Game of Thrones: The Queen's Justice   Books Included 
July 31, 2017 5:19 AM - Season 7, Episode 3 - Subscribe

Euron teaches about crowd-work. Sam levels up in medical skill. Dany makes a deal. Tyrion broods.
posted by drezdn (96 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
I had at least two major quibbles with tonight's episode.

1) The Iron Bank should probably scoff at the idea of supporting slavery (and supposedly have been deeply offended in the past by people suggesting they were involved in it)

2) Davos is a master smuggler, couldn't he find a way for Jon to slip out?
posted by drezdn at 5:23 AM on July 31 [5 favorites]


Hard to smuggle without a boat. And didn't seem to work out so hot last time.....

WHERE'S GENDRY
posted by snuffleupagus at 6:22 AM on July 31 [4 favorites]


He can smuggle you out of your HBO contract.
posted by French Fry at 6:33 AM on July 31 [7 favorites]


1) The Iron Bank should probably scoff at the idea of supporting slavery (and supposedly have been deeply offended in the past by people suggesting they were involved in it)

Mr. Machine was so, so annoyed about this. Like, annoyed on the couch while we were watching, annoyed while we were puttering about the first floor afterwards turning out the lights, hissing about it on the stairs while we snuck past the kid's bedroom, and then, upstairs, he was brushing his teeth and burst out, mouth full of toothpaste foam, "BUT BRAAVOS WOULDN'T INVEST IN SLAVERY."

Me, I just put it down to Mark Gatiss always being an evil fuck.
posted by joyceanmachine at 7:36 AM on July 31 [11 favorites]


What's Littlefinger's plan from here? He's got the Vale. Charming the Northerners is not working, and he doesn't have control of either a treasury or a city guard like he did in King's Landing. I don't think he has any leverage or blackmail material on anyone in Winterfell? Is he staying there for any reason except that no-one else wants him? It just seems unusual for him to be working just on Sansa without having half a dozen other projects on the side as well.
posted by harriet vane at 7:42 AM on July 31 [2 favorites]


In retrospect, why were Theon and his sister on the same boat? Wouldn't you want your leaders spread out to better control the fleet?
posted by drezdn at 7:43 AM on July 31 [1 favorite]


What's Littlefinger's plan from here?

To creep around Sansa. From last episode (transcript): "Your father and I had our differences, but he loved Cat very much. So did I.... I love Sansa, as I loved her mother."

I can't recall how this tracks with the books, but I remember him being obsessed with her there, too.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:52 AM on July 31 [3 favorites]


I liked the subtle implication that Cersei won't let her handmaids have longer hair than her own.

I also liked that Littlefinger was giving a lecture to Sansa about how she has to be thinking about everything everywhere all the time, and then Bran shows up one beat later and is like, "I can literally do that."

But, on the Bran front, it has seemed like he has more power in the show than in the books thus far. In the books, I think he could only see what Weirwood trees had seen/can see, but in the show, he seems to be able to go anywhere in time/space. So in this episode, I liked that he was specifically referencing a scene that had happened in front of the Weirwood tree in front of which he was sitting. That seemed more proper somehow.
posted by tempestuoso at 8:06 AM on July 31 [11 favorites]


What's Littlefinger's plan from here?

I mean if the lannister's plans keep going well, he did promise Cersei he'd bring her Sansa Stark's head. That would be a rough twist.
posted by French Fry at 8:24 AM on July 31


One thought: did we just watch the show dispense with the Iron Bank plot? Was there enough gold at Highgarden to pay the bank off?
posted by lunasol at 8:25 AM on July 31 [1 favorite]


It seems like, probably not enough. I mean Robert had been running a debt for 20 years. But probably enough to at least get them on good terms, maybe reopen the credit line.
posted by French Fry at 8:29 AM on July 31 [1 favorite]


Was there enough gold at Highgarden to pay the bank off?

My guess is someone is robbing the gold train.
posted by drezdn at 8:41 AM on July 31


Man the story sure moves fast when you're on a budget. 1800 pages split across two novels? Not much happens but lots of false starts. Three hours of expensive TV? Armies move, major characters die and plot lines end. I mean they finally got Dany and Jon together and it was like no big deal, just some chest-bumping about who's in charge. GRRM would have spent 10 pages on the lemon cakes for the celebratory feast alone.

Speaking of the meeting of Ice and Fire, isn't that the Big Moment all the fan theories have been going on about for years? Melisandre even says as much before she exits stage right. It seemed odd that there was zero romance, chemistry, or emotion on display. I kind of thank the showrunners for that, swelling violins and sparkles in the eye would have been awfully cheesy. But is that pair going to just go nowhere?
posted by Nelson at 8:47 AM on July 31 [2 favorites]


But is that pair going to just go nowhere?

I'll be shocked if Jon and Dany don't end up having sex.

Also, since this is the more spoiler-y thread: man, on the Watch the Thrones post-game, one guy was talking about Jon riding Drogon. I think that has an icicle's chance in hell of happening -- yeah, Jon's gonna be on a dragon, but it isn't going to be Dany's #1 best baby.
posted by joyceanmachine at 8:58 AM on July 31 [5 favorites]


Absolutely not, but I think that's the whole point of him not bending the knee. If he bent the knee, he would be just another subject, which Jorah has been failing at for a while. Treating with her as a King to her Queen allows them to see each other as equals, which is necessary for an actual romance. I think we got more confirmation that a romance is happening but not.

Actually, maybe that's the betrayal for love. We will always assumed of the gold was Jorah, but he wasn't actually going to get gold, just a pardon. What if Jorah betrays Dany, after all these years of renewed loyalty, because he comes back from grayscale for her, only to see her in a true romance with Jon?
posted by corb at 9:00 AM on July 31 [14 favorites]


Any bets on who gets to strangle Cersei? Little brother could be (in my descending order of plausibility):

Jaime
Arya (in brother disguise)
The Hound
Tyrion
Jon Snow
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 9:05 AM on July 31


What do folks think about what Mel said to Varys, about how they both have to die in Westeros? Is there something from the books about that, or is it something new? It definitely rattled Varys.

