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Vikingkingq

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Everything posted by Vikingkingq

  1. Vikingkingq

    [Book Spoilers] EP 204 Discussion

    Amory said that his patrol ran across the goldcloaks, which would make sense why the telephone game dropped the description.
  2. Vikingkingq

    [Book Spoilers] EP 204 Discussion

    Yeah, they're both so pretty I mixed up the name for a second. I love how everyone knows about Loras and Renly.
  3. Vikingkingq

    [Book Spoilers] EP 204 Discussion

    It's called the banality of evil, folks. Keep in mind, Sansa thinks that pretty=good and ugly=bad. We don't want to think like Sansa, do we folks?
  4. Vikingkingq

    [Book Spoilers] EP 204 Discussion

    Really good episode overall: - in the credits, I was a bit disappointed that Harrenhal didn't move...but then again, it's a dead place - I really liked how they did the battle of Oxcross, showing us the cost of the war to ordinary men (they really like fart jokes, don't they) - Roose Bolton was effectively creepy: "a naked man holds few secrets, a flayed man holds none." - That must have been the weirdest meet-cute ever, but I liked the back and forth between Robb and Tanissa from Volantis/Jeyne. - Sansa's torture kicked off what was a really grim episode in terms of torture; we've had violence, we've had sex, we've had sexual violence, but now torture as well. I'm sure the SanSan fans will be happy with the Hand's screentime, but I was really impressed by how well Tyrion and Sansa played off eachother. - I found the sexual torture scene with Ros really hard to take, worse in some ways than Harrenhal. - I liked LF's scenes with Renly and Margaery, he's being clever again, and I liked that they teased us with his role in Margaery's marriages. - Harrenhal was really grim, almost a concentration camp, but I liked seeing Arya's prayer grow. The new Mountain was big enough not to disappoint me, but I think the Tickler took the cake for gruesomest figure of the night. - the scene with Catelyn and LF was good, and I thought the inclusion of Ned's bones gave Tyrion's ploy more heft. - the meeting between Stannis and Renly was amazing. So close to the books. - I thought the Qartheen were lippy, interrupting bastards. I really wanted Daenerys to slap that smug bastard across his big chops - Not knowing what the hell sumai is (I think this is new), Xaro Xoan Daxos' scene lost a little something. I thought the actor was quite good overall, but that little bit didn't quite work. I noticed Pyat Pree in the background, but couldn't see Quaithe. - I liked Tywin's arrival, and how his pragmatism plays off the Mountain's sadism, and I thought the change to have Arya as Tywin's cupbearer was really good. - I loved how quickly Tyrion broke Lancel. Barely five seconds. - the scene between Stannis and Davos was excellent, giving us the backstory they've teased before, the scene between Davos and Melisandre was evertyhing I thought it would be. - the shadowbaby birth was quite otherworldly...but I was expecting to see the outcome, and felt a bit teased when it cut to black.
  5. Best episode of the season, on part with some of the best of season 1. My computer is momentarily busted, so I'll just say that Pycelle couldn't have known about the incest otherwise his season 1 plotline makes no sense. However, that's a minor error in an otherwise flawless episode.
  6. Vikingkingq

    [Book Spoilers] Ep 202 Discussion

    I see the story about the knife as a gamble, and indicative of his character; unlike Varys, who plays the long game and is incredibly meticulous in his plotting, Littlefinger improvises and plays for short-term advantage, sometimes very impulsively. As we see later from his speech to Sansa, sometimes he does things for the sheer hell of it to muddy the waters.
  7. Vikingkingq

    Share Your Fan Site

    Race for the Iron Throne has updated, with: *a discussion of Season 2, Episode 2, covering voyerism and gendered power, farts, girls, and the meaning of human dignity confronted with human frailty, Samwell Tarly as one of the founder’s of Westeros’ first chapter of N.O.W, proper sword-sharpening techniques, the anthropological basis of incest taboos, Theon’s daddy issues, and so much more! * an analysis of Tyrion I, looking at the internal dynamics of the Lannister family, Claudius and Richard III as historical parallels, and the difficulties of medieval public relations.
  8. Vikingkingq

    [Book Spoilers] Ep 202 Discussion

    1. Shireen isn't taken out, the line referred to stillborn sons. 2. Rakharo's death was due to the actor leaving to do another movie. 3. Bywater is not essential; he's a minor character who dies in the book he was introduced in. Having Bronn in his place to betray Tyrion after the battle will be so much more resonant than having one minor character replaced by another.
  9. Vikingkingq

    [Book Spoilers] Ep 202 Discussion

    Ambiguity is bad in this medium. You can't skip backwards a few pages to remind yourself what happened in the previous chapter, you can't re-read the page because you're on to the next scene. A large audience that has not read the books is going to have to grasp where this shadowbaby is coming from and I guarantee you, we will find non-book readers who will be very confused about what just happened at the end of Episode 4.
  10. Vikingkingq

