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AegonTheUnlikely

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  1. AegonTheUnlikely

    [Book Spoilers] EP 210 Discussion

    Yeah, re: Jon killing the Halfhand: I've asked several non-book readers I know, all of whom picked up what was going on there. Would it have been nice to get the conversation between Jon and Qhorin? You bet. But Halfhand says some stuff to Jon (see: the post directly above), and then does a total 180, and starts loudly yelling at Jon. I thought it was pretty obvious what he was trying to do. If anything, it makes Jon look like an idiot for not picking up on it sooner. None the less, it helps externalize Jon's conflict about keeping his vows later on, when he comes to relate to Mance and the Wildlings, by making it more his choice and less a direct order from Qhorin. The Halfhand knew what he was doing, and all the Unsullied I know managed to get it just fine.
  2. AegonTheUnlikely

    [Book Spoilers] EP 210 Discussion

    my own 2 cents regarding the Theon/Winterfell arc and ending. In a season which I found enjoyable, changes and all, I found the Theon story to be the most well executed. Alfie Allen really nailed the character, and some of the most moving scenes of the season were in this bit. If you've read the books, you ought to be able to predict what happened after Theon is knocked out. Clearly, Dagmer et al. were taking Robb's offer to turn over Theon, and flee. What I presume happened was that when the prisoner exchange was made, Ramsay simply kills all the Iron born, puts Winterfell to the torch, and tells everyone Theon did it. It gives the audience a cliffhanger, regarding Theon; and allows the show to obscure the Bolton treachery for a while longer. That's important, so that the RW next season comes as enough of a shock. Further, Theon and Ramsay sort of disappear until what- aDwD? There's not much they're doing on screen for a while, but I have to assume they're casting Ramsay (see: Stannis treatment, last year). And they're not going to let Allen go for two years. My bet is that we get introduced to Reek, another of Ramsay's prisoners, next year. He toys with Theon in some fashion. Around the same time the Red Wedding is happening, and the Bolton's treachery is revealed, Reek is revealed as Ramsay, the Bastard of the Dreadfort. Commence flaying.
  3. AegonTheUnlikely

    [Book Spoilers] EP 210 Discussion

    Let me start off by being contrary: I loved this episode. Further, I loved this season. (finished my 3rd read of the series before the season started, fwiw). I think it was a solid season, and worked well by-and-large. Some changes I wasn't wild about, others I thought were nice ways to cut through some of the density of the story. I know! The density is part of what makes the story so good. It's true, but dense doesn't work so well visually. How many people sat through all 8 (or however many) hours of Gods & Generals? I watched a bit, well done it seemed. But dense. For instance, I know there are issues taken with Arya's story line. This was a set of changes I think worked. To be honest, the first time I read Clash, the change in ownership of Harrenhal confused the hell out of me. It would have been worse on screen. More, without Roose or any of the other activity in the Riverlands, and no Bloody Mummers, key elements to that plot are missing. We couldn't get the Mummers, or the Tullys and the Riverlands stuff probably because 1) they already had to introduce Stannis et al, the Tyrells, Greyjoys, etc., and 2) they spent all the money on Blackwater. Thus, I think the changes made to Arya's storyline were a good way to getting people where they need to be, in a fashion consistent with the tone of the story, with some good bits to keep it entertaining along the way (Why didn't she name Tywin!? Because she's a kid, and kids make poor decisions some times). The other option would have been some seriously compromised version of the book's change of ownership/weasel soup plot. Dany's plot worked less well, in my opinion. I don't really care that the 13 is essentially an amalgam of the various Qartheen factions (actually, I thought that to be a rater clever simplification). The stolen dragon plot annoyed me a bit, beause of how Dany reacts. I rather enjoyed the HotU, though. I thought it worked. You weren't ever going to get the visions she had in the book. As others have said, they are very literal moments of foreshadowing. Seeing a corpse with a wolf head sitting on a throne would give away the game, re: Robb Stark. Likewise, with no Lyanna backstory and really no established basis for the various prophecies, the blue flower and Rhaegar/Elia scenes wouldn't make much sense. They wouldn't be giving the viewer any important information, they would be creating questions. Look for the prophecy to be delivered another way- by Quaithe most likely, imo. I actually can't help but chuckle at many of the complaints about this season/episode. No offense meant towards those voicing the opinions, and to be fair there are a number of legitimate criticisms of the show. I liked the Other. I thought he looked like he was made of ice. The army of wights was pretty imposing, also (particularly when the camera does the final pull-back). To those complaining it was "like the walking dead" - how else did you think an army of clumsy, brainless, reanimated corpses was going to come across?
  4. AegonTheUnlikely

