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May 1, 2016 8:04 PM - Season 6, Episode 2 - Subscribe

In Meereen, Tyrion hatches a new plan. In Braavos, Arya gets beat up (again). At Winterfell, Ramsay deals with Sansa and Theon's escape. In King's Landing, the Lannisters mourn Myrcella. At the Wall, the standoff between Davos and Thorne reaches a critical point. Beyond the Wall, Bran is still hanging out with the tree people. On the Iron Islands (remember them?), Balon and Yara argue about what to do now that the War of the Five Kings is over.
posted by Ragini (332 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
 
KINGSMOOT16 GET HYPE
posted by yellowbinder at 8:12 PM on May 1, 2016 [22 favorites]




Handy for Sansa, that. Her luck's really rolling in this season.

That kid at the Tower of Joy did not look like a young Sean Bean. Voice is close, but somebody ain't been eating his Yorkshire puddings, dude's a toothpick.

I shall miss Roose Bolton. His menace was so much more refined. Honestly, defeating Ramsey without him around will be a bit of an anti-climax. Also, when Karstarks go bad they really go bad, eh? Dude didn't even blink. I guess we're to suppose he'd been clued in beforehand? Even so.

And oh goody gumdrops, the Kingsmoot. The polar bear sedan chair guy should be a hoot if they keep him. Sometimes the moral universe of Games of Thrones still manages to bring you up short even now: You know how we know Yara's a good person we're supposed to root for? Didn't kill her father, even when he was like, really asking for it, man.

Also I'm crossing my fingers that Arya doesn't have to do that travelling player plotline from the books. But I dunno if I can bear another season of her karate kidding it up, either.
posted by Diablevert at 8:17 PM on May 1, 2016 [2 favorites]


Nice to see that yes, Euron did in fact kill Balon. I forget how much that was alluded to in the books, if at all, or if it was just convenient timing so it was one of those things that is obvious in retrospect.
posted by gatorae at 8:19 PM on May 1, 2016 [2 favorites]


Tyrions making friends with the dragons was adorable! Could anyone tell which of the dragons let Tyrion touch him, Rhaegal or Viserion? I was assuming Tyrion and Missandei were going to go to the dragons together, so I was surprised at first that she wasn't there. But then the way they played that scene, I think that there's a good chance that the show is going with the Tyrion = Secret Targaryen theory.
posted by homunculus at 8:24 PM on May 1, 2016 [5 favorites]


I assume Gendry will find Balon's corpse, as long as he's been paddling.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:25 PM on May 1, 2016 [14 favorites]


Jack HannaTyrion's Animal Adventures would be my new favorite show. I really, really hate the secret Targ theory, but I agree it looks possible. At the very least I like that it is ambiguous, unlike the Jon Snow "cliffhanger" that was as unsurprising as the sun coming up in the morning.
posted by gatorae at 8:31 PM on May 1, 2016 [6 favorites]


The one scene that really did not work for me was Davos giving the resurrection pep talk to Melisandre. Davos, who has made it clear he doesn't trust magic or Melisandre, and who didn't know about Thoros and Beric, asking if by any chance she could bring him back from the dead? That was completely out of character, and lazy writing.
posted by homunculus at 8:37 PM on May 1, 2016 [16 favorites]


The episode was to intense. When they got to the part with Jon Snow it was kind of a let down. So many scenes of holy shit. Jamie and the High Sparrow. Ramsey Bolton kills his dad and then feeds his half brother and step mother to the dogs. Iron born intrigues. Tyrion goes on the dragons den and apparently gets backing for his startup.
posted by humanfont at 8:38 PM on May 1, 2016 [5 favorites]


One of my roommates has never watched the show before this year or read the books, so we're always having to come up with succinct explanations for what's going on. So when she asked what the deal with the kingsmoot is, we told her "well, it's kinda like a contested convention..."
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:41 PM on May 1, 2016 [18 favorites]


Make the Iron Islands great again!
posted by homunculus at 8:42 PM on May 1, 2016 [23 favorites]


Also AUGH did we HAVE to feed a woman and a newborn baby to dogs? Alive? Augh?
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:43 PM on May 1, 2016 [3 favorites]


Make the Iron Islands great again!

Oh god, that's actually a really accurate analogy, isn't it? That dragonhorn is Victarion's wall.
posted by Diablevert at 8:43 PM on May 1, 2016 [4 favorites]


So, ok, I'm sure this has been discussed in the past cause we all knew Jon was coming back, but: MOST of the Night's Watch oath seems to let him off the hook at this point. But not all of it.

Night gathers, and now my watch begins. It shall not end until my death. I shall take no wife, hold no lands, father no children. I shall wear no crowns and win no glory. I shall live and die at my post. I am the sword in the darkness. I am the watcher on the walls. I am the shield that guards the realms of men. I pledge my life and honor to the Night's Watch, for this night and all the nights to come.

The "all the nights to come" part is the iffy bit, right?

(Of course, none of this ACTUALLY matters, except for the fact that stupid Jon Snow has as much of a boner for Doing The Right Thing as his dad did, so it'll presumably matter to HIM.)

Also... wonder if he experienced an afterlife of some kind?
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:49 PM on May 1, 2016 [1 favorite]


I really hope the show doesn't go with the Tyrion-as-secret-Targaryen theory, but it's looking that way.

Also, the Davos pep-talk rang false to me, too; he's never trusted Melisandre's magic, but now all of a sudden he does?

I'm going to miss Roose Bolton's voice. Sigh.
posted by culfinglin at 8:50 PM on May 1, 2016 [3 favorites]


The other scene that struck me as really out of character was Roose Bolton. Roose, of all people, should have seen that coming, or at least been prepared for the possibility.

Also AUGH did we HAVE to feed a woman and a newborn baby to dogs? Alive? Augh?

Well, you know, some people still might not realize that Ramsey isn't a nice boy.
posted by homunculus at 8:51 PM on May 1, 2016 [5 favorites]


Also... wonder if he experienced an afterlife of some kind?

It is season 6. We'll have to wait until the musical episode before Jon lets on that he was actually in heaven.
posted by LionIndex at 8:51 PM on May 1, 2016 [40 favorites]


Next episode is going to be huge. It seems like in seven days we're going to finally get actual confirmation that Lyanna and Rhaegar are Jon's parents, or at least some definitive word on what went down at the Tower of Joy.
posted by Sangermaine at 8:54 PM on May 1, 2016 [4 favorites]


Also AUGH did we HAVE to feed a woman and a newborn baby to dogs? Alive?

Yes.

There was no way Ramsay was going to allow a potential rival Bolton live. There was no question that he was going to kill them. How would you have preferred he did it?
posted by Sangermaine at 8:56 PM on May 1, 2016 [2 favorites]


"Also AUGH did we HAVE to feed a woman and a newborn baby to dogs? Alive? "

It's winter, you don't let good meat go to waste.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:57 PM on May 1, 2016 [6 favorites]


Game of Thrones: Who Is the Three-Eyed Raven? Everything you need to know about Bran’s mysterious new mentor.

I hope the show takes some time to go into Sydow's character's backstory. He's one of the most intriguing characters in the books, imo, and Sydow is too grand an actor to waste.
posted by homunculus at 8:57 PM on May 1, 2016 [4 favorites]


Well, you know, some people still might not realize that Ramsey isn't a nice boy.

Ramsay has to make up for the lack of Joffrey; the show apparently has a quota of cruelty that must be met by contract.
posted by culfinglin at 9:01 PM on May 1, 2016 [3 favorites]


Next episode is going to be huge. It seems like in seven days we're going to finally get actual confirmation that Lyanna and Rhaegar are Jon's parents, or at least some definitive word on what went down at the Tower of Joy.

You think so? Cause I was kinda figuring they'd drag it out until the end of the season.
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:03 PM on May 1, 2016 [2 favorites]


Show Roose is slightly less introspective than Book Roose. The Donella Hornwood incident has not been referenced in show I believe - so Roose knows Ramsey is damaged, but not quite so madly ambitious. Come to think of it I'm not exactly sure Ramsey's previous half brother was mentioned either, which also would color Roose's weariness. Instead, Show Roose seemed to believe Ramsey was solely motivated by his desire to be recognized by his father... oops.

Roose warned Ramsey that acting as a mad dog would make others treat him as such. Well, Roose stabbed a dude under the protection of guest rites, and murdered said dude's wife and child. He definitely seems to have been treated in kind, but I do wish the Northern Conspiracy could have been the ones to take him out - felt overly abrupt, even for this show.
posted by the_querulous_night at 9:03 PM on May 1, 2016 [6 favorites]


That kid at the Tower of Joy

That was Winterfell. Tower of Joy doesn't happen until Ned and Benjen are older.

The one scene that really did not work for me was Davos giving the resurrection pep talk to Melisandre.

Davos is very very smart (recognizes how Important Jon Snow Is) and very very desperate (ditto).
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:19 PM on May 1, 2016 [4 favorites]


also


TOMMEN NO
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:22 PM on May 1, 2016 [3 favorites]


That kid at the Tower of Joy did not look like a young Sean Bean

They were at Winterfell. But I agree that did not look like a young Ned. And I'm a little curious if they're going to keep playing the "let's tease you about how Hodor became Hodor" game.

The other scene that struck me as really out of character was Roose Bolton. Roose, of all people, should have seen that coming, or at least been prepared for the possibility.

For a moment, I had hope that it was Roose who had knifed Ramsay. It did feel really out of character. And it kinda ticks me off to see one of the better villains of the show get taken out that way. Cold, calculated Roose killed by mad dog Ramsay. And gah, did they have to drag out the scene in the kennels? As soon as Ramsay opened the gate and we hear a dog bark, you know what is going to happen. Not sure watching Ramsay open the pens helps any.

I really hope the show doesn't go with the Tyrion-as-secret-Targaryen theory, but it's looking that way

Just because he can be in a room with dragons does not make him a Targ. The Dance of Dragons novella makes it clear that people other than Targs can work with dragons and gain their loyalty.

I hope the show takes some time to go into Sydow's character's backstory. He's one of the most intriguing characters in the books, imo, and Sydow is too grand an actor to waste.

I hope so too. Bloodraven is a fascinating character, and Sydow is so good an actor.

Outside of the Boltons and Davos being the one to drive Melisandre to doing anything (why Davos? Beyond the weirdness of him suddenly wanting Melisandre to do magic, why is Jon Snow so critical to Davos that he would make such a request of the woman who helped to burn Shireen alive? (does Davos know that?)) I thought it was a much tighter episode overall than last week (hey - no Dorne & no nudity!). I knew Jon would open his eyes as soon as he was alone in the room. Curious to see next week how many of his former brothers want to take him down for being a wight.
posted by nubs at 9:22 PM on May 1, 2016 [3 favorites]


why is Jon Snow so critical to Davos that he would make such a request of the woman who helped to burn Shireen alive?

a hundred thousand blue eyed zombies
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:25 PM on May 1, 2016 [17 favorites]


Meant to add - the scene between Bloodraven and Bran called to mind the whole "love is the death of duty" conversation between Jon and Maester Aemon from way back when, in that Bloodraven has to pull Bran away from the visions that make him happy. And interesting to learn that Bran isn't going to stay at Weirwood.net Central.
posted by nubs at 9:25 PM on May 1, 2016 [1 favorite]


why is Jon Snow so critical to Davos that he would make such a request of the woman who helped to burn Shireen alive?

a hundred thousand blue eyed zombies


But why does Davos place importance in Jon Snow for that fight? Maybe I'm not remembering something, but Davos hasn't seen the wights or the Others, and has barely passed a few minutes on screen with a breathing Jon Snow. So where does this come from?
posted by nubs at 9:27 PM on May 1, 2016 [2 favorites]


Note: the preview for next week's episode at the end of this one showed what is clearly the Tower of Joy incident.
posted by LionIndex at 9:28 PM on May 1, 2016 [3 favorites]


(handwave) He recognizes that Snow is literally the only person at the Wall with more than three brain cells. Plus Davos has a Thing about duty and following the rules.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:29 PM on May 1, 2016 [1 favorite]


Nice to see that yes, Euron did in fact kill Balon. I forget how much that was alluded to in the books, if at all, or if it was just convenient timing so it was one of those things that is obvious in retrospect.

As I remember it, in the books Balon was killed by a Faceless Man who, it was implied, was hired by Euron. I think the show removed the middleman to simplify things.
posted by homunculus at 9:34 PM on May 1, 2016 [1 favorite]


I am so happy Max Von Sydow is here. He's so awesome, and so perfect for this show.

Ramsay...wow, the way the knifing was staged, at first I thought it was Roose stabbing him. That would have been brilliant, unexpected, and poignant...Ramsay killed by the only person whose love and approval he ever wanted. And it would have made sense, too, because how could Roose have been completely unaware that Ramsay would see the newborn as a threat? Roose is a pretty smart guy. And he harbors no illusions about Ramsay. For all that the show seems to limber up when free of direction from the books, a number of show-generated plot twists rely on intelligent characters suddenly being extra fucking stupid. This, sadly, was such an instance.

I'm also just really sick of Ramsay, who has lost all nuance and just become Snidely Whiplash this season. The earlier Ramsay seemed more twisted, demented. This Ramsay just seems like a douchebag. He's cartoonishly evil. And much as Joffrey seemed to genuinely love Robert, the one thing that kept Ramsay interesting was his reverence for his father. Was that just a con? I guess it could be, but that makes Ramsay too one-dimensional to even hate. He's boring. Bring on the Night's King.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 9:34 PM on May 1, 2016 [13 favorites]


I think they might have telegraphed Ramsay's end though - he's planning on going to the wall to track down Sansa, figuring Castle Black is only held by the Night's Watch, which he can pretty easily overrun. He doesn't know about the wildling army with their giant.
posted by LionIndex at 9:36 PM on May 1, 2016 [2 favorites]


He doesn't know about the wildling army with their giant.

Oh please let Ramsay find himself on the wrong end of Jon's sword while Sansa watches. It's all I want for Christmas.
posted by culfinglin at 9:38 PM on May 1, 2016 [10 favorites]


(handwave)

Ah. I forget I am supposed to forgive the handwaves of the TV show.

showed what is clearly the Tower of Joy incident.

(shouting, jostling)

Q: Mister President, Wikileaks today released documents that show your office had clear knowledge of the Tower of Joy incident. Any comment?

A: *Unintelligible* - no involvement, no foreknowledge of - (shouting, *unintelligible*) - disavow the actions of any who took part in the incident at the Tower of -

(shouting)
posted by nubs at 9:38 PM on May 1, 2016 [3 favorites]


I can't wait for this Bolton shit to be over with.
posted by curious nu at 9:40 PM on May 1, 2016 [8 favorites]


Ramsay...wow, the way the knifing was staged, at first I thought it was Roose stabbing him.

Me too!

Ah. I forget I am supposed to forgive the handwaves of the TV show.

Davos is literally the only person at the wall other than Jon and Melisandre who is able to actually think about, and plan for, the future. There was no other character to say those things.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:41 PM on May 1, 2016 [2 favorites]


Tower of Joy doesn't happen until Ned and Benjen are older.

The next week on GoT bit looked pretty Joy-full to me, that's the bit I was talking about.

Davos doesn't know Stannis burned Shireen, I don't think. I guess he must know Stannis is dead, since Mel's back in town? Yeah, it's not quite clear why Davos would throw his lot in with Jon's at this point beyond "game recognize game". Davos wasn't at Hardholm or anything. Of course, that sort of goes to the falsity of his Go Get 'Em Tiger chat with Mel; the show is often forced to be economical with characters. Ultimately, I think the answer to "why Davos?" in both these instances is "we need some mofo the audience has a shot at recognizing to deliver these lines, who can we plausibly put at the Wall at this point in the story?" Plus they've cut the whole Manderly plot, so there's nothing for him to do otherwise. They might send him after Rickon in the show as well of course.

Also --- it seems to me that there were some pretty heavy hints that it wasn't just Mel who brought Jon back, no? There were like 4 heavily underlined shots of Ghost alone with the body, twitching and squirming, before Lord Commander Good Hair snapped back.
posted by Diablevert at 9:42 PM on May 1, 2016 [10 favorites]


There were like 4 heavily underlined shots of Ghost alone with the body, twitching and squirming, before Lord Commander Good Hair snapped back.


Am I the only one who thought they were going to have Jon warg into Ghost and come back that way?
posted by culfinglin at 9:43 PM on May 1, 2016 [6 favorites]


Oh yeah those shots of Chekhov's Direwolf may as well have been neon signs.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:44 PM on May 1, 2016 [2 favorites]


I knew Jon would open his eyes as soon as he was alone in the room.

I thought they might have gone with "okay it's time to burn the body. wait he's not burning - he's alive! ...and he's fireproof like Daenerys ;)"
posted by thetruthisjustalie at 9:52 PM on May 1, 2016 [9 favorites]


Once last thing before I knit the raveled sleeve of care --- I think possibly the most satisfying moment in the episode for me was seeing Cersei take a sip of wine. God I love Drunk Cersei. It's all going to hell in King's Landing, but with Drunk Cersei it'll go in style.
posted by Diablevert at 9:53 PM on May 1, 2016 [14 favorites]


"How would you have preferred he did it?"

