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  1. Catastrophe

    [Book Spoilers] EP 210 Discussion

    The Ironborn handed Theon over to the Northern army in exchange for being allowed to leave unharmed. This was set up two episodes ago, when Robb told Roose Bolton to have his bastard son release any Ironborn who surrendered, except for Theon himself. The Northmen must've met with Dagmer and the other Ironborn at some point during the night and worked out a deal. As for Winterfell being burned to the ground, that part is really unclear. I'm assuming that the Bastard of Bolton did it, as he did in the books, but it's hard to tell for sure from what little information we've been given. I agree that this whole plot could've been handled much better, the screenwriters made it way too confusing. I can't imagine any casual viewer figuring this out on their own. Even in the books, the distinction between the Others and the Wights was unclear to a lot of people, so it's not just a problem with the show. (Just look at the ASoIaF General forum, seems like every other week there's someone who read all five books and still doesn't get it.) That's one of the things I really liked about the comic book adaptation of AGoT: It was crystal clear, right from the first few pages, that the Others and the Wights were very different beings.
  2. Catastrophe

    [Book Spoilers] EP 207 Discussion

    In a lot of ways, I almost felt like this episode was specifically designed to shock people who read the books. There were at least three occasions where I sat back in total surprise. I liked the Qarth changes a lot. Dany's time in Qarth was rather boring in the books, so I'm glad they're actually having things happen there in the TV show. Xaro and Pyat Pree's coup was believable, and it establishes them as serious and credible threats for Dany. I'm really looking forward to seeing the House of the Undying next episode. I also like the dynamic between Tywin and Arya, it's absolutely brilliant character interaction. I don't think it's as out-of-character for Tywin as people think. He's in private with a lowly serving girl, it makes sense he'd let his guard down a little bit. I can definitely see how Arya would remind him of Cersei too. I don't think these scenes make Tywin look weak either, he's always made it very clear to Arya that he's her master. He's a master who can be kind to his servants when they serve him well, but he's still careful to make sure they don't get too comfortable around him. In my opinion this is completely consistent with the way Tywin was portrayed in the books. What happened with Jaime, on the other hand... I have very mixed feelings about it. On the one hand, it was incredibly well-done. I was suckered right along with Alton into thinking that Jaime was a decent guy trying to be friendly. I felt like I'd been punched in the gut when the poor sap got murdered, which is a lot more than I felt when Cleos Frey died in the books. I can see why Nikolaj Coster-Waldau said it was the best scene he'd ever done, and I'm inclined to agree with him. In terms of writing, acting, and directing, it was a superb scene. My problem with the scene is that it effectively makes it impossible for Jaime to have a convincing redemption arc, as he does in the books. This version of Jaime is a cold-blooded sociopath. He's about as close to irredeemable as you can get. Unless they completely change around his role later in the series, I don't see how this characterization could possibly work in the long run. Also, they had Jaime kill Karstark's son during his escape, rather than on the battlefield. It makes sense for a TV show, since it'd be hard to build a plot around something that happened off-camera last season, but it makes Karstark's attitude seem a lot more sympathetic and reasonable. (I know Jaime killed some Riverrun guards in the books too, but that was never why Karstark hated him.) I'm also baffled by their choice to have Catelyn free Jaime before she finds out about Bran and Rickon's "deaths," that was the one mitigating factor that made her decision understandable. The way the show's portrayed things, I'd be on Karstark's side.