Game of Thrones: Blood of My Blood   Books Included 
May 29, 2016 6:59 PM - Season 6, Episode 6 - Subscribe

Bran and Meera make a new friend. Gilly meets the Tarlys, and Sam takes his birthright. Arya makes a choice. House Tyrell makes a show of force, while Tommen falls in line. An forgotten face pops up again at the Twins. Daenerys rallies the troops with a show of force of her own.
posted by gatorae (283 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
 
I wanted her speech at the end to finish with "Will you meet with our HR rep to fill out your I-9?"
posted by drezdn at 7:01 PM on May 29, 2016 [19 favorites]


Guys, guys, I am GETTING HYPE. It is almost time.
posted by Justinian at 7:02 PM on May 29, 2016 [6 favorites]


"There's not a man on the Wall knows the haunted forest better than Benjen Stark. He'll find his way back."
posted by zarq at 7:03 PM on May 29, 2016 [9 favorites]


Welp.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:05 PM on May 29, 2016 [4 favorites]


I think this is the first time I was mildly spoiled by the rating before the episode... With no N, is pretty clear there would be no walk.
posted by drezdn at 7:15 PM on May 29, 2016 [4 favorites]


Gilly is just the best. She does that awesome thing that people who love you do, seeing you as the best part of you, seeing you as better than you see yourself. Sam is trying very hard to become the person that Gilly already knows he is.
posted by leotrotsky at 7:16 PM on May 29, 2016 [31 favorites]


So Arya's dead right? I mean no way she escapes the waif and the faceless men.
posted by humanfont at 7:17 PM on May 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


Welp.

Yeah, in George's books, Coldhands is some Dornishman you've never met before, because why use an existing character when you can introduce a new one nobody gives a fuck about?
posted by leotrotsky at 7:18 PM on May 29, 2016 [25 favorites]


no way arya's dead.
posted by futz at 7:19 PM on May 29, 2016 [8 favorites]


Hey, the Brotherhood got a shout-out! LSH end of season stinger?
posted by codacorolla at 7:25 PM on May 29, 2016 [7 favorites]


Also, I'm really glad that they only spent a single episode in Sam's family manse. GET TO OLDTOWN, GODDAMNIT.
posted by codacorolla at 7:28 PM on May 29, 2016 [2 favorites]


Mountain trial by combat mentioned... GET HYPE?
posted by drezdn at 7:30 PM on May 29, 2016 [3 favorites]


Also, I'm really glad that they only spent a single episode in Sam's family manse. GET TO OLDTOWN, GODDAMNIT.

I was annoyed too but if he needs the s-word, he needs the s-word.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:34 PM on May 29, 2016 [5 favorites]


I dunno, trial by combat with the new undead Mountain would basically be a two-second scene with a soundtrack something like "SQUISH".
posted by uosuaq at 7:36 PM on May 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


I was shocked no one died this episode. (Except that rabbit. RIP soft bunny.)

Is Drogon much larger than he was last time we saw him?

I'm glad they made Benjen Coldhands in the show.
posted by toomanycurls at 7:37 PM on May 29, 2016


Yeah, the Benjen = Coldhands connection makes so much sense that I've always sort of thought that GRRM just said it wasn't correct out of spite/contrariness that his editor figured it out too early.
posted by alleycat01 at 7:39 PM on May 29, 2016 [13 favorites]


I don't know why Cersei is so sure that the Mountain is a trump card in a trial by combat. He's already lost one once.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:43 PM on May 29, 2016 [5 favorites]


Is Drogon much larger than he was last time we saw him?

In the books Dragons get as big as their environment and their ability to feed, so I wouldn't be surprised. I also wouldn't be surprised if their art department just didn't do a thorough job, or made it as big as necessary for an impressive set-piece.
posted by codacorolla at 7:43 PM on May 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


But, Pope Guilty, the Mountain won that one. He just died immediately after.
posted by uosuaq at 7:48 PM on May 29, 2016 [3 favorites]


I don't know why Cersei is so sure that the Mountain is a trump card in a trial by combat. He's already lost one once.

Well, no - he won! He just also died.
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:50 PM on May 29, 2016 [3 favorites]


I guess, but that was way more a reflection of Oberyn than the Mountain.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:50 PM on May 29, 2016


Gilly is a total bad ass with Jackass Tarly. Apart from stealing the sword that whole leg of their journey seemed pointless. I have a hard time believing that Sam didn't know/remember that his family had a valyrian steel sword. He looked surprised by the news.
posted by toomanycurls at 7:57 PM on May 29, 2016 [5 favorites]


Benjen! And Heartsbane! And Drogon! Oh My!
posted by homunculus at 8:18 PM on May 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


I have a hard time believing that Sam didn't know/remember that his family had a valyrian steel sword. He looked surprised by the news.

I could swear Sam told Jon about his family's sword at some point. I think the look on his face was his realization that he could get another Valyrian steel sword for the Watch.
posted by homunculus at 8:22 PM on May 29, 2016 [7 favorites]


Meera does the worst and longest prowler drag in the history of Westeros. She is mysteriously not winded or red-faced after she collapses, which makes me wonder if she's the best-conditioned person north of the Wall. Really hope my strongman coach doesn't see this episode and decide snow and ice zombies are what we need to make the prowler 'better.'

I don't know why Cersei is so sure that the Mountain is a trump card in a trial by combat. He's already lost one once.

Well, Halfthor Bjornsson did just win the Arnold Strongman classic competition in South Africa this weekend.
posted by culfinglin at 8:29 PM on May 29, 2016 [4 favorites]


Hafthor makes me legit angry with how big and strong he is but please don't tell him I said anything.
posted by turbid dahlia at 8:42 PM on May 29, 2016 [4 favorites]


you should see Fulthor.
posted by leotrotsky at 8:47 PM on May 29, 2016 [60 favorites]


I could swear Sam told Jon about his family's sword at some point.

I think Sam mentions Heartsbane to Jon when he first opens up about why he's been sent to the Wall.
posted by culfinglin at 8:47 PM on May 29, 2016


Welp.

The "NO" was shorthand for "Nice One!".
posted by Sangermaine at 8:55 PM on May 29, 2016 [9 favorites]


I can't wait until we get to the "...and then Gilly dies pointlessly of the flu."
posted by Justinian at 8:57 PM on May 29, 2016 [4 favorites]


Is Mace Tyrell wearing a gray sweater knit on large needles under his armour? Or is it just a print of a gray sweater on fabric? (37:42 in the episode)
posted by culfinglin at 8:59 PM on May 29, 2016


just this once, Rose...
posted by Navelgazer at 9:01 PM on May 29, 2016 [2 favorites]


Is Mace Tyrell wearing a gray sweater knit on large needles under his armour? Or is it just a print of a gray sweater on fabric? (37:42 in the episode)

I think it's just a tunic with a weird gray leaf design.
posted by Sangermaine at 9:03 PM on May 29, 2016


If Jaime has been expelled from the Kingsguard, does that mean he can hold a title and inherit again? Is he now Lord of Casterly Rock?
posted by Sangermaine at 9:06 PM on May 29, 2016 [14 favorites]


I always kind of liked the idea that Bejnen got offed by some random wildling north of the wall because that's how tough life is. But then having Coldhands backstory be so secretive, which would make fine sense, but seemed a little too straightforward.

So are we to infer from the jumpcuts of various historical events (We saw the Mad King!) that Bran knows everything now, or is just in the process of downloading? What else was in the series of jumpcuts that was new? I saw youngish Ned saying "Where's my sister?" but that was from a couple episodes ago.
posted by skewed at 9:09 PM on May 29, 2016 [2 favorites]


I was annoyed too but if he needs the s-word, he needs the s-word.

Sabre?

Also, Arya isn't going to die. She knows exactly what is coming for her and prepared for it. The Waif doesn't know about Needle, but Arya knows how to fight blind, and she snuffed the light out while she waits.
posted by Navelgazer at 9:11 PM on May 29, 2016 [28 favorites]


I don't know about Bran knowing everything, but if you want to see what Bran saw someone on reddit made an album of all the shots.
posted by Sangermaine at 9:13 PM on May 29, 2016 [14 favorites]


So are we to infer from the jumpcuts of various historical events (We saw the Mad King!) that Bran knows everything now, or is just in the process of downloading? What else was in the series of jumpcuts that was new? I saw youngish Ned saying "Where's my sister?" but that was from a couple episodes ago.

I took from that that perhaps in his madness Aerys was trying to deal with the White Walker threat, but was insane and misunderstood and killed in Robert's pretty-well pointless rebellion.
posted by Navelgazer at 9:13 PM on May 29, 2016 [3 favorites]


Bran sees the shadow of a dragon flying over a city with tiled roofs, and Daenerys' face; that's new.
posted by culfinglin at 9:14 PM on May 29, 2016 [2 favorites]


I took from that that perhaps in his madness Aerys was trying to deal with the White Walker threat, but was insane and misunderstood and killed in Robert's pretty-well pointless rebellion.

No, the Mad King's plan was to torch King's Landing and kill everyone there. The 3 eyed raven upload is trying to get the idea of "Burn them all" integrated with the Walkers into Bran's brain.
posted by nubs at 9:15 PM on May 29, 2016 [10 favorites]


I really like the idea of Arya realizing that the Faceless men were fucking lame, and their pretentious nihilism was not worth devoting herself to. That's a great fantasy trope to invert, the ethics of the super-powered mystical cults from most books are pretty shitty and their acolytes really should quit.
posted by skewed at 9:16 PM on May 29, 2016 [52 favorites]


Yeah, it was always weird that they kill for pay. I get their "death comes for us all" ethos, but it's fairly self-serving that death especially comes for the enemies of people rich enough to hire magic ninjas.
posted by Sangermaine at 9:19 PM on May 29, 2016 [40 favorites]


No, the Mad King's plan was to torch King's Landing and kill everyone there. The 3 eyed raven upload is trying to get the idea of "Burn them all" integrated with the Walkers into Bran's brain.

That makes sense. This just might be my own new wild-ass theory. Aerys was crazy as a loon, but also had Aemon at Castle Black, whom he presumably trusted. Who knows what was going on in his head once these northmen came down to attack him?
posted by Navelgazer at 9:21 PM on May 29, 2016 [2 favorites]


Arya isn't going to die, now that she's rediscovered her identity. Which she does thanks to an actor. The play inverts the story as we know it (Joffrey/Cersei the good guys, Ned/Tyrion/Sansa the villains) and behind the scenes, the actors invert it further - the actor playing Ned is a vain arrogant ass, and the actor playing Cersei is kind and considerate. I kind of like the play within the play within the play.
posted by nubs at 9:23 PM on May 29, 2016 [44 favorites]


Yeah, it was always weird that they kill for pay. I get their "death comes for us all" ethos, but it's fairly self-serving that death especially comes for the enemies of people rich enough to hire magic ninjas.

Wasn't there something to the effect of the fact that the price will always be high, but still within the means of the person asking? I'm not going wikidiving this late.
posted by nubs at 9:25 PM on May 29, 2016 [5 favorites]


Yay, Arya has finally escaped the tarpit of the Death Cult and is off on her own again. Once she kills the obnoxious other Westerosi girl she'll be free to go take her assassin skills and fuck shit up. Avenging Arya is gonna be even better than Daenerys, what what!

Is Margaery's conversion sincere? It seems really sudden. Tomnen is a tool, and will do whatever his wife and Older Man Friend tell him to. But what does she really want?
posted by Nelson at 9:26 PM on May 29, 2016 [4 favorites]


Going through the stills from Bran's vision, does it look like there's a dragon fetus/baby dragon in this wildfire container to anyone else? Could the secret of wildfire be that it's some kind of dragon extract, perhaps the chemical mixture dragons naturally produce to shoot their flame?
posted by Sangermaine at 9:28 PM on May 29, 2016 [2 favorites]


No, the Mad King's plan was to torch King's Landing and kill everyone there. The 3 eyed raven upload is trying to get the idea of "Burn them all" integrated with the Walkers into Bran's brain.

The stashes of wildfire hidden under King's Landing from the Wildfire Plot should still be there. Jaime is the only living person who knows about them, having personally secretly killed all the Pyromancers to stop them from executing the Mad King's plan.

Perhaps Bran's vision of wildfire explosions weren't of the past but of the future destruction of King's Landing when those caches are set off?
posted by Sangermaine at 9:36 PM on May 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


Jaime is the only living person who knows about them, having personally secretly killed all the Pyromancers to stop them from executing the Mad King's plan.

And Brienne, no? He spilled the beans in his magic hottub party with her.
posted by Justinian at 9:52 PM on May 29, 2016 [5 favorites]


Doesn't Tyrion see vast stores of wildfire when he's talking to the pyromancers in preparation for Stannis' fleet? (And then uses the wildfire against the fleet.)
posted by culfinglin at 10:18 PM on May 29, 2016 [5 favorites]


Is Margaery's conversion sincere? It seems really sudden. Tomnen is a tool, and will do whatever his wife and Older Man Friend tell him to. But what does she really want?

I think she's gaming the Septon by gaming Tommen so she could get Loras out. Since Tommen's the only one with whom the Septon allowed her to communicate, and since Loras had been broken so badly, she had no way of knowing whether or not anyone had a plan to get them out before Loras completely lost it. Girl had to take care of herself and her bro using the only resource she had on the inside, which was a horny Tommen.
posted by Dr. Zira at 10:19 PM on May 29, 2016 [33 favorites]


Tyrion's wildfire was being made at Cersei's behest.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:19 PM on May 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


Is Margaery's conversion sincere? It seems really sudden

No way. It was WAY too sudden, considering that last week she was telling her brother they had to stay strong and not "let them win" and he was saying "get me out of here."

Margaery 1) hates Cersei, 2) hates the High Sparrow, 3) is power-hungry, and 4) is manipulative and resourceful. She's playing Tommen just like she did in the past, only from a different angle.

She and the High Sparrow are each using and deceiving the other. Actually one or the other or both of them might not be deceived at all; it doesn't matter, since the alliance benefits both of them.

I suspect though that Olenna's comment "He's beaten us" is accurate. Margaery's gotten what she immediately wants, but she'll soon find she's in over her head.
posted by torticat at 10:20 PM on May 29, 2016 [19 favorites]


1) Sam stealing the sword was great.

2) Half-undead! My favorite kind of character (actually true)

3) That dragon looks a lot bigger. Although the transition to it -- "Hey look, a random wisp of sand." 30 seconds later: riding dragon -- was kind of weird.

Oh my goodness there are a lot of characters/plotlines in this show. Wish each episode was 2 hours.
posted by curious nu at 10:52 PM on May 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


Yeah, the price is always high, but not impossible to pay. The low born can do it just as much as the high. It is true equality.
posted by corb at 11:31 PM on May 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


She and the High Sparrow are each using and deceiving the other. Actually one or the other or both of them might not be deceived at all; it doesn't matter, since the alliance benefits both of them.

