Game of Thrones: The Children   Show Only 
June 15, 2014 10:13 PM - Season 4, Episode 10 - Subscribe

Daenerys must face harsh realities; Bran learns more about his destiny; Tyrion sees the truth of his situation; and circumstances north of the Wall are altered by an unexpected arrival
posted by deathpanels (362 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
 
Oh shit!
posted by homunculus at 10:13 PM on June 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


It felt like the whole episode was one "oh shit!" after another. I loved the fight between The Hound and Brienne. It felt very, very real.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:15 PM on June 15, 2014 [9 favorites]


HOW TO CHAIN YOUR DRAGONS

BOOM

NAILED IT
posted by Sys Rq at 10:17 PM on June 15, 2014 [35 favorites]


Daenerys must face harsh realities

Last time they showed us the dragon's attack, but this time we have no idea what happened. I wouldn't be surprised if the guy killed his own child in order to collect a payment. Poor Rhaegal and Viserion.
posted by homunculus at 10:18 PM on June 15, 2014


I guess Gendry is still rowing away from Dragonstone? Maybe he lost an oar.
posted by jamaro at 10:19 PM on June 15, 2014 [12 favorites]


Can someone remind me what Valar Morghulis means? I'm afraid to search and accidentally read spoilers.
posted by desjardins at 10:22 PM on June 15, 2014


I don't get how Stannis transported enough troops by ship to completely overrun within minutes a 100,000-strong Wildling army full of mammoths and what-not. Seems lazy how they handled that, like they just wanted to toss away that plotline.

And if Mance's whole point was just to get beyond the Wall, what's with sending roving raiding parties over it to eat all the villagers?
posted by shivohum at 10:22 PM on June 15, 2014 [7 favorites]


1) Arya wanted to go to the Wall. Presumably to reunite with Jon Snow, but if that captain had been, say, from Dorne or Pentos instead of Braavos, what then? I kind of don't love random shit like that. But if we get to see Tom Wlaschiha again, that will be totally worth it.

2) Yeah, that was an amazingly intense swordfight between Brienne and Clegane. I thought it was honestly a better fight than Mountain vs. Oberyn. I guess Brienne and Pod will still continue on to the Aerie?

2a) I was a little surprised that the watchers at the Bloody Gate simply let Arya and the Hound waltz off, especially with the price on the Hound's head. Where were they going, I wonder? As the Hound said, nowhere is safe. So what plan could they possibly have had? Try to get to the Tullys?

3) Speaking of Tullys, one guy we did not see at all this season was the Blackfish. I hope he comes back next year.

4) I definitely, definitely did not see Tyrion's showdown with Tywin coming. Truly incredible. Nor did I anticipate Tywin sleeping with Shae. He'd always been presented as a man without those kinds of personal wants, so it was interesting to see him so vulnerable. However, how in hell did Tyrion have time to sneak back upstairs and traipse around unseen? And why did Varys keep waiting for him the whole while? (Also, what do they use for toilet paper?)

4a) Tywin said he wasn't planning to let Tyrion get beheaded. IF that was true (and it's hard to say, because in the same conversation, he admitted to always wanting Tyrion dead), then what would his plan have been, I wonder? Same offer as Ned Stark got? I think he was probably lying.

5) Jaime said Varys had Tyrion bound for "the free cities." So that could be any of nine places, though I believe the only two we've actually seen on the show are Braavos and Pentos. Braavos would be fun because they could meet up with Arya! (As if.) Pentos seems more likely, since that's where Tyrion was planning to send Shae.

5a) But now that Varys is aboard, anything is possible! In fact, it's even possible they try to hook up with Dany, if indeed Varys was trying to promote her interests, as seemed to be that case in that scene from season 1 with Magister Ilyrio (who is from Pentos and arrange Dany's marriage to Khal Drogo). That connection, though, would still seem to point toward at least a stop in Pentos. Another possibility is Lys, which is where Varys is from. Also, nice callback to the last guy Varys had put in a crate! Only this one is going in the other direction.

5b) At first I wasn't sure if Tywin had actually been fatally killed. But the tolling bells that sent Varys scurrying to the ship seem pretty unambiguous. Man, again, amazing scene, but what a pity to lose Charles Dance! He's just exceptional!

6) So we still don't know what Stannis' long-term goal is here. I mean, Jon Snow could have acted a bit more shocked to see him show up, no? Anyway, "cover himself in glory by saving the Seven Kingdoms from the wildlings" doesn't exactly seem like a winning plan when most folks don't even seem to care about the Wall or the Night's Watch anymore. Also, if there's anyone who seemingly fits in with the Night's Watch, it's definitely Ser Daavos! So gruff looking!

7) No Gendry at all this season. It's possible we'll never see him again. Certainly there's nothing about him that has to boomerang to advance the story.

8) I thought watching Dany her cry over the dragons was pretty sappy and definitely hard to empathize with. I also don't understand why they had to chain them up. Couldn't they melt the chains with their breath? And anyway, surely that giant stone at the front of the tombs would prevent them from getting out. Also, how are they going to find that black dragon? Something really bad's gonna happen. But I am pretty bored of that storyline. Super complicated political machinations involving a partial reauthorization of servitude? Oy vey. Maybe a war will break out over a trade deal....

9) The Three-Eyed Raven thing is getting super magical, and I'm not a huge fan of that stuff. I guess it's fantasy, though, so whaddya expect?

10) What do you think will become of the Mountain? I mean, he can't possibly get meaner or more evil. Could he get even stronger? The defrocked maester hinted as much, by going "Oh, no no" (basically) when Cersei asked if the treatment would weaken Clegane. Obviously he'll have to emerge deranged in some way. Or maybe Hodor'd.
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 10:22 PM on June 15, 2014 [12 favorites]


Valar Morghulis = All Men Must Die
posted by jamaro at 10:23 PM on June 15, 2014 [4 favorites]


That was a continuous flow of holy crap. Now we know why they were seemingly skimping on the budget all season.

I'm going to single out probably the least momentous thing in the episode: The Mountain lives! Is Mr. Unlicensed Maester gonna give him mutant superpowers?
posted by neckro23 at 10:26 PM on June 15, 2014


I guess Brienne and Pod will still continue on to the Aerie?

I like to imagine that after the fight, Pod patched up the Hound's wounds and Sandor fell head-over-heels in love with Brienne. She's not interested, so now he just follows her around like a big puppy trying to impress her while she just rolls her eyes.
posted by homunculus at 10:26 PM on June 15, 2014 [11 favorites]


And the sea captain responds with "Valar Dohaeris." I do not believe that that phrase has ever been translated on the show, though correct me if I'm wrong.
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 10:27 PM on June 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


I do not believe that that phrase has ever been translated on the show

"Valar Dohaeris" was the episode title of S03E01 but I can't find the translation in the transcript for that episode so maybe not?
posted by Jacqueline at 10:32 PM on June 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


Here is the scene from S02E10 when Jaqen H'gar gave Arya the coin and taught her to say "Valar Morghulis."
posted by Jacqueline at 10:37 PM on June 15, 2014 [4 favorites]


I definitely, definitely did not see Tyrion's showdown with Tywin coming.

I suspected Tywin might be due, but I figured it would probably be next season, and I sure as hell didn't see that coming. In each book/season the most pivotal player of the game of thrones dies: book/season 1 it was Ned Stark, book/season 2 it was Robb Stark, and book 3/season 3-4 it has been Tywin. But damn! Like Littlefinger said, people die on their chamber pots, or in the privy, apparently.
posted by homunculus at 10:42 PM on June 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


6) So we still don't know what Stannis' long-term goal is here. I mean, Jon Snow could have acted a bit more shocked to see him show up, no? Anyway, "cover himself in glory by saving the Seven Kingdoms from the wildlings" doesn't exactly seem like a winning plan when most folks don't even seem to care about the Wall or the Night's Watch anymore.

Yeah, I don't know what his deal is and frankly never have known, or particularly cared. Seems like he'd gain more by allying with 100,000 Wildlings against their common rivals to the South, rather than chopping them to bits and taking their leader captive. But, hey, at least his plot tied into something for a change.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:43 PM on June 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


Robb Stark died at the end of season 3.
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 10:44 PM on June 15, 2014


What do you think will become of the Mountain?

Since he admitted publicly to the rape and murder of a Dornish princess, I assume Dorne will want to extradite him.
posted by homunculus at 10:44 PM on June 15, 2014 [3 favorites]


So we still don't know what Stannis' long-term goal is here.

I think he's following Melisandre's lead, and I gather that she views it as a holy crusade against the White Walkers. Her fire god is probably not fond of ice zombies.
posted by homunculus at 10:46 PM on June 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


["Valar Doheris" spoilery thing deleted ]
posted by taz at 10:48 PM on June 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


- FrankenMountain?

- loved the Hound vs. Brienne fight; best of the show so far. Someday fools are gonna learn not to fuck with Brienne, though, the Hound had better chances than most anyone

- speaking of trashing fools, how many men does Stannis have to throw around now? He's got a shitload of cav and to smear a ~100k force of wildlings, even camped?

- you'd think someone would have seen Stannis coming, but who wants to hear from Ramsay again anyway; Littlefinger tho

- Jon Snow must gained a couple levels in the last episode, huh

- having a secret passage from Death Row in the dungeons to the royal palace: in your D&D campaign, awesome; in your actual palace, less clever probably

- we got fuckin' faeries now I guess; dug the skellies

- loved Varys' face as he decides "fuck it, I'm getting on that ship too"; reminded me of Key & Peele's substitute teacher skit

- DANY, STOP MAKING DECISIONS

- at least until Varys hooks up with you somehow

- guess she's gonna lose at least one dragon anyhow; seems terribly disappointing to have Bran pilot a duck

- and shit, Bran, may as well pilot Hodor 24/7 while you're at it, huh

- I did want to see Sansa and Littlefinger again! Maybe they'll get to interrogate and disbelieve Brienne?
posted by furiousthought at 10:48 PM on June 15, 2014 [8 favorites]


Robb Stark died at the end of season 3.

Oops, you're right, but he was still the most pivotal figure up to that point. If Cersei is the unchallenged ruler of Westeros now, the target's on her back.
posted by homunculus at 10:50 PM on June 15, 2014


He's got a shitload of cav and to smear a ~100k force of wildlings, even camped?

Camped, disorganized rabble and light infantry are nothing but wheat for a few thousand heavy horse to scythe down, 100k or no. Heavy horse are the main battle tanks of this kind of combat.
posted by Justinian at 10:52 PM on June 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


When Mance said Mag the Mighty was the last of his line, I'm not sure if he meant that he was the last of a royal family or the last giant? If he was the king of the giants and there are more, I would have thought there would have been some in Mance's camp and they should have given Stannis's men a shock.
posted by homunculus at 10:53 PM on June 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


Bran, seriously, it's dispel undead, protection from evil, summon a few creatures then heal your Cleric/monk dual class member Sheesh.

What's the xp spread on an encounter like that?
posted by The Whelk at 10:56 PM on June 15, 2014 [10 favorites]


We saw at least one other giant in the big battle episode, and a bunch more when Jon first encountered the main Wildling camp. Didn't he marvel at how he saw dozens or maybe hundreds of giants, and Ygritte scoffed because that actually meant there were so few left?
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 11:00 PM on June 15, 2014 [3 favorites]


So we still don't know what Stannis' long-term goal is here

I would imagine that, in his eyes, what he just did was to save the North from the Wildlings. And now, this depleted challenger for the throne, perpetually in search of legitimacy, can go to the North and tell the people there that he, the brother of the last king they supported, just saved their lives and wouldn't they like to join him and fight the family who just killed Robb Stark?

You don't have to agree with that plan that to see that it has a certain very clear logic to it.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:01 PM on June 15, 2014 [4 favorites]


I think Melisandre just likes to burn things and there are lots of things to burn up there. She cray-cray.
posted by Justinian at 11:02 PM on June 15, 2014 [10 favorites]


It was striking how Arya turned down the chance to go with Brienne. She could have embraced a path that included battle, with a female mentor to boot. But it would have been a path patterned after knighthood and honor and such. She opted to go her own way in pursuit of simply killing the bastards on her list.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:07 PM on June 15, 2014 [6 favorites]


So we still don't know what Stannis' long-term goal is here

IMO, of all the remaining contenders for the Iron Throne, Stannis is the only one who is actually acting like a grownup and doing the responsible thing. He could have taken advantage of Joffrey's murder by taking his army of sellswords to Kings Landing but he realized that the security of the whole realm was more important.
posted by Jacqueline at 11:07 PM on June 15, 2014 [5 favorites]


Didn't he marvel at how he saw dozens or maybe hundreds of giants

It was just one in this scene. If there were others, I don't remember them.
posted by homunculus at 11:08 PM on June 15, 2014


This is also the first season that didn't close with an epic VFX shot! I was confused for a minute there!
posted by furiousthought at 11:12 PM on June 15, 2014


Was that a real boat, then?
posted by Jacqueline at 11:14 PM on June 15, 2014 [6 favorites]


It was striking how Arya turned down the chance to go with Brienne.

I think it set off Arya's alarm bells when Brienne admitted that Jamie Lannister had given her the sword.
posted by homunculus at 11:15 PM on June 15, 2014 [6 favorites]


Was that a real boat, then?

Way less epic than newborn dragons, the White Walker army, or city-sized crowdsurfing even :) A boat is a boat!
posted by furiousthought at 11:20 PM on June 15, 2014


Now we know why they were seemingly skimping on the budget all season.

The skeletons did look rather nice I thought.
posted by scalefree at 11:22 PM on June 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


homunculus: "It was just one in this scene. If there were others, I don't remember them."

Huh, I'm clearly misremembering, then. But there was definitely a pair of giants in the prior episode, because they were both working the gate together with that mammoth.
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 11:23 PM on June 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


And if Mance's whole point was just to get beyond the Wall, what's with sending roving raiding parties over it to eat all the villagers?

To draw out the Night's Watch from Castle Black so that the wildlings could ambush them and whittle down their numbers before the big battle.
posted by Jacqueline at 11:24 PM on June 15, 2014


- Jon Snow must gained a couple levels in the last episode, huh

Sam has taken down a warg and a White Walker, that's got to be a lot of xp for just two kills.
posted by homunculus at 11:47 PM on June 15, 2014


If it's any consolation, the real life Drogon, Rhaegal and Viserion are doing quite well at the zoo.
posted by homunculus at 11:48 PM on June 15, 2014 [6 favorites]


> She opted to go her own way in pursuit of simply killing the bastards on her list.

But not directly, right? Because she's going to Braavos! The fuckers aren't there! She's just ...so indie!
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 12:02 AM on June 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


Ah, Mance said "one of our giants," so there are more. I hadn't heard right. It still seems strange that there weren't more in Mance's camp, but I guess they'd used up the budget in the last episode.
posted by homunculus at 12:13 AM on June 16, 2014


This episode felt a bit disjointed to me. I wish they wouldn't've opened with The Wall--we had all wall, all the time last week--and it felt like they were just cramming in updates from all characters with no overarching theme.

That said, the Hound begging Arya to kill him was devastating. Best part of the show.
posted by sfkiddo at 12:22 AM on June 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


Arya's decision to not go with Brienne was about agency. Tired she is of being some else's charge. Go your own way, Stark girl!
posted by wemayfreeze at 12:23 AM on June 16, 2014 [8 favorites]


Melisandre looked very interested in Jon Snow. That can't be good. Between her and Stannis, I think his life is going to get a bit more complicated.
posted by homunculus at 12:51 AM on June 16, 2014 [4 favorites]


fuckin lmao. from the link above, no spoilers.
posted by emptythought at 2:02 AM on June 16, 2014


I guess Brienne and Pod will still continue on to the Aerie?

They don't actually know that Stansa is at the Eyrie, so my guess is they're going to look for Arya. The Hound mentioned that Lysa Arryn was dead, so they probably figure Arya wasn't going back there.

I was a little surprised that the watchers at the Bloody Gate simply let Arya and the Hound waltz off, especially with the price on the Hound's head.

I suspect when Littlefinger hears that they were there he's going to send people looking for them. Sandor and Sansa might be reunited, if the Hound survives his wounds.

As the Hound said, nowhere is safe. So what plan could they possibly have had? Try to get to the Tullys?

That seems logical. Brienne and Pod might assume Arya has gone to find the Tullys. It's a lot closer than the Wall.
posted by homunculus at 2:22 AM on June 16, 2014


I'm sad that Arya never got her gift from Hot Pie.
posted by homunculus at 2:29 AM on June 16, 2014 [10 favorites]


[deleted book spoiler link ]
posted by taz at 2:52 AM on June 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm also sad that Arya never got to see Nymeria again. I thought there was a good chance for a reunion while they were traveling through or near the Riverlands.
posted by homunculus at 3:00 AM on June 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


Once again, Varys demonstrates that it pays to be privy to what is going on behind the scenes.
posted by googly at 3:37 AM on June 16, 2014 [5 favorites]


I admit, it was a surprise when suddenly 'giant fucking fireballs thrown like snowballs' were a thing. Not complaining though, it turns out tiny children* throwing fireballs are a source of glee for me.

(*or childrenesque things)
posted by pseudonymph at 4:14 AM on June 16, 2014 [3 favorites]


Overall, it was a good episode, though not the strongest of the season by a long shot. However, I must say, it felt like a lot of the extended run time was spent on things that could've been left out.

Dany's whole section, in particular, felt superfluous. Yes, she's having to transition from warrior to actual ruler -- we get it! I don't think we really needed to see her chaining up her dragons (heavy handed symbolism FTW!) -- or at the very least, there's no reason that couldn't have been an extra 30 seconds of an earlier episode already dealing with this topic.

I guess it just felt like, the writers had no problem wrapping up Sansa's storyline for the season prior to the finale, and it felt like Dany's could have been handled the same way. In an episode that was straining to find the time to do justice to actual new twists and turns, and real payoffs, spending what felt like 5+ minutes to mildly reinforce something that was already made quite explicit in multiple episodes this season felt like a waste.

Side note: nice coincidence, having Tyrion kill Tywin on Father's Day.
posted by tocts at 4:33 AM on June 16, 2014 [7 favorites]


Notes, in no particular order:

Did we need to start with Jon Snow at the Wall and spend ten minutes there? We just had a whole hour with this story.

Mance never kneeled, despite being taken captive. Stannis will admire that and there's clearly run for an alliance between the two. Or three if you consider Jon Snow Lord Commander of the Wall, which he clearly is in all but name.

The Mountain survived. Fuck you GRR.

Worst Father's Day ever for Tywin.

Cersei's open defiance of Tywin was interesting to watch, as was his refusal to believe her about the incest. And then she kneeled before Jaimie. Was it out of genuine love or to keep Jaimie under her thumb? Probably both.

Of course Jaime frees Tyrion. Of course Varys helps.

Life lesson from Tyrion: Don't fall in love with a whore and then make her fall in love with you and then cruelly dump her, even if its for "her own good". If you want to play the game, remember that A)you may not win and B) Winning may not look like what you think.

Say what you will about Tywin, but he's smooth. Not many people would be so calm after being confronted by their angry son with a crossbow while on the toilet. Kinda surprised that Tywin wasn't reading something.

Jaime and Cersei are free to do it all the time in all the rooms in the castle. Eww.

Goodybe Jojen. Hello Meera! Bran's story is still the most boring. But he will get to fly, so there's that.

Brienne and the Hound was intense and heart breaking. You want them to be friends or at least not enemies, but they can't. And who to root for?! He is dick, but you can't help but wonder what it would have been like if they had fought and he had yielded, then they all got buddy on the road. Still, damn good fight on several levels, one of the best scenes of the season.

Pod lost the horses, of course he'd lose Arya.

Arya's final scene with The Hound...man, he was truly beaten. And then she plunged a knife into his heart and left him there, without ever touching him. He thought he had a companion, but in the end he was still that kid that his own father abandoned.

Yes Dany, dragons do shit. Jorah warned you about that, before you kicked him out in a childish fit.

Arya sails off on her own as uplifting music plays. That's not going to end well.

