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[Spoilers] Episode 103 Discussion


Ran
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I liked it more than the previous one, but not as much as the first.

Good things:

  • The hunting camp was realy nice. Not only the colorful dresses and tents are much more pleasant to watch, but they can be used to identify characters quickly without words. Just as the first episode outdid the GoT's Tourney of the Hand, this one has put to shame Robert's royal hunt. And it's not only a matter of having more budget.
  • I was a little afraid of the Lannister twins being played by the same actor, but it's been great so far. They really look different, their behaviors and personalities are distinct, and they are not shy of putting them together on the same scene.
  • Given the complicated timeframe and the neck-breaking pace, I think the writers are doing a great job at giving us references to quickly grasp the timing of each episode.

Thinks I didn't like:

  • The battles were too unrealistic. Daemon single-handedly outmatching a few dozens of men while avoiding arrows, Corlys fighting on the front line, the helmets out policy, this stupid Hollywood fixation with flaming arrows (to kill a dragon, no less?!),... They should learn that some times less is more, and portraying a protagonist surrounded by a hundred warriors will have no impact on me if I don't doubt for a second that he will come out of it fine.
  • I don't think the idea that the Triarchy was winning the war makes much sense. The crab men were holed in in the caves. Perhaps the Velaryon forces could not get them there, but they wouldn't be able to practice piracy from the inside. And while they were in the caves, the dragons should be able to burn all their ships, thus ending their threat.
  • I think that the fact that Laenor owns a dragon merited an explanation. If I was a non-reader watcher, I think I'd be very surprised at a non-Targaryen having one. Particularly since the previous episode seemed to make a point of the fact that all dragons and eggs were zealously guarded by the Targs, and they are not in good terms with the Velaryons right now.
  • Wine from Lannisport? Take that horsepiss away from me. I'll only accept Dornish red or Arbor Gold.
  • Prince Aegon should NOT be addressed as the "Second of his name". Not only because he hasn't been named heir, but because Viserys is still alive! This style is only reserved to riling kings. And if they had been refering as the second Aegon of the family, they'd be forgetting about Aegon the Uncrowned and Jaehaery's firstborn.

Random thoughts:

  • I like how they don't shy away from showing Rhaenyra's ugly traits. But I'm afraid they may fail to do that with Alicent. This episode made her a little more likeable than she should be, I think.
  • Rhaenyra was 15 in the last episode and 17 in this one. And now we celebrated Aegon's second birthday. This means that Viserys married and bedded Alicent immediately after the last episode (a bit creepy, if you ask me).
  • Not sure about it, but I think that Samwell the Bard made the wrong call. I'd say that the Princess of Dragonstone and designated heir would outrank a queen consort.
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Pretty much enjoyed that one, actually. Pretty much no complaints. Aside from there not being a real glance/closure from Viserys when Rhaenyra returns bloodied from the hunt. There is your portent right there, you moron.

Must say I really feel with Viserys trying to be happy with his family. The guy wants to enjoy himself when he feels happy, so what's the fuzz all about.

And them lords really are, well, kind of falling over themselves expecting he changes the succession. After all - what moron (aside from Jason, apparently) would not want to be the consort of the future queen regnant rather than, you know, just the husband of some princess?

Also pretty good that for the royals - Rhaenyra, Viserys, and Alicent - it is all about the human element, not so much politics. Alicent wants to remain friends with Rhaenyra, Rhaenyra doesn't want to be replaced in her father's heart, and Viserys doesn't want to disappoint anyone. But for none of them it is at that point about power. Or at least that's not the main thing.

2 hours 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 guess it symbolizes the rot of the Realm and the Targaryen dynasty as well as Viserys himself being constantly conflicted at odds with himself and his family.

Although Caraxes crushing that poor bastard in the beginning was much better symbol. That moment was the Targaryen pricks in a nutshell. And the nobility as a whole, of course.

