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Greylander

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

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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.

I think most readers and viewers would get that just by watching Shae and Tyrion together. Everyone knows that whores are faking it, and Shae is particularly obvious, in the books at least. Only Tyrion would fall for her.

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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.

I've just come from the imdb forum which is filled with threads about that scene, pretty much all making the points above.

The biggest spoiler for me, from that scene, is not so much for the Ned betrayal (which have been too short & abrupt for LF's betrayal to sink in if not for that "foreshadowing"), but for the "Just Cat."

I don't remember the books by heart, and it's been at least half a year since the last time I've read it so bear with me if I'm saying something incredibly stupid.

As far as I can remember, everytime LF professed his love for Cat, the reader could doubt his sincerity. He's told it to Sansa for the creepy pedo vibe, to Ned presumably to piss him off, etc.

But here, with no apparent gain from this rather ill-timed confession, there's no reason to doubt he's telling the truth and the viewers will therefore know that he's loved "only Cat" all along.

As for the "dramatic license" for the sake of establishing background... Well he's already told that story to Ned in ep.3 so there's really no excuse left for this scene...

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.

... except for this.

But then they could have left out LF's monologue to focus on the whore training (although I would never have guessed that I would end up defending THAT option).

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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.

:agree:

thats what im saying...

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I think most readers and viewers would get that just by watching Shae and Tyrion together. Everyone knows that whores are faking it, and Shae is particularly obvious, in the books at least. Only Tyrion would fall for her.

She had me fooled.

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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 don't think it's readily obvious to most people that this scene is foreshadowing Tyrion's relationship with Shae - and nor does it need to. It's fairly understood by all that the whores are PRETENDING pleasure, as Shae will with Tyrion. That he chooses not to see it is his own little fantasy.

The allegory between what LF is saying about fucking people over, and what the whores are doing, is of course obvious to me, however, I don't have to like how it's portrayed in such detail or at such length, considering the numerous other ways this could have been conveyed, and the time constraints within which to tell the story. The other sexposition scenes I've had no problem with, but the sex in this scene was IMHO both gratuitous and tacky.

AND it reinforces the previously-depicted view of Littlefinger as nothing but a pimp - one with delusions of grandeur and huge ambition - but still a pimp, which is NOT how the character appeared in the books.

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Worst scene of the series so far and really out of charachter for LF.

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Wow. Pretty much everything said here against the scene I already agreed with. It's on the nose, yes, and it un-grays the character. I'm less concerned about why LF would confide in employees (though for him in particular that seems odd) than I am with the sheer fact of his having any contact with employees down at this level in the first place.

When LF opened his first few brothels, okay, maybe. But the guy now has a whole tax edifice, to say nothing of a massive minting operation to run, books to keep for a whole government, and probably he has dozens of brothels, and lord knows whatever other unsavory businesses besides. But, he has time to break in and train a couple of new whores by himself, when he must have several regular managers and senior staff besides?

I just thought the scene was sloppy in concept and execution. The performers did everything they could with it, the direction was okay, but the writing was all over the place.

And you know,I don't think we wanted this story, yet, and for sure as hell not from LF himself. What is this story about? Is it about sympathy for LF? That's ruined when you have the boy himself sniveling about it as an adult so many years later. When I read it in the novel, I seem to recall its purpose was a fake-out, leading me to think that LF had his own kind of honor -- I love this woman so much, I nearly died for her, so if she asks me to help you, much as it galls me, I'll do it entirely faithfully. Does it serve that purpose in the series? Hardly -- the image we get instead is of the guy who's only biding his time.

And that's not the worst part of it. The exposition is so long and requires such a steady delivery -- and also struggles so much for attention against the sexo stuff -- I fear that people who don't know what the story is about won't know what's being said, and anyone who listens long enough to get even part of it will tune out the rest when it doesn't seem immediately relevant or likely to change what's happening in this scene.

That's about as far as I want to go with this, though. I like the series, there's still a whole lot of strong points, and quibbling just upsets my stomach. But ... yes, this scene has some problems.

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I really do not understand people here complaining about this scene THAT much...

The point is OFCOURSE it is OBVIOUS to us who read the books... We know what LF does and saying that analogy OFCOURSE WE SAY ''OMG baaam connected everything this will happen''

I watched with 4 friends... and NOONE thought of LF betraying Ned...

ALSO about he shouldnt be telling what he wants to a whore... Would a whore today or even some random guy you talk in a bar BELIEVE if you told him ''I want everything, whole world'' with an evil grin or would he just thought ''oh another crazy delusional person''

You guys read into this WAY too much. The whores just think he is joking with them, alot or majority of book readers will and DID NOT connect the dots but got a big Deja Vu...

And btw I LOVE Aidan Gillens portrayal of Littlefinger... one of the best casting choices

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Did anyone else think the scene where Littlefinger is instructing Ros and her friend on how to be better whores was unnecessary and strange? It did accomplish a couple of things exposition-wise. We learned that Ros has reached Littlefinger and now Westeros' favorite whore is now working in King's Landing's (apparently) only whorehouse. We also learned that Littlefinger is bitter about his childhood, his relationship with Catelyn and wants to F his enemies. But in the process we're treated to some girl-on-girl action more fitting for Caligula. I mean, when I first heard that GoT was coming to HBO I wondered how bold they would be with some of the sex scenes, but I never imagined they would up the ante and go overboard with it.

It seems out of character for Littlefinger to so willingly reveal his innermost thoughts and feelings, villianous monologue style. And since when does he waste his time auditioning whores? And why has the show commited so much screen time to build up Ros into a main character? I thought maybe when she left for King's Landing she might end up replacing the Shae character in Season two, but I'm told they are casting a Shae.

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