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Ser Kevan Raley

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    The North
  1. Ser Kevan Raley

    [Book Spoilers] EP 210 Discussion

    Some thoughts on the season two finale: Poor Tyrion, waking up in front of a gloating Pycelle, and not getting any recognition for what he did. His injuries aren't - predictably - as disfiguring as in the books. Would be hell to do that kind of make-up from now on. This is the first time I've actually sensed some kind of chemistry between Tyrion and Shae. Not much, mind you... Tywin is magnificent in his contempt, letting his horse take a shit just before riding into the throne room. For not having that big of a chest, Natalie Dormer does spectacularly with Margaery's cleavage, even if it does look rather out of place for a Westeros highborn lady. Nice to see Sansa smiling at the knowledge that she now doesn't have to marry Joffrey, but poor girl just then learns from Littefinger that that doesn't mean she can go home, or is even out of danger. Quite the contrary. Silly girl, why didn't you escape with the Hound? Littlefinger stole Sandor's line about all being liars. Why do they give so many of the Hound's lines to Littlefinger? Sophie Turner must have grown quite a bit. It looks like she's taller than Aidan Gillen. More scenes from book 3 with Brienne and Jaime. Of course there would otherwise be little for NCW to do this season. Their bantering was fun, and you could tell that he was impressed by her fighting skills. And to be honest, the actress isn't nearly as ugly as her character is made to be in the books. While an unwise move, I liked the fact that Robb scolded his mother about she's not the one to be reckless, when he married Talisa (who I'm now convinced really isn't Jeyne Westerling. I liked that Stannis was assertive, if a bit abusive, towards Melisandre. he's not to be played and doesn't really believe that much in the Lord of Light. Although after watching through those flames I wonder... I almost feel sorry for Theon. He had a great speech, and I really thought they would all follow him to meet the besiegers. Then I laughed so hard when Dagmer just whacked him! The line "Let's go home" from Dagmer lends me to believe that he isn't Reek/Ramsay as some crackpot theories have suggested. They've ditched Reek altogether and have Dagmer making a deal with the besiegers (presumably Ramsay Bolton and his men). Winterfell doesn't seem that sacked when the Stark kids emerge, but it is sure smoking a lot from it when viewed from a distance. So how much was actually destroyed? From the books I got the distinct impression that everything except the stone had burned. For that matter, who burned Winterfell? To the viewer it's not immediately clear. It could presumably have been the retreating Ironborn, even though we know it was the Bastard of Bolton. Thus the treachery of the Boltons aren't that apparent yet. I think Isaac Hempstead-Wright has grown. Poor Hodor won't be able to carry him around for much longer. This is a problem for the show - the kid actors growing up faster than their characters in the books. What if Maise Williams has a sudden growth spurt and won't be able to pass for a little boy any more? Even the kid playing little Rickon was good. Considering the episode title - Valar Morghulis - I wasn't surprised that Arya got her coin from Jaqen. She still hasn't retrieved Needle. I don't remember if she's supposed to already according to the books, but didn't she kill that Harrenhal guard with it? Not that she got to do that on HBO, alas. Finally we had Jon killing Qhorin Halfhand. I suppose they dragged this storyline on for a couple of episodes just because he wouldn't have that much to do this season either. Not actually seeing Ramsay Bolton or Mance Ryder (or the Reeds and Tullys for that matter) saves them in not having to pay the actor salaries. Predictably the House of the Undying didn't reveal much compared to the books. Doing so would have spoiled too much. Not even the prophesies. But we got a nice scene with Dany and imaginary Khal Drogo (and son). I don't recall that in the book, but maybe the ruins of the Red Keep and throne room, is an intentional foreshadowing? Dany will take King's Landing but there won't be much left when she does? Cool burning of Pyat Pree by the dragons though. And man they are cute! I wasn't at all surprised that Xaro's vault was empty. That's why he wanted the dragons. Fitting end for him to be locked up inside it, but I grieve for Doreah. I really don't get why she betrayed Dany! Was it just that simple that she didn't want to wander around with her Khaleesi any more, trying to reclaim a realm on the other side of the world? The White Walker army was creepy, but I don't recall them forming up so in the books. I was expecting Sam to use the dragon glass, but for some odd reason the White Walker rider just stared at him and didn't seem inclined to kill him. Nice ending for the season though. And damn, almost a year until next time! Generally, the first season was better. It had a more held together storyline, whereas this one had lots of rather isolated events all over. But the same can be said for the books. Still, there were more weaker episodes and storylines this season. For some characters nothing much happened and they sometimes had to accelerate events (Jaime) or invent ones (Dany).
  2. Ser Kevan Raley

