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True, the TV show's writers are not only changing the plotlines, they are drastically altering the characters. And they didn't have to do so; Ellaria would have been just as interesting, perhaps even more so, if she had not been thirsting for Myrcella's blood.

I actually agree with this especially since they did cast three revenge seeking sand snakes including making one of them Ellaria's daughter which would have made her speech from the book even more powerful. The writers decided to go in a different direction, we wills ee how it works out.

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Anyone see the similarity with Dany's situation this episode to the situation Robb was in with Rickard Karstark? Both executed one of their own for killing their prisoner. Didn't end very well for Robb

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I don't even know where to begin, I'm so stoked about this episode.

First, Lollys is adorable. I hope she and Bronn stay pen pals, even if he has to go be Jaime's man in Dorne.

LYANNA MORMONT'S ANGRY CHILD HANDWRITING TELLING STANNIS WHATS WHAT

Drogon has a face that expresses a personality. I am still astonished at the skill of the people who make that happen.

Dany's conversation with Barristan was phenomenal and did the legwork of an entire book. Thank you, writers, for expediting this development and simultaneously making both characters a lot more dynamic a lot faster. When Mossador started talking about his father and wanting his life to have meant something, the look on Dany's face was agonizing.

I don't hate hawkish Ellaria. I was definitely anticipating that she'd go this direction, and besides I feel it's in character for her TV version. She has never been all sweetness and light, and even if she hadn't seen Cersei's and Tywin's vileness in the flesh at Joffreys wedding, she certainly got to see the Lannister family dynamic during the farce of a trial Tyrion got. Plus, she kind of did watch her lovers head get crushed by the man who was instructed by Tywin Lannister to rape, murder and slay the children of the woman who would have been her sister in law (of a sort), with no repercussion whatsoever, and then probably saw Cersei looking at the carnage and smirking. So, there's that.

The Sam, Gilly and Shireen scene was brilliant. The writers have an uncanny way of finding alienated characters to put together in ways that you can't imagine in the books.

I will say that I was left a bit wanting by Brienne and Pod this week, but you can't always win them all.

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And what was she like "last season"? When did she espouse any non-violent policies? You can't say "Well, Oberyn said this"...because she's NOT Oberyn and there's no reason to hold her to his words.

Basically, she was Oberyn's arm candy last season...who looked on as he so nonchalantly stabbed a man in the wrist for sining the Lannister song and then started passionately kissing him afterwards. So yeah, I don't see any contradictions in her character AS PRESENTED in the show.

Well, the mere fact that Oberyn said what he said is important. Because, when you are avenging the person, you kinda don't want to prove that whatever he said is a BS. The contradiction is that Ellaria this season is so different from those moments we had about her. Even the aesthetics is hilariously serving to this. Ellaria was the one who tried to calm down Oberyn when he heard Rains, and let him harm them after they insulted both of them. This new Ellaria makes no sense to narrative. Which is why you don't fuse multiple characters without actually thinking it through. I guess this season we won't be hearing complaints about show being ignored by any sensible critic.

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Anyone see the similarity with Dany's situation this episode to the situation Robb was in with Rickard Karstark? Both executed one of their own for killing their prisoner. Didn't end very well for Robb

Here's to hoping it ends with the same result as Robb in the future.

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Not sure how to reconcile that Brianne dismissed looking for Arya because she declined her help then shifts to following Sansa further North to protect her for her own good. Pod was still charmingly useful and incompetent in the same episode.


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And the actress would have maybe one scene to say don't take vengeance and then she would be gone. That was book Ellaria. I like the actress and so I like that they have re-written her to want vengeance.

The writers could, if they exerted themselves, find a way of keeping her in the show. She could be in conflict with the 3 Sand Snakes (which would be interesting if one of them is her daughter, as I've heard) on the show; and be a voice of reason, though passionate about it; a mourning woman who (unlike Cersei) does not want to torture/kill innocent people in revenge for the loss of her beloved.

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Doran's gonna be great; glad Charles Dance's shoes at least being partly filled.

