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Ran

[Book Spoilers] Ep 202 Discussion

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How is what we saw different from the book? Stannis isn't acting out of lust (rewatch the scene; the moment Melisandre disrobes, Stannis moves to put a damn table debtween them) - Melisandre says here's how you're going to win, and then tells him she'll give him a son to get him past his marriage vows. Look, as Ran points out this sex act had to happen. And what we saw was something that was couched in terms of duty and a reluctantly embraced religion and a huge amount of awkwardness. That's Stannis!

Stannis is all about breaking his word and cheating on his wife? Stannis is by the book - him jumping on Melisandre when she throws out the word "son" is not what Stannis in the book is about. "Proper" is what defines him, that act was not proper based on the information they have given in the show.

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Damn fine episode.

What I liked...

-Jon and the Other. This was a fantastic scene that really makes you realise what the Night's Watch is walking into. Its not just Wildings and Mance Rayder and that dick Craster that live out here, there really are monsters in the woods. And as in the books its an interesting possibility as to how the Others are born.

-Tyrion: Period. Tyrion is awesome and owns in every scene he is present in. His friendly dinner with Janos Slynt was his highlight scene, I do wish that he had invoked Tywin's name and made Slynt cower like he did in the book. But of course, "You should have stopped at Imp!" is fantastic.

-Yoren taking a hundred levels in badass with the Gold Cloaks. This scene had me laughing with how awesome Yoren was, and he took the guy's sword. Also enjoying Arya and Gendry, these two are a great pair that I hope we see more of in the books as well as the TV show.

-Balon Greyjoy. I was ambivalent to this character in the books, albeit I pictured him differently and wrongly, but his actor really pulled it off. Balon seems cool, and I liked the way he smacked Theon down for his stockholm syndrome with the Starks.

-Davos and Salladhor. These two were great together, absolutely loved Salladhor's plans for Cersei and Davos later saying that Salladhor is indeed his friend, so of course he's never trusted him.

What I was ambivalent to...

-Daenerys. Things haven't yet picked up so Dany's story isn't a highlight.

-Stannis and Melisandre. I had no doubt in the books that Melisandre was sleeping with Stannis after she offered to sleep with Davos and talked about heartfires, and that Stannis's was weak from being used. Obviously she bedded him to have that shadow. So I think the scene was necessary to explain it to the audience. Stannis himself needs to get to a scene where he can really show the iron core that makes him who he is, and Melisandre needs to get to one of her darker scenes to show who she really is.

-Ros and Littlefinger. I do not hate or like Ros, I just don't find her character interesting. That said, Littlefinger scared the hell out of me with that story of his. If anyone needed confirmation he's capable of doing horrible things, selling some poor whore-slave to likely be tortured and disfigured is all the proof you need.

What I didn't like...

-Cersei. Too much attempts are being made to make her sympathetic to the audience. She ordered the killing of the bastards in the book and that is how it should have stayed.

-Yara Greyjoy. I absolutely DO NOT mean the actress, she's great. I hate the name change to Yara. Asha Greyjoy and Osha are different names and hardly confusing, and does it even matter since Osha is leaving at the end of this season?... she is leaving I hope. And that they are not going to change it to keep her around.

Also on a side-note. Is anyone else worried that Ramsay Bolton hasn't been cast yet, or the Reeds? These characters are vital to the stories for Bran and Theon, and in Ramsay's case much of ADwD and the following books. Episode 8 is titled The Prince of Winterfell, so hopefully we'll see "Reek" then, or hear about him beforehand.

LotN

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What will happen between Jon and Craster surely that changes the story alot. i like the loyalty the first season had to the books but having changes make it a lot more exciting. but it they change too much now how will next season follow if the scenes are cut from this season.

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Time for me to jump on the "Forum of Ice and Fire" train.

I didn't particularly dislike this episode, but I disliked the changes more than in episode 1.

I don't really see why they should have inserted that Jon/Craster ending, because it creates an artificial conflict, and God knows how they'll handle it in the next episode. But non-book viewers probably needed to be reminded that the Others exist and all that.

Bronn becoming Captain of the City Watch was OK, because a new character would only take up space.

Rakharo should not have been killed off, but if there are scheduling conflicts, what are you gonna do?

But the most grave "sin" the writers have commited in this episode is combining Shireen and Selyse, which I think is totally bonkers. I mean, they could have mentioned Shireen without showing her, although I kinda have been waiting to see what the greyscale looks like.

But in spite of all this, I thought it was an OK episode.

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I don't really get upset about things being different in the tv show from the books UNLESS I think it affects the story line:

totally understand Bronn being the Commander of the Goldcloaks, but my gut reaction was meh. In the books he was totally loyal to and dependant on Tyrion. His knighting and marriage was like a punch in the gut because it was yet another blow for Tyrion when things went to shit. I realize that Tyrion appointed him and can reasonably still count on him to be on his side, but Bronn is more independent now.

This is the problem I had too. I guess we have to wait and see if this makes Bronn's betrayal easier or harder to believe.

I also thought Mel "seduced" Stanis in his sleep (maybe with him subcounsiously aware of it) and that "he always does what is right". Having sex just at the promise of a son seems to lesson his character and his strength.

