Game of Thrones: Book of the Stranger   Books Included 
May 15, 2016 7:06 PM - Season 6, Episode 4 - Subscribe

A family reunion. A peace negotiation. A call to war. Another family reunion. Yet another family reunion. Another call to war. An expected death. Yet another call to war. A conquering.

Reunions: Sansa & Jon, Margaery & Loras, Yara & Theon
Peace negotiation: Tyrion, Grey Work, & Missandei negotiate with the Masters
Calls to War: Robin Arryn's crew vs. Ramsay; the Tyrells vs. the High Septon; Jon Snow & the Wildlings vs. Ramsay
Conquered: Daenerys reminds us why she is The Unburndt
Expected Death: Bye Osha :(
posted by gatorae (354 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
You go, girl. Set all those fuckers on fire.

Part of me thinks the writers actually think it's great to give us the satisfaction of seeing rapists and would be rapists get their just fucking desserts but no. We'd just rather not deal with rape threats every other scene thank you very much.
posted by lydhre at 7:13 PM on May 15, 2016 [15 favorites]


Daenerys burning the patriarchy down almost makes up for yet around scene of "Look how evil Ramsey Bolton is!"/"Let's see Ramsey Bolton treat women terribly", but no, it doesn't, not really.
posted by damayanti at 7:15 PM on May 15, 2016 [18 favorites]


Given that Osha had to die because of course she did, I'm happy that she died with some agency trying to cleverly kill that evil fucker, and not just being flayed like that apple.
posted by gatorae at 7:18 PM on May 15, 2016 [20 favorites]


I'm so glad that the trip to Vaes Dothrak wasn't just some random obstacle where Daenerys gets saved and then they go back to Mereen for more slog. I did not see that resolution coming, and it's far better than anything I had imagined. With any luck they'll find some ships and sail off to Westoros or whatever.

The bowing down of the Dothraki to Daenerys was pretty unexpected; there must have been widespread knowledge of what she had done before, and also lots of rumors of what she could do. And amazement and suspicion that the Khals did not have.

Also, yes, enough with the damned rape rape rapeyness all the time. WE GET IT. Enough fetishization. D&D, okay, you know what you do? You buy yourself a tape recorder, you just record yourself for a whole day. I think you’re going to be surprised at some of your phrasing.
posted by Llama-Lime at 7:22 PM on May 15, 2016 [12 favorites]


Had to fast forward through the Ramsey scene as soon as he stabbed her. Also, where did he get an apple from? Are there Fossaways nearby?

Two things that made the episode... I didn't expect Kelly C. to just watch everything burn, and the short bit between Brienne and Tormund.
posted by drezdn at 7:24 PM on May 15, 2016 [4 favorites]


I thought her fire abilities was a one time thing. Also, Jorah passed his throw to determine where the older ladies made water.
posted by drezdn at 7:25 PM on May 15, 2016 [3 favorites]


The Stark reunion was nice.
posted by rewil at 7:25 PM on May 15, 2016 [11 favorites]


I thought her fire abilities was a one time thing.

Yeah, GRRM has maintained this with regard to the books, but if I recall correctly (a) it's never been written in the books themselves, just in answers to fan questions, so he could always change his mind and (b) the show can (and does) do what it wants at this point anyway.
posted by Kosh at 7:27 PM on May 15, 2016 [5 favorites]


Great episode. It goes to illustrate what uh someone said about how a shared history and time spent with characters is what makes scenes like the Jon/Sansa reunion or the Dany free barbecue work compared to things like the Sand Snakes where we don't care because we don't know them and haven't spent any time with them.

This episode was almost entirely stuff that had been set up and evolved naturally. Even... god help me... Theon going to the Iron Islands. And the Arryn blast from the past.

It's also why you don't introduce new major characters and plots 5 books in to a 7 book series, GRRM. LEARN.
posted by Justinian at 7:40 PM on May 15, 2016 [10 favorites]


Yay Sansa! Yay all the women scheming and taking charge! Poor Osha.

Ha ha Lord Arryan is so hilariously bad at everything and now everyone is finally fed up enough with Huse Serial a killer fucking things up in Winterfell. Ahaha.
posted by The Whelk at 7:40 PM on May 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


That was badass, and I'm glad it wasn't just "dragons show up and save her" like I thought.

I'm also tentatively into this new King's Landing plot. Finally, some forward momentum in that plotline!

Loved the Awkward Convo with Brienne and Team Stannis. It totally slipped my mind that they'd of course LOATHE each other.

Littlefinger's ultimate plan makes a lot more sense now, too.
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:40 PM on May 15, 2016 [8 favorites]


BLOOD AND FIRE Danny not BLOOD AND COMPROMISE
posted by The Whelk at 7:44 PM on May 15, 2016 [8 favorites]


THE WICKER KHAL
posted by poffin boffin at 7:46 PM on May 15, 2016 [27 favorites]


SANSA SAYING HELP ME OR I'LL FUCKING DO IT MYSELF
posted by poffin boffin at 7:46 PM on May 15, 2016 [50 favorites]


So clearly the Rickon bit isn't an Umber plot. Because "sit on this guy's lap and try to stab him while he's distracted" may have been the best plan she could come up with at the time but it ain't exactly Ocean's 11, you know? Poor Rickon.
posted by Justinian at 7:46 PM on May 15, 2016 [9 favorites]


i could only care less about theon with a team of medical specialists working day and night to strengthen my caring less glands but i am glad to see him supporting his sister at least

ideally he will die to further her story
posted by poffin boffin at 7:47 PM on May 15, 2016 [17 favorites]


Loooove Sansa like, snapping her fingers in front of Jon's blank face like "Here, here FOCUS, family, ancestral home, serial killers, horrible things done to me, GET ON BOARD."
posted by The Whelk at 7:48 PM on May 15, 2016 [23 favorites]


Hey, Brienne saved Mel from an even more awkward conversation where she'd have to be all: "Totes sorry Davos but I made Stannis burn Shireen alive. Turns out that was a mistake! My bad! What's for lunch?"
posted by Justinian at 7:48 PM on May 15, 2016 [11 favorites]


I think Cersei and the royals are being played by the High Sparrow. He's a fanatic but he isn't an idiot. He must know that anything he tells Tommen will get back to Cersei. Maybe he told Tommen about shaming Margery because he knew it would set the royals off and force their hand, allowing him to take them all down in a civil war.

Though we don't know exactly what Tommen said to Cersei, since the scene changed. Perhaps he told her something else, and the talk of Margery being publicly shamed is a ruse by her to trick the others into helping her. But whatever Tommen told Cersei, it had to be have been something the High Sparrow meant for Cersei to hear.
posted by Sangermaine at 7:48 PM on May 15, 2016 [12 favorites]


yeah idgi is brienne saving the GIRL I SAW U BURN THE KID reveal for some other moment?

god but her face during the entire meal scene, that scene is now diamonds
posted by poffin boffin at 7:51 PM on May 15, 2016 [3 favorites]


It's going to be so award when the Stark's and Wildings show up to invade Winterfell at the same time the Vale's archers show up like "oh no please you Storm the fort" "oh no I insist."
posted by The Whelk at 7:51 PM on May 15, 2016 [8 favorites]


Yeah I wonder how deep the High Sparrow's game is , I mean the last time the faith militant got into power it took mass murdering dragons to get the, out .

That being said I do want Maggie to just snap and push him out a window
posted by The Whelk at 7:54 PM on May 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


That was a great episode. Lots of characters got chances to show their loyalty, insight, growth, or ability in satisfying ways. The Sansa-Jon reunion was intense and poignant, thought it cut off sort of abruptly. Sansa being casual and nostalgic with Jon was seemed to indicate that she was able to relax for the first time since she left King's Landing, but it was signaled sort of understatedly. I loved Tormund making kissy-faces at Brienne, it was an interesting/odd change after she cowed Davos and Melisandre. I wanted to see Jon get really mad or do something other than squint and ask Tormund how many guys he has. We hope Jon came back to do more than react to things.

And I think the Lannisters and Tyrells are badly underestimating the High Sparrow. They're up against something they don't understand. They really need Tyrion, unfortunately.

So two armies are going to crush Ramsay from either side, but who will pledge to Jon? This is a good arc they're setting up.

I liked Yara and Theon's scene together. He acknowledges her superior worth and ability and only asks to serve. I wonder where that will go, though. What can he do?

The end was amazing. She did it again! Dany has, like, what, a quarter-million Dothraki now? More if she has female soldiers too? Maybe she'll go back to Valyria with them and get something important there, after she completely conquers Astapor et al?
posted by clockzero at 7:55 PM on May 15, 2016 [3 favorites]


SANSA SAYING HELP ME OR I'LL FUCKING DO IT MYSELF

This was just too perfect and long awaited. My only wish now is that she ask Brienne to teach her some swordwork, so she can be the way to kill Ramsay.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:55 PM on May 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


Can we all just agree that Cersei's trial by combat is going to be Cleganebowl? Because that is completely necessary and non-optional.
posted by Justinian at 7:55 PM on May 15, 2016 [12 favorites]


Did Brienne even see Shireen's roast? I can't remember. I thought that's what she was going to say but then her Renly fixation got the best of her and now I'm not sure if she actually knows/cares about Shireen.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 7:56 PM on May 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


All right, things happened! I was beginning to get a bit worried.

Ramsay appears to be the showrunners' id run amuck at this juncture, less a person than an unkillable cartoon character who escaped some Warner Brothers reel and climbed into the world of GoT like something out of Who Framed Roger Rabbit. I'm not really that interested to see Jon take on Ramsay personally in the show, although I am eager to see this one day in the books, where Ramsay is still an interesting character. His plotline is boring garbage here. But I am curious to see whether Jon will try to patch things up with the Night's Watch -- this does seem like a pride goeth before a fall type situation. Sansa may be the cooler head who manages to bring all the necessary forces together, creating an intriguing parallel to Dany...hmm.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 7:56 PM on May 15, 2016 [6 favorites]


She would have had to have went by the scene after the battle.
posted by drezdn at 7:57 PM on May 15, 2016


also WHERE IS THE TOWER OF CONVOLUTED PLOT CONTRIVANCES COME ON
posted by poffin boffin at 7:57 PM on May 15, 2016 [11 favorites]


I mean I think Ramsay should die like a coward and a rat but on the other hand I want Sansa to somehow have a flamethrower.
posted by The Whelk at 7:57 PM on May 15, 2016 [3 favorites]


I mean I think Ramsay should die like a coward and a rat but on the other hand I want Sansa to somehow have a flamethrower.

Not a far-fetched choice of weaponry, given the context.
posted by clockzero at 7:59 PM on May 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


yes and the flamethrower's name is rhaegal
posted by poffin boffin at 7:59 PM on May 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


also there's no one left alive who could firsthand confirm or deny the rhaegar/lyanna thing at this point, right? unless jaime is running the longest con in the history of westeros.
posted by poffin boffin at 8:00 PM on May 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


also i hope tormund and brienne get to awkwardly slow dance at a wedding at some point
posted by poffin boffin at 8:02 PM on May 15, 2016 [32 favorites]


Gods I hope they kill off Ramsay soon. There's only so often they can have boring characters kill off more interesting ones before there's only boring characters left, and he is the highest-body-count boring character by a country mile.
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 8:04 PM on May 15, 2016 [7 favorites]


also there's no one left alive who could firsthand confirm or deny the rhaegar/lyanna thing at this point, right?

In the books, I think Howland Reed is still alive? Or if he's dead, I don't think it's been mentioned, yet.
posted by davidjmcgee at 8:07 PM on May 15, 2016 [4 favorites]


But this is the show so he'll probably show up just in time for Ramsey to kill him before he has a chance to tell anyone.
posted by davidjmcgee at 8:08 PM on May 15, 2016 [6 favorites]


also i hope tormund and brienne get to awkwardly slow dance at a wedding at some point

It's very awkward at the wedding until they get to murder an assassin and then it's all in thier comfort zone
posted by The Whelk at 8:09 PM on May 15, 2016 [11 favorites]


But I am curious to see whether Jon will try to patch things up with the Night's Watch

What Night's Watch? Isn't it like, 25 guys left at this point? I had more people at my child's 2nd birthday party.
posted by gatorae at 8:12 PM on May 15, 2016 [15 favorites]


Spinoff Jorah/Daario into a series of Hope/Crosby inspired road movies.
posted by drezdn at 8:17 PM on May 15, 2016 [5 favorites]


Apparently Ramsey's men are gooder than Theon's sister's.
posted by drezdn at 8:18 PM on May 15, 2016


I like how Jorah's plot was like the part in every dragon age game where you have to do a stealth mission
posted by The Whelk at 8:19 PM on May 15, 2016 [19 favorites]


In the books, I think Howland Reed is still alive? Or if he's dead, I don't think it's been mentioned, yet.

It's assumed he's still alive, but I don't think anyone comes out and says it.
posted by drezdn at 8:20 PM on May 15, 2016


Best episode of the season so far, imo. I was very happy when the gates opened and there were Sansa and crew. At long last some Starks get reunited. And it was nice to see Sansa finally taking charge. The character they teased us with at the end of season 4 has finally shown up, please let her damsel days be over.

OTOH, I was really annoyed at Osha's death. Of course she was going to die, but just throwing her away so Ramsey could meet his weekly evil quota was a waste. Osha was one of the characters which the show actually improved over the books, imo, and she was much more interesting than Ramsey will ever be, so it would have been nice to be reunited with her for a bit before she was discarded.
posted by homunculus at 8:20 PM on May 15, 2016 [15 favorites]


i want more men set on fire

where are the dragons
posted by poffin boffin at 8:22 PM on May 15, 2016 [9 favorites]


What if we set men on fire and then threw them at the white walkers

Like it can't hurt to try right
posted by The Whelk at 8:29 PM on May 15, 2016 [12 favorites]


can we throw them with catapults
posted by poffin boffin at 8:30 PM on May 15, 2016 [3 favorites]


I wonder if Theon is going to get Victarion's job? Or if his sister will get it?
posted by drezdn at 8:46 PM on May 15, 2016


The things I found most interesting here are actually where the show seems to have shortened things.

1) Dany burning the Khals seemed like one of these, but we don't know yet
2) Sansa being with Jon Snow and it all being a plot to get the Vale involved seems like a way of shortcutting the Vale marriage plot for Sansa and getting Jon Snow moving. Also a way of answering those "how did Petyr Baelish not know" questions.
3) Tyrion shortens like a million factions
posted by corb at 8:48 PM on May 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


Question for book people: Is a Tormound/Brienne pairing hinted at in the books?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:49 PM on May 15, 2016


He hasn't met Brienne yet (and probably couldn't in the book... depending)
posted by drezdn at 8:51 PM on May 15, 2016


i don't think they've ever met in the books?

actually what have we seen so far this season which is actual extant book canon?
posted by poffin boffin at 8:51 PM on May 15, 2016


They haven't met yet in the books. But then, neither have her and Sansa. So who knows?
posted by corb at 8:51 PM on May 15, 2016


Imma let you finish, but Drew Barrymore was the original unburnt.
posted by drezdn at 8:51 PM on May 15, 2016 [7 favorites]


Maybe Theon can now be Victarion and Quentyn and be barbecued by the dragons along with those two vestigial GRRM plotlines.
posted by gatorae at 8:53 PM on May 15, 2016


Oh the other thing that's interesting, is they're taking the time to go back to the books and tie up plot points from previous books. They may also be nervous about GRRM tying any of his plot points up ever.
posted by corb at 9:12 PM on May 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


does it really matter what grrm does wrt book plot points now though? anything that's in the show that is unpublished canon that he's told them about will remain the same if any further books should ever exist (lol) but if he puts show canon into the books will he not then be in the hilariously undignified position of owing them royalties? or co-authorship?
posted by poffin boffin at 9:20 PM on May 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


Welllll... hmmm. Balon getting tossed off the bridge is book canon, though I suppose one could quibble by saying it was probably a faceless man hired by Euron rather than Euron himself. Bran getting spirit quested by the one-eyed crow is book canon. Tower of Joy, though that's from the novel Game of Thrones so like 5 seasons ago. Otherwise I think we're passed all the book stuff.
posted by Justinian at 9:20 PM on May 15, 2016


but if he puts show canon into the books will he not then be in the hilariously undignified position of owing them royalties? or co-authorship?

No. I mean, I can't give you the legal mumbo jumbo talking points but I can tell you the answer is no...
posted by Justinian at 9:21 PM on May 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


So Osha asking if Ramsey ate his victims, unimpressed when he said he didn't: further indication they're cannibals over in Skagos?
posted by rewil at 9:23 PM on May 15, 2016 [4 favorites]


Did Brienne even see Shireen's roast? I can't remember. I thought that's what she was going to say but then her Renly fixation got the best of her and now I'm not sure if she actually knows/cares about Shireen.

As I recall, Shireen was sacrificed while Stannis and his army were stuck in the snow on the way to Winterfell, while Brienne was already at Winterfell watching for candles. She couldn't have seen it.
posted by homunculus at 9:30 PM on May 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


This show is shit, everything about it is shit, supporting it in any way whatsoever is execrable, and I will never watch it again.
posted by koeselitz at 9:40 PM on May 15, 2016


This episode was good enough that I'm now rewatching it immediately. My thoughts:

-Man, when the gates opened to reveal Brienne, Sansa, and Pod, I cheered out loud. Fuckyeah, Brienne protected the shit out of Sansa to get her to Castle Black. No more of this waiting around, staring at a tower for an entire season. And when Jon and Sansa embraced, it was nothing short of wonderful. That was six long seasons in the making. We get to see Sansa's political acumen at work, which is also wonderful.

-Ser Davos is going to find out about Shireen somehow, and it's not going to be pretty. Brienne casually mentioning that she killed Stannis is hilarious.

-I'd been wondering when we were going to see Littlefinger, and I was not disappointed. If he can bring the knights of the Vale to Winterfell, that's going to be… interesting.

