Game of Thrones: Mockingbird
May 18, 2014 10:00 PM - Season 4, Episode 7 - Subscribe

In which champions are chosen, being and nothingness are debated, infrastructure is evaluated, lust is indulged, faith is tested, justice is weighed, hearts are opened, quests are diverted, vengeance is pursued, perspective is gained, and pie is eaten. With gravy, of course.
posted by homunculus (305 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
 
...or the Peter Dinklage Emmy Machine.
posted by Night_owl at 10:02 PM on May 18, 2014 [9 favorites]


"What's your name?"
posted by ColdChef at 10:03 PM on May 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


Hot Pie!
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:03 PM on May 18, 2014 [12 favorites]


So many thoughts!

1) The thing of it is, he didn’t even need to tell Lysa. He didn’t need to twist that knife. Could have left it at “one woman” and let her die happy. But no, he wanted that to be the last thing she ever thought of. He no longer feels the need to conceal his contempt. It’s….sloppy, really.

2) So, that’s the second person he’s let you watch him kill, Sansa. You realize this means he intends to keep you forever, no? Sad to say, it looks like Joffrey was the tutorial level in your chosen skillset of How To Pacify Pychos So They Won’t Kill You. Now you’re in the big leagues, and this one’s clever. (Littlefinger never seemed so intensely aroused as when she asked him a clever question and he had to think a bit to come up with a plausible lie….Joffrey wanted to torture you, this one wants to teach. She’ll be a more interesting character as a student than a supplicant, I think.)

3) Logistically, there was so much about that scene that was implausible. The idea that the nobles of the house can just stomp around the throne room having temper tantrums without a single servant about to witness it just seems silly on its face. But leaving that aside, just what excuse is Littlefinger going to come up with, here, to explain Lysa’s death? She fell and hit her head on the Moon Door? Really? That’s supposed to pass without comment among the vassals? Because if the Vale peeps believe that one I ought to get up there and sell some bridges.

4) Tertiary plot wise, it seems like LF’s has now irrevocably saddled himself with Robin…If Little Lord Crazypants were to follow in his mother’s footstep, then LF would have no claim on the Vale and its impregnable castle, no? It would revert to some distant cousin and he’d have to shuffle off back to Harrenhall, unless he could get Tommen to grant the Vale to him. This is all super inside-baseball type stuff, of course, but I keep thinking about it because it seems to me that in order to LF to openly marry Sansa and position himself to rule the North, he’s got to be in a position to defy the Lannisters, and I’m not sure how he gets there. Chaos, ladders, etc., I guess. It’s just that so far he’s been adept at destroying other people’s power bases, but we haven’t seen him build up his own --- at least not the kind of power that kind be openly wielded.

This word dump has been brought to you by Eastern Standard Time.
posted by Diablevert at 10:04 PM on May 18, 2014 [10 favorites]


I thought when you get bit on the neck you turn into a Dracula, not a Frankenstein.

FIRE BAD!!!
posted by Sys Rq at 10:04 PM on May 18, 2014 [14 favorites]




But seriously, what an episode. Arya getting yet another spot of revenge was just perfect, although it definitely seemed like they were slipping into the "two best buds adventure together" thing a bit too much again. And that scene with Oberyn had me literally gripping my seat, despite already knowing what was going to happen.
posted by Night_owl at 10:05 PM on May 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


How I feel about the upcoming duel between the Mountain and the Viper

Too bad we have to wait two weeks for the next episode because of Memorial Day weekend. :(
posted by Jacqueline at 10:10 PM on May 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


(I'm disappointed that they rewrote the Moon Door scene to end on "Your sister" instead of "Only Cat")
posted by Jacqueline at 10:14 PM on May 18, 2014 [19 favorites]


"two best buds adventure together"

That one scene was very Breakfast Club. Hey, smoke up, Johnny!

Also, Law & Order: Game of Thrones was funny and all, but it's clear now that the real Law & Order storyline stars Brienne and Podrick. The only thing they could do to make it more Law & Order was have Hot Pie explain everything while busily walking the kitchen gathering his ingredients.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:19 PM on May 18, 2014 [14 favorites]


I'm annoyed that we have to wait two weeks for the next episode. Memorial Day is when Americans buy new mattresses, so why can't they break in their new mattresses while watching Game of Thrones? FFS.
posted by homunculus at 10:20 PM on May 18, 2014 [9 favorites]


I think "only Cat" is more powerful written, but "your sister" was a stronger choice for spoken dialogue.
posted by saucysault at 10:21 PM on May 18, 2014 [11 favorites]


Memorial Day is when Americans buy new mattresses

Isn't that President's Day?
posted by Sys Rq at 10:23 PM on May 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


The way they played the scene with Tyrion and Bronn, I had no sense that Bronn had delivered Shae to Tywin and Cersei, which is what I assumed. Bronn never lied to Tryion. As of now I'm assuming that he really did put her on the ship, but the ship was intercepted.
posted by homunculus at 10:23 PM on May 18, 2014 [5 favorites]


I like the Bronn scene a lot. At his core, we know he's an opportunist, and yet him coming to explain himself to Tyrion seemed honorable in its own way. He claimed to be there for Tyrion to make good on his claim of doubling his price, but knew Tyrion would never be able to. It was good.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 10:30 PM on May 18, 2014 [17 favorites]


You think if Tywin woulda stopped Cersei from recruiting Gregor Clegane – because Tywin knew Oberyn was out to kill him and in fact promised to serve the Mountain up; but also, Tywin had no apparent desire to see his alliance with Dorne vanish – if so, would Tyrion have been guaranteed to go championless? I suppose if Cersei chose too easy of a mark Bronn might have stepped in after all but he seemed reluctant to on the general principle of pay as well as degree of danger.

I also liked that scene quite a bit.
posted by furiousthought at 10:42 PM on May 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


Wait, is this the third recast of the Mountain? what is happen
posted by elizardbits at 10:46 PM on May 18, 2014 [12 favorites]


I think Bronn made a (probably correct) risk/reward choice with the Mountain and choosing a relative scrub like Meryn Trant would have radically altered that calculation for him. Bronn's a smart guy and all the promises in the world don't mean anything to a corpse. Which is what he would have been if he'd fought Gregor Clegane.

Yeah, this is the third Gregor Clegane.
posted by Justinian at 10:48 PM on May 18, 2014 [4 favorites]


This show has got some kinda nutty issues with casting, doesn't it?

– Daario
– the Mountain
– Tommen/ disposable Lannister cousin
– what else
posted by furiousthought at 10:50 PM on May 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


Like, I'm imagining a season 5 of The Wire where Michael B. Jordan now plays Poot
posted by furiousthought at 10:55 PM on May 18, 2014 [11 favorites]


Yeah, I mean, on the one hand, I'm glad they keep trucking on, but on the other, this is a little ridiculous already.
posted by corb at 10:55 PM on May 18, 2014


I dunno. The last couple episodes are giving me the willies about the production or the direction...not sure which to blame...

(omitting book-related remarks, I may or may not have had similar complaints at this point as a reader)

-The charming odd couple dynamic with Arya and The Hound is beginning to set my teeth on edge, the way its being brought to screen. Are they going to be spun off as a TNT buddy dramedy?

-Littlefinger's villanous characterization is approaching vaudeville. If he had mustaches, he'd twirl them.

-Who didn't see the Oberyn thing coming....?! It was telegraphed in the walk and talk a couple weeks back. At least the Bronn bit was handled well.

-The scene between Daenerys and Daario felt like it was lifted from Red Shoe Diaries...and if they're going to go that direction then there should have been frontal male nudity rather than her eyes just traveling downwards. Turnabout is fair play, especially after the Mellisandre ass shots.

-Speaking of which.....tedious.

-The Night's Watch exposition for this week literally seemed like it was phoned into the writers room from someone stuck at an AYSO game...

-WHERE IS GENDRY ALREADY?!

-Brianne's cutsie wolf pie comeback moment vs. Pod's accurate concerns was like a joke from family sitcoms

Maybe I'm just in a bad mood this week (and last week) but man.....
posted by snuffleupagus at 10:55 PM on May 18, 2014 [7 favorites]


Wait, is this the third recast of the Mountain? what is happen

They cast a guy who actually looks like the name.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:56 PM on May 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


It should be a running gag, like he's recast every season, or every episode.
posted by snuffleupagus at 11:00 PM on May 18, 2014 [9 favorites]


The first Mountain got a gig in The Hobbit trilogy and had to leave GOT. I have no idea what happened to the first Daario, he was perfect, real chemistry with Daenerys unlike the current Daario.
posted by mlis at 11:00 PM on May 18, 2014 [4 favorites]


It is frustrating. I liked the first actor because he was physically perfect, really terrifying. But I think he'd not had much experience acting and maybe also there were other problems. The second guy really lacked the imposing presence. This guy is big but not as frightening as the first and I find I really miss that first actor.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 11:01 PM on May 18, 2014 [4 favorites]


I think "only Cat" is more powerful written, but "your sister" was a stronger choice for spoken dialogue.

I agree. I totally forgot "only Cat" was the line and was mouthing "your sister" before he said it.

Pretty good episode, but not enough to keep me satisfied over the break! ARGH!
posted by Drinky Die at 11:03 PM on May 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


The first Daario looked and performed (as such) like someone from Hercules or Xena. Or Buffy, more charitably. Recasting him was an utter necessity.
posted by snuffleupagus at 11:03 PM on May 18, 2014 [15 favorites]


Weird, the casting thing doesn't bother me in the least. And in fact I think has been one of the absolute best parts of the show. Stuff happens and sometimes you gotta recast.
posted by Justinian at 11:03 PM on May 18, 2014 [4 favorites]


I have no idea what happened to the first Daario, he was perfect, real chemistry with Daenerys unlike the current Daario.

The new guy is torn between Daenerys and Sarah on Orphan Black.
posted by homunculus at 11:11 PM on May 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


The only thing that really rang false to me was Sansa getting angry at Robin for wrecking her snow castle. She has endured so much more with a courtly smile; she couldn't keep it together?
posted by KathrynT at 11:13 PM on May 18, 2014 [23 favorites]


I have never seen Hercules, Xena or Buffy. The current actor playing Daario has a personality lacking in color and verve. Bland. Flat. Blah.
posted by mlis at 11:15 PM on May 18, 2014 [6 favorites]


The new Mountain is built like a Rob Liefeld character who doesn't skip leg day.
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:22 PM on May 18, 2014 [8 favorites]


No, he had feet.
posted by Justinian at 11:23 PM on May 18, 2014 [18 favorites]




The way they played the scene with Tyrion and Bronn, I had no sense that Bronn had delivered Shae to Tywin and Cersei, which is what I assumed.

Yeah, there didn't appear to be any anger there; but Bronn must have delivered Shae, or Cercei wouldn't have rewarded him with Lollys and an increase in rank. I don't think she would have offered him all that just for refusing to champion Tyrion. The Mountain would have destroyed Bronn anyway.

I think Bronn did turn over Shae, and Tyrion with masterful self-control recognized that Bronn had acted as always according to his own self-interest, and that self-interest had always before been what Tyrion valued in him.
posted by torticat at 11:33 PM on May 18, 2014 [6 favorites]


I have a bad feeling Melisandre intends to sacrifice Shireen.
posted by homunculus at 11:33 PM on May 18, 2014 [24 favorites]


The scene between Daenerys and Daario felt like it was lifted from Red Shoe Diaries

To me it kind of seemed like it was lifted from last night's Orphan Black!
posted by torticat at 11:35 PM on May 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


The first Daario looked and performed (as such) like someone from Hercules or Xena.

Yes, and that is why he was glorious
posted by elizardbits at 11:46 PM on May 18, 2014 [25 favorites]


I don't understand why there is a 2 week break until the next episode. It's a coincidence that it's Memorial Day, right? I'm not required to buy a mattress, am I?

What has happened to Murica?!?
posted by sfkiddo at 11:46 PM on May 18, 2014


It's so we can prepare for the awesomeness.
posted by Justinian at 11:48 PM on May 18, 2014


DINKLAGE
PETER DINKLAGE
PETER DINKLAGE
PETER DINKLAGE
posted by turbid dahlia at 11:48 PM on May 18, 2014 [24 favorites]


For your Emmy consideration: that heartbreaking scene with Pedro Pascal and Peter Dinklage, where Oberyn tells Tyrion the story of meeting him for the first time in childhood. Not a false note anywhere.
posted by hush at 11:48 PM on May 18, 2014 [47 favorites]


that heartbreaking scene with Pedro Pascal and Peter Dinklage

That was superb. "Making honest feelings do dishonest work." Great line.
posted by homunculus at 11:50 PM on May 18, 2014 [12 favorites]


life alert: pedro pascal is even more attractive in person
posted by elizardbits at 11:58 PM on May 18, 2014 [9 favorites]


elizardbits, the Google image search on Pedro Pascal is killing me. If you've met him in person, I don't understand how you're still breathing.
posted by sfkiddo at 12:03 AM on May 19, 2014 [3 favorites]


i tripped over a pigeon running away
posted by elizardbits at 12:05 AM on May 19, 2014 [22 favorites]


I thought Sophie Turner and the director did a very good job with Sansa's reaction to seeing snow and winter landscape again when she walked out into that courtyard. All that time yearning for court and sunlight gleaming on knightly armor and kings and princesses and jousting tournaments and she finally realized what it is that actually feels like home to her.
posted by Justinian at 12:19 AM on May 19, 2014 [13 favorites]


I think Sansa let herself go off on Robin because she feels safer than she has in a very long time. She got a little bit of Lysa's crazy, but not enough to really scare her. She's with family. She can be honest about her feelings. She's reminded of home, and just spent a good period of time thinking about her home and her life before everything turned to shit - that castle took time and effort. It's understandable that her guard was down.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 12:28 AM on May 19, 2014 [14 favorites]




At this point I wonder if Brienne and Pod do catch up with Arya and the Hound, if Arya will really want to go with Brienne. She doesn't seem to want to go back to Winterfell anymore, she wants to go to Bravos to train with the Faceless Men, and she might figure the Hound is her best chance to get there since he's already talked about going to Essos.
posted by homunculus at 1:00 AM on May 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


The Moon Door scene was fine for me logistically because Lysa planned to throw Sansa through the door, so she would have had the room cleared already. Regent you may be, but you don't want everyone watching you kill your niece for kissing your husband. He just took advantage.

Petyr, if I remember right has never been a pov character in the books and very opaque and mysterious in his plans, so the show seems to be making things clearer in some directions and even more creepy in others.

I loved Arya's scenes. I found her development in the books hard to follow - at some point I remember thinking the characterization from here and there makes no sense - but on the show, the steady depressing brutality she lives with is so much harsher and Masie Williams is brilliant, so her particular nihilism feels true to her life. She's a much better character on the show than on the page.
posted by viggorlijah at 1:41 AM on May 19, 2014 [9 favorites]


Snufflupagus, my husband tried to talk to me during the scene with Daarious and I had to shush him sharply.

