Game of Thrones: Mother's Mercy   Show Only 
June 14, 2015 7:01 PM - Season 5, Episode 10 - Subscribe

Stannis begins to march; Dany is surrounded by strangers; Cersei seeks forgiveness; Jon is challenged.
posted by zarq (305 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
 
Challenged, you say?
posted by The Deej at 7:05 PM on June 14, 2015 [13 favorites]


Ok, one of my biggest complaints is that they've forgotten about Ghost for nearly the whole season. WHERE THE HELL WAS GHOST?? I hope he goes on a rampage and eats everyone at Castle Black, starting with Olly.

I have to say, I was hanging with it until this bitter end, but this season really has been the weakest so far. Even this finale felt really rushed; nothing really felt like it came together to me (except for Varys and Tyrion, yay for being reunited)! I dunno; I now feel like this was just 10 hours of setup for something else they want to do.
posted by TwoStride at 7:11 PM on June 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


Well that certainly put the "NOOOOO" into "John Snow".
posted by uosuaq at 7:11 PM on June 14, 2015 [10 favorites]


That was, story-wise, disappointing on almost every front. And the Cersei scene was just The Worst. I have the internet, I don't need escapist fantasy to see a parade of frothing vindictive misogyny.
posted by almostmanda at 7:14 PM on June 14, 2015 [14 favorites]


You're on my list, Night's Watch.
posted by starman at 7:15 PM on June 14, 2015 [6 favorites]


so this High Sparrow... he invented the Westeros Internet?
posted by kokaku at 7:18 PM on June 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


Well that was fun.
posted by octothorpe at 7:20 PM on June 14, 2015


How/why did Melisandra predict Stannis' victory? Obviously she's got some good magic stuff going but why did it falter suddenly?
posted by joeyjoejoejr at 7:21 PM on June 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


On the plus side:

Stannis loses, and loses hard -- so badly that we don't even need to see the battle. Brienne gets to be the one to kill him. Meanwhile, Tyrion and Varys are reunited for what will hopefully be a fruitful (and entertaining) partnership. Arya's storyline finally goes somewhere, even if things aren't great for her. Sam gets sent to perhaps become what he always should have been (a Maester). Something, anything, happens to advance whatever is up at the wall*.

On the minus side:

Brienne yet again has a near miss with actually helping Sansa. Sansa's arc ripens into the rotten fruit we all knew was coming, in which all her suffering has been to provide motivation for Theon's redemption. Cersei, much as I want her to be taken down, has to be taken down in as misogynistic a way as is possible. The one promising possible new character headed for King's Landing gets killed because of course she does. And Daenerys is back in the midst of either the Dothraki, or a culture probably just like it, so I can only imagine the fun we're in for with her next season.

Overall, a resounding ... sigh?

(Given all of Melisandrae's obsession with kingsblood, and the fact that she tried to magic-bone Jon a few episodes back to presumably produce another creepy smoke demon via his kingsblood, and all the blood shown in the final shot, does anyone actually think Jon is out for good? We've already seen that other crazy priest of the Lord of Light raise a guy from the dead repeatedly, after all)
posted by tocts at 7:25 PM on June 14, 2015 [8 favorites]


Well, that was brutal.
posted by homunculus at 7:26 PM on June 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


We've already seen that other crazy priest of the Lord of Light

Thoros of Myr.
posted by Justinian at 7:28 PM on June 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


You had ONE JOB, Brienne.
posted by Sokka shot first at 7:32 PM on June 14, 2015 [22 favorites]


That was, without a doubt, a very busy and one of the most deeply satisfying non-endings in the show. We caught up with everyone and established where they were, but catching up with everyone felt a bit like story whiplash as we followed everyone.

The killing of Myrcella was unsettling but made sense. Ellisa Sand would not, no, could not forgive the death of Oberyn and acted entirely in character. It's a shame the Sand Snakes weren't better used.

Dany's lost in the mountains and surrounded by Dothraki with weak and pouty dragon.

Varys return was welcome and frankly, badly wanted. He plays off well with Tyrion, while providing a badly needed lighter tone. With Tyrion running the city and having a very talented small council, it makes me wonder if he will acquire more ambitions of his own.

It was great to see Sansa take some agency on her own and it was annoying for the plot to usher Brienne and Pod away at that crucial moment. Felt cheap. But at least we got to see Theon reclaim a bit of himself. Though it's not clear if they jumped to safety or jumped to their death. Well, obviously to escape, but it's not clear how they'd survived such a drop!

Did Brienne kill Stannis? I'm leaning no, but it's not clear where that story would go at this point.

So much for the seige of Winterfell. That was short and sweet, but still satisfying. Who wants the child killer to survive and win?'

Leanna Headley absolutely killed it on the Cersei's Walk. She does so much with just her face and body language and communicates such a range of emotions. Fascinating to see her so broken at the end, yet so quickly recovered once inside and seeing Qyburn's creation. Cersei was already busy scheming. But what about Loras and Margeary and Tommen? What's going on with them.

Finally, Jon and the Watch. Easy to see that coming, but brutal in its application. Yet Melisandre returned to the Wall and that was a lot of blood spilled. There may be hope yet.

Great episode and ending for a subtle and harrowing season.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:33 PM on June 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


How/why did Melisandra predict Stannis' victory?

Most of her latest statements have been along the lines of "I have seen the Bolton banners lowered and walked in Winterfell". Those were not we statements!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:34 PM on June 14, 2015 [7 favorites]


does anyone actually think Jon is out for good? We've already seen that other crazy priest of the Lord of Light raise a guy from the dead repeatedly, after all

For a brief moment I thought Jon's eyes might turn blue, but yeah, I think it's a safe bet that Melisandre is going to bring him back. Relevant Season 3 clips:

Sandor Clegane vs. Beric Dondarrion

Sandor Clegane is set free, Beric and Thoros talks with Arya

The Red Woman meeting Thoros of Myr
posted by homunculus at 7:35 PM on June 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


Honest question cause I have no idea: what's Danny's status in the Dothraki? It's been a long time since season one.
posted by The Whelk at 7:36 PM on June 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Honest question cause I have no idea: what's Danny's status in the Dothraki? It's been a long time since season one.

None. Once Drogo died, she was considered less that nothing by most of his blood riders.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:37 PM on June 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


"How/why did Melisandra predict Stannis' victory?"

See conversation in previous threads re: the Red Priestesses having their own agenda. I'd even go so far as to say her excitement at seeing the weather break was just because she knew she'd finally sunk Stannis.

Oh, man, and bad news coming in threes, right?
"Stannis, half your army has deserted."
"Stannis, you gotta come see yer dead wife over here."
and in the background someone is whispering into someone else's ear and I was like ... okay, what's the third?
"Heyo Stannis your weird blood witch took it on the heel and toe, sorry I guess."
posted by komara at 7:38 PM on June 14, 2015 [5 favorites]


Honest question cause I have no idea: what's Danny's status in the Dothraki? It's been a long time since season one.

None. Once Drogo died, she was considered less that nothing by most of his blood riders.


As I recall, many of them were angry with her that she'd allowed forbidden blood magic to be used to try to heal Drogo, so some might still hold that against her.
posted by homunculus at 7:40 PM on June 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


Question: did Mrs. Stannis commit suicide, or was she helped along?
posted by TwoStride at 7:44 PM on June 14, 2015


The final Dany scene was a looooong boomerang from the first episode of season three:
Dany: They're the first Dothraki who have ever been on a ship. They followed me across the poison water. If they'll do it, others will. And with a true khalasar ...

Jorah: The Dothraki follow strength above all, khaleesi. You'll have a true khalasar when you prove yourself strong. And not before.
She's now shown strength (thanks to Drogon), and the Dothraki have flocked back to her.

So Melisandre fled before the battle? I couldn't hear what that guy said to Stannis after he saw his wife hanging, and I replayed it three or four times on high volume. Not that I was surprised by the outcome anyway, but I wonder what the Red Woman saw that caused her to turn tail. Good thinking on those who say she'll revive Jon Snow.

The Cersei shaming scene went on absurdly long. And the Mountain's big return is as purple-faced human palanquin? Meh. Basically a medieval "Blaster" (as in Master-Blaster).
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 7:47 PM on June 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


I LOVE THE GOLD FRANKENSTEIN SO MUCH AND NO CAN CONVINCE ME OTHERWISE.
posted by The Whelk at 7:49 PM on June 14, 2015 [15 favorites]


"I couldn't hear what that guy said to Stannis after he saw his wife hanging"

"Something something sighted the Red Woman leaving the camp / riding away from the camp something something" - obviously I don't remember verbatim.
posted by komara at 7:53 PM on June 14, 2015


Myrcella's outpouring of affection for Jaime coming immediately before her death by poisoning took the show's "when anything anything good happens, something terrible immediately follows" to a degree that can hardly be called anything but self-parody.

Tyrion's plot all season could've been fit into half as much time, during which time he went through no meaningful development.

An amazing performance from Lena Headley, in service of a pointlessly exploitative scene, in terms of its length if nothing else. Yes, I get the point, but Game of Thrones receives no benefit of the doubt when it comes to female nudity.

Once again Sansa's chance to exercise agency is largely thrown aside in favor of Theon's development and the showrunners' hard-on for ironic near-misses.

I didn't find the "Seige" satisfying at all. It means we're going to endure lots more time with Ramsey, who is honestly the one character I'm most sick of enduring. Ramsey's death was going to be the the shitty consolation prize for Shireen's murder, but we didn't even get that. I guess Stannis is dead, but who even cares. He was clearly never going to be an endgame contender.

Ugh ugh ugh.
posted by Sokka shot first at 7:54 PM on June 14, 2015 [10 favorites]


GoT is running out of living characters that I actually care about.
posted by octothorpe at 7:55 PM on June 14, 2015 [12 favorites]


My show-only watching partner has a theory: Varys has been dead a while & at this point is Tyrion's imaginary friend.

Pretty Drogon scene. Much improved from a VFX stand point over last week.
posted by tilde at 7:55 PM on June 14, 2015 [16 favorites]


The name of the ship Myrcella died on? The Live-4-Ever!
posted by Justinian at 8:02 PM on June 14, 2015 [7 favorites]


The Dothraki circling Dany was an interesting callback to the final scene of season 3, which is also interesting because that episode was titled "Mhysa" (mother), and this episode is "Mother's Mercy."

Before Jon even hit the ground, Mr. Motion predicted that Melisandre would bring him back to life. I expect that will happen.

I predict that the internet is going to be very tedious re: Cersei's atonement for the next year.
posted by sparklemotion at 8:03 PM on June 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


WHERE THE HELL WAS GHOST??

I assume he was tied up or held by some other people that were in on it.
posted by drezdn at 8:22 PM on June 14, 2015


Relevant clip from Season 3.
posted by corb at 8:39 PM on June 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


After seeing the priestess of R'hllor Volantis come out for Daenerys and not Stannis, I was starting to think the lord of light was hedging his bets.

After the prophesy by Maggy the Frog, I was kind of expecting Myrcella to sit on the iron throne after the death of her brother.

"Gold shall be their crowns...and gold their shrouds."

Guess that's not happening.
posted by Alison at 8:47 PM on June 14, 2015


"Gold shall be their crowns...and gold their shrouds."

I can't remember who said it, but someone called 'crowns' as 'heads'.
posted by corb at 8:51 PM on June 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


I agree; their golden crowns are their golden hair.
posted by Justinian at 8:55 PM on June 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


Interesting questions I wonder though - is Trystane going to believe it was Ellaria, or is he going to think it was Jaime? Especially since she didn't die until in Lannister custody?
posted by corb at 8:57 PM on June 14, 2015


Trystane would have to be an idiot to think it was Jaime. But perhaps he is an idiot.
posted by Justinian at 8:59 PM on June 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm glad Brienne got some kind of payoff after sitting around all season. Also, the timing with the candle was just cheap. Like, we were yelling "cheap!" at the screen as it was happening.
posted by rmd1023 at 9:03 PM on June 14, 2015 [11 favorites]


Is Trystane going to believe it was Ellaria, or is he going to think it was Jaime? Especially since she didn't die until in Lannister custody?

I'm not sure that matters, in so far as, I'm guessing Jaime could take Trystane in a fight if he had to. The lingering issue will probably be that Dorne has pretty much committed an act of war against the iron throne.
posted by drezdn at 9:03 PM on June 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Any thoughts on Dany dropping her ring? Have we seen that ring before? Does it have significance?

also, sorry guys on #hoodedguytrutherwatch.
posted by corb at 9:05 PM on June 14, 2015


I assume the ring is a breadcrumb for her buddies to follow. It should be pretty easy to find a ring in several million square miles of steppe.
posted by Justinian at 9:13 PM on June 14, 2015 [14 favorites]


I assume the ring was the wedding ring of the dead-not-harpy-son she married, and she wanted/needed to appear loyal to Kal Drogo even after his death.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 9:19 PM on June 14, 2015 [19 favorites]


Sansa's arc ripens into the rotten fruit we all knew was coming, in which all her suffering has been to provide motivation for Theon's redemption.

That's it exactly. I was really hoping they were going to turn it around and have Sansa be the one to rescue Theon, but in the end her ordeal was entirely for his benefit. FFS.
posted by homunculus at 9:41 PM on June 14, 2015 [7 favorites]


So Tyrion is basically the most powerful Lannister out there now? It's a funny world.

Also I'd love a Crusader Kings/Sim City video game that was basically just Running Mareen.
posted by The Whelk at 9:42 PM on June 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


The Westeros mod for Crusader Kings II is supposed to be really excellent if you're into that.
posted by Justinian at 9:45 PM on June 14, 2015


Cersei's payback is going to be brutal. She will go scorched earth on those religious wackos.

So Sansa's dead? Surely she couldn't have survived a drop from that height, even if Theon broke her fall. And Arya's dead too or is she just blind? The blind assassin, heh.

I'd heard this season's finale was going to be worse than the Red Wedding and it just about was except then we knew everybody was without a doubt dead. This time we've just got several maybe, maybe nots.

wonder what the Red Woman saw that caused her to turn tail

Probably the massive cascade of fail that for the most part she set in motion.
posted by fuse theorem at 9:46 PM on June 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm assuming Sansa and Theon jumped into the twenty foot or whatever snowdrift.
posted by Justinian at 9:47 PM on June 14, 2015 [6 favorites]


Really needed to see Stannis actually get killed. Not sure why that couldn't be shown unless he's not actually dead.

Jon Snow was one of my favorite characters and I really hope he stays dead. A lot of the writing has been especially cheap this year, and if he is brought back I lose a bit of hope for next season.

I love the setup for Tyrion and friends running Mereen, but not so much Jorah and Daario on the hunt and Dany with the Dothraki. But again, all the sudden the Unsullied are now "the only ones who can control the city"? Lame. They couldn't control shit last week.

Arya is left in a very interesting spot, where she had a badass murder scene and is now exceptionally weakened. This is probably the most wide open plot line running, most interested in where she ends up.

I now feel like this was just 10 hours of setup for something else they want to do.

I feel like this was the case, too. There were some good moments, and some very nice acting but more setup than payoff on the whole. I really don't get why they're seeming to burn so much time when there's probably only 20 hours left. Hopefully the next two seasons cover a lot of ground quickly?? There seems to be a ton more story, and even more unanswered questions, left. I dare say this show is heading towards LOST island with some of the world-building details (most likely filled out much more in the books, which I of course haven't read, but why should viewers HAVE to).
posted by dogwalker at 9:56 PM on June 14, 2015 [5 favorites]


Did Brienne kill Stannis? I'm leaning no, but it's not clear where that story would go at this point.

Really needed to see Stannis actually get killed. Not sure why that couldn't be shown unless he's not actually dead.