I also enjoyed that Otto's brother returned, by the way - the guy shows why the Lord of Oldtown is, well, the Lord of Oldtown. And Ser Otto is just a little errand boy. The guy may be Mr. Crown at Viserys' council, but not when his older brother is talking.

Larys Strong reminds me of my behavior at family feasts. I also used to sit with the women.

2 hours ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

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.

Damn it, that would have been great!

2 hours ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

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.

She was just hitting puberty pretty hard in the episode. And I could totally connect with her feeling abandoned and alone. And, man, that whole 'the princess and the queen' moment with the singer was pretty good.

The whole boar thing I read as totally positive. Go watch Becoming Elizabeth there you get Princess Elizabeth putting an injured stag out of his misery in very much a similar way. It is a sign of ambition and power, not mad queen stuff.

2 hours ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

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.

This is likely going to come up, just as the Aegon-Rhaenyra match did this episode, and there will be reasons why they don't go through with it. But, of course, Helaena will still be some years older than Jacaerys in the show, just like he is the books. And she does have two brothers who are closer in age to her.

By the way - if they finally introduce Aemma's Arryn link (was the army thing about the Vale there to strengthen Baelon's branch against Aemon's?) then just spit out that she was her first cousin, too.

They had such a great opportunity there when Lyonel Strong tried to make a joke about Jaehaerys' daughters - Viserys own mother was one of those, and Aemma's mother was another. That should have come up.

2 hours ago, Colonel Green said:

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.

The battle as such I didn't thought that great, but the setup made sense - too few proper troops and no control of the sea means you cannot really get men to those caves ... or hiding places on other islands.

2 hours ago, C.T. Phipps said:

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.

Really enjoyed both the setting of the hunt and the eating habits. That's not decadent ... it is adequate for a medieval royal hunting party, especially if the king in question rules an entire continent.

Viserys channeled King Aenys a little bit too much - he would have flinched away from the kill, I think - but having him do that also feels okay to a point for a non-martial king. However, Viserys apparently does like hunts, so he should have been somewhat more familiar with how to do it, especially from his princely days.

But I've to say the time jumps start to get annoying. They should have taken more time for things to breathe.

Having Tyland on the council this early is also kind of a surprise. In the books the Lannister twins are both younger, so I had expected them to be closer in age to Rhaenyra than those cocky brats.

The Ceira Lannister woman was supposed to be their mother, I imagine.

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Not sure about it, but I think that Samwell the Bard made the wrong call. I'd say that the Princess of Dragonstone and designated heir would outrank a queen consort.

I imagine he's also going to find out that he's not welcome at the Red Keep anymore. After all, it was the Princess who was his patron and I doubt Alicent is going to remember him. If I were writing this show, I'd make him a drunk and broke on a certain bridge in Season 2.

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10 minutes ago, The hairy bear said:

Prince Aegon should NOT be addressed as the "Second of his name". Not only because he hasn't been named heir, but because Viserys is still alive! This style is only reserved to riling kings. And if they had been refering as the second Aegon of the family, they'd be forgetting about Aegon the Uncrowned and Jaehaery's firstborn.

Lord *Hobert* Hightower does as he pleases - he wanted to make it clear for everyone that this was the second Aegon to be king. Or did anybody else style him in this manner?

10 minutes ago, The hairy bear said:

Rhaenyra was 15 in the last episode and 17 in this one. And now we celebrated Aegon's second birthday. This means that Viserys married and bedded Alicent immediately after the last episode (a bit creepy, if you ask me).

She could be nearly eighteeen already. By the way - if she is a woman grown, does this mean we are back to proper Westerosi customs where you come of age at 16?

10 minutes ago, The hairy bear said:
  • Not sure about it, but I think that Samwell the Bard made the wrong call. I'd say that the Princess of Dragonstone and designated heir would outrank a queen consort.

Nah, the queen is the queen, and a princess is just a princess, no matter whether she is the heir or a spare.

All children do show due deference to their lady mothers in the books - and Alicent Hightower is now both Rhaenyra's stepmother and the queen. She outranks her. That is part of the reason why there is friction - she shouldn't outrank her in Rhaenyra's mind - and, apparently, yours - but she very much does.

