Game of Thrones: Mother's Mercy   Books Included 
June 14, 2015 7:02 PM - Season 5, Episode 10 - Subscribe

Stannis begins to march; Dany is surrounded by strangers; Cersei seeks forgiveness; Jon is challenged.
posted by zarq (625 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
 
Well then.
posted by lydhre at 7:02 PM on June 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


Wow, Jon isn't hard to fool is he?
posted by codacorolla at 7:04 PM on June 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


cackling always
posted by poffin boffin at 7:05 PM on June 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


So Jon sees no bird?
Hmm.
posted by montaigneisright at 7:05 PM on June 14, 2015


also wow i really wonder how lena headey felt about doing that scene.
posted by poffin boffin at 7:05 PM on June 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


"Hey, uh, Jon... there's, uh, a basket of, uh direwolf puppies outside here."

"duuuuh, really, puppies?"

*stabs*

"daaaaaw shucks fellas, couldna' ya' just done this inside?"
posted by codacorolla at 7:05 PM on June 14, 2015 [19 favorites]


So, where does one go to apply for a refund from the Fire God exactly?
posted by rewil at 7:07 PM on June 14, 2015 [19 favorites]


On second thought:

Glad Brienne's first oath stopped her from fulfilling the second. Called Dorne. So done with the rape shit, Meryn Trant was vile enough without sadistically beating children. Thought Cersei's walk was as well done as it could have been, mainly because she is a fantastic actress. Knew Benjen in the recap was just a fake out.

Melisandre waltzed into Castle Black just in time to resurrect Jon next season.
posted by lydhre at 7:07 PM on June 14, 2015 [6 favorites]


Lena Headey did an awesome job on the walk. I loathe Cersei but Lena's face was so expressive I couldn't help but tear up. I can't even imagine how filming that scene must have been; probably horrifying with the huge crowd, and absolutely hilarious with all of the vegetable chucking and profanity screaming.
posted by gatorae at 7:08 PM on June 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


i am annoyed as hell about myrcella.
posted by poffin boffin at 7:09 PM on June 14, 2015 [12 favorites]


Or maybe Jon is DEAD DEAD. Makes no narrative sense, but one can't ever accuse GRRM of making too much narrative sense.
posted by lydhre at 7:09 PM on June 14, 2015 [5 favorites]


ALSO I WAS NOT EXPECTING TO BE PLEASED BY THEON but somehow here we are.
posted by poffin boffin at 7:10 PM on June 14, 2015 [7 favorites]


Now we all unsullied
posted by The Whelk at 7:10 PM on June 14, 2015 [8 favorites]


also omg VARYS & TYRION BFFS
posted by poffin boffin at 7:11 PM on June 14, 2015 [19 favorites]


I cheered at "Hello, old friend." :)
posted by zarq at 7:12 PM on June 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


If the Dothraki can sneak up on a person with an army of thousands on a vast featureless plain, they really are the army Daeny needs to take the west.
posted by codacorolla at 7:13 PM on June 14, 2015 [43 favorites]


Man, I hope they're going in another direction instead of a Daario/Jorah bickering-over-Dany roadtrip.
posted by rewil at 7:13 PM on June 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


my purest joy was FRANKENMOUNTAIN ALL IN GOLD oh god I hope next season just goes full on frost spiders, wizard spells, frankengolem fantasy nuts
posted by The Whelk at 7:13 PM on June 14, 2015 [16 favorites]


A minor point with so much else going on, but I'm SO GLAD that Sam going to Oldtown is an important part of the overall story and was not cut.
posted by gatorae at 7:14 PM on June 14, 2015 [10 favorites]


oh wow we're all blind next season aren't we
posted by poffin boffin at 7:14 PM on June 14, 2015 [11 favorites]


my purest joy was FRANKENMOUNTAIN ALL IN GOLD oh god I hope next season just goes full on frost spiders, wizard spells, frankengolem fantasy nuts

That's my singular hope for this show.
posted by codacorolla at 7:14 PM on June 14, 2015


Man, they didn't even hint at Jon warging into Ghost. I am very surprised. About the only scrap of hope for non-book-readers is Melisandre showing up before the stabbening. But do they remember that priests of the Lord of Light can raise folks?

also wow i really wonder how lena headey felt about doing that scene.

Seems more like how did her body double feel about doing the scene? It was her head CGId on I'm pretty sure.
posted by Justinian at 7:14 PM on June 14, 2015 [5 favorites]


ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN

DROGON COULD BE KING
posted by poffin boffin at 7:14 PM on June 14, 2015 [11 favorites]


Daario and Jorah are the new Don Quixote and Sancho Panza.
posted by lydhre at 7:15 PM on June 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


I thought the arrangement of The Rains of Castamere they used for the Mother's Mercy walk was very nice.
posted by Justinian at 7:15 PM on June 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


oh wow we're all blind next season aren't we

We are now as one
posted by The Whelk at 7:15 PM on June 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Interview with Harington says he's been told he's not coming back, but then they'd say that, wouldn't they?
posted by rewil at 7:17 PM on June 14, 2015 [5 favorites]


Yeah, right. Does anybody believe Jon is well and truly dead?
posted by Justinian at 7:17 PM on June 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


god i would scream with unbridled and frankly embarrassing glee if he was actually dead and everyone, readers and nonreaders alike, were enraged and bereft
posted by poffin boffin at 7:18 PM on June 14, 2015 [18 favorites]


the suffering of others is as the finest wine to me
posted by poffin boffin at 7:18 PM on June 14, 2015 [11 favorites]


Show watchers seem shocked that the show that made its name off killing primary characters has killed a primary character
posted by The Whelk at 7:19 PM on June 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


So, what were Davos and Mel doing while Jon was being stabbed? Hanging out? Playing fetch with Ghost?
posted by bgal81 at 7:20 PM on June 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


Fake Son Jnow is a shadow made by Melisandre.
posted by mysticreferee at 7:20 PM on June 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


jon's really dead! sansa decides she's in love with theon AND littlefinger! arya is blind forever and lives in a gutter! brienne didn't really kill stannis and instead they idk do something stupid! maybe they kill pod for the lulz!

also gendry should row by every time there is any scene in which an even marginally large body of water is in the background.

HIRE ME HBO I AM READY
posted by poffin boffin at 7:20 PM on June 14, 2015 [32 favorites]


Alternate timeline or not, this episode takes a lot of shit on hanging book plotlines if there's even a minor resemblance to GRRM's plot notes.

Yeah, right. Does anybody believe Jon is well and truly dead?

I'd prefer it, certainly. Book Jon is a mopey moop, and I'm glad with not having a central strong hero. I'm also glad that the thing standing in the way of the true heroes (zombie army) has just been stabbed, and I hope it stays that way.
posted by codacorolla at 7:21 PM on June 14, 2015 [6 favorites]


I might have some more in depth feedback later. For now, Zombie Mountain.
posted by Drinky Die at 7:21 PM on June 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Also who are they going to get to play Bran and Rickon in future seasons now that both actors are in college and have wives and children of their own.
posted by poffin boffin at 7:21 PM on June 14, 2015 [11 favorites]


It was so nice of the High Sparrow to make Cersei reenact GamerGate.
posted by Dr. Zira at 7:21 PM on June 14, 2015 [28 favorites]




I'd prefer it, certainly.

Prefer it and expect it aren't the same, though. It would indeed be a bold move on GRRMs part but do you really think he's not coming back and now released from his Night's Watch oath?
posted by Justinian at 7:23 PM on June 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


Yeah just as an aside on all that, how come Lancel clearly didn't have to do anything horribly humiliating in public even though he is just as guilty as she was. ANSWER ME THIS GRRM
posted by poffin boffin at 7:24 PM on June 14, 2015 [14 favorites]


It was Lena Headey's head cgi'd on a body double.

Yep. It was mostly well done but her head was too steady for someone really making that walk. Also the slight blurriness.
posted by Justinian at 7:24 PM on June 14, 2015


per Poffin Boffin, Bran and Rikon and Hodor are actually just rotting corpses in the woods and that magic interlude last season was a halluenation from eating random mushrooms
posted by The Whelk at 7:24 PM on June 14, 2015 [7 favorites]


fine, whatever, i wonder how the body double felt about doing that scene. just because it's not a super famous female actress doing it, it's still a fucking female human being doing it, and it must have been emotionally exhausting and stressful.
posted by poffin boffin at 7:25 PM on June 14, 2015 [14 favorites]


Okay, question. Of all the...casualties. Who can we confirm is definitely for real dead?

Let's start with the easy ones: Jaqen. Dead or not dead?
posted by Drinky Die at 7:25 PM on June 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Prefer it and expect it aren't the same, though. It would indeed be a bold move on GRRMs part but do you really think he's not coming back and now released from his Night's Watch oath?

He's probably getting resurrected, but I would be over the moon if he wasn't.
posted by codacorolla at 7:25 PM on June 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Sexy Jesus will never die.
posted by rewil at 7:25 PM on June 14, 2015 [12 favorites]


also if someone posts a link saying that the body double was actually 4 racoons in a naked lady suit i will burn this thread to the GROUND
posted by poffin boffin at 7:26 PM on June 14, 2015 [21 favorites]


Let's start with the easy ones: Jaqen. Dead or not dead?

Mostly dead.
posted by Dr. Zira at 7:27 PM on June 14, 2015 [7 favorites]


Let's start with the easy ones: Jaqen. Dead or not dead?

How do you count the earthly avatar of the God of death?
posted by codacorolla at 7:27 PM on June 14, 2015 [10 favorites]


Jaqen. Dead or not dead?

Boy: Do not try and bend the spoon. That's impossible. Instead only try to realize the truth.
Neo: What truth?
Boy: There is no spoon.
posted by Justinian at 7:27 PM on June 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


How about Stannis? Remember, we never actually saw Stannis die. How will Brienne interpret his words, "Do your duty"? Particularly given that she's taken multiple conflicting oaths, as Jaime taught her. What is her highest duty now?
posted by leotrotsky at 7:29 PM on June 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


Did anyone else think they were going to repurpose the "all I see is snow" line for Melisandre before she rode off back to the Wall? I thought that was a lock. But no. They just plain ol stabbed Jon without any hints or anything.
posted by Justinian at 7:30 PM on June 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Lady Stannisheart
posted by The Whelk at 7:31 PM on June 14, 2015 [7 favorites]


Apart from resurrected Jon, there's really no reason for Melisandre to be at the Wall, so I can't help but see that happening. Although I'm sure they'll play coy about Harrington coming back.
posted by codacorolla at 7:42 PM on June 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


I guess when Jon comes back a lot of brothers are getting unfriended on Facebook.
posted by lydhre at 7:43 PM on June 14, 2015 [10 favorites]




kit harrington's facial expression was really getting a work out in this episode. He had to move so many things ever so slightly away from usual
posted by The Whelk at 7:47 PM on June 14, 2015 [6 favorites]


also wow i really wonder how lena headey felt about doing that scene

Body double.
posted by turbid dahlia at 7:47 PM on June 14, 2015


JON SNOW TRUTHER WATCH DAY 0
posted by Justinian at 7:54 PM on June 14, 2015 [13 favorites]


Jet fuel can't melt steel Jon snows
posted by The Whelk at 7:57 PM on June 14, 2015 [11 favorites]


I did enjoy teenage Drogon throwing his mom out of his room nest so he could go back to sleep.
posted by gatorae at 8:01 PM on June 14, 2015 [13 favorites]


Interview with Harington says he's been told he's not coming back, but then they'd say that, wouldn't they?

That interview is some epic trolling. I'm glad he's having fun with it.
posted by gsteff at 8:01 PM on June 14, 2015 [7 favorites]


My prediction: Myrcella will survive her poisoning through the efforts of Qyburn, in an episode titled "Bride of Ser Robert Strong"
posted by JDHarper at 8:03 PM on June 14, 2015 [12 favorites]


Okay, question. Of all the...casualties. Who can we confirm is definitely for real dead?

Let's start with the easy ones: Jaqen. Dead or not dead?


Jaqen - Deader than usual, but he's the priest-avatar of a death god, so that's just another day at the office for him.

Myrcella - Yeah, she's dead all right. Based on that fortuneteller prophesy in that flashback, Tommen's next. Who will feed Ser Pounce? That prophecy was more fun when it was just the wicked incest-children dying.

Jon Snow - Dead, but gonna be resurrected. Melisandre will probably figure out that he's the real Azor Azhai from her prophecy and bring him back (this, remember, is a totally different infallible prophecy from the spooky flashback-fortuneteller's infallible prophecy [though Melisandre's leech-burning thing did also prophesy Joffrey dying, so maybe they're like prophecy buddies?])

Stannis - Yeah, I'd say probably dead. I mean, nobody's really up for a redemption arc for Stannis, are they? Stannis will forever be Mannis no more, but I think him getting it clean from Brienne was probably still more what he deserved than how he would have died if Ramsay had found him.

Threekon and Sansa - Nah. They landed in a snow bank or something. Wasn't that in the book too?
posted by strangely stunted trees at 8:04 PM on June 14, 2015 [6 favorites]


I bet Mel saw a redhead on the walls of Winterfell and got confused.
posted by Drinky Die at 8:07 PM on June 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


Also, my friend's reaction to the final shot of Jon Snow bleeding out was to call him "Jon Snowcone."
posted by JDHarper at 8:07 PM on June 14, 2015 [12 favorites]


SOMEONE TELL ME THAT JON IS FINE
posted by DynamiteToast at 8:07 PM on June 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


Overall I liked the episode but... way too much violence against women. So Stannis, who was supposed to be a pretty good general, didn't have anyone scout Winterfell? How did they fit all those horses in Winterfell? Seconding, how could Dany not see the Dothraki when she was on the high ground? Why let your enemy who is an expert in poison kiss you for a very long time? Why send Sam to be a Maester when the White Walkers are as close to wall as Hardhome? Did Davos and Melissandre borrow Littlefinger's Jetpack of plot convenience? So Ramsey is a military expert?
posted by drezdn at 8:07 PM on June 14, 2015 [7 favorites]


And dead Jaquen looked a bit like a Nick Kroll character to me.
posted by drezdn at 8:08 PM on June 14, 2015 [7 favorites]


So this is the equivalent of the end of Empire Strikes Back for the series?
posted by drezdn at 8:09 PM on June 14, 2015 [5 favorites]


Man that was a lot of things to tie up in an episode.

I'm confused why there's no next episode sneak peak tho. Guess I'll just wait for next week!
posted by curious nu at 8:09 PM on June 14, 2015 [6 favorites]


SOMEONE TELL ME THAT JON IS FINE

'E's just sleepin'.
posted by Justinian at 8:09 PM on June 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


I don't know, these people are all so horrible... maybe the white walkers are actually the good guys.
posted by double bubble at 8:14 PM on June 14, 2015 [10 favorites]


I did not expect Stannis to survive this episode, but damn, I thought his army would be able to put up more of a fight at Winterfell.
posted by trunk muffins at 8:14 PM on June 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


I think "For the Watch" makes more sense in the books, where the attack at Hardhome is something no one at Castle Black actually witnessed. When you've seen an army raise the dead, it makes sense to let the wildings on to the other side of the wall, lest you give your enemy more soldiers.
posted by drezdn at 8:14 PM on June 14, 2015 [8 favorites]


I did not expect Stannis to survive this episode, but damn, I thought his army would be able to put up more of a fight at Winterfell.

I like to think that they will in the books.
posted by drezdn at 8:15 PM on June 14, 2015


If they're going to keep Ramsey around forever, I hope Arya is the one that finally takes him out.
posted by drezdn at 8:17 PM on June 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm trying to figure out what they're doing with Zombie Mountain. Are they going to use him as a substitute Arys Oakheart?
posted by Dr. Zira at 8:17 PM on June 14, 2015


Says Kit Harrington:

"I kind of knew it was coming. I didn’t read [George R.R. Martin’s novel] A Dance with Dragons."

Even the people acting major parts in the show have given up on the books.
posted by turbid dahlia at 8:20 PM on June 14, 2015 [6 favorites]


Excellent episode, IMO. I thought Stephen Dilane was fantastic- the resignation in his blank stare as he saw Bolton army charging was brilliant and heartbreaking. I also thought they way they briefly intertwined the Stannis, Sansa and Brienne storylines worked very well, given that one of the things I dislike about the show is the way that the constant cutting between 17 storylines can give it a soap opera feel at times.
posted by gsteff at 8:24 PM on June 14, 2015


The Trant scene was so awful and tone deaf. Literally one of the most constant criticisms of the show for at least the last two seasons if not the whole time is that they're too blase about violence towards women. I know these are filmed far in advance, but how did someone write last episode, then think "You know, I'm not sure the watchers view Trant as a bad guy. Let's make the pedophile also enjoy beating the young girls he's raping."
posted by DynamiteToast at 8:26 PM on June 14, 2015 [5 favorites]


The Trant scene was so awful and tone deaf.

Not at all. The show so many seem to be wishing for doesn't and hasn't ever existed and probably never will. It's a brutal show, based on a brutal book and the showrunners seem just fine with that.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:33 PM on June 14, 2015 [14 favorites]


I've seen this noted in a few comment threads around the web so far and it's delightful: in the show, Balon Greyjoy may have just won the War of Five Kings.
posted by jason_steakums at 8:37 PM on June 14, 2015 [17 favorites]


It's like when everyone in the chain of succession dies, and somehow the Secretary of Transportation is the POTUS.
posted by codacorolla at 8:38 PM on June 14, 2015 [13 favorites]


I didn't like the Trant scene just cause this show doesn't seem to trust us to know bad guys are bad, like they always gotta be eating kittens in every scene, it's predictable and lessens the impact.

I did enjoy Ayra getting her own little Hannibal episode there tho
posted by The Whelk at 8:39 PM on June 14, 2015 [10 favorites]


The Boltons charging on Stannis made me think: Game of Thrones would make a pretty good instalment in the Total War franchise.
posted by turbid dahlia at 8:43 PM on June 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


The shot of the remnants of Stannis' army marching on Winterfell reminded me of (similarly doomed) relic raid parties I took part in back when I was playing Dark Age of Camelot. Good times.
posted by trunk muffins at 8:46 PM on June 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


The Boltons charging on Stannis made me think: Game of Thrones would make a pretty good instalment in the Total War franchise.

You're looking for the "Westeros: Total War" mod for Medieval 2. It exists already.
posted by Justinian at 8:50 PM on June 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


The Battle of Winterfell, or as it was known later, The Battle That We Ran Out of Money to Shoot
posted by codacorolla at 8:52 PM on June 14, 2015 [20 favorites]


Yeah, right. Does anybody believe Jon is well and truly dead?

Here is what I seriously think.

I think that Jon is actually another fakeout for the Iron Throne - in the books, they're going to reveal his parentage, and have everyone going AHA HIDDEN PRINCE THAT IS PROPHESIED YES WE HAVE SEEN THIS TROPE BEFORE - and then he dies for real, again, and everyone is sad and confused, leaving room for the person we don't expect on the Iron Throne.

I think it's possible that D&D have decided to shortcut the extra king candidates - that's why we saw no Aegon, why there was no crowning of Myrcella attempt, why Arianne doesn't exist in the show. It is possible - I don't think it's likely, but I think it's possible - that they are not going to resurrect Jon in the show simply because they're trying to simplify the threads. I think it's more likely, though, that we're going to lose eyes on the wall for a little bit - just as next season, Bran opens his eyes and we start to see through the trees. So we will think that Jon is well & truly dead, only for him to return if needed - perhaps in season 7. The show has already set up characters disappearing for a season to return next season (Bran).

But with Melisandre at the Wall, I think it is pretty clear that she is going to resurrect him - and possibly, get him the fuck away from the Wall, possibly with Davos who has nothing else to live for.
posted by corb at 8:52 PM on June 14, 2015 [7 favorites]


You're looking for the "Westeros: Total War" mod for Medieval 2. It exists already.

Hnng!
posted by turbid dahlia at 8:52 PM on June 14, 2015


Oh god who is this asshole kingsguard beating the little girls with a stick? Why do we need to get some bullshit like that every. Single. Week? Is there anybody in Westeros who gets their jollies just from cuddles and consensual missionary? Jesus.
posted by turbid dahlia at 8:53 PM on June 14, 2015 [6 favorites]


Oh, lol.
posted by turbid dahlia at 8:55 PM on June 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


I thought the opening bit of the battle of Winterfell with a large portion of Stannis's troops fleeing was a nice touch.
posted by drezdn at 8:58 PM on June 14, 2015 [5 favorites]


Somebody should have passed Stannis the message that burning little girls alive is bad for morale.
posted by Justinian at 8:58 PM on June 14, 2015 [10 favorites]


One thing that frustrates me with the show, compared to the book, is the don't seem to give the little victories for the good guys. Where are the Freys getting thrown off walls or backed into pies?
posted by drezdn at 8:59 PM on June 14, 2015 [10 favorites]


Somebody should have passed Stannis the message that burning little girls alive is bad for morale.

If only book Stannis had warned him.
posted by drezdn at 9:01 PM on June 14, 2015 [7 favorites]


Not at all. The show so many seem to be wishing for doesn't and hasn't ever existed and probably never will. It's a brutal show, based on a brutal book and the showrunners seem just fine with that.
posted by Brandon Blatcher


So when you saw that scene your first thought wasn't to roll your eyes? I mean I get that the GoT world is awful and dark and cruel, but come on, beating little girls before you have sex with them in a scene to establish he's the evil dude?
posted by DynamiteToast at 9:01 PM on June 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Isn't that scene kinda toned down from the books? I think Arya actually... does stuff... in the books. But it's been a while since I read it.
posted by Justinian at 9:02 PM on June 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Where are the Freys getting thrown off walls or backed into pies?

Your typo is making me wish his was a recurring plot device in this show. Bad guys get minor come-uppances by accidentally backing into pies and then being forced to spend the rest of their time on the show with pie ass.
posted by middleclasstool at 9:05 PM on June 14, 2015 [19 favorites]


Somebody should have passed Stannis the message that burning little girls alive is bad for morale.

And that's just the cherry on top of the shitty morale sundae Stannis has always served up. Ok troops, if you turn your backs on your religion and forget about preparing for winter so you can march into battle against superior forces for me, I might not let a crazy sorceress burn you alive!
posted by jason_steakums at 9:05 PM on June 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


In the books doesn't Arya seduce him to his death? It's a lot less rapey (besides the age difference) because she's luring him to his death.

I mean whatever, the show's annoyed me on this front before and I won't stop watching it or anything. Just believe I rolled my eyes and said "Oh come on, really?".
posted by DynamiteToast at 9:06 PM on June 14, 2015


They could make things brutal and grim dark by showing as little as possible, and letting viewers fill in the gaps.
posted by drezdn at 9:07 PM on June 14, 2015


Isn't that scene kinda toned down from the books? I think Arya actually... does stuff... in the books. But it's been a while since I read it

Depends on if it's Arya-kills-deserter or Arya-kills-Lannister-guard. The first was simpler and less bloody, the second she does make with the fake sexy, but it's from the WOW chapters.
posted by corb at 9:07 PM on June 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


OH INTERESTING

I am seeing rumblings on the internet that we will have a LORD Stoneheart...
posted by corb at 9:09 PM on June 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


I choose to believe that Jon was thinking "Why didn't the wildings mention Benjen while I was walking with them to the wall. That's an odd thing."
posted by drezdn at 9:10 PM on June 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


I am seeing rumblings on the internet that we will have a LORD Stoneheart...

Stannis or Snow?
posted by drezdn at 9:12 PM on June 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


This episode also confirmed that Sansa's kick-ass moment with the nobles of the Vale at the end of season 4 was completely pointless and not indicative of any development. She was out-manipulated by Littlefinger, imprisoned and raped by Ramsay, and caught during both of her attempts to escape captivity, and when she finally did escape it because she was rescued rather than doing it herself. I'm happy that book Sansa has and will almost certainly continue to have more agency (although there are hints that some form of the rape scene may happen in the next book), because the directions the show took her in seasons 4 and 5 seem very inconsistent.
posted by gsteff at 9:12 PM on June 14, 2015 [5 favorites]


They could make things brutal and grim dark by showing as little as possible, and letting viewers fill in the gaps.

Someone in last week's thread called it medieval Saw, and that's pretty on point. It's shot and written to be stimulating (mostly disgust, but also with a certain elan for the taboo).
posted by codacorolla at 9:12 PM on June 14, 2015


I was thinking more Hostel, myself.
posted by Justinian at 9:15 PM on June 14, 2015


I am seeing rumblings on the internet that we will have a LORD Stoneheart...

They could probably make Selyse into Stoneheart and it wouldn't be that much different than what Catelyn does in the books, she just might be hell bent on killing a slightly different group of people.
posted by jason_steakums at 9:18 PM on June 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


God, I hope True Detective isn't as bad as it seems like it's going to be. And don't forget that other new series: sports Entourage.
posted by codacorolla at 9:21 PM on June 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


The Thenns should have done a more thorough job in Olly's village.
posted by drezdn at 9:23 PM on June 14, 2015 [9 favorites]


Slate pitch: Olly was right.
posted by drezdn at 9:23 PM on June 14, 2015 [6 favorites]


I really hope it isn't Sports Entourage. I really like Dwayne Johnson and would prefer him to not be on a shitty dick-measuring show.
posted by middleclasstool at 9:25 PM on June 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm not sure the watchers view Trant as a bad guy. Let's make the pedophile also enjoy beating the young girls he's raping.

IIRC, Trant was the one who stripped and beat Sansa in the throne room when she was ~13? So he's just getting back to his roots.
posted by Jacqueline at 9:26 PM on June 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


How will the wildings react to Jon's murder? It seems like it would be just the thing to spark a battle between the watch and the wildings at the wall (and so far as I remember, they're all still at the wall in the show).
posted by drezdn at 9:27 PM on June 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


I'd say my biggest disappointment with this season is that the whole Myrcella succession crisis plot was cut. :(
posted by Jacqueline at 9:28 PM on June 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


Even the people acting major parts in the show have given up on the books.

I read that many of them deliberately avoided reading them because they felt they could give a more authentic performance if they only knew as much as their characters did.
posted by Jacqueline at 9:30 PM on June 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


ZOMBIE MOUNTAIN
posted by turbid dahlia at 9:30 PM on June 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


I don't get why the Snakes didn't just kill Marcella before Jaimie got there. Unless... Maybe they needed her out of Dorne when they did it, so they could hold to Doran's "we don't kill little girls in Dorne."

At least Bronn is still alive.
posted by drezdn at 9:31 PM on June 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


It's like when everyone in the chain of succession dies, and somehow the Secretary of Transportation is the POTUS.

It's actually the Secretary of Education (shout out to my fellow Battlestar Galatica fans!).
posted by Jacqueline at 9:32 PM on June 14, 2015 [21 favorites]


Go on, do your duty

Stannis, so virtuous it becomes a vice.

Really, show, we don't need more motivation to want Trant dead. Our little murder machine kept reminding us.
Oh, Sand Snakes. You had so much potential.

Anyone else notice the High Sparrow's little twitch of a smile as Cersei passed him? Pryce was a great choice. Of course Qyburn is there with a cloak and reassurance - he's way more dangerous than anyone gives him credit for.

I'm pissed off I didn't get my "Justice. Vengeance. Fire and Blood." out of Doran.

Fox News covers “Game of Thrones”: People think the White Walkers are evil just because they’re white! - "I’m not saying we should start a #WhiteWalkersMatter campaign or anything, but I’m not saying we shouldn’t either"


Have faith in “Game of Thrones”: We need its urgently human, primal fantasy now more than ever
We're in uncharted waters now!
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:32 PM on June 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


With all said and done this season, I really think they took the good intention of streamlining the story too far. They made a lot of good choices, especially in Mereen and in giving Brienne actual stuff to do, but cut so much good stuff out of the plot in the North. The much better handling of Stannis in the books and the simmering tensions in Winterfell are the things I most wanted to see on screen out of the last two books. And then they still put a mediocre Dorne storyline in there, it was just mediocre in a different way.
posted by jason_steakums at 9:34 PM on June 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


. The show’s ambition outpaces that of the books; where George R.R. Martin started to drag his heels, the show has barreled forward.

He's not so much dragging his heels as driving a Veyron backwards at 180mph while watching football on his phone.
posted by Justinian at 9:36 PM on June 14, 2015 [12 favorites]


Huh.

So this is the equivalent of the end of Empire Strikes Back for the series?

Hah! I was literally thinking yesterday that the end of ADwD is sort of the nadir of the entire series; everything looks grim and hopeless, and then we're going to get some kind of turnaround. Not a gentle one, but something that is the GRRM equivalent of Gandalf's "I've come back to you now, at the turn of the tide."

Anyways - while I had no appetite for any attempt at a Stannis redemption arc, this just kind of felt like a clearing of the table. But Brienne did have to choose between her two oaths.

I was thinking they couldn't let Jaime have that moment of truth and reconciliation without something horrible happening.

Has anyone analyzed the pool of blood forming around Jon yet? There's probably a hidden message in there. The non-bookies I was with were very disappointed in that turn of events.

Enjoyed Cersei's walk; they somehow managed to pull it off.

That's sort of my initial take.
posted by nubs at 9:36 PM on June 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Oh yah, I mean where the fuck is Manderly? He's the second best part (TEAM JON) about the North in the latter books.
posted by DynamiteToast at 9:37 PM on June 14, 2015 [5 favorites]


I think the biggest problem they had is that they didn't cut enough not that they cut too much or cut the wrong things. The show works best when it stays in one place for a while (Hardhome, etc). You can only do that if you ruthlessly winnow down the storylines you follow.

Cut all of Dorne. Cut all of the Greyjoy stuff. Cut Connington. Cut it all.
posted by Justinian at 9:37 PM on June 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


Great job sand snakes, now the Lannisters have a hostage.
posted by drezdn at 9:38 PM on June 14, 2015 [21 favorites]


DynamiteToast: but come on, beating little girls before you have sex with them in a scene to establish he's the evil dude?

