387 posts in this topic

bran annoys the shit out of me

but i suppose it makes sense since his not even a human anymore 

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6 hours ago, Capo Ferro said:

A.  There are quite a lot of super-human abilities displayed in the books and in the show.  Yes, Dany surviving the funerary fire (which isn't as one off as some people suggest -- it's something that's hinted at before it happens with Dany enjoying bathwater that her handmaidens find scaldingly hot and hinted at after -- the line about Viserys being no dragon is from the books.  Danerys does get burned and blistery in the book but there is a lot of textual support for the idea that Daenerys is, if not immune to burning, at least unnaturally resistant to heat damage.  Yes, Warging (something Bran, Jon, and Arya all display) and greensight.  Also other varieties of prophecy (Melisandra, Mirri Maz Dur, Magy, the ghost of high heart (though she may be one of the children of the forest) probably Patches, the wizards of the house of the undying, others), shape shifting (Melisandre, the faceless men), resistance to poison (again Melisandre) the ability to resurrect people (Thoros of Myr and, in the show, Melisandre), resurrection after drowning (the Ironborn, Patches), unnatural strength (the Mountain).  Neither these, nor unnatural quickness and aptitude for fencing are in any way inconsistent with it being a story about human internal struggle when confronted with a variety of painful experiences.  I just don't see how the Brienne/Arya battle in any way works against Martin's project or what he has already done in the first five books.  It seems to sit very easily with them to me, particularly as the faceless men are very much part of what Martin has already written and Arya was clearly consigned to the faceless men for care and training when we last saw her in the books.  We know, then, she was on her way to becoming one of the Eumenides capable of implacably delivering death to any living person.

There are supernatural forces in ASOIAF but I wasn't talking about them. I was specifically talking about superhuman abilities, which is not the same thing. Asking a deity to resurrect someone is not superhuman ability, especially when priests themselves say that they have no idea why the deity even listened. And no, Gregor's strength isn't supernatural either.

6 hours ago, Capo Ferro said:

B.  As far as getting beat by the waif -- we know the waif isn't a waif.  She's older than she appears and she is one of the faceless men.  See above.

She can be Superman for all I care, but that's not relevant to what I'm saying: we never saw Arya even beginning to approach Waif's league. All was saw was Arya constantly getting beaten by Waif. That's one of the most stupid tropes in storytelling, that you can get better only by being constantly beaten. You don't, or otherwise all the local schmucks would grow into ferocious fighters. Whoever practiced anything knows that it doesn't work like that. And of course, this being GOT everything was even more blown out of proportions so Arya was literally getting her ass handed to her by Waif in literally every scene. Until suddenly she was able to kill her, but even that was not seen on screen. And now she suddenly can defeat Brienne. That kind of storytelling is as bad as it gets.

6 hours ago, Capo Ferro said:

C.   Brienne is certainly an accomplished warrior in the books and in the show.  But it's not like she's Arthur Deyne or anything.  Beating the Hound doesn't maker her Arthur Deyne.  The Hound is a highly experienced warrior and a brutal killer but also not Arthur Deyne.  She also fought well against Jamie Lannister but wasn't better than him "Brienne remembered her fight with Jaime Lannister in the woods. It had been all that she could do to keep his blade at bay. He was weak from his imprisonment, and chained at the wrists."  She also beat Loras Tyrell and others in the melee at Bitterbridge but she had a morningstar there and a melee is a very different style of combat. She is ungainly and awkward (and a probable descendant of the also ungainly and awkward Duncan the Tall) who has one extraordinary characteristic and that is unwavering determination.  And her excellence as a warrior is a function of that unwavering determination. She isn't the brightest kid in the class, she's the kid who gets the best grades because she works the hardest.  The kid with the best grades may still be the kid with the best grades but that doesn't mean that the brightest kid isn't going to have a flash of insight that the determined kid doesn't.  That's the way life works.

First, you're mixing books with the show. Brienne in the books is very different from D&D's Brienne. Second, everyone and Arya consider Brienne to be world-class swordsman and not just a "determined student". Master of arms can be considered a determined student but Arya wants someone more challenging and she outright says so. All of that means that everyone, even Arya and Brienne, think that Brienne is exactly what D&D were portraying her as in the previous six seasons: a swordsman who still didn't meet her match, either in practice or in real combat, while directly killing more individuals than any other fighter in the story. So in effect you're trying to defend D&D from themselves here.

