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[Book Spoilers] Ep 202 Discussion

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The Asha/Yara casting wasn't really the way I imagined her. She would probably make a better Brienne. Asha is supposed to be very attractive. Don't want to nitpick on the name change, but doesn't it give you a warm fuzzy feeling to know the producers believe that the fans are too stupid to tell the difference between a and o? And it's a pity the conversation between her and Theon has been so drastically cut/simplified. Was one of the best scenes in the book. If GRRM wrote that scene with her naked you know it would in the episode and it would be at least 5 minutes long.

Loved the Davos/Salladhor scene and Tyrion of course, who is given too little time in the episodes so far. I would probably watch 45 minutes of just Tyrion/Peter Dinklage and enjoy it more than either episode shown so far.

Also that confrontation between Yoren and the mounted gold cloak. Yoren says something like "The throat might be better but cutting off your balls would be pretty bad too". I smiled at that because in the book he actually has the knife at the gold cloak's throat. But it's also sadly symbolic of the show as a whole with its obsession with between the legs stuff.

Edited by ace

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While technically true this is not a strong move for a king to do it for his own bastard. It wrecks havoc in the lines of succession.

Again, as someone stated before, Stannis is such an honorable prude TV Mel's flimsy attempts to sway him in such a way at such an early stage in the game would have been met with disgust rather than lust. Robert was the weak man who fathered bastards.

Personally, I would've preferred another path, but I think they're trying to give viewers an explanation for the shadow baby impregnation other than him knowingly participating in dark magics and fratricide. I always imagined she took his seed, giving him the explanation that the life force within was required by the Lord of Light in order to destroy his enemies, yadayada. Stannis doesn't strike me as a kinslayer. He wanted to destroy Renly, but I think he would've preferred to beat his army, then imprison him like with Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine. Maybe I'm just naive, because I always liked Stannis. He's a king I'd willingly serve.

And, while it's true Aegon IV's legitimizing all his bastards on his deathbed led to the Blackfyre Rebellion, the same wouldn't be true if there was only one bastard and no other heir to contend with. Henry VIII had a bastard son by a teenage mistress when Catherine of Aragon proved unable to give him a son who lived past infancy, but the boy -- whom Henry was extremely fond of and many believe he intended to name his heir -- died at 17, prior to the law that would've allowed him to be invested as heir made it through Parliament. Also, in the story, Robb penned such a decree legitimizing Jon and naming him his heir that I'm pretty sure Lady Mormont is carrying as she hides-out at Greywater Watch with Howland Reed.

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Stannis doesn't have any sons, so there's no line of succession to disrupt.

Exactly.

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Overall, I thought it was a good episode. I was peeved about the Jon Snow scene at the end, but hey, they'll get kicked out of Craster's Keep, the plot will continue as it normally would (book 3 spoilers),

and when they return Jon won't be with them so that should work out just fine.

I was also annoyed with the random death of Dany's bloodrider that didn't occur in the book, but he wasn't a major character, and apparently there were conflicting schedules, so there's not much you can do about that.

However, what really got to me was how Yara (Asha) was portrayed. In the books she was a tease and fended off all of Theon's sexual advances, which culminated in a darkly hilarious "haha, I'm your sister and I just punked you" kind of moment, plus it showed how clever she could be. In the show she is basically a perv who let her (unknowing) brother get her off on a horse ride....

Edited by Tewks44

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I thought that was a great bit too, although it suggests she knows be dies in flames which really doesn't make sense if she sees Stannis' victory. But Mel has always sucked at reading the flames.

Edited by Lord Godric

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Why do people keep calling the Stannis scene out of character? We all know he sleeps with Melisandre from the heavy, heavy implications in the books. So, what character did he go against? Stannis is a dutiful man bent on justice. He was reluctant to nail Melisandre in the show, but they cant put in 10 scenes of him turning her down before it actually happens. Without seeing that they did it the shadow baby scene becomes a bit confusing. It highlights Mels power over Stannis, which she has in the books.

Because the Stannis scene IS out of character. Just like anyone does out of character things, Stannis sleeping with Mel (both in the books and in the show) is out of character for him. My point was that in the book, GRRM makes it clear that such a thing is out of character, given that it's never even mentioned explicitly. We assume it happened, but his character is one of stern adherence to law and justice and all that.

In the show, by giving that scene such prominence, it's not very clear that it's out of character for him. Yeah, he puts up token resistance...for all of like 20 seconds. I understand the show has to make some sacrifices in order to provide context for later occurrences, but to me it seems like they're sacrificing much of Stannis's character, and that's too high a price.

