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Utopia Talk / Politics / Game of thrones: ronny/lily
Im better then you
2012 UP Football Champ
Sun Apr 28 19:49:51
The Night King and his army have arrived at Winterfell and the great battle begins.

82 mins of watching characters you love more than family die. Love you Theon!! THE CRYPTS ARE NOT SAFE!!

Is anyone dumb enough to think both Messandi and grey worm?

Is Brienne dying of cancer? (explains why everyone was nice to her)

Will the giant Tormund killed get his revenge?

Will we ever get a 3 way between Gendry, Hot pie, and Gendry?

So whose the dead character that'll come back and attack Winterfell?

List of people who will die

Lord FriendZone
Poderick "Sex Machine" PAyne
Missandie
Arya's boy toy
Onion Knight
Large woman
Theon the dickless

obaminated
Member
Sun Apr 28 21:27:22
Lost a lot of good men out there.
Cherub Cow
Member
Sun Apr 28 21:55:05
But a lot more survivors than I expected, to be sure.
hood
Member
Sun Apr 28 22:15:40
It took 1 battle...

Disappointing. Also disappointing was that last scene at the old tree. I liked the very ending, but the build up to it just reeks of lazy "typical villain" bullshit.

/tryingnottospoilertoohardyet
obaminated
Member
Sun Apr 28 22:30:35
the NK is a simple villain, he wants to destroy humanity. cersie is the complex villain.
hood
Member
Sun Apr 28 22:33:42
You're just wrong on this one, Audrey II.
obaminated
Member
Sun Apr 28 23:03:13
he is an ice demon created by elves to destroy humanity. what exactly did you think was going to happen? he give some long monologue about why the world of man must end?
Im better then you
2012 UP Football Champ
Sun Apr 28 23:29:31
yes and when he was moving towards Bran I thought I was watching Walking Dead.
tumbleweed
the wanderer
Sun Apr 28 23:30:24
Theon was pulling a major Boromir protecting the hobbled
obaminated
Member
Sun Apr 28 23:39:44
seriously, theon was an MVP despite having no dick. died protecting bran, just like he protected bran in the first season.
Pillz
Member
Mon Apr 29 00:31:39
Theon's arcs obviously been about where his honor and loyalty lie and his inability to see it
hood
Member
Mon Apr 29 00:53:17
"what exactly did you think was going to happen?"

The conflict last more than 1 episode. Literally every build up to the show was in preparation for this battle. Bran already told Jaime that Bran isn't Bran without getting pushed out the window.

Jaime losing his hand gave him the necessary humility to convince Cersei to fake-agree to the peace. Without Cersei on board, Dany wouldn't have gone north.

Dany's dragons provided a much needed odd-evening for the living to survive. As did her dothraki army (which they threw away with shit tactics), and the unsullied. Without either, they were nowhere near winning.

The hound's entire arc was to keep Arya alive at the end.

Jon's only focus for the entire series was the threat from the north (wildlings led to the NK).

Sansa's trials gave her the wisdom to keep winterfell in order and strong enough to withstand an assault from the dead.

Arya's arc clearly gave her the skills to fight the dead.

Brienne delivered sansa and was a key general.

Even Tyrion's arc protected sansa, built a modicum of trust with sansa, delivered him to counsel Dany, and ultimately provided the required force to fight the NK.



I could go on. But the entire series, including Cersei, crescendoed to the showdown to the living and the dead. It was the ultimate battle. It was Thanos vs. Avengers. Good vs. Evil. It was the title match that everyone wanted to see. And it was over in round 1.

Cersei as a villain is tried and boring. The story already dealt with a mad king. We've had 7 seasons of squabbling over the throne. It's the song of ice and fire, not the song of medieval lords fighting for the iron throne. Did anyone really miss Saruman fucking with Hobbiton being cut from the end of LOTR? Because that's the point of the story that we're at now. Sauron has been vanquished, the heroes are triumphant. And pesky Saruman has one last annoyance to provide before the tale is fully wrapped up. Instead of Frodo having to make it to Mt Doom to finally destroy the ring, Pippin just stabbed Sauron with a magic dagger that happened to kill the big bad. It's anticlimactic.
obaminated
Member
Mon Apr 29 02:41:46
it wasnt one episode though. it was the first episode. it was the fist of the first men. it was hardhome. this was the battle where responsible people stood and organized to fight against the dead.

also, i do think we are going to find out bran was up to shit while he was warging the entire fight.

itd be unrealistic if the army most prepared for the dead lost this battle and then somehow organized, smaller, in another battle and won.
obaminated
Member
Mon Apr 29 02:44:20
also, i like the theory that beric, the hound and mel all survived long enough cause the lord of light needed them to be alive to protect arya cause he/it/she knew arya was the one who would kill the nights king.
Rugian
Member
Mon Apr 29 05:40:34
"Literally every build up to the show was in preparation for this battle."

^

We've been building up to this since literally Season 1, Episode 1, Scene 1...and they end up not even being fucking endgame. Fucking unbelievable.
Rugian
Member
Mon Apr 29 05:42:28
Also, just try watching this episode on your phone...hope you like the color black.
Cherub Cow
Member
Mon Apr 29 07:28:28
What kind of a madman would watch Game of Thrones on a cell phone? It felt like a bad enough idea watching on a computer. ;p

..
A lot of the character plot was designed for this last plot, but I totally disagree with statements such as “The hound's entire arc was to keep Arya alive at the end.“ The Hound *evolved* into a character who wanted to keep Arya and the Starks alive as redemption, but Cleganbowl was his arc; he has to face his brother. And a lot of plots were about whether people would put the Realm above the Iron Throne — the WWs were their test, and Cersei failed.
- Jaime has to finally face his sister and disagree with her openly for the sake of the Realm
- Tyrion needs to survive Cersei’s assassination attempt so that a future Realm can have good advising
- Jon’s major task was to fight them, but the late series reveal of his lineage was to show that he was a humble king the entire time — he wanted to save the Realm even though he could have been another Cersei, hanging back while the field cleared
- Arya’s list wasn’t about WWs, and she still has another big name to cross off
- Varys was only ever about the Realm. WWs were just a proof of concept for him
- Danny still needs to “break the wheel”, and her dragons can help do that

I agree that some other characters have limited use now (mainly Sansa and Tormund), but the major theme of the show still stands even with the NK defeated.
hood
Member
Mon Apr 29 07:33:51
This was the first battle. Hardhome wasn't a battle - Jon went north to get the wildlings and they were ambushed as they left. Hardly a clash of armies. The little excursion north also wasn't a battle, they were performing recon and got chased down before they could get back south of the wall.

It wouldn't be unrealistic if Cersei was killed before the final boss fight and the golden company was taken over by Jaime or someone. The final stand of humanity occurring at the red keep (or at the baratheon castle) with the 20,000 fresh troops and a dragon isn't unrealistic, especially if the living were able to: 1. Use some of that wildfire and 2. Improved their horrible battle tactics to be more effective than a suicide horse charge.



Re: Arya
And who is to say that Bran didn't see this outcome as well? Mel clearly had an idea, with her blue eyes comment. All of the events of the series steered these characters into where they were most needed. If the final sequence is Arya shiving the NK (which was pretty cool and I fully accept that; I'd just have liked to see it happen later on in the season), then the wheels of destiny had to turn to put her in that position.
swordtail
Anarchist Prime
Mon Apr 29 09:17:34

John Robb‏Verified account @johnrobb · 30m30 minutes ago


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Note; due to the unique dynamics of the show (dragons/undead), the castle was a more of a central feature of the battlefield than a classic siege target.

Regardless, cavalry has been useful in castle defense from before Dara to the charge of the Hussars at the gates of Vienna.






John Robb‏Verified account @johnrobb · 55m55 minutes ago


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For example: prepare the ground in front of the barricade with yards of traps (trip holes, snares, small spikes, etc.).