6 hours ago, Capo Ferro said:

D.  There's nothing odd about my description of the scene.  Again, it is perfectly possible to be an excellent and well rounded knight (or non-knight in Brienne's case) who displays a high degree of excellence in every knightly quality, but who in a particular context, is bested by someone who isn't anything like as competent in other areas but is better in that one.  And the context we saw on the show -- knight in armor with longsword against a lightly dressed girl with a small sword and both on foot is probably a highly unusual one given the role knights play in Westeros.   Brienne is not a knight of course, but she was raised and taught by people who raised and taught knights. Defending against a small sword is different and harder than defending against a longsword.  It is a faster weapon with a bigger (or at the very least different) head game to it.  Defending against a small sword when you're using a longsword raises another set of problems. We didn't see, on the show, much work with a sword after she arrived at the House of Black and White but what we did see was a lot of training to develop a person with lightning reflexes who was unbelievably fast with her feet and hands and unusually good at recognizing deception and that's what we saw in the scene as well.

We saw a lot of training to develop Arya. But we didn't see her actually develop. Which means that conclusions you're drawing are yours, and not presented in the show. You're filling the blanks for D&D. That's your right, but not something that puts D&D in favorable light as storytellers. Quite the contrary, I'm afraid,

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Posted (edited)

9 hours ago, Capo Ferro said:

 

A.  There are quite a lot of super-human abilities displayed in the books and in the show.  Yes, Dany surviving the funerary fire (which isn't as one off as some people suggest -- it's something that's hinted at before it happens with Dany enjoying bathwater that her handmaidens find scaldingly hot and hinted at after -- the line about Viserys being no dragon is from the books.  Danerys does get burned and blistery in the book but there is a lot of textual support for the idea that Daenerys is, if not immune to burning, at least unnaturally resistant to heat damage.  

Read the Dunk and Egg stories- Aegon V (Dany's great-grandfather) has the same (I mean literally the same - hot bath, sun, hot stones) heat resistance, but, unfortunately, he died in the fire while trying to hatch dragons. It seems that Dany survived because of blood magic and not because of her fireproof abilities. 

Edited by Gala

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7 hours ago, StepStark said:

We saw a lot of training to develop Arya. But we didn't see her actually develop. Which means that conclusions you're drawing are yours, and not presented in the show.

Seems to be a lot of debate over a simple training exercise, which is all that Arya asked for.

She has had little training in all out war, Brienne arguably much more.

He first lesson showed Brienne what she is good at, and what she is not.  That would be the only purpose served, and the only conclusion they would care about.

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15 hours ago, Capo Ferro said:

 

C.   Brienne is certainly an accomplished warrior in the books and in the show.  But it's not like she's Arthur Deyne or anything.  Beating the Hound doesn't maker her Arthur Deyne.  The Hound is a highly experienced warrior and a brutal killer but also not Arthur Deyne.  She also fought well against Jamie Lannister but wasn't better than him "Brienne remembered her fight with Jaime Lannister in the woods. It had been all that she could do to keep his blade at bay. He was weak from his imprisonment, and chained at the wrists."  She also beat Loras Tyrell and others in the melee at Bitterbridge but she had a morningstar there and a melee is a very different style of combat. 

You are really stretching. Why? I guess Brienne taking on an entire band of Boltons doesn't count because horseback. Larry doesn't count because Larry was tired, and Loras doesn't count because...morningstar? You have to compare her to the guy who's known as the greatest swordsman ever, because why? Oh yeah, because Brienne is in the running, on the show at least, to have been presented as the greatest swordsperson ever. 

 

There are really on a handful of other candidates. The Sword of the Morning, obviously. But we only knew one of his opponents, Ned Stark, and "poor dead Ned" was losing to Larry before the Lannister spearman interfered. Brienne was beating Larry on that bridge, year in captivity or not. So we don't really know if Arthur Deyne could beat her. Odds are yes, but I don't know. 

 

There's Barristan Selmy, but we only saw him old. The Mountain and the Viper were awesome, and we don't know how Brienne would stack up against them. She beat the Hound. Jon Snow has been bested by lesser men. Arya's dancing master was impressive, but we don't know just how good he was. 

At worst, we've seen about 5 better duelists than Brienne, and it's arguable she's the best. We've only ever seen Arya duel one other person--not in the same conditions with the same weapons, but actually with better odds on her side than against Brienne--and she repeatedly got her but kicked until she put out the light. 

