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Game of American Thrones
April 29, 2012 2:55 PM   Subscribe

The election is coming.

Online Forbes magazine has a take on it which doesn't include #43.
posted by fuse theorem (229 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite

 
I was sort of meh until "always going on about climate change" which is pure gold.
posted by Justinian at 2:57 PM on April 29, 2012 [31 favorites]


Rob Stark also keeps someone indefinitely imprisoned without trial.
posted by Trurl at 3:05 PM on April 29, 2012 [24 favorites]


All I'm saying is that Barack had better play it straight with House Frey.
posted by R. Schlock at 3:06 PM on April 29, 2012 [16 favorites]


I'm with Forbes, now that feels weird to write, but the last comparison with Bush was totally gratuitous in a naked hypocrisy of the left kind of way.
posted by Blasdelb at 3:09 PM on April 29, 2012


Oddly enough, I've pretty much had Stannis and Romney commingled in my head since reading the first book a couple of years ago, mainly because of the "nobody likes them" reason.

If this were still the Bush era, you could probably make a pretty good case for Varys=Rove.
posted by Strange Interlude at 3:14 PM on April 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


Agree with the second link, the politics of GoT is much more interesting than the US Presidential election. We know who the nominees are, let's do three debates over the next week and then go vote and get this over with.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:16 PM on April 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


But then the countless print and broadcast media outlets would be denied their quadrennial six-month stimulus!
posted by Bromius at 3:19 PM on April 29, 2012 [5 favorites]


Somehow I doubt that Forbes is attempting to claim that Sarah Palin has the best moral claim to the throne and is a strong natural leader.
posted by Infinity_8 at 3:19 PM on April 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Does this mean Hillary is Jon Snow?
posted by R. Schlock at 3:20 PM on April 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Aw, it's missing the best one.
posted by emeiji at 3:21 PM on April 29, 2012 [10 favorites]


> Somehow I doubt that Forbes is attempting to claim that Sarah Palin has the best moral claim to the throne and is a strong natural leader.

She can see dragons from her front door.
posted by mrzarquon at 3:21 PM on April 29, 2012 [15 favorites]


So Rahm Emanuel is the hound right?
posted by Blasdelb at 3:26 PM on April 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


Also, Tyrion Lannister is not the regime's arse-kisser-in-chief who's paid with phoney baloney "courageous truth-teller" flattery.
posted by Infinity_8 at 3:29 PM on April 29, 2012 [4 favorites]


Who cares? They're all a booncha jerkoffs if you ask me.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:30 PM on April 29, 2012 [14 favorites]


"Wants to go back to the Iron-Standard"!
posted by Chekhovian at 3:43 PM on April 29, 2012


A hilarious mashup of superficial understandings of both.
posted by munchingzombie at 3:46 PM on April 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Metafilter : A hilarious mashup of superficial understandings

Sorry, I couldn't resist.
posted by Grimgrin at 3:59 PM on April 29, 2012 [8 favorites]


And I suppose this makes Rush Limbaugh Gregor Clegane.
posted by R. Schlock at 4:08 PM on April 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yeah, painquale recently linked this one in the other recent Game of Thrones thread, although that version didn't have Hodor/Bush. (No coincidentally, that one's the weakest of the lot -- the others have multiple points of connection, but that one's just DURRR BUSH STUPID.)
posted by JHarris at 4:20 PM on April 29, 2012


Somehow I doubt that Forbes is attempting to claim that Sarah Palin has the best moral claim to the throne and is a strong natural leader.

Isn't a central point of Game of Thrones that the notion of a moral claim to a throne is an inherently absurd one? Are we both taking this too seriously, or it is just me?
posted by howfar at 4:22 PM on April 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


Infinity_8: Also, Tyrion Lannister is not the regime's arse-kisser-in-chief who's paid with phoney baloney "courageous truth-teller" flattery.

Wow. That's some loud drum you're banging. (Just to fill everyone in, he's ragging on Colbert.)
posted by JHarris at 4:23 PM on April 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is a thin FPP that's redeemed by point out that Forbes is now reduced to re-posting second-tier blog fodder and passing it off as something that's the work of a journalist.
posted by GuyZero at 4:37 PM on April 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also, Tyrion Lannister is not the regime's arse-kisser-in-chief who's paid with phoney baloney "courageous truth-teller" flattery.


Someone hasn't spent any time in ASoiaF/GoT fandom...
posted by kagredon at 4:39 PM on April 29, 2012


Yeah, painquale recently linked this one in the other recent Game of Thrones thread, although that version didn't have Hodor/Bush.

Oops, I wouldn't have reposted it if I'd realized that the other thread was still going on nearly a month later.

Somehow I doubt that Forbes is attempting to claim that Sarah Palin has the best moral claim to the throne and is a strong natural leader.

Not to defend Forbes but that image didn't originate with them. So, while they may or may not agree with the comparison they didn't come up with the idea of it.
posted by fuse theorem at 4:51 PM on April 29, 2012


Isn't a central point of Game of Thrones that the notion of a moral claim to a throne is an inherently absurd one? Are we both taking this too seriously, or it is just me?

*spoilers for A Storm of Swords and onwards*

It certainly feels like it. One of my favourite Stannis moments (there are few) is when he finally stops being such a whiny "Darn it, I'm supposed to be the king!" twit and decides instead to act like the king (in a protector of the realm sense) and is the only one of the five (urr...) Kings to defend the Wall.

The bit in the graphic about Dany's children did make me laugh a bit though.
posted by dumbland at 4:53 PM on April 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


Oops, I wouldn't have reposted it if I'd realized that the other thread was still going on nearly a month later.

But that thread will be closed in a few days, and this one can pick up where it left off so that I can continue being tempted to read the thread despite already-read-the-book types discussing spoilers that I proceed to curse myself for seeing out of the corner of my eye before I quickly close the tab.
posted by palidor at 5:00 PM on April 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


I was rolling my eyes until the climate change thing, too.
posted by empath at 5:27 PM on April 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm going to post this on my Facebook! I hope I get a lot of likes.
posted by Brocktoon at 5:33 PM on April 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Darn it, I'm supposed to be the king!" twit and decides instead to act like the king

See, I felt that whole plot was very weak and forced. GRRM trying to drop a ready made army in place for Jon Snow to use. Teh Suxor.
posted by Chekhovian at 6:10 PM on April 29, 2012


Someone explain the last panel please?

Read no books. Am current with the show. Drawing a blank on the GoT character or why it's funny.
posted by cjorgensen at 6:40 PM on April 29, 2012


Someone explain the last panel please?

Bush=Hodor because Bush is teh stoopid.

They should have made Bush Mad King Aerys because he burned Valerie Plame.
posted by Winnemac at 6:46 PM on April 29, 2012 [7 favorites]


JHarris: Wow. That's some loud drum you're banging. (Just to fill everyone in, he's ragging on Colbert.)

I admit it was poorly written. You'll be glad to know I tightened it up in the facebook thread I'm trolling. :) PS I think Colbert can take it.

(This whole thing is Game of Trolls to me.)

howfar Isn't a central point of Game of Thrones that the notion of a moral claim to a throne is an inherently absurd one? Are we both taking this too seriously, or it is just me?

(See above) however, (spoiler for Book 5) I was surprised at how much I bought into Dany's case once some key players moved to her side of the board. I found it moving. Anyway.
posted by Infinity_8 at 6:54 PM on April 29, 2012


Because ASoIaF has a cast of hundreds, we can probably match up even more obscure real world players to its characters. So tell me, who would be the counterpart for Bachmann? Or Rick Perry? Or Herman Cain? Or Jon Huntsman?
posted by Apocryphon at 6:56 PM on April 29, 2012


Whose life is horrible enough to be Sansa?

Also, Hillary Clinton = Cersei? C'mon, even if you dislike Hillary, Cersei cries out to be paired with someone VASTLY more incompetent.

I suspect John Stewart is Dolorous Ed.
posted by nicebookrack at 7:16 PM on April 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


I vote SPOILER for Rick Perry only because I have read A Dance with Dragons and am feeling malicious.

In other news, saying Roose Bolton = anyone is basically Godwinning the thread.
posted by nicebookrack at 7:26 PM on April 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


At his point I am only watching Game of Thrones for Peter Dinklage, Maisie Williams, and the rare cameo by Emilia Clarke's breasts.

They killed my favorite character, so I have little reason left to watch.
posted by cjorgensen at 7:53 PM on April 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


They killed my favorite character

All too common is this refrain in the halls of ASoIaF fandom. It is known.
posted by nicebookrack at 8:04 PM on April 29, 2012 [10 favorites]


Yes, the too-simple, predictable, straightforward but dear hope was for Drogo to stomp into King's Landing and start knocking all these twisted creeps' heads together like Gallagher in a melon fugue.
posted by Rat Spatula at 8:07 PM on April 29, 2012 [4 favorites]


One does wonder whether decades of winter happen on the other continents. The Dothraki would not be well suited to it. Too bad GRRM is great at tedious details and terrible at overall plot points.
posted by Chekhovian at 8:09 PM on April 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


I dunno. Drogo was pretty one-dimensional. Jorah Mormont is a much more interesting character, and arguably more of a bad-ass (both in the books and in the show).

Clues that your favorite GoT character is about to bite it - the character suddenly becomes one-dimensional. The character is likable and successful and doesn't suffer many setbacks. The character suddenly is discussed much by other characters, but the story stops focusing on them. The character is the one savior who can sort out the mess, vital to a clean resolution.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:11 PM on April 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


I would have been happy with Drogo stinging along the dragon lords, riding his horses, and ripping out the tongues of those who would challenge him. He didn't need to seek out a throne. That would have been dumb. Who needs a chair of steel?
posted by cjorgensen at 8:13 PM on April 29, 2012


They should have made Bush Mad King Aerys

Seems right. Horrible king, the second of his name, responsible for much of the current mess, even his former supporters don't want to claim him. Sarah Palin is also an accurate heir.

McCain is Barrisan Selmy I guess. Makes a show of honor but remains a loyal tool. Too old for his job. Winds up serving second-fiddle to Palinerys.
posted by fleacircus at 8:14 PM on April 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Um, guys and gals? I think that Martin just makes it up as he goes along. If it makes sense, it's by accident.
posted by SPrintF at 8:14 PM on April 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


Like politics.
posted by cjorgensen at 8:30 PM on April 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Palin is totally Cersei. Remember the towel incident?
posted by the young rope-rider at 8:38 PM on April 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Cersei can see Winterfell from her house!

And she hunts for direwolves from helicopters.
posted by nicebookrack at 8:58 PM on April 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


Bachman, I think, is Cersei: Far less bright than she thinks she is, with a history of poor judgment, and enmeshed what is most likely a sexless marriage.

Palin is Lyssa Aryn: Batshit insane, with an enthusiasm for capital punishment and a history of isolationism.

This means that Hilary is Daenerys Targaryen, and it actually kind of works: She's the scion of a deposed family, formidable when provoked, who comes off as appealingly smart, strong and stable despite some rather disturbing hawkish tendencies.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 9:21 PM on April 29, 2012 [13 favorites]


Palin is totally Cersei. Remember the towel incident?

As I recall, the Walk of Atonement didn't involve a towel.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 9:31 PM on April 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'd say Michele Bachmann works better as Margaery Tyrell if that weren't both a cheap shot and I didn't like Margaery so much.
posted by Navelgazer at 9:45 PM on April 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Palin and Lyssa Aryn is spot on.
Anyone want to take a stab at who Littlefinger would be? I'm not buff enough in poitics to point out an obvious cunning weasel.
posted by like_neon at 5:26 AM on April 30, 2012


I don't buy Hillary as Daenerys. For one, she's better at international relations. For two... she's not crazy enough to breastfeed a dragon.

