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[Spoilers] Episode 103 Discussion


Ran
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I wonder if Viserys is self-medicating on all that wine for his incurable injuries or if that Ser Otto has just worn him down. My take is that Viserys has gotten a realization of just how much everyone is trying to manipulate him all the time and is well and truly sick of it too.

Edit:

Yep, he feels massively guilty over his prophecy failing in Episode 1.

Edited by C.T. Phipps
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So they see the white stag and Ser Crispen goes to draw his sword ...that can't be how hunting works right? I'm sorry I just want to know what his next move was if Rhaenyra didn't say "no."

Thinking about a possible Ser Crispen of house Glover reminded me of something. Do we think we're going to get Kermit, Elmo, Grover and ser Oscar? 

Maybe I'm no fun but I feel like what got a chuckle out on the page might seem....distracting and weird on screen? 

28 minutes ago, C.T. Phipps said:

I wonder if Viserys is self-medicating on all that wine for his incurable injuries

It's a little weird that they've had him suffer these so early, no? I've never been great at the timeline but he's gotta be ~15 years from death so Aegon can grow up. I'm curious what the idea is behind making him sick or battling infection the whole time. 

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6 minutes ago, RumHam said:

It's a little weird that they've had him suffer these so early, no? I've never been great at the timeline but he's gotta be ~15 years from death so Aegon can grow up. I'm curious what the idea is behind making him sick or battling infection the whole time. 

I assume to add tension for everyone who doesn't know the story. "Viserys could drop dead at any moment!"

 

Anyway, I thought the episode was kinda slow and Daemon had a bit too much superhero-y bullshit at the end. But there was some good stuff in it too. 7/10 I guess.

Edited by Fez
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I think this was the weakest episode so far.  Viserys getting the idea of marrying Laenor to Rhaenyra just now does not seem like an organic idea, he should have thought of this in the previous episode to appease Corlys. It feels like manufactured drama and angst.

Also the crab feeder was totally underwhelming which he should be, idk how Daemon was losing to him with two dragons. They said that he ran into tunnels, he barely went into the tunnels and stared out like Bran. He didn’t do anything at all. Daemon having a whole bunch of people around him and not attacking him just for a setup for a dragon…there are so many things that I just didn’t like. 

On a positive note though, really happy to see the Strongs, Lannisters, Hightowers, and Joffrey 

Edit: how could I forget the PUG! All is forgiven!

Edited by Crona
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First thing's first, I cannot believe that when Viserys asked Jason if he had any dragons to offer, he didn't respond with "gold ones." It was such a perfect set-up, the screenwriters are dolts for skipping it.

I found the whole Stepstones battle pretty silly and drawn out, more reminiscent of the later seasons of GOT, but I'm probably in the minority on this one.

This was a great episode for Alicent. Emily Carey is really starting to shine. (And it looks like they're already trying to mimic Cersei by repeatedly showing her with the wine goblet). I was surprised that Otto seemed reluctant to push Aegon's claim at first.

Holy Seven, Rhaenyra is a brat. I actually respect the writers quite a bit for being willing to make her deeply unlikable at times. Her slaughter of the boar makes me wonder if they actually will go the mad queen route with her eventually. I'm sure a gif of her walking through the camp bloodstained will become the profile pic for every fangirl who worshiped at the altar of Daenerys Stormborn.

One major problem with aging Rhaenyra up and Alicent down is that there's no reason for them not to have fixed the succession issue by betrothing their children. Viserys should have betrothed Helaena and Jace when Jace was a newborn.

If they were going to stick with Harwin being the strongest man in the realm, then they should have cast someone, well, bigger. He doesn't look very brawny.

Hopefully post-gap Criston is more interesting, because I found him pretty dull this episode. I don't think he and Rhaenyra have very good chemistry.

It was pretty cool watching a group of women together just shooting the breeze. I don't recall that ever happening on GOT.

I didn't find drunk, tortured Viserys as compelling as he was during the first two episodes. He was unintentionally funny at times, and I found his hunched-over brooding tiresome.

