What if Season 5 Was Good, Like Really Good? (Winterfell, Meereen and Dorne) — Corrected!

Part 1 dealt with storylines we thought were the best in Season 5, but for every good storyline, there’s always the bad one (the bad pussy one). Today’s podcast episode delves into the worst storylines of Season 5. From underwhelming battles to poor dialogue to convoluted motivations, we explore:

  • The Boltons: the sole Northern House in Season 5
  • Stannis’ tell-don’t-show march on Winterfell
  • Brienne the Candlewoman
  • The Coming Mask Making Industry Bubble in Meereen
  • Jorah Connington’s/Varys’ travels with Tyrion
  • Dorne…

But instead of criticizing the show, we offer ideas to make it better. At the end, we give a few thoughts on where we think Season 6 might go!

Agree or disagree, and let us know your thoughts on Season 5 and what you would have done to improve it in the comments below!

You can also listen to us at itunes or podbean.


Filed under ASOIAF Podcast

22 responses to “What if Season 5 Was Good, Like Really Good? (Winterfell, Meereen and Dorne) — Corrected!

  1. Crystal

    The “marry Sansa to Ramsay” plot made 0 sense to me. Keep the Jeyne Poole as fake Arya plot, and let Sansa stay in the Vale, even if it means casting Jeyne and Harry and not giving Sophie Turner much to do for a season.

    It just didn’t make sense for someone as clever, or even “clever,” as Littlefinger not to know what kind of a person Ramsay was. And I hated seeing Sansa as a victim yet again, where the books have her growing into a much stronger and more subtle character. I think Sophie Turner could have done sooooooo much with “I’ll be all the spice you want!”

    And keep the Arianne plotline! Arianne’s story was important in showing Dornish absolute primogeniture. It didn’t make sense to me to have show!Ellaria act the opposite of her character in the books (who is staunchly anti-war and anti-vengeance). Arianne’s plot to crown Myrcella made sense in a way that Meanie Ellaria didn’t.

    Finally, keep the Jaime Goes To The Riverlands plot because it was fun to watch Jaime lay the smackdown on various Freys. He could have taken Bronn with him and had the Snarky Buddy Roadtrip, now with more Freys and rotting corpses!

  2. @00:04:05 – Ironborn raid on the Dreadfort. THANK YOU! That scene was devastatingly bad. We’d invested so much emotion in the show and had been dying for S4 to come out on DVD and then we sat down to binge watch it and when it hit that scene … oh my God … it was so unthinkably, laughably bad that it single-handedly killed the show for me. Then of course there was Craster’s after that, and then Season 5 … but Yara’s Dreadfort scene really broke my heart. I so badly wanted the show to be great and that scene was like “hahahaha … we had you going didn’t we? It’s all trash and the joke’s on you, sucker”

  3. @00:10:40 – “the north could be marginally worse than Dorne”. I absolutely agree – I also think Meereen was worse than Dorne. Dorne is like a tumor that could be removed. The other two are like mestastasized stage 4 plot and theme cancer.

  4. @00:39:00 – Stannis burning Shireen. Stannis believes himself to be Azor Ahai. Azor Ahai killed the person he loved most to save humanity. BookStannis will indeed burn Shireen – not to change the weather, but to save humanity – to plunge Lightbringer through the heart of whom to him is Nissa Nissa – his daughter and more importantly (from his view) his only heir. For Stannis, it’s the ultimate choice, the ultimate sacrifice, and the ultimate act of heroism. But of course, it doesn’t work, because Melisandre has misread the flames. This is high tragedy that would leave The Bard drooling.

    • D&D? Also drooling … but not due to their grasp of tragedy … just drooling … every day when they wake … every night when they go to bed … drooling .. like the pathetic literary vegetables that they are.

      • somethinglikealawyer

        I could see that, but we didn’t get the desperation, and they painted the scene as an extension of his own ambitions, so instead it’s: ‘shitty guy does shitty thing and dies’

    • LauraM

      I don’t think it will be Stannis who kills Shireen. Mel and Selyse are more likely.

  5. Colin Meyers

    This has to be by far the worst podcast to date. I’m sorry but the hypercritical stances taken on the show/ D&D/ every little detail the show can’t adapt from the unadaptable books bothers me. Let’s forget the show has a budget, time constraints, only 10 episodes to show everything in. I wish you guys atleast had a counter point in this podcast cause it really was just one big echo chamber circle jerk of trashing the show. You guys would be better off inviting me onto the podcast to play devils advocate

    • Okay Counselor Meyers: Since you’ve volunteered your legal expertise as “D&Devil’s Advocate”, please illuminate us with your learned defenses of your clients on the following capital crimes:

      1) Yara attacks the Dreadfort (S4)
      2) Jon attacks Craster’s (S4)
      3) Stannis burns daughter to change the weather (S5)
      4) Myrcella prophesied to be crowned, then killed in S5E1, then killed without having been crowned in S5E10
      5) Dorne … pick any aspect at all and defend it. (S5)
      6) Tyrion’s character-defining exchange with Jaime about Tysha replaced by … uhh …. the monologue about the bug-crusher (S4)
      7) Jon’s struggles with leadership, morality and honor replaced by … uhh … Olly.

      Defend your clients, counselor – and may R’hllor have mercy on their souls.

    • I’m with you on that one. I understand this season was the worst to date. I agree with that sentiment along with everyone else. But I don’t need to listen to why something is terrible for 2 full podcasts.

      The idea of making this more about “here’s how to improve it” as opposed to “this is why this is bad” was a good one. However, in reality, all these past two podcasts did was harp on how bad the show was.

