Game of Thrones: The Dance of Dragons   Books Included 
June 7, 2015 7:05 PM - Season 5, Episode 9 - Subscribe

Stannis faces a difficult decision; Jon returns to the Wall; Mace Tyrell visits the Iron Bank; Arya encounters someone from her past; Dany oversees a celebration of athleticism.
posted by zarq (435 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
"Welp, I'm taking the thing that just saved our lives and abandoning my friends for, uh, reasons. Bye!" [Bad CGI intensifies]
posted by codacorolla at 7:12 PM on June 7, 2015 [15 favorites]


It's weird watching the books just recede into the background and becoming as ignorant and surprise-able as the nonbook type people.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:13 PM on June 7, 2015 [7 favorites]


Was it just me or did basically nothing happen in this episode? You'd think at episode 9 we'd have some ground to cover other than burning a girl alive for no reason and bad dragon CGI...
posted by goodbyewaffles at 7:13 PM on June 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


Oh, and another installment of the Jaime-and-Bronn variety show
posted by goodbyewaffles at 7:14 PM on June 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


Well! So we're going there then.

For once Dorne wasn't utterly pointless, just mostly pointless -- the palace was lovely.
posted by The Whelk at 7:16 PM on June 7, 2015


I thought that Dany's reason was pretty clear; Drogon wouldn't leave without her, and he was going to die if he kept fighting. Of course, if she doesn't come back...

I liked the episode, but this one and last week's have made me wish the action weren't so backloaded into the season. We'll probably spend as much time on Stannis's campaign as we have with Jaime and Bronn bumbling and flirting their way through Dorne, which doesn't seem right.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 7:17 PM on June 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


Well, they were all set to burn someone episodes ago and Jon had to ruin it. Danged if they were going to be thwarted that easy.
posted by curious nu at 7:17 PM on June 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


Ellaria came around pretty quickly, didn't she? I mean I know Doran did all that threatening, but she was positively magnanimous with Jaime. Far cry from "revenge! Revennnnnnnnge!" at the start of the season.
posted by trunk muffins at 7:19 PM on June 7, 2015


Yeah that seemed suspiciously nice to me.
posted by curious nu at 7:20 PM on June 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


At least the didn't put Shireen in a refrigerator first, I guess?
posted by drezdn at 7:25 PM on June 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


Ellaria came around pretty quickly, didn't she? I mean I know Doran did all that threatening, but she was positively magnanimous with Jaime. Far cry from "revenge! Revennnnnnnnge!" at the start of the season.

I reacted this way too. I assume it's because they don't have room for Dorne next season and need to wrap those subplots up tidily. The same reason that Myrcella is being returned.
posted by gsteff at 7:34 PM on June 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


jesus fucking Christ THIS SHOW. I was pretty sure they were going to burn Shireen, but I was sure that they were going to have Selyse and Melisandre do it behind his back - that that was why we saw Selyse being held back after Stannis' righteous fury.

What I did not expect was that he fucking stood there and watched his beloved daughter burn to death. And I did not expect Selyse to be the one to break. Seriously fuuuuuuuuuck I am still kind of stunned. Holy shit.
posted by corb at 7:38 PM on June 7, 2015 [14 favorites]


And FWIW, I didn't think Stannis burning Shireen was totally out of character. It would be a pretty horrible and unbelievable thing to do in our world, but in a world where Stannis has solid evidence that fire magic actually works, and several thousand of his own men are going to freeze to death unless they can win their next battle, and Stannis strongly believes in duty and having the courage to make hard decisions, I think it's conceivably consistent with his prior characterization in both the show and books.
posted by gsteff at 7:38 PM on June 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


So, those men are just going to follow a king who burns his own child at the stake? Sure. Ser Davos better fuck some shit up when he returns, though, unfortunately, I'm pretty sure he knew what was going to happen (or close enough) and left anyway. In which case fuck him too.

I was sure they were going to kill Shireen, but not like this. Not with everyone's approval. Not in broad daylight. Fuck them.
posted by lydhre at 7:42 PM on June 7, 2015 [12 favorites]


Stannis is pretty much the grim whatever it takes one, but you know, the Iphigenia route never works out in the end.
posted by The Whelk at 7:43 PM on June 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


I DISLIKE THIS SHOW AND WISH IT GREAT ILL
posted by poffin boffin at 7:45 PM on June 7, 2015 [24 favorites]


Also, the battle with the Harpies was just terrible. Was it just me? Really just blah and dumb.

And Jorah is officially a creepy stalker and emotionally abusive, trying to play Dany's hand like that. Acknowledge me or I'll force you to watch me die? Gross. Gross and full of cooties, since that grayscale is bound to come back to haunt everyone.

Oh, and Meryn Trant is a pedophile. BECAUSE WE NEEDED MORE CHILD RAPE, SHOW. Ugh. UGH. I can't.
posted by lydhre at 7:45 PM on June 7, 2015 [7 favorites]


STANNIS YOU ARE BANISHED FROM THE HOT DADS CLUB FOREVER
posted by poffin boffin at 7:45 PM on June 7, 2015 [25 favorites]


I had that thought too, lydhre. I would have some serious concerns about a leader who murders his own child at all, much less in such an incredibly brutal fashion while she screams for you to help her.
posted by goodbyewaffles at 7:45 PM on June 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


Exactly. I know this is a fictional character so I'm not all crazy about her death but in terms of the story.... What the hell? The men who follow Stannis have daughters too. You could see it on their faces.... I hear the argument for saving the troops with her king's blood, whatever but every parent watching her burn won't feel that. I didn't.
posted by pearlybob at 7:47 PM on June 7, 2015


Pray harder.

Davos, go work for Manderly, he seems to be a good sort.
posted by rewil at 7:47 PM on June 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


*Jorah shows up in the arena, declares his intent to fight for the Queen, gazes up at her intently*

mr muffins: "This is Ser Jorah's version of a boombox outside the window"
posted by trunk muffins at 7:47 PM on June 7, 2015 [47 favorites]


I think it's conceivably consistent with his prior characterization in both the show and books.

I agree. Everyone on this show seems to be undone by their own ostensibly best quality -- Ned by his sense of justice, Dany by her idealism, Jon by his compassion. Stannis is practical and fair to a fault: If he kills his daughter, his campaign is successful; and it's one child versus not just survival of himself and his men, but versus potentially the fate of the Seven Kingdoms. It's rational. It's just monstrous. But there's a bit of Walter White in this, too. The only reason Stannis is out there at all is pride. Someone totally driven by rationality would just turn around.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 7:49 PM on June 7, 2015 [13 favorites]


Well, on the other hand, if you witness your leader burning his child to a foreign God, and then that God gets results and lets you win the hopeless battle you're about to fight, I think you'd have a lot of converts to R'Hllor. Although the people who desert after that would likely find open arms in the newly resurgent Faith Militant to the south.

The Lord of Light / Seven clash should be interesting whenever that happens.
posted by codacorolla at 7:49 PM on June 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


I'm pretty sure he knew what was going to happen (or close enough) and left anyway.

I vehemently disagree. I think he suspected that there were going to be calls to burn Shireen - but I think it wasn't clear enough or obvious enough for it to justify him taking an obvious stand against something that might be ridiculous. I think he didn't know for sure, and trusted that the old, just King he knew wouldn't do that, not really. He wanted it to be true and so he ignored his feelings of discomfort.

Seeing him react to this is going to be heartbreaking.
posted by corb at 7:51 PM on June 7, 2015 [9 favorites]


STANNIS YOU ARE BANISHED FROM THE HOT DADS CLUB FOREVER

AND TAKE JORAH WITH YOU, WANDER THE WASTES ALOOOOONE
posted by The Whelk at 7:51 PM on June 7, 2015 [10 favorites]


So, the camera seemed to emphasize when Dany took Jorah's hand as he led her down into the arena. Does this mean Dany will contract greyscale? And then Dany took the hand of Missandei as they closed their eyes just before Drogon showed up. Does this mean Missandei will contract greyscale too?
posted by fancyoats at 7:51 PM on June 7, 2015 [6 favorites]


I'm pretty sure he knew what was going to happen (or close enough) and left anyway.

YOU ARE THE MOST WRONG and he is not going to deal with this well AT ALL and I AM UPSET
posted by poffin boffin at 7:52 PM on June 7, 2015 [5 favorites]


Corb, yeah, I mean, I really want to see it that way too. I love Ser Davos and I know just how much he loved Shireen. It's just... the peril was so blatant, the urgency in his voice so clear when he pleaded to Stannis to let him take her back to Castle Black. It seems to me like the show has made it very clear that Davos is doubting Stannis' leadership at this point, or at least Stannis' emotional response to the situation.

But it's too naive to assume Stannis would not play a part in it. Stannis was ready to kill children before, he just burnt Mance at the stake and the risk Davos took for Gendry pales in comparison to what he should have done for Shireen.
posted by lydhre at 7:56 PM on June 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


Where was Grey Worm? Still recovering?
posted by ocherdraco at 7:56 PM on June 7, 2015


BUT I HAVE A DAUGHTER AND I AM SUPER EMOTIONAL ABOUT THIS SO SOB. FORGIVE ME SER DAVOS, I WAS EXPECTING TOO MUCH.
posted by lydhre at 7:57 PM on June 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


I DISLIKE THIS SHOW AND WISH IT GREAT ILL

u mad bro? *insert Stannis gif*

I... didn't think Shireen would get burned up. I know last episode was intrinsically a good episode but I also wonder how much of the greater enjoyment of the last couple episodes has to do with the fact that we're seriously moving past the books now and book readers honestly have no idea what is happening.

Jon's storyline is virtually caught up, Dany's is now completely caught up, Sansa's is past the books, Stannis is past the books (kinda), Jaime's is so different from the books that it might as well be past (but who gives a shit about Dorne anyway), and so on.

I honestly had no idea if Shireen was going all Kentucky Fried Daughter up until the point where Melisandre list the pyre. I was waiting for Davos to save her. Is this how non-book readers always feel?
posted by Justinian at 7:57 PM on June 7, 2015 [8 favorites]


Remember that Davos lost four sons to being burned up at the Blackwater. I do not think he will respond well to deliberately burning a daughter.
posted by Justinian at 7:58 PM on June 7, 2015 [8 favorites]


Yeah I was wondering about the level of contagion of greyscale as well. Like do you have to touch the scaly bit, or is any bit of flesh enough?

Oh Stannis, I was pretty sure it was going to happen but still upset the crap out of me. And of course you sent your conscience away first :( You are dead to me. Dead!

In the books at least I think Shireen was regarded as close to an abomination by the masses but ugh. You'd think there would be at least a bit of protest amongst the troops about watching a child burn.
posted by arha at 7:59 PM on June 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


YOU ARE THE MOST WRONG and he is not going to deal with this well AT ALL and I AM UPSET

Is it fucked up to say I'm glad you and everyone else is here because I'm like BLEARGH NO over here and was anxiously refreshing FanFare for the thread to pop so I could talk to someone about how hoooooorrible it was?
posted by corb at 8:00 PM on June 7, 2015 [11 favorites]


So, the camera seemed to emphasize when Dany took Jorah's hand as he led her down into the arena. Does this mean Dany will contract greyscale? And then Dany took the hand of Missandei as they closed their eyes just before Drogon showed up. Does this mean Missandei will contract greyscale too?

Well, the plot mandates that a plague strikes Mereen. I guess they could still introduce the bloody flux next season, but then again, they've put all this narrative effort into giving Jorah greyscale and introducing it to the audience, so...
posted by codacorolla at 8:00 PM on June 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


it's not horrible corb, I was texting people who don't even watch this show to express my rage and sadness
posted by goodbyewaffles at 8:01 PM on June 7, 2015 [7 favorites]


tbh i don't think anyone who could survive a funeral pyre intact would be able to contract greyscale.
posted by poffin boffin at 8:01 PM on June 7, 2015 [6 favorites]


Dude, I've even been reading the reddit discussions for this episode, just to get more vicarious outlets for my distress.
posted by redsparkler at 8:02 PM on June 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


I agree that I don’t really see how those spears could pose a serious threat to the dragon if dragons are supposed to be superweapons. If the idiot Sons of the Harpy could wound Drogon, trained soldiers with discipline and tactics could take them down.
posted by gerryblog at 8:05 PM on June 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


I don't think Drogon is full grown yet.
posted by Justinian at 8:06 PM on June 7, 2015 [4 favorites]


One thing I don't get about the Stannis decision... What's the point of taking the throne if you're older and don't have any living heirs anymore?
posted by drezdn at 8:06 PM on June 7, 2015 [4 favorites]


What's the point of taking the throne if you're older and don't have any living heirs anymore?

Because it's yours by right.
posted by gsteff at 8:07 PM on June 7, 2015 [13 favorites]


I don't think Drogon is full grown yet.

I guess, but the evolutionary mechanism that has them developing their thick hides only in adulthood needs more study.
posted by gerryblog at 8:08 PM on June 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


I don't think Drogon is full grown yet.

I guess that's what they were going for, but it was ridiculous to see spears that pierced about as far an acupuncture needle would on a human causing Drogon such distress that Daeny had to fly him out of there, abandoning the people she cares the most about in the world. I understand what the purpose of the scene was, but the end result was more funny and confusing than anything. That's been the case with most Mereen stuff this season, and I wonder if it's just the talent they have directing that unit.
posted by codacorolla at 8:10 PM on June 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


Season 2, Episode 10:
Melisandre [to Stannis]: "This war will last for years, thousands will die at your command,
you will betray the men serving you, you will betray your family, you will betray everything you once held dear"
--

I hope that bastard hears his daughter'piteous shrieks in his nightmares til the end of his fucking days.
posted by zarq at 8:10 PM on June 7, 2015 [15 favorites]


Because it's yours by right.

True, that is a very Stannis way of looking at it, but you'd think Stannis would realize if he took power and then died eventually, there would probably be a civil war.
posted by drezdn at 8:11 PM on June 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


At least now I'd be completely fine with Stannis conquering Winterfell only to be conquered in turn by Littlefinger. In fact I'd probably root for the white walkers against him after tonight.
posted by gatorae at 8:12 PM on June 7, 2015 [6 favorites]


There's nothing stopping him from setting Selyse aside and remarrying, especially if she's barren now which iirc is the case?
posted by poffin boffin at 8:12 PM on June 7, 2015 [6 favorites]


like come the fuck on he just burned his only child alive without even a fucking flinch, do you really think the bonds of marriage mean fuckall to him
posted by poffin boffin at 8:12 PM on June 7, 2015 [9 favorites]


I also....there's something so awful about Stannis knowing if he does this he has to watch but also not being willing to tell Shireen or let her know he was there.
posted by corb at 8:13 PM on June 7, 2015


He's been sleeping with Mels, so no.
posted by zarq at 8:13 PM on June 7, 2015


Also awful Shireen seeing her mother be held back from saving her. I wonder if in that moment she realized who the only person who could order that would be.
posted by corb at 8:15 PM on June 7, 2015 [4 favorites]


If Stannis takes the throne one assumes he would get remarried to produce an heir, yes. It wouldn't even be a violation of anything in particular since failure to produce an heir is usually grounds for setting aside the queen. Even if its the king's fault.
posted by Justinian at 8:16 PM on June 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


R'Hllor's hunger for King's Blood is actually firmly inspired by R'Hlllor's anarchistic desire to bring down the feudal system one heir at a time.
posted by drezdn at 8:18 PM on June 7, 2015 [11 favorites]


"Davos Seaworth, the Regicide" has such a nice ring to it.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:18 PM on June 7, 2015 [22 favorites]


so in the next season does sam vimes show up to drag stannis out into the town square and cut his throat or does davos do it
posted by poffin boffin at 8:19 PM on June 7, 2015 [23 favorites]


I have to imagine that Davos plays little role in the story going forward. He's not going to find RIckon, and it's hard to believe he'll want to continue serving Stannis after he hears what happened.
posted by gsteff at 8:20 PM on June 7, 2015


In the books, without some serious mid-Winter traveling, the only way Stannis could order Shireen's burning is with a raven, and there's no way he'd be able to witness it.
posted by drezdn at 8:20 PM on June 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


Let's all just live in Dorne and wear low cut breathable outfits
posted by The Whelk at 8:22 PM on June 7, 2015 [24 favorites]


Other places are claiming that Stannis does burn Shireen somehow in TWOW and it is one of the plot points that Martin told D&B but who knows how accurate rumors like that are.
posted by Justinian at 8:23 PM on June 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


In the postshow bit, D&D say that GRRM specifically told them abut the Shireen business, so that's basically a book spoiler.
posted by LionIndex at 8:24 PM on June 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


Let's all just live in Dorne and wear low cut breathable outfits

IIRC, in WOIAF there's a story about Dorne stopping a war with the Targs by sending the Targs a single letter. My guess is it just said "Chillax."
posted by drezdn at 8:27 PM on June 7, 2015 [7 favorites]


Also, although I don't think Stannis's decision was totally out of character, it's becoming hard to avoid the conclusion that D&D are intentionally choosing plots intended to shock and infuriate the hardcore fans. Shireen, Sansa, Stannis and Barristan were all fan favorites, and this season has delighted in torturing all of them in ways that don't happen in the books.
posted by gsteff at 8:27 PM on June 7, 2015 [4 favorites]


IIRC, in WOIAF there's a story about Dorne stopping a war with the Targs by sending the Targs a single letter. My guess is it just said "Chillax."

They threatened to take away access to their all nude water garden resort with wine fountains for friendly nobility
posted by The Whelk at 8:29 PM on June 7, 2015 [7 favorites]


They said he told them she died, not that Stannis did it.
posted by corb at 8:29 PM on June 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


so that's basically a book spoiler

you mean in the parallel universe where the books are ever finished, of course.
posted by poffin boffin at 8:29 PM on June 7, 2015 [5 favorites]


god i just want to go into the show only thread and cackle the most unhinged supervillain cackles

why isnt anyone stopping me
posted by poffin boffin at 8:30 PM on June 7, 2015 [4 favorites]


Nothing that happens at this point happens "in the books" since the books aren't written yet.
posted by Justinian at 8:31 PM on June 7, 2015


If people are upset about Shireen this week, just imagine when you lump one dead Jon Snow on top of that. Unless they resurrect him nearly immediately afterward there are going to be some pissed off fans.
posted by codacorolla at 8:33 PM on June 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


We aren't stopping you because we spent all our stopping power screaming at Stannis.
posted by corb at 8:37 PM on June 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


So a leech's worth of blood will take out a king, assuming Balon's dead, but it takes an entire person to take out a mere Warden of the North? That's some shit math, Fire God.
posted by rewil at 8:37 PM on June 7, 2015 [16 favorites]


So a leech's worth of blood will take out a king, assuming Balon's dead, but it takes an entire person to take out a mere Warden of the North? That's some shit math, Fire God.

