Juego de Tronos Fans
Speculation: Whither the Ironborn?

Balon and Theon

With filming in Spain scheduled to start next week, and the Dozens of Dornish that have been added to the cast this year, there’s a question that’s been rattling around in my head. Where are the Ironborn?

Book 4 of A Song of Ice A Fire introduces a lot of new characters and landscapes that we had not visited in the first three books. The first is Dorne. Not only do we go down to meet the late lamented Oberyn’s family, but we have a full series of adventures over the course of the next two books, where it is revealed….well, let’s just say, we learn why Dorne has cut themselves off from the rest of Westeros in these last few decades. In fact, there’s so much set in Dorne, I started referring to their chapters as “Those Damn Dornishmen” because it felt like they were taking over the story.

The second landscape we visit for the first time involves the Iron Islands. In our travels past the Pike to the Island of Old Wyk, we meet Theon’s extended family of Greyjoy uncles, plus many of their followers. We also get more acquainted with Yara’s crew. (Or “Asha” as she’s known in the books.) We also meet some minor Lords as well. In fact, there’s so much set in the Iron Islands, I started referring to their chapters as “Those Idiot Ironborn” because it felt like they were taking over the story.

Which is why, when the casting for Season 5 was announced, and there was only a rasher of Damn Dornishmen announced, I was curious. We were leaving the Idiot Ironborn until next season?

Spoilers and speculation below.

HouseGreyjoy

Clearly, I am not a big fan of either of these story lines, and my apologies to those that enjoyed them. To be fair, I liked the Dornish characters as individuals, but I resented how much page time was devoted to them. On the other hand, I was not a fan of most of the Ironborn we met, either as characters or in terms of how many pages were devoted to them. At first, when I saw only Dorne had been cast, I thought perhaps the Ironborn were being pushed to Season 6. That was, until I took another look at the show’s version of the Greyjoy Family tree.

In the books, Theon and his sister (whatever you want to call her) have extraneous uncles who all come forward to claim Balon Greyjoy’s crown when our fourth claimant in the War of Five Kings bites the dust under somewhat mysterious circumstances. Uncle Aeron is a priest of the Drowned God, and something of a Evangelical Born Again. Uncle Euron is a psychopath who cuts out the tongues of all his crewmen, and wears an eyepatch. Uncle Victarion is both religious and a calm warrior, and in his bio, George R.R. Martin refer to him as “dumb as a stump.” There’s also another uncle, known as Urri, but he’s dead long before the events of our story unfold. All these uncles gather together with Asha/Yara after Balon’s death, along with a few minor lords who also want a shot at the crown, to hold a Kingsmoot.

As you can see from the show’s version of the Greyjoy line in the above picture, most of these uncles no longer exist. As much as I disliked these characters, I had to admit to a bit of disappointment when I realized this. After all, in Season 2, when Theon goes home, and Balon Greyjoy announces his intention to through his sigil into the War of The Five Kings race, we see a Drowned God Priest giving blessings. The theory at that time was that this was Aeron, who would become important later. Apparently that is not the case.

So what exactly is going to happen to the Ironborn, now that there’s not a bunch of squabbling uncles to stand around trying to hold a Kingsmoot? As far as we know, Balon still lives on the show. His death in Book 4 is tied back to prove that Melisandre’s leeches of Robert’s son’s blood being thrown into the fire kill off all the extraneous claimants to the throne. (In the show it’s Gendry. In the books, it’s a different bastard.) It is also suggested that perhaps his death was due to a Faceless Man, but that’s never proven or referenced directly. There are in fact, a couple of theories on the death of Balon Greyjoy, if you’re in the mood to go down that rabbit hole*.

(*Please Note: There are casual spoilers at that link.)

Another thing the Kingsmoot triggers is Asha/Yara deciding to take off for the mainland, after her gender disqualifies her in the eyes of all her uncles from ruling them. But this is unnecessary for Game Of Thrones, as the show decided to have her defy her father, and ride to rescue Theon after Balon disowned him. In the books, the Kingsmoot is mainly directed by Aeron, with the hopes of crowning Victarion. Since neither of these characters exist now, is there really a reason to have one at all? Since Euron manages to win anyway, it’s far more streamlined to simply have Balon die, and Euron take the throne.

Will Balon’s death still happen in Season 5? Or will we push this whole plot line (or what might remain of it) off until Season 6? One argument for any Ironborn activity being held off for another season is the lack of casting for Euron at this time. There’s quite a few characters still missing who I was expecting to see cast for this season–perhaps with the decision to introduce all the Dornishmen at once, Benioff and Weiss have put several characters off until Season 6?

