The Minimum Effort Ep.10: Game of Thrones

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With the, sort of, epic Game of Thrones finale still rattling their brains, Ben and Lewis take a look back at season seven; as well as providing you, the listener, with a very vague review of The Defenders, and a brief look at The Dark Tower…

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Game of Thrones S6E09: The Battle of the Bastards

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I know, I know, we’re late again for the American audience, but hey, I’m lazy. Sue me. Anyway, here’s our review-cap for what could possibly be the greatest episode of Game of Thrones ever. Enjoy!

Allergy Warning: May contain spoilers.

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Lewis: I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say that “The Battle of the Bastards” was potentially the best Game of Thrones episode we’ve ever seen.

Ben: I don’t think you are, it’s definitely the best one I can remember. Perhaps because the good guys won for a change? Anyway, where do you want to start?

Lewis: It’s probably going to go downhill from here, but it really was nice to have an episode where everything hung in the balance as usual but the good guys actually came out on top. As for where to start, shall we talk about Dany’s little battle before talking about the main event?

Ben: Yeah go on then, let’s get the side show out of the way. All the dragons came together to kick some ass with some solid computer generated effects.

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Lewis: They were a lot more impressive than they have been in the past, and we got a nice look at just how powerful they can be (and they’ll only get stronger as they grow).

Ben: They will indeed, the Masters didn’t stand a chance. So, now Dany has crippled the masters and removed the Sons of the Harpy, surely she is going to Westeros next with the help of the two Greyjoy’s?

Lewis: Well I don’t think the Masters are entirely finished yet, but given the incredible pace at which this season has been moving I wouldn’t be at all surprised if she turned up at Kings Landing at the end of the finale.

Ben: In past seasons it would have taken the entire 10 episodes for Dany to get away from the Dothraki, so you may be right. What do you make of the Tyrion/Dany/Greyjoy meeting?

Lewis: I really enjoyed that scene, especially the dynamic between Dany and Yara with the casual flirting (potential relationship?) Although the one gripe I have is that they seemed to manage to get to Meereen very, very, quickly considering just how far away it is from the Iron Islands.

Ben: It was quite entertaining, and I kind of get that vibe, but I don’t think anything will come of it.
I suppose you are right there but we don’t know how much time passed, and if I am being honest, I’d much rather things jump forward cutting unimportant parts rather than drag everything out.

Lewis: The thing is that journeys have always played a big role in the development of characters in Game of Thrones, like the Hound and Arya, Jamie and Brienne, and when the Starks headed down to King’s Landing, so it’s a shame for them to skip this particular one, especially when the characters (Yara in particular) aren’t as fleshed out as others… I do see your point though.

Ben: I take your point, perhaps she will be focused on more in the next series. Do you want to move to the main event?

Lewis: Yeah I suppose we should, considering just how goddamn epic the entire thing was.

Ben: So epic I don’t really know where to start. I suppose the first confrontation between the bastards Jon and Ramsey, where Jon tries to play the game attempting to get Ramsey to over commit and make a mistake. Which, to be honest, probably played a hand in Rickon’s very public execution.

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Lewis: Yes, although as Sansa said, I think Rickon was dead no matter what they did. It was interesting to finally see Jon and Ramsey meet, even if it was just to trade (kind of) witty banter and promise each other death. Sansa also got quite a nice snide remark in too, which was satisfying.

Ben: Oh yeah, but I think Jon’s attempt to goad Ramsey was the reason why he killed him the way he did. Then we had the confrontation between the siblings in the tent about the plan for the next day.

Lewis: Yeah, that was pretty good, and Sansa did have a good point about her not being a kid anymore. However, WHY DIDN’T SHE TELL JON ABOUT LITTLEFINGER? They could have planned a tactic that still would have caused Ramsey to engage his entire force without getting most of Jon’s army killed! For all she knew Jon could have died!
Look, I’m happy that Sansa has turned into a bit of a badass, but that doesn’t justify gambling on her family’s lives.

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Ben: I did wonder why she did what she did, I suppose she didn’t want Jon to stop her from going for help? I am definitely happy she is finally standing up for herself though.

Lewis: I’m not that happy about it, she’s spent too much time around Littlefinger for my liking…

Ben: Shall we move onto the harrowing battle?

Lewis: I suppose we should mention just how incredible/disturbing/depressing that sequence was.

Ben: It was incredibly grim, but at the same time wonderfully shot with incredible sound-editing which came together to produce the harrow, grim reality of medieval warfare.

Lewis: Oh yeah, the direction of this episode was absolutely superb. My favourite shot was when Jon was getting ready to face his doom at the hands of the charging cavalry, I got goosebumps over that scene. The follow-up continuous shot was pretty awesome too.

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Ben: It was pretty relentless, I was edging closer and closer to the edge of my seat throughout.

Lewis: Just to clarify, I never, ever talk/shout at the TV for anything, but this episode I was continuously swearing at the characters, muttering “no, no, no” and punching the air with excitement. I tip my hat to the creators for this one, top job. I was convinced that Tormund or Ser Davos were going to die though.

Ben: Oh yeah, there was a lot of shouting on my end, and I honestly thought Tormund was a goner too. So much for your theory about the Umber’s changing side when it came down to the fight.

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Lewis: Hey, listen, that’s not “my theory”, I read it online…

Ben: Well you mentioned it here so, by association, it is your theory.

Lewis: That won’t hold up in court and you know it
Anyway, I’m glad Tormund didn’t die, and, to be honest, I know Wun Wun was a great guy and all, but if anyone had to go I’m glad it was him.

Ben: At least Wun wun died like a hero, he became a character I really wanted to see because he was a bad ass.

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Lewis: Yeah he was a big brave bastard…
Speaking of bastards, how bloody satisfying was it to see Jon beat the shit out of Ramsay?

Ben: Some heroes hold the door, others break them down.
Never has a more vile character deserved such a grim ending.

