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[Spoilers] EP704 Discussion

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22 hours ago, Jon Ice-Eyes said:

They took care of the ship problem. Thee was a line of dialogue. 

Tyrion says to Dany in Dragonstone's war room: "We still have just enough ships to get the Dothraki to the mainland." Done. 

For the show, this episode is actually very impressive for logistics. The Lannister army is very drawn out, as huge companies of soldiers are when marching. Recall Jaime's brief exchange with Tarly. That's how the Dothraki got the drop on them.

If it were a set-piece battle, with tens of thousands of spearmen drawn up in formation several ranks deep, the unarmoured Dothraki would have been slaughtered. Dany actually did EXACTLY what works best: use her superior mobility to hit them unprepared, use the dragon to open up huge holes in their shield wall, the Dothraki charge through, and murder wildly in the chaos. 

When you have mobility, speed, and air superiority, this is flawless strategy. 

Step 2: burn the Iron Fleet. It will be a cakewalk. And put some god damned armour on!! 

On the other hand, Dany could've dispensed with the Dothraki altogether and just used her dragons. Why did she bring only one? Based on the Mereen battle from last season, they don't need riders. They can coordinate amongst themselves, somehow. 

The Lannister army had no defense against the dragons, except the scorpion, which Dany didn't anticipate. But there was only one of those, and it was destroyed rather easily. 

The Dothraki didn't serve much apparent purpose, unless the object was to capture Larry or the food. But aparently not. Or to run down the fleeing enemy. I don't imagine dragons are good at that. But the Lannister forces didn't flee, because apparently Tywin and/or Randall made them the most disciplined army in the history of forever.

Still, it was a much more plausible battle than the ridiculous Battle of the Bastards (did the show listen to everyone who said Ramsey should've waited with his shield wall instead of sending his cavalry to charge against the enemy cavalry for no reason?) or the the Magnificent Teleporting/Mind-reading Euron. 

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56 minutes ago, darmody said:

You may have a point if Arya used superior speed and technique--sorta like the Viper, only he had a long weapon and the strength of a full-grown man, in addition to fighting experience--but she didn't. She didn't place herself where Brienne's sword wasn't, and she didn't deflect Brienne's sword just enough so that it missed her. She was fighting straight up, toe-to-toe and deflecting blows that should've knocked that little toothpick out of her hands. 

As for mechanical advantage mitigating strength difference, I must admit it's theoretically possible for Arya to so arrange her hits. Let's assume she had tried, instead of what she actually did. Still, the odds that a little kid with a fencing sword could pile up a series of such blows against an opponent who's not only stronger with a heavier sword, but also more experienced and shown to be the greatest swordsperson on the show,* are prohibitively long. 

Not to mention the fact that Brienne is wearing armor and is a foot taller. How does she allow Arya near her head or neck with that itty-bitty sword? Brienne could spend the whole fight keeping Arya a mile away from her and/or allowing blows to bounce off her harmlessly. Arya wasn't depicted as ninja-ing her way in, but rather was executing conventional dueling moves. Once, Brienne kicked her down. That is pretty much how every single engagement should start and end. 

I might have thought, without knowing anything else about the characters, that Brienne lacked the upper-body strength to properly use her equipment. But they had her win a fistfight against the Hound, who looks like he should be able to cave in a man's skull with a single blow. Also a ridiculous scene, without them informing us that Brienne has magical grrl power. But I can accept it as just the way it is. This past episode, however, did not show us Arya as she had been set-up before. This season she's Super Arya for no reason. 

*No one has matched beating Loras, Larry, and the Hound, as well as a whole pack of Boltons. Arya's dancing teacher bragged about his skills and we saw a bit of them, but not enough to judge. The Sword of the Morning was impressive, but we don't know how good the other guys were, except Ned, who was losing to Larry before he got stabbed in Season One. Jon got bested by some Flea Bottom cutthroat. 