There’s only one snag in choosing to nix the Kingsmoot altogether. Once Euron wins the throne, he orders Victarion to sail for Meereen to entreat Dany with an offer of marriage. Exactly what this will accomplish (if this will accomplish anything) is unknown at this time, since Victarion barely reached Meereen by the end of A Dance With Dragons. But one assumption is that his boat, along with a magical artifact, is a perfect deus ex machina to sail her and her dragons back to Westeros. If there’s no Ironborn ship handy for her to sail back, how exactly will Dany return to her homeland? Perhaps that’s why the Second Sons have taken hold of the Meereenese fleet in the TV show, which I don’t remember happening in the books. (More importantly, who gets to find and possess said artifact? Is it still Euron’s?)

Anyone got any better theories? Are we happy the Idiot Ironborn are cut? Were you looking forward to the Kingsmoot? Are we sorry not to have the ravings of Aeron entertain us? Do we think the intrusions of the Dornishmen will feel less like they overtake the narrative if the Ironborn are removed? Sound off in the comments!



from WinterIsComing.net http://ift.tt/1rv8dMx
Speculation: Whither the Ironborn?

Balon and Theon

With filming in Spain scheduled to start next week, and the Dozens of Dornish that have been added to the cast this year, there’s a question that’s been rattling around in my head. Where are the Ironborn?

Book 4 of A Song of Ice A Fire introduces a lot of new characters and landscapes that we had not visited in the first three books. The first is Dorne. Not only do we go down to meet the late lamented Oberyn’s family, but we have a full series of adventures over the course of the next two books, where it is revealed….well, let’s just say, we learn why Dorne has cut themselves off from the rest of Westeros in these last few decades. In fact, there’s so much set in Dorne, I started referring to their chapters as “Those Damn Dornishmen” because it felt like they were taking over the story.

The second landscape we visit for the first time involves the Iron Islands. In our travels past the Pike to the Island of Old Wyk, we meet Theon’s extended family of Greyjoy uncles, plus many of their followers. We also get more acquainted with Yara’s crew. (Or “Asha” as she’s known in the books.) We also meet some minor Lords as well. In fact, there’s so much set in the Iron Islands, I started referring to their chapters as “Those Idiot Ironborn” because it felt like they were taking over the story.

Which is why, when the casting for Season 5 was announced, and there was only a rasher of Damn Dornishmen announced, I was curious. We were leaving the Idiot Ironborn until next season?

Spoilers and speculation below.

HouseGreyjoy

Clearly, I am not a big fan of either of these story lines, and my apologies to those that enjoyed them. To be fair, I liked the Dornish characters as individuals, but I resented how much page time was devoted to them. On the other hand, I was not a fan of most of the Ironborn we met, either as characters or in terms of how many pages were devoted to them. At first, when I saw only Dorne had been cast, I thought perhaps the Ironborn were being pushed to Season 6. That was, until I took another look at the show’s version of the Greyjoy Family tree.

In the books, Theon and his sister (whatever you want to call her) have extraneous uncles who all come forward to claim Balon Greyjoy’s crown when our fourth claimant in the War of Five Kings bites the dust under somewhat mysterious circumstances. Uncle Aeron is a priest of the Drowned God, and something of a Evangelical Born Again. Uncle Euron is a psychopath who cuts out the tongues of all his crewmen, and wears an eyepatch. Uncle Victarion is both religious and a calm warrior, and in his bio, George R.R. Martin refer to him as “dumb as a stump.” There’s also another uncle, known as Urri, but he’s dead long before the events of our story unfold. All these uncles gather together with Asha/Yara after Balon’s death, along with a few minor lords who also want a shot at the crown, to hold a Kingsmoot.

As you can see from the show’s version of the Greyjoy line in the above picture, most of these uncles no longer exist. As much as I disliked these characters, I had to admit to a bit of disappointment when I realized this. After all, in Season 2, when Theon goes home, and Balon Greyjoy announces his intention to through his sigil into the War of The Five Kings race, we see a Drowned God Priest giving blessings. The theory at that time was that this was Aeron, who would become important later. Apparently that is not the case.

So what exactly is going to happen to the Ironborn, now that there’s not a bunch of squabbling uncles to stand around trying to hold a Kingsmoot? As far as we know, Balon still lives on the show. His death in Book 4 is tied back to prove that Melisandre’s leeches of Robert’s son’s blood being thrown into the fire kill off all the extraneous claimants to the throne. (In the show it’s Gendry. In the books, it’s a different bastard.) It is also suggested that perhaps his death was due to a Faceless Man, but that’s never proven or referenced directly. There are in fact, a couple of theories on the death of Balon Greyjoy, if you’re in the mood to go down that rabbit hole*.