Lewis: Indeed, it was nice to see the smug, sadistic smile slip from Ramsey’s face. It was also nice to see the Direwolf banner being raised over the battlements of Winterfell once more.

Ben: Got bloody goosebumps as the Stark emblem was raised. What do you make of the Sansa Ramsey confrontation before his grim death?

Lewis: I liked that Sansa finally served the justice we’ve all been waiting for, and he deserved everything he got, but I’m still worried about the direction she’s headed in.

Ben: Yes, after all she has gone through she deserved some violent vengeance. What do you make of Ramsey comments about always being a part of her? I’ve read a theory that she’s pregnant with a Bolton baby?

Lewis: To be honest I really don’t buy that theory, and I really hope it isn’t true because it feels a little weak. I’m certain he just meant that his abuse of her has changed the way she treats other people and views the world (like the way she manipulated Jon), and that he has had a lasting effect upon her mentally, becoming part of her.

Ben: Your theory makes a lot more sense, and you are right it would be a weak plot decision. Just thought it was worth a mention, even if it was to hopefully debunk it.

Lewis: It was definitely worth a mention, and it might even come true because of how ambiguous it was (although I hope it doesn’t). So next episode it looks as though Ser Davos will be confronting the Red Woman over the burning of Stannis’ daughter.

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Ben: It was a nice little scene with Davos and Tormund before he found the burnt stag. I was a bit worried it would affect his judgement in the battle, but it seems like he will be after some redemption in the next episode instead.

Lewis: Ah yeah, that was a good scene, I’m glad they’re getting along. I don’t think he’s confirmed his fears just yet, but he’s definitely suspicious. It’ll be interesting to see what Jon makes of it all, since he’ll probably be the one who has to pass judgement.

Ben: So am I, two top-blokes right there. It would be an interesting watch as he battles between the two sides.

Lewis: Indeed, punish the Red Woman for burning a child or deny Ser Davos justice in order to keep her counsel… I suppose that’s just about it then?

Ben: I guess it is. What a bloody good episode.

Lewis: The best yet I reckon. Bring on the season six finale then!

Ben: Hear, hear!

 

Game of Thrones S6E04: Book of the Stranger

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Well, unfortunately Ben’s University work and revision has caught up with him, so I’m afraid I’m going solo for this Game of Thrones review-cap. I know what you’re all (probably not) thinking, how, Lewis, will you deliver the quality content that we’re used to on your own? I see where you’re coming from, reader, and obviously our usual format wouldn’t really work in this situation, because it would probably end up like this-

Lewis: So that bit was really cool in this specific episode of Game of Thrones

Lewis: Yeah that is so like that character, and how about this other character’s horrific death?

Lewis: That was pretty nasty, and speaking of nasty I see they’ve brought back the incest.

Lewis: Well I read a fan theory about that, and it could lead to some interesting plot developments

Lewis: I can’t wait to see the further implications of these events in these places

Lewis: Mmmmm…

Lewis:

Lewis: You’re shit at this

Lewis: Fuck you

So I’m just going to type up a quick run-through and my general opinion on the episode’s events, much in the style of a classic “review”. Needless to say there will be spoilers from now on…

So the episode starts with Jon abandoning his friends in order to… do something? But this is swiftly interrupted by the reunion we’ve all been waiting for in the arrival of Sansa, Brienne and Pod. I have to say, this was a pretty emotionally fulfilling moment, and I doubt there was a single person who didn’t want the surviving Starks to find each other again and have just one bit of goddamn luck. To go along with the touching reunion there was a real nice sibling- bonding session where Sansa realised what a stuck-up little cow she used to be, and Jon actually smiled. These are the moments in Game of Thrones that make all the death and sorrow worth it. Although I guarantee this is going to be shortlived…

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I have a feeling that Brienne’s beef with Melissandre and Davos might be a tough obstacle though, and if she even lays a hand on the Onion Knight I’m bloody done with it. I won’t go through that again.

Then we move onto the one of the most frustratingly spoilt characters I’ve ever seen, Robin Arryn feat. Uncle Peter. I was so happy before he showed his smug weasel face again, but on the flipside of that, it looks like Jon might be getting the assistance he needs to take Winterfell in the form of the Knights of the Vale. Either that or he will be joining some other side. Who knows, maybe Baelish will be killed in the process?

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From the lovely green of the Vale to the dust and heat of Meereen, Tyrion is trying his hand at politics, but I’m not entirely sure how well this is going to work out in the long-run. His deal with the slavers will create a clash between Danaerys and himself, and seeing as she now commands the whole of the Dothraki (which I’ll get to later), I don’t think she’ll want to support his deal. Tyrion may have overstepped his boundaries with this one.

Which brings us to the love-hate bro-trip of Daario and Jorah, who really almost fuck everything up. Also, I know Jorah is sick an’all, but what was with his pathetic attempt to take down that Dothraki? He’s meant to be at least decent at fighting, and it felt like he’s suddenly been turned into this old wimp in order to highlight Daario’s abilities. I don’t know, it just didn’t seem right. While all this smashing heads with rocks was going on, Danaerys shows once again that she can seemingly inspire anyone who happens to look upon her, as in the case of the young Khal widow.

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Then we head on back to King’s Landing where the High Sparrow preaches more pseudo-Christian parables to Margaery, and we see just how poorly Loras is being treated. The Sparrow’s better be taught a lesson in the near future, because they’re getting away with way too much right now.

And now, just as I wanted, the Lannisters and Tyrells are going to be working together to put a stop to all this nonsense. Although, seeing as it’s Game of Thrones and all, I highly doubt this elaborate scheme is going to go the way anybody wants it to. Anybody but the High Sparrow that is.

A brief emotional reunion between Theon and his sister raises the question of what their uncle is up to, and what they’re going to do now that they are together again. It was difficult to tell whether Yara was at all happy to see him, especially after he betrayed her and her men etc. At least it was a happy reunion of sorts… Theon, despite his idiocy, deserves to have something good happen to him for once.

