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Xray the Enforcer

[Book Spoilers] EP108 Discussion Part 2

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Yep. Gotta say, My, felt pretty inspired by that scene.

It changed my view on...everything.

Yeah, unfortunately we had to close down the petting zoo due to recent unpleasantness.

Hahaha, how the hell?! Amazing, My!

My google-fu is strong. Also, this quest has just helped me discover these recaps, which are making my day.

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I don't really claim that the scene is highly realistic but rather that it doesn't stand out too much since almost no show fighting is very realistic.

Yes, onscreen/dramatized fighting is often more or less stylized, but for a good reason: A highly 'realistic' fight scene might actually not look that cool, or it might not fit within the alloted screentime for the scene. There are also security concerns, of course.

My response towards Valacirca has more to do with his statements about the fight scene being "totally implausible" (there's a big difference between "totally/highly" realistic and "totally" implausible).

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I think what cracks me up is what wins over the Greatjon is that Robb's wolf takes it upon himself to maul the guy and that's what wins him over. Or maybe it was Robb's clever with the "doubtless you meant to cut my meat" line.

Still the guy lost three fingers! Fingers he probably had intentions of using at some point in the future. But there he is chuckling merrily 30 seconds later, presumably as Grey Wind proceeds to much on his finger sandwich on the floor next to him.

Moreover this is what convinces him Robb's meat is bloody tough. Robb didn't do anything! He just has a freaking direwolf for a pet. If Drogon bit off his Greatcock he'd be pledging undying loyalty to Dany screaming how she has the toughest meat of all (pun strangely unintended).

Granted I had the same issue when everyone in the books was whispering about how Jon defeated the Halfhand. Once again, dude has a direwolf. People aren't gonna give me credit for beating up Manny Pacquiao if my bear mauls him from behind. People of Westeros, stop giving credit to people for what their animals do!

Anyway this isn't a criticism of the show and I never had a problem with how it was presented in the books. It's just seeing it go down on the screen which has me revisiting the surreality of the scene. I still love the show for trying to bring the sequence to life, and if I knew how, I'd make that 3 second clip of Grey Wind biting off his fingers my avatar.

IMHO, most of all it's Robb's lines that convince him.

Because as Robb cleverly reminds, it's treason to bare one's steel against one's lord. He could easily have the Greatjon executed (not very clever when you want your bannermen to go to war but it's his right). The North is an harsh place. We had occasions to see how the likes of Bolton do justice there. The loss of three fingers is better than the loss of one's life. The Greatjon is punished and offered in the meantime a way ouf of the mess he has put himself in by the "doubtless you meant to cut my meat" line.

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Robb's ploy with the scout is made that much more effective by his not having shared his plans with the Greatjon or his mother or his other lords. They are as fooled by him as the scout is. That way the scout will report to the Lannisters that not only was the soft child merciful but that he disregarded the advice of older and wiser men. Extremely well done.

Books-Robb would not have come up with this trick this early on, but TV-Robb is older (and doesn't have the Blackfish yet).

Agreed, it was all about misdirection. The long, cold stare Robb gave Catelyn when she protested was brilliant. I am liking TV Robb a lot more after this episode.

Let me join in that toast. I teared up when she faced down those guards, knowing what I knew about what would happen to her.

Me too, that scene was powerful and really conveyed that not just soldiers were being killed.

Edited by Huan

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Since Syrio's getting so much attention (and he should, that was quite the scene) I'd like to jump in and say I really enjoyed his style. Of course he's being violent, but he had something of a water dancer style (I mean, rolling between a guys armored legs to make him fall, that's pretty awesome. And the bit were he strangles one with his own cape is quite awesome as well).

My google-fu is strong. Also, this quest has just helped me discover these recaps, which are making my day.

I shall respect your google-fu, for this is great.

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One of my complaints the first time around was that the wight's eyes weren't piercing-blue enough. After a rewatch, I still feel that way, but Ghost's piercing red eyes were phenomenal and made up for it.

On a rewatch I was also further impressed by Dinklage as Tyrion, he was really stretching his chops in this episode. When we met him at the beginning of the season, he was all cocky and lordly, but in different points in this episode he was afraid and unsure and apprehensive. His uncertainty and distress were plain on his face and I appreciated getting to see the other side of Tyrion that we know from the books but hadn't seen yet in the show.