No Sansa in the new dress? Boo, hiss!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:44 AM on June 16, 2014 [3 favorites]


I don't think Arya plunged a knife in his heart. It looked like the knife move was her cutting the money away. Anyone watch it twice and able to say? But still, man, the acting chops on Maisie Williams! She's incredible.
posted by corb at 4:53 AM on June 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


I think he means that it was a metaphorical knife plunge!
posted by painquale at 4:54 AM on June 16, 2014 [10 favorites]


The most beautiful thing happened before the finale with the group I watch with.

Only one of us is a book reader. Actually, that's not even true: he's not a book reader, but he HAS obsessively read the Wikipedia entries for the books, and can't stop himself from dropping those "oh my God you guys are going to go nuts when you see what happens next week" non-spoiler spoilers. He's a great guy, but he's also The Worst.

So this week, after putting up with four seasons of this, we met up at his house, grilled out, and just hung out until the show started. Around 8 he remembered that he'd recorded last night's Provodnikov vs Algieri fight and put it on. One of the guys asked him (innocently!) if he already knew who won, and he said "No, and please don't tell me if you do!"

You know what happened next: a room full of people googled the results of a boxing match then spent the next hour entertaining themselves with: "Oh man, just wait until you see how this round ends!" "That eye is swelling up fast! No spoilers, but it could become important later." "Let's just say you're not going to be able to predict how this one is gonna turn out..." etc etc.
posted by Ian A.T. at 4:57 AM on June 16, 2014 [31 favorites]


Yes, Arya's knife thrust was metaphorical. She broke his heart.

Also, how awesome would it have been to see Arya hanging out with Brienne? They clearly hit it off at first glance.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:00 AM on June 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


The Game of Thrones wiki is a decent resource for looking stuff up from the show specifically and avoiding book spoilers. They have a show-only spoiler policy. There's a separate wiki for the books ("A Wiki of Ice and Fire").
posted by almostmanda at 5:01 AM on June 16, 2014 [3 favorites]


man, the acting chops on Maisie Williams! She's incredible.

I swear, you could actually see her eyes get old while she listens to him.
posted by Diablevert at 5:14 AM on June 16, 2014 [9 favorites]


It was nice of the show to put the Bran Meets The Architect From The Matrix scene at the halfway point of the episode...it was the perfect opportunity to take a guiltless bathroom break.
posted by Ian A.T. at 5:20 AM on June 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


Did anyone else find the one weirwood tree a letdown visually? It looked more like a painted prop than something big and important.
posted by corb at 5:26 AM on June 16, 2014 [4 favorites]


Gwendoline Christie (Brienne) talks about the fight scene between her and the Hound.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:36 AM on June 16, 2014 [7 favorites]


Awesome interview, Brandon, thanks for linking it.

You know, in a weird way I feel like I have nothing to say about this episode, since there's no next week coming to make predictions about. Except perhaps that I didn't like the way the Red Witch was looking at Jon. Stannis better watch his back.
posted by Diablevert at 6:01 AM on June 16, 2014 [4 favorites]


Did anyone else watch the scene where Tyrion showed up at Varys's door and just hear "ohhhh Ralphie!" in their head?
posted by DoctorFedora at 6:03 AM on June 16, 2014


That episode was killer. Great season.

The fight between Brienne and the Hound, holy shit. I think the last time I saw a TV show that allowed a man and a woman to fight and for it to be anywhere near equally physical on both sides was Fringe. Maybe that's partly because I don't watch a shitload of TV, but it's something I don't see a lot and it's always cool when it shows up. It was an excellent fight - brutal and ugly and very physical. I already liked Brienne, but it raised my opinion of her even higher. I'm excited to see what happens with her in the next season.

Sad to see the Hound go, that guy was the shit. Still, it's not like he was ever destined to die of old age in a bed surrounded by friends and family. That whole scene was fantastic and I loved the way Maisie Williams played it. There's clearly something going on in her head as he talks, but it's impossible to tell what. I couldn't really tell if she walked away because he'd been humanized enough in her eyes that she couldn't bring herself to kill him, or if she walked away because she felt that, despite everything they'd been through together, he deserved to have a painful death drawn out.

Stannis: Stannis has been a big load since day one and he's still a big load.

Definitely a lot of promise for the next season here. Tyrion's future looks like it's going to be fascinating to watch, if not especially rosy. The confrontation with Tywin was just about perfect. At no point did Tywin take the threat seriously - echoing the earlier scene with Cersei where she finally said the truth out loud and he just wouldn't let himself believe the obvious truth. Even when Tyron shot him, his reaction was one of disbelief. And then I love how calmly Tyrion turned around and reloaded while Tywin dealt with that.

King's Landing in general appears to be about to get real interesting, real fast. Tywin may not have been about to win any congeniality awards, but he performed a number of useful functions including keeping Cersei in check.

One of the things I like so much about Game of Thrones is when it shows up in the calendar year. The season premiere is always in late winter, when the weather is still shitty round these parts, and by the end of the season, it's late spring/early summer. There's something I like about that. So while of course I'm not looking forward to another New England winter, there'll be something to look forward to at the end of the next one. I liked this season a lot, definitely more than the last one (it had its moments but it did too much treading water on the way to the ninth episode), and I'm excited to see what happens next.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 6:36 AM on June 16, 2014 [6 favorites]


Did anyone else find the one weirwood tree a letdown visually? It looked more like a painted prop than something big and important.

I'm with you on this. When we saw it previously, as part of a vision / dream, it worked in that context of not-quite-being-real. However, when the fellowship of the Bran crested a hill and lo and behold, it looked exactly the same, it felt out of place -- almost like something out of Monty Python.

BRAN: Weirwood tree!
MEERA: Weirwood tree!
HODOR: Hodor!
JOJEN: (it's only a model)
posted by tocts at 6:59 AM on June 16, 2014 [32 favorites]


This season felt stronger than the last but it also felt more uneven. Where Season 3 was filled with a steady build, Season 4 was start and then stop and then start and then stop again.

Thankfully it ended on a high note. It was definitely an episode where loose ends were tied up (or at least temporarily sewn up) but it felt right. Certain characters (players) needed to be realigned on the board. I can't wait for Season 5.
posted by Fizz at 7:02 AM on June 16, 2014


Except perhaps that I didn't like the way the Red Witch was looking at Jon.

"Ooooh, LUNCH!"
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:02 AM on June 16, 2014


I can't believe they left in a "Come with me if you want to live" variant when the Child saved Bron, et al.
posted by Ian A.T. at 7:13 AM on June 16, 2014


I think the last time I saw a TV show that allowed a man and a woman to fight and for it to be anywhere near equally physical on both sides was Fringe.

You should start watching Agents of SHIELD, then. Melinda May FTW.
posted by Jacqueline at 7:36 AM on June 16, 2014


The scene between Brienne, Pod, Arya and the Hound was the best of the episode. Brienne's dawning realization of who was in front of her. It was unclear what was going to happen, aside from a wicked sword fight. Afterward, her fear and anger were directed at the only person around, poor Pod. "Where? Is? She?!?

After the fight, Arya's eyes were flat, yet you could read so much into them, as the Hound was begging her to kill him.

I had no reason to think that Tywin's saying that he would never have Tyrion put to death were anything but a ploy to get him to put the crossbow down. I'll miss Tywin.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 7:46 AM on June 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


You know that King's Landing is fucked when even Varys climbs all aboard the Nope Boat. Between Crazy Cersei and Zombie Mountain are there even any adults left there now?

Why is Cersei so invested in keeping The Mountain alive? I thought maybe she had a thing for him, but she was back in Jaime's arms again tout suite. And Jaime -- I thought he was done for when she went back to him, but he still did the right (and predictable) thing at the end.

I'm disappointed in Shae's ending. I guess I assumed that there was something more to her than "just a whore", or even just "a woman scorned" who lashed out in fury. I don't know why Tyrion's cold-blooded murder of her doesn't bother me (this whole show has been about how Tyrion isn't a murderer) but I feel like it should.

Tywin though... "Yes, I've always wanted you dead" and "I never would have let them execute you, you're family" within moments of each other -- that dude was a smooth criminal.
posted by sparklemotion at 7:51 AM on June 16, 2014 [3 favorites]


I had no reason to think that Tywin's saying that he would never have Tyrion put to death were anything but a ploy to get him to put the crossbow down.

Yes, earlier in the episode he explicitly told Cersei that Tyrion's sentence was going to be carried out tomorrow. Tywin is a helluva smooth talker, shame to see the actor go.

I guess I assumed that there was something more to her than "just a whore", or even just "a woman scorned" who lashed out in fury.

I do get the impression that she cared about him and was devastated by his spurning of her. At that point, it's understandable that she behave like a whore to get back at him, sleeping with Tywin and calling him "My lion".
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:54 AM on June 16, 2014


You know that King's Landing is fucked when even Varys climbs all aboard the Nope Boat. Between Crazy Cersei and Zombie Mountain are there even any adults left there now?

Margery and Jaime are there too. Ser Pounce might technically be an adult as well.
posted by tofu_crouton at 7:58 AM on June 16, 2014 [7 favorites]


Guys, Pycelle is still around! He matters right?
posted by DynamiteToast at 8:01 AM on June 16, 2014


I don't know why Tyrion's cold-blooded murder of her doesn't bother me (this whole show has been about how Tyrion isn't a murderer) but I feel like it should.

Because it's justice. In a land where neither she nor Tywin were ever going to be tried for their crimes -- attempting to murder Tyrion through deliberate lies -- he gave them the only penalty he could: death.
posted by shivohum at 8:02 AM on June 16, 2014


Have we seen other executions in Westeros? I can't remember if we've seen ones other than Ned Stark's. If there are non-beheading executions, it is barely possible that Tywin would have just pulled him to the Wall anyway with a fun switcheroo - because otherwise Cersei would definitely lose her bloody mind.
posted by corb at 8:02 AM on June 16, 2014


Have we seen other executions in Westeros?

The very first episode had Ned executing the deserter, and Robb executed Lord Karstark in season 3.
posted by Jacqueline at 8:06 AM on June 16, 2014


I don't know why Tyrion's cold-blooded murder of her doesn't bother me (this whole show has been about how Tyrion isn't a murderer) but I feel like it should.

I don't know if I would read it as cold-blooded. Tyrion didn't go to his father's chambers in order to kill Shae -- he didn't even know she was there until he walked in (nor did he have any reason to know she was involved with Tywin), and seemed more than a little shocked / gutted about it.

I'm not saying it makes what he did righteous, but, cold-blooded it wasn't.

(also, I'd have to re-watch to confirm, but doesn't she go for a weapon first?)
posted by tocts at 8:07 AM on June 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm disappointed in Shae's ending. I guess I assumed that there was something more to her than "just a whore", or even just "a woman scorned" who lashed out in fury.

I don't know, I thought it was a good idea that we saw her sent off to the boat, and then we saw her at the trial, and then we saw her in Tywin's bed, but all of the conversations and whatnot in between those three moments happened offscreen and were not even referred to. I also think it's a good idea that we're not really likely to find out what happened, since the two people who were most in the know about it are dead.

I think it's a good idea because it shows where Tyrion's head was at. When he found her in Tywin's bed, Tyrion did not have a moment of putting everything together. Her presence there answered no questions and raised dozens more. We don't know what happened to bring her there. We don't know what happened to make her testify against Tyrion - was she just hurt by being spurned? Did Tywin lean on her? Did he convince her that by helping to nail a guilty verdict, she would be punishing him but also helping to spare his life (having him sent to the Wall)? Did he threaten her to make her comply? Reward her materially? What did he tell her to get her from "upset about Tyrion breaking her heart" to "willing to lie in court to convict Tyrion of an act of regicide he didn't commit?" And the fact that she wound up in his bed afterwards - what does that mean?

We don't know. And Tyrion also did not know, and he didn't care.

It's telling that her presence in Tywin's bed suggests that there was a lot going on behind the scenes that neither we nor Tyrion have been aware of - and Tyrion does not ask a single question to find out about any of it. He doesn't draw confessions out of her or out of Tywin. Compare this to the calculating guy he's been since the beginning of the series - someone who always wants to know what's going on. Tyrion is at zero. He doesn't care what's going on.

It should be clear that Shae was more than just a whore, more than a woman scorned. That Tyrion doesn't even try to find out what was really going on is a great indication of how recent experiences have transformed him.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 8:07 AM on June 16, 2014 [14 favorites]


I think they stare off first, and then something in Tyrion's face makes Shae feel threatened and so she goes for a weapon. But I'd need to rewatch to be sure.
posted by corb at 8:10 AM on June 16, 2014


I think they stare off first, and then something in Tyrion's face

Or something in his hand.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:19 AM on June 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


You know that King's Landing is fucked when even Varys climbs all aboard the Nope Boat.

I wanted to add, this was one of my favorite little moments in the episode. When Tyrion finally showed up where Varys was expecting him, Varys was clearly a bit confused / concerned by the unexpected delay (saying, if I recall, "what have you done?"). However, he doesn't actually know the answer until he hears those bells toll.

The moment where Varys hears the bells toll, and realizes what Tyrion must have done, was just great. I also loved that (for me, at least) there was a moment of ambiguity as to Varys' intentions, moving back towards the ship (e.g. was he changing his mind about helping Tyrion?).

We lost one buddy comedy duo (RIP The Hound/Arya double-team), so I'm looking forward to the new Varys/Tyrion line-up in Season 5.
posted by tocts at 8:22 AM on June 16, 2014 [8 favorites]


That was a great episode, but it could have used more Margaery/Olenna.
posted by likeatoaster at 8:27 AM on June 16, 2014 [3 favorites]


I thought the shot of Tyrion and Shae (inverted) afterwards was beautiful and extremely well done. Which sounds weird given the, uh, strangulaty nature of things... but even so.
posted by Justinian at 8:30 AM on June 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


The very first episode had Ned executing the deserter, and Robb executed Lord Karstark in season 3.

Also, Theon clumsily hacked off Ser Rodrik Cassel's head.
posted by painquale at 8:31 AM on June 16, 2014


Yeah, I was thinking more: "What does King's Landing usually do?" But then again we had all those heads on spikes under Joffrey, First Of His Name, so it might just usually be beheading.
posted by corb at 8:34 AM on June 16, 2014


That's like Ser Illyn Payne's whole job.
posted by Jacqueline at 8:35 AM on June 16, 2014 [6 favorites]


Who is going to be Hand of the King now?

Does it have to be a dude? If so, Jaime would be an ironic choice. I'm thinking though that we'll see the Tyrells more ascendant so maybe Mace (with Olenna pulling the strings). I don't know if Maesters are eligible to be Hands, so I'd assume not Pycelle.

If not a dude, then maybe Olenna herself would step up? I can't see Cersei working her way into that spot.
posted by sparklemotion at 8:42 AM on June 16, 2014


It looked like the knife move was her cutting the money away.

Yes, she cuts away his coin purse. An echo of the Hound robbing the farmer in Breaker of Chains -- "dead men don't need silver" -- and the Hound's reaction made me think he recognized it and realized then that Arya wouldn't be showing him mercy.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 8:48 AM on June 16, 2014 [8 favorites]


Who is going to be Hand of the King now?

The king's whole table is looking pretty empty. It's just him and mom and uncle-father Jaime now, isn't it?
posted by Sys Rq at 8:48 AM on June 16, 2014


*awaits Tommen's revelation over bowl of Pop Secret*
posted by Sys Rq at 8:49 AM on June 16, 2014 [5 favorites]


A few thoughts, forgive me if one of my questions can't be answered in here due to the book/no-book fork.

1. What's the deal with the skellingtons? Is the weir-tree's ice plain a frozen dead marshes analogue? if so, what battle was that what left the weir-tree plain a-littered with the bones of many and many?

2. in the prior TV thread, it was noted that the sole unblocked tunnel in the Wall is the only way to move a large body of people from one side to the other. I don't recall if we have a reported headcount on Stannis' legions, but if we accept that Mance does indeed have 100k just north of the tunnel, it stands to reason that Stannis must have been able to move an indeterminately large for (from an arbitrary minimum of 25k, to a number larger than 100k) from south to north.

therefore, there must be another route which can accommodate large numbers of people on the move. Where is it? What route did he take?

other observations: more than usually direct refercences to LOTR in this episode, specifically in the undertree wizard monologue and Pod and Brienne's loss of the horses. I suspect there may be more that I just missed.
posted by mwhybark at 8:51 AM on June 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


It's the only way to move a large body from one side to the other via land, but it would be pretty obvious if Stannis moved that big an Army through Westeros itself. I think it's likely that he did like the Ironborn and moved them by sea.
posted by corb at 8:54 AM on June 16, 2014


What's the deal with the skellingtons?

Can't speak to the book, but I loved them as a Jason and the Argonauts homage.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 8:54 AM on June 16, 2014 [11 favorites]


...it stands to reason that Stannis must have been able to move an indeterminately large for (from an arbitrary minimum of 25k, to a number larger than 100k) from south to north.

Remember in S04E06 when Davos used their Iron Bank loan money to hire Salladhor Saan and his ships?
posted by Jacqueline at 8:59 AM on June 16, 2014 [4 favorites]


I just *knew* that Jaime was leading Tyrion up to a trap - that Cersei and a couple of knights were waiting at the top of the staircase. When he turned away, I figured that Tyrion knew it too. I had no idea he was going to pay a visit to Tywin.
posted by mbd1mbd1 at 9:04 AM on June 16, 2014 [5 favorites]


The king's whole table is looking pretty empty. It's just him and mom and uncle-father Jaime now, isn't it?

Don't forget that the Small Council still boasts Mace Tyrell, MASTER OF SHIPS.
posted by Iridic at 9:08 AM on June 16, 2014 [12 favorites]


Who is going to be Hand of the King now?

Cersei.

It's just him and mom and uncle-father Jaime now, isn't it?

No, it's just Cersei. Jaimie willingly forgot about his place in history once Cersei offered herself to him. Tommen is just a boy and Cersei's in charge until he comes of age.

Get ready for CNN, the Cersei News Network
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:13 AM on June 16, 2014


Ah, Mance said "one of our giants," so there are more. I hadn't heard right. It still seems strange that there weren't more in Mance's camp, but I guess they'd used up the budget in the last episode.

I took the whole discussion of the dead royal giant to be less specific to that giant and more an indication they were basically an endangered species so each one you kill is notable and makes a pretty significant dent in their gene pool.
posted by SharkParty at 9:26 AM on June 16, 2014 [3 favorites]


furiousthought: "guess she's gonna lose at least one dragon anyhow; seems terribly disappointing to have Bran pilot a duck"

Very impressed. I did not figure this out myself, but it does indeed seem quite plausible that Bran "will fly" by piloting Dany's dragon. And this one detail seems to be why they included the otherwise unnecessary (and maudlin) Meereen scene.

Also, regarding Stannis' army, it's possible they came overland north of the Wall. But it seems a bit more likely that they came through the tunnel from south of the Wall, if only because Mance comments that Stannis and his men are not warmly dressed. If they'd shlepped overland via the northern route, it seems they'd all be a lot chillier. But maybe they're just very tough.
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 9:28 AM on June 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


Qyburn appears to be gunning for Master of Freaky Human Experiments and Stump Adornment. So there's one seat filled.
posted by almostmanda at 9:34 AM on June 16, 2014 [3 favorites]


it stands to reason that Stannis must have been able to move an indeterminately large for (from an arbitrary minimum of 25k, to a number larger than 100k) from south to north.


I think that they passed the wall via sea and rode along the north side of it.

The wall is 300 miles long, and based on what maps I can find from non-spoilery sources, Castle Black seems to be right in the middle. So, say 150 miles from the wall to the fight.

This horsey site claims that mounted knights could cover 50-60 miles per day, but 20-30 is more reasonable. If you call it say, 40 miles per day, that's a little under 4 days of riding once they are off the ships.

Assuming they've got provisions and shelter, I can see Stannis et al. being "ok" with 4 days riding while "underdressed" but they are probably ready to find some furs now.
posted by sparklemotion at 9:39 AM on June 16, 2014 [3 favorites]


Why is Cersei so invested in keeping The Mountain alive? I thought maybe she had a thing for him, but she was back in Jaime's arms again tout suite.

