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Xray the Enforcer

[Book Spoilers] EP108 Discussion Part 2

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That topic has been done to death, but let me just say this: Arya kills a lot of people in cold blood self-defense, vengeance and survival for someone who is not a cold-blooded murderer.

*nods*

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Big difference between reading something and seeing it. We tend to be more tolerant of departures from the human norm on the printed page.

Don't get it, it's not as if Martin described some supernatural sight of human-zombies hatching from purple chicken eggs.

The thing we are discussing here is a human character, the concept is delivered the same whether it's through written word or filmed scene.

There have been movies and tv series depicting children killers, from the top of my head The Wire and City of God are pretty strong on this. You can accept that certain circumstances lead to such extreme taboo behavior or you cannot - still it doesn't have anything to do with the media itself.

The 'weird' camerawork was the point I was making - I doubt it was incompetence.

Regarding the camera work - I've noticed some of this in earlier episodes as well. Some weird in-scene cuts, or weird zoom-ins. I too doubt it was incompetence, just poor choices.

In general I think they're softening the characters. After the departure of Ned viewers will need people to identify with - and cold-blooded ten year old murderers might not fit the bill.

Again - book readers could handle it then so could viewers. Most of them would forget what she'd done by next season and just be sad for the girl and what she undergoes on the road and in Harrenhal.

It certainly wouldn't be hard to have shown her killing the stableboy on purpose and deliver that she is extremely devastated by this.

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That topic has been done to death, but let me just say this: Arya kills a lot of people in cold blood for someone who is not a cold-blooded murderer.

Sorry, didn't realize. Almost everything has been done to death on here. :(

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The 'weird' camerawork was the point I was making - I doubt it was incompetence.

I don't think it was incompetence either (the rest of the camerawork/directing has been fabulous in my opinion), but it didn't work for me or(seemingly) almost anyone else.

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Don't get it, it's not as if Martin described some supernatural sight of human-zombies hatching from purple chicken eggs.

The thing we are discussing here is a human character, the concept is delivered the same whether it's through written word or filmed scene.

There have been movies and tv series depicting children killers, from the top of my head The Wire and City of God are pretty strong on this. You can accept that certain circumstances lead to such extreme taboo behavior or you cannot - still it doesn't have anything to do with the media itself.

Example: They didn't 'uglify' Tyrion. Why not? Because it's easier to sympathise with an ugly dwarf on the page than on the screen.

Regarding the camera work - I've noticed some of this in earlier episodes as well. Some weird in-scene cuts, or weird zoom-ins. I too doubt it was incompetence, just poor choices.

Arya is an important character and this is an important scene in her development. They could have shot it conventionally but chose not to, which suggests they were happy with the result.

Again - book readers could handle it then so could viewers. Most of them would forget what she'd done by next season and just be sad for the girl and what she undergoes on the road and in Harrenhal.

It certainly wouldn't be hard to have shown her killing the stableboy on purpose and deliver that she is extremely devastated by this.

Very good points. The question is - why didn't they do it like that? They had to have given a lot of thought to such a critical scene.

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Overall an excellent episode. The lack of scouts for the Lannister camp was odd, and I am upset they didn't show Moat Cailen as the great ruinous swamp tower setup it is. Also, why wasn't the Blackfish with Catelyn and Rodrick when they left the the Vale? I dont recall if he was there to greet them when they first brought tyrion.

Also, the whole timeline of the events in the T.V. show seems skewed compared to the books. I guess going from one medium to the other would do that, though.

The slight change of the nature of Dany/Drogos scenes was very well done. Instead of wasting time explaining how one Khal fell upon another Khal etc they streamlined the whole process. And Drogo willfully letting the dude nick him worked brilliantly. Though Dany's over-zealous reaction to what appears to be a shallow skin cut was sorta dumb.

They still got alllloooot to cover in these last two episodes...

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The Blackfish has been cut and moved to S2, unfortunately.

And yeah, Drogo's cut should have been nastier, this really was just a scratch, making the whole big deal about requiring a healer pretty silly... but that, and the hasty stableboy kill, are my only complains (and they're all directing decisions, not writing, so kudos to GRRM) in what is an otherwise fantastic episode with the best writing yet. :) I hope they'll still show the Hound getting accepted into the Kingsguard though, I was sad to see that go. It's a pretty important scene so I'm assuming hoping they just moved it to E09.