Then Ramsey got to murder Osha rather swiftly while she attempted to do the same to him. I was expecting a little more in terms of how he would kill/use Osha and Rickon, but I guess it is what it is.

Now, we come to the two most exciting events of the episode. First we see a letter from the Boltons delivered to Castle Black, taunting Jon and Sansa, and promising death to pretty much everyone. Finally though, Jon grows a backbone, and it looks as though the Starks are going to war once again, but this time, they don’t exactly have an army apart from the Wildlings. I’m excited to see what comes of this though, because God knows Jon is our hero and Ramsey needs a good ass-whupin’. As for the prolonged eye contact between Brienne and Tormund, I’m very happy for them both.

Finally, we see Danaerys prove herself to the Dothraki, and essentially regain command of an army worthy of invading Westeros and pretty much anywhere else who opposes them. I most definitely wasn’t expecting this, because, to be fair, we’ve had no examples of Dany’s fire-proofness since her surviving Drogo’s funeral pyre, and who really would expect her to burn the entirety of the Dothraki leadership alive? Damn good scene though, and it will certainly, as I mentioned earlier, create a lot of exciting plot progression when she returns to Meereen.

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Well, I suppose that’s everything for this week’s Game of Throne’s review-cap. I assure you that Ben will return next week, and I hope you enjoy episode five.

Thanks,

Lewis

Game of Thrones S6E03: Oathbreaker

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Lewis: Welcome everyone to our review-cap of Game Thrones Season Six Episode Three: Oathbreaker, boy that’s a mouthful. Just as a warning, if you haven’t seen this particular episode yet, and you aren’t using this as a way to lazily catch-up, please read no further.

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Spoilers Lie Ahead

Anyway, I need to remember what happened now…

Ben: I was just thinking that. I guess to start off we should talk about Danny reaching the Dothraki city and meeting up with all the other widows.

Lewis: Ah yeah, more boring filler for the Mother of Dragons. I know this is meant to add a little bit of tension to her story, but she’s obviously going to be rescued by Dario and Jorah, so what’s the point?

Ben: I agree there are so many other more interesting things going on almost everywhere else.

Lewis: It’s a shame really, but hopefully Danaerys’ story will kick off again soon. As well as her being held captive by a bunch of has-been-Kharl-wives, we saw a little of what’s to come for Tyrion, Varys and all her people in Meereen.

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Ben: I am enjoying the dynamic in Meereen without her. She can get on my nerves at times, and I think it was because of the constant dithering and desire to sort out Slavers Bay when in reality nobody cares about it.

Lewis: It is nice to see a different approach to the situation, and hopefully Tyrion will do a good enough job to convince her that she needs his help.

Ben: Hopefully. We also now know who is funding the Sons of the Harpy.

Lewis: Indeed, although I’m not really sure what they’re going to do about it… we’ll see in the next few episodes I guess. I suppose Arya is next on our list?

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Ben: I suppose she is; after completing her daredevil training she has her eyes back again.

Lewis: Yep! And while there were a couple more trials for her to go through, she got them back really quite quickly in the end.

Ben: I am surprised how easy it was, I know she got beaten up a fair bit but to go from blind to sighted within three episodes is incredibly fast; something must be about to kick off.

Lewis: Well they’ve said that after this season they have enough material for 13 more episodes, so they must be trying to move onto a lot of big events quickly. But anyway, I like the mystery behind what’s going on with Arya.

Ben: Things are happening that make it more interesting than her last time in the House. Where to next?

Lewis: I guess King’s Landing?

Ben: Makes sense, so Jaime and Cersi are getting on everyone’s nerves, trying to throw their weight around, and the High Sparrow had a heart to heart with Tommen.

Lewis: Well I actually think that their suggestion to work together with the Tyrells was a very sensible one, but it really is far too late to start asking for help from them… which is a shame. I’m really not liking what the High Sparrow is doing at the moment, he’s one sneaky little fuck.

Ben: I think it is the way they went about it. I like the way the whole small council just walks out on them; anything that weakens the Lannisters is good for me.

Lewis: Well at this point I think that their only hope is to unite, but I suppose they do deserve the shit they were given. I want to see more from Olenna Tyrell as well, she’s easily one of the best characters.

Ben: She is good, I think it is mainly the fact that she is one of the only people that gives Cersei what she deserves.

Lewis: She just doesn’t give a flying fuck about anything anyone thinks of her, which is awesome.

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Ben: I was trying to say it in a more composed manner but you aren’t wrong.

Lewis: Fair enough, I kinda ruined that there. Was this the first reveal of Varys’ “little birds” too?

Ben: All of the orphans and poverty stricken kids of King’s Landing appear to have their uses.

Lewis: And now a bunch of them are on the Lannisters’ side… The events of King’s Landing are beginning to get a little more interesting now.

Ben: Lots of ears in lots of places listening for the Lannisters, but who are they going to target? The Sparrows?

Lewis: I would assume so, but I’m sure the Lannisters will want to be finding those two Sand Snakes as well. Anyway, moving North, I suppose the next group to talk about is the Boltons and their new alliance with the Umbers?

Ben: The whole of the North appear to be joining up as mercenaries for the Boltons. Unless Rickon and the Umbers have a plan in place which looks unlikely.

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Lewis: Well the Umbers have always been loyal to house Stark, so I think that a plan to kill the Boltons might be more likely than we’d be led to believe, and if it coincides with Jon’s attack on Winterfell (which is obviously coming), they stand a good chance of taking back the North.

Ben: I certainly hope you are right.

Lewis: I think most people will want to see that creepy smile wiped from Ramsey’s face.

Ben: Nothing would give me greater pleasure

Lewis: He’s a great villain. Should we mention the reappearance of Sam and whatserface before moving onto Jon?

