Game of Thrones: Game of Throne Episode 8.4   Show Only 
May 5, 2019 7:17 PM - Season 8, Episode 4 - Subscribe

The Battle of Winterfell is over and a new chapter for Westeros begins.
posted by Brandon Blatcher (671 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
 
PET YOUR DARN DOG JON
posted by oulipian at 7:21 PM on May 5 [93 favorites]


Definitely a much better episode, due to the character interactions.

We never knew the Night King, not even enough to hate or dislike or even like. But Cersei? Yeah, people have plenty of feelings about her. Same with Dany. And the way all this went down felt true to the characters and that makes the anticipation about next episode all the sweeter.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:21 PM on May 5 [4 favorites]


Well that was gratuitous.
posted by Alterscape at 7:22 PM on May 5 [5 favorites]


Clearly they’re setting it up that Jaime is trying to fake out Cersei because he thinks he’s the only one who can kill her, and he feels an obligation to break Brienne’s heart so she’ll stay North and out of danger, but that was still BRUTAL.

Jon is now second only to Duck Phillips in the category of douche who ditches his dog!
posted by sallybrown at 7:23 PM on May 5 [21 favorites]


I could not stop laughing at the entire hall pausing to cheers Gendry when the guy was just trying to go get laid (poor Lord Baratheon).
posted by sallybrown at 7:24 PM on May 5 [12 favorites]


IMO GoT is still great when it comes to the character interactions and great when it comes to the spectacle and suspense of the huge set pieces, it's just connecting the two meaningfully where they've been iffy the last couple seasons. So this episode was more like episode 2 than 3 in that respect which means, I think, most people will like it.

The pieces are definitely in place for Cleganebowl, for Jaime killing Cersei, and all of it. But this is the first time I've felt that maybe Tyrion is going to kill Dany.

Really, who seems more likely to have a "burn them all" moment? Cersei or Dany?
posted by Justinian at 7:25 PM on May 5 [5 favorites]


Fucking dog truthers
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:25 PM on May 5 [5 favorites]


Let me just say I am super disappointed in Dany for losing a second dragon in exactly the same way as the first.
posted by Pyry at 7:26 PM on May 5 [67 favorites]


If anybody is wondering about the timeline; would probably take Jon's force between a month and 6 weeks to reach King's Landing. Arya and the Hound could do it in less which makes catching up plausible.

Of course it doesn't seem like 6 weeks are gonna have passed but *handwaves wildly*
posted by Justinian at 7:27 PM on May 5 [1 favorite]


Well that was the most expensive fanfic I’ve ever seen
posted by Automocar at 7:27 PM on May 5 [34 favorites]


The Battle of Winterfell is over and a new chapter for Westeros begins.

Thanks, I hate it.
posted by litera scripta manet at 7:27 PM on May 5 [27 favorites]


Also the moment I saw the Iron Fleet again I shook my head knowing that the black sails were causing heads to explode. BLACK SAILS, PEOPLE. BLACK.
posted by Justinian at 7:28 PM on May 5 [13 favorites]


So let's say Cersei were to have taken Tyrion's advice to step down peacefully. Where would she go? What would she do?
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 7:30 PM on May 5


Me last week: this show is better when it's about character interaction.
Monkey's Paw: [one finger slowly clenches]
posted by codacorolla at 7:30 PM on May 5 [70 favorites]


If the penultimate episode spends a single moment following anything other than Arya and the Hound's journey south I am going to be very disappoint.
posted by 256 at 7:30 PM on May 5 [11 favorites]


More seriously, ugh, this was a giant emotional roller coaster.

When Jaime and Brienne finally got together, I laughed, I cried, I cheered. It was the best.

And then when Tormund said goodbye to Jon, I thought, well, at least this means Tormund will probably live. But how the fuck could Jon send Ghost up north? WTF??? I'm forever going to be angry about how the show treated Ghost.

But it only gets worse from there!

- Brienne and Jaime break up two seconds after getting together. Brienne broke my heart in that scene.
- Rhaegal just fucking dies
- And then Missandei...
posted by litera scripta manet at 7:31 PM on May 5 [15 favorites]


I like how the previews last week made us all feel better that both dragons were still alive only for THIS. Almost missed that old school GoT.

Same for “yay Grey sworn! OH NO MISSANDEI!”

And why was Dany not prepared for the dragon crossbow? She’d seen it before.

Brienne and Gendry need to go soothe their broken hearts over some Ben and Jerry’s. Devastating.
posted by olinerd at 7:33 PM on May 5 [3 favorites]


I ship Brienne/happiness.
posted by betweenthebars at 7:33 PM on May 5 [28 favorites]


So let's say Cersei were to have taken Tyrion's advice to step down peacefully. Where would she go? What would she do?

She gets offered a lifetime of exile on the other side of the narrow sea (where her son, of course, grows up just like Dany believing he is destined to reconquer the seven kingdoms and restore his family as rightful rulers.

Of course, in truth, Dany reneges on this promise and has her burned alive outside the Red Keep.
posted by 256 at 7:34 PM on May 5 [13 favorites]


Weird plot points:

There's zero reasons why Cersei didn't kill Dany and Tyrion right then and there.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:34 PM on May 5 [55 favorites]


As best as I can tell, Cersei knows how the audience will react to her plans and is acting as needed to garner the hatred she desires. That's literally the only explanation for anything she does, based on information she doesn't have. Like, how does she even know who Misandei is?
posted by tocts at 7:34 PM on May 5 [15 favorites]


How the hell does Dany, sitting atop dragons flying over a wide and more or less open sea, NOT see a fleet of ships with a bunch of dragon-killing machines on the decks before they were basically a few hundred yards away from them??
posted by triggerfinger at 7:35 PM on May 5 [60 favorites]


It's not skill, exactly, but it's really something to stretch 20 minutes of content into 90 minutes of screen time while making it feel 120 minutes long.
posted by codacorolla at 7:36 PM on May 5 [37 favorites]


We all agree that Jaime is going to (try to) kill Cersei, right? Because I've lost a lot of faith where D&D are concerned, so there is a small part of me that wonders if they won't just be like, haha, Jaime magically falls under Cersei's spell and then they bang, and then Arya kills both of them. Like, that seems exactly like the kind of shit D&D love to pull.

Oh, there was that one moment where Rhaegal and Missendei were still alive, and Brienne and Jaime were staying up north together, and I was so damn happy.

Now... *crying forever*
posted by litera scripta manet at 7:36 PM on May 5 [6 favorites]


The official title for this episode is "The Last of the Starks."
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:36 PM on May 5 [1 favorite]


Matt Fuller connectin to current events: If Daenerys Targaryen and her forces don’t attack as centrists, Cersei Lannister might not give up the throne.
posted by Justinian at 7:36 PM on May 5 [9 favorites]


Also, Dany could have turned the dragon around and toasted the entire fleet from the rear. Dragons corner faster than ships.
posted by Optamystic at 7:36 PM on May 5 [60 favorites]


Is Euron smart enough to realize Tyrion’s knowledge of the baby means it’s Jaime’s?

I now worry that Jaime will die tragically in some kind of mix up when he, Arya, and the Hound all arrive at the same time with revenge on their minds. But I’m weirdly optimistic that the show would not spend seasons redeeming Jaime for those to be his last words to Brienne. It makes me think it’s even more likely that those two make it out alive...
posted by sallybrown at 7:37 PM on May 5 [12 favorites]


litera scripta manet hold me

I'm so disappointed

Seeing as how D&D are the writers for the last few episodes, we can expect that any future Brienne and Jaime scenes will be the equivalent of a kid holding two dolls and saying, "now kiss"

Seven seasons of the most moving, nuanced, and complex relationship in the show (I will fight for this claim), and D&D give us a leaden minute-long scene to summarize it

There was more time spent talking about Brienne and Jaime than Brienne and Jaime actually being together
posted by facehugger at 7:37 PM on May 5 [30 favorites]


Also, how quickly can they swivel and reload those scorpion things? I feel like Dany was right there? Why didn't she have Drogon burn them?

For a moment, I thought Euron was going to just get burnt to a crisp, and I was so excited.

But apparently Euron gets to live to annoy us for another day.

I really hope Arya rips his face off, stabs Cersei, and then when Jaime shows up, Arya can just shrug, laugh, and Jaime can go ride back north and win back Brienne, and they can go off to Tarth and live happily ever after.
posted by litera scripta manet at 7:38 PM on May 5 [15 favorites]


Oh, and when Missandei said Dracarys, was anyone else just waiting for Drogon to swoop in and burn Cersei and Euron and the Mountain to ashes right then and there?

That would have been awesome, and kind of on brand for this show, to be honest.
posted by litera scripta manet at 7:41 PM on May 5 [35 favorites]


Tyrion's looking awfully Ned Stark these days. I bet he doesn't make it to the end of the series.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:41 PM on May 5 [12 favorites]


Hey, remember last episode when some us* were complaining about not enough named characters dying in the Battle of Winterfell? I can't help but imagine D&D reading comments like that, and laughing endlessly.

*Me, it was me. Sorry.
posted by litera scripta manet at 7:42 PM on May 5 [8 favorites]


Honestly, I really thought there was a chance the writers were going to just go for it and pincushion Tyrion right there.
posted by 256 at 7:43 PM on May 5 [20 favorites]


yeah, I thought Tyrion was dead for sure. And I don’t understand how dragon combat works? But Dany shoulda burned the fucking meth sailor dude.
posted by valkane at 7:43 PM on May 5 [6 favorites]


I'm so glad that others here share my outrage over how Ghost was treated! Go check on the ear that looks like it was torn off, Jon! Poor Ghost.

I have no real love for the dragons but I, too, thought it was just absurd that Dany apparently learned nothing about projectiles from losing her first dragon. Maybe you're an unfit mother, Dany.

Thing that was unintentionally hilarious to me: I'm pretty sure they just re-used the same two horses for everyone in this episode (for the Hound and Arya, then Tormund, then Jon...).

Oh Missandei I'm sorry you and Gray Worm didn't get to just leave all these racist fools and enjoy life somewhere sunny and warm.

Where does Arya think she's going to go once this is over? Since she told the Hound she wasn't going back to Winterfell either.
posted by TwoStride at 7:43 PM on May 5 [9 favorites]


Where does Arya think she's going to go once this is over? Since she told the Hound she wasn't going back to Winterfell either.

I assume she would go back to the House of Black and White.
posted by litera scripta manet at 7:44 PM on May 5 [2 favorites]


Arya is either planning not to survive the aftermath of assassinating Cersei, or she is planning to go become the First Sword of Braavos.
posted by 256 at 7:45 PM on May 5 [21 favorites]


I kept yelling at the screen: BURN THEM! BURN THEM! BURN THEM! But then she just flew away. And my wife was concerned.
posted by valkane at 7:45 PM on May 5 [15 favorites]


Oh, and I forgot to add that I loved the drinking game (Pod! drinking at the virgin comment, too). And the scene with Bronn, whom I continue to love, especially since he knows what broken noses sound like.

After being drastically underutilized for a season and a half, I'm glad that Varys is back in the mix.
posted by TwoStride at 7:45 PM on May 5 [19 favorites]


.....and I'm out.

It's been a fun ten years, and I'll probably watch the last two because, fuck it, it's on the tv, but unless they somehow redeem this, I'm done actually caring about this show.
posted by dogheart at 7:46 PM on May 5 [22 favorites]


Tyrion's "is he dead?" black screen was a nice fake-out. As was Missandei's "Dracarys". It seems we are being toyed with...
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 7:46 PM on May 5 [3 favorites]


Honestly, I really thought there was a chance the writers were going to just go for it and pincushion Tyrion right there.

I tensed up mightily when the stripped-down Rains of Castamere started playing.

Also, Dany could have turned the dragon around and toasted the entire fleet from the rear. Dragons corner faster than ships.

They rotated. Which could be done with ship to ship weapons. And one assumes they had some rear-mounted to avoid the sail problem. The more pertinent objection was Dany not seeing them before the bolts were flying.
posted by Justinian at 7:46 PM on May 5 [5 favorites]


Yeah, Varys is being pretty delicious here.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:46 PM on May 5 [15 favorites]


yeah, they really made us hate Cersei, huh?
posted by valkane at 7:47 PM on May 5 [1 favorite]


I have no real love for the dragons but I, too, thought it was just absurd that Dany apparently learned nothing about projectiles from losing her first dragon.

Oh, I think that's exactly on point for Dany. She has the most powerful weapons, yet doesn't really learn how to use them, 'cause she's all caught up in her birthright. The power has made her sloppy.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:47 PM on May 5 [24 favorites]


How did Tyrion become one of the smartest characters to one of the dumbest? At least I like that Varys is being utilized again as a master-manipulator.

I feel absolutely nothing towards the Brienne/Jaime romance arc. I don't know why this was necessary or important to the story.

I ended up fast-forwarding through most of this episode. Not a good a sign...
posted by joeyjoejoejr at 7:49 PM on May 5 [6 favorites]


Yeah, Varys is being pretty delicious here.

Loved his career bureaucrat passion for serving the people of the Realm (whoever they are).
posted by sallybrown at 7:49 PM on May 5 [7 favorites]


What a missed opportunity for Missandrei. She could have tackled or pushed Cersi over the edge, but that'd be too easy.

Dany is turning into the mad queen. Dracarys!

Dany stands to secure her right to the thrown if Jon dies. She'd have the throne for as long as it takes Bran to tell Sansa what happened. The wheel turns forever.

Before Dany gets the throne, Cersei has to be dispatched, and the eyes prophecy means Arya is going to kill someone with green eyes, likely Cersei. Possibly while wearing a mask of Jamie, (how she'd get close).

Bronn is still up North, I wonder if he has a cross bow ready for Sansa, and a really good exit plan.
posted by ecco at 7:50 PM on May 5 [3 favorites]


I have decided this is a metaphor for gunpowder ending the age of castles and eventually leading to mercantilism, primitive capitalism, and the end of the absolute monarchy in Europe.
posted by The Whelk at 7:50 PM on May 5 [19 favorites]


I'm still invested, but with two episodes left, they only have so much time left for big plot developments and I'm really starting to fear that they just run with this whole thing where Tyrion follows in his brother's footsteps, kills the Mad Queen, and Jon Snow ends up reluctantly on the Iron Throne.

It wouldn't be the worst possible ending, but it might be the most boring.
posted by 256 at 7:51 PM on May 5 [3 favorites]


I have to admit, I thought that Missandei was going to jump off, either trying to take Cersei with her or at least to deny her the satisfaction of a beheading. Thus I was sort of doubly disappointed by the execution.
posted by TwoStride at 7:52 PM on May 5 [19 favorites]


Also, how quickly can they swivel and reload those scorpion things? I feel like Dany was right there? Why didn't she have Drogon burn them?

I was so thinking "oh she's flying fast because she's gambling she can get inside their turn rate before they can reload, then burn them all! Risky, but that's the sort of risk she takes." And then nope, just turns around after doing whatever she was actually doing. Sigh.
posted by traveler_ at 7:52 PM on May 5 [7 favorites]


Serious question: why the fuck do D&D love Euron and Ramsay so much? Do they actually think that they're interesting, or threatening, or fun to watch?
posted by codacorolla at 7:57 PM on May 5 [39 favorites]


Idc I was just entertained as heck *shrug* But I've never really been that invested in anything beyond being amused on a Sunday night and then listening to podcasts of people dunking on it they next day. I have no real ships or particular things I want to happen. I thought this episode had some good funny moments and I'm here for Jaime and Brienne boning (I think he's going to King's Landing to assassinate Cersei-we'll see). I hooted when Varys was like "That Jon Snow, he'd sure make a super great King!' Which is a thing that is the opposite of true. None of these people know what they're doing at all.
posted by soren_lorensen at 7:58 PM on May 5 [18 favorites]


Dany could have flown the dragon above the arrows (as she did last week with the clouds) then commenced with the BBQ. For all of the talk about her being an unstoppable force with the dragons, she and they have been worse than useless. I've always thought that they are a metaphor for nukes, maybe that's the point that the writers are making, but there seems to be very little consistentcy with the way that they are portraying them.
posted by Optamystic at 7:59 PM on May 5 [8 favorites]


One thing that helps is that Euon and Cersi have like, insane charm and chemistry as actors so it seems their whole deal.

I like how they just slipped in “oh by the way there’s been coup on the iron islands” lol

Sometime around the razing of Mereen all Danny’s advisors started mumbling “she’s just s little airborne it’s still good it’s still good.”
posted by The Whelk at 8:00 PM on May 5 [6 favorites]


Favorite parts:
Sansa and the Hound's conversation
Arya and Gendry's conversation
Arya and the Hound's conversation

The Hound not softening one bit

Sansa not giving two shits who Dany is and wanting her gone.

Brienne taking her own shirt off.

Tyrion and Varys' conversation. 'Cause of course Varys is plotting about plotting, with good reason.

Bronn, 'cause Bronn. Though there's little reason for Jamie or Tyrion to keep him alive.

Missandi's obvious fear resolving to resolution and strength and yelling what she yelled.

Arya and the House riding off to King's Landing. One is tempted to demand a whole episode of their journey.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:01 PM on May 5 [16 favorites]


As they were moseying up to their island base I was thinking, did anyone try and scout ahead, make sure it's as unoccupied as you left it?

And then, well.

I may have missed it, but why did Sea Ramsay leave any survivors?? He seemed to have pretty overwhelming superiority. The Unsullied ships were being torn apart. How did they let them land anyone ashore at all?
posted by BungaDunga at 8:01 PM on May 5 [4 favorites]


Why on Westeros didn't Cersei just cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war right there? Dany's standing there without her dragon, Tyrion's literally at the foot of the castle with 100 arrows pointed at him. She's behind a castle wall with gigo-harpoons up and down the battlements. In what way was she serving her best interests there? I enjoyed the episode but that last scene was...problematic.
posted by mcstayinskool at 8:01 PM on May 5 [27 favorites]


Serious question: why the fuck do D&D love Euron and Ramsay so much? Do they actually think that they're interesting, or threatening, or fun to watch?

I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that the main reason they wanted to adapt the show was because of the Red Wedding, so I feel like that maybe tells you what their primary interest is.

I definitely don't get it. On re-watch, I fast forward through basically every Ramsay scene up until the moment he gets pummeled by Jon and then has his face eaten off by dogs. I like this personal edit of mine much better than how things actually played out the first time I watched it.
posted by litera scripta manet at 8:01 PM on May 5 [22 favorites]


Speaking of Ramsay eaten by his dogs, I loved the moment when Sansa sat down with the Hound, and she told her that Ramsay was eaten by his hounds, and Sandor Clegane smiled about as much as he's capable of.
posted by litera scripta manet at 8:03 PM on May 5 [52 favorites]


Oh yeah, about the Cersei thing? What happened to sending a messenger with terms? Why do we have to do everything face to face? That seems terrible strategically.
posted by litera scripta manet at 8:04 PM on May 5 [7 favorites]


Dany could have flown the dragon above the arrows (as she did last week with the clouds) then commenced with the BBQ.

If there's one thing these ballistas can't do, it's fire straight up. That seems clear from what they look like. So just come down from above and toast them.

Cersei must have really great hearing to get much of Tyrion's speech from up there. "Sorry, brother, can you speak up? I said SPEAK UP!!"
posted by BungaDunga at 8:05 PM on May 5 [7 favorites]


I am glad that the show at least seems to have finally taken a side on the is Dany going mad or not thing. Now, it wouldn't surprise me if they changed their mind, because dramatic consistency has not been something the show strived for any time in the last several seasons, but one of the things that most bothered me about Dany's arc recently is that I could never tell whether the show realized how she was coming off (at least to some of us). I feared maybe the show was buying into her whole "Bend the knee, I'm the rightful queen" thing.

Hey, what if Tyrion makes the mistake of mentioning the caches of wildfire (because apparently he's now carrying the idiot ball, since what is characterization really anyway) and Dany's like, great, blow up the city, and then Tyrion does have to stab her, just like Jaime did to Dany's father? Symmetry! And then Varys once again gets to smuggle Tyrion out in a box.
posted by litera scripta manet at 8:07 PM on May 5 [5 favorites]


Well they didn't show the ship battle. If she did fly high above the reach of the arrows, I imagine it'd be beyond the distance flames would reach. She could drop boulders. Maybe she did. But not enough to sink Euron.

As for why they didn't start an all out war at KL. It was a small meeting, almost a parley. Just main leaders and a small security force. No match for all of KL. Cersei called off making a pin cushion of her brother. The rest had shields so had a defense against archers.
posted by ecco at 8:08 PM on May 5 [1 favorite]


Cersei should have just shot Dany with a bolt and ended it while Tyrion was yammering. The End.
posted by gatorae at 8:08 PM on May 5 [4 favorites]


That's a lot of logs for all those pyres.

/deforestation-of-the-North truther
posted by porpoise at 8:09 PM on May 5 [61 favorites]


Tyrion is making not-smart decisions because like Dany and her right to rule he’s been told his whole life that his strength is his mind and he’s started to believe it. She believes she’s an amazing ruler, he believes he’s an amazing strategic mind, neither of them realizes the degree to which where they are right now is through sheer luck and not their alleged gifts.

Anyway, Jamie takes out Cersei, Tyrion takes out Dany, Jon nobles himself onto a sword somewhere, all hail Queen Sansa, her hand Arya, her general Brienne, and her admiral Yara.
posted by olinerd at 8:10 PM on May 5 [34 favorites]


Shields would have been no defense against those damn ballistas, considering what they did to the decks of Dany’s fleet ...
posted by alleycat01 at 8:10 PM on May 5 [2 favorites]


I did really like the scene where Dany and Jon hashed things out. I've been pretty vocal about not feeling much chemistry between them, but I really felt the pathos in that scene. How much they both wanted this not to be a thing between them, but there was no way to go back.

I can absolutely see why Dany would beg Jon not to tell anyone else. And she was totally right, once Jon told Sansa and Arya, this takes on a life of its own. There's no way it wouldn't.

But Jon, who is Ned Stark's son even though he isn't technically, there's no way he could not tell Arya and Sansa. And even aside from his compulsive honesty, on a more emotional level, Jon spent his whole life being a bastard, not knowing who his mother was. Now that he knows, how could he hide that from the rest of his family?

And really, Dany had to know that even if Jon promised not to tell, there's no way he was going to be able to keep himself from telling them. He has a terrible poker face.
posted by litera scripta manet at 8:11 PM on May 5 [16 favorites]


That's a lot of logs for all those pyres.

I had the exact same thought. Dudes and dudettes, you're going to need to keep your hearths lit over winter.
posted by 256 at 8:12 PM on May 5 [4 favorites]


- Yes, of course Euron probably had 360° coverage with the scorpions (the show's name for the ballistas), why not? Probably some pointing straight up, just in case. D&D make the point in the show's afterword that Qyburn didn't just give up on them after Bronn failed to make much use of the prototype, and that they're ringing the walls of King's Landing. And she didn't lose her first dragon that way, she lost it to a superhuman immortal warrior-wizard who, in terms of thrown weapon realism, may as well have been firing a Tomahawk cruise missile.

- Missandei's hands were bound and she was surrounded by Cersei's Queensguard. She couldn't have grabbed Cersei and taken her with her.

- My money right now is on Arya and the Hound; obviously Cleganebowl is in play, but I wouldn't also rule out the possibility of the last dragon dying and Arya ending up wearing Dany's face for an abdication. Wow, I can't believe that I actually wrote that, but Dany in this episode seems to be converging closer to Cersei in terms of "because I wanna be" justification.

- Jaime, you asshole. I mean, maybe you're meant to be the Queenslayer, but you asshole.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:14 PM on May 5 [10 favorites]


They made a point of mentioning it’s not just the north in rebellion against Cersei, it’s Dorne and the iron islands and a few lords - if Cersi shot Danny there and now she’d have pissed off kingdoms surrounding her.

Hat being said, the sanctions plan seemed like it would work, but everyone is betting on rulers that care if they kill ten thousand civilians and that’s ...not in play.
posted by The Whelk at 8:14 PM on May 5 [1 favorite]


No match for all of KL.

Indeed, which is why KL should have destroyed them all quickly and easily. That scene made no sense. It existed solely to put all those main characters on screen together.
posted by mcstayinskool at 8:14 PM on May 5 [3 favorites]


"he’s been told his whole life that his strength is his mind and he’s started to believe it."


If I had more faith in the writers, which I don't, I would go with this explanation. I'm more likely to believe the writer consistently make the "smartest" male character on the show dumb because women are pretty.

I mean really-the title of tonight's episode should be men behaving dumbly for pretty.
posted by miss-lapin at 8:14 PM on May 5


Pyre truthers!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:14 PM on May 5 [3 favorites]


Yeah I know the whole beginning of the episode was supposed to be poignant and we were supposed to be stricken and stunned by the massive clouds of smoke coming off those funeral pyres, buuuuut as a #GOTlogisticstruther I was just like ... who cut all those logs? Where did all the piles of undead corpses go? Why aren’t there like 50X the number of dead on the pyres?

(Seriously: for a moment I thought that the logs in each pyre were actually dead bodies, and thought it made sense; then I Paused the scene and cozied right up to my screen for a closer look and realized that nope, we’re talking ~5-10 bodies per pyre. Those numbers don’t add up given last week’s depicted carnage...)
posted by alleycat01 at 8:15 PM on May 5 [21 favorites]


(Seriously: for a moment I thought that the logs in each pure were actually dead bodies, and thought it made sense; then I Paused the scene and cozied right up to my screen for a closer look and realized that nope, we’re talking ~5-10 bodies per pyre. Those numbers don’t add up given last weeks depicted carnage...)

Oh crap, those weren't all dead bodies? I should have looked more closely. That's really stupid.

Well, based on Euron's fleet, clearly Westeros is just as an unending supply of trees so no big deal. Chop one tree down, and 10 more immediately sprout up in its place, even taller than the one before. Because how else did the Iron Islands build 1000 ships from the ten available trees on that tiny collection of rocks in the middle of the sea?

#shiptruther #treetruther
posted by litera scripta manet at 8:19 PM on May 5 [20 favorites]


My favorite bit was the bargaining and history lesson from Bronn. Followed by the icy stares at the joyous feast.

The break ups were crushing. ~"Sorry love.. gotta go die or back to my true love"

The recent dead should be burned to avoid disease, but the long dead may be like cured meat. Safe to store, and apparently flammable. So no need to burn them right away. They'll be throwing zombie legs on their hearths throughout winter.
posted by ecco at 8:20 PM on May 5 [6 favorites]


But seriously, can we talk about how infuriating the whole Ghost thing is? Ghost has been a loyal companion to Jon for forever. Ghost doesn't want to be sent up North with some random Wildlings. Ghost wants to be with Jon.

And not even a final "who's a good boy?" Nothing? I don't think we've seen Jon pet Ghost since like S4. At least let Ghost stay in Winterfell with Sansa.

Poor Ghost probably thinks he's being punished, getting sent up into a frozen wasteland with the 10 Wildlings that are still left after all the terrible crap that's happened to them.

Stupid Jon. He's probably all, "I have a dragon now! Who needs a direwolf! I can't ride a direwolf?" Joke's on you Jon. No more dragon for you.
posted by litera scripta manet at 8:22 PM on May 5 [23 favorites]


But clearly the show’s cardinal sin has been its treatment of Ghost. Firstly, he’s basically the size of a common husky now, and secondly he just get shunted off to the north without even some ear scritches or belly rubs?? GHOST, YOU’RE BETTER OFF WITH TORMUND. At least he appreciates exceptional things ...
posted by alleycat01 at 8:22 PM on May 5 [32 favorites]


There was a brief moment where Podmund was possible and we, the crew of the zombie pirate ship, will sing of it,
posted by The Whelk at 8:26 PM on May 5 [20 favorites]


Black people are the most expendable, pt 34216745803
posted by dame at 8:26 PM on May 5 [33 favorites]


I can't get over how much the Mountain's costume reminds me of Super Shredder from the second Ninja Turtles movie.
posted by jason_steakums at 8:27 PM on May 5 [36 favorites]


Oh any notice there was a mention of there still being some Dothraki alive. Not like a few stragglers, but enough to be mentioned? What the hell?
posted by miss-lapin at 8:27 PM on May 5 [8 favorites]


You know, I made my peace with the fact that Jaime and Brienne would probably be dead within an episode of getting together if they ever actually got together in the first place, and I was mostly okay with that.

But screw that. I'm never going to get to see Grey Worm and Missendei ride off into the sunset away from racist Westeros. So I need Jaime and Brienne to live happily ever after. My heart can't take much more of this.
posted by litera scripta manet at 8:29 PM on May 5 [3 favorites]


Yeah when they were all standing around the strategic map, I thought the implication was that “half” of most of the types of forces had survived. Which, again, does not tally with the visuals we saw last week. (But does tally with the showwriters’ and showrunners’ deep and abiding devotion to spectacle over sense.)
posted by alleycat01 at 8:30 PM on May 5 [4 favorites]


There were parts of this episode that were frustrating to me, but I’m just going to live forever in how perfect Gendry’s proposal to Arya was, and how perfect her rejection of him was. And how perfect it was that Sansa broke her oath to Jon when push came to shove. And how perfect Jaime’s speech on leaving Brienne was.

Count me as another one for wishing that Missandei had stepped off the platform, saying Dracarys.
posted by joyceanmachine at 8:31 PM on May 5 [23 favorites]


There is no way this doesn’t end with Jamie at least trying to kill Cersi. I don’t know if he succeeds but that’s how he dies.
posted by The Whelk at 8:32 PM on May 5 [4 favorites]


Oh yes! Gentry was just so excited and earnest and he got put in his place so gently.

I assume something awful is going to happen to him.
posted by The Whelk at 8:33 PM on May 5 [15 favorites]


Whelk I'm with you on that one.
posted by miss-lapin at 8:34 PM on May 5 [1 favorite]


This episode was really weird. At this point the raven-speed issues of last season seem trivial. People just seem to pop up where they need to be. One moment we're in the North, the next a bunch of ships have arrived to get their asses kicked by King's Landing. Hell, seems like it should have been at the very fastest several days before na ytalk of moving anyone anywhere. Logistically cleaning up corpses and roads and the castle so people can even move about should be big effort. But it's like, night of battle, next day do a little mourning, okay now party time, alright and we're off cya. It also feels like the dragon that should've died in the white walker battle only survived so they could have something to kill to trigger Dany's rage special attack meter.

Seems clear now they're going to make Dany go dark in the next few episodes, typical Targaryen style I guess. My wish-ending is Dany+Jon as a incest King and Queen but that was never going to happen but at this point I don't think either will sit on the throne at the end.
posted by GoblinHoney at 8:35 PM on May 5 [4 favorites]


Poor Gendry. He didn't deserve that.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 8:35 PM on May 5 [4 favorites]


There were some really nice moments of interaction in this episode, though—as usual mostly down to some excellent work by specific actors. Really enjoyed Clegane/Sansa and Sansa/Tyrion; would watch an entire episode of Arya & the Hound journeying south together. And Brienne broke my heart in that goodbye scene with Jaime; Gwendolyn Christie deserves major props for what she’s done with that character.
posted by alleycat01 at 8:36 PM on May 5 [8 favorites]


From Twitter “Cersei’s enemies should have known better than to underestimate the sheer stubbornness and determination of a woman trying to grow out a bad pixie cut”
posted by The Whelk at 8:38 PM on May 5 [51 favorites]


R/asoiaf’s best comments

— 
See? That's why Ned didn't say SHIT



wait so did my man Bronn really just walk into winterfell with a loaded crossbow and asked the guards where two of the most important people in westeros were and no one batted an eye?
'


So I guess Gendry is truly Robert Baratheon 2.0

• Good with a Hammer

• Lusts after an unobtainable Stark woman


All he needs to do now is develop a taste for wine.


Wow so Grey worm is not gonna date Melisandei anymore just because someone cut off a part of her?

What a hypocrite

Did they ever explain WHY Dany was sailing to Dragonstone? Because I can’t think of a single rational reason for her to do so.

=-=—

“...the new Prince of Dorne...” EXCUSE ME WHAT?

Innnnnn West Sunspear born and raised....

At the Water Gardens, I spent most of my days
Sittin on backs relaxin by the pools,
Eatin oranges and
OH GOD THE FUCKIN WHORE AND HER BASTARDS MURDERED THE PRINCE EVERYONE FLEE



I don't know how, but D&D seem to have found a way to weaponize disappointment.
posted by lalochezia at 8:40 PM on May 5 [31 favorites]


Bronn is going to swagger back and forth with that crossbow blackmailing and backstabbing and quadruplecrossing both sides until he ends up with all the kingdoms
posted by oulipian at 8:42 PM on May 5 [12 favorites]


Also “I never slept with a Knight before”
posted by The Whelk at 8:42 PM on May 5 [11 favorites]


Did they ever explain WHY Dany was sailing to Dragonstone? Because I can’t think of a single rational reason for her to do so.

It takes 10 hours to get from Winterfell to KL by horse, but you can cut it down to 8 if you take a boat to Dragonstone and march the rest of the way.
posted by codacorolla at 8:48 PM on May 5 [3 favorites]


Oh hey Euron? Might want to ask how Tyrion knew about the baby, just sayin'
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:49 PM on May 5 [7 favorites]


Tyrion and Varys are acting like Tyrion and Varys again!
posted by Navelgazer at 8:50 PM on May 5 [3 favorites]


TV Tropes: Break His Heart to Save Him: “In particular, it's likely to backfire spectacularly when the pain of the breakup just drives the other person to do exactly the thing you needed them not to do”

That’s my guess for next episode for our knight-lovers.
posted by sallybrown at 8:51 PM on May 5 [4 favorites]


I kept yelling at the screen: BURN THEM! BURN THEM! BURN THEM! But then she just flew away. And my wife was concerned.

Well, that is kind of what Mad King Aerys was saying at the end as well, do her concern is perhaps understandable.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:52 PM on May 5 [6 favorites]


After watching Jaime and Brienne, I need all the Kleenex. I’ve waited nearly 20 years since reading the books to see these characters get together, and this‽!!

My heart needs stitches.
posted by culfinglin at 8:53 PM on May 5 [10 favorites]


Jorah finally got that kiss <3
posted by clockzero at 8:53 PM on May 5 [6 favorites]


Also “I never slept with a Knight before”

He’s certainly slept with a queen and has probably taken out a lot of pawns. Sort of working his way through the chessmen.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:54 PM on May 5 [9 favorites]


After watching Jaime and Brienne, I need all the Kleenex. I’ve waited nearly 20 years since reading the books to see these characters get together, and this‽!!

My heart needs stitches.


Ugh, this is killing me. I was so, so happy to finally see them get together. And then to have them break up a second later? And not just break up, but they are seriously making it look like Jaime is going back to possibly help Cersei? UGH I JUST CAN'T EVEN WITH THIS SHOW ANYMORE.

If D&D completely destroy Jaime's character arc more than they already butchered it by having him go back to Cersei to help her and not to kill her, I will be so, so furious. And so that's probably exactly what they're going to do.
posted by litera scripta manet at 8:56 PM on May 5 [6 favorites]


After watching Jaime and Brienne, I need all the Kleenex. I’ve waited nearly 20 years since reading the books to see these characters get together, and this‽!!

My heart needs stitches.


That was heartbreaking. Especially when kind, strong, loyal, complicated but pure Brienne is standing there literally without her armor, and Jaime lists all the awful things he's done and noted that they were all for his sister. DO YOU NOT SEE THE PATTERN HERE JAIME.
posted by clockzero at 8:57 PM on May 5 [16 favorites]


Let me just say I am super disappointed in Dany for losing a second dragon in exactly the same way as the first.

(and all other similar comments...) You guys they were ambushed. Euron's fleet was behind an outcropping of rock. Danaerys and her ships were just arriving at Dragonstone and dropping anchor when Rhaegar suddenly got riddled with bolts. It was only after that that Euron's ships rounded from behind the rocks, and Dany, Grey Worm, Tyrion et al realized the direction from which they were under attack.
posted by torticat at 9:01 PM on May 5 [5 favorites]


"knowing that the black sails were causing heads to explode. BLACK SAILS, PEOPLE. BLACK."

#SHIPTRUTHER 4 LYFE!

We dubbed this the episode of incredibly awkward sex decisions. Poor Gendry! I had to cover my eyes and watch through my fingers when he declared his love for Arya.

Dany's clothes have been shifting from white to red all season, and were NOTABLY red this episode. Cersei too was in red, which is a change (she's been in a lot of black). Definitely using costumes to emphasize a) Dany's shift towards madness/violence/blood and b) the affinity between Dany and Cersei.

wtf with Verys suddenly being a deadass socialist?

I love how Dany and Jon suddenly have chemistry now that Jon knows they're related.

HOWWWWW did Bronn get in? SANSA COME ON SET SOME FUCKIN' GUARDS

I'm kind of mad about Jamie and Brienne because I'm Torienne for life. But yeah, just one more piece in Jamie's redemption story before being sent off to kill Cersei.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:05 PM on May 5 [6 favorites]


But shouldn't she have seen the ships from her dragon perch?
posted by Optamystic at 9:05 PM on May 5 [3 favorites]


You guys they were ambushed.

If you have dragons and a kid who can mind-meld with ravens then being ambushed by a fleet of ships is a thing that just shouldn't happen to you. FLY HIGHER.
posted by Pyry at 9:05 PM on May 5 [43 favorites]


If you wonder about D&D's motivations, remember they are / were planning on making a show where the south won the civil war (it may or may not still get made).

The response to this show is converging on a singularity of demands for or against fan service. There is a tiny pinch left over for "these tactics make no sense."

Even with their descent into tropes I've actually come around on D&D for seasons 7 & 8 because it's not like GRR himself even has or had a roadmap to finish this thing.

Happy to see Varys back in action.

Jon doesn't pet ghost because he is a deeply broken man who has seen too much and has much larger concerns; he isn't suffering through late stage capitalism where his only escape is a few minutes of r/rarepuppers on the smartphone while sitting on the couch exhausted after work.

Going to work on coming to terms with the 50/50 odds that Arya survives the show. I should work on my own shit instead of course, but fictional worlds are easier.
posted by MillMan at 9:06 PM on May 5 [8 favorites]


Why couldn’t she / didn’t she just straight up roast Euron with the dragons? I really didn’t understand the fighting strategy this episode. How did they even get Missandrei?
posted by sallybrown at 9:07 PM on May 5 [3 favorites]


After the meeting with Bronn, Jaime knows he has to go back to sacrifice himself to kill Cersei, not to save her. He knows he is the doomed kingslayer, and so he is going back to finish the job, even knowing he could have stayed and had a different and better life with Brienne. He was marked for death from the first page.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 9:07 PM on May 5 [9 favorites]


“...the new Prince of Dorne...”

If only they had some way to communicate with him!
posted by clockzero at 9:10 PM on May 5


Well that's a deeply uncharitable read Millman. Ghost has saved Jon's life. I don't think a hug and telling him he will be happier with Tormund is too much to ask after all that. Ghost has stood by Jon the longest. Not saying good bye is not just "Oh hey go to do your business." It's a dramatic moment that was totally earned. Unlike a lot OTHER moments this week.
posted by miss-lapin at 9:10 PM on May 5 [10 favorites]


The entire Discord chatlog of me reacting to this episode is pretty much just 10 lines of, "I'M SO HAPPY," "no im so mad," "NO I'M HAPPY," "no i hate this show whyyyy," about Brienne and Jaime.