The goal being to create a cascade:

trip > fall > trip more > pile of prone bodies pulverized by those behind.




John Robb‏Verified account @johnrobb · 56m56 minutes ago


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For the main horde, an important goal is to use its extreme mass against itself.

Typically, that would be done via logistics.

In this case, it could be turned into an advantage kinetically.




John Robb‏Verified account @johnrobb · 1h1 hour ago


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The cavalry (mongol/hun type) should have been harassing the undead horde for a week prior -- pulling off blobs and destroying them.

+ intel
+ chance of pulling the undead dragon (show specific) and using disperse/concentrate horse archers to damage its wings (physics win)




John Robb‏Verified account @johnrobb · 2h2 hours ago


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So much more possible.

NOTE: This is from the perspective of winning the battle and not maximizing the dramatic effect/advancing the storyline.



John Robb‏Verified account @johnrobb · 3h3 hours ago


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The cavalry would be on the wings with instructions to stay mobile, pulling groups of the horde off of the sides and rear main group and slaughtering them. They could have done this for hours... radically reducing their numbers.



John Robb‏Verified account @johnrobb · 3h3 hours ago


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The trench + prepared defenses would stretch in front of the castle, allowing archers to defend it.

However, the defending infantry would be positioned *behind* the trenchline to defend it, maximizing the time the enemy was exposed to the archers/siege equipment.




John Robb‏Verified account @johnrobb · 3h3 hours ago


 More

A good model for the defense of Winterfell would have been the way Belisarius fought a superior Persian army at battle of Dara (530).


hood
Member
Mon Apr 29 09:51:45
^ yes.

Charging cavalry is to break ranks. This is possible against limited forces - the 10,000 unsullied or any normal army. Hundreds of thousands of undead won't break ranks. The cavalry charge was dumb.


I would have built the spike trench much farther out - probably 2-300 yards out and used it as a main barrier. Once the undead started their body bridges, the cavalry could run sweeps to keep the unsullied spears relatively clean, since the number of undead that can cross the body bridges is significantly smaller than a full charging horde. Even if we couldn't have predicted the bridges, using the barrier to thin out the horde even slightly (reduction of density by ~20%) would give the cavalry a better chance to act as shock troopers, smashing sideways into the undead with clear entry and exit opportunities.

Charging straight into the endless horde with no way to break through or break off was just plain dumb. You'd think the Vale would have been able to provide such counsel.
Forwyn
Member
Mon Apr 29 10:32:25
The retards got offed so fast we didn't even get to see a "your people don't know how to fight" rebuttal. Nah, they just got insta-offed in the dark.
Rugian
Member
Mon Apr 29 10:59:47
Visually speaking, the cavalry charge was great.

From a tactical standpoint, it was mindnumbingly stupid. Shock tactics do not work against the undead.

Between this battle and BotB, Jon Snow should be banned from ever commanding troops again.
Rugian
Member
Mon Apr 29 11:07:27
Seriously, jon has fought the undead before, he should have known that charging at them head-on like that was basically feeding them with free reinforcements. Like wtf

Also the artillery that stopped firing after a single barrage

Also the position of the artillery IN FRONT OF the infantry

Also the infant's exposed position

...HBO really needs to hire a Total War player to get some of this shit
hood
Member
Mon Apr 29 11:14:05
Yeah, it was definitely a great visual.
Sam Adams
Member
Mon Apr 29 11:27:15
"Also the position of the artillery IN FRONT OF the infantry"

Classic tactic of the retarded mahratha indians against britain. Of course the redcoats would just quicktime up to the slow loading guns, break them, and the dot infantry would break too after seeing the redcoats march bravely into the teeth of their overvalued guns and butcher their friends.

This of course was before england became the ultimate land of pussies and cucks.
Asgard
Member
Mon Apr 29 11:28:52
Why the effing FUCK do main villains always take their time and smile at their most critical moment, thus allowing the good guys to kill them?

Every

Since

Time
Rugian
Member
Mon Apr 29 11:31:00
And to Hood's point, yeah, this was the first "real" battle the undead fought. There were some skirmishes north of the Wall, but those dont count - so long as the Wall stood, nothing that happened to the north mattered to the Seven Kingdoms, and Westeros continued going about its business even after the Hardhome. This was the first time that the undead were truly fighting against the Seven Kingdoms, and they completely lost.

Given how much both the books and the TV series have hyped up the undead, they should definitely have been the endgame threat. The final season should have had them progressively overrunning the Seven Kingdoms, starting with Winterfell. Not every episode needed to be a set-piece battle, but we should haven gotten a feeling that the entirety of Westeros was threatened, not just the North.

Instead, the Big Bad has been defeated halfway into the season, leaving us with an essentially B-plotline. As if Cersei Lannister is ever going to evoke the sense of being S big s threat as the Army of the fucking Dead.

Asgard
Member
Mon Apr 29 11:32:07
Single*
obaminated
Member
Mon Apr 29 12:05:48
i think the artillery was ahead of the unsullied because the unsullied didnt have time to get into position ahead of them, they didnt think the dothraki would get wrecked in minutes.

the dothraki charge is what dorathki do, they ride into battle and wreck shit and they had flaming swords (dragon glass prior). they thought they could wreck the undead army, and got wrecked instead.

still believing bran is gonna be the villain at the end that jon has to kill. that long look the nights king and bran gave each other had to mean something.
Asgard
Member
Mon Apr 29 12:07:23
No, it doesnt mean anything. The bad guy is dead because the bad guy is stupid and does not shoot, he has to talk/smile long enough to die himself.the stupid end.
tumbleweed
the wanderer
Mon Apr 29 12:35:06
all inspired by LotoR... possibly

Theon doing his Boromir thing, only charging Lurtz rather than being shot by him

then Lurtz standing over his defeated foe, w/ Arya-agorn charging in at the last moment... and then Eowyn/Merry-stabbing the Night-Witch-King w/ the magic dagger
obaminated
Member
Mon Apr 29 12:56:04
She is no man!
Forwyn
Member
Mon Apr 29 12:57:48
LoTR would have been fine, if we got: "Yes. Yes! The horn of Winterfell shall sound in the North, one last time." - followed by a heavy cavalry charge breaking out of the gates for some WW kills
obaminated
Member
Mon Apr 29 14:48:40
dude, we saw what cavalry did against the dead. even with fire swords. they got fucked.
Forwyn
Member
Mon Apr 29 14:53:21
Meh. Lightly armored horse archers, charging as a blob against a larger blob with flaming arakhs. As ST's John Robb pointed out, they were used in perhaps the worst way imaginable.
hood
Member
Mon Apr 29 14:55:07
It depends on how thick of a horde the helms deep last gasp would have had to get through. By the end, when the NK was de-dragoned, it looked like most of the field had been emptied. If they were to mount their counter ~ 10 minutes before (well after the wall was breached, but before the WW entered the garden to get Bran), there might have been a chance. But they would have needed an unbreached barrier to break out of to wreck their havoc.

Highly unlikely to preserve cavalry long enough for that possibility to exist. It's more likely that you'd have horses fighting within the castle wall, where they had no room to maneuver due to all the fortifications.
Paramount
Member
Mon Apr 29 16:08:18
HOLY FKING SHIT! THIS WAS DA BEST EPISODE EVER!! LOL LETS GO HIDE IN DA CRYPT! IT IS SAFE THERE! LOL DUMBASSES.

Seriously though, I loved this episode. It was awesome from the beginning to the end. Except for the cavalry charge and maybe some other things as well, but overall it was awesome! I knew Theon was going to die! Told ya. And Arya! I love that little girl! She is badass! Just like that she drops drown from da tree and tries to backstab da NIGHT KING! He thinks he’s got her, and then CHABOING a knife in his ribbs and she fking killed da whole undead army!
CrownRoyal
Member
Mon Apr 29 16:42:01
Awesome episode. Shit was whack, that shot of dragons above the clouds was fantastic. I don’t care what wins the Iron Throne at all anymore. Just make the remaining three episodes as crazy as this one was
CrownRoyal
Member
Mon Apr 29 16:43:39
http://ent...ing-script-for-zomb-1834388057
Paramount
Member
Mon Apr 29 16:55:30
” but we should haven gotten a feeling that the entirety of Westeros was threatened, not just the North.”

