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Lord Varys

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  1. The idea that decades of factionalism and a devastating civil war which was not actually properly ended to the satisfaction of the victorious side just disappears and the king on the throne also conveniently forgets about this just isn't realistic in this setting. Robert's Rebellion left festering wounds even 15 years later, the Blackfyres launched five rebellions to get even with the Targaryen, the War of the Five Kings caused even more injuries people are avenging right now, etc. But we are to believe that nobody gave a damn about the Dance from 131 AC onwards? That's simply not believable. The biggest issue, though, is the notion that Rhaenyra's descendants would not honor her memory and not count her as Queen Regnant. That's like expecting Ned's descendants remember Eddard Stark of Winterfell as the disgusting traitor King Joffrey Baratheon rightfully executed ... and their brother/uncle King Robb Stark as a false king, pretender, and traitor who was rightfully put down at the Red Wedding. This is just inconceivable. Stopping blood feuds like Ellaria Sand demands in ADwD is one thing ... shitting on your own house, parents, ancestors is another thing entirely. But it very much seems as if the Dance is not completely done yet. There will be false Daerons and the son of Aemond is still alive, too. Aegon III will have to deal with them one way or another, and that's likely going to involve fighting ... which, in turn, will open old wounds and perhaps trigger other rebellions. I'd not be surprised if effectively the entire reign of Aegon III will turn out to very troubled with a lot of (former) Greens trying to get rid of Rhaenyra's spawn. Then Daeron I's plan to conquer Dorne could not so much being some mad scheme of an overly ambitious young boy ... but rather a calculated ploy by Prince Viserys to give the lords and people another common enemy to unite the Realm. Have the people fight and die in Dorne rather than trying to wrest Aegon III and his descendants from the throne and replace them with bastards and fakes. Then the Targaryen rule could only be fully secure and the Dance finally be put behind them during the Daeron's victory celebration after he forced Dorne into submission.
  2. Moving on to episode 4: Ah, that one was a tough one. The positive thing is that I really like the music they use most of the time, especially in the openings. It strengthens the feeling that those a historical, larger-than-life figures. Having the episode start at Storm's End isn't bad ... but a suitor tour after Viserys had told Rhaenyra last episode that she would be allowed to choose her own husband completely undercuts that. There it would have been much better to have the anniversary tourney as a setting drawing many men to KL giving Rhaenyra the opportunity to not listen to weird candidates giving rehearsed speeches ... but actually getting to know them formally and informally. There we could have opened with a grand tourney scene and Daemon stealing the show with Caraxes by landing on the tourney grounds, crushing the lists, horses throwing men and trampling them (to death), etc. A missed opportunity there clearly is to not introduce Borros Baratheon then and there, perhaps as a younger son of Lord Boremund, being rejected by Rhaenyra because of his illiteracy or stupidity. The Four Storms are younger than Aemond and he is not yet born, so it would make sense that Borros would be unwed at the time and eager to marry the princess. Rhaenyra's reactions to the suitors are completely understandable. She is pretty gentle with both of them, especially Simon Dondarrion whose proposal cannot be viewed as anything but an insult. Whereas the Blackwood lad shows his courage in presenting himself - but cannot really hope to be successful. But at least he tried, like Fool Frey in the book. The duel again hammers home the fact that the depiction of violence sucks and is inconsistent. Lord Boremund even tells the guys to sheathe their swords - they don't listen, but it has no consequences. That Rhaenyra doesn't give a damn is acceptable since she starts leaving even before the fighting begins. The dragon issue there is laughable. Syrax should have been there, not a ship, and Rhaenyra should have shown how little she cared about the tour by jumping on her dragon and flying away, abandoning her retinue. We also have the Bracken guy explicitly mention her dragon ... but this is TV, so show, don't tell. We all know she has a dragon, so fucking show it. We but saw Syrax twice, and having her on the progress would be the perfect opportunity for another glimpse. Caraxes ramming the ship is complete nonsense. At court the reconciliation between Viserys and Daemon is fine. Otto really looks like a vulture perching on the throne there. You really can see that he hates that Daemon guy. He cannot help himself. In the short council scene Rhaenyra finally having a seat is a good thing - not so much that she doesn't have anything to say. The fact that they apparently cut scenes covering Viserys' reaction to Rhaenyra's early return is felt during the garden party scene. Viserys deliberately ignores Rhaenyra, and you don't really understand why. Viserys enjoying himself with Daemon works pretty fine. Ditto with the Rhaenyra-Alicent scene ... although that would have been a better scene when they are both younger. Daemon makes it clear four years passed since he parted from Rhaenyra on Dragonstone, which means she is nineteen years old now (she was 15 in episode 2). That is too old for such naiveté. And that is also the problem for the entire 'stroll in the city' sequence. A nineteen-year-old woman doesn't behave like a fourteen-year-old girl when some stranger mistakes her for a 'boy'. Rhaenyra would be beyond such behavior at that point in her life. It also feels forced to have Daemon explain marriage as a political arrangement to Rhaenyra. That she should have figured out all by herself. Also that she can have fun if she is discreet. Saera didn't need some uncle for that, either. Either go with the novel and have a 14-15-year-old girl doing this ... or do the kind of thing I suggest below: The stroll in the city should have been something Rhaenyra came up with. After all, she lived at the castle her entire life, while Daemon was just a rare visitor. She should have found a secret passageway, putting the map in Daemon's chambers. We should have had a development through multiple episodes there - first her realizing that men can be interesting and fun during the progress episode I'd have liked to see. Then her and Criston exchanging kisses while they are alone in the forest ... and then Rhaenyra revealing to Daemon that she has always known how to sneak out of the castle in disguise to enjoy herself. Going to the brothel could then be Daemon's idea while Rhaenyra used to just go to inns and shows. It would also have made a lot of sense for Rhaenyra to be more straightforward with Daemon about what she actually wanted him to be to her - she clearly wants him there, but it remains open whether she viewed him as a potential husband or merely a lover. The way the scene is played doesn't indicate Daemon has performance problems but rather that he has second thoughts about putting Rhaenyra in a really bad position. Thinking more about Mysaria my idea is that she may have sold Rhaenyra out to Otto there to kind of better Daemon's position as neutralizing Rhaenyra as heir would have moved Daemon closer to the throne. But really difficult to say in light of the fact that there is only one scene. Queen 'I'm still the Lady Alicent' Alicent is really weird in that episode - she has neither companions, nor servants, nor - apparently - friends at court. That just doesn't make sense. While Alicent makes her own tea (!), blows out her own candles (!!), Rhaenyra even has to dress herself (!!!) and combs her own hair!!!! That just doesn't make any sense. Neither Alicent as Viserys' master washerwoman. Something like that could make sense in a really intimate scene ... but not as her intervening with Viserys' general wellness regimen. Playing up Rhaenyra being 'soiled' as a problem is also something that takes things too far. Daemon is perfectly right that Viserys decides how to view and treat his daughter (and him), and Rhaenyra has the right of it there, too. More importantly, though, Rhaenyra is not just a princess and the Heir Apparent but also a dragonrider. She is a political power in her own right, somebody the king and the Realm might have to call upon in a war. Viserys cannot really treat her just like Jaehaerys treated Saera. Also, of course, a female Heir Apparent and dragonrider isn't married because she is a virgin ... but for her blood, for her claim, and for her dragon - as Rhaenyra points out to Alicent. The twice-widowed Queen Rhaena marries Androw Farman to keep suitors at bay - and even that doesn't stop the Lannisters from trying. The Velaryon threat is kind of played up too much there - this could have been better if we