I'm finding it hard to believe we watched the same show.  I saw a lot of dodging and some parries of varying degrees of plausibility.  What I saw... First exchange Brienne feints left then cuts to the head.  Arya sees the feint and steps aside to avoid the cut while simultaneously parrying.  While Brienne's blade is sliding down Arya's and harmlessly to the side, Arya brings needle to Brienne's throat while Brienne is recovering, taking advantage of the significant inertia of Brienne's heavy sword.

Second exchange, Brienne makes a series of cuts, all of which Arya dodges and in each case making use of Brienne's slow recovery time. 

Third exchange, Arya goes on attack and Brienne parries easily but Arya is able to recover and resume her attack before Brienne can riposte -- Arya lands on Brienne's hand. 

Next is a long exchange that I didn't follow entirely but it ends with Arya working inside and getting kicked and knocked to the ground. 

Next exchange Brienne begins with a cut but Arya steps back and keeps moving quickly backwards while Brienne makes a series of thrusts as Arya moves back both dodging and plausibly parrying.  Brienne gets overextended and her attack fails. 

Arya ripostes and Brienne makes a hard parry disarming Arya who reaches up to push Brienne's blade in the direction it's already going while she moves in the opposite direction. 

Arya grabs her dagger and Brienne reaches for Arya's wrist.  Arya had anticipated this and had already begun shifting hands as Brienne grabs her and both finish, each threatening a killing thrust to the other. 

It was very much strength v agility and speed and Arya was fighting Brienne in exactly the way Arya and the waif fought each other.

Edited by Capo Ferro

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On 8/6/2017 at 7:24 PM, falcotron said:

The Arya at the gates scene was kind of cool, but some of the lines are silly. Why ask "Which Lady Stark?" when she already knows Sansa is alive and well at Winterfell? What other Lady Stark did she think it might be?

 

On 8/7/2017 at 6:01 AM, Ferocious Veldt Roarer said:

Jon's lady wife, for example. It would be a perfectly reasonable guess.

I was allowing Arya the assumption that Bran or Rickon took a wife in all this mess.

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On 8/7/2017 at 4:45 AM, Gomagoti said:

i think he recognised him, he just didn't want him to kill himself by charging a dragon,he is his brother after all.

He did recognize Jamie. He kept fretting the whole time, "don't charge you fucking idiot. Turn away you fucking idiot." Or some such words. Tyrion knew he was watching his brave, stupid brother Jamie race toward his terrible death; and wanted him, for once, to not be brave and to run away with some sense of self preservation.

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On 8/7/2017 at 2:18 AM, The Bear said:

Poor Meera. I hope Bran never becomes a creepy jerk in the books. BR seemed pretty BR-ish in the books.

that scene broke my heart but in a way confirmed what I thought, that she loved him crippled or not... and yes he is something else but to dismiss love from your family and the woman who wishes to be with you, you fool!!! she knows you are a cripple and is happy with it you idiot!!!

I know you have a Destiny lol but Meera took you to that destiny...

Edited by Morgana Lannister

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Did anyone like Tyrion this episode?

I actually really liked Tyrion this episode.  I haven't liked him since he joined Dany's club, but seeing that emotion on him and seeing him still care about Jaime really pulled at me. I'm hoping that Jaime, Tyrion, and Bron meet again, they have good chemistry with each other, only thing missing would be Podrick.

Oh, and I'm hoping the Golden Company comes, although I don't know what they will do against dragons.

 

Edited by Crona

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10 hours ago, I prefer summer said:

I think that was a joke. Made me laugh out loud. Davis is becoming a Bronn type sidekick. I guess Stannis was really holding him back from expressing his personality (although Jon isn't exactly Mr. Chuckles, either!).

I understand it's a joke.

The thing is, when you're the right hand man of your king, who's been taken hostage by the other queen, why make a joke about switching sides in front of said queen's main advisor?

It's really careless and weird.

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5 hours ago, Lady Snowsand said:

Anyone else think that they need to replace Jamie's gold hand with one made of dragonglass.  That way he could be the one to kill the Night King by punching him in the heart with his new hand.

Love it!