(Also about how Pod the Rod rides again. GOOD FOR YOU, PODRICK.)

However! As far as substantive thoughts on the episode, I appreciated the way the Missandei scene was a bookend of sorts to the end of S1. There, you had Cersei trying to rein in Joffrey for his own good, make peace, and avoid an execution that would plunge the realm into war and threaten her family. Here, you have Tyrion pleading with Cersei to consider the life of her unborn child, in response to which she smugly executes a prisoner and precipitates the inevitable carnage that will follow.

Granted, maybe we didn't need a scene to remind the viewers all in one of Cersei's descent into monstrousness - but I thought it was a well-done encapsulation even so.
posted by jurymast at 9:10 PM on May 5 [6 favorites]


It's a shame that nobody knew that Cersei's forces had Ballistaes. It's also too bad that it's impossible to send scouts ahead. Also a huge disappointment that they didn't know about Euron's large fleet of ships. I guess it would be nice if Daenerys had several months of experience riding dragons, including several incidents where she either avoided projectiles or learned a valuable lesson about how vulnerable her biggest tactical advantage is to them. I suppose it would've been nice if someone entrenched in King's Landing had talked to Tyrion this episode, maybe someone with a stated interest in seeing their side win, and could've passed along the tactical information of 'Cersei's strategies is big crossbows (like the one me, the hypothetical character, is currently holding but larger),' - alas...

Truly, an unavoidable ambush from the tactical masterminds that brought you 'twenty good men.'
posted by codacorolla at 9:11 PM on May 5 [52 favorites]


would watch an entire episode of Arya & the Hound journeying south together.

@petersuderman
Just a quick little reminder that Arya and the Hound are the best pairing on Game of Thrones, and there should be a spinoff show where they just ride around Westeros solving crimes or murdering people who deserved it or whatever.
posted by chris24 at 9:12 PM on May 5 [45 favorites]


After the Hound's lines to Gendry, I want to hire him to be my life coach.
posted by miss-lapin at 9:15 PM on May 5 [12 favorites]


A ballista can shoot like 500m, horizontally!, TOPS, and the typical base of low clouds is 2000m, so Dany is flying her dragons irresponsibly low despite having encountered multiple examples of dragon-threatening projectile weapons.
posted by Pyry at 9:16 PM on May 5 [3 favorites]


wtf with Verys suddenly being a deadass socialist?

I thought it was him being very practical about the very real prospect of a peasant uprising considering they have two rulers who absolutely do not care if they kill a couple thousand people to get what they want and the march of a Long Winter on their heels with the memory of a very recent religious uprising against the crown.

He;s also playing on Tryion's heart, which V knows he has.
posted by The Whelk at 9:17 PM on May 5 [6 favorites]


Am I the only one who got strong Mouth of Sauron vibes when Qyburn walked out to meet Tyrion?

I want to believe that this was just the late-stage slow burn angst for Gendry and Arya and they'll get their real ending in the next two episodes, but the writers couldn't even get Gendry's bastard surname right (he's a Waters, not a Rivers! He was born in the Crownlands!) so I'm not holding out much hope.
posted by cosmic owl at 9:17 PM on May 5 [9 favorites]


Even with their descent into tropes I've actually come around on D&D for seasons 7 & 8 because it's not like GRR himself even has or had a roadmap to finish this thing.

That's basically where I'm at. I'm reminded of the scene in THE SOCIAL NETWORK where Zuckerberg is talking about the Winklevoi and their claims to have invented Facebook. To paraphrase; if GRRM could have written a better ending to ASoIaF, he would have written a better ending to ASoIaF.
posted by Justinian at 9:18 PM on May 5 [13 favorites]


I don’t get how Varys doesn’t say “fuck all y’all” and abandon the continent. Or find some Children of the Forest to try for Night King 2.0 because why not.
posted by rewil at 9:20 PM on May 5 [3 favorites]


Hey, y’all remember when Dany would send in spies to get the lay of the land, before attacking a city? Neither does she!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:21 PM on May 5 [21 favorites]


If we're gonna pedant, let's pedant. Technically Gendry was neither a Waters nor a Rivers as he was never acknowledged by his father as a bastard. Only recognized bastards receive those surnames.

Booyah.
posted by Justinian at 9:22 PM on May 5 [16 favorites]


The gossip network at Winterfell is really quick. The Hound knew about Arya and Gendry and Sansa knew about Brienne and Jaime, right away!
posted by sallybrown at 9:24 PM on May 5 [1 favorite]


Also “I never slept with a Knight before”

He’s certainly slept with a queen and has probably taken out a lot of pawns. Sort of working his way through the chessmen.


There was a scene way back when he was still the prisoner of Catelyn Stark where he talks about how Cersei had been the only one he'd ever slept with. But then saying, "I've never slept with anyone who is not my sister before" would have been a serious mood-killer.
posted by acidnova at 9:26 PM on May 5 [20 favorites]


Does being legitimized give Gendry a claim? Obviously he needs an army to make it mean anything.

And agree that Jaime's bit seemed like he's accepted his role as Sovereign Slayer. It's pretty much the best thing he's ever done. I'm just afraid Brienne will figure it out and go after him. I don't think she'd just abandon her post though, so hopefully Sansa doesn't give her leave to go.
posted by ghost phoneme at 9:26 PM on May 5


wtf with Verys suddenly being a deadass socialist?
I think he gave his first "I side with the Realm" speech back in season 1. And I think he's pretty consistently been characterised as siding with Danerys as the Breaker of Chains, what she could do and be for Westeros, not what she inherently has rights to.

You guys they were ambushed
And even after the garrison posted at Dragonstone gave them the warning while they approached, and/or failed to give the correct response signal thus outing themselves as foreign agents! Another classic military tactic wasted because none of her advisors know about these things apparently.


If you wonder about D&D's motivations, remember they are / were planning on making a show where the south won the civil war (it may or may not still get made).


I remember pointing to GoT as an argument to why they couldn't be trusted to handle that premise at all correctly. Suppose the argument works in reverse too.
posted by traveler_ at 9:27 PM on May 5 [9 favorites]


Hey, y’all remember when Dany would send in spies to get the lay of the land, before attacking a city? Neither does she!

Ah, if only she had a world class spymaster on her payroll! Maybe one who had previously provided her with intelligence about the harpies while she was occupying Mereen...
posted by codacorolla at 9:28 PM on May 5 [16 favorites]


The reason GRRM hasn't worked through to a finish, among other things, is likely that he works hard throughout the books for the plot points to get reached through the understandable actions of the characters, not by making them wildly inconsistent in their personalities and abilities.

Just getting to a finish, any finish, isn't why I started getting into the show, or why I read the books. It was precisely because I saw an episode where you could see why both Stannis and Renly were vying for the crown, and both refused to put their differences aside despite having good reason to.
posted by pykrete jungle at 9:28 PM on May 5 [16 favorites]


As best as I can tell, Cersei knows how the audience will react to her plans and is acting as needed to garner the hatred she desires. That's literally the only explanation for anything she does, based on information she doesn't have. Like, how does she even know who Misandei is?

They met, more or less, when Team Dany brought the wight to KL.
posted by scalefree at 9:28 PM on May 5 [1 favorite]


The reason GRRM hasn't worked through to a finish, among other things, is likely that he works hard throughout the books for the plot points to get reached through the understandable actions of the characters, not by making them wildly inconsistent in their personalities and abilities.

You're bending over backwards for him at this point. The reason he hasn't worked through to a finish is either because he has massive writer's block or he lost control of the story or he doesn't want to. Which doesn't really matter (to us, to him it no doubt matters a lot.)
posted by Justinian at 9:29 PM on May 5 [13 favorites]


I'm trying to answer the question :Why don;t they just have Arya, their shape-shifting assassin, kill Cersei?" And I think it comes down to Dany's ego, it wouldn't be seen as legitimate. You become the monarch by killing a lot of people in open combat, big and publicly to win the people;s trust. Why it;s almost like this whole monarchy system is dumb and arbitrary!
posted by The Whelk at 9:33 PM on May 5 [2 favorites]


Justinian I think it's block and loss of control. A combination of the two. And honestly if that's the case tell SOMEONE so they can help, even if it's to give them notes or brainstorm and then get it ghost written. Pykrete jungle may not need any finish, but I need frickin CLOSURE.
posted by miss-lapin at 9:34 PM on May 5 [2 favorites]


Also: whoever it was up above who was briefly convinced that Podmund was about to be a thing...

You're not alone.

posted by jurymast at 9:34 PM on May 5 [4 favorites]


"I don’t get how Varys doesn’t say “fuck all y’all” and abandon the continent."

Honestly I have struggled with this about Dany since the very beginning. Like, lady, you already rule several powerful cities in Essos, which seems like a very nice continent with many functioning governments and financial institutions. WHY THE FUCK DO YOU WANT TO GO TO WESTEROS, which is a shithole where murder is the most popular sport and the dead keep fucking getting up to kill more people? Rule your fuckin' good kingdom, stop trying to invade the MURDER SHITHOLE.

And if she's super-bent on lost causes she's entitled to by birth, could she not retake the smoking ruins of Valyria?
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:35 PM on May 5 [48 favorites]


(Big smiles. Hey come sit down you gigantic drunk ginger.)
posted by The Whelk at 9:35 PM on May 5 [4 favorites]


Bronn's point that nobility and royalty are just vicious cutthroats + generations of nepotism is very fair, doesn't change the fact that those cutthroats have to keep control of their domain. It's easy to bully a room, simple enough to be the boss of a bit of land with the support of the stable warden above you, and probably quite difficult to control one of the original seven kingdoms when you're an outsider relying on someone else's say-so!

I stopped expecting the show to be good a couple of seasons ago, and I haven't been disappointed once since! But I did have to angrily stop watching for a while to purge my feelings first, so this might not be super helpful in the dying days of the series. (I just don't understand why True Blood was considered such a joke at this point, when Game of Thrones is still considered prestige television.)
posted by grandiloquiet at 9:36 PM on May 5 [1 favorite]


You know what would have been great? If Dany had been like, "Sure, I'll take the deal. I surrender to you, and you let Missendei live."

Tyrion tries to talk her out of it, but she won't listen. Varys just shrugs and is like, "Problem solved."

And so Dany gets up on that podium, and the Mountain gets ready to behead her, and then she says, "Dracarys."

This time, Drogon swoops in, and does burn them all into ashes, and then once more, because fuck Euron, but of course, Dany is fine (although naked, but whatevs, not the first time, maybe not the last).

Missendei and Grey Worm than run off with Dany's blessing, because they deserve all the happiness in the world.

(Just getting practice for all the other moments in the last two episodes I'm going to have to re-write in order to retain my sanity after the shit D&D will probably pull in the final episodes.)
posted by litera scripta manet at 9:36 PM on May 5 [8 favorites]


Valyria is just crawling with dragonscale infection, right? And other, weirder gross things which is why everyone avoids it like the (lol) plague? But yeah her entire arc has been people going oh no no no she’s a liberator not a tyrant she’s different from literally all her relatives and uh

No. And they’ve been super consistent on that, at no point does Dany even consider staying in Essos. That’s not the goal.
posted by The Whelk at 9:38 PM on May 5 [3 favorites]


And hey, while I'm at it:

Brienne turns away to go back inside and drown her sorrows just like the Lannisters taught her.

But wait! She hears the sounds of hoofbeats coming closer! She turns around, and Jaime's back. He gets off his horse, runs over to her and says, "Fuck D&D! The common denominator in all my terrible life choices is trying to be closer to Cersei. And since there are a ton of very good fighters whose sole goal is killing her, they don't need me. I'm not even a very good swordsman anymore! I'm kind of an idiot, but even I'm not that big of an idiot."

And then they live happily ever after. The end.
posted by litera scripta manet at 9:41 PM on May 5 [10 favorites]


It still bugs me that Sam cured the fantasy bubonic plague essentially just to set Jorah up for an unearned heroic death 1.5 seasons later, and that apparently that whole storyline has no other payoff than letting Ser Nice Guy get a peck on the forehead after he dies.
posted by codacorolla at 9:43 PM on May 5 [21 favorites]


"Good lord, what is happening on those islands!"

"Ergh, Doomed Valyria."

"An entire ruined city, haunted by stone men, holding the great treasures of a technologically advanced civilization and perhaps the secrets to the cosmology at the heart of the entire series, localized ENTIRELY in the fantasy version of Greece?!"

"Yes!"

"May I... see it?"

"... No."
posted by codacorolla at 9:45 PM on May 5 [51 favorites]


I'm trying to answer the question :Why don;t they just have Arya, their shape-shifting assassin, kill Cersei?" And I think it comes down to Dany's ego, it wouldn't be seen as legitimate. You become the monarch by killing a lot of people in open combat, big and publicly to win the people;s trust. Why it;s almost like this whole monarchy system is dumb and arbitrary!

Ugh, yes, this bugged me a lot too. When Sansa was talking about how the Northern forces needed time to recover (and fair point, they totally did), I was hoping she would be like, but I just happen to know someone whose a trained assassin who wants nothing more than to cross "Kill Cersei" off her bucket list, and she could do it without needlessly losing more of our forces and without slaughtering a bunch of innocent civilians.

But no, we can't have the logical conversation! Because then it wouldn't be a "surprise" when Arya does murder Cersei.
posted by litera scripta manet at 9:46 PM on May 5 [6 favorites]


I mean if i was trying to build narrative tension it would be some failed Jamie attempt followed by a face stealing gotcha later but yeah Cersei needs to get got during a siege or some sort so it looks legit.

that being said I was betting on Cersei offering her baby to the night king so all predictions are off and Pod and Tormund are running a pub in my mind. They are very happy together.
posted by The Whelk at 9:49 PM on May 5 [3 favorites]


it wouldn't be a "surprise" when Arya does murder Cersei.

... except don't you think Jaime will be the one to do the deed?
posted by Justinian at 9:49 PM on May 5


Well that was a hot mess. I'm pretty sure that Jaime's departure is a fake-out of some kind and he's riding south to kill Cersei, but I'm still furious that my girl Brienne got her heart stomped on like that; all I really want from this show is to see her kick ass and be happy. Christie and Coster-Waldau acted the hell out of it, but even if it's a setup for his heroic valonquar exit (or his survival and and a nice slow boat to Tarth, who knows!) it felt like a cheap maneuver by the writers, given the lovely, graceful arc that the show built up between them in earlier seasons and especially their moments in 8x02. I almost would have preferred one of them dying in The Long Night to this, although I'm pretty sure there's more to their arc to come, even if it's just a tragic farewell. I suppose it's in keeping with the general incoherency of Jaime's character arc for the last couple of seasons, but still.

I'm not particularly invested in Dany as a character, but her probable heel turn also just doesn't feel fully earned. Even with the long episodes, there's not time to build the character beats the way earlier seasons did because there's so much they've got to fit in, and they seem determined to prioritize gotcha tricks and ham-fisted revelations over narrative infrastructure. I don't really expect anything on this show to make logical sense from a practical standpoint (#shiptruther #battletactics #the whole King's Landing confrontation in this ep) but once upon a time it was pretty good at emotional consistency. Anyway, pouring one out for Missandei.

Good stuff: I'm 100% here for Podmund, I ship it; the initial scenes at Winterfell (Kit Harington did an excellent job with the funeral speech and I remembered that he can actually act when he's not trying to convey chemistry with Emilia Clarke); Arya's refusal of Gendry's proposal and her riding off with the Hound; the Jaime-Tyrion-Bronn sequence and its assorted one-liners; Brienne and Jamie during the drinking game (up until Tyrion had to go and make it weird--yeah, he was trying to be a good wingman, but the "drink if you're not a virgin" bit was gross); Varys being slippery and always remembering to stan for the policies, not the candidate.
posted by karayel at 9:51 PM on May 5 [6 favorites]


it wouldn't be a "surprise" when Arya does murder Cersei.

... except don't you think Jaime will be the one to do the deed?


I think Arya will be wearing Jaime's face when she kills Cersei.
posted by miss-lapin at 9:52 PM on May 5 [5 favorites]


Unless she puts on a hundred twenty pounds of muscle and grows at least a full foot on the ride to KL that would be the least convincing disguise in history.
posted by Justinian at 9:55 PM on May 5 [1 favorite]


Now I want to see NCW's face shopped onto Maisie's five foot nothing frame.
posted by Justinian at 9:56 PM on May 5 [1 favorite]


... except don't you think Jaime will be the one to do the deed?

I think Arya will be wearing Jaime's face when she kills Cersei.


I think I'm secretly hoping that they've shot more than one ending and are currently tracking all the social media to see what the most popular prediction is ...

and whatever ends up airing won't be that.
posted by philip-random at 9:56 PM on May 5 [2 favorites]


... except don't you think Jaime will be the one to do the deed?

I'd like to think that, but I think what will actually happen is that Jaime will sneak into Cersei's room, and we'll all be rooting for him to kill her, but instead, they'll start fucking because Jaime is an addict who just can't stay away, and then Arya will come in, and Jaime will die protecting Cersei.

I mean, there were plenty of individual moments that I enjoyed in this episode, but I've really lost all faith in D&D.

And yet, somehow I will still manage to be furious and disappointed when they screw things up horribly in the next two episodes even though I've basically come to expect it.
posted by litera scripta manet at 9:57 PM on May 5 [4 favorites]


Ah, if only she had a world class spymaster on her payroll! Maybe one who had previously provided her with intelligence about the harpies while she was occupying Mereen...

Varys's little birds really dropped the ball on this one. He gives the war council his intelligence briefing & neglects to mention the walls are stacked with ballista.
posted by scalefree at 10:00 PM on May 5 [8 favorites]


All I wanted was Ser Jorah to stand up and say "I'm Azhor Azhai y'all!" but I guess we're all out of mana in this series.
posted by Brocktoon at 10:00 PM on May 5 [2 favorites]


I mean, she pulled off Walder Frey. Whatever glamour is involved in face-taking seems to involve convincing costuming and animatronics as well.
posted by codacorolla at 10:01 PM on May 5 [12 favorites]


Also, faceless men can only use the faces of dead people. I guess Jaime could die first. And then a five foot tall ninety eight pound Jaime could take care of business with Cersei.

(I know there was a scene which possibly puts a wrinkle in the "only dead people" thing re: faces but NO. It is fact.)
posted by Justinian at 10:02 PM on May 5


litera scripta manet your ending scene with Brienne and Jaime gives more thought to the integrity of Brienne and Jaime's characterizations than D&D ever have lol.

I mean, it's super obvious that Jaime didn't really mean what he said and that he's going back to kill Cersei, and that he'll have one more scene with Brienne, but it was just so badly handled. I love Brienne and Jaime but I almost skipped over their scenes because I could sense D&D's complete disinterest in them from a mile away.

I know that I will be doubly frustrated because that means that the next time Brienne and Jaime meet up, it will be just as carelessly set up as it was in this episode. Brienne will disappear until the middle of the last episode, at which time there will be 30 seconds of Jaime explaining his motivations with monosyllable words, 2 seconds of Brienne crying and nodding, and then right before they hug D&D will cut away to half an hour of intense Jon Snow brooding or something.

Which is just so sad because Jaime's redemption/Brienne's arc is the heart of the books and the earlier seasons. No other character changes as much as Jaime, he provides a contrast to the grimdark Iron Throne fantasy, his moral ascendance further damns how much more people can be when they're not just wrestling over power. Brienne's book role has been shared with Davos, and now Varys, in the show - she is the witness who travels through the land and understands just how destructive the game of thrones is to the smallfolk, and she truly does defend the innocent. And for a realm that has been constantly torn asunder by in the name of love or love gone wrong (e.g R+L=J), Brienne and Jaime's relationship shows what true love can and should be. Love doesn't have to destroy the world, in fact, love can arise because people want to better the world together.

Which, of course, is why D&D have not known what to do with these characters for the past 3+ seasons.
posted by facehugger at 10:03 PM on May 5 [25 favorites]


I'm not particularly invested in Dany as a character, but her probable heel turn also just doesn't feel fully earned.

As far as I'm convinced this happened in Mareen and everyone close to her as been acting like it was a one-off or they could control her, but no it;s blood and fire not blood and sensible reform. The closer she gets to the throne the more piano strings snap off in her head.

It contrasts with Cersei who is LEANING INTO and going into being an openly cruel Queen as like, policy. She;s like, Nixon trying to look unhinged so people will wonder what she's capable of.

and in this Battle of Queens you have Sansa, who doesn't trust either of them and doesn't trust the men in her life to do the hard thing. Sansa's biggest attribute, aside from leaning how to manipulate and play the game, is that she's practical*. Someone has to stock the national lader and such.

*But not cynically practical. She really thinks Dany is Bad News and is committed to Northern Independence it seems, or at least she thinks she has a shot of making it real in the current chaos.
posted by The Whelk at 10:03 PM on May 5 [7 favorites]


I was ready for Jaime to die last episode, because he'd kept his promise to come fight for the living (Jaime Lannister, Oathkeeper), and because he'd finally cemented his knightly legacy - Ser Brienne of Tarth. But, given that he's still trucking, I desperately want him to be the one to kill Cersei.

Therefore, my hope is that Arya will have an opening to kill Cersei, but that in the end she chooses to prioritise living friends/family over avenging dead ones, and turns around to save the Hound and help him take down the Mountain.

Cersei's watching this go down, doing how she do, when SHABAM! Widow's Wail, right through her back.

Thank you for reading my Game of Thrones fanfiction.
posted by jurymast at 10:05 PM on May 5 [12 favorites]


That scene between Varys and Tyrion, discussing who should rule the Seven Kingdoms. That's what I'm here for. It almost justifies eight seasons and 7 books.
posted by Nelson at 10:06 PM on May 5 [19 favorites]


Brienne's book role has been shared with Davos, and now Varys, in the show - she is the witness who travels through the land and understands just how destructive the game of thrones is to the smallfolk, and she truly does defend the innocent.

Even in the only scene this season that's gotten even remotely close to this (tonight's boring-ass conversation between Tyrion and Varys), this is barely touched upon. The show is entirely the POV of The Eight Rich and Powerful People Who Matter. I sort of hated reading A Feast for Crows at the time, but Jesus, the show has actually made me appreciate it.
posted by codacorolla at 10:08 PM on May 5 [4 favorites]


facehugger, yes, I'm so with you on the Jaime and Brienne thing. (Well, obviously, since like half of my comments in this thread have been about that.) So much beautiful build up*, and then D&D are just going to casually knock it aside. Because it's not exciting enough or whatever.

*Well, in the shows, Jaime's character arc has not been super consistent, so probably my feelings from reading the books are coloring this a lot. Too bad we'll never see this series finished. How GRRM handles the Jaime/Brienne plotline is one of the things I am most sad about missing out on.
posted by litera scripta manet at 10:14 PM on May 5 [1 favorite]


I'm also cross because we could have had one of the few mainstream sex scenes with a main character who's disabled. The show has barely explored the impact of Jaime losing his hand, and of how the world, and especially Cersei, is revolted by it. They had a little bit of it, with Jaime struggling to untie himself, but what's deeply powerful in the books is Brienne's complete understanding and unconditional acceptance of Jaime after he loses his hand.

I think I'm just spoiled because I've read so much fanfiction that does take his disability seriously, and makes it an important part of his identity and physicality, especially in his interactions with Brienne. They can be vulnerable around each other, and it would have been so moving to see Jaime able to put his golden hand away and able to be his full self in front of, and with Brienne, and to show ~the mainstream audience~ a different form of intimacy. Something similar to the Missandei and Grey Worm scene, for instance.
posted by facehugger at 10:18 PM on May 5 [26 favorites]


That scene between Varys and Tyrion, discussing who should rule the Seven Kingdoms. That's what I'm here for. It almost justifies eight seasons and 7 books.

> [one comment later]

(tonight's boring-ass conversation between Tyrion and Varys),


glad to see we've got consensus here.
posted by philip-random at 10:19 PM on May 5 [21 favorites]


My prediction is that Jon will find out that Dany kept war plans in an unsecure lockbox. She'll claim there was nothing of importance in there, but Tyrion will point that her deeply irresponsible behavior makes her unfit to rule. Besides, she's a woman, so it's unseemly to want the crown. There will be an election and Hot Pie will be named king after promising to use all remaining resources to rebuild the wall.

I mean, they're going for a realistic ending, right?
posted by xammerboy at 10:19 PM on May 5 [13 favorites]


But if anyone needs a pick me up (sounds like some of us definitely do) I really enjoyed two particular moments from this behind the scenes Ep 3 documentary.

At 18min28s:

Peter Dinklage aka Tyrion being like, "Who the fuck thinks it's a good idea hiding in the crypts"

At 32min:

Some writer or producer, "Kit was totally cool about Arya killing the Night King."

Kit Harrington aka Jon Snow, "I'm pissed I didn't get to kill the Night King."

Now all I need is Nikolaj and Gwendoline complaining about how Jaime/Brienne was done dirty by this show.

(I haven't watched the rest of this documentary, because every time I see interviews with D&D, I just want to stab something, so I just skipped to these good bits that were being mentioned over on r/freefolk.)
posted by litera scripta manet at 10:20 PM on May 5 [5 favorites]


you guys there's literally nothing tagged on Ao3 with Podrick Payne/Tormund Giantsbane

we could get in on the ground floor, we could be the dreamer of dreams
posted by The Whelk at 10:21 PM on May 5 [23 favorites]


The interviews at the end trigger me too. The exact words the characters say in the scenes are used to explain the scene. I start to wonder if there's anything going on under the surface at all.
posted by xammerboy at 10:23 PM on May 5 [5 favorites]


facehugger, yes, I totally forgot until just now, but as I was watching that scene with Jaime and Brienne, I was waiting for the moment when Brienne would help Jaime take off the golden hand and maybe he doesn't want to at first, because you know Cersei would have been super disgusted by his amputation, but Brienne could give this wonderful speech about how every time she looks at his hand, she's reminded of how much he sacrificed for Brienne, and the kind of man she knows that Jaime can be.

I think I'm going to have to go watch the scene where they're in the bath together at Harrenhall just to get my heart to stop hurting. And then I should really track down some more Jaime/Brienne fanfiction. I'll need to queue up a nice long reading list to get me through the next two weeks.
posted by litera scripta manet at 10:26 PM on May 5 [5 favorites]


On the theme of Arya hopefully choosing life over death, maybe she decides, "You know, I don't have to be lady of anything, but I could probably swing by Storm's End every now and then. Send Gendry one of those late-night, 'wyd?' ravens."
posted by jurymast at 10:28 PM on May 5 [6 favorites]


So much beautiful build up*, and then D&D are just going to casually knock it aside. Because it's not exciting enough or whatever.

D&D are such literalists, as shown by the dialogue in this episode, which was 100% sexposition but, you know, without the sex.

I've already read too many comments around the interwebs regarding how superfluous Brienne and Jaime's scenes were this episode. My response is A) D&D themselves don't give a shit about Brienne and Jaime so of course they're going to write their scenes like chess match notation, and B) most of the power of Brienne and Jaime's relationship, and increasingly so in the books, is how it indirectly comments on the integrity and actions of the other main characters. You have characters talk about love and honor and why they're justified in gaining power while doing deeply fucked up acts, and then you have Jaime and Brienne, who truly do spend the time to suss out what is love, what is honor, and what is power and how should it be wielded, and then most importantly, they have the courage to continually act according to their developing morals.

Think about, for instance, Marie Schrader's arc on Breaking Bad. You have Walt doing all sorts of crazy shit, and then you have Marie shoplifting and lying at real estate sales, not just because Gilligan thinks she's fun to write for, but also because indirect thematic mirroring can be just as, if not more powerful, than direct thematic hammering itself. Because then the audience starts developing their own questions, and starts developing their own answers, when it comes to just how very different and how very similar we can be to each other. But D&D gave up on even trying too many seasons ago.

It's hard - Breaking Bad-level hard lol - to sustain this indirect thematic commentary, especially the closer one gets to the endgame. But it even becomes more important to the endgame.

I've been thinking a lot recently about an AVClub article on The Sopranos' finale.

"The ending is the conceit. What he means by it is that the ending is the place where the filmmaker gets his best shot to leave the audience with something to contemplate."

After 7 seasons, what does D&D want to say about the world? I honestly don't know, other than power is a trip, but that seems more a whisper than a proclamation.
posted by facehugger at 10:34 PM on May 5 [20 favorites]


If Captain Meth Sparrow kills Cersei because he catches on that the baby isn't his, I am going to scream and scream and scream and scr
posted by jurymast at 10:37 PM on May 5 [10 favorites]


The mass funeral fell a little flat for me since virtually none of the people that we (the audience) care about or were worried for actually died. I mean, I did care about Theon back in the day and all, but everyone could see his death coming from a million miles away. There were no horrible surprises. Even the dragons all made it (through the Battle of Winterfell anyway).

I did like the party, especially the drinking game that Brienne took too far and then Tyrion took too far. I really think that Tyrion should have apologized to Brienne after he saw how upset she got, though. When she saw that she'd upset him by crossing a line asking about his marriage(s), she immediately tried to take the heat off of him with the "you really like ale!" thing, so he could have done SOMETHING when he saw that she was legitimately upset, too. I get why he went there, I just think he could have had the grace to backpeddle afterward. But then again, that softheartedness is exactly why I'm not gambling to become Lord of the Riverlands, I guess! haha

Arya has always been up for killing Cersei, but I don't think she'd do it to have Dany sit the throne. That's going from the frying pan into the fire. If Jon were the next in line to take it, then maybe. If Sansa were, definitely.

I really wish that Cersei had attacked Dany at the parley, and it took me completely out of the episode that she told her goons to stand down on Tyrion. She's always hated Tyrion, she outright sent an assassin after him, and he's Dany's top advisor, why would she hesitate for a second?

Of course people might gossip, but whatever. Cersei could just mumble that "Dany called for her dragon," "I heard 'dracarys' ..." etc. Cersei could give any bullshit story and get away with it, she's still the queen. And also because nobody is going to be upset that Dany's dead, they're just going to be relieved.

Dany's just some entitled asshole who stormed in from nowhere and decided to murder whoever she needs to so that she gets to sit on this throne, nobody wants her there. They have bigger fish to fry, like literally EVERYTHING else going on in their lives. And Dany even recognizes that the Westerosi aren't into her "breaker of chains" thing like people were back East (and that she's not actually breaking any of their chains at all anyway), but she's not seeing why that matters. She's not going to ever have popular support, so her reign is always going to be fragile at best. Cersei is a terrible queen and deeply unpopular, but there's no reason to think that Dany would be MORE popular. All people know about her is that she's totally tone-deaf in terms of Westerosi culture/connections, she's from a creepy family, and she wages war literally constantly, so I would actually expect her to be even less popular.

I think that Cersei is at least as likely to kill Jaime as the other way around. She sent an assassin after him, too, after all. That said, I feel him on still being tied up in knots over her. Also, Jaime clearly is going to be pretty fucked up about love, I'm not surprised that when shit got real with Brienne, he freaked out, thought he was going to ruin her like Cersei had ruined him (or something) and went back to his old terrible and dysfunctional life as fast as his horse would carry him. Tywin Lannister did some kind of number on his kids, I guess, because they are all legitimately SUPER screwed up.

Speaking of, though, I really enjoyed the scene with Bronn. It's always fun to watch a smart person strategize.

Varys has always been more or less a communist and perpetually keeping plans in place for a coup should the opportunity arise. I mean, he's a communist as much as a person can be in an economy that makes no sense and that nobody within-world seems to care about, but eh. But that's always been his rhetoric and he's always done whatever he could to undermine the power structure.

Brienne's crying after Jaime left was gut-wrenching, the dragon death was surprisingly brutal, but the lonely shot of Ghost right after Jon gave him away to the Wildlings was the most depressing thing in the episode for me. Jeez what the hell, Jon just couldn't give less of a shit, could he?

I think that Dany was so desperate for Jon to swear himself to silence because she knows the only alternative is to kill him. I think he's liable to burn before the series is over...except that they've really been pulling their punches, so maybe not. In any case, it seemed like Jon was REALLY not getting it, although that's in character.

Sansa was getting it, though! I loved Sansa all episode. I want to watch a whole series centered just on Sansa, frankly.
posted by rue72 at 10:39 PM on May 5 [17 favorites]


I'm really looking forward to two things: Super Smash Clegane Brothers, and however the fuck Euron finally dies.
posted by codacorolla at 10:40 PM on May 5 [6 favorites]


It's really unfortunate that Arya hadn't gotten to spend time with Olenna Tyrell.

I'm sure Olenna could've schooled Arya on seeming and being. Just because one is a Lady by day doesn't mean she can't make things happen as a Lady but also put the Lady aspect away and let the Faceless Man arise.

Arya fell into a similar trap as Brienne and fell into a box that others proscribed for them (even if only in their own heads). Lady of Highgarden? Sure - that gives her a ton of freedom on how she spends her time.

Another person Arya could have learned from was Littlefinger - even if she doesn't adopt any of his practices, knowing about them is good for counter-ops.

I'm surprised at the lack of xenophobio of Arya picking up her skills from a foreign land (contrast: books). Her way of thinking and doing may very well end up being a political black eye, but its the endgame so <shrug>.
posted by porpoise at 10:41 PM on May 5 [11 favorites]


I'm an idiot, and just realised that Arya isn't setting out for King's Landing to kill Cersei.

She's setting out for King's Landing to kill Daenerys.
posted by jurymast at 10:45 PM on May 5 [26 favorites]


let me write the Rodrick Payne Chronicles where he basically invents the civil service and has a wild time during.
posted by The Whelk at 10:46 PM on May 5 [12 favorites]


As far as I'm convinced this happened in Mareen and everyone close to her as been acting like it was a one-off or they could control her, but no it;s blood and fire not blood and sensible reform. The closer she gets to the throne the more piano strings snap off in her head.


Yeah, to be fair, it's probably more that I've always found her less compelling and kind of tuned out of her storyline for a few seasons there. At some point she started to seem more like a role or archetype (insert long list of titles) than a human person, which might be why I find it less compelling when the plot depends on her emotional connections/reactions to other characters.
posted by karayel at 10:47 PM on May 5


I'm an idiot, and just realised that Arya isn't setting out for King's Landing to kill Cersei.

She's setting out for King's Landing to kill Daenerys.


Why not both?
posted by miss-lapin at 10:49 PM on May 5 [3 favorites]


Doesn't it seem unlikely that Arya would be given the role of killing BOTH of the Big Bads? Plus we already saw her use the face-switching thing with Frey (and kill off a whole house by doing it).

Maybe she's heading to KL to try to knock the last names off her list (Cersei and the Mountain). Or maybe she's headed there because, as she told Jon explicitly, she doesn't trust Danaerys and intends to be there to take her out if necessary. Maybe any or all of the above, but I don't see her being the one to kill Cersei, in disguise or out.

Jaime will kill Cersei. I hope he'll also live to tell the tale. There were those ladders that Jaime used to help Tyrion escape the Red Keep (and that Tyrion used to reach Tywin)--I expect those will come into play again.

They had a little bit of it, with Jaime struggling to untie himself, but what's deeply powerful in the books is Brienne's complete understanding and unconditional acceptance of Jaime after he loses his hand.

Yeah... well, she also took off his shirt, as well as her own. Fwiw. I loved her impatient "oh move aside!" when he was trying to untie his shirt. Also, her telling him to piss off after he tweaked her for not drinking, and for being so organized and responsible. It was a sweet scene, shoulda been longer!!
posted by torticat at 10:58 PM on May 5 [4 favorites]


my complaints notwithstanding i've decided it's genuinely hilarious that jaime lannister's idea of game is literally 'it's getting hot in here/so take off all [our] clothes"; this is clearly a dude who's never tried to pull anyone but his sister.
posted by karayel at 10:58 PM on May 5 [76 favorites]


If Dany weren't going so hard after the Iron Throne, what do you bet that Cersei would have lost it already anyway? Dany attacking Westerosi lands is helping Cersei gin up support, like she was saying in this episode -- she's doing some reputation management by opening the Red Keep and "saving" the smallfolk from Mad Queen Dany and her Vicious Dragons. People rallying around their [terrible and unpopular] leader because of some new boogeyman is such a tried and true political tactic, and here it fell right into Cersei's lap. Queen Cersei, aka Brer Rabbit, I guess.
posted by rue72 at 10:58 PM on May 5 [5 favorites]


Ah on non-preview I see that jurymast and miss-lapin beat me to the observations about Arya!
posted by torticat at 11:00 PM on May 5


Honestly, I really thought there was a chance the writers were going to just go for it and pincushion Tyrion right there.

This was a solidly tense scene which would have paid off had they gone through with it rather than killing the character I had already thought was going to die in the naval battle.

Jaime is still going to kill Cersei, more clearly than ever. I don't think he's going to live through this show but he might see Brienne again because chances are pretty good she'll come after him at some point.
posted by atoxyl at 11:02 PM on May 5 [1 favorite]


After 7 seasons, what does D&D want to say about the world? I honestly don't know, other than power is a trip, but that seems more a whisper than a proclamation.

So do you guys remember the SNL skit where there was a 12 year old boy as a creative consultant to GoT? That skit was all about the gratuitous sex scenes, which has been less of an issue in recent seasons, but it still feels like D&D are writing these plots with that level of nuance (or lack thereof).

Let's do this because it will be a surprise! Euron has a big dick and a bigger ego, so he can build all the boats! And he can kill the dragon! Bam bam pow pow! Yeah man, this is awesome!

Oh, we have to do something with Jaime and Brienne? Um, yeah, they can fuck, but then Jaime will break up with her, because we don't have time for that. We've got to get to all the good stuff!

That's the level of craftsmanship I feel like we're getting at this point. Much like GRRM, I feel like D&D would have done us all a great service if they just hired ghostwriters for the final two seasons, because I get the sense that they don't actually care that much about the show anymore, or if they do, they just don't have the capacity to do a decent job of adapting the story at this point.
posted by litera scripta manet at 11:03 PM on May 5 [13 favorites]


Is it wrong I miss the gratuitous sex scenes? I mean I really wanted that Brienne and Jaime sex scene after waiting for it for so long. Surely a 12 year old boy would have given me that.
posted by miss-lapin at 11:06 PM on May 5 [10 favorites]


my complaints notwithstanding i've decided it's genuinely hilarious that jaime lannister's idea of game is literally 'it's getting hot in here/so take off all [our] clothes"; this is clearly a dude who's never tried to pull anyone but his sister.

