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"I will lead the attack!"
May 31, 2012 12:03 AM   Subscribe


 
May contain spoilers. For instance: There is a battle of some kind.
posted by Artw at 12:19 AM on May 31, 2012 [5 favorites]


HALF MAN! HALF MAN! HALF MAN!
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 12:22 AM on May 31, 2012 [17 favorites]


Still, no chain. I was waiting for the chain.
posted by muckster at 12:23 AM on May 31, 2012 [6 favorites]


The lack of chain saddened me.
posted by Ghidorah at 12:26 AM on May 31, 2012 [11 favorites]


Dinklage really does steal the fucker. Though Lena Headey did a pretty great job as well. I had never really thought "Cersei Lannister, there's a really interesting and engaging character I want to see more of" until this point.
posted by Artw at 12:26 AM on May 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


I enjoyed this episode immensely, although I though their budgetary constraints were fairly evident; Tyrion delivers his rousing speech to like, 30 guys.

Still, I thought they worked around the resourcing problem admirably. Although I missed the chain, I thought the super-explodey wildfire was an elegant substitute.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 12:27 AM on May 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


Dinklage really does steal the fucker.

I could seriously watch than man eat toast while reading a newspaper.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 12:29 AM on May 31, 2012 [38 favorites]


Oh good, the last GoT thread closed yesterday in the middle of discussion!

I thought the Hound stole this episode, though Cersei and Tyrion and Sansa and Davos and Stannis were all great.
posted by painquale at 12:29 AM on May 31, 2012


I could seriously watch than man eat toast while reading a newspaper.

I am almost tempted to watch this.
posted by Artw at 12:35 AM on May 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Was the Hound's little chat with Bronn in the books? I don't recall, but I really, really liked that scene. The Hound is a fascinating character, from his sudden defense of Loras in book/season one (and his equally sudden ceasing when commanded). I think the actor they've got for the Hound is perfect, and would watch a series with him in it, just randomly cutting fools in half.
posted by Ghidorah at 12:37 AM on May 31, 2012


Toast is fine, but he started in The Station Agent which was a fine film.
posted by munchingzombie at 12:39 AM on May 31, 2012 [3 favorites]


Was the Hound's little chat with Bronn in the books? I don't recall, but I really, really liked that scene.

Heh. Yet again whatsername is in the background of a scene I really like having her bum talked about.
posted by Artw at 12:43 AM on May 31, 2012


Green fire burns this night
Islands of floating death on waters high
Setting men and ships alight
This horror raining down from smokey skies
Green fire shines so bright
Lighting the waters of gruesome fate below
Many men shall die tonight
Bearing witness to the pyromancer's show

"Halfman!" they cry
My men rush forth to take their lives
This night we will not let the city fall
"Halfman!" they cry
I thrust my axe into the sky
This night I will not let our kingdom fall

posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:43 AM on May 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Was the Hound's little chat with Bronn in the books?

I wondered if I'd just missed this as well. The Wired book/show comparison does come out and say, though, that it wasn't in the book. I wonder if Martin might have let a little foreshadowing slip about the future of Bronn and The Hound in the show, as well as in the books.
posted by coolxcool=rad at 12:43 AM on May 31, 2012


I think this is a good place to point out that Jon Snow becomes much more enjoyable if you imagine him played by Bret from Flight of the Conchords ("I've got hurt feelings").
posted by dhoe at 12:47 AM on May 31, 2012 [27 favorites]


Needs more cowbell chain.
posted by bicyclefish at 12:56 AM on May 31, 2012


I am almost tempted to watch this.

Here are some of the better Dinklage scenes. He's pretty hilarious as a drunk French Marxist being shoved around by Gary Oldman on his knees. The podcast How Did This Get Made? did an episode on Tiptoes a whole back. It sounds truly bizarre.
posted by painquale at 12:57 AM on May 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


BREAKING: The international Awesome Sauce Committee has declared that any scene of Game of Thrones with Peter Dinklage in it is +10 Awesome Sauce.
posted by Effigy2000 at 12:59 AM on May 31, 2012


That Lannister song is a thing of beauty. Anyone knows if the author(s) got the inspiration from something historical or a certain style of (medieval? renaissance?) folk song?
posted by Iosephus at 1:08 AM on May 31, 2012


The National's Lannister song.

A BEAR THERE WAS, A BEAR, A BEAR!
ALL BLACK AND BROWN, AND COVERED WITH HAIR!
The bear! The bear!
Oh, come, they said, oh come to the fair!
The fair? Said he, but I'm a bear!
All black, and brown, and covered with hair!

And Down the road from here to there.
From here! To There!
Three boys, a goat, and a dancing bear!
[He] danced and spun, all the way to the Fair!
The Fair! The Fair!

[...]

Oh, sweet she was, and pure, and fair!
The maid with honey in her hair!
Her hair! Her hair!
The maid with honey in her hair!

[The bear,] smelled the scent on the summer air.
The bear! The bear!
All black and brown and covered with hair.
He smelled the scent on the summer air!
He sniffed and roared and smelled it there!
Honey on the summer air!

Oh, I'm a maid, and I'm pure and fair!
I'll never dance with a hairy bear!
A bear! A bear!
I'll never dance with a hairy bear!
He lifted her high into the air!
The bear! The bear!

I called for a knight, but you're a bear!
A bear! A bear!
All black and brown and covered with hair!
She kicked and wailed, the maid so fair,
But he licked the honey from her hair,
Her hair! Her hair!

Then she sighed and squealed and kicked the air!
My bear! She sang. My bear so fair!
And off they went, from here to there,
The bear, the bear, and the maiden fair.
posted by thewalrus at 1:09 AM on May 31, 2012 [11 favorites]


A couple weeks ago I serendipitously came across this interview with the AV Club Peter Dinklage did in 2007 while going through their Random Roles archive. I love the quote at the end:

AVC: What's your favorite role that we haven't covered?

PD: Didn't we cover everything?

AVC: It probably feels that way, but we haven't.

PD: My favorite role is being myself when I'm not working, when I am at home with my wife and my dog. But ask me in a few years, and I'll get back to you on that.

posted by palidor at 1:26 AM on May 31, 2012


Was the Hound's little chat with Bronn in the books? I don't recall, but I really, really liked that scene.

I don't think so. I thought it was a pretty blah scene. They could have pointed out how these guys were rivals (or rather, the enforcers of rivals) inching towards a showdown, two opposing pawns sensing that one of them is probably going to kill the other at some point. Or they could have emphasized how these guys had been promoted way above their stations doing jobs they weren't suited for.

Instead they played it about as deep as two 80's action movie badasses meeting in a strip club. A titty sidebar, if you will.
posted by fleacircus at 1:28 AM on May 31, 2012 [3 favorites]


The Hound's insta-dicer setting didn't work for me, it broke my suspension of disbelief.
posted by Chekhovian at 1:37 AM on May 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Loved the episode but I was disappointed with the lack of chain and the Tyrion's injury. I know that cutting off his nose would have been untenable for a tv series but the cheek cut didn't seem that serious to me. But that's my pov after reading the books. I thought he just fainted from a cut on the cheek, my husband who has not read the books thought it did look like it set up Tyrion for potential death. I love how Ned's death has everyone on their toes!
Apart from those really minor things, I thought it was a great ep. Loved drunk Cersei's speeches to Sansa, loved Stannis being dragged away (in this instance I thought it was handled even better than the books), starting to really appreciate The Hound. The brilliance of Tyrion goes without saying.
posted by like_neon at 1:55 AM on May 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


So I'm spectacularly deliriously ill with gastric flu... But I'm sure Game of Thrones will make cheer me up and make feel a bit better... what could possibly go wrong?... [5min later] 'Oh God, a vomiting scene!'
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:57 AM on May 31, 2012 [3 favorites]


I imagine the cheek cut will turn into a pretty nasty scar. I was wondering how they'd handle the cut-off nose situation and kind of glad they don't seem to be taking that too literally.
posted by muckster at 2:04 AM on May 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


For those wondering what was straight from the book and what wasn't: Westeros.org does comprehensive book-to-screen essays for each episode.

Here's the one for Blackwater. The Bron and the Hound scene is not from the books.
posted by Wylla at 2:13 AM on May 31, 2012 [7 favorites]


A friend I watched it with kept talking about Stannis like some kind of badass WWII general: "Stannis Baratheon: First On The Beach."
"Stannis Baratheon: First On The Beach, First Up The Ladder."
And so on.
Lovable or not, you've gotta respect a guy who leads from the front.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 2:14 AM on May 31, 2012 [6 favorites]



I could seriously watch than man eat toast while reading a newspaper.


The Station Agent - a lovely little film, btw - has this vibe to much of it. Well worth catching.

I have to say, I'm enjoying the series, and I think - now they're starting to mix things up regarding characters, timelines, plot points etc - it's becoming better than the novels. All the changes they've made are for the better, imho.

(except the chain!)
posted by smoke at 2:29 AM on May 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've got a totally minor, insignificant complaint that's summed up in a YouTube comment here:

"I've long enjoyed Stannis's theme when it has been quiet and haunting, but when they threw bombast over it for the battle it just sounded generic to me."

Also, it turns out Tyrion's whistling throughout the season might be more familiar after this last episode.
posted by palidor at 2:32 AM on May 31, 2012 [3 favorites]


The Hound's insta-dicer setting didn't work for me, it broke my suspension of disbelief.

It's interesting that in Deadliest Warrior they showed that a katana could cut through two pig carcases and the Turkish Kilij is just as deadly, a layer of chain mail would stop it (well the katana at least). But I just assume The Hound is super bad ass... I still can't believe how long it took me to realise it was Kenny from The Book Group. His audition was quite... something.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:47 AM on May 31, 2012 [5 favorites]


Best line of the episode: "And you will be to Joffrey's. Enjoy!"
posted by PenDevil at 2:51 AM on May 31, 2012 [4 favorites]


Favorite exchange from the previous episode, "A girl lacks honor", "*shrug*"
posted by the_artificer at 3:07 AM on May 31, 2012 [16 favorites]


So it looked like Tyrion got attacked by one of his own knights? The one he told to carry Geoffrey's banner? What happened there, why did his own knight attack him? (haven't read the books)
posted by PercussivePaul at 3:32 AM on May 31, 2012


Drunk Cersei Explains It All
posted by Sokka shot first at 3:35 AM on May 31, 2012 [5 favorites]


Favorite exchange from the previous episode, "A girl lacks honor", "*shrug*"

I really like the performance of Maisie Williams this season. Her scenes with Charles Dance are great.
posted by Pendragon at 3:39 AM on May 31, 2012 [4 favorites]


PercussivePaul: Yep, that was one of the Kingsguard, Ser Mandon Moore. I'm not sure if it's ever explicitly stated in the books, but Tyrion seems pretty convinced it was Cersei's doing. I see no reason to think otherwise.
posted by dumbland at 3:52 AM on May 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


There are just so many fantastic character pairings on this show -- Sansa/Sandor, Cersei/Sansa, Tyrion/Bronn, Tywin/Arya, Varys/Tyrion, Varys/Baelish, Baelish/Tyrion, Brienne/Jaime, Snow/Samwall, etc. If you get any of those two alone in a scene, it's usually gold. It really helps make an ensemble show feel more intimate when you have so many good pairings you can choose from.
posted by Rhomboid at 4:02 AM on May 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


So it looked like Tyrion got attacked by one of his own knights?