I was surprised at the undertones with Melisandre and Stannis' wife. It reminded me oddly enough of a schoolgirl crush, boarding school style, the utterly cool older girl being mashed on by the younger. I also hope the Onion Knight comes back to take Shireen away in time.

Oh Gwendoline Christie, your laugh makes me want to feed you champagne until you are helplessly giggling and radiant.

It is so lovely having the show mix up everything in the book. I got to gasp aloud at scenes in excitement.
posted by viggorlijah at 1:57 AM on May 19, 2014 [6 favorites]


Also, Law & Order: Game of Thrones was funny and all, but it's clear now that the real Law & Order storyline stars Brienne and Podrick.

If only Ned Stark Investigations had lasted more than a season.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:34 AM on May 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


This needs to be here.

I am finding myself more and more bored with Melisandre's scenes.

I also loved Sansa's reaction to the snow, and I agree that she felt safe and able to express some of her anger onto Robin. I thought it was a much more believable portrayal than in the book, where she became almost his protector. Little shit. I wonder what will happen to him? My guess is fostered with someone, but who? About the only people I can think of who would take him would be the Tullys . . . Oh, or maybe the Tyrells? It's easier for me to guess where he WOULDN'T go - not with the Starks, not with the Freys, not with the Lannisters, not with the Boltons, not with the Greyjoys. The Martells would be fun but I don't see that to be an alliance Littlefinger wants to make . . . Unless he wants to back Myrcella . . .
posted by chainsofreedom at 3:42 AM on May 19, 2014 [3 favorites]


I was surprised at the undertones with Melisandre and Stannis' wife. It reminded me oddly enough of a schoolgirl crush, boarding school style, the utterly cool older girl being mashed on by the younger. I also hope the Onion Knight comes back to take Shireen away in time.

Yeah, talk about fucked up dynamics. There were some definite Sapphic vibes in that scene, but also jealousy and hero-worship, and all of it being channelled into piety....
posted by Diablevert at 4:01 AM on May 19, 2014 [5 favorites]


%n: "Wait, is this the third recast of the Mountain? what is happen"

I'm imagining an old soap opera voice-over during the credits, "In tonight's episode, the role of The Mountain will be played by Hafþór Björnsson".
posted by octothorpe at 4:37 AM on May 19, 2014 [9 favorites]


That interview set made Gwendoline Christie look even taller than she is. What a woman!
Also, Sansa and Littlefinger ew ew ew. Also also, I am tired of Melisandre's boobs.
posted by gingerest at 4:43 AM on May 19, 2014 [3 favorites]


I have no idea what happened to the first Daario, he was perfect, real chemistry with Daenerys unlike the current Daario.

Probably got caught up at the Laser Hair Removal & Facial Structure Augmentation Clinic.
posted by turbid dahlia at 4:53 AM on May 19, 2014


Regarding Bronn: I previously thought they were having him betray Tyrion by delivering Shae, but having thought about it more (and re-watched some stuff) I think it was just Tyrion's bad luck. At the very beginning of the episode after Joffrey dies, when they open with a continuation of that scene, Tywin yells something like "Stop all the ships!"

Littlefinger's ship isn't stopped because he concealed it, and didn't bring it to the docks, but the ship Shae was on would have still been docked, finishing its preparations to depart.

If Bronn had turned on Tyrion, he wouldn't have given Jaime shit for not going to see his brother in prison, and he wouldn't have shown up to give Tyrion the option of making good on his offer to double his new boss's rate.
posted by ocherdraco at 5:16 AM on May 19, 2014 [12 favorites]


Diablevert: So, that’s the second person he’s let you watch him kill, Sansa.

Third. Joffrey, Dontos, and Lysa.

The idea that the nobles of the house can just stomp around the throne room having temper tantrums without a single servant about to witness it just seems silly on its face.

I think it's been established since Tyrion's first trial by combat that the Eyrie is very sparsely staffed. They can't afford a huge retinue as all the food and supplies have to be ported up the mountains, and soldiers and bodyguards would most likely be stationed primarily at the waycastles leading up to the main keep.

But leaving that aside, just what excuse is Littlefinger going to come up with, here, to explain Lysa’s death? She fell and hit her head on the Moon Door? Really? That’s supposed to pass without comment among the vassals? Because if the Vale peeps believe that one I ought to get up there and sell some bridges.

I honestly don't remember what excuse (if any) he gives in the books, but I assume he will tell people she jumped, which, given what they probably already think about Lysa's mental state, might not be too hard to believe.

4) Tertiary plot wise, it seems like LF’s has now irrevocably saddled himself with Robin…If Little Lord Crazypants were to follow in his mother’s footstep, then LF would have no claim on the Vale and its impregnable castle, no? It would revert to some distant cousin and he’d have to shuffle off back to Harrenhall, unless he could get Tommen to grant the Vale to him...so far he’s been adept at destroying other people’s power bases, but we haven’t seen him build up his own

He married Lysa (at her insistence) as soon as he got to the the Eyrie, so Baelish is Lord of the Eyrie now. This is where he plans to build his power base from.
posted by Rock Steady at 5:29 AM on May 19, 2014 [2 favorites]


Night_owl: "...or the Peter Dinklage Emmy Machine"

no doubt. That scene with Oberon, the look on his face at the end when Oberon says he will be his champion just said it all; it was a look of knowing he had a chance. Just fantastic
posted by I am the Walrus at 5:50 AM on May 19, 2014


the man of twists and turns: " Wait, is this the third recast of the Mountain? what is happen

They cast a guy who actually looks like the name.
"

He looks WAY too young though. The actor is 25, but the Mountain would easily be in his 40s, maybe 50s. The Hound is 45, and this is his older brother? This is a guy Oberon wants revenge on for a killing during Robert's War that was 25 years ago? It threw me off to see such a young dude.
posted by I am the Walrus at 5:55 AM on May 19, 2014 [13 favorites]


My girlfriend and I were tearing up a bit during the Oberyn/Tyrion dialogue.

It has its flaws but GoT's pretty good TV, I must say.

Anyhow, here's the Grantland recap.

Also - in last week's thread, people were saying 'big things' were coming this season. I guess Lysa Arryn's death was one of them - are there any more on the way? (hope this isn't too spoiler-y a question)
posted by Riton at 6:19 AM on May 19, 2014


We need to pretty much stick to just discussing this episode here rather than getting into a lot of "there will be a big thing that has to do with [CHARACTER]," for example.
posted by taz at 6:23 AM on May 19, 2014 [12 favorites]


He married Lysa (at her insistence) as soon as he got to the the Eyrie, so Baelish is Lord of the Eyrie now. This is where he plans to build his power base from.

Yeah, I get that, but he's effectively regent for Robin, no? The kid seems to be about 10 or so, so he's got plenty of time before he comes of age, but he can't get rid of him, either, I don't think. The Vale would transfer to another member of the Arryn family if Robin bites it, wouldn't it? The show has made a big deal about how the power of the ruling families is based on their having this network of loyal vessels who are pledged to serve them in time of war. Those banners are pledged to Robin/The Arryns not just "whoever Tywin Lannister decides to send here as overseer" right? Basically, it seems clear to me that Littlefinger has control over the Vale for now. It's not clear to me how he could transition that into permanent control. Of course, Littlefinger rolls deep, a year is a long time in a world at war, chaos is a ladder, winter is coming, etc., etc. On a meta level, it seems like even in a dragged-out timeline Dany and her dragons will turn up and upset the chessboard well before Robin grows up.

But what I'm wondering is, does Littlefinger's power extend to being able to command the Vale to go to war with the Lannisters, a la Rob Stark? It's not clear to me that they'd owe him their loyalty, except as proxy for Robin. So he's in an incredible defensive position, but has zero offence. He obviously wants to use Sansa to rule the North, but he'd have to defy the Lannisters to do it, and leave the Vale.


He looks WAY too young though. The actor is 25, but the Mountain would easily be in his 40s, maybe 50s...It threw me off to see such a young dude.

Man, how many 6'9, 400lb ridiculously strong, passable actors do you think are out there? I was willing to cut them some slack there.
posted by Diablevert at 6:24 AM on May 19, 2014 [3 favorites]


Also - in last week's thread, people were saying 'big things' were coming this season. I guess Lysa Arryn's death was one of them - are there any more on the way? (hope this isn't too spoiler-y a question)
As a non-book-reader, I am going to throw out an "obviously yes" here to head off the winking teasers at the pass.
posted by dfan at 6:47 AM on May 19, 2014 [4 favorites]


Diablevert: "1) The thing of it is, he didn’t even need to tell Lysa. He didn’t need to twist that knife. Could have left it at “one woman” and let her die happy. But no, he wanted that to be the last thing she ever thought of. He no longer feels the need to conceal his contempt. It’s….sloppy, really."

Sloppy? The Aerie is practically empty and there's a several hundred foot drop -- and later they'll find Lysa's head popped straight off her body, which is gruesome and so you know they have to show it. Littlefinger has been playing the Game of Thrones for a long time; it has to feel nice to drop the pretense and be honest for a short while. Before pushing someone out a Moon Door.

It's all in the Game of Thrones, yo. All in the game.
posted by barnacles at 6:59 AM on May 19, 2014 [2 favorites]


He looks WAY too young though. The actor is 25, but the Mountain would easily be in his 40s, maybe 50s. The Hound is 45, and this is his older brother? This is a guy Oberon wants revenge on for a killing during Robert's War that was 25 years ago? It threw me off to see such a young dude.

I hadn't thought of this until I read your comment and then it bothered me, too. Then Diablevert's comment unbothered me. A little suspension of disbelief is called for. I feel HBO has earned that much from us.

I don't see anything wrong with the buddy adventure aspect of Arya/Hound. Their story is engaging. I keep wanting her to end up liking him, instead of pledging to kill him.

Agreeing with every comment about Melisandre becoming tedious. It was nice, though, to hear her say that much of what she does is smoke and mirrors.
posted by GrapeApiary at 7:01 AM on May 19, 2014 [4 favorites]


The only thing that really rang false to me was Sansa getting angry at Robin for wrecking her snow castle.

Yeah. That was completely out of left field. I mean, I understand why she might be upset about it (this snow castle represents everything she's ever cared about), but the reaction wasn't set up at all; Robin was just joining in her play, she seemed totally okay with it (IIRC, he asked politely and she gave express permission), and even if he destroyed it on purpose -- it was clearly an accident -- she could just take the five seconds to rebuild it.

Just straight up freaking out and slapping the kid who just two seconds ago casually mentioned he could kill her whenever he pleased just seems totally the opposite of Sansa's whole character.
posted by Sys Rq at 7:03 AM on May 19, 2014 [2 favorites]


What I want to know is, is murdering random dudes just part of the Mountain's training regimen? Like, what does he even get out of that? It's obviously no kind of challenge for him, and who were those guys? Slaves? They don't do obvious slavery in King's Landing (right?) so I guess they criminals who were already condemned to die? Do Westerosi knights just sign up for dude-killin' practice, like samurai practicing beheading on already-dead corpses? Or what? In a show full of gratuitous stuff, that scene struck me as particularly gratuitous REMEMBER THIS BAD DUDE? HE'S STILL REAL BAD.

Tyrion got the two best scenes in this episode, but Tyrion somehow seems to get most of the best scenes.

I was kind of rooting for Sansa to pull some kind of judo reversal on Lysa and flip her over through the moon door, even though that would've been bad for her (i.e., Sansa) in a variety of ways. Real disappointed to see Petyr go Full Creeper (or, well, Double Creeper), although it was obviously coming. I wonder if/when Sansa might realize that there are worse dudes to be married to than Tyrion Lannister?
posted by Sokka shot first at 7:08 AM on May 19, 2014 [8 favorites]


The thing of it is, he didn’t even need to tell Lysa. He didn’t need to twist that knife. Could have left it at “one woman” and let her die happy.

It's so rare that he gets to commit murder and Lysa was seriously irritating him. With no one around but Sansa, he was probably enjoying himself and getting rid of an immediate probably. If Lysa hadn't been so full crazy, but still willing to do things for her, he probably would have let live longer.

Just straight up freaking out and slapping the kid who just two seconds ago casually mentioned he could kill her whenever he pleased just seems totally the opposite of Sansa's whole character.

She's been under a lot of stress and having to deal with yet another obnoxious little shit, but one who was younger and smaller than her, was a breaking point. I liked seeing that more brutal side of her, it's clearly been brewing for a while. The first we're really seen of Sansa in a long while and especially after she's endured was when she was questioning Baelish on the ship. She more intelligent than she's let on and not the naive little girl she's been playing.

Y'all think Arya's bloodthirsty and brutal? I'm willing to bet Sansa is even more so, precisely because she hasn't had an outlet. Baelish may get more than he's bargaining for with her.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:11 AM on May 19, 2014 [4 favorites]


Tone in this episode was just...all over the place. Really found it odd to have the attempts at comedy mashed in the way they were alongside the more serious stuff (Arya and the Hound; Brienne and Pod - our odd misfit crime fighting duos!); Dany and Daario just...blerg. Zero chemistry and we're expected to believe that Dany has the hots for him that bad? And wtf with the lesbian undertones in the Melisandre/Selyse scene? Like, was that scene - much less the nudity and lingering camera shots - even necessary to anything?

Really felt they somehow missed the sense of the final Littlefinger/Lysa moment - maybe I have it too much built up in my head from the books, but it didn't work for me. It wasn't the switch from "Only Cat" to "Your sister; it was the scream - in the books, Lysa's fall is silent - the silence of a woman who has been shattered beyond recovery; who in that moment finds death is a preferable release. Those I was watching it with (non-book people) thought it was fine, though - but they had no tension in that scene; responses ranged from a blase "Are we going to have another dead Stark?" to "Crazy chick be crazy, yo."

I think the biggest problem was the inconsistent tone of the episode, which just didn't build up to that moment in any way.
posted by nubs at 7:16 AM on May 19, 2014 [3 favorites]


Y'all think Arya's bloodthirsty and brutal? I'm willing to bet Sansa is even more so, precisely because she hasn't had an outlet. Baelish may get more than he's bargaining for with her.

I know I've said this before on Twitter and may have said it on FanFare, but she's the only major female character in the show who has had pretty much zero agency up to this point. She's spent nearly the entire show being moved around by others with more control. And it's ground her down to sand, and now she's shacked up with the skeevy-ass jerk that kicked all this off.

Given that setup, given that she was presented with yet another psychotic child who threatened her and this time her immediate reaction was to straight-up pimp slap him, it doesn't take a genius to see where things are headed for her.