My biggest complaint about this episode is all the animal cruelty, even if it was CGI. Do people really get that excited watching animals get butchered to death? I know most of us eat meat, but that doesn't give it renewed entertainment value.

But overall, I liked this episode best of the first three so far. It was very cool to see the hunting grounds and to meet members from the other houses.

Edited by The Bard of Banefort
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1 minute ago, zajaz said:

The writers say that 'these big royal hunts were another way to really show the decadence of this particular time', and I'm like: What? You guys do realize that royal hunts were a huge hobby for kings during the Middle Ages, right? Even a kingdom that was not 'decadent' had these every once and a while.

To be fair, closing off massive amounts of forest and instituting poaching laws for these hunts to be possible were, in fact, the Medieval equivalent of, "I f***ng hate these pot laws! They're useless and make everyone's life more miserable." Which is to say they'd be an example of the Medieval monarchies being considered decadent.

Mind you, the show does a great job of showing the Eric and Donald "Rich People Hunting is pathetic" too with the stag bound up for Viserys to kill and he can't even do that well.

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9 minutes ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

This was a great episode for Alicent. Emily Carey is really starting to shine. (And it looks like they're already trying to mimic Cersei by repeatedly showing her with the wine goblet). I was surprised that Otto seemed reluctant to push Aegon's claim at first.

Holy Seven, Rhaenyra is a brat. I actually respect the writers quite a bit for being willing to make her deeply unlikable at times. Her slaughter of the boar makes me wonder if they actually will go the mad queen route with her eventually. I'm sure a gif of her walking through the camp bloodstained will become the profile pic for every fangirl who worshiped at the alter of Daenerys Stormborn.

Be careful, my friend; Rhaenyra and Black stans are an aggresive species around social media. Tread carefully.:rofl:

Edited by zajaz
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RIP Crab-man. We hardly knew ye. Your goal of teaching the crabs of Westeros to eat human flesh was truly noble.

But seriously, we hardly knew ye. What were these crab people fighting for over two years? I remember in the first episode it was suggested that this crab business was being financed by the free cities to cause trouble. But what do these people get out of hiding in caves for two years? For all the criticism that the last two seasons of Game of Thrones got for having empty spectacle, this was the emptiest of spectacle possible. There need to be stakes to these battle scenes and ideally more to this world than Targaryen dynastic politics.

Overall it was better than last week, but still a step down from the premiere's promise. I enjoyed a lot of the Viserys scenes this episode. Some of the direction was striking, especially in the stag "hunting" scene. I appreciated that they were allowing for some character moments, especially for Rhaenyra. But the constant time skips are doing this series no favours. Every episode is filled to the brim with political exposition, but few of the characters are having any moments to shine, because their dialogue is all about recapping the last two years or repetitive jockeying for political position. Meanwhile, Daemon's big moment of killing the guard with the message really fell flat for me, since we haven't spent the time with him necessary to really understand what's driving him.

So, writers: please, more character moments. And maybe give us an episode or two that picks up right after the last one, so we can flesh things out aside from Targaryen dynastic politics.

Oh, and since you've introduced human-eating crabs: please have the courage to make them the big bad of the show.

Edited by Caligula_K3
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2 minutes ago, Caligula_K3 said:

 But the constant time skips are doing this series no favours. Every episode is filled to the brim with political exposition, but few of the characters are having any moments to shine, because their dialogue is all about recapping the last two years or repetitive jockeying for political position. .

This 100%.

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16 minutes ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

I found the whole Stepstones battle pretty silly and drawn out, more reminiscent of the later seasons of GOT, but I'm probably in the minority on this one.

I don't think you are. But I think this problem is kind of inherent in the source material, because it's really hard to write convincing battles (especially with a naval element) where one side has dragons and have it not be anything but a complete rout for that side.

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The writers have to film battle scenes to entertain certain aspects of the fandom, but the problem is that realistic battles using real life medieval tactics plus the dragon element would seem either too anticlimatic or too one-sided. Seriously, back in GoT people stood and fought where in 99 % of the cases most normal soldiers would rout (although this was somewhat mitigated by having military commanders using 'tactics', if you can call them that, that would be the mocking stock of a late Bronze Age / early Iron Age culture).

