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[Book Spoilers] Ep 202 Discussion

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Ok here's my likes:

- Pyke / Balon Greyjoy - just the way I imagined them, perfect casting and artistry in rendering the island keep, walkways, gloomy interior complete with kraken fireplace.

- Loved the Tyrion / Janos Slynt scene - perfectly done. Pretty much every scene with Tyrion is spot on.

- Arya/Gendry/Hotpie/ - Jaqen, Biter etc. etc - great scenes, true to book, well casted actors, great chemistry happening that conveys a sense of growing friendship that's essential for later parts of their story.

Dislikes:

I wasn't fond of the Tyrion / Cersei scene this time around. Lena Headey seemed a bit off this week, I'm not sure why. Maybe this is my perception of her 'slipping' a bit further out of control?

Didn't like the cliffhanger ending with such a drastic change from the books. I realize they need a way to tie in revealing what happens with the boys and all that, but Craster smacking Jon over the head? That's so far off the story - I'm disappointed.

Didn't like the Ros / Littlefinger scene - even though I couldn't hear it, even knowing now what the convo was about, I felt it was pointless

And lastly - I don't like the actress picked for Asha Greyjoy at all. I'm female so I'm not going to go on about her not being 'sexy' enough (that's personal opinion)... I just don't feel she portrayed Asha's incredible quick wit, smartass attitude and huge confidence nearly well enough AT ALL. Her eyes are too droopy, she looked constantly insolent... not cocky and self confident.

Edited by Envie

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Speaking of Stannis's heir, was I the only one saddened by the confirmation of Shireen's nonexistence?

Me too, if only because it looks like both her (with her Greyscale) and Patchface (who there's obviously more to than meets the eye) will have some level of importance as the books progress. But, I'm hoping that Stannis just wants a son so bad he's not even acknowledging his daughter's existence.

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I've got a question. The others haven't been seen for 8,000 years, yet Craster is giving his sons to them and has presumbly been doing so for years. Were they just waiting till they had enough of Craster's sons to create an army? The rangers have been visiting Craster for years but only now the others are going after everyone.

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Envie - similar impression. Slightly different opinion.

I thought Cercei/Tyrion scene was weak due to the whole idea of the conversation itself. It did reveal some very important insight about how Cercei came to hate Tyrion other wise.

Jon's . . . I actually hate the part where he was kinda running alone and stumble on things . . . didn't make any sense. He was running alone, in the dark, wearing all blacks for god's sake. Could have made him stalk around a bit smarter than that : /

Littlefinger ... I don't know, I don't like any porn scene in this series in general. The girl with sement in her mouth was .... ew. I found Greyjoy's sex scene a bit more disturbing tho for some unknown reason.

Edited by DirePenguin

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Good episode overall, though not without it's faults.

Stuff I liked a lot:

--Tyrion with Varys and Janos. Great scene between him and Varys, and I'm glad they kept that "paddling" line of Varys's. Also, really enjoyed seeing Tyrion take Janos apart, and naming Bronn captain of the Gold Cloaks is a good way of not having to cast Jacelyn. Loved that they kept Bronn's best line in the series too.

--Arya. Maisie Williams is still fantastic, and I enjoyed her scenes with both Gendry and Jaqen. Also liked the new Yoren line about "shaving a spiders' arse" when threatening the gold cloaks.

--Balon Greyjoy and Pyke. Pyke looks fantastic, and the guy playing Balon really did a tremendous job. I'm glad they kept that scene almost identical to teh books, and retained the "iron, gold" discussion about Theon's bauble.

--Davos and Salladhor Saan. Great scene, and very impressed with the guy playing Saan.

Nitpicks

--Tyrion mentioning Robert's bastards as potential claimants to the throne. Um, no they're not, and Tyrion would know better.

--Ros scene. Scene was pretty good actually, adn well acted, but hardly necessary. I think the time could have been better spent elsewhere, as it didn't really reveal anything new or add any characterization; everyone knows Littlefinger is a shit weasel already.