Not to mention that Alicent would actually control many aspects in the royal household ... while Rhaenyra would do no such things, actually being part of her father's and stepmother's household.

 

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7 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Viserys channeled King Aenys a little bit too much - he would have flinched away from the kill, I think - but having him do that also feels okay to a point for a non-martial king. However, Viserys apparently does like hunts, so he should have been somewhat more familiar with how to do it, especially from his princely days.

I think Viserys' reticence there was more at the surprise they didn't find the white hart.  It goes into his whole "dreamer" speech and why he was getting wasted - as he tells Alicent and later Rhaenyra he was doubting his choice of heir but when the white hart didn't materialize he was reaffirmed for Rhaenyra.  As I mentioned elsewhere, his reliance on the symbolism of the hart was my only real complaint about this episode.  I get that he's obsessed with history and the prophecy of his house - I like that aspect in general - but it still seems a little much.

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It seems clearer now that Viserys dream is a warning that Aegon II is going to destroy his house.

He sees his son on the Iron Throne and Aegon II will cause thundering hooves and battling knights because he's going to destroy the House of the Dragon. The dragons roared because they're battling each other. Aegon II is also wearing Aegon's crown because Viserys' own crown is stolen and given to Rhaenyra.

Edited by C.T. Phipps
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2 minutes ago, RumHam said:

Maybe, but you really can't blame them for wanting to get to the start of the war by the end of the season.

Oh, I can ... because the war actually sucks pretty much, story-wise.

5 minutes ago, DMC said:

I think Viserys' reticence there was more at the surprise they didn't find the white hart.  It goes into his whole "dreamer" speech and why he was getting wasted - as he tells Alicent and later Rhaenyra he was doubting his choice of heir but when the white hart didn't materialize he was reaffirmed for Rhaenyra.  As I mentioned elsewhere, his reliance on the symbolism of the hart was my only real complaint about this episode.  I get that he's obsessed with history and the prophecy of his house - I like that aspect in general - but it still seems a little much.

They overdid that, I think Viserys should have had a new dream about Rhaenyra or something else.

But it was good that they had the 'oh, and why the hell didn't the king change the succession in favor of his newborn son after he finally had one' episode ... because that one was needed.

It could have been better, though

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Oh, I can ... because the war actually sucks pretty much, story-wise.

While unlikely, I'd love to see regular flashbacks over the next three seasons.

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But it was good that they had the 'oh, and why the hell didn't the king change the succession in favor of his newborn son after he finally had one' episode ... because that one was needed.

I like how Alicent also just flat out ignored her father's orders. She's the Queen now and no longer has to listen to Otto.

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3 hours ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

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.

Does anyone get excited watching people get butchered to death? 

The answer of course is yes. I don't see how other animals should be different when it's fictional. 

I honestly find it baffling that this is a common objection. Animals are quite casually (and needlessly) put in a misery that is almost unfathomable for their entire existence, in numbers of billions per year. We're all complicit in this in one form or another, or our friends and family are.

It's just for me a weird thing to be sensitive about, considering who we are as people. Especially when the deaths depicted were relatively quick and not deliberately cruel. It's not like it was extended torture, such as the animals endure so we can have a delicious pot roast or what have you.

Edited by IFR
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27 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Oh, I can ... because the war actually sucks pretty much, story-wise.

I just mean that as much as everyone here might love Fire and Blood: The Series it's understandable they wanted to base the show on a war and not like, the regency.

Edit: I would also watch a discovery/home renovation type show but it's Maegor and the building of the Red Keep.

Edited by RumHam
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17 minutes ago, IFR said:

Does anyone get excited watching people get butchered to death? 

The answer of course is yes. I don't see how other animals should be different when it's fictional. 

I honestly find it baffling that this is a common objection. Animals are quite casually (and needlessly) put in a misery that is almost unfathomable for their entire existence, in numbers of billions per year. We're all complicit in this in one form or another, or our friends and family are.