I'm guessing that the thought process for having Trant beat them wasn't about re-establishing he evilness, I think they wanted it to be a callback to her training in the Faceless Men where she was constantly hit for failing the Lying Game. They probably wanted that image of a girl with her hair down not reacting to getting hit and the other characters confused by it as the audience slowly realizes it's Arya wearing another face. I'm just saying it probably came more from trying to find a cool way to reveal her in the scene rather than a character note on Trant.
posted by bluecore at 9:40 PM on June 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


Oh yah, I mean where the fuck is Manderly? He's the second best part (TEAM JON) about the North in the latter books.

And TEAM JON was better served in the books by having basically Brian Blessed as Tormund. I mean I like show Tormund well enough, but I was certainly hoping for something different.
posted by jason_steakums at 9:40 PM on June 14, 2015


So Tyrion is basically the most powerful Lannister out there now? It's a funny world.

Also I'd love a Crusader Kings/Sim City video game that was basically just Running Mareen.
posted by The Whelk at 9:42 PM on June 14, 2015 [5 favorites]


I'll predict the "we never saw the body" cut away from Brienne is a double-fake-out and Stannis is really dead after all (perhaps to prevent pre-spoiling his death in WINDS OF WINTER). There's nothing left for Stannis to do on the series now but die anyway, and it'd be a bummer to saddle Brienne with that sack of crap's redemption arc. Red-Head Witchy Woman has already fled the scene to go resurrect Jon Snow. Unless they've got the actress who played Cat Stark in a truly crazy holding contract I don't think Lady Stoneheart is going to intervene. It's over.

The show has gotten predictable enough this season that I'm probably wrong and it IS the inevitable single-fake-out, but I'd be glad to see the end of Show Stannis.
posted by gerryblog at 9:42 PM on June 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


For what its worth, I think this is how I look at the show (from the man of twist and turns link):
Other shows might be more critically acclaimed; other shows might be more watched. But “Game Of Thrones” is where those two metrics meet, creating, perhaps unexpectedly, an era-defining show.
It's true more people watch NCSISVU: Poughkeepsie. It's true that a (very) few shows receive more critical attention (though they are going off the air one by one). But there is no other show on television with the GoT audience and the level of critical appreciation of this show. Note, for example, that for all its problems this season of GoT has a 97% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Dorne still blows.
posted by Justinian at 9:43 PM on June 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


Great job sand snakes, now the Lannisters have a hostage.

It's called "heightening the contradictions" and it's never failed.
posted by gerryblog at 9:43 PM on June 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


Hey... maybe the Stannis thing is a nod to the last scene of Brienne we see in the books? Where it looks like she is about to be hanged, starts falling, and then CUT TO BLACK. Except in reverse.
posted by Justinian at 9:44 PM on June 14, 2015


We should get to see Old Town next year!
posted by drezdn at 9:49 PM on June 14, 2015


(Though if Sam and Gilly are going over land, that's going to be a heck of a slog, especially through all the corpses around Winterfell)
posted by drezdn at 9:50 PM on June 14, 2015


I think they went to White Harbor and caught a boat from there, and the boat stops in Braavos on the way? Who rules White Harbor? Manderlys. There's still hope.
posted by LionIndex at 9:52 PM on June 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


Next season on Game of Thrones: 10 episodes of catching up with the Greyjoys.
posted by jason_steakums at 9:53 PM on June 14, 2015 [23 favorites]


In the books they go to Eastwatch I think, then sail from there. White Harbor is quite far away.
posted by DynamiteToast at 9:55 PM on June 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


I liked the Kingsmoot, but I just can't see them squeezing the whole thing in. My guess if they visit the Greyjoys again, Balon dies and Euron/BJ shows up right away and starts ordering people around.
posted by drezdn at 9:56 PM on June 14, 2015


Totally want the sister saying "Shame" as my ringtone.
posted by drezdn at 9:58 PM on June 14, 2015 [11 favorites]


Totally want the sister saying "Shame" as my ringtone.

Set it up on my phone about ten minutes after the episode ended :^)
posted by Lucinda at 10:07 PM on June 14, 2015 [14 favorites]


While in my evening jog I was thinking how it would be kind of interesting if the whole series ends with the White Walkers victorious-- the wall shattered, the Night's Watch all decimated, the people of Westeros either dead or fleeing South to Dorne, where they find Dorne hastily building its own great wall. The final image would be the Night's King ascending the steps to sit on the Iron Throne, as all of King's Landing has been converted to wights and is now dead silent.
posted by bluecore at 10:08 PM on June 14, 2015 [14 favorites]


Who will feed Ser Pounce?

This seems like the perfect job for Gendry.
posted by thivaia at 10:10 PM on June 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


So can Melisandre use some of the Jon blood that is covering the snow for spells?
posted by drezdn at 10:13 PM on June 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


One cute/depressing consequence of the way the show rearranged things is that when Jeyne Sansa arrives at the Wall (in retrospect, that's why the writers had Ramsay tell her about Jon in the bastards conversation), she'll get there right after all the people who hated Jon had him killed, just because nothing ever goes right for Sansa. And as soon as she gets there, the pink letter from Ramsay demanding the return of his wife will probably arrive- it's actually kinda neat how they made that work out cleanly via a very different storyline. But her future is now the hardest to predict, given that she has diverged the most from the books.
posted by gsteff at 10:13 PM on June 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


This is the best thing I've seen all day.
posted by corb at 10:23 PM on June 14, 2015 [7 favorites]


In response to a few comments, and apologies for not attributing but this is fast-moving...

That interview is some epic trolling. I'm glad he's having fun with it.

Ha, agreed! But I would so love if he survived by warging (though the show has given no hints of that) instead of through Melisandre's arts. Melisandre is so irredeemably tainted at this point, it would be better for Jon Snow to die than for him to be beholden to her for whatever new life he has.

The Battle of Winterfell, or as it was known later, The Battle That We Ran Out of Money to Shoot

Ah man I am SO happy to see a battle portrayed that way! Thought those aerial shots were very cool, and was very glad not to have a lot of hand-to-hand combat. Though we did get that little scene with Ramsey stabbing that guy to death, because you know we hadn't known Ramsey was a sadist before that.

Somebody should have passed Stannis the message that burning little girls alive is bad for morale.

One of the most satisfying parts of the episode, seeing everyone peel away from Stannis. Because it really didn't work last week, the idea that everyone would have stood by, watched that happen, and felt no differently about their commander.

when she finally did escape it because she was rescued rather than doing it herself.

I think that was meant to be the two of them escaping together. The two of them equal victims (though not equally deserving of course!). Theon didn't save Sansa; he just stopped standing in the way of her escape. That's how I saw it, anyway.
posted by torticat at 10:24 PM on June 14, 2015 [9 favorites]


Jon told Sam they'd need a mountain of dragonglass to defeat the white walkers, and Dragonstone happens to rest atop just such a mountain....
posted by bassooner at 10:25 PM on June 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


Question: what exactly was the last straw for Melisandre, why did she abandon Stannis? I mean that is HUGE in terms of her ideology (unless she's been faking it all along--but I think she's a zealot, not a fraud). And what is her goal in heading to the Wall--only to save herself?
posted by torticat at 10:27 PM on June 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


But her future is now the hardest to predict, given that she has diverged the most from the books.

Sansa's a very interesting character for me because when you look at GRRM's original pitch for the series you can see she was (a) a one-note character and (b) more or less supposed to be dead already. I like to think he forgot to kill her off during the Joffrey plotline and now he can't figure out how to get rid of her.
posted by gerryblog at 10:29 PM on June 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


Next season on Game of Thrones: 10 episodes of catching up with the Greyjoys.

In one episode, the cinematography will strongly suggest that one of the Ironborn's long-ships is about to intercept Gendry, but it turns out to be another one of King Robert's bastards

Also: Yara scowls at a boat so hard that it sinks, Balon builds her a long-range scowling device with the help of a renegade maester who makes crude proto-telescopes
posted by clockzero at 10:30 PM on June 14, 2015 [8 favorites]


And don't forget that other new series: sports Entourage.

you shut your filthy mouth about my future ex husband the rock
posted by poffin boffin at 10:30 PM on June 14, 2015 [5 favorites]


what exactly was the last straw for Melisandre, why did she abandon Stannis?

I think it was her realization that she'd been wrong all along - that Stannis is not Azor Ahai, that the sacrifice for the Lord of Light actually did not act to bring about a path for Stannis - but a path for her to get to Jon Snow, the true AA - the 'snow' she has been seeing, the other king's blood she senses.
posted by corb at 10:30 PM on June 14, 2015 [13 favorites]




Question: what exactly was the last straw for Melisandre, why did she abandon Stannis?

I don't think this can be given much of an explanation other than that she's needed back at the Wall- where she is in the books- for the plot. At best, she saw some detail that clearly didn't line up with her fire visions, and realized she'd made a terrible mistake. But in reality, she's needed at the Wall for the plot.
posted by gsteff at 10:32 PM on June 14, 2015


That completely makes sense, corb. I'd like to rewatch to see if there were any hints on the show that that was going on. Agree with Justinian (I think?) upthread that including the "I see only snow" line would have helped!
posted by torticat at 10:32 PM on June 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Her creepy attempted seduction of Jon Snow earlier in the season was to set up that she isn't loyal to Stannis per se. Jon is just as good for what she wants (and by the time she left anyone could see Stannis was doomed).
posted by gerryblog at 10:33 PM on June 14, 2015


Well, and that there was something special. She can't make shadowbabies with just anyone.
posted by corb at 10:34 PM on June 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Why let your enemy who is an expert in poison kiss you for a very long time?

are you serious? have you seen indira varma with your own eyes that work good for seeing things? if she was all "ok i just poisonkissed you and next im gonna step on you a lot" i'd be like okay sure when do we start, is it now, can it be now
posted by poffin boffin at 10:35 PM on June 14, 2015 [38 favorites]


This episode also confirmed that Sansa's kick-ass moment with the nobles of the Vale at the end of season 4 was completely pointless and not indicative of any development. She was out-manipulated by Littlefinger, imprisoned and raped by Ramsay, and caught during both of her attempts to escape captivity, and when she finally did escape it because she was rescued rather than doing it herself.

I mean, it is the Theon redemption moment that everyone expected, but Sansa does stand up and say "shoot me now or let me go."
posted by atoxyl at 10:43 PM on June 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


she's needed back at the Wall- where she is in the books-

Wait, she is? I thought she was still snowed in at camp with Stannis? Guess I need to reread. What's the pretext for her being at the Wall, in the books?

I thought Melisandre's being at the Wall at the time of the stabbening was a show innovation.
posted by torticat at 10:47 PM on June 14, 2015


I mean, it is the Theon redemption moment that everyone expected, but Sansa does stand up and say "shoot me now or let me go."

yeah, I think that moment was a best-two-out-of-three thing. Sansa knew what she wanted and was willing to die rather than be thwarted. Theon chose not to thwart her, but that's not the same as rescuing her.
posted by torticat at 10:51 PM on June 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Where is Littlefinger now? He spoke with Cersei and then stuff happened and I forgot all about him. Was he heading back to the Eyrie? Maybe to get soldiers for something?
posted by poffin boffin at 10:55 PM on June 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


have you seen indira varma with your own eyes that work good for seeing things?

And... yes, and no! My out-loud reaction to that scene was "i'm not a fan of that kiss." Indira Varma isn't contributing much to the show and the sand snakes are just stupid ("dangerous pussy" or whatever it was, oh please). So disappointing.
posted by torticat at 10:56 PM on June 14, 2015


Question: what exactly was the last straw for Melisandre

Melisandre: "I ask my god to show me Azor Ahai and all I see is snow."
posted by Justinian at 10:58 PM on June 14, 2015 [5 favorites]


jason_steakums: "And TEAM JON was better served in the books by having basically Brian Blessed as Tormund. I mean I like show Tormund well enough, but I was certainly hoping for something different."

We already had Brian Blessed on the show, practically, he was called Robert Baratheon.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 11:04 PM on June 14, 2015 [6 favorites]


I liked my plot better. Although I forgot all about the leap from the wall. That was nice.

When they said "half the men and all the horses" had gone off, I said "man the battle choreographers must be so relieved."

the girl whose face arya was wearing: was that the terminally ill girl whose father brought to the house of black and white?
posted by KathrynT at 11:04 PM on June 14, 2015 [5 favorites]


I don't know what Ellaria is thinking. What's to keep Jaime from turning that ship around and going straight back to Doran Martell and telling him what happened? He basically promised Ellaria death if she tried something like that again just last episode. The other option, of course, is for Jaime to keep sailing, which will let him have a Dornish hostage to pressure Dorne into making concessions, which will probably also end up with Doran none too pleased with Ellaria.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 11:10 PM on June 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


ARYA GOT HER MURDERIZING ON IN THE BEST WAY

BAM RIGHT IN THE EYES

OH PS STAB STAB STAB STAB STAB STAB STAB

kk reading the thread now
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:15 PM on June 14, 2015 [7 favorites]


Melisandre: "I ask my god to show me Azor Ahai and all I see is snow."

In the books, yes. What was the motivation on the show?
posted by torticat at 11:23 PM on June 14, 2015


A healthy sense of self preservation?

*mic drop* Melisandre OUT. (rides into the distance)
posted by Justinian at 11:36 PM on June 14, 2015 [9 favorites]


Hibberd says that he pressed both Harrington and Weiss as hard as he could about Jon Snow's death and they both insist that he's gone. But I still don't buy it. Nooooo waaaay.
posted by Justinian at 11:37 PM on June 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


Why was this episode not titled "Stannis' No-Good, Horrible, Very Bad Day"?

Brienne: You killed my Renly. Prepare to die.
Stannis: Sigh. Oh, alright then.
posted by culfinglin at 11:39 PM on June 14, 2015 [11 favorites]


Oh, one thing I'm not sure is widely known? It's not clear whether or not Headey would have normally asked for a body double for the Mother's Mercy scenes but there wasn't actually a choice because Headey was visibly pregnant during filming this season. She had a baby girl a couple months ago!
posted by Justinian at 11:40 PM on June 14, 2015 [8 favorites]


(woops, correction, she is still pregnant. I guess?)
posted by Justinian at 11:41 PM on June 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


Question: what exactly was the last straw for Melisandre, why did she abandon Stannis? I mean that is HUGE in terms of her ideology (unless she's been faking it all along--but I think she's a zealot, not a fraud

I think she's neither. She has real power, she believes, and Stannis was her getting a possible wrench in the works out of the way. "Hey, manipulate you to keep me away from Blackwater. Aww, you lost without me, now you depend on me. Now start a doomed march to Winterfell, oh and burn your daughter alive. Aww, your people are deserting you, including me. kthxbai."

Indira Varma could look at me and say "my lips are covered in cyanide, wanna make out?" and yup.

When The Stabbening happened I looked at the people I was watching with and said "the internet just fucking exploded."

"Do your duty" was the most Stannis of lines.

ARYA GOT HER MURDERATION yes I already said that it bears repeating.

The Walk was so, so perfectly done. Nothing--as far as I could see--about any of the camera angles was salacious. The expressions on her face!

Trant was grotesque, and repellent, and that short little scene set up THE BEST KILLIFYING. There were eight of us, and as soon as she went for the eyes there was lots of applause and ARYA YES and general whooping.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:43 PM on June 14, 2015 [7 favorites]


TEAM ARYA 5EVA is what I'm saying here
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:44 PM on June 14, 2015 [5 favorites]


Oh also:

Brienne and Pod!!!!

Tyrion and Varys! (wait aren't Kevan and Pycelle due for some perforation?)

Also by the Seven, Varys, laying it on a bit thick eh? Tyrion is slightly smarter than a rock, chill for a sec ok
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:45 PM on June 14, 2015


and sorry

Drogon is going through his surly teenage phase
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:48 PM on June 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


I may be off base, but I read Melissandre's retreat as purely self-preservation. She sees Stannis is unhappy with her despite the thaw, hears about the troops deserting, then sees her former staunchest ally has hung herself, she figures she needs to find somewhere safer to be. Because thaw or no thaw, losing half your troops and all your horses in return for sacrificing your only child does not seem like an outcome Stannis is going to accept. Before the line about Melissandre running off I thought Stannis was going to order his men to arrest her.
posted by skewed at 11:56 PM on June 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


also gendry should row by every time there is any scene in which an even marginally large body of water is in the background.

Yes, and not just on GOT. I want to see this on True Detective. On Empire. On Workaholics. On informational videos from the American Potato Counsel. I want a tiny, rowing Gendry digitally added to old episodes of The Love Boat, so that he can companionably paddle along beside the Pacific Princess, maybe doing the odd bit of spot-welding for Captain Steubing & Co., in exchange for free umbrella drinks and an occasional shower.

When next we see him, I want him to be wearing a pair of patched, white cruise ship staff shorts and a hat from Molly's Reach.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 11:59 PM on June 14, 2015 [21 favorites]


Stannis "All I wanted was a fucking Pepsi" Baratheon. Slow clap, you guys. Those "you gotta be fucking kidding me/she doesn't even go here/I'm not even supposed to BE HERE today" faces from Stephen Dillane were a gift.
posted by moonlight on vermont at 12:01 AM on June 15, 2015 [16 favorites]


Yeah that look when the horses swept over the horizon, well it deserves a picture.

(yeah ok it's not that moment I am too lazy to download the whole thing and screencap)
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:07 AM on June 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


D&D Discuss Stannis in Season 5 [satire]
posted by andoatnp at 12:18 AM on June 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Also, ngl, Brienne's Whispers storyline in AFFC is my favorite character arc in the entire god damned series, contains the Broken Men speech which is imo THE thesis statement of the books, and I am so so thrilled that these HBO fuckheads, like most adolescent-minded men who read the series, GOT BORED AND DIDN'T FINISH READING IT, OH MY GOD, I WON THE SHITTY SERIES LOTTERY, MY FAVE GIRL DIDN'T GET TRASHED, THIS IS ME RIGHT NOW [SLYT]
posted by moonlight on vermont at 12:19 AM on June 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


Also, Balon Greyjoy right now: [RELINK]
posted by moonlight on vermont at 12:20 AM on June 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


Macbeth shall never vanquished be until
an off-screen army standing there's reveal
posted by nom de poop at 12:21 AM on June 15, 2015 [5 favorites]


Several people up above pointed out that in the book chapter released, Arya seduced the Meryn Trant equivalent.

I would like to point out that book-Arya is ELEVEN YEARS OLD and seduced him.

Gaaah.

That is all.
posted by rednikki at 12:24 AM on June 15, 2015


I don't think she's 11 in WOW.
posted by corb at 12:26 AM on June 15, 2015


poffin boffin: "oh wow we're all blind next season aren't we"

You say that as though D&D would forge ahead without knowing full well that GRRM is actually very likely going to release a book he's already de facto released twelve chapters of in bits and pieces here and there. I'm pretty sure we'll get Winds of Winter before the next season; that's the most he's ever released without just publishing the damned book, I think, and it would make sense for them to stagger it so it doesn't come out while the show is going on. After that, though - who knows. I mean, he bloody well isn't going to have another one ready after the next season.
posted by koeselitz at 12:38 AM on June 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Oh, and - I guess Arya is 11 in DWD. (Born 289, DWD happens 300.) She's 9 at the beginning. Maybe 12 when WOW happens? Not sure. Could be there's a big jump, but that'd be a first, I think.
posted by koeselitz at 12:43 AM on June 15, 2015


I'm a little confused by what you mean? OF course D&D would forge ahead whether or not GRRM is going to release the next book any time soon. Hell, they'd forge ahead if he was run over by a car tomorrow and all copies of what he has written were thrown in an incinerator.
posted by Justinian at 12:44 AM on June 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


Also, gosh, for all the weird Greek tragedy notes they're trying to play with Jaime and Myrcella and Stannis and Shireen, they sure forgot about the amazing revenge plot of Varys waiting TWENTY YEARS to personally kill Pycelle for the deaths of Rhaenys and Aegon. YOU WANT IPHIGENEIA AT AULIS? TWENTY YEARS OF THIS GUY TALKING ABOUT THE LITTLE GIRL WHO NAMED HER KITTEN AFTER A DRAGON, DAN AND DAVE. COME ONNNN.
posted by moonlight on vermont at 12:45 AM on June 15, 2015 [6 favorites]


And really kind of... wow... at having Myrcella fall in love, replacing her actress and hairpiece with a ringer for Amy Adams in Enchanted, putting her in a pink cupcake fairy princess quinceañera dress, and THEN killing her off after a heartwarming moment with a family member. GOT's war on femininity is not even funny anymore.
posted by moonlight on vermont at 1:05 AM on June 15, 2015 [6 favorites]


Wow this didn't make me hate this season any less.

The first 1/3rd or so is just hardcore torture porn. The entire cersei sequence falls in that category too, and didn't seem powerful or like it was supposed to make me uncomfortable, it just seemed like something that a misogynistic cersei-hating reddit nerd would come up with.

That whole quote about how the directors wanted to make this show entirely to portray the red wedding is poignant here.

It reminded me of really poorly made super gory horror movie that exists entirely for shock value. Especially the entire part with the old knight guy whipping the young girls with a riding crop.

We get it, he's evil. We get it, ramsay is evil. We get it, the faith militant thing was fucked up.

The best thing i could say about it is "well uh, at least there was no rape". It still felt completely gratuitous, over the top, and pointless in a way this show never really has before.

It's like their fucking integrity got crushed at the end of last season, not just Oberyns head.

I can't think of a single sequence there that was actually necessary to move the story forward except for maybe what Arya did and maybe a shot bit of the Cersei sequence. That whole thing was just fucking fanservice for nerdy dudes who hate Cersei.

It made me really wish for like, a pg-13 version of the show. Especially when it shifted gears and was like LOL U GET BOOBS *AND* TORTURE ONE LOW MONTHLY PRICE OF $19.95.

I seriously lost respect for the writers, director, and anyone involved in the decisionmaking of how this was executed and produced. Boooooooo.
posted by emptythought at 1:17 AM on June 15, 2015 [9 favorites]


I have been holding out that D&D are not *actually* misogynistic dickheads. But this season finale really put that to rest. Just gonna repost my comment from an old thread here:

My heart sank when Sansa dropped the little corkscrew thing, because I knew then we were not going to see her stab Ramsey with it. Ever since she got married off to Ramsey I was convinced this was going to be the arc where she started kicking ass. Surely she wasn't married off to fucking Ramsey Bolton and raped for nothing. No, I was sure that rape scene was going to be her "Started from the bottom" moment and by the end of the season she would have somehow out-maneuvered the Boltons (or at least Ramsey) and emerged on top. I wasn't expecting her to be Wardeness of the North, but I thought she'd be in control of something. I would have even gone for her doing things Margaery-style and pulling some Mata Hari "Let me pretend I'm totally into you" bullshit with him. Anything but another Woman-in-Refrigerators move meant to push along Theon's character development and shuttle Sansa along to yet another caretaker.

I was pretty annoyed at the whole Dorne plotline but was still thinking the Sand Snakes were going to be somehow cool in the finale, and that stupid tits-out prison scene was going to have some reason for existence besides "hey, tits!"

But nope. So much for that. Instead, the season finale includes awesome shit like torturing and raping little girls, girls getting poisoned in the most contrived and artificial scenes ever, women committing suicide, getting thrown off battlements, and being forced to walk naked through city streets. I wouldn't actually object to the last two but given all the *other* violence towards women in this episode alone they're adding straw to the camel's back.

Then let's not forget previous episodes, where we get to enjoy things like the second female military commander in the show dying in the same episode she's introduced because of Uterine Weaknesses or a little girl getting burned at the stake.

In conclusion, I have been giving D&D way more credit than they deserve.
posted by schroedinger at 1:48 AM on June 15, 2015 [9 favorites]


Okay, I actually liked it.

The season finale ended much the way I thought it would-- thoroughly downbeat, but gripping nonetheless. Cersei's march through the streets was grueling and horrible, and I found myself near tears. I quite liked the Stannis/Brienne/Sansa scenes. The Meereen scenes were okay, and I disliked the Dorne scenes as usual. "Meanwhile, back in Dorne..." It was so silly. I knew as soon as Myrcella declared her love for her uncle-daddy that she was doomed. DOOMED. (You shouldn't have let Indira Varma make out with you, kid.)

On the whole, I do, however, like the ongoing theme of what a waste revenge is. Stephen Dillane's acting was magnificent during his scene in the woods, where Brienne confronts him: he's such a broken shell of a man, and Brienne's expression says volumes that this is not what she was expecting, or wanting. I imagine she was picturing something where she could be righteous and virtuous and do her best for Renly's memory: instead she's facing a wounded, defeated man who can't even stand up. It's just all so sad.

I guess I'd give this season a B. It's not perfect, but for the most part, given that it's a massively streamlined adaptation of an unwieldy and ongoing epic fantasy series, I think GoT is still pretty well cobbled together.
posted by suburbanbeatnik at 2:16 AM on June 15, 2015 [5 favorites]


poffin boffin: Where is Littlefinger now? He spoke with Cersei and then stuff happened and I forgot all about him. Was he heading back to the Eyrie? Maybe to get soldiers for something?

Last seen talking to Olenna in his brothel and offering her the same thing he gave Cersei - information. I'm not quite sure what this was.
posted by Pink Frost at 2:32 AM on June 15, 2015


Interested about what Melisandre is doing. I wonder how accurate her visions really are, and at what point she decided to leave Stannis. Could she have set him up to kill Shireen knowing what would happen? And she knows she should really be backing Jon? (Though that leaves the question of how she didn't know about the Stabbening).

Not at all convinced Stannis is dead. Too many fake deaths in the books, one of them even involving Brienne.
posted by Pink Frost at 2:41 AM on June 15, 2015


Yes! Desertions! Actions do have consequences! Sellswords displaying basic decency!
Selyse also displaying more decency than Stannis!
Sam asks for plot development! Building on last weeks attack - more actions having consequences!
„I'm glad the end of the world's working out well for someone“ - best line he's had yet.
BYE SAM! BYE JON-BOY! BYE!!
Aaarrgh Turn Back Brienne!! Nooo! That SMARTS!!!
Battle sadly cursory - no money left?
First random fortuitous meeting that falls completely. Bye Stannis!! (bit rushed?
Argh who's she going to see? LSH??? Another old protector? Annd the leaked shot! aaand oh. Miranda never convincing. Bye Miranda. Jump! Just like Jeyne in books! Also a bit rushed?
Blinded Trant! - so she'll be blinded herself!
Told him what for!
Claimed her name back!!
Gonna get into to trouble with Sexy Jesus! Maisie Williams is, however, metal as all-get-out.
What happens to all the faces she chucks behind her?
Blinded! Check!
Jesus Bronn you can do better than that. Subtle she ain't.
Exposition Jaime. Boooring. Great time to get into being a child of incest. Is the acting or the writing flatter? Oh that's convenient, she does it for him. HA! Happy father daughter scene was NOT GOING TO LAST!!
Sad, pretty boys on the stair. Opportunity to find comfort in each others arms? Missed, dammit. Wrangling about places in the search party instead. Boooring.
Third random fortuitous meeting that feels completely flat.
Tyrion and Varys show promises to get back on road when the writers have had a lie down.
And LSH looking over the riverlands?! Oh. Explain your situation to your dragon, that'll work. Drogon as bored by exposition as the rest of us.
The Dothraki Sea looks a bit sheep-nibbled.
Why doesn't she say something in Dothraki? She can claim safe passage as a dowager khaleesi to Vaes Dothrak or whatever?
Is it me or is the writing flaaat in this confession?
Headley and Pryce doing their level best with it.
Septas are great at flattering pixie cuts!
Sorry but no way has that body double had three children.
Lena Headley is also however pure METAL.
Hellooo Anton Lesser, we love you.
Undeniable frisson of HYPE!
Who does Meli think her friends are? Go straight to Davos, great idea. Where's the explanation?
Benjen! Just trust Olly, Jon!
Shit.
THE WORDS! He said the words!
They're saying the words!
Et tu Olly! Tedious child.
Eyes?...eyes?.... nope. How DO you warg/targ out of that then?

Jesus. I'm a wreck.
posted by runincircles at 3:10 AM on June 15, 2015 [6 favorites]


Oh and i forgot to mention it because i was so busy shaking my head, but that sequence with the sand snakes was cheesy AGAIN. Why do they keep having to present them in what literally looks like PS1 game cutscenes? All lined up on a dock perfectly, then ellaria wipes the blood off her nose and they're all posed perfectly? Wtf?

The intro scene for them where one of them spears a guy was SUPER CHEESY. The jail scene was incredibly cheese, like, painfully watch-with-one-eye bad. And this was just as bad as that intro.

Why are they hamfisting this so hard. It's like they want those characters to be a joke.

The entire thing with Bronn not being a manipulation/play was really sad too. Their character arc so far has been like, Stephen King TV adaptation bad. I just don't even know what to say, i'm at a complete loss.
posted by emptythought at 3:14 AM on June 15, 2015 [7 favorites]


Random thoughts from through the episode (I hate it that timezones mean I don't get to talk about this at the same time as most of you...only just finished watching)

* Loved the opening sequence with Stannis and having no idea what will happen
* Jon/Sam talking about where the Valyrian swords were, just like we did a few episodes ago
* Sam's going to the Citadel. Hurray! And Jaqen can go there after he finishes training Arya. Nice work tying that together D&D
* Pod! "God he's useful" - my girlfriend.
* Stannis = worst general ever. Half your men have deserted, so you attack anyway. But you don't have any scouts and you just march straight at Winterfell. With no scouts. And it's more of a stumble than a march.
* Pod recognises banners! Nice callback to when he was with Tyrion
* Oh good more Sansa torture porn. And Theon as the hero. Sigh.
* Torture porn in Braavos. Great. But Arya blinds Trant instead of getting blinded [?]
* Kind of like a cheesy horror movie when she jumps on him
* Holy shit - Jaqen. Ho-ly shit, not Jaqen! Hurray!
* Arya's blinding is way more badass than in the books
* Oh good. Dorne. Poisoned lips? "Bad pussy"?!?
* Jaime taking over from Stannis as the dad we like? Quite a touching scene, I'm really starting to like....oh Mrycella :-(
* Hey audience, in case you didn't work it out, IT WAS ELLARIA!
* Only the Unsullied can keep the peace? You might have noticed that's not working out too well...ooh, setting up another buddy road trip! Between Dany's "boyfriends". Surprised neither of them punched Tyrion when he started 'splaining.
* Varys appears! That was pleasantly unexpected.
* Cersei not as smart as she thought....thinks she can just apologise and get away with everything.
* I loved the walk of shame, I identified with Cersei more than anything. Great job by Lena Headley. Wish they'd played up her meeting with zombie-Clegane. It's more redemptive in the books, she's like yeah motherfucker I've got a giant unkillable warrior to fight for me in my trial, who've you got, Faith Militant? Whereas here she's being carried like a child, she's more helpless.
* BENJEN'S ALIVE?
* Oh it's just Jon being suckered. No mention of Ghost. Last thing he says is Olly. He's going to warg OLLY!