I know what you mean, but you can also see it this way: that the entire Westeros was threatened, but the epic battle at Winterfell where heros fought and died, saved Westeros. This was the climax. The remaining episodes will be an epilogue.

http://images.app.goo.gl/WBGTSJbNNBuoUGbW9

”Instead, the Big Bad has been defeated halfway into the season, leaving us with an essentially B-plotline. ”

The epilogue. Unless the Night King will return somehow. You know like in those horror movies when you think the girl has killed the monster, so she draws a sigh of relief, and then CHABANG the monster comes to life again and grabs her feet and she is like crying hysterically and has to stab the monster in his face with a knife one more time before it is over.
Seb
Member
Mon Apr 29 17:32:52
Hood:

Absolutely I missed the scouring of the shire because it absolutely *is* the point of lord of the rings.

A huge piece of tolkeins work is about the triumph of good but the cost of victory.

It was in part inspired by his own experiences of how while Britain one ww1, the price was the loss of the way of life and to a great extent the country and society that a generation left behind to fight for by the very act of fighting for it. And while much can be mended, it will never be as it was. Frodo is haunted by PTSD shell shock, I mean shellobs poison and the lingering influence of the ring.
The shires been industrialised and even the leadership of Sam (in the book) can't really remove the fracture of the shires community from collaborators and war profiteers. And magic and the elves must leave the world etc.

In the film we just had about four sacherine ending two weddings and a funeral. I get why he did it - the final shift of the scouring of the shire is far harder to do as a piece of cinema in a way that makes sense.

But it is a far better and more satisfying end to the story.

I think that's what we are going to see here: the price of defeating the Knight king is going to mean the loss of the potential for revolutionary change, and instead a turn back to the tiresome, ultimately self destructive political intrigue of the great houses.

The great cost of conflict is the opportunities forgon.

The majority of GoT has been about there being no heros, about the cynicism of power etc.

So now we get the hardest lesson: even if there really are heros whob really aren't naive saps: the ruthless will exploit them.




Seb
Member
Mon Apr 29 17:40:37
The visuals for the battle, very good.

First time I think I've really felt the tactics are noticeably stupid enough to break suspension of disbelief.

Just so much stupid.

Nearly as bad as when Gandalf leads a cavalry charge down a steep scree slope info a heavy pike formation front on.

Waving a glow stick shouldn't prevent the orcs from having horse kebabs for dinner.
Seb
Member
Mon Apr 29 17:51:37
Thing is, what is left that you can string out for three episodes?

We've got the issue of who has the better claim (Jon v Danny) conflated with the North accepting the iron throne or not.

There are some character issues to work out (the lanister syblings), Tyrions divided loyalties (Sansa, his brother and Cercie's future child ... Side note, I think he promised Cercie that her child would be heir on the assumption Danaerys is sterile, hence his look of concern when she and Jon were sleeping together on he ship North at the end of last season).

We've got cleganebowle, and Aryas list.


But not much else to fill three episodes.
hood
Member
Mon Apr 29 18:23:58
Sorry, whiny brits were upset that Saruman's demise was cut from the movies. Nobody else was excessively bothered.
Renzo Marquez
Member
Mon Apr 29 18:49:13
Seb
Member Mon Apr 29 17:40:37
"First time I think I've really felt the tactics are noticeably stupid enough to break suspension of disbelief."

Sexual assault rates in the Seven Kingdoms will be considerably lower over the next decade than they would have been in the absence of that Dothraki charge.
Rugian
Member
Mon Apr 29 21:10:50
I just re-watched the Battle of Helm's Deep. Goddamn LoTR was an amazing trilogy.
obaminated
Member
Tue Apr 30 00:42:12
i wish jackson had gone through with his original idea of having aragorn physically fight sauron outside the black gates, instead of having him fight a generic troll.
Seb
Member
Tue Apr 30 01:29:00
Hood:
That's confirmation bias there hood, to much time associating with shallow yanks.
Seb
Member
Tue Apr 30 01:31:56
Renzo:

I suspect you jest, but this was actually foreshadowed seasons ago and I think a reason for them being quickly wiped out helps resolve Danys problem with what to do with the Dothraki if she plans to be a kind and just ruler.
Cherub Cow
Member
Tue Apr 30 02:39:05
[hood]: "This was the first battle. Hardhome wasn't a battle - Jon went north to get the wildlings and they were ambushed as they left. Hardly a clash of armies. The little excursion north also wasn't a battle, they were performing recon and got chased down before they could get back south of the wall. [/] It wouldn't be unrealistic if Cersei was killed before the final boss fight and the golden company was taken over by Jaime or someone."

I don't think this was a response to me, but that was definitely a bummer; I wanted more battles and openly thought that Winterfell would fall, resulting in skirmishes while the survivors fled to King's Landing. I was hoping/expecting that Cersei would be killed by Jaime/Arya(as Jaime) specifically because Cersei would be unwilling to open the gates to protect the Northern armies who were stuck outside with the approaching WWs. Instead, she'll probably die because she didn't support the Realm and plans to stand against the Northern armies themselves.

..
[hood]: "All of the events of the series steered these characters into where they were most needed."

Not all, but many of the recent events of the series. Arya's arc was that she wanted to gain power so that she wouldn't be powerless the way she was when hiding on the Statue of Baelor, watching Ned murdered. She knew nothing of the WW danger until she had already returned from Braavos and started her revenge. Her plans were *diverted* by the armies heading to Winterfell to fight the WWs, but her long-standing arc was to fight for her family and clear her list.

So this might be a minor point, but I'm just talking about the difference between good characters being present for the WW threat and these characters having no purpose beyond the WW threat — clearly, their purposes extend well beyond the WWs. Only a few characters would lose purpose beyond the WWs, and only a couple of those few survived the battle. It might be convincing to hear Melisandre and Bran say their "[you were meant to be here]" lines, but that's just their bland determinism speaking. These characters were also "meant to" do other stuff after the WWs, and their arcs have supplied them the motivation.

..
[John Robb Twitter]: "The cavalry (mongol/hun type) should have been harassing the undead horde for a week prior -- pulling off blobs and destroying them."

Yeah, thanks, Captain Hindsight. While the North was busy being shocked by the collapse of the Wall and panicking to get Winterfell ready for battle and rushing to get troops there from the sea and waiting to see who would even show up (e.g., MIA Lannisters), they should have found a spare "week" to send Dothraki out to "[pull] off blobs" ... nevermind that the ENTIRE WW army would chase any horsemen, WWs not just being threatened and divided into killable "blobs"... The North army strategy needed to be holistic — i.e., everyone they could get to a place that would give a defensive advantage.

..
[John Robb Twitter]: "and using disperse/concentrate horse archers to damage its wings (physics win)"

Sounds like a great strategy... in the event that the ice dragon is even within archer range or doesn't have a blinding snow/fog protecting it from view. Imagine a best case scenario where well-warned Dothraki skirt the advancing WWs before Winterfell, shooting arrows from a distance and then retreating if any WWs give chase. Now reality sets in: WWs do not tire, and they can sprint for distances if there's a chance of catching up. How long before the horses tire? How long before a snow-blind is used to knock all the Dothraki down or before a snow-blind keeps them from realizing that while they flee from WWs in one direction, the ice dragon is approaching from the other direction?

..
[John Robb Twitter]: "The cavalry would be on the wings with instructions to stay mobile, pulling groups of the horde off of the sides and rear main group and slaughtering them"

That, at least, would have been interesting to see.

