Game of Thrones: The Gift   Books Included 
May 24, 2015 7:01 PM - Season 5, Episode 7 - Subscribe

Jon prepares for conflict. Sansa tries to talk to Theon. Brienne waits for a sign. Stannis remains stubborn. Jaime tries to reconnect with family.
posted by zarq (163 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
UGH THEON YOU ARE THE FUCKING WORST

i hope lady rises from the dead and eats your stupid face
posted by poffin boffin at 7:42 PM on May 24, 2015 [12 favorites]


also MY GOD but cersei's impotent rage was magnificent, so satisfying, so glorious.
posted by poffin boffin at 7:52 PM on May 24, 2015 [11 favorites]


I expect this episode will win the Most Gratuitous T&A Award for the season.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:57 PM on May 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


We did get the shot of Brienne, but I don't like the place they're putting Sansa in here--it seems to be moving in the direction that many of those who reacted strongly to last week's episode feared. I did enjoy her getting in some digs at Ramsay, even if the friends-in-the-north thing worked out in the way the story has trained us to expect.

At first I thought--given his lack of recent appearances--that they were eliminating the subplot where Kevan restores some semblance of order, but checking the wiki, I realize now that that happens after Cersei's imprisoned. Still, with only three episodes left, I wonder if they're going to (a) incorporate that and (b) cram in Varys assassinating him. It would be a pretty quick turnaround.

It has been a long time since I read AFfC but I remember the High Sparrow storyline as being mostly about Cersei's unraveling. Here, while that element is present (and her walk of shame is foreshadowed by the septon's comment), it seems to be more about the unraveling of noble power. Curious to see where they take us with that.

Also, maybe I missed something, but the whole Bronn/Sand Snake poison + antidote subplot and scene seemed completely pointless.
posted by Kosh at 8:04 PM on May 24, 2015 [4 favorites]


Balon lives!
posted by drezdn at 8:09 PM on May 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


i first assumed the poison antidote was a lie/trick, and then later assumed it was the sort that you have to keep taking forever or something, idk. it feels like they're setting up a "romance" between the two of them in their usual godawful hamfisted way.

also it's really insulting how obviously they keep having the camera glance over at whatshisname, the new kid on the wall. we get it, okay. the whole point of foreshadowing is the shadowy bit, not the LOOK OVER HERE YOU WITLESS RUBES bit.
posted by poffin boffin at 8:12 PM on May 24, 2015 [5 favorites]


like seriously i keep expecting a crack of thunder and some bats and toccata & fugue in d minor on a fucking hand cranked ice organ.
posted by poffin boffin at 8:15 PM on May 24, 2015 [14 favorites]


If it means they're finally building up to doing something with the "sand snakes" subplot, I'm okay with it. So far they've been pretty lame, but maybe their presence will make sense in the future.
posted by uosuaq at 8:16 PM on May 24, 2015


So it looks like it might be conversations with Myrcella that get Jaime to the point where he refuses Cercei's pleas for help. That could be an interesting change if we get to see more of that interaction. Of course, if he's a prisoner in Dorne, they may not need him to refuse at all.
posted by eruonna at 8:22 PM on May 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


the new kid on the wall

Marky Mark and the Frozen Bunch?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:24 PM on May 24, 2015 [7 favorites]


Marky Mark and the Frozen Bunch?

The Wight Stuff?
posted by gatorae at 8:28 PM on May 24, 2015 [16 favorites]


also WOW YOU RED BITCH KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF SHIREEn
posted by poffin boffin at 8:31 PM on May 24, 2015 [9 favorites]


I'm guessing Ser Davos will save Shireen....
posted by zarq at 8:46 PM on May 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


I don't like the place they're putting Sansa in here--it seems to be moving in the direction that many of those who reacted strongly to last week's episode feared. I did enjoy her getting in some digs at Ramsay,

Yep; it's become a reprise of Sansa and Joffrey (she got the occasional dig in with Joff too), this time with sexual abuse! Huzzah!

Really, really like what they've done with the High Sparrow - very effective role, great lines, great presence. Watching him get the best of both Cersei and the Queen of Thorns was great. He's starting to be the focal point of a general revolution in Westeros, which they are making very explicit here in the show.

Still not sure what the point of the T&A with Bronn scene was, outside of apparently setting up a romance. But if they do something with the Dorne storyline and the sandsnakes, that would be nice.

Was really hoping Sam was going to send Gilly away, to go to Horn Hill and live with his family. Very much appreciated the nods to Egg in the scenes with Aemon.

And they are going there with Shireen, which I guess makes sense because otherwise there is no point in Melisandre being there. Maybe Gendry will show up with his rowboat and Davos can smuggle her out too.
posted by nubs at 8:50 PM on May 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


I actually sort of liked Theon betraying Sansa this week, because I'm hoping it will drive Sansa to do something self-reliant (like pocketing that weapon-y thing!) so that if anything SHE is the one who saves THEON, rather than the other way around. That would be an excellent twist that would make far more sense on the show given that Sansa has vastly more (potential) agency than Jeyne Poole ever did in the books.
posted by gatorae at 8:57 PM on May 24, 2015 [9 favorites]


"Egg, I dreamed I was old"

.
posted by lalochezia at 8:57 PM on May 24, 2015 [18 favorites]


tbh i want to see sansa slit both their throats and throw in roose's for good measure.
posted by poffin boffin at 9:00 PM on May 24, 2015 [8 favorites]


To be fair, I wouldn't have bought Theon turning on Ramsay so quickly, and Sansa did grab whatever-that-was, so maybe there's hope.
posted by nubs at 9:06 PM on May 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


I actually sort of liked Theon betraying Sansa this week, because I'm hoping it will drive Sansa to do something self-reliant (like pocketing that weapon-y thing!)

A corkscrew!
posted by Navelgazer at 9:23 PM on May 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


Ok, so a question as I get ready to call it a night:

It's rather strongly implied that Littlefinger's gift to Olenna is Lancel and his story; but Lancel is already in the Faith Militant, and serving the High Sparrow...so how is he Littlefinger's "gift" to give and wouldn't the Sparrow know all this already?
posted by nubs at 9:26 PM on May 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


The other option I've heard is that Littlefinger's "gift" is keeping Olyvar from testifying at trial.
posted by Navelgazer at 9:28 PM on May 24, 2015 [3 favorites]


That would make more sense, thanks.
posted by nubs at 9:32 PM on May 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


UGH THEON YOU ARE THE FUCKING WORST

People are always like "Man, Theon had a lot of horrendus shit happen to him because of his conflicting loyalties/ bad decisions, it seems excessive, he's pretty much revenged yeah?" and my response is "NOPE, MORE."
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:38 PM on May 24, 2015 [3 favorites]


or maybe littlefingers gift is gendry

hey everybods look at what a real son of bobby b looks liek

oh cerse, darling, time for a little strollz
posted by lalochezia at 9:47 PM on May 24, 2015 [10 favorites]


More like Theon continues a history of bad decision making whether he has his cock or not.

And Littlefinger better make with his plan because he's been holding the idiot ball for a little too long for my taste.
posted by miss-lapin at 9:49 PM on May 24, 2015 [4 favorites]


"If you say in the first chapter that there is a man floating around in a rowboat, in the second or third chapter it absolutely must reach shore. If it's not going to be relevant, it shouldn't be floating there."
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:51 PM on May 24, 2015 [7 favorites]


Theon killed kids. In the books, the implication is that Theon killed his own kids. What has happened to him shouldn't happen to anyone, but just because he has our sympathies doesn't mean he's not kind of an awful dude.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 9:51 PM on May 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


Kind of? Theon's an awful dude and he KNOWS he is an awful dude. The look on his face when the bodies of the two dead children is revealed, you can see he knows. He knows this is something he can't back from, something terrible he has done. But being tortured doesn't make someone go from being an awful person to being a good one. Theon's character hasn't really changed. He's never been a courageous guy and despite growing up with Ned as a father figure he has a crappy moral compass (remember how he treated Osha) so it's no surprise now his will has been broken he's still not a good guy. This is part of what attracted me to GoT to begin with, the rejection of traditional tropes like a villainous character gets redeemed by unspeakable suffering.

