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  1. The Judge is described as a redhead right? I first thought of Vitari, but although we probably can't rule out that Monza would send some sort of agent to stir up unrest in the Union, I lean against the Judge having some hidden identity because there's really nothing else to go on and not every character needs to be someone from the past.
  2. To me, Orso looks like he's being set up by Bayaz to be the fall man for a larger revolution. He's coming to the throne by Bayaz's design (we know Jezal didn't just die) right at a moment when he's been branded with a horrible reputation. With Jezal, Bayaz went to pains to build him up as a young hero king for the purpose of holding up the Union's status quo. He wants Orso to be the scapegoat for whatever unrest comes to reorder things. At least, I think that's the plan. Fortunately, there's two thirds of this thing left and since most readers are initiated as to what Bayaz is, I doubt he's going to have all his own way this time. That said, all the characters seem just as clueless this time around as to what Bayaz looks to be up to- even the ones who know that Bayaz is the puppet master. You'd think for instance that if Glokta had some secret game going on that he might not have let Savine drift so close to the crosshairs of Bayaz's attention. Really, I think Glokta, like the reader, has been conditioned to think that Bayaz with all his monarchical airs values the current institutions of the Union for their own sake. But as a shadow ruler he could easily slap a new color paint on his tools and be just as effective. They could have a fairly dramatic political and social revolution and Bayaz could still use his existing levers to control the machine.
  3. Liked the book overall. My main criticism is that it was almost too tightly plotted in how it resolved its central set pieces and then basically reset the board. The first trilogy might have been a little more arbitrary in its act breaks, but at least there was a sense of continuity in the overt conflicts like the Union vs. Bethod while the more intrigue laden plots simmered beneath the surface. The episodic nature of the conflicts in A Little Hatred leave the intrigue to carry most of the weight in terms of the ongoing story. I wasn't left all that curious about what Stour would do with his new chain or what Orso would do with his new crown because JA can go virtually anywhere given how he resolved most of what this book initially opened. The main question driving everything is what Bayaz is up to, and we've only been given a few clues to go on.
  4. The thing that stuck out to me as really bad was how the Winterfell plot resolved. They apparently left the entire process of the sisters realizing they were being played or being nudged by Bran off screen. If they were playing LF the whole time you'd think there would have been something to go on in the previous scenes other than the viewership's common knowledge that the plotline would end with LF's demise. And if the sisters really were being duped at first and were pulled back by Bran's knowledge they could have explained that's how it happened. As far as I can tell they left the viewer to infer half the events that got us to LF's elimination.
  5. 9. A very good, high tension episode. Even if a lot was predictable there were some good true to book moments. Tyrion confronting Dany about the Mad King is something that has to happen and it worked well here especially because it factually lays more ground work for whatever Cersei is going to pull. The dragon sequence was very good (although having a truce while continuing to fire at the city seemed pretty unrealistic to me). I thought the Winterfell stuff was mostly good. I don't like how were still dragging out the Davos/Mel thing over Shireen but the rest was pretty good especially how Sansa was emphasized over littlefinger. I also like how they are really stoking some dark tensions in Sansa and how that is all going to play out now that Jon is going to be the odd man out in LF's master plan.
  6. Gave it a 9. The only really awkward or weak points was Dany and Jorah's "For the Cure" scene and another unnecessary Arya beat down. The Bran stuff was very good. The Hodor answer fits so well I suppose it must be a book spoiler but no complaints because it was well done. Summer's death might be less spoilery because I'm sure they would prefer less cgi. The reveal about the Others combined with how Leaf dies fighting them and that now Bran has to sort it all out for himself was also very well done.
  7. Dez

    How would you rate episode 602?

    8. Book Roose would never have been caught so off guard and Jon's rez was a pretty straightforward affair that lacked in flair. Still, both events essentially fit the terms of how the show has foreshadowed those events. Tyrion's convo with the dragons was a bit lame. But they at least made the Walda and baby murder disturbing without going overboard (still would have left even more of it to implication though).
  8. Just remembered there's that line of Stannis where he remarks about Gilly and Craster- her own father!
  9. No one was legitimized, Edric was just acknowledged as Robert's bastard.
  10. The whole episode was really a very Duggar affair between the pedo stuff and the religious stuff. But the thing is, Melisandres sacrifices apparently actually work which is a wrinkle in the usual narrative. I tend to think that all the religions in the series are just as much constructs as our own, yet there is this real magical presence. The poetic irony for Stannis would be for the sacrifice to not work, but apparently it does from the preview. And at the same time the books strongly imply that a whole bunch of Melisandre's stuff is total BS. Is it a coincidence? If it was it would need to be demonstrated at some point or it loses its significance.
  11. I just had a humorous notion that this episode should have come with a trigger warning but then I realized that not many viewers have probably been murdered by their fathers, at least not quite in that fashion. But seriously, the warnings before the episode said "Adult Language, Adult Content" seriously the tamest spread I've ever seen on the show considering that it had pedophilia and graphic child murder as featured topics.
  12. Having just seen it again, I can't believe they chose to put that Shireen scene next to the pit scene. Even if they wanted to contrast Dany and Stannis they failed because Drogon doesn't come because of Dany's revulsion for the blood being spilt but because her person was threatened. Were people really able to even break even with the pit scene after Shireen's burning? I think if I hadn't read the books I might not even have watched the rest of the episode and if I had I don't know if Drogon could have impressed me much.
  13. To me it depends on the timing. This is bound to be a turning point in Stannis's story, and based on where we are in the books its not happening until well into the Winds of Winter, which means Stannis is being truncated significantly. I wouldn't expect Stannis to long outlive this development- it feels like a culmination and a catalyst for when the brittle iron breaks. Stannis's story seems to me to be a tragedy and this development would likely come very close to its conclusion. Still, the fact that this development has occurred seems to underscore that most theorizing can only be shortsighted. I can't see for the life of me how we get to this point and what comes after it. The southern storylines seem a bit more predictable to me.
  14. They spent half of Arya's scenes having her oggled, groped or having Trant's preference for young girls highlighted. There is no way they would spend so much time on it if the point wasn't to give Arya an idea.
  15. I recall last year when they first started foreshadowing Shireen's death Ran had said on his and Linda's review video or in the comments that he suspected that Stannis would be involved. I disagreed not because I didn't think it was in Stannis for that to happen, but because to the logistical issues that currently exist in the north. More confirmation that Roose and Ramsay probably aren't long for the books and that no Melisandre/Shireen Shenanigans will occur at the Wall, which would have been the more predictable scenario.