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MY REVIEW:

https://unitedfederationofcharles.blogspot.com/2022/09/house-of-dragon-1x3-second-of-his-name.html

The episode can be summarized as taking place in two parts: the Great Hunt and the Stepstones War. A Great Hunt has been arranged for the celebration of Prince Aegon's second birthday and King Viserys is already getting pressure to marry his daughter off as well as name his son the new heir. Waiting two years with the infant mortality rates seems reasonable, sadly. Meanwhile, Daemon and Corys are not doing great in their war against the Crabfeeder.

We start with a three year time skip and unfortunately, it makes Rhaenyra look terrible because it looks like she's been in a snit for literally that entire time. Milly Alcock is forced to play a bratty teenage daughter for an entire hour of runtime and it removes a lot of the awesomeness we saw with her for the past two episodes. Rhaenyra is just mean to Alicent the entire time and the fact it's meant to have been a years-long estrangement doesn't make her look any better. She also pouts about her arranged marriage versus trying to think of bolstering her claim to the Iron Throne by making allies.

This episode really belongs to Emily Carey and Alicent Hightower is at her most sympathetic. If we're meant to infer that she's spent the past three years trying to rebuild her friendship with Rhaenyra, no matter the betrayal, it's something that shows she has the patience of a saint. We also see she's not overly enthusiastic about stealing Rhaenyra's birthright. Which Otto points out that the majority of the realm would see as the reverse.

Surprisingly, Otto is shown to be a trifle more sympathetic this time around as well. While still a scheming weasal, he's clearly not interested in just destroying Rhaenyra to get what he wants. He wants her married off to a Great House and a comfortable retirement. He also is interested in marrying her to his grandson, 16 year age difference or not. Seriously, Viserys seems to be the only man with any sense of age issues in the realm and he still married a teenager.

We get some build-up for a possible Rhaenyra and Cristin Cole romance, however. They get to spend the majority of the Great Hunt alone together as well as making it clear that Cole is personally very loyal to Rhaenyra for raising him up to the Kingsguard. I'll even go so far as to say part of her problem is Rhaenyra is suffering some sexual frustration while being terrified of marriage due to her mother's horrific death as well as the political ramifications. Really getting some serious Elizabeth I vibes here.

Viserys is at his worst here but he's also starting to show some spine. Sadly, it seems that he's finally picked on the fact that everyone thinks of him as a weather vane. Blow on him and he goes whichever direction you want. Unfortunately, growing a spine primarily means that he's become a drunk and willing to yell at everyone who annoys him until they back down. He's gone from being a harmless but otherwise good man to being more and more just Robert Barthaeon the early edition. Thankfully, he's not taken to spouse abuse yet.

The battle scenes are both the best and worst part of this episode. The plot armor is strong with Daemon Targaryen as he shrugs off multiple arrows as well as stands up to a hundred men before bringing down his dragons. On the other hand, I also like the implied politics of it all with the reason the Crabfeeder was winning is because he had a nation standing behind him while it was just Daemon as well as House Velaryon trying to take him down. Sometimes dragons win wars, other times its logistics.

In conclusion, I liked it more than Rings of Power's opening episodes but I think I'm going to be continued to be disconcerted with all these massive time jumps and I know there's still more ahead since The Dance of the Dragons is a decade or so aware. I always love dragons on screen, though, especially when they're frying people and could have used more of that. Just keep Rhaenyra being awesome, give me some more Matt Smith's Rogue Prince, and throw in more dragon action--that's all I want show.

7.5/10

Edited by C.T. Phipps
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Yeah, the battle (motivationless crab-people aside) was pretty silly. Maybe I just missed something, but why couldn't the Daemon/Sea Snake alliance block the cave entrances and starve everyone in them? And why did all the crab-people leave the cave just to get one guy if their #1 strategy was to not leave the cave?

One really important and excellent part of this episode: there was a pug. This is the most screentime a pug has received in a major sci-fi/fantasy release since David Lynch's Dune. I demand more pug!

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