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Ben: Oh yeah, very little happening on the boat; just Sam throwing his guts up. Now he is off to become a maester?

Lewis: To be honest I’d completely forgotten about them… which sort of says something about how interesting their story is. I guess it was nice to have an update though.

Ben: I completely forgot as well until you mentioned them. Nice to know they are alive.

Lewis: Another story line that I’m sure will mean something in the long run, but for now is a bit dull. Anyway, I guess we should move onto Jon?

Ben: He will probably discover a way to kill the Wight Walkers. Yes, let’s talk about moody, brought-back-from-the-dead Jon.

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Lewis: To be honest, I’d be pretty messed up in the head too if my “brothers” stabbed me repeatedly and then some witch brought me back from nothingness. Everyone got what they deserved though.

Ben: Yeah, our speculation about Oly was pointless in the end. He was hanged, and then Jon walked.

Lewis: Well I hoped he’d be hanged, and I have to say I gained some respect for Ser Alliser, at the least he stuck to his guns and did what he thought was right. Yep, Jon’s getting too old for this shit, so the question is, what’s he going to do now?

Ben: I suppose I have to give him credit for not faltering and trying to make a deal. I honestly have no idea, you would presume south, but we don’t know.

Lewis: I reckon Sansa and Brienne will arrive and tell him about Ramsey, which will then make him want to take back Winterfell and seek vengeance against Ramsey.

Ben: He doesn’t have much of an army though, we just have to hope that Sansa being with him would rally loyal Stark bannermen.

Lewis: I think it’ll be a case of a second war in the North scenario. He does have the Wildlings I guess, and maybe Theon will get the Greyjoys to help out.

Ben: Could the Wildlings and a few Greyjoy sailors take Winterfell? He needs the full support of the North, because if they are able to get rid of the Bolton’s they would have to deal with another onslaught from the south.

Lewis: I think that the Umbers will join them, and a few of the other houses will rally behind them too. Hey, this is all speculation, who knows what’ll actually go down.

Ben: Yeah, all just speculation. Well hopefully the writers know what is going on…

Lewis: I’m sure they do, they’re very good. But yeah, I guess that’s just about everything?

Ben: What about Bran’s vision?

Lewis: Oh crap yeah, I forgot about that. That was an awesome sword fight, and it looks like that old fan theory about Jon might be true after all…

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Ben: It was good, we got to see a young Ned Stark on the ropes. For those of us that don’t know the theory (definitely not me) could you explain what the theory predicts?

Lewis: Well, if you (the reader) don’t want to know the fan theory, stop reading here. We’ll see you next week, and enjoy the newest episode.

If you don’t mind potential spoilers, read on, and join us in the magical land of speculation…

Ok, so the theory is that Jon, rather than being Ned’s bastard son, is in fact his nephew, son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark, who we saw being guarded in the Tower of Joy this episode. The fan theory predicted that Ned, rather than just finding his sister dead, finds her son, and takes him as his own to protect him for his sister. This means that Jon is part Targaryen, and has a claim to the throne

Ben: So he could end up being the third Dragon-rider-person then… that would be an interesting development. Thank you for explaining that to everyone who didn’t know it (definitely not me because I knew it).

Lewis: Oh I know you knew it, Ben, don’t worry about that. And just to clarify, the second Dragon-rider-person would be Tyrion if the theories turn out to be true. Things will be getting very interesting very soon… Well, I guess we’ll leave it there then?

Ben: I think that’s a good spot, there should be a lot going on in the next few episodes.

 

 

Game of Thrones S6E02: Home

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So before the release of the third episode in Game of Thrones season six, here’s our review-cap of episode two. If this review was a bottle of milk, it would be lumpy, look green, smell terrible, and no one would want to be the one to pour it down the sink.
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SPOILERS LIE AHEAD

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Lewis:
So, we’re onto the second episode of Season 6 and things are already beginning to kick off… Shall we start south-ward and head north? (Leave the best ’til last?)

Ben: That works for me. Start in Bravos? Not exactly south but it certainly isn’t the north.

Lewis: Right-O. Arya’s managed to get herself back with the assassins pretty damn quickly, hasn’t she?

Ben: I was surprised how easy it was; just reject an offer to get your sight back and you are back in the club.

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Lewis: I thought that at first, but I reckon that was just to see whether she is ready to take some other tests for redemption. I think there are still quite a few trials ahead of her back at the House of Black and White.

Ben: That’s true, it may not be the sanctuary she believes it to be. I think she has learnt her lesson though now.

Lewis: Well you’d hope so. Having your sight taken away is a pretty severe punishment… Nothing from Dorn this episode though, huh?

Ben: Nope, they’re just letting that little revolution bubble away.

Lewis: I wonder where they’re going to go with that? Tommen mentioned trying to find the two Sand Snakes who killed the prince, but I’m not really sure how much of an impact they’ll have on the main story.

Ben: It is probably a bit of a side story to make it look like something big and important is going to happen at King’s Landing while Danny is still wandering about with the Dothraki.

Lewis: Ah yes, we didn’t actually get anything else on that side of things either… Tyrion releasing the dragons was pretty fun though

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Ben: Yeah, good levels of tension as well- It was a pretty fun sequence

Lewis: A dark part of me wanted Tyrion to be eaten or burnt just to see the internet’s outcry, but I’m glad he was ok. It’ll be interesting to see what comes of them being free though.

Ben: I wouldn’t put it past the show for that to happen though, even if it would be awful. The question is will they behave or will they start killing shit?

Lewis: Hmmmmm I’ve read an interesting theory that’s sort-of been bolstered by the events of this episode, but I don’t think I’ll talk about it here in case of pre-emptive spoilers… It’s a good-un though. So after Mereen, we move onto King’s Landing?

Ben: I suppose that is the next natural stop. We see the Lannisters make up and Jaime threaten the High Sparrow.

