Wednesday, June 29, 2016

“The Winds of Winter” Reset the Board on “Game of Thrones”

Last Sunday’s season finale of Game of Thrones may have been the show’s best episode so far. And for readers of the books, it probably contained the most surprises. Here are my thoughts on “The Winds of Winter.” Note, *SPOILERS* to follow.


In a number of ways, last Sunday’s episode reset the game board to where it stood at the end of George R.R. Martin’s first book, A Game of Thrones. You have a Lannister tenuously holding onto the Iron Throne, a king in the Iron Isles, and a King of the North. What you don’t have is House Baratheon, which looks pretty decimated right now. In their place, however, you have the Targaryens, with Daenerys’ massive army sailing to Westeros. But there are a few things that are different this time around. 


The King in the North


I must say, I wasn’t expecting this development at the end of Season 6, with Jon becoming the new King in the North. I did expect his Bran-found parentage (which has always been the subject of massive speculation, R + L = J, anyone?). Jon is a Stark, through Lyanna, and a Targaryen, though Rhaegar—which makes him a child of both ice and fire. Since Martin’s series is titled A Song of Ice and Fire, I wonder if Jon’s parentage confirms that he is the true hero of this tale. 

I loved the way the show’s writers mirrored the scene where Robb Stark was named King in the North. And I really loved little Lyanna Mormont—in fact, I hope she becomes a regular on the show! The last time there was a King in the North, it didn’t end so well. But unlike Robb, Jon isn’t focused on the Lannisters; he’s focused on the Night King beyond the Wall. That said, this is Game of Thrones, which means that something will go wrong, and I suspect Littlefinger, and maybe Sansa, will be the reason it does.


Queen Cersei, the First of Her Name


The first part of the finale, with its haunting score and long build up, may have been one of the best scenes ever filmed on Game of Thrones. While I thought the High Sparrow would meet his end, I never expected poor Tommen would kill himself, which would put Cersei on the Iron Throne. This is the ultimate reversal of fortune for a character who was brought low at the end of Season 5 and A Feast For Crows. I have to believe this is what Martin had in mind. Even though the show’s writers have run out of published source material, I still believe Martin gave them the key plot points through the end of the tale, and setting up Cersei as the final villain on the Iron Throne makes perfect sense from a storytelling point-of-view.

That said, I think Cersei is totally screwed. She’s out of allies, is probably hated by everyone in King’s Landing who lost a loved one when she blew up the Great Sept of Baelor, and has a nearly unstoppable army heading her way with three fire-breathing dragons. Even more, with Tommen’s death, it looks like all of Maggy the Frog’s prophecy to Cersei is coming true. The last part of that prophecy doesn’t end well:
“Gold shall be their crowns and gold their shrouds,” she said. “And when your tears have drowned you, the valonqar shall wrap his hands about your pale throat and choke the life out of you.”
Apparently, “valonqar” means “little brother” in High Valyrian. I suppose this could mean that Tyrion will be Cersei’s end, since he is heading back to Westeros and hates his older sister. But maybe the valonqar could point to Jaime, who was born holding Cersei’s foot and did kill the Mad King for attempting to blow up King’s Landing with wildfire, much like Cersei just did. Also, her actions resulted in Tommen’s death, so maybe Jaime is none too happy with his sister right now. In any event, I predict that Cersei is toast. But every time I think she’s toast, she finds a way to survive. So who knows?


The Targaryen Horde


The scene with Daenerys’ ships and dragons finally heading to Westeros was the perfect end to the show’s best season. Her army looks absolutely unstoppable, especially when you consider it will join that of Dorne and Highgarden. But since this is Game of Thrones, nothing is ever as easy as it looks, so expect a setback for Dany in the near future. If I had to guess, that setback will come in the form of Euron Greyjoy, who needs revenge on Yara and Theon. Also, in A Feast For Crows, Euron has a horn that can magically control dragons. We haven’t seen that horn on the show, but there’s plenty of time for its revelation next season. 


RIP Lady Stoneheart


It’s okay to use her name now because I don’t think we will ever see her on the show. If she was going to appear, it would have been last episode. All the pieces were set with the Brotherhood Without Banners and Brienne and Pod all in the Riverlands. But, as I suspected, the appearance of Beric Dondarrion signaled that she would have no place on Game of Thrones. Instead, it appears the writers have given her role as the avenger of the Red Wedding to the face-changing Arya Stark. That’s fine, so long as Walder Frey got what he deserved!