Cersei already thinks of most people around her as tools for her to use when she needs, and The Mountain happens to be a particularly useful tool for the sort of work she can't and won't do herself. It's also very Cersei to put all of her eggs in a single basket that she's certain she can control indefinitely. She doesn't do backup plans or hedge her bets, she just finds the biggest, meanest person who will take her gold and assumes that paying him means she'll just automatically win every physical altercation from now on.
posted by Copronymus at 9:45 AM on June 16, 2014 [7 favorites]


Plus the Mountain isn't very smart, enjoys killing and is good at it. That sort of man can go far in Cersei's army.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:49 AM on June 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


The court at King's Landing is about to get even more crazy than normal, just HOW much time has passed since the new king was killed at his own wedding again, and Cersei needs BACK UP.
posted by The Whelk at 9:50 AM on June 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


So our theory is that the Mountain is going to be Cersei's Hodor?
posted by almostmanda at 9:53 AM on June 16, 2014 [4 favorites]


Cersei: Gregor, go drop Loras into Blackwater Bay.

The Mountain: GREGOR.
posted by sparklemotion at 9:55 AM on June 16, 2014 [14 favorites]


All I'm sayin is; if they're going to somehow have the Mountain survive that shit, then the Hound better live too. Because the Hound seemed like he might have actually been trying to redeem himself in the last few episodes. Well, I guess we know how that ends up on this show.

That fight between him and Brienne was awful. My wife and I are both just yelling "no! Neither of these characters can die, can they?"

Arya is now stone cold. That scene was messed up. She doesn't even want to simply kill. She wants people to see people suffer.


I just *knew* that Jaime was leading Tyrion up to a trap - that Cersei and a couple of knights were waiting at the top of the staircase.


My wife thought this too, but I didn't really get it. Cersei could wait a day and watch his head get cut off in front of everybody. It was a done deal. Why would she want to do something like that? I suppose wanting to do it herself wouldn't be out of character. Cersei is the worsei. But it still didn't seem as likely to me as Jamie just helping him escape.
posted by Hoopo at 10:10 AM on June 16, 2014 [3 favorites]


(also, I'd have to re-watch to confirm, but doesn't she go for a weapon first?)

Yes, a cheese knife. A big one. They were probably eating a big cheese.
posted by Hoopo at 10:13 AM on June 16, 2014 [7 favorites]


> She doesn't even want to simply kill. She wants people to see people suffer.

I dunno, I kind of see her choice as just "Fuck you I won't do what you tell me." As though, everyone is leading her around by the nose all the time, and it bothers her so much that, list or no, sometime buddy or no, all she knows to do for sure is chafe at the bit and Opt Out. It's pretty teenage, isn't it? I think I choose to read her faraway look as kind of PTSD "I can't really process this drama right now, I do need that money though, bye felicia."
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 10:21 AM on June 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


So our theory is that the Mountain is going to be Cersei's Hodor?

But rather than being the sweet innocent Hodor we all know and love he's going to be a creation of Qyburn "THEY CALLED ME MAD AT THE CITADEL." so who the hell knows.
posted by The Whelk at 10:23 AM on June 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


Why is Cersei so invested in keeping The Mountain alive?

I suspect she might want him as a bargaining chip. Oberyn got him to publicly confess to having raped and killed Princess Elia of Dorne, so Dorne may want to put him on trial for that, and Dorne has Myrcella. Cersei may want to use the prospect of exchanging him in order to get her daughter back. But that's assuming Cersei even cares that much; I get the feeling she's sort of written Myrcella off.
posted by homunculus at 10:30 AM on June 16, 2014 [3 favorites]


Cersei is the worsei.

This shouldn't have made me laugh as much as it did.

1. What's the deal with the skellingtons?

Feel free to delete if this verges into book territory, but I don't remember them from the book at all. I think they are an (admittedly rad) show invention.
posted by chainsofreedom at 10:32 AM on June 16, 2014


Also, I for one AM upset about Shae's death. I mean, she's a foreign-born whore. We KNOW she's had to have been acting under some pretty heavy duress. There's more reason to think that she was under Tywin's thumb than to presume she did everything nasty out of her own bile.

So, she pulled a knife, and she had to be killed. Them's the breaks in this violent world of Westeros, but I think it was very much NOT a case of "she got what she deserved." Or even that Tyrion pleasured at all in killing her. I think he knew that she was a sad, messed up little pawn and her death simply confirms how damnedly difficult it is for Tyrion, herself, or other marginal sorts to survive The Game.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 10:34 AM on June 16, 2014 [4 favorites]


Also, does she even do anything with the knife before Tyrion charges at her? It might be that she felt afraid and wanted to have something to protect herself with just in case.
posted by corb at 10:36 AM on June 16, 2014


All I'm sayin is; if they're going to somehow have the Mountain survive that shit, then the Hound better live too.

At this point I think that's entirely possible since we didn't actually see him die. Maybe a search party from the Eyrie will find him just in time (of course then he'd need to survive Littlefinger and Sansa). I would like to see the Hound get a rematch with his brother someday.
posted by homunculus at 10:37 AM on June 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


I think I choose to read her faraway look as kind of PTSD "I can't really process this drama right now, I do need that money though, bye felicia."

I dunno; she seems to have enjoyed killing that guy earlier this year, and has seen her share of violence by now. She also seemed pretty confident on her own, which makes me think she didn't see herself as being quite as reliant on the Hound as it looked to me (and him).
posted by Hoopo at 10:39 AM on June 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


I dunno, I kind of see her choice as just "Fuck you I won't do what you tell me." As though, everyone is leading her around by the nose all the time, and it bothers her so much that, list or no, sometime buddy or no, all she knows to do for sure is chafe at the bit and Opt Out. It's pretty teenage, isn't it? I think I choose to read her faraway look as kind of PTSD "I can't really process this drama right now, I do need that money though, bye felicia."

She wasn't being ordered. She was being begged. She nodded when he asked if she remembered where the heart was. She had the power in that moment and she chose.

People want to ignore that because they want to keep their like of her pure, and I fear the show will beat that out of them. But Arya and Tyrion's scenes were both about the show showing us what brutality even the characters we like are capable of.

Now, why she chose, that's ambiguous, and interesting to think on.
posted by Diablevert at 10:39 AM on June 16, 2014 [6 favorites]


I would like to see the Hound get a rematch with his brother someday.

MechaHound vs FrankenMountain
posted by Hoopo at 10:42 AM on June 16, 2014 [4 favorites]


Who is going to be Hand of the King now?

Cersei.


Can Cersei even be Hand of the King? I'd assume that if she were eligible, she'd have gotten the job back in Season 2, but it went to Tyrion instead. I'd imagine a woman and/or a Queen Mother cannot be Hand of the King.

I suspect that at the start of next season, the Hand will be Mace Tyrell, Jaime (though he'd presumably have to leave the Kingsguard), or some random Lannister cousin that basically does whatever Cersei wants.
posted by breakin' the law at 10:50 AM on June 16, 2014


Cersei is Queen Regent again (like she was for Joffrey), until Tommen comes of age. She can't be both Regent and Hand.
posted by Jacqueline at 10:55 AM on June 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


Someone on Reddit made a House Sigil for Gendry.
posted by Jacqueline at 11:04 AM on June 16, 2014 [7 favorites]


Without Tywin to gainsay her, Cersei can appoint whomever she pleases as Hand.

That's likely to be someone who will follow orders without question. If it was medically and politically feasible, she'd give The Mountain the nod.
posted by Iridic at 11:15 AM on June 16, 2014


Ser Pounce as Hand - who could resist a hand so brave and fluffy
posted by The Whelk at 11:18 AM on June 16, 2014 [7 favorites]


Someone on Reddit made a House Sigil for Gendry.

Those are paddles. Should be oars. Just sayin', internet.
posted by Sys Rq at 11:23 AM on June 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


My wife thought this too, but I didn't really get it. Cersei could wait a day and watch his head get cut off in front of everybody. It was a done deal. Why would she want to do something like that? I suppose wanting to do it herself wouldn't be out of character. Cersei is the worsei. But it still didn't seem as likely to me as Jamie just helping him escape.

We just saw a scene where Cersei defied her father and immediately went into the arms of Jaime. It's reasonable that she could have gone rogue and pulled Jaime into her plans.
posted by mbd1mbd1 at 11:24 AM on June 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


This episode had some seriously great visual imagery: The long shot of Jon picking his way among the dead bodies on his journey out of the gate, the overhead shot of the two armies colliding in the woods, the whole "Jason and the Argonauts" skeleton fight, The door closing on the dragons, The Hound and Brienne's fight and the above mentioned shot of Tyrion and Shae's horribly grinning dead face. Sometimes the directing on this show can be kind of pedestrian but the last two episodes were just so well made.
posted by octothorpe at 11:34 AM on June 16, 2014 [3 favorites]


Ser Pounce as Hand - who could resist a hand so brave and fluffy

They'll have to change his title to Paw of the King.
posted by homunculus at 11:38 AM on June 16, 2014 [4 favorites]


It's reasonable that she could have gone rogue and pulled Jaime into her plans.

I guess I just don't see why she would kill Tyrion when he is already sentenced to death. She was the accuser. She had the Mountain come in and fight his champion. All to the end of having Tyrion killed. And she got it, all of it. What was she going to do in this plan?
posted by Hoopo at 11:40 AM on June 16, 2014


Cersei is Queen Regent again (like she was for Joffrey), until Tommen comes of age. She can't be both Regent and Hand.

It's clear that Cersei thinks she can do whatever she pleases. Now that she's Queen Regent, she can actually do away with the position or appoint whatever lap dog she wants to the position.

Cersei now, CERSEI FOREVER.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:44 AM on June 16, 2014


I was like, "Whoah, what the hell? Magic fireballs?!?! Oh, right.. this is high fantasy." I like how the fantasy genre tropes are being subtly and slowly introduced into the story, but then all of a sudden we're dealing with straight-up fireball-hurling magicians. Makes me curious how this was done in the books. Also that scene where they're fighting skeletons felt a little corny to me because, like, how do you know that stabbing an undead skeleton in the head is going to kill it? Why would you make that assumption? If I saw a magic skeleton I would run like hell, or maybe try to break its legs.
posted by deathpanels at 11:48 AM on June 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


Stabbing any enemy in the head is general a good idea.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:05 PM on June 16, 2014 [3 favorites]


Did I imagine or was it implied that the Red Witch could sort of eyeball people to get a sense of their bloodline? There was something in the story with Gendry I thought, that implied or maybe even outright said this.

So what does it mean that she's giving Jon Snow the hard stare? Just that she sniffed he was a Stark on her own?
posted by DirtyOldTown at 12:15 PM on June 16, 2014 [5 favorites]




I was like, "Whoah, what the hell? Magic fireballs?!?! Oh, right.. this is high fantasy." I like how the fantasy genre tropes are being subtly and slowly introduced into the story, but then all of a sudden we're dealing with straight-up fireball-hurling magicians. Makes me curious how this was done in the books. Also that scene where they're fighting skeletons felt a little corny to me because, like, how do you know that stabbing an undead skeleton in the head is going to kill it? Why would you make that assumption? If I saw a magic skeleton I would run like hell, or maybe try to break its legs.

What I don't get is why Mr. Seesthefuture didn't, you know, warn his friends about the skeletons, or tell them "Hey, by the way, this is the end of the road for me, it's been real, don't save me m'kay?" And I don't understand why Little Miss Bazookahands didn't immediately tell everybody to just run into the cave as quickly as possible, especially if there were undead skeletons hanging off them, 'cause they just clatter at the entrance. Communicate, folks!

Combined with the whole HERE ARE SOME NEW THINGS ALL OF A SUDDEN, it all seemed pretty half-baked. Like GRRM (if it was him who thought this up and not the show people) just thought it was time for the wargies to have some conflict -- probably because having a character that can see the future is tricky and GRRM (or whoever) just didn't want to do it anymore -- but couldn't think up what it should be or how they get out of it, so it was just, "Um... Some magic baddies come at them and then they are saved by some magic goodies."
posted by Sys Rq at 12:24 PM on June 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


So what does it mean that [Melisandre]'s giving Jon Snow the hard stare? Just that she sniffed he was a Stark on her own?

The Starks aren't kings though. I think she may have sniffed out something regarding Jon's parentage which could be a clue to who his mother is.
posted by sparklemotion at 12:39 PM on June 16, 2014 [6 favorites]


> I also don't understand why they had to chain [Dany's dragons] up.

They showed the chains specifically to evoke slavery imagery.
posted by hush at 12:41 PM on June 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


Breaker of chains gotta chain her children up yp.
posted by The Whelk at 12:43 PM on June 16, 2014 [3 favorites]


In case anyone was wondering what those lyrics to the theme were, there's an English translation.
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:47 PM on June 16, 2014


I suspect that at the start of next season, the Hand will be Mace Tyrell, Jaime (though he'd presumably have to leave the Kingsguard)

I think Jamie might be in trouble. Cersei has been more distant from him since he got back, and seeing Tyrion dead has become an all-consuming obsession for her. When she figures out that Jamie set Tyrion free she might feel totally betrayed, and she will not be pleased.
posted by homunculus at 12:50 PM on June 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


In case anyone was wondering what those lyrics to the theme were, there's an English translation yt .

There's also a translation into goat.
posted by homunculus at 12:53 PM on June 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


What I don't get is why Mr. Seesthefuture didn't, you know, warn his friends about the skeletons, or tell them "Hey, by the way, this is the end of the road for me, it's been real, don't save me m'kay?"

He did. Everyone else was busy saving themselves or Bran. Then he got stabbed and when his sister finally found him, he told her to leave him.

Also it's not clear if he can see everyone's future or just his or what. The only thing we know for certain is that he foresaw his own death. Naturally he's not going to tell his sister because he knows she'll try to do everything to save him, possibly at the cost of her own life.

And I don't understand why Little Miss Bazookahands didn't immediately tell everybody to just run into the cave as quickly as possible, especially if there were undead skeletons hanging off them, 'cause they just clatter at the entrance. Communicate, folks!

Gotta clear the field of nearby wights in order to have a change to run. Hence her fireballs.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:01 PM on June 16, 2014


homunculus: If it's any consolation, the real life Drogon, Rhaegal and Viserion are doing quite well at the zoo.

omg
posted by vibratory manner of working at 1:11 PM on June 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


Little Miss Bazookahands

There are some who call her... Tim.
posted by George_Spiggott at 1:12 PM on June 16, 2014 [12 favorites]


omg

Stop looking at me! I am fire! I am DEATH!
posted by Justinian at 1:15 PM on June 16, 2014 [5 favorites]


"Look, the weirwood tree!"

"Great! Oh, BTW guys, that clear looking snowfield in front of it is bad news and if we go that way I die there. So I'm thinking it's the tradesman's entrance for us don't you?"
posted by George_Spiggott at 1:23 PM on June 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


> Nor did I anticipate Tywin sleeping with Shae. He'd always been presented as a man without those kinds of personal wants, so it was interesting to see him so vulnerable.

Yes, indeed, what a total shock that revelation was! Tywin Lannister turns out to be a Big Ol' Hypocrite par exellence. Pretty spectacularly galling, since we know Tywin said he would have any prostitute Tyrion was ever found with KILLED. WTF?! Anyway, I love how the show set that one up - it got me big time - I realized I had actually believed Tywin's own self-congratulatory family honor bullshit. I should have known that of course the man was not truly celibate for the last 35-odd years since Mrs. Lannister died in childbirth. Duh!

Shae absolutely did not deserve to die like that. From where I sit, Shae's death was a grave injustice. Watching that scene actually made me extremely angry. Tyrion had absolutely no right to kill her - even assuming Shae pulled a knife while Tyrion was on top of her and could have somehow magically gained the upper hand, Tyrion's actions went well beyond mere "self-defense" - I feel he had something like a moral duty to try to escape that room before resorting to killing her, and his actions definitely were into problematic "crime of passion" territory. That was some awful patriarchal bullshit right there.

> Tywin said he wasn't planning to let Tyrion get beheaded. IF that was true (and it's hard to say, because in the same conversation, he admitted to always wanting Tyrion dead), then what would his plan have been, I wonder? ... I think he was probably lying.

Since last night I can't stop pondering this question - Would Tywin have actually let Tyrion die? I'm going to say no, he wouldn't have. (Though, by their actions, Jaime and Cersei and Varys all seemed to unequivocally think he would have, and I suppose another part of me would certainly trust their collective judgment.) However, the prior Casterly Rock deal that Jaime had struck with Tywin -- before the whole "trial by combat" twist -- I just think that deal was far too attractive to Tywin to pass up. I think he would have had Tommen pardon Tyrion, and effect that deal with Jaime.
posted by hush at 1:25 PM on June 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


Gotta clear the field of nearby wights in order to have a change to run. Hence her fireballs.

But that just raises the question of why there were wights there in the first place. When the three-eyed raven knows these guys are coming to visit, why didn't he have the children do some cleaning up beforehand?
posted by Sys Rq at 1:33 PM on June 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


Tywin's own self-congratulatory family honor bullshit.

But while it it will probably end up known to some that he died on the shitter, it probably won't be that he died on the shitter wheedling for his life. "You're my son, you're not my son, yes alright I always wanted you dead, I never would have killed you....", just playing whatever tune he thought might get Tyrion to lower the crossbow.
posted by George_Spiggott at 1:33 PM on June 16, 2014 [3 favorites]


Tyrion's actions went well beyond mere "self-defense" - I feel he had something like a moral duty to try to escape that room before resorting to killing her, and his actions definitely were into problematic "crime of passion" territory. That was some awful patriarchal bullshit right there.

That was my initial reaction, too, and I still think there was a definite "crime of passion" element to it and I still think it dehumanizes Tyrion somewhat. But, a thought just occurred to me - Tyrion was clearly determined to kill Tywin (understandable, in the show's universe). How was he going to do that with Shae right there? Could he have? If he did, what would he have done with Shae afterwards? And, even if, upon seeing Shae he decided to abandon the whole "must commit patricide" thing, and flee - how does he know that Shae would not alert some guard somewhere, who would stop him before he can escape the castle? Logistically, letting Shae live would have been a pretty big risk for Tyrion at that point, even though I do think his motivations for doing it were mostly personal.
posted by breakin' the law at 1:36 PM on June 16, 2014 [3 favorites]


I don't think he went there to commit patricide; if he had he'd have armed himself before entering the room. In truth I'm not sure what he thought he was doing. If those were Shea's rooms then perhaps he went there to confront her about her testimony ... though I'm unclear on why her room would have weapons on the wall.
posted by George_Spiggott at 1:42 PM on June 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


...When she figures out that Jamie set Tyrion free she might feel totally betrayed, and she will not be pleased...

Convenient that Varys is suddenly nowhere to be found...
posted by Golem XIV at 1:42 PM on June 16, 2014


But that just raises the question of why there were wights there in the first place.

It's one of their hangouts.

When the three-eyed raven knows these guys are coming to visit, why didn't he have the children do some cleaning up beforehand?

There's nothing that says he knows WHEN the kids are arriving, plus the wights were underground and not easy to get to.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:43 PM on June 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


also, I'd have to re-watch to confirm, but doesn't she go for a weapon first?)

Yes, a cheese knife. A big one. They were probably eating a big cheese.


"My lyin' around after eating all that cheese is really a bit feeble, don't you think, Lord Tywin?" said Shae, almost.
posted by Sparx at 1:44 PM on June 16, 2014


"But damn! Like Littlefinger said, people die on their chamber pots, or in the privy, apparently."

Very good callback, @homunculus
posted by hush at 1:47 PM on June 16, 2014 [3 favorites]


I don't think he went there to commit patricide; if he had he'd have armed himself before entering the room. In truth I'm not sure what he thought he was doing. If those were Shea's rooms then perhaps he went there to confront her about her testimony ... though I'm unclear on why her room would have weapons on the wall.

I'm pretty sure that was Tywin's room. I think he entered intending the to use the bow and arrow, which he knew to be there, to kill Tywin in his sleep (or on the crapper, as it turned out).
posted by breakin' the law at 1:53 PM on June 16, 2014


I don't think he went there to commit patricide; if he had he'd have armed himself before entering the room. In truth I'm not sure what he thought he was doing

I'm pretty sure that had to be his plan. He had an opportunity to escape but instead decides to sneak into his dad's room in the middle of the night for what, hugs? He had to know that was the potential endgame. If he got caught again, he was going to die, and his father had already seemed content to allow him to be executed once.

I feel he had something like a moral duty to try to escape that room before resorting to killing her, and his actions definitely were into problematic "crime of passion" territory.

