Game of Thrones: No One   Books Included 
June 12, 2016 7:00 PM - Season 6, Episode 8 - Subscribe

Jaime weighs his options; Cersei answers a request; Tyrion's plans bear fruit; Arya faces a new test. INCLUDES BOOKS.
posted by gatorae (257 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
 
Parkour!
posted by homunculus at 7:02 PM on June 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


Agent Smith The Waif is the worst assassin ever.
posted by gatorae at 7:03 PM on June 12, 2016 [12 favorites]


"I prefer chicken."
posted by leotrotsky at 7:04 PM on June 12, 2016 [5 favorites]


On the one hand, YAY ARYA.

On the other hand... hype fading... cleganebowl whyyy.
posted by Justinian at 7:04 PM on June 12, 2016 [8 favorites]


Also, nice to know the BwB aren't scum after all. LSH isn't happening, is she?
posted by leotrotsky at 7:05 PM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


So, Kings Landing is going to be a smoking Wildfire hole in the ground by end of season, yes?
posted by leotrotsky at 7:06 PM on June 12, 2016 [7 favorites]


LSH isn't happening, is she?

Jaime's speech about Catelyn made me think LSH was still a possibility.
posted by dis_integration at 7:06 PM on June 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


GETNOPE!
posted by French Fry at 7:06 PM on June 12, 2016 [12 favorites]


I liked Jamie's callback to throwing Bran out the window; "The things we do for love."
posted by gatorae at 7:07 PM on June 12, 2016 [10 favorites]


Jacquen was thinking about the waif ad he needed to place in the Braavosi Penny Saver as Arya walked away.
posted by drezdn at 7:09 PM on June 12, 2016 [24 favorites]


Book Blackfish > Show Blackfish
posted by drezdn at 7:10 PM on June 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


This wasn't a very good episode. The Waif scenes were fucking incomprehensible and boring. Like the goddamn T-Waif-Thousand. Awful. The Hound's scenes were a huge letdown after the build up (and pretty close to confirmation we're not getting LSH). The seeming cancellation of Cleganebowl. At the very least we're definitely not getting it this season. The huge fucking letdown of Riverrun, and the Blackfish either dying off screen or at least having the indignity of delivering one of the most cliche ridden speeches ever on this show (that's a high honor). Daeny appearing out of nowhere.

Ugh. I was actually liking this a lot more from Hodor's death forward, but this episode felt like a huge step backwards.

At least the terrible Waif character is off the show, finally.
posted by codacorolla at 7:12 PM on June 12, 2016 [25 favorites]


Gosh so glad the waif storyline is finally freaking OVER.
posted by tilde at 7:14 PM on June 12, 2016 [5 favorites]


The nudity tag tonight was hilarious.

Wtf with Cersesi rumor? Gendry? Tyrion?

Will Pod in a boat meet Gendry in a boat?

Of course trial by combat is outlawed. Sparrow leaves no stoning unturned.
posted by tilde at 7:19 PM on June 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


Jesus, that episode was so bad it almost makes me want to pick up the books. ALMOST.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:19 PM on June 12, 2016 [5 favorites]


I'm wondering how Jaime will be turned against Cersei in show-world. Something to do with Tommen?

Man you guys watch for different things than I do because this episode had a lot of what I like. Extended scenes of dialogue. Tyrion doing Tyrion things. Jaime doing Jaime things. Good stuff.
posted by Justinian at 7:21 PM on June 12, 2016 [7 favorites]


Just give me one dead Frey.
posted by drezdn at 7:22 PM on June 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


Theory: Cersei eventually goes full Mad King Crazy from Tommen's betrayal and such, and Jaime pulls another Kingslayer move to save the city.
posted by Justinian at 7:23 PM on June 12, 2016 [6 favorites]


Man how was Arya striding about so confidently in that last scene? She was NOT OK before!
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:23 PM on June 12, 2016 [12 favorites]


I was so fucking done with the Tyrion drinking games, give me a fucking break. Now we get to see Dany re-conquer the same city for the nineteenth time. Time to take the training wheels off.

It's totally going to be LSH. Episode nine reveal, I guarantee it. They are talking about her way way too much, plus the BWB, plus Brienne in the Riverlands, plus plus plus. Ugh, the lack of zombie Cat was one of my favorite things about the show vs the books.
posted by lydhre at 7:25 PM on June 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


But Beric's alive.
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 7:29 PM on June 12, 2016 [5 favorites]


The Arya storyline is so deeply unsatisfying because in the end it just relies on Arya suddenly developing superhuman healing abilities and fighting skills that she previously demonstrably lacked. I guess that Needle was supposed to make all the difference, but I don't buy it. It's incredibly sloppy, boring writing. But, whatever, at least she is finally leaving Braavos. Now let's just hope that there will be some larger purpose to her/our time spent with these Faceless idiots, otherwise it's basically just a holding pond for Arya to age up in.
posted by gatorae at 7:33 PM on June 12, 2016 [19 favorites]


IM SCREAMING

MISSANDEI'S SHITTY JOKE

I LOVE HER FOREVER
posted by poffin boffin at 7:33 PM on June 12, 2016 [46 favorites]


So, Kings Landing is going to be a smoking Wildfire hole in the ground by end of season, yes?

I assume the old rumor Qyburn confirmed is that the Mad King's caches of wildfire are still spread around the city. I doubt Cersei wants to destroy the Red Keep since that would probably kill Tommen (unless she's really gone off the deep end,) but if there is a cache under the Sept of Baelor, then that's the one she'll want to set off. Of course, once the fire starts to spread, well...
posted by homunculus at 7:34 PM on June 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


lol haters are giving me life

i feast upon your loathing like strong belwas upon locusts
posted by poffin boffin at 7:34 PM on June 12, 2016 [5 favorites]


Ding Dong the Waif is Dead!
posted by Requiax at 7:37 PM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


I doubt Cersei wants to destroy the Red Keep since that would probably kill Tommen...

But if the Mountain kills Tommen, she might have a change of heart on that.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:38 PM on June 12, 2016


Where GRRM has inflated plot and character as the books have continued, the writers for TV seem to recognize that we'll never get an ending this way. So no lady stoneheart, remove the blackfish, simplify the story in the North, etc.
posted by humanfont at 7:38 PM on June 12, 2016


what I love the most is that every fan forum after The Door everyone was all like ZOMG BEST SEASON EVARRR

now after two episodes that shot down a bunch of pure tinfoil and tied up a bunch of loose plot threads they're all like OMG WORST WRITING EVARRR

lolz
posted by lonefrontranger at 7:39 PM on June 12, 2016 [7 favorites]


The problem is that they could have tied up those plot threads much faster and neater, rather than dragging them out to a milquetost conclusion.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:44 PM on June 12, 2016 [10 favorites]


Cersei Rumor...interesting about the wildfire. Since it was the sparrows who reported on it, I figured it was something super smutty on the ole HS.

Thank god I wasn't the only person who began thinking of the Waif as the Terminator. So sad to see Lady Crane bite it after all and so unnecessary as well as Arya had already determined not to go with her.

And I knew the minute that Cersei pulled her trump card she was fucking up trial by combat. Tywin was right. She is SO not as smart as she thinks she is.
posted by miss-lapin at 7:47 PM on June 12, 2016 [5 favorites]


what I love the most is that every fan forum after The Door everyone was all like ZOMG BEST SEASON EVARRR

now after two episodes that shot down a bunch of pure tinfoil and tied up a bunch of loose plot threads they're all like OMG WORST WRITING EVARRR


This season had one episode I thoroughly enjoyed (the Door) and the rest I spent the whole time yelling at the screen about the bizarre plot choices and unnecessarily drawn out garbage (jon snow should've been brought back in the first damn episode). Also are we NEVER going to get to see what's up in that goddamn tower that the Three-Eyed Raven was showing Bran way back when. Why leave us hanging on that? I DEMAND SATISFACTION.
posted by dis_integration at 7:47 PM on June 12, 2016 [6 favorites]


I did laugh though when Ser Robert straight up tore that dude's head off. There was no way after that the trial by combat was going to happen.
posted by gatorae at 7:49 PM on June 12, 2016 [9 favorites]


The problem is that they could have tied up those plot threads much faster and neater, rather than dragging them out to a milquetoast conclusion

... have you not actually read ADWD?
posted by lonefrontranger at 7:50 PM on June 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


i feast upon your loathing like strong belwas upon locusts

Bad idea. Liver and onions makes Strong Belwas strong. Locusts poison Strong Belwas.
posted by AdamCSnider at 8:10 PM on June 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


I liked the actress making Cersi a more sympathetic character, Tyrion and Messe and Grey worm being all awkward, Brienne plus Jamie, any and all Pod - the best character in the show and the Diplomat Westeros needs but does not deserve.

Our Arya theories where better, bleh. At least she's finally out of there.

(What was with all the gay panic? From the "let me show you how to kiss, you got the magic cock, you're so handsome" I just ..I'd like if everyone is now exploring the edges of their sexuality here in the oncoming apocalypse but it felt werid)
posted by The Whelk at 8:14 PM on June 12, 2016 [7 favorites]


Theory: Qyburn was referring to wildfire. Jamie killed Aerys because he was going to use wildfire to blow up Kings Landing. Jamie will become the valonqar when he is forced to do the same to Cersei.
posted by gatorae at 8:23 PM on June 12, 2016 [9 favorites]


showbiz_liz: "Man how was Arya striding about so confidently in that last scene? She was NOT OK before!"

because game of thrones
posted by koeselitz at 8:25 PM on June 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


Theory: Cersei eventually goes full Mad King Crazy from Tommen's betrayal and such, and Jaime pulls another Kingslayer move to save the city.

I can completely see that. Why else bring up the wildfire again?

Absolutely loved the scenes between Jaime and Brienne. Just after Jaime reminds Edmure and the audience what his priorities and motivation are, here comes Brienne, the one person who can steer him back toward a less… unsavory path.

Arya and Waif-Model 2000 — finally a freaking payoff for all the blindfighting episodes! AT LAST. And Arya's scene in the Hall of Faces with J'aqen was great, especially his slight smile.

But then… deus ex Danaerys. What the hell? Conveniently making it all the way from Vaes Dothrak to Meereen? Even if she is flying on dragonback, what is she doing with her khalasar? She must have borrowed Littlefinger's teleportation device.
posted by culfinglin at 8:25 PM on June 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


fuck this show and its writers

now sexy jesus is all 'i respect yooz with your secrets of our order, just walkz away'

and

blackfish 'o i haz to die nowz'

and

giant navy that no one sees till in catapulting distance

and
and
and

the night is dark and full of plot holes

[ps: poffin boffin i haz your back. feed on my energy. i hate this shit but all i can do is LAAAAAARF]
posted by lalochezia at 8:26 PM on June 12, 2016 [6 favorites]


I can't wait for a weird CGI battle of bathtub toy ships in Meereen's incredibly fake looking bay.
posted by gatorae at 8:28 PM on June 12, 2016 [8 favorites]


giant navy that no one sees till in catapulting distance

i wonder what other nearby giant navy will show up to save the day in a totally unpredictable and surprising way!

how will we ever guess!

it is a mystery!
posted by poffin boffin at 8:29 PM on June 12, 2016 [22 favorites]


from r/asoiaf

Dan: "Wow guys we really are running out of things to do without the books, what should we even name this episode?"
GRRM: "Name it for the amount of fans who will love the changes"
D.B.: "I got it!"
Game of Thrones Season 6, Episode 8: No One
posted by lalochezia at 8:29 PM on June 12, 2016 [5 favorites]


I guess that Needle was supposed to make all the difference, but I don't buy it.

No, it was the fact that Arya had learned to fight blind. Needle made no difference except symbolically. The key moment was Arya cutting the candleflame, not the fact that she was holding Needle.

The waif, being a good little murderbot, was apparently never punished with blindness.
posted by Justinian at 8:30 PM on June 12, 2016 [10 favorites]


I predict the recappers give this episode B+/A- ratings. Haters to the left.
posted by Justinian at 8:31 PM on June 12, 2016


DB. "there's like only 10 valyrian steel swords in the world"

NO YOU FUCKING DUMBASS DONT EVEN KNOW YOUR SOURCE MATERIAL I SWEAR I AM COMIC BOOK GUY AND WILL STAB YOU
posted by lalochezia at 8:31 PM on June 12, 2016 [8 favorites]


real talk though, i am so sad that they robbed us YES ROBBED US LIKE VILE THIEVES IN THE NIGHT of the scene in which arya slices and dices a lil waif salad.
posted by poffin boffin at 8:31 PM on June 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


Slaver ships have adopted the same cloaking technology that the Khalasar uses on their outrider troops. The Seven help the North if Ramsay's Goodmen ever get ahold of it.
posted by codacorolla at 8:31 PM on June 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


i wonder what other nearby giant navy will show up to save the day in a totally unpredictable and surprising way!