But then again I thought Tywin was in on the plot against Joffrey/Tyrion.
posted by middleclasstool at 7:23 AM on May 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm a bit bothered by Brienne's use of a fork. Forks weren't in widespread use in Europe until the 18th Century. And besides, that spindly two-pronged fork just isn't going to work with a sloppy gravy pie like that.
posted by Sys Rq at 7:26 AM on May 19, 2014 [8 favorites]


I thought Sansa was totally appropriate for slapping Robin (who has got to be like 12, not 10). She's never had much agency, she's probably (she's been told) going to have to marry Robin, and he's talking about throwing her out the Moon Door. She has got to let out a lot of the shit she's been through and not let him push her around like Joffrey. Slap made total sense.
posted by tilde at 7:28 AM on May 19, 2014 [4 favorites]


Sys Rq Brienne is a Lady, and brought up in a household with manners and everything drilled into her. She's Margery or Sansa with a sword. But yeah, that was a silly fork to be using on a kidney pie by Hot Pie (Hot Pie! Yay!).

Seconding WHERE IS GENDRY!!!!!!!!
posted by tilde at 7:29 AM on May 19, 2014


I thought Sophie Turner and the director did a very good job with Sansa's reaction to seeing snow and winter landscape again when she walked out into that courtyard. All that time yearning for court and sunlight gleaming on knightly armor and kings and princesses and jousting tournaments and she finally realized what it is that actually feels like home to her

Yes! Did anyone else catch that they played the Winterfell theme during the snow castle scene? I didn't even catch it until I rewatched that scene. But I felt all nostalgic for the very first episode of the series.

I think Sansa getting as upset at Robin as she did was a bit extreme, but:

1) she is really still a child, so childish behavior is not that far a stretch
2) she has not interacted with other children much since Arya, and Arya annoyed her too
3) it was an emotional time for her, and the snow Winterfell was so symbolic for her, it's easy to understand why she might snap that way
posted by tempestuoso at 7:30 AM on May 19, 2014 [5 favorites]


I got the sense that the uneven tone came from how it was yet another piece-setting episode, in which some storylines sort of nominally advanced but everything was clearly more setup on the way to a payoff (although this one did end with something actually happening).
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 7:31 AM on May 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


Diablevert: Yeah, I get that, but he's effectively regent for Robin, no? The kid seems to be about 10 or so, so he's got plenty of time before he comes of age, but he can't get rid of him, either, I don't think. The Vale would transfer to another member of the Arryn family if Robin bites it, wouldn't it? The show has made a big deal about how the power of the ruling families is based on their having this network of loyal vessels who are pledged to serve them in time of war. Those banners are pledged to Robin/The Arryns not just "whoever Tywin Lannister decides to send here as overseer" right?

I'm not sure how the whole King Consort thing works in Westeros, but he's not just an appointed overseer, he married into the family. Even if Robin dies, he has at least as strong a claim as some Ser Matthew of House Crawley or whomever. Besides, with the Eyrie, possesion is way more than 9/10ths of the law.
posted by Rock Steady at 7:32 AM on May 19, 2014 [3 favorites]


I just really wanted the Oberon/Tyrion scene to end with Oberon saying, "I will go up to the 6'9 man and say, 'Hello. My name is Oberon Martell. You killed my nieces and nephews and raped my sister. Prepare to die.'"

Still holding out hope for the actual duel...
posted by ChuraChura at 7:32 AM on May 19, 2014 [29 favorites]


It seems futile to flag them now, but I will say, my beloved book peeps, that the absence of Gendry from this season had not crossed my mind even once, but since y'all keep bringing it up it seems he's going to play a big part in the finale? Or at least that he should cannonically? I honestly can't imagine where he fits in, really. Could pop up anywhere at this point. Oh well, I suppose I'll find out what you're on about soon enough.
posted by Diablevert at 7:38 AM on May 19, 2014 [2 favorites]


Sokka shot first: " so I guess they criminals who were already condemned to die?"
I assumed they were criminals who, like Tyrion, also asked for Trial by Combat

Brandon Blatcher: "It's so rare that he gets to commit murder"
It's only his third one this season (so far)!
posted by I am the Walrus at 7:41 AM on May 19, 2014 [3 favorites]


If nothing else, they reminded me that I couldn't remember exactly where we left off with Gendry, so I checked the Game of Thrones wiki:

Ser Davos frees Gendry and sends him back to King's Landing in a rowboat, the only way to discreetly leave Dragonstone, although Gendry admits he doesn't know how to swim and has never been in a rowboat before.

Calling it now: Last shot of the series finale is Gendry, still sitting in the rowboat about a half-mile from shore, letting out a huge sigh.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 7:43 AM on May 19, 2014 [24 favorites]


It seems futile to flag them now, but I will say, my beloved book peeps, that the absence of Gendry from this season had not crossed my mind even once, but since y'all keep bringing it up it seems he's going to play a big part in the finale?

I haven't read the books, but I've noticed the lack of Gendry, too (or, as I know him, "that guy from Skins"), but it makes sense. He was just Arya's friend. We're following her, not him.
posted by Sys Rq at 7:43 AM on May 19, 2014


It seems futile to flag them now, but I will say, my beloved book peeps, that the absence of Gendry from this season had not crossed my mind even once, but since y'all keep bringing it up it seems he's going to play a big part in the finale?

The show's treatment of Gendry is different than the book's treatment of Gendry, IIRC. Book readers are as new to much of his show storyline as show watchers. I think the desire people have expressed here to see more Gendry is simply that. No need to flag anything.
posted by tempestuoso at 7:44 AM on May 19, 2014 [6 favorites]


Simple desire, seriously, to see Gendry. Things from the book and show are divergent enough that there is a lot new for the book people who have read it more than I (I blew through them last winter). For me it was like sitting in the Mad Men threads bemoaning the lack of Bob Benson.
posted by tilde at 7:48 AM on May 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


Yeah, we book people are anxious to see Gendry again because we have no clue what's up with him. (And are concerned for his safety! He can't swim! He's in a boat!)
posted by ocherdraco at 7:55 AM on May 19, 2014 [2 favorites]


Gendry is a composite of two different book characters (Gendry and Edric Stone), and his storyline on the show has deviated significantly from either book characters' storyline in the books.

So we book readers are wondering where he is because we genuinely don't know what the show is going to do with him, and the other composite characters haven't fared too well...
posted by Jacqueline at 8:02 AM on May 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


The actor is 25, but the Mountain would easily be in his 40s, maybe 50s. The Hound is 45, and this is his older brother?

This. They've gone for "look at this guy he's HUGE", but they've lost any shred of family resemblance. The Mountain we saw at the joust looked like he could be The Hound's brother; this one looks like Andre The Giant.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 8:06 AM on May 19, 2014 [2 favorites]


What I want to know is, is murdering random dudes just part of the Mountain's training regimen? Like, what does he even get out of that?

My thoughts during the scene.
posted by chainsofreedom at 8:10 AM on May 19, 2014 [2 favorites]


"This day is really not working out the way you planned."

I LOLed.
posted by P.o.B. at 8:13 AM on May 19, 2014


I made this GIF last night since it seemed like the final 10 seconds of the show should be in every dictionary under the definition of #sorrynotsorry
posted by mathowie at 8:18 AM on May 19, 2014 [9 favorites]


The actor is 25, but the Mountain would easily be in his 40s, maybe 50s. The Hound is 45, and this is his older brother?

See, what the book readers haven't been saying, for fear of being flagged, is that The Mountain gets 2.37 years younger for each baby he eats. Clearly, he has eaten 10.54 babies since last we saw him, and that accounts for the difference.
posted by tempestuoso at 8:21 AM on May 19, 2014 [10 favorites]


Does he get that included as an official title?

Gregor Clegane: First of his Name; Devourer of Babies; Mountain of a Man
posted by I am the Walrus at 8:28 AM on May 19, 2014


Is he a mountain of a man or a very manly mountain?
posted by xorry at 8:30 AM on May 19, 2014 [14 favorites]


I was surprised at how surprised (and happy) I was to see Hot Pie. I was watching it with my (non-book-reader) girlfriend and she didn't realize it was him until I said "Oh wow, Hot Pie!" She said something along the liens of, "oh yeah, I remember him..."

I'm just curious if non-book readers were as happy to see him as book readers, or if my attachment to the character is more because of the books. Do the non-book-readers feel invested in the Hot Pie character at all? Were you happy to see him?
posted by tempestuoso at 8:32 AM on May 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


xorry: Is he a mountain of a man or a very manly mountain?

Next actor to be cast as The Mountain.

posted by Rock Steady at 8:32 AM on May 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm just curious if non-book readers were as happy to see him as book readers, or if my attachment to the character is more because of the books. Do the non-book-readers feel invested in the Hot Pie character at all? Were you happy to see him?

I was happy to see him, yeah. I wasn't, like, jumping out of my seat or anything but it was cool to see him. I think I'd have gotten more out of it if I'd been doing an episode binge previously, because then his scenes from previous seasons would be more fresh in my memory.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 8:36 AM on May 19, 2014 [2 favorites]


Even with all the Peter Dinklage Emmy-stealing scenes this week, I think Bronn got the best line:

"If I wanted wits, I'd've married you"
posted by warm_planet at 8:39 AM on May 19, 2014 [20 favorites]


That interview set made Gwendoline Christie look even taller than she is. What a woman!

Look at those chairs! They are child-sized. All three of them look huge in the chairs, but poor Gwendoline Christie looks monstrous.
posted by MsVader at 8:55 AM on May 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


How do you eat 0.54 of a baby? I mean, you're halfway through your eleventh baby and your conscience tells you "You know, I should probably stop eating so many babies"? Maybe it was all in one sitting and he just couldn't get through that last 46% of a baby, despite its being wafer thin.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 9:01 AM on May 19, 2014 [4 favorites]


if it is pureed baby you can just pour some back into the thermos.
posted by elizardbits at 9:10 AM on May 19, 2014 [16 favorites]


Wow, I was not expecting to get so emotional during the Bronn and Tyrion farewell. Everything they both said made sense, and it came across that they parted with mutual respect, admiration and sadness. I really felt like I was watching two true friends reach the end of their travels together.

I wish they gave awards for Best Dramatic Scenes as well as actors, though I suppose Bronn-Tyrion from this ep would face serious competition from Jaime-Tyrion and Oberyn-Tyrion from the very same episode. Props to Dinklage for getting those around him to elevate their game: like commentators say in sports, that's one of the characteristics of an all-time great.

(Speaking of the Oberyn-Tyrion scene, I knew what was coming and I was still all, "YES! YES! YES!" like I was Daniel Bryan as that scene wrapped up.)

Finally, I know a lot of characters in the GoT universe think they're smart, but at this point, anybody who doesn't have Sansa on their "Do *Not* Eff With" list is stupid if ya ask me. That young lady is going to unleash hell before all is said and done, having learned from both Cersei and Littlefinger.
posted by lord_wolf at 9:30 AM on May 19, 2014 [3 favorites]


Littlefinger doesn't have to kill Robin, probably. Robin will probably die on his own (possibly without breastmilk, har) due to his many ailments, or just annoying someone else enough. Keeping the kid alive would be a harder job.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:38 AM on May 19, 2014 [2 favorites]


Finally, I know a lot of characters in the GoT universe think they're smart, but at this point, anybody who doesn't have Sansa on their "Do *Not* Eff With" list is stupid if ya ask me. That young lady is going to unleash hell before all is said and done, having learned from both Cersei and Littlefinger.

And with Arya being mentored by The Hound at the moment, the Stark girls would be quite a team if they ever met up again.
posted by gaspode at 9:39 AM on May 19, 2014 [5 favorites]


they parted with mutual respect, admiration and sadness. I really felt like I was watching two true friends reach the end of their travels together.


This! Totally. It ended their relationship with complete equality. Even the framing of the camera shots seemed to convey dignity without trying to compensate for the height disparity between the actors.
posted by warm_planet at 9:46 AM on May 19, 2014 [3 favorites]


I will say, my beloved book peeps, that the absence of Gendry from this season had not crossed my mind even once, but since y'all keep bringing it up it seems he's going to play a big part in the finale? Or at least that he should cannonically?

Book people freak out about Gendry because, in the books, he's actually two people - or rather, two book people were combined to make show Gendry. So we don't really know what's up, or what it means, and we are hoping that something will be slipped into the show that we didn't read in the books yet so we can get MOAR CLUES.
posted by corb at 9:59 AM on May 19, 2014 [3 favorites]


I was just watching Matt's GIF again, and can I say how much I love Aiden Gillen? His gesture as he pushes her, flinging his hands out and down, as if touching her disgusts him --- perfect. It may have replace Dany's dead-eyed drop the mic/whip as she leads the Unsullied away from the first city they conquer as my favourite actorly gesture in all of GoT. Gillen has this way of conveying both passion and cruelty, constrained and at odds with his buttoned-down surface demeanour, and the mixture creates a charisma of its own...he was like that on Queer as Folk too, back in the day. Haven't seen his season of The Wire so I don't know how that compares. But I do enjoy watching him/am terrified of him.
posted by Diablevert at 10:01 AM on May 19, 2014 [7 favorites]


I'm really disliking the over-the-top treatment of my praeshis Baelish. "Only Cat" and a small, utilitarian shove would have done just as well to present him as the sly, semi-poetic killer of the "chaos is a ladder" speech. The flourishes are unneeded.

I'm also not sure why he decided the time was right to plant one on Sansa. That scene felt rushed. I'd like to think he'd give her a little bit more agency, or the impression of agency, than he did. It seems like, since they're all alone at the Eyrie now, a little seduction would be nice. Maybe that work isn't as close to over as I think. After all, Sansa is a married woman.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 10:11 AM on May 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


I thought he kissed Sansa in order to make Lysa insanely jealous which would allow him to push her out of the moon door. Do you guys really think he likes/wants Sansa?
posted by valeries at 10:17 AM on May 19, 2014 [2 favorites]


I'm also not sure why he decided the time was right to plant one on Sansa.

He made a pass at Cat when he delivered Ned's bones. I wouldn't say that romance is his strong suit.
posted by tempestuoso at 10:18 AM on May 19, 2014 [13 favorites]


I don't see anything wrong with the buddy adventure aspect of Arya/Hound. Their story is engaging. I keep wanting her to end up liking him, instead of pledging to kill him.

I think it's going to be both. That wound of his is bound to fester, so I think she's going to have to take care of him. At some point I expect her to say something along the lines of "I hate you and someday I'm going to kill you, but right now you're the only friend I've got."
posted by homunculus at 10:29 AM on May 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


Do you guys really think he likes/wants Sansa?

Of course he does! Technically I guess he actually wants Cat but Sansa is as close as he seems likely to get at this point. It doesn't work as well in the show because Sophie Turner and Michelle Fairley don't look much alike but Sansa and Cat theoretically both share the Tully look, just as Arya and Jon (cough) both have strong Stark looks. So when Littlefinger looks at Sansa he should be seeing the very young Cat that he fell in love with many years ago.

Notice that Sansa and Lysa had the same hair before Lysa took the header out the Moon Door. Cat's hair is canonically also that auburn though in the show they had it darker.

So, yeah, Littlefinger is totally creeping all over Sansa.
posted by Justinian at 10:40 AM on May 19, 2014 [3 favorites]


Do you guys really think he likes/wants Sansa?
I do, and it feels like the show has been playing it up ever since Season 1.
posted by dfan at 10:48 AM on May 19, 2014 [2 favorites]


Do you guys really think he likes/wants Sansa?

