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Greylander

[Book & TV Spoinlers] Littlefinger's Monologue (sexposition)

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My thoughts...

Although I liked the whole double-meaning thing, and the insight into Petyr's motivation, I think there are two problems with this scene.

(1) For the viewer who is paynig attention, it gives away his later betrayal. My non-reader girlfriend says she saw the throne room coming simply because of how Littlefinger said he wanted to "fuck them"... and the main target of "them" was clearly Ned.

The scene (or a slightly modified version of it) should have come *after* the throne room betrayal, so probably in episode 8.

(2) Valuable screen time. Every second counts, and they only have so much. Many people miss the Jon suggesting Sam as assistant to Maester Aemon plotline, and I agree. You could trade 100 out of 360 seconds spent on Littlefinger's monologue in order to have the Jon/Sam plot. Not just for its own sake, but also so the whole Jon-to-stewards-not-rangers is set up better, instead of out-of-the-blue at the moment of "graduation". There are probably other areas where some of that valuable screen time could have been spent.

However, I do not think this is a problem:

That Littlefinger confided his feelings in his employees. Yes, to be strict, he probably would not be so careless candid about his motives/intentions to *anyone*. But a certain amount of dramatic license has to be used for this sort of thing if you want to reveal some of what a character is thinking/feeling. (The same applies to the Littlefinger/Varyis scene in an earlier episode). Although the books do not provide a Littlefinger POV, they provide a lot of information about his connection to Catelyn, and non-readers need to get that connection.

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I actually didn't have a problem with the 'gratuitous sex'. I didn't find it distracting at all, unlike a lot of other people. Maybe I'm just more open to sex than others. :dunno:

However, it's very early for Littlefinger to be blatantly revealed to the viewers. Reading from the books, it's not perfectly clear what he's up to until much later. He's obviously always been suspect, but.. how far is unknown.

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I think the main problem with it, is that it is too on the nose. Littlefinger has already telegraphed that he's a slimy shit in the TV show without the removal of all subtlety. I mean, even in the fourth book I still feel like I'm just seeing the bare outline of his game, but this gives away his primary motivation, something that's still mysterious in the books. Even aside of him trying to teach the prostitutes how to receive a john, (a scene as gratuitous as the Loras/Renly scene which was equally destructive of a subtle thread in the books) his motivations become very plain the moment he lies right to Ned's face before the throne-room confrontation and puts a knife on his neck after it--why spend all that time explaining it?

We only have 10 precious hours in this series to explain the book, and it just seems that there was plenty of room for some of the excised subplots that are taken up with redundant sexposition. (how many times do we need Theon explained for example).

Shrug. Hopefully we get extended cuts on DVD that spread the stuff out more.

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This is incredible! Nobody is going to complain about the lesbian scene? I do not want to imagine if they had done with Renly and Loras.

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If this gets its own thread than I might as well copy-paste my thoughts about it from the main thread.

There's one very important comment in that lesbian scene. Littlefinger says he's saving himself for another. Can this be another area where the TV show is spoiling something in the books for us? Originally I thought while reading that Littlefinger might be scheming to make himself Warden of the North and end up marrying Catelyn after all. But then the Red Wedding happened, and he didn't seem all that disturbed by it. In fact, when Sansa tells him to give Harrenhall to Lord Frey in book 4, he simply laughs and says, "Maybe I will." Hardly the attitude of a grieving man. But now with his comment in that scene, it seems that maybe he really did plan on marrying Catelyn. Or was he talking about Sansa? Or someone else entirely?

Thoughts? He also could be referring to Lysa, as someone pointed out. Except that after making that comment, he then starts talking immediately about Catelyn.

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I think the biggest thing they could've done it improve this scene is to make sure the focus is on LF through some tweaking with the audio. The sex itself wasn't terribly distracting...both chicks were hot but the sex was tame compared to some of the stuff you can find on the internet. The bigger problem was that they were literally moaning over (and louder than) some of LF's monologue. If they had just toned it down and magnified what LF was saying, at least when he was talking about Brandon, it would've made the scene 10x better.

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The scene was extremely ridiculous IMO. Even the thought that LF is saving himself for Catelyn is ridiculous. I am pretty sure he only treats Lysa and her insanity as a path to power, no real feelings there.