Daenerys is one of my favorite characters (until Book Five and Daario and SHUT UP) but she's one hell of a conflicted character. On the one hand, mother of dragons - frees the slaves. On the other, not yet competent enough at actually *governing* to *keep* the slaves free, creates a bigger mess than existed when she started. I just don't see Hillary going that way.

As for Bush/Mad King Aerys - who then is Jamie Lannister? For one, Bush is still alive. For two, in all of these parallels - seriously, who's Jamie?
posted by sonika at 5:58 AM on April 30, 2012


Jaime is Shepard Smith.
posted by dumbland at 6:26 AM on April 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


There is no Littlefinger in our world, because if there were you know that weed would be legalized and he'd be slapping taxes on it. TBH it seems like his prostitutes are pretty happy, too.
posted by angrycat at 6:54 AM on April 30, 2012


seriously, who's Jamie?

The crossest man in Scotland.
posted by longdaysjourney at 7:45 AM on April 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'd say Michele Bachmann works better as Margaery Tyrell if that weren't both a cheap shot and I didn't like Margaery so much.

I think you need to think out of the box with Bachmann. She's Loras Tyrell, which has the added bonus of making her Santorum's gay lover.
posted by mcstayinskool at 9:11 AM on April 30, 2012


Just to expand on the Bachmann = Loras thing: Pretty, Petulant and Vain to serious fault and, of course, publicly denies the orientation of their partner.
posted by mcstayinskool at 9:26 AM on April 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Clues that your favorite GoT character is about to bite it

The biggest tip-off is that they are a character in GoT, a world in which everyone lives on the perpetual of about-to-bite-it-ness.
posted by Panjandrum at 9:29 AM on April 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


although that version didn't have Hodor/Bush. (No coincidentally, that one's the weakest of the lot -- the others have multiple points of connection, but that one's just DURRR BUSH STUPID.)

Actually, the Tyrion-Colbert and Daenarys-Palin comparison are more of a stretch. Tyrion is a son of a major lord; Daenarys is from the most famous political family in the realm. Colbert is a comedian/TV show host; Palin is a small-town upstart mayor whose offspring will not destroy anyone.

???
posted by mrgrimm at 10:28 AM on April 30, 2012


TBH it seems like his prostitutes are pretty happy, too.

Except Theon's old girl (on the show). Didn't threaten to kill her if she didn't figure out her PTSD after seeing that infant slaughtered?
posted by mrgrimm at 10:29 AM on April 30, 2012


Duh. Jaime Lannister is Herman Cain. (Think about the 9% plan.)
posted by mrgrimm at 10:30 AM on April 30, 2012


mrgrimm: Hey! He gave her the day off to, as he might say, "Get the fuck over it."
posted by absalom at 10:45 AM on April 30, 2012


Jamie Lannister is where it falls apart for me. I can get the sort of "from high born family," "sleeps around," "constantly droning about climate change" parallels for the rest...

... but "murdered a king, got away with it, served as a political advisor, has had incestuous relationship with twin sister - including being the unacknowledged father of the heirs to the throne - and furthermore tried to kill an eight year old boy" and that's just in Book ONE. Yeah, not seeing anyone in our current political climate who even comes close.

Thank Gourd.

*SPOILER FROM THE BOOKS*

Also: every politician I can think of currently possesses both hands.
posted by sonika at 11:02 AM on April 30, 2012


Yeah, I take that back, everybody is horrible to the prostitutes. Well, Tyrion is decent, until the spoiler that I'm not going to spoil.
posted by angrycat at 11:10 AM on April 30, 2012


Also: every politician I can think of currently possesses both hands.

Bob Dole. Close enough for government work anyway.
posted by Justinian at 12:24 PM on April 30, 2012


Note: I have no evidence Bob Dole murdered a king or has had sex with family members. With or without Viagra. Sorry for the implication, Mr. Dole.
posted by Justinian at 12:25 PM on April 30, 2012


"murdered a king, got away with it, served as a political advisor, has had incestuous relationship with twin sister - including being the unacknowledged father of the heirs to the throne - and furthermore tried to kill an eight year old boy" and that's just in Book ONE. Yeah, not seeing anyone in our current political climate who even comes close.

Dick Cheney.
posted by mrgrimm at 12:28 PM on April 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


"murdered a king, got away with it, served as a political advisor, has had incestuous relationship with twin sister - including being the unacknowledged father of the heirs to the throne - and furthermore tried to kill an eight year old boy"

But at least he doesn't sleep around!

I will buy Dick Cheney as Jaime only once there is the tiniest signal that Dick Cheney wants to atone for his evil.

I kinda wanna make Gaddafi into Littlefinger just so Condaleeza Rice can be his creepy, creepy Cat Sansa.

I don't think we have a Brienne unless it was Mister Rogers
posted by nicebookrack at 4:36 PM on April 30, 2012


Brienne is Lyndon LaRouche.
posted by mrgrimm at 11:21 PM on April 30, 2012


Oh good, another GoT thread! I was upset the previous one closed. Here's to another long regime.

Anyway, Strom Thurmond=Walder Frey
posted by painquale at 6:20 PM on May 1, 2012 [4 favorites]


So after predicting the most recent shocking death I want to keep it up, but I haven't figured it out yet. There are some characters I'm thinking are doomed in one way or another, but it's harder to guess who will be next. For example I don't think Jorah's going to make it, and his most recent scene showing some vulnerability makes me lean towards picking him, but I don't know. I think if I worked somewhere with other people who watch the show (and haven't read the books) there'd definitely be a Who's Next to Go? betting pool going on. Possibly alongside trying to guess the exact combined duration of female nudity in each episode. Because shocking deaths and boobies is what this show is all about.

I hope I have made folks who've read the books jealous of my glee at not knowing what's coming next, followed by general anger at my characterizing the show as only being valuable for its titillation. Ha ha ha ha!!!!
posted by palidor at 9:55 PM on May 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think if I worked somewhere with other people who watch the show (and haven't read the books) there'd definitely be a Who's Next to Go? betting pool going on.

My husband hasn't read the books and has successfully narrowed down the fates of a few characters. He also knows who DOESN'T die based on my getting to the "death" of my least favorite character in the book and whooping with glee, only to find 400 effing pages later that it was a fake-out and I screamed in horror to find that it was all lies.

Probably backwards from what George R. R. intended, but there it is. G-DDAMN YOU, JUST KILL [PERSON] ALREADY.

I'm also pleased to be able to say that my favorite character is still alive at the end of Book Five, but this is partially thanks to my favorite character being one of the more minor of the minor characters.

Also: I can't really buy Cheney as Jamie Lannister. He's a different breed of evil. Jamie Lannister has a pulse.
posted by sonika at 4:04 AM on May 2, 2012


The Kingslayer gets too much credit for his "sacrifice" ... he's a punk.

My lawyer (a big fan of The Wire, Breaking Bad, Mad Men) and I were in a settlement conference and he turns to me and says:

"Do you watch Game of Thrones? ... What the fuck is that? I turned it on last Sunday and saw some teenager whipping prostitutes and somebody strapping a bucket of rats to another guy's stomach!"

I think if I worked somewhere with other people who watch the show (and haven't read the books) there'd definitely be a Who's Next to Go? betting pool going on.

I've read the books, and I still think it's Lancel. (The next "shocking" death shouldn't be very shocking to anyone paying attention.)
posted by mrgrimm at 7:51 AM on May 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Cheney is Jaime Lannister in 40 years. After Cersei dumps him for Lancel, the boyish smile turns into a grimacing rictus and his blue blood turns to black oil.
posted by mrgrimm at 7:54 AM on May 2, 2012


The next "shocking" death shouldn't be very shocking to anyone paying attention.

I guess I use "shocking" to mean main-ish characters, like Lancel dying would be closer to "shocking" than, say, The Mountain getting killed, but he doesn't quite cross the shockk threshold because he's too minor. Actually, The Mountain's probably going to be Arya's #2, right? (don't answer that)

But aside from Jorah I've got Joffrey and/or Cersei at the top of my list (the side bet here is who kills him/them, because there are so many options, though I want to go with a raving mob tossing them into a fire Joffrey caused), then maybe Theon Greyjoy (disemboweled by Werewolf Bran (it occurs to me this could happen the other way around, but even though I read a spoiler about the "sea" taking Winterfell, I'm hoping the sea, uh, ends up evaporating, or something)). I wonder about Littlefinger not really having any allies, but he's at the bottom of the list--I'm pretty sure he's dead eventually but probably not any time soon. My list of characters who will live forever for now is just Stannis and Dany, because they have magicks.

But anyway now I hope I haven't been paying attention and don't develop a keen sense of where things are going because that will be less exciting looool
posted by palidor at 8:47 AM on May 2, 2012


The next "shocking" death shouldn't be very shocking to anyone paying attention.

I think only a minority of the non book readers can be said to be paying attention by this definition. My guess is the next "shocking" death will be far more surprising to many viewers of the show than it was to readers of the novels in that they don't have the same metatextual clues having to do with which characters were never given PoV chapters in the books. Assuming we're talking about the real deaths and not fake-out deaths coming up.
posted by Justinian at 12:25 PM on May 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


My guess is the next "shocking" death will be far more surprising to many viewers of the show than it was to readers of the novels

At this point its been so long since I read the books that it may shock me too. Plus most of my recollections are of the last two books, where basically nothing happens.
posted by Chekhovian at 12:55 PM on May 2, 2012


My guess is the next "shocking" death will be far more surprising to many viewers of the show than it was to readers of the novels in that they don't have the same metatextual clues having to do with which characters were never given PoV chapters in the books.

My statement was based on a guess that the metatextual clues will be obvious. We'll see ... and I'd have to spoil it to explain why I think viewers will be surprised.

he doesn't quite cross the shockk threshold because he's too minor

Lancel was a joke. I just hate that guy.
posted by mrgrimm at 3:27 PM on May 2, 2012


Now I think we're talking about different deaths. I think you're talking about some in the next few episodes while I'm talking about some likely the end of next season.
posted by Justinian at 4:28 PM on May 2, 2012


That reminds me--because I watched a panel where the creators of the show talked about their excitement being able to eventually film this mysterious, earth-shattering event that happens in the third book (which they say will probably finish off the next season), it's pretty much inevitable that between now and when this unknown-to-me event airs, my anticipation will reach levels so high such that if it doesn't turn out to be the most incredible feat of storytelling since the development of language itself, I will be like, so totally disappointed, man. Really I just hope I don't spend a year+ wondering what it might be only to be spoiled immediately prior to it or something.
posted by palidor at 7:35 PM on May 2, 2012


Oh, I'll help you out then. Snape kills Dumbledore.
posted by Justinian at 9:24 PM on May 2, 2012 [5 favorites]


palidor

Ser Verbal Kint is the Keyser Soze.
posted by The Confessor at 10:22 AM on May 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


my anticipation will reach levels so high such that if it doesn't turn out to be the most incredible feat of storytelling since the development of language itself, I will be like, so totally disappointed, man.

