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Jabul

A More Plausible War

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The Main Idea: How would you rewrite Season 7 to make the war in the south more plausible? Obviously, this presupposes that you believe that the war, as presented by HBO, is hard, perhaps impossible, to believe in. A good many posters say this. I have read several posts along the lines of “In a well-written story, Cersei wouldn’t have lasted more than one episode.” There is a thread entitled “The War makes no sense,” started by Tyrion 1991. 

In the current thread, we will follow on from the premise that things need to be, and could be, improved. If you wish to simply criticize or defend Season 7, please refrain from posting here. You can go to the above-named thread or start your own. 

As an example of what I’m talking about, we have this from Count Balerion in Tyrion 1991’s thread: 

“I had a vague thought for a more plausible scenario, where Dany apparently wins KL, but ... what are these mysterious murders that keep taking place? Could someone EVIL be lurking somewhere in the Red Keep, weaving an insidious web of murder and torture? What's that screaming in the dungeon?”

I’m willing to bend the rules a little. If you feel that Season 7 is hopeless as it stands, you can go a little ways back into Season 6 and make some changes. Perhaps Prince Doran stays in power, and Dorne stays out of the war. Maybe Cersei manages to get rid of the High Septon and reduce the power of the Sparrows without blowing up the Great Sept of Baelor. 

Finally, you can have Cersei lose the war and die in one or two episodes. What happens then? 

 

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Hmmm, if Cersei doesn't blow up the sept then season 7 does get a bit more credible. If, say, the alliance she made with (some of) the Tyrells against the High Septon stands and they manage to get him deposed or otherwise defanged. Ep. 10 wouldn't be anywhere near as climactic, of course. And KL still probably wouldn't be 100% behind Cersei, because the sparrows were fairly popular, I believe. (This scenario also involves Tommen not being influenced to support the HS.)

If the sept does get blown up, and Cersei goes into hiding after Dany arrives in KL, then there'd have to be some way of drawing things out if she's still to be around at the end of the season.

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Posted (edited)

I think the best move with regard to the High Septon would require a little character adjustment. If the guy is perfectly sincere and consistent, however fanatical, then his popularity and his work for the poor would be hard for any of his opponents to get around. However, let's suppose that someone discovers some unpleasant things about this holy man. Maybe his moves against Loras are not based purely on theology. The High Sparrow has a problem with his own drives. He  has a bit too much interest in males, perhaps including young boys. If this is discovered and publicly proven (i.e. the man is caught in the act), then the dynamic changes. In particular, Margaery, a very popular leader, can express her shock, disappointment, and outrage. How can we treat certain sinners so severely when the guy passing judgement is himself so involved In sin? 

Your point about climatic event(s) in episode 10 is well taken. There can be definite tradeoffs involving things like character development, plausibility of events in a story, and big events like explosions. This is true of any work that is at all cinematic. There is a temptation to go with things that go boom and to let logic and consistent characterization slide. 

 

Edited by Jabul

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That could work. Blowing up the sept would still mean killing lots of innocents and destroying a revered religious monument, of course. Maybe she wouldn't have to, though; could just get a synod (if that's what they're called in the Faith) to have HS deposed, and produce some lackey to take his place.

Another thought that jumps to mind is they get a wight to convince *Dany* rather than Cersei. I suppose she could even still rescue them on her dragon, although a lot nwold still have to be fixed, like the NK being right next to Jon, Dany, and Drogon when he aims at Viserion, the chains, etc., etc., etc.

 

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21 hours ago, Count Balerion said:

That could work. Blowing up the sept would still mean killing lots of innocents and destroying a revered religious monument, of course. Maybe she wouldn't have to, though; could just get a synod (if that's what they're called in the Faith) to have HS deposed, and produce some lackey to take his place.

Another thought that jumps to mind is they get a wight to convince *Dany* rather than Cersei. I suppose she could even still rescue them on her dragon, although a lot nwold still have to be fixed, like the NK being right next to Jon, Dany, and Drogon when he aims at Viserion, the chains, etc., etc., etc.

 

Yes, have the HS deposed and put a lackey in his place. That would be the way to go if you're going to have Cersei stay in some kind of position of power in KL. The High Sept of Baelor is just too important to the Faith of the Seven, and the belief that Cersei is guilty of destroying  the place is too widespread. The attempts by some posters to say "Well, other High Septons have been killed" doesn't work as an excuse to see the Lannister pretender as an accepted monarch. In a better-written story, she would face far too much opposition, both from the common people and from the powers-that-be. Of course, if you're going to have this wanna-be queen go into hiding or escape to CR, then things change. 

You still have to do something about the dragons. Having Daenerys diverted to the north early in Season 7 is one possibility. As to the chains, the NK's aim, and other matters--the title of this thread is "A More Plausible War." I'm not trying to cover all the problems I see with Season 7. 

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It occurred to me the other day that if we don't blow up the sept, that also means Margaery is still at large, which complicates things. She's genuinely popular, for starters. Which side will the Tyrells take? I think they'll go for Dany, but of course M has to give up her throne. Like Cersei, she's always been big on being Queen.