I wish we could get more info on Melisandre's actual knowledge/foresight versus what she thinks might work, though. The reason being that — as is — she may have screwed up the battle plan: the Dothraki didn't look like they were willing to charge, but with fire on their blades they may have grown over-confident (so did Melisandre know that would happen and cause their deaths intentionally, or was she just trying to be cool and helpful? I think it was the latter, as usual). So John Robb should probably have mentioned that cavalry can be tricked into thinking that they have an advantage. In this case, the Dothraki thought that they were attacking ground troops, so a direct attack (with the new fire-lit swords) wasn't totally insane; how many times have they ridden over ground troops?

Even so, someone should have told them to hang out and see what they were facing before running away from the infantry ;p

..
[hood]: "I would have built the spike trench much farther out - probably 2-300 yards out and used it as a main barrier. Once the undead started their body bridges, the cavalry could run sweeps to keep the unsullied spears relatively clean, since the number of undead that can cross the body bridges is significantly smaller than a full charging horde."

Problems there: building the trench farther from the castle means that it can no longer encircle the castle — the farther from the castle, the greater the circumference. They didn't have that much time to build. They could have built additional small trenches farther out (not circles, just short lines), but that would interrupt the power of the Dothraki (Dothraki need open fields). They might have tried a Braveheart and had a fire pit in the middle of the field that they could use to cut off forces, but it looks like that would have failed (they couldn't even get the main trench to light without Melisandre).

..
[Forwyn]: "Nah, they just got insta-offed in the dark."

That was screwed up and kind of neat at the same time... screwed up because of all the work put into getting the Dothraki across the sea so that they could fight for Danny in only a couple of battles... and neat just because nearly all of the Dothraki being snuffed out that quickly really set the tone for how fucked everyone was (i.e., "The *Dothraki* just got wiped out?? Can we flee south now?")

..
[Asgard]: "Why the effing FUCK do main villains always take their time and smile at their most critical moment, thus allowing the good guys to kill them?"

Pratchett can answer: "If a man has you entirely at his mercy, then hope like hell that man is an evil man. Because the evil like power, power over people, and they want to see you in fear. They want you to know you're going to die. So they'll talk. They'll gloat.

"They'll watch you squirm. They'll put off the moment of murder like another man will put off a good cigar.

"So hope like hell your captor is an evil man. A good man will kill you with hardly a word."

..
[Rugian]: "Not every episode needed to be a set-piece battle, but we should haven gotten a feeling that the entirety of Westeros was threatened, not just the North."

+1
They did that work of hopelessness with just the one episode (albeit a longer length episode) :/ .. I was really hoping we'd see the WWs at King's Landing.

..
[obaminated]: "still believing bran is gonna be the villain at the end that jon has to kill. that long look the nights king and bran gave each other had to mean something."

That'd be cool. I'll keep holding out for the Bran=NK plot line :D

..
[Seb]: "the price of defeating the Knight king is going to mean the loss of the potential for revolutionary change, and instead a turn back to the tiresome, ultimately self destructive political intrigue of the great houses."

I doubt it. Cersei would need a total victory. She'd need to kill Arya, Jaime, Tyrion, Jon, and Danny (which by extension includes Grey Worm). I think this might be Sansa's last task: outwitting Cersei as Cersei tries to maintain power and trick others with deadly politics. Even though the show probably won't have a "happy" ending, I think Cersei still has to die, and the Iron Throne will be melted, symbolizing an end (at least temporarily) to House conflict.

..
[Renzo]: "Sexual assault rates in the Seven Kingdoms will be considerably lower over the next decade than they would have been in the absence of that Dothraki charge."

lol... true. Those rates will be even lower when/if Euron's fleet sinks. Yara was on board with the "no raping" game, but Euron is "Master and Commander: The Most Rape in the World"
obaminated
Member
Tue Apr 30 03:08:33
i like how fucking morons on twitter are arguing about battle tactics of fictional armies, and then declaring the dothraki are like the mongols.

which is a stupid comparison. dothraki are called screamers because they run into enemy lines and start swinging swords, they arent like the mongols.
Seb
Member
Tue Apr 30 03:51:28
Cc:

To outline a scenario (not betting on it but to give a flavour):

Something like Jon and Danaeris fall out over who should be ruler of the seven kingdoms. This ends up neutralising the dragons. Cersi is defeated (killed by one of her brothers, doubt it will be Arya now), but her child ends up on the throne with Sansa as regent, with strong implications that the house system remains intact.

The overall impression we are left with is that while the night king has been defeated, the status quo prevails, and the great potential has been squandered by the pettiness and inability to compromise in our heros bought about by their lust for power.
Seb
Member
Tue Apr 30 03:52:58
Of course I could be very wrong. But it would be in keeping with some of the themes of the story initially.
Seb
Member
Tue Apr 30 04:31:07
Obaminated:

Unfortunately that's what many people think the Mongols did. And other than tactics, the Dothraki basically are clearly the Mongol horde of that world.

--

Basically, the best trying is not a million miles from what happened at the battle of the bastards so you think Jon ought to have a better plan.

Surely you would have the trench and spikes forward of the spearmen, idealy in an arc to create a killing ground where you can user the trebuchet and dragons.

You have the light and heavy infantry in reserve.

The cavalry on the flanks and the trebuchet at the rear, possibly in the castle given they are indirect fire.

Use the burning balls of tar to light up the near battlefield.

Seb
Member
Tue Apr 30 04:35:10
Re how the series ends - given the rough parallels with the war of the roses, it could end with all the obvious aristocratic protagonists dead and neutralised and the annihilation of most of the aristocracy leading to the end of feudalism paving the way for the more meritocratic Tudor period. Gendry advised by the eunuch as hand would be my favourite then as the figure head king to give a nominal character focus for the coda that would illustrate this.
hood
Member
Tue Apr 30 07:40:01
CC:

That response you quoted wasn't directed at you. By the time I realized I hadn't responded, it was too long past and I decided to let it go. But with the revival!? Response:

I'm not talking about individual character motivations. Surely the hound didn't decide back in season 2 that he was going to set off to protect Arya Stark at all costs, because the realm. But his purpose in the story, in the weaving of the tapestry, is to preserve another thread. I think it's pretty obvious that GRRM has interwoven all of these plots with purpose, with guidance, and done so as part of the overall narrative. That's why we get Bran and his 3rd eye, giving him the ability to see the past, how it's connected. That's why Mel has limited foresight. It's to show us that life isn't just random chaos in the 7 kingdoms. Everything has its purpose.

Sansa, the necessary ruler of Winterfell, doesn't earn her title if Ned or Robb are still alive. Jon doesn't have his power if lady Stark is alive. Arya and Bran don't become who they are if Jaime doesn't push Bran out the window. Each character might have their own motivations and plot lines, and they do so for their own reasons. But the invisible hand, if you will, is still guiding events so that the pieces of the puzzle fall in just the right order to defeat the NK.

You brought up "did Melissandre know the dothraki would die?" and upon thinking about it, yes. I think she did. I think she gave them false hope because she knew a successful defense of Winterfell wouldn't expose the NK for Arya to kill him. I think she knew that it was their best chance at defeating the dead. So the horse charge was required, not to win the battle, but to lose it. The queen needed to be sacrificed, taken off the board, in order to bait out the opponent's King. And you only expose your own queen of you plan on capitalizing on that.