That was one of the Kingsguard - i.e. Joffrey's elite white cloaks. He's Ser Mandon Moore IIRC - the one Joffrey orders to stand in his stead when he 'retreats' to the Red Keep.

Given the conflict between Joffrey and Tyrion, and Ser Mandon being Joffrey's man, why he attempted to kill Tyrion in the heat of the battle should make a bit more sense. The attempt - and Podrick's actions - differ quite a bit from the books, but the outcome is the same.

It's a shame that they dropped the Chain - it was pivotal to the mental battle between Stannis and Tyrion trying to outwit the other, and making Stannis an Action Hero rather than the cunning general he is in the books does change him somewhat. Still, the set/art design and non-CGI effects were outstanding as always, and given their budget limits it was truly an outstanding episode that was frankly cinematic. And when they do do CGI - hoh, boy, it was well done.

Could have done with a little bit extra at the end with the Tyrells - Renly's Ghost etc - but I guess we'll get more of that next episode.

Minor nitpicks though, for what was a truly impressive bit of TV in what has been an excellent series. Can't wait to see what they do with series 3, that should be an absolute corker with the Red Wedding and all. BTW, don't google that if you want to remain spoiler free for next series.
posted by ArkhanJG at 4:02 AM on May 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Love the title of the post. Tyrion's "oh shit" moment and his decision to step up anyway were my favorite part of an amazing episode.

I've read (some of) the booksand my wife hasn't...after every episode she says, "PLEASE just tell me that Joffrey gets killed...PLEASE!"
posted by PlusDistance at 4:03 AM on May 31, 2012 [3 favorites]


Oh, nearly forgot. Cersei/Sansa was absolutely brilliant. Cersei's descent into despair, madness and cruelty is going slower than in the books, but it was brilliantly done. And is there any scene Dinklage doesn't Win at?
posted by ArkhanJG at 4:04 AM on May 31, 2012


PercussivePaul: Yep, that was one of the Kingsguard, Ser Mandon Moore. I'm not sure if it's ever explicitly stated in the books, but Tyrion seems pretty convinced it was Cersei's doing. I see no reason to think otherwise.

I wrote in the previous thread: "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)."

Homunculus also noted that Joffrey said that his sword would be covered with his uncle's blood at the end of battle. Context suggests he was talking about his uncle Stannis, but it could have also been a sly reference to his other uncle.
posted by painquale at 4:10 AM on May 31, 2012 [18 favorites]


I'm fairly sure Tyrion's wound is much more serious than the blood tells in that episode. In the book he loses half his face, pretty much, and from what I can tell, it looks like that sword swipe cut through all of the fleshy bits and cartilage. He's going to be all wrapped up in bandages and addled on milk of the poppy for a bit, so it will be interesting to see what happens when they get removed.

The wound HAS to be more severe than they showed, a little cheek cut wouldn't slow down anyone that much.
posted by sciurus at 4:24 AM on May 31, 2012


Ok, we've been talking about it here at red thoughts HQ, and we can't get past the fact that, no matter how much hair a bear may or may not be covered with, having your hair licked by a kodiak is just downright unpleasant. But then again, she's walking around the countryside with honey in her hair, and that shit doesn't just happen by accident, and she must know that there are bears around because everyone won't shut about about all the bears and how hairy they are, so maybe she's just a kinky minx.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 4:27 AM on May 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


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!

Guess who wrote the script for this episode.
posted by Pendragon at 4:34 AM on May 31, 2012 [3 favorites]


Showwriter G. R. R. Martin!
posted by painquale at 4:38 AM on May 31, 2012


He's never going to finish the next two books, is he. :(
posted by longdaysjourney at 4:44 AM on May 31, 2012 [12 favorites]


I think the way Sandor Clegane subtly falls apart in the face of the fire was very well done. It's not the sort of thing I can recall seeing much before: the silent, brutal warrior-type brought low by his phobia and forced to run. Not that he blew up or anything. He buries his emotions so deeply I wonder if he knows they're there, but the fear brought them closer to the surface. His disdain for serving Joffrey along with whatever it is he feels for Sansa. He actually acted on his own desires rather than being the faithful Hound.
posted by Danila at 4:49 AM on May 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


Too bad about the chain. As an interesting side note, it is a tactic that has been used at least once in real life, in the Battle of Myeongnyang.
posted by A dead Quaker at 5:02 AM on May 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


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).

I think the show explicitly implied this earlier as well, when Joffrey was acting all tough in front of Sansa. He drew his sword, Hearteater, and insisted he would bring it back with the blood of his Uncle on it. I know Joffrey is still living in a weird world where he is the only person who thinks he's a Baratheon, but this could also be interpreted to mean that he plans on killing his actual uncle.
posted by allen.spaulding at 5:36 AM on May 31, 2012


If there were ever a live-action adaptation of Metal Gear Solid, I think I want Peter Dinklage to play Liquid Snake. Okay, yes, obviously that introduces some physical limitations, and undercuts the whole "clone" thing. Really, I just think he'd be good at standing on top of/next to a giant robot and shouting "Brother!"
posted by Uppity Pigeon #2 at 5:37 AM on May 31, 2012 [6 favorites]


To be fair, Dinklage shouting anything from the vicinity of a giant robot would be a high water mark for popular culture.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 5:43 AM on May 31, 2012 [15 favorites]


The Hound's insta-dicer setting didn't work for me, it broke my suspension of disbelief.

I take no pleasure in saying it - and it looks like it will be an unpopular opinion - but I now find it difficult to remain immersed in any of Dinklage's scenes, due to his constant struggling with the accent.

I could ignore his not sounding English, I could even ignore his not sounding like any of the other Lannisters (or any other character on the show, for that matter), but he doesn't even manage to sound like himself on a consistent basis.

(Also: the Jezebel FMK piece needs Tywin Lannister.)
posted by Trurl at 5:44 AM on May 31, 2012 [4 favorites]


I dig the Hound because he's basically what would happen if Jason Voorhees were able to communicate.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 5:47 AM on May 31, 2012 [7 favorites]


I agree turl. Good actor, good emotions, poor accents. Feels forced, thespianesque
posted by rebent at 6:02 AM on May 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


I read "Marry, Fuck, Kill" and assumed that it was just Jezebel's 3-word summation of the Game of Thrones plot-lines.
posted by LMGM at 6:15 AM on May 31, 2012 [5 favorites]


I read "Marry, Fuck, Kill" and assumed that it was just Jezebel's 3-word summation of the Game of Thrones plot-lines.

That would be "Marry, Fuck (your sister), Kill".
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 6:20 AM on May 31, 2012


Yeah, I mentioned his terrible accent in one of the threads on season one, but it bothers me less and less as the show goes on.
posted by empath at 6:34 AM on May 31, 2012


What, no Fuck, Marry, Kill for Joffrey?

Which to choose? Which to choose?
posted by Naberius at 6:44 AM on May 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


For us n00bs who haven't read the books, can someone please explain the chain?
posted by I am the Walrus at 6:46 AM on May 31, 2012


There are just so many fantastic character pairings on this show -- Sansa/Sandor, Cersei/Sansa, Tyrion/Bronn, Tywin/Arya, Varys/Tyrion, Varys/Baelish, Baelish/Tyrion, Brienne/Jaime, Snow/Samwall, etc.

I'd add Jon/Ygritte to that list as well.

I'm re-reading the books now - just started Storm of Swords - and it's much easier to keep track of who's who in the books now that there are faces I can attach to the roles.

and here's a list of roles that will be cast for season 3

Queen of Thorns!
posted by Lucinda at 6:49 AM on May 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


For us n00bs who haven't read the books, can someone please explain the chain?
posted by I am the Walrus at 2:46 PM on May 31 [+] [!]


SORT PF SPOILERY BUT THE CAT SEEMS OUT OF THE BAG ON THIS THREAD SO NOT REALLY

In the book Tyrion put all the smiths of the city to work on making a massive chain to pull tight across the Blackwater after Stannis' fleet had entered it, thus trapping them there to be bombarded by wildfire.
posted by Reggie Knoble at 6:51 AM on May 31, 2012


SPOILERS FOR THE CHAIN

Tyrion had a huge metal chain made and sunk across the mouth of the Blackwater. Once the fleet had sailed in, the chain was raised and Stannis's fleet couldn't escape the subsequent rain of fire.

It was a big deal in the books because it drove home how the battle was won or lost based not on force of arms, but on who was the most crazy-prepared, it made the Davos pov stuff where the battle turned against them extra despair-filled and horrifying and it gave Tyrion a crowning moment of awesome for managing to keep such a big manufacturing project secret from enemies and allies alike because that was the only way it was ever going to work.)

(Haven't read book two in a while, slight details may be awry.)
posted by the latin mouse at 6:56 AM on May 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


can someone please explain the chain?

In the books, throught out the entire novel, there's a running plot of Tyrion forcing all of the armorers and steel workers to create links for a chain. It's purpose is pretty mysterious at first, and gets you more involved in the story. The chain is needed because the Lannister fleet is patheticly small, and important ships are given to buffoons to captain. When Stannis' fleet attacks, we find out that the massive chain was actually at the bottom of the river, and is raised up to just over the water, blocking any retreat. Then an entire fleet of derelict ships, all laden with dragon fire, is sent rolling down the river at the fleet. Many, many charred corpses.
posted by Ghidorah at 6:57 AM on May 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


Or, what they said.
posted by Ghidorah at 6:57 AM on May 31, 2012


the_artificer: Favorite exchange from the previous episode, "A girl lacks honor", "*shrug*"

And not even a full shrug. She shrugged like the insult was only worth half her available shoulders. It was PERFECT.
posted by the latin mouse at 6:59 AM on May 31, 2012 [20 favorites]


Attack the Mud Gate is a superb new euphamism
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 7:09 AM on May 31, 2012 [25 favorites]


I liked how the beginning of the episode was basically, "Saving Private Ryan, Westeros-style."
posted by Rangeboy at 7:17 AM on May 31, 2012


I'm really bummed out about how much the show has detoured from the book. I understand budgets and stuff, but it still makes me sad. I loved the first season because it was so similar to the book.