It seemed odd that there was zero romance, chemistry, or emotion on display.

Really? It seemed to me like the first 30 minutes of a certain kind of romantic comedy, when the romantic leads hate each other, but also sort of grudgingly respect each other. I was watching the show with my parents and my dad, who is show-only and just barely at that (my mom's the big fan) said at the end of the show, "well, I guess those two will be sleeping together soon."

I do agree the two actors don't have much chemistry together, at least not as much as Dany and Yara had on their first meeting!
posted by lunasol at 9:08 AM on July 31 [4 favorites]


Arya (in brother disguise)

Oooh, Arya killing Cersei in disguise as Jaime with him taking the fall would be so damned awesome!! Fulfill the valonquar prophesy and Arya's hit list while Jaime gets another 20 years of shit for doing what someone should have done long ago. It would also give him a taste of Tyrion's fate, to be unjustly accused of kin/kingslaying

I do agree the two actors don't have much chemistry together, at least not as much as Dany and Yara had on their first meeting!

I honestly think that's just because the actress that plays Yara is just a lot better than stone-faced Emily Clarke. When you pair the latter with Kit Harrington, they better have some great music prepared, because otherwise no one is going to realize that they're falling in love.

Just something else that I've noticed for a few weeks now, on the "more about this weeks episode", it seems like D&D are consciously using that to explain things that don't make sense in the show, and it's annoying as hell.
posted by skewed at 9:44 AM on July 31 [8 favorites]


Jaime would have to die for Arya to wear his face.
posted by elsietheeel at 9:53 AM on July 31 [1 favorite]


I'm confused by where they're going with Jaime (and have been for like three seasons). The big fan theory was always that he would kill Cersei when she became the mad queen and burned down King's Landing but she's already done a fair portion of that and Jaime seemed to have little reaction and his feelings about her do not seem to have changed in any significant way, from season 1.

At this point, I'd prefer Arya killing Cersei, rather than Jaime suddenly doing a 180 turn in the last few episode. She's crossed like ten different moral event horizons already and been very clear about who she is and Jaime's stuck with her through all of it, with barely a protest and actively defended her to people--it would feel phony if he changed his mind.

In the books, his evolving feelings about Cersei are such a major part of his character growth, so I think it would be pretty satisfying if he did kill her there.
posted by armadillo1224 at 9:59 AM on July 31 [1 favorite]


Did they explain why Euron left right away? It seems like he would have celebrated his victory for a little bit.
posted by drezdn at 10:05 AM on July 31


He wasn't necessarily there with his fleet. Which would help explain the boat time travel.
posted by French Fry at 10:40 AM on July 31 [1 favorite]


Ok so wait is Bran the only person who currently knows that Jon is Rhaegar's son? Or did he at some point share this with Meera?

im afraid to ask this in the show only thread even though the reveal was painfully obvious
posted by poffin boffin at 10:56 AM on July 31 [5 favorites]


This season is just lackluster. I'm halfway to skipping it until the next book comes out, just because I'd rather have the experience of the surprises like the siege of Casterly Rock in a format that I will enjoy more.
posted by mzurer at 11:14 AM on July 31 [1 favorite]


So Highgarden was planning to attack King's Landing but didn't have any way of stopping/slowing the Lannister army?
posted by drezdn at 11:34 AM on July 31 [4 favorites]


Also, did followers of the seven just shrug after the Sept was blown up. It's possible some would accept an accident as the explanation, but where are the Sept truthers?
posted by drezdn at 11:36 AM on July 31 [6 favorites]


Ok so wait is Bran the only person who currently knows that Jon is Rhaegar's son?

I have pet theory that Jamie also knows. Given scenes from the first season and some in book details as well.

I also enjoy that the great mystery Ned Stark was slowly unraveling that whole season is something everyone casually jokes about now. Oh Ned.
posted by French Fry at 11:43 AM on July 31 [7 favorites]


Ok so wait is Bran the only person who currently knows that Jon is Rhaegar's son? Or did he at some point share this with Meera?

I'm guessing we're supposed to take Bran saying "I have something to tell Jon" or whatever it is he said as that it's still a secret. It definitely hasn't been spread around any other way, at least on the show. I don't think Howland Reed as an adult has been on the show, but he knows. Littlefinger doesn't know, but he knows enough that he could put 2 and 2 together if he gets any inkling of what info Bran is sharing.
posted by skewed at 11:46 AM on July 31




a monstrous she wolf: What you missed on 7x03
posted by homunculus at 12:05 PM on July 31 [3 favorites]


Chrys Reviews Episode 3: Tainted Love

This episode: B-. This Chrys Reviews: A+++++++++.

Why were the Tyrells so easy to squash? Also, so the Lannister Army wasn't there to get got by the Dothraki. So? They still lost Casterly Rock. I'm not excited about my house getting robbed and new people moving in just because my guarddog was at the vet. The whole point of fortresses is that they're really hard to take. Now they have to retake. Smooth move Ser Jaime. Honestly I don't understand why anyone is making any decisions in this anymore. Like Jon Snow, dude, send a raven first, ask for some dragonglass, feel things out. Send an ambassador. That's how kings do.

Well, except Euron Greyjoy, he does seem to know what he's up to.
posted by dis_integration at 12:07 PM on July 31 [1 favorite]


Also, did followers of the seven just shrug after the Sept was blown up. It's possible some would accept an accident as the explanation, but where are the Sept truthers?

They're locked away with all the Dornish folk who didn't react to Ellaria & the SS overthrowing the Martells. The remaining factions are going to war with each other so there's no room in the story for internal dissension at this time. That would be too complicated for a shortened season.
posted by homunculus at 12:12 PM on July 31 [1 favorite]


what Mel said to Varys, about how they both have to die in Westeros?

I don't recall if it's a book thing but I assume it was related to what he Heard From The Flames when he was castrated, the same whatever it is that the Red Priestess in Meereen reminded him of last season.