had also seen or heard that Laena had mounted Vhagar. Otto is pretty good in that episode. Since we see him in private it is clear that he is not keen or eager to tell Viserys about Rhaenyra's exploits. But it would have been good to have a scene where Otto then pushed Alicent to ensure Viserys does change the succession after he has been told. When Viserys tells Otto that he wants to destroy Viserys' blood to put his own on the throne we should have had Otto reply that Aegon is Viserys' blood, too - or Viserys should have talked about Aemma's blood vs. Otto's/Alicent's. Biggest character missing in that episode: AEGON! It is very odd that he wasn't there in the throne room scene as a toddler about four years old and/or later with the adults in the garden scene - Daemon could have frightened him there or given him an unpleasant look. We could have seen some Rhaenyra-Aegon interaction - she could have dragged him along when she went to the bench where Alicent sought her out. Later she could have sent Aegon away with a nanny while talking to Daemon in the godswood. When we see Alicent with young Helaena, Aegon could have been there, too. We could also have seen how Alicent felt about and cared for young Aegon. Was she proud of him? Doting on him? Had Otto's lecture from last episode taken root to a point already? Would have been great to see. Rhaenyra apparently isn't that much into cakes, after all, eating only the orange slice off the cake... Liked the Rhaenyra-Criston sex scene better this time. Viserys sending for Alicent to visit him strikes one as odd since it seems kings usually seemed to have visited their wives in their chambers, rather than the other way around. But the entire thing clearly is not a royal command, so Alicent could have excused herself. She wasn't forced to have intercourse with Viserys there - but we can certainly understand why she felt she had to do this. However, I think that the character of Alicent Hightower isn't the best raw material to tell a story about a woman marrying into a royal family who lives to please her husband at her own expense. For that Alicent has too much agency and ambition - or should have if we go with the FaB source material. Or perhaps only at this point in her story. Alicent could have been treated as a pawn eager to please in episode 1 & 2 ... but no longer in 3 & 4. In summary, that episode doesn't really hold up all that well.
  3. Rhaenyra was never particularly fat. At least not during her reign unless there are intentional contradictions in FaB. We have her as being not as slender as Alicent after the births, but Eustace's claim of her gaining weight during her reign while Gyldayn later describing her as thin and haggard both prior to and during her return to Dragonstone means we talk about a few pounds there, not a massive gain and loss of weight. Both would need time George never gave Rhaenyra. The Amok description and portrait of Rhaenyra makes no mention of body size. Her face looks more haggard than fat in the portrait and her body type is more tall and slender woman, kind of like the Amok Alysanne compared to the FaB version. Rhaenyra's height we actually know nothing about, but I'd imagine her as a tall woman like many of the male Targaryens.
  4. The video certainly implies that George thinks Euron went to Valyria ... although I'd be surprised if it turned out that this was true. But it certainly could be. It is not that random readers know best where people can and cannot go in a world they didn't invent.
  5. I didn't know the entire show was based on the Murdoch family. I thought they were using them merely as the template for the billionaire setting, perhaps going with media because it makes the most sense in context. Although the entire political agenda of rightwing media has, so far, been not touched upon at all. People who are born to wealth rarely feel the need to prove to themselves or others that they 'make money', they just have it. And we effectively have that attitude very much with Logan's kids there. It actually feels more realistic that they would actually mock their old man for his expectation that they actually work for him. What is actually disgusting in the setting, though, is a character like that Tom guy who is clearly not born to (great) wealth is the biggest asshole and abuser I ever saw on television. How he could survive with that attitude five minutes in that environment makes no sense to me - but it also makes the non-billionaire outsider guy even worse than the guys themselves. And his picking on the grand-nephew actually feels like complete stupidity - that guy actually is family, he might one day inherit shares in his own right and/or his grandfather's seat on the board ... whereas Tom is nothing but his future wife's little plaything. I know that they likely intend to show him being to a point twisted around by his place in the family environment, but he doesn't seem to be part of that for long, so he must have been a huge asshole for a long time before even meeting Shiv. Thinking he can treat people in this family in this way feels like he would never ever get where he is now because he would have had that attitude before - shit like that should be for underlings at work, staff, servants ... but not for people in the family who could, perhaps, outfox you. Not at that point, but so far I don't see Logan as all that abusive (gotten to episode 6, I think), nor the children being so messed up because they were abused. They are just incompetent and stupid spoiled brats. In season 1 Logan is the last character who needs some humane or tragic backstory element. Is a grumpy and done old man, suffering, perhaps, from early senility and the after effects of his illness. I mean, even in the pilot Marcia clearly fucks with him by completely ignoring his directive to have no surprise around the elevator when he comes back. And the entire pissing stuff doesn't seem as a deliberate humiliation thing as he actually pissed at the wrong spot even before his brain thing - in the very first scene of the show. Not sure how he could have fucked up the kids so much. They would have had a mother, too, and they should have had nannies and tutors and replacement father figures aplenty. Especially for people like that - who do have the resources to do anything - sticking with a fucked up birth family strikes one as very unrealistic if they really loathe each other. I'd have to continue watching to check if the humane element gets more traction - there is certainly a family thing there with them bothering with family feasts and making an outward family show with their foundation events and stuff. That is nothing they would have to do. I've read that wife #2 eventually features, but I'd be more interested in learning more about wife #1. Is she still alive? It is not just the plot, it is also theme, subject matter, and characterization. These people do suck. What they do sucks as well. That they might suck in interesting and well-written ways doesn't change the big picture. Mind you, the exploration of the lives of rich-as-shit people is not bad ... but using a succession struggle/corporation drama as the narrative frame there doesn't strike me as a smart decision. 'The Gilded Age' has the cutthroat industrialist and his son deal with such an issue in a very great manner - 'You are a great manager guy, dad. I'm not. I'll have to find my own thing where I be great at.' Some thinking, struggling with the idea. 'Yes, son. You are right there. Sad that you won't work for me, but so be it.' The idea that huge corporations have to be run by the owners is a notion most families owning big corporations rarely follow these days. Reading that this is supposed to be 'satire or 'black comedy' also leaves me kind of confused. It is actually not funny. The characters are mostly caricatures, but the thing is that this kind of behavior is real and it is also not funny to be at the receiving end of such abuse. Depicting this shows how such people can do it, but they'll always get away with that. It is even kind of childish that they buy off the random dudes in the pilot whose child was humilated at the baseball game. They do not really have to fear bad press, they are not politicians. What they can - and likely do - to random people we see when the youngest son threatens to destroy his personal trainer. This is real and it is not funny. In context it strikes one as actually quite funny that the youngest son bothers closing the shades when jerking off at the window. Why should he? The whole thing is a power thing, something he does and wants to do because he can. And it would be so much better to have people see him doing it, knowing it that they cannot do anything about it, cannot even complain. In that context the network lady talking back to Shiv when she pushes her because of the Senator she is propping up feels kind of weird. Shiv can destroy that woman, never mind her standing as a famous face in the networ.. She does have the connections to ensure she is fired and never works again in television. That shouldn't even be particularly hard for Shiv.