She has a fucking dragon. Which she flew in on. WTF.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:34 PM on June 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


NO YOU FUCKING DUMBASS DONT EVEN KNOW YOUR SOURCE MATERIAL I SWEAR I AM COMIC BOOK GUY AND WILL STAB YOU

I think they got confused with "how many Valyrian Steel weapons we know of" and "how many exist". They'd be right that we only know of ten or so Valyrian steel weapons, but there's one or two hundred total in Westeros I believe.
posted by Justinian at 8:34 PM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


Slaver ships have adopted the same cloaking technology that the Khalasar uses on their outrider troops. The Seven help the North if Ramsay's Goodmen ever get ahold of it.

Or Littlefinger's teleporter.
posted by leotrotsky at 8:34 PM on June 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


I can't wait for a weird CGI battle of bathtub toy ships in Meereen's incredibly fake looking bay.

Y'know, I knew I saw that scene before, when I was playing Civ V and conquering the Egyptians. Seriously, did the CGI budget run short? That was like the PS3 version of of a naval siege.
posted by dis_integration at 8:35 PM on June 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


Yeah, I don't see the Siege of Mereen being an actual thing. Oh, God, I really hope it isn't. That's one change they've made that's miles beyond the books, and if they go through with the plotline, then it will be terrible. I'd imagine that Daeny's flying cavalry division is going to roast the Slaver navy and we're going to see her setting sail westward. If not this season, then very soon in the next. Regardless, Yara's Ironborn have like three ships (from the establishing shots we got last episode in Pentos or wherever), and even with the loose way they play with time, Euron hasn't built his fleet in 2 weeks or however long it's been.
posted by codacorolla at 8:37 PM on June 12, 2016


Jamie will become the valonqar when he is forced to do the same to Cersei.

That's always been a given, right? The question was to the how. Replaying the wildfire motivation makes the most sense poetically, especially given his scene tonight. ALL he cares about is Cersei.
posted by leotrotsky at 8:38 PM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


Ugh even without any of our clever "it's a ruse!" etc theories, the whole two-day Arya/Waif-stab-and-chase sequence would have been so much more believable if the showrunners would have resisted the urge to go flashy on shock value with her stabbing. She could have been slashed or lightly wounded and exaggerated her weakness to draw the Waif in, or ... anything that gave us the idea that there was an iota of strategy here. But instead they go in for close ups of like five deep wounds plus an internal-damage twist. Jesus people she's been GUT STABBED. She shouldn't be drinking broth, much less skipping madly about Braavos or besting the Waif with a weapon she hasn't practiced with in ages.
posted by alleycat01 at 8:39 PM on June 12, 2016 [35 favorites]


i wonder what other nearby giant navy will show up to save the day in a totally unpredictable and surprising way!

how will we ever guess!

it is a mystery!


I have been continually depressed by how few surprises there have been this season. I mean, we're past the books now, theoretically there should be more things that throw me a loop? But I can't think of any development this season in which I was genuinely shocked.
posted by AdamCSnider at 8:40 PM on June 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


How much do you want to bet that the Masters' fleet conveniently numbers 1000, the same number that is needed to transport the khalasar to Westeros?
posted by culfinglin at 8:47 PM on June 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


(Sorry I guess this makes me a hater but it just kills me how so much of what has bothered me lately is stuff that could have been taken care of by just sliiiiightly smarter, more careful writing. I want to believe, GOT! I'm primed to get hype! I can theorize to the moon and back to cover lapses in continuity if you just don't kick the tree stump out from under me!)
posted by alleycat01 at 8:47 PM on June 12, 2016 [11 favorites]


Maybe this is meta-commentary that not only do the machinations of the characters in the show have no meaning and ultimately come to nothing, so too do the audience's speculations and expectations.
posted by Sangermaine at 8:51 PM on June 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


The Arya-Waif plot was just ridiculously terrible from start to finish. The Terminator stuff from tonight especially. The Faceless Men should be asking themselves some hard questions about how things got to this point.
posted by gerryblog at 9:10 PM on June 12, 2016 [16 favorites]


a man probably has some regrets
posted by poffin boffin at 9:11 PM on June 12, 2016 [65 favorites]


A man is not feeling the hate for this episode right now. A man is happy that Jaime in the Riverlands got some version of done, and that the Blackfish's "death" was so ambiguous as to probably mean, "leading the Tully Army to Winterfell."
posted by Navelgazer at 9:14 PM on June 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


Seriously, did the CGI budget run short? That was like the PS3 version of of a naval siege.

i hope they're blowing the entire season's budget on a hilarribly ridiculous dragonriding battle scene in the finale
posted by poffin boffin at 9:17 PM on June 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


That's another thing that made no sense. Brienne offered to try and talk the Blackfish into surrendering Riverrun to the Crown so he can march the Tully army to Winterfell to help Sansa.

But Winterfell is currently occupied by the Boltons who were granted it and control of the North by the Crown, and Sansa is wanted for the murder of King Joffrey. Jaime is supposed to allow the Blackfish to escape punishment for rebelling against the Crown by letting him lead an army to help a rebellion in another area in service of the previous king's killer?

Yet he took the deal.
posted by Sangermaine at 9:18 PM on June 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


Maybe Blackfish is the MacGuyver of Westeros and can escape from a cell using only bellybutton lint, a stray armor scale, and his boot.
posted by culfinglin at 9:21 PM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


Wait you guys, can someone remind me what Cersei is actually on trial for (like what are the charges precisely)? And also do we have clarity on what exactly will happen to her as punishment if she loses?
posted by alleycat01 at 9:23 PM on June 12, 2016


Jaqen H'Ghar is like that 'cool dad' who's actually just excessively permissive
posted by clockzero at 9:26 PM on June 12, 2016 [24 favorites]


Yet he took the deal.

Because in the deal he gets the castle and gets to go back to Cersei.
posted by LionIndex at 9:30 PM on June 12, 2016 [5 favorites]


I believe Cersei is on trial for many things INCLUDING having sex with Lancel as she was married at the time and also that she played a part in Robert's murder by having him drink so much while hunting.

If she is convicted of having played a part in the death of Robert Baratheon...I'm pretty confident execution is the most likely sentence. Tommen may want to show leniency, but I doubt the HS would be ok with that and Margaery certainly has no reason to intervene. Honestly considering what Olenna said to Cersei last episode the safest thing probably IS to have her executed. She is, after all, the one responsible for the HS because of her petty short sightedness.
posted by miss-lapin at 9:31 PM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]



Yet he took the deal.

Because in the deal he gets the castle and gets to go back to Cersei.


And he also keeps his oath to Catelyn not to raise arms against Stark or Tully. Or is that just in the books?
posted by Navelgazer at 9:55 PM on June 12, 2016 [5 favorites]


-Jaime lost his last chance to be a "decent person" as Brienne rowed away.

-A girl is Arya Stark of Winterfell, and I am going home.

-Lady Stoneheart is happening to Brienne as the season finale cliffhanger.

-I thought the scene with Tyrion drinking was a really good mirror for the other one a few episodes back where he got nowhere with them.

-I WANT TO KNOW WHAT VARYS IS DOING.
posted by Night_owl at 9:56 PM on June 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


MVP / dumbest dude award: the guy yielding the castle to Edmure for no fucking reason other than honor or whatever.

The line delivery of the guy who tells Jamie that the Blackfish died fighting was basically on par with a community theater production where no one cares anymore and everyone is mad at each other.
posted by permiechickie at 10:09 PM on June 12, 2016 [25 favorites]


Lady Stoneheart is happening to Brienne as the season finale cliffhanger.

no no no no i do not want this

The Hound + the Brotherhood was pretty great though, I liked the easy camaraderie and looks of disbelief when the Hound just went straight to stealing that dude's boots.

I didn't actually understand why Edmure turned -- was it because he saw that Jaime was never going to stop and he wanted to get out of his prison cell?
posted by Ragini at 10:14 PM on June 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


So I really liked parts of this, but we all tuned in to have something satisfying/coherent happen to Arya. Her claiming her true identity back is cool, and kind of the only resolution that was ever going to make sense, but how they got there just didn't make any sense. We all went on and on for thousands of words to try to make sense out of where they ended up last episode and we couldn't, because no one was daring enough to suggest that Arya escapes by magically not being that hurt by multiple gut stabbings and knife twisting.

And if this is the resolution of the Faceless Men plot, WTF? They are just not very effective assassins. And they never made any sense.

Still, any episode with some Jaime/Brienne action is gonna be easy to swallow. Plus, little bit of Bronn goes a long way.
posted by skewed at 10:14 PM on June 12, 2016 [7 favorites]


Upon reread, I used the word "sense" like 38 times in a short post. If I ever rewatch this episode I'll end up institutionalized in a rocking chair muttering "it didn't make any sense".
posted by skewed at 10:26 PM on June 12, 2016 [8 favorites]


I guess the best thing for all of us is to forget that Arya's Bravos storyline ever happened and try to move on with our lives. I think I've accepted this disappointment into my life.
posted by permiechickie at 10:26 PM on June 12, 2016 [11 favorites]


And if this is the resolution of the Faceless Men plot, WTF? They are just not very effective assassins. And they never made any sense

The Faceless God is training her through its acolytes, to get her ready to fight the wights. Jaquen was set up early to help her out.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 10:32 PM on June 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


In Ye Olde Gritty Medieval Tymes getting stabbed like six times in the abdomen is not something you can patch up with a few bandages and a tylenol. Like, I have a high tolerance for plot armor, but come on.
posted by Pyry at 10:38 PM on June 12, 2016 [24 favorites]


I don't know if LSH would make much sense at this point. Brienne in the books hadn't really met her vows when she and Pod were set to hang, but at this point in the show she raising an army for Sansa. The Blackfish challenging her on where her sword came from seems to be taken from that plot, though he at least listens to her.
posted by Alison at 10:44 PM on June 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


A man is happy that Jaime in the Riverlands got some version of done, and that the Blackfish's "death" was so ambiguous as to probably mean, "leading the Tully Army to Winterfell."

I'm holding out hope for this. Blackfish is too damn good a character to just off in that way. And there's absolutely no reason whatsoever to not follow the books and let him escape. If nothing else, he can wander up and hang out with Sansa's army, swapping entertaining quips with The Little Lady Mormont.

But Winterfell is currently occupied by the Boltons who were granted it and control of the North by the Crown, and Sansa is wanted for the murder of King Joffrey.

I don't know if Jaime knows this, but if you remember Littlefinger was given orders by Cersei to remove the Boltons with extreme prejudice after he informed her that Ramsay had married Sansa and was therefore (presumably) planning to go independent. If Cersei filled Jaime in, the fact that Sansa and Ramsay are now about to tear into each other would be greeted by him with a big ol' shrug by the Kingslayer. Let the northerners bleed each other white, after all.
posted by AdamCSnider at 10:51 PM on June 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


You know what? I liked the Waif, and watching her do her It Follows schtick was the main redeeming thing about this purposely disappointing episode
posted by prize bull octorok at 10:58 PM on June 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


I liked the Waif

CHOOSE YOUR WEAPON SIR
posted by culfinglin at 11:05 PM on June 12, 2016 [10 favorites]


I disliked the Waif but man Acolyte Colosseum went on wwwwaaaaayyyyyy too long either way.
posted by miss-lapin at 11:09 PM on June 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


I thought the show was going to turn the BWB into the Bloody Mummers, and I'm happy to be wrong. I'm happy to have Thoros and Beric back (that pretty much rules out Stoneheart, but I think that's for the best this late in the series) and with the Hound, no less.

It doesn't look like we're getting Cleganebowl, but honestly I'm not sure how they'd fit it in at this juncture anyway. Maneuvering the Hound from where he is now to fighting for the High Sparrow in KL would require some ridiculous writing acrobatics.

If they're all headed North, they'll probably meet Brienne and Pod on the way, which could get awkward. I suppose there's even a slim chance we'll get the Broken Man speech after all, from Beric or Thoros, but that ship has probably sailed. And hey, maybe Nymeria will join them!
posted by homunculus at 11:10 PM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


Maneuvering the Hound from where he is now to fighting for the High Sparrow in KL would require some ridiculous writing acrobatics.

And what we're currently getting is the writing equivalent of "MOM WATCH ME DO A CARTWHEEL!" [falls over, rolls on side]
posted by prize bull octorok at 11:27 PM on June 12, 2016 [8 favorites]


I don't know if LSH would make much sense at this point.

LSH made no sense in the books either. I have no idea why anyone would want her to make an appearance on the show.

This was the worst, THE WORST episode ever. There is no, NO explanation for why the waif had it in for Arya in the first place. No explanation for why the sympathetic actor had to die (I guess the many-faced god is nothing more than a mercenary, okay then--awesome, they gave Arya some crazy skillz? yay for that whole plot line). So Arya walks off with no explanation for why Jaqen was okay with the waif-v-Arya storyline.

Jaime's arc is just a complete wreck and that bit with his waving goodbye to Brienne, oh my god. So awful. And why did Edmure give up his home? All of that was based on Jaime's love-talk about Cersei? This is completely daytime soap opera stuff; the show just isn't even bothering to give us a reason that Edmure would give in to Jaime of all people.