It is hilarious, and I also love that Brienne's response to him saying "it's awfully warm in here [implied eyebrow waggle]" was to launch into a detailed explanation of Northern fire-tending techniques. These crazy kids, man.
posted by rue72 at 11:07 PM on May 5 [44 favorites]


WHY HE NO HUG DOGGO

also i can't believe all you lying liars last week insisted that ghost was dead, THIS IS WHY THIS SITE IS GARBAGE FOR BREAKING NEWS
posted by poffin boffin at 11:11 PM on May 5 [31 favorites]


It's complete BULLSHIT that they let Missandei die, in chains, without ANY agency of her own. Sure, taking Cersei down with her would have been amazing, but at the VERY FUCKING LEAST they could have let her step forward and throw herself off of the edge instead of waiting for the sword to come down. It's unconscionable.
posted by redsparkler at 11:15 PM on May 5 [23 favorites]


Gendry’s proposal actually turned me off that ship, and I’ve previously been a big Arya/Gendry shipper. Arya has been super clear, since the very beginning of first knowing Gendry, that she is not about that life. That she never wanted to and never has been. And he’s all “whoo, I’m a lord, now I’m worthy of marrying a lady whereas I wasn’t before”? That slightly sad but gentle look on Arya’s face, man oh man.
posted by corb at 11:19 PM on May 5 [21 favorites]


Also, I really loved (paraphrased)

Varys: “so uh what if we try not to kill everyone?”
Dany: “The little people don’t count at all.”
Varys: “all hail Aegon Targaryen, Sixth of His Name, King of the Andals and the First Men”
posted by corb at 11:22 PM on May 5 [23 favorites]


I continue to be deeply disappointed in this whole "I'm a true believer" storyline for Tyrion. I never saw what made him a true believer in Dany to begin with except she was beautiful, didn't want to kill him, and wasn't a relative. But this whole "I believe in her" even now...it just grates me. I don't believe for one minute Tyrion would still be #teamdany at this point.
posted by miss-lapin at 11:28 PM on May 5 [18 favorites]


I watched this with dad as I promised him I would, despite last weeks show being the first I ever saw. Caught up on the wiki. Both of us yelled at the screen at the dany/Jon kissing. “She’s your aunt!” Etc. After the show ended he went “well that was tense!” It’s nice to have a show to watch with my dad- even if it has two episodes left. We both think Peter Dinklage is very handsome. We are also team Arya killing everyone forever.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 11:28 PM on May 5 [20 favorites]


I watched this with dad as I promised him I would, despite last weeks show being the first I ever saw. Caught up on the wiki. Both of us yelled at the screen at the dany/Jon kissing. “She’s your aunt!” Etc. After the show ended he went “well that was tense!” It’s nice to have a show to watch with my dad- even if it has two episodes left. We both think Peter Dinklage is very handsome. We are also team Arya killing everyone forever.

This is honestly the only joy I've gotten from this story in three years. I'm glad you're enjoying it.
posted by codacorolla at 11:29 PM on May 5 [12 favorites]


Can someone explain to me again how Jon was a double agent but now can't keep his face shut?
posted by miss-lapin at 11:33 PM on May 5 [10 favorites]


In every way that counts, Jon is Ned Stark’s son, except far worse.
posted by corb at 11:37 PM on May 5 [42 favorites]


i'm mad that they also made sansa stupid in this ep. "can u keep a secret sansa?" god. does she think she's gonna get to be queen in the north now that she's proven beyond all doubt that jon can't trust her? i mean prolly bc he was stupid enough to tell her.
posted by poffin boffin at 11:40 PM on May 5 [7 favorites]


So, in the end, no one is going to sit on the Iron Throne, correct? The throne room will be left unused and covered in ash or snow or whatever it was that Dany saw in her vision years back. There is no one who can take the throne. Jon doesn't want it (also, having a white war hero man take the throne after all this would be incredibly disappointing, much as I love JS); Sansa would never move south (??!! the whole idea of Sansa's leaving the North is nuts); Cersei's gonna be dead.

And Dany's going cray and it's increasingly clear that even she doesn't feel the sense of belonging/being wanted in Westeros that she had in Essos. It seems incredibly unlikely that Tyrion will be able to pull her back from the brink now that her closest adviser and oldest living friend has been beheaded before her eyes (and her second dragon killed). Meanwhile Cersei is fortifying her human shield by herding all the smallfolk into KL (do Tyrion, Varys, etc even know that is going on?). Anyway, I do believe that Danaerys is going to torch Kings Landing. I kind of hope/expect she and her dragon die in the effort--or at the very least fly on back to Essos afterwards.

But maybe she will ultimately succeed in breaking the wheel by breaking up the kingdom, destroying the monarchy? So that, at the very least, the smallfolk would be governed by rulers closer to home, people who understand their needs and are chosen by those they rule over--as Dany was, to some degree, in Essos, and Jon/Sansa in the North. Yara gets the Iron Islands, obviously (queensmoot!), Gendry gets the Stormlands (not exactly by election, but hey, Gendry!), etc. I haven't thought through the others. Oh, I suppose Jaime or Tyrion gets the Rock (if either survives), and Bronn gets the Reach (lol).

Is that too pat an ending, or too optimistic, to hope for? I guess it would basically be restoring Westeros to what it had been centuries before, but maybe that wouldn't be a bad outcome. I'm mainly trying to game out a possible outcome, considering that I am 100% certain the Iron Throne will be unoccupied by series end.
posted by torticat at 12:02 AM on May 6 [9 favorites]


(??!! the whole idea of Sansa's leaving the North is nuts)

Well... I suppose on further thought... if Jon survived to be King in the North, maybe Sansa could return to the Vale, toss that little pissant Robyn out the moon door.
posted by torticat at 12:05 AM on May 6 [3 favorites]


So, in the end, no one is going to sit on the Iron Throne, correct?

Both Dany and Bran have a vision of the throne room in KL filled with snow. I originally thought that meant winter was coming to KL. Now I think it means a Stark will sit on the Iron Throne.
posted by miss-lapin at 12:05 AM on May 6 [5 favorites]


One more thing...
A) D&D themselves don't give a shit about Brienne and Jaime

What...? Jaime & Brienne got some GREAT scenes in the first couple episodes of the season, including by far the most lauded scene in an otherwise incredibly well-received s0802. Plus plenty of screen time in ep 3... Have D&D said anything to suggest they consider this a second-tier plot line? Is this comment referencing Jaime's misguided/arc-deflating decision to return to Cersei last season? Cuz I don't know--I've felt that the relationship between J&B has been complex and one of the best developed on the show.
posted by torticat at 12:15 AM on May 6 [2 favorites]


But which Stark, miss-lapin? None of them is suited to it. None of them remotely wants it, right?
posted by torticat at 12:21 AM on May 6


Well Varys has already said not wanting is what's best for the realm.
posted by miss-lapin at 12:22 AM on May 6 [1 favorite]


I would say the way the script is going it'll be Jon even though he apparently can no longer remotely be diplomatic because omg let me puke out the unfortunate truth at the worst possible moment every time.
posted by miss-lapin at 12:25 AM on May 6 [8 favorites]


Jaime and Brienne, man.

Someone said upthread, and I completely agree, that Jaime and Brienne's arc is the emotional (and for me, probably moral, maybe philosophical) heart of the books. I'm actually a little shocked at the depth of my reaction. I've seen some interpretations that this is the equivalent of Arya throwing rocks at Nymeria until she runs off-- he's hurting her as badly as he can to make sure she doesn't come after him. Someone else pointed out that he only makes this move after he hears about the death of Rhaegal and the decimation of Dany's fleet-- now Cersei has a chance, so he's going to stop her.

I like these, and they're comforting, but I absolutely do not think they're true. I just don't trust D&D that far.

It was such an emotional rollercoaster-- from oh my god, they're going to go there! And she is still in his bed! To just the most heartbreaking shit he could throw at her, and the implicit accusation of naïveté, that her judgement was that far off-- it felt cheapening to the character.

I dunno, guys. I'd been rooting for them since I read the books, which was a year or so before the show came out.

Watching her sob in that courtyard-- Of all the cruelties in this show, this is hitting me the hardest.

sorry, y'all, I've only read about half the thread-- going back up for the rest of the comments now, I just had to get this off my chest.
posted by dogheart at 12:52 AM on May 6 [11 favorites]


omg let me puke out the unfortunate truth at the worst possible moment every time

Made me LOL even though I genuinely do like Jon Snow in spite of the fact that he knows nothing.

But--though Varys's point is well taken-- 1) you can't drag a guy to the iron throne if he actually, in fact does not want it; 2) crowning as king the person who has right of primogeniture would be the LEAST subversive/surprising ending they could give us; and 3) I already said this, and it's just possible that my feelings are influenced in some tiny part by what happened IRL in the U.S. in 2016--but I personally would be genuinely furious if the show were to end with a white man on the throne in Westeros (sorry Jon).

I know that last point isn't actually an argument why D&D couldn't do it.
posted by torticat at 12:57 AM on May 6 [5 favorites]


I totally agree that I would be PISSED with a white dude on the throne, but...yeah...considering everything I mean they sent ghost off without a hug.
posted by miss-lapin at 1:01 AM on May 6 [2 favorites]


As someone disappointed in the Jaime and Brienne storyline, but not up on shipping: how would ya'll have done it?
posted by codacorolla at 1:06 AM on May 6


I'm not sure I would have gone there after all this time for a brief scene and then "Sorry baby, I can't stay." I probably would have had Jaime follow her to make sure she was ok and question her about Tormund and then make the choice to not go there with Cersei as a threat.
posted by miss-lapin at 1:16 AM on May 6 [3 favorites]


The direwolves were cursed the moment they met the Starks, so escape while you can, Ghost!

I would like to see Daenerys drink wildfire and turn into a dragon, but that would probably be too interesting.
posted by Brocktoon at 1:55 AM on May 6 [10 favorites]


As someone disappointed in the Jaime and Brienne storyline, but not up on shipping: how would ya'll have done it?

y'know what? I'm gonna answer this via memail. give me a little bit. I don't want to clog up the thread with my dumb bullshit.
posted by dogheart at 2:02 AM on May 6 [1 favorite]


The Hound: There’s only one thing that can make me happy
Air horns: BYOOOOOO BYOOBYOOOBYOOOOO
posted by DoctorFedora at 2:04 AM on May 6 [47 favorites]


Also when there was offhanded reference made to Jon’s parentage, did anyone else hear the “Buster’s real dad” piano riff in their head
posted by DoctorFedora at 2:05 AM on May 6 [14 favorites]


I'm not sure that Jon is long for this world. During the feast, while Tormund was boasting about Jon's various prowess's (prowii?), he thumped Jon on the chest. Jon reacted with pain and some surprise (it really wasn't that hard a thump - he's been hit way worse during practice). I think that whatever is holding his heart together is starting to unravel with the passing of Evil Red Riding Hood.
posted by Mogur at 2:27 AM on May 6 [11 favorites]


Berric who was held together by a lot more faith survived the death of Thoros quite a bit.

If Jon is dying, it's because the Lord of Light is done with him. Not because Melisandre went to her death.
posted by miss-lapin at 2:33 AM on May 6 [2 favorites]


The Hound: There’s only one thing that can make me happy
Air horns: BYOOOOOO BYOOBYOOOBYOOOOO


My body is ready.
posted by Justinian at 2:35 AM on May 6 [8 favorites]


I don't believe for one minute Tyrion would still be #teamdany at this point.

I mean, I think it's pretty clear that he absolutely does know that she is spiraling closer and closer to going full Aerys - and has always been too ready to jump to, "Burn them all," as a solution to her problems. But... it's Tyrion.

Tyrion believed in Tysha, and was shown the lie ('lie') of it in the cruelest way possible. Tyrion believed in Shae, and she betrayed him (under duress, obviously, but Tyrion certainly came out of that thinking that all she ever cared about was money and comfort). Tyrion's own family derided him and hated him and rejected him as a Lannister all his life, even when he was doing the best job at Lannistering in the room. Tyrion has often reacted to these events by going, "Well, everyone thinks I'm a worthless piece of shit, so I might as well be the most worthless piece of shit I can be, and have as much fun with it as I can."

Having Dany to believe in gave Tyrion something that got him through one of the darkest, bleakest periods of his life, after killing Shae and Tywin and fleeing King's Landing. Having something bigger than himself in which to believe - personified in Dany - helped him become a better person. However, even more than that, Dany is one of the few people who ever believed in him.

I'm not surprised he's refusing to accept that this, too, is about to blow up in his face in the most catastrophic way possible, or that the one person he thinks has ever sincerely valued him is going to turn out to be a mad tyrant, despite the mounting evidence being clear as day.
posted by jurymast at 2:37 AM on May 6 [22 favorites]


This show is now in competition to be even stupider than Westworld.
Maybe next hbo can make a decade long Gymkata show featuring forlorn piano arrangements of Hoobastank songs.
posted by lkc at 2:48 AM on May 6 [18 favorites]


I really would have liked to see ghost get at least a goodbye petting from Jon, he deserved that. Unfortunately, in one of the recent making-of videos, they did say that they thought putting the direwolves in frame with people never looked right, so I guess they felt that was more important than the emotional resolution we would get from seeing Jon show some love for ghost. Which does seem to be the way they're going, emphasizing "cool" imagery over a coherent narrative.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 2:53 AM on May 6 [3 favorites]


it's genuinely hilarious that jaime lannister's idea of game is literally 'it's getting hot in here/so take off all [our] clothes";

We were howling. "Hey babe, this shirt is chafing me." Like a 15 year old.
posted by soren_lorensen at 3:10 AM on May 6 [13 favorites]


The first ten minutes were women looking sadly at dead men that neither we nor they actually liked. Every man gets a sad (or at least blank-faced) woman. Yay...so interesting to watch.
posted by starfishprime at 3:26 AM on May 6 [10 favorites]


Jurymast-you reference Shae and Tysha-neither woman had control of their own destiny-as much as I love Tyrion, he still had infinitely more power than Shae ( for the most part) and Tysha. Neither Tysha nor Shae had the political potential that Dany does. And Tyrion has not been linked to Dany romantically.

So no reason for him to suddenly hold the idiot ball except this is what D and D do. And it's lazy writing.
posted by miss-lapin at 3:53 AM on May 6 [1 favorite]


Surely a 12 year old boy would have given me that.

It was actually two 6 year olds and they were was busy writing the rest of that episode which is called "You're all stoopid heads"
posted by srboisvert at 3:55 AM on May 6 [7 favorites]


srboisvert-You have answered all my questions. I award you the iron kraken.
posted by miss-lapin at 3:58 AM on May 6 [3 favorites]


This show is now in competition to be even stupider than Westworld.
Maybe next hbo can make a decade long Gymkata show featuring forlorn piano arrangements of Hoobastank songs.


Why throw Kurt Thomas under the bus like that? The thrill of gymnastics plus the kill of karate deserves better. I'm sad now.
posted by gusottertrout at 3:58 AM on May 6 [5 favorites]


I mean yeah, such is not intended as a character defense of Tyrion 'All My Psychological Issues Are Because Of Women Who Suffered Far Worse Than I Did in Order To Inform My Manpain' Lannister. I'm just saying that I find his obstinate cleaving to Dany at this stage in the game to be consistent with his development thus far.
posted by jurymast at 4:03 AM on May 6 [7 favorites]


Kind of bothered by the way Grey Worm and the Unsullied wash up hacking on the shore like half-drowned cats, unarmed on enemy territory, and inexplicably survive to reunite with their queen.
posted by exogenous at 4:05 AM on May 6 [10 favorites]


Arya and the Hound are going to end up like Butch and Sundance. But only if we are very lucky.
posted by rmd1023 at 4:06 AM on May 6 [5 favorites]


Jurymast-I didn't take it as character defense. I just don't buy all his political brains suddenly fell out of his head after Littlefinger (who was suddenly the uber "crafty person") died being anything but crappy writing. I haven' seen anything that makes me think this is anything but facile writing.

Unlike the first season we don't have spy against spy. Now things are way too....basic.
posted by miss-lapin at 4:14 AM on May 6 [1 favorite]


I do think that Tyrion is on some level actually a romantic at heart, and it's not the first time we've seen it override his common sense. The writers have certainly handed him the idiot ball for long stretches of the past few seasons, but I don't think him still being on Team Dany for now is an example of that. It's not about politics or strategy or shrewdness for him; not really, not anymore. It's that he needs Dany to be the good and just and righteous queen he originally believed in, because otherwise his entire redemption has been based on a lie.
posted by jurymast at 4:30 AM on May 6 [17 favorites]


I was glad to see my joint monarchy/William and Mary theory get a good airing, but Varys is right: it can’t work. I think the only ending that would make sense with the themes of the show would be for a huge battle where the Golden Company rules-lawyers their contract to find a way to sit out the early stages. Then, after Dany’s and Cersei’s forces have weakened each other, the mercenaries attack and slaughter both sides. They install their leader as the new King, and we learn once again that heroic narratives and destiny count for nothing. But that’s probably too much to ask.
posted by Zonker at 4:45 AM on May 6 [3 favorites]


1) Re: Rhaegal and Ghost: These two departures from the show felt like they were driven purely by budget issues. Dragons and dire wolves are expensive to animate.

2) Missandei's death felt arbitrary and gratuitous. It served no useful purpose. It wasn't like anyone was on the fence about Cersei up until that moment. That scene could have played out exactly as it did except without the execution, or indeed M's presence, and nothing about the narrative would have changed.
posted by JohnFromGR at 4:50 AM on May 6 [8 favorites]


I'm a writer, and my editor once said to me something about being mad as a reader, not as an editor, for something I'd done to my characters, and that's what I suspect is going on with the reactions about Jaime and Brienne because of course we don't want to see her hurt. But I thought his turn was realistic. On some level, he doesn't think he's a good man--and won't until he atones for what he did for his sister by killing her. I also thought their sex scene was very hot, and as someone who is in a two-top marriage, I thought they nailed that dynamic. She needed to come into it as an equal but also would never be vulnerable enough for it to work unless it was already an inevitability. Seemed pretty doomed to me, though, since they were already foreshadowing the break-up through Arya and Gendry's break-up. I do hope Jaime makes it to the end of the season though to get back to her.

(Is there birth control on this planet? There's been a lot of wanton sexing going on with characters who I think would be miserable pregnant.)

Ghost was bullshit, though. I hate how the writers really don't care about him.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 4:51 AM on May 6 [13 favorites]


That scene could have played out exactly as it did except without the execution, or indeed M's presence, and nothing about the narrative would have changed.

It's going to be the straw that breaks Dany.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 4:52 AM on May 6 [8 favorites]


I do think that Tyrion is on some level actually a romantic at heart

And he hasn't just been Team Dany, he's been Team Dragons, from the first time he saw them. The dragons really turned his head, something he alluded to again last night.

otherwise his entire redemption has been based on a lie.

a lie, or another (yet another) miscalculation. A fair part of his life has been invested at this point in seeing Dany succeed.

I don't think that loyalty is going to outlast next episode, though, and it might not even outlast this one. Missandei's the straw that breaks Dany, and Dany's reaction will be the straw that breaks Tyrion.

I do hope Jaime makes it to the end of the season though to get back to her.

That cruel "breakup" actually gave me confidence I'd never had before that both Jaime and Brienne will survive the show. There has to be a reunion now, and for one of them to die in the other's arms at that point would be too much melodrama for words.
posted by torticat at 5:09 AM on May 6 [3 favorites]


I also thought their sex scene was very hot

Same, and I wonder if the reason it was cut off where it was was that Christie wanted it that way.
posted by torticat at 5:14 AM on May 6 [1 favorite]


As someone disappointed in the Jaime and Brienne storyline, but not up on shipping: how would ya'll have done it?

Assuming that he is in fact headed back to kill/stop Cersei, not just to die with her? I think Brienne of all people would understand if he'd told her it was a matter of duty and the only way to reclaim his honor, and that conversation would have been equally heartbreaking, but a lot less cheap than the "I'm gonna hurt you for your own good" move. Not that it's exactly inconsistent for Jaime Lannister to be an emotionally stunted idiot who can't use his words, but if there was ever a time to man up and have the difficult conversation, this was it. On the other hand, this is Game of Thrones, so.
posted by karayel at 5:15 AM on May 6 [9 favorites]


That cruel "breakup" actually gave me confidence I'd never had before that both Jaime and Brienne will survive the show.

They really held back on giving us ANY conversation between them about how they feel and they cut away super fast from them getting together. I think they have another big *happy* scene still to come, and how would there be time for that if Cersei wipes Jaime out quickly?
posted by sallybrown at 5:16 AM on May 6 [1 favorite]


Euron's flagship's sail plan looks a bit ridiculous, what are those studdingsail lateen goose wing things?? EFF MINUS!! His ships being invisible because they were off-screen, though, is one of my favorite dramatic devices to hate.
posted by fleacircus at 5:17 AM on May 6 [4 favorites]


What if......WHAT IF Ghost has to go north so he can hook up with a wandering Nymeria and make adorbs little direwolflets?
posted by Mrs. Rattery at 5:17 AM on May 6 [14 favorites]


What if......WHAT IF Ghost has to go north so he can hook up with a wandering Nymeria and make adorbs little direwolflets?

Well they ARE littermates so...fully in keeping with the way things are in the GoT family...
posted by biscotti at 5:25 AM on May 6 [11 favorites]


If Jon is dying, it's because the Lord of Light is done with him. Not because Melisandre went to her death.

Oh, I'm fine with that, too. I just think he's doomed no matter how the war turns out.
posted by Mogur at 5:29 AM on May 6 [1 favorite]


Good to know the Winterfell Starbucks survived the battle. I was worried about the baristas last episode.
posted by chris24 at 5:30 AM on May 6 [29 favorites]


Team Good Guys put their trebuchets way the fuck out in front of their infantry; I hate to think where they'd have put the baristas.
posted by jurymast at 5:38 AM on May 6 [29 favorites]


So I had to pause this episode to explain in depth to my dog why I could never and would not ever do to her what Jon did to Ghost. Thereby deeply annoying both her and everyone else in the room, but I am obviously not alone in this.

Ghost 4eva.
posted by arha at 5:43 AM on May 6 [13 favorites]


Kind of bothered by the way Grey Worm and the Unsullied wash up hacking on the shore like half-drowned cats, unarmed on enemy territory, and inexplicably survive to reunite with their queen.
posted by exogenous


They were washing up on the shore under Dragonstone.
posted by Golem XIV at 5:47 AM on May 6 [3 favorites]


Kind of bothered by the way Grey Worm and the Unsullied wash up hacking on the shore like half-drowned cats

If you pause and look closely, it's actually a behind-the-scenes shot of the writers leaving the writing room. It looked so good they just put it in the show; another canny cost saving measure.
posted by fleacircus at 5:49 AM on May 6 [12 favorites]


After Dany and Cersei are both killed and Varys seizes the means of production, Jon is going to peace out up North and spend the rest of his days frolicking through the tundra with Ghost and Tormund.
posted by jurymast at 5:49 AM on May 6 [3 favorites]


Good to know the Winterfell Starbucks survived the battle. I was worried about the baristas last episode.

Video!



@LauraMLippman
Also, can you imagine how they spelled "Daenerys" on that cup?
posted by chris24 at 5:54 AM on May 6 [15 favorites]


They literally played the Retirony trope with Missandei and Grey Worm at the start of the episode.
Just one more mission for Dany and they can go south and relax on the beach...
posted by cheshyre at 5:54 AM on May 6


Spouse and I just rolling eyes so fucking hard at the terrible dialogue. Last night was also just so booooooooooring. We were seriously bummed. Finally got some action near the end...and I said aloud "maybe Cersei will kill a dragon?" like 3 seconds before it happened.

Also I was sad for how graphic and painful that dragon death looked. I love dragons.

Also I could not BELIEVE that Jon just like, micro-nods to Ghost then bounces. What the everloving FUCK was that. The fucking direwolf has been through hell and back for him. I can't even.
posted by lazaruslong at 5:54 AM on May 6 [6 favorites]


Didn't even promise to warg.
posted by fleacircus at 6:23 AM on May 6 [2 favorites]


Re: warging, a Bran meme via /r/freefolk
posted by exogenous at 6:29 AM on May 6 [4 favorites]


So Jon literally sent Ghost to a nice farm somewhere up North where there's lots of direrabbits for him to chase?
posted by Nelson at 6:43 AM on May 6 [17 favorites]


My husband, who is less of a fan, but more of D&D’s target demographic, thinks Jaime IS going to Cersei to kill her, but does not yet know himself that it is the case, which is the least satisfying thing I could think of so is probably true. That’s about the degree of faith I have in the showrunners right now.
posted by corb at 6:51 AM on May 6 [5 favorites]


Great discussion here with Gwendolyn Christie. I love how it comes through in interviews how much she and Coster-Waldau like & respect each other, and how much they value the characters of Brienne and Jaime and the relationship they developed.
posted by torticat at 6:53 AM on May 6 [4 favorites]


So, dragons are invincible super weapons unless you have, like, a spear or a crossbow. K.
posted by tobascodagama at 6:58 AM on May 6 [5 favorites]


Some thoughts:

  • I may have screamed into a couch cushion for a while about Rhaegar going down in such a dumbshit way. ONE OF THE PRIMARY THINGS AERIAL FLIGHT IS THAT EVEN IF YOU LACK AN ACTUAL WEAPON THAT CAN BE DEPLOYED FROM THE AIR, BEING ABLE TO GET UP THAT HIGH OFFERS YOU VASTLY SUPERIOR RECON. SUCH AS, IDK, THE ABILITY TO SPOT A HUGE SLOW MOVING TRIREME FLEET BEHIND A FUCKING CLIFF???

  • EVEN ASIDE FROM THAT, DANY HAVE YOU LEARNED NOTHING THAT'S TWO (2) DRAGONS YOU HAVE LOST TO PROJECTILE WEAPONS GLAD TO SEE YOU HAD DROGON STATIONED A LONG WAY BACK FOR THE FINAL PARLEY

  • When Drogon did the big loop around the ships, I had a sudden wild flare of hope that we were going to see some actual tactics -- in the Age of Sail, a huge part of battle maneuvers was to try and angle yourself away from the side of ship versus side of ship configuration. Everybody's main armament is set on the side, and that's where your heavy protection is. So the point is to maneuver so that you want to have your guns pointed at the unprotected stern, so you can fire through those pretty glass windows in the captain's quarters at the back end, and murderize everything between decks. And aerial flight on a fucking dragon offers infinitely superior maneuverability, and Sea Ramsay wouldn't have been able to turn and fire because the sails are in the way!!!!!! Alas.

  • But I forgive this entire episode for Gendry getting made lord of Storm's End and immediately running to Arya because the one barrier to their love has now been removed!!!! And she tells him "lolno" in the kindest way she knows how. My withered crone heart is pleased.

  • Similarly, I'm into Sansa promising Jon that she won't tell, and then telling Tyrion on the ramparts when it becomes politically expedient. She isn't Little Bird anymore. She isn't Ned Stark. The dialogue around that with the Hound was a little clumsy, and I wish she'd touched on things besides how everybody wanted to rape her, but I absolutely loved the bit where she and the Hound talk about how she got Ramsay and Sansa doesn't have to frame it in any way, because she knows the measure of the Hound and knows that with him, she doesn't have to pretend to be anything but the stone cold killer that she is, even if she can barely hang onto a knife. The little quirk of her mouth when she says "hounds" also made my withered crone heart happy.

  • In particular, I loved that moment at the end when Turner reached forward and touching his hands -- Little Bird wouldn't have been able to lean over and touch the Hound's hands in the way that she did, but Sansa does, and has no problems with it.

  • Because I like sad things happening, I'm super into Jaime realizing that the fantasy life of a good life as Brienne's sidekick-with-benefits is just a fantasy, and that it's never going to happen have peace while Cersei lives, and that moreover, he has a duty left, and he needs to go perform that duty with a minimum of collateral damage (i.e., keeping Brienne from leaving with him to Kill Cersei). And I think part of the beauty of Christie's performance is that she shades it so you have room to believe that deep inside her, Brienne knows all of this -- that the reason she cries so hard is because she knows that he did those terrible things, and she has been wrestling with it, and overcame it because of her love for him, but here is this ugly reminder, and there is a part of her that knows he is saying these terrible things because he doesn't want her riding south to expurgate his old sins.

  • Not sure, by the way, what show folks are watching where D&D aren't interested in Jaime and Brienne. They've gotten so much screen time in this season alone. They've had so many moments -- think about how many scenes they got in this episode alone, never mind the fact that the emotional good times climax of the "calm before storm" episode is the one where Jaime knights Brienne AND the whole episode is named after that. Just because Jaime/Brienne it doesn't seem like it's going to end the way you want doesn't mean the show fails to care.

  • Varys belongs to the people, much like Gritty, and I am here for him (and his inevitable tragic death at Danerys's hands that may push Tyrion to turn on her).

  • posted by joyceanmachine at 6:59 AM on May 6 [67 favorites]


    Varys as the Gritty of KL made me choke on my tea, thanks.
    posted by fleacircus at 7:03 AM on May 6 [23 favorites]


    Gendry's misguided panic proposal was darling. Poor, sweet Gendry. Strong like bull; smart like toaster.
    posted by jurymast at 7:04 AM on May 6 [54 favorites]


    I don't think Sansa broke her oath to Jon. If I recall correctly, Tyrion mentions in the conversation that he knows that Jon is not a Stark before Sansa says there is someone better to take the Iron Throne. Clearly, Bran told Tyrion ahead of time.
    posted by all about eevee at 7:08 AM on May 6 [1 favorite]


    Thank you for that, joyceanmachine. Of all the things that aggravate me about this show, the complete and total lack of willingness to learn anything about how ship or air combat actually works is the most aggravating.
    posted by Automocar at 7:12 AM on May 6


    I felt pretty bad for Dany during the feast. Yeah, obviously everyone is going to like the local heroes, but she was being pointedly ignored after being brave and sacrificing a lot. I mean, at least send Pod over to charm her or something.

    Also, who exactly was invited to that feast? Was it anyone who survived? Just "noblemen"? Plus some pretty girls, I guess, but whites only? None of the surviving Dothraki or Unsullied, that I saw.
    posted by maxwelton at 7:16 AM on May 6 [22 favorites]


    I want to see Gendry riding up to the Stormlands--a Kingdom which seems to be laying low and may not be up on exactly what's been happening--and explain why he is now lord and why whoever is currently doing that "job" needs to piss off.

    "...and then, after having leech-sex with a gorgeous witch, I rowed a small boat for a few years, after which--did I mention that they named the 'Gendrython' 26-mile run after me, when I delivered a message?--anyway, I then forged weapons out of rock--glass, really--to defeat skeletons and men made of ice, and then our new Queen, who has dragons, can you believe it...well, not technically our queen just yet, but soon!--legitimized me and made me lord of this place. So if you'd step aside, please?"

    "You're banging two empty halves of coconut together!"
    posted by maxwelton at 7:33 AM on May 6 [31 favorites]


    Guys, guys, I have it! Jamie kills Cersei, Arya kills Daenerys. Jon takes the throne, establishes a set of democratic reforms because he hates it, then dies without an heir because *now* he's fulfilled the purpose the Lord of Light brought him back for.
    posted by traveler_ at 7:36 AM on May 6 [3 favorites]


    Was it anyone who survived? Just "noblemen"? Plus some pretty girls, I guess, but whites only? None of the surviving Dothraki or Unsullied, that I saw.

    Grey Worm and Missandei, at least, were at the head table. I don't know about the rest. Presumably there wasn't space for actual armies, though that's no excuse for not having more POC there than were actually evident.

    Anyone care to comment on why Jaime was trying to get Brienne drunk? Also, why she was playing drunk during the game even though she wasn't in fact drinking?

    Jaime was obviously drunk by the time he followed her to her room. My theory is that his self-loathing led him to believe that she would need to be, also, before she would consider sleeping with him... but I'm not sure. It was a thing they kept coming back to, so it seemed significant.
    posted by torticat at 7:37 AM on May 6


    lalochezia: I don't know how, but D&D seem to have found a way to weaponize disappointment.

    I actually laughed more in this episode than any I can recall. So there's that :) Seriously, I almost laughed out loud when Dany's second dragon died, which I'm guessing wasn't the intended reaction. The dragons have been so under-utilized in this show, I was just happy to see them get knocked out after such little impact. The second thing that made me laugh was The Hound's reply to Sansa's inquiry:

    Sansa: She could have made you happy, for a little while.
    The Hound: There's only one thing that'll make me happy.
    Sansa: And what's that?
    The Hound: That's my fucking business.

    At which point, I was imagining all the different businesses The Hound was planning to start. A cutlery shop? No baked goods, because that means being around fire. Maybe air-cured jerky? He was gnawing on something jerky-like when Ayra came up on him.


    TwoStride: I have no real love for the dragons but I, too, thought it was just absurd that Dany apparently learned nothing about projectiles from losing her first dragon. Maybe you're an unfit mother, Dany.

    Hah! Also, dragons seem to be awful at self-preservation. You'd think that if they got shot once, they'd run away. Nah, let's stick around and figure out what this weird, new, stabby sensation is. Oops, I died.


    litera scripta manet Hey, remember last episode when some us* were complaining about not enough named characters dying in the Battle of Winterfell? I can't help but imagine D&D reading comments like that, and laughing endlessly.

    rue72: The mass funeral fell a little flat for me since virtually none of the people that we (the audience) care about or were worried for actually died.

    RIP: Jorah, Theon, Edd, um, those other two guys with names, a few nameless Dothraki ... Oh, and half of the Unsullied, but let's not waste a moment showing them. That funeral scene really underscored how little "impactful" death there was in this EPIC BATTLE, compared to, say, the Red Wedding (GoT Fandom wiki).


    porpoise: That's a lot of logs for all those pyres.
    /deforestation-of-the-North truther


    Ah, my people! My head-cannon was that they pulled out all the unburnt defense structures to make those ... oh wait, weren't they pretty much square structures of massive trees? OK, revised head-cannon: they cleared a bigger perimeter around Winterfell in preparation for the battle, and had all those extra, unused, mature trees just stacked out back. Yeah, that's the ticket.


    mcstayinskool: Why on Westeros didn't Cersei just cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war right there?

    They sucked his brains out!: Poor Gendry. He didn't deserve that.

    You mean being given the boondoggle of Storm's End, a resource so important that no one seems to have laid (or be given) claim to it? Oh, perhaps you mean Ayra's reply to his marriage proposal. I'll ditto corb: Gendry’s proposal actually turned me off that ship, and I’ve previously been a big Arya/Gendry shipper. Arya has been super clear, since the very beginning of first knowing Gendry, that she is not about that life. That she never wanted to and never has been. And he’s all “whoo, I’m a lord, now I’m worthy of marrying a lady whereas I wasn’t before”? That slightly sad but gentle look on Arya’s face, man oh man.

    My only second thoughts here are from porpoise's comment: I'm sure Olenna could've schooled Arya on seeming and being. Just because one is a Lady by day doesn't mean she can't make things happen as a Lady but also put the Lady aspect away and let the Faceless Man arise.


    sallybrown: The gossip network at Winterfell is really quick. The Hound knew about Arya and Gendry and Sansa knew about Brienne and Jaime, right away!

    litera scripta manet: Well, based on Euron's fleet, clearly Westeros is just as an unending supply of trees so no big deal. Chop one tree down, and 10 more immediately sprout up in its place, even taller than the one before. Because how else did the Iron Islands build 1000 ships from the ten available trees on that tiny collection of rocks in the middle of the sea?

    With these two comments, I have another new head-cannon: time in Westeros is not a constant thing, but warps around certain aspects, like the growth of trees, the building of ships, long-distance travel, and the spread of information.


    litera scripta manet: I haven't watched the rest of this documentary, because every time I see interviews with D&D

    I sat through 10 minutes of D&D trying to wax eloquently about this episode. Besides a bit of eye strain, the only thing I got was that a reminder that some of Sansa's strategies come from "the school of Little Finger and Ramsay." She's no one's little bird, but her scheming may not come from the best teachers.


    exogenous: Re: warging, a Bran meme via /r/freefolk

    That was glorious. Until there's any better indication of why Bran warged out, I'll believe it was to go through his mental archives and find a design for the best seat.
    posted by filthy light thief at 7:39 AM on May 6 [9 favorites]


    Anyone care to comment on why Jaime was trying to get Brienne drunk? Also, why she was playing drunk during the game even though she wasn't in fact drinking?

    He wasn't. I just rewatched that scene (because, um, hot) and Tyrion was trying to get Brienne drunk, for Jaime, specifically.

    Shipper on deck.
    posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:41 AM on May 6 [13 favorites]


    She did drink during the game; I think Jaime was specifically harping on about the fact that she didn't take a drink when Tyrion correctly guessed that she was a virgin. You broke the rules, Brienne!!! Rules are very important, don't you know. So you have to drink. I want a drink. LET'S DRINK. Gosh, is it hot in here, or is it just me? hahahAhAHAHa.
    posted by jurymast at 7:41 AM on May 6 [21 favorites]


    Is there a video of Nelly's song "It's Getting Hot in Here" mixed into that scene yet?
    posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:44 AM on May 6 [9 favorites]


    It seemed like Jaime was a little anxious that Brienne might have gotten with someone else (Pod? Hahaha) during the time they were separated and that’s why she didn’t drink. Whereas Brienne was just like “can we please STOP TALKING ABOUT HOW I’M A VIRGIN omg.”
    posted by sallybrown at 7:44 AM on May 6 [4 favorites]


    Hee, and the way that Pod dutifully drank during that question. He's the only one playing by the actual rules. Whereas Tyrion keeps giving Jaime extra turns because he's just trying to angle Jaime and Brienne together and it's not even clear how aware Jaime is of this.
    posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:46 AM on May 6 [4 favorites]


    I liked Gendry's proposal scene. Yeah Gendry should know better, but he's been through a lot of climaxes lately and he's scared of the dénouement. Maybe they could have delayed the scene a little and threaded the Winterfell scenes together with Gendry still looking for Arya. Like, Gendry awkwardly breaks into the inn scene with Bronn; Tyrion introduces him as the Lord of Storm's End and Bronn, not believing, says, "Well I'm the Lord of fucking Highgarden, kiss my ass." That kind of thing.
    posted by fleacircus at 7:47 AM on May 6 [4 favorites]


    Yeah, I like that too--and it echoes back to their scene years before where he learns she's a start and says he should be bowing to her and calling her M'lady. He jokes, but I think he had real anxiety over that. Whereas Arya was more comfortable with him when his heritage didn't matter. She wants nothing to do with lords and ladies.
    posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:50 AM on May 6 [4 favorites]


    He wasn't. I just rewatched that scene (because, um, hot) and Tyrion was trying to get Brienne drunk, for Jaime, specifically.

    It was Jaime who was making statements that he already knew to be true (e.g. that she was an only child, that she had danced with Renly). And who tried again to get her to drink after he went to her room.

    I can see this, though, jurymast...
    Jaime was specifically harping on about the fact that she didn't take a drink when Tyrion correctly guessed that she was a virgin
    I took it as his saying she hadn't been drinking at all, but that makes sense.
    posted by torticat at 7:56 AM on May 6


    Yeah, Gendry's proposal didn't really kill the ship for me. It was 30% 'I'm smitten', 30% 'we just survived the apocalypse and now we have to go do it all over again maybe?', and 30% 'oh god please help me I have no idea what I'm doing'. So: very on-brand for Gendry.*

    I think he knows that Arya wouldn't want to be a traditional lady of a high house, and I don't think he'd ask that of her; he's certainly not going to fit the mold of a traditional lord. But at the same time, it's clear that he still doesn't really grasp just what Arya's been through since he saw her last, and how that's affected her, which... how could he possibly understand? Shit's bananas, and they've reconnected for all of five minutes.