The symmetry of their positions in front of the camera relative to Tommen is no accident; she plays Tommen exactly as much as the High Sparrow does.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 12:02 AM on May 30, 2016 [8 favorites]


Man once the shots are all laid out like that, what with the WILDFIRE! HARDHOME! BABYWIGHT! DRAGON SHADOW! WILDFIRE! HARDHOME! WILDFIRE! and all, it reminds me of that episode of the Simpsons where Lisa needs braces and Homer keeps flashing between the union rep saying "Dental benefits!" and Marge saying "Lisa needs braces!" and he's like "d'oh, I feel like somehow these two things are connected but I don't understand how!"
posted by KathrynT at 12:08 AM on May 30, 2016 [27 favorites]


Oh and if you want proof that Mags didn't really turn, watch her face when Tommen comes down to make his speech. She looks right at Jamie and clearly tries to psychically tell him "do not fuck this up for me, asshole."
posted by KathrynT at 12:10 AM on May 30, 2016 [10 favorites]


Is Margaery's conversion sincere? It seems really sudden

No way. It was WAY too sudden, considering that last week she was telling her brother they had to stay strong and not "let them win" and he was saying "get me out of here."


From the "holy shit" look on Margaery's face, I suspect that if she'd known that her father and their soldiers were coming to rescue her and Loras, she wouldn't have played along with the Sparrow.
posted by homunculus at 12:10 AM on May 30, 2016 [11 favorites]


The Waif's very personal grudge against Arya has gotten ridiculous. It's is no less personal than Arya's grudge against the people on her list. "You promised me" she said to Jaqen, before walking away with a happy smirk. "Me" who? I get that the showrunners want to create drama by giving Arya an antagonist, but having the Waif act like a catty stereotype when she's supposed to be part of a cult who practice emotional detachment is cheap drama. Maybe Jaqen is actually hoping Arya kills her instead, since the Waif seems to have missed the point (and is damned annoying to boot.)

OTOH, Arya's storyline with the play and the players worked wonderfully. That was a great way to have Arya rediscover herself. And I think they did a great job of introducing the characters in such a short time. In just two episodes Lady Crane displayed more depth than many others do in entire seasons.

If the players turn out to be a traveling troupe, perhaps they'll be instrumental in Arya's escape from Braavos. They might all turn up in Mereen where, though some unfortunate turn of events, Bobono and Tyrion find themselves forced to joust.
posted by homunculus at 1:20 AM on May 30, 2016 [26 favorites]


I really like the idea of Arya realizing that the Faceless men were fucking lame, and their pretentious nihilism was not worth devoting herself to. That's a great fantasy trope to invert, the ethics of the super-powered mystical cults from most books are pretty shitty and their acolytes really should quit.

Nice counterpoint to Margaery and the Faith Militant, too. I like the arguments above that her conversion wasn't genuine. It did seem odd to me.

I don't know why Cersei is so sure that the Mountain is a trump card in a trial by combat. He's already lost one once.

To be fair, he's going to be pretty hard to kill this time, isn't he?

Also, manuscript notwithstanding, there's no way that Benjen isn't Cold Hands, surely? My money on George misdirecting the editor, for whatever reason.

Strongly suspect we're going to get LSH now. All the pieces for that plotline are in motion with Brienne and Jaime heading for Riverrun, and we've had a callback with the reappearance of Edmure.

Overall a really good episode I thought. I love the play, could happily watch much more of it. And really glad to finally see some development in Arya's plotline - it felt like it dragged incredibly in the books, and even in the show it felt like she was wheelspinning a bit.

Only one bit that made me groan. Dany 'how many ships will I need?'.... 'Oh, I'd say, about, 1000?'. Gosh, good job the Ironborn are building exactly 1000 ships, huh?
posted by Pink Frost at 2:17 AM on May 30, 2016 [7 favorites]


DAENERYS STORMBORN 2016
posted by ActingTheGoat at 2:25 AM on May 30, 2016 [2 favorites]


the union rep saying "Dental benefits!" and Marge saying "Lisa needs braces!"

Not dental benefits! Dental PLAN.

DENTAL PLAN.
LISA NEEDS BRACES.
DENTAL PLAN.
LISA NEEDS BRACES.

It's in my head now. Oh god.
posted by Justinian at 2:58 AM on May 30, 2016 [17 favorites]


Wow holy shit so that was a thing that happened. They are just barrelling along at a hell of a clip now.

Coldhands!

Tommen no!

SAM YES

Daenaerys OH HELL YES

Really... just amazing all around. (Reading thread now)
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 3:17 AM on May 30, 2016 [1 favorite]


Totes agreed on Stoneheart, unless Catelyn's appearance in the weirwood.net torrent was a fakeout by the showrunners.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 3:30 AM on May 30, 2016 [6 favorites]


But when do we get to Ian McShaaaaaane?
posted by arha at 3:46 AM on May 30, 2016 [5 favorites]


When we see the Hound again.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 3:50 AM on May 30, 2016 [2 favorites]


Based on the Baratheon-to-Lannister inheritance line, assuming it's the most direct, Jaime is now the Heir Apparent to the Iron Throne.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 4:43 AM on May 30, 2016 [6 favorites]


Now Sam's dad can hunt the most dangerous game.
posted by drezdn at 5:47 AM on May 30, 2016 [2 favorites]


I'd been kind of hoping that GoT would do the dramatic equiv. of a brick joke with some of the missing characters, and not only did they do it with Benjen tonight, it looks like more are coming in the near future. For all we know, Arya is going to wonder how she's going to return to Westeros when Gendry shows up with his boat.
posted by drezdn at 6:02 AM on May 30, 2016 [16 favorites]


I always thought "The Price" was something other than money.

Just going off my recollection here but...

Arya saved the lives of three people, so the faceless man had to kill three others to make up for it.

People come to the death church, drink water, and die. I always thought that implied that they were willing to die, in exchange for someone else dying, too. Although that theory contradicts the first.

And finally, when I hear "Paying the Price" I think of legit killing someone, sacrificing them, so you can get someone else killed.

These are all contradictory, but none of them seem out of the question. What does seem strange to me is the idea of cash for lead.
posted by rebent at 6:20 AM on May 30, 2016 [3 favorites]


It's in my head now. Oh god.

Let me help you:

WHERE'S MY BURRITO?!
WHERE'S MY BURRITO?!
WHERE'S MY BURRITO?!

posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:18 AM on May 30, 2016 [4 favorites]


I was pretty meh about Dany's big speech/moment since it's like her 4th identical one, though. I mean, yes, Drogon looked cool (...although I guess we're supposed to assume that since she's stopped avoiding her destiny by accepting that she's a conqueror, not a ruler, that somehow translates into being able to control the dragon that she could barely handle previously? I guess my dad was right and confidence really is key) ... But it just seems like she's stuck in the same character arc over and over. I appreciate that she tried to stick around and do the right thing with Meereen, but since that didn't work, is her plan just fire and blood until the end?

I can't see how she can "win" the GOT unless winning is just laying waste to everything with no survivors. Which might fit with all her "break the wheel" stuff, I suppose.

Also I found it interesting that in Bran's crash course download from the 3ER, the emphasis was definitely on wildfire as the key to defeating the Walkers, rather than dragons/dragonfire. There was only like 1 shot of a dragon vs a ton of Aerys/wildfire in that montage, right?

And lastly ... Dude. Still. It would have been way quicker to just tell Bran these things than try to get him to intuit them through the weirwood.net. If I was in charge of the new Bloodraven Successor 101 course I would be like, "Welcome! Two things you should know. Don't let anybody touch you during vision quests, and also wildfire destroys White Walkers and there's a stash under KL." Mortar boards and gowns for everybody.
posted by alleycat01 at 7:21 AM on May 30, 2016 [29 favorites]


I presume the Waif hates Arya just because she (the Waif) views a girl as competition, but her exchange with Jaqen seemed to send up a few pronoun flags (Jaqen and the Waif referring to one another as "you") that made me wonder if maybe all wasn't as it seemed. Could the Waif be someone we've met before, wearing a different face? I don't want to give the show too much credit; antagonism because "it's a better story" is not exactly above Game of Thrones, and antagonism because "you know how girls are" really isn't above Game of Thrones.

In any case, the Arya stuff was for me definitely the highlight of a largely unremarkable episode. The actress "seeing" the real Arya was a nice touch after everyone for two years going out of their way to not see the real Arya. And Arya developing empathy for Cersei is a huge turning point, even if Arya rejects it down the road.

Sam and Gilly, on the other hand...what even. At least we got to see what looks like a very pretty part of Ireland. But this whole plotline seems inconsequential, like the writers are just giving characters people kinda like (I guess?) something to do. Sam has a Valyrian steel sword now. Will he have to use it against the brother we met for the first time this episode? In some abstract way I hope not, but we could just never return to this story ever and I would not miss it.

Dany's interlude seemed equally pointless, like a few minutes we probably should have seen last week but were shuttled here when the producers realized this episode didn't have any particular ending. That dragon's pretty frickin' big now, though. That's cool.

The High Sparrow plotline was deliberately kind of frustrating, but it looks to have a promising payoff. Sending Jaime to Riverrun puts him up against Jon, Sansa and Brienne (!), and my only hope is he brings Bronn with him. Well, and I also hope they find common ground against Ramsay -- which seems pretty likely, considering Ramsay married Sansa as a fuck you to the Lannisters -- and don't kill each other. And of course Cersei's trial by combat is still on. The speculation on who fights for the High Sparrow is pretty exciting, and my fingers are crossed.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 7:50 AM on May 30, 2016 [2 favorites]


Now I'm wondering if Bran is actually the catalyst for the Mad King wanting to "burn them all," when he's messing around in the past. Something with wanting to burn the wights/White Walkers and the streams getting crossed again.
posted by permiechickie at 7:51 AM on May 30, 2016 [20 favorites]


Arya isn't going to die, now that she's rediscovered her identity.

I'm not so sure about this. (Influenced a bit by the sadness of this imgur recap.) It seems like there's really only two outcomes to the Faceless Man plot from here:

1) Arya kills the Waif, that was the real test, she's a Faceless Man now;
2) Arya kills the Waif and gets away, the point of the Faceless Men plot was to get her the assassin skills necessary to get close enough to Cersei to kill her.

The second seems much more likely to me, but either way it seems like yesterday could mark the start of the final act of Arya's story. I'm not sure where her plot goes after either 1 or 2, other than anonymity or death.

I personally stick with Dan Harmon's declaration about Arya; if Sansa and Arya never see each other as badass adults this show is bullshit. But I'm losing faith.
posted by gerryblog at 7:54 AM on May 30, 2016 [1 favorite]


Arya and Tyrion cannot die, because they are the characters everybody likes. The show may be cruel, but it's not stupid.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 8:01 AM on May 30, 2016 [13 favorites]


But it just seems like she's stuck in the same character arc over and over. I appreciate that she tried to stick around and do the right thing with Meereen, but since that didn't work, is her plan just fire and blood until the end?

I can't see how she can "win" the GOT unless winning is just laying waste to everything with no survivors. Which might fit with all her "break the wheel" stuff, I suppose.


It isn't a season of GoT without Dany screaming about something with a dragon involved somehow, right? I kinda felt this installment of "Dany the badass" undermined the the Khal-B-que badass moment; she doesn't need them every other week.

Anyways, the emerging solution to the Walkers appears to be to bring them all to one place and burn it down - which will be an interesting moment, because we will likely have a concentration of not only Walkers but dragons and other forces there. I'm starting to wonder if the full answer to the Walker threat is the end of magic - which would include the CotF, the dragons, the Walkers, and possibly some other stuff.
posted by nubs at 8:02 AM on May 30, 2016


Hmm, someone had previously theorized that Bran traveling south of the Wall with the Night King's touch might break the protection keeping the White Walkers out, or perhaps bring the whole thing down altogether. Maybe BenJen/ColdHands is actually on the Ice Team after all, and his job is to trick them into hurrying up and make that happen?

With the looming army battles at Winterfell and Riverrun, there's going to be quite a lot of armed recruits waiting for them if they crash the parties. It might be surprising for the Snowpocalypse plot to start rushing forward so suddenly after so long, but Winter's gotta come some time, right?

Ultimately, they're who Dany's dragons and army are meant to face off against after all. With her on course to cross the sea finally, the White Walkers need to stop spinning their wheels too.

RE Cersei's trial, the AV Club has been guessing the Hound might show up for the other side and get a chance to work out his sibling issues, and I don't see anyone else likely to cause an upset versus the Mountain. My inclination is actually to root for Cersei over the Sparrow and her other enemies in the capital, but I'd cheer for the Hound if that match happens.
posted by Pryde at 8:26 AM on May 30, 2016 [1 favorite]


I kind of think the Arya-Waif battle is a test, perhaps for both of them. If they let the Wait get away with all this obvious personal animus against Arya without pointing out how inconsistent this is with the purported ethos of the Faceless (Wo)men, I'll be disappointed. But as pointed out above, they Jaqen and Waif were using personal pronouns with each other last night, which is either really, really sloppy screenwriting, or hint of something not quite right with the whole scenario.

The editing/pacing with Dany's story is really off, I think they should have just given her an episode where she just goes about leading, and maybe everyone asking her about the dragons, and how she will use them, control them, and her telling everyone to chill out about the dragons, let her worry about it.

Sam's storyline is really throwing me for a loop. Is he really not going to make it to Oldtown? Is he planning to take Heartsbane straight back to Castle Black? I mean, I never really imagined he was going to just start studying at the Citadel for 5-10 years while the rest of civilization falls apart, but to just turn around after retrieving the extra sword seems like a peculiar arc.
posted by skewed at 8:28 AM on May 30, 2016 [2 favorites]


Sam's storyline is really throwing me for a loop. Is he really not going to make it to Oldtown? Is he planning to take Heartsbane straight back to Castle Black? I mean, I never really imagined he was going to just start studying at the Citadel for 5-10 years while the rest of civilization falls apart, but to just turn around after retrieving the extra sword seems like a peculiar arc.

I always figured that Sam would learn something of great import at the Citadel that would send him rushing back to the Wall...but (while I enjoyed the show taking the time for a character moment), it seemed to indicate that Sam is grabbing the sword and running back North. Which might set up the awesome moment of Randall Tarly and Dickon Tarly of the great stag hunts coming face to face with (a) wildlings; (b) zombies and (c) White Walkers.
posted by nubs at 8:49 AM on May 30, 2016 [4 favorites]


So in books: do we think the theft of Heartsbane occurred? If so - wouldn't it make more sense after Oldtown sends him rushing back to the wall?
posted by corb at 9:15 AM on May 30, 2016


Can we talk about Jaime being demoted from commander of the Kingsguard? Because the way that Tommen should have justified his decision was saying, "I can't have a commander of the Kingsguard who either doesn't know or doesn't care that I'm inside the fucking sept when he decides to launch his power play attack on the septon."