-Tyrion talking about how he understood slavery to two characters who'd been slaves…

-I was, however, very disappointed that Osha didn't manage to kill Ramsay. At least she died trying, though.

-Jorah and Daario's dick-measuring on their way to rescue Dany: I always suspect this kind of thing happens on Man Planet more than women will ever know.

-Dany's burninating was epic and wonderful. In sympathy, I stepped on a white-hot ember while barbecuing tonight. Can report that my calluses saved me from a second-degree burn. Maybe Dany is one giant callus?
posted by culfinglin at 9:40 PM on May 15, 2016 [10 favorites]


I was unprepared for how emotional I was at Jon and Sansa's reunion. I made an involuntary hissing "yessssssss" noise and then I actually teared up. I had no idea how much I wanted something - anything! - good to happen for one of the Stark kids, and seeing two of them, even if it was the two who were probably the least close, was so great. I will never be truly satisfied until Arya and Jon are reunited (it has to happen) but this will tide me over.

And then I literally cheered when Sansa pulled out her power move.

I do suspect D&D got the memo from the entire internet about the women's plot lines. Still rapey, but at least the women are asserting some agency, and are actually the ones pushing forward the majority of the plotlines now.
posted by lunasol at 9:44 PM on May 15, 2016 [6 favorites]


The Whelk> show up to invade Winterfell at the same time the Vale's archers show up

There are 2000 wildling effectives. Not enough Black Brothers to count, and what's left of Stannis' army (are they effectively ... gone gone?). Ramsey has 5000 and inside a rebuilt castle. I'm not sure the (far) North could realistically even contemplate attacking the North's position.

Littlefinger, however, yeah it's an insane plot but internally consistent to gain Winterfell militarily. The old man knows that he's going to be accidentally on purpose sacrificed soon. Wonder if he has the mettle to throw a ratchet in LF's plans.

The actor doing Robin... in the opening scene, it was 50/50 whether he was mentally developmentally compromised or if he was keen but laid back and whimsical lad. The timing between him and Littlefinger was just a little bit off through the entire scene.

I still can't tell if Robin is supposed to be compromised or he's overcome mental developmental delay (to a point) and using that as a defensive mask, knowing that he can't easily overcome his physical developmental compromises (otherwise for self protection, he's secretly train, but then it'd show in bone and muscle development, no matter how much you pretend to slouch and be bad at archery).
posted by porpoise at 9:46 PM on May 15, 2016


This show is shit, everything about it is shit, supporting it in any way whatsoever is execrable, and I will never watch it again.

O_O

Anyway anybody else unduly bothered by the fact that Bronze Yohn wasn't in his bronze armor? I demand satisfaction.
posted by Justinian at 9:48 PM on May 15, 2016 [3 favorites]


clockzero> "I loved Tormund making kissy-faces at Brienne"

Tots! Wildlings live in an incredibly inhospital environment. Brienne has "good survival skills genes" aplenty.

That. That has got to be the single FSMdamned sexiest thing to a Wildling.
posted by porpoise at 9:51 PM on May 15, 2016 [3 favorites]


I just think Robin is kinda of dumb (I also think the Vale is really Hapsburgy inbred but that's personal belief)

Man wouldn't it have been fun if Osha stabbed Ramsey and he just died like it was no thing and the Sansa/Jon/LF Grouo retook Winterfell AND the High Sparrow got ..I don't know dethroned and Maggie gets out of jail and everything became nice and stable and everyone got happy endings for like 2 episodes until ice spiders and zombie monsters start pouring out from the north and everyone goes "oooh right, those things" like every character gets a good solid two episodes of thinking it might all work out and then BAM, horrible apocalypse ,they kinda forgot was coming.
posted by The Whelk at 9:51 PM on May 15, 2016 [21 favorites]


I was expecting that Jon might mention to Sansa that he died recently, but nope!
posted by clockzero at 9:55 PM on May 15, 2016 [4 favorites]


Tots! Wildlings live in an incredibly inhospital environment. Brienne has "good survival skills genes" aplenty.

In the books there's a lot more about how the Wildling men love women who are tough and can fight - spearwives. Brienne would be in high demand.
posted by lunasol at 9:56 PM on May 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


Anyway anybody else unduly bothered by the fact that Bronze Yohn wasn't in his bronze armor? I demand satisfaction.


I was also mildly annoyed, and am glad I wasn't the only one.
posted by culfinglin at 9:57 PM on May 15, 2016


what's left of Stannis' army (are they effectively ... gone gone?)

If all unaccounted-for characters can be assumed to have joined Gendry, then that little rowboat must be getting really crowded.
posted by homunculus at 9:57 PM on May 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


Jon's response to Sansa's impassioned plea for him to get into action hero mode was ... hesitant.

I wonder how much he's suspected of whether or not he's a Stark or not from his talks with Ammon (blind old guy) and all the other rumours. Maybe he realizes that he is a bastard (possibly, barring secret marriage), but not a bastard Stark.
posted by porpoise at 10:00 PM on May 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


I can't wait to see the look on Brienne's face when Tormund tries to make small talk by telling her about Sheila.
posted by homunculus at 10:04 PM on May 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


I was sure when we saw Sansa et all at the gate, they'd then reveal Jon had already left and it was editing/timing trickery. Was certain. And was so happy they didn't go that way.

I loved Jon and Sansa together. It was so tender and happy, even if only in that moment.

I was incredibly sad over Osha's death, but also relieved she wasn't raped or flayed. I was really expecting that, which says more than it should about the show.

The Dany scene made me so happy, and gave me the chills in the best way. For a moment, I thought she was going to try and impress the Khals with her inability to be harmed by fire. But no, she was there to burn it all down.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 10:04 PM on May 15, 2016 [3 favorites]


Yay! Great episode! After reading two tedious where nothing ever happened but Tyrion went up a river and down again, in like three episodes the TV show has made the plot advance way farther than we ever need.

Yay, Sansa and Jon are reunited! They're going back to Winterfell! Sansa is now a badass! (OK that seems a bit sudden, but I like it.)

Yay Daenerys has a Khalasar army again! Also she's still totally fire girl. I loved the way her tipping the braziers over echoed the crown-of-gold thing from the first season. Also loved the abundance of splashing lamp oil in what appeared to be a coal fire. OK it's all silly, but plot advanced! Now just tie up the Mereen silliness and get her on the damned boats and let's get this wrapped up, shall we?

Speaking of Mereen silliness I was oddly moved by Tyrion's efforts at negotiation with the Masters and the divided loyalties in Mereen. And particularly Grey Worm and Melisandre. They are clearly out of their element and realize it, and aren't happy about it. I'm hopeful that the conclusion to the whole Mereen plot is they tell Daenerys, Tyrion, and Varys to go fuck themselves and they'll sort out their own freedom, thank you very much.

Goodbye Osha, I hope your death meant something more than just giving one last nod to yet another victimized woman.
posted by Nelson at 10:09 PM on May 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


This show is shit, everything about it is shit, supporting it in any way whatsoever is execrable, and I will never watch it again.

okie dokie
posted by poffin boffin at 10:11 PM on May 15, 2016 [13 favorites]


Cersei really should have had better phrasing to the Queen of Thrones about going after those responsible for the current predicament. I was super upset that Osha was murdered it's like wtf stop having Ramsey kill so many people you'll never be Joffrey.
posted by Green With You at 10:15 PM on May 15, 2016


Everything about this episode was unbearably boring to me except Osha's death, which (for reasons I am still trying to parse) was probably the most painfully obnoxious moment I've ever had in 36 years of watching television. Everything about it - the fact that they attempt to manipulate the audience - shoddily, it turns out, since everyone knew Ramsay would kill her, I was sighing that as it was about to happen - into thinking that some dumb woman would ever be smart enough to kill a super smart evil man, who is obviously a very important character who must be kept alive as long as possible to make his very big demise satisfying for the audience. It's just so baldly perverse and masochistic, that we're watching a show about torture for fun. I've never gotten so angry and frustrated at something in a dumb TV show where I threw down my drink and stomped off because I couldn't watch any more, but that happened tonight.

And I'm still sorting through my emotions. I'm sorry - I know this is irrational feelings. But UGH. Torture show is torture show, it will never change.
posted by koeselitz at 10:15 PM on May 15, 2016 [3 favorites]


Why couldn't Osha kill Ramsay?
posted by koeselitz at 10:15 PM on May 15, 2016


Yeah I thought they might let her.
posted by corb at 10:20 PM on May 15, 2016


Yeah! I never got the message that Dany's ('Kelly C', heh) fire immunity was a one time thing (books and show). I was glad that the show (Jorrah!, certainly came up with the plan) made use of the fact.

But is she going to have to do the "I'm immune to fire" in a dramatic way every single time that she'll needs more support?

Also, 250,000 and their horses (and in real life, their support and supply train) is a larger logistical feat than moving 50,000 (much much much less now) Unsullied (who are infantry and don't traditionally have families like the Dothraki) to Westeros.

If Dany makes it Westeros, the farmlands are already razed, all the food are horded in cities, cities are in civil war; how is she going to feed her army? Or their horses. Cavalry (especially light) are essentially worthless in a siege. Remember how Jorrah was able to handily defeat a Dothraki while wearing half plate and not much else? The much cheaper brigandine and chain that the Westerosi army uses is almost as good, if less durable. The Dothraki are going to have to aim for legs and arms.

I wonder how much siege equipment three dragons are worth?

Anyway, like the smallest council bantered on about; the leaderships in King's Landing know that there isn't nearly enough food for everyone and that a bloodletting would be the best for "everyone" (inside the castle).
posted by porpoise at 10:22 PM on May 15, 2016 [4 favorites]


Also, I liked how this episode had three pairs of sisters and brothers, in which the sisters proved the stronger of the two emotionally. As a big sister myself, I dig it.
posted by culfinglin at 10:22 PM on May 15, 2016 [17 favorites]


I honestly thought they might have Osha kill Ramsey cause ...so satisfying, and they kept making sure we knew that knife was in frame. And it was literally last second not moving fast enough that got her foiled, had the table been a foot shorter.....
posted by The Whelk at 10:24 PM on May 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


TheWhelk> I also think the Vale is really Hapsburgy inbred but that's personal belief

Agreed, that's my take from the books, too. Insular aerial community.

But it's frustrating seeing so much loyalty to genetics, when it's obvious that genetics failed in that branch. Ham fisted moralizing writing, I guess - but that situation is rife within history.
posted by porpoise at 10:31 PM on May 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


I honestly thought they might have Osha kill Ramsey cause ...so satisfying, and they kept making sure we knew that knife was in frame. And it was literally last second not moving fast enough that got her foiled, had the table been a foot shorter.....

Right. Because... they really need to keep Ramsay alive. He's an essential part of the show, and his death is going to be super-important. They'll remind us at least half a dozen more times of all the stuff he's done to people, in detail, so that it can be satisfying for viewers when he finally gets killed by Sansa or Arya or Jon or Theon or whoever.

Why have I been watching a show about a violent abuser for years now when it clearly makes me unhappy? What's wrong with me?
posted by koeselitz at 10:33 PM on May 15, 2016 [3 favorites]


Crazy Burning Shit Up Dany is BEST Dany!
posted by KathrynT at 10:36 PM on May 15, 2016 [8 favorites]


I would've actually loved it if his death wasn't super Important and he just got stabbed in the neck by someone lower on the totem pole cause he's a loser creep who doesn't deserve a big villian death scene and I liked that idea enough to think it might happen...

But it almost happened. Which makes me think it might happen again, and my desire to watch Ramsey fall into a pile of manure from a great height and not even buried grows.
posted by The Whelk at 10:37 PM on May 15, 2016 [3 favorites]


I think Pod's gonna do it, all business
posted by prize bull octorok at 10:41 PM on May 15, 2016 [5 favorites]


(I mostly thought Osha might totally stab him cause it would narratively fit with the Nedd thing, like, of course the virtuous honorable main character can't die! Of course the remorseless cartoon serial killer who has tormented so much of our main cast can't be killed by a no one he's never met in a hot second! Oh well. She tried)
posted by The Whelk at 10:41 PM on May 15, 2016 [5 favorites]


If pod just pushes him out a window I'll be so happy. Doesn't even break stride.

"So we were planning supper then?"
posted by The Whelk at 10:42 PM on May 15, 2016 [7 favorites]


I loved Tormund making kissy-faces at Brienne

Not sure, because we didn't get a good shot of his face, but Pod's posture looked extremely offended. Just delightful.
posted by longdaysjourney at 10:45 PM on May 15, 2016 [4 favorites]


"This is VERY untoward behavior toward a knight of the realm" "Pod if you in any way stop this from happening I will make you the most famous castrati this side of Mareen" "Nored."
posted by The Whelk at 10:50 PM on May 15, 2016 [10 favorites]


If Dany makes it Westeros, the farmlands are already razed, all the food are horded in cities, cities are in civil war; how is she going to feed her army? Or their horses.
Depending on how closely the Dothraki horde are modeled after the Mongol horde, they will survive on their horses fairly well, (horse milk, horse blood, horse meat...). But that makes me remember another interesting aspect of the Mongols/Dothraki, they would handily destroy a European/Westorosi army. The Dothraki come across as primitive, unskilled, and not so intelligent, but the Mongols were brilliant tacticians with superior technology to armor-based European (Weterosi) military technology. They had better bows, better bow skills, and *all* the warriors are on horses which makes them move quickly, enabling all sorts of tactics, like feigned retreats, circling and flanking the other army, etc. It's fighter jets vs. tanks and infantry. Westerosi and show viewer eyes would not be impressed on sight, but Jorrah describes the Dothraki pretty much identical to the Mongols horde:
When I first went into exile, I looked at the Dothraki and saw half-naked barbarians, as wild as their horses. If you had asked me then, Princess, I should have told you that a thousand good knights would have no trouble putting to flight a hundred times as many Dothraki."

"But if I asked you now?"

"Now," the knight said, "I am less certain. They are better riders than any knight, utterly fearless, and their bows outrange ours. In the Seven Kingdoms, most archers fight on foot, from behind a shieldwall or a barricade of sharpened stakes. The Dothraki fire from horseback, charging or retreating, it makes no matter, they are full as deadly … and there are so many of them, my lady. Your lord husband alone counts forty thousand mounted warriors in his khalasar."

"Is that truly so many?"

"Your brother Rhaegar brought as many men to the Trident," Ser Jorah admitted, "but of that number, no more than a tenth were knights. The rest were archers, freeriders, and foot soldiers armed with spears and pikes. When Rhaegar fell, many threw down their weapons and fled the field. How long do you imagine such a rabble would stand against the charge of forty thousand screamers howling for blood? How well would boiled leather jerkins and mailed shirts protect them when the arrows fall like rain?"

"Not long," she said, "not well."

He nodded. " Mind you, Princess, if the lords of the Seven Kingdoms have the wit the gods gave a goose, it will never come to that. The riders have no taste for siegecraft. I doubt they could take even the weakest castle in the Seven Kingdoms, but if Robert Baratheon were fool enough to give them battle …"

-- text cribbed from a forum, though I disagree vehemently with his comments on it
It's difficult to visually convey the deadliness of Dothraki when they don't wear any armor, and don't have cool swords. But if the Dothraki make it to Westeros, they will win any battle. If there are dragons, those castles aren't going to help much, and the dragons may help out fairly well in the battles too. It may be difficult to convince audiences that nomadic people without cities are more militarily refined than the Westerosi, but if they're going to stick to the history after which it is modeled, Dothraki armies will dominate wherever there's battle. The Dothraki survive solely by destroying cities or threatening them.

If the Dothraki do go to Westeros, it may have interesting implications for the battle in the North. Mongols would be fine with winter, but it doesn't look like the Dothraki in the show also have cold winters.
posted by Llama-Lime at 11:08 PM on May 15, 2016 [3 favorites]


Ramsay is the worst thing because - far beyond Joffrey though to me the most insulting thing might be how much it's *already been done* with Joffrey - nobody I know actually enjoys anything about his presence. He's like a failed wrestling heel who gets the wrong kind of boos and yes they're going to try to force a whole thing building up to his death and no it's not going to be any good. But... I knew that already? I mean I've been resigned for more than a season to the assessment that he's a part of the show that sucks and he will continue sucking until they murder him in whatever way they have planned.
posted by atoxyl at 11:21 PM on May 15, 2016


Ramsey is bad, and has been bad, for a while, cause we never learn anything new about his character nor does he do novel shit? We learned some stuff in the past, but it didn't change anything. he's a horrible person who delights in murder. The end. Every episode with him in it is where he's a horrible person who delights in mjrder and torture, the end. He's a one note villian who deserves to be stabbed by a relatative nobody and left to bleed out alone. Ramsey is BORING.
posted by The Whelk at 11:28 PM on May 15, 2016 [13 favorites]


My wife and I were discussing Osha's death (and last episode's hanging) and have come to the conclusion that for literally every episode of the next two seasons, at least one character is going to be killed off. It made me wonder, is there a leaderboard for this with odds and such yet?

Among supporting characters Pod and the Waif were leading our speculation, not due to our desire for the character's deaths, but due to apparent plot-point dispensibility.

koeselitz, your breaking point may have been reached in a well-timed fashion.
posted by mwhybark at 11:34 PM on May 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


Can I say how bad I feel about Tommen, here? Cause he seems exactly like a very young sheltered kid rich who is basically nice and trying so hard to be good and is so utterly out of his depths. It's like, way to have a huge power struggler in your kingdom while going through your awkward years! Unlike the other Lannisters I think you offered Tommen the chance to just be like, a barber for three years he'd say yes, yes of course my bags are packed let's go.
posted by The Whelk at 11:35 PM on May 15, 2016 [16 favorites]


cat groomer, you mean. but yes.
posted by mwhybark at 11:37 PM on May 15, 2016 [14 favorites]


I cried at the Sansa/Jon reunion. It's incredible how cathartic it felt--especially when the camera panned to Sansa's face. She's really been through so very, very much since their parting and she is my favorite character.

