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Ran

[Book Spoilers] EP108 Discussion

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With the build up this show has towards the Dothraki invading, the dragons hatching, and The Others waking up.... the next three seasons right lose non-readers fast. TV crowd are fickle mistresses.

I totally agree, some will bail, but I also know that the show has converted a lot of regular non-readers into actual readers. The show may turn some off, particularly the ones who cannot bring themselves to read "Fantasy", but has created a new buzz and flood of readers and followers. Just check the amazon best sellers list ATM.

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To those saying new fans will drop the show with Ned's death...it's possible. However look how awesome Robb became in this last episode

Well I disagree. I'm hoping he shows me something, but he still has the personality of cardboard and I'm not buying all the bannermen following him into battle. Even convincing the Greatjohn took his wolf to do the work, he himself did nothing (though that's not the actor's fault, it's Martin's writing). His "tough meat" was his dog.

Robb and Sansa have both been tremendously disappointing to me in the tv series, I just see very little emotion in their faces. Compare that to Sean Bean as Ned, yes he is stoic, but he can convey so much with only facial expressions and his eyes. I'm not seeing that same ability in the actors playing Robb and Sansa, it's almost like they're robots.

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Sansa has been dissapointing yeah, her performances a little too similar across the board, but I am going to give Robb the benefit of the doubt, as he has tried to do everything he possibly can with the lines provided to him at this stage. What I would give to have the chance to stare down Cat in front of all the lads!!

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I'm trying to figure out this thesis wherein television viewers are so much more dumb and dull than fantasy readers that they will be turned off by plot twists en masse.

Do the readers here really think themselves so much more sophisticated than the television audience out there? Now, normally, I would take a reader over a non-reader, but I hate to burst everyone's bubble, but fantasy ain't exactly Thomas Pynchon or Boz Dickens. And shockingly, there are many smart people and readers out there who haven't read ASOIF. I know. Crazy.

Many television viewers -- and HBO viewers especially -- appreciate a good story just and much as you or I. They aren't going to scream like little children and turn off the program because of a plot twist. There's a few fans that might ditch if they were only watching for their favorite character, etc., but no more than the odd person who quit reading after a plot point in the book.

We all appreciated the story as it came. So will the vast majority of viewers.

I don't feel like anyone who has read Dave Eddings, Raymond Feist, Robert Jordan, Terry Goodkind, etc., can claim intellectual superiority to anyone. Let's stop acting as if Martin is some kind of inaccessible writer who the average person won't appreciate.

EDIT #1: Just because I know this will start a crapstorm: you can throw Steven Erickson in there, as well. The only man Leo Tolstoy thought needed an editor. And R. Scott Bakker - where freshman psych turns into freshman porn.

EDIT #2: In terms of factual evidence, I have seven friends who are non-readers watching (that I know of). None of them are likely to ditch for plot-related reasons, though one female friend of mine keeps trying to get assurances that Khal Drogo stays around merely for the eye candy. Poor Elissa.

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I loved the notion that rather than writing the notes and sending them out as they're finished, Maester Luwin is keeping the ravens all cooped up until he's done so he can let them out in one go. He's probably thinking to himself, "Oh man, this shit is gonna be so metal. People are gonna be wandering by and see the castle and be all 'dang, that looks like an album cover!'"

You are amazing.

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Raising your fingers?

What kind of a shit scout are you if you actually count the enemy's forces with your fingers in the air?

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With the build up this show has towards the Dothraki invading, the dragons hatching, and The Others waking up.... the next three seasons right lose non-readers fast. TV crowd are fickle mistresses.

I might be alone here, but I'd like them to combine A Feast for Crows and a Dance with Dragons into one longer season. For TV it would be awkward to have half the actors under contract for one season, and then the other half under contract for the following season. And I didn't care for AFFC except for Cersei's descent into madness.

I'm sure some will disagree but I didn't feel like Dany had much to do in ACoK. She wonders lost in the desert with an ever decreasing number of followers. It's OK for a book but TV viewers may wonder what it's supposed to add up to. The arc doesn't feel complete the way it does for her in the first and third books.

I thought Jon going behind the Wall in ACoK was riveting, but that's another story that may not translate to screen well because there's not too much to see besides Craster (who I'm counting on to scare the crap out of me). Jon doesn't come face to face with his opponents until the very end of his arc.

They'll be able to keep Bran busy having trippy dreams which his new friends Jojen and Meera will interpret for him like so much mental tea leaves, being antagonized by the Walders and dealing with Theon's takeover.

I am looking forward to Asha and Melisandre. I'm also wondering what grayscale looks like.

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2 things I wanted to comment on:

I know we've all been delighting over Williams as Arya, but I just had to add my 2 cents here:

The first scene when Trant and co enter the room: the bit where she realizes something's amiss thanks to Syrio and grabs her wooden sword. She says, 'I don't have to go anywhere with you if I don't want to,' and there's such an amazing expression of complete, regal disdain on her face just then. I was stunned and impressed. Really. It's one thing pulling off fiesty-tomboy-who-likes-interacting-with-butcher-boys; it's quite another when we see Williams' projecting Arya's feudal background and that icy Starkness with the same effortless ease. Arya is a Lord's daughter, after all and she is very capable of being haughty when needed. Great stuff.

