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[Book Spoilers] EP504 Discussion

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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.

An Unsullied was the last man standing and will likely survive at least until the next episode.

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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.

First that the Unsullied did not attempt to use there tactcs at the beginning of the fight has a lot to do that it was a TV fight where they had only so much time to show the scene and it would have taken much longer to stage a more realistic fight where they would have attempted to use a formation before breaking into one on one fighting. As for the Sons of Harpys remember that there would not only be Slave owners but a large contingent of Overseers that would have been much more better trained at close order violence. Further since some time would have elapsed since the city was taken they would have had time to hire sell swords and assassins from outside the city.

As to Unsullied training. We must remember that actual violence aginst the unsullied is a relatively new thing, prior to the action in this season the Harpys were not ambushing and killing Unsullied so there would have been do perceived need to retrain the Unsullied in individual man tactics. More importantly, it would have been wholly against doctrine to train men who have received 15 years of training as member of a Phalanx or Tercio (to use a Mid-evil European term for similar troops) in individual combat. The last thing you want is for soldiers to have to think about what tactics to use in a fight, the whole purpose of highly training soldiers in Phalanx tactics is that they are performed without even thinking at an almost instinctual level. Same can be said about training them in swords or short edged weapons. If you have 5 years of training in the Spear as used in Phalanx or Tercio tactics training in the sword is not only counter insctinctual but unduoes the 15 years of training that they have received.

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?

Figure the Stannis troops have a set back and Mel goes back to the Wall to sacrifice Shareen and/or attempt to further attempt to convince Jon to join Stannis.

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An Unsullied was the last man standing and will likely survive at least until the next episode.

Well pointed out. An Unsullied. Singular. While they had been built up as something more than "mighty Grey Worm and a bunch of poor fuckers".

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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.

They were flanked on both sides of a narrow hall (or whatever it was) and absolutely outmanned. Even the books said that they made for poor policeman.

And I absolutely know it's a TV show...but that doesn't mean it can't portray a fight realistically.

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BOOO! Why does everyone love the Stannis scene? And why does Mel not recognize Shireen for the dead girl walking that she is? Why am I not watching the books in live action :bawl: ?


Ah last weeks episode showed promise that they were turning it around, but nope. They had to crush my hopes. This season has been absolutely awful, and I'm pretty surprised at how many people on these boards are pleased with what they've seen. To each their own, but I'm going to vent/rant anyway.


Why no Iron Born first and foremost.


Why is Jaime going to Dorne?


I guess the Riverlands are in good shape, no need to touch on that this season.


Belwas?


Lets kill off Barristan, he's not important.


Will there ever be a battle in Mereen? if so who really cares, Victarion doesn't exist and Barry is dead so I don't have a dog in that fight anyway.


Lady Stoneheart and the Freys?


Let's portray the Faith Militant as a bunch of lunatics hissing at and murdering sinners.


Hey Jon you wanna cop a feel?

Who the hell is in Tommen's Kings Guard?

(f)aegon? Quentin? Arianne? Gah those Sand Snakes are not exciting me in the least.

:bang:

Woah, what just happened I think I blacked out for a minute there.

I am however kind of looking forward to Sansa taking the role of Jeyne Pool, and they have done a few other things well, like the conversations about Rhaegar and Lyanna.

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Thoughts while watching:



- More mixed feelings about the Tyrells. Mace has been rendered as such an oafish lapdog that having Cersei send him to what I assume is his murder (not completely sure about that; we'll see what happens) seems completely unnecessary. On the other hand, unnecessarily killing a harmless buffoon already in her power shows ShowCersei finally having some of her inspiration's evil without it being toned down, farmed out to another character, or somehow whitewashed.



- On a related note: anyone else surprised that the whole "Casterly Rock's out of gold" thing hasn't been brought back yet? I know some people were sure that that would be used as a way to somehow "justify" Cersei's actions, but no word. If it isn't brought back up soon, one might wonder what the point was of inventing that whole business in the first place.



- Tommen trying to save Loras = great idea, boring execution.



- The books didn't give the importance of the Faith to the masses, and its power over society, a great deal of build-up before the Sparrows showed up. But it did touch on it, and gave religion in general some build-up before it became important. The show has virtually ignored the subject up 'til now, a few bits about the old gods notwithstanding. My non-book reading friend had to ask me "what the hell was going on" when the Faith Militant went to work.



