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Okay, NOW Have We Seen The Most Wildly Unrealistic Thing Ever on GoT???

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10 hours ago, Yoren Luck said:

Of all the criticisms I've felt and read this past episode, the decision to send Gendry as the runner instead of someone else has the least amount of credibility (IMO).  I agree that Jon and everyone else undoubtedly would have seen him as having the best endurance for running given his age and shape.  I mean, Jon can't abandon the men, Jorah is an older guy, the Hound is an older guy and has been ravaged by battle, Beric and Thoros are older and Thoros is a drunk and Beric is virtually undead himself.  Tormund may have been the most logical choice given he is from the north and is tough as nails, but why would Jon send his BFF and a great warrior in Tormund away from the battle when he could send Gendry, who's fighting abilities are unknown to Jon.  They can't send away redshirts because then they don't have redshirts to kill in the battle for the sake of suspense.

This actually made sense in-story.  It was everything else that didn't.

It made sense if you're only going to count the speaking roles and your concerns are: pure physical shape, the best possible fighting squad, and Jon being unable to abandon the burden of command alone. But all that should be trumped by Gendry's total lack of experience up North. There's no reason to think, even if he was a perfectly conditioned runner and the most expendable member of the party, that he'd somehow be able to navigate his way back to the Wall over harsh, unfamiliar terrain in the dark without ever having experienced snow before in his life. 

They shoulda sent some Wildlings back. 

Edited by darmody

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8 hours ago, lancerman said:

It's contrivance and a coincidence not a deus ex. 

The biggest deus ex machina in the series is Dany not being burned by Drogo pyre and surviving with three dragons. 

There were subtle hints that she was impervious to heat, though. Remember the servant warning her about the bathwater in the first episode, or her picking up something that had been sitting on open flames. (Was that a dragon egg? I forget.) Plus, her brother informed us true Targaryens can't be harmed by fire. 

There wasn't much of an indication that burning a witch would release dragons from supposedly petrified eggs. But I, like I assume everyone else, guessed dragons would eventually hatch the moment I saw the eggs. 

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8 hours ago, Yoren Luck said:

Agreed!

The fact that there is like 4 pages of debate in this thread over the definition of 'deus ex machina' is all the proof anyone should need that this episode had some serious issues.

For the record, the origin of the term and most literal definition is the unexpected usage of a god to resolve a plot, by suspending a character or representation of that god over the stage/arena, using a crane or similar device during a Greek or Roman performance.  Hence the literal translation "god from a machine" (the god character/prop was lowered using a machine).  

Merriam-Webster's definition for this literal usage is "a god introduced by means of a crane in ancient Greek and Roman drama to decide the final outcome."  Having the word 'introduction' in this definition does not mean 'this is the first we ever see or hear of this character'.  It means 'this character is being introduced onto the stage via a crane, as opposed to introducing them from stage left or stage right.  This is not a debatable point.

The Merriam-Webster definition as it relates to modern usage is "a person or thing (as in fiction or drama) that appears or is introduced suddenly and unexpectedly and provides a contrived solution to an apparently insoluble difficulty".  Again, having the phrase "appears or is introduced" in this definition does not mean 'this is the first we ever see or hear of this character or thing'.  It means the character or thing is brought into the story in a sudden or unexpected manner.  This is not a debatable point.

In both of these definitions, the word 'introduced' refers to how the character or thing enters the scene or stage, not that it is the first time we are being introduced to that character or thing.  The word 'introduced' on its own has multiple meanings, but the meaning with respect to the phrase 'deus ex machina' stems from it's most literal and original definition/usage, meaning 'entering the stage'.

Uncle Benjen coming to save the day is absolutely a 'deux ex machina' both when he helps Bran and when he helps Jon.  This is also not a debatable point.  If you want to debate something regarding Savior Benjen, you can debate whether we should be calling Jon's rescue a "part deux ex machina" or a "dos ex machina" since this is the second time the show runners have used the same contrived solution to the same problem because they are now apparently even too lazy to write new contrived solutions.  

You're ignoring the fact that those gods wouldn't have been characters in the play up to the point they're introduced. They are like something outside the play coming in, not like the other characters who are part of the universe within the play. In this sense, the gods' newness is paramount. 

Game of Thrones exists in a fictitious universe where characters have god-like powers. Benjen was a previously introduced character, whose powers as already established (though admittedly vaguely established) were capable of putting him in that place at that time to do what he did. 