The battle didn't feel epic at all.

coolxcool=rad, the Wired does a comparison of each episode?
posted by royalsong at 7:31 AM on May 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Lucinda: "Queen of Thorns!"

Yes, but no Butterbumps. I AM DISAPPOINT.
posted by Dr. Zira at 7:39 AM on May 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


I was pleased they got a battle scene in at all, even if it wasn't as epic as the book (in addition to the chain, the book battle had multiple boats containing wildfire adrift on the river - at one point the fire is so intense that the clouds above the city are reflecting green light; the bulk of Stannis' forces are on the wrong side of the river and have to improvise a crossing on a bridge of sinking and damaged boats, etc). But I remember intense disappointment in season 1 when none of the battles were shown. The only moment that felt off for me was Stannis leading the charge and attack; that just isn't Stannis who is a more cool, calculating lead from the rear kinda general. But I get why they made that decision.

It's taken me most of this season, but I've finally come around to having some grudging respect for Cersei - I hate her in the books, but they've done a very good job of re-interpreting her character for the screen. And Lena is doing a fantastic job of playing her.

He's never going to finish the next two books, is he. :(

Martin writes one episode per year for the show. He's a TV writer of long experience (Beauty and the Beast, Murder She Wrote) and turned to writing this epic fantasy series in part because he was tired of the budget limits imposed on TV shows - he wanted to do the massive battle sequences and large scale, sweeping locations. So there is a certain wonderful irony in him now having to figure out how to translate one of the epic battles of the books to the TV screen. And as for this affecting his writing schedule - I think other projects, like his Wild Cards series, are more likely to chew up his time.
posted by never used baby shoes at 7:44 AM on May 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


"We were at the Paint Hall with [George Martin] during season one, showing him one of the sets, and he said, 'So this is where they’ll shoot the scene from my episode?' And we looked at each other and one of us said, 'George, they’re all your episodes.'"
I like all these people.
posted by mph at 7:48 AM on May 31, 2012 [6 favorites]


The only moment that felt off for me was Stannis leading the charge and attack; that just isn't Stannis who is a more cool, calculating lead from the rear kinda general. But I get why they made that decision.

I liked the decision there. Here's the thing though, the way I saw it Stannis staying behind was the original plan and that only changed when Davos got blown to high hell.

When Stannis lost his hand, he said "Fuck it, I'll handle everything myself. Come with me and take this city!"

The biggest theme of the battle scenes was to show the contrast between the two Kings. Had Tyrion fallen Joffrey would have been totally incapable of leading and Stannis would have been in the city before Tywin even arrived.

When the battle looked lost Joffrey left the field because his mother asked him to. When it was lost for Stannis his own men had to physically drag him from the field.

That isn't to say Stannis would be a good King, but at least he would be worthy of the name. Not every King has to be able to fight a war themsevles, but they have to have some kind of actual leadership ability and Joffrey has never demonstated it in any fashion whatsoever.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 8:20 AM on May 31, 2012 [4 favorites]


Can they just go ahead and cast Maggie Smith as Olena Redwyne? I mean, she's basically just the Tyrellian version of the Dowager Countess, and Dame Maggie KILLS that role.
posted by shiu mai baby at 8:22 AM on May 31, 2012 [15 favorites]


I completely got the decision to have Stannis lead the fight and the wonderful contrast it drew between Stannis and Joff; it wasn't a bad decision (in fact, it was a great decision - it worked very well), just an interesting one in terms of book Stannis versus TV Stannis.
posted by never used baby shoes at 8:58 AM on May 31, 2012


Can I just say FUCK YEAH QUEEN OF THORNS! Makes me wonder if the show making Margaery more like Olenna, all scheming and ambitious from the start, was sort of a spoiler rather than a character consolidation. Hm.

I know it won't be Maggie Smith, but I can dream. Ditto Cillian Murphy as Ramsay (and that would mess me up mentally, because I have always found Murphy hot and mixing that with Ramsay...eeeeeeugh just, no!).
posted by ifjuly at 9:34 AM on May 31, 2012


never used baby shoes: "He's a TV writer of long experience (Beauty and the Beast, Murder She Wrote)"

This seems like the ideal time to cue up the Murder She Wrote writing montage from Spaced, featuring GRRM at the typewriter in place of Daisy.
posted by Dr. Zira at 10:08 AM on May 31, 2012


[meant to say, you have to imagine GRRM's face in place of Daisy's. I'm too lazy to make my own montage.]
posted by Dr. Zira at 10:12 AM on May 31, 2012


coolxcool=rad, the Wired does a comparison of each episode?

Yeah, check out the Blackwater link from the FPP. In addition to that, it looks like they do a week-by-week comparison at Westeros.org.

I did some listening to around half a dozen interviews with George R.R. Martin last week and I really have to admire his ability to think like a fan as well as the creator of this series; especially on the matter of indiscrepancies between the books and the show.

To paraphrase something he said, multiple times, in multiple interviews: The show and the books are going to be allowed to become their own "beasts". Small changes that need to be made to the show for reasons of budget and other practical concerns WILL EFFECT THE LONG TERM PLOT OF THE HBO SERIES. So, it seems, that the TV show just might slightly spin off into it's own Alternate-Westeros time line.

I'm OK with this. Once the creator of a narrative comes out and says "This is the way it's going to be" I'm not going to argue too much. Also, Martin, being no stranger to TV writing, has made a decision informed by previous experience. He's aware of many of the technicalities that can emerge that might divert the flow of his story within the medium of television. As such, he's simply decided not to fight it and allow David Benioff and D.B. Weiss to do their best (or worst, depending on where you stand) with it.
posted by coolxcool=rad at 10:37 AM on May 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


the TV show just might slightly spin off into it's own Alternate-Westeros time line

If that timeline somehow manages to entirely ignore books 4 and 5...that would be a win for everyone.
posted by Chekhovian at 10:45 AM on May 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I'm glad the creator has taken the attitude of allowing them to diverge. I figure, if you want something that stays perfectly true to the books, you could just read the books, you know?

Novels are a different medium from serialized television and it's a good thing that the story is being molded to fit the medium.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 11:02 AM on May 31, 2012


and here's a list of roles that will be cast for season 3

No Strong Belwas. Maybe they're not casting Strong Belwas because he appears in episode 10 of this season.
posted by painquale at 11:13 AM on May 31, 2012


(don't read if you are avoiding any book spoilers)

He better be there, or I will challenge an HBO executive to a duel to the death and shit on his corpse in front of their building when I'm done.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:40 PM on May 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


He's never going to finish the next two books, is he. :(

No, but he's got a great sideline going in wedding planning!
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:42 PM on May 31, 2012 [4 favorites]


He better be there.

I was surprised to see Daario on that list because I forgot that he was introduced in book 3, and briefly thought, oh god, they're not going to replace Strong Belwas with Daario, are they?!

It also looks like they're recasting Dondarrion.
posted by painquale at 1:17 PM on May 31, 2012


TheWhiteSkull: "No, but he's got a great sideline going in wedding planning!"

So... how many bannermen is the happy couple expecting? We want to make sure we have plenty of bread and salt...
posted by Dr. Zira at 1:39 PM on May 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


He'll always be a jolly sea captain to me.
posted by Artw at 1:50 PM on May 31, 2012


Ditto Cillian Murphy as Ramsay

I have a feeling that Ramsay is already in the show.
posted by kaseijin at 1:54 PM on May 31, 2012


I am almost tempted to watch this.

You should, if for no other reason than to hear Dinklage's French accent.
posted by homunculus at 2:24 PM on May 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Or what painquale said.
posted by homunculus at 2:25 PM on May 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also missing, now that I think of it, trebuchets. If NBA center Chris Kaman can build one in his free time, why can't HBO include the three trebuchets?
posted by Ghidorah at 2:31 PM on May 31, 2012


I have a feeling that Ramsay is already in the show.

You think he's Dagmar Cleftjaw? Some people have suggested that, but it's hard for me to buy that theory. What would Ramsey have been doing at the Pyke, particularly when Roose said that Ramsey was at the Dreadfort?
posted by painquale at 3:08 PM on May 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I've been puzzled by the splitting Ramsay into seemingly two people so far, especially because as you mention having Cleftjaw somehow be Ramsay makes very little sense. Guess we'll see...
posted by ifjuly at 4:08 PM on May 31, 2012


Homunculus also noted that Joffrey said that his sword would be covered with his uncle's blood at the end of battle

Oh man. I hate Joffrey so much and am constantly looking forward to seeing him die (I have to assume he will because COME ON), but I actually cringed and felt embarassed for him when he delivered that "I'll give him a red smile!" line. Ugh, what a little dork.
posted by Hoopo at 4:47 PM on May 31, 2012 [4 favorites]


HEART EATER
posted by palidor at 4:49 PM on May 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also, during Joffrey's exhange with Sansa when he says he'll kill his uncle, she asks "You'll kill him yourself?" and he responds "If Stannis is foolish enough to come near me." So he's pretty unambiguously referring to Stannis, though I guess you can still read some double meaning in it. I just can't see Joffrey's priorities being so messed up that with Stannis about to assault the city all he can think of is murdering Tyrion. But then again, he's Joffrey.
posted by palidor at 4:54 PM on May 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


If someone hasn't yet started a Joffrey ProTip Tumblr, this needs to happen. E.g.:

Joffrey ProTip: A king does not discuss battle plans with stupid girls.
posted by Dr. Zira at 7:01 PM on May 31, 2012 [5 favorites]


GO TEAM JOFFERY!

Heh.
posted by Artw at 7:22 PM on May 31, 2012


Ugh, what a little dork

Joff' is the one case where the up-aging of all the characters didn't really happen in right way or something. He doesn't come off as 17 to me. Maybe he's just too skinny and short? It doesn't work. And wearing armor, he looks like a cat that you've just forcibly bathed, which is how its supposed to come off I suppose.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that they u- aged all the other characters which makes them work better, but somehow the Joffery up-aging didn't work for him, so he looks even worse in comparison.
posted by Chekhovian at 7:23 PM on May 31, 2012


It's pretty hard to beat the stupid King cape he started wearing at the end of season 1 for jerk attire.
posted by Artw at 7:26 PM on May 31, 2012


I've read the books more than a few times and I'm mostly loving the changes from page to screen. I can definitely see how Martin is probably thrilled too with the changes since he gets to subtly correct or rework ideas in version 2.0 of his work, something he'd never be allowed to do with the already printed stories.

