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Xray the Enforcer

[Book Spoilers] EP108 Discussion Part 2

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I was never sure myself of Mirri's motives in the book. It's really quite unclear if she planned on Drogo's wound festering from the beginning, or not.

The way I remember it: she offers to heal on her own, and offers an efficient but uncomfortable and itchy solution. She warns him to wear the skin for ten days and avoid certain drinks. I was really under the impression that had Drogo followed her instruction, it would have healed, because it's only when he STOPS following her instruction that the wound starts festering. But, later on, it appears that Mirri wanted him dead all along. :dunno: Did she use reverse psychology, knowing Drogo wouldn't listen to her instructions? Was her remedy worthless and she knew Drogo was doomed from the start? Was her remedy poison all along, and she insisted he wear the skin to make sure the poison remains on him for as long as possible? But if so, why say things like "of course it itched, there is great healing power in fire, even your eunuch healers know that" or something.

Mirri just appear internally inconsistent, and I never quite figured out what GRRM meant for her to be. I mean, she also appears to hate Dany and despise Dany's attempts as "saving her", but when Dany initially rescues the Lamb women, Mirri (unnamed yet, among a crowd of women) blesses her in the Westerosi tongue and appears genuinely grateful to the "silver lady".

If she was indeed initially happy at being rescued, and changed her mind over time at being with the Dothraki, it wasn't clear in the book. Let's hope that the TV series makes Mirri a less confusing character. :)

Edited by Morrigan

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I was a bit harsh towards Drogo though since he would have gotten treatment from the Dothraki healers later on, he wouldn't have left it like that forever. I haven't seen Apocalypto but yes, a physically strong person with adrenaline from battle can do quite a lot while injured. I would have liked to see them show the really bad wound described in the books but I'm fine with how they did it.

Just to be clear, Apocalypto was fun and entertaining, but it was hardly believable. The dude would have been scarcely able to stand and walk, much less run. Which is to say that I was acknowledging that your points were valid from a standpoint of realism, while pointing out that there is no requirement here that perfect realism stand in the way of our fun.

Actually, since my previous post, a new question has been haunting me: What is the Dothraki word for "dude"?

-VM

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I was never sure myself of Mirri's motives in the book....

Mirri just appear internally inconsistent, and I never quite figured out what GRRM meant for her to be....

No disagreement with anything you said. Just wanted to reiterate that your description is in keeping with my scenario that Mirri's attitude/opinions actually changed from the time of her rescue to the time of the "betrayal" of Dani, although, if this is so, we can really only speculate as to the why.

Not sure how relevant this is, but I also felt like Drogo's failure to follow her instructions served to confirm her low opinion of him. Something like, I knew you were a savage, and now I see that you're an idiot, too. The big bad Khal acting like a baby because the medicine burns. That is to say, it seemed that she never had a high opinion of the Dothraki, but she initially liked Dani. As time progressed, her opinion of the Dothraki became even more negative, and she lost respect for Dani as she realized the extent to which Dani had "gone native" with them.

So, giving GRRM full benefit of the doubt (and allowances for the complexity of the story he is trying to tell), I prefer to think that Mirri is not inconsistent per se; rather, her opinons and attitudes are evolving over the course of her time with Dani et al, so that an initial distaste grows into a more of a cold disdain and, eventually, real hatred. And remember, a real person would be in shock immediately after barbarians killed most of the people she knew and raped her. Clearly, she would be relieved at being rescued from the rape, but over time the full horror of what the Dothraki have done to her (and what she has lost) would be sinking in, while at the same time she is realizing that Dani is only slightly more civilized (she's okay with the killing and pillaging, just not the raping).

People change, and she's changing...

-VM

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That makes sense, but this wasn't clear at all in the books. The way Mirri reveals herself to Dany later, she pretty much implies that she meant for Drogo and her son to die all along. When Dany says "you knew! you knew the price I had to pay and made me pay it", Mirri does not deny it, in fact she pretty much acknowledges that. If Mirri had a change of heart during her captivity, it wasn't made clear at all, unfortunately.

No matter, GRRM is a great author, but he's not perfect, there are some small screw-ups like that sometimes and it's quite a minor thing. :)

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And this is just mean. Are you sure the kid was THAT bad? How many stableboys have you seen being stabbed to death in real life? How did they act differently?

We're talking about a five-second part for an unnamed character with, what, 2 lines? Were you expecting Morgan Freeman? [someone else will have to write THAT scene.] Okay, so admittedly, it could have been better. But "terrible"? Please refer to my previous post. I don't recall Bruce Lee ever dying in a movie, but I am confident that it would have been, um, impressive.

How can you watch this episode (or how many times do you have to watch it) to come away saying, "Well, it would have been pretty good if it weren't for that AWFUL stableboy"? Okay, you didn't say that, but it sure seemed like you were implying it.