    *Edit: And 10% 'I'm pretty drunk right now but I've got a great idea, hear me out ok listen - '
    posted by jurymast at 7:56 AM on May 6 [13 favorites]


    It was Jaime who was making statements that he already knew to be true (e.g. that she was an only child, that she had danced with Renly). And who tried again to get her to drink after he went to her room.

    Sure, but it's Tyrion who is doling out extra turns to Jaime (Brienne even calls him on this) and giving the two of them meaningful looks.
    posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:58 AM on May 6 [1 favorite]


    Tyrion mentions in the conversation that he knows that Jon is not a Stark before Sansa says there is someone better to take the Iron Throne. Clearly, Bran told Tyrion ahead of time.

    Nah, Tyrion was just referring to way back (first season) when Jon told him he was not a Stark, but a Snow.
    posted by torticat at 8:00 AM on May 6 [13 favorites]


    Also like. Not to cast a dark shadow over the best gift the show has ever given me, but: the only other person Jaime has ever been with is Cersei. Who is... an alcoholic.

    Maybe he thinks that's just how it goes.
    posted by jurymast at 8:05 AM on May 6 [3 favorites]


    (How badass would it have been for the punch bowl at the feast to feature an iced drink chilled with cubes from the shattered Night King?)
    posted by maxwelton at 8:06 AM on May 6 [15 favorites]


    I was SO blasted glad Arya dismissed Gendry the way she did when he made that proposal. He doesn't seem to get her at all, and honestly I was really never shipping it in the first place. Still hoping mighty hard that there's no unfortunate pregnancy coming up.

    And overall, I loved the first half, but after that second half I almost had to call in sad to work this morning. Was not expecting Rhaegal to go the way he did and was kind of numb for a bit after that (though I loved Varys' scene with Tyrion and am really interested to see where that goes). Felt kind of nauseated after the end of this episode but I can't deny that I'm interested in learning how everything turns out.

    And I pet the heck out of my dog after seeing Jon ditch Ghost like that - bastard, indeed!
    posted by DingoMutt at 8:09 AM on May 6 [3 favorites]


    Hot Pie wheels in a 3x scale meringue replica of the Night King's head, with blueberries for eyes and a frosting crown. Everyone cheers as Arya cuts the cake.
    posted by jurymast at 8:09 AM on May 6 [16 favorites]


    Wait...isn't Pod the perfect man for Sansa? Handsome, brave, honest, pussy-pleaser, no ambitions for power that we can see, good singer, eloquent when he needs to be...a great trophy husband that would let her get on with the business of being Queen of the North.
    posted by maxwelton at 8:17 AM on May 6 [28 favorites]


    If there is an "unfortunate" Arya pregnancy coming up I will find D&D and shiv them myself. That would be so ... sooo, so lazy and dumb. SO lazy and dumb. Argh I'm getting ragey just thinking about it.
    posted by alleycat01 at 8:18 AM on May 6 [9 favorites]


    If there is an "unfortunate" Arya pregnancy coming up I will find D&D and shiv them myself. That would be so ... sooo, so lazy and dumb. SO lazy and dumb. Argh I'm getting ragey just thinking about it.

    I am really, really hoping not. I would also not want a Brienne pregnancy though I feel of the two, she's the more likely. Like I can totally imagine Jaime returning to her (if he doesn't bite it) at the end of the series to find her clutching a baby. And I'm slightly depressed by it, really.
    posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:19 AM on May 6 [2 favorites]


    (How badass would it have been for the punch bowl at the feast to feature an iced drink chilled with cubes from the shattered Night King?)

    I mean I know germ theory isn't a thing in Westeros but yeech everything in me just shudders
    posted by alleycat01 at 8:20 AM on May 6 [5 favorites]


    I'm pretty sure the Faceless Men have simple techniques for ending unwanted pregnancies.

    I'm mostly in this show for Arya now. I really want her to succeed in her final revenge and then disappear to serve the Many-Faced God for the rest of her unnatural but somehow satisfied life.
    posted by Nelson at 8:21 AM on May 6 [10 favorites]


    I mean, judging by the fact that armies have travelled up and down the length of Westeros multiple times and Cersei still isn't even showing yet, I think we can safely say that a pregnant Brienne or Arya wouldn't have to deal with a baby for at least a few years. So there's that.
    posted by jurymast at 8:23 AM on May 6 [13 favorites]


    A pregnant Arya would be stupid and tropey and gross on the part of the writers, but at least on the face of it, the idea of it strangely doesn't bother me? Mostly because I can't picture it going any other way than Arya dropping it off at Storm's End to be raised in a life of comfort by Best Dad Gendry Baratheon, and being like, "Cool, I'm off to fight crime or whatever, see you when I see you."

    Pregnant Brienne, on the other hand... uuuggghhh. Thanks, I hate it.
    posted by jurymast at 8:29 AM on May 6 [8 favorites]


    Okay, so I can't remember if this interview with Gwendoline Christie was linked here or on r/freefolk, but it's really great. I love how invested she is in the character. (Fair warning, she mentions one or two minor things from the books).

    In particular, I appreciated how upset she was about Jaime leaving right after they got together:

    I have no judgment of Cersei but their relationship is dysfunctional. That’s when I went very red. I was very upset and I had to go for a walk.

    So Jaime leaving bothered you far more than the two of them getting together in the first place.

    Yeah. And I know it’s silly. It’s just a character, not a living human being, but I feel for her so deeply. I love that she doesn’t crumble from it. She goes back to work. Because she always loves work — that feels refreshing, a woman can be happy without a companion. Woman don’t have to be defined by their partner and that’s good. But my god. That’s the Game of Thrones, isn’t it? Just when you think things are going to go well it punches you harder than ever in the guts…

    posted by litera scripta manet at 8:30 AM on May 6 [6 favorites]


    Also, how quickly can they swivel and reload those scorpion things? I feel like Dany was right there? Why didn't she have Drogon burn them?

    the ones on the battlements didn’t even have any extra ammunition up on their platforms
    posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 8:32 AM on May 6 [2 favorites]


    Jaime & Brienne got some GREAT scenes in the first couple episodes of the season, including by far the most lauded scene in an otherwise incredibly well-received s0802.

    torticat, that episode was written by Bryan Cogman, who has written some of the best Jaime and Brienne episodes (Oathkeeper), hell, some of the best character-focused episodes in the series. It was also directed by David Nutter, who, since he was also chosen to direct this episode, D&D turns to for the more emotional episodes.

    D&D wrote this episode, and they wrote/directed the last two, so get hype for medieval House of Cards season 6!!!
    posted by facehugger at 8:33 AM on May 6 [5 favorites]


    About Pod, the comment "good singer, eloquent when he needs to be..." got me to thinking: I feel like we haven't actually seen Pod speak this season. I'm pretty sure all he did last night was look at things and smile. Am I just imagining it?

    I mean I know we heard him sing two episodes ago (or do a convincing lip sync) but has he had any lines?
    posted by komara at 8:36 AM on May 6


    I mean I know we heard him sing two episodes ago (or do a convincing lip sync) but has he had any lines?


    That's because Podrick listens.
    posted by Mogur at 8:38 AM on May 6 [29 favorites]


    Try the new Starbucks iced wight mocha!
    posted by guiseroom at 8:38 AM on May 6 [15 favorites]


    Mikki Kendall thread on Twitter about Missandei: “In a show where there are literally only two Black characters how she died had everything to do with race. She had minimal agency in her life & none in her death. My issue isn't that Missandei's death happened. I never expected her & Grey Worm to make it to that beach. My issue is that her death is the one way she said she didn't want to die. She died in chains with no way to defend herself. Lyanna slays a giant. Missandei should have too. If she had died on the beach? Okay. Jumped rather than die in chains? Okay. She gets none of that & her death is played as motivation to push a white girl over the edge. She goes from fledgling character to plot device.“
    posted by larrybob at 8:39 AM on May 6 [77 favorites]


    All the Lannisters have problems with drinking -- Cersei and Tyrion are straight up drunks. Brienne's at the big kids' table trying to drink with them!

    As for why Jaime needed liquid courage and wanted Brienne to have some, too -- I think that Jaime is pretty worried about Brienne realizing that she's too good for him. I think it would break his heart if she despised him again, but he also thinks it's inevitable and so he's panicking.

    I think that's basically why he leaves and goes back to Cersei later. I don't think that he even knows what he's going to do once he's back with his sister, I think he just thinks his fate is sealed, he and Cersei are two halves of one whole, and they'd better all just accept that.

    Yeah, I like that too--and it echoes back to their scene years before where he learns she's a start and says he should be bowing to her and calling her M'lady. He jokes, but I think he had real anxiety over that. Whereas Arya was more comfortable with him when his heritage didn't matter. She wants nothing to do with lords and ladies.

    Yeah, Gendry also has no clue what ladies do or are or what issues Arya might have with the whole concept/identity. The only ladies he even knows personally are Arya and Brienne? In his mind, it's probably as basic as: ladies are noble women and Arya is both noble and a woman, so how is she not a lady?

    In his mind, Arya won't have to slum it with him anymore and they can make it legal, and what crazy serendipity is that?! I think he's just head over heels and excited. He's not going to understand why Arya has mixed feelings about the nobility just like Arya is not going to understand why having legally sanctioned names/titles/relationships would be a big deal for Gendry.
    posted by rue72 at 8:42 AM on May 6 [20 favorites]


    Those numbers don’t add up given last weeks depicted carnage...

    As somebody who spent a meaningful part of her childhood trudging out to the woodpile, and a significant part of the same childhood watching true crime documentaries about all the times some rando thought a casual bonfire with gasoline was hot enough to hide a body -- I had some logistical questions about that.

    Aside from the fact that there weren't nearly enough bodies and pyres, like, like, if you're going to have wood that burns well enough to obliterate mostly-frozen-water, not-particularly-flammable-carbon corpses, it needs to be properly dried out and well-seasoned. I don't care how much kindling you've got packed around it. I don't care if that wood got stuck into a kiln for a hot second. There's a reason proper cremation ovens get up into the 1400 degree range. Bodies are hard to burn, and you need a sustained burn in order to reduce the body down to anything close to ash-with-occasional-bone.

    But if they had that much well-seasoned wood, WHY THE FUCK WASN'T IT USED TO BUILD SHIT TO KEEP THE ICE ZOMBIES OUT LAST WEEK??????????????????

    I know, I know, minor in the grand scheme of things, the show has dragons and ice zombies, why not extra-flammable green wood, but I s2g.
    posted by joyceanmachine at 8:43 AM on May 6 [14 favorites]


    Okay, look, I am precisely as ashamed as I ought to be, but hear me out: Best Dad Gendry Baratheon doting on the apple of his eye, a red-faced, grubby-kneed ragamuffin of indeterminate gender who looks just like Arya, and telling them stories about how their mother saved the world and is basically Batman now.

    Maybe once a year Arya rolls up on whatever the horse equivalent of a motorcycle is, bearing exotic souvenirs that Gendry knows better than to ask how she acquired, or from whom. Checks in on the kiddo's progress. Gets some nookie. Rolls out again with Gendry staring out the window after her, anime hearts still in his eyes.

    Fanartists.............. please.............
    posted by jurymast at 8:44 AM on May 6 [40 favorites]


    Add me to the ranks of viewers disappointed in the bullshit Ghost moment and offended by how they did Missandei. I can’t even get mad about the nonsense logistics and tactical stupidity at this point. D&D are barely a cut above comic books when it comes to that stuff. Like the vision of the snow in the throne room? I wouldn’t assume it had any more significance other than “winter’s coming” and ‘that looks cool.’

    (It’s weird, my estimation of Benioff especially has been lowered by the show. I liked most of his novels from before it. I’m sure he’s laughing all the way to the bank.)

    Surely that Jaime thinks Cersei is pregnant with their child (as does everyone else except Sea Douche) has some impact on his motives? I agree with whoever’s dad that Jaime probably thinks he’s going to save her, though not her reign, but will end up killing her. Then something or someone kills him. Hopefully not Sea Douche. Why do D&D like him so much? I hate his face. So much.

    Maybe Cersei catches Tyrion, has him killed in front of Jaime, and then Jaime kills Cersei?

    Also maybe the Mountain kills the Hound and then Arya kills the Mountain. There was some lampshading about the Hound getting hurt again. It could also go the other way, Mountain unceremoniously smears Arya when she tries to drop in on him, and then cleganebowl happens, but I don’t think D&D are that subversive.

    The whole Stormlands thing: Dany gave it to Gendry in exactly the same way Cersei gave Bronn Riverrun, or Tyrion promised him Highgarden - it only means a damn thing if that ruler wins and can displace or depose whoever holds it currently. And having the last Baratheon acknowledge her rule is as Tyrion pointed out very smart.

    Was Gendry at the mini war council at Dragonstone? I didn’t notice, would have been appropriate and offered some narrative symmetry given all the scenes there with Stennis.

    Presumably the Blackfish is back in Riverrun now.That’s definitely my headcanon and it would have been nice if there writers had tossed in something about that situation like they did by alluding to a new prince in Dorne. Of course Cersei needs what’s left of the Tullys gone if she hangs on and she needs to encourage the Vale to stay bottled up. Telling Bronn to go take the Riverlands with some Lannister or Company backup is a decent way to accomplish that. Getting him to go kill her brothers is arguably the less important task.

    What are we supposed to think is happening with Silly? Are they staying in Winterrun? That’s pretty stupid, Sam should wind up on Dany/Jon’s ruling council. Sam is presumably no longer a Maester (or if he is, could replace Qyburn) or part of the Nights Watch (which—is it going to still exist? Is this even still a Long Winter?)

    Watching the show turn back to dialogue and plotting has me feeling the absence of some of the more interesting characters we’ve lost along the way. I miss the Reeds — mostly Meera. Osha and Ygritte. Oberyn, my sweet summer prince. Loras. Margerie and Olweyna (whose names I have probably misspelled). Others.

    I think I’m mad about Lady Mormont. Her death served no purpose except ticking the GoT does this box in the cheapest way possible, because no plot armor was even nicked. But keeping her alive would have been very interesting for the North/South scheming in the endgame. Honestly, killing Tormund would have been as shocking and foreclosed fewer interesting narrative opportunities.

    I’m feeling very meh about the whole thing and don’t see how the show can wind up in a satisfying way with the time left to do it.
    posted by snuffleupagus at 8:44 AM on May 6 [4 favorites]


    I'm pretty sure the Faceless Men have simple techniques for ending unwanted pregnancies.

    Even the regular Westerosi do. Moon tea the next morning, no big deal.
    posted by rue72 at 8:44 AM on May 6 [11 favorites]


    Harsh light of day, this seems weak despite itself. I actually like most of the narrative decisions the show made. Of course Arya's not gonna be lady of Storm's End! Of course Brienne and Jaime don't play house at Winterfell! Of course Jon can't keep his damn mouth shut! I liked all that.

    I even liked Rheagal getting taken out by Euron. That actually surprised me a little and added some spice to Danny's "I sacrificed to help you" argument with Jon.

    But a few things:

    Why did Drogon not burn a single Greyjoy ship? We got what, five shots of Dany bearing down on Euron? Do dragons have a transmission and she was just too caught up to remember? It's not like we were gona miss out on watching her grimace angrily later.

    Why, exactly, is giving the troops a break a bad thing? Cersei doesn't have allies and the Jon/Dany alliance is gaining them. This is explicitly stated. And the Jon/Dany alliance has the advantage in the field. What's a few weeks to start the seige in the grand scheme of things? Show up with fresh troops and fresh intelligence (although they did know that the Greyjoys had a great fleet and access to weapons that could hurt dragons so let's call that intelligence "as overripe as I'd be comfortable with).
    I realize Sam is a book nerd but I'm astonished he managed to find books to nerd out about since clearly nobody ever reads them ever. In Westeros literacy matters so you can read two sentences that came tied to a bird's leg (A...tweet if you will. Oh God I'm so sorry). I want to say that Sam should be a general but the more I think about it the more a relise there is no reason for anybody in the show to think he'd be good at it since they all probably read at an 8th grade level, tops.

    And now to Missandei. With Rheagal I was actually kind of shocked. And it served something that I could see as a narrative purpose. Now Danny's given up two of her three Dragons for Jon and he broke his promise. Cool we have some tension there. Missandei was fucking pointless. Did we need to make these characters or the audience angry at Cersei? We did not. But now she's dead and Grey Worm can sacrifice himself or live a life of solitude. It's a fucked up way to deal with the last named people of color on your episode and what I consider the narrative equivalent of balking in the walk off.
    posted by East14thTaco at 8:44 AM on May 6 [6 favorites]


    Yeah, Gendry also has no clue what ladies do or are or what issues Arya might have with the whole concept/identity. The only ladies he even knows personally are Arya and Brienne? In his mind, it's probably as basic as: ladies are noble women and Arya is both noble and a woman, so how is she not a lady?

    Also he wants someone to teach him how to be a lord. :( Arya can't, won't, wouldn't wanna.
    posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:45 AM on May 6 [3 favorites]


    Also he wants someone to teach him how to be a lord. :( Arya can't, won't, wouldn't wanna.

    PAGING DR. SANSA/GENDRY
    posted by joyceanmachine at 8:49 AM on May 6 [7 favorites]


    Anyone catch the background scene of Pod offering a consolation threesome to the woman the Hound had just rejected? What a guy.

    Of course Jon didn't pet Ghost. Jon is an undead monster animated by the fell power of the child-killing Red God. Ghost is done with him because Ghost don't fuck around with evil shit like that. No but I do think Jon's ambivalence toward Ghost foreshadows his impending death. Jon Snow is neither a Snow nor a Stark nor a Jon, now. Fucker's toast.

    Bronn was like "I could totally kill you guys, but I'm not gonna, make me a gesture that says we're still cool" and Tyrion's like "you can have the biggest most valuable chunk of real estate in Westeros I guess, p sure Dany will be fine with that" and Bronn's like "sweet, see you around, don't forget I could kill you with my crossbow any time! grr!" and anyway they're all friends and I enjoyed that scene.

    Rhaegal's death happened so suddenly I thought it maybe was a dream sequence but no. We are hardcore setting up the pieces for Mad Queen Dany but the defining theme of the post-books A Song of D&D era has been to hint at shocking turns of events, lack the spine to pull them off, and then throw us a placatory sop of shipper fanservice. But I think they're going to kill her off, so we shall see!

    I still don't think we're entirely done with Bran and winter, but I'm much less hopeful that any interesting subversions of our expectations are forthcoming from this plotline. Or, you know, maybe they'll just have Bran's eyes turn blue in the very last shot of the final episode. Who fucking knows. Cersei should have shot Tyrion and Missandei should have fucked up her little execution tableau in any way she could. Having a little "all our principals are here but we're going to follow the Very Courtly Rules" parley seemed like such a missed opportunity to DO SOMETHING INTERESTING AND IN-CHARACTER but what do I know.
    posted by prize bull octorok at 8:50 AM on May 6 [9 favorites]


    The parley scene would have made so much more sense (character-wise) if Cersei murdered Tyrion then and there, but then spared Missandei.

    Missandei would have been bait to get Dany to storm the Red Keep against her better judgement. And Cersei's been out for Tyrion's blood for a long while.
    posted by rue72 at 8:50 AM on May 6 [14 favorites]


    PAGING DR. SANSA/GENDRY

    I just had the same thought. Also in the original scene where Gendry finds out that Arya is a Stark and she tells him she's not a lady--doesn't she say something like "That's Sansa, that's not me"? I need to rewatch. I can't imagine Sansa anywhere but Winterfell tho.
    posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:54 AM on May 6 [1 favorite]


    Honestly, killing Tormund would have been as shocking and foreclosed fewer interesting narrative opportunities.

    After finding out Tormund is heading north and won’t even be involved with the rest of the conflict, he basically survived for a jealousy joke and to take Ghost off Jon’s hand in last night’s episode. Again, cheapening the stakes last week when survival isn’t for any marginally important plot reason, or even really fan service.
    posted by chris24 at 8:56 AM on May 6 [9 favorites]


    Sansa would be bored by Gendry. She's going to marry another noble who can strategize and gossip with her, and who she thinks is smart/clever. Or, at least as likely, she's not going to marry.
    posted by rue72 at 8:57 AM on May 6 [4 favorites]




    What are we supposed to think is happening with Silly? Are they staying in Winterrun? That’s pretty stupid, Sam should wind up on Dany/Jon’s ruling council. Sam is presumably no longer a Maester (or if he is, could replace Qyburn) or part of the Nights Watch (which—is it going to still exist? Is this even still a Long Winter?)

    Yeah, I wish they could have spelled this out a little more. Sam is definitely not a Maester, since he left before his training was complete. I wonder if he's planning to go back to Horn Hill now that his father and brother are dead? He seemed to be very close to his sister and mother, so I could see him wanting to check on them at the very least. But I don't see why they couldn't take 2 seconds to tell us this.

    Also, Bronn mentions Riverrun, so couldn't we have taken 5 seconds to mention Edmure Tully?

    Actually, from Bronn's perspective, I guess Highgarden might be a better choice than Riverrun. Aside from being a nicer castle, in the show at least, all the Tyrells are apparently dead, whereas Edmure Tully was alive last we saw and he had a son who is alive as far as we know.
    posted by litera scripta manet at 9:12 AM on May 6 [1 favorite]


    Slightly off topic, but I've mentioned/linked to r/freefolk a couple times, and a few other people have as well, so for anyone not familiar with that subreddit, I just wanted to mention that it is filled with spoilers. It has lots of funny memes too, and is pretty decent as subreddits go, but if you go to the main r/freefolk page or read any comments over there, just be prepared for spoilers.
    posted by litera scripta manet at 9:15 AM on May 6 [2 favorites]


    Logically, isn't it impossible that we end up with someone on the Iron Throne who can't reproduce? Much has been made of Danaerys not being able to have (human) children - and who knows how fertile Zomebie!JonSnow is anyway. Without a clear line of succession, there's no way someone new on the throne guarantees peace for Westeros. Fertility is the one thing Cersei has going for her and would be her most effective argument to the people about why she shouldn't be removed. So doesn't it have to be Sansa?
    posted by olinerd at 9:17 AM on May 6 [1 favorite]


    I think Sansa will end up on the Iron Throne. (Particularly because GoT is based on War of Roses, and Sansa seems to be modeled on Elizabeth of York.)
    posted by aielen at 9:23 AM on May 6 [5 favorites]


    It'd be tough for Arya to bring a child into the world. Can you imagine one of the Faceless Men trying to pick a name for a baby? That would go against everything they stand for.
    posted by They sucked his brains out! at 9:24 AM on May 6 [6 favorites]


    Who is this No One? Such a cute widdle No One! Oochie koochie koo, No One!
    posted by Nelson at 9:27 AM on May 6 [14 favorites]


    Without a clear line of succession, there's no way someone new on the throne guarantees peace for Westeros.

    Which is exactly why that is what's going to happen, because ~trope subversion~
    posted by tobascodagama at 9:27 AM on May 6


    I think Sansa will end up on the Iron Throne.

    hisssssssss

    ...perhaps I should clarify

    I could see Sansa ending up ruler of Westeros, but like hell will her royal haunches ever rest upon that gnarly hunk of OSHA-violating scrapyard sculpture. If Sansa wins, watch her hurl the Iron Throne into the sea and move the capital to Winterfell.
    posted by prize bull octorok at 9:33 AM on May 6 [11 favorites]


    Not sure, by the way, what show folks are watching where D&D aren't interested in Jaime and Brienne.

    Well, once you start hate-watching, it tends to spiral.

    We got what, five shots of Dany bearing down on Euron? Do dragons have a transmission and she was just too caught up to remember?

    I read it as Dany needing to get close enough for a "kill shot", but the closer she got, the clearer she saw what was aimed at her ... so at the point of no return, she opted for evasive action ... and survived.

    And speaking of Dany, I don't think she's going to go full "Mad Queen". I think she's going to get very close, but then something/someone/some part of her self will pull her back at the last moment. And then, I suspect she'll be just another participant in the final battle however it plays out.

    I do think that the end result will be destruction of the Iron Throne (perhaps this will be Dany's final dragon act) ... and then NOBODY gets to be King-Queen-whatever, the end of a brutal age, and good riddance

    posted by philip-random at 9:36 AM on May 6 [1 favorite]


    I read it as Dany needing to get close enough for a "kill shot", but the closer she got, the clearer she saw what was aimed at her ... so at the point of no return, she opted for evasive action ... and survived.

    you're describing the writers' approach toward interesting plot developments

    And speaking of Dany, I don't think she's going to go full "Mad Queen". I think she's going to get very close, but then something/someone/some part of her self will pull her back at the last moment. And then, I suspect she'll be just another participant in the final battle however it plays out.

    QED
    posted by prize bull octorok at 9:39 AM on May 6 [3 favorites]


    Missandei's death felt arbitrary and gratuitous. It served no useful purpose.

    There's still a bunch of unsullied who are now gonna be pretty enthusiastic about slaughtering some westerosi bigots.
    posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 9:51 AM on May 6 [1 favorite]


    Cersei's watching this go down, doing how she do, when SHABAM! Widow's Wail, right through her back.

    That might indeed cause the widow to wail. Probably not in the sense Joffrey had in mind when he named it.
    posted by ricochet biscuit at 10:12 AM on May 6 [1 favorite]


    Missandei's death felt arbitrary and gratuitous. It served no useful purpose.

    It was Cersei signaling to her mortal enemy that she would allow Dany to leave the superior attack position Cersei had, so that Dany could battle her another day.
    posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:16 AM on May 6 [2 favorites]


    Most of the Targaryens that went "mad" suffered severe paranoia, yet here we have her Hand, her next closest advisor, her nephew, and the most powerful women in the North all actively plotting against Danaerys. The Baratheons, Lannisters, and Starks all broke oath on a lie, are terrible leaders, and murdered her brother, who by all accounts would have been a great king. So burn the lot, Dany.
    posted by Brocktoon at 10:23 AM on May 6 [8 favorites]


    Both Dany and Bran have a vision of the throne room in KL filled with snow. I originally thought that meant winter was coming to KL. Now I think it means a Stark will sit on the Iron Throne.

    Or indeed Snow on the throne.
    posted by ricochet biscuit at 10:39 AM on May 6 [7 favorites]


    The Baratheons, Lannisters, and Starks all broke oath on a lie, are terrible leaders, and murdered her brother, who by all accounts would have been a great king.

    Right--that would have been Rhaegar Targaryen, who failed to depose his father peacefully, and cheated on his actual wife with Lyanna Stark, thus ensuring pretty much every single bad thing that we've seen in the show (except for the Night King, and even then a unified Westeros would have been vastly better prepared and able to fight off the invasion, especially without NK having a zombie ice dragon to take down the Wall). Prince of a guy.
    posted by Halloween Jack at 11:04 AM on May 6 [9 favorites]


    All this talk about how much wood it took for the funeral pyres and no one mentions that they could have made one big pile and burned them all with DRAGONFYRE!

    I don't think Arya will have anything to do with Cersei or Dany -- she's there for Cleganebowl --either the mountain kills her and in a rage the Hound kills him, or the Mountain fells Gregor and then Arya does him a treat while the hound lays dying at her feet.

    I think the Iron throne burns in wild/dragonfire and is no more in the end
    posted by OHenryPacey at 11:10 AM on May 6 [7 favorites]


    I think Varys is going to lead a coup against whoever gets the throne, if he doesn't succeed in getting the rulers to all just murder each other first. I think he's done with his little birds just like Sansa is done being one. Always sowing discord, that one. I'd watch out for him if I were Tyrion, but I think it's like Bronn said and the nobles are socially insulated and rapt up in their own games and have kind of bought their own hype and just aren't on the lookout for shit like that anymore.
    posted by rue72 at 11:11 AM on May 6 [3 favorites]


    One thing I keep thinking about with Gendry and Arya is that they're so young. Contrast with Jaime and Brienne who are adults - not very emotionally fluent adults, but adults all the same. They understand each other and are part of a larger game while the two younger lovers can't and aren't, Arya killing the Night King notwithstanding. This contrast has really been driven home for me with their parallel romances this season, even given how parallel they have been. Jaime knighting Brienne is such a strong moment, because there's a depth there and an understanding of what Brienne truly desires that the younger couple just can't have yet. Gendry doesn't get what Arya truly desires, because he's young and he just got a lordship and he thinks he's finally worthy of her and he just doesn't have the perspective yet to realize the title doesn't really matter. (Still going to keep riding both these ships, and I actually have more hope for Gendrya - I think Jaime has too much narrative baggage with Cersei, and that his story will lend with hers somehow.)
    posted by cosmic owl at 11:13 AM on May 6 [4 favorites]


    Or, at least as likely, she's not going to marry.

    That would line up with the Elizabethan storyline that Sansa might be on.
    posted by They sucked his brains out! at 11:13 AM on May 6 [3 favorites]


    Oh and I don't think Varys would lead the coup because HE wants to be on the throne, I think he just is very focused on reshaping Westeros in the way he thinks it should be -- and brutal, totalitarian feudalism is emphatically not how he thinks it should be. The guy is all about just distribution of resources and there's an inherent egalitarianism in that, which I think is never going to pair well with a monarchy of any type, let alone an inherited one.
    posted by rue72 at 11:14 AM on May 6 [2 favorites]


    strategize and gossip with her, and who she thinks is smart/clever. Or, at least as likely, she's not going to marry.

    Sansa is going to marry someone who is not a threat, but who brings an alliance to Winterfell. Could be a Tyrion who betrays Dany for Jon, Casterly Rock is presumably still a powerhouse. It also could be why they added that throwaway “prince of Dorne” line, so that he can be a husband for Sansa.
    posted by corb at 11:16 AM on May 6 [3 favorites]


    The title of the episode should be "Last of the Starks that want to be a ruler". Sansa is the only one. Jon doesn't want to be, Arya doesn't since she is an assassin, Bran doesn't want it since he is the raven now.
    posted by metafus at 11:20 AM on May 6


    I don't think Sansa would agree to being Queen of the Seven Kingdoms at this point, not unless it was offered on a silver platter with the promise that she'd never have walk an inch south of the Neck.

    Sansa's character always seemed to want to be married and have kids, so I'd be sad if it never happened. That said...ideally, she'd end up with the beloved younger son of one of a powerful family from outside the North, that is, someone who will benefit her without serious risk of outstripping her authority in Winterfell.
    posted by grandiloquiet at 11:21 AM on May 6 [2 favorites]


    (what I mean to say is devolution, devolution, devolution -- Sansa wants to be Queen of the North, not queen of a bunch of randos who will constantly be plotting against her)
    posted by grandiloquiet at 11:25 AM on May 6 [2 favorites]


    There will not be an Iron Throne by the end of the last episode.
    posted by East14thTaco at 11:26 AM on May 6 [2 favorites]


    I don't think Arya will have anything to do with Cersei or Dany -- she's there for Cleganebowl

    I still say Arya kills The Mountain before Cleganebowl even gets a chance to happen. Or she would if the showrunners had any real guts (as opposed to playing at having guts by killing off non-white characters, which is of course the very least gutsy thing they could possibly do).
    posted by tobascodagama at 11:28 AM on May 6


    The parley scene would have made so much more sense (character-wise) if Cersei murdered Tyrion then and there, but then spared Missandei.

    The parley only makes sense if you think Tyrion is Charlie Brown and Cersei is Lucy.
    posted by srboisvert at 11:37 AM on May 6 [3 favorites]


    He's been super inconsistent these last seasons, but I really liked seeing Varys really spider-it-up last night. He is not someone we should trust.

    I don't think it's been linked here yet, so the Books-only whole season thread is here if you want to speculate on how the revealed plot this ep will affect things.
    posted by Wulfhere at 11:42 AM on May 6 [2 favorites]


    The parley only makes sense if you think Tyrion is Charlie Brown and Cersei is Lucy.
    Is it giving the writers too much credit if I think the parley makes sense because Tyrion wanted to make sure everyone knows Jaime's the father? He may not have known that Euron is who she'd have picked for the fake, but he'd have known that setting somebody up would be her play, and that somebody would probably be at the parley.
    posted by rhamphorhynchus at 11:56 AM on May 6


    Yes, I do believe that's giving the writers too much credit. I think they're done with the series and just writing things up to finish up the story, logic be damned.
    posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:02 PM on May 6 [12 favorites]


    Cersei the character is in her mid-40s...I don't know about medieval times, but even in our modern world it's not all that common for women of that age to bear children without medical assistance, is it? That's the piece of Meth Sea Ramsay I don't get, though he may just be ignorant about pregnancy in general...Cersei, in her society, is Grandma aged, and not someone it's going to be easy to father a prince with.

    Then again, time and its passage, and its effects, aren't the show's strong suit...
    posted by maxwelton at 12:03 PM on May 6


    I get why people are cringing at the idea of Arya being pregnant, but that would set up a "Lone Direwolf and Cub" spinoff series, so...
    posted by Uncle Ira at 12:04 PM on May 6 [8 favorites]


    HBO Exec: "Let's talk about what you guys have in development. You had a blank check, up until that terrible Confederacy thing. The bosses at AT&T want fresh ideas."

    D&D: "We're super buzzed about this next project. It's an animated GoT spinoff we call George RR Martin's Faceless Babies, where a cult of baby assassins steal hearts and cut throats."

    HBO: "Okay, I'm liking this, I'm liking this. Tell me more."

    D&D: "Arya Stark is the matriarch of this badass Braavosi band, teaching infants over the season how to infiltrate a family, look cute, get diapers changed, and then—wham! It's all over for mommy and daddy."

    HBO: "Sounds like a one-and-done season."

    D&D: "Think of the crossover potential with Sesame Street. The merch alone would dwarf streaming revenue. We could get Disney in on a theme park ride. Ramin Djawadi could collaborate with The Wiggles on soundtrack."

    HBO: "Okay, this could be epic."
    posted by They sucked his brains out! at 12:07 PM on May 6 [2 favorites]


    I think in the books Ned was in his mid-30s, so I'd assume Cersei was the same or even a bit younger. (In the books, EVERYBODY was much younger. I think Dany was 13 at the very beginning of the series ... but clearly, thankfully, the show aged everyone up for reasons of EW YUCK.)
    posted by alleycat01 at 12:08 PM on May 6 [1 favorite]


    (Which would still make her at least mid-late 30s even in show lore, since in theory they're supposed to be aging a year per season, right?)
    posted by alleycat01 at 12:10 PM on May 6


    Multiple times, Brienne is shown just snoozing away while Jaime ponders, paces, leaves? Come on. She's undoubtedly a light sleeper even when hungover, given her job.

    Do the rest of the Starks and the rest of the leadership know anything about Arya being an assassin, or do they think that she nailed the Night King through grit and luck, kind of like Lyanna Mormont? I know everyone tends to fall back into their childhood roles at home, but I feel like they're all pretty dismissive of her, "hero" toast aside.

    Not sure why Dany and Jon didn't come up with the radical plan to marry and rule jointly themselves, or why them being blood relations is suddenly such a touchy topic for their advisors. Oh noes, the northerners don't have a cultural history of intermarriage...well, they don't have a culture of crowning a bastard as king, or trusting Targaryens or dragons, or fighting aside Wildlings/Free Folk, or many other things that they have done as of late.

    That whole "marching on King's Landing right NOW" strategy was so goddamn stupid that even the actors were rolling their eyes at the plot, methinks. Exhausted, more-than-decimated army sets out over all reasonable objections, then the dragons' suddenly-faulty ignitions fail to take down a single ship, then they fall for Cersei's spectacle of using Missandei as bait for...DID Y'ALL REALLY THINK CERSEI WOULD JUST TALK IT OUT?
    posted by desuetude at 12:15 PM on May 6 [4 favorites]


    GoT spinoff ideas, if they were all reality shows
    * Baking Memories - cooking show, starring The Hero of Westeros, Hot Pie. Guest episode with Arya Stark was a little rough, and the Frey Pie a bit...crunchy
    * This Old House of the Undying - a hybrid home makeover/hallucinogen exploration show starring a blue-lipped Bob Villa, Pyat Pree.
    * (cancelled due to voice issues) The Voice - Starring Petyr Baelish
    * Undercover Queen - Cersei goes into Fleabottom and takes on a variety of service roles to see how King's Landing works from the other side. Listens to the voice of the common folk. Caution: every episode ends with executions.
    * Westeros Idol - Tune in Thursday...will Poderick Payne win? Will he go back to his bread-and-butter ballad "Jenny's Song", or will he make the audience and panel of judges SUPER uncomfortable in the locked studio and belt out "Rains of Castamere"?
    * Big Brother: Crypt Edition - this time the popular reality show turns its rules on its head. Rather than people trying to stay in the house, instead everyone tries, desperately, to leave the "safest place". Starring Tyrion Lannister, Varys, Gillie, Lyanna Stark (ewwwww), most of Ned Stark (eewwwww), and a LOT of terrified peasants.
    posted by mcstayinskool at 12:21 PM on May 6 [9 favorites]


    (Which would still make her at least mid-late 30s even in show lore, since in theory they're supposed to be aging a year per season, right?)

    I think so, but that doesn't always make a hell of a lot of sense. Season 2, for instance, seems to take place at most over the course of a month or two.
    posted by Navelgazer at 12:22 PM on May 6


    Rhaegar's infidelity is a poor measure of his ability to rule the kingdoms, especially when measured against the brutality of Robert Baratheon and duplicity of Tywin Lannister. If we're going that route, we should blame Tywin's hatred of little people for the state of recent events.
    posted by Brocktoon at 12:24 PM on May 6


    So: very on-brand for Gendry.

    "Row away with me, my love..."
    posted by chimpsonfilm at 12:24 PM on May 6 [1 favorite]


    > Cersei the character is in her mid-40s...I don't know about medieval times, but even in our modern world it's not all that common for women of that age to bear children without medical assistance, is it? That's the piece of Meth Sea Ramsay I don't get, though he may just be ignorant about pregnancy in general...Cersei, in her society, is Grandma aged, and not someone it's going to be easy to father a prince with.

    It's not so complicated for women to bear children that late if they have been having children one after the other. In my grandparents' generation where 10 or so siblings was still common, mothers were easily in their 40s by the time their youngest kids were born.

    It's still a little farfetched since her youngest wasn't exactly a small child when he died, but I don't know how much they aged up Cersei's kids for television purposes.
    posted by desuetude at 12:26 PM on May 6 [5 favorites]


    Do the rest of the Starks and the rest of the leadership know anything about Arya being an assassin

    Bran knows (everything), doesn't show much of an opinion (on anything). Sansa knows, at least to an extent. Arya helped her bring down Littlefinger and showed off some skill. Jon probably has no idea, beyond that she defeated Brienne in sparring.

    Of all the most unbelievable things in the show, the immediate march south was easily the most ridiculous. Long marches themselves are fatiguing; and there's no way Cersei gathers more allies faster than news spreads that the Queen of Dragons saved Westeros from the Long Winter. Queen or not, her advisors all should have insisted on a period of rest.