  6. But what is the point of 'satire' in that context? As I said, only caricatures of rich people would do this kind of thing - running a corporation like that is hard work. And they don't have to work ... so why bother? They are not winning anything by winning the race. Aside from the standard thing of winning the love/respect of the old man who ignored you all when you were children there is really no substance there. It is also pretty clear that there is literally no plot as those people could only suffer real losses if they do unrealistically stupid things. Is it meant to be painful to watch? Because aside from Logan's wife there are no sympathetic characters - especially the fiancé of the daughter seems to be written to be the perfect asshole. The writing is pretty good, but I'm seriously flabbergasted that this is a critically acclaimed TV show.
  7. I've just started giving this show a try... What is this??? This is critically acclaimed? For what? Bumbling assholes in action? It is kind of fun to see the natural entitlement of people born insanely rich, the way they treat servants and outsiders (in the family) as effectively half- or non-human ... but plot and characters just suck hard. Even more so as realistically most of these people should not even bother with 'succeeding' their lousy old man in a capacity that means actual work. That's what hired managers are for (in that sense the only realistic character there is the half-mad eldest son). Thus the central conflict is completely meaningless from the start. But even such scenes get stale very quickly - we got that when they 'discuss' the merits of the hospital the old man is in, the way they judge each other's relationships, the way they treat random people, their stuff and employees. And then there is the setting. Why the New York penthouse all the time? Especially with the huge mansion in the opening credits. Yes, they would have one such place or a number of them ... but why do we have to see them there the entire time? No park or garden and then silly scenes involving the rabble on the street. (Have to say, though, that the writers and actors succeed in creating more distinct and three-dimensional characters in one episode than 'House of the Dragon' did in an entire season. And it is kind of silly how they stole the 'jerking out of the window' scene from Macaulay Culkin's brother and gave it to Aegon II in HotD.)
  8. Which is why I honestly hope you actually never wasted time trying to make sense of it.
  9. The continuity of Rhaenyra's cake jokes is also quite fun. That seems to be a dig at her portrayal in the book. First we have her wanting to do nothing but eating cake, then she chides Lady Redwyne for overindulging herself on cake - which I actually enjoyed. The gang was subtly shitting on House Targaryen there ... and it is good to see a female character pointing out that women sitting on their asses and criticizing the men for their actions while not even trying to do something themselves is not exactly a courageous thing to do for a noblewoman. Noblewomen do have a lot of informal power, some real power, and they always have the ability to seize more power. Westeros has seen his share of female general, war leaders, regents, etc. Thinking a bit more about a 'The Realm's Delight' episode - there could have been a cool double meaning to the name there - Rhaenyra being the one who is given the name, but Aegon's birth at the end of the episode being also a delight to the Realm - or a certain portion of the Realm. Really noticing now that the introduction of the Strong boys was pretty much botched. With Lyonel Strong being there from the start, we should have seen (especially) Harwin from the pilot on. Harwin could have been a contender in the lists, Larys sitting next to Lyonel in the royal box. We could have also seen Harwin as a member of the City Watch, either working closely with or clashing with Daemon. We could have seen the Strongs among the lords swearing fealty to Rhaenyra. In episode 2, Harwin could have been among the men Otto took with him to Dragonstone, and in episode 3, as I said, he could have been among the proto-Blacks seeking Rhaenyra's favor that should have been there. It is a shame that they get so little screentime there.
  10. I don't think there is any consistency to the geography of GoT's Westeros.
  11. Sorry, but that was a waste of your time... Nobody ever said anything about the Targaryens being loved because they have that name - they are loved because they are the royal family, feed their people propaganda ... and also do something for them. But even if they weren't doing something for the commoners - as Aegon/Rhaenys and Jaehaerys/Alysanne did - the very fact that united the continent was a huge plus. Whoever unified Westeros and ended the silly wars between the lords and kings would have been liked by the people - because they were suffering from that shit. I mean, you must be aware how fucked up things were in Westeros if there was effectively perpetual war on the continent in addition to the freak seasons. Every autumn/winter the war shit would have destroyed crucial winter provisions in certain regions - meaning thousands of people would starve to death in winter. And - again - if they had been hated or disliked by a majority of the lords and commoners by the time of Maegor ... they would have cast them down. It would have been very easy at that time. Jaehaerys I could only take power and become the king he was because the lords and the people wanted to be ruled by him. That they wanted this you can draw, for instance, from the positive estimates of Jaehaerys' character from the guests of the Golden Wedding in 49 AC.
