Game of Thrones: The Children   Books Included 
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

It's Father's Day in Westeros! :D
posted by Jacqueline (376 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
 
WHERE THE FUCK IS LADY STONEHEART?!?!?!
posted by Jacqueline at 10:13 PM on June 15, 2014 [35 favorites]


No block-fetching, either.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:14 PM on June 15, 2014


Also, was Tysha really just a whore in the show's canon? :(
posted by Jacqueline at 10:15 PM on June 15, 2014 [7 favorites]


SERIOUSLY.

Like that was the most logical place to put her. WHYYYY. OF ALL THE THINGS TO FUCK UP, WHY THIS? Could they just not get the actress back? Like it'd be the best for shock value and everything!
posted by dogheart at 10:16 PM on June 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


I'm glad I decided to postpone finishing my show-vs-books adaptation issues FPP until after the season ended because I assure you that there will be a LOT of links relating to these changes included in that post now. I am disappoint.
posted by Jacqueline at 10:18 PM on June 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


Thankfully after Hannibal I can no longer feel pain.
posted by dogheart at 10:20 PM on June 15, 2014 [5 favorites]


On a more positive note, I was glad to see that the show didn't do anything to refute The Golem and the Gravedigger fan theory.
posted by Jacqueline at 10:22 PM on June 15, 2014 [6 favorites]


Brienne and The Hound, fighting dirty. Wow.
posted by redsparkler at 10:22 PM on June 15, 2014 [4 favorites]


Probably it was too difficult and not cost effective to get Michelle Fairley back to do one scene in the whole season. Assuming they're not cutting her completely it makes some sense to bring her back for a surprise ending to the first episode of next season. At least then Brienne has something to do next year.

I'm so glad they appear to be going after the story with a meat cleaver. It's gonna have to get even leaner to do 4000+ pages of material in 3 more seasons.
posted by Justinian at 10:28 PM on June 15, 2014 [3 favorites]


I can't wait to read Elio's response to this episode. His tears sustain me.
posted by Justinian at 10:29 PM on June 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I fucking howled at the screen. Like, don't you have something you want to say, Jaime? At least Arya was done mostly all right. So disappointed too that Shae looked almost like self defense.
posted by corb at 10:30 PM on June 15, 2014 [8 favorites]


Probably it was too difficult and not cost effective to get Michelle Fairley back to do one scene in the whole season.

Well then they should have planned ahead and shot that scene along with the season 3 material! /grumpy
posted by Jacqueline at 10:34 PM on June 15, 2014 [3 favorites]


Help clarify something for me: was Varys getting on the ship with Tyrion? It's been awhile since I read the books, but I'm pretty certain that didn't happen because Varys is pretty important to stuff that happens later in King's Landing, right? Doesn't he have to sow chaos and be the inside man for the Targaryn return?
posted by lilac girl at 10:36 PM on June 15, 2014


*shakes fist at the sky*

DIS-AP-POIN-TED!
posted by lovecrafty at 10:39 PM on June 15, 2014 [3 favorites]


I'm thinking they cut Stoneheart because while it's a great cliffhanger, its only real purpose is as a shocking cliffhanger - but if Brienne gets the first reveal in the show instead of some random Freys, that's a great introduction. You're a show-only viewer, you're invested in how Brienne sees Cat, and then she pops up seasons later undead and trying to kill her? I think that's what they're going to do. Maybe even in the next finale, Brienne's got some scrapes to get into, a Septon to meet, and a Quiet Isle to visit, and they've been willing to add to her story already - they could stretch it out that long.
posted by jason_steakums at 10:39 PM on June 15, 2014 [7 favorites]


Help clarify something for me: was Varys getting on the ship with Tyrion? It's been awhile since I read the books, but I'm pretty certain that didn't happen...

Yup, Varys was on the ship next to Tyrion's crate, which is indeed a pretty big deviation from the books -- Varys is the one who pops out of a secret door in Ser Kevan's chambers and assassinates him.
posted by Jacqueline at 10:40 PM on June 15, 2014


Shae looked almost like self defense.

Shae got Greedoed.
posted by maudlin at 10:41 PM on June 15, 2014 [9 favorites]


Noooo the Tysha thing is totally unacceptable! UN FUCKING ACCEPTABLE

However, this does mean we will be spared "where do whores go" so that's something
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:46 PM on June 15, 2014 [11 favorites]


That's what I thought! And without Varys in town who's gonna do all the conspiring to make way for Aegon? That seems like a pretty huge deviation.

Plus, without Varys OR Littlefinger in the city, who's gonna bring the sass to Kong's Landing now?
posted by lilac girl at 10:46 PM on June 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


Brienne/Hound fight was utterly perfect, though.
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:47 PM on June 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


Well Varys did disappear for a while after Tywin's murder so maybe they'll have him sneak back into King's Landing later? Then his popping out of the wall to assassinate Ser Kevan can be a big surprising reveal that he's back?
posted by Jacqueline at 10:48 PM on June 15, 2014 [4 favorites]


THEY DIDN'T DO THE THING

IM MAD
posted by The Whelk at 10:51 PM on June 15, 2014 [9 favorites]


What about the zombie fight and the early demise for Liam Neeson's kid from Love Actually? I guess he won't be needed going forward.
posted by norm at 10:52 PM on June 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


THE WHELK I AM ALSO MAD

I WANTED THE THING

I WAS SO SURE THERE WAS GOING TO BE THE THING
posted by KathrynT at 10:53 PM on June 15, 2014 [8 favorites]


brienne/hound fight was awesome tho.
posted by KathrynT at 10:53 PM on June 15, 2014 [4 favorites]


And without Varys in town who's gonna do all the conspiring to make way for Aegon? That seems like a pretty huge deviation.

Maybe they'll get rid of Aegon completely. That would tighten things up a bit.
posted by Justinian at 10:54 PM on June 15, 2014


My dad, a non-reader, asked me yesterday where the hell the dragons have gotten to. I'm sure he's not alone. So, are we really going to have two more seasons of chained up useless dragons? They gave Asha/Yara her own made-up subplot; they can't do that for the dragons?
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:54 PM on June 15, 2014


Maybe they'll get rid of Aegon completely. That would tighten things up a bit.

GOD I hope so
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:54 PM on June 15, 2014 [3 favorites]


Re: that scene with the slave teacher: has Daenerys never heard of the concept of working for money? What is the problem?
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:56 PM on June 15, 2014 [19 favorites]


So, are we really going to have two more seasons of chained up dragons?

I think you're underestimating how quickly the show is going to move. I fully expect us to move into Winds of Winter territory by the end of next season.
posted by Justinian at 10:56 PM on June 15, 2014


Jacqueline, you're right. I went back and reread a summary and Varys has to disappear to make way for Qyburn on the council. So I guess it's not as WTF as I thought initially. Thanks!

Now let's go back to being angry about THE THING because I am also totally angry about THE THING.
posted by lilac girl at 10:56 PM on June 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


I like Qyburn's actor so far. He seems so CHIPPER about his horrific zombie experiments.
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:58 PM on June 15, 2014 [11 favorites]


Only THE THING? There were ALL THE THINGS that worked out a bit differently here.

Aside from the white-walker-baby-assimilation thing, I think this is the first time I've been spoiled for something that hasn't happened in the books (Jojen's death) by the show.

I fully expect us to move into Winds of Winter territory by the end of next season.

That would not surprise me at all, considering there really isn't two seasons of compelling TV in the next two books, and much of what's compelling there we've already started to see, in terms of Mereen, at least.
posted by Alterscape at 11:01 PM on June 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


Isn't Jojen dead in the books? They like made paste out of him or something?
posted by Justinian at 11:01 PM on June 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


At my watching party tonight there was speculation that Varys will be blended with Illyrios role.
posted by corb at 11:03 PM on June 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


That's a popular fan theory Justinian but it's never made plain in the books.
posted by KathrynT at 11:03 PM on June 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


Right-o, Jojen paste for the tree god. Didn't he last a bit past this point though, in the books? Disclaimer: I've not actually read books in years. Yes, I know that was in the most recent one, but I had a bit of a grad school meltdown goin' when I read that. Also mostly nothing happened so I ran out of give-a-damn about halfway through and probably skimmed. I should re-read that.

Okay, I do have to admit I liked that the fireballs the Child of the Forest was hurling were actual, you know, fire... balls. Like, it looks like the VFX department blew up some drums of gasoline (or the CGI equivalent) to make those effects happen...
posted by Alterscape at 11:08 PM on June 15, 2014


The wiki says of Jojen in ADWD, "Jojen falls into a resigned depression, wanting to go home to Greywater Watch. Meera implies while speaking with Bran that Jojen has had a greendream of his fate when he goes to Greywater Watch, and that the outcome is not good."
posted by Jacqueline at 11:11 PM on June 15, 2014


Wow, I completely forgot that they don't even get to the Raven until halfway through the fifth book!

Say, remember how there was so much complaining about the "promise me Ned" scene getting cut? Well, isn't Bran's plot from here on basically "look at shit what happened in the past"? I suppose they'd have to relocate it to someplace near a weirwood tree...
posted by showbiz_liz at 11:14 PM on June 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


You know, now that I've had some time to sooner on it, I'm glad they left Lady Stoneheart out of this episode. So much other stuff would have been overshadowed by that appearance. Instead, we can actually talk about fighting skeletons, and sailing for Braavos, and Tywin Lannister's final throne..
posted by redsparkler at 11:17 PM on June 15, 2014 [3 favorites]


I'm very curious to see how they handle Bran's upcoming storyline. I hope they bring back Sean Bean for some stuff. He's getting old enough that doing a young Ned would be tricky though.

I liked a lot about the episode, but I didn't like the skeletons. I don't remember skeletons in the book and I don't think the show implied it until now either. Why bother burning people if the skeletons can still be used to attack people? Doesn't make sense really. I also dislike leaving out Tysha. Oh well.
posted by Green With You at 11:18 PM on June 15, 2014


I hope they can work the line about Tywin Lannister not shitting gold into a future episode, like perhaps something Tyrion says while talking about killing his father...
posted by Jacqueline at 11:19 PM on June 15, 2014


And the sanctification of Tyrion Lannister continues. Tyrion kills Shae out of self-defense and not out of wounded pride. I thought that THAT scene was one they couldn't fuck up. But no.

They introduced Tysha in Season 1!!! Certainly they could have cut a few minutes of Varys dicking around by the docks for the fantastic and heartbreaking conversation between Jaime and Tyrion. It actually motivates Tyrion to go to the Hand's chambers, and Tyrion tells Jaime that he killed Joffrey (a lie) and that Cersei's been sleeping around (a truth).

Meanwhile, Stannis's arrival -- with no one cheering "STANNIS! STANNIS! STANNIS!" -- was set to "sinister" music. Ugh.

Benioff and Weiss have been quoted as saying that Stannis "always wanted to be the king," which is either a case of massive stupidity or willful ignorance vis-à-vis the texts. The problem with them making Stannis a jerk is that it makes Davos's loyalty seem misguided and dopey.
posted by dhens at 11:20 PM on June 15, 2014 [4 favorites]


Also, my sardonic prediction about Benioff and Weiss axing "wherever whores go" turned out to be true (sigh).

Ygritte's funeral pyre and the battle between Brienne and the Hound were innovations that I do think worked well. The motif of the argument between the two -- how can you be "saving" the Stark girls with help from Jaime Lannister -- is reminiscent of Brienne's discussion with Lady Stoneheart in the books, which makes me suspect that we might not see LSH after all :-(

I am surprised that the Hound didn't say something about recognizing Pod.
posted by dhens at 11:25 PM on June 15, 2014


Meanwhile, Stannis's arrival -- with no one cheering "STANNIS! STANNIS! STANNIS!"

I don't know what you were doing in your house but I was cheering "STANNIS! STANNIS! STANNIS!" loud enough to scare my dogs and annoy my husband in mine.
posted by Jacqueline at 11:25 PM on June 15, 2014 [9 favorites]


I love that Arya gets to decide, "hell no, I don't want safety" when she refuses to leave with Brienne. Seems like less of a "well, Hound's dead, what next?" thing when she's also got a clear alternative that would give her (dubious) protection and awesome female fighter mentorship.

Can't wait to see what the show does with Hogwarts for Assassins.
posted by asperity at 11:26 PM on June 15, 2014 [5 favorites]


The more I think about it the more I'm unsure they're going to include ZombieCat at all. Seriously, what does she actually do? Maybe she's important down the line but nothing we've seen her do as of yet is of any particular import.
posted by Justinian at 11:28 PM on June 15, 2014 [4 favorites]


(Assuming as I do that the Brienne thing is a red herring)
posted by Justinian at 11:28 PM on June 15, 2014


Brienne and The Hound, fighting dirty. Wow.

At first I was SO IRRITATED BY THIS SILLY PREDICTABLE AND BAD departure from canon because I assumed it would mean the entire Braavos plotline was thrown into the trash by FOOLS WHO DO NOT RECOGNIZE TREASURE WHEN THEY BEHOLD IT but then the two of them started brawling like me and my cousin over a tumultuous ride on the rainbow road and it was suddenly glorious beyond imagining
posted by elizardbits at 11:40 PM on June 15, 2014 [9 favorites]


in related news never play mario kart with me you will be sorry
posted by elizardbits at 11:44 PM on June 15, 2014 [7 favorites]


Misandry crew 4 life
posted by rewil at 12:31 AM on June 16, 2014 [19 favorites]


Can Tyrion just sometimes do things that are bad, please?
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:57 AM on June 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


I guess I'm alone in thinking that it's not a big deal for them to streamline Tyrion's plot by removing the conversations about Tysha. Stuff that happened long ago is trickier to address in the show than in the books because of the lack of memory and inner monologue, and they don't really need to make Tyrion more broken. Besides, she's still part of canon. The only really big change is that Tyrion and Jaime left on a good note. That should make for some more interesting developments down the line. I kinda wish that we got the "she's fucking Moon Boy for all I know" line, but show-Cersei is clearly devoted to Jaime, so it wouldn't effectively plant seeds of doubt.

I'm also not too mad that we didn't see Lady Stoneheart. We'll see her eventually. Maybe they filmed it and it was too much of a WTF ending that turned people off? This episode seems to be unpopular with book-readers because of all the smashed expectations.

I'm curious whether they'll now do a time jump of a year or two. Martin put himself in a position where he couldn't get it to work, but the showrunners might have been able to foresee the problem and address them beforehand. A whole bunch of storylines are perfectly set up for a time jump, but IIRC, Martin said that the plotlines in King's Landing needed to be addressed immediately.

I liked the attacking skeletons most of all. The Child shooting them with fireballs while Bran was warging, and then leading the party to an old wizard in a tree cave, is the most hard-fantasy this show has gotten. The cave set felt a little cheesy to me... a little old school Doctor Who.
posted by painquale at 3:02 AM on June 16, 2014 [4 favorites]


It didn't feel like self defense to me; it felt to me like Shae was fighting in self defense against a man she could see was going to kill her.

I expected LSH this episode, but so long as they get to her next season, my only qualm is no Tysha. I was actually totally into basically everything else.

Harryhausen zombie skeletons! Brienne is the one who does in the Hound! Jojen saw his fate was in flames! STANNIS was fucking majestic! "A thousand eyes, and one"! The ship's captain looked proper terrified when he said valar dohaeris! Jon Snow is not a kneeler! Bran is going to fly!

I will be really, really sad if they never resolve Tysha, but at the end of the episode I was pretty exhilarated.
posted by ocherdraco at 3:05 AM on June 16, 2014 [4 favorites]


I doubted that they'd let the audience hear Tywin's bowels loosening at the moment of death, but part of me thought they might go for it anyway. I'm sure YouTube clips with updated audio tracks will be along in short order.
posted by painquale at 3:09 AM on June 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


I hope that's not how they train the dragons in How To Train Your Dragon because that was the most legitimately upsetting thing since the horse beheading in S1 and the direwolf crossbowing in S3. Oh and the poor goat that got toasted. And the mammoth! A grim season for our furry friends, all round.

Anyway. Hodor's 18 STR comes in handy once again, this time for a skellington random encounter. Pretty neat that they knew it was the end for Old Limpy and had Treegirl all rolled up and ready to go. Time for her to rest to relearn Magic Missile, then it's off down the dungeon!
posted by turbid dahlia at 3:37 AM on June 16, 2014 [8 favorites]


I was busy yelling 'never happened' at the TV, 'til I remembered I was super curious as to who would win a slap down nasty fight between Brienne and The Hound. Did not disappoint.
posted by arha at 3:48 AM on June 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


I've been thinking about when the best reveal for LSH will now be. By not playing their hand too early, the showrunners can make a mystery next season out of Who's Murdering Freys?. It'll give the characters in the North something to do, it'll show that Bolton is losing his grasp and doesn't trust the Northern Houses, and it'll introduce White Harbor to the audience.

