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[Spoilers] Episode 109 Discussion


Ran
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I think the complaint that Rhaenys' refusal to roast the greens is "idiotic" is the all-too-common fallacy on the internet of applying what the reader/viewer knows to the characters within the narrative.  Could Rhaenys have prevented a civil war that kills thousands - as well as most of the dragons and her two houses?  Of course.  But she doesn't know that's going to happen.  And from her perspective it would be weird to assume such total war at the time considering she knows neither Rhaenyra nor Alicent are tyrants and Otto is known as a well-seasoned "reasonable" ruler.  All that's happened so far is a few minor lords were hanged and Aegon was anointed.  In that vein, a threat gesture seems to make more sense -- especially considering as Ran said she's probably not even sure she wants to align with Rhaenyra as of yet.

And really, if we employ the oft-used analogy as dragons as nuclear weapons, this makes sense in the real world too.  Roasting the greens would have been the equivalent of deploying/actually using a nuke.  What she did - deaths of the smallfolk aside - is much more like what we actually see in nuclear diplomacy:  deterrence.  Indeed, this is essentially referred to by Alicent in her earlier conversation with Rhaenys.  Alicent emphasizes if Rhaenys with Meleys joins them, this may well convince Rhaenyra to accept terms.

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5 minutes ago, MisbornHeir said:

Do you dislike its inclusion inherently or how it has been used? Cause it does tie in to the scroll Rhaegar found, which itself had to have been written significantly before his time.

Kinda both. As I said in the previous comment, I feel they used that for multiply reasons. Partly for Rhaenyra, partly to tie it with Aegon (which could be true or not), and partly with Rhaegar and therefore GOT.

I do not believe Viserys knew anything about it, but for the purpose of the show, I don't find it difficult to believe that he might've known about it. As you said, the scroll was written well before Rhaegar's time, I assume. If he found it, maybe Viserys did too, or it was passed to him.

I just don't like that prophecy to be brought into this story. Especially, after what happened with it in GOT. Basically it was garbage. Every time I hear it now gives me a physical reaction. Pure cringe. I guess it's just "too soon" for me? lol  Doesn't happen with the books. I love those things in the books. I think Got suffered greatly because D&D kept away from all those fantasy elements, but I digress.

I truly do not like that it is used for Rhaenyra. I don't think it was necessary for this story, at all. I don't think she needs it. And, then, that whole misunderstanding with Alicent, just too much for me.

However, once you put the prophecy into the story, it's inevitable that it's going to be used, otherwise why bring it at all? It wouldn't make sense for Viserys simply ignore it. Oh well...It's not a deal breaker. I'm just, bleh...I don't care for that crap. :thumbsdown:

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27 minutes ago, Ran said:

Apparently not when it came to deciding in an open war.

Hummm, interesting...I don't know how I feel about this. The words she says "it's not my battle." I'll have to see how things play out in the season finale.

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1 hour ago, TormundsWoman said:

Just when exactly did we see her doing that till now? “Always Playing for keeps” meaning hasn’t changed I’m assuming.

Okay, that's fair. 

What I meant as to "playing for keeps" was that she knows what is going on and to maximize her supposed output.  Think of it as game theory for a Game of Thrones.  To me, playing for keeps means that you are actually playing the Game and you are trying to win something, not necessarily the biggest throne.  

So, with Rhaenys, she is maxing her family's power and influence she tries to get her daughter married to the King and when that fails she tries to get her son married to the Queen.  And when she sees the opportunity to pull a small powerplay on her dumb brother-in-law, she does, accepting a marriage of her grandchildren to Rahenera's children.  

Further, that Rhaenys knows what is going on and the impact of what various things mean.  For instance, when your house has thrown in with the Queen Apparent (not "presumptive"), and they crown SOMEBODY ELSE as King ... you have a war on your hands.  So, for me, I think Rhaenys should have known that the war was already on.  Rhaeyns has always seemed to know how this game goes.  

That's what I mean.  

I did not mean - and should have said it clearer - that Rhaenys is looking for any excuse to claim the throne etc.  

But ... 

She should have known.  

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53 minutes ago, Ran said:

Re: Rhaenys, it's worth considering something Eve Best says in this interview with Sean T. Collins (of The Boiled Leather podcast and Feast-Dance combined reading):

A lot of people have read her as now having made the choice to be on the side of the Blacks... but things make a lot more sense, in a way, if she has in fact only acted for the freedom of herself and her dragon, and then chooses to essentially remain neutral by leaving the Greens to live and departing King's Landing, presumably to Driftmark to reunite with the Sea Snake and consult with him.