Therefore, not deus ex machina. 

Edited by darmody

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6 hours ago, lancerman said:

There's a difference between Dany having a high pain tolerance to heat and being uneffectee by the flames of funeral pyre over the course of its lifecycle after it burned one women to death and reduced a dead man to ashes. One can be explained away as a pain tolerance the other is magic

 

 

The point is they were setting you up to think of her as possessed of special powers, whether you noticed or not. It didn't come out of the blue. 

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25 minutes ago, Illiterati said:

Speaking of rail, can three dragons fit on a bullet train?

Hrm.  Season 2 dragons or season 7 dragons?

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1 minute ago, Lurid Jester said:

Hrm.  Season 2 dragons or season 7 dragons?

Season 7.  Season 2 dragons never seemed to get anywhere with any speed anyway.

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3 hours ago, lancerman said:

Which again doesn't matter because it was resolved via a magical plot device that was not present at any point earlier. She could have walked out of the fire. Jon could have went on Drogon and left. Jon could have run and hid somewhere. 

The unresolvable situation from which Benjen saved Jon didn't arise until after the dragons left and Jon emerged from the water. He wasn't in any condition to run, and there was nowhere he knew to hide. Which is why he gets in a fighting stance, content to die. Only then does he get saved. 

(Not by a deus ex machina, however, because Uncle Ben is not a god. Though he came out of nowhere, he has been shown to have that ability.)

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3 hours ago, lancerman said:

It is forshadowed. It's just that in those instances that foreshadow it, you can easily explain it away as a heat tolerance. Surviving the pyre burning is so far beyond that, that it borders on a deus ex machina. Granted not all deus ex machina' are poor story telling if they are implemented into the story the correct way. 

Either way, there has to be zero reason to think that the plot device that resolved the conflict was possible 

What is the plot conflict, exactly, with Dany? She voluntarily puts herself into the pyre. 

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3 minutes ago, darmody said:

The unresolvable situation from which Benjen saved Jon didn't arise until after the dragons left and Jon emerged from the water. He wasn't in any condition to run, and there was nowhere he knew to hide. Which is why he gets in a fighting stance, content to die. Only then does he get saved. 

(Not by a deus ex machina, however, because Uncle Ben is not a god. Though he came out of nowhere, he has been shown to have that ability.)

While a deus ex machina is named after the ancient representation of gods in plays, it doesn not require a god be involved to be called that.  Tolkiens eagles were classic deus ex machina, they are not gods.  In fact, few uses of the plot device in modern times employ an actual deity.

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51 minutes ago, Lurid Jester said:

Oh I totally agree.  I was using it more as an effort to derail the discussion back toward the subject of the thread.  

I think I've seen the "same location" piece come up a few times.  Once, like I did, and a few others as evidence the NK was baiting a trap.  

That said, I have doubts something like that would have happened in season 1.  The pressure of time and lack of anything but the high level event sequences are causing corners to be cut. 

From the "making of epi 6" HBO video about the set and how it was filmed, I'd say loads of money was spent on the creation of that set. So, I don't think they were cutting corners. In S1 they didn't have the budget to create such a set, but I don't see why a same basic can be reused, especially since rock outcrops are rock outcrops. The different angle of the eye on it, the different CGI to create the surrounding cliff walls (or lack of it), and the marching not showing any ice versus a surrounding bowl of cliffs give enough difference. That raven vision does not give the impression of a standing army waiting in a bowl shaped valley with a frozen lake at all. On top of it all they did not use the scenes in the same episode, and nobody would have even compared it, if all these "wait how far away are they from Eastwatch for Gendry to run back in half a day?" issues that the episode creates hadn't been there, nobody would be even comparing the two shots, except a 1% minority on the internet.

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21 minutes ago, Illiterati said:

While a deus ex machina is named after the ancient representation of gods in plays, it doesn not require a god be involved to be called that.  Tolkiens eagles were classic deus ex machina, they are not gods.  In fact, few uses of the plot device in modern times employ an actual deity.

Doesn't have to be an actual deity, of course. But I think the "deus" must retain an otherworldly quality for the term to apply. That is to say, it must be like something from outside the work of fiction reaching into it. That could be an entirely new character, or something else that we had been completely unprepared for, and which is tantamount to cheating. Doesn't apply when the mechanism has been previously established in the work. 