But he doesn't just need to take out the Warden of the North. He also needs to defeat the bravest leader, mightiest warrior and smartest strategist the seven kingdoms have ever known, shirtless Ramsay Bolton.
posted by gsteff at 8:40 PM on June 7, 2015 [11 favorites]


I think Mel is just trying to push and cement her power.
posted by corb at 8:40 PM on June 7, 2015


So when Danny closed her eyes and "preyed," did she actually call Drogon or was it a happy coincidence (or Drogon saw something was up)?
posted by porpoise at 8:41 PM on June 7, 2015


Ok I watched the Inside the Episode and what D&B say is ""When George first told us about this..." That's ambiguous but I think clearly implies Stannis at least orders Shireen burned, so I think its fair to say that criticizing Shireen's burning on the basis of non-fidelity to the books is off base.
posted by Justinian at 8:42 PM on June 7, 2015


Imagine if a Stannis POV chapter about the burning alive came out like, tomorrow

It would feel like fanfic

What a time to be alive.
posted by The Whelk at 8:54 PM on June 7, 2015 [7 favorites]


Loved the episode, best one in a long time for me. I thought all the arena stuff was great, the combat and the conversations in the royal box. Interesting to see whatshisname really wasn't a Son of the Harpy apparently. Dr. Bashir got some good screen time finally. Arya stalking Trant and lying about it was great.

Not at all crazy about the Shireen thing, but I kind of knew it was coming from the speculation posted around online this week so I already came to terms with it. I may dial back how much I read book reader stuff online now because I haven't done the Winds of Winter released chapters so any educated theories based on that are just spoiling me now. I'd rather take in everything as fresh as possible going forward. Let the show spoil me on the books in realtime.
posted by Drinky Die at 9:04 PM on June 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


So when Danny closed her eyes and "preyed," did she actually call Drogon or was it a happy coincidence (or Drogon saw something was up)?

Made me thinking that there's something a little wargish going on, honestly, though Drogon must have been in the area or on the way long before that moment.

On other topics, some first thoughts:

-I always figured Shireen would be sacrificed, but this was - well, by the Seven. Who else is up for Jaime and Davos, the touring Kingslayers? And how much of our reaction is determined by the fact that for once, something shockingly horrible and brutal has happened and we didn't know that it was coming for sure?
-I don't buy the sudden change of heart down in Dorne; I suspect that Jaime and crew are about to be ambushed on the way out.
-Couldn't we come up with a better place for Arya to follow Trant than a brothel? And could we have Trant be something other than a pedophile? Fuck me, it was torture young girls week apparently. At least the ladies in the brothel had some clothes on. Small mercies, I guess.
-Jon is so fucked.
-Should we take the arena sequence as confirmation that Hizdar zo Loraq (he speaks for the trees Mereenese!) was not heading up/involved with the Sons of the Harpy?
posted by nubs at 9:07 PM on June 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


Oh yeah, and we got a callback to the leech scene and no gorram mention of Balon. Again. May Kraken tentacles take D&D.
posted by nubs at 9:09 PM on June 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


I agree that the Trant brothel stuff was distasteful, but the spoiler chapters released for WOW have more or less the same plot with names switched around. I'm assuming that's where they're getting the idea from.

Regardless of Hizdar's affiliation, I am SO glad for the small mercy of not having to watch Daeny swoon over Dario while regretting the marriage. Thank God for sparing us any of that.
posted by codacorolla at 9:11 PM on June 7, 2015 [4 favorites]




-Couldn't we come up with a better place for Arya to follow Trant than a brothel? And could we have Trant be something other than a pedophile? Fuck me, it was torture young girls week apparently. At least the ladies in the brothel had some clothes on. Small mercies, I guess.

Well, in the TWoW Arya chapter where she doesn't kill Meryn Trant but a similar character, she basically seduces him and touches his dick, sooooo I guess that's definitely happening on the show. Hooray.

-Should we take the arena sequence as confirmation that Hizdar zo Loraq (he speaks for the trees Mereenese!) was not heading up/involved with the Sons of the Harpy?

Who knows what it means in the show, but in the books the Harpy's the Green Grace. Harpy's always been the Green Grace. It's subtle, but there's way more evidence for her than for any of the other leading contenders, none of whom are actually Hizdahr.
posted by The Master and Margarita Mix at 9:12 PM on June 7, 2015


I just liked it when Hizdar went down, after being so smug and sententious on conversation, very "whoops tranquilizer dart!"
posted by The Whelk at 9:13 PM on June 7, 2015


Soooo...preciously few book events left?

stabbity stab

Blindity blind

And Lady Not Appearing In This Series?

Everything else I think (I'm working off a wiki here) seemesto have been changed too much to be predictive.
posted by The Whelk at 9:16 PM on June 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


(Specifically with the fighting in the pit, I loved Jorah getting whupped by the water dancer.)
posted by Drinky Die at 9:18 PM on June 7, 2015 [5 favorites]


What's the point of taking the throne if you're older and don't have any living heirs anymore?

There isn't much of any. The symbolism of burning a wooden stag along with his child seems pretty clear. RIP House Baratheon.
posted by Drinky Die at 9:36 PM on June 7, 2015 [14 favorites]


I just liked it when Hizdar went down, after being so smug and sententious on conversation, very "whoops tranquilizer dart!"

Reopening the pits did not have the intended effect.

Also, loved the look on Dany's face when he was pontificating about the lasting greatness of Mereen. I was thinking the same thing she was: oh this city will last long after us? really? want to bet?
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:40 PM on June 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


To add another angle on the Drogon/spears issue, the AV Club's reviewer suggests the issue wasn't that Drogon was being hurt, it was that he would have killed everyone in the arena (on both sides) if Dany hadn't led him off.
posted by gerryblog at 9:42 PM on June 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


We've been playing a lot of Dragon Age in this house recently and when Drogon showed up I yelped "Go for the legs!"
posted by The Whelk at 9:47 PM on June 7, 2015 [5 favorites]


ugh, they need better editors, there was some decent shots in the battle, but they were interspersed by lots of garbage, and the close-up shots of Dany on Drogon's back looked about as realistic as the analogous shots from The Never Ending Story. While the far-away shots of Drogon flying off were pretty good.

I'm wondering if show-only watchers are appreciating how after five years, they finally don't have book-readers watching them sideways to check out their reactions to the next big spoiler. At this point, I wonder if the show-runners are setting up any big twists specifically for book watchers. Like maybe after telegraphing it for half the season, Jon doesn't die. Perhaps because I'm violently allergic to resurrection plotlines, I've been kind of hoping for this anyway. I'm fine with Jon dying for good, but to have him die and then come back is just dumb, at least in my opinion.
posted by skewed at 9:53 PM on June 7, 2015 [4 favorites]


LEAVE DROGON ALONE
posted by turbid dahlia at 9:54 PM on June 7, 2015 [8 favorites]


Wow. Shireen being burned alive was haunting and horrifying, even though of course I expected it. Very curious to see what the show does with Ser Davos next season, considering I can't imagine his reaction will be particularly pleased. Also morbidly curious just how much Rh'llor intervention burning a princess alive buys Melisandre, considering we know that intercourse with a king gets her a creepy smoke assassin, and burning leeches full of kings' blood appears to let her dole out slow-death-by-apparent-coincidence.

The rest of the episode? Meh. The Harpy fight was pretty hilariously bad, both in terms of CG and fight choreography. In ADWD, doesn't Drogon actually grab Danerys and drag her off into the air? It's been so long since I read those, and I can't be arsed to re-read tonight. Wiki tells me no, she climbs up on her own accord in the books, too. Huh.

I agree that this was mostly the best Dorne we've seen all season. It did keep Jamie out of play so Cersei's undoing could play out in King's Landing, but that's about all I can say for it.

Jon is sooooo getting stabbed by Ollie. I am very curious whether we get TWOW or season 6 first...
posted by Alterscape at 9:55 PM on June 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


We've reached the terrible dark mingling of the show and book threads mingling, like the Rio Grande mixing into the ocean.
posted by The Whelk at 9:57 PM on June 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


RIP House Baratheon.

Well there is Gendry (who's presumably hanging out with Rickon and like, the rest of the Greyjoys in some kind of magical cave/greenroom hybrid just off stage)
posted by thivaia at 9:57 PM on June 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


resurrection plot-lines

the show keeps going out of its way to say Resurrection Magic Is A Thing
posted by The Whelk at 9:58 PM on June 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


So, those men are just going to follow a king who burns his own child at the stake?

It worked for Agamemnon. Odds on Selyse snapping and killing Stannis and Melisandre? Or will it be Davos as Clytemnestra?
posted by asperity at 9:58 PM on June 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


Ugh. GRRM has a lot of violence but, unlike with the show since Talisa's pregnancy tbh, he doesn't think the only function of nice things, bonding scenes, or character development is to make the audience more invested so they're more upset when he rips it away. D&D have said many times that they wanted to make the show because they wanted to make a TV adaptation of the Red Wedding. That's the peak of the narrative for them. They, and people like uber creep Bryan "this is Game of Thrones" Cogman, think asoiaf is snuff, and their adaptation at this point is very little more than snuff. Bad, schlocky snuff, too, real shitty soap opera territory here. Did they really invent scenes of this little girl teaching people to read, hugging her dad, and getting cute toys from her bff in the same episode they burned her alive???
posted by moonlight on vermont at 10:07 PM on June 7, 2015 [18 favorites]


the show keeps going out of its way to say Resurrection Magic Is A Thing


Yeah, and I'd love it if they kept it that way. Resurrection is second only to shape-shifting as the narrative device that immediately cheapens anything it touches.
posted by skewed at 10:07 PM on June 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


Well there is Gendry (who's presumably hanging out with Rickon and like, the rest of the Greyjoys in some kind of magical cave/greenroom hybrid just off stage)

magical rowboat
posted by longdaysjourney at 10:17 PM on June 7, 2015 [4 favorites]


Odo rules. Time travel is the worst plot device.
posted by Drinky Die at 10:18 PM on June 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


Genies or other magical things that can be rules-wanked into granting unlimited wishes, either in number or scope, are at least in the top five worst.
posted by Strange Interlude at 10:22 PM on June 7, 2015 [1 favorite]



Well, in the TWoW Arya chapter where she doesn't kill Meryn Trant but a similar character, she basically seduces him and touches his dick, sooooo I guess that's definitely happening on the show. Hooray.


UGH i forgot about that, but as soon as creepo greasehair was like TOOOO OLD FOR MY CREEPY KIDDYFUCKING PEEN i basically just assumed it was going to happen right then and there

ugh ugh ugh ghkjghdfg
posted by poffin boffin at 10:31 PM on June 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


RIP House Baratheon.

Eh, girls are worthless and count for nothing but birthing, making dinner, and dying anyway, amirite?!

Besides, he'll just dump Selyse and knock Melisande up with many fine shadow sons!
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:38 PM on June 7, 2015


Dude, that was some fucked up shit right there.

It didn't even make narrative sense. This is just Grand Guignol.

People talked about quitting the show after Sansa's rape.

Well, then.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:45 PM on June 7, 2015


Arya stalking Trant and lying about it was great.

I don't think she fooled Jaqen though, did she?

I mean a couple weeks ago she couldn't even fool him when she was lying to herself (about how much she hated the Hound).
posted by torticat at 10:53 PM on June 7, 2015 [6 favorites]


Soooo...preciously few book events left?

You mean for the finale, or for the show to work with going forward? Cuz I was wondering how they'll fit everything in next week--the insurrection at the Wall, Arya's killing Trant (I kinda doubt she goes blind this season?), wrapping up Stannis/Winterfell (however that happens), and Kings Landing? That's a lot to cover!
posted by torticat at 10:56 PM on June 7, 2015


Arya stalking Trant and lying about it was great.

I don't think she fooled Jaqen though, did she?


I couldn't tell, but probably not. He wants to see where she is going with it.
posted by Drinky Die at 10:59 PM on June 7, 2015


I don't think she fooled Jaqen though, did she?

i don't think so either, and also i assume that the other girl is following her to see what she's doing.
posted by poffin boffin at 11:00 PM on June 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


Ellaria came around pretty quickly, didn't she?

I thought she was trying a different tactic of instead of trying to foment rebellion with three children, trying to talk to Jaime in order to blackmail him.
posted by Apocryphon at 11:05 PM on June 7, 2015


placing bets on Stannis' wife straight murdering him because of this and then his whole cause just dissolves cause of course it would, everything is going to end up with the least possible likely person gaining power.

Hail King Pod.
posted by The Whelk at 11:06 PM on June 7, 2015 [10 favorites]


Thoros of Myr needs to haul his ass off Gendry's rowboat and come resurrect Shireen, like, NOW. Then Shireen can become Lady Stoneheart and get with the sweet retribution.


I can dream, right?
posted by culfinglin at 11:08 PM on June 7, 2015 [10 favorites]


I was thinking about how Stannis's killing Shireen compares to Jaime's (attempted) murder of Bran in season 1.

Jaime's action was justified (kinda sorta) by the fact that in his mind, it was Bran vs his own children and the woman he loved; i.e. Robert would have had all of them executed if the truth had come out about him and Cersei.

In a utilitarian sense, you could say that Stannis's sacrifice (in his religion-unhinged mind) stands to save a lot more lives than five.

Yet killing your own child is--well, it feels like--just about the worst evil of all. I would die for my child, I would possibly kill for my child, but there are no circumstances ever in which I would kill my child.

So yeah, it's hard for me to imagine how Stannis has any followers after this. I don't understand how his army stands by to a man and allows it to happen. And I can't even imagine the HELL TO PAY when Davos learns of Shireen's death.

(I strongly disagree with the comment upthread suggesting Davos doesn't have much of a story after this. I'll be surprised if he doesn't kill Stannis himself. He has followed Stannis in spite of many misgivings because he thinks he will be a wise and just king. He's about to find out he's been serving as hand to someone as crazy and dangerous as Mad King Aerys, and he's not just going to fade out after that.)
posted by torticat at 11:13 PM on June 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


maybe i should watch it again on 20mg of flexeril and an ambien and some oxy and see if it looks better

on the other hand my spine feels fanfuckingtastic and i might do some interpretive dance about it instead

but i suppose that will have to go in projects
posted by poffin boffin at 11:14 PM on June 7, 2015 [13 favorites]


You know if they just gave Ramsay maybe 50 good men he could probably handle the White Walkers himself.
posted by Drinky Die at 11:16 PM on June 7, 2015 [14 favorites]


Davos and Brienne joining up for dispensing some vigilante justice on Melisandre and Ramsay would make me immeasurably happy.
posted by culfinglin at 11:21 PM on June 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


One more comment from me... I absolutely ADORED the Dany/Drogon scene, I don't care if the CGI was bad or not. That was the first time ever this show has given me chills, and a big reason I thought it had such emotional impact (and was a massive improvement over the book scene) was that TYRION was witnessing all of it.

Very cool callback of sorts to the conversation when Jorah said to Tyrion, "It's hard to be cynical after seeing something like that."
posted by torticat at 11:23 PM on June 7, 2015 [10 favorites]


Arya carrying a big slab of day old fish-rocks into a brothel is one of the clumsiest things I have ever seen. I feel awkward watching it.
posted by turbid dahlia at 11:23 PM on June 7, 2015 [6 favorites]


rewatch mission aborted due to peanut butter in the lead investigator's hair
posted by poffin boffin at 11:27 PM on June 7, 2015 [4 favorites]


yeah, the shots of Tyrion's wonderment at Drogon were the best part of that scene.
posted by skewed at 11:29 PM on June 7, 2015 [4 favorites]


I had the same lightbulb-clicks-on-overhead moment as culfinglin just now -- we obviously need the Davos and Brienne Traveling Vengeance Show.

Also, apropos turbid dahlia: I think Arya is not doing a very good job of being invisible here, and I'm wondering how/if that will come back to haunt her. It seems pretty clumsy, for a Faceless Person, which I suppose is somewhat the point. Her lust for vengeance is leading her to make really dumb mistakes. Her book assassination of the random Lannister was part of a carefully-planned deep cover operation, post-Cat-of-the-Canals. This is happening much sooner, and much more clumsily, so a man wonders..
posted by Alterscape at 11:30 PM on June 7, 2015 [4 favorites]


I literally just said "stannis no" in an increasingly desperate voice over and over and over again
posted by KathrynT at 11:31 PM on June 7, 2015 [5 favorites]


Also what are tyrion &co gonna do now? Just be like "Heyyyyy ruling families of Mereen, that was some SHIT huh? How about you all just let us run things in the absence of the woman whose rule you openly barely tolerated and secretly conspired to end? That cool with you?"
posted by KathrynT at 11:33 PM on June 7, 2015 [6 favorites]


it's Tyrion "David Hume" Lannister in a triumvirate with Jorah "Stoneheart" Mormont and Daario Naharis, second of his name.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 11:45 PM on June 7, 2015 [7 favorites]


Re: Arya tailing Trant—I was just grateful that no one made any jokes about the smell of fish in a brothel.
posted by culfinglin at 11:47 PM on June 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


Also what are tyrion &co gonna do now? Just be like "Heyyyyy ruling families of Mereen, that was some SHIT huh?

This wasn't well-explained in the books, right? I guess Ser Barristan was still around to fill in? I can't remember why the rule of Daenerys's cohorts was accepted though--maybe the Unsullied continued to keep order?

In any case I don't think it'll be an issue on the show. The show has cut through so much of the mereenese knot without trouble; I doubt they'll have Dany off communing with nature & Drogon for weeks/months. I think she'll be back sooner rather than later.
posted by torticat at 12:05 AM on June 8, 2015


maybe i should watch it again on 20mg of flexeril and an ambien and some oxy and see if it looks better

on the other hand my spine feels fanfuckingtastic and i might do some interpretive dance about it instead


you could do that, but then you would have to register with the state as a music festival.
posted by clockzero at 12:14 AM on June 8, 2015 [6 favorites]


no i have to get this peanut butter out of my hair first

also the brush
posted by poffin boffin at 12:16 AM on June 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


Oh man did you see that awesome neckpiece thing Dany was wearing? I hope they have them in the next Loot Crate!
posted by turbid dahlia at 12:23 AM on June 8, 2015 [5 favorites]


If you think about it, Stannis seeming like a potentially good ruler, if inflexible and as murderous as the rest of them, and then getting the rug pulled from under you by him becoming a terrible infanticide, fits in with the rest of the series. This is just GRRM turning tropes on their heads again. No one is safe from contrarian narratives for the sake of it. Pretty much everyone in Westeros is about as debased and depraved as people in a Garth Ennis comic.
posted by Apocryphon at 12:24 AM on June 8, 2015 [4 favorites]


Those other two dragons are going to be pissed as hell when they are released which is obviously what's going to happen next episode.
posted by turbid dahlia at 12:34 AM on June 8, 2015


HA HA i forgot the bit where hizdhar gets whacked too, that was glorious, unexpected, but long awaited. but, uh. i guess that means he wasn't the harpy leader dude after all? or was it a coup?

really tho who cares because DRAGONNNNNSSS
posted by poffin boffin at 12:36 AM on June 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


Fantasy casting: who do you want to play the role of Aegon VI, who swoops in out of nowhere and cleans house in both Westeros and Essos with his 10,000 best sellsword buddies?!?
posted by Apocryphon at 12:36 AM on June 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


also i found drogon's flames to be something of a let down. you'd think dragonflame would be strong enough to leave behind only ash and a few shards of charred bone. it's hot enough to melt half of dragonstone into dragonglass, ffs. where are my ash piles of treachery.
posted by poffin boffin at 12:38 AM on June 8, 2015 [7 favorites]


So in the books, do the Land Sharks, who have done literally nothing so far except spear a buried man through the head, suck at fighting, get their gear out, play patty-cake with one another, and generally be bitchy and surly, actually serve a purpose?
posted by turbid dahlia at 12:44 AM on June 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


also i found drogon's flames to be something of a let down

Same here, but I wrote off that (and his vulnerability to spears) as him just being a little boy still learning about the world.
posted by turbid dahlia at 12:45 AM on June 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


Fantasy casting: who do you want to play the role of Aegon VI,

is this the kid who was traveling with griff and tyrion and septa hottie in terrible tedious boat trip we narrowly avoided?
posted by poffin boffin at 12:46 AM on June 8, 2015


Yup, he's one of the many casualties of this season who were written out before they could even be filmed. You'd think having 10k troops ready to invade Westeros would be more significant than, say, yet another Martell who doesn't really do anything.
posted by Apocryphon at 12:52 AM on June 8, 2015


Arya carrying a big slab of day old fish-rocks into a brothel is one of the clumsiest things I have ever seen. I feel awkward watching it.

it does happen in the books, though, but it's way less awkward and creepy. and i think it was because she met one of the girls on the street and the girl said "come by my place with your wares later" or something? maybe?
posted by poffin boffin at 12:56 AM on June 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


But filming yet another Martell who doesn't really do anything is cheap relative to 10,000 CG extras. And it conveniently keeps Jamie busy. WTF was Jamie doing in the books, anyway? I seem to have forgotten most of AFFC/ADWD. Not entirely sure that's a bad thing..
posted by Alterscape at 12:56 AM on June 8, 2015


So in the books, do the Land Sharks, who have done literally nothing so far except spear a buried man through the head, suck at fighting, get their gear out, play patty-cake with one another, and generally be bitchy and surly, actually serve a purpose?