And Tyrion with Missandei and Grey Worm and my god what a waste of talent. I do not care if they get a westerosi joke or not; does anyone? Is there nothing better the writers could have come up with while waiting for Danaerys to walk back through the door? It was so bad it was almost like a meta joke about keeping actors employed while waiting for the action to pick up again.
posted by torticat at 11:27 PM on June 12, 2016 [22 favorites]


A man is happy that Jaime in the Riverlands got some version of done, and that the Blackfish's "death" was so ambiguous as to probably mean, "leading the Tully Army to Winterfell."

I really enjoyed Jaime in this episode, for the first time in a long time. His dialogue with Brienne and Edmure was great, and the whole Riverrun arc felt like something from the early seasons. I wish the whole thing had lasted longer.

The only thing I didn't like was the Blackfish's underwhelming end, but that's assuming he really is dead.

I'm holding out hope for this. Blackfish is too damn good a character to just off in that way. And there's absolutely no reason whatsoever to not follow the books and let him escape. If nothing else, he can wander up and hang out with Sansa's army, swapping entertaining quips with The Little Lady Mormont.

I hope he survived and returns, but the writers probably consider his character redundant: the position of wise grizzled veteran of the world is already occupied by Davos. Considering how little time is left for the rest of the series, I'll be surprised if we see him again.
posted by homunculus at 11:31 PM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


And why did Edmure give up his home? All of that was based on Jaime's love-talk about Cersei?

Jaime did threaten to murder his child.
posted by snuffleupagus at 11:31 PM on June 12, 2016 [10 favorites]


I see a lot of talk about how awesome the Blackfish is, did I miss something, or is this just drawing completely off of the books? He's had like 3 scenes and he's been fine, but I don't see why we'd really care much whether he is alive or dead on the show.
posted by skewed at 11:39 PM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


I liked the Waif

CHOOSE YOUR WEAPON SIR


Careful, he can shoot boulders out of his snout !
posted by clockzero at 11:39 PM on June 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


Edmure did not even know his own wife, or his child. I mean yes, Jaime's threat is kind of dramatic, but it's not earned by the show in any way. There obviously is, or could be, a whole story there, but they didn't tell it. And the alternative for Edmure is seeing his own people killed at Riverrun. Which apparently happened to the Blackfish.

It's just dumb, sloppy, shorthand storytelling.
posted by torticat at 11:39 PM on June 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


Hopefully Arya rides the magic teleporter back to Winterfell, so that she can kill Ramsay offscreen and present his head to Sansa when she finally shows up with her army.
posted by Pryde at 11:42 PM on June 12, 2016 [2 favorites]




The best parts of this season have been Bran episodes, that really says it all doesn't it
posted by prize bull octorok at 11:44 PM on June 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


Jaime did threaten to murder his child.

He's just awful at killing children, though, just rubbish. That Bran kid is doing better than ever! He just graduated college!
posted by clockzero at 11:44 PM on June 12, 2016 [9 favorites]


My impression is Edmure gave up because he's a beaten dog. He's essentially where Theon was and where Loras IS.

Oh and a side note, I am DYING to see how Margaery reacted to having trial by combat removed as a possibility for Loras. Everyone was so concerned with Cersei, but I wonder how this impacts Margaery's mystery plan to save Loras.
posted by miss-lapin at 11:46 PM on June 12, 2016 [5 favorites]


As many-threaded as GRRM's plotlines are in the novels, these devices served to help D & D be mindful adapters of the source material and build a solid backbone of story. Left with little to go on other than some hodoring, we now see that D & D are not up to crafting compelling plots or narratives - sadly. Note the cliches on display: Arya runs and tumbles for her life from the T-1000 Waif despite serious penetrating injuries to the abdomen two days prior? Cliche: wounded hero we fear for is not that wounded and fights anew and with vigor! The Blackfish checks out off-screen with some heroic nonsense about a swordfight long overdue and this is my home. Please - get the hell out of Riverrun and do some fighting that matters. And why did Edmure just hand Jaime the key's to the drawbridge? For a son he doesn't know or might not exist? Really. And lastly, boom - Dany shows up on the balcony as Mereen is bombarded by CGI battleships like "what did you guys screw up while I was gone?" As already pointed out - Deus ex Daenerys. Hope the final two episodes are redemptive. Some positives this week: the Hound being the hound, Jaime and Brienne, and the previews for episode nine - where Jon Snow continues to sport that ridiculous anachronistic man bun.

Also, no Lady Stoneheart, folks - unless Thoros of Myr has some extra resurrection juice tucked away in his man bun. This because Beric Dondarrion lives.

And that whomp and wailing sound from Kings Landing is the wild fire going up from beneath the Sept of Baelor - with King Tommen mewling inside. Hope Ser Pounce stayed home.
posted by rfepilgrimage at 12:14 AM on June 13, 2016 [5 favorites]


Man, you people are tough on this show. A couple of points:

1) The actress lady had to die since she was already promised to the Many Faced God.

1.5) The Waif had it in for Arya since she (correctly) thought that Arya was a poseur who didn't appreciate the Many Faced God on as deep of level as the Waif did. Jaqen did not kill her since he's always had a soft spot for her & maybe some secondary plan for her. Ok, that last bit is kind of weak, but eh.

2) Edumure Tully surrendered the castle because he was A) always kind of weak willed B) been kept a prisoner for years C) wanted himself, his family, and his remaining people to survive.

3) The navy showing up out of the blue is not unrealistic. How exactly do you spot an incoming fleet when it is more than ~20 minutes out? You can't. The sea is enormous. Even if you had guard ships that spotted the fleet, your spotting ships move at the same speed as the invasion fleet, so they can't give you any real warning. Even as late as WWI, when the British had planes, and radios, and had cracked the German codes, the German navy was still able to show up on the British coast line, bombard a town for hours, and then escape back home.


And in favor of this episode, you have
A) multiple awesome call backs
B) some brutal fights. Not quite CleaganeBowl, but it is a start.
C) Drama! Wonderful character duets.
D) actual plot progress. Arya is, at long last, coming back to the main plot line.
E) Since the Waif had her face returned to the temple, that means she can always return to the show via someone else wearing her face! Yay!
posted by Balna Watya at 12:22 AM on June 13, 2016 [23 favorites]


and that the Blackfish's "death" was so ambiguous as to probably mean, "leading the Tully Army to Winterfell."

After rewatching it, it doesn't seem so ambiguous. It was a Lannister soldier who told Jaime that Blackfish was dead, and they should all know what he looks like after watching him stroll along the castle wall a bunch of times.
posted by homunculus at 12:45 AM on June 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


I've been on the phone with Ticket Maester for an hour trying to get my Cleganebowl money back.
posted by vbfg at 12:54 AM on June 13, 2016 [40 favorites]


How exactly do you spot an incoming fleet when it is more than ~20 minutes out? You can't. The sea is enormous. Even if you had guard ships that spotted the fleet, your spotting ships move at the same speed as the invasion fleet, so they can't give you any real warning.

...and the Harpies burned all of Mereen's ships a little while ago.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 12:57 AM on June 13, 2016 [3 favorites]


I guess with the Riverrun arc finished, the show has finally caught up with the books. That's assuming that Sam isn't going to Oldtown, which would be impractical as long as he's got his father's stolen Valyrian steel sword (and so few episodes left.) I assume he's heading back North with it. A big sword like that will need a big tough fucker to wield it, though.

Now that Oathkeeper officially belongs to Brienne, maybe she can tell Jon and Sansa the truth about how it was forged.

I have a mental image of Brienne, Jon and Sandor armed with Oathkeeper, Longclaw and Heartsbane, respectively, fighting the White Walkers in a nasty and epic battle.

And maybe Arya will stumble across Dark Sister somewhere, unless Bloodraven gave it to Benjen.
posted by homunculus at 1:18 AM on June 13, 2016 [3 favorites]


WTH Bourne Identity/Assassin's Creed Arya/Waif? That was ... entirely unsatisfying.

Viking's had a BS opium subplot, here's hoping Arya doesn't have a upcoming Trainspotting moment.
posted by porpoise at 2:42 AM on June 13, 2016


Oh and a side note, I am DYING to see how Margaery reacted to having trial by combat removed as a possibility for Loras. Everyone was so concerned with Cersei, but I wonder how this impacts Margaery's mystery plan to save Loras.

Well Loras is a fairly skilled knight, right? So I guess he could have fought for himself? That seems too simple to have been her plan though really.
posted by atoxyl at 2:43 AM on June 13, 2016


I feel like Jon is going to mostly lose bastard bowl. My guess is the soldiers from the Vale will show up, but not be enough because Ramsey has apparently been studying tactics. One thing that would be a cool twist would be if the army that comes and turns the tide is the Lannister army.

Technically they'd have to at the very least arrest Sansa afterwards, but it would be a huge shock (and they have reason to subdue Ramsay for marrying Sansa).
posted by drezdn at 3:09 AM on June 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


Barring a few good moments I'm with those of you who didn't like that one. And I've really liked the last couple of episodes.

Arya - ridiculous as so many have said.

Meereen: basically a repeat of Varys and Tyrion wander around town trying to be inconspicuous followed by Tyrion, Grey Worm and Missendei interact awkwardly. [Varys: "I'll just walk the last few metres on my own so no-one recognises me in your company". Tyrion (shouting as he walks off): "hey it's me! The most the famous dwarf in the world" ].

When Clegane caught up with the BWB I was expecting LSH, but not now - I figure she'd have appeared at the end of this episode. And it was an unexpected twist not to get Cleganebowl. Just not a very welcome one.

Jaime's bits were good, and I'm still enjoying the KL story. Interesting to see how that will pan out - was expecting the Mountain to win the trial by combat easily; no idea what will happen now.
posted by Pink Frost at 4:09 AM on June 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


Most of all, I feel bad for that guy that made all those Cleganebowl foam fingers.
posted by bluecore at 4:47 AM on June 13, 2016 [26 favorites]


At this point, I would like The Hound, Bronn, and The Queen of Thorns to go on a road trip together.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:54 AM on June 13, 2016 [14 favorites]


OMG WORST WRITING EVARRR

This season has been much disappoint, written by doge, clever dialog gone.
posted by srboisvert at 5:22 AM on June 13, 2016


I really liked this episode. The waif was/is/continued to be dumb. But I loved Bronn and Pod, I loved Jamie and Brienne, I even liked the Blackfish reminding us more or less of Ned and the other old guard old men who cannot be mentally flexible. I liked the hound and the brotherhood re-uniting. I liked Jamie finally doing something smart. I enjoyed Cersei once again overplaying her hand and resorting to violence too early. Her old 'Power is Power' misplay.

I was very nervous during the Tyrion drinking game, wondering if they were all about to be poisoned.

But most of all I like that Ayra is not in the Faceless men plot anymore, it was terrible in the books and I think if the show had a better idea earlier that GRRM wasn't going to keep up pace on writing (I mean they should have guessed that) they could have gotten her out of there earlier. As the "stab in the belly" episode was a Brian Cogman written episode, I didn't expect the waif/arya to be different people or there to be an elaborate ruse, just stabbing, finding the actors and then more stabbing. Fine, Fine. Whatever. I just want Arya back and I'm so glad she's free of that place. It's like watching a tween go through a particularly embarrassing phase, you know it will end and are just so grateful when it does.
posted by French Fry at 6:06 AM on June 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


I think my issue with this season as a whole is, every plot gets one episode of forward momentum, preceded and followed by a bunch of quite literal sitting around doing nothing. They used to do a better job with balancing that.

Like, in Mereen- we should have seen slowly mounting panic as the situation spiraled more and more out of control. Instead: situation is bad. Let's make a deal to fix it. It's fixed! Now let's bullshit around for a few weeks waiting for this situation to reverse itself.
posted by showbiz_liz at 6:13 AM on June 13, 2016 [8 favorites]


-Lady Stoneheart is happening to Brienne as the season finale cliffhanger.

Bronn to Podrick: I thought you'd be dead by now.
Podrick: Not yet!

They are trolling us, and yet, I still enjoyed that moment.
posted by zerbinetta at 6:14 AM on June 13, 2016 [8 favorites]


Hey, shouldn't Pod's fighting stance be more credible by now? Maybe he's never gonna be amazing but he's been with Brienne long enough to not look like a total dweeb. Maybe Bronn just gets to him?
posted by showbiz_liz at 6:18 AM on June 13, 2016


Also am I the only one who finds the idea of an entire episode dedicated to the Battle of Winterfell terrifically boring?

I don't need another full episode of Ramsay looking gross and saying gross things and fights looking dire and something/someone unexpected showing up to save the day but at a cost etc etc
posted by French Fry at 6:19 AM on June 13, 2016 [12 favorites]


Ask Metafilter has taught me that what Jamie and Brienne feel is just limerence and if they were ever to consummate it their feelings would go away.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 6:20 AM on June 13, 2016 [30 favorites]


2) Edumure Tully surrendered the castle because he was A) always kind of weak willed B) been kept a prisoner for years C) wanted himself, his family, and his remaining people to survive.