Bit disappointed they went with the Karstark dilemma in Mereen. Tyrion and Varys are going to be fun; Bronn and Jaime have potential.

Am getting tired of Sansa's 2 available facial expressions...heading into Kit Harrington territory. Missed all the political hijinxs at the Wall, it went down pretty Disney. The Shireen/Sam/Gilly trio is way too Melba Toast. Zero chemistry; less interest.

Jon & Stannis might equal book chemistry. This was Dillane's best performance IMO, though pretty low key.

Braavos looked cool. Arts/JH just okay. The pigeon decapitation was well done.

Cersei's scene was very good, but again at the expense of making Jaime pretty mundane. It's like they've decided only one twin can shine at a time.

Edited by James Arryn

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What extenuating circumstances are there when you unapologetically murder someone who is being held in custody?

But she gave him a trial. He confessed and believed he had a good reason to commit murder. The crowd didn't understand or agree but she did hand out justice.

But the parallelism should be obvious - it's an exact duplicate of Robb beheading Karstark for killing the two Lannister boys who were prisoners.

ETA: I see I was ninja'd by Hide and Seek Champion on that observation.

Edited by A Man Has Said

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Well, the mere fact that Oberyn said what he said is important. Because, when you are avenging the person, you kinda don't want to prove that whatever he said is a BS. The contradiction is that Ellaria this season is so different from those moments we had about her. Even the aesthetics is hilariously serving to this. Ellaria was the one who tried to calm down Oberyn when he heard Rains, and let him harm them after they insulted both of them. This new Ellaria makes no sense to narrative. Which is why you don't fuse multiple characters without actually thinking it through. I guess this season we won't be hearing complaints about show being ignored by any sensible critic.

You are right, I forgot about Ellaria trying to calm Oberyn down, that definitely is a totally different character. She knows the pain Oberyn wen through with loosing his sister, yet she still was pleading with him to let things go. Yet Now, with her experiencing the same loss, she did a complete 180 and is basically acting exactly like Oberyn did. I concede Risto, you are right. I expect Sj4 to do the same....will wait on that actually. Forever, as he seems to defend the show alot...

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Hey, did anyone else catch that Varys said that they were going to go to Volantis first?

I'm getting pretty desperate at this point, but do you think it might mean that...?

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All I know is that I cannot wait for Season 5 of GoT to begin.



This week was better paced than last week; things actually moved… just not fast at all.



What I liked:



Sansa, the Stark: Of all the Starks left on the show, Sansa acted the most Stark this week. Sure, Brienne is true and loyal and honest and … and whatever else she is, but Sansa does not know her; cannot trust her; will not trust her. She swore fealty to Joff AFTER she supposedly swore fealty to Renly… and then Cat. Sansa, cannot trust somebody she does not know, and Brienne- while honest and true and, ultimately, right cannot be anything else besides what she is: a desperate stranger. Solid writing right there.



The King At the Wall: Stannis was solidly Stannis this week; he was a hard-ass and utterly unrepentant and I liked his interplay with Jon Snow. I loved how he stated what he was and what he wanted- it would eventually be echoed by Dany a few scenes later. Overall, Stannis is building real momentum.


Honorable Mention: I liked that Jon Snow was with Mallister. Big improvement from the book where Jon Snow loves and cares about the Watch so much he doesn’t vote.



Queen Slave And Drogon: That scene was gorgeous. Simple, effective, powerful, loving, tender. I also liked how she listened to her counsel and Selmy’s really potent input.



The fact that the rest of the scene was dog poop when the slaves … revolt… because this guy committed a crime … I … w… what? Why… why is that even there? … anyway… that ddi not spoil the Drogon scene.



Tyrion and the Spider: Simple scene, great dialog. Would have been better had it been done last week. Fuck that’s taking along time to develop. Shit this is going slowly.



Doran Martell: I find Dorne already loathsomely boring. Hey look a Sandsnake… which one is she? Does it matter? What are Sand Snakes again? But Doran acts like a leader; he cannot afford crazy moved or impulses of whimsy; even hot, justified passions cannot be a guiding principal. No. Doran Martell must act like a man who is not acting like a man who wants to destroy the crown.