That, and his track record of keeping kings from getting murdered is abysmal.

You had one fucking job, Jaime Lannister; guard that king! It's right there in the name!
posted by Parasite Unseen at 9:24 AM on May 30, 2016 [28 favorites]


Yeah, in the books they go direct to Oldtown - Gilly is going to be sent on to Horn Hill, sans Samwell. Lord R. Tarly is out in the Riverlands/King's Landing, leading Tyrell troops in the aftermath of the war and the imprisonment of Margery, so I suspect Heartsbane is out in the field rather than looking nice over a mantle.
posted by nubs at 9:24 AM on May 30, 2016 [1 favorite]


That, and his track record of keeping kings from getting murdered is abysmal.

You had one fucking job, Jaime Lannister; guard that king! It's right there in the name!


He has both Lord Commander of the Kingsguard and Kingslayer as part of his titles. He gets confused.
posted by nubs at 9:25 AM on May 30, 2016 [10 favorites]


But, speaking of Jaime, it prompts me to recall this:

-Brienne and Pod are headed for Riverrun to get the Blackfish to support Sansa (though it sounds as I suspected - the Blackfish is hardpressed to hold his castle, much less get involved in the North)
-the Freys are sending an army to Riverrun;
-Jaime is leading an army to Riverrun;
-the BWB got namechecked.

Should be an interesting confluence of events there, hey? I might be looking forward more to that than Cleganebowl.
posted by nubs at 9:32 AM on May 30, 2016 [3 favorites]


OK, last comment and then I will close my browser - I suspect instead of Stoneheart, the show is setting us up for Edmure Tully on a rampage of revenge.
posted by nubs at 9:49 AM on May 30, 2016 [1 favorite]


I just don't see how they could do Lady Stoneheart, Sandor Clegane *and* Jon Snow resurrections all in one season. But showing Catelyn in Bran's flashback plus all this Riverrun talk makes me think D&D want bookreaders to at least think about that stuff.
posted by skewed at 9:53 AM on May 30, 2016


The show is having to revisit and restart a bunch of pieces of narrative this season - the Iron Islands & the Greyjoys; the Dothraki; Bran and the splinternet; the Freys & the Riverlands...and soon, apparently, the Hound. I can't help but feel that the decision to trim some storylines out for a season or two was good for the short term, but it feels like it is bogging them down a bit right now, trying to remind the audience of all these places and people. I think trying to spin up Stoneheart would be too much.
posted by nubs at 10:06 AM on May 30, 2016


Now I'm wondering if Bran is actually the catalyst for the Mad King wanting to "burn them all," when he's messing around in the past. Something with wanting to burn the wights/White Walkers and the streams getting crossed again.

That is super interesting. Huh. Now that I'm thinking about it, it's possible that Bran does it on purpose, now that he knows he can brainbreak in the past! Aerys wasn't always mad, right? Maybe Bran sees a vision of the future play out where Aerys remains a relatively decent ruler and everything is more or less hunky dory in Westeros until the Walkers invade and there's nothing to stop them. Bran breaks Aerys's brain -- knowing that it will lead to the deaths of thousands including his grandfather, uncle, father, mother, brother, and probably even his own -- just to make sure there's enough wildfire on hand to try to save the world.

Holy shit.
posted by davidjmcgee at 10:11 AM on May 30, 2016 [27 favorites]


Good point. Also, the dragons. Without the chain of events of the Mad King, Dany would never have left Westeros, ended up married to Drogo, and probably never received the dragon eggs or had the impetus/inspiration to hatch them. I could see the dragons being a very important part of a "kill the White Walkers" strategy
posted by permiechickie at 10:19 AM on May 30, 2016 [6 favorites]


Aerys had some tics and strangeness, but the madness really took hold after he was held prisoner at Duskendale (which is a great story of Barristan badassery). So maybe Bran screwed with him at that point? Again, this is from the books, so the show will likely just gloss over all of that and just let Bran break Aerys. If true, Jaime's act of slaying the Mad King becomes even more interesting - is it perhaps a nice twist to have Bran make Jaime's actions as the Kingslayer necessary and that Bran uses the man who flung him from the tower in order to make sure that Jaime is in a position to fling him from that tower?

Now, in the books, the stockpiles of wildfire scattered through KL are found and used during the Battle of the Blackwater...but the books also mention that the pyromancers were suddenly able to produce much more of it, likely due to the dragons re-entering the world

But the real lynchpin seems to lie (from my perspective, anyways) with Rhaegar - Rhaegar appeared to be in some knowledge of the prophecy of the tPwP and was apparently trying to do some work behind the scenes to try to establish a new order...and all of that ended on the Trident. I wonder if Bran will try to alter the outcome of that battle, to tragic effect.
posted by nubs at 10:27 AM on May 30, 2016


The Riverrun run-in should be interesting, not the least because of the personal histories involved. Sansa, Brienne, and Jaime all know each other, as Brienne as Sansa's aide-de-camp will have some interesting counsel. Remember also that word of the Red Wedding got around, so the Freys are likely more independent than a Lannister catspaw. Then, of course, we have the Bolton presence - Jaime will probably finger them for some of the ongoing troubles and would rather see them disarmed than hand them a victory.
posted by The Gaffer at 10:28 AM on May 30, 2016


But if the CotF can influence someone to change the past, why don't they get someone to stop them from creating the White Walkers in the first place? I don't mind a little bit of time-altering magic, but if it becomes a lynchpin of the entire series, I'm not going to be happy about it.

Nubs, where do you get that stuff about Rhaegar?
posted by skewed at 10:29 AM on May 30, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'll be angry if Aerys went crazy because of some M. Night timey-wimey plot twist. The show has shown over and over that homicidal craziness requires no supernatural motivation at all.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 10:35 AM on May 30, 2016 [19 favorites]


They cannot kill Arya at this point. I mean, it's not like they can't kill Arya at all, but she HAS to die in some way that furthers the main plot and/or allows her to intersect with the other characters. I know (and like) the idea that in this universe, characters can die senseless and random deaths as part of the whole ASOIF/GRRM philosophy of overturning expectations/tropes, but so far even when (important) people die unexpectedly they do it in service of plot. So she can/may die, but she's not going to do it after we've spent SEASONS and SEASONS following her training, on the stone floor of the basement of the House of the Undying with nobody to notice or report her death back to the larger world, with consequences that spiral outward from it. She'll do it right after she meets up with Jon. Or on her way to murder Cersei. Or after proclaiming herself Arya of House Stark before another Westerosi visiting the Bank of Braavos, or whatever.

(I could sort of see GRRM doing that in the books, but generally speaking the showrunners have been paring out book storylines that end up as red herrings, which is part of what makes this dual-version unwinding such an interesting experience. And I don't think D&D would have spent this much time on Arya if she didn't come back to the main storyline before she's done.)

Can we talk for a sec about how apparently Baelish wasn't lying to Sansa about Brynden Tully retaking Riverrun? What do we think that means? Is he really trying to help her? And if so, is that because he really didn't know that Ramsey is a psycho (eg is he an idiot, or her enemy)?

And also I need my Nymeria-led wolfpack!
posted by alleycat01 at 10:35 AM on May 30, 2016 [1 favorite]


Sam's storyline is really throwing me for a loop. Is he really not going to make it to Oldtown? Is he planning to take Heartsbane straight back to Castle Black? I mean, I never really imagined he was going to just start studying at the Citadel for 5-10 years while the rest of civilization falls apart, but to just turn around after retrieving the extra sword seems like a peculiar arc.

I don't see how he can go to Oldtown now, where his father and brother will know where to find him, and possessing a stolen Valyrian steel sword would likely get him kicked out of the Citadel anyway. But going right back to the Wall with Gilly and the baby doesn't make sense, since the reason he left was to take them somewhere safe.

Before the season started I had hoped the show would introduce Marwyn the Mage, but that seems unlikely since they're in such a hurry now, and might be for the best.
posted by homunculus at 10:41 AM on May 30, 2016 [2 favorites]


I don't mind a little bit of time-altering magic, but if it becomes a lynchpin of the entire series, I'm not going to be happy about it.

Nubs, where do you get that stuff about Rhaegar?


Yeah, after that comment I was thinking that this could very easily become "Bran's Time Travelling Revue!" and so I think having some really limited moments where Bran is able to affect things is going to be important. Perhaps he'll just tickle somebody about the existence of wildfire stashes. Symbolically, having the final fight take place in KL and have the entire city burn would be a way of demonstrating the "break the wheel" idea of Dany.

RE: Rhaegar, there are bits & pieces in the text (I grab this stuff via A Search of Ice and Fire)
ASOS, Danenrys I: Rhaegar took no interest in the play of other children. The maesters were awed by his wits, but his father's knights would jest sourly that Baelor the Blessed had been born again. Until one day Prince Rhaegar found something in his scrolls that changed him. No one knows what it might have been, only that the boy suddenly appeared early one morning in the yard as the knights were donning their steel. He walked up to Ser Willem Darry, the master-at-arms, and said, 'I will require sword and armor. It seems I must be a warrior.'

AFFC, Jaime I: Rhaegar had put his hand on Jaime's shoulder. "When this battle's done I mean to call a council. Changes will be made. I meant to do it long ago, but . . . well, it does no good to speak of roads not taken. We shall talk when I return."

AFFC, Samwell IV: "No one ever looked for a girl," he said. "It was a prince that was promised, not a princess. Rhaegar, I thought . . . the smoke was from the fire that devoured Summerhall on the day of his birth, the salt from the tears shed for those who died. He shared my belief when he was young, but later he became persuaded that it was his own son who fulfilled the prophecy, for a comet had been seen above King's Landing on the night Aegon was conceived, and Rhaegar was certain the bleeding star had to be a comet. What fools we were, who thought ourselves so wise! The error crept in from the translation."

ADWD, The Kingbreaker: The Red Keep had its secrets too. Even Rhaegar. The Prince of Dragonstone had never trusted him as he had trusted Arthur Dayne. Harrenhal was proof of that. The year of the false spring.
The memory was still bitter. Old Lord Whent had announced the tourney shortly after a visit from his brother, Ser Oswell Whent of the Kingsguard. With Varys whispering in his ear, King Aerys became convinced that his son was conspiring to depose him, that Whent's tourney was but a ploy to give Rhaegar a pretext for meeting with as many great lords as could be brought together. Aerys had not set foot outside the Red Keep since Duskendale, yet suddenly he announced that he would accompany Prince Rhaegar to Harrenhal, and everything had gone awry from there.
posted by nubs at 10:56 AM on May 30, 2016 [4 favorites]


Hafthor makes me legit angry with how big and strong he is but please don't tell him I said anything.

leotrotsky: you should see Fulthor.

I think we just call him "Thor."
posted by filthy light thief at 11:14 AM on May 30, 2016 [4 favorites]


although I guess we're supposed to assume that since she's stopped avoiding her destiny by accepting that she's a conqueror, not a ruler, that somehow translates into being able to control the dragon that she could barely handle previously

Wow, interesting observation.

I loved that the discussion with Daario summed up Dany's problems in a nutshell (you weren't meant to sit on a throne, you were meant to conquer). HOWEVER--maybe her riding the dragon is meant to suggest that she does have the capability to rule (i.e. control) after conquering?
posted by torticat at 11:14 AM on May 30, 2016


Sangermaine: I get their "death comes for us all" ethos, but it's fairly self-serving that death especially comes for the enemies of people rich enough to hire magic ninjas.

Except, if the young understudy was the one who paid for death, it seems death (or some deaths) are pretty cheap.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:20 AM on May 30, 2016 [5 favorites]


arya is gonna shank the pesky waif and i am HERE FOR IT

"pack your things"
"i don't HAVE any things"

also what are all those Bran-O-Vision shots of a sunrise or sunset over a wastelandy place meant to be?
posted by poffin boffin at 12:26 PM on May 30, 2016 [3 favorites]


as an aside, and this would prolly be better as an askme but i'm lazy, wrt to the individual screencaps of bran's vision, what sort of program does that, takes nonblurry caps on a set interval from a playing video?
posted by poffin boffin at 12:27 PM on May 30, 2016


Except, if the young understudy was the one who paid for death, it seems death (or some deaths) are pretty cheap.

Supposedly the FM have a sliding fee scale, depending on who needs to be killed and who wants it done.
posted by PenDevil at 12:29 PM on May 30, 2016 [1 favorite]


RE: Rhaegar, there are bits & pieces in the text (I grab this stuff via A Search of Ice and Fire)

Wow, that was bad-ass, nubs.
posted by skewed at 12:52 PM on May 30, 2016


I was kind of disappointed with Dany's speech. An adapted version of Elizabeth I's speech at Tilbury would have been awesome.
posted by PenDevil at 12:56 PM on May 30, 2016


To be fair, Elizabeth's speech was much duller in the original Dothraki. That translator just took a lot more artistic liberty.
posted by Pryde at 1:00 PM on May 30, 2016 [9 favorites]


Wow, that was bad-ass, nubs.

My sigil is a man with his head disappearing into a wikihole.
posted by nubs at 1:02 PM on May 30, 2016 [39 favorites]


Y'all, I am still stuck on the ships. Dany doesn't have the patience to wait around 10 years while Pyke builds an improbable number of ships. DRAGON QUEENS DO NOT WAIT FOR LUMBER. Maybe they build their boats out of iron and salt.

Also, how were the horses not losing their shit when Drogon came thundering down? I kept expecting them to stampede, but no, they were just calmly prancing about.

Thirdly, I continue to love Lady Olenna and her impatience with her idiot son. That whole scene was well done -- the visual of these snobby, rich, out-of-touch nobles charging in and demanding things was really cringe-worthy.
posted by Ragini at 1:15 PM on May 30, 2016


Y'all, I am still stuck on the ships. Dany doesn't have the patience to wait around 10 years while Pyke builds an improbable number of ships. DRAGON QUEENS DO NOT WAIT FOR LUMBER

Dany is going to gain access to the plotTARDIS (Littlefinger and the SandSnakes have made use of it already) and it will all be ok.
posted by nubs at 1:20 PM on May 30, 2016


Theon and Asha/Yara are on their way to Dany with a fleet right now.
posted by Navelgazer at 1:35 PM on May 30, 2016 [3 favorites]


If Theon and Yara stole a thousand boats from Euron during his coronation ceremony, the Iron Born would have thrown him right back into the sea and tried to bring Yara back. They don't have anywhere near that number.
posted by nubs at 1:41 PM on May 30, 2016 [2 favorites]


Why can't they use 250 boats with a couple of round-trips?
posted by chimpsonfilm at 1:49 PM on May 30, 2016 [4 favorites]


No, but Dany doesn't actually need nearly a thousand ships either. That's the number for "launch move and land the entirety of Dany's forces in one go." That's ludicrous, unnecessary, and a hideously bad idea logistically. Despite what Tyrion's beard would have us believe, it's a very quick journey across the Narrow Sea. Make a few trips, Dany. Use the stolen Greyjoy fleet.
posted by Navelgazer at 1:49 PM on May 30, 2016 [3 favorites]


you should see Fulthor

Never go Fulthor.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 2:16 PM on May 30, 2016 [6 favorites]


That's kind of what I'm expecting, tbh - book!Aegon is making his landing in a series of stages, and I figured that Dany would too. One of the big points of a potential Dornish alliance is the idea that troops could be moved over and have a safe place to land and wait for follow on waves.