    [Book Spoilers] Ep 202 Discussion

    I don't think it does. As I've said, she only brings up the child when Stannis brings up his wife - the child reference is tactical, not motivational. The motivation is clear - Stannis needs to give all of himself to the Lord of Light to achieve victory.
  11. Vikingkingq

    [Book Spoilers] Ep 202 Discussion

    Episode 3 is Catelyn discussing peace terms with Renly when he gets the news about the siege of Storms End, then Stannis meets Renly in episode 4, and episode 5 suggests that the shadowbaby will be the capper to episode 4. I think they're going to blend the second shadowbaby in with the first and have Davos row Melisandre over as she gives birth to the one that kills Renly.
  12. Vikingkingq

    [Book Spoilers] Ep 202 Discussion

    I'm sorry, but you're just assuming bad faith of the showrunners here. This scene is here because it happened in the book, we just didn't get to see it due to lack of POV, anymore than we got to see Robb interact with Jaime or Cersei with Joffrey. And yes, it's vital - because the audience needs to understand what's going to happen at the end of episode 4. If Melisandre simply showed up looking pregnant and gave birth to a shadowbaby out of nowhere, the audience wouldn't understand it, and wouldn't invest anything in that moment. Instead, they're being handed a huge headfake - they think Melisandre is going to have Stannis' baby and then we're going to see a shocking inversion of nature that is going to stun people, not just because it's one of the few scenes of blatant magic we've seen yet but also because it's going to confound their expectations about what was going on with Stannis and Melisandre and the pregnancy.
  13. Vikingkingq

    [Book Spoilers] Ep 202 Discussion

    It is absolutely mentioned explicitly, and it is therefore in character given that it happened. Stannis slept with Melisandre, he did it before the meeting at Storm's End, she gave birth to a shadowbaby. Stannis' character is about his adherence to law and justice - not to honor. He's not Ned Stark, he's incredibly pragmatic and ruthless about the means to his ends. He's willing to forgive people he considers to be traitors to get their bannermen, he's willing to use R'hllor/blood magic to kill off the pretenders to his throne (I'm not referring to Renly here, FYI) even if that possibly means the death of Edric Storm, his own kin. What makes Stannis Stannis is that he is a man poised on the absolute edge of heroism and villainy, whether he allows his resentment and sense of entitlement to push him into becoming the new Night's King or whether he listens to his better angels in the form of Davos and decides to stake his claim by defending the realm. And I'm sorry, ace, but it's quite explicit that he's sleeping with Melisandre. She shared his tent during the campaign, Melisandre herself confirms that she slept with him to produce the shadowbabies (which Davos recognizes as Stannis' shadows) and "wore him out" so to speak when we get her viewpoint chapters later on. He doesn't do so to get a son. If you rewatch the scene, it's very clear - Stannis says he can't win without Renly's army, Melisandre says she's seen a path to victory in the flames but that he has to give all of himself to the Lord of Light, Stannis thinks she's talking about the words, she makes it clear she's talking about sex, only then does she bring up the sons issue to get him over the issue of cheating on his wife.
  14. Vikingkingq

    Share Your Fan Site

    Race for the Iron Throne has a big update: * Bran II is up, looking at a rare glimpse into the Lannister Conspiracy's thinking, the danger of Margaery slipping into King Robert's bed, what Margaery's parallels with Anne Boleyn tells us about the gendering of power in the Medieval world, and some juicy what-ifs. * We've got TEAM SMALLFOLK shirts available, for anyone who's tired of supporting noble families in their struggle for the Iron Throne and wants to claim their rights as a freeborn Westerosi. * and my appearance on Thronecast is up on (at 4:20)!
  15. Vikingkingq

    [Book Spoilers] Ep 202 Discussion

    My interpretation is that the son isn't the primary motivation; it's what he needs to get over the wife thing. The primary motivation is victory in war.
  16. Vikingkingq

    [Book Spoilers] Ep 202 Discussion

    Ambiguous? Melisandre is quite explicit about it in Dance With Dragons. She had sex with Stannis in order to give birth to a shadowbaby, and likely it happened because she said this is how R'hllor will give you victory, and Stannis went to it "like a man marching off to battle," which is perfectly in keeping with his character.
  17. Vikingkingq

    [Book Spoilers] Ep 202 Discussion

    How is what we saw different from the book? Stannis isn't acting out of lust (rewatch the scene; the moment Melisandre disrobes, Stannis moves to put a damn table debtween them) - Melisandre says here's how you're going to win, and then tells him she'll give him a son to get him past his marriage vows. Look, as Ran points out this sex act had to happen. And what we saw was something that was couched in terms of duty and a reluctantly embraced religion and a huge amount of awkwardness. That's Stannis!
  18. Vikingkingq

    [Book Spoilers] Ep 202 Discussion

    I think it's the reverse - the audience needs to see the shadowbaby conception so that the shadowbaby birth makes sense when it happens later on this season.
  19. Vikingkingq