I'm no show creator, but I would have preferred that Mel's shadow-spawn would have been some summoned thing that didn't require pregnancy, and the relationship between them could have been developed more slowly and allowed Stannis's uncompromising nature to assert itself before he gives in.

Edited by The Knight of Grasses

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My husband, who has never read the books, also questioned where Ghost was when Jon was whacked by Craster. I think Ghost will be in the conclusion of the scene next week.

Over all I am very happy with the tv adaptation of the books, though I do wonder how anyone who hasn't read the books can keep up. There is just SO much going on, so many characters, so many plots... but I know several non-readers who are doing just fine, my husband included, though I have had to clarify things.

I personally am not a purist. I don't mind the changes they make, as long as they try to keep true to the main theme. I do have to admit I was a little irritated when they killed Dany's Silver - that horse is still with her and is mentioned in at least every book the Dany has a POV. I was a little surprised at the blood-rider's death but I don't think it's that big of a deal to the story line. She has two others, anyway, and more protectors are coming. I honestly feel the whore scenes were added because hey - it's HBO and sex is kinda their thing - but the mouth wiping scene? Yeah, could have done without that. I talked this show up so much to a family member who is very intelligent, well-read and refined, and I can only imagine what he thought when he saw that, hahaha.

All in all, this episode was OK. I love Tyrion and Cersai - I look forward to their scenes, something I don't remember doing in the books. I really don't like Stannis, at all. In the books he was so much more commanding, here he's just a man. Sam is perfect; he's making me like the character much more than I did in the books. Asha isn't at all how I imagined, but I'm waiting to see her more in action before coming to any conclusions. Dany kinda drives me a little nuts... I love her in the book, but her character on the show seems weak still, and when she lashes out or shows her anger it's not at all convincing.

And the Dire wolves are amazing. Love, love, LOVE.

Edited by LadyStormHeart

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About Littlefinger.

Doesn't it come out at some point in one of the books that Littlefinger has been supplying some lords with some dead prostitutes, or is that someone else?

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It certainly very hasty, I'll grant you that. But we don't really know what motivates Stannis to sleep with her in the novel, so I suppose the whispered promise of a son might be all it takes. It does make me wonder how they'll deal with it when a son isn't exactly forthcoming -- not the sort of son Stannis imagined he'd get, anyways.

the other reason i accept that they decided to show us that scene is that it really makes clear the moment that Stannis ends up "in bed" with R'hllor. so to speak. i always had an odd feeling we had missed the moment of his reluctant "conversion" when i was reading the books. if we take this scene as somewhat canon, it appears clear that he allows Mel free rein not only of his kingdom but of *him* because she promises him victory... and a son.

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I feel like people are making too big of a deal about the Stannis/Melisandre sex scene. Implied or shown, it changes nothing because it happens in both instances. Some people have said that it make Stannis look like a hypocrite - and well he was. Stannis had a mistress on the sides in the books in the form of Melisandre while he chastised Robert for being a manwhore and banned brothels on Dragonstone.

And I actually thought the show did a great job showing that it wasn't Stannis just being horny. When Mel stripped down that didn't make him lust for her, it was after she mentioned being able to produce a son that he acted. We all know that Stannis is an honorable man, and that was not changed by showing him having sex with Melisandre as it wasn't shown as a complete act of lust.

Also, babies have to be made somehow. And to just show Melisandre giving birth to a shadow baby without ever really explaining wth happened would not make for a clear plot.

Edited by Lord Godric

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About Littlefinger.

Doesn't it come out at some point in one of the books that Littlefinger has been supplying some lords with some dead prostitutes, or is that someone else?

That's more tv Littlefinger who apparantly lives in a brothel. In the books outside of a couple of times he is barely mentioned or talks about whores other than as a good investment.

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That's more tv Littlefinger who apparantly lives in a brothel. In the books outside of a couple of times he is barely mentioned or talks about whores other than as a good investment.

No, at some point in the series, Littlefinger was threatened with the knowledge of procuring corpses of whores for some lord's nefarious desires. There is talk is of how expensive it is to find these corpses and POV character (I think it was Tyrion) is wondering if he found them already as corpses or made them corpses.

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I hadn't read the whole thread so I don't know if someone mentioned it before but I liked the part when Tyrion read the letter from Mormont and the small council just laughed and left the room. I wonder how many of them will live to rue this.

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No, at some point in the series, Littlefinger was threatened with the knowledge of procuring corpses of whores for some lord's nefarious desires. There is talk is of how expensive it is to find these corpses and POV character (I think it was Tyrion) is wondering if he found them already as corpses or made them corpses.

Any idea where to find it in the books? Because I am pretty sure that was from an episode last season in a discussion between him and Varys.

