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About TheCasualObserver

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  1. Rant and Rave without Repercussions [S7 Leaks Edition]

    It's not specific to LF. One of the weaknesses of the scripts from pretty much every season is that no one can be intelligent in the same conversation. I think Varys and LF had a couple and Olenna and Tywin had one, but that's it. It's a problem that arises when every conversation is dictated by utility to the plot rather than naturally presenting characters as real people having a conversation. The writing doesn't allow for complexity, so it becomes necessary for each interaction to have a "winner", who usually espouses the benefits of being a violent bastard and not giving a shit about everybody else as a closing (and irrefutable) argument. Since this is the core of most "political" scenes, LF comes out on top more often than not because that's who he is and the show tacitly endorses his worldview.
  2. Rant and Rave without Repercussions [S7 Leaks Edition]

    That scene is Mole's town is just par for the course at this point when it comes to the show's idiocy in scripting, but what really irritated me was that some outlets used it as proof that Sansa was becoming a schemer by confronting the man who had betrayed her. The big problem with this (ignoring the overall problem that it addressed a stupid plot point by pointing out how stupid it was) is that it is a fundamentally terrible political move. Consider this; in early season 6, Sansa is convinced that LF is now her enemy and he is actively using her as a pawn to his own ends. She also knows that he usually travels with lots of hired men to protect him. With these two pieces of information, Sansa decides to confront LF directly in an isolated place. She once again places herself in his sphere of influence and potential control, only bringing Brienne with her. (Admittedly a good choice of bodyguard; Brienne is essentially the hulk at this point) If LF had brought lots of men with him, he could have killed Brienne, kidnapped Sansa and once again got to work making her life miserable. Sansa voluntarily going to mole's town with one person as backup is profoundly stupid, especially when Jon could bring the entire wildling army to protect her if she was nearer the wall. You might also spot that this mistake works in reverse; LF is extremely stupid for going alone into enemy territory to meet Sansa who has fled winterfell. It apparently never entered his head that she might be angry with him. But it's not just the situation which proves Sansa's stupidity; it's how she deals with the meeting as well. Machiavelli teaches us that "If an injury has to be done to a man it should be so severe that his vengeance need not be feared". In this case Sansa explains: 1. That she knows he is conniving to his own ends. 2. That she now hates LF and wants nothing more to do with him. 3. That she will let him go after a brief moment of threatening. This is appalling strategic behavior. She makes an enemy of LF, threatens his life, informs him of her own plans and then simply lets him go to do whatever he wants. Sansa has done nothing for her own cause except make herself feel a little better by having a shout. In fact, her behavior here most resembles Ned when he approached Cersei in the garden, giving away information about her own position and doing nothing to improve it. So what should she have done? Two very simple, very easy solutions. 1. Cry, pretend to be glad that LF is here and embrace him and the help he offers. The Stark cause gets the Vale knights and LF is none the wiser that Sansa is now working against him, and can turn on him at her leisure. 2. If she can't hold her anger in, have LF killed there and then. Then travel to Moat Cailen, tell the Vale Lords that the Boltons killed LF, corroborate his abduction story and use the Vale Knights to wreak vengeance on Ramsay's head. These are extremely basic strategies in dealing with a situation, and they are ignored to create some false sense of tension in episoe 9.
  3. Rant and Rave without Repercussions [S7 Leaks Edition]

    I have given a lot of thought to Littlefinger's plan in Winterfell - almost certainly more than the writers did. As best as I can tell, LF never intended for Sansa to take over anything. He didn't think she would manipulate the Boltons and he didn't think that either the Boltons or Stannis winning at the end of season 5 would give him what he wanted. They were just cover stories to hide his true purpose from Sansa so she would go along with the plan for the moment. This doesn't excuse Sansa - in that infamous scene in season 6 where she chews him out about how stupid his plan is, I was gritting my teeth. These are things that should have been just as clear to Sansa before the marriage as it was after. The only reason they are not is that if Sansa had even the vaguest self preservation instinct, LF's plan, and therefore the plot, couldn't happen. This was just a lazy and doomed effort to cover it up on the part of the writers. LF's actual plan was to use Sansa's presence in Winterfell to split Cersei and the Boltons so he could invade with the Vale. So really, all that effort just so that Cersei doesn't try to interfere in anyway? Could she have interfered with his invasion even if she wanted to? She was facing down the faith and rebellions in the riverlands - she couldn't possibly have stopped LF. And even if she could... why not just lie about Sansa being with the Boltons? Why did that have to be true when LF is the biggest liar in the show? No matter how you examine it, the Watsonian interpretation of events will always give way to the Doylist ones. Sansa was placed in winterfell because it cut corners, saved D and D having to write about actually politics, and conveniently pushed Sansa into becoming the same violent vengeance obsessed character as everyone else.
  4. Rant and Rave without Repercussions [S7 Leaks Edition]

    "If someone you hate is trying to get your inheritance, don't marry them." That bit was great.
  5. Rant and Rave without Repercussions [S7 Leaks Edition]

    Oh no, I don't think that at all. With virtually no published material to go off, I suspect season 7 and 8 will be padded in the extreme, just to reach a point of one big battle. If the showrunners were economical and didn't give a shit about the characters (which I happen to think is true) they could wrap this shit up in three episodes really.
  6. Rant and Rave without Repercussions [S7 Leaks Edition]

    But we're running out of battles to show at this point. We have to wrap up Cersei's inexplicable rise to power (one battle and a siege?) and then it's just Jon and Dany fighting the white walkers. How many mass conflicts are left? They can't have multiple battles against loads of zombies because that dissolves the tension of the final battle.
  7. Rant and Rave without Repercussions [S7 Leaks Edition]

    Have I missed one? I thought we were up to 4 of 5.
  8. Rant and Rave without Repercussions [S7 Leaks Edition]

    Excellent points as usual Dragon. And is this "big news" your new video? I hope so... we've been waiting for two months!
  9. What was Rickon, Osha, and Smalljon doing through S4-5?