It won't be spoiled, because you wouldn't believe it if someone told you with a straight face and a lie-detector test. I didn't believe it when I read it in the novel... I just tossed the book at the wall, and left it there, in a lump, on the floor, glaring at it sullenly for a few weeks. Then against my better judgement, I picked it up and kept reading, and the second half of the novel was really, really good, but I never forgave GRRM.
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:07 PM on May 3, 2012


Oh, I now realize the surprise I was talking about doesn't come until book 3, and I suppose that's what palidor is referring to as well? Ah, I've pretty much forgotten when everything happens ... re-reading time!
posted by mrgrimm at 9:12 PM on May 4, 2012


Short videos about the history of Westeros
posted by painquale at 8:26 AM on May 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


Ha, the AV Club's review of the latest episode was like, "Finally a love interest for Jon!" which made me wonder if I'm watching the same show, because his scenes made me want to add him to the top of the Next to Go list. But between that and totally believing that something real bad was about to happen to Sansa, I'm wondering if I'm expecting more Bad Shit than the series actually means to deliver. It's just with the killing of the most honorable character right out of the gate stuff and with every other person who has read the books telling me Everyone Dies (and as I've learned very vaguely recently un-die in a manner that was described as "trippy"), I seem to be expecting horrible outcomes for everyone!

Actually it kind of betrays the quality of the thing for me to talk so much about it like shocking moments are all that matters. I'm pretty sure I enjoy the show so much because of all the political maneuvering at the core of it, and I guess what makes it so good is that most of the developments come naturally, even if they're bleak or brutal. I haven't felt like I've been cheated by a character making a decision just for the sake of a surprising plot development rather than as a result of their established personality. At least so far, anyway.

And I'd probably be happy if the politics just went on forever. Maybe. I don't know if I should be worried about like, a Hero going on a journey or something. I'm not totally sure what that means. But I'm guessing it means something that they found it appropriate to use the title Game of Thrones, which alludes to politics, rather than A Song of Ice and Fire for the entire series.
posted by palidor at 1:29 AM on May 7, 2012


If you enjoy the politics, yes, you will love the whole series (to date). Lots of conspiracies, bureaucratics, and diplomacy or lack therof.

If you're the sort like me, who is just waiting arouind for the dinosaur fights, you will be disappointed. Which I surely will be.
posted by mrgrimm at 9:07 AM on May 7, 2012


I love reading people's guesses and reactions when they don't know what happens. This series is the gift that keeps on giving in that respect. Someone on one of the boards mentioned a friend of theirs who hadn't read the books but watched the series was really smug and dismissive of the show towards the end of the first series; their friend kept going on about how over it she was when shows try to fill you with suspense about the main character's safety when you know they wouldn't ever actually kill said character off. She said this right before Baelor. Hilarious. Yes, I'm a jerk.

Further evidence I'm a jerk, or some kind of heartless robot freak: everyone flips their shit over Book 3's infamous event, it's pretty much a given, but...it didn't freak me out or move me as much as a lot of other stuff that happens in this series (probably because those characters I never cared much about, and the ones I do, well...most of them are still around). Yeah, I must have no heart, or a very fuckin' weird one.
posted by ifjuly at 5:11 PM on May 7, 2012


(Oh, and I don't know if it's been mentioned yet, but Emily Nussbaum's review in The New Yorker was a soothing balm after so many straight up takes like she mentions in the first part (that the story is straightforwardly misogynistic, lurid for no purpose except to get perverse d&ders off, etc....unsurprising that The Times went with that facile read). "To watch it, you must steel yourself for baby-stabbing, as well as rat torture and murder by molten gold. But, once I began sliding in disks in a stupor, it became clear that, despite the show's Maltese vistas and asymmetrical midriff tops, this was not really an exotic property. To the contrary, Game of Thrones is the latest entry in television's most esteemed category: the sophisticated cable drama about a patriarchal subculture. This phenomenon launched with The Sopranos, but it now includes shows such as Deadwood, Mad Men, Downton Abbey, and Big Love. Each of these acclaimed series is a sprawling, multi-character exploration of a closed, often violent hierarchical system. These worlds are picturesque, elegantly filmed, and ruled by rigid etiquette--lit up, for viewers, by the thrill of seeing brutality enforced (or, in the case of Downton Abbey, a really nice house kept in the family). And yet the undergirding strength of each series is its insight into what it means to be excluded from power: to be a woman, or a bastard, or a 'half man.'"

I also like that she prefaces this by making no excuses for the ridiculous over the top SNL-lampooned porno aspect. She even closes with the same point the overthinking it piece did: "But there is something troubling about this sea of CGI-perfect flesh, shaved and scentless and not especially medieval. It's unsettling to recall that these are not merely pretty women; they are unknown actresses who must strip, front and back, then mimic graphic sex and sexual torture, a skill increasingly key to attaining employment on cable dramas. During the filming of the second season, an Irish actress walked off the set when her scene shifted to what she termed "soft porn."...Artistically, Game of Thrones is in a different class from House of Lies, Californication, and Entourage. But it's still part of another colorful patriarchal subculture, the one called Los Angeles."

I also liked: "From the start, the show has featured copious helpings of pay-cable nudity, much of it in scenes that don't strictly require a woman to display her impressive butt dimples as the backdrop for a monologue about kings...In the most egregious instance so far, Littlefinger tutored two prostitutes in how to moan in fake lesbianism for their customers, even as they moaned in fake lesbianism for us--a real Uroboros of titillation.")
posted by ifjuly at 5:14 PM on May 7, 2012 [4 favorites]


I always think of Stargate when I consider cable nudity. That show went on for a decade after pointless tits in the pilot. You don't need to do shows full of nudity. HBO could get just as many subscriptions with a super premium quality family show, right?

That said, the story of Game of Thrones does require all this stuff, so it's fine with me.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:29 PM on May 7, 2012


everyone flips their shit over Book 3's infamous event

What frustrated me about that was that it pretty much nuked the chance of a quicker end to the series. GRRM seems to all about crushing all the easy ends to things, given his general attempt to end hope and what not. Which is why the last two books were totally boring trash worthy only of incineration of course.
posted by Chekhovian at 6:09 PM on May 7, 2012


She said this right before Baelor

Haha, I had a friend who immediately after watching the episode asked if he was really dead, like maybe the scene was a dream or something. I mean, I guess I really am "over it" with television stories that put their main characters in fake danger week after week, in that the genuine suspense I get watching this show knowing that anyone can be killed is refreshing. But as stated it also leads me to assume everyone is perpetually a scene away from death lolol

From notes I just read on the DVD commentary for the first episode: The producers feel lucky to have gotten Iain Glen as Ser Jorah Mormont and have created more material for him especially. In particular, they are looking forwards to doing Jorah's material from A Dance with Dragons (the fifth book in the series) on-screen. His nickname on-set is 'Jorah the Explorer' due to his expositionary role.

I guess my expecting him to be maybe-Next to Go was way off. Unless he dies and is resurrected by warlocks, or something. But I do make these guesses partially for the entertainment of the two or three people reading this thread who already know how wrong I am.

Also with Robb's ally sending his son to take back Winterfell, I'm going to make a connection between the sigil for that guy's house (classy) and a spoiler someone told me about, uh, Theon's skin, and guess that Prince Greyjoy is going to have some regrets pretty soon.
posted by palidor at 11:45 PM on May 7, 2012


Which is why the last two books were totally boring trash worthy only of incineration of course

Point in favor: Qyntyn Myrtyll (he seems to me the most eXtreme Westerosi)
Point against: Nimble Dick

Haha, I had a friend who immediately after watching the episode asked if he was really dead

I have little doubt that we have not seen the last of Ned Stark. Wait for Book 9.

everyone flips their shit over Book 3's infamous event

What frustrated me about that was that it pretty much nuked the chance of a quicker end to the series. GRRM seems to all about crushing all the easy ends to things, given his general attempt to end hope and what not.


Nah. He seems to be a masochist and it is definitely a series for masochists. I don't get off (that much) on that, but I get it. palidor mentioned Theon. Consider Jeyne Poole, Cersei, even Brienne to some extent. There's plenty of other great stuff, but it always comes back on a regular basis to implied or explicit sexual humiliation.

... which brings us full circle to the presidential election.
posted by mrgrimm at 7:52 AM on May 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


Everyone Dies (and as I've learned very vaguely recently un-die in a manner that was described as "trippy")

I'm still so very pissed about that one. The one character whose death I really WANTED. Made me want to crawl in the book and do it myself.
posted by sonika at 7:48 PM on May 8, 2012


Ned Stark cake pops.
posted by painquale at 1:37 PM on May 11, 2012


Game Of Thrones On Track To Be Most Pirated Show Of 2012; Pirates Still Asking HBO For Legitimate Options
posted by homunculus at 3:11 PM on May 11, 2012


If I were a shareholder, I'd be mighty pissed off at HBO leaving all that money on the table.
posted by empath at 3:34 PM on May 11, 2012


Why don't they offer HBO Go as a standalone service?

It's funny, even though I'm an HBO subscriber I end up watching clips from the show on YouTube as my "second viewing" of each episode most of the time (there's someone who's been uploading almost the entirety of each new episode chopped up into clips for each character), just because it's convenient. Though sometimes I'll do HBO Go with the interactive features.
posted by palidor at 6:02 PM on May 11, 2012


a friend just posted this article today on why HBO might not care much about piracy right now because of the archaic way things work contractually. haven't combed it thoroughly yet (about to do the grocery shopping before band practice), but thought i'd toss it in since y'all are discussing it again.
posted by ifjuly at 8:52 AM on May 12, 2012


In other Dinklage news: Knights of Badassdom still has no release date
posted by homunculus at 1:42 PM on May 12, 2012


I think "HBO doesn't care about piracy" is a disingenuous reading by that article. HBO probably cares a lot about piracy, they just know at present they make more money with the current model than they would make if they offered standalone subscriptions to HBO GO. To analogize, a store would cut down on shoplifting if every item was kept behind glass but they would lose even more money than shoplifting costs through lost sales. Similarly, HBO may well cut down on piracy by offering subscriptions to HBO GO but they would lose lots of revenue and incur greater costs which would more than offset those benefits. (NOTE: anyone who believes I have just said "piracy is stealing" will be roundly mocked for not reading carefully).

"HBO doesn't care about piracy" is not true. "HBO cares about money, and right now they make more money by not offering HBO GO subscriptions even taking in to account any revenue lost through piracy" is true.
posted by Justinian at 9:45 PM on May 12, 2012


right. doesn't care much about, as in, doesn't care enough to do much about it right now relative to what they've got in place, that is. facile reading that it was a facile reading, or something.
posted by ifjuly at 8:47 AM on May 13, 2012


So I can't decide if, as a non-ASoIaF-reader, being aware that "You know nothing, Jon Snow" was a thing before last night's episode was good or bad for my viewing experience. I gave a little smirk of recognition when Ygritte delivered the line, but it was mostly on behalf of the Internet commenters who had read the books and had at various points in the last couple months exposed me to this iconic line via their comments. This is an unsettling feeling, you know, smiling at a reference that I'm only aware of second-handedly. Would I have enjoyed this line more if I wasn't aware of its iconic nature? Or is my recognition on behalf of faceless Internet commenters better than no recognition at all? I am left deeply troubled by all of this.

I am currently competing in the First World Problems Olympics and expect to win the gold for this
posted by palidor at 2:26 PM on May 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


I still don't know what to think about upping the drama with Dany's storyline, but I have to say one of the effects of it, her coming off more whiny and weak than in the books at this point, I've enjoyed. I like the way there are times she's almost like Viserys and sort of has to catch herself. It brings some dimension to her (I'm one of those folks who was a bit turned off by how much Martin obviously adores her, at least in the first few books).

I don't know if I should upon thorough reflection for consistency's sake, but I gotta say on a gut level first impression I also really dug the Tyrion/Cersei scene. It might have been that old hackneyed thing of TV, making people who hate each other have a tender moment to give automatic depth or whatever, but I did enjoy it. I also enjoyed Cersei acknowledging, if only in private and with difficulty even in front of herself, that Joffrey...leaves much to be desired. I feel vaguely like that's hinted at in the books somewhere, where she even wonders about the incest thing being why a la Targaryen madness like in the show, but I'm fuzzy, and it didn't have the same impact to me as Headey's bringing it out visually.