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Posted (edited)

16 hours ago, Capo Ferro said:

 

A.  There are quite a lot of super-human abilities displayed in the books and in the show.  Yes, Dany surviving the funerary fire (which isn't as one off as some people suggest -- it's something that's hinted at before it happens with Dany enjoying bathwater that her handmaidens find scaldingly hot and hinted at after -- the line about Viserys being no dragon is from the books.  Danerys does get burned and blistery in the book but there is a lot of textual support for the idea that Daenerys is, if not immune to burning, at least unnaturally resistant to heat damage.  Yes, Warging (something Bran, Jon, and Arya all display) and greensight.  Also other varieties of prophecy (Melisandra, Mirri Maz Dur, Magy, the ghost of high heart (though she may be one of the children of the forest) probably Patches, the wizards of the house of the undying, others), shape shifting (Melisandre, the faceless men), resistance to poison (again Melisandre) the ability to resurrect people (Thoros of Myr and, in the show, Melisandre), resurrection after drowning (the Ironborn, Patches), unnatural strength (the Mountain).  Neither these, nor unnatural quickness and aptitude for fencing are in any way inconsistent with it being a story about human internal struggle when confronted with a variety of painful experiences.  I just don't see how the Brienne/Arya battle in any way works against Martin's project or what he has already done in the first five books.  It seems to sit very easily with them to me, particularly as the faceless men are very much part of what Martin has already written and Arya was clearly consigned to the faceless men for care and training when we last saw her in the books.  We know, then, she was on her way to becoming one of the Eumenides capable of implacably delivering death to any living person. 

Brienne herself must have superhuman powers. If this were reality, she'd never be one of the greatest knight-like people in the realm. She simply wouldn't have the strength for it. There's no way a woman with her body in real life could beat the Hound in a fist-fight, certainly. Have you seen the size of that guy? I had to suspend my disbelief and imagine she had magical strength, although the show never informed me of it. That was poor writing. 

With Arya, it's even worse. Because I can imagine Brienne was born to be a fighter like Dany was born to be unburnt. But I've watched six years or whatever of Arya's life, and up until this past episode she showed no evidence whatsoever of being a virtuosic sword duelist. And not just that, but able to beat perhaps the greatest swordsperson on the show with inferior equipment.

Did she eat a magic potato on her way to Winterfell?

Edited by darmody

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On 8/7/2017 at 3:08 AM, Lurid Jester said:

I just don't get this.  Are we forgetting that they were raised as brother and sister?  That they view each other as siblings?  Regardless of the fact that they aren't siblings doesn't make a romantic relationship between them any less skeevy as hell. 

Sure sure. Dany and Jon are related, but they don't know that. They don't even suspect it. 

At this point the show has set everything up for a union between them, if only a political one. 

Dany is a single queen in need of allies. 

Jon is a single king in need of allies. 

I half expect either Tyrion, Varys or Davis to suggest a marriage.  

The show is definitely planting a lot of seeds towards Jon & Dany, including Davos' comment to Jon.

As for a political marriage on the advice of, most likely Tyrion..., could see this happening.  The last scene between Daario and Dany and then Tyrion and Dany totally hints in that direction.  Tyrion definitely wanted her to be available to marry someone who could further their allegiances in Westeros and she did as she was told to be honest lol  Now there appears to be chemistry between Jon and Dany.  There is no much time left in the show for pairings but some will have to happen...  The fact that there is some mistrust and tension between them is in fact the usual way romantic stories go, not always (not needed for Sam and Gilly for instance but for these two yes), so my bet is on them hooking up and likely marrying.  Now happy ever after is an entirely different thing...  I think one of them or both will die before it is all done and dusted but of course it will serve some "save humanity" purpose along the way.

Now, when I saw Tyrion masterminding this last season I though "how about yourself mate?"  You are already married to a powerful northern Lady.. In the show they were getting on okay until the Red Wedding happened, yet the show ignored this marriage and made her available to marry Ramsay.  I know this pairing is rather unpopular but politically (and they are both politically minded, could make sense).  Her current book suitors, well Harry Hardying is not in the show, Sweet Robyn almost forgotten about this season...  One popular pairing is Sansa/Sandor but in the show although there were moments between them, I think she had more scenes with Tyrion to be honest and I think she is now too eager to have a go at playing the game and Sandor is not interested in that at all.  Some see her more as an Elizabeth I type, could be and yes it is possible to play the game without a powerful husband but still, we shall see if something comes out of this potential plot or not.

Thing with marriages and what not is that we now have 6 episodes in total left and anything they do re pairings will feel rushed.  I was hoping form Jaime/Brienne for instance but when is this going to happen, although heavily hinted at, since they are keeping Cersei alive for as long as they possibly can???  Gendry is to re-appear though so maybe Arya and him are still in the cards...  I could see Jon and/or Dany legitimising him and this could make another important political marriage for the reconstruction period after the WWs have been defeated...