Off-screen.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:58 PM on May 1, 2016 [13 favorites]


Say, now I'm curious - will the (presumed) confirmation of Jon's parentage really mean much to show-only people? I feel like in general the 'historical' stuff hasn't been as heavily emphasized in the show as it was in the books, and I'm not sure how much anyone will care.
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:58 PM on May 1, 2016


On May 1, on Summerisle, we traditionally burn a virgin male sacrifice to ensure the fecundity of the coming crop.

Apparently, in the North of Westeros, they summon back an otherwise pure child in an effort to stave off the worst effects of winter.
posted by mwhybark at 9:59 PM on May 1, 2016


Jon Snow is not pure in the traditional sense for sacrifices. Ygritte, remember? (They actually dated in real life, broke up, he dated my friend's daughter, then got back together with the actress whose name I don't remember.)
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:01 PM on May 1, 2016 [3 favorites]


Actually, for that matter, what difference will it make at this point if Jon is secretly a Targaryen? We already saw Jon turn down the chance to ditch the Watch for a title. Why should this time be any different? (Arguably he might be technically free from his duty but Jon doesn't seem like the type to rules-lawyer like that.)
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:02 PM on May 1, 2016 [2 favorites]


Say, now I'm curious - will the (presumed) confirmation of Jon's parentage really mean much to show-only people? I feel like in general the 'historical' stuff hasn't been as heavily emphasized in the show as it was in the books, and I'm not sure how much anyone will care.

I think this is why they're doing Bran's time travel scenes, so we will get to know those characters and then care when it is revealed.
posted by thetruthisjustalie at 10:02 PM on May 1, 2016 [5 favorites]


Last night Obama sat through the White House correspondents dinner and didn't breath a word of the epic spoiler he must have known was coming.
posted by humanfont at 10:03 PM on May 1, 2016 [8 favorites]


Ramsay...wow, the way the knifing was staged, at first I thought it was Roose stabbing him.

Me too!


I hoped it was Roose stabbing Ramsay. Then I realized what it was and felt sinking disappointment.

They needed one less sequence in this episode. Maybe the guy getting his face smashed in was unnecessary to the plot. Those could have been minutes with people we care about.
posted by toomanycurls at 10:03 PM on May 1, 2016 [1 favorite]


I think this is why they're doing Bran's time travel scenes, so we will get to know those characters and then care when it is revealed.

That's what I'd assumed, but if the previews did show the Tower of Joy scene, then there won't be any time for that to happen. Unless that's not actually what that scene was? (Or unless they only show the beginning of the fight but not the outcome)
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:03 PM on May 1, 2016


showbiz_liz: Some combination of technically fulfilling his oath, Sansa, and it being dubious to return to leading a group of guys most of whom were directly involved with or willing to overlook your murder would be my guess.
posted by Justinian at 10:04 PM on May 1, 2016


showbiz_liz: Some combination of technically fulfilling his oath, Sansa, and it being dubious to return to leading a group of guys most of whom were directly involved with or willing to overlook your murder would be my guess.

Those just don't seem like better reasons than "take back your ancestral home from an evil dude who murdered your family," though...
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:06 PM on May 1, 2016


That's what I'd assumed, but if the previews did show the Tower of Joy scene, then there won't be any time for that to happen. Unless that's not actually what that scene was? (Or unless they only show the beginning of the fight but not the outcome)

ah, I didn't see the next-week-on-GoT scenes, I prefer to be surprised. I'm hoping they handle it well.
posted by thetruthisjustalie at 10:08 PM on May 1, 2016


I think that the preview definitely showed the battle at Tower of Joy, but I'm guessing next week we just get a little bit of set up and see the battle, it will be weeks yet before they get any big reveal. I'm pretty excited about the flashbacks, even though they are kinda dopey. I wanna see the Battle of the Trident for no particular reason.
posted by skewed at 10:09 PM on May 1, 2016 [2 favorites]


Note: the preview for next week's episode at the end of this one showed what is clearly the Tower of Joy incident.


GET HYPE
posted by Jacqueline at 10:12 PM on May 1, 2016 [5 favorites]


I'm pretty excited about the flashbacks, even though they are kinda dopey.

Aww, I like them! I think they work really well. Although I did enjoy what's-her-face speaking for the audience when she asked "so WHY the fuck are we supposed be be caring about this plotline again?"
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:22 PM on May 1, 2016


So Wylis is a Manderly name... Could Hodor have some connection to the Northern Conspiracy?
posted by Rock Steady at 10:23 PM on May 1, 2016 [3 favorites]


Mr. Corb during previouslies: "SS ABANDONED PLOTLINE HAS COME IN!"
posted by corb at 10:27 PM on May 1, 2016 [8 favorites]


Gendry, captain of the SS Abandoned Plotline.
posted by culfinglin at 10:30 PM on May 1, 2016 [6 favorites]


How many secret Targaryens could there be? I thought Jon Snow being a Targaryen was more than sufficient, and the show heavily insinuated this during the Winterfell tomb scene with Sansa and Littlefinger. I choose to take Tyrion's scene with the dragons at face value. They're smart, they sense that he's friendly, they want out.
posted by xyzzy at 10:32 PM on May 1, 2016 [4 favorites]


How many secret Targaryens could there be?

Yeah, Tyrion the Targaryen is unnecessary and a bridge too far.
posted by thetruthisjustalie at 10:41 PM on May 1, 2016 [2 favorites]


I wonder if S06E03 "Oathbreaker" will have a Mother's Day tie-in like S04E10 "Children" did for Father's Day. :D
posted by Jacqueline at 10:50 PM on May 1, 2016 [1 favorite]


otherwise pure child (me)
...
Jon Snow is not pure in the traditional sense for sacrifices. (f^3m)

correct, and noted in my initial post. "otherwise pure" was intended to directly reference the inversion of this trope.

Rose Leslie.

Wait, her name is in and of itself a spoiler!
posted by mwhybark at 10:51 PM on May 1, 2016


How many secret Targaryens could there be?

The dragon has three heads...
posted by Jacqueline at 10:51 PM on May 1, 2016 [7 favorites]


So Wylis is a Manderly name... Could Hodor have some connection to the Northern Conspiracy?

idk what the hell is up with that, in book canon his real name is Walder, which is a Frey name.
posted by poffin boffin at 10:54 PM on May 1, 2016 [6 favorites]


Another mystery of the Three-Eyed Raven: who cut his hair? Sydow is awfully well-groomed for someone who's been living intertwined in the roots of a tree for several generations.

But then, this show has always taken grooming seriously.
posted by homunculus at 10:55 PM on May 1, 2016 [2 favorites]


Help me remember, where the hell is Littlefinger?
posted by KathrynT at 10:55 PM on May 1, 2016 [1 favorite]


Somewhere in the Vale, probably.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:56 PM on May 1, 2016


Help me remember, where the hell is Littlefinger?

In his secret teleportation chamber, with the Sand Snakes and the Bolton hounds.
posted by homunculus at 10:59 PM on May 1, 2016 [11 favorites]


Davos is literally the only person at the wall other than Jon and Melisandre who is able to actually think about, and plan for, the future. There was no other character to say those things.

They didn't need the lines: they could have just had Ghost whimper at her with sad eyes until she got fed up and said the prayer over Jon's body just to shut him up, and voila!
posted by homunculus at 11:03 PM on May 1, 2016 [5 favorites]


Actually, for that matter, what difference will it make at this point if Jon is secretly a Targaryen?

Well, there are still two dragons without riders...
posted by homunculus at 11:18 PM on May 1, 2016 [4 favorites]


Last thread I made the claim that Bran is never going south of the wall again but the Child here suggests that he's at least going to be leaving that cave. All bets are off there, I guess.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 11:36 PM on May 1, 2016 [1 favorite]


I also love how wistful Hodor Wyllis was about Bran giving him his proper name.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 11:50 PM on May 1, 2016 [1 favorite]


Never said he'd be leaving the cave physically.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:54 PM on May 1, 2016 [1 favorite]


That's true, but I'm not sure what Meera can do for him if he's back plugged into weirwood.net still
posted by vibratory manner of working at 12:02 AM on May 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


She can be his hands.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:05 AM on May 2, 2016


Ramsay just straight up disembowels Roose. Euron just straight up tosses Balon into the sea. This show has lost all subtlety. And what kind of plot pacing is this? Are they just going to kill off secondary characters and heads of houses every single episode until the finale? Why have Jon be revived this early on in the season? Hell, why does Ser Davos fourth wall-pushingly beg Meliasandre to try bringing him back to life instead, I don't know, the king he had been following all this time? (Yes, first they'd have to retrieve Stannis' body and all that, but why would he suddenly get the idea to revive the dead now, and why with Jon, if not by plot fiat?) This is really, really hamfistedly done.
posted by Apocryphon at 12:22 AM on May 2, 2016 [7 favorites]


I mean, yes, Jon Snow is an important figure to the crisis at the Wall, and Davos would know he's important. But why would he think that Melisandre has the ability of resurrection out of nowhere? He might as well ask her, apropos of nothing, to use a teleportation spell so they didn't have to be there. A practical man like Davos recognizes miracles, but he wouldn't ask for one he's never seen before. He would be more likely trying to figure out a post-Jon agreement or an evacuation than trying to bring the dead back to life.
posted by Apocryphon at 12:38 AM on May 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


So Davos suddenly trusts -and welcomes! - the blood magic that got his king killed? Right. And he's Melisandre's biggest cheerleader? Sure.

Also, how clueless do you think the audience is? The moment Ramsey called for Walda and the baby we knew they were dead. Imply the kennels if you want to keep up his status as deranged supervillain and move along. I have an eight week old baby boy, fuck you GoT for the cheap shots.
posted by lydhre at 2:29 AM on May 2, 2016 [11 favorites]


Ramsay just straight up disembowels Roose. Euron just straight up tosses Balon into the sea. This show has lost all subtlety

What has happened to the nice subtle beheadings and cut throats and wolf heads sewn onto the headless corpses!
posted by Justinian at 3:07 AM on May 2, 2016 [20 favorites]


Also... the Balon thing is directly out of the text. If they changed it people would be screaming bloody murder about that.
posted by Justinian at 3:10 AM on May 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


Although the text implies it was a Faceless Man (presumably acting on Euron's orders). Could have been cool to see that, but it's a minor point really. And given that we probably don't want five episodes of Kingsmoot backstory, probably just better to cut to the chase and make it obvious what has happened.

Bit surprised that Jon came back so early in the season, and, like others, that Davos was the one who convinced Mel. I mean, last week she's saying that she saw Jon in Winterfell - so surely she can work out that she might be able to resurrect him?

Loved that episode overall though. So much better than last week, so much happening. Weirwood.net at last. Do we think we might get the Tourney at Harrenhall at some point, as well as ToJ?
posted by Pink Frost at 3:41 AM on May 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


I mean, yes, Jon Snow is an important figure to the crisis at the Wall, and Davos would know he's important. But why would he think that Melisandre has the ability of resurrection out of nowhere? He might as well ask her, apropos of nothing, to use a teleportation spell so they didn't have to be there. A practical man like Davos recognizes miracles, but he wouldn't ask for one he's never seen before.

He first asked her if it was possible and when she mentioned another priest doing it, then he badgered her to at least try. Davos wants Jon alive because he's an obviously smart leader, who managed to make the Wildings into allies and has an actual plan to save people. Plus Jon actually listened to Davos in terms of "serving the realms of men" and all that.

Meanwhile, Stannis has been fooling around with magic to get further his own ends, ignoring a clearly bad tactical situation and now he's dead and no one knows where his body is. Jon's pretty much a last hope for Davos, so why not ask for a miracle. He's had all day to think about it.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:47 AM on May 2, 2016 [4 favorites]


Plus Stannis got Shireen killed. Davos may not know the exact manner, but he knows that Stannis defied all conventional wisdom for no real reason and got that bundle of pure joy erased from the Earth. He may suspect what happened, but I'm guessing he pointedly didn't ask because he doesn't want to exactly know how she died.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:56 AM on May 2, 2016 [3 favorites]


I assume Davos thought to ask because he'd hear murmurings about what Thoros of Myr did from whatever Stannis had that passed for a network of spies.
posted by Alluring Mouthbreather at 5:01 AM on May 2, 2016


Oh please let Ramsay find himself on the wrong end of Jon's sword while Sansa watches. It's all I want for Christmas.

Oh please let Ramsay find himself on the wrong end of Sansa's sword while Arya watches. It's all I want from life!
posted by runincircles at 5:14 AM on May 2, 2016 [21 favorites]


I hope the Greyjoys and Martells continue to die at an accelerating rate until they are all dead and we can move on with characters we care about.
posted by Justinian at 5:19 AM on May 2, 2016 [5 favorites]


My sister made the comment that the second and third episodes of every season are routinely much much better than the premier. I have to agree. This was a solid episode and as was mentioned above, the Jon Snow felt underwhelming.

I was more blown away by everything that was happening with the Iron Islands and that tense sequence with Tyrion and the dragons. That was beautifully shot. My favourite bit being the bit where dragon #2 is all jealous after dragon #1 has his chain removed and is all: “Oooh ooh ooh me me, my turn.”
posted by Fizz at 5:22 AM on May 2, 2016 [5 favorites]


Overall, I liked the episode. With Roose's wife, I think it would have been more effective if Ramsey would have told the Maester to send everyone a raven mentioning that she died from giving birth.
posted by drezdn at 5:25 AM on May 2, 2016 [11 favorites]


My favourite bit being the bit where dragon #2 is all jealous after dragon #1 has his chain removed and is all: “Oooh ooh ooh me me, my turn.”

That was fucking adorable. Like yeah, "I'm a fire breathing winged creature of death, but I saw what you did for my bro, so who about a little love this way? Come on, man, ain't I cute too?"
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:36 AM on May 2, 2016 [12 favorites]


My favourite bit being the bit where dragon #2 is all jealous after dragon #1 has his chain removed and is all: “Oooh ooh ooh me me, my turn.”

I think it was also intended to show how smart the dragons are. They are not mindless destruction machines, and I think the expression on his face suggested Tyrion realizes this.
posted by Rock Steady at 5:41 AM on May 2, 2016 [14 favorites]


I think it was also intended to show how smart the dragons are.

Absolutely. If anything, it's the humans in this show that have proven themselves stupid, as evidenced by Tyrion's response to Varys after that sequence: “If I ever decide to do something like that again, punch me in the face.”

:D
posted by Fizz at 5:48 AM on May 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


The secret Targ Tyrion theory has always rung false to me. It just doesn't make any dramatic sense, from a plotting perspective. Having him not be Tywin's biological son robs their relationship (and its resolution) of the tragic heft that it's supposed to have, not to mention his relationships with his siblings. I took the dragon scene at face value too, and I thought it was set up pretty explicitly in the previous scene where he says it's his "job to know things." He's displayed intelligence and cunning throughout the whole story, so it makes sense that a combination of his research intelligence and natural cunning would allow him to figure out how to deal with the dragons in that way.
posted by Kosh at 5:48 AM on May 2, 2016 [13 favorites]


I kept hoping that they would have Jon Snow's first sign of life be an erection and all his men would be standing around awkwardly while Melisandre just has a small smirk that silently says "I told you there would be side effects"
posted by srboisvert at 5:50 AM on May 2, 2016 [15 favorites]


Jaime and the High Sparrow #FeeltheBern

I had a moment where I thought Yara might follow Balon out and be the one to toss him; it would have been a good change, rather than introducing another character into a long-neglected/abandoned plotline. So is Theon going to pop up at the Kingsmoot?

Also, note that yesterday was Easter Sunday on the Orthodox Christian calendar.
posted by nubs at 5:51 AM on May 2, 2016 [5 favorites]


Also, was Aeron the priest administering Balon's funeral? I can't remember if he's even been introduced in the show or not.
posted by Kosh at 5:54 AM on May 2, 2016


I think it was supposed to be Damphair, but they didn't call it out specifically, which is fine. Generic priest of the old tradition works fine for the story now.
posted by nubs at 6:04 AM on May 2, 2016 [3 favorites]


At least we didn't get clunky expositional dialogue. "Yara, as your uncle..."
posted by Alluring Mouthbreather at 6:10 AM on May 2, 2016 [4 favorites]


Help me remember, where the hell is Littlefinger?

I believe last we saw he was at Kings Landing cleaning up his brothel that had been tossed by the puritans and giving and receiving veiled threats like always.
posted by srboisvert at 6:12 AM on May 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


The one thing I thought was clunky was "send out Ravens saying Roose Bolton has been murdered, and send for Walda, who somehow doesn't get told about the death even though Ramsay didn't say keep it quiet and the maester has sympathy for her."
posted by corb at 6:28 AM on May 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


Something I just thought of...

If Ramsay and 20 "good men" can cripple an army of thousands, and Brienne took down 6 of Ramsay's "best men" single handedly (well, let's call it 4 since Pod and Theon each got a kill), then is Brienne worth several hundred regular soldiers?
posted by codacorolla at 6:53 AM on May 2, 2016 [12 favorites]


As others have argued, the Jon Snow resurrection was so clunky and subordinate to forced plotting that it lacked all emotional heft and was incoherent from a character perspective. Having Davos be the one to suggest bringing him back to life was the worst part.

Wouldn't it have made more narrative and character sense for Mellisandre to decide to try to resurrect him based on what she saw Thoros of Myr do? And they even could have used the reveal that she is super old by incorporating her removing her glamour to do so - as if she has to use a lot of her power to maintain her youthful look and by relieving herself of that burden she has the extra magical power to resurrect.