Dude was stabbed in the dick on Outlander and died on a riverbank in Rome. He's allowed to be conflict-adverse.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:23 AM on June 13, 2016 [23 favorites]


I don't need another full episode of Ramsay looking gross and saying gross things and fights looking dire and something/someone unexpected showing up to save the day but at a cost etc etc

I am considerably underwhelmed about what should be a huge climatic moment. It represents possible final justice for the beloved and much wronged Starks, yet it's eh. The show will just pull some shit out of its ass to fit whatever conclusion it wants, so why be invested in it? Especially since the episode seems to have sucked up the budget for the season, resulting in a bunch of off screen deaths this season.

Though I am looking forward to Wun Wun rampaging around. But more of Ramsay is too much Ramsay. HOpefully the battle only takes about 20 minutes so we maaaaaaaaaaaaybe we can see what the hell was so interesting that damn tower from five episodes ago. Yeah, yeah, we know what's probably in it, but christ, try to move all the plots along, mmm'kay?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:27 AM on June 13, 2016 [4 favorites]


Maybe Ser Pounce can talk some sense into Tommen.
KittehBowl: GET MEOW.
posted by Dr. Zira at 6:34 AM on June 13, 2016 [5 favorites]


So since we've now passed the books, none of us book readers have the benefit any longer of the characters' internal dialogues and exposition flowing along underneath the show story to flesh out what has pretty much always been the glossing over, in very broad strokes, of the main plot beats. The strength of this series has always been that we have this rich, byzantine backstory to draw context from. That is now done.

The Waif is obviously (because it was extensively shown) a cruel, jealous psychopath, who has apparently been in training for years. She's been kept at it and mentored because she is goddamned brilliant at the physical and practical aspects of assassination, and they just can't bear to let such a talented tool go to waste merely for lack of soft skills. She is given this last chance mainly out of hope that she can learn the empathy and compassion to give the gift appropriately and graduate to full mastery. I get the sense that having her mentor Arya was her last chance, and maybe, in the tradition of well-meaning but ultimately clueless HR departments everywhere, it was thought that she could form a bond with someone closer to her own age.

Arya is taken in as a project for more ambiguous political purposes (something Varys and Syrio set up years ago, perhaps?) and the fact that she is not held hard and fast to the same rules as the Waif leads to further envy and resentment, and that would be true especially for someone with a closed mindset and tendency to rules lawyer. Arya is constantly beaten by the Waif not because she sucks (although she certainly does at first, but shows progress) as much as the Waif has had years to hone those skills, is proud of them, and enjoys doling them out in payment for Arya's transgressions. What Arya does have, and has consistently been shown, is a talent for mimicry, cleverness, trickery, improvisation and empathy. She knows people. Totally agree that this was clumsily handled, poorly written and overly dragged out in the show, but they also had to do the scriptwriting equivalent of a holding pattern with her plot and character arc (as well as the Meereen crew) whilst moving a bunch of other side plots into place, something the books don't have to do.

So also, do we really know how badly she was stabbed? She knew from plenty of experience how the Waif would operate and that she would very likely go for a lingering cruel wound. Arya's major talent is that she knows people and how to manipulate them. It wouldn't be that hard to steal, say, something from a butcher stall and have it bound around her torso under her tunic, then overact the rest of the injury and weakness to lure the Waif in. Yes, it was overdone. Yes it took up two entire episodes and it's a shame that Lady Crane was collateral damage, but her number was already up, and for all her cleverness, Arya does have a tendency to be blind to how her actions affect others. Perhaps that was her final "lesson" from the Waif?

Anyhow, that's not to give a pass on the clunky writing, but yeah the stuff that is done well is great. I could go for an entire road trip series of Tyrion, Varys, Bronn, the Hound, Yara, Pod and Brienne doing not much more than fulfilling quests, visiting taverns and brothels, stealing boots, arguing about chickens, and trading quips and insults.
posted by lonefrontranger at 6:54 AM on June 13, 2016 [20 favorites]


Ask Metafilter has taught me that what Jamie and Brienne feel is just limerence and if they were ever to consummate it their feelings would go away.

I do not understand the Brienne and Jaime ship. At all. I don't sense any sexual tension between them, and they would be the unhappiest couple ever. He's very icky and kind of smarmy, and she takes herself soooo seriously. If either of them would post "Should I go on a date with this kinda-sorta friend of mine?" on AskMe, jbenben would be there in a heartbeat to tell them to RUN, DON'T WALK!!!
posted by sively at 7:06 AM on June 13, 2016 [12 favorites]


eh the Brienne and Jaime thing was alluded to heavily in the books. She is the idealized version of Jaime that he never managed to pull off. He worships her integrity, if nothing else.
posted by lonefrontranger at 7:12 AM on June 13, 2016 [5 favorites]



So also, do we really know how badly she was stabbed? She knew from plenty of experience how the Waif would operate and that she would very likely go for a lingering cruel wound


You're ascribing much more depth to the moronic screenwriters than they deserve. If they actually did this, SHOW DON'T TELL. Also, why just the gut? Why does a girl not have blood sausage all over her body?
posted by lalochezia at 7:12 AM on June 13, 2016 [4 favorites]


poffin boffin: i wonder what other nearby giant navy will show up to save the day in a totally unpredictable and surprising way!

Brandon Blatcher: She has a fucking dragon. Which she flew in on. WTF.

My current guess at next episode is that the bath tub boat battle will not happen, because Dany just razed the lot of 'em on her way to the pyramid. Then everyone is on the Dany is the Chosen One by the Red God train.


skewed: If I ever rewatch this episode I'll end up institutionalized in a rocking chair muttering "it didn't make any sense".

I suggest you adopt the casual dismissal of my father-in-law. Why was anything done in any TV show or movie? "It was in the script." Why worry about logic, plot holes, or what could have been? So it was written, and so shall it be acted.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:18 AM on June 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


much like French Fry, I didn't have any patience for the Faceless Men thing in the books, either so tbh I just now wrote my own fifteen second fanfic to explain away the plot holes. I have a long history of watching and unironically enjoying truly terribad fantasy fiction (Divergent anyone?) so rather than just sit here being mad at the screenwriters for getting it wrong, I tend to do my own headcanon editing on the fly. So glad that whole Braavos storyline is done with.
posted by lonefrontranger at 7:19 AM on June 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


I did enjoy the modified play scene in this episode. Lady Crane got to add Arya's suggested vow of vengeance for Cersei even after Withnail telling her she couldn't.
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 7:48 AM on June 13, 2016 [13 favorites]


Good catch! (and completely unrelated, nice handle :)
posted by filthy light thief at 7:55 AM on June 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


To be fair, Arya is not the first person to survive seemingly fatal gut wounds and defeat their enemy.

I mock, because I despair.
posted by sively at 8:02 AM on June 13, 2016


MVP / dumbest dude award: the guy yielding the castle to Edmure for no fucking reason other than honor or whatever.

See, to me it played like the Tully forces were not really interested in sitting out the siege or fighting, so they were totally fine with (1) obeying their lord's lawful order and (2) surrendering and going home, it's a win-win situation and it gets them out from under the Blackfish, whom they know and respect, but whose cause they're pretty sure is lost.

But then when Edmure tells them to open the gates, the Tully captain-guy looked all dumbfounded, and then I was confused again.
posted by Rat Spatula at 8:19 AM on June 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


eh, about Edmure, I'm good with this analysis of things (reddit link)
posted by lonefrontranger at 8:26 AM on June 13, 2016 [10 favorites]


1. I want to find out what happened when Tyrion brought the jackass and honeycomb into the brothel, as he's now mentioned it in two episodes and never gets to complete the story (first time during his confession scene in S1).

But:
2. I think we are meant to take that the "rumor" Qyburn was talking about was the location of Tyrion and that he is now in service of Dany. First, Tyrion foreshadowed this when he made a point of mentioning he was the most famous dwarf in the world. Then, they cut immediately to Tyrion after Qyburn's dialog.

Maybe a red herring, but it seems like they are intentionally trying to foreshadow a Tyrion demise or assassination attempt.
posted by tempestuoso at 8:27 AM on June 13, 2016 [7 favorites]


Also, Tyrion started talking about what he hopes to do in the distant future (i.e. the vineyard). That never works out well for people (which actually makes me think it's a red herring).
posted by tempestuoso at 8:28 AM on June 13, 2016 [4 favorites]


MVP / dumbest dude award: the guy yielding the castle to Edmure for no fucking reason other than honor or whatever.

Yeah, not a pinnacle of story-telling in those moments. Maybe they thought Edmure had talked his way out of being prisoner? (Seriously, Wall Dude, he was the Frey's prisoner for how long? And you think Jaime would just let him go back home, during a siege? Ugh.)


tempestuoso: I want to find out what happened when Tyrion brought the jackass and honeycomb into the brothel, as he's now mentioned it in two episodes and never gets to complete the story

I was going to suggest it's a nonsense joke/riddle like "How is a raven like a writing desk?" but it seems there is a solution from Carrol himself.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:29 AM on June 13, 2016


I'm surprised to find no love for the joke scene here. While previous versions of the scene in other episodes didn't do much for me, I loved that these self serious characters got a chance to breathe and relax and laugh for a few minutes. It's a dark show, and adding a bit of levity can be so refreshing. I don't see it as a waste of time but as a nice inconsequential moment that few shows have time for.
posted by yellowbinder at 8:44 AM on June 13, 2016 [7 favorites]


YES I thought it was super cute, Missandei is A NERD WHO TELLS NERD JOKES ABOUT HER NERDY PROFESSION. yes, she was a slave, yes, that's not a profession, i'm talking about her translation skills and the fact that this dumb little joke means that she has, over the years, had contact with enough other translators in a professional capacity that she's heard/shared silly in-jokes about her job and remembers them and maybe snickers to herself about them when no one's paying attention. there is a lot of background information/backstory to be inferred from this one dumb joke and i like what, to my mind, is being told.
posted by poffin boffin at 9:17 AM on June 13, 2016 [45 favorites]


Thank you! In an admittedly weak week, my Performer of the Week™ Award goes to Nathalie Emmanuel for giving her character such amazing amounts of depth with that one little joke. That was maybe the highlight of the night for me.
posted by Navelgazer at 9:20 AM on June 13, 2016 [4 favorites]


I know there's not much show left to cover all the stuff we need to get through but I would have been down for a bottle episode that's just Missandei, Grey Worm, and Tyrion making awkward conversation
posted by prize bull octorok at 9:34 AM on June 13, 2016 [8 favorites]


I think the odd little wine and jokes scene was well (enough) done by everyone. Tyrion is trying to raise the spirits of his colleagues in their time of uncertainty, if not outright fear for the future, and Grey Worm's reply to Missandei was great!

Grey Worm: That is the worst joke I ever heard.
Missandei: You don't even know what a joke is.
Grey Worm: I am soldier all my life. You think I never hear joke?
Missandei: You lied to us.
Grey Worm: I make joke.
Missandei: (laughing) More jokes.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:43 AM on June 13, 2016 [13 favorites]


Missandei's joke was great. I hope all this war and conflict stuff blows over so the series can focus on Missandei writing plays that Arya directs and sometimes acts in.
posted by clockzero at 9:48 AM on June 13, 2016 [4 favorites]


skewed: And if this is the resolution of the Faceless Men plot, WTF? They are just not very effective assassins. And they never made any sense.

I've been thinking about this, the thought that an assassin running through the crowd being a flaw in the Waif's actions as a Faceless Person, and Arya's ease to walk into their building.

The Faceless Men are known throughout Braavos, to the point that everyone knows their coin and their phrase (and the reply). Everyone knows where the House of Black and White is, and that you can go in for final mercy (or whatever they call it). The door isn't guarded, with sentries who ask to your purpose for entering. It is treated in some respect as a place of worship, moreso in the books, but still respected in the show (so it seems).

It is only abroad that the Faceless Men are truly feared, but I pose this is because if a Faceless Man seeks you out beyond Braavos, the price must be steep, and the skill of the assassin truly impressive. In comparison, a jealous actress can pay to have her rival poisoned in Braavos, and they send an acolyte as a test. The Faceless Men wouldn't do that for some more expensive mark in another country, because it would take a long time (and money) to fix the mistake if the acolyte fails at their task.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:52 AM on June 13, 2016 [3 favorites]


What I dislike about the Tyrion-Missandei-Grey Worm scene, and the similar one a few episodes ago, is that they appear to be just sitting around. Danaerys Stormborn's small council apparently has nothing to do but sit quietly in an ornate but still room, the silence broken only by the ticking of a clock and Tyrion's feeble attempts at joviality. Are there no situation maps to peruse? No cargo manifests to examine, no grain stores to double-check? No repairs to fortifications to oversee, no fleet to rebuild? No common justice to serve, no policies to enact? The city appears to be bustling – we saw that when Tyrion accompanied Varys to the harbor – but I can't see any evidence that these three had anything to do with it. Here's hoping Dany replaces her Do-Nothing small council with a group of competents who can put her vision into action.
posted by The Nutmeg of Consolation at 10:01 AM on June 13, 2016 [16 favorites]


Perhaps the Faceless men have fallen on hard times? They wouldn't be the first ancient order a Stark child has gone to after meeting one very badass member of only to find out that the rest of the organization is a shell of it's former glory, do their Stark best to serve, Only to come up against an unpopular moral choice and then to eventually walk away from said order after a rival stabs them a bunch of times.........
posted by French Fry at 10:06 AM on June 13, 2016 [18 favorites]


First rule of job interviews with a Westerosi organization: don't tell them you're a Stark. Legally, they can't ask
posted by prize bull octorok at 10:24 AM on June 13, 2016 [28 favorites]


eh, about Edmure, I'm good with this analysis of things (reddit link)

Criticism: if it is the role of the feudal lord to put the safety of his vassals first, I get how not getting them killed in a prolonged siege is good, but whose to say their prospects are better under the sudden oversight by the Freys? Jaime isn't sticking around to make sure the little folk are treated well. Would the Freys let the common people into the keep if the war comes (back) to this region, or say "eff off, we can only take care of ourselves here inside the walls."