(*Please Note: There are casual spoilers at that link.)

Another thing the Kingsmoot triggers is Asha/Yara deciding to take off for the mainland, after her gender disqualifies her in the eyes of all her uncles from ruling them. But this is unnecessary for Game Of Thrones, as the show decided to have her defy her father, and ride to rescue Theon after Balon disowned him. In the books, the Kingsmoot is mainly directed by Aeron, with the hopes of crowning Victarion. Since neither of these characters exist now, is there really a reason to have one at all? Since Euron manages to win anyway, it’s far more streamlined to simply have Balon die, and Euron take the throne.

Will Balon’s death still happen in Season 5? Or will we push this whole plot line (or what might remain of it) off until Season 6? One argument for any Ironborn activity being held off for another season is the lack of casting for Euron at this time. There’s quite a few characters still missing who I was expecting to see cast for this season–perhaps with the decision to introduce all the Dornishmen at once, Benioff and Weiss have put several characters off until Season 6?

There’s only one snag in choosing to nix the Kingsmoot altogether. Once Euron wins the throne, he orders Victarion to sail for Meereen to entreat Dany with an offer of marriage. Exactly what this will accomplish (if this will accomplish anything) is unknown at this time, since Victarion barely reached Meereen by the end of A Dance With Dragons. But one assumption is that his boat, along with a magical artifact, is a perfect deus ex machina to sail her and her dragons back to Westeros. If there’s no Ironborn ship handy for her to sail back, how exactly will Dany return to her homeland? Perhaps that’s why the Second Sons have taken hold of the Meereenese fleet in the TV show, which I don’t remember happening in the books. (More importantly, who gets to find and possess said artifact? Is it still Euron’s?)

Anyone got any better theories? Are we happy the Idiot Ironborn are cut? Were you looking forward to the Kingsmoot? Are we sorry not to have the ravings of Aeron entertain us? Do we think the intrusions of the Dornishmen will feel less like they overtake the narrative if the Ironborn are removed? Sound off in the comments!



from WinterIsComing.net http://ift.tt/1rv8dMx
More Photos from Game Of Thrones Filming in King’s… http://ift.tt/1nL3upf

More Photos from Game Of Thrones Filming in King’s… http://ift.tt/1nL3upf

More Photos from Game Of Thrones Filming in King’s Landing

tumblr_ncpy31iuUo1sndbb3o1_500

Before we get into Seek New Travel‘s pictures below, I wanted to lead off with this awesome Cersei pic from Reddit. I love it, not just because of the lovely detail of the costume up close, but because of the iPhone on her lap. Of *course* House Lannister are Apple product users. One can imagine they would be strictly Apple product users as well, eschewing anything and everything Windows or Google based. Perhaps even going so far as to default to Safari over Chrome.

I have this image of the Sansa coming to King’s Landing in Season 1 and eagerly trading in her Droid 2 for an iPhone. (Starks are all lifelong Android users, natch.) Post engagement to Joffrey though, she would probably quietly swap back, and Tyrion would find her sitting in the window of their bedroom, quietly texting with Margaery on her enormous Samsung Galaxy Note.

Ok, that’s enough cross over fantasy for one morning. To the pictures!

SNTday820 SNTday821

Set building by the Ploce Gate.

SNTday85 SNTday84

Another Marketplace scene–not nearly as detailed as the one for the Sparrows.

We’ll hopefully have more as the day goes on. Remember, if you’re vacationing in King’s Landing, and have pictures, give us a shout. We’ve heard both Margaery and Lady Oleanna (!!) were at the funeral yesterday, and I would love some visual evidence.



from WinterIsComing.net http://ift.tt/1uBnwoc
The Small Council: What’s your vote for Best Action Sequence in Season 4?

Arya killing Polliver

In this installment of the Small Council, we look at our Best Action Sequence poll, and make our choices.

Andrea Towers: I really, really tried to avoid taking the “obvious” way out with my choice, but when I sat down to think about it, I couldn’t dispute the one clear winner: Oberyn’s fight against The Mountain. The sequence was arguably not only the best action moment of Season 4, but also one of the most intense scenes that the show has pulled off in its four years….

mountainviper

The epic sequence was teased for weeks from both the showrunners and actors, but little could compare to the breathtaking visual performance you were afforded watching it live. Chroeography-wise, the entire fight was a director’s dream, and you can talk about the logistics all you want. But a large reason why the fight resonated as much as it did beyond the physical elements was because of the charisma, wit and personality that Pedro Pascal brought to the role of Oberyn. From his first entrance in the Season 4 premiere, where he verbally sparred with Tyrion and helped Ellaria choose a prostitute, to his involvement in Tyrion’s trial, to his final show of bravado in forcing The Mountain to admit to killing Elia, you knew that Oberyn was a force to be reckoned with. All through the season, we were teased with the idea that Oberyn was the knight in shining armor that Westeros deserved–and Pascal did absolutely everything in his power to convince us of that. Even though you knew what was coming, it was kind of easy to forget that you would have to watch this character that had so much life die so brutally.