Edited by JetboyGirl

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I don't think non-readers notice the illogical things...

They are absorbed by the story unlike us who are actually just "analysing the execution".

Edited by Queen Dorothea

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Great episode. Not the best, but close. Syrio's fight wasn't choreographed all that well. I can't suspend disbelief enough to belive that he knocked out those armoered, helmed men with a swift knock to the head.

I dunno, I think Syrio kicking serious ass with a piece of wood lends credence to the crackpot theory that Syrio=FacelessMan. Its far less crackpot to me today.

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I understand that people may be annoyed when Ned dies with the killing of Sean Bean but wouldnt the logical solution be to cast someone of equal weight as one of the main characters of Season 2? Has Stannis been cast yet? Could it be that they are going to go for a big name draw for him?

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I dunno, I think Syrio kicking serious ass with a piece of wood lends credence to the crackpot theory that Syrio=FacelessMan. Its far less crackpot to me today.
I never associated the Faceless Men with martial ability (unless the role needed it). Ja'qen wasn't particularly apt with anything, and there's no sign that Arya's being taught how to fight. She's being taught how to kill and how to lie - which are more important for an assassin than how to fight.

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I understand that people may be annoyed when Ned dies with the killing of Sean Bean but wouldnt the logical solution be to cast someone of equal weight as one of the main characters of Season 2? Has Stannis been cast yet? Could it be that they are going to go for a big name draw for him?

I was actually thinking that if they'd cast "semi-heavy weights" as Stannis and Davos (oh and for the hell of it, Melissandre) with a minor introductory scene in ep 9 or 10...wow! a bit late for that strategy.

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Yes, that's how I felt too. As I mentioned in the other thread, I had the impression that they underestimated Syrio, and it seemed to me that the guards were nowhere near Syrio's skill level. It just emphasized how Syrio's superior technique could more than compensate for the brute force of the guards.

I've also trained in martial arts (but not competed professionally), and I think it's interesting that the martial artists I've talked to or communicated with find the scene to be more plausible than some of the critics here.

Ultimately, I think it boils down to this: Does the scene look cool? Does it entertain? If yes, then I think it should be less important whether you think it looks (extremely) realistic or not.

You can add me to that list of martial artists. Hell, I probably have more time under my belt than most posters here have on this planet. I am also a former Army Ranger and I remember having a conversation with a Navy Seal in regards to fighting prowess. He said, "you do realize that it isn't that we are so fucking good, it is just that the rest of the world fucking sucks!" Syrio would not be able to pull off the moves he did against multiple attackers (was it four?) if they were trained nearly as well as he is.

I also don't quite understand why people believe that wood is far less superior than steel in a fight against armored knights. The only advantage that steel swords would have is their ability to piece objects. Their cutting edges are all but useless against armor and their blunt ability would be less than wood due to the lack of density. Swords aren't made nearly as thick or else they would be way too heavy to wield, thus there is a certain amount of give that wood won't have. So getting hit upside the helmeted head with a steal sword is not going to do more damage than getting the same treatment from a wooden training sword.

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Well said, Wunhop. That's why soldiers had maces (blunt) and spears (piercing), and not just swords for slashing.

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I'm with those who were put off by the staginess of the Syrio fight scene. I don't expect blood and guts and ripped trachea-tongues in every death, but I'd like my fights to look more physical than a high school Shakespeare production. It was bad enough to be distracting for me.

EDIT: Just to add that I appreciated that the choreography attempted to show the difference in technique, to show what makes a water dancer a water dancer. I don't feel that changes anything about my overall critique, though.

Edited by sammycakes

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One of my complaints the first time around was that the wight's eyes weren't piercing-blue enough. After a rewatch, I still feel that way, but Ghost's piercing red eyes were phenomenal and made up for it.

On a rewatch I was also further impressed by Dinklage as Tyrion, he was really stretching his chops in this episode. When we met him at the beginning of the season, he was all cocky and lordly, but in different points in this episode he was afraid and unsure and apprehensive. His uncertainty and distress were plain on his face and I appreciated getting to see the other side of Tyrion that we know from the books but hadn't seen yet in the show.

