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You wouldn’t be thinking that as you were lying on the ground having your entrails chewed by wights because The Prince Who Was Promised thought it was a good idea to station you in front of the flaming trench instead of behind it,

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I genuinely think his luck is going to run out before the end of the series and I believe the writers have been deliberately teeing up this "lucky but crap general" angle for a nice hubristic payoff at some point in the remaining episodes.

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6 minutes ago, Harsin said:

Speaking as someone who spent an absurd amount of time calibrating their telly will people please stop with the herp derp people who complain just had their tellies set up wrong stuff. Especially on a forum like this where most posters are pretty tech savvy and unlikely to be watching it in a Bush TV from Argos with default settings.

 

Thats fair about this forum, and maybe it is a generalisation but I think for a lot of people that will be the case. The manufacturers don't always make it easy to fully turn all of that off so I'd be willing to bet a large majority of people haven't realised that they have 'sooper dooper motion smoothing, contrast increase, HD sharpness artefact enhancer' turned on.

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I think Jon will survive, end up having to be king and be fucking miserable about it. Maybe it will turn out the magic that resurrected him made him infertile but he’ll live five hundred years, just to make his miserable job as long and lonely as possible. He’ll spend forever wishing he’d just stayed in that cave with his girlfriend instead of always being compelled to do what is right.

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11 minutes ago, ChewMagma said:

 

Unfortunately this fella underestimated the army of the dead's ability to climb and also the weather effects which hampered any attempts to shoot down the zombie dragon, which sensibly did not enter the battle till the late stages. Again Winterfell is not that big, I don't think they could even nearly fit all of their army into it, so some troops would have needed to be positioned outside the castle.

 

The sensible thing would have been to keep the Dothraki horde or at least part of it in some sort of reserve.

 

Well sure, the point is at least it would have made sense going down like that. And you could have still of had some amazing visuals to go alongside it.

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1 minute ago, Harsin said:

You wouldn’t be thinking that as you were lying on the ground having your entrails chewed by wights because The Prince Who Was Promised thought it was a good idea to station you in front of the flaming trench instead of behind it,

 

The trench thing as well, there are a number of factors that make it not necessarily as dumb as it looks and would place limits on its size and effectiveness and how many men you could fit behind it:

 

1. The size of Winterfell

2. Access to and quantity of wood (bear in mind they need to use a portion of this to forge weapons as well)

3. Access to and quantity of whatever flammable material they are filling the trench with

4. Condition of the ground - it is frozen in the middle of winter and would be hard to dig into

5. Time constraints - defenders have little idea of when the army of dead will arrive

6. Size of your army

 

I'd also question whether it would be sensible to trap your entire army between a trench and your walls with only one narrow entrance to the castle itself. If the army of the dead breach the trench, then they can destroy your infantry in detail. Given the variables above placing limits on the size and effectiveness of the trench you can build, they might have hoped that having the bulk of your forces in the open would at least retain the possibility of elements of your army escaping the general melee and then being able to harass the army of the dead from the rear with the position now reversed and the army of the dead being trapped between the wall and the trench (which is also a perfect killing ground for your dragons to exploit).

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Robb would have dominated that battle, had he been in charge (and alive). I miss the episodes in the earlier series where Tywin kept getting his arse handed to him by a teenager.

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59 minutes ago, Harsin said:

Every battle Jon Snow has been in he's been owned and had to have his dumb arse saved at the last moment.

 

The Wall - Stannis

Battle of the Bastards - The Vale 

Westeros War Z - Arya

Nope. Bran luring the night king to his death by assasin was 100 percent the plan from the beginning

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7 minutes ago, whizzo said:

Nope. Bran luring the night king to his death by assasin was 100 percent the plan from the beginning

In which case, why didn't they just leave Bran there on his own and bugger off? They could have left Arya too, who could have been waiting in the tree to jump down on the Night King and perform her super finisher (Down, Down, X, Y, Right Trigger, Down).

 

As an aside, someone said they had hoped the NK was a long lost Targaryen, and that's why he wanted the throne. I thought that was going to happen after he wandered through the dragon fire.

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1 minute ago, whizzo said:

Targaryns are not heat proof. There have been four targaryns in the show. One literally died because of heat.

I thought he died because of melted gold on his head. I'm wondering if they're resistant to dragon fire and fire itself... Dany seems to be.