When Oberyn gave his taunting speech at the end, you wanted to yell at him, and then cheer with him in tandem. When he was subsequently killed so horribly, you wanted to scream the way Ellaria did. It may have been a terrible death, but damned if Oberyn didn’t go out in style.

Rebecca Pahle: My #1 main dude Stannis was glaring at me from the shadows and grinding his teeth when I voted for Brienne and the Hound’s fight over his with the Wildlings. My lobster baby, I’ll love you forever, but I’d been looking forward to my choice since before I even knew what this fight would be. In a pre-S4 video, a chortling Gwendoline Christie recounted a scene where Brienne “[bit] off a man’s ear and spit it in his face.”

None of this was in the books. Whose ear was she be biting off? Why the sudden appetite for body parts? Didn’t know. Didn’t care. I was hooked. And then the scene itself, Brienne versus The Hound, came along in the season finale, and it was wonderful. From a choreography perspective, the moves were brilliantly brutal, two no-nonsense ass kickers going after each other with everything they had. Sure, Oberyn had flair, but Oberyn died. The Hound or Brienne aren’t ever gonna lose a fight by monologuing—they’re too busy landing crotch blows. I may have thrown my arms up in celebration a little bit when that happened. (I’m not immature, I’m maintaining a sense of childlike joy and innocence.) The fight was a great invention for the show in terms of story and characterization, too, showing as it did its two participants fighting—literally—for the soul of Arya Stark.

And then Arya says “screw you” to both of them and legs it to Braavos. Attagirl. Look, I love Brienne, but the people she pledges her loyalty to don’t have the best record re: not dying.

Rowan Kaiser: This was probably Game Of Thrones’ best-ever season for variety of action sequences, spread across all ten episodes. From the cinematic elegance of “The Watchers On The Wall” to the choreography of “The Mountain And The Viper” to the nigh-apocalyptic duel between good in Jon Snow and evil in Karl Tanner, there were all kinds of varied violent climaxes, which is fitting given that Season 4 was, in many ways, the climax to the previous three seasons.

But I keep coming back to the one that set the season up: Arya and The Hound against Polliver and his gang. The structure of the third season put the Red Wedding at its climax, and with it, the idea that the villains of the story were winning, and the heroes losing. So why should anyone keep watching the fourth season? Game Of Thrones answered that question in resounding fashion with a ten-minute sequence of Sandor Clegane and Arya Stark finding one of the men on Arya’s list, and dealing with him and his gang.

The fight itself is quick and brutal, without the elegant action that defines a few other of these options. But that’s okay in this case. It’s not about tactics or skill or form. It’s about how even if all is lost, how even the bad guys have won, defiant revenge and pure survival are worth fighting for.

Fuck the king.

Ani Bundel: This one was really hard for me to pick. There were many good choices. Clearly the Mountain and the Viper have the edge when it comes to choreography. The Maid and the Hound take top marks for the amount of “Value Added” in their not-in-the-books battle. Then, for the Monty Python geeks in the back, there’s Daario and the Champion of Meereen. (Who knew Meereenese Taunting was taken from the French?) But for my money, the best fight sequence comes from the episode that depended on it the most: episode 9 and the battle for Castle Black.

At the time the episode aired, there was a sense that this episode was not as good as other penultimate episodes. Several recappers, including myself, said that the episode was going for Battle of Blackwater II: Back in Black. Upon rewatching, I want to take that back. No, the episode did not have a nice decisive ending., which all ninth episodes up until this point did.

But the scale of the battle was far greater than the Battle Of Blackwater. Not only does this episode contain three of this week’s entries, it contains some really immersive scenes that made you feel like you were really in a fort under attack, and that The Wall was this gigantic monolith, none more so than the courtyard sequence, where the cameras slowly panned in a full 360 shot, showing all the fighting. We enter with Jon Snow, and then we trace across all our main (and some minor) characters as each of them travels in their fight until they pass the next sequence. We see Nights Watch fleeing down stairs, Styr killing with impunity, Tormund high as a kite on blood lust, and Sam racing to get the hell out of there. It’s a remarkable scene, even more so for being under a minute long.