It's just for me a weird thing to be sensitive about, considering who we are as people. Especially when the deaths depicted were relatively quick and not deliberately cruel. It's not like it was extended torture, such as the animals endure so we can have a delicious pot roast or what have you.

It’s because animals are seen as more innocent and helpless than humans, so we feel more sympathy for them. It’s the same reason why we feel worse for children than adults.

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Huh, it looks like a lot of people online disliked this show, which surprises me. The hard-on for Battle of the Bastards made me think Daemon’s fight scene would be much more popular, but instead I’m seeing people compare it to seasons 7 and 8.


The entire time they were debating whether to aid Daemon and Corlys, I kept waiting for someone to suggest sending over the Ironborn. Isn’t this their thing?

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3 hours ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

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.

I'm sure it was supposed to be seen as pathetic. Viserys himself cleary didn't want to be there, and his disgust was noticeable. This is, I believe, an apt depiction of a decadent court: a rouyal hunt where the king and the nobles do nothing else than feast and wait while his servants have to do the actual hunt. It also makes for a nice contrast with Rhaenyra, who has to get bloodied.

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

By the way - if they finally introduce Aemma's Arryn link (was the army thing about the Vale there to strengthen Baelon's branch against Aemon's?)

It was weird that they mention that Viserys married Aemma because "the Vale had an army that could rival the North". Why would the North be a reference in that context?

 
1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

Having Tyland on the council this early is also kind of a surprise.

Specially when they didn't spell out that Corlys had resigned as Master of Ships. If they wanted to go for it, it may have had more impact if Corlys had said so before storming out of last episode's Council session.

52 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Lord *Hobert* Hightower does as he pleases - he wanted to make it clear for everyone that this was the second Aegon to be king. Or did anybody else style him in this manner?

Lord Hobert Hightower addresses him this way shouting in front of a crowd, and Viserys doesn't even react to it. It doesn't seem to fit Viserys telling Jason afterwards that considering Aegon the heir is treasonous.

44 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Oh, I can ... because the war actually sucks pretty much, story-wise.

At least HBO, the showrunners and myself disagree with this assessment. :)

43 minutes ago, C.T. Phipps said:

While unlikely, I'd love to see regular flashbacks over the next three seasons.

I don't know if there'll be enough reasons to have 'regular' flashbacks, but I'd be certainly a great addition to show a flashback when they are reunited at the fall of KL. It could work very well to show how badly have things escalated, and Milly Alcock and Emily Carey certainly deserve it.

Edited by The hairy bear
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I didn't hate Daemon's recklessness the same way I hated Jon's in the Battle of the Bastards simply because here it was character motivated.  Daemon would rather risk death than allow himself to lose face and be bailed out by his brother.  Jon just stupidly charged to the benefit of no one.  Daemon knew it was a suicide mission with little chance of survival and just didn't care because death was more acceptable to him than dishonor.  

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Daemon certainly behaved wantonly - and as briantw just said, clearly because he preferred death to being bailed out by his brother, which totally fits the character - but they established using him as bait as a battle tactic during the war council, or at least Vaemond did.  To me that makes it fundamentally different than Jon's charge during the Battle of the Bastards (which never bothered me nearly as much as apparently most of you).

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5 minutes ago, DMC said:

Daemon certainly behaved wantonly - and as briantw just said, clearly because he preferred death to being bailed out by his brother, which totally fits the character - but they established using him as bait as a battle tactic during the war council, or at least Vaemond did.  To me that makes it fundamentally different than Jon's charge during the Battle of the Bastards (which never bothered me nearly as much as apparently most of you).

I appreciate the way that Viserys keeps trying to do right by his family and it's constantly interpreted by them as petty politicking.  He sends help because Alicent legitimately convinces him that it's the right thing to do, but all Daemon can see is the attempt to upstage him.  Similarly, he's pressuring his daughter to marry in order to solidify her claim, but she sees it as his attempt to ship her off and get her out of the way.

Edited by briantw
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