[on preview, oh hi there runincircles]
posted by Pink Frost at 3:19 AM on June 15, 2015 [4 favorites]


(ha hi there Pink Frost, glad it's not just me!)
posted by runincircles at 3:25 AM on June 15, 2015


The true test of whether or not Jon Snow is coming back is if Kit Harrington cuts his hair.
posted by double bubble at 5:08 AM on June 15, 2015 [17 favorites]


So when you saw that scene your first thought wasn't to roll your eyes? I mean I get that the GoT world is awful and dark and cruel, but come on, beating little girls before you have sex with them in a scene to establish he's the evil dude?

Nope, no eye rolling. The scene wasn't about establishing Trant as an evil dude as pretending to be a young prostitute was Arya's method of getting close enough to stab him. Evil dude was just doing his usual evil things.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:26 AM on June 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


She sees Stannis is unhappy with her despite the thaw

Thanks, skewed. I hadn't thought of Melisandre's worrying that Stannis himself would turn on her (beyond his obvious distaste for her touching him). That makes tons of sense. I was wondering what had changed tactically to make her would lose faith in her own visions--obviously they'd already had desertions, and it was crazy to be marching on Winterfell in any case. It makes much more sense that she lost faith in Stannis himself.
posted by torticat at 5:48 AM on June 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


also wow i really wonder how lena headey felt about doing that scene.

cold?
posted by mattoxic at 5:52 AM on June 15, 2015 [4 favorites]


The true test of whether or not Jon Snow is coming back is if Kit Harrington cuts his hair.

HAIR CUT
posted by tilde at 6:31 AM on June 15, 2015 [7 favorites]


Now I'm actually rooting for Theon, which shows how loathsome most characters are at this point.
posted by Windigo at 6:33 AM on June 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


I was just thinking that the remaining ~100 or so Night's Watch just stabbed not only their best hope of holding out against 10,000 wights in the future, but also several thousand Wildlings who are now on the other side of the gate in the near term. I'm not really sure what their plan is, and it makes even less sense than in the books, where at least they were responding to a specific action from Jon.
posted by codacorolla at 6:39 AM on June 15, 2015 [6 favorites]


If I had to guess, Dany may be sold into slavery by the Dothraki. In the book, I thought she was going to take over the khalasar and use it to partially solve the siege, but she really doesn't seem like she's in the right position for that to happen.
posted by drezdn at 6:40 AM on June 15, 2015


HAIR CUT

He is moderately less sexy when clean cut as opposed to EMO MEDIEVAL SOLDIER.

And as for Dany and being in the right position: "I have a dragon."
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 6:48 AM on June 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


I'm betting the hair cut is misdirection. As is everyone involved confirming that "Jon is dead". Well, yeah. Duh.

Or maybe I'm putting too much faith into the books making sense and not just being a free for all. Because if GRRM wanted to show us the brutality of life he should have just written a seven book series on any random peasant living in Westeros and not, you know, built a narrative with a plot. But that would be quite the fuck you to his audience, I give him that.
posted by lydhre at 7:02 AM on June 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


If Jon's return is partway into the season, then that gives Harrington enough time to shoot whatever he cut his hair for, grow it back, and then they can shoot whatever scenes they need him for towards the end of filming - if not even while the show is running.

I would imagine that him coming back to life would make sense as a mid-season stinger.
posted by codacorolla at 7:12 AM on June 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


they also have wigs
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 7:14 AM on June 15, 2015 [8 favorites]


It's like when everyone in the chain of succession dies, and somehow the Secretary of Transportation is the POTUS.

First order of business: FIX THESE FUCKING ROADS! No more shall we be hindered by the snows of winter, or the deluges of the rest of the year! Better roads for a better kingdom!
/transportation geek
posted by filthy light thief at 7:14 AM on June 15, 2015 [6 favorites]


Seems like the ASOIAF wiki is getting pummeled today, I keep getting errors.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 7:16 AM on June 15, 2015


No, exactly. Wigs and other roles are the obvious answer and make perfect sense. But they had made an enormous deal over the past seasons that Kit was contractually obligated to not cut his hair, which they are probably milking right now. I have no real clue how they would keep his return a secret if/once Kit starts filming again anyway.
posted by lydhre at 7:19 AM on June 15, 2015


I'm happy that book Sansa has and will almost certainly continue to have more agency (although there are hints that some form of the rape scene may happen in the next book), because the directions the show took her in seasons 4 and 5 seem very inconsistent.

A quick thought on this episode: yes, it's another bit of story development for the men and less-to-none for the women (Reek regains some of Theon, Sam gets to go to Old Town because he's totally doing it with Gilly and high fives from the Crow Bros on that), but at least Sansa had the fortitude to stand up to an archer with an arrow in her face, which bolstered Reek to become Theon long enough save her. Unfortunately, it's hard to stay strong against the words of a sadist's gleeful assistant. Not great, but not all terrible. (But I am annoyed she didn't keep the corkscrew/ tool thing for self defense after using it to open her door.)
posted by filthy light thief at 7:22 AM on June 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


I keep telling myself that I'd quit the show and the books. The only reason I'm hanging on to this series is because the boy I like is such a big fan of this show! I hang my head in shame...

That said, now that Myrcella is gone, are they now going to cut Dorne and show us more of the Greyjoy family next season?

I also wish Jon Snow comes back. I haven't lost all hope yet. But my heart still hurts...
posted by Carmine Red at 7:24 AM on June 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm pretty sure we'll get Winds of Winter before the next season;

i'm sorry for laughing wildly but this is like hearing someone say "i'm pretty sure reality tv is actually real". Unless you think the next season of the show is going to be released one or two brief scenes per year for the next X years until GRRM dies?
posted by poffin boffin at 7:25 AM on June 15, 2015 [5 favorites]


God, I hope True Detective isn't as bad as it seems like it's going to be.

Uugh. My wife and I just finished watching the first season, which was great, so the season 2 trailer gave us little hope (Vince Vaughn, really? But at least one of the apparent leads is a lady, so they've made progress there.)

But I digress. Dolorous Edd for king, or at least the most dour jester!
posted by filthy light thief at 7:25 AM on June 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Some articles have come out about the casting for next season, and a

Pirate, man in his 40’s to late 50’s. He’s “an infamous pirate who has terrorized seas all around the world. Cunning, ruthless, with a touch of madness.”
He’s a dangerous-looking man. A very good part this season.

was the most notable to me. I think the Greyjoys will be back next season.
posted by DynamiteToast at 7:29 AM on June 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


I think Wun Wun would make a highly effective king. Plus he'd probably use the throne to smash his enemies.
posted by poffin boffin at 7:30 AM on June 15, 2015 [7 favorites]


Yah I think he'd be good at overseeing things.
posted by DynamiteToast at 7:31 AM on June 15, 2015 [14 favorites]


I think Wun Wun would make a highly effective king. Plus he'd probably use the throne to smash his enemies.

"Oh Wun Wun, those were representatives from the Iron Bank. Oh well, looks like we'll need another throne!" *laff trak loops for 3 seconds*

Yah I think he'd be good at overseeing things.

*Dad joke high five*


I don't get why the Snakes didn't just kill Marcella before Jaimie got there. Unless... Maybe they needed her out of Dorne when they did it, so they could hold to Doran's "we don't kill little girls in Dorne."

At least Bronn is still alive.


Maybe "bad pussy" (uuuuuggggghhhh) slipped him an antidote, and he can save the day? Or he kisses Marcella and the remnants of the antidote on his lips is enough to save her? OK, I'm really grasping at straws now.


I'd love a Crusader Kings/Sim City video game that was basically just Running Mareen.

I hope it would be a really frustrating game, ending with a lot of failures as you try futilely to balance the internal strife of master vs freed folk vs unsullied, with some surprise dragon strikes to stir the pot.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:34 AM on June 15, 2015


Or he kisses Marcella and the remnants of the antidote on his lips is enough to save her? OK, I'm really grasping at straws now.

I did think that maybe he still had that tiny bottle of antidote backwash but it seemed too ridiculous, so basically that is my prediction for next season.
posted by poffin boffin at 7:36 AM on June 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


It's true more people watch NCSISVU: Poughkeepsie. It's true that a (very) few shows receive more critical attention (though they are going off the air one by one).

Anything on HBO or other semi-premium cable channels is already at a disadvantage for sheer number of possible viewers, as a fraction of people have access to HBO (and not everyone is sharing HBO Go accounts). At least HBO wised up and is offering HBO Now as a single-channel add-on, but that still means someone will pay extra money for HBO, when they can get CSI: Whatnot on CBS, which is available widely as a free over the air channel.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:40 AM on June 15, 2015


This week, no single scene lent itself to armchair DM'ing. A general D&D recap:
- Melisandre finishes casting a control weather ritual;
- Sam decides to multi-class into Sage (an NPC class);
- Stannis displays confusion with the same mass-combat rules everyone else has had problems with;
- Brienne's weapon apparently is vorpal as well as undeadbane;
- Sansa fails a Charisma (persuasion) check against Myranda, but...
- Theek succeeds at a grapple contest against Myranda, who then fails a Dexterity saving throw and dies from massive fall damage, yet...
- the results of Sansa's and Theek's own saving throws are unknown. Will a drift of soft snow give them advantage?
- Arya takes a level in Assassin, but then is subjected to the blindness condition (no save);
- Myrcella fails a Con save against Ellaria's poison;
- Tyrion fails a Charisma (persuasion) contest against Daario;
- Cersei fails a Charisma (persuasion) contest against the High Sparrow;
- Qyburn's flesh golem is complete, and is decked out in full plate;
- Jon Snow fails a Wisdom (insight) check – go figure;
- all the Night's Watch apparently level-dipped into Thief just for the sneak attack feature, and they reduce Jon's HP to zero;
- it's unclear if Jon has failed all his death saves yet.

What we don't know is: does Melisandre – clearly a Fire domain cleric – have raise dead on her list of known spells?
posted by The Nutmeg of Consolation at 8:02 AM on June 15, 2015 [25 favorites]


It made me really wish for like, a pg-13 version of the show.

This made me first think of fan edits, and given how long the fan edit scene has been around, I wouldn't be surprised if there's a side-channel of editors who now have kids that they want to share certain movies with but don't want to have to fast forward through scenes just to skip. It also made me think of ClearPlay, "a parental control streaming service that allows content filtering of ordinary movies, purchased or rented," which gets around the CleanFlicks v Soderbergh decision that prevented companies from editing and re-distributing movies. (More on film sanitation in this Google books preview of Edited Clean Version: Technology and the Culture of Control.)
posted by filthy light thief at 8:08 AM on June 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Why doesn't she say something in Dothraki? She can claim safe passage as a dowager khaleesi to Vaes Dothrak or whatever?

As noted in the ASOIAF wiki, "Khaleesi is a title that the Dothraki use to designate the wife of a khal, which is the leader of a khalasar. Due to the Dothraki bias against women, usually a khaleesi has less influence than the kos (a lieutenant of a khal)or bloodriders. If her husband dies before her, the khaleesi is taken to Vaes Dothrak, the holy city of the Dothraki people, to serve as a counselor for all khalasars as one of the dosh khaleen."

Also, the only thing the Dothraki honor is power, and how powerful is a woman standing alone in the grass? In the books, she had Drogon with her, which is a serious source of power.


Seems like the ASOIAF wiki is getting pummeled today, I keep getting errors.

Archive.org is your friend. Not everything will captured to be 100% current with this episode, or even this season, but the archives are still navigable and fairly complete, from what I've seen. (Archive.org also serves to get around workplace firewalls, at least with some firewall software - others are smarter, sadly.)
posted by filthy light thief at 8:20 AM on June 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


does Melisandre – clearly a Fire domain cleric – have raise dead on her list of known spells?

I think R'hllor works a bit old school - the cleric can pray for certain spells, but they might just be given what they need instead of what they want. So it might pop up on her spell list by surprise.

The real difficulty is apparently with Melisandre's augury and commune spells.
posted by nubs at 8:21 AM on June 15, 2015


Not totally news (an Entertainment Weekly article from March of this year): HBO talks Game of Thrones future: More than 7 seasons wanted -- All shows must die. But when, exactly, depends on who you ask.

Anyone heard anything newer on this front, because that could have implications for the pacing of the next seasons.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:32 AM on June 15, 2015


It's not so much that Jon Snow knows nothing, it's that Ghost has been warging into HIM all along.
posted by tilde at 8:34 AM on June 15, 2015 [12 favorites]


me: “You say that as though D&D would forge ahead without knowing full well that GRRM is actually very likely going to release a book he's already de facto released twelve chapters of in bits and pieces here and there. I'm pretty sure we'll get Winds of Winter before the next season; that's the most he's ever released without just publishing the damned book, I think, and it would make sense for them to stagger it so it doesn't come out while the show is going on. After that, though - who knows. I mean, he bloody well isn't going to have another one ready after the next season.”

Justinian: “I'm a little confused by what you mean? OF course D&D would forge ahead whether or not GRRM is going to release the next book any time soon. Hell, they'd forge ahead if he was run over by a car tomorrow and all copies of what he has written were thrown in an incinerator.”

Well, I think the whole "D&D are wholly and completely independent of the books" thing is a little overblown. All the loose ends tied up in pretty much exactly the same way as the books in this episode. There are significant differences, yeah, but Theon and Sansa jumped into a snowdrift, Jon Snow got stabbed by his brothers, Tyrion ended up in Meereen, Daenerys ended up with her dragon on the hill, Arya is in the house of black and white, etc. And marching ahead of the books is something they've never done, as much as they've changed things.

At first I thought they were basically forcing GRRM's hand. They're essentially forcing him to publish, because otherwise he'll be in the unfortunate position of being stuck rehashing stuff they've already done on the show. But then, thinking about it, it still seems to me that they wouldn't pull that kind of thing on GRRM – even if he's gotten a bit cold on them, I don't think they've actually fallen out with him at all. It's still a business relationship.

Then again, who knows. It wouldn't be a new thing if he just put it off, since the ball really is in his court. But I think D&D are at least under the impression that there will be a new book in the interval between seasons.
posted by koeselitz at 8:44 AM on June 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


I have always hoped Jon was really dead. Because #1 I was sick of Jon. #2 There had been SO much 'not real' death at this point in the books it feels SO CHEAP to bring him back.

Also I have always thought Dany was Azor Ahai, never considered it would be Jon.
posted by French Fry at 8:54 AM on June 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


I did enjoy teenage Drogon throwing his mom out of his nest so he could go back to sleep.

"But mooooom, I'm tired. And my wing hurts."

Tyrion and Varys!

Don't call it a comeback, I've been here for ... well, a while. You know, just chatting with my man, Grey Worm.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:56 AM on June 15, 2015


In the books, she had Drogon with her, which is a serious source of power.

He can't be THAT far away, though, right? How far can she have walked? It seems to be about the same time of day as when she was on the hilltop with him, so maybe she walked an hour? 2? And a hungry adolescent dragon is definitely going to notice 30,000 horses sweating nearby, right?

anyway i assume the khal is going to be like HELLO PUNY WOMAN YOU ARE MINE NOW and she'll be like I BET MY STEED CAN TAKE YOURS IN A FIGHT and they all laugh at her until drogon comes roaring down off hill and everyone panics and cries.
posted by poffin boffin at 9:00 AM on June 15, 2015 [8 favorites]


And gets burnt to a crisp, and/or torn asunder. Or panics and cries, whatev.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:01 AM on June 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


OK, so after a night to mull it over: Underwhelming, I think, is the word. Nothing really wrong, but nothing really great either.

-the Stannis segment really felt perfunctory to me; just sort of an "ok, we all know we're done with him after last week, so let's get it over with." I know there was going to be no redemption arc, but there wasn't going to be one for Joffrey or Ramsay either, yet they kept going. Really, it needed to be a bit more about Melisandre than anything as she's the character who will continue - the show should have given us something last week or this to indicate that she's realized what she has been seeing indicates a different path or a problem with interpretation. Even a mention last week of her inability for foresee Ramsay's raid because all she could see was snow. But instead we get half the troops are gone! Your wife is dead! Hopeless battle! (although I did like the visual of his rag-tag group getting surrounded and a bunch of them running away). And his last line is pure Stannis.

-not really happy with the Sansa/Theon bits; is Sansa's true bit of character development this season to be that she stood up to Myranda? Wow. Such development. Much arc. After Littlefinger's speech about returning home and getting revenge, Sansa picks the lock in her room, lights a candle, is defiant, and then jumps off a wall.

-Dorne is just bleah. Just utterly meaningless without the reveal of Doran's long-term plan. Utter waste of some talented actors to give us an end result of what? Tensions between Dorne and the Lannisters, which we already had, and the Dornish heir in Lannister hands. Wow. Such plotting. Much intelligence. I thought Ellaria's kiss was a bit much - like, what kind of family are you marrying into here, Myrcella? Your quasi-aunt is into it! But it makes sense as a poison delivery method.

-glad Sam is gone off to do what he should have been off to do at the start of the season, but I guess they didn't want Sam & Gilly as a roadshow.

-The Arya bit was alright; the most interesting thing about it is the implication that using the magic of the Faceless Men without fully being No One has consequences. But I didn't need Trant beating on the girls - yes I know the source material depicts Trant as a brutal man with an interest in young girls, but the show has made many, many choices to do things differently than the source material so I don't understand why it can't make a choice away from this particular point beyond the fact that the show really enjoys depicting the brutality. Which, yeah, it does. It delights in it, and that delight I think undermines the effectiveness of trying to depict a brutal, crapsack world.

-Cersei's walk was gruelling and I thought it was well done (to have had those crowds for the riot in season 2, though!). It was disturbing to watch, and the introduction of Robert Strong was nice. It makes me think that we won't have Cersei plead for Jaime to be her champion at all; she'll be super pissed at him for Myrcella's death.

-Enjoyed seeing Tyrion outmaneuvered in the throne room, and then the long awkward silence as he, Grey Worm, and Missandei stare at each other. And good to see baldy back, even if he's not where I thought he would be.

I have been holding out that D&D are not *actually* misogynistic dickheads.

You know, I was recalling this morning that when I got my hands on the season 1 DVDs when they came out, I eagerly sat down to watch the episodes with the commentary from D&D on. I was expecting kinda what I got from watching the LOTR extended editions with the director/writer commentary - some insights into the thinking behind the adaptation, the choices made and why, the funny stories, etc. And when I got to the bit where the character of Ros is introduced, it got really, really uncomfortable. I can't remember exactly what they said, but it was basically that it was supposed to be a one-shot kind of role in the pilot, but the actress was so amazing and comfortable with the demands (i.e., being fully nude on set) and they liked her so much, that they just kept writing for the role. Like, it was creepy - they wrote Ros into a larger role because the actress was (a) hot and (b) willing to work in the nude. I shut it off at that point and have not listened to the commentary on any other episode.
posted by nubs at 9:04 AM on June 15, 2015 [9 favorites]


Said it before, saying it again: no more books are going to be published. He's been spending all his time writing backstory, filling in gaps, the World of Ice and Fire book and app (yeah, he didn't actually write it--still it had to have taken up a great deal of time), and futzing around on LiveJournal.

Part of me wonders if he knew there's no way he'd ever finish (for whatever reason), so agreed to the TV series and handed the showrunners the outline so he could stop having to try and figure out how to get to the end from the mess he's been bogged down in for the past two books. I think that in many ways Gurm has long been much more interested in the worldbuilding and the little slice of life stories (e.g. Dunk and Egg, the food obsession) than in the actual Big Story. Doing the TV show kills two dragons with one this metaphor got away from me.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:05 AM on June 15, 2015 [9 favorites]


Hah, I wonder if we then get the final GOT books as "Based on the Hit HBO Series!" type things. He can add his fluff and world-building back into the condensed stories, and everyone wins!
posted by filthy light thief at 9:08 AM on June 15, 2015


This just reminded me again of the truest tragedy of Game of Thrones: that Cersei meant no possibility of a third season of The Sarah Connor Chronicles.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 9:12 AM on June 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


This provides a really succinct demonstration of how much Gurm has sprawled and overcomplicated.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:36 AM on June 15, 2015 [1 favorite]




Doing the TV show kills two dragons with one this metaphor got away from me.

QFT
posted by tilde at 9:46 AM on June 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


So, was that the most brutal murder by a child ever depicted on TV? Because we were trying and failing to think of a worse one. That was next level.
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:15 AM on June 15, 2015


So do the Sand Snakes hate Tristane? They've pretty much as good as murdered him, haven't they?
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:22 AM on June 15, 2015


I feel like Ellaria isn't stupid enough to do something like that without tacit approval from Doran, and maybe the whole VOW TO OBEY ME thing was all for show. But I can't remember if anyone outside of the family actually witnessed that ring-kissing scene.

idk maybe she really is just dumb and spiteful

sigh
posted by poffin boffin at 10:25 AM on June 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


For some reason, the scene with Myrcella and Jaime was especially dismal and awful to me. Two episodes ago, we got another scene where a father and daughter have a loving moment together, and she gets murdered by her father in the next episode; this time, the daughter doesn't even make it out of that scene alive, just after giving Jaime the only moment of happy fatherhood he's ever had in his entire life.

It reminded me of how Karsi was meta-narratively marked for death by showing love for her children. It seems like the show has gone way past "nothing is really certain in life" to "showing any love or vulnerability between a parent and child means imminent, awful death." There is no remotely reasonable appeal to "well, this is how life really is though" in there. It's sheer emotional perversity at this point, and it's utterly dumb and vacuous.
posted by clockzero at 10:28 AM on June 15, 2015 [16 favorites]


So do the Sand Snakes hate Tristane? They've pretty much as good as murdered him, haven't they?

That depends: 1) is Marcella actually dead (I won't believe it until I see a body, or better yet, a funeral), and 2) if Jaime is more diplomatic than Cersei.

idk maybe she really is just dumb and spiteful

She'd get along so well with Cersei. If only they didn't have that whole "family feud" thing going on.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:29 AM on June 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Sadly, I actually misread what happened on the show in a FANTASTIC way - I saw the antidote as being a swifter acting poison - that Ellaria knew what would happen, and was trading her own death for vengeance.
posted by corb at 10:32 AM on June 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Rewatching the kiss scene... Doran gives her a little nod right before that read really suspiciously.

I think this is part of his plan... Not that it makes much sense.
posted by French Fry at 10:35 AM on June 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


She'd get along so well with Cersei.

Cersei professionally hates every other human being for not being her, Jamie, or her children, so I doubt it.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:37 AM on June 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


I think this is part of his plan... Not that it makes much sense.

IT DOES IF IT'S A DORNISH SHIP AND THEY'RE GOING TO TAKE HIM TO DANY.
posted by corb at 10:39 AM on June 15, 2015 [5 favorites]


She's also convinced that she is a cunning master of strategy and that she's smarter than any other woman she's ever met. I'm not sure I'd categorize Ellaria in the same way. Up until the High Sparrow I don't think Cersei has ever in her entire life thought that one of her clever plans might go awry.
posted by poffin boffin at 10:40 AM on June 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


IT DOES IF IT'S A DORNISH SHIP AND THEY'RE GOING TO TAKE HIM TO DANY.

Hmm. That actually has a lot of potential; the Kingslayer in Dany's clutches, Jaime and Tyrion meeting again...

Is it too much to ask?
posted by nubs at 10:42 AM on June 15, 2015 [5 favorites]


OK, maybe Cersei and Ellaria would instead have an interesting game of chess or some other tabletop game, where they both outsmart each-other, only to end up destroying each-other.

Ah man I am SO happy to see a battle portrayed that way! Thought those aerial shots were very cool, and was very glad not to have a lot of hand-to-hand combat. Though we did get that little scene with Ramsey stabbing that guy to death, because you know we hadn't known Ramsey was a sadist before that.

I agree, but it was interesting to see where they truncated things (the battle) and where they drew things out (the walk of naked shame) in this episode. We've seen a bunch of hand to hand combat before, and we know how it's going to end now that the Lord of Light has given his one gift for the one life sacrificed in his honor.

But two things: first, did Ramsey actually fight, or was he sitting around in the back, waiting to give mercy to the dying (a killing stab to a man who is mortally wounded is not him being sadistic, but wandering around the fields of a one-sided battle to see the sea of suffering and death is). And where did the sell-swords go with all those horses? Did they side with Team Bolton? Headed back to the Wall to try and sail to sunnier lands? Or did the White Walkers just get a nice mounted cavalry unit to go with their Wildling score?
posted by filthy light thief at 10:43 AM on June 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


And where did the sell-swords go with all those horses? Did they side with Team Bolton? Headed back to the Wall to try and sail to sunnier lands? Or did the White Walkers just get a nice mounted cavalry unit to go with their Wildling score?

Shhhh. You'll disturb everyone in the SS Abandoned Plotlines if you keep asking what happens to people when the narrative focus goes elsewhere.
posted by nubs at 10:45 AM on June 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


I assumed that the sellswords & horses had gone over to the Bolton side, because otherwise where the hell is Ramsey keeping all those horses at winterfell? Also tbh where else are they going to go, with no food in sight? Back to the wall? Everything else nearby has been ravaged by war.
posted by poffin boffin at 10:46 AM on June 15, 2015 [5 favorites]


idk maybe she really is just dumb and spiteful

sigh


Don't turn your back on her! Melisandre has made some...questionable choices but she and I are still in love as I am willing to forgive many things when they are done by my crazy sorceress girlfriend.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 10:49 AM on June 15, 2015 [5 favorites]


The sellswords were probably a replacement for the Karstarks, who were secretly working for the Boltons and were going to turn on Stannis during the battle. He finds out about this, they're not in the battle. Having the mercs ride off achieves the same narrative goal.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:53 AM on June 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


When Game of Thrones Stopped Being Necessary
I’ve been fascinated by the notion that a rape scene should be (or could be) necessary. “Episode six ending was brutal – but was it necessary?” is a common way of framing it; Vanity Fair declared that “Game of Thrones Absolutely Did Not Need to Go There with Sansa Stark,” while over at Slate, the argument is made that “this particular scene was necessary,” given the grim bargain Sansa Stark had struck.
...
There is a larger question being subsumed here. Is violence “necessary”? Was it necessary to kill Ned Stark, Catelyn Stark, Rob Stark, and Talisa Stark and her plus one? Was Joffrey’s killing of Ros necessary? Did they have to kill off Lady, the wolf? The list goes on and on. At a certain point, we are really asking whether Game of Thrones is necessary. And the answer, quite obviously, is that it is not. It is a television show. It is many things, both good, bad, and in-between. But it is not “necessary.”
posted by the man of twists and turns at 11:03 AM on June 15, 2015


It's more that there's PLENTY of sexualized violence against women already existing in the source material. My goat is gotten when they make up new rape scenes/sexual violence scenes for the show. It doesn't show the brutality of this fictional world or whatever people try to handwave it away as, it shows that the writers aren't very clever or creative.
posted by poffin boffin at 11:07 AM on June 15, 2015 [8 favorites]


It seems like the show has gone way past "nothing is really certain in life" to "showing any love or vulnerability between a parent and child means imminent, awful death." There is no remotely reasonable appeal to "well, this is how life really is though" in there. It's sheer emotional perversity at this point, and it's utterly dumb and vacuous.
posted by clockzero at 1:28 PM on June 15 [5 favorites −] Favorite added! [!]


Yes, yes, and yes. Thank you for articulating a problem I've been having with this show for so long. We saw the beginnings of it during the last season. Oberyn gives a heartwarming speech and shows Tyrion compassion only to get murdered in the most brutal way possible in the next episode. At this point it's becoming a mindnumbing cliche.

I was not at all sorry to see Myrcella go. Now, can we kill everyone in Dorne so we never have to have another storyline there?
posted by joeyjoejoejr at 11:17 AM on June 15, 2015


Not everyone! Areo Hotah is a decent fellow.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:21 AM on June 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


OK, maybe Cersei and Ellaria would instead have an interesting game of chess or some other tabletop game

Ah, that's what we were missing this season: Tyrion being a Cevasse savant!
posted by codacorolla at 11:24 AM on June 15, 2015 [4 favorites]


From When Game of Thrones Stopped Being Necessary: We hated Sansa until she began to suffer, for example; now she’s become sympathetic. Characters that we like, who we start to follow and sympathize with and root for, tend, eventually, to suffer and die.

Those are two different paths: characters we don't like, but then suffer and become sympathetic; and characters we like, who end up suffering and finally dying. You could say there is simply a difference in the initial step in the second class, but that class didn't need to suffer to gain our support.

But the article then gets to some key ideas:
The Red Wedding should have been the end of the show, I think; it’s the cathartic end-point, and the culmination of the Stark tragedy.
...
But what happens to this story once the Starks are all dead or scattered? Why does the story go on?
...
Ideed, so many of the good guys are dead that the show has no choice but to make bad guys into protagonists (how have Jaime and Cercei Lanister become protagonists, again?)
I think that last line is the reason - because the "good guy/bad guy" dichotomy is false in real life, and that's probably the key fantasy story falsity. That's the stuff kids say, "you be the bad guy, I'll be the good guy." Except for the psychopaths and sadists, there are few people who are just pure evil, a "bad guy" all the way through. Sure, their actions are bad to the outside viewer, but from the view of the character in question, there's some justification: for the good of my children, for the good of the realm, for power and glory.