They deliver some candygrams, I hear.
posted by louche mustachio at 12:57 AM on June 8, 2015 [6 favorites]


torticat: "This wasn't well-explained in the books, right? I guess Ser Barristan was still around to fill in? I can't remember why the rule of Daenerys's cohorts was accepted though--maybe the Unsullied continued to keep order? "

Daenerys' power is based on and kept by her 8000 Unsullied as infantry (well, that's the number she started with, likely a bit fewer now) lead by Grey Worm, and 2000 sellswords from the Second Sons as heavy cavalry, lead by Daario Naharis, plus the three dragons that are at least potentially living weapons of mass destruction.

On the Meereenese side, you have the Sons of the Harpy and probably assorted malcontents, but I'm assuming the Sons of the Harpy went all-out in today's attack, and it didn't go too well for them. I counted maybe 50-100 in total, and at least half of those weren't around by the end. Even if that was, say, a third of their total forces, or 10%, they're no more than a thousand, but they're in a city they know well and can probably keep up urban insurgency warfare for a while.

The dragons are at the moment out of play, but Grey Worm is loyal to Daenerys and to Melisandre, Daario Naharis is loyal to Daenerys and seems to like Tyrion, Melisandre was just saved by Tyrion, and Jorah Mormont is probably looked upon with kinder eyes by anyone loyal to Daenerys after this, maybe even enough to put the high school jealous rivalry between him and Daario aside. I think they can rule the city just as well without Daenerys there, if they keep their heads about them. They'll need to deal with the Sons of the Harpy, but they should be weakened by now, and if I'm not mistaken, a lot of heads of the great families were slaughtered by them just now, so even a lot of the ex masters might turn against them.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 12:58 AM on June 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


I was referring to Quentyn Martell, who they excised just like they did with Aegon VI, as a character more worthy of being removed, compared to the importance of a potential Targaryen claimant. Since I'm pretty sure his entire story arc begins and ends in ADWD.
Maybe they'll bring him in next season, along with Lord Manderly.
posted by Apocryphon at 1:00 AM on June 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


So in the books, do the Land Sharks, who have done literally nothing so far except spear a buried man through the head, suck at fighting, get their gear out, play patty-cake with one another, and generally be bitchy and surly, actually serve a purpose?

The Dorne storylines in the books are definitely stupid and boring. And they are joined by stupid and boring Iron Island storylines, and stupid and boring storylines about a couple of other brand new characters. So as sub optimal as the Dorne storyline has been I at least am glad that it makes up a much smaller fraction of the total storylines than do the stupid and boring and pointless new storylines in the books.

Jon Connington? What? Why? Why is this man in my book? Why are there all these new people who I don't give a shit about? WHY?
posted by Justinian at 1:20 AM on June 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


Maybe they'll bring him in next season, along with Lord Manderly.

God I hope not.

Although I could make an exception for Manderly if only because ALL FREYS MUST DIE.
posted by Justinian at 1:20 AM on June 8, 2015


Justinian: "ALL FREYS MUST DIE"

Die, or pie. We're not picky.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 1:25 AM on June 8, 2015 [7 favorites]


Can Shireen come back as an ice zombie and eat Melisandre please

And then the Night's King can give her a hug and tell her she's an awesome ice zombie and he's proud of her

please
posted by prize bull octorok at 2:20 AM on June 8, 2015 [27 favorites]


Sand snakes in the book have more of a point and are less cartoonish. Ignore Justinian, he is full of haaaaate.
posted by corb at 2:32 AM on June 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


I feel my hatred flowing through me!
posted by Justinian at 2:59 AM on June 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


I hope the Joe Abercrombie 'First Law' series I am about to start reading gives me the same epic feels that I am still happy to admit the first two Martin books did.
posted by turbid dahlia at 3:08 AM on June 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


Hm. It's... different. Good, but different.
posted by Justinian at 3:15 AM on June 8, 2015


They've already shown a few scenes of Davos trying to get Stannis to actually make a sane decision on this war thing.... To no avail. He is going to find out about Shireen and go all midieval on Stannis' ass. No smoke babies, no fingers.....no problem!!!! Davos on the iron throne!!
posted by pearlybob at 3:23 AM on June 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


The dragons are at the moment out of play, but Grey Worm is loyal to Daenerys and to Melisandre

Missandei
posted by zarq at 3:42 AM on June 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


It really seems like they're gonna have to cram a ton of stuff into the finale. Jon's surprise retirement party, Cersei's new fashion trend, Arya's decision on whether to kill Meryn Trant (SPOILER SHE TOTALLY GONNA KILL MERYN TRANT), the stunning conclusion to the briliant and enthralling Dornish interlude, the assault on Winterfell, Sansa and Theon bonding over how much they hate Ramsay, something with Brienne, Tyrion, Dany, and the Meereneese crew.

That's a lot of storylines.
posted by Justinian at 4:47 AM on June 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


I don't think they're going to touch the Dany storyline again this season, that was her finale.

I have a feeling they might save the Jon shanking for next season, if only for the fact that it would be really hard to keep his return a secret if Kit Harington is on set. Because Jon ain't gonna stay dead. Unless his return is an unintended consequence of sacrificing Shireen in which case he may get stabbed and resurrected all in the same episode.

(All I want is for Stannis to realize that he is not The Special and to then die slowly and filled with horror and anguish and regret).
posted by lydhre at 5:15 AM on June 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


I kinda said the same upthread, Justinian. However--I think we're done with Mereen for the season. Daenerys got her finale. Could well be done with Dorne too; I'm not sure anything more needs to be wrapped up there.

I'm not sure there needs to be an assault on Winterfell; how could Stannis possibly pull that off? It's still snowing; and if he couldn't attack before losing half his stores to fire plus all those sellswords (or whoever they were) who abandoned him, how's he going to march now? I think Stannis might be left in camp just as in the books.

We do have to get back to Winterfell, but I think that storyline may just involve the escape of Sansa, probably along with Theon, with the help of Brienne.

Jon, Cersei, Arya, Sansa--those are the only characters we HAVE to return to. And that's more than enough. Though Jon's story doesn't have to take long; everything's pretty much in place there already... even Ghost!
posted by torticat at 5:17 AM on June 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


I have a feeling they might save the Jon shanking for next season

I guess that could be... the folks at the Wall got a pretty spectacular sendoff over the last two eps. My (non-book-reading) son thought we were done with Jon and that that last line "You're a compassionate man. And you're going to get us all killed" (owtte) was a nice way to leave Jon Snow.

But then there's Sam's comment "he always comes back," which works best if he's gone the end of this season than if he dies & returns in short order all in the next. Also I have a hard time believing the showrunners will be able to resist a season cliffhanger in which JS is apparently killed.
posted by torticat at 5:26 AM on June 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


Couldn't we come up with a better place for Arya to follow Trant than a brothel? And could we have Trant be something other than a pedophile? Fuck me, it was torture young girls week apparently. At least the ladies in the brothel had some clothes on. Small mercies, I guess.

They are going on and on about him being a pedo to make Arya look better when she kills him. the spoiler chapter from the books has no brothel but has Arya seducing him instead to kill him, and she comes across as a grimdark bloodthirsty superfocussed killer rather than the much more sympathetic Sweet Arya characterization the TV show insists on
posted by Bwithh at 5:55 AM on June 8, 2015 [6 favorites]


Another schlocky hacky episode...
posted by Bwithh at 5:57 AM on June 8, 2015


The fuck.

Davos is going to be pissed.

Arya's stalking of Trant was really clumsy, he saw her what, like half a dozen times? The Mean Girl Assassin was right, she's not ready.

I've heard the showrunners don't read internet commentary so as not to allow it to influence the show, but you can bet your ass that the HBO execs are paying attention. I predict a shortening of the editorial leash for the next season after seeing all the negative reaction to the excessive sexual violence/torture porn. At least that's what I'm hoping for.
posted by Bunny Boneyology at 6:11 AM on June 8, 2015


but you can bet your ass that the HBO execs are paying attention. I predict a shortening of the editorial leash for the next season after seeing all the negative reaction to the excessive sexual violence/torture porn

Hahahahahaha, NO. The only thing that'll really matter is falling ratings and it's doubtful that's going to happen. The show is wildly popular and considering that they just killed off one of the most adorable child characters ever, in one of the most gruesome ways ever, I doubt the show is going slow down on the controversial material, just because some people on the internet are angry.

Much of the point of the show is that these are horrible times and horrible things occur.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:18 AM on June 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


Hardhome got the highest ratings the show has had during the entire run. The audience isn't being driven away by this stuff. If anything the ratings were low earlier in the season because there wasn't enough sex, rape, cruelty, violence, and death.
posted by Drinky Die at 6:20 AM on June 8, 2015 [4 favorites]


I admittedly haven't watched the episode, but I also was CONVINCED that Selyse would go behind Stannis' back to burn Shireen, as a "LOVE ME STANNIS and also yay glory to the god of light etc" thing. To have Stannis do it, seems like stupid shock value, especially after they built up the whole "you are my precious daughter" angle.

I feel like they're setting up a Sansa + Stannis thing though. Because Stannis needs Winterfell, Stannis needs the North, and Stannis needs a wife to provide him some heirs. I hope I'm wrong, but...
posted by specialagentwebb at 6:42 AM on June 8, 2015 [4 favorites]


To have Stannis do it, seems like stupid shock value, especially after they built up the whole "you are my precious daughter" angle.

The first time we meet Stannis, he's burning his brother-in-law at the stake while his wife looks on approvingly.

He would have done the same to Gendry, his nephew, had Davos not intervened.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:48 AM on June 8, 2015 [4 favorites]


People keep saying the Sand Snakes were better in the books. Were they? I mostly remember Adrienne sexing that dumb guy Aerys and then all of them getting locked in a tower. Am I completely forgetting some interesting plotline besides Myrcella's ear getting lopped off, which wasn't actually very interesting? I assume Dorne/the Snakes have some role to play in the larger story since the showrunners have excised so much other crap yet still chosen to include them, but without Quentyn it's a lot less clear what that could be. Of course, even WITH Quentyn that wasn't clear, since that whole plotline was a dead end. At this point I certainly wouldn't put it past them to have the Snakes just for T&A opportunities.
posted by gatorae at 6:55 AM on June 8, 2015


People keep saying the Sand Snakes were better in the books. Were they?


the words that came out of their mouths and their motivations and the scenes that they were in and the way that they advanced the plot and their general characterization were all superior in the books than in than the show

but otherwise its a wash ok
posted by lalochezia at 7:01 AM on June 8, 2015 [4 favorites]


Sansa and Theon bonding over how much they hate Ramsay

Theon is in Stannis' camp. Whether it's because Ramsey and his men are still there, too, or because Theon's defected (doesn't Yara / Asha rescue him and then they stumble into Stannis' camp at the end of ADWD?) is unclear, but that will definitely come into play next week.
posted by thecaddy at 7:02 AM on June 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


Hardhome got the highest ratings the show has had during the entire run.

Yes, but critic's ratings don't necessarily correlate to audience viewership numbers. The latter are probably more important to the showrunners and the network.

In terms of viewership, per wikipedia, the season premiere was viewed by 8 million people. Hardhome by 7.01 million. Average viewership has been fairly regular over the last two seasons, in and around the mid six million to low seven million range. The lowest viewership for any show this season or last was The Gift with 5.4 million. Notable, because it came after the most polarizing episode of both seasons: Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken when Sana was raped by Ramsay.

Four episodes had higher viewership last season than Hardhome: First of His Name, Mockingbird, The Mountain and The Viper, and The Children. The largest audience any GoT episode has ever had was The Wars to Come, the Season 5 series premiere. Even despite the first four episodes of the season having been leaked online.
posted by zarq at 7:05 AM on June 8, 2015 [5 favorites]


Hardhome got the highest ratings the show has had during the entire run.

I don't understand how these ratings are tabulated. Are there really viewers who watch a few episodes here and there without watching them serially? I can't imagine there are many. Presumably, nearly everyone who watched Hardhome also watched the episode before. So maybe the ratings are just tracking who is watching on the initial airing? But the cool Hardhome battle was a secret until during the episode aired. If anything, episode ratings would track the popularity of the previous episode.
posted by painquale at 7:07 AM on June 8, 2015


Hardhome got the highest ratings the show has had during the entire run.

Yes, but critic's ratings don't necessarily correlate to audience viewership numbers.


Yeah, I meant audience viewership. I misread this as meaning since the series premiere, not season.

Happily, the show’s fortunes seem to be turning around, as “Hardhome” was viewed by just north of 7 million people, which earned it a 3.4 rating among adults 18-49. That’s quite a jump over the 5.40 million who tuned in last week. In fact, those are the best numbers the show has pulled in since the premiere.

Think that still supports my point there though.

Notable, because it came after the most polarizing episode of both seasons: Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken when Sana was raped by Ramsay.

And notable for airing on Memorial Day when the ratings always drop.
posted by Drinky Die at 7:10 AM on June 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


The lowest viewership for any show this season or last was The Gift with 5.4 million. Notable, because it came after the most polarizing episode of both seasons: Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken when Sana was raped by Ramsay.

The Gift aired over Memorial Day weekend, which is notorious for lower ratings. HBO usually doesn't even air episodes that weekend, but did this year due to the weird timing of Memorial Day.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:13 AM on June 8, 2015


Hardhome wasn't actually a rapey, grim episode though, was it? At least by Game of Thrones standards?
posted by bgal81 at 7:23 AM on June 8, 2015


No, the point is the earlier episodes that had that content didn't significantly shrink the audience going forward.
posted by Drinky Die at 7:29 AM on June 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


I don't understand how these ratings are tabulated. Are there really viewers who watch a few episodes here and there without watching them serially? I can't imagine there are many. Presumably, nearly everyone who watched Hardhome also watched the episode before. So maybe the ratings are just tracking who is watching on the initial airing? But the cool Hardhome battle was a secret until during the episode aired. If anything, episode ratings would track the popularity of the previous episode.

Well, interestingly enough....

Since HBO plays their shows' episodes repeatedly across various channels, and viewers can catch up using either OnDemand or HBO Go, the network believed they were being given short shrift as far as viewership numbers. So, at the end of last year, HBO announced they would stop issuing overnight ratings (called 'Live Plus Same Day' which include Nielsen ratings for the live broadcast plus any same day repeats.) As of January 1 of this year, they only issue ratings from Nielsen’s 'Live Plus 7' measure -- which covers a full week. Those numbers aren't available for at least a week and a half to two weeks.

The numbers on Wikipedia appear to be the 'Live Plus Same Day' numbers. Which gives continuity on the page from previous seasons, so people have a consistent metric to go by in terms of audience numbers. It would be nice if the page included the 'Live Plus 7' numbers, too.
posted by zarq at 7:31 AM on June 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


Theon is in Stannis' camp.

Wait, what?
posted by torticat at 7:39 AM on June 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


The Lord of Light / Seven clash should be interesting whenever that happens.

EPIC CGI SKY BATTLE! Next season, I'm calling it.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:43 AM on June 8, 2015




I am still feeling a lot of feelings about Princess Shireen of House Baratheon, you guys.

I really don't understand, from a character point of view, why Davos doesn't try to sneak her out. It seems obvious to me from his goodbye scene that he knows something, even if he's perhaps trying to convince himself that his Stannis wouldn't do such a thing. He stuck his neck out for Gendry, and could have died for it—having lost his sons, and with Shireen someone he has known a long time and genuinely cared about, how could he leave her there?
posted by felix grundy at 7:46 AM on June 8, 2015 [4 favorites]


...oh, thecaddy, you're not saying Theon's presently in Stannis's camp but that he will be by season's end?

I'm not sure, I think that could EASILY be something the show is taking in a totally different direction. No way Asha shows up in the finale. And Book Theon shows up in Stannis's camp with fake Arya in tow; I do not think that's where Sansa is headed.

I'm partly basing this on time remaining: there just isn't space for them to fit in Theon's escaping WITH Sansa and ending up in Stannis's camp, and I think the Theon-Sansa story has been developed fully enough that Theon's not going to make an independent escape.

Could be wrong, though.
posted by torticat at 7:47 AM on June 8, 2015


No, I'm saying he is physically in Stannis' camp, literally. He's huddling under a blanket as Davos walks by after Stannis orders him to hang the guards after finding out what happened.

Obviously Ramsey would have taken him along for the special ops mission, so it's unclear whether he escaped or if Ramsey's not done yet.
posted by thecaddy at 7:53 AM on June 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


They showed a guy freezing his butt off who looked like Theon but I don't think it was Theon, just a soldier freezing his butt off?
posted by Drinky Die at 7:53 AM on June 8, 2015


By popular demand I'll try my hand at D&D (5e) recapping again – but only the last sequence. I'm not touching the Iphigereen scene with a ten-foot stele.

The fighting pit scene opens with Dany, Tyrion, Daario, Missandei, and Stylax – I mean Hizdahr – roleplaying in the royal box. Tyrion passes a Wisdom (insight) check against Stylax, but uses it only to fire off some repartee. Dany passes her Wisdom (insight) check to know that the crowd is waiting for her to start the fighting, but fails her Intelligence (knowledge: local customs) check to know how to do that. There's definitely some house-ruling going on, so bear with me.

The first match pits a fighter wearing what looks like splint armor, and armed with a two-handed sword, against another in padded armor and armed with your standard sword & board setup (though it's really more of a buckler than a shield). That fight ends with a house-ruled decapitative crit, which in turn gives Daario a negative modifer on his Charisma (intimidation) contest with Stylax, er, Hizdahr. There's more roleplaying in the royal box; further ability checks and contests are left as an exercise for the reader.