    [Book Spoilers] EP 208 Discussion

    We'll probably have to agree to disagree on this one. I found Jeyne more important not for what she was, but what she wasn't. She wasn't a Frey, and she wasn't a Northerner. She wasn't the prudent choice. Its tough to quibble with the direction the producers take with scenes and material that was only ever offscreen. We never really see how Jeyne and Robb fall for each other, so I was never all that attached to it as a subplot. Most of that is just to take up time. They have to find some way for "Danny does nothing in Qarth; leaves," to fill space, and bridge the gap to a much cooler third and fourth season. Xaro is black because they liked the actor, and in any event it's only of minor importance. The racial composition of the city in the books may play some small role; but where Qarth has been simplified politically, it doesn't really matter. It also give them the option of perhaps cutting out a Slaver's Bay City (Yunkai?), and having Xaro/Qarth fill that role come Mereen. It gives Danny a nice, memorable antagonist out there, which may be useful.
  5. AegonTheUnlikely

    [Book Spoilers] EP 208 Discussion

    Seems like opinions regarding the show have diverged here a bit in the last several weeks. Allow me to throw in my own two cents. 1. Robb+Talisa/Jeyne- I was sure she wold turn out to be Jeyne Westerling when she was hesitant to go to the Crag, I'm less certain about that now. But either way, I disagree with all those who call this romance 'useless.' Jeyne Westerling was never more than a plot device, to get Robb to break his pact with Walder Frey, and eventually set up the Red Wedding. Whether she is Jeyne Westerling, or some random Volantene girl, the effect of her and Robb's whirlwind romance/marriage is the same: Frey is pissed, and Bolton see's a chance to move up in the world. Their romance isn't the most interesting thing on the show; but I don't disagree with the showrunners on this one. Robb can't disappear for an entire season- from a storytelling point of view (too long of a hiatus for fans to keep up interest), and from a production point of view (if Madden walks and gets another job, you might not get him back). 2. Arya at Herrenhal- I've liked these bits all season. I once again agree, mostly, with the decisions the producers have made. Having Harrenhal change hands as often as it did in the books would confuse fans- it confused me a bit my first read through. Also, without the Bloody Mummers its kind of impossible to work in the whole weasel soup/double-cross. Lorch was bound for the grave anyways, and Gregor Clegane isn't very well going to betray the Lannisters. The thing about the weasel soup episode, if I'm not mistaken, was that Arya's plan was just kind of icing on the cake. Hoat was already going to give Harrenhal to Bolton (of course, speculation abounds as to whether this was all part of Tywin's plans to set the Red Wedding in motion; it might very well have been his first move in that gambit. IIRC, not long after Bolton takes the castle, Arya overhears the Frey prisoners arguing- over whether or not to get on board the Tywin Train). With so many characters out, it would have been impossible to really recreate the book's plot there. But think about it- Jacquen killing multiple guards serves as a 'weasel soup' of sorts (Arya's last name resulting in multiple deaths of unsuspecting guards); and just because she didn't kill anyone on the way out doesn't mean that she can't slit some poor SOB's throat in episode 9, or 10, and whisper "valar morghulis" as he slips to the ground. I think Maise Williams is a fantastic Arya, and I'm ok with how her story is moving along. Theon!- I think Theon's story in the north is being executed perfectly. Others have said, and I agree, that this was the first time I ever really liked Yara in a scene. She hasn't lived up to the Asha in my mind, but that character only started to become more interesting to me after aCoK anyways. I actually very much enjoyed her chapters in aDwD; call me crazy, but I rather enjoy the whole Iron Born subplot. I'm interested in how Leuwin knowing for certain that Bran and Rickon are alive changes things, but it I think its relatively minor. Indeed, it might turn his unfortunate death into a more noble sacrifice for the little lords. I think speculation that at least one, if not both, Reeds will show up next season is probably correct. The meeting can be done in a number of believable ways, and keeps the story moving on the right track (splitting up Bran and Rickon, destinations, etc.). The fact that Rickon gets so little screen time now is a good thing, in that if he become important several seasons down the line, they can pretty much recast that character as soon as he and Bran are split- unless they plan on showing some of those formerly offscreen adventures. OTOH, the actress playing Osha is said to be a favorite of the showrunners, so they may be juggling who escorts who where. Which might result in Leuwin being left alive to take Rickon. Tyrion- I've liked his bits this season, too. Its obvious they've streamlined quite a bit (I was mildly disappointed that we don't get as much a sense of Tyrion's personal force of crazy mountain tribespeople; also, not nearly enough Pod, who like Rickon perhaps is being kept anonymous because of a need for future recasting). But, I think the cuts have been mostly good, and they work. I'm surprised they cut the chain, as that seems the easiest bit of the Blackwater to leave in- but Tyrion's masterful defense of King's Landing was the result of more than just one idea. He made several key decisions; as long as enough of them are in the mix, it's his victory. Jon Snow- Another bit where I've agreed with the changes. I would have preferred the Fist be in the woods, not on a mountain top, but thats nitpicking, IMO. I think the stuff at Craster's, and the changes made with Jon+Ygritte+Qhorin appear to be getting us to the same place. Qhorin has set Jon up to kill him, and go undercover with the Free Folk. It even creates a nice parallel with Jon's earlier inability to do what needed to be done. Danny- Her's is the story I've been most underwhelmed by; but I don't think its the showrunner's fault. Danny does nothing in Qarth in the books, besides asking for aid from every faction in town, and being turned down by each. The HotU serves as the catalyst to get her on the move. I fully understand why the changes that were made were necessary. How much additional time would it have taken to set up and explain: the pure-born, each of the 3 merchant guilds, Xaro's place as a leader in one of those guilds, the guilds' continuous conflict among themselves, and with the pure-born, and the warlock's and their part in the ongoing petrification of Qarth. Too much, its all too complicated for what amounts to the B (or even C) plot of the book. So the fact that Danny's story has been unfamiliar, and not up to the same quality as the rest of the plots, is not surprising. I'm not worried, though- she still is going to go to the HotU, will still likely burn it down (only she'll mean it this time!), and will still likely have to leave the city quite quickly afterwards. Enter Arstan Whitebeard, talk about a ship sent by Illyrio, and scene. She still goes to Astapor next season, and does her thing in Slaver's Bay. It will be interesting to see if Mereen, where Danny does do quite a bit, will translate better than Qarth. Wheh, that was long. Any thoughts? EDIT: Oh, I forgot Sansa. Her story has tracked the book pretty closely. I will say I'm somewhat surprised/disappointed that Ser Dontos has been basically ignored since she saved him from his Ironic Death. Her's is another story that I think will pick up steam once she marries Tyrion, and the Tyrells show up. I suppose that maybe they've delayed the note, and plans to escape, might be due to a desire to make it clear that the entire operation is Littlefinger's. As far as Sansa's story is concerned, as long as they get one of my favorite lines in, I'll be happy : LF telling Sansa to get the guards after pusing Lysa out the Moon Door- "This singer's just killed my wife." Delicious.
  6. AegonTheUnlikely

    [Book Spoilers] EP 205 Discussion

    @ J.S. Crews I think you're probably right, and I find it interesting that GRRM says he's including her more. Problem, though: If Osha becomes important in some way connected to Rickon in the story, its going to be tough for her to go North with Bran without changing that significantly; but if she stays with Rickon, she disappears. Here's my solution: Lewin still dies, Osha still goes with Rickon. The Reeds are introduced post-sack, and we get new (non-book) scenes of Osha+Rickon+Cannibals. It might make the reveal later on, that Manderly knows where Rickon is, less surprising. But we the reader already knew Rickon was alive, so the surprise is that Manderly knows it at all. Here's hoping all the gnashing of teeth around here about the Reeds turns out to be much ado about nothing.
  7. AegonTheUnlikely