I usually prefer the books to the show but I'm really loving this season
posted by armadillo1224 at 11:38 PM on May 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


It's like someone pressed the fast-forward button on their Age of Empires game. The units are running everywhere!

(please please kill Mr. Bolton, or just put him on his own rowboat and let us never see him again, I don't even need him dead, just put him on an island somewhere and ignore him for the rest of the show, doesn't matter)
posted by BungaDunga at 11:41 PM on May 15, 2016 [3 favorites]


Wow. This was a GREAT episode. I knew Daenaerys would walk out (fly out...) of Vaes Dothrak in charge, but I totally didn't see it coming in such a badass way. Even within the scene, I thought she was just going to pull "fire can't touch me, what makes you think you can" as a stunt.

Instead, burn the patriarchy.

Sansa & Jon gave me so many feels.

Basically it feels like this episode was a whole lot of question answering, and now it's time for stuff to really move along at a fair clip. Sometime in the next couple of episodes Dany's gonna show up at Meereen and be all "so be tee dubs, no need to negotiate with slavery assholes," Ninjarya's going to get her first assignment (do we have a pool on who she's going to be sent after?), Jon will give An Impassioned Speech and unify the Wildlings and the armies of the Vale for retaking Winterfell around episode 8 or 9, and Tommen's going to have a classic Lannister "I have made a terrible mistake" moment when the Tyrells show up to spank the Sparrow.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:50 PM on May 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


This show is shit, everything about it is shit, supporting it in any way whatsoever is execrable, and I will never watch it again.

I came to feel this way about Doctor Who. Haven't watched it since.

As for this episode, it was pretty entertaining. The pace of the show has varied from season to season and a rushed pace is a nice change.
posted by juiceCake at 11:57 PM on May 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


Ugh and on second thought, retaking Winterfell is going to dovetail with Branch revealing the Tower of Joy stuff perhaps while some hitherto unseen part of the crypts is revealed (Ramsay's final hiding place maybe?) to provide supporting evidence. Chopping off Ramsay's head is going to be E10, I'm guessing, if they follow the 9th-ep pattern of That's Where The Big Thing Happens. His execution will be part of the season denouement.

Tormund is going to be SO IN LOVE with Brienne.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:58 PM on May 15, 2016 [4 favorites]


Yay they did some things! This was a good episode.

There's no way they can kill Ramsey after Roose's death. I wish they'd done it another way, like keep Roose alive, let Jon and Sansa come down to do some shit, have Osha kill Ramsey and then when the goodies win, let everyone put a hand on the sword that beheads Roose. Or, if Wun Wun wants to pick up Ramsey and discus him over the battlements that would be okay.

I wonder if they'll try to have the Ironborn come back to Winterfell for a big penultimate episode showdown surprise. I hope they resolve it this season at least.

I loved the way her tipping the braziers over echoed the crown-of-gold thing from the first season. Also loved the abundance of splashing lamp oil in what appeared to be a coal fire

It's ambiguous but I think Dany was controlling the fire. Maybe not in a point-and-command-it kind of way, but in a she's-in-tune-with-it-and-it's-doing-her-will kind of way.
posted by nom de poop at 11:58 PM on May 15, 2016 [4 favorites]


I was also really hoping Tyrion would reveal that the seven year phaseout plan was just a ploy to get hat he wanted now, so the enemies could be divided and conquered. And Grey Worm and Missandei would be like, "Why didn't you tell us?!" and he'd say it was so the Masters would see how much they hated the idea and be more inclined to think it was genuine, because that's the kind of acting you can't buy.

(It's slightly annoying though, how utterly without game Grey Windorm and Melissandei are. I know they have to be fervent and impatient to remind us that they hate slavery and Masters, but Grey Worm has inhuman passivity as a job skill and Missandei has probably seen a whooolle lot of lying and negotiating in her time.)
posted by nom de poop at 12:13 AM on May 16, 2016 [3 favorites]


Spinoff Jorah/Daario into a series of Hope/Crosby inspired road movies.

We're off on the road to Vaes Dothrak
This walkin' is tough on the spine
(Hit me with a band-aid, Dad)
Where's she goin', why we're goin', how can we be sure?
I'll lay you eight to five that we'll meet a Targaryen
(Yeah and get in line)
posted by a lungful of dragon at 12:50 AM on May 16, 2016 [3 favorites]


I cried at Jon and Sansa's reunion. After years of the Stark kids being all over the place, it was so moving to have two of them together in the same place - especially for Sansa. Very satisfying.
posted by crossoverman at 3:09 AM on May 16, 2016 [3 favorites]


Meanwhile, Gendry is rowing, and rowing, and rowing.....
posted by Thistledown at 4:14 AM on May 16, 2016 [8 favorites]


I got the impression that the fire spread across the floor because it was covered in all the bits of hay and manure the Khals tracked in there, and then once it got to the dry as hell wicker walls it just went all "foom"
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 4:25 AM on May 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


It's impressive that the temple hadn't burned down already, honestly. Some clumsy drunken bloodrider bumps into the brazier and *whoomp*. They should probably bolt those to the floor next time,
posted by JDHarper at 4:49 AM on May 16, 2016 [5 favorites]


As much as I loved the symbolism of Khaleesi walking out of a burning Temple and even though I am all ra-ra-ra- burn those fuckers to the ground. I feel like this episode was a few too many steps backward. It's pretty much echoes the finale of season 1.

It certainly looked cool but it feels like we're back to square 1. Khaleesi has an army again and loyal followers and now she has a city that she has to go back to and liberate. It'll be interesting to see what happens as we move forward with this plot-line.

On the subject of Littlefinger. As much as I missed his conniving, I'm not sure I really care about his story anymore. It has been such a long time since we've seen him, I find myself wondering does this even matter in the grand scheme of Westeros.

It is looking like this season will be culminating in an epic throwdown at Winterfell. Lots of forces are lining up and pointing in that direction. The North is finally starting to matter. I wonder how the white-walkers will play into this story. Based on the preview for next week, Bran has a vision and it looks like things are going to get ugly, and soon.
posted by Fizz at 5:54 AM on May 16, 2016


I really don't think Dany knew the fire thing would work. If she were just like Asbestos Lass (who may or may not be a character from the Legion of Substitute Heroes; I may also have just made her up?), surely she would have had some idea. I think surviving the fire at the end of season one was meant to be miraculous, and so was this -- not terribly far removed from Melisandre resurrcting Jon. My feeling is this is not a power inherent to her as the rightful Targaryen heir, but a gift from...whoever. Viserys was ahead of Dany in the line of succession, his bloodline (to our knowledge) what it said on the label, but the divine took one look at him and was all, "Nah, bruh." I think Dany realized what she could have if the gods (or whoever?) found her worthy, and rolled the dice. Admittedly, this may not have been much of a gamble in Dany's eyes; she seems pretty convinced of her own worthiness, and apparently with good reason.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 6:12 AM on May 16, 2016 [4 favorites]


So Osha asking if Ramsey ate his victims, unimpressed when he said he didn't: further indication they're cannibals over in Skagos?

The Thenns are cannibals in the show.

So, the Meereen plot... am I understanding this right? Did Tyrion basically say, "You know that thing you don't want to do that we cannot in any way force you to do? How about you do it, but 7 years from now?" And everyone's like, "sounds good?"
posted by tofu_crouton at 6:23 AM on May 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


I don't think the slavers will go for it and they'll lay siege to Mereen.
posted by drezdn at 6:28 AM on May 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


I just think it deserved one short scene at Winterfell, two servants in a corridor, one says "aww Ramsey's had that girl prettied and sent up, pity her", the other responds "grrr I'll get the bucket and many rags".
posted by sammyo at 6:31 AM on May 16, 2016 [10 favorites]


The thing that really upsets me about the Osha scene is that this means her and Rickon aren't part of some scheme with the Umbers. Which means that WAS shaggydog's head. (cries)
posted by miss-lapin at 6:38 AM on May 16, 2016 [4 favorites]


I don't think the slavers will go for it and they'll lay siege to Mereen.

That would be a convenient way for them to get smashed by a khaleesisar.
posted by nom de poop at 6:43 AM on May 16, 2016 [3 favorites]


I just think it deserved one short scene at Winterfell, two servants in a corridor, one says "aww Ramsey's had that girl prettied and sent up, pity her", the other responds "grrr I'll get the bucket and many rags".

Inappropriate idea that just randomly jumped into my brain: Does Ramsay own a Mean Girls-esque 'Burn Book', only it's literal!? Answer: probably.
posted by Fizz at 6:57 AM on May 16, 2016


I loved pretty much everything about this episode.

But that's probably because this whole episode was like the writers were sitting around "hmmmm we're getting a lot of complaints about the dour and stagnant nature of things, we should do something positive with some of these characters ... except Ramsay, the fans are wrong about our man RamRam, he's the boss"
posted by French Fry at 7:16 AM on May 16, 2016


I'm pretty bummed about Shaggy Dog, and definitely upset about Osha's murder, but I still have a flickering hope (stupid me, I know) that Rickon will warg into Ramsey's alpha dog and lead the pack in ripping Lil' Sociopath to pieces. I'd also accept Sansa as the warger in this scenario, but even with her newly tempered resolve, I don't think that darkness fits her character.

Personally, I think my favorite way for Ramsey to bite it is: he slips on a frost-slick step and tumbles a couple stories down a Winterfell stairway, breaking his neck in the process. He can even live like that for a half-hour or so, and no one finds his body until much later.
posted by Fiberoptic Zebroid and The Hypnagogic Jerks at 7:27 AM on May 16, 2016 [6 favorites]


I wonder how much siege equipment three dragons are worth?

Have you seen Harrenhall? I think they're worth exactly three dragon's worth. Dragons ARE the ne-plus-ultra siege equipment.
posted by Navelgazer at 7:39 AM on May 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


I'm not so sure about the Umbers. Sansa telling Jon that the Northerners would follow them against the Boltons had a few echoes of the GNC to me.
posted by Zonker at 7:58 AM on May 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


From the show-only thread:

nubs: Kinda surprised to see Theon back in Pyke, but maybe this means Yara becomes Queen? In which case, did the show really need to introduce Euron? Any random Iron Islander would seem to serve if that is the direction they are going.

I feel sorry for nubs and others. I want to say something coy and sly, but I'd be both a jerk and probably a rule-breaker.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:05 AM on May 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


But what coy thing could we even know? The show runners clearly give few to no fucks about GRRM's political subtleties and dead-end diversions. So we don't really know what they are going to do. Yara isn't even that character's name, who knows if there is going to be any dragon horn BS or not. Seems like they might just be fast tracking to the War of the 5 Queens. (followed by ice zombie v dragon)

At the pace they're moving the books will be totally obsolete in a few episodes. They have 16 hours of TV to completely wrap this up. GRRM will likely never finish and if he does finish the next 2 books, will likely announce after book 6 that it's going to need 8 instead of 7.
posted by French Fry at 8:13 AM on May 16, 2016 [6 favorites]


filthy light thief: “I feel sorry for nubs and others. I want to say something coy and sly, but I'd be both a jerk and probably a rule-breaker.”

Aeron doesn't even apparently exist in the show. And Theon sure wasn't in the Pewter Islands for the Kingsmoot in the books. I don't see any reason why Yara can't become queen. Anyway, they seem to be all about satisfying fans in certain ways now, so who the hell knows. That surely is how they seem to be setting it up. But I guess since they brought Euron in Yara is a stand-in for Aeron and she'll win the Kingsmoot but get killed by Euron immediately after - is that what people are expecting?
posted by koeselitz at 8:17 AM on May 16, 2016


Either Euron or Yara will have to sail a fleet of ships to Meereen (that's definitely set up, and pretty baldly so) at which point I kind of picture that person's storyline merging with Quentyn's right quick.
posted by Navelgazer at 8:26 AM on May 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


Aeron doesn't even apparently exist in the show

He was at the funeral, I think.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:28 AM on May 16, 2016


It's ambiguous but I think Dany was controlling the fire.

i figured she just had someone dump some kind of accelerant all over the floor before the meeting started.
posted by poffin boffin at 8:44 AM on May 16, 2016 [4 favorites]


breaking his neck in the process. He can even live like that for a half-hour or so, and no one finds his body until much later.

I like this idea, but I think it would be even better if he breaks his neck and somebody notices. And that person tells someone else who tells someone else who tells someone else and so on and so on until the entire castle knows, and then they all gather round and just silently watch him die as he screams and curses and, finally, near the end, begs and cries. After he breathes his last, they walk away.

I like the actor playing the role. I think he's doing the best he can with the weak af material they're giving him. But Boring Invincible Ramsay needs to go.
posted by lord_wolf at 8:47 AM on May 16, 2016 [6 favorites]


I think the scene strongly hints that Dany was controlling the fire; there's a bit where she turns her head and the fire races around the room to get the men at the door, and there is the very distinct sound of a dragon roar after she overturns the final brazier and the flames race to devour the Dothraki leader.
posted by mediareport at 8:51 AM on May 16, 2016 [7 favorites]


culfinglin: I liked how this episode had three pairs of sisters and brothers, in which the sisters proved the stronger of the two emotionally.

More than emotionally stronger, the sisters (and women in general) were directing events. Sansa: "If you don't do it, I'll do it myself;" Cersei (and Olenna) plot to take back control, with the gents agreeing to the plan; Yara is worried, but in control of her interaction with Theon.


mediareport: there is the very distinct sound of a dragon roar after she overturns the final brazier and the flames race to devour the Dothraki leader

I rewatched that scene to see if there was any specific shaping of the fire, but it looked like the fire just spread forward, as if burning up oil spilled (with some possible, vague *magical* encouragement). I half expected to see the image of a dragon in the fire, but no.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:55 AM on May 16, 2016 [5 favorites]


I assumed Jorah and Daario poured accelerant.
posted by tofu_crouton at 8:58 AM on May 16, 2016 [4 favorites]


Jorrah!, certainly came up with the plan

Wait, are you saying that Jorah came up with the plan to burn the place down? That's clearly not true. Jorah's plan was to run away. When Dany tells him they have no chance of surviving that kind of escape, Jorah sort of shrugs and says, "We can only try."

Dany pauses and then says, "No. We can do more than that."

That it was *Dany's* plan, *Dany's* agency, and *Dany's* power doing the rescuing is the main reason the scene was so damn satisfying.
posted by mediareport at 8:58 AM on May 16, 2016 [39 favorites]


I half expected to see the image of a dragon in the fire, but no.

There's definitely the sound of a dragon, though.
posted by mediareport at 9:00 AM on May 16, 2016


Jorah and Daario, pouring gasoline all over the sacred Dothraki house wearing bad Dothraki disguises, pretending it's "anointing oil" or something when they get asked what the hell they're doing. Why did they deny us this scene
posted by prize bull octorok at 9:00 AM on May 16, 2016 [9 favorites]


Wake me up before you Drogo
posted by nom de poop at 9:09 AM on May 16, 2016 [32 favorites]


Jorah and Daario, pouring gasoline all over the sacred Dothraki house wearing bad Dothraki disguises, pretending it's "anointing oil" or something when they get asked what the hell they're doing. Why did they deny us this scene

I wish they hadn't, just so I could speed it up and set it to Yakety Sax
posted by clockzero at 9:19 AM on May 16, 2016 [6 favorites]


Yeah, I'm with tofu_crouton -- why would the slavers even consider "peace" with Dany/Meereen? They're clearly in control of their cities again, and they're doing pretty well in tearing down Dany's power base via the Sons of the Harpy. What do they have to gain by parleying, exactly? The only thing I can think of is that they're worried Dany will bring the hammer down on their cities again, but they don't actually seem worried about that.
posted by Ragini at 9:26 AM on May 16, 2016


What fire accelerant could Daenerys spread that's not wildfire and has no alarming odor? Maybe it's all the posing oil the Dothraki men rub into each others' beards and skin.

A point of plot confusion; is the letter from Ramsey to Snow supposed to be the same letter as is in the books? If so it's an interesting document of the divergence of the show and the books. It comes at a different place in the narrative (after Snow is murdered, and with Sansa reunited) and pretty much the entire contents of the letter are different. And yet it carries much the same narrative function. "Boltons bad; must go kill them."
posted by Nelson at 9:28 AM on May 16, 2016 [3 favorites]


Ragini: right before Dany does the Dosh Khaleen up like it's a high school gymnasium, the Khals mention the offer from Yunkai of 10,000 horses for Dany, or whatever that was.

Point is, the Masters knew Dany was in captivity when they went into that parley, and Tyrion & Co. had no idea, and Tyrion pushed his already questionable peace plan as if he had the upper hand purely on account of Dany's inevitable return. Which the Masters knew was bullshit but let him try anyway.

Things in Meereen are about to get REAL bad.
posted by Navelgazer at 9:32 AM on May 16, 2016 [36 favorites]


Yeah, I'm with tofu_crouton -- why would the slavers even consider "peace" with Dany/Meereen? They're clearly in control of their cities again, and they're doing pretty well in tearing down Dany's power base via the Sons of the Harpy. What do they have to gain by parleying, exactly?

Tyrion mentioned pointedly that he grew up far richer than any of the emissaries, and that seemed to give them actual pause; then he pointed out that there are other ways to make money, too, and offered to pay them for the loss of capital from phasing out slavery.

Which is the real weak point in his plan, actually: those slaves represent enormous wealth, and Daenerys doesn't have much money, as far as I know. Maybe he's banking on her coming back with Drogon and an army.
posted by clockzero at 9:32 AM on May 16, 2016 [3 favorites]


I'm pretty sure the young Dosh Khaleen widow spread the accelerant.
posted by corb at 9:34 AM on May 16, 2016 [8 favorites]


Ragini: right before Dany does the Dosh Khaleen up like it's a high school gymnasium, the Khals mention the offer from Yunkai of 10,000 horses for Dany, or whatever that was.

Point is, the Masters knew Dany was in captivity when they went into that parley, and Tyrion & Co. had no idea, and Tyrion pushed his already questionable peace plan as if he had the upper hand purely on account of Dany's inevitable return. Which the Masters knew was bullshit but let him try anyway.


