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That guy Alistair

I'm not buying this Faith Militant

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This. D&D have almost completely ignored the suffering of the small folk since the KL riot in season 2. Instead of starving and being preyed on by soldiers and aristocrats, they endure a few fires in the river lands (as Arya and the Hound leave the inn in S04 E01), and fear the highway men mentioned by the yeoman robbed by the Hound. In season 2, we never got to see Arya discover that the lords thought of her as a piece of furniture while she posed as a commoner.

The Sparrows come mostly from the North and the Riverlands, the areas most devastated by the war, as a direct consequence of the ongoing predations of soldiers foraging for the nobility's armies. Since Jaime went to Dorne to make a B-movie with the Sandsnakes, he doesn't tour the Riverlands or show us the failure of the Lannister-Tyrell alliance to end the war there. Without Brienne's book journey, we don't hear about the broken men, the slaughter in the Salt Pans, or the rape and plunder in the Septs. Since the Tyrells are supposedly providing bread, if not circuses, there is nothing left for the Faith Militant to stand for but sexual purity.

A believable medieval peasant movement would have emphasized the feeding and protection of the common people (though it might well retain the misogyny of the book's High Sparrow, who says among other things that the depravity of widows is well known and presides over the Walk of Shame). The show gives us a caricature of a modern fundamentalist movement. The repression of sex and taboo on homosexuality were nowhere near as important in the Middle Ages as they became after the Reformation, when sexual "purity" became one way of establishing one's social identity in contrast to various other Christian sects as well as less religious people. The FM on the show suffers from being both a caricature and an anachronism. (Maybe the show's FM arises in response to the Red Priests or the Old Gods? But we never hear anything about that).

I agree entirely. They have turned the Faith Militant into a modern movement, not a medieval one, and it ruins them for me. I loved the movement in the books, because even when they were violent they were at least standing up for some people. And the subtlety that makes them so compelling is lost entirely by making them only care about brothels and homosexuality.

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I agree entirely. They have turned the Faith Militant into a modern movement, not a medieval one, and it ruins them for me. I loved the movement in the books, because even when they were violent they were at least standing up for some people. And the subtlety that makes them so compelling is lost entirely by making them only care about brothels and homosexuality.

Hear, hear.

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This. D&D have almost completely ignored the suffering of the small folk since the KL riot in season 2. Instead of starving and being preyed on by soldiers and aristocrats, they endure a few fires in the river lands (as Arya and the Hound leave the inn in S04 E01), and fear the highway men mentioned by the yeoman robbed by the Hound. In season 2, we never got to see Arya discover that the lords thought of her as a piece of furniture while she posed as a commoner.

The Sparrows come mostly from the North and the Riverlands, the areas most devastated by the war, as a direct consequence of the ongoing predations of soldiers foraging for the nobility's armies. Since Jaime went to Dorne to make a B-movie with the Sandsnakes, he doesn't tour the Riverlands or show us the failure of the Lannister-Tyrell alliance to end the war there. Without Brienne's book journey, we don't hear about the broken men, the slaughter in the Salt Pans, or the rape and plunder in the Septs. Since the Tyrells are supposedly providing bread, if not circuses, there is nothing left for the Faith Militant to stand for but sexual purity.

A believable medieval peasant movement would have emphasized the feeding and protection of the common people (though it might well retain the misogyny of the book's High Sparrow, who says among other things that the depravity of widows is well known and presides over the Walk of Shame). The show gives us a caricature of a modern fundamentalist movement. The repression of sex and taboo on homosexuality were nowhere near as important in the Middle Ages as they became after the Reformation, when sexual "purity" became one way of establishing one's social identity in contrast to various other Christian sects as well as less religious people. The FM on the show suffers from being both a caricature and an anachronism. (Maybe the show's FM arises in response to the Red Priests or the Old Gods? But we never hear anything about that).

If D&D wanted to be really clever, they could have had Brienne/Pod or Sansa/Littlefinger cross paths with ragged, barefoot sparrows in a wasted landscape before Moat Cailin. Extra points if they had the little "rabbit stew" girl from Arya and the Hound's journey, newly orphaned, traveling with the Sparrows to become a Sparrow-Septa. That way, we see the Sparrows as the direct result of the Lannisters' failure to restore the peaceful rule of law and fitting nemesis for Circe.