  12. I'd have to look for that in future episodes, but so far I don't see it. Otto is formally correct in addressing his queen, but their is no respect for her there. He lectures her and tell her what to do. And he manipulates her to get her to do what he wants. He quickly realizes that Alicent is not keen to push Viserys to change the succession now, so he doesn't press it. But he gave her instruction what Hightower policy at court now is and he expects her to play along. After her outbrust in the Aemond affair he effectively insults her with his assessment that she didn't have the stomach for their business ... and Alicent herself makes it clear they are no team and never have been in episode 9. That doesn't bode well for them working closely together next season. With Criston being effectively Alicent's lacking she might be the one pushing Aegon to sack Otto and replace him with Criston. In Otto's defense we can say for the show - which is something I always liked about it - that the originator of that policy is actually not Ser Otto Hightower but his elder brother, the Lord of Oldtown. He is the guy behind the great hunt and he is the one who effectively instructed his younger brother to get Aegon on the throne. Otto Hightower genuinely sees himself as a friend of Viserys I. He respects his wishes to a point, and he knows how he thinks. That friendship would be over after Viserys dismisses Otto later on ... but up until then it is there. I'd have written such an episode in such a way that the progress lasts effectively the entire pregnancy, with the passing of time depicted by way of showing the Stepstones thing, the pregnancy in KL, and Rhaenyra really visiting the entire Realm - although the end could certainly involve her coming back for the birth. I don't think it was odd to not have a daughter at the birth. Viserys the character isn't *that old*. He says he was 17 when he married Aemma, so let's say Rhaenyra was the first child they ever had in the show and she was born shortly after the wedding, with the miscarriages, stillbirths and the dead boy in the cradle happening between Great Council and pilot then he would be still in his late 30s when marrying Alicent. Considine is much older than that, I think. But I agree that he pretty much appears like a grandfather with Emily-Alicent. He could still be kind of in love with her ... while also enjoying to make her squirm. But that whole take there with vulnerable lonely Alicent really doesn't make much sense.
  13. The Starks, Martells, Baratheons, etc. are also not loved for specific accomplishments, but because of their public relations policies - ditto, especially, with the Tyrells and Margaery. The Targaryens did that, too, in addition to actually making the lives of the common people better. That's a matter of historical law (the King's Peace, the Rule of Six, etc.). That some commoners supported the Faith Militant Uprising we all know - no need to tell us this if you didn't want to make a special case there. And to be sure - the Targaryens are not loved 'as Targaryens' but as the royal family. Today the British celebrated their new king at his coronation - they didn't celebrate him as a Battenberg, Windsor, or Sachsen-Coburg-Gotha but as their king, the eldest son of their former queen and the most senior member of the royal family. And that's how the Targaryens are viewed, too.
  14. You wrote this earlier: And that's just wrong. You implied the smallfolk as a group flocked to the Faith, not saying that it was obviously only a minority who did that. Others continued to fight for Maegor, more still kept out of the entire war and continued with their lives (especially in the places where no fighting took place like, apparently, the North, the Vale, etc.). Also you try to paint the common people as apolitical who don't have a (developed) loyalty to a particular house or dynasty. We know that's wrong for the loyalty of the common Northmen to the Starks, the popularity of the Baratheons in the Stormlands (mentioned explicitly in the second Jon Connington chapter in ADwD), etc. The Targaryens are the royal family who ended millennia of constant warfare in Westeros, also ending noble blood feuds and arbitrary (mis-)rule of local lords and the abuse of the common people from the hands of such lords. That is why they became popular. Prior to the Conquest life just sucked more for the common people. And they know this. Also, in context, royalty is rarely unpopular with the common people in a feudal monarchy - they are aloof and far away and generally more likely to be viewed as allies of the common people than the lords who are close and do the actual exploiting. The Targaryens bettered the lives of the common people and their dragons were not a weapon against the commoners but rebellious lords.
  15. 'The Second of His Name' works pretty well as an episode - but it is clearly a jump too far ahead. Rhaenyra's entire plot is botched by this episode. Yes, it is good that the show deals with the problem of Viserys finally having a son and not naming him heir in Rhaenyra's place. That was a good call. However, Rhaenyra's entire story in the first three episodes is 'a girl cannot be monarch'. That's it. We get this in the pilot, we get it in episode 2 where she isn't included in the council, told to pick bodyguards, and lectured by a bitter aging woman. We never get a Rhaenyra who actually is 'the Realm's Delight' the girl/young woman at the center of attention of court and Realm alike - which she would have been, in part, as the king's only child even before she was named heir ... but even more so thereafter. Basically the show is missing an episode named 'The Realm's Delight' taking place prior to 'The Second of His Name' starting with the king's second wedding, then covering a grand progress where Rhaenyra tours the Realm with Syrax while Viserys and Alicent stay back home. This is where we could have seen how she is at the center of attention. They could have also shown some cracks there - an interestiong popularity contest dynamic between Rhaenyra and Alicent at the wedding, the episode ending with Aegon's birth while Rhaenyra returns on Syrax at the same time - and Viserys effectively runs to the window or on a balcony happy to finally see his darling girl again. Or he runs outside to welcome Rhaenyra in the castle yard where she is landing with her dragon ... while Alicent stays behind in her birthing bed and has to deliver Aegon without her husband. Such a progress could also have allowed Rhaenyra to hook up/connect with various men - the Strongs, the Lannister twins, the deepening of her thing with Criston Cole. It would also have helped to make the Stepstones thing better, by intercutting things with it. If Rhaenyra had spurned Jason in such an earlier episode, the match for her in 'The Second of His Name' could have been Otto's nephew Ormund Hightower But back to the episode at hand. I like a lot about it, but sullen and lonely Rhaenyra there is too much. She should have her own coterie of fanboys and fangirls already, and they really missed the chance to have Harwin Strong and Criston Cole both vying for her attention there. Also the fact that Alicent is basically just a little mouse the entire time when she should have been at the center of attention as the mother to the king's son. Having her heavily pregnant certainly would limit her role to a point, but she should have been more happy and more active. It also feel quite weird that Larys Strong would hit on Alicent from the start - I mean, is there anything wrong with Rhaenyra's feet? She is still the heir and, unlike Alicent, without a betrothed or husband so far. Rhaenyra's talk with the women doesn't feel particularly bratty to me. Lady Lannister is clearly picking on House Targaryen as a whole there, by way of picking on Daemon. There is a big dramaturgy problem with Rhaenyra riding away and then nobody caring about that for too long a time. Eventually, Viserys is told that Criston Cole is likely with her, but they should have sent men after her at once. Criston Cole is kind of silly in his reluctance to declare his full loyalty to Rhaenyra when she asks about the Realm accepting her as queen. If he has a thing for her he should have at least said something along the lines of 'I'll always be your man!' And, yes, there is no excuse for Jason not making the joke about having a lot of gold dragons to offer. Really great is the subtle depiction of the different parenting attitudes between Viserys and Otto. Viserys actually cares about his daughter and wants her to be happy - he is even man enough to say so. For Otto a daughter is just a pawn. She will do what the king or her father tells her, and that's it. That can help explain why Otto was stupid enough to make Rhaenyra the heir but his later speech also shows his inability that not everybody in the Realm might have his lack of imagination regarding a Queen Regnant. They fail to play up Rhaenyra getting bloodied in the episode - we see some brief looks exchanged when she returns and Harwin's grin is great there, but it could have been better with some dialogue. The Stepstones campaign is clearly missing Rhaenys and Meleys ... but aside from that I found the scenes pretty good during the rewatch. I can totally see myself as Craghas Drahar falling for the ruse because it is just too much to see one guy who pretended to yield to kill so many of my men.
