June 9, 2014

Favorite quotes from Game of Thrones: The Watchers on the Wall

The penultimate episode of Game of Thrones each season usually delivers a big fight or hard-to-watch deaths, and The Watchers on the Wall didn't disappoint on either front. The effects and imagery were top-notch, but the episode didn't work for me.

Quotes, thoughts, and spoilers after the image.

Favorite quotes:
“I want you to tell me what it was like to have someone. To be with someone. To love someone and have them love you back. We’re all gonna die a lot sooner than I’d planned. You’re the closest I’ll ever get to knowing.” - Samwell Tarly

“Thousands of books and no eyes to read them. Old age is a wonderful source of ironies if nothing else.” - Maester Aemon


"Night gathers, and now my watch begins..." - Grenn

“I was nothing at all. And when you’re nothing at all, there’s no more reason to be afraid.” - Samwell Tarly

“Brothers, one hundred generations have defended this castle. She’s never fallen before, she will not fall tonight." - Alliser Thorne

“Love is the death of duty." - Maester Aemon

“Tonight we fight. And when the sun rises, I promise you, Castle Black will stand. The Night’s Watch will stand. With me now!” - Alliser Thorne

“You know nothing, Jon Snow.” - Ygritte

“The gods aren’t down here. It’s the six of us, you hear me?” - Grenn

Random thoughts:
- The Watchers on the Wall was an impressive example of what the show can do with a big budget. It was visually stunning and engaging. That tracking shot where they panned across Castle Black to show the fights and battles raging? Riveting. Amazing. And holy crap, the giants and woolly mammoth? Apparently it took four weeks to film, and all of the hard work is clearly visible in the episode.

- All that said, I was a little bored. When you jump around the world so much, it's weird to stay in one location with the same characters for an entire episode. I believe that happened with the Battle of the Blackwater in season two as well, but while the bigger fight was happening, the story focused on individual stories - like with Tyrion. There was a little of that in The Watchers of the Wall but not enough to make it emotionally gripping. I didn't necessarily dislike the episode, but it feels like more emphasis was put on how it would look than how it would feel.
I mean, I cry at damn near everything, but Ygritte's last moments didn't even make my eyes water. Pyp's death, however...

- The most moving moment of the fight was when Grenn and his brothers stood against the giant at the gate. I got chills when they recited the Night's Watch vows in order to focus and face the terrifying creature in front of them.

- Jon had a few solid moments. We've seen him excel at being a leader before, but this episode pushes him into that position what with Alliser Thorne dying and Janos Slynt showing his true colors. Jon smiled when he saw Ygritte, right? That was a nice touch. I liked him in the episode, but I'm looking forward to seeing how he handles his confrontation with Mance Rayder.

- I don't like Alliser Thorne, but I did appreciate him owning up to his mistake.

- That did indeed look like the biggest fire the North has ever seen.

- Sam's conversation with Maester Aemon was delightful and far more interesting than any of Sam's scenes with Gilly. Of all the characters on Game of Thrones I'd love to have a long chat with, Maester Aemon is near the top of the list.

What did you think of last night's episode? Am I crazy for finding it flat?


  1. I have not watched it yet, but haven't been in a hurry as I heard similar comments from others... but of course I will not skip an episode! I think it's entirely cruel they jump to this rather than picking up where they left off from Tyrion's trial. :(

  2. Ugh...what a long week...taught all day Monday and Tuesday and then worked LameStop at night...and finally Wednesday arrives and I can get down to some Game of Thrones! - the most relaxing hour of my week.

    For me, I would not say that I was bored with the episode's "structure" - meaning that the full hour focused on one aspect of the story instead of bouncing from place to place. Since episodes tend to showcase as many stories as possible, I appreciate when time is spent to show the importance of one character or one storyline.

    While I loved seeing a giant use a bow and arrow to hilarious results, and seeing Jon kick some behind across the courtyard, and the moving stand at the gate against the giant, the Ygritte confrontation fell incredibly flat. After building up her hatred of Jon for several episodes, the result was a letdown. And with her having arrows for as many Crows as possible, when she took out the archer with Sam, why did HE not next get an arrow?

    A highlight for me was Master Aemon. His scene with Same and discussion of being a Targaryen was a joy.

    1. Whew, that does sound like a busy week!
      The Ygritte stuff definitely felt anticlimatic. And I see your point about the value of staying in one place for an episode.

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