I think "moral duty" is just right out of the question once he went into the room at all. He was looking for his father, and had less than moral intentions.
posted by Hoopo at 1:59 PM on June 16, 2014 [4 favorites]


The king's whole table is looking pretty empty.

I think the biggest loss for them is Varys. He's been Master of Whispers since the Mad King, so unless someone who was privy to Varys's machinations is available, they're completely cut off from his intelligence network. I doubt Varys shared his secrets with anyone, and you can't just rebuild a spy network like that overnight. The Small Council is effectively blind now.
posted by homunculus at 1:59 PM on June 16, 2014 [5 favorites]


The Small Council is effectively blind now.

Meanwhile Littlefinger is strengthening his power base.
posted by Uncle Ira at 2:04 PM on June 16, 2014


I'm pretty sure that was Tywin's room. I think he entered intending the to use the bow and arrow, which he knew to be there, to kill Tywin in his sleep (or on the crapper, as it turned out).

I'm pretty sure you're right, that Shae continued to have the use of Tyrion's room. But I also think he went there to confront her because he really doesn't want to believe she meant anything she said, and only resolved to kill Tywin after... what transpired there. It ties in with the change in his face after she died and with his then looking at the crossbow on the wall.
posted by George_Spiggott at 2:06 PM on June 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


I wonder - will Cersei be in serious trouble if she does not marry Loras Tyrell? What will her choice mean for the Tyrell-Lannister alliance, given that the Lannisters are supposedly teetering on the brink of insolvency?

Tywin's death will have the exact result that Ser Davos predicted it would when he went to the Iron Bank on behalf of Stannis - this is the beginning of the end of the Lannisters. These adult kids won't be able to look after themselves properly.

I mean if Jaime and Cersei are apparently going to go around just openly having sex with each other (not even bothering to lock the doors), not caring what anyone in King's Landing thinks, this does not bode well at all for the perceived legitimacy of young Tommen's claim to the throne. Pride goeth before a fall, and all.
posted by hush at 2:07 PM on June 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


There are some who call her... Tim.

I was definitely getting a strong "I Go By Many Names" vibe from the 3-eyed Raven, too.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 2:16 PM on June 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm pretty sure you're right, that Shae continued to have the use of Tyrion's room

I think that was the room that belonged to Hand of the King, not Tyrion exclusively or permanently. Tywin is Hand of the King at them moment, so it's his room. He did not expect to see Shae there at all.
posted by Hoopo at 2:17 PM on June 16, 2014 [10 favorites]


Tyrion hadn't been the hand for quite some time though. Ever since daddy came back basically.
posted by bjrn at 2:20 PM on June 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


I didn't get a lot of sleep last night and I'm getting very confused right now
posted by Hoopo at 2:26 PM on June 16, 2014


The king's whole table is looking pretty empty. It's just him and mom and uncle-father Jaime now, isn't it?

They're going to have to start calling it the Very Small Council.
posted by scalefree at 2:30 PM on June 16, 2014 [4 favorites]


All I'm saying is that he was going to see his Dad, Tywin. Tyrion knew where to find him because Tywin is the hand of the king now, and whoever is Hand of the King stays in that room. Tyrion himself had that room when he was Hand to Joffrey. He got a different room when he was no longer the Hand. So he would have had no reason to expect to see Shae in the room of the Hand of the King.
posted by Hoopo at 2:31 PM on June 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


At this point I think that's entirely possible since we didn't actually see him die. Maybe a search party from the Eyrie will find him just in time (of course then he'd need to survive Littlefinger and Sansa).

He had a hole in his thigh you could fit a baseball into. That was his final battle.
posted by scalefree at 2:39 PM on June 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


It's a show with dragons and, magic and people who have been killed being brought back to life (ironically, a guy the Hound killed in a duel). Seemingly mortal wounds are indicative of nothing.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:41 PM on June 16, 2014 [3 favorites]


He had a hole in his thigh you could fit a baseball into. That was his final battle.

Unless the Brotherhood Without Banners happened along at just that moment and Thoros of Myr brought him back to life. The Hound beat Beric Dondarrion in a trial by combat, so apparently the fire god likes him.
posted by homunculus at 2:43 PM on June 16, 2014


Also: is Brienne going to be walking around looking like a hockey player now? It looked like she might have lost a few teeth in that one. Though it might have just been blood she spat out I suppose.
posted by Hoopo at 2:59 PM on June 16, 2014


I feel kind of vindicated/cheated after having joked all season that that neck wound seemed awfully foreshadowy which meant it would obviously just be a red herring
posted by DoctorFedora at 3:00 PM on June 16, 2014 [6 favorites]


They did use it to establish the idea of dying from infected/wounds/poison - the show likes to put the foreshadowing and introduction of concepts in other characters' plotlines rather than in the one they're actually forshadowing which makes sense as the episodes are increasingly thematically linked rather than location/plot lied.
posted by The Whelk at 3:07 PM on June 16, 2014 [3 favorites]


Though it might have just been blood she spat out I suppose.

I believe that was the Hound's ear.
posted by painquale at 3:15 PM on June 16, 2014 [12 favorites]




I believe that was the Hound's ear.

Oh man, so gross.

that neck wound seemed awfully foreshadowy which meant it would obviously just be a red herring

I think it may have played a part in his death actually, but they didn't say so explicitly. 2 episodes ago, Arya mentioned he'd slowed down a lot and blamed it on him not letting her cauterize the wound. Presumably he didn't get any quicker in the time since they got turned away at the gate, and I imagine it affected his usual level of skill in a fight. I don't mean to say Brienne wouldn't have held her own against a healthy Hound (I havent read the books so I don't know how she ranks among the other warriors in Westeros), but I do certainly get the impression the Hound is kind of a legendary badass.
posted by Hoopo at 3:44 PM on June 16, 2014 [4 favorites]


Jaime said Varys had Tyrion bound for "the free cities." So that could be any of nine places, though I believe the only two we've actually seen on the show are Braavos and Pentos. Braavos would be fun because they could meet up with Arya! (As if.)

Tyrion was Master of Coin briefly, maybe he could get a job as an accountant at the Iron Bank (I assume they would know it was Baelish who drove the Crown into debt, not Tyrion). And maybe Varys could get a job consulting for the Faceless Men, helping them expand their services to include espionage, if they don't already.

And we still don't know where Jorrah is going, so maybe they'll run into him. That would be a very awkward encounter for Varys, I think. If Jorrah doesn't kill him, they could all launch their own startup: Tyrion could handle the finances, Varys could use his contacts for sales, Jorrah could be public relations and Arya would be their enforcer. I smell a sitcom.
posted by homunculus at 4:40 PM on June 16, 2014 [7 favorites]


I think that the fight between the Hound and Brienne is one of the very best ever filmed. Not because of the choreography or anything - although it was good - but because we learned deep truths about the characters through watching that fight.

Brienne, at her core, refuses to die. Cops and military talk about things like "the warrior spirit" or "will to win" a lot, and what they're trying to get at is that, in a fight for your life, you must give every moment your utmost effort. You must believe that you can win and come out of it alive, and not just that you can, but that you will. Christie's portrayal of Brienne here exemplifies this attitude. If it comes down to her or you, Brienne will kill you. Every time.

The Hound is skilled, and probably at one time he held that attitude. But he's too broken down and too emotionally shattered. He's been going through the motions for a long time. And it hasn't killed him because he's really good, but as soon as he ran into someone like Brienne, he's done, because he's going to reach that point where he stops fighting and just lets it happen. (By the way, this is why I'm confident that the Hound is 100% dead.)

I honestly can't think of another fight where I felt like I learned something about the characters involved. I mean, maybe a Samurai encounter near the beginning of one of the Kurosawa/Mifune films, but not to anywhere as great a degree.

Really good stuff.
posted by kavasa at 5:06 PM on June 16, 2014 [21 favorites]


But he's too broken down and too emotionally shattered.

I don't think anybody who grabs a sword with their bare hands is too broken down. If anything, he was still suffering from that neck bite infection and was slower than usual.

Which is the odd thing thing about Brienne. She has beaten a couple of notable swordsmen, but only when they were weak. Jaimie spent months locked up, the Hound had a serious infection. I do wish her victories didn't have that slight taint, but victory is victory.

(By the way, this is why I'm confident that the Hound is 100% dead.)

Yes, he was pretty tore up, but I do hope we see him again.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:52 PM on June 16, 2014 [5 favorites]


ah, forgot to ask this earlier: is Arya off to Braavos, or did her mystic coin entitle her not only to a cabin but to her original destination? I read the scene as sending her to Braavos, but my wife pointed out that said coin appears to put Arya in charge.
posted by mwhybark at 6:06 PM on June 16, 2014


The dude said "use the coin if you want to find me".
posted by yoHighness at 6:15 PM on June 16, 2014


She has beaten a couple of notable swordsmen, but only when they were weak.

She also beat Loras in a tournament fight, and I believe he's supposed to be one of the most skilled knights in Westeros. Jamie was weakened but she cleaned his clock so handily that I've always assumed she'd have still beaten him at his peak, though it would have been a lot closer.
posted by homunculus at 6:39 PM on June 16, 2014 [3 favorites]


Tyrion's exchange with Tywin, when he asked his father why he was trying to have him executed even though he knew Tyrion hadn't poisoned Joffrey, leads me to once again suspect that Tywin might have known about the assassination plot. If he really did know that Tyrion didn't do it, then he was strangely uninterested in finding out who actually did. Tywin was probably relieved that Joffrey was gone since he must have known that the brat would eventually have become uncontrolable, but he should still have been a little curious about who actually killed a member of his precious family. I wonder if he knew what Littlefinger and Olenna were up to and just used it to further his own schemes. Maybe Tywin really did believe Tyrion was behind it, but if not then his behavior doesn't entirely make sense to me.
posted by homunculus at 6:41 PM on June 16, 2014 [4 favorites]


She also beat Loras yt in a tournament fight, and I believe he's supposed to be one of the most skilled knights in Westeros. Jamie was weakened but she cleaned his clock so handily that I've always assumed she'd have still beaten him at his peak, though it would have been a lot closer.

And Loras beat Jamie, when Jaime was in his prime. Also the Mountain.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 7:00 PM on June 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


That's the joust, not the melee. Loras is great with a lance.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:16 PM on June 16, 2014 [5 favorites]


I don't think anybody who grabs a sword with their bare hands is too broken down.

Why? He's got a lot of options there besides injuring himself further for no gain. How is grabbing on to a sharp blade and cutting up your hands a sign of fighting for his life? Oh wait, it isn't: that happened right after she said she had no desire to kill him. He could have stood up and walked away. Instead he chose to injure himself as a method of opening round two of a combat that ended up with his slow death on a hillside. Just about the only sensible thing he did after that was kick her hard in the junk, but enh, that's not going to stop her.

The Hound had left the king's service, and his only plan was "sell Arya to Lady Arryn." That fell through. What did he have left? What did he care about? Money, sort of?

In his "please kill me" monologue to Arya, he says he wishes he'd raped Sansa so he'd have "at least one good memory." But you think he's feeling ok because he grabbed on to a sharp blade with his bare hands?

??????
posted by kavasa at 7:22 PM on June 16, 2014 [3 favorites]


So, are those dragons just going to starve to death? Or, they'll put food in the catacombs occasionally and being kept as prisoners? That's not going to bite Daenerys later down the track...
posted by liquorice at 7:23 PM on June 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


And Loras beat Jamie, when Jaime was in his prime. Also the Mountain.

That's the joust, not the melee. Loras is great with a lance.


After he got up the Mountain caught Loras off-guard and almost annihilated him. The Hound saved Loras's life and he seemed to be pretty evenly matched with his brother.
posted by homunculus at 7:25 PM on June 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


So, are those dragons just going to starve to death? Or, they'll put food in the catacombs occasionally and being kept as prisoners? That's not going to bite Daenerys later down the track...

Yeah, if she still needs the dragons to conquer Westeros then I think she just blew it. They're not going to be cooperative and they'll probably bolt the first chance they get.

I'm still don't think we can assume Drogon actually killed the child, unless there's something which distinguishes the effects of dragon fire from regular fire. It would fit perfectly with this show for the parent to have killed and burnt his own daughter in order to get collect restitution.
posted by homunculus at 8:39 PM on June 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


you could actually see her eyes get old while she listens to him

That was so good: Arya just.....watching......as the Hound admitted he was dying, asked her to kill him, tried way too transparently to goad her into doing it, revealed too much with that "one good memory" stuff and then begged with that final "Do it!"

So good. Unfortunately, as folks mentioned above, there were also some ridiculous scenes, too. The denouement at the Wall felt absurd: a day after Mance's army was a horrifying existential threat to Our Heroes, with multiple mammoths, fucking giants and some of the most vicious human fighters we've seen on the show, it turns into an easily-mown-down collection of ragtag infantrymen with not a single mammoth or giant in sight.

That's a pretty big leap in the story's internal logic right there. Pulled me right out of it. Most of the rest of the obvious plot holes have already been covered, and I'm happy to overlook most of them, but this week's battle scene just made no sense at all.

Anyway, Tywin was one of my favorite characters and his was one of my favorite death scenes so far, with those constant cunning attempts at manipulating his son, from the bullshit about not intending to actually execute him to the fake "you're a Lannister!" appeal to Tyrion's pride. His reaction after Tyrion says he killed Shae is great; he recalibrates his opponent on the spot. Great scene.

Agreed that Shae deserved better, and her rapid transformation into unrepentant betrayer rings hollow given the way she turned down opportunities to escape with lots of gold when Tyrion warned that her life was in danger. Didn't work for me, and felt like an unfair reduction of her character's previous commitment to love.
posted by mediareport at 9:50 PM on June 16, 2014 [3 favorites]


sparklemotion: "The Starks aren't kings though. I think she may have sniffed out something regarding Jon's parentage which could be a clue to who his mother is."

I think they sort of are, though. Remember when his countrymen declared Robb Stark "King in the North"? This is, after all, the Seven Kingdoms, and presumably "the North" is one of them. So the Starks may not be kings of all Westeros (ala the Baratheons and the Targaryens before them), but they do seem to have some claim to kinghood.
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 9:55 PM on June 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


And if the Hound lives (I want him to because that actor is fantastic ["Brienne of fucking Tarth" cracked me up]) it would cheapen Arya's scene quite a bit. I want Tywin to live, too, but the same applies to Tyrion's transformation that night.

I'm really torn, but end up hoping they both stay dead.
posted by mediareport at 10:02 PM on June 16, 2014




I'd say that up until now, the show had been quite explicit about when characters have died, and when it hasn't been 100% clear that they've died, they either show up alive again or we never get definite confirmation.

Examples include Syrio Forel (in his fight with Meryn Trant and his goons); Jon Snow (getting shot full of Ygritte's arrows); Alliser Thorne (notably *not* on the pyre with the other brothers in black); Tormund Giantsbane (healed up by Maester Aemon); Beric Dondarrion (gets sent off to his possible doom by Ned Stark to apprehend the Mountain but shows up alive); and so forth. I don't know that we've seen a scene so far where a character might be dead and then we only later get certain confirmation he or she is, but if I'm wrong, please let me know!

Anyhow, I'm *pretty* sure the Hound is dead (that horrid wound, plus he wanted Ayra to do him in), and I'm even more confident Tywin is (after all, why would those bells toll?). But then again, there's Mountain-level dead and then there's Oberyn-level dead. I'd say the Hound and Tywin are somewhere on that continuum (with Tywin awfully close to the very bottom), but this show certainly has the capacity to surprise us. Hey, maybe there is a maester hiding behind that rock!
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 10:14 PM on June 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


Agreed that Shae deserved better, and her rapid transformation into unrepentant betrayer rings hollow given the way she turned down opportunities to escape with lots of gold when Tyrion warned that her life was in danger. Didn't work for me, and felt like an unfair reduction of her character's previous commitment to love.

Yes, completely and utterly agree with this. It was a huge issue for me when she testified against Tyrion at the trial, I didn't find it consistent or believeable with her character at all. Complete retconning of her character so that she could be used as a simple plot device.
posted by liquorice at 10:17 PM on June 16, 2014 [4 favorites]


a day after Mance's army was a horrifying existential threat to Our Heroes, with multiple mammoths, fucking giants and some of the most vicious human fighters we've seen on the show, it turns into an easily-mown-down collection of ragtag infantrymen with not a single mammoth or giant in sight.

That's a pretty big leap in the story's internal logic right there.


Really? As people have already mentioned, knights on horseback are pretty much the baddest thing going. We had no idea how many giants or mammoths were really in the army; the king guy seems to mourn the one that dies in the tunnel pretty hard so maybe there's just not that many. And yeah, that army with mammoths and giants and bad-ass fighters is a big threat to the black watch, because the black watch is actually kindof shit at fighting and there's not many of them. Stannis showing up with tons of horses and troops is absolutely a game-changer and doesn't really seem like a plot hole to me.
posted by Hoopo at 10:34 PM on June 16, 2014 [3 favorites]


Regarding Shae: Sibel Kekilli didn't want Shae to betray Sansa
posted by homunculus at 10:49 PM on June 16, 2014


Also, I for one AM upset about Shae's death. I mean, she's a foreign-born whore. We KNOW she's had to have been acting under some pretty heavy duress.

It's more complicated than that, though. If Shae had been testifying only because she was under duress, she could have offered a lot of made-up stuff about their relationship to signal to Tyrion that while she was being forced to betray him, she didn't want to be doing it and would not betray the shared intimacy they had had. Or she could have just said the bare minimum about how he'd planned Joffrey's death with Sansa. The stuff about "my lion" and all the ways they'd had sex really had nothing to do with that.

But instead she took the private language they had used between them, things Cersei and Tywin would have known nothing about, and used it to humiliate Tyrion in ways only he would understand.

The show's justification for Shae's betrayal is that she had felt really really REALLY upset by Tyrion's sending her away from King's Landing. It's there in that last scene between them when he refused to say he wanted her to stay and she stormed out--but it's still a stupid, thin, and kind of insulting "woman-scorned" justification for such a massive turnabout.
posted by torticat at 10:57 PM on June 16, 2014 [6 favorites]


Yeah, that's the reasoning behind it in the show, the whole "woman-scorned" thing, but I just don't find it believable. Wanting to humiliate him? Sure. Contributing to him being put to his death? It doesn't seem to jive with the character of Shae that they have established up to that point. But I felt the same way about Ygritte. Not so much with the crazy sister in the veil. But apparently being in love with a guy and having that guy betray you in some way makes you super cray in Game of Thrones land.
posted by liquorice at 11:19 PM on June 16, 2014


In the show, he's a man who followed the orders of his mystical witch pal, saved a day that might have been saved by negotiation without his murderous attack, and then, when confronted with what to do with the King of the North refusing to kneel to him, turned to Ned Stark's bastard son for advice.

He also failed with both hands at the Iron Bank, or tried to. Everything that went right about that, from idea to execution to pulling victory out of the jaws of defeat when all he could do is haughtily sulk when Mycroft ice-burned him, is down to Ser Davos.
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:18 AM on June 17, 2014 [6 favorites]


One recap I read pointed out that Tyrion killed his father with Joffrey’s favorite crossbow. There's your legacy, Tywin.
posted by homunculus at 12:33 AM on June 17, 2014 [8 favorites]


But I felt the same way about Ygritte.

Yeah but Ygritte was dealing with a true Montague/Capulet situation. Except on a more existential level--Jon Snow really represented a threat to her life and the lives of everyone she cared about. And even given that, it's not clear she ever would have killed him. If she'd wanted to, she definitely could have done it when she put those arrows in him (didn't Tormund say as much?).

On a practical level Ygritte had FAR more reason to wish Jon Snow dead than Shae ever did with Tyrion. Shae refused to be paid off by Tyrion (fine), but she WAS offered a safe out from the game of thrones, and she not only rejected it but turned on her lover to the point that she was willing for him to be both humiliated and executed. Ygritte, on the other hand, talked a good game but likely never would have actually killed Jon Snow (though humiliating him, yes of course, that's what "you know nothing" was all about).
posted by torticat at 1:04 AM on June 17, 2014


I thought when Shae testified, she assumed Tyrion was dead, end of story. That was her chance to hurt him back before his inevitable death. Hence no bullshit, just using their private words against him.