That he has this bit of knowledge about his death adds a new spin on his time in Essos with Dany. Now that he's back in Westeros, I wonder if he has the same feeling of "welp, past the books now, I guess we'll see what happens..." as us viewers.
posted by yeahlikethat at 12:44 PM on July 31 [1 favorite]


At this point, I'd prefer Arya killing Cersei, rather than Jaime suddenly doing a 180 turn in the last few episode. She's crossed like ten different moral event horizons already and been very clear about who she is and Jaime's stuck with her through all of it, with barely a protest and actively defended her to people--it would feel phony if he changed his mind.

It kind of feels like Jaime's plot this season is going to be Redemption and Turning on Cersei, just because pretty much every scene is him either talking to someone about why she's bad or seeing her do stuff that makes him uncomfortable. There's no question in my mind that it will be ham-fisted and unearned because pretty much everything the show has done since it passed the books has been that way, but I don't think they have the scene with Olenna play out in that way or the bits with him and Euron if it's just going to end with Jaime sticking by her side.
posted by Copronymus at 1:09 PM on July 31 [5 favorites]


Chrys Reviews Episode 3: Tainted Love
"He's a right proper lad"


^reet
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 1:13 PM on July 31 [3 favorites]


While looking into the sewer system of Casterly Rock in the show-only thread, took another look into the books (A Wiki of Ice and Fire), and now I notice that the assault on Casterly Rock was less dramatic than it could have been:
The Lion's Mouth, the main entry to Casterly Rock, is an enormous natural cavern reaching two hundred feet high. Its steps are now wide enough for twenty riders. Its port has docks, wharves, and shipyards and is accessible by longships and cogs.
But there's still some book-facts that could play out in this season:
The Kings of the Rock from House Lannister took their title from their seat, and members of the family founded nearby Lannisport. During the Andal invasion, the Lannisters eventually invited Andals into their realm and brought Andal youths to serve at Casterly Rock as wards and potential hostages. According to a lost scroll, Valyrian sorcerers believed their downfall would come from the Rock's gold.
The phrasing is weird, but I assume the "their" is referring to House Lannister. The Rock is devoid of gold, the Iron Bank has come asking for House Lannister to pay its debts, and Jaime has just looted Highgarden.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:19 PM on July 31


it will be ham-fisted and unearned because pretty much everything the show has done since it passed the books has been that way

We're watching different shows. There's certainly been some necessary elision because of time constraints but most of the problems in the last 3 seasons have been a direct result of GRRM's inability to wrap anything up, imo.
posted by Justinian at 1:22 PM on July 31 [4 favorites]


What if Jorah betrays Dany, after all these years of renewed loyalty, because he comes back from grayscale for her, only to see her in a true romance with Jon?

I dunno… Jorah took Daario and Khal Drogo mostly in stride, after all. His devotion doesn't seem to fade much if she's involved with someone else. I mean, I don't imagine he'll be throwing a ticker-tape parade or anything, but I'm not sure that'd be enough to make him deviate from his astonishing loyalty.
posted by culfinglin at 2:10 PM on July 31


We're watching different shows. There's certainly been some necessary elision because of time constraints but most of the problems in the last 3 seasons have been a direct result of GRRM's inability to wrap anything up, imo.

Does your show include HARD DRUGS? I mean just for one example..

Show: Dorne is a weird place where everybody just kind of wanders around looking sexy. The Sand Snakes are supposed to be big and bad, but mostly just kind of whiny + poison. Writing samples include: "You want a good girl but you need the bad pussy," When they die, I'm not sure why we are supposed to care.

Book: Dorne is a place that has been part of the Game of Thrones since the very beginning, that never put away their Targ loyalties fully, where betrayal and intrigue abound. The Sand Snakes are pretty sinister and capable of infiltrating into multiple levels of Westerosi society. Each of them has a different talent, but all of them are pretty fucking actually deadly. They have competing inheritance laws, and they are not above attempting to marry their princes and princesses to potential Targs. Nobody and nothing is stupid. Ellaria in the books is not such an idiot. Her actual quote?
Oberyn wanted vengeance for Elia. Now the three of you want vengeance for him. I have four daughters, I remind you. Your sisters. My Elia is fourteen, almost a woman. Obella is twelve, on the brink of maiden-hood. They worship you, as Dorea and Loreza worship them. If you should die, must El and Obella seek vengeance for you, then Dorea and Loree for them? Is that how it goes, round and round forever? I ask again, where does it end?
The Dorne plot, to be simplified, did not need to include HORRIBLY BAD WRITING, nor did it need to eliminate Doran Martell - a truly great actor! - early on in order to give us more time with the worse actors of the Sand Snakes, who are all young and conventionally pretty, unlike the actual Sand Snakes. That wasn't some kind of genius consolidation - that was just shitty, shitty adaptation.
posted by corb at 3:21 PM on July 31 [22 favorites]


You know my opinion on most of the Dorne stuff in the books, corb, but yeah... the Dorne bits in the show are the worst-handled thing they've ever done. Save for when Ellaria and Oberyn were in King's Landing.
posted by Justinian at 3:25 PM on July 31 [2 favorites]


Yeah, it's maybe unfair to use the Dorne thing as the sole judge, because it's just so bad. But overall, I think it's fair to say that when the show meets a plot hole because it eliminated or skipped over characters, they're just not even bothering to acknowledge there's a hole there and cover it with something paper thin, and after a while, that gets old. Dragonstone totally abandoned completely, rather than tactician Stannis fortifying it and it being a project to get in? With not even a thin stated explanation of why? Nope. Constant "And now we are completely surprised at sea, such that we can't even alert people or try to get away" all the goddamned time as a way to get away without doing real ship battles? Nope. A brief glimpse of Randall Tarly as a way to show that Olenna was betrayed, not just that Highgarden somehow all of a sudden sucked somehow? Nope. People starving in the streets, and as one of the recaps points out, still throwing food, because it's more visually interesting to walk women through the streets in chains for what felt like literal minutes? Nope.
posted by corb at 3:42 PM on July 31 [6 favorites]


LARB: Rooks and Rookies by Aaron Bady & Cersei, Dany, and Tracy Flick by Sarah Mesle
It’s still an interesting show, and I’ll keep watching, but I can’t help but feel like we’re getting an increasingly efficient, stripped-down, and streamlined version of the extremely baggy and meandering monstrosity that George R. R. Martin is clearly incapable of finishing. But his incapacity to close it out is a function—I am convinced—of what it is that he created: at its core, this is a soap opera. Game of Thrones could have been a narrative framework within which a multitude of characters come and go and scheme and plot and improvise—ostensibly moving towards some kind of grand resolution, but manifestly in no hurry to get there—and for a long time, that’s exactly what it was. Interminable wars go on and on while our protagonists struggle to survive—and when they don’t, new protagonists pop up in new places and struggle to survive in turn—and the show become less like a grand epic than a narrative ecosystem, with a changing and evolving cast, replenishing its stock of story with new story every time a narrative line went dry.