Have an episode where Walder Frey invites Roose to come back down to the Red Wedding banquet hall. Frey is furious because he's installed Roose as warden of the North, and Roose is unable to keep the peace. They run down suspects and have expository dialogue about groups of interest. Is it the Ironborn? Doubtful... they're having a Kinsgmoot. Is it the Brotherhood? Rumor has it that Dondarrion is dead, and besides, what motive would they have? Is it Manderly? He's pledged to the Boltons, but he did lose his son Wendel at the Red Wedding. The audience is introduced to the Manderlys as the prime suspects, and they're suddenly new and interesting characters. When Davos then goes to White Harbor (represented in clockwork on the opening credits!), Manderly can tell him that although he wishes it were him, it isn't.

At that point, seeing a Frey captured and strung up at the end of an episode will make more sense and be more suspenseful. Who's behind this? The leader removes her cloak, and....

That seems like a better reveal and better use of the character to me than an out-of-nowhere season ender. They can also lead up to the reveal by having Arya warg into Nymeria for the first time and sniff around the Brotherhood.
posted by painquale at 4:27 AM on June 16, 2014 [17 favorites]


I'm probably happy to do a no LSH, no Quentyn Martell trade off tbh.
posted by arha at 4:31 AM on June 16, 2014 [3 favorites]


The best thing about seeing those catacombs was imagining a dumb and lumpy prince creeping down those stairs and being burned alive.
posted by painquale at 4:34 AM on June 16, 2014 [5 favorites]


Not missing Lady Stoneheart at all, though I never got that far in the books. Things are chugging along just fine without bringing back a character from the dead who is not Oberyn.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:47 AM on June 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


The problem with them making Stannis a jerk is that it makes Davos's loyalty seem misguided and dopey.

My reading of Davos is that he is loyal to the man who made him, not ranking all lords on some sort of goodness scale, finding Sannis the best so being super loyal to him. He just has no life let alone nobility without Stannis.
posted by shothotbot at 5:12 AM on June 16, 2014 [3 favorites]


I love that Arya gets to decide, "hell no, I don't want safety"

The truest thing the hound ever said was: there is no safety for her.
posted by shothotbot at 5:13 AM on June 16, 2014 [4 favorites]


painquale: I've been thinking about when the best reveal for LSH will now be.

The sad thing is this proposal is probably far better than what we end up getting.
posted by Rock Steady at 5:16 AM on June 16, 2014


Anyway. Hodor's 18 STR comes in handy once again, this time for a skellington random encounter. Pretty neat that they knew it was the end for Old Limpy and had Treegirl all rolled up and ready to go. Time for her to rest to relearn Magic Missile, then it's off down the dungeon!

They missed a huge opportunity to keep spawning unlimited Ray Harryhausen skeletons and kiting them into the cave to explode for free XP until they're all level 20 demigods
posted by theodolite at 5:22 AM on June 16, 2014 [23 favorites]


Things I wonder about them not showing Tysha was not a whore:

1) Does it mean her story is done or irrelevant?
2) Does Varys know the answer, and is that part of what will liven up ship time?
3) Does this mean Tyrion in some way "wins" at the end? Can we see in the showrunners direction their desire to keep viewers sympathizing for a later winner?
4) If they never show it, what does that mean for our book Tysha theories?
posted by corb at 5:22 AM on June 16, 2014


Does Varys know the answer, and is that part of what will liven up ship time?

Hmm, I could buy this.
posted by showbiz_liz at 5:26 AM on June 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


Lol/sigh

How many people have fucked on massive tables at this point in the story?
posted by showbiz_liz at 5:28 AM on June 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


Not enough.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:30 AM on June 16, 2014


So, when Jon Snow went to see the red haired guy in lock-up, and asked about wildling funerals, are we too assume magics have already been done?
posted by double bubble at 5:52 AM on June 16, 2014


So, when Jon Snow went to see the red haired guy in lock-up, and asked about wildling funerals, are we too assume magics have already been done?

I am not sure but I guess not. Its done around the time when Stannis agrees to let the wildings through the wall which has not happened yet.
posted by shothotbot at 6:04 AM on June 16, 2014


Can someone please link me to the Tysha theories?
posted by like_neon at 6:39 AM on June 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


This interview with Martin about the finale is pretty good. In particular, there's this tantalizing bit:
Did Tywin know she was a prostitute [in the book version that's not clear]? Or did he just not care?

Oh, I think Tywin knew about Shae. He probably figured out she was the same camp-follower that he expressly said “you will not bring that whore to court,” and that Tyrion defied him again and did bring that whore to court. As to precisely what happened here, that’s something I don’t really want to talk about because there’s still aspects of it I haven’t revealed that will be revealed in later books. But the role of Varys in all of this is also something to be considered.
posted by painquale at 6:51 AM on June 16, 2014 [5 favorites]


Some Tysha theories: 1 2 3

Basically, the major theories are:

Tysha is the Sailor's Wife
Littlefinger holds Tysha
Tysha is Septa Lemore.
Tysha is Penny's mother, Penny is Tyrion's daughter.
posted by corb at 6:57 AM on June 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


Also, on a sidenote, GRRM you magnificent bastard, I want to know what is going to be revealed about that later in the books. My money is on character development of Tywin.
posted by corb at 7:00 AM on June 16, 2014


Be honest... how many of you were disappointed in Lady Stoneheart being left out just because you were anticipating the reactions from the show-only viewers?
posted by GhostintheMachine at 7:01 AM on June 16, 2014 [28 favorites]


I didn't think this was too badly done, actually - though I wish there had been a final conversation between Tyrion and Shae rather than her attempting to get a knife. Some random, unconnected thoughts:

-loved the fact that the crossbow Tyrion used is the same one Joff was showing off in season 3, and used to kill Ros (not that I liked Ros, but I like the symmetry here somehow).
-a . for Tywin; the show will miss Charles Dance.
-my wife - a non-bookie - found Shae's death rather nasty. She said something about the fury of a dwarf scorned; so I'm not sure that it came across as much self-defense as we are perceiving it. And she was really hoping that Tyrion was going to carry on and kill Cersei next.
-Cersei and Jaime...well, that was interesting, but I guess Cersei will ditch him quick now that Tywin is dead and she doesn''t need a partner anymore. Doesn't she attempt to seduce him in the chambers of the Kingsguard in the book, and he spurns her?
-surprised at Jojen's death, but - he really wasn't doing much past this point anyways. And it further goes to how Bran is changing; note that he displayed no grief, no anything to Jojen's death.
-The Brienne/Hound fight was awesome and I enjoyed far more than I thought I would when I realized they were going to fight rather than just have Brienne not realize who Arya was.
-I actually found Arya just staring at the Hound like a bug and then walking off rather effective; everything he did to try to provoke her to make a quick death of it just furthered her resolve to let him suffer. And I like how she just took her own agency; she doesnt need or want a protector and so will just head off on her own.
-Varys on the boat is actually perfect - I loved his facial expression when the bells start to toll, and if he doesn't go we likely don't see Varys for much of next year, if at all.
-I even thought the Jon/Mance and Jon/Stannis scenes were well executed, and I really enjoyed Melisandre staring at Jon over the fire with a somewhat "ohhhhhh, now I get it" expression.
posted by nubs at 7:02 AM on June 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


And I sat and watched through the entire credits because I thought they might drop LSH on us in them or after them somehow.
posted by nubs at 7:03 AM on June 16, 2014 [7 favorites]


Be honest... how many of you were disappointed in Lady Stoneheart being left out just because you were anticipating the reactions from the show-only viewers?

I think you've nailed it here. LSH isn't so essential to the narrative that the show owuld crumble without her.

I thought the finale was wonderful, especially in how faithful it was to the dialogue from the original.

Also, anyone who didn't enjoy Brienne and Sandor going fangs-out is just a silly goose.
posted by DWRoelands at 7:09 AM on June 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


Also from painquiale's link
The Shae in the books is a manipulative camp-follower prostitute who doesn’t give a s–t about Tyrion any more than she would any other john
I didn't read her that way in the book, but I guess I was wrong.
posted by shothotbot at 7:13 AM on June 16, 2014


I mean, yeah, I wanted Lady Stoneheart this season mostly because I thought the show-onlies would shit themselves. But at the same time, I also thought they would shit themselves when Shae got ganked, which does not largely seem to be the case.

Mind you, I was squealing like a little girl once we got to "Valar dohaeris." The captain really pulled off this great look of "oh fuck this looks like a thing that I will be incredibly scared of but maybe it's not and maybe she just found this on the ground OH FUCK NO IT'S HER."
posted by corb at 7:15 AM on June 16, 2014 [4 favorites]


Oh man, on a rewatch (because of COURSE the scene is on youtube already) you can actually see his fingers tremble a bit.
posted by corb at 7:17 AM on June 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


When Tyrion told Tywin not to say the word "whore" again all I could picture was:

Jules: Say 'what' again. Say 'what' again, I dare you, I double dare you motherfucker, say what one more Goddamn time!
posted by Justinian at 7:25 AM on June 16, 2014 [7 favorites]


Be honest... how many of you were disappointed in Lady Stoneheart being left out just because you were anticipating the reactions from the show-only viewers?

Guilty as charged. :(
posted by Jacqueline at 7:27 AM on June 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


I didn't read her that way in the book, but I guess I was wrong.

I definitely did read her that way.
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:30 AM on June 16, 2014 [6 favorites]


Great episode. At this point I feel like the show is basically playing their own game in GRRM's sandbox. I don't feel like the things the show has spoiled for the books are going to necessarily play out the same way. I'm enjoying the show as a standalone series at this point.
posted by IanMorr at 7:42 AM on June 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


Be honest... how many of you were disappointed in Lady Stoneheart being left out just because you were anticipating the reactions from the show-only viewers?

Upon the end of the episode I realized that this was the only reason I was looking forward to it.
posted by norm at 7:43 AM on June 16, 2014 [4 favorites]


The more I think about it the more I'm unsure they're going to include ZombieCat at all.

I read gossip in some GoT thread (here? reddit? who knows) that said that there was, at some point, a picture of Michelle Fairley getting gruesome makeup done this season, but that it was taken down. My theory was that a scene was filmed, but got pushed to next season to make next season less boring.
posted by tofu_crouton at 7:45 AM on June 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


DWRoelands: LSH isn't so essential to the narrative that the show owuld crumble without her.

Well, not so far, but presumably she has some larger role to play down the road.
posted by Rock Steady at 7:51 AM on June 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


(here? reddit? who knows)

i think it was in last week's bookreadin thread here? it seems like an enormous effort to check right now tho
posted by elizardbits at 7:56 AM on June 16, 2014


For me, the most interesting parts were:
  • Jojen getting shanked when he lives yet in the books;
  • Sandor's end being open enough to keep the Quiet Island scenario in play;
  • The Brienne-Hound fight, which was AWESOME. What happened to his helm? I just realized I hadn't seen it in a few episodes.
  • The look that Mel gives Jon Snow. That was #literally the only thing she did in the episode. Didn't even burn an owl, which I thought was surprising.
  • The Making of Ser Strong, which they made pretty explicit.
  • Come to think of it, that storyline and Bran's are now well into the final plotlines we've seen of them in print. Will they advance into TWOW territory next year or just get shelved for a year?
  • Surprised that the final scene with Tyrion and Jaime was so truncated.
After all the talk about how dark the show is, that was a pretty satisfying and upbeat way to end things. I remember how I felt in the books when Arya went to Braavos: for the previous two books she had been in horrible danger basically constantly, and it's nice to let her threat level recede a bit. I think that translated well in the last shot.
posted by norm at 8:02 AM on June 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


What I'm thinking now that they may do with Bran is what they do in Dance - have him using the Weirwoods to spy on the past. That might be how we get our flashbacks for the fifth season. We've been bitching a lot about how they left out most of the Lyanna stuff - but they could easily, easily, use weirwood flashbacks to do them.

I can't remember if there has to be a weirwood where Bran sees, otherwise we could have some Tower of Joy flashbacks too.
posted by corb at 8:05 AM on June 16, 2014


i think it was in last week's bookreadin thread here? it seems like an enormous effort to check right now tho

I posted it in the Episode 9 thread. The Onion AV club posted some pictures from the Instagram account of the guy who makes prosthetics for the show. There was a shot of Michelle Fairley with a gruesome neck wound, and when I went to look at it a day or two later all the photos were gone.
posted by norm at 8:05 AM on June 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


I can't remember if there has to be a weirwood where Bran sees, otherwise we could have some Tower of Joy flashbacks too.

I think there does have to be a weirwood. Remember how there was the discussion about how the Andals cut down all the weirwoods because they believed they could be used to spy on them? I am really skeptical that anything involving R+L will come through Bran's storyline. I remain convinced we'll find out the relevant details when Howland Reed makes his inevitable entrance. In fact, he'd make a stupendous new POV for TWOW, although I have to doubt we get anything that satisfying out of GRRM.
posted by norm at 8:08 AM on June 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


I think there does have to be a weirwood.

But isn't there something about the trees absorbing memories somehow (like the Jojen Paste idea?). Not sure whose memories they could've absorbed to give us the Tower of Joy though.
posted by nubs at 8:21 AM on June 16, 2014


How many people have fucked on massive tables at this point in the story?

Ooh. I would like to pitch a prequel spinoff: "Oberyn Martell & The Tables of Westeros."
posted by thivaia at 8:37 AM on June 16, 2014 [14 favorites]


Did anyone else get a True Detective flashback as the Bran crew made their way through the weirwood tunnels?
posted by MsVader at 8:38 AM on June 16, 2014 [5 favorites]


At least this table looked semi-comfortable. Melisandre was on top of a terrain map of Westeros with little army guys all over. Her back must have been all messed up.
posted by Justinian at 8:38 AM on June 16, 2014 [4 favorites]


MsVader: YES! I yelled "Time is a flat circle!" People thought I was crazy. They are right but it was still an appropriate exclamation.
posted by Justinian at 8:39 AM on June 16, 2014 [4 favorites]


Did anyone else get a True Detective flashback as the Bran crew made their way through the weirwood tunnels?

Oh, I've seen a few reviewers make the Carcosa link, yeah. My favorite being from Andy Greenwald.
I was into the grenade-throwing Goth girl and the spooky treehouse that appeared to be on loan from Carcosa. (Too bad there wasn’t time for a flagon of ale or six with the current Lord of House Cohle — its sigil is an aluminum man talking out of his own ass.) The truth is, I’m always a sucker for a glimpse of the story going on behind the story, the next level of crazy that the certifiably sane can’t see.
posted by gaspode at 8:44 AM on June 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


Aside from the Hound/Brienne fight, the best change from the novels was Cersei revealing to Tywin that Tommen isn't legitimate. That was a great little comeuppance for Tywin before his death and a great way for Cersei to assert herself.

What I'm thinking now that they may do with Bran is what they do in Dance - have him using the Weirwoods to spy on the past. That might be how we get our flashbacks for the fifth season.

I think we might get a full episode or two set during the Blackfyre rebellion. It otherwise might be difficult to explain who Bloodraven, Aegon, the Blackfyre Pretenders, and the Bloody Company are. Bran wants to more about the three-eyed raven, Bloodraven challenges him to figure it out on his own, so Bran teaches himself to warg into weirwoods in the past and we see the episode through his eyes.
posted by painquale at 8:51 AM on June 16, 2014 [3 favorites]


Carcosa is a place in Essos.
posted by tempestuoso at 8:54 AM on June 16, 2014


I really enjoyed this episode, even though it felt a bit rushed. Briene vs the Hound was a matchup I hadn't realised I wanted to see, and chit-chat about swords with Arya was great too. Arya leaving the Hound was really well done, and I even felt sad for the dragons, who were just doing what comes naturally to them. I don't miss LSH at this point, and I didn't think Jojen was going to survive his book injuries anyway.

Charles Dance was just fantastic. Fatherly but cold and trying to save himself but not quite taking it seriously, all done on the privy. Book-Shae was opaque to me, so I found it hard to care about her impact on Tyrion and show-Shae didn't do much to shift me on that, so... shruggo, I guess? And even though D&D don't really get Stannis, I still love to watch him grinding his teeth as Davos tries to help him. Ciaran Hinds is being wasted though. Moar Ciaran!
posted by harriet vane at 9:01 AM on June 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


So they can show The Mountain smashing in my beautiful prince's head, but they can't show Tywin Lannister pooping himself?

