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[Book Spoilers] EP504 Discussion

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See, the reason this doesn't fly for me is that the tactics of the spear and shield-equipped Unsullied are actually perfectly suited to fighting in the exact type of area in which they were fighting. Typical spear and shield fighters of that type stay close-ranked. They don't separate. The Unsullied have drilled over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over not to separate when stuff gets hairy. It's pretty much all they do.

If anything, especially being outnumbered, it helps out a lot to have a wall or two to cover a flank or two. Especially when most of the opposition is armed with piddly little daggers. For a group of soldiers who've studied and trained in nothing but combat tactics their entire lives they were woeful in that scene. It just doesn't just make no sense in terms of character, it makes negative sense.

Of course they were not in combat they were in an alley fight. The Phalanx only works if you have enough men to actually both use the shields to make a protective wall and spears to engage the enemy with. They had maybe 6 to8 guys and from what we have seen they fight in units of 50 or more. Moreover, they were surprised and engaged prior to attempting to form a formation. In those circumstances spears and Phalanx type training is actually a disadvantage as: 1, the spears are unwieldy in an alley and there learned tactics depend on their comrades for defensive cover. When they are faced with a sitution where they can not form an effective formation they fight as individual fighters with unwieldy weapons and no or little ability to defend from attacks. It's like when Roman legions were caught in within forests by Germanic warriors. They lost all their advantages and ere often wiped out to a man.

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He said he could. Doesn't mean he actually could at his advanced age.

Tywin said in a previous episode that his name still has weight with the people. Not that he was still a great fighter.

Cut threw six knights when wearing armor. His training is all about taking advantage of the protection the armor offers to allow him to use his skill. When he has no armor his style of fighting leaves him opn to lethal hits that would have bounced off his armor. Plus he has been fighting that way for 50 years, its not like he could change his style of fighting to compensate for the lack of armor.

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I'm not sure how I feel about the prostitutes helping the Harpy's sons. Wouldn't they be former slaves? So, they are essentially helping their former owners?

Why is it surprising that prostitutes could be bought for money? Their lives have not really improved all that much under Danny, they still sell their bodies to survive. Why should they not take a bag of silver to set up some guys who they have no long term relationship with and who a couple of days ago executed the slave representative to Danny's small council?

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Why is it surprising that prostitutes could be bought for money? Their lives have not really improved all that much under Danny, they still sell their bodies to survive. Why should they not take a bag of silver to set up some guys who they have no long term relationship with and who a couple of days ago executed the slave representative to Danny's small council?

They don't sell to survive, they sell cause it's more money than field labor.

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Do we know anything about how former slave prostitutes are living after they were freed?


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In book meereenese prostitutes are the red graces and they are firmly part of the establishment. The angry show harpy whore might be D&D's version of the Green Grace (if D & D were going to do the Green Grace this is how they would do her) and maybe she is actually orchestrating the whole thing rather than being just a helping hand. In episode 10 we will probably get a long, dull speech from her about why prostitution, fighting pits and slavery are great and why Dany is bad. Then Drogon will come down and kill them all.


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What's Roose going to do when he gets the request from Jon Snow for people for the wall?

will he send assassins ?

He'll likely just ignore it. Roose is a lot of things, most of them bad. But he already knows where Jon Snow is, or he should. If he wanted to be rid of him, he could've done it already.

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Of course they were not in combat they were in an alley fight. The Phalanx only works if you have enough men to actually both use the shields to make a protective wall and spears to engage the enemy with. They had maybe 6 to8 guys and from what we have seen they fight in units of 50 or more. Moreover, they were surprised and engaged prior to attempting to form a formation. In those circumstances spears and Phalanx type training is actually a disadvantage as: 1, the spears are unwieldy in an alley and there learned tactics depend on their comrades for defensive cover. When they are faced with a sitution where they can not form an effective formation they fight as individual fighters with unwieldy weapons and no or little ability to defend from attacks. It's like when Roman legions were caught in within forests by Germanic warriors. They lost all their advantages and ere often wiped out to a man.