- After last season stuffing every single storyline with padding, this season (thus far) seems to be rushing the Casterly Rock material, dragging its foot on the Wall, and handling Winterfell and Dany at an even pace. I've started wondering whether the show might handle the juggling act better if any given episode focused primarily or exclusively on a single storyline, with far less cutting around. Each group of characters would get less screentime per episode, but you might be able to manage the plots a little better without having to pad or rush.



- Good scene between Stannis and Shireen.



- I'm sure Carice van Houten is a wonderful human being, but I'm sorry - her performance as Mel gets on my nerves so much. The character annoys me in the books to begin with, and the most annoying traits she has - brazenness and overconfidence - get played up big time by van Houten. I guess you could say that means she's doing a great job, but I think she's working with some sh*t writing. Her efforts to seduce Jon Snow are terrible.



- I find myself with absolutely no thoughts on Jaime and Bronn. I just don't care.



- I wasn't that interested in the Sand Snakes in the book, but from all the build-up they got in promotional materials, that was a hell of an underwhelming introduction.



- Good backstory on Rhaegar.



- Wasn't too attached to Barristan in the books; not terribly heart-broken he was written out early. And that was a pretty damn good fight scene. Not looking forward to the Grey Worm/Missandai stuff that's sure to come though.


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Well, without digging through this whole thread, I think the show gave some huge hints in support of R+L=J. The last episode, the Red Priestess who stared down Tryion seemed suggestive to me. Does all of this tend to support R+L=J and A+J=T and that D, T, J are the three heads of the dragon?

Absolutely. And I think the trip of to Valyria is going to be about providing backstory.

We know that the dragons are somehow bred to be ridden by a person of Targarean blood but that hasn't been established in the show yet. Tyrion is obviously going to discover he is a Targ by being fed to a dragon and not ending up as food.

Now the question that I don't think has been considered is whether Varys suspects Tyrion is a Targ. In the books he obviously does not. But maybe show Varys might have an inkling.

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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.

As audiences mature it becomes harder to suspend disbelief. A child can watch anything with wonder, adults can't.

I like 'realistic' fantasy. Forgive the oxymoron, but I hope you do know what I mean.

I hate when I'm like....that was just dumb and wouldn't happen. (Like when Arya and the hound got jumped by those 2 idiots after mercy killing the wounded guy)

I literally stopped focusing on the show and wanted to facepalm.

Having a realistic show, makes it easier to get into, it feels less cheesy and gimmicky.

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Barry and Aemon die in the next episode.



BTW, anyone else thinks that Jon will tell Stannis to have a detour at the mountain clans to recruit them and free Deepwood Motte? In that, he will also tell Stannis to leave Mel behind just like in the books.


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I hated that they killed of Selmy. He's an absolute favourite of mine. I understand why they did it, but that doesn't make me like it any more. And I hate what they've done to the Sand Snakes. Dorne, the Martells and the Sand Snakes are a favourite part of the books for me and seeing what's happening with it is upsetting. We've only seen the Sand Snakes in one scene though, so I'm holding on to hope that they get better.


Having said all that, I see the books and show as two separate things, so even with the changes, I'm enjoying this season quite a lot!


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I hated that they killed of Selmy. He's an absolute favourite of mine. I understand why they did it, but that doesn't make me like it any more. And I hate what they've done to the Sand Snakes. Dorne, the Martells and the Sand Snakes are a favourite part of the books for me and seeing what's happening with it is upsetting. We've only seen the Sand Snakes in one scene though, so I'm holding on to hope that they get better.

Having said all that, I see the books and show as two separate things, so even with the changes, I'm enjoying this season quite a lot!

Your not alone, that's for sure. I was very underwhelmed about the sand snakes. I didn't like the obrera monologue at all. All she had to say was yes or no. I get why they had her say the backstory, but it was sooo out of flow with the scene. I will miss Selmy as well. :'(

Wonder how the community as a whole ranks the sand snakes. I have hear so little good about them.

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Barry and Aemon die in the next episode.

BTW, anyone else thinks that Jon will tell Stannis to have a detour at the mountain clans to recruit them and free Deepwood Motte? In that, he will also tell Stannis to leave Mel behind just like in the books.

That was my initial thought but I'm not sure now. If it happens it seems it'll be with very little setup. To me it seems with the changes the show made, having no Freys or Manderleys, that Stannis' Northern Clan tour might not be needed for the show's purposes. DIdn't LF state that Stannis has the larger Army at present?

Since we don't have Asha/Yarra at Deepwood now, I'm guessing that the show is going to gloss right over that. I'm even of the opinion now that there won't be a Battle of Ice like we expect. The way the show has changed the plot arcs/combined them, I'm thinking this is actually going to differ greatly than in the books. I feel like they're going to have Mel accompany Stannis; the only problem with this line of thought is, if Mel's with him I think he "HAS" to win; which of course may not be how it goes in the books. If Mel is left behind again, I think that might be a precursor for Mel looking elsewhere for her savior.