  16. You give the impression the smallfolk as a whole opposed the Targaryen reign because of their affiliation with the Faith. But that's wrong. If they had been all with the Faith and determined to get rid of Maegor they would have won. Maegor also failed to raise armies through the great houses - he fought for the most part with his own which, for the most part, would have been commoners. Sure enough, he also had knights and lords but we never hear about lords and knights from the West, the Reach, the Vale, the Stormlands or the North fight in one of Maegor's armies.
  17. This is not about unreliable narrators. Gyldayn does't write a history about the common people celebrating the Targaryens ... it is between the lines that we see this. With the rapid growth of KL, with Dick Bean - a common man - being the first champion of King Maegor at the Trial of Seven, with the simple fact that the Targaryen dynasty survived and thrived. If the common people had felt about Aegon like the common people in Dorne felt about him (and later the Young Dragon) his reign would have collapsed. And also with the actual details of the Conquest ... where 'the common people' weren't the ones being burned in battle. There are two main burnings during the original Conquest - Harrenhal and the Field of Fire. At Harrenhal burned a hated and loathed tyrant with his Ironborn retinue. We can be pretty sure that both the Riverlords defecting to Aegon as well as the common people making up their armies did not weep anyone who stuck with fucking Harren. The man bled the Riverlands try for his monstrous castle. Aegon comes as a liberator to the Riverlands, not as a conqueror. The other event is the Field of Fire. Reread the description. The men burning there would have been exclusively royals, lords, knights, and squires, not common people. Aegon lured the so-called 'iron fist' of the Two Kings into his trap - which was their armored cavalry, not the infantry made up of commoners. Aegon conquered the West and the Reach by breaking their elite, not by bleeding out the common people. Of course, the commoners at the Field of Fire would have also been cowed by the sight ... but they weren't the ones who burned. That narrative doesn't work there. When Jaehaerys was proclaimed king they had but two smaller dragons, ridden by a 14-year-old boy and 12-year-old girl who would never be allowed to ride to war (Jaehaerys I later makes it very clear to Rhaena and Alysanne herself he won't permit her to ride to war on Silverwing). The idea that Jaehaerys and Alysanne could have defeated Balerion in battle strikes one as utterly ludicrous. And Rhaena - who only joins them later - was too craven to join Aegon and Quicksilver in their fight against Maegor ... so I'd not really count on her support there. Jaehaerys is a focal point and figurehead in the fight against Maegor. His return/public revelation helped to convince the Realm to abandon/not support Maegor, but he could have never defeated Maegor in a dragon battle. Maegor could have torched Storm's End half a day or so after he heard about the proclamation. There was no defense against that. And even if Alyssa and her children had magically gotten away with the dragons ... his cause should not have survived such a defeat. It is also pretty clear that thanks to Maegor Westeros could have gotten rid of the Targaryen yoke if they wanted it gone. Jaehaerys was the last male Targaryen and but a boy - the others were women. If Lyman Lannister and Brandon Stark had decided they would be kings again now, Rogar and his boy would have had no way to stop them - ditto if the Hightowers had declared the independence of Oldtown, the Arryns that of the Vale, etc. Obviously the idea of a united Realm was stronger than the desire of the great houses to play king again - if they still had such desires. Not everywhere. In the vicinity of the Realm. What rebels do we talk about here? A quarrelsome Ironborn madman, a guy who was effectively a Dornish invader, an outlaw butchering a hated lord. The only highborn rebel is Jonos Arryn - and that guy seems to have more issues with own brother Ronnel than the Targaryens. King Aenys shows weakness in the way how he deals with those challenges ... but neither actually threatens Targaryen rule. And no prominent house actually supports any of those rebels (House Arryn is obviously split in its support of 'King Jonos'). I honestly had hoped that actual proper lordly houses would any of those rebellions. But what we get there is pathetic. Note that the rebellions don't even involve any Western or Reach veterans of the Field of Fire. The place where the Targaryens should be hated the most in the wake of the Conquest would be among the nobility of the Reach who lost many of their men on the Field of Fire. But they never did anything. That is factually incorrect. A minority of the smallfolk and no great houses backed the Faith Militant - that's why they lost. Nobody says the Faith didn't have sway over the commoners - they were the power base especially of the Poor Fellows. But their support was limited. If, say, 80% of the smallfolk wanted the incestuous abominations gone and were willing to fight for it they would have succeeded. And, no, the idea that the common people are just sheep and don't buy into political propaganda and don't like particular houses and royals more than others is wrong, too. For instance, we know that Renly and Margaery are more popular with the people than Cersei or Tyrion. We also know that pretty much nobody likes Stannis and that that's a huge problem for his campaign, etc. It would depend on the region - the common people in the later Crownlands and the Riverlands welcomed Aegon, the common people in the North never saw him so they likely never gave a damn (Targaryen rule in the North was always little more than nominal, so why should anyone up there care?), ditto with the common people in the Vale and the West (where no Targaryen army ever set foot during the Conquest). The people in the Reach would have seen many Targaryen men but the Oldtowners welcomed them all the same - as did the Tyrells at Highgarden. If the Conquest had been viewed as a horrible event and people had hated the dragons and Aegon, the war wouldn't have lasted just two years. Aegon would have faced constant resistance, especially during his failed Dornish campaign. Yet nothing of that sort happened - I know that this is unrealistic as hell, but the only way to make sense of this is that people were actually more happy with the Targaryen rule than with how things had before. Because that explains why no ambitious great lord in the vicinity could motivate anyone to rebel with him - which should have been a very promising enterprise after Aegon lost Rhaenys and Meraxes in Dorne and had but a sickly and weak heir who was likely not to live to adulthood. The dragons are not overpowered, they are not depicted properly. George sucks at portraying them. It is ridiculous to assume that a childless Maegor could actually cow Westeros into submission. He just has one dragon and a very old mother. The notion that a 70+ Visenya could survive it burning multiple castles in the Riverlands in just one night is ludicrous. The way Oldtown yields to Maegor is just a gigantic plothole. With Jaehaerys we get a semblance of realism in the dragon department, but it is always clear that those dragons cannot really work to force people into submission. Dorne shows that. Vice versa, the fact that people actually assemble armies during the Dance is ridiculous, too. The Westermen army, the Black Reach lords, the Northmen, etc. march to war against dragonriders ... without their own dragonriders. That's obviously suicidal. More importantly, though, it makes absolutely no sense that so much as a single lord - especially those with big castles, towns, and cities - would dare to raise so much as a finger against Rhaenyra. Her advantage in dragons meant she could burn every castle, every town, and every city whose rulers dared to rise up against her. Obviously people are just intimidated by dragons when it is convenient for the plot - in other cases they have no problems facing them at all (most extreme case there is the Storming of the Dragonpit, of course).