Except it's tiresome to have the violence and misery played out the same way so often. It's not just the stereotypical Good Guys who get killed, it's violence and depravity to women (and now young girls). Unfortunately (for me), I still find that I'm enjoying the overall story, so I put up with the parts I don't like.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:30 AM on June 15, 2015


The Red Wedding should have been the end of the show, I think; it’s the cathartic end-point, and the culmination of the Stark tragedy.

Well, sure--if the story were about the Stark tragedy. I haven't read that article yet; I don't think I can be bothered to if they display such a massive lack of understanding of the story.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:33 AM on June 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


nubs: "But I didn't need Trant beating on the girls - yes I know the source material depicts Trant as a brutal man with an interest in young girls, but the show has made many, many choices to do things differently than the source material so I don't understand why it can't make a choice away from this particular point beyond the fact that the show really enjoys depicting the brutality. Which, yeah, it does. It delights in it, and that delight I think undermines the effectiveness of trying to depict a brutal, crapsack world."

It's not a great excuse, but I thought this sequence had some small purpose in that, namely in showing how tough Arya has gotten. Also the back and forth of whether that was Arya, first you see three girls with long hair, and you think it's three girls we haven't seen before, then you see one who takes a beating without making a sound, and you suspect, but her face is covered by her hair, and then you see her face and it's not Arya's, and then you remember, hey, the faces, is a pretty nice build up. But I still think it was a bit gratuitous. I could have done without either that or the "Too young" sequence last time, doing both was unnecessary.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 11:57 AM on June 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


how have Jaime and Cercei Lanister become protagonists, again?

Jaime and Cersei Lannister are protagonists because this is also their story; it isn't just the story of the Starks - it's the story of a society (and for all the bits of medieval history about, this is a story about us in the modern day, I think) that is fundamentally broken and corrupt and has (as the Telegraph article says) no moral centre. We can argue about who the protagonists and antagonists are, but it's a distinction without meaning in the world of ASOIAF. Everyone is the protagonist of their own story, and how they are perceiving and reacting to the events around them can determine if they have our sympathy or antipathy as viewer/reader, but that is about all. It has nothing to do with what will happen in the narrative or the outcomes of their actions, as it would in other stories. (That is life, isn't it? We're all the protagonist of our own stories, and we have people we sympathize with and those we don't, but in the grand scheme of the narrative, there is no protection and no guarantee. The story paints these lines very starkly (ha!))

There isn't anything comforting here, just people faced with difficult and complex questions, limited information, biases, and (often) no good options. And because while the first three books were, in part, about the Starks and their struggle to have the right to rule (along with several others who wanted the same thing), the next two explore more closely what it means to rule after you've "won" and the struggles it poses. Meanwhile, a threat few people are fully aware of grows on the horizon, and those in power dismiss and mock the warnings. (Sound like any issues we have in our system today? Feel familiar to anyone?)

The last two books are not as exciting and cathartic as battles and wars and dragons and murder-weddings, but one of the questions the series is interested in exploring is around ruling and what it is and what it looks like (As GRRM has said, what was Aragorn's taxation policy? It's stuff we rarely get to see in fantasy. Reality perhaps includes some boring bits!). The unrelenting brutality makes it hard to take - and at times care - and I think we (who still feel invested in the story in general) at times just bear it because we're drawn into some of the other questions being posed by the story. And I don't think this story would have the resonance it has if it wasn't about us in some way; if we didn't see ourselves as a society and our struggles and suffering and lack of moral centre reflected back to us in a dark mirror way. Good SF&F should be a commentary on the society and context from which it comes. It could ease up on the brutality and still make many of the same fundamental points, I think, but the brutality (and the male gazey aspects and the unrelenting violence towards women), I fear, is part of the selling point. And that, perhaps, says something itself. Not necessarily anything intended by the author or D&D, but there it is and it's out and in the room now, like some wight that won't die.
posted by nubs at 12:29 PM on June 15, 2015 [16 favorites]


Saying it with rainbows
posted by rewil at 12:53 PM on June 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


-not really happy with the Sansa/Theon bits; is Sansa's true bit of character development this season to be that she stood up to Myranda? Wow. Such development. Much arc. After Littlefinger's speech about returning home and getting revenge, Sansa picks the lock in her room, lights a candle, is defiant, and then jumps off a wall.

You know, that didn't bother me too much. Considering she's ostensibly being raped nightly by Ramsay, it's a miracle she's managing to get it together enough to dress herself. I'm going to cut her some slack.
posted by culfinglin at 1:03 PM on June 15, 2015


I don't get the tenacious commitment to Stannis the Mannis, given D&D have already stated that plotline came from Gurm himself.

Considering she's ostensibly being raped nightly by Ramsay, it's a miracle she's managing to get it together enough to dress herself. I'm going to cut her some slack.

But why does she need to be raped every night? I know, I know, "It's Ramsay", but who is to say Dark Sansa didn't take a page from Margaery's book and pull a Mata Hari, as I mentioned above? What would disarm a sadist like Ramsay more than her pretending she was enjoying herself? Pretending to be Myranda: Upgraded, egging on Myranda's jealousy to drive a wedge between her and Ramsay, slowly building up his trust (or at least him letting his guard down) to the point where she can strike?

Or hey, more ideas: Roose notices her bruises and demeanor and warns his son that she's not to become another Theon, since the political repercussions would be that much worse. Or that "The North remembers" lady is part of a larger network of Stark loyalists who, inspired by the return of the last known living legitimate Stark, organize enough to spirit her away. Or Littlefinger is not actually an idiot and does know about Ramsay's tendencies and as part of the marriage negotiations warns Roose to heel his bastard son. Like, there are so many ways for her to not be raped nightly in the first place.

So when they do rape her nightly, you hope it will at least lead to some kind of retribution rather than just "Hey, new ways for Sansa to suffer". Yes, her demeanor is totally realistic for someone in her position. But if D&D refuse to allow her to be something more than a broken doll in that situation one wonders why they thought it was necessary to put her in that position in the first place.
posted by schroedinger at 1:24 PM on June 15, 2015 [12 favorites]


feckless fecal fear mongering: “Said it before, saying it again: no more books are going to be published. He's been spending all his time writing backstory, filling in gaps, the World of Ice and Fire book and app (yeah, he didn't actually write it--still it had to have taken up a great deal of time), and futzing around on LiveJournal. Part of me wonders if he knew there's no way he'd ever finish (for whatever reason), so agreed to the TV series and handed the showrunners the outline so he could stop having to try and figure out how to get to the end from the mess he's been bogged down in for the past two books. I think that in many ways Gurm has long been much more interested in the worldbuilding and the little slice of life stories (e.g. Dunk and Egg, the food obsession) than in the actual Big Story. Doing the TV show kills two dragons with one this metaphor got away from me.”

Ha, yeah – that occurs to me, too, although frankly I don't think it's likely. The thing is that GRRM is one of the few people in the world now who can publish a book and know they'll make millions out of it. And he's certainly written enough chapters to fill a book. So at that point the only issues can be resolved by his agent sitting down with him over coffee at the Jean Cocteau one afternoon and pointing out to him that artistic scruples and ideals about cogent narratives are all well and good, but this book will make a huge pile of money even if it doesn't really make a lot of sense in the end at all. So he'll sigh, and bundle together a bunch of random chapters that kind of sort of connect with each other, and mail them off, and that'll be it.

Some people have a theory that this has already happened a few times.

Anyway, I kind of like the sprawl, and personally I'd like to see everything abandoned to it. He would make me happy if Cersei, Jon, Varys, Dany, and all the rest die wonderful deaths - Tyrion the most wonderful of all – and then the last two books are nobodies that we've never heard of trying to sort out whatever is left. That would be much preferable to me, honestly.
posted by koeselitz at 1:34 PM on June 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


I thought for a very brief moment that they might have Cersai do the shame walk clothed as she was on the stairs. That it would be a dressing down of the queen but not with the nudity depicted in the books "how bold of them" I thought. 'Twas wrong on that front.

It did not play in the show as well as it did in the books. Without her narrative, it just seemed gratuitous. That's not to say I don't see Lena Headey's breakdown towards the end- what it lacked, what it really lacked was her sense of vanity, defiance, ego, and pride at the beginning of the walk; which we are treated to in the books by way of her thoughts. Here she seemed to start downtrodden and only get more so as the walk continued on. It seemed to mean something else entirely.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 1:38 PM on June 15, 2015


bring on the GIF recaps!
posted by casarkos at 1:44 PM on June 15, 2015


I assumed that the sellswords & horses had gone over to the Bolton side, because otherwise where the hell is Ramsey keeping all those horses at winterfell? Also tbh where else are they going to go, with no food in sight? Back to the wall? Everything else nearby has been ravaged by war.

I've heard of both that theory, and the perfect rejoinder to it: "we can't fight for a guy who burns his daughter!! that's insane. let's join the Family Whose Thing Is That They Skin People Alive For Fun"
posted by Apocryphon at 1:54 PM on June 15, 2015 [5 favorites]


From the Grantland recap:

Maybe the better metaphor here isn’t war, it’s music. A season of Thrones can soar like a symphony, a hundred individual instruments somehow combining to play a rousing tune. But if you separate out specific players, it’s impossible to ignore the great gaps in the melody. Stannis was a major character played exclusively in major chords: He loves his daughter, he burns his daughter, he hangs his head in acceptance of death. My greatest frustration with this show isn’t its gender politics or its general air of pessimism and doom. It’s that I’m constantly cheated out of the time necessary to arrive at a place where critical actions feel dictated by critical characters, and not the other way around.
posted by nubs at 2:00 PM on June 15, 2015 [4 favorites]


Apocryphon: "I've heard of both that theory, and the perfect rejoinder to it: "we can't fight for a guy who burns his daughter!! that's insane. let's join the Family Whose Thing Is That They Skin People Alive For Fun""

While the Boltons and their flaying is probably not a complete secret, they officially stopped doing it a while ago (the Starks forced them). So they probably have a bad reputation, but probably not everyone knows they're flaying people all the time (and generally they don't do it for fun, but as punishment or to torture people for information, for fun is mostly a Ramsay thing).

Especially sellswords who've spent a while with Stannis now might not be entirely up to date on that, might not be from the North and not too familiar with the Boltons, and even if they are, the idea of people who use flaying as a method of execution for criminals and enemies in the abstract might be more attractive than the guy who burned his own daughter for no good reason (in their eyes) right in front of them.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 2:05 PM on June 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


The sellswords are likely from across the Narrow Sea, and so would have no clue about the Boltons - just them realizing that Stannis is a lost cause (because killing your kids isn't a move for winners) and if they want some food and some pay, the other side might have it.

And, given how the various sellsword companies have been depicted thus far, I don't think they'd really be all that bothered. I mean, didn't Daario kill the other captains of his company and then present their heads to Dany as a way of showing he was switching sides? Hell of a way to change your employment contract.
posted by nubs at 2:13 PM on June 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


Except it's tiresome to have the violence and misery played out the same way so often. It's not just the stereotypical Good Guys who get killed, it's violence and depravity to women (and now young girls).

I'm reminded of something Ramsay said: If you think this story has a happy ending, you haven't been paying attention." GRR (and the showrunners) seem very intent on smashing down all the precious idols of fantasy and grinding them to dust. There will be no knights in shining armor to save the realm. There may not even be a realm worth saving at this point. Winter is here and humans are still busy killing each other while a real threat slowly comes for them. It's not a new threat, but humanity has simply forgotten they exist. Winter is no longer coming, it's simply here and things are not going to get better for some time, if ever.

It’s that I’m constantly cheated out of the time necessary to arrive at a place where critical actions feel dictated by critical characters, and not the other way around.

Yep. Why was Jon only talking to Sam about what he saw the Night King do? There's a goddamn wizard who can raise the dead, and Jon's busy sharing a brew with his bro, celebrating that he lost his virginity. What. The. Fuck. Why isn't he talking with the First Builder and First Ranger about what he saw? Does Thorne even know what's coming? It would be one thing if he did and was still being petty, but we never, ever see anyone telling him about the evil wizard who raises the dead and swells his army just by lifting his hands. That is some major shit and you'd think Sam would be like "HOLY FUCK, WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO, LET ME ROUSE THE TROOPS". But no.

That's the crap that annoys me about the show. The plot isn't flowing smoothly all the time, it's like individual pieces haphazardly sown together. Yeah, those bits will make a greater whole, but it would be as pretty as it could be. Should be!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:15 PM on June 15, 2015 [8 favorites]


Greenwald is on board the JON SNOW TRUTHER TRAIN! Tickets, please.

(FWIW if people have only read the bits quoted above, he actually very much liked the finale and the show.)
posted by Justinian at 2:24 PM on June 15, 2015


Why was Jon only talking to Sam about what he saw the Night King do?

Amen, Brandon. That's exactly the stupid from John I was talking about in the show-only thread. I read an interview where Harrington said Jon's flaw was he wasn't paying attention to the folks immediately around him because he was too concerned with the big picture of the Walkers, but if he was really all LET'S FOCUS ON THE BIG PICTURE GUYS then he would have immediately called everyone together and had the brothers who were there describe in detail what they'd just seen.

It's completely dumb to not do that, which made the quiet scene with Sam worse than lame.
posted by mediareport at 2:25 PM on June 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


What. The. Fuck. Why isn't he talking with the First Builder and First Ranger about what he saw? Does Thorne even know what's coming?

It's as though we're seeing a TV adaptation of the Wheel of Time books!
posted by asperity at 2:29 PM on June 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


Yes. I can sort of get it if Throne and his crowd don't believe it..ok no, I can't. Everyone else saw the Wight that tried to attack Lord Commander Mormont. So stories from multiple brothers about the evil wizard who raises the dead should have everyone freaking out somewhat. Things may still descent into pettiness, but damnit, show the struggle to warn everyone!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:32 PM on June 15, 2015


I give too much credit to Jon on a regular basis, but I just assumed he'd already debriefed the main guys and this was relax over dinner and a beer with his only friend after the most harrowing experience of his life.

I'm probably wrong though.
posted by DynamiteToast at 2:33 PM on June 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I mean it's so easily dealt with:

Jon: "WTF Thorne. TEN THOUSAND NEW ZOMBIES when dude raised his hands. We r so fucked."
Thorne: "Don't care, traitors die" *stab*
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 2:35 PM on June 15, 2015 [5 favorites]


So, was that the most brutal murder by a child ever depicted on TV?

Depends on if you think the Wet Bandits could really survive all that.
posted by nom de poop at 2:39 PM on June 15, 2015 [8 favorites]


…who is to say Dark Sansa didn't take a page from Margaery's book and pull a Mata Hari, as I mentioned above?

We're talking about the same Sansa who can't successfully manage the moods of her bratty cousin Robin, right? Managing Ramsay might be a bit above her skill level. I don't mean that to be snarky; Sansa definitely changes through Littlefinger's grooming, but I'm not sure a few weeks is enough of a crash course in manipulating men.

Why isn't [Jon] talking with the First Builder and First Ranger about what he saw?

So glad I wasn't the only one wondering this. Thorne's an ass, but not an idiot. Thorne's just let the wildings through the Wall, so Jon should've at least felt comfortable mentioning it to him, even if Thorne decides to carry on with the mutiny afterward. I could've cheerfully had 10 fewer seconds of Cersei's walk, to get a scene where Jon debriefs his staff.
posted by culfinglin at 2:41 PM on June 15, 2015


We're talking about the same Sansa who can't successfully manage the moods of her bratty cousin Robin, right? Managing Ramsay might be a bit above her skill level. I don't mean that to be snarky; Sansa definitely changes through Littlefinger's grooming, but I'm not sure a few weeks is enough of a crash course in manipulating men.

Sure, it's not the most credible given how the events leading up to it were written (though one could have modified those as well, given the modifications already being made to the storyline). But there are the other suggestions I made as well. This is shit I pulled out of my ass in five minutes, and I am neither an author nor a fancy HBO producer. Undoubtedly they could do better. My point is that there were legitimate possibilities for Sansa's story that do not end up with her being brutally raped every day. At best, what they did was lazy as hell. At worst, it's gross WiR misogynist bullshit. And given they apparently gave interviews where they talked about how excited they were to shoehorn Sansa into Jeyne Poole's gross storyline, it seems like it's more the latter than the former.

Frankly, I think Sansa's current position is in many ways less credible than some of the alternatives offered. The entire marriage rests on the presumption that Littlefinger either doesn't know what Ramsay is or doesn't care. I find both very hard to believe.
posted by schroedinger at 2:53 PM on June 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm reminded of something Ramsay said: If you think this story has a happy ending, you haven't been paying attention." GRR (and the showrunners) seem very intent on smashing down all the precious idols of fantasy and grinding them to dust.

I'm not sure how much fantasy media you consume, but using women as convenient plot devices to inspire motivation via sexual violence is definitely not smashing any idols.
posted by codacorolla at 2:53 PM on June 15, 2015 [16 favorites]


Daenerys's storyline for the season was so disappointing. It was like the transformation from ingenue/victim into Mother of Dragons outwitting and out-strong-ing foe after another never happened.

How can I take serious the proposition that dragons are the history shaping nukes of legend when the goddam sons of the harpy can drive one (albeit adolescent one) to the hills?

Jorah was a more interesting and more likeable character when we weren't asked to care about him so dam much.

If Cercei has any obvious play against the high sparrow (e.g. Frankenmountain), then the high sparrow looks unbelievably foolish. That is, it is unbelievable that he is so foolish.

The last active romance that was not completely tedious was...tyrion and shae? Jon snow and Ygrette?

In particular, daenerys and daario and misandei and grey worm have been conspicuously gag-some pairings.
posted by batfish at 3:47 PM on June 15, 2015


How can I take serious the proposition that dragons are the history shaping nukes of legend when the goddam sons of the harpy can drive one (albeit adolescent one) to the hills?

Easy, those dragons of old were raised and trained to be history shaping nukes of legend. Drogo has had none of that and he's currently the only dragon roaming free and obviously he's more interested in food that conquering anything. The only way seen to get Drogo to reliably attack is to threaten Daenerys and that's not a healthy plan.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:06 PM on June 15, 2015


Easy, those dragons of old were raised and trained to be history shaping nukes of legend.

Yeah, isn't this the real reason Tyrion is supposed to get to Dany? He studied dragons in his youth so can teach her to be a proper dragon rider. I certainly hope it isn't for his city management skills. That's a nice ending for him but a long way to get there (in the books more so than the show).

If Cercei has any obvious play against the high sparrow (e.g. Frankenmountain), then the high sparrow looks unbelievably foolish.

Unless he has something up his sleeve for the trial by combat (Get Hype!).
posted by Gary at 4:10 PM on June 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


CLEGANEBOWL 2016.
posted by Justinian at 4:14 PM on June 15, 2015 [6 favorites]


batfish: "How can I take serious the proposition that dragons are the history shaping nukes of legend when the goddam sons of the harpy can drive one (albeit adolescent one) to the hills? "

This has been discussed on FanFare before, but it's not like Drogon is going to just grow a little bit bigger than he is now. If he's got good genes, like the Valyrian dragons of old, he's going to be maybe as much as 10 times his current length or more. For size reference, this is Aegon the Conqueror riding Balerion.

While spears can pierce Drogon's hide now, I'd imagine a dragon of Balerion's size would require siege size weapons to even make a dent (and siege weapons are made to hit stationary targets, and probably don't track high-speed flying fire-breathing monstrosities very well). Add to that maybe 10 times the fire breathing range and impact area radius (which would let him fly at maybe 50-60 meters above ground, and roast everything in a 40-50 meter wide swath at a time) and yeah, that's as close as you get to a weapon of mass destruction. There's nothing else in the world that's military and can even get off the ground.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 4:20 PM on June 15, 2015 [7 favorites]


The only other weapon of mass destruction like thing in the world at all is probably wildfire, and dragons are probably immune to it (although Aerion Brightflame, a famously batshit insane Targaryen of old, drank a cup of wildfire because he thought it would turn him into a dragon, which... didn't work out so well. So Targaryens are not immune.)
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 4:24 PM on June 15, 2015


This has been discussed on FanFare before, but it's not like Drogon is going to just grow a little bit bigger than he is now.

It's canon that they never stop growing, right? I remember reading this somewhere but who even knows what dragons it was about.
posted by poffin boffin at 4:37 PM on June 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


Before this season, I thought the writers of the show were pretty screwed. They couldn't follow the books, because the books are bleh, but on the other hand I didn't think they had it in them to create something good themselves. So I was sure this season would be a disaster.

I was wrong. They were able to improve on the books somewhat by just abridging and simplifying them. Some storylines advanced a little past where the books went, but there weren't exactly any creative leaps. The results weren't great, but it wasn't a disaster.

OTOH, the Dorne misadventure is a good example of what I thought would happen. They strayed significantly from the books and what they put on screen was shiiit.

Do people here think the next season is going to be any better than this last one? I haven't read the advance chapters of the next book; is there enough there to hang another season on?

How can I take serious the proposition that dragons are the history shaping nukes of legend when the goddam sons of the harpy can drive one (albeit adolescent one) to the hills?

IIRC, when Arya is exploring the Red Keep in the first book, she finds a hall of dragon skulls that get smaller in size with more recent years. So maybe a general diminishing of the old breeds. (Or maybe they just died younger in more recent years.) More thematically, I think the promise of the books is that magic has been ebbing from the world for many years but is now coming back (and how), so perhaps Drogon and Lozord and Bitey will keep growing.

Also, it's Daenerys' fault. She came to Meereen way too early and all her shit's underleveled.
posted by nom de poop at 4:39 PM on June 15, 2015 [8 favorites]


This is the best Stannis theory (though not entirely likely)... Basically, Stannis heads to the wall where Jon Snow has been murdered he leads the Wildings against the Watch as justice for their crimes, and lo' Stannis has an army again, and can atone for his sins by protecting Sansa.
posted by drezdn at 4:43 PM on June 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


In retrospect, I think the season would have gone much better if instead of Dorne they'd done White Harbor and Manderly. It would have given viewers something to cheer for, would have provided more opportunities for parallel storylines to intertwine, would have provided more opportunities for comedy, etc. It would have left Jaime and Bronn without anything to do, but making up something for them to do didn't really work out either, so I'd have been fine with skipping both of them for a season.
posted by gsteff at 4:53 PM on June 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


poffin boffin: "It's canon that they never stop growing, right? I remember reading this somewhere but who even knows what dragons it was about."

I don't remember, but Balerion was something like 200 years old, so Daenerys might have to wait a little.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 4:59 PM on June 15, 2015


While spears can pierce Drogon's hide now, I'd imagine a dragon of Balerion's size would require siege size weapons to even make a dent (and siege weapons are made to hit stationary targets, and probably don't track high-speed flying fire-breathing monstrosities very well). Add to that maybe 10 times the fire breathing range and impact area radius (which would let him fly at maybe 50-60 meters above ground, and roast everything in a 40-50 meter wide swath at a time) and yeah, that's as close as you get to a weapon of mass destruction. There's nothing else in the world that's military and can even get off the ground.

Indeed. Cyvasse's rules (I just looked it up - cut me some slack!) have dragons as the most powerful piece, and their only counter is a siege engine or another dragon. Cyvasse comes from Volantis, which famously lost their imperial bid due to the last Valyrian dragonrider allying against them.

Still, I get what batfish is saying, and what the show is trying to convey. Drogon is an adolescent and untrained dragon, so it makes sense he flies away. But the scene with two spears sticking like an inch into his back (and three feet above anything that matters) is beyond ridiculous... It's a sensible idea with confusing and poorly shot execution.

Also, I'm going to go ahead and say that I called that eventual expedition to Valyria what with the extremely clumsy expository dialogue between Sam and Jon last night regarding Valyrian steel.
posted by codacorolla at 5:01 PM on June 15, 2015


i mean really he's a BABY dragon. a tiny little firebreathing bitey savage baby. how long has it been since the hatching? 2 years? 3? BABY.
posted by poffin boffin at 5:05 PM on June 15, 2015 [4 favorites]


calling him an adolescent is thinking in dog years, really.
posted by poffin boffin at 5:05 PM on June 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


*sigh* We'll just have to consult the authoritative source on the subject.
"Dragon Age Categories", Monster Manual (5e), p.86:
Wyrmling – Medium size – 5 years or less
Young – Large size – 6-100 years
Adult – Huge size – 101-800 years
Ancient – Gargantuan size – 801 years or more
I'll grant you, Drogon & sibs are less than 6 years old, but as depicted in the show they're definitely in the Young stage. Even if you accept that their growth is somehow accelerated, it'll be centuries before Drogon can match Balerion the Dread.
posted by The Nutmeg of Consolation at 5:30 PM on June 15, 2015 [4 favorites]


So I had a thought: Stannis and Ned's deaths are almost perfect bookends for each other. Both consumed by what they saw as their duty, both getting bad advice and trusting the wrong people who have their own agendas, and both surprise-beheaded by the same piece of metal! (Oathkeeper and Widows' Wail were reforged from Ice.)
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 5:36 PM on June 15, 2015 [17 favorites]


Apparently the dragons will be twice the size they are now by next season, so we're coming up on quite the growth spurt.
posted by jason_steakums at 6:02 PM on June 15, 2015


Another good point though is that they don't have to be fully huge to succeed. Anyone who has played any turn based or realtime strategy game can tell you that 3 medium-strong strength units is better than one megaunit(although i realize it's one of those, if she waited X years they'd level up things, but she only has one dragon out right now). And she has an entire army to back up her superweapons/special units.

It's all about how you position your other units around your superunits and attack anything that could attack them before it can, while they destroy everything else that's essentially undefended.

The show already sort of demonstrated this with the melted castle, albeit that was also with the super-large dragons. Never has it really seemed like there was all that much mention of the Targaeryen's having anything huge in the way of a conventional army though, just allies/houses under the crown.

There's also no reason that the dragons even have to get close enough in that anything can hit them. Tyrion is around now, and he knows all about wildfire. You could always go for the high altitude bomber route and hit them when they can barely even see you, much less attack you with anything.

I'm predicting it now that the siege of westeros is either going to be a montage in the last episode or two, or just generally a "the war was over 10 minutes after it started" sort of thing.
posted by emptythought at 6:02 PM on June 15, 2015


Do people here think the next season is going to be any better than this last one? I haven't read the advance chapters of the next book; is there enough there to hang another season on?

I'm optimistic, on the assumption that they won't be under any pressure to follow the books, and especially that they won't face the issue of what to do about Meereen, and the problems GRRM had in getting all his characters there. Obviously this might change if WOW comes out and isn't any good.

I don't think they'll follow the advance chapters much at all: there's a couple in the North before the Battle of Winterfell, and a couple at Meereen during the Battle there. Then there's Arya's murder plot, which we saw in episode 10, and a couple on Griff/Aegon and Arianne, who haven't appeared yet (and I assume/hope won't). So even though there are 12 or so chapters out, the show is either ahead of them or has diverged from them, so the showrunners will get to do whatever they want.
posted by Pink Frost at 6:04 PM on June 15, 2015


It's interesting to think that the dragons will be Daeny's medieval airforce. She wants people to love her as a liberator, not hate her as a conqueror. But look at how massive air superiority has worked out of for America in terms of lovability. Stannis' use of magic is arguably his downfall, despite some early gains. Think about how people are going to feel when Daeny wheels in with things that are literally nightmare material, and a symbol of a hated regime.
posted by codacorolla at 6:07 PM on June 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


codacorolla: It's interesting to think that the dragons will be Daeny's medieval airforce. She wants people to love her as a liberator, not hate her as a conqueror.

If the White Walkers breach the Wall, she most likely will be seen a liberator. I have hopes that the Night's King will be sitting on the Iron Throne by the time Dany lands on Westeros soil.
posted by bluecore at 6:25 PM on June 15, 2015 [4 favorites]


Presumably they made those leather straps in that picture of Balerion by cutting in a giant spiral around the cow.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 6:51 PM on June 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


My predicted resolution of what the showrunners did with Stannis (and say ends up in the same place as Gurm) and what we've seen from ADWD and TWOW preview:
* Stannis wins a significant battle at the crofter's village. The Frey's are annihilated. Something bad probably happens to the Manderlys because Gurm.
* Ramsay retreats with some significant fraction of the Dreadfort men to Winterfell. What Stannis has left still isn't enough to crack those walls. Starvation continues.
* Stannis does not / can not do any of the clever things people predict (attack the Dreadfort with theon as guide, slip past to White Harbor, flank Barrowtown with captured ships).
* Intensifying winter leads to the sacrifice. Sacrifice does not buy what it aimed for. Stannis is defeated / betrayed.

This gets you to mostly the same place as what the show did, skipping rallying the north, taking Asha (who the show forgot about), or doing backstory on Manderly and Karstark. It would probably be an hour or two of extra footage. I think that the within-Winterfell story is cool and would be worth it, but there you go. I also expect that the unintended consequence of the sacrifice will be neater than a thaw.

Interestingly, this opens up the possibility that the Bastard Letter is true.

The decision of the show runners to run the Dorne plot is difficult to understand. The location was partially the same as Mereen saving cost? Myrcella dies in the books in a way incompatible with things they've already changed? The Jamie-Stoneheart story was already broken and they needed to get him out of KL I guess. From a plot perspective it accompishes as much as Myrcella being poisoned off screen.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 6:54 PM on June 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


I read the previous thread and I do get that it's an immature dragon, but it still ought to be able to beat the Mereen chamber of commerce, c'mon
posted by batfish at 7:02 PM on June 15, 2015 [4 favorites]


Poisoning Myrcella was just spiteful. I find it interesting that Jaime started out in the narrative as a punk who betrayed his king (for complicated and sympathetic reasons, it turns out) and was a daddy's boy case of nepotism. An entitled and unlikeable good looking and charming jock from a super rich family. Who's known for fucking his similarly entitled bitch twin sister. And he's principally introduced by crippling a little boy by shoving him out a window. While fucking his sister.

I think that his character has grown the most (aside from Dany, but she has regressed terribly) and I was hoping for a bit of happiness for him. Of course everyone suffers in the GOT universe, but this could have been an interesting novelty/anomaly.