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On 8/6/2017 at 10:55 PM, The Bear said:

I wish that, I really do. Bran is in love with her in the books but she's considerably older and clearly sees him as her liege lord and the super important seer/warg/future 3ER. In the show, despite the fact that he was also considerably younger (I think he was 9 or 10 initially) it seems more like Meera is in love with him. Him wanting to protect her would be sweet and in line with the books but this is the show, and everything is exactly what it seems. He's just a dick now. Funny how BR managed to be polite and human, but Bran's just above it all.

Actually, all the more reason why she is in love with him hoping he will want her to stay.

And all this business of what an asshole Bran is, I disagree with. He is divested of his emotional ties, something which is part of becoming the three eyed raven. It simply is what it is and like Meera said, he died in that cave.

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On 2017-08-07 at 8:01 AM, Ferocious Veldt Roarer said:

Jon's lady wife, for example. It would be a perfectly reasonable guess.

Wouldn't Jon's wife be a Snow, not a Stark? (It isn't public knowledge yet that he isn't actually Ned's bastard.)

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4 hours ago, Holly Macaroni said:

I understand it's a joke.

The thing is, when you're the right hand man of your king, who's been taken hostage by the other queen, why make a joke about switching sides in front of said queen's main advisor?

It's really careless and weird.

It was a way of also complementing Dany and rewarding Missandei for her passionate defense of her. I don't think it was careless or out of place, it was flattery. 

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4 hours ago, Crona said:

Did anyone like Tyrion this episode?

I actually really liked Tyrion this episode.  I haven't liked him since he joined Dany's club, but seeing that emotion on him and seeing him still care about Jaime really pulled at me. I'm hoping that Jaime, Tyrion, and Bron meet again, they have good chemistry with each other, only thing missing would be Podrick.

Oh, and I'm hoping the Golden Company comes, although I don't know what they will do against dragons.

 

I felt for Tyrion, for the first time probably since he killed his father. His relationship with Larry is one of the few family bonds, outside the Starks, that isn't icky or overwrought. I also felt for Larry and thought his story moved forward for the first time in several seasons. Maybe since the last time he defied Carol, which was when he set Tyrion free.

The non-Carol Lannisters had been treading water storywise for a long time. They gave Tyrion plenty of story since his endless boat trip ended, but it's all been a snoozer and unbelievable. Now he gets to see with his own eyes what he's doing to his family. See how he likes it. 

This episode had deep feelz. Season One through Four had two Big Battle episodes, the Blackwater and the Wall. Both were compelling, made sense tactically, and were complex plotwise and character-wise. But since then, the trend has been downwardly, at least for me. Either emotionally barren fights, like the entire Easteros storyline, or they're too stupid to take seriously (see more below) Hardhome was good because it had good action and it moved the plot forward (finally!) with the White Walkers. But did it really? Because the White Walkers still haven't done anything for two seasons.

I didn't really feel anything at Hardhome, and I thought maybe they stretched the spectacle to kill time. Battle of the Bastards had feelz aplenty, but it was so, so stupid tactically, plotwise, and characterwise. I *still* don't know what on Planetos Sandra was up to. 

This past episode, however, had if not realistic action at least a plausible turn of events, given how things work in the Universos. More than that, it gave Larry, Bronn, and Tyrion real feelz to feel. When Larry was deciding whether or not to charge Dany and the dragon, I flashed back to Joffrey mocking him for never accomplishing anything as a knight, besides being anointed young and stabbing the king in the back. Killing the Last (known) Targaryen and effectively winning the war would be something.

Then there's Tyrion, who wants revenge on Carol but apparently hasn't thought out completely what that means for the brother he loves.

And Bronn, who lost his gold and didn't run, but stayed and possibly saved his friend Larry. 

Edited by darmody

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11 hours ago, Gala said:

Well, I do not know whether he speaks it or not. He is a smart man, he could have learnt some Dothraki. 
Anyway, Tyrion acted as if he understood what that man said.
"Once the throne is secured" you said, so you presume that Dany won't use any soldiers against WW? I doubt that she will get IT before the Long Night and the Army of the Dead comes.