So, I understand your point. I agree with it, on an individual character level. Yet I think that with this story, we also need to look at the overall story arc, not just the individual arcs. That is where I am basing my comments. Clegane's individual story was certainly about recognizing the shit he was involved in, deciding not to participate anymore, and discovering his purpose. Along the way he became a better man and recognized that he needed to do good, even confront his brother (if that still is on the board; who knows if he heads south). But his contribution to the overall story, to the grand plan, was to deliver Arya everywhere she needed to be.
Seb
Member
Tue Apr 30 11:31:00
"You brought up "did Melissandre know the dothraki would die?" and upon thinking about it, yes. I think she did. I think she gave them false hope because she knew a successful defense of Winterfell wouldn't expose the NK for Arya to kill him. I think she knew that it was their best chance at defeating the dead. So the horse charge was required, not to win the battle, but to lose it. The queen needed to be sacrificed, taken off the board, in order to bait out the opponent's King. And you only expose your own queen of you plan on capitalizing on that"

Very interesting point.
Seb
Member
Tue Apr 30 11:32:30
And by extension Jon's role is to end up being incompetent military commander responsible for fucking up the defence of winterfell :-).

Has Jon actually had any real military success?
Seb
Member
Tue Apr 30 11:40:12
I like hoods line here and am adopting it for head cannon.

Jon was resurrected so that he could fail to hold winterfell.
hood
Member
Tue Apr 30 11:51:59
Heh. So Jon was doubly useful. Incompetent commander who would put up a valiant fight but lose, but also charismatic enough to bring together the army, knowledge, and resources needed to shiv the night king. I like it too.
Pillz
Member
Tue Apr 30 11:59:46
Incompetence is rewarded in engl- I mean westros
jergul
large member
Tue Apr 30 13:46:23
The initial dothraki charge is to me a variant of the battle of Agincourt. The Dothraki can reasonably be viewed as heavy calvary

The dramatic visuals of a charge breaking up (instead of through), then becoming extinguished is priceless.

Placing trebuchets in front of infantry made sense to me. Not for the boost in range, but as disruptive barriers to break up infantry charges.

Otherwise, the deployment of troops revolved around protecting a fallback into the castle and was set up in a manner that did not allow for superior enemy forces to use their number advantage.

The castle seemed underdefended specificially because the fallback was not perfect.

All told - a credible battle without genius from any side.

Stupidity is credible.

Seb
Member
Tue Apr 30 15:08:36
Jergul:


The visual is lovely.

I just don't think it sensible to charge off into the dark - particularly if you know that the enemy can absorb a charge like that. Unlike the living, the dead aren't going to run in fear, they are just going to pile up until your charge is expended - and all those that have fought the dead ought to realise that by now. they certainly realised the scale by which they were outnumbered so it ought to have been obvious the charge would fail.

RE trebuchets - much better to use other obstacles and avoid the trade off.

If the trebuchets had been on the turrets, in the court yard or at least further back, then they could have been used to bombard the dead when they were stuck the wrong side of the trenches. As they were for a fair period of time. Missed opportunity to greatly diminish the attacking force. There was also the missed opportunity to use them to light the battlefield up at the beginning.

Having the unsullied with their long spears behind the caltraps, they could have been poking the dead in the head as they came through. Instead, the caltraps were shown largely hindeing the fall back of the unsullied as they attempted to withdraw in good order.


What is even more inexplicable is Jon having lost the battle of the bastards in the *exact same spot* used on a smaller scale having employed tactics similar to the army of the dead himself (Chaaaaaaaarge!) against Ramsay.

What Ramsay did - blunt the charge on a barrier (ok, Jon has caltraps whereas Ramsay used a pile of his own men), envelop, pepper with indirect fire and then crush with a shield wall was entirely adaptable with the resources Jon had to hand. Jon has directly experienced this himself.

Only he has overwhelming direct and indirect fire (two dragons and a battery of trebuchets), and an entire army of soldiers geared to fight in the way Ramsay's spearmen do.

Jon had all the knowledge and experience to fight the battle of Winterfell, he failed to do so because he is actually quite a poor tactical commander to the point of incompetence.

Rather than being head cannon, I'm actually coming around to the idea that the show is explicitly showing Jon to be a crap commander.
jergul
large member
Tue Apr 30 15:33:37
Seb
It did not seem to me that Jon was in charge of the battle. In fact, it was made pretty clear that each element had its own independent command.

I think the defenders completely underestimated the scale of the attack in their planning.

But here is an outline of what I think may have been going through their minds.

The dathraki punch through and divide the horde into two distinct groups.

The raki then regain charge potential through a bit of distance and prepare to fall into the horde from the rear.

The unsullied hold the center and keep the attacking force disjointed.

The two flank components then engage to lock while the centre expands on the momentum granted by the raki, while the raki continue to pound the horde into smaller and smaller groupings.

The Dragons are held in reserve to protect whatshisface and to counter supernatural elements in the undead horde (king and dragon).

The trebuchets would have fallen to the rear in the original plan as the unsullied pushed.

That plan went to shit as soon as the raki charges was absorbed.

My point is really that this works for me in keeping the episode as the great crecendo of the series.

Yay me.
jergul
large member
Tue Apr 30 15:35:17
(not being in charge = aknowlegded crap commander. He was sitting on a dragon and the only agreed on communications was torch waving from the ground).
Cherub Cow
Member
Tue Apr 30 15:41:28
[Seb]: “Cersi is defeated (killed by one of her brothers, doubt it will be Arya now), but her child ends up on the throne with Sansa as regent, with strong implications that the house system remains intact.“

Arya is more of a backup plan in my mind — in case Jaime is killed, or if he doesn’t have the stomach for it, Arya can use his face to get close. Jaime is in the top spot for the kill.

But Cersei’s child *cannot* end on the Iron Throne — the idea has been outright defeated by the fortune teller witch and by the limited time left in the show. Cersei will die pregnant.

Also, again, keep in mind that “breaking the wheel” has been a huge theme of the show. This was shown in Danny not, for instance, falling for the slave morality trap of punishing the masters forever and only empowering the slaves. Instead, she went through that pitfall and brought more equality between all citizens. More pertinent is that George Martin is an American, which means that he hasn’t resigned his ideas to the reign of evil monarchs (e.g., Elizabeth II); he wants to lay ground for revolution. Even if it’s Danny’s dying order, there will be a hard reset of some kind (again, I think she melts the Iron Throne).

..
[Seb]: “particularly if you know that the enemy can absorb a charge like that.”

They didn’t know. An important thing to not overlook is that even after facing WWs before, the Northerners only knew a few of their tricks and the basics of their abilities. An over-confident Dothraki could easily think that they were too strong to be absorbed.

..
[hood]: “ Yet I think that with this story, we also need to look at the overall story arc, not just the individual arcs. That is where I am basing my comments.“

It would still be that determinism point, though. They may have been steered to this battle, sure, but that was not their entire reason for existing. The Hound saving Arya was not just to get her to this battle, it was to become someone worthy of facing his brother. The importance of the WWs can’t be over-expressed with a hijacking of character motives. There are three episodes left for a reason.
Seb
Member
Tue Apr 30 16:57:44
Jergul:
In episode 2 we see him chairing the planning meeting for the battle, with a big board and a fairly representative scale stack of counters for the army of the dead. Granted operational command appears delegated to unit commanders, but it looks to me like the overall strategy and tactics for the battle were coordinated before hand: we literally saw them doing it on screen.

As to CC below - having seen what Jon has seen - the scale and nature of the army of the dead - having the cavalry line up front can only be explained by an intent to frontal charge the enemy, and knowing what Jon knows (and Danaerys to be fair), attempting that is incompetence.

I suspect Tyrion might have done a better job, but then that relies on him getting decent intelligence out of Jon.

Cc:

I'm assuming they won't have Arya kill both the big bads. Good point on Cersi's child - but rather than an exact portrayal I was trying to indicate how everything could collapse back to the status quo ante.

I'm not sure George Martin being a Yank or even a republican matters more than him having a very cynical/realpolitik bent. We would all love Danny to break the when and a democratic westeros with Tyrion or Varys elected president etc.

My suspicion is that GM doesn't think the world world that way. We've already seen Danny, despite her breaking the wheel line, morph more and more into a monarch obsessed with power. Her first thought on finding Jon her nephew is not that she's found family (I'm assuming she's down with the whole insest thing - that's part the norm for Targaryeans), restoration of which is a major motivation she has said this season - it's "oh dear, another claimant to the throne".