That ship has got to be captained and crewed by Dorn-loyal peeps; Jaime and Bronn are tots getting Shanghaied somewhere. The Dornish prince will probably rendezvous with another vessel. Too bad that his late uncle's babymama just poisoned his betrothed golden haired Northern Fantasy Princess to death.

--

Dario: ... so mainly, you talk.
Tyrion [thoughtful]: And drink. I've survived so far.

Yeah, Tyrion would have been an annoying third wheel to Daario and Jorah. I expect that Jorah, acknowledging his greyscale positive status, goes all paternal on Daario and sacrifices himself at some future point.

Then, then!, Dany will fully realize what she threw away! She'll finally realize that she truly loved Jorah, really deep down. Yeah!
posted by porpoise at 7:04 PM on June 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


and was a daddy's boy case of nepotism

Huh? Tywin was livid when Aerys (The Mad King, whom Jaime later perforated) appointed Jaime to the Kingsguard. It left Casterly Rock without an heir, because Cersei can't inherit before her brothers (and was initially supposed to marry Oberyn Martell!) and no way in hell was he going to allow Tyrion to take over. So livid, in fact, that he resigned as Hand of the King, which in a whole bunch of ways accelerated the shitstorm caused by Rhaegar and Lyanna having the poor taste to fall in love and not be discreet about it.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 7:10 PM on June 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


You Can't Tip A Buick: "Presumably they made those leather straps in that picture of Balerion by cutting in a giant spiral around the cow"

I'm thinking mammoth. Balerion was specifically said to be able to swallow one whole.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 7:19 PM on June 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Huh? Tywin was livid

The whole Kingsguard situation, post regicide.

posted by porpoise at 7:25 PM on June 15, 2015


Yes... it wasn't nepotism that put Jaime on the Kingsguard. It was Cersei avoiding him marrying Lysa Tully. Aerys only agreed to it to rebuke Tywin.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 7:36 PM on June 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


Is all that stuff from a close reading of the books or is it also taken from outside material? Clearly I don't pore over the books deeply enough if its all from the books.
posted by Justinian at 8:25 PM on June 15, 2015


IIRC, when Arya is exploring the Red Keep in the first book, she finds a hall of dragon skulls that get smaller in size with more recent years. So maybe a general diminishing of the old breeds.

I think they are like goldfish in that their size is determined by their living space. They don't grow to full size in captivity and the most recent dragons (before Dany's three) were kept inside.
posted by Jacqueline at 8:37 PM on June 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Justinian: If you click on the link to the footnotes on the wiki it tells you the book and chapter it is from.
posted by Jacqueline at 8:38 PM on June 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


nooooooo don't go into the wiki don't do it ruuuuuuuuun
posted by coriolisdave at 10:15 PM on June 15, 2015 [12 favorites]


Completely stray musing:

Daenerys is like an inversion of Aegon I, the Conqueror. Dragons are the ultimate example and symbol of amoral domination: Aegon conquered Westeros with them, and Daenerys wants to destroy the system where might makes right, of which his military campaign was an example; but it seems like she'll have to use her dragons to do it. Dismantling the master's house, to borrow an improbable analogy, with the master's tools. She may very well become a book-end to the Targaryen dynasty, mirroring in many surprising ways its creation. Or maybe she'll institute a federal republic of sorts, and conquer in a way Aegon couldn't have imagined.
posted by clockzero at 10:28 PM on June 15, 2015


I have hopes that the Night's King will be sitting on the Iron Throne by the time Dany lands on Westeros soil.

Wait, why would the Night King even want that? I mean, it's always winter beyond the Wall, so having a massive zombie army is fine there, but summer is going to roll back around again eventually, right? All those zombies will rot and fall apart.

Unless the White Walkers bring the winter with them, or something?

Do Walkers even like the heat?

So many questions.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 10:47 PM on June 15, 2015


Jon's busy sharing a brew with his bro, celebrating that he lost his virginity.

That was such a sour note in what I thought was a lovely scene.

Sam is one of my favorite characters; I think the actor has really grown into the role (KH has grown into his role too), and the revelation that Sam wants and needs to be a maester, and Jon's reluctant acknowledgement of it, really paid off a lot of buildup of their characters and history together. Throwing the "Sam?... SAM?!!" into it was incredibly gross and unnecessary.

A lot of people had problems with the attempted rape of Gilly. I wasn't bothered by it in terms of narrative, since she is at the Wall after all; and I thought Sam's argument that she and the baby would die and he would die trying to prevent that was moving and rang true and added weight to his own need to go south to study (in order to contribute the best he can in the upcoming war).

But ugh, UGH to throwing into all that the fact that Sam had got some right after the attempted rape.

It's not even that I think that part of the conversation was unrealistic; sadly it was probably very realistic. But playing it for laughs was just the worst possible choice and completely tone deaf to the criticisms of how the show treats sexual violence and its aftermath.

I wonder why B&W can't get some intelligent editors to tell them when they're on the right track, and on the other hand when they ought to STFU. Why is this so hard? They can pull off the CGI in Hardhome, yet they can't handle simple dialogue in even a moderately sensible, sensitive way. It's maddening. And saddening, as it shows they are themselves immersed in a gross culture similar to the one their show is ostensibly critiquing.
posted by torticat at 10:52 PM on June 15, 2015 [4 favorites]


Re: the size of dragons, there's a fan theory that the maesters were deliberately giving the later Targaryens the worst advice they possibly could about how to care for dragons, as part of their (fan-theory) project to rid magic from the world.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 10:59 PM on June 15, 2015 [6 favorites]


It’s that I’m constantly cheated out of the time necessary to arrive at a place where critical actions feel dictated by critical characters, and not the other way around.

This is one area where the slow pace of the last couple books really did make things more believable. We have not got to Stannis's defeat yet, but if that is what's next in store, it makes sense. This just flies by. So instead of a desperate man making hard choices, we end up with a fool-hardy man that makes stupid choices.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 12:26 AM on June 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


%n: "Re: the size of dragons, there's a fan theory that the maesters were deliberately giving the later Targaryens the worst advice they possibly could about how to care for dragons, as part of their (fan-theory) project to rid magic from the world."

If this (the general anti-magic project, not specifically the dragon thing) is true, then this could be something interesting for Sam to run up against during his training. He's seen white walkers and whatnot, so magic is definitely real to him.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 1:54 AM on June 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


-- spoiler --

If we go with the theory that Jon is the son of Rhaegar and Lyanna then his death frees him to ascend the throne with Dany. The original domination of Westeros was with two sisters and a brother in an incestuous relationship controlling dragons. Jon being dead or perceived dead frees him from his Watch vow opening paths to power.
posted by jadepearl at 3:59 AM on June 16, 2015 [2 favorites]




I see someone mentioned WOT but I was thinking of the oath rod .... I'd say death is a nice out to an oath to the Night's Watch.
the White Walkers bring the winter with them, or something?

Do Walkers even like the heat?

So many questions.
I hear they like warm hugs.
posted by tilde at 5:33 AM on June 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


Unless the White Walkers bring the winter with them, or something?

well i HAVE seen the phrase "winter is coming" used in association with this show a couple of times.
posted by poffin boffin at 6:51 AM on June 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm reminded of something Ramsay said: If you think this story has a happy ending, you haven't been paying attention." GRR (and the showrunners) seem very intent on smashing down all the precious idols of fantasy and grinding them to dust. There will be no knights in shining armor to save the realm.

And yet again I'm reminded why Bollywood movies are generally so upbeat, lighthearted and cathartic: real life is already constantly doing this. Why do I need my fantasy to reflect our shitty reality back at me, when I can just read the newspaper, or go outside, or look at my bank balance, or indeed even just read youtube comments? Yeah yeah, good fiction is supposed to reveal hidden truths and see ourselves with new eyes etc, but I question the idea that the books - and more so, the TV show - are that kind of lofty fiction.
posted by vanar sena at 7:14 AM on June 16, 2015 [6 favorites]


Unless the White Walkers bring the winter with them, or something?

ISTR in the books people commenting that the temperature drops when the Walkers come.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:09 AM on June 16, 2015


Why do I need my fantasy to reflect our shitty reality back at me, when I can just read the newspaper, or go outside, or look at my bank balance, or indeed even just read youtube comments?

It's my understanding that the books were written by GRR as an alternative to fantasy novels where everything goes right. If I'm mistaken, will someone let me know?

Otherwise, no one has to read the books or the watch the show, for any number of reasons. I've contemplated stopping several times, most recently when Sansa's rape occurred. But for the moment there's enough Daenerys, Tyrion, Varys, Brienne and Arya to keep me going. I'm a bit worried for the next season, as I assume D&D will be off doing their own and there's no way GRR's next book will be out by then (production on Got starts in July, 2015). Maybe it'll give them freedom to go in a good direction. Maybe without a blueprint they'll wander all over the place. I don't know know. Sort of just want to get to the ending and am hoping the show is only seven seasons.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:14 AM on June 16, 2015


Given that that one Walker in the Hardhome episode turned off the fire when he walked into a burning hut, I think we can take as a given that the Walkers bring cold with them.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 8:47 AM on June 16, 2015 [4 favorites]


The first three novels came out at the apex of high fantasy serial novels, the most prominent of which is Wheel of Time. You're likely thinking of two quotes specifically regarding Tolkien from an interview in Rolling Stone,
Ruling is hard. This was maybe my answer to Tolkien, whom, as much as I admire him, I do quibble with. Lord of the Rings had a very medieval philosophy: that if the king was a good man, the land would prosper. We look at real history and it’s not that simple. Tolkien can say that Aragorn became king and reigned for a hundred years, and he was wise and good. But Tolkien doesn’t ask the question: What was Aragorn’s tax policy? Did he maintain a standing army? What did he do in times of flood and famine? And what about all these orcs? By the end of the war, Sauron is gone but all of the orcs aren’t gone – they’re in the mountains. Did Aragorn pursue a policy of systematic genocide and kill them? Even the little baby orcs, in their little orc cradles?
And,
The war that Tolkien wrote about was a war for the fate of civilization and the future of humanity, and that’s become the template. I’m not sure that it’s a good template, though. The Tolkien model led generations of fantasy writers to produce these endless series of dark lords and their evil minions who are all very ugly and wear black clothes. But the vast majority of wars throughout history are not like that.
To a certain extent you're right. These novels are a reaction against Tolkien derivatives, where there's a cosmic battle of good versus evil and the protagonists are on the side of good. However, I think you misunderstand how this applies to people's critiques of the show as of late.

Think about two major sticking points mentioned in this thread: Trant and Ramsay. What are Trant and Ramsay if not that mustache twirling evil that GRRM says he is writing against? When the show uses cheap scenes of sexual violence to give viewers a reason to hate Ramsay or to hate Trant, that's precisely the opposite of the stated motivation behind writing these books. You aren't creating a multifaceted and interesting villain, you're just exploiting people's reaction to rape as a way to say "you should feel good when this guy dies."

Sexual violence was a part of medieval society (and it's still a part of modern society), so it makes sense that it will occasionally show up in a show that is in large part about the horrific parts of war. It's troubling when sexual violence is the easy, go-to way that a writer establishes motivation in a clearly good versus evil narrative.
posted by codacorolla at 8:48 AM on June 16, 2015 [20 favorites]


A good way to make Meryn Trant's and Arya's stories better fit the theme of cutting through the cliches of high fantasy would have been to make him a mostly harmless, normal guy on a brief break from a bad situation when he's all the way out in Braavos, finally away from the pressures of his job as enforcer to vicious and powerful people that requires him to be a monster. Arya catches up with Trant as he's out taking in the sights, breathing in the sea air and finally allowing himself to relax and drop the mask for once - and then Arya still kills him without hesitation.
posted by jason_steakums at 9:41 AM on June 16, 2015 [18 favorites]


This is the first episode where I really, really wanted a Princess Bride/GoT mashup. Brienne as Inigo Montoya (you killed my King; prepare to die); Jon Snow being only mostly dead (to blave!); and a crazy Red Wedding mash (mawwiage is what bwings us togevver today). And there's a giant!
posted by tracicle at 9:45 AM on June 16, 2015 [7 favorites]


yeah but then we have to get House of Cards involved bc of my headcanon that Claire is who Buttercup became when she realized the men around her were all assholes and it was time for sisters to start doing it for themselves

alternately Claire is Adult Sansa
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:46 AM on June 16, 2015 [5 favorites]


Sooooo Dragonstone is just empty now? No actual legit claims on it?

It seems like a big thing to leave empty so I'm guessing that's going to be relevant pretty soon.
posted by The Whelk at 9:48 AM on June 16, 2015


RE: M Trant. I think the “this dude is a gross monster” scenes in the show are a blunt practical method of reminding people who the fuck he was. I watch the show with non-book readers and 3 out of 4 of them had no memory of who he was, or why Arya wanted him dead.

I think an important thing to remember is that while I genuinely believe that GRRM wanted to right a progressive reaction to sanitized fantasy fiction, he wrote the first book between 1991 and 1996. So he’s reacting to a media culture that’s 20 years out of date.

By the time I read the books, I was exhausted by all the heavy handed sexual violence in them because I had read other books in the past 20 years that addressed those realities more subtly in the same setting.
posted by French Fry at 9:48 AM on June 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


Sooooo Dragonstone is just empty now? No actual legit claims on it?

I think the closest legal claimant could be Tommen right?
posted by codacorolla at 9:53 AM on June 16, 2015


Sooooo Dragonstone is just empty now? No actual legit claims on it?

Usually Dragonstone was given to the heir to the throne--cf Prince of Wales in the UK.

There is currently no heir to the throne, and the only Baratheon blood left alive that I'ma ware of is all bastards--Gendry Waters, Mya Stone, Edric Storm. I'm wild-ass-guessing: I assume Dragonstone would revert to the Crown at this point.

And, actually. With Myrcella and Shireen the last to go (I think legally Shireen would have been in the line of succession after Myrcella, as Tommen's cousin-on-paper if not by genetics), who the fuck would sit the throne if someone knocked Tommen off?

Baratheons, who had right of conquest: all dead.

Targaryens, deposed: Just Dany for sure. Maybe Jon, although if RLJ is true, I don't think RL ever married, which would make him a bastard and not able to inherit unless legitimized by the King oh dear I've gone crosseyed. And since we're in books here, Young fake Griff.

Lannisters have no legal right to claim the throne.

Too bad we'll never see the sixth book. Next season there may need to be a pretty frank "Yo Tommen, you need to get Margaery pregnant YESTERDAY" to avoid a pretty severe succession crisis when someone inevitably kills him.

Kings Landing should come with a health alert: WARNING MAY CAUSE DEATH IN MONARCHS
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:55 AM on June 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


Legal right to the throne matters not. If someone has the smarts and strength to take it, then the laws will be rewritten or ignored to support that claim. So it goes!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:11 AM on June 16, 2015


Srsly though in de jure terms where does the crown go after the last Baratheonister dies? Presumably it's supposed to descend to whichever minor house is most closely related to the Baratheons, going by the finders-keepers "right of conquest" rules, or back to whoever else is related to the Targaryens if we go by "no no the Baratheons are totes related to the Targaryens and so now that we've chased off all the real Targaryens the Baratheons should have it" rules. Right?

I mean, in reality it would go to like the Tyrells because they've got all the food, or to Dany (if she ever makes it to Westeros) because she's got all the dragons, but knowing the official line of succession would be useful for knowing who's going to be the next idiot to play the "I am your rightful king! You must follow me because I am the rightful king who is the rightful king because I'm rightful never mind that I've got no army and I'm kind of thick and everyone hates me. it's the law! Cmon guys follow me it's the law!" game that Stannis and Viserys played.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 10:18 AM on June 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


Well, yeah. Thing is there's no military power in Westeros right now that could achieve a decisive victory. Other than Come At Me Bro Wight. Mayyyyyyyyyybe the Tyrells.

My guess is:

Legally Dany has the greatest claim, followed by (assuming RLJ) Jon Snogaryen. Wait no that's backwards--Jon, if we look at the whole Blackfyre thing (they thought they had legitimacy) has the greater claim as son of the heir to the throne at the time when Jaime got all slicey. Mad King -> Rhaegar -> Jon. (Aegon, if true, would have a better claim than Jon). So Dany actually comes second or third.

After that it's a bit of a mess. Edric and Gendry are the only Baratheon blood left alive. Bastards, so.

Dany (and maybe Jon) are the only descendants of Aegon V (Mad King's dad) left. So you have to start digging back a few generations to cadet branches before you find a legal claimant.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:26 AM on June 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


Dorne has targaryan blood.
posted by bq at 10:27 AM on June 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


dark horse candidate for Westeros's Next Top Monarch: Tycho Nestoris. Or some other similar Iron Bank factotum.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 10:30 AM on June 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


Did Robb write the letter legitimizing Jon in the show?
posted by drezdn at 10:42 AM on June 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


It's my understanding that the books were written by GRR as an alternative to fantasy novels where everything goes right. If I'm mistaken, will someone let me know?

Yeah I'm just hoping that an actual conclusion to the story - no matter how bleak or not "right" - is not one of the fantasy tropes he intends to subvert. Because I personally am running out of other reasons to care about this nihilistic pit of a thing.

Who knows, maybe the show will conclude with a White Walker slowly walking towards the last human as the screen fades to black. The fact that that sort of ending is possible is pretty cool in theory, but in practice I'd probably just regret watching the show.
posted by vanar sena at 10:58 AM on June 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


A good way to make Meryn Trant's and Arya's stories better fit the theme of cutting through the cliches of high fantasy would have been to make him a mostly harmless, normal guy on a brief break from a bad situation when he's all the way out in Braavos, finally away from the pressures of his job as enforcer to vicious and powerful people that requires him to be a monster. Arya catches up with Trant as he's out taking in the sights, breathing in the sea air and finally allowing himself to relax and drop the mask for once - and then Arya still kills him without hesitation.

This would have been ten times better than the crap they put on the screen.

I think there's a big internal contradiction in GRRM's work, and in the GoT tv show. The claim is that this narrative brings a kind of material and psychological realism to high fantasy -- we're finding out what the tax structure is like, contra Tolkien's 'and he reigned well for 100 years' kind of thing -- but what we're actually getting is a generalized pessimism and cynicism so blistering that it is indistinguishable from narrative perversity.

It's not realism whatsoever, except to the extent that one thinks human beings are actually genuinely awful and simplistic creatures, which I guess a lot of people privately suspect about others. Maybe that's why unvarnished brutality apparently 'reads' as realism to so many people.
posted by clockzero at 11:23 AM on June 16, 2015 [4 favorites]


If Margaery was like "oh btw i am pregnant" I think it would work out in her favour, if Tommen was no longer around. She'd have to get that sorted out really quickly tho.
posted by poffin boffin at 11:28 AM on June 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


> A good way to make Meryn Trant's and Arya's stories better fit the theme of cutting through the cliches of high fantasy would have been to make him a mostly harmless, normal guy on a brief break from a bad situation when he's all the way out in Braavos, finally away from the pressures of his job as enforcer to vicious and powerful people that requires him to be a monster. Arya catches up with Trant as he's out taking in the sights, breathing in the sea air and finally allowing himself to relax and drop the mask for once - and then Arya still kills him without hesitation.

I really like this idea. I suspect the showrunners saw Joffrey being so popular in a love-to-hate-him kind of way, so after they had to kill him off, they decided to make more. How many characters in the original books are truly one-dimensional monsters? I think only Joffrey and Ramsay are irredeemable psychopaths, and potentially Euron. But even then we see their environments and how they must have grown up and what influence their parents and culture had, and so on. Plus the broken men speech (seriously, read it).

So many complex characters and human motivations, but in the show it becomes "this guy killed Arya's beloved swordmaster and followed Joffrey's sadistic orders to beat Sansa, and oh by the way, he's also a pedophile and rapist of young girls, and he also beats them before he rapes them, so we know to cheer instead of feel conflicted about it when Arya gouges his eyes out and murders him in a super brutal manner."
posted by j.r at 11:52 AM on June 16, 2015 [11 favorites]


Legally Dany has the greatest claim, followed by (assuming RLJ) Jon Snogaryen. Wait no that's backwards--Jon, if we look at the whole Blackfyre thing (they thought they had legitimacy) has the greater claim as son of the heir to the throne at the time when Jaime got all slicey. Mad King -> Rhaegar -> Jon. (Aegon, if true, would have a better claim than Jon). So Dany actually comes second or third.

The Blackfyres don't enter the equation; the last of them (on the male side, at least) was slain in the War of the Ninepenny Kings in 260 AC.

Westeros succession law as I understand it would put Aegon (b. either 281 or 282) , as Rhaegar's first born son, ahead of Jon (b. 283) (his half brother) and Danerys (his aunt).

Aerys to Rhaegar to Aegon; then to Jon; then Dany. This assumes Aegon is legit and not a mummer's dragon and that Jon is (a) still alive/going to be resurrected and that (b) R+L=J is true and that there is some proof, somewhere of Jon's parentage and non-bastard status as a result of that parentage.

Both Dragonstone and Storm's End are left open with the passing of House Baratheon; I'm not sure if A World of Ice and Fire has the Baratheon family tree, but I would need to do some back digging to see which cousin or cadet branch should inherit. More likely, Tommen will just bestow those seats on someone else, assuming he lives long enough to learn of the end of the line; since both Renly and Stannis rose in rebellion, the Throne can probably act with some degree of latitude.

If/When Tommen dies without issue, the Iron Throne becomes a very big question. Arguably, it could go to whichever person should (by succession law if no royal fiat) inherits Storm's End as the heir through Robert's line. But that involves a lot of tangles, and I think the outcome is either (a) further civil war as several Houses try to strongarm their way or (b) a Great Council to decide the line of succession, which would also have to wade through the female lines which could potential include the Blackfyres.

(Given my general distaste for the monarchy in this world, the fact that I spend time figuring out the lines of succession in a fantasy world is sometimes disturbing to me).
posted by nubs at 1:44 PM on June 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


I don't know that Targaryen blood, however close to the original succession line, has any consequence whatsoever. The Targaryens were overthrown. Its not like the Saxons would get their king back if William the Conqueror died without heirs; or like Scotland would just give up their independence if Robert Bruce did the same. Some Targ person could certainly make a claim, and they might have enough backing from other houses to make it stick, but I think the real crisis is that there actually is no line of succession at all at the moment, and I'm sure that's a deliberate narrative choice. If some Targ showed up, however legit their lineage from Aerys, I'd expect that the Tyrells would make a counterclaim, at the very least.
posted by LionIndex at 2:02 PM on June 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I meant to add I'm not sure what worth any Targ claim has anymore; I'm really unclear on what happens when a House is removed by force and the surviving members flee; actual possession of the Throne and the ability to enforce claim appear to be the largest factors involved in the "legitimacy" of any bid.
posted by nubs at 2:13 PM on June 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


Cersei has a trial by combat coming up to determine if she slept with Jaime or not, and by extension if Tommen is a Baratheon or a Lannister. More than likely this will involve the reformed Hound battling his zombified brother's animated corpse. If Cersei loses, then the church will rule that Tommen is an illegitimate king, as he is the product of incest, and will likely put him to death. Even if Cersei wins, it appears as though the High Sparrow has his eyes on the the throne, and would attempt to overtake it in some other way.

At that point, either way, it seems like the church is either going to attempt to break the line of succession, and assume leadership of a theocracy of The Seven in Westeros. If the march of the Night's King has advanced far enough, then I would imagine The Faith Militant will have a lot of converts to its cause, what with the literal embodied apocalypse advancing on the southern lands. We don't really get this in the TV show, but the church's position is getting more and more appealing. The reason that they have such a foothold at king's landing (apart from Cersei's incompetence as a schemer) is that the smallfolk are tired of war, and tired of nobility. The faith militant is likely no better, but they do at least present an option B. With Stannis' host smashed, the Lannisters in decline, the Northern lords under the command of a warden who is quickly losing legitimacy (and likely quite unpopular (and also quite possibly dead under the march of a zombie army)), and the Greyjoys [scene missing], the Church is a great way to fill that power vacuum.

All of that leads me to believe that whenever Daeny finally crosses the Narrow Sea she isn't going to find a welcoming party. She's going to have an army of infidels who believe in a variety of things, none of which are The Seven. She's going to have three demonic creatures out of a nightmare that consume several head of cattle a day. She's the heiress to the family who neutered the Faith Militant in the first place, and are widely regarded by the smallfolk as the figurehead of evil, crazy, decadent nobility. And she's going to be advised by the brother of one of the most hated royal lines to hold the throne (apart from Daeny's family), who IN ADDITION is widely believed to be a demon possessed imp that killed his nephew with magic and absconded to the East.
posted by codacorolla at 2:24 PM on June 16, 2015 [8 favorites]


Next season there may need to be a pretty frank "Yo Tommen, you need to get Margaery pregnant YESTERDAY" to avoid a pretty severe succession crisis when someone inevitably kills him

Tommen should at this point be drafting up a document to designate an heir until he fathers a child. Might be a way to demonstrate Kevan's quiet competence in administering the kingdom, that he is thinking of the details that would never occur to Cersei.

All of that leads me to believe that whenever Daeny finally crosses the Narrow Sea she isn't going to find a welcoming party. She's going to have an army of infidels who believe in a variety of things, none of which are The Seven. She's going to have three demonic creatures out of a nightmare that consume several head of cattle a day. She's the heiress to the family who neutered the Faith Militant in the first place, and are widely regarded by the smallfolk as the figurehead of evil, crazy, decadent nobility. And she's going to be advised by the brother of one of the most hated royal lines to hold the throne (apart from Daeny's family), who IN ADDITION is widely believed to be a demon possessed imp that killed his nephew with magic and absconded to the East.

It's never really clear to me what the general population thought of the Targs; they had good kings and bad kings. Aerys' rule was softened by the presence of Tywin as Hand; there's even a line in the books about how someone presented a petition to the King and was in awe and didn't realize until long afterwards that it was the Hand they were dealing with, not the King. To the common folk, I don't know how much difference it makes whose ass is sitting there - "The common people pray for rain, healthy children, and a summer that never ends. It is no matter to them if the high lords play their game of thrones, so long as they are left in peace. They never are." Dany might come back to a populace that is so exhausted of the game that they have no use for the nobility anymore, but I think it's more of a nobles vs. commoners thing than a commoners vs. specific Houses thing. I could be wrong.

As for the wonderfully diverse mix that comes ashore, there is this story about the Long Night: The Rhoynar tell of a darkness that made the Rhoyne of Essos dwindle and disappear, her waters frozen as far south as the joining of the Selhoru, until a hero convinced the many children of Mother Rhoyne, such as the Crab King and the Old Man of the River, to put aside their bickering and join in a secret song that brought back the day.
posted by nubs at 2:40 PM on June 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


The Blackfyres don't enter the equation; the last of them (on the male side, at least) was slain in the War of the Ninepenny Kings in 260 AC.

Or so we think. *wink*
posted by drezdn at 2:56 PM on June 16, 2015


No no I wasn't saying the Blackfyres still exist. I was saying that they're a historical precedent for claiming legitimacy via Targaryen blood.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 2:59 PM on June 16, 2015


scrolls back up to make sure he's in the "books included" thread...

So there's a number of hints that the Targaryens are remembered semi-fondly by the commoners, not for anything in particular that they've done, but instead because Westeros got and stayed way more unstable after they were deposed. The chief one I remember was from the bit of A Clash of Kings where Arya is a prisoner of the Mountain's gang; a number of other prisoners grumble about how none of this would have happened under the old dragon kings.

But yeah, that aside, the most important thing isn't the smallfolk's knowledge/opinion of the policies of various (past and present) claimants to the throne, but instead the fact that they know pretty much nothing about any of that; nobles and kings are an unpleasant fact of life, like hurricanes or winter, and the smallfolk have about as much insight into the behavior and motivations of the different groups of nobles scrapping over the right to ruin their lives rule over them as they have insight into when the next hurricane's going to hit the Stormlands or whatever.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 3:08 PM on June 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


All the talk about succession got me thinking. While it will totally never happen — 

I secretly hope that Davos and Brienne will inexplicably meet, bond over Shireen's death, team up, run around Westeros cracking heads together in exasperation, and then once all the asskicking's done, Brienne and Jaime hook up, get married, and Brienne becomes Queen, with Davos as her Hand and Jaime as head of the Queensguard.

That would make me really conflicted about who to cheer for when Daenerys and Tyrion show up on dragonback to retake the Iron Throne.

Am I the only one who wants to see this?
posted by culfinglin at 3:16 PM on June 16, 2015 [6 favorites]


I want to see Dany realize she can't run a fucking city, let alone a continent, and stay in Meereen.

And pfffffffft conflicted? Between Brienne and Dany I'm fully #teamasskicker not #teamridesanasskicker
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 3:19 PM on June 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


Oh, no contest between Brienne and Dany. Brienne, all the way! #teamasskicker But between Brienne and Tyrion? Totally another story.
posted by culfinglin at 3:23 PM on June 16, 2015


Brienne on the Throne, married to someone decent for succession purposes--Bronn? At least he's ruthlessly honest about exactly who he is--Tyrion as Hand.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 3:28 PM on June 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


And Sam in charge of a reformed Citadel or something better that rises in its place, if the hints of Maesters grabbing for power behind the scenes amount to something that blows up in their faces. Sam, Tyrion and Davos on the council would pretty much make any monarch better.
posted by jason_steakums at 3:32 PM on June 16, 2015


Also I was always really pulling for Stannis to make a really good show of things but ultimately die when he makes some impassioned stand at the head of his army only for an Other to cleave right through his fake-ass Lightbringer.
posted by jason_steakums at 3:35 PM on June 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


scrolls back up to make sure he's in the "books included" thread...

I don't tend to post in the "show only" thread because I have a real tendency to run at the mouth in GoT discussions (as some may have noticed), so if you see me participating, you're likely safe. A safe as anyone is around GoT, anyways.
posted by nubs at 3:36 PM on June 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


Ooh, I forgot all about Bronn. But what about Davos? Someone has to carve toys for the kids.

And yes, Sam totally is on the small council as Master of Maesters.