I also did not need more visceral proof that Ramsey is a terrible monster. Having him feed a newborn baby to the dogs was gratuitous in a way that revealed nothing new about his character and just further forced the viewer to wallow in his depravity. As a narrative element, the suggestion above to have Ramsey instruct the maester that the mother and child died in childbirth is so much more elegant and accomplishes the same narrative purpose.
posted by Falconetti at 7:03 AM on May 2, 2016 [6 favorites]


Anyway, I agree with Falconetti: apart from the truly bizarre and rushed nature of having Davos be Jon Snow's savior, I don't understand why it couldn't just be Mel. Davos knows nothing of (and actively hates) magic, and has no reason to suspect that resurrection is a possibility in the R'Hollor religion. Mel would know both of these things. Why not have her go to Davos with the idea, with Davos resisting at first, and then her convincing him to let her try. That makes way more sense with both characters' respective arcs. Also, there's a lot of season left, but what exactly was the purpose of the necklace reveal if not to set up something for Jon's inevitable resurrection?

I also legitimately can't remember if Davos knows about Shireen, and if he understands Mel's level of complicity in frying her.

Anyway, the resurrection and Bolton stuff aside, I thought this episode was an improvement over 1. The Tyrion scene was well done, the Kingsmoot plot has the potential to be interesting if they change it enough from the books, and the King's Landing stuff was all well done.

In terms of stuff that we haven't gotten from the book yet:
Sam and Gilly - I'm looking forward to this. Maester-land has the potential to be really awesome.
The Plague in Esteros - This was all wrapped up in Tyrion being a merc, but we're definitely well past that. It was still a cool part of that story, though.
Jon-Con and Yung Grif - Good riddance. I hope it doesn't come back.
The Manderly Revenge Plot - I definitely miss this, and it seems less and less likely we're going to get it. Instead Ramsay has just taken a huge, watery shit over all of the Northern lords stuff, and is apparently simply in charge.
Lady Stoneheart - I always thought she was a cool character, but I don't really see how she fits in if Brienne and Sansa are simply going to meet up with Jon. She's in the Riverlands, which we haven't seen for quite a while. I also like the Brotherhood, but once again, that's ancient history.
posted by codacorolla at 7:28 AM on May 2, 2016 [3 favorites]


Walda was tired from childbirth, but imagine if she had fought back against the hounds with the force of a mother protecting her newborn, and clocked Ramsay a good one. Of course, she then getting ripped apart afterward would still be bad, but at least it'd show some agency. Someone commented that they didn't show Brienne and Pod stomping on the hounds last episode because audiences wouldn't be able to handle animal abuse. Yet- how is depicting a woman and child getting devoured by those same dogs any better???

Also as great and sympathetic as Davos is, it would have been nice if Melisandre didn't have to be empowered through his coaxing, and just tried to bring back Jon herself.

Finally, the Red Wedding, as blatant as it was, was an intricate conspiracy involving multiple parties and infamous for its taboo-breaking treachery. Between the kinslaying in this episode, and the Sand Stakes straight up launching a coup uncontested, there's no room for texture anymore. Why bother with plotting with any psychopath member of a house can just assassinate their house leader, often in full view of witnesses? Even the death of Jon Snow, now robbed of its resonance when you realize in-show he's been dead for days, was seen as an act of great betrayal. What, just because the show portrays Doran as boring, no one cares if he gets overthrown?

Also, with how weak Balon looks on the show, right up to his end of being thrown off a bridge by one other regular-sized dude, it's a wonder why anyone bothered listening to him as king all these seasons.
posted by Apocryphon at 7:41 AM on May 2, 2016 [12 favorites]


Davos may not have been told about Shireen, but of course he knows about Shireen. He knew the lengths Stannis would go to, knew how het up Melisandre is about king's blood, and has already seen her burn a bunch of folks to earn favor with her God. He'd already convinced Gendry to go on his voyage of infinite rowing to avoid being burned, and he was desperately trying to get Stannis to leave Shireen behind when he marched for Winterfell. Dude knows what's up.
posted by LionIndex at 7:50 AM on May 2, 2016 [6 favorites]


Someone commented that they didn't show Brienne and Pod stomping on the hounds last episode because audiences wouldn't be able to handle animal abuse. Yet- how is depicting a woman and child getting devoured by those same dogs any better???

That was me! What I was talking about how it's a crazy Hollywood double standard. I had my 3 week old son sleeping in my arms during that scene, I was super grossed out... but I'm not going to write to HBO. People really do write letters and start petitions over dogs being harmed in media. They really do that. So dogs are rarely treated poorly due to backlash.

Overall I've never understood D&D's crush on Ramsay. He's such a useless villain because he can't surprise me, he can't scare me or startle me. He's gross but that's about it. He couldn't be more of a cartoon if he started tying people to train tracks with "TNT" strapped to their chest. I don't care how he dies, I don't care if he dies I just want him on screen less.

I miss Tywin/Charles Dance so much.
posted by French Fry at 8:02 AM on May 2, 2016 [12 favorites]


So Wylis is a Manderly name... Could Hodor have some connection to the Northern Conspiracy?

idk what the hell is up with that, in book canon his real name is Walder, which is a Frey name.


I didn't remember that from the books, and it makes it even more intriguing to me. It's possible that they just switched his name from Walder as it was too similar to other Frey names (like they did with Asha/Yara), but I am now increasingly intrigued with the idea of a secret Manderly (+/- other Northern Houses) plot to support Jon (or possibly Rickon) as King in the North. In the books, it's been theorized that information about the surviving Stark children has been passed around to the Mormonts, Glovers, Manderlys, etc. through some combination of Tom o'Sevens/Lady Stoneheart/Brotherhood without Banners, but perhaps in the show it is going to get to them from Bran and weirwood.net via a smarter-than-he-hodors Wylis "Hodor" Manderly. They've gone to some trouble to squeeze him into that flashback and give him a first name, and I have to imagine it means something.

I also suspect Young Hodor will be one of Eddard Stark's companions at the Tower of Joy...
posted by Rock Steady at 8:05 AM on May 2, 2016 [4 favorites]


Overall I've never understood D&D's crush on Ramsay.

They LOVE Ramsay, they love him more than any other character, because Ramsay's very existence allows them to do whatever sick creepy gross non-canon-compliant thing they feel like doing for sicko porn reasons. Raping Sansa as soon as the actress turns 18? Eating babies? Ramsay can do it!
posted by poffin boffin at 8:16 AM on May 2, 2016 [26 favorites]


The one scene that really did not work for me was Davos giving the resurrection pep talk to Melisandre. Davos, who has made it clear he doesn't trust magic or Melisandre

Davos: I assume you know why I'm here.
Melisandre: I will after you tell me.
Davos: It's about the Lord Commander.
Melisandre: The former Lord Commander.
Davos: Does he have to be?
Melisandre: What are you asking?
Davos: Do you know of any magic... that could help him? Bring him back?
Melisandre: If you want to help him, leave him be.
Davos: Can it be done?
Melisandre: There are some with this power.
Davos: How?
Melisandre: I don't know.
Davos: Have you seen it done?
Melisandre: I met a man who came back from the dead, but the priest who did it-- it shouldn't have been possible.
Davos: But it was. It could be now.
Melisandre: Not for me.
Davos: Not for you? I saw you drink poison that should have killed you. I saw you give birth to a demon made of shadows.
Melisandre: Everything I believed, the great victory I saw in the flames, all of it was a lie. You were right all along. The Lord never spoke to me.
Davos: F*ck him, then. F*ck all of them. I'm not a devout man, obviously. Seven gods, drowned gods, tree gods, it's all the same. I'm not asking the Lord of Light for help. I'm asking the woman who showed me that miracles exist.
Melisandre: I never had this gift.
Davos: Have you ever tried?

My summary: Davos is desperate - sure, the wildlings saved him and those who he stood with in defiance of Thorne, but I can assume he realizes he's still in a tough spot. Jon was the one who unified the (semi) trained Night's Watch and the numerous and diverse wildlings, and any such truce is not likely to hold without someone like Jon. And Davos has seen Mel cheat death (drinking poison) and create a life of sorts (shadow demon), so why couldn't she bring back the dead? It's worth asking.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:16 AM on May 2, 2016 [7 favorites]


nubs: Jaime and the High Sparrow #FeeltheBern

High Sparrow is too soft-spoken, and his hair is too tame. And though he's all about the 99%, he's happy to have them armed and threatening behind him when he confronts royalty. #CousinOfTheBern
posted by filthy light thief at 8:23 AM on May 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


it's the humans in this show that have proven themselves stupid, as evidenced by Tyrion's response to Varys after that sequence: “If I ever decide to do something like that again, punch me in the face.”

Hated that line, it reminded me of the Cowardly Lion saying "Just one thing I want you to do... talk me out of it." My husband and I were all "whaaaa screenwriters?? you have two of the smartest funniest people on the show, both well aware of the significance of what just happened, EITHER ONE of whom could have delivered a fantastic line at that moment, and 'punch me in the face' is what you come up with?" What a waste!

BUT in any case the sequence with Tyrion and the dragons was so amazing and so consequential, I'll forgive it. A great, great revelation/confirmation for book-readers--that Tyrion like Daenerys can be a dragon-rider.

Also it was amusing (to me at least) that the tension in that scene was perhaps highlighted for book-readers because Tyrion walked in the steps of Quentyn, who in the books experienced a different outcome. Q thought that a bit of Targ blood in his veins would protect him from dragons and it turned out he was wrong. It could still be that Targ blood is a necessary but not sufficient component of dragon-whispering, but I seriously doubt it as far as Tyrion is concerned. For one thing, that would weight the scale too much in favor of Targaryens in terms of some kind of magical blood-right to the throne, and that's not what GoT is about.
posted by torticat at 8:29 AM on May 2, 2016 [10 favorites]


kittens for breakfast: how could Roose have been completely unaware that Ramsay would see the newborn as a threat?

It's pretty clear he (should) understand in S05E05, but he may have some actual affection for his bastard son (it's another brutal scene in terms of scripting, talking about how Ramsay was conceived after Ramsay repeatedly insulted Lady Walda). Still, I can see Ramsay waiting to hear something like "You'll always be my firstborn," so he can know that his father held him with some regard before killing him.

But this would also stress his relationship with the Freys, as they're one to remember slights and act upon them with excessive force. Roose, Walda and the newborn son die on the same day/ in the same time period? Ramsay has a hell of a story to concoct, and he has to hope his fear and intimidation silences enough tongues to keep even rumors of any ill-deeds from spreading to the Freys.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:45 AM on May 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


torticat: the sequence with Tyrion and the dragons was so amazing and so consequential

In contrast: Hello Hello Dinosaur, the musical number! (On the blue)
posted by filthy light thief at 8:46 AM on May 2, 2016


As others have argued, the Jon Snow resurrection was so clunky and subordinate to forced plotting that it lacked all emotional heft and was incoherent from a character perspective. Having Davos be the one to suggest bringing him back to life was the worst part.

YUP. I actually paused the show to ask "wait, WHY does Ser Davos have so much faith in Jon Snow?" Some suggestions have been offered upthread, but honestly I think this is a huge enough plot point that the motivation should have been developed on the show. For that, and for why he would turn to Mel. Yes, Davos had seen her do magic before, but it was always toward the end of death, and he had always found it abhorrent. Why wouldn't he worry that she might turn Jon into a shadow monster or a wight or some other terrible thing?

And the resurrection was so anticlimactic. Mel--"Well, raising the dead was never my forte, but I could TRY washing the body and saying a spell, I guess." WTF?

Also, since it appears the nude crone last week really was only for the purpose of showing that Mel is old, let me just say UGH. Not that there is anything inherently wrong with that scene or how it was done--but the GoT crowd is not the audience for it, as demonstrated by the general reaction. And D&D know their market, they're not stupid. I wish they'd grow up.

That's all my complaints I guess. It was a decent episode, for Tyrion and the dragons alone if nothing else. And for Brienne and Sansa, getting to know each other!
posted by torticat at 8:47 AM on May 2, 2016 [3 favorites]


Apocryphon: Why bother with plotting with any psychopath member of a house can just assassinate their house leader, often in full view of witnesses?

French Fry: I miss Tywin/Charles Dance so much.

I've seen the occasional argument advanced that what is happening (in both books and show) is the complete breakdown of Westeros society. That it was bad before, with the Lords playing their game of thrones, but with the passing of that last generation - Ned, Robert, Tywin, etc., that the old formalities and rules of the game are gone, with the new generation seeing no need for them, and the desire for power trumping all obligations and oaths. The veneer of civilization that was worn has been stripped away, replaced by naked might as the only important thing. Westeros has gone from having some varying level of noblesse oblige to having nothing of the sort.

In part, of course, that is because of the actions of these men. Tywin orchestrated the Red Wedding, making a mockery of guest right. Robert and Ned rose in rebellion against the Iron Throne and took it by force. The history of Westeros is that the right of rulership derives from strength, going back well before the Conquest. I would say we're seeing a return to that in its most naked form, alongside the fact that there are some pretty problematic/conflicted issues in the feudalistic nature of the governance structure itself, which get touched on repeatedly in the series.

But, to me, one of the core things the series has asked repeatedly, is what does it mean to rule? And we've examined that through rulers who are unprepared or unsuited in a myriad of ways. Tywin was perhaps the "best" ruler for the system of the Seven Kingdoms. Now we are seeing the result of an ongoing sequence of rulers at all levels who are inadequate, and the result is the return to rule via force and fear, rather than loyalty and obligation. I kinda wish that question of rulership/leadership was as central now as it was in S2 or even last year, with Dany, but maybe they will return to it. And maybe what Westeros needs is a descent into chaos so when a strongman (or woman) shows up and points in the direction of the White Walkers, everyone just falls in line.
posted by nubs at 8:51 AM on May 2, 2016 [14 favorites]


Also, since it appears the nude crone last week really was only for the purpose of showing that Mel is old, let me just say UGH

I disagree - given Mel's state when Davos goes to talk with her, it just reinforced for me that last week was about showing us how Mel had lost her illusions/faith that she knew what was going on (It could have been done without showing her naked.) I would rather that her faith was restored by her seeing something in the flames or getting some level of divine push.
posted by nubs at 8:56 AM on May 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


Are they just going to kill off secondary characters and heads of houses every single episode until the finale?

Yes please? The books suffered from an extreme overabundance of secondary characters, and the show has also, to an extent. Line 'em up against a wall and kill 'em off please.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:58 AM on May 2, 2016 [4 favorites]


No, I want new characters. Give us Manderly and Strong Belwas and Lord Connington and Young Griff and Patchface and Arianne and Val, please. This show needs fresh blood. It must have blood.

I don't think having a lot of characters is a problem. Having too many storylines is more disorienting. If the show was divided between three, four locations max, having concentrated numbers of characters would be okay.

Also, if Davos knew that Melisandre had power over life and death all along, why didn't he ask her to bring back the lives of other important people, like all the dead soldiers in their armies so they could actually stand a chance in the wars. I'm just saying its a really weird Hail Meli move out of nowhere.
posted by Apocryphon at 9:06 AM on May 2, 2016 [5 favorites]


I think one thing that would redeem that Walda scene for me is - the last thing we see Walda do is attempt to fall while covering her baby with herself. She is known as "Fat Walda", they have played up that she has a lot of bulk. What if her covering the baby allows it to survive? In the books at least if not in the show? And this thing that everyone has been making mock of turns out to be what lets her save her child, the hounds being sated on her, Ramsay assuming the hounds will finish the job, and the maester sneaks out the boy?
posted by corb at 9:07 AM on May 2, 2016 [13 favorites]


u know there's never gonna be another book COME ON

although on the hilariously slim chance that there is would that technically make it fanfic of the show? oh my god
posted by poffin boffin at 9:09 AM on May 2, 2016 [8 favorites]


Wouldn't it have made more narrative and character sense for Mellisandre to decide to try to resurrect him based on what she saw Thoros of Myr do? And they even could have used the reveal that she is super old by incorporating her removing her glamour to do so - as if she has to use a lot of her power to maintain her youthful look and by relieving herself of that burden she has the extra magical power to resurrect.

I like this idea, but the one thing you would lose in that situation is Mel's crisis of faith. If Mel just turns around after Stannis' defeat and tries to bring Jon back on her own initiative, it would suggest that on some level she does still believe in her visions and her red god, that she sees her faith as being tested rather than truly ceasing to believe. And for some reason Mel genuinely losing faith in the red god seems important to the showrunners; they mention it specifically in the little interview-y bit at the end of the episode. The point of showing her naked and old is to suggest weakness and vulnerability, that she finally lacks the strength to maintain her struggle, something she's been working toward for (apparently) decades if not centuries. If Mel loses faith in the Red God, that potentially changes her relationship to a resurrected Jon Snow going forward, and that may be important to the plot. Or it may not, we've seen them drop the ball on stuff before. But it seems to me that they may well be making an intentional choice here, fudging Davos' motives a bit in order to preserve the arc they intend for Mel.

Which I'm gad of at least for at least one reason --- I really enjoyed seeing Carice Van Houton get to play vulnerable and uncertain rather than watching her ring the changes again between seductive, zealous, imperious and smug.

This show has lost all subtlety. And what kind of plot pacing is this? Are they just going to kill off secondary characters and heads of houses every single episode until the finale?