My other thought is that if Stannis doesn't take Mel, that while he's gone, either Selyse offers her Shireen up after Mel sees a vision, or Mel does it of her own accord.

Ultimately I think they're working this one almost backwards. Stannis will relieve Winterfell BEFORE rallying the North, which allows the show to not necessarily spoil TWOW but if it does it'll be in a way that doesn't completely ruin it for when we do read it. I mean we can see this in almost every plot. In KL, Loras is taking Marg's spot in the accusations of the Faith, in Meereen, we're not likely to get a Battle of Fire, LF has Sansa outside the Vale so what he's doing there in the books is preserved. Brienne trailing Stannis might be a spoiler, remains to be seen I guess.

Edited by Ser Knute

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...But the Unsullied were a bunch of fucking red shirts.

What's wrong with Red Shirts?

It's an ancient and noble vocation :)

As for the street fighters, I imagine that many of them were Pit Fighters trained in many fighting styles and probably excellent in these brawling or single combat type situations.

Like Spartacus taking on The Roman Republic. Gladiators were able to defeat highly trained and disciplines army units.

The story in the show is about re-openning the Fighting Pits and who would want this more than Pit Fighters (assuming they're all like Daario and see it was way out of an otherwise shitty existance).

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BTW, anyone else thinks that Jon will tell Stannis to have a detour at the mountain clans to recruit them and free Deepwood Motte? In that, he will also tell Stannis to leave Mel behind just like in the books.

I doubt it. There really hasn't been anything pointing to the mountain clan story being included (indeed, the subject of Stannis needing more men has kind of been dropped), and we can see in the trailers that there are scenes with Mel in Stannis' tent/camp.

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WHAT A WASTE.

Last night's episode is still sticking to the back of my throat, like a rancid cask of Arbor Red. Ser Barristan was a wasted character on the show from day one. They never let him fully develop or be of any relevance like he is in the books. Here you have the baddest knight in the seven kingdoms basically playing a friendly grandpa to Dany. I'm surprised he didn't offer her a piece of hard candy and a crumpled up kleenex he dug out of the bottom of his purse.

Book Barristan was by far my favorite character and I was so excited to see them bring his Mereen chapters (after Dany takes flight) to life. Now I fear they will give his story arc to the undeserving Daario, or even - shudder - Jorah. Ser Barristan deserved his moment in the sun, and D&D simply did him wrong.

I'm not one to take my toys and leave the playground, but D&D's decision to send Barristan packing before his time has really soured my entire enjoyment of the series. I think I will skip the rest of the seasons so that they will not spoil WOW for me. I'd rather read GRRM's true vision first, and then catch up on this fan fic version once it is released on Blu-Ray. I honestly think this is it for me.

Cute stuff with Shereen and Stannis. Jon getting hypnotized by a boob was pretty funny, but the Sand Snakes were just laughable... and not in a good way. They basically took all the cool stuff we liked about the Sand Snakes and threw it away in exchange for some angsty, vaguely ethnic, teens with nipple armor. Interesting stuff with LF and Sansa, clearly being set-up for the "controversial" scene next week when Ramsay shows his true colors. And although it was nice to get some Rhaegar lore in there, it seemed like it came out of nowhere. Like suddenly D&D needed to get the backstory out there and threw out some random Rhaegar tales, instead of using what could have been (Selmy) a nice long lead up through personal accounts of what happened during the Rebellion.

Boo. Just boooooooooo on you D&D. #TeamBarristan4Life

I kind of agree. But I can also see Barristan's TV death as being used to upset Dany and push her toward her true identity and purpose, make her realize she is the Dragon and cannot pretend otherwise. And then she can finally burn Mereen to ashes and hit the road to the West!

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Hoping to see Barristan go out like Yoda in Return of the Jedi - just a long winded speech about staying strong, then right before he dies "There is another Targaryen...." or "The Dragon has three heads.." You might ask how the hell he'd know that, but screw it, it's the show!


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Your not alone, that's for sure. I was very underwhelmed about the sand snakes. I didn't like the obrera monologue at all. All she had to say was yes or no. I get why they had her say the backstory, but it was sooo out of flow with the scene. I will miss Selmy as well. :'(

Wonder how the community as a whole ranks the sand snakes. I have hear so little good about them.

You know what's really sad? These three gals think they will be the highlight of the season, rather than the scrappies

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