The girl, he could take or leave. He only cares about her status.
posted by Sys Rq at 11:09 AM on May 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


I wish they gave awards for Best Dramatic Scenes as well as actors, though I suppose Bronn-Tyrion from this ep would face serious competition from Jaime-Tyrion and Oberyn-Tyrion from the very same episode.

I've really enjoyed the scenes between Jamie and Tyrion. We knew that they were supposed to be close, but this season was the first time we really got to see it. I think this whole trial debacle is going to really sour Jamie on the rest of his family.
posted by homunculus at 11:17 AM on May 19, 2014


The girl, he could take or leave. He only cares about her status.

I think the show has been pretty clear about how much Baelish still carries a torch for Catelyn Stark, and (through his body language) he seems to be transferring that to Sansa.

But I think you are right as well, that Sansa is also extremely attractive as "The Key to the North" going forward.

Littlefinger's in it to win it.
posted by warm_planet at 11:19 AM on May 19, 2014 [5 favorites]


The old Daario was kind of a tool. This new one is less of a tool, but he's not....flamboyant enough, I guess. They could have at least done the three-pointed beard on him or something - give him a bit of panache.

Alliser Thorne's gotta go. That schmuck is going to get the entire Night's Watch killed because he's got an axe to grind.
posted by Thistledown at 11:31 AM on May 19, 2014 [5 favorites]


Do you guys really think he likes/wants Sansa?

I had been allowing myself to live in a denial fueled world in which I believed that Littlefinger's feelings for Cat would cause him to want to protect Sansa as a daughter. All of his actions towards Sansa thus far were things that could be read as fatherly affection (as well as Creepy McCreeperson) and I hoped that time would prove that at least in this one area, Littlefinger had somewhat of a heart.

The kiss and Lysa's murder have snapped me out of that. Now I feel like the best we can hope for (if Sansa doesn't get out of there soon) is that he won't actually try to rape her (it's more likely that he'll keep grooming her until she agrees to a marriage, after the Lannisters are out of the way).
posted by sparklemotion at 11:32 AM on May 19, 2014 [3 favorites]


The girl, he could take or leave. He only cares about her status.

I really think he would prefer to take (no pun intended) rather than to leave. I don't think he enjoys killing -- he is not a sadist like Joffrey -- but will do so without hesitation if someone stands in the way of his ambition. "He would see the country burn if he could be the ruler of the ashes," as Varys said.

He sees Sansa as a protégée, to an extent, but (and this is opinion, not spoilers) it's more than that: he wants to convince her how clever he is and if only she could see how brilliant he is, she would love him. It's what he always wanted from Cat too, I think.

He has very much a stalker mentality.
posted by tempestuoso at 11:47 AM on May 19, 2014 [6 favorites]


Alliser Thorne's gotta go. That schmuck is going to get the entire Night's Watch killed because he's got an axe to grind.

He (opinion, not spoilers) will hopefully meet a very satisfying end at the sword or teeth of a white walker when the show finally reminds us again that The Winter is Coming.

Which, incidentally, I keep forgetting since so little of the show lately has focused on the looming threat.
posted by GrapeApiary at 11:50 AM on May 19, 2014


I'm just curious if non-book readers were as happy to see him as book readers, or if my attachment to the character is more because of the books. Do the non-book-readers feel invested in the Hot Pie character at all? Were you happy to see him?

I watch this show with the captions turned on (mostly because I have bad hearing), and Hot Pie's first line is delivered before his face is shown on screen (by less than a few seconds) and the captions use his name. I was excited that he was back, but felt a little robbed by not getting to recognise him by face first.
posted by dogwalker at 12:21 PM on May 19, 2014


My first thought on seeing Brienne and Pod get served pie was "Heh, it'd be funny if Hot Pie were the one serving them hot pie." And lo! the universe heard the lord wolf's words and it was so.

As you might imagine, I'm dying for someone to make me a Direwolf scone or whatever that baked good is that he's now made twice. Whoever draws me for Secret Quonsar this year, please take note.
posted by lord_wolf at 12:54 PM on May 19, 2014 [18 favorites]


I find it kinda funny how much taller Sansa is than Baelish. She's always been so mistreated and downtrodden that I think I just think of her as a frail little girl, but when he had to reach up to kiss her she seemed so imposingly tall.
posted by DynamiteToast at 1:14 PM on May 19, 2014 [2 favorites]


I think LF takes Sansa as both a projection of his affection for Catlyn, and as a big cosmic fuck you to Catlyn -- "not only am I taking your daughter in your place, but because of the hand you played, Sansa is also strategic. And I will use her up. You had a chance to make me a better man, but now I will use your daughter with everything you secretly feared I was capable of, everything you reviled, full force."
posted by vitabellosi at 1:16 PM on May 19, 2014 [3 favorites]


I seriously doubt Baelish is thking FUCK YOU to Catlyn. That was the one person he had an obsession with loved.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:22 PM on May 19, 2014 [4 favorites]


I had been allowing myself to live in a denial fueled world in which I believed that Littlefinger's feelings for Cat would cause him to want to protect Sansa as a daughter

Same here - I was convinced Littlefinger's relationship with Sansa was meant to represent his one remaining shred of decency, or maybe that he felt the need to do a teensy bit of good as a salve to what's left of his conscience. Quite enjoyed having that idea knocked out of me by this episode!

Just straight up freaking out and slapping the kid who just two seconds ago casually mentioned he could kill her whenever he pleased just seems totally the opposite of Sansa's whole character.

He didn't threaten to throw her out of the Moon Door, though, did he?

That 'Or you!' sounded like it was going to be a threat, but Robin goes on to say, 'When we get married, you can tell me if you don't like somebody and we can bring them back here and - whoosh! - right through the Moon Door.'

In his freaky little way, Robin's trying to be sweet!

And Sansa's replies, smiling a very creepy smile, 'I like the sound of that'. And then she readily agrees to add a Moon Door to the Winterfell model. I think this is because she's on the cusp of turning into a cold-hearted revenge loon like her little sister, but still clinging on for dear life to all her polite and princessy ways to keep sane.

So, she just gave him a slap for smashing up the model of Winterfell like a little twerp, because she's at the end of her tether.

Totally in character, assuming we're catching Sansa transforming from a courtly doormat into someone quite scary.
posted by jack_mo at 1:22 PM on May 19, 2014 [5 favorites]


it's more than that: he wants to convince her how clever he is and if only she could see how brilliant he is, she would love him.

In my opinion (and again, opinion, not spoilers), Littlefinger really creepily reminds me of the ultimate Nice Guy. He just wanted to love Cat. He was her friend. Really, he was a good guy, sure, not titled or interesting or attractive or anything like that, but he was nice, right? They would have been perfect together if she only hadn't gone for the bully! Waaaaaaah!

And there's this thing that goes beyond that, that you really only see in really creepy corners of the internet, where guys are really into dating practically teenagers, where they complain about how older women are all jaded and not into them but these young things like them and they will "raise" them up right to love them and they will Know Their Place.

And both of those things are screaming in my head every time Littlefinger looks at Sansa.

I think he wants her. I think he wants to mold her and groom her into his image of the perfect wife. I think for him she is Cat made young, Cat as she should have been, Cat as she would have been if only she had acted in the doll-like fashion that Petyr Baelish wanted her to.
posted by corb at 1:28 PM on May 19, 2014 [33 favorites]


The old Daario was kind of a tool.

Which is why he was perfect!
posted by Jacqueline at 1:46 PM on May 19, 2014 [12 favorites]


I think he wants her. I think he wants to mold her and groom her into his image of the perfect wife. I think for him she is Cat made young, Cat as she should have been, Cat as she would have been if only she had acted in the doll-like fashion that Petyr Baelish wanted her to.

I think his rise in power adds to this as well. When he was young he tried to "save" Cat from the bully Brandon and got rebuffed, but now he is stronger and has saved Sansa so now she has to love him, because to him that's probably the only place he feels he went wrong with Cat.
posted by DynamiteToast at 1:50 PM on May 19, 2014 [4 favorites]


Same here - I was convinced Littlefinger's relationship with Sansa was meant to represent his one remaining shred of decency

You know what I just realized? He did warn us not to trust him.

This show has made Eddards of us all.
posted by sparklemotion at 2:19 PM on May 19, 2014 [8 favorites]


Was it intentionally vague about whether Brienne & Pod went to the Eyrie or Castle Black? I wasn't sure if it was supposed to be ambiguous or obvious which direction they went in.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 2:31 PM on May 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


I just figured If they were headed north and turned right, that meant The Eyrie.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 2:34 PM on May 19, 2014 [3 favorites]


Having looked at a map of Westeros, that does seem to make sense.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 3:06 PM on May 19, 2014


I'm surprised that, even having read the books, the show has me on the edge of my seat and holding my breath so often. I think it's a testament to the actors that I am following with rapt interest and real concern, even though I know exactly what is going to happen in the storylines that haven't deviated from the books.

Peter Dinklage's face while Oberyn was talking was so pained and perfect. I love them both to bits.
posted by chatongriffes at 3:47 PM on May 19, 2014 [3 favorites]


Peter Dinklage's face while Oberyn was talking was so pained and perfect.

It was, and I know exactly what emotion it was showing: "I have so never, in my entire life, ever once had anyone who defended my right to exist in this world, that merely hearing that someone once was puzzled at the ire and wrath my birth engendered has caused me to feel feelings that I thought I had bottled up and stuffed at the bottom of a well never to be discovered. I don't want these feelings; I almost hope that you are telling me this because you want me to be hurt at how little my family wanted me, because that would at least be a hurt familiar enough that the callouses are thick. But I don't think that's what's going on, because I don't think you are that kind of man, and I don't even know what to do with the idea that someone once looked upon me as a helpless infant and saw a baby instead of a monster."
posted by KathrynT at 3:55 PM on May 19, 2014 [64 favorites]


Alliser Thorne's gotta go. That schmuck is going to get the entire Night's Watch killed because he's got an axe to grind.

He (opinion, not spoilers) will hopefully meet a very satisfying end at the sword or teeth of a white walker when the show finally reminds us again that The Winter is Coming.


And he hangs out with the baby killer who Tyrion sent to the wall. I hope that guy gets his comeuppance too.
posted by homunculus at 4:29 PM on May 19, 2014


Omg. Oberyn is Eddie from Buffy's first ep in college. Did everyone else already know that?
posted by double bubble at 5:20 PM on May 19, 2014 [10 favorites]


And Sansa's replies, smiling a very creepy smile, 'I like the sound of that'. And then she readily agrees to add a Moon Door to the Winterfell model. I think this is because she's on the cusp of turning into a cold-hearted revenge loon like her little sister, but still clinging on for dear life to all her polite and princessy ways to keep sane.

Oh yeah. And when Littlefinger told her why he killed Joffrey, she smiled. Girlfriend is cold. Cold as the snows of Winterfell!
posted by showbiz_liz at 5:28 PM on May 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


Omg. Oberyn is Eddie from Buffy's first ep in college. Did everyone else already know that?

No way! I read Of Human Bondage because of Oberyn Martell!
posted by showbiz_liz at 5:29 PM on May 19, 2014 [5 favorites]


Arya's killing of that dude in cold blood was a highlight for me. I wonder if Martin/D&D will empower her to be a killing machine only to make viewers/readers end up disliking or being conflicted about a character they loved unconditionally at first.

But I will still root for Maisy Williams because she's the best.

My guess is fostered with someone, but who?


I really doubt Baelish would relinquish the little lord even for the sake of alliance since he derives his power in the Vale from him.
posted by ersatz at 5:47 PM on May 19, 2014


If Bronn had turned on Tyrion, he wouldn't have given Jaime shit for not going to see his brother in prison, and he wouldn't have shown up to give Tyrion the option of making good on his offer to double his new boss's rate.

ocherdraco, not saying this is impossible (the part about "stop the ships" is interesting), but if this is the case, what do you think Cersei is paying Bronn for?

I don't know that Bronn ever intentionally turned on Tyrion--he wouldn't have known he was bringing Shae back to testify. He could have just sold his services without worrying about the ramifications.

On the other hand, he would have known taking Shae to Cersei wasn't going to end well for her, and it seems a bit strange that he would have turned on Shae in that way. He always seemed to like her.

I'm not sure what to think. Bronn's clearly negotiated with Cersei, so you do have to wonder what it was she got from him.
posted by torticat at 5:51 PM on May 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


torticat: "what do you think Cersei is paying Bronn for? "

I think Cersei is taking Bronn out of Tyrion's employ as part of her campaign to deprive her brother of all aid and succor. I don't think she'd care whether or not he championed Tyrion, inasmuch as she expects no one to be able to best the Mountain (this is not jousting, after all, but single combat).

What she wants is for Tyrion to have no one. Her dream scenario has Tyrion and the Mountain in the ring together, and for Tyrion to be utterly alone, with no friend in the world, able to contemplate his complete lack of any human care or companionship before being beheaded. Or, better yet, before being disemboweled, so he can continue to contemplate his absolute solitude while dying in front of a crowd of thousands.
posted by ocherdraco at 6:06 PM on May 19, 2014 [3 favorites]


I thought Oberyn's story was interesting for showing what a monstrous creature Cersei was from a very early age. Now Joffrey makes more sense. He wasn't an aberration; he was simply his mother's son.
posted by shivohum at 6:28 PM on May 19, 2014 [22 favorites]


Clearly, he has eaten 10.54 babies since last we saw him, and that accounts for the difference.

i've found that a diet of babies and no carbs helps with the youthfulness
posted by homunculus at 6:49 PM on May 19, 2014 [4 favorites]


He, uh, he's had some carbs.
posted by Sys Rq at 7:06 PM on May 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


he was simply his mother's son

and his father's son.

But Joff was worse than both of them.
posted by snuffleupagus at 7:43 PM on May 19, 2014


"Arya's killing of that dude in cold blood was a highlight for me. I wonder if Martin/D&D will empower her to be a killing machine only to make viewers/readers end up disliking or being conflicted about a character they loved unconditionally at first."

Arya is a difficult character because she's do dark, but that's what I love about her. She's one of my all-time favorites in fiction and I've found Maisie Williams's portrayal and Arya's characterization on the show to be perfect and I'm even more attached to the character.

There's some dark, uncomfortable things going on with me in why I like her character so much and for a complicated set of reasons, I think I can identify with such a character more strongly as a young woman than as a young man. So I literally get choked up sometimes when I watch poignant scenes with her on the show and last night's kill I involuntarily cheered for her. Which is fucked up, but there's something about Arya finding her agency from her anger that's very compelling for me, I relate to it quite strongly.

But this can't be good in many respects. I argued in an earlier episode thread that I do think that, all things told, this is about the best that can be expected for Arya. Given her experiences, I don't know that she really could have a path toward not feeling like a victim and eventually (hopefully) working things out for herself emotionally that doesn't involve empowering herself through developing her own capacity to enact vengeance on those who have wronged her. It's not pretty, and it's sad in many respects, but it's also arguably the right thing for her.