Yeah, when they cut away I assumed that she must not have actually killed him.
posted by homunculus at 10:08 PM on June 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


It's no guarantee that the show will end in 7 seasons. HBO says they want more.
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 10:09 PM on June 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


not so much Jorah and Daario on the hunt

I feel like the show is trying to average one or two buddy-cop road-trip pairups per season. We had Arya and the Hound, Brienne and pod, Varys and Tyrion, Jorah and Tyrion, now Jorah and Daario.
posted by corb at 10:14 PM on June 14, 2015 [10 favorites]


You forgot Jaime and Bronn. I think the original buddy cop pair-up was Tyrion and Bronn, yes?
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 10:27 PM on June 14, 2015 [8 favorites]


We've already seen that other crazy priest of the Lord of Light raise a guy from the dead repeatedly, after all

Am I remembering rightly that Melisandre's reaction to Thoros of Myr was essentially (a) "holy shit that stuff actually works?" and (b) "wait a minute, why does the drunken apostate get all the cool powers?"

It was odd that the show really tried hard to convince us hey look, Jon's really really dead but blinked at the moment of Stannis's supposed death.

Arya in the Hall of Faces : Luke in the swamp on Dagobah.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 10:28 PM on June 14, 2015 [13 favorites]


I think Stannis is actually dead. I mean, what would he even have to live for at this point? What would be his point? Why would Brienne spare him, but more importantly, why would he want to be spared?
posted by corb at 10:31 PM on June 14, 2015 [6 favorites]


We had a deal, Kyle: "It was odd that the show really tried hard to convince us hey look, Jon's really really dead but blinked at the moment of Stannis's supposed death."

I think this might be a bait and switch. They want you to think the character that's suprisingly alive next season is Stannis, while Jon's dead, but Stannis as a character is done, there's nothing left to do with him. Jon, on the other hand...
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 10:40 PM on June 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


HitFix: "Butch Greyjoy and the Sansa Kid."
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 10:43 PM on June 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


Yeah just to be clear, I hope Stannis is dead and believe he is, but there was no really good reason to not show his death. The proposed bait and switch, a distinct possibility, is not something I would be a fan of.
posted by dogwalker at 10:46 PM on June 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


Cutting straight to the aftermath of the Stannis/Bolton battle was obviously a "no budget for this" thing, but that overhead shot was really effective in showing just how thoroughly Stannis was defeated. His small remaining band tiredly pulling itself into rough battle lines; the Bolton formations bearing down on them fast and tightly regimented, and rushing around to flank him.

(A nice callback to the similar overhead shots of Stannis's army turning up to save the day at the Wall last season.)
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 11:13 PM on June 14, 2015 [9 favorites]


She's now shown strength (thanks to Drogon), and the Dothraki have flocked back to her.

Yeah, I think that was meant to look threatening, but it will actually be just another opportunity for Dany to augment her army. It was definitely a callback to the mhysa scene, and probably just as problematic. But Dany has dragons, and the racial issues will fade in relation to that.

It is great, on the other hand, that the people left ruling in Dany's place are Tyrion, Missandei, and Grey Worm.
posted by torticat at 11:16 PM on June 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


Or maybe Brienne stopped her swing at the last second when she saw the knights of the Eyrie approaching, not realizing that Littlefinger intends to help Stannis (who now owes him his life) take the Iron Throne.

...Nah, that would be too silly.
posted by homunculus at 11:29 PM on June 14, 2015


torticat: "It is great, on the other hand, that the people left ruling in Dany's place are Tyrion, Missandei, and Grey Worm."

Don't forget Varys. I'm looking forward to more episodes of the Tyrion & Varys Variety Hour next season.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 11:33 PM on June 14, 2015 [5 favorites]


So have the Dothraki come to bury Khaleesi or praise her?
posted by KathrynT at 11:57 PM on June 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


Also was Arya wearing the face of the terminally ill girl whose father brought her to the Suicide Spa?
posted by KathrynT at 12:00 AM on June 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


show of hands please

everyone who cheered when Arya got STABBITY STABFACE YOUR ORGANS ARE SWISS CHEESE NOW raise hands
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:02 AM on June 15, 2015 [18 favorites]


want
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:04 AM on June 15, 2015


My husband: "Joss Whedon seems so lighthearted now, with his occasional killing of main characters."
posted by corb at 12:44 AM on June 15, 2015 [11 favorites]


How/why did Melisandra predict Stannis' victory? Obviously she's got some good magic stuff going but why did it falter suddenly?

Also, why did Stannis's judgement falter so badly? He's supposed to be one of the most talented and experienced military commanders in the Realm, but it never occured to him that sacrificing his daughter to his weird Fire God wouldn't sit well with his mercenary cavalry forces and others who don't follow his faith. Was he really that surprised when they mutinied? WTF Stannis.
posted by homunculus at 12:50 AM on June 15, 2015 [9 favorites]


It is great, on the other hand, that the people left ruling in Dany's place are Tyrion, Missandei, and Grey Worm.

The scenes between Missandei and Tyrion in the latest episodes give me the feeling that there's going to be a Grey Worm - Missandei - Tyrion love triangle next season.

Don't forget Varys. I'm looking forward to more episodes of the Tyrion & Varys Variety Hour next season.

Grey Worm, The Imp, The Spider... Missandei needs a codename.
posted by homunculus at 1:57 AM on June 15, 2015


Honest question cause I have no idea: what's Danny's status in the Dothraki? It's been a long time since season one.

As a widow, she's supposed to go off to the city where her brother was killed. All the Khal widows hang out there, being like a council of wise women elders who have no real agency. And the city is completely neutral territory, which is why her brother was killed for baring his sword.
posted by Pink Frost at 2:01 AM on June 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


WHERE THE HELL WAS GHOST??

I assume he was tied up or held by some other people that were in on it.


Playing fetch with Wun Wun. That Giant throws those logs really far.
posted by homunculus at 2:43 AM on June 15, 2015 [5 favorites]


Was Cercei's walk meant to be the perfect metaphor for treatment of women in this show? Worked for me. GoT now makes me feel sufficiently bad enough about myself as a woman for watching it that I am done.
posted by Iteki at 3:06 AM on June 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


Cersai is not the dumb one in the scenes with the High Sparrow. The show is talking about the misogyny and pleasure hatred of the religious fanatics. The High Sparrow has the queen mother on her knees before him begging him to communicate with her son. He is so eager to humiliate Cersai that his god boner leads him into giving up the one advantage he has, physical control of Cersai.

Cersai is not a great strategic thinker. When she gets back to castle she's not going to come up with some subtle revenge plot. She will, as she been telling the nun, have the nun's head on a pike and now you add the High Sparrow's head to the list. Maybe that will start a revolution that will topple the Iron Throne. Most likely it won't because knights are very good at smashing peasants' heads. Even if the fundies win I'd lay pretty good odds that the High Sparrow won't survive the battle.

I think the High Sparrow is just repeating Cersai's mistakes. She overreached now he's overreaching. She acted out of spite and pettiness. He's acting out of arrogance and pettiness.
posted by rdr at 3:42 AM on June 15, 2015 [14 favorites]


Also, why did Stannis's judgement falter so badly?

His judgement was bad back when we first saw him at the burning of his brother-in-law. It's only gotten worst since then, what with him starting to believe the crap that Melisandre was selling. He may have been a great commander, but like Ned and Jon, he righteous belief in his power and code was his downfall.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:02 AM on June 15, 2015


GoT never even lets you feel good when bad people get theirs. Cersai is an all-around horrible person but even she didn't deserve that treatment.
posted by octothorpe at 4:12 AM on June 15, 2015 [7 favorites]


Didn't deserve it? Hell, she got off light considering all the death and destruction she's caused.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:30 AM on June 15, 2015 [7 favorites]


She plotted the death of Robert, manipulated Lancel, enabled Joffery the psychopath, played petty games with people's lives including those of her "beloved children", constantly belittled and/or tried to kill her brother and her punishment is that she has to actually listen to people tell her what they think of her? Please, she got off light, even if she you include the imprisonment and stripping.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:41 AM on June 15, 2015 [6 favorites]


I guess that's where our opinions differ, then. That was nothing but hateful, sexist, cruel humiliation to me, and the show wouldn't dare do that to a male character. It makes me extremely uncomfortable that anyone could watch that and think it's any form of justice. It feels like the entirety of Cersei's character up to this point was a set up for an angry MRA revenge fantasy.
posted by almostmanda at 4:53 AM on June 15, 2015 [16 favorites]


her punishment is that she has to actually listen to people tell her what they think of her?

her punishment isn't just that she has to hear what people think of her actions but what they think of her naked body. Cersei is a survivor apparently and would prefer that to staying in prison or having her head chopped off. Her choice, in that sense.

I don't feel sorry for her in the least. Better people than Cersei have died in horrible ways on GoT (and you don't have to do much to be a better person than Cersei). BUT the punishment of a woman in that particular way is notable at least. The Sparrows are misogynist sadists like everyone else. Lancel didn't have to perform a walk of shame. (What was Lancel's penance, I wonder? Wasn't he the one who actually poisoned Robert, in addition to sleeping with Cersei?)
posted by torticat at 4:59 AM on June 15, 2015 [6 favorites]


I don't need to be reminded of all the bad stuff that Cersai did, I said that she was a horrible person already. Also, keep in mind that her punishment had nothing to do with any of those things, it was for fornication with the squire.
posted by octothorpe at 5:02 AM on June 15, 2015 [8 favorites]


I guess that's where our opinions differ, then. That was nothing but hateful, sexist, cruel humiliation to me, and the show wouldn't dare do that to a male character. It makes me extremely uncomfortable that anyone could watch that and think it's any form of justice.

Oh I agree it was extremely uncomfortable to watch and that it wasn't meant to be any form of justice, but since it was Cersei who put the religious fanatics in power for her ends, it was proper that those tables were turned on her. As to the show, it spent a considerable amount of time torturing Theon, chopping off his penis and then further humiliating him, so clearly the show has no problem being cruel to various characters.

Cersei's walk wasn't just about the crimes she apologized for, IMO. The sparrow clearly knows the truth of Tommen's parentage, but probably doesn't want to see the realm thrown into complete civil war by toppling him, especially since the Faith now commands a higher position of authority. But he clearly wants to knock Cersei down a couple of pegs and the Walk was absolutely about publicly humiliating her in way that society would accept

Lancel didn't have to perform a walk of shame.

Lancel didn't repent while obviously lying his ass off in order to score some points, as far as we know.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:11 AM on June 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


Am I remembering rightly that Melisandre's reaction to Thoros of Myr was essentially (a) "holy shit that stuff actually works?" and (b) "wait a minute, why does the drunken apostate get all the cool powers?"

I don't think she was surprised that resurrection works -- and she's no stranger to the true magic of the Lord of Light, given that among the first things we see her do is birth a smoke demon/golem and send it to assassinate someone. I think her surprise has two parts:

First, she's surprised (shocked, even) that Thoros had facilitated the raising of Beric Dondarrion not once, but six times (which she says shouldn't be possible).

Second, she doesn't understand why the Lord of Light would invest that power in Thoros of Myr, who she sees as being a drunk and a failure. (His stated mission had been to bring King Robert Baratheon over to the Lord of Light's side, and look how that went).
posted by tocts at 5:14 AM on June 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


Question: did Mrs. Stannis commit suicide, or was she helped along?

Unless she had a 20 foot ladder we didn't see or previously unknown tree-climbing skills, I'm going with the latter.
posted by scalefree at 5:20 AM on June 15, 2015 [4 favorites]


That was nothing but hateful, sexist, cruel humiliation to me, and the show wouldn't dare do that to a male character.

Well, they did it, albeit in much shorter form, to the old priest who was caught mid-roleplay in Littlefinger's brothel.
posted by schoolgirl report at 5:37 AM on June 15, 2015 [6 favorites]


Nah, Selyse killed herself straight up. Who would have helped her along, some of Stannis's troops? (I guess that could be, and we'll never know because it's not going to be revisited, but really either scenario could work with the story line of everyone bailing on Stannis because he burned his daughter to death.)
posted by torticat at 5:37 AM on June 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


Also of note: "Like many concepts in Game of Thrones, the Walk of Shame is based on an actual medieval practice. Author George R.R. Martin told EW when his novel A Dance with Dragons was released in 2011, that he based Cersei’s penance chapter in particular on Jane Shore, the mistress of King Edward IV, who was punished with a similar walk after the king died."
posted by schoolgirl report at 5:40 AM on June 15, 2015 [8 favorites]


Oh I agree it was extremely uncomfortable to watch

I want to be clear--I was not saying anything about being uncomfortable with the scene itself. I am uncomfortable with the viewing audience gleefully enjoying a woman's sexual humiliation by a mob and thinking it's "fair" or "what she deserved." The creators clearly think they've given me enough narrative justification to feel that way, but they haven't.
posted by almostmanda at 5:43 AM on June 15, 2015 [7 favorites]


Well, what you have preferred to see happen to Cersei?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:46 AM on June 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Something that isn't intended to make the viewing audience feel good about sexual humiliation? I really don't feel like that's unreasonable.
posted by almostmanda at 5:58 AM on June 15, 2015 [7 favorites]


I honestly don't think it was intended to make the viewing audience feel good about sexual humiliation. It was the first time in the whole series where I have felt any sympathy for her. And I can't help but think the intention was to change our view of the Lannisters - especially when you factor in Jamie's scene where he talked about love etc.
posted by pmcp at 6:07 AM on June 15, 2015 [16 favorites]


Cercei's greatest punishment would (and will) be to see all her power plays come to nothing. She failed to protect Joffrey, she failed to protect Myrcella, and Tommen's position is now weaker than it's ever been.

Her punishment puts the viewers in the position of the jeering townspeople. The assumption seems to be, based on the solemn framing and music, is that we'll take some kind of grim satisfaction in Cercei finally getting what was coming to her. But this is not what's been coming to her. What's been coming to her is still coming. This was pointless humiliation porn—and I resent having been made to feel complicit in it (as the implication that this is the comeuppance she deserves does indeed make me feel), just as I resented being made to feel complicit in Sansa's rape.
posted by Sokka shot first at 6:08 AM on June 15, 2015 [10 favorites]


(What was Lancel's penance, I wonder? Wasn't he the one who actually poisoned Robert, in addition to sleeping with Cersei?)

Robert wasn't poisoned. He was gored by a boar while hunting drunk. Lancel gave him the wine.

I really don't think the walk was meant to make the audience feel good about sexual humiliation. It plays slightly differently in the book of course, because you get Cersei's internal monologue. For me (and most of the people I was watching with), the walk generated a great deal of sympathy for a largely unsympathetic character.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 6:13 AM on June 15, 2015 [8 favorites]


Game of Thrones, more like Game of Hamlet. Lots of characters brooding about nobility and wanting justice, but in the end they will all be dead. I'm actively cheering for the White Walkers now.
posted by humanfont at 6:21 AM on June 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Her punishment puts the viewers in the position of the jeering townspeople.

Disagree with this.. for me it totally builds sympathy for her. I was rooting for her to take Frankenarmor and go nuts on the religious fanatics, who come off as a terrible force with potential to take over the whole city.
posted by starman at 6:26 AM on June 15, 2015 [7 favorites]


I'm actively cheering for the White Walkers now.

Yes, and that's a huge aspect of the story. All along we've been working under the assumption that the Seven Kingdoms is worthy of saving, but slowly we're starting to get the message that it may not. Perhaps Westeros itself needs to be taken over by someone else, someone from Essos who wasn't born into its foul traditions and politics.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:26 AM on June 15, 2015 [9 favorites]


As to Cersei's walk, it was filmed in such a way that it presents several viewpoints of Cersei. On one hand, she certainly deserves some sort of punishment for all that she's done, yet this specific punishment and the way it breaks her (at least momentarily), does 'cause you to feel for her a bit. It fits the character, in that she wants to protect her children, which is good, but the methods she uses are horrendous. Cersei isn't a totally black and white character, so neither is her punishment.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:32 AM on June 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


everyone who cheered when Arya got STABBITY STABFACE YOUR ORGANS ARE SWISS CHEESE NOW raise hands

That plus her "what's my name?" trash talking was delicious. Heisenberg would be so proud.