What’s Left?


Earlier this week, the show’s writers confirmed that there will be only 13 to 15 more episodes left on Game of Thrones, which means the next two seasons are going to be shortened. As much as I hate the show ending, at least this suggests the writers have a plan to wrap it up without adding a bunch of filler of the kind that helped kill LOST

The person I feel most sorry for is George R.R. Martin. Last week’s episode undoubtedly spoiled some major surprises from Martin’s upcoming novel, which is unfortunate. That said, so much is different in the novels, I still think we’ll have plenty of new material to devour when the book comes out. You can read some good articles about this here, here, and here.

Now for the hard part. Winter has indeed come at the beginning of summer 2016, and now we’ll need to wait until next spring to learn what happens. Yet maybe HBO’s upcoming Westworld will help us get through the freeze. It’s produced by JJ Abrams, and the story on which it’s based was written by Michael Crichton. Last time I checked, they were both pretty good.

* Images courtesy of Rotten Tomatoes

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Will “The Battle of the Bastards” Actually Happen in George R.R. Martin’s “The Winds Of Winter”?

Last week’s episode of Game of Thrones, titled “The Battle of the Bastards,” was everything I hoped it would be, and more: epic and thrilling, with an unexpected stopover in Meereen that was quite awesome to behold. And for once in a very long while, the episode ended better than many would have expected for Game of Thrones. But I truly wonder if any of this will play out similarly in George R.R. Martin’s The Winds of Winter, whenever it debuts.


Daenerys’ Tale


Last week, we finally saw something we’ve anticipated forever: Dany controlling her three dragons and using them to kick some serious ass! I have little doubt that Martin’s books will get to this point because nearly every sign since those dragons were but wee lizards has suggested this will happen. Although when it does, I doubt the circumstances will be the same as Dany found them when she arrived at Meereen’s pyramid courtesy of Drogon.

By the end of A Dance With Dragons, Tyrion has not even entered Meereen. Instead, he has just escaped the slavers camped outside Meereen’s walls, while Ser Barristan Selmy remains alive and well as the very competent Hand of the Queen. Also, while there is an Ironborn fleet approaching Meereen, it’s led by Victarion Greyjoy, who is Euron’s brother, coming to take Daenerys as his bride. Meanwhile, Yara Greyjoy (whose name is Asha in the books) has been captured by Stanis Baratheon and is bogged down with his army in the snow outside Winterfell. 

Somehow, in the books, Dany is going to need a fleet to sail to Westeros, but I question whether Asha and Theon will have anything to do with it.

 

The Battle of the Bastards


First, let me say, I loved how this played out on the show, even though it’s hard to understand why Sansa never told Jon about the knights of the Vale. Hopefully this little detail will be explained next episode. But for now, back to the books.

Assuming Jon gets resurrected, I believe The Winds Of Winter will cover this battle in some form or fashion. In fact, the end of A Dance With Dragons has already set up this conflict with Ramsay’s “pink” letter, which motivated Jon to go to war until his own men betrayed and stabbed him. Aside from this, however, there are some huge differences between the books and what’s been happening on the show. 


The biggest difference, in my view, is that Sansa Stark never married Ramsay, was never abused by him, and has never even left the Vale by the end of A Dance With Dragons. What this means is that the fitting end she gave Ramsay on the show will likely never happen in the books. It won’t surprise me if Ramsay dies at the end of the battle, but someone else is going to have do to the honors. 

The only way book Sansa would ever meet Ramsay is if he somehow captures her in The Winds Of Winter. But since she’s protected by the army of the Vale, I seriously doubt that would happen. That said, it would not surprise me if she and Littlefinger take the knights of the Vale to help Jon reclaim Winterfell. In fact, I’ll be a bit surprised if this doesn’t happen. Somehow book Sansa needs to go home, and getting there with an army of Vale knights makes plenty of sense.


Next, there’s the matter of poor Rickon, the most expendable Stark on Game of Thrones. Could I see book Rickon being captured by the Karstarks and turned over to Ramsay? Sure. Could I see Ramsay killing Rickon in a similarly sadistic manner? Absolutely. After all, Rickon has to play some role in the story, and being Ramsay’s victim might be it. But probably not.

