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[Book Spoilers] EP509 Discussion

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So Madame Cleo couldn't see Ramsey and his commandos coming?

Well, the worst thing about this is the fact that fire is HER weapon, so for a second, I thought she started the fires.

Maybe she allowed Ramsey to succeed so that Stannis would be desperate enough to burn Shireen.

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I have a Dragon and I am not afraid to use it!



Even though I know what was coming from the books, this was what I was waiting for the whole season. I feared they ruin it. They executed it perfectly, well a little bit on the cheesy side of course...



But I loved it. "Vla" and I was in front of the TV clapping for excitement. Had been forever that I felt like this when watching a TV show. Though it could have used more fire!



My girl friend was like "OH NO!!!! These bastards are killing Dany Off!!!! Screw them! I am not watching anymore!!!!". I tried to keep a poker face.



She had tears in her eyes of joy when Dany said "Vla". No subtitles needed to know what that meant.



The rest of the episode of course was keeping a low profile and had the expected sacrifice of Stannis' daughter. we all know was coming since they spoiled it in the season teaser with her mother on her knees, so the last scene has more impact. And they built the tension up extremely well, lulling in you a bit in Dany's arc for the big pay off.



So I am giving a 10 out of 10 here. Beats even the Hardhome battle.



I have no clue how they going to beat E08 and E09 in the season finale. Well some WoW spoiler probably in the Stannis battle (well Stannis is toast, we won't see him next year). Also I assume they are going beyond Jon's death and not making it a cliffhanger. Hope they are not bringing Lady Stoneheart in here, judging from the episodes title.


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Dany-I hate that we have people fighting to the death in fighting pits while simultaneously getting hot for daario describing fighting in fighting pits


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I hope the next episode. As many characters as possible should be put out of their show misery ASAP.

Well, they have definitely advanced his story. It looks like he will not be having his confrontation with Daenerys. He does not have a heir. So what, really, is there left for him to do?

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Because D&D knew the end of the novel from GRRM, they knew all plots too

yeah they straight up something differently and why. they got minutes to work with not thousands of pages,

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I believe they felt the need to spoil this to minimize the amount of death threats they would get.

What's sad, is I'm being 100% honest.

I agree. They needed to justify to fans why they were burning a child. It is much easier to say the author said it...

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If Stannis hadn't burnt Shireen, was the alternative that his entire army would starve and freeze to death? Is that what they were trying to say?


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I think this is the problem. DD simply don't respect GRRM's work.



See, this is something I see many people do about fantasy. Like, how LotR, for instance, is immediately catalogued as "for children" because there is magic and epic battles. Or how many times animation is just labeled as simple entertainment due to the medium. I've fought those stereotypes all my life as much as I've fought the idea that because I'm religious I'm a fanatic freak. All my life I've heard stuff like "so, you read HP? How immature!". Things are changing now, people is more open about adults enjoying what we can call "not traditional adult" entertaining but there will be some idiots here and there that won't give fantasy or sci-fi the respect it deserves.



Martin doesn't give his books this "solemn" aspect as other epic sagas have. The guy has no problem with also showing tits and shit. Nevertheless, he's still an author. I mean, he didn't write Jaime because he thought "you know what would be hilarious?! write about a guy who loses his hand and fuck his sister!". There is a point he wants to make with Jaime, how "honour" is a concept that you can't simply blindly obey. Idem for Jon, Dany, Stannis, Cersei and everybody else. They aren't just "characters". They are concepts. They are given an identity because you cannot simply write about and abstract idea. Just like, dunno, Othello is about jealousy but there are still characters driving the plot. Even Stefanie Meyer wants to make a point (one she fails making, but still tries), as Twilight saga is about themes of female virginity, lust, etc, etc.



And D&D themselves have said they don't mind about those themes. We mock those words but they are plainly saying "we don't mind that these characters talk about GRRM's points. We don't care about his points. We only mind his characters to make them act shocking". Characters aren't hollow. They exist because the situation they are in NEEDS TO LET THE READERS KNOW what's the author's beliefs about something. I don't make a character being a rapist because I want him to be a rapist and I think it would be cool to make him rape a character. I want him to rape another person because such action talks about something else within his mind and soul: maybe he was abused. Maybe he's crazy. Maybe he needs to represent male lust when it's not controlled, who the f knows. That's why characters need themes. Characters REPRESENT themes. That's how they go through history. Samwise isn't know because he was Frodo's gardener, but because he was LOYAL. He represented LOYALTY. That is HIS ROLE in LotR. He's not there to do stuff. He's there to fulfill an idea. He, and every other characters are full with comparisons, symbolism and figurative speech. DD have simply took everything from them and made them sock puppets to play parts in situations that are just similar to what happens in the books.

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and God gave his only son (in this case daughter) to save the world! Martin has freely admitted his dis/association with Christianity. I am just amazed that anyone really cares, and/or is surprised by anything that happens on the show, or will happen in a possible novel. In the Games of Thrones...everyone dies and Bigfoot takes over!

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So Madame Cleo couldn't see Ramsey and his commandos coming?

It's surprising that Stannis didn't berate or blame her for not seeing it. It would have been a good opportunity to expose her 'not so all-powerful' at all and for Stannis to snap out of her influence.

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This season they have built up a surprisingly tender relationship between Stannis and Shireen...The way they portrayed their relationship I can't help but feel like considerably more anguish and indecision would have made more sense.

I was about to post a thought about this.

The way Dillane played the scene was, it seemed to me, to give his character a bit of the crazy. Even someone convinced this was his only choice would show some emotion at the loss of a daughter - but he showed none. See the mothers reaction as an example. She thought it was a good idea at first and had never shown love for her daughter but her mom DNA kicked in and she wanted to protect her child.