To go back to her motivation: before Mhereen it was all about slavery. But this season she gives an account of how all her focus has been to right the wrong done against her family, to reclaim what's hers.

And then when she finds out she has family, and one closely aligned with her objective, leading a group of people that don't want to bend the knee and wish only to be free with her closest living relative as their notional king, the most honourable man she's met non less - her lack of enthusiasm is palpable.

Danny might have wanted to break the wheel. I fear she is becoming another spoke. And I wonder if what we are seeing is an object lesson of how someone focused on achieving power, even for a well defined and objectively good purpose, can lose sight of that and become corrupted.

And this too would fit with the themes he's played with.

Re the battle I would have thought having seen how the dead behaved at hardhome, and again to some extent on their sortie North, Jon and others ought to have realised that simply charging wouldn't work.

The planning on the board previously explicitly seemed to note the huge scale of the dead. It seems like it ought to be obvious to Jon (who clearly was planning the tactics for the defence in EP 2) that a cavalry charge would just slam into a wall of zombies of such depth such that eventually horsemen would lose momentum, horse stumble, and charge be broken and overwhelmed.

Rugian
Member
Tue Apr 30 19:49:08
Jon witnessed the dead literally jumping off cliffs in order to overrun Hardhome.

There's no excuse for treating the zombie army like they were just an outsized but otherwise regular force.
obaminated
Member
Tue Apr 30 20:32:49
i really doubt a shield wall would work against a horde of zombies. there really is no proper battle tactics against an enemy that has zero interest in self preservation.

as to the dothraki charge, i suspect a lot of them were super amped up thinking they had magic on their side when all their swords lit up into fire. unfortunately the other side had more powerful magic... and darkness.
jergul
large member
Tue Apr 30 20:41:26
Seb
Episode 1 was all about Jon exchanging power for allies (you left the north a king, you returned as nothing at all). "Chairing" is meaningless in that context. He did advise that their was no chance of winning in open battle. Victory achievable only by luring the king into death.

The army of the dead has previously had width, not depth. The idea was a good one. Or the best one to be had.

But that would not be Jon's call in any event.

It turned out to be a quintessential medieval battle plan. Full of compromise and various sub commands doing their thing and any cohesive strategy falling apart on first contact with the enemy.

I am sure we could view it differently. But that would be a different story than the one told.
tumbleweed
the wanderer
Tue Apr 30 22:05:59
semi on-topic: i got around to watching the 'Barry' episode this thread is named after, & wow, a particularly wacky one :p
obaminated
Member
Tue Apr 30 22:47:12
that girl isnt human.
obaminated
Member
Wed May 01 00:18:24
so alys karstark dies off screen. i checked the actresses insta and she confirms it was cut. so house umber, karstark and mormont are extinct due to the long night.
Cherub Cow
Member
Wed May 01 03:40:16
[Seb]: "It seems like it ought to be obvious to Jon (who clearly was planning the tactics for the defence in EP 2) that a cavalry charge would just slam into a wall of zombies of such depth such that eventually horsemen would lose momentum, horse stumble, and charge be broken and overwhelmed."

That may actually have been the case — with the switch being that because everyone *knew* that they were fucked that they were just going to go out swinging, playing to whatever minor strengths that they had while they hoped that the Night King would get to the Bran trap before everyone was dead. The Dothraki may just have figured that a direct charge would kill more WWs than sitting on the walls with arrows (and Melisandre's fire boost just meant more kills). I.e., maybe it was a numbers game: charging, maybe they could kill 40 WWs each before dying, but on the wall (a position which would lack the strength of horses), maybe they'd only kill whatever arrow quantity was available before going hand-to-hand (less than "40"?). And on the field, with so many WWs, *all* attacks would just be a "direct" attack, even that Twitter John Robb idea of "pulling groups of the horde off of the sides". That is, the WWs had so many fighters that "groups of the horde" may have meant a 5000-WW chunk. Front or sides, doomed either way.

..
[Seb]: "Cersi is defeated (killed by one of her brothers, doubt it will be Arya now), but her child ends up on the throne with Sansa as regent, with strong implications that the house system remains intact."
[Seb]: "Good point on Cersi's child - but rather than an exact portrayal I was trying to indicate how everything could collapse back to the status quo ante."

That's a better spot to back to, but you *were* going for an exact portrayal/prediction.

..
[Seb]: "I'm not sure George Martin being a Yank or even a republican matters more than him having a very cynical/realpolitik bent. We would all love Danny to break the [wheel] and a democratic westeros with Tyrion or Varys elected president etc."

It matters because in the UK authors tend to favor defeatist/fatalist mentalities, Panoptic mindsets, distinct class divides, and subservient acceptance of political Godheads. French and American authors tend to favor at least the temporary successes of revolution, making godheads and opportunists pay bloodily for crimes against the people.

So far Martin has been on track with this style, working out the pitfalls of revolution while building momentum towards a removal of House corruptions. Aside from Danny falling for the traps of slave morality but then overcoming them, Martin has crushed the Church/England unity via the Sparrows'/Tyrells' destruction, ended House legacies by killing Tywin and (again) the Tyrells (no elderly House members to instruct the young on how to manage a family name; with the young in charge, change happens rapidly), and has continually punished those who make moves for the Throne or their seats above the Realm (dead Lannisters, dead Tywins again, dead Martells, failed Sparrows, dead Boltons, dead Freys, etc.).

The central question has been Varys' "[What is best for the Realm?]" and characters have been tested on this point repeatedly. The WWs were the big test for the North/South divide, and Cersei failed. She put the Throne above the potential survival of Westeros. Jon has continually accepted titles and just as easily shrugged them off when the Realm needed him to do something else (that makes him a good candidate for final ruler). As for Danny ("We've already seen Danny, despite her breaking the wheel line, morph more and more into a monarch obsessed with power"), that is not entirely true. Danny has built in fail-safes so that if she gets too power crazy or isn't interested in protecting the Realm, that Tyrion will challenge her and, more importantly, Varys will warn her that she's crossed a line (a courtesy meaning that he'll give her a chance to change or have her killed like he did with former corrupt leaders). So even if Danny survives to rule (I don't think she will — it's too much of a happy ending), she wouldn't be allowed to fail the Realm.

I'm not saying that they'll elect a president, but I think the show will end with Cersei dead and survivors disgusted enough with good people dying over the Iron Throne that it's destroyed. That could be because Danny loses so much to her trials that she melts it, maybe because Jon sees Danny bludgeoned over it and wants to end it, because Queen Elizabeth II fails still to disembowel herself, or maybe Jon and Danny die and the dragons burn their killer and the Throne at the same time... lots of options — these and more! Shocks expected.

..
[obaminated]: "so alys karstark dies off screen. i checked the actresses insta and she confirms it was cut. so house umber, karstark and mormont are extinct due to the long night."

Arg, I was wondering about that. She appears early in the episode but wasn't shown during the battle.

..
@hood

I kind of rushed my response ("It would still be that determinism point, though"). I started thinking of it more in terms of Melisandre's legitimacy:

I *really* think that Melisandre has always been full of shit by Martin's design. The Lord of Light priestesses can see the past clearly (and only as their attention is directed), but I suspect that they just stab in the dark for futures. That was sprinkled into her story over and over again, like with that Stannis/Davos talk where she wanted Davos executed for letting Gendry go, but then Davos provides a letter and only *then* — at the end of season 3 — does she say that the "War of Five Kings means nothing. The true war lies to the North" ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JuSjW_aTPtY ). It was almost like Sarah from "Team America" — intuiting the obvious. I.e., she reads the letter, realizes there's a WW army, realizes most people will have to fight in it, and so she decides to say what she *thinks* needs to happen ("Death marches on the wall — only you [Stannis] can stop Him").. like a phone fortune teller who wants to be helpful so long as it means repeat calls.

