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I read the books and was THRILLED by this. Yes, it differs greatly from the books, but it answers the one huge burning question at the end of them re if someone is still alive, because one cannot participate in future activities if dead. They'd already spoiled the Night's King last season, and warned us they would pass the books. There are some storylines that will be weird without elements of the book, but Martin steered where this all went. It's congruent with where the books are headed, according to him. I think San's right re the mind warfare. Cool stuff :) And I think they would melt in the water or have issues. Not sure if it's just the salt, or any water (because it liquid form it's warmer than snow/ice) because of the temperature. Remember, they can't descent on Westeros until it's in a state of winter. When Jon's sword killed the white walker, I thought he was the prophecy/resurrection! Melisandre thinks it's Stannis, and I think she realizes this next ep it's not (it previewed a look of "uh oh"). We'll see! Very excited.

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But, as Emy says, that is still a fan theory and not proven yet :).

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If you truly want to know, google R+L+J.
Don't want to spoil it here for anyone else.
Slate.com has a good primer video on it.

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I noticed that too, but I *think* it was just the coloring/starkness (no pun intended). She's alabaster so her face will look more moon-ish when the room is so dark.
Pregnancy is an interesting (if not horrifying) theory though!

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Okay, S1 or S2, still the show and not the book. First episode of the second season per the Wikia. Same ep as the first appearance of the comet. Either way, still strong imagery and something that has happened in the series and not the books.

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Trying to remember WHY Mormont gave it to him. Do you remember? Seems kinda odd.

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Thank you. I read the books too and was trying to make sure not to spoil, but I couldn't remember! Even my hubby thought Ned gave it to Jon as a gift for joining the night's watch. I do remember the sword being melted down for the other two. F***ing Joffrey! lol. They have said that no one knows how to make Valyrian steel anymore, so I wonder how this will come into play.

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Not a specific book spoiler btw. Melissandre explained the prophecy in an earlier scene, S1 I think.

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We wondered about Valyrian steel - but also - could it be the prophecy of R'hollor, and the true lightbringer is actually Jon Snow with Ice????

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We already know that at least some (in charge) can leave town, from the meeting with the Doc and the Secret Service guy. Clearly they are in touch with the outside world via a larger part of the conspiracy, so it's not too difficult to figure out the supplies, etc., and if most people were "imports", then they got their education elsewhere, just like our protagonist and other key characters.
Clearly they are well-funded, so that kind of makes it all a moot point. The TIME, on the other had, has me fascinated. His partner looks older while Beverly hasn't aged. Very curious. I'm sure we'll learn more about the how/what/why as it proceeds, we're only a couple of episodes in, after all.