The second pair of matches sees Ser Jorah, wearing half-plate and wielding a longsword, face off against a waterdancer with no armor but bearing a rapier. Both are clearly high-level fighters – Ser Jorah probably has the champion template, while the waterdancer is more of a Dex-based duelist with a finesse weapon. I'm going to guess Ser Jorah also has a remarkably high Constitution, not only because he's been resisting the effects of greyscale all this time, but because he clearly has a mammoth health pool. The waterdancer nonetheless whittles away at Jorah's HP, while avoiding Jorah's attacks himself. What the waterdancer's Dex modifier must be, I can only guess. Anyhoo, the waterdancer gets Jorah's HP pretty darned low, has him prone, and is about to deliver a coup de grace (full action) but gets critted instead with a spear through the gut. I'll guess the spear-wielder also had some levels in thief for all that extra sneak attack damage. Then Ser Jorah and the spearman – who's also wearing half-plate, by the look of it – go at it for a few rounds, until Jorah finally executes a deft little avoidance maneuver and rolls some massive damage with his longsword, finishing off the last opponent.

Then things get a little crazy, because no one really has a handle on the draft rules for mass combat (pdf link). After Jorah aces his attack roll against the Harpy with the thrown spear, using his Str not his Dex modifier, more Harpies come out of the woodwork. Stylax-Hizdahr, being a 0-level commoner, is quickly dispatched with a couple dagger thrusts. The rolls after that are pretty muddled between stands and solos until....

A wild dragon appears! At this point I wouldn't mind having a discursive digression about what exact type of dragon Drogon is supposed to be, but this recap is getting long as it is. His breath weapon is definitely being house-ruled, since a dragon's breath weapon is supposed to have a 5-6 round recharge, and Drogon breathes fire nearly every round. He also uses his bite attack to good effect, but neglects his claw attacks because the showrunners don't know the difference between a true dragon and a wyvern. His tail swipe attack and frightful presence won't be available until he reaches adult stage. Thrown spears have little chance against his high natural AC, but some do minor damage.

The encounter climaxes as Dany steps forward and ... casts charm monster? No, that spell has been removed from 5e. Instead she rolls high on a Charisma (persuasion) check, on which she has maternal advantage. She then passes a house-ruled Dex check to mount Drogon, who as a Large creature can easily carry her, and they fly off. I don't have the MM in front of me so I couldn't say what Drogon's flying movement speed would be. The party exits combat at this point.

After the encounter, Ser Jorah should get some nice XP from the combat, with Daario and Tyrion getting some small amounts too. Dany should get some XP as well for her handling of Drogon. I doubt the Harpies carried much treasure beyond the value of their masks: let's say those are 5gp each. Awards of inspiration for good roleplay are left up to the reader.
posted by The Nutmeg of Consolation at 7:56 AM on June 8, 2015 [24 favorites]


> So a leech's worth of blood will take out a king, assuming Balon's dead, but it takes an entire person to take out a mere Warden of the North? That's some shit math, Fire God.

> But he doesn't just need to take out the Warden of the North. He also needs to defeat the bravest leader, mightiest warrior and smartest strategist the seven kingdoms have ever known, shirtless Ramsay Bolton.

And protect the huddled, starving camp of Stannis from the blizzard that has them frozen in their tracks (heh heh).
posted by filthy light thief at 7:57 AM on June 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


Whoa, I'll have to rewatch that part. That would be a pretty big point to have missed. :)

I disagree that this is obvious, however:

Ramsey would have taken him along for the special ops mission

...because I think Reek's role at the moment (in Ramsey's mind) is guarding Sansa.
posted by torticat at 7:58 AM on June 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


Quotes from the show:

Jaqen: "And?"
Arya: "The Thin Man wasn’t hungry today."
Jaqen: "Perhaps that’s why the man is thin."
--
Tyrion: “There’s always been enough death in the world for my taste. I can do without it in my leisure time.”
Hizdahr: "Fair enough, yet -- it’s an unpleasant question -- but what great thing has ever been accomplished without killing or cruelty?"
Tyrion: "It’s easy to confuse what is with what ought to be. Especially when what is has worked in your favor."
Hizdahr: "I’m not talking about myself. I’m talking about the necessary conditions of greatness."
Daenerys: "That is greatness?"
Hizdahr: "That is a vital part of the great city of Meereen. Which has existed long before you arrived and will remain standing long after we have returned to the dirt."
Tyrion: "My father would have liked you."
--
Ser Jorah: "I fight and die for your glory, oh glorious Queen."
Hizdahr: "Your Grace--"
Daario: "Shut your mouth."
--
Davos: "What’s this one now?"
Shireen: "The Dance of Dragons. A true telling by Grand Maester Agon"
Davos: "Well that sounds like a proper story."
Shireen: "Ser Byron Swann wanted to kill the dragon Syrax. He polished his shield for a week, til the steel was like a mirror. Then he crouched behind it, and crept forward, hoping the dragon would only see his own reflection."
Davos: "But the dragon only saw a dumb man, holding a mirrored shield."
Shireen: "And burnt him to a crisp."
Davos: "Thus ending the dragonslaying career of Ser Swann. I made you something, Princess."
(Davos hands her a carved wooden stag.)
Davos: "Do you like it?"
Shireen: "He’s beautiful, thank you."
Davos: "You’re very welcome."
Shireen: "Will you make me a doe, too, so that he can have company?"
Davos: "Of course I will."
Shireen: "But why am I getting a present?"
Davos: "Because you deserve it. My son was always on me trying to teach me to read. Gods, I was stubborn about it. Made it this far without reading, seemed to me I could make it to the grave. I wish Ii had listened to them. This is my own poor way of saying thank you for teaching me to be a grown up. I’ll be gone for a few days, Princess. I’ll want to hear all about the dance of dragons when I’m back."
Shireen: "You’ll just have to read it yourself."
--
Aliser Thorne: “You have a good heart, Jon Snow. It’ll get us all killed.”
--
Doran [to Ellaria]: “Your rebellion is over. You can swear your allegiance to me now or you can die. I believe in second chances. I don’t believe in third chances.”
--
Shireen: "Father. Aren’t you cold?"
Stannis: "No. What are you reading?"
Shireen: "The Dance of Dragons."
Stannis: "What’s it about?"
Shireen: "It’s the story of the fight between Rhaenyra Targaryen and her half-brother Aegon for control of the Seven Kingdoms. Both of them thought they belonged on the Iron Throne. When people started for declaring for one of them or the other, their fight divided the kingdom in two. Brothers fought brothers. Dragons fought dragons. By the time it was over, thousands were dead. And it was a disaster for the Targaryens as well. They never truly recovered."
Stannis: “'The dance of dragons'? Why is that a dance?"
Shireen: "That’s just what they call it."
Stannis: "Doesn’t make much sense."
Shireen: "I think it’s poetic."
Stannis: "If you had to choose between Rhaenyra and Aegon, who would you have chosen?"
Shireen: "I wouldn’t have chosen either. It’s all the choosing sides that made things so horrible."
Stannis: "Sometimes a person has to choose. Sometimes the world forces his hand. When a man knows what he is and remains true to himself, the choice is not choice at all. He must fulfill his destiny and become who he is meant to be. However much he may hate it."
Shireen: "It’s alright, father."
Stannis: "You don’t even know what I’m talking about."
Shireen: "It doesn’t matter. I want to help you. Is there any way I can help?"
Stannis: "Yes there is."
Shireen: "Good, I want to. I’m the Princess Shireen of House Baratheon and I’m your daughter."
Stannis: "Forgive me."
posted by zarq at 7:58 AM on June 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


I have a feeling they might save the Jon shanking for next season, if only for the fact that it would be really hard to keep his return a secret if Kit Harington is on set.

Get this: they're not going to have Jon Snow return, just like how they wrote out Lady Stoneheart from the show.
posted by Apocryphon at 8:06 AM on June 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


The scenes at The Wall felt like Plot Line Roll Call: daughters of the overly sentimental Free Folk leader? Check. ominous Olly? Check. (I'm sure there were more, but the lingering shots of the two daughters and Olver felt fairly loaded.)

Say what you will about Drogon, but that guy (? gender uncertain) knows how to make an entrance: through his own effin' flames. But then he fails to burn everyone to a crisp, and instead instinctively (telepathically?) plays favorites and eats and/or burns the Sons of the Harpy and various masters.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:15 AM on June 8, 2015


When Davos walks to Shireen's tent, there's a close up of a freezing guy that looks alot like Theon.
posted by drezdn at 8:15 AM on June 8, 2015


I really don't think that burning Shireen was at all out of character for show Stannis. He's always been shown as utilitarian calculator supreme. He's been shown as a guy who pathologically seems to love being forced to forgo pleasure and make the tough decision.

His character knows that the other side of the wall has an extinction level event waiting in the form of the white walkers, he knows that his army is fucked if they can't take shelter in Winterfell, he knows that he's the only king in the realm who has any real interest in stopping said extinction level event (and apart from that, he still stubbornly believes himself to be the only true legal claimant).

He also knows that the magic of the Red God is real and effective - in fact he likely knows that better than anyone except for Melissandre. Therefore, burning his daughter is a no-brainer, so to speak. In fact it's really not even a contest. I would imagine that there's a perverse part of show Stannis who even enjoys the pain he's had to put himself and his family through.

The scenes at The Wall felt like Plot Line Roll Call: daughters of the overly sentimental Free Folk leader? Check. ominous Olly? Check. (I'm sure there were more, but the lingering shots of the two daughters and Olver felt fairly loaded.)

Everyone hates Wun Wun and gives him the stink eye, which I imagine will have some sort of payoff at some point.
posted by codacorolla at 8:17 AM on June 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


D&D have stated GRRM was the one who told the Shireen was going to burn. So as outraged as we all are, it wasn't their idea. It just hasn't been written yet. GRRM writes billion-page books; it is completely plausible for him to have Stannis go through changes that end with him sacrificing his daughter.
posted by schroedinger at 8:43 AM on June 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


To build on Nutmeg's D&D summary, a more general one:

-Jon makes a leadership check with heavy negative modifiers. Those penalties continue to accrue, though, so watch for his next roll.
-Ramsay gets a critical success on his stealth roll.
-Stannis makes a successful bluff/intimidate check against the sense motive skill of Davos.
-Mace begins a performance check (sustained action).
-Arya makes successful disguise and bluff checks.
-Selyse fails a will save. Stannis may be dealing with alignment drift from LN to LE.
-Jorah makes a timely perception check; Dany casts Summon Monster; a bunch of Mereenese fail reflex saves; Dany passes a Handle Animal check.

but you can bet your ass that the HBO execs are paying attention. I predict a shortening of the editorial leash for the next season

So I had an interesting conversation this past week, with someone who is a fan of the show. We'd never talked GoT before, and my usual GoT conversations are here or in/with other places and people where there's a lot of (series-related) knowledge and thought as well as a lot of media/genre savvy. Anyways, she loves the show. Loves it because it is (from her perspective) unpredictable and that no one is safe, including "Sarsa or whoever it is in Winterfeld." (I'm not trying to be demeaning to this person, who is a skilled, intelligent, wonderful colleague - just trying to point out that how we, the hardcore, are very different from what the majority of the audience might be).

It made me take a big step back and realize that as invested as I am in various story-lines and characters, I'm largely interacting with other die-hard fans or people who analyze the use of some of the themes, narrative devices, and character actions in a way that I think the vast majority of the viewership doesn't. It makes me think that for most people watching this show, it is about the spectacle and the transgressive elements (the violence, the rape, the sexualized nature of much of it) more so than we think.
posted by nubs at 8:50 AM on June 8, 2015 [9 favorites]


I mean, maybe it's not Theon? By the standards of this season's foreshadowing, that shot would barely qualify as subtext.
posted by thecaddy at 8:50 AM on June 8, 2015


I rather liked the wonderful and dark segue from tormented Stannis at the pyre to cheering crowds calling for entertaining blood in Mereen, where there was a moment where the cheering played over Stannis' miserable expression.

Interesting to see whatshisname really wasn't a Son of the Harpy apparently.

I was so sure he was up to something no good, when he came in late and said he had to make sure "everything was in order." I was expecting the poisoned dates, but we don't have a Fat Belwas to eat too much (I miss you, non-existent Fat Belwas).
posted by filthy light thief at 8:52 AM on June 8, 2015 [8 favorites]


D&D have stated GRRM was the one who told the Shireen was going to burn. So as outraged as we all are, it wasn't their idea.

What exactly did Gurm tell them?
posted by drezdn at 9:00 AM on June 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


but we don't have a Fat Belwas to eat too much

Strong Belwas, honey locusts.

I've become one of those people.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:01 AM on June 8, 2015 [19 favorites]


Jorah must have rolled a natural 20 on that spear throw.
posted by drezdn at 9:02 AM on June 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


I mean, maybe it's not Theon? By the standards of this season's foreshadowing, that shot would barely qualify as subtext.

Yeah, I took another look and I do NOT think that was meant to be Theon. The guy is on screen for literally under one second. No way they paid Alfie Allen (or it was one of his contracted episodes or whatever) for that.
posted by torticat at 9:03 AM on June 8, 2015


What exactly did Gurm tell them?

In the post-episode video, the exact words are:

[talks about scene] "When George first told us about this . . ." [continues talking about horrible scene]

So they made it pretty clear they did not invent this.
posted by schroedinger at 9:06 AM on June 8, 2015


Dany casts Summon Monster;

I think it's more of a racial trait; she also has at least 10/- or so fire resistance, big charisma, constitution, and wisdom bonuses, and now this passive psychic connection ability. Her racial subtype would be 'Ancient Valyrian' or something like that, with draconic- and fire-based abilities.
posted by clockzero at 9:11 AM on June 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


And now I need to go do some estate planning or other mature and responsible thing to bolster my adultivity
posted by clockzero at 9:14 AM on June 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


just say "taxes!" and sigh really dramatically
posted by poffin boffin at 9:19 AM on June 8, 2015 [11 favorites]


Pretty interesting that whoever rolled Tyrion could look at those WIS and INT stats, but just go ahead and make him a Thief anyway, despite his low DEX.
posted by LionIndex at 9:20 AM on June 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


Next week we'll learn that Ramsay is several levels higher in wizardry than Melissandre and he knows a spell to block the "sacrifice daughter" spell.
posted by drezdn at 9:22 AM on June 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


Only when shirtless, of course.
posted by drezdn at 9:23 AM on June 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


I think this was the first brothel scene in the entire series that didn't have nudity.

How did that happen?

Methinks they are listening to internet commentary, for better and worse.
posted by eas98 at 9:31 AM on June 8, 2015 [4 favorites]


idk if i would be able to objectively judge whether or not fully clothed 12 or 13 year old child being taken off to be raped is worse than relentless unnecessary nude scenes but i'm leaning towards just as bad.
posted by poffin boffin at 9:35 AM on June 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


I was hoping that the girl who was eventually brought in for Meryn Trant was actually the other girl from the house of white and black somehow.
posted by clockzero at 9:48 AM on June 8, 2015


yeah, as someone who obsesses over hooded people and spectacularly failed with my 'This is going to Matter' thing, I think maybe it is not Theon and they just accidentally linger on extras sometimes.

IDEA THOUGH

I'm pretty sure that the Dorne plot has to involve some people getting fucked up. What if Doran is taking the place of Manderly and the Lannisters the Freys and actually Jaime will be killed after leaving the kingdom by random 'bandits'?
posted by corb at 9:49 AM on June 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


I thought that Dr Bashir's sister was saying that she'd slept with her dead brother guy that she was all venging around about to Jamie. Hard to read that.

Also from the Vulture review of this episode:
The arena erupts into chaos, as the Sons of the Harpy start chanting something in a foreign language that I can only imagine translates to, When you’re a Harpy, you harp all the way!
My brain turned it into a song ...
If you're Harpy and you know it,
Stabby stab!
If you're Harpy and you know it,
Slash and Stab!
I've you're Harpy and you know it,
And you really want to show it,
If you're Harpy and you know it,
Stabby Stab!
posted by tilde at 9:54 AM on June 8, 2015 [5 favorites]


yeahhhh but, trystane will be with him, and it seems like an awfully big risk to take with one's heir. accidents happen in the heat of battle and also he'd be a potential hostage.
posted by poffin boffin at 9:54 AM on June 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


Truuuuue. Though if Trystane was in on it, he could take Myrcella off for a 'romantic getaway' to a forest stream or something while everyone back at camp gets murdered. Looking at Trystane's face, I just did not think he was okay with the face-hitty thing being all Bronn was getting. And what's the point of the Sand Snake deal? The infighting only makes sense if they're going to be used and Tyene is maybe going over to the other side.
posted by corb at 9:56 AM on June 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


corb, I would love to see Doran take the place of Manderly. That's a merging I can seriously get behind. Because Dr. Bashir! (He has seriously sharpened his acting chops since his DS9 days, btw. Also he got damn sexy with that beard.)

Which Land Shark is Tyene, again? The one who's teasing Bronn?
posted by culfinglin at 10:29 AM on June 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


Ellaria is probably going to dispatch the Sand Snakes to go kill the lot of them on their way to King's Landing. Tyene is going to turn at the last second and save Bronn which, hopefully, might give this entire Dorne "romantic" aside some meaning.

Myrcella might bite it. Or Trystane. Or both. Wouldn't that be a bummer for that particular allegiance?
posted by lydhre at 10:32 AM on June 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


Methinks they are listening to internet commentary, for better and worse.

I doubt it. Before seasons even start, most of the episodes were probably already in the can. Episodes have been written, storyboarded, shot, went in post production and edited, they're not going to just change that around because the internet, which one of vaguest descriptions ever, starts grumbling because the show the started with several beheadings, attempted child murder and incest got a little violent.

HBO has little segments on HBOGO about each episode and the showrunners were talking about this episode and Shireen's bunging. Their portrayal of this world is designed to be ugly. They say its a bleak and hard fictional world, with the implication that they have no intention of really holding back or changing that fact. Hell, Ramsay's wedding night is almost loving compared to what occurred in the books
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:37 AM on June 8, 2015


Also: it just occurred to me that Selyse's last minute de-conversion makes her a surprise dark horse for the events that "Mother's Mercy" could refer to next week.
posted by felix grundy at 10:41 AM on June 8, 2015 [6 favorites]


Note to Selyse: If Stannis was willing to kill your brother, his nephew, brother and daughter, you MIGHT want to stop and think about how he's going to get an heir if he wins the throne. Take your time, think it through.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:51 AM on June 8, 2015 [10 favorites]


Myrcella might bite it. Or Trystane. Or both. Wouldn't that be a bummer for that particular allegiance?

Myrcella does get wounded in the book version of the Dornish adventure. I'm wondering if we'll get Doran outlining his long game plan to Ellaria interspersed with shots of the Land Sharks attacking and Ellaria realizing what a horrible mistake she has made.
posted by nubs at 10:57 AM on June 8, 2015 [5 favorites]


Doran outlining his long game plan to Ellaria

I was thinking that would be coming in this episode, but now I'm not sure it'll be coming at all, given how much surgery they seem to have done to the Dorne plot from the books.
posted by Kosh at 11:30 AM on June 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


If they don't give Doran a long game, then it joins good company in the SS Abandoned Plotlines, with a side honour of "WTF was the point of that, then?"
posted by nubs at 11:56 AM on June 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


I've always thought that the closer you look at Stannis, the more you realize his carefully-curated reputation as a man of HONOR who will BREAK BEFORE HE BENDS is just total bullshit. The man bends when it benefits him and he's only consistently rigid in his moral code whenever other people pay the price instead of him. He was always jealous of Renly and Robert and as much as he tries to play it off as "woe is me, heavy is the head, everything I do, I do because it's my duty!" it is ALL rooted in that jealousy.
posted by jason_steakums at 12:23 PM on June 8, 2015 [11 favorites]


OK, so here's my nickel prediction for how the finale is going to go

OPEN WITH Davos finding out about shireen's death, much sad, many yellings

THEN Cersei deciding to confess and do the walk of shame

THEN Davos confronting Stannis about Shireen

THEN Arya stalking and killing Trant in a gross pedobait scene that will be both revolting and v. satisfying to watch

THEN Arya stands over Trant's cooling body and recites the remaining names on her list: The Mountain, Walder Frey, Queen Cersei

CUT TO Cersei having her head shaved, learning that she must be stripped, yelling yelling

THEN Cersei does her naked walk

THEN back to the House of Black and White, where Jaqen gets mad at Arya for killing Trant, and blinds her, fade to black . . .