But I don't think we're ever going back to Dorne (I hope) and show!Dany is all about the big dramatic moment, so she'll somehow drop in at KL.
posted by nubs at 2:18 PM on May 30, 2016


If Theon and Yara stole a thousand boats from Euron during his coronation ceremony, the Iron Born would have thrown him right back into the sea and tried to bring Yara back.

What? if they had the capacity to do that (bring Yara back), why wouldn't they have done it anyway? Why wouldn't EURON do it?

The whole point of the scene was that those ships had sailed (haha).
posted by torticat at 2:38 PM on May 30, 2016 [1 favorite]


Yeah, and my point is that if the pulled off that large of a theft - i.e., had that many men supporting them - Euron wouldn't be king of the Iron Islands. But whatever.
posted by nubs at 2:42 PM on May 30, 2016 [1 favorite]


Oh yeah, I see. That makes sense. I just assumed they were being kinda hand-wavy about that whole numbers thing anyway. I.e. if they wanted to make the vote look realistic, they should have had a hell of a lot more extras at the kingsmoot.

But if Euron's plan involved returning to the Iron Islands and building a whole bunch of ships from the get-go, that seems equally ridiculous. I assumed he'd planned to act immediately, using the existing fleet, until it was stolen.
posted by torticat at 2:49 PM on May 30, 2016


Well, I think the problem is that we don't know how many ships the Islands had before the Moot, we don't know how many Yara and Theon took off with (and if they are even heading for Dany), and we don't know how fast they can build them. So we're all just kinda waiting for more information. Which sometimes makes me snarky, so sorry if I came off that way.
posted by nubs at 2:56 PM on May 30, 2016


Yeah, I think there's a good chance Yara and Theon are going to preempt Euron and go to Mereen. They don't know how many ships Dany actually needs, but they do know she needs some ships and they've got the Ironborn's best ones. Considering how the Kingsmoot was written, I imagine it will be Theon who comes up with the idea and persuades Yara (meh.) Or maybe they'll encounter Jorah along the way and he'll talk them into in (assuming he's got access to teleportation technology.)

Another possibility: I don't think ShowEuron has said anything about visiting the ruins of old Valyria during his travels. Maybe Yara and Theon will be the ones who find Dragonbinder, and they to go to Mereen not to serve Daenerys but to steal a dragon (if one of them gets roasted like Quentyn, I hope it's Theon and not Yara.)
posted by homunculus at 3:00 PM on May 30, 2016 [2 favorites]


also what are all those Bran-O-Vision shots of a sunrise or sunset over a wastelandy place meant to be?

1, 2.

At first I thought it was the Fist of the First Men. Now I'm leaning towards it being a shot of dawn at Winterfell, either at the end of the Long Night if it's from the past, or at the end of the series after the Walkers are destroyed if it's in the future.
posted by homunculus at 3:26 PM on May 30, 2016


If Sam doesn't go to Oldtown then I'm going to flip my shit (be mildly annoyed and complain about it).
posted by codacorolla at 3:52 PM on May 30, 2016 [3 favorites]


Is the Bran-O-Vision the first time we've seen the actual Kingslaying?
posted by coriolisdave at 4:01 PM on May 30, 2016


..also, anyone else think Bran is going to realise he can control the wights? I bet that's how the Nights King is controlling them.

I've got a sixpack says Bran and the NK are going to have an Epic Warg-off .
posted by coriolisdave at 4:02 PM on May 30, 2016 [3 favorites]


Interesting all the pep-talks/promises being made by would-be rulers...

Euron: Build me a 1000 ships and I will give you the 7 kingdoms*
Danaerys: All youse be my bloodriders and I will give you the 7 kingdoms
Tommen: The church & crown together will unite the kingdoms and make them great again
Cersei to Jaime: Lead the army and we will show them what Lannisters are capable of
Sansa to Jon: Join with Riverrun and the lords of the North will unite behind us

*all quotes paraphrased, may not be accurate at all
posted by torticat at 4:21 PM on May 30, 2016


If Jaime has been expelled from the Kingsguard, does that mean he can hold a title and inherit again? Is he now Lord of Casterly Rock?

I assume so. I didn't really register that fact until Cersei's comment later about Jaime being at the head of their army, where he belongs. Jaime's becoming Lord of Casterly Rock was such a big deal in season 4 I'm surprised they kind of glossed over it, especially when Kevan was standing right there and could have pointed it out. Having Jaime angrily remove his armor was a nice callback to Ser Barristan (I wish he was still around.)
posted by homunculus at 4:22 PM on May 30, 2016 [3 favorites]


Given the not-exactly-overwhelming nature of the episode, my money is on the sudden pronoun explosion between the waif and Jaqen being lazy writing more than anything else.

It seems this is a groundwork episode, so people can get reminded of the Freys, the Tully's, the Brotherhood, and the fact that, hey, there's still massive strife and war going on. Hopefully there's enough time left to make a decent payoff.
posted by Ghidorah at 4:30 PM on May 30, 2016 [1 favorite]


Is the Bran-O-Vision the first time we've seen the actual Kingslaying?

Yeah, I'm pretty sure Bran's vision was the first time we've actually seen Aerys II. The showrunners resisted using flashbacks for a long time; apparently the first scene of the first episode was originally going to be a dream sequence of Ned's father and brother being executed by the Mad King, but they cut it.
posted by homunculus at 4:34 PM on May 30, 2016


8 Easter Eggs, References, and Callbacks You Might Have Missed in “Blood of My Blood”

I didn't catch the new design on the Kingsguards' breastplates. When the hell were those made?
posted by homunculus at 4:45 PM on May 30, 2016 [3 favorites]


I would imagine it took the same amount of time as it took Sansa to sew two entire Tully/Stark outfits from scratch.
posted by codacorolla at 4:46 PM on May 30, 2016 [7 favorites]


They cannot kill Arya at this point. I mean, it's not like they can't kill Arya at all, but she HAS to die in some way that furthers the main plot and/or allows her to intersect with the other characters

Not only that, but on a shallower (GoT-style) storytelling level, they're not gonna have Arya take beating after beating after beating from the waif, and then not have her get her own back. It's always been just matter of time.

I think the only question is, does Jaqen know that Arya is going to kill the waif, and did he in fact intentionally set this train of events in motion.

In the books IIRC the faceless men didn't kill any old body, just for pay. I'm probably in the minority in that I never particularly loved the whole Arya-in-Braavos storyline. But even so I think (hope) there is more to the many-faced-god than just a front for a bunch of amoral mercenaries.
posted by torticat at 5:55 PM on May 30, 2016 [4 favorites]


"I think the problem is that we don't know how many ships the Islands had before the Moot, we don't know how many Yara and Theon took off with (and if they are even heading for Dany), and we don't know how fast they can build them."

Well they didn't have a thousand. The modern US Navy has 430. The Spanish Armada had 130ish. I get how 1,000 is a nice big round number and how GRRM isn't super-great with numbers (/distances/heights) and they're not suuuuuuper-important to the plot. But for a show/book series that likes to lean into the shitty realism of the historic era, it would have been pretty great of Euron were like, "We're going to build 32 ships and it will be the greatest armada the world has ever seen!" and all the Ironborn were like "YAAAAAAAAAR!!!!" in enthusiasm because 32 ships is an unreal-large number.

It does keep throwing me out of the plot, though, when Euron makes promises about ships that obviously cannot be met given the constraints of time and physical resources he's facing. I guess we all have our little realism issues when reading fantasy that just nag at us. Like GOD ONLY KNOWS why I'm bothered by How Ships Are Built, Actually, but not bothered by Creating Magic Undead Zombies With Obsidian Shards.

(18th-century ships-of-the-line took two to five years to construct. Caravels and galleons (being much smaller) could be built in like five to nine months each if the weather was good, even with the lesser technology of the 15th century. Or so my children's books about "how all possible forms of transit, past present and future, are built" inform me. It'd still take a shit-ton more wood than they have on the Iron Islands, though! Not to mention the sails -- which, as we discussed last time around, took longer than building the boat took, for the Vikings anyway.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:25 PM on May 30, 2016 [26 favorites]


You're not alone, Eyebrows. And it's because the departures of ice zombiedom are pretty clear! Not so "We will get logs from rocks."

My headcanon has it that Yara was going to STEAL 1000 ships - feasible, sort of, especially as she didn't give a timeline - and Euron just doesn't know how ships are built and the Ironborn assume he's telling them he can make Pyke great again or whatever.
posted by corb at 6:29 PM on May 30, 2016 [2 favorites]


If Jaime was in enough trouble to get kicked out of the Kingsguard over the incident at the Sept, then Mace Tyrell must be in really deep shit. "When you attack the Faith, you attack the Crown," Tommen said. Jaime was supporting them (apparently oblivious to the whereabouts of the rest of the Kingsguard he commanded) but Mace was the one responsible for bringing his soldiers into the city and threatening the clergy, and I doubt the High Sparrow is simply going to let that go. I wonder how that's going to play out.
posted by homunculus at 6:31 PM on May 30, 2016 [2 favorites]


Jaime was supporting them (apparently oblivious to the whereabouts of the rest of the Kingsguard he commanded)

Yeah, Jaime was barely a Kingsguard anymore, even before Tommen's fit of pique. He didn't seem to ever really, you know, guard the king or command a group of highly-trained, skilled warriors; he mostly just swanned around with Cersei in expensive clothes and showy armor. The Kingsguard thing was just an excuse for him to still be in KL.
posted by Ragini at 6:40 PM on May 30, 2016 [1 favorite]


Which, honestly, is part of my issue with the KL story. What are Jaime and Cersei (and by extension much of the royal court) even doing, besides being angry all the time? Is that the point, that they are very quickly becoming vestiges of a bygone era?
posted by Ragini at 6:41 PM on May 30, 2016 [2 favorites]


(18th-century ships-of-the-line took two to five years to construct. Caravels and galleons (being much smaller) could be built in like five to nine months each if the weather was good, even with the lesser technology of the 15th century.

It is said a war galley can be built in a day in Braavos

posted by lalochezia at 7:30 PM on May 30, 2016 [2 favorites]


I wonder if they would try to leave straight from Mereen, or instead try to march to Pentos or Braavos.
posted by drezdn at 7:40 PM on May 30, 2016


It does keep throwing me out of the plot, though, when Euron makes promises about ships that obviously cannot be met given the constraints of time and physical resources he's facing.

You are not alone at all in this. It's irritating when stuff pops up in the storyline that kicks you out of the moment and make you go "... wait, what? that's dumb." Because if I can see it, surely the characters are also thinking "What? Yeah thanks but no thanks, Euron."

I was thinking about my personal bugbear from the last 2 episodes, which was the Three-Eyed Raven not telling Bran about not getting touched by the Night's King or that fire = death to Others. I think what's really annoying me is that one of the cool things about this show/books so far is that most of the time, the characters are making decisions that are true to their realities. There are mysteries and lots of "only known to one man still alive!" knowledge, but generally there are actual reasons behind what people know and don't know and thus driving their actions.

But recently we seem to be edging into JUST TELL HIM/HER territory, where there is no good reason for one character not to communicate except for Plot Reasons. Now that Bran is getting to know all the important stuff, I hope he uses his knowledge for good instead of, like, being all mysterious and portentous and "we have to go back to the island" arrrgghh use your words
posted by alleycat01 at 7:53 PM on May 30, 2016 [10 favorites]


Rewatching, that flaming thing-on-a-chain is an impressive seeming but utterly useless weapon. I wonder how many of your own horses you brain for every thing-on-a-chain you get in the eye?
posted by porpoise at 7:56 PM on May 30, 2016 [1 favorite]


We resolved in that thread on the blue that flails were legit a thing, so obvs a fire flail is a valid improvement (bonus elemental damage!)
posted by prize bull octorok at 8:05 PM on May 30, 2016 [3 favorites]


The Arya storyline was great while it lasted. From Season 1 to 4 the writers nailed it. Improving on the source material (the arc with the Hound) and creating new and compelling (the arc with Tywin). That stopped last season when they flubbed Arya's induction into the Faceless Men and has been even worse this season culminating in Episode 6. Not sure if it is the writers or the show runners who are responsible, but man, what a shame.
posted by mlis at 8:22 PM on May 30, 2016 [5 favorites]


.
posted by mlis at 8:23 PM on May 30, 2016


Chrys Reviews: Game of Thrones Season 6, Episode 6

Recap: Where Are They Now?
posted by homunculus at 8:24 PM on May 30, 2016 [2 favorites]


> Is Mace Tyrell wearing a gray sweater knit on large needles under his armour?

No, unfortunately. This show's hero costume budget is... woeful. That's supposed to be chain. Young Ned's party were supposed to mostly be wearing brigandine but everyone thought they were wearing light leather.

Tomen's jacket is supposed to be jacquard brocade over probably small plates sewn into pliable leather (essentially light brigandine).

The only justification for Mace's sweater is if it was grey leaf patterned quilted cloth covering chain... for the look of the thing (quilt usually goes under chain - so he's cosplaying an in-universe superhero by doing that).
posted by porpoise at 8:26 PM on May 30, 2016 [1 favorite]


Heh. Team Dragon. With us or against us. Team Dragon Fuck Yeah.
posted by porpoise at 8:36 PM on May 30, 2016




Not sure if it is the writers or the show runners who are responsible, but man, what a shame.

I think it's a problem of the format: you can't just have Arya disappear for a season. So she putters around Bravos, basically reenacting the same storyline two or three times over. If you'd had her get to the House, had maybe one or two scenes after that showing that she's still conflicted (feel free to cut the pedophile brothel scene, please), and then had the most recent stuff with the play then it would've been just as effective. All of the shit with the Waif was just so much filler - but I think that's a structural problem of the prestige TV genre.
posted by codacorolla at 9:10 PM on May 30, 2016 [4 favorites]


I guess we all have our little realism issues when reading fantasy that just nag at us. Like GOD ONLY KNOWS why I'm bothered by How Ships Are Built, Actually, but not bothered by Creating Magic Undead Zombies With Obsidian Shards.

