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[Book Spoilers] EP509 Discussion

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I find it hilarious that all of the Stannis fanboys keep saying 'never in a million years would he do this' and others who think differently 'clearly don't understand him and haven't paid attention to him while reading the books'.

LOL just stop. He killed his brother, other family members, and wanted to kill his nephew. D&D literally said GRRM told us this was going to happen in the book so we put it in. How you can still blindly make these claims is perplexing. There is so much pointing at this happening in TWOW it's silly.

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Hizdhar is so awful in this adaptation. Yes he's a slimy ass in the books, but he isn't a moron who is just used as comic relief or the foil for Dany's STRNK WYMZ BLOOD OF THE DRAGONZ speeches. He actually has a sinister and cunning nature to him and isn't fucking wasted. D&D killed him off after he did literally nothing for no goddamn reason here because they apparently don't understand their own source material, much like Barristan.

I'm going to disagree with you here. The show has a limited casting budget, so they couldn't afford to hire many actors for Meereenese characters. We really just have Hizdahr (plus Mossador as a promoted extra, but he's not around that long and wasn't originally planned to have much of a role). As such, Hizdahr's show version does a lot of the work of covering elements of the Shavepate, the Green Grace, etc. His character has to be written in a way that, like with the ensemble of Meereenese characters in the book, Dany is shown to be out of her depth in a city she doesn't really understand, working with people she doesn't want to work with.

They do this by making Hizdahr a more earnest, reasonable character, who is fundamentally prepared to work with Dany in an honest fashion, without an agenda of personal profit. When he first appears before Dany, as a loving son asking to bury his father, it's clear that he doesn't fit into her mental template of the evil slaver. Even though she had his father killed horribly, he kneels before her and makes his request respectfully. Struggling with her conscience, she allows him to bury his father and appoints him as her ambassador to Yunkai.

However, Dany draws the line at accepting any suggestions of his that don't fit her idea of how society in Slavers' Bay should be, such as the one condition that the fighting pits could reopen (to free combatants only). Since she has dragons and soldiers, she insists that the people of Slavers Bay must accept her will or die. Thus Hizdahr appears as the voice of politics, consensus, and compromise, whereas Dany appears as a despot. Her despotism seems to have the value of personal freedom behind it, so we tend to sympathise with her, but it's despotism nonetheless. People have to be free in the way she wants them to be, as we see when she outright refuses Hizdahr's suggestion that she meet with free pit fighters and listen to their views on the reopening of the pits.

Hizdahr fairly consistently gives Dany sensible advice. He explains why he doesn't think that the Sons of the Harpy are backed by the noble houses, and the attack seen this week at Daznak's implies that he's right. (I say this because the Sons seem to attack plenty of people wearing noble costume, and of course even murder Hizdahr himself.) He also says that, if she had to execute Mossador, she should have done it quietly in the pyramid rather than making a public spectacle. The riot that breaks out afterwards backs him up. By giving good advice, he is shown to be competent.

After Barristan's death, Dany arrests him and the other heads of the great houses, without any investigation. She has one of them burned alive and torn apart, without any idea if he is guilty or innocent. If she tried to investigate, she might've learned more about the various house leaders, but she doesn't seem interested in learning about them. No: they must learn from her. I don't think this makes Dany look very kind or fair; I'd say she looked unsympathetic. For his part, Hizdahr shows some bravery when confronted by a messy death (a sympathetic quality), though he later shows his fear in private (which, in my view, evokes another kind of sympathy).

Although Dany then agrees to open the fighting pits, her proposal that only free men fight is no different from what Hizdahr already suggested when he first brought the proposed concession to her. She's gained nothing for herself by delaying. And, as for the marriage, she doesn't ask Hizdahr if he is willing to marry her, but merely orders it. Even when she's supposedly making concessions, she's actually dictating terms.

Even though Dany agrees that Hizdahr was right about the need to forge bonds with the people of Meereen, the way she treats him as her betrothed doesn't show much respect for the city she's conquered. She makes a bit of an effort by attending a local pit fight, but that doesn't last long. Her public lack of regard for Hizdahr reaches the ridiculous point, in this episode, of letting her lover lean in between them at a massive public event and brandish a weapon at Hizdahr's neck. All the while, she's visibly enjoying his discomfort. And, when the Sons of the Harpy attack, in spite of everything she's done to make Hizdahr's life worse, his last act is an effort to help her escape from the arena. Dany, for her part, doesn't even seem to notice or care what he does or that he dies.