In short: the little people are going to lose any which way in war. I'm not sure if Edmure did them any favors, but I'm not sure Blackfish was any better for them.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:25 AM on June 13, 2016


except for the part where the Freys have been proven demonstrably, hilariously incompetent and ineffectual and probably relatively simple to just mostly ignore like any tenant would with a crappy landlord. It's arguable that the commander knew that siege under Jaime would not have gone so well in the imminent future (like, tomorrow). Why risk immediate war, death, dismemberment and despair when the alternative is being managed by a bunch of lazy dumbasses you can mostly ignore?
posted by lonefrontranger at 10:42 AM on June 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


According to the farmer Arya and the Hound met back in season 4, the Freys don't do anything to keep the smallfolk safe.
posted by homunculus at 10:56 AM on June 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


Thanks - that demonstrates that a siege with the Blackfish is likely preferable to being "guarded" by the Freys. Sorry, reddit person, good general description, bad specific example. Edmure still wins "most punchable face." Having a crappy/absentee landlord is fine if your apartment is safe from roving bands of vandals, thieves and rapists.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:02 AM on June 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


1. I want to find out what happened when Tyrion brought the jackass and honeycomb into the brothel, as he's now mentioned it in two episodes and never gets to complete the story (first time during his confession scene in S1).

If you need to hear this story finished, I expect you don't want to hear the finish to this story.
posted by absalom at 11:17 AM on June 13, 2016


If you need to hear this story finished, I expect you don't want to hear the finish to this story.

Invert the need and want, and that would be correct. I think (and I am not alone) this saga is better for its smaller stories and multitude of tangents. Finishes seldom do the journey justice, and I'm in no hurry for this journey to end.

I don't get many of the criticisms I see here. So many people bemoan how long things take in the show or books, and then when things speed up they say the writers aren't spending enough time on character development or filling in plot holes, or traveling from point A to point B, or what-have-you. You can't have it both ways in a story of this scale and stay within its production constraints.

My biggest need to not hear the end of Tyrion's particular jackass/honeycomb story is he'll probably tell it on his deathbed (see previous worries about foreshadowing). I'd prefer Tyrion to live long enough to get his vineyard, and in the case of the books, figure out wherever it is that whores go.
posted by tempestuoso at 12:13 PM on June 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


I personally care less how long things take than that the universe and characters are self-consistent with basic rules it has set or characterizations it has already made. Arya's arc added insult to injury by 1) taking forever with no interesting characterization of anyone 2) making no self-consistent sense in terms of who the Faceless Men are and what they do, and 3) defying the laws of human bodies unless Arya is secretly a self-healing mutant.
posted by permiechickie at 12:22 PM on June 13, 2016 [10 favorites]


2) making no self-consistent sense in terms of who the Faceless Men are and what they do

Arya: Teach me to be a faceless man!
Jaqen: Ok
Arya: I'm gonna kill whoever I want and mess up my assignments because I feel like it!
Jaqen: Ok but you have to be blind for a while
Arya: Ok
Jaqen: Kill this loving mother figure!
Arya: NO
Jaqen: Ok
Waif: Can I kill her?
Jaqen: Ok
Arya: I killed the waif!
Jaqen: Cool, ok
Arya: And now I'm leaving, since I am now ready to join your organization!
Jaqen: Ok, that's cool too
posted by clockzero at 12:34 PM on June 13, 2016 [42 favorites]


I got completely hung up on the fact that Pod is wearing a tunic that buckles in the back while he and Bronn are talking. Like, does Pod have a squire's squire?
posted by tracicle at 12:37 PM on June 13, 2016 [12 favorites]


So why hasn't the Waif been trained to fight blind as well? My impression from the books was that the blindness was set up as a punishment but actually turned out to be a standard training tool for the faceless men. I guess the show is ditching that? Oh well, not like anything else there made sense.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 12:40 PM on June 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


well ACTUALLY there is a good reason for that and that reason is OH LOOK IS THAT A DRAGON? *jazz hands*
posted by poffin boffin at 12:44 PM on June 13, 2016 [11 favorites]


So why hasn't the Waif been trained to fight blind as well?

At this point, it's better to just say "they fucked up the details of this story arc, while giving it a conclusion we like." How we got there will never make a lick of sense, so pour yourself a cup of the Imp's Delight and relax.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:58 PM on June 13, 2016 [3 favorites]


the whole Arya-in-Braavos storyline is like when your D&D players take a huge and poorly thought-out detour and you indulge them with some lazy DM improv for a while but eventually you reach the point where things get too stupid to continue and you start making all the NPCs act in ways that basically force them to give up and follow the damn plot breadcrumbs again
posted by prize bull octorok at 12:59 PM on June 13, 2016 [41 favorites]


"you've been killed in your dumb side plot but resurrected by holy priests of the EPIC STORY I'VE BEEN TRYING TO TELL YOU FOR YEARS DAVE!"
posted by French Fry at 1:20 PM on June 13, 2016 [7 favorites]


#HOUNDDONG?

#HOUNDDONG!
posted by homunculus at 1:26 PM on June 13, 2016


Speaking of D&D, I have seriously missed Nutmeg's D&D episode recaps. ;/
posted by culfinglin at 1:28 PM on June 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


the whole Arya-in-Braavos storyline is like when your D&D players take a huge and poorly thought-out detour...

Are you ... Are you MY DM? Dan?
posted by dame at 1:37 PM on June 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


prize bull octorok: "the whole Arya-in-Braavos storyline is like when your D&D players take a huge and poorly thought-out detour and you indulge them with some lazy DM improv for a while but eventually you reach the point where things get too stupid to continue and you start making all the NPCs act in ways that basically force them to give up and follow the damn plot breadcrumbs again"

Ummmmm, you are my DM. Is this a subtweet?
posted by Rock Steady at 1:51 PM on June 13, 2016 [13 favorites]


Blackfish Stoneheart?
posted by jimw at 1:54 PM on June 13, 2016


Are you ... Are you MY DM? Dan?

Ummmmm, you are my DM. Is this a subtweet?

As a lifelong DM, I'd suggest that he is every DM that ever Mastered a Dungeon.

*long suffering sigh*
posted by absalom at 2:18 PM on June 13, 2016 [7 favorites]


At this point, it's better to just say "they fucked up the details of this story arc, while giving it a conclusion we like." How we got there will never make a lick of sense, so pour yourself a cup of the Imp's Delight and relax them all a cup of wildfire and tell them to do an impression of Aerion Brightflame* cos it would maek good tv and the viewers would love it, honest!

*not that they would know who that was because that would require them to know canon I can't take it FHGSHGFAGHFSAGHFSAFGHASFHGASFHASFHGASHGFASGFASFGHASFGHASFHGASFGASFHGASFHGSAFHGASFHAGSSAHFGASFHGAFSHGSAFGHAFSHGSAFHGSAFHGSFHAGSHFGSFHGSAFHGSAFHSAGHF

FTFY
posted by lalochezia at 2:47 PM on June 13, 2016


Game Of Thrones Unlocked: Season 6 Episode 8 “No One” - "Who should rule Westeros? The man with the plan, or the man with the knife to that man’s neck?"
This is generally meant to be a value-neutral description of a state of affairs. It’s neither good nor bad that establishing a state requires a monopoly on violence, it simply is the case. But you occasionally run across the idea that specialists in violence have a quality — “warrior spirit,” or something to that effect — which makes them better at leading, or in some cases grants them the moral authority to lead. This is the idea that the current episode is really grappling with. Because like the riddle with the sellsword suggests, you don’t usually run across a situation where the specialist in violence is him-or-herself making all the decisions. Usually, the people who govern are specialists in governing, and they have a subcontractor who takes care of the violence for them. And sometimes the governor and the subcontractor don’t get along. That’s what we see in this week’s episode, and over and over again we’re asked to pick sides. Does warrior spirit make you a good leader? Or do the stabby-men need to stick to their stabbing, and leave the leading to them as can lead?
posted by the man of twists and turns at 2:59 PM on June 13, 2016 [2 favorites]




So do we think we'll get a full-on Battle of Meereen as in the books? [Released chapters of TWOW].

Presumably Yara will show up and intervene on Dany's side? Can we expect Euron to have built his 1000 ships and turn up somehow?

Also thinking about Varys' mysterious mission: he needs allies in Westeros. Allies with a decent-sized military, unaffected so far by the wars. Allies who would support Dany against the Lannisters/Baratheons. Allies who might have a grudge against them. Allies very much like the Dornish, one might say.
posted by Pink Frost at 5:25 PM on June 13, 2016


So do we think we'll get a full-on Battle of Meereen as in the books? [Released chapters of TWOW].

Presumably Yara will show up and intervene on Dany's side? Can we expect Euron to have built his 1000 ships and turn up somehow?


That makes sense, but Daeny has an army on the march to Meereen, and it would just be another circular loop in her character arc that doesn't really do anything that hasn't been done before. I thought cutting the siege was one of the best moves the screenwriters made, and yet, here we are again. Even if you play extremely fast and loose with the timeline, it would take a year or so to get that navy together, and the show tends to not do time skips like that... and I can't imagine them wasting half or a quarter of their remaining shows STILL dicking around in Meereen.
posted by codacorolla at 5:30 PM on June 13, 2016


Holy shit... imagine if Tyrion's stint as the world's mopiest mercenary hasn't been cut at all, but just postponed!?
posted by codacorolla at 5:32 PM on June 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


So do we think we'll get a full-on Battle of Meereen as in the books?

I doubt it. Too expensive. Aftermath and expository.

Presumably Yara will show up and intervene on Dany's side?

Wander in afterwards, I think.

Can we expect Euron to have built his 1000 ships and turn up somehow?

I think he'll re-appear later to provide a foil to whatever navy Yara assembles for Dany, after the cities of Slaver's Bay bend the knee because dragons.
posted by snuffleupagus at 5:38 PM on June 13, 2016


A man needs a new intern.
posted by Dr. Zira at 6:02 PM on June 13, 2016 [10 favorites]


Pretty much all the Stark kids have had internships that went a little sideways.
posted by clockzero at 6:13 PM on June 13, 2016 [10 favorites]


Robb jumped directly to lead management. It didn't go so hot. Rickon's gap year started off pretty good, but has recently taken a turn for the worse.
posted by codacorolla at 6:23 PM on June 13, 2016 [6 favorites]


baby catapult
posted by dmd at 6:48 PM on June 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


Screw the HBO after show, I want a Bronn-in-character after show.
posted by smirkette at 6:50 PM on June 13, 2016 [4 favorites]


I'm not the biggest fan of the Faceless Men arc in the book, in particular, but I do like Arya's character and I feel like the show handled this whole thing exceptionally badly. There was something there, in the books at least -- Arya did some fairly serious training, then abused her abilities, got blind, did some more fairly serious training, then got her sight back. Each of those things felt weighty, in part because they were part of a book that's such a bloody slog. The show's way just seems rushed and low-rent. I think they meant to imply that Arya spent a fairly considerable time blind, but between only seeing her begging once, only seeing her spar with the waif 2-3 times, and not seeing her improve all that much over time, I didn't get the sense of Momentous Time Passing or whatnot. Likewise Arya's arc over the last two episodes between preparing to flee Bravos, Stabbing The First, T-Waif-Thousand, and Unseen Stabbing the Second has just felt rushed and unsatisfying. I bet Brian Cogman's making more money than I make writing this shit, and that's frustrating, because srsly?

Actually, this episode was just unsatisfying in a big-picture sort of way. Bronn + anyone is pretty great, as is Hound + anyone, but that was sort of witty banter relief covering up the total lack of anything making any sense. Sigh.

I only watch two shows with any regularity -- this and Agents of SHIELD. I dropped AoS partway through last season because it was unsatisfying dreck that I didn't care enough to blow an hour a week on. Sort of leaning that way with this too, which is sad, because I want to know how it ends, but I'm less and less invested in how they get there. I'm starting to believe that the Book Ending will be better, if we ever find out what it is (ha, right..). I used to be in camp "The show, for all its flaws, is a good adaptation for televison." I'm .. leaving that camp and joining Gendry in the rowboat over to Camp "This show is annoying and I'm not sure I want to be here anymore."
posted by Alterscape at 7:06 PM on June 13, 2016 [4 favorites]


Screw the HBO after show, I want a Bronn-in-character after show.

Real Mercenaries of Westeros
posted by poffin boffin at 7:51 PM on June 13, 2016 [6 favorites]


But but but, what is west of Westeros????????
posted by soakimbo at 8:12 PM on June 13, 2016


But but but, what is west of Westeros????????