I had mistakenly thought it was Gilly already having the baby boy, but since it wasn't I am not as bothered by that change.

Didn't care for the Ros scene, but someone showed me what was posted on another board and this makes a lot sense (in addition to the LF is a cold hearted bastard:

I know I'm a minority as a Ros fan. But I like the character and I like the scene. To me, its importance was to show a contrast between Ros and the other characters. A innocent baby is killed. We get the following reactions:

1. Joff--ordered it to happen, so obviously he didn't care

2. Cersei--deemed it what was necessary

3. Tyrion--is concerned about the political ramifications of the Lannister name being tied to infanticide

4. Janos--was just taking order, no remorse

5. Bronn--would've done it if the money is right

6. Littlefinger--you get one night to grieve over a dead baby; get over it or I'll see you to a sexual sadist

All of these rich, powerful, conncted people don't give two shis about Barra. The one person who does care? A whore, someone every single person on this list would look down on except for Bronn. Powerful commentary in my opinion.

Definately an interesting POV (thanks Mya)

Not sure I liked that Jeoff ordered it, but he is older and nastier in the tv show, so I guess I can live with it.

As far as Shireen and Rhoko go, don't care all at. As far as I can see they are not part of the plot line

eta: I should add that I did really like the rest of the show. :)

Edited by Ser Lany Cassandra

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I didn't have a problem with Stannis banging Mel on screen, BUT how the scene was arranged was somewhat ridiculous and inflicted major damage to Stanni's cool. He should have been much more reluctant about it, in a non-passionate quickly-perform-his-duty kinda way (which would have been even more awesome because of how eyefriendly Mel actually is)

Edited by hoelk

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he got a part in Brad Pitt movie World War Z

They could have got someone else to play his part. It's not like anyone would really notice the actor change that much, he really wasn't that memorable in season 1. They just used the opportunity to make it look like something has happened in the Dany storyline.

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2 small things that I loved:

When Davos and Saan are walking on the beach, look at the shape of the island in the background, its shaped like a dragon and looks cool as fuck.

As Vayrs goes to leave the tower of the hand, Tyrion puts his hand against the door to stop him opening it.but when Tyrion goes to open it Varys puts 1 finger against the door to stop him. just thought that was a lovely touch to show that Vayrs thinks he is stronger/more powerful than Tyrion.

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GRRM has noted that American audiences are particularly unwelcoming to casting changes during a show. I think people would have been annoyed by someone else being called Rakharo. And, truth be told, I think he did leave a memorable presence -- Elyes Gabel's got a lot of charisma, and he sold that Dothraki language like no one else -- and a recasting would stick out like a sore thumb.

That's a nice point about the hypocrisy of Tyrion, by replacing Joff's baby-killer Slynt with his own baby-killer-if-I-get-paid Bronn. Obviously, the idea of an illiterate, lowborn scumbag like Bronn being able to run the Watch is kind of silly -- it's a police force, you can't just get any old guy off the street to run an organization that has its own logistics and bureaucracy -- but we can suspend disbelief because it was really pretty clever as a way of cutting out Bywater and streamlining the story a bit.

Lets just hope this doesn't mean Bronn meets Bywater's fate at the Blackwater. Jerome Flynn has been terrific.

Oh, and if you haven't rated the episode yet, please do so!

Bunkster,

Yeah, the dragon statues are cool and a nice reminder of the Valyrians.

I haven't had a chance to say here -- though I did in our episode coverage -- that I was really looking forward to Lucian Msamati on the show. I loved his performance in The No. 1 Lady's Detective Agency, and knew he'd do great with this role. He did. And as I note, it looks like they've gone with the notion that he's adopted Lys as his home port, but he's not originally from here -- episode 4 should make that clearer, I think, in an indirect way.

Edited by Ran

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Theory about Ros crying.

Robert visited Winterfell. We know what a horndog he is. He visited the winter village brothel.

He liked Ros, visited her in LF brothel.

Everyones commented on how heavy Ros looks.

Maybe Gendry (and Edric) aren't the only bastards left.

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I thought it was pretty decent. Besides what everyone has been saying, but we knew they were going to make changes. I thought Rorge and Biter were pretty m'eh. I imagined them so much more intimidating, bigger, scarier.

Edited by Howland Reed

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And many liberties shall be taken!

Good episode. More Arya is always for the better. Not sure how keen I was on overt Mel and Stannis getting it on, but I'll never turn down nudity. Enough Ros. Did Theon smell his finger afterward? Because that would make it dirtier. Pike was perfect. Saan was good. Davos is a pimp. I'm not sure if it gets points added or deducted for Littlefinger wiping the semen off the girls mouth before she made out with the outraged client. A little Renly might have been nice. Cersei good as always. Jon's dead!

(yay, the site is working again)

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They could have got someone else to play his part. It's not like anyone would really notice the actor change that much, he really wasn't that memorable in season 1. They just used the opportunity to make it look like something has happened in the Dany storyline.