    Then again, the whole thing should be a siege on King's Landing rather than an invasion. Daenerys wouldn't have lost her dragon and her ships if they'd prepared a blockade rather than attempted a landing. The proper strategy is just to starve out Cersei and let her stew in the city that's already once turned against her.

    Daeny isn't going to "turn into a mad queen," she already is showing the signs.
    posted by explosion at 12:26 PM on May 6 [6 favorites]


    So a few thoughts and predictions:
    • The Stark children leaving their direwolves is always cruel, and a signifier of change. Think of Arya driving away Nymeria, or Robb locking up Grey Wind at the Twins, essentially abandoning his Northern roots, which leads to his death. I'm not sure what Jon leaving Ghost to the North means, but it's probably not good.
    • Why oh why has no-one on Team Dany tried to negotiate separately with the Iron Bank? There's a long, long history of mercenary armies turning on the army that hosts them, for all kinds of reasons. It could be as simple as telling Mycroft "look, we have two legitimate claimants to the throne, one enormous dragon, and most of Westeros on our side. Cersei can't make payments on what she owes you. How much is the Golden Company costing you per month?"
    • Were we supposed to believe that the two squares of Unsullied represented all of Dany's remaining forces? That's not enough to maintain a siege, let alone resist a determined attack.
    Predictions for the last two episodes, since D&D mostly seem to be making dumb moves before the endgame:
    • Jamie tries to kill Cersei, but fails, and is killed. He doesn't die nobly or well.
    • Dany learns of Vary's plotting and keeps to her word, burning him alive for treason. This becomes the motivation for Tyrion finally abandoning her and joining Jon.
    • As her allies die, leave or betray her Dany becomes increasingly paranoid, impulsive and cruel. She has some sort of redemptive moment at the end in which she sacrifices herself, destroying both her and Drogon in the process (and probably, finally, taking out SeaRamsey).
    • Cleganebowl happens. Both brothers die in the fight.
    • Arya sneaks into King's Landing and takes Jamie's face. As the Red Keep crumbles around her, an increasingly unstable Cersei is stunned to see her brother impossibly alive. Arya uses the opportunity to kill her, fulfilling the prophecy and finishing off her list, before returning to Bravos.
    • Tyrion survives, returning to Winterfell to be with Sansa. (There was a lot of eye-action going on during the banquet this episode)
    • The kingdom recognizes that you should never go full Targ. Jon reluctantly takes the Iron Throne, the loneliest, saddest, and prettiest boy to ever rule.

    posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 12:40 PM on May 6 [14 favorites]


    I'm not sure what Jon leaving Ghost to the North means, but it's probably not good.

    He's giving up the Ghost.

    Please recall that Rickon's wolf was named "Shaggydog."
    posted by prize bull octorok at 12:43 PM on May 6 [8 favorites]


    I don't care if that wood got stuck into a kiln for a hot second. There's a reason proper cremation ovens get up into the 1400 degree range

    I know ceremony and ritual is important, but I think there would have been a way to present a ceremonial dragoning of the battlefield as a fitting and respectful send off. Effective, AND doesn't exhaust your people further by making them stack their only remaining building supplies.
    posted by Jon Mitchell at 12:45 PM on May 6 [3 favorites]


    Throne picks:
    1.) nobody
    2.) technically nobody on the iron throne but still a ruler of a united Westeros. Someone like Sansa, maybe?
    3.) (distantly) legitimized Gendry Baratheon? Or is that even a thing?
    posted by atoxyl at 12:57 PM on May 6 [1 favorite]


    Cersei and Daeny somehow get through the last battle but soon after both die in childbirth setting up the end credits scene (there are five, count'em five follow on properties)

    Ariel view of the few industrious living people of Westeros working to rebuild. The view zooms into a partially rebuilt castle tower. We see a royal nursery with many maids bustling about and a medieval like playroom with several toddlers. An aging small man is showing off the children. We see a tiny yet very nimble toddler wielding a toy sword towards a giant of a baby with a rattle like a big hammer. Another small boy baby is listening to attentively to a tiny princess babble on.

                                                                                           TYRON

    Welcome to the royal nursery, they say you've brought presents.

    The mysterious strangers from across the seas present a gilded box . Tryon carefully lifts the lid revealing a large stone in the shape of an egg.

                                                                                     FADE TO BACK

                                                                                     ROLLING TITLE

                                                                                      The Adventures

                                                                                              of the

                                                                              Baby Heroes of Westeros

                                                                                          Will Return

                                                                                           SPRING
                                                                                              2022
    posted by sammyo at 12:59 PM on May 6 [3 favorites]


    Ugh, I keep thinking how weird and sad it is that this was the first time Jaime had ever been with anyone other than his sister.
    posted by rue72 at 1:02 PM on May 6 [15 favorites]


    And his reaction was to recoil and collapse into self-loathing. What a disappointment. I expect mockery for saying this, but... I used to think Jaime was kind of a cool character, in that way that shameless villains can be, and that he was all the more interesting and cool for having smartened up. It seemed like he had come to terms with his own bad acts as well. And suddenly this. It's difficult for me not to take it personally on Brienne's behalf.

    It hardly makes sense to me because he's gotten basically nothing but abuse or a cold shoulder from Cersei for a while now, unless she wants something. It felt like Jaime knew that, too.

    I think when he was leaving, his performance (as actor and character) suggested that he meant and felt all of that. If you all are right, and it is an act of knight-on-knight chivalry, then that undermines this idea that their status is equal, and the mutual respect that undergirds their relationship.

    I can't imagine a way to view this that isn't really sad for both of them.

    I guess that I as an audience member had come to accept him, so it sucks out loud that he's apparently decided he doesn't accept himself anymore.
    posted by heatvision at 1:31 PM on May 6 [5 favorites]


    Ugh, I keep thinking how weird and sad it is that this was the first time Jaime had ever been with anyone other than his sister.

    Nikolaj Coster-Waldau is honestly this entire series' stand-out performance. Watching the emotions playing out across his face as he described the monstrous things he'd done for Cersei was harrowing. They're twins. They were raised together. The books apparently imply that they started experimenting as children. Jaime joined the Kingsguard at 16 so he'd never be wed to anyone else; not long after, Cersei was married to Robert, placing them both in King's Landing. And - the events of the show aside - there they've been, more or less ever since. All that time, barely ever apart. Barely ever free of Cersei's influence.

    All things considered, I'm not much expecting it - but god, I really want him to live.
    posted by jurymast at 1:36 PM on May 6 [19 favorites]


    I don't really have high hopes for the rest of the series, but I will be thrilled if the end is some kind of out-of-left-field deus ex machina ending. Modern people from West-of-Westeros, a suddenly-resurgent Valyria with fleets of dragons, aliens, Bran gives every living person amnesia of the last 10 years -- any of these would be great.
    posted by clockzero at 1:38 PM on May 6 [5 favorites]


    Yeah, Varys is being pretty delicious here.

    Put him in a Saville Row suit and he's Humphry Appleby.
    posted by atrazine at 1:47 PM on May 6 [3 favorites]


    Rhaegar's infidelity is a poor measure of his ability to rule the kingdoms

    Infidelity isn't the problem here; Robert had bastards-a-plenty. (Gendry may have survived simply because the list was so long.) And kings don't have to handle much in the way of administration; their Hands do that. Mostly, what they have to do is a) not fuck up the front-facing politics too badly, and b) produce an heir and keep them and themselves alive at least until the heir is old enough to take over. Rhaegar failed spectacularly on both counts, running off with not just any mistress but Lyanna Stark, sans explanation, and leaving his wife and heir to the throne behind to suffer Gregor Clegane's tender mercies.
    posted by Halloween Jack at 1:48 PM on May 6 [1 favorite]


    It was Jaime who was making statements that he already knew to be true (e.g. that she was an only child, that she had danced with Renly).

    I just watched an hour of Jaime/Brienne scenes (because what else do i have to do with my life lolol) and whether she's an only child is one of the first things he asks her when he's her captive. And she never answers! So maybe he didn't know that. She does try to claim that she told him, but apparently not.
    posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 1:51 PM on May 6 [5 favorites]


    FWIW, I don't think it was only self-loathing. His reaction to hearing that Dany was down a dragon and much of her fleet, and that suddenly there was a very real possibility that Cersei might win, was visceral. He was struggling to articulate it to Brienne; "She's hateful. And so am I," I took to be a causative link. He recognises Cersei and her influence as a poison.

    In the behind-the-scenes, one of the writers apparently described Jaime as 'addicted' to Cersei, and - I think that's an apt sort of way of describing it. He recognises that he will never be truly free of her. That, like an addiction, her influence and the way she's in his head is something he will always be fighting against. Even if he stays in Winterfell, even if she loses, even if she is executed while carrying his child. He feels like - beside the fact that he is one of the only two people capable of getting close enough to her to cut her down and prevent yet more catastrophic loss of life - the only way he can truly and decisively exorcise her is if he kills her himself.

    tl;dr he needs to symbolically cut her out of his soul with a very real and literal sword.
    posted by jurymast at 1:55 PM on May 6 [12 favorites]


    Varys is being pretty delicious here

    I'm sure Drogon will find him just as delicious.
    posted by They sucked his brains out! at 2:03 PM on May 6 [1 favorite]


    is there a Jaime and Brienne supercut

    asking for a friend
    posted by jurymast at 2:04 PM on May 6 [2 favorites]


    Here's one of s2-4. Enjoy the next hour. :D
    posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 2:06 PM on May 6 [7 favorites]


    tl;dr he needs to symbolically cut her out of his soul with a very real and literal sword.

    I'm not sure I like that, or the implication that Jaime is a victim with no agency in the twincesting and all the murderous acts that flowed therefrom. I mean, fine and dandy if he kills her, but like, becoming sex friends with an awkward person and murdering your erstwhile partner-in-crime is some weak-ass redemption tea.
    posted by prize bull octorok at 2:08 PM on May 6 [10 favorites]


    Here’s my ending, that will 100% never happen:

    Arya sneaks into King’s Landing and assassinates Cersei using Qyburn’s face. Euron tries to claim the throne. The Golden Company is having none of this. They kill Euron and seize King’s Landing on behalf of the Iron Bank. Dany sees the futility of it all—there’s always a new despot sprouting up to replace the old one. She finds out about the stores of wildfire beneath King’s Landing and, going full Targ, decides to torch the place. Jamie finds out about this plan and tries to stop her. He grabs a ballista and shoots her and Drogon out of the sky (the Kingslayer becomes the Queenslayer). But it’s too late; the fires are already burning. With her dying breath she whispers the word “Dracarys” and King’s Landing explodes in green fire, taking the Iron Throne with it. The Seven Kingdoms split, with Sansa ruling in the north, Dorne ruling in the south, and Tyrion ruling Casterly Rock. Jon Snow isn’t around because he died at some point doing something brave and utterly stupid. Bran, who saw all of this ahead of time but didn’t bother to tell anyone, goes off to live in a cave and stare at things. The End.
    posted by dephlogisticated at 2:11 PM on May 6 [9 favorites]


    I think the Jaime/Cersei situation is an interesting parallel to the Night King battle, in that after hearing the report from the front, Jaime thinks the only real chance of victory is to kill Cersei. He thinks the only person who can accomplish that is him. He can’t imagine anyone other than himself able to talk his way into position to kill her (he knows how tight her security is, the kind of protections she puts in place, that Tyrion’s diplomacy won’t work on her, etc). He is wrestling with this idea (accurate or not) that he’s the only one who can win this fight—and maybe part of his disgust at himself as “hateful” is that in doing so, he’ll be killing not just his own sister but also his own unborn child, and it will benefit a family enemy. He doesn’t want Brianne involved in this murky, dangerous situation or to know he’s made this shades-of-gray decision (as far as we know he didn’t tell her about the baby, which is kind of yikes to me!), so he tries to just cut her off. (Not the most thoughtful thing to do given that she’s an adult who can make her own choices.)
    posted by sallybrown at 2:18 PM on May 6 [3 favorites]


    Oh, I'm certainly not saying that he's only a victim, or that he had no agency in any of it - like he literally spells out that he did these things voluntarily for/to get back to/etc. Cersei. And his love for his sister doesn't exactly bathe him in glory - aside from, you know, the incest thing. He's enamoured with her, fiercely and intensely - but doesn't really give two shits about their children, for the most part.

    But I think it's also fair to say that Cersei had a lot stronger and more pervasive an influence on him than the reverse; as above, he's loved her obsessively, and never even been with another woman, while her attachment to him has often been much more... utilitarian.

    Anyway, sorry if I'm not articulating myself especially coherently - I am Somewhat Medicated, and just sort of meditating on the way that a toxic upbringing, toxic attitudes, being perennially in the orbit of a toxic but charismatic person, etc. etc., can be a real lasting mindfuck, even when you totally bought into all of it.

    Deprogramming is no joke.
    posted by jurymast at 2:23 PM on May 6 [4 favorites]


    prize bull octorok, I agree. Not to be that person once again, but the last time Jaime and Cersei interact in the books, she sends him a letter asking for his help, and he drops the letter into flames and continues on plowing his own path. The tragedy of Jaime Lannister so far has been how connected he is with his sister - if he ends up murdering her, or, ye gods, if it ends up being a murder-suicide, it still fits neatly into their romantic-tragic-we-are-destined-for-each-other toxicity. What would more truly underline his progress is for him to continue to completely decouple himself from Cersei entirely - to realize that he isn't trapped with only Cersei, and he isn't trapped with only being the Kingslayer.

    Jaime Lannister, existential dabbler, first of his kind!
    posted by facehugger at 2:24 PM on May 6 [5 favorites]


    I'm not sure I like that, or the implication that Jaime is a victim with no agency in the twincesting and all the murderous acts that flowed therefrom. I mean, fine and dandy if he kills her, but like, becoming sex friends with an awkward person and murdering your erstwhile partner-in-crime is some weak-ass redemption tea.

    I don't know maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan she's suuuuuuuuuuch a narcissist and one thing narcissists do is coercion and emotional manipulation and convincing people they are just like the narcissist as a way to remain in control over them.
    posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 2:29 PM on May 6 [8 favorites]


    Oh, I'm certainly not saying that he's only a victim, or that he had no agency in any of it

    right, but I don't trust the show to handle the resolution of this narrative arc with nuance

    [Jaime kills Cersei]

    [Credits roll]

    [Cut to after-show commentary, D&D look directly into the camera]

    D&D: THIS SCENE SHOWS THAT JAIME IS A GOOD GUY NOW.

    ^that's what I'm afraid of.
    posted by prize bull octorok at 2:31 PM on May 6 [13 favorites]


    So what project is Qyburn working on now, do you think? I mean, he's said that his weakness isn't "boys" (or "girls") but a fascination with what amounts to life and death (and using people to experiment on). He brought The Mountain back to life, but that's like a kindergarten art project compared to the wights and the Night King. He was clearly enthralled by the wight that he saw.

    It's not like he doesn't have some spare time handing for Cersei.

    If anyone is going to re-create the Night King...or Queen, it's Qyburn. I can easily see Cersei tasking him with "immortality" and the end result being him turning her into the next Dark Magic Threat Everyone Will Be Fighting For A Very Long Time.
    posted by maxwelton at 2:35 PM on May 6 [9 favorites]


    Agreed, sallybrown. Including the part about his not telling her about the baby, an omission that was kinda ominously hanging over their scenes together.

    However, I really believe it is possible that, with Cersei dead, Brienne might be able to persuade Jaime that he is redeemable. I don't care what Gwendolyn Christie or the showrunners say (they would say it in any case), there is simply no way that Jaime is genuinely returning to Cersei like some kind of addiction. He's going back to cut her down; he might be thinking of it as a suicide mission (I doubt it will be), but he is definitely hoping to go out while continuing his attempt to rectify past mistakes (Cersei being the very worst of them). There is No. Way. that he could make an about face so complete, at this point, that he would actually return to Cersei in order to save or support her, fucking over not only Brienne but Tyrion too, as well as all of Kings Landing.
    posted by torticat at 2:36 PM on May 6 [3 favorites]


    Arya sneaks into King’s Landing and assassinates Cersei using Qyburn’s face.

    I've considered this (their size wouldn't be such a bad match), but not as a means to assassinate Cersei so much as the Mountain. With him down and out, pretty much anyone could help Cersei to the end of her reign.
    posted by philip-random at 2:41 PM on May 6


    D&D: THIS SCENE SHOWS THAT JAIME IS A GOOD GUY NOW.

    prize bull octorok what apt D&D fanfic you write
    posted by facehugger at 2:48 PM on May 6 [2 favorites]


    I wrote a whole thing here about a situation I once was in with a sociopathic narcissist, but it was weird and personal, oops. The long and the short of it is that I did shitty things to others in that whole circle - both because I was afraid of being on the wrong end of said narcissist's abuse, but also because I wanted to be The Favourite.

    And yes, they were a skilled and brilliant manipulator, and yes, tried and true abuse/culty control tactics, and so on - but I still did those things. Voluntarily! Because it felt good when they paid attention to me. And even with apologies and reconciliations and a few good years between myself and that time, it's still something I feel disgusting and ashamed over. And I still don't feel totally over it all sometimes - and this was absolutely the most mundane, small-fry kind of situation compared to the sheer scale of wars and rebellions and incest and kings and queens and dragons.

    So the degree to which Jaime is still all kinds of complicatedly fucked up over Cersei feels very real to me.
    posted by jurymast at 2:52 PM on May 6 [18 favorites]


    Jaime's been faithful to Cersei his whole life, and he just betrayed her for the first time ever by sleeping with another woman. I think he feels scared/shocked/shaken by himself, but also empowered. Like, OK, maybe he CAN stand up to Cersei for real.

    I think he feels guilty both for betraying her and for all the times he should have betrayed her and didn't, like when he crippled Bran "for love." Now he's trying to make up for the latter but the former is still tormenting him.

    I'm not sure that if it comes down to killing Cersei, that Jaime can really do it. It would be like killing a part of his own soul. So I guess he'd better stoke the flames of self-loathing a little more if he's really going to try?
    posted by rue72 at 2:59 PM on May 6 [5 favorites]


    Remember that wearing someone's face is "glamour magic", isn't it? Like my girl Melisandre's choker, that hid her true age (call me, M, all is forgiven...but be a love, bring the necklace).

    I have not read the books, but all evidence in the show seems to show that by wearing someone's face, you completely fool everyone who sees you into thinking they're hanging with that person...so Arya can use the face of someone seven feet tall and be utterly convincing while doing so.

    So if you fight or touch or kiss or bone down with someone wearing a face, I'd imagine the glamour still holds.
    posted by maxwelton at 3:03 PM on May 6 [6 favorites]


    I’m going with Sansa taking Cersei down. I just can’t make it work logistically.

    I’ve been wanting Sansa to be the one ever since Cersei was the Mean Girl way back when.

    I think if I can maneuver Sansa to within striking distance of Cersei, she’ll do it with poison.
    posted by sundrop at 3:29 PM on May 6


    Nikolaj Coster-Waldau is honestly this entire series' stand-out performance.

    He and Lena Headey are the best of the leads IMO which is why I do want to see them get their tragic fated ending.

    (even though Jaime probably has gotten more compelling moments without Cersei than with her)
    posted by atoxyl at 3:34 PM on May 6


    Remember that wearing someone's face is "glamour magic", isn't it?

    I feel like the show is entertainingly unclear on this. I know that at first, I always assumed it was a form of glamour magic - to take someone's face, you kill them and e.g. use their face in some kind of ritual that adds it to your magic 'database'. And I continued in this assumption... right up until characters started waving around actual literal floppy skin Buffalo Bill face masks.

    It must be glamour magic, because having the stealthiest assassins in the world wandering around wearing rubbery halloween mask lookin' things makes no sense. But... *gestures at D&D*
    posted by jurymast at 3:35 PM on May 6 [6 favorites]


    And his reaction was to recoil and collapse into self-loathing. What a disappointment.

    I may not trust D&D, but I do trust the actor - so I think he's found something that makes sense for his character, a way that this whole thing works, and I think that you've actually hit it on the head - that this is self-loathing.

    I believe that he loves Brienne. I believe he loves Brienne and wants to be worthy of Brienne. But I don't think that he believes he can be. I think it's a lot easier for him to fight a doomed battle against a thousand wights than it is for him to take the first steps towards being in a healthy relationship. What does that look like? What does it look like for him to live being a good man, each and every day, day in and day out, when not in mortal danger? What does it take for him to have a healthy reaction, when he's never learned how?

    It reminds me a lot of men who break up with women before the women break up with them, as if they feel they've protected some aspect of their heart this way. If Jaime is driving Brienne away, if Jaime is saying his most loathsome things and throwing them at Brienne, then it's not that he's /failing!/ It's that he's just /choosing not to try!/ Much better! And him going back to Cersei - I'm coming around on the idea that he doesn't even know why he's going back to Cersei right now. It's not a plan. He just wants to confront her with his love and his loathing, his rage and his disappointment, his anger at being betrayed by the mother of his children, but also the knowledge that she is the one person in the world who shares it. There are worlds together that exist only in the memories of Jaime and Cersei Lannister, and I think that Jaime on some level is afraid to lose those.
    posted by corb at 3:43 PM on May 6 [20 favorites]


    Daenerys may have unthinkingly painted a big big target on Gendry's back.
    posted by amtho at 3:43 PM on May 6 [3 favorites]


    Saw these three in a row on tumblr and it's hard to argue:

    manbunjon
    so in one episode d&d:
    • exploited brienne being a virgin
    • made light of sexual assault
    • called rape “being broken in rough”
    • furthered the stereotype that women who were sexually assaulted need the trauma in order to grow
    • killed one of two poc and the only woc left on the show
    • basically had varys and tyrion say that jon would be a better ruler only because he has a cock while dany doesnt

    sansatargaryan
    there was a LOT of stupid crap that went on in this episode but i want to give a special shout-out to the writers having sansa say that she was glad that she was raped and abused because it made her stronger because that bit nearly made me vomit.
    octavialincoln
    Game of Thrones started with the men fighting each other and, in the midst of it all, the women clawing their way up to positions of power, only for it to end with the women killing each other and a white man winning anyway. In this essay I will explain why no man is ever allowed to write female characters ever again-
    posted by maxwelton at 4:00 PM on May 6 [41 favorites]


    D&D wrote this episode, and they wrote/directed the last two

    facehugger, I enjoyed the writing in episode 4 quite a lot. In fact I (in a minority of one, it seems, amongst everybody everywhere) think the writing overall has greatly improved as the show has progressed. (nb, not talking about plot development or anything like that here, just dialogue). I like the banter and the one-liners better (they are cleverer, and less likely to sound like dumb jokes suited to the 2010s rather than to the medieval period of the show, whatever that is). I trust the serious conversations more than I used to, too; they seem to me more opaque a lot of the time, less trite, more open to multiple interpretations. Like the writers finally trust us viewers not to require spoon-feeding.

    The interactions between/among Tyrion, Jaime, and Brienne during the drinking game, and after, up to the point of Jaime's departure, are decent examples of this. Plenty left after watching (and rewatching!) for us to discuss--concerning motivations, state of mind, word choice, and things left unsaid.

    One small example I've been thinking about is how Jaime told Brienne that Cersei is "hateful," and he is "hateful" too. It didn't really seem to fit. Cersei is hateful. She is merciless and murderous and unforgiving and self-serving. Jaime is not any of those, and arguably hasn't really ever been--even though he has done murderous and merciless things. If Jaime had murdered every man, woman, and child at Riverrun, it wouldn't have been out of hatefulness.

    "The things we do for love" was a flippant line, true, but it also carried some weight. Jaime is capable of self-sacrifice; Cersei isn't.

    So maybe what Jaime meant was that he is loathsome--which is obviously a different thing from hateful. (And I still believe self-loathing is what drove him to get drunk before going to Brienne's room, and to expect that she would need the same.) But he can't say "loathsome" because he knows Brienne will argue, so he uses the outward-facing "hateful" to hurt, and to stave her off.

    Enough over-analyzing. I would equally say that the acting on the show has developed over the seasons in an exceptional way--but that's a discussion for another time.
    posted by torticat at 4:08 PM on May 6 [8 favorites]


    I still say Arya kills The Mountain before Cleganebowl even gets a chance to happen.
    ...
    Arya can use the face of someone seven feet tall and be utterly convincing while doing so.

    Cleganebowl is back on!
    posted by Gary at 4:26 PM on May 6 [2 favorites]


    I want to know what kind of glamor has given the Warhammer 40k technology possessed by Qyburn and SeaRamsey the appearance of "medieval" tech.

    SeaRamsey obviously has access to cloaking devices and the Warp given his ability to travel so quickly and remain completely undetected, but he must use psykers to make everybody think they're looking at wooden ships with sails when he de-cloaks.

    Qyburn has railguns and Gauss rifles, given the range and impact of the projectiles, but they're enchanted to look like Roman era weaponry. I guess he must be using the Warp to get them, because there are no signs of the industry or engineers he and Cersei would have needed to ramp up to so quickly produce so many precision engineered machines.

    Can't wait for the final battle between Cersei in her lion-adorned power-armor and her Ultramarines versus Dany and John in their dragon mech -- that would be entirely in keeping with the theme of "Wouldn't it be cool if...." we've seen from the show since the 2nd half of season 7.
    posted by lord_wolf at 4:28 PM on May 6 [4 favorites]


    Gwendoline Christie is just destroying me with these interviews (and making me even less optimistic about the endgame). I'm glad that at least she's pleased to have had more range to play as an actor this season, and I hope whatever remaining scenes Brienne has keep showcasing her talent as fully.
    posted by karayel at 4:31 PM on May 6 [1 favorite]


    I am wondering if the show will work with the knowledge that there are tunnels underneath Kings Landing and that Varys knows a chunk of them. In season 2 Varys gave Tyrion a map of said tunnels? Also, didn't Arya use the tunnels as part of her escape in Season 1? The show opens with a north-south progression where we go underneath Kings Landing and the Red Keep where you see a ballista shoot into the mouth of a dragon, so tunnels maybe hinted in importance? But hey, the show seems to play fast and loose with what makes sense but really, you got a skilled assassin and tunnels underneath the target unless the last two episodes are the medieval version of the Dirty Dozen at Kings Landing.
    posted by jadepearl at 4:32 PM on May 6 [1 favorite]


    “The things we do for love" was a flippant line, true, but it also carried some weight. Jaime is capable of self-sacrifice; Cersei isn't.

    A small point, but Jaime’s line is, “The things I do for love.” The line, “The things we do for love,” is Bran mocking Jaime in a way that no one else present will notice, or possibly alluding to a 10cc song from 1977.
    posted by ricochet biscuit at 4:57 PM on May 6 [12 favorites]


    Upon rewatch (hoping to spot that Starbucks cup!) I will say that the lighting in the party scene is lovely and in particulary Dany looks gorgeous. And so help me, Tormund's "Now which one of you cowards shit in my pants?" cracks me up.

    But back to more griping about how Dany Lost Another Dragon: my sibling has been ranting me all day about how last season the wanted all the credit for the dragons symbolizing more modern warfare, with their strafing runs and seemingly unlimited power. And yet for all that... apparently no one in the writer's room has ever seen Top Gun or any other fighter pilot movie and got the whole, "come at your enemies out of the sun/a cloudbank" thing?? Ugggghhh Dany you and the dragons are too stupid to fly.
    posted by TwoStride at 5:01 PM on May 6 [4 favorites]


    Not to mention that on the first dark night the dragon could torch Euron's fleet and every single ballista on the wall unless they've thought to invent flares. Even if so that could be a fun thing to show but seems probably beyond the thinking of these guys.

    I don't think anyone's mentioned my favorite scene, Tormund trying to cry on the (turned away) shoulder of the Hound. Maybe I imagined it.

    Also I just want to say that the set/location at the front gate of KL looks reallllly bad, really uninspired.
    posted by fleacircus at 5:23 PM on May 6 [3 favorites]


    I think Tyrion will kill Dany once she gets all "burn them all". I'd like to see Arya end up killing the Hound for some reason because it enables the Hound to finish killing the Mountain, like having to stab the Mountain through the Hound or something. Because he's spent a long time on her list, but she doesn't want to kill him any more.
    posted by rmd1023 at 5:26 PM on May 6


    PhoBWanKenobi
    Here's one of s2-4. Enjoy the next hour.

    Totally here for this... even though I rewatched probably most of the scenes already, after the knighting in ep2. :D

    whether she's an only child is one of the first things he asks her when he's her captive. And she never answers! So maybe he didn't know that.

    Oh please! He totally knew it; he USED the fact to persuade Locke's men to leave her alone (and lost his hand for it)! Just like he knew she had danced with Renly (which had been the stuff of gossip, and also would have been a completely bizarre thing to throw out there if he hadn't known about it). I thought he was trying to be kind (while getting her to drink), making benign or even semi-flattering statements in a game where edgy questions are more the norm.

    ALSO also, Jaime was pouring out wine for Brienne long before the game even started, overriding her refusal with the argument that defeating an army of the dead was about the best reason to drink ever.

    ...but I'm not really debating anything significant here, just enjoying talking about what were clearly my favorite scenes of the hour. :) I read a review by some ass who said that the whole bedroom scene with Brienne and Jaime was just awkward to endure, or something like that, and I wanted to go find that reviewer and slug him. Misogynist fucker.
    posted by torticat at 5:32 PM on May 6 [3 favorites]


    why didn't we get to hear how Sam and Gilly made a baby? can someone tell me how?
    posted by mullacc at 5:33 PM on May 6 [6 favorites]


    why didn't we get to hear how Sam and Gilly made a baby? can someone tell me how?

    You need Tywin Lannister for that. (I STILL want to see Tywin explain the mechanics of sex to Tommen.)
    posted by maxwelton at 5:40 PM on May 6 [2 favorites]


    > I would like to see Daenerys drink wildfire and turn into a dragon, but that would probably be too interesting.
    Well, Drogon, the remaining dragon, is named after her hubbie Drogo. Someone mentioned before in one of these threads that maybe the dragons channel the spirit of their namesake, like a form of reincarnation. It'd be cool if she drank the wildfire, converted the sandworm Water of Life, and (unlike her dad) polymorphed into a full Kwisatz Haderach dragon. Then she burninates Cersei and any remaining enemies, says "Fuck all this Thrones bullshit," melts the Iron Throne down, and elopes south with Drogon to make oodles of baby dragons. Then in a several decades, she reinvades with her dragon kids from the South, while Ghost and Nymeria's dire wolf army invades from the North.
    posted by Fiberoptic Zebroid and The Hypnagogic Jerks at 5:51 PM on May 6 [8 favorites]


    Upon rewatch (hoping to spot that Starbucks cup!)

    Note that the cup has one of those little cardboard sleeves to keep people from burning their fingers. Danaerys Stormborn, Rightful Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Breaker of Chains (and so forth) once sat in a blazing funeral pyre for a night.

    How goddamn hot is this coffee?
    posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:20 PM on May 6 [31 favorites]


    I wasn't able to watch until today and tried to avoid any mention of what happened but, no lie, when I saw that the title of the episode was "The Last of the Starks", I panicked because with all the talk last episode of "x did what x was sent back to do" and "y's storyline had no where else to go so y's done as a character", I was afraid that Arya had an imminent death scene in this episode. Because what could possibly top that insane jump attack on the Night King???

    The two previous episodes wiped me out emotionally. Even though there were fewer named character deaths at the end, I still expected them to die at any second for an hour and a half.

    So this episode was a let down. The decision to rush to Kings Landing didn't make sense. It's too soon for me to care who wins the Cersei vs Dany battle, who ends up on the Iron Throne. Tormund got a fitting send off, I assume Sam and Gilly are off to Castle Tarly or whatever it's called so the character list is being winnowed.

    Dany should have swung around to approach Euron's fleet from the rear because even if those giant crossbows can rotate, in doing so he'd take out his own mast if he fired off a shot. But again, it was mostly about winnowing the dragon count down. If they were going for a Viserion-type shock, it didn't have the same impact.

    New theory:
    Cersei kills Jaime.
    Anya kills Euron and uses his face to get in close to her.
    Exeunt Cersei.
    posted by TWinbrook8 at 6:22 PM on May 6 [1 favorite]


    Anya kills Euron and uses his face to get in close to her.

    This would finally give me the closure I never got from Buffy!
    posted by Navelgazer at 6:24 PM on May 6 [13 favorites]


    I am pleased that this Vox write-up reveals that teh internets at large is outraged at how Ghost was treated.
    posted by TwoStride at 6:53 PM on May 6 [2 favorites]


    One thing I have never understood about GoT is the reluctance to allow for the passage of time as a narrative device. What would have been so hard about opening on Winterfell as they did and then show the place slowly healing?
    Gilly's pregnancy would have seemed plausible; Dany could have been growing restless and grumpy while Sansa held everyone's gaze as organizer-in-chief; real tension to move toward a resolution with King's landing could have developed.
    The wildlings could have departed; Arya and the Hound could have departed; the Jaime/Brienne romance could have had time to breath. Bron's arrival would have been more plausible.

    None of these things had to happen within 3 days of the battle, and not very much would have changed in the episode other than tone. It disappoints me that such easy storytelling seems beyond them these days.
    posted by OHenryPacey at 6:54 PM on May 6 [25 favorites]


    Oh please! He totally knew it; he USED the fact to persuade Locke's men to leave her alone (and lost his hand for it)!

    Maybe in the books? But I just rewatched that scene and literally no. He doesn't say anything about her being an only child.
    posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:09 PM on May 6 [1 favorite]


    there was a LOT of stupid crap that went on in this episode but i want to give a special shout-out to the writers having sansa say that she was glad that she was raped and abused because it made her stronger because that bit nearly made me vomit.

    oh lol yelp this that infuriated me. sometimes you just know so hard something was written by a man and/or someone who doesn't care to think about the abuse of women beyond the very top surface level

    i mean that's true of all of game of thrones but there are ESPECIALLY TERRIBLE MOMENTS even here in placeholder-dialogue season 8

    brienne :( tyrion's intelligence :( ghost a very very good boy :( missandei :((((((((((
    posted by colorblock sock at 7:26 PM on May 6 [2 favorites]


    Anya kills Euron and uses his face to get in close to her.

    Oh this dovetails nicely with my other theory.. Which is that Arya didn't have any particular interest in schtupping Gendry for her own pleasure. Rather she was making a study of how men and women fit together in the sexual way, so that when she finally goes to Cersei in the guise of her lover she'll know what she's supposed to have and do. Fucking Gendry was just another Faceless Men mission of education.

    I'd imagined her doing this as a way to make her impersonating Jaime more realistic. But Euron would work too.
    posted by Nelson at 8:19 PM on May 6 [4 favorites]


    I think maxwelton is onto something here, and I am totally digging Podsa/ Sandrick.

    There really isn't anyone left who's Housed, intelligent, and handsom left. Pod may not be a cunning intellect, but he's no dunce and evinces a ton of emotional intellect which Sansa definitely needs more of in her life. Does anyone really want a spouse that's in the same line of work as yourself, anyway?

    Look at how Philip was basically given to Queen Elizabeth II so she wouldn't have to deal with all of that.

    And Brienne might even stick around to be Sansa's _whatever_ Guard, take on another (female?) squire, and there'd be zero friction between Brienne and Sansa's Consort.

    Sansa could do her intellectual playing around with Tyrion (although that would be fraught, especially if she wed Pod) and Varys. I could even see, down the road, Sansa maturing enough to entertain a threesome with Tyrion and Pod.

    I'm kind of devastated that Tormund and Brienne didn't get together; in this scenario, I could see Briemund joining in for a pentsome. And Tormund providing unorthodox but practical advice from North of the Wall to Varys.

    on preview:
    Nelson - ewww. But... makes sense.

    But I think Arya actually digs Gendry - at the minimum physically (the flirt so heavy, I could smell the pheromones through the HDMI-P+ connnection), but she's got to have some respect for the person he is - but just not that way, at least not yet, and definitely not under the circumstances.
    posted by porpoise at 8:32 PM on May 6 [2 favorites]


    I think part of Sansa's telling Tyrion about Jon - beyond giving Tyrion a reason to want him alive - was to counter Danaerys' stunt at the party. Giving Gendry the stormlands was a threat to remove Sansa by legitimizing Ned Stark's eldest son. (And a bald one: no knighthoods or lands for any of the other survivors, really?) The more people who know Jon's real parentage, the less likely Dany can use the cover story against Sansa.

    Sansa's move at the feast was to check in with the Hound - thanks to Littlefinger, she can guess that if he isn't planning to sit out the winter drinking and whoring in Winterfell, and doesn't follow Jon again, he's probably going after Gregor. Her stated reason for delaying an attack on King's Landing seemed sensible enough, but "Cersei's court is about to get real distracted by Cleganebowl" would be a bonus.
    posted by mersen at 8:36 PM on May 6 [4 favorites]


    But I just rewatched that scene and literally no. He doesn't say anything about her being an only child.

    Oh--I stand corrected then! That's a scene I haven't rewatched (yet). Have no idea why I thought that was part of the dialogue... I guess just because Jaime's argument was that she was highly valued by her father; and the fact that she was an only child would have reinforced that.
    posted by torticat at 8:45 PM on May 6


    One thing I have never understood about GoT is the reluctance to allow for the passage of time as a narrative device. What would have been so hard about opening on Winterfell as they did and then show the place slowly healing?

    Yeah, the word that has reoccured to me after this episode is "artless". Benioff and Weiss are artless storytellers. They just want actors to stand at their marks and say their lines. I mean that goes a long way, that's the basic meat course, but it's never (or almost never) daring or even fun. Sometimes there's stuff like, "the theme of this episode is betrayal," or some shit, which is like more for the reviewer than the viewer I think; I'm not sure if anyone actually gets anything out of that.
    posted by fleacircus at 8:47 PM on May 6 [11 favorites]


    I think they did a pretty good job with Tormund's "shit my pants" line of establishing for the audience and Brienne both that, once and for all, she's not going to be into him. That look she gave said everything.
    posted by traveler_ at 8:48 PM on May 6 [9 favorites]


    karayel: Gwendoline Christie is just destroying me with these interviews (and making me even less optimistic about the endgame)

    That one you linked definitely sounds ominous. However, it's also coming from HBO, and there's no way that they are just giving up the information that Christie's arc is over, as is kind of implied. I think it was probably cut, something like this--

    HBO: Overall, what has it been like working on the final season?
    Gwendoline Christie: There were many things I genuinely did not expect. I was very taken aback by the knighting scene because I did not expect that to happen to Brienne. I thought it was a possibility, but I didn’t expect Jaime Lannister to present himself as being reformed in that way, and then, of course, I got a sense of how sprawling and epic the battle was. But Episode 4 just ripped me up inside, actually.
    [SNIP!!] I was very touched and very moved by the journey they decided to take the character on. And I felt privileged to be playing that part and to have that storyline because it felt as though they’d taken care with the character and that’s all I ever really wanted because I feel she’s such a unique character in mainstream television.
    posted by torticat at 9:24 PM on May 6 [1 favorite]


    Sansa crying over Theon was totally a surrogate cry - even making him a Star-by-pin.
    posted by porpoise at 10:41 PM on May 6 [1 favorite]


    The Stark children leaving their direwolves is always cruel, and a signifier of change. Think of Arya driving away Nymeria, or Robb locking up Grey Wind at the Twins, essentially abandoning his Northern roots, which leads to his death. I'm not sure what Jon leaving Ghost to the North means, but it's probably not good.