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Lewis: I think he should’ve done it. He could take the other little weirdos who turned up single-handedly (Haha)

Ben: I don’t think he could. Common knowledge that he can’t do anything with his left hand…

Lewis: I just wanted him to kill as many of those idiots as possible.

Ben: I know what you mean, I am sure they will get a good kicking soon enough.

Lewis: In other news, Tommen is growing up a bit, but he’s still a bit wimpy to be a good King just yet.

Ben: It really winds me up how wet he is. I mean, at least his mum has committed herself to being a bitch; I give her credit for that.

Lewis: I’m certain he’ll come into his own soon enough, and least he isn’t a psychopath (cough, Joffrey, cough).
I also really want to see the Zombie-Mountain’s face soon.

Ben: I want to see Zombie-Mountain kill someone.

Lewis: We did! That drunk guy who was trying to be funny got his skull crushed.

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Ben: Oh yeah, but that was a bit shit. I want to see more Mountain-killing-action.

Lewis: Fair enough, it was pretty funny though. Another things that was pretty funny was the ridiculously dangerous bridge that Balon Greyjoy was thrown off of. Why would you even have that? It’s just a hazard.

Ben: To be honest I forgot about them, I didn’t have a clue who they were when it first cut there. Looks like they’re giving us another little sub-plot then.

Lewis: Yeah, and now Theon is heading back I guess there’s going to be a power struggle between him and his sister (who, by the way, he fingered that one time… Just reminding you how weird that was…) and their uncle.

Ben: I do remember that but thanks for bringing it up.

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Lewis: You’re welcome.

Ben: I am not sure he will want to be King of the Iron-Born though. I think it will just be his sister and uncle fighting (over him maybe?).

Lewis: I can’t see him just sitting by… I think he and his sister may end up co-ruling, even if that is highly unlikely.

Ben: That’s a strong possibility, or maybe he’ll be a puppet king for his uncle.

Lewis: Knowing Game of Thrones it won’t end well, whichever option is chosen. And I guess linked to this arc is Ramsey’s absolutely brutal murder of his entire family.

Ben: That was dark. I thought he might kill Roose but the way he killed Walda and the baby was pretty grim even for Game of Thrones; some serious retribution is needed.

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Lewis: Indeed, and I think that’ll come in the form of Mr Jon Snow. He’s back, baby.

Ben: He bloody is. We all knew it was going to happen, but fair play to them for not giving it away.

Lewis: They did a decent job of covering it up, but like you said, it was fairly obvious it was going to happen. Although, and this may be a little too much speculation, how do we know that it’s actually Jon who’s come back?

Ben: Who else could it be? We have seen people brought back from the dead before by Red Priests and that worked out fine.

Lewis: That’s fair, but I feel like it’s just a little too easy. Also, are his stab wounds going to heal or is he just gonna be left with gaping wounds in his torso?

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Ben: I suppose that is true, we shall have to wait and see. Eye-patch man tended to heal but was left with scars so if that is anything to go by he should heal properly.

Lewis: Ah fair enough, I forgot that the Hound injured him.

Ben: I want to make mention of the Wildlings storming Castle Black; that giant is my new favourite character.

Lewis: I’ll agree with you there, he’s pretty frickin’ awesome, and the wildlings are just getting better and better. Do you think that the rest of the Nightswatch will follow Jon once they’ve punished the guys who stabbed him?

Ben: They seem like a persuadable bunch and with the remaining wildlings supporting him they don’t have much choice.

Lewis: That’s very true, and I doubt many of them are as againsts him as Ser Alliser and Olly. Well, I suppose we should mention Bran and his vision of Hodor, as well as Max Von Sydow being amazing with only a few lines of dialogue.

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Ben: They all seemed pretty angry in the first episode once they realised what Thorne did. Bloody love Max von Sydow, bloody legend, I think him just being there might make Bran’s story enjoyable. It was definitely interesting to see a talking Hodor.

Lewis: I can’t see too many of them willing to follow Thorne to their deaths.
Those are my thoughts exactly; he adds a nice bit of weight to an otherwise slow story-arc. I’m definitely interested to see what the significance of Hodor in the vision is. There are a few theories floating about, but my initial thoughts were that he’ll get kicked in the head by a horse.

Ben: I thought it would be the result of hitting young Ned, like a severe punishment type thing. But a horse hoof to the head could be easily likely.

Lewis: To be fair I thought they would actually fight and it might happen through that too, but I guess not… Anyway, at least Bran’s plot is gaining a little substance.

Ben: It definitely needs it, both the stories of Arya and Bran needed a bit of a kick up the arse and with the redemption of Arya and the Bran development we might be getting some solid Stark action.

Lewis: I can’t agree more. Now the Starks can rally and hit back at all the wankers who fucked then over in the first place.
Well, I think that just about does it for this episode, overall I thought it was a really solid one, and of course the return of Mr Snow just topped it off.

Ben: I think this may be one of my favourite episodes, even without the return of Jon Snow, a lot happened to push the story forward- good levels of action and humour as well.

Lewis: I have to agree with you there. Bring on episode three!

Game of Thrones S6E01: The Red Woman

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Hi all, this season of Game of Thrones we’ve decided to give each episode a quick review and go over what happened in a brief recap. So if you’ve missed a few episodes or need a refresher to remember what happened last week, A) How on Earth is your memory that bad?, and B) This is the place you’ve been looking for.

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SPOILERS FROM HERE ON OUT. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

So let’s begin at the beginning, here are our thoughts on the events of episode one, “The Red Woman”-

Ben: So we start at the Wall, and Jon.

Lewis: Indeed, lying in a pool of his own blood, and really, really dead… I was glad they began with this because it was obviously the one thing people cared about.

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Ben: He’s 100% dead… and for the moment shut up in a room with Ghost and a few brothers. And yeah, this is really the only thing people care about because he is one of the few good guys left in the series. I still think the Red Woman could do something though.