A Lion Still Has Claws and Mine are Long and Sharp, My Lord, as Long and Sharp as Yours: Obviously, bad ass of the episode goes to Kevan Lannister who basically said that he and Tywin were of a single mind on one issue: Tommen and Cersei have to be kept apart. Kevan does not respect nor worry about Cersei and that worked. Kevan was the most Lannister this evening.



The Crown Mother: But, don’t mistake good work when you see it. Cersei was solid. She still shows that great love of her children and desire to protect them; she still shows a bit of shrewdness- first in smelling out the Martells; next in naming Tyrell as Lord of Coin. And then she gets Jaime to go South- which seems to have been her intent all along. Yes, she did not expect Kevan to jump ship, but she gets what she wanted- a team loyal to her. Maybe that’s not what’s best but its better than the counsel Robert had.



What I am on the Fence About:



An Election: Improved? I think the election of Jon Snow as Lord Commander of the NW is, easily, the worst part of SoS. Unrealistic, silly, shallow, rushed, uninspired. Whatever. At least it had some logic to it: Sam Tarly deftly (but by no means cleverly) splits the vote between two favorites, delivering the Jon-Snow Dark Horse candidacy. Here? Mallister is there, but then Sam just… proposes Jon? And Allister is there. Who has had longer to gather men to his side, Thorne or Jon? I mean, really? But worse- its basically utterly stupid that Jon won. How?


Jon fought during the wilding siege; so did Thorne; Jon commanded; so did Thorne; Jon killed; so did Thorne; Thorne was wounded… I mean… it’s the same guy running! If ANYTHING, the guy who should have won was Mallister; the two guys of Castle Black would have split the vote between them and possibly allowed for Mallister to emerge as the dark horse. But … no… not … even though a huge chunk of Jon Snow’s support was actually slain at the battle… no … he wins. Why?



Reasons.



At LEAST Jon Snow voted, and it’s the same basic result as the books.



BTW- remember Ghost? Yeah, me neither.



Brienne of Tarth: Look, no more combat like that with Brienne. IN the books, there is some danger when she fights; the adversaries are horrid people and she is in uncharted waters. Here? Ah… we saw her defeat the Hound. Two guys with swords… she’s gonna win. We know she’s gonna win. Don’t show her again fighting anyone because… guess what? She’s gonna win. There is no danger here unless she fight somebody that matters. None of those shlubs mattered.



Now, Brienne’s speech to Sansa: good. Solid. Very true and wise. Her commands to Pod, good.



But… you have now discovered BOTH Stark Girls… neither of them want you. Why are you still doing this? Brienne’s single-minded determination and focus in SPITE of OVERWHELMING EVIDENCE is a characteristic you find in heroes and psychopaths. Raging, off-their-rocker psychopaths.


I want a character to go up to Brienne and say, “Ah, Brienne… didn’t you hear them? They both said ‘no’.”


“Yes,” she would reply. “But sometimes ‘no’ MEANS ‘yes’.”


Looks around uncomfortable, “Ah… Brienne… did… did you see that episode last season? Didn’t we fuck that up enough already?”




Jaime and A Special Guess Star … That We All Figured Out: So, when Jaime says he’s going South, but states that he is not going alone., I said, out loud, “Bronn.” No need to explain why- because it was the most obvious and clear choice. I don’t have a problem with Jaime bringing Bronn; it makes some sense. My issue is … if I can guess those things… it means the writing is slipping. Don’t do stuff that I can figure out; I’m not that bright. Bronn is a good choice, but don’t try to pass it off as a big reveal when… its not that clever.



What I Did Not Like:



The House of the ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ: HOLY. SHIT. No Arya in the first episode. We meet Arya and she goes to the House of the Black and White and Red All Over and… wow… sits there. Why? NO REASON! Literally no reason. Ever given. No reason. At all. But she waits. And it rains. And then it rains more. But she does not go in. Why? Because … ah… that would require the writers to actually move this story along and get to something that mattered.


Instead: A SCENE WE HAVE ALREADY SEEN!!!! That’s right! Arya… in an ally… with a sword… and pigeons!!! ! I remember season 1 too!!!!