Something that isn't intended to make the viewing audience feel good about sexual humiliation?

I didn't see it as sexual humiliation (or feel good about it) although apparently the townspeople basically took it that way. Cersei is an excessively prideful woman who's been accustomed to thinking her, Jaime, and their children's beauty makes them superior and entitles them to their power. Stripping her and cutting off most of her hair removed everything Cersei's self-esteem is based upon, and parading her through town reduced her--for a few minutes at least--to the level of the people she thinks she's superior to.

I think the real mistake the religious wackos made was returning her to the fold of her supporters inside the palace. Cersei's vindictiveness knows no bounds and that's a lesson the people responsible for that punishment are likely going to learn in very painful ways.
posted by fuse theorem at 7:03 AM on June 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


What an unsatisfying end to a terribly plotted season. There was so much wasted time and so few interesting narrative payoffs, sprinkled with shock! degradation and violence that couldn't cover up how dull and/or ridiculous most of the writing was.

Dorne was a complete waste of time. Winterfell was a retread parade of cruelty; Mereen took forever to cover the same ground of Danaerys' inability to rule as in previous seasons; the most fun and interesting characters - Brienne, Tyrion, Oleanna, Littlefinger - were given nothing to do, kept wandering in pointless ways or kept waiting forever for no reason, and the best story ended with the hero being an idiot and dying.

The good moments of high politics and action were way too few, and the padding way too obvious, to miss this show while it's on hiatus. Let's hope they do better next season.
posted by mediareport at 7:10 AM on June 15, 2015 [9 favorites]


Cersei's humiliation went on way too long to not be obviously intended as porn.
posted by mediareport at 7:11 AM on June 15, 2015 [8 favorites]


Cersei's humiliation went on way too long to not be obviously intended as porn.

Strongly disagree. The length of the scene was intended to put the audience in Cersei's place and make you feel sorry for this character who's done so many horrible things." Yes, she deserves some punishment, but that?" was the intended response and the director did a great job of conveying through the incredibly nasty crowd and long duration of the scene. I wonder if they considered doing it in one take? That almost might have been too much for the audience to bear.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:21 AM on June 15, 2015 [4 favorites]


I'm not surprised you disagree, Brandon; it's obvious we have very different takes on this season, which is fine, of course. But the idea that conveying the depths of Cersei's humiliation required a lengthy wallow in her degrading footsteps is exactly the kind of overly simplified storytelling the show's writers have relied on heavily this season. It feels like they've run out of ideas beyond wallowing in the cruelty.
posted by mediareport at 7:27 AM on June 15, 2015 [8 favorites]


Ok, I'm curious, how would you done a scene designed to show Cersei's punishment and humiliation, while also getting the audience to feel sorry for her? I'm not saying the naked walk in a nasty crowd is the only way it could be done, but am curious how others who disliked the scene would do it.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:29 AM on June 15, 2015


The length of the scene was intended to put the audience in Cersei's place and make you feel sorry for this character who's done so many horrible things.

Lengthy shots of full-frontal nudity weren't necessary, in any way, to achieve this.

Going through the trouble to make sure her body was clean and attractive at the beginning of the scene, and keeping it that way through the majority of the aforementioned shots of full-frontal nudity, didn't make this a more poignant character moment.

That entire section of the show was designed to present us with an attractive naked woman, and simultaneously allow us to gawk at her while feeling virtuous for doing so because it's supposedly important to the narrative/character development/whatever.

There are a hundred ways they could have filmed that scene, but they chose to film it in a way that was all about giving us a pretty naked woman to look at for as long as possible. And that's their right, but I'm not going to sit here and pretend that their decision was for story reasons.
posted by Narrative Priorities at 7:33 AM on June 15, 2015 [22 favorites]


As for how I would have done it:

I'd have left her looking filthy and emaciated and exhausted -- like a woman who's been sitting in a dark cell for who knows how long. Because being seen in that state should be part of the point -- she's a broken shadow of herself, and the High Sparrow has no reason to spare her the indignity of being seen that way.

I'd have used shots of full-frontal nudity sparingly, if at all -- maybe one or two. Enough that we absorb the situation she's in, but that's all.

I'd have used generic shouting from the crowd, instead of their hurling sexualized slurs at her. The shouting and stuff-throwing is bad enough, seriously.

I'd have used more shots like the ones of her feet, and more close-ups of her face, and more shots framed in her point of view, because her experience of this scene is what's important and interesting. I'd have wanted the audience to feel like they were making the walk WITH her, not looking AT her.

Basically, I'd have concentrated more on the fact that this is a long and painful walk through crowded streets toward the distant Red Keep, not the fact that this is a naked woman that lots of people are looking at.
posted by Narrative Priorities at 7:41 AM on June 15, 2015 [36 favorites]


I'd have used more shots like the ones of her feet, and more close-ups of her face..

Yeah, I'm reminded of how moving Sinead O'Conner was in the video for "Nothing compares to you". A long single take of Cersei's face as her hair is cut off, then she's lead out and through the nasty crowd would have been great alternate way to do this. Lena Headey certainly has the acting chops for that, probably would have earned her an Emmy.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:48 AM on June 15, 2015 [5 favorites]


Narrative Priorities has it better than I would have, but yes, I really do think a series of quickly edited closeups showing the progressive effect on Cersei of the filth and insults, with minimal full-frontal, and half the length of time spent, could have accomplished the same feeling of empathy for the horror of her humiliation without so much of the prurient gaze wallow crap.
posted by mediareport at 7:57 AM on June 15, 2015 [7 favorites]


There were plenty of close-ups of Cersei's face. I'm not a fan of the way the show treats women, but I don't think this scene was made to make us feel akin to the crowd. The things they were shouting were meant to be harsh and terrible so that we could see the ugliness of what they were doing. The blood on Cersei's feet and the close-ups of her face were meant to make us sympathize with her. If the show had prettied up the Walk and made it slightly less offensive, *then* I'd be worried about how we were meant to see this scene. There was nothing pretty about it.

I watched this with my non-book-reader husband who got angrier and angrier on behalf of Cersei, despite being very strictly anti-Cersei up until this point (but very pro-Lena Headey). Well before the end of it, he was expressing wishes for her vengeance.
posted by zerbinetta at 7:59 AM on June 15, 2015


Yeah, but I agree this was way, way too male-gazey. Nthing that I wish they'd left her filthy and disheveled - it would have affected more the actual sin of pride.
posted by corb at 8:02 AM on June 15, 2015 [4 favorites]


Cersai is not a great strategic thinker. When she gets back to castle she's not going to come up with some subtle revenge plot.

I'm mostly wondering whether she's going to only burn down the high sept or is just going to wildfire the whole path she walked.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:04 AM on June 15, 2015 [5 favorites]


I did love the jockeying for power on the steps of the Mereen throne room (got a laugh out of "the Unsullied are the only ones who can keep the peace," though). It's one of those pitch-perfect scenes I love about the show, with smart, unpredictable dialogue that moves the plot forward. In my head I can see the show that has a lot more of those scenes.

I wish Game of Thrones was that show.
posted by mediareport at 8:05 AM on June 15, 2015 [4 favorites]


Grey Worm, The Imp, The Spider... Missandei needs a codename.

"I'm fucking Missandei, that's my fucking codename."

Also Grey Worm is Grey Worm's actual name. Unsullied get terrible names.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:15 AM on June 15, 2015 [6 favorites]


(I would be totally into a Missandei and Arya buddy road trip.)
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:18 AM on June 15, 2015


From April, asking why we never saw the High Septon's penis during his walk of shame:

Serious ‘Game of Thrones’ Question: Why Didn’t We See the High Septon’s Junk?
posted by mediareport at 8:23 AM on June 15, 2015 [6 favorites]


I don't think this scene was made to make us feel akin to the crowd.

I agree. The show rarely doles out scenes to make us sympathize with Cersei (two I can remember: when she describes losing her firstborn to Caitelyn in S01E02, and when she's all wasted on wine and fear during Stannis' assault on King's Landing), but this was one of them.

The whole scene made me loath the population of King's Landing, the Sparrows, and gave me strange sympathy for Kevan, Qyburn, and Pycelle. That poor woman. She didn't deserve that.

I actually like how they scrubbed her first - it was meant to give her exactly what the populace thinks of her. If she's already dirty, we don't get to see her go from clean to filthy, bloody, and broken down by her subjects. Just horrid treatment. Inside, I was hoping Frankenmountain would step outside and kill everything in his path to the Sept.

I also thought the scene was something of a callback to when Joffrey was trapped in the riot in Fleabottom and the former Septon was dismembered by the crowd.

In other storylines, were we meant to think that Theon and Sansa were jumping to their deaths? That Arya is dead too? That the only Starks left alive are Bran and Rickon?

I'm hoping that blood from Jon Snow is a tell that he's going to be back; otherwise, what reason do we have to care about the Wall? Similarly, I want Arya to live and become Daredevil.

As much as I want Sansa to live and become a badass political player, laying waste to everything between her and vengeance on Cersei, I don't trust the show/narrative to do this, so maybe best that she's just dead.

Finally, Daenarys. Knowing the show, my fears are that she's about to become plaything to a tribe of Dothraki - a callback to Viserys claim that he'd let her be raped by an entire tribe if it put him on the throne. I really, really hope this doesn't happen.
posted by rocketman at 8:29 AM on June 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


So have the Dothraki come to bury Khaleesi or praise her?

And I thought they were trying to whisk her away in a tornado, what with those horses running in circles around her. "There's no place like home, there's no place like home."
posted by filthy light thief at 8:33 AM on June 15, 2015


Regarding Cersei's walk, I can't support the way it was shot, but the length of it allowed her to go from somewhat strong to complete destroyed. She'll either be a shell of her former self, lash back with the same miscalculated efforts as before, or maybe (just maybe) slow down and listen to others before acting.

The whole scene made me loath the population of King's Landing, the Sparrows, and gave me strange sympathy for Kevan, Qyburn, and Pycelle. Qyburn, I get - but he was the only one to rush to her aid, the only one to cover her and try to sooth her. The rest of the Dude Parade stood around, and I think Pycelle was leering, or at least thinking "Ah, that's what she looks like naked."


Also, why did Stannis's judgement falter so badly?

He saw the Red God's Blood Magic work miracles before (killer shadow baby, burnt leeches killed the competing would-be kings), so why start doubting now? He's the rightful heir to the throne, which is his view of all this.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:44 AM on June 15, 2015


The whole walk of shame scene just made me profoundly uncomfortable and I wished it had ended sooner. It did not give me any sympathy for Cersei, nor did I find it justified (or titillating, for that matter).

aaaaaaaaaaand then I just read that Lena Headey is pregnant at the moment which meant that what we saw was a body double with face tracking technology applied and all I could think was, "Wow. So ... this was important enough to the showrunners - displaying her fully nude body over and over - that they were willing to pay good CGI money to fake it."

So yeah, I've been swayed by this over into the "that scene was filmed and displayed in a way that was absolutely unnecessary" camp. Well, that and Narrative Priorities' description of how it could have been shot more effectively and in a less vulgar fashion didn't hurt.
posted by komara at 8:46 AM on June 15, 2015 [8 favorites]


I was half-expecting Stannis' last words to be "I sure cocked this one up." That was a brutal opening for Stannis' camp - hit after hit, without cutting to another part of the world to extend the suffering but keep on it to emphasize how misguided he was in his selected method for changing the weather.

I knew it was foolish, but I was hoping there would be a sudden reverse-siege, with the Northerners within Winterfell locking the Bolton soldiers out when they stormed out in force to slaughter Stannis' sad forces. Then the Bolton folks come back, and they're greeted by the Northern version of Monty Python's Frenchmen.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:51 AM on June 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


That's a totally fair point, mediareport. I think it's a structural sexism thing that's endemic across media, not specific to GOT--see also that atrocious 'We saw your tits' thing at the Oscars. (I refuse to link to it, and when it came up in a previous thread a mod said BIG NOPE to linking it).

I think there is, though, a bit of a difference between full-frontal of cis male and cis female genitals. With a penis, it's all out there; the equivalent shot for a vulva would be with spread open legs. (I am trying to sound not gross here). With her (body double's) full frontal, the only thing we see of her genitals is her pubic hair. This is not as in not to excuse the systemic sexism in general, HBO's addiction to putting breasts everywhere, or GOT's specifically bad treatment of naked women as set dressing. I just think there is a difference between lower-body nudity of men and women in exactly the same way there isn't a difference in upper-body nudity. And the real problem, I think, is that female nudity--especially on GOT--is so often sexualized in ways that male bodies aren't, and so it takes a lot for any given instance of female nudity to earn benefit of the doubt that it's showing vulnerability instead of "grunt grunt nekkid woman grunt." So--I'm not disagreeing with you at all, I totally understand not giving the benefit of the doubt here.

I wonder a bit if there's a books/show-only thing going on? In two ways, I mean. First, in the book we are treated to her internal monologue, which helps to desexualize it. And second, translating that to screen may well have just been one of those things that doesn't translate to screen very well.

Again though, I want to be really really clear, in no way at all am I excusing the horrific ways the show has treated women, ways that a lot of the time are way more gross than in the books.

Finally, Daenarys. Knowing the show, my fears are that she's about to become plaything to a tribe of Dothraki - a callback to Viserys claim that he'd let her be raped by an entire tribe if it put him on the throne. I really, really hope this doesn't happen.

Oh, yuck. I hadn't even thought of that and now it seems all too likely. Or the threat of it happening, at least.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:53 AM on June 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Oh and for male full frontal in the show there's been: Theon in S1, Hodor's hodor in S2, Littlefinger's brothel manager's little finger in S3, and random street dude during Cersei's walk. The fact that it's less than one per season when there's naked-and-sexualized breasts in almost every episode. does throw into stark relief how unbalanced it is.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:59 AM on June 15, 2015 [4 favorites]


Fun facts about the Sparrows:

* The shame bell is also the dinner bell
* The nuns cover their heads because they're not really that good at cutting hair
* The Sparrows are strong believers in the idea that Sticks and Stones can break your bones, but Words (and rotten fruit, and other goopy substances) Can't Hurt You, so the Faith Militant won't bother you until you get into their Bubble of Safety, and then they'll bash your fookin' nose in.

Also Grey Worm is Grey Worm's actual name. Unsullied get terrible names.

Well, when they were just Unsullied, they were disposable, and to drive home that fact, they had the names of common pests. Dany told them they could change their names when she freed them, but Grey Worm chose to keep his name because his birth name did him no good, and as Grey Worm, he became a free man.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:02 AM on June 15, 2015 [5 favorites]


Last night we learned that the Septons are better at security than gold cloaks.
posted by drezdn at 9:35 AM on June 15, 2015 [6 favorites]


Well, the Faith Militant 1) actually listen to the masses, and 2) are fucking crazy (see self-scarification as visible public identification, bashing the faces of people who get into their Bubble of Safety). They do a better job getting both respect and fear, I believe.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:46 AM on June 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


That and they feed the people. That buys a lot of loyalty.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:46 AM on June 15, 2015 [4 favorites]


I actually really loved them bashing the faces of people who tried to assault Cersei. It made it clearer that for them this isn't just about vengeance but actually holy.
posted by corb at 9:47 AM on June 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Well, when they were just Unsullied, they were disposable, and to drive home that fact, they had the names of common pests. Dany told them they could change their names when she freed them, but Grey Worm chose to keep his name because his birth name did him no good, and as Grey Worm, he became a free man.

Well, with the extra detail that they were frequently assigned different random names, so that they didn't start thinking of themselves as individuals. Grey Worm considered the name Grey Worm lucky because it was the one he happened to have when Daenerys showed up; presumably he had had many, many names between that one and whatever name he had at birth.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 9:55 AM on June 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


Is Trystane going to believe it was Ellaria, or is he going to think it was Jaime? Especially since she didn't die until in Lannister custody?