Even so, this can't be the whole of who she becomes, she's clearly amputating parts of her emotional self and, to replace them, learning to explore her capacity to kill. That doesn't make for either a happy person (unless they're irreparably damaged as a psychopath and while maybe they're happy with killing, they're also, you know, in some sense bad people) or a person with a fully human life. It's a deeply constrained life. It's having agency and being powerful, yes, but only in one limited sense and at the price of losing many other things.

So I don't think that we're expected to wholeheartedly embrace this transformation. Unless it's as a prelude to a tragic end for her. But, excepting that possibility, I think it's intended to be a sort of necessary life-stage for Arya, somewhere she has to move through on her way to ending up in a truly better place. I want Arya to be empowered, and, yes, a little scary, but also happy and fulfilled and her life among people she loves and who love her.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 8:13 PM on May 19, 2014 [4 favorites]


Waiting for GOT-dot
posted by homunculus at 8:56 PM on May 19, 2014




I thought Oberyn's story was interesting for showing what a monstrous creature Cersei was from a very early age. Now Joffrey makes more sense. He wasn't an aberration; he was simply his mother's son.

I don't think that story shows her as a psycho. Cruel and spiteful, yes. But really, in the world they live in, what's more natural, her hatred or Jamie's pity? When every man woman and child calls him a monster, already a legend in his cradle, every servant for a thousand miles calling him a punishment, a judgement, visited upon their house? In this as in all things, Cersei is Daddy's girl. And Tyrion killed her mother, and Tywin hates him for it, and Cersei hates him for it. So she's cruel to him, yes. But not the cruelty of madness, cruelty for its own sake, a hunger to be slaked. Cruelty that wreaks pain in payment for pain.

I think he wants her. I think he wants to mold her and groom her into his image of the perfect wife. I think for him she is Cat made young, Cat as she should have been, Cat as she would have been if only she had acted in the doll-like fashion that Petyr Baelish wanted her to.

I 90% agree with this. But not 100%. Because the thing about Petyr's Nice Guy dynamic with Cat, is that he stopped being a nice guy after losing her; he says as much in his very first sexposition scene with Roz. So there's a way in which he thinks of Sansa as the prize he deserves, and as the vengeance he deserves, but he doesn't relate to her the same way he did to Cat, as the supplicant, the weaker party. Sansa is afraid of him, and the fact that she's clever enough to be afraid of him is what he likes best about her, because it means she respects him, appreciates what he's capable of. The only other person who's ever seen and understood his true ambitions and respected his capacity to achieve them is Varys. Littlefinger lies to Sansa about his motives, sure. But he can't seem to help showing off for her, treating her, literally, as a partner in crime, a protege. Cat was never that to him; it's more like his relationship to Roz. His eyes light up when she asks a clever question. He might have wanted Cat to believe he was good (or Nice) to love him for the boy he was. Sansa he wants to respect him for the man he is, to understand who that is. That's interesting.
posted by Diablevert at 9:28 PM on May 19, 2014 [19 favorites]


I wish we knew more about Tywin's wife. There's a throwaway line somewhere that she made Tywin smile and when she died, all the laughter left their home. Cersei as a little girl had lost her mother to an infant that she was told was a monster, so hating Tyrion - with her father's tacit acceptance of that - is not particularly strange.

I would love to see some analysis of birth control in GOT, and maternal mortality rates. There are just way too few children in important families to not have something going on.
posted by viggorlijah at 9:52 PM on May 19, 2014 [4 favorites]


The only thing that really rang false to me was Sansa getting angry at Robin for wrecking her snow castle.

I thought she was mildly disappointed at that but got angry with his denial that he did it. He most likely reminded her a little bit of Joffrey, and a Joffrey within her own family would be infuriating.
posted by juiceCake at 9:55 PM on May 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


There are just way too few children in important families to not have something going on.

They have herbal abortifacients. IIRC many women know how to make them, or you can get something from a Maester.

In the books, Cersei aborted all her pregnancies from Robert and teenaged Lysa was forced by her father to abort after Littlefinger got her pregnant.
posted by Jacqueline at 10:05 PM on May 19, 2014


He might have wanted Cat to believe he was good (or Nice) to love him for the boy he was. Sansa he wants to respect him for the man he is, to understand who that is.

Peter also apparently used to be a romantic boy who imagined himself living in one of the courtly tales that Sansa also loved, and that's why he thought that Cat would love him -- but then he came to his senses after that unfortunate duel. In a sense, I think that Sansa is on a journey that Peter *already* went on as a boy/young man, realizing his own powerlessness, realizing that the real world doesn't work like a fairy tale, etc.

I think as well as seeing Cat in Sansa, Peter sees *himself* in her. Which is why he loves her clever questions.
posted by rue72 at 10:24 PM on May 19, 2014 [8 favorites]


My favourite thing about Hot Pie is that he recognised Brienne as both a knight and a true lady. He wasn't confused or put off by the idea of a freakishly large woman in armour, he correctly deduced that she was a well-born warrior for justice, even if she's never been knighted.
posted by harriet vane at 11:15 PM on May 19, 2014 [26 favorites]




Speaking professionally, Melisandre, I really can't advise keeping the oh dear god you don't even want to touch that vial and the oooh this makes for a delightful bath vial right fucking adjacent on your shelf. Without so much as a label.
posted by dmd at 6:51 AM on May 20, 2014 [33 favorites]


They have herbal abortifacients. IIRC many women know how to make them, or you can get something from a Maester.

Moon tea is a type of herbal tea that is used in the Seven Kingdoms as well as beyond the Wall to prevent or abort pregnancies. It is made generally by maesters and wise women out of the flower tansy, mint, wormwood, a spoon of honey, and a drop of pennyroyal.

Minor spoiler about Tom of Sevenstreams follows the above sentence in the link above, but he is a very minor character in the show, assuming he's who I think he is.
posted by tempestuoso at 7:07 AM on May 20, 2014 [1 favorite]


1) The thing of it is, he didn’t even need to tell Lysa. He didn’t need to twist that knife. Could have left it at “one woman” and let her die happy.

It's a long drop. She wouldn't have died "happy" regardless. But leaving that aside, just what excuse is Littlefinger going to come up with, here, to explain Lysa’s death? She fell and hit her head on the Moon Door? Really? That’s supposed to pass without comment among the vassals? They'll all be glad that the crazy woman who killes people on Robin's whim is gone now.
posted by spaltavian at 7:07 AM on May 20, 2014


I would love to see some analysis of birth control in GOT, and maternal mortality rates.

Don't look good. Dany's mom, Tyrion's mom, Brienne's mom, Catelyn's mom all died in childbirth, and in the books there are many miscarriages and stillbirths mentioned between the living children too.
posted by ZeroAmbition at 7:24 AM on May 20, 2014 [1 favorite]


More on the topic of herbal medicines: GRRM gets a lot of criticism for prevalent and recurring use of certain terms like milk of the poppy, willow bark, and moon tea. I have always appreciated that most of the healing and medicine in ASoIaF has at least some historical merit. He does similar things with food (see trenchers) -- and receives similar criticism for it -- but I for one like that too.
posted by tempestuoso at 7:29 AM on May 20, 2014 [1 favorite]


Tom of Sevenstreams

Please tell me he's the Westerosi Tom of Finland.
posted by ursus_comiter at 7:30 AM on May 20, 2014 [2 favorites]


The scene I wanted and didn't get this week was Tywin eating a hot steaming shit pie of his own baking, preferably with sardonic commentary provided by Varys.
posted by ursus_comiter at 7:31 AM on May 20, 2014 [5 favorites]


And speaking of pie, I was happy to see Hot Pie, especially since he seems to be in a really good place. Here's hoping that we never see him again and we can all just keep believing that he gets to make excellent baked goods for decades and dies happily in his sleep.
posted by ursus_comiter at 7:33 AM on May 20, 2014 [17 favorites]


I really liked the conversation between tirion and jamie this week. they are such brothers and they really act like it - they care deeply for each other, with a closeness that goes beyond the brotherly duty or competition that you see between the other brothers in the relm. Maybe it's because they have nothing to compete for, whereas all the other brothers always need to watch their backs lest they lose their inheritance.
posted by rebent at 7:34 AM on May 20, 2014 [3 favorites]


re: Hot Pie, please tell me he got a new name.
posted by rebent at 7:34 AM on May 20, 2014


Yes, and a knighthood. Ser Sexy Hot Pie of Gravy.
posted by ursus_comiter at 7:39 AM on May 20, 2014 [5 favorites]


Cold Pie.

Winter is coming.
posted by davidjmcgee at 8:03 AM on May 20, 2014 [7 favorites]


So she's cruel to him, yes. But not the cruelty of madness, cruelty for its own sake, a hunger to be slaked. Cruelty that wreaks pain in payment for pain.

I think that's what it seems superficially, but I think on deeper reflection it's not true. She might have hated Tyrion, but what child would react to hatred by pinching unbelievably hard the genitals of a newborn child? How would that sort of idea come into the head of a child? Seems like a penchant for sadistic perversion from the start.

Or watch how she walked by the Mountain dismembering people for sport? She didn't flinch. She practically smiled at the sight. Seems like cruelty for its own sake to me, a hunger to be slaked. She rationalizes it as being for a reason, but it's really to feed her need to see others in pain.
posted by shivohum at 8:27 AM on May 20, 2014 [5 favorites]


Like, was that scene - much less the nudity and lingering camera shots - even necessary to anything?

Are you really asking why they showed a naked woman when a fully-clothed woman would do.On GoT? I just showed up to say that old Dario had some sort of weird smoldering hawtness and new Dario is just a run-of-the-mill leather pants guy.
posted by jessamyn at 8:49 AM on May 20, 2014 [14 favorites]


Speaking professionally, Melisandre, I really can't advise keeping the oh dear god you don't even want to touch that vial and the oooh this makes for a delightful bath vial right fucking adjacent on your shelf.

Who said she was telling the truth about that?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:52 AM on May 20, 2014 [2 favorites]


I think that's what it seems superficially, but I think on deeper reflection it's not true. She might have hated Tyrion, but what child would react to hatred by pinching unbelievably hard the genitals of a newborn child? How would that sort of idea come into the head of a child? Seems like a penchant for sadistic perversion from the start.

Well, now you're getting into a question of what you think the average child is capable of, if they want to hurt somebody and have no one to check them. I never bought Rousseau myself; I think most children can be plenty savage in the right circumstances, and it's on the adults around them to teach them not to be. Kind too, of course, in the right circumstances. But over and over GoT is at pains to show us that for all its pomp Westeros is a brutal place: Varys and the sorcerer. Locke taking Jaime's hand. The bear-baiting of Brienne. Kraster. Sansa taken by the mob in King's Landing. The Mountain's whole life. Given the norms of their society it takes some serious excesses before I'd call someone's actions pathological, and pinching your baby brother where it hurts doesn't fall into the red meter for me.

As for the Mountain scene, I think the obviously played that as full on Evil Queen shit, yeah. But they've also spent a lot of time establishing that the only thing Cersei loves in this world is her kids, and she thinks Tyrion killed one. If a parent whose child was murdered smiled when they saw the killer die, would we say that is unnatural, inexplicable, inhuman? Even now, the cultural expectation in our own Western culture seems to be that any action a parent takes to revenge themselves on someone who seriously harms their kids is justified.
We've seen Cersei harm people in order to take revenge or acquire power. She's cruel and petty and vindictive. But there were also plenty of scenes of her trying to check Joffrey's excesses, of her at least demonstrating that you know, serving her murdered brother's head to your former fiancée at a wedding feast is maybe not the best idea. I don't think she was lying when she told Margery that Joffrey shocked her, or when she told Tyrion that she knew he was a monster.
posted by Diablevert at 8:58 AM on May 20, 2014 [1 favorite]


The only thing that really rang false to me was Sansa getting angry at Robin for wrecking her snow castle. She has endured so much more with a courtly smile; she couldn't keep it together?

I was pretty disappointed with this scene. In the book, and I don't think this is a spoiler to say so, this scene was so important. Really, it was the climax of Sansa's emotional arc to this point in the story, the time we finally saw her fully acknowledge and mourn the loss of her family and home, while also celebrating Winterfell, and by extension, her family and culture. Which is a huge moment for someone who started off the series wanting to distance herself from Winterfell and everything it stood for. It's a huge moment for Sansa.

All that is lost in the show - we don't even see her building it. I understand that this would have been hard to film since it's such an internal moment, but even just showing her building it, showing what a labor of love it was, would have helped.
posted by lunasol at 10:32 AM on May 20, 2014 [5 favorites]




The more I let it percolate in the back of my mind, the more I'm excited by Tyrion's arc from here on out. I know what it's like to have shit family, although nowhere nearly as bad as his, but my being able to just leave them behind and have them not in my life (for the most part) has really been a boon for me.

So, when Tyrion lost it last ep. and just burned all his bridges I felt a sense of triumph and happiness for him, despite the dire repercussions for his future health. He's free now.
posted by ursus_comiter at 10:55 AM on May 20, 2014 [2 favorites]


I never bought Rousseau myself; I think most children can be plenty savage in the right circumstances

This is the best thing about South Park, really- the completely unsentimental depiction of childhood.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:57 AM on May 20, 2014




Trial by combat was a real option, says writer: 'Game of Thrones' recently included a twist involving trial by combat, which writer Eric Jager says it was a real option for much of Europe in the Middle Ages.

a fairly recent case where a guy tried to invoke trial by combat over traffic fines

posted by Hoopo at 1:13 PM on May 20, 2014 [7 favorites]


This. They've gone for "look at this guy he's HUGE", but they've lost any shred of family resemblance. The Mountain we saw at the joust looked like he could be The Hound's brother; this one looks like Andre The Giant.

Andre the Giant? Not so much. But yeah, they should have gone older. Like Vinnie Jones with a beard or something. He's not even that big (6'2", not exactly "Mountain" big) but he's always seemed like this massive guy in the movies.

I am not really liking what they have done with Baelish recently either. Why is he spilling all his secrets to Sansa all the time? He never used to let so much slip, did he? I mean presumably he was always scheming, why all of a sudden does he need to tell people about how clever he is? Anyways, it makes me think he's going to kill Sansa when he gets whatever he is looking for from having her around, because obviously Sansa can't be allowed to talk and he's been fairly careful so far to be all of a sudden so sloppy. Oh, and the kiss thing. What in the hell? All of a sudden he's this impulsive flighty guy instead of coldly calculating? It's possible I misread his character from the start but he's really become sort of petty for a smooth operator with such grand plans.
posted by Hoopo at 1:36 PM on May 20, 2014


I mean presumably he was always scheming, why all of a sudden does he need to tell people about how clever he is?