Sansa: I don't get the entire 'she ditched Dontos' view at all. Really? She saved his life. She was led to believe he'd help her (we all know he was taking money in return all along). For her, Dontos was a possible escape from KL. But at the back of her mind she did doubt him (and she was mostly right too). When it seemed she might manage an escape via the Tyrells, would some have preferred her to turn her back on the prospect and pout, 'no, Dontos/Florian said he'd get me out, so fuck this opportunity! I'll wait on old letchy-drunkard instead'?

The fact is, she saved him without expecting anything in return. She did it out of kindness, and it took quite a lot of courage to oppose Joffrey too.

The fact also is, Dontos was LF's pawn. He wasn't being a heroic knight, he was ensuring he'd have enough money to get plastered every night and eventually GTFO KL himself.

And the fact is, for all his harmlesness, Dontos was gross, always trying to grope her or plant one on her. In implied exchange for helping her. Ugh. He's as bad as any other old man pawing at a kid. His general patheticness doesn't exempt him, imo.

So no, I don't think Sansa's heartless or opportunistic because she 'dumped' Dontos for a while.

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By the end of the episode, my wife and I were staring at the screen and she said "Next time, we're waiting for the entire series to air, recording all of them, and watching them back to back so we don't have to wait for next week"

What a fantastic episode.

Likes (in no particular order):

- Robb being hardcore and nailing the role.

- The Greatjon

- Bran's expression during the Robb/Greatjon faceoff

- "I hope the wall is high enough"

- "Son of ..." "You wouldn't know him"

- Arya and Syrio (both of them) in the scene where Trant comes. Both are seriously awesome.

- Sansa in the throneroom

- "... and feed it to the goats. Yes, I know"

- The raven cloud from Winterfell (yes, I know it was unrealistic, but still: damn!)

- Seriously hardcore Khal Drogo

- Septa Mordane walking towards her death to buy time for Sansa

- Varys in the dungeon ("The realm. Someone has to")

- Robb and Theon - after the Theon-angst setups of the earlier shows, this shows just why Robb (incorrectly) trusts Theon in ACoK

- Osha after the Hodor arrival

- Rickon delivered his line well

Dislikes:

- The death of the stableboy was a bit too abrupt (and I wasn't impressed by his acting)

- ... that's about it, really.

Other comments:

- Agree that Dany could do with looking a bit more pregnant

- Slight irritation over Jon's clothing - am I being overly picky, or should he NOT be wearing any non-black, such as his white/grey wolfskin thing? Wouldn't mention it, but the plot point of Mance Rayder's motivation (walked out because irritation with the "no non-black" rule) refers.

- The change in duel scene worked well for me.

- Timmett son of Timmett threw me a bit - was expecting young slim psycho. Although it didn't really make a huge difference for me.

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When Ned died in the books was when I started really liking the series, it showed it won't be one of those typical fantasy stories where the good guys commit all kinds of stupid blunders yet survive thanks to luck and plot armour. And I am hardly alone thinking so. The same thing will probably happen with a lot of the viewers too. Sure, many will be disappointed, but I doubt the percentage of those so disappointed that they drop the series altogether would be significant. There's plenty of other fascinating characters to keep viewers interested.

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Best line of the episode. Its like a double-triple entendre. Innocent Sansa saying she won't hatch anything, it just means what it means. But, 'I'll be a queen just like you--I won't hatch anything. This, to the queen of hatchery! Plus, there's Cersei's actual hatchlings, three twincest spawn. Masterful, George. Masterful.

Also there's Dany who certainly *is* going to be hatching something.

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What kind of a shit scout are you if you actually count the enemy's forces with your fingers in the air?

There's no school system in Westeros so people won't learn to count even remotely close to the same level as in our times. Most adults that can count there will be on a child's level by our standards, which means that a ton of them will use their fingers to help them. Abstract thinking is something that needs to be developed and our decimal numerical system is based on the number of our fingers.

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If HBO wanted to bring in a big name, clearly Stannis would be the place to do it. However, that is not normally a part of the playbook. I would expect an actor we've heard of, but not an A-lister.

People aren't going to quit the show because Ned dies, I think that's just a silly concept. They will leave if they don't like watching the show, I doubt there are many people watching the show just for Sean Bean. If they are, then will likely leave after this episode because he was barely in it.

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If HBO wanted to bring in a big name, clearly Stannis would be the place to do it. However, that is not normally a part of the playbook. I would expect an actor we've heard of, but not an A-lister.

The problem is Stannis is a secondary character that will be arround for at least four more seasons. I don't know if big names would go for it. I they were willing to commit to a multi-season job, they would demand a bigger role.

I would say that Qhorin Halfhand, Craster, Ygritte, or even any of the Qartheen characters would suit better.

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