I'm not sure that matters, in so far as, I'm guessing Jaime could take Trystane in a fight if he had to. The lingering issue will probably be that Dorne has pretty much committed an act of war against the iron throne.


Speaking of custody, I want to know if that's a Dornish ship or a Crown ship. If it's the former, I assume they'll return to shore to sort out what happened, but if that's a Lannister or Baratheon ship, Jaime could decide to seize Trystane and take him to Kings Landing as a prisoner.
posted by homunculus at 10:22 AM on June 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


If Jon stays dead then I assume Alliser's next step will be to demand fealty from those who sided with Jon. I hope Dolorous Edd survives, he's the only Watchman left I care about.

There might be another possibility for Jon: if Melisandre doesn't resurrect him, I doubt the mutineers are going to give him a proper cremation funeral like they did with Aemon, but they'll probably want to get rid of the body. I get the impression that many of them still don't appreciate the threat they're facing, so they might just be stupid enough to dump the body outside the Wall. If that happens, the Night's King could be the one to bring Jon back, not as a wight but as another White Walker like himself. That would be worth it just to see the looks on Alliser's and Olly's faces when they're reunited with their former commander.
posted by homunculus at 10:25 AM on June 15, 2015 [11 favorites]


If Jon is truly dead, then does it matter who his mother was?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:29 AM on June 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


If Jon is truly dead, then does it matter who his mother was?

How the show explains this is where this show lives or dies for me.
posted by dogwalker at 10:33 AM on June 15, 2015 [5 favorites]


The Cersei scene was the first one that fully made me appreciate the "show as commentary on the audience" line people have argued. I mean there was a woman ringing a bell and saying "shame" over and over again FFS and I was feeling it. It was so long, and so unpleasant, I was very uncomfortable and looked at my wife and we were both like "is this just going to keep going on like this? Do we keep watching?" FWIW I still really dislike the Cersei character but by the end I was like "yay Cersei is going to send the big asshole zombie minion after the church". I don't think there's a character I want to see die more than the High Sparrow at this point. Not even Ramsay. Such a transparently power-mad villain. Hats off to the actor, he's got that barely visible smirk going that says the character is looooving this shit even while trying to hide it because this is srs bsns.

I also find it odd that they didn't actually show Stannis or Sansa actually die. but then, I do recall in another season where they didn't show the gory details, I figured Ned was coming back. My hope with Sansa is that Reek lets her land on him in a snowbank so she's less hurt than him after the fall while he's crippled or dead. Which probably means Sansa will be dead. With Stannis I'm not really sure what to think but I can't see any good reason why he'd be kept around. Maybe to get revenge on the Fire Lady? Meh, probably not. I didn't get the Stannis hate putting him on the level of Ramsay and stuff TBH. Stannis turned out to be sort of a pathetic loser. Ramsay on the other hand is a fucking cancer.

Danaerys I figure is gonna be OK even though her car broke down in the middle of nowhere. The dragon will wake up from his nap cranky, I have a toddler and I've seen how this plays out. I bet she winds up the boss of another army.
posted by Hoopo at 10:44 AM on June 15, 2015 [7 favorites]


Oh also yeah, the Watch is so, so fucked now. Aliser basically sucks. No way is he going to be able to defend the wall. Jon dying was a shocker for sure. I guess it's all on Brann now for the Starks. Figure he gets a jetpack or something?
posted by Hoopo at 10:48 AM on June 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


If you like the High Sparrow actor (Jonathan Pryce), you should check out the television adaption of Wolf Hall where he plays Cardinal Woolsey. I was watching both shows at the same time and the characters are superficially similar enough that it was sometimes easy to superimpose the two in my mind.
posted by Falconetti at 10:54 AM on June 15, 2015 [4 favorites]


Oh sort of off-topic question:

The old bearded adviser guy at king's landing, the one that really wants to be taken seriously even though his advice sort of sucks--My wife and I were talking about this and I remember in an earlier season they showed him putting on a bunch of chains and stuff under his robes. I thought the idea was he is trying to make himself look older to lend his appearance some added "wisdom" or something, like when actors known for big dumb action roles put on cosmetic glasses. My wife doesn't remember that. Did I imagine it? Do I have that wrong?
posted by Hoopo at 11:01 AM on June 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


When Game of Thrones Stopped Being Necessary
I’ve been fascinated by the notion that a rape scene should be (or could be) necessary. “Episode six ending was brutal – but was it necessary?” is a common way of framing it; Vanity Fair declared that “Game of Thrones Absolutely Did Not Need to Go There with Sansa Stark,” while over at Slate, the argument is made that “this particular scene was necessary,” given the grim bargain Sansa Stark had struck.
...
There is a larger question being subsumed here. Is violence “necessary”? Was it necessary to kill Ned Stark, Catelyn Stark, Rob Stark, and Talisa Stark and her plus one? Was Joffrey’s killing of Ros necessary? Did they have to kill off Lady, the wolf? The list goes on and on. At a certain point, we are really asking whether Game of Thrones is necessary. And the answer, quite obviously, is that it is not. It is a television show. It is many things, both good, bad, and in-between. But it is not “necessary.”
posted by the man of twists and turns at 11:02 AM on June 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


Pycelle? Yes, that happened on the show. It implied his old, doddering maester act is a put on.
posted by Falconetti at 11:04 AM on June 15, 2015 [5 favorites]


To be clear, the chain is what signifies that he is a Maester. I don't recall how much they get into it for the shows, and I've only read the first 2-ish books, but summarized: Maesters get a link in their chain for each type of knowledge they have mastered, and the material used for each link is dependent on the knowledge. Think of it as a sash full of merit badges, only a lot heavier.

I suppose you could argue that added weight as they gain more knowledge and experience could be said to represent their added responsibility in the world.

(Note that I do think Pycelle likes to put on an act as if he's older and more doddering than he really is, but I'm not sure the chain has anything to do with that)
posted by tocts at 11:07 AM on June 15, 2015


The Pycelle question piqued my curiosity. Some googling revealed there's a deleted scene where he acknowledges his act to Tywin. Seems that they didn't feel the need to underline it quite this explicitly.
posted by NailsTheCat at 11:17 AM on June 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


That Arya is dead too?

Hadn't even considered that, I figured she just went blind. But I also figure the odds are not in her favor of becoming Zatoichi so maybe blind 14-year-old girl in GoT is as good as dead.
posted by Hoopo at 11:27 AM on June 15, 2015


My memory of the Pycelle scene is that it showed him moving around fluidly and as he got dressed in his maester outfit (which includes the chains that signify the position) he started into his "old and tired" act. I think you are taking the chains as a red herring when the point was that he's not as decrepit as he wants people to think he is.
posted by komara at 11:28 AM on June 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


I vote for homunculus to be in charge of writing the next season. Wight Jon would be a zillion kinds of awesome.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:39 AM on June 15, 2015


The Pycelle scene shows him exercising. He does some deep knee bends, waves his arms around, etc. Then stoops over and hobbles out the door. This is after he has apparently slept with Ros.

You're given the impression that he is physically stronger and younger than he lets on. It colors subsequent scenes where he appears to be deliberately annoying Tyrion, such as the moment at the Small Council table where Pycelle goes to hand Tyrion a note and it drops out of his shaking hand onto the floor.
posted by zarq at 11:46 AM on June 15, 2015


Here's that Pycelle scne, where it shows that he's faking his strength, but it has nudity so if you're not allowed to see the human body in its natural form, don't click.

Is that Ros though, not sure.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:52 AM on June 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yes, per the wiki.

That page does not contain upcoming book spoilers. However, other pages on the site may. YMMV.
posted by zarq at 12:04 PM on June 15, 2015


If Jon is truly dead, then does it matter who his mother was?

No. I've said it on the blue before, but the story opens with a mystery about the parentage of children (i.e., the Baratheon/Lannister heirs). Ned Stark solves that mystery, and all it does is get his head chopped off. I think that all the little seeds and clues about Jon Snow's parentage are a giant misdirect on GRRM's part because he's already shown us how solving the mystery of parentage doesn't mean a damn thing in this world.
posted by gauche at 12:06 PM on June 15, 2015 [4 favorites]


Et tu, Olly?
posted by FallowKing at 12:08 PM on June 15, 2015 [4 favorites]


No. I've said it on the blue before..

Whoah. Three comments after that, nubs says the following:

The Night's Watch oath holds until death. If Jon gets resurrected after the end of ADWD, is he still a member? Or is his watch over?

That now seems very pertinent.
posted by NailsTheCat at 12:15 PM on June 15, 2015 [10 favorites]


The Pycelle question piqued my curiosity. Some googling revealed there's a deleted scene yt where he acknowledges his act to Tywin. Seems that they didn't feel the need to underline it quite this explicitly.

Here's a better quality video of that scene.
posted by homunculus at 12:17 PM on June 15, 2015


Wow yeah I remembered that Pycelle scene wrong
posted by Hoopo at 12:58 PM on June 15, 2015


Hugely unexpected how the whole of Dorne just sank into the sea. I don't think I'll miss it, though.
posted by ominous_paws at 1:58 PM on June 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


NailsTheCat: "The Night's Watch oath holds until death. If Jon gets resurrected after the end of ADWD, is he still a member? Or is his watch over?

That now seems very pertinent.
"

I'm not sure how pertinent that is as a legal/bureaucratic sense. Who issues death certificates at Castle Black now anyway, after Maester Aemon is dead?

What's pretty clear is that after his brothers killed him, if Jon gets resurrected, he's not going to be able to just go back to being Lord Commander, or even a Sworn Brother of the Night's Watch. They killed him, they don't want him back, Jon wouldn't want to go back to them anyway. What's more relevant is: If he comes back, what will his priorities be? He's seen enough of the White Walkers to know the threat they pose to absolutely everyone. Will he try to stop them, without the Night's Watch (perhaps with the Wildlings)? Or will he turn his attention to all he had to abandon when he took the black, like the fate of the Starks, Winterfell, and the North in general, in terms of mundane Westerosi politics?

I find it hard to believe that after he's seen what's coming along with winter, he'll think anything is more important than that, but hey, I guess death can change people.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 1:59 PM on June 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


URRR NURRR, JON SNURRR!
posted by essexjan at 2:03 PM on June 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


JON SNOW
2011-2015
NED STARK'S BASTARD
"HE KNEW NOTHING"

JON SNOW
2016-
"HE KNOWS SOMETHING NOW
AND THAT IS REVENGE"
posted by komara at 2:08 PM on June 15, 2015 [12 favorites]


I'm not sure how pertinent that is as a legal/bureaucratic sense. Who issues death certificates at Castle Black now anyway...

I saw this as being John Snurrrr who took the oath to the absolute. He was offered a free pass (i.e. no further legal obligation) by Stannis (iirc) but he declined because of his personal commitment to the oath. That said, perhaps it's all too obvious now...
posted by NailsTheCat at 2:35 PM on June 15, 2015


That was, story-wise, disappointing on almost every front. And the Cersei scene was just The Worst. I have the internet, I don't need escapist fantasy to see a parade of frothing vindictive misogyny.

Cersei’s Walk of Shame and Game of Thrones’ Evolution on Sexual Violence
It's a shame to see so many well-meaning critics and feminist writers decide that this is the season when the show went too far, at the very moment when Game of Throne's writers finally have meaningful things to say about how sexual abuse and humiliation actually works in the world.
posted by andoatnp at 2:45 PM on June 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


I vote for homunculus to be in charge of writing the next season.

Oh sure, you support me now, but once I'm in power it's only a matter of time before I get lured into FaFaTa with the claim that someone saw GRRM himself there, only to find a sockpuppet named 'traitor'... Nope.

Wight Jon would be a zillion kinds of awesome.

I imagine a Locutus of Borg scenario where Snow Walker is sent to talk the Watch into laying down their arms and accepting their fate in exchange for a painless death, or possibly the promise of being turned into Walkers instead of wights. Resistance is futile.
posted by homunculus at 2:52 PM on June 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


can patrick stewart play a wight
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 2:54 PM on June 15, 2015 [4 favorites]


Of course. He and Ian McKellen will play a couple of wights waiting for the Night's King.
posted by homunculus at 2:59 PM on June 15, 2015 [5 favorites]


Vlad of Myr and Aestragon?
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 3:00 PM on June 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


WE CAN CALL IT WAITING FOR JON SNOW
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 3:01 PM on June 15, 2015 [10 favorites]


You're clearly on top of this so I'm putting you in charge. I'll be working on a spin-off about Dolorous Edd, Ghost and Wun Wun on a road trip to Dorne.
posted by homunculus at 3:08 PM on June 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


I don't think there's a character I want to see die more than the High Sparrow at this point. Not even Ramsay. Such a transparently power-mad villain. Hats off to the actor, he's got that barely visible smirk going that says the character is looooving this shit even while trying to hide it because this is srs bsns.

He seemed near gleeful that she didn't confess to having children born of incest and that the king has no true holds on the throne. "Oh, you'll go with 'nothing else to say'? OK, on to the trial! But first the walk of shame! You could have confessed all and maybe I would have worked with you, but double down on 'it's lies from Stannis' and we'll make this ugly and public! Oh joy!"
posted by filthy light thief at 3:21 PM on June 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


The High Sparrow is a fascinating character, exactly in the way some religious leaders are. On one hand, he's humble and seems to not care about the trappings of power, his faith is probably sincere, and he seems to care a lot about the little people (a vanishingly rare trait in the people in power on this show). On the other hand, he seems to be taking quite a bit more pleasure in punishing people than he should, and he tends to the misogynistic, homophobic, and generally very narrow-minded and bigoted. And, of course, his faith is the one that's most likely to be just plain false.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 4:29 PM on June 15, 2015 [6 favorites]


He seemed near gleeful that she didn't confess to having children born of incest and that the king has no true holds on the throne. "Oh, you'll go with 'nothing else to say'? OK, on to the trial!

I think some of this has to do with the fact that the only other known claimant to the throne is Stannis, who is most involved in burning the Seven rather than listening to them. Taking down the crown or not, the Sparrows have to know that they need people who at least give nominal lip service to their religion in power.
posted by corb at 4:46 PM on June 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


Cersei’s Walk of Shame and Game of Thrones’ Evolution on Sexual Violence

I hate agreeing with Slate, but I feel like this is spot-on. i get why people don't give the show the benefit of the doubt on questions of sex and gender (the whole 'Tits and Dragons' thing), but so much of the reaction this season seems crazy.

A whole lot of folks seem to be conflating the show portraying something with the show endorsing that same thing. Cersei's walk of shame could not have been less sexy or salacious. And the sexual violence in the season has been played as absolute tragedy.

The world of the show is horrifically, disgustingly cruel to women, yes. But that's the point. The show isn't saying "these are good things". It's saying "these are awful things that have happened in the past and continue to happen today".

It's tantamount to criticizing Requiem for a Dream for glamorizing drug addiction.
posted by graphnerd at 5:30 PM on June 15, 2015 [8 favorites]


I don't find it weird that a lot of women aren't keen on watching even more sexual abuse and humiliation of women on television in service of being schooled on how sexual abuse and humiliation of women "actually works in the world."
posted by kythuen at 5:43 PM on June 15, 2015 [22 favorites]


And the sexual violence in the season has been played as absolute tragedy.

The reactions of men and women who have actually been the victims of sexual violence--maybe you are one, maybe you're not; I truly hope not!--have tended to not see things that way at all. There was absolutely zero need for Meryn Trant to lead a sobbing, shaking twelve year old offscreen. There was absolutely zero need for Sansa's rape to be so graphically depicted; we know what Ramsay Bolton is like. The entire scene would have played out far, far better had he just told Theon to close the door. The audience fills in the story in their heads, punctuated with Sansa's bruises in the next episode. There was no need for the multiple background rapes in Craster's Keep way back. There was no need for random dudes on the street to ask how much Arya would cost. There was no need for Gilly to be threatened with rape and then get saved by a deus ex lupus. It's torture porn. It's HBO saying OMG WE SO EDDDDDDDDDGY. We know that patriarchal societies are evil to women, we don't need it shoved in our faces in every. single. episode.