I noticed one kinda subtle and beautiful subversion of fantasy tropes in this episode. Someone had to give the cliched speech of "only you can save us now", normally spoken by the beautiful princess to the noble king or knight or jedi.

In this show, this speech was given by a eunuch to a dwarf. In a way, this kinda summarized how Martin has sought to subvert traditional fantasy.
posted by honestcoyote at 7:29 PM on May 31, 2012 [7 favorites]


this kinda summarized how Martin has sought to subvert traditional fantasy

And so the terribly boring travelogue parts, the fantasy D&D board game digressions, the overemphasis on the finessed solution to the "Meerense" knot kinematics, these are all some part of an attempt to subvert normal genre conventions?
posted by Chekhovian at 7:36 PM on May 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


You think he's Dagmar Cleftjaw?

I do, actually -- I have a sneaking suspicion that those rumors are true. I'm kind of curious to see how they tie that together, but really they didn't flesh out Cleftjaw in the show as being somebody from Theon's childhood...so he could pretty much be anybody.

There are a few cuts of him (to me, anyway) obviously enjoying some of Theon's more sadistic moments, he suggests burning the miller's children, and we've already seen a hunt of sorts...

That, and there are no mentions I have seen of casting Ramsay going on presently.

Don't really know how I feel about them rolling Ramsay/Dagmer into one...but we'll see. It might work.
posted by kaseijin at 7:52 PM on May 31, 2012


And so the terribly boring travelogue parts, the fantasy D&D board game digressions, the overemphasis on the finessed solution to the "Meerense" knot kinematics, these are all some part of an attempt to subvert normal genre conventions?

I think you're being needlessly snarky here. Just because you're subverting one or more genre conventions doesn't mean you need to subvert ALL of them simultaneously, which is its own kind of mistake, or can lead you to make them in other areas. Buffy famously subverts genre by making the girl in the dark alley the one that kills the monster, not the other way around, but it's not like there aren't monsters, alleys, blah blah blah.

You're also conflating problems with Martin's writing stylistically which has nothing to do with genre with those things.

Anyway, if you're going to be needlessly snarky, consider making it funny next time?
posted by sparkletone at 7:53 PM on May 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


Also, during Joffrey's exhange with Sansa when he says he'll kill his uncle, she asks "You'll kill him yourself?" and he responds "If Stannis is foolish enough to come near me." So he's pretty unambiguously referring to Stannis, though I guess you can still read some double meaning in it.

I think you're right. I first assumed he meant Tyrion, but I'd forgotten that Joffrey is the last person in Westeros who still believes Robert was his father.
posted by homunculus at 7:54 PM on May 31, 2012


While the whole "If Stannis is foolish enough to come near me" line really resolves things, I think people are forgetting that even if Joffrey believes Robert was his father, Tyrion is still an uncle because Cersei is his mother.

that being said, I wish joffrey hadn't made the stannis comment, so we could all continue to consider his uncle-killing line a mystery.
posted by subversiveasset at 8:10 PM on May 31, 2012




Anyway, if you're going to be needlessly snarky, consider making it funny next time?

My ability to cope with books 4 and 5 through humor was exhausted a long time ago. Now I'm subsumed by fear that all the secrets we've long suspected are going to turn out to be true, and it won't even have any impact. Meeting the *redacted* north of wall at last certainly had zero resonance for me. It was a giant blah.
posted by Chekhovian at 9:08 PM on May 31, 2012


Don't really know how I feel about them rolling Ramsay/Dagmer into one...but we'll see. It might work.

Didn't Roose say an episode or two ago that he was going to send his son to Winterfell? I guess I just don't see how combining these characters would work. We don't know much of Dagmer's history, but he did come from the Iron Islands. Wasn't he the one who suggested to Theon that something could be made of the demeaning mission Balon had assigned to him?
posted by torticat at 10:40 PM on May 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


Roose Bolton did say he was sending his bastard to Winterfell, and that article about casting for season three specifically mentions that the list is by no means complete.

I haven't read the books (though spoilers someone told me unprompted about Theon having a future skin problem, and then I read about House Bolton one day, so I have a vague idea about where things are going), so I could be missing something, but Dagmer = Ramsay doesn't really make any sense on the surface to me.

Also I could definitely be wrong about this, but I never saw Dagmer's reactions as responding to Theon being sadistic. More Theon being a brash, impulsive kid or something. I've kind of grouped Dagmer with Podrick Payne as peripheral characters that get the most perfect reaction shots.
posted by palidor at 11:53 PM on May 31, 2012


Dinklage really does steal the fucker.

I could seriously watch than man eat toast while reading a newspaper.


Then I recommend you watch the Station Agent because it was made for you.
posted by srboisvert at 1:27 AM on June 1, 2012


It's a brave man that wears this t-shirt. A very brave man.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:09 AM on June 1, 2012


And to think, the actor who plays Joffrey is the same little boy on the fire escape in Batman Begins.
posted by Edison Carter at 6:23 AM on June 1, 2012


UP THE JOFF!

He's previously said he's going to quit acting after this. Which, I don't know, seems like the opposite of avoiding getting typecast - he'll ALWAYS be The Joff if he does that.

(the target thing, BTW, very much sits on the border of a bit of fun and unhinged for me. )
posted by Artw at 7:23 AM on June 1, 2012


No, if you rewatch say, Theon beating up his men after Bran and Rickon go missing, or Rodrik's beheading, the show makes a point to linger on Cleftjaw grinning like a sicko and egging Theon on, much the way Ramsay's meant to. People have theorized Cleftjaw's going to be pivotal in [SPOILER REDACTED], but in a way where he paves the way for Ramsay. Kind of weird to split Ramsay's function and character like that, but maybe it has to do with timing like that EW cast quote says, where logistically for the show they wanted to wait for some reason. It was mentioned on the boards they were looking for a big pale guy for an undisclosed role and many fans assume that means Ramsay.
posted by ifjuly at 8:14 AM on June 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


SPOILER FOR THE BOOKS AND POTENTIALLY THE TV SHOW



In the books wasn't it Reek who gave Theon the idea of killing the millers kids. In the show that was Cleftjaw so it seems like they have at least split the Reek part of Ramsay off into Cleftjaw.

It wouldn't make sense to me to have Ramsay actually be Cleftjaw because how could he have insinuated himself into the Iron Island society enough to be a first mate (even if is is of a kind of crappy ship)?

Perhaps they are replacing the reek element because they don't consider it believable that Ramsay could wander around as Reek without people recognising him.
posted by Reggie Knoble at 10:06 AM on June 1, 2012


He's previously said he's going to quit acting after this. Which, I don't know, seems like the opposite of avoiding getting typecast - he'll ALWAYS be The Joff if he does that.

”I‘d like to be an academic, a philosophy lecturer if possible. I‘d do a Masters in Ancient Hebrew maybe, and a PhD hopefully, if I get in.”

I can't read something like that about the actor, because it takes away from my enjoyment of counting down the days until I surely get to watch Joffrey die in a most incredibly painful manner.
posted by gaspode at 11:00 AM on June 1, 2012




I'm giving even odds on Syrio returning in the next episode. I don't buy any of the speculation about Syrio still being alive in the books... but I think the showrunners might write it in anyway and let the fans go completely bonkers fighting about whether or not the TV show and the books have diverged. The fact that Martin has been having lunches with Miltos Yerolemou this season is suggestive.
posted by painquale at 4:25 PM on June 1, 2012


In a way Neil Marshall such on obvious choice I'm suprised he isn't already knocking out a serious of grim and muddy new-fantasy movies.
posted by Artw at 4:28 PM on June 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Man, if you think you hate Joffrey, you've going to have to find all new emotions for the bastard.
posted by flaterik at 5:42 PM on June 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Heart eater needs to be a hair-metal theme song for him.
posted by Artw at 6:09 PM on June 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


> Man, if you think you hate Joffrey, you've going to have to find all new emotions for the bastard.

SPOILER sort of.
Word. I loved that about the books, like all the other slowly unfurling developments in your emotions toward the whole thing, how you think no one could be worse and then surprise! Joffrey's small, small potatoes compared to.
posted by ifjuly at 7:32 PM on June 1, 2012


It wouldn't make sense to me to have Ramsay actually be Cleftjaw because how could he have insinuated himself into the Iron Island society enough to be a first mate (even if is is of a kind of crappy ship)?

Right, that is what I didn't understand.

Perhaps they are replacing the reek element because they don't consider it believable that Ramsay could wander around as Reek without people recognising him.

That makes a lot of sense. There's not really a compelling reason for a Reek the First to exist; in the book he's just kind of used to highlight Ramsey's cunning and cruelty, right? There will be plenty of other ways to do that on the show without confusing things by having Ramsey running around playing dress-up. Leaving aside whether other characters would recognize him, it would needlessly confuse viewers to introduce a new character disguised as another, also new character.
posted by torticat at 10:02 PM on June 1, 2012


Oh man...the season finale winds are rising....everybody make sure that your rectums are in the fully upright and locked position before the show begins...the landing is probably going to be intense...
posted by Chekhovian at 12:22 PM on June 3, 2012


I dunno, after last week it all seemed a bit low key.

Still, nice whatever the fuck that was at the end.
posted by Artw at 11:28 PM on June 3, 2012


The coming winter will now be delayed for another 10 months...
posted by the_artificer at 11:45 PM on June 3, 2012


Meh.
posted by Chekhovian at 11:45 PM on June 3, 2012


/ponders what to watch now.
posted by Artw at 11:48 PM on June 3, 2012


Homeland starts up again in what...September? Going to be interesting to see how they impedance match into the second season.
posted by Chekhovian at 12:03 AM on June 4, 2012


And burn notice should be starting up again at some point this summer. But man I'd kill for a space show.
posted by Chekhovian at 12:12 AM on June 4, 2012


Futurama returns on the 20th.
posted by Rhomboid at 12:15 AM on June 4, 2012


HBO SPACE OPERA.
posted by Artw at 12:16 AM on June 4, 2012 [4 favorites]


The whole CoK Reek/Ramsey thing and the constantly changing stewardship of Harranhal were really excessively confusing, and it's good they were cut. Trying to explain either of those to a newbie without looking at a wiki or a summary is a true challenge.