    Sansa is the only Stark who was not at fault for her dire wolf's death or disappearance or dismissal; Cersei demanded Lady's death after Nymeria attacked Joffrey. Therefore, Sansa is morally entitled to the Iron Throne. Case closed. [Ramsey killed Rickard's dog, but naming him Shaggy-dog, like one of Scooby-Doo's buddies, was an egregious choice that doomed him.].
    posted by carmicha at 11:31 PM on May 6 [8 favorites]


    Torticat, you're not the only one to still enjoy the show. I cried like a baby when Sansa pinned the dire wolf on Theon. I fanned myself during Jaime and Brienne's scene, as awkward as it was. I was very sad when Jaime left her. I thought Varys and Tyrion's conversation was fascinating. Let's see what happens! I'm still on board.

    So, I still enjoy it, and it still grips me, even though I roll my eyes at certain parts. Sometimes I feel like it's nudging closer to becoming schlocky fantasy fare a la First Knight through the past few seasons. In the immortal words of Godfrey Cheshire, when reviewing First Knight: "this movie is supposed to go down like diet Coke. You sit back and let the creamy images and gorgeous sets and big action scenes wash over you, laugh at the clumsy ridiculousness of it all, then go home secure in the knowledge that Hollywood is as amiably inept as ever."

    But let's not forget that Hollywood fantasy in the '80s and '90s was really, really, really dumb. (Like, watch this scene and try not to giggle hopelessly.) Even at its dumbest, Game of Thrones is a cut above First Knight, in that... there actually does feel like there are stakes and nuance, along with amazing acting and cinematography. Yeah, there's been a lot of dumb Hollywood plotting and handwavey "a wizard did it" stuff going on lately, and it's annoying, but I can live with it. It's nice to see high fantasy being taken seriously. Not only are there beautiful epic scenes with battles and costumes and whatnot, I am transcendently happy that characters like Sansa and Arya and Theon are depicted with all their flaws, in compelling multi season arcs. I am just so pleased!

    So I just can't bring myself to get too angry at Game of Thrones. For example, Chrys, of ChrysWatchesGot, is now so angry at the show that I find it depressing and exhausting to read her rants. Meh. I watch the tits-and-dragons show and chat with people online to relax; there's enough terrible things going on in my life that I don't want to get into fights over a TV show.

    Anyway, yeah, the last two episodes will probably disappoint me if I let my expectations get too high, but that's the key, isn't it? I will keep my expectations low! And I will hope that it's not all a dream of an autistic child holding a snowglobe, and Danaerys and Jon don't run off to become lumberjacks, or IT WAS EARTH ALL ALONG. Please avoid those, writers, and I'll be reasonably pleased, as much as one could be.

    And hopefully this will open the gates to more high quality fantasy TV coming down the road. *crosses fingers*
    posted by suburbanbeatnik at 12:03 AM on May 7 [11 favorites]


    I watched the scene with the new ballistas again. Why would anyone ever invent gunpowder in this world? Apparently REALLY BIG crossbows are more powerful than canons. It's like the show is taking the worst of fantasy and the least plausible conceptions of reality and combining them, sometimes.
    posted by clockzero at 1:00 AM on May 7 [11 favorites]


    All the Ghost stuff this season really seems not like mere afterthought, but like complete non-thought. Like they plumb forgot about Ghost until fans started asking Where’s Poochy? The previous appearances were just simple quickie stick-‘em-ins, and this one — somehow even lazier — was a static one-shot. It looks for all the world like they hastily filmed Kit’s goodbye scene on Sunday morning and just threw in some blurry old test footage for the direwolf reaction shot.

    And don’t even get me started on the straight up rerun of the shittiest moment in the whole series:
    Boat is under attack.  Tyrion falls into the water, facing certain death.
    
    CUT TO BLACK
    
    FADE IN ON:
    EXT. DAY. BEACH
    
    Everyone is fine.
    I mean, sheesh. I wouldn’t mind the plot armour if there was at least some plot involved. Even some exposition to explain how they got out of peril. “A wizard did it.” Anything.
    posted by Sys Rq at 4:02 AM on May 7 [6 favorites]


    I mean, sheesh. I wouldn’t mind the plot armour if there was at least some plot involved. Even some exposition to explain how they got out of peril. “A wizard did it.” Anything.

    There is no way to explain it without tying yourself in knots so they just hand waved it away - Dany abandoned everyone in the water and they were all seemingly cool with it afterwards.

    Euron also never harpooned everyone while they were swimming to shore, he just picked Missandei up (and left Tyrion behind) and left while Dany flew around helplessly in the air I guess.

    This is also the second time Dany lost a fleet to a Euron suprise attack.
    posted by PenDevil at 4:17 AM on May 7 [7 favorites]


    I feel like the show is entertainingly unclear on this. I know that at first, I always assumed it was a form of glamour magic - to take someone's face, you kill them and e.g. use their face in some kind of ritual that adds it to your magic 'database'. And I continued in this assumption... right up until characters started waving around actual literal floppy skin Buffalo Bill face masks.

    I always thought of it as a combination of face wearing, obsessive study of the subject's mannerisms, and a little magic. The way a really good actor captures all the little verbal and physical tics of the person they're portraying plus some glamour magic. Of course in a world where magic is real the distinction between a skill and magic is pretty flexible.

    That's why Arya has to spend time as Cat, spend time blind, and play other roles as part of her training and why she's just "a girl". She's basically training to be a really metal method actor.
    posted by atrazine at 4:20 AM on May 7 [6 favorites]


    I will keep my expectations low! And I will hope that it's not all a dream of an autistic child holding a snowglobe, and Danaerys and Jon don't run off to become lumberjacks, or IT WAS EARTH ALL ALONG.

    The opening credits start, the camera pulls back and reveals the players sitting around the table. The entire show was a commercial for the Game of Thrones game.
    posted by betweenthebars at 5:26 AM on May 7 [2 favorites]


    I wouldn’t mind the plot armour if there was at least some plot involved.
    This new plot armor apparently lets characters float above all plot. Random travel times and routes for the same journey, armored soldiers swim like champions, Bronn has a card key to any castle (obviously armed no less), information about births are both terrible secrets, and common knowledge across kingdoms at the same time. Fleets of ships winking into existence like it's Battlestar Galactica.

    The downside to plot armor however does seem to be it makes smart characters inexplicably dumb. To the point of not recognizing some of them.
    posted by Harry Caul at 6:00 AM on May 7 [9 favorites]


    Hee, and the way that Pod dutifully drank during that [virgin] question. He's the only one playing by the actual rules

    But he isn’t. Tyrion hired several ladies of the night for Pod, when Pod was his squire. It was a reward for saving Tyrion in battle. I think, season 3?
    posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 6:26 AM on May 7 [4 favorites]


    It was indeed Season 3, and one of the weirder sub-plots, which bears all the hallmarks of being written by whatever drunk horny nephew of a network exec also wrote the Dorne subplot later on.

    But in any case, in that subplot, Tyrion pays for three eager sex workers to give Pod his first experience, then later he comes back with all of Tyrion's money and the story was that he was so naturally gifted that they wouldn't let him pay. Next episode Roz has the same story for Varys, second hand from the three women, notably absent any details.

    So it's possible that nothing happened and everyone is saving face, but that would be weird too.
    posted by Navelgazer at 6:39 AM on May 7 [4 favorites]


    Reigning theory is that the answer to the long-running mystery of, "What did Pod do to those girls????" is: he sang to them.
    posted by jurymast at 6:43 AM on May 7 [16 favorites]


    I thought Pod took a drink because he was really uncomfortable with the current situation, and felt he needed a drink no matter what the rules at the time were telling him.
    posted by Quonab at 6:46 AM on May 7 [24 favorites]


    I thought Pod took a drink because he was really uncomfortable with the current situation, and felt he needed a drink no matter what the rules at the time were telling him.

    As this behavior is intimately familiar to me, I, too, interpreted his actions that way.
    posted by alleycat01 at 6:48 AM on May 7 [8 favorites]


    Pod knows both Tyrion and Brienne well and is drinking though intense second-hand awkwardness from knowing how that conversation is going to go :-P
    posted by sallybrown at 7:15 AM on May 7 [2 favorites]


    I just rewatched the Bron scene and it still bugs me. Not that he was able to get into Winterfell with a weapon ("Hey guys I'm here for the big battle. Oh I missed it? ") but because he was angry and bitter. In previous seasons when he talked about his services being for sale to the highest bidder, he was regretful when he was talking to Tyrion, like "nothing personal". He and Jaime had a similar understanding during the Dorne excursion. Now he's blaming those two for not following through on River Run?

    He's not stupid. He knows if he has higher ambitions, he's dependent on whoever sits on the throne. He can trust Tyrion and Jaimie and knows Cerse is unstable. Yes, sure he's frustrated but this scene seemed very out of character.
    posted by TWinbrook8 at 7:24 AM on May 7 [11 favorites]


    Unrealistic-ness of Bron just waltzing in aside, that was one scene that spouse and I liked. We really thought that he was going to accidentally shoot Jaime with the crossbow, the way he had it trained on him. We felt reallllly uncomfortable and tense throughout the scene, which in retrospect means that the actor playing Bron did a really nice job with that. He's pretty great at what he does.
    posted by lazaruslong at 7:30 AM on May 7 [6 favorites]


    I saw it more as Bronn realizing that he's hitched his wagon to this family but he'll never actually be able to retire in peace because of all the backstabbing they do, and so he's pissed because he knows he's never actually gonna get any of the good life he says he wants.
    posted by TwoStride at 7:41 AM on May 7 [13 favorites]


    I thought Pod took a drink because he was really uncomfortable with the current situation, and felt he needed a drink no matter what the rules at the time were telling him.

    They also weren't actually playing Never Have I Ever, in which case all the virgins at the table would indeed drink. It was more a sort of version of Two Truths and A Lie, except only one truth, and you don't say it, someone else guesses it about you. In my upcoming book, Drinking Games of Westeros, I present
    posted by Rock Steady at 8:01 AM on May 7 [15 favorites]


    It's not so complicated for women to bear children that late if they have been having children one after the other. In my grandparents' generation where 10 or so siblings was still common, mothers were easily in their 40s by the time their youngest kids were born.

    You might want to look up the maternal mortality stats for your grandparent's era. Dying in or just post childbirth was pretty common (and still is a non-trivial risk for mothers) I'd assume the results were even worse in the medieval era.
    posted by srboisvert at 8:37 AM on May 7


    I watched the scene with the new ballistas again. Why would anyone ever invent gunpowder in this world? Apparently REALLY BIG crossbows are more powerful than canons. It's like the show is taking the worst of fantasy and the least plausible conceptions of reality and combining them, sometimes.

    Not to mention they appear to reload as if they were automatic weapons. Real world ballistas were big awkward crossbows and require lots of manual labor and gears to reload. Even contemporary naval big guns take time to reload. The current state of the art big gun fire rate is only 40 rounds a minute.
    posted by srboisvert at 8:45 AM on May 7 [3 favorites]


    "Oh hi, it's me again, the guy calling about the GoT Truthers Convention. Can we move things to your next largest hall, we have a few additions. The ballista truthers refuse to be under the ship truthers, they're demanding they're own space and tables, with at least four outlets."
    posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:01 AM on May 7 [15 favorites]


    More gold from /r/freefolk, an interview with D&D
    posted by exogenous at 9:02 AM on May 7 [7 favorites]


    I agree it's ridiculous, but repeating crossbows were used by Chinese forces in The Ming Dynasty - apparently some even mounted aboard ships. That's more an interesting historical note rather than a defense of the show, since the bolts of repeating crossbows were apparently poisoned to increase lethality due to the lesser power of the mechanism. Also, (show) scorpions aren't repeating crossbows, but are rather regular windlass style ones. Apparently real scorpions also existed, but are another thing altogether from their show representation.

    In a version of the show that wasn't rushing to the endpoint, it almost seems like there's an interesting side story about how Qyburn is inventing modern warfare piece by piece to counter magic, which would also give us some idea about what the long winter is like in King's Landing, but unfortunately all we get is Euron mugging and Cersei doing dimestore villain shit.
    posted by codacorolla at 9:08 AM on May 7 [11 favorites]


    What's really going to bake your noodle later is, how the fuck are all those ships coordinating their shooting, and also who the fuck is rangefinding for them such that their first shot was perfect hit against a moving target thousands of feet away?

    Modern sniper rifles fired from land using a bipod and and a spotter with a high-tech rangefinder would struggle to pull that shit off.
    posted by tocts at 9:13 AM on May 7 [12 favorites]


    Maybe the Starbucks truthers are right and GoT isn’t set in some equivalent of a medieval period but rather THE FUTURE with never-fade black sails and modern rangefinding tech!
    posted by sallybrown at 9:28 AM on May 7 [5 favorites]


    Not to mention they appear to reload as if they were automatic weapons. Real world ballistas were big awkward crossbows and require lots of manual labor and gears to reload. Even contemporary naval big guns take time to reload. The current state of the art big gun fire rate is only 40 rounds a minute.

    During the era of Francis Drake et al. / Spanish Armada, the Spanish cannons could only fire once during battle. They didn't have the tackle systems, nor the training, required to reload during battle. The cannons were basically there to fire a single close range broadside before their crews rushed up to deck to join boarding parties.

    It took time to figure out how to fight with these things, even after they were invented. In that context, and considering that previous sea engagements in GoT appear to be of the "infantry at sea" type which was typical before the age of sail really kicked off, is it realistic that the fleet is able to load and fight their weapons so effectively from the beginning?

    I actually liked that about the Battle of Winterfell. The incompetence against a completely novel enemy seems realistic.

    It's also why I don't have a problem with Dany being ambushed. Yes, if you're a 21st century person then you understand aerial recon, but all her battles against non-supernatural enemies have been over as soon as dragons came into play. Why would she be doing careful recon probes to look for ambushes when she knows that as soon as she sees an enemy fleet, she's going to turn it to ash?

    I go back and forth on the plot necessity of the Scorpions. On the one hand, you need to neutralise the dragons somehow. If you don't then there is no more conflict, Dany wins. But I thought that the human shield stuff was actually a much more interesting way of doing that because it creates a situation where she can win by burning thousands of innocent people or refuse to use her super weapon and have to fight a conventional siege with her much depleted army.
    posted by atrazine at 9:32 AM on May 7 [5 favorites]


    Today in Game of Thrones actors trolling on social media: Nikolaj Coster-Waldeau implies some finality by tweeting that it was a pleasure working with Gwendolyn Christie, while also liking one in a series of tweets theorizing that Jaime only left to kill Cersei and is trying to protect Brienne, his true love.

    I still smell a head fake here. I think they’re going to appear to have Jaime die next episode without ever reconnecting with Brienne and continue leading us on with cast interviews and “behind the episode,” but then have him pop back up as a surprise in the finale. Maybe all the power-seeking characters will end up knocking each other out and this will all turn out to be a story about Varys and his love for the people and Jaime and Brienne’s morality/love quest, lol.
    posted by sallybrown at 9:44 AM on May 7 [3 favorites]


    Whoever aimed that first bolt deserves an MVP award, considering there's no chance they ever practiced aiming and firing at a flying target the size and shape of a dragon. Talk about beginner's luck, except all the other bolts also hit, somehow.

    I think the books had some other possible anti dragon weapons that didn't make it to the show, so I guess they had to come up with something, but it is very very silly.
    posted by BungaDunga at 9:51 AM on May 7 [2 favorites]


    The opening credits start, the camera pulls back and reveals the players sitting around the table. The entire show was a commercial for the Game of Thrones game.

    Pan over to Charles Dance, Rose Leslie, Michelle Fairley, and Aiden Gillen playing Smash Brothers on the couch. The front door opens and Sean Bean walks in holding a case of beer: "Did I miss anything good?"
    posted by Uncle Ira at 9:51 AM on May 7 [16 favorites]


    Real world ballistas were big awkward crossbows and require lots of manual labor and gears to reload.

    In the scene with Bronn and Jaime and Tyrion this episode, Bronn easily reloads a medieval-type crossbow in under five seconds, while remaining seated, without getting up from the table. So, y'know, ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ everything just loads easier in this universe¯\_(ツ)_/¯
    posted by joyceanmachine at 9:56 AM on May 7 [6 favorites]


    I actually liked that about the Battle of Winterfell. The incompetence against a completely novel enemy seems realistic.

    "Thousands of dudes running towards you" is the exact opposite of novel. Not one battle scene in the series has been realistic. Undead ice cubes eating people is fall more realistic as a real life premise than anything in GoT that is even vaguely associated with military tactics.
    posted by sideshow at 10:00 AM on May 7 [2 favorites]


    I cried like a baby when Sansa pinned the dire wolf on Theon.

    Yeah, Theon’s arc felt good and complete. He was never going to have a happy ending - that’s the best that could be done.
    posted by corb at 10:08 AM on May 7 [2 favorites]


    HBO quietly removed the coffee cup from Game of Thrones. They're erasing the evidence, Starbucks Truthers, be sure to keep archival copies of all evidence. You cannot trust Them.
    posted by Nelson at 10:10 AM on May 7 [18 favorites]


    If GOT is to read as a saga rather than a show, D&D need to step up the narrative mirroring and symmetries in the last episodes. Might I suggest:

    Cersei has lost 3 children. So must Dany--ergo Drogon will die, killed by a ballista, collapsing in a heap in the throne room and with his last dragon breath melting the iron throne to slag.
    A Stark (Arya) will kill pregnant Cersei by stabbing her to death in a scene reminiscent of the red wedding, A Lannister (Tyrion) will kill Dany, shooting her with a crossbow like his brother killed the Mad King. Tyrion will immediately killed, run through by Grey Worm.
    A Lannister (Jaime) must be beheaded to balance Ned Stark's death in season 1. If D&D are any good, that will be the last scene of the series, as a crowned Jon Snow orders the kingslayer executed in the same spot Stark died. It will be the Hound who does the deed, having replaced Ilyn Payne, who Arya killed on her way assassinate Cersei...
    posted by Chrischris at 10:11 AM on May 7 [7 favorites]


    Actually, the best last scene would be a teenaged Craster's Last Son crouching in a cave looking out over a frozen landscape. He idly plays with a piece of rock. The camera pans down. It is a shard of dragonglass. He drags it across the back of his hand and a tiny droplet of blue blood drips down into the snow...
    posted by Chrischris at 10:22 AM on May 7 [10 favorites]




    I'm only halfway through the thread as it is right now, but thank you Metafilter for helping me work through my feelings about this episode. It had many things I thought I wanted, but then it left me feeling weirdly hollow. Yesterday I watched through the Jaime/Brienne bedroom scene several times and felt better; I'm just going to ignore what happened from that moment on until Sunday.

    The writers clearly have an ending in mind, and episodes 3 and 4 were about forcing the characters into those boxes to get there and back-solving rather than thinking about logic and what the characters developed so far would actually do. It does mean we get an ending at all, on the one hand. Maybe it'll be a satisfying ending, but on the other hand the final leg of the journey there has been very lacking. Oh well, back to staring at these two, who are carrying the whole damn thing for me. And all the actors (Lena, Sophie, etc.) who know their characters far better than the writers do. Game of Thrones had better do right by them.
    posted by j.r at 10:47 AM on May 7 [1 favorite]


    A Lannister (Jaime) must be beheaded to balance Ned Stark's death in season 1. If D&D are any good, that will be the last scene of the series, as a crowned Jon Snow orders the kingslayer executed in the same spot Stark died. It will be the Hound who does the deed, having replaced Ilyn Payne, who Arya killed on her way assassinate Cersei...

    Not bad, but if they really want to wring the maximum amount of response as well, then Arya has to be killed maybe by the Mountain at Cersei's order, I mean she already got her moment of glory, giving her another would be a bit much. The Hound then retaliates killing the Mountain but dies as well and Jaime kills Cersei. Jaime tells the story of what happened, but is sent to be executed anyway, ala Ned Stark where he protests his innocence and Bran says "I know, I saw it all" right before Sansa orders Brienne to chop off Jaime's head. That'd be fun and you get the tie in to Ned Stark and Bran seeing Jaime and Cersei. Whee!
    posted by gusottertrout at 10:48 AM on May 7 [1 favorite]


    Actually I revise my previous comment. After the Jaime/Brienne bedroom scene the episode cut to 60 minutes of Jon giving Ghost belly rubs. Change my mind; I dare you.
    posted by j.r at 10:51 AM on May 7 [5 favorites]


    Y'all have convinced me now that Rhaegal was an inside job.
    posted by Navelgazer at 10:56 AM on May 7 [4 favorites]


    Anyone else take notice of the the ballista platforms at King's Landing? Barely larger than the ballistas. No way anyone could maneuver them enough to aim without falling off, let alone reload.

    #ballistatruthers
    posted by zinon at 11:17 AM on May 7 [4 favorites]


    > So, y'know, ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ everything just loads easier in this universe¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    careful with that gesture! it’s how the Night King raises the dead!
    posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 11:27 AM on May 7 [22 favorites]




    I'm disappointed because that one doesn't actually work with the "Christ, what an asshole" caption.

    It turns out that Cersei herself is a Starbucks Truther.
    posted by tobascodagama at 12:00 PM on May 7 [2 favorites]


    The entire show was a commercial for the Game of Thrones game.

    Game^2 of Thrones, as it were.
    posted by ricochet biscuit at 12:57 PM on May 7 [1 favorite]


    Navelgazer: A clarifying interview with the creators (no sound, potentially NSFW)

    Daenerys, mother of dragons :(

    Alternative snarky reasoning for killing off Dragon #2: it's easier to model a dragon getting shot up with bolts than animating a dragon burning a bunch of ships, or better, landing on one and just tearing it to fucking pieces.
    posted by filthy light thief at 2:15 PM on May 7


    aaargh that would have been a much more interesting way for Rhaegal to die, though. like, daenerys is flying around on Drogon, scouting from a safe height (as one does), Rhaegal flying beside her... then he spots the ships before she does, dives in before she can stop him, tears up/burns up a bunch of black-sail ships, then finally gets taken down by a lucky ballista shot. Same effect in terms of plot, without ballistas being magic and without anyone having to hold the idiot ball. (well, anyone other than Rhaegal, but it’s totally believable that an overconfident teenaged dragon would Leeroy Jenkins his way into trouble he couldn’t get out of).

    sigh. this show isn’t good anymore and I resent myself for thinking so much about it. It is a pretty, dumb show, and I should accept that it’s a pretty, dumb show, and enjoy the prettiness while I’m watching it and never give a second thought to it after.
    posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 2:43 PM on May 7 [20 favorites]


    ( I should accept that it’s a pretty, dumb show, and enjoy the prettiness while I’m watching it and never give a second thought to it after

    There's an argument to be made that what people like most is stuff and people that are [ pretty, dumb ]. If reincarnation was a thing, I would be hoping to roll max points on those two for the next go-round, but, alas, it's going to be [ fat, funny, farty ] again, isn't it?)


    Bran's a bit like my collection of old hobby magazines that I never look at, isn't he? I mean, what use is it being the world of man's collective memory if it is never consulted? There is no value in gathering knowledge if you're never going to share it.
    posted by maxwelton at 3:01 PM on May 7 [2 favorites]


    "Oh hi, it's me again, the guy calling about the GoT Truthers Convention. Can we move things to your next largest hall, we have a few additions. The ballista truthers refuse to be under the ship truthers, they're demanding they're own space and tables, with at least four outlets."


    Did you really come here to say "Look at these idiots discussing the show like they on Fanfare"?
    posted by srboisvert at 3:16 PM on May 7 [1 favorite]


    Reigning theory is that the answer to the long-running mystery of, "What did Pod do to those girls????" is: he sang to them.

    This is genuinely marvelous. I've always hated that utterly stupid bit of show-invented backstory, which is basically a dumb and gross sexist-dad/uncle joke taken literally. Now we know that Podrick has a lovely singing voice, and he's always shown himself to have a gentle character; it's not only more plausible in every sense but also much more elegant and beautiful that he was just sweet and gentle and sang them pretty songs and asked nothing in return, and that's why they didn't take his money, and Bronn/Tyrion cannot begin to understand this because they're both basically trash
    posted by clockzero at 3:18 PM on May 7 [29 favorites]


    "Bran's a bit like my collection of old hobby magazines that I never look at, isn't he? I mean, what use is it being the world of man's collective memory if it is never consulted? There is no value in gathering knowledge if you're never going to share it".
    When Bran, the current three-eyed raven, went north he met the previous three-eyed raven, who seemed to be a prisoner of the forest people, stuck in the roots of a weir-tree.

    Maybe that caused Bran to look into the past of all previous three-eyed ravens, maybe many were prisoners. So Bran's making it known that he's pretty useless. So at least he'll remain free. In S8E2, during the planning for the Night King's arrival, I think they mentioned how any conqueror would covet having Bran.

    Alternatively, if he can see the future(*), maybe he's taking a cue from Dr. Strange, letting life happen along the current, best path.

    (*)Despite the second link, which says three-eyed ravens can see the future, I don't think the show ever said he can see the future. He can see the past, and anywhere (via raven possession) currently, but maybe not the future. A pointless distinction, since he's not using his powers much, except borrowing century old designs for personal items.
    posted by ecco at 3:32 PM on May 7 [2 favorites]


    I mean, I'm also on board with the idea that Tyrion and Bronn are astounded by Pod's seeming alpha chadness with the ladies because it just... never occurred to them that maybe women might appreciate an attentive and unselfish sex partner.

    Either way, it still comes down to them both being, as you say, basically trash.

    I do still prefer the singing theory, maybe. Does that make me a Podtruther? Though I guess it also casts him picking up those girls at the Winterfell feast in a, uh. Different light.

    Anyway, here's Wonderwall -

    posted by jurymast at 4:08 PM on May 7 [4 favorites]


    Reigning theory is that the answer to the long-running mystery of, "What did Pod do to those girls????" is: he sang to them.

    Ah, that is a pleasing theory. I've always assumed Pod's brothel experience consisted of marathon cunnilingus and no PIV sex at all (a technicality that explains why he drank during the game).
    posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED at 4:16 PM on May 7 [4 favorites]


    It struck me last night (yes, a bit slow on the uptake), that no one, other than the generally opaque Bran, actually saw Arya strike the blow that killed the Night King. Yes, everyone heard about it...somehow...although I can't picture Arya making a big deal about it and she got full credit all right, but Bran was the only person who witnessed this incredible feat.

    Now, I'm thinking Arya is heading south mainly to kill Dany. She sees her as a threat, sees that she's slipping into madness and understands that it's a threat to Jon and her family. She doesn't expect to survive, maybe the Mountain will kill her (subsequently killed by the Hound) or maybe she'll live long enough to go back to the House of Black and White so we can get a scene with Jaqen H'ghar (please please please)

    -Cersei kills Jaime (the Ned-Stark-shocking-death moment)
    -Jon kills Cersei (the hero moment that Arya got in the last ep.)
    -Jon, still not interested in becoming king, rejoins Tormund and Ghost in the far north.
    -No one sits on the Iron Throne, it's all devolved into independent kingdoms now. Tyrion to Casterly Rock, Bronn to High Garden, Sansa at Winterfell, etc.
    posted by TWinbrook8 at 4:19 PM on May 7 [1 favorite]


    It was all foreshadowing, you guys. Podrick Payne wins the game on a technicality, and because he's not shitty to women.
    posted by jurymast at 4:21 PM on May 7 [1 favorite]


    Bronn/Tyrion cannot begin to understand this because they're both basically trash

    I gasped in disgust at Tyrion’s morning-after question to Jaime being essentially “so what are Brienne’s genitals like.” Not like, “was the sex amazing or what,” but just “is she ‘normal’ down there.” Of all the people to know height or size doesn’t correspond to genitalia, Tyrion who’s had to deal with countless jokes about it!
    posted by sallybrown at 4:29 PM on May 7 [8 favorites]


    Of all the people to know height or size doesn’t correspond to genitalia, Tyrion who’s had to deal with countless jokes about it!

    I was re-watching an episode from an earlier season and Tyrion kept making "ball" jokes to Varys and Varys asked him why he, the brunt of size jokes would, of all people, get so much joy from telling "ball" jokes to a eunuch and his reply was "Because I can"

    Methinks Tyrion is consistent in (finally) being able to tell a tall jape to his brother
    posted by OHenryPacey at 5:10 PM on May 7 [4 favorites]


    The impression I got with the Bronn scene is that he's antsy - he knows that this is probably his last throw of the dice, betting all or nothing. It's no longer possible just to step quietly from one patron to another as each is hacked down by the game of thrones. He has to put the whole pot in and he doesn't like that. It cuts against the way he's lived his entire life.
    posted by AdamCSnider at 5:57 PM on May 7 [8 favorites]


    I'm on happily-ever-after watch, assuming that we are not expecting an apocalypse in which all of Westeros is wiped out (I'm assuming, that is, that that threat was dealt with definitively in ep3, and that Bran isn't the NK or whatever-the-hell).

    So I've made a list of would-be, could-be, or actual relationships, and where they stand (some guesswork required).

    Relationships over and/or doomed, or never got off the ground:
    Grey Worm and Missandei
    Arya and Gendry
    Jorah and Daenerys (ugh)
    Jon and Daenerys (IMO)
    Tyrion and Daenerys
    Cersei and Euron
    Cersei and Jaime
    Brienne and Tormund
    Brienne and Jaime (fakeout IMO)

    Going strong:
    Sam and Gilly

    Outstanding:
    Gendry and Sansa? (personally doubt it)
    Tyrion and Sansa?
    Yara and ?? (I am doubtful that this will come into play, at this stage, but am including it out of deference to all the Yara shippers!!)
    Brienne and Jaime?

    I kind of doubt that the show will end with Sam and Gilly being the only pairing remaining to pick up the pieces/offer hope for the future. The potential alliances I love are Tyrion and Sansa, and Brienne and Jaime. For both of those to happen, of course, both the Lannister brothers would have to survive, which seems fairly unlikely (though not, I believe, impossible).

    Comments, corrections, or additions? Please no replies along the lines of "WHY DO YOU ASSUME SANSA/BRIENNE HAS TO HAVE A MAN??" because I do not believe any such thing. I'm just listing possibilities.
    posted by torticat at 7:28 PM on May 7 [6 favorites]


    In the "Relationships over and/or doomed, or never got off the ground" category, you forgot to mention Sansa/Theon.

    *sobs*
    posted by suburbanbeatnik at 8:21 PM on May 7 [3 favorites]


    At this point in the show, it's sorta unclear why the story needed the White Walkers at all; I don't think I've ever read or watched a narrative of this length and complexity in which one of the few Main Defining Global Conflicts evaporated so totally and to such bathetic effect.

    The problem isn't the material they're adapting, or even these specific showrunners (who have truly awful taste, though). It is, I think, that, like True Blood, and Lost, and several other series, once you hit a certain point of success, people just stop fucking caring because everyone involved already got paid. Fucking capitalism, man.
    posted by clockzero at 8:36 PM on May 7 [13 favorites]


    their first shot was perfect hit against a moving target thousands of feet away

    Whoever aimed that first bolt deserves an MVP award, considering there's no chance they ever practiced aiming and firing at a flying target.

    Who says it was the first shot? The first shot that was noticed was a hit, doesn't mean that was their first try.

    Were we supposed to believe that the two squares of Unsullied represented all of Dany's remaining forces?

    Maybe, it could of course have just been a bodyguard.

    Anyways, I'm enjoying the show, super sorry that so many of you are being forced against your will to watch something you dislike...
    posted by HiroProtagonist at 9:12 PM on May 7 [5 favorites]


    I don't believe you're super-sorry...anyway, people being invested in a show and being disappointed in parts of it demonstrates how much they have bought in and care about it. It's frankly weirder to just accept with folded hands everything that is thrown your way. We pay for the product; it's OK to ask them to care as much as we do, though that goes against everything we're taught.
    posted by maxwelton at 9:30 PM on May 7 [15 favorites]


    Who says it was the first shot? The first shot that was noticed was a hit, doesn't mean that was their first try.

    That's not what was depicted, though. We could invent all sorts of adjuncts to the narrative which would explain things that didn't seem to make sense. Maybe Euron and his fleet had been practicing for weeks! That would explain their apparently-excellent aim quite well, but it's a story I just made up about this story.

    Anyways, I'm enjoying the show, super sorry that so many of you are being forced against your will to watch something you dislike...

    Are you being forced against your will to read this thread? Let us not continue this line of discussion.
    posted by clockzero at 9:53 PM on May 7 [13 favorites]


    Anyways, I'm enjoying the show, super sorry that so many of you are being forced against your will to watch something you dislike...

    I am just as sorry you had to read and contribute to a thread you clearly disapprove of.

    Leaving snark aside a moment: it's okay to like stupid things. We all do. It's no commentary about whether we ourselves are stupid. The willing suspension of disbelief is a courtesy we extend to storytellers who entertain us, nothing more.

    It's fine you like the show. It is less fine that you want to poke people who are frustrated at the waste of their time and money, or that you don't understand the desire to go ahead and finish out something some of us have been at least passingly curious about for literally decades if only to see how badly they're gonna screw up the landing.

    At this point in the show, it's sorta unclear why the story needed the White Walkers at all;

    Right? It's pretty clear to me that they absolutely did not. I would've been more interested in a real multi-year winter pausing everyone's plans and forcing everyone to hunker down than The Zombies With No Ontological Inertia.
    posted by mordax at 9:54 PM on May 7 [5 favorites]


    facehugger, that was fun, thanks. I buy it!

    Having watched a few of those LOTR clips, I find it remarkable how much better GoT looks! Need to rewatch the battle of Helms Deep for more comparison. I realize the LOTR is over 15 years old now... but it was also developed for the big screen and considered to be pretty amazing at the time.

    can't help wishing for my OTP ship

    Sorry if it's obvious and I'm being dumb/forgetful, but what is this?
    posted by torticat at 10:25 PM on May 7


    p.s. Dany as Gollum is brilliant
    posted by torticat at 10:28 PM on May 7


    lololol I forgot the most important LOTR comparison is Dany as Gollum
    And that both Samwells try to dissuade Frodo/Jon from trusting Dany/Gollum

    OTP is one true pairing - so mine, currently, is Brienne and Jaime
    but in the long-term, it's the pairing of democratic socialism and universal basic income, with shades of Mondragon-esque worker cooperatives
    posted by facehugger at 10:50 PM on May 7


    ...as a #GOTlogisticstruther I was just like ... who cut all those logs? Where did all the piles of undead corpses go? Why aren’t there like 50X the number of dead on the pyres?

    There's been lots of talk about the wood and the pyres and stuff, but in my head Sansa took care of it all. She's the only one who cares about logistics and she thought ahead and made sure they would have everything they needed. Any logistical question I have about Winterfell will now be answered by "Sansa took care of it because that bitch gets shit done".
    posted by LizBoBiz at 4:06 AM on May 8


    The only people I can bring myself to really super duper root for at this point are Brienne and Arya. And of those two, I'm only still emotionally invested in Arya's fate. I dunno. Even Tyrion just...look, Dinklage is doing the best he can with some really godawful material, and that's not nothing because I like watching him work. But man, what they have done to Tyrion is like what they did to Toby on The West Wing. He just isn't the character that he was before. It sucks.
    posted by lazaruslong at 6:27 AM on May 8 [5 favorites]


    Dany's advisors need to get new jobs. No one seems to notice that they have
    1. Guy who can see into the future ("I'm waiting for an old friend") and possibly predict that bad things are going to happen and/or look into the past and advise on successful/unsuccessful dragon battle-tactics.
    2. Guy who can make all kinds of cool stuff out of metal, like dragon armor, or even a f'in saddle.
    3. The brother/ex-bf of the bad queen, who might be able to give them some intel about her plans
    4. Tiny murder elf with magic (?) assassin powers.
    5. Supposedly super-smart guy who should know the strengths/weaknesses of King's Landing inside and out, considering he used to be in charge of defending it.
    6. Spymaster who can gather information on troop movements from a wide-spread web of contacts (ya know, like people who might have helped provision Sea Ramsay's fleet, load up the giant anti-aircraft harpoons, or even seen them heading to Dragonstone.)
    7. Resurrected himbo with overmaxxed charisma who is good at recruiting people to fight for his given cause, even if his actual battle tactics are basically to fall off things and yell at zombie dragons.
    8. The best f'in librarian in the realm.

    It's been a real disappointment to see the show establish these characters' talents, only to ignore the potential they bring to the plot in order to rush to a slap-dash ending.
    posted by Kitty Stardust at 6:28 AM on May 8 [27 favorites]


    > The only people I can bring myself to really super duper root for at this point are Brienne and Arya.

    I am 100% on Daenerys’s side still, and the more the writers make half the characters talk about her “descent into TaRgArYeN mAdNeSs” the more I’m on her side. She’s not targaryen mad. She’s angry mad, and for good reason.

    I have no reason to trust the showrunners and many, many reasons to distrust them, so I expect they’re going to pretend that she’s a villain and hope no one notices that she’s not.

    tl;dr: I stan a fearsome Khaleesi.
    posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 6:34 AM on May 8 [9 favorites]


    The only people I can bring myself to really super duper root for at this point are Brienne and Arya.

    Holding out hope that my man Davos, the most reasonable man in Westeros, makes it through as well. He’s a survivor!
    posted by sallybrown at 6:38 AM on May 8 [7 favorites]


    like, she needs to stop being a girlfraunt to that sadsack zombie who’s trying to steal her throne and she needs to stop listening to her shitty westerosi advisors who keep advising her to get everyone from essos killed for no good reason and she needs to burn down the red keep like yesterday and then she needs to make like the targaryens of old and spend her days cruising around on Drogon looking for castles and when she finds those castles she needs to make everyone in those castles bend the knee or get dracarys’ed.

    I understand that my reaction to Daenerys indicates that I may be susceptible to charismatic leaders who assemble cults of personality around them, but, like, wevs. She’s got a dragon. anyone with a dragon deserves a cult of personality.
    posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 6:40 AM on May 8 [6 favorites]


    > codacorolla: In a version of the show that wasn't rushing to the endpoint, it almost seems like there's an interesting side story about how Qyburn is inventing modern warfare piece by piece to counter magic

    That would be absolutely fascinating, and would be an ideal way to demonstrate the concept that the dragons really are WMDs, and would further complicate our interest in seeing Dany deploy them.
    posted by Rock Steady at 6:46 AM on May 8 [2 favorites]


    I have no reason to trust the showrunners and many, many reasons to distrust them, so I expect they’re going to pretend that she’s a villain and hope no one notices that she’s not.

    tl;dr: I stan a fearsome Khaleesi.