I honestly think the answer to this may be yes. They have approximately 18-22 hours of TV to overthrow all the current rulers in the seven kingdoms, reunite the North under the Starks, get Dany an army, a fleet, and an express ticket to King's Landing, and Guilder to blame for itthen commence Ragnarok. What's more, unlike GRRM, they are actually planning to finish this rather than spending three damn books with one of their main characters replaying the tutorial level of How To Be Queen. As far as I can tell, the War of the Five Kings which has taken up the bulk of the show was meant to be Act I. We're like halfway through Act II, and whether it's three acts or four total it seems like things are going to be happening on pretty compressed timeline from here on out.
posted by Diablevert at 9:10 AM on May 2, 2016 [4 favorites]


The point of showing her naked and old is to suggest weakness and vulnerability

The point of showing her naked and old was to show her naked and young first. If it were network tv it would've been done shoulders up to the same effect because she has such an expressive face.
posted by poffin boffin at 9:15 AM on May 2, 2016 [11 favorites]


now that the pins of book-adherence have been removed from the shackles of narrative restraint, one senses that the writers are a bit frantic in their hunger to feed upon the sheep of plot advancement

I hope Jon stays dead in the books
posted by prize bull octorok at 9:24 AM on May 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


Kind of a Sherlock roundabout in there:

Thinks dwarf jokes

"Punch me in the face."

I always hear punch me in the face but it's usually subtext.
posted by tilde at 9:34 AM on May 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


Eating babies? Ramsay can do it!

Worst Business Card Ever.
posted by Fizz at 10:20 AM on May 2, 2016 [6 favorites]


oh and Tommen's scene with Cersei was like when they do those profiles of voters on NPR and you hear some out-of-work machinist talking plaintively but with humor and wisdom about the difficulties they're facing in life and how they've attained some hard-won self-awareness about what they need to do to get themselves back on track and then they pivot right into "and so I've decided to support Donald Trump"
posted by prize bull octorok at 10:26 AM on May 2, 2016 [8 favorites]


My pet theory: Melisandre, never having done a reanimation before, botched the wording. Instead of grabbing Jon's spirit from Ghost's body, she grabbed Ghost's instead. Wacky body-swapped hijinks ensue for the remainder of the season!
posted by bassooner at 10:29 AM on May 2, 2016 [13 favorites]


Eating babies? Ramsay can do it!

I'm going to nerd so hard, but I hear this in the voice of Whisper from the new Kings Quest. Anyone with me?
posted by corb at 10:33 AM on May 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


I didn't trust GRRM to make a resurrected hero dude plot not lame and I sure as hell don't trust D&D but if he's horrifically broken from having been dead for several days a la Lady Stoneheart or he's got a wolf brain maybe -- just MAYBE -- it'll be cool. But if it's 'everything's ok now, Jon can become a Real Stark and fight the Others and ride a dragon yay' then that's lame af and I hope the Night's King wins
posted by prize bull octorok at 10:36 AM on May 2, 2016 [6 favorites]


So, the current succession crisis situation because sometimes I look at things from a Crusader Kings standpoint:

Iron Throne: King Tommen. No heir of his body. All other branches of Baratheon family tree dead. Potential other claimants: Daenerys Targaryen.
The North: Ramsay Bolton. No heir of his body. Potential other claimants: Bran Stark. Rickon Stark. Sansa Stark. Arya Stark. Jon Snow.
The Riverlands: Lord Walder Frey. Many, many heirs of his body. Potential other claimants: Edmure Tully, last seen at the Red Wedding.
The Vale: Lord Robyn Arryn. No heir of his body. Weak, sickly child.
The Stormlands: Unknown. Baratheon family deceased.
The Westerlands: Cersei Lannister, Dowager Queen and Regent. Potential other claimants: Kevan Lannister.
The Reach: Lord Mace Tyrell. Heir currently imprisoned by the Faith.
Dorne: Unknown. Martell family deceased.
posted by nubs at 10:42 AM on May 2, 2016 [10 favorites]


I didn't trust GRRM to make a resurrected hero dude plot not lame and I sure as hell don't trust D&D but if he's horrifically broken from having been dead for several days

Every other example of resurrection magic has resulted in the character being broken in some way - Ser Beric had horribly fragmented memories and was kind of begging Thoros to stop with it, already. Stoneheart is a creature without compassion, bent only on vengeance. I expect Jon will be changed in some way; but how much is open to question.

I would expect that there is going to be some playing of expectations with regards to Jon's future from here - I don't think the story as told will lend itself to a "Jon discovers he's a TarStark, rides a dragon, saves the world, becomes King" because the hidden prince who makes everything right is a pretty well-worn trope at this point, and in general the series has set those up only to break them. But I don't know how it is going to be mucked with.
posted by nubs at 10:48 AM on May 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


I had to check that this was a Books-only thread, but: Dorne has an heir who is very much alive in the books, and I think she's going to be brought out - Arianne. I think that's precisely the twist that is inherent in "No more weak men" - they've eliminated the male claimants, and now Arianne can rule.

ACTUALLY ZOMFG NEW CRACK THEORY

I know that in the books Arianne is maybe destined for Aegon Targaryen - what if actually the Aegon she is meant to marry is not the Aegon out of Elia, but the Aegon out of Lyanna, now called "Jon"?

That would be a HUGE FUCKING WAY to subvert expectations - Jon instead of going to join Dany, teams up with Dorne.
posted by corb at 10:51 AM on May 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


Potential other claimants: Kevan Lannister.

RIP. Intrigue is only fun when you have mature-minded folk conducting it, and not just blatantly stabbing people from the front. So now you've made a desert of an empire and called it denouement. If all that's left are sellswords and bloody Boltons and barbaric Ironborn and snow ghouls fighting it out, we have none of the fiendish plots and intrigue that made this series so compelling.

I know that in the books Arianne is maybe destined for Aegon Targaryen - what if actually the Aegon she is meant to marry is not the Aegon out of Elia, but the Aegon out of Lyanna, now called "Jon"?

I think people here would really enjoy this fanfiction, and not just because it considers a Stark-Martell pairing for the sake of Ice and Fire.
posted by Apocryphon at 10:53 AM on May 2, 2016



Potential other claimants: Kevan Lannister.

RIP.


Kevan is deceased in the books, but still alive in the show as Varys wasn't in KL to crossbow him.
posted by nubs at 10:55 AM on May 2, 2016


As far as the Iron Throne, based on last night's episode and GRRM's affinity for English crises of succession, I'd think they're setting the High Sparrow up in some sort of Oliver Cromwell role.
posted by LionIndex at 10:55 AM on May 2, 2016 [6 favorites]


Yeah but Varys will probably just get a different little bird to do it. Or a sparrow will do it instead. In broad daylight. In the Great Sept. While everyone watches wordlessly and nothing happens. And there's no repercussion for the assassin or his party at all.

I'd think they're setting the High Sparrow up in some sort of Oliver Cromwell role.

Okay that would be legit cool but the worldbuilding on this show in this past couple of seasons has been really lacking so most show viewers have no idea what the Sparrows are about besides "basically ISIS." Which they sort of are, but it seems like they're only interested in purging and maintaining order over the decadent and cruel overclass, and they're probably not bad to the smallfolk. Not to mention their rise in power was sort of clever, utilizing the power of religion as a buttress against the ravages of the wars of the aristocracy. None of this is depicted or explained, all we get are images of austere zealots and the High Sparrow rambling.
posted by Apocryphon at 10:59 AM on May 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


The Stormlands: Unknown. Baratheon family deceased.

Presumably it's Tommen's unless/until he assigns a warden.
posted by Rock Steady at 11:00 AM on May 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


The warden of the Stormlands is Ser Pounce, into whom Tommen occasionally wargs
posted by prize bull octorok at 11:04 AM on May 2, 2016 [11 favorites]


While everyone watches wordlessly and nothing happens. And there's no repercussion for the assassin or his party at all.

Game of Thrones has made us all silent witnesses to atrocity. Including the extras.

Okay that would be legit cool but the worldbuilding on this show in this past couple of seasons has been really lacking so most show viewers have no idea what the Sparrows are about besides "basically ISIS." Which they sort of are, but it seems like they're only interested in purging and maintaining order over the decadent and cruel overclass, and they're probably not bad to the smallfolk

The show hasn't delved into the impact of the war on the smallfolk as much as the books did (cf. Brienne's misery tour), which made the rise of the Sparrows and the Faith Militant more interesting, politically. They grow out of the direct neglect of the noble Houses towards the commons, and come to be a incredible symbol of not just radical religious belief, but of how the social order continues to break down.
posted by nubs at 11:06 AM on May 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


Presumably it's Tommen's unless/until he assigns a warden.

Yeah, but in CK II, liege lords hanging onto too many titles tends to provoke some heavy negative opinion modifiers.
posted by nubs at 11:08 AM on May 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


It's not that GoT depicts atrocity, it's that in the last two seasons especially (post-Red Wedding, or maybe post-Red Viper in general) it's been doing it in a sort of excessive way that's just desensitizing. This episode highlights two kinds of it- Roose, a fairly significant character, getting killed out in the open by an assassin who is unchallenged by the witnesses because hey might is right, right? (And ditto with Balon- how suspicious is it that his long lost brother appears at the time of his death?) Which I guess in this context does sort of work because going by the earlier points about how the story is now about the disintegration of a society. And yes, Ramsay or Euron really are hothead vicious murderers who kill from the front. But it still seems so artless compared to how assassinations were done earlier on. It removes the threat and power of figures in authority, and lowers the stakes. And it's not just a matter of violence- Oberyn being removed from play by the Mountain was very bloody, but there was a pretty ingenious setup that got us to there.

The other kind is Walda and her newborn getting torn apart, which is just cruel and senseless much like Shireen's death in the last season. At this point it feels like the show is just inventing cruel and unusual punishment against the most innocent of characters, in a way that we're already numb to.

Note, maybe I'm just being overly critical because at least prior surprise deaths and brutal atrocities in the show were at least justified as "being from the books." Now that book guidance is slipping, it makes it a lot easier to blame D&D for being sensationalist shock jocks. But I still think character deaths should be handled with a little ingenuity, and restraint.
posted by Apocryphon at 11:21 AM on May 2, 2016 [9 favorites]


On the Balon murder; I wish we'd seen a Faceless Man doing the assassinating there, to give some credence to how badass that order's supposed to be. It's been a very long time since Jaqen H'ghar was getting with the stabbinating; and it'd give some weight to why Arya's training is so… tedious.
posted by culfinglin at 11:26 AM on May 2, 2016 [6 favorites]


I think you're putting the books on a restraint pedestal for which they are very unsuited. I love the first three but "restrained" they are not.

Actually "cruel and senseless" is an apt description. I think that is intended. Walda's death isn't textual but it's certainly in line with what Ramsay is described as doing in Martin's work (though actually showing it is of course a choice they might not have made.) I expect Shireen to be burned in the next book. Balon is textual. I wouldn't be surprised if Roose gets his as well though that I'm not as sure about.

But the Red Wedding was not restrained. Ned being beheaded was not restrained. Melisandre giving birth to a weird shadow baby who then goes and murders a king was not restrained. I really don't get where that criticism is coming from.
posted by Justinian at 11:28 AM on May 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


Oops, forgot one for my list:

Iron Islands: Uncertain; heading to Kingsmoot.

EURON 2016: REAVING OUR WAY TO PEACE

YARA 2016: PEACE AND BOATS

THEON 2016: KILLING RAMSAY FOR ATONEMENT
posted by nubs at 11:28 AM on May 2, 2016 [7 favorites]


Finally, the Red Wedding, as blatant as it was, was an intricate conspiracy involving multiple parties and infamous for its taboo-breaking treachery. Between the kinslaying in this episode, and the Sand Stakes straight up launching a coup uncontested, there's no room for texture anymore. Why bother with plotting with any psychopath member of a house can just assassinate their house leader, often in full view of witnesses? Even the death of Jon Snow, now robbed of its resonance when you realize in-show he's been dead for days, was seen as an act of great betrayal. What, just because the show portrays Doran as boring, no one cares if he gets overthrown?

I agree with you, from a dramaturgical perspective, about the show. It's more fun and more interesting when these things are complex negotiations of power with multiple interested parties and some clever plotting, not just "I killed him, so now I get his kingdom" sort of developments.

From a metafictional perspective, though, this state of affairs where kinslaying and coups are happening left and right and people are sort of blase about it is exactly right. One of the points being illustrated is that the power structures of these societies are not nearly as solid as people want to believe they are (especially people who are on top), and that the 'rules' for the negotiation of power are extremely primitive, often unenforceable if anything goes wrong, and not codified.
posted by clockzero at 11:29 AM on May 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


VICTARION 2016: PLEASE LET THIS BE IAN MCSHANE'S ROLE
posted by Apocryphon at 11:30 AM on May 2, 2016 [8 favorites]


I'm pretty sure Ian McShane is playing Septon Meribald.
posted by nubs at 11:31 AM on May 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


When Theon said he was going 'home' did he mean to the Iron Islands or back to Ramsey?
posted by roolya_boolya at 11:32 AM on May 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


I had the impression that Jon Snow was hiding out in Ghost the whole time and maybe his body was resurrected by Mel but his spirit was in the direwolf.
posted by cairnoflore at 11:32 AM on May 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


VICTARION 2016: PLEASE LET THIS BE IAN MCSHANE'S ROLE

He could maybe have been interesting as Euron, though he's a little too old for the role, really. But Victarion is supposed to be really strong and really dumb, isn't he? That would be such a waste of McShane.
posted by clockzero at 11:34 AM on May 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


Someone should get a note to Gendry and let him know his leeching paid off.
posted by nubs at 11:35 AM on May 2, 2016 [9 favorites]


I thought he was maybe going to be Samwell's dad?
posted by drezdn at 11:40 AM on May 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


An idea that I've been noodling over is that GoT as a corpus is all about dualities (I mean duh), but specifically it's about the duality of impulsivity vs planning, and positing that the middle path between the two (plan as much as you can and be flexible/surf the wave of opportunities--Littlefinger is more or less the embodiment of this) is what gets you success. Ned died because he was too inflexible; Robb died because he was too impetuous. Those who are able to balance the two--Tyrion, Varys, Littlefinger, Danaerys is learning, Jon Snow, Davos--find success by the terms they measure such.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:45 AM on May 2, 2016 [5 favorites]


I will admit that, thinking it over, the deaths we've seen so far this season do have a little bit of ingenuity or subversion to them. Based on previous (admittedly very sketchy) characterization, I had assumed that Ramsay loved Roose, that he was the only authority that the mad dog would heel to. So that makes the patricide more surprising- but it also reduces Ramsay to a typical 100% psychopath cardboard villain. The Sand Snakes' takeover of Dorne was subversive in that, given their penchant for poison and indirection, it was surprising that they would do something so blatant. And we were surprised that the prince's own guard would allow them to do it- but again it was a waste of Alexander Siding's performance, AND Areo Hotah's action potential. Not to mention Dorne got barely any characterization at all for us to know, or care either way. And Balon getting casually tossed off a bridge would be surprising to casual show viewers who have no idea that Euron even existed. But that's kind of deus ex machina-esque, no?

So yeah, I guess my real complaint about the deaths on this show is that they're just done in pretty easily criticizable ways, but I guess that's the nature of the breakdown of the beast.
posted by Apocryphon at 11:46 AM on May 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


I dunno, I see Euron sending Balon for a wee swim as being very Ironborn: he wants the throne and he's paying the iron price for it. Doing it himself is more in keeping with the character than through an intermediary (because with an intermediary you're paying the gold price).
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:49 AM on May 2, 2016 [4 favorites]


I think you're right, actually. As cool as the Faceless Men are, having them appear in Viking territory is less thematically appropriate for establishing Euron's character.

The more I think about it, given the little screen time the Iron Islands has received, there's really not much they can do to salvage that storyline except to scrap what's come before (goodbye, old decrepit looking dude who looks like like a saltier, Lovecraftian version of Walder Frey instead of a Norse raider king) and move on with the new Ironborn characters and intrigue.
posted by Apocryphon at 11:55 AM on May 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


Some thoughts for what ep 3, "Oathbreaker", might tackle:

-solving the question of Jon's oaths now that he has been resurrected;
-Bran discovering the truth of the ToJ and Jon's parentage, thus breaking Ned's oath;
-Lord Whoever-it-is arrives at Winterfell with a gift - either Theon (who broke his oaths to Ramsay and pretty much everyone else; or else it is one of the Northern Lords about to show they have no intention of honouring their oaths to Lord Bolton)
-Dany pulling some shit at Vaes Dothrak and gaining her freedom, perhaps.
posted by nubs at 12:12 PM on May 2, 2016


- Brienne running into a conflict
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:22 PM on May 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


Also, was Aeron the priest administering Balon's funeral? I can't remember if he's even been introduced in the show or not.