. . . but instead of the credits, come up on the Wall, and have a 6-8 minute scene of everyone being super pissed at Jon, culminating in Olly stabbing Jon, and THEN fade to black, and CREDITS as the yellings ring out
posted by KathrynT at 12:31 PM on June 8, 2015 [11 favorites]


Stannis isn't a man of honor- that's Ned Stark's angle. He's a man of justice. Stupid, unflinching justice.
posted by Apocryphon at 12:44 PM on June 8, 2015 [7 favorites]


"WTF was the point of that, then?"

CGI gold-leafed ceilings.

As for the bullring being real ... well, maybe it was filmed real but it was so heavily painted I was unsure it was fully really real and not just parts of knocked-together setwork. I had Harry Potter 1 Quidditch Match flashbacks (this isn't great but I can't find the truley horrible interstitial shots).
posted by tilde at 12:47 PM on June 8, 2015


I do think a lot of people got swept up in the idea of Stannis as some tough but fair moral compass and ...like forgot what show they're watching and that Stannis has gleefully burned people alive before.
posted by The Whelk at 12:48 PM on June 8, 2015


Oh man the palace wasn't a totally real set? I'm bummed, it looked fantastic, I assumed it was a Gilt Morrish palace I could like , visit.
posted by The Whelk at 12:49 PM on June 8, 2015


All I want to say about this episode is that I heart Mace Tyrell So . Damn. Much.

In a world of medievalesque grimdark, you just keeping doing you, bruh. Just keep doing you.
posted by lord_wolf at 12:51 PM on June 8, 2015 [24 favorites]


.like forgot what show they're watching and that Stannis has gleefully burned people alive before

He NEVER did it gleefully. It was always dourly done. .
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:53 PM on June 8, 2015 [4 favorites]


Yeah, I love Mace's "I don't really know what I'm doing or what's happening in the world but I'm having fun and that's what counts" approach to sensitive, complex diplomatic ventures

And life in general, really
posted by clockzero at 12:55 PM on June 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


"For most people the world is a scary, grim place - but my life is all singing and feasts! Hooray!"
posted by The Whelk at 1:02 PM on June 8, 2015 [5 favorites]


He NEVER did it gleefully. It was always dourly done. .

Dour is Stannis' glee. Dour is Stannis' everything.
posted by jason_steakums at 1:07 PM on June 8, 2015 [8 favorites]


Whelk, they may have dressed it up a bit for the show, but the shots of the Alcazar in Seville are realistic enough that I can tell which room they're in, and I've only been there once.
posted by LionIndex at 1:12 PM on June 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


I assumed it was a Gilt Morrish palace I could like , visit.

just go to alhamra and swoop around in fancy robes
posted by poffin boffin at 1:12 PM on June 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


Yeah, dour utilitarianism is Stannis' fetish. Both book and show depict him as having a secret sort of relish to noble sacrifice. In Arrested Development terms, "It's like [he] gets off on being withholding."
posted by codacorolla at 1:16 PM on June 8, 2015 [4 favorites]


I kinda said the same upthread, Justinian. However--I think we're done with Mereen for the season. Daenerys got her finale. Could well be done with Dorne too; I'm not sure anything more needs to be wrapped up there.

I'm not sure there needs to be an assault on Winterfell; how could Stannis possibly pull that off? It's still snowing; and if he couldn't attack before losing half his stores to fire plus all those sellswords (or whoever they were) who abandoned him, how's he going to march now? I think Stannis might be left in camp just as in the books.


If you don't mind spoilers, the brief IMDB episode summary might answer some of these questions.
posted by Pink Frost at 1:28 PM on June 8, 2015


"For most people the world is a scary, grim place - but my life is all singing and feasts! Hooray!"

Now that should be the Tyrell motto.
posted by Apocryphon at 1:46 PM on June 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


Dour is Stannis' everything.

Dour as duty - the new House words for Stannis Baratheon, last of his name and house.
posted by nubs at 1:58 PM on June 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


"yellings"

This is like the scary mirror-universe analog of the word "learnings" and it amuses me greatly.
posted by invitapriore at 1:59 PM on June 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yesterday's Dornish action took place in el Salon de Embajadores AKA medianaranja because the dome looks like half an orange.
posted by LionIndex at 2:04 PM on June 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


just go to alhamra and swoop around in fancy robes

I have a new meetup idea
posted by The Whelk at 2:08 PM on June 8, 2015 [13 favorites]


I'm down for wearing breezy Dorne outfits.
posted by Dr. Zira at 2:11 PM on June 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


I thought that Dr Bashir's sister was saying that she'd slept with her dead brother guy that she was all venging around about to Jamie. Hard to read that.

Ellaria was Oberyn's wife (or, paramour), not his sister. I think the part about people being scandalized with their relationship was just because she was common-born. But they really didn't explain that dialogue very well.
posted by twoporedomain at 2:24 PM on June 8, 2015 [6 favorites]


It's over 100° at my place right now; I'm seriously down for a meetup where we all wear Dornish clothing.
posted by culfinglin at 2:43 PM on June 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


It will be supremely ironic when Stannis inevitably dies heirless and Gendry Baratheon is the last legal claimant to the usurped throne.
posted by codacorolla at 2:46 PM on June 8, 2015


Ellaria Sand is a bastard; a relationship between a noble and a bastard would never be accepted in the rest of westoros
posted by InfidelZombie at 2:49 PM on June 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


It will be supremely ironic when Stannis inevitably dies heirless and Gendry Baratheon is the last legal claimant to the usurped throne.

Isn't he planning to have a son with Melisandre? I'm also pretty sure Selyse asked Mel to give him one as well in the show.
posted by PenDevil at 2:52 PM on June 8, 2015


I added the EW recap to the sidebar.
"Several weeks ago, the top-ranked reader comment at the end of my weekly Thrones recap, with 133 upvotes from readers, was this effusive comment: “I’ve never liked Stannis more than in this episode. The scene with him and Shireen is one of my favorites this season. His wife’s cruelty is no match for a father’s unconditional love for his daughter.”

...

But this is how diabolically clever the Thrones showrunners are. The scene was a DOUBLE SET-UP. It not only detailed the illness threat of greyscale for the Ser Jorah scene, but also gave us a heavy emotional anchor for the relationship between Stannis and Shireen. It made us believe that even cold authoritarian Stannis would never hurt his daughter. I reeled when I first watched that scene, all the 3-D Jenga plot dynamics at play: Here’s a quiet chatty scene that’s doing all this secret heavy lifting to set-up two huge twists and yet it’s also the fan-favorite moment of the episode. There’s plenty that Thrones accomplishes that’s clearly flashily amazing, but this scene was stealth genius.

The show’s deception was so well plotted, and the twist was so well concealed by the production and HBO, that Shireen’s death remained absent from online fan boards aside from mere speculation in a season where nearly every other major revelations had leaked out. And yet, there’s nobody who can say this move was any kind of a cheat. You can look at Sansa going to Winterfell and debate whether her decision feels believable, but there is zero doubt this outcome comes straight from Stannis’ core character and his entire story arc has been flying straight to this moment—and yet, it was still a shock, which is the best kind of twist.

When the episode aired tonight, I watched the hour with dread. Book-reading fans know this feeling well, from waiting for scenes like The Red Wedding and the Oberyn vs. The Mountain fight. You get this ache in your stomach. You know what’s coming, but since you haven’t actually witnessed it, you’re still morbidly curious and want to see how it plays out.

With Stannis, the man is so logical and sensible in the scenes where we see him interact with characters like Jon Snow, that’s it’s easy to forget that he’s also a religious fanatic. He may not come off like a pinwheel-eyed Lord of Light worshipper like his wife, but he’s still been burning people alive for a while now. Think about that. This guy ordered people to die horrible deaths for seemingly trivial reasons, calling his victims “infidels” (like his wife’s brother and longtime bannerman who refused to tear down his idols). But Thrones is so effective at making characters sympathetic that we have somehow haven’t held that against him. We’ve acted like his penchant for human bonfires is just a weird random predilection—like driving an orange car—rather than condemning people to die the most horrible death possible for faith-based objections.

Not to mention, Stannis also killed another family member, his brother Renly, who was really a pretty decent guy. Stannis has always put his career ambition first—his “duty,” as he sees it. Stannis has faced the “career vs. family” decision before, and made the exact same choice.

And what’s so perfect is, this season viewers who didn’t even like Stannis in prior years were loving his character more than ever. And why not? He respects Jon Snow, he’s going after Ramsay, he corrects grammar. What’s not to like? … aside from the nagging fact that he burns people alive who don’t agree with his religion. It’s as if the showrunners are fully aware we’ve overlooked Stannis’ biggest flaw, let it sit in the background of the show for years, and have now brought it screaming in front of us. Like his poor daughter, we’ve been abruptly moved from being witnesses to Stannis’ executions, to suddenly feeling like we’re one of his victims. If Stannis still ends up fighting Ramsay … damn … who do you even root for there?

posted by zarq at 3:31 PM on June 8, 2015 [9 favorites]


damn … who do you even root for there?

NIGHT'S KING 2016

NOT THE LEADER WESTEROS WANTS;
THE LEADER WESTEROS DESERVES.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 3:35 PM on June 8, 2015 [27 favorites]


I have a new meetup idea

Well, there is a Worldcon meetup. #justsaying
posted by corb at 3:40 PM on June 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


Erik Kain in Forbes needs to read Hibberd's EW recap repeatedly. This was absolutely and completely in characters for Stannis. If he refused to sacrifice his daughter he would be admitting that everything he has believed about himself and sacrificed so much for in his life has been a tragic lie. And that's the one thing he can never admit. It's a devastating sunk cost fallacy.

Kain's QQing is hilarious.
posted by Justinian at 3:47 PM on June 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


Isn't he planning to have a son with Melisandre? I'm also pretty sure Selyse asked Mel to give him one as well in the show.

That's his plan, certainly, but I have a feeling that's not going to pan out for him.
posted by codacorolla at 3:59 PM on June 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


You know, I think Kain's reaction is mostly because he's a book reader and this is the first time he hasn't known something like this is going to happen in advance. Because his complaint boils down to "D&B made Stannis and Shireen sympathetic and then SOMETHING BAD HAPPENED".

But that's exactly what they did with Ned Stark. And Robb Stark. And Talisa. And Shae. And Jon Targaryen Snow (soon). And on and on. The difference is solely that Kain knew that the other things were going to happen! So he was emotionally prepared for it and could watch their scenes with a mental barrier.

I am so happy we're all watching this with unprepared eyes now. To the point where I'm actually hoping Martin doesn't finish the next book until after next season! And that's crazy.
posted by Justinian at 4:14 PM on June 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


I believe it's in Stannis' character to burn Shireen. What I didn't believe--and boy howdy was that scene long enough to stretch the tension--was that HBO would go that far in depicting a child being burned alive.

The Meryn Trant thing, ugh, it's not necessary to prove that he's an even worse sack of shit than we already knew. And they could have written the scene in a way that didn't end with a line in the script saying [child rape happens off camera]. That, in an episode that seemed to be one instance of a woman being terrorized after another, was not just crossing the line, it was taking a running leap over it and never looking back. Just setting up the fear for Arya would have been more than sufficient--and they didn't even need to go there. Could have established him as a scumbag in a million other ways.

"My father would've liked you" was just perfect. I suppose stabbing him means we won't have to see the gang all say "Nobody likes you, Hizdahr" every episode next year.

Perfect, too, was the tension at the Wall--and seeing Thorne's growth to "I dislike you personally and you're the only decent shot we have so I'm following you anyway" is pretty great.

Really looking forward to an end-of-series set of various actors screencapped with a caption of "I have made a terrible mistake." Next member of the gallery: Ellaria Sand.

I could see them maybe pushing Jon Snow: The Stabbening to the first episode of next season. Would make for a gigantic WTF moment all over the place and people would be glued to episode 2.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 4:21 PM on June 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


The Meryn Trant thing, ugh, it's not necessary to prove that he's an even worse sack of shit than we already knew.

I bet most viewers barely remember him even with the Syrio scenes being (the best scenes) among the most iconic scenes of season one. I don't think it's a bad idea to reemphasize him as an asshole, just they probably could have found another way to do it here.

That all is why I loved the water dancer kicking Jorah's ass, a little reminder of what would have happened if Syrio had a real sword. An example of what Dario was talking about with the quicker guy finding where the armor isn't. Good stuff.
posted by Drinky Die at 4:30 PM on June 8, 2015 [6 favorites]


You know, they could have just had three girls and Trant saying "too young" every time, and then the desperate madam saying "ah a man of exotic tastes. I understand now. However, such treasures are kept apart from commoner stuff so they don't … spoil prematurely. Come back tomorrow, and I'll have what you need -- on the house." Then we could have established it just as definitively without having Trant lead a terrified child off screen.
posted by KathrynT at 4:39 PM on June 8, 2015 [5 favorites]


To the point where I'm actually hoping Martin doesn't finish the next book until after next season! And that's crazy.

NAME YOUR SECONDS SIR.
posted by corb at 4:52 PM on June 8, 2015 [6 favorites]


I can't wait for Andy Greenwald to ragequit the show next week after Jon gets shivved.
posted by Justinian at 5:59 PM on June 8, 2015


You know, I think Kain's reaction is mostly because he's a book reader and this is the first time he hasn't known something like this is going to happen in advance. Because his complaint boils down to "D&B made Stannis and Shireen sympathetic and then SOMETHING BAD HAPPENED".

But that's exactly what they did with Ned Stark [etc]

I am so happy we're all watching this with unprepared eyes now


Perfectly argued on both points, I think. The Shireen/Stannis and Shireen/Davos scenes make her much more relateable, and raise the stakes for when we realise that Stannis is really going to burn her. If she'd just been a very minor background character (like say Myrcella had been) then there'd be no tension and we wouldn't much care if she died.

And while I'd like to see the 6th book as soon as possible, I've also really enjoyed the tension of watching and not knowing what will happen (having my show-only partner ask me what happens to Shireen... 'I don't KNOW!").
posted by Pink Frost at 6:03 PM on June 8, 2015


NIGHT'S KING 2016

NOT THE LEADER WESTEROS WANTS;
THE LEADER WESTEROS DESERVES.


You joke, but let's look at the evidence:
- Doesn't burn people
- Rescues abandoned children
- Always helps a man when he's down
- Gives everyone a second chance
- Dedicated to bringing equality to all of Westeros, does not discriminate between anyone

#nightsking2016
posted by schroedinger at 6:07 PM on June 8, 2015 [31 favorites]


Another thing I liked was the juxtaposition between Stannis and Dany. Stannis is in a terrible position with his men dying, so he takes a horrible decision, and does something that he doesn’t really want to do, that horrifies him, hoping it will be for the greater good. And it’s almost possible to sympathise – we know that the blood sacrifices work, so just maybe it will save many more lives than it costs. And Stannis can justify it by saying Shireen would have died any way, frozen to death.

Then we switch to Meeren, where Dany is at the fighting pits – a total betrayal of everything she believes in, but still justifiable as a difficult decision that might be good overall, if it stops the Sons of the Harpy. And then, after all the deaths in the arena, the Sons attack anyway and the people are massacred. So does that tell us something about Stannis’ decision, too?
posted by Pink Frost at 6:15 PM on June 8, 2015 [4 favorites]


torticat: "Yeah, I took another look and I do NOT think that was meant to be Theon. The guy is on screen for literally under one second. No way they paid Alfie Allen (or it was one of his contracted episodes or whatever) for that."

I also took a second look. That is definitely not Theon. It's a different actor with similar features (but not that similar) and the same style of facial hair.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 6:53 PM on June 8, 2015


Just read the EW review, and this line is so great: Stannis Baratheon, the Jack Torrance of Westeros, has just disabled the snowmobile.
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:16 PM on June 8, 2015 [9 favorites]


Arya could just remind everyone who Trant is with some non-sexposition, like "Hello! My name is Arya Stark! You killed my swordfighting instructor! Prepare to die!" Pedophilia is totally unnecessary.
posted by gatorae at 7:20 PM on June 8, 2015 [6 favorites]


In one of the Winds of Winter chapters Arya kills Raff the Sweetling in a scenario very similar to the one she'll likely be using to kill Meryn Trant next week. Given Meryn Trant is taking the place of Raff the Sweetling, who was also a pedophile, the pedophilia is not that big a leap.

Guys, remember the source material. It's pretty fucking shocking in of itself.
posted by schroedinger at 7:33 PM on June 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


Given Meryn Trant is taking the place of Raff the Sweetling, who was also a pedophile, the pedophilia is not that big a leap.

It's not, but OTOH Meryn isn't a pedophile, and there's no real need to make him one - he's enough of a hate figure for Arya as it is (as gatorae says). It's not like they haven't made more than a few departures from the books already.
posted by Pink Frost at 8:13 PM on June 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


So when it departs from the source material in a way that I think cheapens the story or ignores character points I consider important, I should remind myself that they have to make hard choices, they're streamlining and can't be true to the source material because the adaptation requires changes. When it keeps in the disturbing plot and character elements, or just transfers them between characters, I should remember that the source material is shocking and disturbing and so they're just being true to the source.
posted by nubs at 8:28 PM on June 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


> And now I need to go do some estate planning or other mature and responsible thing to bolster my adultivity

> just say "taxes!" and sigh really dramatically

Which reminded me of that most sonorous 'ooohh' from Lord Tyrel, after the banker told him "I’m afraid I don’t partake" in wine.

> All I want to say about this episode is that I heart Mace Tyrell So . Damn. Much.

In a world of medievalesque grimdark, you just keeping doing you, bruh. Just keep doing you.


In this episode, that includes calling the bankers "the world's best gamblers," noting "all those bets you won built this," the Iron Bank. Particularly insightful and tenacious, sticking it to the banker on the point of being a great gambler.

> I think this was the first brothel scene in the entire series that didn't have nudity.

I know! A most pleasantly chaste brothel.

> Dour is Stannis' everything.

Stannis' idea of poetry is a a terse report of troop movements and a tally of food stocks.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:29 PM on June 8, 2015 [4 favorites]


FUCK YEAH DROGON
posted by Jacqueline at 8:34 PM on June 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


Next season somebody better be getting on Wun Wun's back and riding around with him. Either Tyrion because that would be awesome, or maybe Hodor has a bad accident and has to get strapped to Wun Wun and with Bran still on his back. And then Wun Wun climbs up the statue of Braavos and commands it to march...and it does! Like the Statue of Liberty in Ghostbusters 2! Ha ha!
posted by turbid dahlia at 9:03 PM on June 8, 2015 [5 favorites]


Next season somebody better be getting on Wun Wun's back and riding around with him.