If I could trust that the showrunners were being really thoughtful and making a real point, maybe I'd buy it as narratively necessary. I can't trust that, and haven't been able to since Theon throwing Roz a coin in S1 to flash her crotch to the camera him.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 5:50 PM on June 15, 2015 [8 favorites]


oops posted too soon

It's tantamount to criticizing Requiem for a Dream for glamorizing drug addiction.

I've done a looooooooooot of drugs. And huge parts of that movie absolutely glamorized substance abuse.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 5:50 PM on June 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


The reactions of men and women who have actually been the victims of sexual violence--maybe you are one, maybe you're not; I truly hope not!--have tended to not see things that way at all.

I don't think that's true. The "tended" part, I mean. Some people have reacted that way, some have reacted the opposite way, and some haven't said anything one way or the other. It's also a hugely self-selecting sample; someone who is bothered by the show is much more likely to write about it than someone who just goes on watching week by week.
posted by Justinian at 5:54 PM on June 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


[A few comments deleted. Seriously, we had a long angry thread and a long angry MetaTalk about this, go read those if you want to relive the debate over "is it okay for people to criticize the show's treatment of sexual violence."]
posted by LobsterMitten at 6:30 PM on June 15, 2015 [1 favorite]




It does look bad!
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:02 PM on June 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


I did it again
I escalated the problem


That is somehow Stannis in the smallest of nutshells.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:05 PM on June 15, 2015 [4 favorites]


"I would have made such a pretty prom king."
posted by drezdn at 8:23 PM on June 15, 2015


Welp.

When does Season 6 air?
posted by jquinby at 8:27 PM on June 15, 2015


This Season of Game of Thrones Was Packed With Murder and Rape. It Was Also So, So Boring.

Heh, it's not just me: "I’m holding out hope that the Night’s King has been keeping an eye on Jon, waiting for a chance to resurrect him as a White Walker."
posted by homunculus at 8:34 PM on June 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


"Finally, Daenarys. Knowing the show, my fears are that she's about to become plaything to a tribe of Dothraki - a callback to Viserys claim that he'd let her be raped by an entire tribe if it put him on the throne. I really, really hope this doesn't happen."

I really, really don't think this is right. I don't see any of Viserys' "prophesies" coming true. I mean, Viserys is dead, so only one "half" of the people involved in this grotesque scenario even exists.

I think it's a callback to the exact opposite. I mean, why would the Dothraki show up right after Dany took her first dragon flight? It certainly seems like a post hoc ergo propter hoc kind of thing to me.

And the few Dothraki who remained loyal to her after Khal Drogo died literally fell to their knees when they saw her emerge from the fire with her new baby dragons. The Dothraki respect the dragons, and I have little doubt they respect the mother of dragons, too.
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 8:37 PM on June 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


I also want to revisit something we discussed in a thread last season: When someone dies on Game of Thrones, the show has generally been explicit about acknowledging that that person is dead. If we see someone injured or if someone disappears and there's no formal on-screen confirmation of their death, then they either tend to be alive or we just never find out.

Examples of characters showing up alive after getting badly hurt include Jon getting shot full of arrows by Ygritte; Ser Alliser getting hurt at the battle of the Wall; and Grey Worm getting badly wounded in the Harpy ambush. By contrast, when characters die-for-sure, they die for sure: Ned Stark (we actually see his neck get sliced); Janos Slynt (same); Oberyn (uhh). And when we aren't 100%, we learn later (Tywin Lannister, Ser Barristan).

So that leaves this big middle ground of uncertain deaths. I think you have to put in this category Syrio Forel; The Hound (as unlikely as it may be); Jon Snow; Ben Stark; and Stannis (again, not bloody likely, but the cut-away...). Not sure anyone else belongs in that group, but I'm definitely banking on Sansa (and probably Theon) being alive. Certainly none in this group are dead until we know for sure they are dead.
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 8:48 PM on June 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


In re: Cersei's walk, or whether the show "needs" to portray the level of violence, and sexualized violence, that it does...I dunno, man. It's a show being written and acted in 2015, sure. But as a story, I think it's a story about patriarchy, in the most literal of senses. It depicts a world in which one's access to power, one's freedom, one's safety, one's very right to live or die, depends on who your father is. And it populates that world with point of view characters who don't fit neatly within that power structure, or who choose to reject it, and it shows us again and again the cruel consequences they face, the tight limits placed upon, their ability to act outside that structure. Hell, it even shows us how patriarchy constrains and limits the people who should be most empowered by it, the Jamies and the Robs and the Tywins and the Stannises, how the need to assert oneself within that structure, or a failure to fulfill the role that structure requires of you, can lead to destruction. For my money, depicting the ways in which patriarchy fucks you up is the whole point of the show. Therefore to say, "okay, you can do a show about this, but you should not depict a level of violence and abuse which makes me, sitting on my couch in 2015, actually feel uncomfortable. That's beyond the pale. You are allowed to say this is bad, but you are not allowed to show it in a way that makes me actually feel bad, twists a knot in my stomach, makes the bile rise in my throat"...I dunno. On the other hand, I think the show has been cack-handed and clumsy in a number of respects this season, so I don't want to give them too much credit. The lion tamer deserves no respect if he can't actually control the beast.

Overall, I don't know where the fuck this is going after that finale, which is a rather interesting trick to pull off in the 5th season. If there really are meant to be only two or three seasons left of this, it feels like we should begin to see some threads pulling together; instead it feels like everything's just been blown apart, again. Wasn't there a bit in Dany's dream back in Season 2 where she walks through the Red Keep with the roof blown out and snow coming in? Maybe that's it, man, that's the ending. Ice Zombies win, Dany and her dragons show up too late, and her and Jorah and Tyrion freeze to death, bickering, in the rubble. You know, I've heard GRRM has said that the ending wouldn't be happy, but I suppose I'd thought he'd meant something along the lines of, "well, everyone you care about dies, pretty much, but they do kill the ice zombies." Now I dunno. Maybe 99% of the cast will die and we'll get an epilogue with Arya the old blind begger woman, cackling, three-quarters mad, as she feels the harbor in Bravos freeze over and knows the North has come to bring her home.
posted by maggiepolitt at 9:05 PM on June 15, 2015 [9 favorites]


And the few Dothraki who remained loyal to her after Khal Drogo died literally fell to their knees when they saw her emerge from the fire with her new baby dragons. The Dothraki respect the dragons, and I have little doubt they respect the mother of dragons, too.

I dunno about that, man. Like 99% of the Dothraki ditched her when Kahl Drogo kicked it, muttering curses about blood magic. The ones that stayed were either her personal servants or too weak to leave. I don't think we've seen any indication that the Dothraki who left respect the dragons, and we've gotten explicit evidence that they hate magic, and Dany definitely used blood magic and fire to help birth the dragons. (She chained that witch alive to Drogo's funeral pyre.) I think they've come to claim her --- her taking over for Drogo when he kicked it is Not Done, according to their ways, as far as I know. Her followers aren't a kahlisar, they're a cult, as far as most of the Dothraki are concerned, I think.
posted by maggiepolitt at 9:11 PM on June 15, 2015


"I think they've come to claim her --- her taking over for Drogo when he kicked it is Not Done, according to their ways, as far as I know."

In that case, wouldn't have been easier to snatch her up or do her in right after Drogo died?

I cited this above, but I think this snippet of dialog (from season 3, episode 1) is meaningful:
Dany: They're the first Dothraki who have ever been on a ship. They followed me across the poison water. If they'll do it, others will. And with a true khalasar ...

Jorah: The Dothraki follow strength above all, khaleesi. You'll have a true khalasar when you prove yourself strong. And not before.
Mormont seems to think a "true khalasar" is still possible for Dany, if and when she proves herself strong. Flying around on the back of a giant dragon would seem to qualify, in my book.
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 9:24 PM on June 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


The problem with GOT is the same problem so many shows suffer from: they go on too fucking long. This show should have been 3 or 4 seasons long, max and now we are seeing the result. What was good about it has just turned annoying as the writers and producers struggle to extend story lines that should just get resolved already. On the bright side, I think once they finish raping and stabbing their way through the remaining characters there may be enough material there to cut it down to a proper length by a third party.

> I'm actively cheering for the White Walkers now.

I'm rooting for the dragons. I liked the little snorts and noises they make while getting ready to go to sleep. Who's a good little dragon? You are! Yes you are! That's it, get some sleep so you can take control of that Dyson sphere back from the stupid retrograde bipedals and fix its malfunctioning solar shadow squares.
posted by Poldo at 9:25 PM on June 15, 2015 [4 favorites]


I definitely gained sympathy -- however short-lived it may end up being -- for Cersei during that. But the "walk of shame" wasn't her shaming by the townspeople, but by the authors. The fact that she has to endure such shitty writers definitely made me more sympathetic. This woman who has been repeatedly made to do stupid things that felt totally out of character just to advance the plot, is now maneuvered by circumstance into a cheap, hackneyed plot device to build sympathy. Sexual shame to build character! It's like a father beating his children to build character. The authors have to be tough on their characters and audience because that is how the world works, and god forbid we all forget it. Though why draw the line there -- why not just have every woman raped and sexually humiliated in every episode? Is that going too far? Too realistic? Or is that unrealistic -- and this amount of rape and sexual humiliation is just the right amount? Or is it just the maximum the audience can bear, while still coming back to be titillated for more?

This narrative is a political act. Someone feels we need to be reminded of how bad it was "in the past" -- and to make sure we are not reminded of all the nice things that happened to people then. It is ultimately a deeply conservative vision of the world: the world is a terrible place filled with terrible people, and bad things happen to almost everyone, although slightly less so to those who are most terrible. There is no social movement, no political philosophy: Daenerys spends ages thinking about how to run a city riven by powerful factions, and no one even imagines -- no one can imagine -- a political system designed to bring together factions by giving them equal voices, let alone a parliament or democratic system. It's all the shit of Europe with none of the ideas of Europe. And that's not an accident. Women will be raped, killed, sexually shamed and exploited, all for the sake of plot and teaching us some sort of lesson -- but that lesson is either entirely negative, or more likely just a fig leaf for the titillations of nudity and violence. There is nothing to learn here, and the narrative jukes back and forth between the demands of plot and the demands of "realism" to justify doing terrible things to us and its characters. And for what? This story makes Stephen R Donaldson look like Tolstoy.
posted by chortly at 9:28 PM on June 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


Mormont seems to think a "true khalasar" is still possible for Dany, if and when she proves herself strong. Flying around on the back of a giant dragon would seem to qualify, in my book.

I think it could go that way, eventually, sure. But I think that for the 99% of the Dothraki who left she still has to do the proving herself strong bit. I don't think they're all in a rush to bow down, I think they're in a rush to bring her down. I think there's a window there, though --- during that whole horse-heart eating bit in season one, I think they talk about how her and Drogo's son is supposed to be the Stallion that Mounts the World or whatnot [doublechecked, they totally do] --- she plays a role in their prophecy as well, and the prophecy is unfulfilled since her son died. So presumably that leaves their wise women in a bit of a sticky wicket, and maybe Dany can talk her way round into convincing them that the dragons are her children, the spirit of the great khal lives on in them, yadda yadda, follow me if you want to live, upon St. Crispin's Day, etc.
posted by maggiepolitt at 9:47 PM on June 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


It is ultimately a deeply conservative vision of the world: the world is a terrible place filled with terrible people, and bad things happen to almost everyone, although slightly less so to those who are most terrible. There is no social movement, no political philosophy: Daenerys spends ages thinking about how to run a city riven by powerful factions, and no one even imagines -- no one can imagine -- a political system designed to bring together factions by giving them equal voices, let alone a parliament or democratic system. It's all the shit of Europe with none of the ideas of Europe.

For myself, I don't think that Westeros is a dark doppleganger of our world. I think it's a dark doppleganger of Middle Earth. Fantasy is a deeply conservative genre. A man with a sword and a destiny, a white knight, I swore an oath, my lord. Kneel and rise, made noble. The blessed mark. And all that that still has a huge appeal: Harry Potter, etc. I see Westeros as interjecting a few of the nastier bits of actual history into the myths we like to tell ourselves about heros. Middle Earth is often seen as a reaction to WWI, a call back to Beowulf and the Norse Sagas, a time when men were men and peasants --- excuse me, hobbits --- knew their place and loved the knowing of it. No machinery, no modernity, no mustard gas, just elevenses and potatoes and songs and horses and blood. Whereas Westeros is populated by all the people the songs don't sing about --- turncloaks and cheats and rapists and liars and ugly-looking women and uglier-acting men, a place in which the wages of sin are being named the lord of the biggest castle in all the land and the price of honor is death. Neither of them are real, neither of them are scale models of our world. One is a paen to a dream of how the world should be, the other a jeremiad against that dream.

It's a powerful dream, and I think it can stand a little savaging. In its way, even Dulce Et Decorum Est adheres to the myth, because in the poem it is modernity which has crushed glory: Death in the form of an invisible gas, an opponent no sword can cut, no shield can block. Westeros is a way of saying the myth was never real. Why should an examination of how power works under feudalism contain within it the seeds of democracy? Just cause wouldn't it be nice if we all were nicer? Democracy's a couple hundred years old, ish. Feudalism thousands. I mean, as I said above, GoT's apparent steeplechase headlong into nihilism is wearing to me too at times. But a story shouldn't have to say nice things about what people are like to be a good story. That's for parables and preachers.
posted by maggiepolitt at 10:08 PM on June 15, 2015 [18 favorites]


The problem with GOT is the same problem so many shows suffer from: they go on too fucking long. This show should have been 3 or 4 seasons long, max

The only way for that to have happened would have excised such huge parts of the original story that it simply wouldn't have made much sense.

I mean, probably the only contemporary adaptation that's similar is LOTR in terms of a) scope, and b) difficulty of adaptation. LOTR clocks in at what, 11 hours, ish? (Theatrical release, not extended DVD). And the source text is approximately 450K words, with a relatively straightforward single story that splits into three separate storylines. By comparison, GOT is, ballpark, 1.7 million words (with, theoretically, another 500-800K yet to be published), and orders of magnitude more complex, with at least seven or eight interlocking main plots and Rh'llor knows how many side plots. Without digging into any actual material from the books, a lot has already been dropped, and notwithstanding the utter failure of how they adapted the Dorne storyline, there really isn't much more to be cut.

What I'm saying is, looking at just raw word count (admittedly 31% of the words in the books are describing food) GOT and LOTR are basically at parity in words-to-screen-time ratio. And GOT has about a thousand more moving parts than LOTR does. None of this is to say that the showrunners have done a perfect job, of course; frankly I think they didn't fully comprehend the size of what they were doing until the last couple of seasons. And given that they've said their motivation was to film the Red Wedding, I also think that for a while after the RW things got kind of dropped because they weren't quite as invested.

Sure, adaptations from page to screen necessarily change things, and things get removed. Sometimes for good reasons, sometimes for reasons that seemed good at the time. The scope of GOT is such, though, that carving out much more would leave us with absolutely nonsensical storytelling.

At heart, one could look at GOT as the story of the Stark children, and how their lives are twisted as a consequence of decisions made by people in the preceding two generations or so. At a bare minimum, then, you're following Robb, Jon, Sansa, Arya, Bran, and Rickon. And there's no way to tell those stories without Jaime & Cersei, the Walkers and the Wall, everything around the repeated monarch-puncturing and succession issues in Kings Landing--the list goes on. Sooner or later, you reach a point where removing anything else changes the fundamental story. To circle back to LOTR, sure you could save a whole bunch of time by e.g. chopping out everything with Treebeard (which, yeah, was a bit tedious)--and that sets off a whole bunch of dominoes that need to be changed in other storylines.

So while I understand where you're coming from, I think perhaps this is one of those book/non-book divides; we can see how much material has already been removed and, I think, most book readers would have difficulty seeing how much more could be compressed while still hitting the major plot points.