Yup. Here he is on the GoT show wiki: Aeron Greyjoy
posted by homunculus at 12:23 PM on May 2, 2016


- Thorne's uppance coming
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:25 PM on May 2, 2016 [3 favorites]


Brienne's sword is Oathkeeper, so I'm hoping that's the tool to break oaths and maybe Bolton heads.
posted by gladly at 12:26 PM on May 2, 2016


prize bull octorok: The warden of the Stormlands is Ser Pounce, into whom Tommen occasionally wargs

Beware the wrath of Ser Pounce when the yarn tributes are down (and Tommen wargs into Ser Pounce just to play with a ball of yarn, which is the most calming 5 minutes in all of GoT).
posted by filthy light thief at 12:26 PM on May 2, 2016 [5 favorites]


I also wanted to say that I was quite glad that the show has decided not to gloss over Theon's past, just because he helped Sansa - he still has crimes that weigh on him and that he shouldn't just be forgiven for.
posted by nubs at 12:30 PM on May 2, 2016 [3 favorites]


Also by running away from her husband, Sansa is technically in violation of her oath, modulo having been forced into it in the first place. (In the books it's made more clear that a forced wedding has no validity, legally or religiously, which of course raises all sorts of questions about young women being married off.)

Presumably Varys made some sort of oaths, although I'd wager he carefully worded his to be to the throne or to the realm and not to any particular fundament sitting upon the former.

But really I suspect the next episode is going to be very Jon-focused.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:31 PM on May 2, 2016


I also wanted to say that I was quite glad that the show has decided not to gloss over Theon's past, just because he helped Sansa - he still has crimes that weigh on him and that he shouldn't just be forgiven for.

He's clearly going to be forgiven, though. His redemption arc started a while ago. My headcanon suggests some sort of long drawn out finding peace with himself thing, Sansa says "I forgive you, but you still broke the laws of gods and men. Off with your head."
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:33 PM on May 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


That would require that Sansa be ... a female regnant or royal-type person ... in, er ... the boreal reaches of the world. I would support this notion, but maybe someone should come up with a catchy title for her.
posted by The Nutmeg of Consolation at 12:54 PM on May 2, 2016 [3 favorites]


I anticipate Theon's redemption will come from him sacrificing himself to save somebody, likely one of the Starks, from something, rather than a formal execution.

Likely, he'll interfere with Ramsay's attempt to kill, maim, injury, fold, spindle, or mutilate Sansa/Jon/Bran.
posted by nubs at 12:56 PM on May 2, 2016 [4 favorites]


That would require that Sansa be ... a female regnant or royal-type person ... in, er ... the boreal reaches of the world. I would support this notion, but maybe someone should come up with a catchy title for her.

I vote for The Ice Queen.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 1:02 PM on May 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


(and since I just fell headlong into Fannibalism I'm now wanting an epilogue with Gillian Anderson's Bedelia DuMaurier playing Sansa 30 years on)
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 1:03 PM on May 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


fffm: (In the books it's made more clear that a forced wedding has no validity, legally or religiously, which of course raises all sorts of questions about young women being married off.)

Hmm, I would have said the opposite: there's all that talk about 'saying the words in the sight of Gods and men' or whatever, mostly with regard to Ramsay's marriages, especially the first one IIRC. Am I missing something?

And yeah, Theon is surely going to get redemption through sacrifice.
posted by Pink Frost at 1:17 PM on May 2, 2016


Someone pointed out a good observation of Roose's death: he got shanked in the same way he killed Robb Stark. I guess there was (unintentional?) symmetry there. Maybe it was more artistically done than I give it credit for.
posted by Apocryphon at 1:17 PM on May 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


I can't remember the exact text, and the books are at my apartment. It was around Sansa's marriage to Tyrion, I think, that it was said.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 1:24 PM on May 2, 2016


If I were a gambler, I'd put money down that the guy bringing a gift to Ramsay has a Sansa substitute and we thus kick off the Jeyne Poole deal, but as a fSansa instead of fArya.
posted by LionIndex at 1:37 PM on May 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


Have we seen Jeyne Poole in the show? I can't recall.
posted by corb at 1:39 PM on May 2, 2016


I truly hope not, you Lannister sympathizer, because that'll just make the showrunners go "oh okay, now we can really do much more rapey stuff with Ramsay." Which, no thanks.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 1:40 PM on May 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


(Lannister sympathizer = LionIndex)
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 1:40 PM on May 2, 2016


I don't know that the character would actually be The Jeyne Poole. Now that I'm thinking about it though, everybody in Winterfell has just seen a whole bunch of Sansa, so trying to pass off a fake one probably wouldn't work.
posted by LionIndex at 1:44 PM on May 2, 2016 [3 favorites]


Hear me roar! (Eponysterical)
posted by LionIndex at 1:47 PM on May 2, 2016 [4 favorites]


(In the books it's made more clear that a forced wedding has no validity, legally or religiously, which of course raises all sorts of questions about young women being married off.)

I can't remember the exact text, and the books are at my apartment. It was around Sansa's marriage to Tyrion, I think, that it was said.


I'll do some digging on this too, because I don't quite recall it. I recall a lot about how not consummating the marriage made it invalid, but the question of a forced marriage is different...and Lady Hornwood was forcibly married by Ramsay in the books, and despite some outrage, it wasn't considered invalid - Ramsay is still introduced as Lord of the Hornwood.
posted by nubs at 1:49 PM on May 2, 2016


Oh yeah, fair point. I could cheerfully go the rest of my life without seeing Yet Another Ramsay Rape - but the amount is so high that even the showrunners might think it was too repetitive.
posted by corb at 1:51 PM on May 2, 2016


I see Euron sending Balon for a wee swim as being very Ironborn

Ah, yes, excellent point. Damnit, though, I want some Faceless Men.

Also on my wish list of Things I Want to See On The SS Abandoned Plotlines Cruise:

-Bronn, trying to let Lollys down gently
-Gendry, rowing endlessly
-Arianne (because she'd be way better than Sand Snakes)
-Rickon (where the hell's he been all this time?)
-Littlefinger, scheming his schemes and coming up with a Vegas-worthy brothel
-The Hound
-Sam and Gilly in Maestertown
posted by culfinglin at 1:53 PM on May 2, 2016 [3 favorites]


Does the Faith of the Seven allow divorces or annulments? Because what if the entire payoff of the High Sparrow coming to power is that he terminates the marriage between Sansa and Ramsay. And, uh, declares the Boltons to be anathema because skinning people is an abomination.
posted by Apocryphon at 1:53 PM on May 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


It's worth noting that the marriage between Sansa and Ramsay is only possible because supposedly the marriage between Sansa and Tyrion is dissolved. I could see the High Sparrow disagreeing with this entirely political answer.
posted by corb at 1:58 PM on May 2, 2016 [4 favorites]


This week's manuals-at-hand D&D D&D recap:

• Bran, under Broodraven's tutelage, casts a modified legend lore spell as a ritual to see events at Winterfell in the past. Perhaps the weirwood roots allowed the cast without the necessary somatic and material components.
• a random Night's Watchman uses a maul to batter through a door, yet is interrupted by a hill giant (?) showing how it's really done on Castle Black's front gate. The exact type of giant with the wildlings could be debated.
• said giant is unperturbed by an arrow shot: fur armor + high natural AC
• a random King's Lander rolls poorly on a Performance check, and pays the ultimate price
• Jamie fails an Intimidation check against the High Sparrow (who had advantage on the roll, I think)
• Tyrion totally aces – crits, even – an Animal Handling check against two dragons. Did he level-dip into Ranger or something? (As an aside, the species of dragon could also be hotly debated: to all appearances, we're plainly dealing with a black, a green, and a white dragon. But chromatic dragons are evil, while we haven't yet seen what the show dragons are capable of.)
• Arya still hasn't mastered blindfighting
• Ramsay crits a sneak attack against Roose, with enough extra damage to bring the instant kill rule into play
• 5e doesn't have rules for play involving feeding innocent people to bloodthirsty hounds; presumably that was all house-ruled
• Pod doesn't do so well with his Survival check for starting a fire
• Balon flubs a sneak attack against Euron, who in turn successfully grapples him. Balon subsequently suffers massive fall damage
• Davos succeeds on a Persuasion check against Melisandre, who agrees to try casting raise dead on Jon
• without the required material component (a diamond worth at least 500gp, duh) Melisandre's spell appears to fail, but the DMs hand-wave that away, so the spell succeeds after a short delay

(A couple notes on raise dead: target cannot have been dead longer than 10 days; target is cured of any poisons, diseases, or mortal wounds; target has 1hp on returning, and suffers -4 on attack rolls, saving throws, and ability checks; said penalty decreases by 1 for every long rest taken. I hope Jon isn't thrust back into the thick of things just yet....)
posted by The Nutmeg of Consolation at 2:13 PM on May 2, 2016 [24 favorites]


Tyrion totally aces – crits, even – an Animal Handling check against two dragons.

Assumes the dragons are animals, and not sentient, intelligent beings in their own right. Might have been a Persuasion check.
posted by nubs at 2:32 PM on May 2, 2016 [10 favorites]


I really wish that we'd seen just a little bit more of how bad life is for the smallfolk last season. I know that this is a major reason book 4 drags, but it also successfully sets up the Faith Militant, which used to be one of my favorite storylines. The FM is a lot less a popular uprising in the show, and much more a bewilderingly powerful cult. Maybe if we get the Hound back he could be a peek into that, since he'll likely be toiling away on the farm. On the off chance we still get the Brotherhood and Stoneheart, they'd also give a glimpse into the smallfolk rebellion that GRRM has been building over the course of 4 and 5.

I'd thought that was a main point of the series, but it seems I was wrong, since the show has essentially forgotten it.
posted by codacorolla at 2:36 PM on May 2, 2016 [7 favorites]


It's worth noting that the marriage between Sansa and Ramsay is only possible because supposedly the marriage between Sansa and Tyrion is dissolved. I could see the High Sparrow disagreeing with this entirely political answer.

I'd never thought of it before, but the High Sparrow taking Tyrion's side and absolving him of his crimes would be an interesting twist. Especially if Cersei ultimately fails in her guiding of Tommen, and her fight against the Faith. He already knows that Joffrey was the product of incest, and may even suspect Highgarden's role in the assassination.
posted by codacorolla at 2:40 PM on May 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


Tyrion and Sansa's marriage was dissolved for non-consummation, if memory serves, and his alleged crimes have nothing to do with it.

Plus I don't think the Sparrow could have any way to justify pardoning Tyrion after a trial by combat, which is supposed to be divinely controlled. He'd have to admit the entire edifice is built on lies.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 2:52 PM on May 2, 2016


I don't think it'd take much to say that Cersei's evil influence had a hand in that. Regardless, there's no one on Earth that Cersei hates more than Tyrion, apart from the Sparrow himself, so turning Tyrion into a popular folk hero would be seriously salting the wound.
posted by codacorolla at 2:54 PM on May 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


The previous trial of combat was convened under his corrupt predecessor. He can just declare all of that high septon's actions null and void. Which may lead to a reformation in the Faith, or at least a schism, between Sparrow populism and Lannister/Tyrell-funded establishmentarianism.
posted by Apocryphon at 2:56 PM on May 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


It's possible that they just switched his name from Walder as it was too similar to other Frey names (like they did with Asha/Yara)

That could well be it. As I recall, the reason they had Arya call herself 'Lanna' instead of 'Cat of the Canals' last season was simply because 'Cat' was Catelyn's nickname. They're really finicky about character names.
posted by homunculus at 3:14 PM on May 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


Chrys Watches Game of Thrones: R’hllor Bless us, One and All
posted by homunculus at 3:23 PM on May 2, 2016 [3 favorites]


I really wish that we'd seen just a little bit more of how bad life is for the smallfolk last season. I know that this is a major reason book 4 drags, but it also successfully sets up the Faith Militant, which used to be one of my favorite storylines.

But that was Arya and the Hound's whole schtick. The hired one of the best Beckett actors around to give you a five minute soliloquy of existentialist despair, man. How quickly we forget. I mean, I guess they could have done more to emphasize why the Faith Militant has an appeal for the commoners, but they definitely stuck a bunch of scenes in the beginning of last season of Jonathan Pryce glad-handing at the soup kitchen --- to say nothing of the glee of the mob during Cersei's walk --- to suggest that the Faith has a pretty strong base of support out there.

Also, people keep saying that we know Sansa's marriage to Tyrion was dissolved --- both show and book, I think all we really have on that is a handwave from Littlefinger, no? I mean I think ultimately LF is correct that at this particular point in history possession of the wife is 9/10ths of the law, but don't think it's at all clear what Westerosi legal precedent or theological doctrine is in this situation. I don't think it's at all clear that Westeros has a functioning legal system and it certainly has a number of rival faiths. Basically I think it comes down to no kid no problem, as far as Sansa marrying again is concerned.
posted by Diablevert at 3:24 PM on May 2, 2016 [3 favorites]


If that throwaway line is a long play that pays out in the second to last episode of the entire series when Varys punches Tyrion square in the face, all will be forgiven.
posted by arha at 3:39 PM on May 2, 2016 [11 favorites]


a random King's Lander rolls poorly on a Performance check, and pays the ultimate price

Well, he certainly didn't roll well on his initiative check. He peed on the scary giant while trying to figure out what said giant might be mad about.

Jamie fails an Intimidation check against the High Sparrow (who had advantage on the roll, I think)

I would guess there's an improbably high DC for intimidation/persuasion/deception/insight checks against him right now, like how Ramsay had a ludicrous DC for insight against Roose.

Tyrion totally aces – crits, even – an Animal Handling check against two dragons. Did he level-dip into Ranger or something? (As an aside, the species of dragon could also be hotly debated: to all appearances, we're plainly dealing with a black, a green, and a white dragon. But chromatic dragons are evil, while we haven't yet seen what the show dragons are capable of.)

Tyrion probably has a wizard's INT score, a paladin's CHA and a cleric's WIS. But we are also meant to think that the DC for his interactions with them are informed by the fact that they don't necessarily want to eat/kill/roast anyone for any reason; in fact, he rolled for insight first (a 20, which is how he knew that they wouldn't harm him) and then probably rolled a persuasion rather than animal handling (or, gods help him, intimidation) check, which the dragons appreciated.

Davos succeeds on a Persuasion check against Melisandre, who agrees to try casting raise dead on Jon

She also notes that she doesn't know that spell, though. She's an acolyte cleric of the Light or perhaps the Trickery domain, and I think she was speaking a prayer in the Celestial language, not casting a spell per se. Disheartened, she even spoke the last part of her prayer in the common tongue, a simple "please." I think this was divine intervention, not raise dead.

Also, in the wonderful spirit of D&D + D&D, here are some dumb recap thoughtz I wrote for some reason:

1. That Child of the Forest fails her persuasion roll against Meera, but with no immediate consequences
2. Bran rolls a 1 on an insight check about Hodor ("Hey, you used to talk, what happened?" "...Hodor.")
3. Brienne succeeds in her insight check about what happened to Sansa at Winterfell
4. Arya passes an insight check against Jaqen H'Gar (it had a DC of like 10, so)
5. Cersei aces her intimidation check against the kingsguard but decides not to kill them, in a startlingly restrained move
7. Ramsay's deception rolls seem to always have advantage. All of Ramsay's rolls have some absurd advantage. Roose's passive insight should have helped him out more.
8. Jaime fails all of his rolls against everyone (possibly forever)
posted by clockzero at 3:55 PM on May 2, 2016 [7 favorites]


I was going to add a note that raise dead wasn't on Melisandre's spell list. Perhaps she had time to prepare it before her attempt. Another possibility is that she used the 10th-level Cleric class ability divine intervention, where you basically ask your deity to, well, do something for you. (Success if you roll your level or less on a d100.)

Figuring out what actions require what skill checks is one of the joys of doing these recaps – and playing, too!

Back to the show: I wonder what long-term effect Jon's return will have on Jon. We have seen Beric "diminish" each time; did all of Jon come back, or just most of/part of him? Will there be something off about him, that Ghost or the Watch or a relative might pick up on?
posted by The Nutmeg of Consolation at 4:06 PM on May 2, 2016 [3 favorites]


Well, and how would we even prove nonconsumnation? It really comes down to "who decrees what, and who has the power."

Who decreed the marriage invalid? What's their power? Who could they be overridden by?
posted by corb at 4:14 PM on May 2, 2016


Translation of Melisande's prayer/spell:
Zyhys oñoso jehikagon Aeksiot epi, se gis hen syndrorro jemagon.
“We ask the Lord to shine his light, and lead a soul out of darkness.”

Zyhys perzys stepagon Aeksio Oño jorepi, se morghultas lys qelitsos sikagon.
“We beg the Lord to share his fire, and light a candle that has gone out.”

Hen syndrorro, oños. Hen ñuqir, perzys. Hen morghot, glaeson.
“From darkness, light. From ashes, fire. From death, life.”
Strong case for Divine Intervention there.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 4:16 PM on May 2, 2016 [11 favorites]


Ramsay assuming the hounds will finish the job, and the maester sneaks out the boy?

No way that Ramsay didn't stick around to watch that baby get eaten, both for political and psychopathic reasons.
posted by Jacqueline at 5:12 PM on May 2, 2016


Typical of the current leadership problem in Westeros - no one sees things through.

EURON 2016: MAKING SURE BABY GETS EATEN
posted by nubs at 5:25 PM on May 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


Whoops - misread Jacqueline's comment. Should be:

RAMSAY 2016: MAKING SURE THE DOGS ARE FED
posted by nubs at 5:35 PM on May 2, 2016 [4 favorites]


But Victarion is supposed to be really strong and really dumb, isn't he? That would be such a waste of McShane.

