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The Fourth Head

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  1. The Fourth Head

    How would you rate episode 409?

    More nitpicking bringing it down from 10 to 8 for me: 1) With Jon fully fit, wouldn't it have been an opportunity for Thorne to order him to stay in a CB tower shooting arrows to defend the gate from the south side with the boy as a means of belittling him, preventing Jon from upstaging or undermining his battle plans? We could have had all the Satin bonding stuff with this Olly boy- a Bran or Rickon substitiute- and provided a sense of sequence as Jon would have started off basically on his own in command of one boy- Jon then could have wrestled with his discipline as we watch with him the wildlings killing his friends as he's stuck in a static position contrasting with the melee of the wildings advance as they get closer and closer to the gate and closer and closer to the tower roof before having to defend the boy- thrilling. With Jon fit and able, that would have been even better than the books IMO, and the book was better than the show here IMO. Battling to maintain discipline, defend the gate with arrows, and not rush out and be the hero leader like Thorne. Eventually, Jon sees Thorne try and play the hero, fall, and enters the fray to organise a discliplined defense of the gate and tactical withdrawal up the stairs. THEN we get very clear progression in Jon's ascension to authority rather than Grenn tricking Slynt away (which makes me think we WONT now get Sam's trick next season to enable Jon to become LC, as GOT seems to use these homages as substitution- like Thorne sending Jon off to Crasters instead of sending Jon off to speak with Mance- if we get one, it's because we wont get the other). 2) I really sorely missed the stair collapse moment. Rather than "outfight" the southern wildings- a mental solution for the show where basically, a few more men of the NW come down and - defeat the Thenns due mainly to Jon's unstoppable fighting prowess (!!!). -this trick was brilliant as it really showed they had been outmatched in fighting, but not in wits. Jon could even have improvised it organising a disciplined withdrawal, and coming up with the stairs plan on the hoof after Thorne fell- with barrels of oil from the wall- pouring oil down the stairs and destroying the charging Thenns. Then Jon could have progressed from stuck in a little tower, impotent, to coordinating the defeat of the southern wildlings, to FINALLY getting on top of the wall, where Slynt was making a mess of it and taking the initiative back. 3) There was no sense of the watch's need to defend the gate from the wildlings to the south, which is why for half the episode, the fight seemed chaotic and unfocussed. I badly missed that clear sense of progression in the books. 4) WHY did the giants and mammoths stroll up to the gate, attach ropes, insert crowbars, and start pulling without a single arrow being fired at them? Why did the final giant, after the oil barrels fell, not face a single arrow being fired at him as he went about lifting the gate? I understand the angle issue, (he was so close to the wall) but without an order being given ("save your arrows- he's too close!") it made no sense- at least have arrows landing behind him as the watch desperately tried to stop him from the top of the wall. Instead, we had Jon chatting to Gren and the Giant calmly went about his work, as unhurried as a british road worker. 5) One mammoth and 2 giants sauntering up to the gates unprotected, and unmolested? what happened to the massive turtle slowly advancing? again- no tactics here.
  2. The Fourth Head

    How would you rate episode 409?

    I voted 8. It was certainly the most entertaining episode of the season, and I recognise the value of ending with Jon's decision to nobly walk out to his certain death, but it's no blackwater because this episode was basically 50 minutes making the journey from "we're doomed" to "we're doomed". After maintaining the dread for 50 minutes, the time was ripe for Stannis to have his moment- his blackwater revenge episode. Now, all that atmosphere will be lost between now and next week and I for one will care that little bit less by separating that moment of dread for the entire NW, from that moment of salvation. Now they will have to build it all again, and during a ceasefire, I doubt that will be possible. Seriously, if we get a 5 minute sojourn next week, somewhere inbetween wrapping out heads around Uncat, Bran's Hodoring, the COTF, Tyrion's wife backstory, Shaes' death, or Tywins death to return to the wall, it will be totally cramped for style. Oh btw- Jons in a tent and heres Stannis on a horse- end scene. This week was the perfect moment for Stannis- newt week, he will be a small fish in a big pond.
  3. The Fourth Head