No more: the callous efficiency with which Dorne is being disposed of speaks to the necessity that the showrunners seem to feel about cleaning up all the loose odds and ends of the plot; instead of diverging and branching narratives, everything is converging. And much is lost as this happens. For all the richness of the reunion scenes—after years have passed and shared experiences are stretched and warped by memory—it’s becoming a narrative device with diminishing returns, like we’re harvesting but not replanting. Olenna’s death mirrors Joffrey’s, just as the Sand Snakes’ death mirrors Myrcella’s, nice symmetrical end-stops. Put differently: we’re seeing narrative repetitions, closed-parentheses on interesting tangents, but there aren’t any new ones opening up.

Remember when characters on this show used to just talk and talk and talk? And talk? It feels like they don’t, anymore, which is related to the fact that travel times have been effectively reduced to zero. Every scene moves the plot forward, because all those long journeys that used to drag things out and leave characters with nothing to do but walk and talk and scheme… well, let us observe that Euron continues to be able to teleport his ships around the world so as to get where he needs to go at exactly the right time, and in only three episodes, the war has completely changed its shape; when the situation changes this fast, there’s no chance to ruminate.
posted by homunculus at 4:33 PM on July 31 [7 favorites]


Remember when characters on this show used to just talk and talk and talk? And talk? It feels like they don’t, anymore, which is related to the fact that travel times have been effectively reduced to zero.

I agree with this, but that's why I liked this episode so much! It was almost all talking and talking and talking! It seems like a weird time to come with that criticism when it makes much more sense after last episode rather than this one.
posted by Justinian at 4:36 PM on July 31 [2 favorites]


Also, did followers of the seven just shrug after the Sept was blown up. It's possible some would accept an accident as the explanation, but where are the Sept truthers?

Steven Attewell: Thoughts on Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 3, “The Queen’s Justice”
Here’s where my head damn near exploded. After establishing quite clearly that everyone knows that Cersei burnt down the Sept of Baelor, now we get cheering crowds applauding Euron Crowseye? There should be riots in the street, or at the very least ominous crowds barely held back by the gold cloaks. The lack of any kind of continuity when it comes to public opinion and political support really does show a stark difference between Benioff and Weiss – who think of the smallfolk as easily swayed dupes – and GRRM, who goes into great detail about their political ideas and actions.
posted by homunculus at 5:23 PM on July 31 [14 favorites]


This week's D&D D&D recap for your rules-lawyering pleasure:

• Jon & Co land on Dragonstone, surrendering their weapons but not their armor, opening the door to unarmed or improvised combat. Missandei also fails to account for potential spellcasting!
• Ser Davos fails an Insight check against Missandei.
• Drogon does a flyby, causing Jon & Ser Davos to suffer the frightened condition; at the end of their subsequent turn, however, they pass their Wis saves, ending the effect.
• A flurry of Intimidation and Persuasion contests fly between Jon & Daenerys, to no result for either party.
• Theon passes a Con save against drowning. The DM rules he nevertheless suffers a permanent -1 Charisma loss.
• Euron fails a Charisma check against Cersei, but only just.
• The last Sand Snake fails her Con save against poison.
• Tyrion aces successive Persuasion checks against Jon and Daenerys. Danny subseqeuently gives Jon permission to begin gathering obsidian for his undeadbane weapons.
• Using only the verbal component, Sansa casts fireball against Littlefinger's ego. As a cantrip. He's going to need Otiluke's freezing sphere to salve that burn, yo.
• Bran casts legend lore on Sansa inappropriately.
• Having completed a long rest, Ser Jorah is fully recovered from the diseased condition he had been suffering.
• Sam greatly increases his spellbook.
• Mass combat takes place offscreen. [Note: there are no official or even semi-official rules for naval combat, so we'll have to house-rule all that.]
• Lady Olenna fails a difficult Con save against poison, but nevertheless persists and casts both eyebite and suggestion on Ser Jaime. The DM rules that the Queen of Thorns thereafter leaves her mortal remains on the Prime Material Plane and attains apotheosis in, say, the Peaceable Realms of Arcadia.

This commenter laments that the campaign so far has been heavy on melée combat and skill checks (ugh so many Persuasion checks), and will pay closer attention to spellcasting and other magical effects when writing future recaps.
posted by The Nutmeg of Consolation at 5:23 PM on July 31 [19 favorites]


Bran casts legend lore on Sansa inappropriately.

10/10 solid gold
posted by prize bull octorok at 5:28 PM on July 31 [6 favorites]


This is a bad show.
posted by codacorolla at 6:29 PM on July 31 [3 favorites]


At least they realized they're god awful at directing combat scenes, and have spared us by putting them 90% off screen.
posted by codacorolla at 6:30 PM on July 31 [2 favorites]


Any bets on who gets to strangle Cersei? Little brother could be (in my descending order of plausibility):

Arya (in brother disguise)



Arya as Tommen or Myrcella.
posted by tilde at 6:35 PM on July 31 [3 favorites]


What if Jorah betrays Dany, after all these years of renewed loyalty, because he comes back from grayscale for her, only to see her in a true romance with Jon?

Jon has what should rightfully be Jorah's sword, too, since Lord Commander Mormont gave it to Jon because Jorah was disinherited. Double ouch. I'd love to see that scene.
posted by gatorae at 6:41 PM on July 31 [7 favorites]


>What if Jorah betrays Dany, after all these years of renewed loyalty, because he comes back from grayscale for her, only to see her in a true romance with Jon?