I don't think Hizdahr comes across as a moron on the show. He speaks eloquently and, for the most part, courteously. His mission to Yunkai, where the people actually listened to him, was very successful. I think that his qualities on the show illustrate that the nobles of Slavers' Bay aren't just the evil caricature that Dany imagines. Certainly, many of them are - the fact that a majority approved the crucifixion of the slave children shows that - but not all. And Dany's interactions with Hizdahr show her almost total lack of willingness to consider that possibility. She has to believe in her own values, has to see herself as the righteous saviour. Even in a situation where she has a noble who's being as cooperative as possible, she doesn't use him to anything close to his maximum potential. She just can't trust him. Consequently, he's wasted on her.

So, yes, Hizdahr's death in the show looks pointless... but I actually think that was the point. His death was a waste, a culmination of a whole series of efforts to work with Dany all that turned out to be a waste. He wasn't associated with the Sons of the Harpy: his final moments prove that beyond reasonable doubt. He sincerely tried to work with her, for the sake of peace in their lands. And Dany didn't care, because at a fundamental level she hadn't persuaded herself that people like him had value. She flirted with the idea when she chose him as her ambassador and then her betrothed, but it was nothing more than a flirtation, as she didn't take on his recommendations as ambassador until it was too late, and didn't treat him with respect as a betrothed. Her "break the wheel" speech showed a lack of regard for noble houses in Westeros as well - but, in her mind, she's the convenient exception to that rule. Her right to rule as the heir to her royal house is based on the very system that her egalitarian streak decries.

Now, of course, that's my personal reading of Hizdahr on the show. It could be that the actual intentions of the writers were just to make him a buffoon against which Dany's strong-female-character-ness could be highlighted. But what kind of strength, precisely, would be highlighted by a buffoon? "Standing up to" a character who's a joke is, itself, a joke. So I have to believe that the writing intentionally made Hizdahr more sympathetic to show that Dany was out of her depth in Slavers' Bay.

Edited by Estelindis

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I was sort of hoping that Shireen would reveal her Grey Scale had returned on her arm or something and realises without a sacrifice that Stannis' army would be doomed and offers herself up while Stannis pleads with her not to. Instead we just get someone who's done a full 180 with his personality from only a few episodes ago. Whether GRRM told them this was going to happen in the books or not it should've been handled better because it made no sense at all from his standpoint in episode 4 to last night. This season has been the bleakest so far, 5 seasons now we've had the bad guys getting away with everything while everyone good has suffered, Ramsay is an unstoppable killing machine, the Starks are still being fucked over its just getting tiresome. The tables better start turning next season otherwise if it carries on down this path the story is going to turn to shit including the books IMO.

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Shocking? I thought her fate was spelled out a few episodes back, and I'm surprised how many people were surprised.

There was that dialogue between Mel and Selyse, with Selyse bitching about - this time - her daughter's imperfection, and Mel saying something like: "Those scars mean nothing to the Lord of Light, she has king's blood in her veins". From that moment, it was only a question when, not if, Melisandre will burn Shireen.

I kind of meant the actual experience of it. Perhaps I should have used the word "horrific" instead. I knew it could be on the cards although I didn't think it was set in stone by any means.

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I'm going to disagree with you here. The show has a limited casting budget, so they couldn't afford to hire many actors for Meereenese characters. We really just have Hizdahr (plus Mossador as a promoted extra, but he's not around that long and wasn't originally planned to have much of a role). As such, Hizdahr's show version does a lot of the work of covering elements of the Shavepate, the Green Grace, etc. His character has to be written in a way that, like with the ensemble of Meereenese characters in the book, Dany is shown to be out of her depth in a city she doesn't really understand, working with people she doesn't want to work with.

They do this by making Hizdahr a more earnest, reasonable character, who is fundamentally prepared to work with Dany in an honest fashion, without an agenda of personal profit. When he first appears before Dany, as a loving son asking to bury his father, it's clear that he doesn't fit into her mental template of the evil slaver. Even though she had his father killed horribly, he kneels before her and makes his request respectfully. Struggling with her conscience, she allows him to bury his father and appoints him as her ambassador to Yunkai.

However, Dany draws the line at accepting any suggestions of his that don't fit her idea of how society in Slavers' Bay should be, such as the one condition that the fighting pits could reopen (to free combatants only). Since she has dragons and soldiers, she insists that the people of Slavers Bay must accept her will or die. Thus Hizdahr appears as the voice of politics, consensus, and compromise, whereas Dany appears as a despot. Her despotism seems to have the value of personal freedom behind it, so we tend to sympathise with her, but it's despotism nonetheless. People have to be free in the way she wants them to be, as we see when she outright refuses Hizdahr's suggestion that she meet with free pit fighters and listen to their views on the reopening of the pits.