Incidentally no one here has mentioned that Ghost suddenly bounded back into the picture, literally. How long has it been since we've seen Ghost? Seems like a long time.
posted by miss-lapin at 10:05 PM on May 24, 2015 [6 favorites]


welp now that it is confirmed Sansa has become Jeyne Poole 2.0 this show has reached 10 out of 10 flipped tables on the "This is BULLSHIT" scale.

The only good thing about this stupid episode are the dreams I'm gonna have tonight of Tyrion helping Dany fix everything and then the two of them flying free on dragons all the way to Westeros
posted by schroedinger at 10:15 PM on May 24, 2015 [5 favorites]


schroedinger: I really don't read this episode's Sansa moments as anything other than her having to take matters into her own hands and making quick decisions about how to do so.

As for Ghost, I was mostly shocked that Jon would fail to bring him along on a very dangerous mission to a place that would, frankly, probably respect Jon a lot more for having a vicious direwolf familiar.
posted by Navelgazer at 10:20 PM on May 24, 2015 [4 favorites]


Y'all I can barely hear any of the Winterfell dialogue over the rushing howl of "KILL HIM KILL RAMSAY KILL HIM WITH FIRE AND OWIES" that fills my head like the sound of the ocean fills a seashell.
posted by KathrynT at 11:15 PM on May 24, 2015 [8 favorites]


meanwhile where the fuck is nymeria

actually now i want a spinoff The Adventures of Drogon and Nym where they nyoom about having adventures and devouring anyone in their path
posted by poffin boffin at 11:43 PM on May 24, 2015 [11 favorites]


I expect this episode will win the Most Gratuitous T&A Award for the season.

It seems pretty clear now that the GoT actress who negotiated out of doing any more nude scenes was Emilia Clarke. And good for her. But it appears they now have to outsource to Dorne to meet HBO's quota.

Anyway can I just say HOW WONDERFUL it is that Tyrion is already with Dany? None of that crappy thousand page boat ride followed by another different boatride while wondering where whores go?

Say what you will about the show at least it's trying to get to the fucking point. And my heart is filled with joy. We are going to see an ending to the story! An ending! Which won't involve 27 more years and seven thousand pages!
posted by Justinian at 1:49 AM on May 25, 2015 [14 favorites]


The scene in the Dornish jail confused me, why did he not feel the effects of the poison sooner? Are boobs a catalytic agent for this kind of poison?
posted by prize bull octorok at 3:08 AM on May 25, 2015 [6 favorites]


I'm going to be charitable and assume she was trying to get his heart rate up.

Also charitably, I hope this makes Sansa realize that she needs to take matters into her own capable hands. Using a corkscrew. To Ramsey's face.
posted by lydhre at 3:35 AM on May 25, 2015 [5 favorites]


Everything has been pointing to Sansa realizing she cannot wait for or count on anyone saving her but herself. Which is why she is going to kill her some Boltons. Or at least escape. But I am hoping for the killing.
posted by Justinian at 4:22 AM on May 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


UGH THIS GODDAMN EPISODE ALL THE HATE

1) Really Sansa? You can't fucking try out Theon on something small, you have to blow your fucking load of your only ticket out on an unreliable dude you think murdered your brothers?

2) What is even the point of this goddamn Sam & Gilly plot, it looks like she's setting up to kill herself or do something stupid or something for Sam?

3) STOP FLASHING TO THE GODDAMN KID ALREADY EVEN SHOW ONLY PEOPLE WILL GET HE DOES SOMETHING TERRIBLE

4) I fucking hate them making Olenna Tyrell carry the goddamn idiot stick this episode. She's so much smarter than just showing up and bluffing someone she has made no attempt to research. If the whole point is she would just bluster and yell, no point even sending her. It seems like they're just like 'we really like the Faith Militant because yay equality, so awesome?'

5) You can't just turn Tommen in one episode from a sweet kid who loves his kittens and wife to someone willing to lead an Army into Baelor's Sept and massacre everyone. Also HE CAN JUST UNMAKE THEM BY A STROKE OF A PEN. This version of Tommen is so frustrating.
posted by corb at 4:31 AM on May 25, 2015 [6 favorites]


Oh, and I forgot 'this is the shortest and least interesting slavery ever.' and what are they even planning on doing? I can only assume they're trying to stick Tyrion into the Barristan Selmy ruling-after-Dany-disappears slot.

I like the Olyver theory - that makes sense with the whole 'the same thing I gave Cersei' thing, that the gift of the young man will be Olyver going back to the High Sparrow and saying he lied. Except with the scene of the QOT offering to bribe everyone, and Margaery initially up for lying in the first place, I don't buy it as a free release. (And let me use this opportunity to suggest how bullshit it is they would even imprison margaery for lying when yes, KL must have many, many, MANY worse sins in it.)
posted by corb at 4:35 AM on May 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


The High Sparrow isn't imprisoning Margaery for lying, he's doing it to show that he can. The 1% can't keep Occupy Wall Street the pitiful masses down!
posted by Justinian at 4:59 AM on May 25, 2015 [4 favorites]


the whole Bronn/Sand Snake poison + antidote subplot and scene seemed completely pointless.

Any scene with Bronn is by definition not pointless. Because Bronn. Also he sang! Beautifully!

Also I love how I keep feeling bad for Theon even though he is as much a monster as Joffrey was and Ramsay is, only at least they own(ed) their monstrousness, Theon (even though you can see how he came to be how he ended up), is a weakling AND a monster. But as uncomfortable as it is, it is fascinating just how broken he is now, and you do have to somewhat respect that he at least tried to help Sansa, and clearly really feels sympathy for where she has found herself, because he know what Ramsay is.

Also Ramsay...I may hate more than Joffrey by now, and finding out that Iwan Rheon is pretty awesome was...disconcerting, since I so badly want to punch Ramsay Bolton right in his stupid Ramsay Bolton face....
posted by biscotti at 5:08 AM on May 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


I don't think he did try to help Sansa. I got the impression that we were /meant/ to think he was going to the Broken Tower, but he was actually going to Ramsay's regular room all along.
posted by corb at 5:09 AM on May 25, 2015 [8 favorites]


Ah....that is a good point, I hadn't thought of that....so I am back to loathing him then!
posted by biscotti at 5:10 AM on May 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


I fucking hate them making Olenna Tyrell carry the goddamn idiot stick this episode. She's so much smarter than just showing up and bluffing someone she has made no attempt to research.

And I think it was reasonably effective in underlining the point about the High Sparrow - everyone assumes they are dealing with a relatively simple man they can influence they way they always have; he's going to want power or money or both, whatever, we can control this person because he's another piece on the board, like everyone else. Just need to figure out the rules of moving his piece. Except he isn't playing the Game, and no one can quite grasp that.