    [Book Spoilers] EP 209 Discussion

    Some thoughts on episode nine. Wow! That was awesome! They did all one could ask for for a TV show. It wasn't the Battle of Pelennor Fields, but it sure was the TV equivalent. Epic! :bowdown: I cannot help liking Stannis just a little bit. He might have the personality of a lobster, but he's brave and resourceful, and first in the line of battle, even fighting on top of the wall. I really like Davos too, even if he sails into a trap. Sansa, you clever girl tricking Joffrey to be in the vanguard by comparing him to her brother. Too bad he chickened out. I still don't buy the Tyrion/Shae love story. They should have had a different actress, not this former porn star. I liked the Rains of Castamere sing along. Only one gratuitous nude scene with some random wench. I also liked the Bronn/Hound confrontation, and then later when Bronn saved Sandor's life. I didn't care much for Book-Bronn but I like HBO-Bronn. I'm also a big Hound fan, and cheered when he dissed the King. I cannot recall if he did that in the book, but I'm thinking not. For all his bravado about killing, all the fires were too much for him and the Hound deserted. I can sympathize, especially since he obviously doesn't loathes the boy king he's supposed to protect. They did a nice Sandor/Sansa scene, even though I think it should have benefited if they had done some previous scenes between them. He obviously cares for the little bird, and she sees that he won't hurt her. But, like in the book, I cannot understand why she didn't take up his offer of bringing her along. I really dig the rapport between Tyrion and Varys. Their talk was great, even if it wasn't as great as the one in the episode before. They could have those two just talking for an hour and it would be terrific. Tyrion rules! He saves everything both with the wildfire scheme and then leading men into battle after the King and the Hound both disappeared. "Half-man! Half-man! Half-man!" As I suspected the didn't use the chains across the bay. There really was no need. It was clear that Tywin arrived to save the day, but blink and you might have missed Loras, so it wasn't too clear that the Tyrell's had joined the Lannisters. I suppose that will be more evident in the next episode, when Littlefinger will appear. Cersei does have a loving side when it comes to her children. Her and Tommen in the throne room was rather moving. It was the right choice to have all the scenes set in King's Landing and the Blackwater, despite other locations showed in the opening credits. This was easily the best episode this season.
  3. Ser Kevan Raley

    [Book Spoilers] EP 208 Discussion Mk. II

    Well, reading the book I never thought it obvious until the end reveal, and from reading a lot of comments about non-ACOK-readers, I think that also holds true for those viewers. And I don't like that they tossed the supposed deaths as a motivation for Cat's betrayal anyway... I don't see how undermining her brother in public will make him any safer. I would think the opposite. Not that I care much for Theon or the Ironborn anyway... In the books I did care for Asha, but this Yara... not so much...
  4. Ser Kevan Raley

    [Book Spoilers] EP 208 Discussion Mk. II

    Um, I was talking about Asha Greyjoy (or Yaya, Yara, whatever she's called on TV), not Osha. I quite like Osha (and Natalia Tena). Hm, I always thought it was a dumb move by HBO to rename the Greyjoy sis to avoid confusiong with Osha. But now I'm not so sure... :unsure:
  5. Ser Kevan Raley