Aside from that, loved everything about this episode. Loved Cersei telling off her dad. Loved Arya and Brienne and the Hound. Heck, I even loved the Jon Snow/Mance Rayder bits even though I usually find Snow insufferably dull.

Actually, Mance Rayder in general is just awesome. I don't know how he does it, but something in the way he carries himself just announces that he's a king, without a single damn word.
posted by specialagentwebb at 9:03 AM on June 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


Mance Rayder in general is just awesome. I don't know how he does it, but something in the way he carries himself just announces that he's a king, without a single damn word.

I loved him reminding Stannis that while he might be King of the 7 Kingdoms, when he's North of the Wall, he ain't all that.
posted by nubs at 9:09 AM on June 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


A chart of the chapters covered so far:

http://i.imgur.com/lceExOP.jpg
posted by vbfg at 9:11 AM on June 16, 2014 [14 favorites]


Bloodraven with two good eyes. I had high hopes for how creepy he'd be and they didn't really try, they just had him look normal.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 9:13 AM on June 16, 2014 [4 favorites]


A chart of the chapters covered so far:

I mean, very cool and handy but Christ, if only obsessive fandom could be harnessed as a force for good.
posted by shothotbot at 9:13 AM on June 16, 2014 [7 favorites]


 I don't know how he does it, but something in the way he carries himself just announces that he's a king, without a single damn word.

Ciaran Hinds played Julius Caesar in HBO's Rome a few years ago the same way.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:16 AM on June 16, 2014 [5 favorites]


A chart of the chapters covered so far:

I was just thinking last night that I should do this. How did I ever think it wouldn't already exist?
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:25 AM on June 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


Wait, why do they think that bits from the Mercy chapter from AWOW was covered in Season 4, ep 1?

Other than that, it's interesting to see as things go on how /little/ they're using from the books. The chapter usage gets sparser and sparser. Almost every chapter from Book 1 was covered. Most from Book 2. Very little indeed from Book 3!
posted by corb at 9:28 AM on June 16, 2014


I even loved the Jon Snow/Mance Rayder bits even though I usually find Snow insufferably dull.

I commented to my husband that Kit Harington's been knocking it out of the park these last few episodes. People love to hate on KH because the Jon Snow character arc really does play out as SUCH a whiny one-dimensional shampoo model up until this season, but tbh he was written by GRRM (and acted by KH) early on as a completely spoiled naive Ned-Stark-brainwashed-heroic-idealist who got himself in waaaaay over his head with the thugs at the Wall, but the fact that he's evolving and showing character growth, decision making ability and maturity post-Wildling-espionage-campaign demonstrates that both the writing and the actor have got the goods to really make Jon Snow the complex character that he deserves to be.
posted by lonefrontranger at 9:30 AM on June 16, 2014 [4 favorites]


Wait, why do they think that bits from the Mercy chapter from AWOW was covered in Season 4, ep 1?

Arya killing Polliver.
posted by gaspode at 9:32 AM on June 16, 2014


Wait, why do they think that bits from the Mercy chapter from AWOW was covered in Season 4, ep 1?

I just looked into this- it's because she kills a dude in that chapter who she killed in the inn on the show. I'd say that barely counts.
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:33 AM on June 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


Also, that chart's missing Bran's Dance chapters, isn't it?
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:34 AM on June 16, 2014


It includes the callback to Polliver killing her friend, IIRC. He was on her list, and it's kind of significant in her revenge quest.
posted by gaspode at 9:35 AM on June 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


it's because she kills a dude in that chapter who she killed in the inn on the show. I'd say that barely counts

I think it counts mostly for the awesome Lommy "you'll have to carry me" callback. I think I hooted out loud while reading that TWOW Mercy preview chapter.
posted by twoporedomain at 9:43 AM on June 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


(oops, sorry about the lack of preview, gaspode)
posted by twoporedomain at 9:45 AM on June 16, 2014


I think we might get a full episode or two set during the Blackfyre rebellion. It otherwise might be difficult to explain who Bloodraven, Aegon, the Blackfyre Pretenders, and the Bloody Company are.

There are only 10 episodes per season. The chances of a pre-quel episode much less two are zero!

I think they'll handle it by not including Bloodraven, Aegon, the Blackfyre Pretenders, or the Bloody Company.
posted by Justinian at 9:46 AM on June 16, 2014


They will go for sexposition over a flashback any time - I'm sure that's how they'll fill us in on the history of the Blackfyre Rebellion and Golden Company, some random brothel scene.
posted by jason_steakums at 9:52 AM on June 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


Cut to: D&D need an expository scene, but the relevant characters are miles from a brothel. Looks like things are about to get sexy between JonCon and Tyrion...
posted by jason_steakums at 9:59 AM on June 16, 2014




I don't think the greensight is limited to wierwoods, but I could be wrong. My reading was that it extended to any plants but that you could only go back with a plant currently alive to that plant's history. Weirwood trees don't die unless cut down or otherwise deliberately killed, so are the best option for this. I'd have to go back and re-read to be sure though.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 10:05 AM on June 16, 2014 [3 favorites]


I don't see how they can possibly cut out Aegon, it's such a huge thing and huge moment in the books. Plus, haven't they teased the mummer's dragon? Or am I mistaken?
posted by corb at 10:10 AM on June 16, 2014


Yeah, Aegon's probably going to be pretty important, unless GRRM is just straight up fucking with us. Tons of potential to be a big player whether he's legit or not.
posted by jason_steakums at 10:13 AM on June 16, 2014


More in depth thoughts later, but I was really tickled that this episode was airing on Father's Day.
posted by dinty_moore at 10:14 AM on June 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


FiveThirtyEight has turned its statistical mojo toward predicting when the next book will come out. tl:dr: When will George R. R. Martin come out with the next book? I have no idea. The stats tell us essentially nothing. The good news for fans is that he’s in Santa Fe with a pretty clear schedule. The worst news is that my most promising finding is that he’s excited. As always, when will George R.R. Martin release “The Winds of Winter”? Whenever he damn well pleases.
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:17 AM on June 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


This is the episode I wanted to see most and I had to be dogsitting for my parents, who don't get HBO. It sounds like it was EPIC though.
posted by chainsofreedom at 10:18 AM on June 16, 2014


I don't think the greensight is limited to wierwoods, but I could be wrong. My reading was that it extended to any plants but that you could only go back with a plant currently alive to that plant's history. Weirwood trees don't die unless cut down or otherwise deliberately killed, so are the best option for this. I'd have to go back and re-read to be sure though.

In 4.2 Bran's weirwood-warg vision includes the catacombs at winterfell, ned's cell with varys, ancient baleron over king's landing (which has no weirwood), a decrepit winter iron throne (presumably far future), and the night's king ceremony (which hadn't happened yet and is in the middle of a glacier). It's safe to say that the greensight is not limited to trees, at least in the show.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 10:26 AM on June 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


If even FiveThirtyEight can't help us, we are doomed indeed.
posted by corb at 10:35 AM on June 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


ancient baleron over king's landing (which has no weirwood)

Doesn't Sansa pray in the Godswood in Kings Landing?
posted by shothotbot at 10:35 AM on June 16, 2014


As always, when will George R.R. Martin release “The Winds of Winter”? Whenever he damn well pleases.

Lately, he's been busy with his wolf sanctuary fund-raiser. Two lucky people paid $20,000 each to have a gruesome death in WoW, so he at least has to write that in. So not this month, in other words.
posted by tempestuoso at 10:36 AM on June 16, 2014


Doesn't Sansa pray in the Godswood in Kings Landing?

Not all Godswoods have weirwoods. (This is mentioned in the first couple chapters of GoT.)
posted by tempestuoso at 10:38 AM on June 16, 2014


It looks like she prays on a weirwood stump.
posted by Jacqueline at 10:40 AM on June 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


I thought this was a pretty silly and disappointing end to what's been a pretty silly and disappointing season which had a few up-notes. I don't think I'd stick around for the next if I hadn't read the books.
posted by codacorolla at 10:45 AM on June 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


I really enjoyed this finale, even though I was holding my breath for LSH the whole time. Brienne's fight with The Hound was fantastic. I had hopes that Arya and Brienne would hit it off and they'd have cool swordgirl adventures together. I didn't expect it to get dirty! But when The Hound said, "I'm no knight!" I really wanted Brienne to reply, "Neither am I!"

I loved the first few notes of The Rains of Castamere starting to play as Tyrion walked towards Tywin's chambers. "Oh shit! Things are about to get real!" says that song.

I have to agree that I didn't read Shae's death as 100% self defense. I was just relieved they actually went through with having him kill her at all.

As Arya stood on the prow of the ship looking towards Braavos, my heart just lifted. Can't wait to see next season!
posted by chatongriffes at 10:49 AM on June 16, 2014 [3 favorites]


The vocal rendition of the theme gave me goosebumps :D
posted by Strass at 10:51 AM on June 16, 2014 [5 favorites]


Yeah, I'm dying to know the lyrics. Were they on Closed Captions?
posted by Rock Steady at 11:02 AM on June 16, 2014


Great, now I'm going to be adding "The Rains of Castamere" to my "Valar Morghulis/Valar Dohaeris" loop. Thaaaaaanks.
posted by corb at 11:04 AM on June 16, 2014


Someone on Reddit made a House Sigil for Gendry.
posted by Jacqueline at 11:04 AM on June 16, 2014 [3 favorites]


But when The Hound said, "I'm no knight!" I really wanted Brienne to reply, "Neither am I!"

I KNOW RIGHT

I have to say, based on what the show has given us so far, Fighters Who Aren't Knights get shit done.
posted by KathrynT at 11:05 AM on June 16, 2014 [8 favorites]


As Arya stood on the prow of the ship looking towards Braavos, my heart just lifted. Can't wait to see next season!

When a girl going to become a prepubescent assassin is the heartwarming part...
posted by shothotbot at 11:11 AM on June 16, 2014 [6 favorites]


She's the most adorable assassin, though.
posted by corb at 11:14 AM on June 16, 2014


When a girl going to become a prepubescent assassin is the heartwarming part...

This is why I liked her very coldly, very deliberately taking the Hounds money and walking off without a word. Having her explain her reasoning would've taken away from Arya's development into stone killer; she has no loyalty, she has no compassion - she's learned her lessons and she wanted the Hound to suffer to his last breath.
posted by nubs at 11:39 AM on June 16, 2014


I haven't read this far but I am FURIOUSLY reading the Wiki (I NEED TO KNOW) and Holy Hell, yes that is the only person who could counter Cersei's power now and it looks like 500 years of religious reforms and crises all at once? Neat, also fitting to the whole magic/spiritual concerns becoming increasingly important as Westeros goes into increasing tail spinn
posted by The Whelk at 12:06 PM on June 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


also count me in as wholly relieved that they did NOT do the whole LSH thing because OMG that whole storyline pissed me off SO MUCH in the books. Jesus with the zombie deus ex machina thing, really GRRM?

I guess if they continue that thread next season I'll be okay with it but as someone who doesn't like Catelyn much in the first place (IMO she's simply a marginally-more-socially-apt paranoid nutjob than her sister) I could really do without that entire plotline (although I guess as a Frey-killing device she has her merits but really).

Anyhows the reactions from the 3 non-readers in the room when Stannis showed up at the wall were well worth it. At first they had zero clue what was going on, same as anyone else in Mance's camp. Then everyone was like... wait was that foreshadowing when they showed us Melisandre in the preview? And then it was a huge chorus of everyone yelling THAT'S STANNIS THE MANNIS, so that's a thing the show-only folks have really grasped onto.

IMO the TV series has done a far better job of making Stannis an engaging character than the endless jaw-clenching lines of exposition that get us nowhere in the books. BookStannis, meh I was mostly bored and irritated by his storyline; I distinctly recall chapters in which he featured prominently as registering "skimmable" in my head.
posted by lonefrontranger at 12:23 PM on June 16, 2014 [5 favorites]


There are only 10 episodes per season. The chances of a pre-quel episode much less two are zero!

It's not like they'd have to cut out some other important story beats to make space for a flashback. They are going to be scrounging for material for the next little while. Martin's written a huge corpus of material about Westeros in the past. Why ignore that? It doesn't have to feel like an unnecessary deviation. If they seed a bunch of different reasons for various characters to be interested in the past, they can write an episode set in the past that solves a bunch of unanswered questions and feels like it actually progresses the plot. For instance, if the audience has already seen the spear of the Golden Company but doesn't really know who they are, seeing Bittersteel's skull dipped into gold after his death could trigger a satisfying Aha! moment. Etc. (Although to prevent to much jumping around the timeline, they'd they'd probably have to make Bittersteel use Daemon Blackfyre's skull instead, which would be cooler, come to think of it.)

I think it'd be really cool and even popular with both book-readers and the Unsullied. The only thing is that it might be tonally weird to do a flashback episode in a show that hasn't busted out any sophisticated storytelling tropes.

I don't see why they'd cut out Aegon, Bloodraven's past, and the Bloody Company. That would be cutting out like half of Book 5, and that's almost all the material they have left. And they are all hugely important to the plot that is developing, as far as we know.
posted by painquale at 12:32 PM on June 16, 2014


Also: Bran's plot is completely caught up now. He needs something to do. You could stretch a whole season out of his tree-training by letting him show us flashbacks. The flashbacks would feel like progression in his plotline, and at the same time we would learn a bunch about the past, even though he's actually just be cooped up in a cave for the season. From this perspective, hustling his storyline forward to get him in the cave early makes a lot of sense.
posted by painquale at 12:38 PM on June 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


And they are all hugely important to the plot that is developing, as far as we know.

They'd better be. Because if they're not, there isn't one.
posted by davidjmcgee at 12:43 PM on June 16, 2014


In the Other Thread they're taking about the hard stare Mellisandre gives Jon - she can suss out royal bloodlines right? Laying all the ground work for the future mother reveal we hope.
posted by The Whelk at 12:46 PM on June 16, 2014


One of the trailers for this season showed a dragon flying over King's Landing. What was up with that?
posted by Strass at 12:48 PM on June 16, 2014


That would be cutting out like half of Book 5

We should be so lucky!

But, really, they simply can't do a flashback episode to something like Robert's Rebellion or the Blackfyre Rebllions. It's just not practical with the realities of television production on this scale. I'm not saying it would be a bad idea or wouldn't be cool, I'm saying it's literally impossible.
posted by Justinian at 12:49 PM on June 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


I guess if they continue that thread next season I'll be okay with it but as someone who doesn't like Catelyn much in the first place

The LSH storyline really only becomes important if the whole Grand Northern Conspiracy is in play, because she becomes a key linchpin in some of the moving parts of that. Outside of that, she's just fun in the cathartic sense of having a vigilante killer out there picking off Freys.
posted by nubs at 12:52 PM on June 16, 2014


Frey pie!
posted by Justinian at 12:53 PM on June 16, 2014


Want some Freys with that? -House Manderly
posted by nubs at 12:53 PM on June 16, 2014 [6 favorites]


they simply can't do a flashback episode to something like Robert's Rebellion or the Blackfyre Rebllions. It's just not practical with the realities of television production on this scale

But the things we all care about are NOT in the battles. We want to know about human relations stuff, which is the same sets as already exist.
posted by corb at 12:53 PM on June 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


Strass: One of the trailers for this season showed a dragon flying over King's Landing. What was up with that?

It was part of Bran's vision. Kind of bullshit (dragonshit?) to include it in a trailer.
posted by Rock Steady at 12:55 PM on June 16, 2014


In the Other Thread they're taking about the hard stare Mellisandre gives Jon - she can suss out royal bloodlines right? Laying all the ground work for the future mother reveal we hope.

What was important to me about that stare is that it was happening over the pyre; whatever her abilities (and she does seem able to see the future, at least - not sure about the past), she sees things in the fire; or things are revealed to her. So that fact that she's staring at Jon Snow through a fire has all kinds of implications in terms of his role, if not his identity.

Of course, book-Melisandre is also not always very good at interpreting what she sees either.
posted by nubs at 12:56 PM on June 16, 2014


"All I see is Snow."
posted by corb at 12:57 PM on June 16, 2014


But, really, they simply can't do a flashback episode to something like Robert's Rebellion or the Blackfyre Rebllions.