--Stannis and Melisandre. Seems like they're just trying to hard to show everything, instead of keeping some things subtle.

Gripes

I really only have one big gripe about the episode, adn it's the ending. Really lame cliffhanger that was hardly necessary. NOt every episode needs to end with a cliffhanger, and this one was by far the worst of the cliffhangers. Felt straight out of True Blood, and it's hardly suspenseful because nobody is really going to think Jon won't come out of this ok.

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A bit iffy with this episode, there were good parts:

- Pod makes an cameo! :)

- Edd and his fart jokes

- Davos/san/ and Matthos

- Arya and the gang

- Cersei tearing up Tyrion

- Tyrion tearing up Janos

Stuff that threw me way off:

- sooo many sex scenes, I wanna see Robb, or Bran, or Sansa instead! :(

- Was Theon FINGERING Asha? O__o

- the girl playing Asha looks pretty decent, but she mumbles a bit.

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I was disgusted by the Theon and Asha/Yara scene in a way that I never was with Jaime and Cersei. Maybe it's because I've already developed sort of a pity for Theon. I seriously wanted to wash my eyes out with lye as I was watching it. I'm not sold on the actor playing Asha. She lacked that spunk book Asha has.

I'm very surprised with how explicit they are being with things that are only hinted at in the books. I know GRRM works closely with the show, so I wonder if he's giving a silent nod to all of the theorizing that goes on in the forums or if the producers are just using their own theories. I mean, it's hinted enough times that Stannis and Mel have done the dirty but we are never really sure. There have been some amazing theories about what Craster does with his sons and giving them to the Others is not one that I bought into. I wish I knew if we can use the show to learn more about the books.

I reread parts of the books dealing with the killing of the bastards this past week and I found that it's never really stated that Cersei is the one who ordered it. Slynt said it was orders but never mentions the queen. The only time anyone says it was Cersei was Tyrion and Varys only agreed that it was a terrible thing. So it could have been Joffrey since it was done around the same time that Joff found out about the incest rumors.

I really like who they cast as Jaqen. I had imagined him as a slimy, creepy man. The scene was great. Still, I wish Arya had brought him some water.

Pyke looked amazing. Balon was amazing. I was not sold on Asha/Yara. She didn't have any spunk. I was disgusted with the Theon/Yara scene in a way I never was with Jaime/Cersei. Maybe it's because I have already developed a pity for Theon after reading so much about what the future holds for him. Maybe it was just because the actress playing Yara wasn't very good.

I had been defending Ros' inclusion on the show but I'm losing faith. I can't figure out what they are building her up for. I'm not entirely sure what that entire scene was even supposed to be telling us about Littlefinger. It starts out with him spying on his whores...are his whores his spies?...then turns disgusting when he wipes semen from a whores mouth and then watches her kiss a patron with that same mouth then he goes on to threaten Ros. All of his previous scenes have already showed us that he's a player in the games and that he has no problem playing dirty so what new were we supposed to learn?

Dolorous Edd made me laugh so hard that I spewed Dr. Pepper from my nose. It hurt. I had to clean my nose up, rewind and watch again just so I could laugh properly. I didn't appreciate his character in the books because I couldn't quite understand the dour nature he was supposed to have. The show makes me appreciate his comic value.

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Asha was ok, I wasn't really taken in by the actor but they didn't keep the whole scene. Balon kinda reffered to her and she made a joke about Theon's garb, and earlier on horseback, she just kinda let Theon play with her while he brags. She didn't come off as a swaggering, confident type - wishing she had been born a man like Cersei, but she really didn't leave an impression. I'm a little miffed about the cliffhanger and I don't understand it. How hard would it have been for Gilly to have said, "he gives our sons to the Gods?" Leaving it a mystery to the viewer as to exactly what that means. If someone can explain this decision to me, please do.