Guys, I think we can wrap up this series by dinnertime.
posted by culfinglin at 3:36 PM on June 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


Davos is a shoe in for Master of Ships.
posted by jason_steakums at 3:37 PM on June 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


if the hints of Maesters grabbing for power behind the scenes amount to something that blows up in their faces

I've been trying to tease out something I realized the other day: there are a lot of organizations trying to influence the course of temporal power without appearing as though they are. The Maesters, for sure. The Faith Militant (I view the Sparrow as being much more conniving than he lets on). Followers of Rh'llor. The assassins from the House of Black and White, especially. They claim to be on this holy trip, and sure--they provide mercy to those who walk through their doors and wish to die. What divine purpose is served by killing a corrupt insurance merchant? What divine purpose was served by Jaqen killing who Arya wanted? (Well, perhaps the larger purpose there was getting Arya into the House, I'll grant that.)

I believe the assassins are doing their own string-pulling behind the scenes.

oh, I forgot all about Bronn. But what about Davos? Someone has to carve toys for the kids.

Davos is damn you jason_steakums!

And Sam's title would be Grand Maester if he's sitting on the Small Council; Archmaester if he rises to the top of a discipline at the Citadel.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 3:39 PM on June 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


I like to think Jon, if he survives, will return to the Wall to reform the Night's Watch as something better, just like how Aemon sacrificed his claim.
posted by jason_steakums at 3:42 PM on June 16, 2015


I kinda really want homunculus' suggestion in the show-only thread. They toss his body off the wall, and Ice Bro raises him into a wight.

Two of us watching the other night were waiting for his eyes to turn blue actually.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 3:45 PM on June 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


You know, with something like - Sam as Grand Maester, Tyrion as Hand, Davos as Master of Ships, Brienne as Lady Commander of the King (or Queens)Guard, Varys & Bronn as the Masters of Dirty Tricks and Skullduggery, and an ethical Master of Coin, it wouldn't matter who was on the Throne.

Hell, at that point do away with the monarch (except as figurehead) and have yourselves a ruling council that maybe gets selected from a pool of candidates on a regular basis along with some rules about who can serve, for how long, and so forth and you might get an approximation of a decent system. Or at least a system more decent than the existing one.
posted by nubs at 3:46 PM on June 16, 2015 [4 favorites]


I believe the assassins are doing their own string-pulling behind the scenes.

I agree. It's why I think Littlefinger isn't as powerful as he appears, and is probably being fed lines from somewhere else.

Along similar lines, I feel like Varys is part of something larger.
posted by codacorolla at 3:46 PM on June 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


nubs, you're right — that council lineup is seriously kickass. It's even Dany-proof.
posted by culfinglin at 3:50 PM on June 16, 2015


I think it's going to take a really, really long time for Westeros to grow out of feudalism. Pentos (was it Pentos? Where they elect the triumvirate?) has had 400 years since the Doom of Valyria to work out representative(ish) governance.

I agree. It's why I think Littlefinger isn't as powerful as he appears, and is probably being fed lines from somewhere else.

Nah, I don't buy that. Littlefinger is a climber who's always been out for Littlefinger, always trying to rise way above his station.

Along similar lines, I feel like Varys is part of something larger.

I buy Varys as being in charge of something larger. Well, by his own admission, he is: trying to restore the Targaryen dynasty. Don't think he cares much if it's Dany or Aegrifmummer. Or Jon, for that matter, if it comes out that way. Well.. he might not like Jon quite as much--he's too Stark (heh) in his outlook.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 3:57 PM on June 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


As for the remaining Targaryens, any love for A+J=T?
posted by Jelly at 4:03 PM on June 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


Big picture one ending I'm very interested in is Bran's. I mean we've got Ice and Fire and their respective magical forces in play, so it feels like Bran's CotF magic, being a third kind of major magical force, is kind of sidelined theme-wise and could end up amounting to any number of things.
posted by jason_steakums at 4:06 PM on June 16, 2015


Hang on, on L+R theory, how does Jon's claim trump Daenerys's? Even if he's male and closer in line, he's still illegitimate, right? Unless Lyana and Rhaegar were wed in secret, and what is the motivation for that?
posted by batfish at 4:10 PM on June 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


Cersei has a trial by combat coming up to determine if she slept with Jaime or not, and by extension if Tommen is a Baratheon or a Lannister. More than likely this will involve the reformed Hound battling his zombified brother's animated corpse.

I believe that by law whenever anyone mentions this scenario, someone else is obligated to say "get hype." So: get hype.

though personally I think of the upcoming trial by combat as "Attack on Zombie Mountain."
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 4:11 PM on June 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


Unless Lyana and Rhaegar were wed in secret, and what is the motivation for that?

Twue wuv.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 4:12 PM on June 16, 2015 [4 favorites]


Jon's claim only trumps Dany if he is legit, yes. There is a belief/theory/presumption that evidence of a marriage between R+L exists somewhere - say a Targ wedding cloak in Lyanna's crypt, maybe. As for why - why not? It seems like they loved each other, the Targs have been known to engage in polygamy, and Rhaeger believed in the "prince who was promised" not the "bastard who was born". He also seems to have been an honourable sort.

If not, in the books Robb has signed a decree legitimizing Jon.
posted by nubs at 4:17 PM on June 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


As for the remaining Targaryens, any love for A+J=T?

If someone has to be a secret Targ, it makes more narrative sense to me to find out it is Jamie & Cersei. It ruins the dynamic between Tywin and Tyrion if we find out Tyrion isn't actually his. But if we find out Tyrion is his only child, it puts Tywin as living in even more denial.

Plus it would be kind of ironic to find out Cercei's kids are actually legitimate heirs (Edit: well, still the children of bastards, but the right bloodline at least)
posted by Gary at 4:21 PM on June 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


As for the remaining Targaryens, any love for A+J=T?

I can see it, there is some evidence for it--and I don't like it. It would seem cheap, for lack of a better word. Not least because I can't even imagine the mental gymnastics required for Tywin Lannister, of all people, to raise another man's child.

Hang on, on L+R theory, how does Jon's claim trump Daenerys's? Even if he's male and closer in line, he's still illegitimate, right? Unless Lyana and Rhaegar were wed in secret, and what is the motivation for that?

Well. First, it would have made sense for them to wed--Elia Martell was infertile after her first two children with Rhaegar, and he wanted the dragon to have three heads. One can assume he'd want that dragon to have three legitimate heads.

So assuming Jon can make a claim, he has primacy over Daenaerys because he's the child of the heir to the throne (Rhaegar) as opposed to the heir's sister. Basically with agnatic succession you start with the oldest male child, and then work your way down the male children. If you run out of those, you either start with the oldest female child and work your way down, or you bounce back a generation and iterate the whole thing over again.

So basically the succession would be:

Aerys
|
Rhaegar ... Viserys ... Tyrion ... Daenaerys
|
Aegon ... Jon ... Rhaenys

However! Jon's claim trumps Daenaerys, period, because Targaryens don't allow for female inheritance. Strict agnatic succession. Strictly speaking, as our friend Varys would say, she has no claim whatsoever.

Plus it would be kind of ironic to find out Cercei's kids are actually legitimate heirs.

They'd still be illegitimate--born out of wedlock. Tommen's proper legal name is either Tommen Hill (for Casterly Rock) or Tommen Waters (for being born in KL).
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 4:23 PM on June 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


(I think all of Tywin's "I cannot prove you are not mine" and "you are no son of mine" is all posturing, because how could the great and mighty Tywin bloody Lannister have sired a monster?)
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 4:24 PM on June 16, 2015


(sorry, I missed Tyrion's name in the ersatz family tree there)
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 4:26 PM on June 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


Put plainly, the story seems to be building towards a succession crisis of fairly large proportion - there won't be a clear successor to the Throne and it will likely happen when shit is really getting real with the Others so no time for a civil war or a Council or both and maybe that is a chance for something new and different to emerge because some structure will need to be cobbled together in the interim.
posted by nubs at 4:34 PM on June 16, 2015


Jon's claim only trumps Dany if he is legit, yes. There is a belief/theory/presumption that evidence of a marriage between R+L exists somewhere - say a Targ wedding cloak in Lyanna's crypt, maybe. As for why - why not?

But if the Targaryens will already protect the L + R absquatulation, as they do, why keep the marriage a secret?

Jon's claim trumps Daenaerys, period, because Targaryens don't allow for female inheritance.

That's interesting, but sounds like an intra-familial item that nobody would have standing to enforce against Daenerys...except maybe JS if he were a legit Targaryen and therefore didn't need to
posted by batfish at 4:34 PM on June 16, 2015


But if the Targaryens will already protect the L + R absquatulation, as they do, why keep the marriage a secret?

Aerys was incredibly paranoid, especially regarding Tywin Lannister. (Well-founded, as it turned out.)

Absquatulation is a magnificent word. Thank you for that.

That's interesting, but sounds like an intra-familial item that nobody would have standing to enforce against Daenerys...except maybe JS if he were a legit Targaryen and therefore didn't need to

Eh, this is all rules-lawyering on paper anyway. Dany's claim is going to stand for the exact same reason Aegon the Conqueror's did: dragons and a fuck-you army.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 4:42 PM on June 16, 2015 [7 favorites]


Marriage needs to be a secret at least at the outset because it dramatically affects relations with three big Houses:

-the Martells, who may not be pleased if Ellaria is now co-queen or being set aside (and Oberyn made some comment in his show incarnation that makes me think that is how they were interpreting it)
-House Baratheon, because Lyanna was already promised to Robert;
-House Stark, who might be pleased to marry into the royal line but upset about the nature of how it happened and their honour, etc.

This is also unfolding against a backdrop of a lot of unrest in the major Houses; there was a lot of anger and upset with the Mad King and Rhaegar was talking about convening a Grand Council to hash things out before he rode to the Trident. If he had lived, I suspect that Counil would have involved the revealing of the marriage, the prophecies, and a larger discussion about prepping the realm against the Others. What would have happened from there, who knows?
posted by nubs at 4:44 PM on June 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


You're confusing Elia Martell (Doran and Oberyn's sister) with Ellaria Sand, Oberyn's paramour.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 4:47 PM on June 16, 2015


wait no I fail at reading, now I get it
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 4:48 PM on June 16, 2015


I can't keep my Dornishwomen straight!
posted by nubs at 4:48 PM on June 16, 2015


No, you're right I was thinking of Oberyns sister but Ellaria is top of mind cuz of the show.
posted by nubs at 4:51 PM on June 16, 2015


confusion for everyone!
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 4:51 PM on June 16, 2015




One persuasive theory about an R+L marriage, which would legitimize J, is that the Northern wedding rite consists of speaking vows in front of a heart tree (as we saw in Ep 6). Being plugged into weirwood.net, it is possible that Bran could witness it just as he saw vignettes of Winterfell's past through its heart tree.
posted by The Nutmeg of Consolation at 4:59 PM on June 16, 2015 [8 favorites]


!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

never thought of that

And since the Nights' Watch oath probably ends at death, he could sit the throne.

Just imagine! "Good morning, Auntie. Dropped by for tea and a biccie, have you?"

The more I think about this, the more I want to see Jon on the throne. It'll throw into really stark (sorry) relief how futile literally everything Dany ever does is. And that whole thing which I think is a major theme: you got what you want! doesn't it suck?
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 5:03 PM on June 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


If he had lived, I suspect that Counil would have involved the revealing of the marriage, the prophecies, and a larger discussion about prepping the realm against the Others.

Hmm, I guess.

how futile literally everything Dany ever does is.

Nah, you're projecting too much of Dany in the books onto Dany of the show. The khaleesi of seasons 2-4 matured into a shrewd badass and accomplished more than literally everyone else in her era.

I agree she's taken a turn for the worse though :(
posted by batfish at 5:11 PM on June 16, 2015


Well the only real difference between her now and her right after Drogo died is the dragons are bigger. The Unsullied haven't been much use at all for a very long time. It's not that much different by the end of ADWD.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 5:28 PM on June 16, 2015


Wat!? She went from wandering the desert with the residue of a broken khalasar to leading an army of liberation toward the iron throne. On the way she outsmarted predators (and advisors!) who underestimated her, generally made good decisions and learned from her mistakes (which, as a rule, virtuous leaders in GOT don't do!) and gradually expanded her kit of queenly managerial tools. Only in season 5 is she scripted into a sort of Carter-era of malaise and committing one Jon-Snow-esque naive blunder after another.

Early on it seemed like there might be an interesting story in Mereen about the complexity of conquest and reconstruction, but, yea, it turned out just that the unsullied went totally risibly emo and the success of the country club revolt of the sons of the harpy makes no sense at all, and keeping her bogged down in Mereen just was more and more obviously plot convenience. But she used ta be great I tell you!
posted by batfish at 6:42 PM on June 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


What I mean is, in terms of what she actually has available to her right now? She's got a sulky teenage emo-dragon instead of three adorable little baby dragonses who's a cute widdle dwagon you is! you is!

Um.

And a burnt dress. 10K Unsullied are far away, so are her advisors. She's got nada. She would literally be in exactly the same circumstances if she'd just made camp where Drogo died and let the dragons go hunting.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 6:52 PM on June 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


Do not underestimate the burnt dress.
posted by culfinglin at 6:53 PM on June 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


Well, you are changing your critique. But that's the thing, man, she has already survived. Like Gloria Gaynor.
posted by batfish at 7:00 PM on June 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm not changing my critique at all:

"Well the only real difference between her now and her right after Drogo died is the dragons are bigger.

"What I mean is, in terms of what she actually has available to her right now?"

The entire Meereen/Slaver's Bay subplot has done nothing but repeatedly give her a chance at power and have it snatched away.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 7:04 PM on June 16, 2015


Well, I agree with you that she is tactically in a tight spot on site there on dragon hill. But globally her prospects are not identical to those of new widow of Drogo, minimally, because she has more experience points this time.

Unless she has grayscale...
posted by batfish at 7:30 PM on June 16, 2015


When do the snowboarding elves show up?
posted by srboisvert at 7:42 PM on June 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


Daenaerys, First of her Name, Queen of &c; known as "The Stone Queen."

It's not, for me, just that she's tactically in a tight spot, she's--huh, parallel with Cersei! never noticed that before--been stripped of everything.

Huh. Being stripped also applies to Arya and to Jon. Sansa's a bit, ahem, up in the air.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 7:42 PM on June 16, 2015


Two of us watching the other night were waiting for his eyes to turn blue actually.

It's interesting the leaked stills linked in the last thread turned out to be valid except that one of them had Jon's eyes photoshopped white (warging was the idea behind that wishful thinking I guess).
posted by torticat at 7:42 PM on June 16, 2015


People would lose their minds if the white eyes was the opener of season six
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:02 PM on June 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


Hey guys, I know I'm super-late to the game here, but I just realized that the actor who plays Theon looks just like the actor who played Baltar on Battlestar Galactica! And you know how I feel about him!
posted by Ideal Impulse at 8:05 PM on June 16, 2015


He also happens to be Lily Allen's brother.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:11 PM on June 16, 2015


People would lose their minds if the white eyes was the opener of season six

Well I did wonder about that. I don't know how the white-eye effect is done--surely it's all by computer and there would be no reason to get the shot while the actor was in situ?
posted by torticat at 8:12 PM on June 16, 2015


Too bad we'll never see the sixth book. Next season there may need to be a pretty frank "Yo Tommen, you need to get Margaery pregnant YESTERDAY" to avoid a pretty severe succession crisis when someone inevitably kills him.

Clearly Ser Pounce is the de facto child of that couple and should inherit DragonStone, to lead it into a glorious, mouse-free era of cuddles.
posted by Sparx at 8:13 PM on June 16, 2015 [8 favorites]


It's not, for me, just that she's tactically in a tight spot, she's--huh, parallel with Cersei! never noticed that before--been stripped of everything.

Huh. Being stripped also applies to Arya and to Jon.


I hear ya.

Sansa's a bit, ahem, up in the air.

Closing out Sansa and Reek on a thelma and louise type moment would be pretty nice at this point imo.
posted by batfish at 8:13 PM on June 16, 2015


Well I did wonder about that. I don't know how the white-eye effect is done--surely it's all by computer and there would be no reason to get the shot while the actor was in situ?

Sclera (not scleral; different construction) contact lenses are the oldschool/easier way to do it. I think whiting out someone's eyes is probably like 20 minutes of a CG artist's time at this point.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:17 PM on June 16, 2015


I don't know what Ellaria is thinking. What's to keep Jaime from turning that ship around and going straight back to Doran Martell and telling him what happened? He basically promised Ellaria death if she tried something like that again just last episode.

Old-timey boats are basically like big starships. At its present mass and velocity, HMS Jaime would take like a year to turn around. Why even bother.

What's great about this show is the boats. Why are the boats always so close? We had Jon's boat as they were rowing for like ten minutes to get away from the ice zombies, and then we cut to an overhead shot and they are like three feet away from the dock. And now HMS Jamie has been sailing for long enough that Jamie has a big conversation with his daughter and then she dies because of course she dies, and it's back to the docks and whoa, the ship has made it what, a fifth of a league?

Trying to think of other stupid boats. Jorah's boat seemed pretty fast, it circumnavigated the globe in about five hours. But they didn't get sunburned? Weird. How come nobody ever gets sunburned in a show?

A Song of Ice and Fire: The Boats That Couldn't Get Far Away.
posted by turbid dahlia at 8:34 PM on June 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


at least it wasn't Tyrion on another fucking boat
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:39 PM on June 16, 2015


Oh shit. I just had an idea of how Jon Snow comes back. The watch burns him to prevent him from rising as a wight. Only he's Targaryen, and so the flames do nothing. I'm fuzzy on this part but either the flames bring him back, or only then Melissadre resurrects him. That will answer his parentage right quick.

I bet we don't get to it until at least halfway through season 6, and possibly not until the end of the season.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 8:40 PM on June 16, 2015 [6 favorites]


Oh shit. I just had an idea of how Jon Snow comes back. The watch burns him to prevent him from rising as a wight. Only he's Targaryen, and so the flames do nothing. I'm fuzzy on this part but either the flames bring him back, or only then Melissadre resurrects him. That will answer his parentage right quick.

Basically into it, but what about Maester Aemon? Did they burn him?
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:43 PM on June 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


Not all Targ's come back with fire. See also: the wildfire drinking nitwit.

In fact, do we have any proof that they come back? Thought it was just trying to wake ze dwagon.
posted by coriolisdave at 8:44 PM on June 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


Also all those Khaldrogonian horsemen - like, hundreds of them - appearing literally out of nowhere. Ha ha ha what. And why was Dany being such a bitch to Drogon? Telling him to take her back, or hunt her down something to eat. He's just had fifty spears in him and then flew you a hundred miles on his back, maybe let him have a little nap?
posted by turbid dahlia at 8:47 PM on June 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


Only some Targaryens are fireproof. See Viserys. Obviously Jon must be that type for it to work.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 8:47 PM on June 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


at least it wasn't Tyrion on another fucking boat

Oh man imagine Tyrion warging into a boat. Or he gets burned alive but he's half Targaryen and when the flames die down there's just a little boat there. And it goes "TOOT TOOT MOTHERFUCKERS."
posted by turbid dahlia at 8:49 PM on June 16, 2015 [15 favorites]


Basically into it, but what about Maester Aemon? Did they burn him?

On the show they burned him up good. I think the Targaryen resistance to fire is not a Thing. It's a Daenaerys thing. Aemon was no question absolutely a Targaryen; he was offered the throne ffs.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:57 PM on June 16, 2015


I think the fire thing was also specifically dragon-egg related.
posted by corb at 10:28 PM on June 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


BoatTyrion: GUESS AGAIN
posted by culfinglin at 11:36 PM on June 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


Jon wargs into Drogon, claims Iron Throne because "ain't no rule that says a dragon can't play thrones".
posted by Pyry at 11:46 PM on June 16, 2015 [5 favorites]


It has been specifically said by GRRM that dany is not immune to fire but that the egg incident was a miracle.
posted by flaterik at 1:12 AM on June 17, 2015




This is what it’s like to feel done with A Game of Thrones. After a while it’s a lot like not being done with A Game of Thrones.

Hah, that's a good line.

My hope is that the show will start moving forward at an accelerating pace until it reaches breakneck speed near the end of next season. Because it no longer has the albatross of the increasingly aimless book series to weigh it down.

I would say that I also hope Martin will manage to move the plot forward but that would be a lie. Not because I don't desperately want him to do so but because the past 15 years have beaten that hope out of me. I was in college when I read A Game of Thrones. I just turned 40. Oh god.
posted by Justinian at 2:10 AM on June 17, 2015 [9 favorites]


please kill me
posted by Justinian at 2:13 AM on June 17, 2015 [4 favorites]


Justinain lives! He dies! He lives again!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:41 AM on June 17, 2015 [5 favorites]


Justinian is free of his sworn oaths!
posted by tilde at 4:02 AM on June 17, 2015 [13 favorites]


For the Watch.
posted by tracicle at 5:13 AM on June 17, 2015 [7 favorites]


It has been specifically said by GRRM that dany is not immune to fire but that the egg incident was a miracle.

If that's true, then they have some explaining to do with the build up of her resistance to heat building up to that point. I thought back and perhaps it had to do with simply owning the eggs, but the first episode has her walking into bath water that is "too hot"- which didn't seem bother her. Of course "hot" is subjective, but rewatching season 1 some time ago, you can see the setup to being heat-and -fire resistant laid out more clearly.

I honestly don't remember how they dealt with it in the books; I read the books immediately after season 1; then rewatched it shortly after reading the books. So book one is really fuzzy.

I'm not doubting that's what GRRM said, only that it seems inconsistent with what we've seen so far.

As an aside: looking back on season one, that really was a much tighter season overall, wasn't it? Lots of meandering in later seasons, especially season 5. I didn't feel nearly as invested in the characters. And not because of their propensity to get killed off; it just was so... Enh. I will keep watching, but I think they struggled to make anything, save the siege on Hardhome, seem important.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 6:11 AM on June 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


If that's true, then they have some explaining to do with the build up of her resistance to heat building up to that point.

Not really, it's two different mediums. GRR can do whatever he likes in the books, but D&D have already changed some things for tv and there's no reason why Dany's immunity to fire can't be one of them.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:14 AM on June 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


Jon burnt his hand fighting the wight waaay back. He's flammable.
posted by French Fry at 6:43 AM on June 17, 2015


In ADWD, Dany received burns on her hands and legs from riding Drogon. And did anyone else notice in the finale that Dany had wrapped crude bandages around her hands in that scene on the clifftop?
posted by The Nutmeg of Consolation at 7:16 AM on June 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


In fantasy lit, dragonfire is often specified as having different properties than regular fire -- e.g. magical swords that get their power from being forged in dragonfire, or artifacts that can only be destroyed by it. Maybe Dany is resistant to normal fire, but less so with the draconic variety.
posted by Strange Interlude at 7:39 AM on June 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yeah, GRRM said that Dany surviving the fire was a one-off miracle, and that makes perfect sense since he showed Dany being unaffected by scalding hot water and putting her hand into a fire, and the money-line of Viserys's death is "fire cannot kill a dragon".
posted by skewed at 8:04 AM on June 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


Headey notes that such primal public violence against women isn’t exactly something that’s only a historical issue, either. “They still do it now,” Headey said. “They take women out and stone them to death.”

What's more, there are large and not even particularly fringe subcultures on every inhabited continent, including this one, who won't see anything wrong with this scene, and might even find it inspiring.
posted by George_Spiggott at 9:42 AM on June 17, 2015 [2 favorites]


From the director:
That was really good. [Theon] regains his sense of true north in realizing he needed to step up to save Sansa’s life.

This is so disappointing! Every time I try to give TPTB the benefit of the doubt (see end of this comment), they let me down. How hard would it have been to make that Sansa's triumph, and why the hell would you want to make it Theon's instead? Why is Theon's redemption more important than Sansa's agency, or at the very least why does his redemption need to take place at the expense of her agency?
posted by torticat at 11:16 AM on June 17, 2015 [6 favorites]


Sclera (not scleral; different construction) contact lenses are the oldschool/easier way to do it. I think whiting out someone's eyes is probably like 20 minutes of a CG artist's time at this point.

Not to belabor the point, but does this mean that image might actually have been a spoiler for next season? anyone who knows CGI/special effects want to weigh in on whether it looks real or like an amateur's work?
posted by torticat at 11:19 AM on June 17, 2015


That director interview that torticat linked has some real WTF moments, beyond the answer about Theon. Stuff like:

(On not showing the final blow on Stannis):

Dan and David felt it best not to be gratuitous with that. You really got a sense that Stannis had nothing else to live for. Brienne’s life-long mission had come to an end. It’s a situation in which Stannis was ready to die and prepared to die. It would have been gratuitous.

Really? This is the moment you choose not to be gratuitous?

On the controversies this season:

I think that the thing with “Game of Thrones” is it has the ability to totally dash and take right and left turns on whatever the audience expects and break people’s hearts. But what they’re also so brilliant at doing, Dan and David, is getting the exact same people to come back for more. For Dan and David, it’s how best to tell the story, that’s their source of where they’re coming from. It’s the proper way to do it. And not be influenced by other voices that don’t look at the big picture. It’s an important part of the series, to look at what the big picture is all about. Understanding to keep it honest and true, you have to follow your instincts. And Dan and David have the best instincts in the business.

So, in terms of the "big picture" then, and how best to tell the story, I need some explanation for Dorne. And for stripping Sansa of agency, again. And not showing Jon and the survivors of Hardhome explaining what they had witnessed (it could have been a wonderful building off the scene with Jon talking to the wildlings at Hardhome, with Tormund stepping up to support him; members of the Night's Watch and Wildlings working together to convince the rest of the Watch that yeah, serious shit is going down now and we gotta pull together, dudes). And ignoring the Iron Islands, even if that means ignoring the fact that Melisandre's witchcraft is undermined by dropping it.

At times I tell myself I'm too harsh when I get like this, but I'm also starting to get the sense that there's a culture around the show and D&D that does not allow for criticism or modification or alternate points of view. Like the director of the episode of Sansa's wedding night viewing Sansa as a grown, strong woman making a choice. Did no one inside the production challenge that view/interpretation of the event? There's "being true to your vision" and there's "being blind to all else".
posted by nubs at 11:40 AM on June 17, 2015 [10 favorites]


I need some explanation for Dorne.

I'm good with 'Dr. Bashir is teh sexy in his new beard' as an explanation, but I realize others probably need more of a reason than that.
posted by culfinglin at 12:12 PM on June 17, 2015 [3 favorites]


How hard would it have been to make that Sansa's triumph, and why the hell would you want to make it Theon's instead?

I don't see it quite that way, here's my take from the Show Only thread.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:12 PM on June 17, 2015


All I want is Theon at the heart tree because it's the only thing that made all the torture he went through palatable to me and it was one of my favorite scenes in all of the books.
posted by Drinky Die at 12:19 PM on June 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


(On not showing the final blow on Stannis):

Dan and David felt it best not to be gratuitous with that. You really got a sense that Stannis had nothing else to live for. Brienne’s life-long mission had come to an end. It’s a situation in which Stannis was ready to die and prepared to die. It would have been gratuitous.


Before, I thought the directors were probably well-meaning, and were working with rather dark material, so they had to exercise their discretion in a way that didn't compromise the tone of the series.

But now, frankly, fuck those guys.
posted by clockzero at 1:17 PM on June 17, 2015 [2 favorites]


I meant to add I'm not sure what worth any Targ claim has anymore;

It's worth noting that the Targs are blood relatives of the Baratheons through Robert's grandmother, Rhaelle Targaryen. The Baratheons may have closer, living relatives, such as the Estermonts, but still: Even if Robert Baratheon's right of conquest terminates the original Targaryen claims, because the legitimate Baratheon line is extinct, Dany could still be able to formulate a colorable claim through right of blood.

Not that Dany seems to give much of a damn about such things.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 1:20 PM on June 17, 2015


I imagine the real reason for the Stannis killing not being shown is probably an effects issue. Either the practical or CGI effect looked bad and they decided to skip it. And D&D are BSing about it.

(Probably the same with the hooded figure on the boat in hardhome who was likely just a safety officer on the boat they threw a hood on instead of full make-up)

I do wonder honestly, hearing a lot of “Fuck those guys” “Fuck this show” “this is the worst” do people here plan on no-longer watching the show? The ultimate criticism is to deny it your viewership.

Personally I’m sticking with the show but I’m done with the books.
posted by French Fry at 1:28 PM on June 17, 2015


I imagine the real reason for the Stannis killing not being shown is probably an effects issue. Either the practical or CGI effect looked bad and they decided to skip it. And D&D are BSing about it.

They're obviously lying about the reason. Gratuitous? Does Stannis bleed more than Janos Slynt?

I don't think it was an effects issue. He's either not dead or they at least wanted people debating his death over the summer. Or they didn't want to show his blue merling blood.
posted by Gary at 1:57 PM on June 17, 2015 [5 favorites]


I just figured that they preferred to show Brienne's emotion in that moment rather than Stannis', sine his probably wouldn't be too different from seconds before when he tells her to do her duty. I'm disappointed, but not surprised, that the director's reasoning wasn't "we wanted to show Brienne."
posted by LionIndex at 1:59 PM on June 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


do people here plan on no-longer watching the show? The ultimate criticism is to deny it your viewership.

I will keep going with both, despite the fact that I have criticisms and some strong opinions on both. I'm struggling, right now, more with the show than the books, but I realize I am an outlier in terms of (a) preferring the books and (b) believing that there will be more. Ser Nubs the Hopeful, that's me. (I was also thinking yesterday that perhaps I'm not being fair to D&D because I'm willing to suspend some judgements on the novels until the series is complete, but I'm not extending the same to D&D...after reading that interview, I'm not sure I'm wrong).

To me, the ultimate criticism isn't denying any particular media eyeballs. It's about being a knowledgeable, engaged audience member who is willing to point at the flaws, mis-steps, egregiousness, and the places where things really worked well. And there were some great moments this season - Hardhome stands out for me, I think Cersei's walk was reasonably well handled (though keeping a tighter focus on her head/shoulders and filming from her POV more would've been more effective, I think) and I was initially quite hopeful that taking the Stark girl to Winterfell would really be a chance to add a lot of heft to the Winterfell storyline and change it away from the abuse of Jeyne Poole/redemption of Theon. It really could have been a chance to give Sansa some of the Manderly role, in terms of organizing resistance from inside the castle. And the decision to hasten Tyrion's arrival in Meereen and Dany's court was great. Past seasons have had plenty of other good choices and moments.