Agreed. As I've said a couple of times in the thread, their style of fighting isn't suited to the type of situation that they found themselves in for the very reasons you describle. They would have been in serious trouble. I don't know if the show runners actually planned for it to be accurate, but it more or less was.

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When Roose sent Lock to hunt down Bran, Jon was mentioned but I don't remember how exactly. Someone made note of him, Ramsay I think, saying he was part Stark and could be a problem. Again, I don't remember what Roose had to say about it. Refresher?

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Agreed. As I've said a couple of times in the thread, their style of fighting isn't suited to the type of situation that they found themselves in for the very reasons you describle. They would have been in serious trouble. I don't know if the show runners actually planned for it to be accurate, but it more or less was.

It's not as much their fighting style as it is their course of actions.

They made no attempt to cover each other or coordinate their fighting. No orderly retreat (actually, no retreat whatsoever, but I guess character reasons would be good enough there), no commands being shouted (Grey Worm being their general and all, you'd think he'd have an instruction or two to come up with). No attempt to break out, or focus their attacks. The Unsullied had trained literally their entire lives for combat, not only the actual swinging of weapons but also their conduct in battle, yet they acted laughably unprofessional. Even at a disadvantage, they would know better than to try their chances at the "every man for himself" tactic. But no, they split up like teens in a poor horror movie, and went on to fight terribly against what would realistically be a rather poor group of enemies.

Consider the Sons of the Harpy. They're made up of disgruntled former slave owners, and possibly also a couple of former slaves. The Meereenese culture is shown not to be very martial, if anything the slaves would do all the fighting while the masters watched for amusement. Yet somehow these masked bandits fight quickly and effectively, and to the last man. When did they get the training to fight like that? And more importantly, to stay spirited and remain in combat while their brethren were cut down by Grey Worm and Barristan? A bunch of medieval couch-dwellers suddenly have enough martial skills to overpower trained soldiers, and the guts to fight to the last man, despite rapidly losing a numerical advantage (and fighting with knives, wearing bedsheets and sight-impairing masks, no less). That's not something you learn in the few weeks of Daenerys' stay in Meereen.

OK, we can consider the possibility that it's been more than a few weeks. It's been an entire season after all. It might have been as much as a year, during which the Sons of the Harpy could have gone through a rigorous close-quarters-combat training camp and devotion seminar. Then the question remains: Why the heck were the Unsullied still fighting as if they've just seen a city for the first time? You'd think an entire year of patrolling would have taught them that spears work poorly in narrow streets (it's not like Meereen is lacking those). They also have their tradition of devoting their lives to service, including loads of training and exercise every day. At some point, they should have figured out an alternate tactic for fighting in streets. The spear is a battlefield weapon after all, and at least the officers of the Unsullied would know the concept of evaluation. Someone must have discovered how impractical spears would be in Meereen's streets, at least when patrolling in small groups, and tried to do something about it.

In short, it's not that the Unsullied swung their weapons poorly that annoys me. It's how they totally lacked preparation for the situation, and handled it extremely unprofessionally when the stuff hit the fan, combined with the ridiculous super-buffing of the Sons of the Harpy for it all to even out.

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I'm hoping LF has some plan going on in the background. His actions with Sansa make zero sense. He knows so much about what is going on in the world, but the man he chooses to marry Sansa to, and he's just like, "Eh, haven't really heard much of him. Good luck with that. Catch you on the flip side." I want to believe there is something else going on, but I don't really have a lot of faith that LF isn't just being stupid for plot reasons.



Other than that, I enjoyed the episode. It did feel like dodging some R+L=J anvils, but for non-readers, I guess that it was time to remind them that Jon's parentage was an issue and there were these people that might be important.