We got a new House of the Undying prophecy. The Red Keep burned in the middle of winter... by dragons?

Did Robb have a New Gods wedding instead of an Old Gods one? Why would he do that?

I was hoping they might keep Luwin around. That was sad.
posted by painquale at 12:48 AM on June 4, 2012


Dany's throne room vision and those final scenes really got my hope-this-stuff-is-going-to-get-darker-and-darker excitement up. Though I think if the series is going to be the grim Shit Just Keeps Getting Worse saga I probably really want it to be long-term, it's going to be a pretty tough balancing act maintaining personal investment in certain character arcs against an increasingly dire backdrop. Too much doom and you start to feel like certain things are futile, I guess. Of course I'm just vaguely musing about my vague idea of where things might go over the course of the next few seasons.

One thing that bugs me about those last scenes--I wonder about Sam's fate. And I mean, I don't think I should be wondering. Putting him in that position and then having him come back next season in anything but wight form kind of undermines the threat of these horrible force-of-nature antagonists. Not to mention sacrificing a cute (sym)pathetic character like that is a pretty effective way of saying We're Not Fucking Around Here. But I suppose the fact that I'm left wondering about his fate means I don't quite trust the series to completely follow through on its "threats" yet.
posted by palidor at 1:20 AM on June 4, 2012


I had never really thought "Cersei Lannister, there's a really interesting and engaging character I want to see more of" until this point.

Really? After Brienne, she's my favorite character ... in the books. I agree, with the Battle episode, she got a chance to shine. Great stuff, her with Sansa, Shae, and Tommen. (Her storyline in Books 3-5 was one of the most disappointing to me ...)

It's telling to me how poorly Cersei is received by readers. A strong woman, not really any different than her brother ... really the epitome of medieval female subjugation. She's no worse than Robert, Ned, or Catelyn, for that matter.

It's not clear at all in the books whether or not it was Cersei or Joffrey who ordered the attack on Tyrion. I assumed it was Joffrey. Cersei is not stupid.

That Lannister song is a thing of beauty.

I liked it when Bronn was leading the men in singing it, but The National's rendition was disappointing (I realize they wrote it). Nothing that dirgeful would ever become that popular.
posted by mrgrimm at 8:54 AM on June 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


/ponders what to watch now.

The new season of Borgen started last night on Link TV.
posted by homunculus at 9:37 AM on June 4, 2012


I missed Bronn in that last episode. He's got to be one of the best characters on the show. Dinklage has the odds stacked in his favor even further by putting Tyrion and Bronn in so many scenes together.

Really? After Brienne, she's my favorite character ... in the books.

Haven't read the books, so my impression is exclusively of the show. The siege episode did nothing for my opinion of her, which is of a cold, condescending, conniving jerk. She also bones her brother and watched as he pushed a little kid out of a window, so there's that too.
posted by Hoopo at 10:28 AM on June 4, 2012


Hoopo, Brienne is the large woman knight that has Jamie. She is serving Cat Stark. You are talking about Cersi. Joffery's mother, brother boner and kid pusher.
posted by pearlybob at 10:50 AM on June 4, 2012


Never mind Hoopo. I read the quote wrong. My apologies.
posted by pearlybob at 10:51 AM on June 4, 2012


After Brienne, she's my favorite character ... in the books.

Haven't read the books, so my impression is exclusively of the show. The siege episode did nothing for my opinion of her, which is of a cold, condescending, conniving jerk
.

Those aren't mutually exclusive. My favorite characters are usually cold, condescending, conniving jerks. Joffrey and Viserys!

Cersei is not stupid.

Except for coming up with the Wildfire idea, I can't think of a single clever thing she's done, but her mistakes are numerous and hugely costly. I'll defend her as a great character, but not as a tactician.
posted by painquale at 10:54 AM on June 4, 2012


It may be just that I enjoy watching her lay the harsh facts of life on Sansa, a character I'm sure those of you have read the books will tell me has a rich inner life but who on screen seems to be utterly vapid.
posted by Artw at 11:22 AM on June 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


I can't think of a single clever thing she's done

Well, she did get Robert killed (albeit indirectly and with byzantine complications), and her obvious product of incest accepted as the king of Westeros.

I also didn't say she was clever. I said she's not stupid. Joffrey is stupid.

Except for coming up with the Wildfire idea, I can't think of a single clever thing she's done

Apart from, as mentioned, the idea that saved King's Landing. ;) Regardless of how Tyrion played it or tries to take credit, it was the production of massive amounts of wildfire that won the battle.

Her (major, major) misstep comes later. What are her numerous and costly "mistakes" so far? She's still doing pretty good.
posted by mrgrimm at 12:26 PM on June 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think she makes more than just a single major misstep later on. I don't want to spoil anything, but I can think of at least five "jesus, what are you thinking?" moments. But I admit her serious errors are yet to come. In any case, seducing Lancel and leaving him as a loose end to be exploited by Tyrion and others, mistrusting and alienating Tyrion, picking the wrong prostitute to use as hostage, ordering Joffrey back into the castle during the battle: all pretty dumb.

Well, she did get Robert killed (albeit indirectly and with byzantine complications), and her obvious product of incest accepted as the king of Westeros.

I'd argue that she didn't do either succesfully. Most of her "successes" are short-lived. She doesn't think very far ahead.
posted by painquale at 1:04 PM on June 4, 2012


mrgrimm's right; it's not that Cersei is clever ('cause yeah, she's not), it's that she's "not stupid." And nearly every misstep she takes is driven by a lifetime buildup of bitterness and paranoia and whatnot (her grudge against Tyrion is unwise for sure, but it's sort of a reverting to a child-age scapegoating for the death of her mother, cued by the daddy she admires and fears disappointing in equal measure; the valonqar prophecy which was revealed just as she was coming into her own and going through adolescent craziness in terms of childish hopes and dreams meeting up with adult-like ambition and swagger; Robert was The Alcoholic In Power for so long it's not that surprising she has a drinking problem once she gains power; etc. etc.). I'm not saying that makes her decisions any wiser (it certainly doesn't!) but it makes where she's coming from understandable and, at least to me, interesting. It's sort of a matter of her ambition outsizing her...whatever you want to call it, cool-detached-tactical-smarts-a-la-Tywin-or-Tyrion. She has this consuming desire for power after feeling wronged her entire life, but not the coolness of emotion to handle it well. That's not the same thing as just being straight up Lancel-ishly dim.
posted by ifjuly at 1:33 PM on June 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


I agree that she's interesting, understandable, and that you can explain her bad decisions by appealing to bitterness and paranoia and ambition. But someone who consistently makes bad decisions with disastrous ramifications because of emotional paranoia and who doesn't comprehend that they're making bad decisions... well... think of American politicians who meet these qualifications and consider whether you'd call them stupid. I would. She's not stupid like Shagga or Hodor or Lancel, but that's setting the bar pretty low.
posted by painquale at 2:24 PM on June 4, 2012


POSSIBLE BOOK/TV SPOILERS ...

ifjuly brings up a pretty good point about the valonqar prophecy (though I think that info doesn't come until later - Book 4?) asoiaf wiki is 500 ... :(

That does pretty much explain the attack on Tyrion and her "unwise grudge" - it's not *only* that their mother died in childbirth with Tryion, it's that she lives in a world where 100% of prophecies come true and she has received a prophecy that says, "And when your tears have drowned you, the valonqar ("little brother") shall wrap his hands about your pale white throat and choke the life from you."

(I know, I know, if all prophecies come true, why even try to change your fate, but ...)
posted by mrgrimm at 2:43 PM on June 4, 2012


One of the themes that the books touch upon constantly is what happens when those in power are either unready or unsuited (or both) to be there. Cersei is one example of that theme.

I don't like Cersei, but I understand her. She's shortsighted and convinced she has to win at everything in order to be a good leader; she doesn't understand that the game has many different levels and that what appears to be a loss might actually be a win if handled correctly - and that sometimes, as the leader, you have to put aside your desires because while it may be a loss for you personally, it is a win for everyone else.

Tywin gives Joff a talk at some point about how being a great king means not only be swift to respond to your enemies, but also swift to pick them up when they bend the knee and submit. Because, whatever the kings personal feelings at that time, a) the realm is better served by peace and b) the king is perceived as just and wise - which is the larger win. Neither Joff nor Cersei understand that lesson.
posted by never used baby shoes at 3:49 PM on June 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


she doesn't understand that the game has many different levels and that what appears to be a loss might actually be a win

Cersei certainly understands that fact compared to someone like Ned Stark. She's like George Keenan compared to old dead Ned.
posted by mrgrimm at 4:05 PM on June 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ned's mistake was thinking that the game didn't apply to him.
posted by never used baby shoes at 4:09 PM on June 4, 2012


Or, rather, that everyone would play by the same rules he played by.
posted by never used baby shoes at 4:11 PM on June 4, 2012


Apparently book-only backstory explains Ned's actions, but without that he just looks like an idiot.
posted by Artw at 4:14 PM on June 4, 2012


Is it Ned wanting to spare Cersei's children from Robert's wrath (which he said to her in the show) because he was around for what the Lannisters did to the Targaryen children (and is a wuss)?
posted by palidor at 4:31 PM on June 4, 2012


I guess... But even then there must be better plans than "give the entire game away at the first opportunity and get killed. Oh, and trigger a nice bit of infanticide anyway."
posted by Artw at 4:33 PM on June 4, 2012


Also, Sam addendum: it occurs to me he could survive because he's in possession of those obsidian weapons. Evil ice demons might want to avoid volcanic glass, or something. I dunno though, even if the series started with a White Walker holding a man's decapitated head, they haven't really been established as all that threatening yet. Ominous and scary, sure, but I'm eagerly awaiting the point where it's actually demonstrated how dangerous they are.

