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About TheCasualObserver

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  1. Oh boy! EW sure knows how to make me hyped for the new season! Brienne is going to use her sword at least once!
  2. Best: season 1 Wort: Season 5. Just a really padded season with very little of consequence happening. And then the diversions from the book as well...
  3. Oh god. It was all true. Cersei IS in charge somehow.
  4. I'm actually really dubious about this. I believe she will blow up the sept, but I think that's going to be a final psychotic break when her children die rather than some power grab.
  5. Of course Ray didn't have plot armor - the point of that scene was to show that pacifism has no place in Westeros. As if anyone who's ever watched the show would ever think otherwise. No violence? Bad. Violence? Good. You see why I think this show has a teenager's sensibilities? As for the brotherhood, you're using a case of false equivalency here - comparing GRRM's broader comments about the social contract to a five minute scene in which an intact brotherhood show up is clearly unhelpful. One provides a theme to AFFC and ADWD and the other is a method by which the Hound can re-enter the cult of badass. Ray is the inciting incident, an unbelievable lotus eater who's death forces the hound to pick his axe back up. The brotherhood serve as the vehicle through which the hound can start being badass again. The scene is disposable and thematically meaningless. But you make a more interesting point with Tyrion and Arya. I have always been baffled by what the show is doing with Arya - she drags her heels for two seasons in Braavos and then flashes back to kill Walder Frey out of nowhere. She kills Meryn Trant, and it's done in such a horrible way you definitely feel like Arya is going to far - except they went to excruciating lengths to show that Meryn is a violent pedophile, so I have no idea what to make of it. At the end of her story she abandons the framework of the faceless men and goes off to start killing on her own, so I guess the take away from Arya's story is "vengeance is awesome", as it is with three quarters of GOT's entire cast. That doesn't strike me as particularly moral. Tyrion is a notable exception. He is certainly a lighter character at this point than his book counterpart and seems to just be cruising along. I wish I could give the show credit for giving us something less bleak than the books, but the reasoning behind this decision was almost certainly that they didn't want people to think less of their favorite character, rather than any moral or tonal objections to Tyrion's ADWD storyline. Tyrion might not be a rapist in the show, but to balance things out they made Sansa a rape victim instead. And ultimately Tyrion's decency doesn't disguise the show's juvenile cynicism. Tyrion's attempts to make peace fail, and the lasting solution is for Dany to burn everyone to death. Whenever a broader political point is made in the show, violence, dishonesty and dishonor are the decisive factors and anyone saying otherwise is crushed.
  6. Can you honestly say that the takeaway from the brotherhood scene was supposed to have a moralizing message? I#ll bet that every single person who watched the notMeribald scene knew he was doomed, because this is game of thrones. If you think this has a happy ending, you haven't bee paying attention. It's a throwaway scene to involve the hound back into the plot. It is not there to deconstruct. It is not there to represent a force for good thriving in the world. The scene is there to move a passive Hound back into his usual self, who acts badass and kills people. But getting back to my original point, a conspiracy created with the express purpose to reject the unjust rule of the Botons in memory of Ned Stark is a message which has no place on the show.
  7. Your mileage may vary but the plot of the book deconstructs a trope. Ultimately it critiques the idea of the roving band of do gooders who try to break the law and do morally questionable things for the greater good, but it unravels and they are drawn closer to the people they tried to hold themselves above. The point is that violence feeds on itself - that's ultimately a positive message. But what's the point in bringing the brotherhood from the show up here? Not septon Meribald gives a speech about how violence is wrong, then gets killed, for the express purpose of getting the Hound back in the game. He goes from a guy calmly chopping wood to a guy negotiating with people about how to chop someone up. The brotherhood are there to get the hound back in the killing game. There is no greater point or purpose to the scene or the hound's plot in general. One has a purpose and meaning, the other has none. This isn't complicated.