I agree with you about Robert's Rebellion. But why not the Blackfyre Rebellions? The second Blackfyre Rebellion, depicted in the third Dunk and Egg story, would be relatively pretty cheap to film... it'd just be a tournament. Even if the flashback were the first Blackfyre Rebellion, which I think it should be, I don't think you'd necessarily have to show any real battle scenes other than maybe the Raven's Teeth at Redgrass. You could set nearly the whole thing at King's Landing.
posted by painquale at 1:01 PM on June 16, 2014


It would be very interesting to use Bran to give us some of the backstory on the show - because his character is isolated from everyone else, he can be in the position of knowing the truths behind the histories as told (R+L; the Blackfyres and Aegon; whatever else) - and so would the audience, without it causing change in any of the existing narrative.

Hmmm. Maybe Melisandre and Red Rhalloo can see the future...and Bran and weirwood.net can see the past?
posted by nubs at 1:05 PM on June 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


I agree with you about Robert's Rebellion. But why not the Blackfyre Rebellions?

Because it sounds like padding for the TV show and there's been enough of that. Get on with it HBO and put this puppy to bed!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:09 PM on June 16, 2014


The LSH is still their mother, dead or not, and when the surviving Stark children find out who she is, that's what will be heartbreaking.

I thought Arya's refusal to kill him was for her, a kindness. She removed him from her List. She wasn't going to stop someone else from mercy killing him, but she wouldn't do it either. Arya sees death as dead either way. There's no good or bad death, just dead. She's so broken into someone new. Where she's going to The Faceless Men, there's a temple to death. And she's leaving from a land where death is being overturned, where the final end isn't final. So far the wights in the north seem mindless but with LSH and the red priest and ser strong, that's changing too. I think death and non-death are far more upsetting to the world of GOT than the iron throne struggles. Their world is being fundamentally overturned while they bicker over trifles.
posted by viggorlijah at 1:12 PM on June 16, 2014 [6 favorites]


painquale: Because that's not taking into account the huge logistical and budgetary challenges of what is already the first or second most expensive and tightly run endeavor in the history of television. (Ignoring FRIENDS in its last season or two which became horrifically expensive purely for salary reasons). To do a flashback episode means casting and negotiating contracts with an entire set of new actors for one or two episodes. It involves hiring an entirely new filming and directing unit to handle those episodes since the folks working in tandem to produce the non-flashback episodes won't be able to work around those new peoples schedules. And so on.

I heard two of the GoT directors discussing the show on the NPR station a few weeks ago. It's not made like other television shows where they film one episode at a time. The entire season is shot at once all across Europe and North Africa and pieced together after filming is finished.
posted by Justinian at 1:13 PM on June 16, 2014


I hope Gwen Christie get her own show after GoT is done.

EW: So certain things that are done that are very real and you’re genuinely scared because you look into the other person’s eyes and they mean it. It’s frightening—that is one of the few times I’ve not had to do any acting. I was screaming, “F–k you! Come on!” Blood everywhere, going insane. It is f–king mental. You were there on top of a mountain with this surreal landscape around you and the sun is shining and your adrenaline is pumping and you’ve got what looks like blood everywhere and you’re in pain and you’ve got swords and you’re on the floor hitting the living daylights out of each other. I actually lost it at points and would just go in screaming
posted by Drinky Die at 1:34 PM on June 16, 2014 [9 favorites]


tysha being cut was more brutal than any of the fights.....


also, I thought the strongest scene in the entire series was this; I almost wept at Barry McGovern's lines starting with "I've always held to the notion of fair exchange....."; this scene more than pretty much anything new introduced by the screenwriters held to the humanist spirit of GRRM's better writing.
posted by lalochezia at 1:38 PM on June 16, 2014


Man I love rewatching scenes, I don't think I noticed the first time that she stabs him right in the heart, then wipes her blade exactly like Sandor did. Makes sense now why he says she's learning.
posted by DynamiteToast at 1:45 PM on June 16, 2014


I loved loved loved the scene between Arya and Brienne.

"Swords are awesome"
"They are"
"The patriarchy has prevented me from doing what I want."
"Yeah, same here. But fuck the patriarchy, I did it anyways!"
"*grin*"
posted by Lemurrhea at 1:49 PM on June 16, 2014 [5 favorites]


So why wasn't Lady Stoneheart in this season?
Graves continued: "They [showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss] have such a challenge adapting the books into a really focused television experience. It's very hard, it's very complicated, it's much harder then they've been given credit for, I think — and they do a brilliant job. But to bring back Michelle Fairley, one of the greatest actresses around, to be a zombie for a little while — and just kill people? It is really sort of, what are we doing with that? How does it play into the whole story in a way that we're really going to like? It just didn't end up being a part of what was going to happen this season. And finally one [more] reason: In case you didn't notice, a lot happens this season … To add that in is something they opted out of. But what's funny is that it was never going to be in the season, yet it took off on the Internet like it was going to happen."
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:52 PM on June 16, 2014


But the things we all care about are NOT in the battles. We want to know about human relations stuff, which is the same sets as already exist.

Agreed.

Come on, HBO, a Rhaegar/Lyanna flashback is the kind of sexposition we actually WANT!!!
posted by Jacqueline at 1:57 PM on June 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


I loved loved loved the scene between Arya and Brienne.

"Swords are awesome"
"They are"
"The patriarchy has prevented me from doing what I want."
"Yeah, same here. But fuck the patriarchy, I did it anyways!"
"*grin*"


Yes and no. I mean, not to advance a "NOT ALL MEN" argument, but Ned did hire Syrio Forel to teach Arya water dancing. This scene Arya makes it seem like Ned was dead set against her using a sword (which he kind of was, at first, but he did change his mind).
posted by dhens at 2:27 PM on June 16, 2014


Come on, HBO, a Rhaegar/Lyanna flashback is the kind of sexposition we actually WANT!!!

How could they ever cast Rhaegar, though?
posted by clockzero at 2:33 PM on June 16, 2014


I think we have to use the weirwood both 1.) to give Bran something to do over the next season or two, and 2.) because we know at least that they've cast for young Cersei and Maggy the frog and everything, and the show has never done an actual flashback before.

As for me, there was a lot of great stuff in this episode, I'm glad they held LSH for later, but the unbelievably disappointing shittiness of the Privy Incident scene, which I've been awaiting for years, basically ruined the whole thing for me. I've seen a lot of people psyched by this episode. After how flat and uninspired and perfunctory it was, I just don't get it.
posted by Navelgazer at 2:39 PM on June 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


How could they ever cast Rhaegar, though?

Pedro Pascal with a dye job.
posted by bfranklin at 2:41 PM on June 16, 2014 [15 favorites]


I wonder if someone will ever warg into a dragon or a white walker.
posted by clockzero at 2:41 PM on June 16, 2014


Surely Bran's warging into a dragon sometime in the future?
posted by gaspode at 2:43 PM on June 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


dhens, that's true but I'm thinking more in terms of it as a character moment. Arya is definitely not going to say that her father hired a dude from Braavos to teach her - that would a) possibly allow Brienne to recognize her and b) require opening up to a stranger. And at the start of the scene she's clearly mistrustful of Brienne, gradually opening up as she finds this woman! Who fights! And isn't a knight! (I doubt Arya trusts knights.)

And the flip side is Brienne, who has spent her 22-ish years wanting to fight, being the only woman like that - I don't think she ever met the Mormont women, with whom she would have fit right in. She runs across herself when she was a child. I can imagine a perfect world where they go off for adventures, Arya squiring for Brienne. It's even better than Pod!

Then Brienne realizes who she is and her duty takes over and yadda yadda. But the joy for both of them at finding a kindred spirit is nice.
posted by Lemurrhea at 2:45 PM on June 16, 2014 [3 favorites]


Is that conventional wisdom? That Bran acts as the third head of the Dragon?
posted by Navelgazer at 2:45 PM on June 16, 2014


I don't know that it is, it's my speculation, and I guess I assumed it was most people's? *shrug* am probably off base re. fan thinking on the matter.
posted by gaspode at 2:51 PM on June 16, 2014


Surely Bran's warging into a dragon sometime in the future?

That seems a little more risky than warging into a wolf or even a person, doesn't it? Dragons are magical in some important but undefined way. Seems like it would end in flames one way or another. Presumably trying to warg into a white walker would give you the gnarliest brainfreeze imaginable.
posted by clockzero at 2:56 PM on June 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


Is that conventional wisdom? That Bran acts as the third head of the Dragon?

I don't think there's any general agreement on the three heads. We know from the Dance of the Dragons novella that some people other than Targs can control dragons, so I don't think it would necessarily have to be another Targ. I have guesses, but they might be considered spoilerific.

To me, though, the Three Heads piece is not just about who will be the three dragon riders, but more about the nature of rule - we're seeing again and again and again that the single head of state model leads to disaster in this world. A three headed model - say a conqueror/warrior type, a skilled politician/diplomat, and an administrator - might be more stable?
posted by nubs at 3:03 PM on June 16, 2014


A three headed model - say a conqueror/warrior type, a skilled politician/diplomat, and an administrator - might be more stable?

Or the smallfolk revolt, slaughter the nobles, and institute a constitutional republic with an executive, legislative, and judicial branch?

I just really want the endgame to be the smallfolk being DONE with all this shit.
posted by Jacqueline at 3:07 PM on June 16, 2014 [6 favorites]


I have guesses, but they might be considered spoilerific.

Guesses aren't spoilers! Go nuts! This is the thread for it.
posted by painquale at 3:08 PM on June 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


The small folk are dragon food. It's a three headed dragon too so they're going to do it tough.
posted by vbfg at 3:09 PM on June 16, 2014


The Onion AV club posted some pictures from the Instagram account of the guy who makes prosthetics for the show. There was a shot of Michelle Fairley with a gruesome neck wound, and when I went to look at it a day or two later all the photos were gone.

Wouldn't they be filming S5 already anyway?
posted by turbid dahlia at 3:16 PM on June 16, 2014


I saw that picture before it was taken down and thought it was just from her filming of the Red Wedding. It showed her with a slit throat, but she was wearing no other zombie makeup. The whole affair's suspicious enough that I can't really take the picture of evidence of anything in particular.
posted by painquale at 3:18 PM on June 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


Wouldn't they be filming S5 already anyway?

Probably not for another few weeks. They started filming season 4 in July.
posted by Justinian at 3:45 PM on June 16, 2014


OK, my guesses on the 3 heads of the dragon:

-Dany (duh)
-Jon Snow
-Tyrion (he used to study dragonlore)

So Tyrion catches up with Dany, and teaches her how to train (not chain) your dragons. Then they pick up Jon on their way to fry the walkers and whatever is behind them. Jon is a warg, which might make it a little easier to handle a dragon (not that I think he will warg into a dragon, but that being wargish might help) (Funny, he don't look wargish).

Other possibility:

-Dany
-Aegon
-Jon

This assumes Aegon is not a Mummer's Dragon. I like this because it would provide some symmetry to Aegon the Conqueror, who had three dragons - the other two ridden by his sister-wives. This symmetry only works, though, if the family connection is there.

I don't see Bran in this; Bran will fly with the ravens and as the 3 eye crow.
posted by nubs at 3:54 PM on June 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


institute a constitutional republic with an executive, legislative, and judicial branch?

Or perhaps its the Crown, the Faith (or the Maesters), and the Commons?
posted by nubs at 3:55 PM on June 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


How could they ever cast Rhaegar, though?

- meryl streep
- beyonce
- fabio
- andrej pejic
- casey legler
- beyonce
- david bowie
- tilda swinton
- beyonce
posted by elizardbits at 3:58 PM on June 16, 2014 [8 favorites]


Liz no we need David Bowie for the next season of Hannibal
posted by The Whelk at 4:03 PM on June 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


Or perhaps its the Crown, the Faith (or the Maesters), and the Commons?

So strong, pious and just, but would it be wise?
posted by Navelgazer at 4:04 PM on June 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


Tilda Swinton for True Detective
posted by Strass at 4:05 PM on June 16, 2014


I vote for either Travis Fimmel (Ragnar Lothbrok) or Charlie Hunnam (Jax Teller / Raleigh Becket) for Rhaegar Targaryen. They both do broody manliness well.
posted by Jacqueline at 4:05 PM on June 16, 2014


Just passed the Moon Boy spa in Chelsea which is just as shady as you might imagine.
posted by shothotbot at 4:07 PM on June 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


Totally unrelated to anything...but does it bother anyone else that the maesters' chains aren't tight around their necks in the show? There have been a lot of departures in costuming choices (or at least slightly different) but this one bugs me.
posted by double bubble at 4:16 PM on June 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


Why? It seems so minor?
posted by Justinian at 4:46 PM on June 16, 2014


the maesters' chains aren't tight around their necks in the show

Are they that tight for every maester in the books, though? I thought only Luwin was described as wearing his chains tightly around his neck.
posted by dhens at 4:56 PM on June 16, 2014


the biggest thing I got out of the show was the "thousand eyes and one" line. Anyone think that was an intentional reference to the one-eyed wizard of the Dunk and Egg books?
posted by rebent at 5:09 PM on June 16, 2014


I have no opinion on the maseter's chains but the costume person who got rid of the Hand's necklace and replaced it with a dagger / brooch was genius.

I totally thought Tyrion was going to stab Shae with it after the camper cut to it.
posted by shothotbot at 5:18 PM on June 16, 2014 [3 favorites]


the biggest thing I got out of the show was the "thousand eyes and one" line. Anyone think that was an intentional reference to the one-eyed wizard of the Dunk and Egg books?

Yup, it's the same guy. Bloodraven.
posted by painquale at 5:19 PM on June 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


Why? It seems so minor?

I'm born of a scifi / fantasy fan from long ago - outrage over minor details is a birthright.
posted by double bubble at 5:33 PM on June 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


Buzzfeed on Sexual Violence in GoT and "Where Season 4 went wrong"
posted by anastasiav at 5:36 PM on June 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


Are they that tight for every maester in the books, though? I thought only Luwin was described as wearing his chains tightly around his neck.

It's generally described as a collar so I imagined it as tight(ish) on all maesters.

The kingsguard wearing gold(ish) rather than white bugs me a little but I was able to get over it.
posted by double bubble at 5:41 PM on June 16, 2014


From Tumblr re: Season 4

wait,
the show actually.
skipped a sex scene.
With Daario and Dany.
The show. Game of Thrones.
skipped a sex scene

response: Probably because it was consensual.
posted by dhens at 5:45 PM on June 16, 2014 [3 favorites]


"How could they ever cast Rhaegar, though?"

- meryl streep
- beyonce
- fabio
- andrej pejic
- casey legler
- beyonce
- david bowie
- tilda swinton
- beyonce


Andrej Pejic would be perfect. Not sure if he acts or speaks English fluently, though.
posted by clockzero at 6:19 PM on June 16, 2014


the biggest thing I got out of the show was the "thousand eyes and one" line. Anyone think that was an intentional reference to the one-eyed wizard of the Dunk and Egg books?

The first thing I thought of was that since the 3-eyed crow has the aforementioned 3 eyes that of course there would be one additional eye. The second thing I thought of was "it's nick fury isn't it"
posted by elizardbits at 6:49 PM on June 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


(andrej pejic's preferred pronouns are feminine though, a fact i myself only learned moments before posting that initial comment when i checked her wiki page for the correct name spelling)
posted by elizardbits at 6:51 PM on June 16, 2014


I thought the finale was very strong this season:

The chat between Mance and Jon. The arrival of Stannis was better than my expectations.
Daenerys reinstituting slavery and the burnt child
The weirwood scene was fun (though its impact is probably diminished for non-readers)
Cersei and Tywin is a great scene
Tyrion and Tywin is a dramatic moment despite objections
The whole Arya/Brienne/Hound scene was top notch - one of my favourites - and Valar Dohaeris gave me slight goosebumps.

Tyrion/Shae was rather disappointing and Tyrion/Tywin lost a lot of its punch, but overall I'm quite happy. Oh, and Bloodraven deserved better but maybe all the rumours about him are lies by Blackfyre pretenders.

Cheat sheet: Should I renounce my lord?
If lord's name is Daemon Blackfyre then YES
If lord's seat is The Dreadfort then YES
If you like pies then NO
If chaos is a ladder then YES
If chaos is a lift* then YES
If your seat is in Castamere then NO

*elevator, y'know

posted by ersatz at 7:01 PM on June 16, 2014 [4 favorites]


I was thinking about the fact that Sandor was left to die in the Vale rather than in the Riverlands. Who is going to help him? It's not a very populated area. We know from Brienne that they are about 30 miles from the Eyrie, which is probably the closest area of note.

This suggests a possible way to expand upon Sansa's story next season and to keep Sandor in the show. Let some travelers discover Sandor and take him back to the Eyrie. Sansa is there when he arrives, and she's the only one who knows who he is. She has the Maesters treat him, installs him at the sept at the Eyrie, and agrees to protect his identity, even hiding him from Littlefinger. And thus begins the Hound's transformation to the penitent gravedigger we see in the books.