VICTARION 2016: DEADWOOD REUNION WITH NICK OFFERMAN?
posted by Apocryphon at 5:49 PM on May 2, 2016


Putting some Sansa pieces together:
1) She's a Stark. She gets the North. The fact that she's also pregnant to Ramsay1 means she can even have it nice and legal-like2.
2) (Re)marrying the Arryn kid gets her the Vale
3) The Tullys will cede her the Riverlands3
4) Marriage to Tyrion gives her the Rock

Suddenly, Sansa has four out of seven kingdoms. Tie in corb's excellent tinfoil and assume that Jon comes up through Dorne, and things are looking mighty untenable in Kings Landing...


1: Assumption
2: Assuming Ramsay is dead
3: And the Freys will fall in line cos she stabbinates the fuck out of Fat-Walda-killing Ramsay

posted by coriolisdave at 5:52 PM on May 2, 2016 [3 favorites]


Wouldn't it have made more narrative and character sense for Mellisandre to decide to try to resurrect him based on what she saw Thoros of Myr do? And they even could have used the reveal that she is super old by incorporating her removing her glamour to do so - as if she has to use a lot of her power to maintain her youthful look and by relieving herself of that burden she has the extra magical power to resurrect.

They kind of wrote themselves into a corner by having Mel see dead Jon last season and not go, "Hey, that reminds me..."

Still could have written it way better, where she literally sleeps on it and Edd comes to her on his way to the wildlings and say, "Hey, Davos says you're a witch and all so if you know some resurrection shit now would be a good time."
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 5:52 PM on May 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


I miss Ned Stark. At least I always won with him.

(Recap from that tumblr user who used to use the maisiewilliams handle. Is neither BB8 nor Maisie Williams.)
posted by rewil at 5:54 PM on May 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


"Jon Snow says this is a war between the living and the dead. But he's been dead once. Which side is he really on?

Jon Snow. The right stuff or the wight stuff?"

paid for by the committe to honor the Night's King
posted by nubs at 6:01 PM on May 2, 2016 [21 favorites]


Have we seen Jeyne Poole in the show? I can't recall.

Yes.
posted by homunculus at 6:13 PM on May 2, 2016


Several people have brought up the odd contrast between the decision not to have Podrick and Brienne kill the dogs last episode and Ramsay's feed mama and babby to the dogs in this one, and I feel like this is symbolic of a growing problem with the show. Not so much more brutality, or even less subtle brutality, than in earlier seasons, but less complex and interesting brutality.

One of the great things about the characters we encountered in the first season (or the first book of the series), was that they were morally complex agents. Robert was a hearty friend and an amiable sovereign who was also an abusive husband obsessed with tracking down and murdering the children of his predecessor. A man capable of deep friendships and a genuine concern for his kingdom, haunted by guilt and his own patent inadequacy. Eddard Stark and his sons (Rob and Jon, especially) were men trying desperately to hold to what they believed was right in a world where doing so put them at a - repeatedly - fatal disadvantage. Varys and Tyrion were, and are still, complex, frustrated men who would happily do good but have repeatedly, and sometimes deliberately, done terrible things out of either their personal failings or their sense of the greater good. Catelyn and Cersei (the latter more in the show than in the books) are women, and mothers, in a world where being either or both rests like a great stone weight atop the intelligence, capability and ambition that boils within. Tywin Lannister - anyway, you get the picture.

The common thread here is that most of these characters have done terrible things for reasons that the readers, and viewers, can comprehend: love, fear, altruism, bitter experience, the claims of family or house or kingdom or friendship which weigh heavily against what might otherwise be clear moral choices. The show, over the past couple of seasons, has begun systematically to segregate those moral choices. I think that Dogsgate is symbolic of that. Brienne and Pod are Good Guys, we don't want to watch them do bad things (kill dogs), in the way that we watched Ned Stark kill Lady in the first season. Ramsay Bolton can, and should be, shown to do horrible things, because he is a Bad Person. When we saw Roose Bolton and Walder Frey betray and murder their liege lord, we understood why they were doing it, even as it horrified us. Frey's bitterness and opportunism, Bolton's growing understanding that the war for the North could not be won after the Karstark execution, these were complex motivations by complex characters. Ramsay' murder of Roose has none of that backweight to it - he's just a mad dog.

I feel that Ramsay's foregrounding in the past couple of seasons is to a certain degree an attempt to replicate the success of Joffrey's character, but the contrasts are glaring. Joffrey, after all, wasn't a successful ruler precisely because he was as stupid as he was vicious and he thought the latter could make up for the former. He was a powerful character because he was surrounded by complex, and in some cases moral, characters who were forced to deal with his presence. Joffrey was a fact of life for them, something they had to deal with in the same way that zombies are something that the cast of The Walking Dead have to deal with. Ramsay is vicious and completely transparent - everyone I've chatted with about that scene since it screened agreed that his murder of Roose was completely telegraphed. The latter had to be written dumber than he had spent several seasons showing himself to be, just to make that particular scene come off. And since every character surrounding him, from his Season 3 henchman to his father to his crazy dog lady lover to Sansa to Reek has been killed or driven away, he is forced to stand alone as a character who is simply not complex enough, or interesting in his own right, to support that. Which means that, I imagine, he will eventually just be killed off by Brienne or Jon or Theon or whoever as catharsis.
posted by AdamCSnider at 7:22 PM on May 2, 2016 [25 favorites]


When Theon said he was going 'home' did he mean to the Iron Islands or back to Ramsey?

I assumed Pyke (fits with the reintroduction of Yara and Baron this ep) but when I think about it, it really could go either way. If Theon truly is utterly sick of himself and does not believe he is worthy of forgiveness, there's not much sense in his returning to Pyke and a lot of sense in his going to Winterfell to try to undo some measure of the damage he did there. Also if his arc is going to end in sacrifice, which does seem probable, the North is where that will happen, not Pyke.

Kinda related to that, I don't think the tearful farewell between him and Sansa was really earned on the show. He had committed SO MANY crimes against her family and household, and more recently betrayed her personally (he carried her signal candle straight to Ramsey). He witnessed her rape, albeit unwillingly.

His impulsive killing of Myranda and then jumping with Sansa off the wall was nice and all, and it did get Sansa the hell OUT of there finally which was huge, but she still ought to have some serious issues with the guy. (it's kinda funny actually, the contrast between the Arya/Hound relationship and the Sansa/Theon one. Arya will never forgive, not ever ever; Sansa gets over the wrongs against her in like five seconds flat?)
posted by torticat at 7:30 PM on May 2, 2016 [5 favorites]


My own personal feeling is that Winterfell is what Theon thinks of as home. He confessed as much to Ramsay during his faked escape, IIRC. I think we'll see him back there...and don't forget that he also admitted that he didn't kill Bran and Rickon, so Ramsay knows there is more out there than Jon Snow and Sansa as threats.

This could be interesting, if Ramsay had some depth.
posted by nubs at 7:34 PM on May 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


Now that I muse on it, I wonder if the person with a gift arriving at Winterfell next week isn't an Umber with Rickon in tow.
posted by nubs at 8:04 PM on May 2, 2016 [3 favorites]


Kinda related to that, I don't think the tearful farewell between him and Sansa was really earned on the show

To me it shows the complexity of security from a (pseudo)family member with a history of direct or indirect abuse to the abused. He's the only familiar face who has, even just recently, stood up for Sansa. It's a nuanced and difficult relationship but he was a piece of her childhood and happier times. So, I get the tears at Theon's departure. It's not because forgiveness transpired just an echo of better times.
posted by toomanycurls at 8:11 PM on May 2, 2016 [7 favorites]


Sansa gets over the wrongs against her in like five seconds flat

I think it's important to remember that Sansa has been effectively isolated for a very, very long time. She's been isolated, effectively, since her father tried to leave KL. They kept her separately, not even allowing her her friends, her septa, anyone. Every single time anyone said they loved her, it was either a lie, or too much like a lie. Dontos was paid. Margaery's family used Sansa to poison Joffrey, at a time when they knew Tyrion - and by extension, Sansa - would be blamed for it. Lysa? Loved her, sort of, until she saw Baelish making eyes at her. Baelish? Loved her, sort of, because she looked like the mother he's obsessed with - then took her to the north and married her off to Ramsay Bolton. The most connected man short Varys married her to a monster for political reasons.

Then comes Theon - who from the beginning moment of seeing her, has always loved her. He is not himself - a shadow of himself - but he weeps to see her pain and tries to, anxiously, advise her in the best way to go. Yes, he betrays her to Ramsay - but not because of lack of love of her. It shines through - even after all he has done, all he has made himself do, she is still the closest thing to a sister he has really known.

And he is the closest thing to a living brother that is more than a lump that Sansa has. Yes, Theon told her Bran and Rickon got away - but no one has heard of them, no banners have been raised for them. She hopes they're alive, no doubt, but I doubt she has any faith in it. And here is Theon. Theon who shared her childhood, who knew everything she knew, who loved the same people she loved. Theon who is broken but still tries to save her knowing it may kill him. Knowing it probably will kill him.

It's no wonder, in the snow, that Sansa loves Theon. In the light of day, with him presented in front of a throne, she might not: might deny him mercy, might execute justice. But in the dark, with the joy of escape from Ramsay, I think she loves him more than she has loved anyone in years. That hug felt right.
posted by corb at 8:16 PM on May 2, 2016 [28 favorites]


Not so much more brutality, or even less subtle brutality, than in earlier seasons, but less complex and interesting brutality.

Yeah, this is exactly what I mean when I criticize the show's violent as no longer as having the ingenuity or the restraint of better seasons. Sort of like "War is the continuation of politics by other means", violence and atrocity in this series should be the continuation of plot by more visceral- and shocking- means. The current plots and stories being told aren't as meaningful as they were in earlier seasons. The characterization has become as bare as the Westerosi society that's falling apart.
posted by Apocryphon at 9:39 PM on May 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


I think honestly a lot of that is because the complex characterization relies on secondary characters that HBO thinks would be too boring or complicated.

In the books, Arya loses her sight not because she kills someone on her list - as I recall, she kills a deserter from the Night's Watch. Because he was a deserter, and her love of home and anger at him boiled up and caused her to kill. He's not a pedo, either - he's just a guy, that she kills from anger. There's more of a sense she is going dark.

The Sand Snakes are complex - and are jailed first, by Doran, lest they wreak havoc. Because that's what a smart leader does. Some of them are in hiding. They aren't just jocks who also poison sometimes.

But the show doesn't want - and can't have in some cases - such a big cast. So we lose a lot.
posted by corb at 10:02 PM on May 2, 2016 [3 favorites]


and I feel like this is symbolic of a growing problem with the show. Not so much more brutality, or even less subtle brutality, than in earlier seasons, but less complex and interesting brutality.

I agree. I also think this is why we're seeing more and more gif-ready one-liners.
posted by codacorolla at 10:04 PM on May 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


Arya kills Meryn Trant in one of the preview chapters from TWOW. They transferred one to the other.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:07 PM on May 2, 2016


Also on my wish list of Things I Want to See On The SS Abandoned Plotlines Cruise:

I am forever hopeful that #CLEGANEBOWL will happen!?!!
posted by Fizz at 6:03 AM on May 3, 2016 [2 favorites]


It's interesting that Sansa is growing into someone who would be a good partner for Tyrion and appreciate him as a husband.

My OTP has Sansa ending all this reigning as Queen of the North with her royal consort and one true husband Tyrion Lannister. Together they would be raising Sansa's son by Ramsay (Bear with me here. There must always be a Stark in Winterfell. And, though the northmen might have no problem with a queen, I think that they would still consider Sansa's children by Tyrion to be Lannisters. Whereas, with the Bolton line soon to be wiped out (very soon, hopefully), and her marriage with Ramsay possibly considered illegitimate anyhow, she would have every power to legitimize her child by Ramsay as a Stark.).
posted by 256 at 6:56 AM on May 3, 2016 [2 favorites]


I sorta wonder about having a loss of faith about your powers when you're really 700 years old and yet pull off looking young every day.

I highly doubt a woman that isn't Dany is going to get a bunch of kingdoms in this world, somehow.
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:00 AM on May 3, 2016 [3 favorites]


AdamCSnider: Brienne and Pod are Good Guys, we don't want to watch them do bad things (kill dogs)

In the Better Call Saul Insider Podcast for this past season of BCS, Vince Gilligan said that during his time on X-Files, there was a ton of negative viewer feedback when they killed a dog, even though they had killed lots of people in creative ways before that, which elicited no such response from the viewing public. And I can imagine that is similar for any program that might kill an animal without major justification.

Attacks on animals are different than attacks on people, unless the animals are attacking people first, and people are defending themselves. The tracking dogs haven't been shown as brutal killers like the "mad dogs" (who pay attention to Ramsay's commands, so clearly they're not mad, but trained to be killers, like Ramsay by his father, but I digress). So unless the tracking hounds were seen to be attacking Sansa, Theon, Brienne or Pod, they wouldn't be justified in killing the hounds.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:21 AM on May 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


It's interesting that Sansa is growing into someone who would be a good partner for Tyrion and appreciate him as a husband.

Will never happen. The Lannisters killed her family.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 7:45 AM on May 3, 2016 [4 favorites]


corb, love your thoughts on the Sansa-Theon hug. Right on.

I've greatly enjoyed both episodes this season, but I'm past done with Ramsay. Or, as I have begun to think of him, Boring, Invincible Ramsay. How is that no one has risen up from within against him in the show yet? No one's poisoned the dogs? No one -- I'm looking at you, Maester -- has poisoned him? No one's carried out a suicide mission against him for something he did to a loved one?

Ugh. It's just a waste of time whenever he's on the screen now because we all know that he's being saved for some Significant Death Scene. I don't even care about whether he gets a comeuppance, I just want him gone.
posted by lord_wolf at 9:58 AM on May 3, 2016 [2 favorites]


It's interesting that Sansa is growing into someone who would be a good partner for Tyrion and appreciate him as a husband.

Will never happen. The Lannisters killed her family.


Yes, but to me that's the underlying question (problem?) of the SOIAF world: how many times over will we enact upon each other revenge for the sins of our families/parents? Tyrion himself didn't do anything to the Starks (That I can recall) except having enough self-preservation to be basically complicit in a lot of bad goings-on with Joffrey and Cersei. Will anybody ever forgive and move on?

Not saying I disagree, but I do think it's an interesting possible path for Sansa. She's definitely being set up as Queen of the North material, regardless of where Tyrion figures in.

I also think it's interesting—and maybe sort of obvious to say, but I'll say it anyways— that the different Stark children are all being trained throughout the story in different, complementary disciplines: Jon (leadership), Sansa (courtly leadership, cunning), Arya (fighting magic ninja warrior), Bran (pyschic magic warg).
posted by Zephyrial at 9:59 AM on May 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


I would also add Tyrion (rulership); Daenerys (conquest, justice & dramatic entries/exits); Davos (big picture thinking). If one of the themes in the series is around the challenges of holding power and using it well and the problems of having weak, inadequate individuals in positions of power, the answer that appears to be emerging is that there needs to be a balance of skills at the table. I'm hoping the series ends with some form of more balanced governance structure in place than the current feudalistic/absolute monarchy.
posted by nubs at 10:13 AM on May 3, 2016 [3 favorites]


I also think it's interesting—and maybe sort of obvious to say, but I'll say it anyways— that the different Stark children are all being trained throughout the story in different, complementary disciplines: Jon (leadership), Sansa (courtly leadership, cunning), Arya (fighting magic ninja warrior), Bran (pyschic magic warg).

When Rickon reappears and it turns out he's been practising the lute all this time, they will be a classic D&D party.
posted by 256 at 10:24 AM on May 3, 2016 [29 favorites]


INT: THE THRONE ROOM OF THE RED KEEP

RICKON: ...and so it turned out, the only thing we really needed to learn was teamwork!

EVERYONE TURNS TO LOOK AT RICKON AND LAUGHS

FADE TO BLACK
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:36 AM on May 3, 2016 [10 favorites]


Will never happen. The Lannisters killed her family.

And I don't know about this. I think Sansa is learning to see shades of grey, and also to be a good judge of character. I think at this point she might recognize that her beef has never been with Tyrion and that he brings a lot to the table. Not least of which actually being the fact that he is a Lannister (and by all rights, heir to Casterly Rock).
posted by 256 at 10:37 AM on May 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


New Ask the Maester.
posted by Falconetti at 10:39 AM on May 3, 2016 [3 favorites]


Interesting thought that Melisandre had to be - like Thoros - at her most humble and desperate in order for the magic to work.

I do disagree with his answer about why Tommen doesn't just kill the FM ("he's weak"); provoking a military confrontation with the FM is a non-starter not because the Iron Throne wouldn't win, it's because it would be an incredibly Pyhrric victory as it would inflame revolts and instability from the smallfolk pretty fast. The High Sparrow was elected (bookwise, anyways) when the smallfolk stormed the chamber where the election of the High Septon was happening. He derives his power not from his position, but from a large and growing following of the common people.

But then again, the show is all about killing people without consequence now, so maybe he's not wrong.
posted by nubs at 11:04 AM on May 3, 2016 [3 favorites]


Does anyone think McShane will not be playing a monk? I think he'd be an amazing Rhaegar.
posted by heatvision at 11:22 AM on May 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


Tyrion totally aces – crits, even – an Animal Handling check against two dragons.

Actually, it's Roose Bolton who did the Handle Animal roll- and crit failed it.

