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Xray the Enforcer

[BOOK SPOILERS] Ep 09 Discussion Part 2

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Response to some complaints:

Regarding Shae - Let's not overplay her role in the series by calling her a major character. Her importance in the narrative is solely how her presence affects and changes Tyrion. As long as that remains essentially unchanged, and Tyrion feels conflicted about whether the affection Shae shows him is genuine or bought, then I could care less about the producer's decision to change Shae from an innocent-seeming, buxom farm-girl to a more mysterious courtesan. At least the latter character piqued the casual viewer's interest. Otherwise, they might have thought that she was a "one-night/one-episode" extra to meet HBO's tits-n-ass quota for the episode.

Regarding no Tower of Joy - We love this scene as book-readers because of it's significance to the R+L=J theory. Outside of that however, it serves no purpose to the main plot and will only confuse the fuck out of the television viewer. I'm more upset actually that we didn't get at least a 'Promise Me' whisper that always haunts Ned, but again, I can't really think of a way to show this without seeming both lame and utterly confusing. The significance of these flashbacks only pertains to a theory that even in the books has not reached a conclusion. Just let my namesake reveal Jon's heritage in S5 or 6, whenever Howland Reed makes his appearance, or however GRRM decides to reveal it.

Regarding no battle scenes - I don't think showing Tyrion's battle is that big of a deal, and in fact, I liked the transition thematically from getting knocked out beforehand and waking up to the aftermath -- only to learn that this wasn't even the real battle. Sure, we might have lost some of the badassness of Tyrion whooping some Northmen butt, but we did get his shield-bashing in Episode 5, so it's not like viewers think he's a craven or completely incompetent.

However, I do agree that not showing the capture of Jaime was a huge opportunity lost by HBO. It's a small-enough scale (at least in the books where Robb isn't actually bringing his full host to Jaime), and the epicness of it can be portrayed without the use of hundreds of extras. Hell, I would've been thrilled just by seeing 20-25 horseriders riding hard through a forest, followed by a more narrow-scoped battle with Jaime cutting down 8-10 bannermen only to finally be taken down. Cutting from Tywin's line: "Likely with his other 18,000 men" to a scene with Robb and his bannermen riding down on Jaime's encampment would've been a perfect segue.

I realize the Battle of Whispering Wood was told off-screen in the book as well, but this was a golden opportunity to take a bit of creative license and show us the fight, rather than tell.

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Wonder why Lord Frey wasn't 95 and gouty? And all his daughters were ugly, apparently? :lol: Roslin Frey is supposed to be some sort of babe, so they can't all be ugly. And when Robb apologizes to them before the red wedding, they aren't all homely or anything.

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And Jorah, you idiot! Why take her into the tent?!

He wasn't there when MMD told Dany that no one must enter the tent once the singing has begun. I hope it's made clear that MMD's magic was screwing up Rhaego before Jorah carried her in there, otherwise it's kinda Jorah's fault, even if it was an accident.

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Larry added a P.S. that he is not in fact going to quit the show. So that's good.

He also said that if they kill Drogo he is going to drop it.

I doubt it, the guy has 4x more inscriptions and has become somewhat famous here because of GoT. I doubt he wont come back for another season.

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I'm pretty sure they will show us Mirri Maz Duur's desire for vengeance. She poisoned Drogo and killed Rhaego with her spell, that's the whole point of her character. She would not end up on the pyre, if this were just two accidents ;-).

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- No Tower of Joy. To be honest, I didn't even know it was CALLED the Tower of Joy until I started reading comments here. And even then I had no idea what people were talking about until I re-read the series recently. GRRM obviously has a reason for it, but that reason isn't remotely clear at this point. Viewers would be completely lost. I have faith that they'll figure out how to move the plot forward by either including this later or by replacing it with something else. I just don't think they felt that ToJ would make sense in that context, and I have to agree with them.

The reason why I like ToJ, and I think many people agree, is that its one of the few parts of the story that does sound epic. Not only you have Ned and Howland Reed but also three knights of the kingsguard who are suposed to be awesome. They are suposed to be the last breed of true knights. Even in memory, ToJ is the most epic part of all the books.