Probably a large part of the problem is that a) the series isn't finished yet (so there isn't an established canon the producers can look at and excise from in a holistic manner), and b) it will never be finished on paper so long as Gurm lives, I believe. I think he's washed his hands of it, handed the showrunners the major plot points and where everything ends up, and said "You figure out how to get there from here."

(Really for me I think a lot of GOT is really about a) you got what you wanted! doesn't it suck? and b) the perils of making huge choices with outdated or flat wrong information but that's a digression for another time.)
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:13 PM on June 15, 2015 [5 favorites]


chortly: "It is ultimately a deeply conservative vision of the world: the world is a terrible place filled with terrible people, and bad things happen to almost everyone, although slightly less so to those who are most terrible."

I don't see this as conservative at all. Conservatives, especially those on the extreme right, are the ones who glorify the past, chivalry, bravery, loyalty, militarism, fighting just wars, severe but just punishment for criminals, etc. Saying "the past sucked, everyone treated each other horribly, women were especially horribly treated" and so on doesn't strike me as a particularly conservative position.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 10:24 PM on June 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


(Or what maggiepolitt said.)
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 10:28 PM on June 15, 2015


Arya and Sansa can't both be dead. I assume Sansa and Theon survive somehow (Bran returns from nowhere with his mad climbing skills?). Arya is probably just blinded, but I hope that after seeing her face she somehow loses her identity and is now one with the many-faced god. She doesn't need the eyes of her former body because she can see from the eyes of everyone. There's magic and shit on GoT so why not?

I've kinda stopped caring about the wall this season, so if Jon's gone I'm not so bummed. Sam has gone off to a better life. Everyone hates him in the Night's Watch. Better off leave him dead.

I think Dany has enough knowledge of the Dothraki language and culture that she won't be treated as just another common woman by the riders. Plus she has a dragon. Dragons like food. Dothrakis have horses. She'll be OK.

I have no clue how Cersei will react after this. She may be completely broken. Especially after she hears about her daughter.
posted by downtohisturtles at 10:33 PM on June 15, 2015


That was nothing but hateful, sexist, cruel humiliation to me, and the show wouldn't dare do that to a male character.

It happened in the first season, with Dany's assassin/former wine merchant.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 10:51 PM on June 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


What, the Walk of Shame thing? Are you sure? The only other character I thought it happened to was the previous High Septon (who is of course also a male).
posted by Justinian at 11:17 PM on June 15, 2015


Speaking of the books, could any of the book readers comment (in a general and spoiler-free manner, of course) on whether the Walk of Shame on the show was faithful to whatever is in the books?
posted by homunculus at 11:59 PM on June 15, 2015


Maybe.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 12:00 AM on June 16, 2015


[One commented deleted. Sorry, but linking to the book chapter / discussion about the books is better in the "Books Included" thread. (Also, I understand your question, homunculus, but please, folks, this needs to be a show-only discussion as per the tag. Maybe there's a way to provide a quick answer that isn't opening the flood gates for book vs show discussion, or "let's discuss this chapter of the book." The Books Included thread is open for anyone who does want to discuss that.)]
posted by taz at 12:04 AM on June 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


Okay.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 12:10 AM on June 16, 2015


What, the Walk of Shame thing? Are you sure?

Not an exact Walk, but he was stripped, bound and tied to cart or hirse and forced to walk until he couldn't keep up. Full frontal male nudity too!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:17 AM on June 16, 2015


Nevermind.
posted by homunculus at 12:35 AM on June 16, 2015


Huh. I didn't remember that, BB. Thanks.
posted by Justinian at 1:09 AM on June 16, 2015


The director of the finale told Variety Sansa's not dead:

Is it safe to assume they survived that jump?

I would say it’s safe to assume they survived that jump.


He also talks about how satisfying it was to show Reek as he "regains his sense of true north in realizing he needed to step up to save Sansa’s life." No irony detectable about Sansa's near-complete inability to step up. Oh, and this part, about why we didn't see Stannis' head get chopped off, struck me as particularly hilarious:

Dan and David felt it best not to be gratuitous with that...It’s a situation in which Stannis was ready to die and prepared to die. It would have been gratuitous.

Um, thanks for that, I guess. He also unconvincingly defends the length of the walk of shame, though isn't asked specifically about all the nudity, and has this to say about Jon Snow's death and possible resurrection:

I can say emphatically that Jon Snow is definitely dead. I keep hearing that phrase in my head, “Ding dong, the witch is dead.” After what you saw there, I think there’s no more clear picture whether he is dead or not.

Any chance he could be resurrected by Melisandre, who returned to Castle Black?

That’s not my concern. My concern was to take care of Jon Snow, and he’s now deader than dead.

posted by mediareport at 2:48 AM on June 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


Dan and David felt it best not to be gratuitous with that...It’s a situation in which Stannis was ready to die and prepared to die. It would have been gratuitous.

That literally makes no fucking sense. In fact, it would make more sense to learn that the writer of the article has been high off catnip from dimension X for a week with no sleep and is just making shit up than to believe that D&D believe that showing Stannis' death would have been gratuitous.

The goddamn show had two beheadings in the first 10 minutes of the series. Literally 2 minutes before the Stannis scene, Ramsay plunges his sword into the back of man begging for his life, we hear the squishy sounds of the sword going into flesh and striking bone, then Ramsay wiping away the blood on his sleeve (eww dude), but showing the death of Stannis the child burner (remember THAT scene) was just a step too far?

The writer must have translated something wrong or the director's first and second language isn't English, 'cause that makes not a lick of goddamn sense.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:33 AM on June 16, 2015 [5 favorites]


Stannis was done. He was dead the moment he ordered the march on Winterfell. The reason Brienne was there to kill him was to show her fucking up again. She was busy killing Stannis when she should have been trying to help Sansa.
posted by rdr at 5:56 AM on June 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


Or just leave Pod to watch
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:58 AM on June 16, 2015


I did really like the callback to one of Pod's two skills: discerning banners and sigils from really far away. I wonder if the shoehorned in story about his sexual skills from S3 is ever going to pay off.
posted by almostmanda at 6:12 AM on June 16, 2015 [6 favorites]


I did really like the callback to one of Pod's two skills: discerning banners and sigils from really far away.

I had the same reaction! I saw Pod look down at the marching army, and was immediately like "Oh, I bet Pod knows exactly who that is, he's great with sigils and banners!". It was nice to see the writers to actually remember character details when setting up their plots (even if I don't like their obsession with ironic near misses for Brienne).
posted by tocts at 6:31 AM on June 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


The Watch killing Jon Snow for letting the Wildings through the Wall *after* the Watch opened the gates and let them pass is like shutting the barn door after you opened it up to let all the horses escape. They certainly laid all the groundwork for the betrayal, but the final trigger was lost somewhere.
posted by cardboard at 6:51 AM on June 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


The walk was very faithful to the books (books was maybe a little worse).

I liked the cut away because it seemed like Stannis's point of view.
posted by bq at 6:53 AM on June 16, 2015


Well, Cersei was ultimately right about Myrcella's fate in Dorne--
Oberyn: “We don’t hurt little girls in Dorne.”
Cersei: “Everywhere in the world they hurt little girls.”

It's not entirely clear, but I have to wonder whether or not Ellaria had Prince Doran's permission to send Myrcella off with the poisoned kiss so that she would die at sea (and presumably Myrcella is dead now -- unless, of course, Bronn has some antidote left over to spare, assuming the same poison was used on him). Right before Prince Doran gave Ellaria the head nod, there was an understanding look exchanged between them (at 0:12 here). Perhaps they "don't hurt little girls in Dorne," but once a girl is out on the open sea, maybe then she's fair game? Yet, on the other hand, if Prince Doran allowed Ellaria to poison Myrcella, he would be harming his own son, Trystane, pretty badly; not only leaving him in the enraged enemy's custody on the ship but also having to see his vaunted beloved die.
posted by hush at 6:58 AM on June 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


Maybe there's a way to provide a quick answer that isn't opening the flood gates for book vs show discussion, or "let's discuss this chapter of the book."

The Walk of Shame, in technical details, is faithful to the books: Cersei has to walk naked from the Sept to the Red Keep. Some things were left out that are impossible to translate to screen: most notably, Cersei's internal dialogue. The insults shouted were different but of the same general type.

Finis.
posted by corb at 7:06 AM on June 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


I think Doran has a long game that's antithetical to Lannister interests, but I don't think it involved killing Myrcella. It would have been trivial for him to kill her along with Jaime and Bronn, and tell all the world how the evil Lannisters sent killers into the Water Gardens and caused this great tragedy. Nobody but the guards knows the truth, so it could have been played as if they all died in the ensuing fight.

Instead, Myrcella just died (presumably) on a ship bound for Lannister-held territory, with the crown prince of Dorne on it and likely in the hands of the Lannisters at this point.

Myrcella's death strikes me as nothing more complicated than Ellaria simply being unwilling to give up her vengeance (and god, if there was ever a cardboard cutout of a character, it's her -- only the fact that she's a woman is preventing her from twirling a moustache).
posted by tocts at 7:06 AM on June 16, 2015 [4 favorites]



Instead, Myrcella just died (presumably) on a ship bound for Lannister-held territory, with the crown prince of Dorne on it and likely in the hands of the Lannisters at this point.


Unless it's a Dornish ship, which is likely, since Bronn and Jaime came by themselves.
posted by corb at 7:07 AM on June 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


Cersei is going to make them pay. She is going to make them all pay. (That's not a book spoiler; book and non-book people are virtually at the same point right now.)

It's not entirely clear, but I have to wonder whether or not Ellaria had Prince Doran's permission

I think from what we see on screen that it's easy to see Oberyn as a fiery, passionate person who has the freedom to cling to notions of honour/chivalry that Doran, as the sitting Prince, may need to temper with a certain amount of pragmatism.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:32 AM on June 16, 2015


Cersei is going to make them pay. She is going to make them all pay.

I certainly agree that she's going to try.
posted by rocketman at 8:48 AM on June 16, 2015


[Folk, again, please respect that some members are in this thread because they really don't want any discussion of the books or other sources. Thanks.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 8:49 AM on June 16, 2015 [4 favorites]


GoT end of Season 5 - dead or "dead?"

-Jon: Probably not dead. I thought so at first, but after spending too-much-time reading show reactions on teh Internets, I've come to believe that Melisandre will use whatever Red Witchiness Power she can to revive him. Will he be the same? I don't know. But I suspect he's coming back somehow.
-Stannis: dead, if only because he has nothing else to do. Not showing it does leave open the possibility for a Brienne-fuelled redemption arc, a la Jaime, but I think he is probably gone.
-Sansa and Theon/Reek: No idea. Most book readers and internet-theorizers seem to think they jump into a big snowbank and survive. It's a nice concept. I'd like to see these two characters - both hemmed-in for so long - hit the road in one of season 6's buddy-cop pairings. (I was rooting for Sansa to take advantage of the chaos of the battle to just walk out of Winterfell.) But that jump was a long way down. Even if they survive, what are the odds they emerge well enough to really escape? I have a sinking feeling they'll survive, break a lot of bones, and be found by Ramsay's minions, who will escort them back to endure further torment.

Other observations and questions:
-This was really the season of "let's put two characters in the same spot at the same time to further the plot." Really, what were the odds that Brienne could just stroll around a battlefield, unharmed, and the find Stannis, among thousands of soldiers dying in a forest, leaning against a tree? And what were the odds of her stumbling upon Sansa and Littlefinger? And what were the odds that Arya just happened to be given a Faceless Training assignment on the Braavosi docks, and happened to be walking by at the very moment that Meryn Trent pulls up? And what are the odds that Tyrion and Varys go to a brothel in Volantis which just so happens to be the one with the Khaleesi impersonator, and so is frequented by Jorah? You can get away with this sort of thing once in awhile in a narrative, but this season really stretched the tactic to its breaking point.
-What happens now in KL? Clearly, Cersei will have her revenge on the Sparrows (and I'll be rooting for the Lannisters, for a change). But the Sparrows seem pretty popular with the common folk, unlike the existing elite. Will this trigger a rebellion? Even if not, what will be the impact of open warfare in the city?
-Related, it would be interesting to see Tommen start acting like a King. I'm not counting on it. But he's basically a gigantic black hole at the center of Westeros right now, and it would be cool to see him actually turn into something.
-Without getting into the gender politics of it, Cersei's walk of shame could have been half as long.
-Odds that Sam actually makes it to Oldtown? Part of me thinks the Watchers will find him and kill him, but they might also be fine with him just being gone. Even if the Watchers leave him alone, it's a damn long journey.
-So, is Arya's blindness permanent? Were Faceless Guy and Faceless Girl actually the same person? Or were both of them not-a-person, as Faceless Guy would say? Is Arya really dead because they've already got a mask for her? Is Faceless Guy really dead? How do they get those masks, anyway? You can wear more than one at a time? Or are the Faceless Men really some kind of undead thing? Sometimes watching Arya sweep the floor while Faceless Guy said things like "a girl is not a girl" got a little old, but I want to see where this is going. Weird shit is going down.
-It'll be cool to watch Tyrion/Varys/Missandei/Greyworm try to rule Meereen, but I don't totally understand why Dany's crew doesn't all just hightail it out of there at this point.
-I don't know what's going to happen in the short run with Dany and the New Dothraki, but I suspect in the long run it will work out for her.
posted by breakin' the law at 9:19 AM on June 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


BTW, one detail I hadn't seen mentioned in this thread: As Cersei approaches the Red Keep at the end of her walk of shame, a few bars of Rains of Castamere play. Does that mean it's the end for Cersei?
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 9:20 AM on June 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


Hahaha no it means she will drink the blood of her enemies.
posted by bq at 9:24 AM on June 16, 2015 [10 favorites]


hat were the odds that Brienne could just stroll around a battlefield, unharmed

Being over six feet tall and carrying a Valyrian steel sword helps those odds somewhat. She's walking around with a giant "if you fuck with me it will hurt you" sign over her head. Being someone who can best The Hound helps with the attitude.

It'll be cool to watch Tyrion/Varys/Missandei/Greyworm try to rule Meereen, but I don't totally understand why Dany's crew doesn't all just hightail it out of there at this point.

2/4 of those people she redeemed from slavery and elevated to highly trusted and influential positions. That buys loyalty. Tyrion and Varys think she represents their last, best hope. Bonus for Tyrion in that supporting Dany lets him stick it to his hideous family. Their loyalty isn't really surprising.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:27 AM on June 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


2/4 of those people she redeemed from slavery and elevated to highly trusted and influential positions. That buys loyalty. Tyrion and Varys think she represents their last, best hope. Bonus for Tyrion in that supporting Dany lets him stick it to his hideous family. Their loyalty isn't really surprising.

But, couldn't they all just go find Dany (possibly with the help of some Unsullied)? Then, let Meereen burn or whatever while they invade Westeros? That's really what I was getting at, although Dany obviously cares about what happens in Meereen so I'd guess leaving the city would be an act of disloyalty itself, even if its to find her.
posted by breakin' the law at 9:31 AM on June 16, 2015


I have every belief that Cersei is going to try to take down the Sparrows, but I'm not convinced she'll succeed. They have a lot of support in the general populace, and the city is more or less held by them at this point.

My guess at the ultimate fate of the Sparrows is that it will have a lot more to do with one of the more interesting subplots of the whole series: the relationship between the various religions of the world. At this point, we know without a doubt that magic is a real, functional thing. We also know that the White Walkers, the adherents of the Old Gods of the North, and the priests of the Lord of Light can wield it. Meanwhile, we have seen not a single scrap of evidence that the Seven are anything but a fiction, crafted to keep the populace in their place.

If I were to guess at how the true believers of the Seven will meet their fate, I think it would be a lot more interesting and poetic if it is in a situation where they are made to realize the falseness of their faith (and the real and undeniable power of those they have declared heretics).
posted by tocts at 9:31 AM on June 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


> The only way for that to have happened would have excised such huge parts of the original story that it simply wouldn't have made much sense.

