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It's tempting to see the enemy as evil, but what happens when you've laughed with the enemy, feared for the enemy or root for the enemy to end up with the very guy whose friends is killing. And it wasn't just Ygritte I was worried about, it was Tormund too, the cannibal Thenn that I came to like, despite of what he did to the youngestr brother's parents, even Ser Allister and the deep in denial Janos Slynth.

It's exhausting to root for Jon, all the while knowing it was Tormund he may as well kill down the Wall; to yell for Tormund to make it, all the while knowing it was Sam he may have to kill to do so. To be glad Ygritte got through only to resent her for killing Pyp, or to know that little boy had every reason to kill her, all the while knowing what this may do to Jon.

I gasped for each person on each side of this conflict. I smiled with Jon for, whoever would die next, at least he and Ygritte got to see each other before it happened. And, by the end of the battle, I was equally devastated to see Grenn and the Giant dead on the ground.

It's exhausting to care for both sides, to know the story of both sides, to laugh, to fear, to root for both sides...because it makes you painfully aware that, no matter which side wins, everybody loses.


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