Remember how much trouble Tyrion had trying to speak High Valerian? Makes me doubt he would have picked up Dothraki.

It will be interesting to see if/how Dany manages to control the Dothraki after unleashing them in battles against her Westeros enemies. She wants them to stop raping, and the Iron Born to stop pillaging, but both are massive cultural and economic shifts to their ways of life.

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30 minutes ago, Lord Godric said:

It was a way of also complementing Dany and rewarding Missandei for her passionate defense of her. I don't think it was careless or out of place, it was flattery. 

I agree. And I think Davis is trying to lighten the mood, while continuing to push Jon towards some kind of improved relationship with Dany. I don't necessarily think he is shipping them (although that line about Jon staring at her good heart might suggest the possibility), but he certainly sees the value of an alliance.

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I've seen comparisons between Bran and Doctor Manhattan, which make sense in the abstract, because we know a giant existential fight is coming, and that Bran will play a role because of his Shining powers and because of his connection to the Night King. And we know this role will be on a different plane than the gross reality in which the other characters are stuck. Just like we knew Doc Manhattan could foresee some terrible event coming, and had to concentrate on preventing it, as well as wrestling with whether he wanted to bother given his detachment from humanity. 

But the way this is depicted with Bran, he just sits there being weird. In Watchmen, at least we see the weirdo inhuman human guy working on science stuff, being distracted and too busy to bother with people. Bran just sits there or talks monotonously. We don't know what he's up to or even if he's up to anything. The only thing we've seen him use his powers for in several seasons is to witness his own family's past. Which will be important, since maybe Jon has a claim to the Iron Throne. But it's also Stark gossip, and feels a bit like it's only important because we're interested in the family, not because it has anything to do with the coming war. 

The show erred deeply, I think, by removing Bran from the show for an entire season, then not telling us what he's really up to. It also erred by failing to properly depict the change in his character from the little kid everyone liked to this weirdo. That's hard to do, admittedly, because most of the characters with whom he interacted before his big shift are dead. They did a bit of that with Meera, but not enough. 

Edited by darmody

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7 hours ago, darmody said:

On the other hand, Dany could've dispensed with the Dothraki altogether and just used her dragons. Why did she bring only one? Based on the Mereen battle from last season, they don't need riders. They can coordinate amongst themselves, somehow. 

Because the dragons need riders to be seriously effective in that type of battle. Hence the need for Danny to fly on Drogon.

56 minutes ago, I prefer summer said:

Wouldn't Jon's wife be a Snow, not a Stark? (It isn't public knowledge yet that he isn't actually Ned's bastard.)

Arya might well assume that Jon had taken the name Stark on becoming king of the north.

The point is that she does not think of her sister as 'Lady Stark'. Or for that matter, herself.

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I've listened to/read a few reviews and commentaries that position Dany as being on the road to "Mad Queendom." Several accuse her of ignoring both Tyrion's and Jon's advise not to melt castles, burn cities and unleash foreign hoards on Westerosi citizens. But I think she did take that advice, or at least much of it. By attacking the Lannister army in the open fields on their way back from HG, she completely avoided civilian casualties. She killed soldiers who had just invaded a castle, killed everyone inside, taken all the gold and provisions - soldiers led by commanders who haven't been squeamish in the past about collateral damage. So, it's likely that civilians did die in, or around, HG. 

Yes, those soldiers died brutal deaths, burned by Drogon or hacked by the Dothraki, but were those deaths really any worse than the ones we saw in the BOTB or any of the other battles? Dany is using the tools at her disposal, against military targets. She destroyed some of the grain (dragon fire isn't exactly a precision weapon), but probably not all of it, as Jaime mentioned that the convoy was spread pretty thin. It is unfortunate that the gold got through to KL, but I suppose the writers are still trying to keep the playing field from tipping too much to one side.

I wonder how many more Scorpions Cercei has? And could anyone make an armoured breastplate for a dragon? Would the dragon be able to fly with it?