That was actually one of the most surprising and interesting lines from the whole series so far.
posted by clockzero at 8:18 PM on June 13, 2016 [7 favorites]


I would absolutely watch a procedural where Bronn's merc band takes on a new contract each week, and just barely escapes with their lives.
posted by codacorolla at 8:30 PM on June 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


Didn’t mind this episode but i was underwhelmed by the resolution of areas faceless men storyline but yeah it likely got away from them and decided she needed to be home more than being an assassin. Though I was hoping that it’d go full assassins creed and have a full episode where Arya had to wander the streets and not brush against anyone carrying jugs on their heads. Every time she knocked one over we had to start the episode again. Blackfish getting killed off screen was lame. How Jamie finds out it is doubly lame.
My theory for qyburns rumour is that it is the wildfire under kings landing or less likely gendry is alive and well. I suspect Cersei kills Tommen (accidentally or on purpose), lights the city on fire and Jamie kills her. She then becomes LSH. I suspect varys is off to dorne because FU viewers. Or worse, he goes to track down Jon connington because FU book readers.
posted by Ashwagandha at 8:38 PM on June 13, 2016


I suspect Varys is going crossbow shopping.
posted by dumbland at 8:45 PM on June 13, 2016 [5 favorites]


(At the jokes scene, my partner stopped the show and made me improvise Tyrion's joke, because she is cruel.)

So, Tyrion walks into a brothel with a honeycomb in one hand and behind him he is leading a tired-looking donkey.

The Madame pushes her way past the girls and demands to know what he's doing there with that ass.

Tyrion pauses a moment, to let her know he could make a screamingly funny pun, but has decided not to. He then tells her that he knows he stumbled out drunkenly without paying last night, and he has come to make amends - by bringing Daisy, the source of the Lannister's gold.

The madame waves for security, and a couple of beefy guards come forward, but Tyrion puts on his most earnest face and assures her it is true. It's not Tywin Lannister but this very donkey that, when fed honeycombs, shits gold.

The guards move forward, but the Madame bids them wait a moment, demanding to see this 'miracle' donkey in action, Tyrion feeds Daisy the honeycomb and tells her to watch closely.

All eyes in the smoky brothel turn to the donkey, who looks back at the various ladies and johns with a slow-eyed stare. Nothing happens.

The madame is about to throw Tyrion out herself when he begs her. "One more minute," he says. He lifts the donkey's tail, and stares at its bottom. "Look, I can see the first signs of gold."

The madame, overcome by curiosity, bends down to see, and Tyrion moves out of the way, just in time for Daisy to squirt a gigantic stream of donkey diarhaea all over her. Everyone is shocked.

"Just what do you call this?" demands the madame, wiping poo from her face.

"THE ARISTOCRATS" says Tyrion. "Not to worry. A Lannister always SPAYS his PETS!"

(I have a feeling that is the punchline to an entirely different joke, but what are you going to do?)
posted by Sparx at 8:55 PM on June 13, 2016 [17 favorites]


I'm completely on board with the Bronn mercenary procedural so long as it has a tie-in with the Brienne & Pod buddy sitcom, like Happy Days and Laverne & Shirley.
posted by culfinglin at 8:59 PM on June 13, 2016 [4 favorites]


But but but, what is west of Westeros????????

Sea lions and skinchangers.
posted by homunculus at 9:07 PM on June 13, 2016 [3 favorites]


The thing that disappointed me the most about this episode is that I actually really like the siege of Riverrun and the whole lead-up to it in the books. Jaime has realized that Cersei is actually not that cool, he spends a lot of time reading the White Book, he spars with Illyn Payne and tells him introspective things about himself, and he basically undergoes massive character development because his missing hand has made it necessary for him to think about things instead of solving every problem by swordfighting. It all comes to a head when he manages to think his way to a reasonable solution at Riverrun and lift the siege without a lot of soldiers needing to die, while simultaneously showing up the Freys for being incompetent assholes.

In the show, the plot mechanics are roughly the same, but his character development actually goes backwards--we see Jaime revert to his earlier "it's Cersei and me against the world, and fuck everyone else" point of view. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau does his usual excellent job of injecting some humanity into the character, but the writing is headed in exactly the wrong direction.
posted by whir at 9:29 PM on June 13, 2016 [17 favorites]


Thank you, Fanfare Friends, for sharing my frustration at this show's descent into farce. I fear rfepilgramage is right in that we've found something worse than GRRM's increasingly windbag writing (or non-writing). An abbreviated TV plot trying to clean up the mess GRRM created. I have no particular bone to pick with D&D but these post-book stories they're showing are really thin. I don't know if it's because they're just bad, or because I lack the book backstory to fill in the details, or if it's that GRRM really wrote himself into a corner and that's why the books will never be finished. Whatever the case, I am disappoint.

Particularly with the Terminator Waif scenes. The worst kind of lazy action TV, particularly the stupid fucking bit with the cart that Arya slides under and Waif jumps over. I mean that was a cliché joke when Indiana Jones did it, are we doing winky-winky stuff in this High Fantasy TV show now? And then the big conclusion where Arya snuffs the light, the payoff! And scene. Weak. I'm also baffled at what happened the episode previous, apparently all our elaborate Arya Secret Agent plots were nonsense. Instead she just got stabbed and then ran to the nice actor lady and got her killed and then sprung her weak trap. It just doesn't add up.

The highlight of this episode for me was the return of The Hound, his absolute amoral brutality. Just walking in with a woodsplitting axe and splitting four men, then walking in further and bullying the BWB and stealing boots. Good stuff.

I also liked the Tyrion drinking game, with Melissandre and Grey Worm finally breaking their ridiculous stone faces. That was the show's winky-winky moment, and has been several episodes now, the awkwardness and silence and complete inaction of them as they wait for the Mother of Dragons Breaker of Chains Haver of Titles to come back from her latest crazy hijinx. The writers know the Mereen story is a total cul-de-sac, just like the Braavos plot, but at least they can poke fun at it with Grey Worm finally busting out a clever joke.
posted by Nelson at 9:41 PM on June 13, 2016 [5 favorites]


I would absolutely watch a procedural where Bronn's merc band takes on a new contract each week, and just barely escapes with their lives.

Is the theme song a jazzed up version of The Rains of Castamere?

Actually, maybe the Bear and the Maiden Fair would be more Bronn's style.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 9:45 PM on June 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


You know, he did actually find a way to end the siege without bloodshed. Mostly.
posted by bq at 10:29 PM on June 13, 2016 [3 favorites]


Now let's just hope that there will be some larger purpose to her/our time spent with these Faceless idiots, otherwise it's basically just a holding pond for Arya to age up in.

Yeah they could have just replaced the last couple years with a 5-minute training montage.
posted by Jacqueline at 12:08 AM on June 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


In my head cannon, Jaime realizes he really isn't cut out for high politics, Brienne realizes it's silly to go fight a useless war to re-take Winterfell when Winter is come, and Jaime and Brienne go off and be knights for hire to protect the little folk who have been and will continued to get screwed over during Westeros' wars. During all this they have a bunch of children (squeee, Brienne and Jamie with babes on back while fighting off bandits) and survive Winter, saving hundreds (maybe thousands) of people.

More seriously, Edmure's storyline makes sense from the point of view of someone whose convinced that it's better to have his people survive than die in a pointless siege. His conversation with Jaime was pretty great. Of course, him getting a character and having compelling lines came out of nowhere.
posted by R343L at 12:12 AM on June 14, 2016 [3 favorites]


But but but, what is west of Westeros????????

Westereros
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 1:40 AM on June 14, 2016 [27 favorites]


But but but, what is west of Westeros????????

That's where whores go.
posted by Night_owl at 6:39 AM on June 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


I was surprised to find that I anticipated the outcome of so many of the individual scenes from the second they began (Sandor will kill these guys, etc). Maybe a bad sign that things are more predictable once we're past the part where I already knew the story.
posted by snofoam at 6:51 AM on June 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


But but but, what is west of Westeros????????

Essos.

Now ask what's south of Westeros!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:56 AM on June 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


A swirling trash vortex the size of Texos.

I'm actually more interested in what's south of Essos. As one of those prone to get lost in Wikis, the map intrigues me. I've seen it claimed that Westeros is roughly South America sized. Essos is, broadly, Asia sized.

There is a continent below Essos (that has a guessable name) where only the northern coast has been explored. There is an implied hugeness to it. I think there is another to the east that is similarly unexplored. I've only found two or three sentences describing these places in total, but there's something intriguing about them.
posted by vbfg at 8:13 AM on June 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


"Illyn Payne"

O for pete's sake, Gurm
posted by mwhybark at 8:33 AM on June 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


Illyn'so been around since the first book! He chopped Ned's head off.

vbfg, you may be thinking of Asshai, which is still on Essos, but hardly anyone's ever been there, and in another dumb joke, there are literally supposed to he dragons there, i.e. "here be dragons". Or maybe Yi Ti.
posted by LionIndex at 9:04 AM on June 14, 2016


There is a continent below Essos (that has a guessable name) where only the northern coast has been explored. There is an implied hugeness to it. I think there is another to the east that is similarly unexplored. I've only found two or three sentences describing these places in total, but there's something intriguing about them.

A Dragonlord named Jaenara Belaerys spent three years exploring Sothoryos, but found only endless jungle, deserts and mountains.
posted by homunculus at 9:50 AM on June 14, 2016




In my head cannon

if u have ranged artillery pieces attached to your head then your neck must be v tired
posted by poffin boffin at 10:19 AM on June 14, 2016 [7 favorites]


Illyn's been around since the first book! He chopped Ned's head off.

Oh, I know. But I just now got the dad-level pun.
posted by mwhybark at 11:06 AM on June 14, 2016


LionIndex, the place I'm thinking of is about as far east as Asshai, but south of it.

http://i.imgur.com/fhxEyUm.jpg

Ulthos, apparantly. There seems to be much east of Asshai that is simply uncharted rather than it being the furthest attainable point.
posted by vbfg at 11:14 AM on June 14, 2016


It seems to be a relatively recent addition to the canon solely for the purpose of putting on a map.
posted by vbfg at 11:18 AM on June 14, 2016


BastardBowl needs hype, too.
posted by Dr. Zira at 11:18 AM on June 14, 2016


LionIndex, the place I'm thinking of is about as far east as Asshai, but south of it.

http://i.imgur.com/fhxEyUm.jpg

Ulthos, apparantly. There seems to be much east of Asshai that is simply uncharted rather than it being the furthest attainable point.


I'm not sure I've ever seen this perspective of Planetos' geography. It makes Westeros seem really, really insignificant. Even the coming 'apocalypse' seems like it's going to take a long-ass time to have an effect on remaining 95% of the world.
posted by codacorolla at 11:54 AM on June 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


It really does start to feel like we are focusing on the Wars of the Roses while ignoring the Ming Dynasty and the Aztec Empire.
posted by Rock Steady at 12:23 PM on June 14, 2016 [3 favorites]


Yeah. And it's intentional, I think. Qarth to me felt like the most fabulously rich place depicted. Corrupt and oligarchical, and if I recall only seen from that perspective, but staggeringly wealthy. From the centre of gravity of the narrative I think it's as geographically as far as we get. Most of the Essos maps I have in my mind only go that far. But it's not isolated. It's on the equivalent of the Silk Road to other civilisations that to Westeros only exist to the most learned and some owners of exceptionally rare goods.
posted by vbfg at 12:42 PM on June 14, 2016


I forgot to mention Brandon the Shipwright. He tried to sail west from Westeros to Asshai and was never heard of again.

Which makes me wonder about that map. Ulthos and Essos could conceivably be the same land mass from the picture we have. Or, that might be some kind of North West Passage. Thought to exist, but nobody (in Westeros) knows.

It is curious that some of these places didn't wink into existence in the lore until a few years ago. It does seem like the point is to double down on the insignificance of the petty squabbles.
posted by vbfg at 12:53 PM on June 14, 2016


As mentioned above, Tyrion getting all wistful talking about the future got me all worried. That's the SoIaF version of hearing something in the basement and telling everyone you'll be right back as you go to check it out, alone, and with a flashlight that has a dying battery.
posted by Ghidorah at 9:26 PM on June 14, 2016 [5 favorites]


> I don't know if LSH would make much sense at this point. Brienne in the books hadn't really met her vows when she and Pod were set to hang, but at this point in the show she raising an army for Sansa. The Blackfish challenging her on where her sword came from seems to be taken from that plot, though he at least listens to her.

Even without LSH, if the BWB and the Hound cross paths with Brienne and Pod, they're going to take them for a Lannister lackeys. The season cliffhanger could still be Brienne and Pod with nooses around their necks. I hope Brienne kept the letter Sansa wrote to the Blackfish: it's not definitive proof, but there wouldn't be any reason for to be strolling though the Riverlands with a forged letter from Sansa Stark.
posted by homunculus at 10:57 PM on June 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


I understand why the show is most likely cutting LSH, and I don't even think it's a mistake, but I really, really don't feel like Beric has the same emotional or plot impact at all. He's a pretty cool character that we saw a bit two seasons ago, who wasn't even super well defined at that point.