So my question is, is it possible Stannis is going a bit mad? I haven't read the books so this is an outsiders observation. Just curious if the learned think it's possible.

He might be getting more than retina burn from all this staring into flames.

Edited by Visceral Varys

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Well, they have definitely advanced his story. It looks like he will not be having his confrontation with Daenerys. He does not have a heir. So what, really, is there left for him to do?

Is Stannis impotent? Not having an heir now does not preclude him from conceiving an heir in the future. If his wife is barren he can always get another one. He'll do anything for the Iron Throne including killing his own brother and daughter. I'm pretty sure his wife is dispensable to him, too.

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and God gave his only son (in this case daughter) to save the world! Martin has freely admitted his dis/association with Christianity. I am just amazed that anyone really cares, and/or is surprised by anything that happens on the show, or will happen in a possible novel. In the Games of Thrones...everyone dies and Bigfoot takes over!

This is Agammenon, not Jacob and Isaac or Jesus.

Besides, the difference in those stories is GOD BANS HUMAN SACRIFICE and Jesus comes back.

:)

Agammenon, however, sacrifices his daughter to get winds to take Troy.

We also know what happens to him.

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Thoughts while watching:



- Aside from one major exception (you can probably guess which one) - I actually liked this episode, quite a bit. Between this and "Hardhome," the show has recovered from what has been, by and large, its most lacklustre season to date.



- Fantastic handling of Arya's material.



- Glad that Mace wasn't killed by Ser Meryn. ShowMace is less interesting than his admittedly less visible book counterpart, but I'd be sorry to see him go at this point.



- Loved the way Jorah reunites with Dany, and the whole handling of the attack by the Harpies.



- I enjoyed Tryrion's scenes with Dany last week, up to a point, but his abrupt departure from Dany here would have been far more effective had he entered into her employ much earlier in the season.



- Stannis burning Shireen. Unfortunately, as I tried to find out when this episode went up on HBO GO, I stumbled across a source describing leaked material. I didn't know whether to believe it, but I felt the need to warn my non-book-reading friends that I might start swearing if the spoiler I had read turned out to be real.



Sure enough, as soon as "forgive me" was muttered, I let out a "goddammit!"



There's a limit to how angry I can get about this, because you know what? The idea does have merit. Following through on it may not, but the temptation for Stannis to sacrifice his own is a fair twist to throw into the show. Those "apologists" (I'm not sure that's an entirely appropriate term in all cases) have noted the parallels to Greek mythology, and they're not wrong. And Stannis isn't even a favourite of mine. But in the ultimate execution, this whole storyline was terrible. Why?



1. As an adaptation of Stannis Baratheon's story thus far in the novels, this was dreadful. BookStannis bitterly resisted the thought of burning his bastard nephew; it took the death of all three kings by leeches (supposedly) for him to even consider it, and I I don't think it's at all a given in the books that he would have gone through with it had Davos not intervened. BookStannis's culpability in Renly's death is also willful ignorance at worst. I said last week that, if ShowStannis was a willing accomplice in his daughter's sacrifice, it would be an order of change that has prompted GRRM to request that characters' names be changed in the past; I hold to that still.


2. Setting aside the books, there are many flaws in how this plotline was written. To begin with, the show has ignored the third leech, and the third king, since Season 3. And if Stannis truly believes - and if Mel truly believes - that leeches were enough to kill two out of three kings, why the hell wouldn't they believe that a leech full of trueborn king's blood wouldn't be enough to handle Roose Bolton? Why wouldn't they try it, at the very least?


3. In order for Stannis to feel justified in doing such a thing, and for the audience to accept his dire straits (if not approve of his actions), those straits need to be illustrated. Aside from a line of shivering men getting soup - men who didn't really look much worse off than they did at any other point in the season (to the extent that we saw them at all), there was absolutely no illustration of the plight of Stannis's army, only his conversations with Davos telling us that things were bad (meanwhile, they themselves looked fine). In a visual medium, "tell, don't show" is one of the worst mistakes you could possibly make IMO, especially on something as (supposedly) important as this.


4. Too much foreshadowing, bordering on obnoxious signposts in the background.


5. What was the point of establishing that Mel was willing to do things behind Stannis's back in that incredibly stupid scene with Jon, if not for something like this?


6. . The staging of the sacrifice, and the scene immediately preceding it, gave one the impression that Shireen was told what would happen and chose to be sacrificed. The sudden revelation that that was not the case could have been genuinely shocking and horrific, had the rest of the material been handled better. Instead. it came off as cheap.


7. The reversal of Selyse is unbelievable. The woman has failed to demonstrate any affection for her daughter in any episode prior. The performance by the actress remained cold here. And there was no clear turning point, let alone a breaking point, in the blocking, writing, or acting on her part. It seemed to be done merely for the sake of having a dramatic reversal, but if such a reversal is unearned, it just comes off as hokey.



And, on top of all that - unless something unbelievably dramatic comes about in the final episode, I remain convinced that nothing in this whole Shireen storyline was worth the screentime it took away from Jon and the Wall.


Edited by Fisch

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I get what they are doing with Arya but I thought they could have trimmed the more disgusting aspects of "Mercy" as they did Tyrion's brothel visit. But instead we get two episodes of watching Meryn Trant Duggar it up.

I don't think they'll have Arya go Mercy at all. It would be too obvious of a direction.

Honestly, I think Jaqen will get in the way of Trant being killed. Trant will probably escape alive, having not interacted with Arya whatsoever.

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