>Jon has what should rightfully be Jorah's sword, too, since Lord Commander Mormont gave it to Jon because Jorah was disinherited. Double ouch. I'd love to see that scene.

I think Jorah has already resigned himself to the fact that Dany will never reciprocate the kind of love he feels for her. It seems like it's enough for him just to be able to serve her. And I also think if anything, the fact that Jorah's father gave Jon Snow that sword and made John his steward will make Jorah more likely to accept Jon getting involved with Dany.

Of course, it's going to be super heartbreaking for Jorah, and I too look forward to that scene (and just generally to seeing Jorah and Jon meet), but I don't think it will lead to Jorah betraying Dany.

I do wonder if Jon will ultimately be the one to betray Dany, especially if she does ultimately go off the deep end.
posted by litera scripta manet at 6:56 PM on July 31 [1 favorite]


This is a bad show.

Uh, when was the last time you enjoyed it? Or did you ever?
posted by Justinian at 7:00 PM on July 31 [2 favorites]


I do find myself wondering, if the episodes are pressed for time, the effects are trimmed, and the conversations are lacking -- where has the expected financial boon from having such a successful show gone?
posted by amtho at 7:50 PM on July 31


Sorry about discussing the valonqar in the non-books thread. I misremembered that it had already been discussed in the show. So now I'm wondering what the reason is for not including it in the show. They went out of their way to do a whole Maggy flashback scene, but didn't include the biggest reason that Cersei had distrusted Tyrion. So why? Is there a possibility that they're planning for her fate in the show to be different from the books?
posted by zerbinetta at 8:14 PM on July 31 [1 favorite]


On rewatch, the attack on Casterly Rock was awfully reminiscent of the battle of Helms Deep in LOTR, what with the sewer being the vulnerable spot and the long ladders full of urukhai/Unsullied.
posted by gatorae at 8:15 PM on July 31 [1 favorite]


I also enjoy that the great mystery Ned Stark was slowly unraveling that whole season is something everyone casually jokes about now. Oh Ned.
"Ah...werked on this story fer a year...and...he just...ravened it out..."
posted by pykrete jungle at 8:17 PM on July 31 [21 favorites]


Jaime seemed to have little reaction and his feelings about her do not seem to have changed in any significant way, from season 1.

Been wondering about this myself. I wasn't even sure he actually knew Cersei was responsible for blowing up the Sept with wildfire, since he wasn't keen on Mad King Aerys doing something similar. IOKIYAL, I guess: it's ok if you're a Republican Lannister.
posted by harriet vane at 10:37 PM on July 31 [4 favorites]


Sorry about discussing the valonqar in the non-books thread. I misremembered that it had already been discussed in the show.

I think I might have been the first to lead everyone astray there, sorry. So I'll come over here for safety.

The big fan theory was always that he would kill Cersei when she became the mad queen and burned down King's Landing but she's already done a fair portion of that and Jaime seemed to have little reaction and his feelings about her do not seem to have changed in any significant way, from season 1.

I thought he's been looking a little concerned recently. The problem is they seem to have been wavering with his direction for seasons, now. And as you said I don't really know what at this point would be the last straw for him.

What if he does but it's framed more as a mercy killing?
posted by atoxyl at 11:25 PM on July 31


A widely regarded theory is that it's Joffrey's head under Robert Strong's helmet. Seeing that might make Cersei finally snap - especially if things are starting to go poorly in her war with Daeny. That would make a mercy killing make sense.
posted by codacorolla at 7:06 AM on August 1 [1 favorite]


Speaking of which, if the Cleganes are going to fight, I guess that means that KL gets sieged at some point? Maybe the Brotherhood joins up with Daeny's cause? That would make sense, since they're lead by an attendant of R'Hollor.
posted by codacorolla at 7:14 AM on August 1


I liked the subtle implication that Cersei won't let her handmaids have longer hair than her own.

I found myself wondering when Maria Hill joined her staff.

Also, WRT show Casterly Rock vs. book version, let's remember that book CR is crazy huge; here are some comparisons to notable structures in Reallifeos.
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:32 AM on August 1 [4 favorites]


Okay, so Jaime's character arc — I'm beginning to worry that we're not going to see much of it carry over from the books to the show.

First: Cersei — Does Jaime actually know that she's responsible for the wildfire explosion? I'm still not sure, but I can't imagine he'd be fine with it. He has to suspect she's behind it… it's just too convenient to have all of Cerise's enemies blown up in one place. Especially now that Olenna's confessed to being Joffrey's murderer, which vindicates Tyrion… although Tyrion did kill Tywin. Not sure how upset Jaime really is about that, given how much of a jerk Tywin was to him.

Second: Brienne — Jaime spends a nontrivial amount of time thinking about Brienne in the books, but apart from last season's brief meeting at Riverrun, there's not much sign in the show that she's on his mind at all. I'm disappointed to see this storyline apparently dropped.
posted by culfinglin at 8:18 AM on August 1 [7 favorites]


A widely regarded theory is that it's Joffrey's head under Robert Strong's helmet.

He took off his helmet last season before going in to torture (or do whatever to) the "Shame!" lady. We didn't get a great view of it, but it didn't look like Joffrey.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 8:26 AM on August 1 [1 favorite]


Uh, when was the last time you enjoyed it? Or did you ever?

Honestly, I'm another person who thinks this is a pretty bad show much of the time, at least in certain ways but I still enjoy it a lot. Much more so now that the titillatingly-filmed rape scenes and the constant gratuitous female nudity are gone. A show can be good in some ways and bad in others.

I think the show is gorgeous to look at and fun to watch and I'm still extremely invested in many of the characters and their story arcs but I just can't deny that the writing is often really bad ('bad pussy' is still burned into my brain) since they stopped having the books to rely on and they frequently resolve plot threads in very ham-fisted and illogical and sometimes, downright bizarre ways--this is not entirely their fault because they need to get out of all the corners Martin has written them into and it's pretty much impossible to do that with the subtlety and care and attention to detail and character histories that Martin applies to his writing, while wrapping everything up in two seasons.
posted by armadillo1224 at 9:00 AM on August 1 [5 favorites]


Brienne — Jaime spends a nontrivial amount of time thinking about Brienne in the books, but apart from last season's brief meeting at Riverrun, there's not much sign in the show that she's on his mind at all. I'm disappointed to see this storyline apparently dropped.