  18. Sorry, no. Both Aegon's Conquest as well as his entire reign shows that people fell over themselves to suck up to him - especially the common people. That's why KL grew so large so fast. If he had been perceived as a tyrant by a silent majority they would have ignored his city, would have offered passive resistance, would have even openly rebelled ... and his reign would have collapsed soon enough, most likely after his pitiful defeat in Dorne which also cost him a dragon and a queen. Maegor also shows that a dragon means nothing if you overdo things. He wasn't defeated when he died ... but he had lost his crown already because nobody was willing to fight for him. It is also quite clear that you cannot overdo the Harrenhal thing. Aegon could do this with Harren because he was a cruel tyrant and hated by his subjects. But he couldn't do that with Winterfell, Highgarden or Oldtown and expect that the people would accept him afterwards.
  19. They weren't. They already spoke the Common Tongue, they kept maesters and knights, they even followed the Seven already. The one Valyrian thing they kept were their incest stuff. And that's, perhaps, a queer custom but nothing you can call 'foreign'. They assimilated to the Westerosi ways long before the Conquest. And, no, there is no textual evidence at all for the Qoherys, Velaryon, Celtigar houses having 'distinct habits and beliefs' that put them apart from the mainlanders. Even less so for your baseless claim that Dragonstone was like Pentos or Braavos to the Westerosi prior to the Conquest.
  20. Realizing I haven't talked much about Mysaria here, I think I should add some thoughts: Don't have much problems with the accent, being no English native speaker myself. The scenes with her and Daemon in the pilot are pretty good insofar as they flesh out Daemon's vulnerability and insecurity. The guy is really afraid that his brother might no longer love/need him. Their relationship also seems to be a pretty stable partnership there, which is furthered deepened in the (unfortunately montaged) scene at the end where Daemon introduces her to Caraxes and they fly away. Their talk in episode 2 pretty much sucks, though. Silly lines like 'I came to you to be liberated from fear' do not just cause Daemon to raise his eyebrows. They just don't make any sense. In the pilot it is clearly Daemon looking for comfort and support with Mysaria at her place, not the other way around. Daemon is insecure and fearful deep down, while Mysaria clearly is the stronger one both in the brothel scenes as well as the Dragonstone scenes. We see this especially with Mysaria loathing it to be a pawn in Daemon's game with his brother. As a general plot point that was a good decision there. She is not a person who is afraid, and she wouldn't team up with Daemon to be freed from fear ... but to gain power. We see that this is what she acquires even without Daemon later on, so it is clear what she is about. Going with Mysaria making herself infertile permanently also strikes one as a rather hamfisted way to make a statement against 'women are baby machines in Westeros'. Moon tea does provide women with a very effective means of birth control, so Mysaria wouldn't have to take more draconian/permanent measure. (Of course, George's own writing doesn't really fit well together there - we have so many royal and noblewomen die in childbirth that it seems that pretty much no royal or noblewoman actually does use moon tea to prevent unwanted pregnancies. That's only stuff cool women like Asha Greyjoy do.) Even more so since she is working in the sex trade and is thus more likely to be harmed or killed by sexually transmitted diseases than by death in childbirth. I think the whole relationship breakup there should have been more about Daemon's true love/affection lying with Viserys and Rhaenyra rather than Mysaria. Their conversation there could have been the point in the story where Mysaria points out to Daemon that the woman he truly wants is his niece, not she. Something Daemon might not even have realized or admitted to himself at this point. While I actually do like their take on Mysaria as somebody who has a commoner perspective on things ... conceptually this doesn't fit with their silly 'violence is irrelevant unless we arbitrarily decide it isn't' worldbuilding premise. If you have a character who is driven by the fact that the common people suffer under current regime then the fact that these very people actually don't have any issues with arbitrary violence kind of clashes with that. Conceptually the show writers are inconsistent. They do not depict violence or injustices to make a statement about inherent injustices in the political or economical framework of the world they are describing. Instead they actually hammer home the fact - perhaps unintentionally - that only royalty and high nobility are 'real people' since violence and injustices done to them clearly matter - whereas commoners being killed by dragons or princes and noblemen killing each other for effectively no reason at all clearly do not matter. The worst part of that is the inconsistency on the highest levels when we see royal bodyguards and princes killing people with impunity in front of the king have no consequences ... while a minor brawl between a royal bodyguard and the commander of the City Watch causes a big scandal. Or contrast the scene where Viserys I confronts Daemon with his Kingsguard in the pilot with the later murder of Vaemond Velaryon. Those seem to be two scenes taking place in two different worlds. They don't fit together. It is okay that Viserys doesn't punish Daemon afterwards ... but there should have been at least a reaction to this outrageous behavior from the people there, including the king.
  21. The Targaryen Conquest was neither a 'cultural threat' no a 'foreign invasion'. Dragonstone is much a part of Westeros politically and culturally as the other small islands around it, and the Targaryens did neither bring a different culture, language, religion, etc. nor did they actually invade with a large conquering force. Politically, the Targaryen Conquest is a majority of the Westerosi people and lords effectively deciding they want Aegon to be their king. He could have never conquered and held so much as two kingdoms if 'the conquered' hadn't defected to him before there was much conquering. In fact, to make it make sense such an adaptation should take time to depict the misrule and conquest warfare in the independent kingdoms with a common people longing for a king who ends that shitshow. That said - I do agree that the focus of such a show should also be on the kings and their courts. But the main characters would still be Aegon and his sisters.