The camera, in the bedroom, both passed over the a House Lannister lion & the Hand of the King brooch, to remind us it was at the top of the tower of the Hand, Tywin's room.

Finding Shae seems to have shocked him; he would have had to kill her, eventually, as others said to prevent her from raising the alarm. But he killed her. And then he apologized to her.
posted by tilde at 1:14 AM on June 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


Agreed that Shae deserved better, and her rapid transformation into unrepentant betrayer rings hollow given the way she turned down opportunities to escape with lots of gold when Tyrion warned that her life was in danger. Didn't work for me, and felt like an unfair reduction of her character's previous commitment to love.

Well put. The showrunners needed her to become a different person to do what they wanted and her character arc broke down because of it. Her lying about Sansa shows it even more than her lying about Tyrion, imo. The way they handled her death was especially callus; I think they didn't want us to hold it against Tyrion that he killed her, so with the trial and the bedroom scene they made her character more unlikable to make her death more acceptable.

In a way her death reminds me of Cersei's rape, where they had to make the characters behave inconsistently in order to force the scene to conform to the storyline. They didn't wanted us to blame Tyrion for being a murderer like they didn't want us to think Jamie was a rapist. It backfired in both cases, at least for me.
posted by homunculus at 1:47 AM on June 17, 2014 [6 favorites]


- Christ, Oberyn vs the Mountain could not have prepared me better for the Brienne vs Hound fight. I had NO FUCKING CLUE who was going to die (although I was pretty sure someone would). I think the Hound could have taken her on a good day, but he'd been trekking by foot with little food and sleeping in ditches with an infected bite, whereas she's mostly been on horseback and staying in inns.

- I didn't quite get where Ayra's ship was supposed to be going at the end. Did the Secret Bravos Coin mean the captain was taking her north?

- "You're going to fly" oh shit oh shit can you warg into dragons???? fuuuuuuck

I was a little surprised that the watchers at the Bloody Gate simply let Arya and the Hound waltz off, especially with the price on the Hound's head.

Yeah but's it's a Lannister price on his head right? And the Eyrie is still supposedly anti-Lannister? Or at least definitely not pro-Lannister.

Anyway, "cover himself [Stannis] in glory by saving the Seven Kingdoms from the wildlings" doesn't exactly seem like a winning plan when most folks don't even seem to care about the Wall or the Night's Watch anymore.

My read of it is that defeating a massive wildling army that could easily have blown straight through Castle Black is good PR and could potentially win him friends in the North and elsewhere, especially where there's still anti-Lannister sentiment. Plus Red Witch lady told him to do it.

What the everliving fuck is going on in Mereen? That part drove me mad. Teacher guy can't teach the kids unless he's a slave?? Teach them and get paid, work 9-5 FFS, you don't need to sign your life away! Did Daenerys just invent the concept of a job?
posted by EndsOfInvention at 3:43 AM on June 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


The show's justification for Shae's betrayal is that she had felt really really REALLY upset by Tyrion's sending her away from King's Landing. It's there in that last scene between them when he refused to say he wanted her to stay and she stormed out--but it's still a stupid, thin, and kind of insulting "woman-scorned" justification for such a massive turnabout.

I think the show did more work on this then y'all are giving them credit for. After Tyrion marries Sansa, it seems clear to me that Shae is worried that he'll reject her in favor of Sansa, that Sansa being a noblewoman (and beautiful, to boot) will trump his love for her, that it was all a lie between them. That's her fear. There's a ton of scenes between them where she keeps asking Tyrion to sleep with her again, to prove he still loves her; she wants that reassurance from him. And Tyrion keeps putting her off, keeps telling her, "yes, I love you forever," immediately followed by "now go away and never see me again, here's some gold, now shhhhh, my wife is coming." So I think she did have cause to believe him, in that last scene, when he told her he never loved her and she was nothing more than a whore to him; that's been her fear all along. We the viewers are in the bag for Peter Dinklage, so of course we think it's obvious he was lying in that scene, but I have no trouble thinking the character would believe him, given all the mixed messages he's been sending. So in that light I was fine with her betrayal at the trial; she wanted to hurt him like he hurt her.
posted by Diablevert at 3:52 AM on June 17, 2014 [11 favorites]


That's the joust, not the melee. Loras is great with a lance.

What I heard!

The Hound had left the king's service, and his only plan was "sell Arya to Lady Arryn." That fell through. What did he have left? What did he care about? Money, sort of?

In his "please kill me" monologue to Arya, he says he wishes he'd raped Sansa so he'd have "at least one good memory." But you think he's feeling ok because he grabbed on to a sharp blade with his bare hands?


I didn't say he was feeling emotionally ok, I disagree with the statement "But he's too broken down and too emotionally shattered". He was (is?) a soldier. Where he emotionally broke dow he would have yielded to Brienne or simply not started the fight, or asked for money for Arya. He did none of those things because he found something he didn't he was looking for: a companion, daughter and friend (sort of). Grabbing the sword with his bare hands was him telling Brienne of fucking Tarth that he would not yield, that this was going to be a fight to the death and he had every intention of winning.

Emotionally shattered and broken down people don't do things like that.

And if the Hound lives (I want him to because that actor is fantastic ["Brienne of fucking Tarth" cracked me up]) it would cheapen Arya's scene quite a bit.

It wouldn't cheapen it at all. She was still cold and calculating, he was still begging for release, their roles were still switched. Ultimately that scene was was about each of them as individuals, not as a team.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:05 AM on June 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


What's Arya's main beef with the Hound? Is it just that he's her (relatively benign) captor, or is there another reason she consigned him to a lingering death? I can't remember.
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED at 6:07 AM on June 17, 2014


From the GoT wiki:
S01E02: Joffrey provokes an argument with the butcher's son Mycah and Sansa's sister Arya and is bitten by Arya's pet dire wolf Nymeria when he attacks them. Joffrey lies about the incident and Sansa supports his version of events. Queen Cersei orders Sansa's dire wolf Lady executed. Sandor chases down and kills Mycah. As Eddard goes to kill Lady he passes the Hound arriving with Mycah's corpse. "He ran. Not very fast." he says as Eddard passes by.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 6:12 AM on June 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


(That's the butcher's boy he references having killed in this episode)
posted by EndsOfInvention at 6:13 AM on June 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


What's Arya's main beef with the Hound?

The Hound was Joffrey's muscle, and often acted out cruelty at Joffrey's behest. The most notable for Arya is that there was a peasant boy (the "butcher's boy" referenced in this article) that Arya was playing at swordfighting with, and Joffrey showed up and basically decided to turn it into an actual, deadly fight. Arya plus Nymeria kicked his ass in reaction to this, and Joffrey then claimed it was really the butcher's boy who attacked him (which Sansa lied to confirm, because she was OMG SO IN LOVE).

As a result, The Hound tracked down the boy and killed him.

So, putting aside the myriad bad things he's done generally, The Hound literally murdered her childhood friend.
posted by tocts at 6:14 AM on June 17, 2014 [3 favorites]


I fucking loved the fight and was terrified of either of them losing. At one point I roared at the telly "oh shit, she's going to be in Star Wars!". And I was terrified as well that Brienne would, as always, have honor be her undoing as she offered him the option to yield. Same with that fight with Jamie, she couldn't very well just up and kill him.
Arya be cold as ice. I wondered in part if as well as wanting to be mercy killed the Hound was goading her to try and drive her to Brienne's protection.

Tyrion, Tyrion, Tyrion, smh... As he headed for the stairs after the hug, I said out loud "you know, he's probably the closest to a good person in the show". My mouth.
posted by Iteki at 6:18 AM on June 17, 2014


It's a wonder Sansa isn't on the list.
posted by Iteki at 6:20 AM on June 17, 2014 [3 favorites]


The showrunners needed her to become a different person to do what they wanted and her character arc broke down because of it.

This is one of the weird things about a show that is an adaptation from another piece of material which has not yet been completed. Most adaptations, the book is already completely written, so they can decide to do things differently and make it mean what they want to. But with Game of Thrones, they have to try to pin things relatively closely to an ongoing, unwritten book, while still making changes that work for the screen.

I think we're going to see this kind of thing more and more as the show goes on - where they suddenly have to veer back to make some plot point or super dramatic scene from the book, but because of the way the show has changed things - and how the actors themselves have played the roles - it no longer makes sense and is just kind of weird.

My headcanon on this scene though is that Shae, as a whore, has suffered angry and violent johns before, and so when she sees Tyrion coming towards her with anger in his eyes, she is afraid of that cycle repeating and so wants to defend herself, rather than wants to actually attack Tyrion to defend Tywin, which is another way you could read that.
posted by corb at 6:52 AM on June 17, 2014 [4 favorites]


Tyrion, Tyrion, Tyrion, smh... As he headed for the stairs after the hug, I said out loud "you know, he's probably the closest to a good person in the show". My mouth.

I think Jojen gets a nod from me for this. Pretty much sacrificed himself for the Bran Believes He Can Fly cause. Also his sister Meera is a badass fighter, too! In that scene where the ultra baddie with the rapey gang was going to rape her before Bran warned into Hodor, Bran and Jojen had their moments of heroism but she was having to play the role of damsel in distress a little too much for my liking.
posted by misha at 7:02 AM on June 17, 2014 [3 favorites]


Ultimately that scene was was about each of them as individuals, not as a team.

Yeah, that makes sense - the powerful emotion of that scene stays true even if the Hound miraculously survives and reappears later. Hell, I suppose the same holds true if Tywin managed to survive and sounded the royal funeral bells as a strategy or something.

Seeing either of them again would be a pleasant surprise (hell, with all the magic fireballs and visions and wights and stuff I suppose I could even hold out hope for seeing Ned Stark again), but it would feel a bit like Comic Book Death Syndrome and I'd hope GoT doesn't do that too often.
posted by mediareport at 7:09 AM on June 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


I think we're going to see this kind of thing more and more as the show goes on - where they suddenly have to veer back to make some plot point or super dramatic scene from the book, but because of the way the show has changed things - and how the actors themselves have played the roles - it no longer makes sense and is just kind of weird.

The thing is, adaptation changes are invisible if you haven't read the book. I tried reading the first one and gave up almost immediately, so watching the show is a new experience for me, and Shae's arc (and her actions) were quite easy to understand. Again, I think it's deliberate that we don't know how she got from being rushed onto a boat by Tyrion to testifying against him, and we also don't know how she got from that to Tywin's bed. We assume feeling betrayed had something to do with it, and we assume money did too, but we don't know. Tyrion doesn't ask, which for me is the whole point. The scene makes perfect sense if you watch it for what it is, and don't try to compare it to a scene in a different medium. In the book, nothing matters but what's on the page. In the series, nothing matters but what's on the screen.

It's possible that other things like this will happen down the line, where the show diverges from the novels, but the showrunners have already demonstrated an understanding that the show, while using the novels as source material, is its own different animal and needs to stand on its own.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 7:17 AM on June 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm still don't think we can assume Drogon actually killed the child, unless there's something which distinguishes the effects of dragon fire from regular fire. It would fit perfectly with this show for the parent to have killed and burnt his own daughter in order to get collect restitution.

Remember earlier this season when Drogon burnt that goat (punk isn't dead)? The scene started with a human kid sitting on a cliff getting startled by him. The way it was edited, I was legitimately afraid that Drogon had burned the human kid, and the father was bringing the bones of his son to Dany.

When it turned out that it was just a goat, I fully expected that the dragons were going to upgrade to killing humans (just like every serial killer) eventually, and I think that Dany knew that too. I think the show just wanted to spare us two things: Having to see the exact same scene with the goat again, and having to see an innocent human burned alive (it's ok to have bad guys burned alive).
posted by sparklemotion at 7:20 AM on June 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


The scene makes perfect sense if you watch it for what it is, and don't try to compare it to a scene in a different medium.

No, I'm not trying to compare the scene to the book (at least, not here!) - it's more that a lot of people, even those who have only watched the show, find Shae's arc kind of...bumpy. I mean, it may make perfect sense to you, but even just thinking in the context of the show, I have real problems with how quickly Shae morphs from being totally in love with Tyrion, to willing to screw him over for what at least looks like flimsy reasoning and using her pet words for Tyrion in bed with Tywin. Like, even if she uses them at the trial, there is just no good reason for her to be repeating them again for Tywin. Unless I guess Tywin is a sick, sick bastard, who says "Call me what you called my son," but that seems a little much even for Game of Thrones and definitely for Tywin's character.
posted by corb at 7:25 AM on June 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


I think the show just wanted to spare us two things: Having to see the exact same scene with the goat again, and having to see an innocent human burned alive (it's ok to have bad guys burned alive).

Completely agreed. The show has very plausibly put forth the case that the dragons are dangerous, and that Dany has been at best a bit naive about her "free range parenting" approach to them.

The only "new" aspect of "Dany's Adventures in Dragon Parenting" that I think could even be plausibly pointed to in this episode is the question of where Drogon is going (e.g. is Bran going to be warging into Drogon). Even with that, I still stand by my statement that the time with Dany in this episode was a bit of a waste, and the same narrative goals could have been accomplished back in Episode 8.
posted by tocts at 7:28 AM on June 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


The scene makes perfect sense if you watch it for what it is, and don't try to compare it to a scene in a different medium.

I think you might be missing corb's point a bit, FAMOUS. It wasn't that people who've read the books (I haven't, and Shae's transformation still didn't work for me) will notice changes from the older medium. I think what corb is saying is that as the show and books increasingly diverge, the writers will find themselves having to include major touchstone events from the books that are now happening to characters who have evolved in show-only ways that mean they might not now coherently behave the way those major events require them to behave.
posted by mediareport at 7:29 AM on June 17, 2014 [6 favorites]


I still stand by my statement that the time with Dany in this episode was a bit of a waste

We didn't need that scene with Jon Snow mourning his ex-lover again, either. I was surprised they went back to that in the final episode, after the more-than-romantic/climactic enough death scene last time. That was wasted time, too.
posted by mediareport at 7:32 AM on June 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


No, I get that. What I'm saying is that the showrunners are people who know every major plot point from here until the end, and (based on the show so far) I have faith that they'll be able to take a step back and look at the big picture to make sure it makes sense.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 7:32 AM on June 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


We didn't need that scene with Jon Snow mourning his ex-lover again, either.

I don't disagree, there was definitely too much re-focusing on Ygritte. I don't know if maybe the showrunners are trying to better define Jon's character there (because let's be honest, it's been pretty vaguely "noble" mostly), but it did feel like another bit of wasted time.

I will say, though, that some of the scenes at the Wall were, I think, necessary.

Jon's sit-down with Mance did a lot to remind us of and build upon the notion of Mance not being a monster, and I really can only hope that Stannis will actually take up Jon's advice and talk to Mance. He may be an enemy, but he clearly knows more about the coming winter than anyone south of the wall. Similarly, I think that scene was important for Jon, as it showed some level of movement in his character. He's reached the point where, unlike the sainted Ned, he could actually conceive of using his enemy's knowledge of his own nobility in order to literally stab him in the back. (Conceive of -- the execution of the plan left much to be desired).

I also think Jon's meeting with the captive Tormund was important, if only to show Tormund starting to see that for all their differences, the Watch is not the evil torturers he believes them to be. Sure, they're not going to be friends, but there's a level of humanity regarding Aemon treating Tormund, and Jon's statements about not torturing him, that feel like it may be setting up a possible (difficult) alliance/truce against the real enemy to the north.

However, I could see finding a way to move the meeting with Tormund forward to next season, or even maybe work it into the discussion with Mance. As I said before, for an extended episode it sure did feel like they wasted their extended runtime on focusing on things that we already know, or could've waited.
posted by tocts at 7:51 AM on June 17, 2014 [2 favorites]




Alan Sepinwall has two good points. First, that the Jaime/Cersei love scene in this episode confirms the show writers felt that Jaime's rape of his sister was no big deal for either character:

...the creative team is stuck with the impact of a decision they made earlier in the season, not realizing how it would play with the audience and influence all that followed. It's one thing if different members of the team publicly disagree about the intention of the Jaime/Cersei rape scene in the aftermath of their son's murder, but when the characters appeared together again in "Oath Keeper," neither acted as if that was what happened — we were meant to view Jaime's actions not as a massive reversal of course on his road to redemption, but as just one more kink in an unholy sexual alliance. But if you're an audience member who viewed that event as something more — something that Cersei would perhaps pretend to forgive, all while silently seething and plotting her vengeance — then the Cersei/Jaime scenes in "The Children" made clear that Benioff and Weiss did not share that viewpoint.

I like the part about the rape being "a massive reversal of course" in Jaime's clearly telegraphed redemption arc, which to me makes his arc this season kind of waffle-y and slightly incoherent.

Second, the lack of emotional investment he felt when Jojen dies:

the amount of time devoted to Lannister family dysfunction...has meant that other characters in this sprawling narrative get shorter shrift...it was an issue tonight when Jojen Reed died trying to get Bran to the three-eyed raven...Because of the brevity and scarcity of Bran scenes across the last few seasons, the Reed siblings have always come across as more plot device than people we are meant to understand or care about, but the lack of emotion from his death spoke to the underfed nature of this storyline in general. It was exciting to see them fighting zombie skeletons in the snow (with Bran once again turning Hodor from ineffectual simpleton into gigantic fighting machine), but on the whole this entire trip has felt like exactly what Benioff and Weiss have told me they are trying to avoid: a journey from Point A to Point B on the map, rather than something with actual character stakes to keep things interesting until people get to where the story needs them to be.
posted by mediareport at 8:25 AM on June 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


> In a way [Shae's] death reminds me of Cersei's rape, where they had to make the characters behave inconsistently in order to force the scene to conform to the storyline. They didn't wanted us to blame Tyrion for being a murderer like they didn't want us to think Jamie was a rapist. It backfired in both cases, at least for me.

Amen, and so well said @homunculus! clap, clap, clap.
posted by hush at 8:28 AM on June 17, 2014


Oh, at the end Sepinwall talks about the possibility the Hound might live and comes down where I did above before I backed off a bit:

(**) UPDATE: Been getting a lot of "we didn't see his corpse, so how do you know he's dead?" comments and tweets since the review published. My feeling is that the scene has the power it does precisely because it is the end of the Hound's story. We don't stay to watch him die in the slow and difficult fashion Arya is consigning him to because the show doesn't have time for that, and if he should happen to survive through extraordinary intervention (say, Thoros of Myr happening to wander by at the right moment), it neuters the scene, even if Arya made the decision that she did. But we'll see, I suppose.
posted by mediareport at 8:30 AM on June 17, 2014


greed that Shae deserved better, and her rapid transformation into unrepentant betrayer rings hollow given the way she turned down opportunities to escape with lots of gold when Tyrion warned that her life was in danger.

Yeah, that transformation seems to me like something happened that we weren't told about. It was a bit too pronounced. A case could be made she's not betraying him, of course -- Tyrion did break it off pretty coldly, and sent her off on a ship to god knows where. She has every right to hate him. Bronn claims she was on the boat too; I'm still not clear how she was in King's Landing. Did she never leave? Are we to take it she got in contact with his family of her own accord? Did Cersei track her down? Did Bronn sell her out and lie to Tyrion?
posted by Hoopo at 8:42 AM on June 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


I have real problems with how quickly Shae morphs from being totally in love with Tyrion, to willing to screw him over for what at least looks like flimsy reasoning and using her pet words for Tyrion in bed with Tywin.

I have zero problem with Shae behaving as she did. She was a prostitute who fell in love and sacrificed a lot of humiliating things to keep that relation. Of course she's going to hate him after he cruelly dumps her.

Getting with Tywin, the Hand of the King, just makes good business sense and if she can stick it to Tyrion by calling his dad "My Lion," that's just a cherry on top.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:45 AM on June 17, 2014


She was half-awake and mumbled the "my lion" when she thought it was Tywin coming back into the bedroom. It wasn't an intentional jab at Tyrion, although it had the same effect as one.
posted by mediareport at 8:52 AM on June 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


It's bizarre people keep describing Shae's transformation as "sudden", "inexplicable", etc. As Diablevert notes above, the show spent more than a season showing her becoming increasingly angry and frustrated with Tyrion and worried about his commitment to her. Do people just not remember these scenes? Almost every time her character appeared over the last season she fought with Tyrion over him seemingly growing distant and her accusing him of choosing Sansa over her, despite her still loving him.