TEAM BRANWUN
posted by clockzero at 9:12 PM on June 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


Either warg or actual back-riding, either way is good
posted by clockzero at 9:12 PM on June 8, 2015


Stannis' idea of poetry is a a terse report of troop movements and a tally of food stocks.

Stannis: meticulous in the streets, perfunctory in the sheets
posted by jason_steakums at 9:43 PM on June 8, 2015 [12 favorites]


Karsi would have been a great choice to ride Wun Wun. *sighs, looks off to the north*
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:46 PM on June 8, 2015


"D&B made Stannis and Shireen sympathetic and then SOMETHING BAD HAPPENED".

But that's exactly what they did with Ned Stark. And Robb Stark. And Talisa. And Shae. And Jon Targaryen Snow (soon). And on and on. The difference is solely that Kain knew that the other things were going to happen!


Well, the other major difference is that in all those other cases, Something Bad happened TO the sympathetic characters; in this case, the (quasi-)sympathetic character was the DOER of the Bad Thing.

I think it's more comparable, if you want precedent, to putting Jaime on a redemptive arc and then having him rape Cersei. Not that Stannis had been on a redemptive arc; just that he'd previously had a mix of good and bad qualities, and this episode showed him capitulating fully to monstrous religious fanaticism*.

However this isn't to disagree with the overall point. The EW review was much more on target. The child sacrifice was not ultimately out of character for Stannis.

* I don't know if it's intended, and I know the Iron Islands plot has fallen by the wayside for other reasons at least for now--but I actually find it interesting that, on the show, only two of three of Melisandre's prophesied usurper deaths have been fulfilled at this point. It suggests Stannis should have some reason for skepticism; yet he casts his lot with Mel anyway at the expense of his own daughter.
posted by torticat at 9:52 PM on June 8, 2015 [4 favorites]


I'm just going to assume that Balon is dead and everybody knows it but nobody is mentioning it for some weird reason that is a mystery.
posted by Justinian at 10:05 PM on June 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


Well if Balon's dead, not only is no one mentioning it but they don't know it. Sansa named Reek "Theon, son of Balon Greyjoy, Lord of the Iron Islands" just a couple episodes ago.

I don't think we're done with Theon's family yet.
posted by torticat at 10:12 PM on June 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


Stannis has always been a heel. Renly was obviously the face in that conflict, even though Stannis was right Renly acting was out of turn. Shadow baby stuff is heel territory regardless. It's just that since then the heel he is lined up against has always been worse than him.

He tried to topple Joffrey. He saved Jon Snow at the wall. He marched to take out the Boltons who are the worst heels in the show. Now we have two big time heels set to confront each other and nobody wants to root for either side so...

Go Sansa and Brienne.
posted by Drinky Die at 10:12 PM on June 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


In the books (mind you I dropped out after book 3) I didn't find Stannis sympathetic AT ALL. He struck me as not necessarily villainous, but an utterly joyless character who is zealous in his pursuit of how the world should be. The show Stannis is far more sympathetic to me. More of a character whose caught between extremely difficult choices, as much of the characters are. That said, yes, burning her in front of the stake as everyone watches? Remember what Tyrion said about leaders and devotion? If this is what a guy does to his devoted daughter, I'm not sure if this would either inspire me with how far he is willing to go for the good of the realm or scare the shit out of me. Most likely scare the shit out of me and I'm going to head to Winterfell with him just so I can defect to Roose Bolton who might ONLY flay me alive.

Man, it's getting to be more like Game of Sadistic Psychopaths.
posted by miss-lapin at 10:14 PM on June 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


It's too dark and sadistic in the North right now. In the books a lot of what is going on now is the same, but you also have knowledge of so many other acts of hatred and rebellion in response to the Red Wedding that balance it all out. Sansa, Brienne, Theon...you have some heavy lifting to do and I hope the showrunners have made it happen.
posted by Drinky Die at 10:26 PM on June 8, 2015


Theon knows the candle signal. What if he takes advantage of Ramsey's absence to go ahead and light it, summoning the Northerners (and Brienne)? Not sure this has been set up well, though, as we haven't really seen Brienne forging alliances in the North except for a conversation with that one old guy. But then again, I suppose if we had seen that, it could have telegraphed the endgame too much.

NB I'm not personally interested in/rooting for Theon's redemption, just speculating based on where the show seems like it might be headed.

In the books it's Northerners who storm Winterfell, not Stannis--right? Not that the show is in any way beholden to the books at this point... but seriously, whether Stannis leaves camp next week or not, I do NOT expect him to reach Winterfell. That would just be ludicrous considering the losses he's suffered.
posted by torticat at 10:39 PM on June 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


"If you think this has a happy ending, you haven't been paying attention." to quote a certain Dwarf.

Bookreaders and showwatchers over on the various GoT subreddits have all been convinced that Stannis was "the Daddis" and that Selyse would burn Shireen with out his knowing and that his outrage would lead to some kind of righteous Stannis justice for both of them.

And D&D took that preconceived notion of Stannis, which they had purposefully built up via his past interactions with Shireen and a few trailer shots of Selyse falling to the ground, and crushed it.

Considering all the murder looks Olly has been giving Jon lately and everyone being convinced that he will be one to knife Jon, I wouldn't surprise if the writers do another fast one and have Olly get shanked first right in front of Jon as he tries to protect him.
posted by PenDevil at 10:43 PM on June 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


My wish: in what will have to be the best kept secret of casting & filming in the era of the smartphone-with-a-camera, Lady Stoneheart will finally appear. Ramsay and his raiders will boldly assassinate Stannis, so before Stannis dies he realizes he sacrificed his daughter in vain and the Lord of Light is not omnipotent . Ramsay returns to Winterfell the hero and wants to celebrate by assaulting his wife. With Theon's helo, Sansa flees outside the castle walls, Ramsay gives chase, Brienne tries to rescue her, they're all surrounded... until Lady Stoneheart appears and rips Ramsay to shreds. Brienne bows before her, then Lady Stoneheart chokes her until we fade to "WTF!?" black. It won't happen, but I can dream!
posted by bluecore at 10:54 PM on June 8, 2015 [9 favorites]


I had a thought after this episode. I don't think it will happen, but I'm putting it out there just in case.

What if Ramsay kills Sana, but then SHE becomes Lady Stoneheart?

I don't imagine Lady Sansa Stoneheart would be magnanimous or merciful when it comes to the Boltons. Then Sansa becomes the undead Wardeness of the North and is uniquely placed to battle the White Walkers. All Hail the Queen in the North!
posted by Alice Russel-Wallace at 11:39 PM on June 8, 2015 [4 favorites]


For all you Mace Tyrell fans, here's the latest, hottest album to skyrocket to the tops of the Westerosi charts!
posted by suburbanbeatnik at 12:07 AM on June 9, 2015 [5 favorites]


ugh, they need better editors, there was some decent shots in the battle, but they were interspersed by lots of garbage, and the close-up shots of Dany on Drogon's back looked about as realistic as the analogous shots from The Never Ending Story. While the far-away shots of Drogon flying off were pretty good.

Yea seriously. I kept expecting the AMD or Nvidia logo to pop up in the corner of the screen and like, "gameplay powered by GTX titan". It just looked way too much like the E3 trailer for a new game.

Despite it's pretty decent satisfying-ness, that entire sequence from the very beginning of them panning in to the arena was like, andromeda levels of bad CGI cheesy. Which is really weird for a show that regularly looks better than a lot of movies. Did they blow their entire budget on the hardhome sequence?(which, admittedly, looked fucking ridiculously good to the point of being unprecedented for a tv show and would have held up in a high budget movie).

It completely took me out of the moment more than a few times with how jarringly cheesy it was though. It really did just look like a game. I kept waiting for the framerate to stutter a bit, or to notice the edge of one stone block slightly flickering where it met another.


That's actually a weird juxtaposition this show keeps doing too. Either something is visually striking, but has no real impact... or there's an engaging element in the scene that makes you give a shit but something is really cheesy about it.

I think the burning at the stake sequence was one of the few times this season the show has sort of tastefully done both. And of course it had to pump the clutch and shift back in to visually-cheesy-but-kinda-powerful with the whole tyrion watching drogon thing.

t really seems like they're gonna have to cram a ton of stuff into the finale. Jon's surprise retirement party, Cersei's new fashion trend, Arya's decision on whether to kill Meryn Trant (SPOILER SHE TOTALLY GONNA KILL MERYN TRANT), the stunning conclusion to the briliant and enthralling Dornish interlude, the assault on Winterfell, Sansa and Theon bonding over how much they hate Ramsay, something with Brienne, Tyrion, Dany, and the Meereneese crew.

That's a lot of storylines.


I honestly think they're going to leave a lot of these hanging. Or at least, they should. A stupid over-crammed episode would be bad.

I don't think we're going to get a more satisfying ending than dany flying off in to the sunset on drogon. Why does the second to last episode always feel like a better finale than the actual finale?
posted by emptythought at 5:13 AM on June 9, 2015


For all you Mace Tyrell fans, here's the latest, hottest album to skyrocket to the tops of the Westerosi charts!

Parental Warning? Explicit content? Westerosi songs are about subtlety. The Dornishman's Wife is pretty tame, The Bear and the Maiden Fair is saucy, but with innuendos, and with that fan-made art, I would half expect it to be on a KidsHits of Westeros compilation. Even the much-storied song The Rains of Castamere are pretty PG, if not G rated. You can search the other possible songs for offending material, but I doubt there is much to be found.

Unless Westeros ratings are now set by The Faith, in which case all that suggestion of sexy times and wine drinking is definitely not appropriate song contents.
posted by filthy light thief at 6:15 AM on June 9, 2015 [4 favorites]


Mace Tyrell is one of my favorite characters because whether he's being brushed off by Olenna at the Purple Wedding or babbling on to a representative of the Iron Bank, he has no idea what's going on at any moment and is completely oblivious to everything. He is a blithering fool and may be the happiest human being in Westeros.
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:54 AM on June 9, 2015 [16 favorites]


What if Ramsay kills Sana, but then SHE becomes Lady Stoneheart?

I'd buy this, with the streamlining they're doing.

And of course it had to pump the clutch and shift back in to visually-cheesy-but-kinda-powerful with the whole tyrion watching drogon thing.

Yeah, but that little tease of the arena cheering over Stannis watching his daughter burn was such a nice touch.

We've said goodbye to Meereen. The final episode will be a walk in King's Landing, a surprise party at the Wall, and a soiree at Winterfell. Possibly, given the show's title, a showdown between Selyse/Melisandre/Stannis.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:31 AM on June 9, 2015


Mace Tyrell is one of my favorite characters because whether he's being brushed off by Olenna at the Purple Wedding or babbling on to a representative of the Iron Bank, he has no idea what's going on at any moment and is completely oblivious to everything. He is a blithering fool and may be the happiest human being in Westeros.

But he isn't a blithering fool. At least, not in this episode. Why? This exchange:

MACE: If a man charges low interest on a loan then he has nothing to gain and everything to lose, so why charge him? Whereas a reward makes a man willing to gamble.
BANKER: We are not gamblers here at the Iron Bank, Lord Tyrell.
MACE: You are the world's best gamblers. And all those bets you won built this.
Mace gestures to the Iron Bank
BANKER: I’m afraid I still have a good deal of work to do.
MACE: Oh, nonsense. Work's over. Do you sing?
BANKER: I don't have that gift.
MACE: It's not a gift, it’s a skill, anyone can learn it.

There is the surface discussion with the insistence by Mace that the bankers are gamblers (which I agree, they are), and then you could read the subtle comment that Mace learned certain skills and hasn't stumbled his way to his current lot in life.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:08 AM on June 9, 2015 [17 favorites]


In summary: Mace Tyrell for Jester King!
posted by filthy light thief at 9:41 AM on June 9, 2015 [3 favorites]


I would kind of really love it if, after all the dust settles, Mace is sitting on the Iron Throne.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:46 AM on June 9, 2015 [3 favorites]


I would kind of really love it if, after all the dust settles, Mace is sitting on the Iron Throne.
posted by tilde at 9:58 AM on June 9, 2015 [4 favorites]


I imagine he will bring a lot of comfortable pillows, because that chair is so pointy! Ouch!
posted by filthy light thief at 10:05 AM on June 9, 2015 [5 favorites]


Also I will actually be disappointed if Arya doesn't get her murderizing on in ep 10.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:15 AM on June 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


There is the surface discussion with the insistence by Mace that the bankers are gamblers (which I agree, they are), and then you could read the subtle comment that Mace learned certain skills and hasn't stumbled his way to his current lot in life.

If that were Littlefinger, I'd agree wholeheartedly. Mace, IMO, doesn't have it together to engage in repartee and innuendo like that, and is having a from-the-mouth-of-babes moment.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:38 AM on June 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


Mace might just surprise us all - he certainly seemed to me to be wearing a fool's face for the episode. Perhaps he's learned that if he presents an unassuming, naive, foppish appearance he winds up in positions where he can actually do a lot of things. I mean, he's been made Master of Coin and Master of Ships at this point, hasn't he?
posted by nubs at 10:42 AM on June 9, 2015 [3 favorites]


yes, and both positions were given because cersei thinks he's a biddable moron.
posted by poffin boffin at 11:13 AM on June 9, 2015 [4 favorites]


I like to think Mace Tyrell just Doesn't Care just enough to be actually dangerous.
posted by The Whelk at 11:17 AM on June 9, 2015 [4 favorites]


So, Mace Tyrell is the honeybadger?
posted by gatorae at 11:27 AM on June 9, 2015 [4 favorites]


Mace all naively bumbling his way into fulfilling the Azor Ahai prophecy and saving the realm, completely oblivious to what he's doing.
posted by jason_steakums at 11:39 AM on June 9, 2015 [16 favorites]


"turns out I'm the chosen one! Isn't life funny? More cake?"
posted by The Whelk at 11:50 AM on June 9, 2015 [14 favorites]


I've lately come to the conclusion that TV Mace Tyrell is in many ways a Tom Bombadil analog.

He's in the world but not of it -- I bet that sitting on the Iron Throne would have no effect on him, whereas it appears to have amplified the bad traits of so many others who've been on it. And also like Bombadil, despite this resistance (almost a no-sell, really), he would nevertheless make a poor choice as the Object of Power's custodian.

Also, the singing.
posted by lord_wolf at 11:52 AM on June 9, 2015 [7 favorites]


I'd be all for Mace turning out to be more clever than he lets on. Since Wyman Manderly has been written out of the show, Mace could take on Manderly's role as secretly-sharp apparent buffoon. ("I am fat, and many think that makes me weak and foolish.")

The problem with this interpretation is that even Oleanna Tyrell in the show thinks that Mace is an idiot. She treats him like a child, and when she needs to scheme with Margaery, she sends him away with contempt and he dodders off. It's fairly unthinkable that the Queen of Thorns would not know her own family well enough to recognize any hidden wisdom in Mace.
posted by painquale at 12:58 PM on June 9, 2015 [8 favorites]


The problem with this interpretation is that even Oleanna Tyrell in the show thinks that Mace is an idiot

Good point. I had myself half-convinced that he could be secretly smart - the fact that Cersei thinks he's an idiot doesn't necessarily prove anything given she underestimates the High Sparrow too. But Oleanna would know his true character.

Though GRRM has said that someone unexpected will be sitting on the Iron Throne before the end of the series....Mace would be fairly unexpected.
posted by Pink Frost at 1:14 PM on June 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


Oh, on the subject of naivety: why didn't Dany have the Unsullied searching people for weapons and Sons of the Harpy masks on their way into the arena?

Unless...we didn't see Grey Worm....or any of the Unsullied I think....conclusion: Grey Worm is the Son of the Harpy!
posted by Pink Frost at 1:17 PM on June 9, 2015


GRRM has said that someone unexpected will be sitting on the Iron Throne before the end of the series.

Unexpected by WHO? So many of us are so obsessive that I think most of the candidates in Westeros have already been named.
posted by corb at 1:19 PM on June 9, 2015


Ser Pounce, first of his name
posted by trunk muffins at 1:21 PM on June 9, 2015 [21 favorites]


GRRM has said that someone unexpected will be sitting on the Iron Throne before the end of the series.


HODORHODORHODOR
posted by tilde at 1:25 PM on June 9, 2015 [11 favorites]


It's fairly unthinkable that the Queen of Thorns would not know her own family well enough to recognize any hidden wisdom in Mace.

True, but it's not unthinkable that she would be able to play a long con with him, even in front of other family members.

i don't really think he's going to be a secret scheming mastermind though tbh, it's not really grrm's thing.
posted by poffin boffin at 1:27 PM on June 9, 2015 [4 favorites]


Eh, Ser Pounce is the Prince That Was Promised, I thought that was pretty much accepted as canon? Some other theories here

Unexpected by WHO?


OK, fair point :D I'm just repeating what Martin said. (and you have to admit, you'd be surprised if it was Mace...)
posted by Pink Frost at 1:31 PM on June 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


Honestly, Ser Pounce looks like Mace in this rendering.
posted by tilde at 1:38 PM on June 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


Mace could take on Manderly's role as secretly-sharp apparent buffoon.

I'm all for it, if it means someone gets the line "Though mayhaps this was a blessing. Had he lived he would have grown up to be a Frey."
posted by nubs at 1:53 PM on June 9, 2015 [5 favorites]


Though GRRM has said that someone unexpected will be sitting on the Iron Throne before the end of the series....

Neville Longbottom!
posted by jason_steakums at 2:04 PM on June 9, 2015 [10 favorites]


It's fairly unthinkable that the Queen of Thorns would not know her own family well enough to recognize any hidden wisdom in Mace.

Tywin was the last to know about Cersei and Jaime, apparently. People have blindspots where family is concerned.
posted by Navelgazer at 2:09 PM on June 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


Mace, as a character, and the way he looks, would fit right in to a Peter Davison era Doctor Who serial.
posted by juiceCake at 2:09 PM on June 9, 2015 [4 favorites]


his name is neville hotbooty now
posted by poffin boffin at 2:12 PM on June 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


I guess it's possible that Mace is secretly savvy and he's even pulling one over on Oleanna, but that would ruin one of the cool features of the Tyrell family: it is a House run by powerful women.
posted by painquale at 2:16 PM on June 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


I love how Kevan Lannister's Small Council is full of mostly unimpressive people but it's the most effective Small Council we get as a result of barely meeting bare minimum competency just because the its members aren't all neck-deep in their own schemes to grab power.
posted by jason_steakums at 2:26 PM on June 9, 2015 [3 favorites]


That and most of those people are either dead or fled.
posted by Apocryphon at 2:27 PM on June 9, 2015


Or Mace is secretly savvy and his act is one conceived of and abetted by Oleanna; that it works well for the family as a whole to have Mace appear as a simpering nitwit, which leaves him in positions and rooms where other powerful men might share information of use in front of someone who is no threat and not smart enough to understand anyways.

It would be a nice inversion to have Mace play that role - the one so many women have. I doubt it is what is going on, but it is nice to think about.
posted by nubs at 2:28 PM on June 9, 2015 [9 favorites]


There's a deleted scene of Maester Pycelle showing how his buffoonery is a complete act. A theory on put forward reddit* is that they cut those scenes so it didn't seem like a trope when Mace does the same thing later on. Although maybe at the time it was Manderly they were thinking was going to have the drastically different public and private persona.