Sandor clearly has an important part to play in the whole story or else he wouldn't have been brought back but it totally escapes me what this may be...

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19 hours ago, xjlxking said:

Really? You haven't seen Arya becoming such a swordsman without even so much as a prior hint at her improved skills.

 

She spent an entire season learning the way of the Faceless Men who are the best assassins. She trained under them to the point that she almost became one of them. How is that now a HINT? I think you don't like that she just went from F to D, to C...etc

Actually, she went from somewhere around D to A+ but we didn't see any of the progress. In literally every practice session she was humiliated by the Waif, but then suddenly (in narrative terms) she was able to kill the Waif and now she's equal to Brienne. How did she ended with such skills? Was she a natural super-talent for sword fighting just waiting to be revealed? Did she improve because of fanatical dedication? Was some other factor like warging maybe involved? No idea about any of that, because the show actually didn't explain in any way how did Arya become a master of sword fighting. Because the most important part of her training (improving) was never shown on screen. Because D&D didn't think it's important. Because they're bad storytellers.

19 hours ago, xjlxking said:

And if I recall correctly, yes we did see Rocky get beat and train for 20 min of the movie to suddenly improve to the point that he can beat a champion. We see it in pretty much every fighting movie with a underdog. 

But that's not what I was talking about. Even in worst fighting movies, training montages show some significant progress. That's almost always the point of the montage. There never was a case of some fighter becoming better by constantly being beaten by his tutor. My youth coincided with the "golden age" of terrible fighting movies, and I was tragically exposed to many of them, with Van Damme and Seagal, and I don't remember a single one where someone improved while constantly being heavily beaten by a more experienced fighter and without even once holding his own. Even the stupidest of those movies did it better than D&D.

19 hours ago, xjlxking said:

I get it though, you just wanted them to show you more of the milestones

Yes, at the very least they should have done that, considering how much screen-time they devoted to Arya's inferiority to Waif.

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3 hours ago, Lee Chapman said:

Seems to be a lot of debate over a simple training exercise

Yes, it's tiring when show lovers keep denying even the most obvious examples of the show's stupidity.

3 hours ago, Lee Chapman said:

He first lesson showed Brienne what she is good at, and what she is not.  That would be the only purpose served, and the only conclusion they would care about.

Then why was the entire scene filmed as if Brienne and Pod and Littlefinger (and possibly Sansa) are fascinated with the swordsmanship Arya displayed in the sparing?

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11 hours ago, StepStark said:

There are supernatural forces in ASOIAF but I wasn't talking about them. I was specifically talking about superhuman abilities, which is not the same thing. Asking a deity to resurrect someone is not superhuman ability, especially when priests themselves say that they have no idea why the deity even listened. And no, Gregor's strength isn't supernatural either.

She can be Superman for all I care, but that's not relevant to what I'm saying: we never saw Arya even beginning to approach Waif's league. All was saw was Arya constantly getting beaten by Waif. That's one of the most stupid tropes in storytelling, that you can get better only by being constantly beaten. You don't, or otherwise all the local schmucks would grow into ferocious fighters. Whoever practiced anything knows that it doesn't work like that. And of course, this being GOT everything was even more blown out of proportions so Arya was literally getting her ass handed to her by Waif in literally every scene. Until suddenly she was able to kill her, but even that was not seen on screen. And now she suddenly can defeat Brienne. That kind of storytelling is as bad as it gets.

First, you're mixing books with the show. Brienne in the books is very different from D&D's Brienne. Second, everyone and Arya consider Brienne to be world-class swordsman and not just a "determined student". Master of arms can be considered a determined student but Arya wants someone more challenging and she outright says so. All of that means that everyone, even Arya and Brienne, think that Brienne is exactly what D&D were portraying her as in the previous six seasons: a swordsman who still didn't meet her match, either in practice or in real combat, while directly killing more individuals than any other fighter in the story. So in effect you're trying to defend D&D from themselves here.

We saw a lot of training to develop Arya. But we didn't see her actually develop. Which means that conclusions you're drawing are yours, and not presented in the show. You're filling the blanks for D&D. That's your right, but not something that puts D&D in favorable light as storytellers. Quite the contrary, I'm afraid,

 

Sure I'm mixing the books with the show.  This has become a discussion of the scene as emblematic of the adequacy of the show as an adaptation of the books.  I take that to be a fundamental part of your criticism -- the scene helps show how Benioff and Weiss have failed to remain true to the project of the books?