Sansa's scene is hands down my favorite of hers, and one of the most chilling for me for the whole series (and also, to me, compelling re: that whole "Martin is painfully sympathetic to women in this world" thing). Was glad they had it in the show and gave it enough space to breathe, where you could feel her desperation and horror and how there was nothing she could do.
posted by ifjuly at 6:24 PM on May 14, 2012


A lot of people are complaining that Dany's storyline is dragging. I am interested in the response to the Dany storyline four seasons from now.
posted by Justinian at 8:46 PM on May 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


For the past couple weeks I've been telling my friend, after I've watched the latest episode but before he has, "Jon Snow gets killed... by vagina dentata." And I totally missed it during the first viewing, but in the most recent episode before he gets caught, Ygritte says "it's wet, and warm... it don't have teeth," which is just so perfect in light of my stupid fake spoiler. Yes I am easily amused.
posted by palidor at 5:54 AM on May 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


SORTA BOOK SPOILER ALERT I love how people are all "oh my god Thalisa/Robb is so boring, there is absolutely no point." I'd totally agree (and do about the first part of that criticism) if I didn't know why they put it in there (I don't love the way they're going about that though...not particularly elegant, as book noobs have been pointing out...all "we get it, he likes her but shouldn't, blah blah blah"). I know I already said it but man, it is so fraking enjoyable listening to book virgins' take on things. Delicious.
posted by ifjuly at 2:46 PM on May 16, 2012


** continued spoiler alert **
I have read the books and I am confused about Thalia. How does this fit in with the J***e storyline in the books? Anyone have a link to clarify for me?
posted by like_neon at 1:52 AM on May 17, 2012


oh my god Thalisa/Robb is so boring, there is absolutely no point.

Non-book-readers say that? Hmm, not among my acquaintances; they seem mostly intrigued. I've read that sentiment online, but only among veterans. I can't really imagine someone who hasn't read the books making that complaint... they don't know where it's going and shouldn't see it as any more or less pointless than Robb and Ygritte, or Tyrion and Shae, or etc. That sounds more like a criticism of someone who has read the books. Book-readers hold book scenes to such different standards than non-book-readers; every new scene needs to justified to an extent that they never held the book scenes to.

I have read the books and I am confused about Thalia. How does this fit in with the J***e storyline in the books?

Talisa is Jeyne, probably. It appears that, just as they are making Margaery more conniving by giving folding in this character's personality and motivations, they are making Jeyne more conniving by folding in this character's personality and motivations. It's actually hard to tell how drastic the changes are, given that Margaery and Jeyne are both shrouded in mystery in the books and all sorts of theories and speculation swirl around both of them.
posted by painquale at 9:51 AM on May 17, 2012


they don't know where it's going and shouldn't see it as any more or less pointless than Robb and Ygritte

I assume you mean Jon and Ygritte and that relationship is pretty pointless.

I got Jeyne Poole and Jeyne Westerling mixed up and was totally confused. WTF is Talisa?
posted by mrgrimm at 11:58 AM on May 17, 2012


"we get it, he likes her but shouldn't, blah blah blah"

Do TV viewers even remember that he is already engaged? My wife did not.
posted by mrgrimm at 11:59 AM on May 17, 2012


Catelyn makes a big deal out of it in a rather unsubtle HEY EVERYBODY PAY ATTENTION TO THIS bit of dialogue with Robb.

Because I'm a huge dork I was sniffing around online wikis of the series (so many Targaryens I've never heard of dating hundreds of years back, eeesh) and learned not only is Jeyne Poole/Jeyne Westerling slightly confusing, there's actually another Jeyne Westerling from a zillion years back to boot, who has nothing to do with Robb's Jeyne Westerling. Confusing!
posted by ifjuly at 1:26 PM on May 17, 2012


Heh, I like that sniffing around the wiki that's for the TV series and meant to contain no spoilers I still managed to spoil myself because someone included this image from one of the season two trailers on Ygritte's page, so once she showed up I knew Jon Snow would be captured or disabled in some way, because she has his sword. I suppose HBO is the guilty party but I didn't notice the half-second shot whenever I watched that particular trailer prior to browsing the wiki and coming across that image. No biggie but I suppose the more I feed my GoT addiction browsing wikis and comments the more I risk being spoiled in various ways.

Which reminds me, I've seen the words "red wedding" a few times (without any more information) and the most recent time I came across a comment referring to it I had a creeping feeling it could be connected to the big event in the third book I need to avoid being spoiled about for the next 18 months or so until the third season finale airs. If it does refer to that event it's like already too much information (plz no confirm or deny), but regardless I think it's time I stay away from comment threads where book-read types might be lurking if I expect to go unspoiled for the next year plus. Not MeFi though, I know everyone here is considerate and not a jerk.
posted by palidor at 1:52 PM on May 17, 2012


I really don't understand the concept of spoilers, tbh. What does it matter if you find out if she escapes during the show or from reading the wiki? It's the journey that matters. I've spoiled the shit out of myself from reading wiki articles, including the 'shock ending' from season 1 and it hasn't diluted my enjoyment of the show in the slightest.
posted by empath at 2:03 PM on May 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


I mean, does knowing that Romeo and Juliet die at the end spoil it?
posted by empath at 2:05 PM on May 17, 2012


You know episode 1, season 1 of Babylon 5 provides its own spoilers for what will happen to G'Kar and London in some of the final episodes of season 5, (They simultaneously strangle each other to death).

And it happens just like Londo dreamed it would, but the reasons for it happening are totally contrary to what you would imagine from that first episode, and really most of seasons 1-3.

How you get there matters, not just where you end up.

One preview, yes, Londo and G'kar sort of are Romeo and Juliet.
posted by Chekhovian at 2:07 PM on May 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


I've seen the words "red wedding" a few times

Yeah, when you see these words immediately close your eyes, start scrolling and shout "LALALALALALALALALA CAN'T HEAR YOUUUUUUUU."
posted by sonika at 2:15 PM on May 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


"LALALALALALALALALA CAN'T HEAR YOUUUUUUUU."

I'm going to spoil the entire series for you.

Things get really bad, basically everyone dies, and you think you've hit rock bottom. Then more people die and it gets even worse, and you wonder how there are even enough characters left to continue the plot. Then Brienne wanders around having adventures with no one important for 500 pages. Then there's a medieval "On the Road" travelogue that makes you want to gouge your own eyes out for still reading.

Then still nothing happens. Then nothing interesting keeps happens. More people die.

Then you're caught up the current point of the books, where we'll be waiting at least another 5 years for more nothing interestings to happen.
posted by Chekhovian at 2:52 PM on May 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


I really don't understand the concept of spoilers, tbh. What does it matter if you find out if she escapes during the show or from reading the wiki? It's the journey that matters. I've spoiled the shit out of myself from reading wiki articles, including the 'shock ending' from season 1 and it hasn't diluted my enjoyment of the show in the slightest.

I guess it's really just a personal preference for how to enjoy a particular story. Knowing the ending or major plot points of a story might not dilute your enjoyment but you will definitely enjoy it in a different way than if you didn't know the ending or plot points. Or I would, at least. It plays with your sense of mystery and anticipation, when you know a story has to hit a certain point before it's gotten there, it adjusts the possibilities in your head. I guess that's why foreshadowing (like Londo and G'Kar) can be a really clever device but when abused might leave you feeling manipulated.

Anyway the Ygritte image isn't the best example of any kind of OMG SPOILER, I was just being nitpicky. If anything it's the kind of minor "foreshadowing" that makes it fun to guess what the greater context might be. But knowing that Jon Snow dies in the season finale from vagina dentata isn't how I want to enjoy this particular story. Especially if Everyone Dies, and I believe that, I want my anticipation drawn out for the next ten years, because I'm a masochist.
posted by palidor at 3:04 PM on May 17, 2012


because I'm a masochist

Wow, you have found the right series follow...let me tell you.
posted by Chekhovian at 3:11 PM on May 17, 2012


Even having not read the books, I am kind of gleefully anticipating the general reaction to Really Dark Shit happening at one or many points in the future, because I get the feeling the show has enough popularity that there will be a number of viewers wondering how they got tricked into lining up for weekly emotional abuse from the TV. It must be pretty awesome for you guys.
posted by palidor at 3:29 PM on May 17, 2012


Also I guess that makes me a sadomasochist
posted by palidor at 3:32 PM on May 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


once she showed up I knew Jon Snow would be captured or disabled in some way, because she has his sword.

You know nothing, palidor.
posted by mrgrimm at 4:43 PM on May 17, 2012 [8 favorites]


I think there are times spoilers matter and times they don't, depending on the work you're talking about. I mean, hearing the entire plot of a Godard film is not going to matter the way knowing about unfolding developments both in character and plot for ASOIAF does. I know I wouldn't have enjoyed the series as much if I hadn't had epiphanies as I went along, or been able to look back realizing how little I knew in the beginning, etc.
posted by ifjuly at 4:47 PM on May 17, 2012


I assume you mean Jon and Ygritte and that relationship is pretty pointless.

Yeah, I meant Jon, not Robb, thanks. I don't think it's pointless at all though. Most TV viewers seem to think that the Jon/Ygritte scenes are highlights.

I don't really understand the criticism that various scenes are "pointless." There are very few scenes that are genuinely necessary to advance the plot or establish necessary character traits. And who wants every scene to advance the plot or establish character anyway? I think people just use the charge to attack scenes they don't like.

Because I'm a huge dork I was sniffing around online wikis of the series (so many Targaryens I've never heard of dating hundreds of years back, eeesh) and learned not only is Jeyne Poole/Jeyne Westerling slightly confusing, there's actually another Jeyne Westerling from a zillion years back to boot, who has nothing to do with Robb's Jeyne Westerling. Confusing!

Jeynes
posted by painquale at 4:59 PM on May 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


there are times spoilers matter and times they don't

The big problem here is that we're 5 million pages into the book series and most of the major existential problems have hardly been outlined, let alone foreshadowed, let alone approached solving.

So yeah, which main characters die, that's interesting I guess. But there really aren't many available spoilers for the big questions, because they've been more or less entirely neglected. Instead lets send Tyrion off to fight zombies! FUCK YOU GRRM
posted by Chekhovian at 5:10 PM on May 17, 2012


May I just say that the actual zombie in book four? five? That never ending sprawl of nothing? Anyhow. The zombie. That is suddenly THERE and ZOMG WTF HOW ZOMG ZOMBIE and then... SQUAT? Second biggest disappointment in the series.

The biggest disappointment is still the un-death. Still bitter. I *cheered* for that death, George. CHEERED.
posted by sonika at 5:43 PM on May 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


So yeah, which main characters die, that's interesting I guess. But there really aren't many available spoilers for the big questions

That's not true. There are all sorts of possible spoilers in waiting. If you were to tell a non-bookreader about the current situation of any one of the Starks, for instance, they would be gobsmacked. I think people tend to overstate Martin's penchant for killing characters, but he definitely still lets the situation get holy-shit fucked up.

Anyway, I'm not sure what big questions you can't wait to have answered. Is it whether Varys is a merling?

(Don't click that link, TV viewers! It's my favorite, nutty, no-way-in-hell-could-this-be-true theory (I keep a list of nutty theories), but the discussion thread in the link contains spoilers.)

The zombie. That is suddenly THERE and ZOMG WTF HOW ZOMG ZOMBIE and then...

Sonika, I can think of four entirely different scenes you might be referring to, and I'm honestly unsure which you mean. (Don't clarify, though! Let's leave it spoiler-free and ambiguous.)
posted by painquale at 5:54 PM on May 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


Is it whether Varys is a merling?