So what if in the end, it was just one night’s battle? For those on the Wall, it was a life-or-death moment with death taking many of them, and deserves to be respected as such.

Castle Black will stand. The Night’s Watch will stand.

Haven’t voted yet? Now’s your chance!



from WinterIsComing.net http://ift.tt/1rJtrWe
Arya Stark. The Hound. Jon Snow. Tormund Giantsbane. Oberyn… http://ift.tt/1rJu4z6

Arya Stark. The Hound. Jon Snow. Tormund Giantsbane. Oberyn… http://ift.tt/1rJu4z6

Review: New Game Of Thrones Beer Valar… http://ift.tt/1v0Z3Fj

Review: New Game Of Thrones Beer Valar… http://ift.tt/1v0Z3Fj

Review: New Game Of Thrones beer Valar Morghulis

Valar Morghulis Brewery Ommegang Beer

Starting tomorrow, Brewery Ommegang and HBO are selling their newest Game Of Thrones-inspired beer, Valar Morghulis. In a previous release, they’ve described it as: “A Belgian-style Dubbel was chosen to capture the sweetness of revenge as well as the dangerous consequences that come with it.”

But does it pull it off? Well, yes, in the sense that this is a very good beer. Dubbels are brown Belgian ales, known for being smooth, strong, and sweet. The closest comparison regularly seen in American stores is probably Chimay, so I grabbed a bottle of that for comparison. To my slight surprise, I found that Valar Morghulis might even be better….

The key difference is this: Chimay is so incredibly smooth that I sometimes couldn’t even taste it. It’s also slightly stronger–9% versus 8%. But the Valar Morghulis has just a little bit more flavor, encouraging slower drinking. A beer expert friend of mine suggested that Belgian-style American beers tend to have a slight aftertaste because of different coriander. That may sound like a negative, but I do think it works here–there’s a little more time to savor it. Dubbel ales also tend to have a pleasant effect. Being strong, but easy to drink, lends itself to a warm, happy buzz.

So yes, this is a very good beer. But is a very good Game Of Thrones beer? I’m a little less convinced of that. The previous three in the series–a hoppy Iron Throne blonde, a Take The Black stout, and a spicy Fire And Blood red ale–all made sense for their characters and placement. But saying that this Valar Morghulis beer is inspired by Arya Stark’s quest for vengeance is more of a stretch. This is a damn easy beer to drink, and “easy” is the last thing I’d think of when I think of Arya Stark’s character arc on the show. Still, far better a great beer with an iffy connection to the show than a bad beer with a good one.



from WinterIsComing.net http://ift.tt/ZoiGOl
Inspirational Quote of the Day http://ift.tt/1vtZ2Lo

Inspirational Quote of the Day http://ift.tt/1vtZ2Lo

Game of Thrones Filming Continues: New Shot of Cersei at The Sept

SNTday80

Our friend at SeekNewTravel got a ton of pictures from shooting today, including one of Cersei on the Jesuit Staircase. You can just make out her distinctive wig. According to her notes, Cersei is dressed in all black here, and being helped down the steps–the assumption is the Great Sept will be green screened in behind her. You can’t see it here, but according to her blog, the Kingsguard escorting her looks to be Meryn Trant, which means this falls earlier in the timeline than the Braavosi footage from earlier this month.

Below we’ve got shots of extra, including some great costume and hair shots.

SNTday81

The lower classes hung out at the bottom of the steps and canoodle until the high born and directors needs them. Isn’t that always the way?

SNTday82

The costume people take pictures in order to remember exactly how people look day to day. That purple and blue gown though–I don’t know who she is, but that’s a gorgeous costume. I only wish we had a better shot from the front.

SNTday83

Her two toned outfit suggests she higher born, since as we see here, the lower born are in solids. Note there are lots of women wearing a variation of the Cersei hairstyle, reflecting her current status as In Charge.

SNTday86

Well, some people are. Other are still wearing imitation Margaery. I’m wondering if this Westerosi version of “Team Cersei” and “Team Margaery” will become a thing?

SNTday87

(Team Margaery, btw.)

SNTday88

That is some gorgeous detailing.

SNTday810

Ooh, nice shot of the shoes.

SNTday89

SNTday812

SNTday811

Kinda of love how his outfit is a Jaime knock off, but the hair is total Loras.

SNTday813

Love these doublets. Betting the Blue guy is House Tyrell. Not sure about his Purple friend.

SNTday814
Love the priest chilling out between takes.

SNTday815

Remember, if you’re taking a holiday in Westeros and have pics to share, send us a Raven!



from WinterIsComing.net http://ift.tt/1wUfgh8