You can't just turn Tommen in one episode from a sweet kid who loves his kittens and wife to someone willing to lead an Army into Baelor's Sept and massacre everyone. Also HE CAN JUST UNMAKE THEM BY A STROKE OF A PEN

No, he can't. Well, he could outlaw them - but then he has to enforce that law. Which will involve leading an army into the Sept and having a massacre. We've seen Tommen try to force his way into the Sept, only to be met with a group of Sparrows who weren't willing to be moved even under threat of force; I doubt that will suddenly change because Tommen signs a decree. In retrospect, they do make this problem a lot clearer in the books - the Faith is not only going after corruption, but also actually doing things like making the roads safe for travel again, visiting small villages to do things like marriages and whatever; in short, they appear to be the only force that actually is tackling some of the problems of the common folk and providing some compassion. In addition, someone (Jaime?) makes the point that getting rid of the Faith Militant the last time basically required a bit of war and some concessions between Crown and Faith, before the Faith submitted. So Cersei opens a real can of worms by allowing them to be formed.
posted by nubs at 8:15 AM on May 25, 2015 [6 favorites]


What's amazing to me about this episode is it's doing rape as a story element all over again, this time with Gilly, and somehow it's doing an even worse job than with Sansa. There is zero storytelling reason for Gilly's attempted rape other than to advance Sam's character arc, which is horrible and something any show made in 2015 should know better than, but then -- but then -- Sam's defense of Gilly leads to Sam getting some booty. Like: After nearly being raped, Gilly is so grateful/turned on that she fucks Sam. Everything about this is awful, and the only reason I can think of that the average viewer doesn't seem too upset is that, really, no one cares much about these characters anyway.

But so many of my misgivings are washed away by the show's willingness to just shoot past ADwD's endless slaveship travelogue and get Tyrion to the fireworks factory. Hell yes.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 8:17 AM on May 25, 2015 [16 favorites]


Actually, the Gilly scene didn't bother me at all, personally. Of all the scenes of sexual assault and violence they've done on this show, this is the one that rang the most true to me.
posted by KathrynT at 8:25 AM on May 25, 2015 [4 favorites]


guys I'm an unobservant idiot, who is the kid they keep flashing to and which storyline is it in
posted by schroedinger at 8:54 AM on May 25, 2015


He's the kid that was orphaned by a wildling attack and is now Jon's steward.

He's going to be in the group that attacks Jon and leaves him for dead as the cliffhanger of the last book. Presumably Jon will shout "Et tu, Wossname?" as Kiddo stabs him.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:20 AM on May 25, 2015 [7 favorites]


kittens for breakfast: Like: After nearly being raped, Gilly is so grateful/turned on that she fucks Sam.

This is even more horrific after this show SPECIFICALLY CALLED OUT HOW UNREALISTIC THAT KIND OF ACTION IS (S01E09):

Shae: You should have known she was a whore.
Tyrion: Really? I was sixteen, drunk and in love.
Shae: A girl who is almost raped doesn't invite another man into her bed two hours later.

And then there's the fact that is is, as kittens pointed out, a moment for Sam's plot arc, not Gilly's.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:39 AM on May 25, 2015 [23 favorites]


poffin boffin: also MY GOD but cersei's impotent rage was magnificent, so satisfying, so glorious.

Yes, if nothing else, this episode balanced out the wonderfully smug Cersei moments with Cersei the Powerless Queen ending. It seems like cousin Lancel would have come forward to the High Sparrow a while back, say when Lancel first asked for Cersei's forgiveness for leading her astray or whatnot. If that was the case, then the High Sparrow has been playing a bit of a long game at bringing down numerous royalty. After all, if he had gone after Cersei way back then, Cersei's effort to take down the Tyrells would have looked like an effort to shift blame, not the "well-meaning" offering of sinners to the faith.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:50 AM on May 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


Yeah, I didn't like the fact that Gilly was used for Sam's arc. I'm also a little peeved at the fact that, given the current state of the Watch, Thorne doesn't look at the fact Sam might be in danger as a problem. You need every man you have, but Thorne seems delighted that Sam is likely to be attacked/beaten/killed by other members of the watch now that Jon has left. I thought the point of Thorne's development last season was that he was an asshole, but he was also smart enough to see necessity.

And I wanted to see Sam rescue himself, not have Ghost do it.
posted by nubs at 9:50 AM on May 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


nubs, I agree.

I expect this episode will win the Most Gratuitous T&A Award for the season.

If so, then it's a marked improvement on two fronts: first, there was only one naked lady, and she used her nudity for a purpose. She wasn't a set piece, used to reinforce the notion " this is a place where people have sex for money." In other words, there was a real purpose to the nudity. And in comparison, Dany covered herself up in her bed scene, which wouldn't have happened in earlier seasons.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:10 AM on May 25, 2015


I'm still not sure how to read Thorne. I mean, he's obviously an asshole still, but he's one who respects the Watch. His "counsel" to Jon was forceful and angry, but it was still just on the good side of the respect line, and Jon responded in kind. I think even his warning to Sam could be read as just that - a pragmatic warning. I kind of expect him to stand against the Conspiracy by season's end.
posted by Navelgazer at 10:14 AM on May 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


I think Thorne will stand with the Conspiracy, but it will be because of his respect for the Watch, not out of personal animus. Especially if Jon does something like announce a plan to march on Winterfell with the wildlings to free Sansa.
posted by nubs at 10:20 AM on May 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


From the Grantland Recap:

I’m sorry if I sound cranky, but not even an econo-goblet of Cersei’s finest claret can wash the taste of last week’s episode out of my mouth. And it’s not even solely to do with the continued struggles of Sansa. (Although I must say, if there’s anyone out there still buying producer Bryan Cogman’s line about how Sansa is somehow “a hardened woman making a choice,” I have some oceanfront property in the Red Waste to sell you.)
posted by nubs at 11:22 AM on May 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


nubs, here's what I liked about Sam and Ghost.

We saw Sam pull himself up, full of steely eyed reserve and confidence and ready to throw himself at those two dudes. We also just saw Sam get the shit kicked out of him. When he stood up and gave that small speech, I was firmly convinced that he would have gotten himself killed but gone down fighting, and maybe he knew that too. I like that we got to see him make those statements when he was outmatched. In some ways, it's more brave than if he had said the same things and had been able to take them down by himself.
posted by redsparkler at 11:43 AM on May 25, 2015 [4 favorites]


I actually cheered a bit when Sam stood up. Sam has grown! Not little frightened Samwell Tarly of Horn Hill anymore; he's Sam of the Nights' Watch.

Watching Cersei's comeuppance was delicious oh so delicious.

The High Sparrow is absolute perfection. I adore Jonathan Pryce in basically anything--watching him and Diana Rigg was a match made in heaven. Brilliantly done.

And frankly I feel like the producers have not one fucking clue what they're doing with Dorne.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:06 PM on May 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


Except he isn't playing the Game, and no one can quite grasp that.

Except that if anyone, ANYONE in the Seven Kingdoms would know that sometimes people just do things for moral reasons or love or Beliefs it would be Olenna Tyrell, close enough to the throne to be engaged to a prince, who watched Aemon Targaryen, the heir to the throne, joined the motherfucking Night's Watch for honor, who watched the Prince of Dragonflies throw away a crown for Jenny of Oldstones.

(oh on a sidenote for those of you who have been wondering why the hell the Baratheons had any royal claim - apparently it was based on Rhaelle Targaryen marrying into House Baratheon - she was Robert's grandmother.)
posted by corb at 12:14 PM on May 25, 2015 [5 favorites]


And frankly I feel like the producers have not one fucking clue what they're doing with Dorne.

Oddly enough that's how I feel about GRRM and Dorne, the Iron Islands, and a bunch of characters with names I can't remember who sailed to Meereen.
posted by Justinian at 12:45 PM on May 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


I am beginning to think that rather than Howland Reed, Dorne in the books is going to be pretty key in the reveal of Jon's parentage. The Tower of Joy was in Dorne, which suggests that Prince Doran at least had an inkling of things going on there or could have. And even though it's not what everyone hopes for, I could easily see a Arianne-Jon marriage.
posted by corb at 1:10 PM on May 25, 2015 [3 favorites]



(oh on a sidenote for those of you who have been wondering why the hell the Baratheons had any royal claim - apparently it was based on Rhaelle Targaryen marrying into House Baratheon - she was Robert's grandmother.)