Edited by I prefer summer
Typos

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On 8/7/2017 at 11:27 AM, Christi84 said:

Ugh Dany and her bend the knee crap

There is the call back to Jon putting Mance in the same position vis a vis Stannis. But the other part of that is the question of how reasonable or not it was for Stannis to be so inflexible on that point, and many viewers probably feel the same about Dany - and the show hasn't exactly done a good job of explaining why she is so insistent, and it comes off looking like a mixture of petulance, arrogance and Stannis like inflexibility. After all she was prepared to offer the Greyjoys independence (of a sort, the caveats are like the deal the Finns got from the USSR - which is better than being Polish but not as good as being Sweden). And the Show hasn't really clearly established the precise terms under which Dorne and Highgarden are pledged - though you have to think that in declaring for Dany they were doing so under the arrangement that she is the rightful occupant of the Iron throne therefore they have bent the Knee.

But from Dany's POV Jon is in effect asking her to marshal the resources of the south as well as her subjects from Essos to aid a north that holds itself apart and moreover doesn't regard the arrangement as reciprocal. Like Tyrion said it's not a reasonable thing to ask. Of course Jon is suffering snow blindness on this issue - Sansa was correct in telling him that he can't see the threat from the South because he is consumed with the threat to the north. And he just thinks that as everyone will die if the North falls they are just being silly in not rushing to help him entirely on the North's terms. Dany and Tyrion seem to be the only ones to see that settling the issue in the south is the only way the South can aid the north, and that the only institution in Westeros capable of marshaling all of westeros is the Iron throne, and it can't operate a collective defence if the key kingdom demanding it's help also refuses to acknowledge it's authority.

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4 hours ago, I prefer summer said:

I've listened to/read a few reviews and commentaries that position Dany as being on the road to "Mad Queendom." Several accuse her of ignoring both Tyrion's and Jon's advise not to melt castles, burn cities and unleash foreign hoards on Westerosi citizens. But I think she did take that advice, or at least much of it. By attacking the Lannister army in the open fields on their way back from HG, she completely avoided civilian casualties. She killed soldiers who had just invaded a castle, killed everyone inside, taken all the gold and provisions - soldiers led by commanders who haven't been squeamish in the past about collateral damage. So, it's likely that civilians did die in, or around, HG. 

 

Completely agree - and would add that in addition the Lanister Army was, on Jaimes orders, stealing all the civilians grain , including the harvests in the fields from "reluctant farmers" inflicting a holodomor on the civilians of the reach right before winter.

The Dany hate and painting her as the mad queen is getting ridiculous, she has , to a fault, tried to achieve her conquest in the gentlest possible manner. Every time she has been given voice to her temper she has let herself be guided by wiser councils. She has freed what may be millions of slaves and and made arrangements for the birth of independent governance in the cities she conquered in Essos. And just the very fact that she has turned the Dothraki towards a purpose other than sacking and slaving and raping in Essos would represent a huge reduction in the misery quotient there. And her arrangement with the Greyjoys would also have achieved a similar improvement in Westeros if it had succeeded.  Almost every character who is intelligent and with a strong moral core is aligned with her or moving that way - and we have had multiple testimonies from Varys, Selmy, Tyrion, Jorah, Missandei as to her qualities. I would get a critcicism that in dramatic terms she is perilously close to being a Mary Sue, but the Dany hate isn't really about that, in fact it's the opposite, she gets blamed for even having some dragonish impulses , despite the fact that she frequently reigns them in. 

And what is really crazy is that Dany is heaped with this infamy in some sort of moral equivalence with Cersei - Cersei! No doubt about it, Cersei is immensely entertaining to watch - to the point that it almost becomes hard to hate her for what she does, and Dany can be a bit wooden in comparison. But that really shouldn't be confused with the moral argument. Nor should the fact that Dany is not perfect and is in conflict with herself over some definitely absolutist, impetuous, and vengeful tendencies detract from the way in which she mostly conquers those tendencies whilst Cersei has embraced them wholly, to the point where she is not even conflicted anymore.  

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