Anyways, I will keep blithering on about this show and the novels and the story, until the wind blows across its grave I guess. But I do think I need to find a hobby or two outside of this, because I feel like I've written the equivalent to a BFFN in discussing it.
posted by nubs at 2:10 PM on June 17, 2015 [2 favorites]


There's nothing that prevents them from showing his death and Brienne's emotions. The stated reason is simply odd, considering the number of gratuitous deaths they've previously shown.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:11 PM on June 17, 2015


BB, I really like your comments in the other thread re Sansa. And in any case I don't mind standing by my initial interpretation instead of the director's. I don't think my interpretation or yours is precluded by what we saw on the screen.

Still, the stated reason is simply odd holds true here too. If the director had said what you said, I would have been happier.

I'm planning to keep on watching/reading. I'll just probably roll my eyes a whole lot more rather than giving any of the show runners the benefit of the doubt when they pull this kind of shit. But that's a judgment of them personally; it doesn't necessarily have to apply to the material they produce.
posted by torticat at 2:43 PM on June 17, 2015


The stated reason is simply odd, considering the number of gratuitous deaths they've previously shown.

Right, I mean, all they had to do was show him slumping to the ground. They didn't need to go graphic on it to prevent it from being a cliffhanger.
posted by Drinky Die at 2:45 PM on June 17, 2015 [2 favorites]


I was also thinking yesterday that perhaps I'm not being fair to D&D because I'm willing to suspend some judgements on the novels until the series is complete, but I'm not extending the same to D&D...after reading that interview, I'm not sure I'm wrong

I had very much the same reaction reading interviews of GRRM! I felt I was being uncharitable regarding what I thought was his intentional wheel spinning in the last two novels. But interviews with him made me think he really was doing that.

I do find the show runners say a lot of things in interviews that make me think “REALLY” but the time I spent in the film industry makes me assume everyone is lying in pressers for many internal studio reasons.
posted by French Fry at 2:46 PM on June 17, 2015


Yep, they uh shade the truth for a lot of reasons. You can't really take anything they say in those situations as gospel truth. They're the equivalent of those post-game interviews with baseball players so roundly mocked in Bull Durham. "Yeah, we just went out there and gave 110%, it's a team effort, everybody blah blah blah". Even when it's obviously crap.
posted by Justinian at 2:53 PM on June 17, 2015


As it stands GRRM has proven to be more an heir of the Robert Jordan tradition than of the grand masters of high fanstasy. Good on him for making a shit-ton of cash, but he won't get any of my custom until the last page is written.
I enjoy the show, as much for the fact that the money HBO is willing to spend on production value makes it a worthwhile diversion, but i'm not fooling myself that this is any great literature, theater or social commentary.
I do enjoy its pervasive fandom, and all of the plot weaving fan theories that try to tie together the mess that GRRM has made with all of his dead end plot lines and unnecessary characters.
I wonder, going forward, if the showrunners have the courage to listen to some of the criticisms and make the path that they take forward more empowering to the female characters. One can only hope.
posted by OHenryPacey at 2:56 PM on June 17, 2015 [2 favorites]


House Fandom: Hope is Ours
posted by nubs at 3:00 PM on June 17, 2015 [8 favorites]


House Fandom : whose sigil is an unraped woman reading a book, ASOIAF vol 7 open to a final page that says "The End"
posted by OHenryPacey at 3:11 PM on June 17, 2015 [6 favorites]


As Dorne royalty surely Trystane's got a vial of sand snake venom antidote in his luggage, it's part of their kit, right?
posted by George_Spiggott at 3:12 PM on June 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


Game of Thrones broke its previous ratings record with the finale. Clearly people are abandoning the show in droves.
posted by Justinian at 3:24 PM on June 17, 2015 [6 favorites]


I asked if people are actually leaving because staying and complaining/deconstructing seems uniquely potent to this show. I watch with group of people and we can spend a lot of time shit talking the show, but we've all stuck to it.

I myself have almost no tolerance for following shows, they get even a little dull/crap and I drop them. Yet I keep sticking with GoT for reasons I don't fully understand. It's actually the only show I follow currently, yet maybe the one I have the most broad criticisms of.
posted by French Fry at 3:53 PM on June 17, 2015


Yet I keep sticking with GoT for reasons I don't fully understand.

This is the easiest question for me.

1) Overwhelmingly great production values.
2) Peter Dinklage. A few other fine actors, but mostly Peter Dinklage. Despite his accent.

That's it.
posted by George_Spiggott at 4:07 PM on June 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


On second thought that's not quite it. Also Arya's storyline, and maybe Brienne just a bit.
posted by George_Spiggott at 4:09 PM on June 17, 2015


Breaking Bad had a decent amount of critical/deconstructive viewership.

It's interesting that none of the GOT villains seem to have especially attracted supporters the way you might expect with such a meta style of watching (if that's the case... it's escaped my attention if they have). You could imagine people really cheering on, say, a 25% campier Cersei.
posted by batfish at 4:11 PM on June 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm genuinely like or am engaged with all of the performances, which is unusual -- there's usually one person not at everyone else's level but all the reoccurring actors are really solid even if they can get repetitive (looking at you Threek)

Also I'm still invested in knowing what happens and the books are never happening soooooo.

I mean I stuck with True Blood which got way worse, way faster, but that was only when I could finish a season in a weekend.
posted by The Whelk at 4:11 PM on June 17, 2015


It's interesting that none of the GOT villains seem to have especially attracted supporters the way you might expect with such a meta style of watching (if that's the case... it's escaped my attention if they have)

Tyrion, of course, is the most popular character in the series. Some people would consider him a villain. One of them is GRRM if that matters.
posted by Justinian at 4:16 PM on June 17, 2015 [2 favorites]


all the reoccurring actors are really solid even if they can get repetitive (looking at you Threek)

If you can find Casualty 1907 (which goes under the name "London Hospital" on Hulu Plus and Amazon Instant) , watch it for Alfie Allen as Nobby Clark.
posted by George_Spiggott at 4:18 PM on June 17, 2015


I suspect GRRM's original plan was for Tyrion to start as someone we really like but who turns into a villain and for Jaime to start as someone we really hate but to turn into a hero. I have no idea if that's still the plan because I am not convinced that a plan exist any more. But you can clearly see the arc I describe starting through ASoS.
posted by Justinian at 4:18 PM on June 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


It's interesting that none of the GOT villains seem to have especially attracted supporters...

Hm, better not mention r/dreadfort.

Shit, just outed myself as a redditor. But not the kind that joins the dreadfort, even ironically (god I hope it's all ironic) or posts on the recently banned hate-doxxing subreddits. #notallredditors! Ugh, it's hopeless. Please don't send me away.
posted by j.r at 4:24 PM on June 17, 2015 [2 favorites]


Yet I keep sticking with GoT for reasons I don't fully understand.

for me it's two things:

- DRAGONS GONNA FUCK SHIT UP
- the knowledge that no matter what else happens i am guaranteed to see more characters i hate die horribly, some of which might involve reason #1
posted by poffin boffin at 5:02 PM on June 17, 2015 [3 favorites]


But not the kind that joins the dreadfort, even ironically (god I hope it's all ironic)

My husband likes to say he's cheering for Ramsay Bolton because everyone deserves to die, but I'm pretty sure he's just fucking with me. So I think probably ironic.
posted by corb at 5:09 PM on June 17, 2015


I myself have almost no tolerance for following shows, they get even a little dull/crap and I drop them. Yet I keep sticking with GoT for reasons I don't fully understand.

For me a lot of it is that GoT has all of these pieces with with unusually high potential, like a big box of fiction Lego, so it's really fun to be a fan and engage in all the speculation and tinfoil. I'm honestly more engaged with it having half a story than I would ever be if it was finished. We're pretty much getting to the point in general fandom culture where creators could reliably just put a bunch of characters and worldbuilding notes and themes and an aesthetic out there in lieu of actual finished work and build a fan community full of discussion and fan fiction and make a living off of merchandising and IP rights.
posted by jason_steakums at 5:11 PM on June 17, 2015


I felt watching this last season like I felt watching the last season of Lost. Compelled but apprehensive. It's not a compliment.
posted by codacorolla at 5:18 PM on June 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


I can totally understand people who don't like the show, also understand people who don't like the books. But I am completely dumbfounded by people who hate the show because it's an affront to the high standards of the books.

Season five is miles away from the quick pacing and tightly wound narrative of season one, but that's because there is literally no way they could make a coherent narrative out the source material. The show has made shitty choices about using sexual violence for titillation or cheap plot devices, but jesus, GRRM didn't even get 100 pages into his series before we get a graphic description of a teenager's arousal while being raped. GRRM seems to me to be much less palatable on this account, as you can tell by his writing that he thinks of himself a man who really gets women.
posted by skewed at 5:46 PM on June 17, 2015


That's what I always say! It makes no sense.
posted by Justinian at 5:48 PM on June 17, 2015


Justinian, if you ever get out here, I will buy the beer if you let me tell you for a half hour how wrong you are about Game of Thrones. :)
posted by corb at 5:51 PM on June 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


If you buy the beer you can tell me how wrong I am about anything you want.
posted by Justinian at 6:06 PM on June 17, 2015 [9 favorites]


BEER VICTORY IN OUR TIME.

Let me know if you come north. ;)
posted by corb at 6:10 PM on June 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


I also will subscribe to the corb lecture hour if beer is provided.
posted by Drinky Die at 6:29 PM on June 17, 2015 [3 favorites]


So: get hype.

I don't think that this is happening (at least not at CL's trial) anymore. The Novice is too wounded and far away. His master rejects violence. Now I hope it's ZGregor smearing Lancel into a paste.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 6:31 PM on June 17, 2015


The question in the books of whether or not it was actually Gregor's head that went to Dorne gave rise to the possibility of Ser Robert Strong having no head, just an empty helmet atop his shoulders, and I always liked to think Ser Pounce sat in there and controlled him Krang style.

Also if the White Walkers can't just raise the dead but have a general Control Undead ability the existence of Ser Robert Strong, Lady Stoneheart, Coldhands and a possibly resurrected Jon Snow could equal a very bad time for some key groups.
posted by jason_steakums at 6:45 PM on June 17, 2015 [5 favorites]


But I am completely dumbfounded by people who hate the show because it's an affront to the high standards of the books.

I hear you, skewed, and I agree. I honestly don't think it comes down to anything more complex than this, though: people can take a lot more on the written page than they can accept visually in live action.

If a full film adaptation of the Bible were made, no high school in the U.S. would permit their students to watch it. Yet a huge number of Americans believe the Bible is the received word of God himself.

To continue with that analogy: a huge part of the outrage, of course, has to do with the question of what is titillating. I don't think there are many people who would consider the carnage and rape in the old testament titillating--but wow, if you tried to film all that in a realistic way, you sure would be in trouble pretty damn quick.

I think that B&W have failed at many points in trying to portray GRRM's material in a sensitive way. I also think the source material contains at least as much objectionable content as the show does. But I also also think that what B&W are doing is not the same thing as what GRRM is doing, and that book-readers who defend GRRM--or show-watchers who defend the adaptation--are naive if they don't recognize the two media are different in kind more than they are different in degree.
posted by torticat at 6:52 PM on June 17, 2015 [3 favorites]


But I am completely dumbfounded by people who hate the show because it's an affront to the high standards of the books.


If I'm not gonna get LSH or Theon at the heart tree or Frey Pie, I better get something of equal or greater value. So far, not quite there with stuff just made up for the show. Still love it, probably my favorite show ever, but...
posted by Drinky Die at 7:55 PM on June 17, 2015


codacorolla I was just thinking the same thing (GoT is becoming Lost) in regards to the way everyone feels at the end of an episode. Frustration that crucial questions went unanswered. Disappointment in the execution of the narrative. A general sense of everything verging on self parody . And yet an all consuming desire for the next episode to air as soon as possibly. Apparently we are not alone (NYTimes).

Lost being 6 seasons and Game of Thrones being 7, we're about to arrive at the point that some of the same story telling beats need to land, in terms of set up for The End (yes I did the thing) . So I was really taken by a Reddit thread today that has fresh take on some existing theories on how Jon's Return will manifest itself. I won't link to the thread but to sum up: Perhaps there will be a massive misdirect - in TWOW and season 6 alike - in which Jon will appear to be resurrected but come back changed . Maybe he'll know things that he shouldn't. Maybe his motivations will suddenly be altered. In the books, there would be no POV chapters for Jon - you'd only get insight from Melisandre or other POV characters that come upon his path. Then, at the end of the book / season it would be revealed that Jon had been trapped in Ghost's body the entire time, leaving the question of who or what was controlling Jon's former body open for the final book / season.

So firstly, and without dipping directly into spoilers for Lost, that would be remarkably similar to a mechanic late into that show's run. This trick would go a long way toward explaining some of the comments GRRM has made regarding his distaste for the miraculous return of Gandolf the Grey as Gandolf the White. The sudden rebirth of Jon Snow as Jon Targaryn, hair suddenly white and shimmering is simply not something I could see Martin trying to sell. The slow, eerie multi-chapter / episode realization that unJon isn't who he says he is definitely something something that I could see working in both mediums.

I'm somewhat enraptured with this theory because it means that both theories about Jon's survival - warging or having his body resurrected - would be technically correct. It would mean that the prologue chapter in book five wasn't a pointless waste of time. And the One More Thing that the theory author delivers would provide a great path for Bran's arc to rejoin the main narrative: what if Bloodraven was the one to take control of Jon's body. His ability to Warg over the weirwood\net would provide the mechanism, and he's certainly a character with mysterious intentions. plus being trapped in a tree = stuck on that damn Island. "I want... To. Go. Home."
posted by the_querulous_night at 7:59 PM on June 17, 2015 [5 favorites]


…and I always liked to think Ser Pounce sat in there and controlled him Krang style.

YES

Also I would be down for a GoT Lecture & Lager hour.
posted by culfinglin at 8:02 PM on June 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


I agree with culfinglin just said. Especially about the beer.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 10:47 PM on June 17, 2015 [2 favorites]


To answer the question about whether quitters are quitting: yep, I won't be watching more of the show (I will however be spoiling the fuck out of myself on here and the wikis). It makes me feel bad to see the people "like me" being so badly used for no reason, sometimes not even "well, it's in the books". I am strangely ok with there being loads of objectionable shit in the books (which I haven't read); GGRM is a dirty old weirdo? Fine, he's this one dude. D&D are managing to be as bad/worse despite having huge numbers of people involved in their process, despite so much criticism of how their stuff is reading to thier viewers and then doubling down with comments on how people are wrapping their legs or are grown women. I have to take responsibility for what I consume and how it makes me feel, and this isn't worth dragons for me. Seeing people then twist themselves into contortions to defend their viewing extends the bad feelings out into the world I inhabit. The near constant reminder that many men (and some women) don't see anything wrong with comparing the situation for women on this show (not in this world, on this show) with the various horridnesss such as Theons mutilation, the golden crown, etc. is a reminder that for most of these people the situations are equally fantastical, whereas the reality is for most of the women watching these are things they've had happen, narrowly escaped, or had a legitimate fear of. I am sure there is some guy out there who has been sadistically tortured and castrated, and hopefully his friends told him not to watch this one show. I'm already constantly balancing my viewing choices against my ethics and I can't justify watching this with "yeah, but"s anymore.
posted by Iteki at 11:33 PM on June 17, 2015


From the NYTIMES link:
a lot happened in Season 5, but when you look at the overall framework, nearly all the characters are where they were when the season began. The usurping Boltons are still in Winterfell; Sansa is still on the run; Arya is still hiding in Braavos; the dragon queen Daenerys Targaryen and the sly dwarf, Tyrion, are still marooned in Essos; the Lannisters still occupy the castle in King’s Landing. This can be blamed on the show’s semidependent relationship with Mr. Martin’s novels,
Yes! This is pretty much my criticism of the last two novels. While its true that stuff happens in the last two books it's mostly just a bunch of spinning wheels in place. Compare the amount of movement (both literal and figurative) in the first three books with the next two, despite the latter two books being as long as the first three put together in word count.

That's why I hope Martin doesn't publish the next novel until after the season is filmed. Because the show can push the plot forward without a care for supposed faithfulness to a non-existant book. (Ideally the book would then be published a few weeks later since the odds of GRRM finishing the next novel before season 7 are virtually nonexistant.)
but viewers (like me) who haven’t read the books don’t care about that. The question is how much longer we’ll care at all.
Hah get real. The vast majority of the audience will stick with the show and care about it until the last episode. The viewership keeps growing. Just like the number of books sold keeps growing. Do I understand why the sales go up while the quality goes down? No. But it does. And I keep caring despite that decline. Just like the TV viewers will care.
posted by Justinian at 11:41 PM on June 17, 2015


It just occurred to me that there is no chance for TWoW to be published before the next season films. Martin could finish the book tomorrow and the season will be done filming before it hits the shelves. So MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.
posted by Justinian at 11:43 PM on June 17, 2015 [2 favorites]


Yeah, production on season six starts next month, meaning the episodes have been written and storyboarded for the most part.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:10 AM on June 18, 2015


Yeah, but he's probably giving them full outlines.
posted by corb at 6:46 AM on June 18, 2015


Yeah, my understanding is that that they showrunners know the general outline of the story GRR wants to tell and where everyone ends up, so the book and the show ending will be similar in broad terms, but how they get there will vary.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:51 AM on June 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm wondering what they're going to do with Sansa now that Stannis' army is no longer there and neither is Asha/Yara Greyjoy.
posted by corb at 7:03 AM on June 18, 2015


Well, first there Ramsay will go hunting. It depends on how that works out. Theon and Sansa know the land as well as him, so they could fully escape. Brienne's in the area, so she might find them. If they make it to the woods, Bran will probably contact them via Woodnet and help them escape.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:19 AM on June 18, 2015


As the Dothraki approached Daenarys in the field, she took off a ring and dropped it in the grass. I totally missed the significance of this. Anybody help?

And my husband and I both interpreted Selyse has having been killed rather than suicide. The noose just looked way too high for her to do it herself. But I don't see that anyone else with this interpretation.
posted by aabbbiee at 7:34 AM on June 18, 2015


For tracking by Jorah and whatshisface - to show she's alive and willing to be found.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 7:38 AM on June 18, 2015


I find watching terrible shit less impactful than reading/imagining terrible shit which is probably why I find the books so much more stomach-turning than the show.

I don’t understand the show or the books infatuation with Ramsay. I find him epically tiresome in both media, maybe especially in the books with the much more horrible rape BS. I fear the trope GRRM is trying to subvert with Ramsay is that one dimensional monsters get what’s coming to them but Ramsay won’t he’ll just skate by and endure.

BUT Pod is still alive on the show and I love Pod.
posted by French Fry at 7:48 AM on June 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


The noose just looked way too high for her to do it herself. But I don't see that anyone else with this interpretation.

The noose did look way too professional given she was a grief stricken queen in the middle of a forest at night in winter. But there was no follow up in the show about it possibly being a murder. So I assumed it was either a failing of the props department or me not knowing anything about ropes.
posted by Gary at 8:13 AM on June 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


The noose just looked way too high for her to do it herself. But I don't see that anyone else with this interpretation.

Like Sansa's "The North Remembers" old lady, I'm sure Selyse has a gaggle of extremely loyal ladyservants who'd be up to helping her escape from the living. Hanging's a lot faster way to go than burning, if done correctly. I wouldn't be surprised if she had her a little coterie of loyal soldiers, too.
posted by porpoise at 8:24 AM on June 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


If you watch the scene again you see the soldiers who cut Selyse down stand on a nearby log or something. It seems pretty clear it was a suicide by jumping off something near a small dropoff.
posted by mediareport at 8:49 AM on June 18, 2015


I find watching terrible shit less impactful than reading/imagining terrible shit which is probably why I find the books so much more stomach-turning than the show.

And I find reading it less impactful than seeing it; which probably explains (in part) why you and I are on opposites in terms of which we prefer. Not that the books are without problems, both in terms of terrible shit content and stylistic choices. Both products have issues, and at times I am like Justinian in trying to understand the continuing broad appeal as well as my own ongoing connection.
posted by nubs at 9:28 AM on June 18, 2015


One of the early signs that the Dorne plots and culture were reduced in significance is the titles used by the Lord of the Seven Kingdoms. In the show, its "XXXXX, ## of his/her name, King/Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Lord of the Seven Kingdoms and Protector of the Realm" while in the books they use "XXXXX, ## of his/her name, King/Queen of the Andals and the Rhoynar and the First Men, Lord of the Seven Kingdoms and Protector of the Realm." The Rhoynar are the ethnic group/polity that make Dorne unique.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:25 AM on June 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


I find watching terrible shit less impactful than reading/imagining terrible shit which is probably why I find the books so much more stomach-turning than the show.

I understand that too, and I thinking reading is impactful in a different way. Like I've sobbed myself sick to my stomach over books or been literally too afraid to turn a page (thanks Stephen King!). Neither of those reactions has ever been quite the same with a movie.

I was talking upthread more about what I find offensive in books vs TV/movies. As a generalization I think most people find visual media more (potentially) sexually stimulating than books. Which is maybe why porn has found such a massively larger worldwide market than erotica has. So when I watch violence or sexualized violence on TV, I'm always feeling an underlying discomfort about the pervs out there who might get off on it, and related to that, an underlying question/discomfort about whether the showrunners are actively appealing to that in the ratings race.

As problematic as GRRM's writings are at times, especially on matters of race and gender, I don't think I've ever felt he was actively appealing to that segment of the population. Maybe I'm naive though, or this is just my own idiosyncratic take on the two productions (books vs TV). I do think it's interesting to discuss, though, especially because the 'the show is worse!' 'no, the books are worse!' debate never really seems to go anywhere--and for good reason, because the content itself is much the same in both.
posted by torticat at 11:36 AM on June 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


for me it's two things:

- DRAGONS GONNA FUCK SHIT UP
- the knowledge that no matter what else happens i am guaranteed to see more characters i hate die horribly, some of which might involve reason #1


Agreed! :) There's a positive side to it too, though; there are many characters I genuinely care about--the big three, of course--but also Brienne, Pod, Grey Worm, Missandei, Jaime, Bronn, Davos, and more, including to a lesser extent the remaining Stark children (though frankly I find all their storylines kind of boring ATM).

To continue the LOST comparison, it's something that show did well too, providing interesting characters you couldn't help but care about. Eye candy, yeah, but also characters who are funny/smart/driven/desperate/in love/what have you. I kept returning to LOST for the characters as well as the mythology, just as I do with GoT, even when I was/am rolling my eyes at the constant traipsing around in circles (bear cages or dothraki sea as the case may be) to sustain the continuation of a story with a sometimes stalled plot.
posted by torticat at 11:51 AM on June 18, 2015


I do wonder if we overestimate the % of people who are titillated by all the sexual violence in the show. I watch the show with mostly straight white dudes between 20-35yo and I’d assume we’re supposed to be the “we secretly find this sexy” audience and we’re all horrified and disgusted. Everyone here is grossed out on both threads. Even parts of Reddit and 4chan are grossed out. Not saying it doesn’t exist, I know it does, but I just don’t know how big that crowd really is.
posted by French Fry at 12:04 PM on June 18, 2015


**Not suggesting that the size of a group make that group less creepy or problematic.

But I do think that the same creepers who we suspect are creeping on the show are creeping on the books. People seem to really like weird rapey books, just flip through the little romance section at any CVS. There is a reason CVS is selling those books and not any others.
posted by French Fry at 12:13 PM on June 18, 2015


Not saying it doesn’t exist, I know it does, but I just don’t know how big that crowd really is.

I don't know how big it is either, but yeah, I also know it exists. On the forums at Tower of the Hand you can see that thread running through pretty consistently. Not that anyone enjoys (or admits to enjoying, I should say) watching child rape, but there are plenty of gross "Boobies!!!" comments about things like, e.g., LF's brothel or that sand snake's interaction with Bronn.

just flip through the little romance section at any CVS

I know, and I hesitate to continue making generalizations (I know plenty of women enjoy watching porn), but those books are mainly targeted at women. Erotica has a majority-women following too, including stuff that includes rape fantasy. Which is its own whole thing--but I feel different about that than I do about potential creepers watching GoT (or reading it, true)--probably in part because there are a whole lot fewer women in the world who are creepers or potential violent/sexual attackers than there are men.

I may be over-simplifying. I've tried to work out in my own head why I make these sort of intuitive distinctions between what I find offensive and what I don't, and I haven't got it all figured out.
posted by torticat at 1:21 PM on June 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


io9: How to fix what's wrong with Game of Thrones

Not sure I agree with the proposed fixes, but at least others are looking at things and scratching their heads because something feels off.
posted by nubs at 1:31 PM on June 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


When women read rape fantasy, it is largely because the weight of a highly patriarchal world has convinced them that if they openly consent to sex, they are sluts, so the only way they can enjoy sex without feeling bad is if the person that they already want to have sex with chooses to rape them.

That is hugely, hugely different from guys who read rape fantasy because they want to fantasize about raping women.
posted by corb at 2:42 PM on June 18, 2015 [4 favorites]




I guess we now know the answer to poffin boffin's question: "It was one of the scariest, most wonderful, most gratifying experiences I could have imagined”.
posted by Justinian at 5:07 PM on June 18, 2015


There's a good /r/asoiaf post about how Sansa's story arc this season is a condensed repeat of her original story arc with Joffrey. I'm not sure what I expected when she replaced Jeyne Poole, but I was hoping for more when she was wearing the Maleficent dress at the end of Season 4. The worst part is she's just going to be picked up by Brienne or Littlefinger and dropped off wherever she's supposed to be for Books 6 & 7.

They should have given her the year off with Bran and Hodor.
posted by Gary at 6:32 PM on June 18, 2015 [3 favorites]


I'm not sure what I expected when she replaced Jeyne Poole

I was really, really hoping that she would pick up some elements of the Manderly plotline and be coordinating with some of the other Northern Houses to bring about the downfall of the Boltons. But the only thing the show runners seemed to care about was re-creating Ramsay's wedding night and preserving the integrity of the Poole storyline. Because, you know, that was critical compared to other things that might have been happening in the North.
posted by nubs at 6:37 PM on June 18, 2015 [7 favorites]




I hope that Arya's training involves a deep dive into Metzinger's Being No One.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:20 AM on June 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm not sure what I expected when she replaced Jeyne Poole.

Did you know I was silly enough to think they understood the whole Poole storyline was monstrous Women-in-Refrigerators bullshit and they were planning on putting Sansa in that position but having it turn it on its head?

I know I've already talked about this but I really can't get over how unhappy I am about the turn in Sansa's storyline (or lack thereof).
posted by schroedinger at 9:26 AM on June 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


1. So much of this show was bad! Episode after episode would be bad and then you’d get one scene that was not bad! WHICH WOULD THEN MAKE ME KEEP WATCHING THIS BAD SHOW!
2. The season ended in a way that left one hundred unanswered questions (why is Daenerys’s dragon such a bitch?) so now I know I’m going to watch next season EVEN THOUGH I HATE THIS SHOW.
3. I DIDN’T NEED NEW SHOWS, HALEY. I HAVE SO MUCH ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK.
4. Jon Snow is bad and I thank the writers for offering me this finale gift.


I agree with this person. Well, not #3, since my appetite for mediocre television is insatiable, and I watch OITNB sporadically at best.
posted by codacorolla at 9:34 AM on June 19, 2015


I loved the first season of OITNB but thought the second season was so boring I only got a couple episodes in. It's almost like different people like different things!
posted by Justinian at 12:12 PM on June 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


Amanda Marcotte: It's a shame to see so many well-meaning critics and feminist writers decide that this is the season when the show went too far, at the very moment when Game of Throne's writers finally have meaningful things to say about how sexual abuse and humiliation actually works in the world. Every terrible instance of sexual abuse in this season has a real-world analogue: The attack on Gilly felt very much like a hate crime, while Cersei's forced march evokes the kind of ritualistic shaming—including forcible hair-cutting—that has re-emerged in the era of social media. A show with dragons and magical forest people has important things to say about the realities of sexual violence.
posted by Drinky Die at 12:22 PM on June 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


GRRM has released some fan-fiction on his blog.

It's pretty cool though. Fun to see Tyrion and Jaime interacting again.
posted by codacorolla at 12:45 PM on June 19, 2015


His Watch has ended. And now the Watch begins (from io9):


Sources have told io9 that Kit Harington — whose character Jon Snow seemingly perished in the recent season finale — has been seen in Belfast with several other members of the cast. Belfast, of course, is home to much of the show’s filming for scenes set in the North and at The Wall. Production is already preparing to start on Game of Thrones’ sixth season, so our source speculates that Harington could be making appearances as Snow — either flashbacks, or scenes showing that he survived the seemingly fatal mutiny of the Night’s Watch.
posted by nubs at 1:18 PM on June 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


Well that charade didn't last long.
posted by trunk muffins at 1:22 PM on June 19, 2015 [3 favorites]


so our source speculates that Harington could be making appearances as Snow — either flashbacks, or scenes showing that he survived

Way to go out on a limb there.
posted by Justinian at 1:29 PM on June 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


Well, their source may have no clue in terms of the speculation around how Jon gets resurrected/survives - just knows who Kit is. Or, more likely, io9 is trying hard to not give anything away for fear of retribution and losing access.
posted by nubs at 1:32 PM on June 19, 2015


You missed it, Jon's eyes do change color in the final scene.

Yeah, it hasn't even been a week yet and I'm already studying replays of scenes.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:53 PM on June 19, 2015


I still don't see it. The former Lord Commander has no clothes.
posted by Drinky Die at 3:33 PM on June 19, 2015


This is what we do, though. In the absence of a new book or a new episode, we will now chase our own tails in an effort to find...something. Anything.

For myself, I think I'm going to go find some new books to read.
posted by nubs at 3:57 PM on June 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


The blood pooling in the snow looks like a wolf!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:54 PM on June 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


Funny how brown eyes take on a bluish tint when everything in the North is filmed with blue digital color correction.