To paraphrase Tywin: "By right of conquest".
posted by lalochezia at 1:29 PM on May 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


I actually really liked the Gilly and Sam scene. I think she's been planning to boff him and this was a good time to reward him for loyal behavior. She likes him but I really think it was to shore up her support and defense system now that Jon's gone.
posted by irisclara at 4:48 PM on May 25, 2015 [4 favorites]


I too thought the scene with Bronn and the Sand Snakes was gratuitous. On the westeros.org forums there are theories that the Sand Snakes will somehow get Bronn to turn on Jaime (like Arianne did with Arys Oakheart in AFFC).

Do show-only people remember that Jaime killed Dany's dad and that Tywin was responsible for the deaths of Rhaegar and Elia's children? That obviously explains the look on Dany's face at the big reveal.
posted by dhens at 5:28 PM on May 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


It's hard to forget that Jaime killed Dany's dad when everyone constantly calls him "Kingslayer". Hell, that very point was the topic of his excellent monologue to Brienne a couple seasons ago.
posted by Justinian at 5:43 PM on May 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


So was leaving out any mention of the usurper Balon Greyjoy just a fuck you to the fans, confirmation that they're completely abandoning the Iron Islands storyline, or both?
posted by Gaz Errant at 5:53 PM on May 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


So was leaving out any mention of the usurper Balon Greyjoy just a fuck you to the fans, confirmation that they're completely abandoning the Iron Islands storyline, or both?

Worse, Sansa actually mentioned Balon (as "Lord," not "King," of the Iron Islands) elsewhere in the episode when trying to convince Reek that he was Theon.
posted by dhens at 5:56 PM on May 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


Why would leaving Balon out be a fuck-you to the fans? I don't get it.

It's immaterial though, Sansa mentioned him as dhens points out.
posted by Justinian at 5:58 PM on May 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


Why would leaving Balon out be a fuck-you to the fans? I don't get it.

Melisandre mentions the deaths of the usurpers Robb Stark and Joffrey Baratheon when trying to convince Stannis of the power of king's blood, referring to the kings she "killed" (I think she just saw their deaths ahead of time and took credit) using leeches. In both season 3 of the show and in A Storm of Swords, Melisandre uses THREE leeches with bastard royal blood (Gendry in the show, Edric Storm in the books), one for Robb, one for Joffrey, and one for Balon. Balon dies FIRST in the books. Balon Greyjoy is last seen in the show at the end of Season 3, alive. After Yara (Asha from the books) trying to rescue Theon in early season 4, we never see the other Greyjoys again.

By having Melisandre bring up her leeches and their usurper-killing powers, but "forgetting" one of the three (because, um, apparently it didn't work?!?!?), it is kind of a shitty reminder that Iron Islands plotline has just lingered, going nowhere. Having Sansa actually mention Balon -- without a reminder that he had crowned himself -- is just the terrible icing on the cake.
posted by dhens at 6:03 PM on May 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


That Balon will die last instead of first on the show doesn't seem like it makes any sort of difference to me, though.
posted by Justinian at 6:06 PM on May 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


That Balon will die last instead of first on the show doesn't seem like it makes any sort of difference to me, though.

The way the show is going, maybe Balon will never die at all! (/sarcasm). But seriously, they'll re-introduce him quickly and a lot of the show-only people will wonder who he is, just like they reintroduced Kevan Lannister in season 5 after he only made a few appearances in seasons 1 and 2 (instead of being part of Joff's small council) when they realized that they would need him to rule when Cersei gets imprisoned.

The point is that it has been drawn out waaaaay too long on the show (for a lot of us, at least). And in the books, Melisandre actually notes that all three died, which is why she should be allowed to sacrifice Edric Storm alive. Having her only mention two out of three (a 66% success rate) when trying to convince him to sacrifice his own daughter is thus even more egregious.
posted by dhens at 6:12 PM on May 25, 2015 [7 favorites]


dhens, get out of my brain.

Alternatively, thank you for expressing my exact sentiments regarding the situation.

I can't decide which.
posted by Gaz Errant at 6:45 PM on May 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


They are either setting up Balons death, given that he was mentioned twice in this episode (and that death might be an additional hook for Theon's arc, a further reminder of who he is) or it is a giant middle finger. If Melisandre is going to bring up the leeches, at least have Davos there to point out that two is not three.
posted by nubs at 6:54 PM on May 25, 2015 [4 favorites]


If they are actually going to kill Balon in the show, I really feel that Stannis (or Davos, as nubs said) should have had a line like, "and what of the usurper Balon Greyjoy?" Mentioning Balon elsewhere in the episode without acknowledging the 3rd leech... it's like they're trying to pretend it never happened.
posted by Gaz Errant at 7:03 PM on May 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


Probably they don't have the actor on contract any longer. They can kill him off-screen I guess. Maybe Ramsay will taunt him with it.
posted by Justinian at 7:06 PM on May 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


Well, he dies off-screen in the books too. Given that we are screaming through the plotlines of Feast-Dance, the fact that they haven't dealt with the leech-kings from back in ASOS just feels weird.
posted by nubs at 7:23 PM on May 25, 2015 [4 favorites]


I can't wait for Jon's story to pass the books so that we're in completely new territory. Should be a couple episodes.
posted by Justinian at 7:23 PM on May 25, 2015


I guess it could be that they actually plan on doing the Ironborn Kingsmoot, and are saving Balon's death for the start of that arc? If they're not sure when they'll do that arc, maybe that's why Davos didn't bring him up.
posted by Wulfhere at 7:53 PM on May 25, 2015


There's no way they are doing the Kingsmoot.
posted by Justinian at 7:58 PM on May 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


I agree, which makes me sad, and it looks like vague pre-season 5 chatter points to this being true. I was really hoping to see that. Too much has happened that makes the Kingsmoot seem out of sequence, even if shoehorned in now.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:14 PM on May 25, 2015


Jon Snow: The Stabbening is going to be the next episode ("Hardhome"), and Cersei's Lady Godiva moment is going to be the final point of the last episode, is my guess. Episode 9 is probably going to be all Meereen ("The Dance of Dragons").
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:16 PM on May 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


If so, then it's a marked improvement on two fronts: first, there was only one naked lady, and she used her nudity for a purpose. She wasn't a set piece, used to reinforce the notion " this is a place where people have sex for money." In other words, there was a real purpose to the nudity.

What was the purpose of her nudity? That whole scene seemed pointless, much less the gratuitous T&A.
posted by schroedinger at 8:25 PM on May 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


My guess: Balon dies off-screen, just in time for Melisandre to use it as proof of her powers.
posted by Navelgazer at 8:57 PM on May 25, 2015


heee heeee heeee heeee oh are they in for a surprise...
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:57 PM on May 25, 2015 [5 favorites]


Tyrion meeting Dany was the only thing I felt at all good about this episode. And as others have said, that might not turn out well, either.
posted by ocherdraco at 9:27 PM on May 25, 2015


The premium channel shows, up to and including Sopranos and the holy and hallowed The Wire all have gratuitous T&A. Love it or hate it, that's the way the premiums do things.

Did the other shows get flack for it? I never really read the online commentary. I guess The Sopranos was long enough ago that you'd practically have to look at Usenet and Usenet never saw a boob it didn't like.
posted by Justinian at 10:27 PM on May 25, 2015


"A pleasure to meet you my Grace. My name is Tyrion Lanister."
posted by porpoise at 10:30 PM on May 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm really digging the leapfrogging of a lot of tedious plod.