In the books, Ramsay has Mance Rayder hostage, not Rickon Stark. Book Mance was never killed by Melisandre. Instead, Jon sends him to infiltrate Winterfell and rescue Jeyne Poole, whom Jon believes to be his younger sister Arya. In light of this, I think it’s more likely that we could see Ramsay take out Mance before the battle begins. Book Rickon will probably survive, and by the end of A Dance With Dragons, Davos Seaworth has even set off to find him. (Book Davos, incidentally, is never near Winterfell or the Wall.) As for what Martin ultimately has in store for the littlest Stark, only The Winds Of Winter will tell. 

All this said, the one thing I truly hope is that whenever this battle happens in the books, it will forever be known in Westeros as “The Battle of the Bastards.” A more fitting name could not be spoken.

* Images courtesy of Rotten Tomatoes

Friday, June 17, 2016

Where My Predictions Stand Going Into the Penultimate Episode of “Game of Thrones”

Season 6 of Game of Thrones promised to be the least predictable to date. Because the show had surpassed George R.R. Martin’s novels, readers like me would finally be surprised as events unfolded on screen. That is, until the show lurched back into material from A Feast For Crows. But still, heading into this season’s penultimate episode, how have my predictions fared?


Jon Snow


I had long predicted that Jon would come back to life, but so did most of the known world. I also predicted that Jon might become the new Ned Stark and win back Winterfell from evil Ramsay. That looks like it may happen next episode (titled “The Battle of the Bastards”), even though Sansa may have had to twist Jon’s arm to do it. We would all love Jon to kill Ramsay and retake the North. But this is Game of Thrones, so I have a feeling it may not end as well as we all hope. (For an amusing read on who should be the one to kill Ramsay click here.)


Arya


Many have wondered what the point was of Arya’s season-and-a-half hiatus in the House of Black and White, where she trained to be a faceless man only to quit two episodes ago. My theory was that her journey in the House of Black and White was designed to force Arya to make a choice: to either abandon her past and become faceless man or embrace her past as Arya Stark of Winterfell. That happened last episode when she chose to be Arya Stark, and I’m quite happy Needle played a role in her decision. Where she goes next may depend on whether she learns about Jon and Sansa in the North. Otherwise, it may be a visit to King’s Landing to scratch a few more names off her hit list.


Daenerys


My only observation about Dany this season was that her story seemed to be moving way too fast. Already she has been captured by the Dothraki; burned their leaders alive; summoned her giant dragon like it was no big thing; and appeared atop the pyramid in Meereen just as the city is being attacked by the Masters’ fleet. What we haven’t had is a single scene where Dany contemplates anything, whether it’s how she’ll control her uncontrollable dragons, how she should deal with Meereen, or when she might finally set off the claim the Iron Throne. This is a big break from prior seasons where we always tended to know what Dany was thinking. I suppose she needs to save Meereen by the end of this season so the story can move forward. But it still feels rushed. This may be why her story has become my least favorite this year.


Varys


I didn’t make any predictions about Varys going into the season, but I’ll make an observation now. Last season, the showrunners departed from the books by sending him to Meereen. In the novels, however, he stays in King’s Landing and is involved in a shocking scene at the end of A Dance With Dragons that alters the political landscape. Now that Varys is going home, I wonder if we’ll see that scene before the season ends.


The Hound vs. the Mountain


The return of the Hound reopened the possibility of a battle with his brother, the Mountain, who burned the Hound’s face so many years ago. Some even speculated the matchup may come as early as Cersei’s trial by combat, with the Hound fighting for the Faith and the Mountain for Cersei (The Ringer has been calling this The Cleganebowl). But after last week’s episode, that doesn’t look to be the case. Tommen, under the influence of either Margaery or the High Sparrow, abolished the right to trial by combat, putting Cersei in a bad place. It still seems like she has a plan to save her neck, but trial by combat in the Cleganebowl seems unlikely. 


Lady You-Know-Who


Before last Sunday, I felt fairly certain that the final two episodes would touch on a major plotline in A Feast For Crows. After all, the Brotherhood without Banners are back and Pod and Brienne have returned to the Riverlands, which means everything was set for the revelation of Lady You-Know-Who. Until last episode, that is, when we saw Beric Dondarrion, the Brotherhood’s leader whom Thoros of Myr (a red priest like Melisandre) had resurrected numerous times.