In other words, Sansa finds someone so broken and desperate that she can gain his trust by extending her hand. He remembers her as an innocent; he suspects nothing. But Sansa has grown. She knows that she can use him as an eventual pawn by gaining his trust while also putting him in a position that keeps him as her captive. She does to the Hound exactly what Littlefinger did to her. And so begins her playing the Game.

Maybe Sansa will even get to use her pawn by dispatching him to fight in the Cleganebowl in order to get back at Cersei.
posted by painquale at 7:04 PM on June 16, 2014 [4 favorites]


In other words, Sansa finds someone so broken and desperate that she can gain his trust by extending her hand

Sansa is beyond that now, she is playing the game of thrones.

Though I fear a lawyer from Bravos is going to snap shut a medieval briefcase and say: You wanted to be in the game? Now you're in the game! (To mix my HBO metaphors).
posted by shothotbot at 7:14 PM on June 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


I am confused about Daenerys "reinstituting slavery". Isn't this just "instituting employment"? Why is this a troubling moment? It's not like she doesn't have attendants in her own employ, right? But it's deeply troubling, somehow. She's troubled. They're all troubled. Why?
posted by redfoxtail at 7:16 PM on June 16, 2014 [5 favorites]


Sansa is beyond that now, she is playing the game of thrones.

That's what I mean though. She sees an opportunity to gain a pawn.
posted by painquale at 7:25 PM on June 16, 2014


She's troubled. They're all troubled. Why?

I think because the guy doesn't want autonomy, he doesn't want to be a paid servant, to have the dignity of being an equal citizen or anything like that. He has always been a slave and finds in the end that he is more comfortable in that role than with accepting all the uncertainty that comes with having freedom and autonomy.

It maybe echoes Grey Worm's situation in some respects--in terms of GW's philosophical embrace of his own horrific past.

Daenerys is having to come to terms with the fact that although it's far from ideal for a person to live with this kind of damage--the kind of psychological impairment that can come from being a lifelong slave--it's also not the kind of damage she can fix. She can try to limit it, or keep the person's options open (by imposing the time limit for example), but she can't just wish or order it away.

I suppose the fighting pits stuff will come into play next season (which is more of the same kind of thing).
posted by torticat at 7:37 PM on June 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


tysha being cut was more brutal than any of the fights.....

I think what bugged me about the Tysha part being cut is that it felt like the writers wimped out, like they couldn't bear to allow Tyrion and Jaime to part on the extremely sour note they did in the book--with Tyrion saying he'd killed Joffrey and also telling about Cersei's various sexual partners.

Although that whole scene was painful for Tyrion (and sparked his visit to Tywin), it also gave him the knowledge that he had once been loved truly by a woman, which is no small thing considering Shae's betrayal.

It almost felt to me like the writers didn't want to show Jaime being hit with the pain of all those revelations (including the untrue one about Joffrey). Which just pisses me off considering how they had already blundered with Jaime's arc overall so severely this season. The finale left us with Rapist Jaime having an uncomplicated passionate union with Cersei and uncomplicated affectionate parting with Tyrion. It's just irritatingly inconsistent characterization.
posted by torticat at 7:49 PM on June 16, 2014 [8 favorites]


Would someone mind explaining the Jojen-paste thingy to me, or posting a link? That one's new to me.
posted by torticat at 7:51 PM on June 16, 2014


I was about to do that very thing for you when I got distracted by the fact that Bran, Hodor, and the Reeds never passed through the Black Gate with Coldhands and his party elk, did they?
posted by elizardbits at 8:02 PM on June 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


Rewatched, and man, that Brienne/Hound fight. So good. They Live good.

Also, I don't know why it strikes me as weird to hear Jon say that Ned died for Stannis, because yeah, he actually did... but I just don't ever think of it that way for some reason. I guess it's because I can't actually see Ned fighting with Stannis if he lived, after Stannis starts listening to Melisandre. That only ends in Ned dead by Mel's hand or Ned and Davos teaming up and cleaning house in the name of honor.

Actually, the more that I think about it, Ned and Davos at Stannis' back could have been the best shot at a good outcome Westeros could have had. That's, like, a MegaJiminy of conscience power between the two of them, if only Ned had lived to use the lessons he finally learned in the end.
posted by jason_steakums at 8:03 PM on June 16, 2014 [3 favorites]


If the North is anything like Skyrim (and it is) they just crept along the edge of the Wall on the east shore, jumping and pressing foward until they where past it.
posted by The Whelk at 8:04 PM on June 16, 2014 [13 favorites]


That initial shot of the weirwood and the shot with golden sunlight on everyone's faces was almost absurdly Arthurian. Like, they were two seconds away from falling to their knees in the presence of the Grail.
posted by jason_steakums at 8:11 PM on June 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


Rewatched, and man, that Brienne/Hound fight. So good. They Live good.

People keep saying this, and I don't get it. Clumsy, boring choreography. Most of it shot from far away to make up for at least one of the actors clearly being unable to stage fight. All of the punches being laughable... worse than chest slaps in the WWF. Awful choppy editing. Pretty much a summary of nearly every fight on the show, but still.
posted by codacorolla at 8:13 PM on June 16, 2014


Watched the two last episodes tonight... can't believe nobody has said anything about Ygritte getting got by Kenard yet.
posted by mustard seeds at 8:17 PM on June 16, 2014 [3 favorites]


That initial shot of the weirwood and the shot with golden sunlight on everyone's faces was almost absurdly Arthurian. Like, they were two seconds away from falling to their knees in the presence of the Grail.

Heh. My friends and I saw it as absurdly Moses-esque, what with the back-lighting and Jojen with his staff (and not making it to the place where he led the party, etc.)
posted by Navelgazer at 8:21 PM on June 16, 2014


People keep saying this, and I don't get it. Clumsy, boring choreography. Most of it shot from far away to make up for at least one of the actors clearly being unable to stage fight. All of the punches being laughable... worse than chest slaps in the WWF. Awful choppy editing. Pretty much a summary of nearly every fight on the show, but still.

I dunno, I just liked it. The clumsiness was, to me, a feature and not a bug - I mean, they know how to use swords, but once the weapons were down they both fell back to some kind of ugly bar brawl weighed down in armor. Elegance isn't in Brienne or Sandor's vocabulary. And the sound design was great, too. But, I mean, that's why They Live came to mind, it was the same way.
posted by jason_steakums at 8:22 PM on June 16, 2014 [6 favorites]


He has always been a slave and finds in the end that he is more comfortable in that role than with accepting all the uncertainty that comes with having freedom and autonomy.

Yeah, but like, that's because he hasn't been offered any choice between being a slave and being in a big refugee camp. Right? This moment seems like it offers a good useful insight, rather than an opportunity for existential gloom. Oh! Hey! Right! You might want to have a livelihood. You maybe haven't heard of it, but we can do that.
posted by redfoxtail at 8:25 PM on June 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


Right? Oh, you were a teacher? Well it just so happens we've got a massive surplus of people denied an education all their lives who could use your services! How much money do you want?
posted by jason_steakums at 8:27 PM on June 16, 2014 [9 favorites]


Eh, old dogs, new tricks, etc. I saw the scene with the erstwhile slave as being a harbinger of things to come - The Masters in Meereen are still the houses with power there, and are leveraging it hard against Dany because they see the old institutions as equivalent to their survival and Dany is a terrifying revolutionary from their POV.

Remember when the CEO of Papa John's was making a huff saying that if Obamacare passed he'd have to start firing employees? That was for basic health care reform and fractions of pennies on the dollar (if that.) The stakes here are the backbone of the former social structure vs. Dany's wish for some sort of Return to Normalcy. The Masters can easily line up former entrenched slaves who, well, under the current system they just can't afford to employ, so what's going to happen to them, Khaleesi?

That supplicant was a shot across the bow from the Masters, is all I'm saying.
posted by Navelgazer at 8:33 PM on June 16, 2014 [3 favorites]


Ooh. I would like to pitch a prequel spinoff: "Oberyn Martell & The Tables of Westeros."

I'm pretty sure Oberyn was more about accent pillows and silk sheets because pleasure.
posted by srboisvert at 8:34 PM on June 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


I am confused about Daenerys "reinstituting slavery". Isn't this just "instituting employment"? Why is this a troubling moment? It's not like she doesn't have attendants in her own employ, right? But it's deeply troubling, somehow. She's troubled. They're all troubled. Why?

Maybe she realizes it ends up with libertarian app programmers taking over San Fransisco?
posted by srboisvert at 8:37 PM on June 16, 2014 [6 favorites]


I wonder if they will have someone come to speak to Dany in place of Xaro Xhoan Daxos (whom the show decided to make straight and dead, unlike the books) and give their version of the "Mudsill Theory" (slavery is necessary for some people to be able to appreciate the finer things) talk in his stead.
posted by dhens at 8:41 PM on June 16, 2014


I do like how it took all of two seconds for Selmy to be all "Do you even inequality of bargaining power, bro?"
posted by jason_steakums at 8:59 PM on June 16, 2014 [5 favorites]


That initial shot of the weirwood and the shot with golden sunlight on everyone's faces was almost absurdly Arthurian.

GET ON IT FRANKLIN MINT, I MUST NEEDS COLLECT THIS PLATE
posted by emeiji at 10:06 PM on June 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


Yeah, but like, that's because he hasn't been offered any choice between being a slave and being in a big refugee camp. Right?

I agree that it wasn't really explicit what was going on, and came off a little odd. I think you have to read between the lines a bit to see that they're dealing with a Stockholm syndrome-type thing here. It's not just that the guy wants housing food and a job and a designated place in society, it's that he wants ALL of those rolled into one, which is the kind of security/safety that being a slave had been to him.

They probably couldn't write that explicitly into the dialogue because it would be weird and problematic to have a guy going "No really, you've been wrong all along and for some of us slavery is super-great and all we ever wanted!" so they just had him hint around at the types of insecurities he's feeling, and as viewers we have to infer that it's not the kind of thing that "Great, we'll get you a job!" will solve. It's more fundamental than that, it's a deeper psychological thing.

Which is all kinds of messed up, of course, but that's why it was so troubling to Daenerys.
posted by torticat at 10:14 PM on June 16, 2014


Bran, Hodor, and the Reeds never passed through the Black Gate with Coldhands and his party elk

Yeah. And personally I wouldn't care if we NEVER saw unCat on the show, but Coldhands is a sad loss.
posted by torticat at 10:15 PM on June 16, 2014 [5 favorites]


On reflection, I find myself really interested in how the show will deal with Cersei's arc going forward. She is possibly the one character I feel is consistently better portrayed on the show than in the books (problematic ret-conning of consensual sex and my possible crush on Lena Headey aside).

The book Cersei suffers horribly once we start being privy (ha) to her internal monologue. The first 3 books present her as a seriously dangerous contender in The Game of Thrones (trope namer in fact) - she acts with intelligence (or at least base cunning), ferocity and foresight when she feels threatened, with devastating effect to house Stark. I will allow that she is already psychopathic and becoming more unhinged as the books go on, and only more so when the threats she fears come to fruition with the murder of Joffrey. However her character dissolves in AFFC, where her POV chapters reveal her to be merely deeply paranoid and delusional. Which is perhaps excusable. But they also reveal her to be deeply stupid and lacking in a basic sense of self preservation, which is not. Not given her story to this point.

In contrast is the scene in this episode (which is not book cannon) where Cersei threatens Tywin with the only thing she knows can seriously hurt him - the exposure of her children's true parentage. That was in a lot of ways a brilliant move and turns her biggest weakness into a weapon. And then she goes straight from there to secure the loyalty of the only person that can contradict her with Tywin, Jaime. She may be despicable and deeply corrupt on the show, but she is not stupid.

Of course all of her scheming in this episode is worth nothing, because of that crossbow. But I wait with baited breath with how they play it out. It does dovetail nicely in to tale of the only other mother of maturing kings who gets star billing in either version, Catelyn Stark.
posted by arha at 11:37 PM on June 16, 2014 [3 favorites]


Right? Oh, you were a teacher? Well it just so happens we've got a massive surplus of people denied an education all their lives who could use your services! How much money do you want?

Sounds to me like you can pay less and throw in tenure to sweeten it.
posted by vbfg at 12:53 AM on June 17, 2014 [3 favorites]


Heh heh. Lena Headey posted an image of a little stone heart on her Instagram a while back, which people took to announce that Lady Stoneheart would be in the finale. Now that the finale has aired, she wore this on her Kimmel appearance.

(She said she posted the image while drunk in Palm Springs.)
posted by painquale at 3:54 AM on June 17, 2014 [5 favorites]


By the way: a new Song of Ice and Fire short story ("The Rogue Prince") is released tomorrow in this collection.
posted by painquale at 4:00 AM on June 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


People keep saying this, and I don't get it. Clumsy, boring choreography. Most of it shot from far away to make up for at least one of the actors clearly being unable to stage fight.

I kinda get this objection, and I kind of don't, because we're not watching a Jackie Chan film here, we're watching a show that's mostly about character, and whether the actors are somehow 'good' at pretending to swing swords doesn't really matter that much to me. There was a good character moment here where Brienne kind of had her illusions of chivalrous combat shattered and she's just rolling around on the dirt bashing a guy's head in with a rock and tearing his ear out with her teeth, and I'm interested to see how that plays out with her self-image as a noble knight in the future.
posted by empath at 4:46 AM on June 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


I am confused about Daenerys "reinstituting slavery". Isn't this just "instituting employment"? Why is this a troubling moment? It's not like she doesn't have attendants in her own employ, right? But it's deeply troubling, somehow. She's troubled. They're all troubled. Why?

Jean-Jacques Rousseau contends that in a contract of self-enslavement, there is no mutuality. The slave loses all. The contract negates his interests and his rights. It is entirely to his disadvantage. Since the slave loses his status as a moral agent once the slave contract is enforced, the slave cannot act to enforce anything owed to him by his master. Rousseau contrasted this to the social contract, in that the subjects of the government have control over their masters.[5] John Stuart Mill wrote a critique of voluntary slavery as a criticism of paternalism.[6]

Daenerys is called mother of slaves and mother of dragons, but just like she cannot control her dragons, she cannot institute a planned economy to take care of every person in Meereen. She tries to abolish slavery and hopes that personally tackling the problems of supplicants will suffice - her little smile every time she receives a supplicant is a fantastic sign of her paternalism maternalism -, but she ends up compromising time after time unless she adopts the words of her family, Fire and Blood, and finally sets of to Westeros.

PS I've read that long theory about how she was doing well in Meereen after all, but I'm skeptical about her ability to govern Seven Kingdoms when she couldn't deal with three cities. One of the first things we learn about Rob Baratheon was that he was a great warrior, but a terrible administrator, so I wonder if Daenerys will ever sit on the Iron Throne.
posted by ersatz at 5:03 AM on June 17, 2014


They probably couldn't write that explicitly into the dialogue because it would be weird and problematic to have a guy going "No really, you've been wrong all along and for some of us slavery is super-great and all we ever wanted!" so they just had him hint around at the types of insecurities he's feeling, and as viewers we have to infer that it's not the kind of thing that "Great, we'll get you a job!" will solve. It's more fundamental than that, it's a deeper psychological thing.

Ugh. This is the real problem with people who don't seriously fucking read the books writing the scripts/directing. Because they don't understand what's going on and what they're cutting - and they refuse to take bold steps.

Maybe it would be weird and problematic, but that is part of the book and a real part - we are supposed, as readers and viewers, to feel super uncomfortable at that point, to realize that some slaves actually preferred being slaves to living free in Dany's unstable kingdom.

As it is, it just sounds kind of weird and clueless all around.
posted by corb at 6:41 AM on June 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


Chrys Watches GOT is up for the final episode. I'm going to miss these.
posted by nubs at 8:32 AM on June 17, 2014 [3 favorites]


Chrys Watches GOT is up for the final episode. I'm going to miss these.

Ha ha, the "that's fucking bullshit mom" sequence made me laugh.
posted by painquale at 9:14 AM on June 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


I quite like Mance Rayder, King Beyond the Wall and Fashion Police, myself. Why not? Every other would be King/Queen is sprouting titles like there's no tomorrow.