Hizdahr fairly consistently gives Dany sensible advice. He explains why he doesn't think that the Sons of the Harpy are backed by the noble houses, and the attack seen this week at Daznak's implies that he's right. (I say this because the Sons seem to attack plenty of people wearing noble costume, and of course even murder Hizdahr himself.) He also says that, if she had to execute Mossador, she should have done it quietly in the pyramid rather than making a public spectacle. The riot that breaks out afterwards backs him up. By giving good advice, he is shown to be competent.

After Barristan's death, Dany arrests him and the other heads of the great houses, without any investigation. She has one of them burned alive and torn apart, without any idea if he is guilty or innocent. If she tried to investigate, she might've learned more about the various house leaders, but she doesn't seem interested in learning about them. No: they must learn from her. I don't think this makes Dany look very kind or fair; I'd say she looked unsympathetic. For his part, Hizdahr shows some bravery when confronted by a messy death (a sympathetic quality), though he later shows his fear in private (which, in my view, evokes another kind of sympathy).

Although Dany then agrees to open the fighting pits, her proposal that only free men fight is no different from what Hizdahr already suggested when he first brought the proposed concession to her. She's gained nothing for herself by delaying. And, as for the marriage, she doesn't ask Hizdahr if he is willing to marry her, but merely orders it. Even when she's supposedly making concessions, she's actually dictating terms.

Even though Dany agrees that Hizdahr was right about the need to forge bonds with the people of Meereen, the way she treats him as her betrothed doesn't show much respect for the city she's conquered. She makes a bit of an effort by attending a local pit fight, but that doesn't last long. Her public lack of regard for Hizdahr reaches the ridiculous point, in this episode, of letting her lover lean in between them at a massive public event and brandish a weapon at Hizdahr's neck. All the while, she's visibly enjoying his discomfort. And, when the Sons of the Harpy attack, in spite of everything she's done to make Hizdahr's life worse, his last act is an effort to help her escape from the arena. Dany, for her part, doesn't even seem to notice or care what he does or that he dies.

I don't think Hizdahr comes across as a moron on the show. He speaks eloquently and, for the most part, courteously. His mission to Yunkai, where the people actually listened to him, was very successful. I think that his qualities on the show illustrate that the nobles of Slavers' Bay aren't just the evil caricature that Dany imagines. Certainly, many of them are - the fact that a majority approved the crucifixion of the slave children shows that - but not all. And Dany's interactions with Hizdahr show her almost total lack of willingness to consider that possibility. She has to believe in her own values, has to see herself as the righteous saviour. Even in a situation where she has a noble who's being as cooperative as possible, she doesn't use him to anything close to his maximum potential. She just can't trust him. Consequently, he's wasted on her.

So, yes, Hizdahr's death in the show looks pointless... but I actually think that was the point. His death was a waste, a culmination of a whole series of efforts to work with Dany all that turned out to be a waste. He wasn't associated with the Sons of the Harpy: his final moments prove that beyond reasonable doubt. He sincerely tried to work with her, for the sake of peace in their lands. And Dany didn't care, because at a fundamental level she hadn't persuaded herself that people like him had value. She flirted with the idea when she chose him as her ambassador and then her betrothed, but it was nothing more than a flirtation, as she didn't take on his recommendations as ambassador until it was too late, and didn't treat him with respect as a betrothed. Her "break the wheel" speech showed a lack of regard for noble houses in Westeros as well - except that she's the convenient exception to the rule.

Now, of course, that's my personal reading of Hizdahr on the show. It could be that the actual intentions of the writers were just to make him a buffoon against which Dany's strong-female-character-ness could be highlighted. But what kind of strength, precisely, would be highlighted by a buffoon? "Standing up to" a character who's a joke is, itself, a joke. So I have to believe that the writing intentionally made Hizdahr more sympathetic to show that Dany was out of her depth in Slavers' Bay.

Excellent post, thanks for taking the time to contribute it.

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Excellent post, thanks for taking the time to contribute it.

Thank you! I was worried that I rambled on for too long, so I appreciate you saying otherwise.

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The death of Hizdar bothered me. Not nearly as much as Shireen's, but bothered me.

I kinda liked the idea Hizdar was the head of the Harpy, or at least the suspense of it. But that was killed, just like the character himself.

I thought it was a low-key death for a character who was far more interesting in the books. He was definitely underused in the show. I don't see the point in including him at all when all he did was convince Dany to open the fighting pits.