I'm not a purist by any stretch, changes for expediency, or because of budget limitation or time constraints is fine. But that ticked me off. Where is Patchface? Where is this dynamic between Queen's Men and King's Men? Where are the Reeds? I'm not upset about the damphair because he can be omitted without any great loss untill the events of the 4th book. I think this is the start of some serious deviation. Not that's necessarily a bad thing. I remember an interview with the showrunners that said each season won't so much tell the story of the book, but when it's viewed as a whole, will tell the story of "ASOIAF." Which I'm fine with.

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This was a decent episode; I enjoyed "The North Remembers" more though.

- Jaqen was pretty good, I liked him. Rorge and Biter were okay, not really what I pictured at all but I’ll live. Yoren was bad ass as fuck in the opening scene. His death is going to suck. Hope its epic. I liked Gendry a lot as well; Arya scenes were definitely highlights this episode.

-Can't stand Shae, I just don't get why they changed the character so much and why is she staying in the tower of the hand? enjoyed Varys/Tyrion going at it though.

- Loved the Tyrion/Janos scene even though it was ten times better in the books. I get why they made Bronn the Lord Commander of the City Watch, I was hoping to see Jacelyn Bywater but no big deal.

- Ghost looked fucking awesome

- so which blood rider did they kill off? didn't like that change honestly.

-Geez I hate Theon just as much on the show as I did when I was reading Clash, not how I pictured Asha (Yara) but whatever I was actually happy with the ironborn scenes. Thought Balon was perfect.

- Littlefinger/Ros= Mehhhh, I just don't like what they did with Littlefinger and I hate Ros so.....

- Davos is the man, Salladhor Saan was casted perfectly imo. Great scene, KING STANNIS IS MY GOD

- Not really mad that they pinned King Roberts bastards murders on Joffrey and really enjoyed the Cersei/Tyrion scene

- I'm sold on Stannis already, really like the casting, surprised by him and Mellisandre just straight up fucking but I guess they got to make shadow babies somehow, No Shireen!! I don't see why they cut her out?

- I get they wanted to show what Craster does with his sons but they could've handled it much better imo. I could barely even tell that what picked the baby up until I saw the blue eyes but I think they could have made it clearer that it was a white walker, and Craster finding Jon and hitting him upside the head? idk just didn't like how much this episode differed from the books.

- No Robb, Catelyn, Sansa, Renly, Jaime, Tywin, etc. This is probably one of my least favorite episodes of the entire series but still enjoyed it a lot. Solid 7

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There have been some amazing theories about what Craster does with his sons and giving them to the Others is not one that I bought into. I wish I knew if we can use the show to learn more about the books.

I thought it was book-confirmed that he gave them to the Others? I don't really do any theorising with asoiaf (hell I only heard of R+L=J about a month ago...) but I was always under the impression that that was what happened, I'll have to find the bit in the books.

Finally I can talk on here about this episode (and finally I can actually get on the website...)

My episode thoughts:

I was a bit uncomfortable with the Arya peeing scene.

The Yara/Theon scene was creepier than I was expecting, I thought she should have kept trying to stop him rather than let him finger her.

Iron islands look amazing

Mel is hot (no pun intended). I liked how Stannis was refusing to sleep with her until she insisted she could give him a son. Shows how much he wants a son.

I am assuming that was Rhakaro (bloodrider who Dany had a moment with last ep) who came back without a body. Is there something that confirms this since we didn't see his face? So much for him replacing Daario...

Ghost is huge, I feel sorry for Quorin.

The Others are so well done, I get chills when I see those blue eyes.

So Craster has captured Jon. Will this be the catalyst for Jon being sent to the wildlings?

So some deviations from the book, but that's okay, I like not knowing whats going to happen.

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It was good as usual, but I'll nitpick a bit. My three biggest issues with the episode:

1. Craster/Jon Cliffhanger. This feels really out of place, and I'm curious to see how they resolve this. I suppose it doesn't have to harm anything important (Jeor can die any number of ways without much loss, the Craster/Others reveal still occurs) if they do it properly. This could quickly become a non-issue, but it just shocked me somewhat.