Hmm, that's a good point. I guess it's possible that Yunkai isn't 100% sure that it's really Dany, and they would have good reason to be skeptical frankly, but that's a sharp observation.
posted by clockzero at 9:36 AM on May 16, 2016 [5 favorites]


What fire accelerant could Daenerys spread that's not wildfire and has no alarming odor?

there's 100,000 drunk partying people barfing and screwing in the streets, people who rode or walked for weeks to get there under the hot blazing sun, and they're all crammed together in close quarters along with however many thousands of their horses. who's gonna notice another smell on top of that, especially if it's something unremarkable like cheap alcohol or cooking oil?
posted by poffin boffin at 9:38 AM on May 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


Let's not rule out concentrated Khal farts.
posted by nom de poop at 9:39 AM on May 16, 2016 [10 favorites]


As I mentioned. Aloud, when Danny walked into the temple with all the sweaty guys in leather and burning oil lamp and a thousand horses with hay and shit everywhere...

"Can you even begin to imagine what that place smells like?"
posted by The Whelk at 9:40 AM on May 16, 2016 [7 favorites]


There's definitely a plate of beans involved.
posted by The Nutmeg of Consolation at 9:40 AM on May 16, 2016 [6 favorites]


the 10,000 horses offer could also have been something like "hey, we've heard she's traveling outside the city without a huge armed escort, so we're setting a bounty of 10,000 horses if you can find her and bring her to us" rather than "we know she's there so here's our starting bid".
posted by poffin boffin at 9:41 AM on May 16, 2016 [10 favorites]


porpoise: what's left of Stannis' army (are they effectively ... gone gone?).

I assumed they, being more accustomed to warmer climates, promptly scattered and froze to death, or switched to whichever side would have them and feed them. They gathered behind Stannis, and there was no one to take up his cause when he fell.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:00 AM on May 16, 2016


nom de poop: Let's not rule out concentrated Khal farts.

They really missed the opportunity to bring back comedy farts for a second episode. Especially flaming comedy farts.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:02 AM on May 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


Briefly:

The onion knight has not been told by The Red Woman that Shireen was toasted up.

I missed the idea that The Masters might know the Dothraki have Danys.

I found The Lord of the Vale believable. I know several teens going through insane growth spurts with other physical issues (vision and musculoskeletal issues) who would shoot as "well" as him and look like him. I think it's showing also some inbreeding and massive coddling as a youth (if he wasn't allowed to crawl he'd miss some importent developmental milestones as well.
posted by tilde at 10:07 AM on May 16, 2016 [3 favorites]


I assumed they, being more accustomed to warmer climates, promptly scattered and froze to death, or switched to whichever side would have them and feed them. They gathered behind Stannis, and there was no one to take up his cause when he fell.

The only course of action left to the survivors would be to head back to the Wall and join the Night's Watch, imo. It's the only place in the North they're familiar with and the Watch would welcome the new members, and they don't have any other options.
posted by homunculus at 10:10 AM on May 16, 2016


Some of those teens, by the way, in my day would have been shunted to book learning actvites or forced into jr ROTC and shown improvement. I doubt the protectors of The Lord of The Vale are making him do any sort of physical conditioning. (And look at his abuse of the bow! No one yells at moon door boy!) Some of my orbiting teens have shown improvement after vision therapy, rewards based training on actvites like archery, and regular calisthenetics at school (or martial arts activity). One of them can finally ride a bike though crashing into trees and fences are still common enough occurrences.
posted by tilde at 10:13 AM on May 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


Now I want someone to edit the Khal's pre-BBcoup video with the beans-campfire audio from Blazing Saddles.
posted by Fiberoptic Zebroid and The Hypnagogic Jerks at 10:18 AM on May 16, 2016 [3 favorites]


Llama-Lime: text cribbed from a forum

You can also find transcripts on Forever Dreaming and Genius.com (formerly Rap Genius).


homunculus: The only course of action left to the survivors would be to head back to the Wall and join the Night's Watch, imo.

Weren't they lost in a snow storm? That was clear in the books, I can't recall if it was so true in the show. If so, I can imagine a good many soldiers saying "fuck it, I'll fight for anyone who keeps me from freezing to death."
posted by filthy light thief at 10:19 AM on May 16, 2016


The snowstorm went away after Shireen was sacrificed, so the simplest thing for any survivors to do would be to just turn around and go back the way they came. I can't see a bunch of Baratheon soldiers stranded in the North going House to House hoping someone will hire them. The Wall is the only place they know would have them.
posted by homunculus at 10:25 AM on May 16, 2016


By the way, my show only watching buddy noticed the "curve" of the map in the opening credits this week. I thought it was slightly more pronounced but their theory is an inside out planet of some sort.
posted by tilde at 10:26 AM on May 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


In the books, Robyn Arryn is very much a sickly child. Whether that's inbreeding or not, eh, but epilepsy or another seizure disorder is pretty clearly hinted as being the culprit. Possibly in conjunction with some other medical issues, and certainly partly a nurture thing--Lysa Arryn (nee Tully) was babying him, perhaps in a misguided attempt to protect him from a) the effects of his disease(s), b) the same thing her sister rails against at some point about the fate of young men. So he's developmentally delayed for sure, partly nature and partly nurture.

Something I find hilarious about both him and Bran is HOW BIG ARE THEIR NOSES OMG. It's a happy twist of fate that the kids playing cousins both have these enormous noses just sitting there in their faces waiting for their faces to get bigger. I notice weird things maybe.

The inside out planet idea is just silly. The map was inspired by an orrery, and if they're going for a 3D thing I'd argue that it's easier to kinda-sorta show relative distances inside a sphere than outside. Were Planetos inside-out, there wouldn't be any horizons.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:29 AM on May 16, 2016 [3 favorites]


I can't see a bunch of Baratheon soldiers stranded in the North going House to House hoping someone will hire them.

i assumed they were just doing the same thing they did after the baratheon/lannister war ended, namely riding around the countryside stealing and burning and raping as lordless gangs of armed men.
posted by poffin boffin at 10:31 AM on May 16, 2016


Oh, that's an interesting thought -- that the Masters weren't actually negotiating but just showing up to eat Meereen's food and watch Tyrion squirm while they secretly schemed.

As an aside, I didn't really buy Tyrion's poorly-constructed argument about wealth. I assume the Masters know that slavery is not the only way to make absurd amounts of money and that their objection to Dany comes partly/mostly from "tradition" and the fact that she killed thousands of slavers during her initial liberation. Although, I guess the show actually HAD that conversation on screen, when Tyrion was explaining his strategy about self-interest to Missandei and Grey Worm. It is interesting to watch Tyrion flounder at statecraft (IMO) because he doesn't know the ins and outs of politics in Essos like he does in Westeros.
posted by Ragini at 10:33 AM on May 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


I thought it was slightly more pronounced but their theory is an inside out planet of some sort.

It's been confirmed that the intro is not supposed to be indicative of anything more than a cool stylistic intro. The world isn't inside-out any more than the castles are quaintly mechanical.
posted by explosion at 10:34 AM on May 16, 2016 [3 favorites]


lol in one of the very first GoT threads on the blue some poor innocent fool was like "well im probably not going to watch it because i think steampunk is dumb and overdone" and everyone was like "i see you watched only the opening credits before judging the show's content, well done"
posted by poffin boffin at 10:41 AM on May 16, 2016 [10 favorites]


Navelgazer: Things in Meereen are about to get REAL bad.

Unless The Masters are taken by Tyrion's offer of financial support to transition out of slaving. The one fellow who had moved from "middle class slaver" to Master was interested in hearing more about Wealth Without Slaves, but I'm not sure if his associates were as taken.

Question: were the Lannisters gold mines running out in the show, or only the books? I know Tyrion doesn't have access to that any more, but the days of a Lannister Always Pays Their Debts (with Gold) may be coming to an end, right?
posted by filthy light thief at 10:44 AM on May 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


I can't remember the state of the mines in the books, and whether the haul was depleting at all. In the SHOW Tywin states them to be completely cashed, though.
posted by Navelgazer at 10:46 AM on May 16, 2016 [3 favorites]


So a few things I noticed this week:

-really enjoyed the strong through theme, about letting go of the past and being open to new ways of doing things, which we saw with Tyrion and the slavers; Dany and the Dothraki; Grey Worm and Messandi; Brienne and Cersei both recall past humiliations and wrongs, and make it clear that they are past but not forgotten; Jon and Sansa recall their past and how they can't go back. The High Sparrow has a story about letting go of his past. Also, we see rivals learning to work together - Cersei and the Queen of Thorns; Daario and Jorah; Jon and Sansa.

-surprised to see Theon back in Pyke; if this just ends up meaning Yara becomes Queen of the Iron Islands, I guess I'm left to wonder why they had Euron show up.

-Not really sure about the plan hatching in KL; in the books it feels like any attempt to overthrow the HS is going to end in disaster because he's really the head of a popular uprising, and he's been shrewd enough to leverage that to make changes that largely are aimed at improving things for the smallfolk in the wake of the war and the nobility getting all busy with their games. So I would expect any army coming to confront him would be loaded with sympathizers and family of people in the Faith Militant. Part of my concern around it is that I don't want to see a return to the traditional power structures in Westeros, and having Cersei's plan work would very much be about the Iron Throne re-asserting control over everything and a return to the status quo, whereas I feel that the strong theme of this episode was about letting go of the past and accepting the new and different. Of course, I'm not rooting for anybody in KL at this point because they are all so awful.

-I did find it interesting that Tyrion spoke of the throne room in Mereen as being designed to overawe the supplicants, whereas the Sparrow always meets with people in his small, historic little sept that I am taking to be something done to disarm his high ranking guests by putting them in a humble place with an apparently humble man who wears a dirty shirt and nothing else.

-Can we talk about Jaime for a minute? Because...I'm not sure what they are doing with him. Last season he was wasted on the trip to Dorne, and now he appears to be Cersei's sidekick. I guess maybe he doesn't get an arc anymore?

Really enjoyed this one, and I hope it marks the point at which they've finished having to juggle everything around so they can now drive towards a strong finish. Still hoping for a final scene where Gendry rows his boat ashore in KL, and looks at everyone and says "What did I miss?"

i assumed they were just doing the same thing they did after the baratheon/lannister war ended, namely riding around the countryside stealing and burning and raping as lordless gangs of armed men.

Broken Men
posted by nubs at 10:47 AM on May 16, 2016 [5 favorites]


That it was *Dany's* plan, *Dany's* agency, and *Dany's* power doing the rescuing is the main reason the scene was so damn satisfying.

Yeah, agreed. Very satisfying it wasn't her waiting for her dragons, but doing it for herself and doing it in such a way that she takes control.

Still wondering how they're going to get her, three dragons, the Dothraki, and the Unsullied over to Westeros in time for the big show.
posted by nubs at 10:50 AM on May 16, 2016


As of this episode, I'm starting to genuinely think its possible that none of the Lannisters will survive this season. Jaime and Cersei (and Kevan) are planning precisely the sort of desperate move that's bound to go sideways, and Tyrion's being pretty clearly set up to be betrayed either by Grey Worm, Missandrei and the freedmen or the slavers, and I'm not sure if Danaerys will arrive back in time to save him.

I probably enjoyed the Mereen stuff the most of everything in this episode - Tyrion's clashes with Grey Worm and Missandei on the one hand, the slavers on the other, and the freedmen on the gripping hand re-introduced something I've been missing in a lot of the other storylines recently, the nuance of dealing with multiple legitimate perspectives and interests coming into conflict. There's been less of that in most of the other storylines, especially the North since the Boltons took over.

I'm not so sure about the Umbers. Sansa telling Jon that the Northerners would follow them against the Boltons had a few echoes of the GNC to me.

I'm guessing that the showdown will be between Ramsay's alliance with the Karstarks and Umbers on the one hand and Sansa leading an army of Tullys, Mormonts (still loyal as of last season) and possibly Manderlys - after all, the latter haven't sent any envoys to Ramsay yet, and it would have been easy enough to add them into the Umber scene if the showrunners wanted to make that point. Instead, Karstark and Ramsay just seem to take their loyalty for granted.

The Freys could go either way. I don't think Old Walder, who has shown a lot of tetchiness with regards to his family honor already, is going to react well to news of Ramsay feeding his granddaughter and great-grandson to the dogs. But then he has massive reasons not to want the Starks to re-take the North. I'm guessing he'll just wait it out and hope the Lannisters remember their debt to him.
posted by AdamCSnider at 10:52 AM on May 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


As an aside, I didn't really buy Tyrion's poorly-constructed argument about wealth. I assume the Masters know that slavery is not the only way to make absurd amounts of money and that their objection to Dany comes partly/mostly from "tradition" and the fact that she killed thousands of slavers during her initial liberation.

It's not a bad argument in itself, but he didn't really explain where this wealth would come from. However, the ruling classes in Essos may be starting to notice that they're rather behind the times; first this dragon woman shows up from Westeros and completely wrecks their cities, and then agitation about the end of slavery apparently starts to seem like a real possibility. Finally Tyrion mentions that Westerosi have far greater wealth than these ancient Essosi(?) nobility; it doesn't seem impossible that things could really change, and smart ruling classes ride change rather than resist it.

Although, I guess the show actually HAD that conversation on screen, when Tyrion was explaining his strategy about self-interest to Missandei and Grey Worm. It is interesting to watch Tyrion flounder at statecraft (IMO) because he doesn't know the ins and outs of politics in Essos like he does in Westeros.

That may end up being true. But Missandei and the rest of Dany's crew know Essos better, and yet they were getting demolished by the Sons of the Harpy up until now, when Tyrion seems to have possibly turned enemies into, if not allies, at least cautious non-enemies. Time will tell, it seems.
posted by clockzero at 10:54 AM on May 16, 2016


the vale will also presumably support sansa but will they get there in time? i wonder how unnecessarily dramatic that cliffhanger will be.
posted by poffin boffin at 10:54 AM on May 16, 2016


One thing I'm wondering if the show is telegraphing - was part of this Petyr Baelish's plan for Jeyne Pool? To push Sansa/Robin to retake the North for "Arya"?
posted by corb at 10:55 AM on May 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


really i think the conflict between sansa's northern/family allies and jon's wildlings in the same army is going to be a Huge Fucking Mess

i hope wunwun steps on ramsay
posted by poffin boffin at 10:58 AM on May 16, 2016 [7 favorites]


Sansa telling Jon that the Northerners would follow them against the Boltons had a few echoes of the GNC to me.

I was really hoping that Jon's response to her statement of the North rallying to Ned's son would have been "They won't come for his bastard. But they will for his daughter." Because, fuck yeah they would, and it would also be nice for them to pick up on the whole "North remembers" thing the serving woman started with last season before getting killed.
posted by nubs at 10:58 AM on May 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


Lady Brioche
posted by Riton at 11:01 AM on May 16, 2016


(of Tarth)
posted by Riton at 11:01 AM on May 16, 2016


really i think the conflict between sansa's northern/family allies and jon's wildlings in the same army is going to be a Huge Fucking Mess

Didn't they kinda start to work on that in the books by marrying the daughter of one of the Northern Houses - who was fleeing a shit home situation - to one of the wildling leaders? To start building those alliances of family?
posted by nubs at 11:09 AM on May 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


nubs: yep. In the books, the Thenns are particularly cultured wildlings, rather than the cannibals they are in the show. Alys Karstark has been betrothed around the North as basically chattel (Jaime killed her original betrothed, her dad offered her to whoever brought him Jaime, Robb executed dad, and cousin came a calling to secure his place atop the Karstark family...) When she arrived at the wall, Jon used his position as Lord Commander to marry her to one of the Thenns, creating House Thenn and keeping her safe(r) while giving the Wildlings a bit more legitimacy south of the wall,
posted by Navelgazer at 11:14 AM on May 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


ok i'm in the wiki because i guess i didn't really have anything else to do today and SO ANYWAY bloodraven should still have visenya's valryian steel sword somewhere, shouldn't he? somewhere hidden in his tree? maybe left behind at the wall, unnoticed? i wonder whose little stark hands will end up on that sword. (arya i want it to be arya)
posted by poffin boffin at 11:16 AM on May 16, 2016 [4 favorites]


But Missandei and the rest of Dany's crew know Essos better, and yet they were getting demolished by the Sons of the Harpy up until now, when Tyrion seems to have possibly turned enemies into, if not allies, at least cautious non-enemies. Time will tell, it seems.

Yeah, Dany and co were hopeless at politics, period. I meant more that Tyrion is a brilliant politician in Westeros, but maybe not so much in Essos. I'm still hoping he and Varys come out on top, but AdamCSnyder makes a good point that it does seem that Tyrion is being set up to be betrayed.

In KL, shit is about to get real ugly for the other Lannisters though. And poor Tommen...trying so hard to make the right decisions, but he's just a pawn in everyone's games. It's interesting that the drawn-out succession crisis and ensuing breakdown of Westerosi tradition is what precipitated the popular uprising. The whole point of feudalism and its attendant customs about honor and nobility was to ensure that peasants were just satisfied and/or overworked enough that they wouldn't rise up and slaughter the ruling class. As soon as that began to fall apart, as soon as Joffrey started stomping all over the smallfolk, as soon as Highgarden cut off food, the Faith Militant started to gain power.
posted by Ragini at 11:19 AM on May 16, 2016


I loved Dany's solution to the Khal-bros. I did not see that coming at all, and I love that she didn't need any rescuing from the two would-be heroes or the wayward dragon. I never understood in the books that her fire immunity was supposed to be a one time thing, so I had no problem with her using her unique ability to her advantage like that.