I really fear for Shireen. The talk of greyscale and Mel needing Royal blood and Selyse not liking her daughter...hmmm. Plus the sweet scene with Stannis. It just seems to be setting it up for the audience to like her before Mel tries to burn her. But then it implied Mel would be going with Stannis on his march to WF. I don't know. But, Shireen is at the Wall for a reason, because she would've been an easy enough character to leave out of the show.


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I still can't believe people are surprised that Barristan and the Unsullied got taken down.

This. I think people have been misled by movies like 300 or Lord of the Rings where good guys can take down 100 baddies without flinching. That's not realistic. It IS realistic that an old knight would get taken down when outnumbered 15-1. Even Arthur Dayne, the best knight ever, didn't survive those odds.

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When Roose sent Lock to hunt down Bran, Jon was mentioned but I don't remember how exactly. Someone made note of him, Ramsay I think, saying he was part Stark and could be a problem. Again, I don't remember what Roose had to say about it. Refresher?

Roose didn't seem to be concerned with Jon Snow other than the possibility he could be hiding the Stark boys. I think he understands how the Night's Watch works, and that Jon, coming from an honorable family, has been basically become neutralized as a threat because of his vows.

Remember, Roose is a Notherner. His understanding of the politics of the region (including the NW) is very thorough. Ramsey, not so much. He's been too busy having fun flaying people to educate himself on his surroundings.

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One thing I am wondering about is Mel. She called Stannis out for leaving her behind before the last battle, he said he will take her with him this time. We all know that in the books she stays at Castle Black...so... Is this just her setting Stannis up to believe she wants to go with him when really she wants to stay behind or is she really going with him? In the books she is mostly there for the wildling queen and babe, and to tell Jon about Arya coming to him... thoughts?

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One thing I am wondering about is Mel. She called Stannis out for leaving her behind before the last battle, he said he will take her with him this time. We all know that in the books she stays at Castle Black...so... Is this just her setting Stannis up to believe she wants to go with him when really she wants to stay behind or is she really going with him? In the books she is mostly there for the wildling queen and babe, and to tell Jon about Arya coming to him... thoughts?

This bothered me a bit, too. But, we must consider that Sansa is in Winterfell, not Arya. IIRC there is no Wildling Princess. Tormund is already on the south side of the wall. Everything that happens there is going to be drastically different. Jon hasn't sent Sam, Aemon, and Gilly+baby away, yet. Maybe he never will?

I could just be a book snob, but I feel like this season has been incredibly disappointing. Every episode is boring. I know people say that AFFC was boring, and Dance wasn't much better, but I thoroughly enjoyed each of them. The world building was awesome, and the character development was terrific IMO. I feel like the show guys are taking far too many short-cuts to make the show enjoyable for the non-readers. Jaime/Bronn and the whole Sandsnakes thing seems like a huge cutting of corners. Killing off Barristan was a cheap attempt to get at emotion. Jaqen in Braavos was also a cheap way to get people excited. I'm positive that the events at the Wall are also going to be over-dramatic, and the build-up to the Ides of Marsh is going to be JUST THE MOST INTENSE THING EVER. I'm bored.

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This. I think people have been misled by movies like 300 or Lord of the Rings where good guys can take down 100 baddies without flinching. That's not realistic. It IS realistic that an old knight would get taken down when outnumbered 15-1. Even Arthur Dayne, the best knight ever, didn't survive those odds.

Indeed, oh well that's Hollywood for you.

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This. I think people have been misled by movies like 300 or Lord of the Rings where good guys can take down 100 baddies without flinching. That's not realistic.

Uhm... You know we aren't discussing reality here, either? We're actually talking about a TV show. With a huge emphasis on show, with dragons and choreographed fights and tits and everything. I don't care much for "realistic", I want entertaining, and let's not delude ourselves, that's the showrunners' priorities as well. And the famous legendary badass Unsullied getting their asses kicked with ease made a disappointing show, and that sin I don't take lightly.

Ser Barry actually had a decent exit, he was attacked by, by my count, fifteen people and killed them all but one, so I don't mind. But the Unsullied were a bunch of fucking red shirts.

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