And, to be honest, does the BWB or Beric even have a compelling reason to hate the Lannister alliance? I'm not using a rhetorical question there, I honestly can't remember without going to the Wiki. Cat's hatred of the powers that be is obvious, doesn't need to be explained, and is viscerally satisfying. The idea of an avenging revenant is a solid storyline. The BWB are more of a Robin Hood and his Merry Men type deal, but without having seen protracted misery in the Riverlands (which, for better or for worse, AFFC gave us in spades), this also falls flat. And Beric is no Robin Hood. He's a half character with very thin motivation, even given that the audience remembers him at all.
posted by codacorolla at 7:23 AM on June 15, 2016


Beric has been killed by the Mountain at least twice, and who knows how many deaths he has actually had - most of which will have been at Lannister hands. They have fought Northern troops, and they have no doubt fought Riverland loyalists too. But their raison d'etre will have put them into conflict with Lannisters harrying the invaded land rather than the purported defenders of it. And we're well down the path of the recent wrongs justifying the current wrongs.
posted by vbfg at 7:32 AM on June 15, 2016


Eh, I'd forgotten about pretty much all of that. That's a lot of stuff to put on 'previously' to get the audience to remember or care again.
posted by codacorolla at 7:44 AM on June 15, 2016


As a book reader, I definitely find Dondarrion more more interesting than LSH. Part of that, I guess, is just that each time a character gets brought back to life it reduces the sense of magic inherent in every other resurrection. Part of it is that, somehow, Dondarrion feels like more of a continuation of Ned Stark's influence than LSH does.

LSH is motivated almost solely by vengeance. Cat was an upright character, but she was always willing to let love overcome honour or practicality (just as Cersei does, incidentally). Beric, on the other hand, specifically represents Ned's insistence on doing the right thing, consequences be damned. The BWB only exists because Ned couldn't stand idly by while the Lannisters shat on the smallfolk, even if the Lannisters had the power and wherewithal to kill him for interfering.

The final part of it is that the Robin Hood trope has rarely been done as well as it is with the BWB in the novels. That they are indeed "merry men" (Dondarrion excepted) in the midst of all this shit is charming. And well they seem to be undoubtedly on the side of the angels, we are still given reason to question their methods (and we were just reminded of this by the fact that the BWB essentially empowered Yellow Cloak Guy). This is really refreshing compared to a lot of stories where the noble outlaws are made so noble that they make Jesus Christ look like a hypocritical slacker.

And Thoros of Myr is delightful (even moreso in the show than the books, IMO).

So, yeah, I'm really happy to get more Beric and Thoros and think that adding LSH would actively detract from the show at this point.
posted by 256 at 8:23 AM on June 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


I think they might skip the WHOLE LSH plot because, if Pod and Brienne don't die from it, which they don't. What's the point? It seems like another book diversion that ultimately goes no-where and the show would probably do best to skip. She's a spooky character but we don't really need that. And Berric and Thoros have not at all been shown to have the kind of monstrous zealotry that would be required to hang people because of the color of their sword hilt.


I would absolutely watch a procedural where Bronn's merc band takes on a new contract each week, and just barely escapes with their lives.


The B-Team
posted by French Fry at 9:19 AM on June 15, 2016 [7 favorites]


I think they might skip the WHOLE LSH plot because, if Pod and Brienne don't die from it, which they don't. What's the point?

Well... we don't know the point, because the books haven't gotten to that part yet. It's possible that LSH is the most pivotal character in the entire series for all we know!
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:22 AM on June 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


Back in 2013/2014 the showrunners and Michelle Fairley (the Catelyn actor) all said repeatedly that Lady Stoneheart would not be coming to the show. See here, here, and here. Then again that last post also has the same source saying The Hound won't be back, so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
posted by Nelson at 9:39 AM on June 15, 2016


Yeah, unless they managed unprecedented levels of security, I would think we would have heard rumors about Michelle Fairley showing up at shooting locations.
posted by Rock Steady at 9:56 AM on June 15, 2016


I really liked LSH, she was spooky, showing the dark side of the "alive again" trick but I just don't know what she'd do at this point. It's been "years" (according to Edmure) since the red wedding, She'd be a literal skeleton at this point. But aside from that, her information/vengeance would be SO out of date and this version of the BWB are well informed about goings on in the north and of a clear purpose already. So she wouldn't necessarily be a galvanizing force for them.

Just every piece on the chessboard is in a different place now. Brienne has kind of succeeded, Sansa is raising an army, Roose Bolton is dead, Stannis, Lysa, Joffery and Tywin are Dead. Rickon at least is known to be alive, The hound (who she would understandably hate more than Brienne) is now taken a hero turn and is working with the BWB... I mean who does skeleton-Cat even want to hang out of blind vengeance these days?

On the flip side there has been an awful lot of talk about Cat Stark lately so who-knows. I think it's just book-reader trolling like the Ian McShane "Broken Man" episode.
posted by French Fry at 10:07 AM on June 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


If I had to guess, I would say that LSH's purpose in the book is to throw Brienne's whole honor system for a loop (that's assuming that Brienne lives in the books). Apart from that, she also exists as a way to create a smallfolk rebellion that isn't centered on the High Sparrow. It's entirely possible that both of those plots are now out the window. However, the way that they're position Beric definitely makes it seem like he is now that character.
posted by codacorolla at 10:22 AM on June 15, 2016


George R.R. Martin: 5 characters he wishes were on Game of Thrones. Yes, one is Lady Stoneheart
“Lady Stoneheart does have a role in the books,” Martin said. “Whether it’s sufficient or interesting enough… I think it is, or I wouldn’t have put her in. One of the things I wanted to show with her is that the death she suffered changes you.”

Continues Martin: “I’ve talked about Gandalf [in The Lord of the Rings], and how the impact of his death was enormous. When I was a 12-year-old kid reading The Fellowship of the Ring and ‘Fly, you fools!’ and he goes into the chasm … it was ‘Holy shit! [J.R.R. Tolkien] killed the wizard! That’s the guy who knew everything. How are they going to destroy the ring without him?’ And now the ‘kids’ have to grow up because their ‘daddy’ is dead. If Gandalf could die, anybody could die. And then just a few chapters later Boromir goes down. Those two deaths created in me the ‘anyone could die’ thing. At that point I was expecting [Tolkien] to pick off the whole Fellowship one by one. And then we also think in The Two Towers that Frodo is dead, since Shelob stung him and wrapped him up. I really bought it because he set me up with those other deaths. But then, of course, he brings Gandalf back. He’s a little strange at first, but then he’s basically the same old Gandalf. I liked the impact we got from him being gone.”

Martin’s explanation initially sounds like an argument against including Lady Stoneheart, but Martin then noted: “Lady Stoneheart is not Cateyln. I’ve tried to set it up beforehand with Beric Dondarrion and his repeated [resurrections]. There’s a brief appearance by Beric in Book One and he rides into the city and he’s this flamboyant Southern knight. That’s not that man we meet later on.”
posted by homunculus at 12:36 PM on June 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


Yeah, unless they managed unprecedented levels of security, I would think we would have heard rumors about Michelle Fairley showing up at shooting locations.

There were a couple very unsubstantiated rumors. I would say the only reason to bring LSH into the story at this point is to slaughter the Freys at Riverrun, assuming Jamie takes his army back to Cersei. But once you've written her back in, then you're stuck with figuring out something to do with that character, and there doesn't seem much plot for her.
posted by gladly at 12:45 PM on June 15, 2016


I keep comparing "Hold the Door" to what comes after, and the biggest advantage that episode has over the others is that it felt like things actually went somewhere. Of course, there's been no follow-up and we're somehow not concerned about the Night King anymore, but for a second there it felt like the narrative was going forward and the circle around these characters was going to tighten up. Same as when Sansa and Brienne finally hooked up. But then nothing.

The series keeps spinning its wheels. I know HBO wants to milk this for all it's worth, but they're going to have to start drawing all of these plot threads together or they'll lose their audience.

Arya leaving the Faceless/Nameless should have felt like progress for the character, but I'm betting she's just gonna wander around for awhile, maybe not even be in the show for the rest of the season. The teaser shows a battle, but I fear it won't be anything other than a kickoff of a protracted story whose ending will be as unsatisfying as that of the Tullys.

I hope I'm wrong, and I'm willing to give them at least half of next season to prove me wrong. But at some point they've got to hit the gas on things. Winter has to come. The White Walkers need to breach the wall. The fighters need to fight. Quit fucking around.
posted by middleclasstool at 12:51 PM on June 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


I think they might skip the WHOLE LSH plot because, if Pod and Brienne don't die from it, which they don't. What's the point?

Or they might just have Beric take LSH's place. I doubt the writers would kill Brienne (this season, anyway) but between the possible foreshadowings of the hanging scene and Bronn's telling Pod "I thought you'd be dead by now," I'm a bit worried about Pod.
posted by homunculus at 1:05 PM on June 15, 2016


The resurrection thing has been eating at me all season. We have these tremendous wars of man vs. man and man vs. the supernatural--with even the big fat fire and ice reference that doubles down on the suggestion of apocalypse; at the very least, they want us to think that maybe every single person in Westeros could end up dead by the end of the series. And that would fit, tonally and thematically, with the shocking deaths of main characters so far (and make this sort of a Shaggydog story). Yet we have so many resurrections that I'm not sure what death means in this universe. Jon, The Mountain, Beric, Lady Stoneheart, the white walkers, "what is dead may never die," all this must lead somewhere. Why put that mechanic in your story, with so many arrows pointing at death and some people squeaking out of it? It's such a blatant cheat that I don't think GRRM would do it without purpose. Maybe that just makes me a sucker, I don't know.

I've been thinking about the convincing "burn them all" Targaryen theory that was posted a couple of weeks ago and wonder if it goes much farther than that. Jaqen, who also serves the Red God, said "only death may pay for life." Is there a way to match up deaths with resurrections? "All men must die"/"all men must serve" could also suggest that death has some secret function in the cosmology of this universe.
posted by heatvision at 2:00 PM on June 15, 2016


Almost everyone who's come back from the dead comes back much diminished. Beric's case is the most discussed, but also the Mountain is a Frankestein mess and Lady Stoneheart in the book is greatly diminished. So far Jon is the only one who seems to have come back from the dead for free, and my money isn't on that lasting very long.
posted by Nelson at 2:25 PM on June 15, 2016


I don't know if there's an expiration on "magic credits" earned through sacrifice, but since burning Shireen didn't bring Stannis victory, I wonder if it ended up paying for Jon's resurrection instead, if that's the Red God's will (and there are certainly prophetic indications that can be used to support that argument).
posted by Kosh at 4:19 PM on June 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


What was with all the gay panic?

I assumed they were just reminding us that buggery still ain't kosher and that Loras will be on trial too.
posted by yeahlikethat at 8:51 PM on June 15, 2016


Yeah, unless they managed unprecedented levels of security, I would think we would have heard rumors about Michelle Fairley showing up at shooting locations.

and

I really liked LSH, she was spooky, showing the dark side of the "alive again" trick but I just don't know what she'd do at this point. It's been "years" (according to Edmure) since the red wedding, She'd be a literal skeleton at this point.

Problem solves itself, Ray Harryhausen style
posted by the phlegmatic king at 11:41 AM on June 16, 2016 [3 favorites]


MOAR SKELLINGTONS
posted by mwhybark at 11:50 AM on June 16, 2016 [4 favorites]


She'd be a literal skeleton at this point.

Lady Boneheart
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:04 PM on June 16, 2016 [5 favorites]


Lady Boneheart

So you've been reading my blog?
posted by French Fry at 7:55 AM on June 17, 2016






Game of Thrones' bungled Arya plot explains why George R.R. Martin's taking so long to finish the books

This is well-trodden ground, I think, both here and in other venues of ASOIAF fandom--not only is there not enough time to satisfyingly tie-up all the character arcs in two seasons of the show, there's not really enough space to do it in two books.

There's so much that's been built up, it would be nearly impossible to tie it up in "just" 3,000 pages, without dramatic shifts in style, or more likely, abrubt and jarring truncations of minor storylines (minor being anyone who is not Dany, Tyrion, Jon, Arya, or Sansa). I think D&D really thought GRRM would have had book 6 and 7 out in time for them to adapt the shows to it, and if so would have been able to pace seasons 5 and 6 much better.

But now, they have a nearly impossible task. If they're going to tie things up in two seasons (and I personally doubt the rumors of two short seasons, I think we'll get 20 more episodes), they need to start hacking and slashing characters. The B-listers are all going to get short-shrift, anything that doesn't push us towards dragons vs. ice zombies is taking a back seat. It doesn't fit with the pacing of the past five years of the show, but there's nothing to be done about it now, I think.
posted by skewed at 1:36 PM on June 18, 2016


and I personally doubt the rumors of two short seasons, I think we'll get 20 more episodes

D&D only wanted to do 7 seasons, HBO wanted to extend that. The two short seasons are the compromise. D&D say they need 13 episodes and they can't make 13 episodes in a twelve month period, especially given the scope of the final part of the story. Directors working on the show have essentially confirmed 7 episodes for next year. It's possible the final 6 might expand or they will be super-sized but there's no way it'll expand from 13 episodes to 20.
posted by crossoverman at 6:28 PM on June 18, 2016


It's possible the final 6 might expand or they will be super-sized but there's no way it'll expand from 13 episodes to 20.