I think the main reason Jaime's story has gone so far off the rails is because of the lack of the connection to Brienne. Because she mostly just shows up in his thoughts and there's not an easy way of showing that on screen, their connection is very much underplayed on the show. In the books, I feel as though his contact with Brienne and his thoughts of her are the major impetus for his character development.
posted by armadillo1224 at 9:07 AM on August 1 [5 favorites]


The minor quibble I have about the theory that Jamie will kill Cersei is that the prophecy said, "...the valonqar shall wrap his hands about your pale white throat and choke the life from you." Jamie's got one hand. The parts of the prophecy that have already come true weren't that tricky, so I don't believe that "hands" is anything other than hands.

Of course, since this part wasn't mentioned in the show, Show Jamie could still be the one to do it.
posted by zerbinetta at 9:23 AM on August 1 [3 favorites]


homunculus: The lack of any kind of continuity when it comes to public opinion and political support really does show a stark difference between Benioff and Weiss – who think of the smallfolk as easily swayed dupes – and GRRM, who goes into great detail about their political ideas and actions.

It also shows what happens when a Cliffs Notes version of GRRM no longer has the larger book from which to be sourced: lack of narrative continuity.

At the same time, Jamie actually touched on that point in this episode:
Euron: There's nothing quite like it, is there? The love of the people. Though I suppose you wouldn't know.
Jamie: This same mob spat at my sister not long ago. And if you turn on us, they'll cheer to see your head mounted on a spike. Or yours. They just like severed heads, really.

Which feels like a comment on the viewing public in general -- there are some who have an allegiance to particular characters or families, but many tune in for medieval violence.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:57 AM on August 1 [6 favorites]


The Nutmeg of Consolation: The last Sand Snake fails her Con save against poison
...
Lady Olenna fails a difficult Con save against poison


... but did they? No one is dead until we see a body. Unlike Myrcella, we didn't see the Sand Snake die, just get really worried that she would, and would die a slow and painful death.

It's a classic villain move: menace the hero-type (or a damsel) with a slowly proceeding Death Ray or tie them to train tracks ... but then someone comes and saves them, just in the nick of time. So with two potential deaths by poisoning, I am assuming one will succeed, which will make the one that fails all the more exciting (at least, as planned by the writers and directors).
posted by filthy light thief at 11:15 AM on August 1


Olenna is toast, mumble the Sand Snake is gonna make it!
posted by Justinian at 12:18 PM on August 1


I agree, Justinian. Olenna got her dramatic exit speech and act (letting Jaime know who killed his son), and her house has been crushed. Her arc is completed, sadly.

The Sand Snakes' story is most definitely not completed! (I mean, I kind of want it to be, but it's not) There's still a lot of damage they could do if freed, and Cersei pointed out that they're not planning to kill Ellaria anyway. Even if her daughter dies, Ellaria is a ticking time bomb in that dungeon. With nothing to do but stew and think of ways to get back at the Lannisters.
posted by lunasol at 1:59 PM on August 1




Here's how I'd have it:
Jaime finally gets riled enough to kill Cersei.
In melee, Cersei ends up killing Jaime. Shock, grief, madness, etc.
Arya returns as Jaime to kill Cersei. Bonus points if she also gets clegane.
KL would be up for grabs, so Arya fends off potential usurpers, including a just end delivered to Euron.
Dany and John arrive. John heads up north to take care of a wintry draft that's been seeping in.
posted by Dashy at 5:09 PM on August 1


Ask the Maester: Where Did Euron Greyjoy Come From? Plus: Is Littlefinger going to kill Sansa? Or will it be the other way around?

Thanks for the link. Really interesting history on the Ironborn. Which of Martin's books go into all that history? Or do any?

In both the show and the books, the Ironborn seem to me like a band of pirates and somehow all of them seem to have an inferiority complex. So it's interesting to read that they've actually been considered more respectable than that and even reasonably governable since their big defeat hundreds of years previous.

When it comes to the show, I always end up wondering if the Greyjoys are even considered nobles. In the books, it's pretty clear that Theon is considered one, even if he's disgraced and is lowborn compared to the Starks. He's seated on the dais at Ramsey and "Arya's" wedding, anyway. But on the show, it seems like the Greyjoys don't really interact with the other houses in terms of politics (no real interest in marriage alliances, etc), and there seemed to be no interest off the Iron Islands in the Kingsmoot or even in the fact of Balon's death. How the Kingsmoot was structured, it seemed like really anyone could have become king if they'd felt like throwing their hat in the ring -- there was just a tradition of electing Greyjoys. And it also seemed like everyone there was thinking less in terms of "heirs" and more in terms of "proteges." I mean, they did mention that Theon and Yara were Balon's heirs, but that was brushed aside pretty fast, and it seemed a lot more like a quick-and-dirty election rather than a coronation. They really don't seem like nobles to me at all?

And I mean, was Yara and Theon's mother related to any of these other houses? Was Balon and is Euron? Why do they as a family seem to have no alliances or connections off the Iron Islands? Why is Euron still not married? Is he really so unworried about heirs that he's happy to keep proposing marriage to barren queens like Cersei and Dany? I wouldn't really think much of any of that, except that the lack of family connections and marriages and interest in heirs seems pretty different from any of the other houses.

Honestly, I really doubt that Euron isn't married and doesn't have kids already, regardless of where those (hypothetical) women and children might be. He was traveling the world for like fifteen years and he never got married and/or had a baby in all that time? Why? How would anyone know that he's even legitimately free to marry the queen, or anyone else? Not that it matters if he is already married, though, probably: "But that was in another country; and besides, the wench is dead."