Ask the Maester has some good history as well, for those who get confused by who is who is the deep background of the show - I know I can't keep my Blackfyres straight.
posted by nubs at 9:22 AM on June 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm so glad I started my re-read early. It is very clear that I missed a lot of stuff in those last two books my first time through what with all the "what the hell is this crap? I'm skimming until I get to somebody I care about".
posted by norm at 9:37 AM on June 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


If you're not doing the FeastDance method, then, yeah, those books are a slog.
posted by nubs at 9:52 AM on June 17, 2014


I'm not quite there yet. I'm just starting ASOS, going slow, and taking notes. I have opinions about everything.
posted by norm at 10:00 AM on June 17, 2014


I'll probably be doing the same this summer.
posted by nubs at 10:31 AM on June 17, 2014


FanFare is going to have a book section at some point. I'm definitely looking forward to the ASoIaF reread threads.
posted by painquale at 10:46 AM on June 17, 2014 [3 favorites]


I'm definitely looking forward to the ASoIaF reread threads.

Way way forward.
posted by srboisvert at 1:31 PM on June 17, 2014


srboisvert: "I'm definitely looking forward to the ASoIaF reread threads.

Way way forward.
"

Crap this means I'll have to slog my way through the books again... I love the books to death but I don't look forward to re-reading them like I do with many other of my favorite series.
posted by Strass at 1:48 PM on June 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm gonna try to find a copy of the edited-together 4 and 5 online, and start my re-read there. I'll probably revisit the first three at some later date...

(Yes, yes, piracy- but I'd buy the merged version if that were possible, and as it is, I'm damn sure not gonna haul the paid-for copies of both books to and fro on the subway every day...)
posted by showbiz_liz at 1:59 PM on June 17, 2014


showbiz_liz: "I'm gonna try to find a copy of the edited-together 4 and 5 online, and start my re-read there. I'll probably revisit the first three at some later date...

(Yes, yes, piracy- but I'd buy the merged version if that were possible, and as it is, I'm damn sure not gonna haul the paid-for copies of both books to and fro on the subway every day...)
"

The ball of beasts site asks you to verify that you own the books by typing in a certain word from the 5th book, so it's slightly less illegal(?)
posted by Strass at 2:02 PM on June 17, 2014


The ball of beasts site asks you to verify that you own the books by typing in a certain word from the 5th book, so it's slightly less illegal(?)

All of the links are broken, at least for me.
posted by showbiz_liz at 2:19 PM on June 17, 2014


%n: "Would someone mind explaining the Jojen-paste thingy to me, or posting a link? That one's new to me."

Jojen paste. Note, it's a pretty grim theory.
posted by Happy Dave at 2:21 PM on June 17, 2014


Thanks, Happy Dave. I had figured it out actually through the brilliant strategem of googling Jojen paste. :)

And yeah. Pretty gross.

In other news, I am happy that these last few comments have broken the 249-all tie between this and the show-only thread. Phew!
posted by torticat at 2:32 PM on June 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


House Bookreader: We must comment more
posted by nubs at 2:49 PM on June 17, 2014 [4 favorites]


Symbol, an open book under a gazing open eye.
posted by The Whelk at 3:02 PM on June 17, 2014 [3 favorites]


House Bookreader: Winds of Winter Isn't Coming
posted by showbiz_liz at 3:22 PM on June 17, 2014 [10 favorites]


House Bookreader has a cadet branch, House Wikiskim
posted by The Whelk at 3:25 PM on June 17, 2014 [9 favorites]


Motto: down the rabbithole again
posted by Strass at 3:26 PM on June 17, 2014


Motto: click again.
posted by The Whelk at 3:43 PM on June 17, 2014


House Bookreader: Have I told you my latest theory?
posted by nubs at 3:46 PM on June 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


House Anya: I've got a theory, it could be bunnies!
posted by Strass at 3:52 PM on June 17, 2014 [5 favorites]


House Killjoy: We are not doing a musical.
posted by nubs at 3:54 PM on June 17, 2014 [3 favorites]


House Scowl: we'll here's ANOTHER THING The show gets wrong....
posted by The Whelk at 3:58 PM on June 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


So a probably obvious question but is Daenerys waiting for the dragons to grow into WMD's before she invades Westeros? It seems like she has a pretty substantial army at this point and a lot of resources.
posted by sammyo at 6:28 PM on June 17, 2014


It's a combination of not wanting to abandon mereen because bad things happened when she left the last two cities, and not really having enough ships.
posted by flaterik at 6:34 PM on June 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


Daenerys realized earlier on this season that being able to conquer a city was different from being able to rule it. So she's using Mereen as a beta test.
posted by dinty_moore at 6:34 PM on June 17, 2014 [5 favorites]


Sansa is beyond that now, she is playing the game of thrones.

That's what I mean though. She sees an opportunity to gain a pawn.


If she hits that bullseye, the rest of the dominoes should fall like a house of cards. Checkmate!
posted by turbid dahlia at 8:09 PM on June 17, 2014 [10 favorites]


Ennggghhhhh...

/Kif Kroker
posted by Navelgazer at 8:17 PM on June 17, 2014 [2 favorites]




God, I can't believe 1.) that I never made this connection, and 2.) that nobody else has made it for me, but of the three "main protagonists" now, and by some theories the future three dragon-riders, Dany, Jon and Tyrion, all three of their mothers died in childbirth with them, at least going by the R+L=J theory that I think we all assume to be truth by now.
posted by Navelgazer at 9:30 PM on June 17, 2014 [15 favorites]


So, you're talking about those motherfucless dragon riders?
posted by nubs at 9:39 PM on June 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


SHUT YOUR MOUTH!

(Just thought it was interesting, is all.)
posted by Navelgazer at 9:46 PM on June 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


It is interesting, and I'm not sure I've ever seen that connection made before. Which, in the world of ASOIAF tinfoil fan-theories, is saying something.
posted by nubs at 9:48 PM on June 17, 2014 [3 favorites]


What house did Joanna Lannister come from?
posted by double bubble at 9:56 PM on June 17, 2014


Oh - I have the wiki power - she's a Lannister by birth - a cousin.
posted by double bubble at 9:59 PM on June 17, 2014


What house did Joanna Lannister come from?

I think she was a cousin of Tywin's; the family listing in ASOS which I have at hand talks about Tywin's cousin Stafford Lannister, brother of Joanna.

And it's one of the things I'm thinking about as I consider a re-read - mothers in the series. We have Cat and Cersei, both of whom do many things that are not well-considered in service of protecting their children; we have Dany, who is learning how to deal with her children in a different way; and we have characters without mothers - Jon, Dany, and Tyrion, who I've never really thought about in that light before Navelgazer's comment.

And a question I came across in some tin foil reading that I haven't been able to shake: Who was Ned Stark's mother? (and maybe there's an obvious answer out there that I haven't found or have forgotten, but we hear about the father of Ned's generation, but not his mother I don't think; maybe there's something in ADWD I've forgotten?)

I think mothers and their influence is perhaps a theme in the book worth having a look at in my next go 'round.
posted by nubs at 10:05 PM on June 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


What house did Joanna Lannister come from?

I think she was a cousin of Tywin's


Yes. In fact, GRRM read a bit about the Lannisters from the world book that will be published in October. Here is a (transcript? paraphrasing?) from the "History of Westeros" blog (I saw this linked to from westeros.org).
posted by dhens at 10:22 PM on June 17, 2014


Who was Ned Stark's mother?

GRRM (in)famously answered this question a few years ago with a terse "Lady Stark. She died." Again, from a preview of the new world book that is scheduled to come out, it looks like she is from a cadet branch of the Starks. (See here: Big old PDF with typos and lots of lorem ipsum.)
posted by dhens at 10:28 PM on June 17, 2014


terse "Lady Stark. She died."

Don't they all, George?
posted by nubs at 10:31 PM on June 17, 2014 [4 favorites]


Navelgazer, that is a lovely (but sad) observation.
posted by torticat at 10:32 PM on June 17, 2014


There's actually some really, really interesting fan theories that center around who Ned Stark's mother was. Can't link from my phone, but will drop them in later.
posted by corb at 3:42 AM on June 18, 2014


Overall, I very much enjoyed this episode. The changes were mostly good, neutral, or at least understandable. D&D have made some serious missteps before, but overall I think this episode shows D&D understanding that TV shows are different from books, and so you can't always do the same thing in both formats.

Turning Shae's death into arguable self-defense was the right call. Several big factors here.

One, film is a visual medium. All you get are externals. When you can't get inside the character's head, people will read into the situation from what they see and hear. After all, that's all they have. This can turn one thing into another.

Two, bouncing off of that, context matters. The fact that Tyrion is seen as one of the few "reliably good" characters on the show, combined with the fact that most audience members were delighted that Tyrion turned the crossbow on his father, would have made a book-style Shae-death into something extremely unpleasant. It would have made it seem like we were supposed to have been pumping our fists in the air and shouting "fuck yeah!" when Tyrion killed Shae - not because she was an immediate, concrete threat to him, but because "she's a two-faced whore", or whatever.

Three, think about what Shae's death is really supposed to do for the story. The TV show had more or less achieved its goals with its own version of the death. Tyrion has been suitably embittered. He is no longer the happy-go-lucky smart-ass ne'er-do-well. Yes, there was an element of self-defense to Shae's death, but the blocking showed the threat to be awkward at best. Tyrion could have at least tried to only knock her out or incapacitate her, but no, he just fully choked her. After the deed was done, we saw on Tyrion's face a mixture of emotions, primarily rage and despair - not exactly "whew, dodged a bolt on that one!". And after Shae's death, or maybe even during it, Tyrion quite consciously premeditated the death of his father, with his nephew's own crossbow. Tyrion Lannister is a murderer now, and he knows it.

Contrast all of this with how much the show had bungled the rape of Cersei by Laime Lannister. Among other problems, Jaime had been on a redemption arc, and so that foisted a completely bizarre set of implications on that scene. Without the greater detail of a POV scene from a book, it wasn't at all clear what we were supposed to take from it. All we were left with was an otherwise fairly charming man raping a woman, with no worthwhile fallout from such an event.
posted by Sticherbeast at 4:37 AM on June 18, 2014 [4 favorites]


Also:

Arya's silence over the Hound was great. Haunting. Talking more would not have made that scene better.

I had been looking forward to Lady Stoneheart, but as a longterm story strategy, it made sense to put her off. It was already a heavily-stuffed finale. As has already been snarked within this thread, outside of the fan reaction for such a wild cliffhanger image, how would it have served the story to throw her into the story right this very second? This seems especially piquant in light of how this episode was all about the house's scions forging their own destinies.

One thing I did wish had been done better was STANNIS STANNIS STANNIS STANNIS. I know that the budget is limited, but there were low-budget ways to give us a better impression of how unexpected and devastating his appearance was. The show portrays him as ominous and opaque, and we don't really have a good sense of his rank-and-file: it would be nice to fill in those gaps.
posted by Sticherbeast at 4:57 AM on June 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


Ew. Jojen paste. Great, there's another thing I can't unsee. (And I remember the scene now - please no)
posted by double bubble at 5:01 AM on June 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


I think that next season will have to spend some serious time on the Greyjoy family troubles, because it seems like Victarion's trip out to Meereen is going to be pretty important. Also, they included the leech burning in season 3 with the naming of Robb and Joffrey and Balon, and those went in season 3, then 4, with Balon's fate still open. He's gonna die in the first episode of next season, I suspect.
posted by norm at 5:27 AM on June 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


I think that echoes part of the problem with the changes, for me, though. Tyrion is one of the few "reliably good" guys in the series - but he's not supposed to be. Yes, we can feel sympathy for him - but GRRM seems pretty clear that there are no heroes unmixed with awful.

I was a little concerned when they left out Tyrion raping Tysha, and I think this is just chickens come home to roost. One of the biggest things that hits Tyrion is that he himself raped Tysha, he himself bought that she was just a whore, and she deserved it, for punishing him. Sure, he says "My father made me take her last," but it's not like Tywin could have serious forced an erection. He looked at his wife, the girl who genuinely loved him, and hate-raped her. So by his own actions, his response to feeling unloveable, he made himself unloveable. He has always been rotten within, ever since that moment, without knowing quite where the rot lived. Jaime telling him is lancing it.

I'm not sure how they can achieve the same result using Shae, especially with self-defense. He can, and I'm sure does, feel remorse and sorrow for her death, but it'd be really hard to create that degree of self-loathing, that "I destroy everything I touch and everything I love" from her death alone.
posted by corb at 6:04 AM on June 18, 2014 [4 favorites]


Yeah, that's the most psychologically devastating scene for Tyrion in the book. I'm looking at the show and the book as two different beasts - sometimes the actors bring new things to a character (Oberyn, Tyrion), but the lack of inner monologue also diminishes them (Tyrion, who also looks better in the show compared to his book description).
posted by ersatz at 6:12 AM on June 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


I'm not sure how they can achieve the same result using Shae, especially with self-defense. He can, and I'm sure does, feel remorse and sorrow for her death, but it'd be really hard to create that degree of self-loathing, that "I destroy everything I touch and everything I love" from her death alone.

I think from the showrunner's perspective the fact that he kills his dad, even a guy as loathsome as Tywin Lannister, is enough to make him be eternally tortured. We are talking about a society that ranks kinslayer at the top of taboos.
posted by norm at 6:39 AM on June 18, 2014


Corb, I see your point that Tyrion being more or less "reliably good" is at odds with what the books are about. That said, I think that the show - as a show - is making the right choice for itself by keeping Tyrion as such for now. As it would play on screen, it would be tonally jarring to have Tyrion's deviation from "lovable wiseguy" take the form of him straight-up murdering Shae, especially since Shae herself is significantly different than she had been in the book.

I'm not sure if this example will obscure or illuminate, but consider how the ending to Little Shop of Horrors is different between the stage musical and the (musical) movie - the stage musical has a blackly comic ending, but the movie goes in a different direction. The stage musical's ending works on stage, where the audience relates differently to the story, and where, as Ebert had pointed out, there is a curtain call at the end.

However, they had shot a version of that ending for the movie, and it tested *horribly*. It was so bleak that it took the audience out of the story. Not a complaint people had had about the original musical.

Test audiences aren't always right, but I think that they were right that time. What worked on stage failed onscreen.

Bringing it back to Tyrion, his future storyline on the TV show would play oddly if the audience kept thinking of him as a straight-up murderer of people who did not pose an immediate threat to him.
posted by Sticherbeast at 7:08 AM on June 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


What frustrates me is that they did set up Tysha in the show and then just left it off, leaving a much, much weaker sequence. In season 1, Tyrion tells the story in detail, in a beautiful performance by Dinklage that shows off layers of painful nostalgia, regret, guilt, self-justification, and entitlement. And Shae's response, tellingly, is "you should have known she was a whore."

It's not a question of "is this about Tysha or is this about Shae?" It's about both of them, and Tywin, and Jaime, and Cersei and Joffrey and Varys and everybody else. It's Tyrion destroying the family he served for his whole life despite all, because they finally (retroactively) took away that last thing he could give a damn about.

(And yeah, Shae's murder, I feel, is supposed to tamp down the fist-pumping and remind us that Tyrion isn't a reighteous revenge engine now, but just a wild animal snapping at whatever's near. The show almost got that right, but not quite, I feel.)
posted by Navelgazer at 7:10 AM on June 18, 2014 [5 favorites]


Tyrion isn't a reighteous revenge engine now, but just a wild animal snapping at whatever's near. The show almost got that right, but not quite, I feel.

Anecdata: Given that my wife, who hasn't read the books, was hoping that Tyrion's next stop would be to take care of Cersei, I don't think they did - I think for her, this was Tyrion out getting his revenge on the family that had wronged him so badly.
posted by nubs at 7:17 AM on June 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


The fact that Jaime and Tyrion leave each other on a "high" note, and that Jaime has not been clued in to Cersei's "infidelity," is also another major swing and a miss to me.

See also this piece in Vanity Fair. Some people think it is book snobbery, but whatevs.
posted by dhens at 8:57 AM on June 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


That’s the brilliance of this saga: the moral gray area. You can’t root for Ned, Robb, Catelyn, or Oberyn; they’re all dead. And you’re meant to lose your other candidates, Jaime, Tyrion, and Arya, to a darkness that overtakes them. That’s why so many book readers were eagerly awaiting this finale, and why it’s so disappointing that when it came down to it, Weiss and Benioff couldn’t pull that trigger.

Yeah, that kinda captures where I'm at with things - I don't hate the TV series, I get that it is different, but I can't help but feel like they've lost a bit too much in the translation at times and have this nagging disappointment that it's close, but not quite right in nailing down the big emotional moments.