Lewis: Oh she’s definitely got something up her old-lady-wrinkle-sleeves, but I guess we’ll come to that later on.

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I’m really glad Ser Davos is being so awesome though, he’s probably one of my favourite characters right now, but, as it usually does in GoT, that probably means he’s going to die soon.

Ben: Oh yes, that last scene with her in front of the mirror was a bit of a shock. I do like Davos, he is definitely one of the most likable characters left in it.

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Lewis: It seems like we’re desperately running out of sane, normal people in Westeros, which is worrying.
So Jon’s friend is going to fetch the wildlings, which I imagine is going to result in a pretty sweet battle and Thorne is going get his head torn off?

Ben: Thorne has got to die, we need to see at least a bit of retribution for Jon’s death. But the Wildlings fighting with the Nightswatch will just allow the Wights back in.

Lewis: That’s true, and I do hope they band together to hold off the Wight Walkers, but since this is Game of Thrones I’m sure it will end in a giant clusterfuck. So after we’ve seen Jon dead, we move on to… (I can’t remember)

Ben: Agreed, Westeros is not a nice play to be; they are all going to die. Next we have King’s Landing or Winterfell?

Lewis: Let’s do Winterfell to begin with, and bloody Brienne of Tarth being a bloody hero again.

Ben: To be fair I am happy about her being a hero this time, I was actually pleased to see her. I mean it was telegraphed, I could see it coming a mile away, but it was good to see the good guys win for once.

Lewis: I have to admit that I was glad she turned up, but I’m never going to forgive her for what she did to the Hound. And yeah, it was nice to see Sansa and Theon saved, and it was also pretty nice to see Ramsey upset. I wonder whether they’re still going to go north to meet up with Jon like Theon suggested?

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Ben: Don’t worry, I haven’t forgiven and nor will I forget. I wonder what Ramsey will do next? I reckon Roose’s wife is on his hit-list.
As for Sansa and co., I reckon they’ll go north and then get killed by the Wight…

Lewis: Jeez, surely someone has to survive? I think the Starks will reclaim the north somehow, especially since The Red Woman had a vision of Jon fighting at Winterfell. Ramsey doesn’t appear to be in anyone’s good books at the moment, and no one is really ever in his… There’s going to a lot of unrest in the north pretty soon I think.
Well, I suppose we should move down to the events of Kings Landing?

Ben: I just want all the bad guys to die, is that too much to ask? Yeah can do, Cersei and Jamie suffering the aftermath of their daughter’s death.

Lewis: In the world of GoT that’s a big request.
It would be a tragedy if it happened to anyone else’s daughter, but I really don’t feel sorry for Cersei at all. I feel bad for Marcella and Jamie, but not her.

Ben: The last few episodes have shown a different side to Cersei, which has been quite nice to see. I do feel a bit bad for Jamie.

Lewis: She’s only feeling sorry for herself, she hasn’t done anything that warrants a redemption to be honest. And Jamie, even if he is a bit of a weird bastard sometimes, has usually stayed on the moral side of things.

Ben: That is true, but don’t worry I still hate Cersei; that has not, and will not, change.

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Lewis: Good, she deserves everything she’s getting.
Moving onto the murderer’s side of things, that coup in Dorn is going to upset some people…

Ben: The coup is an unfortunate turn of events, it also seems a bit rushed in comparison to what else is going on. It has taken less than a season for a prince to killed; if this were happening anywhere else it would have taken about 3 seasons to build up to it.

Lewis: That’s true, but at this point the plot in Dorn is really just a side-thing, so it would be too drawn out if they built up those characters as much as the others. I don’t really care about any of them to be honest, and the three sisters really aren’t very good characters at all.

Ben: I can’t argue with that, and I suppose you are right about the Dorn sub plot; as long as they kill some Lannisters I don’t really care.

Lewis: So we also have Daenerys being captured by a bunch of Dothraki comedians? (Seriously, I thought they were meant to be quite serious warriors?)

Ben: Ah yes, more time wasting with the Dothraki. It made for a decent sequence to see how she has developed as a character over 6 years, but to be honest I am getting pretty bored with it now. I just want her to get involved in what is really important over in Westeros.

Lewis: She’s just milling about, getting stuck in the mud of politics which, to be fair, is something she needs to learn to go if she’s going to be a good queen. This storyline is pretty much her training to be queen, and I can’t think of any two better people to help her than Tyrion and Varys. Do you think she’ll become a good ruler?

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Ben: That’s true but you can’t deny that it’s getting a bit dull now. It kicked off at the end of the last season only to get immediately stuck in the mud again. Her becoming a good ruler is what they are building up to, so I hope she is just for Tyrion’s sake; I want him to do well.

Lewis: Oh I agree with you there, it’s still not really going anywhere, but I’ll be happy if Tyrion makes it.
I’m liking the little bro-road trip Mormont and Daario are going on though.

Ben: I like Jorah, I know he is a bit wet in the books but he comes off well in the TV series… I hope he doesn’t die of grey scale.

Lewis: I hope he survives too. He was probably my favourite character for a good while, but he’s been side-lined for the past season or so, which is a shame.
So finally we come to Arya and her Daredevil-style training.

Ben: Ah yes, a classic Stark story line where everything goes wrong.

Lewis: They don’t have the best luck, do they? Although it looks like she’s going to become some blind badass assassin which would be awesome.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but that’s everything that happened right?

Ben: I am pretty sure that is all that happened, yeah.

Lewis: Ok cool. So, overall, what did you think of this episode?

Ben: It was good, held my attention well and is setting up quite a lot to happen in the rest of the season. You?

Lewis: I really enjoyed it, gave us a nice reintroduction to what the characters were doing, and where it might go in the future. I thought it was a solid opener. Now we just have to wait and see what The Red Woman is going to do, and also whether than Amulet of hers is going to have something to do with resurrecting Jon.

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Game of Thrones: Season 5 reflections

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CombinedpicLewis: Soooooooooo… Game of Thrones.