Had actually expected a prolonged montage of Jorah fighting his way to the top and finally making "The Finals." Chance encounter with the Kalesi doing the rounds in a backwater bloodpit is completely acceptable.

--

paraphrase: I hate to see Aemon go, but I love(d) to watch (her)Aemon leave.

--

kittens for breakfast ; agreed.
Sam+Gilly: interesting
Treatment of Sam+Gilly: TERRIBLE
posted by porpoise at 11:00 PM on May 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


The premium channel shows, up to and including Sopranos and the holy and hallowed The Wire all have gratuitous T&A. Love it or hate it, that's the way the premiums do things.

Did the other shows get flack for it?


Well, Cinemax was fondly known as "Skinemax" because it was even more soft-core-porny than the other pay channels. But there's been criticism of the extent of the nudity (and violence) in original cable programming before, yes (I grant that's the NYPost, which is garbage, but I remember the discussion was wider-ranging than that at the time.)

Whether or not "other shows got flack for it" in the past, though, some of us would like a present or at least a future in which female actors are not habitually used as set decoration.
posted by gingerest at 11:09 PM on May 25, 2015 [8 favorites]


Is Dany not supposed to realize that the people fighting in front of her are slaves? Was the point of the slaver dude giving them each a coin so that they would technically not be slaves?
posted by skewed at 11:39 PM on May 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


Tyrion meeting Dany was the only thing I felt at all good about this episode. And as others have said, that might not turn out well, either.

NO IT WILL BE A BUDDY COP SHOW WITH DRAGONS I'M NOT LISTENING LA LA LA
posted by schroedinger at 12:26 AM on May 26, 2015 [7 favorites]


I'm wondering if rather than just flying off on Drogon Dany burns all the masters after the big fighting-pit fight (per Daario's suggestion)?
posted by n. moon at 5:39 AM on May 26, 2015


Things I liked about this episode:

1. That Dany doesn't have to show her tits.
2. SANSAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

Like, at the close of last episode, I was super-worried that it was going to be all how this ~ empowers Theon ~ and makes him have ~ feelings ~ and ~ return to himself ~ so that he'll ~ rescue Sansa ~, and they still have time to fuck it all up, but at least for this episode, they are still showing Theon cowarding it up even when Sansa invokes his true name and his ancestors and his honor. Because you know that when Sansa is down at her lowest, when she's alone and locked in the room and hurting and Ramsay has just goddamn left and she has to somehow muster the strength to go wash off, Sansa lets herself have a bit of a cry and a tremble, then 100% gives herself the same speech that she gives to Theon, and it helps her sit up and try to find her clothes and think.

And it doesn't work on Theon.

And it just leads to a poor old lady who tried to give Sansa strength and comfort* -- Sansa looks at that body and listens to Ramsay gleefully talking about how she died.

There's a deep thread this season about women dealing with family legacy. Danerys, right? Explicitly trying to deal with the family legacy of fire and blood, as well as Cersei who is out of the shadow of her father for the first time and fucking EVERYTHING UP in the name of trying to continue his policy of don't fuck with Lannisters. You've got the Sand Snakes, who use their father's name as a battle cry.

And you've got Sansa, who uses family and names and honor as something to get her through this fucking SHITSHOW HORROR.


* I wonder if Ramsay got as much out of her as he thought he would The repetition of tough old bird, the gruesome details, but also the lack of anything specific and BRIENNE STILL BEING AROUND makes me think he was showing her the flayed dude with the idea that she'd be scared and would confess. Sorry, Ramsay. Sansa has been menaced by a better class of creep than you.
posted by joyceanmachine at 5:57 AM on May 26, 2015 [8 favorites]


Which is also to say that a lot of show-watchers are, I think, underestimating Sansa in her own storyline because she doesn't do the things that media usually uses to signal STRONG FEMALE CHARACTER WHO IS GOING TO FUCK SHIT UP. She isn't physically imposing. She doesn't punch people in the face. She doesn't rattle off zingy one-liners that shut everyone up. She isn't ~ proudly in control of her sexuality ~ or whatever the fuck it is that people expect lady characters to be. Instead, she gets pushed around by other characters. She is dirty and hurt and afraid and vulnerable and has ugly bruises on her arms and moves like someone who is in pain.

And yet, there she is, keeping a fucking steady face while looking at the horrible fucking details of the one person inside Winterfell who offered her help and reminded her of who she was. And yet, there she is, trying to escape, trying to fuck with Ramsay's head about no longer being the first-in-line -- and trying to drive a wedge actually sorta kinda works, actually, because look at the cut away and the look on his FACE. That walk was always going to end with her looking at the lady, but Sansa got in something that stings. Plus y'know. Her palming the little thing for stabby.

Bowed and bent, but not broken, motherfuckers.

(Compare and contrast all this with Cersei, who gets cool fucking lines, and cool fucking poses, and tells people that her face will be the last thing they see, and how that all fits our usual storytelling tropes of coolness and power -- and we all know how that's going to end.)
posted by joyceanmachine at 5:58 AM on May 26, 2015 [15 favorites]


I'm wondering if rather than just flying off on Drogon Dany burns all the masters after the big fighting-pit fight (per Daario's suggestion)?

omg yes please.
posted by poffin boffin at 6:17 AM on May 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


Has the show hinted at how Ramsay knows about Stannis's troop movement? (IIRC, the explanation is given in one of the TWOW sample chapters)
posted by drezdn at 7:46 AM on May 26, 2015


NO IT WILL BE A BUDDY COP SHOW WITH DRAGONS I'M NOT LISTENING LA LA LA

We're going to see some baggage - Tyrion Lannister is the son of Tywin, who presided over the Sack of KL and the brother of Jaime, the Kingslayer - aka the killer of Dany's dad.

But I think when Tyrion gives her a bit of his history - "I killed my Dad, my sister has a bounty out on dwarf heads" and he gives her some sound governing advice (something a little better than "you are either the butcher or the meat" (was that a callback to the Butcher King who sets up shop in one of Dany's "liberated" cities in the books?)), I think they will get along just fine. Plus, Tyrion studied up on dragons at one point in his life and he might have some ideas for training/bonding/whatever-the-fuck you do with dragons.

That might be how he proves himself, in fact - he goes into the dungeon and "tames" a dragon - kinda like Quentyn, but successful?
posted by nubs at 9:21 AM on May 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


i am a gift to humanity - Chrys Watches GOT
posted by nubs at 9:36 AM on May 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


Has the show hinted at how Ramsay knows about Stannis's troop movement? (IIRC, the explanation is given in one of the TWOW sample chapters)
This is a good question. I don't think so. I haven't read the TWOW sample chapters, but my show theory would be he has someone at the wall feeding him intel.
posted by Green With You at 9:45 AM on May 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


That might be how he proves himself, in fact - he goes into the dungeon and "tames" a dragon - kinda like Quentyn, but successful?