    [Book Spoilers] EP 208 Discussion Mk. II

    Saw the last ep a few days ago, but it's been a busy week so I haven't had time to put down some random thoughts until now. Asha/Yaya/whatever her name is on HBO, is still an unsympathetic bitch, not at all like the character I thought from the books. Theon might be an incompetent brat, but why knowingly undermine him in front of others? For that matter, what is the goal of the Iron Islanders? They don't want to stray too far away from water, so they shouldn't be much of a threat to others than people living by the shore. They can't, or don't even want to, make a continental realm. Unlike in the book, we now already learn that Bran and Rickon are alive. Why not keep that reveal until the last ep? Neat little exposition scene between Stannis and Davos, explaining the background for the Union Knight. I was expecting that Ros would be used as the "decoy whore", but what's stopping her from revealing that she's not Tyrion's whore? Have they made an arrangement? Season 2 Cersei is more like the Cersei i imagined. Lena Headey nails it better this time around. I LOVED the scenes between Varys and Tyrion. "Imagine Stannis' terror." "I am trying." Heh! Those two would be very competent rulers if there was a king (or queen) who'd let them. I think they (and Conleth Hill and Peter Dinklage) are my favourites, despite me being a Stark sympathizer. So Arya tricks Jaqen into helping them escape, rather than having the Lannister garrison overthrown. So she won't meet Roose Bolton. Not really surprising since that would have been repetitive. There's slow going north of the Wall. Nothing much happens except Jon meeting an equally captive Halfhand. And they're setting up Jon's fake betrayal, so at least there's that. And Sam find some dragonglass... Yay! Dany is still screaming about destroying everything. She needs to calm down if she's going to be a believable ruler/warlord that gathers power in Essos. So far we haven't seen much of that. Bad directing. Now I'm starting to think (again) that Talisa isn't Jeyne, but just Talisa, now that she's told an extensive backstory. I find it hard to believe that she later could reveal a Westerling identity and have Robb accept it and still marry/remain married to her. But man, she's beautiful. And she has a nice bum! It was expected that they'd let Jaime escape this season instead of the next. But Cat didn't tag along in the beginning. I'm disappointed that she did it without knowledge of the deaths of Bran and Rickon (even if that would have been in error). That would have made her decision a little bit more understandable. I'm disappointed about the lack of a Hound/Sansa scene. There hasn't been enough buildup of that to make his visit to her chambers during the battle believable enough. Still, all in all, I really liked this episode. It was much better than the last one.
  6. Ser Kevan Raley

    [Book Spoilers] EP 207 Discussion

    Good to know, even if they'll have to do some unnecessary adjustments to make it believable that Jon will indeed "defect" for noble reasons.
  7. Ser Kevan Raley

    [Book Spoilers] EP 207 Discussion

    Random thoughts about episode 7: This is probably the episode that deviated most from the book in terms of made up scenes and storylines. And not all for the better. We see Bran et al. after having escaped Winterfell. Does that mean they will sneak back and hide in the crypts, or will that part be tossed? I liked the crypt-hiding twist so it would be a shame if that wasn't kept. No Reek, but still we had a previous mention of the Bastard of Bolton, so I guess we'll see Ramsay but not as Reek. Too bad, I liked that twist too. And here it comes... wait for it... "You know nothing, Jon Snow!" But those scenes with Jon and Ygritte just walking around got repetitive and tiresome, especially with her trying to get into his pants. And Jon is now a Wildling captive, without having to kill Halfhand. I don't like it. It makes his defection much less honourable. They should have substituted such a scene for one of those pointless Jon/Ygritte walking around scenes. Finally, a great overlook over the ruins of Harrenhal. Very cool! Charles Dance is excellent and I have a lot more sympathy for his Tywin than book Tywin. And him and Maise Williams sparring off is a treat to watch. However, this defies belief that he wouldn't suspect who Arya is, especially now when he knows she's highborn. I think season one's Mountain was better than this one, but give the new one a few scenes to show what a cruel brute he is and I might change my mind. At last, a conversation (of sorts) between the Hound and Sansa. I was afraid they would have forgotten them (or worse, tossed it). They should do at least one more before the battle of Blackwater. Charlie Chaplin's granddaughter sure is pretty. I can understand Robb wanting her instead of some Frey woman. Poor Lannister cousin. He had such a nice warrior bonding with Jaime and then, wham, Jaime kills him just so he could escape. Not that it did Jaime any good, as he was caught the next scene. I suppose Nikolaj Coster-Waldau must have something to do this season. I liked Jaime's line about having to betray one oath to keep another. How true! I'm stunned that Cersei was actually a nice person in this episode, both towards Sansa and Tyrion. I could almost, but not quite, sympathize with her. She showed apprehension regarding Joffrey, even if she loves her son. And she tells Sansa that she shouldn't love anyone, except her children. Poignant, in a weird sort of way. The Qarth scenes were by far the oddest, but since they're made up for the show to have Dany something to do, it's not surprising. But really, Xaro conspiring with the Warlocks to become king, stealing the dragons and then offing the Thirteen... What's the point? And will we get to see all the visions at the House of the Undying? (I'm guessing not) I hope adorable Doreah isn't dead, and that she isn't a traitor. Yay, no needless sex scenes! It's been a while since we saw Varys. I miss him.
  8. Ser Kevan Raley