      Nina, you’re awesome in general, but your hatred of the show was just overwhelming and not at all constructive. I understand youre passionate about the books, but theres a time and a place… Everyone, I hope you stick more to book-only material from here on out.

  6. @00:52:00 – “the city/plotline that everyone hates in the books” – Hey – I love the Slaver’s Bay arc.

  7. mercedene1

    Great podcast. It’s always nice to know other people have the same issues I do with the show (especially Dorne… ugh). For me, it was additionally galling to watch b/c all the great character development Jaime got in AFFC didn’t happen (arguably he’s backsliding, given how stupid his “plan” to get Myrcella wound up being, and the fact that he’s STILL with Cersei – can they just break up already?!).

  8. 1. Theon and Sansa jumping from Winterfell:

    I don’t like how Sansa and Theon jumping was done, but I disagree with Nina’s assessment of how the snow melting in the north in one day would mean there wouldn’t be a snowbank outside of Winterfell. Anytime a single warm, sunny day follows a snow and melts almost all the ground snow, large banks still remain for weeks and weeks – especially if it’s packed down by a snowplow (or a blizzard wind against a wall). Given the height of the Winterfell walls, it’s not out of the question that a twenty foot tall snowback could easily remain for them to jump into given previous, blustery conditions. I don’t think this was executed well – we couldn’t even see the snowbank, but that’s not to say it’s totally implausible – snow melts very unevenly.

    2. On Brienne/Stannis:

    I totally agree with the point of Brienne being conflicted over getting caught between two oaths would have made a much more compelling story.

    I honestly thought she would end up going to assassinate Stannis at the season’s end, only to discover he was protecting Sansa, and she would have to throw down her sword. Or I thought with all the foreshadowing they were doing about Brienne loving Renly for dancing with her “they’re nasty little shits, and nasty little shits aren’t worth crying over” and Stannis’ love for his disfigured daughter, that it was going to be revealed Stannis was actually the Baratheon brother that danced with her at that ball, and the fact Brienne said that quote would be the way he would prove it to her.

    I thought the angle they were going for was that Brienne was young, in tears, and in an emotionally traumatized place. Stannis would remember this event because he saw her as a kindred daughter at the time, knowing how his infant daughter was being scorned for her ugliness in a similar way. They laid the foreshadowing heavy about Brienne not being a knight, and I thought he was going to knight her as Sansa’s protector for her bravery.

    This would have placed Brienne in a very strange place, knowing a lot about her life was a lie, and show Stannis was making friends of those who wouldn’t bend the knee in a very personal, show!way (rather than winning some unknown mountain clans to his cause the show wouldn’t really have time for.)

    Alas, it didn’t happen.

    3. Season Six Predictions:

    I wouldn’t exactly get hopes up for the Tower of Joy, even after it was confirmed to be that castle in Spain. I still doubt they’ll use it for more than random Bran visions, aka, he sees the tower constantly and asks Bloodraven what it means. Or (and this could be the biggest letdown I can imagine)…

    …D&D replace Ghaston Grey with the Tower of Joy, which is still standing in the show, and Ellaria and the Sand Snakes get sent there for solitary imprisonment for murdering Myrcella. But then maybe they find Lyanna’s diary or something stupid and discover R+L=J.

    I think Littlefingeer is going to flip the attack on the North around and convince Bronze Yohn to march on King’s Landing. After all, Littlefinger’s first notion with discussing things with Cersei was to tell her to send the Lannister army into the north, away from KL. At the moment, he’s just using the planned attack on the North as a ruse to make her seem unconvinced that he’s mobilizing his army. (I don’t know about this though. LF in the show doesn’t make a whole lot of sense)

    I can’t really see a Battle of Fire / Blackwater 2.0 late in the season. If it happens, I think it’ll be episode four, five, six or something. I still think she will end the season within eyeshot of Westeros and her Dotrhaki arc won’t last that long. Ten episodes, or even fifteen episodes is a very small amount of screentime for Dany to conquer all of Westeros if the show runs eight seasons.

    • somethinglikealawyer

      Hey, I’m glad you liked the Brienne/Stannis idea. So I’m guessing you think the ball maybe was a masked affair? She always thought it was Renly, but it was strict and fair Stannis, the one who gave every maid one dance as befits him? And the one who sees that no matter anything else, do it right? That’s clever, even if Stannis seemed a bit too odd around women to be the one dancing at a ball (though I don’t think ShowStannis was as awkward around the fairer sex).

  9. mirosav

    Stannis story was all greek to D&D this season

  10. I must say, I do not agree that the Unsullied being slaughtered by the Sons of The Harpy’s was totally awful. I understand that the Unsullied are supposed to be some of the best fighters in the world, however, aren’t they great fighters on the open battlefield? Or atleast places where they have space. The Unsullied are not city guards and that is clear by the fact that they are patrolling the narrow Meereenese streets and alleyways with long-ass spears. If giving them spears was a conscious choice by the show runners then I do have to say that that is a bit more intelligent then it was made out to be. Barristan is another matter , but I do not believe the Unsullied being killed in that manner was that terrible.

    • somethinglikealawyer

      The problem is, the Unsullied are sold not as being the strongest fighters, but by having the best drill, and being impervious to pain or fear. Their formation is their strength, but we see them break formation to engage the Sons, exposing themselves to attacks from the back or front that their tight formations are supposed to alleviate. It’s foolish for them to break ranks almost immediately in response to an ambush.

  11. Damorka

    Hello, I like your podcasts allot however I’m not able to play the second part of sezon 5 review. Can you please check if the file is ok? Regards, Damorka

  12. I can’t play part 2. I’m using a kindle fire.

  13. adamhal

    Can’t play part 2. I’m on a browser

  14. Michael Wheeler

    Part 2 still isn’t able to play..

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