    [Book Spoilers] EP404 Discussion

    I can only assume the the flagrant undertones from Slynt and Thorne that Jon was being played for a fool thoughout his hollywood speech was apparently lost on you then. I enjoyed the parallel drawn between Ned and Jeor, with Jon clearly projecting of his own emotional moral indignation for his father's treatment and projecting it onto Jeor, therefore, risking the lives of some of the precious 100 men who were desperately needed to man the walls, and whom Thorne would not have sanctioned to leave but for his own hatred at the idea of taking orders from Jon. It's not the most sensible of missions. If they run into Mance, or Mance and the Thenns reach castle back before Jon returns, they will have seriously messed up. I loved the acting. I loved Jon's insecurity at the start, his humbleness to Thorne, his struggle to get their attention, his down to earth accent mingled with his intelligence, the sudden emotion coming through with the BITTERNESS when describing Jeor's treatment "stabbed in the back by COWARDS"- I take it you missed the lashings of dramatic irony and foreshadowing there? Because I though that was the best line of the episode. The Stark idealism was creeping in, whilst all the time, the equally persuasive Thorne and Slynt looked on sniggering into their chicken: but perhaps this multilayered nuance just "too Hollywood" for your tastes? On another topic: Locke. I really hope he isn't Bowen Marsh. Now that would be dumbing things down unnecessarily. Jon's fate was hotly debated: had he betrayed the watch and broken his oath? Had he followed his heart and abandoning his duty: the culmination of a path that started the moment Quorin asked him to kill him? For great people, rules are just guidelines, but that doesn't mean breaking them is always right. If Locke is Marsh, then it will take all responsibility away from Jon and ruin his carefully crafted learning to lead arc. I'm holding out, because I really hope we are due some new characters on the wall in season 5 after the Wall has been won. There wont be a choosing until season 5 surely? Not considering Stannis hasn't even decided to set off up north yet and we are 4 episodes in already, nor has the Craster keep plot been resolved, or the Thenn attack started. In the books, Marsh is not in Castle Black at this stage so there is scope for Pyke, Mallister and Marsh to be introduced with Marsh returning bitter from his fight on the bridge. They are important characters in the book and it would be crazy to cut any of them. Another issue with Locke kicking around CB for the next 3 seasons is: what about Rickon? So he knows Bran is out of the picture north of the wall, and Jon Snow is content on the wall fighting other battles. For all he knows, Rickon Stark could be with the Manderleys, or the Umbers, plotting an overthrow. Bolton charged him with finding "the boys" he will not thank Locke if he spends the next 3 seasons perched on a wall when he is supposed to be Bolton's best hunter. HBO loves "activating" their talented cast- that was what Crasters was all about. I would be upset not to see Locke go sniffing after Osha and Rickon, and see a bit of the Umbers.
  4. The Fourth Head

    References and Homages

    A Lengthy post drawing an overwhelming parallel between Littlefinger and the nature and symbolism of Hares... http://asoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/topic/88292-littlefinger-and-potted-hare/ In ACOK, Joffrey is trying to catch Hares outside, Tyrion is trying to catch LF within. The parallel's go on and on, and seem quite deliberate on GRRM's part
  5. The Fourth Head

    [Book Spoilers] EP308 Discussion

    since season 2, I've been buzzing on the amazing music written for the Others- so where was it? That Sam scene was excellent- but it could have been mind-bendingly terrifying had the Other been approaching to the accompaniment of that dread-music- just as they did when he approached at the end of season 2. they had a few screeches, but that was about it. On the whole, that episode lacked music to drive it on. It was well written and crafted, but I wasn't emotionally on board. A noisy musical wedding would have contrasted well with the glum moods of Tyrion, Sansa, Cercei, Margary, Loras, Tywin, but it was lost in the background making for a more sedate affair.
  6. The Fourth Head

    How would you rate episode 308?

    I'm surprised how positive this episode was received. They kept close to the books- fine, but considering the quality of the material, it was the least entertaining hour of TV I have watched yet. I gave it a 6.5, rounded up to 7. Never has an hour of GOT passed by so slowly. Reasons? Something as basic as louder music can really enhance the feel of a scene. There was so little of it. There were far too many long pauses, dead air, followed by flat lines. The quality of the source material guaranteed the wedding would be entertaining, but it fell a little flat emotionally. Where was the sharp contrast between the energy of the music, and the misery of the people? The music was barely audible and nothing like how I imagined it. I was expecting us to hear "rains of castamere" as well but no. A missed opportunity which could have major consequences for unsullied next episode. Without Cat spelling it out- "oh no, not the Rains of Castamere- that's the Lannister song!" the relevance will be totally missed until crossbow quarrels start to fly. I understand the value of longer scenes, but why does so much time need to be devoted to discussing the quality of Dany's Dothraki, unnecessary reminders about Davos' inability to read, or Sam explaining to Gilly what surnames are? Who cares?! It served no purpose in enhancing the overall scene. Why does a Yunkai sellsword company of two thousand men get more time and attention in one episode than Roose Bolton had received in 2 series? They aren't important. Dany would have won the fight without them anyway, and Daario's whole purpose is an irrelevant love distraction- no more. It just doesn't interest me. If episode 9 is to be a proper climax, why are we not getting any build up? Time spent fleshing out the second sons could have been spent reminding us that in westeros there is a war happening, which after 8 episodes this season, look totally forgotten. Why couldn't we see Robb and Roose' reunion prior to entering the twins, discussing the events of the ruby ford- an almighty significant forerunner- his lack of men, Robb could consult with some more northern bannermen about the events in order to flesh out a "Smalljon" or "Manderly" character who demonstrates goodwill towards Robb, or why not spend more time developing Arya and the Hound's relationship? With such a large cast of underserviced characters, I was annoyed that the Titan's Bastard got so much attention and I hope we don't get a squashed and rushed RW as a result. There is a lot of material to get through here. One thing I was delighted about- the final scene. I was relieved not to see Coldhands- yet. There is plenty of time for him to arrive. what is far more important to "The Song of Ice and Fire" is ensuring the inclusion of the Sam the Slayer scene which I was getting pretty anxious about- I was scared they would miss it out all together. The relevance of Dragonglass very important, as is Sam's journey from coward to someone with a degree of bravery and use. After 2.7 seasons playing the fool, it was high time people started caring about him and stopped seeing him as a boring, irritating idiot. It was high time the north received some tension, and we got it. hats off.
  7. The Fourth Head