And I can't decide if the "fire" in A Song of Ice and Fire is dragons or the Red God. Probably both. I guess I'll find out in season 10.
posted by palidor at 5:07 PM on June 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, the show is doing a good job of getting across how little regard everyone south of the wall has for the notion white walkers, Mance Rayder, etc. pose any real threat. I loved that about the story too--it's hinted that's the greatest issue of all (I mean as you mention, the entire series starts with it and making it absolutely clear it is a real thing and bad, a telling decision) and it wouldn't be surprising if most of humanity doesn't even give it a second thought because it's not in their face right at the moment. Like how people are myopic in real life too (I dunno, like climate change or other environmental issues, or dependence on oil, or whatever).
posted by ifjuly at 5:15 PM on June 4, 2012


And if anyone wants to argue people making bad decisions is enough to dismiss them as not engaging or compelling or whatever, well, Catelyn makes a zillion bad moves (seriously, so frustrating and endless I wanted to throw the book across the room nearly whenever she does anything). I vastly prefer Cersei to Catelyn (but I have my own biases there; Catelyn's narrow notion of family, the way she treats Jon and Theon, etc. makes me sick for personal background reasons) and find her a billion times more interesting.
posted by ifjuly at 5:19 PM on June 4, 2012 [2 favorites]




Yeah for all of Cersei's paranoia and vindictiveness she's certainly portrayed as wanting to be a strong woman ("I should've been born a man") in a world that literally laughs at the idea of strong women (Brienne's encounter in the finale). For better or worse it's definitely more interesting of a role than Catelyn's, to me.

I also wonder if the series is meant to be a long drawn out death of the Starks and what they represent (honor and integrity) in a world that is only going to reward merciless cunning as it plunges further into war and worse. With Cat's and now Robb's foolish decisions made under the stress of the war and their family falling apart, I can't see how things are going to go any way but terrible for them. I don't know the motivations for Winterfell being sacked by what are ostensibly Robb's bannermen (I think who burned Winterfell is supposed to be a bit of a mystery, but it wasn't the Ironborn, so really who else would it be but the Bolton men?), but I can't see his army wanting to continue serving a king whose mother released Jaime and who breaks his oath to the Freys in order to marry a foreign woman. And I know they wouldn't keep bringing up Robb's deal with Walder Frey if there aren't going to be dire consequences for him betraying it. Not to mention the Lannister-Tyrell alliance. So basically, I see things going really badly for Robb and Cat, leaving the remaining Stark children spread out across the continent learning how to be Starks-in-name-only (well, except Jon, technically), or something.
posted by palidor at 5:56 PM on June 4, 2012


I used to have a detached sense of amusement when non readers would speculate on plot outcomes of the TV series. With all the changes made in season 2, I'm right with them. It's exciting to see where they'll take the series.

As mentioned before, Martin has said that it's possible the books and show will diverge more and more.

That being said, I feel like Brienne's character change completely in the last episode. Can anyone confirm that the fight with the Stark soldiers happened in the book as well?
posted by Telf at 6:33 PM on June 4, 2012


More specifically, I don't think Brienne from the books would have shoved her sword in a wounded man's stomach as she did in the show. This really changes the tone of her character.
posted by Telf at 6:38 PM on June 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't know the motivations for Winterfell being sacked by what are ostensibly Robb's bannermen (I think who burned Winterfell is supposed to be a bit of a mystery, but it wasn't the Ironborn, so really who else would it be but the Bolton men?)

I don't know what the story is in the show (things have diverged from the books here), but I'll just point out that in the books, Bolton's bastard is a crazy renegade hated by the whole North because he pillages and rapes wherever he goes. If Winterfell is burning because of the Roose's son and not because of the Ironmen, it would probably be just because Roose's son is an ass.
posted by painquale at 6:48 PM on June 4, 2012


Ah, okay. Whatever the cause of Winterfell being sacked, though, I think the King in the North might lose a lot of the goodwill he has from his men going forward.

Also, when I mentioned my hope that the series just gets darker and darker, it's like I'm hoping that this ends up being the title theme for season 8 lololol
posted by palidor at 7:00 PM on June 4, 2012


> More specifically, I don't think Brienne from the books would have shoved her sword in a wounded man's stomach as she did in the show. This really changes the tone of her character.

Agreed, she probably wouldn't have, but I must admit the raging feminist in me loved that scene a whole lot. I was amused though, how they tried to ramp up tension (oh noes Jaime can't help!11!!) but the whole time I was like "this is no biggie, Brienne can take 3 men blindfolded", and lo. Ha. Loved it.

As for the rest...Huh. I feel like the lack of, um, certain things happening at the House of the Undying is the official seal that the show is going in a more made-for-TV plot route, upping excitement and downplaying long-arc epicness. Wondering what to make of it. On the one hand, it's enjoyable in its own right. On the other, BOOK SPOILER no backstory with Rhaegar and Lyanna, and ahem, blue flowers growing out of walls of ice makes me a little blue myself. But it sort of makes sense if I remember the show dudes implying they weren't sure they'd even go beyond book 3 from the get-go, which sort of indicates they were always willing to go far from the story, and diverge more and more as the show progresses.

Because wow. It is very different in big, whole-sweeping-series-arc ways now.
posted by ifjuly at 8:31 PM on June 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


And Doreah at the end was super predictable. I think most people just assumed it as soon as Dany realized she was missing. And especially after you ponder the little foreshadowy things the show put in before that--Doreah gushing about Xaro's riches in a way that alienated the rest of the khal, contrasting Irri with Doreah, etc. Kind of a cliche almost. (With, alas, a racial/cultural bent to boot, as some complained about too...)
posted by ifjuly at 8:48 PM on June 4, 2012


I don't think they're going the made-for-TV route as much as they're trying to capture the experience of someone who reads the books for the first time. The book House of the Undying scene is surreal, but the actual content of it is mostly inconsequential the first time around. It's only exciting when you go back later and analyze the hell out of it looking for clues. Same deal with cutting out all the minor houses, references to the Brotherhood, stuff about Rhaegar, history of Westeros, etc. Who reads the first two books and figures out the significance of a blue rose without just being told? The things that bookies don't like being cut are things that I, at least, totally glossed over when I first read the books... so they're probably pretty inconsequential to the main story. Even the books don't demand that you pay attention to these things. They're just there for the diehards.

Most of the HotU was probably unfilmable without being super spoilerific too. I don't especially want to see images of Dany's husbands and enemies, but it's fine to have them obliquely described (even if its somewhat obvious now who those descriptions are of).
posted by painquale at 8:50 PM on June 4, 2012 [1 favorite]




> Who reads the first two books and figures out the significance of a blue rose without just being told?

(raises hand) It took me a while, for sure, but I hit on the infamous initials equation deal on my own, and ha, I remember excitedly telling a friend thinking I was being so smart and he was all "oh yeah, that's a given in the fandom, yawn."

Ohhh wait, you said after only the first two books. Ah, no.

And I'm lazy with my words, apologies. When I say "made-for-TV" what I mean is with more TVish drama, not necessarily a put-down, just different in that particular way/style. Every moment of excitement they attempt to make more.exciting!! which is fine, I get lots and maybe even most fans live for that aspect, but it's distinct from the other charms that draw weirdos like me I guess, the drawn out arcs and intricate history and unfolding/maturing sensation you get as you learn initial impressions were wrong not in a, yeah TVish momentary dramatic whoa sort of way but a blossoming appreciation one.
posted by ifjuly at 8:58 PM on June 4, 2012


> so they're probably pretty inconsequential to the main story. Even the books don't demand that you pay attention to these things. They're just there for the diehards.

Right...until the end, when like the white walkers it'll be the most important thing and people feel dumb for ignoring it, heh. Which is exactly why I mused about maybe the omission of the underlying Hugely Important Secret Backstory being because the show folks figured the whole "sealing up the whole series at the end" thing wasn't important given they a) might not even get to that point b) if they do, they might not have Martin's books as a blueprint/are free to diverge, so it doesn't really matter right now.
posted by ifjuly at 9:01 PM on June 4, 2012


I did know there was no way in hell they'd show all of the visions, because of course one in particular that doesn't mean anything to readers at the time would be so obviously a spoiler there'd be no way they'd do it.

Seeing those tiny little dragons burn a dude magically makes me look at my tiny runty but feisty cat askance.
posted by ifjuly at 9:03 PM on June 4, 2012


Which is exactly why I mused about maybe the omission of the underlying Hugely Important Secret Backstory being because the show folks figured the whole "sealing up the whole series at the end" thing wasn't important...

You might be right about that, but I don't know if they'd shoot their future selves in the foot like that. I just don't think that they've done anything that'll make the series difficult to seal up. They haven't left out anything that is Hugely Important to the narrative; they've left out things that are Hugely Important to the history of the events we've seen, but that's different.

At some point, Martin's going to have to reveal secrets perhaps like R+L. If the revelation in the books makes no sense unless the reader has had all these insights that we read about on various wikis, then Martin's made a big mistake. The revelation in the books needs to make sense to all readers and stand on its own without the breadcrumbs. Those breadcrumbs are awesome and they help build the world, but they're almost certainly not essential to the plot. So the show is free to ignore them without making problems for the future.

A Dance with Dragons didn't require that all the readers had been on top of speculation about Griff, for instance.
posted by painquale at 9:24 PM on June 4, 2012


Wait, dammit. R+L = JS? Because someone told me that as a theory, and then Sophie Turner (Sansa) mentions the exact same thing in an interview I read a few days ago. I really liked the idea, but I don't like hearing supposed theories that are maybe already facts! Anyway if that turns out to be true, it'll have very little impact on folks who only watch the show because they haven't delivered that backstory in it. I've devoured the GoT wiki for backstory, which is why I liked the idea, but I'm in the minority as far as show viewers go.

Actually, I just had an exchange with a friend who was reading this page and claimed it was a spoiler, because it reveals what Stannis' role is going to be in the long run of the series. I told him that prophecies don't necessarily have to come true.

Maybe ifjuly is right and I'm doomed if I continue trying to get a GoT fix on the Internet. I need to get out while I'm still unaware what rhymes-with-bed-wetting is all about.
posted by palidor at 10:32 PM on June 4, 2012


I really liked the idea, but I don't like hearing supposed theories that are maybe already facts!

Your fears are so far unfounded. It may be true, Martin more or less hasn't advanced the overall story arc in that regard for, the last two or three books...IIRC. Its like moonlighting...Will they? Won't they? Then as soon as they do, the tension and interest vanishes. The big reveal in the first couple chapters of Dragons was totally Meh for me.
posted by Chekhovian at 10:58 PM on June 4, 2012


It is just a theory, but I still consider it a spoiler because there is a lot of information that points to it and the show has not really presented any of it. It is a theory the author definitely intended the audience to be considering.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 11:03 PM on June 4, 2012


I'll be hugely surprised if it turns out to be false. There's way too much evidence for it: it's not one of those "Varys is a merman" or "Roose is a dark sorcerer" or "Tyrion is a Targaryen" or "Howland Reed is Benjamin Button" type theories.