2. As almost everyone has noted, Yara/Asha really lacked the spice that made the character jump out in the books. I don't care about her appearance (and very well would have expected her not to be comely), but the personality simply has not made the jump to the screen.

3. I'm still also sad about Patchface and Shireen apparently being out. The Dragonstone scenes had such a creepy atmosphere in the books, and they were part of it.

Thankfully, I don't see any of these mattering too much going forward. Shae is annoying, but that will just make a certain moment that much better. Also, was I the only one kind of glad when Rakharo died simply because they scared me into thinking they'd stick him in as a love interest for Daenerys based on the previous episode?

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I don't see why anyone cares that Rakharo died. He barely plays a role in the series as a whole and his character/role is easily expendable/replaceable.

Sallador Saan being black only bugs me because the only reason he's black is because the series was overdue for some ethnic diversity. So he's the token black guy. Personally I still think they should have just had Jalabhar Xho appearing in the background.

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So much awesome little stuff in the episode and it flowed together pretty well too. So many actors knocking it out of the park.

It's funny talking about how Ros is wasting our time again, but it occurs to me that the Dany section was just as much a waste of time (and I'm not a Dany hater). Though I guess if Rakharo's actor had to leave the show they did have to give him a sendoff.

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Loved it. The change in Joffrey's actions are believable, and show his malicious nature.

Didn't like the Rakharo thing one bit. Something tells me that he still would have had a role to play past ADWD. Maybe now they can bring Jogo.

I loved how they showed his death. It was nice from a viewing perspective, and a 'reader of the books' perspective. From a viewing perspective, it was clever how the horse came out of the mirage. From a reader perspective, it threw in a nice curveball. I was suspecting that one of her blood riders would return with emissaries, of the location of the ghost city.

\ Bronn as city watch commander makes sense, no reason for another character there.

Yep. It also makes more sense for Tyrion to put someone loyal to himself in charge.

I found Greyjoy's sex scene a bit more disturbing tho for some unknown reason.

It was a lot like the early Dany/Drogo love scene. The women are powerless in the scenes, and whether they enjoy the physical act or not is highly debatable.

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I'm seeing a recurring theme to the hates: patchface & Shireen, Ros, Stannis Mel sex, and Jon cliffhanger.

Shireen and the fool may be offscreen with Stannis's wife, TV viewers don't need to see them because they aren't yet players in the game of thrones.

The Mel Stannis scene was totes forgivable because it will explain the shadow baby... which never was explained in the books and was more of a WTF GRRM? when I read it. It also explains why Stannis becomes more devout.

Even though the last scene left me with a bad taste in my mouth for the cliffhanger, I'll say it explained something we all expect craster was doing with his boys, giving them to the others.

To me though, HBO gets an excuse for one Jon cliffhanger because all we have to do is wait a week to find out he is actually OK. GRRM is making us wait years to find out what's with Jon in the next book on one hell of a cliffhanger.

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There have been some amazing theories about what Craster does with his sons and giving them to the Others is not one that I bought into.

"He gives the boys to the gods. Come the white cold, he does, and of late it comes more often. Thats why he started giving them sheep, even though he has a taste for mutton. Only now the sheep're gone too. Next it will be dogs, 'till…" She lowered her eyes and stroked her belly.

"What gods?" Jon was remembering that they'd seen no boys in Crasters Keep, nor men either, save Craster himself.

"The cold gods", she said. "The ones in the night. The white shadows." And suddenly Jon was back in the Lord Commanders Tower again. A severed hand was climbing his calf and when he pried it off with the point of his longsword, it lay writhing, fingers opening and closing. The dead man rose to his feet, blue eyes shining in that gashed and swollen face. Ropes of torn flesh hung from the great wound in his belly, yet there was no blood.

"What color are their eyes?" he asked her.

"Blue. As bright bright as blue stars, and as cold."

Seems pretty clear to me.

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The way they are focusing on Ros, I think that Ros will be the one who will be forced to marry Ramsay in the show as fake Arya.

Possibly as fake Sansa? I'd hate to see that happen, but cutting out the marriage subplot might move things along.

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