I guess I'm also wondering about all this in light of Yara's capture. If she is considered noble, then I think she's got a reasonably good chance of being married off rather than killed outright or even kept imprisoned in a more literal sense. I keep wondering about what Yara's value might be as a captive, and I had been thinking of Yara's "naval" experience, or her (ransom) value to Dany -- but there's also that she's an unmarried noble woman (if she is really a noble woman?). I think that that's a bit more likely than usual to be a factor since it's Cersei who's in charge. Cersei seems to think that marriage is a fate worse than death if it's to the wrong man, so I think there's a possibility that she might have a "wrong man" up her sleeve for Yara. And I think she generally might decide to "feminize" her as a punishment, because that's another thing that Cersei hated being done to her. But on the other hand, I think that Cersei might prefer Yara to Euron, so who knows what she might do. She might just sub Yara for Euron if she's feeling like it.

It would be hilarious to me if Cersei replaced Euron with Yara, got her hands on Theon, and then kept Theon captive as one way of blackmailing Yara to stay on the straight and narrow. I doubt that it would work if Cersei did that to Yara, just like it didn't work when Ned did that to Balon. But it would make me laugh to see Cersei trying to use Ned's strategy of all people's, and just to see history repeating itself like that.
posted by rue72 at 6:46 PM on August 1 [1 favorite]


He took off his helmet last season before going in to torture (or do whatever to) the "Shame!" lady. We didn't get a great view of it, but it didn't look like Joffrey.

Maybe it's Armour -> Mountain -> Joff like some sort of necromantic turducken.
posted by vanar sena at 5:02 AM on August 2 [5 favorites]


Necromantic Turducken, Sat. 8pm doors, 9pm show, 21+
posted by paper chromatographologist at 5:06 AM on August 2 [7 favorites]


Yeah, her presumably functional ire (lol auto corrected from UTE) is the reason I think they're keeping yara around.
posted by tilde at 5:45 AM on August 2


Even if her daughter dies, Ellaria is a ticking time bomb in that dungeon. With nothing to do but stew and think of ways to get back at the Lannisters.

FWIW, the actress who plays Ellaria (Indira Varma) has said this was her last appearance on the show, and was described as such to her by Benioff & Weiss.
posted by chimpsonfilm at 6:22 AM on August 2 [1 favorite]


I'm perfectly fine with the sack of Highgarden being off-screen — there's structure-of-narrative reasons to keep it offscreen, since the Robb Stark victory it echoes also occurred off-screen.

I'm also okay with the sack of Highgarden being easy; it's been well-established that although the Tyrells have more money and food and people and political skill than anyone else, they're not so hot when it comes to matters military. The only one of their bannermen who's a decent general is Tarly... and, whoops, which side is Tarly on again?

Independent Highgarden is like a photographic negative of Robb Stark's Kingdom of the North; whereas Robb had military talent on his side but a total lack of anything resembling political acumen, the Tyrells have infinite political skill but are eminently conquerable by anyone who's able to gordian-knot through their political maneuvers.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 9:05 AM on August 2 [1 favorite]


One thing I don't get... Tarly knew where Sam was going, why didn't he try to get his sword back?
posted by drezdn at 9:14 AM on August 2


You Can't Tip a Buick: I'm also okay with the sack of Highgarden being easy; it's been well-established that although the Tyrells have more money and food and people and political skill than anyone else, they're not so hot when it comes to matters military.

Olenna: And now the rains weep o'er our halls. Did we fight well?
Jaime: Uh, as well as could be expected.
Olenna: It was never our forte. Golden roses, indeed.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:57 AM on August 2 [1 favorite]


> One thing I don't get... Tarly knew where Sam was going, why didn't he try to get his sword back?

I think that particular Chekhov's Gun is still waiting to go off. Certainly Sam's dad wants the sword back, but equally certainly he's got bigger problems on his mind right now. Expect to see the new Warden of the South's agents showing up in Oldtown to reclaim the sword sometime this season, probably exactly when it'd be most inconvenient for everyone.

I wouldn't be surprised if they killed Sam to get the sword back; I also wouldn't be surprised if Sam's death resulted in crucial pieces of information never reaching the north.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 11:33 AM on August 2 [1 favorite]


rue72,

The Ironborn are oddballs in Westeros, and relatively unimportant oddballs at that. They are a pirate culture but were subdued by Aegon the Conqueror. They used to choose a leader through a Kingsmoot, but Aegon appointed the Greyjoys as the rulers of the Iron Islands when he beat them and they've stayed that way since. The Kingsmoot in the show is the first one in centuries; before that leadership had been passed down through the Greyjoy line as with the other Houses. They're basically a bunch of feuding pirate clans who were forced to settle down and mostly behave and act somewhat like a mainland noble realm.

So they are technically nobles, but they're not really a consideration to the rest of the Westerosi powers. They keep to themselves on their wretched tiny islands with their strange customs and irritate their neighbors with raids. Every once in a while they try to rise up and recapture some of their former glory, but they're inevitably slapped down by the great houses and forced back.

As for your questions about Euron, this is stressed more in the book but Euron is quite likely insane, so his actions don't really always make sense. He enjoys hurting and humiliating people, and looks out for himself, but I don't think he has grand plans for a dynasty laid out.
posted by Sangermaine at 1:20 PM on August 2 [3 favorites]


Jamie is a tragic character, he's not going to redeem himself or at least I hope not. He had a lot of potential to be a good person and a leader but it was all lost to his father and sister. He's said himself he's never been had another lover although Cersei has, he killed Aerys knowing what it would cost him and in general he's never wanted or expected to get anything for himself : he's the good little soldier his father made him and that's it. He won't kill Cersei or judge her, that would topple his world. He'll die for her. Actually I think she'll kill him in the end.

Brienne is his foil, not his romantic parnter: she was under the same pressure to be a tool of her family and she did not fold like Jamie did, she broke out. They both have accepted that they won't get much for themselves in life but Jamie gave it up for others and Brienne gave it up to be true to herself. Totally different.

I also think that Jon won't marry Dany, She can't have children, remember, and god knows this story is all about inheriting fate etc etc. One of them needs to reproduce if this story follows the traditional cycle of things happening over and over but far enough apart that no one remembers the details.
posted by fshgrl at 11:47 PM on August 3 [3 favorites]


> he's the good little soldier his father made him and that's it.