I don't remember hearing about giant flying eagles that can safely carry hobbits over long distances until they suddenly showed up at the end of Return of the King. The reason that felt like cheating was, among other things, because they made the entire series of films unnecessary. Why didn't the birds just drop Frodo off at Mt. Doom in the first place.

Uncle Ben had that quality last season, but not as much now because he's already been set up as having the ability to save his nephews from hordes of zombies in the nick of time beyond the Wall. It's not exactly ho-hum, but once you see it you flashback to it having happened before last season. 

It retains an element of cheating, because they're pulling Jon's frozen butt out of certain doom with an extraordinarily unusual last-second savior. But Benjen lacks that otherworldly, beyond the story quality of a true deus ex machina. Because this is a world where characters have plausible godlike powers. 

Edited by darmody

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9 hours ago, lancerman said:

It's contrivance and a coincidence not a deus ex. 

The biggest deus ex machina in the series is Dany not being burned by Drogo pyre and surviving with three dragons. 

Regardless of how you choose to label it, it is some terrible writing. I'm not exactly sure what your point is here.

Dany, IDK. It's a miraculous event, certainly, but it's seeded beforehand. More importantly, it does not resolve an unsolvable problem for the protagonist. Hatching three dragons in the wilderness does not help Dany solve anything - she's still just a lone woman with a few ragtag followers in the middle of nowhere. We are only now starting to come to a position where the dragons are more help than hindrance for her. Yes, she lives, but she stepped into that fire herself. 

Tywin showing up at the Blackwater can't be a Deus ex machina for the same reason - it doesn't help the protagonists resolve s problem but instead creates more problems for them.

Edited by Maid So Fair

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11 minutes ago, darmody said:

But I think the "deus" must retain an otherworldly quality for the term to apply.

Nope.  Just like "machina" doesn't have to retain some mechanical quality. 

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57 minutes ago, darmody said:

You're ignoring the fact that those gods wouldn't have been characters in the play up to the point they're introduced. They are like something outside the play coming in, not like the other characters who are part of the universe within the play. In this sense, the gods' newness is paramount. 

Game of Thrones exists in a fictitious universe where characters have god-like powers. Benjen was a previously introduced character, whose powers as already established (though admittedly vaguely established) were capable of putting him in that place at that time to do what he did. 

Therefore, not deus ex machina. 

NO IT IS NOT! You are still misinterpreting the usage of the work 'introduce' despite my having explained that this does not mean 'newness' to the story.  It stems from the literal definition and original usage of the term, where the character/prop was 'introduced' into the scene from above via a crane or other mechanism rather than being introduced from stage left or stage right.  'Introduced' in this sense meaning how the character/prop was physically brought onto the stage.  It does not mean this was an 'introduction' of a new and unexpected character to the audience.  It can be a character that is entirely new to the play, such as a god that comes down seemingly out of nowhere to fix something, but it does not have to be.  It just has to be a character that is not previously involved in or previously discussed in the scene or in any preceding scenes that led to the unexpected resolution.

A deus ex machina does not require the introduction of an entirely new character to the story.  It refers to the mechanism that is used to introduce a character into a scene.  A character that already exists in the story can still be 'introduced' into a scene where their involvement is entirely unexpected, in order to resolve a situation that appears to be unable to be resolved.  You need to understand that the work references how the character is brought into the scene, now that the character is new to the story.

Gandalf's eagle rescue of Frodo at the end of LOTR is a classic deus ex machina, yet we know these eagles exist in this universe, both from the Hobbit and from references/scenese in earlier books of the LOTR trilogy.  The most blatant examples I can remember are that the eagles save Gandalf from the tower at Isengard, and transport him to Rohan.  The head eagle also saves Gandalf from the mountain where he basically died fighting the Balrog.  These eagles are then used to save Frodo and Sam.  This was the last of several times they are referenced or used as a plot device in the overall story, but is still a classic deus ex machina because it was an unexpected resolution to that scene.  The eagles had not been previously discussed as a possible exit strategy by Frodo and Sam, we did not see Gandalf preparing to have them used in such a way, and we did not seem them anywhere near Mount Doom in any preceding scene that might allude to the fact that they were ready to help.  The were 'introduced' into this scene to resolve an unsolvable issue as a dramatic and unexpected solution - a deus ex machina.