An interesting theory. I look forward to it being proven true in book 15 in 2037, yet still totally lame and boring in its presentation, like those first few chapters of Dragons, the ones north of the wall.
posted by Chekhovian at 6:05 PM on May 17, 2012


Sonika, I can think of four entirely different scenes you might be referring to

I like your style, but you know what she's talking about.

If you were to tell a non-bookreader about the current situation of any one of the Starks, for instance, they would be gobsmacked.

Eh. Sansa's not surprising at all; Bran, um, pass; Arya isn't that surprising either; Theon? yes; no one cares about Rickon; Robb, pass again (but wasn't surprising to me).

And I won't be surprised to see who Benjen Stark is either ... ;) We know, right?
posted by mrgrimm at 10:28 PM on May 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


We know, right?

Well I did hear some concern from the show makers that they didn't know how they'd have a certain character be in the show but not show his face and prevent the audience from solving the riddle Martin refuses to solve.

It will be interesting to catalog the secrets the show reveals before the book does. So far I think the main one was that Arya saw Varys and Illirio in KL plotting Neds downfall.
posted by Chekhovian at 10:46 PM on May 17, 2012


You forgot Cat and Jon, mrgrimm. I also disagree with your verdicts... I'm pretty sure that if you included enough details on any of them you could easily get non-bookreaders to say, "Jeez, really?!" One of my favorite things about the books is just how bonkers the Stark clan situation has become. What Ned would have thought!

I like your style, but you know what she's talking about.

I genuinely don't! Rot-13 it maybe?

Well I did hear some concern from the show makers that they didn't know how they'd have a certain character be in the show but not show his face and prevent the audience from solving the riddle Martin refuses to solve.

Also not sure who you are talking about here. Rot-13 it maybe?
posted by painquale at 12:36 AM on May 18, 2012


"It appears that, just as they are making Margaery more conniving by giving folding in this character's personality and motivations"

Aw man, I really like that character and was looking forward to them showing up.

I do like how they made Margaery more conniving in the series ("I want to be THE queen.") But I don't think it's that far off from the books. You don't get a POV chapter for her so a lot of what you know about her is through her dialogue with other main characters. I could totally see her being sneaky with her own agenda the way things play out in the books.
posted by like_neon at 2:54 AM on May 18, 2012


I have no idea what sonika's referring to either, because I can't offhand recall anyone whose death is undone who I wanted to die, but maybe I'm just fuzzy as it's been over a year and I read all 4 on a tear together in less than 2 months...
posted by ifjuly at 5:21 AM on May 18, 2012


> I don't really understand the criticism that various scenes are "pointless." There are very few scenes that are genuinely necessary to advance the plot or establish necessary character traits. And who wants every scene to advance the plot or establish character anyway? I think people just use the charge to attack scenes they don't like.

Lots of people over at Sepinwall's (which are strictly show-only) reviews/discussions at HitFix IIRC have been criticizing the love stories (both Robb/Talisa and Jon/Ygritte) for having that quality where you have to spend lots of repetitive scenes where they make googly eyes or establish sexual tension but you already know it's going to happen, so you get impatient getting there. And I think it's exacerbated by the fact the show has to do so much in such a limited (only 10 eps!) amount of time. Even the folks who haven't read the books (so don't realize how much already gets condensed and excised) complain at how rushed it sometimes feels, or how certain scenes have potential but could've been truly great if given room to breathe a little. Meanwhile, love stories that whose courting phase is predictable and doesn't need to be dwelled upon. I can definitely see that.
posted by ifjuly at 5:35 AM on May 18, 2012


Sonika, I can think of four entirely different scenes you might be referring to, and I'm honestly unsure which you mean.

I'm referring to the lady zombie.
posted by sonika at 5:52 AM on May 18, 2012


whose death is undone who I wanted to die,

Probably most people did not want this character dead and were actually relieved when "Haha! It was all a prank! It was the non-pointy end of the axe!" Not me. I was pissed.
posted by sonika at 5:55 AM on May 18, 2012


It should also be clear that the un-doing of the death that so vexed me was just a writerly trick. The character was never actually dead. Unlike the zombie to which I refer who is actually TOTALLY UNDEAD IN EVERY WAY. And how does said zombie only appear twice and then is never mentioned again?! WHAT?! How do you abandon a zombie in favor of talking more about, ugh, DAARIO.
posted by sonika at 5:57 AM on May 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well...and this of course goes without saying as we are hell deep in SPOILER TERRITORY now, but that too I appreciated for not being facile and glib the way one might expect. Like how Dany gets dragons and you're all "oh shit she's gonna be so powerful now" but he doesn't gloss over how, you know, it takes for fucking ever for them to grow up, and who says she'll be able to control them, etc. I felt like the zombie thing was similar--it's not like "oh awesome she's back phew," because she clearly isn't all her (her treatment of Brienne) and is not a good person, and it's not like she'll ever be ok. She's almost worse than dead in a way. Kinda like Khal Drogo, but for different reasons. I like that the magic in the series so far isn't tidy or easy, which again seems like Martin pointing out how the common way it's used in default genre fiction is sort of...lazy, or at least deserves a reworking to point out its faults. Those sorts of critiques of the genre in these books are precisely what makes me love them.
posted by ifjuly at 6:19 AM on May 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


> whose death is undone who I wanted to die,

Probably most people did not want this character dead and were actually relieved when "Haha! It was all a prank! It was the non-pointy end of the axe!" Not me. I was pissed


Wait, WHAT! You wanted her to really be dead? Harghm...not sure how to respond except to make narrowed eyes at you, as she is awesome. (I kid...sort of...)

And yeah, I laughed when over at Mark Reads he gets past Big Event in Book 3, feels like shit, then her chapter's right after and the shitty "axe to the head" troll made him go, and I quote from his review, "FUCK THIS I AM DONE." It was pretty manipulative on Martin's part, grr.
posted by ifjuly at 6:23 AM on May 18, 2012


it's not like "oh awesome she's back phew," because she clearly isn't all her (her treatment of Brienne) and is not a good person, and it's not like she'll ever be ok.

Right, I was really hoping for some zombie rage making its way to King's Landing and Shit Gets Real w/r/t the Lannisters/Freys. But, y'know. Didn't pan out.
posted by sonika at 6:55 AM on May 18, 2012


he doesn't gloss over how, you know, it takes for fucking ever for them to grow up

bolded for emphasis.
posted by mrgrimm at 8:04 AM on May 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


It was pretty manipulative on Martin's part, grr.

Those sorts of claims always grate a bit. I might not like a lot of it, but manipulation is the author's main game, in any (non purely information transferring) book.

There's a very shocking (to me) event at the end of Point Counter Point, but I don't think anyone would call Huxley manipulative. A bad choice, maybe, but his choice.

*** SPOILERS ***

Let's not forget that the undead are established early in the game, up at the wall. Jon Snow's path is pretty much set when he kills the wight in Carlos Marmont's room.

HIS NAME WAS JAFER FLOWERS. (actually, I think Jon killed the other guy, Othor?)

If the White Walkers can animate the dead, why not priests of the Red God or the LORD OF CORPSES?

As far as "manipulative" the gotcha of Brienne's demise seems inevitable as well.

And if you've gotten this far, palidor and want full Lady Zombie spoilers, here they are. Or the basics on Angelfire.

posted by mrgrimm at 8:21 AM on May 18, 2012


Ok, palidor and other non-bookreaders, you need to leave this thread and delete it from your recent activity! It is now beyond redemption.

Sonika, I thought that zombie you were talking about was the undeath that you were talking about; and I thought the zombie might have been Ser Robert Strong or someone. I never read that "undeath" as a death at all (it was very intentionally ambiguous), so I didn't know what you were talking about there. I thought the cheap writerly trick at the end of book 4 was Martin going back on the blinding: that was a really cheap way of taking back a cliffhanger.
posted by painquale at 8:39 AM on May 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I just strategically made my eyes / part of my brain that comprehends written word ignore the last dozen or so posts, and I guess I'll keep doing that until someone posts like a </SPOILERS> tag or something. (when I return Sunday night or Monday morning to say something about vagina dentata)

Here is a thought, book readers that may be unsatisfied with various plot developments: maybe George Railroad (or Benioff and Weiss) is going to use the TV series as an opportunity to "rewrite" parts of the story he has also become unsatisfied with. If the later books are as dull as Chekhovian makes them sound, it's always possible.
posted by palidor at 9:50 AM on May 18, 2012


Also, the only "fantasy" series I've ever really read is Stephen King's Dark Tower series, which totally went to shit in the later books, so I am always prepared for disappointment. Every time I see a news story about them trying to develop that into films or a TV series I want to write Ron Howard or whoever and tell him don't bother.
posted by palidor at 10:02 AM on May 18, 2012


Martin going back on the blinding:

He had already taken back the death, so it seemed inevitable that the blinding would be reversed as well. That did not surprise me in the least. I would have been more surprised had he stuck to it. NOTHING STICKS TO [CHARACTER] - SHE'S LIKE RUBBER.

If the later books are as dull as Chekhovian makes them sound, it's always possible.

They're not. They're duller. If you've read the first two books... just imagine the action of one chapter spread over two books. That you keep reading because? Yeah, that part's unclear.
posted by sonika at 10:11 AM on May 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well, as for the you-know-how gotcha manipulation, the problem is it wears thin if you do it too much. SPOILER SPOILER when same character supposedly goes blind I was "yeah, what the fuck ever George," and lo. And it's not as if RW right before that axe chapter wasn't already enough to mess with readers.
posted by ifjuly at 10:13 AM on May 18, 2012


I liked the last two books. Maybe because I wasn't waiting for ten years.

PALIDOR, I think you strategically let your eyes glaze over my last warning, so let me try again: no good can result from you sticking around this thread! There are spoilers swirling around everywhere! Flee!

Anyway...

I was really hoping the blindness would stick. I think it would be the most frustrating development of all, but in a great way. I'm also very much hoping that JojenPaste turns out true.
posted by painquale at 10:48 AM on May 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ha, I saw it, but I will heed your warnings and ignore the thread until the next episode airs and I have to make some dumb comments about it. Thanks for your consideration!
posted by palidor at 10:58 AM on May 18, 2012


Yes, I'm just going to start putting SPOILER warnings for everything I say I guess. painquale, I'm totally with you about...well, I loved Feast for Crows and thought one or two threads in Dance were compelling (Greyjoys!). High five.

And word about the blindness. I knew it wouldn't stick but kind of wished it had, because there are just too many psych-outs with her, and though she's seen some godawful things (Clash is my favorite because of Arya's hardships in it strengthening her resolve in what felt like a realistic, imperfect way) I think now that she's down a rather destructive path her not having to "really pay" a true, permanent cost yet is kinda ehhh. But we'll see, it could still happen. It'll hurt me because I love her, but it also feels like it has to happen.
posted by ifjuly at 11:05 AM on May 18, 2012


Also, the only "fantasy" series I've ever really read is Stephen King's Dark Tower series

Get thee to Narnia!
posted by mrgrimm at 11:17 AM on May 18, 2012


I loved Feast for Crows and thought one or two threads in Dance were compelling (Greyjoys!). High five.