That being said, I think there are also many examples of where the show has gotten things very right or improved on the books. Which just makes it harder when it comes close, but not quite.
posted by nubs at 1:14 PM on June 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


In the end I just think that 10 episodes a season are not enough.
posted by Golem XIV at 1:42 PM on June 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


10 episodes is fine, if they cut out a bit of padding. There's probably an hour they could have cut across the entire season.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:48 PM on June 18, 2014




Yeah, listen to the guy who turned a trilogy into seven books, each over a 1,000 pages each. That's totally the person to judge the number of episodes.

So far, HBO is sticking to seven seasons and that's a wise move. Stay focused and don't let shit creep over the limit.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:00 PM on June 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


I don't think HBO is sticking to 7 seasons. For one, the longer it goes the better it goes for their subscription base, as long as it remains this popular. For two, they're on record as being delighted by the idea of an 8th book in the series (ridiculous speculation since we're not getting book 6 for another year or two at earliest). For three, they already split the main plot lines of the third book into two seasons, so they're not squeezing this into 7 seasons unless they compress 3000 pages of FeastDance into one season. Although that is tempting considering how many of those 3000 pages are dead end plotlines that could get burned away quicker than Quentyn Martell in a dragon pit.
posted by norm at 2:23 PM on June 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


The writers say the fifth season is about books 4 and 5, which leaves them on target for seven seasons. Eight probably isn't out the question, but publicly they're still saying seven.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:53 PM on June 18, 2014


Far as I can tell, George R.R. Martin sure spends a hell of a lot of time talking to people about how the Game of Thrones he pretty much has no control over should be done differently because Reasons. He sounds a lot like one of the fans he keeps telling to stop complaining about how his books should be done differently because Reasons.

All I can hope for, for fans of the books (and I am, I guess, a fan of the first couple, but packed it in somewhere around the third), is that the whole situation has re-energized him and given him the impetus to get a move on with his own series.
posted by turbid dahlia at 3:39 PM on June 18, 2014


The writers say the fifth season is about books 4 and 5, which leaves them on target for seven seasons. Eight probably isn't out the question, but publicly they're still saying seven.

If this is true and they begin filming in a month or so, then book 6 MUST be completed (if not published) by July 2015, yeah? Before, actually, because they would need to adapt it, write the episodes & begin filming it by then.
posted by peep at 4:02 PM on June 18, 2014


I assume the TV team has had access to near final proofs, drafts, outlines, etc, since day one.
posted by The Whelk at 4:05 PM on June 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


If this is true and they begin filming in a month or so, then book 6 MUST be completed (if not published) by July 2015, yeah?

Nah, they have the general outline of how it ends and will proceed accordingly. There's zero reason for them to wait Martin and they've explicitly said they aren't going to. Which is a good thing, IMO, though it'll be interesting to see how the narrative flows without an blueprint in the form of a book.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:13 PM on June 18, 2014


George R. R. Martin also thinks there should be more than 10 a season.

Hm, he should consider working in a medium without the restraints of tv - maybe write a book?

Does anyone have opinions on his last two contributions in the anthologies he edited (Dangerous Women, and Rogues)? I have all the opinions.
posted by ersatz at 6:41 PM on June 18, 2014


Does anyone have opinions on his last two contributions in the anthologies he edited (Dangerous Women, and Rogues)? I have all the opinions.

Is Dangerous Women out yet? I met a woman last week who said she was copyediting it...
posted by Navelgazer at 7:06 PM on June 18, 2014


That's the one with The Princess and the Queen in it; it was released back in December.
posted by nubs at 7:23 PM on June 18, 2014


he should consider working in a medium without the restraints of tv

Amusingly, if I recall correctly, he was a TV writer previously and was frustrated by the limitations, so was thus excited not to have them when writing books.
posted by flaterik at 7:27 PM on June 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


Martin was a greatly respected author long before he wrote a single word for television. He won his first Hugo Award almost 40 years ago in 1975 for "A Song for Lya". "Sandkings" and "The Way of Cross and Dragon" won him two Hugo Awards in 1980. His novel Dying of the Light was nominated for a Best Novel Hugo and a BFA in 1978. His Fevre Dream was nominated for a World Fantasy Award in 1983. He's also won a Bram Stoker award, A World Fantasy Award, another Hugo, yet another Hugo, a bunch of awards I don't remember, and a Lifetime Achievement World Fantasy Award.

He did write for The Twilight Zone and Beauty and the Beast in the late 80s. But that's a small part of his 40 years career.
posted by Justinian at 8:33 PM on June 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


he was a TV writer previously and was frustrated by the limitations, so was thus excited not to have them when writing books.

Yep:
Question: When you were creating these books, did you ever think that you’d someday get to see them brought to life?

GEORGE R.R. MARTIN: No. In fact, when I began this series, I thought, “This could never be adapted for television or film.” I was simply writing a book. I started this in 1991, right in the middle of 10 years that I spent in Hollywood. I came back to it in ‘94, when my Hollywood involvement was on the wane. I’d been told, over and over again, during those periods when I was developing pilots and writing feature films, “You’re making everything too big and too expensive.” I’d always get, “George, this is a great script, but it would be three times our budget. You have to cut it down.” And then, I would go back and cut it down. But, I was tired of cutting things down. I was tired of taking out prose and some of the big sequences that I thought really made some of these projects special. I came from the world of prose, before I was ever involved in television or film. I had spent 15 years writing short stories and novels, so I was returning to my first love. I knew that, when writing a book, you’re not constrained by a budget. You’re not constrained by what you can do, in terms of the special effects technology. You’re not limited to any particular running time. You can have a massively long story, or you can have a story with all sorts of scenes, settings and battles, and a cast of characters in the hundreds or even thousands. That’s what I did. I said, “I’m just going to write the best book I can, and it’s probably only ever going to be a book, but that’s fine with me. I love books. And, hopefully, it will be a successful book.” So, all of this has come as a real thrill, but there’s a certain irony to it, at the same time, especially when you consider that, from 1990 to 1995, I was doing everything I could to create something that could be a television series. I wrote six pilots, none of which ever got picked up. When you stop trying, it then it falls in your lap.
And his tongue in cheek comment about adapting the Battle of the Blackwater for the show:

-- writing the first draft of my script for episode nine of season two of the HBO series GAME OF THRONES, "Blackwater," and damn, but this one is a bitch of an adaptation, the original author made the damn battle way too big and too expensive,
posted by nubs at 9:18 PM on June 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


he should consider working in a medium without the restraints of tv

>Amusingly, if I recall correctly, he was a TV writer previously and was frustrated by the limitations, so was thus excited not to have them when writing books.

Online jokes can be too deadpan ;)
posted by ersatz at 6:02 AM on June 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


From an interview with D&D:

As for Varys: Early in the season, when speaking with Tyrion, Varys claims to be concerned primarily with self preservation. At the end of the season, though, his actions prove otherwise. He throws away the entire life he’s built for himself in King’s Landing to save Tyrion’s life. Now what? … “Now what?” will become eminently clear in season 5.

Urk? Do they not understand Varys? Or are they just being somewhat obtuse here for the audience? Because I have to think that it's been very clear to the TV audience for quite a while that Varys has some big plans moving, and that getting away from KL at that moment is self-preservation.
posted by nubs at 10:00 AM on June 19, 2014 [3 favorites]


tbh I assume they have not read the books.
posted by elizardbits at 10:08 AM on June 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


What frustrates me is that they did set up Tysha in the show and then just left it off, leaving a much, much weaker sequence.

What I am hoping for, possibly in blind faith, is that Tysha will reappear in both the show and the books, and the showrunners know that and are trying to set things up for maximum drama. Thus, the first time Tyrion finds out about Tysha not being a whore is from Tysha directly, for even more of a punch.

I hope, anyway. A lot.
posted by corb at 10:11 AM on June 19, 2014 [3 favorites]


My theory is the opposite: Tysha doesn't show up again in either the show or the books.

Who Will Win?
posted by Justinian at 10:04 PM on June 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


Tysha doesn't show up again in either the show or the books.

My guess is the vast majority of people watching the show don't even remember that story. It was multiple seasons ago, and was only mentioned once.
posted by empath at 10:31 PM on June 19, 2014




I keep wanting to read the title of this thread as "Game of Thrones: The Children's Books Included" and I wonder what a kiddie lit version of GoT would look like.
posted by Rock Steady at 3:19 AM on June 20, 2014 [5 favorites]


I had that same thought, Rock Steady. I kept imagining the Tiffany Aching series, but without plot resolution.
posted by ocherdraco at 5:21 AM on June 20, 2014 [1 favorite]


My guess is the vast majority of people watching the show don't even remember that story. It was multiple seasons ago, and was only mentioned once.

QFT. We need to let Tysha go, that line isn't going anywhere folks. Which also possibly means that the conspiracy theories surrounding Tysha also become moot.
posted by like_neon at 6:24 AM on June 20, 2014 [1 favorite]


It's sort of disappointing, but also freeing, to realize that because of the way they've structured the show that certain storylines are either clearly over or have no payoff.
posted by codacorolla at 6:40 AM on June 20, 2014 [2 favorites]


The thing is, I'm not actually sure that's the case. The showrunners know the end - like, how it wraps up for each of the major characters. But I'm not confident they know the points along the way, partially because I'm not sure even GRRM knows exactly what he plans to do with each character along the way.

The more real question to ask is whether the show will influence the books in this regard - Tysha being a nonentity convincing GRRM to alter his story.

...though maybe I just don't want to have Tyrion asking where whores go for the next two books.
posted by corb at 6:43 AM on June 20, 2014 [1 favorite]


TYSHA WAS RAMSAY IN DISGUISE

WAKE UP SHEEPLE
posted by Sticherbeast at 7:06 AM on June 20, 2014 [5 favorites]


It's sort of disappointing, but also freeing, to realize that because of the way they've structured the show that certain storylines are either clearly over or have no payoff.

Standard operating procedure for serialized fiction since Dickens.
posted by empath at 7:19 AM on June 20, 2014


It's sort of disappointing, but also freeing, to realize that because of the way they've structured the show that certain storylines are either clearly over or have no payoff.

What is disappointing to me about it is that some of the payoffs to certain storylines relate to storylines still in the show (Tysha and Tyrion's final actions in KL being the example foremost in my mind).
posted by nubs at 7:37 AM on June 20, 2014


...though maybe I just don't want to have Tyrion asking where whores go for the next two books.

Speaking of: since it turned out Tysha was not a whore, why does Tyrion keep repeating that when he knows the truth?
posted by ersatz at 8:53 AM on June 20, 2014


I think that, like Corb mentioned, Varys will replace Illyrios or at least have an exposition conversation with him at the start of next season, before returning to west arrows in episode 8 to gak uncle lannister.

So, I have a question - what do you all predict will happen in episodes 9 and 10 next season?
posted by rebent at 9:40 AM on June 20, 2014


Tysha being alive may well invalidate Sansa Stark's Marriage to Tyrion Lannister, depending on the laws of bigamy, marriage acceptance, and who has the power and money to make it matter or not.
posted by tilde at 9:42 AM on June 20, 2014 [2 favorites]


Speaking of: since it turned out Tysha was not a whore, why does Tyrion keep repeating that when he knows the truth?

Because his dad said Tysha went "wherever whores go" right before Tyrion shot him.
posted by showbiz_liz at 11:44 AM on June 20, 2014


Tysha being alive may well invalidate Sansa Stark's Marriage to Tyrion Lannister

The marriage was never consummated -- that's plenty sufficient to invalidate the marriage, isn't it?
posted by meese at 12:10 PM on June 20, 2014


Man, I have to say - sometimes I kind of envy the Show-only thread their ideas. Golem Tywin! That would have been epic.
posted by corb at 12:46 PM on June 20, 2014 [3 favorites]


GOLEMS EVERYWHERE - QUEEN CERSEI AND HER UNDEAD FRANKENSTEIN ARMY.
posted by The Whelk at 1:26 PM on June 20, 2014 [2 favorites]




I don't expect Tysha will come up at all again in the show. They made that pointless when they utterly destroyed Shae as a character.

harriet vane: "Book-Shae was opaque to me, so I found it hard to care about her impact on Tyrion..."

This made a lot of sense to me. Book-Shae is actually an eminently sensible creature. She is a prostitute - a prostitute in time of war, no less, who we first meet on the outskirts of the battlefield. Established prostitutes in a brothel have some security; war camp prostitutes live in severe danger, and live in that danger constantly. Book-Shae is eminently intelligent. She knows that the best way to preserve herself is to be loving and affectionate and sexually gratifying to someone powerful who appreciates it. Book-Tyrion is an ugly man, a smart man but one who is intelligent enough to lie to himself when it suits him, which gives him this massive Shae-shaped blind spot. And since she is intelligent and good at what she does, she allows him to continue to believe that she loves him deeply, even as there are signs that she doesn't really, most of all her constant demands for jewels and clothes - again, she's scheming for safety and security.

The Tysha story is Tyrion's deepest pain and shame, the realization that no woman could ever truly love him, so all he can hope for is the lie he pretends to believe by telling himself that Book-Shae loves him when she doesn't and can't. After all - this is essential, I think - a prostitute who falls in love with powerful clients is making a huge mistake and compromising her security. Powerful clients do not have a good track record with keeping their kept women safe. So Book-Shae spends a lot of time in limbo in King's Landing, and while we don't see it I'm sure she's worried for her safety and thinking about a way out. She asks for jewels a lot at this time, after all - fungible property useful for escaping quickly.

So when Book-Shae betrays Tyrion, it is painful for him because he knows he has nobody but himself to blame; he knows the lie was a lie he told himself all along, that he allowed himself to believe because he wanted to be loved.

But Show-Shae makes no damned sense. She's a prostitute who promptly falls deeply in love with her powerful client - huge mistake, and one she must have learned about before: think about safety first, not about feelings. Not only that, but she falls in love with her client in such a way that she becomes insanely jealous and bitter that he's taken an obviously-not-romantic wife. I feel like bitter jealousy is not only ridiculous for someone who's worked as a prostitute - since prostitutes often have first-hand experience of jealous lovers, and have seen how stupid it can be - but probably a job liability - since harboring those kinds of feelings can make you forget your own safety. Which, ultimately, Show-Shae apparently does, in spectacular fashion. She forgets her own safety so much that she believes that Tyrion has fallen in love with a young girl before she's willing to believe he wants her protected.

So it makes no sense whatsoever that Show-Shae - jealous, irrational, not-concerned-about-her-safety, impetuous Show-Shae - ends up in Tywin's bed calling him "my lion." Whereas it makes perfect sense with Book-Shae. She's playing the game as well as she can, and doing a pretty darned good job as far as the game is concerned, considering the rules changed midway through.

It's just really dumb, the way they did the show. I've decided that this must be down to Martin's belief that Peter Dinklage is much more handsome than Book-Tyrion. I imagine somebody who had not read the books, or read them badly, started out writing Show-Shae the way she is, and Martin decided to go with it because it maybe made more sense for Shae to actually fall in love with Tyrion if he looked like Peter Dinklage. Which is also disappointing, frankly, but at least it's sort of understandable.
posted by koeselitz at 10:59 PM on June 20, 2014 [7 favorites]


That's a great comment, koeselitz, and I agree with all of it except for

because it maybe made more sense for Shae to actually fall in love with Tyrion if he looked like Peter Dinklage

If GRRM really thinks along those lines, then he actually does have some of the problems with women that he's been accused of having. Tyrion is, after all, his own favorite character. Why should a woman in the story not fall for him too?

I'm not really talking about Shae here--like you, I thought Book-Shae made perfect sense as an intelligent prostitute for whom self-preservation was a primary motivating factor. Show-Shae made a lot less sense, moving as she did from True Love to I-want-you-falsely-convicted-for-a-capital-crime. I think both Book-Shae and Show-Shae were developed as intelligent characters, and Show-Shae's intelligence, combined as it was with her love for Tyrion, was the main characteristic betrayed in the trial scene and the show finale. For Show-Shae, self-preservation actually hadn't ever before been a primary motivation (otherwise she would have taken Tyrion's bribe and left for Essos).

But--ooops--I hadn't meant to talk about Shae, but about whether Tyrion in the book or the show can be loved genuinely by a woman. To say he can't is misogynistic--because clearly he is as worthy of love as anyone else in the story, so if no woman in the GoT universe can love him, it would have to be because they are all shallow or greedy or whatever.

Tysha's really the key to that question, from the story as we have it so far. And GRRM hasn't answered it. We know Tysha wasn't a whore, but we don't know if she really loved Tyrion or if she was after his money (Jaime's and Tywin's justification for their deceiving Tyrion and abusing Tysha).
posted by torticat at 2:48 AM on June 21, 2014 [4 favorites]


I imagine somebody who had not read the books, or read them badly, started out writing Show-Shae the way she is, and Martin decided to go with it because it maybe made more sense for Shae to actually fall in love with Tyrion if he looked like Peter Dinklage.