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17 minutes ago, whizzo said:

Nope. Bran luring the night king to his death by assasin was 100 percent the plan from the beginning

 

A lot of people have wondered what Bran's contribution was when he warged into the ravens, but I wonder if that was either to goad the Night King or remind him that he was there waiting for him.

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13 minutes ago, ChewMagma said:

 

A lot of people have wondered what Bran's contribution was when he warged into the ravens, but I wonder if that was either to goad the Night King or remind him that he was there waiting for him.

I don't think the nk can pinpoint him until he uses his warg power.

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15 minutes ago, Fry Crayola said:

 

Yeah - the heat.

But it wasn't dragon fire! 

 

Hello? Hello? Is this thing on?

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8 minutes ago, Couch Corpse said:

I don't think the nk can pinpoint him until he uses his warg power.

That's not right. I thought Bran said the NK knew where he was last episode when he showed the burn mark on his arm...

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1 hour ago, ChewMagma said:

 

Unfortunately this fella underestimated the army of the dead's ability to climb and also the weather effects which hampered any attempts to shoot down the zombie dragon, which sensibly did not enter the battle till the late stages. Again Winterfell is not that big, I don't think they could even nearly fit all of their army into it, so some troops would have needed to be positioned outside the castle.

 

The sensible thing would have been to keep the Dothraki horde or at least part of it in some sort of reserve.

 

Jon Snow has long been established as a pretty poor general though. The Battle of the Bastards in particular was a tactical disaster that the Bolton lad deserved to win.

 

A castle is said to be a force multiplier (x5 IIRC for a half-decent one; Winterfell is one of the best in Westeros). Even if the dead can climb, high walls are still going to help you massively (and there are ways to deal with wall-climbers if the defenders actually think it through or even apply standard defensive practices). 

 

It's true that maybe they couldn't fit the entire army in the castle, but the army didn't have to sit between the castle and the enemy. It could, for example, have been on the other side of the castle, then come in at the flanks/back of the undead army when said army is assaulting the castle. Standing in front of the castle was the second dumbest thing they could have done.

 

The most dumbest thing they could have done was send cavalry (especially light cavalry) in a frontal charge against a fresh enemy. Cavalry are meant for flanking attacks or destroying enemy forces that are already out of formation. Cavalry against the front of a formed-up army never works. (And don't start me on how the Dothraki have the worst possible weapons for their role - they should have lances or bows, not little swords).

 

However... that's all real-world stuff. In the world of movies and TV, cavalry charges routinely work against massed ranks of enemy. Writers are (rightly) concerned with emotion and narrative, not historical reality. It's irritating for me, as a military history fan, but I realise that what worked in the real world doesn't have to apply in fiction. I do feel they could often explain the plans a bit better - like at least give a reason for the Dothraki charge (I'm still wondering what Dany and Jon expected to actually happen - did they think the Dothraki would win the battle on their own? Seems unlikely they would think that. But if not, the Dothraki were bound to die. I don't think the writers knew, to be honest). But the scene did its job in the episode to build the tension in an original and effective way; realism aside, it was a great scene.

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8 minutes ago, Couch Corpse said:

I don't think the nk can pinpoint him until he uses his warg power.

 

IIRC, Bran said "he always knows where I am", which would suggest it is not dependent of Bran warging. That said, if Bran is flying about in ravens to troll the NK then it might encourage him to move 'killing that cocky Three-eyed Raven' up his to-do list during the Battle for Winterfell.

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3 minutes ago, BossSaru said:

 

IIRC, Bran said "he always knows where I am", which would suggest it is not dependent of Bran warging. That said, if Bran is flying about in ravens to troll the NK then it might encourage him to move 'killing that cocky Three-eyed Raven' up his to-do list during the Battle for Winterfell.

 

When my daughter gets killed in Minecraft multi-player and she comes back as a bat, observing the battle, she flies in her opponents' faces to help her team-mates. Maybe Bran was doing that. I wonder what everyone did in the lobby after the battle?

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1 hour ago, Harsin said:

Every battle Jon Snow has been in he's been owned and had to have his dumb arse saved at the last moment.

 

The Wall - Stannis

Battle of the Bastards - The Vale 

Westeros War Z - Arya

 

True, but that's just a TV/movie trope. Writers like to have allies turn up at the last minute and save the day (Tolkein did it, GRRM does it...). By TV/movie standards, Jon isn't that incompetent. Well, I suppose he did abandon the plan at Battle of the Bastards, but at least he had an understandable reason to do it.