Why can’t we go in? Why are we stuck out here where… nothing is happening? You know you have only 8 episodes left, right? And… oh, whatever… its mostly FfC and nothing happened there’re either.



Overall, another clunker of an episode. 0-for-2. Slow, plodding, uninspired. Slow… slow… slow….



The overall impression of the season before it was released was that it was “just as good” as the seasons before and “off books.”



The opposite, sadly, appears to be the case.


Edited by Rockroi

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Doran was perfect for me, Ellaria's reaction, on the other hand, makes no sense. She was there in KL. She saw Oberyn volunteer for the fight. Why they're doing this to her character I don't understand. The Sand Snakes being vengeful would have been more than enough. Also mutilating and killing a child goes against Oberyn saying in season 4 "we don't kill little girls in Dorne" (I'm remembering the quote so I may be off by a word or two).


Edited by Sun

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Alliser was an asshole to practically everybody. Alliser didn't listen to Jon when he warned them all about Mance. Finally, Alliser is friends with Slynt and guilty by association.

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Well, the mere fact that Oberyn said what he said is important. Because, when you are avenging the person, you kinda don't want to prove that whatever he said is a BS. The contradiction is that Ellaria this season is so different from those moments we had about her. Even the aesthetics is hilariously serving to this. Ellaria was the one who tried to calm down Oberyn when he heard Rains, and let him harm them after they insulted both of them. This new Ellaria makes no sense to narrative. Which is why you don't fuse multiple characters without actually thinking it through. I guess this season we won't be hearing complaints about show being ignored by any sensible critic.

Uh, no.

Oberyn and Doran have the same positions...because both stated the same thing.

Ellaria never stated her feelings on the subject before now, and you can't pin Oberyn's statements on her as if they were her own.

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House of Black and White was changed a lot. It's out in the middle of nowhere. Arya spends days talking about vengeance right outside the door (exactly what they don't want to hear from a candidate). Then they recruit her when she's getting into a fight. It's not what the FM are about. Why would they want Arya then? And the appearance of JH is a reassurance Arya never got in the books.

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Guest

Anyone see the similarity with Dany's situation this episode to the situation Robb was in with Rickard Karstark? Both executed one of their own for killing their prisoner. Didn't end very well for Robb

Yes! That's exactly what I thought. Dany is finding out exactly what it means to actually uphold justice, not just talk about it.

Brienne of Tarth: Look, no more combat like that with Brienne. IN the books, there is some danger when she fights; the adversaries are horrid people and she is in uncharted waters. Here? Ah… we saw her defeat the Hound. Two guys with swords… she’s gonna win. We know she’s gonna win. Don’t show her again fighting anyone because… guess what? She’s gonna win. There is no danger here unless she fight somebody that matters. None of those shlubs mattered.

Now, Brienne’s speech to Sansa: good. Solid. Very true and wise. Her commands to Pod, good.

But… you have now discovered BOTH Stark Girls… neither of them want you. Why are you still doing this? Brienne’s single-minded determination and focus in SPITE of OVERWHELMING EVIDENCE is a characteristic you find in heroes and psychopaths. Raging, off-their-rocker psychopaths.

I want a character to go up to Brienne and say, “Ah, Brienne… didn’t you hear them? They both said ‘no’.”

“Yes,” she would reply. “But sometimes ‘no’ MEANS ‘yes’.”

Looks around uncomfortable, “Ah… Brienne… did… did you see that episode last season? Didn’t we fuck that up enough already?”

To be fair to Brienne, she knows Cat didn't trust Littlefinger, and presumably she knows Littlefinger's rep. She can't do anything about Arya disappearing, but Sansa is right there in front of her. I can't really blame her for doing the "follow in stealth" thing after being rejected, especially if Pod told her any of the things he got up to in King's landing, or which side Baelish took when Ned Stark tried to stop the Queen.

Edited by BurningCandle

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BTW- remember Ghost? Yeah, me neither.

I remember him pretty vividly from the last episode, where he was out in the yard chewing on a bone while Jon trained with Olly.

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