Hey, I totally get it and you're not alone; I was gnashing my teeth a few weeks ago about the length of the swords in the fight outside the Tower of Joy.

And Mace Tyrell's patterned tunic of a stockinette knitting pattern in gray still bothers me.
posted by culfinglin at 9:13 PM on May 30, 2016 [2 favorites]


(Sorry, hit post too soon)

So Tolkien actually gets into this in one of his essays ("On Fairy Stories" I think it was), about how the fantasy world within the story must be internally consistent. We as readers can and will accept almost anything, so long as it's internally consistent with how we understand the secondary world in that fantasy story to be.

So if at any point in the story, there'd been a hint that actually in Planetos, wood cures magically faster than it does in our world because of special tree-drying techniques aided by — I dunno, Wildfire Lite™ — we'd go, 'Oh, okay, sure,' and not be jarred out of the story when Euron calls for 1000 ships to be built overnight. Or if Dornish ships had been lauded for their exceptional speed, we wouldn't be wondering how the hell the Sand Snakes manage to catch up to Jaime and Myrcella's fiancé Wossname so quickly. Etc., etc.

And I think that's what annoys me about it — we spend ages on shots of wineglasses and breasts, and whole pages worth of the repetition of 'words are wind,' but we can't manage the occasional 5-second shot with a line of dialogue to keep this secondary world internally consistent?
posted by culfinglin at 9:26 PM on May 30, 2016 [14 favorites]


Which, honestly, is part of my issue with the KL story. What are Jaime and Cersei (and by extension much of the royal court) even doing, besides being angry all the time?

KL is a huge problem at the moment. My basic question regarding it is who is the protagonist/antagonist? Dorne, as agonizing it was, at least had Jaime as somewhat of a protagonist and Ellaria as an antagonist. Jaime wanted Myrcella back and Ellaria wanted to kill her. In King's Landing at the moment, Cersei appears to be the only one with a somewhat clear goal of revenge on the High Sparrow...and I don't know if I should care, because it is utterly unclear what the HS wants, or if Cersei achieving her ends is a desirable thing. Nor is it clear what Margery, Tommen, Olenna, Mace, Kevan, Pycelle want or are doing in pursuit of any of their goals. I have no problem with their being some ambiguous morality present in the situation, but it isn't a situation of ambiguous morality - it's just a bunch of ambiguity for the sake of ambiguity, because that appears to be easier than creating some tension via having some compelling characters with opposing/overlapping goals.
posted by nubs at 9:41 PM on May 30, 2016 [6 favorites]


I think some of y'all are way overthinking the wierwood.net-to-Bran-download thingy. I don't think it's got anything to do with Bran influencing/causing the death or madness of Aerys the Mad King through timey-wimey shenanigans - I think it's simply to plant the idea in his head that dragons (being fire-breathing and all) would be useful to have against ice zombies and White Walkers. All Bran knows about dragons is that the Targaryens used to have some, the only Targaryen he'd be really familiar with would be the most recent one, Aerys (whose death put Bran's Dad into the position of King's Hand), and the visions of Aerys and dragons are mostly to set it up so that when he eventually reaches some kind of civilization and starts hearing the rumors about some supposed Targaryen princess and her dragons causing havoc in Essos, Bran'll go, "A-HA! THAT's what we need! Time to forge an alliance with our would-be conqueror."
posted by soundguy99 at 10:28 PM on May 30, 2016


"Nor is it clear what Margery, Tommen, Olenna, Mace, Kevan, Pycelle want or are doing in pursuit of any of their goals."

I think most of these characters at the moment have very myopic goals. Olenna wanted her daughter back WITHOUT the walk of shame, Margery wanted to get herself and Loras out of the dungeon. Tommen wants Margery back. Most of these characters just got what they wanted short term, but what is the cost long term. Margery ended up in the dungeon because Tommen gave the Sparrows too much power. So the answer is to give them more? I gotta hope there's an angle to her manipulation that I'm not seeing.

But I would have infinitely more respect if Tommen didn't fall for Margery's schtick and Margery finally had to say "OK here's the ACTUAL plan." As it is, he's just being pushed around by whoever happens to be in the room at the moment.

I am curious how Cersei and Margery will interact now. Margery is aware that it's because of Cersei that her brother has been tortured and she imprisoned. Sure Cersei has suffered for her choice, but somehow I don't think Margery is just gonna let that go and move on.
posted by miss-lapin at 10:53 PM on May 30, 2016 [1 favorite]


So she putters around Bravos, basically reenacting the same storyline two or three times over.

Agreed, but I also think, if she's going to become kick ass warrior princess ninja Queenslayer, you gotta lay the groundwork. Yes, her story has gotten a bit repetitive, but it's also on the edge of kicking it up a few notches. I'll wait and see how this plays out.
posted by crossoverman at 11:23 PM on May 30, 2016


Is Daenerys Targaryen the Real Villain of Game of Thrones? How this week’s episode laid the groundwork for the “Mad Queen Daenerys.”

I'd have been very surprised if GRRM didn't eventually have Dany come down with a case of Targaryen madness.
posted by homunculus at 11:28 PM on May 30, 2016 [6 favorites]


Margaery Tyrell is Westeros’ biggest badass—and the show can’t handle her

“Game of Thrones” recap: Is power still a shadow on the wall, or does it come from standing in the light?
This week, the longest shadow cast starts at the bare feet of Margaery Tyrell, who more than earns the moniker I bestowed upon her in an essay published last week: “the biggest bad-ass in Westeros.” When we last saw Margaery, she was consoling her brother and fellow prisoner, Loras, whose spirit has fractured under torture and deprivation; she reminds him that he is the great hope of their house, but when she looks up, her eyes burn with determination—and we see that steeliness melted down and forged in a master plan. To save herself from a walk of atonement (and likely broker better treatment for her brother), she deploys the full arsenal of her charms to persuade the High Sparrow that she has embraced the faith and will make a convert of her husband.

Anyone who doubts that Margaery’s performance on the stairs of the sept is just that, a performance, has but to study Natalie Dormer’s face, which plays a symphony of expressions as the Lannister and Tyrell armies approach—there is surprise, but also regret (as Twitter user Future Super-Villain puts it, “yall should have text me you had a plan so I wouldn’t have brainwashed this little idiot”), and genuine sadness at her grandmother’s disappointed face. And yet, there is that quicksilver brightness in her eyes, the ghost of a smirk, when she takes Tommen’s hand in hers and raises their arms up: She has finally wrested him from Cersei’s grip. (I will concede, however, that if Margaery has indeed succumbed to Stockholm Syndrome, then this aspect of her development was rather hastily pasted together).

That confrontation at the sept is a perfect exemplar of how power is conveyed on the show. Jaime Lannister charges up the stairs on his white stallion to liberate his son’s bride and avenge his sister—but the big battle is avoided because, in this instance, the show privileges a different kind of victory: Margaery has outmaneuvered the High Sparrow (no, really, I promise), and out-Cersei’d Cersei. And this more interior victory is infinitely more interesting (if less immediately satisfying) than another righteous bloodbath, because it doesn’t just raise the stakes; it broadens our dialogue about the show far beyond “Hell yes!” or “God no!”
posted by homunculus at 11:29 PM on May 30, 2016 [6 favorites]


I totally support Daenerys being the villain.
posted by crossoverman at 4:18 AM on May 31, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'm confused about this question from Chrys Reviews:

Why for all that is Holy in the name of the Seven has Jaime still not found out about Lancel? This season has been bad about having necessary conversations happen (e.g. Jon finding out Arya’s alive), but this particular “secret” is so clearly connected to the story, that the absence of it’s reveal is a plot hole deeper than the Pacific.

What doesn't Jaime know about Lancel?
posted by lauranesson at 5:09 AM on May 31, 2016


These recaps are hilarious.
posted by humanfont at 5:16 AM on May 31, 2016 [2 favorites]


That Lancel was fucking Cersei while Jaime was imprisoned. It's part of the rift that opens between Jaime and Cersei in the books; Tyrion fills him in on it during his escape from the dungeon, when the Lannister boys decide it is time for the truth between them.
posted by nubs at 5:17 AM on May 31, 2016 [1 favorite]


What doesn't Jaime know about Lancel?

He doesn't know (or doesn't appear to know) that Cersei slept with Lancel and that's why Lancel ended up turning to the Sparrows.

I think the question about Jaime is a lot bigger than that, though. His arc is hopelessly muddled at this point, isn't it? I mean even leaving Lancel aside, Jaime does know that Cersei tried to have Tyrion killed. And especially since the show did not give us the bitter parting between Jaime and Tyrion that the books did, it makes NO sense that Jaime, knowing that (and knowing what a godawful prick Joffrey was anyway), would be right back in Cersei's arms with no apparent misgivings whatsoever.

What happens if/when the time comes that Jaime has to choose between his sister and his brother? It would appear at this point that nothing could separate him from Cersei. But what does that mean about his moral development so far, everything he learned from Brienne, etc.?

During the reunion scene between Jaime and Cersei (after he brought Myrcella back), I thought maybe Jaime was playing a deeper game. But this episode, it sure didn't seem like that's the case.

What happened to the apparent rift between the two of them, in the books signified by Cersei's sending a plea to him while she was in the sept, and his ignoring it?
posted by torticat at 5:31 AM on May 31, 2016 [1 favorite]


It's part of the rift that opens between Jaime and Cersei in the books

Aha sorry nubs for repeating you, I did not preview.
posted by torticat at 5:33 AM on May 31, 2016


Jaime does know that Cersei tried to have Tyrion killed. And especially since the show did not give us the bitter parting between Jaime and Tyrion that the books did, it makes NO sense that Jaime, knowing that (and knowing what a godawful prick Joffrey was anyway), would be right back in Cersei's arms with no apparent misgivings whatsoever.

Jaime's love for Tyrion has cooled somewhat since Tyrion killed their dad.
posted by Pendragon at 5:41 AM on May 31, 2016


Not sure that has been established, Pendragon? If Jaime believes Tyrion is innocent of the murder of Joffrey, then he knows Tyrion was unjustly set up for capital punishment by BOTH Cersei and Tywin. What is unforgivable in Cersei is equally unforgivable in Tywin--both of them judged Tyrion based on a longstanding, bigoted grudge.

And sure, assassinating Tywin may have been an extreme reaction on Tyrion's part, but where's the evidence on the show that Jaime holds it again him? Or leaving that aside, what would be the moral reasoning behind Jaime's absolving Cersei of her part in the injustice against Tyrion just because of what Tyrion did to Tywin?
posted by torticat at 5:56 AM on May 31, 2016


I think the question about Jaime is a lot bigger than that, though. His arc is hopelessly muddled at this point, isn't it? I mean even leaving Lancel aside, Jaime does know that Cersei tried to have Tyrion killed. And especially since the show did not give us the bitter parting between Jaime and Tyrion that the books did, it makes NO sense that Jaime

It is a very muddled arc. Even last season, the gong show in Dorne, seemed to be advancing it to some degree - he has a moment when he tells Bronn his wish is to die happy in the arms of his sister. To which Bronn wonders if her dream is the same.

I used to view the moment between Tyrion and Jaime in the dungeon, when Jaime reveals the truth (as nonsensical as it is) about Tysha, as primarily about Tyrion - the truth there strips away some key parts of his identity. But I've recently come to view it as just as important for Jaime - not only his decision to tell the truth, but what he receives in return. Tyrion gives him a painful truth ("She's fucking Lancel and Ser Osmund Kettleblack and Moonboy for all I know") and a lie, that Tyrion killed Joffrey.

There is already a rift between Jaime and Cersei at this point, because Cersei started her journey away from Jaime while he was in prison and Jaime has been exposed to Brienne and some harsh realities after the loss of his hand, but a key part of Jaime was that he had always loved Cersei and had always been true to her. And learning that she hadn't been furthers that growing rift, alongside Jaime's complicated guilt over freeing Tyrion, only to have that end with Tywin getting killed.

That moment in the dungeon effectively ends House Lannister - Tyrion spins off onto his own, separated from his House - to which he has always been loyal, despite a great deal of hurtful behaviour directed his way. Jaime is left with both bitterness towards Tyrion and Cersei. And Cersei is left to her own devices, which she thinks are superior to her brothers anyways.

Jaime goes on to start learning that he can lead and navigate the political waters of Westeros without his sword hand as a threat; he starts to emerge as more than just the Kingslayer and a fearsome warrior.

But the show has been postponing that development for two seasons now, and I hope that his trip to the Riverlands finally gives him something to do.
posted by nubs at 6:21 AM on May 31, 2016 [9 favorites]


My favorite theory is that Coldhands=Dunk, who went up to the wall with Bloodraven.

The show is doing its show thing and combining Coldhands and Benjen, which is perfectly sensible with the number of characters already in the show.
posted by 6ATR at 6:34 AM on May 31, 2016 [4 favorites]


Benjen/Coldhands was swinging what I believe we would call a "Meteor Hammer."
posted by Navelgazer at 8:29 AM on May 31, 2016 [1 favorite]


Is there anything Jaime and Cersei touch that doesn't turn to utter shite since Papa Lion shuffled off?

I mean, good grief, they get outplayed and outmaneuvered on every turn. Or maybe it's more accurate to say they're like me playing Carcassonne: in their minds they're doing well and setting up a master stroke, but at the end of the game when total points and holdings are counted up, they're going to be waaay behind everyone else and wondering what the hell happened, even though their mistakes and misplays are obvious to anyone with a decent level of skill.

High Sparrow scares me. He seems like he truly believes and truly has a good heart, but he also seems like he's determined to bring the whole thing crashing down on everyone. I'm very curious to hear his take on both dragons and white walkers.

Do any of the prophecies mention how many times Dany's going to give the same frickin' speech?

I would love, love, love to see that GoT play. I hope they have plans to release the full script for it at the end of the season.
posted by lord_wolf at 8:54 AM on May 31, 2016 [5 favorites]


Mace Tyrell looked like a ridiculous buffoon. His speech was terrible. He even had someone reining his horse for him. Contrast with Randyll Tarly's comment about Sam not being a man because he probably doesn't know how to ride a horse. The leg shot of the marching squadron made me laugh; it brought Monty Python to mind.

Jaqen says something along the lines of "a girl had many talents." I wonder what talents he was referring to, as she was constantly getting beat up. He didn't say "a girl had much potential." Also, agreed that the whole "you promised me" comment seems stupid and antithetic to the whole philosophy they've been trying to instill in Arya, i.e. that death is a gift but not something you should relish. The only way that "you promised me" comment would make sense in the context of the Faceless Men is if the promise was that Waif herself could die.

As they are building up empathy for Cersei, I assume she will die soon. Probably at the hands of the Hound, as in addition to hating his brother, he also does double-duty as a sort of proxy for Arya, adding to the irony that Arya just felt empathy for Cersei.