The trailer for next episode adds some circumstancial support for this

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since she says the Greens are coming for Rhaenyra, not for "us". She does not see herself, at that time, as being on Rhaenyra's side I think.

 

From a narrative stand point, this gives her decision not to kill the Green faction some color. She’s not decided on who she supports and it’s not her war. But then if she thought a bit deeper, her family (through her granddaughters) is nominally aligned with the Blacks and her grand daughters’ lives could be at risk by association. And does she really expect Corlys to sit out the war if he recovers?

Again, this gives more context to her decision not to kill the Greens but her busting through like that and in the process killing all those small folk made no sense, when she could have flown her dragon out through one of the normal exits… I’m sure there’s one in the dragonpit. This was just another random spectacle or badass moment simply for the purpose of having one. Condal or Sapochnik stated as much.

 

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3 minutes ago, Rockroi said:

Rhaeyns has always seemed to know how this game goes.

Why should she know this is "how this game goes?"  She grew up participating in the Great Council, where the game obviously did not go anywhere close to the Dance.  Moreover, as Rhaenys herself says in the pilot, it's been 70 (now 80) years since Maegor's end, virtually nobody living in Westeros knows real war - at least between each other.

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Rewatching the episode, it clearly is Alicent who prevents Rhaenys from unleashing Meleys' flames. And she puts herself in front of Aegon, clearing sending the message that Rhaenys would have to kill her to unmake King Aegon.

In that sense I definitely think the scene does work.

Also, I think the dead smallfolk number more in the dozens or scores than the hundreds considering the space around the dragon is largely empty when the dust has clear to the point that you can make out the details.

Still an ugly thing, but hardly the worst thing ever, even if people were giving a damn about the common people (which they don't). Rhaenys, specifically, doesn't give a damn about noblemen killing each other for no reason during tourneys.

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46 minutes ago, The Grey Wolf Strikes Back said:

Shouldn't Caswell have been beheaded given his station and the fact he was taken specifically to the King's Justice? A head on a spike makes more sense to me than a lord randomly hanging in an open hallway, which to me looks like something an edgy teen would think up.

I agree. It felt like revolutionaries took over and were hanging lords from pillars. Plus there were two more lords who refused to bend the knee, so heads on spikes should have been the way to go. 

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1 minute ago, Corvinus85 said:

I agree. It felt like revolutionaries took over and were hanging lords from pillars. Plus there were two more lords who refused to bend the knee, so heads on spikes should have been the way to go.

Heads on pikes is inherently a public gesture.  Viserys' death is not announced publicly until Otto does so at the dragonpit.

13 minutes ago, teej6 said:

when she could have flown her dragon out through one of the normal exits… I’m sure there’s one in the dragonpit. This was just another random spectacle or badass moment simply for the purpose of having one. Condal or Sapochnik stated as much.

I thought the implication of the scene made it clear there were no other exits available to Rhaenys..or more precisely Meleys.  That's why Otto keeps screaming to open the doors (that she eventually uses) - to give her an exit. 

Now, this may be silly and certainly contrived to give the huge TV spectacle, but I thought it was a very interesting choice to have Rhaenys imprisoned upon Viserys' death.  And once Erryk frees her, you just know she's gonna go get Meleys.  I figured it would end with her just roasting a few guards and then leveling a threat at the greens to ruin Aegon's coronation, but I probably should have known better.

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2 minutes ago, DMC said:

Heads on pikes is inherently a public gesture.  Viserys' death is not announced publicly until Otto does so at the dragonpit.

Considering that the show rushed events by having the coronation within a day of Viserys's death, I think they could have rearranged things and have the heads on pikes appear above the Red Keep gate as people start moving towards the Dragonpit. 

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The coronation of Aegon was incredible until they ruined it with the Rhaenys surprise. Feels like they wanted to give a fan favorite a “girl boss” moment for pretty much no reason.  It felt like it was completely forced. Condal pretty much said in the inside the episode that this was the case, more or less.  

 

Also, Cole is no longer the kingmaker. That really bummed me out.

Don’t get me wrong, I love this season so far, but this was the first weak episode. It just didn’t feel right. 

Edited by KermitTully
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1 hour ago, Aejohn the Conqueroo said:

What do people think of Aemond's ambition?  I thought it was just to liken him a little more to Daemon but with Aegon's heirs already introduced it came across as kind of gross. An unnecessary and ultimately irrelevant conversation to pass the time during an unnecessary and ultimately irrelevant chase, in my eye.