I had it spoiled fairly early on (maybe after I read the first book?). But given that it's more of a neat discovery that fans made rather than something that's been explicitly spelled out in the text, and it doesn't really ruin any of the narrative, I was excited rather than annoyed. So I wouldn't worry too much, palidor. If it's a spoiler, then we're all spoiled.
posted by painquale at 11:21 PM on June 4, 2012


"Tyrion is a Targaryen"

What with the last book, it seems like everyone everywhere is a Targaryen, so this may be less crazy than you think. Definitely Dramatic Value drops as Scarcity vanishes, at least according to econ drama 101.
posted by Chekhovian at 12:03 AM on June 5, 2012


I love the amount of confusion about wights and White Walkers and their various functions that leads to me seeing comments like this a few times:

Was that wight on the horse supposed to be Benjen Stark?

I don't know if that's the show's fault or what.
posted by palidor at 12:33 AM on June 5, 2012


Was that wight on the horse supposed to be Benjen Stark?
I don't know if that's the show's fault or what.

Has the show even made the distinction between wights and White Walkers? I can't remember. I guess it's happened in expository form if at all? I'm not sure a casual viewer would see any distinctions among the army that we saw last night. The Other on the horse could easily have been a zombie--he looked like a man who had been flayed and then got a bit of frostbite. :)
posted by torticat at 5:10 AM on June 5, 2012


Oh yeah, also:

Man with a scar across his face who is an outsider and likes to whistle, and who is also everyone's favorite character on the show?

Prophecies
posted by palidor at 6:05 AM on June 5, 2012


The book House of the Undying scene is surreal, but the actual content of it is mostly inconsequential the first time around.

I don't think so. That chapter was remarkable in its nonsense ("come to the house of undying for answers, ha ha we've got you, with what i don't know, oh your dragons will defend you, aargh i'm dying") but it was also loaded with prophecy stuff. Even reading it through the first time (I've only read it once actually), I remember thinking it was serious shit.

I did not, however, remember 23 prophecies. (*spoilers in link*)

And that's really the crux of it. It's one thing to have a few lines in a book, but a scene in a show means more and is more memorable. It would have been fun to see some of of Dany's visions, but some would have given a bit away. OK, one big one.

I think the fun part now is wondering whether or not that "big one" is even going to happen now (I'm pretty sure it still is)).

Has the show even made the distinction between wights and White Walkers?

First scene, first episode. That girl is a white walker/other. It's the eyes, right? (*spoilers in link*)
posted by mrgrimm at 7:22 AM on June 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wait, what? I'm under the impression that girl was a wight, and that both the wights and White Walkers have blue eyes (not clicking that link, I've learned never to visit that wiki lololol). The obvious distinction to me is that wights are undead humans--zombies, while the White Walkers are a whole different species of thing, and the only clear look at them we really got was in this last episode.
posted by palidor at 7:32 AM on June 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm not sure a casual viewer would see any distinctions among the army that we saw last night.

That is a good point, but I remember in the first scene of the first episode that some of the Others were moving very fast. I figured the army we saw was composed of mostly wights with a few (one? - I assume that's Coldhands) White Walkers b/c everyone was moving so slooow.

To be honest, the army didn't look terribly terrifying. I would take one of those napalm-breathing dragons over the whole lot of undead.

Also, to be honest, I was pretty disappointed in Coldhands (if that's him). I was expecting more luminosity.

"Old Nan declares them to be cold dead things, hating all life, but in an email to the comic-book artist Tommy Patterson GRRM recently wrote: 'The Others are not dead. They are strange, beautiful… think, oh… the Sidhe made of ice, something like that… a different sort of life… inhuman, elegant, dangerous.' "

Close, but no cigar.

the White Walkers are a whole different species of thing, and the only clear look at them we really got was in this last episode.

Maybe. I guess, if as you say, they all have blue eyes, then that whole army could be all wights, and the white guy just missing his skin then frosted over?
posted by mrgrimm at 7:38 AM on June 5, 2012


White guy had a crystal sword. He was an other.
posted by kaseijin at 8:26 AM on June 5, 2012


What I'm confused about is how much of that Whitey was computer-generated. I thought it was all CGI but there's an actor credited for the role.
posted by palidor at 8:42 AM on June 5, 2012


Maybe mo-cap?
posted by kaseijin at 8:54 AM on June 5, 2012


Cold hands talked and was dressed like a nights watchman; the screeching thing which appeared to be leading the wights didnt make me think of him at all...
posted by flaterik at 9:09 AM on June 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also, to be honest, I was pretty disappointed in Coldhands (if that's him). I was expecting more luminosity.

I really, really doubt that's Coldhands, who is supposed to be more human than that and dresses like a Night's Watchman. I'm pretty sure that's just supposed to be one of the White Walkers. What with all the white and the inhuman speech/screech thing.
posted by sparkletone at 11:37 AM on June 5, 2012


White guy had a crystal sword. He was an other.

Yeah, and there were a few other Others in the army too (as far as I could tell, the crystal swords were the only way to distinguish them).

The girl in Ep 1 Sc 1 was a wight, and the guy Jon Snow killed was a wight. Both the wights and the Others have blue eyes. Which is why I was questioning whether the show's done a good job of making the distinction; it's definitely confusing. Agree, mrgrimm, that luminosity would have helped a lot. I guess once we see a few of the Others together, it will be apparent that that's their Look and that that guy wasn't just a zombie who'd died at the hands of the Ramseys.

Kind of disappointing that the big finale reveal didn't make it crystal clear, though. (Ha.)
posted by torticat at 11:54 AM on June 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


I just got that it was a big weird thing on a horse and not a zombie. Other than that... Well, do I need anything other than that?

Big weird thing. Boom, series over. Job done.
posted by Artw at 12:54 PM on June 5, 2012


Squeak squeak squeak
posted by painquale at 8:08 PM on June 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


That's my new ring tone.
posted by empath at 8:31 PM on June 5, 2012


Strum strum strum
posted by homunculus at 8:33 PM on June 5, 2012


"To me, it seems strange that you are doing this standing up. It detracts from the majesty of the instrument. "

FNAR
posted by Artw at 8:44 PM on June 5, 2012


HARP TWINZ
posted by palidor at 8:55 PM on June 5, 2012


Ten best changes made from the books. I completely agree with all of these except for 8 (I'd replace it with "streamlining the number of times that Harrenhal changes hands"). These would have also been good edits to the books, except for 5 and 2... having Jamie and Robb sit on the sidelines worked well in a book, where hearsay and rumor isn't that different in presentation from the main narrative, but we needed to see them in the show.
posted by painquale at 10:22 PM on June 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


Is there any relevance to the red glow in the throne room in the books? Hopefully it's just there because of the circumstances in the finale? I know the Lannisters like their reds, but I thought it was getting into campy territory. It's basically Evil Red Light being cast on the Evil King. That or they're trying to evoke Klingons.
posted by palidor at 11:19 PM on June 5, 2012


5. More for Jaime to do... And finally, moving a big chunk of Brienne escorting Jaime from book three to season two is a great move — it gives Brienne a chance to shine, but also lets us see more of Jaime being a total assbag as he taunts his escort over and over.

I had the impression that he was somewhat smitten with her when she dispatched those thugs. Jamie ♥ Brienne?

4. Arya Stark and Tywin Lannister

I was really hoping for a revelatory scene in which Tywin asks about the Stark girls, only to be told that Arya had disappeared and was presumed to have fled north in disguise.
posted by homunculus at 11:44 PM on June 5, 2012


That was a pretty good list, would be interesting to see the author tackle a worst changes list too.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 11:59 PM on June 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


a worst changes list too
1. Ros
2. Ros
3. Ros
...
10. Ros
posted by Chekhovian at 12:02 AM on June 6, 2012


A worst changes list is a little more difficult because you can either be talking about changes that made for a worse story or changes that were poorly considered in the adaptation. A lot of the disappointing changes were probably well-considered given the limits of the medium. Tyrion's battle plans and the House of the Undying were better in the book, but the showrunners knew what they were doing in making the changes.

Let's see. I thought the Fist of the First Men was pretty lame, and I don't like that they basically cut out Jeor Mormont after the first few episodes. I would have liked to see more of Ser Dontos, but I guess they're saving him for next season. Arya was made a lot more of a wuss; she kicked no ass this season, but in the books she kills all sorts of people. The King's Landing riot was made a little too inconsequential: they could have at least mentioned Lollys. Dany's khalasar was much too small. I'm fairly ambivalent on most of the changes to Dany's story.

There's not that much, really. It's remarkably faithful.
posted by painquale at 1:11 AM on June 6, 2012


I haven't even read the books but I'm still on the fence about Robb and Catelyn making their foolish decisions while ignorant of Bran and Rickon being "dead." It's arguable, but it seems like both the characters and plot are better served if the news had reached them, and on the surface it doesn't make that much sense for them to modify what happens in the book in this case. It's hard for me to say it's a bad call though since I'm in the dark about how things are going to pan out.
posted by palidor at 1:53 AM on June 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, Robb going into his wedding while clear-headed does make him look like a big dummy, because that was clearly a dumb thing to do. I still prefer the show's version of Catelyn's decision though, but that's because I'm more sympathetic to her decision than most people are; I think that the decision she made really was in her best interests and that she should have freed Jamie.
posted by painquale at 2:41 AM on June 6, 2012


Also, I think one of the reasons I feel like the long arc of the series is going to involve things going terribly for the Starks (or maybe more accurately, House Stark) is because their theme is so depressing. I'm assuming it's some kind of musical foreshadowing, mournful strings playing from like the beginning of the series. It really pays off when bad shit happens!

The other reason is because of all of the terrible stuff that has already happened lololol
posted by palidor at 3:37 AM on June 6, 2012


Yes, without having read the books or any spoilers about them, I think House Stark should probably change their motto to "Holy shit we are fucked" already. I know I will spend the whole of next season cringing every time the northern army or the fugitive kids appear, waiting for the (I could bet) inevitably treasonous massacre and/or public carnage. If I were them I'd emigrate to the other continent and open a tavern or something like that, heh.
posted by Iosephus at 5:34 AM on June 6, 2012


Sometimes I wonder if the I-have-never-read-the-books people in these threads can really be that entertainingly wrong with their predictions and unexpectedly accurate with their jokey asides or if they've actually read the books and are just playing elegant mind games with the rest of us.

If so, carry on. Your mind games are awesome.
posted by the latin mouse at 9:03 AM on June 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


I predict that Jamie and Brienne will fall in love and flee Westeros together, and end up in the service of Daenerys. Brienne will be revealed to have distant Targaryen kinship and be given one of the dragons.