That was never the real Jon Snow anyway, the real Jon Snow has been retired for 3 seasons and living like a king in Pata--er, I mean Pentos.
posted by skewed at 5:10 PM on June 19, 2015 [4 favorites]


I bet he warged into Theon. That would explain the sudden rebellion!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:13 PM on June 19, 2015 [3 favorites]


I'm still pissed that Barristan went out like a chump.
posted by Drinky Die at 4:09 AM on June 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


how much farther can gendry possibly row
posted by poffin boffin at 10:37 AM on June 20, 2015 [3 favorites]


I want him to have rowed into a completely different show.
posted by The Whelk at 10:48 AM on June 20, 2015 [3 favorites]


That MTV article is unconvincing. Warging has always been a more dramatic change, that looks more like the post-processing fucking things up.

I'd be extremely surprised if the power Melisandre gets from Shireen doesn't end up being directed to Snow coming back to life. Not only because that's obvs, but because it gives Jon Snow yet another thing to mope about. It's too perfect.
posted by schroedinger at 11:09 AM on June 20, 2015 [2 favorites]


I want him to have rowed into a completely different show.

🎶 Too many cooks... 🎶
posted by trunk muffins at 11:25 AM on June 20, 2015 [5 favorites]


I want him to have rowed into a completely different show.

We could call it "Full Boat" and it would have Gendry and Yara and Balon and Rickon and Osha and Thoros and Beric and LSH and Aegon and Griff in it.

Together, they will solve crimes. And at the end of each episode, gather in a tavern (run by Hizdak mo Sizlak) to share what heartfelt lessons they learned that week.
posted by nubs at 12:51 PM on June 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


and nymeria the intrepid puppy sailor pls
posted by poffin boffin at 1:56 PM on June 20, 2015 [2 favorites]


well, at least GRRM is going to use her (Nymeria), but yeaaaaaah grargh. I cannot wait until next April. I am hoping desperately that WoW comes out before then, but also worried nothing much happens in it because these release chapters, other than Arya's, have been so booooooring.
posted by corb at 9:42 PM on June 20, 2015


I've been thinking about reading the pre-release chapters but haven't gotten around to it yet. Has GRRM said that they are the first 12 or whatever chapters of the book, or are they just selected chapters? It's hard to believe nothing much happens of consequence in 12 chapters, isn't that like 100 pages at least?
posted by skewed at 9:50 PM on June 20, 2015


Why is that hard to believe? There were a hell of a lot more than 100 pages in the last two books in which nothing much happened.
posted by Justinian at 9:55 PM on June 20, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'd figure he'd start off with a bang and then start up with 8 or 10 chapters about the conspiracy in Oldtown that precisely zero readers have ever expressed any curiosity about in the six years since the last book.
posted by skewed at 10:45 PM on June 20, 2015 [2 favorites]


Maybe we can stop off for a look at whats happening with some new characters in Pentos for half a book?
posted by Justinian at 10:53 PM on June 20, 2015 [3 favorites]


I haven't read any of the previews because if I'm going to wait half a decade or more for a book I want to experience as much book as possible when the wait is finally over.
posted by Drinky Die at 11:14 PM on June 20, 2015 [2 favorites]


On the other hand, after so much waiting you could probably count on having forgotten all that you read by then anyway.
posted by poffin boffin at 10:32 AM on June 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


All I ask is for a new tome to give me the power of the spoiler over the uninitiated. Enjoyment is secondary!
posted by codacorolla at 11:13 AM on June 21, 2015 [3 favorites]


Happy Father's Day everybody
posted by George_Spiggott at 2:01 PM on June 21, 2015 [10 favorites]


For the show vs. book obsessed people. And for the, "Why isn't there any shit?" people.
posted by Drinky Die at 10:15 PM on June 21, 2015 [3 favorites]


It's a shame to see so many well-meaning critics and feminist writers decide that this is the season when the show went too far, at the very moment when Game of Throne's writers finally have meaningful things to say about how sexual abuse and humiliation actually works in the world. Every terrible instance of sexual abuse in this season has a real-world analogue: The attack on Gilly felt very much like a hate crime, while Cersei's forced march evokes the kind of ritualistic shaming—including forcible hair-cutting—that has re-emerged in the era of social media. A show with dragons and magical forest people has important things to say about the realities of sexual violence.

And what did the show say about those topics*? Marcotte mentions that the incidents occurred but didn't indicate anything more other than the usual "rape is bad and about power." I could see how the Walk of Shame, if handled similarly to the depiction in ADWD, could be seen as a different facet on misogynistic violence; but was there really anything different with Gilly's (rape? almost rape?) in S5 compared to Sansa's almost-rape in King's Landing or Meera's almost-rape at Craster's or Brienne's almost-rape with Vargo Hoat?

(* -- not rhetorical, I've been one of those who put the show on personal hiatus halfway through the season, but I checked back in to FanFare just to see if Sansa's storyline ever got the sort of payoff people were speculating for her)

to Justinian's points about people quitting the show being a myth because the audience for the show is at an all time high: he made a similar point to me in the earlier thread after the Sansa/Ramsay wedding. That if book sales and show viewership are anything to go by, the idea of a backlash is a myth because sales and viewership are only increasing. To this, I'd still point out that there's the issue of churn. It is possible for an author to sell 10 copies of their first book, turn off 5 readers, gain 10 new ones because of buzz/marketing/word of mouth from the 5 happy ones, and then sell 15 copies of the sequel and say, "well, sales are growing, I must be doing something right. This backlash is a non-issue."

And, hey, that's a valid opinion, especially if one is of the mind that creators shouldn't listen to anything besides the size of their audience; that you can't please everyone, etc. It is valid to say that you will always lose a certain amount of fandom for various reasons and you accept that and just bet on taking in more. That doesn't mean that the fans who quit were insignificant or that the show could've been better and enjoyed even higher ratings/sales.

I also quite enjoy the speculation and the history and the politics, I'm quite happy to read the ASOIAF wiki and the various fan blogs (like BrydenBFish's totally grognard-tastic analysis of the shifting loyalties of the North) and have that be my alternative engagement for this world. It is a legitimately rich world and I have a lot of respect for Martin in creating it, but I just don't enjoy D&D's specific exploration of it; and I prefer to explore the world as history rather than soap opera.
posted by bl1nk at 8:29 AM on June 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


Personally I’m sticking with the show but I’m done with the books.

That's an easy thing for a mortal to say.
posted by srboisvert at 12:09 PM on June 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm not done with the books. But I think GRRM probably is. And has been for about 15 years.
posted by Justinian at 2:42 PM on June 22, 2015 [4 favorites]




I am chiming in way late because I just finally watched the last two episodes. Which is saying something in and of itself, the fact that it took me so long to watch!

This season was so "meh" to me. I was one of the ones who was excited to see the direction D&D would take with diverging from the books. Because despite the obviously problems around women, I've often found the show a lot more entertaining to watch than the books are to read (though I find the books more satisfying). But now I'm really starting to dread what they will do without hardly any source material to work from because so many of the plotlines they freelanced on this season were just so ... dumb.

I mean, say what you will about the meandering plots of the last two books, but at least there was interesting stuff there. Lord Manderly. All the intrigue at Winterfell. Septon Meribald. The Kingsmoot and Victarion's raids across Essos. All jettisoned by the show in favor of: a cheesy, pointless Dorne plot that somehow managed to be even more cheesy and pointless than the one in the books. Victimizing Sansa in almost exactly the same way (except worse this time!) .

I don't know. I used to love the show so much, and now it's become a slog. And yet as others have said, I still feel compelled to watch. At least LOST remained entertaining even as it went off the rails ...
posted by lunasol at 8:19 AM on June 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


I think one of the show's main problems is their insistence on only introducing so many new characters a season - because there are a lot of great plots that are held by secondary characters. (Lord Manderly chief among them). And while some of those plots can be reshuffled to other characters (like they terribly did with Sansa), others cannot. No one else can carry Manderly's mantle. No one else can run the Kingsmoot.
posted by corb at 11:34 AM on June 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Cage of Thrones
posted by curious nu at 5:23 PM on July 1, 2015


definitely a matter of preference there. If you asked me to come up with a list of the show's failings, "too few characters" would not be on it.
posted by skewed at 5:35 PM on July 1, 2015


I'm not done with the books. But I think GRRM probably is. And has been for about 15 years.

I get the feeling GRRM greatly enjoys world-building and has an outline of a story in his head with major scenes elaborated in great detail. The problem is he can't write a book that's a series of vignettes with bullet-point outlines in between. I wish the poor guy put himself out of his misery and hire a ghostwriter. GRRM lays out what he wants to happen, writes the bits that are in his head, the ghostwriter fills in the rest with GRRM's supervision. He has enough fans at this point that he could surely find a halfway-decent writer who'd be willing to help and be discreet about it.
posted by schroedinger at 5:39 PM on July 1, 2015


I wish the poor guy put himself out of his misery and hire a ghostwriter.

I generally agree with this, but then I think what might happen if GRRM didn't actually have to do the writing, just the fun world-building and character arcs; book 6 and 7 might be 4500 pages each. More than a ghostwriter, he needs what he needed since book 3, an editor who can tell him when he's gone off the rails. Still, at this point I think a ghostwriter is the best shot for a decent finish to the series.
posted by skewed at 6:16 PM on July 1, 2015 [3 favorites]


I generally agree with this, but then I think what might happen if GRRM didn't actually have to do the writing, just the fun world-building and character arcs; book 6 and 7 might be 4500 pages each.

Aside from a desperate need for strict editor, I thought a lot of that was because he'd write himself into corners and feel obligated to resolve them somehow. Or he'd try to come up with ways to make the filler interesting and would go overboard. Dude is dragging his feet because he can't figure out how to connect everything together without even more filler and he's dreading writing 2000 page novels.

Hand the filler entirely over to someone else and GRRM might be totally happy to have a 600-page book come out of it.
posted by schroedinger at 10:17 AM on July 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


See, I am not actually totally convinced that GRRM is completely miserable with the books and hates them.
posted by koeselitz at 10:46 AM on July 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


The problem is he can't write a book that's a series of vignettes with bullet-point outlines in between.

Sounds like someone hasn't read The World of Ice & Fire. But I suppose there would be a lot of outrage if he decided to finish the main series with a Maester's history book.
posted by Gary at 10:51 AM on July 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


oh my god, part of me would LOVE that, if the last book in the series was '500 years later, the history books describe it thusly'
posted by corb at 11:12 AM on July 2, 2015 [3 favorites]


If he sacked all the chapters for Winds of Winter and just did that it would be the middle finger seen 'round the world. Couldn't even be mad.
posted by schroedinger at 5:13 PM on July 2, 2015 [1 favorite]




I thought Dany dropped her wedding ring because she wants the Dothraki to think she is still Khal Drogo's grieving widow. She doesn't want them to know she remarried. I also assumed the Khal was wheeling about her dramatically because they recognized her as the khaleesi.
posted by Rock Steady at 3:54 AM on July 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


Game of Thrones Risk Game due in August
posted by nubs at 2:18 PM on July 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


Rock Steady: I thought Dany dropped her wedding ring because she wants the Dothraki to think she is still Khal Drogo's grieving widow. She doesn't want them to know she remarried. I also assumed the Khal was wheeling about her dramatically because they recognized her as the khaleesi.

One of the show creators (I think it's DB Weiss speaking) gives the reason for Dany dropping the ring in this "Inside the Episode" video for the finale. I'm not sure if writer giving clarification counts as a spoiler for something we've seen, so I'll just link the video.
posted by bluecore at 5:02 PM on July 9, 2015


yeah, I remember seeing that video roll after the episode when I watched it, and it sounded dumb then, too. The "doesn't want the Dothraki to see that she's married angle" is a much more sensible interpretation. No one is going to find her ring, unless there are old men with magical metal detectors who comb the grasslands for lost trinkets.
posted by skewed at 5:07 PM on July 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


Well, since Daario and Jorah made a big deal about Tyrion being unifit for the mission to find her (Daario: "Have you ever tracked animals in the wilderness?") I think that angle is at least in the mix. Dothraki hordes leave a big, easy to follow trail, so if they stumble on that and follow it, it may be believable enough that they see the ring.

In the book, the Khal of that khalasar happens to be Khal Jhaqo, who was one of Drogo’s lieutenants before his death, but we're not sure if the show will follow that storyline or not, and if they do if Jhaqo will be angry she remarried or not. There's always the possibility that dropping the ring will serve both purposes.
posted by bluecore at 5:52 PM on July 9, 2015


Dothraki hordes leave a big, easy to follow trail, so if they stumble on that and follow it, it may be believable enough that they see the ring.


Yes, I'm sure they will find the ring. Because they only have a vague idea the direction Drogon was headed when last seen, no idea of how far they went, but I have no doubt that Ser Friendzone and Daario the non-Bluebeard will find the track of the Khalasar before the passage of time makes it unclear, understand that it is worth investigating, and then find the ring in the middle of a fucking grassy field where it miraculously won't have gotten trampled/hidden/otherwise obscured. Sorry, I've lost rings/pieces of jewelry out in the wilderness before and that shit disappears right quick, even without a few hundred on horseback around. And I'm in a snarky mood tonight.


In the book, the Khal of that khalasar happens to be Khal Jhaqo, who was one of Drogo’s lieutenants before his death, but we're not sure if the show will follow that storyline or not, and if they do if Jhaqo will be angry she remarried or not.


Jhaqo was killed off in S1 of the show, even with Martin telling D&D that he does return to play a larger role in the books. But if she's recognized (or she asserts her identity), they should take her to Vaes Dothrak; if she's not...well, I can't imagine that the Dothraki treat women found alone in the Dothraki sea any different from the ones they capture in battle.

This assumes that Dany will be a passive prisoner, rather than attempting any method of trying to influence whichever Khalsar has found her. I hope she'll be more than passive, but I don't have huge faith in the show to do that.
posted by nubs at 8:05 PM on July 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


nubs: Sorry, I've lost rings/pieces of jewelry out in the wilderness before and that shit disappears right quick, even without a few hundred on horseback around.

Yeah, I agree it's an unlikely thing in real life, but when I say I think they'll find the ring, I'm just talking as someone who thinks you don't use the line "Have you ever tracked animals in the wilderness?" unless you intend for that to be a future thing. Since Dany was riding a giant dragon, they could have villagers spot her all along her route, then they lose the dragon's trail at the Dothraki Sea, then Daario notices the trail from the Dothraki horses, then they find the ring in the meadow so they know they need to follow the horde trail, then they happen upon another traveler or a villager who confirms that, yes, a blonde women was riding at the head of the Khalasar. Throw in some bandit battles and some good Daario-Jorah travel banter and I think you'll have a reasonably plausible way to give time for Dany's Dothraki 2.0 plan to develop so our guys swing in just in time to find out she doesn't need saving at all. Or they just kill everyone-- always a possibility!
posted by bluecore at 10:06 PM on July 9, 2015


hmm, now that you put it that way, it sounds almost plausible. Or at least more plausible than say, Tyrion finding Tysha someday.
posted by skewed at 10:08 PM on July 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I was in a fairly snarky mood last night, but I guess they feel they have a lay out the breadcrumbs for Daario/Mormont and the audience to follow. And I hope Daario/Mormont make a good addition to the travelling buddies setup that the show likes to do.

Or at least more plausible than say, Tyrion finding Tysha someday.

If she liked him, she should've put a ring on it dropped a ring somewhere in the world for him to find.
posted by nubs at 7:17 AM on July 10, 2015 [4 favorites]


I generally agree with this, but then I think what might happen if GRRM didn't actually have to do the writing, just the fun world-building and character arcs; book 6 and 7 might be 4500 pages each.

I finally read/listened to the books. As far as I can tell, you could condense each of them by 40 - 60% by cutting out descriptions of a) what people are wearing b) the heraldry of minor, irrelevant-to-the-plot houses c) what people ate for breakfast.
posted by maggiepolitt at 10:36 PM on July 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


I was watching the season 1 finale recently, and the really played up the "sun rises in the west and sets in the east." I know some think it's a fancy way of saying pigs fly, but it seems mentioned too often to not be a prophecy.

Some have thought that Oberyn would fit the prophecy, but now I'm worried they might use Tyrion in the Oberyn role.
posted by drezdn at 8:52 AM on July 12, 2015


Assuming you are talking about Quentyn rather than Oberyn?

But I've been wondering too what if anything the show might do with it, because in the books it appears to be coming true (in parts):

When the sun rises in the west and sets in the east, (Quentyn Martell comes to the east and dies)
when the seas go dry (the Dothraki sea is in drought) and mountains blow in the wind like leaves (no idea what this refers to)
when your womb quickens again (Dany appears to be having a miscarriage in her final chapter of ADwD), and you bear a living child. (Not happening yet, but the implication at the end of the first book was that Dany couldn't conceive at all - but that might be wrong).

So it looks like some of it might be happening. It could be GRRM just fucking with us, but it again appears to be a way of fulfilling a prophecy with some odd little moments that could go unnoticed. But if the suppositions are correct, I have no idea what/how the show is going to make use of them or if they will drop this like every other piece of plot that has become too inconvenient.
posted by nubs at 1:57 PM on July 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


mountains blow in the wind like leaves (no idea what this refers to)

In one of the books,there's a scene where the fire and smoke from burning pyramids of one of the slaver cities are described as looking like autumn trees losing their foliage and blowing in the wind.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 2:12 PM on July 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


I've always assumed that much if not all of the prophecy sprinkled throughout the books is going to end up being wrong/unfulfilled, as part of GRRM's rejection of romantic-fantasy tropes. To me, having a prophecy quasi-filled, just in a way that doesn't meet expectations because of some ironic misunderstanding of terms is the bread and butter of fantasy epics. That's no surprise at all. For him to have a major development hinge on the fulfillment of some prophecy seems completely out of character with the series' overall themes. There's no overarching order, there may be mystical forces at work, but they're subject to the chaos of the world as well, and no match to the brutality and materialism of man. That's my take anyway, I wouldn't be money on anything happening/not happening.
posted by skewed at 2:24 PM on July 12, 2015


Oh, I think there's a lot of mind-fuckery going on with the various bits of prophecy and some of them may come true, some may not. I don't really think Khal Drogo is going to come back, but I appreciate the fact that the books play with the various signs and symbols to the point that there could be multiple interpretations of if and when they are fulfilled (which is why there are multiple readings on who the Prince who was Promised is - Melisandre literally staged a ceremony to make her reading "true"). And the fact that the signs are often such minor details in otherwise normal (or heavily fraught) scenes just makes finding them fun.
posted by nubs at 3:01 PM on July 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yeah, it's definitely fun, some of the best parts of the series. I'm currently re-skimming the entire series, re-reading the parts I like best and looking out specifically for stuff about the past (Robert's Rebellion, Aegon's conquest, etc.) and the future via prophecy and foreshadowing. I can't help but feel like a lot of this is to build up expectations that GRRM will intentionally frustrate. I don't think Azor Ahai exists, and I think Wyman Manderly's eventual reveal may be inconsequential and even he won't realize the significance of what he witnessed. I mean, R+L=J is textually rock-solid, it would be really bad writing at this point for it not to be "true", but I think it will end up just being something that doesn't really matter to anyone in the story. The dramatic irony of say Jon and Dany doing battle (or beling allies or whatever) could be really cool if no one alive understands their connection. But I'm at a loss to imagine a scenario where the revelation means something to the characters or the outcome of the plot.
posted by skewed at 3:29 PM on July 12, 2015


mountains blow in the wind like leaves (no idea what this refers to)

I presume it's a volcanic eruption.
posted by KathrynT at 3:36 PM on July 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


I mean, R+L=J is textually rock-solid, it would be really bad writing at this point for it not to be "true", but I think it will end up just being something that doesn't really matter to anyone in the story.

Yeah, I think it would be quite funny to leave Jon dead in the snow while keeping up the clues for the reader that R+L=J is true and that Jon might have been someone important if he had lived. Or Jon gets resurrected and plays a part, but the truth of his parentage is never really revealed (maybe Bran figures it out, but has no way to communicate it) to anyone in the books. He would be the "hidden prince" who never comes out of hiding.
posted by nubs at 3:42 PM on July 12, 2015 [2 favorites]




Jane Lynch (at the Emmys) reminded me of this handy little site: "SHAME" Nun
posted by homunculus at 9:22 PM on September 20, 2015


played up the "sun rises in the west and sets in the east."

I literally just realized that this happened in ADWD. The sigil of House Martell is the Sun and Spear. The young prince was born (rose) in the west, and died (set) in the east.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:58 AM on September 21, 2015


Yep.

The Dothraki Sea is also in drought ("when the seas go dry") and Dany appears to miscarry ("when your womb quickens again, and you bear a living child", so maybe a half point?).
posted by nubs at 11:24 AM on September 21, 2015


man every time I think I had a thought there's nubs, raining on my damn parade :P
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:40 AM on September 21, 2015


Sorry, I'll go into exile with Jorah.
posted by nubs at 11:47 AM on September 21, 2015 [1 favorite]






For anyone who's interested, the new illustrated compilation of the three Dunk & Egg prequel novellas (which take place in Westeros about a century before ASoIaF) is out today: A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms
posted by homunculus at 11:41 AM on October 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


3 Dunk & Egg novellas? I thought GRRM was going to do 4 of these, is that no longer in the plans or did they decide that they might as well publish a book of 3, then publish a book of 4 later on? Very disappointed if this means he's done with Dunk and Egg, I think it was the best writing he's done within the Westeros universe.
posted by skewed at 5:01 PM on October 6, 2015


I think he planned on doing 7? I can think of at least two more... There's the She Wolves story that is supposed to be about Dunk in the North and one that tells what happens at Summerhall.
posted by drezdn at 5:10 PM on October 6, 2015


Is he specifically trying to troll his readers at this point? Whatever, I've given up on Winds any time soon, and I guess I'll read whatever he puts out.
posted by codacorolla at 5:19 PM on October 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


I was happier with the Dunk and Egg stories than either book 4 or 5, so if you haven't read any of them yet, I'd count this as a good day for a GRRM reader. Although, I must say I was really disappointed with last year's novella about the dragon war, whatever it was called. Just awfully written, it was like reading an extra long wikipedia article on the ASOIAF backstory.

I just now saw on Amazon that there is a children's story GRRM wrote called "The Ice Dragon". Was it any good?
posted by skewed at 6:04 PM on October 6, 2015


GRRM today: Dunk & Egg Are HERE

Here's an entry about his plans for the novellas from April last year: An update on all things Dunk & Egg...
Turning back to prose, however... it has always been my intent to write a whole series of novellas about Dunk and Egg, chronicling their entire lives. At various times in various interviews I may have mentioned seven novellas, or ten, or twelve, but none of that is set in stone. There will be as many novellas as it takes to tell their tale, start to finish. But only the three mentioned have been published to date. I did originally plan on including a fourth in DANGEROUS WOMEN, the crossgenre anthology Gardner and I put out last year, but the book was past due and the story was not finished, so I substituted an abridged version of "The Princess and the Queen" instead.

The unfinished novella was indeed set in Winterfell, and involved a group of formidable Stark wives, widows, mothers, and grandmothers that I dubbed 'the She-Wolves,' but "The She-Wolves of Winterfell" was never meant to be more than a working title. The final title, when I finish the story, will be something different. There's also another Dunk & Egg novella that I've got roughed out in my head, with the working title "The Village Hero." That one takes place in the Riverlands. There's no telling when I will have time to finish either of these, or which one I will write first. I don't expect I will know more until I've delivered THE WINDS OF WINTER.

My original intent was to publish all the Dunk & Egg stories in a series of anthologies, and then collect them all together in one big book. But by the time of "The Mystery Knight," it became plain that the stories were just too long, and there were going to be too many of them. So instead of one big book, the plan now is for a series of Dunk & Egg collections, each comprised of three novellas. The first one to consist of the three published stories, "The Hedge Knight," "The Sworn Sword," and "The Mystery Knight." The obvious title would have been THE HEDGE KNIGHT, but there is already a certain amount of confusion between "The Hedge Knight" the novella and THE HEDGE KNIGHT the graphic novel, and we did not want to compound the difficulty, so the first Dunk & Egg collection was titled A KNIGHT OF THE SEVEN KINGDOMS instead.
posted by homunculus at 6:48 PM on October 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


I was happier with the Dunk and Egg stories than either book 4 or 5, so if you haven't read any of them yet, I'd count this as a good day for a GRRM reader.

I've read the graphic novels and found them underwhelming, but I think I'd have felt the same way with graphic novel versions of ASoIaF too. I'm looking forward to reading them in novella form.

I actually enjoyed book 4/5, but I think it helped a lot that I read them concurrently following the combined reading order suggested at All Leather Must Be Boiled, switching back and forth between books and reading the chapters in chronological order. To me they're just one big book ("Feasting Crow, Dancing Dragon") which was Martin's original plan anyway. I don't think it would have been as satisfying reading the two books consecutively.
posted by homunculus at 7:20 PM on October 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


Is he specifically trying to troll his readers at this point? Whatever, I've given up on Winds any time soon, and I guess I'll read whatever he puts out.

The Dunk and Egg stories in this collection were all written years ago, as part of various anthologies; I'm guessing that the rights have come around to the point that he could now collect them into one volume and put that out. So it's not like he's been dicking around with this instead of writing Winds, and it's not like he is obliged to be our bitch either. Nor does anyone have to be his, in terms of taking affront to his pace of production or his choice of product.

Like many things in life, I've come to accept that Winds will happen when it happens or it might not happen; there is a bounty of books and media out there to be consumed, and I'm not going to get to a fraction of them regardless. I'm pretty much glad the show will finish before the books; I'm hopeful then, at least, I won't have to listen to all the shit about "booksnobs" when discussing the story and where I think one has been better than the other in approaching various characters, themes, and aspects. Reading the interviews with everyone it seems clear to me that D&D have taken the outline in different directions that Martin had planned, so we're really now dealing with two different interpretations of an outline of a story, and I'm interested to see how divergent they wind up being given the same starting point.

On preview, the combined reading order is defintely the way to approach books 4/5.
posted by nubs at 7:26 PM on October 6, 2015


Y'all... TWOW is coming out next year. The translators are getting themselves ready. GET HYPE.
posted by drezdn at 8:11 PM on October 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


GET HYPE

The words of House Barnum?
posted by nubs at 8:36 PM on October 6, 2015 [3 favorites]


Well, I just now finally watched the last four episodes of the season -- after that awful Sansa/Ramsey episode, I was angry and pretty much lost all interest in watching the show. I figured that sooner or later one evening I'd decide to watch an episode or two, but I just didn't for five months. And the Emmy wins actually pissed me off, which surprised me. I was angry that one of my (formerly) favorite shows won a bunch of Emmys. How odd.

Then there was the Doctor Who episode with Maisie Williams and I just wanted to see more of her.

I'd heard the Hardhome episode was very good and, yeah, it was. The other three were okay. I'm definitely not in the camp that lets Martin off the hook for the bad stuff in his books. But I agree with some earlier comments that a filmed narrative is different from a written one and is much more prone to these sort of problems. Truffaut's quote about there not being any true anti-war movies is doubly interesting if you stop and consider that this point wasn't made about anti-war books and wouldn't ever be made about anti-war books.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 12:32 AM on October 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


All Men Must Die... (Clip.) (Spoiler for tonight's episode of Z Nation.)
posted by homunculus at 1:42 PM on October 30, 2015


I think this would have been a better cover for the Dunk & Egg book.
posted by homunculus at 9:12 PM on November 1, 2015 [1 favorite]






Whole bunch of new promotional posters dropping today.

I'm guessing that to keep all the "Jon Snow is dead" stories going (various interviews still have cast members claiming it is the case), what we will have post-resurrection is Jon Stark - or some other name. That way Jon Snow can be safely said to be dead, and Jon is free to go be something other than a member of the Night's Watch.
posted by nubs at 9:47 AM on February 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


That way Jon Snow can be safely said to be dead, and Jon is free to go be something other than a member of the Night's Watch.

I think it's just going to be as simple as "Jon Snow was Dead for a while there. That means his Watch is at an end, as it says in the Oath. Now Jon Snow is Not So Dead Anymore, but his Watch is still over, so he can do whatever he wants."
posted by Rock Steady at 10:41 AM on February 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


I think it's just going to be as simple as "Jon Snow was Dead for a while there. That means his Watch is at an end, as it says in the Oath. Now Jon Snow is Not So Dead Anymore, but his Watch is still over, so he can do whatever he wants."

I thought it would be that simple, but the continued insistence in the interviews that Jon Snow is dead makes me think that they are also going to give him a new name.
posted by nubs at 10:55 AM on February 24, 2016


What would be freaking hilarious would be if they actually killed off Jon Snow for real, regardless of what the books say, secure in the knowledge GRRM can't write them fast enough to contradict them.
posted by corb at 12:52 PM on February 24, 2016 [3 favorites]


Winter is Trumping
posted by homunculus at 10:08 PM on February 24, 2016


Ian McShane discusses his role

When he was first cast, the internet speculation was Randall Tarly; I was hoping deep inside for Septon Meribald. Which he is. I'm presuming he'll be bringing back the Hound, as opposed to Jon Snow, though with the amount of storyline fuckery we had in S5, who knows?

As long as I get to hear him give me the "So they called it, though I never saw a king, nor earned a penny. It was a war, though. That it was." line/speech, I think I'll be ok with things though.
posted by nubs at 8:22 AM on March 3, 2016 [1 favorite]




Why was Jon only talking to Sam about what he saw the Night King do? There's a goddamn wizard who can raise the dead, and Jon's busy sharing a brew with his bro, celebrating that he lost his virginity.

Sorry to resurrect the thread, but I was re-watching the end of S4 a bit, and the opening of "The Watchers on the Wall" features Sam and Jon chatting on top of the wall about Jon and Ygritte and "what was it like?". So I suspect that this scene was an attempted call-back to that moment, to book end the two fights that comprise the great existential threats to the Watch.
posted by nubs at 9:09 AM on May 30, 2016


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