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[Book Spoilers] Ep 202 Discussion

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

It's not only *HEAVILY* implied, if you read between the lines, as far back as ACoK, but pretty much outright stated as fact later. Keep reading. There are numerous quotes from the books in this very thread to prove it if you back-track, for that matter. We don't get POVs for either of them in the early stages (and still none, to this day, for Stannis), so you have to read between the lines like with Renly and Loras's rampant man-love, which GRRM has confirmed he intended all along.

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...

She didn't wave a wand and conjure the shadow. She stood, throwing-off her robes to reveal a huge preggerz belly, then squatted and "birthed" the shadow baby right in front of a confused, terrified, and sickened Davos, who recognized it as looking like Stannis. It doesn't get much more implied than that.

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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.

It is absolutely mentioned explicitly, and it is therefore in character given that it happened. Stannis slept with Melisandre, he did it before the meeting at Storm's End, she gave birth to a shadowbaby.

Stannis' character is about his adherence to law and justice - not to honor. He's not Ned Stark, he's incredibly pragmatic and ruthless about the means to his ends. He's willing to forgive people he considers to be traitors to get their bannermen, he's willing to use R'hllor/blood magic to kill off the pretenders to his throne (I'm not referring to Renly here, FYI) even if that possibly means the death of Edric Storm, his own kin.

What makes Stannis Stannis is that he is a man poised on the absolute edge of heroism and villainy, whether he allows his resentment and sense of entitlement to push him into becoming the new Night's King or whether he listens to his better angels in the form of Davos and decides to stake his claim by defending the realm.

And I'm sorry, ace, but it's quite explicit that he's sleeping with Melisandre. She shared his tent during the campaign, Melisandre herself confirms that she slept with him to produce the shadowbabies (which Davos recognizes as Stannis' shadows) and "wore him out" so to speak when we get her viewpoint chapters later on.

He doesn't do so to get a son. If you rewatch the scene, it's very clear - Stannis says he can't win without Renly's army, Melisandre says she's seen a path to victory in the flames but that he has to give all of himself to the Lord of Light, Stannis thinks she's talking about the words, she makes it clear she's talking about sex, only then does she bring up the sons issue to get him over the issue of cheating on his wife.

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So have They confirmed that the Reeds are definitely cut? Because of all the changes, this is the one that really cheeses me off the most.

From the interview with D&D: "there are certain elements from the third book that are going into the second season, and certain elements from the second book going into the third season."

I don't see why Bran and whoever he is with couldn't encounter the Reeds later and pick up on that next season, if they wanted to go that way.

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The one thing that I wish they had left in from the book was Tyrion getting Slynt to reveal his most trusted men and then sending them off with him to the wall. I think it serves to illustrate the power base that Slynt brings to the wall with him, important to the future story, and it also makes Tyrion seem more clever. Considering how few lines they would of added to the sequence it seems like an odd cut.

Edited by hesitantreader

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I don't see the extra men as being at all crucial to the later Wall plots. Slynt and Thorne set up against Jon and a lot of the older wall vets are simply against Jon because he's young at first and later because of his Wildling connection and the ways he's changing the Watch. In fact, I don't ever remember the extra men from King's Landing being mentioned once they got to the wall at all.

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Does anyone know if episode 2x03 will come out early on GO like last week's did?

I wish. Last week's early glitch never showed-up on mine. :(

Edited by J.S. Crews

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A few things...

The direwolves look great. Real or not (I think they're real...?), they LOOK real

A little disappointed in the fact that Mel and Stannis are all of a sudden in a sexual relationship....what's the point in this, besides making the series even more racy...

Disappointed in the very limited Daenerys screen-time over the past two episodes

Why is Asha "Yara" now? Grrrrrrr

Otherwise, I loved the episode, especially the Cersei/Tyrion banter..

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The one thing that I wish they had left in from the book was Tyrion getting Slynt to reveal his most trusted men and then sending them off with him to the wall. I think it serves to illustrate the power base that Slynt brings to the wall with him, important to the future story, and it also makes Tyrion seem more clever. Considering how few lines they would of added to the sequence it seems like an odd cut.

yes. and i kind of missed how he implied "Oh, and this particular one should encounter rough seas and accidentally drown." i think it pointed out that the character of Tyrion was somewhat honorable... but not above killing off people he thought deserved it.

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A little disappointed in the fact that Mel and Stannis are all of a sudden in a sexual relationship....what's the point in this, besides making the series even more racy...

As has been proven already earlier in this thread, they scromped in the books too. People just seem to've missed it somehow.

Disappointed in the very limited Daenerys screen-time over the past two episodes

She does very little in the 2nd book. What? Like 7 total POV chapters, maybe, in the whole book?

Why is Asha "Yara" now? Grrrrrrr

Because there's already another character named Osha, and a large percentage of the population of the planet are morons. The producers were worried they might get confused. And they were probably right. If most people weren't morons, Reality TV wouldn't exist.