Possibly one of my favorite understated moments of the whole series: Tyrion sits down at the table across from Tywin, and Tywin immediately removes the pitcher of wine from Tyrion's reach. Then, when Tywin goes to personally address the clan chieftains, Tyrion practically stands on the chair to reach the wine pitcher and pour himself some. I loved that.

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Possibly one of my favorite understated moments of the whole series: Tyrion sits down at the table across from Tywin, and Tywin immediately removes the pitcher of wine from Tyrion's reach. Then, when Tywin goes to personally address the clan chieftains, Tyrion practically stands on the chair to reach the wine pitcher and pour himself some. I loved that.

The detail that i particularly liked was that Tyrion wouldn't/couldn't look his Dad in the eye. He kept sort of glancing off and ducking his head and what not. And then we got that amazing stare from Tywin - no wonder!

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The detail that i particularly liked was that Tyrion wouldn't/couldn't look his Dad in the eye. He kept sort of glancing off and ducking his head and what not. And then we got that amazing stare from Tywin - no wonder!

I wasn't a big fan of the scene where we first met Tywin, because I thought the butchering was kind of silly, given Tywin's status. But Tywin himself has been great in the few scenes we've had of him.

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You can add me to that list of martial artists. Hell, I probably have more time under my belt than most posters here have on this planet. I am also a former Army Ranger and I remember having a conversation with a Navy Seal in regards to fighting prowess. He said, "you do realize that it isn't that we are so fucking good, it is just that the rest of the world fucking sucks!" Syrio would not be able to pull off the moves he did against multiple attackers (was it four?) if they were trained nearly as well as he is.

I also don't quite understand why people believe that wood is far less superior than steel in a fight against armored knights. The only advantage that steel swords would have is their ability to piece objects. Their cutting edges are all but useless against armor and their blunt ability would be less than wood due to the lack of density. Swords aren't made nearly as thick or else they would be way too heavy to wield, thus there is a certain amount of give that wood won't have. So getting hit upside the helmeted head with a steal sword is not going to do more damage than getting the same treatment from a wooden training sword.

I'd say it's generally a combination of that most people aren't good at fighting and that some are superb. Forrest Griffin is a very good fighter but Anderson Silva still made him look like an amateur. Syrio isn't really intended to beat the watch because they suck (although they aren't elite either), but because he's so extraordinarily good. As for the military aspect (I did my 15 month mandatory service in a Swedish version of the rangers), that has a bit less about with pure ability and a bit more with strategy and not fighting fair IMO. :)

I agree with you about wood being a decently effective material for a weapon (although it has lower density than steel, but I know what you meant). The training swords were also made with a led core, at least in the book, so that can indeed land a pretty heavy blow and you'll definitely not like being hit by neither hard wood or metal while wearing a helmet. The biggest problem with wood is it's durability.

You can certainly make a sword even heavier than a wooden sword though (look at what the Mountain is wielding), and especially maces and hammers were heavier and less well balanced just to pierce armor. It's all about the context of the fights you'll be getting into. The sword seems to have been a more versatile weapon and therefor the choice of the really dedicated warriors (in addition to it's significant symbolic value) given that all the surviving combat manuals are for sword fighting.

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I shouldn't be surprised, I suppose, but I take it that none of you complaining regarding wooden swords & helmets has ever played lacrosse. I played for a long, long time, and I assure you, it still fucking hurts, and it will still knock you down and out. But hey, maybe I'm just a cravenly wussy compared to you virile armchair warriors.

If any of you wants to test your theory, we can meet at a con. I'll loan you my helmet, and proceed take a swing at you with my stick. It will end well.

Edited by Lord of Oop North

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I'm going to go and take a guess that a lot of you haven't heard of suspending your disbelief. :P

Understandable, you're fans of the books and want it to be perfect.

In terms of the Syrio sword fight, I think it was terifically well done compared to a lot of less authentic swordplay in films that I've seen. These types of things are made for the viewer to sit back and admire (or cheer on depending on your persuasion).

Tyrion and his men marching towards the camp - I'd imagine the scouts spotted it was him and let him go. It's just something you accept, and not unlikely.

My main nitpick with the episode is that Catalyn meets Robb after a long parting, and doesn't once ask (on screen) how Bran is. Considering she spent weeks by his side, it just seems a little unlikely. Surely she'd want some progress on how the lad that she 'loves fiercely' is getting along? Maybe my Bran fandom is getting out of hand a bit there but still.

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