  22. He also does it in the show. But, no. The reason why it doesn't look that bad in the book is that the chapter is just a brief summary of events. Imagine Corlys and Daemon preparing for the Stepstones thing being a plotline in the main book series. We would have a scenario where Daemon, Rhaenys, Laena, and Laenor have four dragons between them ... and Viserys is stuck with an eight-year-old girl and Syrax. It is a joke. He has no power. And if Daemon and the Velaryons are fuming because of both 'Rhaenyra the heir' and the Alicent match - which they very much are in the book - then they have the raw power to do away with the fat man and his brat and crown Daemon or Rhaenys or Laenor in his place. That's just a fact. And the lords would fall over themselves to worship the new monarch, whoever he or she may be. They would have the four largest dragons that are claimed. The show unintentionally portrays this as well. They don't make it explicit since we don't know yet who the dragonriders are Rhaenyra mentions. But we, the readership, know that Daemon and Rhaenys are the only other dragonriders at this point, with show Laenor perhaps also having claimed Seasmoke at that point. Viserys has only Rhaenyra. And he is clearly not willing to risk her life in a fight. So the king is effectively dragonless. And how crucial dragons are in a powerplay or conflict we see on Dragonstone with Otto. He and his men effectively freeze the moment Caraxes shows up. Yes, that sucks as well. They could have made her both ambitious and protective of her daughter. When challenged by Rhaenyra about putting her little daughter into her father's bed Rhaenys could have given Rhaenyra a long stare, a grin, saying 'Girl, do you actually think your father would dare to lay a hand on my daughter before I give him permission?! If so, then you are a greater fool than I thought...' Rhaenys Targaryen is described as a fiery character in the book, she chose her own husband, apparently, and her temperament and anger may have cowed her own husband into hiding both his mistress and his bastard sons ... which could actually indicate that Corlys feared Rhaenys might hurt or even kill Marilda and her sons if she found out what had happened. This woman grew up expecting to become queen one day if her father Aemon ruled as king. Viserys and Daemon would have been to her less than what Jaehaerys and Alysanne were to their elder sister Rhaena during the reign of the Conqueror and their father - the little cousins from the lesser branch, boys didn't view as worthy enough for her own hand. Yes, the setup there really gives away that the writers and director didn't think about what happened prior to that scene, they just shot this because of the payoff, not because this was a logical or natural conclusion. There would have been easy ways to shoot it different, say, by moving it to the king's solar, with Viserys first making an announcement to Rhaenyra and the Velaryons, before calling in Otto and Alicent - or by him calling Alicent into the council chamber for the annoucement. Hell, even something as easy as focusing on Rhaenyra when she enters the room, showing curiosity and confusion about Alicent being there. That is something they could have covered, especially since Rhaenyra kind of randomly mentions that the councilmen are plotting to marry her father to a new wife ... even before the Laena thing starts. But with the Targaryen marriage policies Laena is the obvious match - and it is good that Lyonel Strong points that out. Who else would have had her advantages. I know about those scenes - they are the obvious payoff after the payoff. Rhaenyra should have such thoughts as the entire thing happened behind her back. Hell, it could have even been better if she had found out about Alicent's secret meetings shortly before the announcement, thinking Alicent had been pulling a really weird thing behind her back. But it would have been even better if we had just learned what Alicent wanted herself. Not having that ... and having Emily-Alicent struggling being a queen for effectively the remainder of the first half of the season is very detrimental to the character. We know that she is kind of unhappy with her lot in life ... but we don't know if or what she would have wanted instead. Being queen is completely separate from being Viserys' wife. It is a position in itself, one that comes with tremendous prestige, formal and informal power, etc. It is very odd that Alicent apparently also didn't want that - just as it makes really no sense that Queen Alicent would not immediately outshine and erase the memory of Queen Aemma the moment she started to give the king and the Realm sons. I actually don't think the Milly-Rhaenyra is particularly bratty. She is annoyed about the behavior of a bunch of no-name knights who compete for her hand ... but that's it. In direct conversation she is always pretty nice and tries not to hurt or antagonize anyone.
  23. In the book she is made Viserys' cupbearer a short time before she is named heir, and she is a young girl at that time, seven if I remember correctly. But it is a huge favor by the king, something courtiers and lords notice andpic catch up on. And afterwards people start to seek her favor. She does have a special, exalted position for a royal princess even before she is named Heir Apparent. And that is something the show did not properly portray - despite the fact that they apparently tried to do that. We don't see him doing it in either medium, but in the show she did learn. And she clearly is better prepared for her role in the book, too. She cannot handle her losses and, perhaps, also the strain/stress of the war ... but she is much better prepared to rule than Aegon II. Who basically behaves like a caricature of a bad king. Could be. Alicent and Rhaenyra should have had some companions in the godswood and sept, and we should more often see her with a coterie of ladies. In episode 2 she should have been with her ladies while assessing the candidates for the Kingsguard. But it is worse that Alicent later has no ladies around her. She is the queen, after all. She should never be alone.
  24. On to 'The Rogue Prince': That episode works much better than the pilot. It is more concise, focusing on two clear plots. But there are considerable issues as well. Half a year has passed yet Rhaenyra being declared the Heir Apparent in a huge ceremony had literally no effects or consequences at all. She still serves as cupbearer at the Small Council and doesn't have a seat there. She has no voice nor does her father have changed her status so that she sits at the table to watch and listen how the Realm is run. Otto Hightower - at that time still 'the Queenmaker' - also has made no attempt to try to prepare Rhaenyra for her future role. All that undermines what has happened in the previous episode and doesn't reflect that months have passed. More problematic in this regard is the implication that Viserys and Alicent apparently have regular (daily?) conversations since their first private meeting in the pilot ... but Rhaenyra has no clue about that despite the fact that Viserys only asks Alicent in this very episode to not talk to Rhaenyra about them talking about her. That just makes no sense in light of the fact that Rhaenyra and Alicent are besties. But not only in that light - also simply because they live in the same castle and all see each other. These meetings are not 'secret' as such, so Rhaenyra should have learned about them somehow, possibly even by way of chancing on them in her father's chambers, by way of gossip from servants and KG, etc. Even weirder is the implication that Otto still sends Alicent to Viserys - they have an established relationship now, and Viserys is the king. Dropping in on him like Alicent did in the pilot was already a risky thing but the idea that she can continue to just visit him whenever she or her father feel she should feels wrong. Viserys would summon her whenever he wanted her to keep him company, not the other way around. If they wanted to show that Alicent was uncomfortable with things it should have been about Viserys calling on her - not her father pushing her to visit him. Corlys Velaryon really comes across as a guy who isn't the book character at all. His speech about him being a second son selfmade guy feels forced and isn't delivered well. The man accomplished so much he shouldn't be that eager for the throne. And the way Otto treats Corlys also feels like something he wouldn't do - or only if he was truly overreaching himself at that point. Corlys is the most famous man alive, a titan among the living, and Otto is allegedly a learned, scholarly