How big is Dany's army? I figured the 1,000 ships number was just an allusion to Helen of Troy, but then again if you figure 8,000 Unsullied (less those killed by the SotH), 2,000 Second Sons, and maybe 5,000 Dothraki, that means about 15 people per ship (although a lot of room will also be needed for horses — and hay/grain/water). So anyway, she will go and conquer and what, never rule? Or is that just tedium that she'll let Tyrion deal with?
posted by tempestuoso at 8:55 AM on May 31, 2016 [1 favorite]


I posted before about how one of my roommates was tagging along with watching this season, having never seen the show or read the books before. Well, she finally got invested enough that we all went back and watched the first two episodes of the first season last night.

I highly recommend doing this. It's pretty incredible to see how much the Stark kids have grown up, both physically and in terms of badassery (SANSA!). Tyrion has changed a ton, as has Jamie (even with his foot-dragging and backsliding over the past two seasons).

And, geez, Dany! I forgot how totally agencyless she was back then, how much of a total victim. It makes me feel a little bad for constantly ragging on her shitty statecraft, cause all things considered she's done better than most people would have, given how she started out.

Plus, those two eps really do lay on the R+L=J stuff with a trowel, if you know to look for it.
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:57 AM on May 31, 2016 [3 favorites]


> Also, agreed that the whole "you promised me" comment seems stupid and antithetic

Waif is Lyanna and Jaqen is Ned.

sharp intake of breath
posted by vbfg at 9:05 AM on May 31, 2016 [1 favorite]


It might be fun for the writers to have the showdown between the waif and Arya end with uncertainty. Did Arya win or has the waif taken her face. As she journeys towards a big Stark reunion will is she actually an assassin in disguise.
posted by humanfont at 9:12 AM on May 31, 2016 [10 favorites]


By the way - as of Sunday I have $10 riding on Stoneheart showing up by the end of the season. Jamie's going to the Riverlands! Brienne's going to the Riverlands! Walder Frey namedropped the Brotherhood Without Banners! I Want To Believe. (And now that we have Bran Stark, Flashback Machine, it will be easier to do it without spoiling anything ahead of time - any necessary reminders of just what the hell Cat's deal was can be dealt with in flashbacks rather than 'previously on's.)
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:30 AM on May 31, 2016 [4 favorites]


Mace Tyrell looked like a ridiculous buffoon

Thatsthejoke.jpg. The first time I saw that Small Council scene with the Mountain, I perceived it being Mace who comedy-farted, just based on his character. I had to re-watch once everyone said it was Pycelle. Roger Ashton-Griffiths just steals every scene he's in, for my money. What a thoroughly smoked and salted ham.

Also, over in the show-only thread, moonlily predicts that the High Sparrow will select Tommen as the Faith's champion in Cersei's trial-by-combat, which is just about perfect.

Are there any legs to the idea that the First Man that got converted to the Night King by the CotF was a willing participant? Like part of an alliance between the CotF and the First Men to fight the Andals that somehow went wrong?
posted by Rat Spatula at 9:34 AM on May 31, 2016 [4 favorites]


Hey, question to the people who read most of the book: has it ever been established how long it usually takes to cross the narrow sea? I doubt it, but just wondering.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:40 AM on May 31, 2016


but where's the evidence on the show that Jaime holds it against him ?

"He murdered my father. "
posted by Pendragon at 9:46 AM on May 31, 2016 [3 favorites]


Okay guys. What if "a girl has many talents" is because as Syrio Forel, he knows this?
posted by corb at 9:51 AM on May 31, 2016 [14 favorites]


Jaqen says something along the lines of "a girl had many talents." I wonder what talents he was referring to, as she was constantly getting beat up.

It was established in the first episode of the series and has been shown repeatedly that Arya is a born fighter and skilled marksmen, with a drive to use and perfect those talentsr. Had she been born male and trained in warfare, she would have been been completely badass for years now, as opposed to only about 60-70% badass.

The Waif (where did that name come from?) kicks her ass because she has been trained how to fight for years.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:57 AM on May 31, 2016 [4 favorites]


Jaqen says something along the lines of "a girl had many talents."

I thought he said, "a girl had many gifts", which takes on a very opaque meaning if, for the Faceless Men, death is a gift. Would that mean she had many assassinations, or that she would die many times? Or, I just misheard.
posted by gladly at 9:58 AM on May 31, 2016 [1 favorite]


Arya is a born fighter and skilled marksmen, with a drive to use and perfect those talents

Sure, by regular human baseline standards, Arya is a badass, but this is a magical face-changing ninja army (of two, apparently; where are the other trainees?) and one assumes they have higher standards than just being a good fighter and marksman with a drive to be better. What makes Arya so exceptional in Jaqen's eyes?

BTW, was it ever established in the books why Jaqen was in Westeros to begin with?
posted by tempestuoso at 10:11 AM on May 31, 2016 [1 favorite]


Back to the weirwood.net torrent; is it really that vital to convey "fire kills zombies"? I mean the Night's Watch already intrinsically knows this, what with the importance of burning corpses in the North. And it seems sort of obvious; if you're dealing with reanimated flesh your only option is to destroy the flesh, and fire works pretty well for that.

Maybe I'm confused since the eventual showdown between Ice and Fire is right there in the fucking title of the book series. And so much heavy foreshadowing by GRRM with the dragons and the wildfire and all. Does Bram's magical timey-wimey stuff include a jaunt to Santa Fe to get some briefings from the author?
posted by Nelson at 10:16 AM on May 31, 2016 [1 favorite]


Mace Tyrell looked like a ridiculous buffoon. His speech was terrible. He even had someone reining his horse for him

He's supposed to. Mace is a puffed up buffoon, and his House is essentially run by his mother, Olenna. In book-world, Lord Randall Tarly is leading the army from the Reach, because he's the better field commander. Mace is there because by birth and family, he is Lord, but he is no one's idea of competent. (There may be a case to be made that book!Mace might play the fool as part of the long con of House Tyrell, but I don't see it).

Hey, question to the people who read most of the book: has it ever been established how long it usually takes to cross the narrow sea? I doubt it, but just wondering.

Not clearly, no - the Narrow Sea is narrow, but apparently not close enough to make full scale military crossings easy; a lot seems to depend on the weather, and the origin point and destination. But journeys between points in Westeros sometimes stop over in Essos (cf. Sam's journey from Eastwatch-by-the-Sea to Oldtown) because tracing down the coastline of Essos and then back to Westeros is safer than going along Westeros alone.

Are there any legs to the idea that the First Man that got converted to the Night King by the CotF was a willing participant? Like part of an alliance between the CotF and the First Men to fight the Andals that somehow went wrong?

He didn't look willing to me, but who knows? From context it seemed pretty clear that moment was before the Pact and was during the war between the CotF and the First Men, when the CotF also broke the Arm of Dorne and flooded the Neck. The CotF were pretty desperate, and the takeaway seems to be that they created a weapon that grew out of their control. The interesting piece for me is that the Pact appears to take place about 4000 years before the Long Night, so I'm wondering how the Walkers were contained prior to that or if that period was the first Walker gaining control and figuring out what he could do - how to make more copies of himself, for example, and training up the ice spiders. But that might be a question borne out of book logic instead of show logic, where time frames are more compressed and the weirdly long history of Westeros may not be a factor.

What if "a girl has many talents" is because as Syrio Forel, he knows this?

What's been bugging with the Waif/Arya fights is that Arya appears to have forgotten everything she learned from Syrio. And I really don't think Syrio is alive, as much as I would love the man to be around still. But it would completely undermine his final lesson of "look with your eyes" not to mention the ethos of "What do we say to the God of Death? Not today" (which is a show-only quote) seems to be at odds with the approach of the Faceless Men.

is it really that vital to convey "fire kills zombies"? I mean the Night's Watch already intrinsically knows this, what with the importance of burning corpses in the North. And it seems sort of obvious; if you're dealing with reanimated flesh your only option is to destroy the flesh, and fire works pretty well for that.

It's not just "fire kills zombies"; it's about the importance of wildfire/dragon fire against the Walkers as well, who can suppress normal fire and walk through it.
posted by nubs at 10:38 AM on May 31, 2016 [3 favorites]


and maybe 5,000 Dothraki

Drogo's khalasar was 40 000, and it wasn't all the Dothraki.

Also, over in the show-only thread, moonlily predicts that the High Sparrow will select Tommen as the Faith's champion in Cersei's trial-by-combat, which is just about perfect.

That really would be pretty amazing. Cersei couldn't (I assume) change the type of trial, Tommen (if he is a true believer now) will believe the Gods will protect him from the Mountain, the Sparrow wins either way.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:48 AM on May 31, 2016


I thought when first reading the books that can't-fight-Jaime would represent Tyrion in the trail by combat putting Tywin and Cersei on the spot of needing to not-win. I liked that concept, would be interesting if the show did that. Other candidates would be Lancel or Loras, in the win-win catagory for the sparrow.
posted by French Fry at 11:28 AM on May 31, 2016 [1 favorite]


It's not about being protected by the gods, it's about honoring the gods by giving them justice. So if Tommen wins, that means his mother dies. If Tommen loses, he dies and his mother loses her third and final child, and THS just looks like a dick in the eyes of everyone, The Mother and Father included, for putting a child king in that position. As much as I think that would be an interesting twist and I think THS is that ruthless, I think he'd be shooting himself in the foot, as it's hard to believe anyone would consider that to be justice.

Drogo's khalasar was 40 000, and it wasn't all the Dothraki.

40,000 was Drogo's entire khalasar, including the women, the children, the old, the weak, and the feebleminded. And presumably some will need to stay behind to mind the shop. So while 5,000 was probably a bit conservative, it's probably somewhere in the 5-15K range is my guess.
posted by tempestuoso at 11:31 AM on May 31, 2016 [1 favorite]


Ooooh, Loras is a good option. He already beat the Mountain in the joust.
posted by tempestuoso at 11:35 AM on May 31, 2016


They mention in extras that Dany's current khalasar is around 100,000 strong. The fighting force of the entire dothraki people.

Seems impractical.
posted by French Fry at 12:13 PM on May 31, 2016


Seems impractical.

For sure, and Dany seems ready to come slam into Westeros in Winter. WHen there's not going to be food enough for those who are already there.
posted by Navelgazer at 12:16 PM on May 31, 2016


In the books a member of the royal family would be represented by a Kingsguard. I don't know if the show would stick with that, but I can't see Tommen taking such a personal stand against his mother no matter how devout he's become, nor do I see the High Sparrow jeopardizing his relationship with Tommen now that he's got what he wants. He doesn't strike me as that reckless, but of course I might be underestimating just how radical he really is.
posted by homunculus at 12:19 PM on May 31, 2016 [1 favorite]


Loras is a good option. He already beat the Mountain in the joust.

He beat the Mountain by trickery - using a mare in heat to cause problems for Gregor's stallion*. And as much as I think Loras would be an awesome choice as far as throwing an anvil sized hammer into the power dynamics of KL between the Lannisters and the Tyrells, Loras is currently imprisoned himself and until that matter gets cleared up, I can't see that the Faith would accept him as champion. There would have to be some kind of public indication of Loras either repenting/converting or that his guilt has been dealt with, or otherwise the show is starting to play a little too loose and fast with internal consistency.

*(incidentally, this sets up a great moment for the Hound, where in the chapter just after he told Sansa there are no true knights, Sandor acts like a great knight in a story - stepping in to defend Loras who has been knocked down by a beserking Gregor, and parrying every blow while not aiming anything threatening back at the Mountain, before dropping to a knee at his King's command).
posted by nubs at 12:19 PM on May 31, 2016 [6 favorites]


I dunno. Margeary won her freedom through "atoning" by talking Tommen into this present deal. I can see Loras getting that offer of "atonement" through serving as the Faith's Champion.
posted by Navelgazer at 12:27 PM on May 31, 2016 [1 favorite]


I don't think THS is so marinated in faith that he'd believe Tommen would last more than 20 seconds with Ser Zombie, and despite the awesome wtfery it would provide to us viewers, he would be too prudent to go that route

CleganeBowl is seeming less likely to me since we haven't seen any kind of Chekov's Gun moment with the Hound this season; if he shows up out of nowhere it's gonna seem kind of random and I don't think the show-only people have much reason to be invested in the brother-vs-brother thing for its own sake

This show loves it a good trial by combat but this is the third (?) one so far and it's kind of time for them to go sideways with it somehow...
posted by prize bull octorok at 12:28 PM on May 31, 2016 [1 favorite]


In the show did they firmly establish that Cersei is on trail for her life? That the faith can deal in capital punishment? I feel that isn't clear, what the potential punishments for each person held by the faith might be.

Because that power/distinction was kind of carefully detailed in the books as part of the rise of the faith militant.
posted by French Fry at 12:28 PM on May 31, 2016 [1 favorite]


CleganeBowl is seeming less likely to me since we haven't seen any kind of Chekov's Gun moment with the Hound this season; if he shows up out of nowhere it's gonna seem kind of random and I don't think the show-only people have much reason to be invested in the brother-vs-brother thing for its own sake

I hope I'm not breaking spoiler policy by linking to an interview from before the season started, but yeah, I do think we're headed for CleganeBowl. GET HYPE! The fact that the show has to perhaps back up to provide some context at this point is minor compared to some of the other pieces of narrative they've restarted this year.
posted by nubs at 12:36 PM on May 31, 2016 [2 favorites]


CleganeBowl is seeming less likely to me since we haven't seen any kind of Chekov's Gun moment with the Hound this season

Ian McShane is playing Septon Meribald.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:39 PM on May 31, 2016 [2 favorites]


well then
posted by prize bull octorok at 12:45 PM on May 31, 2016 [2 favorites]


"He murdered my father. "

well, THAT'S pretty conclusive. Thanks Pendragon, I stand corrected!
posted by torticat at 12:58 PM on May 31, 2016 [1 favorite]



CleganeBowl is seeming less likely to me since we haven't seen any kind of Chekov's Gun moment with the Hound this season

Ian McShane is playing Septon Meribald.


please do the broken men speech justice (like bronn's speech in the cell with tyrion). word for word. from the books. in your best al sweringen hard won philosophiszing mood, but mellower and godly

it's truly one of the best bits of writing in fantasy I've read anywhere


please do the broken men speech justice
please do the broken men speech justice
please do the broken men speech justice
please do the broken men speech justice
please do the broken men speech justice
please do the broken men speech justice

don't fuck this up screenwriters.
posted by lalochezia at 1:22 PM on May 31, 2016 [9 favorites]


On the one hand, CLEGANEBOWL. On the other hand, wouldn't it be the greatest troll of all time to have Ian McShane play Meribald as a complete red herring? The tears would flow like Niagara.