Edited by Morrigan

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Another minor thing that caught my attention:

When Arya kills the stableboy, she grabs Needle and runs away, but leaves her training sword. Her training sword features prominently in her scenes up until she kicks the shit out of Hot Pie. I guess theyre either reworking that, or they just made an error.

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I enjoyed episode 8 a lot. The one thing I really wish they hadn't cut was Tywin maneuvering the Mountain Clans to fight for him.

In the books, he says they should fight for him, and offers decent weapons in return. The Mountain men refuse, because Tyrion already offered him weapons in exchange for his life. So Tywin starts praising both the Hill Tribes and the Northmen for their martial prowess. He says that even his bravest knights fear to fight the Northerners, and if the Mountain Men are too afraid, then he understands. The Hillmen immediately scoff at the Northmen, and agree to fight to prove their ferocity.

It was a quick about face, but it made more sense than what they showed on screen, which is that the Hillmen seem to have no problem being conscripted into Tywin's army (??). Plus, it showed what a snake charmer Tywin can be, which is important to establish early on.

Not a big deal, but I thought it was something of an important scene.

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I agree; it's puzzling why that was changed. I'm sure Martin had a good reason though. I hope for the DVDs will get a whole bunch of commentary from him and the producers about everything. :) Perhaps they felt the need to shorten scene, and the mountain men aren't stupid. They can see Tywin and how rich and powerful Tywin is, so a chance to fight for him in exchange for all Tyrion promised them and more, doesn't seem too much of a stretch.

Edited by Mellisandra

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Don't get it, it's not as if Martin described some supernatural sight of human-zombies hatching from purple chicken eggs.

The thing we are discussing here is a human character, the concept is delivered the same whether it's through written word or filmed scene.

There have been movies and tv series depicting children killers, from the top of my head The Wire and City of God are pretty strong on this. You can accept that certain circumstances lead to such extreme taboo behavior or you cannot - still it doesn't have anything to do with the media itself.

Regarding the camera work - I've noticed some of this in earlier episodes as well. Some weird in-scene cuts, or weird zoom-ins. I too doubt it was incompetence, just poor choices.

Again - book readers could handle it then so could viewers. Most of them would forget what she'd done by next season and just be sad for the girl and what she undergoes on the road and in Harrenhal.

It certainly wouldn't be hard to have shown her killing the stableboy on purpose and deliver that she is extremely devastated by this.

I think the point was, there's a difference between reading about a child making the decision to kill another child, and watching it. People are going to react differently to that scenario based on the medium it's in, which is why adaptions don't simply use the book as a screen play. You can't always film what you can write.

If there was a scene with Arya getting raped over 2 or 3 pages, you imagine them spending a min or two on that? Or simply showing her getting dragged into a room or bed before cutting away.

Edited by Captain Tripps

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That topic has been done to death, but let me just say this: Arya kills a lot of people in cold blood for someone who is not a cold-blooded murderer.

This is an interesting point. I think there is WAY too much of applying today's standards of morality/behavior to a story that's taking place, effectively, in the middle ages. In our world, if a person kills another person, it is a murder, and has a much higher shock value. In Westeros, there are clearly many situations where one person kills another and it isn't "murder". It may be justice; it may be self-defence; it may be expedience; it may be a well-countested tourney match...people killing people is a far less disturbing notion for this population.

I would say that Arya absolutely is (or, at least, is on the way to becoming) a cold-blooded killer, but the word "murderer" makes the whole sentence surreal for me--I suddenly envision her character being tossed into something like Scarface. In the given context, that she is a cold-blooded killer doesn't necessarily equate to saying she is a bad person. In fact, I think we're seeing how the world is transforming her into the kind of Stark that can survive the events of the next few books, contrasted with what happens to the more moral/honorable ones.

So, for the record, if we can change "murderer" to "killer", I would have no trouble agreeing with the statement, while simultaneously maintaining that she is by far my favorite character in the book. The child is not evil (my oversimplification of "cold-blooded murderer"), but she is TOUGH, and I have found her to be sympathetic from the start and all the way through the existing books.