I actually loved FFC too (Nimble Dick!), which is why DWD was pretty disappointing. Still waiting for, you know, the dragons. The Victarion thread, like Quentyn Martell, really pissed me off. It's all about travel to a place he doesn't need to go for a purpose for which he will never be successful. I could be wrong there, but I'd be very surprised if Victarion gets the dragons.
posted by mrgrimm at 11:23 AM on May 18, 2012


Word. Dance was super disappointing, and I'm always surprised at how much people hate Feast (though I guess I get it now after multiple Mefi rants, that it'd be a lot different if you'd been waiting many years and then only got Feast and didn't know what was up with the older characters). And I don't know if it's just a faulty impression from tearing through 1-4 all as one really and then waiting like everyone else for 5 or what, but I thought the writing in 5 was a big step down too. I didn't mind not much happening relative to the first three books in book 4 because it was still all new, but book 5 just felt like biding time mostly and filler with repetitive catchphrases, to a point that got "are we havin' a laugh?" level grimace-worthy.
posted by ifjuly at 11:30 AM on May 18, 2012


I read all 5 in one very long slog and thought that the pacing in 4&5 was so *off* of the previous three books that I wanted to kick George R.R. right in his dragon-maker. Truly, reading them all at once, for me, emphasized how little he moved the plot along as compared to the previous three books.
posted by sonika at 11:37 AM on May 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


SPOILERS

The Victarion thread, like Quentyn Martell, really pissed me off.

I think there's a pretty good chance that Victarion will be Dany's new suitor. He is definitely her type.

(Further rampant speculation: they will then sail around the world to the Iron Islands on the west side of Westeros (to complete Quaithe's prophecy that she must go east to conquer the west), and sack Lannisport and Casterly Rock while Cersei is taking refuge there.)

I liked book 5 more than 4; I definitely liked the Dany chapters more than other people seemed to. Selmy is one of my favorite characters. Sonika is certainly right about the pace slowing to a crawl, though.
posted by painquale at 11:44 AM on May 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Maybe they should just roll 4 and 5 up into one season of the show.
posted by empath at 11:44 AM on May 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Dany herself is one of my favorite characters. (I seem to be totally bass-ackwards in my preferences and I acknowledge that and think we can all come together around the fact that Tyrion is the shit - but why then does he have such a sucky and boring storyline in Book 5?) I just can't. Stand. The pining. Over Daario. DAAAARRRRRIIIIOOOOOOOOOO. If someone would feed Daario to a dragon, I'd be much obliged.
posted by sonika at 12:00 PM on May 18, 2012


Also, the only "fantasy" series I've ever really read is Stephen King's Dark Tower series

Get thee to Narnia!


Jesus Christ the Dark Tower series is the most boring thing in the world. And Jesus Christ, you sure notice the icky christianity dripping off of Narnia when you're an adult. I didn't really notice it when I was eight.

Read the Chronicles of Amber if you want to read a good fantasy series.
posted by Chekhovian at 12:01 PM on May 18, 2012


SPOILERS

I have no idea how they're going to film books 4 and 5. Books 1-3 can be used pretty much as scripts themselves, and that's what they've done. Books 4 and 5 are going to demand some serious adaptation. Filming them as one season might not be unreasonable, although they'd need to cut a lot. That would probably be for the best.

Speaking of cutting stuff, what happened to Podrick Payne in the show? I thought that they had cast an actor to play him. I've been expecting him to take out Meryn Trant (as opposed to Mandon Moore, who hasn't been in the show as far as I know).

Daario sucks and Dany's infatuation is incredibly frustrating, but that frustration is an intentional effect of the narrative. Selmy and all the others in the story must find it just as frustrating. I hope Daario gets it but good. By catapult, by Selmy, by a dragon... any of the above is fine with me.
posted by painquale at 12:11 PM on May 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Heard a rumor D&D consider themselves just lucky if they get to do book 3 (which tells me they are the world's biggest trolls, ha). I don't know that they've thought through after you-know-what much, or at least hadn't when they began the show.

Wow sonika, indeed you and I are like the Odd Couple when it comes to our favorite and least characters, heh.
posted by ifjuly at 12:25 PM on May 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I do think it's interesting how Dany's fixation on Daario is a bit like Robb's with Jeyne (the whole "letting your hormones rule you if you're gonna be a leader is stoopid and may be your downfall" thing), only due to the logistics of Martin's Meereenese knot we get to hear in excruciating detail Dany's feelings step by step as opposed to just hearing briefly about Robb's. I guess he's equal opportunity at least. (And no, I didn't like Dany's storyline in book 5 either.)
posted by ifjuly at 12:28 PM on May 18, 2012


the logistics of Martin's Meereenese knot

Fuck that fucking knot. Why did Martin burn so much energy trying to square that circle? He should have been dealing with actually important overall questions of the story instead of dealing with fan-wank issues.
posted by Chekhovian at 12:57 PM on May 18, 2012


I like Daario. I hope he survives.
posted by mrgrimm at 1:03 PM on May 18, 2012


I like Daario. I hope he survives.

Proof that it truly "takes all kinds."
posted by sonika at 1:04 PM on May 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Personally I hope Martin stays true to form and the TV series catches up to the novels before the next book is out. So that the TV writers have to end the series on their own. Because that's the only way we will ever get an actual ending.

Martin doesn't owe readers anything. But I in turn do not owe Martin anything, so I am free to say the dude is lost and flailing.
posted by Justinian at 1:40 PM on May 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Actually I take that back. I don't hope that is the case, I assume it is. I doubt Martin has written a single useable word since ADwD came out so I expect we will never see another novel out of him.
posted by Justinian at 1:42 PM on May 18, 2012


I doubt Martin has written a single useable word since ADwD came out so I expect we will never see another novel out of him.

He's released three or four chapters into the wild at various live readings and such. He might have written them before ADwD was published, but he's made at least some progress.

I'm hoping for more Dunk and Egg stories. Those things are great, and I love the way they fill in lore about Bloodraven, Summerhall, the Blackfyres, etc. Plus, we get a good look at what tourneys are really like. The next one has the title 'The She-Wolves of Winterfell'. Can't wait.
posted by painquale at 3:17 PM on May 18, 2012


I didn't say he hadn't written anything, I said doubted he'd written anything useable. And I do think most of the chapters he has released were likely from before ADwD came out.
posted by Justinian at 3:22 PM on May 18, 2012


Yeah, the fake deaths are really starting to take their toll on the work. Even the thing that happens to Arya at the end of book four -- I'm like, oh, it'll get sorted. The thing that kinda makes it work are the things that are clearly final -- The Red Wedding (zombies and axes to the head aside). And of course Ned's death. One thinks: Well, he did kill off Ned, so...

Also, when I heard that the Ned actor has been stalking his ex-wife, I had a moment of profound dissonance. Like Ned had been tortured until he became deranged.
posted by angrycat at 5:01 PM on May 18, 2012


more Dunk and Egg stories. Those things are great, and I love the way they fill in lore about Bloodraven, Summerhall, the Blackfyres, etc. Plus, we get a good look at what tourneys are really like.

Exactly what shouldn't happen, but probably will. Its like Martin can see the path he should take to finishing his stories, and then he decides to go in a direction 90 degrees different. He can write some D&E stories after the main ones are done, we'll call them prequels.
posted by Chekhovian at 5:06 PM on May 18, 2012


Hold on, that "You know nothing, palidor" was totally unearned! The shot of Ygritte and Jon Snow's sword was in the most recent episode and him being captured was exactly the context! I'm rescinding my favorite!

But thanks if you were trying to mess with my expectations
posted by palidor at 11:29 PM on May 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


because she has his sword

Don't worry palidor, there's going to be a whole lot more "sword having" that hasn't been spoiled for you by the network.
posted by Chekhovian at 12:08 AM on May 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


So I just saw the most recent episode (UK shows it on a Monday) and I'm really not sure how I'm feeling about the Robb&Jeyne/Thalisa thing playing out, particularly how the sequence of events have switched around.

In the book, Robb returns with Jeyne from the Westerlings and finds that his mother has released Jaime. She is let off a bit lighter and it's because he's feeling the guilt of having already eloped with Jeyne. However, in the show the Jaime being let go thing happens before Robb hooks up with Thalisa. Is this an important difference? Probably not (Red Wedding is all set to go ahead regardless) but it really jarred me personally. These sorts of differences have me paying a lot more attention to the show than if it were a more faithful adaptaion, which I suppose is a good thing.

Anyway, bring on the wildfire!!
posted by like_neon at 5:19 AM on May 22, 2012


I'm finding the Robb/Talisa thing bo-ring, but then, I think straight up love stories are rarely compelling.

Pissed Asha called Theon a cunt. Don't they know--"Cunt again? It was odd how men like Suggs used that word to demean women when it was the only part of a woman they valued." Harumph. Just imagine I disapprove in a high-pitched nasal-y nerd voice as Book Asha is near n' dear to my heart (I was her for Halloween last year and I'm never arsed to make costumes; she is just that bitchin').

Also bummed they're neutering Arya re: killing the guard. I shouldn't be surprised--they didn't make The Hound ghastly looking enough, Tyrion is pretty, this is TV, blah--but still feel cheated. The best thing about the books is that they're not afraid to Go There when it matters.

Love,
your friendly neighborhood book-fan curmudgeon
posted by ifjuly at 10:23 AM on May 22, 2012


Don't worry palidor, there's going to be a whole lot more "sword having" that hasn't been spoiled for you by the network.

Help I can't tell if you're being snarky about my nitpicking or if that's some kind of euphemism for sex!

I'm curious if in the books Catelyn releases Jaime after finding out about Bran's and Rickon's "deaths" rather than being unaware of the happenings in Winterfell like in the show. I don't know if there's some delicate plotting that made them do it the way they did, but it would have been a much more believable decision on her part if it was motivated by extreme grief. I mean, it's a foolish decision to make, but it seems to make a lot more sense coming after the news from Winterfell gets out rather than before (assuming Cat finds out eventually and plot developments don't make this irrelevant).
posted by palidor at 10:24 AM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


By "curious" do you mean do you want to know the answer or no?

...

I'd be happy to vent with you, because that's something where, well, I agree 100% with what you just said and don't understand what that was all for.
posted by ifjuly at 10:31 AM on May 22, 2012


Sure, vent all you like, just give me a warning if you're going to discuss any other major-ish plot developments. I've been reading the differences between the books and the show on that one wiki so I suppose I'm not like someone who plans to read the books eventually and doesn't want to know anything. For example I know the whole Qarth plot (dragons stolen, Thirteen killed) doesn't happen in the books, but that Dany ends up at the House of the Undying, though I don't know what happens there.
posted by palidor at 10:51 AM on May 22, 2012


It seems like it's fair game with palidor to discuss everything up to the latest TV episode, some of which diverges from the books ...

*** book spoilers ***

of course she hears about Bran and Rickon's "deaths" before she frees Lannister on her own, not because Littlefinger made a deal.

\vent

For example I know the whole Qarth plot (dragons stolen, Thirteen killed) doesn't happen in the books, but that Dany ends up at the House of the Undying, though I don't know what happens there.

*** more book spoilers ***

I'm pretty sure the thirteen are killed, unless those are different than the Undying/Pyat Pree. They don't steal the dragons but Drogon kills (some?) of them. Then Dany's posse kills the rest.

I forget why forget Dany goes to the House of the Undying ... most likely to buy a clue on how to unravel the Meereenese knot.
posted by mrgrimm at 11:31 AM on May 22, 2012


Yeah, ok, then I'm venting with whoever else agrees changing Catelyn's impetus for freeing Jaime was dumb. I can't imagine a reason they couldn't just have Catelyn and Robb "know" Bran and Rickon are dead, and not having them know makes no sense.

Also, what's with Xaro on the show? I'm bummed he's not gay and vain like in the books.

I find it a little bizarre Jorah would tell Dany to leave her dragons as well, but whatever, I guess we're just supposed to handwave it as "he's so in love with her he just wants her safe."