For example, mediareport said: "Her rapid transformation into unrepentant betrayer rings hollow given the way she turned down opportunities to escape with lots of gold when Tyrion warned that her life was in danger. "

What's missing is that she turned down gold and a chance to flee to be with Tyrion who, from her point of view, then continued to ignore her and push her away. Imagine, say, you turn down a great job in another city to be with the person you love in your home town, but after doing so that person becomes cold and distant and doesn't seem to really like you much anymore despite what they say. You don't think you'd be a little pissed?

It's baffling how, given this, people have any question at all over how or why Shae did what she did. Duress? Coercion? It's crystal clear what happened: she deeply loved Tyrion but felt he had tossed her aside, so when offered the opportunity by Cersei and the Lannisters lashed out to hurt him. People do stupid shit to hurt other people who have broken their hearts without even thinking about the consequences. Surely we've all seen this on a small scale. It's such a common, universal thing it's hard to fathom why people here have any confusion regarding her behavior, which was entirely, completely, 100% in character as a woman in love who was hurt.

You know why she attached Tyrion when he encountered her in the Hand's bed chamber? A combination of that hurt and the fact that the person you lied to condemn to death probably isn't very happy with you. You know why Tyrion killed her? Rage and grief at being betrayed.

It's just so simple and obvious, how can there be any questions?

I think people have this conception of the character Shae as they want her to be rather than what was actually presented on the show, because the show spent a long time very clearly setting up what happened.
posted by Sangermaine at 8:57 AM on June 17, 2014 [28 favorites]


It's such a common, universal thing it's hard to fathom why people here have any confusion regarding her behavior, which was entirely, completely, 100% in character as a woman in love who was hurt.

I understand what you're saying but what she did is a bit extreme in that regard. She testifies against him at a murder trial when she knows he didn't do it, effectively signing his death warrant, and then starts sleeping with his dad. I wouldn't say it's 100% in character for a woman in love who was hurt. Perhaps I'm just lucky never to have run into a woman who wanted to kill me and fuck my dad after a breakup?
posted by Hoopo at 9:30 AM on June 17, 2014 [6 favorites]


Imagine, say, you turn down a great job in another city to be with the person you love in your home town, but after doing so that person becomes cold and distant and doesn't seem to really like you much anymore despite what they say. You don't think you'd be a little pissed?

But what if it was the person you love who got you the really great job and wants you to be happy even if you can't be together? Because that's what Tyrion did. (well, at first technically it was Varys offering the money without Tyrion's knowledge, but from Shae's perspective that was all him).
posted by sparklemotion at 9:34 AM on June 17, 2014


She was half-awake and mumbled the "my lion" when she thought it was Tywin coming back into the bedroom. It wasn't an intentional jab at Tyrion, although it had the same effect as one.

No, I can her taking pleasure in doing this in private, feeling it's another "fuck you" to Tyrion. He just happened to overhear. Once.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:38 AM on June 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


Because that's what Tyrion did. (well, at first technically it was Varys offering the money without Tyrion's knowledge, but from Shae's perspective that was all him).

I'm not saying this is a female thing. I knew a guy in college who after getting dumped by the girl he loved and thought he was going to marry, called the cops on her on a false charge leading to her arrest. When it was sorted out and she was let out, he himself was arrested for filing a false charge and sued. People in love who are hurt do dumb things just to hurt the other person without really considering how much damage it will really cause.

But what if it was the person you love who got you the really great job and wants you to be happy even if you can't be together? Because that's what Tyrion did.

No, that's what we as viewers know

I think this is the core of the problem people are having here. We as viewers have an omniscient view and can make careful, rational observations. Imagine from the POV of the characters, imagine how they are feeling and what they are thinking rather than what we know as the audience.

Shae doesn't know Tyrion is doing it for her. She's already very suspicious about his commitment, and then after she turns down the gold offer he's still distant and cold. It looks more to her like he was trying to buy her off and send her away. From the moment they arrived in King's Landing he's been brushing her aside. Besides what he says, what has she seen him do to make her think he still loves her and isn't just tossing her away to enjoy his new, beautiful,, noble wife? Nothing, which is why she became increasingly hurt and angry with him, as the show clearly portrayed.

From her POV, he keeps saying he loves her, but what does he do? Push her away, tell her to lay low and be quiet, and ignore her heartfelt complaints.

Same with "but why would she try to kill him!". Imagine how deeply hurt she was, that she wasn't making calm calculations, she was just looking to lash out and harm him. Much like he seemed to immediately regret killing her, she was acting out of anger and grief.
posted by Sangermaine at 9:43 AM on June 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


For me, the jury's still out on whether she believed she was condemning him to death or condemning him to the Wall. We know that Tywin was behind whatever got her put on the witness stand, and we also know (proven handily by him trying to talk Tyrion out of killing him) that he had no trouble lying with a straight face. I get the sense he was telling different people different things in the service of his plan. I do think he was probably genuine about letting Tyrion join the Night's Watch, but once the trial by combat happened, his hands were tied.

My assumption is that he told Shae that her testimony would only get him sent to the Wall, not killed. From her perspective, it's a slam dunk: she could hurt him back by humiliating him on the stand, and rather poetically he would now have to live without the wealth and finery and family that he'd chosen over her.

It's not impossible to imagine Tywin had convinced her that Tyrion would still be spared somehow, even the night before his execution. Also, I'm just spitballing but I have no reason to think Tywin was intending to let her live long beyond that night. Given what she'd seen and all, she'd be too much of a loose end.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 9:47 AM on June 17, 2014 [7 favorites]


Considering she grabbed a knife and tried to stab, she probably knew Tywin had condemned him to death.

Also, Cersei had pointed Shae out to Tywin, so he might have taken a fancy to her at that point.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:59 AM on June 17, 2014


The knife may have had more to do with the fact that he was supposed to be in a prison cell at the time, but I really don't know. I'm just saying there are a lot of questions and no definitive answers, and that it's easy for me to construct a scenario in which something was going on more complicated than her deciding to help have him killed because he hurt her.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 10:03 AM on June 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


If a person you helped condemn to death who's supposed to be in prison shows up in your bedroom late at night, you'd be reaching for some protection too, especially if that person is your ex-lover. That person isn't stopping by for a nice chat.
posted by Sangermaine at 10:07 AM on June 17, 2014 [6 favorites]


so is it ever explained how she came to be contacted by the Lannisters for this trial? Was she known to Cersei or Tywin or Jamie prior to the trial? I remember someone knew something about her, but I don't really remember who it was. Varys maybe?
posted by Hoopo at 11:00 AM on June 17, 2014


Was she known to Cersei or Tywin or Jamie prior to the trial?

I'm struggling to recall the exact episode, but sometime in late Season 3 I believe, Cersei is seen (to the viewer) to point Shae out to Tywin, specifically mentioning her to be a prostitute that Tyrion is involved in. This happened after earlier in that season, Tywin proclaimed that if he found another prostitute in Tyrion's bed, he'd have her killed.

Cersei's actions more or less coincided with Varys' attempt to get Shae to leave town; presumably one of his little birds warned him that Tywin was closing in on Shae, and Varys feared that if Tywin killed Shae, it might take Tyrion out of the game (which he clearly wants to avoid).
posted by tocts at 11:11 AM on June 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


The new Ask the Maester column is up. Note that the good Maester explains the events we've seen on the show with wisdom gained from the books. There are no spoilers for upcoming events, just background information for events on the show and descriptions of how they differed from the same events in the books (much like the show-only GOT wiki), so if you wish to read the books completely unblemished then you may want to avoid this one.

Ask the Maester: Answers to Your Questions About the ‘Game of Thrones’ Season 4 Finale
posted by homunculus at 11:20 AM on June 17, 2014 [4 favorites]


I'm struggling to recall the exact episode, but sometime in late Season 3 I believe, Cersei is seen (to the viewer) to point Shae out to Tywin, specifically mentioning her to be a prostitute that Tyrion is involved in. This happened after earlier in that season, Tywin proclaimed that if he found another prostitute in Tyrion's bed, he'd have her killed.

I think that was early in Season 4. Cersei pointed her out at the family brunch where Joffrey got his Valyrian steel and used it to chop up the book Tyrion had given him. Tywin told her to have Shae taken to the Tower of the Hand. Tyrion overheard them and had Bronn put her on a ship, but when Joffrey was poisoned Tywin commanded the harbors to be closed so no ship could leave. I assume that's when they actually caught Shae, unless she got off the boat herself.
posted by homunculus at 11:27 AM on June 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


Great comment @tocts, but I disagree with your point about too-much-Ygritte in this ep. (No way, more lovely Rose Leslie scenes please!) I dunno, I think we sort of needed to watch Jon Snow crying to himself over her funeral pyre, because their whole thin-line-between-love-and-hate thing seemed a little lopsided for too long, like in her hate that everyone could see right through it appeared she cared way more about him than he ever cared about her. Glad to see that was not the case.

These scenes helped even that perception out, and I, for one, appreciated seeing how deeply devastated Jon Snow was by her loss, too, along with Mance and Tormund and the love and respect they had for her - who are BTW human, too, and vice versa (and yep, now there can be some alliance-building there). Ygritte was loved by many, and I myself just could not get enough of Rose Leslie.
posted by hush at 11:30 AM on June 17, 2014 [4 favorites]


From the Maester column, something that made me giggle at work:
I realized how totally insane it is that this story is the biggest hit for HBO since The Sopranos. It feels like nerd final victory.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:11 PM on June 17, 2014 [5 favorites]


It's now the biggest hit ever, including the Sopranos. Not just "since the Sopranos".
posted by Justinian at 12:48 PM on June 17, 2014


Someone on Reddit made a House Sigil for Gendry.

I fixed that for them. I mean really, open goal.
posted by Iteki at 2:18 PM on June 17, 2014 [3 favorites]


My assumption is that he told Shae that her testimony would only get him sent to the Wall, not killed. From her perspective, it's a slam dunk: she could hurt him back by humiliating him on the stand, and rather poetically he would now have to live without the wealth and finery and family that he'd chosen over her.

This is a really interesting idea. Actually, it raises another possibility - what if Tywin told Shae that the only way Tyrion would get to live and go to the wall was if he didn't embarrass the Lannister name with any more whores? Thus encouraging Shae to testify and come to him, "proving" there was no real connection with Tyrion and Tywin could send him to the wall without any interference.

If so, it would make Tyrion's murder of her even more awful - because remember, the first thing he does upon seeing her is not "Ask her what's going on" but to barrel towards her. She could have just wanted to fend him off or slow him down. She might not have anticipated him being able to kill her.
posted by corb at 3:50 PM on June 17, 2014 [4 favorites]


Tyrion does not barrel towards her, he merely stares in shock. Shae goes for the knife and raises it towards him and that's when he's charging towards her.

She was not warm and fuzzy towards him.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:32 PM on June 17, 2014


It's an awful situation where everyone makes the wrong choice based on thier worst fears and then everything is worse.
posted by The Whelk at 4:54 PM on June 17, 2014 [8 favorites]




I'm not getting all this reaching to defend Shae. She's a spiteful, lying would-be murderer who got what she deserved.

If she had felt any remorse or had underlying noble motives she would have showed it when she saw Tyrion instead of instinctively reaching for the knife.
posted by shivohum at 6:07 PM on June 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


"Oars is the fury" would work better, I think...
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 6:11 PM on June 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


She was not warm and fuzzy towards him.

No, she's not. In the trial when Tyrion says, "Shae, don't" and she looks straight at him and says "I'm a whore. Remember?" that's just pure bitterness. She is rejecting him as utterly as she feels he rejected her. (Only...sending him to his death rather than to Essos with a bunch of gold.) It's pretty harsh.
posted by torticat at 6:59 PM on June 17, 2014


I think people have this conception of the character Shae as they want her to be rather than what was actually presented on the show

You know, Sangermaine, I think you're right. It's a fair point, and looking back I can see that I first started getting annoyed at Shae's arc a long time ago. I really liked her as a character, and remember hoping she'd turn out to be one of the powerful women on the show (I suppose in a way hoping the GoT writers would explore the various kinds of power that "powerless" women can wield, in scenes similar, maybe, to those I'd loved in the first few seasons of Mad Men).

Watching Shae turn into a relatively stock spurned woman felt cheap to me precisely because I wanted her to be something more. The scene where Tyrion denies his love for her and she doesn't get that he was doing it to protect her felt particularly insulting to her character. How long had she been a career lover of men? And she couldn't figure out what was happening there? I dunno, I just felt the show writers did her wrong, because she seemed smart and able, up until the moment Tyrion tried to convince her she was in danger and had to leave. She suddenly got stupid then.
posted by mediareport at 7:26 PM on June 17, 2014 [12 favorites]


She was an interesting mixture of ignorant and street smart and impulsive.

Why she sold out Tyrion is a mystery, but suspect Tywin just wanted to twist the knife. He had already bargained a deal, what need was there for Shae to testify? Because Tywin wanted Tyrion crushed for embarrassing the family name.

Well that plan went down the toilet.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:08 PM on June 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


Tywin could have pronounced Tyrion guilty even if every witness had testified to his innocence. It's a show trial, after all. But certainly it's better for the crown's legitimacy to put on the right show, especially when it's not at all hard to do—hence the parade of witnesses all calling Tyrion guilty as sin.

So when we say that Shae helped condemn Tyrion to death, that's only true in a theatrical sense, not in any kind of legal sense. Maybe, as some have speculated, Tywin told her the expected outcome. Maybe she knew it was all just a show—it's not like Westeros is known for its keen sense of justice and fairness. Or maybe she really thought she was bringing Tyrion one step closer to the headsman's blade. But if so, only in her mind.

After all, Tywin's purpose (or at least, the closest thing we can glean to his purpose) in putting on this show seems to have been to pressure Jaime into quitting the Kingsguard and siring heirs. The parade of witnesses was all a signal to Jaime, to show that he's quite ready to pronounce his brother's guilt.

Of course, once he'd secured the deal, at that point, there was no need for further witnesses—at least, not for the purposes of pressuring Jaime, who'd already caved—so why did Tywin bother putting Shae on the stand? He didn't have to. He could have accepted a plea from Tyrion right after that adjournment.

Perhaps he wanted to finish the grand flourish of his show for the public. Or perhaps (and I like this idea more), he wanted to twist the knife as far as he could into Tyrion, especially since, deliciously for him, he was now sleeping with the knife-twister herself. That backfired rather disastrously for him in the end, for a guy who makes rather few mistakes. But his hatred of his own son was perhaps his biggest flaw, so it's quite fitting that it directly led to his undoing.

Happy Father's Day, asshole. Well, at least maybe now I'll be able to get Charles Dance to mix me a drink.
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 9:58 PM on June 17, 2014 [5 favorites]


EndsofInvention: "Did the Secret Bravos Coin mean the captain was taking her north?

I don't think so. It wasn't a "get any Braavosi to do your bidding" coin. Check out this scene from the end of Season 2 here. Jaqen H'ghar hands the coin to Arya and says:
If the day comes when you must find me again, just give that coin to any man from Braavos and say these words to him, "Valar Morghulis."
The captain said he was headed to Braavos, and I assume that intrigued Arya. Still not loving the coincidence-factor there, but ah well.

Yeah but's it's a Lannister price on his head right? And the Eyrie is still supposedly anti-Lannister? Or at least definitely not pro-Lannister."

Hmm, not a bad point, though 100 silver stags is 100 silver stags. Question is, does Brienne get to collect that reward now? Or Arya? ;)
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 10:07 PM on June 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


We didn't need that scene with Jon Snow mourning his ex-lover again, either.

The lingering shots of the faces of both Ygritte and that one dude on the end in the Castle Black pyre had me convinced that one or the other were going to get up before the flames got them.
posted by chazlarson at 10:32 PM on June 17, 2014 [3 favorites]


Hah, homunculus nailed the callback earlier, but this is pretty good. (Just a link to an image collage with some text. Absolutely no spoilers. 100% show only.)
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 10:47 PM on June 17, 2014 [14 favorites]


Charles Dance playing the most regal bartender in the land reminds me of what a casting director told a young Donald Sutherland about why he didn't get a part: "It's a boy-next-door role, and you don't look like you've ever lived next door to anyone."
posted by Ian A.T. at 11:50 PM on June 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


So our theory is that the Mountain is going to be Cersei's Hodor?

Cersei: Gregor, go drop Loras into Blackwater Bay.

The Mountain: GREGOR.


Will he say "Gregor" or "Mountain"?
posted by homunculus at 1:29 AM on June 18, 2014




Who is going to be Hand of the King now?

Does it have to be a dude? If so, Jaime would be an ironic choice. I'm thinking though that we'll see the Tyrells more ascendant so maybe Mace (with Olenna pulling the strings). I don't know if Maesters are eligible to be Hands, so I'd assume not Pycelle.


Cersei hates Pycelle. Besides, being Grand Maester gives him his own seat at the table already. Qyburn might be an option; he's a defrocked Maester and one of the only people around whose intelligence Cersei clearly respects. Maesters can study different disciplines, so depending on which links he forged before being expelled he might be a good Master of Coin or Law. He doesn't seem qualified to be Hand, but of course Cersei can do what she wants.

I suspect that at the start of next season, the Hand will be Mace Tyrell, Jaime (though he'd presumably have to leave the Kingsguard), or some random Lannister cousin that basically does whatever Cersei wants.

Her uncle Kevan Lannister maybe. He was one of Tywin's war advisers during the second season.

Two possibilities for the new Master of Whispers occured to me. Roose Bolton is famous for getting information via flaying, so that might be enough to qualify him in Cersei's eyes (and she'd probably enjoy watching him work), but he's got his hands full with the North. The most hilarious choice would be Petyr Baelish. Cersei has no idea he actually masterminded Joffrey's assassination. He wouldn't be able to take Sansa with him obviously, so I don't know how that would work out.
posted by homunculus at 2:41 AM on June 18, 2014


back to the skellingtons for a minute: best skellington HTH combat ever, I think. I had forgotten how my wife and I were commenting on how cool it looked while it was onscreen, and then the brienne/hound fight knocked it out of our heads.

Also, brienne said something to arya when they were first looking at each other. something like "I know your sword." what did she say, and what did she mean?


posted by mwhybark at 8:37 AM on June 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


She said "I LIKE your sword", no?
posted by The Whelk at 8:48 AM on June 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


on rewind, yes i think so, but the line delivery plays with the word. it definitely sounds like "know" and also like "like", which is a neat trick, you tricky actor lady you. It's kind of swallowed, like "gnyouk", combining the phonemes of both words.

oh, and arya stagewhispers "you can shit later" to the offscreen hound, which can be taken as textual foreshadowing of his fate, if you take twyin's denouement into account.
posted by mwhybark at 9:17 AM on June 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


We can establish the size of the engaged cavalry in Stannis' force thanks to the two cuts which reveal the riders initially and the second overhead revealing the attack to be a mirrored pincer.

The first cut shows the riders on the plain from first man to last at ground level. the next cut shows us that breathtaking overhead of the formed-up charge entering the treeline.

At the head of the charge is a unit taking a distinct arrow shape. Close behind it, six more units in a generally wedge-shaped configuration. Behind them, two distinct groupings subdivided into further units. Each major subdivision contains 12 units, ranked three across by four deep.

All units are ranged in three lines of riders. The 24 units to the rear and the two units in the center of the leading wedge have 16 riders in each line. The leading unit and the flanking units of the wedge have slightly varying line populations, from 10 to 12. For the purposes of this exercise, we'll call it 11.

26 three-rank groups of riders in rows of 16, and seven three-rank groups of riders in rows averaging 11.

2*(3*((26*16)+(7*11))) = 2958

Hm, possibly a GoT scaling problem?
posted by mwhybark at 9:42 AM on June 18, 2014






Who is going to be Hand of the King now?