But no, you don't have Ian McShane on to play Septon Meribald if THE HOUND isn't coming.
posted by Justinian at 1:32 PM on May 31, 2016 [2 favorites]


please do the broken men speech justice

I'm worried they are going to change it, like they did with the ToJ dialogue (which was fair enough, the ToJ dialogue from the books is in Ned's fever dream and it reads as stiff and formal because of how Ned's mind remembers that moment - I don't think there was an actual formal exchange of "I looked for you on the Trident/We were not there/Woe to the Usurper if we had", etc because it would have been more conversational in real life), to something that feels "more natural" that will somehow lose the depth and import.

Ian McShane should be able to do the hell out of that speech, though. When they first announced he was cast for something in S6, I had my fingers crossed it was for Septon Maribald.
posted by nubs at 1:43 PM on May 31, 2016


Ok, so I'm trying to figure out who'd be in line for the Iron Throne in the event that Tommen died without an heir and none of of Robert's bastards were legitimized.

Given how thoroughly denuded the Baratheon family tree is now, it seems like at this point we have to go back to the daughter of Lyonel Baratheon and look for surviving issue-- and if she has none, Ser Pounce's claim is as good as anyone's.

My guess is that Margaery will get pregnant and/or someone will take the throne by right of conquest before this really comes to the fore, but I'm still curious. Any experts on Westerosi succession want to help me out?
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 2:06 PM on May 31, 2016


Re: Jaime and Lancel: In the books Jaime confronts Lancel in the Riverlands, where Lancel admits the truth about sleeping with Cersei and helping to kill King Robert. Since they're both still in KL, perhaps they're going to have that chat before Jaime leaves, which would set his growing disillusionment with Cersei in motion.
posted by homunculus at 2:23 PM on May 31, 2016


The line of succession is incredibly murky right now. Which means just about anybody could push forward with a claim based on a marriage generations ago, provided they have enough swords behind them. The murkiness actually probably gives Daenerys the best claim right now, legally, as the only known surviving heir of the previous House to hold the Throne in addition to being a cousin of some degree (via Rhaelle Targaryen, who married Ormund Baratheon, Robert's grandfather/Tommen's great-grandfather) to Tommen.

I suspect that we are being set up for a Grand Council which will bring together all the Houses to settle the succession issue and who has the best claim. I don't expect the Grand Council to settle anything before the coming apocalypse, but rather to be a convenient way to have almost everyone together in order to point them in the right direction.
posted by nubs at 2:23 PM on May 31, 2016 [1 favorite]


It reeeeally depends on how Robert Baratheon held his crown - by right of Conquest, or by right of Targaryen blood. Does anyone remember that announced anywhere?
posted by corb at 2:23 PM on May 31, 2016 [1 favorite]


As I recall, Robert's Targaryen ancestry was important, and why he was chosen to be king instead of Jon Arryn.
posted by homunculus at 2:27 PM on May 31, 2016


It was both, IIRC. The Rebellion happened and Robert was the one put forward because his family had the most recent intermarriage with the Targs.
posted by nubs at 2:28 PM on May 31, 2016


Ah, the wikihole provides yet again:

It was not until the end of the war, around the time the Battle of the Trident was being fought, that Robert Baratheon proclaimed his intention to claim the throne.[24] To justify Robert's claim, the maesters would later use his bloodties to House Targaryen.[25] Robert's grandmother, Rhaelle Targaryen, had been the daughter of King Aegon V Targaryen,[26] giving him the best claim to the throne outside of Aerys, his children and grandchildren.
posted by nubs at 2:30 PM on May 31, 2016 [1 favorite]


And some perspective from Renly:

Renly shrugged. "Tell me, what right did my brother Robert ever have to the Iron Throne?" He did not wait for an answer. "Oh, there was talk of the blood ties between Baratheon and Targaryen, of weddings a hundred years past, of second sons and elder daughters. No one but the maesters care about any of it. Robert won the throne with his warhammer."
posted by nubs at 2:32 PM on May 31, 2016 [4 favorites]


Wow, thanks guys! That helps tremendously.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 2:43 PM on May 31, 2016


An article linked in a previous thread showed Cersei as the direct descendant (ignoring Tyrion's superior claim). Jaime, now that he's no longer Kingsguard, has the primary blood claim after Tommen, if you're staying within the Baratheon line of succession.

Daenaerys has the compelling claim directly in line from Aegon the Conqueror.

Unless! If R+L=J is true, and he is made legitimate issue of those parents, Jon's claim beats hers.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 2:48 PM on May 31, 2016 [1 favorite]


I am now in the middle of wiki tracking down lost Blackfyres. If I'm not back by tomorrow, send a search party.
posted by corb at 2:57 PM on May 31, 2016 [9 favorites]


An article linked in a previous thread showed Cersei as the direct descendant (ignoring Tyrion's superior claim). Jaime, now that he's no longer Kingsguard, has the primary blood claim after Tommen, if you're staying within the Baratheon line of succession.

Is that based on some old Baratheon-Lannister intermarriage? I can't recall. If true, I think Tyrion would be bounced out based on being judged a kingslayer, kinslayer, and all around traitor of the realm.
posted by nubs at 2:57 PM on May 31, 2016


I am now in the middle of wiki tracking down lost Blackfyres

This way lies madness. I believe the Blackfyres are extinct through the male line, and nobody cared enough about the female line to bother to keep track.
posted by nubs at 3:01 PM on May 31, 2016


please do the broken men speech justice

The next episode is called "The Broken Man", so...
posted by crossoverman at 3:19 PM on May 31, 2016 [4 favorites]


I've enjoyed this season, but did they ever explain why the Lannisters haven't attacked the Sand Snakes for killing Myrcella? At this point, I'm hoping the Dornish show up at the worst possible morning in KL.
posted by drezdn at 3:20 PM on May 31, 2016 [2 favorites]


Blackfyres are a cadet branch of the Targaryens via a bastard. No legitimate claim.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 3:52 PM on May 31, 2016


The whole thing about the Blackfyres is that they were all legitimized on their King father's deathbed, meaning that, yes, there is a legitimate claim, or at least was.
posted by Navelgazer at 3:58 PM on May 31, 2016 [1 favorite]


Daenaerys has the compelling claim directly in line from Aegon the Conqueror.

Unless! If R+L=J is true, and he is made legitimate issue of those parents, Jon's claim beats hers.


Unless unless! Aegon is who JonCon says he is.
posted by davidjmcgee at 4:02 PM on May 31, 2016


FFFM, is this the article you're talking about? It seems to have been based on info from this Baratheon family tree, and it looks to me like the tree incorporates a bunch of stuff that isn't canon. Certainly, it includes a lot of characters I've never heard of, and can't find on the wiki. (FWIW, at the time of the Mashable article, the tree was hosted on AWOIAF, and it isn't anymore.)

It's a bummer, because it definitely fills in some gaps, but I don't think we can rely on it. Does anyone know different?
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 4:04 PM on May 31, 2016 [1 favorite]


CleganeBowl is seeming less likely to me since we haven't seen any kind of Chekov's Gun moment with the Hound this season; if he shows up out of nowhere it's gonna seem kind of random and I don't think the show-only people have much reason to be invested in the brother-vs-brother thing for its own sake

The show just brought back Benjen Stark, whom we've previously seen for all of a few minutes in episode over five years ago. The Hound is totally in play.

*does waterdancing happy dance*
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:15 PM on May 31, 2016 [6 favorites]


IIRC, they also hadn't shown the Freys in a long time. Sandor could come back, but if he does, I'm worried he would lose Clegane Bowl.
posted by drezdn at 4:29 PM on May 31, 2016


please do the broken men speech justice

I'm worried they are going to change it


I expect them to shorten it, but hopefully they'll leave it mostly intact. But after the mess they made of the Kingsmoot, I won't be surprised if they blow it (or I'll be very pleasantly surprised if they nail it.)

Unless they go Fulltroll and change it to Ian McShane's "Bad Pussy" speech, in which case I will torn between disgust and awe.
posted by homunculus at 4:29 PM on May 31, 2016


Ian McShane as Al Swearengen as Septon Meribald...that wouid be a thing to witness. "So the fuckers called it, though I never earned a fucking penny, nor saw a King. Saw a bunch of fucking hoopleheads, though. That I did. Cocksuckers."
posted by nubs at 4:44 PM on May 31, 2016 [17 favorites]


(And now that we have Bran Stark, Flashback Machine, it will be easier to do it without spoiling anything ahead of time - any necessary reminders of just what the hell Cat's deal was can be dealt with in flashbacks rather than 'previously on's.)

Or they could go full on Arrested Development and show us her storey in a previously as if it had been in the show and we MISSED it. Hell, they seem to have done that with the Three Eyed Flashback Machine ....
posted by tilde at 5:05 PM on May 31, 2016 [2 favorites]


It was not until the end of the war, around the time the Battle of the Trident was being fought, that Robert Baratheon proclaimed his intention to claim the throne.[24] To justify Robert's claim, the maesters would later use his bloodties to House Targaryen.[25] Robert's grandmother, Rhaelle Targaryen, had been the daughter of King Aegon V Targaryen,[26] giving him the best claim to the throne outside of Aerys, his children and grandchildren.

If you go back a few generations before Rhaelle on the Targaryen family tree, another Princess Daenerys married the Prince of Dorne who had the Water Gardens built. If he were still alive, Doran might have had a claim to the throne after Tommen.
posted by homunculus at 5:58 PM on May 31, 2016 [2 favorites]


Freys are likely more independent than a Lannister catspaw

No one's mentioned this but I thought it is worth noting that Roose Bolton's wife, the one fed to the dogs by Ramsey, was a Frey and that baby was a grandchild of Walder Frey. Old Walder is definitely someone who won't let something like that against one of his kin go unpunished. When Cersei & Jamie are talking she specifically says that Riverrun is "theirs" echoing what Walder Frey says to his two sons. This definitely adds some potential for allegiance changes. Could the Starks and their allies stomach the Freys fighting on their side? This seems like too good of a set up to me.
posted by Ashwagandha at 6:03 PM on May 31, 2016 [1 favorite]


from show only thread:

"Surely Frey will try to use Edmure as a bargaining chip, threatening to kill him unless Blackfish surrenders?"

tee hee hee hee hee
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 7:38 PM on May 31, 2016 [4 favorites]


Is Blackfish known to be gay in the show?
posted by Justinian at 8:48 PM on May 31, 2016


wait what
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:53 PM on May 31, 2016


Ian McShane as Al Swearengen as Septon Meribald

This is all I want for Christmas.
posted by culfinglin at 9:06 PM on May 31, 2016 [3 favorites]


Is Blackfish known to be gay in the show?

Less so than in the books, even. It's unclear if - or how - they'd make that explicit now with his storyline being where it is, and considering the books have, as far as I know, only implied it through his refusal to take any of Hoster's arranged marriages.
posted by Navelgazer at 9:11 PM on May 31, 2016 [1 favorite]


Yeah, the books have been pretty subtle about it - more subtle than they were with Loras and Renly, I think (and a lot of readers had no clue about Loras and Renly until the show) - and the show hasn't gone anywhere near it. So I don't expect them to do anything with it.
posted by nubs at 9:24 PM on May 31, 2016 [1 favorite]




> So Tolkien actually gets into this in one of his essays ("On Fairy Stories" I think it was), about how the fantasy world within the story must be internally consistent. We as readers can and will accept almost anything, so long as it's internally consistent with how we understand the secondary world in that fantasy story to be.

This is why it didn't work for me when the Dothraki all submited to Daenerys after her de-khalification: it required the Dothraki to not behave like Dothraki. They're a culture of macho, magic-hating misogynists, and they're not going to uniformly submit to the foreign sorceress who just killed their leaders (regardless of how much they hated them) and destroyed their sacred temple. Even if they were all wooed by the initial spectacle (which had its own problems,) by the time they got to the opening of the scene in this episode many of those Dothraki warriors would already be splintering off and trying to form their own khalasars, and some of them would be openly defying and/or trying to kill her. But once she gave her Band of Screamers speech astride Drogon, that all changed: they would follow her after that display of power and promise of conquest, so I'm glad they plugged that hole.
posted by homunculus at 10:36 PM on May 31, 2016 [2 favorites]


This season has been bad about having necessary conversations happen (e.g. Jon finding out Arya’s alive)

Yeah, that's a big one. I wonder if Melisandre is going to tell Jon and Sansa that she met Arya. Another reason to believe Arya is going to survive: Mel predicted they would meet again. She's obviously misinterpreted some of her visions, but that one seems unambiguous.

I'd also really like hear Jon and Sansa talk about Tyrion sometime. And I hope Jon tells Sansa about Ygritte (he wouldn't bring it up, but maybe Tormund will spills the beans.) So many conversations!
posted by homunculus at 10:41 PM on May 31, 2016 [3 favorites]


I wonder if Melisandre is going to tell Jon and Sansa that she met Arya.

How would Melisandre know that she met Arya ? Wasn't Arya using another name ?
posted by Pendragon at 5:30 AM on June 1, 2016 [2 favorites]


I mean... magic ancient wizard lady?
posted by French Fry at 6:48 AM on June 1, 2016 [1 favorite]


Extremely fallible ancient wizard lady? If she had known it was arya, wouldn't she have taken her back to stannis?
posted by skewed at 7:17 AM on June 1, 2016


Here's the scene in full (if you just want the Arya/Melisandre moment, it starts about 7:40). The BwB knows who she is at this point, but Melisandre never calls her by name.
posted by nubs at 7:18 AM on June 1, 2016


I was reminded yesterday that Sam meets Arya in the books, on the Long Tedious Voyage to Oldtown, when he makes a side-stop in Braavos. They have no way to recognize each other though. I think it's just what passes for dramatic irony in the later novels and means nothing greater.

That Melisandre meeting is full of portents though. "Brown eyes, blue eyes, green eyes. Eyes you'll shut forever". Please, please, let Arya be an avenging angel who murders the entire miserable lot of Iron Throne pretenders and let the Sexy Sand Snakes take over Westeros.
posted by Nelson at 8:22 AM on June 1, 2016 [3 favorites]


let Arya be an avenging angel who murders the entire miserable lot of Iron Throne pretenders and let the Sexy Sand Snakes take over Westeros.

Ser, are you trying to bring this moment about?
posted by nubs at 8:51 AM on June 1, 2016 [2 favorites]


And since we've been talking a bit about the Mad King and the wildfire stashes and Bran maybe being behind the pyromanic Aerys, and I've been trolling through clips, here's Jaime's description of events.

Now that we've seen the events of the ToJ, I think Ned may have been more understanding of Jaime's actions ("stabbed him in the back...slit his throat to make sure"). Ned always seemed more pissed off about Jaime parking his ass in the Throne than anything.
posted by nubs at 9:41 AM on June 1, 2016




Now that we've seen the events of the ToJ, I think Ned may have been more understanding of Jaime's actions ("stabbed him in the back...slit his throat to make sure").