I sort of wish they'd just be ok with letting episodes go without any Dany, because the filler is so...obviously pacing filler.
posted by ifjuly at 11:58 AM on May 22, 2012


It's pretty weird they diverged from the books with regard to Cat freeing Jaime then; the timing on the show still lines up mostly. It just makes her look more foolish than it really needs to, I guess.

The Thirteen are as far as I know definitely different from the Undying, unless there's some bizarre inexplicable revelation coming up. I've been going by this:

The entire Qarth subplot is an invention of the TV series. Neither The Thirteen nor the Pureborn (who have been merged with the Thirteen in the series) are killed in the books, nor are the dragons stolen.

I've been guessing that Dany, Jorah and the dragon(s) end up killing the warlocks somehow, because it's not like her story can really go on without that happening, but all I knew about the books is basically, "Dany goes to the House of the Undying." I guess the show can do something different from what you said happens in the books, but I don't see any real alternative to "they kill some warlocks and get the dragons back."

And yeah as a non-reader Dany's story this season has been pretty obviously drawn out. The character probably would have been better served if they had just moved her story to the back end of the season or only included her in every other episode or something. She seems to have a reputation now as having no role except to whine about her dragons.

Amusing predictions:

Don't spoil it, but I kind of hope my instincts about how Blackwater goes are wrong. Like, I'm figuring Stannis is defeated or repelled by the wildfire because he didn't bring his fire priestess with him. But I hope I'm wrong because it's rather obvious. I mean, I like the series because most of the plot developments, whether surprising or not, seem to happen naturally and are mostly obvious in retrospect. It feels like the show is treating me like an intelligent adult and not just trying to shock me or whatever. But it is nice to be surprised sometimes!

Pretty sure Davos' son is going to die during the battle because of Melisandre's telling him "death by fire is the purest death." I just hope Davos doesn't get it too, because I like that guy. Actually that probably means he's done for. Hell, I like Stannis too. Maybe the best I can hope for is season three being a long drawn out siege where Joffrey eats cats.
posted by palidor at 12:18 PM on May 22, 2012


I'm pretty sure the thirteen are killed, unless those are different than the Undying/Pyat Pree.

They're different. Also, SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS...

Pyat Pree doesn't die at the HotU. He either gets eaten by other warlocks later on or becomes an advisor to Euron Greyjoy and will presumably reappear in later books.

Also, what's with Xaro on the show? I'm bummed he's not gay and vain like in the books.

Well, it's not like he was that important or interesting a character. I like that they've made him yet another aspirant in the Game of Thrones.

I'm very curious to see what happens to him. Obviously the vault will need to open at some point, but the key is always on him, suggesting he'll be killed. But how? By Jorah? By Arstan Whitebeard and Strong Belwas? By a dragon? It's intriguing. I would have thought that the dragons would be in the vault, but apparently they are at the HotU.

I guess the Sorrowful Men have probably been cut, which is unfortunate.
posted by painquale at 12:38 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh, it also occurred to me, having seen Ygritte referred to as a "spearwife" at some point, along with reading something about how wildling mating customs involve the man chasing and capturing the woman (as Jon did with Ygritte), that Ygritte could end up with a role as some kind of sword-holder for him after they get wildling-married and he begins his double agent plotline or whatever happens (just guessing). So, like, maybe "You know nothing, me" after all.
posted by palidor at 12:58 PM on May 22, 2012


Yeah, ok, then I'm venting with whoever else agrees changing Catelyn's impetus for freeing Jaime was dumb. I can't imagine a reason they couldn't just have Catelyn and Robb "know" Bran and Rickon are dead, and not having them know makes no sense.

I actually thought it made more sense, and I think it's one of the many improvements the show makes on the books. In the show, Jaime wasn't going to last the night: he was going to be murdered by Karstark. That was a very clever addition. Catelyn had excellent reason to suspect that if Jaime died, Sansa and Arya would be killed in response. She saved her kids this way! It's a proactive decision, and not obviously dumb. She got to make what she saw as a beneficial trade (2 for 1) without belittling Robb in the eyes of his men (that was his stated reason for not making the trade).

In the book, Jaime is not immediately threatened, so neither are Sansa and Arya. She acts irrationally out of grief. The show makes her a tactical and strong-minded woman; the book plays into the trope of the hysterical woman. That's especially unfortunate because the whole subplot is very much centered on whether men and women are valued differently (and the theme continues to play out in Jaime and Brienne's plot), and I think it is best for Catelyn to act on her convictions while clear-headed.

There's one thing about the slightly jumbled timeline that is sad. I will miss the scene when Robb confronts Cat for the first time after she releases Jamie and is all, "hey, we all make mistakes," and she's like, "OK, what did you do...?"
posted by painquale at 12:59 PM on May 22, 2012


I'm not watching Season 2 yet, but if Jon and Ygritte are already together... holy effing hell is there a lot of "Beyond the Wall" that was just skipped right over.
posted by sonika at 2:28 PM on May 22, 2012


They're together, like, in the same location, but he hasn't, uh, given her his sword. I mean, she has his literal sword because he's being held captive, but uh, dammit I'm no good at horrible sex metaphors.
posted by palidor at 2:59 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


They're together, like, in the same location,

Yeeeahhhhhhhhhh. There's a lot with creepy incest guys and their houses full of women that happens before that. Jon Snow isn't held captive until almost the end of Book 2. But, y'know, Jamie Lannister isn't set free in Book 1 either and that happened last season so SCREW CONTINUITY! LET'S ALL JUST MESS WITH THE PLOT! TYRION FOREVER!
posted by sonika at 4:01 PM on May 22, 2012


horrible sex metaphors

One also wonders if Jon will be just as inventive and egalitarian in his....discoveries. I mean should they follow that point in the books Jon will apparently be the first man in Westeros to actively partake of...yeah I don't know how to properly metaphorize this. Certainly though there doesn't seem to be much mention of those sorts of methods in the books. Only once in the Tv show as I recall.

Also depending on how they film it, it will be certainly be a very unusual event for tv. I can't think of any other instances of it airing in a tv show, off hand.
posted by Chekhovian at 4:08 PM on May 22, 2012


> Yeeeahhhhhhhhhh. There's a lot with creepy incest guys and their houses full of women that happens before that.

Craster was dealt with right away in the first few episodes of the season, but I wasn't as squicked by it as I remember being in the books. And it didn't quite go the way it does in the books. I'm confused sometimes because certain changes that seem to be made for economy of storytelling/time constraints sake don't actually seem like they'll be economical; they'll just have to do the heavy lifting later (like this Jon/Ygritte story change, where they kind of end up back where they started in the book now). The...lack of something happening at Craster's in the show seems weird because it's going to have to happen later anyway. Intriguing.
posted by ifjuly at 4:34 PM on May 22, 2012


It sort of makes Theon burning those boys seem pointless though. And I don't know any book virgin watching the show who thought for a second that was Bran and Rickon either, so it didn't even work on that level. Kind of weird.
posted by ifjuly at 4:36 PM on May 22, 2012


Yeah between that and the cliffhanger with Cat asking for Brienne's sword that episode was kind of cheap with the manufactured suspense.

What peculiar sex act has never aired on TV before? This is the question I will be asking myself until the spring of 2013.
posted by palidor at 4:46 PM on May 22, 2012


What peculiar sex act has never aired on TV before?

I don't know if my tongue is capable of the kind of deft maneuvers to really get inside this issue in a tasteful way, I'm not sure I have the skill to say those sorts of words. You know, because you use your tongue to form certain parts of words.
posted by Chekhovian at 4:54 PM on May 22, 2012


The whole area is very delicate after all. Quite sensitive really. One doesn't want to be too coarse in one's circumlocutions.
posted by Chekhovian at 4:57 PM on May 22, 2012


Also depending on how they film it, it will be certainly be a very unusual event for tv. I can't think of any other instances of it airing in a tv show, off hand.

Seinfeld, for one. George all bumping about under the covers, going for the counterclockwise swirl.
posted by painquale at 6:23 PM on May 22, 2012


Wait, are you talking about just network TV or does this include HBO? I'm sort of worried now that this isn't so peculiar and will disappoint me!

"Jon will apparently be the first man in Westeros to actively partake of..."

I mean, I know it's a world that subjugates women, but it can't be that bad. I know why the ladies of the evening like Tyrion so much. A Lannister always pays his debts

I will not accept any less than this scenario involving a wight and/or this guy's tongue

Sorry
posted by palidor at 11:36 PM on May 22, 2012


it can't be that bad

There was that line from Ros (who seems to be 30% of the show times...ugh), but that was in discussion with Theon, not a POV in book one, and I don't really recall any other mentions of it in the books.

Certainly Ygritte is astonished at the very idea and doesn't really have a name for the act, only saying something like, "Can you do that thing again?". IIRC...Maybe things are better in the "south" but it wasn't really an expected marital duty until the last 20 years or so even America right? And we know that if it had been a duty Ned would have vigorously applied himself to it's completion.

Did medieval France have a longstanding tradition of it? Seems like I've heard those sorts of jokes (Last of the Mohicans, I'm looking at you...), so maybe the problem is that Westeros is just a giant version of England, where everybody is too dour and upright to have fun.
posted by Chekhovian at 1:10 AM on May 23, 2012


SPOILER

if you're talking about what i'm guessing you're all talking about, no, it's been established in this world. hence Ramsay's "get her ready for me" to potentially dickless Theon re: his child bride in book 5. (shudder)

as for that act on TV, i must be missing something, because if it's what i'm guessing based on all the jokey innuendo above, that's been well established on other hbo shows like, say, sex and the city (mr. pussy!).
posted by ifjuly at 2:49 AM on May 23, 2012


Oh yeah, book 5. I've mostly tried to forget the events of books 4 and 5. And the sad thing is that I don't think there would be any serious repercussions to completely obliterating them from canon. NOTHING HAPPENS. Well nothing that really matters.

And yeah, I shouldn't have made such big pronouncements about "what's never been shown on television" as I don't really watch many television shows anymore. Not out of snobbery (well I would never debase myself by watching Sex and City), but mostly just that Television seems to have abandoned my favorite genre of shows...awesome things happening in space.
posted by Chekhovian at 2:56 AM on May 23, 2012


You must have missed that very special episode of BSG then. Something something Cylon cunnilingus

But yeah after at least 10 years of watching HBO series I guess it's not all that novel to see on television for me. Can't think of anything off the top of my head besides Six Feet Under, but I'm sure that even without counting Sex and the City it's been common enough. I've been watching Girls and I'm pretty sure there was some action a couple weeks ago.

Which reminds me that I finally realized why I'm frustrated with Girls, and it's because I watch it back to back with Game of Thrones. Like, all of the bad sex in GoT is usually representative to varying degrees of how women are subjugated in that world, so then I watch Girls and want to see some progressive modernity, but it's just more bad sex. Except in that show's case it's just because the protagonist is dumb. Good sex is available to her but she refuses to seek it out! I want to make her watch Game of Thrones to show her how bad it could be. It frustrates.
posted by palidor at 8:16 PM on May 23, 2012


I love Girls and liked the NYRB write up about why the sex in it is so remarkable, but I guess that's a derail I shouldn't get too into.
posted by ifjuly at 9:55 AM on May 24, 2012


I'm not sure it's possible to derail a thread only three people are reading that's set to be closed in a few days lolol

But yeah I'm definitely a fan of Girls and that article does a great job summing up what's refreshing about it / its depiction of sex. My minor frustrations are only because of the expectations I'm bringing to it ("then I watch Girls and want to see some progressive modernity"). Basically I'm going to start a "The women of Sunday night deserve orgasms" campaign.
posted by palidor at 1:58 PM on May 24, 2012


Yeah, I'm all for awesome, "empowering" sex and all that for sure--and I know it exists because I'm finally having lots of it (sorry if that's TMI)! That said, I love when a show or book or whatever nails it, not just that sex when you're insecure and in your early 20s is often "bad", but how it's bad in particular, and like the NYRB writers points out, how it's sometimes not that you're a victim at all, you just haven't figured yourself out yet and are yeah, very insecure. I like that honesty. Which I suppose brings us back full circle to why I like GoT and find it feminist for the very things lots of people argue make it sexist--it is honest about shitty aspects of being female in this world. Is it how you want things to be? Of course not. But it's a valid exploration and the honesty/unflinching look at it is a relief.
posted by ifjuly at 2:55 PM on May 24, 2012


A lot of Game of Thrones fans have been waiting to hear the TV show's rendition of The Rains of Castamere, a song that underlies one of the more important scenes in the novels. Well, it's been recorded by The National. I imagined it having more prominent drums. Here's a wiki page with the lyrics, but note that there's a huge spoiler on that page. The lyrics themselves are innocuous.