Ben: Game of Thrones. How do you want to do this? Character by character? Episode by episode? Or, alternatively, wherever the conversation takes us.

Lewis: I think if we talk about it character by character we can cover more ground in less time.

Ben: Righto, shall we start in the North and work down? Starting with Jon (I think we should say now that there will be spoilers)

Poor Jon…

Lewis: Yeah, there will be a whole lot of spoilers here

RIP Jon. The North remembers!

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Ben: I felt like he was really coming into his own this series, he became much more likeable and developed into the leader Westeros needs.

Lewis: For sure. He was becoming a lot more like good ol’ Ned (RIP). Unfortunately, GOT has a habit of killing off characters who begin to look like decent people… I do hope he comes back somehow. Everyone likes an underdog.

Ben: He was making good decisions (except for that Oli dickhead). Yes, hopefully they will bring him back, most probably using Melisandre.

Lewis: I don’t like her, but if she manages to bring Jon back she will gain my approval. It was pretty frustrating that Oli couldn’t see past the fact that Wildlings had killed his family, but I guess he is only 13 or something…

As for the Wildlings, I wonder what’s going to happen with them now?

Ben: I think everything is going to kick off between The Night’s watch and the remaining Wildlings, which will allow the walkers in.

Lewis: Hmmmmm, I hope it doesn’t turn out as depressingly as that, but then again it is GOT. Maybe Jon Snow will come back just as all hope seems lost, and he’ll unite the Wildlings and Night’s Watch in a glorious battle against the unending hordes of the undead. Then again, maybe not.

We also have the Boltons to worry about.

Ben: Yeah, the damn Boltons. Stannis burnt his daughter and his wife killed herself all for nothing! That’s my issue with GoT, everything is so futile. I would have forgiven Stannis for killing his daughter if it meant we would be rid of the Boltons, but we aren’t. The whole thing was for nothing, resulting in the loss of an anti-hero I could support.

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Lewis: Yeah, to be honest I actually quite liked Stannis, even if he was harsh. He always had The Onion-Knight to keep him in check though, so I think he would’ve been alright as a ruler.

Obviously my support for him dropped a little after he sacrificed his daughter… but you know, he might not be dead. We didn’t see the killing blow.

Ben: That is true, he was a bit harsh but he always seemed better than the alternatives. Bloody Brianne! Why does she always have to kill people that are ok, she should have been watching for the candle…

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Lewis: She’s a decent person but she’s always so self-righteous… do you think Theon and Sansa will get away?

Ben: She is incredibly self-righteous, it is like they are desperate for us to like her. She killed the Hound though, so I can never forgive her.

I kind of hope so; Theon is starting to redeem himself in my books. However this is Game of Thrones, so I wouldn’t be surprised if they were caught.

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Lewis: I hope Theon has to sacrifice himself for Sansa…

It’s hard not to feel for the idiot though; he has been through a lot. Speaking of people who’ve been through a lot (nice segue, huh?), Cersei is finally getting what’s been coming to her for a long time.

Ben: Yeah that would be a nice touch, provided Sansa gets away…

Very good, but has she though? Yeah she has been ridiculed, but she now has The Mountain to carry out whatever she wants. And being ridiculed isn’t enough, she has to die and soon.

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Lewis: The Starks shall be avenged, Ben. If I had it my way, the Hound would come back and face off against the Mountain in an epic fight. That probably won’t happen though…

She also still needs to have her trial, as do Margaery and Loras

Ben: Ideally she will be killed off next series. It would be epic to have the Hound back. He was one of the most likable characters in the whole show.

The Tyrells were pretty much forgotten by the end of the episode.

Lewis: Yeah, I was a little peeved about how they didn’t really mention them in the later parts of the episode.

What do you think will happen to them?

Ben: I can imagine that Loras will be killed; further fuelling the Tyrell/lannister feud. The Queen of Thorns is a pretty solid character. In a show filled with blood and sex she is one of the few that possesses a quick mind and a sharp tongue, making many of her scenes very funny. Particularly ones where she slags off Cersei.

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Lewis: You know, out of all the houses, the Tyrells are really the only ones who aren’t complete arseholes most of the time. If anyone ends up ruling at all they’d be a good choice. Olenna is definitely one of my favourite characters in the show. Which leads me to think that she might meet a horrific fate at the hands of the Lannisters (or someone associated with them).

Ben: Especially now that Cersei has The Zombie Mountain at her side, they may not last long. The High Sparrow wants them punished for their sins too, I think their only hope is a war between the faith and the Lannisters

Lewis: Hmmmm I can’t imagine Cersei allowing her trial to go ahead. Her plan definitely backfired on her.

I suppose we had better talk about what’s been happening outside of Westeros though

Ben: We shall have to wait and see, Kings Landing is far too complicated to predict. What about Dorne?

Lewis: Yeah, will Jamie turn that ship around and get Myrcella the antidote in time? I have to say, even if he can be a real piece of shit, I do like Jamie.

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Ben: I think Myrcella is as good at dead, why do all the wrong Lannisters die?

He goes through phases does Jamie, starts off a bellend, then ok for a bit, then a dickhead again. He has been ok this series, paired up with Bronn, I like Bronn. I got a bit scared when he almost died.

Lewis: Unfortunately, that’s the fucked up world they live in. Yeah he’s a complicated anti-hero for sure.

Bronn is awesome I don’t think I’ve ever been as nervous over the show than when he started to have that nosebleed… I think things in Dorne are going to become very complicated next season.

Ben: It just isn’t fair. I was shouting “No, no, no, no” when he was having that fit. I don’t know what I would do if he died. Yes, there will be some political manoeuvres and I’m slightly nervous for the ok-guy in the wheelchair. I wouldn’t want to be on the wrong side of the Sand-Sisters.

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Lewis: Crazy sisters… I guess Bronn was right about the fucking and killing bit.

