Here's the SDCC trailer:

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Alas, adios to the Sand Snakes (or at least two of them). Since it appears I will never learn who they are individually on the show, I felt I should look them up, so that I could refer to them as something other than The Short One, The One I Know and The Other One.

Being the kind of guy I am, I thought I'd share my research with you.

1. Since I've never read the books, I was surprised to find out that all of the Sand Snakes are illegitimate children of Oberyn Martell, the guy killed by The Mountain in the arena. It turns out that illegitimate royals in Dorne are given the surname Sand, as they are given the surname Snow in the north. And Oberyn had eight daughters! Only the three oldest were trained in combat, though.

2. I was already familiar with Indira Varma, the actress who plays matriarch Eilaria Sand, from shows like Rome, Human Target and Kama Sutra. (I hear she was in Torchwood, a show I didn't watch.) What I didn't catch until doing research is that she is also a Sand, and therefore illegitimate royalty. That may explain some of her attitude.

3. The One I Know is -- or was -- Nymeria Sand. I know her because she's Colleen Wing in Iron Fist, an actress named Jessica Henwick. She was the whip-wielder, and was strangled with it, ironically, by Euron Greyjoy. She almost didn't come back to the role this season, having a better (and non-fatal) gig in Iron Fist, but did so out of sense of obligation to the character.

3. The Other One is Obara Sand, played by Australian actress named Keisha Castle-Hughes. I've forgotten how she died, as I've forgotten everything else about her. Interestingly, her photos indicate that she kinda looks a little like Varma.

4. The Short One is Tyene Sand, played by Rosabell Laurenti Sellers, and she survived. You may remember her as the one who flashed her boobs at the guy who trained Jaime Lannister how to fight left-handed and who fought for Tyrion at the Eagle's Nest, a guy whose name I've forgotten.

That's it. But now we only have to remember one of them!

It's dangerous to get attached to any of the characters on the show, they die easily.

George RR Martin was a master at killing off the admirable characters and keeping the detestable ones around. That trends seems to be reversing a bit as new material is being created. The show is becoming a little more conventional. Many of the things that drove me crazy about the the books aren't happening in the show anymore.

Also, I was surprised to see a question answered from all the way back in season 1 regarding one of the dire wolves.  I kept thinking it would be answered in the books but it never was definitively addressed.

I came on to this forum to talk about something else, and was astounded to see that no one has commented on the season ender!

* The Ice Dragon: Brag alert: The instant two dragons showed up to save John Snow, I predicted the "spare" was just there to be killed, so it could be resurrected as a White Walker (or Flyer), and take down The Wall. I'd been thinking about how the wall would come down, and it all snapped into place as soon as the second dragon appeared -- again, a suspicious "spare," since Daenerys had only taken one to attack the whole Lannister army. What was the second one for? To die, of course.

* Cersei: I didn't believe her. Why did Tyrion and the gang?

* Jaime: Is it possible this character is actually going to get redeemed? Of course, any character who gets redeemed on this show gets killed. But I think it's pretty obvious now that he is the "younger brother" destined to kill Cersei. He can add "Queenslayer" to is CV, and complete the set.

* The Hound: I thought Clegane Bowl was just a fanboy wet dream, but it looks like it might could happen. Which means, on this show, that it probably won't.

* Time flies: They're really sprinting through a LOT of plot in this last few episodes, aren't they? This much material used to last several seasons!

* Yara: Is she dead? Doesn't seem likely, but then, I thought we'd get once last look at the Dorne royal family (what remains), but it looks like their story is over. Yara's could be, too. (But I doubt it. Or else why keep Theon around?)

* Incest: Yes, John's sleeping with his aunt. That shouldn't bother Daenerys -- it's Tagaryon tradition for royal siblings to marry each other, so aunt and nephew is no biggie. But this will definitely upset John, or should.

* The Red Witch: What were her predictions? I've forgotten, but now they're suddenly important.

* Tyrion: He never fails to steal every scene he's in. I hope he hasn't sold out Daenerys, but we didn't see how that meeting turned out, and he sure is acting weird. But I like him too much for that.

* Orient Express: It is SO WEIRD to finally have all these characters converging, who have so much history behind them. Every group they throw together has a couple of people who have tried to kill each other before, or at least really hate each other. It makes the dialogue almost write itself.

Thoughts, Legionnaires?

  I skipped a lot of full episodes and just watched the highlights on youtube.  I haven't had a lot of time lately.  Personally I did believe that Cersei would wise up based on her reaction.  Even the dumbest person should have realized the danger.  But she's become the shows greatest egotist, firmly believing that she can game any situation to her advantage.  The one flaw in her thinking is that if the army of the dead wins they'll add the army of the living to their number and no hired mercenary army is going to stop that.

It was nice to see Tyrion, Pon and Bron together again.  Bron is actually on of my favorite characters.  He's smart, he's a good fighter but above all he's honest.  He's in a lousy world, knows it and sees no point in not saying so.  I am looking forward to seeing Sansa and Tyrion meet again, and seeing Aria's meeting with Danny. 



Captain Comics said:


* Time flies: They're really sprinting through a LOT of plot in this last few episodes, aren't they? This much material used to last several seasons!


Yes things move much more quickly now. Ravens seem to travel at light speed. A character has one scene at the wall and is later seen in Westeros in the same episode. Logistics have been thrown out the window in favor of density of incident. It robs the show of some of the sense of realism that it had in the early days but is pretty satisfying to a viewer who just wants the plot to progress a little more quickly than it has in past seasons. Again I credit it this to the writing being commandeered by the showrunners due to the lack of new material from Martin.

I thought it first that it was odd that a successful show would truncate its last two seasons. Then I realized I was still thinking of network TV, which will stretch out a successful show to get more ads, and therefore more money. 

I don't really know what the business model is for a company like HBO. I guess they only need to do enough shows to get you to subscribe, and then any more than that is wasted money? So truncating seasons makes sense. 

Anybody know?

I don't know but I do think that these more recent episodes have probably been much more expensive to make with all of the dragon effects, battle scenes, white walkers, etc...  Maybe the budget forces them to sacrifice some episodes in order to pay for the effects. 

I think that the story is getting the action part and that they are in a hurry to get going on it.  We've had a lot of seasons of gradual build.

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