    Same. It's total BS that suddenly Varys is all "she'd gone too far" once Jon used her forces to defeat the Night King. She held up her end of the bargain. She survived all kinds of ordeals to gather her followers to her. Now her lame-ass advisers want to give her job to an unqualified male because she's playing to win. Naw.

    I was seeing red when Tormund was talking that shit about Jon's bravery and awesomeness when he barely did a fraction of what Dany has done. Sansa I can somewhat respect because she's in a position where she stands to lose her hard-won independence if Dany wins. It's very likely, whether Jon shares the throne with Dany or not, that Sansa will be married off again to forge an alliance for the new ruler, and I get why she's not pleased with that possibility. But my anarchist friend who's been pretty good at gender equality suddenly being the voice of patriarchal aristocracy with all this "Only a man, only a king," crap? Ugh. I hate it.
    posted by Kitty Stardust at 6:47 AM on May 8 [9 favorites]


    In fact, it's a bummer all around to see Sansa and Dany at such odds because Sansa would be a great adviser to Dany. Sansa's like the master of soft power & emotional labor, and Dany is less good at those things because she's unapologetically fierce and DGAF. It's going to take more than giving one bastard a castle to gain the loyalty of the Westerosi. One problem is that Dany has tons of experience recruiting the dispossessed, but here she has to rely upon the masters, who are less swayed by her "breaker of chains" act. Sansa, especially since she's survived so many sadistic tyrants, could really help Dany cast her "break the wheel" message in terms that the Westerosi would find appealing.
    posted by Kitty Stardust at 7:06 AM on May 8 [13 favorites]


    Am I the only one who was disappointed with the Bron story this season? Like, yay, I like Bron, glad I get to see him again. But it was wasted screen time. It was pointless. Cersei sends him off in episode 1, we see him for 5 minutes in episode 4 where he's like "later dudes! I'll be back after all the action is over". So we might see him again at the end of the series. Cersei didn't even look surprised when Tyrion showed up on her doorstep. Like the entire story was just an excuse to get some Bron action in the last season. He could have been used so much better.

    This has been said before many times but this is just one more example of why this last season seems to put fan service above logical plotting and character motivations.
    posted by LizBoBiz at 7:09 AM on May 8 [5 favorites]


    Guy who can see into the future ("I'm waiting for an old friend")

    Or who could have just sent out a few ravens to check out who was on the Kings Road headed Winterfell-way.

    I don't think Bran can see the future.
    posted by torticat at 7:14 AM on May 8 [2 favorites]


    Cersei sends him off in episode 1, we see him for 5 minutes in episode 4 where he's like "later dudes! I'll be back after all the action is over".

    Bronn's speech was foreshadowing about him getting the Iron Throne, right?
    posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:55 AM on May 8


    I don't think Bran can see the future.

    My impression is that Bran has vast access to pretty much everything, past-present-future, but particularly past. But that's differently from seeing it all -- he's got to know what to look for, and how. Rather like the internet. It's pretty much all out there, but where exactly is it ... and who's got all the passwords?

    The GOT sequel I'd be interested in would be something like Bran Stark - Adventures in Eternity
    posted by philip-random at 8:21 AM on May 8 [1 favorite]


    I just want it to be known that I do not now nor will I ever support Jon as King of Westeros because of how he treated Ghost. Hopefully when HBO finally edits out that starbucks cup, they will edit in Ghost peeing on Jon's leg.
    posted by miss-lapin at 8:28 AM on May 8 [7 favorites]


    Dany has a much harder sell for her 'breaker of chains' narrative in Westeros, because there isn't the explicit slavery like there was in the cities she conquered in Essos. I'll agree with you all day long that the medieval-European-based feudal system that's in use in Westeros is not too far removed from slavery, but the serfs don't think they're slaves, and the lords, of course, don't see any problem. And really, it's not like she's here to implement representative democracy any way. She cleaves to the traditional system as much (or moreso) as anyone. Her goal is to conquer and take back her birthright. As we've seen in Essos, she's a lot less handy at actually ruling, and is in the process of alienating the very people in Westeros who would be the most help to her in that endeavor.

    It's like no one recognizes that real executive power derives from a a mandate from the masses, not some farcical fiery ceremony.
    posted by Shohn at 8:32 AM on May 8 [17 favorites]


    Bronn's speech was foreshadowing about him getting the Iron Throne, right?

    He's basically traded his way up from a paperclip. What's twice Highgarden?
    posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 8:38 AM on May 8 [16 favorites]


    I was seeing red when Tormund was talking that shit about Jon's bravery and awesomeness when he barely did a fraction of what Dany has done.

    I think that was rather the point. However, Dany's seeing red just can't end well for anyone.
    posted by torticat at 8:45 AM on May 8 [1 favorite]


    Much like with Robert Jordan of old, I had pretty much given up on GRRM finishing the story and was hoping that the showrunners were going to go all Brandon Sanderson on this thing and bring it home in style (and substance)....but....it certainly seems clear that Martin will mint his own money if he ever publishes a One True Ending thanks to all of the hamfisted, no-logic, let's-just-get-'er-done fuckery the show is doing just to wrap it all up.

    It's pretty, and i will give over two more sunday nights to watch, but, man.....these characters really don't deserve this....
    posted by OHenryPacey at 8:49 AM on May 8 [10 favorites]


    Dany has a much harder sell for her 'breaker of chains' narrative in Westeros, because there isn't the explicit slavery like there was in the cities she conquered in Essos.

    Yes because of the cultural differences, but also because in Westeros she's not trying to upend the social structure in any way at all. She is categorically NOT a breaker of chains there. In fact, she wants to re-enforce the status quo of absolute rule and feudalistic economy (with her at the top of it) -- she wants to exploit those chains of obligation for her own benefit. She undermines local leaders, demands oaths of allegiance and sets people who refuse on fire. She is trading on her name/bloodline as a claim to the throne, but her family was deposed by a hugely popular coup. In Westeros, she is exactly the person who she led rebellions against in Essos.

    In Westeros, she's just reasserting a right to rule that people have come to think of as barbaric and dangerous. It's both symbolically and practically important that the dragons will burn and eat whatever they like, and she thinks its their right as dragons -- and the Westerosi who she tells that to (like Sansa and the Northern Council) get terrified looks on their faces when they hear that.
    posted by rue72 at 8:59 AM on May 8 [22 favorites]


    I think that Dany has a good heart and wouldn't necessarily be a worse ruler than any of the other lunatics that have been and are on the throne. But she's case in point that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. She's an example of why the Iron Throne is a bad idea as a concept.
    posted by rue72 at 9:01 AM on May 8 [2 favorites]


    Man, I'm fascinated that people continue to have such differing reads on her this far in. I've thought she was clearly a megalomaniac since the crowdsurfing scene in season 3.

    I guess we'll know in another episode or two.
    posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:28 AM on May 8 [8 favorites]


    Arya sneaks into King's Landing and takes Jamie's face. ... Arya uses the opportunity to kill her

    Man. I don't know if all the speculation about Arya in disguise killing Cersei is like some kind of fanficcing in advance, or if it's wishful thinking because everyone loves Arya, or if it represents sincerely held beliefs (hi Bill Barr!).

    But Arya's not going to kill Cersei. Arya already used her faceless man technique to wipe out the Freys--a major coup, avenging the Red Wedding. Over, fin, Chekhov's mask discharged.

    Arya then used her ninja skills to take out the Night King, the most consequential victory of the show to date (actually of the show, period).

    Arya's role in the endgame will have to do with the Hound, and offing the Mountain--where her skills will come into play again--but it will not have to do with killing Cersei.

    Arya had a long arc of preparation, but it has already been paid off. Tyrion, Jon, and Jaime have also had long arcs*, none of which have been paid off at all. Someone, I expect, will need to take out Dany, whose interest now is in mass incineration rather than a surgical strike against Cersei. I guess that's likely to be Jon, who is decidedly opposed to "burn them all." And someone obviously will need to take out Cersei--a job that will probably involve both her brothers. Cersei's got her own (historically demonstrated) propensity for "burn them all," and Tyrion and Jaime are (as historically demonstrated) also hugely opposed to allowing that to happen.

    *I'd like to include Sansa here, but I can't quite figure what she can do from Winterfell. Maybe send ravens with intel from Bran... but that seems kinda weak.
    posted by torticat at 9:38 AM on May 8 [4 favorites]


    It occurs to me that Dany's struggles in Westeros are just her Mirri Maz Duur fuck-up writ large. She saved Mirri Maz Duur from Khal Drogo's wholesale rape and slaughter of her people, and then was shocked, shocked! when Mirri turned around and poisoned(?) Drogo/sacrificed Dany's unborn child, going, "I mean thanks and all, but literally everyone I ever knew or loved is dead, and your husband did that. Did you think I was just gonna follow you around kissing your feet for the rest of my life, bitch?"

    No - in Dany's mind, because she personally Did A Nice by sparing Mirri's life, Mirri should be eternally grateful for her benevolence and set aside any other loyalties or legitimate grievances. And the idea that she wouldn't, or wouldn't want to, is totally inconceivable to Daenerys. She never even considered it.

    Similarly, Dany is under the impression that because she marched north to pitch in against the White Walkers, that the North should be welcoming her as their saviour; not only backing her for the Iron Throne, but actively embracing the prospect of her ruling over them as queen. She does not understand that the North has completely valid concerns, such as: being depleted after years of war and hardship, having only recently won their independence at great cost, and having twice in living memory been forced into wars sparked by power-mad Southern kings executing their leadership in cold blood. One of those instances being Dany's own father!

    Think of what a powerful ally the North would be if a contender for the Iron Throne pledged to recognise their independence! Imagine if Daenerys had stood up at the Winterfell feast and said, "This fight has shown me how brave and true and proud the people of the North are; how well you love your brothers, and the lords sworn to protect you; and how hard you have fought to protect hearth and home. Help me take the Iron Throne, and I will be proud to recognise an independent North as the realm's most stalwart allies. To the King in the North!" That alliance would have been fuckin' unbreakable.

    But that's not in Daenerys' character. The North is hers by right, because the Iron Throne is hers by right. And because she Did A Nice in helping to save the continent from the Night King, none of their other concerns or grievances matter in the face of the gratitude they should be showing her, personally. And she just doesn't get why that isn't the case.
    posted by jurymast at 9:46 AM on May 8 [49 favorites]


    And like. I am kind of saddened that this is the case! I have cheered for Daenerys in past seasons. I have enjoyed watching a woman be unapologetically fierce, particularly one who clawed her way up from circumstances such as Dany's. From being sold into sex slavery to becoming the conqueror of cities and breaker of chains, also with motherfucking dragons? Hell yeah.

    But this particular kind of egocentrism - this difficulty with recognising perspectives and concerns outside of her own as real or legitimate - has been Dany's tragic flaw since the very first season. Because she struggles to understand other people's grievances as valid, she takes every every act of resistance or refusal not as something that might be politically/economically/culturally motivated, but instead on some level as an affront against her personally. And thus, any retribution or corrective measures become not simply a matter of practicality or the simple business of warfare/governing/etc., but instead tinged with revenge for what she internally perceives as an attack against her.

    As much as I have loved Dany in the past, it's not that long a road from there to the kind of paranoia that defined the reign of the last mad Targaryen.
    posted by jurymast at 10:10 AM on May 8 [14 favorites]


    Man, I'm fascinated that people continue to have such differing reads on her this far in. I've thought she was clearly a megalomaniac since the crowdsurfing scene in season 3.

    assuming she has a soul and assuming we want what's best for her, I'm thinking that the worst thing that could happen to Dany would be for her to gain the throne. In this regard, she reminds me of more than one character in LOTR who when offered the One Ring have the strength to reject it, because they can see the madness at the heart of it.

    So yeah, Dany will go mad if she goes full-on for the throne. As I've mentioned already, I don't think she's gone too far ... yet. But she's at the extreme edge of a very slippery slope.
    posted by philip-random at 10:15 AM on May 8 [1 favorite]


    Is anyone else turning towards just considering The Long Night the last episode of the series, and skipping the rest?

    1. Rendering Cersei/Dany plots inconsequential.
    2. Giving a Lord of Light-inspired slant to the last scene.
    3. Making the series all about Arya's journey, and all other romantic/political intrigue supplementary
    4. Bad ass position to take writing wise, out-surprising The Sopranos end.
    posted by Harry Caul at 10:45 AM on May 8 [5 favorites]


    My impression is that Bran has vast access to pretty much everything, past-present-future, but particularly past. But that's differently from seeing it all -- he's got to know what to look for, and how. Rather like the internet. It's pretty much all out there, but where exactly is it ... and who's got all the passwords?

    The GOT sequel I'd be interested in would be something like Bran Stark - Adventures in Eternity


    don't say that too loudly, HBO will absolutely reward you with a Tales from the Crypt spinoff
    posted by grandiloquiet at 11:41 AM on May 8


    Jurymast-Thank you for articulating that. If you do the right thing expecting a reward that's a trade, and if this agreement is unspoken that trade may exist only in your mind. This is why it's kinda important to hammer this shit out beforehand. When Tyrion brought up succession last season, Dany was like "We'll sort this out later." This is one of the reasons she is better as a conquerer than as a leader.

    With Cersei at least there is a line of succession. The little people are going to want war to end for as long as possible. Right now, the best bet for that is actually Cersei. (Although the idea of Pirate Pacey as Imperial Consort....ew.)
    posted by miss-lapin at 11:43 AM on May 8 [2 favorites]


    I STILL want to see Tywin explain the mechanics of sex to Tommen

    You will observe her naked form and become erect. I trust I don't need to explain that last word to you at least. You will then impregnate her in the most obvious way imaginable. If you cannot understand what to do from these simple instructions you do not deserve to bear my name. Do we understand each other?
    posted by East14thTaco at 11:52 AM on May 8 [16 favorites]


    Please no, this makes me think of how he "explained" the mechanics of sex to Tyrion. Such a horrible person.
    posted by rue72 at 11:59 AM on May 8 [1 favorite]


    I absolutely heard that in Charles Dance's voice.
    posted by Mogur at 12:00 PM on May 8 [8 favorites]


    "And no... funny business. There's been enough of that in this family."
    posted by jurymast at 12:01 PM on May 8


    dunno if someone has already posted Tom and Lorenzo's take on this ep but it is pretty harsh - and fairly accurate: Game of Thrones Settles on Its Final Theme: Women are the Real Problem

    this final season has been seriously flawed. the show has always been uneven, as far as i am concerned. this is a core genre for me, and though i think GoT has handled it better than most any other TV fantasy series, it still is terribly imperfect.

    a big part of that is that it has always been sexist. and no, the show is not mistakenly being accused of it: there's a difference between portraying sexism and simply being, intrinsically, sexist. being a bit of a devil's advocate for a moment, i do think it is worthwhile that women can be seen to be just as powerful, corrupt, evil, and stupid as male characters. but i think D&D are not very good writers. they seem more to be competent adapters, and did much with shaping GRRM's existing story into something manageable for the medium. now that we are in unwritten territory, or one that is merely culled from an "outline", the quality has taken a hit. there's also a distinct difference between GRRM and D&D: the giant nerdy beardy goblin man vs. the two white boy type-A showbiz-bros. and then there's HBO, which is all, "hey we're cable let's show some tits before we kill 'em!"

    the racism goes even deeper - nearly all the POC get killed off, all the main characters are white. and that whole Missandei scene was repulsive. i figure the writers had her submit and sacrifice herself under the logic that she thought, if she didn't, it might get Dany killed, and likely Grey Worm and definitely Tyrion, in an onslaught of arrows. maybe i am giving them too much credit, though.

    and it's sort of useless to say what should have been but... that whole Missandei scene - well, i wouldn't have written it at all, but here's how i would have played it out: she wasn't chained to that structure, even though her hands were shackled (goddamn, D&D, you assholes) Cersei stood right next to her. elsewhere i've seen comments that there is no way M could have got hold of C with all the guards around, but she was RIGHT THERE. in my version, Missandei hisses, "dracarys!" and body-checks Cersei right off the parapet with her - to their deaths. Euron screams the bowmen into action, they rain a hail of shots down onto the parlay party, killing Tyrion. the small force of Unsullied throw up their shields and hurry Dany away - though those huge scorpion bolts have a long range, within moments the troops on the battlements realize Euron ain't really their king and they just... stop. dust clears and Cersei, Missandei, Qyburn, and Tyrion all lie dead.

    now THAT would be subverting the audience's expectations. i'd even be fine if Dany got taken out and Drogon flew off and found Jon and they just disappeard into the north, hahaha.
    but eh. Jon was such an asshole to Ghost he doesn't deserve a happy ending.
    we shall see.
    posted by lapolla at 12:12 PM on May 8 [18 favorites]


    I want a better show than this one to tease out the parallels between the last three queens (plus Arya) as survivors of abuse and trauma, and the different ways they choose to protect themselves from being victimised again.

    OH WELL.
    posted by jurymast at 12:34 PM on May 8 [14 favorites]


    You'd think that Bran might search history for something of some use, like a spell to fix a spine, or even to grow a dick back. I feel like that might go over pretty well in some parts of Westeros.
    posted by kittens for breakfast at 12:42 PM on May 8 [3 favorites]


    He's apparently an expert in wheelchair designs, the one thing he did say he proactively looked up in his knowledge base.
    posted by BungaDunga at 12:48 PM on May 8


    Another thing I’ve been thinking/wondering - what if it is Jaqen H’qar who comes for Arya? I can’t imagine the House of Black and White really likes her running around breaking all their rules, killing people that are personally beneficial to Arya whose names she knows...
    posted by corb at 1:04 PM on May 8 [5 favorites]


    Unless they're giving us a fan-outraging Arya=Waif reveal, I do not have time for the House of B&W to waltz back into the show. Jaqen I love you man but stay on your side of the narrow sea. We've barely got enough show left for Cleganebowl at this point.
    posted by prize bull octorok at 1:19 PM on May 8 [12 favorites]


    I gotta admit I'm worried Cleganebowl isn't going to happen, I'm tempted to look at leaks. I've practically had to completely stay off social media to avoid them.
    posted by miss-lapin at 1:38 PM on May 8


    Bran is not Brandon Stark anymore. He may not actually care who wins the throne. We know he thinks the Three-Eyed Raven needs to survive, because he’s the memory of mankind, and we know he wanted the living to defeat the dead. But we don’t know whether he has any attachment to the Starks beyond a sort of vague benevolence, or any opinion at all about Daenerys. I suspect that, to the extent he’s still involving himself in human affairs (which appears minimal), he’s playing a much longer game than everyone else.
    posted by dephlogisticated at 1:38 PM on May 8 [3 favorites]


    I'm tempted to look at leaks.

    FWIW there are so many leaks, so many conflicts between them, and no clear signs (IMO) that any of them is legitimate, that looking at them hasn’t clarified anything for me!
    posted by sallybrown at 1:49 PM on May 8 [2 favorites]


    I've been tempted to seek out leaks, but honestly the only value that's left in the show for me at this point is in discussing it with friends, and I'd rather not accidentally have knowledge that could act as a spoiler to the ones that care about that sort of thing. Two weeks and finally some closure on this story!
    posted by codacorolla at 2:35 PM on May 8 [1 favorite]




    You'd think that Bran might search history for something of some use, like a spell to fix a spine, or even to grow a dick back.

    Whereas I've become convinced he's searching the channel guide.
    posted by snuffleupagus at 2:43 PM on May 8 [3 favorites]


    I suspect it's unintentional, since everything this season seems unintentional, but remember how the dragonpit turned Drogon's ancestors from mighty creatures to dog-sized non-threats in a few generations? That is supposed to represent the waning of magic as a force in the world, I think.

    I couldn't help but feel the same when seeing husky-sized Ghost in the courtyard. He should be the size of a horse. Of course, it doesn't help his former master has a heart the size of a pecan, apparently.

    Sniff.
    posted by maxwelton at 3:23 PM on May 8 [3 favorites]


    ou'd think that Bran might search history for something of some use, like a spell to fix a spine, or even to grow a dick back.

    Whereas I've become convinced he's searching the channel guide.


    or as pointed out in the last thread, he's just out on the internet somewhere complaining about what's happened to Game of Thrones.
    posted by philip-random at 3:26 PM on May 8 [1 favorite]


    At this point in the show, it's sorta unclear why the story needed the White Walkers at all

    Indeed. I was personally far more interested in the White Walkers/Bran/Children of the Forest/The Night Watch thread of the series than any other thread (Arya's coming a close second) but it turns out the purpose for each was a bit of muddy battle staging. A song of a dagger and an icicle king. I have no objection to also having a focus on the other threads that remain but I doubt time will permit any of them to be resolved well (in my opinion). As a show it's been drifting to hyper mainstream in it's storytelling for quite some time. It's unfortunate that having found major mainstream success, presumably (perhaps I'm in error) because of the show it was, it has abandoned what made it successful. Unfortunately that is a story all to common in Hollywood and American television and cinematic history.
    posted by juiceCake at 3:27 PM on May 8 [6 favorites]


    Prediction: The last minute of the last episode consists of Arya and a surprised Cersei looking at each other for thirty seconds, followed by the screen going black and thirty seconds of Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger".
    posted by They sucked his brains out! at 3:51 PM on May 8 [7 favorites]


    Another thing I’ve been thinking/wondering - what if it is Jaqen H’qar who comes for Arya? I can’t imagine the House of Black and White really likes her running around breaking all their rules, killing people that are personally beneficial to Arya whose names she knows...

    If they bring back boring-ass Sexy Jesus for the last episode, this show is dead to me.
    posted by Sys Rq at 4:17 PM on May 8 [1 favorite]


    I couldn't help but feel the same when seeing husky-sized Ghost in the courtyard. He should be the size of a horse. Of course, it doesn't help his former master has a heart the size of a pecan, apparently.

    A heart sized to match his brain. At least it explains why he was savable after being stabbed: harder to hit vital spots.
    posted by codacorolla at 6:24 PM on May 8 [2 favorites]


    Is anyone else turning towards just considering The Long Night the last episode of the series, and skipping the rest?

    I imagine retroactively, I will pretend the show ended right after the scene where Jaime and Brienne hook up for the first time. This way, I can pretend that Missendei and Grey Worm got to ride off into the sunset together, that Rhaegal wasn't killed by stupid Sea Ramsay, and that Jaime didn't run off 10 seconds after he and Brienne finally got together.

    I mean, no matter how much the show frustrates me at times, I can't imagine I won't stick around for the final 2 episodes, but on re-watch, I'm betting I'll be pretending this is where the show ends. Just like how on re-watch I pretend that Ramsay's only scenes are when Jon beats him up and Sansa feeds him to his dogs.
    posted by litera scripta manet at 6:28 PM on May 8 [7 favorites]


    I finally watched this bad episode and this is a bad show and I hate it and I'm having Battlestar Galactica flashbacks.
    posted by schroedinger at 6:36 PM on May 8 [9 favorites]


    1. I think Pod sang to the ladies. I read a romances novel where one small plot line was that So And So had a rep as a ladies man but was simply not equipped and so everyone thought he was also just lovely and cuddled all night and kept his secret (teenage me obv got robbed with no hints of other options covered).
    Jamie working his way through the chess set


    The bishops are piqued but the Red Keep is notably concerned.
    posted by tilde at 6:55 PM on May 8


    I am still waiting to find out what happened when Tyrion brought the jackass and the honeycomb to the brothel.
    posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:23 PM on May 8 [1 favorite]


    Has anyone else been comparing this final season of GoT to the Avengers? Seeing Endgame last night (no spoilers) I couldn't help but marvel at how neatly and elegantly many of the major arcs were tied up, with all sorts of delightful thematic resolutions and character arcs and understandable motives. Not a perfect movie by any means but it shows, to me, that wrapping up the story of a global franchise is actually doable, and the whole idea that the franchise will just fall to pieces once it becomes popular and is beholden to a vast audience is plain nonsense.
    posted by Cpt. The Mango at 11:07 PM on May 8 [4 favorites]


    So this is why the parley location felt disconnected: Game of Thrones stealthily changed the geography of King's Landing. Why?
    This season's continued remodeling of King's Landing isn't the first instance of retroactive continuity in Game of Thrones, but it is quite drastic. The hilly, lush coastal town of earlier seasons is no more, replaced by a city in a sprawling, arid flatland, where the harbor is no longer the defining geographical trait and the locations outside the walls might be more important than those within.
    posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 11:10 PM on May 8 [8 favorites]


    Has anyone else been comparing this final season of GoT to the Avengers?

    I've been doing exactly that. What's striking is that some of the actual logistics in each are equally as silly and just-go-with-it-and-don't-think-too-hard-about-how-it-actually-works; and some of the 'X character survives in the face of almost certain destruction' moments are just as improbable. The difference, however, is two-fold. First, the MCU has already established itself as a setting where space travel and alien technology and time hijinks and nanoparticles and etc. etc. already exist. Likewise, it has already established itself as a story about, well... heroes; the sort of story where last-minute rescues and surviving through the power of self-belief and friendship are things that can and do happen. It has already set the terms for our suspension of disbelief, and for the most part, never betrays those terms. Game of Thrones, not so much.

    The second, of course, is that Endgame sticks the landing with almost every one of its emotional beats.

    Game of Thrones, not so much.
    posted by jurymast at 11:41 PM on May 8 [6 favorites]


    Yeah, I'm with dephlogisticated - the "why don't they have Bran do X" commentary seems to forget his near total lack of investment in current human events. He's not exactly taking orders from Daenerys or even Jon, and I haven't seen any evidence he cares one way or another who sits on the Iron Throne.
    posted by lwb at 12:56 AM on May 9


    Yeah, I'm with dephlogisticated - the "why don't they have Bran do X" commentary seems to forget his near total lack of investment in current human events. He's not exactly taking orders from Daenerys or even Jon, and I haven't seen any evidence he cares one way or another who sits on the Iron Throne.

    Bran can be all Doctor Manhattan, but he's got to be at least vaguely aware that if Cersei wins, she'll want him dead with the rest of the Starks so there should be some interest in the outcome or the sense of him having an alternative that places him at a safe remove from the conflict. That latter may be the case, but it could also be that he has a plan of his own about the throne.

    It depends a bit, I suspect, on how the show now views the desire to wield power and what bran represents. A lot of the rooting interest seems attached to the idea winning the throne could be good for a favored character instead of just intrinsically corrupting for anyone as power might well be. Bran has shown a complete disinterest in the fates of some that should have been dear to him, which may speak as much to his aptness for rule in the world we've seen as it does to his lack of interest.
    posted by gusottertrout at 1:18 AM on May 9 [1 favorite]


    Has anyone else been comparing this final season of GoT to the Avengers?

    Yep and the difference in the quality of storytelling is astounding. The best way to sum it is up is that the Endgame writers would have had the internet cooing about how touching the last scene with Jon and Ghost was.

    GoT writers couldn't handle a 30-second farewell scene between a human and a loyal "pet".
    posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:12 AM on May 9 [5 favorites]


    Welp, guess I'm glad we finally got this cleared up. Director David Nutter on why Jon didn't say goodbye to Ghost:
    Since the direwolves are kind of CG creations, we felt it best to keep it as simple as possible,” Nutter told Huffington Post. “Keeping Ghost off to the side, I thought that played out better ... Then [Jon] just walks off by himself, he turns to Ghost and has this moment with Ghost that I thought was very, very powerful."
    (emphasis mine)

    So yeah, it's not actually some considered decision regarding the nature of direwolves as independent animals or Jon's increasing isolation from his upbringing. They just were lazy and didn't wanna spend any of that dragon CGI money on the relationship between one of the two last surviving direwolves, companions to the main characters that have been present since ep1. Cool cool cool cool cool cool.
    posted by lazaruslong at 5:44 AM on May 9 [15 favorites]


    Just take 30 seconds or less and have Jon say something thanking Ghost, pet him and lose the scene of the the soon to be dead anyway Visearys staring at Jon and Dany at the cave. Or only spend 54 days filming the disappointing battle of Winterfell instead of 55, boom cost savings for Ghost!

    I'm not even that bothered by Ghost and Jon scene we got, just thought it was weirdly underdone. And if their excuse boils down to "it was too expensive for TV," well, then quit trying to be a movie if you can't do it.
    posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:18 AM on May 9 [6 favorites]


    Bran can be all Doctor Manhattan,

    Doctor Branhattan, surely.
    posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:27 AM on May 9 [14 favorites]


    Maybe the Starbucks truthers are right and GoT isn’t set in some equivalent of a medieval period but rather THE FUTURE with never-fade black sails and modern rangefinding tech!


    The fourth realm of Westworld, even.
    posted by tilde at 7:24 AM on May 9 [8 favorites]


    Maybe Bran has been trying to figure out what the fuck is going on in that show, and that's why he's been checked out of this one.
    posted by tobascodagama at 7:32 AM on May 9 [8 favorites]


    Ya know, even if they had snagged an extra white fur from the costume department and threw it over a banister and had Jon hug it or pet it or something, even if he was walking out the door it would have been better than "smell ya later, dude!"

    They probably didn't want to deal with the green screen object and then rendering all sorts of moving hair, which isn't a problem with scaly dragons, but still, get a practical prop person on set!

    Anyway, Ghost is the Poochie of GOT: "I have to return to my home planet now, never to return!"
    posted by Hermeowne Grangepurr at 8:33 AM on May 9 [4 favorites]


    Ghost died on the way to his home planet. Because SUBVERSION.
    posted by tobascodagama at 9:02 AM on May 9 [3 favorites]


    I can't understand why they couldn't do something with animatronics or puppets.
    posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:42 AM on May 9 [1 favorite]


    I'm confused. Google says they filmed earlier seasons with a breed of dogs called Northern Inuit. So I guess at a certain point, dire wolves were supposed to grow larger than dog size but isn't that what green screens and closeups are for? Technology has advanced a lot since The Incredible Shrinking Man.
    posted by TWinbrook8 at 9:48 AM on May 9 [2 favorites]


    Dire wolves I think are supposed to be closer to man height. But also, you could have a scene of Jon walking towards Ghost and burying his face in fur or something. There are so many ways they could have done it that wasn’t just a fuck you.
    posted by corb at 9:58 AM on May 9 [11 favorites]


    They don't seem to worry about the occasionally janky green screen shots of dragon riding, so a janky green screen shot of a Ghost goodbye would be fine.

    Also, forced perspective is a thing? It worked for Hobbits!
    posted by BungaDunga at 10:03 AM on May 9 [6 favorites]


    They can show fire-breathing dragons zooming through the air, they can show half-rotted wights (including giants) waging war, they can show white walkers and children of the forest, they can show zillions of characters being killed in very graphic ways, etc etc etc....I think they can make a dog look bigger than average for fuck's sake. hahahaha
    posted by rue72 at 10:04 AM on May 9 [10 favorites]


    RE: Bran's disinterest in current events... fine. You probably have to have some limits on Bran's power for the sake of tension. I don't think that having Bran scry as a solution to every conceivable problem is very entertaining, so it might make sense that he has trouble wielding his power precisely, or that he's inhuman and disinterested in doing so. BUT YOU HAVE TO SHOW THAT ON SCREEN! Leaving it up to the audience to intuit (or not) is poor story telling. I honestly can't even tell if they're trying to do this with his vague comments about historical wheelchairs and failing. But it's an obvious question! It takes like 3 seconds for (IDK) Greyworm to be like "He can see the future! Why didn't he save Missandei!?" and then have a character bring in a little exposition about how Bran has changed, or have Bran say himself that his powers don't work that way. It's like a 30 second scene, at most. Lord knows with all the pointless dithering this season that they have the time.
    posted by codacorolla at 10:09 AM on May 9 [7 favorites]


    I think Bran is Westeros's version of "the cloud."

    What I don't get is why he's considered so valuable. He's basically a living library, but I mean, they also have actual libraries and actual scholars and stuff, so...eh. Also, he's SUPER difficult to extract any information from, so even if theoretically he could be helpful, he's not really.

    I think that's kind of the deal with all the three-eyed ravens, though. I mean, the last one was trapped in a tree for a very long time and nobody even missed him (on a societal level).
    posted by rue72 at 10:18 AM on May 9


    Sounds great. Put that on the screen instead of relying on your fans to do post-hoc rationalization about it.
    posted by codacorolla at 10:23 AM on May 9 [4 favorites]


    Put what onscreen? Bran being useless (or redundant) in any practical sense? That's exactly what they have put on screen.

    Why the Night King would be interested in him, I dunno. But the dude never spoke a word, so who even knows what was going on with him altogether.
    posted by rue72 at 10:28 AM on May 9 [2 favorites]


    All I want out of Bran at this point is more sweet wheelchair lore.
    posted by exogenous at 10:45 AM on May 9 [9 favorites]


    Do a whole episode that's just Bran talking about the history of mobility assistive devices in Westeros for 90 minutes. Like the cetology chapter in Moby Dick.
    posted by tobascodagama at 11:00 AM on May 9 [20 favorites]


    TWIST IDEA FOR NEXT EPISODE our heroes are all like

    HEROES: oh no, we have erred in our attack on King's Landing, save us Bran

    BRAN: I'm not Bran anymore

    HEROES: ok whoever you are save us

    BRAN: No, I'm on Cersei's side now

    HEROES: what oh no what a TWIST why

    [Bran rolls out in sick rocket-powered wheelchair, high-fives Maester Qyburn, rocket jets shoot out green fire, Bran pops a wheelie and takes off]

    QYBURN: FUCK YEAH TECHNOLOGY
    posted by prize bull octorok at 11:01 AM on May 9 [14 favorites]


    [Bran rolls out in sick rocket-powered wheelchair, high-fives Maester Qyburn, rocket jets shoot out green fire, Bran pops a wheelie and takes off]

    Tell me this is not the Iron Throne.
    posted by MonkeyToes at 11:11 AM on May 9 [7 favorites]


    I don't think Bran can see the future, actually--he can see (most of? all of?) the past, and things happening in the present at a distance (the limits of which are unclear; can he see what's going on in Essos?)

    That doesn't make the narrative problem go away, since presumably seeing Euron's fleet and Qyburn's scorpions etc would be in the scope of his powers, and you wouldn't need to send a raven to Winterfell to inform them about the attack on Daenerys's fleet. Either he's not tuned in/doesn't care enough about the current conflict to be useful or he's playing some other game and is intervening via conversations we're not meant to see yet (because surprise plot twists, ugh) or deliberately refraining from providing warnings because it suits his ends to do so. Or his powers are limited by some other factor we don't know about, like shitty writing.
    posted by karayel at 11:17 AM on May 9 [5 favorites]


    I just want there to be some kind of sense to the whole story. I don't care who lives or dies as a rooting interest as long as it has some vague sense of logic to it as to presenting something greater than the alleged thrill of any given scene. Bran was shown the Night King being created because of the threat of humans. He helped, apparently, kill the Night King who seemed to perceive Bran as important in some fashion. What does that mean or even just suggest for the world of the story? Are humans tainted in some fashion which is represented through their battles for the Iron Throne?

    The same with Arya's Faceless connection. What is their role? Is it, hopefully, more than just a way to give her magic ninja powers to be the audience favorite and provide excuse for her killing the Night King and maybe Cersei to get a Stark on the throne as if that's the desirable outcome? What is the logic to those hoary claims of right to rule via kinship and inheritance so many characters can potentially claim? Is that somehow to read as "right" or questionable for birthright being such an empty value.

    Is there some logic behind the set up of the story and how the events transpired leading to the end? Bran getting pushed from the tower for seeing Jaime and Cersei in an illicit embrace, the way the Starks and Lannisters each have ended up with three roughly similar siblings left to vie for control, Jaime without his hand, Bran without use of his legs, Tyrion and Arya who went their own ways, and Sansa and Cersei as mirroring relationships to the use of power. Will that figure in or be ignored?

    I can't tell if the show is following whatever notes Martin may have given, however badly, or if they're just winging it with their eyes more on the spinoffs and want to end this show however they think best sets up future audiences for the next series. I largely gave up on the show somewhere in season five, skipping six entirely, for being so sloppy and far removed from the feeling of there being a logic to the series in the early seasons, but I hold out some hope that they're at least roughly following whatever Martin had in mind, however problematic that might be, as at least having some logic to it all would be better than equally problematic but meaningless. There are a number of possible ways they could work this out and still give some indication of a deeper logic behind it, but I'm ever more doubtful that will happen.
    posted by gusottertrout at 11:17 AM on May 9 [11 favorites]


    In this The Cast Remembers segment, Rory McCann (The Hound) mentions that one of the things he found most enjoyable about working on this saga was the fact that there were never any egotistical and problematic actors in the cast.

    On the one hand, that's awesome!

    On the other hand, I sometimes wonder if actors going semi-diva and pushing back hard might have prevented some of the issues we've been seeing.

    "Mr. Weis? Mr. Benioff? I know it says here that my character reacts with shock, surprise and sadness at this betrayal, but...didn't this exact same thing happen to him in Season 4 Episode 6? He was even betrayed by the same character, who warned him that he would betray him again! What? Seriously, that's what you want? Are you serious? ARE YOU SERIOUS?!"

    or

    "David, when this thing happened to my character in Season 6 Episode 2, she declared -- and all the other characters agreed - - that she would learn from this and remember it always. Granted, I know you didn't write or direct that episode, it was written by a woman. But...it just doesn't make sense that we're now having her walk right into the same situation naively. No woman would do that. You're serious? Truly? I'm going to have to think about this."

    or

    "Um, guys? In past seasons we said it took many days to travel from this spot to that location on horse. Now we're doing it in a single day? Ha! Audiences aren't going to put up with that shit, that's laugh out loud ridiculous. Wait, you're serious? LET ME LAUGH EVEN HARDER!"
    posted by lord_wolf at 11:24 AM on May 9 [3 favorites]


    "Uh, hey, HBO accidentally booked the CGI machine for the Bionic Woman reboot, so the Dany/Cersei confrontation scene is gonna be whatever the Unreal engine on Bill's laptop can spit out. Maybe the north gate opens onto a desert?"

    "..."

    "And, uh, for the walls. It's going to be lots of 'scorpions' without ammo, or one--maybe two--with some spare ammo. That fletching is worse than dog hair to render!"

    "For fuck's sake."
    posted by maxwelton at 11:33 AM on May 9 [3 favorites]


    lord_wolf, I'm at work right now so I can't pull up Youtube, but in a recent interview (The Hollywood Reporter, I think?) with Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, he said that he's spent quite a lot of time expressing his frustrations with Jaime's arc to the writers, and it sounds like he even had some straight-up arguments with them. Unfortunately it sounds like the writers didn't budge an inch, that they just told him to "shut up and learn your lines."

    If they're already like this with one of the older male main actors in the show, I'd doubt that they'd be more open to anyone else in the cast voicing their concerns.
    posted by facehugger at 11:35 AM on May 9 [8 favorites]


    Facehugger if you find that link at some point, please post it!
    posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:51 AM on May 9 [1 favorite]


    Think it's probably this one.
    posted by torticat at 12:47 PM on May 9 [1 favorite]


    Since the direwolves are kind of CG creations, we felt it best to keep it as simple as possible

    I knew it
    posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 12:48 PM on May 9


    I can't tell if the show is following whatever notes Martin may have given, however badly, or if they're just winging it with their eyes more on the spinoffs and want to end this show however they think best sets up future audiences for the next series.