Except, of course, KL Ned/Jaime is before the ToJ (Gotta keep the timeline straight). So it's more that Ned and Jaime wind up with more in common then they know.
posted by nubs at 9:51 AM on June 1, 2016




Ned's scorn for Jaime in season 1/book 1 was a sign that Ned's sense of honor and righteous was blinding him even to his own deeds. He won't see ambiguity, even in himself.

Jaime didn't follow the rules, no matter what morality says, it doesn't matter. Ethics are ethics and Jaime is therefore on Ned's shit list.
posted by French Fry at 10:31 AM on June 1, 2016 [1 favorite]


Uncle Ira's Dragon/blood magic theory (linked above by FFFM) makes a lot of sense. I don't recall it ever being explicitly said in the books other than Victarion's horn.

Regarding the dragons, what's going to happen with the other 2? I thought for sure they'd do something by this point if only to pick up the drama in Essos a bit. I was looking forward to seeing Tyrion riding one.
posted by Ashwagandha at 12:11 PM on June 1, 2016 [1 favorite]


Ned's scorn for Jaime in season 1/book 1 was a sign that Ned's sense of honor and righteous was blinding him even to his own deeds. He won't see ambiguity, even in himself.

I think he does see ambiguity. He tells Arya her lie about what happened to Nymeria was not without honor, as an example, and we're starting to get a sense of just how many lies Ned must have carried away from the ToJ - about Jon, about the nature of the R+J relationship, about the death of Ser Arthur Dayne.

Posthumously, Eddard Stark is getting some nuance. Looking back an episode, here's what his father tells him as Ned prepares to leave for the Vale: "Remember you're a Stark. Comport yourself with dignity in the Vale. And try to stay out of fights. But if you have to fight...win." Would you think it necessary to tell Lord Eddard Stark to stay out of a fight? But remember, he's the second son - trained to be a warrior and warleader as counterpart to his older brother, who will rule the North. He may have been a very different boy than we thought.

Consider also the similarities between three things:
-Jaime's slaying of King Aerys - stabbed him in the back, slit his throat.
-Ned's killing of Ser Arthur Dayne at the ToJ - stabbed in the back by one opponent, throat slit by the other.
-the fight between Jaime and Ned at the brothel back in season one (which is show only) - stabbed in the back, throat left intact.
(we kinda get the rule of three here in action, but in a reverse order - the first fight we see is actually the last in a series)

There's a couple of differences here - Jaime's actions were public and open. There was no way to run or hide the slaying of the King; he was a member of the Kingsguard. He fought Ned on a public street and Tyrion was a prisoner of the Starks at the time. But for Ned...what happened with Ned & Arthur Dayne was witnessed only by one other person. Jaime was labeled an oathbreaker and Kingslayer, and went on to embrace it. Ned could and did walk away, letting the larger truth - that he killed Ser Arthur Dayne - out, but avoiding the specific how.

(and as far as the simmering animosity between both Jaime and Ned, consider that beyond the throne room, Jaime was knighted by Ser Dayne and considered him the example of what he wanted to be as a knight)

I'm still sort of formulating some thoughts on this, but there's suddenly some shit to unpack about Ned, 5 seasons after he died.
posted by nubs at 3:52 PM on June 1, 2016 [6 favorites]


Meant to add - some of Ned's revulsion for Jaime may just stem from Ned's realization of how similar he is to Jaime.
posted by nubs at 3:57 PM on June 1, 2016 [6 favorites]


Sorry if this is OT, but I just gotta say I have been missing Nutmeg of Consolation's D&D D&D recaps. They're so good!
posted by moons in june at 3:58 PM on June 1, 2016 [7 favorites]


I posted before about how one of my roommates was tagging along with watching this season, having never seen the show or read the books before. Well, she finally got invested enough that we all went back and watched the first two episodes of the first season last night.

I highly recommend doing this. It's pretty incredible to see how much the Stark kids have grown up, both physically and in terms of badassery (SANSA!). Tyrion has changed a ton, as has Jamie (even with his foot-dragging and backsliding over the past two seasons).


I also rewatched the first few episodes with a friend who was new the show, and she commented during the first episode how much Ned treated Theon like a son (or rather, Theon tried to be treated like a son), and how many scenes they had together compared to Robb and Ned. Which wasn't really obvious on first viewing for me, but she's right.

I also noticed that Theon's second line of dialog is, "It's a freak!" Which--not right on the target enough to be OMG foreshadowing, but it's got to be on purpose, right?
posted by Ideal Impulse at 6:43 PM on June 1, 2016 [3 favorites]


Arya and Tyrion cannot die, because they are the characters everybody likes. The show may be cruel, but it's not stupid.

I'm sure that this has been retread a billion times on various ASOIAF message boards, but there are really only three characters they can't kill. Tyrion, Jon Snow, and Danaerys are all making it to the finale because Jon is Ice, Dany is Fire, and Tyrion is us (this is why the "killing" of Jon Snow last season was such bullshit, because we all knew that, even in this show, Jon Snow can't die).

Everyone else is potential mulch for the sorrow machine. They had no problem killing Ned or Robb, and everyone liked them. I do agree however that they won't kill Arya at this point without it being plot relevant. But I do feel like they could spend half an episode tying her back into the plot (and making us all happy that her story was finally going somewhere) and then kill her off.
posted by 256 at 7:59 PM on June 1, 2016 [2 favorites]


Stop Pretending ‘Game of Thrones’ is Worthy of Analysis

Who, me? Perish the thought.
posted by homunculus at 10:40 PM on June 1, 2016 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I sort of agree. I think there are still entertaining and fun parts of the show, but a lot of the stuff that's happening recently doesn't have any internal consistency, and seems to be happening because certain characters need to be in certain positions to hit certain plot points. It's frustrating, for sure.
posted by codacorolla at 7:53 AM on June 2, 2016 [3 favorites]


Stop Pretending ‘Game of Thrones’ is Worthy of Analysis

I enjoy reading the rage tears of disgruntled book readers.
posted by Justinian at 9:41 AM on June 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


While i find the phenomenon of GoT fandom fascinating, and love all of the bean-plating the details, I've never once considered the books as anywhere near high art, or worthy of the kind of critical treatment that it's getting. but the reality is that thanks to its enormous popularity, it is deeply fixed in our culture, as few other works of art have been in recent decades.
I'm sure GRRM never foresaw such deep analysis, and the anxiety that it creates might be one factor in why he can't bring himself to actually finish the work.
In the end I suspect the D&D ending will be akin to seeing the famous portrait of george washington finished with him astride a stick-figure horse.
posted by OHenryPacey at 9:48 AM on June 2, 2016 [5 favorites]


Out of all the elements of Westeros -- ice people, devious nymphs, dragons, Littlefinger's teleportation device -- the least realist element, by far, is the postulation of a world where there's someone named "Dickon" who isn't the least favorite son.
posted by clockzero at 2:31 PM on June 2, 2016 [4 favorites]


I'm sure GRRM never foresaw such deep analysis, and the anxiety that it creates might be one factor in why he can't bring himself to actually finish the work.

Whether the second part is true or not I suspect the first part is untrue. He may be surprised at the sheer scale of thing; I mean who wouldn't be at this point? But anyone familiar with GRRMs other (particularly earlier) works or his deep involvement in the SF scene knows he understand fandom thoroughly and from the inside.
posted by Justinian at 3:17 PM on June 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


Alt Shift X
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 5:41 PM on June 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


Surely a work doesn't need to be high art to be subjected to analysis? I would have thought that any given work can be used as a prism, filter, whatever through which to view our own world, regardless of the intent of the creator. We don't need to particularly take into account, for example, what GRRM was actually intending with, say Dany and Drogo, to be able to have quite important discussions around it.
posted by Iteki at 11:00 PM on June 2, 2016 [5 favorites]


Mace is a puffed up buffoon, and his House is essentially run by his mother, Olenna. In book-world, Lord Randall Tarly is leading the army from the Reach, because he's the better field commander. Mace is there because by birth and family, he is Lord, but he is no one's idea of competent.

Speaking of competence, did I miss it or do we still not know the results of Mace's meeting with the Iron Bank? In the 4th and 5th seasons they were making a big deal of the financial threat the crown's debt to Iron Bank posed for the kingdom (which is causing an economic collapse in the books, as I recall) but I don't think this season has followed through on that story line yet.
posted by homunculus at 11:15 PM on June 2, 2016


When this is over I want a three part mini series of Mace Tyrell trying to figure out what the fuck just happened.
posted by vbfg at 1:57 AM on June 3, 2016 [5 favorites]


If he's wearing the hat, I'm on board.
posted by drezdn at 4:13 AM on June 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


In the 4th and 5th seasons they were making a big deal of the financial threat the crown's debt to Iron Bank posed for the kingdom (which is causing an economic collapse in the books, as I recall) but I don't think this season has followed through on that story line yet.

I think the Faith Militant storyline is intended to represent the resolution/consequence of the economic collapse storyline, in that their power comes partially from the desperation of the smallfolk.
posted by Strange Interlude at 5:38 AM on June 3, 2016 [2 favorites]


I think the Faith Militant storyline is intended to represent the resolution/consequence of the economic collapse storyline, in that their power comes partially from the desperation of the smallfolk.

I think you're likely right; I wish that was a little more clear, because the consequences of pushing things too far with the FM and the HS would include a revolt of the smallfolk, not just the guys in black robes with big sticks.
posted by nubs at 11:24 AM on June 3, 2016 [2 favorites]


I think that's the intention but really poorly pulled off, I don't even think there was a throw away line about not being able to pay the gold cloaks or about overtaxing the small folk to repay the iron bank.

We saw Mace Tyrell singing that song to mycroft holmes and as far as we know from the show that worked. Debt absolved. We do see them funding Stannis, but there has been no follow up since that failed to work at all.
posted by French Fry at 12:03 PM on June 3, 2016


Margery's speech to Tommen was a work of art. Every sentence that came out of her mouth could be taken two ways (or maybe three) depending on what way the wind was blowing. And at the same time every sentence was 100% true. "He's not what we thought, is he?" GENIUS.
posted by bq at 1:00 PM on June 3, 2016 [8 favorites]


Am I remembering correctly that Benjen cooked some food in this episode? And if so, did he eat some or just give it to Meera.
posted by drezdn at 5:04 PM on June 3, 2016


We saw Mace Tyrell singing that song to mycroft holmes and as far as we know from the show that worked. Debt absolved. We do see them funding Stannis, but there has been no follow up since that failed to work at all.

Iron Bank is seeming more like Iron Bunk based on their portfolio.
posted by srboisvert at 5:39 PM on June 3, 2016


With all of the bad investments the bank has made, what would happen if they defaulted? Bravos is a fairly stable Esseros City-State, and (I'd imagine) a bank default would mean huge amounts of in-fighting and civil unrest.
posted by codacorolla at 6:17 PM on June 3, 2016


The Iron Bank is relocating to Dorne, via Gendry's rowboat.
posted by nubs at 6:21 PM on June 3, 2016 [2 favorites]


Benjen prepared a mug of steaming hot rabbits blood and handed it off to Brameeran.
posted by bq at 8:54 PM on June 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


I had been hoping he had taken some to prove he isn't dead, but partial-wighthood makes sense.
posted by drezdn at 6:42 AM on June 4, 2016


Margery's speech to Tommen was a work of art. Every sentence that came out of her mouth could be taken two ways (or maybe three) depending on what way the wind was blowing. And at the same time every sentence was 100% true. "He's not what we thought, is he?" GENIUS.

I had forgotten about this, but yes, that was an incredibly shrewd and subtle exchange on her part. I was hoping she was going to turn Tommen against the High Sparrow, but she kept control of the situation when it became clear that wasn't going to happen.
posted by clockzero at 8:41 AM on June 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


Let us not forget that at the beginning of Season 4, Margaery talked about wearing "a string of dead sparrow heads" around her neck.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:18 AM on June 4, 2016


Just re-watched the last two episodes with my wife, and the better stuff really stands out. Other stuff, not so much. She thought the Kingsmoot was pretty stupid, and on re-watch, it was dumber than I remembered.

Margary's subtle manipulation of poor, sweet Tommen. Really good.

Extreme insistence by Sam's father that under no circumstances will Sam ever, ever, never, blever wield Hartsbane, and especially not be lord of Horn Hill. NEVAR!! Subtle.

The play in both last episode and this episode were just awesome, even more the second time through. Arya was great, some really good lines in the interaction with his would-be victim "I have to go, my father is waiting for me." was particularly good. But--Arya's was only successful in saving the actress because she was interrupted before taking a sip of the poison by the boorish actor-guy. Just cheap drama, made Arya's act of mercy look kind of haphazard.

Jaqen and Waif have were talking freely in the second person not just in this episode but in the last. And there are so many scenes with the Waif mugging for the camera, to the point that it was either a deliberate decision to foreshadow some revelation about the true nature of the Faceless Men, or the Waif being the one who is actually about to fail out of the program, or the writing is really really sloppy. I think the foreshadowing was deliberate enough that it's one of the first two. The waif being the one that Arya kills as her true test is kinda meh, for me. I'd really be thrilled if it turns out there is something about the cult as a whole that is not quite what they've portrayed it to be.
posted by skewed at 9:46 AM on June 4, 2016 [3 favorites]


The show has sort of made it seem like the Waif is subordinate to sexy jesus, but I've never really liked that idea. I never got that sense that there was any particular hierarchy between the waif and the kindly man in the books, and there's no real reason to assume they're even the same person all the time, instead of just presenting the same face to Arya. I think the show has just made a hash of the Faceless men in general.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 10:53 AM on June 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


So, what are the chances the Red Flux makes it to the screen? Seems like it could be another plotline that gets cut for the sake of time. I've been thinking that grayscale might serve as a replacement, since that's already been introduced and explained to the audience.
posted by codacorolla at 1:19 PM on June 5, 2016


I think if they're doing it, they're doing it as greyscale. As of right now, it doesn't look like there's going to be a siege in Mereen to give something like that time to really develop.
posted by drezdn at 2:44 PM on June 5, 2016


I think if they're doing it, they're doing it as greyscale.

I agree. The show's not going to get bogged down with GRRM's thing about "well, we already have one mostly incurable plague going around, but let's add another one just for kicks", similar to how there's no need to add another Night's Watch ranger to the mix to be Coldhands when you've already got Benjen out there.

I think the show has just made a hash of the Faceless men in general.

It's completely possible the books make a hash of them as well, but we just haven't found out yet.
posted by LionIndex at 5:25 PM on June 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


As of right now, it doesn't look like there's going to be a siege in Mereen to give something like that time to really develop.

I'll be surprised if they pass up a chance for a good siege, and things are so slow in Mereen right now it feels to me like the quiet before the storm. My bet is the Masters are going to attack the city, only to be routed by Daenerys and her khalasar.
posted by homunculus at 8:32 PM on June 5, 2016




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