    – Arya fights Bostaff McGrumpystein
    – Ironborn rally about being tough (despite losing a lot) amid jibes of dicklessness
    – Tyrion successfully bluffing
    – Sam is nonplussed
    – Sansa and Jon remember why they hated each other growing up

    1. scottsigler

      Paul E: I’m just waiting for the moment when Sansa and Jon figure out they’re not actually related to each other. Awwwwww yeah …

      1. Chris Heathcote

        It’s Game of Thrones. They could be Siamese twins and it would still be ok for them to get it on if they wanted.

  11. Jon Snow

    Coldhands is apparently long lost Uncle that can speak much better than Coldhands and reveals himself much too quickly. A little bit of mystery and buildup was much desired there. Much too quick of a reveal.

    How did you neglect to mention that Brienne and Pod are on their way to Riverrun and that the Freys name dropped the Brotherhood without Banners for the first time in what, 3 seasons?? That could have potentially been the most exciting thing to happen in the entire episode!

    1. scottsigler

      Jon Snow: I left Brienne/Sansa/Jon/Pod because they weren’t part of that episode. It has been awhile since we saw the Brotherhood without Banners, though.

      Which means next week we see the return of Catelyn Stark.

  12. Jon Snow

    Coldhands is apparently long lost Uncle that can speak much better than Coldhands and reveals himself much too quickly. A little bit of mystery and buildup would was much desired there. Much too quick of a reveal.

    How did you neglect to mention that Brienne and Pod are on their way to Riverrun and that the Freys name dropped the Brotherhood without Banners for the first time in what, 3 seasons?? That could have potentially been the most exciting thing to happen in the entire episode!

  13. Catherine Jones

    I totally agree about Daenerys, thought the Dragon should have come in last episode, seeing him in the valley just didn’t have the same effect. Speaking of Dragons, she seems to be able to ride them pretty easily considering Drogan in particular is covered in spikes/spines and she has no saddle or harness to keep her in place. Talk about being saddle sore!!

    1. LaFawn Sweeten

      I thought I saw Drogon pop his spikes up and down when they initially landed in Dothraki lands. When he was kind of wallowing in his circle of animal carcasses and Daenerys tried to jump on him.

  14. BigJohn

    Riverrun was lost when the Lannisters forced the Blackfish to flee (via the river, after he escaped the Red Wedding and returned to Riverrun). Edmure has been held hostage at the Twins since the Red Wedding. The Lannisters gave Frey Riverrun for his help with the Red Wedding, and Frey became Lord of the river lands (reversing the roles of Frey and Tully). But Horny McFrey has enough people to staff Riverrun himself, so he doesn’t want resentful Tullys holding the castle and not paying him proper tribute.

    This episode had a lot going on – suddenly Arya is going to bail cuz she doesn’t like being killer for hire? Dany got her Drog-on, to much effect. If anything, I think her dragonback speech helped reinforce to her Khalasar that she was not a fluke who survived the burning of the Khals.

    I’m not sure why she thinks a thousand horse lords are going to make a big difference in westeros. let’s compare:

    Horses: Westeros, check. Dothraki, check.
    Skilled fighters: Westeros, check. Dothraki, check.
    Lots of bladed weapons: Westeros, check. Dothraki, check.
    Warriors covered in protective armor: Westeros, check. Dothraki…oh wait.

    I also didn’t like the music this episode. Too…forced.

    Don’t like that the Children of the Forest seem to be all gone. And where’s Coldhands?

    Oh, and that’s Tommen, not Joffrey.

    1. scottsigler

      “But Horny McFrey has enough people to staff Riverrun himself, so he doesn’t want resentful Tullys holding the castle and not paying him proper tribute.”

      Do you mean DOESN’T have enough people?

    2. Hazel Motes

      There are more Dothraki than 1000.

      If they need 1000 ships, and each ship holds 100 soldiers, that would be 100,000 people. But let’s assume that a ship can hold only 50 Dothraki plus their horses.

      80 ships takes care of the 8000 Unsullied.

      The other 920 ships carry 46,000 Dothraki. I seem to recall hearing somewhere that there are around 40,000 Dothraki, so maybe they only need 800 ships for them. That plus the 80 for the Unsullied, plus another few ships for the officers, crew, and logistics means 885 ships, max, rounded up to 1000. If I’m wrong on how many Dothraki plus horses can fit onto a ship, maybe they do need 1000.

      1. scottsigler

        Hazel: I think we don’t worry about how many horses and soldiers fit in a ship — it’s “a thousand ships” and that will bring “an army” and I doubt we’ll here much about specific numbers.