Next up: Coldplay covers The Bear and the Maiden Fair.
posted by painquale at 4:11 PM on May 24, 2012


Chris Martin is no Butterbumps!
posted by ifjuly at 6:53 PM on May 24, 2012


In the last episode Talisa mentioned the "third year of the long summer" or something, which as far as I recall is the first time anyone not from Westeros has mentioned the issues with the long seasons. I'd always wondered if this was just Martin being lazy, or some more subtle plot point.
posted by Chekhovian at 8:20 PM on May 24, 2012


I think I read on the TV series wiki that the variable seasons affect Essos but because of its relative southerly position the extremes aren't as harsh or something. Might just be an assumption on the part of whoever wrote the wiki entry it if it isn't spoken of explicitly in the books.

I don't think I've seen it discussed anywhere, so I'm sort of curious: what does everyone/anyone/someone think of the music in the show? For a while I thought it was pretty underwhelming, almost like a missed opportunity, but as time has gone on and themes have developed and then been played with, I'm starting to appreciate the subtlety of it, I guess. For example contrasting this with this. And I'm kind of a sucker for Stannis' theme in all its basic, repetitive glory. Someone on YouTube commented that it sounds similar to something Angelo Badalamenti would do, which is probably why. I hope Stannis finds the guy behind Winkie's in season three!!!
posted by palidor at 2:59 PM on May 25, 2012


Well, the theme music is clearly great. I really like the music of the show on the whole. I hope there's a more uptempo version of The Rains of Castamere. It's supposed to be a celebratory song, to be played at feasts and tournaments!

The person behind Winkie's is the Hound. Hope that isn't a spoiler!

They talk about the long seasons in Essos from time to time, but yeah, it's not as important as it is in Westeros. I think there are references to the canals of Braavos freezing over, and I vaguely remember someone talking about how the Valyrian roads are able to hold up through the seasons. It's just not that big a deal that far south.
posted by painquale at 3:41 PM on May 25, 2012


OMG the actor playing the photographer on Veep is the guy from inside Winkie's. So close, HBO programming gods.
posted by palidor at 9:11 PM on May 27, 2012


That episode was excellent. So exciting!
posted by painquale at 11:15 PM on May 27, 2012


Yeah, even though it all went down mostly as I expected it to it was still pretty exciting. I feel kind of stupid because the one thing I hadn't thought of was the Tyrells, which was pretty important! But it was an obvious development, and in a good way. Like, it's not that future developments on the show are constantly being telegraphed in obvious ways or anything, but if you're paying attention you can usually see where things are going to go. In this case, paying attention to Littlefinger, I guess.

But correctly guessing the significance of Melisandre's "death by fire is the purest death" comment (with Stannis and Davos' conversation in the last episode sealing the deal) doesn't make me feel any better about the loss of one cool fingerless dude :~( and his son I guess

I also really don't want Stannis to die but I don't see how that is going to be avoided :~(

posted by palidor at 11:33 PM on May 27, 2012


I also really don't want Stannis to die

Better a clean death than involvement in some ridiculous scheme that doesn't make any sense at all and seems to be just an expedient solution for a lazy author.
posted by Chekhovian at 11:39 PM on May 27, 2012


I don't know what that means! Ha

I will miss your bitterness towards George Railroad Martin's failure to keep the story interesting when the thread is closed in a couple days. Seriously, it always leaves me thankful the show doesn't suck yet!! lolol
posted by palidor at 11:57 PM on May 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


One thing I guess I don't fully understand is what was going on with the armies. Why did Tywin say he was going north against the Stark forces? And what happened to all the men Stannis got from Renly? I mean, I thought Stannis had an army in addition to his fleet of ships. I understand that it might not have been big enough to defeat the combined Lannister and Tyrell forces but unless I'm missing something they didn't do very good of a job explaining the developments on land.
posted by palidor at 12:30 AM on May 28, 2012


(I guess it would have been less dramatic to explain troop movements and make explicit Tywin's true plans and the alliance with the Tyrells, I don't know. Maybe I should just wait until next week.)
posted by palidor at 12:34 AM on May 28, 2012


explain troop movements

All that stuff is pretty fuzzy for me at this point. What does frustrate me is that Westeros seems to be only a days ride across in any direction. Two days if you're going north.

While I'm glad that the show seems to be avoiding the monotonous travelogues the books sometimes become, the whole realm does seem too small. I'm not sure what the solution is to this conundrum.
posted by Chekhovian at 1:23 AM on May 28, 2012


Yeah, the end of the episode was much too abrupt and confusing. Suddenly Tywin and Loras are there! Cue credits and The National. Tywin took the place of "Renly's ghost," sadly. (In the book, one of the Tyrells wears Renly's armor, and all of Stannis's men get freaked out because they think Renly's ghost is avenging his death.)

Here's something subtle that I noticed. Check out the scene where Joffrey tells Mandon Moore to represent the King on the battlefield. Moore nods, and they both glance at Tyrion. In the book, it's never been made clear exactly who sent Ser Moore after Tyrion. Tyrion thinks it's Cersei, and that's the prevailing theory among fans, but some fans think it might have been Littlefinger. Just like the showwriters moved the order to kill Robert's bastards from Cersei to Joffrey, it looks like they also gave Joffrey the order to kill Tyrion! In fact, Joffrey only leaves the battle because he gets cold feet... it seems like Joffrey's original plan might have been to do in his uncle himself (with Moore providing backup support if things got hectic).

Now it looks like Tyrion is getting a scar instead of a missing nose. It was pretty obvious they were going to make that change, but it was fun to imagine otherwise.

Ser Dontos made a brief appearance! He's a terrible juggler.
posted by painquale at 1:32 AM on May 28, 2012


So what would have happened with the Wildfire if Melisandre had been on the ships?
posted by Chekhovian at 1:38 AM on May 28, 2012


And what happened to all the men Stannis got from Renly? I mean, I thought Stannis had an army in addition to his fleet of ships.

Remember Saladhor Saan? He was Davos's smuggler buddy who talked about wanting to seduce Cersei. Saladhor Saan provided the fleet for Stannis, but unmanned: it was a fleet without any soldiers. Renly's men were the ones who were aboard the ships in the battle.
posted by painquale at 1:41 AM on May 28, 2012


Ah okay, that makes sense then. I swear at some point there was talk as if Stannis had forces that would attack from both land and sea, though I might just be misremembering.

I think the implication is that Melisandre would have ensured a victory for Stannis seeing as how she's a fire priestess. The wildfire alone didn't win it for the Lannisters but it made enough of an impact to allow Tywin to come and save the day, right? Or would Tywin and Loras have been able to defeat Stannis' entire force without the wildfire wiping some fraction of it out?1

I definitely assumed that Stannis would lose specifically because of the conversation he has with Davos when he decides not to take Melisandre. I suppose if they really wanted to make it explicit they could have included a scene where Melisandre warns Stannis against leaving her behind. But Davos2 and his son getting killed because of what Davos wanted is, like, ironic or something, right?

1 I'm figuring no matter how much Tyrion's wildfire tactics contributed to the victory he's not going to be praised for it. That would require, like, his family appreciating him in some way.

2 The wiki seems to indicate that Davos might not be dead. As much as I wanted to see more of the guy I would be disappointed if he survived because it isn't realistic at all. What, he dove underwater and somehow avoided the massive explosion consuming his ship? Might be an ill-informed edit, but the wiki also seems to think Syrio could still be alive. I'm trusting Mr. Railroad Martin here!
posted by palidor at 2:32 AM on May 28, 2012


Melisandre would have ensured a victory for Stannis seeing as how she's a fire priestess

I bet she felt a great disturbance in the force when all that wildfire went off.
posted by Chekhovian at 5:40 AM on May 28, 2012


it seems like Joffrey's original plan might have been to do in his uncle himself (with Moore providing backup support if things got hectic).

Yeah, he told Sansa that his new sword would be covered in his uncle's blood after the battle.
posted by homunculus at 10:01 AM on May 28, 2012


Nooo, this thread is about to close. Where will we get our Game of Thrones fix on Metafilter?

The National's cover(?) of Rains of Castamere is awesome.
posted by Justinian at 12:27 PM on May 28, 2012


Take out your Game of Thrones aggression on this King Joffrey practice target
posted by homunculus at 1:00 PM on May 28, 2012


Where will we get our Game of Thrones fix on Metafilter?

Quick, someone find a fig leaf! Maybe Peter Dinklage's favorite brand of whiskey, or something. We need a justification for our fix!
posted by Chekhovian at 2:32 PM on May 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


There was one moment during the episode when I actually laughed out loud: when Joffrey names his sword. HEART EATER
posted by palidor at 3:25 PM on May 28, 2012


Joffrey is the kind of guy who, a decade or so ago, would have named his Everquest character Drr'zzt Do'Urrden21
posted by Justinian at 3:30 PM on May 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


Or possibly Deathkiller Darkdragon.
posted by Justinian at 3:31 PM on May 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


Man

Chapter 58, Davos III: Davos sails towards King's Landing with the fleet behind him, their drums sounding the call to arms. The Wildfire explosion throws Davos overboard.

In an interview with one or both of the showrunners, they said explicitly that characters we've gotten to know were going to die in this episode. Is that really supposed to mean just Davos's son? I mean, a friend of mine is kind of disappointed in the episode because of the lack of big name deaths (I think season one's standard definitely plays a part in this), and I don't really feel the way he does, but Davos somehow surviving despite being right next to the explosion is pretty silly.

Also, I'm figuring now that showing Stannis' men pulling him away rather than a scene of Stannis being captured by Lannister soldiers means Stannis escaped?

It's kind of weird feeling like I prefer death for the characters I wanted to see more of.
posted by palidor at 3:47 PM on May 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm always amused by how you can tell which episodes Martin writes the script for.

I also found it interesting that, despite always digging Stannis' plight in the books in an on-paper detached sort of way (just the whole, he has every right and does the right things but it's not enough, and simply lacking that je ne sais quoi social oomph is enough to make his attempt at the throne seem impossible...similar to SPOILER how Tyrion gets treated in the book after saving them all, just, Martin highlighting the fickle and dumb nature of popularity and how things go down in history socially), I never really felt for him on a direct emotional level. I felt so bad for him though during this episode, when they drag him away screaming. He tries so damn hard; the show got across really well how much he fucking wanted it.
posted by ifjuly at 11:30 AM on May 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


Also, upon rewatch (the first time I was so Cersei poisoning Tommen WTF I couldn't pay attention to the dialogue) I enjoyed how Cersei tells Tommen the cub has all these enemies and when he asks "like what" and she goes "like the stag" he replies "but stags aren't evil, all they eat is grass." Ha!
posted by ifjuly at 11:32 AM on May 29, 2012


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