I think we are seeing a narrative shift from Littlefinger being that shady guy on the sidelines, to Littlefinger being a major mover-and-shaker of the plot. Part of that shift is telling us things about how Littlefinger actually was the mover-and-shaker who got the whole Game of Thrones started. Another part is having him tell Sansa/us what his motivations are, at least to some degree.
posted by sparklemotion at 1:59 PM on May 20, 2014


Why is he spilling all his secrets to Sansa all the time? He never used to let so much slip, did he? I mean presumably he was always scheming, why all of a sudden does he need to tell people about how clever he is?

While I'm not enjoying the Baelish (to be honest, I haven't enjoyed the character at all in the show the way I do in the books) I think the Grantland review got it pretty well:

"For a moment, I thought Littlefinger was thinking with the wrong finger when he made his long-threatened move on Sansa right out there in the open. But what we’re actually seeing is the birth of a much bigger finger, the type of player who no longer needs to keep his ambition or his intellect in hiding. Seeing him toss his wife away like a used tissue or Sith lord was essentially his coming-out party. There’s value in meticulous, behind-the-scenes planning, but to win you eventually have to play your hand. It’s good advice for villains and showrunners alike. "
posted by nubs at 2:10 PM on May 20, 2014 [3 favorites]




like a Sith lord?
posted by goethean at 2:11 PM on May 20, 2014


Oh, and the kiss thing. What in the hell? All of a sudden he's this impulsive flighty guy instead of coldly calculating? It's possible I misread his character from the start but he's really become sort of petty for a smooth operator with such grand plans.

Someone brought this up before, but he also tried to kiss Catelyn RIGHT after her husband died.

Also, who says it was impulsive? He didn't coordinate an assassination and kidnap Sansa and take her halfway across the country just to be nice. I think he decided he wanted her a long time ago, and I'm sure he never intended to stay married to Crazy McMoonDoor forever, either. Littlefinger can say and do whatever he wants in front of Sansa at this point because Sansa's stuck with him. Everyone thinks she's a murderer now except for Petyr, and all of her family (as far as she knows) is dead. She has nowhere else to go.
posted by showbiz_liz at 2:14 PM on May 20, 2014 [1 favorite]




like a Sith lord?

Emperor, ROTJ.
posted by nubs at 2:17 PM on May 20, 2014


Also, who says it was impulsive? I can't see how that whole thing was planned to go down that way. I mean, I'm sure he had plans to kill Lysa already but the way it went down was all about capitalizing on a situation he created by getting busted doing something risky and ill-advised. While apparently sneaking around in the cold and spying on children, in his big leather dress thing he got from Pinhead's tailor.
posted by Hoopo at 2:25 PM on May 20, 2014


As someone state above, I can forgive the recasting issues with the Mountain, but...

The Mountain should not be the sexiest being in all the Known World.

Stupid Sexy Mountain.
posted by ursus_comiter at 3:08 PM on May 20, 2014


like a Sith lord?

Right, so book readers: any chance in this version of an epic yet amusing quest that Brienne and Pod come across (and the scene gets filmed) the house of Tom Bombidil?
posted by sammyo at 3:21 PM on May 20, 2014 [1 favorite]


The Mountain should not be the sexiest being in all the Known World.

Stupid Sexy Mountain.


It's just setting the stage for an awesome duel with Stupid Sexy Viper.
posted by nubs at 3:24 PM on May 20, 2014 [1 favorite]


I think we are seeing a narrative shift from Littlefinger being that shady guy on the sidelines, to Littlefinger being a major mover-and-shaker of the plot

Seems like it'll be interesting to see Littlefinger shake things up with the Boltons. The Boltons aren't stupid but I don't like their chances – like I said in comments to an earlier episode, how hard can it possibly be to put together allies to take down the *~* DrEADfoRT *~*
posted by furiousthought at 4:26 PM on May 20, 2014 [1 favorite]


Stupid Sexy Mountain vs. Stupid Sexy Viper...

I so very much want Kate Beaton to do this as a comic strip now.
posted by ursus_comiter at 4:27 PM on May 20, 2014 [3 favorites]


I thought Oberyn's story was interesting for showing what a monstrous creature Cersei was from a very early age. Now Joffrey makes more sense. He wasn't an aberration; he was simply his mother's son.
Wait wait wait wait. Wait.

What.

How do people mis-read such very basic characterization? Cersei was, what, five or six years old? In a world where not only is superstition common, it's often correct? Did you miss the part where Tyrion's mother died in childbirth? You and I both know that wasn't Tyrion's fault, and indeed that it wasn't anyone's fault. But a six year old in Ye Olde Fantasy Kingdom can absolutely blame her brother for her mother's death, and it's not surprising that she would since her father did too.

Your conclusion also ignores the existence of Tommen completely.

Lord have mercy. I know, I know, "wrong on the internet" etc, but there are degrees of wrongness, you know?
posted by kavasa at 4:35 PM on May 20, 2014 [3 favorites]


I gripe about HBO's holiday treatment but have grown accustomed to it over the past several years...I think they have reasons for this involving ratings and stretching out seasons a little longer. I bet it makes a lot of sense for them financially and I consider it a small test of endurance before the long drought of the off season
posted by aydeejones at 6:58 PM on May 20, 2014




showbiz_liz: Oh yeah. And when Littlefinger told her why he killed Joffrey, she smiled. Girlfriend is cold. Cold as the snows of Winterfell!

Joffrey & Co. murdered her father, mother and brother. Joffrey terrorized, threatened and humiliated her. Her smile at his death was anything but cold.

In this fantasy world, some people just need killing, and Joffrey was near the top of that list.
posted by spaltavian at 7:49 PM on May 20, 2014 [4 favorites]


rewil: "Oberyn Martell never had a lord father."

Yeah, I've been meaning to comment about this. The showrunners changed two characters from female to male in this episode. Most importantly, the freaking reigning Princess of Dorne, Oberyn's mom, is posthumously turned into Oberyn's dad, which is kind of bizarro, given that a lot of the significance of Dorne is that they recognize both genders equally in terms of ability to rule, inheritance, etc., so it would be good to remind viewers of that fact.

The other change was that the Lady Tanda, head of House Stokeworth and mother of Lollys Stokeworth (Bronn's new bride) was also transformed into a male character (Tyrion and Bronn talk about how Bronn won't be in charge of the Stokeworth holdings until Lollys's father and older sister Falyse are both dead). This one is perhaps less important thematically, but stuck out as especially weird since any inclusion of the Stokeworths is probably intended at least somewhat as fanservice, given that they're a pretty minor house.

Why on earth did they make those changes? There are no good reasons for doing so that I can think of, and it just makes them look weirdly sexist.
posted by ocherdraco at 8:15 PM on May 20, 2014 [17 favorites]


reigning Princess of Dorne

I should be more clear: given that she died before the events the show portrays, she's not reigning now, Oberyn's brother is. But when they were children, it was their mother who was in charge. (She is, unfortunately, unnamed in the books, or else I would name her here.)
posted by ocherdraco at 8:18 PM on May 20, 2014 [1 favorite]


I think they changed the Stokeworth situation so that Bronn could unsubtly imply that he plans on murdering Lollys' father.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:19 PM on May 20, 2014


Would it be any less possible to unsubtly imply he plans to murder her mother?
posted by ocherdraco at 8:21 PM on May 20, 2014 [6 favorites]


In the latter case it might have been to avoid multiple uses of 'she,' 'her' and 'Lady Stokeworth' that might have been confusing in spoken rather than written dialogue...
posted by snuffleupagus at 8:39 PM on May 20, 2014


And in fact he did imply he would murder her older sister, didn't he? There was a line about how often ladies fall from horses and break their necks. So it's not a question of Bronn being squeamish about killing a woman.

Bah. I hadn't caught that or the Dornish change and now I'm mad.
posted by hippugeek at 8:42 PM on May 20, 2014 [1 favorite]


snuffleupagus: "In the latter case it might have been to avoid multiple uses of 'she,' 'her' and 'Lady Stokeworth' that might have been confusing in spoken rather than written dialogue..."

There's not even the possibility of that confusion, as no pronouns are used to describe "Lord Stokeworth," just the phrase "her father":
Bronn: My lonesome bachelor days are over. I’m to wed Lollys Stokeworth.
Tyrion: Lollys Stokeworth? She doesn’t strike me as your sort of girl.
Bronn: I wouldn’t say I had a single sort of girl.
Tyrion: She’s dim-witted.
Bronn: If I wanted wits, I’d marry you.
Tyrion: When my sister arranged this love match, did she mention that Lollys has an older sister?
Bronn: Falyse. Aye, I did know about the older sister.
Tyrion: And you understand the rules of inheritance?
Bronn: Falyse is forty and barren.
Tyrion: She still gets Castle Stokeworth when her father dies.
Bronn: She does. Unless she happens to perish before her father. Then Lollys gets the castle. What? Ladies fall from their horses and snap their pretty necks all the time.
Tyrion: You and my sister deserve each other.
posted by ocherdraco at 9:02 PM on May 20, 2014


You're quite right. So much for that thought.

It is an odd choice.
posted by snuffleupagus at 9:26 PM on May 20, 2014


Yeah, I've been meaning to comment about this. The showrunners changed two characters from female to male in this episode. Most importantly, the freaking reigning Princess of Dorne, Oberyn's mom, is posthumously turned into Oberyn's dad, which is kind of bizarro, given that a lot of the significance of Dorne is that they recognize both genders equally in terms of ability to rule, inheritance, etc., so it would be good to remind viewers of that fact.
[...]
Why on earth did they make those changes? There are no good reasons for doing so that I can think of, and it just makes them look weirdly sexist.


It's just a lot to have to explain, I think. Does it actually affect anything at all if there is or isn't gender equality in the backstory of a fairly peripheral character?
posted by Sys Rq at 9:48 PM on May 20, 2014


How is it hard to explain that women can inherit in some places but not others? That's how the world works now.
posted by gingerest at 9:52 PM on May 20, 2014 [7 favorites]


Does it actually affect anything at all if there is or isn't gender equality in the backstory of a fairly peripheral character?

Dorne has different rules about inheritance.

Dorne has Myrcella.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:53 PM on May 20, 2014 [13 favorites]


A little late on this, but, re: forks in GoT. Come on, really? My WikiFu tells me that forks are ancient, just not widely used as dining utensils in northern Europe until the 18th century (they were essential to southern european cuisine, i.e., italian food, since at least the 16th century, but were used for various purposes, mostly serving utensils but not dining ones since antiquity). But still used, sometimes. In any case, the show is not actually set in medieval europe, land of few forks, but in Westeros, fantasy space, defined by a lack of industrio-chemical age advancement and a subtle undertone of actual magic, real freakin' dragons (and yes legerdemainy illusion). Your suspension of disbelief should pertain to the configuration the show presents, the world it creates, not a comparison of it with historical reality. In the former configuration, forks are just fine.
posted by dis_integration at 9:56 PM on May 20, 2014 [5 favorites]


Sys Rq: "It's just a lot to have to explain, I think. Does it actually affect anything at all if there is or isn't gender equality in the backstory of a fairly peripheral character?"

The thing is, for these two scenes, there would have been literally zero cost, story wise, to leaving the characters' genders alone. The Oberyn scene isn't about inheritance, and the Bronn scene is already talking about women inheriting things. Changing the gender simplifies nothing, and takes away meaning from the story.

I'm usually super blase about the changes made between book and show; very often, the showrunners make choices to change things that make it a better narrative, or at least a better narrative for the screen.

But these two changes serve no narrative point, and take away examples of women in Westeros who lead their families. I think that leaves only Maege Mormont and Daenerys as women shown to lead their houses within the show (and not acting as regents for male children), and it isn't explained who Maege is, really, in the first place. She's just present at Robb's initial meeting to call his bannermen.

One of the things that makes ASOIAF such a good series is George R.R. Martin's ability to imagine others complexly. And his female characters are particularly notable because of it, given that so many other authors fail to have many interesting, complex female characters. Television needs more portrayals of complex female characters, even if (and sometimes especially if) those characters are the ones in the background.

It's the "minor" characters that flesh out a fictional world, and give it its flavor. Maege Mormont, Tanda Stokeworth, and the Princess of Dorne are all important because they show different ways that women can come to hold power in Westeros, even though, in most cases, tradition and the law are stacked against them:
  • In Dorne, women cannot only inherit, women can explicitly rule. In the rest of Westeros, women are explicitly prohibited from ruling outright, even if they inherit. (The Targaryens fought a whole civil war about this several hundred years before the current story.)
  • On Bear Island, far at the edges of Westerosi civilization, the Mormonts just basically don't care what law or tradition says, regarding women's right to rule (or lack thereof). When Jeor took the black and Jorah was exiled, Maege and her daughters just took up the mantle. These women have children, but they don't marry, and the men who father their children do not rule Bear Island. When Robb declared himself King in the North, Maege and her daughter Dacey followed him into battle, as warriors. (Dacey doesn't appear in the show at all. In the books, she's described as being as comfortable in a lady's dress as she is in armor, and she dies at the Red Wedding.)
  • And the Stokeworths, a family in the Crownlands, close to the laws of King's Landing, are an excellent example of the way the traditions and laws of Westeros make women vulnerable, even when they do inherit. Throughout the books, the Stokeworths are constantly having to ask others to intercede on their behalf, and are taken advantage of in ways that would not have been possible had they been men. (The Stokeworth sisters are both examples of what happens to women when they aren't allowed to have self-determination, but must instead hope for "a good match" through marriage to men who see them only as a means to an end. They're living the kind of lives that were the nightmares of all those characters in Jane Austen's novels who spent all their time worrying about whether or not they'd marry well.)
When the screenwriter glibly makes Tanda Stokeworth a man and erases the Princess of Dorne, that's the kind of complexity that is being lost.
posted by ocherdraco at 10:35 PM on May 20, 2014 [39 favorites]


Most importantly, the freaking reigning Princess of Dorne, Oberyn's mom, is posthumously turned into Oberyn's dad, which is kind of bizarro, given that a lot of the significance of Dorne is that they recognize both genders equally in terms of ability to rule, inheritance, etc., so it would be good to remind viewers of that fact.

That's lame. It would have taken no effort to leave it essentially as it was. WTF.
posted by homunculus at 10:38 PM on May 20, 2014


Thanks for explaining it so well, ocherdraco.
posted by homunculus at 10:46 PM on May 20, 2014 [1 favorite]


No problem.

Random thought: in one of the previous episode threads, someone asked whether Lysa's reveal of the Littlefinger conspiracy (to kill Jon Arryn and tell Catelyn it was the Lannisters) happened that way in the books, and we readers hemmed and hawed. This is why: in the books, that reveal happens right before Lysa flies through the Moon Door. It's all one scene.
posted by ocherdraco at 11:44 PM on May 20, 2014 [3 favorites]


The Moon Door is such an absurdly convenient plot device. Can you imagine a castle that has a celebrated vaporizing ray located in the throne room which everyone in the royal family seems to love and not feel at all threatened by?
posted by clockzero at 11:45 PM on May 20, 2014 [3 favorites]


Especially when it's a giant hole in the floor and not, as in the books, an actual door in the wall that can be properly closed when not in use.