 

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The reason it isn't a deus ex machina is a really, really straightforward one.

You saw it coming.

If you didn't see it coming when he got pulled out the ice water then you must of thought Jon was about to die, right?

Who really thought Jon was going to die?  Anyone, anyone?

He pulled himself out of he ice.  That's reasonable.....people fall through ice and pull themselves out.......nothing magical or unusual about that part.

Then he starts walking and gets  noticed so here come the wights.

And then this guy on a horse shows up.........but we knew (I did) exactly who it was as soon as he appeared doing exactly what he did for Bran last season......it was semi expected.

Since we, the audience, weren't like......where'd that come from.......which is what I thought when this happened with Bran......it can't be deus ex machina.

The event must come out of nowhere in a way that isn't even foreshadowed at all to be a true deus ex machina.

This fails that simply because as soon as the guy appeared we knew what was up.

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6 minutes ago, Lord Okra said:

The reason it isn't a deus ex machina is a really, really straightforward one.

You saw it coming.

If you didn't see it coming when he got pulled out the ice water then you must of thought Jon was about to die, right?

Who really thought Jon was going to die?  Anyone, anyone?

He pulled himself out of he ice.  That's reasonable.....people fall through ice and pull themselves out.......nothing magical or unusual about that part.

Then he starts walking and gets  noticed so here come the wights.

And then this guy on a horse shows up.........but we knew (I did) exactly who it was as soon as he appeared doing exactly what he did for Bran last season......it was semi expected.

Since we, the audience, weren't like......where'd that come from.......which is what I thought when this happened with Bran......it can't be deus ex machina.

The event must come out of nowhere in a way that isn't even foreshadowed at all to be a true deus ex machina.

This fails that simply because as soon as the guy appeared we knew what was up.

Or...

We knew Jon was going to survive where every other human being would have died because he has plot armor the thickness of a castle wall and we knew the show was going to do it in a contrived, Deus ex machina manner because a, they deliberately wrote themselves into a corner and b, are not good enough writers to make him survive in an organic way. The moment he fell in you knew a Deus ex machina was coming.

The fact the same plot device (because this is not a character) was used as a deus ex machina before does not lessen the fact it is *still* a Deus ex machina the second time.

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2 minutes ago, Maid So Fair said:

Or...

We knew Jon was going to survive where every other human being would have died because he has plot armor the thickness of a castle wall and we knew the show was going to do it in a contrived, Deus ex machina manner because a, they deliberately wrote themselves into a corner and b, are not good enough writers to make him survive in an organic way. The moment he fell in you knew a Deus ex machina was coming.

The fact the same plot device (because this is not a character) was used as a deus ex machina before does not lessen the fact it is *still* a Deus ex machina the second time.

He was going to survive.  They foreshadowed the crap out of it.

That doesn't make it a deus ex machina at all.  That he survived a stupid wight hunt?

He was rescued by dragons and his undead OP uncle.

It is like complaining about the fact that their are dragons and an undead OP uncle who hunts wights.

Look, that's the show.  The show can sling in dragons and magic to save characters because that's what the ENTIRE SHOW is about.  How can anybody be complaining about this kind of stuff?  You knew when he went North he'd be coming South again.....if you didn't then you aren't watching the same show I am.  Jon and Dany are the main heroes.

They aren't going anywhere before S8E5.

You can yack about plot armor all you want.  The heros don't die until the end.....if at all (I think they both live).  They'll both be alive in the books til the very end too.  Go cry to GRRM about plot armor.

The situation was always workable and didn't require any sort of unexpected resolution.  When they went north I was hoping to see dragons vs. wights.  I sure didn't expect them to be going up there in order for a simple we stole the wights....we're back....scene.  Everything was foreshadowed over the entire series. 

I did think we'd lose more characters but not Jon Snow.  And he made it back via some dragons and children of the forest good zombie magic.  Yay!

There was a huge dragons vs. walkers scene.......finally....we've only built to this point for 7 years.

Can't we just enjoy the dragons vs. walkers scene we finally got?

No huh?

:rollseyes:

 

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8 minutes ago, Lord Okra said:

Can't we just enjoy the dragons vs. walkers scene we finally got?

No huh?

:rollseyes:

 

Sorry but you should also accept that,  as you were cheering for a wights vs dragon battle, other people were cheering for a plot that makes sense. However, while you got what you wanted, they didn't :( don't take it personally

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