If it does it this season, I'm going to flip my tablet. This season has already gone way beyond the fifth book - it doesn't need to go THAT far beyond it.
posted by corb at 10:31 AM on May 26, 2015


On a totally different topic -- what is up with Myrcella's dress? That's not how women dress in Dorne, and it's not how women dress in King's Landing. She looks like she's cosplaying Princess Peach. Not one single costuming decision on this show is made without thought and consideration, this is obviously deliberate -- so what's going on?
posted by KathrynT at 11:36 AM on May 26, 2015 [6 favorites]


I don't know about the silhouette, but I'm looking at the embroidery, and it's clearly flowers and grain, which calls to mind the breadbasket problem.
posted by bq at 11:42 AM on May 26, 2015


Looks to me like it's the slightly more modest/teenage version of Ellaria Sand's outfits. Long floppy shoulders and sleeves, low cut bodice, long skirts.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:57 AM on May 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


Nope, it's totally different than anything we ever see Ellaria wear. The bodice is structured and pleated, the shoulders are soft with a flutter sleeve as opposed to Ellaria's very pronounced shoulder line, Ellaria's necklines lie close around the back of her neck and plunge while Myrcella's are wide and comparatively shallow, and open in the back. Ellaria's silhouette is straight and columnar, in dense supple fabrics, while Myrcella's is drapey and full of movement, with many layers of filmy fabric. From a construction standpoint, they're as different as chalk and cheese.
posted by KathrynT at 12:07 PM on May 26, 2015 [4 favorites]


I saw Myrcella's dress as a blend between her Westerosi and Dornish upbringing. Light, airy materials to deal with the heat, girlish modesty to reflect the clothes she'd wear in King's Landing. It also highlights how separate she feels from both cultures.

In that vein, is there anyone out there doing fashion analysis for Game of Thrones, a la Tom & Lorenzo's Mad Style?
posted by schroedinger at 1:51 PM on May 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


Granted on the construction, KathrynT (and you obviously know way more about making clothes than I!); I was referring to the silhouette, just what my eyes see.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 2:02 PM on May 26, 2015


Lena Headey has made me care so much more about Show!Cersei than I ever cared about Book!Cersei. The way she uses microexpressions continues to amaze me -- the things that play across her face when Tommen declares his love for Margaery are many and varied, and some are unreadable. Simply awesome.

The show has me thinking that Tommen could be the little brother in the prophecy. I know others have theorized that before, but Book!Tommen seems like an extremely unlikely candidate whereas Show!Tommen seems like a prime candidate.

Jonathan Pryce is a treasure as the High Sparrow. He brings gravity and sincerity, but his deft parries of Cersei and the Queen of Thorns leave me swooning.

Still, in a setting where assassination is very much A Thing -- where, indeed, assassinations where the responsible parties escape consequences has happened more than once so far just in the span of the narrative, let alone the history of the story's world -- I can't figure out why TQoT and Littlefinger seem so baffled by Sparrow. Why are they not taking steps to remove him and his bodyguards from the board?

I can't shake the feeling that a great many players not currently in the game would have seen to it that THS fell down the stairs or drowned in the bucket he uses for scrubbing floors long, long, long ago. It's not like he's actually protected by the gods or anything.
posted by lord_wolf at 2:26 PM on May 26, 2015 [6 favorites]


Lena Headey has made me care so much more about Show!Cersei than I ever cared about Book!Cersei.

The intensity of my feelings about show!Cersei cannot be contained by a single Metafilter comment. Like. She has had my heart in her beautiful, non-wineglass-holding hand since that scene in the first season where she and Robert Baratheon are talking, and she is talking about why their marriage went sour, and god.

God.
posted by joyceanmachine at 2:55 PM on May 26, 2015 [10 favorites]


Meh, just stop comparing the books and the show, few people can be happy doing that. Either you'll hate what the show left out or hate what it added. That's less time spent enjoying yourself.

Also, the show really needs to be bring Varys back. Watching the early episodes of this season really hit home how he and Tyrion bounced off each other so very well. Their scenes sparkled and chrackled with energy. Jorah is no comparison.

Also, Sansa needs to stop a motherfucker REAL SOON NOW.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:00 PM on May 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


This season has already gone way beyond the fifth book - it doesn't need to go THAT far beyond it.

Why does the fifth season have to correspond to the fifth book? The producers presumably know where they have to end up, and they know they have 2 seasons to get there.
posted by Justinian at 4:01 PM on May 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


Meh, just stop comparing the books and the show, few people can be happy doing that.

YOU'RE NOT THE BOSS OF ME BLATCHER
posted by poffin boffin at 4:04 PM on May 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


YOU'RE NOT THE BOSS OF ME BLATCHER

No seriously, a lot of the complaints about the Sansa situation seem to be "This didn't happen in the book," which yeah ok, but the is show is not only the book, it can't be.

I'm as bugged as anyone about the character enduring further abuse, but it does seem like the show is building towards something with her arc. It would be her turning into a dragon and feasting on the roasted flesh of Boltons, but it'll be something. Right?. Just say yes, lie if you have to.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:53 PM on May 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


Brandon Blatcher, I see you're a follower of the 'Sansa: secret Targ' plotline, where a Catelyn angered by Ned's bringing home a bastard had a torrid affair with a Blackfyre visiting to check in with him about the potential of Rhaegar/Lyanna's baby. Naturally, she'd be a great candidate for one of the three heads of the dragon - except that in Stannis's entourage, brought from Dragonstone, is yet another dragon egg. After Ramsay Bolton defeats Stannis and places the dragon egg in a place of honor at Winterfell, Sansa, tying Ramsay to the bed while he sleeps, will naturally attempt to burn him alive, placing the dragon egg on his chest. Cue Sansa, Rider of Dragons!

never say I didn't give you anything.
posted by corb at 4:56 PM on May 26, 2015 [8 favorites]


Brandon: No seriously, a lot of the complaints about the Sansa situation seem to be "This didn't happen in the book," which yeah ok, but the is show is not only the book, it can't be.

I hear you, but I do think that even if you ignore the books and treat the show as its own thing, they messed up that arc. She was heading from naive girl to expert player of the Game, using soft power and intelligence to defeat people, with lessons learned from Littlefinger. If they then turn around and have her stab Ramsey it'll be satisfying for sure, but I'd rather see her use her brain (though if she verbally enrages him so much that he jumps off the battlements or something, that would be good too).
posted by Pink Frost at 5:27 PM on May 26, 2015 [4 favorites]


I'm annoyed that they went back to the rape well again. 'You know what would be a great palate cleanser after Sansa's rape? Attempted rape!'
posted by bq at 6:45 PM on May 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


She was heading from naive girl to expert player of the Game, using soft power and intelligence to defeat people, with lessons learned from Littlefinger.

I mean, that would be cool, but remember the bit in a prior season when we see just what the limitations of Littlefinger's power are? Where Littlefinger is all like KNOWLEDGE IS POWER and then Cersei pulls one of her all-time top smirks while her guards hold him and basically get ready to murder the fuck out of him if she crooks one tiny little finger?

Sometimes the Game requires brute force.

(It's also particularly fitting because one of the nice themes this season has been exploring how soft power works -- courtesy is a lady's armor is true, but only up to a certain point, as seen in everything that is happening to Sansa. Similarly, we're coming to a point with Dany about the limits of soft power, where she tried to rule through soft power, then ran into both the Sons of the Harpy and that awful execution scene where she had to run from her own supporters, so she did some hard power with the dragons, and then some soft power by marrying Hrzdhfadwqeradfg;adkfj. If we stick with book form and then he tries to murder her, we'll see whether she hits back with hard power after he tries to murder her.

In contrast to all of this back-and-forthing, you have the Sparrows, who successfully combine soft power and hard power at the same time, who have out-soft-powered the Tyrells with the High Sparrow and who are going to out-hard-power Cersei. They've gone straight up in the Westerosi power rankings this season, and have. not. looked. back.)
posted by joyceanmachine at 7:19 PM on May 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


Theory is that Hizdahr was not behind the murder attempt but Shavepate was instead.