Well, it's going to be Cersei running the show for the time being, and I'm pretty sure in Cersei's mind the purpose of the Hand of the King is to crush things. So I'm betting the Hand will be Frankenmountain. I'm anticipating the downfall of the Lannisters being another orgy of excess and madness in King's Landing where Cersei is boffing Jamie all over the castle and not caring who knows about it, and making it pretty obvious what Tommen's lineage is, all to the muttering horror of the citizenry, but nobody dares say anything in public because she also has this huge, speechless, roided up flesh golem thing walking around with the badge of the hand, smashing through doors and beating people to death whenever Cersei gets annoyed with them.
posted by Naberius at 2:10 PM on June 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


It's an awful situation where everyone makes the wrong choice based on their worst fears and then everything is worse.
It's like the "before" scene in one of those cheesy worker-training videos you had to sit through at your first job--where the employee is shown doing something just incredibly stupid and/or unsafe--
and then the scene freezes and a guy in a dated suit steps in and says
"Now let's see how that encounter should have happened..."
And then Tyrian steps into the room, spies Shae lying there, stands on tippy toes and sees no Tywin next to her, puts aside Shae calling him "My lion", raises hands in "I come in peace" gesture and then, and then...

...well, unless Tywin is in the loo birthing conjoined calves, they're not going to have time to share a coffee and reminisce over their high school yearbooks together.

It's too bad Jamie hadn't given Tyrion a dagger or something after the hug, and then Tyrion had to take a quick pee before hitting the room of the Hand... Although I bet the internet would be howling if they pulled a Good Will Hunting and Tyrion told Jamie, post-hug
"I gotta see about a girl."
posted by blueberry at 3:26 PM on June 18, 2014


Watching Shae turn into a relatively stock spurned woman felt cheap to me precisely because I wanted her to be something more. The scene where Tyrion denies his love for her and she doesn't get that he was doing it to protect her felt particularly insulting to her character. How long had she been a career lover of men? And she couldn't figure out what was happening there? I dunno, I just felt the show writers did her wrong, because she seemed smart and able, up until the moment Tyrion tried to convince her she was in danger and had to leave. She suddenly got stupid then.

I suspect her onset of stupidity is due to the problem you pointed out here. They had to complete her story as the vengeful scorned whore and they took short cuts. The outline of her storyline makes sense, and there are several possible ways to fill in the gaps of how she got from the boat to Tywin's bed, but I still think the way they actually handled it didn't fit with the way her character had developed earlier in the series. Her growing resentment towards Tyrion after he married Sansa was part of the problem for me; it didn't mesh with the Shae we'd already been presented with. Where did this hopelessly dense person come from and how did she ever survive as a sex-worker for so long? They ended up creating two different characters for one character arc.

Part of why it sticks in my craw is that her story ended in such a brutal and one-sided fashion. By the time we got there we had shared Tyrion's perspective and empathized with him, but we hadn't been privy to Shae's psychological evolution at all. The way her death was portrayed in that scene was morally unambiguous: she saw Tyrion and grabbed the knife while he was standing there looking shattered and he defended himself, and in light of her previous treachery killing her was meant to be as justified as it was necessary. But for a show that prides itself on the notion that no one is simply good or evil but rather a bit of both, it feels like a cop-out to end with her as a stock villain whose death seemed morally trivial while Tyrion walked away morally untainted (I found watching Tyrion strangle Shae horrifying, but in the context of the story I'm guessing many people are not going to hold it against him).

I probably sound more critical of the showrunners than I really am. With only 10 episodes a season there's a lot of fleshing out they can't do and they deserve credit for making Shae as interesting as she was in the first place. And I'm not saying they should have changed the story touchstones of the trial and her death, but I do wish the later part of her story had been told better.
posted by homunculus at 12:34 AM on June 19, 2014 [4 favorites]


I wonder - will Cersei be in serious trouble if she does not marry Loras Tyrell? What will her choice mean for the Tyrell-Lannister alliance, given that the Lannisters are supposedly teetering on the brink of insolvency?

I expect so. Winter is coming and the Tyrells' farms will make them the most important family in the land. With Cersei rejecting Loras and feuding with Maergery, I expect her to ruin that alliance.

Tywin's death will have the exact result that Ser Davos predicted it would when he went to the Iron Bank on behalf of Stannis - this is the beginning of the end of the Lannisters. These adult kids won't be able to look after themselves properly.

I look forward to the look on Cersei's face when the Iron Bank refuses to extend the crown any more credit. OTOH, Mycroft Nestoris has to be wondering wtf Stannis is doing using their money to fight Wildlings up at the Wall.
posted by homunculus at 12:56 AM on June 19, 2014


Well, it's going to be Cersei running the show for the time being, and I'm pretty sure in Cersei's mind the purpose of the Hand of the King is to crush things. So I'm betting the Hand will be Frankenmountain.

Cersei had a front row seat to Robert's reign, so she must know that the Hand is the person who deals with all the mundane aspects of ruling while the monarch spends their days and nights wallowing in their own crapulence. She actually wants Tommen to rule someday so she doesn't want the kingdom to completely fall apart, and I think she's going to be quickly overwhelmed with how difficult ruling is, so I think she'll appoint a Hand who at least has basic language skills and critical thinking abilities. The Mountain doesn't need to be Hand in order to be her enforcer.

Even though she wants Tommen to be safe and well, she's so lacking in foresight and self discipline that it's likely she's going to sabotage his reign before he comes of age. Poor kid. At least he's got Ser Pounce.

I'm still bummed that Oberyn is out of the series, so I at least hope the rest of the Mountain's new life is very uncomfortable.
posted by homunculus at 1:02 AM on June 19, 2014




I've been thinking about this episode a bit more, and had one more thought:

I'm really bummed out that Jaime isn't going with Tyrion. I'm glad that their brotherly bond is still strong, and that Jaime made what feels like the right decision in freeing him. However, I'm pretty confused about why Jaime wants to stay. Maybe this just goes back to the whole "showrunners don't understand the vibe the Jaime/Cersei relationship is giving off" thing, but given the events of this season, it really feels like he should've been on that boat as well.

To begin with, their relationship seems completely destroyed in the light of the creepy funeral rape scene. But, OK, I'll try to be unbelievably charitable, ignore every piece of evidence from that scene, and just go with "I guess since every scene we've seen after that has acted like that wasn't a rape, the characters clearly didn't think it was a rape".

Even if we go with that reading, that then leaves us with just as big a problem: Cersei has spent the whole season on a quest to kill Tyrion, who Jaime knows is innocent. Not only is Jaime convinced he's innocent, it's pretty clear from his conversations with Cersei that she knows it too, and doesn't care. She basically defaults back to her evergreen justification of "he killed our mother" (which Jaime points out is ludicrous).

Add to this, Jaime is not stupid. He has to know that Cersei is going to figure out it was him who let Tyrion go. He also has to know what a terrible idea Cersei's "fuck it, let's just flaunt our relationship" plan is.

So, all of this leads me to feel like Jaime staying is pretty much nuts, and it seems really out of character (particularly given the [choppy] growth they've been putting into the character).

I wish I understood what the writers are trying to accomplish with his actions, because it's beyond me at this point.
posted by tocts at 5:49 AM on June 19, 2014 [5 favorites]


Her growing resentment towards Tyrion after he married Sansa was part of the problem for me; it didn't mesh with the Shae we'd already been presented with. Where did this hopelessly dense person come from and how did she ever survive as a sex-worker for so long?

Shae has always been hopelessly dense/reckless. Tyrion warned her about people wanting her dead if she came to his quarters. Her attitude was "fuck'em". She repeatedly ignored pretty all the social laws, either from ignorance and just a "fuck'em" attitude. She had street smarts yes and she wasn't low in intelligence, but she also wasn't good at the Game or social graces.

But for a show that prides itself on the notion that no one is simply good or evil but rather a bit of both, it feels like a cop-out to end with her as a stock villain whose death seemed morally trivial while Tyrion walked away morally untainted...

I strongly disagree that Shae was presented as a stock villain in the end. Ultimately, almost everyone on the show is acting from the own morals or desires. Shae would have preferred to stay with Tyrion. He threw her out. Fine, she used her skills to get another job and take care of herself. That's no worse than any character or human.

Her lunging at clearly unarmed and peaceful looking Tyrion fit right into her character. He had already devastated her and she knew he was sentenced to death. His showing in Tywin's bedchamber didn't sound like a good thing, so she was going to take care of him before he had the chance to do anything to her.

However, I'm pretty confused about why Jaime wants to stay.

Cersei is his weakness. Just completely and utterly. Consider the scene where he was looking through the book of great knights and contemplating his lack of notable entries. Then Cersei comes in and accepts him totally, kissing his fake hand, something that revolted her before.

Jaime forgot about the book and had sex with her right then and there. Nothing else really matters, though I suspect his lack of accomplishments will continue to haunt him.

That distasteful scene next to Joffrey's dead body was just a no win situation. Book or show, it was just ugly.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:12 AM on June 19, 2014


peaceful looking Tyrion

I don't disagree with most of what you're saying, but he was not at all peaceful looking. As the realization of who is in his father's bed washes over him, his face gets twisted into the most evil expression. Then Shae reaches for the knife.
posted by valeries at 6:58 AM on June 19, 2014 [2 favorites]


Her growing resentment towards Tyrion after he married Sansa was part of the problem for me; it didn't mesh with the Shae we'd already been presented with. Where did this hopelessly dense person come from and how did she ever survive as a sex-worker for so long? They ended up creating two different characters for one character arc.

I honestly don't get why you think she was "hopelessly dense" to be suspicious of Tyrion. You can't have it both ways; either she was a cool-headed professional sex worker perfectly comfortable to be his piece on the side, with some affection for him, or she was deeply, deeply in love with him and wanted him to feel that same way about her. You can't be a coolheaded professional and a passionate lover at the same time; if you expect her long experience to have taught her to be able to step back and calmly accept a very limited role in his life in return for certain material rewards, then you're saying there really was no deep bond between them, no cause for her to have been bothered by his willingness to marry Sansa, nor insecure about what his attempts to push her away meant. If, on the other hand, you think she really did regard Tyrion as the love of her life --- someone she was willing to risk everything for, including death --- how could she not be insulted when he tries to pay her off, suspicious and insecure when his words don't match his actions, and finally deeply hurt when he deliberately breaks her heart by confirming all her worst fears? I mean for Chrissake, what in one's long experience as a sex worker would have taught them that dudes who keep shoving money at you and saying "go away" are actually faithful lovers who you can trust implicitly? Instead of you know, bored, sated johns who want you, in fact, to go the fuck away?
posted by Diablevert at 7:27 AM on June 19, 2014 [3 favorites]


though I suspect his lack of accomplishments will continue to haunt him.

The dude killed a king! Not every knight can say that. Though that's probably not the sort of accomplishment he's hoping to have in the book I suppose.
posted by Hoopo at 9:11 AM on June 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


So, all of this leads me to feel like Jaime staying is pretty much nuts, and it seems really out of character

When I think of Jaime and Cersei right now, I think of a woman I knew in real life. Her boyfriend was cheating on her, treating her like shit, and she really wasn't getting anything from the relationship. I asked, "Why do you stay?" And she said, "I gave up too much for this relationship, I have to make it work."

I think of that a lot in relation to Jaime. Jaime, for love of Cersei, gave up his entire future, as a teenager. He gave up his right to inherit Casterly Rock to become a member of the Kingsguard - nice, but not exactly something that first sons and heirs usually took part in. He was willing to throw away everything for her - and he did.

What does he have left, now? What does he have, other than Cersei? Everyone hates him as the Kingslayer. He betrayed Aegon and then betrayed Robert. Where could he possibly go if he went with Tyrion? Where would he even want to go? Everything he loves is in King's Landing, which is a little hot for Tyrion right now. (Well, hotter even than Jaime thought now, but still hot at the time.)
posted by corb at 10:03 AM on June 19, 2014


homunculus: " Winter is coming and the Tyrells' farms will make them the most important family in the land."

Just curious—when did they talk about the Tyrells' agricultural prowess on the show?
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 11:49 AM on June 19, 2014


I think it has been mentioned multiple times. For example they talk about resuming food shipments to King's Landing after the betrothal of Margaery to Joffrey.
posted by Justinian at 1:59 PM on June 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


I honestly don't get why you think she was "hopelessly dense" to be suspicious of Tyrion.

Her complete disregard for the danger their relationship put them in was what I thought was dense. I don't see how she couldn't see that. I brought up her history as a former sex-worker to make the point that she would have needed the ability to recognize danger in order to survive; now she seems to be completely oblivious to it.

You can't have it both ways; either she was a cool-headed professional sex worker perfectly comfortable to be his piece on the side, with some affection for him, or she was deeply, deeply in love with him and wanted him to feel that same way about her. You can't be a coolheaded professional and a passionate lover at the same time; if you expect her long experience to have taught her to be able to step back and calmly accept a very limited role in his life in return for certain material rewards, then you're saying there really was no deep bond between them, no cause for her to have been bothered by his willingness to marry Sansa, nor insecure about what his attempts to push her away meant. If, on the other hand, you think she really did regard Tyrion as the love of her life --- someone she was willing to risk everything for, including death --- how could she not be insulted when he tries to pay her off, suspicious and insecure when his words don't match his actions, and finally deeply hurt when he deliberately breaks her heart by confirming all her worst fears?

I don't quite agree with the distinction you're making that she had to be either a coolheaded professional or a passionate lover with Tyrion, but of the two I would see her as the later. I don't see a conflict between her being passionately in love with him while recognizing that they needed to play it cool and be discreet for the benefit of others in order to stay together. That's just common sense under the circumstances. I partly agree with you that Shae's insecurity and jealousy make sense, especially when he stopped sleeping with her, but only up to a point. Certainly she would not accept just being his piece on the side if that's all she meant to him, but Shae also knew that Tyrion wasn't sleeping with Sansa - in fact one of the things she and Tyrion shared was their desire to protect the girl (and if Tyrion had actually tried to sleep with Sansa that would have changed everything). As for the pay-off, since Shae believed it came from Tyrion her anger makes complete sense, although watching the scene again I'm not sure why she didn't believe Varys was doing it on his own. But again my beef with this part of the story was her inability to comprehend the danger they were in, and her inability to grasp how Tyron's belief in that danger affected his actions.
posted by homunculus at 3:06 PM on June 19, 2014 [2 favorites]


Shae has always been hopelessly dense/reckless. Tyrion warned her about people wanting her dead if she came to his quarters. Her attitude was "fuck'em". She repeatedly ignored pretty all the social laws, either from ignorance and just a "fuck'em" attitude. She had street smarts yes and she wasn't low in intelligence, but she also wasn't good at the Game or social graces.

Maybe it's as simple as that and that's what I'm missing since I seem to be odd man out on this. I wasn't planning on re-watching the first couple of seasons until I've read the books, but maybe I'll go ahead.
posted by homunculus at 3:06 PM on June 19, 2014


Just curious—when did they talk about the Tyrells' agricultural prowess on the show?

Meargery mentions food shipments here in S3E1. I think there were other references, but I'm not certain where.

I'm going miss Tywin's character on the show, but I do not miss Joffrey one bit.
posted by homunculus at 3:23 PM on June 19, 2014


Everyone's musings on Tyrion's murder of Shae have got me rethinking it myself.

Is there any milage, any milage at all, in the possibility that Shae awakes from a conflicted dream, one where she remembers who she loved, the man who (from her POV) betrayed her love and who she betrayed in return? Could it be that she's dreaming about Tyrion on the night before his death, and in waking up in the bed they once shared, hears a familiar step - and when she says "My Lion", it's not Tywin she's saying it to at all - she's still shaking off the dream.

And then it's not a dream any more but the regrets and conflict it brought with it hasn't gone away and the grim clockwork of betrayal and murder has them both fighting for their lives though neither would have wished it that way; even though both would have preferred it were otherwise.

I wonder what Shae's fate would have been had Tyrion been executed after all.
posted by aesop at 4:15 PM on June 19, 2014


The whole series is going to turn out to have been a hallucination this guy had in the few seconds before Ned executed him.
posted by homunculus at 4:38 PM on June 19, 2014 [1 favorite]




Not sure if it's been mentioned yet, but I thought when Daenerys had the door of the crypt "sealed", it was a nice callback to S2E10, when she had her lady-in-waiting and Xaro Xhoan Daxos sealed in his empty vault.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 5:15 PM on June 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


Hodor hodors because he is part giant ( as Mareen indicated) and that makes hodors Hodor hordoringly
posted by The Whelk at 5:19 PM on June 19, 2014




So many things.
This is, such a dark, dark, show. Because people you thought were evil, become understandable. And characters you sympathise with, do terrible, terrible things.

Arya - the little murder prodigy that could!
Yeah. After all that time with the Hound, and at the end? He killed her childhood best friend. He was on her list. And she hadn't forgiven him one. Tiny. Inch.
She took his money, and wouldn't even give him a merciful death. Death is a Gift.
Anyway, I'm thinking she's off to be some kind of avatar/acolyte for the death god.

Brienne - In contrast to her other, noble, fights, she's just bashed a mans head in with a rock, and knocked him off a cliff. Her noble actions which resulted in gifts from Jaime Lannister, have resulted in what noble actions usually result in on this show - nothing, and worse than nothing. She looked too good to be true, then like an obvious Lannister plant.
Also, as a sidenote, I kind of like how Podrick's character development has been in reverse. We knew almost nothing about him except that he'd always been unexpectedly awesome at everything (knowledge, sexual arts, etc), and THEN we see him as being completely incompetent.

Jaime - has come a circle, somewhat. Remember the first episode where he screwed his sister and killed a child? (Well, attempted). Just when you think there is a redemption arc, there isn't. What if there never is? He is sympathetic, does great things no one ever knows of, AND did and continues to do terrible, terrible things?
And he just lead to his fathers death, which of all his siblings, he still would have preferred the least hand in.

Cersei - She's a mother foremost. For all that she goes with her fathers plans and also just accepts the ruthlessness of the game (my son died, I'll need a few weeks before my arranged marriage), I liked her, no, for my (not a psychopath!) son, I won't give in.

I got caught up in reading the above and -.
Shae's actions seemed completely understandable to me.
Yes, she's a "career lover of men" and what do you think she's going to assume - that Tyrion DID really love her?
Or that she was, and had always been a whore, that she had suffered for him (she had to work as a handmaid! She would have been better financially on her own), and that she had been terribly deluded to have ever believed he really loved her?
He was going down either way. At least this way she'd get something out of it (same as Bronn), and regain her own self respect for having fallen for just another John. Because he always did LOOK like a typical John, pleased he'd caught something beautiful, then falling for the next prettiest thing in his path. Honestly, Tyrion seemed 'Nice Guying' her at times - Did he ever really love her for her? C'mon. He didn't really seem to know her at all. And the things he did know, the skills she did have, he didn't accept, just wanting her to be something else.

Tyrion - He didn't mean to kill her, but he panicked while fighting for his life and couldn't let go of his fingers. He's just murdered the woman he loved. He's done a genuinely terrible, terrible thing. Once he'd done that, Tywin's death was pretty damn clear. I mean, he'd just killed someone he'd never wanted to kill. Tywin, on the other hand...


Dragons! Mama locked her dragons up, in a nice little allegory that she does have slaves/prisoners again now. And is that really the right choice? What if those are 'good' dragons, y'know? Did they really eat a human? (I think they didn't) They're definitely gonna go psychotic if she keeps them in there.

Melisandre - I'd been thinking they (her and fire god) were the clearest evil. This season has been the, what if it all has been genuinely in pursuit of a more important battle though? Uniting Westeros against the White Walkers? Fire versus Ice?
It's exactly the kind of perspective switch I've grown to expect, but, GRRM's never predictable enough to be expected.
She's definitely noticed Jon though. Uh oh.
(Poor Jon - I think his parentage thing is likely).


Kings Landing - Is so screwed. Varys leaving, means it's definitely a sinking ship. The whole hand/council is gone.
Petyr - Gone. And who expected SANSA to go darkside with Petyr two episodes ago? o_O And yet in retrospect, it seems really understandable. Got used to seeing her through Tyrions eyes as the innocent.
Tywin - Dead.
Tyrion - Gone.
Bumbling Maester guy - His supposed profession is essentially 'Doctor', and he's just been clearly outskilled by not-Maester Frankenstein.
Varys - Run.


Oh, and Varys. Ok, so - I always got the impression that Varys is smarter than Petyr. A far better puller of strings, and player of puppets. And yet, what, if anything, has been revealed to have his hands behind the strings? Almost nothing.
Petyr on the other hand - It's been revealed he killed the earlier Hand. Set up Ned Stark. Killed Joffrey. Bankrupted the country. Mostly pretty recently has that been revealed, going way, way back.
So what I'm saying here, is that we haven't even TOUCHED on Varys's storyline. What has HE been up to, back in the shadows? Uh huh.