My response is to look at the characters we're talking about in the books and point out how the foundation for what we see in the show is also there in the books -- the ways in which Book Brienne and Book Arya seem very like Show Brienne and Show Arya.  Book Brienne is  unquestionably ungainly and awkward but someone with adamantine determination who has, because of that determination, become someone to be reckoned with and she is also big and strong.  And that's what we see in the show as well. She clearly fights well but is she the best sword in Westeros?  I don't think we have any warrant for believing that on the show.  In the book we have access to her internal dialogue in which she effectively says that Jamie is better than her.  In the show we don't but she doesn't radically outmatch him in what we see of that fight.  And he shows some admiration for her skill but also calls her awkward.  Nor does she radically outmatch the Hound.  That fight is brutal and ugly, she spends a lot of it decidedly on defense and more than half of it is with fists and teeth.

Arya, is described as the image of a younger Lyanna.  Someone who was quick and graceful and Arya shares Brienne's determination, seems never happier than when she's in a fight, and is absolutely committed to mastering the sword.  In both the book and the show before arrival at the House of Black and White we see her use every free moment she has to rehearse what she has learned.  When Brienne first sees her she is alone practicing movement with needle.

And it is just not true that we never see her develop. We saw continuous improvement throughout her time in the House of Black and White from pathetic scenes in which she was clubbed at will by the waif to scenes in which she put on a credible defense and occasionally scored blows of her own.  And throughout it we see someone who, despite being clearly overmatched, was unwilling to give up and always came back for more.  And in the Brienne Arya fight we see Arya repeat things we saw in scenes with the waif (her leap to her feet after being kicked -- the waif knocked her down then walked away thinking Arya had surely had enough (could almost hear, in my head "I heard a woman say "stay down, champion, stay down") but Arya leaped to her feet in in exactly the same way as she did in the Brienne fight.  And we also saw her move very like the waif at times.  

The other thing we saw in the Brienne/Arya fight that we also saw in the scenes with the waif is that Arya has learned to see where her strengths and weaknesses lay and to manipulate the engagement to favor herself.  Arya, unsure she could beat the waif in an engagement in the light, ran from that fight and arranged things so the confrontation could be in the dark.  This is more or less what she was telling Pod as well -- you can't beat her on her terms, you shouldn't try.  Arya chose an engagement in which Brienne was in armor and had a longsword and Arya didn't -- and in fact refused a training blade.  She fought an engagement that allowed her to make the best use of her ability and one in which Brienne was handicapped with armor, weapon, and tactics designed for a different sort of enemy.

Another thing about the scene that I found really nice is that they're both very much acting out their characters in the engagement.  Consider the last exchange.  Arya is control of the engagement for the first half of it even though she's constantly retreating to avoid Brienne's attack.  Brienne continually redoubles her attack in the face of Arya's retreat until she eventually does so too aggressively and throws herself off balance the scene cuts to Littlefinger & Sansa and when it comes back Arya has moved to the attack.  They are fighting as the people they are.  Brienne is a turbulent ball of oscillating emotions.  She's grown up always being picked on and ridiculed and lonely and this has made her into a person who is extremely wary of everyone she meets but always ready to either hate or love a person in a flash.  A little kindness to her inspires a devotion that's like a drowning person grabbing for a life vest but she's also immediately hostile to everyone she meets as a guard against the hostility she expects from them.  She's an emotional person and an emotional fighter who's led into overcommitment.  Arya, by contrast, has learned patience and to accept blow after blow as she waits for her moment.  And you can see that in the way they fight.  It was nicely choreographed.

And, as I said before, it was a nice way of moving the plot along.  It simultaneously showed to Sansa that Arya isn't the helpless baby, to Littlefinger that Arya is someone for whom he's going to need to do some rethinking to take into account, and formed the basis for a friendship between Brienne and Arya.  It seemed like a nice bit of storytelling to me. 

 

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3 hours ago, darmody said:

Brienne herself must have superhuman powers. If this were reality, she'd never be one of the greatest knight-like people in the realm. She simply wouldn't have the strength for it. There's no way a woman with her body in real life could beat the Hound in a fist-fight, certainly. Have you seen the size of that guy? I had to suspend my disbelief and imagine she had magical strength, although the show never informed me of it. That was poor writing. 