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I think people who are pissed at Ned dying...and will be pissed that Drogo dies...will only stick around based on how bad ass Robb looks (which will make them really hate things down the line) and how bad ass Dany looks. I mean, she has to look awesome. I am hoping money was spared on battle scenes so that Dany's final scenes look perfect.

And how awesome the dragons look. If its bad CG I guess many people will just drop it.

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Wonder why Lord Frey wasn't 95 and gouty? And all his daughters were ugly, apparently? :lol: Roslin Frey is supposed to be some sort of babe, so they can't all be ugly. And when Robb apologizes to them before the red wedding, they aren't all homely or anything.

I took this as a moment of comic relief. I was certainly amused, especially by Theon's expression. Maybe Roslin is the one that Catelyn was referring to?

I know that some have commented that Robb's response to Catelyn's marriage arrangement in the show seemed immature compared to the books, but...isn't that just as realistic for a boy trying to grow up all at once and become a man? And it's not like that reaction is totally out of character for him in the books either. You could argue that the Red Wedding was a result of his immaturity regarding women. He allowed himself to be "comforted" by Jeyne, which started the whole messed up chain of events that culminated in the worst party ever.

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Also my response to some complaints :)

But i must had 1st that i love the show!!!! i often come here just to complain....but that is who i am :) it´s not so much fun to discuss when we all agree it was great and we loved it :)

- Stark Strategy leaving behind 2.000 men:

This is odd....it gets away from the book and is a bit odd. 2.000 men would be really suicidal like they say in the series (at least they admit). That being said, what stops Tywin from sending some marauding force up north? We know he can get a cross at the Twins if he really wants to. Now if he just finished these 2.000 suicidal men....he can just go North and force Robb to turn tail. The strategic reason why Robb left most of his men to "harass" Tywin is because they have to be able to survive an keep being a problem....else Tywin will be free to do whatever he wants. Also, the remnants of this bigger force will be missed when the time comes for them to show up at Harrenhall. Also, Robb doesn´t need the major part of his force to defeat Jamie....that was really the trick....that he could move a small force fast enough to surprise Jaime.

- Tyrion not fighting the battle:

I actually have no problem with Tyrion not fighting it. Fine for me, that is something i can live with. Now what kind of made me facepalm was how he was made to miss the fight.....lets see

1. Tyrion gets out of his tent in full armor....has some traffic problems with some people riding crazy inside camp. Somehow the Lannister camp is loosing its order if a Lannister is in perill of being trampled by some crazy riders...it was the 1st sign of things to come.

2. Tyriom tries to do is share of motivation to his men. Astonishing enough he appears to be succesfull and with a little help from Shaga they are all screaming "Halfman"

3. Then suddenly, with no orders, they just rush forward and literally run over the same commander they were chearing up a second earlier......aaaaahhh now this was stupid in all possible ways. No one told them to charge, they are still inside camp and as far as we know the enemy is not even in sight.....and you dont run over your commanding officer, even if he happens to be a dwarf.

In all honesty....it looked like a cheap comedy movie momment....i was just expecting Bron or Shaga to look back and say "uuuuppppssss".

Also...something they never explain is how the hell Tyrion got all that blood on top of him if he never even left camp....and no one missed him right?

So for me the problem with the "Non Battles" was not so much how they were not shown, but what we did get instead, which i think lacked a lot on the epic scale of things.

For instance, for Tyrion i would have him marching is men forward in more or less good order to the sound of some nice music. And then to as they please with the "non battle".

For Robb you have to review is strategy and at least tell us what the hell is going on and why is Cat waitting anxiously. No...it´s not enough to know he is somewhere out with most of his men....we have no idea where he went....he could well be ridding straight to Kings Landing to try and save Nedd, or whatever for what we know. Same thing goes for Jaime....how the hell did he get himself arrested? We need to know!!!! Last time i think he had 30.000 man which still outnumbered Robb. We were also told Jaime was doing well and proving a good commander. So What???? A wizard did it!

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I took this as a moment of comic relief. I was certainly amused, especially by Theon's expression. Maybe Roslin is the one that Catelyn was referring to?