Actually, D&D + D&D means the whole resurrection scene make sense:

JOHN SNOW: "Gee, I'm getting awfully bored just lying around here, being dead and all."

MELISANDRE IS NOT PAYING ATTENTION, BUSY READING HER NEW COPY OF MONSTERHEARTS.

RAMSEY BOLTON: "Just roll up a new character already. I know, you could start iff at my castle. *snicker*"

EVERYBODY "Shut up Ramsey!"

JOHN SNOW: "Gee, it would be nice if we had a CLERIC, so they could RESURRECT me!"

EVERYONE STARES AT MELISANDRE

MELISANDRE: "...What?"

DAVOS: "We. Need. A. Cleric. To cast Raise Dead. As in you."

MELISANDRE: "What? But I'm like, having a crisis of faith. And anyway, all those Aging Rolls just caught up with me."

SANSA: "That's Traveller!"

MELISANDRE: "Oh. Right. Anyway, nobody's asked me to."

JOHN SNOW: "Well I can't ask you!"

ARYA, SANSA, BRAN: "We're not there!"

DAVOS *sighs* ""OK. I will completely break character, and go persuade Mel to resurrect John, for...I dunno, reasons. Can we get the goddamn game back on track after that?"


Also in game:

EVERYBODY STARES IN HORROR AT ROOSE

Roose: "What? It's just what my character would do! Look, it says right here on the character sheet: "Chaotic Neutral".
posted by happyroach at 11:23 AM on May 3, 2016 [9 favorites]


Interesting thought that Melisandre had to be - like Thoros - at her most humble and desperate in order for the magic to work.

Well, if nothing else, I think she had to be a lot more humble and desperate for her part in the show to work. Up until now she has effectively been a force of nature, god-like entity that puppet masters a chunk of the people in the show. She is, by far (with maybe the faceless ones and possibly Bran as potential outliers) the most powerful human in the series. But this season it seems like they want her to be a more of a person, and the only way to do that is to knock her down some to be more relatable. Self doubt helps with that.
posted by rtimmel at 11:35 AM on May 3, 2016


Sansa would totally go for Tyrion now, after having been the wife of Ramsay. It's possibly an endgame alliance, uniting two houses.

But...the marriage with Tyrion was never dissolved, so how could she marry Ramsay?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:44 AM on May 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


The dialogue on the Sansa marriage question from S5E3:

BAELISH: (They begin walking). I assure you she's still a virgin. Tyrion never consummated the marriage. By the law of the land, she's no man's wife. Inspect her, if you must.

ROOSE: I leave that to the brothel keeper. It's her name I need, not her virtue.
posted by nubs at 12:00 PM on May 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


Ah, duh. Thanks.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:15 PM on May 3, 2016


I have kind of complicated mixed feels about Sansa being set up to have a true marriage with Tyrion. On the one hand, within the story it makes sense. On the other hand, Sansa being raped and beaten into the understanding that she was dumb to want a handsome husband and should have settled for the NiceGuy all along is grosssssss.
posted by corb at 12:17 PM on May 3, 2016 [14 favorites]


Maybe Sansa can just rule Winterfell with a harem of strong but pliant Northmen and dispense with traditional Westerosi marriage conventions
posted by prize bull octorok at 12:23 PM on May 3, 2016 [12 favorites]


One cool part about the dragons being freed is the idea that this species grows to the size of their environment. It was at least in the book where Arya stumbles across that room in King's Landing with the mansion sized dragon skeleton, right? I wonder how quickly that will be happening...
posted by codacorolla at 12:26 PM on May 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


Does anyone think McShane will not be playing a monk? I think he'd be an amazing Rhaegar.

Remember that Rhaegar has to realistically be Danaerys' older brother, not grandfather, and that this will be a flashback to roughly 20 years prior.
posted by Navelgazer at 12:43 PM on May 3, 2016


I thought McShane was going to be the Mad King?

Seems like we're going to get a Jaime stabbing scene from the shadows in the trailer.
posted by French Fry at 1:00 PM on May 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


Personally I thought he was cast to play Randyll Tarly but I might like him better as Aerys.
posted by Navelgazer at 1:02 PM on May 3, 2016 [2 favorites]


WotW recap roundup
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 1:07 PM on May 3, 2016


I don't even care about whether he gets a comeuppance, I just want him gone.

Right? I think it's actually more in keeping with the spirit of the books if he does meet his end at the end of some random farmer's pitchfork. First, why waste Brienne's cycles on that? Second, do we imagine Ramsay is going to finally learn his lesson* as his life flashes before his eyes, or more likely, is all this self-upsmanship just so that the show can eventually justify showing him getting flay-raped by ice dragons, and intend for us to enjoy it because he's such a naughty fellow? Not interested.

I noticed this comment in the Unsullied thread and suddenly remembered that in the books, the Faith Militant is divided into the Warrior's Sons and the Poor Fellows - has the show's approach just been to ignore the distinction? (Lancel and his posse seem like Poor Fellows With Big Sticks, kind of a halfway compromise.)


* - When the dogs attacked Walda & brother, it looked like he winced a bit, and then like he steeled himself and force himself to watch - what was up with that? Now that he's made high Lord, he just can't let go and enjoy himself the way he used to?
posted by Rat Spatula at 1:21 PM on May 3, 2016


The show has been painting the Sparrows with a broad brush, showing that the High Sparrow to be a pious man but also typical cultishly brainwashed. Definitely their zealots are shown to be irrational.
posted by Apocryphon at 1:46 PM on May 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


On the other hand, Sansa being raped and beaten into the understanding that she was dumb to want a handsome husband and should have settled for the NiceGuy all along is grosssssss.

Agreed 100%. The sick thing is, all the jackasses who were mad at Sansa for not falling in love with Tyrion would probably take it as proof they were right all along. Blech.
posted by homunculus at 1:52 PM on May 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


Or rather the end of some random farmers' pitchforks, i.e., the 'he is torn apart by a pack of wild dogs' ending.
posted by Rat Spatula at 2:38 PM on May 3, 2016


Dammit, I meant Aerys.
posted by heatvision at 2:46 PM on May 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


Then, yeah, heatvision, I agree with you that McShane would be amazing there.
posted by Navelgazer at 2:50 PM on May 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


Perhaps I'm missing something, but Tyrion isn't a NiceGuy? Isn't that a dude who pretends to be your friend and spends Friend Tokens in the hope that after enough Friend Tokens are spent, sex falls out? Tyrion... isn't that.
posted by Justinian at 3:08 PM on May 3, 2016


Davos: I assume you know why I'm here.
Melisandre: I will after you tell me.


Yeahh it was some bad dialogue.

Davos: Here we are, in the same room together.
Melisandre: Indeed.
Davos: Do you know what I'm here for?
Melisandre: I do not know this.
Davos: I want you to do something for me.
Melisandre: I probably will not be able to.
Jack: If you don't hack the firewall in 14 seconds, I will die.
Chloe: I can't do it Jack!
Jack: Chloe!
Chloe: *typetypetype* I did it Jack!

I worry that they're just phasing Melisandre out by transferring her specialness to Jon; they showed her old as if to imply she's spent. Feh! I wish they'd gone over the top more. Since a theme to the books is that supernatural things are kinda coming back to the world (except for the Seven, wompwomp), they could have maybe shown a little R'hllor action.

So more like: Melisandre's feeling like a big failure, very pissed off at the Lordo Light and missing her Stannis. Davos has always disliked her, and is annoyed she didn't do anything during the standoff. After it's done, Davos comes in and tells her in case she didn't notice, she's run out of friends, so maybe it's time for her to get truckin. Or some other choice words. He leaves. She stares into the fire and tells the Lordo Light something like, "If all this is Your plan, maybe You should just let me finally die too". She takes off the necklace, is old, goes to sleep, or maybe she's dead, maybe it's the end of the episode, then BWWAAA she's in the spirit world, beholding the kaleidoscopic blinding rainbow flame of R'hllor twisting up into airless space like a thread. Flames swirl around her, washing through her, xor-ing her skeleton. It's an album cover and still possibly cheaper than rendering a single dog. There's a cacophony of whispers. R'hllor is far too intense to look at so she has to turn away, looking behind her into the blackness and shadows. She sees disturbing evidence of her misdeeds in her shadow. She sees the blue eyes of wraiths everywhere. She's starting to burn/melt. It's all kinda scary. Then she notices something else near her, off to the side: a spirit-Ghost trying to drag a spirit-Jon along the ground, while fending off spirit-wraiths. Maybe here's something she can do. She hacks the firewall. Then back in Castle Black they both gasp awake at the same time.

In the future, now that she knows the Lord o' Light is a glowing space snake, maybe she starts to doubt the catechism a little bit.
posted by nom de poop at 3:25 PM on May 3, 2016 [5 favorites]


the 'he is torn apart by a pack of wild dogs' ending.

Nymeria's pack.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 4:36 PM on May 3, 2016 [5 favorites]


Dammit, I meant Aerys.

Heh, yeah, I was gonna say, McShane playing Rhaegar would be like this

I really hope we do see Rhaegar eventually, though. There's so much there for a good actor to work with.
posted by clockzero at 7:06 PM on May 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


Perhaps I'm missing something, but Tyrion isn't a NiceGuy? Isn't that a dude who pretends to be your friend and spends Friend Tokens in the hope that after enough Friend Tokens are spent, sex falls out? Tyrion... isn't that.

I totally agree with you: Tyrion is, rather, a guy who sees that he's lucky to be married - through whatever fucked up circumstances - to Sansa, but refuses to take advatange of that fact or press the issue without her consent. And he is nonetheless respectful of their vows, while knowing that Sansa will likely never want to consummate them. And by the time of the Purple Wedding, they seem to have even developed a bit of a friendship.

Those nuances are likely to be lost, however, on the NiceGuys™ who would wish for them to be placed together as the OTP.
posted by Navelgazer at 7:07 PM on May 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


I really hope we do see Rhaegar eventually, though. There's so much there for a good actor to work with.

Unfortunately, Orlando Bloom is pretty much the obvious choice for casting. He might even have one of his LOTR wigs still.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 7:18 PM on May 3, 2016


Unfortunately, Orlando Bloom is pretty much the obvious choice for casting. He might even have one of his LOTR wigs still.

n/m in that case
posted by clockzero at 10:26 PM on May 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


Alexander Skarsgard?
posted by Justinian at 3:27 AM on May 4, 2016 [2 favorites]


I mean, given that Heath Ledger is currently unavailable for the role.
posted by Justinian at 3:28 AM on May 4, 2016 [2 favorites]


Rhaegar is almost like Helen of Troy to me - is there anyone who could play him who wouldn't be kind of a let-down from our imaginations? Also, is there any real reason to show him? He isn't at the Tower of Joy.
posted by Navelgazer at 6:35 AM on May 4, 2016 [4 favorites]


If Lyanna actually married him, there is.
posted by corb at 6:48 AM on May 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


Something that occurred to me earlier today…I suggested up thread that maybe the show is hacking through a bunch of Dorne plot to get to the same place the books basically do….in the books we get Obyron’s dies, people are unhappy, the Sand Snakes want revenge and are fended off, the kidnapping plot, the quashing of same, the revelation of the Targ alliance…which will also fail, with Q’s death. This leaves Dorne likely positioned to join the Pretender rebellion and go to war with the Lannisters.

In the show we get Obyron dies, people are pissed, the Sand Snakes launch a coup and go to war with the Lannisters.

Is it possible that the same thing is happening with Brienne? Is Brienne’s one word Sansa? Does she end up rescuing Sansa in the books as well?
posted by Diablevert at 7:19 AM on May 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


Book Sansa is in the Vale, where the plot appears to be to marry her off to the guy who would inherit it all should Robin die. She is continuing her apprenticeship under Littlefinger as a master player of the game.

Brienne, after a disasterous tour of the Riverlands, has reunited with Jaime Lannister as part of a ploy by the Brotherhood without Banners to lure the Kingslayer to Lady Stoneheart for execution for failure to fulfill his oath to return the Statk girls in exchange for his release.
posted by nubs at 7:29 AM on May 4, 2016


Is it possible that the same thing is happening with Brienne?

It's possible, but they're also combining arcs. Aegon and JonCon appear to have been (at least partially) folded into Tyrion and Jorah. Sansa herself took Jeyne Poole's place. Brienne didn't get her misery tour, so they have her doing something like Yara/Asha, while it looks like she is getting Victarion's role.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 8:52 AM on May 4, 2016


feckless fecal fear mongering: “The books suffered from an extreme overabundance of secondary characters, and the show has also, to an extent. Line 'em up against a wall and kill 'em off please.”

The show and books suffer from an extreme overabundance of primary characters. Tyrion, Cersei, Jon Snow, Bran, Cersei, Jaime, Ramsay, Sansa, Davos, Arya, Varys, Theon, Baelish, Daario... Am I getting into secondary characters now? Probably, but they can all go. All of them need to die.

Major fantasy epics that last more than – let's say – three books (or three seasons) can't survive on the same primary characters. They get boring, and even their writers get bored with those same characters. George R R Martin wrote himself into a corner by planning from the beginning to predicate this series on the final resolution of the fates of a core set of six or seven characters; but by the fourth novel, A Feast for Crows, he had tired completely of these characters and started inventing new ones. Personally I think that resulted in the strongest of the books, because so many new secondary characters were introduced, and all of them were more interesting to me than the primary characters were at that point. But others disagree – others really only liked those primary characters all along, never got sick of them, and want to see what happens.

A daring move would have been showing Jon Snow's body burned, contrary to viewer expectations (and probably to GRRM's planned plotline). Another daring move would be to abandon these characters for other characters, and give the show some diversity. But the first of those is too daring, and the second is too expensive and difficult to do (given casting, I guess) so we're stuck grinding forward.

Anyway, let me tell you: my wife is getting sick of hearing me mutter "ALL OF THESE CHARACTERS NEED TO DIE" under my breath.
posted by koeselitz at 9:33 AM on May 4, 2016 [3 favorites]


(While watching the show, I mean. I promise that I only mutter that while watching the show.)
posted by koeselitz at 9:40 AM on May 4, 2016 [2 favorites]


koeselitz: I agree with you about AFfC being the strongest of the books.
posted by Navelgazer at 10:08 AM on May 4, 2016


Rhaegar is almost like Helen of Troy to me - is there anyone who could play him who wouldn't be kind of a let-down from our imaginations?

Andreja Pejic, before she transitioned, would have had the perfect look for Rhaegar, though I don't know if she acts.
posted by clockzero at 10:08 AM on May 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


Late to the show, but I find all the hand-wringing about showing the mother and newborn killed by dogs a bit bizarre.

It's not that GoT depicts atrocity, it's that in the last two seasons especially it's been doing it in a sort of excessive way that's just desensitizing.

HBO's production of Game of Thrones is all about escalating the violence. It's pornography, only death instead of eroticism.

The show got its notorious start at the end of season 1, showing Ned being beheaded. It was shocking in part because they killed a main character, but it was also the visceral bloodiness of it, the rolling head. It thrilled people. And every season since then they have to escalate the violence. Rat torture. Raping Sansa. Emasculating Theon. Now feeding a mother and baby to the dogs. What comes next? The Aristocrats!

I agree it's desensitizing, and in a particularly troublesome and American way. I'm sickened by the murder-porn nature of it. It's the entertainment we've all signed up for, but I don't feel good about it.

(Also IMHO this is a rare case where the book writing works better than the TV show. The books can describe horrific scenes and still carry meaning, but with watching it in realtime video the experience stops being intellectual and is purely visceral.)
posted by Nelson at 10:18 AM on May 4, 2016 [4 favorites]


I think I speak for nearly everyone when I say AFfC is a monstrous slog, but I admit it was better when I reread the series a few years ago. Not spending half the book waiting for the characters you actually give a shit about to appear changes one's appreciation of it. I think it would have been better as the start of a new series rather than the fourth piece of one that, to be honest, climaxed in the previous installment.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 10:45 AM on May 4, 2016


I have kind of complicated mixed feels about Sansa being set up to have a true marriage with Tyrion. On the one hand, within the story it makes sense. On the other hand, Sansa being raped and beaten into the understanding that she was dumb to want a handsome husband and should have settled for the NiceGuy all along is grosssssss.

It really depends on what sort of person Sansa becomes now i.e. what the story does with the character. Her willingly marrying Tyrion could work for the show, but she could also marry someone else. Or choose to not marry anyone! Just depends on what the show runners have planned out.

Personally, I've love to see Brienne teach her some sword work, just so she can defend herseld and she puts that to use later on repeatedly stabbing Ramsay. But I doubt that'll happen. I hope she at least rises to some position of power and starts leading people.

In the show did Robb make Jon a Stark and where there witnesses?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:57 AM on May 4, 2016


No, he did not. Nor did he in the book.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:59 AM on May 4, 2016


I sorta wonder about having a loss of faith about your powers when you're really 700 years old and yet pull off looking young every day.

We don't have an in-depth explanation of how magic works in this universe, though. Like, maybe she's pretty confident that she has some of this sorcery shit down pat, but is realizing that she only knows how to use magic, but not how or why it works.
posted by explosion at 11:21 AM on May 4, 2016


In the show did Robb make Jon a Stark and where there witnesses?

In the show, no. In the book...

Best answer is that it is unclear. Before the Red Wedding, there are two critical conversations that happen. One is Robb having a conversation with Cat about the fact that he has no heir, and until he does, he plans to legitimize Jon Snow and name him heir to the North. Cat is against it.