I predict that Sam will become a wight, but retain his personality and be sent to King's Landing as the ambassador of the Others. He and Varys will become good friends.

I predict that LittleFinger will take Sansa to Harrenhal, where he will insist she calls him Ned and he calls her Cat. Disgusted, she flees and joins the Brotherhood Without Banners, where she is reunited with the Hound.

I predict that the Mountain will continue to lose muscle mass due to some unknown disease. In his weakened state, he will fall and break his hip, and be bedridden for the rest of the series.

I predict Tyrion will sneak into Joffrey's room at night and strangle him in his sleep. A grateful nation will make him King. But it's not really Tyrion, it's actually Arya who has trained with the Faceless Men. Long live King/Queen Arya.
posted by homunculus at 10:14 AM on June 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


Help, how do I filter my post history for jokey asides????
posted by palidor at 10:16 AM on June 6, 2012


Nahh, no mind games. The facts as they go right now after season 2's ending for the Starks are truly fucked up: your House seat has been razed (I imagine your reputation among your northern lords is a joke after that), you have fuck all of an idea where three of your House heirs are and the fourth has just been relegated to the status of "creepy pseudouncle toy", you lost what's possibly the most valuable Lannister hostage you could have, you have just screwed a fundamental alliance with the river gatekeeper clan (good luck getting back to the north swimming across when the grumpy geezer finds out, boys), and the first thing the just awoken snow devils will have for lunch is whatever the hell is still standing of the northlands after the Pike assholes looted it to the ground. Honestly, I would emigrate, retire and open a tavern in one of those sunny little kingdoms we keep hearing about and not seeing much of. Can't see much of a future for the Stark name, right now.
posted by Iosephus at 10:19 AM on June 6, 2012


Yeah I've kind of grown to assume that the north is going to be overrun by Whitey wight armies when winter comes, which influences my outlook for the Starks / House Stark. I mean, you can't slowly develop these ominous and terrifying forces of nature over multiple seasons / books and then not really follow through. Of course it's quite likely I just lack imagination here.
posted by palidor at 10:26 AM on June 6, 2012


I haven't read the books, but I like the Ros storyline. It gives a good arc to the violence and oppression of women that is so rampant in Westeros.
posted by I am the Walrus at 10:54 AM on June 6, 2012


It gives a good arc to the violence and oppression of women that is so rampant in Westeros.

Wasn't that sort of redundant given all the tales of all the other women in the series, from Osha to Cersei? My main complaint is one of relative time allocation. Had they given the same time to Ros stuff in a 22 episode season covering the same events, sure fine. But with only 10 eps, so much time on Ros cuts back on actually necessary storywork.
posted by Chekhovian at 11:09 AM on June 6, 2012


She didn't get that much screen time, did she? And I want to say that when she was used in a scene, in nearly every instance it was to flesh out another character. A lot of Littlefinger, but also Tyrion, Theon, Pycelle, Joffrey. Plus I find it to be an interesting contrast with the more primary female characters, who have been somewhat defined by their various degrees of personal agency, whereas Ros is only able to suffer the whims of the powerful men she is subservient to (or basically what I am the Walrus said). But she is a hollow character, mostly just a cipher.
posted by palidor at 11:28 AM on June 6, 2012


I predict that Sam will become a wight, but retain his personality and be sent to King's Landing as the ambassador of the Others. He and Varys will become good friends.

One's a eunuch! The other's a zombie! Together they fight crime engage in complicated diplomatic negotiations!

Can this be a fanfic or something? I would read the hell out of it.
posted by the latin mouse at 12:11 PM on June 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


I suspect that the missing backstory from the visions in the house of the undying is going to be covered off: the Reeds are being cast for next season!

That means there will be someone around to tell the story of the Knight of the Laughing Tree as well as someone to have (and describe) "green dreams" containing imagery that would be too spoilery to show as Dany's visions.
posted by Wylla at 12:43 PM on June 6, 2012


In an interview with Alfie Allen he kind of sort of somewhat confirms the probably already an open secret that was discussed earlier in the thread. (kind of sort of spoilers for both book readers and lesser folk like myself)

I like how he says "I can't say who" and then abruptly segues into talking about Targaryens.
posted by palidor at 8:16 PM on June 6, 2012 [3 favorites]




People love Dinklage but I gotta say, I was pretty impressed with Allen this season. Granted, he has a great, dynamic character to work with, so.
posted by ifjuly at 12:56 PM on June 7, 2012 [1 favorite]




Aw, and I love what Allen said about Theon's dudebro approach to sex, why he's like that. Spot on, he seems very aware of his character. I think I may be getting a little crush on him--I like astute men!
posted by ifjuly at 1:14 PM on June 7, 2012


I like how he says "I can't say who" and then abruptly segues into talking about Targaryens.

Yeah, wow, that is... something. wtf?!

Why are the showrunners passing on sensitive info like that to actors, especially so far in advance? That particular bit of knowledge is so spoileriffic, it hasn't even been revealed in the books to date. I wouldn't call it in "open secret" either--readers really don't know Jon's parentage. I wonder if GRRM's annoyed that the show people are running their mouths.
posted by torticat at 4:52 PM on June 9, 2012


In this case it was George himself running his mouth, because he loved Lily Allen so much he thought her brother deserved to be rewarded with secret knowledge for being related to her, or something.
posted by palidor at 11:55 PM on June 9, 2012


That's seriously how the interview frames it
posted by palidor at 11:57 PM on June 9, 2012


Oh. Ha. Yes, not sure how I missed that he was talking to GRRM. Okay then, whatever! Interesting to know, anyway...
posted by torticat at 4:38 PM on June 10, 2012


I was pretty impressed with Allen this season. Granted, he has a great, dynamic character to work with, so.

He did a great job; it helped that they made his character more complex this season than how he's presented in book 2. One of the best changes between the book and the show, IMO.
posted by never used baby shoes at 9:13 AM on June 11, 2012


Yeah, he's been one of the fun ones to watch - the speech and how it ended were just great, as was the little scene leading up to that.
posted by Artw at 9:14 AM on June 11, 2012




Theon was probably the most interesting character of the season for me, and his performance in the finale was the highlight of the episode I think. This is even after I had been spoiled about his whole arc, first at the beginning of the season finding out that he betrays Robb and takes Winterfell and then later on learning that he'd be captured. I suppose it's because he's the most conflicted character on the show, but I didn't expect to be so invested, especially after that stuff was spoiled for me.

Also, somewhat randomly, I remembered the other day when Tyrion met with Lancel and found out about the wildfire, he told Bronn (or technically told Lancel to tell Bronn) to kill Lancel if anything should happen to him. Since something definitely happened to Tyrion, I'm eagerly awaiting the third season just to find out if this show really does pay off every last line of dialogue, or if that little aside was inconsequential. Who knows, Bronn might be dead and/or gone anyway.
posted by palidor at 10:42 AM on June 11, 2012


Cracked presents The Game of Thrones Home Game of Thrones
posted by never used baby shoes at 11:08 AM on June 12, 2012


If they're tinkering with other plotty bits, maybe they can bring back Jaqen H'ghar because a girl finds Tom Wlaschiha pleasing on the eyes.
posted by Dr. Zira at 5:45 PM on June 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


A [quite heterosexual] man had such a man-crush on Jaqen that this man was saddened when he did his face-changing trick.
posted by palidor at 6:27 PM on June 13, 2012 [5 favorites]


Was it just me or was Jaqen much more "The dark side of the Force is a pathway to many abilities some consider to be unnatural" during that last conversation with Arya? IIRC he didn't seem so explicit and enthusiastic about his work in the book.
posted by Chekhovian at 9:15 PM on June 13, 2012




Heh, I saw something on MSNBC about that earlier this morning. (I know folks love waking up to images of decapitated heads)

It's funny how something that's been known about since the first season DVDs were released gets media attention now, because of Reddit users and Gawker editors being bored, or however the Internet works. I think I also heard the word "boycott" during the MSNBC segment, which is also pretty funny considering the timing, with the second season having just finished airing. Even the way the Gawker story gives credit to the Reddit user for discovering it is funny, as if I didn't read about this "easter egg" months ago on a wiki. Oh, hysterical media, please never change.
posted by palidor at 7:56 AM on June 14, 2012


~Game of Thrones~ Rom-com trailer

I knew it.
posted by homunculus at 12:51 PM on June 19, 2012


I forgot to link this whenever I read it, a piece by someone quite unhappy with the adaptation of the book material.

Even though one of his central complaints is about Robb and Cat being ignorant of the news about Bran and Rickon, something I as a non-book reader even brought up as a questionable decision, the whole thing seems kind of petty and nitpicky. I mean, it's an interesting read, once you get past all the complaints about "fast-motion" (I really have no idea what that's about). If anything, for me, it's put a "face" on the "book purist" label I've come across once or twice, and has kind of reinforced my decision not to read the books until 20 years from now when the TV series is finished lolololol
posted by palidor at 1:19 PM on June 19, 2012


blasphemies such as fast-motioned swordfights

I do not think that represents the standard "book purist" model. I think it represents the "taking this whole thing way too seriously" model.

I've read all the books and I think the TV show is better. They really need to do better with Daenarys and the dragons...
posted by mrgrimm at 1:27 PM on June 19, 2012


That article is really hilarious. Fast-motion blasphemies!

I like the idea that the show is only being held back from being a masterpiece because of the deviations from the books.
posted by painquale at 1:36 PM on June 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


So yeah, Rattleshirt and his company are bound to enter the race for the nicest captors of Westeros, competing against the Lannister forces that kept Arya in Harrenhal.

To be honest, I have no idea why the wildlings didn't kill Jon Snow in the book. That whole conceit was preposterous.

Do we know any other show that so frequently asks its viewers to suspend logic?

Glee, True Blood, and Smash spring to mind ... (Can you tell what shows my wife watches?)

And I caught some of Two Broke Girls last thursday ... c'mon now.

Everyone has a purpose in Martin’s story. Even Dontos.

Oh really. COME ON NOW, YOU GUYS.
posted by mrgrimm at 1:52 PM on June 19, 2012




GoT political attack ads
posted by ifjuly at 10:30 AM on June 20, 2012 [3 favorites]


Prosthetic work on GoT (includes NSFW shot(s) of Melisandre belly and injuries)

It turns out the Whitey wasn't CGI. Well, mostly.

Is this where I can complain about the latest ASoIaF/GoT thread spoiling a character's death for me [totally unnecessarily]? I FLEW TOO CLOSE TO THE SUN
posted by palidor at 1:46 PM on June 29, 2012


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