(Don't get me wrong: the show moon door is more satisfying. It just makes less architectural sense.)
posted by ocherdraco at 11:49 PM on May 20, 2014


Also: vote Sansa for Queen Elizabeth I
posted by clockzero at 11:54 PM on May 20, 2014 [3 favorites]


"Your suspension of disbelief should pertain to the configuration the show presents, the world it creates, not a comparison of it with historical reality."

Well, maybe they could have telegraphs, too.

Of course historical reality matters because a) in general this sort of fantasy is so intensely and deliberately built around medieval Britain that's precisely what the setting is, implicitly, plus your usual fantasy magic and imaginary names; b) Martin goes to a lot of trouble to be even more period-accurate than many other authors, and, finally, c) Martin is deliberately deconstructing and criticizing this type of fantasy by showing us what such a world was/is really like.

The argument you're presenting tends to irritate me because it is utterly oblivious to the vast universe of possibilities for fantastical narratives which, as a contrast, makes it excruciatingly obvious how bound to a particular real-life time and place what most people have come to think "fantasy" truly is. And it's especially problematic in the context of a project like Martin's that is designed to be a (harshly critical) commentary on what are the actual hidden values of this genre.

It matters because Tolkien and others have whitewashed a society and way of life in a shared project that is deeply socially regressive; this form of epic fantasy is effectively very often a form of propaganda for an aristocratic serfdom with deeply conservative and repressive cultural values because isn't it wonderful to be a beautiful princess and a romantic hero? The truth is that it was an intensely unjust and brutal time and place and this would be doubly true in the fantasy versions of it that include what are literally übermenschen.

So, yes, anachronisms are problems because they are incoherent with the premise of the narrative. Dragons aren't because there never were dragons.

Or, put another way, if your defense of this anachronism were valid, then that very same defense would apply to anachronistic language. It's fantasy, right? So how could it mean anything to say that Arya using contemporary Internet slang would be "wrong"? It wouldn't be. But it would be wrong, in this sort of context (it wouldn't be wrong if it were very knowing and deliberate, like Deadwood's use of profanity or something else that is doing this for reasons that fit in with the whole artistic vision). But this? It's because practically no one is aware of how recently European use of anything other than a knife at the table truly is. Or, for that matter, the idea of homes with separate rooms (especially bedrooms) outside the aristocracy.

Obviously, this sort of complaint can be pushed to an absurd extreme in this other direction, too. Anyone who is a real scholar of the period, especially with regard to technology and certain cultural practices, is going to find all this stuff really annoying and, yeah, it will screw up their suspension of disbelief because the writers don't know that it's wrong and so they are envisioning this and realizing it in the context of assuming that it's right and makes sense.

Most of us won't notice, and that's okay.

But this is an argument for accuracy that is related to, or the same as, one I had last week with regard to Orphan Black. A writer has to be consistent with whatever level of accuracy and detail they set out for themselves to work within. If you are a costume designer and you go to the trouble of researching exactly what buttons looked like during a certain time and place, then you can't make mistakes on related and similar levels of detail in the costuming. You can't get the buttons right but then include zippers. The audience sets their expectations for accuracy because they themselves aren't experts by estimating it on the basis of the things they do have an awareness of that they notice the artist doing.

You may be tempted to say that this is nitpicking and no one cares but that's not true at all. Because this principle is true about everything. All fiction relies upon verisimilitude and suspension of disbelief in one form or another; the literary fiction aficionado who decries nerds arguing over science or history in genre fiction as missing the point will themselves be extremely picky about the same sorts of things involving a character's biographical details, psychological consistency, or whatever. Because authors always have to decide what details to include and what it means to say that those details seem authentic and which further suspension of disbelief rather than damage it. A writer always has to make these sorts of decisions, it's not particular to someone writing genre. And these principles are always operative: the level of detail you include, and the degree to which you signal to the audience that these details are both relevant and "authentic", is the degree to which you set expectations in your audience for every other comparable detail.

Which brings me back to what I quoted from you:

"Your suspension of disbelief should pertain to the configuration the show presents, the world it creates, not a comparison of it with historical reality."

The configuration the show presents is 90% a story set in what is effectively medieval Britain. The names are changed and the geography is changed (but not radically) but, all things considered, it's really quite amazingly medieval Britain. As people often point out, a world that has summers and winters that last for years would be a world with an ecology extremely different to the one we're seeing. And that's generally true about this genre. A world with magic, even the limited magic that has existed in Westeros for a long time, wouldn't look like medieval Britain and probably wouldn't have any socioeconomic structure remotely similar. Your argument actually is self-refuting because the fact of the fantastical elements in the story should argue that all the more familiar elements (which is most of it) are out-of-place and don't make sense. But few people ever argue that wizards and dragons and elves and magic and such would make for a world utterly unlike medieval Europe and that proves that this genre is really about medieval Europe but with some other stuff thrown in. This is doubly true when an author is like a renfair person who researches, you know, actual medieval life and technology. So the configuration the show presents is very much one where the detail of the usage of forks in medieval Europe is quite relevant.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 12:56 AM on May 21, 2014 [6 favorites]


Honestly, if you're gonna get that worked up over a fork I don't understand why you bother to watch the show.
posted by dogwalker at 1:37 AM on May 21, 2014 [10 favorites]


It was just a thing I noticed. Jeez.
posted by Sys Rq at 5:18 AM on May 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


The real question is what fork does one use for a plate of beans in Westeros?

The answer is that you eat the damn beans as fast as you can because WINTER IS COMING.
posted by viggorlijah at 5:29 AM on May 21, 2014 [23 favorites]


Who said she was telling the truth about that?

Yeah, the whole scene was about how she deceptively wielded power.
posted by P.o.B. at 5:37 AM on May 21, 2014


But a six year old in Ye Olde Fantasy Kingdom can absolutely blame her brother for her mother's death, and it's not surprising that she would since her father did too.

I think the key to a lot of Cersei may actually lie in the circumstances of Tyrion's birth, and I love the Oberyn scene for revealing how early her anger came.

(I am a reader, but this is largely speculative)

We know little about Joanna, Cersei's mother, other than that she was beautiful and seemed to make everyone, even Tywin, happy - even joyful. I think it's important to consider what a household of loving Lannisters - the household Cersei would have known prior to age 5 - would have looked like. I think, in fact, that they would not be much different than the Starks. We tend to root for Starks over Lannisters, but much of that merely seems our POV positioning. There's little evidence that they are actually wiser, or more just, or better for the kingdom, or even better people overall. So much of what we think about Lannisters comes only from Cersei and Jaime, both of which are deeply disturbed, and I think it can be traced back to childhood.

Why might Cersei's childhood have been happy before Tyrion's birth? I think the clues to a Tywin pre-Tyrion can actually be seen best by looking at how the people who would have known him while Joanna was still alive, and before their marriage, treat him. Look most particularly at the interaction between Olenna and him. They seem almost...friendly in their opposition. "You ought to try enjoying something before you die" she says (show) and takes his arm in a friendly gesture that he does not resist. It's a sort of old, comfortable teasing that only comes with long acquaintance. The kind that only a man who lets down his armor once in a while would have ever earned.

What would her childhood have been like after Joanna's death? Again, we don't know much and have to speculate, but a household where the main person bringing joy and feelings and love has gone seems a sad one indeed. What have we always, always known about Cersei? That she is an angry, hurt girl, who does far too much and takes too many risks to be loved - and lashes out when she is deprived of that love. I think we can look back to the loss of a beloved mother and see those overtones. It's even possible it is responsible for the incest, to a certain degree - a Cersei whose love comes from her mother, whose life is spent vainly trying to earn her father's love, the only parent left, where the only love in her household comes from her similarly bereft brother...that is a Cersei who learns unhealthy feeding of that love-need.

I imagine that some of her anger only increased as they grew older and Jaime cared for Tyrion. The only person in her life that has really loved her prior to the birth of her children is not solely loving her, but sharing his love with the other brother, the one she sees as evil and responsible for the death of their mother. It would have poisoned and twisted her still further.
posted by corb at 6:42 AM on May 21, 2014 [8 favorites]


Your argument actually is self-refuting because the fact of the fantastical elements in the story should argue that all the more familiar elements (which is most of it) are out-of-place and don't make sense.

My point isn't that the fantastical elements of the show make anything possible but that they are enough to force us to conclude that the show cannot be held up to strict historical standards. The standards here are some sort of image of medieval europe. I take it that it's less that Martin wants to show that Extruded Fantasy Product paints too rosy a picture of medieval europe per se than that it gets humanity wrong altogether; his pessimistic view of human virtue is, I think, applicable to every period and perhaps most of all to the present (all fantasy and sci-fi is about the present, not the past, if it is any good at all). In any case, even if Westeros is roughly shaped like England, the universe in the show seems less Medieval Britain than a smorgasborg of Late Medieval Europe Smushed Altogether and The Mysterious, Baroque and Exotic Orient/North Africa of the Renaissance (where our blond khaleesi is now getting her rocks off). And in that case, forks are just fine, since they were used in Byzantium since the 11th century, and so quite medieval. That's just my point: the forks are fine. I could also argue that I think the use of magic is quite consistent with my claim as well, but then we'd have to get all booky and stuff and in any case I just cared about the forks.
posted by dis_integration at 7:17 AM on May 21, 2014 [6 favorites]


It just makes less architectural sense.

Everyone gets hung up on things which is sort of part of the fun of talking about it. Forks, inheritance, sigils, whatever. My whole issue (besides gratuitous rape and nudity) is that everywhere in that place has to be so damned COLD (and winter is coming!) and no one seems to think "Gee if we just covered that giant hole in the floor with even a blanket or something we could raise the temperature by like 30 degrees in here" or "I know I am covered by the equivalent of an entire bear's worth of fur, but I refuse to put on a hat!" It's just nitpicking nerdery but I get cold just watching that show.
posted by jessamyn at 7:27 AM on May 21, 2014 [13 favorites]


In the first episode featuring the moon door, wasn't it a... door? Like, a door that opened and shut?
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:35 AM on May 21, 2014


Yep!
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:38 AM on May 21, 2014


What if the moondoor is really a stargate?
posted by Sys Rq at 8:09 AM on May 21, 2014 [8 favorites]


"I know I am covered by the equivalent of an entire bear's worth of fur, but I refuse to put on a hat!"

I was watching one of the directors' commentaries for an earlier season, and during one of the Night's Watch scenes, they actually said "OK, by the way, you need to just pretend that everyone is wearing hats here. There is no way they aren't wearing hats. But when we put hats on the actors, they covered up so much of their faces that it was impossible for them to act, so we had to take them off. So just -- imaginary hats, OK?"
posted by KathrynT at 8:35 AM on May 21, 2014 [15 favorites]


In the first episode featuring the moon door, wasn't it a... door? Like, a door that opened and shut?

Nope - in the books, it's a door set in the wall that opens and shuts. In the show, it's always been set in the floor, and is controlled by some mechanism against the wall - in s1e6 when Tyrion is threatened with it, there's a big show of two guys spinning the wheel that cranks the door open.

While I think it's cool to have it in the floor for the show, it has me worried about the whole architecture of the throne room in the show - is it all just sort of hanging off the side of the mountain, over empty space? The whole throne room? How did they build that? And, you know, aren't there some structural concerns with that?

everywhere in that place has to be so damned COLD (and winter is coming!) and no one seems to think "Gee if we just covered that giant hole in the floor with even a blanket or something we could raise the temperature by like 30 degrees in here"

Yeah, the Eyrie is a special case in winter, and I'm assuming the books are going to show some of what happens to various locales once Winter really does set in.
posted by nubs at 8:46 AM on May 21, 2014


Yeah, this whole bit of the thread is affirming my decision to not read the books. Because I know if I did I, too, would be like "why was my favorite teriarty character not mentioned in the scene they were supposed to be in/goddammit, I always imagined Ser Whatzitface in a red doublet because reasons, incredibly important reasons which I will now explain at great length."

It's really a kindness to you people --- imagine the amount of excessive rambling and nearly-baseless psychological speculation that I force y'all to suffer through now in these threads and triple it, with 3,000-something pages to draw on. Bullet doged there, eh? (Seriously, y'all's indulgence of my bullshit spewing is a kindness unparalleled. My real life friends thank you.)
posted by Diablevert at 8:49 AM on May 21, 2014 [7 favorites]


Forks? Do NOT make me get my copy of Larousse Gastronomique because it's heavy and I'm in a bad mood, but I WILL do it
posted by digitalprimate at 8:49 AM on May 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


NEEDS MORE VARYS
posted by Theta States at 9:10 AM on May 21, 2014 [4 favorites]


Nope - in the books, it's a door set in the wall that opens and shuts. In the show, it's always been set in the floor, and is controlled by some mechanism against the wall - in s1e6 when Tyrion is threatened with it, there's a big show of two guys spinning the wheel that cranks the door open.

No, I know. But people in here were talking like the hole in the floor is always open and can't be closed, which is what I meant by "no it's a door." It's a door. A trap-door, but still a door and not just a gaping hole.
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:11 AM on May 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


Oh yes - well, in answer to your question: yes, the moon door can be shut, and there's some control wheel to do so. Here's the video of Tyrion's last trial, and the door is opened at about the 3 minute mark.
posted by nubs at 9:23 AM on May 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


Jacqueline: "(I'm disappointed that they rewrote the Moon Door scene to end on "Your sister" instead of "Only Cat")"

Wow, Ser Pounce is way more intertwined with the plot than I expected.
posted by RobotHero at 10:04 AM on May 21, 2014 [10 favorites]


gratuitous rape and nudity

I guess it's semantics, but whether or not it's gratuitous sort of depends on what you're paying for.

Wow, Ser Pounce is way more intertwined with the plot than I expected.

Ser Pounce might have fared better in a Moon Door base jump, methinks.

Also, re: intertwined, here is a gratuitous cat pic.
posted by tempestuoso at 10:13 AM on May 21, 2014


Why on earth did they make those changes? There are no good reasons for doing so that I can think of, and it just makes them look weirdly sexist.

When the screenwriter glibly makes Tanda Stokeworth a man and erases the Princess of Dorne, that's the kind of complexity that is being lost.


I can see how this would be annoying to someone who is familiar with the books. Knowing this now, I think it will be still be possible to show how Dorne works in future episodes. Not sure how much Dorne figures in to the show's plans, though. It was an unnecessary thing to change for no reason in any event.

As someone who hasn't read the books, I feel like some of the issue you have with this isn't made explicitly clear in the show. I do not recall anything explicitly stated that a woman can't rule in Westeros, but it could be I just forgot. In fact that would make Daenerys' claim to the throne pretty far-fetched, which is something I had been seeing as sort of an inevitable thing to date based on how the show has been building it up. I also thought that Margery could have been queen had the marriage been consummated but Joffrey died too soon for that to happen, but I may have been wrong about that too.
posted by Hoopo at 10:38 AM on May 21, 2014


mlis: "I have no idea what happened to the first Daario, he was perfect, real chemistry with Daenerys unlike the current Daario."