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As for Daznaks, I think they just about nailed it as best they could. The Harpys looked a bit stupid standing around waving their daggers at the Unsullied in the centre but they were mostly just extras under the masks and the logistics of them all jumping in to get to Dany would've taken too long to get it drilled etc. Drogon looked awesome, I liked them showing his vulnerability too with the spears, not saying they would've killed him but we've not seen him being injured or anything so far so brings it back to reality slightly and makes them less so one sided. I loved his movement too, the animators really outdone themselves for this scene.

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I was sort of hoping that Shireen would reveal her Grey Scale had returned on her arm or something and realises without a sacrifice that Stannis' army would be doomed and offers herself up while Stannis pleads with her not to. Instead we just get someone who's done a full 180 with his personality from only a few episodes ago. Whether GRRM told them this was going to happen in the books or not it should've been handled better because it made no sense at all from his standpoint in episode 4 to last night. This season has been the bleakest so far, 5 seasons now we've had the bad guys getting away with everything while everyone good has suffered, Ramsay is an unstoppable killing machine, the Starks are still being fucked over its just getting tiresome. The tables better start turning next season otherwise if it carries on down this path the story is going to turn to shit including the books IMO.

To be fair, Joffrey is no longer among the living and Cersei is exactly having a fun time of it. If Stannis is to be viewed as a villain now then we'll either be rid of him or the Boltons soon enough depending on the outcome of the Winterfell battle.

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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.

This is just complete nonsense. To say they don't respect the man's work is an insult to all the work they do. If they didn't respect his work they wouldn't have gone to Santa Fe to hash things out with him. They simply would have come to the end of available source material and done their own thing.

I swear some of you wouldn't be happy unless the show was 52 Episodes with a multi-billion dollar budget and a cast you could fill a stadium with. There simply isn't enough time for the show to explore every single theme GRRM crams into his novels. It's impossible. Why that just ruins people's lives is beyond me.

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I kind of meant the actual experience of it. Perhaps I should have used the word "horrific" instead. I knew it could be on the cards although I didn't think it was set in stone by any means.

Exactly. Booksters have known that many "shocking" things were coming and they were still "shocking." Ned, the Red Wedding, the Red Viper, Dracarys! They were all shocking in their own way. Credit to the show runners for keeping it dramatic even though half the audience already knows what is about to happen.

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I find it hilarious that all of the Stannis fanboys keep saying 'never in a million years would he do this' and others who think differently 'clearly don't understand him and haven't paid attention to him while reading the books'.

LOL just stop. He killed his brother, other family members, and wanted to kill his nephew. D&D literally said GRRM told us this was going to happen in the book so we put it in. How you can still blindly make these claims is perplexing. There is so much pointing at this happening in TWOW it's silly.

I wouldn't say wanted to kill his nephew but he was certainly willing. You could make a case that Stannis is worse by far then say jamie Lannister. The things Jamie has done have been in the heat of passion. Stannis on the other hand acts very deliberately. You might say Stannis believes he acts for the greater good, but so did Jamie with the Mad king. Even pushing Bran out the window was done to protect Cersei and his children. Stannis burned his own child.

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I find it hilarious that all of the Stannis fanboys keep saying 'never in a million years would he do this' and others who think differently 'clearly don't understand him and haven't paid attention to him while reading the books'.

LOL just stop. He killed his brother, other family members, and wanted to kill his nephew. D&D literally said GRRM told us this was going to happen in the book so we put it in. How you can still blindly make these claims is perplexing. There is so much pointing at this happening in TWOW it's silly.

Killing a brother or nephew is not the same as killing your daughter. Still, I was fine with it last night. The second they made Shireen and Selyse join Stannis, and the second he insisted upon it, I knew it was going to happen. He is desparate and, as in the books, he will break before he bends. He is true to his cause because it is just.

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Stannis: Horrible to watch the Shireen scene but brilliant acting by all involved, I had tears when watching Shireen. Mixed on the adaptation and Stannis' involvement. They should have set up slightly more desperation and had news of the last leech killing Balon at the least when attempting this story, I'll reserve full judgement until Winds though in respect for both George's writing and the Show's adaptation (and not just the first chapter).



Wall: FTW Set-up, Olie needs to be lobbed off the Wall by WunWun. Liking WunWun's presence and beyond Olie who's staring in our faces, I'm really struggling as to whether Thorne will be one of the stabbers because every line he speaks to Jon seems to indicate either possibility.



Dorne: Doran is strong, the rest is leaving me puzzled why LS was left out but hoping for e10 Doran's reveal.