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I thought it was a bit much, but after reading the reactions of people who watched the episode a week early I thought it was going to be a lot worse. It wasn't unbearable, and I don't think it gave away much.

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The sex stuff was awesome. I thought Littlefinger's monologue was a bit silly though. He could have been more subtle instead of just recounting his whole backstory.

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Am I the only one who absolutely hates Aidan Gillen's portrayal of Littlefinger? :dunno:

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Am I the only one who absolutely hates Aidan Gillen's portrayal of Littlefinger? :dunno:

Possibly. I love it.

That being said, the scene was ridiculous and completely unnecessary. We didn't need to see his motivation though I understand the need to get his back story in.

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Maybe I am a complete dunce, but it didn't dawn on me that LIttlefinger wanted it ALL until somewhere in book four, and I read the series twice (so far LOL). I always thought that he just wanted to get as high as he could, but never thought that he aspired to the throne. Giving it away this early is not cool in my book. I like characters that take a while to figure out.

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My complaint with the scene (taken cumulatively with the earlier scenes in the brothel) is that non-readers have now been introduced to Littlefinger as "the Pimp" and he will be remembered that way by viewers in subsequent episodes and seasons.

In the books, Lord Baelish had an interest in some brothels, yes, but those were just a few investments among many. He wasn't a pimp, he was simply an urban capitalist who, as "the Lord of rocks and sheepshit", understood that being good at urban commerce was necessary for a man in his position, given his poor lands and rents.

So as opposed to portraying Littlefinger as an affable, clever, duplicitous Lord who will engage in urban commerce in a manner which the vast majority of Lords with lands and titles believe is beneath a true nobleman, Littlefinger is protrayed in the TV series as "the Pimp". Instead of The Lord of Rocks and Sheepshit -- we get "The Lord of Whores". That makes him less admirable, less gray, and more outright villainous to the viewer.

That's the part I didn't like. Never mind "play with her ass", they made Littlefinger less complex, less gray, -- and in doing so, CHANGED THE CHARACTER.

I don't think that's a plus.

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My complaint with the scene (taken cumulatively with the earlier scenes in the brothel) is that non-readers have now been introduced to Littlefinger as "the Pimp" and he will be remembered that way by viewers in subsequent episodes and seasons.

In the books, Lord Baelish had an interest in some brothels, yes, but those were just a few investments among many. He wasn't a pimp, he was simply an urban capitalist who, as "the Lord of rocks and sheepshit", understood that being good at urban commerce was necessary for a man in his position, given his poor lands and rents.

So as opposed to portraying Littlefinger as an affable, clever, duplicitous Lord who will engage in urban commerce in a manner which the vast majority of Lords with lands and titles believe is beneath a true nobleman, Littlefinger is protrayed in the TV series as "the Pimp". Instead of The Lord of Rocks and Sheepshit -- we get "The Lord of Whores". That makes him less admirable, less gray, and more outright villainous to the viewer.

That's the part I didn't like. Never mind "play with her ass", they made Littlefinger less complex, less gray, -- and in doing so, CHANGED THE CHARACTER.

I don't think that's a plus.

Couldn't agree more, and I've been yapping about this on WIC forever. The whole point of Baelish's character was that we weren't supposed to know which side (if any) he would come down on, until the betrayal of Ned. HERE we have it spelled out in words of one syllable, just in case we're all too stupid to realise it at the end scene, when we're supposed to be (and I WAS when I read the book) shocked!

Apart from that - why the hell would one of the court's most secretive and devious characters spout off to random prostitutes his innermost motivations and dreams??? Completely unrealistic. AS is "training" whores in the first place - I'm sure they know what they're doing, Roz certainly does! - as I've said before, it sounds like No.2 in the "Masturbatory Fantasies for Boys" annual. The unfortunate thing is that you have to sit through the soft porn if you want to hear Aidan Gillen's monologue, although the groans and moans make it hard to hear at times.