Oh, well. For three seasons, when the show stayed close to the text, it retained many of the books' layers of psychological and political complexity. Now it is quickly devolving into a soap opera with magic spells and the occasional dragon.

I'll still watch it, but I've resigned myself to the characters being much less intelligent, the setting being more filled with anachronisms, and the political scheming being much more rife with television cliches.

:bowdown:

Damn, such an easy solution that would work so much better than what is actually in the show - brilliant. The problem is that the show producers never seem to have heard of making plot outlines. Instead, they seem to carry very broad ideas from one season into the other, not even bothering to set up future events. I mean, it would have taken three to four writes a few weeks to do a detailed outline all seasons that contain book material. But apparently, they thought to shove that money into CGI instead ...

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"I agree entirely. They have turned the Faith Militant into a modern movement, not a medieval one, and it ruins them for me."



I couldn't disagree more with your premise... or your interpretation of history. Since it's inception religion has been a tool used by the powerful and the ambitious. Moreover, the Faith Militant are not a new thing in Westeros.... the reason why they became important is because Cersei decided to arm them. In the books we are introduced to many Septa and Septims... some good, while I would argue that the majority of them are evil extremists or horribly corrupt. I can understand your frustration that the show misses the nuance of the 5,176 (and counting) pages of original text. Unfortunately the show will never be able to capture all of GrrM's wonderful details. Given that the show already provided us with one sympathetic Septa, don't be surprised that the faith is distilled down into bloodthirsty extremists. What it should do better is to provide us a good visual representation of the events in the story, which is why scenes like the water garden are particularly soul crushing.


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I'm not a fan of it either but I actually don't think the Faith Militant is supposed to be rooted for in the books either, especially with the High Sparrow as their leader. Their origins are sympathetic, but the actual movement in itself is not sympathetic in the books at this point.



Either way, I also think streamlining is part of it. D&D probably know what future troubles The Faith Militant cause in the next book and are just speeding that up.


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Let's also add the following: KL is a stinking city in which most people live in the gutter. Hygienic conditions are absolutely terrible, clean water must be very difficult to get. Therefore, people would drink beer and wine, because those don't contain the dangerous germs drinking water would contain. Drinking alcohol was never considered a vice in medieval times for those reasons - even monks would drink wine and beer most of the time. Therefore, destroying wine and beer barrels is the most illogical thing the FM could do. It would most likely lead to a fast spread of diseases especially with the poor that the FM are trying to help. Again, such lazy writing - destroyig the idols of the fire god and harassing brothel-goers would have achieved the same narrative effect, here was no reason to portray them as ISIS.

But smashing a bunch of wine barrels harks back to the prohibition era, plus everyone knows Catholics hate wine drinkers..oh wait.

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I agree entirely. They have turned the Faith Militant into a modern movement, not a medieval one, and it ruins them for me. I loved the movement in the books, because even when they were violent they were at least standing up for some people. And the subtlety that makes them so compelling is lost entirely by making them only care about brothels and homosexuality.

Yep pretty much this. D & D decided that the mark of religious extremists is their obsession with sex and homosexuality in particular. They couldn't give a shit if it's completely contrary to everything we know about medieval Catholcism (upon which the Faith of the Seven is obviously based) all they care about is to make it 'relatable' to their audience, most of whom I assume will lap this bullshit up.

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Talk about a plot hole in the books...

How could Tommen not have been trained to rule from birth? He was the backup to the thrown and also potentially could have been heir to Casterly Rock.

It makes no sense that a control freak like Tywin Lannister would have left his legacy to his daughter who he had no real faith in.

Well, consider how Joffrey was trained

Men like him are portrayed in septons like Meribald. He's a good man who has seen life for what it is and has compassion. The High Septon has good intentions but he doesn't have a compassionate approach to people, specially to women (or maybe just Cersei). People, even religious people, have more layers than "crazy misogynistic fanatic".