 

Example of typical movie leader idiocy from LOTR (which is far worse than anything Jon has done):

 

aragorn.thumb.jpg.648da031fd33b7508bb8ed362212d631.jpg

 

As maddening as it is, we can't apply real-world logic to movie leaders' decisions. The above "strategy" played out all right.

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9 minutes ago, APM said:

That's not right. I thought Bran said the NK knew where he was last episode when he showed the burn mark on his arm...

 

I vaguely recall that, but maybe he knew he was in Winterfell but couldn't pinpoint his exact location until he warg'd. Did the nk make a beeline for him as soon as he ravened?

 

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1 hour ago, APM said:

But it wasn't dragon fire! 

 

Nor were the torches Dany used to burn the Khals.

 

Dany is immune to all fire, and indeed heat. Right in the first season - if not episode - she walked into a bath despite her handmaiden's protestations about it being too hot.

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32 minutes ago, abc said:

 

A castle is said to be a force multiplier (x5 IIRC for a half-decent one; Winterfell is one of the best in Westeros). Even if the dead can climb, high walls are still going to help you massively (and there are ways to deal with wall-climbers if the defenders actually think it through or even apply standard defensive practices). 

 

It's true that maybe they couldn't fit the entire army in the castle, but the army didn't have to sit between the castle and the enemy. It could, for example, have been on the other side of the castle, then come in at the flanks/back of the undead army when said army is assaulting the castle. Standing in front of the castle was the second dumbest thing they could have done.

 

The most dumbest thing they could have done was send cavalry (especially light cavalry) in a frontal charge against a fresh enemy. Cavalry are meant for flanking attacks or destroying enemy forces that are already out of formation. Cavalry against the front of a formed-up army never works. (And don't start me on how the Dothraki have the worst possible weapons for their role - they should have lances or bows, not little swords).

 

However... that's all real-world stuff. In the world of movies and TV, cavalry charges routinely work against massed ranks of enemy. Writers are (rightly) concerned with emotion and narrative, not historical reality. It's irritating for me, as a military history fan, but I realise that what worked in the real world doesn't have to apply in fiction. I do feel they could often explain the plans a bit better - like at least give a reason for the Dothraki charge (I'm still wondering what Dany and Jon expected to actually happen - did they think the Dothraki would win the battle on their own? Seems unlikely they would think that. But if not, the Dothraki were bound to die. I don't think the writers knew, to be honest). But the scene did its job in the episode to build the tension in an original and effective way; realism aside, it was a great scene.

 

Now we're talking some sense. And not even sense that requires Napoleon levels of military genius, just plain old common sense in most cases.

 

However, your point about reality vs Hollywood doesn't ring true, for me at least. Personally I believe a modern audience is extremely sophisticated in their watching behaviour. How they parse and read a movie/show. Their expectations. Their understanding of character motivations and scene events. Sure, back in the 40s/50s battles were handled extremely simply for a number of reasons. But now viewers expectations, ability to decipher events and understanding of 'realism' are huge. I won't deny the 'lights out' moments was cool visually, it's obviously the reason they did it. But it could still have been achieved, whilst also adhering to some sense of reality. 

 

At the end of the day, at least having a competent defence would have made the over running of the castle that much more impactful and impressive and terrifying.

 

 

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43 minutes ago, abc said:

 

A castle is said to be a force multiplier (x5 IIRC for a half-decent one; Winterfell is one of the best in Westeros). Even if the dead can climb, high walls are still going to help you massively (and there are ways to deal with wall-climbers if the defenders actually think it through or even apply standard defensive practices).

 

I agree it certainly would have made more sense to attempt to trap the army of the dead between the wall and the trench and then attempt to envelop them.

 

I'm not sure that Winterfell is *that* impressive of a castle though tbh, certainly not how it is depicted in the show and compared to other fortresses. No natural defences, it just sits on an open plain. No moat. Not particularly high walls, given how easily the walkers scale it. It seems to have a keep, but only one outer wall, so once you are through the gate the siege is all but finished. I'm unconvinced.

 

I think actually the size of the Westeros army is an impediment. Light cavalry are of limited usefulness in a siege, they could probably have been better used harassing and drawing off the main body of the enemy in the days preceding the battle. The bulk of the peasantry and northerners should have retreated with the non-combatants prior to the battle, leaving just the Unsullied and elite Northern troops to defend the castle itself.

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