Of course, she was wrong about anything that wasn't already written. Stannis died. She was also wrong about the effects that burning Stannis' daughter would have. She was wrong about the effects of killing Renly. She was wrong about the effects of an attack on King's Landing (Battle of the Blackwater). She didn't even think that saying the words over Jon's body would have any effect. Even her "prediction" that she would die in Westeros (and later more specifically "dead before the dawn") was only successful because she killed *herself*. Quite a prediction. I predict that I will submit this post.

I think that last note spells out her method of creeping determinism. She puts things into motion without actually knowing if they'll work, and if those things work out, then she's awesome ("[I predicted it because I knew all along!]". If she's *not* correct, then "[The Lord of Light willed it to set the stage for awesome stuff later]." So for her, everyone was perfectly placed for the event that was happening... because they were there... Very self-proving. Cersei and her armies weren't perfectly placed, but nevermind that because supposed providence makes present company feel good. Nevermind also that she *chose* to narrativize Ser Beric's death as having been meaningful for getting Arya where she needed to be in that moment... but the Hound didn't need to die too? That narrative could have been placed over his dead body just as easily, and any person dying in that way (fighting to hold the rear) could be said to have had a long life that was all leading to that moment (self-proving again: "there", so it must be fortuitous. A survivor's logic of being the most important in the universe — divined even — because he is alive and conscious)... And more importantly, why not say the words for Ser Beric anyways to get some more help from him? Maybe it wouldn't get her any more 900 psychic phone calls?

Plus, there's always a way out for her statements. She reminded Arya that Arya would close "blue" eyes, but did she see WW eyes in her original prediction? Probably not. And in the Winterfell prediction, did she see the NK's eyes or was she just trying to say something motivating (again) which would be true even if Arya had just killed a few more WWs before dying? I'd like to think that Melisandre was getting more and more clear pictures of futures as she got closer to this final battle (in which case she did actually know what Arya was going to do), but if her death had the most predictive certainty and it was only correct because she forced it herself, then it's right back to a false providence via creeping determinism.

Bran's not off the hook either. I demand a scene where they show a future action, then it cuts back to present time where you realize that Bran *saw* that thing, then the thing happens again in real time. I'll be disappointed, because that kind of editing is as likely as Bran running to Jon while the Mountain shoots arrows at his back.
Seb
Member
Wed May 01 04:24:29
CC:

Re the tactics - I think I'm definitely adopting the idea of Jon as Deus Ex Moron. His role was to set the scenario up: charismatic enough to pursuade persuade people to coalesce, but in practice he's schemes are ill conceived. He's lost every battle he's commanded prior (always being rescued by cavalry). We are repeatedly told he "knows nothing". His ill conceived
sortie North is what gives the night king the means to beach the wall (and in the end futile and pointless as Cersi of course does not aid them).

It all makes sense - the battle of Winterfell is *supposed* to be an inept clusterfuck leading to an overconfident night king waltzing into the Godswood to meet his fate. Jon's role was not to defeat him, but to lose so that Arya would get her chance. It is the will of the lord of light.

Re scenario, I prefaced:

"To outline a scenario (not betting on it but to give a flavour):

Something like "

I don't really know how I could signpost more that this is not an exact description/prediction.

I'd struggle to think of a British fantasy author that has quite the history of offing his heros than Martin.

The other interpretation of course is that the offing of the great houses simply mirrors the war of the roses and the crushing of the Sparrow is very Henry VIIIth. Anglo society has abolished and reinvented its aristocracy several times in history - the UKs present hereditary peers are by and large the capitalist barons of the 18th/19th century - and we are seeing it now in the US with the rise of political dynasties.

Seb
Member
Wed May 01 04:34:56
Agree very much - Melisandre has clearly been obviously full of shit for a while. We've even seen a couple of times she's come close to admitting it.

Bran, at least, we know has the ability to see the past.

So when Bran talks about everything leading to where they are now - it has credibility.

Hey... Was Melisandre around one of the times when Bran says this?
jergul
large member
Wed May 01 05:39:59
The stage is now set for politics in the south. The North really only has the trappings needed for claims to the iron throne (a couple of dragons - I think. And a couple of people able to ride them - which proves their bloodline satisfactorily).

House Stark is actually not in terrible condition if we assume Winter is a natural thing independent of the King.

Full winter stores (more than full - it has the winter stores of the entire north), no threat of invading armies until spring. Its breeding family nobles + intact and a peasant base with many years to recover.

Hell, even the fields around winterfell are fertilized for outstanding bumper crops come spring.

And North of the wall is ready for colonizing by house Stark (the fur trade alone a basis for new wealth and the remaining wildlings have a full Stark pardon).

The North has its reward. Lets see what disasters befall the South.
Seb
Member
Wed May 01 06:48:09
Jergul:

Fair point.

But I think all the territory North of Winterfell may have been depopulated.

And it didn't look too me like many of the Bannermen etc (trained fighters) have survived the various wars.

I think they are poorly placed to fight a war.

jergul
large member
Wed May 01 07:44:33
Seb
That was my point. The North has nothing left right now other than the trappings for a claim to the Iron Throne.

The North has nothing to fight a war in the south besides political potential and perhaps two dragons.

But depopulation does not matter for as long as the North's stores for a long winter are intact.

The stage is actually set for the North to emerge from the winter with a larger population than it otherwise would have (assuming the population increases geometrically - low population at start just means a surplus of food to support a larger one at the end).

So the stage is set for a strong, unified north to emerge in the spring if left to its own devices.

Cersei has the opposite problem. A strong standing force, but not enough food supply to carry over until the spring (the dathraki destroyed a huge caravan of supplies) and a very uncertain grip on the political future.

A lot of drama goes if we move forward a generation.

The targarian claim becomes rock solid if Daerenis and Jon consumate (who cares which of them is more legitimate if their offspring inherits all claims).

Sansa and Tyrions (lets weigh the hand-holding heavily) offspring have enormous claims in both the North and South.

Cersei has an illegitimate off-spring in the oven and no clear plan to legitimize in any way. Even if the child is given a claim to the iron islands through marriage and superfudge about the time of impregnation.

The dynamics now would seem to rotate around Cersei trying to leverage her military strength into some sort of better long term outcome.

Her line is currently the clear underdog.
hood
Member
Wed May 01 07:44:36
CC:

I don't disagree with you on Mel. However, my theory is based on a very important criterion: the Lord of Light is real, exists, is effecting things. Essentially, there actually are gears of destiny turning for the realm, for these characters.

If we accept that (and truthfully, it provides a huge cop out; won't deny that), then all of Mel's past failures were guided by the Lord of Light. She allowed Gendry to live because he would be needed to make the dragon glass weapons. Stannis failed in the blackwater because he was needed North to subdue the wildlings (to eventually get them to ally with the realm). His daughter was killed to convince him to attack and die to allow Jonaegon to ascend. Mel being wrong all those times weren't wrong in the grand scheme. They were the right, necessary moves for the good of the realm. It just didn't appear to be so at the time and Mel certainly didn't act as anything more than a pawn.



Of course, these scenarios are likely all bullshit and GRRM just didn't have an elegant way to conclude the story, so he dreamed up a "cool" scenario with a bunch of Deus ex machina because writers often find themselves pigeonholed by creating a struggle too unbalanced. "Oops, the NK is too strong. ARYA OUT OF NOWHERE BITCHES, BECAUSE REASONS. I'M MR. TORGUE! EXPLOSIONS!" (Sorry, borderlands crept its way in there)
jergul
large member
Wed May 01 07:45:40
(The series has been clear enough about everything revolving around lineage. The actual fates of individuals is not terribly important beyond that).
jergul
large member
Wed May 01 07:58:48
Hood
The dragonfire could have, well, just worked and killed off the king. If looking for easy exits from a strong undead army.

Or the North could have engage in assymetrical warfare to whittle down the undead army as it approached winterfell.