Meanwhile, Cersei is still evil, so I'd expect her still to hatch plots and murder a few people; and it's not implausible she would eventually start blowing stuff up. Even without blowing up the sept she can still have Frankengregor and Qyburn do nasty things to people.

One big problem with season 7 was Tyrion giving stupid advice. Maybe that can be mitigated if it's made clear (in conversation with Jaime?) that he's on the fence and is trying to temporise between Dany and Cersei. I guess that's sort of there in the show, but it's fuzzy.

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23 hours ago, Count Balerion said:

It occurred to me the other day that if we don't blow up the sept, that also means Margaery is still at large, which complicates things. She's genuinely popular, for starters. Which side will the Tyrells take? I think they'll go for Dany, but of course M has to give up her throne. Like Cersei, she's always been big on being Queen.

Meanwhile, Cersei is still evil, so I'd expect her still to hatch plots and murder a few people; and it's not implausible she would eventually start blowing stuff up. Even without blowing up the sept she can still have Frankengregor and Qyburn do nasty things to people.

One big problem with season 7 was Tyrion giving stupid advice. Maybe that can be mitigated if it's made clear (in conversation with Jaime?) that he's on the fence and is trying to temporise between Dany and Cersei. I guess that's sort of there in the show, but it's fuzzy.

Yes, things would be complicated. I think we could make them more rational though, and that's the idea behind this thread. Some tradeoffs are involved. We'd lose the final scene between Jaime and the Queen of Thorns. We'd still have two interesting Tyrell characters. Other scenes could. be written. 

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Oh, agreed; by complicate I didn't necessarily mean it would be worse. On the contrary, it would help draw out the story so as to fill one season, without the logical leaps of the actual season 7 plot.

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OK, I've had a look at the first 2 episodes, on the assumption that Cersei didn't burn down the sept and (apparently) abolish the Faith, or at least the High Septon, and murder one of the leading houses of the realm. I don't know how good a job I did (and am not really one for military minutiae), and doubtless things will have to be moved around. But here goes:

Ep. 1: doesn't sin much on the Cersei side. On Dany's side, they ought to be sending out ravens, so I'd have them do that immediately upon arrival. Also there ought to be some garrison, and that at any rate can be quickly overcome, or surrender without a fight. The problematic Sam and Arya scenes can be cut to make room for additional scenes, e.g., with Tyrells.

Ep. 2: The big problem is Dany not either heading for Red Keep with her dragons, or at least sending someone in (Unsullied as suggested in War thread? Tyrion? Varys?).I'm not sure what to do about that. Perhaps T persuades her to wait for C's response to the ravens (though that's a tad lame). Maybe she chases Euron and burns some ships instead. Or T uses the same argument as the show. All these are on the lame side, and I'm not sure there's a good reason not to go to KL right away and say, "Hey, we're here".

One would have to show various reactions to Dany: some could say, "Ick! Foreign barbarians!" and others "Dragons" or "Cersei's nasty". Others could prefer to sit and wait. There could be a conversation between Olenna (who had escaped before the septsplosion, and we can keep that). Margaery, meanwhile, could pragmatically lean towards Dany even if it means giving up being queen. At some point she figures out (or Jaime warns her?) that C wants her dead, and one bright day might send Frankengregor after her (perhaps C even does send him. It). Tomme is presumably around, but has been established in season 6 as having absolutely no backbone (as I recall).

The Euron raid I suppose can stay.

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Thanks for the link. I've looked the site over a bit.

Some quick reactions:

I would really want Dany's team to act more intelligently. The lack of intelligence is one of my main complaints about Season 7. Thus, I heartily approve of your idea of sending out the ravens early. If, for some reason or other, that doesn't happen, then other methods of communication should be tried--sending ships to various ports, sending riders to various castles, etc. Also, some sort of move toward King's Landing is a must. At least do some scouting, intelligence work, patrolling, etc. 

Differing reactions to Daenerys, interactions with Olenna, Margaery's thoughts and actions...all have interesting possibilities. Euron is a major problem. More on him later. 

Edited by Jabul

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Any attempt to make the war more rational has to take on the Euron problem. His motivation, as presented in Season 7, is not convincing. Even worse, it is hard to believe that he could convince a bunch of pirate guys to follow him on the enterprise that we see. They have this humongous fleet, they sail all the way around a continent, passing up lots of tempting targets, and offer their services to a woman who is the current occupant of the Iron Throne. These guys are sailing wooden ships, and they are offering to fight against a foe that has 3 fire breathing monsters. They are doing this because their leader has the hots for said current occupant. This is hard to accept. I'm not sure what to do about it. Maybe we just have to let it go and work on other issues.

One thing that absolutely should be done--Daenerys and her people have to have enough sense to include the humongous fleet in their war plans. This goes back to the critical need to  show Team Dany acting with at least a minimum degree of intelligence. We have this war council with a plan to send a fleet here, a fleet there, here a fleet, there a fleet, everywhere a fleet fleet. No one even mentions the name "Euron." Essentially everyone knows that there is a big group of mean pirate guys out there. This group will most likely do something or other to disrupt Team Dany's plans, but no one says anything about the matter. Just have Tyrion, Yara, or whoever come up with some kind of idea of dealing with the potential enemy fleet. Later, we can have Euron win a victory or two by using some clever naval maneuver. 

 

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