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I feel like people are making too big of a deal about the Stannis/Melisandre sex scene. Implied or shown, it changes nothing because it happens in both instances. Some people have said that it make Stannis look like a hypocrite - and well he was. Stannis had a mistress on the sides in the books in the form of Melisandre while he chastised Robert for being a manwhore and banned brothels on Dragonstone.

Book Stannis never had a mistress. He had an ally/servant/guide in Melisandre but nowhere is a sexual relationship said or even implied.

And I actually thought the show did a great job showing that it wasn't Stannis just being horny. When Mel stripped down that didn't make him lust for her, it was after she mentioned being able to produce a son that he acted. We all know that Stannis is an honorable man, and that was not changed by showing him having sex with Melisandre as it wasn't shown as a complete act of lust.

Book Stannis is portrayed as someone completely not interested in sex beyond producing an heir. Melisandre wouldn't even try to seduce him. Not only that, he's also married which means he has a duty and an obligation to his wife. And you know how he feels about duty. So he's not only not someone who would be interested in sex for sex's sake or desire it, so wouldn't be seduced easily, he's someone for whom duty, honor, his vows and obligations are above any personal desires he might have.

And that 20 second feigning resistance to her. It wouldn't even be believable as playing hard to get.

Also, babies have to be made somehow. And to just show Melisandre giving birth to a shadow baby without ever really explaining wth happened would not make for a clear plot.

Exactly. Babies are made this way. But Mel never had any babies. The shadows are some sort of dark magic. It's never said that they require an actual sexual intercourse to create, much less with Stannis. In fact IIRC it's implied that Stannis doesn't even know that Mel is behind these assassinations, only that she sees them in the flames and then they happen.

And now that Mel seduces him with the promise of a son, what happens? Is she lying or misleading him? That would also be completely against her character. Or is she actually going to give birth to a son and they'll be a happy family. That would be even worse.

PS I finished reading ASOS so perhaps there is something in the next books I don't yet know but the show is still in the beginning of ACOK and so far this particular arc is straying far from the book.

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I really enjoyed this episode.

I won't list everything I liked, because most of it has already been discussed.

I liked the dialogue. There were a lot of memorable lines in this episode.

I can't believe the Krakon fireplace hasn't received more discussion. I had about 10 people with me watching (both readers and non-readers), and everyone went "ooh wow" when we saw that. Congrats to the set designers.

Lommy's green hands were another nice touch. I didn't notice Dragonstone being dragon shaped, so I'll have to go back and take another look.

Re.: Asha

1) I can't believe there's this much discussion over the name change. It's not like it changes the plot or anything. I think the concern about confusion is justified. Apparently lots of non-readers couldn't tell Robb, Theon and Jon apart. Yes, the Asha/Osha issue is a different issue since they never appear in a scene together, but noobs have enough new info to absorb without having to deal with, "what's her name? Asha? Isn't Tonks playing someone called Asha?" etc. I wouldn't be surprised if the producers were emplying some non-reader to review the scripts to catch potential confusion for non-reader viewers, and that person got confused between Asha and Osha. I don't think it's the end of the world if hbo overcompensates to avoid confusion.

2) But yes, "Yara" sounds dumb and resembles Arya. Couldn't they have gone with "Marina" or something completely different?

3) The actress wasn't what I pictured, but I was picturing Lily Allen, and I'm glad they didn't go that route! She really looked like Balon Greyjoy. I liked that!

I too am getting irritated, not by the sex or by Ros, but by how much time Littlefinger seems to spend at the brothel when he's surely got more important things to be dealing with, being Master of Coin and all.

Edited to correct my grammer

Edited by Isabella Stark

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Exactly. Babies are made this way. But Mel never had any babies. The shadows are some sort of dark magic. It's never said that they require an actual sexual intercourse to create, much less with Stannis.

Sorry, you're wrong here. It's spelled out more than once that they had sex to produce the shadow babies. At some point, Mel tries to get Davos in her bed instead because she says this magic "drains" Stannis's energy too much. And we know from Mel's POV that Stannis has "shared her bed".

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Yeah, I felt her only real importance in the books is to introduce us to greyscale, but that's not really important till FfC/DwD (I forget which one...) and can be done by pretty much anyone. Sure there's the technicality of her getting the Iron Throne but does anyone really think that'll happen?

I think she said "No sons, only stillborns" which could be referring to he's had a daughter, but only stillborn sons, or it could be that he has no children. Can't really tell.

She seems important, but in part because of how long she has been around in the books. I could go on with speculation about what role she will play, but it seems shortsighted to cut her out of the story unless Martin has given them inside information.

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