Pretty sure this was to play up Aemond's importance in the next season. I'm also pretty sure he doesn't intend to ever reliquish the Conqueror's crown once dons it, regardless whether Aegon recovers or not. Even if he might not usurp the throne openly while his mother lives, he may have intended to go down in the histories as the Eternal Prince Regent.

1 hour ago, C.T. Phipps said:

I mean, Otto is actually fucking terrible at this.

If not for Alicent carrying water for him, he never would have gotten close to being in a position of power again. He's too obvious in his scheming and too quick to violence.

Larys and Alicent are both leagues above him.

It just makes sense for Otto and his cronies to keep Alicent out of the messier details. They are boys club. The woman can be there and all, but they go drinking afterwards and then they have their straight talks.

1 hour ago, C.T. Phipps said:

Any of that logic would apply to Rhaenyra as well.

Which means that she just believed Rhaenyra was THAT terrible of a person compared to her side.

Which apparently the show wants her to believe.

I said it earlier, I never believed Alicent actually believed that Rhaenyra would harm her children. She just uses that story to convince the wastrel Aegon to get his act together and actually want to be king. And even that doesn't really work.

We don't see her ever expressing any genuine fear that she or her children are in danger. That's just not there.

The weirdo aggressive Alicent from episode 6 seems more an Alicent who is really pissed over the Strong boys issue, and not because she thinks anyone is in danger.

1 hour ago, teej6 said:

But that’s not the Alicent projected until Ep 8. She was part of the small council in the Ep and it seemed to me the rest of the council was taking her direction, at least in the council chamber. She definitely had a voice. And in the last episode, had she not gone along, the coup would not have happened. You said it yourself, there would have been no coup if Alicent didn’t go along with the conspiracy. so what was Otto’s plan B?

In episode 6 Alicent does have a seat on the council along with Rhaenyra. There she is there as an advisor since Viserys apparently wanted this. In episode 8 she is there as representative of the king who no longer can attend - that's why she sits in his chair.

Now, all this could have meant she was running things. But as it happens, they went with Otto having secret from his daughter with his cronies. Which works just as well, perhaps even better, in light of the fact that Alicent was still loyal to her husband and had a lingering fondness/loyalty to Rhaenyra.

They all have the same goal - to get Aegon on the throne - but they are not in agreement how to do it or how far to go to accomplish it.

Otto and his buddies thought they better spare Alicent the ugly details. Which is also completely in-character because they all would patronize her since she is a woman.

Them not openly talking about concrete coup and murder plots also makes sense ... this would have been treason. Talking about it makes it more real and would increase the risk that somebody might spill the beans to the king or other untrustworthy people.

1 hour ago, Adaneth said:

No, no. I don't mean she shouldn't expect a coup. Far from it. 

She would be completely delusional, if she were to believe that nobody would challenge her claim. Whether it's the show or book. Though the books are slightly different matter. Again, to go back to real History, challenging claims was pretty common. Between male heirs, so imagine challenging a female.

In the show she does expect resistance. That's what she says when she asks Daemon to marry her, and they also view the Vaemond ploy as a direct attack on Rhaenyra.

In the book the entire Black faction clearly didn't prepare for a coup nor a for a succession war nor a minor rebellion.

The only loyalists they have are Lords of the Narrow Sea. Anybody else first has to be approached, especially the great houses. There are some Black lords who are arrested, to be sure, but they were obviously morons, too, neither expecting that the ailing king would die nor that the Greens who were effectively running the government would use the advantage this gave them to, well, arrest them.

The Green Council does indeed kind of suck. They should have included Orwyle's speech about having Alicent write Rhaenyra, and also broadened it out to include more of the book dialogue. Tyland's nonsense about the treasury should have only come up after Beesbury was dead and Otto or Alicent named him the new Master of Coin. They could have had him say 'as we previously agreed, we'll divide the treasury, etc.'

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3 hours ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

Me too.  It took me a while to figure out what the hell was going on as Alicent kept proping up her feet…

The question is which one of them is actually in control.  I'm not sure I want to know how that developed.  :D

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To me the problem with Rhaenys killing the peasants isn’t that it is out of character and in many ways you can use it as an example of how the main cast cares little for the locals thus building to the riot but that the show doesn’t really draw attention to it. Honestly this reminds me of the Man of Steal controversial end fight which was shot to look like this badass showdown with Superman and Zod throwing each other into buildings and stuff while huge chunk of the audience went “Wtf Superman is murdering a bunch of innocent civilians”. (While obviously a bit different controversy as Superman entire personality is about helping civilians while Rhaenys doesn’t). But grander point being both were shot to look like a badass action piece with its consequences being notice by viewers

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