With Arya, it's even worse. Because I can imagine Brienne was born to be a fighter like Dany was born to be unburnt. But I've watched six years or whatever of Arya's life, and up until this past episode she showed no evidence whatsoever of being a virtuosic sword duelist. And not just that, but able to beat perhaps the greatest swordsperson on the show with inferior equipment.

Did she eat a magic potato on her way to Winterfell?

 

When you say "inferior equipment" I think "this is someone who doesn't have any idea what he's talking about."  

A longsword and a small sword are different weapons that evolved for different purposes and have different strengths and different weaknesses. Neither can be said to be inferior to the other outside of a particular context in which they are being used.  The longsword/small sword contest we see in that scene is among the most plausible ways I can imagine in which someone like Arya can get the better of someone like Brienne.

As for your comments on Brienne and the Hound -- have you seen the size of her?  Watch that episode again.  There is not much of a size difference between them.

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3 hours ago, darmody said:

You are really stretching. Why? I guess Brienne taking on an entire band of Boltons doesn't count because horseback. Larry doesn't count because Larry was tired, and Loras doesn't count because...morningstar? You have to compare her to the guy who's known as the greatest swordsman ever, because why? Oh yeah, because Brienne is in the running, on the show at least, to have been presented as the greatest swordsperson ever. 

 

There are really on a handful of other candidates. The Sword of the Morning, obviously. But we only knew one of his opponents, Ned Stark, and "poor dead Ned" was losing to Larry before the Lannister spearman interfered. Brienne was beating Larry on that bridge, year in captivity or not. So we don't really know if Arthur Deyne could beat her. Odds are yes, but I don't know. 

 

There's Barristan Selmy, but we only saw him old. The Mountain and the Viper were awesome, and we don't know how Brienne would stack up against them. She beat the Hound. Jon Snow has been bested by lesser men. Arya's dancing master was impressive, but we don't know just how good he was. 

At worst, we've seen about 5 better duelists than Brienne, and it's arguable she's the best. We've only ever seen Arya duel one other person--not in the same conditions with the same weapons, but actually with better odds on her side than against Brienne--and she repeatedly got her but kicked until she put out the light. 

 

Larry?

And what I'm trying, with limited success, to get across is that "best" is not a univalent concept here.  And a swordfight is not some homogeneous activity in a complete ordering of participants can be made from best down to worst.  Every weapon that is used brings with it a different set of advantages and disadvantages and favors or disfavors certain abilities and tactics.  A fight between two people with longswords is different from a fight between two people with small swords and a fight between a person with a longsword and a person with a small sword is different from either of those. Of those three different hypothetical battles there is no reason whatsoever to believe that a person who is best in one will be best in all.  We see some of Brienne's strengths over the course of the show.  How meaningful are those strengths in a contest like the one we saw in this scene?  Not very, actually.

 

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Posted (edited)

We certainly DID see Arya develop in her training in the House of Black and White, but it was subtle, gradual improvements that were shown, not massive ones. In her duels with the waif, Arya definitely improved in her defence capabilities, blocking and anticipating opponents moves. That much was clear.

 The problem with Arya's arc in seasons 5 and 6 is D&D spent so much time getting Arya from an F to a C in terms of her Faceless Men skills (disguise, assassination, etc) they had no time left to display her going from a C to an A or A+. Also, they spent zero time on her swordfighting (not even showing her to continue practicing it alone like they did in S3 and S4). This made the Brienne fight even more difficult to believe.

Its like they started showing the foundations of Arya learning things (manipulation, lie detection, etc) but never finished it off. For example, the story the Waif told Arya about the waif's childhood was clearly meant to be the beginnings of Arya learning lie detection (as she dod in books) but then that went nowhere and Arya's ability to detect lies was never tested or trained again. It is likely the show will never revisit that ability either or have Arya use it.

Indeed, if they were going to, they wouldn't have had Arya accuse Hot Pie of lying when it was clear as day (whether his claim was true or not) that Hot Pie genuinely believed what he was saying to be true.

Arya needed to be shown making more obvious improvements in her training so she could get from an F to an A by end of season 6 or start of season 7 more believably. The way it was done on screen sadly was horrible and ruined Arya for some people.

 

Edited by Gaz0680

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6 hours ago, Morgana Lannister said:

Sandor clearly has an important part to play in the whole story or else he wouldn't have been brought back but it totally escapes me what this may be...

The Hound must put down his Zombie Brother, obviously. But that's next season. The audience needs him to have a scene with Arya, and I assume that will happen this season, which is the Season of Reunions. But you wouldn't bring him back just for that. 