-VM

You're right, I didn't say that, and if you had read any of my other posts in this thread, you would have known that I didn't feel that way. I enjoyed this episode a lot, much more the second time, even though I had a few nitpicks. Heck, the stableboy wasn't even one of my nitpicks. I was merely responding to another poster who mentioned him. Do you notice that several others did the same thing?

I'm not sure what my expectations have to do with anything. I don't expect every bit part to be done as fantastically as Morgan Freeman would do it (although that would be awesome, I love me some Morgan Freeman). That doesn't change the fact that the stableboy's acting was very bad. I wasn't thinking of when he was stabbed - I was more thinking of when he sauntered out from behind the corner and was like "Heh heh girl, now you're mine" in some tough kid voice. Surely some of the blame goes on the writing and directing of that, but the boy was bad.

Hey, he's a kid. He'll get better. I hope he does and has a long acting career. I probably couldn't have done that scene even as well as he did. But he WAS in the scene, and he did it poorly. Here we are, in a thread discussing that very episode, and someone brought it up. So I shared my views on it. I still love the show, and I still thought the episode was good. I don't understand your unprovoked vitriol.

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That makes sense, but this wasn't clear at all in the books. The way Mirri reveals herself to Dany later, she pretty much implies that she meant for Drogo and her son to die all along. When Dany says "you knew! you knew the price I had to pay and made me pay it", Mirri does not deny it, in fact she pretty much acknowledges that. If Mirri had a change of heart during her captivity, it wasn't made clear at all, unfortunately.

No matter, GRRM is a great author, but he's not perfect, there are some small screw-ups like that sometimes and it's quite a minor thing. :)

Even if it's not crystal clear, I don't think the fault can be cast on Martin here. As it been said just before in the thread, Mirri's speach show that she schemed her way into this position from the start, being determined from the start. I don't see how this could be called a screw-up. She had been raped, her Temple destroyed, her village ransacked, she was going in for the kill, for the vengeance. It makes perfect sense.

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You're right, I didn't say that...I still love the show, and I still thought the episode was good. I don't understand your unprovoked vitriol.

As far as the episode, fair enough (this is a sweeping "fair enough" that encompasses your entire post, except for the last sentence). But what's with this "vitriol" thing? In the course of one paragraph, I replaced a child character with both Morgan Freeman and Bruce Lee. Does that not make it obvious that my side of the argument was "silly and playful", rather than "angry and malicious" (which I assume would fit the term "vitriol")? If you really thought my post was vitriolic, then I guess now I must be apoplectic. No, wait, apocalyptic (I'm gonna end yer world). I would have said that, at worst, my post was hyperbolic.

You can't tell me that the whole Bruce Lee thing wasn't at least a little funny. For now, I'll just assume you were being dramatic, but I absolutely reserve the right not to argue over a TV show with anyone who has no sense of humor.

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Even if it's not crystal clear, I don't think the fault can be cast on Martin here. As it been said just before in the thread, Mirri's speach show that she schemed her way into this position from the start, being determined from the start. I don't see how this could be called a screw-up. She had been raped, her Temple destroyed, her village ransacked, she was going in for the kill, for the vengeance. It makes perfect sense.

And don't forget, she was pillaged, too!

I think we've clearly established there's plenty of narrative space here for reasonable people--I know there are a couple here somewhere--to disagree about Mirri's motives/intentions. And I certainly have no evidence to disprove your theory. However, given the argument you're making, I really am curious how you explain the initial treatment of Drogo's wound. If she was already on the Path Of Vengeance, why did she, ostensibly, give him good medical care? Or do you believe that she only pretended to give him good treatment, while secretly poisoning the wound, confident that she would seem innocent when he disobeyed her instructions? [That last sentence really needed one more dependent clause, to maximize confusion.]

I mean, if you're going to say it makes "perfect sense", then you really need to account for all of her major actions, right? Not that the bar needs to be quite so high--I think I'd settle for "imperfect sense", or even just plain "sense", if you have any. Everyone says I have a lot of sense, but it's all whop-sided.

-VM

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As far as the episode, fair enough (this is a sweeping "fair enough" that encompasses your entire post, except for the last sentence). But what's with this "vitriol" thing? In the course of one paragraph, I replaced a child character with both Morgan Freeman and Bruce Lee. Does that not make it obvious that my side of the argument was "silly and playful", rather than "angry and malicious" (which I assume would fit the term "vitriol")? If you really thought my post was vitriolic, then I guess now I must be apoplectic. No, wait, apocalyptic (I'm gonna end yer world). I would have said that, at worst, my post was hyperbolic.