The problem is that by A Feast For Crows, Dondarrion is dead, having given up his life so Thoros could resurrect someone else in his place. So what does Dondarrion’s presence mean? Either he’s a signal to the book readers that Lady You-Know-Who will never appear on the show. Or we will still see her, but the writers have altered her origin story. My hope is it’s the latter, but I’m far less willing to put money it now. As for others weighing the odds, The Ringer thinks Dondarrion’s appearance means RIP Lady-You-Know-Who.

But those are just my thoughts. What are yours heading into the penultimate episode of Game of Thrones?

** Images courtesy of Rotten Tomatoes

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Book Review: “The Conjurers” by David Waid

These days, it’s quite rare when I agree to do a book review. The problem is time. There’s just not much of it given my job and my writing. But David’s pitch for his novel The Conjurers caught my eye, and I’m glad I read it.


The subtitle of The Conjurers is “A Gritty Fantasy of Witches and Wizards,” which is an apt description for this tale. While it’s set in fourteenth century Europe, the historical setting is a backdrop to what otherwise is a heavily fantasy-weighted piece of historical fantasy fiction. In short, the story concerns a game of sorts between witches and wizards, and the novel’s young protagonists are caught in the middle of this sometimes dark, but exciting tale. 

The novel follows two parallel storylines involving teenagers blessed with a secret gift that makes them the desired objects of a society of witches and wizards known as the Maleficarum. The first of the two stories involves the plight of Eamon, an Irish boy of fifteen, and his younger sister Caitlin. After their village is attacked by brigands, for reasons they have yet to understand, the brother and sister soon find themselves pursued by agents of the Maleficarum. Aided by a benign old witch named Nairne in the snowy lands near Dublin, Eamon and Caitlin must find a way to survive the growing list of foes trying to hunt them down.

The second tale involves a similarly gifted fourteen-year-old girl named Teresa, who is the daughter of a wealthy Italian family in Genoa. After her older brother goes missing, Teresa soon finds herself investigating his suspected murder at the hands of his employer, an alchemist named Maestro Lodovicetti. A visit by her brother’s ghost sends Teresa on a mission inside the Maestro’s inner sanctum, where she uncovers his dark secrets. Ultimately, she learns that the Maestro is one of the Maleficarum who is in search of a geistmage, a once-in-a-generation individual who can wield magic with mere thought and will, instead of having to employ the dark and disturbing rituals that witches and wizards are forced to use. Even more, the Maestro has located one of the geistmagen in Dublin, and has gone to find him in order to steal his powers. Believing her late brother would want her to go to Dublin too, Teresa sets out to find her way to Ireland.

At its heart, this is a story about witches and wizards and their hunt for three gifted geistmagen: Eamon, Caitlin, and Teresa. There are plenty of tense and violent moments along the way, and the author does a good job of building a sense of threat throughout. He also hints at another force opposing the Maleficarum, namely the Knights Templar, who have been secretly watching the children since they were born. Due to a series of events, the Knights end up playing a scant role in the story, though I suspect the sequel may expand their role considerably and tie this fantasy tale closer to history.

Overall, I found The Conjurers to be a suspenseful fantasy with an interesting premise. Despite covering ground from Italy to Ireland, it is not epic in feel, but intimate, always focusing on the plight of its protagonists or the plans of the various witches and wizards out to get them. This intimacy is effective because the author has created characters the reader can care about, particularly Teresa, whose longer journey allows more opportunities for decisions, both good and bad, that inevitably put her in greater danger. 

The novel ends with a twist of sorts and the promise of much more to come in this magic-focused tale. We’ll have to wait for the sequel before the game resumes. And in the next installment, I hope the Knights Templar get a bit more playing time before the end game begins.

Thanks to a very cool feature on Amazon, you can read a preview of The Conjurers here.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

"Enoch's Device" is on Sale in Honor of St. Columcille's Day!