Arya: although it's icky, having seen her since s01 (and no we don't need to see Trant as a pervert to hate him, we should already), it does make sense to expedite the Mercy scene, merge his character with Raff. Show Arya is older than book Arya/Mercy in this scene. If it wasn't Trant, she'd be using her sexuality to lure another Lannister guardsmen to their death pretty soon. I don't see this at all in the category of sexualising for drama alone unlike certain other scenes.



Mereen: Loved it and I had high expectations. Liked the misdirection with Hizdaar in the end but again reserving full judgment til Winds on this. Drogon was awesome, loved the riding. I would have liked the Whip scene as the only real improvement. Harpies' arrival was sik. Also having just re-watched it - Dany did not abandon Tyrion and Co. with many Harpies left at all, mainly unsullied. Check the last few scenes and suddenly after Drogon's wrath, you'll see that most Harpies had either burnt or fled which it took a re-watch to clock on my part because I was so focussed on Drogon.


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Stannis on show is thesame evil man that he is in the book

I'm not a Stannis fan and definitely not a book purist. I just have to disagree with this. Stop using our real world morals to judge these characters and put yourself in Stannis' shoes.

Stannis has seen first hand Mel's power. He's seen what her god can do. This woman who can birth shadow demon assassins says he is the only hope to save the world. He hates it, even tells his only daughter whom he clearly loves and is about to burn as much. However he firmly believes in what he sees as his duty. He needs Winterfell, he'll never rally the North without it. He knows what the Walkers and their hordes of wights will do to a splintered North, so he puts his faith in Mel and gives her what she wants.

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This is just complete nonsense. To say they don't respect the man's work is an insult to all the work they do. If they didn't respect his work they wouldn't have gone to Santa Fe to hash things out with him. They simply would have come to the end of available source material and done their own thing.

I swear some of you wouldn't be happy unless the show was 52 Episodes with a multi-billion dollar budget and a cast you could fill a stadium with. There simply isn't enough time for the show to explore every single theme GRRM crams into his novels. It's impossible. Why that just ruins people's lives is beyond me.

I agree. I think the poster is really upset because they are not following the way he/she has the story going in their mind. D&D are following the basic blue print that GRRM made. it seems this also includes the burning of Shireen. I think a lot of us have a set course for the books in our mind (especially with so much time between books). When something happens that contradicts the way many people feel the story should go they get upset.

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Soooo... Shireen is dead but the usurper Balon Greyjoy is still alive? :dunno:

THe Greyjoys don't exist anymore - they were written out of the story. Well, except for Reek/Theon. I'm literally not sure the family name has been said outside of Theon/Sansa.

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I'm not a Stannis fan and definitely not a book purist. I just have to disagree with this. Stop using our real world morals to judge these characters and put yourself in Stannis' shoes.

Stannis has seen first hand Mel's power. He's seen what her god can do. This woman who can birth shadow demon assassins says he is the only hope to save the world. He hates it, even tells his only daughter whom he clearly loves and is about to burn as much. However he firmly believes in what he sees as his duty. He needs Winterfell, he'll never rally the North without it. He knows what the Walkers and their hordes of wights will do to a splintered North, so he puts his faith in Mel and gives her what she wants.

He's not going to rally the North as a kinslayer who burned alive his daughter to a foreign god, either. Book Stannis, as you remember, rallied the Northern clans to go to Winterfell to get Ned's not daughter and Mel gave up bitching about the Old Gods. He also, ya know, had Asha with him, daughter of a king from a line of kings longer than the Baratheon line, and hasn't burned her yet.

Edited by Cas Stark

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Cas Stark, on 07 Jun 2015 - 11:44 PM, said:





Nut much for nuance are you?





I think that too many folk have read too much into the shades of grey thing. The non religious evil characters are not one dimensional. The religious characters are one dimensional and intentionally so. The High Sparrow and Mel are both evil.







I really don't get how fans of this books can be so blind when it comes to shades of grey.





The seem to be taking shades of grey for license.







D&D pretty much confirmed Stannicide in TWOW.



I don't understand why people are so upset at Stannis, honestly. This is the same fanbase that thinks Jaime was justified in throwing Bran out a window. Bran! A major POV character. And Jaime was only trying to save Cersei and himself. Stannis is doing it (at least in his own mind) for the good of the realm.





Well that was before Jamie began his redemption arc. Show Jamie seems to be starting a redemption arc in Dorne.






Was that girl that Meryn Trant went off with, even a whore? Or did the owner just grab any girl who looked young enough?





It was obvious she was not a whore.



Very clever plotting though. In one move they provide means, motive and opportunity! Of course its not Arya's motive but its four seasons since Trant murdered Sylvio and that was war.



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