Bran - For all that he's a seer, that's been pretty straightforward story so far. Just turns out the Children have been keeping the zombies contained with their high magic tech, possibly a kind of rearguard action. Go figure.

Although, hmmm, the Starks are descended from First Men, 'hung around too much with the Children and got psychic powers'-types. Has there been any family mixes between, say, Dragon power Targaryns, and Greenseer/warg northerners? That could be interesting.
posted by Elysum at 1:55 AM on June 20, 2014 [3 favorites]


Brienne - In contrast to her other, noble, fights, she's just bashed a mans head in with a rock, and knocked him off a cliff.

That's after punching him in the dick. Brienne can fight like a knight, but has no problem fighting "dirty" if helps her win. *clicks spouse button next to Brienne's name*.

Although, hmmm, the Starks are descended from First Men, 'hung around too much with the Children and got psychic powers'-types.

Brandon Stark built the Wall thousands of years ago, with a mixture of construction and magic. Now another Brandon Stark is hanging out with the Children of the Forest. Meanwhile the White Walkers are heading south at a time when no Stark is in Winterfell. Remember that White Tree in the Godswood, with the face carved on it?

Are the Starks a sort of magical bulwark against the White Walkers, i.e. as long as there is a Stark in Winterfell the North (and the maybe the Wall) won't be overrun? We'll see
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:47 AM on June 20, 2014 [3 favorites]


Is there any milage, any milage at all, in the possibility that Shae awakes from a conflicted dream, one where she remembers who she loved, the man who (from her POV) betrayed her love and who she betrayed in return? Could it be that she's dreaming about Tyrion on the night before his death, and in waking up in the bed they once shared, hears a familiar step - and when she says "My Lion", it's not Tywin she's saying it to at all - she's still shaking off the dream.

Is it possible? It totally is.

Something to consider: I got the sense from the finale that the only person who was aware of Tywin's entire strategy for the family and for the kingdom was Tywin himself. Everybody else only knew as much as they needed to know to perform their part in it, or whatever version of it Tywin gave them.

All of which is to say that, likely as not, only two people knew what happened between Shae and Tywin in its entirety (and even then, there may have been wheels within wheels Shae wasn't aware of but Tywin was), and of those two people, only one could tell you what Shae's mindset was in that moment and in the time leading up to it.

And both of those people are dead.

So it's kind of open-ended, I guess, and we're left to come up with whatever interpretation we like best. I have serious doubts that we'll ever find out exactly what Tywin and Shae's interactions were behind the scenes, and I definitely don't think we'll find out what Shae's exact motivations were or what was going on in her head.

So if one chooses to believe Shae said that because she'd been dreaming of Tyrion, or that Tywin got a perverse thrill out of making her call him her lion, or that Shae only did it because she believed Tyrion would be sent to the Wall, or even if one chooses to believe that there's really nothing more going on here than an amoral woman helping sentence a guy to death for breaking her heart - I don't think there'll ever be a definite answer, so you're free to fill the gaps in the story however you like, and there aren't really right or wrong answers.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 7:15 AM on June 20, 2014 [1 favorite]


The Oatmeal did a fun take on all the Buzzfeed "which [blah] are you" quizzes all over the place now. I promise it is relevant to your interests.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:55 AM on June 20, 2014 [4 favorites]


Brienne can fight like a knight, but has no problem fighting "dirty" if helps her win.

"I'm not a knight."

I think the show's been pretty consistent in depicting real fights as dirty. It's only the staged tournaments that have pure "noble" swordplay; all the life-or-death fights have involved punching, tripping, pushing, kicking, spitting, whatever works to get some advantage.

Brienne's noble in character -- almost to the point of naïveté, as we saw how ill-equipped she was for Cercei's intriguing at King's Landing. Given this show, at some point that's surely going to be her undoing: either it costs her as it cost Ned, or she falls into darkness as Tyrion has.

(And oh, that shot of Tyrion through the hole in the crate, like a caged dog. King's Landing has finally made him into what he despised most about the Lannisters. "I am your son.")
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 11:01 AM on June 20, 2014 [3 favorites]


Mance never kneeled, despite being taken captive. Stannis will admire that and there's clearly run for an alliance between the two. Or three if you consider Jon Snow Lord Commander of the Wall, which he clearly is in all but name.

I think that depends on whether or not Alliser Thorne survived his injuries (I don't think we know, unless I missed something). Stannis was impressed by Jon, but if Ser Alliser is still alive then he would probably support him because of his rank. I don't think Stannis actually has any authority over the Night's Watch, but he's the guy with all the troops so he's going to have some clout.

If Mance cooperates with Jon and Stannis then maybe we can finally get some giants to help defend the Wall. With all that extra weight they'll probably need a mammoth power the elevator.

A few episodes ago I began worrying that Melisandre plans something bad for Shireen. If she does, I'm sure Davos and Jon will oppose her, and that would give them something to bond over.

I'm looking forward to watching these two casts of characters interact now. I'm particularly curious to see what wise old Maester Aemon makes of Melisandre.
posted by homunculus at 11:45 AM on June 20, 2014


Don't think it's been mentioned in here yet but we have covered the show's proclivity for uncertain fates, so…

Although the consensus is that the Hound is dead, we don't get an onscreen expiry, and we have seen his brother's fate redefined onscreen. Therefore it is acknowledged that any bit of wiggle room available for apparent mortality events is available for narrative exploitation.

We also know that the Mountain is on the road to golemhood. He's nominated as the new Hand herein.

Given this, it must be acknowledged that there is an outside possibility that Cersei may not require a new Hand at all, if Tywin can be golemized.
posted by mwhybark at 12:25 PM on June 20, 2014


I don't think Stannis actually has any authority over the Night's Watch

Jon has acknowledged him as King. Should the balance of the Night's Watch follow that lead, he would indeed have authority.
posted by mwhybark at 12:27 PM on June 20, 2014


I'm really bummed out that Jaime isn't going with Tyrion. I'm glad that their brotherly bond is still strong,

Well it was strong. I'm not so sure where it goes now.

Dude! You were supposed to go up the stairs, knock on the door, and have Varys smuggle you to safety. There was nothing in there about murdering Dad!
posted by Naberius at 12:54 PM on June 20, 2014 [1 favorite]


Jon has acknowledged him as King. Should the balance of the Night's Watch follow that lead, he would indeed have authority.

I'm thinking of the scene where Janos Slynt warned Thorne that because Jon is well-liked he might be chosen as the new Commander. That implies that the Night's Watch elects their Commander. Thorne responded by sending Snow after the mutineers, but wouldn't order anyone to go with him in the hope that he'd get killed, and when so many volunteered, Thorne looked dismayed. So if the Night's Watch traditionally elect their own Commander they might pick Jon regardless of what Stannis thinks. If that's the tradition then Stannis might decide to stay out of it anyway.
posted by homunculus at 1:02 PM on June 20, 2014 [1 favorite]






A very small man can cast a very large shadow.

Rewatching that scene, I think I've decided that Varys is my favorite character. Yeah yeah, Tyrion, Peter Dinklage and so on, but Varys, he is so sly.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 3:22 PM on June 20, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'll miss the adventures of Arya and the Hound, but I look forward to the adventures of Tyrion and Varys on the run in Essos (I assume Cersei is going to put a big fucking bounty on their heads).

Assuming Varys doesn't cut his losses and have Tyrion's box thrown into the sea.
posted by homunculus at 4:53 PM on June 20, 2014


I'm really bummed out that Jaime isn't going with Tyrion. I'm glad that their brotherly bond is still strong,

Well it was strong. I'm not so sure where it goes now.


I imagine Jamie is going to be as pissed off with Tyrion as Cersei is going to be with him.
posted by homunculus at 6:38 PM on June 20, 2014


And I imagine Varys is going to be pissed off with Tyrion: he helped save his life and for his troubles he's lost his position and probably has a price on his head. So if he smells danger coming he could cut Tyrion loose to save his own skin.

If there is a bounty on Varys, I'll bet Jorah Mormont would love to collect it. Tyrion's bounty would be bigger, but Jorah probably holds Varys partly responsible for his falling out with Daenerys, so it would be personal.

Damn, it's going to be a long wait until the next season.
posted by homunculus at 7:08 PM on June 20, 2014 [1 favorite]


homunculus: "I think that depends on whether or not Alliser Thorne survived his injuries (I don't think we know, unless I missed something)."

We didn't see Thorne's body on the mass pyre (and they did make sure to show us Grenn, the most notable death on the side of the Night's Watch), so we can only assume he's alive.

"Stannis was impressed by Jon, but if Ser Alliser is still alive then he would probably support him because of his rank. I don't think Stannis actually has any authority over the Night's Watch, but he's the guy with all the troops so he's going to have some clout."

When he was talking to Tormund, Jon Snow indicated that Stannis would decide his fate. That surprised me a bit, since the Night's Watch is theoretically above politics, so I figured they'd make their own decisions. But perhaps Jon is just bowing to political realities. However, Jon did represent to Tormund that no one would torture him, so I don't know how he can keep that promise (assuming he wasn't just lying, which doesn't seem like his style), since he's deferring to Stannis, and Stannis definitely seems like the type who's not above torture.

mwhybark: "Jon has acknowledged him as King."

Actually, Jon told Tormund, "I don't have a king"! But as noted above, he does seem to recognize Stannis' authority. And he does tell Davos, "I know he's the king. My father died for him." Methinks Jon's a wee bit conflicted! As Tormund said, "You spent too much time with us, Jon Snow."
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 7:34 PM on June 20, 2014 [1 favorite]


I wonder if there'll be any "No one told Jon Snow to talk to Mance; he's lying when he says he was sent to discuss terms" stuff. Since the weasel Slynt and Ser Alliser are both alive, I can see getting at least a half-season's worth of Wall plot out of that. Hope not, that seems kind of dull.

I imagine Jamie is going to be as pissed off with Tyrion as Cersei is going to be with him.

But think of the make-up sex!
posted by mediareport at 5:59 AM on June 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


I wonder if there'll be any "No one told Jon Snow to talk to Mance; he's lying when he says he was sent to discuss terms" stuff.

All Jon would have to do is tell Stannis he intended to sacrifice himself in order to kill Mance. I think Stannis would respect him for his courage.
posted by homunculus at 11:38 AM on June 21, 2014


Stannis certainly has no problem with assassination, considering that he had a shadow to kill his little brother.
posted by homunculus at 12:20 PM on June 21, 2014






Maybe the bells signified Tyrion's escape rather than the discovery of Tywin's body... it was still night time and it seems more likely that a jailer would discover Tyrion's absence than that a functionary would venture into the Hand of the King's bedchamber.
posted by carmicha at 12:39 PM on June 22, 2014


Even so, they would immediately inform the Hand of Tyrion's escape, so one would lead quickly to the other.
posted by homunculus at 1:07 PM on June 22, 2014


Yes, but my explanation might mean (fingers crossed) that Tywin survived the attack... which of course would make things much worse for Tyrion.
posted by carmicha at 1:28 PM on June 22, 2014


Assuming Tywin's dead, who inherits Casterly Rock? Jamie is disqualified thanks to his Kings Guard service and Cersei is ineligible, leaving... Tyrion?!?
posted by carmicha at 1:36 PM on June 22, 2014


Yes, but my explanation might mean (fingers crossed) that Tywin survived the attack...

Oh, I see. I gotta say, I find that even less likely than the Hound surviving.

Assuming Tywin's dead, who inherits Casterly Rock? Jamie is disqualified thanks to his Kings Guard service and Cersei is ineligible, leaving... Tyrion?!?

I assume it goes to his brother Kevan, who also seems like a good candidate for Cersei to appoint to the Small Council.
posted by homunculus at 1:58 PM on June 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


Maybe the bells signified Tyrion's escape rather than the discovery of Tywin's body... it was still night time and it seems more likely that a jailer would discover Tyrion's absence than that a functionary would venture into the Hand of the King's bedchamber.

I don't think so. The bells are (or seem to be) the reason what's-his-eunuch decides to high-tail it. And he already knew Tyrion had escaped.
posted by Sys Rq at 3:08 PM on June 22, 2014 [2 favorites]


Exactly, Sys Rq. Varys knew that Tyrion had done something horrible ("What have you done?" he asks, seeing blood and exertion on Tyrion's face). So the bells had to represent something beyond "condemned regicide has escaped," since Varys obviously knew that had happened since he was party to it!

Also, is Cersei ineligible to inherit Casterly Rock? I'm not so sure about that. Remember this scene from the 7th episode this season, when Bronn explains why he's selling out Tyrion?
Tyrion: And you understand the rules of inheritance?

Bronn: Falyse is 40 and barren.

Tyrion: She still gets Castle Stokeworth when her father dies.
So if Falyse (or Lollys) Stokeworth can inherit her father's castle when he dies, why can't Cersei do the same?
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 8:19 PM on June 22, 2014


So if Falyse (or Lollys) Stokeworth can inherit her father's castle when he dies, why can't Cersei do the same?

Father Stokeworth may not have any brothers/male cousins who are living, so it goes to the women as like a 3rd or 4th preference thing.

But yeah, absent some kind of will (do they do that, in GoTland?) it would seem to make sense that even if the system based on a male preference primogeniture setup, Cersei should be next in line for Casterly Rock.
posted by sparklemotion at 8:48 PM on June 22, 2014


I think Cersei's marriage to Robert legally makes her a Baratheon rather than a Lannister.

Check out this comment for more on the Stokeworths. As I understand it, even when women inherit in most parts of Westeros, they don't have the political power to take advantage of it.
posted by homunculus at 8:50 PM on June 22, 2014




sparklemotion: "But yeah, absent some kind of will (do they do that, in GoTland?)"

I think they do. Remember the document Robert dictated to Ned Stark on his deathbed? It wasn't quite a will (since it didn't dispose of any property), but it did name Ned as regent "until my son Joffrey comes of age." (Ned subtly altered it to read "my heir" or somesuch, but that never had the chance to boomerang.)
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 12:18 PM on June 23, 2014


Remember the document Robert dictated to Ned Stark on his deathbed?

But then it got ripped up into little pieces by Cersei, and no one (besides Ned) made any kind of move to enforce it (which a society that respected wills and final wishes would do).
posted by sparklemotion at 12:53 PM on June 23, 2014


I don't know about that. I mean, England real-life is a country that values wills and such, but it has frequently disregarded dying wills of the sovereign when it pleased itself. I think you can't really tell how people value wills by "What Cersei Does." She seems really a law unto herself.
posted by corb at 12:58 PM on June 23, 2014


The Mountain and the Hound.
posted by homunculus at 7:46 PM on June 23, 2014


sparklemotion: "But then it got ripped up into little pieces by Cersei, and no one (besides Ned) made any kind of move to enforce it (which a society that respected wills and final wishes would do)."

Well, I mean, it's a medieval society, so yeah, respect for rule of law is often limited at best and non-existent much of the time, as we've seen time and time again. That doesn't mean there isn't a concept of such laws. After all, Ned supported Stannis' claim to the throne because that's what the law would have dictated, but this being Westeros, force often trumps the law.

But in any event, we don't know if Tywin has some kind of will designating an heir, though I do theoretically think he could, which is why I referenced Robert's will. I suspect Tywin doesn't, though.
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 9:51 PM on June 23, 2014


we don't know if Tywin has some kind of will designating an heir...I suspect Tywin doesn't, though.

There is no way in hell Tywin didn't have a will ready to go. In the first scene we meet him, elbows deep in a stag's guts, he's already lecturing Jaime about how everyone alive in the family right now will soon die:

"Your mother's dead. Before long I'll be dead. And you. And your brother, and your sister, and all of her children. All of us dead, all of us rotting in the ground. It's the family name that lives on. That's all that lives on...Do you understand?"

So yeah, he's got a will. And damn, that's such a beautifully acted scene - one of the standouts of the first season. I really will miss the conniving old fuck.
posted by mediareport at 8:30 PM on June 24, 2014 [5 favorites]


Why Olenna Tyrell Wins The Game of Thrones (includes some comparison to her portrayal in the book).
posted by homunculus at 8:37 PM on June 24, 2014


But why would he need a will, legally speaking? If Tywin died without a will, the laws of intestacy (unless George Martin has deliberately done something weird with them in his universe) would have his entire estate pass to his proper heir. Put another way, a will seems superfluous, unless he wants to give some part of his property to someone other than his rightful heir. That doesn't seem very Tywin to me.
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 9:56 PM on June 24, 2014


Males have right over females. Since Jamie is a member of the Kingsguard, he cannot marry or inherit, as far as I understand. Tywin despises Tyrion and has specifically told him he will never be lord of Casterly Rock, so it makes sense to me that he would have a will that would cause some other thing to happen upon his death.
posted by Night_owl at 2:00 AM on June 25, 2014 [1 favorite]




Would You Survive In Game of Thrones -----{YES}-----
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{NO}                                               |
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No. <-----------------------------------------------

posted by EndsOfInvention at 12:26 AM on June 26, 2014 [9 favorites]










Seen on the street
posted by The Whelk at 1:23 PM on July 2, 2014 [3 favorites]














Is it safe wrt Season 5 spoilers?
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 11:39 AM on July 27, 2014


Yes, they explicitly refuse to talk about Season 5. The closest they get is a vague comment about the future development of Stannis the Mannis.
posted by homunculus at 1:22 PM on July 27, 2014 [2 favorites]




(Link has a couple of pics from the trailer as well as the embedded video.)
posted by homunculus at 12:18 AM on February 1, 2015


Two questions about this summation video (contains no spoilers IF you have watched all the way through the end of season 4):

1) The narrator claims that the Hound and Arya encounter Brienne before they can enter the Vale. But that seems wrong to me. The sense I got was that they turned around and headed to parts unknown (where is entirely unclear) after hearing the news of Lysa Aryn's death. Only then did they run into Brienne and Pod. Is this correct?

2) The narrator also claims that Tyrion and Varys are headed for Pentos. But I am quite certain we don't know this. All that we know is that they're headed for the "free cities," but we weren't told which one. Again, is this right?
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 9:44 PM on April 8, 2015


CCo'D'oD: you're correct for sure on #1. Hound & Arya at the Vale of Arryn[SLYT], from episode 8. Brienne vs Hound is in episode 10.

I think you're also correct on #2, Varys only says "Trust me my friend, I've brought you this far" in that supremely creepy scene where he has Tyrion climb into a wooden crate that is identical to the one in which the Spider received the wizard who had castrated him.
posted by jamaro at 2:55 PM on April 9, 2015


Thanks, jamaro. I just checked the transcript. This is all that Jamie says to Tyrion:
JAIME: What do you think I’m doing? The galley’s waiting in the bay bound for the Free Cities.
Very sloppy video.
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 3:10 PM on April 9, 2015


Oh that's right, I totally forgot how deep Jamie's involvement was in helping his brother escape (as opposed to just opening the dungeon door). Of course, Jamie didn't imagine Tyrion would take a detour and kill dear old dad on the way out.

I love that scene on the dock when Varys hears the bells ring out over King's Landing and realizes what Tyrion must have done.

Can I get all 10 episodes into a re-watch session before this Sunday? Yes, I can.
posted by jamaro at 3:26 PM on April 9, 2015


Also, let's get a quick update on Gendry's progress from Dragonstone in his little rowboat.
posted by jamaro at 3:31 PM on April 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


We also are rewatching this season before Sunday, and one thing struck me watching The Laws of Gods and Men: Ser Davos was really very prescient in his remarks to the Iron Bank.

"Who's the real power in King's Landing?"
"When he dies, who's in command?"
"Begging your pardon, but it's a problem for now."
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 12:10 PM on April 10, 2015 [1 favorite]




People want to ignore that because they want to keep their like of her pure, and I fear the show will beat that out of them. But Arya and Tyrion's scenes were both about the show showing us what brutality even the characters we like are capable of.

Now, why she chose, that's ambiguous, and interesting to think on.


I was thinking, while that scene was playing out and The Hound asked her if she wanted him to beg, that all he had to do was say "Please" and she would've killed him. He begged, but never said the magic word.
posted by Celsius1414 at 10:11 PM on October 24, 2016


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