Next, Robb in a meeting with his most trusted Lords (Mormont, Glover, Umber, Mallister, Tully, and Cat), they make plans for the approach of the Neck. Mallister is to go with Mormont and Glover to Seaguard, where the latter two will take ship for Greywater Watch and reaching the Reeds. Umber and Tully are given other assignments, but they don't matter post-RW. Then Robb asks them to be his witnesses to a decree regarding what should happen should he die, with his brothers dead and Sansa married to Tyrion.

We are never told what is in that decree. But: House Mormont is initially against Stannis ("only one king in the north, and his name is Stark"), and then suddenly come to his side at Deepwood Motte. House Glover also joins with Stannis. And at an event at Castle Black, many of the minor Houses (hill tribes, really) of the North turn up, interested in LC Snow.

The speculation is that the decree is still out there somewhere, along with three people with knowledge of it and freedom of movement (Mormont, Glover, and Stoneheart) and a possible fourth - Howland Reed at Greywater Watch. This forms the basis of the Great Northern Conspiracy, which speculates that many of the Northern Houses are now working together in secret, along with the Brotherhood without Banners keeping things stirred up in the Riverlands, to pull down/weaken House Bolton via Stannis as a stalking horse and then reveal that Jon is the legitimate heir to the North, by Robb's decree.
posted by nubs at 11:23 AM on May 4, 2016 [14 favorites]


Well, let's hope so. It would be neat if good people pulled off a successful conspiracy in this story for once.
posted by clockzero at 11:31 AM on May 4, 2016


It would be neat if good people pulled off a successful conspiracy in this story for once.

House Manderly: You Want Freys With That?
posted by nubs at 11:32 AM on May 4, 2016 [10 favorites]


(what does it say when the "good people conspiracy" I can think of involves two people being murdered and cooked into pies served at a wedding feast?)
posted by nubs at 11:38 AM on May 4, 2016


(what does it say when the good people conspiracy I can think of involves two people being murdered and cooked into pies served at a wedding feast?)

They started it...
posted by Navelgazer at 11:39 AM on May 4, 2016 [2 favorites]


Based on the evidence in the books, I find it hard to believe that GRRM didn't set at least some elements of the Great Northern Conspiracy in motion, but so many of the important pieces of that puzzle do not exist in any meaningful way in the show, so I'm not sure what to think. I'm thinking that maybe by making Hodor (apparently) a Manderly rather than a Frey they are positioning him to take up that slack somehow.
posted by Rock Steady at 11:40 AM on May 4, 2016


I don't think there's any such thing in motion on the show; I suspect we will see the Umbers show up next week as Ramsay supporters (due to kin being held by the Freys) and perhaps the Manderlys will show up to support Sansa? I hope so, anyways; it would be nice to see that support for the Starks the old lady talked about last season. Or they are just going to get throwaway mentions here and there.
posted by nubs at 11:43 AM on May 4, 2016


Imagine you're Benioff and Weiss, and then try to imagine NOT including that storyline. What is your possible reasoning?
posted by Navelgazer at 11:45 AM on May 4, 2016


The Frey pies? I don't know - not rapey enough? Cannibalism is going too far? Or, more likely, would require too many characters and time to set up the punchline.
posted by nubs at 11:47 AM on May 4, 2016


(what does it say when the "good people conspiracy" I can think of involves two people being murdered and cooked into pies served at a wedding feast?)

Well, nobody's perfect
posted by clockzero at 11:48 AM on May 4, 2016


Imagine you're Benioff and Weiss, and then try to imagine NOT including that storyline. What is your possible reasoning?

As with the kidnapping plot in Dorne, the net result of the GNC in the Book To Come is only a partial victory for the Stark allies that results in Roose's death but allows Ramsey to take over in time to wipe out Stannis. Net result: Jon and his wildings must come down, gather up the remains of the defeated northern armies, and expel the Bolten from Winterfell.

Show version: Ramsey wiped out Stannis and kills Roose, Jon and his wildings come down and expel the Boltons from Winterfell.
posted by Diablevert at 11:55 AM on May 4, 2016


Show version: Ramsey wiped out Stannis and kills Roose, Jon and his wildings come down and expel the Boltons from Winterfell.

Not so long as Ramsey has 20 good men.

(But yes, both are going to end in the same place).
posted by nubs at 12:03 PM on May 4, 2016


I suspect we will see the Umbers show up next week as Ramsay supporters

Ten gold stags says they have Rickon in a sack. And given Westerosi primogeniture, he has the legal claim to Winterfell. Jon's illegitimate and swore an oath anyway, Robb's dead, as far as anyone knows so is Branch. The line passes to Rickon next, then Sansa, then Arya.

Taking it further, it's Rickon until he's dead or has an heir of any gender. That doesn't happen, then it's Sansa, same conditions. Then Arya. None of those happen, you have to jump back to Ned's parents, and whether Rickard had siblings.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:11 PM on May 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I expect Rickon to make a return too. Hopefully not the dogs.

And in terms of the show, that should be the line of succession. But...are they going to drag back a character we haven't seen in 2 years? 3? and make him Lord of Winterfell when you've got the freshly raised corpse of Jon Snow just hanging around?
posted by nubs at 12:16 PM on May 4, 2016


Speaking of people returning - I was briefly excited when we got what I'm pretty sure is the first mention of Benjen since S01E01. But then I ultimately doubt that that's leading anywhere.
posted by koeselitz at 12:21 PM on May 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


Rickon's going to be a hell of a bargaining chip, and he's young enough that Bolton can easily brainwash him into blaming everything on Theon. Warden of the North is an appointed title, not a hereditary one, so it costs Bolton nothing and gains him a lot to have a puppet Stark.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:24 PM on May 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


Not so long as Ramsey has 20 good men.

I have this weird feeling that Ramsey is going to be the heir of the Night's King, somehow.

This is what Nan says about the Night's King:

He had been the thirteenth man to lead the Night's Watch, she said; a warrior who knew no fear. 'And that was the fault in him,' she would add, 'for all men must know fear.

Remember what Ramsay said about why he loved Myranda?
posted by clockzero at 12:30 PM on May 4, 2016 [2 favorites]


The martial and political (to stretch the meaning of the term only a little) logic of the White Walkers is entirely consistent with the worst of humanity in GRRM's world, and with Ramsay's ideology, such as it is: people are really just meat, meat which can be made to do things or serve whatever purpose one needs, and there's no reason for false piety when it comes to dominating others or taking power, which is evidently an end in itself. He's practically a White Walker already.
posted by clockzero at 1:18 PM on May 4, 2016 [2 favorites]


There was a mention of Benjen at the end of last season. It went somewhere pointy.
posted by drezdn at 1:30 PM on May 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


prediction: next episode is intercut Jon stuff with Branch accessing weirwood.net.

They can even do the reveal of Jon's parentage, because Branch can't really communicate with the outside world, he can only observe--sets up Meera Reed to hightail it back to the Wall (or even Essos to tell Daenaerys).
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:58 AM on May 5, 2016


(As Rhaegar's child, Jon is heir to the Targaryen dynasty if legitimized)
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:02 PM on May 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


They can even do the reveal of Jon's parentage, because Branch can't really communicate with the outside world, he can only observe--sets up Meera Reed to hightail it back to the Wall (or even Essos to tell Daenaerys).

I guess there would be some symmetry to having the child of Ned Stark reveal the truth/importance of the ToJ to a child of Howland Reed, since Ned and Howland are the only two survivors of the ToJ.
posted by nubs at 12:48 PM on May 5, 2016


In the books, wasn't Rickon's last known location Skagos? My impression was that he never ended up with the Umbers there.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 1:51 PM on May 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I expect Rickon to make a return too.

Me too. I hope they bring back Osha too. Like Shae, she was one of the characters who the show made more interesting, imo.

In the books, wasn't Rickon's last known location Skagos?

Indeed.
posted by homunculus at 2:04 PM on May 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


Davos: Here we are, in the same room together.
Melisandre: Indeed.
Davos: Do you know what I'm here for?
Melisandre: I do not know this.


Davos: How, you do not know this?
Melisandre: I assure you I do not.
Davos: Shall I tell you, then?
Melisandre: I have been asking for nothing else for an hour!
posted by The Tensor at 3:35 PM on May 5, 2016 [5 favorites]


MELISANDRE (flipping a coin): There is an art to the building up of suspense.
DAVOS: Heads.
MELISANDRE (flipping another): Though it can be done by luck alone.
DAVOS: Heads.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 4:08 PM on May 5, 2016 [6 favorites]


I'm seeing (not necessarily in this thread as much as generally everywhere) a lot of thoughts about whether Arya's assassin training will lead her to killing Walder Frey or Cersei or whoever, which is weird to me.

Arya isn't necessarily going to kill anyone on her list. A girl is going to be tasked with killing someone Arya deeply cared/cares about.
posted by Navelgazer at 6:29 PM on May 5, 2016 [5 favorites]


Nobody is going to be tasked with that killing.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 7:10 PM on May 5, 2016 [4 favorites]


The entire faceless man plot is sort of baked in to be ultimately unsatisfying. Because the audience wants our murder-girl to get revenge and it's what she wants most of all, but the entire point of the faceless men is that they do not have any wants/desires/agendas. They don't have grudges or hit lists or personal vendettas. They don't do what's right or noble or necessary, they do what they are tasked with.

Which mean either Arya because a faceless cipher (yay?) or she can't hack it and is killed (boo!) or a third option were the rules up till now cease to matter and she does "cool" stuff and gets to blah blah blah (cop out)
posted by French Fry at 10:52 AM on May 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


The entire faceless man plot is sort of baked in to be ultimately unsatisfying.

This, except every protagonist's plot. In the book at least. GRRM has already stated his intentions, and having our camera friendly protags win doesn't seem to fit. They've already changed Tyrion's dark night of the soul for the show (for the better, IMO), so maybe they will just have Arya be the revenge bent assassin everyone wants, but I don't see that being her date with her current book arc.
posted by codacorolla at 11:03 AM on May 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


This, except every protagonist's plot. In the book at least. GRRM has already stated his intentions, and having our camera friendly protags win doesn't seem to fit. They've already changed Tyrion's dark night of the soul for the show (for the better, IMO), so maybe they will just have Arya be the revenge bent assassin everyone wants, but I don't see that being her date with her current book arc.

What I find interesting with the series is that certain characters start off as the villains of the piece. There is a dislike for Cersei and Jaime Lannister almost immediately, for example, and we like plucky tomboy Arya and Bran with his dreams and noble suffering Dany. As the series has unfolded, our opinion on certain characters changes.

Jaime is the usual example, as he changes on his journey with Brienne and the loss of his hand (as my wife said to me the episode after he lost his hand - "he just became a lot more interesting). Theon is another - disliked by the end of book 2/season 2, to some level of understanding and sympathy/empathy for the thing that is Reek when he reappears after spending time with Ramsay. Cersei becomes someone the audience at least understands, even if she's not necessarily somebody we root for - I know what she wants and why she wants it, just have a hard time with the choices she makes in trying to get it.

So, if we're getting examples of characters we don't like getting some level of redemption, I'm wondering if we won't see some of the characters we start off liking go in the other direction. Bran finds his gift and talents, but detaches from some of his humanity. Arya becomes a cold-blooded revenge killer, having learned from the best, her training with the FM taking away enough of her personality to make her someone we don't recognize, while her desire for revenge carries on. Dany becomes a conqueror in the name of justice, but her justice is that of fire and the sword.
posted by nubs at 11:30 AM on May 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


I agree, nubs. That seems like where the books are headed. But I wonder if the show has the guts to make fan-favorites into villains. That might actually be a major point of divergence between the two, going forward.
posted by codacorolla at 2:37 PM on May 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


I figure Arya's just going to bury her vengeance down deep where Assassin Jesus can't find it, learn everything Connecticut Braavos can teach her about revenge, and then go open a can of whoop-ass up in Westeros.

Or, more likely, plot will dictate that she has to go to Westeros at the behest of the FM.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 3:36 PM on May 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


I'm waiting for Arya to get the murder training she wants and then tell the Faceless Man and his death cult to fuck right the fuck off. She's going to be the Avenging Stark Angel on her own terms, I hope. Perhaps she'll have some sort of Guild of Assassins problem to deal with, but as long as she finishes her list it'll all be worth it.
posted by Nelson at 4:42 PM on May 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


I could get behind her disinterestedly assassinating Dany or Tyrion just for the apocalyptic nerd rage it would generate
posted by prize bull octorok at 4:49 PM on May 6, 2016 [3 favorites]


In a surprise twist, Dany, Arya, and Sansa are the three heads of the dragon. After they wreak havoc and save the world, Jon, Tyrion and Bran are left to the task of rebuilding Westeros while the three dragon ladies go on a road trip to see the world and fuck up shit that needs fucking up.
posted by nubs at 7:20 PM on May 6, 2016 [5 favorites]


Yeah, the ultimate resolution to Arya's training arc will need to be pretty inventive to make any sense, since it didn't make any sense from the very beginning. Jaqen gets to know Arya and thinks "Wow, check out this blood-thirsty waif maniacally focused on vengeance--she'd be perfect for our cult of ascetic, selfless, emotionally-detached assassins!"
posted by skewed at 7:28 PM on May 6, 2016 [5 favorites]


It won't work in the show (without some weird plot moves) but:

"Alayne Stone"

"I do not know this woman. I will give her the gift"

Hijinks ensue.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:34 PM on May 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


Maybe Arya is going to be able to get beyond her murder list with the help of the faceless men. Perhaps that is the thing which will save her in the end.
posted by humanfont at 8:21 PM on May 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


Poisoned by our enemies
posted by homunculus at 9:49 PM on May 6, 2016


(As Rhaegar's child, Jon is heir to the Targaryen dynasty if legitimized)

There's nobody to legitimate him, though. Who would? Daenerys? Tommen? Ellaria?
posted by clockzero at 7:14 AM on May 7, 2016


There's been a fair bit of speculation that there is something in the crypts of Winterfell that would make clear Jon's parentage and legitimacy clear; I'm not sure I believe that but there does seem to be something about the crypts that makes them important.
posted by nubs at 7:36 AM on May 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


It really all hinges on whether Rhaegar and Lyanna were married. Wedding cloaks hidden in her part of the crypt would be pretty solid evidence.

It's interesting that Ned was willing to accept a stain on his honour in order to keep his nephew safe. As a Targaryen child, he would have been put to death by Robert anyway. As Lyanna's child, Robert would have scoured the Seven Kingdoms to find him.

All that said, there is one bit of evidence against R+L=J: Jon's hair. GRRM makes such a Huge Deal out of appearances--it's how Ned figures out the truth about Jaime and Cersei after all--and goes to great pains to point out the Targaryen look of white-blonde hair and violet eyes. Jon is dark and dark. (Yes we know how genetics works but they don't and the Targaryens are magic people anyway.)
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:23 AM on May 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


Well, if blondes keep breeding with blondes, they end up all blondes. If a blonde Targaryen breeds with a brunette Stark instead of another blonde relative...odds are you get a brunette Targaryen.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:39 AM on May 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


Yeah thus my point about genetics.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:43 AM on May 7, 2016


But you'll note that the way he finds out the truth is that every time "the black of hair wins over". So even in the limited understanding of Westeros, black haired Lyanna would have a black haired Targ baby.
posted by corb at 9:45 AM on May 7, 2016 [3 favorites]


Look at the Targaryen family tree. Plenty of brunettes as ancestors of Daenaerys and Rhaegar, yet they're blonde.

FTR: I firmly believe that Jon Targaryen is the only parentage that makes sense for him.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:51 AM on May 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


jon targaryen

jargaryen

jar gar

JAR JAR BINKS

WAKE UP SHEEPLE
posted by poffin boffin at 11:31 AM on May 7, 2016 [14 favorites]


Don't get too into the weeds with Westerosi genetics. That way lies madness.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 11:53 AM on May 7, 2016 [5 favorites]


All that said, there is one bit of evidence against R+L=J: Jon's hair. GRRM makes such a Huge Deal out of appearances--it's how Ned figures out the truth about Jaime and Cersei after all--and goes to great pains to point out the Targaryen look of white-blonde hair and violet eyes. Jon is dark and dark.

It would be like 90% stupid and 10% cool if Jon's hair/eyes started to subtly change color, post-resurrection
posted by clockzero at 2:08 PM on May 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


Would be 100% cool if they were bright, icy blue.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 2:51 PM on May 7, 2016 [5 favorites]


This is CNN
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 4:24 PM on May 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


wut

that is fully ouroborosist
posted by mwhybark at 8:19 PM on May 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


So CNN does native advertising now?
posted by vibratory manner of working at 6:23 PM on May 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


After reading the new episode threads I feel totally vindicated by my previous statement regarding audience reaction to trauma inflicted on Dogs VS People.
posted by French Fry at 6:40 AM on May 9, 2016


Kit Harrington told a cop his fate to get out of a ticket. Pretty cute story.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 12:12 PM on May 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


Kevan is deceased in the books, but still alive in the show as Varys wasn't in KL to crossbow him.

I'm betting one of the Sand Snakes is going to do it. I assume Nymeria and Obara stayed in KL after killing Trystane, and if so the showrunners must intend to use them at some point.
posted by homunculus at 9:51 PM on June 1, 2016 [1 favorite]


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