    My guess is a mix of the latter + butterfly effect. They killed off a lot of characters and storylines to make things simpler and cheaper. My guess is they also eliminated the direwolves simply so they wouldn't have to animate them. But that means that a lot of things wouldn't even work. I understand from reading interviews that GRRM has not even seen the full script.

    Honestly the more I watch this series the more I think the showrunners are just bored and want it to be over.
    posted by corb at 12:50 PM on May 9 [4 favorites]


    Well, that's something they have in common with their audience now.
    posted by tobascodagama at 12:56 PM on May 9 [8 favorites]


    FINAL SCENE:

    Kings Landing/The Throne Room:
    Bloodied Cersei, Dany, and Jon clutching daggers, in a Mexican standoff, glaring at each other as the muffled shouts and screams of warring soldiers and fleeing civilians filter up to them. Silence. Tension. The darting of eyes back and forth...

    From Off Camera, comes a shout: CUT!
    The actors straighten up in disbelief, staring in the same direction.

    Off Camera voice: Sorry, just got off the phone with corporate. We've run through to the very ass-end of our budget. I know we tried to economize on the last few episodes, but the accountants say they will absolutely honor no more invoices for any work after... well, now. Don't worry, Dave and I will knock some bullshit together in post--maybe like a fucking huge explosion and fade to black or some shite like that if we can grab an hour of aftereffects time this weekend. Anyways, great to work with you all, and we wish you luck in all your future projects! If you havent grabbed your lunch yet, please do so in the next 15. Our caterer is wheels up to Glasgow in 2 hours and would like to pack it in ASAP. Crew, turn in your time slips before 4, or we can't guarantee they'll be honored. Well, Take Care!

    The Camera pulls back to show the crew coiling up wires, taking down lights, rolling backdrops away (note: see final scene of J. Lewis' The Patsy for inspiration). The actors all mill around, looking shocked, their personal assistants fluttering around them like angry birds. Eventually, as more and more of the scenery is carted away, we see Kit and Lena, and Emilia taking turns sitting on the iron throne prop, taking selfies. Finally, a crewman wanders over and grabs it, lifting it and placing it on a cart, revealing that the back of it is raw plywood and molded plastic. The camera backs away to reveal more and more of a bare soundstage.

    CUT TO BLACK: Journey's Don't Stop Believing begins to play. CREDITS.
    posted by Chrischris at 1:08 PM on May 9 [11 favorites]


    In my wishful-thinking ending all of the action is resolved in this next, penultimate episode. whatever is going to befall the characters happens and the transition of power, or lack-thereof, occurs.

    The final episode then is epilogue. Near, mid and possibly distant futures for the small folk, the wildlings, the surviving lords and ladies.

    Davos adopts an orphan and teaches them to read; Jon Tarly marries Arya and Gendry's little girl; Sansa, the "virgin queen" of the North, reigns for 80 years; Greyworm retires on some far-off island and runs a tiki bar; Bron of Highgarden marries and has 6 girls, whose further adventures become a spin-off show; etc.
    posted by OHenryPacey at 1:36 PM on May 9 [8 favorites]


    Question: aren't there two Sandsnakes still withering away in Cersei's dungeon?
    posted by TwoStride at 2:16 PM on May 9


    Of course not. There are two Sandsnakes being naughty and sexy in Cersei's dungeon. Do you even watch this show?
    posted by prize bull octorok at 2:18 PM on May 9 [22 favorites]


    Stupid sexy Sandsnakes.
    posted by dephlogisticated at 2:45 PM on May 9 [12 favorites]


    Why would she be doing careful recon probes to look for ambushes when she knows that as soon as she sees an enemy fleet, she's going to turn it to ash?

    Okay this was days ago. But: Dragons have eyes too. They are predators, presumably always scanning what's below in search of prey. When you ride a sensitive horse or walk a sensitive dog they are going to alert you to things you might not notice as quickly. No way in hell could Dany be up in the air and not have her dragon notice Euron's ships behind the island even if she didn't notice at first. That is, if we are talking about dragons as if they are real creatures and not just whatever the show needs them to be.

    I once rode in an airship and we cruised at 1000 feet. Even without the benefit of being on top of the thing you can see immense amounts of landscape in great detail. There would be absolutely no need to be careful or clever or sneaky to spy on Euron's ships: at 100 feet in the air you can see 12 miles in any direction! Make it 200 feet up and you can see 17 miles, an area of over 900 square miles.
    posted by oneirodynia at 2:55 PM on May 9 [10 favorites]


    Question: aren't there two Sandsnakes still withering away in Cersei's dungeon?

    My only hope of a bingo victory is that Ellaria dies on screen, but I'm not optimistic.
    posted by codacorolla at 2:59 PM on May 9


    Facehugger if you find that link at some point, please post it!
    posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:51 AM on May 9 [1 favorite +] [!]

    Think it's probably this one yt .


    which would make this part where he really gets to it, including some anger at the writers, what it was like not getting enough character feedback etc (on the final season in particular). Though if you're looking for the glass to be half-full, he does say (around the ten minute point), he doesn't think they could have done a better job with the ending ...
    posted by philip-random at 2:59 PM on May 9 [3 favorites]


    Davos adopts an orphan and teaches them to read

    Davos is definitely going to become the headmaster at the prep school for orphans Gendry opens in his new castle. Hot Pie will teach culinary class and Arya will be the dancing master.
    posted by sallybrown at 4:16 PM on May 9 [2 favorites]


    including some anger at the writers

    He also recalls how he would have opinions about how Jaime would act in certain circumstances, and then he would get the script and it would be completely different from his expectations, "because... they're great screenwriters." The tone of the interview is not that he is angry.
    posted by torticat at 4:20 PM on May 9 [2 favorites]


    I'm hoping for some kind of musical revue.
    posted by fleacircus at 5:20 PM on May 9 [3 favorites]


    Red Keep belongs to everyone ... the best things in life are free ...

    I'd like to teach the world to reign in perfect harmony ... I'd like to buy the world a wheel, and break it finally....

    If I can't take ... a sexposition break ... something within me dies ...

    Hello, Drogon, well hello Drogon, it's nice to see you back where you belong ...

    How do you write like you’re
    Running out of time?
    Write day and night like you’re
    Running out of plot line?
    Ev’ry day you fight
    Like you’re
    Running out of ice
    Like you’re
    Running out of vice
    Are you
    Running out of plot line?
    How do you write like a prequel won’t arrive?
    How do you write like you need ratings to survive?
    How do you write ev’ry woman like she's gonna take a dive?
    Half the scenes just waste our time? And no Good Boy Ghost, goodbye?


    Why are there so many songs about raining? Has Castamere really come nigh? Somebody thought of that, and some of them believe it, and Arya made Frey pies ...
    posted by tilde at 5:37 PM on May 9 [7 favorites]


    In my wishful-thinking ending all of the action is resolved in this next, penultimate episode. whatever is going to befall the characters happens and the transition of power, or lack-thereof, occurs.

    The final episode then is epilogue. Near, mid and possibly distant futures for the small folk, the wildlings, the surviving lords and ladies.


    I think this is entirely likely. The next ep will almost certainly be the last big smash-up, and an epilogue style finale would be the easiest thing to do, leaving the fanfic crowd (or spin-off writers) to connect whatever phoned-in vignettes D&D serve up.
    posted by snuffleupagus at 6:13 PM on May 9 [1 favorite]


    Dire wolves I think are supposed to be closer to man height.

    —-

    Also, forced perspective is a thing? It worked for Hobbits!


    Maybe we have this all wrong: Ghost wasn’t a curiously regular-sized dog that Jon ignores but rather a massive direwolf some considerable distance away whom he know he will not be able to reach in a reasonable time no matter how much he wants to say goodbye.
    posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:56 PM on May 9 [13 favorites]


    The more I think about it, the more I hope the show does a kind of epilogue ending that leaves a lot of things unaddressed, sort of acknowledging that the end of GoT the TV show is not the end of ASOIAF.

    Not that they'd do it for that reason, but it'd be nice.
    posted by snuffleupagus at 9:02 PM on May 9 [1 favorite]


    so this r/freefolk post pretty much sums up the only way the show could redeem itself at this point.
    posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 9:30 PM on May 9 [5 favorites]




    Oh my god, you guys, you HAVE to rewatch this scene from the first season

    Damn... this show used to actually be sort of good.
    posted by codacorolla at 10:54 PM on May 9 [2 favorites]


    Right?
    posted by clockzero at 12:29 AM on May 10


    That is cool but the best part is Maisie Williams doing the scene left-handed, including catching the sword... she was so little!!
    posted by torticat at 2:18 AM on May 10 [4 favorites]


    That video led me to find that someone collected all of Arya's scenes.
    posted by kokaku at 3:59 AM on May 10 [3 favorites]


    Huh. Catching up on some of the Arya scenes I missed, which was everything with the Waif, sure makes it seem like they're putting a lot of emphasis on Arya forgetting her name, that she's a Stark. I'd sure get the feeling that would still come into play were I more confident in the show, as if her name is tied to a problem she'll need to forget her attachment to it to try and overcome.
    posted by gusottertrout at 5:25 AM on May 10


    I'd sure get the feeling that would still come into play were I more confident in the show, as if her name is tied to a problem she'll need to forget her attachment to it to try and overcome.

    If that’s what you want, you’ll love the first seven seasons. Consider watching them!
    posted by Sys Rq at 5:49 AM on May 10


    Heh. I only missed season six and part of five. I never got the feeling from what I have seen that Arya really forgot anything in the way I mean.
    posted by gusottertrout at 5:55 AM on May 10


    Catching up on some of the Arya scenes I missed, which was everything with the Waif, sure makes it seem like they're putting a lot of emphasis on Arya forgetting her name, that she's a Stark.

    I do think it’s interesting that after her time in Braavos Arya resolves to hang onto her identity as a Stark, but she seems to stand counter to her dad’s emphasis on the importance of staying with the Stark pack. She’s an individualist at heart, and the closest she really comes to a pack is her relationship with the Hound, not another Stark or even Gendry.
    posted by sallybrown at 7:28 AM on May 10


    Yes, that's definitely true, but the sheer amount of emphasis on the idea and length they spend carrying it out made me wonder if there was going to be something even more Tyrion and the Lannisters like in her relationship to the other Starks, where it isn't just distance, but something question involved with the very meaning of family and name, since that does/did seem to be at the heart of how the show was approaching questions of responsibility and power. (Along with sex of course, though with surprisingly less emphasis on romantic love than seemed usual, and when love of that sort was shown it was as more in its failings.)
    posted by gusottertrout at 7:55 AM on May 10 [1 favorite]


    It's also interesting that after "not today" perhaps the closest thing to a catch-phrase Arya has is "That's not me."
    posted by TwoStride at 8:16 AM on May 10 [2 favorites]


    Arya's final statement to Sexy Jesus was "I'm Arya Stark and I'm going home". Since then she's Pro-Stark, 'cause family.
    posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:29 AM on May 10 [4 favorites]


    She’s very pro-Stark but she rejects the idea that “the lone wolf dies but the pack survives.” So I think she takes something from Ned and something from her time with the Faceless Men and forges her own route in a way.
    posted by sallybrown at 8:35 AM on May 10 [2 favorites]


    She just lone wolfed it off to Kings Landing, probably to do something to protect her family and/or Winterfell, so we'll see!
    posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:43 AM on May 10 [1 favorite]


    The more I think about it, the more I hope the show does a kind of epilogue ending that leaves a lot of things unaddressed, sort of acknowledging that the end of GoT the TV show is not the end of ASOIAF.

    You're going to regret thinking this when the last scene is Melisandre and Varys walking through Times Square and warning that Summer Is Coming.
    posted by thecaddy at 9:26 AM on May 10 [15 favorites]


    I just had a horrible thought. Sunday is Mother's day in the US. Triple event?

    Dany loses her last dragon
    Cersi loses her kid in a way that she is undeniably infertile
    Arya finds out she is pregnant with Gendry's kid as I feared in an earlier thread
    posted by tilde at 9:27 AM on May 10 [1 favorite]


    I really hope Arya has a stash of moon tea. I can handle anything but that.
    posted by miss-lapin at 10:22 AM on May 10 [4 favorites]


    Okay, I've changed my mind; I know what my fanfic wish fulfillment ending for Arya is, now.

    The war is over; whoever wins, wins. Arya is satisfied that her family is as safe as it can be, all their enemies eliminated one way or the other, and Sansa generally deft enough to manoeuver them out of any more tight spots in the future. But she's tired of politics, and tired of expectations, and tired of the way people's minds immediately turn back towards petty things. And - after everything - being in one place for too long starts to feel itchy.

    Luckily, turns out that saving the world isn't just its own reward, but comes with a rather generous monetary one too, courtesy of a grateful crown. She's not one to bask in the glory of it all, but chartering a ship and a crew costs gold, after all, and with Winterfell still rebuilding itself... well.

    Fade in on Arya killing time in the Blackwater harbour, in a callback to her ambush by the Waif. She's not doing anything much; just enjoying being invisible in the bustle, merchants and craftsmen and hawkers and labourers streaming up and down from King's Landing, as reconstruction gets underway in the capital, too. A ship's master stops by to let Arya know that they'll be raising anchor within the hour to catch the tide. Good. Whatever's west of Westeros presumably isn't going anywhere soon - but Arya would certainly like to.

    She shoves the rest of her slice of pie in her mouth, brushes crumbs off her jerkin, and stands - only to stop still, an expression of dumbfounded surprise on her face. There's no music, only crowd sounds - but Arya is no longer invisible. What's alerted her? Who has she seen? Has the House of Black and White finally come to take back what is owed? The camera pans around, and it's...

    Gendry. Standing at the end of the wharf, war hammer over one shoulder, traveling bag over the other, and an embarrassed grin on his face.

    It's very annoying. Arya hasn't really got time for hangers on. She's going adventuring, you know.

    It'll probably be quite dangerous.

    They haven't even got an extra berth.

    Still.
    posted by jurymast at 11:22 AM on May 10 [3 favorites]


    I really hope Arya has a stash of moon tea. I can handle anything but that.

    Yes.

    But.

    Consider:

    A spinoff series that is a westernized, gender-swapped version of Lone Wolf and Cub.
    posted by Sys Rq at 11:25 AM on May 10 [2 favorites]


    I wish we could stop talking about Dany turning cray. Leaving aside the whole "maybe don't call women crazy just because you don't like their decisions" rule that we should all live by, Dany's whole thing, from the moment her character had any agency at all, was to conquer the Seven Kingdoms. Her reasons were revenge and a sense of destiny, and her main tools were a trio of evil dragons, a horde of steppe marauders, and an army of soldiers trained from infancy to act without fear or compassion. There is no turn to madness or ruthlessness. Daenerys has always been an antihero at best.

    After all, she carved a violent and bloody swathe across the known world, and every time when she could have chosen to turn away, she chose conquest instead. This is most notable in slaver's bay, which she could have turned it into an enlightened and prosperous kingdom, but instead she abandoned it to continue her rampage, and to hell with all the slaves and so on. It's worth noting that she doesn't care at all who sits on the Iron Throne, good ruler or bad, monster or saint, she always and forever planned to burninate all of them, and anyone else who didn't bend the knee. It's just her good luck that the current ruler is the villainous Cersei.

    As a modern consumer of stories, I might like some character development, with her slowly turning away from evil revenge and becoming Good Queen Dany or whatever, but it occurs to me that she might also fit the revenger model, where there isn't a lot of character development, she just singlemindedly carries out her bloody revenge. At the end she succeeds but it costs her everything, and maybe she realizes it or maybe she doesn't.

    On an unrelated note, if we take the Targaryen claim to the Iron Throne as having legally ended when Robert Baratheon took the throne (or if we don't but all the Targaryens die), and Cersei is removed, doesn't that make Tyrion the legitimate king? And isn't Sansa, arguably, still married to him? They'd probably make good rulers, what with their skill at logistics, economics, good government, and willingness to play politics.
    posted by surlyben at 11:31 AM on May 10 [7 favorites]


    GoT-world acknowledges pretty openly that the whole concept of a legitimate ruler is nonsense. It's not like a lawyer is trying to execute a will; the legitimate ruler is the one that can get everyone to follow them. That's pretty easy why you're already in line for the throne; when people are sworn to you and invested in your monarchy; when most people will do better from peace than war. But at this point, Westeros is in shambles. And remember, Tyrion is not popular. Why would any of Westerosi regions accept him as king? If the united Westeros gets another monarch, it'll have to be another conqueror. And since Dany just lost most of her armies and her dragons...I just don't see anyone managing it.
    posted by grandiloquiet at 12:12 PM on May 10 [2 favorites]


    On an unrelated note, if we take the Targaryen claim to the Iron Throne as having legally ended when Robert Baratheon took the throne (or if we don't but all the Targaryens die), and Cersei is removed, doesn't that make Tyrion the legitimate king?

    In a world where dwarfs are seen primarily as sources of aphrodisiacs I don't think Tyrion would be seen as having a legitimate claim to rule. Jaime isn't & his only deformity is his hand.
    posted by scalefree at 12:14 PM on May 10


    IIRC, Jaime renounced all claims when he became kingsguard, and I'm imagining Kings Landing a smoking ruin and all the other major players dead or on the run. In that case, Tyrion is still a Lannister. Sansa might back him, which gets the Vale and the North in line, and we are ignoring Dorne these days. The Iron Bank would probably see him as a good enough solution because it increases their chances of getting paid. The legal pretext is strong enough that anyone else can use it as a fig leaf to cover their objections to his physical deformities and past crimes.

    After all Richard III was king for a bit

    (Though if we are following the Wars of the Roses, Dany is Henry, Cersei is Richard III, and I guess Jon is Elizabeth of York?)
    posted by surlyben at 12:35 PM on May 10 [2 favorites]


    On an unrelated note, if we take the Targaryen claim to the Iron Throne as having legally ended when Robert Baratheon took the throne (or if we don't but all the Targaryens die), and Cersei is removed, doesn't that make Tyrion the legitimate king? And isn't Sansa, arguably, still married to him? They'd probably make good rulers, what with their skill at logistics, economics, good government, and willingness to play politics.

    At last my nerd knowledge is useful for something!

    The question of whether Robert Baratheon took the throne by right of inheritance - as the offshoot of a cadet branch of the Targs - or by right of conquest, as the guy destroying armies around them - I don't believe has been ever really shown in the series.

    If right of inheritance, then while Aerys may have been removed, there are no more legitimate Baratheons living, so you're down to either quibbling over bastards like Gendry, or seeing what other second-cousins-to-the-Targs in Westeros exist. I don't know that would include the Lannisters, so there's no reason that line would even crop up.

    If right of conquest, then you go back up the Baratheon line to see who might have married out of it, and you make a claim via that. But inheritance of the throne has almost never - and certainly not in Westeros - been switched via marriage. (See the patriarchal cloak-switching for hints of why). Even Breaker of Chains Dany didn't inherit the khal after Khal Drogo died - only when she had living dragons did she gain power.
    posted by corb at 12:46 PM on May 10 [2 favorites]


    Speaking of terrible unplanned pregnancy plots, I am going to be unspeakably furious if the 'bittersweet' ending for Jaime is that he dies in King's Landing, heroically or otherwise, and Brienne ends up raising his posthumous child.
    posted by karayel at 12:46 PM on May 10 [6 favorites]


    I’m so desperate for Jaime not to die and to have more time with Brienne that I’ll agree to any and all other plots for them—sure, give them a baby! Take Jaime’s other hand! Take his beautiful face! Move to Tarth! Let Cersei live (away from them)! Burn down the whole city with the dragons! Just let Jaime live >_<
    posted by sallybrown at 12:49 PM on May 10 [2 favorites]


    @corb, I'm basing my Tyrion claim on my vague memory of a comment I read here last season where someone said Cersei, in addition to being the de factor ruler, also had the primary de jure claim to the throne via some aunt. (Alas, I am lack the direct nerd knowledge to verify it, so really I'm just making wild speculations.)
    posted by surlyben at 12:54 PM on May 10


    I don't remember when Cersei told Jaime she was pregnant, but I don't think she is, because she's manipulative and lies all the time, and we've seen her drinking, and there's that fortune about her having only three children, which I don't think we'd have seen if we weren't supposed to believe it (or maybe D&D changed their minds and anything can happen, in which case, nvm), on the other hand, she does seem to be laying pretty heavy groundwork to explain a pregnancy. But on the other other hand, isn't the Cersei/Jaime incest thing openly known by now?
    posted by glitter at 1:03 PM on May 10


    IIRC, Jaime renounced all claims when he became kingsguard

    Apparently his oath is not unbreakable. In season four, Jaime agreed to leave the kingsguard and become ruler of Casterly Rock in exchange for Tywin sparing Tyrion's life. Of course, that agreement became null and void when Tyrion refused to confess, but both Jaime and Tywin seemed to believe it was valid in theory.
    posted by dephlogisticated at 1:25 PM on May 10 [1 favorite]


    yeah, basically there's rules and laws until someone powerful enough wants to flaunt them.
    posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:30 PM on May 10 [7 favorites]


    Well, I mean, "powerful enough", in this case, was "we will get the king to allow it". That's the thing about kings - they kinda get to define what's legal and what isn't.
    posted by hanov3r at 1:49 PM on May 10


    It'll never happen, but imagine if GRRM, D+D, and the other writers and producers had an honest retrospective after series end. Roundtable discussion; what worked, what did not, what compromises had to be made, what was surprising about how the public responded. They could make a series out of that and I'd watch it.

    The "Behind the Episode" features we have now are mainly good fodder for memes ("Napoleon 'kind of forgot about' Russian winters" and so on).
    posted by kurumi at 2:11 PM on May 10 [6 favorites]


    METAFILTER: Dany is Henry, Cersei is Richard III, and I guess Jon is Elizabeth of York
    posted by philip-random at 2:28 PM on May 10 [2 favorites]


    Syrio: Nine years, Syrio Forel was First Sword to the Sea Lord of Braavos. He knows these things! You must listen to me, boy!
    Arya: I'm a girl.
    Syrio: Boy, girl...you, are a sword. That is all. [Arya smiles]

    ...

    Syrio: Remember, child, this is not the dance of the Westeros we are learning, the knight's dance: hacking! and hammering! This, is the Braavos dance; the water dance. It is swift...and sudden! All men are made of water, do you know this? If you pierce them [taps Arya], the water leaks out, and they die.


    I feel like this is a wildly elegant set-up for Arya's whole arc, as well as ganking the shit out of the Night King. Syrio even taps her right around where she stabbed NK!
    posted by clockzero at 2:46 PM on May 10 [4 favorites]


    I mean, D&D are on record as having only decided that Arya would kill the NK about three years ago, so don't go giving them too much credit. See also: the awkward retcon of the, "Brown eyes, blue eyes, green eyes," line.
    posted by jurymast at 4:58 PM on May 10 [2 favorites]


    I feel like this is a wildly elegant set-up for Arya's whole arc

    I don't understand this statement.


    ganking the shit out of the Night King

    I mean I get this part - ice, water, stabbing (in the tummy), "leaking" (although ektually... he exploded/evaporated/sublimated, but okay...).

    I still don't understand the first statement though. I agree that the Syrio/Arya scenes are done well, and it would have been even better if there were layers of hidden subtext that foreshadowed later events; but I've been following the show since the beginning, and when I re-watch those scenes, all I get from them is (in no particular order):
    • Syrio Forel - His embroidered wallet reads BAD MOTHERFUCKER
    • Arya Stark - What a game-ass tomboy she is!
    • Ned Stark - He is hearing metal swords, it is likely Arya will really put these lessons to earnest use someday! What a concerned dad he is, to furrow his brow as such!
    I mean... it's still all as satisfying as the first day I watched it. But in retrospect, it just makes me feel like codacorolla above - what a good show this used to be. If that judgement is unfair, I think it's just because it's easier to be satisfying in the early seasons - when the characters are just meeting one another, then beats like "the master" and the "the tomboy" play as introductions. Seven or eight seasons in, they just play like fan service - we know Arya's a ninja - show us something different now. Arya running scared in Winterfell could have been interesting, if it lead to anything other than her just getting her groove back (because of something Melisandre said? Because Arya places such a stock in religious faiths? Especially ones she has no particular connection to?)
    posted by Rat Spatula at 7:08 PM on May 10 [4 favorites]


    I mean, D&D are on record as having only decided that Arya would kill the NK about three years ago, so don't go giving them too much credit.

    I admit I did not know this. I still think it's pretty cool!
    posted by clockzero at 7:54 PM on May 10


    I'm excited for when the books come out and everything happens exactly like this.

    The unwritten books are becoming our snyder cut.
    posted by French Fry at 8:05 AM on May 11 [3 favorites]


    I'm excited for when the books come out and everything happens exactly like this.

    There's some longer discussion about this in the Books thread.
    posted by corb at 8:10 AM on May 11


    I'm excited for when the books come out and everything happens exactly like this.


    Will they come with a Starbucks coupon?

    ....................

    and yeah, I totally spaced on Brienne and Jamie. Mama mia.
    posted by tilde at 8:30 AM on May 11 [1 favorite]


    I’m following someone on twitter who has decided, with no foreknowledge of the series aside from it has dragons in it, to watch the entire series in advance of the finale in like ..two weeks? Her observations are pretty spot on and it’s reminding me how consistent the characters have been even til now, Dany is impulsive and makes terrible decisions, Tyrion’s advice is about 50% insightful and 50% disastrous, Cersei was never, ever going to let anything go or forgive anything and will die on that throne, Verys is the only character with consistently good insights into how the world and people work, Jon is a well meaning but hapless idiot who only gets by via women in his life, there’s no way Arya wasn’t going to become a badass, the irony that Stannis probobly would’ve been a good ruler if he hadn’t gone fire magic mad, if Podrick tells you not to do something, don’t freaking do it, The show is absolutely in love with Jamie but at least his demotion arc seems to be clicking along nicely etc...

    She’s getting to the Vale/Littlefinger part now and tweeting out stuff like“I take it back Sansa has grown up and is absolutely going to steal the throne out from under someone” and “No one tell me but I hope LG gets done bad.”

    Being reminded of all these beats from someone watching it for the first time ...It doesn’t feel like a different show to me, per that FPP, it just feels a lot faster.

    Also “gotta hand it to ‘me, watching this show is putting quite a few jokes of the past half decade into context”
    posted by The Whelk at 10:43 AM on May 11 [8 favorites]


    Who is this twitter person, Whelk? I'd be interested in seeing someone insightful watch the show for the first time.
    posted by dogheart at 10:51 AM on May 11


    @SaraKateW, it’s basically one long live blog thread
    posted by The Whelk at 10:52 AM on May 11 [3 favorites]


    I want to go through the entire run of the show and make a supercut of all the times Dany is just a touch too into it as she orders people burnt/crucified/served to dragons/golden-crown'ed/entombed/etc. alive. Preferably intercut with various proclamations that she will be a good and just ruler, and she will break the wheel, and the people need no longer fear violence and tyranny under her reign.

    I mean, I'm not going to, because who has time for that?

    But I want to.
    posted by jurymast at 1:55 PM on May 11 [1 favorite]


    I mean I know saying this makes me basically the asoiaf equivalent of a tankie, but nevertheless I think that Daenerys’s chief drawback as a ruler is that she is insufficiently ruthless.
    posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 2:48 PM on May 11 [8 favorites]


    I suppose Cersei did blow up the whole entire Sept of Baelor to solidify her grip on the throne, with half the Westerosi leadership and the Westerpope inside, and nobody seems to care very much at all. In fact, it pretty much worked out swimmingly for her! So you might not be wrong on that one.
    posted by jurymast at 3:37 PM on May 11 [2 favorites]


    The show went out of its way in the first season to show us exactly what happens to good and just rulers who can't back it up with appropriate amounts of ruthlessness.
    posted by tobascodagama at 4:21 PM on May 11 [3 favorites]


    Imagine how things would have gone if Dany had arrived at Dragonstone and proceeded to attack Kings Landing with Dragon, Dothraki and Unsullied.
    posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:25 PM on May 11 [2 favorites]


    I mean I know saying this makes me basically the asoiaf equivalent of a tankie, but nevertheless I think that Daenerys’s chief drawback as a ruler is that she is insufficiently ruthless.

    No, that's fair! The problem is, presumably as a matter of pride, she's attached to the idea of being the rightful queen. The ruthlessness of the conqueror might serve her better -- she can be nice and just after she's burned her biggest opponents alive. (This is already a might-have-been because ruthlessness is less feasible when you're down to one dragon and a borrowed army.)
    posted by grandiloquiet at 5:33 PM on May 11 [1 favorite]


    Why I’m convinced she hasn’t even considers using Arya to assassinate Cersei, it has to be a rightful transfer of power to her RIGHTFUL place. The only proper thing is a big public overwhelming conquest.

    Cersei And Dany are Just sniping at each other while the hopeful winner of the battle of the Queen’s, Sansa, doesn’t trust either of them.
    posted by The Whelk at 5:49 PM on May 11 [1 favorite]


    the hopeful winner of the battle of the Queen’s, Sansa

    But Sansa doesn't want Kings Landing, right? Best outcome for Sansa is independence for the North, with her in power there.
    posted by torticat at 7:29 PM on May 11


    Cersei’s been sword training and is going to be slicing and slashing for a bit.
    posted by Burhanistan at 7:32 PM on May 11


    Yeah I’m kind of gunning for the iron throne become irrelevant ending
    posted by The Whelk at 7:35 PM on May 11 [3 favorites]


    me too
    posted by torticat at 9:16 PM on May 11


    A council of kings, like the United Nations? Sansa, Sam, Tyrion or Jaime whichever one is still alive, Gendry (!), Bronn (!!), an empty seat in memory of Tiny Mormont, the Vale kid, Edmuire Tully out of the dungeon at last, each representing his or her house... We'd get to see the New Prince of Dorne at least.
    posted by TWinbrook8 at 3:42 AM on May 12


    Imma be real mad if they don't resolve whether killing the Night King ended the whole Long Winter thing and all the rest of it. Kind of bears on whether the North can stand on its own. And whether Westeros can start doing more normal politics. Essos has Dothraki and the weird cults of its various cities but not supernatural doom weather (as long as it stays out of the ruins of Valryia.)

    Ugh whatever this world makes no sense and never did I give up.
    posted by snuffleupagus at 6:25 AM on May 12 [2 favorites]


    A council of kings, like the United Nations?

    I mean if we’re going with rough historical indicators, the Holy Roman Empire with Hanseatic league?
    posted by The Whelk at 9:28 AM on May 12 [2 favorites]


    Whatever the technical details, can we call it a moot?
    posted by ActingTheGoat at 9:39 AM on May 12 [3 favorites]


    what about a tiered system where the small folk of each region hold moots to select their local leadership, and then occasionally the moot-selected leaders of the regions get together to hold a mootmoot where they select members of an all-westeros central comootie?
    posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 9:43 AM on May 12 [6 favorites]


    AskMe: What is a smoot and why does a king have one?
    posted by They sucked his brains out! at 11:15 AM on May 12 [1 favorite]


    If you’re in the mood for a tearjerking Jaime/Brienne video this fine afternoon, this one does a great job of cutting between their scenes over the years to trace how the show subtly developed their relationship.
    posted by sallybrown at 11:35 AM on May 12 [1 favorite]


    what about a tiered system where the small folk of each region hold moots to select their local leadership, and then occasionally the moot-selected leaders of the regions get together to hold a mootmoot where they select members of an all-westeros central comootie?

    I, for one, would prefer an anarchosyndicalist system with a sort of rotating executive Over-Ser whose decisions must be ratified at a bi-weekly mooting...
    posted by snuffleupagus at 12:23 PM on May 12 [5 favorites]


    All power to the small folk.
    posted by The Whelk at 12:28 PM on May 12 [1 favorite]


    > I, for one, would prefer an anarchosyndicalist system with a sort of rotating executive Over-Ser whose decisions must be ratified at a bi-weekly mooting...

    SPLITTER!
    posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 12:34 PM on May 12


    ...by a simple majority in the case of purely internal affairs, but a two thirds majority in the event of affairs...
    posted by snuffleupagus at 12:35 PM on May 12 [3 favorites]


    I’m turning Harrenhall into a massive make work project, after that it can be used for public concerts, lectures, feasts, commons, whatever, we’ll figure that out later
    posted by The Whelk at 12:39 PM on May 12 [7 favorites]


    Harrenpalooza
    posted by kokaku at 1:28 PM on May 12 [5 favorites]


    Minor question: The Night King raised the dead around Winterfell, including in the crypts. Then Arya killed him and everyone the NK had raised turned to ice, yeah? Including the reanimated Stars, right?
    posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:55 PM on May 12


    everyone the NK had raised turned to ice, yeah?

    nope, we see raised cast members in the giant pyre scene.
    posted by French Fry at 3:27 PM on May 12 [1 favorite]


    Anyone have an appropriate drinking game for tonight so I won't mind if this episode is crap?
    posted by miss-lapin at 3:29 PM on May 12


    <Roast Beef>
    uh yeah there is a basic game

    <Hound>
    DRINK.
    posted by Rat Spatula at 6:12 PM on May 12 [3 favorites]


    Miss-lapin, I believe the Game of Thrones drinking game at this point in time is "drink heavily so that you can make it through the last two episodes"
    posted by DoctorFedora at 6:45 PM on May 12 [7 favorites]


    The LA Books Review has some interesting deep-dive on the small stuff:
    What I mean here is that there have been whole seasons of Game of Thrones when looking at people’s hair meant something about the material resources available to the characters at the moment: episode 1 literally features Jon, Robb (remember Robb?) and Theon getting shaved because Catelyn Stark knew that while power is power, appearance is one way to show power as power. When Cersei shows up with her gorgeous clothes and clean hair, and Catelyn’s kids are all in homespun, we see something about the material resources available to these households, including the ladies in waiting who, shepherd-like, presumably are braiding and sewing off stage. We don’t see them, but we understand that that it is possible within what this show has made realistic for them to be there.

    What is happening now, with Daenerys Targaryen parading through the muddy North with her great clothes and her great braids? Does she have ladies’ maids? Ladies’ maids who developed a whole new style just for this episode? Dear Television: she does not. There is no believable off-stage for them to exist in. Daenerys’s hair has gone from something that we were supposed to see in one way—believable within the world of the story—to something we see in another, more hand-wavy way. Daenerys’s hair is profoundly less realistic in the world of the show than her dragons are, unless the same ancient power that let her walk through fire also gave her magical hair-styling abilities.

    Dany’s fantastically braided hair is there for us to see but not to try to understand. If we try to understand it, we might as well try to understand her sudden acquisition of a coffee cup, which: why not? If she’s magically getting her hair braided every night, then why couldn’t she also be magically going to Starbucks? Isn’t that also just as possible? It would be a bad writerly choice, I think we agree on that, but if you shift the rules of the realistic midway through your final season so that hair can be impossibly braided (and, say, having sex can turn Brienne into someone weeping in a bathrobe), you can do anything you want. There are makers here making choices, choices about what they want us to see and believe and in what way, and the Starbucks cup is the punctum that reminds us of that.
    posted by corb at 9:19 AM on May 13 [8 favorites]


    I agree with LA Books but this has been an issue with Dany for a loooong tiiiiime. I've been pondering it for years. Her Dothraki get-up was believable, but once she started conquering cities, shit just got weird. Gorgeous, but weird.
    posted by soren_lorensen at 9:27 AM on May 13 [2 favorites]


    Just some very English Major-y thoughts on Brienne and Jaime's romance:

    I think that Jaime falling for Brienne was natural and even inevitable simply because she's a paragon of chivalric virtue. She's exactly the sort of knight that Sansa was half in love with as a child from all the songs she'd filled her head with before she went to Court. It's not difficult to love someone like Brienne: highborn and gentle, brave, strong, stalwart defender of the vulnerable and innocent. That's what the entire Westerosi culture has trained everyone to do, to fall in love with knights like her, to fall in love with knights that are even vaguely similar to her if you squint real hard. That's what *our* culture has trained everyone to do -- how many of us viewers have fallen a bit in love with her? It's striking that she would love Jaime, seeing as he's maimed and his looks have faded, he has a sordid reputation, and he comes from a disgraced family -- but she saw some unaccountable "specialness" and beauty in him and loved him regardless. This is classic romance, with literally the only unconventional thing about it being that it's genderbent.

    There's even a Jane Austen novel, Persuasion, published in 1817, that is itself a "modern" update on this same romantic storyline -- that's how old these tropes are. It's very literally a fairy tale. It's also conventional that Jaime would freak out after "giving in" and having sex, to the point of running off and contemplating suicide, and ultimately taking refuge in duty, sacrifice, and the "nobility" of death. That's the traditional romantic heroine reaction -- I don't want to randomly spoil other stories, but everything from George Eliot novels to Westerns to 1960s literary fiction have had their heroines react similarly. Again, just unusual in this case because it's genderbent.

    Heroines in these sorts of stories usually run off after sex because they're ashamed, feel unworthy and afraid, and see themselves as "ruined" (damaged goods) with no virtue and (maybe most importantly) no place in society any longer. Often they're assumed to have betrayed their sisters and father specifically and their family generally. But their shame, self-sacrifice, and subsequent self-destructive behavior (often including suicide) is how the story "proves" that they do still have (or have regained) their virtue even after they're unchaste -- although they're usually right about no longer having any place in society and have to either die or get a new place in it by getting married before they're allowed to come back. And based on what Jaime said to Brienne before he left about his own lack of virtue, and his overall air of defeat, and his self-destructiveness soon afterward, I think something similar was what was going on with Jaime, too.

    Something special about Brienne is her idealism even in the face of brutality. She believes in the ideal of courtly virtue so much that she assumes that it can exist in the real world, and expects herself and others to rise to that high bar. I think her idealism was very refreshing for Jaime, who became a cynic way back when he was a teenager serving (and murdering) Aerys. And who, frankly, Tywin was never going to allow to be idealistic in any case. I mean, Tywin seemed to very purposefully crush out his children's idealism as harshly and soon as he could, because he had absolutely no time for that shit. And on top of that, Jaime was a very hardened soldier and all-around asshole by the time he was an adult. I think that Brienne's idealism also made Jaime feel safe, because it was the reason that she protected him when he was utterly vulnerable (when he got his hand cut off). I think it's not so much that being around her makes him imagine that he could be a better man, but rather that it allows him imagine that the world could be a better place. And I think he knows that he wouldn't belong in that better world even if it did somehow come to be, but he likes that Brienne doesn't seem to think so, and that she even apparently imagines them in that better world together.

    Unfortunately, that's the point where her idealism maybe turns to naivite, and I think Jaime's knowledge that he can't be in that better world with her is a major reason why he eventually leaves her to go to Cersei. Maybe that better world is the one that Brienne sees as existing already or maybe it's one in which Dany is sitting on the Iron Throne (or both) but regardless, I think Jaime knows that he doesn't have a place in it. He knows where his place is.

    (Well, I guess with men it's usually called "honor" rather than "virtue," but potato potawwwwto).
    posted by rue72 at 1:25 PM on May 16 [7 favorites]


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