I won't claim to be an expert in it, and I haven't read the books and have no intention of doing so, but the show already doesn't make much sense to me. They seem to have lost the plot moving bravery of their first few seasons and are now running on heres-a-vague-progression-of-things-that-happen cruise control ala lost or x files. I don't care how true it is to the books or even to ancient society, I just want to be entertained without feeling like I'm wasting my time.
posted by Poldo at 9:40 AM on June 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


I just want to be entertained without feeling like I'm wasting my time.

YES. As a book reader I also feel this way. I hope(d) the show would be taking more liberties by now.
posted by French Fry at 9:55 AM on June 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yeah, "wasting my time" basically sums up the whole Dorne subplot for me, and it is super frustrating.

I don't consider myself a book reader (in the GoT sense); I made the conscious decision to wait till GRRM finished the series sometime between the 2nd and 3rd book (it has been a long wait). So, I don't have any idea what the Dorne plot was like in the books. But, in the show, it was just a black hole of time I wish could have been used to advance any other plot.

What's frustrating is, whatever adaptation they did, they clearly could have gone further. Fundamentally, the narrative goal of the plot was very simple: get Jaime out of King's Landing. That's it. None of the stuff this season with Cersei and Tommen would have worked narratively if Jaime was there to step in and talk Cersei off the ledge of one of her unnecessary escalations, or use his access to Tommen to advise him on standing up for himself as king. So, he needed to not be around.

That's fine. However, there's so many other ways they could have accomplished that, in far less screen time. I'm sure that would be an even bigger break from the books, but at this point, so what? Most of the people watching the show are not really concerned about that, and the book readers always have their books to go back to (and view the show as an alternate universe).
posted by tocts at 10:48 AM on June 16, 2015 [4 favorites]


Well the show is functionally free of the books now. The books can no longer be either a crutch or handcuffs to the show runners. Hopefully they’ll get off the treadmill the books were on and make something fun to watch.
posted by French Fry at 10:55 AM on June 16, 2015


Easiest prediction for next season: Whether they've read them or not, it will become impossible for people to NOT mention the books when talking about the show.
posted by dogwalker at 11:24 AM on June 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'd like to know what Brienne's plan was. How was she going to rescue Sansa? I didn't exactly see a zipline between her secret treehouse and the old tower. She's lucky to have missed the signal or she would have run out into the middle of the battle. And then she wouldn't have gotten her sweet revenge on Stannis. I firmly believe she killed him. I could swear I heard a sound effect of murder as they cut away to the next scene.

The biggest plothole for me was Bronn standing there as Ellaria made out with Myrcella. Nothing fishy there, Bronn? Nothing familiar about a one-dimensional character engaging in the same sort of behavior as her one-dimensional child a few episodes back?
posted by GrapeApiary at 11:31 AM on June 16, 2015 [6 favorites]


-Stannis: dead, if only because he has nothing else to do. Not showing it does leave open the possibility for a Brienne-fuelled redemption arc, a la Jaime, but I think he is probably gone.

Actually, there is something he could do: marry Sansa. Selyse is gone and Sansa's marriage to Ramsay is illegitimate: she was supposed to marry Ramsay Bolton, but he's really Ramsay Snow since Tommen isn't the rightful king and doesn't have the authority to legitimize a bastard. Stannis might see helping Sansa become Wardeness of the North as his chance for personal redemption, and together they could rally the North and build a new army of Northerners to overthrow the Boltons. If they go on to take the Iron Throne then Sansa would become queen. It would also be interesting to see what happens to Stannis's faith in light of Melisandre's betrayal.

And they'd probably get help from Littlefinger, who is presumably on the way with the Knights of the Vale. He was already betting on Stannis defeating the Boltons, so I assume he was also planning on helping him take the Iron Throne as well, possibly in exchange for being made Hand of the King. If Sansa marries Stannis then LF would probably try to replay the strategy he used with Jon Arynn and Lysa: poison the husband and marry the widow, in this case Queen Sansa. But if Sansa becomes queen, I suspect LF is in for a surprise, and a reckoning.

And then the White Walkers kill everyone.

But it sounds like Stannis really is dead, so I guess that's out.
posted by homunculus at 11:52 AM on June 16, 2015 [4 favorites]


Can someone please explain to me Arya's situation with the "be no one," "man of many faces" thingy? I don't think I really understand her predicament - she can either continue as a nameless assassin or become someone who can switch faces? What would be the advantage to being able to switch faces? If she does that, can she still seek vengeance? I'm really confused (even after reading some posts) about the rules, what her options are and why she is being forced to choose one or the other.
posted by foxhat10 at 12:57 PM on June 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


My impression - and if someone else can better clarify then by all means - is that it boils down to this: Arya met Jaqen H'ghar and saved him, and so he owed her some favors. She asked him to kill of some folks and was impressed and said, "Man, I need to get into this assassin business because I have a long-ass list of folks that need to get dead."

Thing is: she didn't realize that service to the Many-Faced God meant giving up her personal identity so that she can serve as one of the faceless men (faceless ones?). If she gives up her identity that means giving up her personal "make them dead" list, and she doesn't want to do that. Basically, she wants her cake (incredible assassin powers) and to eat it too (be allowed to jet off to go kill whoever she pleases).

Jaqen H'ghar is trying to teach her, "Look, you really want to be with us? You legit have to give all that up" and she's proven herself incapable of letting go. I assume she figured, "Okay, I'll get all stabby with Meryn Trant and then that's it, that's the last one. Well, maybe the last one until I can get near Cersei, but it's the last one for now. I'm really ready now to go be faceless" and Jaqen knew that was not the case.

and then shit got weird and here we are
posted by komara at 1:10 PM on June 16, 2015 [6 favorites]


She's signed up to be a member of an order of assassins that give up their identities (becoming "no one") so that they can wear the faces harvested from the House of Black and White (and by so doing potentially become anyone). However, by keeping and acting on her old motivations — her old grudges and her old murder list — Arya has revealed that she has not successfully given up her identity and so is not yet no one, and therefore is not yet eligible to become a member of that order of assassins. Apparently having worn a face (trying to be someone else) without first giving up your identity (becoming no one) has nasty side effects. Well, okay, either it has nasty side effects or the House of Black and White people are just annoyed at her for using one of their faces to kill the wrong man, and are (as is their wont) fucking with her head a little.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 1:11 PM on June 16, 2015 [4 favorites]


They want her to become “no-one”, have no agenda’s or goals, to be a servant of their death god. To kill only those “the many faced god” choose for her to kill. It’s my understanding that this is 100% incompatible with continuing to be Arya Stark and her quest for vengeance.
posted by French Fry at 1:14 PM on June 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


Ask the Maester: Some Real Talk About the Jon Snow Situation (as usual it includes info from the books.)
posted by homunculus at 1:14 PM on June 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


I assume the ring is a breadcrumb for her buddies to follow. It should be pretty easy to find a ring in several million square miles of steppe.

Well, that's not really thinking like a tracker. They follow the reports of a dragon flying away, eventually find land of charred skeletons where dragon has been nesting. They track her on foot to an area where her tracks are probably obscured by the hoofprints of ten thousand riders. Chances of finding the ring are pretty good, though they might not need to.
posted by George_Spiggott at 1:24 PM on June 16, 2015


Awesome - thanks guys for clarifying Arya's situation!
posted by foxhat10 at 1:31 PM on June 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


Although I may be alone in this, I found the Arya parts of this season to be pretty much the best, and I just dig the hell out of the House of Black and White. One thing that they really drove home with "Jaqen's" "suicide" is that the House of Black and White is, for everyone who sets foot inside it, a place to die — either you show up looking for mercy, drink from the fountain, and die, leaving nothing but a face on the wall, or you show up looking for vengeance, undergo Faceless Man training, and (more or less) die, leaving nothing but a freely interchangable body to put freely interchangable faces on.

If I ran the universe, there'd be a separate show all about Arya/No One's training and adventures. Presumably directed by, like, Joss Whedon.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 1:32 PM on June 16, 2015 [1 favorite]




Thing is: she didn't realize that service to the Many-Faced God meant giving up her personal identity so that she can serve as one of the faceless men (faceless ones?). If she gives up her identity that means giving up her personal "make them dead" list, and she doesn't want to do that. Basically, she wants her cake (incredible assassin powers) and to eat it too (be allowed to jet off to go kill whoever she pleases).

Jaqen sort of misled her on that point, though. Back in Season 2, Jaqen told Arya that if she joined the Facless Men then she could offer the names on her list to the Many Faced God ("Red God" was a mistake in the script, as I recall), implying that she could pursue her vendetta. Of course in the scene with Trant, Arya said that the MFG had stolen some people from her, which is obviously the wrong attitude, but it wasn't entirely unreasonable for her to assume she could go after him. I was half expecting her to accuse Sexy Jesus of false advertising when he confronted her.
posted by homunculus at 2:31 PM on June 16, 2015


she was supposed to marry Ramsay Bolton, but he's really Ramsay Snow since Tommen isn't the rightful king and doesn't have the authority to legitimize a bastard.

On paper, Tommen is the rightful king and therefore does have that authority. Her marriage to Bolton is illegitimate because she is still (on paper) married to Tyrion. Lack of consummation is grounds for dissolving the marriage, yes--but it was never dissolved.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 2:48 PM on June 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


But, couldn't they all just go find Dany (possibly with the help of some Unsullied)? Then, let Meereen burn or whatever while they invade Westeros? That's really what I was getting at, although Dany obviously cares about what happens in Meereen so I'd guess leaving the city would be an act of disloyalty itself, even if its to find her.

I seem to recall Dany giving a speech about how she needed to prove she can actually rule before she moves on to Westeros, so I don't think she's inclined to leave Mereen until Slaver's Bay is stable and there's no longer a threat of slavery returning... in which case she'll be there forever.
posted by homunculus at 2:54 PM on June 16, 2015


Jaqen sort of misled her on that point, though. Back in Season 2, Jaqen told Arya that if she joined the Faceless Men then she could offer the names on her list to the Many Faced God ("Red God" was a mistake in the script, as I recall), implying that she could pursue her vendetta.

I think there's a difference between "offering a name" to the many-faced god and taking matters into your own hands. When Arya was giving names to Jaqen, she had no power over when and where he killed the people (to her frustration even then). Similarly, I think the idea is that she can suggest to the MFG that X or Y should get got, but she needs to have faith and trust that the MFG will see that the getting gets gotten, even if it's not by her own hand.

Maybe if she had passed the test with the Thin Man, Trant would have been her next assignment. Maybe not. Maybe PossiblyJaqen or BlondeSenpai would have been instructed to do the deed. Maybe Trant would have gotten to live for a while longer because by being alive he was furthering the will of the MFG somehow. It's not unreasonable for acolytes to be forbidden from performing whichever religious rites they feel like, after all.
posted by sparklemotion at 3:04 PM on June 16, 2015 [1 favorite]




Oh, I agree with all that, sparklemotion. I'm just saying that Jaqen gave Arya some false expectations back in Season 2.
posted by homunculus at 3:14 PM on June 16, 2015


Lack of consummation is grounds for dissolving the marriage, yes--but it was never dissolved.

I forgot about Tyrion (duh), but as far as Stannis is concerned he could just pronounce the marriage dissolved and it would be so.
posted by homunculus at 3:17 PM on June 16, 2015


Oh for sure he could; I was just pointing out that the reason Sansa's wedding to House Serial Killer was illegitimate has zip nada zilch to do with Tommen's authority.

It's actually because Tyrion realized what a heel he'd be if he claimed his 'rights' (shudder) to her body after they married.

One worries about Sansa being pregnant.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 3:21 PM on June 16, 2015


One worries about Sansa being pregnant.

Yikes. As do I now! (Eponysterical in fact.)
posted by NailsTheCat at 3:26 PM on June 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


It's not entirely clear, but I have to wonder whether or not Ellaria had Prince Doran's permission to send Myrcella off with the poisoned kiss so that she would die at sea (and presumably Myrcella is dead now -- unless, of course, Bronn has some antidote left over to spare, assuming the same poison was used on him). Right before Prince Doran gave Ellaria the head nod, there was an understanding look exchanged between them (at 0:12 here yt ). Perhaps they "don't hurt little girls in Dorne," but once a girl is out on the open sea, maybe then she's fair game?

I think that's plausible. I've been suspicious of Doran too after last week's episode; he seems to good to be true for this show. I also keep wondering if he really wanted his one and only heir to marry Myrcella, since he too must realize that she was not Robert Baratheon's daughter. But if I had to make a bet, I'd guess that Ellaria really was acting on her own and that Doran's nod was just the signal for her to apologize to Myrcella. I don't think there's enough to implicate him at this point. If that's the case, she and the Sand Snakes are in deep shit.
posted by homunculus at 5:27 PM on June 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


Perhaps they "don't hurt little girls in Dorne," but once a girl is out on the open sea, maybe then she's fair game?

She was not a little girl anymore — she was marrying a prince. Once you start playing the game, you're in the game.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 7:02 PM on June 16, 2015


One worries about Sansa being pregnant.

I'm curious what d&d do with this. Little nervous too.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:06 PM on June 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


And like I pointed out earlier... Oberyn said "we don't hurt little girls in Dorne." Doran was not consulted for his opinion on the matter.

For Sansa there's always moon tea... and given that it's an American network they'd either avoid it entirely or make her have the baby or drill Sansa into the ground for DARING to have reproductive freedom.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:22 PM on June 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


> He also talks about how satisfying it was to show Reek as he "regains his sense of true north in realizing he needed to step up to save Sansa’s life." No irony detectable about Sansa's near-complete inability to step up.

That's reminiscent of how dense producer Bryan Cogman sounded about Sansa's wedding night.

This piece at maisiewilliams.tumblr (spoilers, not the actual M. Williams) has been linked in a couple of threads, but it's relevant here too.
posted by homunculus at 11:15 PM on June 16, 2015




Missed my chance to reply in a timely manner here, but this

Democracy's a couple hundred years old, ish. Feudalism thousands.

is fairly incorrect. Feudalism as a European practice dates back maybe 1000 years, while democracy dates back at least 2500. The Magna Carta preceded much of the European era this stuff was modeled on, and many of the events these stories are loosely based on were even contemporaneous with the full English parliament. Formally collaborative decision-making, at least among elites, was a concept alive and well throughout European history, and the GoT world is notable for having this entirely deleted, even from the minds of the most educated and sophisticated.

I don't see this as conservative at all. Conservatives, especially those on the extreme right, are the ones who glorify the past, chivalry, bravery, loyalty, militarism, fighting just wars, severe but just punishment for criminals, etc.

This is what conservatives sometimes say about themselves. But in personality tests and other surveys, conservatives generally exhibit what is known as the "authoritarian" mindset, the core idea of which is that people are basically savages who need the firm hand of their bettors to guide them. Glorious kings and a strong hierarchy are just one side of the authoritarian coin; the other is the weakness or sin of the masses who need that hierarchy to prevent themselves from descending into chaos. A narrative that wallows in the inhumanity of humanity -- with almost no political alternative either explicitly or implicitly -- is not just weirdly selective, but in effect much more supportive of the authoritarian (or nihilistic) mindset than a liberal or progressive one.
posted by chortly at 11:33 PM on June 16, 2015 [5 favorites]


is fairly incorrect. Feudalism as a European practice dates back maybe 1000 years, while democracy dates back at least 2500.

That's also fairly incorrect. The idea of democracy may date back that far. The reality of its implementation doesn't.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:37 PM on June 16, 2015


I completely missed this, but the Walk of Shame had callbacks to Ned's execution (spoiler alert: the text underneath the gifs is from the book.)
posted by homunculus at 11:46 PM on June 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


The Magna Carta preceded much of the European era this stuff was modeled on, and many of the events these stories are loosely based on were even contemporaneous with the full English parliament. Formally collaborative decision-making, at least among elites, was a concept alive and well throughout European history, and the GoT world is notable for having this entirely deleted, even from the minds of the most educated and sophisticated.