“Columcille!" Brother Ciarán mac Tomás in Enoch’s Device
He's Brother Ciarán's Patron Saint in Enoch's Device!
Like last year, the Kindle version of Enoch’s Device is going on sale for seven days starting today in honor of Saint Columcille’s Day (June 9th)! Saint Columcille ("St. Columba" to some) founded the monastery at Derry, which happens to be the place where Enoch's Device begins. He is also the patron saint of Brother Ciarán, the novel's protagonist, and more than once his name gets used as an Irish battle cry! Here’s a short summary of the novel: 

Nearly a thousand years after the birth of Christ, when all Europe fears that the world will soon end, a young Irish monk, Brother Ciarán, discovers an ominous warning hidden in the illuminations of a religious tome. The cryptic prophecy speaks of Enoch’s device, an angelic weapon with the power to prevent the coming apocalypse. But a heretic-hunting bishop has arrived at the monastery, willing to kill to make sure the weapon is never found.
Pursued by the bishop’s men and supernatural forces, Ciarán and his freethinking mentor journey to the heart of France in search of the device. There, they rescue the Lady Alais, a young widow accused of witchcraft because she holds a key to the prophecy. Together, the trio must race across Europe to locate the device, which has left clues of its passage through history. But time is running out, and if they don’t find it soon, all that they love could perish at the End of Days. 
Enoch’s Device is a fast-paced medieval adventure steeped in history, mythology, and mysteries from a dark and magical past.
Here are excerpts from the book’s reviews:
Author Cate Peace of Indie Books R Us called Enoch's Device “a refreshing twist on the religious thriller, and one that will have you turning pages from cover to cover as fast as you can.” 
In other reviews, Stephen Reynolds of SPR called Enoch's Device “a wonderfully imagined, vividly described, alternately lyrical and violent romp of a novel that should give lovers of historical fantasy just the kind of fix they're looking for.”
And Marty Shaw of Blog Critics wrote: “If you enjoy tales of magic and adventure that are perfectly blended with reality and history, ‘Enoch’s Device’ by Joseph Finley will be an exciting read for you.”
I gave an interview to Ms. Peace, where I revealed a bit more about the upcoming sequel – you can read it here. Also, you can read more about Enochthe Fae, and the Paladins of Charlemagne in my interview that appeared in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer here

And, thanks to a new feature that Amazon is offering, you can read a free preview here.

If you read the novel and enjoyed it, now is a perfect time to tell a friend!

Monday, June 6, 2016

“Game of Thrones” is Lurching Back into “A Feast for Crows”

Last Sunday’s episode proved that Game of Thrones will continue to pull material from the books, even if it’s doing so somewhat out of sequence.

 
Season 5 of Game of Thrones appeared to cover both A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons, but the show left out a lot of storylines from those two books. One of those stories was Jaime’s adventure in the Riverlands, which has now become a topic in Season 6. The Siege of Riverrrun, including the failed parlay with the Blackfish and poor Edmure Tully’s near hanging, comprised one of the main storylines in A Feast for Crows. Now, finally, we’re seeing these scenes come to life.


We also saw the return of the Hound, Sandor Clegane, the “Broken Man” of the episode’s title. I believe this story is also drawn from A Feast for Crows. In that novel, Brienne and Pod (who never make it to Winterfell in the books) visit a monastery on the Quiet Isle. There, they meet a monk called the Elder Brother who is in possession of the Hound’s horse, knows way too much about the Hound’s life, and claims he saw the Hound die. In all likelihood, however, the monk was speaking figuratively, having admitted to his own “death” and rebirth in a religious sense. Also, he may have been trying to throw Brienne off the trail because he knew Brienne was hunting the Hound. 

Earlier in that chapter, Brienne passes one of the brothers whose face is hidden by a cowl. Tellingly, he is “bigger than Brienne,” and clearly lame. Given his presence, as well as the Hound's horse and how much the Elder Brother seemed to know about the Hound's life, I strongly suspected the Hound had survived and was living in this religious commune. Now, I believe, the show may have proved this to be true. 

What I suspect we’ll get before the season’s end is the epic match-up Martin has been building up forever: the Hound versus his ridiculously cruel brother, the Mountain, who is currently serving as Cersei's Frankenstein-like personal bodyguard. That battle should be classic – and I suspect Cersei’s fate may depend on the outcome. 


Now, back to Brienne. By bringing her to the Riverlands, the show’s writers have opened up yet another storyline from A Feast for Crows. In the book, Brienne and Pod (who are still searching for Sansa), spend time in the Riverlands running into a host of bad guys leftover from A Storm of Swords. They also encounter the Brotherhood Without Banners, who drag Brienne to their leader – a particularly mysterious and cold-hearted woman. Which means . . .

I think we’ll see that woman this season. It will be a HUGE shocker for anyone who hasn’t read the books, but I truly think it’s coming. So Bring on the Hound vs. the Mountain. And bring on Lady You-Know-Who. This could get good!