    [Book Spoilers] EP 206 Discussion

    Some thoughts on episode six: The fall of Winterfell was perhaps even more sudden here than in the book. Theon is a real a*****e! As Rodrik said, he's truly lost now, and deserves every bad thing that comes his way. Speaking of Rodrik, he met an earlier, and gruesome, death, and at the inept hands of Theon no less. That's why there are professional executioners. Even if we haven't seen how it plays out, it seems that Jon Snow's defection to the Wildlings will be more accidental than planned by Qorin. If so, I don't like it. It takes away from Jon's sacrifice. And how can a little bit of running take him so far off from his brothers in the Night's Watch? No stupid sex scenes, if you don't count nekkid Tonks. The Littlefinger/Tywin scene lacked suspense since it's made up and we know from the books that he never saw Arya at Harrenhal. But Amory Lorch got an earlier death, like the Tickler did. I have to say that this Arya choses her deaths from Jaqen better than book Arya. In the riot of King's Landing, Sansa got a lot closer to being raped. I still miss a proper talk between her and the Hound. Yay, another slapping of Joffrey! Ten points to Gryffindor... I mean Tyrion Lannister! I suppose Talisa will be revealed as Jeyne Westerling. Good. Totally new scenes with Dany and the abduction of her dragons. I suppose this will substitute the House of Undying scenes from the book. I can understand they wanted to avoid that since those visions would be very spoilerish, much like they never showed Ned Stark's flashbacks from the Tower of Joy. So now Irri is dead? I really, really hope Doreah will remain alive. Now I think it's safe to say that we will not see any Reed siblings, or Riverrun and the Blackfish (at least not this season). A pity, I was looking forward to Riverrun.
  9. Ser Kevan Raley

    [Book Spoilers] EP 205 Discussion

    Some stray thoughts: Already halfway through this season! It's going to be a long year until next season after this one ends. I love the fact that Harrenhal is the only place that's not moving in the credits. Says a lot about it. Wow, no pointless sex scenes. No sex period! Renly's death was as shocking and surprising here as in the book. I get why the show didn't waste time with the shadow baby first appearance at Storm's End, but why was it necessary to smuggle Melisandre to that barred cave when they could have just snuck by Renly's encampment? I like this assertive and ambitious version of Margaery, who wants to be the Queen, not just a Queen. But I hope this doesn't mean we won't get to see the Queen of Thorns later on (next season?) Heh! Tyrion likes Myrcella and "doesn't blame her at all" for her mother Cersei. Still, he sells her of to the Dornish. Heh! Tyrion doesn't even think it's fun to torture Lancel. I feel rather sorry for Tyrion getting a bad reputation among the people in King's Landing. At the same time as I can feel for Theon not fitting in with the Ironborn, I also loathe him. Asha (or Yara as she's called here) is quite unsympathetic. She's a bully and not at all the charismatic gal I got from the books. She's not even "tomboy pretty". I see why they made Arya the cup-bearer for Tywin. A lot of possibilities to inform her and the viewers from his war councils. OK, I get that the Tickler (that I mistook for Vargo Hoat last week) is a twisted man, but I think that Arya wasted a lot of her wishes about which people Jaqen should kill. Nice shot of the Fist of the First Men and Ghost looking out over the Night's Watch camp. Dany's dragon is adorable. And so is Doreah (whom I'm thankful is still alive in the show). And Dany herself looks smokin' when she's cleaned up and nicely dressed. Bran is and will be a good lord of Winterfell, despite falling for Theon's trap, as he says why their bannermen should protect them is they can't protect their bannermen.
  10. Ser Kevan Raley