(* - basically anything and everything possible has been put forward as a theory on reddit at this point, but this one seemed less tinfoil than the others. Cleganebowl! Get hype!).
posted by Gary at 2:47 PM on June 9, 2015 [7 favorites]


Gary: "There's a deleted scene of Maester Pycelle showing how his buffoonery is a complete act. A theory on put forward reddit* is that they cut those scenes so it didn't seem like a trope when Mace does the same thing later on."

They kept a scene where Pycelle pretends to be old and frail, and then does some (fairly athletic and spry for his age) stretches and moves when he's alone, in one of the earlier seasons (2? 3?). So they are at least acknowledging that he's putting up a front.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 2:58 PM on June 9, 2015 [7 favorites]


Coincidentally, GRRM made a comment about Mace today on his blog that suggests that TV Mace really is a dummy who doesn't have anything deeper going on. Mace is taking over the Harys Swift role. If TV Mace is an undercover smarty, then that'll be a Benioff and Weiss invention GRRM apparently doesn't know about.
posted by painquale at 3:13 PM on June 9, 2015


GRRM has said that someone unexpected will be sitting on the Iron Throne before the end of the series

The King rose, feeling the weight of his crown settle. Gendry - no, the High Septon now, he must think of him as the High Septon - nodded at him, and the King turned to see his people. So few. So few who could make the journey here, to the shattered hall of the Red Keep, still open to the sky. There was sunlight, today at least, and a hint of spring in the air. Hope. He had to focus on hope, and carry it for everyone. The crowd murmured as he took the steps up to the Iron Throne.

It was amazing the hideous chair had survived. Perhaps it was time for a new one, he thought - not one forged of blades of those who submitted, not a conqueror's throne, but a throne of someone more simple. Someone who built, rather than took. Someone who would toil right along the people to rebuild the city and the lands beyond. A throne, perhaps, of simple wood. Better still, a stool that he could take from place to place to sit upon while he helped. To be remembered as a King who brought comfort and aid and small mercies, he thought, that would be a fine thing in a country that still bore deep wounds and had little food.

Still, symbols were important, and for the moment this was the symbol he had to work with. He sat, and nodded at Lord Manderly, his Hand. A wise man, that one - one that knew the importance of a full belly and a warm place. Not just for him, but for everyone. Beside Manderly, Lady Brienne bowed her head. He could not ask for a better Commander of the Kingsguard and Defender of the Realm; she was knowledgeable in both warfare and mercy. Lady Sansa met his gaze coolly, but he knew he could not have a better Lady of Whispers. And Lord Tyrell gave him a wink before resuming his normal vapid, slightly baffled expression. He kept his mind hidden, but as Master of Grain, Lord Tyrell would see the realm fed or die in the doing. Lord Tyrion had a tight smile; he had no wish to be Master of Coin, but he had the skill, intelligence, and insight that would be needed in matters financial and beyond in the years to come.

"All hail the King! All hail King Hot Pie, First of His Name!"
posted by nubs at 3:22 PM on June 9, 2015 [34 favorites]


Oh god, that comment! Where he's like 'Night's King is no more likely to survive than Brandon the Builder.' DOES THAT MEAN BRANDON THE BUILDER IS ALIVE? YOU ARE SO SNEAKY, GRRM!
posted by corb at 3:27 PM on June 9, 2015 [5 favorites]


There's a deleted scene of Maester Pycelle showing how his buffoonery is a complete act
Man, how I miss Charles Dance.

Can we have HIM back as a zombie pls?
posted by coriolisdave at 3:36 PM on June 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


/r/insideJorahshead is the best thing
posted by jason_steakums at 3:41 PM on June 9, 2015 [5 favorites]


mouseover for the one thing I want out of the finale.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 3:50 PM on June 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


insideJorahshead is up there with r/thingsjonsnowknows as best GOT themed sub-reddits.
posted by drezdn at 4:53 PM on June 9, 2015 [6 favorites]


There's a deleted scene of Maester Pycelle showing how his buffoonery is a complete act. A theory on put forward reddit* is that they cut those scenes so it didn't seem like a trope when Mace does the same thing later on. Although maybe at the time it was Manderly they were thinking was going to have the drastically different public and private persona.

There was an earlier scene where Pycelle is shown to be putting on an act with the old man stuff, but I don't think most people even figured out that was what was going on.
posted by Drinky Die at 5:05 PM on June 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


There's a deleted scene of Maester Pycelle showing how his buffoonery is a complete act.

Wasn't there a non-deleted scene where we see Maester Pycelle getting it on with a much younger woman?
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 5:34 PM on June 9, 2015


regarding the unsullied: they let a masked man walk up to within 3 feet of Dany, and would failed to prevent the simplest assasination plan in history if it weren't for a fluke spear-shot from Jorah. They weren't facing overwhelming numbers, they weren't distracted by a dragon, they were just horrible. They are horrible whenever it is convenient for the sake of the plot, because the writer's don't feel like coming up with a plausible distraction, or giving up enough screen time to show them putting up a good fight.

regarding /r/insideJorahshead: damn, now I'm never going to be able to watch a Jorah seen again without picturing his inner monologue, and him calling himself J-bear.
posted by skewed at 5:43 PM on June 9, 2015 [7 favorites]


The problem with this interpretation is that even Oleanna Tyrell in the show thinks that Mace is an idiot.

Not so! Olenna knows the value of strategy. Nobody can know of Mace's true nature, or all will be lost. Even Margaery can't know--she'd behave differently if she knew he was secretly helping.

... and on continuing the thread everyone has already said that, dammit
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:28 PM on June 9, 2015


Oh, yeah! Whoever is in charge of Daenaerys' costuming this season, they are knocking it out of the fucking park. That simple perfect dress shape set off with a single piece of metal? That looks spectacular no matter which one it is and where it's placed? Genius.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:29 PM on June 9, 2015 [4 favorites]




regarding the unsullied: they let a masked man walk up to within 3 feet of Dany, and would failed to prevent the simplest assasination plan in history if it weren't for a fluke spear-shot from Jorah.

Yes, but I can see an argument that are trained to be the ultimate soldiers, and that perhaps they don't have sufficient independence to be good bodyguards.

They weren't facing overwhelming numbers, they weren't distracted by a dragon, they were just horrible. They are horrible whenever it is convenient for the sake of the plot, because the writer's don't feel like coming up with a plausible distraction, or giving up enough screen time to show them putting up a good fight.

Yes, totally this. For the ultimate soldiers wearing half armour and armed with spear and sword, they got totally pwned by a bunch of dudes in street clothes with kitchen knives.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 11:30 PM on June 9, 2015


And then once the Unsullied, vastly outnumbered by Sons of the Harpy, got into formation around our Meereenese Avengers, the Sons were so outmatched that they could barely even attack into it, and every one who tried died doing so.

Unsullied are formation fighters forced into a bad role in Meereen, as we've seen all season.

Also:

Shireen: "Father. Aren’t you cold?"
Stannis: "No. What are you reading?"
Shireen: "The Dance of Dragons."
Stannis: "What’s it about?"
Shireen: "It’s the story of the fight between Rhaenyra Targaryen and her half-brother Aegon for control of the Seven Kingdoms. Both of them thought they belonged on the Iron Throne. When people started for declaring for one of them or the other, their fight divided the kingdom in two. Brothers fought brothers. Dragons fought dragons. By the time it was over, thousands were dead. And it was a disaster for the Targaryens as well. They never truly recovered."
Stannis: “'The dance of dragons'? Why is that a dance?"
Shireen: "That’s just what they call it."
Stannis: "Doesn’t make much sense."
Shireen: "I think it’s poetic."
Stannis: "If you had to choose between Rhaenyra and Aegon, who would you have chosen?"
Shireen: "I wouldn’t have chosen either. It’s all the choosing sides that made things so horrible."
Stannis: "Sometimes a person has to choose. Sometimes the world forces his hand. When a man knows what he is and remains true to himself, the choice is not choice at all. He must fulfill his destiny and become who he is meant to be. However much he may hate it."

(Thanks, zarq, for the quoting there.)

This conversation is loaded with meaning for us because of its context and what we know/fear is about to happen next. But Stannis is right, in a way, because this conversation is also about where Dany has been all this time in Meereen, and how she become who she is meant to be by the episode's end.
posted by Navelgazer at 11:54 PM on June 9, 2015


your soft marshmallow heart is going to make s'mores of us all, but hey maybe the white walkers are diabetic and that how we get them

*gasp* Ponyta!
posted by drezdn at 5:06 AM on June 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


If TV Mace is an undercover smarty, then that'll be a Benioff and Weiss invention GRRM apparently doesn't know about.

What a twist! (And all the more delicious for all the twists GRRM pulls on his readers.)
posted by filthy light thief at 7:38 AM on June 10, 2015


Unsullied are formation fighters forced into a bad role in Meereen, as we've seen all season.

Yeah, there's a quote from Tyrion somewhere in the books that goes something to the effect of the Unsullied being no better or worse than other spearmen, but their discipline in formation being the difference - and if they couldn't get into formation...

On rewatch, I was completely ahagst and the disposition of them at the arena - singly or in pairs amongst the crowd? Seriously? Have them in group of ten or so, at least, stationed at regular intervals, where they can protect each other. And maybe have some of the Second Sons with bows/crossbows at key locations? The arena floor would have been a killing ground if Dany had been surrounded by 20-30 Unsullied in a shield wall while some of the Second Sons sniped from above.
posted by nubs at 8:17 AM on June 10, 2015


Why were the Sons of the Harpy slaughtering spectators? Presumably the folks going to the games are generally allied with the old existing power structures right?
posted by mzurer at 8:59 AM on June 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


Why were the Sons of the Harpy slaughtering spectators? Presumably the folks going to the games are generally allied with the old existing power structures right?

Like with most things from the Mereen production unit: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
posted by codacorolla at 9:41 AM on June 10, 2015 [13 favorites]


Why were the Sons of the Harpy slaughtering spectators?

Some of spectators are slaves, so they're fair game for the Harpys. Otherwise, it's nice to be able to blame your enemies for what you did.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:31 AM on June 10, 2015


I now know what Littlefinger really wants thanks to seeing him in Blitz (2011) with Jason Statham conducting his interrogation @27 minute mark. He wants his lawyer, a sandwich that is not stale and to update his facebook status.
posted by srboisvert at 12:47 PM on June 10, 2015


One thing I liked about the Stannis plot is that it puts the “Moral Good” of the Winterfell situation squarely on Sansa. She is the only person to root for now. Hopefully the narrative puts her fate more in her own hands and less as part of a Stannis or Theon redemption plotline.
posted by French Fry at 1:17 PM on June 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


I don't think there will be a Stannis redemption plotline. He became tolerable - never likeable - because he was the only claimant to the Throne to think about the people of the realm after being pushed there by Davos; it is (to me) a damning statement about every other possible claimant to the Throne that Stannis becomes a reasonable-appearing choice, rather than there being anything laudatory about Stannis. Because he isn't; he just happens to be lucky enough to have an advisor who (a) isn't scared to tell the truth as he sees it and (b) know that the method to managing Stannis is to remind him of his duties and obligations. Melisandre also knows that, but she has Stannis thinking about duties and obligations of a legendary hero.

I'm looking forward to the horrible moment when Melisandre realizes Stannis isn't Azor and abandons him, and Stannis is left with the crushing realization of all the horrors he's done - of the monster he's become - in the name of a duty he never really had in the first place. Then we will see the iron break.
posted by nubs at 2:13 PM on June 10, 2015 [8 favorites]


Oh, and before I forget - are there any odds on Varys popping up in the final episode to put in a word or a crossbow bolt?
posted by nubs at 2:20 PM on June 10, 2015


I would rate it as pretty certain.
posted by Drinky Die at 2:33 PM on June 10, 2015


I feel like you'd need to establish who he's shooting and why first, but that guy hasn't been around since what, episode 1? I think you need to see some decent kingdom management before Varys really has a viable motive. But, maybe they can squeeze that in early in the episode.
posted by LionIndex at 2:34 PM on June 10, 2015


Yeah if they time jump a month? that would give enough time for Varys to decide that brothers should die the same way.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 2:37 PM on June 10, 2015


The finale will be nothing but Varys' journey from losing Tyrion in the brothel to realizing he has something to do back in King's Landing, getting back there, and popping a perfunctory cap in Kevan.
posted by Navelgazer at 2:46 PM on June 10, 2015 [3 favorites]


Give him someone to have some witty dialogue with on the journey, and I'm there.
posted by nubs at 2:48 PM on June 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


I mean, I'm joking about how ridiculous that would be from Vary's perspective no matter how you played it, but I realized this week what could have made the S4 finale work gangbusters instead of being the limp wad of shit that it turned out to be.

Mostly, focus primarily on Tywin's perspective all day. I mean, that day, he's trying to get his claws into Tommen further, deal with news of default, he's got to manage increasingly uneasy Tyrells and weigh what he's going to do with Tyrion, and all that before Cersei flips her shit, admits to him that the kids are all Jaime's, and threatens to tell the world about it. He retires to some quality time with Shae (which must have been disturbing, to us if not to Tywin) and when he's finally sitting down for a shit, here comes the ghost of Christmas past.

I think that could have been incredible.
posted by Navelgazer at 3:01 PM on June 10, 2015 [5 favorites]


mzurer: "Why were the Sons of the Harpy slaughtering spectators? Presumably the folks going to the games are generally allied with the old existing power structures right"

It might be that going to the games is seen by the Sons as implicit recognition of Daenerys and her position. The reopening of the fighting pits is a conciliatory gesture on her part, so it's possible that the ex masters who go are the ones who are receptive to the idea of her ruling, as long as she makes some adjustments. The real hardliners would likely boycott "her" games (unless they were going in a mask).
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 3:20 PM on June 10, 2015


nubs: "Melisandre also knows that, but she has Stannis thinking about duties and obligations of a legendary hero."

The Azor Ahai connection is actually interesting and relevant to this last episode and Stannis going full psychopath. Azor Ahai needed to forge a hero's sword, Lightbringer, to fight the darkness. The first sword he made, he worked on for thirty days and thirty nights, but when he tried to temper it in water, it broke. The second one took fifty days and night, and he tried to temper it in the heart of a lion he had captured, but it broke again. The third one, Lightbringer, he worked on for a hundred days and nights, and then, with sorrow, he tempered it by driving it through the heart of his wife, which combined her soul with the sword and whatnot.

So, sacrificing a family member for the greater good is definitely an Azor Ahai thing. And, apparently, steelworking of the highest quality requires tempering in vital, still living muscles, for some reason.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 3:24 PM on June 10, 2015 [5 favorites]


Like all GRRM prophecies though, you can turn that around and apply it to others. Olly/The Night's Watch does love Jon even if they need to get shooty or stabby...maybe it isn't the metal that needs to be tempered.
posted by Drinky Die at 3:28 PM on June 10, 2015


Navelgazer: "Mostly, focus primarily on Tywin's perspective all day. I mean, that day, he's trying to get his claws into Tommen further, deal with news of default, he's got to manage increasingly uneasy Tyrells and weigh what he's going to do with Tyrion, and all that before Cersei flips her shit, admits to him that the kids are all Jaime's, and threatens to tell the world about it. He retires to some quality time with Shae (which must have been disturbing, to us if not to Tywin) and when he's finally sitting down for a shit, here comes the ghost of Christmas past.

I think that could have been incredible.
"

This is a cool idea, but it's also much more what "traditional", episode of the week TV series do when they want something a bit different ("House" did this twice, at least, once for Wilson and once for Cuddy, and the Wilson episode is hilarious). It doesn't work as well in an integrated, continuous narrative like GoT. But it'd be funny.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 3:30 PM on June 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


Oh definitely (My So-Called Life did it twice as well, IIRC) but I think it could have been done subtly (though the screams of fans missing the escape and subsequent Shae-murder would have been deafening. Show-only folks probably could have loved it, though.)
posted by Navelgazer at 3:36 PM on June 10, 2015


Joakim, that's a good point about the AA legend and I hadn't thought about Shireen's sacrifice that way. I think Drinky Die has a point though, that it might be more about tempering the hero than the blade.
posted by nubs at 3:42 PM on June 10, 2015 [1 favorite]




The palace is spectacularly real on the whole. While the dome shot tweaks our ingrained sense of what seems CGIed, look at the awkward framing of that shot, from very low up at Jamie. It's a smallish entryway with a dome, and so that angle was the only way to get a person in frame with the dome. If it had been CGI, they could have made the dome 10x larger, and framed it better.

Of course, the other reason to suspect that wasn't CGI is the budget was so clearly overdrawn on dragon that they would have been insane to throw in CGI elsewhere. The only part of the arena that was real is the bullring base, and the royal platform.
posted by joeyh at 8:47 PM on June 10, 2015


The Lord of Light / Seven clash should be interesting whenever that happens.

We've seen plenty of evidence of supernatural intervention by the Lord of Light, and somewhat more subtle intervention from The Old Gods, but has there ever, in books or show, been any indication that the Seven are actual entities in the world, or any kind of legit miraculous occurrance attributable to them? I have always seen the New Gods as being GRRM's Take That in regards to organized religion.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 9:24 PM on June 10, 2015


We've seen plenty of evidence of supernatural intervention by the Lord of Light, and somewhat more subtle intervention from The Old Gods, but has there ever, in books or show, been any indication that the Seven are actual entities in the world, or any kind of legit miraculous occurrance attributable to them

A bunch of fanatics willing to throw their bodies at a cause. But otherwise, no, I agree that the Seven are intentionally meant to be false and powerless deities.
posted by codacorolla at 9:55 PM on June 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


The Stranger might be viewed as the same as the (not today!) God of Death.
posted by Drinky Die at 1:59 AM on June 11, 2015


The Stranger might be viewed as the same as the (not today!) God of Death.
He is absolutely intended to be - hence the Faceless Men's worship of the Many-faced God.
posted by Magnakai at 2:55 AM on June 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


We've seen plenty of evidence of supernatural intervention by the Lord of Light

Just curious, does anyone here actually think the LoL (lol) is going to come through for Stannis with regard to Winterfell? Not happening, right?
posted by torticat at 5:05 AM on June 11, 2015


I think Stannis is done. People are all worked up about how mad Davos is going to be with him once he finds out about Shireen. I don't think there is going to be a Stannis left to be mad at by the time news reaches the onion knight.
posted by trunk muffins at 7:09 AM on June 11, 2015


I am hoping for a very quiet, almost dialogue free scene in which Davos resigns as Hand and just walks away from Stannis. I know the show loves the big gory spectacle scenes and this one would have extra REVENGE! but I think it would be more powerful if Davos just leaves Stannis. Selyse might too.
posted by nubs at 8:43 AM on June 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


The "next time on Game of Thrones" segment at the end of this episode had a clip showing icecicles melting and Melisandre talking about how they'd been blessed by the LoL, so it apparently "does" something. Whether that includes capturing Winterfell will probably wait until next season.
posted by LionIndex at 8:45 AM on June 11, 2015


I'm beginning to lean towards the Jon Snow stuff being next season, although it's like 55 / 45 at this point. They've already done a lot with the North in this season.
posted by codacorolla at 8:49 AM on June 11, 2015


I'll be pretty amazed if they don't at least get the stabbening done this season, just because of all the Olly stinkeye. I can't see them waiting a whole year for that to pay off.
posted by LionIndex at 9:03 AM on June 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


They've got to leave us with something that has everyone agog. Jon's stabbening seems most likely to me, because everything else - Cersei's walk; Kevan's death; Dany's sojurn in the Dothraki sea doesn't feel like it has enough emotional punch right now for me or, in the case of the Winterfell storyline, like it would be too rushed to get it to that point.
posted by nubs at 9:16 AM on June 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


And, I just want to say, that while reading the books I've been able to handle a lot of the uncomfortable/hard/squicky/inhuman behaviour moments without much problem, Cersei's walk made me uncomfortable to the point of nausea and it is a chapter I tend to skip on re-reads. I find it amazing that a chapter about a character I rather loathe (book Cersei far more than show Cersei) can do that; I hope the show does it as well. Because if it doesn't - if it goes for the "we've seen your tits" level of spectacle that I've come to expect/fear from the show - it's a horrible horrible thing to do to Lena Headley, who has been magnificent.
posted by nubs at 9:20 AM on June 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


Cersei's walk of shame was the closest I ever got to feeling any empathy for her in the books.
posted by trunk muffins at 9:22 AM on June 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


I hated the Dany “nature adventures” plot in the books. Felt like one more time sink pause, in a long list of ‘who the fuck is jon connington’ time sink pauses. I’m glad that is looking like it might be limited to one part of one episode.
posted by French Fry at 9:24 AM on June 11, 2015


I went from a feeling of "good, Cersei's finally getting what's coming to her" to "this is horrible" to "this is making me ill" to "you can do it, Cersei! Fuck them!" which is just, yeah, a really fucking odd way to go with book Cersei.
posted by nubs at 9:25 AM on June 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


The show and the books do an interesting job playing with the line of narrative familiarity and sympathy. Utilizing human “monkey sphere” thinking to shape the way events land. Cersei is worse than the high septon, but we feel worse about her shaming.