You can't tell me that the whole Bruce Lee thing wasn't at least a little funny. For now, I'll just assume you were being dramatic, but I absolutely reserve the right not to argue over a TV show with anyone who has no sense of humor.

I definitely missed that. Your first paragraph set the tone (the "and this is just mean" especially). And then the last paragraph seemed to drive the point home that you thought I was being a jerk about the whole thing.

It's the internet. If you're trying to be funny, you need to make it abundantly clear. Your rhetorical questions about Morgan Freeman and Bruce Lee could just as easily be read in a sneering, condescending tone, instead of a light, silly tone.

I have a sense of humor (too much sometimes), but it's pretty sarcastic. No hard feelings. It just wasn't clear what you were trying to say.

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Even if it's not crystal clear, I don't think the fault can be cast on Martin here. As it been said just before in the thread, Mirri's speach show that she schemed her way into this position from the start, being determined from the start. I don't see how this could be called a screw-up. She had been raped, her Temple destroyed, her village ransacked, she was going in for the kill, for the vengeance. It makes perfect sense.

It would indeed make perfect sense, except for the fact that she blessed Dany in the common tongue for no apparent reason before that (had no way of knowing she'd require a healer for Drogo), and offered an apparently good solution to Drogo's wound, and appears to be all "I told you so" when she learns Drogo didn't continue the treatment and the wound festered. That all seems strange to me.

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If she was already on the Path Of Vengeance, why did she, ostensibly, give him good medical care? Or do you believe that she only pretended to give him good treatment, while secretly poisoning the wound, confident that she would seem innocent when he disobeyed her instructions? [That last sentence really needed one more dependent clause, to maximize confusion.]

I don't get your point. She's a single woman in the middle of a freakin Khalaasar. How could she have gotten to the Khal in any other way than hiding her true motivation?

That all seems strange to me.

Well, it might seem strange, but if you assume she was scheming from the start, it makes sense. And I do believe that when one way of looking at things makes sense in GRRM's writing, it's the good way to look at it, instead of going "ho but we could also think this, and then it makes no sense".

I don't think we can say she speaks to Dany for "no apparent reason". Even if the plan wasn't there yet (and then again, being a victim of the assault, she might had a chance to see the Khal get wounded) Dany seemed powerful enough to make the Dothraki stop (I'm not gonna say "save her life", obviously). That might be good enough a reason, in itself, for Mirri to try to befriend her.

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I never questioned once Mirri was revealed that her treatment for Drogo was poisoned. Her instructions to keep it on for a long time would make the whole thing seem more plausible and give her a cover for a chance at even coming out of it alive. She'd know what the effects were going to be and that Drogo would probably take it off, but not before it was too late.

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Its going to be sad to see Drogo go though. Kal Drogo Wins! Fatality! Lol, that fight scene was awesome and his voice with the language is beyond. One of the characters better in the show than the book.

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I was never sure myself of Mirri's motives in the book. It's really quite unclear if she planned on Drogo's wound festering from the beginning, or not.

I think it’s one of those things that’s muddled in the books that HBO wants to make into a cleaner narrative. I think it’s going to seem more like she poisoned the wound in the series, which was never what I thought in the books – it seemed like it was Drogo’s own fault, partially. And her “I never wanted to help you!” seemed to come a little out of nowhere, though the motive was understandable. It never occurred to me she'd poisoned the wound till watching the series (particularly since the wound WAS much worse in the books), but I like the cleaner narrative.

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Its going to be sad to see Drogo go though. Kal Drogo Wins! Fatality! Lol, that fight scene was awesome and his voice with the language is beyond. One of the characters better in the show than the book.

Fortunately for people of this conviction, the new Conan The Barbarian movie is going to pick up right where Khal Drogo left off.

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I was never sure myself of Mirri's motives in the book. It's really quite unclear if she planned on Drogo's wound festering from the beginning, or not.

The way I remember it: she offers to heal on her own, and offers an efficient but uncomfortable and itchy solution. She warns him to wear the skin for ten days and avoid certain drinks. I was really under the impression that had Drogo followed her instruction, it would have healed, because it's only when he STOPS following her instruction that the wound starts festering. But, later on, it appears that Mirri wanted him dead all along. :dunno: Did she use reverse psychology, knowing Drogo wouldn't listen to her instructions? Was her remedy worthless and she knew Drogo was doomed from the start? Was her remedy poison all along, and she insisted he wear the skin to make sure the poison remains on him for as long as possible? But if so, why say things like "of course it itched, there is great healing power in fire, even your eunuch healers know that" or something.

Mirri just appear internally inconsistent, and I never quite figured out what GRRM meant for her to be. I mean, she also appears to hate Dany and despise Dany's attempts as "saving her", but when Dany initially rescues the Lamb women, Mirri (unnamed yet, among a crowd of women) blesses her in the Westerosi tongue and appears genuinely grateful to the "silver lady".