    [Book Spoilers] Ep 203 Discussion

    eh. Recall the Hedge Knight, where Dunk would have lost both a hand and a foot for attacking Aerion Brightflame, despite it being entirely called for. Laying hands on royalty is pretty much a no-no, regardless of the circumstances. re: Sansa- it may or may not be out of character to act the way she did. It's believable, at the least. As for Sansa being less than gracious at times- off the top of my head I can think of her getting bratty with her Septa. I actually think putting Shae in as her handmaiden now makes her seem less paranoid when the note shows up under her pillow, and she wonders if it's a set-up.
  8. AegonTheUnlikely

    [Book Spoilers] Ep 203 Discussion

    Just a thought- I hope we get some Tickling done on the way to Harrenhal. Otherwise, perhaps the most gratifying set-up in the entire series gets missed: "Is there gold hidden in the village? Silver? Gems? Do you know where Berric Dondarion is? How many men does he have? How many mounted? How many foot? Is there gold hidden in the village?... Call me sick- but Arya yelling that as she stabs the Tickler is among my favorite bits. That one's got the wolf's blood for sure.
  9. AegonTheUnlikely

    [Book Spoilers] Ep 203 Discussion

    I was reading earlier, but the pages built up faster than I can follow haha. Anyways- my thoughts on a few issues raised in this thread re: Why didn't Craster kill Jon? It might be that, whatever else Craster does with his get, he still abides by the Guest Rights, which seem to be particularly important to the old gods of the north. He might not be able to kill Jon, without violating guest rights. Even though Jon followed him, he's still eaten there, and is protected until he leaves. re: Lommy/Gendry/Lorch/Etc. I think it works, as a method of cutting through some ultimately extraneous moving about on the part of Arya&co. I do think its a bit clunky though, and doesn't hold up too well to scrutiny. In the book, Lorch never identifies himself, or which king he's for before burning the holdfast. When Arya&co are later caught be the Mountain, he's not looking for Gendry anyways. Gendry thus is able to stay pretty well under the radar. Expecting Lommy 'I Yield' Greenhands to pass as a much older boy, and a smith's apprentice to boot, stretches the suspension of disbelief. I would have thought Lorch would be cut, honestly. Lorch,Hoat&Clegane (L.L.C) are all doing the same basic thing in the Riverlands. The Mountain is too important to cut, and it seems Hoat has several things to do that require him to be present, Bloody Mummers and all. Seems like we could have worked around Lorch more than anyone else- all he has to do is burn out the holdfast, then get eaten by a bear. re: Yara&theGreyjoys. I'm reserving judgment on Yara until we see a bit more of her as a character, and less as a set piece. Most of her scenes have her just standing around, not doing much so far. I agree with a previous poster who mentioned its a problem in the eyes- they aren't hungry enough. Families have certain personality types that repeat themselves in this world. More than one Baratheon is shown to be an id driven glory hound- from the Laughing Storm to King Robert, First of His Name. The Greyjoys exhibit a few types, also. Aeron (pre-damphair), Euron, Theon (pre-Reek), and Asha were all fond of teasing, bragging, bravado, etc. Asha is more like the Crow's Eye than she cares to admit, and less like either Balon or Victarion, or the new Damphair. I would expect her to be more fiery. Quicker of wit, and sharper of tongue. She's got time to come into the role, though. re: Ms. Tyrell. I like her. I always thought she was more involved than Sansa realized, or Cersei could suss out. With the age-up factor considered, its only natural that she's a player of the game. She is where Sansa will be, once Littlefinger gets his little fingers on her. Her willingness to include Loras in producing a royal heir is a nice parallel to Jamie&Cersei, I think. Ambition will make monsters of us all, it seems. re: Renly&Loras deep in prayer. Much ado about nothing. Risque, perhaps by the social mores of a by-gone era. To be honest, I like that HBO, and B&W, took the risk. Even if its not to my taste, aesthetically speaking.
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