    [Book Spoilers] EP 204 Discussion

    So thoughts on the fourth episode. Despite showing the Wall, Pyke and Winterfell in the credits, there were no scenes with Jon, Theon or Bran. They should have substituted with Storm's End, especially since they've left out the Reach, and it's unclear to viewers where Renly's host is. So they've also decided to ditch Jeyne Westering for no good reason, diving the part to some Talisa of Volantis. Still, actually seeing Robb's romance will be interesting. First glimpse of Roose Bolton and Vargo Hoat (at least I think that's who the torturer at Harrenhal is supposed to be). And finally we meet the Mountain again, but we still need to see how despicable he is - killing, torturing and raping. The horrors of war is pretty evident in the post-battle scene with Robb and Arya's experiences at Harrenhal. "Nice" touches even if they didn't show all the horrors, like the amputation and the torturing. Just when you thought Joffrey couldn't become more of a bastard, we see him tormenting poor Sansa, and that was just him getting started. He's a sadistic voyeur when he has Ros beating a poor whore (in an added scene). Now I actually have sympathy for Ros. Tyrion continues to own everything and everyone, from Joffrey to Meryn Trant to Lancel. God I love his character! You could see that the Hound flinched at was happening to Sansa. When will we get a scene with them? Clever Littlefinger. he couldn't sway Renly, but he sort of did plant a thought in Cat's head about exchanging Jaime for her daughters. And his talk with Margaery foreshadows the change in allegiance for house Tyrell. Qarth sure looks like a nice place. Dany's little outburst against the Qartheen does seem to lack any credible threat considering her pitiful little band. Davos is a good man, with an excellent performance from Liam Cunningham. Too bad all the good men in Westeros serve different sides. That was some creepy shadow baby Melisandre gave birth to.
  11. Ser Kevan Raley

    [Book Spoilers] Ep 203 Discussion

    Some scattered observations from episode three: Gilly and Sam are kinda sweet, if awkward. The realization when Jon learns that Mormont already knew about Craster and the sacrifice of his sins... Man, Brienne is one tall woman, especially standing by Catelyn. Wow, Maraery is one cleavaged queen. Not that I mind. I've always liked Natalie Dormer (from The Tudors). She has this odd look about her, but still pretty. I can almost sympathize with Theon Greyjoy. Almost... And his father is such an a*****e. Theon was right to scold him. Still, I hate the Ironborn. I sort of liked Asha in the books, but I don't care for this "Yara" version. I think it's safe to say that I'll never warm up to this version of Shae. And they toss her in as Sansa's maid just so she'll have something to do. What does Tyrion see in Shae here? But Tyrion freakin' rules here! Playing off Pycelle, Littlefinger and Varys. Excellent! And I really like Varys too. Aidan Gillen is very uneven as Littlefinger. Sometimes he's pitch perfect but lately I come to think he's that so often as he ought to be. Margaery really knows how to play the game of thrones. I like her! Maise Williams continues to rock as Arya! And poor Yoren. But where was the Mountain? The captives are already going to Harrenhal. I gather they're cutting down on all the wanderings around the Riverlands. Might as well, wandering around that area almost becomes tedious in the later books. No Dany this week, or Robb. And no Stannis either, despite Dragonstone being in the credits.
  12. Ser Kevan Raley

    [Book Spoilers] EP108 Discussion Part 2

    Late to the party because I've been away on vacation. Some quick thoughts on episode 8: The fate of Syrio Forel is still up in the air. They could have shown his demise since they didn't have to adhere to GRRM's strict Arya POV, but they didn't, which might mean he's going to make it. He could be a faceless man, like Jaqen H'ghar, as some have theorised. Arya appears to kill the stable boy accidentally. I cannot recall if it was so accidental in the book too. I like Varys. He has some kind of honour it seems. And he serves the Realm. More people should think like that. Sam may be a coward but his intelligence is very useful for the Night's Watch, like when he examines the undead and reads through Maester Aemon's library. I like Sam. Why is Grand Maester Pycelle the one that is most against Sansa and Joffrey? She might be the daughter of a "traitor" but who's he to talk. He served both Aerys and Robert, and now Joffrey. Heh! "I won't hatch anything!" Sansa's tongue gets the better of her gain. She should hatch an heir if she's going to be Queen. Robb: "I'll go to King's Landing, but not alone. Send for the bannermen!" I like him. God, how I hate Lysa Arryn and her brat! I'm with Tyrion in how I would like to die, except I'd like to be even older than 80. The NW undead didn't have blue eyes (that I could see) even if it was mentioned that they had them. Stupid Dothraki horselord machismo! See what willingly inflict a wound on you can do, Khal Drogo! "Your meat is bloody tough!" Gotta like someone like the Greatjon. He speaks like Brian Blessed. Rickon is pretty perceptive when he flatly states that "no they won't" come back. Guess Hodor in the buff filled up this week's nudity quota for HBO. Where's the brain soap? "Bronn, son of...?" "You wouldn't know him." Heh. I like TV Bronn better than Book Bronn. What a stupid move to fire Barristan Selmy. The one true knight in the Kingsguard. Great guy. Poor Sansa, this is not what she signed up for. She's in way over her head.