I know that some have commented that Robb's response to Catelyn's marriage arrangement in the show seemed immature compared to the books, but...isn't that just as realistic for a boy trying to grow up all at once and become a man? And it's not like that reaction is totally out of character for him in the books either. You could argue that the Red Wedding was a result of his immaturity regarding women. He allowed himself to be "comforted" by Jeyne, which started the whole messed up chain of events that culminated in the worst party ever.

Wasn't his reaction verbatim from the books?

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The reason why I like ToJ, and I think many people agree, is that its one of the few parts of the story that does sound epic. Not only you have Ned and Howland Reed but also three knights of the kingsguard who are suposed to be awesome. They are suposed to be the last breed of true knights. Even in memory, ToJ is the most epic part of all the books.

I see where you're coming from (and many others, apparently), but I definitely didn't get that same sense of epicness from that scene. I think it was partially because the event itself isn't described in great detail (which seems to have some signficance), but it's also because it hasn't had much effect on the actual story to this point. Obviously it affected Ned, but he's dead now.

This also explains my lack of patience for the Dany chapters in the book. They have, up through book four, had next to zero impact on the rest of the story and the rest of the characters. I'm positive that all of this (ToJ, Dany, etc.) will pay off in the end, but for now it's just kind of there and so not really of great interest to me. I understand your point of view though. In some ways I'm sad we don't get any Arthur Dayne. The Sword of the Morning is such a sweet name.

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The folks who make the Game of Thrones parody videos are going to have a lot of fun with Shae.

Tyrion: nice accent, where are you from?

Shae: that is a mystery.

Tyrion: oh...who were your parents?

Shae: that is also a mystery.

Bronn: why the fuck were you cast?

Shae: that is a mystery, too.

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The reason why I like ToJ, and I think many people agree, is that its one of the few parts of the story that does sound epic. Not only you have Ned and Howland Reed but also three knights of the kingsguard who are suposed to be awesome. They are suposed to be the last breed of true knights. Even in memory, ToJ is the most epic part of all the books.

I love the scene as well, and would love to see it on screen, but let's get real. The Tower of Joy dream has had zero importance in the novels. People love to act like R+L = J is some crucial plot point, essential to the series, but really, it's not (so far, at least). If the novels were completed, and this HBO series was being plotted all in advance (ala a Babylon 5 type of telenovella), then I could see how it would fit in, but as is, it would be confusing and a waste of screentime.

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So, I have a lot of time to spend thinking about whatever while I'm driving to and from work, and this hit me tonight on the way home:

(Yeah, yeah, I'm late to the party and all, but it never really stood out to me til I saw it on screen.)

We start off with Ned, Ice and a man about to be executed. Jon tells Bran not to look away.

We end (more or less) with Ned, Ice and a man about to be executed. Yoren tells Arya to look away.

Note to Joffrey - the man who passes the sentence must swing the sword

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Note to Joffrey - the man who passes the sentence must swing the sword

I've got a pie for that kid.

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Camps I am in:

Ned yelling "Baelor" at Yoren not only explains how Yoren managed to spot a squirrely little girl in a seething crowd, but also reiterates that he is only relinquishing his honor to save his children. Plus it makes the title make sense at last.

Tyrion got bashed with a hammer and stepped on by a seething horde of tribesmen. Yowch. That'll leave some bruises, and it saves the expense of a big battle scene when there's so much more to focus on. There's enough story about what's going on that we don't NEED to see it.

Varys. Oh wow, man. You're more interesting in person! And that's saying something!

Bronn continues to impress.

Cersei's horrified reaction at Joffrey's decision is perfect. We know, from Tywin's later comments about it, that this was an unpleasant surprise to her as much as to anyone.

And oh, Bean couldn't have done it better. Those eyes... that look... they nailed it. Well and truly.

Camps I am NOT in:

Shae doesn't work for me. Too old, too intelligent, too aggressive. Not the wicked little sexpot I was expecting - all throughout the books, she is in turn whiny, quizzical, dunderheaded, and nymphomaniacal. The Shae we are given here would know EXACTLY what Varys is saying when Tyrion meets them in the alehouse - and would tear him to pieces for it, verbally if nothing else.