Not to mention painfully expensive sieges of Umber and what have you.

Lots of plot options to rebalance forces, but that would have stranded Arya's plotline. What was the point of her super assasin stuff if not to ultimately assasinate something important?

The supernatural always seems like a copout. But if we do buy the undead, then we sort of have to accept that other Deus exes might influence outcomes somewhat.

I am pleased with how the series is playing out.
hood
Member
Wed May 01 08:33:12
Yes, dragonfire could have killed the NK. But we didn't get that. Because the power of the NK was too unbalanced. Clearly GRRM didn't want the easy cop out of "we outnumber him on dragons. We'll just 2v1 him then burn him!" That would completely invalidate the undead army that had been amassed. It would trivialize the entire battle. Why even bother having a final stand if Dany and Jonaegon could have just rode to the NK on their dragons and killed him before he arrived at Winterfell?


Asymmetrical warfare was covered earlier. No real time to engage. Plus any whittling down of the horde is easily replaceable by new bodies. Especially if the NK just takes a moment to find a few graveyards to plunder for resources. There's no shortage of dead bodies, as those in the crypt discovered. The NK has proven that he's willing to wait until he has the upper hand. Guerilla warfare would have delayed the battle, not reduced the size of the undead army.

See, the issue wasn't that there were too many undead. That wasn't the unbalanced issue. The NK was just too powerful. He needed to be, to not make it laughably easy to defeat him (dragons are also wildly unbalanced). A god nudging events would prove to be a balancing force against the extremely powerful night king. It just somewhat invalidates the individual agency of the characters (unless we accept that these characters have free will and that only select people, like Melissandre, are nudged).
jergul
large member
Wed May 01 08:58:33
Hood
I never really found the series strong on individual agency. A whole range of factors compel them to do things that both promote and demote entire story lines.

I do agree that a balanced battle would always have been unsatisfactory.

And epic air battle with the King gaining parity with by taking out one of the dragons with a spear could have been doable. If balancing was the idea.

But I preferred Arya's plotline having a point (so to speak).

Gods nudging things along when the forces of darkness have gone fully nuclear seems reasonable to me.

Their involvement in the day-to-day choices outside of that is redundant. Characters have enough limitations on their free will as it is.

I quite like my lineage perspective. What line will overcome?

The suspense!
Paramount
Member
Wed May 01 09:41:14
I just watched this episode again and it was epic.

Winter came ... and fell, at Winterfell. Lol, get it? Winter fell at Winterfell!

Anyhoo... Arya gave her dagger to Sansa at the beginning of the battle, when they were on the wall and Arya told Sansa to go to the crypt.

When Sansa and Tyrion are leaning against a tomb in the crypt, she pulls out a dagger, but that dagger did not look like one Arya gave her. The dagger she got from Arya looked longer, like a Valyrian steel dagger, but the one Sansa has in the crypt looks more like a short dragonglass knife/shiv.

So if Arya gave away her dagger what dagger did she use to stab the NK with?
hood
Member
Wed May 01 10:35:53
She walked by hordes of bodies. Where do you think she got it?
Pillz
Member
Wed May 01 10:37:30
Revenge has been aryas motivator since season 1. Her killing the night king is gurl power writing. It should have been Jon.

Jon has a thousand magicky things going for him, Stark/Targarian parents, and has been shown repeatedly to be a very competent fighter and swordsman. The final fight should have been the two of them.

Sansa and Tyrion have claims (however loose) to Riverrun, Casterly Rock, Winterfell, and the Eyrie.

The ruling lines in Dorn, High Garden and Storms End are all ended.

Sansa becomes queen of westros. She plots danys demise and Jon is killed at last by the mountain, who also dies because of the hound allowing Sansa to kill Cersie herself.

Hound has new masters now (the starks, clearly ever since Sansa. Arya doesn't need him anymore but...)

This battle was really just a very odd hick up. I think it's obvious that they condensed a lot of material into that episode so (mostly) move on with the story line. And frankly we should take into consideration the fact Cersie blew up the Sept of balor and has an undead mountain by her side. If God's are at play it's conceiveable that the fight to the south is just as pressing
Pillz
Member
Wed May 01 10:40:07
Also Grey worm should have died, jorah should have lived. He would have been a much better last defender.
Paramount
Member
Wed May 01 12:45:06
Brits reacts to the drop:

http://youtu.be/n5wm3fY5pCY
Paramount
Member
Wed May 01 12:49:27
Btw, I like how Jon Snow finally says fuck it and stands up and shouts at the dragon, like he is the Dovahkiin of Skyrim. Rofl.
Paramount
Member
Wed May 01 13:04:31
Man, that scene with Arya and da Night King is going to be a classic, a legendary scene in the history of film. Like the shower scene in Hitchcoks Psycho. I wish I could have the entire scene as a wallpaper on my iMac.
Forwyn
Member
Wed May 01 13:43:31
"I like how Jon Snow finally says fuck it and stands up and shouts at the dragon"

Seemed pretty out of character for him, to give up instead of trying for a kill shot.
Seb
Member
Wed May 01 13:52:29
Jergul:

Depends how long winter is - a decade?
Seb
Member
Wed May 01 14:02:42
Hood:

Err, how is Arya a Deus Ex Machina?

The first time we see her, she's a better shot than her brother. She says from the get go being a princess isn't for her. Her entire arc is grooming her to be a bad ass killer.

Jon, on the other hand, has lost every battle he commanded, and his heroics always end in disaster and him being rescued by a woman (except the one time when he's rescued by Stannis).

In retrospect, it's *far* more likely Arya, trained expert assassin with a track record of offing nobility, is the one who would sneakily kill a king.

Less Deus ex, more Chekhov's gun.

A Deus ex machina would be if Sam suddenly found the design for a gun, built it, discovered he was an ace sniper and shot the night king with a valaryian steel bullet.

In retrospect, the expectation that Jon would be the one to kill the night king is based more upon hoary narrative trope of the type that Martin has been subverting from day one (offing your protagonist).

It is a bit like how everyone thinks Luke Skywalker was some badass, when actually he only beat the empire because he happened to be Darth Vader's son and so the only person that Darth Vader wouldn't stand by and let Palpetine kill.

It makes total sense Arya is the one to kill the night king from a practical stand point.
jergul
large member
Wed May 01 14:57:01
Seb
True. The winter can last generations but is usually less than 10 years. I remembered it as generational. My bad.

It does make a difference in terms of military balance come spring, but Cersei is still commited to leveraging her military advantage now (as her rented troops will depart far before spring and famine will strike too unless she can find supplies *somewhere*).

Her line being a supreme underdog remains true unless she can change the trajectory somehow.
hood
Member
Wed May 01 14:58:28
Er, when did I call Arya Deus ex machina?

The entire fight felt sculpted by a higher power. From Theon's group somehow not succumbing to an entire army of undead swarming them (as it initially seemed), to Arya's rescue by Beric and the Hound, to Jon somehow fighting his way out of being literally surrounded by a horde when he confronted the NK, to all the named people in the crypts having hidden, while everyone else ran screaming (even Gilly and Sam Jr? Fo rizzle?), to Jon walking through Winterfell mostly free of undead despite literally witnessing his allies swarmed, to the NK gloating over Bran instead of just sending his horde to kill the final blow.

It all felt a degree of unnatural that the series never had. I already said that I liked that it was Arya who got the final blow on the NK. Maybe you confused me for forwyn, who suggested it should have been Jon?
Forwyn
Member
Wed May 01 15:09:17
Wasn't me either, that was Pillz
hood
Member
Wed May 01 15:11:10
Fair point. It was pills.
Seb
Member
Wed May 01 15:15:44
Jergul:

I was initially confused by your post because I forgot it lasted years!
hood
Member
Wed May 01 15:19:16
It should be noted that the magical years-long winter may not exist anymore with the NK gone. So spring might return very quickly.
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