OTOH, what happened next just didn't work, imo. It doesn't make sense that the Dothraki would all just bow down to her like that. She just killed their Khals and destroyed their temple, and she was obviously protected by magic while doing it. The Dothraki hate magic, and they knew about her dealings with Mirri Maz Duur (and it's possible that they'd already heard the story of how she hatched the dragons, and didn't care.) All those Dothraki warriors aren't going to suddenly submit to the foreign Khalessi who let a sorceress kill her Khal and who now just defiled their holy place with magic. They'd be more likely to assume she's a sorceress too and tear her apart. If Drogon had appeared then, perhaps attracted by the fire, just after she walked outside, then it would make more sense. But having the whole Khalassar completely cowed by Dany's magical display alone doesn't work, imo, unless we're just supposed to accept that hordes of brown people become simple-minded when confronted with pyrotechnics.
posted by homunculus at 11:24 AM on May 16, 2016 [12 favorites]


bloodraven should still have visenya's valryian steel sword somewhere, shouldn't he? somewhere hidden in his tree? maybe left behind at the wall, unnoticed? i wonder whose little stark hands will end up on that sword. (arya i want it to be arya)

Yeah, it should be Arya since Arya knows about Dark Sister. But after Sydow's claim in the last episode that he's been waiting for Bran for 1,000 years, I don't think the show is sticking to Bloodraven's character.
posted by homunculus at 11:25 AM on May 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


ok i'm in the wiki because i guess i didn't really have anything else to do today and SO ANYWAY bloodraven should still have visenya's valryian steel sword somewhere, shouldn't he? somewhere hidden in his tree? maybe left behind at the wall, unnoticed?

It isn't clear where Dark Sister is, or even if Bloodraven took it with him to the Wall. It was designed for a woman, though, so getting it the hands of Arya or Sansa or Daenerys Targaryen would seem to make sense.

Poking around on the wiki myself, interesting to note that Bloodraven's mother comes from House Blackwood, who have a most appropriate sigil.
posted by nubs at 11:32 AM on May 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


It doesn't make sense that the Dothraki would all just bow down to her like that. She just killed their Khals and destroyed their temple, and she was obviously protected by magic while doing it. The Dothraki hate magic, and they knew about her dealings with Mirri Maz Duur (and it's possible that they'd already heard the story of how she hatched the dragons, and didn't care.) All those Dothraki warriors aren't going to suddenly submit to the foreign Khalessi who let a sorceress kill her Khal and who now just defiled their holy place with magic. They'd be more likely to assume she's a sorceress too and tear her apart.

It's a direct callback to the end scene of S1/Book 1, where Dany emerges unharmed when the funeral pyre burns out, and everyone kneels including the remaining Dothraki. I guess they aren't taking it as sorcery/witchcraft, but rather as sign.
posted by nubs at 11:39 AM on May 16, 2016 [3 favorites]


In times of Dothraki political vacuum, such as when all your Khals have been burned alive, it saves a lot of time and bloodshed if everybody unifies behind a new presumptive leader real quick. They're just being pragmatic.
posted by prize bull octorok at 11:41 AM on May 16, 2016 [8 favorites]


Yeah, it should be Arya since Arya knows yt about Dark Sister

GOD how I miss the smartass adventures of Arya and Tywin.
posted by poffin boffin at 11:43 AM on May 16, 2016 [9 favorites]


In times of Dothraki political vacuum, such as when all your Khals have been burned alive, it saves a lot of time and bloodshed if everybody unifies behind a new presumptive leader real quick. They're just being pragmatic.

"Now is not the time to talk about gun control our feelings on witchcraft."
posted by nubs at 11:59 AM on May 16, 2016 [14 favorites]


The Dothraki respect strength. A woman who can destroy the lesser khals (unlike Drogo, these bros had no hustle when it came to conquest) and survive a raging inferno is by definition the strongest person they've ever seen.
posted by Strange Interlude at 12:24 PM on May 16, 2016 [10 favorites]


The Dothraki seem to be very much a "respect naked power above all else" fictional warrior people. The type of witchcraft they abhor is the sneaky kind, like going around at night spoiling milk and giving horses warts by looking at them wrong. Dany's fireshow is a kind of overt power they have no problems with.
posted by Pyry at 12:25 PM on May 16, 2016 [14 favorites]


I took the Dothraki bowing to Danaerys about as seriously as I took the ewoks bowing to C-3PO on Endor. Ridiculous, but useful for advancing an amusing plot. (Although seriously, she was pretty bad-ass.)
posted by Nelson at 12:51 PM on May 16, 2016 [3 favorites]


it's 4pm and i still havent eaten lunch

fuck this wiki
posted by poffin boffin at 12:56 PM on May 16, 2016 [11 favorites]


is there a wiki entry for every lunch described in ASOIAF
posted by prize bull octorok at 1:09 PM on May 16, 2016 [8 favorites]


Speaking of ASOIAF lunches:

The Game of Thrones food truck that was part of the HBO promotion was near my office back then, and I laughed my ass off to see the epic long line. You probably could've finished a book from the series in the time it took to get to the truck and order. They had limited quantities of food, so it kinda sucked.
posted by culfinglin at 1:24 PM on May 16, 2016


All you need is some fearsomely strong cider to sustain you through the wikidiving.
posted by Nelson at 1:24 PM on May 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


i only have flexeril with imitrex chasers today
posted by poffin boffin at 1:35 PM on May 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


from the show only thread:

Also - I don't understand why they would bring The Hound back as a character. Sure, he became a sorta fan-favorite, but he was always an auxilliary character, and he got a complete arc (as part of assisting Sansa and then Arya on their arcs).

HEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE HAHAHAHAH OH HOHOHOH HAHAHAHA HEEEEEE

CLEGANEBOWL GET HYPE
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 2:23 PM on May 16, 2016 [6 favorites]


Well, well, R'hllor truly works in mysterious ways. GRRM released a new excerpt from The Winds of Winter last week: ARIANNE
posted by homunculus at 2:42 PM on May 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


One of the things that made this episode so good was, as others have commented, returning to the format of a loose theme running through the episode as opposed to simply setting up the board in the first part of the season. I'm glad because that's what keeps the show cohesive despite many of the major characters never meeting.

But what really impressed me was the Sansa/Jon scene and how their experiences were paralleled but reversed. Jon was exhausted and beaten down by being in charge and forced to constantly fight while Sansa was exhausted and beaten down by being mostly powerless and unable to effectively fight. Their arcs are crossing in this scene. Let's hope Sansa continues to grow more powerful because I require some badassery from her.
posted by Justinian at 2:42 PM on May 16, 2016 [10 favorites]


I took the Dothraki bowing to Danaerys about as seriously as I took the ewoks bowing to C-3PO on Endor. Ridiculous, but useful for advancing an amusing plot. (Although seriously, she was pretty bad-ass.)

Bingo.
posted by homunculus at 2:42 PM on May 16, 2016


Oh. Just the fact that the chapter is "Arianne" makes me sad and depressed. GRRM NO.
posted by Justinian at 2:43 PM on May 16, 2016 [3 favorites]


Yeah, Dornish characters and the Young Griff plotline? He's just trolling us 8(
posted by prize bull octorok at 2:49 PM on May 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


I was just thinking how great it would be if Sansa somehow came across Nymeria, and they went on a tearing-out-throats tour of the North (Ramsay? CHOMP. Lord Frey? CHOMP. Littlefinger? Yeah why the hell not CHOMP.)
posted by prize bull octorok at 2:52 PM on May 16, 2016 [4 favorites]


I'll read it at some point, but I'm kind of indifferent. I like Arianne as a character, but I don't like the stories GRRM has written her into so far. I'd have much preferred an excerpt of Nymeria's and Tyene's adventures in King's Landing, joining the Small Council and infiltrating the Sparrows respectively.
posted by homunculus at 2:56 PM on May 16, 2016


Also - I don't understand why they would bring The Hound back as a character. Sure, he became a sorta fan-favorite, but he was always an auxilliary character, and he got a complete arc (as part of assisting Sansa and then Arya on their arcs).

HEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE HAHAHAHAH OH HOHOHOH HAHAHAHA HEEEEEE


But the issues between Gregor and Sandor aren't as pronounced on the show; there hasn't been the effort to make us understand Sandor in terms of growing up next to his monstrous brother who became a knight and how that has shaped him. I mean, that's a big part of Clegane Bowl, right? Seeing Sandor face off with his undead brother who kinda took everything away from Sandor. Maybe I have an overly romantic view of the Hound, but I always view him as somebody who grew up dreaming of being a knight only to be confronted with the horror of Gregor and who became the Hound more out of an attempt to cope with the world as he saw it than a sadist in his own right. Auxiliary character, sure, but he's a very interesting one.
posted by nubs at 3:06 PM on May 16, 2016 [9 favorites]


(and I don't think the Hound's arc is complete at all. Having him show up at Cersei's trial to fight on the side of the Faith...well, that should be an awesome moment in its own right - but his journey doesn't end with him losing Arya and joining a monastery).
posted by nubs at 3:12 PM on May 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


GRRM released a new excerpt from The Winds of Winter last week: ARIANNE

that was a decent fanfic but of course side-canon drabbles are always kind of hit or miss.
posted by poffin boffin at 3:14 PM on May 16, 2016 [6 favorites]


So. I'm going to keep riding on my GNC choo-choo train under the tightly held assumption that Osha's botched murder attempt was a suicide mission to get Ramsay's guard down. Shaggydog carpet adorning Ramsay's chambers is a bear with a dog head sewn on.

This is my story and I am sticking to it.
posted by permiechickie at 3:24 PM on May 16, 2016 [5 favorites]


that was a decent fanfic but of course side-canon drabbles are always kind of hit or miss.

This is why I think it's a good thing that the shows have gotten out in front of the books. Please George, for everyone's sake, take the fucking horn out of your mouth.
posted by Zonker at 3:29 PM on May 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


So. I'm going to keep riding on my GNC choo-choo train under the tightly held assumption that Osha's botched murder attempt was a suicide mission to get Ramsay's guard down.

Back in S2, during the escape from Winterfell, Osha slept with Theon to make sure he was asleep (I guess) and then snuck out of his room to get Bran and Rickon on the road. At the time, a lot of us wondered why she didn't just stab the stupid boy and essentially start taking Winterfell back from the dozen guys Theon had with him. I kept thinking of that during the slow build up to the obvious end of the scene with Ramsay.
posted by nubs at 3:30 PM on May 16, 2016 [3 favorites]


This episode isn't a strong candidate for a D&D D&D recap, I have to admit. It was like one of those sessions that's heavy on RP without many rolls. One could say a few skill checks were made along the way, however:
• the result of Tyrion's Persuasion check against the Slave Masters remains to be seen, but he did pass one against the Meereenese delegation (aided by Missandei)
• Daario and Jorah apparently have passed successive Survival/Tracking checks, but perhaps the huge mass of people & horses they were tracking gave them advantage on the rolls
• Daario and Jorah later pass their Stealth checks, but fail their Deception check, resulting in a bout of house-ruled unarmed combat
• there's a whole mess of Deception, Insight, Intimidation, and Persuasion checks and contests between the High Sparrow and Margaery that I won't try to untangle
• Osha fails a Sleight-of-Hand check against Ramsey with tragic result
• the Brothraki critically fail an Intimidation contest against Daenerys

In pursuit of my goal of creating stat blocks for GoT characters, I've been trying to think of what class(es) various characters might hold. I've decided to include the NPC classes listed in Appendix B of the Monster Manual (Cultist, Knight, Noble, Veteran, etc.). Here's what I've come up with so far:

Jon Snow: Fighter, mid-level, perhaps with a splash of Ranger (to support having an animal companion?). In a comment last year I suggested he might have a level or more in Paladin, but I'm walking that back now: it was predicated on Longclaw being a Holy Avenger sword, which I now doubt.
Daenerys Targaryen, etc. etc.: Sorcerer, low-level, with the Draconic Bloodline trait. Her powers, such as they are, seem more innate than learned. And she is, after all, of the Blood of the Dragon.
Arya Stark: Rogue, low- to mid-level, with the Assassin archetype.
Melisandre of Asshai: High-level Cleric with the Light domain
Brienne of Tarth: Mid- to high-level, either Fighter, with the Battle Master archetype; or Paladin, with the Oath of Devotion; or perhaps multi-classed in both. Alternatively, one could stick her with the Knight NPC class and be done with it.
Tormund Giantsbane: Mid- to high-level; definitely Barbarian, with the Path of the Berzerker, and perhaps a splash in Ranger for the racial enemy trait (giants, natch).
Jaime Lannister: High-level Fighter, Battle Master archetype. His off-handedness gives him disadvantage on all his attack rolls.
A lot of major characters can be given the Noble NPC class: Cersei Lannister, Petyr Baelish, et al.
The Cultist and Cult Fanatic NPC classes are perfect for the High Sparrow and the Faith Militant.
Last, but certainly not least, Sansa Stark originally fell into the Noble NPC class, but now has a level in the new and unique house-ruled Boss Ass Bitch class. A brand-new house-ruled prestige class, tentatively called DAQUEENINDANORF, is under development specifically for her.
posted by The Nutmeg of Consolation at 3:42 PM on May 16, 2016 [16 favorites]


Chrys Watches Game of Thrones: Review

Recap!
posted by homunculus at 3:43 PM on May 16, 2016 [4 favorites]


oh yeah how did we all forget "Jon is the Prince that was Promised" from Melisandre?

To me, it looks like her faith has been restored, and it's not a stretch to imagine that she has access to divine knowledge.

The show could have really flipped a bird to us if they'd included fire and salt in Jon's reincarnation.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 4:05 PM on May 16, 2016


I took the Dothraki bowing to Danaerys about as seriously as I took the ewoks bowing to C-3PO on Endor. Ridiculous, but useful for advancing an amusing plot. (Although seriously, she was pretty bad-ass.)

This is certainly true, but I didn't find it quite as unbelievable a scene as some people apparently did. The show went well out of its way to show that a sizable chunk of the Dothraki were drunk and partying hard most of the night, and they're in the middle of their holy city, so some sort of religious visitation might be their default assumption, at least until the all sober up and start thinking again in the morning. I'd be rather surprised if she doesn't have to do some convincing of individual would-be khals in the next couple of episodes.
posted by AdamCSnider at 4:39 PM on May 16, 2016 [4 favorites]


The show could have really flipped a bird to us if they'd included fire and salt in Jon's reincarnation.

Well, tears were involved
posted by clockzero at 4:40 PM on May 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


at least until the all sober up and start thinking again in the morning. I'd be rather surprised if she doesn't have to do some convincing of individual would-be khals in the next couple of episodes.

Good point. That would be a good time for Drogon to finally show up.
posted by homunculus at 4:43 PM on May 16, 2016 [3 favorites]


I want Ramsey to break his leg after he and Theon get stuck in a cave with a fresh water stream. Then Theon eats him, bit by bit to stay alive.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 5:20 PM on May 16, 2016 [7 favorites]


the 10,000 horses offer could also have been something like "hey, we've heard she's traveling outside the city without a huge armed escort, so we're setting a bounty of 10,000 horses if you can find her and bring her to us" rather than "we know she's there so here's our starting bid".

That makes more sense. It doesn't seem like this timeline is super condensed, and Vaes Dothrak is a long way from Slaver's Bay.

It's interesting that Essos (mostly correctly) considers Westeros something of a backwater, but they have a long distance communication system that surpasses anything in the east (at least until the candles start burning.)
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 5:22 PM on May 16, 2016


Just caught up on the episode ---

A) real missed opportunity there to have Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves playing over the end credits
B) the one wrinkle that struck me about the --- boo, hiss, etc. --- Ramsey scene: 80% or 90% of the scenes in this episode consist of one person trying to manipulate an other or others. Mostly it's dyads and mostly it's women and mostly the women succeed. The one that breaks the pattern is Ramsey and Osha. Which, did we need a scene to convince us Ramsey can't be manipulated? Probably not. But,
C) in all these scenes of women pulling strings and taking power and bending people to their will, there was one dark chord --- the risk and peril if the puppet doesn't flop the way you think it will. It's actually the Baelish scene which draws this out most explicitly. Royce's threat of manly violence fails because Petyr controls Little Lord Screw Loose. But it's a near thing. Danny's way is safer, in some respects --- if she wins, the power is hers, and openly held.
posted by Diablevert at 5:26 PM on May 16, 2016 [5 favorites]


Oh, also, did Theon's answer strike anyone else as a little too pat? "I want to help you be queen," is definitely the answer Yara wants most to hear. Is it what Theon actually wants? After everything, if I had to guess I'd bet theon would be most happy tending garden in a monestary somewhere, bringing a bit of peace and beauty into the world, instead if helping anybody maim and kill their way to power. He's certainly had a lot of practice telling people what they want to hear.
posted by Diablevert at 5:31 PM on May 16, 2016 [3 favorites]


Is Ser Duncan ever mentioned in the tv series?
posted by drezdn at 5:33 PM on May 16, 2016


Yes.
posted by homunculus at 5:36 PM on May 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


I want Ramsey to break his leg after he and Theon get stuck in a cave with a fresh water stream. Then Theon eats him, bit by bit to stay alive.

This fits well with my desire to see Gillian Anderson as Bedelia DuMaurier play OlderSansa The Ice Queen of the North.

Game of Bones?
Thronibal?
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 5:40 PM on May 16, 2016 [4 favorites]


The Dothraki hate magic, and they knew about her dealings with Mirri Maz Duur (and it's possible that they'd already heard the story of how she hatched the dragons, and didn't care.)

It could be fear and jealousy, but once they feel a kind of magic is theirs they're suddenly all for it. Though yeah, they didn't really lay any groundwork for it beyond Dany extrapolating a whole lot from her bathroom buddy.

Or, it could be that she knows that Dothraki culture kinda doesn't work so well as status quo, and they're always looking for an inspiring figure. It's like if someone who started out in politics in the Trump campaign returned to politics years later as a volunteer in an establishment GOP campaign, and it was real shitty and annoying and doomed, until they remembered, oh yeah, stated Republican values are actually a bunch of smokescreen bullshit, and not really what moves the base at all. The people don't want respectable stability, they want to tear shit down, and that includes shitty Khals.