    Didn't the Greatjon die at the Red Wedding on the show? If not, he happened to die in the months before season 6, his son had no loyalty to the starks and no hate for the Boltons and decided to turn them over. Yet another coincidence in Ramsay's favor!
  10. I'm not especially active on off seasons, but I've noticed a "relaxing" of many posters on explaining how and why things happen in Weiseroff. I guess we've reached a point where people can't justify the bullshit to the same extent that they could in earlier seasons. My problem isn't posters on a forum for the books, my problem is the endless articles from the media still holding on the the idea that GOT is high art with a serious point to make about politics, or indeed anything else. But when everything that happens is contrived to shit and focused around schlocky elements, it's analysis that doesn't hold up. How can GOT have anything meaningful to say about politics when the only way characters succeed in-universe is through violent murder? How can GOT have anything meaningful to say about sexual violence when it uses it as windrow dressing or cheap shocks? How can GOT have anything to say about the medieval period in general if the writers just use the setting to excuse themselves for putting distasteful things on screen? I don't see how it can. After a long time feeling angry with GOT and those who watch it and rave about it, I'm acclimatizing to those who simply watch it for the dragons and the battles. When Ian McShane said "it's just tits and dragons" I cheered, because that is a sentiment which confronts what the show has become since the red wedding and maybe before that. But those who defend the show on grounds of "artistic integrity" or who point to it as an example of "smart tv" still get my hackles up.
  11. I may be jumping the gun, but season 7 looks to be full of contrivances. Euron's fleet from nowhere is one for sure and the idiotic wight hunt as well. I'm convinced that Cersei having any power at all at this point is one of the worst, so that's going to be a season long problem. Who is supporting her at this point? Euron? How does that help?
  12. Let's not get carried away praising how the battle played out. Infantry are supposed to hold the enemy in place whilst cavalry encircle them and hit them in the flanks. Ramsay wastes his cavalry in a frontal charge, then compounds the mistake by having his archers fire into them, an act straight out of Braveheart, not history. He then uses a magical wall of corpses and a phalanx to gradually encircle his enemy, who obligingly do nothing to stop him. I appreciate that the episode depicted different types of soldiers on a battlefield, but the execution still left a lot to be desired. Above all else the battle worked as a visceral piece of television, and I can give them props for that. People will argue until they are blue in the face about why Sansa didn't tell Jon about the imminent cavalry. Whatever the in universe reason you come up with, the truth will always be that they wanted the Vale Knight's arrival to be a surprise, an utterly futile gesture since there was no other way the battle could end; people assumed that the Vale knights would show up to save the day and watched to see if that would be proven wrong. It wasn't.
  13. But that's the thing - if all the emphasis from the writers, actors, production company and the rest of the media was centered on the scope and scale of the battle, it wouldn't bother me, because I can recognize that in the show. When you spend the money, put together a great stunt team, hire a competent director and let them put together an action sequence, the result is some impressive television. But people weren't just focused on the battle or the action. D&D boasted about the tactics; but the tactics were idiotic. Everyone cheered when Jon became king; but Jon has been grossly incompetent at everything for two seasons at least. Everyone cheered when Sansa became an "empowered feminist", but Sansa is neither empowered nor a feminist. The purpose of Sansa killing Ramsay is to prove that she is strong and capable, and spit in the faces of those who criticized what they did to her last year. The problem here is that they took a book character who's decency is bone deep, and morphed her into the protagonist of I spit on your grave... and got an emmy for it. It's not just poor writing; I find it morally repugnant. But to make matters worse, "Sansa the badass" isn't even a badass. The need for a battle where the bad guys are winning right until the last minute makes Sansa grossly incompetent, and the reason was to keep the audience in the dark about the vale knights. This was a failure because even positive reviews of the episode admitted that there weren't many surprises here. We are left with a character who decided on a whim not to inform her brother of impending reinforcements, and it was pure, unadulterated luck that those reinforcements arrived in time, not Sansa or her strategic thinking. I don't understand how GOT can try to claim they have written a character arc I find awful, and fail to actually write that arc in the end, only to get an emmy for it anyway.
  14. If nothing else can be said about the danger twins, it's that they know how to stick bells and whistles on hollow projects, and GOT and Troy are both excellent examples of that. What's curious is that so many publications take the show seriously as a piece of cultural commentary, far more so than they did in season 1 when the comparison would still be worthy. I can barely understand why characters do things in a watsonian sense, which constantly leaves me questioning why the writers made these decisions, but that's an attitude that many or even most of the audience simply don't share. Sometimes I worry that I'm simply out of touch, but when the characters, the politics ad the plot make little or no sense to me, I cannot see GOT as anything more than schlock.