I'm not sure if the High Sparrow, even in the books, has good intentions. Or, at least, good intentions so far as what's really good for the people. See how he got his army, and let the army in KL instead of taking it to the Riverlands where it's needed.

Can the FM replace the Iron Throne if they know that Joffrey is a product of incest? Or will they put Stannis, the 'one true king'?

Stannis? The R'Hollor worshipper? That's not an option for them

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First of all, I recommend we stop calling the Faith Militant FM. Because FM is also the Faceless Men.

So none of what the Faith Militant (or the FaM) is going to do will make sense.

Not sure if FaM does enough to distinguish Faith Militant vs Faceless Men, but I can appreciate the theory and have felt this way for a while too

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If you would portray the faith as it is written in the book, the issue would be that it would be seen (probably) far too positive.



But I have to agree that we are missing a countryside scene of the faith militants. Killing marauding nobles or soldiers.



It is the issue with people standing up against massive abuse and torture are not really faulted for going a bit overboard. (And this can then even be stretched to killing people with whom they disagree over lifestylechoices....)


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I'm not a fan of it either but I actually don't think the Faith Militant is supposed to be rooted for in the books either, especially with the High Sparrow as their leader. Their origins are sympathetic, but the actual movement in itself is not sympathetic in the books at this point.

Either way, I also think streamlining is part of it. D&D probably know what future troubles The Faith Militant cause in the next book and are just speeding that up.

There are no real sympathetic characters in the King's Landing, except for Kevan. They are all portrayed as power hungry people who would do anything to achieve that.

In the book, Faith Militants were more of a political movement led by a politically astute religious leader rather than a overtly religious one like in the show. So in the book, High Sparrow comes across as one of the leader of Major Houses in Westoros, who is interested furthering poltical power of himself and the organization is in. He is just another player in the Game of Thrones.

TV show of course ignores all that and they turn it into bunch of modern day zealots, who somehow manages take over the city full of battle tested soldiers. Apparently Tyrell solders are so cowardly that they are too scared to fight back against bunch of monks wearing simple robes and carrying clubs and sticks.

It's just really, really bad storytelling.

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If you would portray the faith as it is written in the book, the issue would be that it would be seen (probably) far too positive.

But I have to agree that we are missing a countryside scene of the faith militants. Killing marauding nobles or soldiers.

It is the issue with people standing up against massive abuse and torture are not really faulted for going a bit overboard. (And this can then even be stretched to killing people with whom they disagree over lifestylechoices....)

The problem is: We didn't see any atrocities commited against the smallfolk, except the three hanged women Brienne buries and the people at Harrenhall. So violence against nobles (I don't think they happen in the book, do they?) and soldiers (only renegades) and raiders would be hard to understand anyway. What the wildlings did in Olly's village happend to most villages in the Riverlands, but the show doesn't tell that story. Therefore, whatever the Faith Miliant does will seem unjustified.

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There are no real sympathetic characters in the King's Landing, except for Kevan. They are all portrayed as power hungry people who would do anything to achieve that.

In the book, Faith Militants were more of a political movement led by a politically astute religious leader rather than a overtly religious one like in the show. So in the book, High Sparrow comes across as one of the leader of Major Houses in Westoros, who is interested furthering poltical power of himself and the organization is in. He is just another player in the Game of Thrones.

TV show of course ignores all that and they turn it into bunch of modern day zealots, who somehow manages take over the city full of battle tested soldiers. Apparently Tyrell solders are so cowardly that they are too scared to fight back against bunch of monks wearing simple robes and carrying clubs and sticks.

It's just really, really bad storytelling.

I agree with most, but I never read the HS as somebody with political ambitions. I don't think he is a player, even if his followers are less fanatic than he and the septas Cersei talks to. My guess is that we will learn more about him in TWOW - pity he won't get a POV-chapter, that could be interesting.

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Gargarax, I think it is the definition of what you call a player. His ambitions and goals are open to interpretation. I think it varies from being a religious zealot to cunning manipulator. In my opinion, it is mixed. I think it is very possible that he both wants the wellfare of the smallfolk and some amount of power. There is nothing unrealistic to that. That part is open to interpretation yet, and it doesn't really matter. The truth is he is in the game and thus a player. Even if he never aimed to be one. Maybe an unwilling player, but a player regardless.