Khal Moro is a mess. Khal Moro is a waste.
posted by nom de poop at 7:02 PM on May 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


I have definitely been pleased to see how all the women are being positioned this season. But I agree, Osha's death felt gratuitous and pointless.

Totally cheered for Jon and Sansa and for Dany! BURN IT ALL DOWN!
posted by chatongriffes at 7:11 PM on May 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


fffm Gillian Anderson as Bedelia DuMaurier play OlderSansa The Ice Queen of the North

I love Gillian Anderson to death, but isn't she a little short to be a Sophie Turner?

Huh, only a 6" difference but I thought Turner was taller. I guess really high heels and a box?
posted by porpoise at 7:51 PM on May 16, 2016


only a 6" difference

That's a significant difference.
posted by crossoverman at 7:57 PM on May 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


From the staggering zombie remnants of Ask the Maester a few weeks back:

The horselords value strength above all else. Khals gain their position at the head of a khalasar by mercilessly slaying rivals and enslaving their enemies’ women and children. They spend all of their lives on horseback and consider the sedentary nature of urban life unnatural and even cowardly. They do not engage in commerce and they do not farm. They deeply despise witches and all forms of sorcery.

...

By choosing a place close to the Mother of Mountains and the Womb of the World, holy sites that are integral to the Dothraki creation myth, they were simply being efficient. Vaes Dothrak is really just a vast salvage yard — and I do mean vast. The year-round population (mostly made up of the dosh khaleen, their eunuch servants, and some slaves) of Vaes Dothrak is very low, like Coachella in the offseason, but the city is large enough to house all the khalasars should they ride into town at once — which one day, who knows, they might. The Dothraki believe that a great khal (hm) will appear at Vaes Dothrak (hmm) to unite the khalasars (hmmm) under his (HMMMM) banner and go on to conquer the world.

posted by LionIndex at 8:26 PM on May 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


But I guess since they brought Euron in Yara is a stand-in for Aeron and she'll win the Kingsmoot but get killed by Euron immediately after - is that what people are expecting?

Dany needs ships. My bet is that they combine Euron and Victarion --- Euron shows up with his Dragonhorn and either outright wins the Kingsmoot or loses but manages to convince a large faction of captains to follow him and takes off with the fleet to gain Dany's hand/control of her dragons. Yara is left either nominally in charge but with only a fraction of the fleet or in charge of a small rump crew loyal to her. She and Theon could then ally with Jon or some other faction, whoever furthers their desire to crush Euron.

Also, this springing Marge plan can't possibly work and we still get Cleganebowl, no? For Cleganebowl to happen Cersei's trial must go forward, which implies the Faith and the Sparrow still hold the strings of power in King's Landing. They haven't gone to all that trouble to remind us of the existence of the Hound and then not do Cleganebowl, it seems to me. Bad times for Marge, which disappoints me, I rather like Natalie Dormer.
posted by Diablevert at 8:39 PM on May 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


From the chrys recap...hee: "undead manbun"
posted by gaspode at 8:46 PM on May 16, 2016 [5 favorites]


Thinking of Quaithe's prophecy, Dany has now gone back (to the Dothraki) and can go forward... all that's left is shadow/light.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:49 PM on May 16, 2016 [3 favorites]


if I had to guess I'd bet theon would be most happy tending garden in a monestary somewhere, bringing a bit of peace and beauty into the world,

Brother Reek and Brother Hound, solving mysteries as monks and herbal healers in a pseudomedieval setting shot mostly in former Eastern Block countries, with occasional appearances by a stuttering fellow monk left unnamed but played by Derek Jacobi. The stutterer, it emerges, once ruled an empire.
posted by mwhybark at 8:56 PM on May 16, 2016 [12 favorites]


I'm guessing that the showdown will be between Ramsay's alliance with the Karstarks and Umbers on the one hand and Sansa leading an army of Tullys, Mormonts (still loyal as of last season) and possibly Manderlys - after all, the latter haven't sent any envoys to Ramsay yet, and it would have been easy enough to add them into the Umber scene if the showrunners wanted to make that point. Instead, Karstark and Ramsay just seem to take their loyalty for granted.

The show may dip back into the books and have Jon and Sansa go to the Mountain Clans next. Maybe we'll get to see Big Bucket's legendary belly!
posted by homunculus at 9:17 PM on May 16, 2016


They deeply despise witches and all forms of sorcery.

And yet a small core of Dothraki who saw Dany's first firewalk immediately started worshipping her, in both the first book and first season. It's not like Dothraki following a magical woman was invented for the show, right?
posted by mediareport at 9:24 PM on May 16, 2016


you guys

i know so much about aegon's conquest now

what day is it
posted by poffin boffin at 9:58 PM on May 16, 2016 [11 favorites]


wednesday
posted by mwhybark at 10:00 PM on May 16, 2016 [3 favorites]


I have been waiting all day for someone to do this. But they got the genders wrong. We all know Tormund is the Eliza in this situation.
posted by lunasol at 10:20 PM on May 16, 2016 [8 favorites]


Also, sometimes when I go down a ASOIAF wiki hole, or spend time on r/asoiaf (which I can usually only do for like 10 minutes before a post about how terrible Sansa, Dany, and Catelyn makes me flee before I troll the whole subreddit with a post about how they are the three heads of the dragon) I wonder, where is all this historical shit in the books? Did I gloss over it trying to get to some plot? Is it extrapolated from throwaway comments? Is it all in those Dunk and Egg novelas which I am pretty sure I will never read?
posted by lunasol at 10:26 PM on May 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


You should read the Dunk & Egg stories, a few years back I pretty much accepted that I look forward to those more than the actual books
posted by prize bull octorok at 10:49 PM on May 16, 2016


Oh lunasol, I felt that way about the novelas.. until I read them. They're actually a pretty enjoyable read - a lot lighter in heart than GoT proper.
posted by coriolisdave at 10:51 PM on May 16, 2016


How did you guys read them? Did you track down all the various anthologies they're in? That's been the biggest stumbling-block for me.
posted by lunasol at 11:07 PM on May 16, 2016


I... certainly tracked down all of the anthologies and certainly did not.. locate... standalone electronic.. versions.

at all.




nosir.
posted by coriolisdave at 11:12 PM on May 16, 2016 [7 favorites]


A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms. No dubious legality required.
posted by Justinian at 11:24 PM on May 16, 2016 [6 favorites]


Justinian - sweet, thank you! I heard that was coming out but didn't know it had.
posted by lunasol at 11:38 PM on May 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


Speaking of height, Sansa towered over Jon.
posted by tilde at 7:40 AM on May 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


I noticed that too, and when they hugged I thought at first that Sansa had sort of jumped up on him or something (he looked a little staggered frankly). Then I stumbled on a random tweet that highlighted the root of the matter.
posted by The Nutmeg of Consolation at 8:52 AM on May 17, 2016 [3 favorites]


he is an itty bitty little elf man
posted by poffin boffin at 9:07 AM on May 17, 2016 [4 favorites]


Also, I liked how this episode had three pairs of sisters and brothers, in which the sisters proved the stronger of the two emotionally. As a big sister myself, I dig it.

Being that the last time we were in the sacred temple of Vaes Dothrak, we saw Dany's weakass brother burned alive, I feel like that theme was present in her story as well.
posted by almostmanda at 10:37 AM on May 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


Ask the Maester
posted by Navelgazer at 11:20 AM on May 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


The thing that really upsets me about the Osha scene is that this means her and Rickon aren't part of some scheme with the Umbers.

Just wondering, does it really mean this? Osha was a pretty formidable foe. And in the scene where she dies, she's actively trying to kill Ramsey. Which could be the defensive move of a kidnapped pawn, or it could be part of a larger plan that failed.

I loved this episode. Need to rewatch. I hated the ending, with Danaerys naked. I know it's a callback to the birth-of-dragons scene, but I still found it gross. Kickass all-powerful fireproof warrior (stormborn unburnt breaker of chains mother of dragons yada yada)... and oh yeah best of all BOOBS.

No one else in this thread seemed to mind it, though, or at least not enough to mention it, so I dunno?
posted by torticat at 12:46 PM on May 17, 2016


I don't think the scene would have made sense without the nudity. I didn't think it was gratuitous in this case, so it didn't bother me.

From the A.V. Club review:
Although Emilia Clarke has stepped away from providing recurring nudity in the way she did in the first season, she confirmed to EW that it’s her in the final scene, which helps justify her choice to step away from it: the show can use nudity very effectively (and has with Dany often), and the more sparingly it appears the more impactful it is. Note also that they avoided nudity in the rest of the episode, with a Dothraki arm hiding a woman’s chest during Dothraki reverie earlier in the episode.
posted by homunculus at 12:59 PM on May 17, 2016


To elaborate a little: I think the vast majority of nude scenes on the show are gratuitous and really off-putting. Last season was full of them. Dany's scene in this episode was an exception to the rule, imo, and I thought it actually made the scene more powerful.
posted by homunculus at 1:24 PM on May 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


I found the scene with Dany's nudity to be powerful, unlike so much of the nudity on the show. Here she was, the I burnt, the mother of dragons, and she is a woman in control.

As for the dothracki following her so quickly- my assumption was that many of them had heard of her and Khal Drogo, then of her miracle and dragons. And probably her conquests. But given that the Khal's all want to be the stallion that mounts the world, it was also viewed as another one of those stories. Then, when she identified herself, and she's alone; dragon-less and army-less, it just confirmed the stories were false. Until she topples their leaders and again emerges from the fire for them all to witness.

Except for a few in the back who are like "What's that we're kneeling for? I can't see a thing except a big fire. Are we doing S'mores?
posted by [insert clever name here] at 1:44 PM on May 17, 2016 [5 favorites]


The show coined the term "sexposition" for the ongoing overuse of nudity and sex scenes throughout most of its seasons; they do seem to be trying to rein it in, finally. I have no problem with nudity, but just having naked women because BEEWBS feels cheap and like they don't trust the audience to buy into the story being told.

That being said, I had no problems with Dany appearing naked at the end of the Coup-B-Que. The scene is a direct call back to the funeral pyre at the end of season 1, where her nudity was managed with strategic dragon positioning. To have her emerge from this fire with her dress still intact would have been the more off-putting/confusing choice. I didn't feel like we were being invited to leer (this time), but that we were being shown Dany's power and strength, without dragons, without artifice - that she has power in her own right.
posted by nubs at 1:44 PM on May 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


Thanks, homunculus.

All of that makes sense to me, and I am NOT opposed to nudity in general (ha!); I think it's just the way it's been used on GoT that has made me super chary whenever it comes up.

In that scene, I DO think the nudity was important. But it was established when Danaerys stepped out of the temple (and I had no problem with that shot). Like, at that point, we know her clothes have been burnt off just like in season one. We also know she is not ashamed to step out naked and powerful in front of all those people (interesting, compared to Cersei's utter humiliation during her walk of shame).

But in the final frames, why not just focus on her face? They practically did anyway, just enlarging the frame enough to include her breasts. That's where I thought it was gratuitous, given GoT's history with this stuff.
posted by torticat at 1:50 PM on May 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


Here she was, the I burnt

I thought the iBurnt was an app for R'hllorites to track and compare sacrifices.
posted by homunculus at 1:51 PM on May 17, 2016 [5 favorites]


In that scene, I DO think the nudity was important.

BTW I do see on rereading my earlier comment that I didn't convey that.
posted by torticat at 1:52 PM on May 17, 2016


just having naked women because BEEWBS feels cheap and like they don't trust the audience to buy into the story being told.

It's not that, it's that they are actively trying to MARKET a story to people who will watch it for the boobs. Just like they'll watch it for over-the-top violence and rapeyness. Realism is all well and good, but it can be done without always, always using women--naked women, women who are prostitutes or queens, women just taking a bath, women who are not even women yet but girls, women who are rape victims but sometimes supposedly not REALLY rape victims--on and on and on--using these as bait for attracting viewers. It's not about realism, it's not that they don't trust us not to get the storytelling; it's that they know they can attract MORE viewers with this content because it's so baked into our culture that this kind of content is exciting.

I do agree that it seems they are doing better this season.
posted by torticat at 2:08 PM on May 17, 2016 [10 favorites]


Very true torticat; it isn't just the sexposition it is the overall Dudebro aesthetic that gets wearying.
posted by nubs at 2:19 PM on May 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


So the end scene is going for an "otherworldly nude" thing, a kind of "I am too powerful to care about your petty social conventions". Which on one hand does seem to work here, but on the other hand I can't think of a single example of this being applied to a man.
posted by Pyry at 2:25 PM on May 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


Well, not in this show, but there's The Terminator.
posted by LionIndex at 2:32 PM on May 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


To continue the boobplating - I didn't think Dany's scene was all that powerful, and for me the boobs actually detracted from it because the shot was framed in the painfully obvious style of the lad's mag - "as close as we can get, but keep 'em in frame".

And the "otherworldly nude" aspect might work in King's Landing, but not so much in a city of yurts where the establishing shot was people Doing It up against a wall. I don't see the Dothraki really doing a lot of pearl-clutching over toplessness.

And I thought Cersei's humiliation was less about being naked and more about getting pelted with shit.
posted by Rat Spatula at 2:37 PM on May 17, 2016


the shot was framed in the painfully obvious style of the lad's mag - "as close as we can get, but keep 'em in frame"

exactly.

And I thought Cersei's humiliation was less about being naked and more about getting pelted with shit.

Well, I can't remember how much this was conveyed in the show. In the book, the humiliation very much had to do with nudity because everyone saw that the beautiful queen was actually old. And that her body looked like she had had babies! I don't think the show made a big deal of this, but luckily, they covered the same ground using extra-textual material with Melisandre, so, yay! nothing lost there.
posted by torticat at 2:47 PM on May 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


Which on one hand does seem to work here, but on the other hand I can't think of a single example of this being applied to a man.

Jon Snow needs to go full-on butt-naked Berserker when he retakes Winterfell. I'm sure the writers can come up with a reason.
posted by BungaDunga at 2:51 PM on May 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


you're right, torticat. One of the mistakes (although I'm quite sure it wasn't a mistake in that it was obviously a deliberate choice) the show made was to hire a 20-year-old body double. They chose viewer titillation over actually understanding the passage in the books.

Which, ok, is par for the course with these guys. But still.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 2:52 PM on May 17, 2016 [4 favorites]


On postview:

Jon Snow needs to go full-on butt-naked Berserker when he retakes Winterfell. I'm sure the writers can come up with a reason.

Here's a really good reason. (From 2013 but w/e).
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 2:53 PM on May 17, 2016


One of the mistakes (although I'm quite sure it wasn't a mistake in that it was obviously a deliberate choice) the show made was to hire a 20-year-old body double. They chose viewer titillation over actually understanding the passage in the books.

It was certainly deliberate: it was a scene about a woman's humiliation, but they wanted the audience to find her body attractive. "Beauty is never tarnished" has been a recurring theme on the show. In retrospect, I think it was one of the creepiest things they ever did.
posted by homunculus at 3:14 PM on May 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


In the book, the humiliation very much had to do with nudity because everyone saw that the beautiful queen was actually old. And that her body looked like she had had babies!

My read of it was that it was humiliation because she was revealed to the commons to be just like them in terms of how her body wore its age and signs of life; she was stripped of all pretense by the Church and sent to her shame, with a public that had been encouraged to come and witness. The book scene makes me cringe in discomfort for her, because it very much is intended to be a come & see moment, but because it is done from Cersei's head, we are part of being the victim rather than the leering crowd (the tv camera makes it hard for us to be another other than part of the onlookers, though they can make choices about how and where to position the frame and in who they choose as the body double).

Dany, on the other hand, loses her clothing as part of a plan to seize control of her situation and chooses to stride into view naked because that is part of her claiming her control. If Jorah or Daario rush up to clothe her, it could indicate she is ashamed, and she can't/won't be that at that moment, because this is about her being in charge over everyone in view. Could the camera angle/frame be better? Yes, it could. But I guess my point is that I see two big differences in the two situations. Cersei was forced into the walk; it was intended to humiliate and shame. Dany chose to walk forward, in a move that basically says "I am the Unburnt, and you will kneel before my power and awesomeness, and I don't give a shit about what you think about how I appear because what matters is what I can do."
posted by nubs at 3:16 PM on May 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


Which on one hand does seem to work here, but on the other hand I can't think of a single example of this being applied to a man.

i can't remember if golden god king guy in 300 is nakey or not when he struts down his staircase made of slaves so i will go research that right now
posted by poffin boffin at 3:20 PM on May 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


Eh, this one was OK. Stuff happened, at least.
posted by codacorolla at 3:32 PM on May 17, 2016


Here's a really good reason.

that's a good article, but I part of me was hoping that the link was just going to go to a picture of Jon Snow's butt.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 3:57 PM on May 17, 2016 [4 favorites]


well yes please
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 4:08 PM on May 17, 2016


But I guess my point is that I see two big differences in the two situations.

Absolutely. I agree with your entire comment, nubs. Just think they could have handled the Dany nudity differently this time around (the import and symbolism of her nakedness already having been made clear, both in season one and in the establishing shot of her walking out of the temple).

I did not know they used a 20yo body double for the Cersei scene, fffm.
posted by torticat at 4:14 PM on May 17, 2016


part of me was hoping that the link was just going to go to a picture of Jon Snow's butt.

Don't get bummed out.
posted by homunculus at 4:34 PM on May 17, 2016 [4 favorites]


The show coined the term "sexposition" for the ongoing overuse of nudity and sex scenes throughout most of its seasons; they do seem to be trying to rein it in, finally.

True, they've been more conservative this season. It just occurred to me how much worse Osha's scene with Ramsey could have been, so that's a relief (although maybe they just didn't want to reignite the great wildling pubic hair debate.) I really didn't think they were going to tone down the sexploitation, and I don't know if it's a reaction to audience complaints or if they genuinely realized that it detracts from the show, but either way it's a pleasant change.
posted by homunculus at 4:35 PM on May 17, 2016


One of the mistakes (although I'm quite sure it wasn't a mistake in that it was obviously a deliberate choice) the show made was to hire a 20-year-old body double.