Robert's Rebellion should have been Westeros's Magna Carta moment. That should have been the perfect opportunity to codify new rules and restrictions on power designed to prevent the Mad King's abuses from happening again, but they missed it and continued on like before, just with a new king. And then when Robert was murdered by a pig, the new Mad King Joffrey took the Iron Throne and everything went back to the way it had always been. But as you say, it couldn't have been otherwise because the world of GoT was not created with the prerequisite institutions and traditions necessary for it to happen.
posted by homunculus at 12:36 AM on June 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


Game of Thrones Confirms: Sansa is the Perpetual Victim

I understand the reasoning, but disagree with it, in a hopeful way. The show *seems* to be doing a very slow build with Sansa, where she sloooowly learns how to play the game and come into her own. They're also doing this in a way that's true to that particular character. There's also an interesting tension there in therms of what the audience whats from the character and the story in general and what the creator or show runners are doing.

Namely, everyone wants Sansa to stab the everliving fuck out of several people . You know how there was that one episode last season that took place totally at the Wall? Sansa needs just an episode like that, of just her either stabbing and/or manipulating people into being stabbed. I personally could forgive just about everything else I don't like about the series if we see that.

But Sansa isn't a warrior or a stabber. It's not in her personality (unlike Arya), at least at his point. She's like a princess version of Brienne, and has certain outlook on how things should be and she definitely sees herself as being some royal court and playing the game in some way. So no outright stabbing, but rather inspiring or manipulating or ordering someone else to do the stabbing. Even though I'd really like to stab at least one person!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:03 AM on June 17, 2015 [4 favorites]


This is a thing that’s been bothering me a lot. Why would she stab Ramsay? For us. For the viewing audience who is traumatized. Not for her. Stabbing Ramsay would almost certainly lead to her horribly unpleasant death.

She knows her brothers are alive. She knows potential rescue is possible, by Stannis, Littlefinger or “the north” (Brienne). I would personally like staby-stab BUT This is a 16yo, who has never fought anyone, I don’t know why turning bad-ass-action-girl makes sense.
posted by French Fry at 8:05 AM on June 17, 2015 [5 favorites]


I would personally like staby-stab BUT This is a 16yo, who has never fought anyone, I don’t know why turning bad-ass-action-girl makes sense.

Fine, but she could have at least stabbed Myranda. Or throw in another bed warmer for this season, just for Sansa to stab. It would provide some emotional and narrative catharsis for the audience, which is badly needed (and desired).

But you're right, it makes zero logical sense for Sansa to physically go up against Ramsay, she knows she would lose. That's probably why she dropped the corkscrew, she knows if she has has a weapon in her hand it would make her situation so much worse against any guard or Ramsay.

Also, Theon didn't so much betray Sansa with giving the candle to Ramsay, as save her in his own messed up mind. He's been counseling her to not fight, to just go along with the situation, because resisting makes things worst as far as he knows.

But Sansa does resist and gets further than Theon ever did. She inspires him to fight back and yes, save her in a way she probably couldn't think, nor do for herself. She's not a physical fighter at all. The last time we saw even a hint of that was her thinking about pushing Joffery off a catwalk in Season 2 (when he was showering her Ned's severed head). So yeah, Theon stepped in and pushed Myranda off this particular catwalk in Winterfell. That's a particular talent of hers, inspiring others to fight for or look after after (along with others to abuse her) and hopefully the former will be developed in the future.

None of this makes me happy about Sansa's abuse over the seasons, but I do see a certain narrative arc to the character, along with her actions and inactions. I'm not totally confident that the show will realize the potential with the character, but do see reason to be hopeful there. Which is probably a terrible thing to do with characters on this show.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:33 AM on June 17, 2015 [5 favorites]


I understand the reasoning, but disagree with it, in a hopeful way. The show *seems* to be doing a very slow build with Sansa, where she sloooowly learns how to play the game and come into her own.

They have the opportunity to make that happen next season, if her story arc puts her on the road to becoming Wardeness of the North. And hey, if she seeks out the Umbers then she might be reunited with Osha, Rickon and Shaggydog, assuming that's where they went. But I hope her eventual revenge against Ramsay is something more than just her stabbing him. I'd find it more poetic for the Wardeness to sentence a defeated Ramsay to death by flaying.

But if Jon is truly dead, I'm afraid that if she and Theon go to Castle Black it will just lead to another round of Sansa in Distress, which I could really do without.
posted by homunculus at 3:29 PM on June 17, 2015


Rickon? Who is Rickon? Does anybody remember someone named Rickon?
posted by Justinian at 3:36 PM on June 17, 2015 [4 favorites]


He was friends with Gendry. Duh.
posted by homunculus at 3:41 PM on June 17, 2015 [2 favorites]


Looking at some clips from the first season reminded me of what a prick Jaime used to be. After Myrcella, I suspect he is going to become a very cold-blooded person once again.

It'd be nice if Cersei and Margaery could reconcile through their mutual hatred of the Sparrows. Margaery seems to be the only noble in King's Landing who is loved by the people and might challenge them on that front. They could make a formidable team.

We never did find out what Littlefinger's "gift" to Olenna was. I still suspect it was Olyvar since he's the primary witness against Loras. It would be funny if Olenna convinced new Hand of the King Kevan Lannister to ship Olyvar off to join the Night's Watch. Welcome to the Wall, Olyvar, you got here at the perfect time!
posted by homunculus at 4:05 PM on June 17, 2015


We never did find out what Littlefinger's "gift" to Olenna was. I still suspect it was Olyvar since he's the primary witness against Loras.

You mean the "handsome young man" that was LF's gift to Cersei and Olenna was literally the same person?

I think Olyvar was meant to be the gift to Cersei, and Lancel was the gift to Olenna. It doesn't make a lot of sense, because Lancel had in theory long since confessed all his sins (also why does LF have any influence over Lancel?); but the timing of Lancel's willingness to testify against Cersei makes it pretty clear this is what the show was going for. IMO.
posted by torticat at 5:28 PM on June 17, 2015


Asking that Sansa's character be given even the tiniest bit of agency that actually advances a larger piece of the overall story is not the same as asking for her to violently stab her oppressors.

Just saying.
posted by mediareport at 6:27 PM on June 17, 2015


True. I just want her to stab at least one of her oppressors, but preferably all of them.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:33 PM on June 17, 2015


May the gasoline tanks in her flamethrower during the Sansa Stark Truth and Reconcilation Tour always remain full
posted by The Whelk at 6:35 PM on June 17, 2015 [5 favorites]


Give her a bionic arm and call her Imperator Sansa.
posted by rmd1023 at 7:55 PM on June 17, 2015 [10 favorites]


I think Olyvar was meant to be the gift to Cersei, and Lancel was the gift to Olenna. It doesn't make a lot of sense, because Lancel had in theory long since confessed all his sins (also why does LF have any influence over Lancel?); but the timing of Lancel's willingness to testify against Cersei makes it pretty clear this is what the show was going for. IMO.

Ah, I didn't put it together based on the timing. I assumed that Lancel had already confessed everything to the High Sparrow, but maybe Olenna forced him them accelerate their timetable.
posted by homunculus at 9:10 PM on June 17, 2015


So I had a second thought about Daenarys and the Dothraki:

We know that they only respect strength, and in Season 1 Jorah said that if Khal Drogo was too weak to ride his horse, they would no longer follow him.

Daenarys can *ride* Drogon, but cannot really control him. Is it possible that in Season 6, we'll see Dany and the Dothraki train him, and turn him into the weapon he's always shown he could be?

(Meanwhile, Jorah and Daario learn a very important lesson about friendship and honesty. Tyrion gets blackout drunk a lot. Missandei learns who all the members of Sons of the Harpy are by asking people politely. Grey Worm graduates kindergarten.)
posted by rocketman at 7:37 AM on June 18, 2015 [9 favorites]




Huh. I was expecting to roll my eyes but that was very interesting and balanced. I disagree about some of it (Stannis should have won? What?) and agree about others. For example, Cersei's walk. The tl;dr is that Sarah Mesle thinks it was in isolation done very, very well but that its impact was lessened by previous decisions made this season around the threatment of women.

She's still weirdly wrong about Stannis. He was doomed from the minute he burned Shireen. Maybe he was doomed anyway but at least he would have retained his humanity (such as it was).
posted by Justinian at 5:35 PM on June 18, 2015


I see that's a column not a one-off. Now I have to go back and re-read to see if someone is wrong on the internet.
posted by Justinian at 5:36 PM on June 18, 2015


Charlie Jane Anders, How To Fix What’s Wrong With Game Of Thrones
posted by dfan at 6:17 PM on June 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'll tell ya how to fix it: find something you'll enjoy, quit hate watching stuff that makes you feel bad and stop trying to build a new industry based on complaining about the show. Or at least come up with smarter criticisms.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:27 PM on June 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


My guess is that HBO does not care one bit if you watch because you love it or because you hate it or any other reason. Eyeballs are eyeballs!

So go on watching if you hate it, are disappointed by it, or love it. More viewers means more Game of Thrones.
posted by Justinian at 6:35 PM on June 18, 2015


I'll tell ya how to fix it: find something you'll enjoy, quit hate watching stuff that makes you feel bad and stop trying to build a new industry based on complaining about the show. Or at least come up with smarter criticisms.
Is that a reaction to the article or its title? I thought that the article's criticisms were reasonably smart and that the author was pretty explicitly not hate-watching.
posted by dfan at 6:51 PM on June 18, 2015 [4 favorites]


I thought that the article's criticisms were reasonably smart and that the author was pretty explicitly not hate-watching.

I agree. It's a good piece, thanks for linking it.
posted by homunculus at 7:09 PM on June 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


 I’m still incredibly excited for Game of Thrones season six — this show has the best cast on television, and when the characters are allowed to grow in ways that feel logical, it’s also one of the best political dramas ever made.

That's hardly the perspective of a hate-watcher, Brandon. I get that your knee-jerk dismissal came from a place of frustration of some kind, but you do the show no service by mischaracterizing folks who have high hopes for it as "hate-watchers." Charlie Jane's criticisms are no more pointed than those you've been making in the books-included thread. Are you a hate-watcher, too?

Of course not. The criticism in that link about the lack of an arc for Danaerys and Sansa are dead-on. So are some of the other criticisms. Yelling "hate-watcher!" is a bankrupt non-argument.
posted by mediareport at 8:23 PM on June 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


Of course Dany had an arc. Unfortunately that arc had θ = 360°.
posted by Justinian at 9:37 PM on June 18, 2015


Is that a reaction to the article or its title?

Just general frustration with these types of articles about the show. This particular one by Charlie Jane of io9 is more coherent and definitely doesn't fall into the hate watching category, but its suggestions are still odd, to put it mildly.

Get back to the spirit of the books
I only made it half through the second book so can't really comment on this one.

Remember this is a show about politics

No, it was a show a show about politics, but clearly things have shifted with the war of the five kings being over. Now it's about the ruling in the aftermath, how the main characters deal with the aftermath , sheer survival and whether the realm deserves to survive.

Nail down some character arcs.
Daenerys struggles with learning how to rule, Jamie tries to do something worthwhile, Cersei finally tries to wield power, Tyrion grabbles with the aftermath of what he's done, Jon deals with with being a leader, Sansa tries to come into her own, Arya continues down a dark path. Much disagreement here.

Rethink the pervasive sexual violence thing
General agreement here. The amount of it isn't the bad part, it's how the show wallows on explicitly showing it. GoT is a brutal world, in brutal times, so things will happen yes, but we don't need have our eyeballs rubbed in it every time.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:03 AM on June 19, 2015


I hope that Arya's training involves a deep dive into Metzinger's Being No One.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:20 AM on June 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


"I'm a Lannister, suck me off!" earned that guy 901 quid.
posted by sparklemotion at 12:45 PM on June 19, 2015


Why did he HAVE to be Caucasian for that?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:47 PM on June 19, 2015


I tend to take things especially literally, but I assumed that guy was actually a Lannister (even if a distant relative), and was slightly thrown off that he wasn't super-blonde. So yeah, they probably should have been extra Lannister-specific or wide open.
posted by dogwalker at 1:25 PM on June 19, 2015


I think maybe they wanted a white dude because it probably wouldn't have looked super great if the one speaking role for a person of color this side of Mereen was a dude flashing his junk and yelling sexual abuse.
posted by Justinian at 1:33 PM on June 19, 2015 [4 favorites]


Who *must* have public hair
posted by The Whelk at 2:22 PM on June 19, 2015




No, it was a show a show about politics, but clearly things have shifted with the war of the five kings being over.

It's not over. Balon Greyjoy could still win it all!
posted by homunculus at 5:00 PM on June 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


The last Beautiful Death of the season is Stannis: Go on, do your duty.

If they'd given us a quick scene like that, it would have settled the question of his death without being "gratuitous."
posted by homunculus at 6:10 PM on June 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


Did Brienne chop his head off on the show? Certainly looked that way.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:06 AM on June 20, 2015


The sword seemed to be swung the wrong way, but maybe it was just careless shooting/editing.
posted by DoctorFedora at 2:07 AM on June 21, 2015


Ack, the first Sunday after the finale I always want more. Despite all this season's problems, I still wish they could do 13 episodes a season instead of 10. On one hand, the stories seemed to plod along for the fist half of the season or so, but at the same time a lot of the character arcs felt rushed. If they'd had more time, they might have tried different things, especially in Dorne.

For anyone who needs a fix but isn't prepared to wade into the books, the Game of Thrones - A Telltale Games Series is 50% off on Steam for the next 24 hours.
posted by homunculus at 10:15 AM on June 21, 2015


Did Brienne chop his head off on the show? Certainly looked that way.

The sword seemed to be swung the wrong way, but maybe it was just careless shooting/editing.


Yeah, the angle of the swing looked too vertical and too close for decapitating him where he was sitting, but that might have been the camera work.

I wonder what the range on raising wights is. There were no Walkers around when the two wights got up and attacked Jeor Mormont back in the first season. I'd love it if the next night all the dead soldiers get up and demand a rematch with Roose and Ramsay, especially if Stannis still has a head.
posted by homunculus at 2:19 PM on June 21, 2015 [1 favorite]






I'm assuming those maps involved book knowledge?
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 10:17 PM on June 23, 2015


The maps go up to right before the Targaryens conquer Westeros and establish themselves as "Lords of the Seven Kingdoms"
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:36 PM on June 23, 2015


Every On-Screen Death In 'Game Of Thrones,' Season 5'

They don't count Stannis but they do count Sansa and Theon.
posted by homunculus at 11:35 AM on June 24, 2015


And Myrcella and Jon. Definitely betting on Sansa and Jon (and probably Theon) being alive. I'd say there's a shot Myrcella makes it, too.
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 5:25 PM on June 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


I assume that Sansa and Theon are alive, but I think Jon was definitely killed, though he may get resurrected or reanimated.
posted by homunculus at 9:35 PM on June 24, 2015




Shame
posted by homunculus at 2:15 AM on June 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


"SHAME" Nun
posted by homunculus at 3:14 AM on June 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


Hello new ringtone!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:22 AM on June 26, 2015 [1 favorite]




For anyone who wants a taste of Martin's writing without plunging into the books, there's a new illustrated compilation of his three Dunk & Egg prequel novellas out today. They take place in Westeros about a century before Game of Thrones and tell of the adventures of a hedge knight named Dunk and his squire Egg. At 368 pages (including the illustrations, I assume) it's shorter than any of the A Song of Ice and Fire books: A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms.
posted by homunculus at 4:43 PM on October 6, 2015 [1 favorite]




Favorite comment from youtube: VALAR HYPEGULUS ALL MEN MUST HYPE
posted by sparklemotion at 8:04 AM on April 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


Metafilter: We drink and we know things. This is what we do.
posted by humanfont at 8:16 PM on April 13, 2016 [5 favorites]


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