-VM

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Don't get it, it's not as if Martin described some supernatural sight of human-zombies hatching from purple chicken eggs.

The thing we are discussing here is a human character, the concept is delivered the same whether it's through written word or filmed scene.

There have been movies and tv series depicting children killers, from the top of my head The Wire and City of God are pretty strong on this. You can accept that certain circumstances lead to such extreme taboo behavior or you cannot - still it doesn't have anything to do with the media itself.

Example: They didn't 'uglify' Tyrion. Why not? Because it's easier to sympathise with an ugly dwarf on the page than on the screen.

Regarding the camera work - I've noticed some of this in earlier episodes as well. Some weird in-scene cuts, or weird zoom-ins. I too doubt it was incompetence, just poor choices.

Arya is an important character and this is an important scene in her development. They could have shot it conventionally but chose not to, which suggests they were happy with the result.

Again - book readers could handle it then so could viewers. Most of them would forget what she'd done by next season and just be sad for the girl and what she undergoes on the road and in Harrenhal.

It certainly wouldn't be hard to have shown her killing the stableboy on purpose and deliver that she is extremely devastated by this.

Very good points. The question is - why didn't they do it like that? They had to have given a lot of thought to such a critical scene.

As well as this series is done, we can't simply assume that every choice they made was the best. Sure, some of the nitpicks we have on here are trivial and don't really bear on the actual quality of the show. But the writers/producers/directors aren't PERFECT; they will make some odd choices, and it's okay if we disagree with them. I mean, it is US they're trying to please.

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That topic has been done to death, but let me just say this: Arya kills a lot of people in cold blood for someone who is not a cold-blooded murderer.

Maybe new people can breathe fresh life into topics done to death. Otherwise, we should just close out the tv, book and GC sections of the board.

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Arya has plenty of chances to make the choice to consciously kill someone. If the first one is kind of a "greedo shot first" sort of revision, it could be merely making this more of a progression.

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Another minor thing that caught my attention:

When Arya kills the stableboy, she grabs Needle and runs away, but leaves her training sword. Her training sword features prominently in her scenes up until she kicks the shit out of Hot Pie. I guess theyre either reworking that, or they just made an error.

I noticed that too. She also didn't grab a cloak from the trunk, which she used to hide Needle with a lot of the time.

Yes, she can steal a cloak sometime later, but its much easier to take an item from your own open trunk.

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That topic has been done to death, but let me just say this: Arya kills a lot of people in cold blood for someone who is not a cold-blooded murderer.

Except for the first kill, which is grayish (it's self defense, but it's a kid just being a jerk not a grown man trying to do something terrifying to her), most of her "murders" are self defense. . . maybe not always immediate "That guy was going to kill me" self defense but in a broader sense. Some are vengeance, sure. I never got the sense she was killing just because she's bloodthirsty.

I thought the scene with the boy was just fine. I've only recently read the books and that scene in the book went by in a blur for me too. . . so I felt the speed was appropriate, as was the actress playing Arya. The actor playing the boy kind of sucked, and that brought the scene down, but I feel kind of a jerk for critiquing the acting of an 8 year old in a bit part. And she isn't anywhere near cold-blooded YET. I think applying that to her first kill would be wrong. I don't think she gets anywhere near cold-blooded for awhile to come.

Edited by halfwaygone

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Just re-watched the episode and agree that Selmy was truly badass...I don't know the acor, but with his look, I thought to myself, "I'm Saul Motherfuckin' Teague."...but did anyone mention, I,m sure they did, that they forgot to put the Hound into Selmy's place...

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I remember the Arya and stableboy scene feeling a little off, just the editing beats not flowing together really well. I questioned it at the time...but decided that they wanted to show her first murder seeming almost like a mistake. She seems shocked that she's actually got him on the pointy end. It's a way to make her arc seem more sympathetic - she didn't want to start killing people but circumstances gave her no choice.

By the end of AFFC she is punished for her killing, because she's no longer killing for survival but for revenge or retribution. She has to start far away from that to build up the drama.

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