It remains to be seen whether this plot line will be included in the show - my vote is not, as almost all of the characters involved are missing or dead. No Strong Belwas to get poisoned, no Barristan to take over, no Shavepate to act as a counterpoint to Hizdahr.
posted by bq at 7:35 PM on May 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


How I long to see Tyrion & Dany climb on Drogon, fly to Winterfell, and burninate Ramsay with extreme prejudice.
posted by culfinglin at 8:35 PM on May 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


What was the purpose of her nudity? That whole scene seemed pointless, much less the gratuitous T&A.

To get Bronn's heart rate up to activate the poison.
posted by Jacqueline at 8:51 PM on May 26, 2015


Pink Frost: I hear you, but I do think that even if you ignore the books and treat the show as its own thing, they messed up that arc.

Isn't that the whole GRRM thing? Ned Stark, so much potential! Every loves him! Oh, he found out the ugly truth and confronted Cersei with it! Honor is dumb, but not deadly, because there's always The Wall. Er, right - King Joff is a sadistic child, Ned's arc is cut short on a dark whim. Cat Stark, she's not doomed right? No! Let's stab her at a wedding! What a twist! And she'll come back from the dead as vengeance incarnate. Then there's Robb, dear Robb. Sure, he ditched his Frey wife-to-be, but he'll be OK, right? And Jon should be fine, being a bastard and not a full Stark (if a Stark at all)....

So being a Stark doesn't bode well for you, even when your arc indicates you should do pretty well. What a twist!
posted by filthy light thief at 8:52 PM on May 26, 2015


What was the purpose of her nudity? That whole scene seemed pointless, much less the gratuitous T&A.

To get Bronn's heart rate up to activate the poison.


Apparently the Sand Snakes were such fearsome warriors pushovers Bronn could fight 2 of them at once without getting his heart rate up.
posted by xdvesper at 9:47 PM on May 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


That's when he got poisoned. When he was fighting two of them.
posted by Justinian at 1:36 AM on May 27, 2015


I hear you, but I do think that even if you ignore the books and treat the show as its own thing, they messed up that arc. She was heading from naive girl to expert player of the Game, using soft power and intelligence to defeat people, with lessons learned from Littlefinger.

Honestly, we don't really know for sure if Sansa's arc is messed up, as this segment is still in progress. She's essentially been left to fend for herself and put what she's learned into use. Admittedly this is complicated by Baelish not knowing that Ramsay is so psycho (this was confirmed by a a producer somewhere), so she's definitely in way over her head. And suffering. But not exactly drowning and trying different things (enlisting Theon, grabbing the tool and hiding it away, directly challenging Ramsay at his most vulnerable points...oooh! Just had a thought...Is she gonna push him to harm step-mom, which will put him in conflict with Roose?). So I'm bidding time and seeing where they go with her time as Ramsay's wife before the Stannis attacks Winterfell.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:01 AM on May 27, 2015


With some notable exceptions, I am very happy with the changes they've made from the books so far, especially all the shit in Essos. I was just thrilled as shit that they moved up the meeting between Daenarys and Tyrion, which hasn't happened yet in the books IIRC. Will Tyrion prove his worth as a populist strategery expert just before Dany hops on Drogon's back, leaving Tyrion basically in charge of Mereen?
Also I am happy so far with using Shireen in place of the wildling baby- not that wildling baby no the other wildling baby- which both softens Stannis and provides a much more difficult choice for him in refusing Melisandre.
I am also eager to see Jon at Hardhome next week. I am having trouble remembering how that went down in the books. None of that was told first person, right?

On the other hand, why did they even bring Ghost into that scene with Sam and Gilly and the would-be rapists? Ghost was there for a few frames and then just disappears? I get that cgi direwolves are expensive, but shit, I would prefer a dog-sized direwolf that appears more often instead of gigantic direwolves that appear for a few seconds and then just dematerialize.
posted by aabbbiee at 7:08 AM on May 27, 2015


I do NOT want to see Drogon kill Ramsay. That does not sound as slow and painful as I'd like Ramsay's death to be, and Sansa needs to be involved even if it's just Sansa watching from the side with a smirk as Brienne slowly and methodically hacks off all of his limbs one by one. And then Sansa can put out his eyes with a corkscrew.
posted by aabbbiee at 7:12 AM on May 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


How many episodes until Cersei burns some overenunciated cities to the ground?
posted by ktkt at 12:09 PM on May 27, 2015


Hrm. Season 6 casting calls. I may have grumbled too soon on some things.
posted by nubs at 12:09 PM on May 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


They're all speculating the famous warrior is Tarly, but what if it's Jon Connington?
posted by corb at 12:26 PM on May 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I don't buy Tarly, personally - unless the Sam storyline is going in a really weird direction, Tarly (so far) has only shown up as a leader of Tyrell forces, and I can't see him being necessary in the show at all (I mean, you might name some random Lord going off to do something Tarly, as a nice gesture) but it could be a lot of things.
posted by nubs at 12:36 PM on May 27, 2015


Was Jon piloting Ghost behind the scenes?
posted by Night_owl at 1:32 PM on May 27, 2015


Sounds like they're going to send Sam to the Citadel, and he's going to send Gilly and the baby on to his parents' house, as in the books.
posted by aabbbiee at 3:04 PM on May 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


actually that makes a lot of sense - except here we see it, because Gilly is a fan favorite.
posted by corb at 3:10 PM on May 27, 2015


The casting calls are interesting. I presume the child actors populate visions Bran will have next season, and represent the young versions of characters we know as adults. Ned and Robert seem likely, but I'm not sure about the youngest kid -- Jaime? Seems like a good fit for a sparring scene, although I would think Young Jaime would be blond.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 3:21 PM on May 27, 2015


We could have avoided the essentially-pointless* Yet Another (Almost) Rape Scene with Gilly if they'd just gotten on with sending Sam to the Citadel. "King" Stannis commands that Sam go on a Special Secret Research Assignment, Jon upholds the order as necessary for the Watch to fulfill its purpose (or Jon just orders it so), Thorne has to just deal with it.

Big news: Those dudes don't like Sam! They are also lowlife dirtbags that treat objects like women, man! Sam loves Gilly! Gilly loves Sam!
posted by Rat Spatula at 4:02 PM on May 27, 2015 [4 favorites]


Randyll Tarly is also the one into whose custody Margaery is placed, remember.
posted by Navelgazer at 4:45 PM on May 27, 2015 [3 favorites]


Could be Big Walder and Little Walder.
posted by bq at 5:07 PM on May 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


BAKED IN A PIE?
posted by corb at 5:20 PM on May 27, 2015 [7 favorites]


And when the pie is opened, the birds begin to sing
And they were Mance Rayder in disguise
posted by bq at 6:29 PM on May 27, 2015 [3 favorites]


Gilly doesn't actually make it to Horn Hill in the books. The last we know, she is still on the ship when it is commandeered by Marwyn the Mage. It was certainly Sam's intent to get her there, but we have no assurance that she actually makes it.
posted by ocherdraco at 7:58 PM on May 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


For Sam's scene I was expecting as Sam stood up for the inevitable second beatdown to be interrupted by Thorne who kicks the everloving shit out the the two wannabe rapers for laying hands on a fellow brother. Once he boots them out the room and down some stairs, and everyone is finished cheering for good ol' tough-but-fair Allister he turns to Sam, reverts back into asshole mode and basically orders him to get his shit together and get Gilly out of Castle Black 'TONIGHT!', thus kicking off his journey to Oldtown.
posted by PenDevil at 12:30 AM on May 28, 2015 [7 favorites]


If we need some midway levity, Coldplay's Game of Thrones Musical, including most of the cast, is complete.
posted by corb at 7:14 AM on May 28, 2015 [3 favorites]




I also enjoy the most-of-the-cast Red Wedding song, as well as Rastafarian Targaryen.
posted by corb at 8:12 AM on May 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


S.S. Abandoned Plotlines

(Having the Blackfish in the water is a nice touch.)
posted by dhens at 8:30 AM on May 28, 2015 [5 favorites]


So if the Tarly theory is correct, why position him as a "Father"? I mean, I get we could have Sam heading for Oldtown and dropping Gilly off, but unless they want to introduce some kind of storyline of Sam reconciling with his father or Tarly acting as Father-figure to Gilly & Margaery...