  8. Technically the offer is conditional on him sending her Sansa's head. If he doesn't then Cersei can just take his authority away. I assumed that the whole thing was bullshit - he can't kill Sansa for his own gain - he may well love her after all and both Northern Lords and Vale lords will turn against him, leaving him in a hostile North with only Cersei's name on a piece of paper telling everyone he is in charge. That would be a disaster. I just don't see what the winning conditions were meant to be.
  9. In the books the brotherhood is a cautionary tale - they wanted to do good and raise themselves above others who killed and stole. They appeal to a source of authority - the old King - as a means of legitimizing what they are doing, but this is a polite fiction and they know it. It's a deconstruction of the Robin Hood mythos and it's fascinating to me. Ultimately that lifestyle is no way to live your life and they become consumed by a literal figure of vengeance, which robs them of their morality. In the show the brotherhood show up after a lengthy disappearance to trade chicken jokes with the hound and help him get his (violent) groove back after dabbling with that pussy pacifism. The problem with using examples from the show is that almost none of it is given much thought beyond how it will look on a surface level. And this ties back into what I think is the show's idea of political theory, which comes from a teenager's mindset. It's that kind of cynicism which serves to insulate someone from having to think or care because "everyone is corrupt and nothing has meaning" which massages the viewers ego for disconnecting.
  10. If we're talking about proof of GOT's tryhard cynicism and ASOIAF romance, look no further than what "The North Remembers" means in the books and show. In the books it's the rallying cry for Northmen who reject the Boltons and everything they stand for. In the show it's a taunt Ramsay uses on his rape victim, whilst the Northmen couldn't give a shit.
  11. I don't really understand what the show was going for in this regard. His plan seemed callous and manipulative in season 5, but then he switches to looking genuinely contrite in season 6. Either way, the plan makes no sense, because what he stands to gain is vastly outdone by what he stands to lose. The most likely scenario of placing Sansa in Winterfell and then double crossing the Boltons is that Sansa ends up with a slit throat, and LF gets nothing. He didn't know she would escape - he could only assume the Boltons would keep her in Winterfell for the duration, even when he betrays them and tries to kill them. So Sansa would be getting her throat cut out of spite and LF would get diddly. It's not callous at all - it's idiotic.
  12. This is also an example of the lack of consequences I mentioned above. The problem is, Ramsay was set up last season as if he's some kind of super scout who know's the land so well he and his twenty good man can sink Stannis without him ever knowing or being able to retaliate. But because Ramsay dies this season, those abilities completely vanish because the plot does not require them. So where once he could infiltrate an enemy camp, wipe out their supplies and get back before anyone noticed, in season 6 an army occupies a crucial fortress in the north, stays there for months, marches north to winterfell and still takes him completely by surprise. See also LF being dumb enough to give Sansa to the Boltons, but smart enough to siply cruise through anyway. I can say with all honesty that GOT is one of the worst abusers of the "idiot ball" trope I've seen in a primetime series.
  13. Probably for the best. Now lets get back to complaining about the show. Like how the hell did LF take Moat Cailen from Ramsay? Did Ramsay not know? Was he not protecting it? It makes no sense.
  14. But what does "have the same ending" mean to you? If each character who dies in the show dies in the books but in completely different circumstances and reasons, is that still the same ending? Let's look at a theory - that Dany will actually be something of a villain at the end of ADOS and have to be taken down. Let's say she dies in the show as well but does so battling the great other in a badass moment the show loves so much. Does that count as having the same ending?
  15. But it's not just about the characters of the two latter books, it's also about the tone. What happens after war? How do people cope? How do they rationalize their actions? AFFC and ADWD are about consequences. The Stark cause has failed, so where do the remaining Starks go from here? The Lannisters have won the war, but now they are losing the peace. Tyrion's life as he knew it is over, so what does he do next? Going from that to Season 6 is jarring not because of missing characters, but because the sensationalist nature of GOT in it's current form ignores consequence all the time. Deaths and battles are more frequent than ever, yet the consequences of them are nowhere to be seen.