Wow, THAT was a short list!

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In the minor character department:

I don't like Shae, sorry. I "liked" the Shae from the books, she struck me as a relatively realistic portrait of a sex worker with a fair bit of trauma in her backstory. This is a completely different character and while I have no issue with the actress, I don't care for how the writers/directors have chosen to adapt/depict her.

On the other hand, I love Walder Frey. All I hoped for and then some; I spent most of his scene with Catelyn laughing. What a disgusting old man...but I think he may replace Viserys now that he's gone. "Her honey's all mine." *shudders* Too bad he wasn't 90, just to drive it home a little more, but this guy was delightful.

Upwards and onwards...Ned. Oh, Ned. I admit it, I shed a couple tears for him. I don't like TV-Ned any better than Book-Ned, I found myself wanting to beat him all over again. But still, what a wretched way to die - confess to a pack of lies in public in front of your beloved daughters to save their lives and then ignominiously beheaded on the steps of a temple. I liked what they did where they whited out the noise of the crowd but Ned could hear Sansa's screams in the background. I also liked that Ned saw Arya - his last thoughts were about saving his daughters. I also like the kid playing Joffrey; he's doing a pretty good job and probably having a ton of fun with it too. How often do you get to prattle about the weak hearts of women and order aristocrats beheaded?

Sean Bean... :bowdown: :kiss:

As a final comment, I thought it was funny that Tyrion got trampled by his savages. Yes, it was low comedy - but an episode that involves the beheading of Lord Stark needs a little low comedy. I also have no objection to the loss of the battles; I never really got into the story because of the battle and I generally cover my eyes for a lot of the fighting anyway (spear through poor Jory's eye, that Dothraki's tongue getting pulled out) so I'm perfectly happy to skip it in favor of something more interesting (to me).

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He wasn't there when MMD told Dany that no one must enter the tent once the singing has begun. I hope it's made clear that MMD's magic was screwing up Rhaego before Jorah carried her in there, otherwise it's kinda Jorah's fault, even if it was an accident.

That is what happens in the books, though.

From AGOT, page 756-7:

"My son was alive and strong when Ser Jorah carried me into this tent," she said. "I could feel him kicking, fighting to be born."

...

Ser Jorah had killed her son, Dany knew. He had done what he did for love and loyalty, yet he had carried her into a place no living man should go and fed her baby to the darkness. He knew it too; the grey face, the hollow eyes, the limp.

MMD clearly had some sort of vengeance planned, but I don't know if she specifically meant to take Rhaego before Dany entered the tent. Maybe not right then?

I took this as a moment of comic relief. I was certainly amused, especially by Theon's expression. Maybe Roslin is the one that Catelyn was referring to?

I know that some have commented that Robb's response to Catelyn's marriage arrangement in the show seemed immature compared to the books, but...isn't that just as realistic for a boy trying to grow up all at once and become a man? And it's not like that reaction is totally out of character for him in the books either. You could argue that the Red Wedding was a result of his immaturity regarding women. He allowed himself to be "comforted" by Jeyne, which started the whole messed up chain of events that culminated in the worst party ever.

Yeah that didn't bother me very much. It's very normal for him to have a hesitance, but the fact that matters is that he acquiesces. He is willing to do his duty (for now...damn you, Jeyne!!!), even knowing it won't be pleasant.

As far as them all being ugly--I figured that was for comic relief, and it's always possible that not every daughter was in the hall.

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Camps I am in:

Ned yelling "Baelor" at Yoren not only explains how Yoren managed to spot a squirrely little girl in a seething crowd, but also reiterates that he is only relinquishing his honor to save his children. Plus it makes the title make sense at last.

I've been wondering whether non-readers would understand that "Baelor" referred to the statue. I don't remember Baelor being mentioned in previous scenes or episodes. Somebody please correct me if I'm wrong! :wideeyed:

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My heart was beating crazily during the moments leading up to Ned's death even though I've read the books. I was physically shaken when the sword was swung.

My brother, who has not read the books, was watching it with me and raged afterwards, storming through the house and yelling that he's not going to watch the show anymore. :lol: These reactions amuse me to no end.

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