I don't know, I'm just wondering if they are about to introduce a plotline around Randall Tarly reconnecting with Sam or him "mentoring" the young ladies and why we need that when, you know, we already have a host of other storylines in the SS Abandoned. Anyways, maybe it will be the BEST THING EVAR.
posted by nubs at 12:33 PM on May 28, 2015 [1 favorite]




Oh god, Pod's actor said Ep 10 would 'break the internet'? MY SPECULATING HEART ABOUNDS.
posted by corb at 2:14 PM on May 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm holding out for this.
posted by zarq at 2:29 PM on May 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


I am getting all psyched out by the speculation about Lady Stoneheart, even though I intellectually know that it is most likely not the pony in my stocking this year.
posted by corb at 2:48 PM on May 28, 2015


Given the title of episode ten and the claim that it would break the internet?
...
Selyse burns Shireen alive. :-(
posted by dhens at 2:57 PM on May 28, 2015


Nope. Remember what the Sparrow said about the mercy of the Mother.

Cersei's taking a walk. 'Break the internet' could easily be a reference to Kim Kardashian's ass--we're going to see Lena Heady's.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 2:59 PM on May 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


Of course, FFFM, it could have more than one meaning, like many titles.
posted by dhens at 3:02 PM on May 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


Stannis marches. Dany is surrounded by strangers. Cersei seeks forgiveness. Jon is challenged.

So - start of the siege of Winterfell? Or will we have the Battle of the Ice?

Dany reconnects with a Dothraki Horde after being carried off by Drogon?

Cersei's Walk, for sure.

Orphan Boy gets stabby-stabby.
posted by nubs at 3:48 PM on May 28, 2015


Yeah, I guess I kind of think of Cersei's walk as NBD since it's clearly laid out in the books - but I"m not sure, is there any way a show-only watcher could see that coming?
posted by corb at 3:49 PM on May 28, 2015


No, I don't think the walk has been telegraphed in any way (beyond the multiple stripping references); I'm sure it will be mentioned as a form of penance somewhere in the next episode or two.
posted by nubs at 3:51 PM on May 28, 2015


I'm starting to buy into the theory that things like the Battle of Winterfell are being held off to season 6 so that Gurm might be able to finish the next book before then.
posted by drezdn at 4:05 PM on May 28, 2015


And if there's any hope for Lady Stoneheart in the TV series, it's this: Sansa's arc this season ends with her getting called that.
posted by nubs at 4:19 PM on May 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm starting to buy into the theory that things like the Battle of Winterfell are being held off to season 6 so that Gurm might be able to finish the next book before then.

I saw an interesting article (on IO9 I think) that argued that things were being rushed this season so that they could include one of the big battles this season, because otherwise there isn't a big set piece.

If I had to guess, that would be the Battle of Meereen, mainly because half of it has been written already in the pre-released WOW chapters, albeit half the characters in those chapters aren't in the show. And given that Episode 9 is titled 'The Dance of Dragons', I can see that happening. (Although it doesn't seem like they've built up the idea of an attack on Meereen much, unless I missed something?)
posted by Pink Frost at 6:09 PM on May 28, 2015


I suspect episode 9 will be the big set piece in the arena, where Drogon shows up and lays waste and flies off with Dany on his back.
posted by nubs at 6:32 PM on May 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


Have they built up to the book-style Battle of Meereen? I could be wrong, but I haven't seen any shots of armies starting to camp outside the walls, or even mentions of them. So far we just have the Harpys part of it.
posted by drezdn at 7:54 PM on May 28, 2015


The old Septon was marched naked through the streets.
posted by bq at 8:15 PM on May 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


If we need some midway levity, Coldplay's Game of Thrones Musical, including most of the cast, is complete.

That's awesome.

"It's the first romantic ballad about incest in Coldplay's career"
posted by gaspode at 5:37 AM on May 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


What will break the Internet is another long, lingering scene of a naked, blood-spattered woman's humiliation. But anyway...

a lot of show-watchers are, I think, underestimating Sansa in her own storyline because she doesn't do the things that media usually uses to signal STRONG FEMALE CHARACTER WHO IS GOING TO FUCK SHIT UP.

Nah, I think a lot of show-watchers are just bored to death with how long the show is taking - years now - to give a promising character even the slightest development. I liked Sansa from the start - her privilege, her humiliation and downfall, and her struggle to find her own power could have been an interesting story. Then came her continued humiliation, her continued lack of any agency, more humiliation, more being moved around by others, even more humiliation...it's beyond old after 4 years. To suggest that this dissatisfaction is because of some strange need for POWERFUL CHICK TROPES is off-base, to say the least. I love the show's little moments and love the small ways she's finally trying to claim herself. I just don't have any faith left that the show writers will do anything smart with her story. I'd love nothing more than to be proven wrong about that.

(Compare and contrast all this with Cersei, who gets cool fucking lines, and cool fucking poses, and tells people that her face will be the last thing they see, and how that all fits our usual storytelling tropes of coolness and power...)

I'm pretty sure many, if not most, show-watchers saw Cersei's threat from her prison cell floor as the impotent rage it was (someone in the show-only thread describes it with those exact words, IIRC). And Cersei's been flailing around so stupidly this season that it's a bit of a stretch to hold her up as an icon of coolness and power. The show's been telegraphing her isolation and fall so obviously that when it came it felt anticlimactic. I'm guessing that her walk of shame is just going to feel gross to a lot of the same folks who felt Sansa's rape was handled grossly.
posted by mediareport at 7:29 AM on May 29, 2015 [3 favorites]


> Episode 10's title has been revealed (Mother's Mercy)

> I am getting all psyched out by the speculation about Lady Stoneheart, even though I intellectually know that it is most likely not the pony in my stocking this year.

The reddit thread have a ton of great riffs on this:
LADY STONEHEART, a hooded woman, sometimes called MOTHER MERCY, THE SILENT SISTER, and THE HANGWOMAN,
I swear, D&D are just straight out trolling us this time if LSH weren't in the finale.
Season 6 finale title Stoneheart (and she still doesnt show up)
Season 7 Finale title: "Lady Catelyn's Resurrection"

Episode will be about Victarion and the Dusky Woman.
Season 8 Finale Title: "Catelyn Stark nee Tully Comes Back To Life In This One"

Episode has a flashback to her birth for no plot advancing reason.
"The Gang resurrects Cat"
Franks ex gf Cat is back in town, and after a night of heavy drinking and reminiscing plus a little drug use; doesn't wake up the next morning. Frank gets the gang to help him dispose of the body, but when they are all together, they argue about the best course of action. Charlie is convinced that he can resurrect her with help from this guy he knows... Hilarity ensues. SPOILER! She wasn't dead, just has a bad sleeping disorder and takes short, barely noticeable breaths. Frank knew the whole time, he just kinda forgot. The gang believe that she is a zombie. Charlie believes he is a wizard. Dee tries to convince him otherwise. Hilarity ensues.
"Just face it Dee. I'm a wizard! And you can't handle that."

Read that in Charlie's voice in your head. We've got ourselves an episode.
I have nothing to add to at this point, except I wish there were more (any?) nonsensical TV show cross-overs. And nonsensical episodes.

Really, I support more nonsense.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:37 PM on May 29, 2015 [4 favorites]




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