I'm not sure Martin really has that much control over the show. IIRC, whenever Martin was asked in interviews what the show got wrong, he used to point to Shae but say that it's D&D's show and they can make whatever changes they want.
posted by painquale at 3:28 AM on June 21, 2014 [3 favorites]


I am rewatching "The Wire," and Omar reminds me of Bronn.

It's all in the game.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:21 PM on June 21, 2014


Ser Omar of House Little. Sigil: A crossbow atop a stack of coins on a red field. Words: If you come at the king, you best not miss.
posted by Rock Steady at 7:21 AM on April 18
posted by mlis at 9:19 PM on June 21, 2014 [3 favorites]


whether Tyrion in the book or the show can be loved genuinely by a woman. To say he can't is misogynistic--because clearly he is as worthy of love as anyone else in the story, so if no woman in the GoT universe can love him, it would have to be because they are all shallow or greedy or whatever.

Tysha's really the key to that question, from the story as we have it so far. And GRRM hasn't answered it.


I think GRRM attempts to give the impression that if Tyrion and Sansa were to stay married for the long haul, they would grow to love each other. I recently reread the short portion of SoS where they are married, and his respect for her is touching. (There are some creepy thoughts thrown in there, but given that it's the Lannister family, that's to be expected.) Sansa is reluctant for good reason, but given enough time that might change. She grew up with stories of knights and damsels, but she also grew up listening to Cat say how her marriage to Ned was arranged but amazing things happened when she let herself love him.

Tyrion's bitterness is one of the qualities that might make him unloveable; it's hard to be in a relationship with someone who is universally resentful. Marriage to Sansa might finally give him the validation he needs to overcome that bitterness. He would be warden of the North, with a beautiful, powerful wife. If Sansa would show him affection, he would know that it was genuine, because he is already attuned to when she is faking enthusiasm.
posted by tofu_crouton at 9:10 AM on June 22, 2014 [2 favorites]


It would also be really interesting, in that Sansa's dreams have always been of handsome princes. Even Willas' mild disfigurement gave her pause. If she were capable of seeing past the face to Tyrion's cunning and loyalty, it could, perhaps, be a marriage that would last - a marriage of friends, at least, if not excited lovers.
posted by corb at 9:47 AM on June 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


But--ooops--I hadn't meant to talk about Shae, but about whether Tyrion in the book or the show can be loved genuinely by a woman. To say he can't is misogynistic--because clearly he is as worthy of love as anyone else in the story, so if no woman in the GoT universe can love him, it would have to be because they are all shallow or greedy or whatever.

Oh, I had a totally different reading of this. I thought of it as a subverting of the "nerdy guy gets the hot-girl-reward" trope. I mean, Tyrion is fairly universally loathed in the world of the books. Pretty much his only friend is Bronn, who is also under his employ. It's hard to remember that because the character's inner monologue is so charming (and Peter Dinklage is so handsome and charming), but he is generally reviled and especially seen as extremely ugly. It's not just that he's a dwarf, but he's also got some other deformities in a world where those are seen as reasons to be murdered as a baby. He's also known for drinking, whoring, and cynical, cutting humor.

So it would be a little weird if this beautiful, young, (seemingly) care-free and fun-loving woman were to just happen to fall in love with him. I actually think it's a little sexist to say that the only reason Shae wouldn't fall in love with him is because women are really shallow - I mean, women are allowed to have preferences based on appearances.
posted by lunasol at 12:10 PM on June 22, 2014 [2 favorites]


...whether Tyrion in the book or the show can be loved genuinely by a woman

I CAN GENUINELY LOVE TYRION. PLS TRANSPORT ME TO THE GOT UNIVERSE SO I CAN DO THIS.

seriously, Peter Dinklage is teh sexy and has totally put dwarves in general on my "would" list
posted by Jacqueline at 5:34 PM on June 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


torticat: "We know Tysha wasn't a whore, but we don't know if she really loved Tyrion or if she was after his money (Jaime's and Tywin's justification for their deceiving Tyrion and abusing Tysha)."

We don't? But if we don't know that, Book-Jaime's confession to Tyrion is pretty much meaningless, isn't it? If Jaime really thought she was only after his money. I don't think he ever would have confessed to his brother. I guess I'll have to reread the passage when I get a chance.

Personally I desperately hope Tysha does not reappear, either in the books or in the show, because there's no good reason for her to come back and because it would only be bad for the story. Unless maybe she kills Tyrion. Which would be her right, I think. Any kind of reconciliation - literally any kind, even a tiny bit - would be morally execrable. And I really don't want to find out that she still loves him after he and his family gang-raped her, although I hope GRRM would be above that.
posted by koeselitz at 8:41 PM on June 22, 2014


Stolen from a FB friend:

Benjen, Syrio, Jaqen, Daario, Coldhands, Euron, and the Kindly Man walk into a bar.

He says, "I'd like a drink, please."
posted by Jacqueline at 5:05 PM on June 23, 2014 [16 favorites]


I really wish they could have arranged for a photo or two of her sitting on the thing.
posted by Rock Steady at 7:11 AM on June 24, 2014 [1 favorite]


I really wish they could have arranged for a photo or two of her sitting on the thing.

Probably afraid that it would cut her; wouldn't want her to be revealed as unworthy at this point.


Any kind of reconciliation - literally any kind, even a tiny bit - would be morally execrable. And I really don't want to find out that she still loves him after he and his family gang-raped her


OK, I want to put this out there because I don't remember - and I'm not starting my re-read for a bit. But I described who Tysha was and what happened to my wife (at least, I got to the part about the barracks of guardsmen; I was trying to figure out how to approach Tyrion's participation in a somewhat tactful way when she share her thoughts) and her response was "well, I'm sure she didn't survive that."

Now, I don't recall clearly - frankly, the whole thing is so distasteful to me I kinda have blotted most of that scene/description from my head - but if I remember right, Tyrion goes last, with a gold coin: "And she had so many coins by that time, they were slipping from her fingers."

Is it possible Tysha died during that episode? Because I don't think that Tywin/Tyrion stuck around for any of the clean-up...

It just ratchets up the horror in my head now around this.
posted by nubs at 9:46 AM on June 24, 2014 [2 favorites]


Hey so since some people thought my comment about Tyrion was kinda icky:

1) My bad. It was indeed kinda icky in the way that I phrased it. My only excuse is that I was really drunk when I wrote it. I'm sorry. :(

2) What I meant was, prior to Game of Thrones, I may have written off dwarves as being "sexy" because of my own stupid prejudice about height and mainstream beauty standards, but Peter Dinklage has totally blown that prejudice out of the water and I am now a better, more open-minded person because of him.
posted by Jacqueline at 1:00 AM on June 25, 2014 [2 favorites]


Oh man, I can't believe that this is the first time I ever considered the internal damage something like that would do.
posted by corb at 3:35 AM on June 25, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm sorry for bringing it here. But it's now one of those things pinging around my head and I can't get rid of it, and I shouldn't be sharing it.
posted by nubs at 8:26 AM on June 25, 2014


Michelle Fairly talks about 24 and LSH (warning - link contains spoilers for current season of 24).

The relevant LSH bits:

You couldn’t have missed the online furor over the lack of Lady Stoneheart in the Thrones finale. Were you surprised by that attention?

I actually haven’t seen any of that. I don’t look that stuff up. I avoid it like the plague. I was totally unaware.

There was a lot of online conversation. I heard third-hand that you were basically told that it’s not likely to ever happen. Is that accurate?

Yeah, the character’s dead. She’s dead.

Do you have a preference at all—do you think Catelyn’s arc should end where it ended, or would you be into the resurrection idea?

You respect the writers’ decision. I knew the arc, and that was it. They can’t stick to the books 100 percent. It’s impossible—they only have 10 hours per season. They have got to keep it dramatic and exciting, and extraneous stuff along the way gets lost in order to maintain the quality of brilliant show.
posted by nubs at 11:35 AM on June 25, 2014


wow, so assuming that that's the "official" confirmation, I wonder what's going to happen to B+P?

Killed in the eyry? Killed by Berric DonDarrian?
posted by rebent at 12:11 PM on June 25, 2014


It troubles me a little, because Brienne and her oaths to Cat and the difficulty she experiences with keeping them is such a fine parallel to Jaime's history and backstory.

But perhaps she keeps hearing rumours about Sansa and Arya and just keeps wandering about until taken prisoner by the BWB and forced to lure Jaime into a trap? It's not as nice a package, for me.
posted by nubs at 12:22 PM on June 25, 2014


I hope this is misinformation. That said, if we don't see a all next season we can assume that we're not going to, and that will be unfortunate.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 12:28 PM on June 25, 2014 [2 favorites]


A few thoughts on the whole LSH saga: if MF confirms it anywhere, it'll blow up the internet, and she's hardly any under any particular obligation to tell the truth to a celebrity magazine, so she could just lying her ass off. Alternately, she could technically be telling the truth if HBO have a contract with her for another season or two that they haven't yet exercised and D&D have quietly told her to keep her schedule open.

Now for a slight bit of straw clutching… she could easily be recast — with enough prosthetics, anyone of the right height and build could act the role. I'm not saying they would do this, and it would certainly be less than ideal, but it's certainly a possibility. You could end up with this combined with a bit of vocal dubbing as her voice would have to be modified anyway. If they were to go this way, the role may even have nothing to do with her at all — so as far as she knows, what she's saying may be true! That would make for one hell of a surprise for both unsullied and book readers alike. As far as I know, the only obvious thing that leaks out from production is casting and locations. If they don't cast Michelle Fairley, they can slip someone unknown or close to it in as her and for all anyone reading tea leaves knows they could be a background extra.

So yeah, straw clutching, but fairly plausible… right? I just don't think she's been written out of the show. It's too big a change, and more importantly just far too good a part of the story to replace with 'Brienne and Pod bump into so and so'.
posted by jaffacakerhubarb at 12:30 PM on June 25, 2014 [1 favorite]


Yeah, the character’s dead. She’s dead.

Well, Catelyn is dead. Lady Stoneheart could conceivable be thought of as a new character - one with Cat's better qualities removed, and replaced by hate. And heck, they recast Dondarrion - the only other character who gets brought back by the fire god.

If LSH does become part of the show, it will be a very small part - I mean, we don't see much of her (at least so far). So I could see them recasting, because Michelle might have bigger and better things to do than a bit part on GOT; but it would kinda suck. If we're going to have LSH, I wanted the moment when we see Cat's eyes open.
posted by nubs at 12:51 PM on June 25, 2014 [1 favorite]


Hah, yeah. The phrasing doesn´t preclude much, just like you-know-whose death at the end of ADWD. The question is not if someone's dead, but if they're coming back. Even the Hound is described as dead in the books in the same chapter he's (believed to be) seen again.
posted by ersatz at 4:09 AM on June 26, 2014


In what chapter of what book is the Hound "seen" again?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:24 AM on June 26, 2014


AFFC chapter 31 Brienne visits the Quiet Isle, and notices a novice who is digging graves; his size, the warhorse in the stables, and the story shared by the Elder Brother (of finding the Hound, and taking pity on him and that the Hound is "at rest" along with his own personal history of being a knight, gravely wounded in battle, who washed up on the shores of the Isle to be effectively born again) has a lot of readers convinced that the Hound is the gravedigger.
posted by nubs at 7:53 AM on June 26, 2014


brandon, it is suspected that the hound is the grave digger on the quiet island, which Brienne and Pod visit in the hmmmmmmmmm either the stony sept or the riverlands.
posted by rebent at 7:54 AM on June 26, 2014 [1 favorite]




ersatz: “Even the Hound is described as dead in the books in the same chapter he's (believed to be) seen again.”

Brandon Blatcher: “In what chapter of what book is the Hound "seen" again?”

rebent: “brandon, it is suspected that the hound is the grave digger on the quiet island, which Brienne and Pod visit in the hmmmmmmmmm either the stony sept or the riverlands.”

The "novice gravedigger" theory appears to be a theory some people have. I think that's kind of a stretch, but since we didn't actually see Sandor Clegane die, we still have no real idea. With these books, not seeing someone die sometimes means something.

ersatz, however, is misremembering, I think. The point of the Hound being "(believed to be) seen again" is that it turns out that Rorge, the criminal locked in a wagon during Arya's covert march north, has somehow acquired Sandor Clegane's famous hound-looking helmet, and is sacking, raping, and pillaging all over the damned place and pretending to be the Hound, until Brienne shows up and kills him. That was sort of a funny misdirect – it seemed pretty obvious right away that Sandor Clegane wouldn't be doing such things, although with all this coming-back-to-life stuff who knows.
posted by koeselitz at 9:32 AM on July 1, 2014


I was talking about the gravedigger, a man bigger than Brienne (hm) with a limp (hmm) and a warhorse in the stables (hmmm). Then the Elder Brother iirc, who tells Brienne the Hound is dead, proceeds to tell them after a few pages how he (the Elder Brother) died when he left his previous life i.e. since he doesn't use 'die' literally, saying that Clegane is dead shouldn't be taken at face value.
posted by ersatz at 12:52 PM on July 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


And the warhorse in the stables is not just any warhorse, but Stranger - the Hound's notoriously bad tempered steed.
posted by nubs at 2:37 PM on July 1, 2014


So I finally watched this episode yesterday. Same complaints as above; no Tysha, privy scene seemed rushed, Tyrion's characterization during Shae's murder was off.

But the absolute total standout in the entire episode was Arya just staring at the Hound. Mark my words, Maisie is going to be one of the greatest actors of her generation. She said every single thing that needed to be said in that scene with her eyes, and by never ever looking back when she walks away.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:20 AM on July 2, 2014 [5 favorites]


Seen on the street
posted by The Whelk at 1:24 PM on July 2, 2014 [4 favorites]


It's a giant reference to Trading Places (1983)
There's an idea floating around that Varys and Illyrio are playing a realmwide game of cyvasse. Varys backs Aegon, Illyrio supports Dany, and they compete to get their respective Targ on the throne. There are a lot of delightful implications of this, not the least of which that it would make the entire game of thrones into a bloody, convoluted, emotionally taxing, and deathly serious reference to an 80's comedy with Eddie Murphy and Dan Akroyd.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:13 PM on July 6, 2014 [3 favorites]


Guys, can someone help me out? My dude's favourite character is The Hound and just now while discussing the show he decided he wanted to be spoiled for whether he really has perished or not.

I've not read the books and i'm not keen on running into other unrelated spoilers when trying to google it, so if it's possible/known, could someone memail a heads up on whether this is likely the last we'll see of the excellent Rory McCann?
posted by pseudonymph at 2:33 AM on July 27, 2014


Since this is the Books Included thread I'll just post here:

We actually don't know. At the end of the third book (from the books wiki) "Arya refused to grant him the mercy of a quick death. She abandoned Sandor to die under a tree by the Trident, and his fate becomes uncertain after this point."

There is a theory about how he might have survived, which is supported by some stuff in the later books and which I personally find fairly convincing, but so far we don't know for sure. It's actually one of the big unanswered questions in the books right now.
posted by showbiz_liz at 4:05 AM on July 27, 2014 [2 favorites]


(Also- my dad made the exact same request re his personal fave Dany!)
posted by showbiz_liz at 4:06 AM on July 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


My wife made the same request about Tyrion as his situation began to fall apart this year. It's the only spoiler she's ever insisted I share.

Here's a good discussion of The Gravedigger Theory. Note that if true in the books, it might not be in the show. Given that Brienne and the Hound have now met and fought in the show, if Sandor is still part of the story to come, I suspect that the hints will have to come via a different character.
posted by nubs at 6:53 AM on July 27, 2014 [2 favorites]


Heh! Amazing how people's personal spoiler policies can change once it's their golden child on the chopping block.

(I would run for the nearest spoiling resource if I thought something was going to happen to my three favourites. I won't name them here because I prefer to live in blissful 'NO-ONE WILL EVER HURT THEM NOT EVER NUH UH' ignorance as long as is feasible.)

But, thank you, guys. That sounds pretty intriguing, so hopefully something comes of these possibilities.
posted by pseudonymph at 9:03 AM on July 27, 2014 [1 favorite]






A Friendly Word of Advice to Game of Thrones Readers

...in a series known for many a cruel twist, this may be the cruelest one Martin has yet executed: We’re about to be spoiled.

Moreover, we deserve it. Let’s face it: We’ve sorta been dicks since the TV show started.

posted by nubs at 2:06 PM on April 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


« Older Game of Thrones: The Children...   |  Last Week Tonight with John Ol... Newer »

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