The first Daario is now the second Transporter.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:48 AM on May 21, 2014


The other thing about the Moon Door being in the floor rather than the wall is it's name. You can't see the moon through a hole that looks down.

it has me worried about the whole architecture of the throne room in the show - is it all just sort of hanging off the side of the mountain, over empty space? The whole throne room? How did they build that? And, you know, aren't there some structural concerns with that?


I may be off here but I think they've shown a side-view of the whole Eyrie building and it straddles a gap between the main mountain and a crag. The throne room is presumably on top of the arch between.
posted by dnash at 1:54 PM on May 21, 2014


Oops, looks like I'm wrong about how I thought they show the Eyrie.

It looks like they've imagined the area beneath the castle as hollow, though.
posted by dnash at 2:00 PM on May 21, 2014


I wonder how that picture jibes with this one from the GOT Wikia.

The other thing about the Moon Door being in the floor rather than the wall is it's name. You can't see the moon through a hole that looks down.

But the door is round, and it's up in the Mountains of the Moon. So it's less that it's a door through which you see the moon, and more of a door through which you fall from the moon.
posted by sparklemotion at 2:11 PM on May 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


I wonder how that picture jibes with this one from the GOT Wikia.

THAT's the one I was thinking of! I thought that was a screenshot from the show. But HBO's page has the one I linked.
posted by dnash at 2:15 PM on May 21, 2014


The other thing about the Moon Door being in the floor rather than the wall is it's name. You can't see the moon through a hole that looks down.

I think the show is trying to use the shape of the trap door to have the name make sense - round and I'm sure whatever design is on it is Moonish.
posted by nubs at 2:16 PM on May 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


The one on Wikia is a screenshot. Here is Sansa's first look at The Eyrie.
posted by sparklemotion at 2:30 PM on May 21, 2014


I hope they don't get a lot of earthquakes in the Vale.
posted by homunculus at 2:32 PM on May 21, 2014


You guys...Sansa's side-eye (or whatever that microexpression is) when Robin makes Petyr's gift fly! I need a gif of that.
posted by sparklemotion at 2:34 PM on May 21, 2014


I'm still wondering about the rules of trial by combat, but I'm afraid to look into it more because of spoilers. In the last thread emptythought suggested that both champions could die, which is certainly possible since this is GOT where everybody dies, but if that happens then what happens to Tyrion? Since he requested the trial by combat, I assume his champion has to survive without yielding in order for him to be found innocent regardless of the fate of the other fighter, so if they both die then Tyrion is found guilty. But it's conceivable that if the accuser's champion dies too then there would have to be a new fight with new champions since the Gods didn't make a clear choice.

Alternatively, if both champions survive but cripple each other so that neither can continue to fight but neither will yield either, then new champions might need to be selected. Maybe Bronn will end up disemboweling Meryn Trant after all (or better yet, Syrio will step out of the shadows for the rematch.) Or perhaps an inconclusive fight is interpreted as the Seven sending the case back to the lower mortal court (as the Nine often do in our world) with Mace, Oberyn and Tywin as judges again. Anybody know of a spoiler-free resource on Westerosi law?
posted by homunculus at 2:52 PM on May 21, 2014


Some clips of several key scenes:

Jaime and Tyrion

Bronn and Tyrion

Oberyn and Tyrion

Hard not to cry empathetic tears at Tyrion's reaction to Oberyn's declaration. And, man, that moment where Tyrion holds the handshake with Bronn for those extra few seconds....
posted by lord_wolf at 4:12 PM on May 21, 2014 [3 favorites]




The other thing about the Moon Door being in the floor rather than the wall is it's name. You can't see the moon through a hole that looks down.

and
it's less that it's a door through which you see the moon, and more of a door through which you fall from the moon.

I'm not sure why the moon door is called what it is but have to say I found the door in the wall as depicted in the books much scarier than the hole in the floor. It's a lot more vertigo-inducing to me to imagine standing at a threshold where you can see the sky, the horizon, and your own relative height, than looking down through a hole where you only see rocks an indeterminate distance away.

The moon door is similar to the sky cells, in that you can look out from a position of security (sort of), but the whole sheer height of the Eyrie is right in front of you, and the contrast between the stone holding you up and the vast emptiness surrounding it is what scares the living hell out of you (and, in the case of the sky cells, can drive you mad).

My feeling was that the show people wanted to make the moon door something more visually grand and central to the set. But to me the idea of a simple door in the wall that opens on nothing, thousands of feet up, is far more terrifying.
posted by torticat at 7:45 PM on May 21, 2014 [8 favorites]


I agree with torticat's thoughts on the Moon Door. It keeps with the style of the sky cells, and makes architectural sense. The trap door is visually compelling, but does make me wonder what manner of black magic these people use to support their giant ancient fortress's throne-room cantilevered over the abyss.

Maybe when Bran the Builder was working out techniques for The Wall, he did some contract work for The Aerie?
posted by Alterscape at 10:34 PM on May 21, 2014 [5 favorites]


Sparklemotion: You guys...Sansa's side-eye yt (or whatever that microexpression is) when Robin makes Petyr's gift fly! I need a gif of that.

Well, I gave it a shot. http://imgur.com/H8G4Qit
posted by tykky at 7:10 AM on May 22, 2014 [3 favorites]


Well, I gave it a shot.

My lion!
posted by sparklemotion at 7:35 AM on May 22, 2014 [5 favorites]



My feeling was that the show people wanted to make the moon door something more visually grand and central to the set. But to me the idea of a simple door in the wall that opens on nothing, thousands of feet up, is far more terrifying.


I can see that in a existential terror sense. It would have made it much more difficult to stage Tyrion's trial, I think, though. It just seems way easier to me to tip or trip or push someone into a hole in the floor than a door in the wall, unless the door is massive. All you have to do is keep moving sideways so it's never behind you. Whereas if you're in a circular room you're never too far from the center, and if you put a foot wrong you're screwed.
posted by Diablevert at 7:39 AM on May 22, 2014 [2 favorites]


I didn't know the moon door of the books was in the wall, but I thought the look of the earth below was moon-like through the round opening, and that's kind of scary, too, as though you'd be falling all the way to the surface of the moon.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 8:29 AM on May 22, 2014 [3 favorites]


MetaFilter: A full-screen post about why forks are important in a show about dragons.
posted by DWRoelands at 12:57 PM on May 22, 2014 [17 favorites]


I mean if we are going for no-so-medieval aspects, how about the reduced power of religion? Red God followers have the appropriate fervor, but there is a distinct lack of religious warfare by adherents of the Faith, forced conversion, use of the Faith on a political level etc. The books are arguably better about this.
posted by ersatz at 2:55 PM on May 22, 2014


Apparently they have telescopes in Myr.
posted by homunculus at 3:23 PM on May 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


All that is lost in the show - we don't even see her building [the snow castle]. I understand that this would have been hard to film since it's such an internal moment, but even just showing her building it, showing what a labor of love it was, would have helped.

I thought they captured Sansa's rediscovery of her identity beautifully in the shot of Sansa's face as she entered the courtyard (she's been rediscovering her identity for the past three seasons, this moment was merely an outward expression of it that she can rarely allow herself to express). That shot is actually now one of my favorite shots of the whole show- to me, it captures three books/seasons worth of character growth in 4 seconds.
posted by gsteff at 3:27 PM on May 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


I agree with torticat's thoughts on the Moon Door. It keeps with the style of the sky cells, and makes architectural sense. The trap door is visually compelling, but does make me wonder what manner of black magic these people use to support their giant ancient fortress's throne-room cantilevered over the abyss.

Pah! Ain't none of you played a bunch of Dwarf Fortress? Trapdoor all the way. Besides, if it were a vertical door, the action would be a bit too much like Roslin throwing 'em out the airlock.

The way the throne room set is laid out, it doesn't make architectural sense, but if the throne room were a small overhang and the stairs doubled back so that the royal chambers were back in line with the main column of the tower, it would be able to hold up I think
posted by furiousthought at 3:42 PM on May 22, 2014 [1 favorite]




MISSED OPPORTUNITY: after Petyr pushes Lysa out the moon door, and we get that great shot of him from below, they should have rolled credits to Smashmouth's "All Star".
posted by Sticherbeast at 6:03 AM on May 23, 2014 [9 favorites]


after Petyr pushes Lysa out the moon door, and we get that great shot of him from below, they should have rolled credits to Smashmouth's "All Star".

I'm now envisioning a video of Littlefinger's greatest moments set to that.
posted by nubs at 7:36 AM on May 23, 2014 [1 favorite]






Game Of Thrones Season 5 Casting Sheet Leaks For Dorne & Beyond (possible spoilers with a warning in the article.)
posted by homunculus at 9:36 PM on May 23, 2014 [1 favorite]




How 'CNN' is like Buzzfeed.
posted by Justinian at 8:57 AM on May 25, 2014 [3 favorites]




How 'CNN' is like Buzzfeed.

My favourite part is that, presumably for full disclosure, in the middle of a random paragraph in the article, apropos of nothing, they've dropped in parentheses the entire reason for the article's existence: (HBO and CNN are both owned by Time Warner.)

Synergy!
posted by Sys Rq at 11:00 AM on May 25, 2014


Also, I just remembered that there's no episode tonight because Memorial Day and now I'm getting the shakes.
posted by Sys Rq at 11:03 AM on May 25, 2014 [3 favorites]


Yeah, it's annoying that we have to wait another week for the big fight. At least Penny Dreadful is still on tonight, if that helps.
posted by homunculus at 12:50 PM on May 25, 2014




Pedro Pascal is doing an AMA on Reddit right now. He admits to being able to eat an entire box of Capt Crunch cereal without milk, which indeed makes him a badass.
posted by jamaro at 1:57 PM on May 25, 2014 [3 favorites]


OH NO HE'S FUCKING DELIGHTFUL help
posted by elizardbits at 5:23 PM on May 25, 2014 [4 favorites]


They're all delightful, but Natalie Dormer is a shocker.
posted by homunculus at 6:10 PM on May 25, 2014 [1 favorite]


Thanks homunculus for the Ask the Maester: May-December Romances, Escaping to Essos, and the Targaryen Clan link.

The term "Littlefingerprints" he used has been making me lol for many minutes.
posted by a humble nudibranch at 9:33 PM on May 25, 2014 [1 favorite]


My pleasure.
posted by homunculus at 11:38 PM on May 25, 2014




The reason you shouldn’t root for Petyr and Sansa — those crazy, star-crossed kids just trying to make their way through this topsy-turvy Westeros world — is really pretty simple.

[...PROCEEDS TO GIVE ALL THE REASONS BAELISH IS AWESOME AND I ROOT FOR HIM]
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 1:38 PM on May 26, 2014


I thought he kissed Sansa in order to make Lysa insanely jealous which would allow him to push her out of the moon door. Do you guys really think he likes/wants Sansa?

Absolutely. He'll use her as a tool also, but remember: he was in love with/obsessed by Catelyn Tully his entire life, and Sansa has been commented on as being the spitting image of a young Cat.

Littlefinger really is playing 3D chess: he wanted to make Lysa jealous, and he wants Sansa, and he wants rulership over The Vale. Just knocked out three birds with one stone.

Anyways, it makes me think he's going to kill Sansa when he gets whatever he is looking for from having her around

Sansa is the only (known) living heir to Winterfell. Which is the key to the North. Working with the Tyrells to off Joffrey was, again, killing multiple birds with one stone: Tyrion is framed, and will (obviously) end up dead or on the Wall. In the former case, Sansa's now a widow and free to be remarried; in the second case, presumably the oath the NW takes would annul his marriage. Or it could be declared annulled due to non-consummation maybe?

Either way, that leaves Sansa free to be (forcibly) married to Littlefinger, who then becomes Lord of Winterfell.

Remember, Littlefinger has told us what he wants: "Everything. Everything there is."

He's got the Vale, next step the North, next step... who knows where a resourceful man could go from there.

Dorne has different rules about inheritance.

Dorne has Myrcella.


These are things (not spoilers; speculation) that it would do certain people a great deal of good to remember.

Also, the look on Lysa's face as she fell out the door echoed (for me) Gollum at the end of LOTR. Right at the moment she thinks she has everything she always wanted, it's all ripped away and revealed to be a lie. Everything she's done--lying, murder, etc--was for nothing, and watching that expression cross her face gave me goosebumps. I think the actress who played her was... not exactly equal to the task of playing such a complexly broken character, but the betrayal and hopelessness and despair that passed across her face in those few moments redeemed her more hammy bits. For me anyway.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:02 PM on May 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


Got friends new to the show? Tired of their questions? Here's a solution.
posted by nubs at 9:57 PM on May 26, 2014 [1 favorite]










hints for the next season of Game of Thrones...

Note that the hints being given are for season 4 - i.e., the current season. A fact that does nothing to stop Natalie Dormer from being utterly charming, IMO.
posted by nubs at 6:57 PM on May 29, 2014


Heh, I didn't even notice the date. Besides, everything she says might apply to the next season just as well.
posted by homunculus at 9:01 PM on May 29, 2014












I guess the big question before the clash of the champions is: is Oberyn going to show his viper to Loras before the big fight? Nobody remains unscathed in GOT, so I'm guessing the fight is going to leave Oberyn either crippled or dead (and the Mountain as well), so it would be nice if they had some quality time together first, especially if Loras is really going to go through with the marriage to Cersei.
posted by homunculus at 7:53 PM on May 31, 2014


I seriously and devoutly hope so.

They copped out with only doing the ass shot of Daario--more than enough women have been exploited on-screen, it's about time for some dong.

also Loras is pretty and i want to marry him
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:36 PM on May 31, 2014


it's about time for some dong.

HBO Should Show Dongs
posted by homunculus at 8:55 PM on May 31, 2014 [1 favorite]




I'm bout to start a metatalk about the lack of a new episode thread.
posted by DynamiteToast at 8:06 PM on June 1, 2014 [2 favorites]


Just email Matt directly. He approves them and I know there are a few queued up.
posted by jessamyn at 8:22 PM on June 1, 2014


He can have his Sunday night in peace, I'm just kidding. I can wait for tomorrow morning.
posted by DynamiteToast at 8:30 PM on June 1, 2014


The go-time for hte new thread to go up isn't for another hour and a half -- it's when it's done airing in the Pacific time zone, which is at 10PM Pacific.
posted by KathrynT at 8:37 PM on June 1, 2014


The new GOT thread doesn't go up until the people on the East-Coast are in bed.
posted by homunculus at 8:58 PM on June 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


Ok that makes sense. I think this is the first time since fanfare started that I've watched it at the right time.
posted by DynamiteToast at 9:01 PM on June 1, 2014


oh man, I thought you guys got it at 8PM PST and I was chewing my nails waiting for it to go up.
posted by corb at 9:07 PM on June 1, 2014


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