On looking back at the furore over the Loras/Renly scene and a bit of off-screen slurping, I wonder what on earth would have happened if they'd been as graphic as this? especially ass-fingering, which would have been pretty usual for them - I wonder if everyone saying this scene isn't that graphic would have been of the same opinion if it had been the gay couple and not lesbian whores? I'm not a prude, but saying that it wasn't as bad as internet porn means nothing to me, as I don't look up internet porn, but I DO object to having an exposition scene accompanied by women loudly fingering each other etc. I wish D&D and HBO wouldn't write scenes so oobviously geared to a specific audience, or if they do, that nothing important is happening in the scene so I can skip it.

And as Littlefinger was a favourite of mine in the book, I'm very sad that his character has been changed from complex to shallow, when it needn't have been.

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Agree with Steel Wind completely. The book portrays LF as someone who is subtle and in control - a master of puppets. He always has a mysterious aura about him. This scene portrays him as someone who is desperate, angry, and is on the verge of losing his cool. All subtelty is wiped away as he lays his cards on the table for all to see.

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The whole point of Baelish's character was that we weren't supposed to know which side (if any) he would come down on, until the betrayal of Ned. HERE we have it spelled out in words of one syllable, just in case we're all too stupid to realise it at the end scene, when we're supposed to be (and I WAS when I read the book) shocked!

IDK... I felt it was pretty clear in the book as well that it was very likely that LF was going to betray Ned at some point. Hardly a total shock. And in TV series, I don't think it seemed very obvious for non-readers - almost to the point of certainty - that LF's betrayal was inevitable.

I think that angle of LF, they translated to the screen pretty well.

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I honestly found the girl on girl action kinda...well..dull.

But other than that the dialogue from LF was interesting.

I actually got the feeling from the dialogue that Littlefinger isn't thinking of Catalyn at all and he's already thinking of Sansa because when he was talking about how Cat saved him from Ned's brother...I sort of got the angry vibe that he was just as mad at Cat as he was for Ned ending up with her.

So, I'm sort of wondering if seeing Sansa for the first time if in his mind this was his ambition all along. That he'd get revenge on Cat for never wanting him by taking her daughter Cat 2.0.

He could be refering to Lysa as well but for some reason I am thinking Sansa more in who he was talking about.

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I think it was supposed to come off a little symbolic. When littelfinger tells the whores that their clients know what they are and know their being lied too that its their job to make the forget what they know. It mirrors littlefinger and ned and how ned truly doesn't really trust littlefinger and doesn't really buy that he's a friend, but forgets to distrust him too if that makes sense. One could also say that a whore fingerbanging someone in the ass is also symbolic of what littlefinger does to ned.

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AS is "training" whores in the first place - I'm sure they know what they're doing, Roz certainly does! - as I've said before, it sounds like No.2 in the "Masturbatory Fantasies for Boys" annual.

I disagree. Let me explain why I think Littlefinger's "training exercise" is a stealthy bit of context and actually is meant to be a very important scene.

A poster on WIC made the observation last Monday that the real utility of the scene is not readily obvious. The real point is not to show Littlefinger is a pimp (though that is the inevitable by-product and why I didn't like it) but to set the viewer up for what is REALLY going on with Tyrion and Shae and how Tyrion allows himself to be deceived.

We are about to meet Shae in Episode 8 or 9. Her interaction with Tyrion and the fact that she is faking it on an expert level is explicitly underscored to the viewer in this scene. It is meant to add the underlying unspoken reality to Tyrion and Shae's entire relationship. That aspect of the "whore training" scene's importance to the series is very hard to appreciate prospectively, but once Shae has been introduced -- it frames all of her scenes with Tyrion from Book 1 to 3. We are not supposed to forget it -- but we are told why Tyrion tries very hard to do so.

I think this is an extremely valid point and lends more context to what D&D really hoped to accomplish with the scene. So explicit girl-on-girl sex is just fine and even the length of the scene may be excused for this reason.

Seen in this light, the problem in how the scene reduces the character of Littlefinger to "The Lord of Whores" is a pernicious effect of the scene and amounts to a (perhaps) unintended "casualty of war".

D&D are aiming to illustrate explicitly HOW whores do what they do on an emotional level with their faked enjoyment of sex witth their clients and why their johns are highly complicit in letting themselves be deceived. Because of Tyrion and Shae, the scene intends to accomplish more than satisfy the prurient interests of viewers.

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