The Brotherhood Without Banners will fight the White Walkers alongside the Northmen and Wildlings. I suppose they'll be the Lord of Light's representatives in the war, at least until Mel returns to Westeros. Probably we'll see the Flaming Sword again, and the Hound will have further "I'm scared of fire" scenes. 

He single-handedly makes the Brotherhood interesting. They haven't amounted to anything yet, and the show has enough dead ends with Dorne et al. Manbun and the Resurrected Firesword Guy are okay, but nowhere near Hound-level characters. With the Hound there, the show can kill Manbun or Firesword without turning the Brotherhood into a one-man band as far as the audience knows or cares.

As we all know from watching the show death = development. Except when death = okay, we're done with you now. 

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5 hours ago, Capo Ferro said:

Larry?

Jaime, brother-lover of Carol (/Cheryl/Cersei). 

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5 hours ago, Capo Ferro said:

Sure I'm mixing the books with the show.  This has become a discussion of the scene as emblematic of the adequacy of the show as an adaptation of the books.  I take that to be a fundamental part of your criticism -- the scene helps show how Benioff and Weiss have failed to remain true to the project of the books?

Fundamental part of my criticism? Where did you get that idea? That was no part of my criticism at all. In this entire discussion I didn't compare the show with the books, not only because it's not the subject, but also because it's not needed. The show is so stupid that I don't need to compare it to the books to show how stupid it is.

And why would I compare a masterpiece like ASOIAF with a terrible fanfic that is GOT? Do you even realize the difference in quality between the two? The books are by far the best fantasy of modern times, possibly the only fantasy that elevated itself so much above the genre that it's legitimately considered a high-quality drama and also a social study and political intrigue. The show is written by two guys who think that abandoning Casterley Rock and leaving it to the enemy can be a brilliant strategic move by the Lannisters. That is a difference in class! Abandoning Casterley Rock is just monumentally nonsensical, nothing even remotely as ridiculous can be found in the books - and that's only one of the sea of examples of the show's utter stupidity. So why the hell would I even compare that absurdity to something as good as ASOIAF?

That Benioff and Weiss have failed to remain true the project of the books is an understatement, as big as they come. They keep failing over and over again to remain true even to basic logic.

6 hours ago, Capo Ferro said:

In the show we don't but she doesn't radically outmatch him in what we see of that fight.

Sorry but how can we have a discussion if you write something like this? Did you watch the scene at all? She beat Jaime easily, it was possibly Brienne's easiest fight in the entire show. It was ridiculous of course, but at that moment D&D needed Brienne to be this amazing and unstoppable fighter so she was. Now they need Arya to be amazing and unstoppable fighter and she is, even better than Brienne. It's all just random, just serving what D&D's childish story needs at any given moment and nothing else. If you need to misinterpret it as much as you just did, just in order to make some sense out of it, then do it, it's your right, but I have no desire to take part in any of it.

6 hours ago, Capo Ferro said:

And it is just not true that we never see her develop. We saw continuous improvement throughout her time in the House of Black and White from pathetic scenes in which she was clubbed at will by the waif to scenes in which she put on a credible defense and occasionally scored blows of her own.  And throughout it we see someone who, despite being clearly overmatched, was unwilling to give up and always came back for more.

We didn't see it actually. You "saw" it, probably the same way you "saw" that Brienne didn't radically outmatch Jaime, but that's just your reading into it. You're conveniently ignoring the sad truth that Arya's training in Braavos served just two things: 1) to show Arya's determination, and 2) to show how superior Waif is to Arya. And it's fair to say that point number 2 was much more emphasized, because at that point D&D needed Waif to be the big bad antagonist because in their simplistic understanding of the storytelling that's what Arya's arc in Braavos needed to be dramatic. Arya's "continuous improvement" you mention is not really an improvement, unless you think that learning (through hard beating) that occasionally you can block the opponent's strike is something that actually merits screen-time in a show that supposedly has barely enough time to cover all of its storylines. And not to mention that at you're misinterpreting again, because Arya managed to hit Waif just once, to which Waif responded by delivering her the hardest beating of them all.

So no, there was no progress, because progress was never the point of Arya's "training" in Braavos. Aside from Arya's determination, which was shown a little, it was all about Waif's superiority, which D&D hoped will make for a bigger payoff at the end when Arya finally overcomes it. And it was a "payoff" of epic proportions, because their final showdown was universally criticized as pure rubbish.

But now you conveniently want to see some progress of Arya in Braavos. Fine, show it to the rest of us, find any Braavos scene which can be seen as Arya's progress in a way that fighting progress is usually and logically defined, and then post a link to that scene so we can analyze it. Because sorry, but I have no intention of discussing your misinterpretations any more. Both of us probably have smarting things to do with our time.