I'll believe it when I hear something from HBO. Everything else sounds like negotiations to me, especially coming as they have been, not from the parties themselves, but from surrogates giving interviews. I'm aware D&D want less, and HBO wants more, which makes sense for both of them. The last seasons or two of every big show is full of this sort of thing.
posted by skewed at 7:29 PM on June 18, 2016


Is there a way to match up deaths with resurrections? "All men must die"/"all men must serve" could also suggest that death has some secret function in the cosmology of this universe.

You're after a rational explanation for something GRRM has often described as magic, which purposefully exists beyond the realm of explanation.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 11:41 PM on June 18, 2016


In the spirit of the Game of Thrones D&D recaps: Gandalf was only a Fifth Level Magic-User
posted by vibratory manner of working at 11:54 PM on June 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'll believe it when I hear something from HBO. Everything else sounds like negotiations to me

I guess that's a sensible approach. But it's so close to what happened with Mad Men and Breaking Bad, I just imagine it will go this way - creators want to make 13 more episodes, HBO wants two more seasons, so they break it into two.
posted by crossoverman at 3:40 AM on June 19, 2016


And, to be honest, does the BWB or Beric even have a compelling reason to hate the Lannister alliance?

Dondarrion's original charge from Lord Eddard Stark, Hand of the King, is to go out and restore the King's peace by stopping the Mountain and his men, who are busy sacking and pillaging villages in the Riverlands. Nominally the Mountain is riding without banners, but he's a Lannister man, and this is being done to fuck with the Riverland nobility and keep them disorganized (because they will be running around defending against raids) while the Lannisters gather their main force and ensure that the Stark forces from the North aren't joined by the combined forces of the Riverlands when they get there.

Once out in the field, though, Beric gets killed by the Mountain and then resurrected by Thoros. That has a tendency to change people's perspective, and not just Berics - could you imagine watching the lord you were following into combat raised from the dead and what that might do to your worldview? And then Robert dies, then Eddard. At the same time, they've seen the common folk of the Riverlands being sacked by both lions and wolves, as war makes butchers of all men.

So...is the order from Eddard still valid? Well, kind of...but Beric and his men refocus their efforts on protecting the smallfolk from whomever the predators are: wolf, lion, dog, goat. And Beric keeps dying and keeps getting brought back. So I imagine the mission takes on quite a bit of a holy feel to it. Do they hate the Lannisters? Probably no more than they hate all the others they've had to fight - they view themselves as protectors and as bringing justice to those who commit atrocity under whatever banners they ride.

The Red Wedding would have likely spelled the eventually end of the BWB; it ends the war and the chaos and uncertainty and by AFFC there are Tyrell forces under Lord Tarly are present to start bringing everything under control; the BWB would have been another outlaw band, like the ones Jaime remembers fighting against in his youth. But Beric passes along the gift to LSH, and the BWB looks (to me, at least) to get reshaped into focused a bit more on vengeance and a lot more on intelligence gathering and coordination.

The show is going to bypass that - it has to, there is no time to bring back Cat, as enjoyable as watching her campaign against the Freys would be - and use the existing connection of the Lord of Light via Thoros to point the group northward and to the final fight.

I would say that LSH's purpose in the book is to throw Brienne's whole honor system for a loop (that's assuming that Brienne lives in the books). Apart from that, she also exists as a way to create a smallfolk rebellion that isn't centered on the High Sparrow.

Yeah, Brienne and Jaime are two of the interesting paralleled characters in the show. She desperately wants to be a knight and lives accordingly, but can never be one; he came to knighthood easily, joined one of the most renowned groups of knights in the land, and is viewed as dishonorable and tainted for oathbreaking, despite the fact that breaking that oath saved hundreds of thousands of lives. His point to her is that the oaths one takes puts you into an untenable position; she is going to learn that as part of dealing with LSH.

And can I talk about Jaime? Holy shit, am I disappointed with this season for him. In AFFC, Cersei sends him away from the city to settle things in Riverrun and a few other matters because she doesn't want him around; he's trying to put the brakes on some of her schemes. His whole motivation in dealing with Edmure the way he does in the books is because he wants to get back to King's Landing to get Tommen away from Cersei, before she can fuck him up the way Joffrey was fucked up, and also to stop Cersei's horrid governance decisions. It's just such a different motivation and one that keeps Jaime developing towards something. Are we supposed to be pulling for Jaime and Cersei at this point?

The B-listers are all going to get short-shrift, anything that doesn't push us towards dragons vs. ice zombies is taking a back seat. It doesn't fit with the pacing of the past five years of the show, but there's nothing to be done about it now, I think.

Yeah, they have to, and I'm sad about it. I know I'm counted amongst the book snobs, but what I think people don't always understand is that I want this show to be good, and I think many booksnobs feel the same. I want this show to be fucking great; I want it to soar, even recognizing that it can't follow the books exactly. Because the last two weeks have made the people I watch it with, who have talked about reading the books after the show is over, start questioning whether or not they want to given how disappointing some of the storylines are. If the show isn't treading water at the moment, it's resolving storylines in ways that don't bring much satisfaction.

I don't know if there's an expiration on "magic credits" earned through sacrifice, but since burning Shireen didn't bring Stannis victory, I wonder if it ended up paying for Jon's resurrection instead, if that's the Red God's will (and there are certainly prophetic indications that can be used to support that argument).

I've been wondering if the actions of the CotF, in creating the Walkers, hasn't opened up a bit of a loophole in the "only death may pay for life" bargain. Beric is brought back many times, and Jon is brought back, without the apparent corresponding sacrifice. If the Walkers are neither dead or alive, perhaps Red Rhalloo is allowed some foot soldiers of his own - which might explain how it only seems to work when the person asking the question is not doing so from a position of power, but rather one of supplication.

Bronn's telling Pod "I thought you'd be dead by now," I'm a bit worried about Pod.

Pod should be King of the Seven Kingdoms at the end of this. He's a decent, honorable sort who listens hard, works hard, and is generally shit upon by everyone around him as a result.
posted by nubs at 10:55 AM on June 19, 2016 [3 favorites]


Any odds on tonight being the reveal of Jon Stargaryen's parentage, with it being Father's Day and all?
posted by nubs at 11:07 AM on June 19, 2016 [2 favorites]


If the show isn't treading water at the moment, it's resolving storylines in ways that don't bring much satisfaction.

Okay but do you think that the books have thus far ever resolved a storyline in a way that was really satisfying? I can't really answer this question for myself without another long slog through the books, without skipping chapters, which feels like the answer for me might be no.

for me, at this point, i have 100% given up any hope that we will ever see another completed book so even if the show's completions are less great than i would've wanted at least we're not left hanging. even if the tv series ends with hodor playing with a snowglobe shaped like westeros at least it's SOMETHING.
posted by poffin boffin at 11:10 AM on June 19, 2016


i mean i definitely AGREE with your feeling that the resolutions have not been all that i dreamed and more but like... the sole other option we've ever been given is the introduction of 100 new characters and plot lines.
posted by poffin boffin at 11:12 AM on June 19, 2016


the last living claimant to the baratheon throne has been in a rowboat for 4 years

for example
posted by poffin boffin at 11:13 AM on June 19, 2016 [1 favorite]


Any odds on tonight being the reveal of Jon Stargaryen's parentage, with it being Father's Day and all?

I would bet even odds against it, but could see it happening. My impression is that it will be a solely focused episode, with that focus being the bastard brawl for it all. Maybe, though! It would be nice for them to not string that out any more than they already have.
posted by codacorolla at 11:24 AM on June 19, 2016


I generally agree with "something is better than nothing" as far as the show moving things along even without being great. That is, I was until last week.

I'm pretty skeptical about GRRM's ability to finish up the series, but if he ever publishes again, I'm super-duper confident that he will do something better (not just longer or more detailed) with Arya's Faceless Man arc.

Still, I think the Northern, and Dany's storylines are pretty entertaining, if a bit rushed.

As far as Jon's reveal, I hope so. First off, I hate really long battle scenes, so I want something more than hacking/slashing and mustache twirling by Ramsey. I guess we only have two episodes to wrap up the season, so perhaps this entire episode will be North only? That would give us time to wrap-up with Bran, Jon, Sansa. Putting Jon and Bran's stuff together would help viewers keep things straight.

Honestly the biggest thing I'm curious about is what show-viewers will think of about Jon's parenting. My guess would be "huh?" I mean, it's not like Jon has said anything about wanting to know who his mother was for . . . five years? And the fact that his true father is a character who has literally never appeared on screen, and been mentioned maybe a dozen times?
posted by skewed at 11:29 AM on June 19, 2016


Okay but do you think that the books have thus far ever resolved a storyline in a way that was really satisfying?

For me, yes, they have. Others have different opinions, obviously.

the last living claimant to the baratheon throne has been in a rowboat for 4 years

I can live with not knowing where Gendry is (the corresponding disappearance of Edric Storm in the books is handled a slightly better as Davos smuggles him onto a boat bound for the Free Cities with a few folks as protectors, not just shoved onto a rowboat). But Gendry/Edric is a pretty minor example. Let's say the next book (my hope springs eternal) has Arya deciding she doesn't want to join the Faceless Men and leaving abruptly. At that point, she will have learned/developed the following skills during her time in Braavos: different languages; warging skills; fighting skills (including blind fighting); ability to lie and to detect lies (because both she and the Waif play the lying game against each other); information gathering; and she also plans and conducts an actual assassination, using misdirection, sleight of hand, and distraction such that her target dies and no one understands that it was an assassination. So, yeah, it would be abrupt and lack some closure, but I would at least feel that Arya is walking away having gotten something. It wouldn't end with the gut-stabbed Arya doing parkour in the streets with the Termiwaif and then being able to kill her in the dark after a season where she hasn't been able to do anything against the Waif, even when she could see.

Which would be more satisfying? For me, the former. But hey, I guess I'm the weird minority.
posted by nubs at 11:31 AM on June 19, 2016 [2 favorites]


Show watchers I've talked to who studiously avoid reading any theories have still picked up on the tower of joy reveal, so I think that particular bit will land, even if it's not really anything other than a foregone conclusion at this point.
posted by codacorolla at 11:33 AM on June 19, 2016


For me, yes, they have. Others have different opinions, obviously.

it's not a difference of opinion, i literally just cannot remember one, so i was hoping for an example! you have no idea how much i would love to be like YES IT DID HAPPEN THERE IS HOPE without having to go back and read all the tiresome side character chapters i've skipped time and again.
posted by poffin boffin at 11:35 AM on June 19, 2016


I generally agree with "something is better than nothing" as far as the show moving things along even without being great. That is, I was until last week.

I guess I'm kind of in a place right now where I'd rather be left to fill in the details of the ending on my own after last week. I get that the show has to move things along and wrap them up, but I feel like internal consistency is suffering a lot.
posted by nubs at 11:47 AM on June 19, 2016


it's not a difference of opinion, i literally just cannot remember one, so i was hoping for an example!

OK, a few off the top of my head:

-the solution to the murder of Jon Arryn;
-Littlefinger's takeover of the Vale;
-the answer to who sent the assassin after Bran;
posted by nubs at 11:50 AM on June 19, 2016 [1 favorite]


Crazy idea of who could swoop in to save Jon Snow tonight... Troops hired by the Iron Bank.
posted by drezdn at 4:36 PM on June 19, 2016


Crazy idea of who could swoop in to save Jon Snow tonight... Troops hired by the Iron Bank.

Led by Gendry.
posted by homunculus at 5:35 PM on June 19, 2016 [1 favorite]


OK, a few off the top of my head:

ooh, yeah, those are great, thanks! idk if i agree with the second one though? it doesn't feel like it's wholly resolved yet. but that's mostly because littlefinger plays the longest game of anyone in westeros.
posted by poffin boffin at 9:17 AM on June 20, 2016


It's about as resolved as any ruler in Westeros gets to be, I think - he's headed off his opponents with some bribes and later confides to Sansa that the person who seems most opposed to him is in fact in his employ, and the hostility is all a show so that any opposition will coalesce around someone who is feeding information to Littlefinger.

I guess I would say that the books established his position to the point where there isn't any need to explore the political situation of the Vale any further, which counts as resolved in my head.
posted by nubs at 10:18 AM on June 20, 2016


Coming incredibly late to this, as I'm watching the series on DVD.

I actually liked the episode.

My take on the Arya plot-line is that everything that happens between Arya crouching down for the first time, holding Needle and extinguishing the candle, and doing the same thing after being stabbed and chased by the Waif, is an illusion created by Arya in order to lure the Waif towards her. It's because she's managed to pull this off that Jaquen tells her in the end that she's finally no-one. (It's either that or the whole thing is a hallucination on Arya's part, with the Waif representing some part of herself that she needs to conquer.)
posted by rjs at 12:59 PM on December 6, 2016


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