Edited by J.S. Crews

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Well Martin hinted towards Stannis and Melissandre having sex in the book, as vague as it was. Naturally when I saw it wasn't surprised. Though the actor for Stannis in my opinion doesn't fit the bill due to the fact Martin always mentions his defined jaw and the constant grinding of the teeth, he doesnt seem like an uptight man with Robert envy. Why doesn't the show ever show Davos playing with his finger pouch, that's a major part of his character. Plus Arya revealing herself made more sense in the book then it does in the show. Being to eager to trust isn't part of her character. I don't think they will have Shireen in the show because when Stannis and Melisandre are about to have sex she mentions to Stannis that Selyse gave him a stillborn. Unfortunate too for Davos he only has one son now and he's the one that's going to die in the " green fire." Last but not least Rakharo dieing was a shame, isn't he the one that leads them to the deserted village where they get respite from the desert elements

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Unfortunate too for Davos he only has one son now and he's the one that's going to die in the "green fire."

Just because we’ve only seen Matthos doesn’t mean that Devan et alios cannot exist.

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To all those people who don't like changes to the story and want things to go word-for-word as the book: Stop watching this and just read the books again. I promise you they will not disappoint you. :cool4: However, it'd make things quite boring for me.

Having gotten that out of my chest, I will do some episode thrashing myself... WHY IS THE STORY MOVING SO FAST??? Is this season going to cover everything that happens in all the books and the finale will be John getting Ceaser'd? (don't answer that)

I read the books after watching season 1 - which was fabulous. But are people that haven't read the book getting the story? If I didn't know what was going on, my head might hurt.

Secondly, this episode needed to get a move on! I understand that new characters being introduced puts a strain on the story but by that logic the entire season will be like this as Martin keeps introducing new characters. I certainly hope it isn't.

Now on to those controversial topics, I dislike disagreeing just to be in the minority but I am going to stick my neck out again and say I liked the LF scene. Many people disliked the Ros/LF scene because it was.... "not in the books"/"not extremely important"/both. I suspect, however, a lot of people didn't like how LF was being portrayed even though they may not have spelt it out - it may have clashed with their mental image of LF. This is quite understandable after reading LF's plans in the later books as it shrouds him with mystery and shows his conniving nature. However, there is no denying the facts that he IS brutal and he DID run a brothel and most probably he WOULD have to face a similar situation in the virtual world that Martin created. And I can't say he would have reacted very differently. So to those who dislike it because it wasn't in the book, look back to the first line of this post. Atleast, it wasn't particularly uncharacteristic like the scene from last episode which is debatable.

To those who feel that there was ono point to the scene and it was just fabricating new stuff just for the hell of it - I strongly disagree. Until now(the story so far), LF has been viewed as a minor/side role. Even if he IS a conniving side role. In fact, until Sansa was saved by him, LF wasn't given that much importance. He was always a man to watch out for but not quite a wild card yet. However, that drastically changes, and he has parts to play later. I think the directors are giving us face time with him to help him make the transition from a side role (who gets screen time only when he is making a proposal to Ned or trading words with Varys) to a main role who gets screen time by his own right. That's just how I choose to view it.

Also about how the episode ended - having read the books, it's not much of a cliff-hanger as we know nothing will come off it - but I guess if I hadn't read them, it might have been very interesting.

Edited by Ikurai

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Well Martin hinted towards Stannis and Melissandre having sex in the book, as vague as it was. Naturally when I saw it wasn't surprised.

It's hinted at, as you said, in ACoK; but it's outright stated as a fact in later books.

Why doesn't the show ever show Davos playing with his finger pouch, that's a major part of his character.

I noticed a general lack of character background period with Davos, and it's making me a Sad Panda. I love me some Onion Knight! If I hadn't read the books, however, I don't think I'd be understanding him right now. He better get a damn monologue to tell his story or something. Ooh. Ooh. When he's rowing Mel into the cove under Storm's End. That's a good opportunity for some exposition right thurr.

I don't think they will have Shireen in the show because when Stannis and Melisandre are about to have sex she mentions to Stannis that Selyse gave him a stillborn.

She actually says, "No sons. Only Stillborns. Only death." They can still squeak in a daughter, if they want to. The in-episode dialogue allows wiggle-room.

Edited by J.S. Crews

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First time I've been able to get on the boards since Sunday. Here are my observations:

1. The Arya parts were the best part of the episode. The dynamic between her and Gendry plus Lommy and Hot Pie really works. Tom seems like he's going to be awesome as Jaquen.

2. Pyke looks pretty awesome. I wasn't very excited when I saw Balon but he was awesome. Alfie is pretty great as Theon. As for Asha er excuse me "Yara"....eh. She doesn't exactly have the charisma of Asha but it was only the first episode. Also it was awesome they added Pyke to the opening credits.

3. I'm not that big of a fan of Lena Headly.

4. Peter Dinklage continues to kill it. Still not a fan of Shea.

5. Dany is boring. Of course I thought that throughout the books.

6. The scene between Stannis and Mellisandre was awkward. Just the way it was executed it seemed....awkward. I thought Stannis was sleeping with her in the books so that didn't bother me but it was just weird.