Instead they got an actor, the guy playing Kovarro (name change, I know), who sounds like he is going to be the bloodrider we are going to see in Dany's story. They will add a 3rd one, but just with some random guy like they did with Aggo. I'd rather them kill off the one to give Dany's story some meat than just change the actor for a middle of the pact role. Its not like giving her a new Bloodrider with a different name really makes her story any different. As long as you have one to potentially get tossed over some walls in a trebuchet later on.

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I thought it was a great episode.

-Don't mind the changes, streamlining the plot is a necessity at this point.

-Cersei/Tyrion is always great. She just hates him so much

-As much as I dislike Ros, that scene turned Littlefinger from a schemy bastard into a truly scary sociopath, his story about the whore who was "transformed" (I don't even want to know what that means) was chilling.

-Theon was great in this episode. I wasn't really fond of him in the first season but he was great. The actress they picked for Yara is perfect and Balon as well.

-All the Dragonstone scenes were great. In the books it's obvious Mel and Stan are doing the beast with two backs so yeah. Also, Stannis was appropriately awkward during sex.

Saan and Davos were great.

-Yay Arry and Gendry. Jaqar is perfect as well.

-Noooo Hot Blood Rider Rakharo :(

-I still continue to not give a shit about Jon.

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Was one of the weakest episodes in the series thus far, imo. Not because of the changes, I don't care about that really, its just that it felt disjointed and dragged on too much in the middle. Also, and I say this for the first time ever, there was far too much sex. I was fine with Stannis/Mel scene (although, correct me if I'm wrong, this is a change from the books, yes? I thought it was never clear if Stannis had an affair or was seduced while asleep) but the Theon/Captain's daughter scene dragged on even worse than it did on the page and the brothel scene was completely unnecessary. I would much rather have preferred either another Arya scene, or some checking in with a character not in the episode; maybe show Joffrey being randomly cruel and stupid.

There were some definite great scenes of course; Tyrion/Slynt, Tyrion/Cersei, Davos/Saan, Theon/Balon, and Arya/Gendry were all really good, but they were surrounded by a lot that left a lot to be desired.

not so sure Mel and Stannis getting it on is a change from the books...I always got the feeling there was something going on, kinda like with Renly and Loras, on TV it needs to be much more direct than the way its alluded to in the books.

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I liked the first episode, but I didn't feel the LOVE last week, now it's back :) so much great stuff.

The Kingsroad: Perfect.

Loved Yoren being bad ass, Gendry is spot on, Jaquen is great, Arya continues to be the most loveable character on the show. The conversation with Hot Pie and Lemmy was really funny. I somehow liked Hot Pie in the books, in the show he's far from being a likeable kid, great actor though.

King's Landing: Not enough praise can be given to Peter Dinklage. I also love Varys. The scene with Janos Slynt was perfect, I like Bronn's promotion too. We also got to see why Cersei hates Tyrion so much. The brothel scene wasn't necessary, they could have shown us Robb instead, but by itself I thought it was a good scene, Littlefinger has no morals whatsoever.

The Wall: yaaay, Ghost!

I loved Gilly, perfect cast. Good dialogue between the guys. The end with Craster and the Other was unexpected, it's nice not to know what will happen next for a change.

Red Waste: Nothing to see here. The actor dropped out, so the killed his character, can't really complain about that.

Pyke: Only great scenes here.

"Try smiling with your lips closed - hm. better." Alfie Allen is an awesome douchebag Theon. Balon Greyjoy couldn't be better as well.

As for Asha: She's confident and cocky, but by no means this awesome warrior queen who would be able to earn respect and lead men in this ultra-macho society on the Iron Islands. Still, really good actress.

Dragonstone: Sallador Saan <3

Davos is spot on. I'm not entirely happy with Stannis, not "irony" enough, but I didn't feel the scene with Mel was out of place.

I only read the books after I saw the first season, so I guess I'm easier to please than someone who's been with the books for a decade or longer.

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I liked Stannis' depiction so far in the series.

While I seem to be in a minority, it is clear to me that Stannis is not any kind of moral reference, although Davos and himself see him as such.

Stannis has time and again shown a lot of moral shortcomings, not least of all deep hypocrisy, and the TV Series seems to understand that perfectly.

Incidentally, I have often wondered why Davos is so loyal to him. Am I the only one wondering if the episode wanted to hint of a homosexual attraction to Stannis, with that talk about he being his God?

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I didn't have a problem with Stannis banging Mel on screen, BUT how the scene was arranged was somewhat ridiculous and inflicted major damage to Stanni's cool. He should have been much more reluctant about it, in a non-passionate quickly-perform-his-duty kinda way (which would have been even more awesome because of how eyefriendly Mel actually is)

To me, it was very much like Stannis doing his duty. He didnt want to at first, Mel touched on how his wife sucked and couldn't produce him an heir (and left it ambiguous as to whether or not Shireen was alive), I think she probably put some sort of spell on him (that or just being super hot) brought up the son and got Stannis on board with doing it. He knows his ultimate duty is to take the Iron Throne, if banging Mel helps him do that, well so be it. Then he actually does it, and it is the worst sex scene possible. Seems like he was 2-3 pumps and was done and he sounded totally ackward when he did it, with his gross grunts.

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