Iirc, Lena Headey was pregnant enough at the time that a body double was inevitable? Which doesn't require hiring a 20 year old.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 5:01 PM on May 17, 2016


Oh yes, the body double was necessary. It's her age that missed the point by a long shot.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 5:03 PM on May 17, 2016


(the tv camera makes it hard for us to be another other than part of the onlookers, though they can make choices about how and where to position the frame and in who they choose as the body double

The vast majority of the sequence is filmed either as a close up of Cersei's face or as an over-the-shoulder shot of her POV. The whole body shots are at a distance. I don't think it comes across as, or was meant to be, tititaliting.

YMMV. There is a strain of criticism of the show which sort of suggests that because the show has used nudity to titilate, that is the only possible reason they do use it, that whatever else may be going on in the scene, if you see a boob, it's there to provide jerk-off material for 14 year old boys. The show has certainly used boobs for that purpose. But I don't think it's the only thing they've ever connoted with nudity. They've used it to connote absolute trust and openess (Jamie and Brienne in the bath, Robb Stark and his wife) vulnerability (Theon), even humor (Hodor). I'm not going to sit here and argue that the show's attitude toward woman isn't problematic. That would be a lie and tiresome. But I do think that because the show has sometimes been cheap and thoughtless, some people assume the only reasons they ever do anything are cheap and thoughtless.
posted by Diablevert at 5:09 PM on May 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


Also Lena Headey, I believe, just doesn't ever want to do nudity. Emilia Clarke isn't opposed to doing nudity, but was affected enough by the hideous reaction to it (including from her own piece-of-shit then-boyfriend mocking it in a musical number while hosting the damn Oscars) to renegotiate her contract as a general "opt-out" thing. She reportedly chose to do this scene and had "complete control" on a closed set and has no regrets about it, which is correct here. The scene didn't need it, but neither was it gratuitous in the least, in my opinion.

At the end of "Fire and Blood" she arises from the fire as the mother of dragons, but had no idea that would happen and is still a young girl, yet to claim real power for herself AS herself. She's literally covering herself, clothing herself, with those dragons in an unexpected situation. Here she knew exactly what she was doing and stepped out as a mythical conqueror queen who, based on the estimates of her forces now, is probably the most powerful person in Essos or Westeros. She went east to go west, she has gone back to go forward. And now she will pass beneath the shadow.

The question bugging me now is, do we want her to? We like her because of her ideals and her resourcefulness. She is not at all a warrior in her own right and yet has found ways to command the greatest armies, all of them devoted to her as a person who, frankly, inspires devotion. And that's what worries me. Just because we like her doesn't make her NOT a demagogue. In fact, in a series about subverting tropes, wouldn't it be MOST disturbingly powerful to show us the faults with demagogues by giving us one we are inclined to cheer for?

Sub-question: in an episode where Melisandre is again, pretty obviously, bringing up being wrong about who Azor Ahai refers to, can't that final scene make a really, really strong argument for Dany there?
posted by Navelgazer at 5:25 PM on May 17, 2016 [4 favorites]




There is a strain of criticism of the show which sort of suggests that because the show has used nudity to titilate, that is the only possible reason they do use it, that whatever else may be going on in the scene, if you see a boob, it's there to provide jerk-off material for 14 year old boys. The show has certainly used boobs for that purpose. But I don't think it's the only thing they've ever connoted with nudity...But I do think that because the show has sometimes been cheap and thoughtless, some people assume the only reasons they ever do anything are cheap and thoughtless.

I think this is the problem the show has. There are times and places where the use of nudity has been important, which you note - Brienne in the bath, Cersei's walk, Dany in the recent episode, etc. But those moments, where the use of nudity could be an important statement about the character and the situation and all of that, have been undermined by the show's willing abandon with nudity, especially in the early seasons. It's not that I think the reason they do it is because they are cheap and thoughtless - I think they put a lot of thought into these moments - but that they've undermined the impact of it as a storytelling tool by being way too casual with it. Which, yeah, means some people are always going to question their motives, but for me it is also about the fact that we are so desensitized to it that nudity of a main character doesn't carry the weight it should.
posted by nubs at 6:52 PM on May 17, 2016


I think a good parallel is that while the show has certainly used violence - even excessive violence, to powerful and meaningful purpose, generally everyone feels like Ramsay's few minutes each episode are cheapening that on the broad scale.
posted by Navelgazer at 6:57 PM on May 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


Important to note that it's really only female nudity used this way. Hodor naked was played for laughs, Theon's nudity was brief and incidental in a way that most of the female nudity is not. There was, what, one other? A couple of bare asses, and that's it.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 7:14 PM on May 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


Also Lena Headey, I believe, just doesn't ever want to do nudity.

If so it's a new thing as she has certainly done nude scenes in the past.
posted by Justinian at 8:14 PM on May 17, 2016


I see she addressed this in an interview:
'It was really a bit shocking. [ed: referring to people criticizing her for not doing the scene herself] I’ve done nudity. I’m not averse to it. But I know I’m a very emotional actor and I get really driven by that. In order to do my job, I allow myself to be really vulnerable. I don’t know any other way to do my job. Things really affect me. And the thought of being naked for three days and trying to contain her in the way she would be I think I would feel very angry...
So she's not against it she just didn't want to do that particular scene for a range of reasons.
posted by Justinian at 8:18 PM on May 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


The question bugging me now is, do we want her to? We like her because of her ideals and her resourcefulness. She is not at all a warrior in her own right and yet has found ways to command the greatest armies, all of them devoted to her as a person who, frankly, inspires devotion. And that's what worries me. Just because we like her doesn't make her NOT a demagogue. In fact, in a series about subverting tropes, wouldn't it be MOST disturbingly powerful to show us the faults with demagogues by giving us one we are inclined to cheer for?

There was that NYT piece a bit back where the writer talked about how Tyrion's intelligence, physical stature and limitations reflected the reader/viewer - able to perceive the problems and injustices of the world of Planetos, but not able to do anything about them.

Daenerys gives us something a bit different. She sees the injustices of the world around her and smashes the fuck out of them. The catharsis of Astapor is well timed; at that point in every other storyline, we're watching characters we care about suffer setbacks and intractable problems and challenges; Dany, faced with the Gordian knot of no army or slave army applies the logic of Alexander the Great and cuts the knot apart, smashing the evil institution of slavery at the same time. It's awesome and of course we want to cheer her on; she's using force against the problems of the world in front of her, unlike so many of our other favorites, who have limited means or opportunity to just blow up the problem in front of them.

That scene is also important because it is the moment she reveals she speaks the language of the slavers - both Valyrian and the language of the conqueror. But she's constant underestimated by those fluent in the later language, who assume a woman won't be able to engage in contests of power and force and destruction, of imposing one's will through violence, shock, awe, and fear. Dany would listed to Conan's speech about what is best in life, and nod knowingly if not in agreement. But look at who Dany learned from - her brother, who was ruled by fear and thought it was the means to rule others; and Khal Drogo, who just took what he wanted and whose word ruled the khalasar. In Astapor, Dany builds her own khalasar from the remnants of her followers, the Unsullied, and her dragons. A khalasar, however, raids and extorts and moves on - Dany gets in trouble when she tries to stop and rule in Meereen, because she has no understanding of the language of statecraft and governance. She only knows how to deal from a position of strength and force, not deal with negotiations and saving face.

The story has shown us again and again, though, that while conquest, force and fear might be the way to a throne, they are not great tools for keeping you there. The Mad King tried to rule that way, and was overthrown. Robert had no patience for governance and stewardship; he won by conquest, but was bored by ruling. Joffrey was a monster and met a monster's end. Daenerys conquered Meereen, but couldn't handle the complexity of what comes next. Cersei, lacking some tools of governance herself, wants to grab at force as a means of restoring her position (the difficulty I think Cersei & Crew faces is that their opposition is as well versed in the language of conquest as they are, if not better).

So, yeah, I want to cheer for Daenerys - she's trying to stop slavery, and she's taking on some of her world's cultural assumptions about the role and place of women and stomping on them. But at the same time, I remember that her words are Fire and Blood, not Sensible Policy and Stable Governance. She is the Breaker of Chains, not the Forger of Just Society. She is the Unburnt - she goes into the flames and emerges untouched and unchanged, while everything else is consumed and destroyed. What she leaves in her wake, frankly, is often a mess. What happens to the Dothraki now? There are a million things, known and unknown, that likely flowed from the khals that kept Dothraki society moving...who takes those up and manages the day-to-day existence of Dany's new khalasar while she leads them off into the sunset to invade Westeros? Because the inability to address the disruption of life in Meereen caused her no end of problems.

I also don't expect that we're going to end this series liking every character that we did at the start. Jaime went from someone generally disliked to someone the audience has some understanding and compassion for, and Theon in general as well. Why wouldn't we expect to see the reverse happen?

Gah. Sorry to throw that all out there, but it's been on my mind.

in an episode where Melisandre is again, pretty obviously, bringing up being wrong about who Azor Ahai refers to, can't that final scene make a really, really strong argument for Dany there?

Absolutely. There have been signs around Jon, around Dany (both here and at the funeral pyre), Stannis (though I would say those were manufactured) and potentially Rhaegar as well. Azor Ahai may not be one person.
posted by nubs at 8:48 PM on May 17, 2016 [13 favorites]


There was that NYT piece a bit back where the writer talked about how Tyrion's intelligence, physical stature and limitations reflected the reader/viewer - able to perceive the problems and injustices of the world of Planetos, but not able to do anything about them.

New Yorker, I think. With respect.
posted by mwhybark at 9:40 PM on May 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


Great episode. Dany finally has her army.

A little bit of history about knights vs horse archers:

In the books, the Dothraki may well be unstoppable and their numbers will count for a lot, but historically the combination of heavily armored knights and infantry didn't always lose when faced with a horde of horse archers.

The advantage of a mounted force of archers is in their ability to disrupt and harass enemy formations and then do a fighting retreat when charged - if we look at the battle of Arsuf during the Third Crusade, Saladin had about 25,000 light cavalry and horse archers against about 20,000 crusader infantry and knights led by Richard I. By using cunning infantry formations of squares of crossbowmen firing and reloading behind a shield wall of spearmen, Richard's infantry was able to repel repeated attempts by Saladin's cavalry to disrupt their ranks. After tiring the enemy cavalry out by withstanding Saladin's skirmishing tactics, when the crusader heavy cavalry finally did charge Richard committed the entirety of his forces, causing massive casualties and forcing the rest of Saladin's army to flee the field.

The key to the crusader victory at Arsuf was discipline. As long as Richard could keep his infantry in formation and they resisted the urge to scatter in the face of the skirmishing attacks and arrows and as long as he could prevent his over-eager knights from blowing their horses in a too-early charge, then Saladin's light cavalry force was at a disadvantage. Richard was able to do this and the result was a crusader victory to the count of only 700 casualties against about 7000 dead Saracens.

Historically, that's one way things can turn out. Add dragons to the mix and it's a whole different kettle of fish, however.
posted by dazed_one at 12:02 AM on May 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


I want to post this idea here, in the book thread, because it requires deeper speculation than the show thread, and might resolve into spoilers.

When Tyrion is having the meeting with the Slave Masters he tells them, as part of their deal, that they need to stop supporting and directing the Son's of the Harpy. They argue back that they have nothing to do with the Son's of the Harpy. Tyrion dismisses their defense as more lying and gets on with his business.

My question is this:

What if the Slavers weren't lying?

I feel like I've seen this narrative deception before, in other shows and movies. What if they really have nothing to do with The Son's of the Harpy? Tyrion is a very charismatic character and the Slavers are rather 2-dimensional. When he laughs off their denial of complicity it's very entertaining but it might not be discovering the truth. Who could actually be directing them then? Sure, this is fan speculation but I feel like I've seen this act enough for it to be a trope. Please, speculate away.
posted by coolxcool=rad at 12:08 AM on May 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


Daario maybe. I feel like they're setting up a big betrayal with him.
posted by Pyry at 12:18 AM on May 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


Daario maybe.

Well, after being refreshed by his wikia I'd say he's probably the likely culprit. I think it comes down to his relation to Barriston Selmy's death (as in where he was and what he was doing) at the hands of the Son's of the Harpy.

I'm still not sure what his motivations are. I don't think they're purely emotional/physical but I can't deny he has a thing for Daenerys.
posted by coolxcool=rad at 12:52 AM on May 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


A few episode ago someone floated Varys, which I have doubts about, but it's a possibility.

I think Daario isn't a bad guess, although it's hard to understand what his motivation would be.

With the way the show is going, there probably is no further reveal, and it's really just the most boring and straightforward explanation: the slavers are lying, and they are indeed financing the Sons.
posted by codacorolla at 6:21 AM on May 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


I can't think of any reason why Daario would be supporting the Sons, unless he's been playing a really long con. Ditto Varys--he prefers to nudge events, not engage in all-out assault, and he doesn't like using pawns who can't be controlled. (Yes, Kevan's death in ADWD is the exception there.)
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 7:18 AM on May 18, 2016


I think Daario will probably betray her at some point but I don't think it's via the Harpies (well maybe they would do that in the show).
posted by drezdn at 7:51 AM on May 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


Did the show do the three fires, three mounts, three treasons?

.. . three fires must you light . . . one for life and one for death and one to love . . .
. . . three mounts must you ride . . . one to bed and one to dread and one to love . . .
. . . three treasons will you know . . . once for blood and once for gold and once for love . . .

posted by nubs at 8:30 AM on May 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


Fires: Drogo's pyre, Coup-b-cue, ______
Mounts: Drogo, Drogon, _______ (Daario?)
Treasons: Mirri Maz Duur, Jorah, _______

Does that map? I think it does. It's also assuming a literal meaning of 'fire.'

The show hasn't said much about the Graces in Meereen. From the books, it seems plausible they could be behind the Harpies. But really... it's the old order. Loraq was very very very very very obviously behind them (poisoned locusts), or at the least a fellow traveler.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:41 AM on May 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


Loraq was very very very very very obviously behind them (poisoned locusts), or at the least a fellow traveler.

We are very very very obviously made to think that Loraq is the poisoner, but our POV is from Barristan who is in over his head in court intrigue (hello Ned II) in a culture he doesn't understand. I tend to point a finger at the Shavepate, myself, and I find it very interesting that when he and Barristan launch their coup against Loraq, the Shavepate's men all wear locust masks.
posted by nubs at 8:54 AM on May 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


One could argue, if one believes that it was Loraq (as I do obbbbvs), that the locust masks were a 'chickens coming home to roost' kinda thing.

And actually I'll walk back slightly. Loraq was obviously behind the locusts. Perhaps not behind the harpies--but he certainly knows who is behind them, and they become a useful scapegoat when (if his plan had worked) Daenaerys dies and he assumes power.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:13 AM on May 18, 2016


nubs has it: it was the Shavepate behind the locusts. He's the Meereenese Littlefinger. I like the explanation here.
posted by Navelgazer at 9:14 AM on May 18, 2016


(In my opinion, obviously)
posted by Navelgazer at 9:15 AM on May 18, 2016


One could argue, if one believes that it was Loraq (as I do obbbbvs), that the locust masks were a 'chickens coming home to roost' kinda thing.

Yep. But it is also obvious that the Brazen Beast masks represent some level of symbolic communication for the Meereenese, one which Barristan (and by extension us) doesn't understand. So they could be a means of 'chickens coming home to roost' or a way for the Shavepate to brag about what he has done without any of Dany's people realizing what is happening. It's also interesting to me that the Shavepate has men down with the dragons, which Quentyn discovers, but doing something around the dragons, even guarding them, was not part of any discussion we witness with Barristan.

But hey, the Meereenese knot is an ugly thing all around and it kinda defies understanding at this point.
posted by nubs at 9:38 AM on May 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


So the end scene is going for an "otherworldly nude" thing, a kind of "I am too powerful to care about your petty social conventions". Which on one hand does seem to work here, but on the other hand I can't think of a single example of this being applied to a man.

Well, not in this show, but there's The Terminator.

The more-or-less canonical example of this is Dr. Manhattan, in both the comics and the movie.
posted by The Tensor at 9:55 AM on May 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


I mean, Shavepate doesn't exist in the show does he? I guess they could introduce a new character to replace him, but that seems to have a lot less impact than someone who already exists.
posted by codacorolla at 9:56 AM on May 18, 2016


The show pretty much sidestepped the whole Meereen political sideshow, and it was a good move.

Arguing about what was going on in Meereen in the books is something we book lovers do to pass the time.
posted by nubs at 9:59 AM on May 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


I hate Mereen in the show and the book, and GRRM's ability to write political intrigue there is only slightly less bad than D&D's ability to write anything, so I'm just counting down the seconds until the city explodes or whatever and I never have to read about/see it again.
posted by codacorolla at 10:06 AM on May 18, 2016


I'm also a Mereen hater but that deep fan blog Navelgazer linked makes me wonder if I should take it more seriously, since apparently GRRM does. All most of us want from Mereen is for Daneryrs to grow up and get her army and then come back to the real story at King's Landing. I think that's a consequence of the first book, its focus on Westeros. But GRRM has spent a lot of time on Essos. Personally I think that effort has largely been a mistake, his most tedious writing, but that blog makes a case that it's more interesting than we think.

OTOH I'm going to double down on my comment above. I want the conclusion of the Mereen plot to be for all the Westerosi to go back to where they came from and leave Essos to itself. And for Grey Worm and Missandei to start taking leadership of their own liberation. The whole "blonde woman comes from the west and saves the dark slaves" aspect of Mereen never has set well for me and I think these past few TV shows are beginning show the subversion of that trope. Tyrion clearly has no idea what the fuck he's doing; he can't play politics right with the Masters, he can't even make conversation with the locals. And Grey Worm and Missandei are visibly less willing to along with it. Maybe at some point they just say "thanks for the help, now go away. We got this."
posted by Nelson at 10:24 AM on May 18, 2016 [9 favorites]


My question is this:

What if the Slavers weren't lying?