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So armed with a few cudgels they can run around the city crushing and harassing anyone they want? Seems really fucking stupid.



The smallfolk would get behind a group who hates sex and liquor? Seems like the two most cherished items of smallfolk. Would make quite a bit more sense if they were standing up for the injustices done to smallfolk instead of choosing to attempt to abolish two things that apparently only they care about.


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So armed with a few cudgels they can run around the city crushing and harassing anyone they want? Seems really fucking stupid.

The smallfolk would get behind a group who hates sex and liquor? Seems like the two most cherished items of smallfolk. Would make quite a bit more sense if they were standing up for the injustices done to smallfolk instead of choosing to attempt to abolish two things that apparently only they care about.

You just summed everything that is wrong with the show faith militants. :agree:

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There are no real sympathetic characters in the King's Landing, except for Kevan. They are all portrayed as power hungry people who would do anything to achieve that.

In the book, Faith Militants were more of a political movement led by a politically astute religious leader rather than a overtly religious one like in the show. So in the book, High Sparrow comes across as one of the leader of Major Houses in Westoros, who is interested furthering poltical power of himself and the organization is in. He is just another player in the Game of Thrones.

TV show of course ignores all that and they turn it into bunch of modern day zealots, who somehow manages take over the city full of battle tested soldiers. Apparently Tyrell solders are so cowardly that they are too scared to fight back against bunch of monks wearing simple robes and carrying clubs and sticks.

It's just really, really bad storytelling.

how the fuck is the book high sparrow not a zealot? he self flagellates for fucks sake and thinks that he's doing "god's work" when he arrest margaery's cousins on bullshit evidence and then tortures them for confessions and while making cersei do the walk of shame

frankly i always thought that the faith militant would really erupt in TWOW too and i think D&D just sped that up

also kevan is not sympathetic to me with all the heinous war crimes he committed and how misogynistic he is and well as his tywin dick sucking

the only realy sympathetic character in king's landing is bb tommen

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So armed with a few cudgels they can run around the city crushing and harassing anyone they want? Seems really fucking stupid.

The smallfolk would get behind a group who hates sex and liquor? Seems like the two most cherished items of smallfolk. Would make quite a bit more sense if they were standing up for the injustices done to smallfolk instead of choosing to attempt to abolish two things that apparently only they care about.

Yeah you can almost forgive them for portraying the FM as a cross between the Westboro Baptists and ISIS to make it relatable to a TV audience but the shere mind numbing stupidity of having a large city being completely taken over by a few dudes dressed in wool robes carrying....sticks. I mean wtf is that all about? The FM in the books are Knights, men at arms, many of them nobles and experienced warriors.

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"I agree entirely. They have turned the Faith Militant into a modern movement, not a medieval one, and it ruins them for me."

I couldn't disagree more with your premise... or your interpretation of history. Since it's inception religion has been a tool used by the powerful and the ambitious. Moreover, the Faith Militant are not a new thing in Westeros.... the reason why they became important is because Cersei decided to arm them. In the books we are introduced to many Septa and Septims... some good, while I would argue that the majority of them are evil extremists or horribly corrupt. I can understand your frustration that the show misses the nuance of the 5,176 (and counting) pages of original text. Unfortunately the show will never be able to capture all of GrrM's wonderful details. Given that the show already provided us with one sympathetic Septa, don't be surprised that the faith is distilled down into bloodthirsty extremists. What it should do better is to provide us a good visual representation of the events in the story, which is why scenes like the water garden are particularly soul crushing.

I, likewise, disagree with your interpretation of religion. I would argue that most of the septas and septons we meet are good people, with some fanatics thrown in because that is just how reality works, there are good and bad people. I don't expect the show to capture all of the nuance of the books, nor do I expect them to remain 100% true to the books. I am simply stating that I prefer the book's version of the Faith Militant to the show's version, because the book version is much more believable for me.

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