He killed the Mad King. Like I know that was a long time ago and everything, but there exists evidence that Jaime Lannister has the capacity to switch from good soldier to greater-good backstabber.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 8:08 AM on August 4 [3 favorites]


Arya returns as Jaime to kill Cersei. Bonus points if she also gets clegane.

I reject this on non-getting-hype grounds.

I also think that Jon won't marry Dany, She can't have children, remember, and god knows this story is all about inheriting fate etc etc.

Well, also if they do The Theory, isn't she his aunt?
posted by middleclasstool at 10:00 AM on August 4


Maybe Bran is just going through his shitty teenager phase but, "Remember when you were raped by that evil, murderous psycho? I personally thought it was a beautiful day" was such a shitty thing to say. They should have left him north of the wall.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 10:50 AM on August 4 [4 favorites]


Bran is in his "I am the first person in history to have discovered hallucinogens" phase.
posted by middleclasstool at 11:21 AM on August 4 [8 favorites]


isn't she his aunt?

Yeah, but the Targaryens are all about the incest.

I've always assumed the books were leading up to a big Jon+Daenerys romance. But why is romance / sex / children needed at all? Maybe they just become allies. Daenerys lets Jon stay the King in the Norf because the North is pretty irrelevant and her dragons don't like the cold anyway.

BTW, the next episode of GoT leaked online in a reportedly low quality copy. Beware spoilers.
posted by Nelson at 11:32 AM on August 4


Well, also if they do The Theory, isn't she his aunt?

That's more of a reason for them to marry. The Targs were big into incestuous marriages.
posted by Sangermaine at 11:33 AM on August 4


Well, traditionally, I know. But Dany seems to be wanting to break with some of the traditions of her family. Also I know Jorah ain't gonna happen as anything more than maybe a side piece (kidding, he's dead probably), but Jorah's returning too, so I can't see Jon as anything more than a marriage of convenience, if it happens at all.

Though I guess she's only breaking with the past where it's convenient. What I heard in her speech last ep was basically "I AM RIGHTFUL QUEEN OF ALL BECAUSE OF MY FAMILY NAME well except for the bad stuff, I'm totally not touching that with a 10-foot pole and you're being really unfair, judging me for who my parents are, that's pretty shitty BY THE WAY, DIDN'T AN ANCESTOR OF YOURS MAKE AN OATH THAT I SHOULD TOTALLY HOLD YOU AND ALL OF YOUR DESCENDANTS TO? NOW I AM ANGRY AT YOUR SUSPICION!"
posted by middleclasstool at 1:17 PM on August 4 [1 favorite]


I found the whole part of trying to use the 300 year old oaths of the houses, while saying the shit that happened 25 years ago doesn't count a very weak position.

Also not mentioning that "your brother abducted my aunt" the truth as all westeros know it, from his complaints, I thought was both weird and a missed opportunity to put that issue back into the discussion/narrative. Because that's the inciting action that leads to the burning of his uncle and grandfather.

Those two events are the breaking of the covenant between stark and targaryan, leaving one out, the part that makes the stark men's demands against the kind valid seemed off.
posted by French Fry at 1:41 PM on August 4 [1 favorite]


If Jorah shows up on Dragonstone, he might accuse Jon of being a deserter from the Night's Watch, since joining is a lifetime commitment, which would force Jon and or Davos to tell Dany about the whole R'hllor resurrection thing. He'd probably have to show off his scars, and once the clothes start coming off, well, then it could turn into a party.
posted by homunculus at 5:12 PM on August 4


Has there ever been a three-way that was so grim and full of terrible purpose
posted by middleclasstool at 6:38 PM on August 4 [7 favorites]


FWIW, the actress who plays Ellaria (Indira Varma) has said this was her last appearance on the show, and was described as such to her by Benioff & Weiss.

That's weird storytelling and I hope its misdirection. "I'm going to kill you in this long, drawn-out way" is not really the end of a character arc. Though I guess not surprising from these writers.

Also not mentioning that "your brother abducted my aunt" the truth as all westeros know it, from his complaints, I thought was both weird and a missed opportunity to put that issue back into the discussion/narrative. Because that's the inciting action that leads to the burning of his uncle and grandfather.

It is a little weird he didn't mention it, especially since it's a chance to call back to the revelations about his birth last season. But I think it's worth mentioning that even in the books, the only person who ever seems to think she was abducted was Robert. Even Ned doesn't seem to have hard feelings against Rhaegar. I think GRRM does some artful, well, misdirection here by having the first mention of Rhaegar come from Robert, who mentions the "abduction" so that's how we're primed to see it. But I really don't think this is how most people who knew the two parties saw it.
posted by lunasol at 6:07 AM on August 5 [2 favorites]


He killed the Mad King. Like I know that was a long time ago and everything, but there exists evidence that Jaime Lannister has the capacity to switch from good soldier to greater-good backstabber.

But that was also self sacrificing, he didn't do it for himself. He doesn't have much of a sense of self, unlike the older Stark boys who definitely do. I like Jamie but he's thought of himself as fucked up beyond redemption since childhood. Cersei still thinks she can pull it all off, Jamie knows they're going to die violently and son and he doesn't even care anymore. That's how he wants and expects to go out and always has. Hopefully Arya doesn't end up that way too, I think Sansa might be able to pull her back.
posted by fshgrl at 9:02 PM on August 5


> Also, WRT show Casterly Rock vs. book version, let's remember that book CR is crazy huge; here are some comparisons to notable structures in Reallifeos.

Thanks for that link, I just got around to looking at it. I think the show's underwhelming depiction of Casterly Rock (and the disappearance of Lannisport), like Nagga's Hill, was a sign that the showrunners aren't just in a hurry, but they're simplyy losing interest in the world they've helped create. One of the things that made LOTR work was the locations; the filmmakers were truely in love with Middle Earth. The showrunners were also in love with Westeros in the beginning: just look at their fantastic interpretation of the Eyrie. Casterly Rock should have been just as breathtaking.
posted by homunculus at 2:30 PM on August 23 [1 favorite]


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