Speaking of killing, looks like Arya’s in a tight spot too (another sweet segue), I wonder if her blindness will be permanent?

Ben: He was indeed.

I wasn’t the biggest fan of the Arya story. It was quite slow, but I suppose it comes with the training she is doing but for me it was a bit Bran-ish. And then when she did start fucking shit up it backfired spectacularly… typical Stark…

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Lewis: I have to agree with you there. It was interesting, but out of everything that’s been going on it was the weak link.

Ben: You could have easily cut bits out and not know the difference. I doubt she will be permanently blinded. Hopefully it will just be a temporary thing until she learns her lesson. And then she can avenge hers family.

Shall we move further through Essos to The Mother of Dragons?

Lewis: Yes… good ol’Danaerys

I know she’s an alright person, and I know she’s a bit naïve, but goddam is she frustrating sometimes.

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Ben: She has become a secondary character in her own story arc. It is all about Tyrion and my personal favourite, Jorah.

Bless him, Captain friend zone.

Lewis: Ah yes, Mr. Mormont It’s not looking too good for him at the moment. He’s either going to die from the Grayscale or Dario is gonna kill him out of jealousy.

Ben: Poor old Jorah. He has always had her best interests at heart. Another issue I have with that story arc is that it has literally gone nowhere in the last 5 series. Danaerys started off with the Dothraki, then ended up in Quarth, and then on to slavers bay which is all character building stuff but now she has ended up back with the Dothraki thanks to the work of Drogon (that fight in the penultimate episode was pretty cool). The whole story has gone round in a big circle.

Lewis: Well hopefully that circle will have some kind of meaning behind it, but I get what you mean, it does feel like it’s stalled somewhat.

Ben: She was learning lessons in slavers bay that would help her rule Westeros, but going back to the Dothraki almost seems like an effort to get another book out her story if you see my meaning. The constant stopping and starting is getting frustrating.

Lewis: Yeah I understand what you mean, but who knows, maybe she can gain the support of the Dothraki?

Ben: Maybe. I kinda hope so, just so she can get rid of the bloody Lannisters. What do you reckon of Tyrion being given the control of Meereen?

Lewis: I think Tyrion’s been given a chance to come into his own. He’ll do very well, and to be honest, if Dany now has Tyrion as a permanent advisor, she’s going to more than capable of ruling. However, as the series goes on I just can’t see anything good happening to anyone in the Seven Kingdoms… I think it’s just as likely that everything will be destroyed

Ben: I agree which brings me to my final point if you are finished?

Lewis: I am indeed! This sounds exciting.

Ben: I wouldn’t be. My point is this…

I am tired of the emotional manipulation this show puts me through season after season. Not only do all the evil bastards survive while every good character and anti-hero is killed off in increasingly disturbing ways, when you do get to the point, when you, as a viewer, think you may get some redemption for the death of all your favourites, the evil fuckers like Ramsey Bolton prevail at the last minute. Or by some miracle, out of nowhere you develop some form of sympathy for people like Cersei Lannister. I know it is almost the point of the show and the books to throw the reader and the viewer off at the last minute, but after seasons of this bullshit I am tired of feeling depressed after every finale. Good guys had better start surviving because I cannot take the emotional turmoil much longer. End of rant *as I wipe a tear from my eye mourning the death of Ned, Robb, The Hound and all the others*

Lewis: Bloody hell, do you want a tissue?

That was quite the rant. However, surely the fact that the show can manipulate you in such a way is an indication of its quality and the quality of its characters? Yeah it’s depressing, yeah the good guys don’t win very often, but the bad guys do get their comeuppance. It’s the “grey” characters who manage to survive most often in that world. All the very “good” (like Ned) and very “bad” people fair pretty terribly. It’s just a matter of sticking it out until all the “bad” guys are gone.

Ben: Yeah I would agree that it is testament to the actors and the writing that it can invoke this reaction. But the issue is that even the “grey” characters are dying while the bad guys continue to survive. I accept the premise of killing off the “good” guys, but it has got to the point where we are 5 seasons in and we are even further away from the ending we wanted than we were then at the start of season 1. The Hound, Stannis amongst others are the ‘grey’ characters that should be surviving but instead we are left with Brianne who is the most forced and most dislikeable good guy on our screens. We also have the Sand Sisters, who, despite having my support in avenging their Father, are more concerned with killing innocent bystanders. We are now onto season 6; we have to start having some happy endings. Please, I am begging you.

Lewis: Didn’t Ramsey himself say something about happy endings that’s been adopted by fans to describe the series?

“If you think this has a happy ending you haven’t been paying attention.”

Unfortunately, while the people who die may or may not have deserved it, the characters who do survive will be the right ones (if it turns out happily). If it turns out how I think it will (everything frozen over and barely anyone left alive), then I guess that’s the way it has to be and all this has been for nothing.

Ben: It has got to the point where I am actively rooting for the White Walkers to just cleanse Westeros which has become a wretched hive of scum and villainy.

Shall we leave it there then?

Lewis: Hey, maybe that’s actually their purpose? But then again, that’s been done before.

Yeah I’m happy to leave it there, I think we’ve covered most of what’s going on Just as a final thought though, were you happy with this season?

Ben: Erm I suppose so. I think it was better than last season, despite the traumatic ending. I felt it was more evenly paced and the result actually meant something. How about you?

Lewis: I’m not too sure I definitely enjoyed it, and it was as good as Game of Thrones should be, but there weren’t many stand out moments for me, I wasn’t very thrilled by anything…

Except maybe for Stannis and Jon’s storylines.

Ben: I think in comparison to the last season there were many more standout moments. Apart from the death of Joffrey nothing else memorable happened. The series before that had the Red Wedding and nothing else. This series we had the attacks of the White Walkers, the return of Theon and Drogon, and many more important deaths. I take your point though…. perhaps it is a set up for next year.

Lewis: Maybe. We can only hope.