7. Davos is awesome but they didn't need to make him an Athiest. He was a believer in the Seven in the book. I guess it was an attempt to show his devotion to Stannis...It works for Jaime but not him IMO.

8. Ros....oh Ros. At least that scene with Littlefinger actually proved a point but Ros is awful. Please stop wasting time on her.

9. Cliff hanger was lame. Showing Jon seeing the White Walkers was fine but Craster knocking him out was silly IMO.

10. Ghost looked great!

I felt like the pacing and some of the scenes were pretty disjointed this episode. I didn't like it as much as the first episode but the addition of Arya made it pretty great. I'm hoping next week is better though, the lack of Robb and his storyline or Bran kind of hurt it.

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5. Dany is boring. Of course I thought that throughout the books.

She is terribly boring. Not to mention I'm sick of seeing her staring dreamily into the distance with empty eyes.

She's really just wank material for those who do not get turned on by Ros. Wank material with three dragons.

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Correct me if I'm wrong but Gilly didn't have the child while the Night's Watch was there in ACOK. She had it in the next book and it wasn't sacrificed because Craster dies. Right? Right. This baby has a bit of importance later on.. I think. Craster just giving it away in the TV show could pose a problem. No? Butterfly Effect.

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Correct me if I'm wrong but Gilly didn't have the child while the Night's Watch was there in ACOK. She had it in the next book and it wasn't sacrificed because Craster dies. Right? Right. This baby has a bit of importance later on.. I think. Craster just giving it away in the TV show could pose a problem. No? Butterfly Effect.

it is probably the child of some other wife.

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Ever since series were first anounced I hoped they will put in just that one little exchange between Tyrion and Bronn that I find best in the series. And was soooo glad when I've seen it in this episode, though Flynn could have delivered it bit better (at least while rubbing his fingers together).

I've read some posts from those that haven't read the books about how Bronn is a golden hearted sellsword, and there is some on Ned Stark in him ?! Hope that this exchange oppened eyes of these.

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I loved almost everything about this episode: Tyrion and Bronn, Yoren, Arya and Gendry, Davos and Sallador, everything and everyone at Pyke, Dolorous Edd, Sam, Gilly and Jon beyond the Wall - all fabulous. I personally didn't have a problem with the Stannis/Mel sex scene, as it was heavily implied in the books and will certainly make the whole "shadowbaby" thing clearer to non-readers. Similarly, I didn't mind the change with Jon seeing Craster making his offering to the Others: it explained in a few seconds what would otherwise have taken a couple of minutes of dialogue to describe. I can't see how it would cause a huge ongoing deviation from the books - I assumed Craster struck Jon mostly so he can drag him back and take him for a wife out of anger, not necessarily to keep his sacrifice a secret. Mormont already knows what's happening (or at least book Mormont does), and Craster's rage just means the brothers will be moving on from Craster's Keep a bit earlier. Which is good, yes? For pacing purposes. There's a lot of book to get through.

Which brings me to my main complaint: the added brothel scenes. Quite aside from the fact that the bj/peepshow and the subsequent action was vile (I'm no prude, but I really, really thought it was unnecessarily exploitative and offensive), I just don't see why they're wasting TIME on this shit. One book, ten episodes and so many brilliant characters, and HBO fritters away precious screentime on this crap? Really? For the record, I don't buy the characterization angle either: I honestly don't think it added anything to the story, or shed any new light on Littlefinger. We already know he's an untrustworthy, morally bankrupt opportunist. Now we know what...he likes to watch? He likes to clean up afterwards? Ugh.

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Ever since series were first anounced I hoped they will put in just that one little exchange between Tyrion and Bronn that I find best in the series. And was soooo glad when I've seen it in this episode, though Flynn could have delivered it bit better (at least while rubbing his fingers together).

I have the opposite opinion. Rubbing his fingers together and so on would have made it slightly cheesier and less natural for me. The way Flynn did it seemed very genuine to me.

Which brings me to my main complaint: the added brothel scenes. Quite aside from the fact that the bj/peepshow and the subsequent action was vile (I'm no prude, but I really, really thought it was unnecessarily exploitative and offensive), I just don't see why they're wasting TIME on this shit. One book, ten episodes and so many brilliant characters, and HBO fritters away precious screentime on this crap? Really? For the record, I don't buy the characterization angle either: I honestly don't think it added anything to the story, or shed any new light on Littlefinger. We already know he's an untrustworthy, morally bankrupt opportunist. Now we know what...he likes to watch? He likes to clean up afterwards? Ugh.

Nothing about his actions indicated that he watched because he liked it. He had a completely neutral look when he was watching so it was obviously just him keeping a close eye on his business (information is power). That you assume that he likes to clean up is even more strange since that part is just meant to gross people out.

And we do get to see a different depth to the limits Littlefinger will go to in order to profit from it. If you don't think that's anything new I suppose we don't need have to have Joffrey do anything sadistic anymore since he already did that in the first season and we couldn't possibly gain anything from continuing to follow his character on that path, right?

Edited by Tywin's bastard

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