If she was indeed initially happy at being rescued, and changed her mind over time at being with the Dothraki, it wasn't clear in the book. Let's hope that the TV series makes Mirri a less confusing character. :)

That is a hard subject, but I agree mostly with you. Yet, one of the biggest acomplishments of GRRM is that there is absolutely no 100% pure of evil character in the books. I mean, even Stannis and Tywin have their flaws. Mirri could be just another of these not so perfect characters. I mean, in the end she says she is not going to scream, but she do after the flames get her. It could be the same. In the start she was true on her intentions to help Drogo and was grateful to Dany, but things change. For example, she learns that Drogo son is suposed to become the Stalion who Mounts the World. That sole information could be what made her change and decide to kill Rhaego.

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That makes sense, but this wasn't clear at all in the books. The way Mirri reveals herself to Dany later, she pretty much implies that she meant for Drogo and her son to die all along. When Dany says "you knew! you knew the price I had to pay and made me pay it", Mirri does not deny it, in fact she pretty much acknowledges that. If Mirri had a change of heart during her captivity, it wasn't made clear at all, unfortunately.

No matter, GRRM is a great author, but he's not perfect, there are some small screw-ups like that sometimes and it's quite a minor thing. :)

Dont know about that. I doubt Mirri would know that Drogo was such a bad ass Khal and that his son would be the Stalion Who Mounts the World. Maybe traveling with them gave her this information and was what made her decide to sabotage Khal Drogo and Dany.

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As far as the episode, fair enough (this is a sweeping "fair enough" that encompasses your entire post, except for the last sentence). But what's with this "vitriol" thing? In the course of one paragraph, I replaced a child character with both Morgan Freeman and Bruce Lee. Does that not make it obvious that my side of the argument was "silly and playful", rather than "angry and malicious" (which I assume would fit the term "vitriol")? If you really thought my post was vitriolic, then I guess now I must be apoplectic. No, wait, apocalyptic (I'm gonna end yer world). I would have said that, at worst, my post was :ack:.

You can't tell me that the whole Bruce Lee thing wasn't at least a little funny. For now, I'll just assume you were being dramatic, but I absolutely reserve the right not to argue over a TV show with anyone who has no sense of humor.

Yikes. Just take your pills, okay? Everything will be ok, srsly. I mean, uh, srsly.

:uhoh:

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I found this to be one of the weaker episodes of the season. I'm not sure if its because I'd just completed reading the series in the week before it aired or something else but it wasn't as exciting.

It was too literal and stuck too closely to the book. When multiple events are happening and multiple secondary characters are being introduced, its hard to stay true to the book so some creative changes would have been nice. Perhaps its not a coincidence that Martin wrote this particular episode.

Looking forward to the last 2 episodes.

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I was never sure myself of Mirri's motives in the book. It's really quite unclear if she planned on Drogo's wound festering from the beginning, or not.

The way I remember it: she offers to heal on her own, and offers an efficient but uncomfortable and itchy solution. She warns him to wear the skin for ten days and avoid certain drinks. I was really under the impression that had Drogo followed her instruction, it would have healed, because it's only when he STOPS following her instruction that the wound starts festering. But, later on, it appears that Mirri wanted him dead all along. :dunno: Did she use reverse psychology, knowing Drogo wouldn't listen to her instructions? Was her remedy worthless and she knew Drogo was doomed from the start? Was her remedy poison all along, and she insisted he wear the skin to make sure the poison remains on him for as long as possible? But if so, why say things like "of course it itched, there is great healing power in fire, even your eunuch healers know that" or something.

Mirri just appear internally inconsistent, and I never quite figured out what GRRM meant for her to be. I mean, she also appears to hate Dany and despise Dany's attempts as "saving her", but when Dany initially rescues the Lamb women, Mirri (unnamed yet, among a crowd of women) blesses her in the Westerosi tongue and appears genuinely grateful to the "silver lady".

If she was indeed initially happy at being rescued, and changed her mind over time at being with the Dothraki, it wasn't clear in the book. Let's hope that the TV series makes Mirri a less confusing character. :)

My thoughts:

  • Mirri wanted Drogo to die all along
  • When Mirri heard of the unborn conquerer, she added him to the kill-list
  • Mirri disdains Dany for her self-righteous opinion of her ineffectual mercy
  • Mirri praised Dany to get closer to her
  • Mirri may well have been happy at the moment that the rape stopped. However, when she assessed all that was destroyed, she grew angry
  • Mirri was justified in striking back at the slaughterer of her people who was inevitably going to do the same elsewhere
  • Mirri was not justified in killing an innocent child, regardless of prophecy
  • Mirri is an antagonist to Dany, but one who should not be wholly unsympathetic

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