    [Book Spoilers] Ep 202 Discussion

    Some more thoughts: 1. Jon seeing the Other I think is necessary to remind the audience that the things we saw very briefly in the pilot are still around. I think the show is going to pump up the Other stuff going on by advancing the attack on the Fist of the First Men to the finale of Season 2, and probably adding in some Othery sightings in Season 3 and then show us the Others in action at Hardhome in Season 4. 2. Despite my initial fears about Asha/Yara's look, I thought she looked appropriately creepy in the scene with Balon, but I hope we still get to see her bit with the axe and dagger. 3. I thought Arya and Gendry were perfect, and Jaqen H'gar was very very good, although I had never thought his name was pronounced that way. 4. I don't think it's explicit that Shireen doesn't exist; all Melisandre said was that Selyse had given him only stillborn sons. 5. The scene with Littlefinger and Ros creeped me the hell out, especially given the references in last season to his client with a taste for beautiful corpses. /shudder
  20. Vikingkingq

    [Book Spoilers] Ep 202 Discussion

    I know some people have complained about the Stannis and Melisandre scene, but I think if you pay close attention to what happens in that scene, it plays out exactly as it must have happened: Stannis says that he can't beat 110,000 men with 5,000 men and that he needs Renly's army to win (true) Melisandre replies "I have seen the path to victory in the flames" (true), "but first you must give yourself to the Lord of Light." Stannis thinks she's talking just about his rather...unenthusiastic conversion. Melisandre says "you must give all of yourself." (meaning his shadow) And then she only brings up the son (which is true, she's going to give him a shadowbaby) to get him over the hump of betraying his wife. To me, this perfectly fits the books - Melisandre is just vague enough that Stannis doesn't have to think that he's killing his brother with sorcery, and she couches the conception first and foremost as a requirement of victory based in religion.
  21. Vikingkingq

    Share Your Fan Site

    Jon I is up, looking at the emerging theme of Robb vs. Jon, vs. Theon as leadership examples, the historical complexity of bastardy in Medieval England, the importance of self-knowledge in politics, and how the tv show actually improved on the original Jon meets Tyrion scene.
  22. Vikingkingq

    Share Your Fan Site

    Eddard I is up, looking at the similarities between Robert Baratheon and Henry VIII, the role of the Hand of the King (and how Ned made mistakes other than honor) and the importance of the Wardenships, the historical parallels between the Battle of the Trident and the Wars of the Roses, and some juicy what-ifs.
  23. Vikingkingq

    Share Your Fan Site

    Race for the Iron Throne - now with Daenerys I! Viserys as a romantic monarchist, Dany as a realist second-generation immigrant, the dos and don'ts of royal incest, why Drogo is a Hun not a Mongol, and what the hell Illyrio is up to.
  24. Vikingkingq

    Share Your Fan Site

    Race for the Iron Throne has updated with Bran I and Catelyn I.
  25. Vikingkingq

    Share Your Fan Site

    Hi there. Race for the Iron Throne is my new book/tv analysis blog. Starting with A Game of Thrones, I’m going to be doing a chapter-by-chapter close reading of the books, focusing on the reality of Westeros as a political system and analyzing the actions, motivations, and ideas of the major and minor political actors within it. Each chapter post will include the following sections: Political Analysis – in this section, I’ll analyze what this chapter tells us about how the Seven Kingdoms (and Essos) work and don’t work as political systems, and trying to figure out how the various factions and conspiracies are working to their ends and reacting to changing circumstances. When I get closer to the War of Five Kings, I’ll go in-depth into the military strategy of each of the competitors, and what they did right and wrong. As it’s been a while since I’ve read books 2-4 (I just re-read Game of Thrones and have recently read through Dance With Dragons), I may revise my thoughts here as I get further along and come across new information. Historical Analysis – much of the realism of George R.R Martin’s work stems from his close study of Medieval history and the warts-and-all lives of rulers, rebels, and common folk who were anything but morally black and white. In this section, when we run into characters, events, and places derived from historical events, I’ll write about what the real story was, and what Martin kept the same and what he changed. What Ifs – as a historian, you are always reminded of the power of contingency and chance to change the course of events, upending institutions and social forces. This is especially true for A Song of Ice and Fire, where George R.R Martin bombards the reader with missed opportunities, crucial choices, and where the timing of character movements and events are of the utmost importance. In this section, I’ll hypothesize about what might have happened had Ned Stark left on time and wound up on Dragonstone, or if Catelyn Tully had stopped at Riverrun instead of the Inn at the Crossroads, among other things. Book vs. Show – in this section, I’ll point out the places in which HBO’s Game of Thrones diverges from the book series. However, this isn’t a section to list mistakes or complain about the purity of vision slowly draining away – I actually think the series has made certain critical improvements over the books in particular areas – but rather to talk about the necessity of narrative and story, and how mediums change the story without us realizing it. You can read my essay on the Prologue/opening scene of episode 1 here. Episode-By-Episode Discussion of Season 2 of Game of Thrones – beginning April 1st, I’ll be doing an in-depth discussion of Season 2, joined by my fellow culture/political junkie, Entertained Organizer and possibly some of our friends. We’ll go into our reactions, thoughts, and then go through Political and Historical Analysis and Book vs. Show.
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