We hear about all manner of vile BS happening to minor characters but we really get our stomachs turned when it happens to people we’ve spent time with, even when they are awful people.
posted by French Fry at 9:35 AM on June 11, 2015 [3 favorites]


if it goes for the "we've seen your tits" level of spectacle that I've come to expect/fear from the show - it's a horrible horrible thing to do to Lena Headley, who has been magnificent

It's especially egregious because the book scene contained so much of how her sexuality was stripped from it with her clothes - how her nakedness was not sexual and she was almost afraid. I hope they don't do that. I guess we'll see in 3 days.
posted by corb at 11:38 AM on June 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


Even if one believes the producers would be inclined to make it a LOL BOOBS spectacle Lena Headey has the juice to make sure that isn't the case. Remember her scene with Jaime in the first episode contained virtually no skin at all.
posted by Justinian at 12:26 PM on June 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


We're absolutely getting the Walk (the first scenes of episode 1 were big ass signposts for it) as well as Jon's stabbening (every episode, just checking in, Olly still hate Jon? GOod. Olly still hates Jon...)
posted by Navelgazer at 12:52 PM on June 11, 2015 [3 favorites]


The Olly stuff is almost so egregious it makes me wonder if it's a fake-out, aimed at book-readers who've been expecting daggers in the dark the whole season - and then DON'T GET THEM. But it probably isn't.

I'd say stabby Jon, walking Cersei + Zombie Clegane, and Dany meets the Dothraki are nailed on.
Stannis still getting ready to attack Winterfell, Sansa and Theon still inside...though that leaves the question of what Brienne does, if anything. So maybe an escape/rescue involving Brienne. Arya surely kills Meryn. We don't see Dorne. No idea about Tyrion - they have to show him for a few minutes surely?

[nb my predictions are usually hilariously wrong. It's more likely we see Jon and the Night's King team up and start moving south...].
posted by Pink Frost at 1:28 PM on June 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


I do expect there will be a lot of skin, for what its worth, simply because it would be almost impossible to do that scene justice without it. I just don't think it will be the equivalent of those gratuitous brothel scenes or the like.
posted by Justinian at 1:29 PM on June 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


Oh and re Cersei and empathy: I thought the book did a good job of building up to that. Once you start seeing her life from her perspective, you see why she maybe turned out like she did...her mother dies and she's brought up by Tywin, she's separated from Jaime, sexist power structures mean she's forced into roles that she wouldn't choose (she should be powerful and in line to take over the family), she has to marry Robert, who's horrible to her, she's got a prophecy hanging over her - it's not really any surprise if she turns out bitter and combative, is it?

But you find all this out slowly, so the change in sympathy is a gradual process - or at least it was for me.
posted by Pink Frost at 1:30 PM on June 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


Yeah, book Cersei is much more relatable than the mustache twirling she does on the show. They tried to get to that a few times this season, but their nearly ironclad no-flashback policy seems to preclude a lot of her being humanized.
posted by codacorolla at 1:33 PM on June 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


I feel like The Stabberating might be pushed to S6. Too many climaxes, otherwise.

And I'll be disappointed if the final shot isn't Cersei walking down the street.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 1:46 PM on June 11, 2015


In a stunning twist Jon does "the walk" to atone for helping the wildings.
posted by drezdn at 1:51 PM on June 11, 2015 [4 favorites]


I think show Cersei is more relatable and a better drawn character than book Cersei.
posted by bq at 2:04 PM on June 11, 2015


Yeah, book Cersei is much more relatable than the mustache twirling she does on the show.

Wow, this is the exact opposite of my impression. Show Cersei is completely understandable and sympathetic to me. Book Cersei is stupidly cartoonish.
posted by Justinian at 3:54 PM on June 11, 2015


I'm More or Less Confident the Finale Will Include:

Stabby Jon
Davos at the Wall
Cersei's Walk
Meryn Gets His/Arya's Blindness (feat. Jaqen H'gar AKA Sexy Jesus)
Whatever Conclusion We're Getting for Sansa

Less Confident About:

Jon Sends Sam and Gilly to the Citadel Already
Stannis lays siege to Winterfell
Tyrion and Missandei start to notice that Meereen has a bit of a Greyscale issue
Brienne Remembers That Doors Enable Action Better Than Windows Do
posted by Navelgazer at 4:38 PM on June 11, 2015 [3 favorites]


I could see the siege of Winterfell starting on Sunday. Not finishing. Basically I don't see how they could cram SURPRISE KNIVES and WINTERFELL uh FELL and CERSEI GOES FOR A STROLL and ARYA FINALLY GETS HER MURDERIZING ON in a single episode. Too much, leaves little emotional payoff at the beginning of next season. Starting Winterfell and having it carry over for a couple episodes next season would work, as would delaying Slicing Jon Snow.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 5:19 PM on June 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


I think there's an ambush in store for people returning from Dorne.
posted by drezdn at 8:03 AM on June 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


Which Doran foils, if memory serves (haven't read ADWD in a bit. Or was it AFFC?)
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:33 AM on June 12, 2015


Just so long as whatever happens, Bronn doesn't get killed.
posted by drezdn at 9:37 AM on June 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


All hail Bronn, First of his Name, King of the Andals and the First Men, Lord of the Seven Kingdoms, and Protector of the Realm.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:39 AM on June 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


feckless fecal fear mongering: I could see the siege of Winterfell starting on Sunday.

Are we sure there's going to be a siege of Winterfell? I'd argue there's a non-zero chance Stannis gets assassinated by Ramsay, or his men desert him, making a siege impossible. Somehow I think this is going to be resolved in a non-siege manner.
posted by bluecore at 10:19 AM on June 12, 2015


The preview indicates they're going to come close, at least.

And, unfortunately, it looks like they're hitting all the climaxes in one episode (I hadn't seen the preview until just now).

I wonder... maybe Cersei's Constitutional will be pushed to the next season? Buildup in this episode being her having to make a choice.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:43 AM on June 12, 2015


All hail Bronn, First of his Name, King of the Andals and the First Men, Lord of the Seven Kingdoms, and Protector of the Realm.

He's a goner.
posted by zarq at 11:32 AM on June 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


Wow, this is the exact opposite of my impression. Show Cersei is completely understandable and sympathetic to me. Book Cersei is stupidly cartoonish.

I am running out of pistols to duel you with, Justinian. But you are definitely WRONG about THINGS.

Book Cersei is more sympathetic because you see her internal monologues and fears, which she doesn't always put on display.
posted by corb at 1:29 PM on June 12, 2015


I am clearly and indisputably right about things!
posted by Justinian at 1:34 PM on June 12, 2015


I wonder... maybe Cersei's Constitutional will be pushed to the next season?

The name of the episode is Mother's Mercy so I think that unlikely.
posted by Justinian at 1:35 PM on June 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


Book Cersei is more sympathetic because you see her internal monologues and fears, which she doesn't always put on display

Sympathetic is not the word I would ever use for Cersei. I understand her better after getting her POV chapters, but I don't find her sympathetic - just more dangerous/scary because now I know that there's some big mis-perceptions alongside an inability to think strategically and long-term.
posted by nubs at 1:57 PM on June 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I think it unlikely too. Just, going on the preview/teaser, it looks like they're actually trying to wrap everything up all in one go:

1) Wall: "What are you going to do?" - Jon
2) Winterfell: Icicles melting in front of Melisandre + Stannis "The siege starts tomorrow"
 b) "If I'm going to die..." - Sansa
 c) Brienne and Pod!
3) King's Landing: Cersei in prison
4) Meereen: Tyrion, Jorah, and Missandei lounging about the throne room
5) Braavos: Arya "You are Nobody"
6) Dorne: Jaime gets a VO

It's a lot of plot to tie up in 60 minutes and I'm concerned they'll fluff it.


I mean, from the preview it looks like they're hitting every plot (except poor, neglected Bran).
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 2:29 PM on June 12, 2015


b) "If I'm going to die..." - Sansa

Historic?
posted by the man of twists and turns at 2:32 PM on June 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


We've only got 60 minutes of cliff, but so much to hang from it! *bites nails*
posted by trunk muffins at 2:54 PM on June 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


I can't remember - don't they go a bit long for the end of season stuff?
posted by codacorolla at 3:08 PM on June 12, 2015


b) "If I'm going to die..." - Sansa

There are theories going around that she would be the show's version of Lady Stoneheart. Which I'm mostly hoping doesn't happen because it means Book-Sansa is not very important and spends the rest of the series eating lemon cakes and getting leered at by Littlefinger.

Also, /r/fuckolly.
posted by Gary at 3:10 PM on June 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


I think the 'I'm going to die' is teasing the runaway that Theon/Jeyne Poole engage in in the books. I think we're going to close with Stannis marching to Winterfell, and Sansa fleeing, potentially with Theon, potentially after having stabbed Ramsay, into the snow.
posted by corb at 4:00 PM on June 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


also, I am loving /r/fuckolly. "I'm the thenn who ate Olly's parents...AMA".
posted by corb at 4:01 PM on June 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


Put a fedora on Tyrion and he becomes the Mansplainer of Westeros.
posted by srboisvert at 4:55 PM on June 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


All hail Bronn, First of his Name, King of the Andals and the First Men, Lord of the Seven Kingdoms, and Protector of the Realm.
He's a goner.


We all are and most of us probably before the book series is finished.
posted by srboisvert at 4:57 PM on June 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


This season has put the final nail in the "nope, those books are never going to be finished" coffin.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 5:03 PM on June 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


Put a fedora on Tyrion and he becomes the Mansplainer of Westeros.

I'm not sure anyone can pry that Fedora away from Petyr "here's why handing you over to Ramsey Bolton is a good thing" Baelish.
posted by Gary at 5:23 PM on June 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


Stannis marching to Winterfell, and Sansa fleeing, potentially with Theon, potentially after having stabbed Ramsay, into the snow.

Yup good call, corb.

Just, going on the preview/teaser, it looks like they're actually trying to wrap everything up all in one go:

Yeah, that's crazy! Why the hell would they feel they needed to go back to Meereen? Though Tyrion, Jorah, & Daario on the throne steps is pretty awesome.

I still think Stannis meets his end with Davos, eventually. There is some serious history to be paid off there. At any rate, Stannis doesn't die this season, and neither does he breach the Winterfell walls IMO.

If Sansa turns into Stoneheart I might ragequit. (No, not really. But I never found LSH remotely interesting and am actually kind of intrigued how many readers are totally into her.)
posted by torticat at 5:30 PM on June 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


LSH when she first showed up just made me go "WTF GURM WHY IS THIS NECESSARY"
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 6:23 PM on June 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


Two Battle of Winterfell things that don't look like they'll be in the show that I already miss. The northerner who keeps standing outside the walls of Winterfell making it sound like Stannis's host is at the gate, and the crofters village/tower theory of how Stannis could win.
posted by drezdn at 7:08 PM on June 12, 2015


The northerner who keeps standing outside the walls of Winterfell making it sound like Stannis's host is at the gate

Yeah that's what I'm wondering about. I think I mentioned it upthread--it's the northerners who try to take Winterfell back from Ramsey in ADWD, right?

The show has hinted at this, even lacking the Manderlys... "the North remembers" ought to be paid off in some way, especially since Ramsey thinks he's killed that dead by flaying that poor servingwoman. And Brienne is there to help out. I just don't think Stannis needs to be involved.

Then again I don't think Stannis needs to be involved in anything else ever except maybe a stabbening at the hands of Davos. And btw Selyse ought to go with him--she never did anything for her daughter except to try to stymie Shireen's best instincts, and her regrets when her daughter was burning to death did nothing to make me feel any sympathy for her.
posted by torticat at 7:33 PM on June 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


In the books, Stannis has brought some northern tribes into the fold, but I don't think that has happened in the show.
posted by drezdn at 8:53 AM on June 13, 2015


it's the northerners who try to take Winterfell back from Ramsey in ADWD, right?

It's a really odd mix in the North - Stannis has some Northern families with him (including one that had been previously somewhat hostile, but suddenly came over - the Mormonts or the Umbers or something); others are in Winterfell with the Boltons, and it's not entirely clear who is really loyal to who and what, exactly is going on. Manderly is obviously hostile to the Boltons, but there's a lot of simmering tension inside Winterfell - while Stannis sits and waits in what looks like a difficult position, but tactically might just be the battlefield he wants assuming that the Bolton/Frey/Northern force will come out to fight. Which they do because of the rising tensions inside the castle.

And some of the leaders of the more tribal groups of the North show up at the Wall to check things out as well.

All of which leads to some speculation about LSH and the portion of Robb's force that split off to go find Greywater Watch before the main force went to the Twins; that there's some hidden coordination of the Northern Houses to (a) bring down the Boltons and Freys; (b) weaken Stannis; and (c) honour one of Robb's last official acts - legitimatizing Jon and proclaiming him his heir.
posted by nubs at 10:44 AM on June 13, 2015


Ok, this link (warning - asoiaf wiki) outlines who is with who in the North.

The Mormonts, who I'm pretty sure originally send Stannis a letter at Castle Black with the line "We only recognize one king in the North, whose name is Stark" do join with Stannis - and the force that split from Robb did have Maege Mormont, the Lady of Bear Island - in it. The Glovers also join Stannis, with the head of that House also being part of Robb's split force. The Karstarks are with Stannis, but are actually working for the Boltons, while the Boltons have several Houses whose loyalty is suspect.
posted by nubs at 10:55 AM on June 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm beginning to think we won't get any pie and that makes me sad.

LSH when she first showed up just made me go "WTF GURM WHY IS THIS NECESSARY"]

GRRM: 'you know what this series needs? More zombies. But different.'
posted by bq at 3:27 PM on June 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


nubs, I love that you warned it's the asoiaf wiki because oh fuck now I'm down the hole.

Also your commentary on GOT threads is the very best.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 6:04 PM on June 13, 2015


There's a rumor going around reddit about something in episode 10 that would make my jaw drop, but it's got to be fake. Just got to be.
posted by drezdn at 9:52 PM on June 13, 2015


What is it?
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 5:12 AM on June 14, 2015




Here's the youtube version
posted by drezdn at 5:31 AM on June 14, 2015


!
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 5:39 AM on June 14, 2015


Well, maybe The Stabbening just got really, really interesting...
posted by nubs at 7:14 AM on June 14, 2015


Grantland: The Game of Thrones book symposium - A spoiler filled discussion of Season 5

I really appreciated this, in relation to Shireen's death: The showrunners’ decision to point fingers and say “GEORGE WAS GUNNA ANYWAY!” makes me feel worse, not better! In addition to altering the plot we already know and love, they’re also spoiling the stuff that’s yet to come. Rude.
posted by nubs at 7:48 AM on June 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


it's got to be fake. Just got to be.

That doesn't look like a real previously-on. Just someone's wishful thinking, I'm guessing.
posted by torticat at 11:33 AM on June 14, 2015


Man that Grantland discussion makes me want the showrunners to change things even more just to hear the crying. Their tears are delicious.
posted by Justinian at 1:54 PM on June 14, 2015


Picture the training montage from Rocky and that's me preparing for the finale.
posted by Justinian at 4:52 PM on June 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


That's all of us, I think, Justinian. But let's remember Rocky lost, so what sort of sucker punch are we going to get hit by tonight?

fffm: Also your [nubs'] commentary on GOT threads is the very best.

So much this. But I'd like to thank all of you for your insights, it's been great following along with you, especially people who think of things that I never would (the costumes etc) and those of you with an encyclopaedic knowledge of the books/show.

Also sincere thanks to drezdn, fffm, nubs and torticat for discussing that Reddit rumour/'previously on' without posting spoilers.
posted by Pink Frost at 5:27 PM on June 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


Actually can I do things I'd like to see/unlikely predictions?

- Frey pie and Manderley in general.
- the murders in Winterfell (I really liked that section of the books; the sort of claustrophobic anxiety and fear experienced by both the Boltons etc inside Winterfell and Stannis outside. Obviously the show has to simplify, and showing endless shots of Stannis' army marooned in snow wouldn't be very exciting, but even so I miss it).
- Is Asha going to turn up? Not impossible, and it would be quite an unexpected event. Given that we think Victarion might turn up in S6, maybe Asha turns up, meets an escaped Theon and then spends the first half of S6 catching him up via flashback with everything that's happened: ep.1 'My Nuncle', ep.2 'My Other Nuncles', Ep.3 'A Queensmoot?', Ep.4 'The Kingsmoot', etc; which sees us through nicely until Aegon turns up. ;-) [OK that's not going to happen, but not impossible we see Asha, although I guess they wouldn't cast her for 5 minutes in one episode....]
- the Meeren sequence ending with the Ironborn ships appearing on the horizon [don't really care if the battle of Meeren happens, but it would be a nice cliffhanger]
posted by Pink Frost at 5:34 PM on June 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


without posting spoilers.

Okay so don't click or even mouse over this link, Pink Frost! :)

Huffington Post gives some credence to the rumor. Also included in that article is a link to some stills on imgur that are, um... whoa. Interesting.
posted by torticat at 5:49 PM on June 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


That doesn't look like a real previously-on. Just someone's wishful thinking, I'm guessing.

Nope, that was the actual previously-on aired at the beginning of the episode.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:10 AM on June 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Well I wrote that before it aired, obviously! But I was wrong wrong wrong, no problem admitting that. I think it was a great head-fake for book-readers from the producers--they could have used any pretext for getting Jon into the yard, and they chose to put Benjen in the previously-on. Very funny guys!
posted by torticat at 7:07 AM on June 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


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