It seems implausible that they wouldn't be supporting the Sons of the Harpy. They've regained control of their cities, re-instituted the ancien regime, but Meereen is still in limbo. Slavery is a huge part of the regional economy. I can't see them not directly supporting the SotH.

On the other hand, yes, let's consider arguendo that they're not lying. How would that work? Something like this, I'm guessing:

1. They just re-instituted slavery in their own cities, they may want Meereen back in the fold but don't have the time/resources/interest to make it happen.
2. However, whoever is behind the SotH would have those other city's aristocracies in their debt. This could be the basis for a real and significant alliance.
3. Daenerys doesn't want to stay in Essos forever. Everyone in her inner circle knows that.
4. Varys will never be trusted in Westeros again, probably.
5. Varys is plotting with the SotH to set the stage for a regional alliance once Daenerys finally returns to Westeros, one that will involve the continued devolution of slavery and lead eventually to a confederation with the Free Cities, maybe?
posted by clockzero at 11:05 AM on May 18, 2016


In After the Thrones episode 4, they brought up the Sack of King's Landing, when the Mad King invited the Lannisters' forces in, where they took over and killed the young Targaryen children, as a tale of history that might repeat itself to some level/degree when the Tyrells come to take on the Faith Militant.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:25 AM on May 18, 2016


So, I want to see if I have the pieces in KL kinda right in my head:

-We have the Faith Militant at the Great Sept;
-We have Lannister forces, who would be under the command of Kevan (we saw a bunch of Lannister men come to tell Cersei and the Mountain That Didn't Die that she couldn't go to the funeral)
-We have the City Watch, and I have no idea who is in charge of that anymore, but they can be an independent force in their own right as Ned discovered.

So the proposal is that the Tyrells bring their army into the city (which, I expect, will be under the command of Lord Randall Tarly), Kevan has the Lannisters and the Watch stand down, and the Tyrells intimidate the Faith into giving up Margaery and Loras.

I don't foresee any problems with this. Solid plan all around. No possibly bad outcomes, no Ser, not with all these forces in the mix together.
posted by nubs at 12:04 PM on May 18, 2016 [4 favorites]


Alt Shift X
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 12:38 PM on May 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


Been away, just caught up, can I beg the company's indulgence while I emote a tad?

So. Good point about the vow, y..... WHAT! AAAAAAHHHHHAHAHAHAHA OH GOD MY HEART WOOOOOO and aww.
So, this is nice, y.... WOAH!!! QUEEN IN THE NORTH YEEERRRRRSSSSS you tell 'im! ahahahahahahahappycheering. What did you think Boromir raised you to do all your life cherub, you're not HotPie, cry me a river.

(also: niiiice Brienne/Tormond eye contact, he knows to appreciate a bad-ass...)

Good, bit of boring red-religion stuff to calm down w..... woah. BRIENNE ROOOOLZ cor and dammn. (also: it only just occurs to him now to wonder if Shireen's been at the childminder's or the chippy all this time?)

Nice realpolitiking from a better-written Tyrion (btw if even more charismatic beardy men with tumbling golden locks could wear more gold brocade with high collars in real life too that would be ace, thanks)

„....the things of this world, he wants to knock them down and replace them with what? With fantasies, with beggars in the street.“ = High Sparrow or other sub-optimally-coiffed populist former figurehead of southern financial centre and metropolis?

...yes Tormund! you lay on the charm there boyo! woof!

„come and have a go if you think you're hard enough“ to THAT dinner party!?!

Nice character beats for a maturing - and hardening - Sansa. Butter up the ?half-Stark then remind him who's the RealStark. Well done for growing a clue D&D! And respect to Turner for killing it!

Oh. crap. why threats and boobs again? After and in the midst of so much fabulosity? desperate gesture to reassure your core brodience? God I'm conflicted.
posted by runincircles at 3:09 PM on May 18, 2016 [3 favorites]


I came across an excellent theory about how KL could go down over at reddit (which I summarise here for ease of discussion):

The High Sparrow told Tommen about the Tyrells' involvement in Joffrey's murder, and Cersei is going to burn the Tyrell's to the ground.
posted by coriolisdave at 3:19 PM on May 18, 2016 [6 favorites]


Does the Slaver's Bay situation show Danerys to have been wrong or mistaken in not slaughtering and/or dispossessing the Masters wholesale?
posted by Pope Guilty at 3:22 PM on May 18, 2016


because I am too lazy and fearful to consult the wiki, can somebody tell me who'd be the king or queen if Tommen gets regicided?
posted by prize bull octorok at 3:27 PM on May 18, 2016


I spent significant time 10 seconds researching the question of succession and like this reasonable treatment. I particularly like the idea of Lancel being next in line, wouldn't that be delicious?
posted by Nelson at 3:45 PM on May 18, 2016


oh SHIT yes
posted by prize bull octorok at 3:56 PM on May 18, 2016


Kevan would inherit before Lancel, as he's his father, if that's the closest family connection. That article doesn't understand how agnatic primogeniture works.

To use our most famous real-world example, Prince Charles is heir to the throne. Then William, then George (William's son) then Charlotte (George's younger sister). Let's say those three get wiped out--Harry would be up next. He's got no kids, so after him we have to go back a generation: Princess Anne, then her kids. Then Edward and his, then Andrew.

In Westeros, you start with Robert Baratheon. His kids inherit the throne, sequentially, from oldest boy to youngest boy, then oldest girl to youngest girl (NB, I'm not sure if the Westerosi allow women to inherit at all; Dorne does, which was the basis of Doran's scheme, as Myrcella is older than Tommen). At the moment of his death, the line of succession went: Joffrey, Tommen, Myrcella, in that order.

They're all dead, so then we go one generation back: Stannis. Oops, he's dead, which means Shireen. She's toast, so over to the youngest brother, Renly. Nope. So then we have to go another generation back, and so on and so forth, until there's a living heir.

Which, according to an article in the previous thread, is Cersei. Not so. Tyrion may be younger, but he's male, so he inherits (via a Lannister ancestor who married a Baratheon, who themselves are a cadet branch of the Targaryens, which was the somewhat dubious basis of Robert's legal claim as opposed to his claim by conquest) befor she does.

All hail Tyrion, First of his Name etc.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 4:04 PM on May 18, 2016 [4 favorites]


I think the correct answer is likely anyone who can claim a drop of Targ or Baratheon blood and command a lot of swords. The lots of swords bit being the most important.
posted by nubs at 4:37 PM on May 18, 2016 [5 favorites]


But the House of Lannister has no legal claim on the throne at all. Cersei may have one personally, as Queen/Queen Mother/Queen Dowager etc., but I don't see how her claim would pass to others in her House should she die without (further) heirs. Kevan didn't marry Robert Baratheon. I think that if (when!) Tommen dies, the throne will basically be up for grabs, or ripe for conquest. And a part of me thinks that the series will end with no one on the Iron Throne.

But what will really happen is that once she has seen off the existential threat of the Others and settled affairs in the North to her liking, Good Queen Sansa will ride in great state to the South, summoning a High Council of all the surviving lords. This council will do away with the over-kingship and re-assert the independence – and interdependence – of each of the Seven Kingdoms. Furthermore they will install a Realm Manager to serve as chief executive of King's Landing and the surrounds. GQS's erstwhile husband Tyrion Lannister might fit the bill nicely.
posted by The Nutmeg of Consolation at 4:41 PM on May 18, 2016


The High Sparrow told Tommen about the Tyrells' involvement in Joffrey's murder, and Cersei is going to burn the Tyrell's to the ground.

Tommen still seems fond of Marge, though.

The show strongly implies it was in re. Marge's Walk of Shame, which likely means the High Sparrow is baiting them into trying to stop it. Since that was Cersei's exact response, it seems likely. (Book Kevan wouldn't fall for it, but...)
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 4:43 PM on May 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


Nutmeg: that Lannister claim comes by going up the family tree and down again until one finds an extant branch. I'm not sure if it's accurate or not (the greatest ASoIaF expert I know rolled his eyes at it pretty hard, for instance) but the truth is, if Tommen dies, Dany probably has the clearest claim to the throne outright.
posted by Navelgazer at 4:47 PM on May 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


In that case, the one extant Lannister branch probably descends through Genna Lannister, Tywin's and Kevan's sister. She had issue from her marriage. It would be a bitter ending indeed if GRRM ends up putting a gorram FREY on the Iron Throne!
posted by The Nutmeg of Consolation at 4:55 PM on May 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


But the House of Lannister has no legal claim on the throne at all. Cersei may have one personally, as Queen/Queen Mother/Queen Dowager etc., but I don't see how her claim would pass to others in her House should she die without (further) heirs. Kevan didn't marry Robert Baratheon. I think that if (when!) Tommen dies, the throne will basically be up for grabs, or ripe for conquest. And a part of me thinks that the series will end with no one on the Iron Throne.

Before Aegon's conquest, there were multiple kingdoms, right? He created the, uh...united kingdom, so perhaps there would be a political devolution back to local rule. Nobody seems all that enamored of political unity at this point anyway, from the smallfolk to the noble houses.
posted by clockzero at 4:56 PM on May 18, 2016


That was the point I was getting at in my, er, speculative postscript.
posted by The Nutmeg of Consolation at 4:59 PM on May 18, 2016


I suspect that what will happen is the convening of a Great Council to settle the matter of succession, which has happened before. And it would put all of the Houses in the same place, where someone who could make a strong case - and perhaps throw a mean BBQ - might unite the realm in order to turn on a new foe.
posted by nubs at 6:25 PM on May 18, 2016 [3 favorites]


Really, the Iron Throne belongs to whoever can take it.

Dany has the strongest claim we know of. Plus an army.
Jon is a question mark unless we get proof of parentage and legitimacy.

But if Tommen dies any time soon I'd expect the Tyrells to mobilise and hold the throne claiming that Margaery is pregnant with the heir.
posted by Migratory at 6:32 PM on May 18, 2016


Also: Power resides where men believe it resides, and the High Sparrow is looking a lot like Cromwell right about now.
posted by Navelgazer at 6:41 PM on May 18, 2016


Since Daeny and Jon are both burgeoning magical messiah figures at the moment, and there's an approaching ice zombie apocalypse, I think a large part of claiming the throne is going to be whoever can inspire the most fear / loyalty in their followers. Regardless, I'm still rooting for The Night King
posted by codacorolla at 6:51 PM on May 18, 2016


THE NIGHT'S KING 2016: MAKING UNDEATH GREAT AGAIN
posted by nubs at 7:18 PM on May 18, 2016 [5 favorites]


King Gendry: Make Rowing Great Again
posted by MsVader at 8:22 PM on May 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


Regarding the fire, I think it spread so quickly because... ah fuck it, because it just does. Lazy writing. Sure, fire spreads super fast, whatever.
posted by Saxon Kane at 9:15 PM on May 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


nubs: I suspect that what will happen is the convening of a Great Council to settle the matter of succession, which has happened before. And it would put all of the Houses in the same place, where someone who could make a strong case - and perhaps throw a mean BBQ - might unite the realm in order to turn on a new foe.

You mean, like.. someone who may have had a prophetic dream about a burned-out throne-room in Kings Landing?
posted by coriolisdave at 10:14 PM on May 18, 2016


following up on the prediction that it will be 5 queens in Westeros:

" YOU'VE HEARD OF CLEGANEBOWL, NOW IT'S TIME FOR QUEEEEEEENNNNBBBOOOOOOOWWWWLLLL!"

get hype
posted by LegallyBread at 5:36 AM on May 19, 2016 [2 favorites]


Thinking about this, I think one of the more interesting things the show could do would be to kill off Cersei. Ruthlessly pragmatic Olenna would step in to control King's Landing, Tommen might finally get a chance to breathe, Sansa and Margaery would work very well with each other, the Sand Snakes would largely feel avenged, and Jaime might learn or might return to being a total dick.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:32 AM on May 19, 2016 [1 favorite]


Ruthlessly pragmatic Olenna would step in to control King's Landing,

I hadn't thought of this, but now I want this to happen so much. Just imagine all the tart rejoinders and snarky one-liners! Since the absence of Bronn, we've been needing those. Tyrion's usually got them covered, but he seems to be busy sticking his foot in his mouth about slavery.
posted by culfinglin at 10:07 AM on May 19, 2016 [2 favorites]


Also, am I alone in hoping that the Mance Rayder plot from the books, in which he goes in disguise to mess with the Boltons, happens?
posted by culfinglin at 10:20 AM on May 19, 2016


Jaime might learn or might return to being a total dick.

I'm kinda missing Jaime having an arc or even like a purpose. At this point, he's Cersei's sidekick and he's not very interesting (Cersei really can't handle having a sidekick like a Bronn or anything like that; she needs a lickspittle). BookJaime at least goes out and starts to learn that he can lead and negotiate and deal with what is going on in the realm in a way that doesn't require his sword hand, and that there might be a life for him outside Cersei. ShowJaime lost his hand, started to develop into an interesting character, and then he went to Dorne.

"Went to Dorne" might be my new phrase for when a character on a show ceases to be compelling or interesting.

Also, am I alone in hoping that the Mance Rayder plot from the books, in which he goes in disguise to mess with the Boltons, happens?

It would be neat, but Mance got burned last year and I'm not sure who is left amongst the wildlings who would have the subtlety to go and ratfuck the Boltons in Winterfell. I mean, I love me some Tormund, but sneaky undermining shit ain't the man's way. I think we're well past the point of any subtle shit with the Bolton; the show will continue to remind us that he's a depraved loon at every opportunity until somebody finally shanks him and feeds his corpse to the dogs.
posted by nubs at 10:26 AM on May 19, 2016 [2 favorites]


No! Sansa will have him executed for patricide. We'll see Brienne wield the sword, and cut to Ice Queen Sansa with the tiniest of satisfied smiles on her face.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:29 AM on May 19, 2016


I second 'went to Dorne' as shorthand for boringness.

I know Mance technically got burned and all… but I still wish he would reappear, magically unburnt, and start laying waste in Winterfell.
posted by culfinglin at 10:31 AM on May 19, 2016


well, thanks to the J+D=M theory, Mance can totally be still alive and unburnt.
posted by prize bull octorok at 10:33 AM on May 19, 2016


Sansa will have him executed for patricide. We'll see Brienne wield the sword, and cut to Ice Queen Sansa with the tiniest of satisfied smiles on her face.

Sansa is of the Blood of the First Men, which holds that the person who passes sentence should be the one to swing the sword.

Now that would be an awesome. Brienne is getting ready to carry things out, and Sansa says "Wait." Ramsay gets all cocky. And then Sansa says "My father thought that the one who passes the sentence should be the one to swing the sword. Jon, may I borrow yours?" It would be another "Edd - fetch me a block" moment.
posted by nubs at 10:34 AM on May 19, 2016 [5 favorites]


Wait, what's the J+D=M theory? I missed it somehow.
posted by culfinglin at 10:36 AM on May 19, 2016


I think the J is for Jorah and the D is for Daario, but I haven't gone very far into slash fic for the series.
posted by nubs at 10:38 AM on May 19, 2016 [5 favorites]


(It's not a real theory, it was a joke that Jon's resurrection and Dany's unburnability could justify Mance being alive, if he was their offspring from the future who got sent back in time, by Bloodraven I guess? Okay now it's a real theory)
posted by prize bull octorok at 10:39 AM on May 19, 2016 [5 favorites]


Damnit, I wanted that to be a real theory so that Mance could still be alive. ;/
posted by culfinglin at 10:42 AM on May 19, 2016 [2 favorites]


Has anyone mashed up the High Septon and Bernie Sanders on the Tumblr yet?
posted by drezdn at 4:35 PM on May 19, 2016 [5 favorites]


Has anyone mashed up the High Septon and Bernie Sanders on the Tumblr yet?

Nope not yet.
posted by Navelgazer at 6:46 PM on May 19, 2016


Has anyone mashed up the High Septon and Bernie Sanders on the Tumblr yet?

I already did Varys Andromedon, so someone else will have to do Bernie Septon.
posted by Rock Steady at 6:59 AM on May 20, 2016 [1 favorite]


If you google Image Bernie Septon there is some good work happening there.
posted by French Fry at 7:05 AM on May 20, 2016 [1 favorite]


I am Daniel Sackheim. I'm a television director and producer. I directed episodes 3 and 4 of Game of Thrones Season 6. AMA. His answers are too terse to be very interesting, but there's a coy answer about Shaggydog for those of you holding out hope for the adorable, insane man-killing monster wolf. Also an unsatisfying answer about Osha.
posted by Nelson at 7:07 AM on May 20, 2016 [1 favorite]


that shaggy dog answer...
posted by goneill at 7:18 AM on May 20, 2016 [2 favorites]




The interwebs are positively FROLICKING over the new Brimund/Torienne goodness, and it is a sight to see...
posted by runincircles at 1:48 PM on May 20, 2016


e.g. https://www.buzzfeed.com/jennaguillaume/sail-this-ship-to-bear-island?utm_term=.nmvrXROxM#.stj4MwWKN
posted by runincircles at 1:50 PM on May 20, 2016


I'm kinda missing Jaime having an arc or even like a purpose. At this point, he's Cersei's sidekick and he's not very interesting (Cersei really can't handle having a sidekick like a Bronn or anything like that; she needs a lickspittle). BookJaime at least goes out and starts to learn that he can lead and negotiate and deal with what is going on in the realm in a way that doesn't require his sword hand, and that there might be a life for him outside Cersei. ShowJaime lost his hand, started to develop into an interesting character, and then he went to Dorne.

Yeah, ShowJaime has turned into the biggest disappointment since ShowLoras. The showrunners did such a good job with his character development in previous seasons, and then gave him a Dornish lobotomy. But this season has been better so far, maybe they'll get Jaime back on track and send him on a quest to find his brain later this season.
posted by homunculus at 4:28 PM on May 20, 2016 [1 favorite]


a Dornish lobotomy

This needs to replace the idiot ball as a trope name.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 5:40 PM on May 20, 2016


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