* Images courtesy of Rotten Tomatoes.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

My Quick Thoughts on “Blood of My Blood”

After “The Door,” it was not surprising that last week’s episode of Game of Thrones would be a bit of a letdown. The show, however, is moving at breakneck speed, and there were a few big developments. Note, *SPOILERS* to follow.


Will Arya Be Free of the House of Black and White?


Even though most of the storylines by Season 6 have diverged from the books, I was still surprised to see Arya’s story in Bravos ending the way it appears. In A Dance With Dragons, Arya completes her training and is going to be sent off to an apprenticeship in another city. She’s done all the temple priests have asked, and it’s clear her story as an assassin-in-training will continue in The Winds of Winter. But on the show, it looks like she’s done with the temple, and now will have the Waif to deal with.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m happy Arya’s decided to return to being Arya Stark. In fact, that’s always been my hope, ever since she hid her sword Needle under those stairs. I really want Arya to finish her hit list, and she was never going to be able to do that as a nameless servant in the House of Black and White. Yet with last Sunday’s development, some are questioning the entire point of the past season-and-a-half in Bravos. If she defeats the Waif and goes back to her life as Arya Stark, what has she really learned from her time in the House of Black and White? 

Maybe the answer is: She learned that she needs to be Arya Stark – that it’s her destiny. Maybe that’s the point. Only by trying to abandon her past did she realize she needs to stay true to who she always was. It won’t surprise me if the books end up at this same point, but now that Game of Thrones is rushing towards its conclusion, it feels like the show’s writers are skipping a few steps.


Benjen Stark is Coldhands


This point will only make sense to those who have read the books. Way back in A Storm of Swords, a seemingly undead Night’s Watchman called “Coldhands” saves Gilly and Sam from the White Walkers after they flee Craster’s Keep. Then, in A Dance With Dragons, when Bran and company arrive at the Wall, Coldhands is there to escort Bran to the Three Eyed Raven.

The show had omitted Coldhands from the plot until last Sunday when Benjen suddenly appeared to save Bran and Meera. Benjen never calls himself Coldhands, but admitted he was mortally wounded by a White Walker, only to be saved by the Children of the Forest. In the showrunners’ commentary after the show, the writers called Benjen “Coldhands,” making it crystal clear they’re one in the same. If true, we’ve seen another spoiler from The Winds of Winter.

That said, I remember a report where George R.R. Martin disclaimed that Coldhands was, in fact, Benjen. But this may have been Martin playing with words, assuming the “human” Benjen died, only to be reborn as Coldhands. Either that, or the writers have merged two characters again, as they did with Sansa and Jeyne Pool.


Daenerys’ Story Seems Like It’s Moving Too Fast


This may be the first time I’ve seen what looks like a major a plot hole in Game of Thrones. Rather than ending with the Waif setting out to kill Arya – which would have been the perfect way to end episode 6 – we got a scene with Daenerys and her new Dothraki army. Then, all of a sudden, Drogon appears, and the next thing we see is Dany on his back rallying her troops to war. 

I had a problem with this. If Dany can just summon Drogon at will, why didn’t she do that while she was captured and forced to march to the Dothraki temple? Or, why not use Drogon to roast the Kahls alive instead of tipping over all those braziers? It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

What would have made sense is for Dany to go on a quest to find Drogan. A legit quest, like where she’s chasing down dragon sightings or following a trail of charred goats. At some point, we all know she needed to reunite with her dragons. But this seemed way to effortless, especially given how untamable Dragon seemed in Season 5 (and in A Dance With Dragons too).

Now, maybe the end of episode 6 was supposed to depict this quest in a super truncated form. The problem, however, was that the scene was so brief it hardly portrayed the work she should have gone through to find her dragon. My fear is that this is a symptom of the writer’s simply moving way to fast to get to the end of Game of Thrones

Season 5 basically covered the entirety of both A Feast for Crows and A Dance With Dragons. Those stories, frankly, could have made up two full seasons of Game of Thrones. Given its reported length, The Winds of Winter could probably fill two more full seasons. My guess is that the writers don’t have that kind of time, which is why Game of Thrones seems to be moving at warp speed now that it’s untethered from the books. So far, this was the only time I was disappointed by the show’s decisions this season. But I hope this doesn’t become a trend.

Those are just my quick thoughts. What did you think about this episode of Game of Thrones?

* Images courtesy of Rotten Tomatoes