man. He is more likely to befriend Corlys, enjoy his stories from the far corners of the world than antagonize him over trivial issues. I also doesn't like that Corlys and not Rhaenys is the ambitious one there. She is royalty - even more so in the show than the books as the Velaryon-Targaryen link is clearly less pronounced in the show. Laena's talk about her giving Viserys strong pureblooded Valyrian mixed race children is kind of unintentionally funny. It would be odd talk in general, but this notion that these two families who look distinctly different are 'pureblooded' gives the concept a strange vibe. It gets even more confusing when we learn the Velaryons never were dragonlords, so why is it then great for the Targaryens to intermarry with them? In the book it is clear that it is because Targaryens have married into House Velaryon before. It also feels kind of weird that Corlys presents his family as a kind of rival Valyrian power to the Targaryens. They are not. They are close allies, always have been, and the present issue is that they represent the female branch of House Targaryen now ... not an independent power. I get it that the show had to introduce them ... but it just feels off. The Rhaenys-Rhaenyra conversation rubbed me another way this time. I'm sure they didn't want to write it like that, but Rhaenyra is the more mature person there. Rhaenys is concerned with her own loss, with the fact that she lost a popularity contests ... but her case and Rhaenyra's are distinctly different. Rhaenys was never named Heir Apparent to the Iron Throne by a king. And Rhaenyra's take on things there is more accurate. Rhaenys is not wrong about how a brother of Rhaenyra might be viewed ... but the notion that it is meaningless what a Targaryen king decrees is a pretty bad take on her side. Also her bitterness leading her to declare that the men would rather burn the Realm than suffer a female ruler. Worst of all is Rhaenys mocking Rhaenyra's job as cupbearer when that's actually a privileged position, a way a young prince or princess can first watch how the adults are running things, how the king deals with his advisers and lords, etc. Making fun of them really casts the whole thing in a bad light. Otto again strikes one as a kind of moron. In the pilot he insidiously tries to push Viserys to cut out Baratheon tongues, now he jumps on the chance to drive an even deeper wedge between Viserys and Daemon. It seems all he could think of was to go to Dragonstone and return with another horror story about Daemon's behavior and conduct. And that's also a moment where Viserys is really weak - he should have never allowed Otto to represent him in a struggle with Daemon that could escalate. Otto cannot think straight with the man ... and Daemon would have no problem cutting Otto down. Really funny, though, is Otto's naive approach. He didn't even think about Caraxes, apparently. Unitentionally this also highlights the problem of George's silly setting there, dragon-wise, when Otto prattles on about the commands of King Viserys, etc. when the king doesn't even have a dragon. He couldn't possibly oppose Rhaenys or Daemon or his own daughter if they were facing him on dragonback. And the show raises that issue twice - first when Rhaenyra talks about the king's dragonriders and then later when Caraxes confronts Otto and his guys ... and Syrax's presence immediately puts Rhaenyra in charge over Otto. This episode really shows in what sense dragons are power ... while also exposing the flaws in George's worldbuilding. We also see what kind of pompous ass Otto is when he derides Mysaria and any children Daemon and she might have. It is clear where Alicent's strict view of marriage and bastards comes from. This is just asshole behavior, though. One we also saw earlier, in episode 1, when Otto presumed to lecture Daemon about his duties as a husband. Daemon is a royal prince, there were Targaryen kings who practiced polygamy, and in the show setting this clearly didn't fall out of practice. For Viserys and Rhaenyra the theft of Baelon's egg is an issue ... not so much his declaration he is going to take a second wife. Viserys' quest to find another wife also works very well. It would have been great, though, to see more how Alicent feels about the entire thing. The show as a whole actually fails to tell us how she felt about Viserys, truly. It is clear she didn't hate or dislike him very much ... but we don't know if she wanted to marry him, wanted to be queen, had a crush on somebody else, etc. I understand that the Alicent thing being the surprise of the episode made it harder to explore this - which is the reason why the show needed an episode starting with the wedding and culminating in Aegon's birth. How do we interpret her mending the dragon figure and turning it into a gift for the king? It shows that she insightful and caring ... but is it supposed to have a deeper meaning? I don't know. This could also have helped to draw out the Criston Cole plot some more. Rhaenyra picking him works fine ... but this feels like something she would have been charged with before she was the Heir Apparent - in her new position this is more a humiliation. Basically, we should have had cupbearer Rhaenyra interrupt the council session back in the pilot - to the irritation of some of the men and the enjoyment/fun of Viserys who should have had her there from the start to learn something. After her investiture she should have had a seat at the council and the pushback from some of the men should have been more about a woman sitting on the council than a young girl making a bold suggestion. Viserys' later talk with Rhaenyra about her suggestion at the council felt better during the rewatch as his 'You will learn' is something we see she has done later. But it would have been great to see more of that process. If I remember correctly, Milly-Rhaenyra has a weird arc which has her very much in charge in episode 2 only to regress in episodes 3-5. I'll have to rewatch them first, but framing the search for a husband for Rhaenyra as something that undermines her role as heir is something that makes no longer any sense after Viserys confirmed her as heir in episode 3. Mysaria wasn't that bad in that episode, although it would have been interesting to have a scene with her and Daemon that made it clear what she intended to do now.
  25. I remember those but I think even with them in there there would have been too little coverage of Rhaenyra's grief. The Alicent scene could have helped if it also expressed that she knows that her father's wish for a son killed her mother. Even after the funeral, the episode as it is feels completely weird when Viserys asks the council where Rhaenyra is - a question the audience would also like to get an answer to - and then we just spent minutes and minutes with other characters. But the cut from the birth scene to the funeral is just brutal - there would be one or multiple days between them, and it seems obvious that we could have seen scenes around Aemma's bier, a montage of various characters being told what happened, etc. With Alicent being sent to Viserys by her father, Rhaenyra could have been searched out by Laena and Laenor, fleshing them out some more. The reports of that scene said that Daemon's speech expressed genuine grief and was only interpreted as a joke by his drunk buddies. It would have been good to see that to highlight how reports can be used to (intentionally) misconstrue something that happened. I'd have liked to see the prophecy talk between Daemon and Viserys, too, but that's something you don't really miss. If they moved the 'search for an heir' plot to the next episode then it would have made sense to have this scene there. Viserys' own reasons to choose Rhaenyra as heir are never actually given ... and that could have been a complex thing. That is likely true, I think I'll talk about that more when I rewatch episode 3. I actually do like that the 'the son should be the heir' thing doesn't start immediately with Aegon's birth. In context it seems evident that it was a mistake to skip over both Alicent's wedding and Aegon's birth. Nope, Maelor is in the opening credits of the final episodes of the first season, so chances that he will be cut are about zero. @The Bard of Banefort apparently wishes Maelor would be cut - because she doesn't want to see his death scene. But chances that they actual include both Daeron and Maelor and the twins in the credits while only showing the twins on screen when they don't have actually decided to have both of them in season 2 are about zero. They are not that unprofessional.
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