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4 hours ago, Gaz0680 said:

We certainly DID see Arya develop in her training in the House of Black and White, but it was subtle, gradual improvements that were shown, not massive ones. In her duels with the waif, Arya definitely improved in her defence capabilities, blocking and anticipating opponents moves. That much was clear.

Even if it was "subtle", what would be the point of it? From forever, training process is used in movies and TV to explicitly show improvements. Not subtly, but explicitly.

But in reality, there was no subtlety there, just like there never is with D&D. We're talking about two guys who think that a girl stabbed recovering from the gut wound can run and jump through half a city like that, so good luck finding subtlety in any of their work.

And also, no "defense capabilities" were on display there, and no "anticipating opponents moves". The only thing that was actually shown was that Arya managed to block some of Waif's strikes and that's it. And she also managed to hit Waif once, to which Waif responded by beating the crap out of Arya as never before. If that's development, then I don't know what isn't.

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1 hour ago, StepStark said:

Even if it was "subtle", what would be the point of it? From forever, training process is used in movies and TV to explicitly show improvements. Not subtly, but explicitly.

I agree, which is why I stated they should have been showing more obvious improvements in the training. Arya's Braavos arc could potentially have been amazing, but D&D botched it so badly. It was a hack job, nothing more, one which utterly ruined Arya as a character for many people.

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Posted (edited)

2 hours ago, StepStark said:

Even if it was "subtle", what would be the point of it? From forever, training process is used in movies and TV to explicitly show improvements. Not subtly, but explicitly.

Bingo. They pulled the same trick with Sandra. They need her to be a power player, and the Smart Stark, complimenting Jon's dumb straight-forwardness. She is supposed to be capable of co-leading the North, and is a contender in Game of Thrones because...she learned from Carol? Even though they never showed her learning.

She was in fact not much privy to the machinations of Cirsie. Nor of Littlefinger, Tyrion, Olestra, Marge, Tywin, or anyone at King's Landing, really. She was locked in a tower when Ramsey ruled Winterfell, yet for no reason the show pretended she was an expert on his personality. I guess Reek filled her in. 

The natural arc would be for her to learn from Littlefinger in the Vale and elsewhere. That didn't happen. We saw that she had improved when she convincingly lied to the Vale lords. I guess she learned how to lie from observing the liars around her, but we weren't actually shown her improving. 

To the show's credit, they didn't have her be a Machiavellian genius last season, when she went behind Jon's back and kept Littlefinger at bay. She came off as a rank amateur, and would've lost her head for treason if she weren't Sandra Stark. Remember the whole "Listen to me, Jon!"

"Okay, what?"

"Um, I dunno. Something."

This season, suddenly she's got an opinion on everything and is an expert on armory and agronomy. 

Edited by darmody

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3 hours ago, StepStark said:

Fundamental part of my criticism? Where did you get that idea? That was no part of my criticism at all. In this entire discussion I didn't compare the show with the books, not only because it's not the subject, but also because it's not needed. The show is so stupid that I don't need to compare it to the books to show how stupid it is.

And why would I compare a masterpiece like ASOIAF with a terrible fanfic that is GOT? Do you even realize the difference in quality between the two? The books are by far the best fantasy of modern times, possibly the only fantasy that elevated itself so much above the genre that it's legitimately considered a high-quality drama and also a social study and political intrigue. The show is written by two guys who think that abandoning Casterley Rock and leaving it to the enemy can be a brilliant strategic move by the Lannisters. That is a difference in class! Abandoning Casterley Rock is just monumentally nonsensical, nothing even remotely as ridiculous can be found in the books - and that's only one of the sea of examples of the show's utter stupidity. So why the hell would I even compare that absurdity to something as good as ASOIAF?

That Benioff and Weiss have failed to remain true the project of the books is an understatement, as big as they come. They keep failing over and over again to remain true even to basic logic.

This is true, but as good as ASOIAF is, GRRM also has his own fairly substantial weaknesses.  His characterisations are brilliant and for the most part, consistent, whereas the show's are anything but.

However, in terms of the actual plot, I feel George let it get too big and overwhelm him in Feast and Dance and it's going to be difficult for him to bring it all back together, which is why we may never see A Dream of Spring. Both of those fourth and fifth books dragged badly and were difficult to read through at times. Many plot threads needed to be cut for the adaptation. To that end, D&D had the right idea, they just butchered the execution.

 

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