    [Book Spoilers] EP303 Discussion

    Or put more simply, ever since they created that shadowbaby together, Melisandre has provided Stannis with the opportunity of fucking his way to power. Lusting after his rightful inheritance, lusting after the respect he so craves, and lusting after Melisandre's cunt are now one and the same.
  8. The Fourth Head

    [Book Spoilers] EP303 Discussion

    aww, don't tell me you have never felt like laughing at the worst possible moment? It isn't deliberate, but funerals can be like torture for young people, especially if you never knew the person, and especially if things go wrong. It's called black humour, not diesrespect, and some of the most delicious humour comes at inappropriate times, and in spite of your acute knowledge that it is wrong. It just cant be helped. Robb wasn't a "haw haw" laugh, it was a stifled smile that he fought to stop. the North respect strength, and Edmure, the guy who had just messed up his war plans was making a spectacular ass of himself. It also reminded us that Robb may be a great war leader, but he is also a boy. As for the Cat scene, I understand she divides people in general. I have never been a massive fan of her, but I thought Michelle Fairley's performance this week was heartrending. I have sat on a windowsill waiting for my mother. I totally bought her sobs, and I totally yearned for her, and Bran and Rickon to be reunited at that moment. The RW just makes it worse...
  9. The Fourth Head

    How would you rate episode 303?

    Superb episode- easily the best so far this series. I gave it a 9. I agree with most comments, and once again, the the set design and cinematic settings were breathtakingly beautiful. The Tully woodcarving ornamentation, Tyrion's quarters, the Astapori coastine, all were good enough to distract me during 53 minutes of compelling storying. I would have given it a 10, but the end credit's don't work for me. I understand why they did it. They were probably feeling self conscious writing a mainstream show featuring themes of female rape, male rape, cannibalism, torture and butchery of both horse and man, and felt viewers needed a breath of relief at the end, but for me it was a step too far. I thoroughly appreciate cognitive dissonance when it's done right, but inappropriate levity is one thing, anachronistic, inapproprate levity is a big WFT in my view. Its too far a step to feel the connection. A light joyous rendition with laughter may not have relieved the horror, but it would have added to the ending rather than severing it off... (which was perhaps the point! but still, it doesn't work.) As for the Stannis scene, and people calling it "character assasination" all I'll say is that the good scenes don't wash out the bad, nor the bad the good. TV fans are hardly likely to forget the strong sense of justice and entitlement that he portrayed to Davos in season 2. I didn't like the line "I want you" as it made him seem weaker than he is portrayed in the books, true, but taking the scene as a whole, it hit all the notes as his motives were clearly about more than mere lust. As we don't have a Stannis POV in the books, we perhaps don't fully appreciate how such a rigid man can be unfaithful to his wife, and the simple explanation is that the priestess of the lord of light has seduced Stannis by merging sex and power as one. That emphasis was lost on me in the books due to the "eyes" of the people we see her through, none of which have a burning desire to be king, making her sexual wiles nothing more than that.
  10. The Fourth Head

    How would you rate episode 301?

    Fair question. I'm assuming a crow was sent by Tywin to the Mountain telling him not to engage the enemy and fall back. Since commanding the Mountain to hold HH, the game has changed, and Tywin doesn't need to hold on to HH with force. Falling back would avoid sapping his own strength, deny Robb a probable victory, and to deny his camp a morale-boosting win. All part of the game.
  11. The Fourth Head

    How would you rate episode 301?

    I gave it an 8- a great TV adaptation I don't want a recital of the book- that's boring. I like the way the writers keep the readers on their toes, add some great lines, and make subtle nods to various things- even in Sansa's scene watching the ships come in and out of harbour- a great nod to GRRM, a nice way to remind us of Volantis and Dorne, a nice way to use the scenery, and a great device to portray her desire to escape. Florian the fool? Yawn. Bye Bye and thankyou.
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